Low Temperature Biological Treatment of Chemical Oxygen Demand for Agricultural Water Reuse Application Using Robust Biocatalysts

The agriculture industry is especially vulnerable to forecasted water shortages. In the fresh and fresh-cut produce sector, conventional flume-based washing with recirculation exhibits high water demand. This leads to a large water footprint and possible cross-contamination of pathogens. These can be alleviated through advanced water reuse processes, such as membrane technologies including reverse osmosis (RO). Water reuse technologies effectively remove dissolved constituents but can easily foul without pre-treatment. Biological treatment is effective for the removal of organic compounds responsible for fouling, but not at the low temperatures encountered at most produce processing facilities. This study showed that the Microvi MicroNiche Engineering (MNE) technology effectively removes organic compounds (> 80%) at low temperatures (6-8 °C) from wash water. The MNE technology uses synthetic microorganism-material composites with negligible solids production, making it advantageously situated as an effective bio-pretreatment for RO. A preliminary technoeconomic analysis showed 60-80% savings in operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) when using the Microvi MNE technology for organics removal. This study and the accompanying economic analysis indicated that the proposed technology process will substantially reduce the cost barrier for adopting water reuse practices, thereby contributing to increased food safety and furthering sustainable water reuse processes across the agricultural industry.

Ozone Therapy and Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Interplay in Controlling Tumor Growth, Symptom and Pain Management: A Case Report

Background: The immune system has evolved several mechanisms to protect the host against cancer, and it has now been suggested that the expansion of its functions may prevent tumor growth and control the symptoms of cancer patients. Two techniques, ozone therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF), are independently associated with an increase in the immune system functions and they maybe help palliative care of patients in these conditions. Case Report: A patient with rectal adenocarcinoma with metastases decides to interrupt the clinical chemotherapy protocol due to refractoriness and side effects. As a palliative care alternative treatment it is suggested to the patient the use of ozone therapy associated with PEMF techniques. Results: The patient reports an improvement in well-being, in autonomy and in pain control. Imaging tests confirm a pause in tumor growth despite more than 60 days without using classic treatment. These results associated with palliative care alternative treatment stimulate the return to the chemotherapy protocol. Discussion: This case illustrates that these two techniques can contribute to the control of tumor growth and refractory symptoms, such as pain, probably by enhancing the immune system. Conclusions: The potential use of the combination of these two therapies, ozone therapy and PEMF therapy, can contribute to palliation of cancer patients, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapies. The conduct of future investigations on this paradigm can elucidate how much these techniques contribute to the survival and well-being of these patients.

Analysis of Cross-Sectional and Retrograde Data on the Prevalence of Marginal Gingivitis

Introduction: Marginal gingivitis is a disease with considerable frequency among patients who present routinely for periodontal control and treatment. In fact, this disease may not have alarming symptoms in patients and may go unnoticed by themselves when personal hygiene conditions are optimal. The aim of this study was to collect retrograde data on the prevalence of marginal gingiva in the respective group of patients, evaluated according to specific periodontal diagnostic tools. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in two patient groups. The first group was with 34 patients, during December 2019-January 2020, and the second group was with 64 patients during 2010-2018 (each year in the mentioned monthly period). Bacterial plaque index, hemorrhage index, amount of gingival fluid, presence of xerostomia and candidiasis were recorded in patients. Results: Analysis of the collected data showed that susceptibility to marginal gingivitis shows higher values according to retrograde data, compared to cross-sectional ones. Susceptibility to candidiasis and the occurrence of xerostomia, even in the combination of both pathologies, as risk factors for the occurrence of marginal gingivitis, show higher values ​​according to retrograde data. The female are presented with a reduced bacterial plaque index than the males, but more importantly, this index in the females is also associated with a reduced index of gingival hemorrhage, in contrast to the males. Conclusions: Cross-sectional data show that the prevalence of marginal gingivitis is more reduced, compared to retrograde data, based on the hemorrhage index and the bacterial plaque index together. Changes in production in the amount of gingival fluid show a higher prevalence of marginal gingivitis in cross-sectional data than in retrograde data; this is based on the sophistication of the way data are recorded, which evolves over time and also based on professional sensitivity to this phenomenon.

