In recent years, environmental nanotechnology has risen to the forefront and the new properties and enhanced reactivates offered by nanomaterial may offer a new, low-cost paradigm to solving complex environmental pollution problems. This study assessed the synthesis and application of multi-functioned nano-size metallic calcium (nMC) composite for detoxification of hazardous inorganic (heavy metals (HMs)/organic chlorinated/brominated compound (CBCs) contaminants in automobile shredder residue (ASR). ASR residues ball milled with nMC composite can achieve about 90-100% of HMs immobilization and CBCs decomposition. The results highlight the low quantity of HMs leached from ASR residues after treatment with nMC, which was found to be lower than the standard regulatory limit for hazardous waste landfills. The use of nMC composite in a mechanochemical process to treat hazardous ASR (dry conditions) is a simple and innovative approach to remediate hazardous inorganic/organic cross-contaminates in ASR.
A continuous copper precipitation treatment (CCPT) system was conceived at Intel Chandler Site to serve as a first-of-kind (FOK) facility-scale waste copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and manganese (Mn) co-precipitation facility. The process was designed to treat highly variable wastewater discharged from a substrate packaging research factory. The paper discusses metals co-precipitation induced by internal changes for manufacturing facilities that lack the capacity for hardware expansion due to real estate restrictions, aggressive schedules, or budgetary constraints. Herein, operating parameters such as pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) were examined to analyze the ability of the CCPT System to immobilize various waste metals. Additionally, influential factors such as influent concentrations and retention times were investigated to quantify the environmental variability against system performance. A total of 2,027 samples were analyzed and statistically evaluated to measure the performance of CCPT that was internally retrofitted for Mn abatement to meet environmental regulations. In order to enhance the consistency of the influent, a separate holding tank was cannibalized from another system to collect and slow-feed the segregated Mn wastewater from the factory into CCPT. As a result, the baseline influent Mn decreased from 17.2+18.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 5.15+8.11 mg1L-1 post-pilot (70.1% reduction). Likewise, the pre-trial and post-trial average influent Cu values to CCPT were 52.0+54.6 mg1L-1 and 33.9+12.7 mg1L-1, respectively (34.8% reduction). However, the raw Ni content of 0.97+0.39 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot increased to 1.06+0.17 mg1L-1 at post-pilot. The average Mn output declined from 10.9+11.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 0.44+1.33 mg1L-1 at post-pilot (96.0% reduction) as a result of the pH and ORP operating setpoint changes. In similar fashion, the output Cu quality improved from 1.60+5.38 mg1L-1 to 0.55+1.02 mg1L-1 (65.6% reduction) while the Ni output sustained a 50% enhancement during the pilot study (0.22+0.19 mg1L-1 reduced to 0.11+0.06 mg1L-1). pH and ORP were shown to be significantly instrumental to the precipitative versatility of the CCPT System.
Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.
The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.
This study aims at contributing to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV), it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21‰. In experiments with Cr(III), increases in the uptake of ion by both species were verified. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms was verified, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24h). For R. maritima, the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (>20h), because this species is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.
Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes, etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus, sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize, and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated, namely SSF7, SSA21, and SSS6, showing sulphate production of concentration, i.e. 2.268, 3.102, and 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.
Separate collection system for recyclable wastes in the Helsinki region was ranked second best of European capitals. The collection system includes paper, cardboard, glass, metals and biowaste. Residual waste is collected and used in energy production. The collection system excluding paper is managed by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services HSY, a public organization owned by four municipalities (Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa). Paper collection is handled by the producer responsibility scheme. The efficiency of the collection system in the Helsinki region relies on a good coverage of door-to-door-collection. All properties with 10 or more dwelling units are required to source separate biowaste and cardboard. This covers about 75% of the population of the area. The obligation is extended to glass and metal in properties with 20 or more dwelling units. Other success factors include public awareness campaigns and a fee system that encourages recycling. As a result of waste management regulations for source separation of recyclables and biowaste, nearly 50 percent of recycling rate of household waste has been reached. For households and small and medium size enterprises, there is a sorting station fleet of five stations available. More than 50 percent of wastes received at sorting stations is utilized as material. The separate collection of plastic packaging in Finland will begin in 2016 within the producer responsibility scheme. HSY started supplementing the national bring point system with door-to-door-collection and pilot operations will begin in spring 2016. The result of plastic packages pilot project has been encouraging. Until the end of 2016, over 3500 apartment buildings have been joined the piloting, and more than 1800 tons of plastic packages have been collected separately. In the summer 2015 a novel partial flow digestion process combining digestion and tunnel composting was adopted for source separated household and commercial biowaste management. The product gas form digestion process is converted in to heat and electricity in piston engine and organic Rankine cycle process with very high overall efficiency. This paper describes the efficient collection system and discusses key success factors as well as main obstacles and lessons learned as well as the partial flow process for biowaste management.
