Maximizing Nitrate Absorption of Agricultural Waste Water in a Tubular Microalgae Reactor by Adapting the Illumination Spectrum

Microalgae-based photobioreactors (PBR) for Life Support Systems (LSS) are currently being investigated for future space missions such as a crewed base on planets or moons. Biological components may help reducing resupply masses by closing material mass flows with the help of regenerative components. Via photosynthesis, the microalgae use CO2, water, light and nutrients to provide oxygen and biomass for the astronauts. These capabilities could have synergies with Earth applications that tackle current problems and the developed technologies can be transferred. For example, a current worldwide discussed issue is the increased nitrate and phosphate pollution of ground water from agricultural waste waters. To investigate the potential use of a biological system based on the ability of the microalgae to extract and use nitrate and phosphate for the treatment of polluted ground water from agricultural applications, a scalable test stand is being developed. This test stand investigates the maximization of intake rates of nitrate and quantifies the produced biomass and oxygen. To minimize the required energy, for the uptake of nitrate from artificial waste water (AWW) the Flashing Light Effect (FLE) and the adaption of the illumination spectrum were realized. This paper describes the composition of the AWW, the development of the illumination unit and the possibility of non-invasive process optimization and control via the adaption of the illumination spectrum and illumination cycles. The findings were a doubling of the energy related growth rate by adapting the illumination setting.

Plant Supporting Units (Ekobox) Application Project for Increasing Planting Success in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas

In this study, samples of plant types including rose hip (Rosa canina L.), jujube (Ziziphus jujube), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) were grown using plant supporting units called Ekobox and drip irrigation systems in the Karapınar, Konya region of Turkey to reveal the efficiency of Ekobox and drip irrigation compared against a control with no irrigation. The plant diameter, height, and survival rates were determined, compared with each other, and statistically analyzed. According to the statistical analysis of the results, Ekobox applications resulted in the highest values for survival rate, diameter, and height measurements whereas the lowest values were determined in the control groups. These results indicate that the cultivation of plants with Ekobox may help protect against the loss of fertile soils as an effective mechanism for combating erosion and desertification. These advantages may also lead to a lasting economic effect on the cultivation of plants by locals of the Karapınar, Konya province who suffer from an ever-decreasing underground water level as a result of agricultural consumption.

Evaluation of Underground Water Flow into Tabriz Metro Tunnel First Line by Hydro-Mechanical Coupling Analysis

One of the main practical difficulties attended with tunnel construction is related to underground water. Uncontrolled water behavior may cause extra loads on the lining, mechanical instability, and unfavorable environmental problems. Estimating underground water inflow rate to the tunnels is a complex skill. The common calculation methods are: empirical methods, analytical solutions, numerical solutions based on the equivalent continuous porous media. In this research the rate of underground water inflow to the Tabriz metro first line tunnel has been investigated by numerical finite difference method using FLAC2D software. Comparing results of Heuer analytical method and numerical simulation showed good agreement with each other. Fully coupled and one-way coupled hydro mechanical states as well as water-free conditions in the soil around the tunnel are used in numerical models and these models have been applied to evaluate the loading value on the tunnel support system. Results showed that the fully coupled hydro mechanical analysis estimated more axial forces, moments and shear forces in linings, so this type of analysis is more conservative and reliable method for design of tunnel lining system. As sensitivity analysis, inflow water rates into the tunnel were evaluated in different soil permeability, underground water levels and depths of the tunnel. Result demonstrated that water level in constant depth of the tunnel is more sensitive factor for water inflow rate to the tunnel in comparison of other parameters investigated in the sensitivity analysis.

Critical Heights of Sloped Unsupported Trenches in Unsaturated Sand

Workers are often required to enter unsupported trenches during the construction process, which may present serious risks. Trench failures can result in death or damage to adjacent properties, therefore trenches should be excavated with extreme precaution. Excavation work is often done in unsaturated soils, where the critical height (i.e. maximum depth that can be excavated without failure) of unsupported trenches can be more reliably estimated by considering the influence of matric suction. In this study, coupled stress/pore-water pressure analyses are conducted to investigate the critical height of sloped unsupported trenches considering the influence of pore-water pressure redistribution caused by excavating. Four different wall slopes (1.5V:1H, 2V:1H, 3V:1H, and 90°) and a vertical trench with the top 0.3 m sloped 1:1 were considered in the analyses with multiple depths of the ground water table in a sand. For comparison, the critical heights were also estimated using the limit equilibrium method for the same excavation scenarios used in the coupled analyses.

