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Search results for: biogas plant

32 Dietary Exposure Assessment of Potentially Toxic Trace Elements in Fruits and Vegetables Grown in Akhtala, Armenia

Authors: Davit Pipoyan, Meline Beglaryan, Nicolò Merendino


Mining industry is one of the priority sectors of Armenian economy. Along with the solution of some socio-economic development, it brings about numerous environmental problems, especially toxic element pollution, which largely influences the safety of agricultural products. In addition, accumulation of toxic elements in agricultural products, mainly in edible parts of plants represents a direct pathway for their penetration into the human food chain. In Armenia, the share of plant origin food in overall diet is significantly high, so estimation of dietary intakes of toxic trace elements via consumption of selected fruits and vegetables are of great importance for observing the underlying health risks. Therefore, the present study was aimed to assess dietary exposure of potentially toxic trace elements through the intake of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Akhtala community (Armenia), where not only mining industry is developed, but also cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, this investigation represents one of the very first attempts to estimate human dietary exposure of potentially toxic trace elements in the study area. Samples of some commonly grown fruits and vegetables (fig, cornel, raspberry, grape, apple, plum, maize, bean, potato, cucumber, onion, greens) were randomly collected from several home gardens located near mining areas in Akhtala community. The concentration of Cu, Mo, Ni, Cr, Pb, Zn, Hg, As and Cd in samples were determined by using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Precision and accuracy of analyses were guaranteed by repeated analysis of samples against NIST Standard Reference Materials. For a diet study, individual-based approach was used, so the consumption of selected fruits and vegetables was investigated through food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Combining concentration data with contamination data, the estimated daily intakes (EDI) and cumulative daily intakes were assessed and compared with health-based guidance values (HBGVs). According to the determined concentrations of the studied trace elements in fruits and vegetables, it can be stressed that some trace elements (Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) among the majority of samples exceeded maximum allowable limits set by international organizations. Meanwhile, others (Cr, Hg, As, Cd, Mo) either did not exceed these limits or still do not have established allowable limits. The obtained results indicated that only for Cu the EDI values exceeded dietary reference intake (0.01 mg/kg/Bw/day) for some investigated fruits and vegetables in decreasing order of potato > grape > bean > raspberry > fig > greens. In contrast to this, for combined consumption of selected fruits and vegetables estimated cumulative daily intakes exceeded reference doses in the following sequence: Zn > Cu > Ni > Mo > Pb. It may be concluded that habitual and combined consumption of the above mentioned fruits and vegetables can pose a health risk to the local population. Hence, further detailed studies are needed for the overall assessment of potential health implications taking into consideration adverse health effects posed by more than one toxic trace element.

Keywords: daily intake, dietary exposure, fruits, trace elements, vegetables

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31 Experimental and Modelling Performances of a Sustainable Integrated System of Conditioning for Bee-Pollen

Authors: Andrés Durán, Brian Castellanos, Marta Quicazán, Carlos Zuluaga-Domínguez


Bee-pollen is an apicultural-derived food product, with a growing appreciation among consumers given the remarkable nutritional and functional composition, in particular, protein (24%), dietary fiber (15%), phenols (15 – 20 GAE/g) and carotenoids (600 – 900 µg/g). These properties are given by the geographical and climatic characteristics of the region where it is collected. There are several countries recognized by their pollen production, e.g. China, United States, Japan, Spain, among others. Beekeepers use traps in the entrance of the hive where bee-pollen is collected. After the removal of foreign particles and drying, this product is ready to be marketed. However, in countries located along the equator, the absence of seasons and a constant tropical climate throughout the year favors a more rapid spoilage condition for foods with elevated water activity. The climatic conditions also trigger the proliferation of microorganisms and insects. This, added to the factor that beekeepers usually do not have adequate processing systems for bee-pollen, leads to deficiencies in the quality and safety of the product. In contrast, the Andean region of South America, lying on equator, typically has a high production of bee-pollen of up to 36 kg/year/hive, being four times higher than in countries with marked seasons. This region is also located in altitudes superior to 2500 meters above sea level, having extremes sun ultraviolet radiation all year long. As a mechanism of defense of radiation, plants produce more secondary metabolites acting as antioxidant agents, hence, plant products such as bee-pollen contain remarkable more phenolics and carotenoids than collected in other places. Considering this, the improvement of bee-pollen processing facilities by technical modifications and the implementation of an integrated cleaning and drying system for the product in an apiary in the area was proposed. The beehives were modified through the installation of alternative bee-pollen traps to avoid sources of contamination. The processing facility was modified according to considerations of Good Manufacturing Practices, implementing the combined use of a cabin dryer with temperature control and forced airflow and a greenhouse-type solar drying system. Additionally, for the separation of impurities, a cyclone type system was implemented, complementary to a screening equipment. With these modifications, a decrease in the content of impurities and the microbiological load of bee-pollen was seen from the first stages, principally with a reduction of the presence of molds and yeasts and in the number of foreign animal origin impurities. The use of the greenhouse solar dryer integrated to the cabin dryer allowed the processing of larger quantities of product with shorter waiting times in storage, reaching a moisture content of about 6% and a water activity lower than 0.6, being appropriate for the conservation of bee-pollen. Additionally, the contents of functional or nutritional compounds were not affected, even observing an increase of up to 25% in phenols content and a non-significant decrease in carotenoids content and antioxidant activity.

Keywords: beekeeping, drying, food processing, food safety

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30 Evaluation of Wheat Varieties for Water Use Efficiency under Staggering Sowing Times and Variable Irrigation Regimes under Timely and Late Sown Conditions

Authors: Vaibhav Baliyan, S. S. Parihar


With the rise in temperature during reproductive phase and moisture stress, winter wheat yields are likely to decrease because of limited plant growth, higher rate of night respiration, higher spikelet sterility or number of grains per spike and restricted embryo development thereby reducing grain number. Crop management practices play a pivotal role in minimizing adverse effects of terminal heat stress on wheat production. Amongst various agronomic management practices, adjusting sowing date, crop cultivars and irrigation scheduling have been realized to be simple yet powerful, implementable and eco-friendly mitigation strategies to sustain yields under elevated temperature conditions. Taking into account, large variability in wheat production in space and time, a study was conducted to identify the suitable wheat varieties under both early and late planting with suitable irrigation schedule for minimizing terminal heat stress effect and thereby improving wheat production. Experiments were conducted at research farms of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, separately for timely and late sown conditions with suitable varieties with staggering dates of sowing from 1st November to 30th November in case of timely sown and from 1st December to 31st December for late sown condition. The irrigation schedule followed for both the experiments were 100% of ETc (evapotranspiration of crop), 80% of ETc and 60% of ETc. Results of the timely sown experiment indicated that 1st November sowing resulted in higher grain yield followed by 10th November. However, delay in sowing thereafter resulted in gradual decrease in yield and the maximum reduction was noticed under 30th November sowing. Amongst the varieties, HD3086 produced higher grain yield compared to other varieties. Irrigation applied based on 100% of ETc gave higher yield comparable to 80% of ETc but both were significantly higher than 60% of ETc. It was further observed that even liberal irrigation under 100% of ETc could not compensate the yield under delayed sowing suggesting that rise in temperature beyond January adversely affected the growth and development of crop as well as forced maturity resulting in significant reduction of yield attributing characters due to terminal heat stress. Similar observations were recorded under late sown experiment too. Planting on 1st December along with 100% ETc of irrigation schedule resulted in significantly higher grain yield as compared to other dates and irrigation regimes. Further, it was observed that reduction in yield under late sown conditions was significantly large than the timely sown conditions irrespective of the variety grown and irrigation schedule followed. Delayed sowing resulted in reducing crop growth period and forced maturity in turn led to significant deterioration in all the yield attributing characters and there by reduction in yield suggesting that terminal heat stress had greater impact on yield under late sown crop than timely sown due to temperature rise coinciding with reproductive phase of the crop.

Keywords: climate, irrigation, mitigation, wheat

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29 Soybean Lecithin Based Reverse Micellar Extraction of Pectinase from Synthetic Solution

Authors: Sivananth Murugesan, I. Regupathi, B. Vishwas Prabhu, Ankit Devatwal, Vishnu Sivan Pillai


Pectinase is an important enzyme which has a wide range of applications including textile processing and bioscouring of cotton fibers, coffee and tea fermentation, purification of plant viruses, oil extraction etc. Selective separation and purification of pectinase from fermentation broth and recover the enzyme form process stream for reuse are cost consuming process in most of the enzyme based industries. It is difficult to identify a suitable medium to enhance enzyme activity and retain its enzyme characteristics during such processes. The cost effective, selective separation of enzymes through the modified Liquid-liquid extraction is of current research interest worldwide. Reverse micellar extraction, globally acclaimed Liquid-liquid extraction technique is well known for its separation and purification of solutes from the feed which offers higher solute specificity and partitioning, ease of operation and recycling of extractants used. Surfactant concentrations above critical micelle concentration to an apolar solvent form micelles and addition of micellar phase to water in turn forms reverse micelles or water-in-oil emulsions. Since, electrostatic interaction plays a major role in the separation/purification of solutes using reverse micelles. These interaction parameters can be altered with the change in pH, addition of cosolvent, surfactant and electrolyte and non-electrolyte. Even though many chemical based commercial surfactant had been utilized for this purpose, the biosurfactants are more suitable for the purification of enzymes which are used in food application. The present work focused on the partitioning of pectinase from the synthetic aqueous solution within the reverse micelle phase formed by a biosurfactant, Soybean Lecithin dissolved in chloroform. The critical micelle concentration of soybean lecithin/chloroform solution was identified through refractive index and density measurements. Effect of surfactant concentrations above and below the critical micelle concentration was considered to study its effect on enzyme activity, enzyme partitioning within the reverse micelle phase. The effect of pH and electrolyte salts on the partitioning behavior was studied by varying the system pH and concentration of different salts during forward and back extraction steps. It was observed that lower concentrations of soybean lecithin enhanced the enzyme activity within the water core of the reverse micelle with maximizing extraction efficiency. The maximum yield of pectinase of 85% with a partitioning coefficient of 5.7 was achieved at 4.8 pH during forward extraction and 88% yield with a partitioning coefficient of 7.1 was observed during backward extraction at a pH value of 5.0. However, addition of salt decreased the enzyme activity and especially at higher salt concentrations enzyme activity declined drastically during both forward and back extraction steps. The results proved that reverse micelles formed by Soybean Lecithin and chloroform may be used for the extraction of pectinase from aqueous solution. Further, the reverse micelles can be considered as nanoreactors to enhance enzyme activity and maximum utilization of substrate at optimized conditions, which are paving a way to process intensification and scale-down.

