Foodborne disease has been associated with microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Most commonly, the outbreaks take place due to the ingestion of pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella Typhi, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholera, Campylobacter jejuni, and Listeria monocytogenes. The disease usually happens as a result of toxin secretion of the microorganisms in the intestinal tract of the infected person. Usually, the level of hygiene in the food premises reflect the quality of the food item, hence restaurant or stall with poor sanitary condition is said to be the contributor to food poisoning outbreak. In Malaysia, food poisoning cases are not rare because the hot and humid climate of this country is very suitable for the growth of the foodborne bacteria. The government is also implementing strict rules to ensure workers and owners of food premises prioritize the cleanliness of their working area. Training programme for food handlers can also help them to implement hygiene as a routine in a daily basis. A lot of studies have been done to reduce foodborne diseases. The results can give information about the types of microorganisms, and other components that affect their growth. The result is crucial to determine how the spread of foodborne bacteria can be controlled safely and the outbreak can be reduced.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of milling methods on tensile properties of polypropylene (PP) / oil palm mesocarp fibre (OPMF) biocomposites. Two types of mills were used; Wiley mill (WM) and disc mill (DM). Ground OPMF from each milling process was examined for its particle size distribution and aspect ratio by sieve and microscopic analyses, respectively. Results showed that DM-OPMF had smaller diameter fibre with uniform particle size compared to the WM-OPMF. Surface morphology study by SEM showed that DM-OPMF had rougher surface compared to WM-OPMF. Furthermore, it was found that PP/DM-OPMF biocomposite had higher tensile strength compared to PP/WM-OPMF, with almost two-fold. Thus, it is suggested that small diameter and uniform size fibre may improve stress transfer and surface contact between the fibre and polymer matrix and cause well dispersion of filler throughout the polymer resulted in better tensile strength of PP/DM-OPMF Compared to PP/WM-OPMF biocomposite. Overall, it can be concluded that disc milling could serve as a simple and effective grinding method for improving the tensile properties of biocomposite.
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.
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 world currently obtains its energy from the fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal. However, the international crisis in the Middle East, rapid depletion of fossil fuel reserves as well as climate change have driven the world towards renewable energy sources which are abundant, untapped and environmentally friendly. Malaysia has abundant biomass resources generated from the agricultural industry particularly the large commodity, palm oil. This paper will focus on palm oil mill effluent (POME) as the source of renewable energy from the generation of methane and establish the current methane emission from the anaerobic treatment facility. The emission was measured from two anaerobic ponds in Felda Serting Palm Oil Mill for 52 weeks. The results showed that the methane content was between 35.0% and 70.0% and biogas flow rate ranged between 0.5 and 2.4 L/min/m(2). Total methane emission per anaerobic pond was 1043.1 kg/day. The total methane emission calculated from the two equations derived from relationships between methane emission and total carbon removal and POME discharged were comparable with field measurement. This study also revealed that anaerobic pond system is more efficient than open digesting tank system for POME treatment. Two main factors affecting the methane emission were mill activities and oil palm seasonal cropping.
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.
A thermophilic Thermobifida fusca strain UPMC 901, harboring highly thermostable cellulolytic activity, was successfully isolated from oil palm empty fruit bunch compost. Its endoglucanase had the highest activity at 24 hours of incubation in carboxymethyl-cellulose (CMC) and filter paper. A maximum endoglucanase activity of 0.9 U/mL was achieved at pH 5 and 60 °C using CMC as a carbon source. The endoglucanase properties were further characterized using crude enzyme preparations from the culture supernatant. Thermal stability indicated that the endoglucanase activity was highly stable at 70 °C for 24 hours. Furthermore, the activity was found to be completely maintained without any loss at 50 °C and 60 °C for 144 hours, making it the most stable than other endoglucanases reported in the literature. The high stability of the endoglucanase at an elevated temperature for a prolonged period of time makes it a suitable candidate for the biorefinery application.
This study presents the effect of carbon to nitrogen ratio (C/N) (mol/mol) on the cell growth and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) accumulation by Comamonas sp. EB172 in 2 L fermenters using volatile fatty acids (VFA) as the carbon source. This VFA was supplemented with ammonium sulphate and yeast extract in the feeding solution to achieve C/N (mol/mol) 5, 15, 25, and 34.4, respectively. By extrapolating the C/N and the source of nitrogen, the properties of the polymers can be regulated. The number average molecular weight (M n ) of P(3HB-co-3HV) copolymer reached the highest at 838 × 10(3) Da with polydispersity index (PDI) value of 1.8, when the culture broth was supplemented with yeast extract (C/N 34.4). Tensile strength and Young's modulus of the copolymer containing 6-8 mol% 3HV were in the ranges of 13-14.4 MPa and 0.26-0.34 GPa, respectively, comparable to those of polyethylene (PE). Thus, Comamonas sp. EB172 has shown promising bacterial isolates producing polyhydroxyalkanoates from renewable carbon materials.
