Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Violina Angelova

21 Some Observations on the Preparation of Zinc Hydroxide Nitrate Nanoparticles

Authors: Krasimir Ivanov, Elitsa Kolentsova, Nguyen Nguyen, Alexander Peltekov, Violina Angelova

Abstract:

The nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate has been recently estimated as perspective foliar fertilizer, which has improved zinc solubility, but low phytotoxicity, in comparison with ZnO and other Zn containing compounds. The main problem is obtaining of stable particles with dimensions less than 100 nm. This work studies the effect of preparation conditions on the chemical compositions and particle size of the zinc hydroxide nitrates, prepared by precipitation. Zn(NO3)2.6H2O and NaOH with concentrations, ranged from 0.2 to 3.2M and the initial OH/Zn ratio from 0.5 to 1.6 were used at temperatures from 20 to 60 °C. All samples were characterized in detail by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, differential thermal analysis and ICP. Stability and distribution of the zinc hydroxide nitrate particles were estimated too.

Keywords: zinc hydroxide nitrate, nanoparticles, preparation, foliar fertilizer

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20 Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Evaluation of the Main Digestion Methods for Determination of Macroelements in Plant Tissue

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova, Stefan V. Krustev, Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Three commonly used digestion methods (dry ashing, acid digestion, and microwave digestion) in different variants were compared for digestion of tobacco leaves. Three main macroelements (K, Ca and Mg) were analysed using AAS Spectrometer Spectra АА 220, Varian, Australia. The accuracy and precision of the measurements were evaluated by using Polish reference material CTR-VTL-2 (Virginia tobacco leaves). To elucidate the problems with elemental recovery X-Ray and SEM–EDS analysis of all residues after digestion were performed. The X-ray investigation showed a formation of KClO4 when HClO4 was used as a part of the acids mixture. The use of HF at Ca and Mg determination led to the formation of CaF2 and MgF2. The results were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. SPSS program for Windows was used for statistical data processing.

Keywords: digestion methods, plant tissue, determination of macroelements, K, Ca, Mg

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19 Potential of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Vanja I. Akova, Stefan V. Krustev, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of safflower plant for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in safflower (roots, stems, leaves and seeds), safflower oil and meal were determined. A correlation was found between the quantity of the mobile forms and the uptake of Pb, Zn and Cd by the safflower seeds. Safflower is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils, and which can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of cadmium and the accumulators of lead and zinc, and can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. The processing of seeds to oil and using the obtained oil for nutritional purposes will greatly reduce the cost of phytoremediation. The possibility of further industrial processing will make safflower economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoremediation technology.

Keywords: heavy metals, phytoremediation, polluted soils, safflower

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18 Growing Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides L.) on Contaminated Soils with Heavy Metals in Bulgaria

Authors: Violina Angelova, Huu Q. Lee

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides L.) for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances (0.5, 3.5, and 15 km) from the source of pollution. The concentrations of Pb, Zn, and Cd in vetiver (roots and leaves) were determined. Correlations between the content of the heavy metal mobile forms extracted with DTPA and their content in the roots and leaves of the Vetiver have been established. The Vetiver is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. Plants are characterized by low ability to absorb and accumulate Pb, Cd, and Zn and have no signs of toxicity (chlorosis and necrosis) at 36.8 mg/kg Cd, 1158.8 mg/kg Pb and 1526.2 mg/kg Zn in the soil. Vetiver plants can be classified as Pb, Cd and Zn excluder, therefore, this plant has the suitable potential for the phytostabilization of heavy metal contaminated soils. Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (Project DFNI 04/9).

Keywords: contaminated soils, heavy metals, phytoremediation, vetiver

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17 Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.)

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Mariana N. Perifanova-Nemska, Galina P. Uzunova, Elitsa N. Kolentsova

Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the accumulation of heavy metals (Pb, Zn and Cd) in the vegetative and reproductive organs of safflower, and to identify the possibility of its growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals and efficacy for phytoremediation. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances (0.1, 0.5, 2.0, and 15 km) from the source of pollution. The contents of heavy metals in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds) were determined. The quality of safflower oils (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) was also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out with inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). Safflower is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of lead and cadmium and the accumulators of zinc. The plant can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. The processing of safflower seeds into oil and the use of the obtained oil will greatly reduce the cost of phytoremediation.