Determination of Surface Deformations with Global Navigation Satellite System Time Series

The development of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has led to increasingly widely and successful applications of GNSS surveys for monitoring crustal movements. Instead of the multi-period GNSS solutions, this study utilizes GNSS time series that are required to more precisely determine the vertical deformations in the study area. In recent years, the surface deformations that are parallel and semi-parallel to Bolvadin fault have occurred in Western Anatolia. These surface deformations have continued to occur in Bolvadin settlement area that is located mostly on alluvium ground. Due to these surface deformations, a number of cracks in the buildings located in the residential areas and breaks in underground water and sewage systems have been observed. In order to determine the amount of vertical surface deformations, two continuous GNSS stations have been established in the region. The stations have been operating since 2015 and 2017, respectively. In this study, GNSS observations from the mentioned two GNSS stations were processed with GAMIT/GLOBK (GNSS Analysis Massachusetts Institute of Technology/GLOBal Kalman) program package to create coordinate time series. With the time series analyses, the GNSS stations’ behaviour models (linear, periodical, etc.), the causes of these behaviours, and mathematical models were determined. The study results from the time series analysis of these two 2 GNSS stations show approximately 50-90 mm/yr vertical movement.

Impact of Herbicides on Soil Biology in Rapeseed

Winter oilseed rape, Brassica napus L., is characterized by a high number of herbicide applications. Therefore, its cultivation can lead to massive contamination of ground water and soil by herbicide and their metabolites. A multi-side long-term field experiment (EFFO, Efficient crop rotation) was set-up in Luxembourg to quantify these effects. Based on soil sampling and laboratory analysis, preliminary results showed reduced dehydrogenase activities of several soil organisms due to herbicide treatments. This effect is highly depending on the soil type. Relation between the dehydrogenase activity and the amount of microbial carbon showed higher variability on the test side with loamy Brown Earth, based on Bunter than on those with sandy-loamy Brown Earth, based on calciferous Sandstone.

Heavy Metal Contamination of a Dumpsite Environment as Assessed with Pollution Indices

Indiscriminate refuse dumping in and around Ado-Ekiti combined with improper management of few available dumpsites, such as Ilokun dumpsite, posed the threat of heavy metals pollution in the surrounding soils and underground water that needs assessment using pollution indices. Surface soils (0-15 cm) were taken from the centre of Ilokun dumpsite (0 m) and environs at different directions and distances during the dry and wet seasons, as well as a background sample at 1000 m away, adjacent to the dumpsite at Ilokun, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals used to calculate the pollution indices for the soils were determined using Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. The soils recorded high concentrations of all the heavy metals above the background concentrations irrespective of the season with highest concentrations at the 0 m except Ni and Fe at 50 m during the dry and wet season, respectively. The heavy metals concentration were in the order of Ni > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd > Fe during the dry season, and Fe > Cr > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd > Mn during the wet season. Using the Contamination Factor (CF), the soils were classified to be moderately contaminated with Cd and Fe to very high contamination with other metals during the dry season and low Cd contamination (0.87), moderate contamination with Fe, Pb, Mn and Ni and very high contamination with Cr and Cu during the wet season. At both seasons, the Pollution Load Index (PLI) indicates the soils to be generally polluted with heavy metals and the Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo) calculated shown the soils to be in unpolluted to moderately polluted levels. Enrichment Factor (EF) implied the soils to be deficiently enriched with all the heavy metals except Cr (7.90) and Cu (6.42) that were at significantly enrichment levels during the wet season. Modified Degree of Contamination (mCd) recorded, indicated the soils to be of very high to extremely high degree of contamination during the dry season and moderate degree of contamination during the wet season except 0 m with high degree of contamination. The concentration of heavy metals in the soils combined with some of the pollution indices indicated the soils in and around the Ilokun Dumpsite are being polluted with heavy metals from anthropogenic sources constituted by the indiscriminate refuse dumping.

Reliability-Based Maintenance Management Methodology to Minimise Life Cycle Cost of Water Supply Networks

With a large percentage of countries’ total infrastructure expenditure attributed to water network maintenance, it is essential to optimise maintenance strategies to rehabilitate or replace underground pipes before failure occurs. The aim of this paper is to provide water utility managers with a maintenance management approach for underground water pipes, subject to external loading and material corrosion, to give the lowest life cycle cost over a predetermined time period. This reliability-based maintenance management methodology details the optimal years for intervention, the ideal number of maintenance activities to perform before replacement and specifies feasible renewal options and intervention prioritisation to minimise the life cycle cost. The study was then extended to include feasible renewal methods by determining the structural condition index and potential for soil loss, then obtaining the failure impact rating to assist in prioritising pipe replacement. A case study on optimisation of maintenance plans for the Melbourne water pipe network is considered in this paper to evaluate the practicality of the proposed methodology. The results confirm that the suggested methodology can provide water utility managers with a reliable systematic approach to determining optimum maintenance plans for pipe networks.

