This study explores the possible application of a biodegradable plant based surfactant, obtained from Sapindus mukorossi, for washing low levels of arsenic (As) from an iron (Fe) rich soil. Natural association of As(V) with Fe(III) makes the process difficult. Soapnut solution was compared to anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in down-flow and a newly introduced suction mode for soil column washing. It was observed that soapnut attained up to 86% efficiency with respect to SDS in removing As. Full factorial design of experiment revealed a very good fit of data. The suction mode generated up to 83 kPa pressure inside column whilst down-flow mode generated a much higher pressure of 214 kPa, thus making the suction mode more efficient. Micellar solubilisation was found to be responsible for As desorption from the soil and it followed 1st order kinetics. Desorption rate coefficient of suction mode was found to be in the range of 0.005 to 0.01, much higher than down-flow mode values. Analysis of the FT-IR data suggested that the soapnut solution did not interact chemically with As, offering an option for reusing the surfactant. Soapnut can be considered as a soil washing agent for removing As even from soil with high Fe content.
Armillaria sp. F022, a white rot fungus isolated from tropical rain forest (Samarinda, Indonesia) was used to biodegrade naphthalene in cultured medium. Transformation of naphthalene by Armillaria sp. F022 which is able to use naphthalene, a two ring-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) as a source of carbon and energy was investigated. The metabolic pathway was elucidated by identifying metabolites, biotransformation studies and monitoring enzyme activities in cell-free extracts. The identification of metabolites suggests that Armillaria sp. F022 initiates its attack on naphthalene by dioxygenation at its C-1 and C-4 positions to give 1,4-naphthoquinone. The intermediate 2-hydroxybenzaldehyde and salicylic acid, and the characteristic of the meta-cleavage of the resulting diol were identified in the long-term incubation. A part from typical metabolites of naphthalene degradation known from mesophiles, benzoic acid was identified as the next intermediate for the naphthalene pathway of this Armillaria sp. F022. Neither phthalic acid, catechol and cis,cis-muconic acid metabolites were detected in culture extracts. Several enzymes (manganese peroxidase, lignin peroxidase, laccase, 1,2-dioxygenase and 2,3-dioxygenase) produced by Armillaria sp. F022 were detected during the incubation.
The potential of base treated Shorea dasyphylla (BTSD) sawdust for Acid Blue 25 (AB 25) adsorption was investigated in a batch adsorption process. Various physiochemical parameters such as pH, stirring rate, dosage, concentration, contact time and temperature were studied. The adsorbent was characterized with Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope and Brunauer, Emmett and Teller analysis. The optimum conditions for AB 25 adsorption were pH 2, stirring rate 500 r/min, adsorbent dosage 0.10 g and contact time 60 min. The pseudo second-order model showed the best conformity to the kinetic data. The equilibrium adsorption of AB 25 was described by Freundlich and Langmuir, with the latter found to agree well with the isotherm model. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of BTSD was 24.39 mg/g at 300 K, estimated from the Langmuir model. Thermodynamic parameters such as Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy were determined. It was found that AB 25 adsorption was spontaneous and exothermic.
In this study, the biosorption of copper and zinc ions by Chlorella sp. and Chlamydomonas sp. isolated from local environments in Malaysia was investigated in a batch system and by microscopic analyses. Under optimal biosorption conditions, the biosorption capacity of Chlorella sp. for copper and zinc ions was 33.4 and 28.5 mg/g, respectively, after 6 hr of biosorption in an immobilised system. Batch experiments showed that the biosorption capacity of algal biomass immobilised in the form of sodium alginate beads was higher than that of the free biomass. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analyses revealed that copper and zinc were mainly sorbed at the cell surface during biosorption. Exposure to 5 mg/L of copper and zinc affected both the chlorophyll content and cell count of the algal cells after the first 12 hr of contact time.
The Langat River in Malaysia has been experiencing anthropogenic input from urban, rural and industrial activities for many years. Sewage contamination, possibly originating from the greater than three million inhabitants of the Langat River Basin, were examined. Sediment samples from 22 stations (SL01-SL22) along the Langat River were collected, extracted and analysed by GC-MS. Six different sterols were identified and quantified. The highest sterol concentration was found at station SL02 (618.29 ng/g dry weight), which situated in the Balak River whereas the other sediment samples ranged between 11.60 and 446.52 ng/g dry weight. Sterol ratios were used to identify sources, occurrence and partitioning of faecal matter in sediments and majority of the ratios clearly demonstrated that sewage contamination was occurring at most stations in the Langat River. A multivariate statistical analysis was used in conjunction with a combination of biomarkers to better understand the data that clearly separated the compounds. Most sediments of the Langat River were found to contain low to mid-range sewage contamination with some containing 'significant' levels of contamination. This is the first report on sewage pollution in the Langat River based on a combination of biomarker and multivariate statistical approaches that will establish a new standard for sewage detection using faecal sterols.