Atmospheric concentrations of some heavy metal compounds (Pb, Cd, Ni) and the metalloid As were identified and determined in airborne PM2.5 particles in urban sites of Győr, northwest area of Hungary. PM2.5 aerosol samples were collected in two different sampling sites and the trace metal(loid) (Pb, Ni, Cd and As) content were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The concentration of PM2.5 fraction was varied between 12.22 and 36.92 μg/m3 at the two sampling sites. The trend of heavy metal mean concentrations regarding the mean value of the two urban sites of Győr was found in decreasing order of Pb > Ni > Cd. The mean values were 7.59 ng/m3 for Pb, 0.34 ng/m3 for Ni and 0.11 ng/m3 for Cd, respectively. The metalloid As could be detected only in 3.57% of the total collected samples. The levels of PM2.5 bounded heavy metals were determined and compared with other cities located in Hungary.
In recent years, different petrochemical complexes have been established to produce aromatic compounds. Among them, Nouri Petrochemical Complex (NPC) is the largest producer of aromatic raw materials in the world, and is located in south of Iran. Environmental concerns have been raised in this region due to generation of different types of solid waste generated in the process of aromatics production, and subsequently, industrial waste characterization has been thoroughly considered. The aim of this study is qualitative and quantitative characterization of industrial waste generated in the aromatics production process and determination of the best method for industrial waste management. For this purpose, all generated industrial waste during the production process was determined using a checklist. Four main industrial wastes were identified as follows: spent industrial soil, spent catalyst, spent molecular sieves and spent N-formyl morpholine (NFM) solvent. The amount of heavy metals and organic compounds in these wastes were further measured in order to identify the nature and toxicity of such a dangerous compound. Then industrial wastes were classified based on lab analysis results as well as using different international lists of hazardous waste identification such as EPA, UNEP and Basel Convention. Finally, the best method of waste disposal is selected based on environmental, economic and technical aspects.
The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6.
Cadmium and chromium are toxic to most organisms and different mechanisms have been developed for overcoming with the toxic effects of these heavy metals. We studied the uptake and distribution of cadmium and chromium in different organs of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants in nine heavy metal polluted soils in western Hormozgan province, Iran. The accumulation of chromium was in increasing pattern of fruit peel
This study investigated the integrated removal of heavy metals, organic matter and nitrogen from landfill leachate using a novel laboratory scale constructed wetland system. The main objectives of this study were: (i) to assess the overall effectiveness of the constructed wetland system for treating landfill leachate; (ii) to examine the interactions and impact of key leachate constituents (heavy metals, organic matter and nitrogen) on the overall removal dynamics and efficiency. The constructed wetland system consisted of four stages operated in tidal flow and anoxic conditions. Results obtained from 215 days of operation have demonstrated extraordinary heavy metals removal up to 100%. Analysis of the physico- chemical data reveal that the controlling factors for metals removal were the anoxic condition and the use of the novel media (dewatered ferric sludge which is a by-product of drinking water treatment process) as the main substrate in the constructed wetland system. Results show that the use of the ferric sludge enhanced heavy metals removal and brought more flexibility to simultaneous nitrification and denitrification which occurs within the microbial flocs. Furthermore, COD and NH4-N were effectively removed in the system and this coincided with enhanced aeration in the 2nd and 3rd stages of the constructed wetland system. Overall, the results demonstrated that the ferric dewatered sludge constructed wetland system would be an effective solution for integrated removal of pollutants from landfill leachates.
The study area (Ecton mining area) is located in the southern part of the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It is bounded by the River Manifold from the west. This area has been mined for a long period. As a result, huge amounts of potentially toxic metals were released into the surrounding area and are most likely to be a significant source of heavy metal contamination to the local soil, water and vegetation. In order to appraise the potential heavy metal pollution in this area, 37 topsoil samples (5-20 cm depth) were collected and analysed for their total content of Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni and V using ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) optical emission spectroscopy. Multivariate Geospatial analyses using the GIS technique were utilised to draw geochemical maps of the metals of interest over the study area. A few hotspot points, areas of elevated concentrations of metals, were specified, which are presumed to be the results of anthropogenic activities. In addition, the soil’s environmental quality was evaluated by calculating the Mullers’ Geoaccumulation index (I geo), which suggests that the degree of contamination of the investigated heavy metals has the following trend: Pb > Zn > Cu > Mn > Ni = Cr = V. Furthermore, the potential ecological risk, using the enrichment factor (EF), was also specified. On the basis of the calculated amount or the EF, the levels of pollution for the studied metals in the study area have the following order: Pb>Zn>Cu>Cr>V>Ni>Mn.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising solution for the energy resources leakage. Ferritic stainless steel becomes a suitable candidate for the SOFCs interconnects due to the recent advancements. Different steel alloys were designed to satisfy the needed characteristics in SOFCs interconnect as conductivity, thermal expansion and corrosion resistance. Refractory elements were used as alloying elements to satisfy the needed properties. The oxidation behaviour of the developed alloys was studied where the samples were heated for long time period at the maximum operating temperature to simulate the real working conditions. The formed scale and oxidized surface were investigated by SEM. Microstructure examination was carried out for some selected steel grades. The effect of alloying elements on the behaviour of the proposed interconnects material and the performance during the working conditions of the cells are explored and discussed. Refractory metals alloying of chromium steel seems to satisfy the needed characteristics in metallic interconnects.
