The manufacture and potential application of biodegradable films for food application has gained increased interest as alternatives to conventional food packaging polymers due to the sustainable nature associated with their availability, broad and abundant source range, compostability, environmentally-friendly image, compatibility with foodstuffs and food application, etc. Gelatin is one such material and is a unique and popularly used hydrocolloid by the food industry today due to its inherent characteristics, thereby potentially offering a wide range of further and unique industrial applications. Gelatin from different sources have different physical and chemical properties as they contain different amino acid contents which are responsible for the varying characteristics observed upon utilization in food systems and when being utilized more specifically, in the manufacture of films. Packaging films can be successfully produced from all gelatin sources and the behaviour and characteristics of gelatin-based films can be altered through the incorporation of other food ingredients to produce composite films possessing enhanced physical and mechanical properties. This review will present the current situation with respect to gelatin usage as a packaging source material and the challenges that remain in order to move the manufacture of gelatin-based films nearer to commercial reality.
Thiocyanate (SCN-) is a contaminant requiring remediation in gold mine tailings and wastewaters globally. Seepage of SCN--contaminated waters into aquifers can occur from unlined or structurally compromised mine tailings storage facilities. A wide variety of microorganisms are known to be capable of biodegrading SCN-; however, little is known regarding the potential of native microbes for in situ SCN- biodegradation, a remediation option that is less costly than engineered approaches. Here we experimentally characterize the principal biogeochemical barrier to SCN- biodegradation for an autotrophic microbial consortium enriched from mine tailings, to arrive at an environmentally realistic assessment of in situ SCN- biodegradation potential. Upon amendment with phosphate, the consortium completely degraded up to ∼10 mM SCN- to ammonium and sulfate, with some evidence of nitrification of the ammonium to nitrate. Although similarly enriched in known SCN--degrading strains of thiobacilli, this consortium differed in its source (mine tailings) and metabolism (autotrophy) from those of previous studies. Our results provide a proof of concept that phosphate limitation may be the principal barrier to in situ SCN- biodegradation in mine tailing waters and also yield new insights into the microbial ecology of in situ SCN- bioremediation involving autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria.
Phytoremediation is considered as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly
technique for decontaminating environments that have been contaminated with
heavy metal ions. The technique describes the use of plants and their concomitant
microbes to mitigate environmental contaminations. However, conventional
remediation techniques like chemical, thermal and physical treatment methods are
too costly, and may end of causing more contamination to the environment.
Phytoremediation practice provides a major information on the utilization of plants
and their materials in decontaminating polluted environments. Heavy metals and
other organic contaminants are among the most precarious substances released into
the environment which have an eminent level of toxicity and sturdiness of both
aquatic and terrestrial organisms. The review aimed at providing a broad
understanding of utilizing various plants and their materials in decontaminating
polluted environments with heavy metals and other organic contaminants. It also
provided the general methods used in treating the aforementioned contaminants in
an environment. The review further discussed the classes of phytoremediation like
phytoextraction, phytovolatilisation, phytostabilization, phytotransformation,
phytodegradation and phytofiltration. The generalized advantages and disadvantages
of phytoremediation were ultimately highlighted.
The evaluation of degradation and growth kinetics of Serratia marcescens strain AQ07 was carried out using three half-order models at all the initial concentrations of cyanide with the values of regression exceeding 0.97. The presence of varying cyanide concentrations reveals that the growth and degradation of bacteria were affected by the increase in cyanide concentration with a total halt at 700 ppm KCN after 72 h incubation. In this study, specific growth and degradation rates were found to trail the substrate inhibition kinetics. These two rates fitted well to the kinetic models of Teissier, Luong, Aiba and Heldane, while the performance of Monod model was found to be unsatisfactory. These models were used to clarify the substrate inhibition on the bacteria growth. The analyses of these models have shown that Luong model has fitted the experimental data with the highest coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.9794 and 0.9582 with the lowest root mean square error (RMSE) value of 0.000204 and 0.001, respectively, for the specific rate of degradation and growth. It is the only model that illustrates the maximum substrate concentration (Sm) of 713.4 and empirical constant (n) of 1.516. Tessier and Aiba fitted the experimental data with a R2 value of 0.8002 and 0.7661 with low RMSE of 0.0006, respectively, for specific biodegradation rate, while having a R2 value of 0.9 and RMSE of 0.001, respectively, for specific growth rate. Haldane has the lowest R2 value of 0.67 and 0.78 for specific biodegradation and growth rate with RMSE of 0.0006 and 0.002, respectively. This indicates the level of the bacteria stability in varying concentrations of cyanide and the maximum cyanide concentration it can tolerate within a specific time period. The biokinetic constant predicted from this model demonstrates a good ability of the locally isolated bacteria in cyanide remediation in industrial effluents.
