Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Montserrat Ortoneda

11 The Effects of Hydraulic Retention Time on the Sludge Characteristics and Effluent Quality in an Aerobic Suspension Sequencing Batch Reactor

Authors: Ali W. N. Alattabi, Clare B. Harris, Rafid M. Alkhaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda, David A. Phipps, Ali Alzeyadi, Khalid S. Hashim

Abstract:

This study was performed to optimise the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and study its effects on the sludge characteristics and the effluent quality in an aerobic suspension sequencing batch reactor (ASSBR) treating synthetic wastewater. The results showed that increasing the HRT from 6 h to 12 h significantly improved the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency; it was increased from 78.7% - 75.7% to 94.7% – 97% for COD and Nitrate respectively. However, increasing the HRT from 12 h to 18 h reduced the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency from 94.7% - 97% to 91.1% – 94.4% respectively. Moreover, Increasing the HRT from 18 h to 24 h did not affect the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency. Sludge volume index (SVI) was used to monitor the sludge settling performance. The results showed a direct relationship between the HRT and SVI value. Increasing the HRT from 6 h to 12 h led to decrease the SVI value from 123 ml/g to 82.5 ml/g, and then it remained constant despite of increasing the HRT from 12 h to 18 h and to 24 h. The results obtained from this study showed that the HRT of 12 h was better for COD and Nitrate removal and a good settling performance occurred during that range.

Keywords: COD, hydraulic retention time, nitrate, sequencing batch reactor, sludge characteristics

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10 Effect of Electrodes Spacing on Energy Consumption of Electrocoagulation Cells

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Al-Khaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

In spite of the acknowledged advantages of the electrocoagulation (EC) method to remove a wide range of pollutants from waters and wastewaters, its efficiency is limited by several operational parameters (such as electrolysis time, current density, electrode material, distance between electrodes, and water temperature). Hence, optimizing these key operating parameters is considered a vital step to remove a pollutant efficiently. In this context, the present study has been carried out to explore the influence of electrodes spacing on energy consumption, temperature of the water being treated, and iron removal from water. To achieve this target, iron containing synthetic water samples were electrolysed for 20 min, using a new flow column electrocoagulation reactor (FCER), at three different gaps between electrodes (5, 10, and 20 mm). These batch experiments were commenced at a constant current density of 1.5 mA/cm² and initial pH of 6. The obtained results demonstrated that increasing gap between electrodes negatively influenced the performance of the EC method. It was found that increasing the gap between electrodes from 5 to 20 mm increased the energy consumption from about 3.3 to 7.3 kW.h/m³, and water temperature from 20.2 to 22 °C, respectively. In addition, it has been found, after 20 min of electrolysing, that increasing the gap between electrodes from 5 to 20 mm increased the residual iron concentration from 0.05 to 1.01 mg/L, respectively.

Keywords: electrocoagulation, water, electrodes, iron

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9 Controlling of Water Temperature during the Electrocoagulation Process Using an Innovative Flow Columns -Electrocoagulation Reactor

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

A flow column has been innovatively used in the design of a new electrocoagulation reactor (ECR1) that will reduce the temperature of water being treated; where the flow columns work as a radiator for the water being treated. In order to investigate the performance of ECR1 and compare it to that of traditional reactors; 600 mL water samples with an initial temperature of 35 0C were pumped continuously through these reactors for 30 min at current density of 1 mA/cm2. The temperature of water being treated was measured at 5 minutes intervals over a 30 minutes period using a thermometer. Additional experiments were commenced to investigate the effects of initial temperature (15-35 0C), water conductivity (0.15 – 1.2 S) and current density (0.5 -3 mA/cm2) on the performance of ECR1. The results obtained demonstrated that the ECR1, at a current density of 1 mA/cm2 and continuous flow model, reduced water temperature from 35 0C to the vicinity of 28 0C during the first 15 minutes and kept the same level till the end of the treatment time. While, the temperature increased from 28.1 to 29.8 0C and from 29.8 to 31.9 0C in the batch and the traditional continuous flow models respectively. In term of initial temperature, ECR1 maintained the temperature of water being treated within the range of 22 to 28 0C without the need for external cooling system even when the initial temperatures varied over a wide range (15 to 35 0C). The influent water conductivity was found to be a significant variable that affect the temperature. The desirable value of water conductivity is 0.6 S. However, it was found that the water temperature increased rapidly with a higher current density.

