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Mendes, B. S., M. J. Nascimento, M. I. Pereira, G. Bailey, N. Lapa, J. Morais, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "Ecoclimatic influence on waste stabilization ponds (WSP) efficiencies: the case study of the Sesimbra system." Water Science and Technology. 30.8 (1994): 269-279. AbstractWebsite

Portugal has a great diversity of ecoclimatic areas and Sesimbra was chosen to carry out a study on WSP efficiencies over five years (1989 to 1993). According to Pina Manique & Albuquerque (1954), the climate is classified as Atlantic Mediterranean (AM). Some environmental and climatic parameters have been studied in order to define the area. The treatment system at Sesimbra has three ponds: anaerobic, facultative and maturation. The physical and chemical parameters studied in the WSP system were: Temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, BOD5, COD, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and total nitrogen, total and volatile suspended solids, total phosphorus and orthophosphates. Algal populations and the following microbiological parameters were studied: total and fecal coliforms, fecal Streptococci, Clostridium perfringens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and some Enterobacteriaceae. The K and K20 kinetic parameters were studied and derived for the three ponds utilizing the seasonal regional characteristics from the surrounding area. These values were then correlated with temperature and the subsequent removal efficiencies for each pond deduced. The data obtained indicate a necessity to determine the seasonal fluctuations of the K and K20 kinetic parameters for the WSP systems.

Lapa, N., J. F. Santos Oliveira, S. L. Camacho, and L. J. Circeo. "An ecotoxic risk assessment of residue materials produced by the plasma pyrolysis/vitrification (PP/V) process." Waste Management. 22.3 (2002): 335-342. AbstractWebsite

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, following the three states of solid, liquid and gas. Experience has amply demonstrated that solids exposed to the oxygen-deficient plasma flame are converted to liquid, and liquid exposed to the same flame is converted to gas. A low amount of vitrified solid residue material usually remains at the end of this process. Plasma pyrolysis/vitrification (PP/V) has been demonstrated as a safe, efficient, cost-effective technology for the treatment of wastes, including hazardous wastes. Besides the low amounts of gaseous byproducts that PP/V produces, the solid vitrified residue presents a low leachability of pollutants. Studies have been performed in many countries in order to assess the leachability of chemical substances. But from the results of identified studies, none has reported results on the ecotoxicological properties of the leachates. The aim of this study was to contribute to the assessment of ecotoxic risk of four different vitrified materials. Vitrified samples of contaminated soils, municipal solid wastes, and incinerator bottom ashes were submitted to the European leaching pre-standard test number prEN 12457-2. The leachates were analyzed for 22 chemical parameters. The biological characterization comprised the assessment of bioluminescence inhibition of Photobacterium phosphoreum bacterium, growth inhibition of Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata algae and the germination inhibition of Lactuca sativa vegetable. The chemical and ecotoxicological results were analyzed according to the French proposal of Criteria on the Evaluation Methods of Waste Toxicity (CEMWT) and a Toxicity Classification System (TCS). The chemical and ecotoxicological results indicated a low leachability of pollutants and a low toxicity level of leachates. All samples studied were as below the TCS class 1 level (no significant toxicity observed) and as non-ecotoxic for CEMWT. Therefore, the environmental ecotoxic risk of the analyzed vitrified samples was determined to be very low.

Lapa, N., R. Barbosa, J. Morais, B. Mendes, J. Méhu, and J. Santos Oliveira. "Ecotoxicological assessment of leachates from MSWI bottom ashes." Waste Management. 22.6 (2002): 583-593. AbstractWebsite

In this paper, chemical and ecotoxicological data of leachates from bottom ashes collected in different Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators (MSWI) are shown. The bottom ashes were collected in Belgium (three incinerators—samples B1 to B3), France, Germany, Italy and United Kingdom (one incinerator in each country—samples F1, D1, I1 and UK1, respectively). Both chemical and ecotoxicological characterizations of leachates were done on the framework of the European Directive 91/689/EEC and the European Council Decision 94/904/EC. This work was carried out under the European project called Valomat, which was supported by the European Commission through Brite-Euram III program. Twenty-one inorganic parameters were analyzed. The ecotoxicological assays were done under standard laboratory conditions, using the bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum, the freshwater alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, the crustacean Daphnia magna and the vegetable Lactuca sativa. Chemical data varied from sample to sample. Similar results were obtained in biological assays. The samples can be classified as ecotoxic/hazardous according to the French proposal for a Criterion and Evaluation Methods of Waste Ecotoxicity (CEMWE) and the German regulation on Hazardous Waste Classification (HWC). However, samples B1, B2, B3 and D1 comply the maximum limits for direct valorization category defined in the French Classification of Bottom Ashes based on their Polluting Potential (CBAPP). Sample B1 presented the lowest level of ecotoxicity, being considered as the most interesting to be used in the development of new materials for civil engineering works.

