This study evaluated and compared the performance of two vertical flow constructed wetlands (VF) using expanded clay (VF1) and biochar (VF2), of which both are low-cost, eco-friendly, and exhibit potentially high adsorption as compared to conventional filter layers. Both VFs achieved relatively high removal for organic matters (i.e. Biological oxygen demand during 5 days, BOD5) and nitrogen, accounting for 9.5 - 10.5 g.BOD5.m-2.d-1 and 3.5 - 3.6 g.NH4-N.m-2.d-1, respectively. The different filter materials did not exert any significant discrepancy to effluent quality in terms of suspended solids, organic matters and NO3-N (P > 0.05), but they did influence NH4-N effluent as evidenced by the removal rate of that by VF1 and VF2 being of 82.4 ± 5.7 and 84.6 ± 6.4%, respectively (P
Biochar production from invasive species biomass discarded as waste was studied in a fixed bed reactor pyrolysis system under different temperature conditions for value-added applications. Prior to pyrolysis, the biomass feedstock was characterized by proximate, ultimate, and heating value analyses, while the biomass decomposition behavior was examined by thermogravimetric analysis. The heating values of the feedstock biomass ranged from 18.65 to 20.65 MJ/kg, whereas the volatile matter, fixed carbon, and ash content were 61.54-72.04 wt %, 19.27-26.61 wt % and 1.51-1.86 wt %, respectively. The elemental composition of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in the samples was reported to be in the range of 47.41-48.47 wt %, 5.50-5.88 wt % and 46.10-45.18 wt %, respectively, while the nitrogen and sulphur content in the biomass samples were at very low concentrations, making it more useful for valorization from environmental aspects. The biochar yields were reported in the range of 45.36-58.35 wt %, 28.63-44.38 wt % and 22.68-29.42 wt % at a pyrolysis temperature of 400 °C, 500 °C, and 600 °C, respectively. The biochars were characterized from ultimate analysis, heating value, energy densification ratio, energy yield, pH, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM and EDX), to evaluate their potential for value-added applications. The carbon content, heating value, energy densification ratio, and the porosity of the biochars improved with the increase in pyrolysis temperature, while the energy yield, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen content of the biochars decreased. This study revealed the potential of the valorization of underutilized discarded biomass of invasive species via a pyrolysis process to produce biochar for value-added applications.
The conventional practice in enhancing the larvae growths is by co-digesting the low-cost organic wastes with palatable feeds for black soldier fly larvae (BSFL). In circumventing the co-digestion practice, this study focused the employment of exo-microbes in a form of bacterial consortium powder to modify coconut endosperm waste (CEW) via fermentation process in enhancing the palatability of BSFL to accumulate more larval lipid and protein. Accordingly, the optimum fermentation condition was attained by inoculating 0.5 wt% of bacterial consortium powder into CEW for 14-21 days. The peaks of BSFL biomass gained and growth rate were initially attained whilst feeding the BSFL with optimum fermented CEW. These were primarily attributed by the lowest energy loss via metabolic cost, i.e., as high as 22% of ingested optimum fermented CEW was effectively bioconverted into BSFL biomass. The harvested BSFL biomass was then found containing about 40 wt% of lipid, yielding 98% of fatty acid methyl esters of biodiesel upon transesterification. Subsequently, the protein content was also analyzed to be 0.32 mg, measured from 20 harvested BSFL with a corrected-chitin of approximately 8%. Moreover, the waste reduction index which represents the BSFL valorization potentiality was recorded at 0.31 g/day 20 BSFL. The benefit of fermenting CEW was lastly unveiled, accentuating the presence of surplus acid-producing bacteria. Thus, it was propounded the carbohydrates in CEW were rapidly hydrolysed during fermentation, releasing substantial organic acids and other nutrients to incite the BSFL assimilation into lipid for biodiesel and protein productions simultaneously.