Keywords: water temperature, flow column, electrocoagulation

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8 An Innovative Use of Flow Columns in Electrocoagulation Reactor to Control Water Temperature

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar, David Phipps, Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

Temperature is an essential parameter in the electrocoagulation process (EC) as it governs the solubility of electrodes and the precipitates and the collision rate of particles in water being treated. Although it has been about 100 years since the EC technology was invented and applied in water and wastewater treatment, the effects of temperature on the its performance were insufficiently investigated. Thus, the present project aims to fill this gap by an innovative use of perforated flow columns in the designing of a new EC reactor (ECR1). The new reactor (ECR1) consisted of a Perspex made cylinder container supplied with a flow column consisted of perorated discoid electrodes that made from aluminium. The flow column has been installed vertically, half submerged in the water being treated, inside a plastic cylinder. The unsubmerged part of the flow column works as a radiator for the water being treated. In order to investigate the performance of ECR1; water samples with different initial temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 °C) to the ECR1 for 20 min. Temperature of effluent water samples were measured using Hanna meter (Model: HI 98130). The obtained results demonstrated that the ECR1 reduced water temperature from 35, 30, and 25 °C to 24.6, 23.8, and 21.8 °C respectively. While low water temperature, 15 °C, increased slowly to reach 19.1 °C after 15 minutes and kept the same level till the end of the treatment period. At the same time, water sample with initial temperature of 20 °C showed almost a steady level of temperature along the treatment process, where the temperature increased negligibly from 20 to 20.1 °C after 20 minutes of treatment. In conclusion, ECR1 is able to control the temperature of water being treated around the room temperature even when the initial temperature was high (35 °C) or low (15 °C).

Keywords: electrocoagulation, flow column, treatment, water temperature

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7 Role of Physiotherapist: How Their Job and Working Area Could Be Known

Authors: Juan Pablo Hervas-Perez, Jesus Guodemar-Perez, Montserrat Ruiz-Lopez, Elena Sonsoles Rodriguez-Lopez, Noemi Mayoral-Gonzalo, Eduardo Cimadevilla Fernandez-Pola, Mario Caballero-Corella

Abstract:

Physiotherapy is a healthcare discipline that covers many fields of action within the recovery and prevention of health. Some are well known, but others, such as working with newborns and premature children are not so. Physical therapist functions are well defined, but the impression of the population is that there are other professionals who can develop them, and a large part are unknown. Objective: To evaluate the level of knowledge of the sample on the role of the physiotherapist in general, and more specifically in the neonatal intensive care (NICU) units, and estimate your level of notions on the development centered care (DCC). Method: A descriptive, transversal, observational and prospective study developed on a 125 participants' sample. Results: From the sample studied, 87.2% had already had contact with physiotherapy previously. An 80.9% believed that the physiotherapist intervention was decisive for the cure, and 84.0% would recommend physiotherapy treatment to others. Of the total surveyed, 98.0% felt that the physiotherapist is who should run the physiotherapeutic treatments, but shares with other professions 71.0% of votes. The field's best-known work is rehabilitation (94.0%); Neonatology is on the 4th place (66.0% of votes). Conclusions: Many areas of work of physical therapy are unknown to a big part of the population, including the own health workers. Less than half of the sample meets the DCC, and only 58% of the interviewed physiotherapists know them.

