Zeolite socony mobil-5 (ZSM-5) is a common catalyst used for biomass pyrolysis. Nevertheless, the quantitative information on the catalytic behavior of ZSM-5 on biomass pyrolysis is absent so far. This study focuses on the catalytic pyrolysis phenomena and mechanisms of biomass wastes using ZSM-5 via thermogravimetric analyzer and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, with particular emphasis on catalytic level identification and aromatic hydrocarbons (AHs) formation. Two biomass wastes of sawdust and sorghum distillery residue (SDR) are investigated, while four biomass-to-catalyst ratios are considered. The analysis suggests that biomass waste pyrolysis processes can be divided into three zones, proceeding from a heat-transfer dominant zone (zone 1) to catalysis dominant zones (zones 2 and 3). The indicators of the intensity of difference (IOD), catalytic effective area, catalytic index (CI), and aromatic enhancement index are conducted to measure the catalytic effect of ZSM-5 on biomass waste pyrolysis and AHs formation. The maximum IOD occurs in zone 2, showing the highest intensity of the catalytic effect. The CI values of the two biomass wastes increase with increasing the biomass-to-catalyst ratio. However, there exists a threshold for sawdust pyrolysis, indicating a limit for the catalytic effect on sawdust. The higher the catalyst addition, the higher the AHs proportion in the vapor stream. When the biomass-to-catalyst ratio is 1/10, AHs formation is intensified significantly, especially for sawdust. Overall, the indexes conducted in the present study can provide useful measures to identify the catalytic pyrolysis dynamics and levels.
Indoor air pollution with toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a threat to human health, causing cancer, leukemia, fetal malformation, and abortion. Therefore, the development of technologies to mitigate indoor air pollution is important to avoid adverse effects. Adsorption and photocatalytic oxidation are the current approaches for the removal of VOCs and PM2.5 with high efficiency. In this review we focus on the recent development of indoor air pollution mitigation materials based on adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition. First, we review on the primary indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, benzene compounds, PM2.5, flame retardants, and plasticizer: Next, the recent advances in the use of adsorption materials including traditional biochar and MOF (metal-organic frameworks) as the new emerging porous materials for VOCs absorption is reviewed. We review the mechanism for mitigation of VOCs using biochar (noncarbonized organic matter partition and adsorption) and MOF together with parameters that affect indoor air pollution removal efficiency based on current mitigation approaches including the mitigation of VOCs using photocatalytic oxidation. Finally, we bring forward perspectives and directions for the development of indoor air mitigation technologies.
Hydrogen and gaseous fuel derived from wastes have opened up promising alternative pathways for the production of renewable and sustainable fuels to substitute classical fossil energy resources that cause global warming and pollution. Existing review articles focus mostly on gasification, reforming and pyrolysis processes, with limited information on particularly gaseous fuel production via pyrolysis of various waste products. This review provides an overview on the recent advanced pyrolysis technology used in hydrogen and gaseous fuel production. The key parameters to maximize the production of specific compounds were discussed. More studies are needed to optimize the process parameters and improve the understanding of reaction mechanisms and co-relationship between these advanced techniques. These advanced techniques provide novel environmentally sustainable and commercially procedures for waste-based production of hydrogen and gaseous fuels.
This study examined an aquaponic approach of circulating water containing ammonia excretions from African catfish grown in an aquaculture tank for bacterial conversion into nitrates, which then acted as a nutrient substance to cultivate lettuce in hydroponic tank. We found that microwave pyrolysis biochar (450 g) having microporous (1.803 nm) and high BET surface area (419 m2/g) was suitable for use as biological carrier to grow nitrifying bacteria (63 g of biofilm mass) that treated the water quality through removing the ammonia (67%) and total suspended solids (68%), resulting in low concentration of remaining ammonia (0.42 mg/L) and total suspended solid (59.40 mg/L). It also increased the pH (6.8), converted the ammonia into nitrate (29.7 mg/L), and increased the nitrogen uptake by the lettuce (110 mg of nitrogen per plant), resulting in higher growth in lettuce (0.0562 %/day) while maintaining BOD5 level (3.94 mg/L) at acceptable level and 100% of catfish survival rate. Our results demonstrated that microwave pyrolysis biochar can be a promising solution for growing nitrifying bacteria in aquaponic system for simultaneous toxic ammonia remediation and generation of nitrate for growing vegetable in aquaculture industry.
