Rice Husk Ash (RHA) is one of the agricultural waste byproducts available widely in the world and contains a large amount of silica. In Bangladesh, stones cannot be used as coarse aggregate in infrastructure works as they are not available and need to be imported from abroad. As a result, bricks are mostly used as coarse aggregates in concrete as they are cheaper and easily produced here. Clay is the raw material for producing brick. Due to rapid urban growth and the industrial revolution, demand for brick is increasing, which led to a decrease in the topsoil. This study aims to produce lightweight block aggregates with sufficient strength utilizing RHA at low cost and use them as an ingredient of concrete. RHA, because of its pozzolanic behavior, can be utilized to produce better quality block aggregates at lower cost, replacing clay content in the bricks. The whole study can be divided into three parts. In the first part, characterization tests on RHA and clay were performed to determine their properties. Six different types of RHA from different mills were characterized by XRD and SEM analysis. Their fineness was determined by conducting a fineness test. The result of XRD confirmed the amorphous state of RHA. The characterization test for clay identifies the sample as “silty clay” with a specific gravity of 2.59 and 14% optimum moisture content. In the second part, blocks were produced with six different types of RHA with different combinations by volume with clay. Then mixtures were manually compacted in molds before subjecting them to oven drying at 120 °C for 7 days. After that, dried blocks were placed in a furnace at 1200 °C to produce ultimate blocks. Loss on ignition test, apparent density test, crushing strength test, efflorescence test, and absorption test were conducted on the blocks to compare their performance with the bricks. For 40% of RHA, the crushing strength result was found 60 MPa, where crushing strength for brick was observed 48.1 MPa. In the third part, the crushed blocks were used as coarse aggregate in concrete cylinders and compared them with brick concrete cylinders. Specimens were cured for 7 days and 28 days. The highest compressive strength of block cylinders for 7 days curing was calculated as 26.1 MPa, whereas, for 28 days curing, it was found 34 MPa. On the other hand, for brick cylinders, the value of compressing strength of 7 days and 28 days curing was observed as 20 MPa and 30 MPa, respectively. These research findings can help with the increasing demand for topsoil of the earth, and also turn a waste product into a valuable one.
The work presents result of laboratory analysis of the effects of landfill leachate on engineering properties of test soil. The soil used for the present study was a sandy loam soil and acidic in nature. It was collected at a depth of 0.9 m. The landfill leachate used was collected from a hole dug some meters away from dumped solid waste and analyzed to identify the pollutants and its effect on engineering properties of the test soil. The test soil applied with landfill leachate was collected at 0.25 and 0.50 m radial distances at a depth of 0.15, 0.30, 0.45 and 0.60 m from the point of application of leachate after 50 days were the application of the leachate end and 80 days from the start of the experiment for laboratory analysis. Engineering properties such as particle size distribution, specific gravity, optimum moisture content, maximum dry density, unconfined compressive strength, liquid limit, plastic limit and shrinkage limit were considered. The concentration of various chemicals at 0.25 and 0.50 radial distances and 0.15, 0.30, 0.45 and 0.6 m depth from the point of application of leachate were different. This study founds the effect of landfill leachate on the engineering properties of soil. It can be concluded that, the type of soil, chemical composition of the leachate, infiltration rate, aquifers, ground water table etc., will have a major role on the area of influence zone of the pollutants in a landfill.
Oilfields under waterflood often face the problem of plugging injectors either by internal filtration or external filter cake built up inside pore throats. The content of suspended solids shall be reduced to required level of filtration since corrective action of plugging is costly expensive. The performance of nutshell filters, where filtration takes place, is good using pecan and walnut shells. Candlenut shells were used instead of pecan and walnut shells since they were abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and East Africa. Physical and chemical properties of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells were tested and the results were compared. Testing, using full-scale nutshell filters, was conducted to determine the oil content, turbidity, and suspended solid removal, which was based on designed flux rate. The performance of candlenut shells, which were deeply bedded in nutshell filters for filtration process, was monitored. Cleaned water outgoing nutshell filters had total suspended solids of 17 ppm, while oil content could be reduced to 15.1 ppm. Turbidity, using candlenut shells, was below the specification for injection water, which was less than 10 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU). Turbidity of water, outgoing nutshell filter, was ranged from 1.7-5.0 NTU at various dates of operation. Walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells had moisture content of 8.98 wt%, 10.95 wt%, and 9.95 wt%, respectively. The porosity of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells was significantly affected by moisture content. Candlenut shells had property of toluene solubility of 7.68 wt%, which was much higher than walnut shells, reflecting more crude oil adsorption. The hardness of candlenut shells was 2.5-3 Mohs, which was close to walnut shells’ hardness. It was advantage to guarantee the cleaning filter cake by fluidization process during backwashing.
