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2014 | Buch

Current Environmental Issues and Challenges

herausgegeben von: Giacomo Cao, Roberto Orrù

Verlag: Springer Netherlands


Über dieses Buch

Few books currently exist that cover such a wide spectrum of topics. The chapters dealing with air pollution from mobile sources, air pollution and health effects and air quality modelling fall into the air pollution category while the ones related to microalgae for carbon dioxide sequestration/biofuels production, fuel cells, and solar energy technology, respectively, can be ascribed to the energy topic. Several technologies to handle a wide spectrum of environmental pollutants are taken into account in numerous chapters. The chapter on biodiversity is clearly related to the conservation issue, while the water pollution subject is tackled by the chapter on water quality monitoring. Finally, a general analysis on green business, as well as a chapter on grid/cloud computing technology for collaborative problem solving and shared resources management conclude the work. Because of its breadth of coverage, this book is particularly useful as a graduate text.


Air Pollution and Health Effects
The quality of the air we breathe is still a major concern to human health. Notwithstanding the air pollution mitigation efforts that have been pursued since the last half of the twentieth century, the World Health Organization estimates that more than two million premature deaths each year can be attributed to the effects of urban outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution. This chapter addresses the evolution of knowledge on the relationship between air pollution and human health, since the first records until nowadays. It also reviews the current approaches to do health impact assessment and the common air pollution – health indicators. A particular case study based on a chain of events, from emissions to the atmosphere until health, passing through exposure and inhaled dose, illustrates how this approach can be explored, providing useful and concrete information.
Ana Isabel Miranda, Joana Valente, Ana Margarida Costa, Myriam Lopes, Carlos Borrego
Air Pollution from Mobile Sources: Formation and Effects and Abatement Strategies
An overview of the issue of air pollution from mobile sources is presented in the present chapter. The chapter is divided into three sections. The first section contains a general introduction on specific aspects of air pollution from internal combustion engines. The topics covered include a description of the primary and secondary pollutants formed and their adverse effects on health and the environment; the mechanisms of pollutant formation and, consequently, the factors which affect their formation; and a historical perspective of the legislative measures progressively introduced over the years. Finally, a brief description of the abatement strategies which may be generally adopted will be given (primary methods vs. secondary methods). The second section describes the state-of-the-art pollution abatement technologies for gasoline, lean-burn and diesel engines. The third section describes aspects related to pollution abatement in the marine sector. Air pollution abatement from ships is of high current interest due to the recent and ongoing introduction of legislation in the area. The specific problems associated with the marine sector are described, along with the strategies/technologies adopted to affront these problems. Historically, thanks in part to the success achieved, there has been a shift in emphasis of the focus of the problem, which has evolved from gasoline-fuelled engines, to diesel and lean-burn gasoline engines, to, more recently, off-road vehicles and marine engines. The present contribution will centre on the development of emission abatement from road vehicles, which have been largely responsible for the technological advances made in the field, and marine engines, which have recently become the subject of attention and can be considered to represent the challenge for the future. The situation regarding off-road vehicles will not be specifically considered as related solutions are derived from the above quoted areas. The contribution is based on a seminar held at the summer school of the International PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering, Cagliari, September 2008.
Neal Hickey, Ilan Boscarato, Jan Kaspar
Air Quality Modelling and Its Applications
Air quality numerical modelling systems are powerful tools for research and policy-making purposes. They describe mathematically the innumerable physical and chemical processes that characterise the atmosphere, with the aim of estimating the air quality levels over a region, ranging from the entire globe to a street, through a long- or short-term analysis. In this chapter an overview on selected air quality models is provided, with examples of numerical applications in the scope of the assessment of the air quality impacts caused by hypothetical changes on emissions, climate and other conditions.
Isabel Ribeiro, Joana Valente, Jorge Humberto Amorim, Ana Isabel Miranda, Myriam Lopes, Carlos Borrego, Alexandra Monteiro
Fuel Cell Technology and Materials
In this chapter, the key role of fuel cells and regenerative fuel cell technologies, in the future energetic scenarios based on renewable energy sources, is described. The fuel cell technology is reviewed; its working principles are summarized and mathematically described by means of a simple analytical model. It is found that the limits of fuel cell competitiveness can be overcome only through a specific design of its key component materials: the electrolyte and the electrocatalyst. Examples of material design research achievements are reported for both fuel cells and regenerative fuel cells.
Lorenzo Pisani, Bruno D’Aguanno, Vito Di Noto, John Andrews
Engineering Aspects Related to the Use of Microalgae for Biofuel Production and CO2 Capture from Flue Gases
The recent achievements in the field of CO2 capture and biofuel production through microalgae are presented in this chapter. Specifically, after a brief analysis of the main biological, chemical, and physical phenomena involved in the photosynthetic conversion of CO2 to biofuels, the current technologies for CO2 capture, microalgae growth, biomass harvesting, and lipid extraction are critically assessed with a particular focus on the potential exploitation of recent research results at the industrial scale. Finally, future scientific and technological directions for the direct CO2 capture from flue gases through microalgae are also proposed.
Alessandro Concas, Massimo Pisu, Giacomo Cao
Concentrating Solar Energy Technologies
Concentrating solar power is one of the fastest growing industries in the market of the renewable energy technologies. The main reason for this increasing interest lies in the fact that most of the power generated nowadays is produced using fossil fuels, which are very pollutant and damaging for the environment. People are, therefore, looking for new sources of substitute clean energy to assure a sustainable development of our civilization. There are several kinds of concentrating solar power techniques that are currently available, and in this chapter they will be described and compared. Also research trends will be discussed, taking account of the most recent market analysis.