Mendes, B. S., M. J. Nascimento, M. I. Pereira, G. Bailey, N. Lapa, J. Morais, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "Efficiency of removal in stabilization ponds. I - Influence of climate." Water Science and Technology. 31.12 (1995): 219-229. AbstractWebsite

Owing to the existing or predictable water deficiencies in the South of Portugal, it is necessary to carry out the appropriate management of water resources, by reducing and/or minimizing the negative impacts of untreated/treated domestic effluents in the aquatic environment. As Portugal has a great diversity of ecoclimatic areas, five different stabilization pond systems were chosen to carry out a control study during one year (from March 1991 to March 1992). According to Pina Manique & Albuquerque the ecological classification of these stations is different, varying from Ibero-mediterranean (continental) up to mediterranean (maritime). The physical and chemical parameters studied were: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, BOD, COD, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and total nitrogen, total suspended and volatile solids, total phosphorus and orthophosphates. The microbiological parameters studied were: total and faecal coliforms, faecal Streptococci, Clostridium perfringens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The correlations between climatic parameters and the efficiency of the removal of organic matter were analysed.

Mendes, B. S., M. J. Nascimento, M. I. Pereira, G. Bailey, N. Lapa, J. Morais, and J. F. Santos Oliveira. "Efficiency of removal in stabilization ponds. II - Statistical analysis of K values." Water Science and Technology. 31.12 (1995): 231-238. AbstractWebsite

The analytical values obtained from five WSP systems located in different ecoclimatic zones in the centre and South of Portugal, were subjected to a statistical analysis of K and K20 values (as used in the van Hoff-Arrhenius equation) utilizing an analysis of variance and a vectorial analysis of principal components. Significant differences between K and K20 values in facultative, maturation ponds and in the whole system were verified. The projection of the first principal components of eigenvectors made possible the classification of the stations, showing the existence of similarities and discrepancies in their removal BOD kinetics behaviour. The K20 value must be estimated and taken into account for the design of waste stabilization ponds.

Morais, J., R. Barbosa, N. Lapa, B. Mendes, and I. Gulyurtlu. "Environmental and socio-economic assessment of co-combustion of coal, biomass and non-hazardous wastes in a power plant." Resources, Conservation & Recycling. 55 (2011): 1109-1118. AbstractWebsite

Under the framework of the European project named COPOWER, the possibility to partially substitute coal used in a 243 MWth Power Plant by biomass and non-hazardous wastes for the production of electricity and steam was assessed. Three combustion scenarios were studied, based on the combustion tests performed in a Power Plant located in Duisburg (Germany): Scenario 0 (Sc0) – combustion of coal; Scenario 1 (Sc1) – combustion of coal + sewage sludge (SS) + meat and bone meal (MBM); Scenario 2 (Sc2) – coal + SS + wood pellets (WP). An environmental and socio-economic assessment of these three scenarios was performed. In the environmental point of view, Sc0 was the worst scenario, mainly due to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Sc1 was the best scenario, mainly due to the reduction of GHG emission, eutrophication chemical species and ozone depletion gases. In the socio-economic point of view, Sc0 was the worst scenario, mainly due to the absence of GHG abatement, and Sc1 was the best scenario due to the best cost of electricity production and negative cost of avoided emissions.

Santos Oliveira, J. F., N. Lapa, and J. Morais Eutrofização: a flor da água. Lisboa: IPQ/EPAL, 1999.Website
Teixeira, Paula, Helena Lopes, Ibrahim Gulyurtlu, Nuno Lapa, and Pedro Abelha. "Evaluation of slagging and fouling tendency during biomass co-firing with coal in a fluidized bed." Biomass & Bioenergy. 39 (2012): 192-203. AbstractWebsite

Over the last decades, several indices based on ash chemistry and ash fusibility have been used to predict the ash behaviour during coal combustion, namely, its tendency for slagging and fouling. However, due to the physical–chemical differences between coals and biomass, in this work only the applicability of an ash fusibility index (AFI) to the combustion and co-combustion of three types of biomass (straw pellets, olive cake and wood pellets) with coals was evaluated. The AFI values were compared with the behaviour of ash during combustion in a pilot fluidized bed and a close agreement was observed between them. For a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with bed ash sintering, they were evaluated by SEM/EDS and the elements present on the melted ash were identified. Evidences of different sintering mechanisms were found out for the fruit biomass and herbaceous biomass tested, depending on the relative proportions of problematic elements. The particles deposited on a fouling probe inserted in the FBC were analyzed by XRD and the differences between the compounds identified allowed concluding that the studied biomasses present different tendencies for fouling. Identification of KCl and K2SO4 in the deposits confirmed the higher tendency for fouling of fruit biomass tested rather than wood pellets.