Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 185 in total

  1. Vibol S, Hashim JH, Sarmani S
    Environ Res, 2015 Feb;137:329-37.
    PMID: 25601736 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.12.001
    The research was carried out at 3 study sites with varying groundwater arsenic (As) levels in the Kandal Province of Cambodia. Kampong Kong Commune was chosen as a highly contaminated site (300-500μg/L), Svay Romiet Commune was chosen as a moderately contaminated site (50-300μg/L) and Anlong Romiet Commune was chosen as a control site. Neurobehavioral tests on the 3 exposure groups were conducted using a modified WHO neurobehavioral core test battery. Seven neurobehavioral tests including digit symbol, digit span, Santa Ana manual dexterity, Benton visual retention, pursuit aiming, trail making and simple reaction time were applied. Children's hair samples were also collected to investigate the influence of hair As levels on the neurobehavioral test scores. The results from the inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyses of hair samples showed that hair As levels at the 3 study sites were significantly different (p<0.001), whereby hair samples from the highly contaminated site (n=157) had a median hair As level of 0.93μg/g, while the moderately contaminated site (n=151) had a median hair As level of 0.22μg/g, and the control site (n=214) had a median hair As level of 0.08μg/g. There were significant differences among the 3 study sites for all the neurobehavioral tests scores, except for digit span (backward) test. Multiple linear regression clearly shows a positive significant influence of hair As levels on all the neurobehavioral test scores, except for digit span (backward) test, after controlling for hair lead (Pb), manganese (Mn) and cadmium (Cd). Children with high hair As levels experienced 1.57-4.67 times greater risk of having lower neurobehavioral test scores compared to those with low hair As levels, after adjusting for hair Pb, Mn and Cd levels and BMI status. In conclusion, arsenic-exposed school children from the Kandal Province of Cambodia with a median hair As level of 0.93µg/g among those from the highly contaminated study site, showed clear evidence of neurobehavioral effects.
  2. Phan K, Kim KW, Hashim JH
    Environ Res, 2014 Nov;135:37-41.
    PMID: 25262072 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.07.031
    We investigated relationship of arsenicosis symptoms with total blood arsenic (BAs) and serum albumin (SAlb) of residents in the Mekong River basin of Cambodia. We found that arsenicosis patients had significantly higher BAs and lower SAlb than asymptomatic villagers (Mann-Whitney U test, p<0.01). Arsenicosis symptoms were found to be 76.4% (1.764 times) more likely to develop among individuals having an SAlb≤44.3gL(-1) than among those who had an SAlb>44.3gL(-1) (OR=1.764, 95% CI=0.999-3.114) and 117.6% (2.176 times) as likely to occur among those with BAs>5.73µgL(-1) than for those having BAs≤5.73µgL(-1) (OR=2.176, 95% CI=1.223-3.872). Furthermore, a significant negative correlation was also found between BAs and SAlb (rs (199)=-0.354, p<0.0001). As such, this study suggests that people with low SAlb and/or high BAs are likely to rapidly develop arsenicosis symptoms.
  3. Lim YA, Lai MM, Mahdy MA, Mat Naim HR, Smith HV
    Environ Res, 2009 Oct;109(7):857-9.
    PMID: 19664767 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.007
    We used a combined microscopy-molecular approach to determine the occurrence and identities of waterborne Giardia sp. cysts isolated from 18 separate, 10l grab samples collected from a Malaysian zoo. Microscopy revealed that 17 of 18 samples were Giardia cyst positive with concentrations ranging from 1 to 120 cysts/l. Nine (52.9%) of the 17 cyst positive samples produced amplicons of which 7 (77.8%) could be sequenced. Giardia duodenalis assemblage A (6 of 7) and assemblage B (1 of 7), both infectious to humans, were identified at all sampling sites at the zoo. The presence of human infectious cysts raises public health issues, and their occurrence, abundance and sources should be investigated further. In this zoo setting, our data highlight the importance of incorporating environmental sampling (monitoring) in addition to routine faecal examinations to determine veterinary and public health risks, and water monitoring should be considered for inclusion as a separate element in hazard analysis, as it often has a historical (accumulative) connotation.
