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AHEAD OF PRINT

Volume 26 (2021): Issue 1-2 (December 2021)

Volume 25 (2020): Issue 1-2 (December 2020)

Volume 24 (2019): Issue 1-2 (December 2019)

Volume 23 (2018): Issue 1-2 (December 2018)

Volume 22 (2017): Issue 1-2 (December 2017)

Volume 21 (2016): Issue 1-2 (December 2016)

Volume 20 (2015): Issue 1-2 (December 2015)

Volume 19 (2014): Issue 1-2 (December 2014)

Volume 18 (2013): Issue 1-2 (December 2013)

Volume 17 (2012): Issue 1-2 (December 2012)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2084-4506
First Published
17 Jan 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 21 (2016): Issue 1-2 (December 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2084-4506
First Published
17 Jan 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

13 Articles
Open Access

The Climate Change Crisis?

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 11 - 27

Abstract

Abstract

A necessary (though probably not sufficient) condition for creativity in the sciences and the arts to flourish is a liberal/democratic socio-political environment. In Europe this was manifested in the Enlightenment as Galileo, Copernicus and others laid the foundations for the evidence-based natural philosophy which signaled the birth of “The Enlightenment”. The importance of intellectual and personal freedom for humanitarian advance is clearly manifested in the exponential success of the sciences in conquering many humanitarian problems from starvation and disease to the more obvious technologies that make modern life relatively pleasant for many - especially in the developed world. On the down side however has been the reckless thirst of a plethora of governments to exploit the vast powers of the sciences to construct ever more powerful destructive weapons. Since then, the great thinkers from Kant to Russell, scientists from Einstein to Feynman and writers from Whitman to Shaw have repeatedly pointed to the importance of the doubt-based philosophy that is the crucial antidote to the stultifying effect of dogmas of all kinds. Indeed it is only doubt that leaves the road open for all advances in human endeavour. In the 21st Century we have reached a watershed in that the human race now confronts a set of crises significantly more serious than any previously. These threats can only be overcome by an open minded liberal education of the next generation of young people. Before the name “Science” was coined it had another name, “Natural Philosophy” which more adequately describes its primary place in the spectrum of human culture. More important than any other aspect is the fact that Natural Philosophy is the only philosophical construct we have devised to determine Truth with any degree of reliability. As such it should be a primary ethical focus for the education of every child, student and citizen so at the very least they can decide whether what they are being told is actually true. This is also a strong intellectual basis for fostering creativity. For a truly humanitarian global society to evolve, equality of opportunity and personal freedom will be a necessary for all young people whatever their race, colour, nationality and most importantly sex. All technologies have the capacity to benefit society or to be detrimental and so as powerful new technical advances arise there is an onus on everyone to understand some important SET factors. As our modern world is so completely - and precariously - balanced on SET, an understanding of these disciplines by all in positions of responsibility is vital. Although wise decision-making may not be guaranteed by knowledge, common sense suggests that wisdom is an unlikely consequence of ignorance. Education is certainly a key factor and the Internet must be harnessed to improve matters. With the Vega Science Trust (www.vega.org.uk) an exciting new Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology initiative GeoSet (www.geoset.info) and (www.geoset.fsu.edu) we are now working with other Universities to make outstanding educational material available on the Internet in any part of the world.

Keywords

  • climate
  • education
  • science
  • natural philosophy
Open Access

Chemical Innovation in Plant Nutrition in a Historical Continuum from Ancient Greece and Rome until Modern Times

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 29 - 43

Abstract

Abstract

This monograph aims to present how arduously views on plant nutrition shaped over centuries and how the foundation of environmental knowledge concerning these issues was created. This publication also presents current problems and trends in studies concerning plant nutrition, showing their new dimension. This new dimension is determined, on one hand, by the need to feed the world population increasing in geometric progression, and on the other hand by growing environmental problems connected with intensification of agricultural production.

Keywords

  • chemical innovations
  • plant nutrition
Open Access

Are Future Chemistry Teachers Prepared to Perform Chemical Experiments at Primary and Secondary Schools?

