The importance of plant secondary metabolites for both mankind and the plant itself has long been established. However, despite extensive research on plant secondary metabolites, plant secondary metabolism and its regulation still remained poorly characterized. In this present study, cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) transcript profiling was applied to generate the expression profiles of Polygonum minus in response to salicylic acid (SA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) elicitations. This study reveals two different sets of genes induced by SA and MeJA, respectively where stress-related genes were proved to lead to the expression of genes involved in plant secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways. A total of 98 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were up-regulated, including 46 from SA-treated and 52 from MeJA-treated samples. The cDNA-AFLP transcripts generated using 64 different Mse1/Taq1 primer combinations showed that treatments with SA and MeJA induced genes mostly involved in scavenging reactive oxygen species, including zeaxanthin epoxidase, cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 and peroxidase. Of these stress-related genes, 15 % of other annotated TDFs are involved mainly in secondary metabolic processes where among these, two genes encoding (+)-delta cadinene synthase and cinnamoyl-CoA reductase were highlighted.
To valorize biomass waste, pyrolysis of orange peel was mainly investigated as a case study. In an effort to establish a more sustainable thermolytic platform for orange peel, this study particularly employed CO2 as reactive gas medium. Accordingly, this study laid great emphasis on elucidating the mechanistic role of CO2 in pyrolysis of orange peel. The thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) confirmed that no occurrence of the heterogeneous reactions between the solid sample and CO2. However, the gaseous effluents from pyrolysis of orange peel experimentally proved that CO2 effectively suppressed dehydrogenation of volatile matters (VMs) evolved from the thermolysis of orange peel by random bond scissions. Moreover, CO2 reacted VMs, thereby resulting in the formation of CO. Note that the formation of CO was being initiated at temperatures ≥550 °C. The two identified roles of CO2 led to the compositional modification of pyrolytic oil by means of lowering aromaticity.
In an effort to seek a new technical platform for disposal of drinking water treatment sludge (DWTS: alum sludge), pyrolysis of DWTS was mainly investigated in this study. To establish a more sustainable thermolytic platform for DWTS, this study particularly employed CO2 as reactive gas medium. Thus, this study laid great emphasis on elucidating the mechanistic roles of CO2 during the thermolysis of DWTS. A series of the TGA tests of DWTS in CO2 in reference to N2 revealed no occurrence of the heterogeneous reaction between CO2 and the sample surface of DWTS. As such, at the temperature regime before initiating the Boudouard reaction (i.e., ≥700 °C), the mass decay patterns of DWTS in N2 and CO2 were nearly identical. However, the gaseous effluents from lab-scale pyrolysis of DWTS in CO2 in reference to N2 were different. In sum, the homogeneous reactions between CO2 and volatile matters (VMs) evolved from the thermolysis of DWTS led to the enhanced generation of CO. Also, CO2 suppressed dehydrogenation of VMs. Such the genuine mechanistic roles of CO2 in the thermolysis of DWTS subsequently led to the compositional modifications of the chemical species in pyrolytic oil. Furthermore, the biochar composite was obtained as byproduct of pyrolysis of DWTS. Considering that the high content of Al2O3 and Fe-species in the biochar composite imparts a strong affinity for As(V), the practical use of the biochar composite as a sorptive material for arsenic (V) was evaluated at the fundamental levels. This work reported that adsorption of As(V) onto the biochar composite followed the pseudo-second order model and the Freundlich isotherm model.