This study aims to characterize the physicochemical aspects of the soils of southeastern Chapada Diamantina - Bahia related to the phytophysiognomies of this area, rupestrian field, small savanna (savanna fields), small dense savanna (savanna fields), savanna (Cerrado), dry thorny forest (Caatinga), dry thorny forest/savanna, scrub (Carrasco - ecotone), forest island (seasonal semi-deciduous forest - Capão) and seasonal semi-deciduous forest. To achieve the research objective, soil samples were collected in each plant formation and analyzed in the soil laboratory of ESALQ - USP in order to identify soil fertility through the determination of pH, organic matter, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, potential acidity, sum of bases, cation exchange capacity and base saturation. The composition of soil particles was also checked; that is, the texture, step made in the terrestrial ecosystems laboratory of the Department of Ecology of USP and in the soil laboratory of ESALQ. Another important factor also studied was to show the variations in the vegetation cover in the region as a function of soil moisture in the different existing physiographic environments. Another study carried out was a comparison between the average soil moisture data with precipitation data from three locations with very different phytophysiognomies. The soils found in this part of Bahia can be classified into 5 classes, with a predominance of oxisols. All of these classes have a great diversity of physical and chemical properties, as can be seen in photographs and in particle size and fertility analyzes. The deepest soils are located in the Central Pediplano of Chapada Diamantina where the dirty field, the clean field, the executioner and the semideciduous seasonal forest (Capão) are located, and the shallower soils were found in the rupestrian field, dry thorny forest, and savanna fields, the latter located on a hillside. As for the variations in water in the region's soil, the data indicate that there were large spatial variations in humidity in both the rainy and dry periods.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of ripe Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb. galbuli (female cones) collected from "Izgoraloto Gyune" Reserve in Krichim, Bulgaria. The moisture (36.88%), abs. weight 693.96 g/1000 pcs., and the ash content (10.57%) of ripe galbuli were determined. Lipid fraction (9.12%), cellulose (13.54%), protein (13.64%), and total carbohydrates (31.20%) were evaluated in the ripe galbuli. It was found that the ripe galbuli contained glucose (4.00%) and fructose (4.25%), but disaccharide sucrose was not identified. The main macro elements presented in the sample were K (8390.00 mg/kg), Ca (4596.00 g/kg), Mg (837.72 mg/kg), followed by Na (7.69 mg/kg); while the detected microelements consisted of Zn (8.51 mg/kg), Cu (4.66 mg/kg), Mn (3.65 mg/kg), Fe (3.26 mg/kg), Cr (3.00 mg/kg), Cd (< 0.1 mg/kg), and Pb (0.01 mg/kg).
In this research, Self-Potential (SP) method was employed to locate anomalous electrical conductivity located in Goronyo area and also to determine the condition of the embankment of the dam. SP data were plotted against distance along with the profile and spacing of electrode using surfer software (version 12). High and low zones of SP values were identified along the right and left abutments of the dam reservoir. The regions with high SP values were described to be high tendency of fluid flow associate with wet sandy soil. These zones have the SP values ranging from 200 mV and above. High SP values were due to the high moisture content that may lead to the seepage of water leaking through this zone. The zones with high SP values occupied Profiles S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 indicating the presence of potential seepage paths within the subsurface of the embankment. These regions of seepage were identified as weak zones and potential pathways through which water could be lost from the dam reservoir. The SP values for the regions range from 250 m to 400 m (S1), 306 m to 400 m (S2), 192 m to 400 m (S3), 48 m to 200 m (S4) and 7 m to 170 m (S5) with their corresponding maximum depths of 30 m, 28 m, 28 m, 30 m and 26 m respectively. However, zones of low SP values in the overburden were observed which shows the presence of intact regions, which may be due to the compactness and dryness around the dam. The weak zones were considered as geological features (such as fractures, joints, and faults) that have undermined the integrity of the dam structure, which has led to the abnormal seepage.
