Locusts differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to swarm over long distances and are among the oldest migratory pests. The ecology and biology of locusts make them among the most devastating pests worldwide and hence the calls for actions to prevent the next outbreaks. The most destructive of all locust species is the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). Here, we review the current locust epidemic 2020 outbreak and its causes and prevention including the green technologies that may provide a reference for future directions of locust control and food security. Massive locust outbreaks threaten the terrestrial environments and crop production in around 100 countries of which Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are the most affected. Six large locust outbreaks are reported for the period from 1912 to 1989 all being closely related to long-term droughts and warm winters coupled with occurrence of high precipitation in spring and summer. The outbreaks in East Africa, India and Pakistan are the most pronounced with locusts migrating more than 150 km/day during which the locusts consume food equivalent to their own body weight on a daily basis. The plague heavily affects the agricultural sectors, which is the foundation of national economies and social stability. Global warming is likely the main cause of locust plague outbreak in recent decades driving egg spawning of up to 2-400,000 eggs per square meter. Biological control techniques such as microorganisms, insects and birds help to reduce the outbreaks while reducing ecosystem and agricultural impacts. In addition, green technologies such as light and sound stimulation seem to work, however, these are challenging and need further technological development incorporating remote sensing and modelling before they are applicable on large-scales. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the 2020 locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years probably triggered by climate change, hurricanes and heavy rain and has affected a total of 70,000 ha in Somalia and Ethiopia. There is a need for shifting towards soybean, rape, and watermelon which seems to help to prevent locust outbreaks and obtain food security. Furthermore, locusts have a very high protein content and is an excellent protein source for meat production and as an alternative human protein source, which should be used to mitigate food security. In addition, forestation of arable land improves local climate conditions towards less precipitation and lower temperatures while simultaneously attracting a larger number of birds thereby increasing the locust predation rates.
The Baltic/Wadden Sea Flyway of common eiders has declined over the past three decades. Multiple factors such as contaminant exposure, global warming, hunting, white-tailed eagle predation, decreased agricultural eutrophication and infectious diseases have been suggested to explain the decline. We collected information on body mass, mercury (Hg) concentration, biochemistry and untargeted metabolomics of incubating birds in two colonies in the Danish Straits (Hov Røn, n = 100; Agersø, n = 29) and in one colony in the Baltic proper (Christiansø, n = 23) to look into their metabolisms and energy balance. Body mass was available from early and late incubation for Hov Røn and Christiansø, showing a significant decline (25-30%) in both colonies with late body mass at Christiansø being the lowest. Whole blood concentrations of total mercury Hg were significantly higher in birds at Christiansø in the east compared to Hov Røn in the west. All birds in the three colonies had Hg concentrations in the range of ≤1.0 μg/g ww, which indicates that the risk of effects on reproduction is in the no to low risk category for wild birds. Among the biochemical measures, glucose, fructosamine, amylase, albumin and protein decreased significantly from early to late incubation at Hov Røn and Christiansø, reflecting long-term fastening as supported by the decline in body mass. Untargeted metabolomics performed on Christiansø eiders revealed presence of 8,433 plasma metabolites. Of these, 3,179 metabolites changed significantly (log2-fold change ≥1, p ≤ 0.05) from the early to late incubation. For example, smaller peptides and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) were significantly down-regulated while 11-deoxycorticosterone and palmitoylcarnitine were significantly upregulated. These results show that cumulative stress including fasting during incubation affect the eiders' biochemical profile and energy metabolism and that this may be most pronounced for the Christiansø colony in the Baltic proper. This amplify the events of temperature increases and food web changes caused by global warming that eventually accelerate the loss in body weight. Future studies should examine the relationship between body condition, temperature and reproductive outcomes and include mapping of food web contaminant, energy and nutrient content to better understand, manage and conserve the populations.