In an effort to seek a new technical platform for disposal of drinking water treatment sludge (DWTS: alum sludge), pyrolysis of DWTS was mainly investigated in this study. To establish a more sustainable thermolytic platform for DWTS, this study particularly employed CO2 as reactive gas medium. Thus, this study laid great emphasis on elucidating the mechanistic roles of CO2 during the thermolysis of DWTS. A series of the TGA tests of DWTS in CO2 in reference to N2 revealed no occurrence of the heterogeneous reaction between CO2 and the sample surface of DWTS. As such, at the temperature regime before initiating the Boudouard reaction (i.e., ≥700 °C), the mass decay patterns of DWTS in N2 and CO2 were nearly identical. However, the gaseous effluents from lab-scale pyrolysis of DWTS in CO2 in reference to N2 were different. In sum, the homogeneous reactions between CO2 and volatile matters (VMs) evolved from the thermolysis of DWTS led to the enhanced generation of CO. Also, CO2 suppressed dehydrogenation of VMs. Such the genuine mechanistic roles of CO2 in the thermolysis of DWTS subsequently led to the compositional modifications of the chemical species in pyrolytic oil. Furthermore, the biochar composite was obtained as byproduct of pyrolysis of DWTS. Considering that the high content of Al2O3 and Fe-species in the biochar composite imparts a strong affinity for As(V), the practical use of the biochar composite as a sorptive material for arsenic (V) was evaluated at the fundamental levels. This work reported that adsorption of As(V) onto the biochar composite followed the pseudo-second order model and the Freundlich isotherm model.
The valorization of lignin to replace phenol is significant in the production of phenolic resins. However, a great challenge is to produce lignin-based resin (LR) with a suitable viscosity and high substitution rate of lignin to phenol. In this study, LRs were produced using hardwood technical lignin derived from the pulping industry. Structural analysis of the LRs indicated that the unsubstituted para and ortho carbon atoms of the aromatic ring influenced the curing temperature and activation energy of the resins. The curing kinetics and thermal decomposition study implied that urea and methylene groups in cured LRs were significant factors that affected the thermal stability negatively. The prepared LRs showed desirable features if used as adhesives to make plywood. This is the first approach in which a substitution rate of up to 65 % is achieved for low-reactive-site hardwood lignin, which provides a solution to the challenge of the simultaneous realization of the high addition of lignin and the adaptive viscosity of resins.
The Bokashi leachate (BL) is a by-product from the anaerobic digestion of food waste, following the Bokashi composting method. Bokashi leachate is acidic and it contains effective microorganisms hence it has potential to be a functional feed additive to the plant proteins based diets for fish farming. This study evaluated the growth performance and feed utilization of the red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) fingerlings fed with the BL supplemented soybean meal (SBM) based diets. After an 8-week feeding trial, fish fed with the 5% BL supplemented SBM diet attained the highest weight gain. This result was significantly higher (p 0.05) to those fed with the control full fish meal (FM) diet. Generally, dietary inclusion of BL enhanced the fish feed intake on the SBM diet but it did not show clear sign of improvement in their feed utilization. In addition, no significant difference was found across the hepatosomatic index and viscerosomatic index from all dietary treatments. These outcomes concluded that dietary inclusion of BL can enhance the feed intake and growth performance of the red tilapia fingerlings fed with the SBM based diet without compromising their health, and the optimum BL inclusion level was 5%. Nevertheless, further study on the properties and substances content of the BL produced from different types and ratios of food waste is strongly recommended. In this study, BL was also discovered to be capable of reducing the crude fiber content in the SBM diets. Such observation deserves a further exploitation on the application of BL to manipulate the crude fiber content in the plant proteins based diets in fish farming.
