An air-cathode MFC-adsorption hybrid system, made from earthen pot was designed and tested for simultaneous wastewater treatment and energy recovery. Such design had demonstrated superior characteristics of low internal resistance (29.3Ω) and favor to low-cost, efficient wastewater treatment and power generation (55mW/m(3)) with average current of 2.13±0.4mA. The performance between MFC-adsorption hybrid system was compared to the standalone adsorption system and results had demonstrated great pollutants removals of the integrated system especially for chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD3), total organic carbon (TOC), total volatile solids (TVS), ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N) and total nitrogen (TN) because such system combines the advantages of each individual unit. Besides the typical biological and electrochemical processes that happened in an MFC system, an additional physicochemical process from the activated carbon took place simultaneously in the MFC-adsorption hybrid system which would further improved on the wastewater quality.
The synthesis of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from the high- and low-acid-content feedstock of crude palm oil (CPO) and karanj oil (KO) was conducted over CaO-La2O3-Al2O3 mixed-oxide catalyst. Various reaction parameters were investigated using a batch reactor to identify the best reaction condition that results in the highest FAME yield for each type of oil. The transesterification of CPO resulted in a 97.81% FAME yield with the process conditions of 170°C reaction temperature, 15:1 DMC-to-CPO molar ratio, 180min reaction time, and 10wt.% catalyst loading. The transesterification of KO resulted in a 96.77% FAME yield with the conditions of 150°C reaction temperature, 9:1 DMC-to-KO molar ratio, 180min reaction time, and 5wt.% catalyst loading. The properties of both products met the ASTM D6751 and EN 14214 standard requirements. The above results showed that the CaO-La2O3-Al2O3 mixed-oxide catalyst was suitable for high- and low-acid-content vegetable oil.
This study demonstrates the use of NMR techniques coupled with chemometric analysis as a high throughput data mining method to identify and examine the efficiency of different disruption techniques tested on microalgae (Chlorella variabilis, Scenedesmus regularis and Ankistrodesmus gracilis). The yield and chemical diversity from the disruptions together with the effects of pre-oven and pre-freeze drying prior to disruption techniques were discussed. HCl extraction showed the highest recovery of oil compounds from the disrupted microalgae (up to 90%). In contrast, NMR analysis showed the highest intensity of bioactive metabolites obtained for homogenized extracts pre-treated with freeze-drying, indicating that homogenizing is a more favorable approach to recover bioactive substances from the disrupted microalgae. The results show the potential of NMR as a useful metabolic fingerprinting tool for assessing compound diversity in complex microalgae extracts.
Nannochloropsis sp. wet biomass was directly transesterified under microwave (MW) irradiation in the presence of methanol and various alkali and acid catalyst. Two different types of direct transesterification (DT) were used; one step and two step transesterification. The biodiesel yield obtained from the MWDT was compared with that obtained using conventional method (lipid extraction followed by transesterification) and water bath heating DT method. Findings revealed that MWDT efficiencies were higher compared to water bath heating DT by at least 14.34% and can achieve a maximum of 43.37% with proper selection of catalysts. The use of combined catalyst (NaOH and H2SO4) increased the yield obtained by 2.3-folds (water bath heating DT) and 2.87-folds (MWDT) compared with the one step single alkaline catalyst respectively. The property of biodiesel produced by MWDT has high lubricating property, good cetane number and short carbon chain FAME's compared with water bath heating DT.
A novel concept for the synthesis of a stable polymer hybrid matrix bead was developed in this study. The beads were further applied for enzyme immobilization to produce stable and active biocatalysts with low enzyme leakage, and high immobilization efficiency, enzyme activity, and recyclability. The immobilization conditions, including PEI concentration, activation time and pH of the PEI solution were investigated and optimized. All formulated beads were characterized for its functionalized groups, composition, surface morphology and thermal stability. Compared with the free β-glucosidase, the immobilized β-glucosidase on the hybrid matrix bead was able to tolerate broader range of pH values and higher reaction temperature up to 60 °C. The immobilized β-glucosidase was then used to hydrolyse pretreated macroalgae cellulosic residue (MCR) for the production of reducing sugar and a hydrolysis yield of 73.4% was obtained. After repeated twelve runs, immobilized β-glucosidase retained about 75% of its initial activity.