A review of valorization of oyster mushroom species and waste generated in the mushroom cultivation is presented, with a focus on the cultivation and valorization techniques, conditions, current research status and particularly the hazard mitigation and value-added recovery of the waste mushroom substrate (WMS) - an abundant waste in mushroom cultivation industry. Based on the studies reviewed, the production rate of the present mushroom industry is inadequate to meet market demands. There is a need for the development of new mushroom cultivation methods that can guarantee an increase in mushroom productivity and quality (nutritional and medicinal properties). This review shows that the cylindrical baglog cultivation method is more advantageous compared with the wood tray cultivation method to improve the mushroom yield and cost efficiency. Approximately 5 kg of potentially hazardous WMS (spreading diseases in mushroom farm) is generated for production of 1 kg of mushroom. This encourages various valorization of WMS for use in agricultural and energy conversion applications, mainly as biocompost, plant growing media, and bioenergy. The use of WMS as biofertilizer has shown desirable performance compared to conventional chemical fertilizer, whilst the use of WMS as energy feedstock could produce cleaner bioenergy sources compared to conventional fuels.
Here we investigate if lead may be a contributing factor to the observed population decline in a Baltic colony of incubating eiders (Somateria mollissima). Body mass and blood samples were obtained from 50 incubating female eiders at the Baltic breeding colony on Christiansø during spring 2017 (n = 27) and 2018 (n = 23). All the females were sampled twice during early (day 4) and late (day 24) incubation. The full blood was analysed for lead to investigate if the concentrations exceeded toxic thresholds or changed over the incubation period due to remobilisation from bones and liver tissue. Body mass, hatch date and number of chicks were also analysed with respect to lead concentrations. The body mass (mean ± SD g) increased significantly in the order: day 24 in 2018 (1561 ± 154 g)
Here we review contaminant exposure and related health effects in six selected Baltic key species. Sentinel species included are common eider, white-tailed eagle, harbour porpoise, harbour seal, ringed seal and grey seal. The review represents the first attempt of summarizing available information and baseline data for these biomonitoring key species exposed to industrial hazardous substances focusing on anthropogenic persistent organic pollutants (POPs). There was only limited information available for white-tailed eagles and common eider while extensive information exist on POP exposure and health effects in the four marine mammal species. Here we report organ-tissue endpoints (pathologies) and multiple biomarkers used to evaluate health and exposure of key species to POPs, respectively, over the past several decades during which episodes of significant population declines have been reported. Our review shows that POP exposure affects the reproductive system and survival through immune suppression and endocrine disruption, which have led to population-level effects on seals and white-tailed eagles in the Baltic. It is notable that many legacy contaminants, which have been banned for decades, still appear to affect Baltic wildlife. With respect to common eiders, changes in food composition, quality and contaminant exposure seem to have population effects which need to be investigated further, especially during the incubation period where the birds fast. Since new industrial contaminants continuously leak into the environment, we recommend continued monitoring of them in sentinel species in the Baltic, identifying possible effects linked to climate change, and modelling of population level effects of contaminants and climate change.
Microwave vacuum pyrolysis of palm kernel shell was examined to produce engineered biochar for application as additive in agriculture application. The pyrolysis approach, performed at 750 W of microwave power, produced higher yield of porous biochar (28 wt%) with high surface area (270 cm2/g) compared to the yield obtained by conventional approach (<23 wt%). Addition of the porous biochar in mushroom substrate showed increased moisture content (99%) compared to the substrate without biochar (96%). The mushroom substrate added with biochar (150 g) was optimal in shortening formation, growth, and full colonization of the mycelium within one month. Using 2.5% of the biochar in mushroom substrate desirably maintained the optimum pH level (6.8-7) during the mycelium colonization period, leading to high mycelium growth (up to 91%) and mushroom yield (up to 280 g). The engineered biochar shows great potential as moisture retention and neutralizing agent in mushroom cultivation.
This study proposes an integrated cattle breeding and cultivation system that provides zero emission and sustainable livelihood for the community in rural areas. The proposed integrated farming system improves agricultural productivity and environmental and sanitation conditions, minimizes the amount of waste, and increases the family income up to 41.55%. Several waste types can be recycled and transformed into valuable products, such as energy for cooking, organic fertilizer for crops, and cattle feed for breeding. Wastewater effluent from the biogas tank can be treated by biochar and results show that it then meets the standards for irrigation purposes. Also, the waste flow from cattle breeding supplies enough nutrients to cultivate plants, and the plants grown supply are adequate food for the 30 cows living on the farm. This research shows that the use of an integrated farming system could achieve zero-emission goal. Thereby, it provides a sustainable livelihood for cattle breeding family farms. The proposed integrated cattle breeding and cultivation system improves agricultural productivity, environmental and increases the farmer income up to 41.55%.
