A modified smoothed particle hydrodynamic (MSPH) computational technique was utilized to simulate molten particle motion and infiltration speed on multi-scale analysis levels. The radial velocity and velocity gradient of molten alumina, iron infiltration in the TiC product and solidification rate, were predicted during centrifugal self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) simulation, which assisted the coating process by MSPH. The effects of particle size and temperature on infiltration and solidification of iron and alumina were mainly investigated. The obtained results were validated with experimental microstructure evidence. The simulation model successfully describes the magnitude of iron and alumina diffusion in a centrifugal thermite SHS and Ti + C hybrid reaction under centrifugal acceleration.
The mechanical behavior of the heart muscle tissues is the central problem in finite element simulation of the heart contraction, excitation propagation and development of an artificial heart. Nonlinear elastic and viscoelastic passive material properties of the left ventricular papillary muscle of a guinea pig heart were determined based on in-vitro precise uniaxial and relaxation tests. The nonlinear elastic behavior was modeled by a hypoelastic model and different hyperelastic strain energy functions such as Ogden and Mooney-Rivlin. Nonlinear least square fitting and constrained optimization were conducted under MATLAB and MSC.MARC in order to obtain the model material parameters. The experimental tensile data was used to get the nonlinear elastic mechanical behavior of the heart muscle. However, stress relaxation data was used to determine the relaxation behavior as well as viscosity of the tissues. Viscohyperelastic behavior was constructed by a multiplicative decomposition of a standard Ogden strain energy function, W, for instantaneous deformation and a relaxation function, R(t), in a Prony series form. The study reveals that hypoelastic and hyperelastic (Ogden) models fit the tissue mechanical behaviors well and can be safely used for heart mechanics simulation. Since the characteristic relaxation time (900 s) of heart muscle tissues is very large compared with the actual time of heart beating cycle (800 ms), the effect of viscosity can be reasonably ignored. The amount and type of experimental data has a strong effect on the Ogden parameters. The in vitro passive mechanical properties are good initial values to start running the biosimulation codes for heart mechanics. However, an optimization algorithm is developed, based on clinical intact heart measurements, to estimate and re-correct the material parameters in order to get the in vivo mechanical properties, needed for very accurate bio-simulation and for the development of new materials for the artificial heart.
The present works investigate hydrothermal pretreatment of oil palm empty fruit bunch and oil palm frond fiber in a batch tube reactor system with temperature and time range from 170 to 250°C and 10 to 20min, respectively. The behavior of soluble sugars, acids, furans, and phenols dramatically changed over treatment severities as determined by HPLC. The cellulose-rich treated solids were analyzed by SEM, WAXD, and BET surface area. Enzymatic hydrolysis was performed from both pretreated slurries and washed solid, and data obtained suggested that tannic acid derived from lignin degradation was a potential cellulase inhibitor. Both partial removal of hemicellulose and migration of lignin during hydrothermal pretreatment caused structural changes on the cellulose-hemicellulose-lignin matrix, resulting in the opening and expansion of specific surface area and pore volume. The current results provided important factors that maximize conversion of cellulose to glucose from oil palm biomass by hydrothermal process.
Hydrothermal pretreatment of oil palm mesocarp fiber was conducted in tube reactor at treatment severity ranges of log Ro = 3.66-4.83 and partial removal of hemicellulose with migration of lignin was obtained. Concerning maximal recovery of glucose and xylose, 1.5% NaOH was impregnated in the system and subsequent ball milling treatment was employed to improve the conversion yield. The effects of combined hydrothermal and ball milling pretreatments were evaluated by chemical composition changes by using FT-IR, WAXD and morphological alterations by SEM. The successful of pretreatments were assessed by the degree of enzymatic digestibility of treated samples. The highest xylose and glucose yields obtained were 63.2% and 97.3% respectively at cellulase loadings of 10 FPU/g-substrate which is the highest conversion from OPMF ever reported.
An outdoor soil burial test was carried out to evaluate the degradation of commercially available LDPE carrier bags in natural soil for up to 2 years. Biodegradability of low density polyethylene films in soil was monitored using both optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). After 7-9 months of soil exposure, microbial colonization was evident on the film surface. Exposed LDPE samples exhibit progressive changes towards degradation after 17-22 months. SEM images reveal signs of degradation such as exfoliation and formation of cracks on film leading to disintegration. The possible degradation mode and consequences on the use and disposal of LDPE films is discussed.