Nowadays, sustainable development issues have a key role in the planning of the man-made environment. Ensuring this development means limiting the impact of human activity on nature. It is essential to secure healthy places and good living conditions. For these reasons, indoor air quality and building materials play a fundamental role in sustainable architectural projects. These factors significantly affect human health: they can radically change the quality of the internal environment and energy consumption. The use of natural materials such as earth has many beneficial aspects in comfort and indoor air quality. As well as advantages in the environmental impact of the construction, they ensure a low energy consumption. Since they are already present in nature, their production and use do not require a high-energy consumption. Furthermore, they have a high thermo-hygrometric capacity, being able to absorb moisture, contributing positively to indoor conditions. Indoor air quality is closely related to relative humidity. For these reasons, it can be affirmed that the use of earth materials guarantees a sustainable development and at the same time improves the health of the building users. This paper summarizes several researches that demonstrate the importance of indoor air quality for human health and how it strictly depends on the building materials used. Eco-efficient plasters are also considered: earth and ash mortar. The bibliography consulted has the objective of supporting future experimental and laboratory analyzes. It is necessary to carry on with research by the use of simulations and testing to confirm the hygrothermal properties of eco-efficient plasters and therefore their ability to improve indoor air quality.
Iran is a semi-arid and arid country in south-western Asia in the Middle East facing intense climatological drought from the early times. Therefore, studying the precipitation events and the moisture sources and air masses causing precipitation has great importance in this region. In this study, the moisture sources and stable isotope content of precipitation moisture in three main events in 2015 have been studied in North-Eastern Iran. HYSPLIT model backward trajectories showed that the Caspian Sea and the mixture of the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas are dominant moisture sources for the studied events. This showed the role of cP (Siberian) and Mediterranean (MedT) air masses. Stable isotope studies showed that precipitation events originated from the Caspian Sea with lower Sea Surface Temperature (SST) have more depleted isotope values. However, precipitation events sourced from the mixture of the Caspian and the Mediterranean Seas (with higher SST) showed more enriched isotope values.
Reasonable energy saving for dehumidification is feasible with the use of desiccants. Desiccants are able to lower the humidity content in the air irrespective of the dew point temperature. In this paper, a tube bundle liquid desiccant air conditioner was experimentally designed and evaluated using lithium chloride as a desiccant. Several experiments were conducted to evaluate the influence of the inlet parameters on the dehumidifier performance. The results show a reduction in the relative humidity in the range of 17 to 46%, and the change in the humidity ratio was between 1.5 to 4.7 g/kg, depending on the inlet conditions. A water removal rate in the range between 0.54 and 1.67 kg/h was observed. The effects of air relative humidity and the desiccant flow rate on the dehumidifier’s performance were investigated. It was found that the moisture removal rate remarkably increased with increasing desiccant flow rate and air inlet humidity ratio. The dehumidifier effectiveness increased sharply with increasing desiccant flow rate. Also, it was found that the dehumidifier effectiveness slightly decreased with air humidity ratio.
The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.
Mixtures of sand and clay are frequently used to serve for specific purposes in several engineering practices. In environmental engineering, liner layers and cover layers are common for controlling waste disposal facilities. These layers are exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuation specially when existing in unsaturated condition. The relationship between soil suction and water content for these materials is essential for understanding their unsaturated behavior and properties such as retention capacity and unsaturated follow (hydraulic conductivity). This study is aimed at investigating retention capacity for two sand-natural expansive clay mixtures (15% (C15) and 30% (C30) expansive clay) at two ambient temperatures within the range of 5 -50 °C. Soil water retention curves (SWRC) for these materials were determined at these two ambient temperatures using different salt solutions for a wide range of suction (up to 200MPa). The results indicate that retention capacity of C15 mixture underwent significant changes due to temperature variations. This effect tends to be less visible when the clay fraction is doubled (C30). In addition, the overall volume change is marginally affected by high temperature within the range considered in this study.