Keywords: functions of physiotherapist, neonatal intensive care, physiotherapy, prematurity

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6 Risk Propagation in Electricity Markets: Measuring the Asymmetric Transmission of Downside and Upside Risks in Energy Prices

Authors: Montserrat Guillen, Stephania Mosquera-Lopez, Jorge Uribe

Abstract:

An empirical study of market risk transmission between electricity prices in the Nord Pool interconnected market is done. Crucially, it is differentiated between risk propagation in the two tails of the price variation distribution. Thus, the downside risk from upside risk spillovers is distinguished. The results found document an asymmetric nature of risk and risk propagation in the two tails of the electricity price log variations. Risk spillovers following price increments in the market are transmitted to a larger extent than those after price reductions. Also, asymmetries related to both, the size of the transaction area and related to whether a given area behaves as a net-exporter or net-importer of electricity, are documented. For instance, on the one hand, the bigger the area of the transaction, the smaller the size of the volatility shocks that it receives. On the other hand, exporters of electricity, alongside countries with a significant dependence on renewable sources, tend to be net-transmitters of volatility to the rest of the system. Additionally, insights on the predictive power of positive and negative semivariances for future market volatility are provided. It is shown that depending on the forecasting horizon, downside and upside shocks to the market are featured by a distinctive persistence, and that upside volatility impacts more on net-importers of electricity, while the opposite holds for net-exporters.

Keywords: electricity prices, realized volatility, semivariances, volatility spillovers

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5 The Image Redefinition of Urban Destinations: The Case of Madrid and Barcelona

Authors: Montserrat Crespi Vallbona, Marta Domínguez Pérez

Abstract:

Globalization impacts on cities and especially on their centers, especially on those spaces more visible and coveted. Changes are involved in processes such as touristification, gentrification or studentification, in addition of shop trendiness. The city becomes a good of interchange rather than a communal good for its inhabitants and consequently, its value is monetized. So, these different tendencies are analyzed: on one hand, the presence of tourists, the home rental increase, the explosion of businesses related to tourism; on the other hand; the return of middle classes or gentries to the center in a socio-spatial model that has changed highlighting the centers by their culture and their opportunities as well as by the value of public space and centrality; then, the interest of students (national and international) to be part of these city centers as dynamic groups and emerging classes with a higher purchasing power and better cultural capital than in the past; and finally, the conversion of old stores into modern ones, where vintage trend and the renewal of antiquity is the essence. All these transforming processes impact the European cities and redefine their image. All these trends reinforce the impression and brand of the urban center as an attractive space for investment, keeping such nonsense meaningful. These four tendencies have been spreading correlatively impacting the centers and transforming them involving the displacement of former residents of these spaces and revitalizing the center that is financed and commercialized in parallel. The cases of Madrid and Barcelona as spaces of greater evidence in Spain of these tendencies serve to illustrate these processes and represent the spearhead. Useful recommendations are presented to urban planners to find the conciliation of communal and commercialized spaces.

Keywords: gentrification, shop trendiness, studentification, touristification

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4 Neuroprotective Effects of Gly-Pro-Glu-Thr-Ala-Phe-Leu-Arg, a Peptide Isolated from Lupinus angustifolius L. Protein Hydrolysate

Authors: Maria Del Carmen Millan-Linares, Ana Lemus Conejo, Rocio Toscano, Alvaro Villanueva, Francisco Millan, Justo Pedroche, Sergio Montserrat-De La Paz

Abstract:

GPETAFLR (Glycine-Proline-Glutamine-Threonine-Alanine-Phenylalanine-Leucine-Arginine) is a peptide isolated from Lupinus angustifolius L. protein hydrolysate (LPH). Herein, the effect of this peptide was investigated in two different models of neuroinflammation: in the immortalized murine microglia cell line BV-2 and in a high-fat-diet-induced obesity mouse model. Methods and Results: Effects of GPETAFLR on neuroinflammation were evaluated by RT-qPCR, flow cytometry, and ELISA techniques. In BV-2 microglial cells, Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) enhanced the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) whereas GPETAFLR decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and increased the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in BV2 microglial cells. M1 (CCR7 and iNOS) and M2 (Arg-1 and Ym-1) polarization markers results showed how the GPETAFLR octapeptide was able to decrease M1 polarization marker expression and increase the M2 polarization marker expression compared to LPS. Animal model results indicate that GPETAFLR has an immunomodulatory capacity, both decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and increasing the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in brain tissue. Polarization markers in the brain tissue were also modulated by GPETAFLR that decreased the pro-inflammatory expression (M1) and increased the anti-inflammatory expression (M2). Conclusion: Our results suggest that GPETAFLR isolated from LPH has significant potential for management of neuroinflammatory conditions and offer benefits derived from the consumption of Lupinus angustifolius L. in the prevention of neuroinflammatory-related diseases.