Samarium as a rare-earth element is playing a growing important role in high technology. Traditional methods for extraction of rare earth metals such as ion exchange and solvent extraction have disadvantages of high investment and high energy consumption. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) as an improved solvent extraction technique is an effective transport method for separation of various compounds from aqueous solutions. In this work, the extraction of samarium from aqueous solutions by ELM was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisted of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as mobile carrier, and kerosene as base fluid. 1 M nitric acid solution was used as internal aqueous phase. The effects of the important process parameters on samarium extraction were investigated, and the values of these parameters were optimized using the Central Composition Design (CCD) of RSM. These parameters were the concentration of MWCNT in nanofluid, the carrier concentration, and the volume ratio of organic membrane phase to internal phase (Roi). The three-dimensional (3D) response surfaces of samarium extraction efficiency were obtained to visualize the individual and interactive effects of the process variables. A regression model for % extraction was developed, and its adequacy was evaluated. The result shows that % extraction improves by using MWCNT nanofluid in organic membrane phase and extraction efficiency of 98.92% can be achieved under the optimum conditions. In addition, demulsification was successfully performed and the recycled membrane phase was proved to be effective in the optimum condition.
Neutralisation of acid-mine drainage (AMD) using limestone is cost effective, and good results can be obtained. However, this process has its limitations; it cannot be used for highly acidic water which consists of Fe(III). When Fe(III) reacts with CaCO3, it results in armoring. Armoring slows the reaction, and additional alkalinity can no longer be generated. Limestone is easily accessible, so this problem can be easily dealt with. Experiments were carried out to evaluate the effect of PVC pipe length on ferric and ferrous ions. It was found that the shorter the pipe length the more these dissolved metals precipitate. The effect of the pipe length on the hydrogen ions was also studied, and it was found that these two have an inverse relationship. Experimental data were further compared with the model prediction data to see if they behave in a similar fashion. The model was able to predict the behaviour of 1.5m and 2 m pipes in ferric and ferrous ion precipitation.
A comparative research on the impact of compost on uptake and allocation of nutrients and heavy metals and quality of Oriental tobacco Krumovgrad 90 has been carried out. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the lead zinc smelter near the town of Kardzali, Bulgaria, after closing the lead production. The compost treatments had significant effects on the uptake and allocation of plant nutrients and heavy metals. The incorporation of compost leads to decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in the tobacco leaves, with Cd, Pb and Zn having values of 36%, 12% and 6%, respectively. Application of the compost leads to increased content of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the leaves of tobacco, and therefore, may favorably affect the burning properties of tobacco. The incorporation of compost in the soil has a negative impact on the quality and typicality of the oriental tobacco variety of Krumovgrad 90. The incorporation of compost leads to an increase in the size of the tobacco plant leaves, the leaves become darker in colour, less fleshy and undergo a change in form, becoming (much) broader in the second, third and fourth stalk position. This is accompanied by a decrease in the quality of the tobacco. The incorporation of compost also results in an increase in the mineral substances (pure ash), total nicotine and nitrogen, and a reduction in the amount of reducing sugars, which causes the quality of the tobacco leaves to deteriorate (particularly in the third and fourth harvests).
A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Salvia sclarea L. for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The content of heavy metals in different parts of Salvia sclarea L. (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) was determined by ICP. The essential oil of the Salvia sclarea L. was obtained by steam distillation in laboratory conditions and was analyzed for heavy metals and its chemical composition was determined. Salvia sclarea L. is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils. Based on the obtained results and using the most common criteria, Salvia sclarea L. can be classified as Pb hyperaccumulator and Cd and Zn accumulators, therefore, this plant has suitable potential for the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the Salvia sclarea L., as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. For clary sage oil obtained from the processing of clary sage grown on highly contaminated soils, its key odour-determining ingredients meet the quality requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and BS ISO 7609 regarding Bulgarian clary sage oil and/or have values that are close to the limits of these standards. The possibility of further industrial processing will make Salvia sclarea L. an economically interesting crop for farmers of phytoextraction technology.
Colemanite is the most common borate mineral, and the main source of the boron required by plants, human, and earth. Transition metals exhibit optical and physical properties such as; non-linear optical character, structural diversity, thermal stability, long cycle life and luminescent radiation. The doping of colemanite with a transition metal, bring it very interesting and attractive properties which make them applicable in industry. Iron doped calcium borate was synthesized by conventional solid state method at 1200 °C for 12 h with a systematic pathway. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive analyze (SEM/EDS) were used to characterize structural and morphological properties. Also, thermal properties were recorded by thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA).