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Environments, Volume 5, Issue 10 (October 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A three-headed problem: As the population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to quadruple by 2100, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Voltammetric and Spectroscopic Determination of Rare Earth Elements in Fresh and Surface Water Samples
Environments 2018, 5(10), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100112
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
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Abstract
The increasing demand for rare earth elements in green technology, electronic components, petroleum refining, and agricultural activities has resulted in their scattering and accumulation in the environment. This study determined cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium in environmental water samples with the help of adsorptive
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The increasing demand for rare earth elements in green technology, electronic components, petroleum refining, and agricultural activities has resulted in their scattering and accumulation in the environment. This study determined cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium in environmental water samples with the help of adsorptive differential pulse stripping voltammetry (AdDPSV) and inductive coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). A comparison of the results of these two analytical techniques was also made. The accuracy and precision of the methods were evaluated by spiking water samples with a known amount of REEs. The detection limit obtained for the stripping analysis was 0.10 μg/L for Ce(III), and 2.10 μg/L for combined La(III) and Pr(III). The spectroscopic method of determination by ICP-OES was applied to the same samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the voltammetry procedure. The ICP-OES detection limit obtained was 2.45, 3.12 and 3.90 μg/L for Ce(III), La(III) and Pr(III), respectively. The results obtained from the two techniques showed low detection limits in voltammetry; the ICP-OES method achieved better simultaneous analysis. This sensor has been successfully applied for the determination of cerium, lanthanum, and praseodymium in environmental water samples, offering good results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology of Trace Metals)
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Open AccessArticle Ecotoxicity of In-Situ Produced Compost Intended for Landfill Restoration
Environments 2018, 5(10), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100111
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
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Abstract
Municipal solid waste (MSW) has become a matter of increasing global concern. Biological conversion is considered to be the most applicable disposal method, especially for the organic fraction of MSW. The aim of this study was to evaluate composting as a treatment method
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Municipal solid waste (MSW) has become a matter of increasing global concern. Biological conversion is considered to be the most applicable disposal method, especially for the organic fraction of MSW. The aim of this study was to evaluate composting as a treatment method for the sustainable management and recycling of MSW and to test the ecotoxicity of the compost produced on the landfill surface. The ecotoxicity of the compost was investigated by means of a set of biological tests. The ecotoxicological impact of the compost was evaluated by plant growth tests with white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plants were grown under controlled conditions for 21 days, in earthen pots, treated with MSW compost (MSWC) to study the effect of MSWC on plant biomass production. Sprouts and the number of growing plants occurring in the earthen pots were counted. The values obtained from three simultaneously conducted experiments were averaged and presented. Plants growing in the earthen pots with the compost exhibited increasing plant biomass while no changes were observed in their appearance; retarded growth or necrotic changes were not recorded. The ecotoxicity tests performed show that the analyzed compost produced in the composting plant situated on the landfill surface achieved high percentages of the germinating capacity of white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seeds and can be therefore used in the subsequent reclamation of the landfill concerned. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Land Use Planning and Wildlife-Inflicted Crop Damage in Zambia
Environments 2018, 5(10), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100110
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Abstract
Damage to crops from wildlife interference is a common threat to food security among rural communities in or near Game Management Areas (GMAs) in Zambia. This study uses a two-stage model and cross-sectional data from a survey of 2769 households to determine the
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Damage to crops from wildlife interference is a common threat to food security among rural communities in or near Game Management Areas (GMAs) in Zambia. This study uses a two-stage model and cross-sectional data from a survey of 2769 households to determine the impact of land use planning on the probability and extent of wildlife-inflicted crop damage. The results show that crop damage is higher in GMAs as compared to non-GMAs, and that land use planning could be an effective tool to significantly reduce the likelihood of such damage. These findings suggest that there is merit in the current drive to develop and implement land use plans to minimize human-wildlife conflict such as crop damage. This is especially critical as Zambian conservation policies do not explicitly provide compensation for damage caused by wildlife. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle Threats to Rural Landscape and Its Protection in Poland
Environments 2018, 5(10), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100109
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 22 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
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Abstract
