Redox polymerization of acrylonitrile (AN) with ethyl acrylate (EA) and fumaronitrile (FN), as comonomer and termonomer respectively, were carried out using sodium bisulfite (SBS) and potassium persulphate (KPS) as initiators at 40°C. The actual composition of monomers in copolymers and terpolymers has been characterized by gas chromatography (GC). The effects of EA and FN on the glass transition temperature (Tg) and stabilization temperature have been studied by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The degradation behaviour and char yield were obtained by thermogravimetric analysis. Meanwhile, incorporation of 10 mol% of EA in homoPAN system was found to greatly reduce Tg to 66°C as compared to that of the homoPAN (Tg=105°C). The initial cyclization temperature (Ti) was found to be higher (264°C) in comparison to that of homoPAN (246°C). In addition, the incorporation of EA was also shown to reduce the char yield of copolymer to 40%. When FN was incorporated as termonomer, the char yield of poly(AN/EA/ FN) 90/4/6 increased up to 44% after the heat treatment with the lowest Ti (241°C).
Polyethylene is a widely used packaging material, but its non-biodegradable nature can lead to waste
disposal problems. This increases the concern in research and development of biodegradable plastics from natural resource as alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics. In this study, biodegradable plastic composites were prepared by blending thermoplastic starch with natural rubber in the present of glycerol as plasticizer. Local sago starch was cast with 0.5 to 10% of natural rubber to prepare the bioplastic. The products were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), water absorption test, biodegradable test, hydrolysis test, and mechanical analysis. Meanwhile, composite with natural rubber latex was increased from 0.5 to 10% showing that the melting temperature is in the range of 120 to 150˚C, but with no significant difference. The water absorption characteristics, biodegradability, and tensile strength decreased by 11.21%, 30.18%, and 20.733 MPa, respectively. However, the elongation at break was increased from 26.67 to 503.3%. The findings of this study showed that sago starch has a great potential in bioplastic production with good miscibility and compatibility.
The present conventional (destructive) method used in determining LAI is laborious, difficult and time consuming. Thus, an image-based measurement using camera system with fish eye lens offers an alternative means for an accurate indirect measurement of LAI in oil palm. In this study, a methodology was developed to improve the leaf area index of the oil palm determination using hemispherical photography as an indirect method. A set of true LAI data, collected using the destructive method, were used as a reference to calibrate the LAI measurements obtained by the hemispherical photography. A good relationship (r = 0.85) was found between age of palm and hemispherical photographic LAI. However, the estimated LAI obtained by the hemispherical photographic method was underestimated as compared to the destructive method. Some means of calibration was necessary to determine the relationship between the actual LAI and the hemispherical photographic LAI. It was necessary to multiply the LAI value from 5 years to 16 years, by a clumping factor of 2.14 for 5 to 9 year old palms, 2.33 for 10 to 14-year old palms and 2.37 for above 15- year old palms to calculate the accurate LAI values. For palms which are less than 5 year old (i.e. 2 to 3 years in this study), the photography LAI value was equal to the calculated LAI value. This proposed that correction factors would solve this underestimation effect. In addition, two equations were also proposed to estimate the true LAI from the Photographic LAI for immature and mature oil palm plantation.
Proper integrated management of a dam reservoir requires that all components of the water resource system be known. One of these components is the daily reservoir inflow which is the subject matter of this study, i.e. to establish predictions of what is coming in the next rainfall-runoff process over a catchment. The transformation of rainfall into runoff is an extremely complex, dynamic, and more of a non-linear process. The available six-year average daily rainfall data across the Sembrong dam catchment were computed using the well-known Theissen’s polygon method. Daily reservoir inflow data were extracted by applying the water balance model to the Sembrong dam reservoir. Modelling of relationship between rainfall and reservoir inflow data was done using feed-forward back-propagation neural networks. The final selected model has one hidden layer with 11 neurons in the hidden layer. The selected model was applied for an independent data series testing. Results in relation to specific climatic and hydrologic properties of a small tropical catchment suggested that the model is suitable to be used in forecasting the next day’s reservoir inflow. The efficiencies of the model Abtained indicated the validity of using the neural network for modelling reservoir inflow series.
