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Special Issue "Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Geonha Kim

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hannam University, Ojungdong, Daedukku, Daejeon, 306-791, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water quality management; diffuse pollution abatement; groundwater remediation; environmental site assessment
Guest Editor
Dr. Daniel C.W. Tsang

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil remediation; water quality management and remediation; soil humic substances; biochar
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Zeng-Yei Hseu

Professor, Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, 1, Sect. 4th, Roosevelt road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil genesis and classification; soil quality evaluation; soil nutrient dynamics; behavior and bioavailability of heavy metals; soil remediation techniques and phytoremediation
Guest Editor
Dr. Chaeyoung Lee

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Suwon, 17 Wauan-gil, Bongdam-eup, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil remediation; water remediation; biohydrogeon production; microbial fuel cell; bioreactors
Guest Editor
Dr. Meththika Vithanage

Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka Adjunct Associate Research Professor, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Campus, Queensland, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water quality monitoring and remediation; landfill leachate treatment; soil remediation; biochar and minerals as adsorption removal of pollutants
Guest Editor
Dr. Yong Sik Ok

Professor, Korea Biochar Research Center and School of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Kangwon National Univerisity, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Interests: soil/sediment remediation; biochar; bioavailability; emerging contaminants; trace elements; bioenergy and value-added products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) swept the country of Korea in the winter of 2010, and over three million pigs and cows were buried to prevent an epidemic. Now, concerns over the possible leakage of the leachate discharged from the decomposing carcasses of the infected animals, and its contamination of the groundwater, are mounting.

Depopulation is a primary protocol to mitigate the virus spreading during animal disease outbreak in many countries. Korea is very unique in field deployment of this policy, fundamentally this is caused by conflicts between stakeholders. Government administrations, livestock breeding farmers, and NGOs influence on every step of decision-making, and even technological development. The assemblage of key technologies to cope with possible national disasters are often hampered by this ignorance. Disaster prevention is a worldwide interest, and the essence of carcass management is to promote biosecurity to achieve better public health.

Various types of hazards and risks are associated with carcass management during animal disease outbreak. Maximizing biosecurity during outbreak is a primary cause, which is responsible for mass carcasses disposal. Burial is a widely-adopted disposal practice in Korea during disease outbreaks, mainly due to its simplicity and the swiftness of implementation, especially where livestock farms are densely populated. However, the biosecurity side of carcass disposal is often overlooked, again, mainly, due to critical demands from stakeholders; this ignorance often leads to other risks to public health and environment. It can be taken into account from the many meetings of specialists that antibiotic agents, which are a typical hazard, should not be missed when assessing potential threats to the public health. Overdose medicals injected livestock to prevent early mortality may remain in the environment due to mass depopulation of livestock, and the antibiotic is a critical material to consider when deriving necessity techniques to secure public safety. Many burial sites are being used as crop fields without proper guidelines, and thus become potential threats to public health security. In addition, Korea is a country that allows relocation of depopulated carcasses, even right after burial, when the groundwater quality is determined vulnerable, without assessing its consequences to public health.

In this Special Issue, the state-of-the-art technologies and their deployment strategies to the field, to minimize adverse impacts of burial sites, will be published.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer-review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, development and applications.

Dr. Geonha Kim
Dr. Daniel C.W. Tsang
Dr. Zeng-Yei Hseu
Dr. Chaeyoung Lee
Dr. Meththika Vithanage
Dr. Yong Sik Ok
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biosecurity enhancement of burial managements
  • Environmental risk management of burial sites
  • Enhancement of carcasses decomposition
  • Assessment of soil and groundwater quality in the vicinity of burial sites
  • Remediation of leachate-contaminated groundwater and soil

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Pollutants and Microbial Communities Obtained in Simulated Lysimeters of Swine Carcasses
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 471; doi:10.3390/su9030471
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
This study was performed to investigate the characteristics of pollutants and microbial communities obtained in simulated lysimeters and to evaluate the effects of anaerobic sludge and water on the biodegradation of swine carcasses. The leachate production rates of Lysimeters 2 and 3 with
[...] Read more.
This study was performed to investigate the characteristics of pollutants and microbial communities obtained in simulated lysimeters and to evaluate the effects of anaerobic sludge and water on the biodegradation of swine carcasses. The leachate production rates of Lysimeters 2 and 3 with the addition of anaerobic sludge were higher than that of Lysimeter 1 (control). The methane production rate of Lysimeter 3 with anaerobic sludge addition and increased water content was higher than those of other lysimeters. The result of microbial community analysis revealed that the relative abundances of Proteobacteria including pathogens in Lysimeter 3 were lower than those in other lysimeters. Overall, this study demonstrated that the proper operating conditions of lysimeters accelerated the stabilization of swine carcasses and could contribute to sustainable land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Political Response to Foot-and-Mouth Disease: A Review of Korean News
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 463; doi:10.3390/su9030463
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 2010/2011 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Korea produced about 4500 burial sites for 3.5 million animal carcasses, which can be summarized as quick, mass burials, at or near the outbreak farms. An FMD outbreak has occurred nearly every year since the big
[...] Read more.
The 2010/2011 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Korea produced about 4500 burial sites for 3.5 million animal carcasses, which can be summarized as quick, mass burials, at or near the outbreak farms. An FMD outbreak has occurred nearly every year since the big outbreak, although the sizes of these outbreaks have been small. This article presents the rationale behind government policies for FMD outbreaks and disposal sites, the secrecy of the government administration and the neglect of scientific data. We compared government news announcements with news from the non-governmental sector by analyzing all the news for FMD and disposal sites from 29 October 2010, the first day of the big outbreak to August 2016. We found that the Korean response to the FMD outbreak originated from political purposes. We present four rationales for our arguments including: (1) a military collision between North and South of Korea; (2) the reformation of four big rivers; (3) the incident at the Fukushima Atomic Energy Plant of Japan; and (4) the national elections. We believe that the next response should be based on scientific data and proof, and also from the environmental perspective, not the political or industry perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Management of Animal Carcass Disposal Sites Using a Biochar Permeable Reactive Barrier and Fast Growth Tree (Populus euramericana): A Field Study in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 457; doi:10.3390/su9030457
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 19 March 2017
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Abstract
Among many disposal options of animal carcasses due to animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza (AI), on-farm burial has been the most frequently used one in Korea. Animal carcasses generate contaminants such as ammonium-N and chloride. This study aimed at
[...] Read more.
Among many disposal options of animal carcasses due to animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and avian influenza (AI), on-farm burial has been the most frequently used one in Korea. Animal carcasses generate contaminants such as ammonium-N and chloride. This study aimed at testing biochar (BC) as a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) material in combination with fast growing tree species (Populus euramericana) to mitigate groundwater pollution from animal burial sites. For this, a PRB filled with BC was installed and 400 poplar tree (P. euramericana) seedlings were planted. Tested BC was obtained from rice husk and its efficiency to mitigate contaminant migration from a burial site of pig carcasses was tested using ammonium-N, chloride, electrical conductivity (EC), and pH as monitoring parameters. Monitoring wells downstream from the burial site were used. Leachates from a monitoring well, three wells inside the burial site close to PRB and three wells outside the burial site close to PRB were sampled and analyzed for ammonium-N, Cl, EC, and pH for four years from PRB installation. The pH, EC, and ammonium-N of leachate fluctuated during the test period depending on precipitation. pH, EC, and ammonium-N of the leachate samples collected from outside of the burial site close to PRB decreased compared to those from inside of the burial site close to PRB. The concentrations of ammonium-N in the leachate from the monitoring well kept under the threshold value of 10 mg·L−1 for two years from PRB construction. In addition, the growth of poplar plants appeared to be increased via uptaking available N and P released from the burial sites. Achieved results suggest that BC PRBs can be used to in situ mitigate contaminant release from buried animal carcasses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Pilot-Scale Bio-Augmented Aerobic Composting of Excavated Foot-And-Mouth Disease Carcasses
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 445; doi:10.3390/su9030445
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present work, we tested the validity of using novel, bio-augmented, aerobic composting with carcass-degrading microorganisms for the ex situ stabilization of carcasses at pilot scale with previously poorly decomposed carcasses excavated from a 3-year old burial site. The significantly decreased chemical
[...] Read more.
In the present work, we tested the validity of using novel, bio-augmented, aerobic composting with carcass-degrading microorganisms for the ex situ stabilization of carcasses at pilot scale with previously poorly decomposed carcasses excavated from a 3-year old burial site. The significantly decreased chemical oxygen demand (COD, 160,000 mg/kg to 40,000 mg/kg) and inorganic nitrogen species (total nitrogen, 5000 mg/kg to 2000 mg/kg) indicated effective bio-stabilization of carcasses by bio-augmented composting. The subsequent germination assays and the quantitative characterization of potentially pathogenic bacteria using NGS (next-generation sequencing) showed that the burial–composting sequential system with the carcass-degrading microorganisms and mechanical agitation successfully reduced plant toxicity as well as microbial risk to human health, suggesting that the composting by-product is suitable for farming or/and landfill use(s). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 310; doi:10.3390/su9020310
Received: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality
[...] Read more.
Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition. Relatively higher microbial community richness and enzyme activities were found in the organic fertilizers applied soils as compared to the inorganic fertilizers applied soils. Principal component analysis explained the positive influence of organic fertilizers on the microbial community. The application of organic fertilizers can be a better alternative compared to inorganic fertilizers for the long-term health and security of urban agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Corn Residue Biochar on the Hydraulic Properties of Sandy Loam Soil