The article describes the premises and conditions for the implementation of a pro-landscape spatial policy in rural areas in Poland. It presents the erosion of spatial order in a large part of the country’s territory. Firstly, the state of protection of the rural
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The article describes the premises and conditions for the implementation of a pro-landscape spatial policy in rural areas in Poland. It presents the erosion of spatial order in a large part of the country’s territory. Firstly, the state of protection of the rural landscape and the legal aspects of shaping the space of rural areas are described. Secondly, the location is depicted, and the main physiognomic and environmental threats in the rural areas are discussed. It is then questioned whether the statutory regulations that have been introduced into the spatial planning system and adapt the Polish law to the requirements of the European Landscape Convention will stop the degradation of the landscape. Deep systemic changes are needed, as they will lead to the involvement of public policy in shaping the landscape and the introduction of tools and procedures for the management of visual landscape resources. They would constitute a convenient space for mediation in the relations between actors operating in space and an open knowledge laboratory of the environment, which would be useful in the participatory planning process. The presented arguments and conclusions result from the review and analysis of research results, which are mainly in the field of landscape protection and rural area management. Full article
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Open AccessReview Holistic Assessment of Carbon Capture and Utilization Value Chains
Environments 2018, 5(10), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100108
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
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Abstract
Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is recognized by the European Union, along with carbon, capture and storage (CCS), as one of the main tools towards global warming mitigation. It has, thus, been extensively studied by various researchers around the world. The majority of
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Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is recognized by the European Union, along with carbon, capture and storage (CCS), as one of the main tools towards global warming mitigation. It has, thus, been extensively studied by various researchers around the world. The majority of the papers published so far focus on the individual stages of a CCU value chain (carbon capture, separation, purification, transportation, and transformation/utilization). However, a holistic approach, taking into account the matching and the interaction between these stages, is also necessary in order to optimize and develop technically and economically feasible CCU value chains. The objective of this contribution is to present the most important studies that are related to the individual stages of CCU and to perform a critical review of the major existing methods, algorithms and tools that focus on the simulation or optimization of CCU value chains. The key research gaps will be identified and examined in order to lay the foundation for the development of a methodology towards the holistic assessment of CCU value chains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy and Population in Sub-Saharan Africa: Energy for Four Billion?
Environments 2018, 5(10), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100107
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
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Abstract
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to several of the world’s least developed economies. Additionally, forty percent of the nearly one billion people in this region lack access to basic electricity. There are several initiatives and programs aimed at increasing electricity access, clean cooking fuel,
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Sub-Saharan Africa is home to several of the world’s least developed economies. Additionally, forty percent of the nearly one billion people in this region lack access to basic electricity. There are several initiatives and programs aimed at increasing electricity access, clean cooking fuel, and renewable energy around the world. Economic development efforts have traditionally relied on increasing an economy’s use of fossil fuels. However, global climate change agreements and mitigation efforts are in direct contrast with this approach. As such, future development efforts must fit into the larger energy–population–climate nexus of global sustainability. Here we utilise a quantitative approach to examine three scenarios for development in sub-Saharan Africa and compare the results to nine historical examples of economic development. While no perfect development analogue was found, there are several lessons that can be learned from the last half century of efforts. We find that UN projected population growth in the region is expected to outpace non-renewable energy availability. The population of sub-Saharan Africa, and subsequent projected growth (4 billion by 2100), will represent a significant energy and climate strain on the 21st century world. In a larger sense, the social and economic development of sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be tied to an increase in per capita energy consumption. This increase is not going to come from traditional fossil fuels and will therefore require significant investment in a renewable energy infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Systems and Sources)
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Open AccessEditorial Preface: Special Issue on Innovative Processes and Technologies for the Management of Hazardous Waste
Environments 2018, 5(10), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5100106
Received: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 22 September 2018
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Abstract
As economies grow in developing countries, waste generation rates are increasing steadily [1]. [...] Full article
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