Epoxidised Natural Rubber (ENR) is now a commercially available polymer produced by chemical modification of natural rubber. Currently, three types of ENR are commercially available, and these are ENR 10, ENR 25, and ENR 50 with 10%, 25%, and 50% mol epoxidation, respectively. Studies on prevulcanisation of ENR 50 and postvulcanisation of the latex films were carried out. The objective of this study was to develop ENR 50 that could be dipped easily in coagulant dipping solution to produce dipped products. Several attempts were made by compounding prevulcanised ENR 50 at various sulphur levels ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 pphr. Using suitable coagulant dipping systems, ENR 50 film could be formed despite the high contents of non-ionic surfactant. It was found that the tensile strength of prevulcanised ENR 50 film decreased with the increase in the sulphur level. The results show that as level of sulphur increased, M300 also increased to an optimum value of 1.5 pphr of sulphur. For the postvulcanised ENR 50 film, however, the tensile strength increased and then decreased with the increasing sulphur level. Meanwhile M300 increased with the increasing postvulcanization time and sulphur level. The postvulcanisation of ENR 50 film seems to be a more effective way of increasing tensile properties than by prevulcanisation of ENR 50.
The effect of polypropylene maleic anhydride (PPMAH) on tensile properties and morphology of polypropylene (PP)/recycled acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBRr)/ rice husk powder (RHP) composites has been studied. The composites were prepared through melt mixing at 180ºC for 9 minutes using 50 rpm rotor speed. The specimens were analyzed using different techniques, namely tensile test and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The results obtained showed that the tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the modified composites were increased, while the elongation at break showed the opposite trend as compared with the unmodified composites. The morphology results support the tensile properties and these indicated a better interaction between the filler and matrix with the presence of PPMAH as a compatibilizer.
Ocean sediments give information on the paleoclimatic evolution in the geological past which gives detailed information on both the age of the sediments and both paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic conditions during sedimentation. One possible way to date sediments is with 210Pb method which can be used to date sediments up to 100 years. In this study, two core samples labelled as JB15 and JB17 were collected using pledging corer, analysed and measured for the activity of 209Po and 210Po using the alpha spectrometer. Applying the methods, average sedimentation rates for JB15 and JB17 were calculated as 0.38 cmyr-1 and 0.43 cmyr-1, respectively. Assuming that the sedimentation rate values are accurate, this might imply that the sediments at the depth of 30 cm were deposited 70 years ago.
Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) is one type of asphalt mixture which is highly dependent on the method
of compaction as compared to conventional Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) mixture. A suitable laboratory compaction method which can closely simulate field compaction is evidently needed as future trend
in asphalt pavement industry all over the world is gradually changing over to the SMA due to its excellent performance characteristics. This study was conducted to evaluate the SMA slab mixtures compacted using a newly developed Turamesin roller compactor, designed to cater for laboratory compaction in field simulation conditions. As the newly developed compaction device, there is a need for evaluating the compacted slab dimensions (which include length, width, and thickness), analyzing the consistency of the measured parameters to verify the homogeneity of the compacted slabs and determining the reliability of Turamesin. A total of 15 slabs from three different types of asphalt mixtures were compacted, measured, and analyzed for their consistencies in terms of length, width, and thickness. Based on study the conducted, the compacted slabs were found to have problems in terms of the improperly compacted section of about 30 mm length at both ends of the slabs and the differences in the thickness between left- and right-side of the slab which were due to unequal load distribution from the roller compactor. The results obtained from this study have led to the development of Turamesin as an improved laboratory compaction device.
A series of batch laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the suitability of activated carbon SA2 for the removal of cadmium ions and zinc ions from their aqueous solutions. The single component equilibrium data were analyzed using the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. Overall, the Langmuir isotherm showed a better fitting for all adsorptions under investigation in terms of correlation coefficient and error analysis (SSE only 18.2 for Cd2+ and 47.95 for Zn2+). As the binary adsorption is competitive, extended Langmuir models could not predict the binary component isotherm well. The modified extended Langmuir models were used to fit the binary system equilibrium data. The binary isotherm data could be described reasonably well by the modified
extended Langmuir model, as indicated in the error analysis.