The present work covers the preparation of carbon-based nanosorbents by ethylene decomposition on stainless steel mesh without the use of external catalyst for the treatment of water containing nickel ions (Ni2+). The reaction temperature was varied from 650 to 850 degrees C, while reaction time and ethylene to nitrogen flow ratio were maintained at 30 min and 1:1 cm3/min, respectively. Results show that nanosorbents synthesised at a reaction temperature of 650 degrees C had the smallest average diameter (75 nm), largest BET surface area (68.95 m2/g) and least amount of impurity (0.98 wt.% Fe). A series of batch-sorption tests were performed to evaluate the effects of initial pH, initial metal concentration and contact time on Ni2+ removal by the nanosorbents. The equilibrium data fitted well to Freundlich isotherm. The kinetic data were best correlated to a pseudo second-order model indicating that the process was of chemisorption type. Further analysis by the Boyd kinetic model revealed that boundary layer diffusion was the controlling step. This primary study suggests that the prepared material with Freundlich constants compared well with those in the literature, is a promising sorbent for the sequestration of Ni2+ in aqueous solutions.
A modified hydrophilic penta-bismuth hepta-oxide nitrate (Bi5O7NO3) surface was synthesized via a precipitation method using TiO2 and Ag as modified agents. The synthesized product was characterized by different analytical techniques. The removal efficiency was evaluated using mono- and di-sulphonated azo dyes as model pollutants. Different kinetic, isotherm and diffusion models were chosen to describe the adsorption process. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results revealed no noticeable differences in the chemical states of modified adsorbent when compared to pure Bi5O7NO3; however, the presence of hydrophilic centres such as TiO2 and Ag developed positively charged surface groups and improved its adsorption performance to a wide range of azo dyes. Dyes removal was found to be a function of adsorbent dosage, initial dye concentration, solution pH and temperature. The reduction of Langmuir 1,2-mixed order kinetics to the second or first-order kinetics could be successfully used to describe the adsorption of dyes onto the modified adsorbent. Mass transfer can be described by intra-particle diffusion at a certain stage, but it was not the rate limiting step that controlled the adsorption process. Homogenous behavior of adsorbent surface can be explored by applying Langmuir isotherm to fit the adsorption data.
Fish scale (FS) loaded TiO2 composites were investigated as photocatalysts in degradation of Methyl Orange under solar light irradiation. Composites were prepared through sol-gel method by varying mass ratio of TiO2/FS at 90:10, 70:30 and 50:50, respectively. The catalysts prepared in this study were characterized by using XRD, SEM, FT-IR and nitrogen sorption. The effects of solar irradiation, mass ratio of TiO2/FS composites, irradiation time and catalyst loadings were studied. Synergistic effect was found in TiO2/FS of 90:10 composite which performed higher photocatalytic degradation than synthesized TiO2 under solar light irradiation. However, further increasing fish scale content in the composites reduced the photocatalytic activity drastically. Under solar light irradiation, all the catalysts in this study exhibited photocatalytic activity, except TiO2/FS of 50:50 composite that only acted as a weak biosorbent without performing any photocatalytic property. Photocatalytic degradation increased with increasing catalyst loading and irradiation time but decreased with increased of initial dye concentration.
Visible-light driven photocatalyst bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) photocatalyst was synthesized by the polyol route using ethylene glycol. The precipitate was washed, dried and calcined at 450 degrees C for 3 hr. The sample was characterized by X-ray diffractometry (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), zeta potential, surface area (BET method) and band gap energy via diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The synthesized BiVO4 has a monoclinic phase with a surface area of 4.3 m2/g and a band gap energy of 2.46 eV. A majority of the particles were in the range of 90-130 nm as obtained from the particle size distribution histrogram. The efficiency of the sample as a visible-light driven photocatalyst was examined by photodegrading Methylene Blue (MB). The effects of some operational photodegradation parameters such as mass loading, initial dye concentration and pH were also examined. Experimental design methodology was applied by response surface modeling and optimization of the removal of MB. The multivariate experimental design was employed to develop a quadratic model as a functional relationship between the percentage removal of MB and three experimental factors (BiVO4 loading, MB initial concentration and pH). The percentage removal of MB approached 67.21% under optimized conditions. In addition, a satisfactory goodness-of-fit was achieved between the,predictive and the experimental results.
