A comprehensive exergoeconomic performance analysis of a municipal solid waste digestion plant integrated with a biogas genset was conducted throughout this study in order to highlight its bottlenecks for further improvements. Exergoeconomic performance parameters of each component of the plant were determined by solving exergy and cost balance equations based on Specific Exergy Costing (SPECO) approach. The analysis was conducted to reveal the cost structure of the plant based on actual operating information and economic data. The exergy unitary cost of two main products of the plant, i.e., bioelectricity and biofertilizer were determined at 26.27 and 2.27 USD/GJ, respectively. The genset showed the highest overall cost rate (101.27 USD/h) followed by digester (68.41 USD/h). Furthermore, the net bioelectricity amounted to 67.81% of the overall cost rate of the products, while this value was 32.19% for both liquid and dewatered digestates. According to the results obtained, efforts should mainly focus on enhancing the efficiency of the genset in order to boost the overall performance of the system exergoeconomically. In addition, minimizing the investment-related cost of the digester could also substantially enhance the exergoeconomic performance of the plant.
Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the most attractive tools employed nowadays by environmental policy-makers as well as business decision-makers to ensure environmentally sustainable production/consumption of various goods/services. LCA is a systematic, rigorous, and standardized approach aimed at quantifying resources consumed/depleted, pollutants released, and the related environmental and health impacts through the course of consumption and production of goods/service. Algal fuels are no exception and their environmental sustainability could be well scrutinized using the LCA methodology. In line with that, this chapter is devoted to present guidelines on the technical aspects of LCA application in algal fuels while elaborating on major standards used, i.e., ISO 14040 and 14044 standards. Overall, LCA practitioners as well as technical experts dealing with algal fuels in both the public and private sectors could be the main target audience for these guidelines.
The first objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between concentrations of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) in milk and blood to assess the reliability of the BHBA concentrations in milk measured by a semi quantitative keto-test paper to detect subclinical ketosis (SCK) in 50 fresh high-producing Iranian Holstein cows in Golestan Province, Iran. The second objective was the effects of SCK on milk yield and components. Concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) and BHBA were analyzed quantitatively in blood plasma and commercial keto-test paper was used for semi quantitative determination of BHBA concentration in milk. Milk yield was measured until 60 d after calving but milk compositions were measured until 30 d after calving. The mean plasma BHBA, milk BHBA, plasma NEFA, milk yield, milk fat percentage and milk fat: protein ratio were 1,234 micromol/L, 145 micromol/L, 0.482 mEq/L, 29.5 kg, 3.9% and 1.4, respectively. Fifty eight percent of the cows had SCK during the first month of lactation. High correlation coefficients were observed between blood BHBA and blood NEFA, and between blood and milk BHBA. The milk yield of cattle with SCK decreased (P < 0.01) but the fat percentage and milk fat: protein ratio increased (P < 0.01). The commercial keto-test paper used had a low false positive result at a cut-off point of 200 fmol of BHBA/L of milk. The results showed that the best time to assess SCK using the commercial keto-test paper was d 10, 14 and 17 after calving.
Waste-to-energy conversion presents a pivotal strategy for mitigating the energy crisis and curbing environmental pollution. Pyrolysis is a widely embraced thermochemical approach for transforming waste into valuable energy resources. This study delves into the co-pyrolysis of terrestrial biomass (potato peel) and marine biomass (Sargassum angastifolium) to optimize the quantity and quality of the resultant bio-oil and biochar. Initially, thermogravimetric analysis was conducted at varying heating rates (5, 20, and 50 °C/min) to elucidate the thermal degradation behavior of individual samples. Subsequently, comprehensive analyses employing FTIR, XRD, XRF, BET, FE-SEM, and GC-MS were employed to assess the composition and morphology of pyrolysis products. Results demonstrated an augmented bio-oil yield in mixed samples, with the highest yield of 27.1 wt% attained in a composition comprising 75% potato peel and 25% Sargassum angastifolium. As confirmed by GC-MS analysis, mixed samples exhibited reduced acidity, particularly evident in the bio-oil produced from a 75% Sargassum angastifolium blend, which exhibited approximately half the original acidity. FTIR analysis revealed key functional groups on the biochar surface, including O-H, CO, and C-O moieties. XRD and XRF analyses indicated the presence of alkali and alkaline earth metals in the biochar, while BET analysis showed a surface area ranging from 0.64 to 1.60 m2/g. The favorable characteristics of the products highlight the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of co-pyrolyzing terrestrial and marine biomass for the generation of biofuels and value-added commodities.
