Concentration activities of (210)Pb and (210)Po in the PM10 were determined to discuss their distribution and chemical behavior in relation to meteorological parameters especially in air mass transport during monsoon events. Marine aerosol samples were collected between January 2009 and December 2010 at the coastal region of Mersing, which is located in the southern South China Sea and is about 160 km northeast of Johor Bahru, as part of the atmosphere-ocean interaction program in Malaysia. About 47 PM10 samples were collected using the Sierra-Andersen model 1200 PM10 sampler over a 2-year sampling campaign between January 2009 and December 2010. Samples were processed using acid digestion sequential extraction techniques to analyze various fractions such as Fe and Mn oxides, organic matter, and residual fractions. While, (210)Pb and (210)Po activities were measured with the Gross Alpha/Beta Counting System model XLB-5 Tennelec® Series 5 and the Alpha Spectrometry (model Alpha Analyst Spectroscopy system with a silicon-surface barrier detector), respectively. The distribution activities of (210)Pb and (210)Po in the PM10 samples were varied from 162 to 881 μBq/m(3) with mean value of 347 ± 170 μBq/m(3) and from 85 to 1009 μBq/m(3) with mean value of 318 ± 202 μBq/m(3), respectively. The analysis showed that (210)Po activity in our samples lies in a border and higher range than global distribution values due to contributions from external sources injected to the atmosphere. The speciation of (210)Pb and (210)Po in marine aerosol corresponds to transboundary haze; e.g., biomass burning especially forest fires and long-range air mass transport of terrestrial dust has enriched concentrations of particle mass in the local atmosphere. The monsoon seems to play an important role in transporting terrestrial dust from Indo-China and northern Asia especially during the northeast monsoon, as well as biogenic pollutants originating from Sumatra and the southern ASEAN region during southwest monsoon events.
Aerobic granulation was developed in overcoming the problem of biomass washout often encountered in activated sludge processes. The novel approach to developing fluffy biosolids into dense and compact granules offers a new dimension for wastewater treatment. Compared with conventional biological flocs, aerobic granules are characterized by well-defined shape and compact buildup, superior biomass retention, enhanced microbial functions, and resilient to toxicity and shock loading. This review provides an up-to-date account on development in aerobic granulation and its applications. Granule characterization, factors affecting granulation, and response of granules to various environmental and operating conditions are discussed. Maintaining granule of adequate structural stability is one of the main challenges for practical applications of aerobic granulation. This paper also reviews recent advances in addressing granule stability and storage for use as inoculums, and as biomass supplement to enhance treatment efficiency. Challenges and future work of aerobic granulation are also outlined.
Biomass wastes produced from oil palm mills and plantations include empty fruit bunches (EFBs), shells, fibers, trunks, and oil palm fronds (OPF). EFBs and shells are partially utilized as boiler fuel while the rest of the biomass materials like OPF have not been utilized for energy generation. No previous study has been reported on gasification of oil palm fronds (OPF) biomass for the production of fuel gas. In this paper, the effect of moisture content of fuel and reactor temperature on downdraft gasification of OPF was experimentally investigated using a lab scale gasifier of capacity 50 kW. In addition, results obtained from equilibrium model of gasification that was developed for facilitating the prediction of syngas composition are compared with experimental data. Comparison of simulation results for predicting calorific value of syngas with the experimental results showed a satisfactory agreement with a mean error of 0.1 MJ/Nm³. For a biomass moisture content of 29%, the resulting calorific value for the syngas was found to be only 2.63 MJ/Nm³, as compared to nearly double (4.95 MJ/Nm³) for biomass moisture content of 22%. A calorific value as high as 5.57 MJ/Nm³ was recorded for higher oxidation zone temperature values.
Seasonal variations of zooplankton community in terms of biomass and size-fractionated densities were studied in a tropical Sangga Kechil river, Matang, Perak from June 2010 to April 2011. Zooplankton and jellyfish (hydromedusae, siphonophores and ctenophores) samples were collected bimonthly from four sampling stations by horizontal towing of a 140-?m plankton net and 500 ?m bongo net, respectively. A total of 12 zooplankton groups consisting of six groups each of mesozooplankon (0.2 mm-2.0 mm) and macrozooplankton (2.0 mm-20.0 cm) were recorded. The total zooplankton density (12375?3339 ind m(-3)) and biomass (35.32?14.56 mg m(-3)) were highest during the northeast (NE) monsoon and southwest (SW) monsoon, respectively, indicating the presence of bigger individuals in the latter season. Mesozooplankton predominated (94%) over the macrozooplankton (6%) during all the seasons, and copepods contributed 84% of the total mesozooplankton abundance. Macrozooplankton was dominated by appendicularians during most of the seasons (43%-97%), except during the NE monsoon (December) when chaetognaths became the most abundant (89% of the total macrozooplankton). BIO-ENV analysis showed that total zooplankton density was correlated with turbidity, total nitrogen and total phosphorus, which in turn was positively correlated to chlorophyll a. Cluster analysis of the zooplankton community showed no significant temporal difference between the SW and NE monsoon season during the study period (> 90% similarity). The present study revealed that the zooplankton community in the tropical mangrove estuary in the Straits of Malacca was dominated by mesoplankton, especially copepods.