Blood plasma was collected during 2016-2018 from healthy incubating eiders (Somateria molissima, n = 183) in three Danish colonies, and healthy migrating pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus, n = 427) at their spring roost in Central Norway (Svalbard breeding population) and their novel flyway through the Finnish Baltic Sea (Russian breeding population). These species and flyways altogether represent terrestrial, brackish and marine ecosystems spanning from the Western to the Eastern and Northern part of the Baltic Sea. Plasma of these species was analysed for seroprevalence of specific avian influenza A (AI) antibodies to obtain information on circulating AI serotypes and exposure. Overall, antibody prevalence was 55% for the eiders and 47% for the pink-footed geese. Of AI-antibody seropositive birds, 12% (22/183) of the eiders and 3% (12/427) of the pink-footed geese had been exposed to AI of the potentially zoonotic serotypes H5 and/or H7 virus. AI seropositive samples selected at random (n = 33) showed a low frequency of serotypes H1, H6 and H9. Future projects should aim at sampling and isolating AI virus to characterize dominant serotypes and virus strains (PCR). This will increase our understanding of how AI exposure may affect health, breeding and population viability of Baltic common eiders and pink-footed geese as well as the potential spill-over to humans (zoonotic potential).
Beryllium (Be) is a relatively rare element and occurs naturally in the Earth's crust, in coal, and in various minerals. Beryllium is used as an alloy with other metals in aerospace, electronics and mechanical industries. The major emission sources to the atmosphere are the combustion of coal and fossil fuels and the incineration of municipal solid waste. In soils and natural waters, the majority of Be is sorbed to soil particles and sediments. The majority of contamination occurs through atmospheric deposition of Be on aboveground plant parts. Beryllium and its compounds are toxic to humans and are grouped as carcinogens. The general public is exposed to Be through inhalation of air and the consumption of Be-contaminated food and drinking water. Immobilization of Be in soil and groundwater using organic and inorganic amendments reduces the bioavailability and mobility of Be, thereby limiting the transfer into the food chain. Mobilization of Be in soil using chelating agents facilitates their removal through soil washing and plant uptake. This review provides an overview of the current understanding of the sources, geochemistry, health hazards, remediation practices, and current regulatory mandates of Be contamination in complex environmental settings, including soil and aquatic ecosystems.
Steam and air gasification with 5 wt% Ni/Al2O3 eggshell (Ni-EG) and homo (Ni-H) catalysts were performed for the first time to produce biohydrogen from food waste. The steam gasification produced comparably higher gas yield than air gasification. In non-catalytic experiments, steam gasification generated a higher volume percent of H2, whereas more CO, CO2, CH4, and C2-C4 were produced in air gasification. Ni-EG demonstrated higher potential to obtain H2-rich gases with a low C2-C4 content compared to that obtained by Ni-H, particularly in steam gasification at 800 °C, which produced gaseous products with 59.48 vol% H2. The long-term activity of both catalysts in steam gasification was evaluated, and Ni-EG exhibited higher stability than Ni-H. The ideal distribution of Ni species on the outer region of γ-Al2O3 pellets in Ni-EG resulted in higher activity, stability, and selectivity than Ni-H in both steam and air gasification.
Phytochemicals refer to active substances in plant-based diets. Phytochemicals found in for example fruits, vegetables, grains and seed oils are considered relatively safe for consumption due to mammal-plant co-evolution and adaptation. A number of human diseases are related to oxidative stress caused by for example chemical environmental contaminants in air, water and food; while also lifestyle including smoking and lack of exercise and dietary preferences are important factors for disease development in humans. Here we explore the dietary sources of antioxidant phytochemicals that have beneficial effects on oxidative stress, cardiovascular and neurological diseases as well as cancer. Plant-based diets usually contain phenolic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids, which have strong antioxidant properties, and therefore remove the excess of active oxygen in the body, and protect cells from damage, reducing the risk of cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. In most cases, obesity is related to diet and inactivity and plant-based diets change lipid composition and metabolism, which reduce obesity related hazards. Cruciferous and Allium vegetables are rich in organic sulphides that can act on the metabolism of carcinogens and therefore used as anti-cancer and suppressing agents while dietary fibres and plant sterols may improve intestinal health and prevent intestinal diseases. Thus, we recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains as its content of phytochemicals may have the potential to prevent or improve a broad sweep of various diseases.