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 45 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Our contribution is devoted to study the ability of future chemistry teachers to organise pupils’ observation of chemical phenomena. In this article measuring of multi-level means is described, which should denote a readiness of probands to perform an observation during carrying out chemical experiment. It is based on the assumption that well-prepared observers are able to work actively and to propose alternative solutions, because of their deep understanding of a procedure. In next part of this article the results of a research carried out at Faculty of Natural Sciences in Bratislava are analysed. The research was also aimed to detect if students are prepared to perform chemical experiments without a risk that they will be confused by a procedure or different course of experiment as they had expected.

Keywords

  • chemical experiment
  • future chemistry teachers’ education
  • observation
  • procedure of chemical experiment
  • research in chemistry didactics
Open Access

Preparation of Aluminium Hydroxide with Mechanochemical Synthesis in the Middle School Laboratory Lesson

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 53 - 59

Abstract

Abstract

Mechanochemical reactions proceed if solid reactants combine together by grinding, milling or kneading with no or minimal solvent. It is possible to observe changes: fizzing, foaming, colour changes, water release. This process is manually simple and there are several mechanochemical reactions which can be demonstrated during school laboratory lessons. For high school pupils there exist five possibilities of inorganic synthesis: mechanochemical synthesis, crystallisation, precipitation, filtration and decantation. The preparation of aluminium hydroxide in the school laboratory is described in this paper. Five mechanochemical reaction schemes were tested by pupils in their laboratories. The pupils conducted the experiments and filled in worksheets to accompany the practical. On the basis of their results, a suitable procedure for school use is suggested.

Keywords

  • mechanochemical synthesis
  • pupils’ laboratory skills
  • aluminium hydroxide
Open Access

Innovative Educational Program for Biogas Production Carried Out at University of Hradec Králové (CZ) and at University of Opole (PL)

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 61 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

Recently, there is a growing pressure on a rapid construction of agricultural biogas plants, particularly in the Czech-Polish border region. It is an area with large expanses of agricultural land which can serve to supply biogas plants with biomass. This strategy should contribute to harmonize the common agricultural policy of the European Union. A need for qualified operators of these stations on this territory is also increasing. Therefore we first include a demonstration of an education program for students in the field of agricultural waste anaerobic fermentation and biogas production. We present here the first part of an innovative approach which we use in the teaching program “Physico-technical Measurements and Computer Technology” at the Faculty of Science at the University of Hradec Kralove and also in the education of internshipers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology at the University of Opole. There are requirements to fulfil labour market expectations and to make this subject more attractive for the students. Students’ theoretical and practical preparation constitutes a comprehensive source of knowledge and skills required in a real life job. Joined theoretical and practical knowledge gained by students, reinforced by the skills developed during task analysis followed by their solution, provides the future graduate higher quality abilities and better position in the labour market.

Keywords

  • biogas plants
  • continuous measurement and modelling
Open Access

The Errors in Visual Estimation of Plants Cover in the Context of Education of Phytosociology

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 75 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

In vegetation science including phytosociology, visual estimates of plant cover and point method belong to the common field method to record species composition and their abundance. Two methods were compared: Braun-Blanquet scale and point method using Levy bridge. A group of students performed measurements in five plots belonged to an oak-hornbeam forest Tilio-Carpinetum. It was revealed that there is a very high discrepancy in a observed number of species. Total mean numbers obtained are 13.4 and 31.2 for point method and Braun-Blanquet method respectively. However, there is the significant positive and medium correlation between two methods in terms of estimation of abundance of species. It can be concluded that point-method is not suitable for study of forest floor vegetation. It can be merged with other methods. Due to many repetitive measures, it can be helpful in learning of recognition of species.

Keywords

  • ocular estimates of cover
  • sampling error
  • species pseudoturnover
Open Access

The Effect of Point Emitter Geometric Parameters on Dustfall

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 83 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, the modeling results are presented of point emitter geometric parameters determining the dispersion of dust pollution in the atmospheric air and finally also dustfall. The parameters include: the height and diameter of the emitter. Using the maps generated by “Ek100w” programme of Atmoterm company from Opole, Poland, an analysis of the PM10 dustfall value distribution on the analyzed area has been made. Fraction of dust - PM10 - was emitted from emitters of various working parameters. Three situations were analyzed: emission from a one-family (detached) building, from and industrial plant and from a power plant. Different heights and diameters for the above cases were analyzed. What results from the work, is that the mentioned parameters have a significant influence on the value of dustfall on the area surface at different distances from the emitter. With the increase of the height and diameter of the emitter, the values of dustfall decrease. The distance of the maximal values occurrence also increases. Results of similar analysis and available tools allow to design emission in practice, and thus allow a maximal limitation of ambient concentration of pollution and dustfall in areas especially exposed to industrial and superficial emission.

