Soil-water characteristic curves (SWCCs) are important in terms of groundwater recharge, agriculture, and soil chemistry. These relationships are also of considerable value in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Their measurement, however, is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Many empirical models have been developed to describe the SWCC. Statistical assessment of soil-water characteristic curve models found that exponential-based model equations were the most difficult to fit and generally provided the poorest fit to the soil-water characteristic data. In this paper, an exponential-based model is devised to describe the SWCC. The modified equation is similar to those previously reported by Gardner (1956) but includes exponential variable. Verification was performed with 24 independent data sets for a wide range of soil textures. Prediction results were compared with the most widely used models to assess the model's performance. It was proven that the exponential-based equation of the modified model provided greater flexibility and a better fit to data on various types of soil.
Effects of different physical pretreatments on water hyacinth for dilute acid hydrolysis process (121 ± 3 °C, 5% H(2)SO(4), 60 min) were comparatively investigated. Untreated sample had produced 24.69 mg sugar/g dry matter. Steaming (121 ± 3 °C) and boiling (100 ± 3 °C) for 30 min had provided 35.9% and 52.4% higher sugar yield than untreated sample, respectively. The highest sugar yield (132.96 mg sugar/g dry matter) in ultrasonication was obtained at 20 min irradiation using 100% power. The highest sugar production (155.13 mg sugar/g dry matter) was obtained from pulverized samples. Hydrolysis time was reduced when using samples pretreated by drying, mechanical comminution and ultrasonication. In most methods, prolonging the pretreatment period was ineffective and led to sugar degradations. Morphology inspection and thermal analysis had provided evidences of structure disruption that led to higher sugar recovery in hydrolysis process.
Macrophytes have been used to mitigate eutrophication and upgrade effluent quality via their nutrient removal capability. However, the available data are influenced by factors such as microbial activities, weather, and wastewater quality, making comparison between nutrient removal performance of different macrophytes almost impossible. In this study, phytoremediation by Spirodela polyrhiza, Salvinia molesta and Lemna sp. were carried out axenically in synthetic wastewater under controlled condition to precisely evaluate nutrient removal efficiency of NO3--N, PO43-, NH3-N, COD and pH in the water sample. The results showed that ammonia removal was rapid, significant for S. polyrhiza and Lemna sp., with efficiency of 60% and 41% respectively within 2 days. S. polyrhiza was capable of reducing 30% of the nitrate. Lemna sp. achieved the highest phosphate reduction of 86% at day 12 to mere 1.07 mg/L PO43--P. Correlation was found between COD and TC, suggesting the release of organic substances by macrophytes into the medium. All the macrophytes showed biomass increment. S. polyrhiza outperformed other macrophytes in nutrient removal despite lower biomass production. The acquired nutrient removal profiles can serve as a guideline for the selection of suitable macrophytes in wastewater treatment and to evaluate microbial activity in non-aseptic phytoremediation system.
UV-visible spectroscopy has been shown to be a useful technique for determining dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. However, at present we are unaware of any studies in the literature that have investigated the suitability of this approach for tropical DOC water samples from any tropical peatlands, although some work has been performed in other tropical environments. We used water samples from two oil palm estates in Sarawak, Malaysia to: i) investigate the suitability of both single and two-wavelength proxies for tropical DOC determination; ii) develop a calibration dataset and set of parameters to calculate DOC concentrations indirectly; iii) provide tropical researchers with guidance on the best spectrophotometric approaches to use in future analyses of DOC. Both single and two-wavelength model approaches performed well with no one model significantly outperforming the other. The predictive ability of the models suggests that UV-visible spectroscopy is both a viable and low cost method for rapidly analyzing DOC in water samples immediately post-collection, which can be important when working at remote field sites with access to only basic laboratory facilities.
The recent developments of nanostructured WO3 thin films synthesized through the electrochemical route of electrochemical anodization and cathodic electrodeposition for the application in photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting are reviewed. The key fundamental reaction mechanisms of electrochemical anodization and cathodic electrodeposition methods for synthesizing nanostructured WO3 thin films are explained. In addition, the effects of metal oxide precursors, electrode substrates, applied potentials and current densities, and annealing temperatures on size, composition, and thickness of the electrochemically synthesized nanostructured WO3 thin films are elucidated in detail. Finally, a summary is given for the general evaluation practices used to calculate the energy conversion efficiency of nanostructured WO3 thin films and a recommendation is provided to standardize the presentation of research results in the field to allow for easy comparison of reported PEC efficiencies in the near future.
This paper presents the modelled raindrop size parameters in Skudai region of the Johor Bahru, western Malaysia. Presently, there is no model to forecast the characteristics of DSD in Malaysia, and this has an underpinning implication on wet weather pollution predictions. The climate of Skudai exhibits local variability in regional scale. This study established five different parametric expressions describing the rain rate of Skudai; these models are idiosyncratic to the climate of the region. Sophisticated equipment that converts sound to a relevant raindrop diameter is often too expensive and its cost sometimes overrides its attractiveness. In this study, a physical low-cost method was used to record the DSD of the study area. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to test the aptness of the data to exponential and lognormal distributions, which were subsequently used to formulate the parameterisation of the distributions. This research abrogates the concept of exclusive occurrence of convective storm in tropical regions and presented a new insight into their concurrence appearance.
