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  • Author or Editor: M. Sager x
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Roadside dusts were studied to explain the spatial variation, and present level of contaminant elements (including Pt, Pd and Ir) in Budapest and Seoul, the capitals of Hungary and Seoul. Road dust samples were obtained twice from traffic focal points in Budapest centre (four bridges, Margaret Island, two main railway stations, main roads) and the agglomeration (suburbs) of Budapest. Similarly, samples were collected from six sites having high traffic volumes in Seoul metropolitan city and from two control sites within the suburbs of Seoul, for comparison. The samples were analysed for contaminant elements by ICP-AES and for Pt, Pd and Ir by ICP-MS.The level of contaminant elements in road dusts were in the range of 67.6 g∙kg−1 and 0.6 μg∙kg−1 for Budapest; 50.2 g∙kg−1 and 0.5 μg∙kg−1 for Budapest suburbs; 43.5 g∙kg−1 and 3.3 μg∙kg−1 for Seoul samples. The Geo-Accumulation Indexes (GAI) of contaminant elements for Budapest, Budapest suburbs and Seoul ranged between 3.88 and −0.03; 2.74 and −0.13; 4.23 and 1.22; Pollution Indexes (PI) of the contaminant elements were in the range of 4.2 and 0.6; 0.9 and 0.4; 7.8 and 2.7; Contamination Indexes (CI) of the contaminant elements ranged from 27.1 to 3.3; 4.9 to 2.7; 21.8 to 10.2, respectively.Pt, Pd and Ir concentration levels (μg∙kg−1) were in the range of 133 and 1.9, 170 and 12.8, 4.5 and 0.4 for Budapest; 37 and 3.6, 39.4 and 11.3, 0.8 and 0.2 for Budapest suburbs; 98.5 and 25.6, 148 and 30.6, 5.6 and 2.1 for Seoul.Correlations between the Pollution Index (PI) and Contamination Index (CI) of the platinum metals in road dust samples were: −0.4090 (Ir), −0.3098 (Pd), −0.1994 (Pt) for Budapest centre; 0.8343 (Ir), −0.7652 (Pt), −0.7626 (Pd) for Budapest bridges; 0.5266 (Ir), −0.2863 (Pd), −0.0333 (Pt) for Budapest suburbs; and 0.3193 (Pd), 0.2874 (Ir), −0.0017 (Pt) for Seoul, respectively. The highest Pt, Pd and Ir levels in road dusts were found in samples originating from the major roads with high traffic volume. Significant differences in Pollution Index (PI) and Contamination Index (CI) between Seoul and Budapest were 4.0 and 5.9 for heavy traffic roads; 2.9 and 11.0 for roads with light traffic. Light traffic roads reflect that an important source of Pt, Pd and Ir in roadside environment is the automobile catalytic converter. Road dusts with high Pt, Pd and Ir levels were enriched with traffic-related contaminant elements as well.

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The neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a functional food ingredient of growing importance in the preparation of GABA-enriched germinated brown rice (GBR). Quantification of GABA levels during germination in a locally developed high yielding red rice variety (UKMRC-9) was carried out via high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis using pre-column chemical derivatisation with 2-hydroxynaphthaldehyde (HN) using a UV detection system. Factors that influence rice germination such as soaking time and temperature were also studied. The results of this study showed that the UKMRC-9 rice variety soaked in water for 6 hours at 35 °C yielded the highest value for both germination percentage (95.4±1.2%) and GABA content (411 μg g-1). This suggests that long soaking times of 1-4 days can be substituted by short soaking times to produce high GABA levels in germinated brown rice.

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