Inflammatory Markers in the Blood and Chronic Periodontitis

Background: Plasma levels of inflammatory markers are the expression of the infectious wastes of existing periodontitis, as well as of existing inflammation everywhere in the body. Materials and Methods: The study consists of the clinical part of the measurement of inflammatory markers of 23 patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis and the recording of parental periodontal parameters of patient periodontal status: hemorrhage index and probe values, before and 7-10 days after non-surgical periodontal treatment. Results: The level of fibrinogen drops according to the categorization of disease progression, active and passive, with the biggest % (18%-30%) at the fluctuation 10-20 mg/d. Fluctuations in fibrinogen level according to the age of patients in the range 0-10 mg/dL under 40 years and over 40 years was 13%-26%, in the range 10-20 mg/dL was 26%-22%, in the 20-40 mg/dL was 9%-4%. Conclusions: Non-surgical periodontal treatment significantly reduces the level of non-inflammatory markers in the blood. Oral health significantly reduces the potential source for periodontal bacteria, with the potential of promoting thromboembolism, through interaction between thrombocytes.

Seed Dressing and Foliar Spray of Green Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) with Essential Oils and Disinfectants for Suppressing Root Rot and Wilt Incidence under Field Conditions

The efficacy of two essential oils applied as a bean seed dressing followed by seedlings foliar spray with four commercial disinfectants against root rot and wilt incidence was evaluated under field conditions. The essential oils, grape seed and peppermint oils and the disinfectants, Gold, Revarest, Klenva, Malva were applied. Chitosan and the fungicide Topsin-M were used as comparison treatment. Essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants were applied as a bean seed dressing. Furthermore, emerged bean plants were sprayed with the same treatments. Under laboratory conditions, growth inhibition effect was observed for the isolated, tested fungi R. solani and F. oxysporum when exposed to essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants. A high inhibitor effect was recorded for peppermint followed by grape seed oils. Concentrations of 1% and 2% of chitosan as well as Topsin M at 400 ppm showed complete reduction (100%) in the two fungal growths. Under field conditions, the obtained results showed that the applied treatments of chitosan had a superior effect on root rot and wilt disease incidence compared with other tested treatments. It was found that seed coating treatment provides good protection of emerged green bean seeds against the root pathogens attack compared with the fungicide and control treatments. Also, the application of seed dressing with essential oils accompanied by seedling spray demonstrated similar results. It was observed that essential oils had an enhancing effect against disease incidence when combined with disinfectants compared with their application. The obvious yield increase was significantly higher in all applied treatments than in fungicide and control.

Comparison between Conventional Bacterial and Algal-Bacterial Aerobic Granular Sludge Systems in the Treatment of Saline Wastewater

The increasing generation of saline wastewater through various industrial activities is becoming a global concern for activated sludge (AS) based biological treatment which is widely applied in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As for the AS process, an increase in wastewater salinity has negative impact on its overall performance. The advent of conventional aerobic granular sludge (AGS) or bacterial AGS biotechnology has gained much attention because of its superior performance. The development of algal-bacterial AGS could enhance better nutrients removal, potentially reduce aeration cost through symbiotic algae-bacterial activity, and thus, can also reduce overall treatment cost. Nonetheless, the potential of salt stress to decrease biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient removal exist. Up to the present, little information is available on saline wastewater treatment by algal-bacterial AGS. To the authors’ best knowledge, a comparison of the two AGS systems has not been done to evaluate nutrients removal capacity in the context of salinity increase. This study sought to figure out the impact of salinity on the algal-bacterial AGS system in comparison to bacterial AGS one, contributing to the application of AGS technology in the real world of saline wastewater treatment. In this study, the salt concentrations tested were 0 g/L, 1 g/L, 5 g/L, 10 g/L and 15 g/L of NaCl with 24-hr artificial illuminance of approximately 97.2 µmol m¯²s¯¹, and mature bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS were used for the operation of two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with a working volume of 0.9 L each, respectively. The results showed that salinity increase caused no apparent change in the color of bacterial AGS; while for algal-bacterial AGS, its color was progressively changed from green to dark green. A consequent increase in granule diameter and fluffiness was observed in the bacterial AGS reactor with the increase of salinity in comparison to a decrease in algal-bacterial AGS diameter. However, nitrite accumulation peaked from 1.0 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L at 1 g/L NaCl in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively to 9.8 mg/L in both systems when NaCl concentration varied from 5 g/L to 15 g/L. Almost no ammonia nitrogen was detected in the effluent except at 10 g/L NaCl concentration, where it averaged 4.2 mg/L and 2.4 mg/L, respectively, in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems. Nutrients removal in the algal-bacterial system was relatively higher than the bacterial AGS in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus removals. Nonetheless, the nutrient removal rate was almost 50% or lower. Results show that algal-bacterial AGS is more adaptable to salinity increase and could be more suitable for saline wastewater treatment. Optimization of operation conditions for algal-bacterial AGS system would be important to ensure its stably high efficiency in practice.

