This study was conducted based on the hypothesis that mineral and physicochemical properties of cockle shells similarly resemble the properties of corals (Porites sp.). Hence, the mineral and physicochemical evaluations of cockle shells were conducted to support the aforementioned hypothesis. The results indicated that cockle shells and coral exoskeleton shared similar mineral and physicochemical properties.
Honey is a supersaturated solution of sugars, enriched with proteins, minerals, vitamins, organic acids and polyphenols. Gamma irradiation is a physical technique of food preservation which protects the honey from insects' and microbial contamination during storage. We investigated the effect of gamma irradiation on physicochemical properties in two types of Malaysian honey, Gelam and Nenas.
Chitosan film reinforced with nano-sized chitin whiskers and crosslinked using tannic acid was synthesized by the casting-vaporation method. The mechanical and physicochemical properties of several film samples (consisting of different ratio of chitin and tannic acid) were compared with neat chitosan. Tensile tests show that the addition of chitin improves the nanocomposite films mechanical properties up to 137% compared to neat chitosan, but this is slightly degraded when tannic acid is introduced. However, tannic acid and chitin whisker content greatly reduced moisture content by 294% and water solubility by 13%. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Fourier-transform-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to investigate the morphology and molecular interaction of film. X-ray diffraction results indicated that the samples with chitin whiskers had a more rigid structure. The addition of tannic acid changed the structure into an anhydrous crystalline conformation when compared to neat chitosan film.
The semi-empirical spectrophotometric (SESp) method, for the indirect determination of ion exchange constants (K(X)(Br)) of ion exchange processes occurring between counterions (X⁻ and Br⁻) at the cationic micellar surface, is described in this article. The method uses an anionic spectrophotometric probe molecule, N-(2-methoxyphenyl)phthalamate ion (1⁻), which measures the effects of varying concentrations of inert inorganic or organic salt (Na(v)X, v = 1, 2) on absorbance, (A(ob)) at 310 nm, of samples containing constant concentrations of 1⁻, NaOH and cationic micelles. The observed data fit satisfactorily to an empirical equation which gives the values of two empirical constants. These empirical constants lead to the determination of K(X)(Br) (= K(X)/K(Br) with K(X) and K(Br) representing cationic micellar binding constants of counterions X and Br⁻). This method gives values of K(X)(Br) for both moderately hydrophobic and hydrophilic X⁻. The values of K(X)(Br), obtained by using this method, are comparable with the corresponding values of K(X)(Br), obtained by the use of semi-empirical kinetic (SEK) method, for different moderately hydrophobic X. The values of K(X)(Br) for X = Cl⁻ and 2,6-Cl₂C6H₃CO₂⁻, obtained by the use of SESp and SEK methods, are similar to those obtained by the use of other different conventional methods.
This study describes the chemical speciation of Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, As, and Sn in soil of former tin mining catchment. Total five sites were selected for sampling and subsequent subsamples were collected from each site in order to create a composite sample for analysis. Samples were analysed by the sequential extraction procedure using optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). Small amounts of Cu, Cr, and As retrieved from the exchangeable phase, the ready available for biogeochemical cycles in the ecosystem. Low quantities of Cu and As could be taken up by plants in these kind of acidic soils. Zn not detected in the bioavailable forms while Pb is only present in negligible amounts in very few samples. The absence of mobile forms of Pb eliminates the toxic risk both in the trophic chain and its migration downwards the soil profile. The results also indicate that most of the metals have high abundance in residual fraction indicating lithogenic origin and low bioavailability of the metals in the studied soil. The average potential mobility for the metals giving the following order: Sn > Cu > Zn > Pb > Cr > As.
Deforestation leads to the deterioration of soil fertility which occurs rapidly under tropical climates. Forest rehabilitation is one of the approaches to restore soil fertility and increase the productivity of degraded areas. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare soil biological properties under enrichment planting and secondary forests at Tapah Hill Forest Reserve, Perak after 42 years of planting. Both areas were excessively logged in the 1950s and left idle without any appropriate forest management until 1968 when rehabilitation program was initiated. Six subplots (20 m × 20 m) were established within each enrichment planting (F1) and secondary forest (F2) plots, after which soil was sampled at depths of 0-15 cm (topsoil) and 15-30 cm (subsoil). Results showed that total mean microbial enzymatic activity, as well as biomass C and N content, was significantly higher in F1 compared to F2. The results, despite sample variability, suggest that the rehabilitation program improves the soil biological activities where high rate of soil organic matter, organic C, N, suitable soil acidity range, and abundance of forest litter is believed to be the predisposing factor promoting higher population of microbial in F1 as compared to F2. In conclusion total microbial enzymatic activity, biomass C and biomass N evaluation were higher in enrichment planting plot compared to secondary forest. After 42 years of planting, rehabilitation or enrichment planting helps to restore the productivity of planted forest in terms of biological parameters.