Torrefaction of oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) under combustion gas atmosphere was conducted in a batch reactor at 473, 523 and 573K in order to investigate the effect of real combustion gas on torrefaction behavior. The solid mass yield of torrefaction in combustion gas was smaller than that of torrefaction in nitrogen. This may be attributed to the decomposition enhancement effect by oxygen and carbon dioxide in combustion gas. Under combustion gas atmosphere, the solid yield for torrefaction of EFB became smaller as the temperature increased. The representative products of combustion gas torrefaction were carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide (gas phase) and water, phenol and acetic acid (liquid phase). By comparing torrefaction in combustion gas with torrefaction in nitrogen gas, it was found that combustion gas can be utilized as torrefaction gas to save energy and inert gas.
The original version of this Article contained an error in the third sentence of the abstract and incorrectly read "Here, using long-term plot monitoring records of up to half a century, we find that intact forests in Borneo gained 0.43 Mg C ha-1 year-1 (95% CI 0.14-0.72, mean period 1988-2010) above-ground live biomass", rather than the correct "Here, using long-term plot monitoring records of up to half a century, we find that intact forests in Borneo gained 0.43 Mg C ha-1 year-1 (95% CI 0.14-0.72, mean period 1988-2010) in above-ground live biomass carbon". This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
Algal biomass is known as a promising sustainable feedstock for the production of biofuels and other valuable products. However, since last decade, massive amount of interests have turned to converting algal biomass into biochar. Due to their high nutrient content and ion-exchange capacity, algal biochars can be used as soil amendment for agriculture purposes or adsorbents in wastewater treatment for the removal of organic or inorganic pollutants. This review describes the conventional (e.g., slow and microwave-assisted pyrolysis) and newly developed (e.g., hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction) methods used for the synthesis of algae-based biochars. The characterization of algal biochar and a comparison between algal biochar with biochar produced from other feedstocks are also presented. This review aims to provide updated information on the development of algal biochar in terms of the production methods and the characterization of its physical and chemical properties to justify and to expand their potential applications.
Biofuels are viewed as promising alternatives to conventional fossil fuels because they have the potential to eliminate major environmental problems created by fossil fuels. Among the still developing biofuel technologies, biodiesel production from algae offers a greater prospect for large-scale practical use, as algae are capable of producing much more yield than other biofuels. While research on algae-based biofuel is still in its developing stage, extensive work on laboratory- and pilot-scale algae harvesting systems with promising prospects has been reported. This paper presented a discussion of the literature review on recent advances in algae separation, harvesting and drying for biofuel production. The review and discussion focus on destabilization of algae, algae harvesting technologies and algae drying processes. Challenges and prospects of algae harvesting are also outlined.
Production of succinic acid via separate enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) are alternatives and are environmentally friendly processes. These processes have attained considerable positions in the industry with their own share of challenges and problems. The high-value succinic acid is extensively used in chemical, food, pharmaceutical, leather and textile industries and can be efficiently produced via several methods. Previously, succinic acid production via chemical synthesis from petrochemical or refined sugar has been the focus of interest of most reviewers. However, these expensive substrates have been recently replaced by alternative sustainable raw materials such as lignocellulosic biomass, which is cheap and abundantly available. Thus, this review focuses on succinic acid production utilizing lignocellulosic material as a potential substrate for SSF and SHF. SSF is an economical single-step process which can be a substitute for SHF - a two-step process where biomass is hydrolyzed in the first step and fermented in the second step. SSF of lignocellulosic biomass under optimum temperature and pH conditions results in the controlled release of sugar and simultaneous conversion into succinic acid by specific microorganisms, reducing reaction time and costs and increasing productivity. In addition, main process parameters which influence SHF and SSF processes such as batch and fed-batch fermentation conditions using different microbial strains are discussed in detail.
