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  • Author or Editor: J. Zaidi x
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Abstract  

A radiochemical neutron activation analysis procedure has been applied to investigate 40 major, minor, and trace impurities in nickel-based alloy. The extensive use of these alloys in the electronic industry, telecommunications, manufacturing of aircraft engine turbine blades and chemical equipments desires for their precise characterization. The concentration of nickel in the nickel-based alloy was found to be 56.8%, whereas Fe, Cr, Ca, Mg, Ce, Mn, Na and V were the major components of the alloy, which constituted to more than 26%. The rest of the elements was present in minor or trace levels. Most of the rare earth elements except Ce were also present in trace amounts. Neutron activation analysis technique was preferably used because of its good sensitivity and multielement determination capabilities for the characterization of high purity materials. The comparison of RNAA and INAA indicated improvement in the detection limits utilizing radiochemical separation procedures developed in the present work.

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Abstract  

The determination of Ce, Yb, Se and Cr has been carried out in the atmosphere of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Wah Cantt and Khanispur (background area) by INAA. Ce and Cr are associated with anthropogenic activities, while Yb is mainly due to soil derived aerosols. Se represents both anthropogenic as well as soil derived aerosols.

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Abstract  

Instrumental neutron activation analysis has been used to evaluate potentially toxic trace element concentrations in twenty-three individual food items commonly consumed in a high altitude region (Kashmir) as a continuation of our previous study. Elemental intake levels of As, Br, Hg, Sb, and Se per person per day in meat, poultry, food grains, vegetables, fruits and milk have been calculated to assess the safety of dietary intake of these items. The dietary intake values have also been compared to the RDA levels. The data will provide the base-line levels of toxic elements in food items of this region. It will also help the dieticians to formulate safe and adequate diets for the residents of this region.

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Abstract  

Due to the significance of industrial waste water pollution, which creates severe health hazards in humans, this study concentrates over the reduction and determination of the amounts of toxic metals/pollution parameters in the effluents leached from different processes of the textile industry. The concentrations of metal ions were measured by using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The values of toxic metals such as As (49.1 ± 1.8 mg/L), Cu (42.7 ± 1.5 mg/L), Ni (41.1 ± 3.3 mg/L), Mn (51.1 ± 0.7 mg/L), Sb (1.89 ± 0.04 mg/L), Se (0.41 ± 0.01 mg/L), Co (7.5 ± 0.3 mg/L), Cr (8.5 ± 0.5 mg/L) and Cd (1.21 ± 0.08 mg/L) were found very high in crude textile’s effluents as compared to their standard recommended limits. The immense variation observed among the injurious pollutants of the effluents i.e. pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, turbidity, biological oxygen demands, chemical oxygen demands, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, total solids etc. The toxic metals and injurious pollutants in the unprocessed effluents have been reduced in the post filtration effluents up to 98% and 96% respectively with the help of an ultra-filtration membrane therapy unit.

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Abstract  

The industrial pollution is exponentially growing in the developing countries due to the discharge of untreated effluents from the industries in the open atmosphere. This may cause severe health hazards in the general public. To reduce this effect, it is essential to remove the toxic and heavy metals from the effluents before their disposal into the biosphere. In this context, samples of the effluents were collected from the textile/yarn, ceramics and pulp/paper industries and the concentrations of the toxic metal ions were determined using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The observed concentration values of the As, Cr and Fe ions, in the unprocessed industrial effluents, were 4.91 ± 0.8, 9.67 ± 0.7 and 9.71 ± 0.8 mg/L, respectively which was well above the standard recommended limits (i.e. 1.0, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/L, respectively). In order to remove the toxic metal ions from the effluents, the samples were treated with pea nut husk fence. After this treatment, 91.5% arsenic, 81.9% chromium and 66.5% iron metal ions were successfully removed from the effluents. Then the treated effluents contained concerned toxic metal ions concentrations within the permissible limits as recommended by the national environmental quality standards (NEQS).

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Abstract  

Industrial units play a significant role in atmospheric pollution. Industrial exhausts deteriorate the atmospheric quality causing unhygienic environment for the people working in the vicinity. This work presents a study of the longitudinal distribution of trace elements of the Sheikhupura industrial area. Three kinds of distribution patterns were observed and are discussed in detail. The results are based on the neutron activation analysis of 16 trace elements.

