Next Issue
Volume 6, September
Previous Issue
Volume 6, July

Table of Contents

Environments, Volume 6, Issue 8 (August 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Land use regression (LUR) is a widely used technique in epidemiology to estimate mid- and long-term [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Chlorophyll in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Correlations with Environmental Factors and Trends
Environments 2019, 6(8), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080098 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The research on marine chlorophyll concentrations, as indicators of phytoplankton abundance, their relations with environmental parameters, and their trends is of global interest. It is also crucial when referring to oligotrophic environments where maintenance or increase in primary production is vital. The present [...] Read more.
The research on marine chlorophyll concentrations, as indicators of phytoplankton abundance, their relations with environmental parameters, and their trends is of global interest. It is also crucial when referring to oligotrophic environments where maintenance or increase in primary production is vital. The present study focuses on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea that is in general oligotrophic. Its primary goal is to explore possible relations between surface chlorophyll-a concentrations and environmental factors. The involved parameters are the sea surface temperature, the wind speed, the wave height, the precipitation, and the mean sea level pressure; their relation with chlorophyll is assessed through the calculation of the relevant correlation coefficients, based on monthly satellite-derived and numerical model data for the period 1998–2016. The results show that chlorophyll relates inversely with sea surface temperature; in general positively with wind speed and wave height; positively, although weaker, with precipitation; and negatively, but area and season limited, with mean sea level pressure. These correlations are stronger over the open southern part of the study area and strongly dependent on the season. A secondary aim of the study is the estimation of chlorophyll trends for the same time interval, which is performed separately for the low and the high production periods. The statistically significant results reveal only increasing local chlorophyll trends that, for each period, mainly characterize the eastern and the western part of the area, respectively. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Production of Ethanol from Livestock, Agricultural, and Forest Residuals: An Economic Feasibility Study
Environments 2019, 6(8), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080097 - 17 Aug 2019
Viewed by 551
Abstract
In this study, the economic feasibility of producing ethanol from gasification followed by syngas fermentation via commercially available technologies was theoretically evaluated using a set of selected livestock and agricultural and forest residuals ranging from low valued feedstocks (i.e., wood, wheat straw, wheat [...] Read more.
In this study, the economic feasibility of producing ethanol from gasification followed by syngas fermentation via commercially available technologies was theoretically evaluated using a set of selected livestock and agricultural and forest residuals ranging from low valued feedstocks (i.e., wood, wheat straw, wheat straws blended with dewatered swine manure, and corn stover) to high valued oilseed rape meal. A preliminary cost analysis of an integrated commercial system was made for two cases, a regional scale 50 million gallon (189,271 m3) per year facility (MGY) and a co-op scale 1–2 MGY facility. The estimates for the minimum ethanol selling prices (MESP) depend heavily on the facility size and feedstock costs. For the 1–2 MGY (3785–7571 m3/y) facility, the MESP ranged from $5.61–$7.39 per gallon ($1.48–$1.95 per liter) for the four low-value feedstocks. These high costs suggest that the co-op scale even for the low-value feedstocks may not be economically sustainable. However, the MESP for the 50 MGY facility were significantly lower and comparable to gasoline prices ($2.24–$2.96 per gallon or $0.59–$0.78 per liter) for these low-value feedstocks, clearly showing the benefits of scale-up on construction costs and MESP. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen Mineralization in a Sandy Soil Amended with Treated Low-Phosphorus Broiler Litter
Environments 2019, 6(8), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080096 - 14 Aug 2019
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Low-phosphorus (P) litter, a manure treatment byproduct, can be used as an organic soil amendment and nitrogen (N) source but its effect on N mineralization is unknown. A laboratory incubation study was conducted to compare the effect of adding untreated (fine or pelletized) [...] Read more.
Low-phosphorus (P) litter, a manure treatment byproduct, can be used as an organic soil amendment and nitrogen (N) source but its effect on N mineralization is unknown. A laboratory incubation study was conducted to compare the effect of adding untreated (fine or pelletized) broiler litter (FUL or PUL) versus extracted, low-P treated (fine or pelletized) broiler litter (FLP or PLP) on N dynamics in a sandy soil. All four litter materials were surface applied at 157 kg N ha−1. The soil accumulation of ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3) were used to estimate available mineralized N. The evolution of carbon dioxide (CO2), ammonia (NH3), and nitrous oxide (N2O) was used to evaluate gaseous losses during soil incubation. Untreated litter materials provided high levels of mineralized N, 71% of the total N applied for FUL and 64% for PUL, while NH3 losses were 24% to 35% and N2O losses were 3.3% to 7.4% of the total applied N, respectively. Soil application of low-P treated litter provided lower levels of mineralized N, 42% for FLP and 29% for PLP of the total applied N with NH3 losses of 5.7% for FLP for and 4.1% for PLP, and very low N2O losses (0.5%). Differences in mineralized N between untreated and treated broiler litter materials were attributed to contrasting C:N ratios and acidity of the low-P litter byproducts. Soil application of treated low-P litter appears as an option for slow mineral N release and abatement of NH3 and N2O soil losses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Household Consumers in Adopting Renewable Energy Technologies in Kenya
Environments 2019, 6(8), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080095 - 13 Aug 2019
Viewed by 559
Abstract
In transition to a low-carbon economy, the adoption of renewable energy (RE) technologies by energy investors, power utilities and energy consumers is critical. In developing countries like Kenya with a high rate of urbanization, this transition requires urban and rural residents’ proactive responses [...] Read more.