An appropriate technology for waste utilisation, especially for a large amount of abundant pressed-shredded oil palm empty fruit bunch (OFEFB), is important for the oil palm industry. Self-sustained pyrolysis, whereby oil palm biomass was combusted by itself to provide the heat for pyrolysis without an electrical heater, is more preferable owing to its simplicity, ease of operation and low energy requirement. In this study, biochar production under self-sustained pyrolysis of oil palm biomass in the form of oil palm empty fruit bunch was tested in a 3-t large-scale pool-type reactor. During the pyrolysis process, the biomass was loaded layer by layer when the smoke appeared on the top, to minimise the entrance of oxygen. This method had significantly increased the yield of biochar. In our previous report, we have tested on a 30-kg pilot-scale capacity under self-sustained pyrolysis and found that the higher heating value (HHV) obtained was 22.6-24.7 MJ kg(-1) with a 23.5%-25.0% yield. In this scaled-up study, a 3-t large-scale procedure produced HHV of 22.0-24.3 MJ kg(-1) with a 30%-34% yield based on a wet-weight basis. The maximum self-sustained pyrolysis temperature for the large-scale procedure can reach between 600 °C and 700 °C. We concluded that large-scale biochar production under self-sustained pyrolysis was successfully conducted owing to the comparable biochar produced, compared with medium-scale and other studies with an electrical heating element, making it an appropriate technology for waste utilisation, particularly for the oil palm industry.
The physical characteristics, microbial activities and kinetic properties of the granular sludge biomass were investigated under the influence of different hydraulic retention times (HRT) along with the performance of the system in removal of color and COD of synthetic textile wastewater. The study was conducted in a column reactor operated according to a sequential batch reactor with a sequence of anaerobic and aerobic reaction phases. Six stages of different HRTs and different anaerobic and aerobic reaction time were evaluated. It was observed that the increase in HRT resulted in the reduction of organic loading rate (OLR). This has caused a decrease in biomass concentration (MLSS), reduction in mean size of the granules, lowered the settling ability of the granules and reduction of oxygen uptake rate (OUR), overall specific biomass growth rate (ìoverall), endogeneous decay rate (kd) and biomass yield (Yobs, Y). When the OLR was increased by adding carbon sources (glucose, sodium acetate and ethanol), there was a slight increase in the MLSS, the granules mean size, ìoverall, and biomass yield. Under high HRT, increasing the anaerobic to aerobic reaction time ratio caused an increase in the concentration of MLSS, mean size of granules and lowered the SVI value and biomass yield. The ìoverall and biomass yield increased with the reduction in anaerobic/aerobic time ratio. The HRT of 24 h with anaerobic and aerobic reaction time of 17.8 and 5.8 h respectively appear to be the best cycle operation of SBR. Under these conditions, not only the physical properties of the biogranules have improved, the highest removal of color (i.e. 94.1±0.6%) and organics (i.e. 86.5±0.5%) of the synthetic textile dyeing wastewater have been achieved.
Plant cell cultures could be used as an important tool for biochemical production, ranging from natural coloring (pigments) to pharmaceutical products. Anthocyanins are becoming a very important alternative to synthetic dyes because of increased public concern over the safety of artificial food coloring agents. Several factors are responsible for the production of anthocyanin in cell cultures. In the present study, we investigate the effects of different environmental factors, such as light intensity, irradiance (continuous irradiance or continuous darkness), temperature and medium pH on cell biomass yield and anthocyanin production in cultures of Melastoma malabathricum. Moderate light intensity (301 - 600 lux) induced higher accumulation of anthocyanins in the cells. The cultures exposed to 10-d continuous darkness showed the lowest pigment content, while the cultures exposed to 10-d continuous irradiance showed the highest pigment content. The cell cultures incubated at a lower temperature range (20 ± 2 ºC) grew better and had higher pigment content than those grown at 26 ± 2 ºC and 29 ± 2 ºC. Different medium pH did not affect the yield of cell biomass but anthocyanin accumulation was highest at pH 5.25 - 6.25.
In Malaysia, there has been interest in the utilization of palm oil and oil palm biomass for the production of environmental friendly biofuels. A biorefinery based on palm oil and oil palm biomass for the production of biofuels has been proposed. The catalytic technology plays major role in the different processing stages in a biorefinery for the production of liquid as well as gaseous biofuels. There are number of challenges to find suitable catalytic technology to be used in a typical biorefinery. These challenges include (1) economic barriers, (2) catalysts that facilitate highly selective conversion of substrate to desired products and (3) the issues related to design, operation and control of catalytic reactor. Therefore, the catalytic technology is one of the critical factors that control the successful operation of biorefinery. There are number of catalytic processes in a biorefinery which convert the renewable feedstocks into the desired biofuels. These include biodiesel production from palm oil, catalytic cracking of palm oil for the production of biofuels, the production of hydrogen as well as syngas from biomass gasification, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) for the conversion of syngas into liquid fuels and upgrading of liquid/gas fuels obtained from liquefaction/pyrolysis of biomass. The selection of catalysts for these processes is essential in determining the product distribution (olefins, paraffins and oxygenated products). The integration of catalytic technology with compatible separation processes is a key challenge for biorefinery operation from the economic point of view. This paper focuses on different types of catalysts and their role in the catalytic processes for the production of biofuels in a typical palm oil and oil palm biomass-based biorefinery.
