Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been considered a useful material for the treatment of wastewater due to its non-toxic character, chemical stability and excellent electrical and optical properties which contribute in its wide range of applications, particularly in environmental remediation technology. However, the wide band gap of TiO2 photocatalyst (anatase phase, 3.20 eV) limits its photocatalytic activity to the ultraviolet region of light. Besides that, the electron-hole pair recombination has been found to reduce the efficiency of the photocatalyst. To overcome these problems, tailoring of TiO2 surface with rare earth metals to improve its surface, optical and photocatalytic properties has been investigated by many researchers. The surface modifications with rare earth metals proved to enhance the efficiency of TiO2 photocatalyts by way of reducing the band gap by shifting the working wavelength to the visible region and inhibiting the anatase-to-rutile phase transformations. This review paper summarises the attempts on modification of TiO2 using rare earth metals describing their effect on the photocatalytic activities of the modified TiO2 photocatalyst.
Biochar is the bio-solid material produced by pyrolysis. The biochar properties are controlled by feedstock and pyrolysis variables. In this study, the impacts of these production variables on biochar yield and physicochemical properties including pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), total organic carbon (TOC) content, surface area, and pore volume and size were investigated. Rice husk (RH) and oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) were used as biomass. The biochars were produced at temperature range of 300 to 700 °C, heating rate of 3 to 10 °C/min and retention time of 1 to 3 h. The pyrolysis conditions were optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) technique to maximize the values of the responses. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the results demonstrated that the data fitted well to the linear and quadratic equations. Temperature was found to be the most effective parameter on the responses followed by retention time and heating rate, sequentially. CEC, TOC, surface area, and pore characteristics were evaluated as biochar properties determining their sorption potential. The optimum conditions for the maximum values of the properties were temperatures of 700 and 493.44 °C and time of 3 and 1 h for RH and EFB biochars, respectively. Heating rate at 3 °C/min was found to be the best rate for both biochars. The structure of EFB biomass was more sensitive to heating than rice husk. The biomass type and the production variables were demonstrated as the direct effective factors on biochar yield and physicochemical properties.
The solar flat plate collector operating under different convective modes has low efficiency for energy conversion. The energy absorbed by the working fluid in the collector system and its heat transfer characteristics vary with solar insolation and mass flow rate. The performance of the system is improved by reducing the losses from the collector. Various passive methods have been devised to aid energy absorption by the working fluid. Also, working fluids are modified using nanoparticles to improve the thermal properties of the fluid. In the present work, simulation and experimental studies are undertaken for pipe flow at constant heat flux boundary condition in the mixed convection mode. The working fluid at low Reynolds number in the mixed laminar flow range is undertaken with water in thermosyphon mode for different inclination angles of the tube. Local and average coefficients are determined experimentally and compared with theoretical values for water-based Al2O3 nanofluids. The results show an enhancement in heat transfer in the experimental range with Rayleigh number at higher inclinations of the collector tube for water and nanofluids.
In this paper, numerous studies on groundwater in Malaysia were reviewed with the aim of evaluating past trends and the current status for discerning the sustainability of the water resources in the country. It was found that most of the previous groundwater studies (44 %) focused on the islands and mostly concentrated on qualitative assessment with more emphasis being placed on seawater intrusion studies. This was then followed by inland-based studies, with Selangor state leading the studies which reflected the current water challenges facing the state. From a methodological perspective, geophysics, graphical methods, and statistical analysis are the dominant techniques (38, 25, and 25 %) respectively. The geophysical methods especially the 2D resistivity method cut across many subjects such as seawater intrusion studies, quantitative assessment, and hydraulic parameters estimation. The statistical techniques used include multivariate statistical analysis techniques and ANOVA among others, most of which are quality related studies using major ions, in situ parameters, and heavy metals. Conversely, numerical techniques like MODFLOW were somewhat less admired which is likely due to their complexity in nature and high data demand. This work will facilitate researchers in identifying the specific areas which need improvement and focus, while, at the same time, provide policymakers and managers with an executive summary and knowledge of the current situation in groundwater studies and where more work needs to be done for sustainable development.