The application of microorganisms in azo dye remediation has gained significant attention, leading to various published studies reporting different methods for obtaining the best dye decolouriser. This paper investigates and compares the role of methods and media used in obtaining a bacterial consortium capable of decolourising azo dye as the sole carbon source, which is extremely rare to find. It was demonstrated that a prolonged acclimation under low substrate availability successfully isolated a novel consortium capable of utilising Reactive Red 120 dye as a sole carbon source in aerobic conditions. This consortium, known as JR3, consists of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain MM01, Enterobacter sp. strain MM05 and Serratia marcescens strain MM06. Decolourised metabolites of consortium JR3 showed an improvement in mung bean's seed germination and shoot and root length. One-factor-at-time optimisation characterisation showed maximal of 82.9% decolourisation at 0.7 g/L ammonium sulphate, pH 8, 35 °C, and RR120 concentrations of 200 ppm. Decolourisation modelling utilising response surface methodology (RSM) successfully improved decolourisation even more. RSM resulted in maximal decolourisation of 92.79% using 0.645 g/L ammonium sulphate, pH 8.29, 34.5 °C and 200 ppm RR120.
The greenhouse phytotoxicity experiment was conducted to analyse and assess the capability of Scirpus mucronatus (L.) in tolerating and removing petrol in contaminated soil. This research was conducted for 72 days by using 5, 10 and 30 g/kg petrol as soil contaminants. Results showed that the system planted with S. mucronatus (L.) had high potential to treat the 10 g/kg petrol-contaminated soil and had an average Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) removal of 82.1%. At 5 and 30 g/kg petrol, the planted system removed 74.9% and 75.8% TPH, respectively. The petrol (10 g/kg) affected the plant growth positively, which was indicated by the increase in dry and wet weights throughout the research period. The removal of the TPH in the system was performed because of the interaction of plants and rhizobacteria. SEM showed that a high concentration of petrol (30 g/kg) affected the plant tissue negatively, as indicated by the altered structures of the root and stem cells. EDX results also confirmed that petrol was absorbed by the plant, as shown by the increased carbon content in the plant's root and stem after the treatment.
Soil and water contaminated with radionuclides threaten the environment and public health during leaks from nuclear power plants. Remediation of radionuclides at the contaminated sites uses mainly physical and chemical methods such as vitrification, chemical immobilization, electro-kinetic remediation and soil excavation, capping and washing being among the preferred methods. These traditional technologies are however costly and less suitable for dealing with large-area pollution. In contrast to this, cost-effective and environment-friendly alternatives such as phytoremediation using plants to remove radionuclides from polluted sites in situ represent promising alternatives for environmental cleanup. Understanding the physiology and molecular mechanisms of radionuclides accumulation in plants is essential to optimize and improve this new remediation technology. Here, we give an overview of radionuclide contamination in the environment and biochemical characteristics for uptake, transport, and compartmentation of radionuclides in plants that characterize phytoextraction and its efficiency. Phytoextraction is an eco-friendly and efficient method for environmental removal of radionuclides at contaminated sites such as mine tailings. Selecting the most proper plant for the specific purpose, however, is important to obtain the best result together with, for example, applying soil amendments such as citric acid. In addition, using genetic engineering and optimizing agronomic management practices including regulation of atmospheric CO2 concentration, reasonable measures of fertilization and rational water management are important as well. For future application, the technique needs commercialization in order to fully exploit the technique at mining activities and nuclear industries.
