In this study, Gelidium elegans is investigated for ethanol production. A combination of factors including different temperatures, acid concentration and incubation time was evaluated to determine the suitable saccharification conditions. The combination of 2.5% (w/v) H2SO4 at 120 °C for 40 min was selected for hydrolysis of the seaweed biomass, followed by purification, and fermentation to yield ethanol. The galactose and glucose were dominant reducing sugars in the G. elegans hydrolysate and under optimum condition of dilute acid hydrolysis, 39.42% of reducing sugars was produced and fermentation resulted in ethanol concentration of 13.27 ± 0.47 g/L. A modified method was evaluated for sample preparation for gas chromatography (GC) analysis of the ethanol content. A solvent mixture of acetonitrile and iso-butanol precipitated dissolved organic residues and reduced water content in GC samples at least by 90%. Results showed that this method could be successfully used for bioethanol production from seaweed.
An ecologically important tropical freshwater microalga, Scenedesmus quadricauda, was exposed to Ni toxicity under two temperature regimes, 25 and 35 °C to investigate the interactive effects of warming and different Ni concentrations (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0 ppm). The stress responses were assessed from the growth, photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and metabolomics aspects to understand the effects at both the physiological and biochemical levels. The results showed that the cell densities of the cultures were higher at 35 °C compared to 25 °C, but decreased with increasing Ni concentrations at 35 °C. In terms of photosynthetic efficiency, the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) of S. quadricauda remained consistent across different conditions. Nickel concentration at 10.0 ppm affected the maximum rate of relative electron transport (rETRm) and saturation irradiance for electron transport (Ek) in photosynthesis. At 25 °C, the increase of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) values in cells exposed to 10.0 ppm Ni might indicate the onset of thermal dissipation process as a self-protection mechanism against Ni toxicity. The combination of warming and Ni toxicity induced a strong oxidative stress response in the cells. The ROS level increased significantly by 40% after exposure to 10.0 ppm of Ni at 35 °C. The amount of Ni accumulated in the biomass was higher at 25 °C compared to 35 °C. Based on the metabolic profile, temperature contributed the most significant differentiation among the samples compared to Ni treatment and the interaction between the two factors. Amino acids, sugars and organic acids were significantly regulated by the combined factors to restore homeostasis. The most affected pathways include sulphur, amino acids, and nitrogen metabolisms. Overall, the results suggest that the inhibitory effect of Ni was lower at 35 °C compared to 25 °C probably due to lower metal uptake and primary metabolism restructuring. The ability of S. quadricauda to accumulate substantial amount of Ni and thrive at 35 °C suggests the potential use of this strain for phycoremediation and outdoor wastewater treatment.
Lignocellulosic biomasses, exhibit resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis due to the presence of lignin and hemicellulose. Ionic liquids proved their applicability in lignin degradation, however, ionic liquid removal has to be performed to proceed to hydrolysis. Therefore, this study reports an in situ hydrolysis of empty fruit bunches (EFB) that combined an ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. For enzyme production, palm kernel cake (PKC) was used as the primary media for microbial cellulase (PKC-Cel) from Trichoderma reesei (RUTC30). The obtained enzyme exhibited a promising stability in several ionic liquids. Among few, in choline acetate [Cho]OAc, PKC-Cel retained 63.16 % of the initial activity after 6 h and lost only 10 % of its activity in 10 % IL/buffer mixture. Upon the confirmation of the PKC-Cel stability, EFB was subjected to IL-pretreatment followed by hydrolysis in a single step without further removal of the IL. The findings revealed that choline acetate [Cho]OAc and choline butyrate [Cho]Bu were among the best ILs used in the study since 0.332 ± 0.05 g glucose/g and 0.565 ± 0.08 g total reducing sugar/g EFB were obtained after 24 h of enzymatic hydrolysis. Compared to the untreated EFB, the amount of reducing sugar obtained after enzymatic hydrolysis increased by three-fold in the case of [Cho]OAc and [Cho]Bu, two-fold with [EMIM]OAc and phosphate-based ILs whereas the lowest concentration was obtained in [TBPH]OAc. Pretreatment of EFB with [Cho]OAc and [Cho]Bu showed significant differences in the morphology of EFB samples when observed with SEM. Analysis of the lignin, hemicellulose and hemicellulose showed that the total lignin content from the raw EFB was reduced from 37.8 ± 0.6 to 25.81 ± 0.35 % (w/w) upon employment of [Cho]OAc in the compatible system. The PKC-Cel from T. reesei (RUTC30) exhibited promising characteristics that need to be investigated further towards a single-step process for bioethanol production.
This study aimed to enhance production of polyhydroxybutyrate P(3HB) by a newly engineered strain of Cupriavidus necator NSDG-GG by applying response surface methodology (RSM). From initial experiment of one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT), glucose and urea were found to be the most significant substrates as carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively, for the production of P(3HB). OFAT experiment results showed that the maximum biomass, P(3HB) content, and P(3HB) concentration of 8.95 g/L, 76 wt%, and 6.80 g/L were achieved at 25 g/L glucose and 0.54 g/L urea with an agitation rate of 200 rpm at 30 °C after 48 h. In this study, RSM was applied to optimize the three key variables (glucose concentration, urea concentration, and agitation speed) at a time to obtain optimal conditions in a multivariable system. Fermentation experiments were conducted in shaking flask by cultivation of C. necator NSDG-GG using various glucose concentrations (10-50 g/L), urea concentrations (0.27-0.73 g/L), and agitation speeds (150-250 rpm). The interaction between the variables studied was analyzed by ANOVA analysis. The RSM results indicated that the optimum cultivation conditions were 37.70 g/L glucose, 0.73 g/L urea, and 200 rpm agitation speed. The validation experiments under optimum conditions produced the highest biomass of 12.84 g/L, P(3HB) content of 92.16 wt%, and P(3HB) concentration of 11.83 g/L. RSM was found to be an efficient method in enhancing the production of biomass, P(3HB) content, and P(3HB) concentration by 43, 21, and 74%, respectively.
Rhodothermaceae bacterium RA is a halo-thermophile isolated from a saline hot spring. Previously, the genome of this bacterium was sequenced using a HiSeq 2500 platform culminating in 91 contigs. In this report, we report on the resequencing of its complete genome using a PacBio RSII platform. The genome has a GC content of 68.3%, is 4,653,222 bp in size, and encodes 3711 genes. We are interested in understanding the carbohydrate metabolic pathway, in particular the lignocellulosic biomass degradation pathway. Strain RA harbors 57 glycosyl hydrolase (GH) genes that are affiliated with 30 families. The bacterium consists of cellulose-acting (GH 3, 5, 9, and 44) and hemicellulose-acting enzymes (GH 3, 10, and 43). A crude cell-free extract of the bacterium exhibited endoglucanase, xylanase, β-glucosidase, and β-xylosidase activities. The complete genome information coupled with biochemical assays confirms that strain RA is able to degrade cellulose and xylan. Therefore, strain RA is another excellent member of family Rhodothermaceae as a repository of novel and thermostable cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic enzymes.
Oil palm trunk (OPT) represents one of the five main oil palm biomass wastes with high carbon content that can be economically converted to a large surface area, porous activated carbon (AC) adsorbent to treat palm oil mill effluent wastewater in Indonesia and Malaysia. In the first portion of this work, the design of the experiment was used to determine the optimum set of synthesis parameters required to maximize the iodine number of AC [i.e., Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area indicator] prepared from OPT via chemical activation route using H3PO4. The iodine numbers of AC and AC yield were probed as the impregnation ratio, the activation time, and the activation temperature were varied in the range of 0.28-3.47, 5.68-69.32 min, and 379-521 °C, respectively. An impregnation ratio of 2.29, an activation time of 6 min, and an activation temperature of 450 °C were identified as the optimum set of synthesis parameters. In the second portion of the work, the AC synthesized using the optimum parameters were then characterized and tested as an adsorbent for tannin. N2 sorption results revealed that the AC exhibits type IV isotherm, that is, contains micropores and mesopores and displays a relatively high BET specific surface area of 1657 m2 g-1. Adsorption equilibria isotherms for tannin adsorption onto the AC were collected at three different pH of 2, 4, and 6 and were nonlinearly fitted using Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models, where the Langmuir isotherm gave better fitting than Freundlich. The higher adsorption capacity at lower pH can be explained in terms of the absence of electrostatic repulsion interaction between the AC surface and the tannic acid species as suggested by the point of zero charges (pHpzc) of 4.8 and an increasing ionization of tannic acid with pH rise between 4 and 7. Adsorption kinetics data were also obtained at four different pH of 2, 4, 6, and 8 where the nonlinear pseudo-first-order model best fitted the kinetic at pH of 2 and the nonlinear pseudo-second-order model represented the kinetic best at the remaining higher pH, which suggests that tannin adsorption onto AC occurred by physisorption at pH of 2 and by chemisorption at pH of 4, 6, and 8.
Wild-cultivated medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum was morphologically identified and sequenced using phylogenetic software. In submerged-liquid fermentation (SLF), biomass, exopolysaccharide (EPS) and intracellular polysaccharide (IPS) production of the identified G.lucidum was optimised based on initial pH, starting glucose concentration and agitation rate parameters using response surface methodology (RSM). Molecularly, the G. lucidum strain QRS 5120 generated 637 base pairs, which was commensurate with related Ganoderma species. In RSM, by applying central composite design (CCD), a polynomial model was fitted to the experimental data and was found to be significant in all parameters investigated. The strongest effect (p < 0.0001) was observed for initial pH for biomass, EPS and IPS production, while agitation showed a significant value (p < 0.005) for biomass. By applying the optimized conditions, the model was validated and generated 5.12 g/L of biomass (initial pH 4.01, 32.09 g/L of glucose and 102 rpm), 2.49 g/L EPS (initial pH 4, 24.25 g/L of glucose and 110 rpm) and 1.52 g/L of IPS (and initial pH 4, 40.43 g/L of glucose, 103 rpm) in 500 mL shake flask fermentation. The optimized parameters can be upscaled for efficient biomass, EPS and IPS production using G. lucidum.
The pellet morphology and diameter range (DR) of Ganoderma lucidum were observed in a repeated-batch fermentation (RBF) for the trio total production of biomass, exopolysaccharide (EPS) and endopolysaccharide (ENS). Two factors were involved in RBF; broth replacement ratio (BRR: 60%, 75% and 90%) and broth replacement time point (BRTP: log, transition and stationary phase) in days. In RBF, 34.31 g/L of biomass favoured small-compact pellets with DR of 20.67 µm< d < 24.00 µm (75% BRR, day 11 of BRTP). EPS production of 4.34 g/L was prone to ovoid-starburst pellets with DR of 34.33 µm< d <35.67 µm (75% BRR, day 13 of BRTP). Meanwhile, the highest 2.43 g/L of ENS production favoured large-hollow pellets with DR of 34.00 µm< d < 38.67 µm (90% BRR, day 13 of BRTP). In addition, RBF successfully shortened the biomass-EPS-ENS fermentation period (31, 33 and 35 days) from batch to 5 days, in seven consecutive cycles of RBF. In a FTIR detection, β-glucan (BG) from EPS and ENS extracts were associated with β-glycosidic linkages (2925 cm-1, 1635 cm-1, 1077 cm-1, 920 cm-1 and 800 cm-1 wavelengths) with similar 1H NMR spectral behaviour (4.58, 3.87 and 3.81 ppm). Meanwhile, 4 mg/L of BG gave negative cytotoxic effects on normal gingival cell line (hGF) but induced antiproliferation (IC50 = 0.23 mg/mL) against cancerous oral Asian cellosaurus cell line (ORL-48). Together, this study proved that G. lucidum mycelial pellets could withstand seven cycles of long fermentation condition and possessed anti-oral cancer beta-glucan, which suits large-scale natural drug fermentation.