The main purpose of this work is to analyze the impact of environmental degradation proxied by CO2 emissions per capita along with some other explanatory variables namely energy use, trade, and human capital on economic growth in selected higher CO2 emissions economies namely China, the USA, India, and Japan. For empirical analysis, annual data over the period spanning between 1971 and 2013 are used. After using relevant and suitable tests for checking data properties, the panel fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS) method is employed as an analytical technique for parameter estimation. The panel group FMOLS results reveal that almost all variables are statistically significant, whereby test rejects the null hypotheses of non cointegration, demonstrating that all variables play an important role in affecting the economic growth role across countries. Where two regressors namely CO2 emissions and energy use show significantly negative impacts on economic growth, for trade and human capital, they tend to show the significantly positive impact on economic growth. However, for the individual analysis across countries, the panel estimate suggests that CO2 emissions have a significant positive relationship with economic growth for China, Japan, and the USA, while it is found significantly negative in case of India. The empirical findings of the study suggest that appropriate and prudent policies are required in order to control pollution emerging from areas other than liquefied fuel consumption. The ultimate impact of shrinking pollution will help in supporting sustainable economic growth and maturation as well as largely improve society welfare.
The Bernam River is one of the most important rivers in Malaysia in that it provides water for industries and agriculture located along its banks. The present study was conducted to assess the level of contamination of heavy metals (Cd, Ni, Cr, Sn, and Fe) in surface sediments in the Bernam River. Nine surface sediment samples were collected from the lower, middle, and upper courses of the river. The results indicated that the concentrations of the metals decreased in the order of Sn > Cr > Ni > Fe > Cd (56.35, 14.90, 5.3, 4.6, and 0.62 μg/g(1) dry weight). Bernam River sediments have moderate to severe enrichment for Sn, moderate for Cd, and no enrichment for Cr, Ni, and Fe. The contamination factor (CF) results demonstrated that Cd and Sn are responsible for the high contamination. The pollution load index (PLI), for all the sampling sites, suggests that the sampling stations were generally unpolluted with the exception of the Bagan Tepi Sungai, Sabak Bernam, and Tanjom Malim stations. Multivariate techniques including Pearson's correlation and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to apportion the various sources of the metals. The results suggested that the sediment samples collected from the upper course of the river had lower metal concentrations, while sediments in the middle and lower courses of the river had higher metal concentrations. Therefore, our results can be useful as a baseline data for government bodies to adopt corrective measure on the issues related to heavy metal pollution in the Bernam River in the future.
Three short sediment cores from inner continental shelf of the southern South China Sea (5-50 km) off Terengganu were analyzed for lipid contents (i.e., homologous aliphatic compounds and sterols) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The concentrations of the total aliphatic hydrocarbons (TAHs) ranged from 0.152 to 6.91 μg/g dry weight. The n-alkane distribution was from nC₁₃ to nC₃₆, with a carbon preference index (CPI₁₃₋₃₅) from 1.08 to 4.28 and a carbon number maximum (Cmax), depending on a sample, at 31 or 18. In addition, a strong odd-to-even carbon number predominance was observed in nC₂₅-nC₃₅ range. The distribution of the n-alkanoic acids and n-alkanols in all samples exhibited an even-to-odd carbon number predominance and ranged from C₁₀ to C₂₆ and from C₁₂ to C₃₄, respectively. The n-alkanols were dominated by the long-chain homologs with Cmax at 22; on the other hand, the n-alkanoic acid distributions showed a predominance of short-chain homologs with a Cmax at 16. The total sterol concentrations ranged from 0.41 to 3.57 μg/g dry weight. Cholesterol was most abundant at the offshore stations, whereas sitosterol was dominant at near-shore station. Pentacyclic triterpenoids such as friedelin and taraxerol α- and β-amyrins, which are known biomarkers for higher plants, were detected at all stations with a dilution trend offshore. In conclusion, the marine sediments off southern Terengganu can still be considered uncontaminated, where the compound sources are biogenic from terrestrial plants superimposed with a marine productivity input.
Poor water quality is a serious problem in the world which threatens human health, ecosystems, and plant/animal life. Prediction of surface water quality is a main concern in water resource and environmental systems. In this research, the support vector machine and two methods of artificial neural networks (ANNs), namely feed forward back propagation (FFBP) and radial basis function (RBF), were used to predict the water quality index (WQI) in a free constructed wetland. Seventeen points of the wetland were monitored twice a month over a period of 14 months, and an extensive dataset was collected for 11 water quality variables. A detailed comparison of the overall performance showed that prediction of the support vector machine (SVM) model with coefficient of correlation (R(2)) = 0.9984 and mean absolute error (MAE) = 0.0052 was either better or comparable with neural networks. This research highlights that the SVM and FFBP can be successfully employed for the prediction of water quality in a free surface constructed wetland environment. These methods simplify the calculation of the WQI and reduce substantial efforts and time by optimizing the computations.