Traditional disposal of animal manures and lignocellulosic biomass is restricted by its inefficiency and sluggishness. To advance the carbon management and greenhouse gas mitigation, this review scrutinizes the effect of pyrolysis in promoting the sustainable biomass and manure disposal as well as stimulating the biochar industry development. This review has examined the advancement of pyrolysis of animal manure (AM) and lignocellulosic biomass (LB) in terms of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and operability. In particular, the applicability of pyrolysis biochar in enhancing the crops yields via soil remediation is highlighted. Through pyrolysis, the heavy metals of animal manures are fixated in the biochar, thereby both soil contamination via leaching and heavy metal uptake by crops are minimized. Pyrolysis biochar is potentially use in soil remediation for agronomic and environmental co-benefits. Fast pyrolysis assures high bio-oil yield and revenue with better return on investment whereas slow pyrolysis has low revenue despite its minimum investment cost because of relatively low selling price of biochar. For future commercialization, both continuous reactors and catalysis can be integrated to pyrolysis to ameliorate the efficiency and economic value of pyrolysis biochar.
An innovative approach was developed by incorporating high-pressure CO2 into the separate hydrolysis-fermentation of aspen leftover branches, aiming to enhance the bioethanol production efficiency. The high-pressure CO2 significantly increased the 72-h enzymatic hydrolysis yield of converting aspen into glucose from 53.8% to 82.9%. The hydrolysis process was performed with low enzyme loading (10 FPU g-1 glucan) with the aim of reducing the cost of fuel bioethanol production. The ethanol yield from fermentation of the hydrolyzed glucose using yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) was 8.7 g L-1, showing increment of 10% compared with the glucose control. Techno-economic analysis indicated that the energy consumption of fuel bioethanol production from aspen branch chips was reduced by 35% and the production cost was cut 44% to 0.615 USD L-1, when 68 atm CO2 was introduced into the process. These results furtherly emphasized the low carbon footprint of this sustainable energy production approach.
In recent years, visualization and characterization of lignocellulose at different scales elucidate the modifications of its ultrastructural and chemical features during hydrothermal pretreatment which include degradation and dissolving of hemicelluloses, swelling and partial hydrolysis of cellulose, melting and redepositing a part of lignin in the surface. As a result, cell walls are swollen, deformed and de-laminated from the adjacent layer, lead to a range of revealed droplets that appear on and within cell walls. Moreover, the certain extent morphological changes significantly promote the downstream processing steps, especially for enzymatic hydrolysis and anaerobic fermentation to bioethanol by increasing the contact area with enzymes. However, the formation of pseudo-lignin hinders the accessibility of cellulase to cellulose, which decreases the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. This review is intended to bridge the gap between the microstructure studies and value-added applications of lignocellulose while inspiring more research prospects to enhance the hydrothermal pretreatment process.
Chitosan, an amino polysaccharide mostly derived from crustaceans, has been recently highlighted for its biological activities that depend on its molecular weight (MW), degree of deacetylation (DD), and acetylation pattern (AP). More importantly, for some advanced biomaterials, the homogeneity of the chitosan structure is an important factor in determining its biological activity. Here we review emerging enzymes and cell factories, respectively, for in vitro and in vivo preparation of chitosan oligosaccharides (COSs), focusing on advances in the analysis of the AP and structural modification of chitosan to tune its functions. By 'mapping' current knowledge on chitosan's in vitro and in vivo activity with its MW and AP, this work could pave the way for future studies in the field.