Keywords: heavy metals, accumulation, safflower, polluted soils, phytoremediation

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16 The Effect of Soil Contamination on Chemical Composition and Quality of Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Sava G. Tabakov, Aleksander B. Peltekov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and quality of the Aronia fruits, as well as the possibilities of Aronia cultivation on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (NFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The study included four varieties of Aronia; Aron variety, Hugin variety, Viking variety and Nero variety. The Aronia was cultivated according to the conventional technology on areas at a different distance from the source of pollution NFMW- Plovdiv (1 km, 3.5 km, and 15 km). The concentrations of macroelements, microelements, and heavy metals in Aronia fruits were determined. The dry matter content, ash, sugars, proteins, and fats were also determined. Aronia is a crop that is tolerant to heavy metals and can successfully be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The increased content of heavy metals in the soil leads to less absorption of the nutrients (Ca, Mg and P) in the fruit of the Aronia. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the Aronia fruit varieties.

Keywords: aronia, chemical composition, fruits, quality

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15 Potential of Salvia sclarea L. for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Radka V. Ivanova, Givko M. Todorov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Salvia sclarea L. for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The content of heavy metals in different parts of Salvia sclarea L. (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) was determined by ICP. The essential oil of the Salvia sclarea L. was obtained by steam distillation in laboratory conditions and was analyzed for heavy metals and its chemical composition was determined. Salvia sclarea L. is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils. Based on the obtained results and using the most common criteria, Salvia sclarea L. can be classified as Pb hyperaccumulator and Cd and Zn accumulators, therefore, this plant has suitable potential for the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the Salvia sclarea L., as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. For clary sage oil obtained from the processing of clary sage grown on highly contaminated soils, its key odour-determining ingredients meet the quality requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and BS ISO 7609 regarding Bulgarian clary sage oil and/or have values that are close to the limits of these standards. The possibility of further industrial processing will make Salvia sclarea L. an economically interesting crop for farmers of phytoextraction technology.

Keywords: clary sage, heavy metals, phytoremediation, polluted soils

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14 Supported Gold Nanocatalysts for CO Oxidation in Mainstream Cigarette Smoke

Authors: Krasimir Ivanov, Dimitar Dimitrov, Tatyana Tabakova, Stefka Kirkova, Anna Stoilova, Violina Angelova

Abstract:

It has been suggested that nicotine, CO and tar in mainstream smoke are the most important substances and have been judged as the most harmful compounds, responsible for the health hazards of smoking. As nicotine is extremely important for smoking qualities of cigarettes and the tar yield in the tobacco smoke is significantly reduced due to the use of filters with various content and design, the main efforts of cigarettes researchers and manufacturers are related to the search of opportunities for CO content reduction. Highly active ceria supported gold catalyst was prepared by the deposition-precipitation method, and the possibilities for CO oxidation in the synthetic gaseous mixture were evaluated using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed glass reactor at atmospheric pressure. The efficiently of the catalyst in CO oxidation in the real cigarette smoke was examined by a single port, puf-by-puff smoking machine. Quality assessment of smoking using cigarette holder containing catalyst was carried out. It was established that the catalytic activity toward CO oxidation in cigarette smoke rapidly decreases from 70% for the first cigarette to nearly zero for the twentieth cigarette. The present study shows that there are two critical factors which do not permit the successful use of catalysts to reduce the CO content in the mainstream cigarette smoke: (i) significant influence of the processes of adsorption and oxidation on the main characteristics of tobacco products and (ii) rapid deactivation of the catalyst due to the covering of the catalyst’s grains with condensate.

Keywords: cigarette smoke, CO oxidation, gold catalyst, mainstream

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13 Effect of Compost Application on Uptake and Allocation of Heavy Metals and Plant Nutrients and Quality of Oriental Tobacco Krumovgrad 90