  4. Clark CS, Rampal KG, Thuppil V, Roda SM, Succop P, Menrath W, et al.
    Environ Res, 2009 Oct;109(7):930-6.
    PMID: 19656507 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.002
    In 2006 a report on the analysis for lead in 80 new residential paints from four countries in Asia revealed high levels in three of the countries (China, India and Malaysia) and low levels in a fourth country (Singapore) where a lead in paint regulation was enforced. The authors warned of the possible export of lead-painted consumer products to the United States and other countries and the dangers the lead paint represented to children in the countries where it was available for purchase. The need for a worldwide ban on the use of lead in paints was emphasized to prevent an increase in exposure and disease from this very preventable environmental source. Since the earlier paper almost 300 additional new paint samples have been collected from the four initial countries plus 8 additional countries, three from Asia, three from Africa and two from South America. During the intervening time period two million toys and other items imported into the United States were recalled because the lead content exceeded the United States standard. High lead paints were detected in all 12 countries. The average lead concentration by country ranged from 6988 (Singapore) to 31,960ppm (Ecuador). One multinational company sold high lead paint in one country through January 2007 but sold low lead paint later in 2007 indicating that a major change to cease adding lead to their paints had occurred. However, the finding that almost one-third of the samples would meet the new United States standard for new paint of 90ppm, suggests that the technology is already available in at least 11 of the 12 countries to produce low lead enamel paints for domestic use. The need remains urgent to establish effective worldwide controls to prevent the needless poisoning of millions of children from this preventable exposure.
  5. Clark CS, Rampal KG, Thuppil V, Chen CK, Clark R, Roda S
    Environ Res, 2006 Sep;102(1):9-12.
    PMID: 16782088
    Worldwide prohibitions on lead gasoline additives were a major international public health accomplishment, the results of which are still being documented in parts of the world. Although the need to remove lead from paints has been recognized for over a century, evidence reported in this article indicates that lead-based paints for household use, some containing more than 10% lead, are readily available for purchase in some of the largest countries in the world. Sixty-six percent of new paint samples from China, India, and Malaysia were found to contain 5000 ppm (0.5%) or more of lead, the US definition of lead-based paint in existing housing, and 78% contained 600 ppm (0.06%) or more, the limit for new paints. In contrast, the comparable levels in a nearby developed country, Singapore, were 0% and 9%. In examining lead levels in paints of the same brands purchased in different countries, it was found that some brands had lead-based paints in one of the countries and paints meeting US limits in another; another had lead-free paint available in all countries where samples were obtained. Lead-based paints have already poisoned millions of children and likely will cause similar damage in the future as paint use increases as countries in Asia and elsewhere continue their rapid development. The ready availability of lead-based paints documented in this article provides stark evidence of the urgent need for efforts to accomplish an effective worldwide ban on the use of lead in paint.
  6. Afroz R, Hassan MN, Ibrahim NA
    Environ Res, 2003 Jun;92(2):71-7.
    PMID: 12854685
    In the early days of abundant resources and minimal development pressures, little attention was paid to growing environmental concerns in Malaysia. The haze episodes in Southeast Asia in 1983, 1984, 1991, 1994, and 1997 imposed threats to the environmental management of Malaysia and increased awareness of the environment. As a consequence, the government established Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines, the Air Pollution Index, and the Haze Action Plan to improve air quality. Air quality monitoring is part of the initial strategy in the pollution prevention program in Malaysia. Review of air pollution in Malaysia is based on the reports of the air quality monitoring in several large cities in Malaysia, which cover air pollutants such as Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3), and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM). The results of the monitoring indicate that Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are the predominant pollutants. Other pollutants such as CO, O(x), SO2, and Pb are also observed in several big cities in Malaysia. The air pollution comes mainly from land transportation, industrial emissions, and open burning sources. Among them, land transportation contributes the most to air pollution. This paper reviews the results of the ambient air quality monitoring and studies related to air pollution and health impacts.
  7. Perkins AN, Inayat-Hussain SH, Deziel NC, Johnson CH, Ferguson SS, Garcia-Milian R, et al.
    Environ Res, 2019 02;169:163-172.