Keywords: pectinase, reverse micelles, soybean lecithin, selective partitioning

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28 Operation System for Aluminium-Air Cell: A Strategy to Harvest the Energy from Secondary Aluminium

Authors: Binbin Chen, Dennis Y. C. Leung


Aluminium (Al) -air cell holds a high volumetric capacity density of 8.05 Ah cm-3, benefit from the trivalence of Al ions. Additional benefits of Al-air cell are low price and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, the Al energy conversion process is characterized of 100% recyclability in theory. Along with a large base of raw material reserve, Al attracts considerable attentions as a promising material to be integrated within the global energy system. However, despite the early successful applications in military services, several problems exist that prevent the Al-air cells from widely civilian use. The most serious issue is the parasitic corrosion of Al when contacts with electrolyte. To overcome this problem, super-pure Al alloyed with various traces of metal elements are used to increase the corrosion resistance. Nevertheless, high-purity Al alloys are costly and require high energy consumption during production process. An alternative approach is to add inexpensive inhibitors directly into the electrolyte. However, such additives would increase the internal ohmic resistance and hamper the cell performance. So far these methods have not provided satisfactory solutions for the problem within Al-air cells. For the operation of alkaline Al-air cell, there are still other minor problems. One of them is the formation of aluminium hydroxide in the electrolyte. This process decreases ionic conductivity of electrolyte. Another one is the carbonation process within the gas diffusion layer of cathode, blocking the porosity of gas diffusion. Both these would hinder the performance of cells. The present work optimizes the above problems by building an Al-air cell operation system, consisting of four components. A top electrolyte tank containing fresh electrolyte is located at a high level, so that it can drive the electrolyte flow by gravity force. A mechanical rechargeable Al-air cell is fabricated with low-cost materials including low grade Al, carbon paper, and PMMA plates. An electrolyte waste tank with elaborate channel is designed to separate the hydrogen generated from the corrosion, which would be collected by gas collection device. In the first section of the research work, we investigated the performance of the mechanical rechargeable Al-air cell with a constant flow rate of electrolyte, to ensure the repeatability experiments. Then the whole system was assembled together and the feasibility of operating was demonstrated. During experiment, pure hydrogen is collected by collection device, which holds potential for various applications. By collecting this by-product, high utilization efficiency of aluminum is achieved. Considering both electricity and hydrogen generated, an overall utilization efficiency of around 90 % or even higher under different working voltages are achieved. Fluidic electrolyte could remove aluminum hydroxide precipitate and solve the electrolyte deterioration problem. This operation system provides a low-cost strategy for harvesting energy from the abundant secondary Al. The system could also be applied into other metal-air cells and is suitable for emergency power supply, power plant and other applications. The low cost feature implies great potential for commercialization. Further optimization, such as scaling up and optimization of fabrication, will help to refine the technology into practical market offerings.

Keywords: aluminium-air cell, high efficiency, hydrogen, mechanical recharge

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27 Preliminary Evaluation of Echinacea Species by UV-VIS Spectroscopy Fingerprinting of Phenolic Compounds

Authors: Elena Ionescu, Elena Iacob, Marie-Louise Ionescu, Carmen Elena Tebrencu, Oana Teodora Ciuperca


Echinacea species (Asteraceae) has received a global attention because it is widely used for treatment of cold, flu and upper respiratory tract infections. Echinacea species contain a great variety of chemical components that contribute to their activity. The most important components responsible for the biological activity are those with high molecular-weight such as polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, highly unsaturated alkamides and caffeic acid derivatives. The principal factors that may influence the chemical composition of Echinacea include the species and the part of plant used (aerial parts or roots ). In recent years the market for Echinacea has grown rapidly and also the cases of adultery/replacement especially for Echinacea root. The identification of presence or absence of same biomarkers provide information for safe use of Echinacea species in food supplements industry. The aim of the study was the preliminary evaluation and fingerprinting by UV-VISIBLE spectroscopy of biomarkers in terms of content in phenolic derivatives of some Echinacea species (E. purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida) for identification and authentication of the species. The steps of the study were: (1) samples (extracts) preparation from Echinacea species (non-hydrolyzed and hydrolyzed ethanol extracts); (2) samples preparation of reference substances (polyphenol acids: caftaric acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid; flavonoids: rutoside, hyperoside, isoquercitrin and their aglycones: quercitri, quercetol, luteolin, kaempferol and apigenin); (3) identification of specific absorption at wavelengths between 700-200 nm; (4) identify the phenolic compounds from Echinacea species based on spectral characteristics and the specific absorption; each class of compounds corresponds to a maximum absorption in the UV spectrum. The phytochemical compounds were identified at specific wavelengths between 700-200 nm. The absorption intensities were measured. The obtained results proved that ethanolic extract showed absorption peaks attributed to: phenolic compounds (free phenolic acids and phenolic acids derivatives) registrated between 220-280 nm, unsymmetrical chemical structure compounds (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid) with maximum absorption peak and absorption "shoulder" that may be due to substitution of hydroxyl or methoxy group, flavonoid compounds (in free form or glycosides) between 330-360 nm, due to the double bond in position 2,3 and carbonyl group in position 4 flavonols. UV spectra showed two major peaks of absorption (quercetin glycoside, rutin, etc.). The results obtained by UV-VIS spectroscopy has revealed the presence of phenolic derivatives such as cicoric acid (240 nm), caftaric acid (329 nm), caffeic acid (240 nm), rutoside (205 nm), quercetin (255 nm), luteolin (235 nm) in all three species of Echinacea. The echinacoside is absent. This profile mentioned above and the absence of phenolic compound echinacoside leads to the conclusion that species harvested as Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida are Echinacea purpurea also; It can be said that preliminary fingerprinting of Echinacea species through correspondence with the phenolic derivatives profile can be achieved by UV-VIS spectroscopic investigation, which is an adequate technique for preliminary identification and authentication of Echinacea in medicinal herbs.

Keywords: Echinacea species, Fingerprinting, Phenolic compounds, UV-VIS spectroscopy

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26 The Effect of Metabolites of Fusarium solani on the Activity of the PR-Proteins (Chitinase, β-1,3-Glucanase and Peroxidases) of Potato Tubers

Authors: A. K. Tursunova, O. V. Chebonenko, A. Zh. Amirkulova, A. O. Abaildayev, O. A. Sapko, Y. M. Dyo, A. Sh. Utarbaeva


Fusarium solani and its variants cause root and stem rot of plants. Dry rot is the most common disease of potato tubers during storage. The causative agents of fusariosis in contact with plants behave as antagonists, growth stimulants or parasites. The diversity of host-parasite relationships is explained by the parasite’s ability to produce a wide spectrum of biologically active compounds including toxins, enzymes, oligosaccharides, antibiotic substances, enniatins and gibberellins. Many of these metabolites contribute to the creation of compatible relations; others behave as elicitors, inducing various protective responses in plants. An important part of the strategy for developing plant resistance against pathogens is the activation of protein synthesis to produce protective ‘pathogenesis-related’ proteins. The family of PR-proteins known to confer the most protective response is chitinases (EC, Cht) and β-1,3-glucanases (EC, Glu). PR-proteins also include a large multigene family of peroxidases (EC, Pod), and increased activity of Pod and expression of the Pod genes leads to the development of resistance to a broad class of pathogens. Despite intensive research on the role of PR-proteins, the question of their participation in the mechanisms of formation of the F.solani–S.tuberosum pathosуstem is not sufficiently studied. Our aim was to investigate the effect of different classes of F. solani metabolites on the activity of chitinase, β-1,3-glucanases and peroxidases in tubers of Solanum tuberosum. Metabolite culture filtrate (CF) and cytoplasmic components were fractionated by extraction of the mycelium with organic solvents, salting out techniques, dialysis, column chromatography and ultrafiltration. Protein, lipid, carbohydrate and polyphenolic fractions of fungal metabolites were derived. Using enzymatic hydrolysis we obtained oligo glycans from fungal cell walls with different molecular weights. The activity of the metabolites was tested using potato tuber discs (d = 16mm, h = 5mm). The activity of PR-proteins of tubers was analyzed in a time course of 2–24 hours. The involvement of the analysed metabolites in the modulation of both early non-specific and late related to pathogenesis reactions was demonstrated. The most effective inducer was isolated from the CF (fraction of total phenolic compounds including naphtazarins). Induction of PR-activity by this fraction was: chitinase - 340-360%, glucanase - 435-450%, soluble forms of peroxidase - 400-560%, related forms of peroxidase - 215-237%. High-inducing activity was observed by the chloroform and acetonitrile extracts of the mycelium (induction of chitinase and glucanase activity was 176-240%, of soluble and bound forms of peroxidase - 190-400%). The fraction of oligo glycans mycelium cell walls of 1.2 kDa induced chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase to 239-320%; soluble forms and related peroxidase to 198-426%. Oligo glycans cell walls of 5-10 kDa had a weak suppressor effect - chitinase (21-25%) and glucanase (25-28%) activity; had no effect on soluble forms of peroxidase, but induced to 250-270% activity related forms. The CF polysaccharides of 8.5 kDa and 3.1 kDa inhibited synchronously the glucanase and chitinase specific response in step (after 24 hours at 42-50%) and the step response induced nonspecific peroxidase activity: soluble forms 4.8 -5.2 times, associated forms 1.4-1.6 times.

