Electrospinning of hydroxyapatite (HA)/polyvinyl butyral solution resulted in the formation of fibers with average diameter of 937-1440 nm. These fibers were converted into HA nanoparticles with size <100 nm after undergoing calcination treatment at 600°C. The diameter of the fiber was found to be influenced by applied voltage and spinning distance. The injection flowrate did not affect the diameter significantly. The electrospinning method successfully reduced the commercial HA particle size in the range of 400-1100 nm into <100 nm. The dispersion of the finally calcined HA nanoparticles was improved significantly after anionic sodium dodecyl sulfate surfactant was introduced. The experimental data of HA growth kinetics were subjected to the integral method of analysis, and the rate law of the reaction was found to follow the first order reaction.
The electrochemical oxidation of caffeine, a widely over-the-counter stimulant drug, has been investigated in effluent wastewater and deionized water (DIW) using graphite-poly vinyl chloride (PVC) composite electrode as anode. Effects of initial concentration of caffeine, chloride ion (Cl(-)) loading, presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), sample volume, type of sample and applied voltage were determined to test and to validate a kinetic model for the oxidation of caffeine by the electrochemical oxidation process. The results revealed that the electrochemical oxidation rates of caffeine followed pseudo first-order kinetics, with rate constant values ranged from 0.006 to 0.23 min(-1) depending on the operating parameters. The removal efficiency of caffeine increases with applied voltage very significantly, suggesting a very important role of mediated oxidation process. However, the consumption energy was considered during electrochemical oxidation process. In chloride media, removal of caffeine is faster and more efficiently, although occurrence of more intermediates takes place. The study found that the adding H2O2 to the NaCl solution will inhibit slightly the electrochemical oxidation rate in comparison with only NaCl in solution. Liquid chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (LC-TOF-MS) technique was applied to the identification of the by-products generated during electrochemical oxidation, which allowed to construct the proposed structure of by-products.
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.
An analytical method that facilitated the analysis of 11 pharmaceuticals residue (caffeine, prazosin, enalapril, carbamazepine, nifedipine, levonorgestrel, simvastatin, hydrochlorothiazide, gliclazide, diclofenac-Na, and mefenamic acid) with a single pre-treatment protocol was developed. The proposed method included an isolation and concentration procedure using solid phase extraction (Oasis HLB), a separation step using high-performance liquid chromatography, and a detection procedure that applies time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The method was validated for drinking water (DW), surface water (SW), sewage treatment plant (STP) influent and effluent, and hospital (HSP) influent and effluent. The limits of quantification were as low as 0.4, 1.6, 5, 3, 2.2 and 11 ng/L in DW, SW, HSP influent and effluent, STP effluent, and STP influent, respectively. On average, good recoveries higher than 75% were obtained for most of the target analytes in all matrices. Matrix effect was evaluated for all samples matrices. The proposed method successfully determined and quantified the target compounds in raw and treated wastewater of four STPs and three hospitals in Malaysia, as well as in two SW sites. The results showed that a number of the studied compounds pose moderate to high persistency in sewage treatment effluents as well as in the recipient rivers, namely; caffeine, simvastatin, and hydrochlorothiazide. Ten out of 11 compounds were detected and quantified in 13 sampling points. Caffeine was detected with the highest level, with concentrations reaching up to 9099 ng/L in STP influent.
Hydroxyapatite is a biocompatible material that is extensively used in the replacement and regeneration of bone material. In nature, nanostructured hydroxyapatite is the main component present in hard body tissues. Hence, the state of the art in nanotechnology can be exploited to synthesize nanophase hydroxyapatite that has similar properties with natural hydroxyapatite. Sustainable methods to mass-produce synthetic hydroxyapatite nanoparticles are being developed to meet the increasing demand for these materials and to further develop the progress made in hard tissue regeneration, especially for orthopedic and dental applications. This article reviews the current developments in nanophase hydroxyapatite through various manufacturing techniques and modifications.
Prazosin (PRZ) and levonorgestrel (LNG) are widely used as an anti-disease drugs due to their biological activity in the human body. The frequent detection of these compounds in water samples requires alternative technologies for the removal of both compounds. After electrochemical degradation of PRZ and LNG, the parent compounds could be completely removed after treatment, but the identification and characterization of by-products are necessary as well. In this study, the effects of NaCl concentration and applied voltage were investigated during the electrochemical degradation process. The results revealed that the increase of NaCl concentration and applied voltage could promote the generation of hypochlorite OCl- and then enhance the degradation of PRZ and LNG. After initial study, 6V and 0.2g NaCl were selected for further experiments (96% and 99% removal of PRZ and LNG after 40min, respectively). Energy consumption was also evaluated and calculated for PRZ and LNG at 3, 6 and 8V. Solid phase extraction (SPE) method plays an important role in enhancing the detection limit of by-products. Furthermore, characterization and identification of chlorinated and non-chlorinated by-products were conducted using an accurate liquid chromatography-time of flight/mass spectrometry LC-TOF/MS instrument. The monitoring of products during the electrochemical degradation process was performed at 6V and 0.2g NaCl in a 50mL solution. The results indicated that two chlorinated products were formed during the electrochemical process. The toxicity of by-products toward E. coli bacteria was investigated at 37°C and 20hr incubation time.