Vision-Based Daily Routine Recognition for Healthcare with Transfer Learning

We propose to record Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people using a vision-based system so as to provide better assistive and personalization technologies. Current ADL-related research is based on data collected with help from non-elderly subjects in laboratory environments and the activities performed are predetermined for the sole purpose of data collection. To obtain more realistic datasets for the application, we recorded ADLs for the elderly with data collected from real-world environment involving real elderly subjects. Motivated by the need to collect data for more effective research related to elderly care, we chose to collect data in the room of an elderly person. Specifically, we installed Kinect, a vision-based sensor on the ceiling, to capture the activities that the elderly subject performs in the morning every day. Based on the data, we identified 12 morning activities that the elderly person performs daily. To recognize these activities, we created a HARELCARE framework to investigate into the effectiveness of existing Human Activity Recognition (HAR) algorithms and propose the use of a transfer learning algorithm for HAR. We compared the performance, in terms of accuracy, and training progress. Although the collected dataset is relatively small, the proposed algorithm has a good potential to be applied to all daily routine activities for healthcare purposes such as evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.

Application of Synthetic Monomers Grafted Xanthan Gum for Rhodamine B Removal in Aqueous Solution

The rapid industrialisation and population growth have led to a steady fall in freshwater supplies worldwide. As a result, water systems are affected by modern methods upon use due to secondary contamination. The application of novel adsorbents derived from natural polymer holds a great promise in addressing challenges in water treatment. In this study, the UV irradiation technique was used to prepare acrylamide (AAm) monomer, and acrylic acid (AA) monomer grafted xanthan gum (XG) copolymer. Furthermore, the factors affecting rhodamine B (RhB) adsorption from aqueous media, such as pH, dosage, concentration, and time were also investigated. The FTIR results confirmed the formation of graft copolymer by the strong vibrational bands at 1709 cm-1 and 1612 cm-1 for AA and AAm, respectively. Additionally, more irregular, porous and wrinkled surface observed from SEM of XG-g-AAm/AA indicated copolymerization interaction of monomers. The optimum conditions for removing RhB dye with a maximum adsorption capacity of 313 mg/g at 25 0C from aqueous solution were pH approximately 5, initial dye concentration = 200 ppm, adsorbent dose = 30 mg. Also, the detailed investigation of the isothermal and adsorption kinetics of RhB from aqueous solution showed that the adsorption of the dye followed a Freundlich model (R2 = 0.96333) and pseudo-second-order kinetics. The results further indicated that this absorbent based on XG had the universality to remove dye through the mechanism of chemical adsorption. The outstanding adsorption potential of the grafted copolymer could be used to remove cationic dyes from aqueous solution as a low-cost product.

Curriculum Based Measurement and Precision Teaching in Writing Empowerment Enhancement: Results from an Italian Learning Center

We present the improvement in writing skills obtained by 94 participants (aged between six and 10 years) with special educational needs through a writing enhancement program based on fluency principles. The study was planned and conducted with a single-subject experimental plan for each of the participants, in order to confirm the results in the literature. These results were obtained using precision teaching (PT) methodology to increase the number of written graphemes per minute in the pre- and post-test, by curriculum based measurement (CBM). Results indicated an increase in the number of written graphemes for all participants. The average overall duration of the intervention is 144 minutes in five months of treatment. These considerations have been analyzed taking account of the complexity of the implementation of measurement systems in real operational contexts (an Italian learning center) and important aspects of replicability and cost-effectiveness of such interventions.