Keywords: fusarium solani, PR-proteins, peroxidase, solanum tuberosum

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25 Plasma Collagen XVIII in Response to Intensive Aerobic Running and Aqueous Extraction of Black Crataegus Elbursensis in Male Rats

Authors: A. Abdi, A. Abbasi Daloee, A. Barari


Aim: The adaptations that occur in human body after doing exercises training are a factor to help healthy people stay away from certain diseases. One of the main adaptations is a change in blood circulation, especially in vessels. The increase of capillary density is dependent on the balance between angiogenic and angiostatic factors. Most studies show that the changes made to angiogenic developmental factors resulted from physical exercises indicate the low level of stimulators compared with inhibitors. It is believed that the plasma level of VEGF-A, the important angiogenic factor, is reduced after physical exercise. Findings indicate that the extract of crataegus plant reduces the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) autophosphorylation in human's fibroblast. More importantly, crataegus (1 to 100 mg in liter) clearly leads to the inhibition of PDGFR autophosphorylation in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Angiogenesis is a process that can be classified into physiological and pathophysiological forms. collagen XVIII is a part of extracellular protein and heparan sulfate proteoglycans in vascular epithelial and endothelial basement membrane cause the release of endostatin from noncollagenous collagen XVIII. Endostatin inhibits the growth of endothelial cells, inhibits angiogenesis, weakens different types of cancer, and the growth of tumors. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of intensive aerobic running with or without aqueous extraction of black Crataegus elbursensis on Collagen XVIII in male rats. Design: Thirty-two Wistar male rats (4-6 weeks old, 125-135 gr weight) were acquired from the Pasteur's Institute (Amol, Mazandaran), and randomly assigned into control (n = 16) and training (n = 16) groups. Rats were further divided into saline-control (SC) (n=8), saline-training (ST) (n=8), crataegus pentaegyna extraction -control (CPEC) (n=8), and crataegus pentaegyna extraction - training (CPET) (n=8). The control (SC and CPEC) groups remained sedentary; whereas the training groups underwent a high running exercise program. plasma were excised and immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen. Statistical analysis was performed using a one way analysis of variance and Tukey test. Significance was accepted at P = 0.05. Results: The results show that aerobic exercise group had the highest concentration collagen XVIII compared to other groups and then respectively black crataegus, training-crataegus and control groups. Conclusion: In general, researchers in this study concluded that the increase of collagen XVIII (albeit insignificant) as a result of physical activity and consumption of black crataegus extract could possibly serve as a regional inhibitor of angiogenesis and another evidence for the anti-cancer effects of physical activities. Since the research has not managed in this study to measure the amount of plasma endostatin, it is suggested that both indices are measured with important angiogenic factors so that we can have a more accurate interpretation of changes to angiogenic and angiostatic factors resulted from physical exercises.

Keywords: aerobic running, Crataegus elbursensis, Collagen XVIII

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24 Potential of Polyphenols from Tamarix Gallica towards Common Pathological Features of Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Diseases

Authors: Asma Ben Hmidene, Mizuho Hanaki, Kazuma Murakami, Kazuhiro Irie, Hiroko Isoda, Hideyuki Shigemori


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized as a peripheral metabolic disorder and a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, respectively. It is now widely recognized that T2DM and AD share many pathophysiological features including glucose metabolism, increased oxidative stress and amyloid aggregation. Amyloid beta (Aβ) is the components of the amyloid deposits in the AD brain and while the component of the amyloidogenic peptide deposit in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans is identified as human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP). These two proteins are originated from the amyloid precursor protein and have a high sequence similarity. Although the amino acid sequences of amyloidogenic proteins are diverse, they all adopt a similar structure in aggregates called cross-beta-spine. Add at that, extensive studies in the past years have found that like Aβ1-42, IAPP forms early intermediate assemblies as spherical oligomers, implicating that these oligomers possess a common folding pattern or conformation. These similarities can be used in the search for effective pharmacotherapy for DM, since potent therapeutic agents such as antioxidants with a catechol moiety, proved to inhibit Aβ aggregation, may play a key role in the inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP treatment of patients with DM. Tamarix gallica is one of the halophyte species having a powerful antioxidant system. Although it was traditionally used for the treatment of various liver metabolic disorders, there is no report about the use of this plant for the treatment or prevention of T2DM and AD. Therefore, the aim of this work is to investigate their protective effect towards T2DM and AD by isolation and identification of α-glucosidase inhibitors, with antioxidant potential, that play an important role in the glucose metabolism in diabetic patient, as well as, the polymerization of hIAPP and Aβ aggregation inhibitors. Structure-activity relationship study was conducted for both assays. And as for α-glucosidase inhibitors, their mechanism of action and their synergistic potential when applied with a very low concentration of acarbose were also suggesting that they can be used not only as α-glucosidase inhibitors but also be combined with established α-glucosidase inhibitors to reduce their adverse effect. The antioxidant potential of the purified substances was evaluated by DPPH and SOD assays. Th-T assay using 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) for AD and hIAPP which is a 37-residue peptide secreted by the pancreatic β –cells for T2DM and Transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) were conducted to evaluate the amyloid aggragation of the actives substances. For α-glucosidase, p-NPG and glucose oxidase assays were performed for determining the inhibition potential and structure-activity relationship study. The Enzyme kinetic protocol was used to study the mechanism of action. From this research, it was concluded that polyphenols playing a role in the glucose metabolism and oxidative stress can also inhibit the amyloid aggregation, and that substances with a catechol and glucuronide moieties inhibiting amyloid-β aggregation, might be used to inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP.

Keywords: α-glucosidase inhibitors, amyloid aggregation inhibition, mechanism of action, polyphenols, structure activity relationship, synergistic potential, tamarix gallica

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23 Genomic and Proteomic Variability in Glycine Max Genotypes in Response to Salt Stress

Authors: Faheema Khan


To investigate the ability of sensitive and tolerant genotype of Glycine max to adapt to a saline environment in a field, we examined the growth performance, water relation and activities of antioxidant enzymes in relation to photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll a fluorescence, photosynthetic pigment concentration, protein and proline in plants exposed to salt stress. Ten soybean genotypes (Pusa-20, Pusa-40, Pusa-37, Pusa-16, Pusa-24, Pusa-22, BRAGG, PK-416, PK-1042, and DS-9712) were selected and grown hydroponically. After 3 days of proper germination, the seedlings were transferred to Hoagland’s solution (Hoagland and Arnon 1950). The growth chamber was maintained at a photosynthetic photon flux density of 430 μmol m−2 s−1, 14 h of light, 10 h of dark and a relative humidity of 60%. The nutrient solution was bubbled with sterile air and changed on alternate days. Ten-day-old seedlings were given seven levels of salt in the form of NaCl viz., T1 = 0 mM NaCl, T2=25 mM NaCl, T3=50 mM NaCl, T4=75 mM NaCl, T5=100 mM NaCl, T6=125 mM NaCl, T7=150 mM NaCl. The investigation showed that genotype Pusa-24, PK-416 and Pusa-20 appeared to be the most salt-sensitive. genotypes as inferred from their significantly reduced length, fresh weight and dry weight in response to the NaCl exposure. Pusa-37 appeared to be the most tolerant genotype since no significant effect of NaCl treatment on growth was found. We observed a greater decline in the photosynthetic variables like photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll content, in salt-sensitive (Pusa-24) genotype than in salt-tolerant Pusa-37 under high salinity. Numerous primers were verified on ten soybean genotypes obtained from Operon technologies among which 30 RAPD primers shown high polymorphism and genetic variation. The Jaccard’s similarity coefficient values for each pairwise comparison between cultivars were calculated and similarity coefficient matrix was constructed. The closer varieties in the cluster behaved similar in their response to salinity tolerance. Intra-clustering within the two clusters precisely grouped the 10 genotypes in sub-cluster as expected from their physiological findings.Salt tolerant genotype Pusa-37, was further analysed by 2-Dimensional gel electrophoresis to analyse the differential expression of proteins at high salt stress. In the Present study, 173 protein spots were identified. Of these, 40 proteins responsive to salinity were either up- or down-regulated in Pusa-37. Proteomic analysis in salt-tolerant genotype (Pusa-37) led to the detection of proteins involved in a variety of biological processes, such as protein synthesis (12 %), redox regulation (19 %), primary and secondary metabolism (25 %), or disease- and defence-related processes (32 %). In conclusion, the soybean plants in our study responded to salt stress by changing their protein expression pattern. The photosynthetic, biochemical and molecular study showed that there is variability in salt tolerance behaviour in soybean genotypes. Pusa-24 is the salt-sensitive and Pusa-37 is the salt-tolerant genotype. Moreover this study gives new insights into the salt-stress response in soybean and demonstrates the power of genomic and proteomic approach in plant biology studies which finally could help us in identifying the possible regulatory switches (gene/s) controlling the salt tolerant genotype of the crop plants and their possible role in defence mechanism.

Keywords: glycine max, salt stress, RAPD, genomic and proteomic variability

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22 Functional Traits and Agroecosystem Multifunctionality in Summer Cover Crop Mixtures and Monocultures

Authors: Etienne Herrick


As an economically and ecologically feasible method for farmers to introduce greater diversity into their crop rotations, cover cropping presents a valuable opportunity for improving the sustainability of food production. Planted in-between cash crop growing seasons, cover crops serve to enhance agroecosystem functioning, rather than being destined for sale or consumption. In fact, cover crops may hold the capacity to deliver multiple ecosystem functions or services simultaneously (multifunctionality). Building upon this line of research will not only benefit society at present, but also support its continued survival through its potential for restoring depleted soils and reducing the need for energy-intensive and harmful external inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. This study utilizes a trait-based approach to explore the influence of inter- and intra-specific interactions in summer cover crop mixtures and monocultures on functional trait expression and ecosystem services. Functional traits that enhance ecosystem services related to agricultural production include height, specific leaf area (SLA), root, shoot ratio, leaf C and N concentrations, and flowering phenology. Ecosystem services include biomass production, weed suppression, reduced N leaching, N recycling, and support of pollinators. Employing a trait-based approach may allow for the elucidation of mechanistic links between plant structure and resulting ecosystem service delivery. While relationships between some functional traits and the delivery of particular ecosystem services may be readily apparent through existing ecological knowledge (e.g. height positively correlating with weed suppression), this study will begin to quantify those relationships so as to gain further understanding of whether and how measurable variation in functional trait expression across cover crop mixtures and monocultures can serve as a reliable predictor of variation in the types and abundances of ecosystem services delivered. Six cover crop species, including legume, grass, and broadleaf functional types, were selected for growth in six mixtures and their component monocultures based upon the principle of trait complementarity. The tricultures (three-way mixtures) are comprised of a legume, grass, and broadleaf species, and include cowpea/sudex/buckwheat, sunnhemp/sudex/buckwheat, and chickling vetch/oat/buckwheat combinations; the dicultures contain the same legume and grass combinations as above, without the buckwheat broadleaf. By combining species with expectedly complimentary traits (for example, legumes are N suppliers and grasses are N acquirers, creating a nutrient cycling loop) the cover crop mixtures may elicit a broader range of ecosystem services than that provided by a monoculture, though trade-offs could exist. Collecting functional trait data will enable the investigation of the types of interactions driving these ecosystem service outcomes. It also allows for generalizability across a broader range of species than just those selected for this study, which may aid in informing further research efforts exploring species and ecosystem functioning, as well as on-farm management decisions.

