In this study, the flocculation behavior and mechanism of a cation-independent bioflocculant IH-7 produced by Aspergillus flavus were investigated. Results showed 91.6% was the lowest flocculating rate recorded by IH-7 (0.5 mg L(-1)) at pH range 4-8. Moreover, IH-7 showed better flocculation performance than polyaluminum chloride (PAC) at a wide range of flocculant concentration (0.06-25 mg L(-1)), temperature (5-45 °C) and salinity (10-60% w/w). The current study found that cation addition did not significantly enhance the flocculating rate and IH-7 is a positively charged bioflocculant. These findings suggest that charge neutralization is the main flocculation mechanism of IH-7 bioflocculant. IH-7 was significantly used to flocculate different types of suspended solids such as activated carbons, kaolin clays, soil solids and yeast cells.
The Malaysian palm oil industry is a major revenue earner and the country is ranked as one of the largest producers in the world. However, growth of the industry is synonymous with a massive production of agro-industrial wastewater. As an environmental protection and public health concern, the highly polluting palm oil mill effluent (POME) has become a major attention-grabber. Hence, the industry is targeting for POME pollution abatement in order to promote a greener image of palm oil and to achieve sustainability. At present, most palm oil mills have adopted the ponding system for treatment. Due to the successful POME pollution abatement experiences, Malaysia is currently planning to revise the effluent quality standards towards a more stringent discharge limits. Hence, the current trend of POME research focuses on developing tertiary treatment or polishing systems for better effluent management. Biotechnologically-advanced POME tertiary (polishing) technologies as well as other physicochemical methods are gaining much attention as these processes are the key players to push the industry towards the goal of environmental sustainability. There are still ongoing treatment technologies being researched and the outcomes maybe available in a while. However, the research completed so far are compiled herein and reported for the first time to acquire a better perspective and insight on the subject with a view of meeting the new standards. To this end, the most feasible technology could be the combination of advanced biological processes (bioreactor systems) with extended aeration, followed by solids separation prior to discharge. Chemical dosing is favoured only if effluent of higher quality is anticipated.
The removal of toxic herbicide from wastewater is challenging due to the availability of suitable adsorbents. The Langsat empty fruit bunch is an agricultural waste and was used in this study as a cheap precursor to produce activated carbon for the adsorption of herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) at different initial concentrations ranging from 50 to 400 mg/L. The produced Langsat empty fruit bunch activated carbon (LEFBAC) was mesoporous and had high surface area of 1065.65 m(2)/g with different active functional groups. The effect of shaking time, temperature and pH on 2,4-D removal were investigated using the batch technique. The adsorption capacity of 2,4-D by LEFBAC was decreased with increase in pH of solution whereas adsorption capacity increased with temperature. The adsorption data was well described by Langmuir isotherm followed by removal capacity of 261.2 mg/g at 30 °C. The results from this work showed that LEFBAC can be used as outstanding material for anionic herbicide uptake from wastewater.
Triphenylmethane dyes (TPM) are recalcitrant colorants brought into the environment. In this study, a lesser-known white rot fungus Coriolopsis sp. (1c3), isolated from compost of Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) of oil palm, was explored for its decolorization potential of TPM dyes. The isolate 1c3 demonstrated good decolorization efficiencies in the treatment of Crystal Violet (CV; 100 mg l(-1)), Methyl Violet (MV; 100 mg l(-1)) and Cotton Blue (CB; 50 mg(-1)), with 94%, 97% and 91%, within 7, 7 and 1 day(s), respectively. Malachite Green (MG; 100 mg l(-1)) was the most recalcitrant dye, with 52% decolorization after 9 days. Dye removal by 1c3 was presumably via biosorption, whereby the process was determined to be influenced by fungal biomass, initial dye concentrations and oxygen requirements. Biodegradation was also a likely mechanism responsible for dye removal by 1c3, occurred as indicated by the reduction of dye spectra peaks. Detection of laccase, lignin peroxidase and NADH-DCIP reductase activities further substantiate the possible occurrence of biodegradation of TPM dyes by 1c3.
Scientific research has characterized the effects of dredging, an underwater excavation process for navigational purposes or material extraction, and has shown its association with a number of chemical, physical and biological impacts. Due to this, much environmental management has been applied in the dredging industry in order to manage its detrimental effects. However, developing nations may have different approaches towards their dredging environmental management to compare to their companions with higher economic strength. Moreover, scientific evidence to make an informed decision is often lacking, hence affecting the number of research executed at these nations, limiting their efforts to preserve the environment. This paper reviews the dredging environmental impacts and its two important factors, dredging technology and sediment characteristic, that determine the magnitude of impacts through literature review, and discusses the need for a more integrated dredging environmental management to be developed for developing nations.