Biotechnology-based detection systems and sensors are in use for a wide range of applications in biomedicine, including the diagnostics of viral pathogens. In this review, emerging detection systems and their applicability for diagnostics of viruses, exemplified by the case of avian influenza virus, are discussed. In particular, nano-diagnostic assays presently under development or available as prototype and their potentials for sensitive and rapid virus detection are highlighted.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causing agent of tuberculosis, comes second only after HIV on the list of infectious agents slaughtering many worldwide. Due to the limitations behind the conventional detection methods, it is therefore critical to develop new sensitive sensing systems capable of quick detection of the infectious agent. In the present study, the surface modified cadmium-telluride quantum dots and gold nanoparticles conjunct with two specific oligonucleotides against early secretory antigenic target 6 were used to develop a sandwich-form fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor to detect M. tuberculosis complex and differentiate M. tuberculosis and M. bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin simultaneously. The sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed biosensor were 94.2% and 86.6%, respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity of polymerase chain reaction and nested polymerase chain reaction were considerably lower, 74.2%, 73.3% and 82.8%, 80%, respectively. The detection limits of the sandwich-form fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensor were far lower (10 fg) than those of the polymerase chain reaction and nested polymerase chain reaction (100 fg). Although the cost of the developed nanobiosensor was slightly higher than those of the polymerase chain reaction-based techniques, its unique advantages in terms of turnaround time, higher sensitivity and specificity, as well as a 10-fold lower detection limit would clearly recommend this test as a more appropriate and cost-effective tool for large scale operations.
Organophosphorus (OP) compounds are one of the most hazardous chemicals used as insecticides/pesticide in agricultural practices. A large variety of OP compounds are hydrolyzed by organophosphorus hydrolases (OPH; EC 184.108.40.206). Therefore, OPHs are among the most suitable candidates which could be used in designing enzyme-based sensors for detecting OP compounds. In the present work, a novel nanobiosensor for the detection of paraoxon was designed and fabricated. More specifically, OPH was covalently embedded onto chitosan and the enzyme-chitosan bioconjugate was then immobilized on negatively charged gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) electrostatically. The enzyme was immobilized on AuNPs without chitosan as well to compare the two systems in terms of detection limit and enzyme stability under different pH and temperature conditions. Coumarin 1, a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme, was used as a fluorogenic probe. The emission of coumarin 1 was effectively quenched by the immobilized Au-NPs when bound to the developed nanobioconjugates. However, in the presence of paraoxon, coumarin 1 left the nanobioconjugate leading to enhanced fluorescence intensity. Moreover, compared to the immobilized enzyme without chitosan, the chitosan-immobilized enzyme was found to possess decreased Km value by over 50%, increased Vmax and Kcat values by around 15% and 74%, respectively. Higher stability within a wider range of pH (2-12) and temperature (25-90°C) was also achieved. The method worked in the 0 to 1050 nM concentration ranges, and had a detection limit as low as 5 × 10(-11) M.
Exploitation of renewable sources of energy such as algal biodiesel could turn energy supplies problem around. Studies on a locally isolated strain of Dunaliella sp. showed that the mean lipid content in cultures enriched by 200 mg L(-1) myoinositol was raised by around 33% (1.5 times higher than the control). Similarly, higher lipid productivity values were achieved in cultures treated by 100 and 200 mg L(-1) myoinositol. Fluorometry analyses (microplate fluorescence and flow cytometry) revealed increased oil accumulation in the Nile red-stained algal samples. Moreover, it was predicted that biodiesel produced from myoinositol-treated cells possessed improved oxidative stability, cetane number, and cloud point values. From the genomic point of view, real-time analyses revealed that myoinositol negatively influenced transcript abundance of AccD gene (one of the key genes involved in lipid production pathway) due to feedback inhibition and that its positive effect must have been exerted through other genes. The findings of the current research are not to interprete that myoinositol supplementation could answer all the challenges faced in microalgal biodiesel production but instead to show that "there is a there there" for biochemical modulation strategies, which we achieved, increased algal oil quantity and enhanced resultant biodiesel quality.