Objective of this research is to study effect of coffee grounds on physical and heating value properties of sugarcane bagasse pellets. The coffee grounds were tested as an additive for pelletizing process of bagasse pellets. Pelletizing was performed using a Flat–die pellet mill machine. Moisture content of raw materials was controlled at 10-13%. Die temperature range during the process was 75-80 oC. Physical characteristics (bulk density and durability) of the bagasse pellet and pellets with 1-5% coffee ground were determined following the standard assigned by the Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI). The results revealed increasing values of 648±3.4, 659 ± 3.1, 679 ± 3.3 and 685 ± 3.1 kg/m3 (for pellet bulk density); and 98.7 ± 0.11, 99.2 ± 0.26, 99.3 ± 0.19 and 99.4 ± 0.07% (for pellet durability), respectively. In addition, the heating values of the coffee ground supplemented pellets (15.9 ± 1.16, 17.0 ± 1.23 and 18.8 ± 1.34 MJ/kg) were improved comparing to the non-supplemented control (14.9 ± 1.14 MJ/kg), respectively. The results indicated that both the bulk density and durability values of the bagasse pellets were increased with the increasing proportion of the coffee ground additive.
Increasing the level of exterior insulation in residential buildings is a popular way for improving the thermal characteristic of building enclosure and reducing heat loss. However, the layout and properties of materials composing the wall have a great effect on moisture accumulation within the wall cavity, long-term durability of a wall as well as the structural performance. A one-dimensional hygrothermal modeling has been performed to investigate moisture condensation risks and the drying capacity of standard 2×4 and 2×6 light wood-frame wall assemblies including exterior low-permeance extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation. The analysis considered two different wall configurations whereby the rigid insulation board was placed either between Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sheathing and the stud or outboard to the structural sheathing. The thickness of the insulation varied between 0 mm and 50 mm and the analysis has been conducted for eight different locations in Canada, covering climate zone 4 through zone 8. Results show that the wall configuration with low-permeance insulation inserted between the stud and OSB sheathing accumulates more moisture within the stud cavity, compared to the assembly with the same insulation placed exterior to the sheathing. On the other hand, OSB moisture contents of the latter configuration were markedly higher. Consequently, the analysis of hygrothermal performance investigated and compared moisture accumulation in both the OSB and stud cavity. To investigate the structural performance of the wall and the effect of soft insulation layer inserted between the sheathing and framing, forty nail connection specimens were tested. Results have shown that both the connection strength and stiffness experience a significant reduction as the insulation thickness increases. These results will be compared with results from a full-scale shear wall tests in order to investigate if the capacity of shear walls with insulated sheathing would experience a similar reduction in structural capacities.
The main function of the insulators used in high voltage (HV) transmission lines is to insulate the energized conductor from the pole and hence from the ground. However, when the insulators fail to perform this insulation function due to various effects, failures occur. The deterioration of the insulation results either from breakdown or surface flashover. The surface flashover is caused by the layer of pollution that forms conductivity on the surface of the insulator, such as salt, carbonaceous compounds, rain, moisture, fog, dew, industrial pollution and desert dust. The source of the majority of failures and interruptions in HV lines is surface flashover. This threatens the continuity of supply and causes significant economic losses. Pollution flashover in HV insulators is still a serious problem that has not been fully resolved. In this study, a water jet test system has been established in order to investigate the behavior of insulators under dirty conditions and to determine their flashover performance. Flashover behavior of the insulators is examined by applying impulse voltages in the test system. This study aims to investigate the insulator behaviour under high impulse voltages. For this purpose, a water jet test system was installed and experimental results were obtained over a real system and analyzed. By using the water jet test system instead of the actual insulator, the damage to the insulator as a result of the flashover that would occur under impulse voltage was prevented. The results of the test system performed an important role in determining the insulator behavior and provided predictability.