Treatment of industrial waste water (e.g. textile waste water, phenol waste water, pharmaceutical etc) faces limitation in conventional treatment procedures. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) do not suffer from the limits of conventional treatment processes and consequently degrade toxic pollutants more efficiently. Complexity is faced in eradicating the restrictions of AOPs such as sludge formation, toxic intermediates formation and high requirement for oxidants. Increased mass-transfer in AOPs is an alternate solution to this problem. AOPs combined with Fluidized bed reactor (FBR) can be a potential choice compared to fixed bed or moving bed reactor, as AOP catalysts life-span last for only maximum of 5-10 cycles. Hence, FBR-AOPs require lesser operational and maintenance cost by reducing material resources. The time required for AOP can be minimized using FBR and also treatable working volume can be increased. FBR-AOP can process from 1 to 10 L of volume which is 10 times more than simple batch reaction. The mass transfer is higher thus the reaction time is lesser. For having increased mass transfer sludge production can be successfully avoided. The review study suggests that, optimum particle size, catalyst to reactor volume ratio, catalyst diameter and liquid or gas velocity is required for efficient FBR-AOP systems. However, FBR-AOPs are still under lab-scale investigation and for industrial application cost study is needed. Cost of FBR-AOPs highly depends on energy density needed and the mechanism of degradation of the pollutant. The cost of waste water treatment containing azo dyes was found to be US$ 50 to US$ 500 per 1000 gallons where, the cost for treating phenol water was US$ 50 to US$ 800 per 1000 gallons. The analysis for FBR-AOP costs has been found to depend on the targeted pollutant, degradation mechanism (zero order, 1st order and 2nd order) and energy consumptions by the AOPs.
Horizontal subsurface-flow (HSF) constructed wetland incorporating baffles was developed to facilitate upflow and downflow conditions so that the treatment of pollutants could be achieved under multiple aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic conditions sequentially in the same wetland bed. The performances of the baffled and conventional HSF constructed wetlands, planted and unplanted, in the removal of azo dye Acid Orange 7 (AO7) were compared at the hydraulic retention times (HRT) of 5, 3 and 2 days when treating domestic wastewater spiked with AO7 concentration of 300 mg/L. The planted baffled unit was found to achieve 100%, 83% and 69% AO7 removal against 73%, 46% and 30% for the conventional unit at HRT of 5, 3 and 2 days, respectively. Longer flow path provided by baffled wetland units allowed more contact of the wastewater with the rhizomes, microbes and micro-aerobic zones resulting in relatively higher oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and enhanced performance as kinetic studies revealed faster AO7 biodegradation rate under aerobic condition. In addition, complete mineralization of AO7 was achieved in planted baffled wetland unit due to the availability of a combination of aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic conditions.
A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with a working volume of 8 L and an exchange ratio of 25% was used to enrich biomass for the treatment of the anaerobically treated low pH palm oil mill effluent (POME). The influent concentration was stepwise increased from 5000 ± 500 mg COD/L to 11,500 ± 500 mg COD/L. The performance of the reactor was monitored at different organic loading rates (OLRs). It was found that approximately 90% of the COD content of the POME wastewater was successfully removed regardless of the OLR applied to the SBR. Cycle studies of the SBR show that the oxygen uptake by the biomass while there is no COD reduction may be due to the oxidation of the storage product by the biomass. Further, the growth kinetic parameters of the biomass were determined in batch experiments using respirometer. The maximum specific growth rate (μmax) was estimated to be 1.143 day(-1) while the half saturation constant (Ks) with respect to COD was determined to be 0.429 g COD/L. The decay coefficient (bD) and biomass yield (Y) were found to be 0.131 day(-1) and 0.272 mg biomass/mg COD consumed, respectively.