Antibiotics and pharmaceuticals related products are used to enhance public health and quality of life. The wastewater that is produced from pharmaceutical industries still contains noticeable amount of antibiotics, and this has remained one of the major environmental problems facing public health. The conventional wastewater remediation approach employed by the pharmaceutical industries for the antibiotics wastewater removal is unable to remove the antibiotics completely. Besides, municipal and livestock wastewater also contain unmetabolized antibiotics released by human and animal, respectively. The antibiotic found in wastewater leads to antibiotic resistance challenges, also emergence of superbugs. Currently, numerous technological approaches have been developed to remove antibiotics from the wastewater. Therefore, it was imperative to critically review the weakness and strength of these current advanced technological approaches in use. Besides, the conventional methods for removal of antibiotics such as Klavaroti et al., Homem and Santos also discussed. Although, membrane treatment is discovered as the ultimate choice of approach, to completely remove the antibiotics, while the filtered antibiotics are still retained on the membrane. This study found, hybrid processes to be the best solution antibiotics removal from wastewater. Nevertheless, real-time monitoring system is also recommended to ascertain that, wastewater is cleared of antibiotics.
Pollution with pesticides is a widespread global problem and biomonitoring of the environment and human populations is necessary to assess potential harmful biological effects. One of the pesticides that are showing up in vegetables and fruit is chlorpyrifos (CPS). CPS is a nerve-poisoning organophosphorus insecticide, which is in up to 1/3 of all conventionally produced citrus fruits. Our review shows that CPS is a hazardous material that poses risks to human health and also pollutes the environment. There is numerous risk assessment of CPS reported, however, the assessment is easily affected by factors such as climate change, exposure period and CPS concentration. Therefore, rigorous update of the hazardous level of CPS is needed to determine the threshold level safe for humans and animals. There is a need for remediation using for example photoreactive nanoparticle methods and microbial degeneration possessing high degradation efficiency (73-97%). In addition, stringent biomonitoring of food, environment and human exposure should occur to avoid exposure to chemicals via citrus fruits and vegetables. This is necessary to assess health risks and socioeconomic impacts which also require collaboration between private and public sectors to facilitate the growth, sale and manufacturing of biopesticides.
Global warming is reducing the Arctic sea-ice and causing energetic stress to marine key predatory species such as polar bears and narwhals contributing to the ongoing pollution already threatening the biodiversity and indigenous people of the vulnerable region. Now, the opening of the Arctic gateway and in particular the increase in shipping activities causes further stress to marine mammals in the region. These shipping activities are foreseen to happen in the Northwest and Northeast Passage, Northern Sea Route and Transpolar Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean, which could be yet another step towards a crucial tipping point destabilizing global climate, including weathering systems and sea-level rise. This calls for international governance through the establishment of Arctic International National Parks and more Marine Protected Areas through the Arctic Council and UN's Law of the Sea to ensure sustainable use of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent waters.
A pneumonia-like disease of unknown origin caused a catastrophe in Wuhan city, China. This disease spread to 215 countries affecting a wide range of people. World health organization (WHO) called it a pandemic and it was officially named as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus 2 (SARS CoV-2), also known as Corona virus disease (COVID-19). This pandemic compelled countries to enforce a socio-economic lockdown to prevent its widespread. This paper focuses on how the particulate matter pollution was reduced during the lockdown period (23 March to April 15, 2020) as compared to before lockdown. Both ground-based and satellite observations were used to identify the improvement in air quality of Pakistan with primary focus on four major cities of Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar. Both datasets have shown a substantial reduction in PM2.5 pollution levels (ranging from 13% to 33% in case of satellite observations, while 23%-58% in ground-based observations) across Pakistan. Result shows a higher rate of COVID-19 spread in major cities of Pakistan with poor air quality conditions. Yet more research is needed in order to establish linkage between COVID-19 spread and air pollution. However, it can be partially attributed to both higher rate of population density and frequent exposure of population to enhanced levels of PM2.5 concentrations before lockdown period.
The demands of energy sustainability drive efforts to bio-chemical conversion of biomass into biofuels through pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and microbial fermentation. Pretreatment leads to significant structural changes of the complex lignin polymer that affect yield and productivity of the enzymatic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. Structural changes of lignin after pretreatment include functional groups, inter unit linkages and compositions. These changes influence non-productive adsorption of enzyme on lignin through hydrophobic interaction and electrostatic interaction as well as hydrogen bonding. This paper reviews the relationships between structural changes of lignin and enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated lignocellulosic biomass. The formation of pseudo-lignin during dilute acid pretreatment is revealed, and their negative effect on enzymatic hydrolysis is discussed.