The huge amount of agro-wastes generated due to expanding agricultural activities can potentially cause serious environmental and human health problems. Using the biorefinery concept, all parts of agricultural plants can be converted into multiple value-added bioproducts while reducing waste generation. This approach can be viewed as an effective strategy in developing and realizing a circular bioeconomy by accomplishing the dual goals of waste mitigation and energy recovery. However, the sustainability issue of biorefineries should still be thoroughly scrutinized using comprehensive resource accounting methods such as exergy-based approaches. In light of that, this study aims to conduct a detailed exergy analysis of whole-crop safflower biorefinery consisting of six units, i.e., straw handling, biomass pretreatment, bioethanol production, wastewater treatment, oil extraction, and biodiesel production. The analysis is carried out to find the major exergy sink in the developed biorefinery and discover the bottlenecks for further performance improvements. Overall, the wastewater treatment unit exhibits to be the major exergy sink, amounting to over 70% of the total thermodynamic irreversibility of the process. The biomass pretreatment and bioethanol production units account for 12.4 and 10.3% of the total thermodynamic inefficiencies of the process, respectively. The exergy rates associated with bioethanol, biodiesel, lignin, biogas, liquid digestate, seed cake, sodium sulfate, and glycerol are determined to be 5918.5, 16516.8, 10778.9, 1741.4, 6271.5, 15755.8, 3.4, and 823.5 kW, respectively. The overall exergetic efficiency of the system stands at 72.7%, demonstrating the adequacy of the developed biorefinery from the thermodynamic perspective.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic wastes is among the most promising approaches used for the simultaneous treatment of various waste streams, environment conservation, and renewable bioenergy generation (biomethane). Among the latest innovations investigated to enhance the overall performance of this process both qualitatively and quantitatively, the application of some nanoparticles (NPs) has attracted a great deal of attention. Typically, the NPs of potential benefit to the AD process could be divided into three groups: (i) zero-valent iron (ZVI) NPs, (ii) metallic and metal oxides NPs, and (iii) carbon-based NPs. The present review focuses on the latest findings reported on the application of these NPs in AD process and presents their various mechanisms of action leading to higher or lower biogas production rates. Among the NPs studies, ZVI NPs could be regarded as the most promising nanomaterials for enhancing biogas production through stabilizing the AD process as well as by stimulating the growth of beneficial microorganisms to the AD process and the enzymes involved. Future research should focus on various attributes of NPs when used as additives in biogas production, including facilitating mixing and pumping operations, enriching the population and diversity of beneficial microorganisms for AD, improving biogas release, and inducing the production and activity of AD-related enzymes. The higher volume of methane-enriched biogas would be translated into higher returns on investment and could therefore, result in further growth of the biogas production industry. Nevertheless, efforts should be devoted to decreasing the price of NPs so that the enhanced biogas and methane production (by over 90%, compared to control) would be more economically justified, facilitating the large-scale application of these compounds. In addition to economic considerations, environmental issues are also regarded as major constraints which should be addressed prior to widespread implementation of NP-augmented AD processes. More specifically, the fate of NPs augmented in AD process should be scrutinized to ensure maximal beneficial impacts while adverse environmental/health consequences are minimized.
Due to the low titer or uneven distribution of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) in field samples, detection of CTV by using conventional detection techniques may be difficult. Therefore, in the present work, the cadmium-telluride quantum dots (QDs) was conjugated with a specific antibody against coat protein (CP) of CTV, and the CP were immobilized on the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to develop a specific and sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based nanobiosensor for detecting CTV. The maximum FRET efficiency for the developed nano-biosensor was observed at 60% in AuNPs-CP/QDs-Ab ratio of 1:8.5. The designed system showed higher sensitivity and specificity over enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a limit of detection of 0.13μgmL(-1) and 93% and 94% sensitivity and specificity, respectively. As designed sensor is rapid, sensitive, specific and efficient in detecting CTV, this could be envisioned for diagnostic applications, surveillance and plant certification program.