In this work, we proposed a facile approach to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface for anti-icing performance in terms of adhesive strength and freezing time. A hierarchical structure was generated on as-received Al plates using a wet etching method and followed with a low energy chemical compound coating. Surfaces after treatment exhibited the great water repellent properties with a high contact angle and extremely low sliding angle. An anti-icing investigation was carried out by using a custom-built apparatus and demonstrated the expected low adhesion and freezing time for icephobic applications. In addition, we proposed a model for calculating the freezing time. The experimented results were compared with theoretical calculation and demonstrated the good agreement, illustrating the importance of theoretical contribution in design icephobic surfaces. Therefore, this study provides a guideline for the understanding of icing phenomena and designing of icephobic surfaces.
We used an innovative approach involving hot pressing, low energy consumption, and no adhesive to transform bamboo biomass into a natural sustainable fiber-based biocomposite for structural and furniture applications. Analyses showed strong internal bonding through mechanical "nail-like" nano substances, hydrogen, and ester and ether bonds. The biocomposite encompasses a 10-fold increase in internal bonding strength with improved water resistance, fire safety, and environmentally friendly properties as compared to existing furniture materials using hazardous formaldehyde-based adhesives. As compared to natural bamboo material, this new biocomposite has improved fire and water resistance, while there is no need for toxic adhesives (mostly made from formaldehyde-based resin), which eases the concern of harmful formaldehyde-based VOC emission and ensures better indoor air quality. This surpasses existing structural and furniture materials made by synthetic adhesives. Interestingly, our approach can 100% convert discarded bamboo biomass into this biocomposite, which represents a potentially cost reduction alternative with high revenue. The underlying fragment riveting and cell collapse binding are obviously a new technology approach that offers an economically and sustainable high-performance biocomposite that provides solutions to structural and furniture materials bound with synthetic adhesives.
Two of the world most endangered marine and terrestrial species are at the brink of extinction. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is the smallest existing cetacean and the population has declined to barely 22 individuals now remaining in Mexico's Gulf of California. With the ongoing decline, it is likely to go extinct within few years. The primary threat to this species has been mortality as a result of by-catch from gillnet fishing as well as environmental toxic chemicals and disturbance. This has called for the need to establish a National Park within the Gulf of California to expand essential habitat and provide the critical ecosystem protection for vaquita to thrive and multiply, given that proper conservation enforcement and management of the park are accomplished. In the terrestrial environment, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is reduced to a low number worldwide with the Iran subpopulation currently listed as Critically Endangered and the Indian subpopulation already extinct. There is a need for conservation efforts due to habitat loss, but also an indication of the conspicuous threat of illegal trade and trafficking from Africa and Arab countries in the Middle East. Funds have also been set up to provide refuges for the cheetah by working directly with farmers and landowners, which is a critical movement in adaptive management. These are the potential options for the preservation and possibly the expansion of the overall vaquita and cheetah populations.
Improving the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of biochar production is crucial to meet increased global market demand. Here, we developed a single-step microwave steam activation (STMSA) as a simplified yet efficient method to produce microwave activated biochar (MAB) from waste palm shell (WPS). The STMSA recorded a higher heating rate (70 °C/min) and higher conversion (45 wt%) of WPS into highly microporous MAB (micropore surface area of 679.22 m2/g) in contrast with the conventional heating approach (≤ 12-17 wt%). The MAB was then applied as biosorbent for hazardous landfill leachate (LL) treatment and the adsorption performance was compared with commercial activated carbon under different pH, adsorbent quantity, adsorbate concentrations, and contact times. The MAB demonstrated high adsorption capacity, achieving maximum adsorption efficiency at 595 mg/g and 65 % removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) with 0.4 g/L of adsorbent amount under optimal acidic conditions (pH ≈ 2-3) after 24 h of contact time. The Freundlich isotherm and pseudo second-order kinetic models were well-fitted to explain the equilibrium adsorption and kinetics. The results indicate the viability of STMSA as a fast and efficient approach to produce activated biochar as a biosorbent for the treatment of hazardous landfill leachate.
