In this study, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) was used to treat domestic wastewater. Ten organic and inorganic parameters were monitored in three weeks for water purification. The six chemical, biological and physical parameters included Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and pH were compared with the Interim National Water Quality Standards, Malaysia River classification (INWQS) and Water Quality Index (WQI). Between 38% to 96% of reduction was observed and water quality has been improved from class III and IV to class II. Analyses for Electricity Conductivity (EC), Salinity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Ammonium (NH4) were also investigated. In all parameters, removal efficiency was in range of 13-17th day (optimum 14th day) which was higher than 3 weeks except DO. It reveals the optimum growth rate of water hyacinth has great effect on waste water purification efficiency in continuous system and nutrient removal was successfully achieved.
A diesel-degrading bacterium has been isolated from a diesel-polluted site. The isolate was tentatively identified as Staphylococcus aureus strain DRY11 based on partial 16S rDNA molecular phylogeny and Biolog GP microplate panels and Microlog database. Isolate 11 showed an almost linear increase in cellular growth with respect to diesel concentrations with optimum growth occurring at 4% (v/v) diesel concentration. Optimization studies using different nitrogen sources showed that the best nitrogen source was potassium nitrite. Sodium nitrite was optimum at 1.2 g l(-1) and higher concentrations were strongly inhibitory to cellular growth. The optimal pH that supported growth of the bacterium was between 7.5 to 8.0 and the isolate exhibited optimal broad temperature supporting growth on diesel from 27 to 37 degrees C. An almost complete removal of diesel components was seen from the reduction in hydrocarbon peaks observed using Solid Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography analysis after 5 days of incubation. The characteristics of this bacterium suggest that it is suitable for bioremediation of diesel spills and pollutions in the tropics.
Environmental pollution specifically water pollution is alarming both in the developed and developing countries. Heavy metal contamination of water resources is a critical issue which adversely affects humans, plants and animals. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective remediation technology which able to treat heavy metal polluted sites. This environmental friendly method has been successfully implemented in constructed wetland (CWs) which is able to restore the aquatic biosystem naturally. Nowadays, many aquatic plant species are being investigated to determine their potential and effectiveness for phytoremediation application, especially high growth rate plants i.e. macrophytes. Based on the findings, phytofiltration (rhizofiltration) is the sole method which defined as heavy metals removal from water by aquatic plants. Due to specific morphology and higher growth rate, free-floating plants were more efficient to uptake heavy metals in comparison with submerged and emergent plants. In this review, the potential of wide range of aquatic plant species with main focus on four well known species (hyper-accumulators): Pistia stratiotes, Eicchornia spp., Lemna spp. and Salvinia spp. was investigated. Moreover, we discussed about the history, methods and future prospects in phytoremediation of heavy metals by aquatic plants comprehensively.
Bovine gelatin is a biopolymer which has good potential to be used in encapsulating matrices for probiotic candidate Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum strain G4 (G4) because of its amphoteric nature characteristic. Beads were prepared by the extrusion method using genipin and sodium alginate as a cross-linking agent. The optimisation of bovine gelatin-genipin-sodium alginate combinations was carried out using face central composition design (FCCD) to investigate G4 beads' strength, before and after exposed to simulated gastric (SGF), intestinal fluids (SIF), and encapsulation yield. A result of ANOVA and the polynomial regression model revealed the combinations of all three factors have a significant effect (p < 0.05) on the bead strength. Meanwhile, for G4 encapsulation yield, only genipin showed less significant effect on the response. However, the use of this matrix remained due to the intermolecular cross-linking ability with bovine gelatin. Optimum compositions of bovine gelatin-genipin-sodium alginate were obtained at 11.21% (w/v), 1.96 mM, and 2.60% (w/v), respectively. A model was validated for accurate prediction of the response and showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) with experimental values.