Oil palm biomass is widely known for its potential as a renewable resource for various value-added products due to its lignocellulosic content and availability. Oil palm biomass biorefinery is an industry that comes with sociopolitical benefits through job opportunities, as well as potential environmental benefits. Many studies have been conducted on the technological advancements of oil-palm biomass-derived renewable materials, which are discussed comprehensively in this review. Recent technological developments have made it possible to bring new and innovative technologies to commercialization, such as compost, biocharcoal, biocomposites, and bioplastics.
Nitrification of mature sanitary landfill leachate with high-strength of N-NH(4) + (1080-2350 mg L(-1)) was performed in a 10 L continuous nitrification activated sludge reactor. The nitrification system was acclimatized with synthetic leachate during feed batch operation to avoid substrate inhibition before being fed with actual mature leachate. Successful nitrification was achieved with an approximately complete ammonium removal (99%) and 96% of N-NH(4) + conversion to N-NO(-) (3) . The maximum volumetric and specific nitrification rates obtained were 2.56 kg N-NH(4) (+) m(-3) day(-1) and 0.23 g N-NH(4) ( +) g(-1) volatile suspended solid (VSS) day(-1), respectively, at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12.7 h and solid retention time of 50 days. Incomplete nitrification was encountered when operating at a higher nitrogen loading rate of 3.14 kg N-NH(4) (+) m(-3) day(-1). The substrate overloading and nitrifiers competition with heterotrophs were believed to trigger the incomplete nitrification. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) results supported the syntrophic association between the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. FISH results also revealed the heterotrophs as the dominant and disintegration of some AOB cell aggregates into single cells which further supported the incomplete nitrification phenomenon.
An appropriate technology for waste utilisation, especially for a large amount of abundant pressed-shredded oil palm empty fruit bunch (OFEFB), is important for the oil palm industry. Self-sustained pyrolysis, whereby oil palm biomass was combusted by itself to provide the heat for pyrolysis without an electrical heater, is more preferable owing to its simplicity, ease of operation and low energy requirement. In this study, biochar production under self-sustained pyrolysis of oil palm biomass in the form of oil palm empty fruit bunch was tested in a 3-t large-scale pool-type reactor. During the pyrolysis process, the biomass was loaded layer by layer when the smoke appeared on the top, to minimise the entrance of oxygen. This method had significantly increased the yield of biochar. In our previous report, we have tested on a 30-kg pilot-scale capacity under self-sustained pyrolysis and found that the higher heating value (HHV) obtained was 22.6-24.7 MJ kg(-1) with a 23.5%-25.0% yield. In this scaled-up study, a 3-t large-scale procedure produced HHV of 22.0-24.3 MJ kg(-1) with a 30%-34% yield based on a wet-weight basis. The maximum self-sustained pyrolysis temperature for the large-scale procedure can reach between 600 °C and 700 °C. We concluded that large-scale biochar production under self-sustained pyrolysis was successfully conducted owing to the comparable biochar produced, compared with medium-scale and other studies with an electrical heating element, making it an appropriate technology for waste utilisation, particularly for the oil palm industry.
A one-step self-sustained carbonization of coconut shell biomass, carried out in a brick reactor at a relatively low temperature of 300-500°C, successfully produced a biochar-derived adsorbent with 308 m2/g surface area, 2 nm pore diameter, and 0.15 cm3/g total pore volume. The coconut shell biochar qualifies as a nano-adsorbent, supported by scanning electron microscope images, which showed well-developed nano-pores on the surface of the biochar structure, even though there was no separate activation process. This is the first report whereby coconut shell can be converted to biochar-derived nano-adsorbent at a low carbonization temperature, without the need of the activation process. This is superior to previous reports on biochar produced from oil palm empty fruit bunch.
A study was done to determine the concentrations of surfactants on the sea-surface microlayer and in atmospheric aerosols in several coastal areas around the Malaysian peninsula. The concentrations of surfactants from the sea-surface microlayer (collected using rotation drum) and from aerosols (collected using HVS) were analyzed as methylene blue active substances and disulphine blue active substances through the colorimetric method using a UV-vis spectrophotometer. The results of this study showed that the average concentrations of surfactants in the sea-surface microlayer ranged between undetected and 0.36+/-0.34 micromol L(-1) for MBAS and between 0.11+/-0.02 and 0.21+/-0.13 micromol L(-1) for DBAS. The contribution of surfactants from the sea-surface microlayer to the composition of surfactants in atmospheric aerosols appears to be very minimal and more dominant in fine mode aerosols.