The structural and hydrodynamic features for granules were characterized using settling experiments, predefined mathematical simulations and ImageJ-particle analyses. This study describes the rheological characterization of these biologically immobilized aggregates under non-Newtonian flows. The second order dimensional analysis defined as D2=1.795 for native clusters and D2=1.099 for dewatered clusters and a characteristic three-dimensional fractal dimension of 2.46 depicts that these relatively porous and differentially permeable fractals had a structural configuration in close proximity with that described for a compact sphere formed via cluster-cluster aggregation. The three-dimensional fractal dimension calculated via settling-fractal correlation, U∝l(D) to characterize immobilized granules validates the quantitative measurements used for describing its structural integrity and aggregate complexity. These results suggest that scaling relationships based on fractal geometry are vital for quantifying the effects of different laminar conditions on the aggregates' morphology and characteristics such as density, porosity, and projected surface area.
Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) have recently emerged as a new generation of ionic liquids for lignocellulose pretreatment. However, DESs contain salt components which tend to inactivate cellulase in the subsequent saccharification process. To alleviate this problem, it is necessary to evaluate the applicability of the DESs-Cellulase system. This was accomplished in the present study by first studying the stability of cellulase in the presence of selected DESs followed by applicability evaluation based on glucose production, energy consumption and kinetic performance. Results showed that the cellulase was able to retain more than 90% of its original activity in the presence of 10% (v/v) for glycerol based DES (GLY) and ethylene glycol based DES (EG). Furthermore, both DESs system exhibited higher glucose percentage enhancement and lower energy consumption as compared to diluted alkali system. Among the two DESs studied, EG showed comparatively better kinetic performance.
Aerobic granulation is increasingly used in wastewater treatment due to its unique physical properties and microbial functionalities. Granule size defines the physical properties of granules based on biomass accumulation. This study aims to determine the profile of size development under two physicochemical conditions. Two identical bioreactors namely Rnp and Rp were operated under non-phototrophic and phototrophic conditions, respectively. An illustrative scheme was developed to comprehend the mechanism of size development that delineates the granular size throughout the granulation. Observations on granules' size variation have shown that activated sludge revolutionised into the form of aerobic granules through the increase of biomass concentration in bioreactors which also determined the changes of granule size. Both reactors demonstrated that size transformed in a similar trend when tested with and without illumination. Thus, different types of aerobic granules may increase in size in the same way as recommended in the aerobic granule size development scheme.
The unceasing rise of greenhouse gas emission has led to global warming and climate change. Global concern on this phenomenon has put forward the microalgal-based CO2 sequestration aiming to sequester carbon back to the biosphere, ultimately reducing greenhouse effects. Microalgae have recently gained enormous attention worldwide, to be the valuable feedstock for renewable energy production, due to their high growth rates, high lipid productivities and the ability to sequester carbon. The photosynthetic process of microalgae uses atmospheric CO2 and CO2 from flue gases, to synthesize nutrients for their growth. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the efficiency of CO2 biosequestration by microalgae species, factors influencing microalgal biomass productions, microalgal cultivation systems, the potential and limitations of using flue gas for microalgal cultivation as well as the bio-refinery approach of microalgal biomass.
Microbial conversion of syngas to energy-dense biofuels and valuable chemicals is a potential technology for the efficient utilization of fossils (e.g., coal) and renewable resources (e.g., lignocellulosic biomass) in an environmentally friendly manner. However, gas-liquid mass transfer and kinetic limitations are still major constraints that limit the widespread adoption and successful commercialization of the technology. This review paper provides rationales for syngas bioconversion and summarizes the reaction limited conditions along with the possible strategies to overcome these challenges. Mass transfer and economic performances of various reactor configurations are compared, and an ideal case for optimum bioreactor operation is presented. Overall, the challenges with the bioprocessing steps are highlighted, and potential solutions are suggested. Future research directions are provided and a conceptual design for a membrane-based syngas biorefinery is proposed.