Food security and sustainable development of agriculture has been a key challenge for decades. To support this, nanotechnology in the agricultural sectors increases productivity and food security, while leaving complex environmental negative impacts including pollution of the human food chains by nanoparticles. Here we model the effects of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) in a food chain consisting of soil-grown lettuce Lactuca sativa and snail Achatina fulica. Soil-grown lettuce were exposed to sulfurized Ag-NPs via root or metallic Ag-NPs via leaves before fed to snails. We discover an important biomagnification of silver in snails sourced from plant root uptake, with trophic transfer factors of 2.0-5.9 in soft tissues. NPs shifts from original size (55-68 nm) toward much smaller size (17-26 nm) in snails. Trophic transfer of Ag-NPs reprograms the global metabolic profile by down-regulating or up-regulating metabolites for up to 0.25- or 4.20- fold, respectively, relative to the control. These metabolites control osmoregulation, phospholipid, energy, and amino acid metabolism in snails, reflecting molecular pathways of biomagnification and pontential adverse biological effects on lower trophic levels. Consumption of these Ag-NP contaminated snails causes non-carcinogenic effects on human health. Global public health risks decrease by 72% under foliar Ag-NP application in agriculture or through a reduction in the consumption of snails sourced from root application. The latter strategy is at the expense of domestic economic losses in food security of $177.3 and $58.3 million annually for countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon. Foliar Ag-NP application in nano-agriculture has lower hazard quotient risks on public health than root application to ensure global food safety, as brought forward by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
This study focuses on the evaluation of the performance of Chlorella sp. in removing nutrient in aquaculture wastewater and its correlation with the kinetic growth of Chlorella sp. The treatment was applied with various Chlorella sp. inoculation dosage ranging from 0% to 60% (v/v) of wastewater. The optimum inoculation dosage was recorded at 30% (v/v) with effluent concentration of ammonia and orthophosphate recording at 0.012mgL(-1) and 0.647mgL(-1), respectively on Day 11. The optimum dosage for bio-flocculation process was obtained at 30mgL(-1) of Aspergillus niger with a harvesting efficiency of 97%. This type of development of phytoremediation with continuous bio-harvesting could promote the use of sustainable green technology for effective wastewater treatment.
We analyzed the problematic textile fiber waste as potential precursor material to produce multilayer cotton fiber biocomposite. The properties of the products were better than the current dry bearing type particleboards and ordinary dry medium-density fiberboard in terms of the static bending strength (67.86 MPa), internal bonding strength (1.52 MPa) and water expansion rate (9.57%). The three-layer, four-layer and five-layer waste cotton fiber composite (WCFC) were tried in the experiment, the mechanical properties of the three-layer WCFC are insufficient, the five-layer WCFC is too thick and the four-layer WCFC had the best comprehensive performance. The cross-section morphology of the four-layer WCFC shows a dense structure with a high number of adhesives attached to the fiber. The hardness and stiffness of the four-layer cotton fiber composite enhanced by the high crystallinity of cellulose content, and several chemical bondings were presence in the composites. Minimum mass loss (30%) and thermal weight loss rate (0.70%/°C) was found for the four-layer WCFC. Overall, our findings suggested that the use of waste cotton fiber (WCF) to prepare biocomposite with desirable physical and chemical properties is feasible, and which can potentially be used as building material, furniture and automotive applications.
Corrosion inhibitors have offered new opportunities to bring positive impacts on our society, especially when it has helped in protecting metals against corrosion in an aqueous solution. Unfortunately, the commonly known corrosion inhibitors used to protect metals or alloys against corrosion are invariably related to one or more drawbacks such as the employment of hazardous anti-corrosion agents, leakage of anti-corrosion agents in aqueous solution, and high solubility of anti-corrosion agents in water. Over the years, using food additives as anti-corrosion agents have drawn interest as it offers biocompatibility, less toxic, and promising applications. In general, food additives are considered safe for human consumption worldwide, and it was rigorously tested and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Nowadays, researchers are more interested in innovating and using green, less toxic, and economical corrosion inhibitors in metal and alloy protection. As such, we have reviewed the use of food additives to protect metals and alloys against corrosion. The current review is significant and differs from the previous review articles made on corrosion inhibitors, in which the new role of food additives is highlighted as green and environmental-friendly substances in the protection of metals and alloys against corrosion. It is anticipated that the next generation will be utilizing non-toxic and sustainable anti-corrosion agents, in which food additives might be the potential to fulfill the green chemistry goals.