Keywords

  • dustfall
  • emitter (chimney) height
  • diameter of emitter
  • Pasquill’s model
Open Access

Identification of Volatile Compounds from a Brewery with SPME Technique

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 97 - 106

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents results of the analysis of the volatile compounds arising from the production processes in a brewery. The investigated material comprised the unhoped brewer’s wort which was taken from the fermentation tanks during the industrial process. The identification of volatile compounds was conducted with the use of Solid-Phase MicroExtraction (SPME) technique by extracting the compounds from the headspace of the brewer’s wort (HS-SPME). The procedure was optimized by modifying the parameters potentially influencing the process efficiency. The analytes adsorbed on the fibers were subsequently placed in the injector of a gas chromatograph, where they were released in the course of thermal desorption. Three types of fibers were chosen for the experiments: 65 μm PDMS/DVB, 50/30 μm DVB/CAR/PDMS and 100 μm PDMS. The greatest number of peaks corresponding to compounds found in the examined material was observed on the 50/30 μm DVB/CAR/PDMS fiber while the lowest was identified on the 100 μm PDMS fiber. The detected compounds are mainly the derivatives of aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons with different functional groups e.g. carbonyl, aldehyde or ester and possessing O-heteroatom in their structure.

Keywords

  • volatile compounds
  • brewer’s wort
  • SPME
  • headspace
  • GC-MS
Open Access

Determination of Ammonium Concentration in Post-Process Waters from Underground Coal Gasification

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 107 - 116

Abstract

Abstract

A flow injection analysis method for spectrophotometric determination of ammonium in waters produced during underground coal gasification (UCG) of lignite and hard coal was described. The analysis of UCG water samples is very difficult because of their very complicated matrix and colour. Due to a huge content of organic and inorganic substances and intensive colour of samples (sometimes yellow, quite often dark brown or even black), most analytical methods are not suitable for practical application. Flow injection analysis (FIA) is based on diffusion of ammonia through a hydrophobic gas permeable membrane from an alkaline solution stream into an acid-base indicator solution stream. Diffused ammonia causes a colour change of indicator solution, and ammonia is subsequently quantified spectrophotometrically at 590 nm wavelength. The reliability of the results provided by applied method was evaluated by checking validation parameters like accuracy and precision. Accuracy was evaluated by recovery studies using multiple standard addition method. Precision as repeatability was expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV).

Keywords

  • ammonium
  • flow injection analysis
  • gas-diffusion
  • underground coal gasification
  • waters from underground coal gasification
Open Access

Efficiency of Biological Phosphorus Removal by Filamentous Bacteria

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 117 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

Phosphorus removal in wastewater treatment plant is carried out by chemical precipitation, advanced biological treatment or a combination of both. One of the biggest problems with high concentration of phosphorus in water environment is eutrophication. Activated sludge flocs have a heterogeneous structure, which consist of a variety of microorganisms. Filamentous bacteria are normally present in the activated sludge and have ability to assimilation of phosphorus. In this study phosphorus accumulation by isolated filamentous bacteria from activated sludge foam was present.

Keywords

  • filamentous microorganisms
  • wastewater
  • activated sludge foam
  • phosphorus
Open Access

Application of REACH and LCA System’s to the Materials Formed in the Production of Mineral Wool

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 125 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

The article analyses the application of two management systems - REACH directive and ISO 14040 (Life Cycle Assessment - LCA) with reference to the technological process as well as by-products of mineral wool production. It characterizes basic differences between the norms discussed, i.e. the strict formalization of REACH, which results in the analysis being conducted according to a precisely defined scheme, or the subjective character of LCA, which makes it possible to take into account the most important environmental aspects pertaining to the entire life cycle of a particular product. The discussion provides a basis for formulating the general conclusion that the classification criteria encompassed by REACH regulations do not allow for a complex analysis of the negative environmental impact of a particular substance (preparation, product) and should be complemented with elements of LCA analysis.