The presence of microplastics (MP) and nanoplastics (NP) in the environment poses significant hazards towards microorganisms, humans, animals and plants. This paper is focused on recent literature studies and patents discussing the removal process of these plastic pollutants. Microplastics and nanoplastics can be quantified by counting, weighing, absorbance and turbidity and can be further analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and Raman tweezers. Mitigation methods reported are categorized depending on the removal characteristics: (i) Filtration and separation method: Filtration and separation, electrospun nanofiber membrane, constructed wetlands; (ii) Capture and surface attachment method: coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation (CFS), electrocoagulation, adsorption, magnetization, micromachines, superhydrophobic materials and microorganism aggregation; and (iii) Degradation method: photocatalytic degradation, microorganism degradation and thermal degradation; where removal efficiency between 58 and 100% were reported. As these methods are significantly distinctive, the parameters which affect the MP/NP removal performance e.g., pH, type of plastics, presence of interfering chemicals or ions, surface charges etc. are also discussed. 42 granted international patents related to microplastics and nanoplastics removal are also reviewed where the majority of these patents are focused on separation or filtration devices. These devices are efficient for microplastics up to 20 μm but may be ineffective for nanoplastics or fibrous plastics. Several patents were found to focus on methods similar to literature studies e.g., magnetization, CFS, biofilm and microorganism aggregation; with the addition of another method: thermal degradation.
Microplastic (MP) is an emerging contaminant of concern due to its ubiquitous quantity in the environment, small size, and potential toxicity due to strong affinity towards other contaminants. In this work, MP particles (5-300 μm) were extracted from a commercial facial cleanser and determined to be irregular polyethylene (PE) microbeads based on characterization with field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and Raman spectroscopy. The potential of extracted MP acting as toxic pollutants' vector was analyzed via adsorption of methylene blue and methyl orange dye where significant dye uptake was observed. Synthetic wastewater containing the extracted MP was subjected to a continuous-flow column study using palm kernel shell and coconut shell biochar as the filter/adsorbent media. The prepared biochar was characterized via proximate and ultimate analysis, FESEM, contact angle measurement, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to investigate the role of the biochar properties in MP removal. MP removal performance was determined by measuring the turbidity and weighing the dry mass of particles remaining in the effluent following treatment. Promising results were obtained from the study with highest removal of MP (96.65%) attained through palm kernel shell biochar with particle size of 0.6-1.18 mm and continuous-flow column size of 20 mm.
This study demonstrated a successful operation of up-flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC) in wastewater treatment and energy recovery. The goals of this study were to investigate the effect of circuit connection, organic loading rates, and electrode spacing on the performance of wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation. The average influent of COD, NO3(-) and NH4(+) were 624 mg/L, 142 mg/L, 40 mg/L, respectively and their removal efficiencies (1 day HRT) were 99%, 46%, and 96%, respectively. NO3(-) removal was relatively higher in the closed circuit system due to lower dissolved oxygen in the system. Despite larger electrode spacing, the voltage outputs from Anode 2 (A2) (30 cm) and Anode 3 (A3) (45 cm) were higher than from Anode 1 (A1) (15 cm) as a result of insufficient fuel supply to A1. The maximum power density and Coulombic efficiency were obtained at A2, which were 93 mW/m(3) and 1.42%, respectively.
This study was undertaken to optimize skim milk and yeast extract concentration as a cultivation medium for optimal Bifidobacteria pseudocatenulatum G4 (G4) biomass and β -galactosidase production as well as lactose and free amino nitrogen (FAN) balance after cultivation period. Optimization process in this study involved four steps: screening for significant factors using 2(3) full factorial design, steepest ascent, optimization using FCCD-RSM, and verification. From screening steps, skim milk and yeast extract showed significant influence on the biomass production and, based on the steepest ascent step, middle points of skim milk (6% wt/vol) and yeast extract (1.89% wt/vol) were obtained. A polynomial regression model in FCCD-RSM revealed that both factors were found significant and the strongest influence was given by skim milk concentration. Optimum concentrations of skim milk and yeast extract for maximum biomass G4 and β -galactosidase production meanwhile low in lactose and FAN balance after cultivation period were 5.89% (wt/vol) and 2.31% (wt/vol), respectively. The validation experiments showed that the predicted and experimental values are not significantly different, indicating that the FCCD-RSM model developed is sufficient to describe the cultivation process of G4 using skim-milk-based medium with the addition of yeast extract.
An oligonucleotide DNA probe has been developed for the application in the DNA electrochemical biosensor for the early diagnosis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here, the virus microRNA from the N-gene of severe acute respiratory syndrome-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was used for the first time as a specific target for detecting the virus and became a framework for developing the complementary DNA probe. The sequence analysis of the virus microRNA was carried out using bioinformatics tools including basic local alignment search tools, multiple sequence alignment from CLUSTLW, microRNA database (miRbase), microRNA target database, and gene analysis. Cross-validation of distinct strains of coronavirus and human microRNA sequences was completed to validate the percentage of identical and consent regions. The percent identity parameter from the bioinformatics tools revealed the virus microRNAs' sequence has a 100% match with the genome of SARS-CoV-2 compared with other coronavirus strains, hence improving the selectivity of the complementary DNA probe. The 30 mer with 53.0% GC content of complementary DNA probe 5' GCC TGA GTT GAG TCA GCA CTG CTC ATG GAT 3' was designed and could be used as a bioreceptor for the biosensor development in the clinical and environmental diagnosis of COVID-19.
