Aquaculture activity has increased the population of crab, hence increasing the generation of related wastes, particularly the shell. In addition, the number of molting process in crabs compounds further the amount of waste shell generated. As such, in the present work, the application of the waste crab shell as a source of CaO in transesterification of palm olein to biodiesel (methyl ester) was investigated. Preliminary XRD results revealed that thermally activated crab shell contains mainly CaO. Parametric study has been investigated and optimal conditions were found to be methanol/oil mass ratio, 0.5:1; catalyst amount, 4 wt. %; and reaction temperature, 338 K. As compared to laboratory CaO, the catalyst from waste crab shell performs well, thus creating another low-cost catalyst source for producing biodiesel as well as adding value to the waste crab shell. Reusability of crab shell CaO has also been studied and the outcome confirmed that the catalyst is capable to be reutilized up to 11 times, without any major deterioration.
A recent rise in crab aquaculture activities has intensified the generation of waste shells. In the present study, the waste shells were utilized as a source of calcium oxide to transesterify palm olein into methyl esters (biodiesel). Characterization results revealed that the main component of the shell is calcium carbonate which transformed into calcium oxide when activated above 700 degrees C for 2 h. Parametric studies have been investigated and optimal conditions were found to be methanol/oil mass ratio, 0.5:1; catalyst amount, 5 wt.%; reaction temperature, 65 degrees C; and a stirring rate of 500 rpm. The waste catalyst performs equally well as laboratory CaO, thus creating another low-cost catalyst source for producing biodiesel. Reusability results confirmed that the prepared catalyst is able to be reemployed up to 11 times. Statistical analysis has been performed using a Central Composite Design to evaluate the contribution and performance of the parameters on biodiesel purity.
The use of pseudo-infinite methanol in increasing the rate of esterification and transesterification reactions was studied using oil palm trunk (OPT) and sugarcane bagasse (SCB) derived solid acid catalysts. The catalysts were prepared by incomplete carbonisation at 400°C for 8h, followed by sulfonation at 150°C for 15h and characterised using TGA/DTA, XRD, FT-IR, SEM-EDS, EA and titrimetric determinations of acid sites. Under optimal reaction conditions, the process demonstrated rapid esterification of palmitic acid, with FAME yields of 93% and 94% in 45min for OPT and SCB catalysts, respectively. With the process, moisture levels up to 16.7% accelerated the conversion of low FFA oils by sulfonated carbon catalysts, through moisture-induced violent bumping. Moisture assisted transesterification of palm olein containing 1.78% FFA and 8.33% added water gave FAME yield of 90% in 10h, which was two folds over neat oil.
The aqueous methanolic extracts of Melastoma malabathricum L. exhibited antibacterial activity when assayed against seven microorganisms by the agar diffusion method. Solvent fractionation afforded active chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions from the leaves and the flowers, respectively. A phytochemical study resulted in the identification of ursolic acid (1), 2α-hydroxyursolic acid (2), asiatic acid (3), β-sitosterol 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (4) and the glycolipid glycerol 1,2-dilinolenyl-3-O-β-D-galactopyanoside (5) from the chloroform fraction. Kaempferol (6), kaempferol 3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside (7), kaempferol 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (8), kaempferol 3-O-β-D-galactopyranoside (9), kaempferol 3-O-(2″,6″-di-O-E-p-coumaryl)-β-D-galactopyranoside (10), quercetin (11) and ellagic acid (12) were found in the ethyl acetate fraction. The structures of these compounds were determined by chemical and spectral analyses. Compounds 1-4, the flavonols (6 and 11) and ellagic acid (12) were found to be active against some of the tested microorganisms, while the kaempferol 3-O-glycosides (7-9) did not show any activity, indicating the role of the free 3-OH for antibacterial activity. Addition of p-coumaryl groups results in mild activity for 10 against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. Compounds 2-5, 7 and 9-12 are reported for the first time from M. malabathricum. Compound 10 is rare, being reported only once before from a plant, without assignment of the double bond geometry in the p-coumaryl moiety.
Plant cell cultures could be used as an important tool for biochemical production, ranging from natural coloring (pigments) to pharmaceutical products. Anthocyanins are becoming a very important alternative to synthetic dyes because of increased public concern over the safety of artificial food coloring agents. Several factors are responsible for the production of anthocyanin in cell cultures. In the present study, we investigate the effects of different environmental factors, such as light intensity, irradiance (continuous irradiance or continuous darkness), temperature and medium pH on cell biomass yield and anthocyanin production in cultures of Melastoma malabathricum. Moderate light intensity (301 - 600 lux) induced higher accumulation of anthocyanins in the cells. The cultures exposed to 10-d continuous darkness showed the lowest pigment content, while the cultures exposed to 10-d continuous irradiance showed the highest pigment content. The cell cultures incubated at a lower temperature range (20 ± 2 ºC) grew better and had higher pigment content than those grown at 26 ± 2 ºC and 29 ± 2 ºC. Different medium pH did not affect the yield of cell biomass but anthocyanin accumulation was highest at pH 5.25 - 6.25.