    PMID: 30458352 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.10.018
    Currently, there are >11,000 synthetic turf athletic fields in the United States and >13,000 in Europe. Concerns have been raised about exposure to carcinogenic chemicals resulting from contact with synthetic turf fields, particularly the infill material ("crumb rubber"), which is commonly fabricated from recycled tires. However, exposure data are scant, and the limited existing exposure studies have focused on a small subset of crumb rubber components. Our objective was to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of a broad range of chemical components of crumb rubber infill using computational toxicology and regulatory agency classifications from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to inform future exposure studies and risk analyses. Through a literature review, we identified 306 chemical constituents of crumb rubber infill from 20 publications. Utilizing ADMET Predictor™, a computational program to predict carcinogenicity and genotoxicity, 197 of the identified 306 chemicals met our a priori carcinogenicity criteria. Of these, 52 chemicals were also classified as known, presumed or suspected carcinogens by the US EPA and ECHA. Of the remaining 109 chemicals which were not predicted to be carcinogenic by our computational toxicology analysis, only 6 chemicals were classified as presumed or suspected human carcinogens by US EPA or ECHA. Importantly, the majority of crumb rubber constituents were not listed in the US EPA (n = 207) and ECHA (n = 262) databases, likely due to an absence of evaluation or insufficient information for a reliable carcinogenicity classification. By employing a cancer hazard scoring system to the chemicals which were predicted and classified by the computational analysis and government databases, several high priority carcinogens were identified, including benzene, benzidine, benzo(a)pyrene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride. Our findings demonstrate that computational toxicology assessment in conjunction with government classifications can be used to prioritize hazardous chemicals for future exposure monitoring studies for users of synthetic turf fields. This approach could be extended to other compounds or toxicity endpoints.
  8. Peng W, Ma NL, Zhang D, Zhou Q, Yue X, Khoo SC, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 12;191:110046.
    PMID: 32841638 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110046
    Locusts differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to swarm over long distances and are among the oldest migratory pests. The ecology and biology of locusts make them among the most devastating pests worldwide and hence the calls for actions to prevent the next outbreaks. The most destructive of all locust species is the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). Here, we review the current locust epidemic 2020 outbreak and its causes and prevention including the green technologies that may provide a reference for future directions of locust control and food security. Massive locust outbreaks threaten the terrestrial environments and crop production in around 100 countries of which Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are the most affected. Six large locust outbreaks are reported for the period from 1912 to 1989 all being closely related to long-term droughts and warm winters coupled with occurrence of high precipitation in spring and summer. The outbreaks in East Africa, India and Pakistan are the most pronounced with locusts migrating more than 150 km/day during which the locusts consume food equivalent to their own body weight on a daily basis. The plague heavily affects the agricultural sectors, which is the foundation of national economies and social stability. Global warming is likely the main cause of locust plague outbreak in recent decades driving egg spawning of up to 2-400,000 eggs per square meter. Biological control techniques such as microorganisms, insects and birds help to reduce the outbreaks while reducing ecosystem and agricultural impacts. In addition, green technologies such as light and sound stimulation seem to work, however, these are challenging and need further technological development incorporating remote sensing and modelling before they are applicable on large-scales. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the 2020 locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years probably triggered by climate change, hurricanes and heavy rain and has affected a total of 70,000 ha in Somalia and Ethiopia. There is a need for shifting towards soybean, rape, and watermelon which seems to help to prevent locust outbreaks and obtain food security. Furthermore, locusts have a very high protein content and is an excellent protein source for meat production and as an alternative human protein source, which should be used to mitigate food security. In addition, forestation of arable land improves local climate conditions towards less precipitation and lower temperatures while simultaneously attracting a larger number of birds thereby increasing the locust predation rates.
  9. Salahuddin M, Habib MA, Al-Mulali U, Ozturk I, Marshall M, Ali MI
    Environ Res, 2020 12;191:110094.
    PMID: 32846170 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110094
    This study employs dynamic panel data for 34 Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries for the period 1984-2016 to estimate the effects of renewable energy on environmental quality measured by three indicators, namely, per capita CO2 emissions, energy intensity (EI) and Aggregate National Savings (ANS). The study leveraged a battery of second-generation econometric tests and estimation and causality methods to obtain the coefficients between the regressed and the regressors. Results reveal that use of renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions and energy intensity while it enhances ANS. Economic growth still seems to be expensive for the region as it stimulates CO2 emissions. However, it has a positive effect on ANS. As expected, fossil fuels exacerbate CO2 emissions and energy intensity. FDI is found to be detrimental for the environment of SSA region with its positive significant coefficient on CO2 emissions. Financial development is reported to reduce CO2 emissions. Some causal links between variables are also noted.
