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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The application of membrane separation in palm oil refining process has potential for energy and cost savings. The conventional refining of crude palm oil results in loss of oil and a contaminated effluent. Degumming of crude palm oil by membrane technology is conducted in this study. The objective of this research is to study the feasibility of membrane filtration for the removal of phospholipids in the degumming of crude palm oil, including analyses of phosphorus content, carotene content free fatty acids (as palmitic acid), colour and volatile matter. A PCI membrane module was used which was equipped with polyethersulfone membranes having a molecular weight cut off of 9,000 (type ES209). In this study, phosphorus content was the most important parameter monitored. The membrane effectively removed phospholipids resulting in a permeate with a phosphorus content of less than 0.3 ppm The percentage removal of phosphorus was 96.4% and was considered as a good removal. Lovibond colour was reduced from 27R 50Y to 20R 30Y. The percentage removal of carotene was 15.8%. The removal of colour was considered good but the removal of carotene was considered insignificant by the membrane. Free fatty acids and volatile matter were not removed. Typical of membrane operations, the permeate flux decreased with time and must be improved in order to be adopted on an industrial scale. Membrane technology was found to have good potential in crude palm oil degumming. However, an appropriate method has to be developed to clean the membranes for reuse.
This study involves the production of short-chain organic acids from kitchen wastes as intermediates for the production of biodegradable plastics. Flasks, without mixing were used for the anaerobic conversion of the organic fraction of kitchen wastes into short-chain organic acids. The influence of pH, temperature and addition of sludge cake on the rate of organic acids production and yield were evaluated. Fermentations were carried out in an incubator at different temperatures controlled at 30 degrees C. 40 degrees C, 50 degrees C, 60 degrees C and uncontrolled at room temperature. The pH was also varied at pH 5, 6, 7, and uncontrolled pH. 1.0 M phosphate buffer was used for pH control, and 1.0 M HCl and 1.0 M NaOH were added when necessary. Sludge cake addition enhanced the rate of maximum acids production from 4 days to 1 day. The organic acids produced were maximum at pH 7 and 50 degrees C i.e., 39.84 g/l on the fourth day of fermentation with a yield of 0.87 g/g soluble COD consumed, and 0.84 g/g TVS. The main organic acid produced was lactic acid (65-85%), with small amounts of acetic (10-30%), propionic (5-10%), and butyric (5-20%) acids. The results of this study showed that kitchen wastes could be fermented to high concentration of organic acids, which could be used as substrates for the production of biodegradable plastics.
Rubber latex effluent is a polluting source that has a high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). It is estimated that about 100 million liters of effluent are discharged daily from rubber processing factories. Utilization of this effluent such as the use of a coupled system not only can reduce the cost of treatment but also yield a fermentation feedstock for the production of bioplastic. This study initially was carried out to increase the production of organic acids by anaerobic treatment of rubber latex effluent. It was found that through anaerobic treatment the concentration of organic acids did not increase. Consequently, separation of organic acids from rubber latex effluent by anion exchange resin was examined as a preliminary study of recovering acetic and propionic acids. However, the suspended solids (SS) content in the raw effluent was rather high which partially blocked the ion-exchange columns. Lime was used to remove the SS in the rubber latex effluent. After the lime precipitation process, organic acids were found to adsorb strongly onto the anion exchange resin. Less adsorption of organic acids onto the resin was observed before the lime precipitation. This was probably due to more sites being occupied by colloidal particles on the resin thus inhibiting the adsorption of organic acids. The initial concentration of organic acids in the raw effluent was 3.9 g/L. After ion exchange, the concentration of the organic acids increased to 27 g/L, which could be utilized for production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). For PHA accumulation stage, concentrated rubber latex effluent obtained from ion exchange resins and synthetic acetic acid were used as the carbon source. Quantitative analyses from fed batch culture via HPLC showed that the accumulation of PHA in Alcaligenes eutrophus was maximum with a concentration of 1.182 g/L when cultivated on synthetic acetic acid, corresponding to a yield of 87% based on its cell dry weight. The dry cell weight increased from 0.71 to 1.67 g/L. On the other hand, using concentrated rubber latex effluent containing acetic and propionic acids resulted in reduced PHA content by dry weight (14%) but the dry cell weight increased from 0.49 to 1.30 g/L. The results clearly indicated that the cells grow well in rubber latex effluent but no PHA was accumulated. This could be due to the high concentration of propionic acid in culture broth or other factors such as heavy metals. Thus further work is required before rubber latex effluent can be utilized as a substrate for PHA production industrially.
Direct conversion of gelatinized sago starch into kojic acid by Aspergillus flavus strain having amylolytic enzymes was carried out at two different scales of submerged batch fermentation in a 250-mL shake flask and in a 50-L stirred-tank fermentor. For comparison, fermentations were also carried out using glucose and glucose hydrolyzate from enzymic hydrolysis of sago starch as carbon sources. During kojic acid fermentation of starch, starch was first hydrolyzed to glucose by the action of alpha-amylase and glucoamylase during active growth phase. The glucose remaining during the production phase (non-growing phase) was then converted to kojic acid. Kojic acid production (23.5 g/L) using 100 g/L sago starch in a shake flask was comparable to fermentation of glucose (31.5 g/L) and glucose hydrolyzate (27.9 g/L) but in the 50-L fermentor was greatly reduced due to non-optimal aeration conditions. Kojic acid production using glucose was higher in the 50-L fermentor than in the shake flask.