Rubberwood is a crucial commercial timber in Southern Thailand. All processes in a rubberwood production depend on the knowledge and expertise of the technicians, especially the drying process. This research aims to develop an empirical model for drying kinetics in rubberwood. During the experiment, the temperature of the hot air and the average air flow velocity were kept at 80-100 °C and 1.75 m/s, respectively. The moisture content in the samples was determined less than 12% in the achievement of drying basis. The drying kinetic was simulated using an empirical solver. The experimental results illustrated that the moisture content was reduced whereas the drying temperature and time were increased. The coefficient of the moisture ratio between the empirical and the experimental model was tested with three statistical parameters, R-square (R²), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Chi-square (χ²) to predict the accuracy of the parameters. The experimental moisture ratio had a good fit with the empirical model. Additionally, the results indicated that the drying of rubberwood using the Henderson and Pabis model revealed the suitable level of agreement. The result presented an excellent estimation (R² = 0.9963) for the moisture movement compared to the other models. Therefore, the empirical results were valid and can be implemented in the future experiments.
This paper presents numerical flow and slope stability simulations in three typical sections of earth dams built in tropical regions, two homogeneous with different slope inclinations, and the other one heterogeneous with impermeable core. The geotechnical material parameters used in this work were obtained from a lab testing of physical characterization, compaction, consolidation, variable load permeability and saturated triaxial type CD for compacted soil samples with standard proctor energy at optimum moisture content (23%), optimum moisture content + 2% and optimum moisture content +5%. The objective is to analyze the general behavior of earth dams built in rainy regions where optimum moisture is exceeded. The factor of safety is satisfactory for the three sections compacted in all moisture content during the stages of operation and end of construction. On The other hand, the rapid drawdown condition is the critical phase for homogeneus dams configuration, the factor of safety obtained were unsatisfactory. In general, the heterogeneous dam behavior is more efficient due to the fact that the slopes are made up of gravel, which favors the dissipation of pore pressures during the rapid drawdown. For the critical phase, the slopes should have lower inclinations of the upstream and downstream slopes to guarantee stability, although it increases the costs.
Formulation for drying and pyrolysis process in packed beds at slow heating rates is presented. Drying of biomass particles bed is described by mass diffusion equation and local moisture-vapour-equilibrium relations. In gasifiers, volatilization rate during pyrolysis of biomass is modeled by using apparent kinetic rate expression, while product compositions at slow heating rates is modeled using empirical fitted mass ratios (i.e., CO/CO2, ME/CO2, H2O/CO2) in terms of pyrolysis temperature. The drying module is validated fairly with available chemical kinetics scheme and found that the testing zone in gasifier bed constituted of relatively smaller particles having high airflow with high isothermal temperature expedite the drying process. Further, volatile releases more quickly within the shorter zone height at high temperatures (isothermal). Both, moisture loss and volatile release profiles are found to be sensitive to temperature, although the influence of initial moisture content on volatile release profile is not so sensitive.
In recent decades, the amount of solid waste production has been rising. In the meantime, plastic waste is one of the major parts of urban solid waste, so, recycling plastic waste from water bottles has become a serious challenge in the whole world. The experimental program includes the study of the effect of waste plastic fibers on maximum dry density (MDD), optimum moisture content (OMC) with different sizes and contents. Also, one dimensional consolidation tests were carried out to evaluate the benefit of utilizing randomly distributed waste plastics fiber to improve the engineering behavior of a tested soils. Silty soil specimens were prepared and tested at five different percentages of plastic waste content (i.e. 0.25%, 0.50%, 0.75%, 1% and 1.25% by weight of the parent soil). The size of plastic chips used, are 4 mm, 8 mm and 12 mm long and 4 mm in width. The results show that with the addition of waste plastic fibers, the MDD and OMC and also the compressibility of soil decrease significantly.
The Flash Flood Guidance (FFG) provides the rainfall amount of a given duration necessary to cause flooding. The approach is based on the development of rainfall-runoff curves, which helps us to find out the rainfall amount that would cause flooding. An alternative approach, mostly experimented with Italian Alpine catchments, is based on determining threshold discharges from past events and on finding whether or not an oncoming flood has its magnitude more than some critical discharge thresholds found beforehand. Both approaches suffer from large uncertainties in forecasting flash floods as, due to the simplistic approach followed, the same rainfall amount may or may not cause flooding. This uncertainty leads to the question whether a probabilistic model is preferable over a deterministic one in forecasting flash floods. We propose the use of a Bayesian probabilistic approach in flash flood forecasting. A prior probability of flooding is derived based on historical data. Additional information, such as antecedent moisture condition (AMC) and rainfall amount over any rainfall thresholds are used in computing the likelihood of observing these conditions given a flash flood has occurred. Finally, the posterior probability of flooding is computed using the prior probability and the likelihood. The variation of the computed posterior probability with rainfall amount and AMC presents the suitability of the approach in decision making in an uncertain environment. The methodology has been applied to the Posina basin in Italy. From the promising results obtained, we can conclude that the Bayesian approach in flash flood forecasting provides more realistic forecasting over the FFG.
