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Topic review
Updated time: 31 May 2021
Definition: Heavy metals (HMs) are released into the environment by many human activities and persist in water even after remediation. The efficient filtration of solubilized HMs is extremely difficult. Phytoremediation appears a convenient tool to remove HMs from polluted water, but it is limited by the choice of plants able to adapt to filtration of polluted water in terms of space and physiological needs. Biomasses are often preferred. Aquatic moss biomasses, thanks to gametophyte characteristics, can act as live filtering material. The potential for phytoremediation of Hypnales aquatic mosses has been poorly investigated compared to aquatic macrophytes. Their potential is usually indicated as a tool for bioindication and environmental monitoring more than for pollutant removal. When phytoremediation has been considered, insufficient attention has been paid to the adaptability of biomasses to different needs. In this study the heavy metal uptake of moss Taxiphyllum barbieri grown in two different light conditions, was tested with high concentrations of elements such as Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, As, and Cr. This moss produces dense mats with few culture needs. The experimental design confirmed the capacity of the moss to accumulate HMs accordingly to their physiology and then demonstrated that a significant proportion of HMs was accumulated within a few hours. In addition to the biosorption effect, an evident contribution of the active simplastic mass can be evidenced. These reports of HM accumulation within short time intervals, show how this moss is particularly suitable as an adaptable bio-filter, representing a new opportunity for water eco-sustainable remediation.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 06 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Mirko Locatelli
Definition: Information Modelling and Management (IMM) methods for Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) can promote the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices. Despite the wide regulatory framework and existing drivers, Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) trend is still upward. The literature review regarding IMM and CDW management implementation during the design phases is mainly focused on studies and applications from the designer and contractor’s points of view, although few studies focused on Green Public Procurement (GPP) and CDW management integration from the Public Client’s point of view. This research aims at investigating the integration and efficiency of MEAT and IMM to promote the application of sustainable strategies focused on waste reduction and resource valorization. The study investigates the Public Client’s role in promoting sustainable practices, introducing digital material inventory and BIM during the design phases, and including environmental award criteria in the call for tender documents. A Design Build (DB) procurement model is considered in the case study of a brownfield renovation and the construction of a new school in northern Italy. The methodology provided the Public Client with a replicable method to evaluate the environmental impact of the bids, allowing for proper selective demolition planning, CDW decrease, and organization while promoting their integration in companies’ expertise and procedures.
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Topic review
Updated time: 08 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Máté Zavarkó
Definition: In line with the long-term strategy of the European Union to become climate-neutral, the energy storage challenge that is induced by volatile renewable electricity production (e.g., with rapidly growing photovoltaic capacities) must be handled. The power-to-methane technology is promising for long-term, high-capacity energy storage. Currently, there are two different industrial-scale methanation methods: the chemical one (based on the Sabatier reaction) and the biological one (using microorganisms for the conversion). The second method can be used not only to methanize the mixture of pure hydrogen and carbon dioxide but also to methanize the hydrogen and carbon dioxide content of low-quality gases, such as biogas or deponia gas, enriching them to natural gas quality; therefore, the applicability of biomethanation is very wide.
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Topic review
Updated time: 11 May 2021
Submitted by: Maria João Regufe
Definition: Energy from fossil fuels combustion always generates carbon dioxide, leading to a considerable environmental concern with the values of CO2 produced in the world. The increase in emissions leads to a significant challenge in reducing the quantity of this gas in the atmosphere. To decrease this problem, green and efficient solutions have been extensively studied, such as Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) processes. Broadly recognized as having an enormous potential to meet climate change targets, CCS and CCUS appear as solutions to deliver low carbon heat and power, decarbonize the industry, and, more recently, facilitate the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
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Topic review
Updated time: 22 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Stephan Schlüter
Definition: As a potential storage material, hydrogen (H2) is considered to be promising and considerable research has been invested into this matter. Scientists and industry discriminate between different colors of hydrogen depending on the method of production: Green hydrogen, for example, implies that production is (almost) CO2-neutral using e.g., bio gas or renewable energies such as wind power; whereas gray hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels such as oil or gas. Turquoise hydrogen implies using methane pyrolysis fueled by renewable energy sources, i.e., it is also considered to be CO2-neutral.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 09 Aug 2021
Definition: The Fenton process is an efficient treatment for removing many organics pollutants in aqueous systems at acidic pH (2.8-3.5). However, the in-situ application of this technology for soil remediation (where pHs around neutrality are required) presents important limitations, such as catalyst (iron) availability and oxidant (H2O2) stability. The addition of chelating agents (CAs) makes iron soluble at circumneutral pH by forming complexes with Fe, and thus, enabling Fenton reactions under these conditions. This strategy, called chelate-modified Fenton process (MF), can be employed to overcome the challenges identified in conventional Fenton.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 30 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Vincenzo Russo
Definition: The epoxidized group, also known as the oxirane group, can be considered as one of the most crucial rings in chemistry. Due to the high ring strain and the polarization of the C–O bond in this three-membered ring, several reactions can be carried out. One can see such a functional group as a crucial intermediate in fuels, polymers, materials, fine chemistry, etc.
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Topic review
Updated time: 22 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Jolanta Kowalska
Definition: Cinnamon is widely used as a food spice, but due to its antibacterial and pharmacological properties, it can also be used in processing, medicine and agriculture. The word “Cinnamon” can refer to the plant, processed material, or an extract. It is sometimes used as a substance, and sometimes used as a mixture or as compounds or a group. This article reviews research into the effectiveness of various forms of cinnamon for the control of plant diseases and pests in crops and during storage of fruit and vegetables. Cinnamon acts on pests mainly as a repellent, although in higher doses it has a biocidal effect and prevents egg-laying. Cinnamon and its compounds effectively hinder bacterial and fungal growth, and the phytotoxic effects of cinnamon make it a possible herbicide. This article presents the wide practical use of cinnamon for various purposes, mainly in agriculture. Cinnamon is a candidate for approval as a basic substance with protective potential. In particular, it can be used in organic farming as a promising alternative to chemical pesticides for use in plant protection, especially in preventive treatments. The use of natural products is in line with the restriction of the use of chemical pesticides and the principles of the EU’s Green Deal.
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Topic review
Updated time: 28 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Liina Tonisson
Definition: The “citizen science” term is used for environmental monitoring projects or an ongoing program of scientific work in which individual volunteers or networks of volunteers, many of whom may have no specific scientific training, perform or manage air quality research-related tasks such as observation, measurement, data validation, or computation. It reflects a contemporary understanding of science that allows societal engagement through participatory methods. The term "citizen science method" for knowledge transfer purposes can be defined as the four-element study design consisting of preparation, measurements, data analysis, and scientific support components for societal engagement. Each of the four elements is a prerequisite for involving various citizen communities in scientific processes. The method for citizen science is therefore valid if all four of the elements are integrated into the study design.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Alex Ellery
Definition: Closed ecological life support systems (CELSS) requires agricultural production for food, CO2removal, O2generation (human respiratory quotient ofCO2/[O2= 0.84–0.87 depending on the percentage formation of carbohydrate, fat and protein in the food consumed) and water recycling with bioreactors for recycling waste. Plants consume CO2and H2O for photosynthesis under the action of sufficient PAR to produce carbohydrate food, regenerate oxygen and filter water through evapotranspiration. There have been several bioregenerative life support system programmes including Biosphere 2 (US), CELSS (NASA), Bios-3 (Roscosmos) and its predecessors and MELiSSA (ESA).
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