Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas

Katowice, Poland

Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas

Katowice, Poland
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Margesin R.,University of Innsbruck | Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Kasenbacher S.,University of Innsbruck
Chemosphere | Year: 2011

The microbial community in soil samples from two long-term contaminated sites was characterized by using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The two sites investigated contained high amounts of heavy metals and were located in the upper Silesia Industrial Region in southern Poland. The evaluation of the aerobic soil microbial population clearly demonstrated the presence of considerable numbers of viable, culturable bacteria at both sites. A high fraction of the bacterial population was able to grow in the presence of high amounts of metals, i.e. up to 10mM Zn2+, 3mM Pb2+ or 1mM Cu2+. Site 1 contained significantly (P<0.05) lower bacterial numbers growing in the presence of 10mM Zn2+ than site 2, while the opposite was observed for bacteria tolerating 1mM Cu2+. This coincided with the contents of these two metals at the two sites. Ecophysiological (EP) indices for copiotrophs (r-strategists) and oligotrophs (K-strategists) pointed to high bacterial diversity at both sites. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis indicated that Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria represent the physiologically active fraction of bacteria at the two sites. Shannon diversity (H') indices for FISH-detected bacterial phylogenetic groups were not significantly different at the two sites. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Chojniak J.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Banat I.M.,University of Ulster
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Developing a reliable experimental protocol for the synthesis of nanomaterials is one of the challenging topics in current nanotechnology particularly in the context of the recent drive to promote green technologies in their synthesis. The increasing need to develop clean, nontoxic and environmentally safe production processes for nanoparticles to reduce environmental impact, minimize waste and increase energy efficiency has become essential in this field. Consequently, recent studies on the use of microorganisms in the synthesis of selected nanoparticles are gaining increased interest as they represent an exciting area of research with considerable development potential. Microorganisms are known to be capable of synthesizing inorganic molecules that are deposited either intra- or extracellularly. This review presents a brief overview of current research on the use of biosurfactants in the biosynthesis of selected metallic nanoparticles and their potential importance. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Staszewski T.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Lukasik W.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Kubiesa P.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2012

The paper presents results of screening analysis of all Polish national parks (23) contamination with Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn on the basis of a three-level characteristic of heavy metal presence in Norway spruce stands: accumulation on the needle surface, concentration of heavy metals in spruce needles and concentration of bioavailable heavy metals in the soil. Based on the obtained results, the classification of forest ecosystem hazard in national parks with heavy metals was made using synthetic indicators. It was found out that Babiogórski, Magurski, Ojcowski and Gorczański National Parks, located in the southern part of the country, were the most polluted with heavy metals. It is probably due to a higher industrial activity in this part of Poland and the transboundary transport of air pollutants. A little lower level of pollution was observed in Kampinoski National Park located in the middle of the country. The concentration of heavy metals found in needles from national parks does not seem to be harmful for the health status of the trees. Statistically significant correlation between all parameters, which was found for cadmium-the most mobile of the analysed elements-shows that this metal can be proposed as a marker to reflect present effect of industrial emission on forests. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

Wcislo E.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2012

The main objective of the study was derivation of risk-based soil screening levels (RBSSLs) under two basic exposure scenarios-industrial and residential, and their comparison with the relevant soil quality standards (SQSs), applied in Poland as remedial targets. The RBSSLs were derived from standardized sets of equations that are based on the recently updated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's human health risk assessment methods. The article presents the results concerning 12 contaminants listed in the SQS ordinance: arsenic, barium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, tin, and zinc. Taking only the human health protection criterion into account, most of SQSs for non-carcinogenic metals under both industrial and residential scenarios seem to be too stringent if used as the remedial levels, which may lead to unnecessary remediation. On the other hand, the SQSs for carcinogenic contaminants (As, CrVI) correspond to cancer risk levels significantly higher than the acceptable level of 1E-06. The findings of the study may constitute the first step to justify the amendment of the Polish SQS ordinance aimed at establishing the new soil quality values based on clearly defined criteria. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Pacwa-Plociniczak M.,Silesian University | Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Piotrowska-Seget Z.,Silesian University | Cameotra S.S.,Chandigarh Institute of Microbial Technology
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2011

Increasing public awareness of environmental pollution influences the search and development of technologies that help in clean up of organic and inorganic contaminants such as hydrocarbons and metals. An alternative and eco-friendly method of remediation technology of environments contaminated with these pollutants is the use of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms. The diversity of biosurfactants makes them an attractive group of compounds for potential use in a wide variety of industrial and biotechnological applications. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the applications of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms in hydrocarbon and metal remediation technologies. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Fulara I.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Czaplicka M.,Institute of Non Ferrous Metals
Journal of Separation Science | Year: 2012

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a group of persistent organic pollutants. They are used as flame retardants in plastics, paints, varnishes and textile materials. PBDEs pose great risk to the environment because of their high persistence and ability to get into the environment easily due to the lack of chemical bonds with the matrix of materials, to which they are added. Global research studies confirmed the occurrence of those compounds in the majority of elements of water and land environment. Analysis of PBDEs in environmental samples is one of the specific analytical methods of criteria that comprise low detection limits and high selectivity. The analysis of PBDEs in environmental samples is one of the specific analytical methods, in which the main criteria are low detection limits and high selectivity. In this article, a literature review of methods for environmental sample preparation and analysis of the PBDE content was presented. The article discusses the potential of modern extraction techniques such as: solid-phase microextraction, single-drop microextraction, dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction, microwave-assisted extraction, cloud point extraction, hollow fibre-liquid phase microextraction and others for the separation of PBDEs from environmental samples with a complex matrix. Among the methods for qualitative and quantitative determination of PBDEs, a particular focus was put on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with various injection techniques and different types of sample ionisation. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Matejczyk M.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Nalcz-Jawecki G.,Medical University of Warsaw | Ulfig K.,West Pomeranian University of Technology | Markowska-Szczupak A.,West Pomeranian University of Technology
Chemosphere | Year: 2011

The leachates from 22 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill sites in Southern Poland were characterized by evaluation of chemical, microbiological and ecotoxicological parameters. Chemical analyses were mainly focused on the identification of the priority hazardous substances according to Directive on Priority Substances, 2008/105/EC (a daughter directive of the WFD) in leachates. As showed, only five substances (Cd, Hg, hexachlorobutadiene, pentachlorobenzene and PAHs) were detected in the leachates. The compounds tested were absent or present at very low concentrations. Among them, only PAHs were found in all samples in the range from 0.057 to 77.2μgL-1. The leachates were contaminated with bacteria, including aerobic, psychrophilic and mesophilic bacteria, coliform and fecal coliforms, and spore-forming-bacteria, including Clostridium perfringens, and with filamentous fungi. From the analysis of specific microorganism groups (indicators of environmental pollution by pathogenic or opportunistic pathogenic organisms) it can be concluded that the landfill leachates showed sanitary and epidemiological hazard. In the ecotoxicological study, a battery of tests comprised of 5 bioassays, i.e. Microtox®, Spirotox, Rotoxkit F™, Thamnotoxkit F™ and Daphtoxkit F™ magna was applied. The leachate samples were classified as toxic in 13.6%, highly toxic in 54.6% and very highly toxic in 31.8%. The Spirotox test was the most sensitive bioassay used. The percentage of class weight score was very high - above 60%; these samples could definitely be considered seriously hazardous and acutely toxic to the fauna and microflora.No correlations were found between the toxicity values and chemical parameters. The toxicity of leachate samples cannot be explained by low levels of the priority pollutants. It seems that other kinds of xenobiotics present in the samples at subacute levels gave the high aggregate toxic effect.The chemical, ecotoxicological and microbiological parameters of the landfill leachates should be analyzed together to assess the environmental risk posed by landfill emissions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Samborska K.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Halas S.,Maria Curie Sklodowska University | Bottrell S.H.,University of Leeds
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

Groundwater within the unconfined or semi-confined parts of Triassic carbonate aquifers in Upper Silesia (Poland) contains high concentrations of sulphate (up to 290. mg/L), sometimes in excess of drinking water limits (>250. mg/L). To assess the influence of different possible sulphate sources, isotopic analyses of S and O were performed on groundwater sulphate and potential sulphate sources and combined with literature data. Three dominant sources of sulphate were delineated, based on the geological and literature study and supported by the mixing relations between inverse concentration of sulphate and its isotopic compositions. These sources are: (i) sulphate from rainfall; (ii) weathering of sulphide minerals in ore deposits in the aquifer-forming carbonate rocks; (iii) dissolution of sulphate evaporites in the Triassic sequence. Fortunately these three sources have distinctive S and O isotope compositions and thus their contributions to the total dissolved sulphate could be estimated. The application of linear mixing models for three sources in the dual isotope system allowed the impact of the three different sulphate sources on particular parts of the aquifers to be calculated. The average isotopic composition of sulphate in abstracted groundwater indicates that the most important source of sulphate is sulphide weathering, contributing about 50% of total sulphate. The second most significant source of sulphate input is rainfall and it is characterised by a mean contribution of 30%. Application of Monte Carlo analysis that incorporates the full variability in distributions of isotopic compositions for the three sources and all mixing fractions between them gave the most probable ranges of the dissolved in groundwater sulphate. This analysis indicated that the proportion of sulphate derived by sulphide oxidation is comparable with the estimations based on linear models. This study has shown that the water quality of these important groundwater resources is under threat from both natural sources, i.e. metal sulphide oxidation and gypsum dissolution. Analysis of the mathematical models analysis shows that the first process is the predominant source of sulphate in groundwater. However, the highest concentrations of dissolved sulphate are positively correlated with the increasing proportion of sulphate derived from gypsum dissolution. Moreover, one should keep in mind that natural processes might be anthropogenically accelerated due to variable water demands and groundwater abstraction. Eventually, the statistically second-order source of sulphate - rainfall might contain surface-derived contaminants, and its contribution to the total load of sulphate might indirectly indicate the vulnerability of aquifers for the pollution. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Staszewski T.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Kubiesa P.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Lukasik W.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to describe changes in the deposition of air pollutants and the response of spruce trees in the period of 1998-2005. The investigation was carried out in twelve sites, mainly national parks. Air pollution level, that is, SO 2, NO 2, and O 3 concentrations in the air, as well as throughfall and soil solution chemical composition was analysed. The reaction of trees was described based on a stand health parameter, that is, defoliation. A decrease in the concentration of SO 2 and NO 2 in the investigated period was observed. In most of the analysed sites, ozone concentrations in the growing season exceeded the level regarded as harmful to plants. Annual loads of nitrogen and sulphur reaching the forest soil exceeded 10 kg/ha. The data collected for the analysed period confirmed that the health status of forests at the investigated sites did not show a general tendency towards improvement. Also, no dependency between the air pollution level and defoliation rate was found. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Samborska K.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Halas S.,Maria Curie Sklodowska University
Applied Geochemistry | Year: 2010

The objective of this study was to determine the sources of SO42- in groundwater of the Olkusz-Zawiercie Major Groundwater Body. The quality of groundwater was relatively good in the past, but fluctuations of the water table level have caused degradation of water quality. Variations in the water table level and the formation of the depression cone have resulted from both groundwater withdrawal and Zn-Pb mine dewatering. As a result within the extended vadose zone of the aquifer, weathering of pyrite and accompanying sulfides has taken place. Since 1992 the water table has risen and this process has been associated with an increase in concentrations of SO42-, Ca and Mg. At the same time, the pH has decreased and periodically high Fe concentrations have been detected. High concentrations of Mg and Sr have been observed and, since gypsum layers are known to be present, a de-dolomitisation process has been hypothesized. The PHREEQC program for Windows was used to estimate saturation indices for calcite, dolomite, gypsum and epsomite. Isotopic data for SO42- dissolved in the groundwater and archival data on isotopic composition of ore sulfides were used to solve the isotope balance equation and to estimate the fraction of dissolved SO42- that originated from pyrite oxidation and gypsum dissolution. The results have shown that dissolution of pyrite oxidation products has a significant influence on chemical composition of groundwater, especially in the southern part of the cone of depression. By solving the additional, combined mass transfer and isotope balance equations it was inferred that a variation in isotopic composition of weathered sulfides must also occur. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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