Oil pollution which results from industrial activities, especially oil and gas industry, has become a serious issue. Cinder beats (CB), coconut fiber (CF) and polyurethane foam (PUF) are promising immobilization carriers for crude oil biodegradation because they are inexpensive, nontoxic, and non-polluting. The present investigation was aimed to evaluate this advanced technology and compare the efficiency of these immobilization carriers on supporting purple phototrophic bacterial (PPB) strains in hydrocarbon biodegradation of crude oil contaminated seawater. The surface of these biocarriers was supplemented with crude oil polluted seawater and immobilized by PPB strains, Rhodopseudomonas sp. DD4, DQ41 and FO2. Through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the bacterial cells were shown to colonize and attach strongly to these biocarriers. The bacteria-driven carrier systems degraded over 84.2% supplemented single polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The aliphatic and aromatic components in crude oil that treated with carrier-immobilized consortia were degraded remarkably after 14 day-incubation. Among the three biocarriers, removal of the crude oil by CF-bacteria system was the highest (nearly 100%), followed by PUF-bacteria (89.5%) and CB-bacteria (86.3%) with the initial crude oil concentration was 20 g/L. Efficiency of crude oil removal by CB-bacteria and PUF-bacteria were 86.3 and 89.5%, respectively. Till now, the studies on crude oil degradation by mixture species biofilms formed by PPB on different carriers are limited. The present study showed that the biocarriers of an oil-degrading consortium could be made up of waste materials that are cheap and eco-friendly as well as augment the biodegradation of oil-contaminated seawater.
Application of urea manufacturing wastewater to teak (Tectona grandis) trees, a fast growing tropical timber plants, is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective alternative for treatment of nitrogen-rich wastewater. However, the plant growth is strongly limited by lack of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) elements when the plants are irrigated with wastewater containing high concentration of nitrogen (N). A greenhouse experiment was conducted to optimize the efficiency of teak-based remediation systems in terms of nutrient balance. Twelve test solutions consisted of 4 levels of P (95, 190, 570, 1140 mgL-1) and 3 levels of K (95, 190, 570 mgL-1) with a constant level of N (190 mgL-1) were applied to teak seedlings every four days during the study period. Evapotranspiration rate, nutrient removal percentage, leaf surface area, dry weight and nutrient contents of experimental plants were determined and compared with those grown in control solution containing only N (N:P:K = 1:0:0). Teak seedlings grown in units with 1:0.5:1 N:P:K ratio were highly effective at nutrient removal upto 47%, 48% and 49% for N, P and K, respectively. Removal efficiency of teak plants grown in other experimental units decreased with increasing P and K concentrations in test solutions. The lowest nutrient removal and plant growth were recorded in units with 1:6:0.5 N:P:K ratio which received the highest ratio of P to K. The findings indicated that teak seedlings functioned effectively as phytoremediation plants for N-rich wastewater treatment when they were being supplied with proper concentrations of P and K.
Oil spill constitutes a major source of fresh and seawater pollution as a result of accidental discharge from tankers, marine engines, and underwater pipes. Therefore, the need for cost-effective and environmental friendly sorbent materials for oil spill cleanup cannot be overemphasized. The present work focuses on the preliminary study of empty palm fruit bunch fibre as a promising sorbent material. The morphology of the unmodified empty palm fruit bunch, EPFB fibre, was examined using an optical microcopy, scanning electron microcopy coupled with EDX and X-ray diffraction. The effects of oil volume, fibre weight, and time on oil absorption of EPFB fibre were evaluated with new engine oil from the model oil. The results show that EPFB fibre consists of numerous micro pores, hydrophobic, and partially crystalline and amorphous with approximately 13.5% carbon. The oil absorbency of the fibre increased with the increase in oil volume, immersion time, and fibre weight. However, sorption capacity decreased beyond 3 g in 100 mL. Additionally unmodified EPFB fibre showed optimum oil sorption efficiency of approximately 2.8 g/g within three days of immersion time.
The objectives of this study are to obtain the time courses of the amount of chlorophenol adsorbed onto granular activated carbon (GAC) in the simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation processes involving 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) and 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), respectively, and to quantify the bioregeneration efficiency of GAC loaded with 4-CP and 2,4-DCP by direct measurement of the amount of chlorophenol adsorbed onto GAC. Under abiotic and biotic conditions, the time courses of the amount of chlorophenol adsorbed onto GAC at various GAC dosages for the initial 4-CP and 2,4-DCP concentrations below and above the biomass acclimated concentrations of 300 and 150 mg/L, respectively, were determined. The results show that the highest bioregeneration efficiency was achieved provided that the initial adsorbate concentration was lower than the acclimated concentration. When the initial adsorbate concentration was higher than the acclimated concentration, the highest bioregeneration efficiency was achieved if excess adsorbent was used.
