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.
Changing the growth environment for microalgae can overall lead to the fundamental alteration in cellular biochemicals whilst attaching onto palm kernel expeller (PKE) waste to form adhesion complex in easing harvesting at stationary growth phase. This study had initially optimized the PKE dosage, light intensity and photoperiod in maximizing the attached microalgal productivity being attained at 0.72 g/g day. Lipid content increased progressively from pH 3 to pH 11, with the highest value observed at pH 11. Meanwhile, in terms of protein and carbohydrate contents, the highest values were obtained by cultivation medium of pH 5 with 9.92 g and 17.72 g, respectively followed by pH 7 with 9.16 g and 16.36 g, respectively. Moreover, the findings also suggested that the low pH mediums utilized polar interactions in the formation of complexes between PKE and microalgae, whereas at higher pH levels, the non-polar interactions became more significant. The work of attachment was thermodynamically favourable towards the attachment formation with values greater than zero which was also aligned with the microscopic surface topography, i.e., revealing a clustering pattern of microalgae colonizing the PKE surface. These findings contribute to comprehensive understanding of optimizing growth condition and harvesting strategy of attached microalgae in attaining the cellular biochemical components, facilitating the development of efficient and sustainable bioresource utilization.
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.
Bio-coating, a recent and promising approach in attached microalgal cultivation systems, has garnered attention due to its efficiency in enhancing immobilized algal growth, particularly in submerged cultivation systems. However, when the cells are cultured on thin solid microporous substrates that physically separate them from the nutrient medium, it remains unclear whether the applied bio-coatings still have a significant impact on algal growth or the subsequent rates of algal organic matter (AOM) release. Therefore, this current work investigated the role of bio-coatings on the microalgal monoculture growth of one freshwater species, Chlorella vulgaris ESP 31, and one marine species, Cylindrotheca fusiformis on a hydrophilic substrate, polyvinylidene fluoride membrane in a permeated cultivation system. Wide range of bio-coating sources were adapted, with the result demonstrating that bacteria-derived coating promoted algal growth by as high as 140% when compared with the control group for both species. Interestingly, two distinct adaptation mechanisms were observed between the species, with only C. fusiformis demonstrating a positive correlation between cell growth and AOM productivity, particularly in its extracellularly bound fractions. It is worth noting that despite this specific fraction exhibiting the lowest content among all; it displayed significant relevance in terms of AOM productivity. High extracellular protein-to-polysaccharide ratio (>5.7 fold) quantified on bacterial intracellular exudate-coated membranes indirectly revealed an underlying symbiotic microalgal-bacterial interaction. This is the first study showing how bio-coating influenced AOM yield without any physical interaction between microalgae and bacteria. It further confirms the practical benefits of bio-coating in attached cultivation systems.
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.
The aim of this study was to pyrolyze individual (oil palm shell, empty fruit bunch and sawdust) as well as blend biomass in a thermogravimetric mass spectrometry (TG-MS) from room temperature to 800 °C at constant heating rate of 15 °C/min. The results showed that the onset TG temperature for blend biomass shifted slightly to lower values. Activation energy values were also found to decrease slightly after blending the biomass. Interestingly, the MS spectra of selected gases (H2O CH4, H2O, C2H2, C2H4 or CO, CH2O, CH3OH, HCl, C3H6, CO2, HCOOH, and C6H12) evolved from blend biomass showed decreased in the intensity as compared to their individual biomass. Overall, the blend biomass showed synergy which provides ways to expand the possibility of utilizing multiple feedstocks in one thermo-chemical system.
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.
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.
A one-step self-sustained carbonization of coconut shell biomass, carried out in a brick reactor at a relatively low temperature of 300-500°C, successfully produced a biochar-derived adsorbent with 308 m2/g surface area, 2 nm pore diameter, and 0.15 cm3/g total pore volume. The coconut shell biochar qualifies as a nano-adsorbent, supported by scanning electron microscope images, which showed well-developed nano-pores on the surface of the biochar structure, even though there was no separate activation process. This is the first report whereby coconut shell can be converted to biochar-derived nano-adsorbent at a low carbonization temperature, without the need of the activation process. This is superior to previous reports on biochar produced from oil palm empty fruit bunch.