In this study, process optimization for the microalgae-based piggery wastewater treatment was carried out by growing Chlorella sorokiniana AK-1 on untreated piggery wastewater with efficient COD/BOD/TN/TP removal and high biomass/protein productivities. Integration of the immobilization carriers (sponge, activated carbon) and semi-batch cultivation resulted in the effective treatment of raw untreated piggery wastewater. With 100% wastewater, 0.2% sponge and 2% activated carbon, the semi-batch cultivation (90% media replacement every 6 days) exhibited a COD, BOD, TN and TP removal efficiency of 95.7%, 99.0%, 94.1% and 96.9%, respectively. The maximal protein content, protein productivity, lutein content, and lutein productivity of the obtained microalgal biomass was 61.1%, 0.48 g/L/d, 4.56 mg/g, and 3.56 mg/L/d, respectively. The characteristics of the treated effluent satisfied Taiwan Piggery Wastewater Discharge Standards (COD
Dwindling fossil fuels and improper waste management are major challenges in the context of increasing population and industrialization, calling for new waste-to-energy sources. For instance, refuse-derived fuels can be produced from transformation of municipal solid waste, which is forecasted to reach 2.6 billion metric tonnes in 2030. Gasification is a thermal-induced chemical reaction that produces gaseous fuel such as hydrogen and syngas. Here, we review refuse-derived fuel gasification with focus on practices in various countries, recent progress in gasification, gasification modelling and economic analysis. We found that some countries that replace coal by refuse-derived fuel reduce CO2 emission by 40%, and decrease the amount municipal solid waste being sent to landfill by more than 50%. The production cost of energy via refuse-derived fuel gasification is estimated at 0.05 USD/kWh. Co-gasification by using two feedstocks appears more beneficial over conventional gasification in terms of minimum tar formation and improved process efficiency.
Soil and water contaminated with radionuclides threaten the environment and public health during leaks from nuclear power plants. Remediation of radionuclides at the contaminated sites uses mainly physical and chemical methods such as vitrification, chemical immobilization, electro-kinetic remediation and soil excavation, capping and washing being among the preferred methods. These traditional technologies are however costly and less suitable for dealing with large-area pollution. In contrast to this, cost-effective and environment-friendly alternatives such as phytoremediation using plants to remove radionuclides from polluted sites in situ represent promising alternatives for environmental cleanup. Understanding the physiology and molecular mechanisms of radionuclides accumulation in plants is essential to optimize and improve this new remediation technology. Here, we give an overview of radionuclide contamination in the environment and biochemical characteristics for uptake, transport, and compartmentation of radionuclides in plants that characterize phytoextraction and its efficiency. Phytoextraction is an eco-friendly and efficient method for environmental removal of radionuclides at contaminated sites such as mine tailings. Selecting the most proper plant for the specific purpose, however, is important to obtain the best result together with, for example, applying soil amendments such as citric acid. In addition, using genetic engineering and optimizing agronomic management practices including regulation of atmospheric CO2 concentration, reasonable measures of fertilization and rational water management are important as well. For future application, the technique needs commercialization in order to fully exploit the technique at mining activities and nuclear industries.
