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  1. Tan Sian Hui Abdullah HS, Aqlili Riana Mohd Asseri SN, Khursyiah Wan Mohamad WN, Kan SY, Azmi AA, Yong Julius FS, et al.
    Environ Pollut, 2021 Feb 15;271:116295.
    PMID: 33383429 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116295
    This manuscript describes the reuse of biowaste for the biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and their applications. In particular, we hypothesized that the phytochemicals in the onion peels could act as reductant for silver nanoparticles syntheses. AgNO3 solution (1 mmol) was added dropwise to an aqueous solution of onion peel extract in 3:7 ratio. The reaction mixture was subjected to heating at 90 °C for about 30 min. During the synthesis of the AgNPs, the change of the colour of solution was observed. The AgNPs solution was centrifuged to obtain the two layers, which consists of clear solution and solid layers at 12000 rpm for 30 min. The precipitate was filtered and was re-dispersed in deionised water (25 mL). The solution was centrifuged again to obtain the purified AgNPs. Subsequently, this solution was freeze dried for 48 h to afford the powdered AgNPs. In this work, the structure of the AgNPs were synthesized in spherical shape, with an average size of 12.5 nm observed in the Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. For catalytic application, the synthesized AgNPs could be applied as green catalyst to promote Knoevenagel and Hantzsch reactions. In most cases, the desired products were obtained in satisfactory yields. In addition, the AgNPs were found to be recyclable for the subsequent reactions. After five successive runs, the average isolated yields for both transformations were recorded to be 91% (Knoevenagel condensation) and 94% (Hantzsch reaction), which indicated that the existing AgNPs could apply as green catalyst in the field of organic synthesis. Furthermore, the AgNPs also showed satisfactory result in antioxidant activity. The current results indicate that the AgNPs can act as alternative antioxidant agent and green catalyst in mediating organic transformations.
  2. Verasoundarapandian G, Zakaria NN, Shaharuddin NA, Khalil KA, Puasa NA, Azmi AA, et al.
    Plants (Basel), 2021 Nov 16;10(11).
    PMID: 34834831 DOI: 10.3390/plants10112468
    Oil spill incidents are hazardous and have prolonged damage to the marine environment. Management and spill clean-up procedures are practical and rapid, with several shortcomings. Coco peat (CP) and coco fibre (CF) are refined from coconut waste, and their abundance makes them desirable for diesel spillage treatment. Using a filter-based system, the selectivity of coco peat sorbent was tested using CP, CF and peat-fibre mix (CPM). CP exhibited maximal diesel sorption capacity with minimal seawater uptake, thus being selected for further optimisation analysis. The heat treatment considerably improved the sorption capacity and efficiency of diesel absorbed by CP, as supported by FTIR and VPSEM-EDX analysis. Conventional one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) examined the performance of diesel sorption by CP under varying parameters, namely temperature, time of heating, packing density and diesel concentration. The significant factors were statistically evaluated using response surface methodology (RSM) via Plackett-Burman design (PB) and central composite design (CCD). Three significant (p < 0.05) factors (time, packing density and diesel concentration) were identified by PB and further analysed for interactions among the parameters. CCD predicted efficiency of diesel absorbed at 59.92% (71.90 mL) (initial diesel concentration of 30% v/v) and the experimental model validated the design with 59.17% (71.00 mL) diesel sorbed at the optimised conditions of 14.1 min of heating (200 °C) with packing density of 0.08 g/cm3 and 30% (v/v) of diesel concentration. The performance of CP in RSM (59.17%) was better than that in OFAT (58.33%). The discoveries imply that natural sorbent materials such as CP in oil spill clean-up operations can be advantageous and environmentally feasible. This study also demonstrated the diesel-filter system as a pilot study for the prospective up-scale application of oil spills.
  3. Ibrahim YS, Tuan Anuar S, Azmi AA, Wan Mohd Khalik WMA, Lehata S, Hamzah SR, et al.
    JGH Open, 2021 Jan;5(1):116-121.
    PMID: 33490620 DOI: 10.1002/jgh3.12457
    Background and Aim: While dietary exposure to microplastics is increasingly recognized, it is unknown if ingested plastics remain within the digestive tract. We aimed to examine human colectomy specimens for microplastics and to report the characteristics as well as polymer composition of the particles.

    Methods: Colectomy samples were obtained from 11 adults (mean age 45.7, six males) who were residents of Northeastern Peninsular Malaysia. Microplastics were identified following chemical digestion of specimens and subsequent filtration. The samples were then examined for characteristics (abundance, length, shape, and color) and composition of three common polymer types using stereo- and Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) microscopes.

    Results: Microplastics were detected in all 11 specimens with an average of 331 particles/individual specimen or 28.1 ± 15.4 particles/g tissue. Filaments or fibers accounted for 96.1% of particles, and 73.1% of all filaments were transparent. Out of 40 random filaments from 10 specimens (one had indeterminate spectra patterns), 90% were polycarbonate, 50% were polyamide, and 40% were polypropylene.

    Conclusion: Our study suggests that microplastics are ubiquitously present in the human colon.

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