  10. Razzaq A, Sharif A, Aziz N, Irfan M, Jermsittiparsert K
    Environ Res, 2020 Dec;191:110189.
    PMID: 32919963 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110189
    This study draws the link between COVID-19 and air pollution (ground ozone O3) from February 29, 2020 to July 10, 2020 in the top 10 affected States of the US. Utilizing quantile-on-quantile (QQ) estimation technique, we examine in what manner the quantiles of COVID-19 affect the quantiles of air pollution and vice versa. The primary findings confirm overall dependence between COVID-19 and air pollution. Empirical results exhibit a strong negative effect of COVID-19 on air pollution in New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania; especially at medium to higher quantiles, while New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, and Georgia show strong negative effect mainly at lower quantiles. Contrarily, COVID-19 positively affects air pollution in Pennsylvania at extreme lower quantiles. On the other side, air pollution predominantly caused to increase in the intensity of COVID-19 cases across all states except lower quantiles of Massachusetts, and extreme higher quantiles of Arizona and New Jersey, where this effect becomes less pronounced or negative. Concludingly, a rare positive fallout of COVID-19 is reducing environmental pressure, while higher environmental pollution causes to increase the vulnerability of COVID-19 cases. These findings imply that air pollution is at the heart of chronic diseases, therefore the state government should consider these asymmetric channels and introduce appropriate policy measures to reset and control atmospheric emissions.
  11. Gasull M, Pumarega J, Kiviranta H, Rantakokko P, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Bergdahl IA, et al.
    Environ Res, 2019 02;169:417-433.
    PMID: 30529143 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.027
    BACKGROUND: The use of biomarkers of environmental exposure to explore new risk factors for pancreatic cancer presents clinical, logistic, and methodological challenges that are also relevant in research on other complex diseases.

    OBJECTIVES: First, to summarize the main design features of a prospective case-control study -nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort- on plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pancreatic cancer risk. And second, to assess the main methodological challenges posed by associations among characteristics and habits of study participants, fasting status, time from blood draw to cancer diagnosis, disease progression bias, basis of cancer diagnosis, and plasma concentrations of lipids and POPs. Results from etiologic analyses on POPs and pancreatic cancer risk, and other analyses, will be reported in future articles.

    METHODS: Study subjects were 1533 participants (513 cases and 1020 controls matched by study centre, sex, age at blood collection, date and time of blood collection, and fasting status) enrolled between 1992 and 2000. Plasma concentrations of 22 POPs were measured by gas chromatography - triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). To estimate the magnitude of the associations we calculated multivariate-adjusted odds ratios by unconditional logistic regression, and adjusted geometric means by General Linear Regression Models.

    RESULTS: There were differences among countries in subjects' characteristics (as age, gender, smoking, lipid and POP concentrations), and in study characteristics (as time from blood collection to index date, year of last follow-up, length of follow-up, basis of cancer diagnosis, and fasting status). Adjusting for centre and time of blood collection, no factors were significantly associated with fasting status. Plasma concentrations of lipids were related to age, body mass index, fasting, country, and smoking. We detected and quantified 16 of the 22 POPs in more than 90% of individuals. All 22 POPs were detected in some participants, and the smallest number of POPs detected in one person was 15 (median, 19) with few differences by country. The highest concentrations were found for p,p'-DDE, PCBs 153 and 180 (median concentration: 3371, 1023, and 810 pg/mL, respectively). We assessed the possible occurrence of disease progression bias (DPB) in eight situations defined by lipid and POP measurements, on one hand, and by four factors: interval from blood draw to index date, tumour subsite, tumour stage, and grade of differentiation, on the other. In seven of the eight situations results supported the absence of DPB.