Erminia Leonardi, Bruno D’Aguanno
Probiotics for Environmental Sanitation: Goals and Examples
Bacterial probiotics are well-known paramedical tools to improve health and nutrition. These traditional applications are based on abilities of the probiotics to degrade complicated organic compounds and to suppress hazardous microorganisms in the intestinal tract. During the last decades, probiotic bacteria have been used also for sanitation of water for aquacultures. The chapter surveys possible application of probiotics in the environmental remediation. More specifically, utilization and sanitation of terrestrial wastes, especially manure and farm litter, with probiotic bacilli are discussed.
Mikhail Vainshtein
Dust Removal and Collection Techniques
In this chapter, dust elimination, which is an operation for the separation of solid particles from a gas carrier, will be addressed. In particular, the devices which are used in such an operation, i.e., scrubbers or dust separators, will be analyzed and discussed from several points of view.
Mostafa Maalmi
The Role of Catabolic Plasmids in Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
Genes encoding biodegradation of oil hydrocarbons are often localized on large conjugative plasmids. Transmissibility of catabolic plasmids ensures the dissemination of biodegradation features within indigenous microbial populations. Horizontal gene transfer mediated by plasmids plays an important role in the adaptation of bacteria to polluted environments and can be useful for genetic bioaugmentation.
Alexander M. Boronin, Irina A. Kosheleva
On the Exploitation of Self-Propagating High-Temperature Reactions for Environmental Protection
The major achievements obtained in the field of self-propagating reactions when exploited for environmental protection are reviewed in this chapter. In particular, the fixation and consolidation of high-level radioactive wastes; the treating and recycling of a highly toxic solid waste from electrolytic zinc plants; the recycling of silicon sludge and aluminum dross produced by semiconductor industries and aluminum foundries, respectively; the degradation of chlorinated aromatics; and the treatment of wastes containing asbestos are addressed. Future scientific and technological directions related to this promising field of reaction engineering are also foreseen.
Roberto Orrù, Giacomo Cao
Glyphosate: Safety Risks, Biodegradation, and Bioremediation
Problems and questions associated with worldwide success of glyphosate-based herbicide formulations are discussed. Controversy in glyphosate environmental safety assessments and the current state of research of the subject are reviewed. Glyphosate biodegradation is addressed, with particular emphasis on bacterial metabolism of the herbicide. Known degrader strains and corresponding enzyme systems are analyzed, and the prospects of their use in bioremediation of glyphosate contamination are discussed.
A. V. Sviridov, T. V. Shushkova, I. T. Ermakova, E. V. Ivanova, A. A. Leontievsky
Bioleaching of Metals as Eco-friendly Technology
Bioleaching occupies an important place among the available mining technologies. Its significance is based on the possibility to use an expanding source of low-grade mineral materials, while another profit of this bio-hydrometallurgical process is to reduce the relevant costs for pollution abatement. This chapter presents a review of data from different research articles, patents, and some proprietary experiments. Different directions and possible future trends of this technology are discussed.
Mikhail Vainshtein
This chapter summarises the main issues facing biodiversity loss and focuses on three related topics: the threat of invasive alien species, the decline of agrobiodiversity and the valuation of biodiversity.
Georgia Valaoras
Passive Sampling Technologies for the Monitoring of Organic and Inorganic Contaminants in Seawater
Until now, water quality monitoring has relied on spot sampling followed by instrumental analytical measurements to determine pollutant concentrations. Despite a number of advantages, this procedure has considerable limitations in terms of temporal and spatial resolution. The passive sampling techniques, which basically consist of concentrating substances on a submerged device for a given period and analysing accumulated substances, should improve the monitoring practices by simplifying analytical issues (lower detection limits, analysis in a simpler matrix) and allowing time integration of the contamination. The performance and potential applications of passive sampling for water quality monitoring in coastal and marine environments are described.
Marco Schintu, Alessandro Marrucci, Barbara Marras
A Review of Green Business
This chapter critically examines the role of business in fostering a more sustainable society. It offers a short historical review of the wider institutional role of business within the framework of global environmental governance and underlines the factors that have encouraged businesses in taking into account sustainability in their business model. It surveys some practices and tools that businesses utilise in this venture. It outlines the role of sustainable production by discussing tools such as eco-efficiency, biomimicry and life-cycle analysis. It also offers insights into the role of environmental management systems and environmental certification. A discussion on the significance of corporate social responsibility is included, along with an inspection of the emerging role of benefit corporations. Finally, some remarks are offered on the wider institutional changes needed for businesses to be aided in their drive to become more sustainable.
Theoharis Tziovaras, Georgia Valaoras
Grid/Cloud Computing as New Paradigm for Collaborative Problem Solving and Shared Resources Management in Environmental Sciences
Cloud computing is establishing worldwide as a new high-performance computing paradigm that offers formidable possibilities to industry and science. In this chapter, we discuss the impact of this paradigm change to scientific research. After introducing the basic concepts of cloud computing and discussing briefly the recent technological developments that led to its emergence, two cloud computing portals are presented as examples for a trend that will drastically change the way in which scientific research will be done in the future. We will discuss and exemplify why a cloud computing science portal offers, besides the obvious advantages over locally installed software packages such as computing power and storage capacity, completely new possibilities for scientific research, collaboration, education, and presentation of reproducible results.
Z. Heilmann, G. P. Deidda, G. Satta, A. Vargiu, L. Massidda, M. Marrocu
Current Environmental Issues and Challenges
herausgegeben von
Giacomo Cao
Roberto Orrù
Springer Netherlands
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Print ISBN