Keywords

  • REACH system
  • ISO 14040 standard
  • mineral wool
Open Access

The Comparison of Cellulolytic Activity of the Modified Soil Treated with Roundup

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 133 - 139

Abstract

Abstract

The activity of soil microorganisms affects soil fertility and structure, what leads to satisfactory crop yields, thanks to changes in the decay of organic matter. Their activity may be impaired as a result of application by farmers both fertilizers and pesticides. The degradation of cellulosic biomass represents an important part of the carbon cycle within the biosphere. Cellulolitic microorganisms are responsible for this decomposition, as they produced the enzymes of the cellulase complex. The aim of the study was to compare the cellulolytic activity of soil with Roundup and modified using urea phosphate and / or manure. The pot experiment was conducted under laboratory conditions. The studied material was brown soil (pH of 5.5) fertilized with manure and/or urea phosphate. To each earthenware vase were fed 0.5 kg of the tested soil supplemented with 1% carboxymethyl cellulose. The cellulolytic activities of soil in different experimental variants were expressed in % of C using a colorimetric Petkov method. Modification of soil cellulolytic activity varied considerably depending on the additive manure and/or urea phosphate and Roundup. The lowest soil cellulolytic activity was observed in the presence of manure and urea phosphate, and the highest in the soil with manure and Roundup. The objects of Roundup independently of the other additives urea phosphate stimulate the activity of the cellulolytic microflora compared to objects containing only urea phosphate. The presence of manure in soil treated with Roundup clearly accelerated degradation of cellulose, what can be used in agriculture in the degradation of crop residues. The study shows that pesticides and fertilizers have a big impact on cellulolytic activity in soil. Changes in cellulolytic activity can be used as an ecological indicator of soil pollution level.

Keywords

  • cellulolytic activity of soil
  • Roundup
Open Access

Volatile Oil Content of Scots Pine Needles (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 141 - 147

Abstract

Abstract

This study focused on how the concentration of volatile oils in Scots Pine needles varied in relation to the age of the trees, the age of the needles and their location within the canopy. Study material were pine needles from 15-, 44- and 89-year-old pine stands. The mean content of oils increased with the age of trees. The averaged oil content in needles was: 0.46% in the 15-year-old stand, 0.55% in the 44-year-old and 0.61% in the 89-year-old stands. The mean content of volatile oils decreased with the age of the needles. 1-year-old needles contained the highest concentration of volatile oils (0.56%), and the 3-year-old needles contained the least (0.48%). In 15-year-old stands the oil content in needles increased linearly with their height in the canopy. In 44-year-old (age class IIb) and 89-year-old (age class Va) stands oil content was greater lower in the canopy than in the middle.

Keywords

  • essential oil
  • needles
  • crown zone
  • tree age
  • Scots pine
13 Articles
Open Access

The Climate Change Crisis?

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 11 - 27

Abstract

Abstract

A necessary (though probably not sufficient) condition for creativity in the sciences and the arts to flourish is a liberal/democratic socio-political environment. In Europe this was manifested in the Enlightenment as Galileo, Copernicus and others laid the foundations for the evidence-based natural philosophy which signaled the birth of “The Enlightenment”. The importance of intellectual and personal freedom for humanitarian advance is clearly manifested in the exponential success of the sciences in conquering many humanitarian problems from starvation and disease to the more obvious technologies that make modern life relatively pleasant for many - especially in the developed world. On the down side however has been the reckless thirst of a plethora of governments to exploit the vast powers of the sciences to construct ever more powerful destructive weapons. Since then, the great thinkers from Kant to Russell, scientists from Einstein to Feynman and writers from Whitman to Shaw have repeatedly pointed to the importance of the doubt-based philosophy that is the crucial antidote to the stultifying effect of dogmas of all kinds. Indeed it is only doubt that leaves the road open for all advances in human endeavour. In the 21st Century we have reached a watershed in that the human race now confronts a set of crises significantly more serious than any previously. These threats can only be overcome by an open minded liberal education of the next generation of young people. Before the name “Science” was coined it had another name, “Natural Philosophy” which more adequately describes its primary place in the spectrum of human culture. More important than any other aspect is the fact that Natural Philosophy is the only philosophical construct we have devised to determine Truth with any degree of reliability. As such it should be a primary ethical focus for the education of every child, student and citizen so at the very least they can decide whether what they are being told is actually true. This is also a strong intellectual basis for fostering creativity. For a truly humanitarian global society to evolve, equality of opportunity and personal freedom will be a necessary for all young people whatever their race, colour, nationality and most importantly sex. All technologies have the capacity to benefit society or to be detrimental and so as powerful new technical advances arise there is an onus on everyone to understand some important SET factors. As our modern world is so completely - and precariously - balanced on SET, an understanding of these disciplines by all in positions of responsibility is vital. Although wise decision-making may not be guaranteed by knowledge, common sense suggests that wisdom is an unlikely consequence of ignorance. Education is certainly a key factor and the Internet must be harnessed to improve matters. With the Vega Science Trust (www.vega.org.uk) an exciting new Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology initiative GeoSet (www.geoset.info) and (www.geoset.fsu.edu) we are now working with other Universities to make outstanding educational material available on the Internet in any part of the world.