This study investigated the optimum conditions for total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal from diesel-contaminated water using phytoremediation treatment with Scirpus grossus. In addition, TPH removal from sand was adopted as a second response. The optimum conditions for maximum TPH removal were determined through a Box-Behnken Design. Three operational variables, i.e. diesel concentration (0.1, 0.175, 0.25% Vdiesel/Vwater), aeration rate (0, 1 and 2 L/min) and retention time (14, 43 and 72 days), were investigated by setting TPH removal and diesel concentration as the maximum, retention time within the given range, and aeration rate as the minimum. The optimum conditions were found to be a diesel concentration of 0.25% (Vdiesel/Vwater), a retention time of 63 days and no aeration with an estimated maximum TPH removal from water and sand of 76.3 and 56.5%, respectively. From a validation test of the optimum conditions, it was found that the maximum TPH removal from contaminated water and sand was 72.5 and 59%, respectively, which was a 5 and 4.4% deviation from the values given by the Box-Behnken Design, providing evidence that S. grossus is a Malaysian native plant that can be used to remediate wastewater containing hydrocarbons.
The adsorption from aqueous solution of imidazolium, pyrrolidinium and pyridinium based bromide ionic liquids (ILs) having different alkyl chain lengths was investigated on two types of microporous activated carbons: a fabric and a granulated one, well characterized in terms of surface chemistry by "Boehm" titrations and pH of point of zero charge measurements and of porosity by N2 adsorption at 77 K and CO2 adsorption at 273 K. The influence of cation type, alkyl chain length and adsorbate size on the adsorption properties was analyzed by studying kinetics and isotherms of eight different ILs using conductivity measurements. Equilibrium studies were carried out at different temperatures in the range [25-55 °C]. The incorporation of ILs on the AC porosity was studied by N2 adsorption-desorption measurements at 77 K. The experimental adsorption isotherms data showed a good correlation with the Langmuir model. Thermodynamic studies indicated that the adsorption of ILs onto activated carbons was an exothermic process, and that the removal efficiency increased with increase in alkyl chain length, due to the increase in hydrophobicity of long chain ILs cations determined with the evolution of the calculated octanol-water constant (Kow). The negative values of free energies indicated that adsorption of ILs with long chain lengths having hydrophobic cations was more spontaneous at the investigated temperatures.
Sequencing batch reactor (SBR) is one of the various methods of biological treatments used for treating wastewater and landfill leachate. This study investigated the treatment of landfill leachate and domestic wastewater by adding a new adsorbent (powdered ZELIAC; PZ) to the SBR technique. ZELIAC consists of zeolite, activated carbon, lime stone, rice husk ash, and Portland cement. The response surface methodology and central composite design were used to elucidate the nature of the response surface in the experimental design and describe the optimum conditions of the independent variables, including aeration rate (L/min), contact time (h), and ratio of leachate to wastewater mixture (%; v/v), as well as their responses (dependent variables). Appropriate conditions of operating variables were also optimized to predict the best value of responses. To perform an adequate analysis of the aerobic process, four dependent parameters, namely, chemical oxygen demand (COD), color, ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), and phenols, were measured as responses. The results indicated that the PZ-SBR showed higher performance in removing certain pollutants compared with SBR. Given the optimal conditions of aeration rate (1.74 L/min), leachate to wastewater ratio (20%), and contact time (10.31 h) for the PZ-SBR, the removal efficiencies for color, NH3-N, COD, and phenols were 84.11%, 99.01%, 72.84%, and 61.32%, respectively.
Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) treatment has always been a topic of research in Malaysia. This effluent that is extremely rich in organic content needs to be properly treated to minimize environmental hazards before it is released into watercourses. The main aim of this work is to evaluate the potential of applying natural, chemically and thermally modified banana peel as sorbent for the treatment of biologically treated POME. Characteristics of these sorbents were analyzed with BET surface area and SEM. Batch adsorption studies were carried out to remove color, total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), tannin and lignin, and biological oxygen demand (BOD) onto natural banana peel (NBP), methylated banana peel (MBP), and banana peel activated carbon (BPAC) respectively. The variables of pH, adsorbent dosage, and contact time were investigated in this study. Maximum percentage removal of color, TSS, COD, BOD, and tannin and lignin (95.96%, 100%, 100%, 97.41%, and 76.74% respectively) on BPAC were obtained at optimized pH of 2, contact time of 30 h and adsorbent dosage of 30 g/100 ml. The isotherm data were well described by the Redlich-Peterson isotherm model with correlation coefficient of more than 0.99. Kinetic of adsorption was examined by Langergren pseudo first order, pseudo second order, and second order. The pseudo second order was identified to be the governing mechanism with high correlation coefficient of more than 0.99.