Solubility data of recalcitrant contaminants in cosolvents is essential to determine their potential applications in enhanced soil remediation. The solubilities of phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene in ethyl lactate/water and ethanol/water mixtures were measured using equilibrium techniques. The cosolvency powers derived from solubility data were then applied to the model developed from the solvophobic approach to predict the capability of ethyl lactate and ethanol in enhancing the desorption of contaminants from soils. Both ethyl lactate and ethanol cosolvents were shown to be able to enhance the solubilisation of the tested four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by > 4 orders of magnitude above the levels obtained with water alone. However, ethyl lactate demonstrated a greater capacity to enhance PAH solubility than ethanol. The cosolvency powers of ethyl lactate/water system obtained from the end-to-end slope (sigma) and the end-to-half slope (sigma0.5) of the solubilisation curve were 1.0-1.5 and 2.0-2.9 higher than ethanol/water system respectively. In line with this, ethyl lactate/water was demonstrated to enhance the desorption of contaminants from soil by 20%-37% and 18%-61% higher compared to ethanol/water system in low organic content and high organic content soils respectively, with a 2:1 (V/W) ratio of solution:soil and with cosolvent fraction as low as 0.4. With the exception of benzo[a]pyrene, the experimental desorption results agreed fairly with the predicted values, under an applied solution:soil ratio that was enough to hold the capacity of released contaminants.
The aim of this study was to determine the source apportionment of dust fall around Lake Chini, Malaysia. Samples were collected monthly between December 2012 and March 2013 at seven sampling stations located around Lake Chini. The samples were filtered to separate the dissolved and undissolved solids. The ionic compositions (NO3-, SO4(2-), Cl- and NH4+) were determined using ion chromatography (IC) while major elements (K, Na, Ca and Mg) and trace metals (Zn, Fe, Al, Ni, Mn, Cr, Pb and Cd) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results showed that the average concentration of total solids around Lake Chini was 93.49±16.16 mg/(m2·day). SO4(2-), Na and Zn dominated the dissolved portion of the dust fall. The enrichment factors (EF) revealed that the source of the trace metals and major elements in the rain water was anthropogenic, except for Fe. Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis (HACA) classified the seven monitoring stations and 16 variables into five groups and three groups respectively. A coupled receptor model, principal component analysis multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR), revealed that the sources of dust fall in Lake Chini were dominated by agricultural and biomass burning (42%), followed by the earth's crust (28%), sea spray (16%) and a mixture of soil dust and vehicle emissions (14%).
Atmospheric pollution and global warming issues are increasingly becoming major environmental concerns. Fire is one of the significant sources of pollutant gases released into the atmosphere; and tropical biomass fires, which are of particular interest in this study, contribute greatly to the global budget of CO and CO2. This pioneer research simulates the natural biomass burning strategy in Malaysia using an experimental burning facility. The investigation was conducted on the emissions (CO2, CO, and Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes (BTEX)) from ten tropical biomass species. The selected species represent the major tropical forests that are frequently subjected to dry forest fire incidents. An experimental burning facility equipped with an on-line gas analyzer was employed to determine the burning emissions. The major emission factors were found to vary among the species, and the specific results were as follows. The moisture content of a particular biomass greatly influenced its emission pattern. The smoke analysis results revealed the existence of BTEX, which were sampled from a combustion chamber by enrichment traps aided with a universal gas sampler. The BTEX were determined by organic solvent extraction followed by GC/MS quantification, the results of which suggested that the biomass burning emission factor contributed significant amounts of benzene, toluene, and m,p-xylene. The modified combustion efficiency (MCE) changed in response to changes in the sample moisture content. Therefore, this study concluded that the emission of some pollutants mainly depends on the burning phase and sample moisture content of the biomass.