Titanium carbide-graphite (TiC/C) composite was successfully synthesized from Ti and C starting elemental powders using self-propagating high-temperature synthesis technique in an ultra-high plasma inert medium in a single stage. The TiC was exposed to a high-temperature inert medium to allow recrystallization. The product was then characterized using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Rietveld refinement, nanoindentation, and micro-hardness to determine the product's properties. The recorded micro-hardness of the product was 3660 HV, which is a 14% enhancement and makes is comparable to TiC materials.
Biohydrogen production from dark fermentation of lignocellulosic materials represents a huge potential in terms of renewable energy exploitation. However, the low hydrogen yield is currently hindering its development on industrial scale. This study reviewed various technologies that have been investigated for enhancing dark fermentative biohydrogen production. The pre-treatment technologies can be classified based on their applications as inoculum or substrates pre-treatment or they can be categorised into physical, chemical, physicochemical and biological based on the techniques used. From the different technologies reviewed, heat and acid pre-treatments are the most commonly studied technologies for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment. Nevertheless, these two technologies need not necessarily be the most suitable since across different studies, a wide array of other emerging techniques as well as combined technologies have yielded positive findings. To date, there exists no perfect technology for either inoculum or substrate pre-treatment. Although the aim of inoculum pre-treatment is to suppress H2-consumers and enrich H2-producers, many sporulating H2-consumers survive the pre-treatment while some non-spore H2-producers are inhibited. Besides, several inoculum pre-treatment techniques are not effective in the long run and repeated pre-treatment may be required for continuous suppression of H2-consumers and sustained biohydrogen production. Furthermore, many technologies employed for substrates pre-treatment may yield inhibitory compounds that can eventually decrease biohydrogen production. Consequently, much research needs to be done to find out the best technology for both substrates and inoculum pre-treatment while also taking into consideration the energetic, economic and technical feasibility of implementing such a process on an industrial scale.
A novel method is proposed to study the behavior and phase formation of a Si+C compacted pellet under centrifugal acceleration in a hybrid reaction. Si+C as elemental mixture in the form of a pellet is embedded in a centrifugal tube. The pellet assembly and tube are exposed to the sudden thermal energy of a thermite reaction resulted in a hybrid reaction. The hybrid reaction of thermite and Si+C produced unique phases. X-ray diffraction pattern (XRD) as well as microstructural and elemental analyses are then investigated. XRD pattern showed formation of materials with possible electronic and magnetic properties. The cooling rate and the molten particle viscosity mathematical model of the process are meant to assist in understanding the physical and chemical phenomena took place during and after reaction. The results analysis revealed that up to 85% of materials converted into secondary products as ceramics-matrix composite.
Eco-friendly pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass are being developed as alternatives to chemical based methods. Superheated steam (SHS), hot compressed water (HCW) and wet disk milling (WDM) were used individually and with combination to partially remove hemicellulose and alter the lignin composition of recalcitrant structure of oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF). The efficiency of the pretreatment methods was evaluated based on the chemical compositions altered, SEM analysis, power consumption and degree of enzymatic digestibility. Hemicellulose removal (94.8%) was more pronounced under HCW compared to SHS, due to maximal contact of water and production of acetic acid which enhanced further degradation of hemicellulose. Subsequent treatment with WDM resulted in defibrillation of OPMF and expansion of the specific surface area thus increasing the conversion of cellulose to glucose. The highest glucose yield was 98.1% (g/g-substrate) when pretreated with HCW (200 °C, 20 min) and WDM which only consumed 9.6 MJ/kg of OPMF.
The determination of the myocardium's tissue properties is important in constructing functional finite element (FE) models of the human heart. To obtain accurate properties especially for functional modeling of a heart, tissue properties have to be determined in vivo. At present, there are only few in vivo methods that can be applied to characterize the internal myocardium tissue mechanics. This work introduced and evaluated an FE inverse method to determine the myocardial tissue compressibility. Specifically, it combined an inverse FE method with the experimentally-measured left ventricular (LV) internal cavity pressure and volume versus time curves. Results indicated that the FE inverse method showed good correlation between LV repolarization and the variations in the myocardium tissue bulk modulus K (K = 1/compressibility), as well as provided an ability to describe in vivo human myocardium material behavior. The myocardium bulk modulus can be effectively used as a diagnostic tool of the heart ejection fraction. The model developed is proved to be robust and efficient. It offers a new perspective and means to the study of living-myocardium tissue properties, as it shows the variation of the bulk modulus throughout the cardiac cycle.