Keywords

  • climate
  • education
  • science
  • natural philosophy
Open Access

Chemical Innovation in Plant Nutrition in a Historical Continuum from Ancient Greece and Rome until Modern Times

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 29 - 43

Abstract

Abstract

This monograph aims to present how arduously views on plant nutrition shaped over centuries and how the foundation of environmental knowledge concerning these issues was created. This publication also presents current problems and trends in studies concerning plant nutrition, showing their new dimension. This new dimension is determined, on one hand, by the need to feed the world population increasing in geometric progression, and on the other hand by growing environmental problems connected with intensification of agricultural production.

Keywords

  • chemical innovations
  • plant nutrition
Open Access

Are Future Chemistry Teachers Prepared to Perform Chemical Experiments at Primary and Secondary Schools?

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 45 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Our contribution is devoted to study the ability of future chemistry teachers to organise pupils’ observation of chemical phenomena. In this article measuring of multi-level means is described, which should denote a readiness of probands to perform an observation during carrying out chemical experiment. It is based on the assumption that well-prepared observers are able to work actively and to propose alternative solutions, because of their deep understanding of a procedure. In next part of this article the results of a research carried out at Faculty of Natural Sciences in Bratislava are analysed. The research was also aimed to detect if students are prepared to perform chemical experiments without a risk that they will be confused by a procedure or different course of experiment as they had expected.

Keywords

  • chemical experiment
  • future chemistry teachers’ education
  • observation
  • procedure of chemical experiment
  • research in chemistry didactics
Open Access

Preparation of Aluminium Hydroxide with Mechanochemical Synthesis in the Middle School Laboratory Lesson

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 53 - 59

Abstract

Abstract

Mechanochemical reactions proceed if solid reactants combine together by grinding, milling or kneading with no or minimal solvent. It is possible to observe changes: fizzing, foaming, colour changes, water release. This process is manually simple and there are several mechanochemical reactions which can be demonstrated during school laboratory lessons. For high school pupils there exist five possibilities of inorganic synthesis: mechanochemical synthesis, crystallisation, precipitation, filtration and decantation. The preparation of aluminium hydroxide in the school laboratory is described in this paper. Five mechanochemical reaction schemes were tested by pupils in their laboratories. The pupils conducted the experiments and filled in worksheets to accompany the practical. On the basis of their results, a suitable procedure for school use is suggested.

Keywords

  • mechanochemical synthesis
  • pupils’ laboratory skills
  • aluminium hydroxide
Open Access

Innovative Educational Program for Biogas Production Carried Out at University of Hradec Králové (CZ) and at University of Opole (PL)

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 61 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

Recently, there is a growing pressure on a rapid construction of agricultural biogas plants, particularly in the Czech-Polish border region. It is an area with large expanses of agricultural land which can serve to supply biogas plants with biomass. This strategy should contribute to harmonize the common agricultural policy of the European Union. A need for qualified operators of these stations on this territory is also increasing. Therefore we first include a demonstration of an education program for students in the field of agricultural waste anaerobic fermentation and biogas production. We present here the first part of an innovative approach which we use in the teaching program “Physico-technical Measurements and Computer Technology” at the Faculty of Science at the University of Hradec Kralove and also in the education of internshipers from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology at the University of Opole. There are requirements to fulfil labour market expectations and to make this subject more attractive for the students. Students’ theoretical and practical preparation constitutes a comprehensive source of knowledge and skills required in a real life job. Joined theoretical and practical knowledge gained by students, reinforced by the skills developed during task analysis followed by their solution, provides the future graduate higher quality abilities and better position in the labour market.