    CONCLUSIONS: The coexistence of differences across study centres in some design features and participant characteristics is of relevance to other multicentre studies. Relationships among subjects' characteristics and among such characteristics and design features may play important roles in the forthcoming analyses on the association between plasma concentrations of POPs and pancreatic cancer risk.

  12. Munir M, Ahmad M, Rehan M, Saeed M, Lam SS, Nizami AS, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 02;193:110398.
    PMID: 33127396 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110398
    This study focused on producing high quality and yield of biodiesel from novel non-edible seed oil of abundantly available wild Raphnus raphanistrum L. using an efficient, recyclable and eco-friendly copper modified montmorillonite (MMT) clay catalyst. The maximum biodiesel yield of 83% was obtained by base catalyzed transesterification process under optimum operating conditions of methanol to oil ratio of 15:1, reaction temperature of 150 °C, reaction time of 5 h and catalyst loading of 3.5%. The synthesized catalyst and biodiesel were characterized for their structural features and chemical compositions using various state-of-the-art techniques, including x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (1H, 13C) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. The fuel properties of the biodiesel were estimated including kinematic viscosity (4.36 cSt), density (0.8312 kg/L), flash point (72 °C), acid value (0.172 mgKOH/g) and sulphur content (0.0002 wt.%). These properties were compared and found in good agreement with the International Biodiesel Standards of American (ASTM-951, 6751), European Committee (EN-14214) and China GB/T 20828 (2007). The catalyst was re-used in five consecutive transesterification reactions without losing much catalytic efficiency. Overall, non-edible Raphnus raphanistrum L.. seed oil and Cu doped MMT clay catalyst appeared to be highly active, stable, and cheap contenders for future biofuel industry. However, detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of Raphnus raphanistrum L. seed oil biodiesel are highly recommended to assess the technical, ecological, social and economic challenges.
  13. Mofijur M, Ahmed SF, Rahman SMA, Arafat Siddiki SY, Islam ABMS, Shahabuddin M, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 04;195:110857.
    PMID: 33581088 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.110857
    The nature of micro- and nanoplastics and their harmful consequences has drawn significant attention in recent years in the context of environmental protection. Therefore, this paper aims to provide an overview of the existing literature related to this evolving subject, focusing on the documented human health and marine environment impacts of micro- and nanoplastics and including a discussion of the economic challenges and strategies to mitigate this waste problem. The study highlights the micro- and nanoplastics distribution across various trophic levels of the food web, and in different organs in infected animals which is possible due to their reduced size and their lightweight, multi-coloured and abundant features. Consequently, micro- and nanoplastics pose significant risks to marine organisms and human health in the form of cytotoxicity, acute reactions, and undesirable immune responses. They affect several sectors including aquaculture, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, industrial sectors, power generation, tourism, and local authorities causing considerable economic losses. This can be minimised by identifying key sources of environmental plastic contamination and educating the public, thus reducing the transfer of micro- and nanoplastics into the environment. Furthermore, the exploitation of the potential of microorganisms, particularly those from marine origins that can degrade plastics, could offer an enhanced and environmentally sound approach to mitigate micro- and nanoplastics pollution.
  14. Reddy KHP, Kim BS, Lam SS, Jung SC, Song J, Park YK
    Environ Res, 2021 04;195:110876.
    PMID: 33592225 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.110876
    In this study, the role of manganese precursors in mesoporous (meso) MnOx/γ-Al2O3 catalysts was examined systematically for toluene oxidation under ozone at ambient temperature (20 °C). The meso MnOx/γ-Al2O3 catalysts developed with Mn(CH3COO)2, MnCl2, Mn(NO3)2.4H2O and MnSO4 were prepared by an innovative single step solvent-deficient method (SDM); the catalysts were labeled as MnOx/Al2O3(A), MnOx/Al2O3(C), MnOx/Al2O3(N), and MnOx/Al2O3(S), respectively. Among all, MnOx/Al2O3(C) showed superior performance both in toluene removal (95%) as well as ozone decomposition (88%) followed by acetate, nitrate and sulphated precursor MnOx/Al2O3. The superior performance of MnOx/Al2O3(C) in the oxidation of toluene to COx is associated with the ozone decomposition over highly dispersed MnOx in which extremely active oxygen radicals (O2-, O22- and O-) are generated to enhance the oxidation ability of the catalysts greatly. In addition, toluene adsorption over acid support played a vital role in this reaction. Hence, the properties such as optimum Mn3+/Mn4+ ratio, acidic sites, and smaller particle size (≤2 nm) examined by XPS, TPD of NH3, and TEM results are playing vital role in the present study. In summary, the MnOx/Al2O3 (C) catalyst has great potential in environmental applications particularly for the elimination of volatile organic compounds with low loading of manganese developed by SDM.