Test Method Development for Evaluation of Process and Design Effect on Reinforced Tube

Coil reinforced thin-walled (CRTW) tubes are used in medicine to treat problems affecting blood vessels within the body through minimally invasive procedures. The CRTW tube considered in this research makes up part of such a device and is inserted into the patient via their femoral or brachial arteries and manually navigated to the site in need of treatment. This procedure replaces the requirement to perform open surgery but is limited by reduction of blood vessel lumen diameter and increase in tortuosity of blood vessels deep in the brain. In order to maximize the capability of these procedures, CRTW tube devices are being manufactured with decreasing wall thicknesses in order to deliver treatment deeper into the body and to allow passage of other devices through its inner diameter. This introduces significant stresses to the device materials which have resulted in an observed increase in the breaking of the proximal segment of the device into two separate pieces after it has failed by buckling. As there is currently no international standard for measuring the mechanical properties of these CRTW tube devices, it is difficult to accurately analyze this problem. The aim of the current work is to address this discrepancy in the biomedical device industry by developing a measurement system that can be used to quantify the effect of process and design changes on CRTW tube performance, aiding in the development of better performing, next generation devices. Using materials testing frames, micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging, experiment planning, analysis of variance (ANOVA), T-tests and regression analysis, test methods have been developed for assessing the impact of process and design changes on the device. The major findings of this study have been an insight into the suitability of buckle and three-point bend tests for the measurement of the effect of varying processing factors on the device’s performance, and guidelines for interpreting the output data from the test methods. The findings of this study are of significant interest with respect to verifying and validating key process and design changes associated with the device structure and material condition. Test method integrity evaluation is explored throughout.

Modeling Non-Darcy Natural Convection Flow of a Micropolar Dusty Fluid with Convective Boundary Condition

A numerical approach of the effectiveness of numerous parameters on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) natural convection heat and mass transfer problem of a dusty micropolar fluid in a non-Darcy porous regime is prepared in the current paper. In addition, a convective boundary condition is scrutinized into the micropolar dusty fluid model. The governing boundary layer equations are converted utilizing similarity transformations to a system of dimensionless equations to be convenient for numerical treatment. The resulting equations for fluid phase and dust phases of momentum, angular momentum, energy, and concentration with the appropriate boundary conditions are solved numerically applying the Runge-Kutta method of fourth-order. In accordance with the numerical study, it is obtained that the magnitude of the velocity of both fluid phase and particle phase reduces with an increasing magnetic parameter, the mass concentration of the dust particles, and Forchheimer number. While rises due to an increment in convective parameter and Darcy number. Also, the results refer that high values of the magnetic parameter, convective parameter, and Forchheimer number support the temperature distributions. However, deterioration occurs as the mass concentration of the dust particles and Darcy number increases. The angular velocity behavior is described by progress when studying the effect of the magnetic parameter and microrotation parameter.

Synergistic Impacts and Optimization of Gas Flow Rate, Concentration of CO2, and Light Intensity on CO2 Biofixation in Wastewater Medium by Chlorella vulgaris

The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.

Detergent Removal from Rinsing Water by Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process

Among the various methods of treatment, advanced oxidation processes (AOP) are the most promising ones. In this study, Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process (PEP) was investigated for the treatment of detergent wastewater. The process was compared with electrooxidation treatment. The results showed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) was high 7584 mgO2.L-1, while the biochemical oxygen demand was low (250 mgO2.L-1). This wastewater was hardly biodegradable. Electrochemical process was carried out for the removal of detergent using a glass reactor with a volume of 1 L and fitted with three electrodes. A direct current (DC) supply was used. Samples were taken at various current density (0.0227 A/cm2 to 0.0378 A/cm2) and reaction time (1-2-3-4 and 5 hour). Finally, the COD was determined. The results indicated that COD removal efficiency of PEP was observed to increase with current intensity and reached to 77% after 5 h. The highest removal efficiency was observed after 5 h of treatment.

Study of Structural and Electronic Properties of Ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler Alloy

This study deals with the structural and electronic properties of ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler alloy using the full potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method based on the density functional theory (DFT) as implemented in the WIEN2k package, within the framework of generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Structural parameters, total and partial densities of states were also analyzed. The obtained result shows that the studied material is metallic in GGA treatment. The elastic constants (Cij) show that our compound is ductile, stiff and anisotropic.