Keywords: GPETAFLR peptide, BV-2 cell line, neuroinflammation, cytokines, high-fat-diet

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3 Secondary True to Life Polyethylene Terephthalate Nanoplastics: Obtention, Characterization, and Hazard Evaluation

Authors: Aliro Villacorta, Laura Rubio, Mohamed Alaraby, Montserrat López Mesas, Victor Fuentes-Cebrian, Oscar H. Moriones, Ricard Marcos, Alba Hernández.

Abstract:

Micro and nano plastics (MNPLs) are emergent environmental pollutants requiring urgent information on their potential risks to human health. One of the problems associated with the evaluation of their undesirable effects is the lack of real samples matching those resulting from the environmental degradation of plastic wastes. To such end, we propose an easy method to obtain polyethylene terephthalate nano plastics from water plastic bottles (PET-NPLs) but, in principle, applicable to any other plastic goods sources. An extensive characterization indicates that the proposed process produces uniform samples of PET-NPLs of around 100 nm, as determined by using a multi-angle and dynamic light scattering methodology. An important point to be highlighted is that to avoid the metal contamination resulting from methods using metal blades/burrs for milling, trituration, or sanding, we propose to use diamond burrs to produce metal-free samples. To visualize the toxicological profile of the produced PET-NPLs, we have evaluated their ability to be internalized by cells, their cytotoxicity, and their ability to induce oxidative stress and induce DNA damage. In this preliminary approach, we have detected their cellular uptake, but without the induction of significant biological effects. Thus, no relevant increases in toxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) induction, or DNA damage -as detected with the comet assay- have been observed. The use of real samples, as produced in this study, will generate relevant data in the discussion about the potential health risks associated with MNPLs exposures.

Keywords: nanoplastics, polyethylene terephthalate, physicochemical characterization, cell uptake, cytotoxicity

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2 Anaerobic Co-digestion in Two-Phase TPAD System of Sewage Sludge and Fish Waste

Authors: Rocio López, Miriam Tena, Montserrat Pérez, Rosario Solera

Abstract:

Biotransformation of organic waste into biogas is considered an interesting alternative for the production of clean energy from renewable sources by reducing the volume and organic content of waste Anaerobic digestion is considered one of the most efficient technologies to transform waste into fertilizer and biogas in order to obtain electrical energy or biofuel within the concept of the circular economy. Currently, three types of anaerobic processes have been developed on a commercial scale: (1) single-stage process where sludge bioconversion is completed in a single chamber, (2) two-stage process where the acidogenic and methanogenic stages are separated into two chambers and, finally, (3) temperature-phase sequencing (TPAD) process that combines a thermophilic pretreatment unit prior to mesophilic anaerobic digestion. Two-stage processes can provide hydrogen and methane with easier control of the first and second stage conditions producing higher total energy recovery and substrate degradation than single-stage processes. On the other hand, co-digestion is the simultaneous anaerobic digestion of a mixture of two or more substrates. The technology is similar to anaerobic digestion but is a more attractive option as it produces increased methane yields due to the positive synergism of the mixtures in the digestion medium thus increasing the economic viability of biogas plants. The present study focuses on the energy recovery by anaerobic co-digestion of sewage sludge and waste from the aquaculture-fishing sector. The valorization is approached through the application of a temperature sequential phase process or TPAD technology (Temperature - Phased Anaerobic Digestion). Moreover, two-phase of microorganisms is considered. Thus, the selected process allows the development of a thermophilic acidogenic phase followed by a mesophilic methanogenic phase to obtain hydrogen (H₂) in the first stage and methane (CH₄) in the second stage. The combination of these technologies makes it possible to unify all the advantages of these anaerobic digestion processes individually. To achieve these objectives, a sequential study has been carried out in which the biochemical potential of hydrogen (BHP) is tested followed by a BMP test, which will allow checking the feasibility of the two-stage process. The best results obtained were high total and soluble COD yields (59.8% and 82.67%, respectively) as well as H₂ production rates of 12LH₂/kg SVadded and methane of 28.76 L CH₄/kg SVadded for TPAD.