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 266; doi:10.3390/su9020266
Received: 26 November 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biochar has an ability to alter the biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil due to its physicochemical properties such as surface area, porosity, nutrient retention ability, available nutrient contents, aromaticity, etc. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of physical
[...] Read more.
Biochar has an ability to alter the biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil due to its physicochemical properties such as surface area, porosity, nutrient retention ability, available nutrient contents, aromaticity, etc. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of physical properties and application rate of biochar on the hydraulic properties of a sandy loam soil in the short term. Biochar was produced at 500 °C from dried corn residue (BC500). The BC500 was incorporated at the rates of 0, 2.5%, 5.0%, 7.5%, and 10% (w·w−1) into the sandy loam soil and filled up to a height of 4 cm, in cores having 5 cm diameter and height. Each treatment was performed in triplicate and equilibrated for 30 days. Then saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), water holding capacity (WHC), and bulk density were determined in each sample after four days of saturation at room temperature in a water bath. The BC500 particle size distribution, pores, and surface functional groups were assessed. The Ksat exhibited a highly significant exponential reduction from 0% to 7.5% of BC500 application and approached an asymptote at 10% BC500. Bulk density showed a significant negative correlation to biochar application rate. The WHC and BC500 application rate illustrated a strong positive relationship. Biochar surface was free from hydrophobic functional groups. The addition of BC500 has a positive influence on soil hydraulic properties, primarily due to the increased soil porosity. The BC500 is composed of a microporous structure and hydrophilic surface that retain water in sandy textured soils. The application of BC500 would be a wise investment to maximize the water use efficiency in soils for agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal by Woody Plants with Deep-Planting Technique for the Potential Environmental Management of Carcass Burial Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 155; doi:10.3390/su9010155
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3086 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phytoremediation is a promising technology to remediate carcass burial sites where deep soil layers are contaminated with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and other potential contaminants by leachate. The current study was conducted to examine the remedial efficiency of two different woody plants, poplar
[...] Read more.
Phytoremediation is a promising technology to remediate carcass burial sites where deep soil layers are contaminated with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and other potential contaminants by leachate. The current study was conducted to examine the remedial efficiency of two different woody plants, poplar (Populus euramericana) and willow (Salix alba), by employing the deep-planting technique for the enhanced removal of N and P for the soil affected by leachate. For this, pot trials to assess N and P removal efficiency of poplar and willow in liquid manure-applied soil, and pilot-scale column experiments to evaluate the suitability of the deep-planting technique for the enhanced phytoremediation of deep soil layer were conducted. The results of this study showed that poplar and willow removed N and P from soils effectively while surviving under deep-planting conditions. Notably, compared to the surface planted roots, the roots of the deep-planted poplar and willow could transfer significant amounts of N and P leachate from the deep soil layer to the rhizosphere, from where it can be absorbed by the plants. For the first time, the use of poplar or willow plants are recommended by employing the deep-planting technique for the successful remediation of carcass burial sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle Biochars as Potential Adsorbers of CH4, CO2 and H2S
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 121; doi:10.3390/su9010121
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 14 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methane gas, as one of the major biogases, is a potential source of renewable energy for power production. Biochar can be readily used to purify biogas contaminants such as H2S and CO2. This study assessed the adsorption of CH
[...] Read more.
Methane gas, as one of the major biogases, is a potential source of renewable energy for power production. Biochar can be readily used to purify biogas contaminants such as H2S and CO2. This study assessed the adsorption of CH4, H2S, and CO2 onto four different types of biochars. The adsorption dynamics of biochars were investigated in a fixed-bed column, by determining the breakthrough curves and adsorption capacities of biochars. The physicochemical properties of biochars were considered to justify the adsorption performance. The results showed that CH4 was not adsorbed well by the subjected biochars whereas CO2 and H2S were successfully captured. The H2S and CO2 breakthrough capacity were related to both the surface adsorption and chemical reaction. The adsorption capacity was in the following order: perilla > soybean stover > Korean oak > Japanese oak biochars. The simultaneous adsorption also leads to a competition of sorption sites. Biochars are a promising material for the biogas purification industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Experiences of Mass Pig Carcass Disposal Related to Groundwater Quality Monitoring in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 46; doi:10.3390/su9010046
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 December 2016 / Published: 29 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (8004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pig industry is the most crucial animal industry in Taiwan; 10.7 million pigs were reared for consumption in 1996. A foot and mouth disease (FMD) epidemic broke out on 19 March 1997, and 3,850,536 pigs were culled before July in the same
[...] Read more.
The pig industry is the most crucial animal industry in Taiwan; 10.7 million pigs were reared for consumption in 1996. A foot and mouth disease (FMD) epidemic broke out on 19 March 1997, and 3,850,536 pigs were culled before July in the same year. The major disposal method of pig carcasses from the FMD outbreak was burial, followed by burning and incineration. To investigate groundwater quality, environmental monitoring of burial sites was performed from October 1997 to June 1999; groundwater monitoring of 90–777 wells in 20 prefectures was performed wo to six times in 1998. Taiwanese governmental agencies analyzed 3723 groundwater samples using a budget of US $1.5 million. The total bacterial count, fecal coliform, Salmonella spp., nitrite-N, nitrate-N, ammonium-N, sulfate, non-purgeable organic carbon, total oil, and total dissolved solid were recognized as indicators of groundwater contamination resulting from pig carcass burial. Groundwater at the burial sites was considered to be contaminated on the basis of the aforementioned indicators, particularly groundwater at burial sites without an impermeable cloth and those located at a relatively short distance from the monitoring well. The burial sites selected during outbreaks in Taiwan should have a low surrounding population, be away from water preservation areas, and undergo regular monitoring of groundwater quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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