Biodegradation of agricultural wastes, generated annually from poultry farms and slaughterhouses, can solve the pollution problem and at the same time yield valuable degradation products. But these wastes also constitute environmental nuisance, especially in Malaysia where their illegal disposal on heavy metal contaminated soils poses a serious biodegradation issue as feather tends to accumulate heavy metals from the surrounding environment. Further, continuous use of feather wastes as cheap biosorbent material for the removal of heavy metals from effluents has contributed to the rising amount of polluted feathers, which has necessitated the search for heavy metal-tolerant feather degrading strains. Isolation, characterization and application of a novel heavy metal-tolerant feather-degrading bacterium, identified by 16S RNA sequencing as Alcaligenes sp. AQ05-001 in degradation of heavy metal polluted recalcitrant agricultural wastes, have been reported. Physico-cultural conditions influencing its activities were studied using one-factor-at-a-time and a statistical optimisation approach. Complete degradation of 5 g/L feather was achieved with pH 8, 2% inoculum at 27 °C and incubation period of 36 h. The medium optimisation after the response surface methodology (RSM) resulted in a 10-fold increase in keratinase production (88.4 U/mL) over the initial 8.85 U/mL when supplemented with 0.5% (w/v) sucrose, 0.15% (w/v) ammonium bicarbonate, 0.3% (w/v) skim milk, and 0.01% (w/v) urea. Under optimum conditions, the bacterium was able to degrade heavy metal polluted feathers completely and produced valuable keratinase and protein-rich hydrolysates. About 83% of the feathers polluted with a mixture of highly toxic metals were degraded with high keratinase activities. The heavy metal tolerance ability of this bacterium can be harnessed not only in keratinase production but also in the bioremediation of heavy metal-polluted feather wastes.
Plasmodium falciparum mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, a family of enzymes central to signal transduction processes including inflammatory responses, are a promising target for antimalarial drug development. Our study shows for the first time that the P. falciparum specific MAP kinase 2 (PfMAP2) is colocalized in the nucleus of all of the asexual erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum and is particularly elevated in its phosphorylated form. It was also discovered that PfMAP2 is expressed in its highest quantity during the early trophozoite (ring form) stage and significantly reduced in the mature trophozoite and schizont stages. Although the phosphorylated form of the kinase is always more prevalent, its ratio relative to the nonphosphorylated form remained constant irrespective of the parasites' developmental stage. We have also shown that the TSH motif specifically renders PfMAP2 genetically divergent from the other plasmodial MAP kinase activation sites using Neighbour Joining analysis. Furthermore, TSH motif-specific designed antibody is crucial in determining the location of the expression of the PfMAP2 protein. However, by using immunoelectron microscopy, PPfMAP2 were detected ubiquitously in the parasitized erythrocytes. In summary, PfMAP2 may play a far more important role than previously thought and is a worthy candidate for research as an antimalarial.
This study explored the influence of azo dye concentration, salinity (with and without aeration) and nitrate concentration on bioelectricity generation and treatment performance in the up-flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC) system. The decolourisation efficiencies were up to 91% for 500 mg/L of Acid Red 18 (AR18). However, the power density declined with the increment in azo dye concentration. The results suggest that the combination of salinity and aeration at an optimum level improved the power performance. The highest power density achieved was 8.67 mW/m2. The increase of nitrate by 3-fold led to decrease in decolourisation and power density of the system. The findings revealed that the electron acceptors (AR18, nitrate and anode) competed at the anodic region for electrons and the electron transfer pathways would directly influence the treatment and power performance of UFCW-MFC. The planted UFCW-MFC significantly outweighed the plant-free control in power performance.