The objectives of the study are to use immobilized acclimated biomass and immobilized biomass-powdered activated carbon (PAC) as a novel approach in the bioregeneration of granular activated carbon (GAC) loaded with phenol and o-cresol, respectively, and to compare the efficiency and rate of the bioregeneration of the phenolic compound-loaded GAC using immobilized and suspended biomasses under varying GAC dosages. Bioregeneration of GAC loaded with phenol and o-cresol, respectively, was conducted in batch system using the sequential adsorption and biodegradation approach. The results showed that the bioregeneration efficiency of GAC loaded with phenol or o-cresol was basically the same irrespective of whether the immobilized or suspended biomass was used. Nonetheless, the duration for bioregeneration was longer under immobilized biomass. The beneficial effect of immobilized PAC-biomass for bioregeneration is the enhancement of the removal rate of the phenolic compounds via adsorption and the shortening of the bioregeneration duration.
Armillaria sp. F022, a white-rot fungus isolated from decayed wood in tropical rain forest was used to biodegrade anthracene in cultured medium. The percentage of anthracene removal by Armillaria sp. F022 reached 13 % after 7 days and at the end of the experiment, anthracene removal level was at 87 %. The anthracene removal through sorption and transformation was investigated. 69 % of eliminated anthracene was transformed by Armillaria sp. F022 to form other organic structure, while only 18 % was absorbed in the mycelia. In the kinetic experiment, anthracene dissipation will not stop even though the biomass had stopped growing. Anthracene removal by Armillaria sp. F022 was correlated with protein concentration (whole biomass) in the culture. The production of enzyme was affected by biomass production. Anthracene was transformed to two stable metabolic products. The metabolites were extracted in ethyl-acetate, isolated by column chromatography, and then identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
Nanocellulose was successfully isolated from Gelidium elegans red algae marine biomass. The red algae fiber was treated in three stages namely alkalization, bleaching treatment and acid hydrolysis treatment. Morphological analysis was performed by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM results revealed that the isolated nanocellulose had the average diameter and length of 21.8±11.1nm and of 547.3±23.7nm, respectively. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy proved that the non-cellulosic polysaccharides components were progressively removed during the chemically treatment, and the final derived materials composed of cellulose parent molecular structure. X-ray diffraction (XRD) study showed that the crystallinity of yielded product had been improved after each successive treatments subjected to the treated fiber. The prepared nano-dimensional cellulose demonstrated a network-like structure with higher crystallinity (73%) than that of untreated fiber (33%), and possessed of good thermal stability which is suitable for nanocomposite material.
Co-pyrolysis of biomass with abundantly available materials could be an economical method for production of bio-fuels. However, elimination of oxygenated compounds poses a considerable challenge. Catalytic co-pyrolysis is another potential technique for upgrading bio-oils for application as liquid fuels in standard engines. This technique promotes the production of high-quality bio-oil through acid catalyzed reduction of oxygenated compounds and mutagenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. This work aims to review and summarize research progress on co-pyrolysis and catalytic co-pyrolysis, as well as their benefits on enhancement of bio-oils derived from biomass. This review focuses on the potential of plastic wastes and coal materials as co-feed in co-pyrolysis to produce valuable liquid fuel. This paper also proposes future directions for using this technique to obtain high yields of bio-oils.
The conversion of starchy sago (Metroxylon sagu) pith waste (SPW), a lignocellulosic biomass waste, to fermentable sugars under mild conditions had been successfully demonstrated. The optimum depolymerization of SPW was achieved at 2 wt% sample loading which was catalyzed by 100 mM of oxalic acid in the presence of 25 wt% NaCl solution at 110 °C for 3 h. Up to 97% SPW sample was being converted into fermentable sugars with limited formation of by-products after two sequential depolymerization cycles. Both reaction temperature and concentration of oxalic acid were crucial parameters for the depolymerization of SPW which exhibited a high selectivity for the production of glucose over other reducing sugars.
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.
Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world and this industry generates more than 80 million tonnes of biomass every year. When considering the potential of this biomass to be used as a fermentation feedstock, many studies have been conducted to develop a complete process for sugar production. One of the essential processes is the pre-treatment to modify the lignocellulosic components by altering the structural arrangement and/or removing lignin component to expose the internal structure of cellulose and hemicellulose for cellulases to digest it into sugars. Each of the pre-treatment processes that were developed has their own advantages and disadvantages, which are reviewed in this study.