Bioconverting glycerol into various valuable products is one of glycerol's promising applications due to its high availability at low cost and the existence of many glycerol-utilizing microorganisms. Bioethanol and biohydrogen, which are types of renewable fuels, are two examples of bioconverted products. The objectives of this study were to evaluate ethanol production from different media by local microorganism isolates and compare the ethanol fermentation profile of the selected strains to use of glucose or glycerol as sole carbon sources. The ethanol fermentations by six isolates were evaluated after a preliminary screening process. Strain named SS1 produced the highest ethanol yield of 1.0 mol: 1.0 mol glycerol and was identified as Escherichia coli SS1 Also, this isolated strain showed a higher affinity to glycerol than glucose for bioethanol production.
Factors influencing poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) P(3HB) production by Cupriavidus necator CCUG52238(T) utilizing oil palm frond (OPF) juice were clarified in this study. Effects of initial medium pH, agitation speed, and ammonium sulfate (NH(4))(2)SO(4) concentration on the production of P(3HB) were investigated in shake flasks experiments using OPF juice as the sole carbon source. The highest P(3HB) content was recorded at pH 7.0, agitation speed of 220 rpm, and (NH(4))(2)SO(4) concentration at 0.5 g/L. By culturing the wild-type strain of C. necator under the aforementioned conditions, the cell dry weight (CDW) and P(3HB) content obtained were 9.31 ± 0.13 g/L and 45 ± 1.5 wt.%, respectively. This accounted for 40% increment of P(3HB) content compared to the nonoptimized condition. In the meanwhile, the effect of dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) on P(3HB) production was investigated in a 2-L bioreactor. Highest CDW (11.37 g/L) and P(3HB) content (44 wt.%) were achieved when DOT level was set at 30%. P(3HB) produced from OPF juice had a tensile strength of 40 MPa and elongation at break of 8% demonstrated that P(3HB) produced from renewable and cheap carbon source is comparable to those produced from commercial substrate.
A new halogen-free and environmental-friendly method using water and ethanol is developed as an alternative for the recovery of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from recombinant Cupriavidus necator in comparison to the established chloroform extraction method. After optimisation, our results showed that the halogen-free method produced a PHA with 81% purity and 96% recovery yield, in comparison to the chloroform extraction system which resulted in a highly pure PHA with 95% yield. Although the purity of the PHA using the new method is lower, the molecular weight of the extracted PHA is not compromised. This new method can be further developed as an alternative and more environmental-friendly method for industrial application.
In this paper, we report that pressed juice from oil palm frond (OPF) contained renewable sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose. By using a simple sugarcane press, 50% (wt/wt) of OPF juice was obtained from fresh OPF. The glucose content in the juice was 53.95±2.86g/l, which accounts for 70% of the total free sugars. We have examined the effect of various OPF juice concentrations on the production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), P(3HB) by Cupriavidus necator CCUG 52238(T). The cell dry mass in shake flask experiment reached 8.42g/l, with 32wt.% of P(3HB) at 30% (v/v) of OPF juice, comparable with using technical grade sugars. The biopolymer had a molecular mass, M(w) of 812kDa, with a low polydispersity index of 1.61. This result indicates that OPF juice can be used as an alternative renewable carbon source for P(3HB) production and has potential as a renewable carbon source.
In this study, endoglucanase was produced from oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) by a locally isolated aerobic bacterium, Bacillus pumilus EB3. The effects of the fermentation parameters such as initial pH, temperature, and nitrogen source on the endoglucanase production were studied using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as the carbon source. Endoglucanase from B. pumilus EB3 was maximally secreted at 37 degrees C, initial pH 7.0 with 10 g/l of CMC as carbon source, and 2 g/l of yeast extract as organic nitrogen source. The activity recorded during the fermentation was 0.076 U/ml. The productivity of the enzyme increased twofold when 2 g/l of yeast extract was used as the organic nitrogen supplement as compared to the non-supplemented medium. An interesting finding from this study is that pretreated OPEFB medium showed comparable results to CMC medium in terms of enzyme production with an activity of 0.063 U/ml. As OPEFB is an abundant solid waste at palm oil mills, it has the potential of acting as a substrate in cellulase production.
Oil palm frond (OPF) juice is a potential industrial fermentation substrate as it has high sugars content and the OPF are readily available daily. However, maximum sugars yield and storage stability of the OPF juice are yet to be determined. This study was conducted to determine the effect of physical pretreatment and storage duration of OPF petiole on sugars yield. Storage stability of OPF juice at different storing conditions was also investigated. It was found that OPF petiole squeezed by hydraulic pressing machine gave the highest sugars recovery at almost 40 g/kg, accounting for a recovery yield of 88%. Storage of OPF petiole up to 72 hrs prior to squeezing reduced the free sugars by 11 g/kg. Concentrated OPF juice with 95% water removal had the best storage stability at both 4 and 30°C, when it was stored for 10 days. Moreover, concentrated OPF syrup prepared by thermal processing did not give any Maillard effect on microbial growth. Based on our results, OPF juice meets all the criteria as a good fermentation substrate as it is renewable, consistently available, and easy to be obtained, it does not inhibit microbial growth and product formation, and it contains no impurities.