The validity of using rainfall characteristics as lumped parameters for investigating the pollutant wash-off process such as first flush occurrence is questionable. This research study introduces an innovative concept of using sector parameters to investigate the relationship between the pollutant wash-off process and different sectors of the runoff hydrograph and rainfall hyetograph. The research outcomes indicated that rainfall depth and rainfall intensity are two key rainfall characteristics which influence the wash-off process compared to the antecedent dry period. Additionally, the rainfall pattern also plays a critical role in the wash-off process and is independent of the catchment characteristics. The knowledge created through this research study provides the ability to select appropriate rainfall events for stormwater quality treatment design based on the required treatment outcomes such as the need to target different sectors of the runoff hydrograph or pollutant species. The study outcomes can also contribute to enhancing stormwater quality modelling and prediction in view of the fact that conventional approaches to stormwater quality estimation is primarily based on rainfall intensity rather than considering other rainfall parameters or solely based on stochastic approaches irrespective of the characteristics of the rainfall event.
This study attempts to identify the optimum social marketing mix for marketing energy conservation behaviour to students in Malaysian universities. A total of 2000 students from 5 major Malaysian universities were invited to provide their preferred social marketing mix. A choice-based conjoint analysis identified a mix of five social marketing attributes to promote energy conservation behaviour; the mix is comprised of the attributes of Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and Post-purchase Maintenance. Each attribute of the mix is associated with a list of strategies. The Product and Post-purchase Maintenance attributes were identified by students as the highest priority attributes in the social marketing mix for energy conservation behaviour marketing, with shares of 27.12% and 27.02%, respectively. The least preferred attribute in the mix is Promotion, with a share of 11.59%. This study proposes an optimal social marketing mix to university management when making decisions about marketing energy conservation behaviour to students, who are the primary energy consumers in the campus. Additionally, this study will assist university management to efficiently allocate scarce resources in fulfilling its social responsibility and to overcome marketing shortcomings by selecting the right marketing mix.
The insecticide chlorpyrifos is extensively used in the humid tropics for insect control on crops and soils. Chlorpyrifos degradation and mineralization was studied under laboratory conditions to characterize the critical factors controlling the degradation and mineralization in three humid tropical soils from Malaysia. The degradation was fastest in moist soils (t1/2 53.3-77.0 days), compared to dry (t1/2 49.5-120 days) and wet soils (t1/2 63.0-124 days). Degradation increased markedly with temperature with activation energies of 29.0-76.5 kJ mol(-1). Abiotic degradation which is important for chlorpyrifos degradation in sub-soils containing less soil microbial populations resulted in t½ of 173-257 days. Higher chlorpyrifos dosages (5-fold) which are often applied in the tropics due to severe insects infestations caused degradation and mineralization rates to decrease by 2-fold. The mineralization rates were more sensitive to the chlorpyrifos application rates reflecting that degradation of metabolites is rate limiting and the toxic effects of some of the metabolites produced. Despite that chlorpyrifos is frequently used and often in larger amounts on tropical soils compared with temperate soils, higher temperature, moderate moisture and high activity of soil microorganisms will stimulate degradation and mineralization.
The ability of aluminum coagulant extracted from red earth to treat Terasil Red R (disperse) and Cibacron Red R (reactive) synthetic dye wastewater was studied. The effects of extractant concentration, soil-to-volume of extractant ratio, and the types of extracting agents (NaOH vs. KCl) on the concentration of aluminum extracted were also investigated. In addition, the efficiency of extracted aluminum was compared with aluminum sulfate, in terms of its capability to reduce the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and to remove synthetic color. Factorial design was applied to determine the effect of selected factors on the amount of aluminum extracted from red earth (i.e., pH, dose of coagulant, type of coagulant on COD reduction, and color removal). It was found that only selected factors exhibited a significant effect on the amount of aluminum extracted from red earth. It was also determined that all factors and their interactions exhibited a significant effect on COD reduction and color removal when applying the extracted aluminum in a standard coagulation process. The results were also compared to aluminum sulfate. Furthermore, NaOH was found to be a better extractant of aluminum in red earth than KCl. Therefore, the best extracting conditions for both extractants were as follows: 2 M NaOH and in a 1:5 (soil/volume of extractant) ratio; 1 M KCl and 1:5 ratio. In treating synthetic dye wastewater, the extracted coagulant showed comparable treatment efficiency to the commercial coagulant. The extracted coagulant was able to reduce the COD of the dispersed dye by 85% and to remove 99% of the color of the dispersed dye, whereas the commercial coagulant reduced 90% of the COD and removed 99% of the color of the dispersed dye. Additionally, the extracted coagulant was able to reduce the COD of the reactive dye by 73% and to remove 99% of the color of the reactive dye. However, the commercial coagulant managed to reduce the COD of the reactive dye by 94% and to remove 96% of the color for the reactive dye.