The use of agro-biowaste compost fertilizers in agriculture is beneficial from technical, financial, and environmental perspectives. Nevertheless, the physical, mechanical, and agronomical attributes of agro-biowaste compost fertilizers should be engineered to reduce their storage, handling, and utilization costs and environmental impacts. Pelletizing and drying are promising techniques to achieve these goals. In the present work, the effects of process parameters, including compost particle size/moisture content, pelletizing compression ratio, and drying air temperature/velocity, were investigated on the density, specific crushing energy, and moisture diffusion of agro-biowaste compost pellet. The Taguchi technique was applied to understand the effects of independent parameters on the output responses, while the optimal pellet properties were found using the iterative thresholding method. The soil and plant (sweet basil) response to the optimal biocompost pellet was experimentally evaluated. The farm application of the optimal pellet was also compared with the untreated agro-biowaste compost using the life cycle assessment approach to investigate the potential environmental impact mitigation of the pelletizing and drying processes. Generally, the compost moisture content was the most influential factor on the density and specific crushing energy of the dried pellet, while the moisture diffusion of the wet pellet during the drying process was significantly influenced by the pelletizing compression ratio. The density, specific crushing energy, and moisture diffusion of agro-biowaste compost pellet at the optimal conditions were 1242.49 kg/m3, 0.5054 MJ/t, and 8.2 × 10-8 m2/s, respectively. The optimal biocompost pellet could release 80% of its nitrogen content evenly over 98 days, while this value was 28 days for the chemical urea fertilizer. Besides, the optimal pellet could significantly improve the agronomical attributes of the sweet basil plant compared with the untreated biocompost. The applied strategy could collectively mitigate the weighted environmental impact of farm application of the agro-biowaste compost by more than 63%. This reduction could be attributed to the fact that the pelletizing-drying processes could avoid methane emissions from the untreated agro-biowaste compost during the farm application. Overall, pelletizing-drying of the agro-biowaste compost could be regarded as a promising strategy to improve the environmental and agronomical performance of farm application of organic biofertilizers.
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.
Chinese liquor distillers' grain (CLDG) is an abundant industrial organic waste showing high potential as feedstock for biofuel conversion. In this study, CLDG was used as substrate by microbial community in pit mud to produce medium-chain fatty acids (especially caproate). Simulated and real fermentation were used to evaluate the effect of ethanol and lactic acid being the electronic donors (EDs) during the anaerobic chain elongation (CE). The caproate concentration was achieved at 449 mg COD/g VS, with the corresponding high carbon selectivity at 37.1%. Microbial analysis revealed that the domestication of pit mud increased the abundance of Caproiciproducens (converting lactic acid into caproate) and Lactobacillus (producing lactic acid), leading to enhanced caproate production. The lactic acid conversion facilitated in full utilization of ethanol through CE consumption. The coexistence of EDs benefited the CE system and that this green energy production can be a promising high-performance biofuel donor for sustainable industrial production development.
Global environmental awareness has encouraged further research towards biofuel production and consumption. Despite the favorable properties of biofuels, the sustainability of their conventional production pathways from agricultural feedstocks has been questioned. Therefore, the use of non-food feedstocks as a promising approach to ensure sustainable biofuel production is encouraged. However, the use of synthetic solvents/chemicals and energy carriers during biofuel production and the consequent adverse environmental effects are still challenging. On the other hand, biofuel production is also associated with generating large volumes of waste and wastewater. Accordingly, the circular bioeconomy as an innovative approach to ensure complete valorization of feedstocks and generated waste streams under the biorefinery scheme is proposed. In line with that, the current study aims to assess the environmental sustainability of bioethanol production in a safflower-based biorefinery using the life cycle assessment framework. Based on the obtained results, safflower production and its processing into 1 MJ bioethanol under the safflower-based biorefinery led to damage of 2.23E-07 disability-adjusted life years (DALY), 2.35E-02 potentially disappeared fraction (PDF)*m2*yr, 4.76E-01 kg CO2 eq., and 3.82 MJ primary on the human health, ecosystem quality, climate change, and resources, respectively. Moreover, it was revealed that despite adverse environmental effects associated with safflower production and processing, the substitution of conventional products, i.e., products that are the typical products in the market without having environmental criteria, with their bio-counterparts, i.e., products produced in the biorefinery based on environmental criteria could overshadow the unfavorable effects and substantially enhance the overall sustainability of the biorefinery system. The developed safflower-based biorefinery led to seven- and two-time reduction in damage to the ecosystem quality and resources damage categories, respectively. The reductions in damage to human health and climate change were also found to be 52% and 24%, respectively. The weighted environmental impacts of the safflower-based biorefinery decreased by 64% due to the production of bioproducts, mainly biodiesel and biogas, replacing their fossil-based counterparts, i.e., diesel and natural gas, respectively. Finally, although the main focus of the developed safflower-based biorefinery was biofuel production, waste valorization and mainly animal feed played a significant role in improving the associated environmental impacts.