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Venelina T. Popova, Radka V. Ivanova, Givko T. Ivanov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A comparative research on the impact of compost on uptake and allocation of nutrients and heavy metals and quality of Oriental tobacco Krumovgrad 90 has been carried out. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the lead zinc smelter near the town of Kardzali, Bulgaria, after closing the lead production. The compost treatments had significant effects on the uptake and allocation of plant nutrients and heavy metals. The incorporation of compost leads to decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in the tobacco leaves, with Cd, Pb and Zn having values of 36%, 12% and 6%, respectively. Application of the compost leads to increased content of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the leaves of tobacco, and therefore, may favorably affect the burning properties of tobacco. The incorporation of compost in the soil has a negative impact on the quality and typicality of the oriental tobacco variety of Krumovgrad 90. The incorporation of compost leads to an increase in the size of the tobacco plant leaves, the leaves become darker in colour, less fleshy and undergo a change in form, becoming (much) broader in the second, third and fourth stalk position. This is accompanied by a decrease in the quality of the tobacco. The incorporation of compost also results in an increase in the mineral substances (pure ash), total nicotine and nitrogen, and a reduction in the amount of reducing sugars, which causes the quality of the tobacco leaves to deteriorate (particularly in the third and fourth harvests).

Keywords: chemical composition, compost, heavy metals, oriental tobacco, quality

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12 Potential of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Mariana N. Perifanova-Nemska, Galina P. Uzunova, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Huu Q. Lee

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Field experiments with a randomized, complete block design with five treatments (control, compost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa, and vemicompost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa) were carried out. The accumulation of heavy metals in the sunflower plant and the quality of the sunflower oil (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) were determined. The tested organic amendments significantly influenced the uptake of Pb, Zn and Cd by the sunflower plant. The incorporation of 40 t/decare of compost and 20 t/decare of vermicompost to the soil led to an increase in the ability of the sunflower to take up and accumulate Cd, Pb and Zn. Sunflower can be subjected to the accumulators of Pb, Zn and Cd and can be successfully used for phytoremediation of contaminated soils with heavy metals. The 40 t/daa compost treatment led to a decrease in heavy metal content in sunflower oil to below the regulated limits. Oil content and fatty acids composition were affected by compost and vermicompost amendment treatments. Adding compost and vermicompost increased the oil content in the seeds. Adding organic amendments increased the content of stearic, palmitoleic and oleic acids, and reduced the content of palmitic and gadoleic acids in sunflower oil. The possibility of further industrial processing of seeds to oil and use of the obtained oil will make sunflowers economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoremediation technology.

Keywords: heavy metals, phytoremediation, polluted soils, sunflower

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11 Comparison of Soil Test Extractants for Determination of Available Soil Phosphorus

Authors: Violina Angelova, Stefan Krustev

Abstract:

The aim of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of different soil test extractants for the determination of available soil phosphorus in five internationally certified standard soils, sludge and clay (NCS DC 85104, NCS DC 85106, ISE 859, ISE 952, ISE 998). The certified samples were extracted with the following methods/extractants: CaCl₂, CaCl₂ and DTPA (CAT), double lactate (DL), ammonium lactate (AL), calcium acetate lactate (CAL), Olsen, Mehlich 3, Bray and Kurtz I, and Morgan, which are commonly used in soil testing laboratories. The phosphorus in soil extracts was measured colorimetrically using Spectroquant Pharo 100 spectrometer. The methods used in the study were evaluated according to the recovery of available phosphorus, facility of application and rapidity of performance. The relationships between methods are examined statistically. A good agreement of the results from different soil test was established for all certified samples. In general, the P values extracted by the nine extraction methods significantly correlated with each other. When grouping the soils according to pH, organic carbon content and clay content, weaker extraction methods showed analogous trends; also among the stronger extraction methods, common tendencies were found. Other factors influencing the extraction force of the different methods include soil: solution ratio, as well as the duration and power of shaking the samples. The mean extractable P in certified samples was found to be in the order of CaCl₂ < CAT < Morgan < Bray and Kurtz I < Olsen < CAL < DL < Mehlich 3 < AL. Although the nine methods extracted different amounts of P from the certified samples, values of P extracted by the different methods were strongly correlated among themselves. Acknowledgment: The financial support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund Projects DFNI Н04/9 and DFNI Н06/21 are greatly appreciated.