This study investigates the influence of Internet retailing on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in 77 countries categorized into developed and developing countries during the period of 2000-2013. To realize the aims of the study, a model that represents pollution is established utilizing the panel two-stage least square (TSLS) and the generalized method of moments (GMM). The results for both regressions similarly indicated that GDP growth, electricity consumption, urbanization, and trade openness are the main factors that increase CO2 emission in the investigated countries. Although the results show that Internet retailing reduces CO2 emission in general, a disaggregation occurs between developed and developing countries whereby Internet retailing has a significant negative effect on CO2 emission in the developed countries while it has no significant impact on CO2 emission in the developing countries. From the outcome of this study, a number of policy implications are provided for the investigated countries.
Environmental quality indicators are crucial for responsive and cost-effective policies. The objective of the study is to examine the relationship between environmental quality indicators and financial development in Malaysia. For this purpose, the number of environmental quality indicators has been used, i.e., air pollution measured by carbon dioxide emissions, population density per square kilometer of land area, agricultural production measured by cereal production and livestock production, and energy resources considered by energy use and fossil fuel energy consumption, which placed an impact on the financial development of the country. The study used four main financial indicators, i.e., broad money supply (M2), domestic credit provided by the financial sector (DCFS), domestic credit to the private sector (DCPC), and inflation (CPI), which each financial indicator separately estimated with the environmental quality indicators, over a period of 1975-2013. The study used the generalized method of moments (GMM) technique to minimize the simultaneity from the model. The results show that carbon dioxide emissions exert the positive correlation with the M2, DCFC, and DCPC, while there is a negative correlation with the CPI. However, these results have been evaporated from the GMM estimates, where carbon emissions have no significant relationship with any of the four financial indicators in Malaysia. The GMM results show that population density has a negative relationship with the all four financial indicators; however, in case of M2, this relationship is insignificant to explain their result. Cereal production has a positive relationship with the DCPC, while there is a negative relationship with the CPI. Livestock production exerts the positive relationship with the all four financial indicators; however, this relationship with the CPI has a more elastic relationship, while the remaining relationship is less elastic with the three financial indicators in a country. Energy resources comprise energy use and fossil fuel energy consumption, both have distinct results with the financial indicators, as energy demand have a positive and significant relationship with the DCFC, DCPC, and CPI, while fossil fuel energy consumption have a negative relationship with these three financial indicators. The results of the study are of value to both environmentalists and policy makers.
Amending polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soils with biochar may be cheaper and environmentally friendly than other forms of organic materials. This has led to numerous studies on the use of biochar to either bind or stimulate the microbial degradation of organic compounds in soils. However, very little or no attention have been paid to the fact that biochars can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes, such as volatilization, sorption and biodegradation. In this review, we raised and considered the following questions: How does biochar affect microbes and microbial activities in the soil? What are the effects of adding biochar on sorption of PAHs? What are the effects of adding biochar on degradation of PAHs? What are the factors that we can manipulate in the laboratory to enhance the capability of biochars to degrade PAHs? A triphasic concept of how biochar can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes in soils was proposed, which involves rapid PAH sorption into biochar, subsequent desorption and modification of soil physicochemical properties by biochar, which in turn stimulates microbial degradation of the desorbed PAHs. It is anticipated that biochar can give simultaneous impact on PAH fate processes in soils.
This study was conducted to determine the composition of surfactants in atmospheric aerosols and rainwater in the vicinity of Lake Chini, Malaysia. Samples of atmospheric aerosol and rainwater were collected between March and September 2011 using a high volume air sampler (HVAS) and glass bottles equipped with funnel. Colorimetric analysis was undertaken to determine the concentration of anionic surfactants as methylene blue active substances (MBAS) and cationic surfactants as disulphine blue active substances (DBAS). The water-soluble ionic compositions were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for cations (Na, K, Mg and Ca) and ion chromatography equipped with a conductivity detector for anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3(-), and SO4(2-)) and the Nessler Method was used to obtain the NH4(+) concentrations. The source apportionment of MBAS and DBAS in atmospheric aerosols was identified using a combination of principal component analysis (PCA) and multiple linear regression (MLR). The results revealed that the concentrations of surfactants in atmospheric aerosols and rainwater were dominated by anionic surfactants as MBAS. The concentration of surfactants as MBAS and DBAS was dominated in fine mode compared to coarse mode aerosols. Using PCA/MLR analysis, two major sources of atmospheric surfactants to Lake Chini were identified as soil dust (75 to 93%) and biomass burning (2 to 22%).