Oil palm frond is known to be the largest contributor to the oil palm residues, providing
up to 50.3% of the total residues. Since it has a very limited utility, an initiative was taken
by this study to investigate its suitability for bio-oil production. Hence, slow pyrolysis was
conducted in an experimental setup equipped with a fixed bed reactor and a liquid collection
system. From the experiments, the effect of reaction temperature on the bio-oil yield was
examined. The characteristics of the obtained bio-oil were also investigated to study its
potential as a substitute of phenol. It was found that at reaction temperature of 375oC,
highest yield of bio-oil was obtained at 38.4 wt%. Meanwhile, the characteristics of oil palm
frond and its bio-oil were found to be approximately similar to the characteristics of typical
softwoods and their bio-oil. Most softwood biomass has been successfully used as a phenol
substitute. Therefore, the potential of this bio-oil to be used as a phenol substitute was
Ionic liquids (ILs), a potentially attractive "green," recyclable alternative to environmentally harmful volatile organic compounds, have been increasingly exploited as solvents and/or cosolvents and/or reagents in a wide range of applications, including pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for further processing. The enzymatic delignification of biomass to degrade lignin, a complex aromatic polymer, has received much attention as an environmentally friendly process for clean separation of biopolymers including cellulose and lignin. For this purpose, enzymes are generally isolated from naturally occurring fungi or genetically engineered fungi and used in an aqueous medium. However, enzymatic delignification has been found to be very slow in these conditions, sometimes taking several months for completion. In this chapter, we highlight an environmentally friendly and efficient approach for enzymatic delignification of lignocellulosic biomass using room temperature ionic liquids (ILs) as (co)solvents or/and pretreatment agents. The method comprises pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass in IL-aqueous systems before enzymatic delignification, with the aim of overcoming the low delignification efficiency associated with low enzyme accessibility to the solid substrate and low substrate and product solubilities in aqueous systems. We believe the processes described here can play an important role in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass-the most abundant renewable biomaterial in the world-to biomaterials, biopolymers, biofuels, bioplastics, and hydrocarbons. Graphical Abstract.
Biofuels and chemicals can be produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks using biotechnological processes. The effective utilization of carbohydrates from biomass for the production of biofuels necessitates the development of pretreatment technologies to enhance their enzymatic digestibility. Among all the various pretreatment methods currently studied and developed, the organosolv processes, in which organic solvents or aqueous organic solvent mixtures are used as the pretreatment medium, appear to be specially promising in the context of the biorefinery because (1) they produce cellulosic pulp with a good enzymatic digestibility for monomeric glucose production and (2) they allow a clean fractionation of the major biomass components (cellulose, lignin, and hemicelluloses) into three process streams. In this chapter we give an updated overview of organosolv methods using conventional solvents and ionic liquids which have recently gained considerable interest as solvents for lignocellulosic biomass and pretreatment.
Over the last decades, the development of the Klang Valley (Malaysia), as an urban commercial and industrial area, has elevated the risk of atmospheric pollutions. There are several significant sources of air pollutants which vary depending on the background of the location they originate from. The aim of this study is to determine the trend and status of air quality and their correlation with the meteorological factors at different air quality monitoring stations in the Klang Valley. The data of five major air pollutants (PM(10), CO, SO(2), O(3), NO(2)) were recorded at the Alam Sekitar Sdn Bhd (ASMA) monitoring stations in the Klang Valley, namely Petaling Jaya (S1), Shah Alam (S2) and Gombak (S3). The data from these three stations were compared with the data recorded at Jerantut, Pahang (B), a background station established by the Malaysian Department of Environment. Results show that the concentrations of CO, NO(2) and SO(2) are higher at Petaling Jaya (S1) which is due to influence of heavy traffic. The concentrations of PM(10) and O(3,) however, are predominantly related to regional tropical factors, such as the influence of biomass burning and of ultra violet radiation from sunlight. They can, though, also be influenced by local sources. There are relatively stronger inter-pollutant correlations at the stations of Gombak and Shah Alam, and the results also suggest that heavy traffic flow induces high concentrations of PM(10), CO, NO(2) and SO(2) at the three sampling stations. Additionally, meteorological factors, particularly the ambient temperature and wind speed, may influence the concentration of PM(10) in the atmosphere.
The sorption of Cu(II) and Cd(II) from synthetic solution by powdered activated carbon (PAC), biomass, rice husk (RH) and activated rice husk (ARH) were investigate under batch conditions. After activated by concentrated nitric acid for 15 hours at 60-65 degrees C, the adsorption capacity for RH was increased. The adsorbents arranged in the increasing order of adsorption capacities to the Langmuir Q degree parameter were biomass > PAC > ARH > RH. The addition of adsorbents in base mix solution had increased the specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR) activated sludge microorganisms with and without the presence of metals. The increased of SOUR were due to the ability of PAC and RH in reducing the inhibitory effect of metals on microorganisms and provide a reaction site between activated sludge microorganisms and substrates.
Aluminium (Al) hyper-accumulation is a common trait expressed by tropical woody plants growing on acidic soils. Studies on Al accumulators have suggested that Al addition may enhance plant growth rates, but the functional significance of this trait and the mechanistic basis of the growth response are uncertain. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that differential growth responses to Al among populations of an Al accumulator species are associated with variation in biomass allocation and nutrient uptake. We conducted two experiments to test differential responses to the presence of Al in the growth medium for seedlings of the Al accumulator shrub Melastoma malabathricum collected from 18 populations across Peninsular Malaysia. Total dry mass and relative growth rate of dry mass were significantly greater for seedlings that had received Al in the growth medium than for control plants that did not receive Al, but growth declined in response to 5.0 mM Al addition. The increase in growth rate in response to Al addition was greater for a fast-growing than a slow-growing population. The increase in growth rate in response to Al addition occurred despite a reduction in dry mass allocation to leaves, at the expense of higher allocation to roots and stems, for plants grown with Al. Foliar concentrations of P, K, Mg and Ca increased in response to Al addition and the first axis of a PCA summarizing foliar nutrient concentrations among populations was correlated positively with seedling relative growth rates. Some populations of the Al hyper-accumulator M. malabathricum express a physiological response to Al addition which leads to a stimulation of growth up to an optimum value of Al in the growth medium, beyond which growth declines. This was associated with enhanced nutrient concentrations in leaves, which suggests that Al accumulation functions to optimize elemental stoichiometry and growth rate.
Free laccase and fungal biomass from white-rot fungi were compared in the thermokinetics study of the laccase-catalyzed decolorization of an azo dye, i.e., Trypan Blue. The decolorization in both systems followed a first-order kinetics. The apparent first-order rate constant, k1', value increases with temperature. Apparent activation energy of decolorization was similar for both systems at ∼ 22 kJ mol(-1), while energy for laccase inactivation was 18 kJ mol(-1). Although both systems were endothermic, fungal biomass showed higher enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy changes for the decolorization compared to free laccase. On the other hand, free laccase showed reaction spontaneity over a wider range of temperature (ΔT = 40 K) as opposed to fungal biomass (ΔT = 15 K). Comparison of entropy change (ΔS) values indicated metabolism of the dye by the biomass.
The effect of cultivation condition of two locally isolated ascomycetes strains namely Trichoderma asperellum UPM1 and Aspergillus fumigatus UPM2 were compared in submerged and solid state fermentation. Physical evaluation on water absorption index, solubility index and chemical properties of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose content as well as the cellulose structure on crystallinity and amorphous region of treated oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) (resulted in partial removal of lignin), sago pith residues (SPR) and oil palm decanter cake towards cellulases production were determined. Submerged fermentation shows significant cellulases production for both strains in all types of substrates. Crystallinity of cellulose and its chemical composition mainly holocellulose components was found to significantly affect the total cellulase synthesis in submerged fermentation as the higher crystallinity index, and holocellulose composition will increase cellulase production. Treated OPEFB apparently induced the total cellulases from T. asperellum UPM1 and A. fumigatus UPM2 with 0.66 U/mg FPase, 53.79 U/mg CMCase, 0.92 U/mg β-glucosidase and 0.67 U/mg FPase, 47.56 U/mg and 0.14 U/mg β-glucosidase, respectively. Physical properties of water absorption and solubility for OPEFB and SPR also had shown significant correlation on the cellulases production.