Keywords: agroecology, cover crops, functional traits, multifunctionality, trait complementarity

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21 Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG: A Promising Green Chemistry to Manage Pest Complex in Bt Cotton

Authors: Siddharudha B. Patil


Cotton is a premier commercial fibre crop of India subjected to ravages of insect pests. Sucking pests viz thrips, Thrips tabaci,(lind) leaf hopper Amrsca devastance,(dist) miridbug, Poppiocapsidea beseratense (Dist) and bollworms continue to inflict damage Bt Cotton right from seeding stage. Their infestation impact cotton yield to an extent of 30-40 percent. Chemical control is still adoptable as one of the techniques for combating these pests. Presently, growers have many challenges in selecting effective chemicals which fit in with an integrated pest management. Spinetoram has broad spectrum with excellent insecticidal activity against both sucking pests and bollworms. Hence, it is expected to make a great contribution to stable production and quality improvement of agricultural products. Spinetoram is a derivative of biologically active substances (Spinosyns) produced by soil actinomycetes, Saccharopolypara spinosa which is semi synthetic active ingredient representing Spinosyn chemical class of insecticide and has demonstrated higher level of efficacy with reduced risk on beneficial arthropods. The efforts were made in the present study to test the efficacy of Spinetoram against sucking pests and bollworms in comparison with other insecticides in Bt Cotton under field condition. Field experiment was laid out during 2013-14 and 2014-15 at Agricultural Research station Dharwad (Karnataka-India) in a randomized block design comprising eight treatments and three replications. Bt cotton genotype, Bunny BG-II was sown in a plot size of 5.4 m x5.4 m. Recommend agronomical practices were followed. The Spinetoram 12% SC alone and incombination with sulfaxaflore with varied dosages against pest complex was tested. Performance was compared with Spinosad 45% SC and thiamethoxam 25% WG. The results of consecutive seasons revealed that nonsignificant difference in thrips and leafhopper population and varied significantly after 3 days of imposition. Among the treatments, combiproduct, Spinetoram 10%WG + Sulfoxaflor 30% [email protected] 140 gai/ha registered lowest population of thrips (3.91/3 leaves) and leaf hoppers (1.08/3 leaves) followed by its lower dosages viz 120 gai/ha (4.86/3 leaves and 1.14/3 leaves of thrips and leaf hoppers, respectively) and 100 gai/ha (6.02 and 1.23./3 leaves of thrips and leaf hoppers respectively) being at par, significantly superior to rest of the treatments. On the contrary, the population of thrips, leaf hopper and miridbugs in untreated control was on higher side. Similarly the higher dosage of Spinetoram 10% WG+ Sulfoxaflor 30% WG (140 gai/ha) proved its bioefficacy by registering lowest miridbug incidence of 1.70/25 squares, followed by its lower dosage (1.78 and 1.83/25 squares respectively) Further observation made on bollworms incidence revealed that the higher dosage of Spinetoram 10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG (140 gai/ha) registered lowest percentage of boll damage (7.22%), more number of good opened bolls (36.89/plant) and higher seed cotton yield (19.45q/ha) followed by rest of its lower dosages, Spinetoram 12% SC alone and Spinosad 45% SC being at par significantly superior to rest of the treatments. However, significantly higher boll damage (15.13%) and lower seed cotton yield (14.45 q/ha) was registered in untreated control. Thus Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG can be a promising option for pest management in Bt Cotton.

Keywords: Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG, sucking pests, bollworms, Bt cotton, management

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20 A Magnetic Hydrochar Nanocomposite as a Potential Adsorbent of Emerging Pollutants

Authors: Aura Alejandra Burbano Patino, Mariela Agotegaray, Veronica Lassalle, Fernanda Horst


Water pollution is of worldwide concern due to its importance as an essential resource for life. Industrial and urbanistic growth are anthropogenic activities that have caused an increase of undesirable compounds in water. In the last decade, emerging pollutants have become of great interest since, at very low concentrations (µg/L and ng/L), they exhibit a hazardous effect on wildlife, aquatic ecosystems, and human organisms. One group of emerging pollutants that are a matter of study are pharmaceuticals. Their high consumption rate and their inappropriate disposal have led to their detection in wastewater treatment plant influent, effluent, surface water, and drinking water. In consequence, numerous technologies have been developed to efficiently treat these pollutants. Adsorption appears like an easy and cost-effective technology. One of the most used adsorbents of emerging pollutants removal is carbon-based materials such as hydrochars. This study aims to use a magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite to be employed as an adsorbent for diclofenac removal. Kinetics models and the adsorption efficiency in real water samples were analyzed. For this purpose, a magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite was synthesized through the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) technique hybridized to co-precipitation to add the magnetic component into the hydrochar, based on iron oxide nanoparticles. The hydrochar was obtained from sunflower husk residue as the precursor. TEM, TGA, FTIR, Zeta potential as a function of pH, DLS, BET technique, and elemental analysis were employed to characterize the material in terms of composition and chemical structure. Adsorption kinetics were carried out in distilled water and real water at room temperature, pH of 5.5 for distilled water and natural pH for real water samples, 1:1 adsorbent: adsorbate dosage ratio, contact times from 10-120 minutes, and 50% dosage concentration of DCF. Results have demonstrated that magnetic hydrochar presents superparamagnetic properties with a saturation magnetization value of 55.28 emu/g. Besides, it is mesoporous with a surface area of 55.52 m²/g. It is composed of magnetite nanoparticles incorporated into the hydrochar matrix, as can be proven by TEM micrographs, FTIR spectra, and zeta potential. On the other hand, kinetic studies were carried out using DCF models, finding percent removal efficiencies up to 85.34% after 80 minutes of contact time. In addition, after 120 minutes of contact time, desorption of emerging pollutants from active sites took place, which indicated that the material got saturated after that t time. In real water samples, percent removal efficiencies decrease up to 57.39%, ascribable to a possible mechanism of competitive adsorption of organic or inorganic compounds, ions for active sites of the magnetic hydrochar. The main suggested adsorption mechanism between the magnetic hydrochar and diclofenac include hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions as well as hydrogen bonds. It can be concluded that the magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite could be valorized into a by-product which appears as an efficient adsorbent for DCF removal as a model emerging pollutant. These results are being complemented by modifying experimental variables such as pollutant’s initial concentration, adsorbent: adsorbate dosage ratio, and temperature. Currently, adsorption assays of other emerging pollutants are being been carried out.

Keywords: environmental remediation, emerging pollutants, hydrochar, magnetite nanoparticles

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19 Ecological Planning Method of Reclamation Area Based on Ecological Management of Spartina Alterniflora: A Case Study of Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County

Authors: Dong Yue, Hua Chen


The study region Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County, Ningbo City is located in the central coast of Zhejiang Province. Concerning the wave dispating issue, Ningbo government firstly introduced Spartina alterniflora in 1980s. In the 1990s, S. alterniflora spread so rapidly thus a ‘grassland’ in the sea has been created nowadays. It has become the most important invasive plant of China’s coastal tidal flats. Although S. alterniflora had some ecological and economic functions, it has also brought series of hazards. It has ecological hazards on many aspects, including biomass and biodiversity, hydrodynamic force and sedimentation process, nutrient cycling of tidal flat, succession sequence of soil and plants and so on. On engineering, it courses problems of poor drainage and channel blocking. On economy, the hazard mainly reflected in the threat on aquaculture industry. The purpose of this study is to explore an ecological, feasible and economical way to manage Spartina alterniflora and use the land formed by it, taking Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County as a case. Comparison method, mathematical modeling, qualitative and quantitative analysis are utilized to proceed the study. Main outcomes are as follows. By comparing a series of S. alterniflora managing methods which include the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation, waterlogging, herbicide and biological substitution from three standpoints – ecology, engineering and economy. It is inferred that the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation is among the top rank of S. alternifora managing methods. The combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation means using large-scale mechanical equipment like large screw seagoing dredger to excavate the S. alterniflora with root and mud together. Then the mix of mud and grass was blown off nearby coastal tidal zone transported by pipelines, which can cushion the silt of tidal zone to form a land. However, as man-made land by coast, the reclamation area’s ecological sensitivity is quite high and will face high possibility of flood threat. Therefore, the reclamation area has many reasonability requirements, including ones on location, specific scope, water surface rate, direction of main watercourse, site of water-gate, the ratio of ecological land to urban construction land. These requirements all became important basis when the planning was being made. The water system planning, green space system planning, road structure and land use all need to accommodate the ecological requests. Besides, the profits from the formed land is the managing project’s source of funding, so how to utilize land efficiently is another considered point in the planning. It is concluded that by aiming at managing a large area of S. alterniflora, the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation is an ecological, feasible and economical method. The planning of reclamation area should fully respect the natural environment and possible disasters. Then the planning which makes land use efficient, reasonable, ecological will promote the development of the area’s city construction.