In transition to a low-carbon economy, the adoption of renewable energy (RE) technologies by energy investors, power utilities and energy consumers is critical. In developing countries like Kenya with a high rate of urbanization, this transition requires urban and rural residents’ proactive responses to using renewable energy sources. In this regard, a better understanding of residents’ perceptions about renewable energy investment, RE sources availability, climate change, environmental conservation and other factors can lead to more efficient and sustainable implementation of renewable energy policies. This study investigates the role Kenya’s household energy consumers in urban and rural areas can play in adopting renewable energy technologies. To achieve this, a questionnaire survey was administered among 250 household consumers in Nairobi County, Makueni County, and Uasin Gishu County. Our survey analysis shows that about 84% of the respondents were interested in adopting renewable energy for their entire energy consumption mostly because of solving frequent power outages and high energy cost from the grid system. This perception did not have any correlations with income levels or any other socio-economic factors we identified. Furthermore, about 72% of the respondents showed their interests in producing and selling renewable energy to the national or local grids if government subsidies were readily available. Rural residents showed strong interests in adopting renewable energy technologies, especially solar PV solutions. However, the main impediment to their investment in renewable energy was the high cost of equipment (49%) and the intermittent nature of renewable energy (27%) resources. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for Onshore Windfarm Siting in Greece
Environments 2019, 6(8), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080094 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 691
Abstract
The distance between theory and practice in the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process is particularly noticeable. The development of an integrated, comprehensive and systematic approach guided by the related literature is considered to be an ideal condition for enhancing the value of SEA [...] Read more.
The distance between theory and practice in the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process is particularly noticeable. The development of an integrated, comprehensive and systematic approach guided by the related literature is considered to be an ideal condition for enhancing the value of SEA and increasing its effectiveness. The aim of the present paper was to develop a methodological approach of the most technical and critical stages of SEA for onshore wind farm (OWF) siting. The methodological framework included the proposal of the SEA objectives along with the indicators’ development, the identification of alternatives, the selection of a ‘most viable or sustainable’ alternative, the identification of potential impacts, their assessment, and finally, the proposal of a SEA monitoring system using both qualitative and quantitative methods, tools, and techniques. OWF siting within low and/or moderate sensitivity areas was considered as the most viable/sustainable alternative. SEA highlighted that OWF siting caused moderately to highly significant negative impacts on the thematic section of biodiversity and extremely significant positive impacts on the thematic sections of renewable energy sources, economy, and society. Although the proposed methodology was applied on SEA of OWF siting in Greece, it can be used universally to identify the impacts of OWF siting planning. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of Multiple Stakeholders about Environmental Issues at a Nature-Based Tourism Destination: The Case of Yakushima Island, Japan
Environments 2019, 6(8), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080093 - 07 Aug 2019
Viewed by 754
Abstract
The success of nature-based tourism destinations depends on the sustainable use of common pool resources (CPRs). More often than not, tourism demands compete for these resources, exerting pressure on them, resulting in decline of the CPRs. Managing tourism and environmental resources has become [...] Read more.