Food waste and food processing wastes which are abundant in nature and rich in carbon content can be attractive renewable substrates for sustainable biohydrogen production due to wide economic prospects in industries. Many studies utilizing common food wastes such as dining hall or restaurant waste and wastes generated from food processing industries have shown good percentages of hydrogen in gas composition, production yield and rate. The carbon composition in food waste also plays a crucial role in determining high biohydrogen yield. Physicochemical factors such as pre-treatment to seed culture, pH, temperature (mesophilic/thermophilic) and etc. are also important to ensure the dominance of hydrogen-producing bacteria in dark fermentation. This review demonstrates the potential of food waste and food processing waste for biohydrogen production and provides a brief overview of several physicochemical factors that affect biohydrogen production in dark fermentation. The economic viability of biohydrogen production from food waste is also discussed.
The composting of lignocellulosic oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) with continuous addition of palm oil mill (POME) anaerobic sludge which contained nutrients and indigenous microbes was studied. In comparison to the conventional OPEFB composting which took 60-90 days, the rapid composting in this study can be completed in 40 days with final C/N ratio of 12.4 and nitrogen (2.5%), phosphorus (1.4%), and potassium (2.8%), respectively. Twenty-seven cellulolytic bacterial strains of which 23 strains were closely related to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus firmus, Thermobifida fusca, Thermomonospora spp., Cellulomonas sp., Ureibacillus thermosphaericus, Paenibacillus barengoltzii, Paenibacillus campinasensis, Geobacillus thermodenitrificans, Pseudoxanthomonas byssovorax which were known as lignocellulose degrading bacteria and commonly involved in lignocellulose degradation. Four isolated strains related to Exiguobacterium acetylicum and Rhizobium sp., with cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic activities. The rapid composting period achieved in this study can thus be attributed to the naturally occurring cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic strains identified.
Lower concentration of glucose was often obtained from enzymatic hydrolysis process of agricultural residue due to complexity of the biomass structure and properties. High substrate load feed into the hydrolysis system might solve this problem but has several other drawbacks such as low rate of reaction. In the present study, we have attempted to enhance glucose recovery from agricultural waste, namely, "sago hampas," through three cycles of enzymatic hydrolysis process. The substrate load at 7% (w/v) was seen to be suitable for the hydrolysis process with respect to the gelatinization reaction as well as sufficient mixture of the suspension for saccharification process. However, this study was focused on hydrolyzing starch of sago hampas, and thus to enhance concentration of glucose from 7% substrate load would be impossible. Thus, an alternative method termed as cycles I, II, and III which involved reusing the hydrolysate for subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis process was introduced. Greater improvement of glucose concentration (138.45 g/L) and better conversion yield (52.72%) were achieved with the completion of three cycles of hydrolysis. In comparison, cycle I and cycle II had glucose concentration of 27.79 g/L and 73.00 g/L, respectively. The glucose obtained was subsequently tested as substrate for bioethanol production using commercial baker's yeast. The fermentation process produced 40.30 g/L of ethanol after 16 h, which was equivalent to 93.29% of theoretical yield based on total glucose existing in fermentation media.
Chemical recycling of bio-based polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by thermal degradation was investigated from the viewpoint of biorefinery. The thermal degradation resulted in successful transformation of PHAs into vinyl monomers using alkali earth compound (AEC) catalysts. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)s (PHBVs) were smoothly and selectively depolymerized into crotonic (CA) and 2-pentenoic (2-PA) acids at lower degradation temperatures in the presence of CaO and Mg(OH)(2) as catalysts. Obtained CA from 3-hydroxybutyrate sequences in PHBV was copolymerized with acrylic acid to produce useful water-soluble copolymers, poly(crotonic acid-co-acrylic acid) that have high glass-transition temperatures. The copolymerization of CA derived from PHA pyrolysis is an example of cascade utilization of PHAs, which meets the idea of sustainable development.