Developing cost-effective technology for treatment of sewage and nitrogen-containing groundwater is one of the crucial challenges of global water industries. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) oxidize organics from sewage by exoelectrogens on anode to produce electricity while denitrifiers on cathode utilize the generated electricity to reduce nitrogen from contaminated groundwater. As the exoelectrogens are incapable of oxidizing insoluble, polymeric, and complex organics, a novel integration of an anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) prior to the MFC simultaneously achieve hydrolytic-acidogenic conversion of complex organics, boost power recovery, and remove Carbon/Nitrogen (C/N) from the sewage and groundwater. The results obtained revealed increases in the fractions of soluble organics and volatile fatty acids in pretreated sewage by 52 ± 19% and 120 ± 40%, respectively. The optimum power and current generation with the pretreated sewage were 7.1 W m-3 and 45.88 A m-3, respectively, corresponding to 8% and 10% improvements compared to untreated sewage. Moreover, the integration of the ASBR with the biocathode MFC led to 217% higher carbon and 136% higher nitrogen removal efficiencies compared to the similar system without ASBR. The outcomes of the present study represent the promising prospects of using ASBR pretreatment and successive utilization of solubilized organics in denitrifying biocathode MFCs for simultaneous energy recovery and C/N removal from both sewage and nitrate nitrogen-contaminated groundwater.
Integrated environmental analysis using life cycle assessment for different fuel blends used in a single-cylinder diesel engine was performed to select the most eco-friendly fuel blend. More specifically, the inventory data in support of the integrated environmental analysis of water-emulsified 5% biodiesel/diesel blends (B5) containing different levels of carbon nanoparticles (i.e., 38, 75, and 150 µM) as a novel fuel nanoadditives at a fixed engine speed of 1000 rpm and four different engine loads (i.e., 25, 50, 75, and 100%) are presented. Neat diesel, B5, and B5 containing water (3 wt.%) were used as controls. Raw data related to the production and combustion of fuel blends were experimentally collected. Industrial (i.e., experiments at large scale) and laboratory (i.e., experiments at small scale) data were used for fuel blends production while experimental data obtained by engine tests were used for the combustion stage. Then raw data were processed with the IMPACT 2002+ methods by using the SimaPro software and EcoInvent database and were then converted into environmental impacts. Accordingly, six supplementary files including the inventory data on integrated environmental analysis of the different fuel blends are presented (Supplementary Files 1-6). The data could be applied for integrated environmental analysis in order to avoid subjective weighting of combustion parameters for selecting the most eco-friendly fuel blend for use in diesel engines. More specifically, by developing a single score indicator obtained through conducting integrated combustion analysis, comparison of various fuel blends is largely facilitated.
Five cyanobacterial strains with Nostoc-like morphology from different localities of the Mazandaran province of Iran were characterized using a polyphasic approach. Three strains clustered within the Aliinostoc clade whereas one each of the remaining two strains clustered within the genera Desmonostoc and Desikacharya. The phylogenetic positioning of all the strains by the bayesian inference, neighbour joining and maximum parsimony methods inferred using 16S rRNA gene indicated them to represent novel species of the genera Aliinostoc, Desmonostoc and Desikacharya. The 16S-23S ITS secondary structure analysis revealed that all five strains under study represented novel species unknown to science. In accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants we describe three novel species of the genus Aliinostoc and one species each of the genera Desmonostoc and Desikacharya.
Enzymes have the potential for biotransformation in the food industry. Engineering tools can be used to develop tailored enzymes for food-packaging systems that perform well and retain their activity under adverse conditions. Consequently, novel tailored enzymes have been produced to improve or include new and useful characteristics for intelligent food-packaging systems. This review discusses the protein-engineering tools applied to create new functionality in food-packaging enzymes. The challenges in applications and anticipated directions for future developments are also highlighted. The development and discovery of tailored enzymes for smart food packaging is a promising way to ensure safe and high-quality food products.