Keywords

  • biogas plants
  • continuous measurement and modelling
Open Access

The Errors in Visual Estimation of Plants Cover in the Context of Education of Phytosociology

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 75 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

In vegetation science including phytosociology, visual estimates of plant cover and point method belong to the common field method to record species composition and their abundance. Two methods were compared: Braun-Blanquet scale and point method using Levy bridge. A group of students performed measurements in five plots belonged to an oak-hornbeam forest Tilio-Carpinetum. It was revealed that there is a very high discrepancy in a observed number of species. Total mean numbers obtained are 13.4 and 31.2 for point method and Braun-Blanquet method respectively. However, there is the significant positive and medium correlation between two methods in terms of estimation of abundance of species. It can be concluded that point-method is not suitable for study of forest floor vegetation. It can be merged with other methods. Due to many repetitive measures, it can be helpful in learning of recognition of species.

Keywords

  • ocular estimates of cover
  • sampling error
  • species pseudoturnover
Open Access

The Effect of Point Emitter Geometric Parameters on Dustfall

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 83 - 95

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, the modeling results are presented of point emitter geometric parameters determining the dispersion of dust pollution in the atmospheric air and finally also dustfall. The parameters include: the height and diameter of the emitter. Using the maps generated by “Ek100w” programme of Atmoterm company from Opole, Poland, an analysis of the PM10 dustfall value distribution on the analyzed area has been made. Fraction of dust - PM10 - was emitted from emitters of various working parameters. Three situations were analyzed: emission from a one-family (detached) building, from and industrial plant and from a power plant. Different heights and diameters for the above cases were analyzed. What results from the work, is that the mentioned parameters have a significant influence on the value of dustfall on the area surface at different distances from the emitter. With the increase of the height and diameter of the emitter, the values of dustfall decrease. The distance of the maximal values occurrence also increases. Results of similar analysis and available tools allow to design emission in practice, and thus allow a maximal limitation of ambient concentration of pollution and dustfall in areas especially exposed to industrial and superficial emission.

Keywords

  • dustfall
  • emitter (chimney) height
  • diameter of emitter
  • Pasquill’s model
Open Access

Identification of Volatile Compounds from a Brewery with SPME Technique

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 97 - 106

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents results of the analysis of the volatile compounds arising from the production processes in a brewery. The investigated material comprised the unhoped brewer’s wort which was taken from the fermentation tanks during the industrial process. The identification of volatile compounds was conducted with the use of Solid-Phase MicroExtraction (SPME) technique by extracting the compounds from the headspace of the brewer’s wort (HS-SPME). The procedure was optimized by modifying the parameters potentially influencing the process efficiency. The analytes adsorbed on the fibers were subsequently placed in the injector of a gas chromatograph, where they were released in the course of thermal desorption. Three types of fibers were chosen for the experiments: 65 μm PDMS/DVB, 50/30 μm DVB/CAR/PDMS and 100 μm PDMS. The greatest number of peaks corresponding to compounds found in the examined material was observed on the 50/30 μm DVB/CAR/PDMS fiber while the lowest was identified on the 100 μm PDMS fiber. The detected compounds are mainly the derivatives of aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons with different functional groups e.g. carbonyl, aldehyde or ester and possessing O-heteroatom in their structure.

Keywords

  • volatile compounds
  • brewer’s wort
  • SPME
  • headspace
  • GC-MS
Open Access

Determination of Ammonium Concentration in Post-Process Waters from Underground Coal Gasification

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 107 - 116

Abstract

Abstract

A flow injection analysis method for spectrophotometric determination of ammonium in waters produced during underground coal gasification (UCG) of lignite and hard coal was described. The analysis of UCG water samples is very difficult because of their very complicated matrix and colour. Due to a huge content of organic and inorganic substances and intensive colour of samples (sometimes yellow, quite often dark brown or even black), most analytical methods are not suitable for practical application. Flow injection analysis (FIA) is based on diffusion of ammonia through a hydrophobic gas permeable membrane from an alkaline solution stream into an acid-base indicator solution stream. Diffused ammonia causes a colour change of indicator solution, and ammonia is subsequently quantified spectrophotometrically at 590 nm wavelength. The reliability of the results provided by applied method was evaluated by checking validation parameters like accuracy and precision. Accuracy was evaluated by recovery studies using multiple standard addition method. Precision as repeatability was expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV).