The ability of non-living biomass of an arsenic-hypertolerant Bacillus cereus strain SZ2 isolated from a gold mining environment to adsorb As (III) from aqueous solution in batch experiments was investigated as a function of contact time, initial As (III) concentration, pH, temperature and biomass dosage. Langmuir model fitted the equilibrium data better in comparison to Freundlich isotherm. The maximum biosorption capacity of the sorbent, as obtained from the Langmuir isotherm, was 153.41 mg/g. The sorption kinetic of As (III) biosorption followed well the pseudo-second-order rate equation. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis indicated the involvement of hydroxyl, amide and amine groups in As (III) biosorption process. Field emission scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analysis of the non-living B. cereus SZ2 biomass demonstrated distinct cell morphological changes with significant amounts of As adsorbed onto the cells compared to non-treated cells. Desorption of 94 % As (III) was achieved at acidic pH 1 showing the capability of non-living biomass B. cereus SZ2 as potential biosorbent in removal of As (III) from arsenic-contaminated mining effluent.
Aerobic granulation was developed in overcoming the problem of biomass washout often encountered in activated sludge processes. The novel approach to developing fluffy biosolids into dense and compact granules offers a new dimension for wastewater treatment. Compared with conventional biological flocs, aerobic granules are characterized by well-defined shape and compact buildup, superior biomass retention, enhanced microbial functions, and resilient to toxicity and shock loading. This review provides an up-to-date account on development in aerobic granulation and its applications. Granule characterization, factors affecting granulation, and response of granules to various environmental and operating conditions are discussed. Maintaining granule of adequate structural stability is one of the main challenges for practical applications of aerobic granulation. This paper also reviews recent advances in addressing granule stability and storage for use as inoculums, and as biomass supplement to enhance treatment efficiency. Challenges and future work of aerobic granulation are also outlined.
In the present work, the dissolution of bamboo biomass was tested using a number of ionic liquids synthesized in laboratory. It was observed that one of the synthesized amino acid-based ionic liquids, namely 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium glycinate, was capable of dissolving the biomass completely. The dissolved biomass was then regenerated using a reconstitute solvent (acetone/water) and was characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy. The results were compared to preconditioned bamboo biomass. The regenerated biomass was found to have a more homogenous macrostructure, which indicates that the crystalline form and structure of its cellulose has changed from type Ι to type ΙΙ during the dissolution and regeneration process.
Solid-state fermentation (SSF) was employed to enhance the nutritive values of palm kernel cake (PKC) for poultry feeding. Aspergillus flavus was isolated from local PKC and utilized to increase the mannose content of PKC via the degradation of β-mannan in PKC; evaluation was done for batch SSF in Erlenmeyer flasks and in a novel laterally aerated moving bed (LAMB) bioreactor. The optimum condition for batch SSF in flasks was 110% initial moisture content, initial pH 6.0, 30 °C, 855 μm particle size, and 120 h of fermentation, yielding 90.91 mg mannose g⁻¹ dry PKC (5.9-fold increase). Batch SSF in the LAMB at the optimum condition yielded 79.61 mg mannose g⁻¹ dry PKC (5.5-fold increase) within just 96 h due to better heat and mass transfer when humidified air flowed radially across the PKC bed. In spite of a compromise of 12% reduction in mannose content when compared with the flasks, the LAMB facilitated good heat and mass transfer, and improved the mannose content of PKC in a shorter fermentation period. These attributes are useful for batch production of fermented PKC feed in an industrial scale.