Research Trends on Magnetic Graphene for Water Treatment: A Bibliometric Analysis

Magnetic graphene has received widespread attention for their capability of water and wastewater treatment, which has been attracted many researchers in this field. A bibliometric analysis based on the Web of Science database was employed to analyze the global scientific outputs of magnetic graphene for water treatment until the present time (2012 to 2017), to improve the understanding of the research trends. The publication year, place of publication, institutes, funding agencies, journals, most cited articles, distribution outputs in thematic categories and applications were analyzed. Three major aspects analyzed including type of pollutant, treatment process and composite composition have further contributed to revealing the research trends. The most relevant research aspects of the main technologies using magnetic graphene for water treatment were summarized in this paper. The results showed that research on magnetic graphene for water treatment goes through a period of decline that might be related to a saturated field and a lack of bibliometric studies. Thus, the result of the present work will lead researchers to establish future directions in further studies using magnetic graphene for water treatment.

In vitro Study of Laser Diode Radiation Effect on the Photo-Damage of MCF-7 and MCF-10A Cell Clusters

Breast Cancer is one of the most considerable diseases in the United States and other countries and is the second leading cause of death in women. Common breast cancer treatments would lead to adverse side effects such as loss of hair, nausea, and weakness. These complications arise because these cancer treatments damage some healthy cells while eliminating the cancer cells. In an effort to address these complications, laser radiation was utilized and tested as a targeted cancer treatment for breast cancer. In this regard, tissue engineering approaches are being employed by using an electrospun scaffold in order to facilitate the growth of breast cancer cells. Polycaprolacton (PCL) was used as a material for scaffold fabricating because of its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and supporting cell growth. The specific breast cancer cells have the ability to create a three-dimensional cell cluster due to the spontaneous accumulation of cells in the porosity of the scaffold under some specific conditions. Therefore, we are looking for a higher density of porosity and larger pore size. Fibers showed uniform diameter distribution and final scaffold had optimum characteristics with approximately 40% porosity. The images were taken by SEM and the density and the size of the porosity were determined with the Image. After scaffold preparation, it has cross-linked by glutaraldehyde. Then, it has been washed with glycine and phosphate buffer saline (PBS), in order to neutralize the residual glutaraldehyde. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromidefor (MTT) results have represented approximately 91.13% viability of the scaffolds for cancer cells. In order to create a cluster, Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7, breast cancer cell line) and Michigan Cancer Foundation-10A (MCF-10A, human mammary epithelial cell line) cells were cultured on the scaffold in 24 well plate for five days. Then, we have exposed the cluster to the laser diode 808 nm radiation to investigate the effect of laser on the tumor with different power and time. Under the same conditions, cancer cells lost their viability more than the healthy ones. In conclusion, laser therapy is a viable method to destroy the target cells and has a minimum effect on the healthy tissues and cells and it can improve the other method of cancer treatments limitations.

Links between Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is a clinical state associated with low-grade inflammation. It is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance (IR). In its advanced stages, metabolic syndrome (MetS), a much more complicated disease which may lead to life-threatening problems, may develop. Obesity-mediated IR seems to correlate with the inflammation. Human studies performed particularly on pediatric population are scarce. The aim of this study is to detect possible associations between inflammation and IR in terms of some related ratios. 549 children were grouped according to their age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile tables of WHO. MetS components were determined. Informed consent and approval from the Ethics Committee for Clinical Investigations were obtained. The principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. The exclusion criteria were infection, inflammation, chronic diseases and those under drug treatment. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Complete blood cell, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), systemic immune inflammation (SII) index, tense index, alanine aminotransferase to aspartate aminotransferase ratio (ALT/AST), neutrophils to lymphocyte (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte, and lymphocyte to monocyte ratios were calculated. Data were evaluated by statistical analyses. The degree for statistical significance was 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found among the BMI values of the groups (p < 0.001). Strong correlations were detected between the BMI and waist circumference (WC) values in all groups. Tense index values were also correlated with both BMI and WC values in all groups except overweight (OW) children. SII index values of children with normal BMI were significantly different from the values obtained in OW, obese, morbid obese and MetS groups. Among all the other lymphocyte ratios, NLR exhibited a similar profile. Both HOMA-IR and ALT/AST values displayed an increasing profile from N towards MetS3 group. BMI and WC values were correlated with HOMA-IR and ALT/AST. Both in morbid obese and MetS groups, significant correlations between CRP versus SII index as well as HOMA-IR versus ALT/AST were found. ALT/AST and HOMA-IR values were correlated with NLR in morbid obese group and with SII index in MetS group, (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, these findings showed that some parameters may exhibit informative differences between the early and late stages of obesity. Important associations among HOMA-IR, ALT/AST, NLR and SII index have come to light in the morbid obese and MetS groups. This study introduced the SII index and NLR as important inflammatory markers for the discrimination of normal and obese children. Interesting links were observed between inflammation and IR in morbid obese children and those with MetS, both being late stages of obesity.