Experiments were conducted to determine the field and economic performances of machines and techniques for crop establishment in lowland paddy in Bangladesh. In machine seeded field, the crops were grown in rows to allow the operation of rotary type weeder for weed control. In hand broadcasted field, crops were not arranged in rows and weed control operation was therefore done through traditional means. Results obtained showed that the effect of rice seeding techniques, using pre-germinated rice seed of BR-1 variety on the effective field capacity, was highly significant. The work rate of hand broadcasting was found to be one to one and a half times faster than that of seeding by manually driven drum type row seeder. Field efficiency of hand broadcasting was about 90 percent, and this was found to be significantly higher than those of machine seeding which ranged from 70-80 percent at both seed rates, since no time was lost in turning. BRRI modified drum type row seeder, with a seeding rate of 60 kg/ha, was shown to be better for an optimum crop yield. Based on partial budget analysis, a farmer can save about US$53.34 per hectare in a year using the BRRI modified drum type row seeder, followed by a rotary weeder as compared to hand seeding, followed by hand weeding.
Fibre reinforced composites have gained use in a variety of applications. The performances of these composites may suffer when the material is exposed to adverse environments for a long period of time. Kenaf ﬁbre reinforced unsaturated polyester composites were subjected to water immersion tests in order to study the effects of water absorption on the mechanical properties. Composites specimens containing (10%, 20%, and 30%) weight percentages of fibre were prepared. Water absorption tests were conducted by immersing these specimens in a distilled water bath at 25oC for four months. The tensile properties of the specimens immersed in water were evaluated and compared with the dry composite specimens. A decrease in the tensile properties of the composites was demonstrated, indicating a great loss in the mechanical properties of the water-saturated samples compared to the dry samples. The percentage of moisture uptake was also increased as the percentage of the fibre weight increased due to the high cellulose content. The water absorption pattern of these composites was found to follow the Fickian behaviour.
The paper presents a simulation work conducted on the elastomer subjected to cyclic loads. A 3D finite element model of elastomer specimen, in accordance to ASTM D412, was developed using CATIA and ANSYS commercial finite element (FEM) packages. Fatigue life predicted from the simulation was compared with well-documented published data and it showed an acceptable agreement. Meanwhile, the simulated strain-life results are slightly lower than the experimental data. Several factors which potentially influenced the variations of the results were noted. Finally, some recommendations are offered at the end of this study to further improve the simulation
This paper presents investigations into the development of control schemes for end-point vibration
suppression and input tracking of a flexible manipulator. A constrained planar single-link flexible manipulator is considered and the dynamic model of the system is derived using the assumed mode method. To study the effectiveness of the controllers, a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) was initially developed for control of rigid body motion. This is then extended to incorporate a noncollocated PID controller and a feedforward controller based on input shaping techniques to control vibration (flexible motion) of the system. For feedforward controller, positive and modified specified negative amplitude (SNA) input shapers are proposed and designed based on the properties of the system. Results from the simulation of the manipulator responses with the controllers are presented in time and frequency domains. The performances of the control schemes are assessed in terms of level of vibration reduction, input tracking capability and time response specifications. Finally, a comparative assessment of the control techniques is presented and discussed.
Our continuing interest in anthraquinones from the Guttiferae family has led us to look at the genus Cratoxylum. A detailed chemical study on Cratoxylum aborescens resulted in the isolation of three anthraquinones, namely 1,8-dihydroxy-3-methoxy-6-methylanthraquinone (1), vismiaquinone (2) and vismione (3). These compounds were identified using 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. This is the first report on the chemistry of Cratoxylum aborescens.
An attempt was made in this investigation to trace the dynamic response of roller compacted concrete dam, which is subjected to horizontal ground motion by considering the interactions between flexible foundations, reservoir water, and bottom reservoir sediments. Two-dimensional finiteinfinite element was used for the non-linear elasto-plastic dynamic analysis. In this analysis, special emphasis was given to the non-linear behaviour of discontinuities along RCC dam-bedding rock foundation which was modelled by thin layer interface. Analysis was first carried out under static loading (self-weight and hydrostatic pressure), and this this was followed by seismic analysis, with hydrodynamic pressure effect in a dam-reservoir system. Based on the numerical dynamic results, it is concluded that the bottom reservoir sediment has significant effect on the seismic response of the RCC gravity dam. Moreover, there is a redistribution of the stresses at thin layer interface with significant stresses reduction, which is resulted from the release of energy through different modes of deformation in this region.
The preliminary ichthyotoxic test on all parts of Syzygium malaccense (Myrtaceae) revealed that the leaves fraction was the most ichthyotoxic against tilapia-fish (Tilapia oreochromis). Three compounds, namely ursolic acid (1), β-sitosterol (2) and sitost-4-en-3-one (3), were isolated and their structures were elucidated with the aid of spectroscopic data and comparison with previously reported investigations. However none of these compounds gave any significant ichthyotoxicity. The volatile constituents of the leaves and fruit were determined by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS), with 180 and 203 compounds being identified in the aroma concentrates, respectively.