Keywords: ecological management, ecological planning method, reclamation area, Spartina alternifora, Xihu harbor

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18 Bio-Hub Ecosystems: Expansion of Traditional Life Cycle Analysis Metrics to Include Zero-Waste Circularity Measures

Authors: Kimberly Samaha


In order to attract new types of investors into the emerging Bio-Economy, a new set of metrics and measurement system is needed to better quantify the environmental, social and economic impacts of circular zero-waste design. The Bio-Hub Ecosystem model was developed to address a critical area of concern within the global energy market regarding the use of biomass as a feedstock for power plants. Lack of an economically-viable business model for bioenergy facilities has resulted in the continuation of idled and decommissioned plants. In particular, the forestry-based plants which have been an invaluable outlet for woody biomass surplus, forest health improvement, timber production enhancement, and especially reduction of wildfire risk. This study looked at repurposing existing biomass-energy plants into Circular Zero-Waste Bio-Hub Ecosystems. A Bio-Hub model that first targets a ‘whole-tree’ approach and then looks at the circular economics of co-hosting diverse industries (wood processing, aquaculture, agriculture) in the vicinity of the Biomass Power Plants facilities. It proposes not only models for integration of forestry, aquaculture, and agriculture in cradle-to-cradle linkages of what have typically been linear systems, but the proposal also allows for the early measurement of the circularity and impact of resource use and investment risk mitigation, for these systems. Typically, life cycle analyses measure environmental impacts of different industrial production stages and are not integrated with indicators of material use circularity. This concept paper proposes the further development of a new set of metrics that would illustrate not only the typical life-cycle analysis (LCA), which shows the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also the zero-waste circularity measures of mass balance of the full value chain of the raw material and energy content/caloric value. These new measures quantify key impacts in making hyper-efficient use of natural resources and eliminating waste to landfills. The project utilized traditional LCA using the GREET model where the standalone biomass energy plant case was contrasted with the integration of a jet-fuel biorefinery. The methodology was then expanded to include combinations of co-hosts that optimize the life cycle of woody biomass from tree to energy, CO₂, heat and wood ash both from an energy/caloric value and for mass balance to include reuse of waste streams which are typically landfilled. The major findings of both a formal LCA study resulted in the masterplan for the first Bio-Hub to be built in West Enfield, Maine. Bioenergy facilities are currently at a critical juncture where they have an opportunity to be repurposed into efficient, profitable and socially responsible investments, or be idled and scrapped. If proven as a model, the expedited roll-out of these innovative scenarios can set a new standard for circular zero-waste projects that advance the critical transition from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ paradigm inherent in the energy, forestry and food industries to a more sustainable bio-economy paradigm where waste streams become valuable inputs, supporting local and rural communities in simple, sustainable ways.

Keywords: bio-economy, biomass energy, financing, metrics

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17 The Impact of Riparian Alien Plant Removal on Aquatic Invertebrate Communities in the Upper Reaches of Luvuvhu River Catchment, Limpopo Province

Authors: Rifilwe Victor Modiba, Stefan Hendric Foord


Alien invasive plants (IAP’s) have considerable negative impacts on freshwater habitats and South Africa has implemented an innovative Work for Water (WfW) programme for the systematic removal of these plants aimed at, amongst other objectives, restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services in these threatened habitats. These restoration processes are expensive and have to be evidence-based. In this study in-stream macroinvertebrate and adult Odonata assemblages were used as indicators of restoration success by quantifying the response of biodiversity metrics for these two groups to the removal of IAP’s in a strategic water resource of South Africa that is extensively invaded by invasive alien plants (IAP’s). The study consisted of a replicated design that included 45 sampling units, viz. 15 invaded, 15 uninvaded and 15 cleared sites stratified across the upper reaches of six sub-catchments of the Luvuvhu river catchment, Limpopo Province. Cleared sites were only considered if they received at least two WfW treatments in the last 3 years. The Benthic macroinvertebrate and adult Odonate assemblages in each of these sampling were surveyed from between November and March, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 respectively. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) with a log link function and Poisson error distribution were done for metrics (invaded, cleared, and uninvaded) whose residuals were not normally distributed or had unequal variance and for abundance. RDA was done for EPTO genera (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata) and adult Odonata species abundance. GLM was done to for the abundance of Genera and Odonates that had the association with the RDA environmental factors. Sixty four benthic macroinvertebrate families, 57 EPTO genera, and 45 adult Odonata species were recorded across all 45 sampling units. There was no significant difference between the SASS5 total score, ASPT, and family richness of the three invasion classes. Although clearing only had a weak positive effect on the adult Odonate species richness it had a positive impact on DBI scores. These differences were mainly the result of significantly larger DBI scores in the cleared sites as compared to the invaded sites. Results suggest that water quality is positively impacted by repeated clearing pointing to the importance of follow up procedures after initial clearing. Adult Odonate diversity as measured by richness, endemicity, threat and distribution respond positively to all forms of the clearing. The clearing had a significant impact on Odonate assemblage structure but did not affect EPTO structure. Variation partitioning showed that 21.8% of the variation in EPTO assemblage can be explained by spatial and environmental variables, 16% of the variation in Odonate structure was explained by spatial and environmental variables. The response of the diversity metrics to clearing increased in significance at finer taxonomic resolutions, particularly of adult Odonates whose metrics significantly improved with clearing and whose structure responded to both invasion and clearing. The study recommends the use of DBI for surveying river health when hydraulic biotopes are poor.

Keywords: DBI, evidence-based conservation, EPTO, macroinvetebrates

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16 Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain

Authors: Raquel Dafouz Neus Cáceres, Javier Fernandez-Rubio, Belinda Huerta José Luis Rodríguez-Gil, Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló, Yolanda Valcárcel


The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.

Keywords: drug of abuse, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, environmental risk, seawater

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15 A Two-Step, Temperature-Staged, Direct Coal Liquefaction Process

Authors: Reyna Singh, David Lokhat, Milan Carsky


The world crude oil demand is projected to rise to 108.5 million bbl/d by the year 2035. With reserves estimated at 869 billion tonnes worldwide, coal is an abundant resource. This work was aimed at producing a high value hydrocarbon liquid product from the Direct Coal Liquefaction (DCL) process at, comparatively, mild operating conditions. Via hydrogenation, the temperature-staged approach was investigated. In a two reactor lab-scale pilot plant facility, the objectives included maximising thermal dissolution of the coal in the presence of a hydrogen donor solvent in the first stage, subsequently promoting hydrogen saturation and hydrodesulphurization (HDS) performance in the second. The feed slurry consisted of high grade, pulverized bituminous coal on a moisture-free basis with a size fraction of < 100μm; and Tetralin mixed in 2:1 and 3:1 solvent/coal ratios. Magnetite (Fe3O4) at 0.25wt% of the dry coal feed was added for the catalysed runs. For both stages, hydrogen gas was used to maintain a system pressure of 100barg. In the first stage, temperatures of 250℃ and 300℃, reaction times of 30 and 60 minutes were investigated in an agitated batch reactor. The first stage liquid product was pumped into the second stage vertical reactor, which was designed to counter-currently contact the hydrogen rich gas stream and incoming liquid flow in the fixed catalyst bed. Two commercial hydrotreating catalysts; Cobalt-Molybdenum (CoMo) and Nickel-Molybdenum (NiMo); were compared in terms of their conversion, selectivity and HDS performance at temperatures 50℃ higher than the respective first stage tests. The catalysts were activated at 300°C with a hydrogen flowrate of approximately 10 ml/min prior to the testing. A gas-liquid separator at the outlet of the reactor ensured that the gas was exhausted to the online VARIOplus gas analyser. The liquid was collected and sampled for analysis using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Internal standard quantification methods for the sulphur content, the BTX (benzene, toluene, and xylene) and alkene quality; alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds in the liquid products were guided by ASTM standards of practice for hydrocarbon analysis. In the first stage, using a 2:1 solvent/coal ratio, an increased coal to liquid conversion was favoured by a lower operating temperature of 250℃, 60 minutes and a system catalysed by magnetite. Tetralin functioned effectively as the hydrogen donor solvent. A 3:1 ratio favoured increased concentrations of the long chain alkanes undecane and dodecane, unsaturated alkenes octene and nonene and PAH compounds such as indene. The second stage product distribution showed an increase in the BTX quality of the liquid product, branched chain alkanes and a reduction in the sulphur concentration. As an HDS performer and selectivity to the production of long and branched chain alkanes, NiMo performed better than CoMo. CoMo is selective to a higher concentration of cyclohexane. For 16 days on stream each, NiMo had a higher activity than CoMo. The potential to cover the demand for low–sulphur, crude diesel and solvents from the production of high value hydrocarbon liquid in the said process, is thus demonstrated.

Keywords: catalyst, coal, liquefaction, temperature-staged

Procedia PDF Downloads 537
14 Sea Level Rise and Sediment Supply Explain Large-Scale Patterns of Saltmarsh Expansion and Erosion

Authors: Cai J. T. Ladd, Mollie F. Duggan-Edwards, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Jordi F. Pages, Martin W. Skov


Salt marshes are valued for their role in coastal flood protection, carbon storage, and for supporting biodiverse ecosystems. As a biogeomorphic landscape, marshes evolve through the complex interactions between sea level rise, sediment supply and wave/current forcing, as well as and socio-economic factors. Climate change and direct human modification could lead to a global decline marsh extent if left unchecked. Whilst the processes of saltmarsh erosion and expansion are well understood, empirical evidence on the key drivers of long-term lateral marsh dynamics is lacking. In a GIS, saltmarsh areal extent in 25 estuaries across Great Britain was calculated from historical maps and aerial photographs, at intervals of approximately 30 years between 1846 and 2016. Data on the key perceived drivers of lateral marsh change (namely sea level rise rates, suspended sediment concentration, bedload sediment flux rates, and frequency of both river flood and storm events) were collated from national monitoring centres. Continuous datasets did not extend beyond 1970, therefore predictor variables that best explained rate change of marsh extent between 1970 and 2016 was calculated using a Partial Least Squares Regression model. Information about the spread of Spartina anglica (an invasive marsh plant responsible for marsh expansion around the globe) and coastal engineering works that may have impacted on marsh extent, were also recorded from historical documents and their impacts assessed on long-term, large-scale marsh extent change. Results showed that salt marshes in the northern regions of Great Britain expanded an average of 2.0 ha/yr, whilst marshes in the south eroded an average of -5.3 ha/yr. Spartina invasion and coastal engineering works could not explain these trends since a trend of either expansion or erosion preceded these events. Results from the Partial Least Squares Regression model indicated that the rate of relative sea level rise (RSLR) and availability of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) best explained the patterns of marsh change. RSLR increased from 1.6 to 2.8 mm/yr, as SSC decreased from 404.2 to 78.56 mg/l along the north-to-south gradient of Great Britain, resulting in the shift from marsh expansion to erosion. Regional differences in RSLR and SSC are due to isostatic rebound since deglaciation, and tidal amplitudes respectively. Marshes exposed to low RSLR and high SSC likely leads to sediment accumulation at the coast suitable for colonisation by marsh plants and thus lateral expansion. In contrast, high RSLR with are likely not offset deposition under low SSC, thus average water depth at the marsh edge increases, allowing larger wind-waves to trigger marsh erosion. Current global declines in sediment flux to the coast are likely to diminish the resilience of salt marshes to RSLR. Monitoring and managing suspended sediment supply is not common-place, but may be critical to mitigating coastal impacts from climate change.