Since landfilling is the common method of waste disposal in Malaysia, river water is greatly exposed to the risk of contamination from leachate unless proper leachate management is carried out. In this study, leachates from three different types of landfills, namely active uncontrolled, active controlled and closed controlled, were characterized, and their relationships with river water chemistry were examined monthly for a year. The influence of leachate on river water chemistry from each type of landfill depended on many factors, including the presence of a leachate control mechanism, leachate characteristics, precipitation, surface runoff and the applied treatment. The impact of leachate from an active uncontrolled landfill was the highest, as the organic content, NH(4)(+)-N, Cd and Mn levels appeared high in the river. At the same time, influences of leachate were also observed from both types of controlled landfills in the form of inorganic nitrogen (NH(4)(+)-N, NO(3)(-)-N and NO(2)(-)-N) and heavy metals (Fe, Cr, Ni and Mn). Improper treatment practice led to high levels of some contaminants in the stream near the closed controlled landfill. Meanwhile, the active controlled landfill, which was located near the coastline, was exposed to the risk of contamination resulting from the pyrite oxidation of the surrounding area.
The oil palm sector is one of the major plantation industries in Malaysia. Palm kernel cake is a byproduct of extracted palm kernel oil. Mostly palm kernel cake is wasted or is mixed with other nutrients and used as animal feed, especially for ruminant animals. Recently, palm kernel cake has been identified as an important ingredient for the formulation of animal feed, and it is also exported especially to Europe, South Korea, and Japan. It can barely be consumed by nonruminant (monogastric) animals owing to the high percentages of hemicellulose and cellulose contents. Palm kernel cake must undergo suitable pretreatment in order to decrease the percentage of hemicellulose and cellulose. One of the methods employed in this study is fermentation with microorganisms, particularly fungi, to partially degrade the hemicellulose and cellulose content. This work focused on the production of enzymes by Aspergillus niger and profiling using palm kernel cake as carbon source.
Anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases, especially CO2 and CH4 has been recognized as one of the main causes of global warming. Several measures under the Kyoto Protocol 1997 have been drawn up to reduce the greenhouse gases emission. One of the measures is Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) that was created to enable developed countries to cooperate with developing countries in emission reduction activities. In Malaysia, palm oil industry particularly from palm oil mill effluent (POME) anaerobic treatment has been identified as an important source of CH4. However, there is no study to quantify the actual CH4 emission from the commercial scale wastewater treatment facility. Hence, this paper shall address the CH4 emission from the open digesting tanks in Felda Serting Hilir Palm Oil Mill. CH4 emission pattern was recorded for 52 weeks from 3600 m3 open digesting tanks. The findings indicated that the CH4 content was between 13.5% and 49.0% which was lower than the value of 65% reported earlier. The biogas flow rate ranged between 0.8l min(-1)m(-2) and 9.8l min(-1)m(-2). Total CH4 emission per open digesting tank was 518.9 kgday(-1). Relationships between CH4 emission and total carbon removal and POME discharged were also discussed. Fluctuation of biogas production was observed throughout the studies as a result of seasonal oil palm cropping, mill activities, variation of POME quality and quantity discharged from the mill. Thus only through long-term field measurement CH4 emission can be accurately estimated.
Oil palm mesocarp fiber was subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. The pretreated slurries were separated by filtration, pretreated liquids and solids were characterized. An enzymatic digestibility study was performed for both pretreated slurries and solids to understand the effect of soluble inhibitors generated during the pretreatment process. The highest glucose yield obtained from pretreated slurries was 70.1%, and gradually decreased with higher pretreatment severities. The highest glucose yield obtained in pretreated solids was 100%, after pretreatment at 210°C for 20min. In order to study the inhibitory effects of compounds generated during pretreatment with cellulase, technical grade solutions that mimic the pretreated liquid were prepared and their effect on Acremonium cellulase activity was monitored using Avicel. Xylo-oligomers and tannic acid were identified as powerful inhibitors of Acremonium cellulase, and the lowest hydrolysis rate of Avicel of 0.18g/g-glucose released/L/h was obtained from tannic acid.
Combined pretreatment with hot compressed water and wet disk milling was performed with the aim to reduce the natural recalcitrance of oil palm biomass by opening its structure and provide maximal access to cellulase attack. Oil palm empty fruit bunch and oil palm frond fiber were first hydrothermally pretreated at 150-190° C and 10-240 min. Further treatment with wet disk milling resulted in nanofibrillation of fiber which caused the loosening of the tight biomass structure, thus increasing the subsequent enzymatic conversion of cellulose to glucose. The effectiveness of the combined pretreatments was evaluated by chemical composition changes, power consumption, morphological alterations by SEM and the enzymatic digestibility of treated samples. At optimal pretreatment process, approximately 88.5% and 100.0% of total sugar yields were obtained from oil palm empty fruit bunch and oil palm frond fiber samples, which only consumed about 15.1 and 23.5 MJ/kg of biomass, respectively.