  15. Hossain SS, Tarek M, Munusamy TD, Rezaul Karim KM, Roopan SM, Sarkar SM, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 09;188:109803.
    PMID: 32590149 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109803
    In this work, the photocatalytic property of p-type CuO was tailored by creating a heterojunction with n-type CdS. The CuO/CdS nanocomposite photocatalyst was synthesized by the ultrasound-assisted-wet-impregnation method and the physicochemical and optical properties of the catalysts were evaluated by using N2 physisorption, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD),X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Energy dispersive X-Ray (EDX) mapping, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM), UV-Vis and photoluminescence spectroscopy experiments. Detailed characterization revealed the formation of a nanocomposite with a remarkable improvement in the charge carrier (electron/hole) separation. The photocatalytic degradation efficiencies of CuO and CuO/CdS were investigated for different dyes, for instance, rhodamine B (RhB), methylene blue (MLB), methyl blue (MB) and methyl orange (MO) under visible light irradiation. The obtained dye degradation efficiencies were ~93%, ~75%, ~83% and ~80%, respectively. The quantum yield for RhB degradation under visible light was 6.5 × 10-5. Reusability tests revealed that the CuO/CdS photocatalyst was recyclable up to four times. The possible mechanisms for the photocatalytic dye degradation over CuO/CdS nanocomposite were elucidated by utilizing various scavengers. Through these studies, it can be confirmed that the conduction band edges of CuO and CdS play a significant role in producing O2-. The produced O2- degraded the dye molecules in the bulk solution whereas the valence band position of CuO acted as the water oxidation site. In conclusion, the incorporation of CuO with CdS was demonstrated to be a viable strategy for the efficient photocatalytic degradation of dyes in aqueous solutions.
  16. Gou Z, Ma NL, Zhang W, Lei Z, Su Y, Sun C, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 09;188:109829.
    PMID: 32798948 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109829
    Intensive studies have been performed on the improvement of bioethanol production by transformation of lignocellulose biomass. In this study, the digestibility of corn stover was dramatically improved by using laccase immobilized on Cu2+ modified recyclable magnetite nanoparticles, Fe3O4-NH2. After digestion, the laccase was efficiently separated from slurry. The degradation rate of lignin reached 40.76%, and the subsequent cellulose conversion rate 38.37% for 72 h at 35 °C with cellulase at 50 U g-1 of corn stover. Compared to those of free and inactivated mode, the immobilized laccase pre-treatment increased subsequent cellulose conversion rates by 23.98% and 23.34%, respectively. Moreover, the reusability of immobilized laccase activity remained 50% after 6 cycles. The storage and thermal stability of the fixed laccase enhanced by 70% and 24.1% compared to those of free laccase at 65 °C, pH 4.5, respectively. At pH 10.5, it exhibited 16.3% more activities than its free mode at 35 °C. Our study provides a new avenue for improving the production of bioethanol with immobilized laccase for delignification using corn stover as the starting material.
  17. Khoo CG, Lam MK, Mohamed AR, Lee KT
    Environ Res, 2020 09;188:109828.
    PMID: 32798947 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109828
    This study aims to produce hydrochar from high-ash low-lipid Chlorella vulgaris biomass via hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) process. The effects of hydrothermal temperature and retention time with respect to the physicochemical properties of hydrochar were studied in the range of 180-250 °C and 0.5-4 h, respectively. It was found that the hydrothermal temperature had resulted in a significant reduction of hydrochar yield as compared to the retention time. The raw microalgal biomass was successfully converted into an energy densified hydrochar via an optimized HTC reaction, with higher heating value (HHV) of 24.51 kJ/g, which was approximately two-times higher than that of raw biomass. In addition, the overall carbon recovery rate and energy yield were in the range of 53.2-86.4% and 46.9-76.6%, respectively. The high quality of the produced hydrochar was further supported by the plot of van Krevelen diagram and combustion behaviour analysis. Besides, the aqueous phase collected from HTC process could be further used as nutrients source to cultivate C. vulgaris, in which up to 70% of the biomass yield could be attained as compared to the control cultivation condition. The reusability of the aqueous phase collected from HTC process as an alternative nutrients source to cultivate microalgal indicated the feasibility and positive integration of HTC process in microalgal biofuel processing chain.