Keywords: lateral saltmarsh dynamics, sea level rise, sediment supply, wave forcing

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13 Exploring Managerial Approaches towards Green Manufacturing: A Thematic Analysis

Authors: Hakimeh Masoudigavgani


Since manufacturing firms deplete non-renewable resources and pollute air, soil, and water in greatly unsustainable manner, industrial activities or production of products are considered to be a key contributor to adverse environmental impacts. Hence, management strategies and approaches that involve an effective supply chain decision process in a manufacturing sector could be extremely significant to the application of environmental initiatives. Green manufacturing (GM) is one of these strategies which minimises negative effects on the environment through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and the consumption of energy and natural resources. This paper aims to explore what greening methods and mechanisms could be applied in the manufacturing supply chain and what are the outcomes of adopting these methods in terms of abating environmental burdens? The study is an interpretive research with an exploratory approach, using thematic analysis by coding text, breaking down and grouping the content of collected literature into various themes and categories. It is found that green supply chain could be attained through execution of some pre-production strategies including green building, eco-design, and green procurement as well as a number of in-production and post-production strategies involving green manufacturing and green logistics. To achieve an effective GM, the pre-production strategies are suggested to be employed. This paper defines GM as (1) the analysis of the ecological impacts generated by practices, products, production processes, and operational functions, and (2) the implementation of greening methods to reduce damaging influences of them on the natural environment. Analysis means assessing, monitoring, and auditing of practices in order to measure and pinpoint their harmful impacts. Moreover, greening methods involved within GM (arranged in order from the least to the most level of environmental compliance and techniques) consist of: •product stewardship (e.g. less use of toxic, non-renewable, and hazardous materials in the manufacture of the product; and stewardship of the environmental problems with regard to the product in all production, use, and end-of-life stages); •process stewardship (e.g. controlling carbon emission, energy and resources usage, transportation method, and disposal; reengineering polluting processes; recycling waste materials generated in production); •lean and clean production practices (e.g. elimination of waste, materials replacement, materials reduction, resource-efficient consumption, energy-efficient usage, emission reduction, managerial assessment, waste re-use); •use of eco-industrial parks (e.g. a shared warehouse, shared logistics management system, energy co-generation plant, effluent treatment). However, the focus of this paper is only on methods related to the in-production phase and needs further research on both pre-production and post-production environmental innovations. The outlined methods in this investigation may possibly be taken into account by policy/decision makers. Additionally, the proposed future research direction and identified gaps can be filled by scholars and researchers. The paper compares and contrasts a variety of viewpoints and enhances the body of knowledge by building a definition for GM through synthesising literature and categorising the strategic concept of greening methods, drivers, barriers, and successful implementing tactics.

Keywords: green manufacturing (GM), product stewardship, process stewardship, clean production, eco-industrial parks (EIPs)

Procedia PDF Downloads 486
12 Multilocus Phylogenetic Approach Reveals Informative DNA Barcodes for Studying Evolution and Taxonomy of Fusarium Fungi

Authors: Alexander A. Stakheev, Larisa V. Samokhvalova, Sergey K. Zavriev


Fusarium fungi are among the most devastating plant pathogens distributed all over the world. Significant reduction of grain yield and quality caused by Fusarium leads to multi-billion dollar annual losses to the world agricultural production. These organisms can also cause infections in immunocompromised persons and produce the wide range of mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes, fumonisins, and zearalenone, which are hazardous to human and animal health. Identification of Fusarium fungi based on the morphology of spores and spore-forming structures, colony color and appearance on specific culture media is often very complicated due to the high similarity of these features for closely related species. Modern Fusarium taxonomy increasingly uses data of crossing experiments (biological species concept) and genetic polymorphism analysis (phylogenetic species concept). A number of novel Fusarium sibling species has been established using DNA barcoding techniques. Species recognition is best made with the combined phylogeny of intron-rich protein coding genes and ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the internal transcribed spacer of (ITS), which is considered to be universal DNA barcode for Fungi, is not suitable for genus Fusarium, because of its insufficient variability between closely related species and the presence of non-orthologous copies in the genome. Nowadays, the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (TEF1α) gene is the “gold standard” of Fusarium taxonomy, but the search for novel informative markers is still needed. In this study, we used two novel DNA markers, frataxin (FXN) and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) to discover phylogenetic relationships between Fusarium species. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of TEF1α, FXN, HSP90, as well as intergenic spacer of ribosomal DNA (IGS), beta-tubulin (β-TUB) and phosphate permease (PHO) genes has been conducted for 120 isolates of 19 Fusarium species from different climatic zones of Russia and neighboring countries using maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum parsimony (MP) algorithms. Our analyses revealed that FXN and HSP90 genes could be considered as informative phylogenetic markers, suitable for evolutionary and taxonomic studies of Fusarium genus. It has been shown that PHO gene possesses more variable (22 %) and parsimony informative (19 %) characters than other markers, including TEF1α (12 % and 9 %, correspondingly) when used for elucidating phylogenetic relationships between F. avenaceum and its closest relatives – F. tricinctum, F. acuminatum, F. torulosum. Application of novel DNA barcodes confirmed the fact that F. arthrosporioides do not represent a separate species but only a subspecies of F. avenaceum. Phylogeny based on partial PHO and FXN sequences revealed the presence of separate cluster of four F. avenaceum strains which were closer to F. torulosum than to major F. avenaceum clade. The strain F-846 from Moldova, morphologically identified as F. poae, formed a separate lineage in all the constructed dendrograms, and could potentially be considered as a separate species, but more information is needed to confirm this conclusion. Variable sites in PHO sequences were used for the first-time development of specific qPCR-based diagnostic assays for F. acuminatum and F. torulosum. This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant № 15-29-02527).

Keywords: DNA barcode, fusarium, identification, phylogenetics, taxonomy

Procedia PDF Downloads 214
11 Essential Oils of Polygonum L. Plants Growing in Kazakhstan and Their Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity

Authors: Dmitry Yu. Korulkin, Raissa A. Muzychkina


Bioactive substances of plant origin can be one of the advanced means of solution to the issue of combined therapy to inflammation. The main advantages of medical plants are softness and width of their therapeutic effect on an organism, the absence of side effects and complications even if the used continuously, high tolerability by patients. Moreover, medial plants are often the only and (or) cost-effective sources of natural biologically active substances and medicines. Along with other biologically active groups of chemical compounds, essential oils with wide range of pharmacological effects became very ingrained in medical practice. Essential oil was obtained by the method hydrodistillation air-dry aerial part of Polygonum L. plants using Clevenger apparatus. Qualitative composition of essential oils was analyzed by chromatography-mass-spectrometry method using Agilent 6890N apparatus. The qualitative analysis is based on the comparison of retention time and full mass-spectra with respective data on components of reference oils and pure compounds, if there were any, and with the data of libraries of mass-spectra Wiley 7th edition and NIST 02. The main components of essential oil are for: Polygonum amphibium L. - γ-terpinene, borneol, piperitol, 1,8-cyneole, α-pinene, linalool, terpinolene and sabinene; Polygonum minus Huds. Fl. Angl. – linalool, terpinolene, camphene, borneol, 1,8-cyneole, α-pinene, 4-terpineol and 1-octen-3-ol; Polygonum alpinum All. – camphene, sabinene, 1-octen-3-ol, 4-carene, p- and o-cymol, γ-terpinene, borneol, -terpineol; Polygonum persicaria L. - α-pinene, sabinene, -terpinene, 4-carene, 1,8-cyneole, borneol, 4-terpineol. Antibacterial activity was researched relating to strains of gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus agalacticae, relating to gram-negative strain Escherichia coli and to yeast fungus Сandida albicans using agar diffusion method. The medicines of comparison were gentamicin for bacteria and nystatin for yeast fungus Сandida albicans. It has been shown that Polygonum L. essential oils has moderate antibacterial effect to gram-positive microorganisms and weak antifungal activity to Candida albicans yeast fungus. At the second stage of our researches wound healing properties of ointment form of 3% essential oil was researched on the model of flat dermal wounds. To assess the influence of essential oil on healing processes the model of flat dermal wound. The speed of wound healing on rats of different groups was judged based on assessment the area of a wound from time to time. During research of wound healing properties disturbance of integral in neither group: general condition and behavior of animals, food intake, and excretion. Wound healing action of 3% ointment on base of Polygonum L. essential oil and polyethyleneglycol is comparable with the action of reference substances. As more favorable healing dynamics was observed in the experimental group than in control group, the tested ointment can be deemed more promising for further detailed study as wound healing means.

Keywords: antibacterial, antifungal, bioactive substances, essential oils, isolation, Polygonum L.

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10 Accumulation of Trace Metals in Leaf Vegetables Cultivated in High Traffic Areas in Ghent, Belgium

Authors: Veronique Troch, Wouter Van der Borght, Véronique De Bleeker, Bram Marynissen, Nathan Van der Eecken, Gijs Du Laing


Among the challenges associated with increased urban food production are health risks from food contamination, due to the higher pollution loads in urban areas, compared to rural sites. Therefore, the risks posed by industrial or traffic pollution of locally grown food, was defined as one of five high-priority issues of urban agriculture requiring further investigation. The impact of air pollution on urban horticulture is the subject of this study. More particular, this study focuses on the atmospheric deposition of trace metals on leaf vegetables cultivated in the city of Ghent, Belgium. Ghent is a particularly interesting study site as it actively promotes urban agriculture. Plants accumulate heavy metals by absorption from contaminated soils and through deposition on parts exposed to polluted air. Accumulation of trace metals in vegetation grown near roads has been shown to be significantly higher than those grown in rural areas due to traffic-related contaminants in the air. Studies of vegetables demonstrated, that the uptake and accumulation of trace metals differed among crop type, species, and among plant parts. Studies on vegetables and fruit trees in Berlin, Germany, revealed significant differences in trace metal concentrations depending on local traffic, crop species, planting style and parameters related to barriers between sampling site and neighboring roads. This study aims to supplement this scarce research on heavy metal accumulation in urban horticulture. Samples from leaf vegetables were collected from different sites, including allotment gardens, in Ghent. Trace metal contents on these leaf vegetables were analyzed by ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). In addition, precipitation on each sampling site was collected by NILU-type bulk collectors and similarly analyzed for trace metals. On one sampling site, different parameters which might influence trace metal content in leaf vegetables were analyzed in detail. These parameters are distance of planting site to the nearest road, barriers between planting site and nearest road, and type of leaf vegetable. For comparison, a rural site, located farther from city traffic and industrial pollution, was included in this study. Preliminary results show that there is a high correlation between trace metal content in the atmospheric deposition and trace metal content in leaf vegetables. Moreover, a significant higher Pb, Cu and Fe concentration was found on spinach collected from Ghent, compared to spinach collected from a rural site. The distance of planting site to the nearest road significantly affected the accumulation of Pb, Cu, Mo and Fe on spinach. Concentrations of those elements on spinach increased with decreasing distance between planting site and the nearest road. Preliminary results did not show a significant effect of barriers between planting site and the nearest road on accumulation of trace metals on leaf vegetables. The overall goal of this study is to complete and refine existing guidelines for urban gardening to exclude potential health risks from food contamination. Accordingly, this information can help city governments and civil society in the professionalization and sustainable development of urban agriculture.