The wide application of microalgae in the field of wastewater treatment and bioenergy source has improved research studies in the past years. Microalgae represent a good source of biomass and bio-products which are used in different medical and industrial activities, among them the production of high-valued products and biofuels. The present review focused on greywater treatment through the application of phycoremediation technique with microalgae and presented recent advances in technologies used for harvesting the microalgae biomass. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are discussed. The microbiological aspects of production, harvesting and utilization of microalgae biomass are viewed.
In many industrial areas such as in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, printing, and textile, the use of synthetic dyes has been integral with products such as azo dye, anthrax, and dyestuffs. As such, these industries produce a lot of waste by-products that could contaminate the environment. Bioremediation, therefore, has become an important emerging technology due to its cost-sustainable, effective, natural approach to cleaning up contaminated groundwater and soil via the use of microorganisms. The use of microorganisms in bioremediation requires the optimisation of parameters used in cultivating the organism. Thus the aim of the work was to assess the degradation of Remazol Brilliant Blue R (RBBR) dye on soil using Plackett-Burman design by the basidiomycete, M. cladophyllus UMAS MS8. Biodegradation analyses were carried out on a soil spiked with RBBR and supplemented with rice husk as the fungus growth enhancer. A two-level Plackett-Burman design was used to screen the medium components for the effects on the decolourization of RBBR. For the analysis, eleven variables were selected and from these four parameters, dye concentration, yeast extract concentration, inoculum size, and incubation time, were found to be most effective to degrade RBBR with up to 91% RBBR removal in soil after 15 days.
This study was undertaken to analyze the efficiency of Botryococcus sp. in the phycoremediation of domestic wastewater and to determine the variety of hydrocarbons derived from microalgal oil after phycoremediation. The study showed a significant (p < 0.05) reduction of pollutant loads of up to 93.9% chemical oxygen demand, 69.1% biochemical oxygen demand, 59.9% total nitrogen, 54.5% total organic carbon, and 36.8% phosphate. The average dry weight biomass produce was 0.1 g/L of wastewater. In addition, the dry weight biomass of Botryococcus sp. was found to contain 72.5% of crude oil. The composition analysis using Gas Chromatogram - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) found that phthalic acid, 2-ethylhexyltridecyl ester (C29H48O4), contributed the highest percentage (71.6%) of the total hydrocarbon compounds to the extracted algae oil. The result of the study suggests that Botryococcus sp. can be used for effective phycoremediation, as well as to provide a sustainable hydrocarbon source as a value-added chemical for the bio-based plastic industry.
The effects of dry biomass density in cryogel beads, shaking speed and initial concentration ratio of phenol to 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) on the bioregeneration efficiencies of binary phenol and 4-CP-loaded granular activated carbon (GAC) for phenol and 4-CP, respectively, were investigated under the simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation approach. The results revealed higher bioregeneration efficiencies of binary-loaded GAC for phenol and 4-CP at higher dry biomass density but moderate shaking speed. The optimum dry biomass density in cryogel beads and shaking speed for use in bioregeneration were found to be 0.01 g/mL and 250 rpm, respectively. With respect to the initial phenol to 4-CP concentration ratio, the bioregeneration efficiencies were lower under increasing phenol and 4-CP initial concentrations, respectively, with the effect being more conspicuous under increasing 4-CP concentration. Higher bioregeneration efficiencies were achieved with the use of immobilized rather than suspended biomasses.
Passive bioremediation of metal- and sulfate-containing acid mine drainage (AMD) has been investigated in a batch study. Multiple substrates were used in the AMD remediation using spent mushroom compost (SMC), limestone, activated sludge (AS), and woodchips (WC) under anoxic conditions suitable for bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR). Limestones used were of crushed limestone (CLS) and uncrushed limestone, provided at two different ratios in mixed substrates treatment and varied by the proportion of SMC and limestone. The SMC greatly assisted the removals of sulfate and metals and also acted as an essential carbon source for BSR. The mixed substrate composed of 40% CLS, 30% SMC, 20% AS, and 10% WC was found to be effective for metal removal. Mn, Cu, Pb, and Zn were greatly removed (89-100%) in the mixed substrates treatment, while Fe was only removed at 65%. Mn was found to be removed at a greatly higher rate than Fe, suggesting important Mn adsorption onto organic materials, that is, greater sorption affinity to the SMC. Complementary with multiple treatment media was the main mechanism assisting the AMD treatment through microbial metal reduction reactions.