In this study, the potential of a pilot-scale granular activated carbon sequencing batch biofilm reactor (GAC-SBBR) for removing chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N) and 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) from recycled paper wastewater was assessed. For this purpose, the response surface methodology (RSM) was employed, using a central composite face-centred design (CCFD), to optimise three of the most important operating variables, i.e., hydraulic retention time (HRT), aeration rate (AR) and influent feed concentration (IFC), in the pilot-scale GAC-SBBR process for recycled paper wastewater treatment. Quadratic models were developed for the response variables, i.e., COD, NH3-N and 2,4-DCP removal, based on the high value (>0.9) of the coefficient of determination (R(2)) obtained from the analysis of variance (ANOVA). The optimal conditions were established at 750 mg COD/L IFC, 3.2 m(3)/min AR and 1 day HRT, corresponding to predicted COD, NH3-N and 2,4-DCP removal percentages of 94.8, 100 and 80.9%, respectively.
A lab-scale granular activated carbon sequencing batch biofilm reactor (GAC-SBBR), a combined adsorption and biological process, was developed to treat real wastewater from a recycled paper mill. In this study, one-consortia of mixed culture (4000-5000 mg/L) originating from recycled paper mill activated sludge from Kajang, Malaysia was acclimatized. The GAC-SBBR was fed with real wastewater taken from the same recycled paper mill, which had a high concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and adsorbable organic halides (AOX). The operational duration of the GAC-SBBR was adjusted from 48 h to 24, 12 and finally 8 h to evaluate the effect of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the simultaneous removal of COD and AOX. The COD and AOX removals were in the range of 53-92% and 26-99%, respectively. From this study, it was observed that the longest HRT (48 h) yielded a high removal of COD and AOX, at 92% and 99%, respectively.
Two types of flow system, free surface flow (FSF) and sub-surface flow (SSF), were examined to select a better way to remove total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) using diesel as a hydrocarbon model in a phytotoxicity test to Scirpus grossus. The removal efficiencies of TPH for the two flow systems were compared. Several wastewater parameters, including temperature (T, °C), dissolved oxygen (DO, mgL(-1)), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP, mV), and pH were recorded during the experimental runs. In addition, overall plant lengths, wet weights, and dry weights were also monitored. The phytotoxicity test using the bulrush plant S. grossus was run for 72 days with different diesel concentrations (1%, 2%, and 3%) (Vdiesel/Vwater). A comparison between the two flow systems showed that the SSF system was more efficient than the FSF system in removing TPH from the synthetic wastewater, with average removal efficiencies of 91.5% and 80.2%, respectively. The SSF system was able to tolerate higher diesel concentrations than was the FSF system.
This study aims at developing a novel effluent removal management tool for septic sludge treatment plants (SSTP) using a clonal selection algorithm (CSA). The proposed CSA articulates the idea of utilizing an artificial immune system (AIS) to identify the behaviour of the SSTP, that is, using a sequence batch reactor (SBR) technology for treatment processes. The novelty of this study is the development of a predictive SSTP model for effluent discharge adopting the human immune system. Septic sludge from the individual septic tanks and package plants will be desuldged and treated in SSTP before discharging the wastewater into a waterway. The Borneo Island of Sarawak is selected as the case study. Currently, there are only two SSTPs in Sarawak, namely the Matang SSTP and the Sibu SSTP, and they are both using SBR technology. Monthly effluent discharges from 2007 to 2011 in the Matang SSTP are used in this study. Cross-validation is performed using data from the Sibu SSTP from April 2011 to July 2012. Both chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) in the effluent were analysed in this study. The model was validated and tested before forecasting the future effluent performance. The CSA-based SSTP model was simulated using MATLAB 7.10. The root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), and correction coefficient (R) were used as performance indexes. In this study, it was found that the proposed prediction model was successful up to 84 months for the COD and 109 months for the TSS. In conclusion, the proposed CSA-based SSTP prediction model is indeed beneficial as an engineering tool to forecast the long-run performance of the SSTP and in turn, prevents infringement of future environmental balance in other towns in Sarawak.