Keywords: anaerobic co-digestion, TPAD, two-phase, BHP, BMP, sewage sludge, fish waste

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1 In vivo Evaluation of LAB Probiotic Potential with the Zebrafish Animal Model

Authors: Iñaki Iturria, Pasquale Russo, Montserrat Nacher-Vázquez, Giuseppe Spano, Paloma López, Miguel Angel Pardo

Abstract:

Introduction: It is known that some Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) present an interesting probiotic effect. Probiotic bacteria stimulate host resistance to microbial pathogens and thereby aid in immune response, and modulate the host's immune responses to antigens with a potential to down-regulate hypersensitivity reactions. Therefore, probiotic therapy is valuable against intestinal infections and may be beneficial in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Several in vitro tests are available to evaluate the probiotic potential of a LAB strain. However, an in vivo model is required to understand the interaction between the host immune system and the bacteria. During the last few years, zebrafish (Danio rerio) has gained interest as a promising vertebrate model in this field. This organism has been extensively used to study the interaction between the host and the microbiota, as well as the host immune response under several microbial infections. In this work, we report on the use of the zebrafish model to investigate in vivo the colonizing ability and the immunomodulatory effect of probiotic LAB. Methods: Lactobacillus strains belonging to different LAB species were fluorescently tagged and used to colonize germ-free zebrafish larvae gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Some of the strains had a well-documented probiotic effect (L. acidophilus LA5); while others presented an exopolysaccharide (EPS) producing phenotype, thus allowing evaluating the influence of EPS in the colonization and immunomodulatory effect. Bacteria colonization was monitored for 72 h by direct observation in real time using fluorescent microscopy. CFU count per larva was also evaluated at different times. The immunomodulatory effect was assessed analysing the differential expression of several innate immune system genes (MyD88, NF-κB, Tlr4, Il1β and Il10) by qRT- PCR. The anti-inflammatory effect was evaluated using a chemical enterocolitis zebrafish model. The protective effect against a pathogen was also studied. To that end, a challenge test was developed using a fluorescently tagged pathogen (Vibrio anguillarum-GFP+). The progression of the infection was monitored up to 3 days using a fluorescent stereomicroscope. Mortality rates and CFU counts were also registered. Results and conclusions: Larvae exposed to EPS-producing bacteria showed a higher fluorescence and CFU count than those colonized with no-EPS phenotype LAB. In the same way, qRT-PCR results revealed an immunomodulatory effect on the host after the administration of the strains with probiotic activity. A downregulation of proinflammatory cytoquines as well as other cellular mediators of inflammation was observed. The anti-inflammatory effect was found to be particularly marked following exposure to LA% strain, as well as EPS producing strains. Furthermore, the challenge test revealed a protective effect of probiotic administration. As a matter of fact, larvae fed with probiotics showed a decrease in the mortality rate ranging from 20 to 35%. Discussion: In this work, we developed a promising model, based on the use of gnotobiotic zebrafish coupled with a bacterial fluorescent tagging in order to evaluate the probiotic potential of different LAB strains. We have successfully used this system to monitor in real time the colonization and persistence of exogenous LAB within the gut of zebrafish larvae, to evaluate their immunomodulatory effect and for in vivo competition assays. This approach could bring further insights into the complex microbial-host interactions at intestinal level.

Keywords: gnotobiotic, immune system, lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, zebrafish

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