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.
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.
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.
For decades, most of the developing nations have relied on chlorpyrifos for insecticidal activity in the agriculture sector. It is a common chlorinated organophosphorus pesticide that has been widely used to control insects to protect plants. This study aimed to investigate the effects of environmental characteristics such as salinity, pH, temperature, and surfactant on Hortaea sp. B15 mediated degradation of chlorpyrifos as well as enzyme activity and metabolic pathway. The highest bacterial growth (4.6 × 1016 CFU/mL) was achieved after 20 h of incubation in a 100 mg/L chlorpyrifos amended culture. The fit model and feasible way to express the chlorpyrifos biodegradation kinetics in normal condition and optimized was a first-order rate equation, with an R2 value of 0.95-0.98. The optimum pH for chlorpyrifos biodegradation was pH 9, which resulted in a high removal rate (91.1%) and a maximum total count of 3.8 × 1016 CFU/mL. Increasing the temperature over 40 °C may inhibit microbial development and biodegradation. There was no significant effect of culture salinity on degradation and bacterial growth. In the presence of non-ionic surfactant Tween 80, the maximum chlorpyrifos degradation (89.5%) and bacterial growth (3.8 × 1016 CFU/mL) was achieved. Metabolites such as 3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-ol and 2-pyridinol were identified in the Hortaea sp. B15 mediated degradation of chlorpyrifos. According to the findings, Hortaea sp. B15 should be recommended for use in the investigation of in situ biodegradation of pesticides.
Microplastics are the small fragments of the plastic molecules which find their applications in various routine products such as beauty products. Later, it was realized that it has several toxic effects on marine and terrestrial organisms. This review is an approach in understanding the microplastics, their origin, dispersal in the aquatic system, their biodegradation and factors affecting biodegradation. In addition, the paper discusses the major engineering approaches applied in microbial biotechnology. Specifically, it reviews microbial genetic engineering, such as PET-ase engineering, MHET-ase engineering, and immobilization approaches. Moreover, the major challenges associated with the plastic removal are presented by evaluating the recent reports available.
Versatility and desirable attributes of synthetic plastics have greatly contributed towards their wide applications. However, vast accumulation of plastic wastes in environment as a result of their highly recalcitrant nature has given rise to plastic pollution. Existing strategies in alleviating plastic wastes accumulation are inadequate, and there is a pressing need for alternative sustainable approaches in tackling plastic pollution. In this context, plastic biodegradation has emerged as a sustainable and environmental-friendly approach in handling plastic wastes accumulation, due to its milder and less energy-intensive conditions. In recent years, extensive research effort has focused on the identification of microorganisms and enzymes with plastic-degrading abilities. This review aims to provide a timely and holistic view on the current status of plastic biodegradation, focusing on recent breakthroughs and discoveries in this field. Furthermore, current challenges associated to plastic biodegradation are discussed, and the future perspectives for continuous advancement of plastic biodegradation are highlighted.
Surfactants have always been a prominent chemical that is useful in various sectors (e.g., cleaning agent production industry, textile industry and painting industry). This is due to the special ability of surfactants to reduce surface tension between two fluid surfaces (e.g., water and oil). However, the current society has long omitted the harmful effects of petroleum-based surfactants (e.g., health issues towards humans and reducing cleaning ability of water bodies) due to their usefulness in reducing surface tension. These harmful effects will significantly damage the environment and negatively affect human health. As such, there is an urgency to secure environmentally friendly alternatives such as glycolipids to reduce the effects of these synthetic surfactants. Glycolipids is a biomolecule that shares similar properties with surfactants that are naturally synthesized in the cell of living organisms, glycolipids are amphiphilic in nature and can form micelles when glycolipid molecules clump together, reducing surface tension between two surfaces as how a surfactant molecule is able to achieve. This review paper aims to provide a comprehensive study on the recent advances in bacteria cultivation for glycolipids production and current lab scale applications of glycolipids (e.g., medical and waste bioremediation). Studies have proven that glycolipids are effective anti-microbial agents, subsequently leading to an excellent anti-biofilm forming agent. Heavy metal and hydrocarbon contaminated soil can also be bioremediated via the use of glycolipids. The major hurdle in the commercialization of glycolipid production is that the cultivation stage and downstream extraction stage of the glycolipid production process induces a very high operating cost. This review provides several solutions to overcome this issue for glycolipid production for the commercialization of glycolipids (e.g., developing new cultivating and extraction techniques, using waste as cultivation medium for microbes and identifying new strains for glycolipid production). The contribution of this review aims to serve as a future guideline for researchers that are dealing with glycolipid biosurfactants by providing an in-depth review on the recent advances of glycolipid biosurfactants. By summarizing the points discussed as above, it is recommended that glycolipids can substitute synthetic surfactants as an environmentally friendly alternative.
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.
Phytoremediation is a biological remediation technique known for low-cost technology and environmentally friendly approach, which employs plants to extract, stabilise, and transform various compounds, such as potentially toxic elements (PTEs), in the soil or water. Recent developments in utilising chelating agents soil remediation have led to a renewed interest in chelate-induced phytoremediation. This review article summarises the roles of various chelating agents and the mechanisms of chelate-induced phytoremediation. This paper also discusses the recent findings on the impacts of chelating agents on PTEs uptake and plant growth and development in phytoremediation. It was found that the chelating agents have increased the rate of metal absorption and translocation up to 45% from roots to the aboveground plant parts during PTEs phytoremediation. Besides, it was also explored that the plants may experience some phytotoxicity after adding chelating agents to the soil. However, due to the leaching potential of synthetic chelating agents, the use of organic chelants have been explored to be used in PTEs phytoremediation. Finally, this paper also presents comprehensive insights on the significance of using chelating agents through SWOT analysis to discuss the advantages and limitations of chelate-induced phytoremediation.
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.
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.
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.