Hybrid growth microorganisms in sequencing batch reactors have proven effective for treating the toxic compound phenol, but the toxicity effect under different toxicity conditions has rarely been discussed. Therefore, the performance of the HG-SBR under toxic, acute and chronic organic loading can provide the overall operating conditions of the system. Toxic organic loading (TOL) was monitored during the first 7hr while introducing 50mg/L phenol to the system. The system was adversely affected with the sudden introduction of phenol to the virgin activated sludge, which caused a low degradation rate and high dissolved oxygen consumption during TOL. Acute organic loading (AOL) had significant effects at high phenol concentrations (600, 800 1000mg/L). The specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR) gradually decreased to 4.9mg O2/(g MLVSS·hr) at 1000mg/L of phenol compared to 12.74mg O2/(g MLVSS·hr) for 200mg/L of phenol. The HG-SBR was further monitored during chronic organic loading (COL) over 67days. The effects of organic loading were more apparent at 800mg/L and 1000mg/L phenol concentrations, as the removal range was between 22%-30% and 18%-46% respectively, which indicated the severe effects of COL.
Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We present a global-scale study of litter breakdown in streams to compare the roles of biotic, climatic and other environmental factors on breakdown rates. We conducted an experiment in 24 streams encompassing latitudes from 47.8° N to 42.8° S, using litter mixtures of local species differing in quality and phylogenetic diversity (PD), and alder (Alnus glutinosa) to control for variation in litter traits. Our models revealed that breakdown of alder was driven by climate, with some influence of pH, whereas variation in breakdown of litter mixtures was explained mainly by litter quality and PD. Effects of litter quality and PD and stream pH were more positive at higher temperatures, indicating that different mechanisms may operate at different latitudes. These results reflect global variability caused by multiple factors, but unexplained variance points to the need for expanded global-scale comparisons.
Complete genomes of xenobiotic-degrading microorganisms provide valuable resources for researchers to understand molecular mechanisms involved in bioremediation. Despite the well-known ability of Sphingomonas paucimobilis to degrade persistent xenobiotic compounds, a complete genome sequencing is lacking for this organism. In line with this, we report the first complete genome sequence of Sphingomonas paucimobilis (strain AIMST S2), an organophosphate and hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium isolated from oil-polluted soil at Kedah, Malaysia. The genome was derived from a hybrid assembly of short and long reads generated by Illumina HiSeq and MinION, respectively. The assembly resulted in a single contig of 4,005,505 bases which consisted of 3,612 CDS and 56 tRNAs. An array of genes involved in xenobiotic degradation and plant-growth promoters were identified, suggesting its' potential role as an effective microorganism in bioremediation and agriculture. Having reported the first complete genome of the species, this study will serve as a stepping stone for comparative genome analysis of Sphingomonas strains and other xenobiotic-degrading microorganisms as well as gene expression studies in organophosphate biodegradation.
In this study, the removal of arsenic (As) by plant, Ludwigia octovalvis, in a pilot reed bed was optimized. A Box-Behnken design was employed including a comparative analysis of both Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for the prediction of maximum arsenic removal. The predicted optimum condition using the desirability function of both models was 39 mg kg-1 for the arsenic concentration in soil, an elapsed time of 42 days (the sampling day) and an aeration rate of 0.22 L/min, with the predicted values of arsenic removal by RSM and ANN being 72.6% and 71.4%, respectively. The validation of the predicted optimum point showed an actual arsenic removal of 70.6%. This was achieved with the deviation between the validation value and the predicted values being within 3.49% (RSM) and 1.87% (ANN). The performance evaluation of the RSM and ANN models showed that ANN performs better than RSM with a higher R2 (0.97) close to 1.0 and very small Average Absolute Deviation (AAD) (0.02) and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) (0.004) values close to zero. Both models were appropriate for the optimization of arsenic removal with ANN demonstrating significantly higher predictive and fitting ability than RSM.