The direct determination of toxic metal ions, in environmental samples, is difficult because of the latter's presence in trace concentration in association with complex matrices, thereby leading to insufficient sensitivity and selectivity of the methods used. The simultaneous removal of the matrix and preconcentration of the metal ions, through solid phase extraction, serves as the promising solution. The mechanism involved in solid phase extraction (SPE) depends on the nature of the sorbent and analyte. Thus, SPE is carried out by means of adsorption, ion exchange, chelation, ion pair formation, and so forth. As polymeric supports, the commercially available Amberlite resins have been found very promising for designing chelating matrices due to its good physical and chemical properties such as porosity, high surface area, durability and purity. This review presents an overview of the various works done on the modification of Amberlite XAD resins with the objective of making it an efficient sorbent. The methods of modifications which are generally based on simple impregnation, sorption as chelates and chemical bonding have been discussed. The reported results, including the preconcentration limit, the detection limit, sorption capacity, preconcentration factors etc., have been reproduced.
In this present study, we reported broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) as a potential candidate for the synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles (NPs) in green chemistry method. The synthesized metal nanoparticles are evaluated their antimicrobial efficacy against different human pathogenic organisms. The physico-chemical properties of gold nanoparticles were analyzed using different analytical techniques such as a UV-Vis spectrophotometer, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and a Fourier Transform Infrared spectrophotometer. In addition, gold and silver NP antimicrobial efficacy was checked by disc diffusion assay. UV-Vis color intensity of the nanoparticles was shown at 540 and 450 nm for gold and silver nanoparticles respectively. Higher magnification of the Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy image shows the variable morphology of the gold nanoparticles such as spherical, rod and triangular shapes and silver nanoparticles were seen in spherical shapes. The average spherical size of the particles was observed in 24-38 nm for gold and 30-45 nm for silver NPs. X-ray diffraction pattern confirmed the presence of gold nanoparticles and silver nanoparticles which were crystalline in nature. Additionally, the functional metabolites were identified by the Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. IR spectra revealed phenols, alcohols, aldehydes (sugar moieties), vitamins and proteins are present in the broccoli extract which are accountable to synthesize the nanoparticles. The synthesized gold and silver NPs inhibited the growth of the tested bacterial and fungal pathogens at the concentration of 50 μg/mL respectively. In addition, broccoli mediated gold and silver nanoparticles have shown potent antimicrobial activity against human pathogens.
Co-composting of poultry manure and rubber wood sawdust was performed with the ratio of 2:1 (V/V) for a period of 60 days. An investigation was carried out to study the extracellular enzymatic activities and structural degradation utilizing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The microbial succession was also determined by using denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (DGGE). The compost was able to reach its highest temperature of 71°C at day 3 and stabilized between 30 and 40°C for 8 weeks. CMCase, FPase and β-glucosidase acted synergistically in order to degrade the cellulosic substrate. The xylanase activities increased gradually during the composting and reached the peak value of 11.637 U/g on day 35, followed by a sharp decline. Both LiP and MnP activities reached their peak values on day 35 with 0.431 and 0.132 U/g respectively. The FT-IR spectra revealed an increase in aromaticity and a decrease in aliphatic compounds such as carbohydrates as decomposition proceeded. TGA/DTG data exhibited significant changes in weight loss in compost samples, indicating degradation of organic matter. SEM micrographs showed higher amounts of parenchyma exposed on the surface of rubber wood sawdust at day 60, showing significant degradation. DGGE and 16S rDNA analyses showed that Burkholderia sp., Pandoraea sp., and Pseudomonas sp. were present throughout the composting process. Ornithinibacillus sp. and Castellaniella ginsengisoli were only found in the initial stage of the composting, while different strains of Burkholderia sp. also occurred in the later stage of composting.
The purpose of this work is to remove Pb(II) from the aqueous solution using a type of hydrogel composite. A hydrogel composite consisting of waste linear low density polyethylene, acrylic acid, starch, and organo-montmorillonite was prepared through emulsion polymerization method. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Solid carbon nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (CNMR)), silicon(-29) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (Si NMR)), and X-ray diffraction spectroscope ((XRD) were applied to characterize the hydrogel composite. The hydrogel composite was then employed as an adsorbent for the removal of Pb(II) from the aqueous solution. The Pb(II)-loaded hydrogel composite was characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)), scanning electron microscopy (SEM)), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy ((XPS)). From XPS results, it was found that the carboxyl and hydroxyl groups of the hydrogel composite participated in the removal of Pb(II). Kinetic studies indicated that the adsorption of Pb(II) followed the pseudo-second-order equation. It was also found that the Langmuir model described the adsorption isotherm better than the Freundlich isotherm. The maximum removal capacity of the hydrogel composite for Pb(II) ions was 430mg/g. Thus, the waste linear low-density polyethylene-g-poly (acrylic acid)-co-starch/organo-montmorillonite hydrogel composite could be a promising Pb(II) adsorbent.