Strategic Mine Planning: A SWOT Analysis Applied to KOV Open Pit Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo

KOV pit (Kamoto Oliveira Virgule) is located 10 km from Kolwezi town, one of the mineral rich town in the Lualaba province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The KOV pit is currently operating under the Katanga Mining Limited (KML), a Glencore-Gecamines (a State Owned Company) join venture. Recently, the mine optimization process provided a life of mine of approximately 10 years withnice pushbacks using the Datamine NPV Scheduler software. In previous KOV pit studies, we recently outlined the impact of the accuracy of the geological information on a long-term mine plan for a big copper mine such as KOV pit. The approach taken, discussed three main scenarios and outlined some weaknesses on the geological information side, and now, in this paper that we are going to develop here, we are going to highlight, as an overview, those weaknesses, strengths and opportunities, in a global SWOT analysis. The approach we are taking here is essentially descriptive in terms of steps taken to optimize KOV pit and, at every step, we categorized the challenges we faced to have a better tradeoff between what we called strengths and what we called weaknesses. The same logic is applied in terms of the opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis conducted in this paper demonstrates that, despite a general poor ore body definition, and very rude ground water conditions, there is room for improvement for such high grade ore body.

Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India

This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

The Effect of Pulling and Rotation Speed on the Jet Grout Columns

The performance of jet grout columns was affected by many controlled and uncontrolled parameters. The leading parameters for the controlled ones can be listed as injection pressure, rod pulling speed, rod rotation speed, number of nozzles, nozzle diameter and Water/Cement ratio. And the uncontrolled parameters are soil type, soil structure, soil layering condition, underground water level, the changes in strength parameters and the rheologic properties of cement in time. In this study, the performance of jet grout columns and the effects of pulling speed and rotation speed were investigated experimentally. For this purpose, a laboratory type jet grouting system was designed for the experiments. Through this system, jet grout columns were produced in three different conditions. The results of the study showed that the grout pressure and the lifting speed significantly affect the performance of the jet grouting columns.

Decolorization and Phenol Removal of Palm Oil Mill Effluent by Termite-Associated Yeast

A huge of dark color palm oil mill effluent (POME) cannot pass the discharge standard. It has been identified as the major contributor to the pollution load into ground water. Here, lignin-degrading yeast isolated from a termite nest was tested to treat the POME. Its lignin-degrading and decolorizing ability was determined. The result illustrated that Galactomyces sp. was successfully grown in POME. The decolorizing test demonstrated that 40% of Galactomyces sp. could reduce the color of POME (50% v/v) about 74-75% in 5 days without nutrient supplement. The result suggested that G. reessii has a potential to apply for decolorizing the dark wastewater like POME and other industrial wastewaters.

Comparison of Different Techniques to Estimate Surface Soil Moisture

Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the land surface from changes that take place underground. There are different causes of land subsidence; most notably, ground-water overdraft and severe weather conditions. Subsidence of the land surface due to ground water overdraft is caused by an increase in the intergranular pressure in unconsolidated aquifers, which results in a loss of buoyancy of solid particles in the zone dewatered by the falling water table and accordingly compaction of the aquifer. On the other hand, exploitation of underground water may result in significant changes in degree of saturation of soil layers above the water table, increasing the effective stress in these layers, and considerable soil settlements. This study focuses on estimation of soil moisture at surface using different methods. Specifically, different methods for the estimation of moisture content at the soil surface, as an important term to solve Richard’s equation and estimate soil moisture profile are presented, and their results are discussed through comparison with field measurements obtained from Yanco1 station in south-eastern Australia. Surface soil moisture is not easy to measure at the spatial scale of a catchment. Due to the heterogeneity of soil type, land use, and topography, surface soil moisture may change considerably in space and time.