Biodiesel with improved yield was produced from microalgae biomass under simultaneous cooling and microwave heating (SCMH). Nannochloropsis sp. and Tetraselmis sp. which were known to contain higher lipid species were used. The yield obtained using this novel technique was compared with the conventional heating (CH) and microwave heating (MWH) as the control method. The results revealed that the yields obtained using the novel SCMH were higher; Nannochloropsis sp. (83.33%) and Tetraselmis sp. (77.14%) than the control methods. Maximum yields were obtained using SCMH when the microwave was set at 50°C, 800W, 16h of reaction with simultaneous cooling at 15°C; and water content and lipid to methanol ratio in reaction mixture was kept to 0 and 1:12 respectively. GC analysis depicted that the biodiesel produced from this technique has lower carbon components (<19 C) and has both reasonable CN and IV reflecting good ignition and lubricating properties.
The pyrolysis of karanj fruit hulls (KFH) and karanj fruit hull hydrothermal carbonization (KFH-HTC) hydrochar was thermogravimetrically investigated under a nitrogen environment at 5 °C/min, 10 °C/min, and 20 °C/min. The pyrolysis decomposition of KFH biomass was faster than that of KFH-HTC hydrochar because of the high volatility and fixed carbon of KFH biomass. Weight loss percentage was also affected by the heating rates. The kinetic data were evaluated with the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods. The activation energy values obtained with these two methods were 61.06 and 68.53 kJ/mol for KFH biomass and 130.49 and 135.87 kJ/mol for KFH-HTC hydrochar, respectively. The analysis of kinetic process mechanisms was verified with the Coats-Redfern method. KFH-HTC hydrochar may play a potential role in transforming biomass to energy-rich feedstock for thermochemical applications because of its high heating value, high fixed carbon, and low ash and sulfur contents.
The influence of TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs) (10-50mg/L) on aerobic granulation of algal-bacterial symbiosis system was investigated by using two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs). Although little adverse effect was observed on their nitritation efficiency (98-100% in both reactors), algal-bacterial granules in the control SBR (Rc) gradually lost stability mainly brought about by algae growth. TiO2-NPs addition to RT was found to enhance the granulation process achieving stable and compact algal-bacterial granules with remarkably improved nitratation thus little nitrite accumulation in RT when influent TiO2-NPs⩾30mg/L. Despite almost similar organics and phosphorus removals obtained in both reactors, the stably high nitratation efficiency in addition to much stable granular structure in RT suggests that TiO2-NPs addition might be a promising remedy for the long-term operation of algal-bacterial granular system, most probably attributable to the stimulated excretion of extracellular polymeric substances and less filamentous TM7.
With inoculum sludge from a conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment plant, three sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) fed with synthetic wastewater were operated at different high temperatures (30, 40 and 50±1°C) to study the formation of aerobic granular sludge (AGS) for simultaneous organics and nutrients removal with a complete cycle time of 3h. The AGS were successfully cultivated with influent loading rate of 1.6CODg(Ld)(-1). The COD/N ratio of the influent wastewater was 8. The results revealed that granules developed at 50°C have the highest average diameter, (3.36mm) with 98.17%, 94.45% and 72.46% removal efficiency observed in the system for COD, ammonia and phosphate, respectively. This study also demonstrated the capabilities of AGS formation at high temperatures which is suitable to be applied for hot climate conditions.
An innovative design of upflow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (UFCW-MFC) planted with cattail was used for simultaneous wastewater treatment and electricity generation. The electrodes material employed in the study was carbon felt. The main aim of this study is to assess the performance of the UFCW coupling with MFC in term of ability to treat wastewater and the capability to generate bioelectricity. The oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and dissolved oxygen (DO) profile showed that the anaerobic and aerobic regions were well developed in the lower and upper bed, respectively, of UFCW-MFC. Biodegradation of organic matter, nitrification and denitrification was investigated and the removal efficiencies of COD, NO3(-), NH4(+) were 100%, 40%, and 91%, respectively. The maximum power density of 6.12 mW m(-2) and coulombic efficiency of 8.6% were achieved at electrode spacing of anode 1 (A1) and cathode (15 cm).
