Spatial Distribution of Ambient BTEX Concentrations at an International Airport in South Africa

Air travel, and the use of airports, has experienced proliferative growth in the past few decades, resulting in the concomitant release of air pollutants. Air pollution needs to be monitored because of the known relationship between exposure to air pollutants and increased adverse effects on human health. This study monitored a group of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); specifically BTEX (viz. benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene and xylenes), as many are detrimental to human health. Through the use of passive sampling methods, the spatial variability of BTEX within an international airport was investigated, in order to determine ‘hotspots’ where occupational exposure to BTEX may be intensified. The passive sampling campaign revealed BTEXtotal concentrations ranged between 12.95–124.04 µg m-3. Furthermore, BTEX concentrations were dispersed heterogeneously within the airport. Due to the slow wind speeds recorded (1.13 m.s-1); the hotspots were located close to their main BTEX sources. The main hotspot was located over the main apron of the airport. Employees working in this area may be chronically exposed to these emissions, which could be potentially detrimental to their health.

Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-Cr Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation

This work studies the effect of chemical composition on the activity and selectivity of γ–alumina supported CuO/ MnO2/Cr2O3 catalysts toward deep oxidation of CO, dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of the support with an aqueous solution of copper nitrate, manganese nitrate and CrO3 under different conditions. Thermal, XRD and TPR analysis were performed. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Flow-line equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions that mimic closely the industrial ones was used. The reactant and product gases were analyzed by means of on-line gas chromatographs. On the basis of XRD analysis it can be concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-Cr/γ–alumina catalysts consists of at least six compounds – CuO, Cr2O3, MnO2, Cu1.5Mn1.5O4, Cu1.5Cr1.5O4 and CuCr2O4, depending on the Cu/Mn/Cr molar ratio. Chemical composition strongly influences catalytic properties, this influence being quite variable with regards to the different processes. The rate of CO oxidation rapidly decrease with increasing of chromium content in the active component while for the DME was observed the reverse trend. It was concluded that the best compromise are the catalysts with Cu/(Mn + Cr) molar ratio 1:5 and Mn/Cr molar ratio from 1:3 to 1:4.

Damage to Strawberries Caused by Simulated Transport

The quality and condition of perishable products delivered to the market and their subsequent selling prices are directly affected by the care taken during harvesting and handling. Mechanical injury, in fact, occurs at all stages, from pre-harvest operations through post-harvest handling, packing and transport to the market. The main implications of this damage are the reduction of the product’s quality and economical losses related to the shelf life diminution. For most perishable products, the shelf life is relatively short and it is typically dictated by microbial growth related to the application of dynamic and static loads during transportation. This paper presents the correlation between vibration levels and microbiological growth on strawberries and woodland strawberries and detects the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in order to develop an intelligent logistic unit capable of monitoring VOCs using a specific sensor system. Fresh fruits were exposed to vibrations by means of a vibrating table in a temperature-controlled environment. Microbiological analyses were conducted on samples, taken at different positions along the column of the crates. The values obtained were compared with control samples not exposed to vibrations and the results show that different positions along the column influence the development of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi.

Portable Continuous Aerosol Concentrator for the Determination of NO2 in the Air

The paper deals with the development of portable aerosol concentrator and its application for the determination of nitrites and nitrates. The device enables the continuous trapping of pollutants in the air. An extensive literature search has been elaborated which aims at the development of samplers and the possibilities of their application in the continuous determination of volatile organic compounds. The practical part of the paper is focused on the development of the portable aerosol concentrator. The device using the Aerosol Enrichment Unit has been experimentally verified and subsequently realized. It operates on the principle of equilibrium accumulation of pollutants from the gaseous phase using absorption liquid polydisperse aerosol. The device has been applied for monitoring nitrites and nitrates in the air. The chemiluminescence detector was used for detection; the achieved detection limit for nitrites was 28 ng/m3 and for nitrates 78 ng/m3.

Optimum Conditions for Effective Decomposition of Toluene as VOC Gas by Pilot-Scale Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer

Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) is one of the best solutions for removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from industrial processes. In the RTO, VOC in a raw gas are usually decomposed at 950-1300 K and the combustion heat of VOC is recovered by regenerative heat exchangers charged with ceramic honeycombs. The optimization of the treatment of VOC leads to the reduction of fuel addition to VOC decomposition, the minimization of CO2 emission and operating cost as well. In the present work, the thermal efficiency of the RTO was investigated experimentally in a pilot-scale RTO unit using toluene as a typical representative of VOC. As a result, it was recognized that the radiative heat transfer was dominant in the preheating process of a raw gas when the gas flow rate was relatively low. Further, it was found that a minimum heat exchanger volume to achieve self combustion of toluene without additional heating of the RTO by fuel combustion was dependent on both the flow rate of a raw gas and the concentration of toluene. The thermal efficiency calculated from fuel consumption and the decomposed toluene ratio, was found to have a maximum value of 0.95 at a raw gas mass flow rate of 1810 kg·h-1 and honeycombs height of 1.5m.

Effect of Temperature on Specific Retention Volumes of Selected Volatile Organic Compounds Using the Gas - Liquid Chromatographic Technique Revisited

This paper is a continuation of our interest in the influence of temperature on specific retention volumes and the resulting infinite dilution activity coefficients. This has a direct effect in the design of absorption and stripping columns for the abatement of volatile organic compounds. The interaction of 13 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) at varying temperatures was studied by gas liquid chromatography (GLC). Infinite dilution activity coefficients and specific retention volumes obtained in this study were found to be in agreement with those obtained from static headspace and group contribution methods by the authors as well as literature values for similar systems. Temperature variation also allows for transport calculations for different seasons. The results of this work confirm that PDMS is well suited for the scrubbing of VOCs from waste gas streams. Plots of specific retention volumes against temperature gave linear van-t Hoff plots.