Keywords

  • ammonium
  • flow injection analysis
  • gas-diffusion
  • underground coal gasification
  • waters from underground coal gasification
Open Access

Efficiency of Biological Phosphorus Removal by Filamentous Bacteria

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 117 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

Phosphorus removal in wastewater treatment plant is carried out by chemical precipitation, advanced biological treatment or a combination of both. One of the biggest problems with high concentration of phosphorus in water environment is eutrophication. Activated sludge flocs have a heterogeneous structure, which consist of a variety of microorganisms. Filamentous bacteria are normally present in the activated sludge and have ability to assimilation of phosphorus. In this study phosphorus accumulation by isolated filamentous bacteria from activated sludge foam was present.

Keywords

  • filamentous microorganisms
  • wastewater
  • activated sludge foam
  • phosphorus
Open Access

Application of REACH and LCA System’s to the Materials Formed in the Production of Mineral Wool

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 125 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

The article analyses the application of two management systems - REACH directive and ISO 14040 (Life Cycle Assessment - LCA) with reference to the technological process as well as by-products of mineral wool production. It characterizes basic differences between the norms discussed, i.e. the strict formalization of REACH, which results in the analysis being conducted according to a precisely defined scheme, or the subjective character of LCA, which makes it possible to take into account the most important environmental aspects pertaining to the entire life cycle of a particular product. The discussion provides a basis for formulating the general conclusion that the classification criteria encompassed by REACH regulations do not allow for a complex analysis of the negative environmental impact of a particular substance (preparation, product) and should be complemented with elements of LCA analysis.

Keywords

  • REACH system
  • ISO 14040 standard
  • mineral wool
Open Access

The Comparison of Cellulolytic Activity of the Modified Soil Treated with Roundup

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 133 - 139

Abstract

Abstract

The activity of soil microorganisms affects soil fertility and structure, what leads to satisfactory crop yields, thanks to changes in the decay of organic matter. Their activity may be impaired as a result of application by farmers both fertilizers and pesticides. The degradation of cellulosic biomass represents an important part of the carbon cycle within the biosphere. Cellulolitic microorganisms are responsible for this decomposition, as they produced the enzymes of the cellulase complex. The aim of the study was to compare the cellulolytic activity of soil with Roundup and modified using urea phosphate and / or manure. The pot experiment was conducted under laboratory conditions. The studied material was brown soil (pH of 5.5) fertilized with manure and/or urea phosphate. To each earthenware vase were fed 0.5 kg of the tested soil supplemented with 1% carboxymethyl cellulose. The cellulolytic activities of soil in different experimental variants were expressed in % of C using a colorimetric Petkov method. Modification of soil cellulolytic activity varied considerably depending on the additive manure and/or urea phosphate and Roundup. The lowest soil cellulolytic activity was observed in the presence of manure and urea phosphate, and the highest in the soil with manure and Roundup. The objects of Roundup independently of the other additives urea phosphate stimulate the activity of the cellulolytic microflora compared to objects containing only urea phosphate. The presence of manure in soil treated with Roundup clearly accelerated degradation of cellulose, what can be used in agriculture in the degradation of crop residues. The study shows that pesticides and fertilizers have a big impact on cellulolytic activity in soil. Changes in cellulolytic activity can be used as an ecological indicator of soil pollution level.

Keywords

  • cellulolytic activity of soil
  • Roundup
Open Access

Volatile Oil Content of Scots Pine Needles (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Published Online: 10 Feb 2017
Page range: 141 - 147

Abstract

Abstract

This study focused on how the concentration of volatile oils in Scots Pine needles varied in relation to the age of the trees, the age of the needles and their location within the canopy. Study material were pine needles from 15-, 44- and 89-year-old pine stands. The mean content of oils increased with the age of trees. The averaged oil content in needles was: 0.46% in the 15-year-old stand, 0.55% in the 44-year-old and 0.61% in the 89-year-old stands. The mean content of volatile oils decreased with the age of the needles. 1-year-old needles contained the highest concentration of volatile oils (0.56%), and the 3-year-old needles contained the least (0.48%). In 15-year-old stands the oil content in needles increased linearly with their height in the canopy. In 44-year-old (age class IIb) and 89-year-old (age class Va) stands oil content was greater lower in the canopy than in the middle.

Keywords

  • essential oil
  • needles
  • crown zone
  • tree age
  • Scots pine

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