Ammonia emissions are a major problem associated with animal slurry management, and solutions to overcome this problem are required worldwide by farmers and stakeholders. An obvious way to minimize ammonia emissions from slurry is to decrease slurry pH by addition of acids or other substances. This solution has been used commonly since 2010 in countries such as Denmark, and its efficiency with regard to the minimization of NH3 emissions has been documented in many studies. Nevertheless, the impact of such treatment on other gaseous emissions during storage is not clear, since the studies performed so far have provided different scenarios. Similarly, the impact of the soil application of acidified slurry on plant production and diffuse pollution has been considered in several studies. Also, the impact of acidification upon combination with other slurry treatment technologies (e.g. mechanical separation, anaerobic digestion …) is important to consider. Here, a compilation and critical review of all these studies has been performed in order to fully understand the global impact of slurry acidification and assess the applicability of this treatment for slurry management.
Annually, large tracts of forest in eastern Canada are sprayed aerially with insecticides (fenitrothion, aminocarb) in attempts to control an epidemic infestation by an indigenous forest pest, the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana, Clemens). The massive size of the spraying programs, the anecdotal reports of human exposure, and the potential for hazard to human health have led one province. New Brunswick, to initiate and fund specific environmental and laboratory studies which will provide adequate data upon which the government can base realistic legislation to protect both the forests and the population. These studies have included some unique field analyses of aerial spray drift conducted by a research group from the National Research Council; comparative subchronic studies in rats of fenitrothion and a new formulation; a nose-only inhalation study of this formulation in rats; field testing of the formulation for drift characteristics. Ongoing research involves the subchronic testing of the emulsifying agents being used routinely in the new formulation and studies of a low-drift additive which will stabilize the particle size of the spray. On the basis of the results to date, the government has been able to modify spraying techniques and to establish realistic buffer zones around human habitation.
In this study, an interval-parameter two-stage mixed integer linear programming (ITMILP) model is developed for supporting long-term planning of waste management activities in the City of Regina. In the ITMILP, both two-stage stochastic programming and interval linear programming are introduced into a general mixed integer linear programming framework. Uncertainties expressed as not only probability density functions but also discrete intervals can be reflected. The model can help tackle the dynamic, interactive and uncertain characteristics of the solid waste management system in the City, and can address issues concerning plans for cost-effective waste diversion and landfill prolongation. Three scenarios are considered based on different waste management policies. The results indicate that reasonable solutions have been generated. They are valuable for supporting the adjustment or justification of the existing waste flow allocation patterns, the long-term capacity planning of the City's waste management system, and the formulation of local policies and regulations regarding waste generation and management.
Soil and groundwater contamination can lead to a variety of impacts and risks to the communities. Identifications of management schemes with sound environmental and socio-economic efficiencies is desired. In fact, before any decisions regarding site remediation actions can be made, three major questions may have to be answered. They include "What happened underground, and what will happen in the future under the given remediation scenarios?," "Are there specific risks on the surrounding community?" and "What remediation alternatives are suitable for the site?" In this study, an integrated subsurface modeling and risk assessment method for petroleum-contaminated site management is proposed. It incorporates multi-phase flow multi-component transport modeling and ELCR-based human health risk assessment into a general framework. The proposed method is applied to a case study within a western Canada context for identifying effective management schemes with improved environmental and socio-economic efficiencies. Given conditions at the study site, six remediation alternatives based on combinations of several technologies are recommended, with the provision of analyses for equipment/manpower requirements, system designs, operations, efficiencies, and costs. These alternatives can be categorized into two groups: hybrid ex situ and in situ remediation approaches, and integrated in situ remediation approaches. This study is a new attempt that integrates issues of subsurface-contamination simulation, risk assessment, and site remediation for a real-world problem within a general research framework. The research outputs are directly useful for the industry to gain insight of the site and to make decisions of the relevant remediation actions.
Remediation of storm-water polluted with heavy metals should be possible in percolation systems, ponds, or wetlands. The aim of this work was to find plant species for such systems that are efficient in the uptake of Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb. Plants were collected from percolation and wetland areas and analyzed for heavy metal concentrations. Results showed that submersed and free-floating plants had the capacity to take up high levels of Cu, Zn, and Pb into their shoots. With roots having a concentration factor above 1, the terrestrial plants show efficient stabilization of Cd and Zn and emergent plants show corresponding stabilisation of Zn. In addition, Potamogeton natans, Alisma plantago-aquatica, and Filipendula ulmaria were used in a controlled experiment. The shoots of P. natans and the roots of A. plantago-aquatica were found to accumulate even higher concentrations of Zn, Cu, and Pb than found in the field-harvested plants. Similar results were found for Cd in shoots and Pb in roots of F. ulmaria. Our conclusion is that submersed plant species seem to be the most efficient for removal of heavy metals from storm-water.
Intensive mining and processing activities worldwide resulted in the generation of huge amounts of waste (tailings), generally characterized as toxic, radioactive, and/or hazardous. The exposure potential and, hence, the risk posed by such wastes is enhanced by a general lack of vegetation. Phytostabilization has proven to be efficient in reducing this risk. However, establishing vegetation on tailing dumps may be expensive due to the intensive use of amendments and chemical fertilizers. In this article, investigations on artificial inoculation of mine tailings with bacterial strains as a means to improve the development of vegetative covers and reduce application cost by eliminating chemical fertilization are presented and discussed. The development of plants and microbial communities from tailings, as well as the impact of inoculation on metal uptake in plants, were studied. Experiments were carried out in greenhouse using two types of mine tailings (phosphogypsum and sulphidic tailings) from the Romanian Black Sea coast. Indigenous herbaceous plants were cultivated on tailings with the addition of chemical fertilizers versus bacterial inoculation. After a 6-month experimental period, excellent plant growth, which is associated with a rich microbial community, was observed in all inoculated treatments, in contrast with poor plant growth and microbiota from the chemical fertilization treatments alone. Additionally, artificial inoculation improved plant resistance to heavy metals by reducing the uptake of some toxic metals. Once a rich microbial community is established, inoculation may be discontinued. Based on these results, efficient and cost-effective phytostabilization schemes can be proposed.
The increased demand for waste wood (WW) as fuel in Swedish co-combustion facilities during the last years has increased the import of this material. Each country has different laws governing the use of chemicals and therefore the composition of the fuel will likely change when combining WW from different origins. To cope with this, enhanced knowledge is needed on WW composition and the performance of pre-treatment techniques for reduction of its contaminants. In this study, the chemical and physical characteristics of 500 WW samples collected at a co-combustion facility in Sweden between 2004 and 2013 were investigated to determine the variation of contaminant content over time. Multivariate data analysis was used for the interpretation of the data. The concentrations of all the studied contaminants varied widely between sampling occasions, demonstrating the highly variable composition of WW fuels. The efficiency of sieving as a pre-treatment measure to reduce the levels of contaminants was not sufficient, revealing that sieving should be used in combination with other pre-treatment methods. The results from this case study provide knowledge on waste wood composition that may benefit its management. This knowledge can be applied for selection of the most suitable pre-treatments to obtain high quality sustainable WW fuels.