Keywords: atmospheric deposition, leaf vegetables, trace metals, traffic pollution, urban agriculture

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9 An Impact Assesment of Festive Events on Sustainable Cultural Heritage: İdrisyayla Village

Authors: Betül Gelengül Eki̇mci̇, Semra Günay Aktaş


Festive, habitual activities celebrated on the specified date by a local community, are conducive to recognition of the region. The main function of festive events is to help gathering people via an annual celebration to create an atmosphere of understanding and the opportunity to participate in the joy of life. At the same time, festive events may serve as special occasions on which immigrants return home to celebrate with their family and community, reaffirming their identity and link to the community’s traditions. Festivals also support the local economy by bringing in different visitors to the region. The tradition of “Beet Brewing-Molasses Production,” which is held in İdrisyayla Village is an intangible cultural heritage with customs, traditions, and rituals carrying impacts of cuisine culture of Rumelian immigrants in the Ottoman. After the harvest of the beet plant in the autumn season of the year, Beet Brewing Molasses syrup is made by traditional production methods with co-op of the local community. Festive occurring brewing paste made process provided transmission of knowledge and experience to the young generations. Making molasses, which is a laborious process, is accompanied by folk games such as "sayacı," which is vital element of the festive performed in İdrisyayla. Performance provides enjoyable time and supporting motivation. Like other forms of intangible cultural heritage, “Beet Brewing-Molasses Festive in İdrasyayla is threatened by rapid urbanisation, young generation migration, industrialisation and environmental change. The festive events are threatened with gradual disappearance due to changes communities undergo in modern societies because it depends on the broad participation of practitioners. Ensuring the continuity of festive events often requires the mobilization of large numbers of individuals and the social, political and legal institutions and mechanisms of society. In 2015, Intangible cultural heritage research project with the title of "İdrisyayla Molasses Process" managed by the Eskişehir Governorship, City Directorate of Culture and Tourism and Anadolu University, project members took part in the festival organization to promote sustainability, making it visible, to encourage the broadest public participation possible, to ensure public awareness on the cultural importance. To preserve the originality of and encourage participation in the festive İdrisyayla, local associations, researchers and institutions created foundation and supports festive events, such as "sayacı" folk game, which is vital element of the festive performed in İdrisyayla. Practitioners find new opportunity to market İdrisyayla Molasses production. Publicity program through the press and exhibition made it possible to stress the cultural importance of the festive in İdrisyayla Village. The research reported here used a survey analysis to evaluate an affect of the festive after the spirit of the 2015 Festive in İdrisyayla Village. Particular attention was paid to the importance of the cultural aspects of the festival. Based on a survey of more than a hundred festival attendees, several recommendations are made to festival planners. Results indicate that the variety of festive activities and products offered for sale very important to attendees. The local participants care product sales rather than cultural heritage.

Keywords: agritourism, cultural tourism, festival, sustainable cultural heritage

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8 Salicornia bigelovii, a Promising Halophyte for Biosaline Agriculture: Lessons Learned from a 4-Year Field Study in United Arab Emirates

Authors: Dionyssia Lyra, Shoaib Ismail


Salinization of natural resources constitutes a significant component of the degradation force that leads to depletion of productive lands and fresh water reserves. The global extent of salt-affected soils is approximately 7% of the earth’s land surface and is expanding. The problems of excessive salt accumulation are most widespread in coastal, arid and semi-arid regions, where agricultural production is substantially hindered. The use of crops that can withstand high saline conditions is extremely interesting in such a context. Salt-loving plants or else ‘halophytes’ thrive when grown in hostile saline conditions, where traditional crops cannot survive. Salicornia bigelovii, a halophytic crop with multiple uses (vegetable, forage, biofuel), has demonstrated remarkable adaptability to harsh climatic conditions prevailing in dry areas with great potential for its expansion. Since 2011, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) with Masdar Institute (MI) and King Abdul Aziz University of Science & Technology (KAUST) to look into the potential for growing S. bigelovii under hot and dry conditions. Through the projects undertaken, 50 different S. bigelovii genotypes were assessed under high saline conditions. The overall goal was to select the best performing S. bigelovii populations in terms of seed and biomass production for future breeding. Specific objectives included: 1) evaluation of selected S. bigelovii genotypes for various agronomic and growth parameters under field conditions, 2) seed multiplication of S. bigelovii using saline groundwater and 3) acquisition of inbred lines for further breeding. Field trials were conducted for four consecutive years at ICBA headquarters. During the first year, one Salicornia population was evaluated for seed and biomass production at different salinity levels, fertilizer treatments and planting methods. All growth parameters and biomass productivity for the salicornia population showed better performance with optimal biomass production in terms of both salinity level and fertilizer application. During the second year, 46 Salicornia populations (obtained from KAUST and Masdar Institute) were evaluated for 24 growth parameters and treated with groundwater through drip irrigation. The plant material originated from wild collections. Six populations were also assessed for their growth performance under full-strength seawater. Salicornia populations were highly variable for all characteristics under study for both irrigation treatments, indicating that there is a large pool of genetic information available for breeding. Irrigation with the highest level of salinity had a negative impact on the agronomic performance. The maximum seed yield obtained was 2 t/ha at 20 dS/m (groundwater treatment) at 25 cm x 25 cm planting distance. The best performing Salicornia populations for fresh biomass and seed yield were selected for the following season. After continuous selection, the best performing salicornia will be adopted for scaling-up options. Taking into account the results of the production field trials, salicornia expansion will be targeted in coastal areas of the Arabian Peninsula. As a crop with high biofuel and forage potential, its cultivation can improve the livelihood of local farmers.

Keywords: biosaline agriculture, genotypes selection, halophytes, Salicornia bigelovii

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7 Expanded Polyurethane Foams and Waterborne-Polyurethanes from Vegetable Oils

Authors: A.Cifarelli, L. Boggioni, F. Bertini, L. Magon, M. Pitalieri, S. Losio


Nowadays, the growing environmental awareness and the dwindling of fossil resources stimulate the polyurethane (PU) industry towards renewable polymers with low carbon footprint to replace the feed stocks from petroleum sources. The main challenge in this field consists in replacing high-performance products from fossil-fuel with novel synthetic polymers derived from 'green monomers'. The bio-polyols from plant oils have attracted significant industrial interest and major attention in scientific research due to their availability and biodegradability. Triglycerides rich in unsaturated fatty acids, such as soybean oil (SBO) and linseed oil (ELO), are particularly interesting because their structures and functionalities are tunable by chemical modification in order to obtain polymeric materials with expected final properties. Unfortunately, their use is still limited for processing or performance problems because a high functionality, as well as OH number of the polyols will result in an increase in cross-linking densities of the resulting PUs. The main aim of this study is to evaluate soy and linseed-based polyols as precursors to prepare prepolymers for the production of polyurethane foams (PUFs) or waterborne-polyurethanes (WPU) used as coatings. An effective reaction route is employed for its simplicity and economic impact. Indeed, bio-polyols were synthesized by a two-step method: epoxidation of the double bonds in vegetable oils and solvent-free ring-opening reaction of the oxirane with organic acids. No organic solvents have been used. Acids with different moieties (aliphatic or aromatics) and different length of hydrocarbon backbones can be used to customize polyols with different functionalities. The ring-opening reaction requires a fine tuning of the experimental conditions (time, temperature, molar ratio of carboxylic acid and epoxy group) to control the acidity value of end-product as well as the amount of residual starting materials. Besides, a Lewis base catalyst is used to favor the ring opening reaction of internal epoxy groups of the epoxidized oil and minimize the formation of cross-linked structures in order to achieve less viscous and more processable polyols with narrower polydispersity indices (molecular weight lower than 2000 g/mol⁻¹). The functionality of optimized polyols is tuned from 2 to 4 per molecule. The obtained polyols are characterized by means of GPC, NMR (¹H, ¹³C) and FT-IR spectroscopy to evaluate molecular masses, molecular mass distributions, microstructures and linkage pathways. Several polyurethane foams have been prepared by prepolymer method blending conventional synthetic polyols with new bio-polyols from soybean and linseed oils without using organic solvents. The compatibility of such bio-polyols with commercial polyols and diisocyanates is demonstrated. The influence of the bio-polyols on the foam morphology (cellular structure, interconnectivity), density, mechanical and thermal properties has been studied. Moreover, bio-based WPUs have been synthesized by well-established processing technology. In this synthesis, a portion of commercial polyols is substituted by the new bio-polyols and the properties of the coatings on leather substrates have been evaluated to determine coating hardness, abrasion resistance, impact resistance, gloss, chemical resistance, flammability, durability, and adhesive strength.