Palm oil mill effluent (POME) contains complex and highly biodegradable organic matters so discharging it without appropriate treatment may lead to environmental problems. POME final discharge quality is normally determined based on conventional chemical detection such as by biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The novelty of the present study is that the toxicity effects of the POME final discharge samples were evaluated based on whole effluent toxicity (WET) and toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests using Daphnia magna. The toxicity unit (TU) values were recorded to be in the range from TU = 1.1-11 obtained from WET, and the TIE manipulation tests suggested that a substantial amount of toxic compounds was contained in the POME final discharge. Phenol, 2,6-bis (1,1-dimethylethyl)- and heavy metals such as Cu and Zn were detected in all the effluents and were recognized as being the main toxicants in the POME final discharge. GC/MS analyses also successfully identified cyclic volatile methyl siloxanes; cyclotetrasiloxane, octamethyl- (D4), cyclopentasiloxane, decamethyl- (D5), cyclohexasiloxane, dodecamethyl- (D6). D4 was detected at 0.0148-0.0357 mg/L, which could be potentially toxic. The palm oil industry used only water in the form of steam to process the fruits, and the presence of these compounds might be derived from the detergents and grease used in palm oil mill cleaning and maintenance operations. An appropriate treatment process is thus required to eliminate these toxicants from the POME final discharge. It is recommended that two approaches, chemical-based monitoring as well as biological toxicity-based monitoring, should be utilized for achieving an acceptable quality of POME final discharge in the future.
A recently developed rapid co-composting of oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) anaerobic sludge is beginning to attract attention from the palm oil industry in managing the disposal of these wastes. However, a deeper understanding of microbial diversity is required for the sustainable practice of the co-compositing process. In this study, an in-depth assessment of bacterial community succession at different stages of the pilot scale co-composting of OPEFB-POME anaerobic sludge was performed using 454-pyrosequencing, which was then correlated with the changes of physicochemical properties including temperature, oxygen level and moisture content. Approximately 58,122 of 16S rRNA gene amplicons with more than 500 operational taxonomy units (OTUs) were obtained. Alpha diversity and principal component analysis (PCoA) indicated that bacterial diversity and distributions were most influenced by the physicochemical properties of the co-composting stages, which showed remarkable shifts of dominant species throughout the process. Species related to Devosia yakushimensis and Desemzia incerta are shown to emerge as dominant bacteria in the thermophilic stage, while Planococcus rifietoensis correlated best with the later stage of co-composting. This study proved the bacterial community shifts in the co-composting stages corresponded with the changes of the physicochemical properties, and may, therefore, be useful in monitoring the progress of co-composting and compost maturity.
Efficient approaches for the utilization of waste sewage sludge have been widely studied. One of them is to use it for the bioenergy production, specifically methane gas which is well-known to be driven by complex bacterial interactions during the anaerobic digestion process. Therefore, it is important to understand not only microorganisms for producing methane but also those for controlling or regulating the process. In this study, azithromycin analogs belonging to macrolide, ketolide, and lincosamide groups were applied to investigate the mechanisms and dynamics of bacterial community in waste sewage sludge for methane production. The stages of anaerobic digestion process were evaluated by measuring the production of intermediate substrates, such as protease activity, organic acids, the quantification of bacteria and archaea, and its community dynamics. All azithromycin analogs used in this study achieved a high methane production compared to the control sample without any antibiotic due to the efficient hydrolysis process and the presence of important fermentative bacteria and archaea responsible in the methanogenesis stage. The key microorganisms contributing to the methane production may be Clostridia, Cladilinea, Planctomycetes, and Alphaproteobacteria as an accelerator whereas Nitrosomonadaceae and Nitrospiraceae may be suppressors for methane production. In conclusion, the utilization of antibiotic analogs of macrolide, ketolide, and lincosamide groups has a promising ability in finding the essential microorganisms and improving the methane production using waste sewage sludge.
The present work aimed to investigate the pretreatment of oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) in subcritical H₂O-CO₂ at a temperature range from 150⁻200 °C and 20⁻180 min with CO₂ pressure from 3⁻5 MPa. The pretreated solids and liquids from this process were separated by filtration and characterized. Xylooligosaccharides (XOs), sugar monomers, acids, furans and phenols in the pretreated liquids were analyzed by using HPLC. XOs with a degree of polymerization X2⁻X4 comprising xylobiose, xylotriose, xylotetraose were analyzed by using HPAEC-PAD. Enzymatic hydrolysis was performed on cellulose-rich pretreated solids to observe xylose and glucose production. An optimal condition for XOs production was achieved at 180 °C, 60 min, 3 MPa and the highest XOs obtained was 81.60 mg/g which corresponded to 36.59% of XOs yield from total xylan of OPMF. The highest xylose and glucose yields obtained from pretreated solids were 29.96% and 84.65%, respectively at cellulase loading of 10 FPU/g-substrate.