Keywords: available soil phosphorus, certified samples, determination, soil test extractants

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10 Potential of Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina Angelova, Mariana Perifanova-Nemska, Krasimir Ivanov

Abstract:

The aim of this research was to investigate the potential for the use of Ricinus communis L. (castor oil plant) to remediate metal-polluted sites. This study was performed in industrially polluted soils containing high concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd, situated at different distances (0.3, 2.0 and 15.0 km) from the source of pollution - the Non-Ferrous Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. On reaching commercial ripeness, the castor oil plants were gathered and the contents of heavy metals in their different parts – roots, stems, leaves and seeds, were determined after dry ashing. Physico-chemical characterization, total, DTPA extractable and water-soluble metals in rhizospheric soil samples were carried. Translocation factors (TFs) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out with ICP. A soxhlet extraction was used for the extraction of the oil, using hexane as solvent. The oil was recovered by simple distillation of the solvent. The residual oil obtained was investigated for physicochemical parameters and fatty acid composition. Bioaccumulation factor and translocation factor values (BAF and TF > 1) were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the shoot. The castor oil plant may be preferred as a good candidate for phytoremediation (phytoextraction). These results indicate that R. communis has good potential for removing Pb from contaminated soils attributed to its fast growth, high biomass, strong absorption and accumulation for Pb. The concentrations of heavy metals in the oil were low as seed coats accumulated the highest concentrations of Cd and Pb. In addition, the result of the fatty acid composition analysis confirms the oil to be of good quality and can be used for industrial purposes such as cosmetics, soaps and paint.

Keywords: castor bean, heavy metals, phytoremediation, polluted soils

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9 Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)

Authors: Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Keywords: Lathyrus sativus L, macroelements, microelements, quality

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8 Phytoremediation Potential of Enhanced Tobacco BAC F3 in Soil Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina Angelova

Abstract:

A comparative study has been carried out into the impact of organic meliorants on the uptake of heavy metals, micro and macroelements and the phytoremediation potential of enhanced tobacco BAC F3. The soil used as part of this experiment was sampled from the vicinity of the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The pot experiment carried out consisted of a randomized, complete block design containing nine treatments and three replications (27 pots). The treatments consisted of a control (with no organic meliorants) and compost and vermicompost meliorants (added at 5%, 10%, 15%, and 30%, and recalculated based on their dry soil weight). Upon reaching commercial ripeness, the tobacco plants were gathered. Heavy metals, micro and macroelement contents in roots, stems, and leaves of tobacco were analyzed by the method of the microwave mineralization. To determine the elements in the samples, inductively coupled emission spectrometry (Jobin Yvon Emission - JY 38 S, France) was used. The distribution of the heavy metals, micro, and macroelements in the organs of the enhanced tobacco has a selective character and depended above all on the parts of the plants and the element that was examined. Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, P and Mg distribution in tobacco decreases in the following order: roots > leaves > stems, and for Cd, K, and Ca - leaves > roots > stems. The high concentration of Cd in the leaves and the high translocation factor indicate the possibility of enhanced tobacco to be used in phytoextraction. Tested organic amendments significantly influenced the uptake of heavy metals, micro and macroelements by the roots, stems, and leaves of tobacco. A correlation was found between the quantity of the mobile forms and the uptake of Pb, Zn, and Cd by the enhanced tobacco. The compost and vermicompost treatments significantly reduced heavy metals concentration in leaves and increased uptake of K, Ca and Mg. The 30% compost and 30% vermicompost treatments led to the maximal reduction of heavy metals in enhanced tobacco BAC F3. The addition of compost and vermicompost further reduces the ability to digest the heavy metals in the leaves, and phytoremediation potential of enhanced tobacco BAC F3. Acknowledgment: The financial support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund Project DFNI Н04/9 is greatly appreciated.

Keywords: heavy metals, micro and macroelements, enhanced tobacco BAC F3, phytoremediation, organic meliorants

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7 Study on Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Sweet Potato, Grown in Industrially Polluted Regions

Authors: Violina Angelova, Galina Pevicharova

Abstract:

A comparative research had been carried out to allow us to determine the quantities and the centers of accumulation of Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd in the vegetative and reproductive organs of the sweet potatoes and to ascertain the possibilities for growing them on soils, polluted with heavy metals. The experiments were performed on agricultural fields contaminated by the (1) Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, (2) Lead and Zinc Complex near Kardjali and (3) a copper smelter near Pirdop, Bulgaria. The soils used in this experiment were characterized by acid, neutral and slightly alkaline reaction, loamy texture and a moderate content of organic matter. The total content of Zn, Pb, and Cd was high and exceeded the limit value in agriculture soils. Sweet potatoes were in a 2-year rotation scheme on three blocks in the experimental field. On reaching commercial ripeness the sweet potatoes were gathered and the contents of heavy metals in their different parts – root, tuber (peel and core), leaves and stems, were determined after microwave mineralization. The quantitative measurements were carried out with inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. The contamination of the sweet potatoes was due mainly to the presence of heavy metals in the soil, which entered the plants through their root system, as well as by diffusion through the peel. Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd were selectively accumulated in the underground parts of the sweet potatoes, and most of all in the root system and the peel. Heavy metals have an impact on the development and productivity of the sweet potatoes. The high anthropogenic contamination leads to an increased assimilation of heavy metals which reduces the yield and the quality of the production of sweet potatoes, as well as leads to decrease of the absolute dry substance and the quantity of sugars in sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes could be grown on soils, which are light to medium polluted with lead, zinc, and cadmium, as they do not accumulate these elements. On heavily polluted soils, however, (Pb – 1504 mg/kg, Zn – 3322 mg/kg, Cd – 47 mg/kg) the growing of sweet potatoes is not allowed, as the accumulation of Pb and Cd in the core of the potatoes exceeds the Maximum Acceptable Concentration. Acknowledgment: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (Project DFNI DH04/9).

Keywords: heavy metals, polluted soils, sweet potatoes, uptake

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6 Evaluating of Chemical Extractants for Assessment of Bioavailable Heavy Metals in Polluted Soils

Authors: Violina Angelova, Krasimir Ivanov, Stefan Krustev, Dimitar Dimitrov

Abstract:

Availability of a metal is characterised by its quantity transgressing from soil into different extractants or by its content in plants. In literature, the terms 'available forms of compounds' and 'mobile' are often considered as equivalents of the term 'accessible' to plants. Rapid and a sufficiently reliable method for defining the accessible for plants forms turns out to be their extraction through different extractants, imitating the functioning of the root system. As a criterion for the pertinence of the extractant to this purpose usually serves the significant statistic correlation between the extracted quantities of the element from soil and its content in plants. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of various extractions (DTPA-TEA, AB-DTPA, Mehlich 3, 0.01 M CaCl₂, 1M NH₄NO₃) for the determination of bioavailability of heavy metals in industrially polluted soils from the metallurgical activity near Plovdiv and Kardjali, Bulgaria. Quantity measurements for contents of heavy metals were performed with ICP-OES. The results showed that extraction capacity was as follows: Mehlich 3>ABDTPA>DTPA-TEA>CaCl₂>NaNO₃. The content of the mobile form of heavy metals depends on the nature of metal ion, the nature of extractant and pH. The obtained results show that CaCl₂ extracts a greater quantity of mobile forms of heavy metals than NH₄NO₃. DTPA-TEA and AB-DTPA are capable of extracting from the soil not only the heavy metals participating in the exchange processes but also the heavy metals bound in carbonates and organic complexes, as well as bound and occluded in oxide and secondary clay minerals. AB-DTPA extracts a bit more heavy metals than DTPA-TEA. The darker color of the solutions obtained with AB-DTPA indicates that considerable quantities organic matter are being destructed. A comparison of the mobile forms of heavy metals extracted from clean and highly polluted soils has revealed that in the polluted soils the greater portion of heavy metals exists in a mobile form. High correlation coefficients are obtained between the metals extracted with different extractants and their total content in soil (r=0.9). A positive correlation between the pH, soil organic matter and the extracted quantities of heavy metals has been found. The results of correlation analysis revealed that the heavy metals extracted by DTPA-TEA, AB-DTPA, Mehlich 3, CaCl₂ and NaNO₃ correlated significantly with plant uptake. Significant correlation was found between DTPA-TEA, AB-DTPA, and CaCl₂ with heavy metals concentration in plants. Application of extracting methods contains chelating agents would be recommended in the future research onthe availabilityof heavy metals in polluted soils.

Keywords: availability, chemical extractants, heavy metals, mobile forms

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5 Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, K. Ivanov, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.

Keywords: analysis, copper, methods, zinc

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4 Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 mg.kg-1 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 mg.kg-1 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.

