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  • Author or Editor: S. 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  

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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The Juniperus excelsa is considered an important medicinal plant by the local population of Balochistan, Pakistan. The species is facing a grave threat by a parasitic and epiphytic angiosperm, dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium oxycedri (DC.) M. Bieb. (Viscaceae). The methanolic extract of A. oxycedri was studied for its chemical composition and biologically active compounds for the first time. The extract was assayed for antibacterial, antifungal, phytotoxic, cytotoxic and insecticidal activities. The antibacterial and antifungal activities of the extract were determined against ten bacterial and ten fungal strains by agar well diffusion and disc diffusion assay. The extract was highly effective against three bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and a fungus Candida albicans . The phytotoxic effects showed that it was extremely toxic for Lemna acquinoctialis . It showed high cytoxicity for brine shrimps at all concentrations and was found to be significantly cytotoxic against Candida albicans when checked by flow cytometer. However, the extract was not effective against the pests tested.

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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  

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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Abstract  

Four commercial Saudi Arabian crude oils were characterized by thermogravimetry (TG) and differential thermal analysis (DTA). These crude oils, Arab Berri (AB), Arab Light (AL), Arab Medium (AM) and Arab Heavy (AH), were also subjected to the traditionally employed true boiling point (TBP) distillation and simulated distillation (SIMDIST). The TG/DTA data show that the hydrocarbons present in these crude oils fall into four groups: the volatiles, the low molecular weight, the medium molecular weight and the high molecular weight compounds. These four types of hydrocarbons were observed to display certain trends, such that the volatile and low molecular weight hydrocarbons increased, while the medium and high molecular weight hydrocarbons decreased with the lightness of the crude. The volatile contents of AB, AL, AM and AH crude oils up to 280�C were 50.1, 42.2, 42.3 and 38.5 mass percent, respectively. This confirms that AB is the lightest of these crude oils with maximum volatile content. The mass percentage loss from the TG results is in good agreement with the percentage distilled from TBP (ASTM D 2892) and SIMDIST. During evaporation, the TG mass loss follows a similar trend to those of the TBP and SIMDIST results and thus behaves like distillation. During the oxidative degradation, the TG curve shows a higher mass loss as compared to the distillation data. The higher deviation of the TG mass loss and percentage distilled at the higher-temperature end of the curve may be attributed to the higher content of asphaltenes and carbonaceous material present in AH as compared to the AB crude oil. At around 200�C, the TG mass loss curve intersects the TBP and SIMDIST curves and shows a derivation from distillation behaviour. This intersection temperature of the TG and distillation curves is observed to decrease with the heaviness of the crude and can be an indication of the onset of thermal degradation of hydrocarbons present in the crude oil. On the whole, the TG data closely resemble the distillation results.

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Abstract  

instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been employed to determine 19 essential and other trace elements of fourteen fruits harvested in Pakistan. Most of the fruits investigated contain substantial Ca, Cl, Fe, Mg, K and Na concentration levels. Fruits were found to be an adequate source of Co and Fe. Winter season provides a variety of fruits with highest adequacy for most of the essential elements while the fruits ingested in the summer season provide the minimum nutrient adequacy for these elements with the exception of Cl.

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