In this study, the distributions and sources of sediment-associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hopanes in the Malaysian rivers and estuaries were evaluated. The concentrations of 16 USEPA PAHs varied from 225.5 to 293.9 (Perlis River), 195.2 to 481.2 (Kedah River), 791.2 to 1995.4 (Merbok River), 231.2 to 426.7 (Perak River), and 3803.2 to 7442.7 ng g(-1) (Klang River) dry weight. PAHs can be classified as moderate in the Perlis, Kedah, and Perak Rivers, moderate to high in the Merbok River, and high to very high in the Klang River. The comparison of PAHs with sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) indicates that occasionally adverse biological effects may occur from total PAHs, low molecular weight (LMW), and high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs at stations 1, 2, and 3 of the Klang River and from total PAHs at station 2 of the Merbok River. The diagnostic ratios of individual PAHs indicate both petrogenic and pyrogenic origin PAHs with significant dominance of pyrogenic sources in the study areas. The results suggest that Malaysian sediments had hopane ratios (C29/C30) similar to MECO suggesting MECO as a major source of the petroleum hydrocarbons found in the sediments, which is consistent with results reported in previous studies. These findings demonstrate that effective and improved environmental regulations in Malaysia have shifted the source of petroleum hydrocarbons from petrogenic to pyrogenic origin.
This study empirically estimates farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) for a planned adaptation programme for addressing climate issues in Pakistan's agricultural sectors. The contingent valuation method (CVM) was employed to determine a monetary valuation of farmers' preferences for a planned adaptation programme by ascertaining the value attached to address climatic issues. The survey was conducted by distributing structured questionnaires among Pakistani farmers. The study found that 67 % of respondents were willing to pay for a planned adaptation programme. However, several socioeconomic and motivational factors exert greater influence on their willingness to pay (WTP). This paper specifies the steps needed for all institutional bodies to better address issues in climate change. The outcomes of this paper will support attempts by policy makers to design an efficient adaptation framework for mitigating and adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Sungai Puloh mangrove estuary supports a large diversity of macrobenthic organisms and provides social benefits to the local community. Recently, it became a major recipient of heavy metals originating from industries in the hinterland as a result of industrialization and urbanization. This study was conducted to evaluate mobility and pollution status of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, and Fe) in intertidal surface sediments of this area. Surface sediment samples were collected based on four different anthropogenic sources. Metals concentrations were analyzed using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Results revealed that the mean concentrations were Zn (1023.68 ± 762.93 μg/g), Pb (78.8 ± 49.61 μg/g), Cu (46.89 ± 43.79 μg/g), Ni (35.54 ± 10.75 μg/g), Cd (0.94 ± 0.29 μg/g), and Fe (7.14 ± 0.94%). Most of the mean values of analyzed metals were below both the interim sediment quality guidelines (ISQG-low and ISQG-high), except for Pb concentration (above ISQG-low) and Zn concentration (above ISQG-high), thus suggesting that Pb and Zn may pose some environmental concern. Cadmium, Pb, and Zn concentrations were above the threshold effect level (TEL), indicating seldom adverse effect of these metals on macrobenthic organisms. Pollution load index (PLI) indicated deterioration and other indices revealed the intertidal surface sediment is moderately polluted with Cd, Pb, and Zn. Therefore, this mangrove area requires urgent attention to mitigate further contamination. Finally, this study will contribute to data sources for Malaysia in establishing her own ISQG since it is a baseline study with detailed contamination assessment indices for surface sediment of intertidal mangrove area.
This study was conducted to determine the concentration of total mercury in the edible portion of 46 species of marine fish (n = 297) collected from selected major fish landing ports and wholesale markets throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Samples were collected in June to December 2009. Prior to analysis, the fish samples were processed which consisted of drying at 65 °C until a constant weight was attained; then, it was grounded and digested by a microwave digestion system. The analytical determination was carried out by using a mercury analysis system. Total mercury concentration among fish species was examined. The results showed that mercury concentrations were found significantly higher (p 20 cm) and were positively related with fish size (length and weight) in all fish samples. Despite the results, the level of mercury in marine fish did not exceed the permitted levels of Malaysian and JECFA guideline values at 0.5 mg/kg methylmercury in fish.