This study develops a method to reuse aquaculture wastewater and sediment from a catfish pond in order to increase agricultural productivity and protect the environment. Material flow analysis (MFA) is a central concept of this study that involves collecting catfish pond wastewater (CPW) and reusing it to irrigate five water spinach (Ipomoea aquatic) ponds before discharging it into a river. Typically, catfish pond sediment (CPS) was collected and composted to produce organic fertilizer for cornfields. The results revealed that pollutant removal efficiency of wastewater from CPW (by using water spinach) were total organic carbon (TOC) = 38.78%, nitrogen (N) = 27.07%, phosphorous (P) = 58.42%, and potassium (K) = 28.64%. By adding 20 tons of CPS compost per hectare of the cornfield, the corn yield boosted 15% compared to the control field. In addition, the water spinach grew and developed well in the medium of wastewater from the fish pond. Altogether, the results illustrate that catfish pond wastewater and sediment can act as organic fertilizers for crops meanwhile reduce environmental pollution from its reuse.
This study was set up to model and optimize the performance and emission characteristics of a diesel engine fueled with carbon nanoparticle-dosed water/diesel emulsion fuel using a combination of soft computing techniques. Adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system tuned by particle swarm algorithm was used for modeling the performance and emission parameters of the engine, while optimization of the engine operating parameters and the fuel composition was conducted via multiple-objective particle swarm algorithm. The model input variables were: injection timing (35-41° CA BTDC), engine load (0-100%), nanoparticle dosage (0-150 μM), and water content (0-3 wt%). The model output variables included: brake specific fuel consumption, brake thermal efficiency, as well as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and unburned hydrocarbons emission concentrations. The training and testing of the modeling system were performed on the basis of 60 data patterns obtained from the experimental trials. The effects of input variables on the performance and emission characteristics of the engine were thoroughly analyzed and comprehensively discussed as well. According to the experimental results, injection timing and engine load could significantly affect all the investigated performance and emission parameters. Water and nanoparticle addition to diesel could markedly affect some performance and emission parameters. The modeling system could predict the output parameters with an R2 > 0.93, MSE
This study evaluated and compared the performance of two vertical flow constructed wetlands (VF) using expanded clay (VF1) and biochar (VF2), of which both are low-cost, eco-friendly, and exhibit potentially high adsorption as compared to conventional filter layers. Both VFs achieved relatively high removal for organic matters (i.e. Biological oxygen demand during 5 days, BOD5) and nitrogen, accounting for 9.5 - 10.5 g.BOD5.m-2.d-1 and 3.5 - 3.6 g.NH4-N.m-2.d-1, respectively. The different filter materials did not exert any significant discrepancy to effluent quality in terms of suspended solids, organic matters and NO3-N (P > 0.05), but they did influence NH4-N effluent as evidenced by the removal rate of that by VF1 and VF2 being of 82.4 ± 5.7 and 84.6 ± 6.4%, respectively (P
We developed an innovative single-step pyrolysis approach that combines microwave heating and activation by CO2 or steam to transform orange peel waste (OPW) into microwave activated biochar (MAB). This involves carbonization and activation simultaneously under an inert environment. Using CO2 demonstrates dual functions in this approach, acting as purging gas to provide an inert environment for pyrolysis while activating highly porous MAB. This approach demonstrates rapid heating rate (15-120 °C/min), higher temperature (> 800 °C) and shorter process time (15 min) compared to conventional method using furnace (> 1 h). The MAB shows higher mass yield (31-44 wt %), high content of fixed carbon (58.6-61.2 wt %), Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) surface area (158.5-305.1 m2/g), low ratio of H/C (0.3) and O/C (0.2). Activation with CO2 produces more micropores than using steam that generates more mesopores. Steam-activated MAB records a higher adsorption efficiency (136 mg/g) compared to CO2 activation (91 mg/g), achieving 89-93 % removal of Congo Red dye. The microwave pyrolysis coupled with steam or CO2 activation thereby represents a promising approach to transform fruit-peel waste to microwave-activated biochar that remove hazardous dye.