The success of nature-based tourism destinations depends on the sustainable use of common pool resources (CPRs). More often than not, tourism demands compete for these resources, exerting pressure on them, resulting in decline of the CPRs. Managing tourism and environmental resources has become extremely important, but also more complex, as the interests of different stakeholders are intertwined across international, national, and local levels. Hence, this study aimed to investigate how stakeholder groups perceive the issues relating to the environment using Yakushima Island, Japan for a case study. Quantitative data were collected by administering a questionnaire to residents and tourism practitioners, while qualitative data were gathered through semi-structured interviews conducted with organizations involved with tourism and environmental management in Yakushima. The study reveals that the underlying environmental issues in Yakushima result from an increase in tourists and controversial management of deer populations. Both residents and tourism practitioners indicated that more trash in the community was the most significant impact of tourism on the environment. Some perceptions were contradictory. Management authorities noted an increase in the deer population, which needs to be controlled to prevent damage to natural vegetation. Most tour guides reported a decrease in the sighting of deer along hiking trails, frustrating the genuine expectations of the tourist. The connection of the deer issue to tourism turned out to be very complex, as an overabundance of deer endangers parts of the vegetation tourists come to enjoy, while at the same time deer are an important part of the tourists’ experience. Different perceptions on deer by different stakeholders add to this complexity, which needs to be taken into consideration for proper management of tourists and deer in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact of Nature-Based Tourism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Distribution, Sources, and Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Estuary of Hongze Lake, China
Environments 2019, 6(8), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080092 - 06 Aug 2019
Viewed by 561
Abstract
Hongze Lake is the first natural sink for transferring drinking water along the east route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China. Thus, the assessment of health risk associated with sediment and soil in Hongze Lake is of vital importance in terms [...] Read more.
Hongze Lake is the first natural sink for transferring drinking water along the east route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project in China. Thus, the assessment of health risk associated with sediment and soil in Hongze Lake is of vital importance in terms of protecting public health. This study surveyed the distribution of sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in different types of bank soils and sediments at the estuary area of Hongze Lake. The total concentrations of PAHs range between 562.4 and 1585.8 ng/g, and 3- and 4-ring PAHs are the majority in all samples, accounting for 78.2% to 92.3% of the total PAHs. Source analysis was conducted, and the results showed that PAHs in the estuary area mainly come from the burning of fossil fuels, leakage of oil products, low temperature combustion, biomass fuel, and transportation. The risk assessment of the study area showed that the K values of all the points were between 0.1~3, indicating that there was a low ecological risk. This study indicates that further policies for controlling pollution sources of PAHs are needed for reducing health risks associated with fresh water in Hongze Lake. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Differences in Microbial Communities and Pathogen Survival Between a Covered and Uncovered Anaerobic Lagoon
Environments 2019, 6(8), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080091 - 06 Aug 2019
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Anaerobic lagoons are a critical component of confined swine feeding operations. These structures can be modified, using a synthetic cover, to enhance their ability to capture the emission of ammonia and other malodorous compounds. Very little has been done to assess the potential [...] Read more.
Anaerobic lagoons are a critical component of confined swine feeding operations. These structures can be modified, using a synthetic cover, to enhance their ability to capture the emission of ammonia and other malodorous compounds. Very little has been done to assess the potential of these covers to alter lagoon biological properties. Alterations in the physicochemical makeup can impact the biological properties, most notably, the pathogenic populations. To this aim, we performed a seasonal study of two commercial swine operations, one with a conventional open lagoon, the other which employed a permeable, synthetic cover. Results indicated that lagoon fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli were significantly influenced by sampling location (lagoon vs house) and lagoon type (open vs. covered), while Enterococcus sp. were influenced by sampling location only. Comparisons against environmental variables revealed that fecal coliforms (r2 = 0.40), E. coli (r2 = 0.58), and Enterococcus sp. (r2 = 0.25) significantly responded to changes in pH. Deep 16S sequencing of lagoon and house bacterial and archaeal communities demonstrated grouping by both sampling location and lagoon type, with several environmental variables correlating to microbial community differences. Overall, these results demonstrate that permeable synthetic covers play a role in changing the lagoon microclimate, impacting lagoon physicochemical and biological properties. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Is a Land Use Regression Model Capable of Predicting the Cleanest Route to School?
Environments 2019, 6(8), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080090 - 30 Jul 2019
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Land Use Regression (LUR) modeling is a widely used technique to model the spatial variability of air pollutants in epidemiology. In this study, we explore whether a LUR model can predict home-to-school commuting exposure to black carbon (BC). During January and February 2019, [...] Read more.
Land Use Regression (LUR) modeling is a widely used technique to model the spatial variability of air pollutants in epidemiology. In this study, we explore whether a LUR model can predict home-to-school commuting exposure to black carbon (BC). During January and February 2019, 43 children walking to school were involved in a personal monitoring campaign measuring exposure to BC and tracking their home-to-school routes. At the same time, a previously developed LUR model for the study area was applied to estimate BC exposure on points along the route. Personal BC exposure varied widely with mean ± SD of 9003 ± 4864 ng/m3. The comparison between the two methods showed good agreement (Pearson’s r = 0.74, Lin’s Concordance Correlation Coefficient = 0.6), suggesting that LUR estimates are capable of catching differences among routes and predicting the cleanest route. However, the model tends to underestimate absolute concentrations by 29% on average. A LUR model can be useful in predicting personal exposure and can help urban planners in Milan to build a healthier city for schoolchildren by promoting less polluted home-to-school routes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Odours in Sewerage—A Description of Emissions and of Technical Abatement Measures
Environments 2019, 6(8), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080089 - 26 Jul 2019
Viewed by 792
Abstract
Malodorous compounds arise at practically every stage of wastewater management, starting from the sewer network, via the technological sewage-treatment system, through to the sludge-management stage. The formation of hydrogen sulphide is a significant problem even while sewage remains in sewers, as anaerobic conditions [...] Read more.