Keywords: agricultural soils, balkan peninsula, rural areas, selenium

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3 Content of Trace Elements in Agricultural Soils from Central and Eastern Europe

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, K. Ivanov, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

Approximately a dozen trace elements are vital for the development of all plants and some other elements are significant for some species. Heavy metals do not belong to this group of elements that are essential to plants, but some of them such as copper and zinc, have a dual effect on their growth. Concentration levels of these elements in the different regions of the world vary considerably. Their high concentrations in some parts of Central and Eastern Europe cause concern for human health and degrade the quality of agricultural produce from these areas. This study aims to compare the prevalence and levels of the major trace elements in some rural areas of Central and Eastern Europe. Soil samples from different regions of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece far from large industrial centers have been studied. The main methods for their determination are the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels in soils of 17 points from the main grain-producing regions of Central and Eastern Europe are presented and systematized. The content of trace elements was in the range of 5.0-84.1 mg.kg⁻¹ for Cu, 0.3-1.4 mg.kg⁻¹ for Cd, 26.1-225.5 mg.kg⁻¹ for Zn, 235.5-788.6 mg.kg⁻¹ for Mn and 4.1-25.8 mg.kg⁻¹ for Pb.

Keywords: trace elements, heavy metals, agricultural soils, Central and Eastern Europe

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2 Activation of Mitophagy and Autophagy in Familial Forms of Parkinson's Disease, as a Potential Strategy for Cell Protection

Authors: Nafisa Komilova, Plamena Angelova, Andrey Abramov, Ulugbek Mirkhodjaev

Abstract:

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is induced by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. The mechanism of neurodegeneration is associated with the aggregation of misfolded proteins, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial disfunction. Considering this, the process of removal of unwanted organelles or proteins by autophagy is vitally important in neurons, and activation of these processes could be protective in PD. Short-time acidification of cytosol can activate mitophagy and autophagy, and here we used sodium pyruvate and sodium lactate in human fibroblasts with PD mutations (Pink1, Pink1/Park2, α-syn triplication, A53T) to induce changes in intracellular pH. We have found that both lactate and pyruvate in millimolar concentrations can induce short-time acidification of cytosol in these cells. It induced activation of mitophagy and autophagy in control and PD fibroblasts and protected against cell death. Importantly, the application of lactate to acute brain slices of control and Pink1 knockout mice also induced a reduction of pH in neurons and astrocytes that increase the level of mitophagy. Thus, acidification of cytosol by compounds which play important role in cell metabolism also can activate mitophagy and autophagy and protect cells in the familial form of PD.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, mutations, mitophagy, autophagy

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1 Medicinal Plants: An Antiviral Depository with Complex Mode of Action

Authors: Daniel Todorov, Anton Hinkov, Petya Angelova, Kalina Shishkova, Venelin Tsvetkov, Stoyan Shishkov

Abstract:

Human herpes viruses (HHV) are ubiquitous pathogens with a pandemic spread across the globe. HHV type 1 is the main causative agent of cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face, whereas HHV type 2 is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks. The treatment of both viruses is more or less successful with antivirals from the nucleoside analogues group. Their wide application increasingly leads to the emergence of resistant mutants In the past, medicinal plants have been used to treat a number of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Their diversity and ability to produce the vast variety of secondary metabolites according to the characteristics of the environment give them the potential to help us in our warfare with viral infections. The variable chemical characteristics and complex composition is an advantage in the treatment of herpes since the emergence of resistant mutants is significantly complicated. The screening process is difficult due to the lack of standardization. That is why it is especially important to follow the mechanism of antiviral action of plants. On the one hand, it may be expected to interact with its compounds, resulting in enhanced antiviral effects, and the most appropriate environmental conditions can be chosen to maximize the amount of active secondary metabolites. During our study, we followed the activity of various plant extracts on the viral replication cycle as well as their effect on the extracellular virion. We obtained our results following the logical sequence of the experimental settings - determining the cytotoxicity of the extracts, evaluating the overall effect on viral replication and extracellular virion.During our research, we have screened a variety of plant extracts for their antiviral activity against both virus replication and the virion itself. We investigated the effect of the extracts on the individual stages of the viral replication cycle - viral adsorption, penetration and the effect on replication depending on the time of addition. If there are positive results in the later experiments, we had studied the activity over viral adsorption, penetration and the effect of replication according to the time of addition. Our results indicate that some of the extracts from the Lamium album have several targets. The first stages of the viral life cycle are most affected. Several of our active antiviral agents have shown an effect on extracellular virion and adsorption and penetration processes. Our research over the last decade has shown several curative antiviral plants - some of which are from the Lamiacea family. The rich set of active ingredients of the plants in this family makes them a good source of antiviral preparation.

Keywords: human herpes virus, antiviral activity, Lamium album, Nepeta nuda

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