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Abstract  

The thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of the thermal decomposition of Zn(S2CNR2)2 complexes (R=CH3, C2H5 and n-C3H7) were determined with the dynamic thermogravimetric method. Superimposed TG/DTG/DSC curves show that thermal decomposition reactions for chelates with R=C2H5 and n-C3H7 occur in the liquid phase, at temperatures far away from their melting points, whereas for the complex with R=CH3 the thermal decomposition begins at a temperature closer to its melting point, suggesting a rather complex decomposition mechanism.

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Abstract  

In the present work, determination of mercury in the head hair of populational groups living near a heavily industrialized region in São Paulo and of Indians living in the Xingu park in the Amazonic region, was carried out by instrumental neutron activation analysis. A control group of people with no suspicion of contamination by mercury was also studied. The range of mercury concentrations found up to now were: for the control group from 0.26 to 02.5 ppm; for the Indians from 6.9 to 34 ppm, and for the industrialized region inhabitants: from 0.30 to 3.0 ppm.

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Abstract  

The elemental microdistributions of peripheral and central parts of the lichen Flavoparmelia caperata exposed to industrial pollution were analysed, in order to better understand the elements distribution patterns in relation to the lichen constitution, thereby increasing our knowledge on uptake and release mechanisms. Nuclear microscopy techniques were used to visualize elemental distributions in sample transepts and associate their concentrations to sample morphology. The distribution data of the elements studied suggests there is biological regulation of internal concentrations. Considering thallus parts, element-specific internal translocation should be taken into account as one more factor affecting lichen “memory length”.

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Abstract  

Harbour activities such as loading, unloading and transport of materials may be an important source of Atmospheric Particulate Matter (APM). Depending on the materials, the type of operation and the meteorological conditions, these activities may have an impact on the levels of APM around harbour areas. The aim of this work was to characterize the emissions of dust providing from operations associated with phosphorite handling in harbours. Phosphorite is a non-detrital sedimentary rock which contains high amounts of phosphate bearing minerals and is used for the production of phosphorous based fertilizers. When handled in harbours frequently cause visual and environment impacts due to its physical and chemical characteristics. The techniques Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and Particle Induced X-ray Emission were applied as sensitive analytical tools for the determination of heavy metals and rare earth elements in phosphorite and in the APM sampled in the harbour during the unloading operations. Results showed that manipulation of phosphorite during harbour operations resulted in high emissions of particles, principally from the coarse fraction. These emissions were enriched in rare earth elements and heavy metals and were very affected by the provenience of the phosphorite.

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Abstract  

The growing concern about air quality in harbours is a result of the high impact of the operations on human health and environment. Harbour activities such loading, unloading and transport of dusty materials are important emission sources of Atmospheric particulate matter (APM). The assessment of these fugitive emissions is a difficult task because they depend on the materials, the type of operation and the meteorological scenarios. The main objectives of this work were (1) to evaluate if the techniques k0-based Instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0-INAA) and Particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) are suitable techniques to assess fugitive emissions in harbours and (2) to estimate the impact of harbour activities on APM levels and composition. Several experimental campaigns were carried out in a Portuguese harbour, during unloading operations of fertilizer and phosphorite provided from Syria and Morocco. PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 were collected, in polycarbonate filters, by Gent samplers. The techniques k0-INAA and PIXE were applied as sensitive analytical tools to perform a complete chemical characterization of the collected samples. Results showed that manipulation of these materials during harbour operations resulted in high emissions of particles, principally from the coarse fraction. These emissions were very affected by the granulometry and nature of the handled materials. Fertilizer emissions were characterized by high concentration of Ca, P, K, Cr, Br and Zn, whereas phosphorite handling contributed principally for the increase of Ca, P and Cr levels.

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Abstract  

Skin as a manageable organ can provide direct or indirect information of tissue iron overload resulting from inherited disorders as hemochromatosis. Patients with hemochromatosis were evaluated at three consecutive phases along the therapy programme. Nuclear microprobe techniques were used to assess skin iron and Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence to determine the plasma iron concentrations. Results showed that iron pools were differently correlated at the three therapy phases. These variations highlighted the value of skin iron content to assess organ iron deposition and therapy efficacy. Skin iron content can be used for a better management of patients with iron overload pathologies.

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This work aims to present a rapid and precise screening method of wheat germplasm and identification of durum wheat accessions in germplasm collections. Fifty-two wheat accessions maintained in the ISOPlexis germplasm bank at the Madeira University, Portugal, and 72 accessions from the Centre for Conservation of Crop Biodiversity of Tenerife (CCBAT), Spain, have been screened for their specific ploidy status using the molecular marker Dgas44. We have demonstrated that the Dgas44 sequence is effective in the screening of Madeiran and Canarian wheat accessions. This screening method permitted the detection of 10 and 11 durum accessions among Madeiran and Canarian wheats, accounting for 19.2 and 15.3% of screened collections, respectively. The obtained results have shown a 100% of cases correspondence with the previously performed morphological identification of the Madeiran wheats. It also permitted rectification and clarification of previous classification of some accessions based only on the morphological traits. The PCR based assay was directly applicable to the screening of seeds and was suitable for detecting seed mixtures in accessions. This rapid method has been proven to be a useful tool in gene bank accessions management including verification of their ploidy status and detection of seed lots adulteration.

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This study aimed to optimize and validate methods for the analysis of thiamin and folic acid in fortified rice, pure and mixed to the milled rice (raw and cooked). The analysis was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector (HPLC—DAD). Different mobile phases were tested. Different ratios of organic modifier, pH ranges, triethylamine concentrations, and flow rates were used. For the validation, tests of recovery, repeatability, linearity, limit of detection (LOD), and limit of quantification (LOQ) were performed. The optimized methods showed good resolution of vitamins’ peaks, excellent recovery (82.6 to 104%), repeatability with relative standard deviation of peak areas, and retention times less than 10% and high coefficients of determination (0.9998 for thiamin and 0.9997 for folic acid). The LOD and LOQ were 0.00193 μg and 0.0193 μg for thiamin and 0.000934 μg and 0.00934 μg for folic acid. The optimized methods demonstrated reliability and sensitivity in the detection and quantification of these vitamins in fortified rice, pure and mixed to milled rice (raw and cooked). Furthermore, the methods were performed in isocratic mode, with short run time (<13 min), reflecting positively on the economy of reagents and analysis times.

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CeO2-catalyzed ozonation of phenol

The role of cerium citrate as precursor of CeO2

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: M. F. Pinheiro da Silva, L. S. Soeira, K. R. P. Daghastanli, T. S. Martins, I. M. Cuccovia, R. S. Freire, and P. C. Isolani

Abstract

Three different cerium citrate-based precursors were used for synthesizing CeO2 through thermal treatment. Three morphological types of CeO2 were obtained. Characterization of these oxides was carried out by XRD patterns, SEM microscopy, N2 adsorption isotherms, Raman spectroscopy, zeta potential, and UV/Vis luminescence. Ozonation of phenol catalyzed by CeO2 was studied as a representative reaction of environmental interest. The differences on the catalytic activity showed by these three oxides could be correlated to amounts of Ce3+ on CeO2 surface and, consequently, to the demand for oxygen needed to burn each precursor.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Ingrid E. Pereira, Kyssia P. Silva, Laura M. Menegati, Aimara C. Pinheiro, Elaine A. O. Assunção, Maria De Lourdes P. Araújo, Elfadil Abass, Malcolm S. Duthie, Ulrich Steinhoff, and Henrique C. Teixeira

Abstract

Control of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), a major zoonotic disease in Brazil and many other tropical and subtropical countries, remains difficult as an accurate and reliable diagnosis is still missing. In endemic regions, infected dogs are the main parasitic reservoir host of human Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) infection. Vaccination of dogs against Leishmania infection constitutes an important strategy to prevent or to better control CVL, thus, a serological test that can discriminate between antibodies induced by immunization versus infection is highly desirable in order to improve and simplify diagnosis. Here, four recombinant proteins were evaluated for their ability to detect and differentiate between dogs that are infected with Leishmania or have been immunized with the anti-Leishmania vaccine Leish-Tec®. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of the four Leishmania-specific IgG ELISA revealed superior performance of rK28, followed by rKLO8, rK39 and rLb6H. The rK28-based ELISA revealed not only the best accuracy against CVL, but also the lowest cross-reactivity with sera from Leish-Tec® immunized dogs. Our data show that the rK28-based ELISA is highly suitable for CVL screening as it shows high sensitivity with simultaneous low cross-reactivity. Further, the high specificity of the rKLO8 indicates its suitability for the confirmation of CVL diagnosis.

Open access