The goal of this study is to analyze the hydric behaviour of textiles which can impact significantly the comfort of the wearer. Indeed, fabrics can be adapted for different climate if hydric and thermal behaviors are known. In this study, fabrics are only submitted to hydric variations. Sorption and desorption isotherms obtained from the dynamic vapour sorption apparatus (DVS) are fitted with the parallel exponential kinetics (PEK), the Hailwood-Horrobin (HH) and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) models. One of the major finding is the relationship existing between PEK and HH models. During slow and fast processes, the sorption of water molecules on the polymer can be in monolayer and multilayer form. According to the BET model, moisture regain, a physical property of textiles, show a linear correlation with the total amount of water taken in monolayer. This study provides potential information of the end uses of these fabrics according to the selected activity level.
The quality of road pavement is affected mostly by the type of sub-grade which is acting as road foundation. The roads degradation is related to many factors especially the climatic conditions, the quality, and the thickness of the base materials. The thickness of this layer depends on its California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test value which by its turn is highly affected by the quantity of water infiltrated under the road after heavy rain. The capacity of the base material to drain out its water is predominant factor because any change in moisture content causes change in sub-grade strength. This paper studies the effect of the soaking period of soil especially clay on its CBR value. For this reason, we collected many clayey samples in order to study the effect of the soaking period on its CBR value. On each soil, two groups of experiments were performed: main tests consisting of Proctor and CBR test from one side and from other side identification tests consisting of other tests such as Atterberg limits tests. Each soil sample was first subjected to Proctor test in order to find its optimum moisture content which will be used to perform the CBR test. Four CBR tests were performed on each soil with different soaking period. The first CBR was done without soaking the soil sample; the second one with two days soaking, the third one with four days soaking period and the last one was done under eight days soaking. By comparing the results of CBR tests performed with different soaking time, a more detailed understanding was given to the role of the water in reducing the CBR of soil. In fact, by extending the soaking period, the CBR was found to be reduced quickly the first two days and slower after. A precise reduction factor of the CBR in relation with soaking period was found at the end of this paper.
Table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) are an important crop worldwide. Postharvest problems like berry shattering, decay and stem dehydration are some of the important factors that limit the marketing of table grapes. Edible coatings are an alternative for increasing shelf-life of fruits, protecting fruits from humidity and oxygen effects, thus retarding their deterioration. This study aimed to compare different grape seed oil applications (GSO, 0.5 g L-1, 1 g L-1, 2 g L-1) and SO2 generating pads effects (SO2-1, SO2-2). Treated grapes with GSO and generating pads were packaged into polyethylene trays and stored at 0 ± 1°C and 85-95% moisture. Effects of the applications were investigated by some quality and sensory evaluations with intervals of 15 days. SO2 applications were determined the most effective treatments for minimizing weight loss and changes in TA, pH, color and appearance value. Grape seed oil applications were determined as a good alternative for grape preservation, improving weight losses and °Brix, TA, the color values and sensory analysis. Commercially, ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ clusters were stored for 75 days and ‘Antep Karası’ clusters for 60 days. The data obtained from GSO indicated that it had a similar quality result to SO2 for up to 40 days storage.
Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.
Soil moisture content is a key variable in many environmental sciences. Even though it represents a small proportion of the liquid freshwater on Earth, it modulates interactions between the land surface and the atmosphere, thereby influencing climate and weather. Accurate modeling of the above processes depends on the ability to provide a proper spatial characterization of soil moisture. The measurement of soil moisture content allows assessment of soil water resources in the field of hydrology and agronomy. The second parameter in interaction with the radar signal is the geometric structure of the soil. Most traditional electromagnetic models consider natural surfaces as single scale zero mean stationary Gaussian random processes. Roughness behavior is characterized by statistical parameters like the Root Mean Square (RMS) height and the correlation length. Then, the main problem is that the agreement between experimental measurements and theoretical values is usually poor due to the large variability of the correlation function, and as a consequence, backscattering models have often failed to predict correctly backscattering. In this study, surfaces are considered as band-limited fractal random processes corresponding to a superposition of a finite number of one-dimensional Gaussian process each one having a spatial scale. Multiscale roughness is characterized by two parameters, the first one is proportional to the RMS height, and the other one is related to the fractal dimension. Soil moisture is related to the complex dielectric constant. This multiscale description has been adapted to two-dimensional profiles using the bi-dimensional wavelet transform and the Mallat algorithm to describe more correctly natural surfaces. We characterize the soil surfaces and sub-surfaces by a three layers geo-electrical model. The upper layer is described by its dielectric constant, thickness, a multiscale bi-dimensional surface roughness model by using the wavelet transform and the Mallat algorithm, and volume scattering parameters. The lower layer is divided into three fictive layers separated by an assumed plane interface. These three layers were modeled by an effective medium characterized by an apparent effective dielectric constant taking into account the presence of air pockets in the soil. We have adopted the 2D multiscale three layers small perturbations model including, firstly air pockets in the soil sub-structure, and then a vegetable canopy in the soil surface structure, that is to simulate the radar backscattering. A sensitivity analysis of backscattering coefficient dependence on multiscale roughness and new soil moisture has been performed. Later, we proposed to change the dielectric constant of the multilayer medium because it takes into account the different moisture values of each layer in the soil. A sensitivity analysis of the backscattering coefficient, including the air pockets in the volume structure with respect to the multiscale roughness parameters and the apparent dielectric constant, was carried out. Finally, we proposed to study the behavior of the backscattering coefficient of the radar on a soil having a vegetable layer in its surface structure.
Due to the economic and environmental benefits of producing less waste, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduces source reduction as one of the most important means to deal with the problems caused by increased landfills and pollution. Waste reduction involves all waste management methods, including source reduction, recycling, and composting, which reduce waste flow to landfills or other disposal facilities. Source reduction of waste can be studied from two perspectives: avoiding waste production, or reducing per capita waste production, and waste deviation that indicates the reduction of waste transfer to landfills. The present paper has investigated home composting as a managerial solution for reduction of waste transfer to landfills. Home composting has many benefits. The use of household waste for the production of compost will result in a much smaller amount of waste being sent to landfills, which in turn will reduce the costs of waste collection, transportation and burial. Reducing the volume of waste for disposal and using them for the production of compost and plant fertilizer might help to recycle the material in a shorter time and to use them effectively in order to preserve the environment and reduce contamination. Producing compost in a home-based manner requires very small piece of land for preparation and recycling compared with other methods. The final product of home-made compost is valuable and helps to grow crops and garden plants. It is also used for modifying the soil structure and maintaining its moisture. The food that is transferred to landfills will spoil and produce leachate after a while. It will also release methane and greenhouse gases. But, composting these materials at home is the best way to manage degradable materials, use them efficiently and reduce environmental pollution. Studies have shown that the benefits of the sale of produced compost and the reduced costs of collecting, transporting, and burying waste can well be responsive to the costs of purchasing home compost machine and the cost of related trainings. Moreover, the process of producing home compost may be profitable within 4 to 5 years and as a result, it will have a major role in reducing waste management.
Irrigation is one of the most important cultivation practices for each crop, especially in areas where rainfall is enough to cover the crop water needs. In such areas, the farmers must irrigate in order to achieve high economical results. The precise irrigation scheduling contributes to irrigation water saving and thus a valuable natural resource is protected. Under this point of view, in the experimental field of the Laboratory of Agricultural Hydraulics of the University of Thessaly, a research was conducted during the growing season of 2012 in order to evaluate the growth, seed and oil production of sunflower as well as the water saving, by applying different methods of irrigation scheduling. Three treatments in four replications were organized. These were: a) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on the Penman-Monteith (PM) method (control); b) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil moisture sensor (SMS); and c) surface drip irrigation, where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil potential sensor (WM).