In this work, the DRASTIC and GALDIT models were employed to determine the groundwater vulnerability to contamination from anthropogenic activities and seawater intrusion in Kapas Island. In addition, the work also utilized sensitivity analysis to evaluate the influence of each individual parameter used in developing the final models. Based on these effects and variation indices of the said parameters, new effective weights were determined and were used to create modified DRASTIC and GALDIT models. The final DRASTIC model classified the island into five vulnerability classes: no risk (110-140), low (140-160), moderate (160-180), high (180-200), and very high (>200), covering 4, 26, 59, 4, and 7 % of the island, respectively. Likewise, for seawater intrusion, the modified GALDIT model delineates the island into four vulnerability classes: very low (<90), low (90-110), moderate (110-130), and high (>130) covering 39, 33, 18, and 9 % of the island, respectively. Both models show that the areas that are likely to be affected by anthropogenic pollution and seawater intrusion are within the alluvial deposit at the western part of the island. Pearson correlation was used to verify the reliability of the two models in predicting their respective contaminants. The correlation matrix showed a good relationship between DRASTIC model and nitrate (r = 0.58). In a similar development, the correlation also reveals a very strong negative relationship between GALDIT model and seawater contaminant indicator (resistivity Ωm) values (r = -0.86) suggesting that the model predicts more than 86 % of seawater intrusion. In order to facilitate management strategy, suitable areas for artificial recharge were identified through modeling. The result suggested some areas within the alluvial deposit at the western part of the island as suitable for artificial recharge. This work can serve as a guide for a full vulnerability assessment to anthropogenic pollution and seawater intrusion in small islands and will help policy maker and manager with understanding needed to ensure sustainability of the island's aquifer.
This study focuses on the feasibility of treating aged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)-contaminated soils using ethyl lactate (EL)-based Fenton treatment via a combination of parametric and kinetic studies. An optimised operating condition was observed at 66.7 M H2O2 with H2O2/Fe(2+) of 40:1 for low soil organic carbon (SOC) content and mildly acidic soil (pH 6.2), and 10:1 for high SOC and very acidic soil (pH 4.4) with no soil pH adjustment. The desorption kinetic was only mildly shifted from single equilibrium to dual equilibrium of the first-order kinetic model upon ageing. Pretreatment with EL fc = 0.60 greatly reduced the mass transfer coefficient especially for the slow desorbed fraction (kslow) of high molecular weight (HMW) PAHs, largely contributed by the concentration gradient created by EL-enhanced solubility. As the major desorption obstacle was almost fully overcome by the pretreatment, the pseudo-first-order kinetic reaction rate constant of PAHs degradation of aged soils was statistically discernible from that of freshly contaminated soils but slightly reduced in high SOC and high acidity soil. Stabilisation of H2O2 by EL addition in combination with reduced Fe(2+) catalyst were able to slow the decomposition rate of H2O2 even at higher soil pH.
The objective of the study is to establish the link between air pollution, fossil fuel energy consumption, industrialization, alternative and nuclear energy, combustible renewable and wastes, urbanization, and resulting impact on health services in Malaysia. The study employed two-stage least square regression technique on the time series data from 1975 to 2012 to possibly minimize the problem of endogeniety in the health services model. The results in general show that air pollution and environmental indicators act as a strong contributor to influence Malaysian health services. Urbanization and nuclear energy consumption both significantly increases the life expectancy in Malaysia, while fertility rate decreases along with the increasing urbanization in a country. Fossil fuel energy consumption and industrialization both have an indirect relationship with the infant mortality rate, whereas, carbon dioxide emissions have a direct relationship with the sanitation facility in a country. The results conclude that balancing the air pollution, environment, and health services needs strong policy vistas on the end of the government officials.
The microbial breakdown of chitosan, a fishery waste-based material, and its derivative cross-linked chitosans, in both non-contaminated and contaminated conditions was investigated in a laboratory incubation study. Biodegradation of chitosan and cross-linked chitosans was affected by the presence of heavy metals. Zn was more pronounced in inhibiting microbial activity than Cu and Pb. It was estimated that a longer period is required to complete the breakdown of the cross-linked chitosans (up to approximately 100 years) than unmodified chitosan (up to approximately 10 years). The influence of biodegradation on the bioavailable fraction of heavy metals was studied concurrently with the biodegradation trial. It was found that the binding behaviour of chitosan for heavy metals was not affected by the biodegradation process.