  18. Gurdeep Singh HK, Yusup S, Quitain AT, Abdullah B, Ameen M, Sasaki M, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 07;186:109616.
    PMID: 32668556 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109616
    Catalytic cracking of vegetable oil mainly processed over zeolites, and among all the zeolites particularly HZMS-5 has been investigated on wide range for renewable and clean gasoline production from various plant oils. Despite the fact that HZSM-5 offers a higher conversion degree and boost aromatics yield, the isomerate yield reduces due to high cracking activity and shape selectivity of HZSM-5. Hence, to overcome these problems, in this study the transition metals, such as nickel and copper doped over HZSM-5 were tested for its efficiencies to improve the isoparaffin compounds. The catalysts were screened with linoleic acid in a catalytic cracking reaction conducted at 450 ᵒC for 90 min in an atmospheric condition in batch reactor. Then, the gasoline composition of the organic liquid product (OLP) was analysed in terms of paraffin, isoparaffin, olefin, naphthenes and aromatics (PIONA). The results showed that Cu/ZSM-5 produced the highest liquid yield of 79.1%, at the same time reduced the production of gas and coke to 18.8% and 0.7%. Furthermore, the desired isoparaffin composition in biogasoline increased from 1.6% to 6.8% and at the same time reduced the oxygenated and aromatic compounds to 15.4% and 59.7%, respectively. The linoleic acid as model compound of rubber seed oil, in the catalytic cracking reaction provides a clearer understanding of the process. Besides, the water gas shift (WGS) reaction in catalytic cracking reaction provides insitu hydrogen production to saturate the branched olefin into the desired isoparaffin and the aromatics into naphthenes.
  19. Lam SS, Chew KW, Show PL, Ma NL, Ok YS, Peng W, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 11;190:109966.
    PMID: 32829186 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109966
    Two of the world most endangered marine and terrestrial species are at the brink of extinction. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is the smallest existing cetacean and the population has declined to barely 22 individuals now remaining in Mexico's Gulf of California. With the ongoing decline, it is likely to go extinct within few years. The primary threat to this species has been mortality as a result of by-catch from gillnet fishing as well as environmental toxic chemicals and disturbance. This has called for the need to establish a National Park within the Gulf of California to expand essential habitat and provide the critical ecosystem protection for vaquita to thrive and multiply, given that proper conservation enforcement and management of the park are accomplished. In the terrestrial environment, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is reduced to a low number worldwide with the Iran subpopulation currently listed as Critically Endangered and the Indian subpopulation already extinct. There is a need for conservation efforts due to habitat loss, but also an indication of the conspicuous threat of illegal trade and trafficking from Africa and Arab countries in the Middle East. Funds have also been set up to provide refuges for the cheetah by working directly with farmers and landowners, which is a critical movement in adaptive management. These are the potential options for the preservation and possibly the expansion of the overall vaquita and cheetah populations.
  20. Ma NL, Peng W, Soon CF, Noor Hassim MF, Misbah S, Rahmat Z, et al.
    Environ Res, 2021 Feb;193:110405.
    PMID: 33130165 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110405
    The recently emerged coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is impacting all parts of human society including agriculture, manufacturing, and tertiary sectors involving all service provision industries. This paper aims to give an overview of potential host reservoirs that could cause pandemic outbreak caused by zoonotic transmission. Amongst all, continues surveillance in slaughterhouse for possible pathogens transmission is needed to prevent next pandemic outbreak. This paper also summarizes the potential threats of pandemic to agriculture and aquaculture sector that control almost the total food supply chain and market. The history lesson from the past, emerging and reemerging infectious disease including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, Influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 and the recent COVID-19 should give us some clue to improve especially the governance to be more ready for next coming pandemic.
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