Malodorous compounds arise at practically every stage of wastewater management, starting from the sewer network, via the technological sewage-treatment system, through to the sludge-management stage. The formation of hydrogen sulphide is a significant problem even while sewage remains in sewers, as anaerobic conditions prevalent in the network are conducive to wastewater putrefaction, and therefore contribute to increased malodorous emissions. The development of such anaerobic conditions is favoured by the oversizing of conduits or designs that feature inadequate gradients, causing wastewater in the network to stagnate. Where emissions to the air from wastewater occur, they are found to constitute a complex mixture of perhaps even 1000 different substances, produced under varying process conditions. Among those present are compounds of sulphur and nitrogen, chlorinated compounds, and other organics. In Poland, the issue of odour annoyance has not yet been subject to standardisation in either legal or methodological terms. Indeed, as only 11 EU Member States have regulations in place regarding air-quality standards, it is likely that such a law will soon be developed to try and resolve problems with odour annoyance, including those originating in the systems dealing with wastewater. This denotes a need to develop methods of counteracting the formation of odours, and those of a chemical nature are regarded as among the most effective, hence their growing popularity. They also abide by green-technology principles. Against that background, this article seeks to consider the process by which malodorous substances arise in sewer and wastewater-treatment systems, as well as to discuss methods of odour abatement. The work also presents the current legal regulations of relevance to the issue. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Stakeholders’ Perspectives to Support the Integration of Ecosystem Services in Spatial Planning in Switzerland
Environments 2019, 6(8), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080088 - 26 Jul 2019
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Integrating the concept of ecosystem services (ES) into spatial planning is an opportunity to make land use and management choices that maximize the delivery of multiple ES. The assessment of social demand can be useful for the identification of priority areas or potential [...] Read more.
Integrating the concept of ecosystem services (ES) into spatial planning is an opportunity to make land use and management choices that maximize the delivery of multiple ES. The assessment of social demand can be useful for the identification of priority areas or potential conflicts among stakeholders. We used Q-methodology to understand stakeholder perspectives on ES to facilitate their integration into spatial planning in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Three perspectives, utilitarian, cultural and protective, were analyzed and used to discuss potential implications for spatial planning. First, ecosystem multifunctionality and synergies among ES should be emphasized. Second, the food production system should move away from a productive-only approach, to a system that protects soils and their functions. Providing a paradigm change, arable land could be protected to the same level as forests and farmers could be incentivized further to change their practices. Finally, our findings show a potential over-interpretation of the importance of cultural ES in current planning policies, as most participants would be ready to change their behaviors to preserve biological functions. It would be useful to conduct a similar study in other cantons to ensure that the results are fully representative of the current situation in Switzerland. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Paving the Way for A Sustainable and Efficient SiO2/TiO2 Photocatalytic Composite
Environments 2019, 6(8), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080087 - 25 Jul 2019
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Although photocatalysis is an extraordinary and tremendously explored topic, there is a need to find new ways to encourage the production of composite materials that are economical, efficient and with limited environmental impact. Nanocatalysts may benefit from appropriate support material for many reasons. [...] Read more.
Although photocatalysis is an extraordinary and tremendously explored topic, there is a need to find new ways to encourage the production of composite materials that are economical, efficient and with limited environmental impact. Nanocatalysts may benefit from appropriate support material for many reasons. In this study, TiO2 was deposited on SiO2, so that the silica not only provides the macroscopic structure on which the TiO2 is formed, but it positively affects the photocatalytic activity as well. This is because of the greater specific surface area which favors the adsorption of pollutants near the photocatalyst, the higher amount of surface-adsorbed water and hydroxyl groups and the inhibition of the photogenerated electron-hole recombination. The choice of preparing the Ti-precursor starting from titanium shavings and to directly deposit TiO2 on micrometric-sized silica by a simple hydrothermal method highlights the process sustainability. The results showed that it is possible to produce a photocatalytic composite from secondary materials, exhibiting excellent photocatalytic properties, comparable to the pristine one, and opening the possibility for large-scale production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop