International Science Index

235
10007482
Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
52
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234
10007712
Extraction of Forest Plantation Resources in Selected Forest of San Manuel, Pangasinan, Philippines Using LiDAR Data for Forest Status Assessment
Abstract:

Forest inventories are essential to assess the composition, structure and distribution of forest vegetation that can be used as baseline information for management decisions. Classical forest inventory is labor intensive and time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous. The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in forest inventory would improve and overcome these restrictions. This study was conducted to determine the possibility of using LiDAR derived data in extracting high accuracy forest biophysical parameters and as a non-destructive method for forest status analysis of San Manual, Pangasinan. Forest resources extraction was carried out using LAS tools, GIS, Envi and .bat scripts with the available LiDAR data. The process includes the generation of derivatives such as Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Canopy Height Model (CHM) and Canopy Cover Model (CCM) in .bat scripts followed by the generation of 17 composite bands to be used in the extraction of forest classification covers using ENVI 4.8 and GIS software. The Diameter in Breast Height (DBH), Above Ground Biomass (AGB) and Carbon Stock (CS) were estimated for each classified forest cover and Tree Count Extraction was carried out using GIS. Subsequently, field validation was conducted for accuracy assessment. Results showed that the forest of San Manuel has 73% Forest Cover, which is relatively much higher as compared to the 10% canopy cover requirement. On the extracted canopy height, 80% of the tree’s height ranges from 12 m to 17 m. CS of the three forest covers based on the AGB were: 20819.59 kg/20x20 m for closed broadleaf, 8609.82 kg/20x20 m for broadleaf plantation and 15545.57 kg/20x20m for open broadleaf. Average tree counts for the tree forest plantation was 413 trees/ha. As such, the forest of San Manuel has high percent forest cover and high CS.

Paper Detail
31
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233
10007106
Evaluation of Electro-Flocculation for Biomass Production of Marine Microalgae Phaodactylum tricornutum
Abstract:

The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.

Paper Detail
118
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232
10007184
Impact of Long Term Application of Municipal Solid Waste on Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters and Heavy Metal Distribution in Soils in Accordance to Its Agricultural Uses
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
89
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231
10007748
Gasification of Trans-4-Hydroxycinnamic Acid with Ethanol at Elevated Temperatures
Abstract:
Lignin is a major constituent of woody biomass, and exists abundantly in nature. It is the major byproducts from the paper industry and bioethanol production processes. The byproducts are mainly used for low-valued applications. Instead, lignin can be converted into higher-valued gaseous fuel, thereby helping to curtail the ever-growing price of oil and to slow down the trend of global warming. Although biochemical treatment is capable of converting cellulose into liquid ethanol fuel, it cannot be applied to the conversion of lignin. Alternatively, it is possible to convert lignin into gaseous fuel thermochemically. In the present work, trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid, a model compound for lignin, which closely resembles the basic building blocks of lignin, is gasified in an autoclave with ethanol at elevated temperatures and pressures, that are above the critical point of ethanol. Ethanol, instead of water, is chosen, because ethanol dissolves trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid easily and helps to convert it into lighter gaseous species relatively well. The major operating parameters for the gasification reaction include temperature (673-873 K), reaction pressure (5-25 MPa) and feed concentration (0.05-0.3 M). Generally, more than 80% of the reactant, including trans-4-hydroxycinnamic acid and ethanol, were converted into gaseous products at an operating condition of 873 K and 5 MPa.
Paper Detail
19
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230
10006689
Biotechonomy System Dynamics Modelling: Sustainability of Pellet Production
Abstract:

The paper discovers biotechonomy development analysis by use of system dynamics modelling. The research is connected with investigations of biomass application for production of bioproducts with higher added value. The most popular bioresource is wood, and therefore, the main question today is about future development and eco-design of products. The paper emphasizes and evaluates energy sector which is open for use of wood logs, wood chips, wood pellets and so on. The main aim for this research study was to build a framework to analyse development perspectives for wood pellet production. To reach the goal, a system dynamics model of energy wood supplies, processing, and consumption is built. Production capacity, energy consumption, changes in energy and technology efficiency, required labour source, prices of wood, energy and labour are taken into account. Validation and verification tests with available data and information have been carried out and indicate that the model constitutes the dynamic hypothesis. It is found that the more is invested into pellets production, the higher the specific profit per production unit compared to wood logs and wood chips. As a result, wood chips production is decreasing dramatically and is replaced by wood pellets. The limiting factor for pellet industry growth is availability of wood sources. This is governed by felling limit set by the government based on sustainable forestry principles.

Paper Detail
126
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229
10006694
Influence of Valve Lift Timing on Producer Gas Combustion and Its Modeling Using Two-Stage Wiebe Function
Abstract:

Producer gas is a biomass derived gaseous fuel which is extensively used in internal combustion engines for power generation application. Unlike the conventional hydrocarbon fuels (Gasoline and Natural gas), the combustion properties of producer gas fuel are much different. Therefore, setting of optimal spark time for efficient engine operation is required. Owing to the fluctuating tendency of producer gas composition during gasification process, the heat release patterns (dictating the power output and emissions) obtained are quite different from conventional fuels. It was found that, valve lift timing is yet another factor which influences the burn rate of producer gas fuel, and thus, the heat release rate of the engine. Therefore, the present study was motivated to estimate the influence of valve lift timing analytically (Wiebe model) on the burn rate of producer gas through curve fitting against experimentally obtained mass fraction burn curves of several producer gas compositions. Furthermore, Wiebe models are widely used in zero-dimensional codes for engine parametric studies and are quite popular. This study also addresses the influence of hydrogen and methane concentration of producer gas on combustion trends, which are known to cause dynamics in engine combustion.

Paper Detail
105
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228
10006317
Biogas Control: Methane Production Monitoring Using Arduino
Abstract:
Extracting energy from biomass is an important alternative to produce different types of energy (heat, electricity, or both) assuring low pollution and better efficiency. It is a new yet reliable approach to reduce green gas emission by extracting methane from industry effluents and use it to power machinery. We focused in our project on using paper and mill effluents, treated in a UASB reactor. The methane produced is used in the factory’s power supply. The aim of this work is to develop an electronic system using Arduino platform connected to a gas sensor, to measure and display the curve of daily methane production on processing. The sensor will send the gas values in ppm to the Arduino board so that the later sends the RS232 hardware protocol. The code developed with processing will transform the values into a curve and display it on the computer screen.
Paper Detail
366
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227
10006528
The Development and Testing of a Small Scale Dry Electrostatic Precipitator for the Removal of Particulate Matter
Abstract:

This paper presents a small tube/wire type electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In the ESPs present form, particle charging and collecting voltages and airflow rates were individually varied throughout 200 ambient temperature test runs ranging from 10 to 30 kV in increments on 5 kV and 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s, respectively. It was repeatedly observed that, at input air velocities of between 0.5 and 0.9 m/s and voltage settings of 20 kV to 30 kV, the collection efficiency remained above 95%. The outcomes of preliminary tests at combustion flue temperatures are, at present, inconclusive although indications are that there is little or no drop in comparable performance during ideal test conditions. A limited set of similar tests was carried out during which the collecting electrode was grounded, having been disconnected from the static generator. The collecting efficiency fell significantly, and for that reason, this approach was not pursued further. The collecting efficiencies during ambient temperature tests were determined by mass balance between incoming and outgoing dry PM. The efficiencies of combustion temperature runs are determined by analysing the difference in opacity of the flue gas at inlet and outlet compared to a reference light source. In addition, an array of Leit tabs (carbon coated, electrically conductive adhesive discs) was placed at inlet and outlet for a number of four-day continuous ambient temperature runs. Analysis of the discs’ contamination was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and ImageJ computer software that confirmed collection efficiencies of over 99% which gave unequivocal support to all the previous tests. The average efficiency for these runs was 99.409%. Emissions collected from a woody biomass combustion unit, classified to a diameter of 100 µm, were used in all ambient temperature trials test runs apart from two which collected airborne dust from within the laboratory. Sawdust and wood pellets were chosen for laboratory and field combustion trials. Video recordings were made of three ambient temperature test runs in which the smoke from a wood smoke generator was drawn through the precipitator. Although these runs were visual indicators only, with no objective other than to display, they provided a strong argument for the device’s claimed efficiency, as no emissions were visible at exit when energised.  The theoretical performance of ESPs, when applied to the geometry and configuration of the tested model, was compared to the actual performance and was shown to be in good agreement with it.

Paper Detail
134
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226
10006023
Granger Causal Nexus between Financial Development and Energy Consumption: Evidence from Cross Country Panel Data
Abstract:
This paper examines the Granger causal nexus between financial development and energy consumption in the group of 35 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Countries over the period 1988-2012. The study uses two financial development indicators such as private sector credit and stock market capitalization and seven energy consumption indicators such as coal, oil, gas, electricity, hydro-electrical, nuclear and biomass. Using panel cointegration tests, the study finds that financial development and energy consumption are cointegrated, indicating the presence of a long-run relationship between the two. Using a panel vector error correction model (VECM), the study detects both bidirectional and unidirectional causality between financial development and energy consumption. The variation of this causality is due to the use of different proxies for both financial development and energy consumption. The policy implication of this study is that economic policies should recognize the differences in the financial development-energy consumption nexus in order to maintain sustainable development in the selected 35 FATF countries.
Paper Detail
318
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225
10006831
The Thermochemical Conversion of Lactic Acid in Subcritical and Supercritical Water
Abstract:

One way to utilize biomass is to thermochemically convert it into gases and chemicals. For conversion of biomass, glucose is a particularly popular model compound for cellulose, or more generally for biomass. The present study takes a different approach by employing lactic acid as the model compound for cellulose. Since lactic acid and glucose have identical elemental composition, they are expected to produce similar results as they go through the conversion process. In the current study, lactic acid was thermochemically converted to assess its reactivity and reaction mechanism in subcritical and supercritical water, by using a 16-ml autoclave reactor. The major operating parameters investigated include: The reaction temperature, from 673 to 873 K, the reaction pressure, 10 and 25 MPa, the dosage of oxidizing agent, 0 and 0.5 chemical oxygen demand, and the concentration of lactic acid in the feed, 0.5 and 1.0 M. Gaseous products from the conversion were generally found to be comparable to those derived from the conversion of glucose.

Paper Detail
68
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224
10006832
Aerobic Bioprocess Control Using Artificial Intelligence Techniques
Abstract:
This paper deals with the design of an intelligent control structure for a bioprocess of Hansenula polymorpha yeast cultivation. The objective of the process control is to produce biomass in a desired physiological state. The work demonstrates that the designed Hybrid Control Techniques (HCT) are able to recognize specific evolution bioprocess trajectories using neural networks trained specifically for this purpose, in order to estimate the model parameters and to adjust the overall bioprocess evolution through an expert system and a fuzzy structure. The design of the control algorithm as well as its tuning through realistic simulations is presented. Taking into consideration the synergism of different paradigms like fuzzy logic, neural network, and symbolic artificial intelligence (AI), in this paper we present a real and fulfilled intelligent control architecture with application in bioprocess control.
Paper Detail
105
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223
10005786
A Comparative Study on Biochar from Slow Pyrolysis of Corn Cob and Cassava Wastes
Abstract:

Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.

Paper Detail
404
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222
10005789
The Effect of Feedstock Type and Slow Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Yield from Coconut Wastes
Abstract:

The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.

Paper Detail
347
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221
10005797
Rubber Wood as a Potential Biomass Feedstock for Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis
Abstract:
Utilisation of biomass feedstock for biochar has received increasing attention because of their potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of rubber wood as a biomass feedstock for biochar via slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Rubber wood contains 4.13 mf wt.% moisture, 86.30 mf wt.% volatile matter, 0.60 mf wt.% ash content, and 13.10 mf wt.% fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis shows that rubber wood consists of 44.33 mf wt.% carbon, 6.26 mf wt.% hydrogen, 19.31 mf wt.% nitrogen, 0.31 mf wt.% sulphur, and 29.79 mf wt.% oxygen. The higher heating value of rubber wood is 22.5 MJ/kg, and its lower heating value is 21.2 MJ/kg. At 27 °C, the pH value of rubber wood is 6.83 which is acidic. The lignocellulosic analysis revealed that rubber wood composition consists of 2.63 mf wt.% lignin, 20.13 mf wt.% cellulose, and 65.04 mf wt.% hemicellulose. The volatile matter to fixed carbon ratio is 6.58. This led to a biochar yield of 25.14 wt.% at 500 °C. Rubber wood is an environmental friendly feedstock due to its low sulphur content. Rubber wood therefore is a suitable and a potential feedstock for biochar production via slow pyrolysis.
Paper Detail
462
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220
10005852
Production and Purification of Monosaccharides by Hydrolysis of Sugar Cane Bagasse in an Ionic Liquid Medium
Abstract:

The conversion of lignocellulosic waste materials, such as sugar cane bagasse, to biofuels such as ethanol has attracted significant interest as a potential element for transforming transport fuel supplies to totally renewable sources. However, the refractory nature of the cellulosic structure of lignocellulosic materials has impeded progress on developing an economic process, whereby the cellulose component may be effectively broken down to glucose monosaccharides and then purified to allow downstream fermentation. Ionic liquid (IL) treatment of lignocellulosic biomass has been shown to disrupt the crystalline structure of cellulose thus potentially enabling the cellulose to be more readily hydrolysed to monosaccharides. Furthermore, conventional hydrolysis of lignocellulosic materials yields byproducts that are inhibitors for efficient fermentation of the monosaccharides. However, selective extraction of monosaccharides from an aqueous/IL phase into an organic phase utilizing a combination of boronic acids and quaternary amines has shown promise as a purification process. Hydrolysis of sugar cane bagasse immersed in an aqueous solution with IL (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate) was conducted at different pH and temperature below 100 ºC. It was found that the use of a high concentration of hydrochloric acid to acidify the solution inhibited the hydrolysis of bagasse. At high pH (i.e. basic conditions), using sodium hydroxide, catalyst yields were reduced for total reducing sugars (TRS) due to the rapid degradation of the sugars formed. For purification trials, a supported liquid membrane (SLM) apparatus was constructed, whereby a synthetic solution containing xylose and glucose in an aqueous IL phase was transported across a membrane impregnated with phenyl boronic acid/Aliquat 336 to an aqueous phase. The transport rate of xylose was generally higher than that of glucose indicating that a SLM scheme may not only be useful for purifying sugars from undesirable toxic compounds, but also for fractionating sugars to improve fermentation efficiency.

Paper Detail
279
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219
10005871
Stimulation of Stevioside Accumulation on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Shoot Culture Induced with Red LED Light in TIS RITA® Bioreactor System
Abstract:

Leaves of Stevia rebaudiana contain steviol glycoside which mainly comprise of stevioside, a natural sweetener compound that is 100-300 times sweeter than sucrose. Current cultivation method of Stevia rebaudiana in Indonesia has yet to reach its optimum efficiency and productivity to produce stevioside as a safe sugar substitute sweetener for people with diabetes. An alternative method that is not limited by environmental factor is in vitro temporary immersion system (TIS) culture method using recipient for automated immersion (RITA®) bioreactor. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of red LED light induction towards shoot growth and stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system, as an endeavour to increase the secondary metabolite synthesis. The result showed that the stevioside accumulation in TIS RITA® bioreactor system induced with red LED light for one hour during night was higher than that in TIS RITA® bioreactor system without red LED light induction, i.e. 71.04 ± 5.36 μg/g and 42.92 ± 5.40 μg/g respectively. Biomass growth rate reached as high as 0.072 ± 0.015/day for red LED light induced TIS RITA® bioreactor system, whereas TIS RITA® bioreactor system without induction was only 0.046 ± 0.003/day. Productivity of Stevia rebaudiana shoots induced with red LED light was 0.065 g/L medium/day, whilst shoots without any induction was 0.041 g/L medium/day. Sucrose, salt, and inorganic consumption in both bioreactor media increased as biomass increased. It can be concluded that Stevia rebaudiana shoot in TIS RITA® bioreactor induced with red LED light produces biomass and accumulates higher stevioside concentration, in comparison to bioreactor without any light induction.

Paper Detail
427
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218
10005953
Characterisation of Fractions Extracted from Sorghum Byproducts
Abstract:

Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.

Paper Detail
482
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217
10006162
Wastewater Treatment and Bio-Electricity Generation via Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Operating with Starch Proton Exchange Membrane
Abstract:

Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.

Paper Detail
187
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216
10005282
Role of Non-Renewable and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Electricity Generation in Malaysia
Abstract:
The main objective of this paper is to give a comprehensive review of non-renewable energy and renewable energy utilization in Malaysia, including hydropower, solar photovoltaic, biomass and biogas technologies. Malaysia mainly depends on non-renewable energy (natural gas, coal and crude oil) for electricity generation. Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive review of the energy sector and discusses diversification of electricity generation as a strategy for providing sustainable energy in Malaysia. Energy policies and strategies to protect the non-renewable energy utilization also are highlighted, focusing in the different sources of energy available for high and sustained economic growth. Emphasis is also placed on a discussion of the role of renewable energy as an alternative source for the increase of electricity supply security. It is now evident that to achieve sustainable development through renewable energy, energy policies and strategies have to be well designed and supported by the government, industries (firms), and individual or community participation. The hope is to create a positive impact on sustainable development through renewable sources for current and future generations.
Paper Detail
995
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215
10005296
Water Quality Assessment Based on Operational Indicator in West Coastal Water of Malaysia
Abstract:
In this study, water monitoring was performed from Nov. 2012 to Oct. 2013 to assess water quality and evaluate the spatial and temporal distribution of physicochemical and biological variables in water. Water samples were collected from 10 coastal water stations of West Port. In the case of water-quality assessment, multi-metric indices and operational indicators have been proposed to classify the trophic status at different stations. The trophic level of West Port coastal water ranges from eutrophic to hypertrophic. Chl-a concentration was used to estimate the biological response of phytoplankton biomass and indicated eutrophic conditions in West Port and mesotrophic conditions at the control site. During the study period, no eutrophication events or secondary symptoms occurred, which may be related to hydrodynamic turbulence and water exchange, which prevent the development of eutrophic conditions in the West Port.
Paper Detail
527
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214
10004961
Ethyl Methane Sulfonate-Induced Dunaliella salina KU11 Mutants Affected for Growth Rate, Cell Accumulation and Biomass
Abstract:

Dunaliella salina has great potential as a system for generating commercially valuable products, including beta-carotene, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. Our goal is to improve this potential by enhancing growth rate and other properties of D. salina under optimal growth conditions. We used ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to generate random mutants in D. salina KU11, a strain classified in Thailand. In a preliminary experiment, we first treated D. salina cells with 0%, 0.8%, 1.0%, 1.2%, 1.44% and 1.66% EMS to generate a killing curve. After that, we randomly picked 30 candidates from approximately 300 isolated survivor colonies from the 1.44% EMS treatment (which permitted 30% survival) as an initial test of the mutant screen. Among the 30 survivor lines, we found that 2 strains (mutant #17 and #24) had significantly improved growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately up to 1.8 and 1.45 fold, respectively, 2 strains (mutant #6 and #23) had significantly decreased growth rates and cell number accumulation at stationary phase approximately down to 1.4 and 1.35 fold, respectively, while 26 of 30 lines had similar growth rates compared with the wild type control. We also analyzed cell size for each strain and found there was no significant difference comparing all mutants with the wild type. In addition, mutant #24 had shown an increase of biomass accumulation approximately 1.65 fold compared with the wild type strain on day 5 that was entering early stationary phase. From these preliminary results, it could be feasible to identify D. salina mutants with significant improved growth rate, cell accumulation and biomass production compared to the wild type for the further study; this makes it possible to improve this microorganism as a platform for biotechnology application.

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806
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213
10004979
Screening of Factors Affecting the Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Empty Fruit Bunches in Aqueous Ionic Liquid and Locally Produced Cellulase System
Abstract:
The enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass is one of the obstacles in the process of sugar production, due to the presence of lignin that protects the cellulose molecules against cellulases. Although the pretreatment of lignocellulose in ionic liquid (IL) system has been receiving a lot of interest; however, it requires IL removal with an anti-solvent in order to proceed with the enzymatic hydrolysis. At this point, introducing a compatible cellulase enzyme seems more efficient in this process. A cellulase enzyme that was produced by Trichoderma reesei on palm kernel cake (PKC) exhibited a promising stability in several ILs. The enzyme called PKC-Cel was tested for its optimum pH and temperature as well as its molecular weight. One among evaluated ILs, 1,3-diethylimidazolium dimethyl phosphate [DEMIM] DMP was applied in this study. Evaluation of six factors was executed in Stat-Ease Design Expert V.9, definitive screening design, which are IL/ buffer ratio, temperature, hydrolysis retention time, biomass loading, cellulase loading and empty fruit bunches (EFB) particle size. According to the obtained data, IL-enzyme system shows the highest sugar concentration at 70 °C, 27 hours, 10% IL-buffer, 35% biomass loading, 60 Units/g cellulase and 200 μm particle size. As concluded from the obtained data, not only the PKC-Cel was stable in the presence of the IL, also it was actually stable at a higher temperature than its optimum one. The reducing sugar obtained was 53.468±4.58 g/L which was equivalent to 0.3055 g reducing sugar/g EFB. This approach opens an insight for more studies in order to understand the actual effect of ILs on cellulases and their interactions in the aqueous system. It could also benefit in an efficient production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass.
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588
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212
10005064
Assessment of Conditions and Experience for Plantation of Agro-Energy Crops on Degraded Agricultural Land in Serbia
Abstract:
The potential of biomass as a renewable energy source leads Serbia to be the top of European countries by the amount of available but unused biomass. Technologies for its use are available and ecologically acceptable. Moreover, they are not expensive high-tech solutions even for the poor investment environment of Serbia, while other options seem to be less achievable. From the other point of view, Serbia has a huge percentage of unused agriculture land. Agricultural production in Serbia languishes: a large share of agricultural land therefore remains untreated, and there is a significant proportion of degraded land. From all the above, biomass intended for energy production is becoming an increasingly important factor in the stabilization of agricultural activities. Orientation towards the growing bioenergy crops versus conventional crop cultivation becomes an interesting option. The aim of this paper is to point out the possibility of growing energy crops in accordance with the conditions and cultural practice in rural areas of Serbia. First of all, the cultivation of energy crops on lower quality land is being discussed, in order to revitalize the rural areas of crops through their inclusion into potential energy sector. Next is the theme of throwing more light on the increase in the area under this competitive agricultural production to correct land use in terms of climate change in Serbia. The goal of this paper is to point out the contribution of the share of biomass in energy production and consumption, and the effect of reducing the negative environmental impact.
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379
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211
10004571
Effect of Equivalence Ratio on Performance of Fluidized Bed Gasifier Run with Sized Biomass
Abstract:
Recently, fluidized bed gasification becomes an attractive technology for power generation due to its higher efficiency. The main objective pursued in this work is to investigate the producer gas production potential from sized biomass (sawdust and pigeon pea) by applying the air gasification technique. The size of the biomass selected for the study was in the range of 0.40-0.84 mm. An experimental study was conducted using a fluidized bed gasifier with 210 mm diameter and 1600 mm height. During the experiments, the fuel properties and the effects of operating parameters such as gasification temperatures 700 to 900 °C, equivalence ratio 0.16 to 0.46 were studied. It was concluded that substantial amounts of producer gas (up to 1110 kcal/m3) could be produced utilizing biomass such as sawdust and pigeon pea by applying this fluidization technique. For both samples, the rise of temperature till 900 °C and equivalence ratio of 0.4 favored further gasification reactions and resulted into producer gas with calorific value 1110 kcal/m3.
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619
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210
10005655
Effect of Zinc Chloride Activation on Physicochemical Characteristics of Cassava Peel and Waste Bamboo Activated Carbon
Abstract:

Cassava peels and bamboo waste materials discarded from construction are two sources of waste that could constitute serious menace where they exist in large quantities and inadequately handled. The study examined the physicochemical characteristics of activated carbon materials derived from cassava peels and bamboo waste materials discarded from construction site. Both materials were subjected to carbonization and chemical activation using zinc chloride. Results show that the chemical activation of the materials had a more effect on pore formation in cassava peels than in bamboo materials. Bamboo material exhibited a reverse trend for zinc and sulphate ion decontamination efficiencies as the value of zinc chloride impregnation varied unlike cassava peel carbon biomass which exhibited a more consistent result of decontamination efficiency for the seven contaminants tested. Although waste bamboo biomass exhibited higher adsorption intensity as indicated by values of decontamination for most of the contaminants tested, the cassava peel carbon biomass showed a more balanced adsorption level.

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245
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209
10004556
Biodiversity and Climate Change: Consequences for Norway Spruce Mountain Forests in Slovakia
Abstract:
Study of the effects of climate change on Norway Spruce (Picea abies) forests has mainly focused on the diversity of tree species diversity of tree species as a result of the ability of species to tolerate temperature and moisture changes as well as some effects of disturbance regime changes. The tree species’ diversity changes in spruce forests due to climate change have been analyzed via gap model. Forest gap model is a dynamic model for calculation basic characteristics of individual forest trees. Input ecological data for model calculations have been taken from the permanent research plots located in primeval forests in mountainous regions in Slovakia. The results of regional scenarios of the climatic change for the territory of Slovakia have been used, from which the values are according to the CGCM3.1 (global) model, KNMI and MPI (regional) models. Model results for conditions of the climate change scenarios suggest a shift of the upper forest limit to the region of the present subalpine zone, in supramontane zone. N. spruce representation will decrease at the expense of beech and precious broadleaved species (Acer sp., Sorbus sp., Fraxinus sp.). The most significant tree species diversity changes have been identified for the upper tree line and current belt of dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) occurrence. The results have been also discussed in relation to most important disturbances (wind storms, snow and ice storms) and phenological changes which consequences are little known. Special discussion is focused on biomass production changes in relation to carbon storage diversity in different carbon pools.
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669
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208
10005545
Toxicity Depletion Rates of Water Lettuce (Pistia stratoites) in an Aquaculture Effluent Hydroponic System
Abstract:

The control of ammonia build-up and its by-product is a limiting factor for a successful commercial aquaculture in a developing country like Nigeria. The technology for an advanced treatment of fish tank effluent is uneconomical to local fish farmers which have led to indiscriminate disposal of aquaculture wastewater, thereby increasing the concentrations of these nitrogenous compound and other contaminants in surface and groundwater above the permissible level. Phytoremediation using water lettuce could offer cheaper and sustainable alternative. On the first day of experimentation, approximately 100 g of water lettuce were replicated in four hydroponic units containing aquaculture effluents. The water quality parameters measured were concentration of ammonium–nitrogen (NH4+-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2--N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N), and phosphate–phosphorus (PO43--P). Others were total suspended solids (TSS), pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and biomass value. At phytoremediation intervals of 7, 14, 21 and 28 days, the biomass recorded were 361.2 g, 498.7 g, 561.2 g, and 623.7 g. Water lettuce was able to reduce the pollutant concentration of all the selected parameter. The percentage reduction of pH ranged from 3.9% to 14.4%, EC from 49.8% to 96.2%, TDS from 50.4% to 96.2%, TSS from 38.3% to 81.7%, NH4+-N from 38.9% to 90.7%, NO2--N from 0% to 74.9%, NO3--N from 63.2% to 95.9% and PO43--P from 0% to 76.3%. At 95% confidence level, the analysis of variance shows that F(critical) is less than F(cal) and p < 0.05; therefore, it can be concluded statistically that the inequality between the pre-treatment and post-treatment values are significant. This suggests the potency of water lettuce for remediation of aquaculture effluent.

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206
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207
10003993
Utilising Unground Oil Palm Ash in Producing Foamed Concrete and Its Implementation as an Interlocking Mortar-Less Block
Abstract:

In this study, the possibility of using unground oil palm ash (UOPA) for producing foamed concrete is investigated. The UOPA used in this study is produced by incinerating palm oil biomass at a temperature exceeding 1000ºC. A semi-structural density of 1300kg/m3 was used with filler to binder ratio of 1.5 and preliminary water to binder ratio of 0.45. Cement was replaced by UOPA at replacement levels of 0, 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65% by weight of binder. Properties such as density, compressive strength, drying shrinkage and water absorption were investigated to the age of 90 days. The mix with a 35% of UOPA content was chosen to be used as the base material of a newly designed interlocking, mortar-less block system.

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497
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206
10004144
Modelling Phytoremediation Rates of Aquatic Macrophytes in Aquaculture Effluent
Abstract:

Pollutants from aquacultural practices constitute environmental problems and phytoremediation could offer cheaper environmentally sustainable alternative since equipment using advanced treatment for fish tank effluent is expensive to import, install, operate and maintain, especially in developing countries. The main objective of this research was, therefore, to develop a mathematical model for phytoremediation by aquatic plants in aquaculture wastewater. Other objectives were to evaluate the retention times on phytoremediation rates using the model and to measure the nutrient level of the aquaculture effluent and phytoremediation rates of three aquatic macrophytes, namely; water hyacinth (Eichornia crassippes), water lettuce (Pistial stratoites) and morning glory (Ipomea asarifolia). A completely randomized experimental design was used in the study. Approximately 100 g of each macrophyte were introduced into the hydroponic units and phytoremediation indices monitored at 8 different intervals from the first to the 28th day. The water quality parameters measured were pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Others were concentration of ammonium–nitrogen (NH4+ -N), nitrite- nitrogen (NO2- -N), nitrate- nitrogen (NO3- -N), phosphate –phosphorus (PO43- -P), and biomass value. The biomass produced by water hyacinth was 438.2 g, 600.7 g, 688.2 g and 725.7 g at four 7–day intervals. The corresponding values for water lettuce were 361.2 g, 498.7 g, 561.2 g and 623.7 g and for morning glory were 417.0 g, 567.0 g, 642.0 g and 679.5g. Coefficient of determination was greater than 80% for EC, TDS, NO2- -N, NO3- -N and 70% for NH4+ -N using any of the macrophytes and the predicted values were within the 95% confidence interval of measured values. Therefore, the model is valuable in the design and operation of phytoremediation systems for aquaculture effluent.

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560
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