The Amazon rainforest has sustained human existence for more than 10,000 years. Part of this has been the way that the forest controls regional climate including precipitation important for the ecosystem as well as agroforestry and farming. In addition, the Amazon also affects the global weather systems, so cutting down the rainforest significantly increases the effects of climate change, threatening the world's biodiversity and causing local desertification and soil erosion. The current fire activities and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest therefore have consequences for global sustainability. In the light of this, the current decisions made in Brazil regarding an increase in Amazon deforestation require policy changes if the global ecosystems and biodiversity are not to be set to collapse. There is only one way to move forward and that is to increase efforts in sustainable development of the region including limitation in deforestation and to continuously measure and monitor the development. The G7 countries have offered Brazil financial support for at least 20 million euros for fighting the forest fires but the president denies receiving such financial support and says that it is more relevant to raise new forests in Europe. In fact, this is exactly what is happening in Denmark and China in order to reduce climate change. Such activities should be global and include South America, Europe, Africa and Asia where deforestation is important issue. Forest restoration reduces climate change, desertification, and preserves both the regional tropical and global environment if the wood is not burned at a later stage but instead used in e.g. roads as filling material. Changes are therefore needed through improved international understanding and agreements to better avoid the global climate changes, from cutting down the precious rainforest before it is too late as rainforest cannot be re-planted.
Tetracycline is a potentially hazardous residual antibiotic detected in various sewages. High concentration (mg/L) of tetracycline is found in pharmaceutical/hospital wastewater and wastewater derived from livestock and poultry. So far, only antibiotics in μg/L level have been reported in granulation of aerobic sludge during wastewater treatment, but its effects in high concentration are rarely reported. In this study, the influence of tetracycline in high concentration (∼2 mg/L) on the formation of granular sludge, structure, and metabolic function of the microbial community during the granulation of aerobic sludge was investigated to improve the understanding of the aerobic granular sludge formation under high-level of tetracycline. The role of extracellular polymers substances (EPSs) derived from granular sludge in the granulation and tetracycline removal process was also investigated, showing that tetracycline improved the relative hydrophobicity, flocculability and protein/polysaccharide ratio of EPSs, accelerating the granulation of sludge. Succession of microbial communities occurred during the domestication of functional bacteria present in the sludge and was accompanied with regulation of metabolic function. The addition of tetracycline lead to an increase of tetracycline-degrading bacteria or antibiotic resistance genus. Those findings provide new perspectives of the influence of tetracycline on aerobic sludge granulation and the removal mechanism of tetracycline.
The generation of food waste (FW) is increasing at an alarming rate, contributing to a total of 32% of all the waste produced globally. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an effective method for dealing with organic wastes of various compositions, like FW. Waste valorization into value-added products has increased due to the conversion of FW into biogas using AD technology. A variety of pathways are adopted by microbes to avoid unfavorable conditions in AD, including competition between sulfate-reducing bacteria and methane (CH4)-forming bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria decompose organic matter to produce biogas, a digester gas. The composition depends on the type of raw material and the method by which the digestion process is conducted. Studies have shown that the biogas produced by AD contains 65-75% CH4 and 35-45% carbon dioxide (CO2). Methanothrix soehngenii and Methanosaeta concilii are examples of species that convert acetate to CH4 and CO2. Methanobacterium bryantii, Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, and Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus are examples of species that produce CH4 from hydrogen and CO2. Methanobacterium formicicum, Methanobrevibacter smithii, and Methanococcus voltae are examples of species that consume formate, hydrogen, and CO2 and produce CH4. The popularity of AD has increased for the development of biorefinery because it is seen as a more environmentally acceptable alternative in comparison to physico-chemical techniques for resource and energy recovery. The review examines the possibility of using accessible FW to produce important value-added products such as organic acids (acetate/butyrate), biopolymers, and other essential value-added products.
Biofuels have become an attractive energy source because of the growing energy demand and environmental issues faced by fossil fuel consumption. Algal biomass, particularly microalgae, has excellent potential as feedstock to be converted to bio-oil, biochar, and combustible syngas via thermochemical conversion processes. Third-generation biofuels from microalgal feedstock are the promising option, followed by the first-generation and second-generation biofuels. This paper provides a review of the applications of thermochemical conversion techniques for biofuel production from algal biomass, comprising pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction, and combustion processes. The progress in the thermochemical conversion of algal biomass is summarized, emphasizing the application of pyrolysis for its benefits over other processes. The review also encompasses the challenges and perspectives associated with the valorization of microalgae to biofuels ascertaining the potential opportunities and possibilities of extending the research into this area.