Soil carbon supplementation is known to stimulate plant growth by improving soil fertility and plant nutrient uptake. However, the underlying process and chemical mechanism that could explain the interrelationship between soil carbon supplementation, soil micro-ecology, and the growth and quality of plant remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the influence and mechanism of soil carbon supplementation on the bacterial community, chemical cycling, mineral nutrition absorption, growth and properties of tobacco leaves. The soil carbon supplementation increased amino acid, carbohydrates, chemical energy metabolism, and bacterial richness in the soil. This led to increased content of sugar (23.75%), starch (13.25%), and chlorophyll (10.56%) in tobacco leaves. Linear discriminant analysis revealed 49 key phylotypes and significant increment of some of the Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) genera (Bacillus, Novosphingobium, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas) in the rhizosphere, which can influence the tobacco growth. Partial Least Squares Path Modeling (PLS-PM) showed that soil carbon supplementation positively affected the sugar and starch contents in tobacco leaves by possibly altering the photosynthesis pathway towards increasing the aroma of the leaves, thus contributing to enhanced tobacco flavor. These findings are useful for understanding the influence of soil carbon supplementation on bacterial community for improving the yields and quality of tobacco in industrial plantation.
A diesel engine running on diesel/biodiesel mixtures containing ethylene glycol diacetate (EGDA) was investigated from the exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental viewpoints. Biodiesel was mixed with petrodiesel at 5% and 20% volume ratios, and the resultant mixtures were then doped with EGDA at 1-3% volume ratios. The exergetic sustainability indicators of the engine operating on the prepared fuel formulations were determined at varying engine loads. The indicators were selected to support decision-making on fuel composition and engine load following thermodynamic, economic, and environmental considerations. The engine load markedly affected all the studied exergetic parameters. The highest engine exergetic efficiency (39.5%) was obtained for petrodiesel doped with 1 v/v% EGDA at the engine load of 50%. The minimum value of the unit cost of brake power exergy (49.6 US$/GJ) was found for straight petrodiesel at full-load conditions, while the minimum value of the unit environmental impact of brake power exergy (29.9 mPts/GJ) was observed for petrodiesel mixed with 5 v/v% biodiesel at the engine load of 75%. Overall, adding EGDA to fuel mixtures did not favorably influence the outcomes of both exergetic methods due to its energy-intensive and cost-prohibitive production process. In conclusion, although petrodiesel fuel improvers such EGDA used in the present study could properly mitigate pollutant emissions, the adverse effects of such additives on thermodynamic parameters of diesel engines, particularly on exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental indices, need to be taken into account, and necessary optimizations should be made before their real-world application.
Used baby diaper consists of a combination of decomposable cellulose, non-biodegradable plastic materials (e.g. polyolefins) and super-absorbent polymer materials, thus making it difficult to be sorted and separated for recycling. Microwave pyrolysis was examined for its potential as an approach to transform used baby diapers into value-added products. Influence of the key operating parameters comprising process temperature and microwave power were investigated. The pyrolysis showed a rapid heating process (up to 43 °C/min of heating rate) and quick reaction time (20-40 min) in valorizing the used diapers to generate pyrolysis products comprising up to 43 wt% production of liquid oil, 29 wt% gases and 28 wt% char product. Microwave power and operating temperature were observed to have impacts on the heating rate, process time, production and characteristics of the liquid oil and solid char. The liquid oil contained alkanes, alkenes and esters that can potentially be used as chemical additives, cosmetic products and fuel. The solid char contained high carbon, low nitrogen and free of sulphur, thus showing potential for use as adsorbents and soil additives. These observations demonstrate that microwave pyrolysis has great prospect in transforming used baby diaper into liquid oil and char products that can be utilised in several applications.
Catalytic co-pyrolysis (CCP) of spent coffee ground (SCG) and cellulose over HZSM-5 and HY was characterized thermogravimetrically, and a catalytic pyrolysis of two samples was conducted using a tandem micro reactor that directly connected with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. To access the more fundamental investigations on CCP, the effects of the zeolite pore structure, reaction temperature, in-situ/ex-situ reaction mode, catalyst to feedstock ratio, and the SCG and cellulose mixing ratio were experimentally evaluated. The temperature showing the highest thermal degradation rate of cellulose with SCG slightly delayed due to the interactions during the thermolysis of two samples. HZSM-5 in reference to HY produced more aromatic hydrocarbons from CCP. With respect to the reaction temperature, the formation of aromatic hydrocarbons increased with the pyrolytic temperature. Moreover, the in-situ/ex-situ reaction mode, catalyst/feedstock, and cellulose/SCG ratio were optimized to improve the aromatic hydrocarbon yield.