The influence of biomass cellulosic content on biochar nanopore structure and adsorption capacity in aqueous phase was scarcely reported. Commercial cellulose (100% cellulose), oil palm frond (39.5% cellulose), and palm kernel shell (20.5% cellulose) were pyrolyzed AT 630 °C, characterized and tested for the adsorption of iodine and organic contaminants. The external surface area and average pore size increased with cellulosic content, where commercial cellulose formed biochar with external surface area of 95.4 m2/g and average pore size of 4.1 nm. The biochar from commercial cellulose had the largest adsorption capacities: 371.40 mg/g for iodine, 86.7 mg/L for tannic acid, 17.89 mg/g for COD and 60.35 mg/g for colour, while biochar from palm kernel shell had the least adsorption capacities. The cellulosic content reflected the differences in biochar nanopore structure and adsorption capacities, signifying the suitability of highly cellulosic biomass for producing biochar to effectively treat wastewater.
The demands of energy sustainability drive efforts to bio-chemical conversion of biomass into biofuels through pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and microbial fermentation. Pretreatment leads to significant structural changes of the complex lignin polymer that affect yield and productivity of the enzymatic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. Structural changes of lignin after pretreatment include functional groups, inter unit linkages and compositions. These changes influence non-productive adsorption of enzyme on lignin through hydrophobic interaction and electrostatic interaction as well as hydrogen bonding. This paper reviews the relationships between structural changes of lignin and enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated lignocellulosic biomass. The formation of pseudo-lignin during dilute acid pretreatment is revealed, and their negative effect on enzymatic hydrolysis is discussed.
Biomass wastes exhibit a great potential to be used as a source of non-depleting renewable energy and synthesis of value-added products. The key to the valorization of excess lignocellulosic biomass wastes in the world lies on the pretreatment process to recalcitrant barrier of the lignocellulosic material for the access to useful substrates. A wide range of pretreatment techniques are available and advances in this field is continuously happening, in search for cheap, effective, and environmentally friendly methods. This review starts with an introduction to conventional approaches and green solvents for pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Subsequently, the mechanism of actions along with the advantages and disadvantages of pretreatment techniques were reviewed. The roles of choline chloride (ChCl) in green solvents and their potential applications were also comprehensively reviewed. The collection of ideas in this review serve as an insight for future works or interest on biomass-to-energy conversion using green solvents.
Discovering novel bacterial strains might be the link to unlocking the value in lignocellulosic bio-refinery as we strive to find alternative and cleaner sources of energy. Bacteria display promise in lignocellulolytic breakdown because of their innate ability to adapt and grow under both optimum and extreme conditions. This versatility of bacterial strains is being harnessed, with qualities like adapting to various temperature, aero tolerance, and nutrient availability driving the use of bacteria in bio-refinery studies. Their flexible nature holds exciting promise in biotechnology, but despite recent pointers to a greener edge in the pretreatment of lignocellulose biomass and lignocellulose-driven bioconversion to value-added products, the cost of adoption and subsequent scaling up industrially still pose challenges to their adoption. However, recent studies have seen the use of co-culture, co-digestion, and bioengineering to overcome identified setbacks to using bacterial strains to breakdown lignocellulose into its major polymers and then to useful products ranging from ethanol, enzymes, biodiesel, bioflocculants, and many others. In this review, research on bacteria involved in lignocellulose breakdown is reviewed and summarized to provide background for further research. Future perspectives are explored as bacteria have a role to play in the adoption of greener energy alternatives using lignocellulosic biomass.
The environmental footprints of H2productionviacatalytic gasification of wheat straw using straw-derived biochar catalysts were examined. The functional unit of 1 kg of H2was adopted in the system boundaries, which includes 5 processes namely biomass collection and pre-treatment units (P1), biochar catalyst preparation using fast pyrolysis unit (P2), two-stage pyrolysis-gasification unit (P3), products separation unit (P4), and H2distribution to downstream plants (P5). Based on the life-cycle assessment, the hot spots in this process were identified, the sequence was as follows: P4 > P2 > P1 > P3 > P5. The end-point impacts score for the process was found to be 93.4017 mPt. From benchmarking analysis, the proposed straw-derived biochar catalyst was capable of offering almost similar catalytic performance with other metal-based catalysts with a lower environmental impact.