Keywords: bio-polyols, polyurethane foams, solvent free synthesis, waterborne-polyurethanes

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6 A Case Study Report on Acoustic Impact Assessment and Mitigation of the Hyprob Research Plant

Authors: D. Bianco, A. Sollazzo, M. Barbarino, G. Elia, A. Smoraldi, N. Favaloro


The activities, described in the present paper, have been conducted in the framework of the HYPROB-New Program, carried out by the Italian Aerospace Research Centre (CIRA) promoted and funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) in order to improve the National background on rocket engine systems for space applications. The Program has the strategic objective to improve National system and technology capabilities in the field of liquid rocket engines (LRE) for future Space Propulsion Systems applications, with specific regard to LOX/LCH4 technology. The main purpose of the HYPROB program is to design and build a Propulsion Test Facility (HIMP) allowing test activities on Liquid Thrusters. The development of skills in liquid rocket propulsion can only pass through extensive test campaign. Following its mission, CIRA has planned the development of new testing facilities and infrastructures for space propulsion characterized by adequate sizes and instrumentation. The IMP test cell is devoted to testing articles representative of small combustion chambers, fed with oxygen and methane, both in liquid and gaseous phase. This article describes the activities that have been carried out for the evaluation of the acoustic impact, and its consequent mitigation. The impact of the simulated acoustic disturbance has been evaluated, first, using an approximated method based on experimental data by Baumann and Coney, included in “Noise and Vibration Control Engineering” edited by Vér and Beranek. This methodology, used to evaluate the free-field radiation of jet in ideal acoustical medium, analyzes in details the jet noise and assumes sources acting at the same time. It considers as principal radiation sources the jet mixing noise, caused by the turbulent mixing of jet gas and the ambient medium. Empirical models, allowing a direct calculation of the Sound Pressure Level, are commonly used for rocket noise simulation. The model named after K. Eldred is probably one of the most exploited in this area. In this paper, an improvement of the Eldred Standard model has been used for a detailed investigation of the acoustical impact of the Hyprob facility. This new formulation contains an explicit expression for the acoustic pressure of each equivalent noise source, in terms of amplitude and phase, allowing the investigation of the sources correlation effects and their propagation through wave equations. In order to enhance the evaluation of the facility acoustic impact, including an assessment of the mitigation strategies to be set in place, a more advanced simulation campaign has been conducted using both an in-house code for noise propagation and scattering, and a commercial code for industrial noise environmental impact, CadnaA. The noise prediction obtained with the revised Eldred-based model has then been used for formulating an empirical/BEM (Boundary Element Method) hybrid approach allowing the evaluation of the barrier mitigation effect, at the design. This approach has been compared with the analogous empirical/ray-acoustics approach, implemented within CadnaA using a customized definition of sources and directivity factor. The resulting impact evaluation study is reported here, along with the design-level barrier optimization for noise mitigation.

Keywords: acoustic impact, industrial noise, mitigation, rocket noise

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5 Phytochemicals and Photosynthesis of Grape Berry Exocarp and Seed (Vitis vinifera, cv. Alvarinho): Effects of Foliar Kaolin and Irrigation

Authors: Andreia Garrido, Artur Conde, Ana Cunha, Ric De Vos


Climate changes predictions point to increases in abiotic stress for crop plants in Portugal, like pronounced temperature variation and decreased precipitation, which will have negative impact on grapevine physiology and consequently, on grape berry and wine quality. Short-term mitigation strategies have, therefore, been implemented to alleviate the impacts caused by adverse climatic periods. These strategies include foliar application of kaolin, an inert mineral, which has radiation reflection proprieties that decreases stress from excessive heat/radiation absorbed by its leaves, as well as smart irrigation strategies to avoid water stress. However, little is known about the influence of these mitigation measures on grape berries, neither on the photosynthetic activity nor on the photosynthesis-related metabolic profiles of its various tissues. Moreover, the role of fruit photosynthesis on berry quality is poorly understood. The main objective of our work was to assess the effects of kaolin and irrigation treatments on the photosynthetic activity of grape berry tissues (exocarp and seeds) and on their global metabolic profile, also investigating their possible relationship. We therefore collected berries of field-grown plants of the white grape variety Alvarinho from two distinct microclimates, i.e. from clusters exposed to high light (HL, 150 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹) and low light (LL, 50 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹), from both kaolin and non-kaolin (control) treated plants at three fruit developmental stages (green, véraison and mature). Plant irrigation was applied after harvesting the green berries, which also enabled comparison of véraison and mature berries from irrigated and non-irrigated growth conditions. Photosynthesis was assessed by pulse amplitude modulated chlorophyll fluorescence imaging analysis, and the metabolite profile of both tissues was assessed by complementary metabolomics approaches. Foliar kaolin application resulted in, for instance, an increased photosynthetic activity of the exocarp of LL-grown berries at green developmental stage, as compared to the control non-kaolin treatment, with a concomitant increase in the levels of several lipid-soluble isoprenoids (chlorophylls, carotenoids, and tocopherols). The exocarp of mature berries grown at HL microclimate on kaolin-sprayed non-irrigated plants had higher total sugar levels content than all other treatments, suggesting that foliar application of this mineral results in an increased accumulation of photoassimilates in mature berries. Unbiased liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based profiling of semi-polar compounds followed by ASCA (ANOVA simultaneous component analysis) and ANOVA statistical analysis indicated that kaolin had no or inconsistent effect on the flavonoid and phenylpropanoid composition in both seed and exocarp at any developmental stage; in contrast, both microclimate and irrigation influenced the level of several of these compounds depending on berry ripening stage. Overall, our study provides more insight into the effects of mitigation strategies on berry tissue photosynthesis and phytochemistry, under contrasting conditions of cluster light microclimate. We hope that this may contribute to develop sustainable management in vineyards and to maintain grape berries and wines with high quality even at increasing abiotic stress challenges.

Keywords: climate change, grape berry tissues, metabolomics, mitigation strategies

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4 Opportunities for Reducing Post-Harvest Losses of Cactus Pear (Opuntia Ficus-Indica) to Improve Small-Holder Farmers Income in Eastern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: Value Chain Approach

Authors: Meron Zenaselase Rata, Euridice Leyequien Abarca


The production of major crops in Northern Ethiopia, especially the Tigray Region, is at subsistence level due to drought, erratic rainfall, and poor soil fertility. Since cactus pear is a drought-resistant plant, it is considered as a lifesaver fruit and a strategy for poverty reduction in a drought-affected area of the region. Despite its contribution to household income and food security in the area, the cactus pear sub-sector is experiencing many constraints with limited attention given to its post-harvest loss management. Therefore, this research was carried out to identify opportunities for reducing post-harvest losses and recommend possible strategies to reduce post-harvest losses, thereby improving production and smallholder’s income. Both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were employed to collect the data. Ganta Afeshum district was selected from Eastern Tigray, and two peasant associations (Buket and Golea) were also selected from the district purposively for being potential in cactus pear production. Simple random sampling techniques were employed to survey 30 households from each of the two peasant associations, and a semi-structured questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. Moreover, in this research 2 collectors, 2 wholesalers, 1 processor, 3 retailers, 2 consumers were interviewed; and two focus group discussion was also done with 14 key farmers using semi-structured checklist; and key informant interview with governmental and non-governmental organizations were interviewed to gather more information about the cactus pear production, post-harvest losses, the strategies used to reduce the post-harvest losses and suggestions to improve the post-harvest management. To enter and analyze the quantitative data, SPSS version 20 was used, whereas MS-word were used to transcribe the qualitative data. The data were presented using frequency and descriptive tables and graphs. The data analysis was also done using a chain map, correlations, stakeholder matrix, and gross margin. Mean comparisons like ANOVA and t-test between variables were used. The analysis result shows that the present cactus pear value chain involves main actors and supporters. However, there is inadequate information flow and informal market linkages among actors in the cactus pear value chain. The farmer's gross margin is higher when they sell to the processor than sell to collectors. The significant postharvest loss in the cactus pear value chain is at the producer level, followed by wholesalers and retailers. The maximum and minimum volume of post-harvest losses at the producer level is 4212 and 240 kgs per season. The post-harvest loss was caused by limited farmers skill on-farm management and harvesting, low market price, limited market information, absence of producer organization, poor post-harvest handling, absence of cold storage, absence of collection centers, poor infrastructure, inadequate credit access, using traditional transportation system, absence of quality control, illegal traders, inadequate research and extension services and using inappropriate packaging material. Therefore, some of the recommendations were providing adequate practical training, forming producer organizations, and constructing collection centers.

Keywords: cactus pear, post-harvest losses, profit margin, value-chain

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3 Linking the Genetic Signature of Free-Living Soil Diazotrophs with Process Rates under Land Use Conversion in the Amazon Rainforest

Authors: Rachel Danielson, Brendan Bohannan, S.M. Tsai, Kyle Meyer, Jorge L.M. Rodrigues


The Amazon Rainforest is a global diversity hotspot and crucial carbon sink, but approximately 20% of its total extent has been deforested- primarily for the establishment of cattle pasture. Understanding the impact of this large-scale disturbance on soil microbial community composition and activity is crucial in understanding potentially consequential shifts in nutrient or greenhouse gas cycling, as well as adding to the body of knowledge concerning how these complex communities respond to human disturbance. In this study, surface soils (0-10cm) were collected from three forests and three 45-year-old pastures in Rondonia, Brazil (the Amazon state with the greatest rate of forest destruction) in order to determine the impact of forest conversion on microbial communities involved in nitrogen fixation. Soil chemical and physical parameters were paired with measurements of microbial activity and genetic profiles to determine how community composition and process rates relate to environmental conditions. Measuring both the natural abundance of 15N in total soil N, as well as incorporation of enriched 15N2 under incubation has revealed that conversion of primary forest to cattle pasture results in a significant increase in the rate of nitrogen fixation by free-living diazotrophs. Quantification of nifH gene copy numbers (an essential subunit encoding the nitrogenase enzyme) correspondingly reveals a significant increase of genes in pasture compared to forest soils. Additionally, genetic sequencing of both nifH genes and transcripts shows a significant increase in the diversity of the present and metabolically active diazotrophs within the soil community. Levels of both organic and inorganic nitrogen tend to be lower in pastures compared to forests, with ammonium rather than nitrate as the dominant inorganic form. However, no significant or consistent differences in total, extractable, permanganate-oxidizable, or loss-on-ignition carbon are present between the two land-use types. Forest conversion is associated with a 0.5- 1.0 unit pH increase, but concentrations of many biologically relevant nutrients such as phosphorus do not increase consistently. Increases in free-living diazotrophic community abundance and activity appear to be related to shifts in carbon to nitrogen pool ratios. Furthermore, there may be an important impact of transient, low molecular weight plant-root-derived organic carbon on free-living diazotroph communities not captured in this study. Preliminary analysis of nitrogenase gene variant composition using NovoSeq metagenomic sequencing indicates that conversion of forest to pasture may significantly enrich vanadium-based nitrogenases. This indication is complemented by a significant decrease in available soil molybdenum. Very little is known about the ecology of diazotrophs utilizing vanadium-based nitrogenases, so further analysis may reveal important environmental conditions favoring their abundance and diversity in soil systems. Taken together, the results of this study indicate a significant change in nitrogen cycling and diazotroph community composition with the conversion of the Amazon Rainforest. This may have important implications for the sustainability of cattle pastures once established since nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for forage grass productivity.

Keywords: free-living diazotrophs, land use change, metagenomic sequencing, nitrogen fixation

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