Decontamination of Chromium Containing Ground Water by Adsorption Using Chemically Modified Activated Carbon Fabric

Chromium in the environment is considered as one of the most toxic elements probably next only to mercury and arsenic. It is acutely toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic in the environment. Chromium contamination of soil and underground water due to industrial activities is a very serious problem in several parts of India covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc. Functionally modified Activated Carbon Fabrics (ACF) offer targeted chromium removal from drinking water and industrial effluents. Activated carbon fabric is a light weight adsorbing material with high surface area and low resistance to fluid flow. We have investigated surface modification of ACF using various acids in the laboratory through batch as well as through continuous flow column experiments with a view to develop the optimum conditions for chromium removal. Among the various acids investigated, phosphoric acid modified ACF gave best results with a removal efficiency of 95% under optimum conditions. Optimum pH was around 2 – 4 with 2 hours contact time. Continuous column experiments with an effective bed contact time (EBCT) of 5 minutes indicated that breakthrough occurred after 300 bed volumes. Adsorption data followed a Freundlich isotherm pattern. Nickel adsorbs preferentially and sulphate reduces chromium adsorption by 50%. The ACF could be regenerated up to 52.3% using 3 M NaOH under optimal conditions. The process is simple, economical, energy efficient and applicable to industrial effluents and drinking water.

Waste Burial to the Pressure Deficit Areas in the Eastern Siberia

Important executive decisions on oil and gas production stimulation in Eastern Siberia have been recently taken. There are unique and large fields of oil, gas, and gas-condensate in Eastern Siberia. The Talakan, Koyumbinskoye, Yurubcheno-Tahomskoye, Kovykta, Chayadinskoye fields are supposed to be developed first. It will result in an abrupt increase in environmental load on the nature of Eastern Siberia. In Eastern Siberia, the introduction of ecological imperatives in hydrocarbon production is still realistic. Underground water movement is the one of the most important factors of the ecosystems condition management. Oil and gas production is associated with the forced displacement of huge water masses, mixing waters of different composition, and origin that determines the extent of anthropogenic impact on water drive systems and their protective reaction. An extensive hydrogeological system of the depression type is identified in the pre-salt deposits here. Pressure relieve here is steady up to the basement. The decrease of the hydrodynamic potential towards the basement with such a gradient resulted in reformation of the fields in process of historical (geological) development of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise. The depression hydrodynamic systems are characterized by extremely high isolation and can only exist under such closed conditions. A steady nature of water movement due to a strictly negative gradient of reservoir pressure makes it quite possible to use environmentally-harmful liquid substances instead of water. Disposal of the most hazardous wastes is the most expedient in the deposits of the crystalline basement in certain structures distant from oil and gas fields. The time period for storage of environmentally-harmful liquid substances may be calculated by means of the geological time scales ensuring their complete prevention from releasing into environment or air even during strong earthquakes. Disposal of wastes of chemical and nuclear industries is a matter of special consideration. The existing methods of storage and disposal of wastes are very expensive. The methods applied at the moment for storage of nuclear wastes at the depth of several meters, even in the most durable containers, constitute a potential danger. The enormous size of the depression system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise makes it possible to easily identify such objects at the depth below 1500 m where nuclear wastes will be stored indefinitely without any environmental impact. Thus, the water drive system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise is the ideal object for large-volume injection of environmentally harmful liquid substances even if there are large oil and gas accumulations in the subsurface. Specific geological and hydrodynamic conditions of the system allow the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface simultaneously with the disposal of industrial wastes of oil and gas, mining, chemical, and nuclear industries without any environmental impact.

Radon Concentration in the Water Samples of Hassan District, Karnataka, India

Radon is a radioactive gas emitted from radium, a daughter product of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Radon, together with its decay products, emits alpha particles that can damage lung tissue. The activity concentration of 222Ra has been analyzed in water samples collected from borewells and rivers in and around Hassan city, Karnataka State, India. The measurements were performed by Emanometry technique. The concentration of 222Rn in borewell waters varies from 18.49±1.89 to 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 with geometric mean 120.48±12.87 Bql-1 and in river waters it varies from 92.63±9.31 to 93.98±9.51 Bql-1 with geometric mean of 93.16±9.33 Bql-1. In the present study, the radon concentrations are higher in Adarshanagar and Viveka Nagar which are found to be 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 and 325.78±32.56 Bql-1. Most of the analysed samples show a 222Rn concentration more than 100 Bql-1 and this can be attributed to the geology of the area where the ground waters are located, which is predominantly of granitic characteristic. The average inhalation dose and ingestion dose in the borewell water are found to be 0.405 and 0.033 µSvy-1; and in river water it is found to be 0.234 and 0.019 µSvy-1, respectively. The average total effective dose rate in borewell waters and river waters are found to be 0.433 and 0.253 µSvy-1, which does not cause any health risk to the population of Hassan region.