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Abstract  

Due to the inadequate water sources, usually sewerage water and industrial effluents are being use for irrigation of the agricultural land around the industrial areas in Pakistan wherein crops and vegetables are cultivated. As untreated effluents contain heavy elements, toxic metals and organic pollutants that may find its way through food chain to general public and may cause health hazards. It is, therefore, mandatory to assess the toxic metals in such crops and vegetables. In this regard, samples of corn, millet, cabbage, spinach and potato were collected within the vicinity of industrial areas of the Faisalabad and Gujranwala regions. The food samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The highest concentration values of Arsenic (1.9 ± 0.1 μg/g) and Cobalt (0.85 ± 0.01 μg/g) were found in cabbage whereas Manganese (91.6 ± 0.2 μg/g), Antimony (0.15 ± 0.03 μg/g) and Selenium (1.1 ± 0.1 μg/g) were observed in spinach and Chromium (9.63 ± 1.3 μg/g) was found in millet crop. The observed concentrations of all the toxic and heavy metals in crops and vegetables are higher than those reported in the literature.

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Abstract  

Pakistan is an agricultural country, yet it is facing a serious threat due to the shortage of water resources and degradation of the agricultural land by the pollution of industrial effluents. A limited number of the current industries are equipped with proper operating treatment plants. Generally, the untreated effluents are disposed off to the open environment which is used for irrigation purposes. Therefore, vegetables and crops grown around the industrial areas is a major potential source of metal poisoning which pose a serious risk to the general public. Hence, study of the toxicity level in vegetables and crops is highly desirable. In this regard, systematic studies have been carried out to determine concentration levels of toxic elements in the samples of vegetables, crops, effluents and soil collected from the industrial areas of the Faisalabad. After processing, these samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometric techniques. The highest concentrations of toxic metals were observed for As (2.73 ± 0.34) in cabbage, Cd (1.5 ± 0.1), Ni (5.1 ± 0.9) and Pb (4.3 ± 0.2) in corn, Co (0.65 ± 0.02), and Sb (0.09 ± 0.01) in carrot, Cr (9.63 ± 1.3), Mn (46.5 ± 4.2) and Se (1.03 ± 0.1) in millet, Cu (11.3 ± 1.1) in tomato vegetables and crop samples. Although, the observed toxicity levels in vegetables and crop samples were higher than those grown in non-industrial areas, yet these toxicity levels are within the safe recommended limits.

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Abstract  

A proficiency test (PT) exercise was offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for major, minor and trace elements in Chinese ceramic reference material (IAEA-CU-2006-06). Neutron activation analysis (NAA) laboratory at PINSTECH, Pakistan participated in the exercise and submitted the results for 28 elements. The aim of participation was to develop a suitable methodology for accurate measurement of as many elements as possible in ceramic material using a low power reactor (PARR-2) as this would help future investigation in a project on the authenticity of art objects, for provenance, conservation and management of ancient cultural heritage of the country. After receiving the final report of the PT exercise, a critical review of our data and final scoring of each element is made to check the suitability of our methodology and reliability of the acquired data. Most of the reported results passed different statistical evaluation criterion such as relative bias, z-score and u-scores and ratio of our results and IAEA target values. One element (Yb) falls in the unacceptable range of relative bias and z-scores. Hf and Tb showed slightly high z-scores within the questionable range. Ho, Mo and Sn were determined during this study but their results were not submitted to the IAEA. The confidence of accuracy observed for most of the elements in ceramic material has made it mandatory to report their results as information values.

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Summary  

The deposition of trace and major elements from the atmosphere to the ground is an important factor for plants, animals and humans as well. Total suspended particulate matter was measured by a standard gravimetric technique. A scanning electron microscope was used for the evaluation of the size distribution and morphological structures of the aerosol particulates trapped on the surface of filter paper. The aerosol particulates were studied by a scanning electron microscope at various magnification. The trace elemental composition in the atmosphere of Faisalabad was studied by using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Concentrations of 23 trace elements and a major one were determined in samples of aerosol particulates collected during a longe sampling period in the atmosphere at Faisalabad, Pakistan. Their amount was two times higher than the limits adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the urban environment.

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