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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Balabanic D.,Pulp and Paper Institute | Balabanic D.,University of Nova Gorica | Klemencic A.,University of Ljubljana
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin | Year: 2011

Paper mills generate varieties of pollutants depending upon the type of the production process. Raw and biologically treated effluents from two paper mills with different production processes and different biological treatment plants were analysed by COD, BOD 5, AOX as well as by phthalates, bisphenol A, and nonylphenol which are potential endocrine disrupting compounds. Removal efficiency of aerobic and combined aerobic/anaerobic wastewater treatment plants were studied for investigated compounds. The results indicated that dimethyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, bisphenol A, and nonylphenol were present in raw and biologically treated paper mill effluents. The removal efficiencies of aerobic and combined aerobicanaerobic biological wastewater treatment plants were 87% and 87% for dimethyl phthalate, 79% and 91% for diethyl phthalate, 73% and 88% for dibutyl phthalate, 84% and 78% for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, 86% and 76% for benzyl butyl phthalate, 74% and 79% for bisphenol A, and 71% and 81% for nonylphenol, respectively. Despite relative high removal efficiency of biological wastewater treatment plants for investigated compounds, the concentrations of nonylphenol in treated paper mill effluents exceeded limits of 0.3 μg/L according to Directive (2008/105/EC). © by psp. Source


Balabanic D.,Pulp and Paper Institute | Balabanic D.,University of Nova Gorica | Hermosilla D.,Complutense University of Madrid | Blanco A.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 2 more authors.
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2010

An endocrine disrupter is an exogenous agent that interferes with the synthesis, binding, secretion, transport, action or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis, reproduction, development, and behaviour. Some of them are suspected of causing abnormalities in sperm and increasing hormone-related cancers in humans. Studies have also been published on the estrogen-like responses of endocrine disrupters in wildlife, such as birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Endocrine disrupters include a wide variety of pollutants such as alkylphenols, bisphenol A, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phthalates, heavy metals, and natural or synthetic hormones. They may be released into the environment in different ways. One of the most important sources of endocrine disrupters are industrial waste waters. The conventional waste water treatment processes are not specifically designed to remove traces of dangerous organic contaminants (except for heavy metals) so the latter are consequently consumed by aquatic organisms and through them may also enter human food chain. In the presented research the following treatments for removing of organic endocrine disrupting compounds from paper mill waste waters were compared: anaerobic biological treatment, membrane bioreactor, and reverse osmosis (pilot plant A), and combined (anaerobic and aerobic) biological treatment, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis (pilot plant B) at pilot scale and advanced oxidation processes (Fenton, photo-Fenton, photo-catalysis with TiO2 and ozonation) at laboratory scale. The results indicated that the concentrations of organic endocrine compounds from paper mill waste waters were efficiently reduced (100%) by both combinations of pilot plants, photo-Fenton oxidation (95%) while the ozonation, photo-catalysis with TiO2 reagent and Fenton reaction was less effective (70-80%). © 2010 WIT Press. Source


Mraovic M.,Pulp and Paper Institute | Muck T.,University of Ljubljana | Pivar M.,University of Ljubljana | Trontelj J.,University of Ljubljana | Pletersek A.,Ams Ag Inc.
Sensors (Switzerland) | Year: 2014

Research, design, fabrication and resultsof various screenprinted capacitive humidity sensors is presented inthis paper. Two types of capacitive humidity sensors have been designed and fabricated via screen printing on recycled paper and cardboard, obtained from the regional paper and cardboard industry.As printing ink, commercially available silver nanoparticle-based conductive ink was used. A considerable amount of work has been devoted to the humidity measurement methods using paper as a dielectric material. Performances of different structures have been tested in a humidity chamber. Relative humidity in the chamber was varied in the range of 35%-80% relative humidity (RH) at a constant temperature of 23 °C. Parameters of interest were capacitance and conductance of each sensor material, as well as long term behaviour. Process reversibility has also been considered. The results obtained show a mainlylogarithmic response of the paper sensors, with the only exception being cardboard-based sensors. Recycled paper-based sensors exhibit a change in value of three orders of magnitude, whereas cardboard-based sensors have a change in value of few 10s over the entire scope ofrelative humidity range (RH 35%-90%). Two different types of capacitor sensors have been investigated: lateral (comb) type sensors and modified, perforated flat plate type sensors. The objective of the present work was to identify the most important factors affecting the material performances with humidity, and to contribute to the development of a sensor system supported with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip directlyon the material, for use in smart packaging applications. Therefore, the authors built a passive and a battery-supported wireless module based on SL900A smart sensory tag's IC to achieve UHF-RFID functionality with data logging capability. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


Klemencic A.K.,University of Ljubljana | Bulc T.G.,University of Ljubljana | Balabanic D.,Pulp and Paper Institute
Periodicum Biologorum | Year: 2010

Background and Purpose: A chemical-free water treatment system consisting of fibre filters, ultrasound, and UV for fish farming was operated in a fishpond to study its effect on the control of algae compared with a non-treated fishpond. Materials and Methods: Phytoplankton and phytobenthos were sampled in both ponds, at the same time Chlorophyll-a, nitrates (NO 3), orto-phosphates (PO 4), pH, water temperature and saturationwere monitored. Results and Conclusions: The results showed that ultrasonication caused efficient sedimentation of planktonic algae. The number of determined algal species was lower in the treated pond. The proportion of green algae and Cyanobacteria was higher in the non-treated pond, and diatoms were the predominant group of algae in the treated pond. The species Oedogonium sp., Mougeotia sp. and Spirogyra sp. were »tolerant« to ultrasonic irradiation. The successful control of algae using the chemical-free water treatment system suggests that the Chem-free water treatment system can be a practical method to control algal bloom in fish farms. Source


Mraovic M.,Pulp and Paper Institute | Muck T.,University of Ljubljana | Pivar M.,University of Ljubljana | Trontelj J.,University of Ljubljana | Pletersek A.,AG ams R&D
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) | Year: 2014

Research, design, fabrication and results of various screen printed capacitive humidity sensors is presented in this paper. Two types of capacitive humidity sensors have been designed and fabricated via screen printing on recycled paper and cardboard, obtained from the regional paper and cardboard industry. As printing ink, commercially available silver nanoparticle-based conductive ink was used. A considerable amount of work has been devoted to the humidity measurement methods using paper as a dielectric material. Performances of different structures have been tested in a humidity chamber. Relative humidity in the chamber was varied in the range of 35%-80% relative humidity (RH) at a constant temperature of 23 °C. Parameters of interest were capacitance and conductance of each sensor material, as well as long term behaviour. Process reversibility has also been considered. The results obtained show a mainly logarithmic response of the paper sensors, with the only exception being cardboard-based sensors. Recycled paper-based sensors exhibit a change in value of three orders of magnitude, whereas cardboard-based sensors have a change in value of few 10s over the entire scope of relative humidity range (RH 35%-90%). Two different types of capacitor sensors have been investigated: lateral (comb) type sensors and modified, perforated flat plate type sensors. The objective of the present work was to identify the most important factors affecting the material performances with humidity, and to contribute to the development of a sensor system supported with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip directly on the material, for use in smart packaging applications. Therefore, the authors built a passive and a battery-supported wireless module based on SL900A smart sensory tag's IC to achieve UHF-RFID functionality with data logging capability. Source

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