This study investigates the role of plant (Elodea nuttallii) and effect of supplementary aeration on wastewater treatment and bioelectricity generation in an up-flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC). Aeration rates were varied from 1900 to 0mL/min and a control reactor was operated without supplementary aeration. 600mL/min was the optimum aeration flow rate to achieve highest energy recovery as the oxygen was sufficient to use as terminal electron acceptor for electrical current generation. The maximum voltage output, power density, normalized energy recovery and Coulombic efficiency were 545.77±25mV, 184.75±7.50mW/m3, 204.49W/kg COD, 1.29W/m3 and 10.28%, respectively. The variation of aeration flow rates influenced the NO3- and NH4+ removal differently as nitrification and denitrification involved conflicting requirement. In terms of wastewater treatment performance, at 60mL/min aeration rate, UFCW-MFC achieved 50 and 81% of NO3- and NH4+ removal, respectively. E. nuttallii enhanced nitrification by 17% and significantly contributed to bioelectricity generation.
Complete degradation of azo dye has always been a challenge due to the refractory nature of azo dye. An innovative hybrid system, constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (CW-MFC) was developed for simultaneous azo dye remediation and energy recovery. This study investigated the effect of circuit connection and the influence of azo dye molecular structures on the degradation rate of azo dye and bioelectricity generation. The closed circuit system exhibited higher chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal and decolourisation efficiencies compared to the open circuit system. The wastewater treatment performances of different operating systems were ranked in the decreasing order of CW-MFC (R1 planted-closed circuit) > MFC (R2 plant-free-closed circuit) > CW (R1 planted-open circuit) > bioreactor (R2 plant-free-open circuit). The highest decolourisation rate was achieved by Acid Red 18 (AR18), 96%, followed by Acid Orange 7 (AO7), 67% and Congo Red (CR), 60%. The voltage outputs of the three azo dyes were ranked in the decreasing order of AR18 > AO7 > CR. The results disclosed that the decolourisation performance was significantly influenced by the azo dye structure and the moieties at the proximity of azo bond; the naphthol type azo dye with a lower number of azo bond and more electron-withdrawing groups could cause azo bond to be more electrophilic and more reductive for decolourisation. Moreover, the degradation pathway of AR18, AO7 and CR were elucidated based on the respective dye intermediate products identified through UV-Vis spectrophotometry, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) analyses. The CW-MFC system demonstrated high capability of decolouring azo dyes at the anaerobic anodic region and further mineralising dye intermediates at the aerobic cathodic region to less harmful or non-toxic products.
Sugarcane vinasse has been reported as a high strength industrial wastewater that could cause severe environmental pollution due to its complex and bio-refractory compounds. Thus, the combined coagulation and sequencing batch biofilm reactor (SBBR) system was employed for the sugarcane vinasse treatment. This study aims to determine the recommended conditions of various parameters under coagulation and SBBR and investigate the effectiveness of combined processes. First, the approach of the coagulation process could achieve the maximum COD reduction and decolorization efficiencies of 79.0 ± 3.4% and 94.1 ± 1.9%, respectively, under the recommended conditions. Next, SBBR as an integrated biofilm reactor showed excellent synergistic biodegradability, removing 86.6 ± 4.3% COD concentration and 94.6 ± 3.8% color concentration at 3.0 g·COD/L of substrate loading concentration. The kinetic studies of SBBR revealed that the first-order kinetic model was the best fit for COD reduction efficiency. In contrast, the second-order kinetic model was the best fit for decolorization efficiency. The SBBR reaction was further investigated by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis). In the combined processes, SBBR followed by the coagulation process (SBBR-CP) showed greater COD reduction and decolorization efficiencies (97.5 ± 0.3 and 99.4 ± 0.1%) when compared to the coagulation process followed by SBBR (CP-SBBR). This study demonstrated the removal performance and potential application of the combined sequential process to produce effluent that can be reused for bioethanol production and fertigation. This finding provides additional insight for developing effective vinasse treatment using combined chemical and biological processes.
Aerobic granulation is increasingly used in wastewater treatment due to its unique physical properties and microbial functionalities. Granule size defines the physical properties of granules based on biomass accumulation. This study aims to determine the profile of size development under two physicochemical conditions. Two identical bioreactors namely Rnp and Rp were operated under non-phototrophic and phototrophic conditions, respectively. An illustrative scheme was developed to comprehend the mechanism of size development that delineates the granular size throughout the granulation. Observations on granules' size variation have shown that activated sludge revolutionised into the form of aerobic granules through the increase of biomass concentration in bioreactors which also determined the changes of granule size. Both reactors demonstrated that size transformed in a similar trend when tested with and without illumination. Thus, different types of aerobic granules may increase in size in the same way as recommended in the aerobic granule size development scheme.