A double-chambered membrane microbial fuel cell (MFC) was constructed to investigate the potential use of natural microflora anaerobic palm oil mill effluent (POME) sludge and pure culture bacteria isolated from anaerobic POME sludge as inoculum for electricity generation. Sterilized final discharge POME was used as the substrate with no addition of nutrients. MFC operation using natural microflora anaerobic POME sludge showed a maximum power density and current density of 85.11mW/m(2) and 91.12mA/m(2) respectively. Bacterial identification using 16S rRNA analysis of the pure culture isolated from the biofilm on the anode MFC was identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain ZH1. The electricity generated in MFC using P. aeruginosa strain ZH1 showed maximum power density and current density of 451.26mW/m(2) and 654.90mA/m(2) respectively which were five times higher in power density and seven times higher in current density compared to that of MFC using anaerobic POME sludge.
Eco-friendly pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass are being developed as alternatives to chemical based methods. Superheated steam (SHS), hot compressed water (HCW) and wet disk milling (WDM) were used individually and with combination to partially remove hemicellulose and alter the lignin composition of recalcitrant structure of oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF). The efficiency of the pretreatment methods was evaluated based on the chemical compositions altered, SEM analysis, power consumption and degree of enzymatic digestibility. Hemicellulose removal (94.8%) was more pronounced under HCW compared to SHS, due to maximal contact of water and production of acetic acid which enhanced further degradation of hemicellulose. Subsequent treatment with WDM resulted in defibrillation of OPMF and expansion of the specific surface area thus increasing the conversion of cellulose to glucose. The highest glucose yield was 98.1% (g/g-substrate) when pretreated with HCW (200 °C, 20 min) and WDM which only consumed 9.6 MJ/kg of OPMF.
The performance of a compost biofilter inoculated with mixed microbial consortium was optimized for treating a gas-phase mixture of benzene and toluene. The biofilter was acclimated to these VOCs for a period of ∼18d. The effects of concentration and flow rate on the removal efficiency (RE) and elimination capacity (EC) were investigated by varying the inlet concentration of benzene (0.12-0.95g/m(3)), toluene (0.14-1.48g/m(3)) and gas-flow rate (0.024-0.072m(3)/h). At comparable loading rates, benzene removal in the mixture was reduced in the range of 6.6-41% in comparison with the individual benzene degradation. Toluene removal in mixture was even more affected as observed from the reductions in REs, ranging from 18.4% to 76%. The results were statistically interpreted by performing an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to elucidate the main and interaction effects.
This study focuses on the evaluation of the performance of Chlorella sp. in removing nutrient in aquaculture wastewater and its correlation with the kinetic growth of Chlorella sp. The treatment was applied with various Chlorella sp. inoculation dosage ranging from 0% to 60% (v/v) of wastewater. The optimum inoculation dosage was recorded at 30% (v/v) with effluent concentration of ammonia and orthophosphate recording at 0.012mgL(-1) and 0.647mgL(-1), respectively on Day 11. The optimum dosage for bio-flocculation process was obtained at 30mgL(-1) of Aspergillus niger with a harvesting efficiency of 97%. This type of development of phytoremediation with continuous bio-harvesting could promote the use of sustainable green technology for effective wastewater treatment.
In this study, solid oil palm shell (OPS) waste biomass was subjected to microwave pyrolysis conditions with uniformly distributed coconut activated carbon (CAC) microwave absorber. The effects of CAC loading (wt%), microwave power (W) and N2 flow rate (LPM) were investigated on heating profile, bio-oil yield and its composition. Response surface methodology based on central composite design was used to study the significance of process parameters on bio-oil yield. The coefficient of determination (R(2)) for the bio-oil yield is 0.89017 indicating 89.017% of data variability is accounted to the model. The largest effect on bio-oil yield is from linear and quadratic terms of N2 flow rate. The phenol content in bio-oil is 32.24-58.09% GC-MS area. The bio-oil also contain 1,1-dimethyl hydrazine of 10.54-21.20% GC-MS area. The presence of phenol and 1,1-dimethyl hydrazine implies that the microwave pyrolysis of OPS with carbon absorber has the potential to produce valuable fuel products.