In recent years, visualization and characterization of lignocellulose at different scales elucidate the modifications of its ultrastructural and chemical features during hydrothermal pretreatment which include degradation and dissolving of hemicelluloses, swelling and partial hydrolysis of cellulose, melting and redepositing a part of lignin in the surface. As a result, cell walls are swollen, deformed and de-laminated from the adjacent layer, lead to a range of revealed droplets that appear on and within cell walls. Moreover, the certain extent morphological changes significantly promote the downstream processing steps, especially for enzymatic hydrolysis and anaerobic fermentation to bioethanol by increasing the contact area with enzymes. However, the formation of pseudo-lignin hinders the accessibility of cellulase to cellulose, which decreases the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. This review is intended to bridge the gap between the microstructure studies and value-added applications of lignocellulose while inspiring more research prospects to enhance the hydrothermal pretreatment process.
Since the introduction of deep eutectic solvent (DES) in biomass processing field, the efficiency of DES in lignocellulosic biopolymer model compounds' (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) solubilisation and conversion was widely recognized. Nevertheless, DES's potential for biorefinery application can be reflected more accurately through their performance in raw lignocellulosic biomass processing rather than model compound conversion. Therefore, this review examines the studies on raw lignocellulosic biomass fractionation using DES and the subsequent conversion of DES-fractionated products into bio-based products. The review stresses on three key parts: performance of varying types of DESs and pretreatment schemes for biopolymer fractionation, properties and conversion of fractionated saccharides as well as DES-extracted lignin. The prospects and challenges of DES implementation in biomass processing will also be discussed. This review provides a front-to-end view on the DES's performance, starting from pretreatment to DES-fractionated products conversion, which would be helpful in devising a comprehensive biomass utilization process.
Microalgal and lignocellulosic biomass is the most sumptuous renewable bioresource raw material existing on earth. Recently, the bioconversion of biomass into biofuels have received significant attention replacing fossil fuels. Pretreatment of biomass is a critical process in the conversion due to the nature and structure of the biomass cell wall that is complex. Although green technologies for biofuel production are advancing, the productivity and yield from these techniques are low. Over the past years, various pretreatment techniques have been developed and successfully employed to improve the technology. This paper presents an in-depth review of the recent advancement of pretreatment methods focusing on microalgal and lignocellulosic biomass. The technological approaches involving physical, chemical, biological and other latest pretreatment methods are reviewed.
Oil palm biomass is widely known for its potential as a renewable resource for various value-added products due to its lignocellulosic content and availability. Oil palm biomass biorefinery is an industry that comes with sociopolitical benefits through job opportunities, as well as potential environmental benefits. Many studies have been conducted on the technological advancements of oil-palm biomass-derived renewable materials, which are discussed comprehensively in this review. Recent technological developments have made it possible to bring new and innovative technologies to commercialization, such as compost, biocharcoal, biocomposites, and bioplastics.
Genetic engineering applications in the field of biofuel are rapidly expanding due to their potential to boost biomass productivity while lowering its cost and enhancing its quality. Recently, fourth-generation biofuel (FGB), which is biofuel obtained from genetically modified (GM) algae biomass, has gained considerable attention from academic and industrial communities. However, replacing fossil resources with FGB is still beset with many challenges. Most notably, technical aspects of genetic modification operations need to be more fully articulated and elaborated. However, relatively little attention has been paid to GM algal biomass. There is a limited number of reviews on the progress and challenges faced in the algal genetics of FGB. Therefore, the present review aims to fill this gap in the literature by recapitulating the findings of recent studies and achievements on safe and efficient genetic manipulation in the production of FGB. Then, the essential issues and parameters related to genome editing in algal strains are highlighted. Finally, the main challenges to FGB pertaining to the diffusion risk and regulatory frameworks are addressed. This review concluded that the technical and biosafety aspects of FGB, as well as the complexity and diversity of the related regulations, legitimacy concerns, and health and environmental risks, are among the most important challenges that require a strong commitment at the national/international levels to reach a global consensus.
Thermal co-processing of lignocellulosic and aquatic biomass, such as algae and shellfish waste, has shown synergistic effects in producing value-added energy products with higher process efficiency than the traditional method, highlighting the importance of scaling up to pilot-scale operations. This article discusses the design and operation of pilot-scale reactors for torrefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification, as well as the key parameters of co-processing biomass into targeted and improved quality products for use as fuel, agricultural application, and environmental remediation. Techno-economic analysis reveals that end product selling price, market dynamics, government policies, and biomass cost are crucial factors influencing the sustainability of thermal co-processing as a feasible approach to utilize the biomass. Because of its simplicity, pyrolysis allows greater energy recovery, while gasification has the highest net present value (profitability). Integration of liquefaction, hydrothermal, and fermentation pre-treatment technology has the potential to increase energy efficiency while reducing process residues.