Rapid industrial developments coupled with surging population growth have complicated issues dealing with water scarcity as the quest for clean and sanitized water intensifies globally. Existing fresh water supplies could be contaminated with organic, inorganic and biological matters that have potential harm to the society. Turbidity in general is a measure of water cloudiness induced by such colloidal and suspended matters and is also one of the major criteria in raw water monitoring to meet the stipulated water quality guidelines. Turbidity reduction is often accomplished using chemical coagulants such as alum. The use of alum is widely associated with potential development of health issues and generation of voluminous sludge. Natural coagulants that are available in abundance can certainly be considered in addressing the drawbacks associated with the use of chemical coagulants. Twenty one types of plant-based natural coagulants categorized as fruit waste and others are identified and presented collectively with their research summary in this review. The barriers and prospects of commercialization of natural coagulants in near future are also discussed.
Effects of antibiotic residues on methane production in anaerobic digestion are commonly studied using the following two antibiotic addition methods: (1) adding manure from animals that consume a diet containing antibiotics, and (2) adding antibiotic-free animal manure spiked with antibiotics. This study used chlortetracycline (CTC) as a model antibiotic to examine the effects of the antibiotic addition method on methane production in anaerobic digestion under two different swine wastewater concentrations (0.55 and 0.22mg CTC/g dry manure). The results showed that CTC degradation rate in which manure was directly added at 0.55mg CTC/g (HSPIKE treatment) was lower than the control values and the rest of the treatment groups. Methane production from the HSPIKE treatment was reduced (p<0.05) by 12% during the whole experimental period and 15% during the first 7days. The treatments had no significant effect on the pH and chemical oxygen demand value of the digesters, and the total nitrogen of the 0.55mg CTC/kg manure collected from mediated swine was significantly higher than the other values. Therefore, different methane production under different antibiotic addition methods might be explained by the microbial activity and the concentrations of antibiotic intermediate products and metabolites. Because the primary entry route of veterinary antibiotics into an anaerobic digester is by contaminated animal manure, the most appropriate method for studying antibiotic residue effects on methane production may be using manure from animals that are given a particular antibiotic, rather than adding the antibiotic directly to the anaerobic digester.
Recovery of cellulose fibres from paper mill effluent has been studied using common polysaccharides or biopolymers such as Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum as flocculent. Guar gum is commonly used in sizing paper and routinely used in paper making. The results have been compared with the performance of alum, which is a common coagulant and a key ingredient of the paper industry. Guar gum recovered about 3.86mg/L of fibre and was most effective among the biopolymers. Settling velocity distribution curves demonstrated that Guar gum was able to settle the fibres faster than the other biopolymers; however, alum displayed the highest particle removal rate than all the biopolymers at any of the settling velocities. Alum, Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum removed 97.46%, 94.68%, 92.39% and 92.46% turbidity of raw effluent at a settling velocity of 0.5cm/min, respectively. The conditions for obtaining the lowest sludge volume index such as pH, dose and mixing speed were optimised for guar gum which was the most effective among the biopolymers. Response surface methodology was used to design all experiments, and an optimum operational setting was proposed. The test results indicate similar performance of alum and Guar gum in terms of floc settling velocities and sludge volume index. Since Guar gum is a plant derived natural substance, it is environmentally benign and offers a green treatment option to the paper mills for pulp recycling.
Naturally-occurring and artificially-induced polyploids have been documented in various fish species but to date no comparison has been reported of the impacts of ploidy on fish biomarker responses to organic pollutants. This study describes effects of ploidy, gender, and dose on biliary fluorescent aromatic compound (FAC) concentrations, hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities in one of the most commonly cultured warm-water species, the African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Recently matured male and female diploid and triploid fish were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with 0, 5 or 25mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and liver and gallbladder were sampled 48hr later. No significant differences were found between ploidies in bile concentrations of 7,8 dihydrodiolbenzo[a]pyrene (7,8D BaP), 1-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (1-OH BaP) or 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (3-OH BaP). However, concentrations of the biliary FACs did differ between males and females at different dose of injection with generally higher concentrations in females at the low dose of BaP and higher concentrations in males at the higher BaP concentration. Hepatic EROD activity did not exhibit gender-dependent difference, whereas it was significantly higher in triploids than diploids. GST activities were not significantly influenced by any of the tested factors. This work advanced our understanding of the role of ploidy, gender, and dose in biotransformation of pollutants in fish.