Human livelihood highly depends on applying different sources of energy whose utilization is associated with air pollution. On the other hand, air pollution may be associated with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) development. Unlike other environmental causes of cancer (e.g., irradiation), air pollution cannot efficiently be controlled by geographical borders, regulations, and policies. The unavoidable exposure to air pollution can modify cancer incidence and mortality. GBM treatment with chemotherapy or even its surgical removal has proven insufficient (100% recurrence rate; patient's survival mean of 15 months; 90% fatality within five years) due to glioma infiltrative and migratory capacities. Given the barrage of attention and research investments currently plowed into next-generation cancer therapy, oncolytic viruses are perhaps the most vigorously pursued. Provision of an insight into the current state of the research and future direction is essential for stimulating new ideas with the potentials of filling research gaps. This review manuscript aims to overview types of brain cancer, their burden, and different causative agents. It also describes why air pollution is becoming a concerning factor. The different opinions on the association of air pollution with brain cancer are reviewed. It tries to address the significant controversy in this field by hypothesizing the air-pollution-brain-cancer association via inflammation and atopic conditions. The last section of this review deals with the oncolytic viruses, which have been used in, or are still under clinical trials for GBM treatment. Engineered adenoviruses (i.e., DNX-2401, DNX-2440, CRAd8-S-pk7 loaded Neural stem cells), herpes simplex virus type 1 (i.e., HSV-1 C134, HSV-1 rQNestin34.5v.2, HSV-1 G207, HSV-1 M032), measles virus (i.e., MV-CEA), parvovirus (i.e., ParvOryx), poliovirus (i.e., Poliovirus PVSRIPO), reovirus (i.e., pelareorep), moloney murine leukemia virus (i.e., Toca 511 vector), and vaccinia virus (i.e., vaccinia virus TG6002) as possible life-changing alleviations for GBM have been discussed. To the best of our knowledge, this review is the first review that comprehensively discusses both (i) the negative/positive association of air pollution with GBM; and (ii) the application of oncolytic viruses for GBM, including the most recent advances and clinical trials. It is also the first review that addresses the controversies over air pollution and brain cancer association. We believe that the article will significantly appeal to a broad readership of virologists, oncologists, neurologists, environmentalists, and those who work in the field of (bio)energy. Policymakers may also use it to establish better health policies and regulations about air pollution and (bio)fuels exploration, production, and consumption.
Appropriate bioprocessing of lignocellulosic materials into ethanol could address the world's insatiable appetite for energy while mitigating greenhouse gases. Bioethanol is an ideal gasoline extender and is widely used in many countries in blended form with gasoline at specific ratios to improve fuel characteristics and engine performance. Although the bioethanol production industry has long been operational, finding a suitable microbial agent for the efficient conversion of lignocelluloses is still an active field of study. Among available microbial candidates, engineered bacteria may be promising ethanol producers while may show other desired traits such as thermophilic nature and high ethanol tolerance. This review provides the current knowledge on the introduction, overexpression, and deletion of the genes that have been performed in bacterial hosts to achieve higher ethanol yield, production rate and titer, and tolerance. The constraints and possible solutions and economic feasibility of the processes utilizing such engineered strains are also discussed.
Waste cooking oil (WCO) is a hazardous waste generated at staggering values globally. WCO disposal into various ecosystems, including soil and water, could result in severe environmental consequences. On the other hand, mismanagement of this hazardous waste could also be translated into the loss of resources given its energy content. Hence, finding cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative pathways for simultaneous management and valorization of WCO, such as conversion into biodiesel, has been widely sought. Due to its low toxicity, high biodegradability, renewability, and the possibility of direct use in diesel engines, biodiesel is a promising alternative to mineral diesel. However, the conventional homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts used in the biodiesel production process, i.e., transesterification, are generally toxic and derived from non-renewable resources. Therefore, to boost the sustainability features of the process, the development of catalysts derived from renewable waste-oriented resources is of significant importance. In light of the above, the present work aims to review and critically discuss the hazardous WCO application for bioenergy production. Moreover, various waste-oriented catalysts used to valorize this waste are presented and discussed.
Improper healthcare waste (HCW) management poses significant risks to the environment, human health, and socio-economic sustainability due to the infectious and hazardous nature of HCW. This research aims at rendering a comprehensive landscape of the body of research on HCW management by (i) mapping the scientific development of HCW research, (ii) identifying the prominent HCW research themes and trends, and (iii) providing a research agenda for HCW management towards a circular economy (CE) transition and sustainable environment. The analysis revealed four dominant HCW research themes: (1) HCW minimization, sustainable management, and policy-making; (2) HCW incineration and its associated environmental impacts; (3) hazardous HCW management practices; and (4) HCW handling and occupational safety and training. The results showed that the healthcare industry, despite its potential to contribute to the CE transition, has been overlooked in the CE discourse due to the single-use mindset of the healthcare industry in the wake of the infectious, toxic, and hazardous nature of HCW streams. The findings shed light on the HCW management domain by uncovering the current status of HCW research, highlighting the existing gaps and challenges, and providing potential avenues for further research towards a CE transition in the healthcare industry and HCW management.