Microwave Remote sensing data have been widely used in land cover and land use classification. The objective of this research paper is to investigate the feasibility of the multi-polarized ALOS-PALSAR data for land cover mapping. This paper presents the methodology and preliminary result including data acquisitions, data processing and data analysis. Standard supervised classification techniques such as the maximum likelihood, minimum distance-to-mean, and parallelepiped were applied to the ALOS-PALSAR images in the land cover mapping analysis. The PALSAR data training areas were chosen based on the information obtained from
optical satellite imagery. The best supervise classifier was selected based on the highest overall accuracy and
kappa coefficient. This study indicated that the land cover of Butterworth, Malaysia can be mapped accurately
using ALOS PALSAR data.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a ubiquitous, an indoor and outdoor air pollutant. It is not a significant greenhouse gas as it absorbs little infrared radiation from the Earth. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and biomass burning. The CO data are obtained from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite. The AIRS provides information for several greenhouse gases, CO2, CH4, CO, and O3 as a one goal of the AIRS instrument (included on the EOS Aqua satellite launched, May 4, 2002) as well as to improve weather prediction of the water and energy cycle. The results of the analysis of the retrieved CO total column amount (CO_total_column_A) as well as effective of the CO volume mixing ratio (CO_VMR_eff_A), Level-3 monthly (AIR*3STM) 1º*1º spatial resolution, ascending are used to study the CO distribution over the East and West Malaysia for the year 2003. The CO maps over the study area were generated by using Kriging Interpolation technique and analyzed by using Photoshop CS. Variations in the biomass burning and the CO emissions where noted, while the highest CO occurred at late dry season in the region which has experienced extensive biomass burning and greater draw down of CO occurred in the pristine continental environment (East Malaysia). In all cases, the CO concentration at West Malaysia is higher than East Malaysia. The southeastern Sarawak (lat. 3.5˚ - long. 115.5˚) is less polluted regions and less the CO in most of times in the year. Examining satellite measurements revealed that the enhanced CO emission correlates with occasions of less rainfall during the dry season.
Xylitol can be obtained from lignocellulosic materials containing xylose. However, the fraction of lignocellulose converted through dilute acid hydrolysis contains compounds that inhibit the fermenting micro-organisms. These inhibitors can be removed from the hydrolysate by detoxification method, prior to fermentation. This study describes effectiveness of overliming process to reduce the toxicity of hydrolysates generated from pre-treatment of sago trunk for xylitol production. The overliming pH 9 and 10 was studied and the results showed that pH 9 was showed 20% of sugar loss, which is low compared to pH 10. Candida tropicalis strain was used to evaluate the fermentability of overlimed sago trunk hydrolysate at pH 9 and non-overlimed hydrolysate medium. Meanwhile, Xylitol accumulation and productivity in the overlimed medium was found to be higher than the non-treated medium. The maximum production of xylitol was increased up to 74% and converted within 76 h. The results obtained improved the fermentation process when compared with the nontreated medium.
Yeast producing alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (YADH 1) enzyme has been used as a biocatalyst for the synthesis of an optically active flavouring compound known as citronellol. However, the slow growth of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) has deterred the progress of biotransformation. The main purpose of this work is to clone the genes producing YADH1 enzyme from yeast into a faster growing bacteria, Escherichia coli. Initially, the sequence of the gene encoding this protein has been identified in the S. cerevisiae Genome Databases (SGD). The so-called Yadh1 gene sequence is located from coordinate 159548 to 160594 on chromosome XV of yeast. Based on this information, two primer sequences (Forward and Reverse) were constructed. Each of these primers will bind to either end of the Yadh1 gene. The Yadh1 gene was then amplified using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique. The amplified Yadh 1 gene was successfully cloned into a cloning vector, TOPO TA plasmid. This plasmid also contains a gene which confers resistance to ampicillin. This recombinant
plasmid was then inserted into Escherichia coli TOP 10 using heat shock protocol at 42oC. Finally, the cloned bacteria containing the recombinant TOPO TA plasmid harbouring Yadh1 gene was able to grow on Luria Bertani (LB) media supplied with antibiotic.