Surface Water Flow of Urban Areas and Sustainable Urban Planning

Urban planning is associated with land transformation from natural areas to modified and developed ones which leads to modification of natural environment. The basic knowledge of relationship between both should be ascertained before proceeding for the development of natural areas. Changes on land surface due to build up pavements, roads and similar land cover, affect surface water flow. There is a gap between urban planning and basic knowledge of hydrological processes which should be known to the planners. The paper aims to identify these variations in surface flow due to urbanization for a temporal scale of 40 years using Storm Water Management Mode (SWMM) and again correlating these findings with the urban planning guidelines in study area along with geological background to find out the suitable combinations of land cover, soil and guidelines. For the purpose of identifying the changes in surface flows, 19 catchments were identified with different geology and growth in 40 years facing different ground water levels fluctuations. The increasing built up, varying surface runoff are studied using Arc GIS and SWMM modeling, regression analysis for runoff. Resulting runoff for various land covers and soil groups with varying built up conditions were observed. The modeling procedures also included observations for varying precipitation and constant built up in all catchments. All these observations were combined for individual catchment and single regression curve was obtained for runoff. Thus, it was observed that alluvial with suitable land cover was better for infiltration and least generation of runoff but excess built up could not be sustained on alluvial soil. Similarly, basalt had least recharge and most runoff demanding maximum vegetation over it. Sandstone resulted in good recharging if planned with more open spaces and natural soils with intermittent vegetation. Hence, these observations made a keystone base for planners while planning various land uses on different soils. This paper contributes and provides a solution to basic knowledge gap, which urban planners face during development of natural surfaces.

Water Budget in High Drought-Borne Area in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka during Dry Season

In Sri Lanka, the Jaffna area is a high drought affected area and depends mainly on groundwater aquifers for water needs. Water for daily activities is extracted from wells. As households manually extract water from the wells, it is not drawn from mid evening to early morning. The water inflow at night provides the maximum water level that decreases during the daytime due to extraction. The storage volume of water in wells is limited or at its lowest level during the dry season. This study analyzes the domestic water budget during the dry season in the Jaffna area. In order to evaluate the water inflow rate into wells, storage volume and extraction volume from wells over time, water pressure is measured at the bottom of three wells, which are located in coastal area denoted as well A, in nonspecific area denoted as well B, and agricultural area denoted as well C. The water quality at the wells A, B, and C, are mostly fresh, modest fresh, and saline respectively. From the monitoring, we can find that the daily inflow amount of water into the wells and daily water extraction depend on each other, that is, higher extraction yields higher inflow. And, in the dry season, the daily inflow volume and the daily extraction volume of each well are almost in balance.

An Investigation of Current Potato Nitrogen Fertility Programs' Contribution to Ground Water Contamination

Nitrogen fertility is an important component for optimum potato yield and quality. Best management practices are necessary in regards to N applications to achieve these goals without applying excess N with may contribute to ground water contamination. Eight potato fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley were sampled for nitrogen inputs and uptake, tuber and vine dry matter and residual soil nitrate-N. The fields had substantial soil nitrate-N prior to the potato crop. Nitrogen fertilizer was applied prior to planting and in irrigation water as needed based on in-season petiole sampling in accordance with published recommendations. Average total nitrogen uptake was 237 kg ha-1 on 63.5 Mg ha-1 tuber yield and nitrogen use efficiency was very good at 81 percent. Sixty-nine percent of the plant nitrogen was removed in tubers. Soil nitrate-N increased 14 percent from pre-plant to post-harvest averaged across all fields and was generally situated in the upper soil profile. Irrigation timing and amount applied did not move water into the lower profile except for a single location where nitrate also moved into the lower soil profile. Pre-plant soil analysis is important information to be used. Rotation crops having deeper rooting growth would be able to utilize nitrogen that remained in the soil profile.

Assessing Water Quality Using GIS: The Case of Northern Lebanon Miocene Aquifer

This research focuses on assessing the ground water quality of Northern Lebanon affected by saline water intrusion. The chemical, physical and microbiological parameters were collected in various seasons spanning over the period of two years. Results were assessed using Geographic Information System (GIS) due to its visual capabilities in presenting the pollution extent in the studied region. Future projections of the excessive pumping were also simulated using GIS in order to assess the extent of the problem of saline intrusion in the near future.