Aerodynamic Design Optimization of High-Speed Hatchback Cars for Lucrative Commercial Applications

The choice of high-speed, low budget hatchback car with diversified options is increasing for meeting the new generation buyers trend. This paper is aimed to augment the current speed of the hatchback cars through the aerodynamic drag reduction technique. The inverted airfoils are facilitated at the bottom of the car for generating the downward force for negating the lift while increasing the current speed range for achieving a better road performance. The numerical simulations have been carried out using a 2D steady pressure-based    k-ɛ realizable model with enhanced wall treatment. In our numerical studies, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes model and its code of solution are used. The code is calibrated and validated using the exact solution of the 2D boundary layer displacement thickness at the Sanal flow choking condition for adiabatic flows. We observed through the parametric analytical studies that the inverted airfoil integrated with the bottom surface at various predesigned locations of Hatchback cars can improve its overall aerodynamic efficiency through drag reduction, which obviously decreases the fuel consumption significantly and ensure an optimum road performance lucratively with maximum permissible speed within the framework of the manufactures constraints.

Greywater Treatment Using Activated Biochar Produced from Agricultural Waste

The increase in urbanisation in South Africa has led to an increase in water demand and a decline in freshwater supply. Despite this, poor water usage is still a major challenge in South Africa, for instance, freshwater is still used for non-drinking applications. The freshwater shortage can be alleviated by using other sources of water for non-portable purposes such as greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste. The success of activated biochar produced from agricultural waste to treat greywater can be both economically and environmentally beneficial. Greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste is considered a cost-effective wastewater treatment.  This work was aimed at determining the ability of activated biochar to remove Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Ammonium (NH4-N), Nitrate (NO3-N), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) from greywater. The experiments were carried out in 800 ml laboratory plastic cylinders used as filter columns. 2.5 cm layer of gravel was used at the bottom and top of the column to sandwich the activated biochar material. Activated biochar (200 g and 400 g) was loaded in a column and used as a filter medium for greywater. Samples were collected after a week and sent for analysis. Four types of greywater were treated: Kitchen, floor cleaning water, shower and laundry water. The findings showed: 95% removal of TSS, 76% of NO3-N and 63% of COD on kitchen greywater and 85% removal of NH4-N on bathroom greywater, as highest removal of efficiency of the studied pollutants. The results showed that activated biochar produced from agricultural waste reduces a certain amount of pollutants from greywater. The results also indicated the ability of activated biochar to treat greywater for onsite non-potable reuse purposes.

Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life of Lost to Follow-Up Tuberculosis Patients in Yemen

Tuberculosis (TB) is considered as a major disease that affects daily activities and impairs health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The impact of TB on HRQoL can affect treatment outcome and may lead to treatment defaulting. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the HRQoL of TB treatment lost to follow-up during and after treatment in Yemen. For this aim, this prospective study enrolled a total of 399 TB lost to follow-up patients between January 2011 and December 2015. By applying HRQoL criteria, only 136 fill the survey during treatment. Moreover, 96 were traced and fill out the HRQoL survey. All eight HRQol domains were categorized into the physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS), which were calculated using QM scoring software. Results show that all lost to follow-up TB patients reported a score less than 47 for all eight domains, except general health (67.3) during their treatment period. Low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 were reported for emotional role limitation (RE) and mental health (MH), respectively. Moreover, the mental component score (MCS) was found to be only 28.9. The trace lost follow-up shows a significant improvement in all eight domains and a mental component score of 43.1. The low scores of 27.9 and 29.8 for role emotion and mental health, respectively, in addition to the MCS score of 28.9, show that severe emotional condition and reflect the higher depression during treatment period that can result to lost to follow-up. The low MH, RE, and MCS can be used as a clue for predicting future TB treatment lost to follow-up.