Aerobic dynamic feeding (ADF) strategy was applied in sequencing batch reactor (SBR) to accumulate polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) in aerobic granules. The aerobic granules were able to remove 90% of the COD from palm oil mill effluent (POME). The volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in the POME are the sole source of the PHA accumulation. In this work, 100% removal of propionic and butyric acids in the POME were observed. The highest amount of PHA produced in aerobic granules was 0.6833mgPHA/mgbiomass. The PHA formed was identified as a P (hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) P (HB-co-HV).
Water-in-diesel emulsion (WiDE) is an alternative fuel for CI engines that can be employed with the existing engine setup with no additional engine retrofitting. It has benefits of simultaneous reduction of both NO x and particulate matters in addition to its impact in the combustion efficiency improvement, although this needs further investigation. This review paper addresses the type of emulsion, the microexplosion phenomenon, emulsion stability and physiochemical improvement, and effect of water content on the combustion and emissions of WiDE fuel. The review also covers the recent experimental methodologies used in the investigation of WiDE for both transport and stationary engine applications. In this review, the fuel injection pump and spray nozzle arrangement has been found to be the most critical components as far as the secondary atomization is concerned and further investigation of the effect of these components in the microexplosion of the emulsion is suggested to be center of focus.
Spray drying accomplishes drying while particles are suspended in the air and is one method in the family of suspended particle processing systems, along with fluid-bed drying, flash drying, spray granulation, spray agglomeration, spray reaction, spray cooling, and spray absorption. This drying process is unique because it involves both particle formation and drying. The present paper reviews spray drying of fruit extracts, such as acai, acerola pomace, gac, mango, orange, cactus pear, opuntia stricta fruit, watermelon, and durian, and the effects of additives on physicochemical properties such as antioxidant activity, total carotenoid content, lycopene and β-carotene content, hygroscopy, moisture content, volatile retention, stickiness, color, solubility, glass transition temperature, bulk density, rehydration, caking, appearance under electron microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction. The literature clearly demonstrates that the effect of additives and encapsulation play a vital role in determining the physicochemical properties of fruit extract powder. The technical difficulties in spray drying of fruit extracts can be overcome by modifying the spray dryer design. It also reveals that spray drying is a novel technology for converting fruit extract into powder form.
An extractive bioconversion with Bacillus cereus cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase (CGTase, EC 18.104.22.168) in aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) was investigated for the synthesis and recovery of cyclodextrins (CDs). Optimum condition for the extractive bioconversion of CDs was achieved in ATPS consisted of 7.7% (w/w) polyethylene glycol (PEG) 20,000 and 10.3% (w/w) dextran T500 with volume ratio (VR) of 4.0. Enzymatic conversion of starch occurred mainly in dextran-rich bottom phase whereas the product, CDs was transferred to top phase and a higher partition coefficient of CDs was achieved. Repetitive batch of CDs synthesis was employed by replenishment of the top phase components and addition of starch every 8h. An average total CDs concentration of 13.7 mg/mL, (4.77 mg/mLα-CD, 5.02 mg/mLβ-CD and 3.91 mg/mLγ-CD) was recovered in the top phase of PEG 20,000/dextran T500 ATPS. This study showed the effectiveness of ATPS application in extractive bioconversion of CDs synthesis with B. cereus CGTase.
A series of tripeptide organocatalysts containing a secondary amine group and two amino acids with polar side chain units were developed and evaluated in the direct asymmetric intermolecular aldol reaction of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde and cyclohexanone. The effectiveness of short polar peptides as asymmetric catalysts in aldol reactions to attain high yields of enantio- and diastereoselective isomers were investigated. In a comparison, glutamic acid and histidine produced higher % ee and yields when they were applied as the second amino acid in short trimeric peptides. These short polar peptides were found to be efficient organocatalysts for the asymmetric aldol addition reaction in aqueous media.
The present investigation focuses in investigating the effect of osmotic pressure, gelling on the mean droplet diameter, polydispersity index, droplet size stability of the developed novel Aspirin containing water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) nano multiple emulsion. The aspirin-loaded nano multiple emulsion formulation was successfully generated using two-stage ultrasonic cavitational emulsification which had been reported in author's previous study. The osmotic behavior of ultrasonically prepared nano multiple emulsions were also examined with different glucose concentrations both in the inner and outer aqueous phases. In addition, introducing gelatin into the formulation also observed to play an important role in preventing the interdroplet coalescence via the formation of interfacial rigid film. Detailed studies were also made on the possible mechanisms of water migration under osmotic gradient which primarily caused by the permeation of glucose. Besides, the experimental results have shown that the interfacial tension between the two immiscible phases decreases with varying the composition of organic phase. Although the W/O/W emulsion prepared with the inner/outer glucose weight ratio of 1-0.5% (w/w) showed an excellent droplet stability, the formulation containing 0.5% (w/w) glucose in the inner aqueous phase appeared to be the most stable with minimum change in the mean droplet size upon one-week storage period. Based on the optimization, nano multiple emulsion droplets with the mean droplet diameter of around 400 nm were produced using 1.25% (w/w) Span 80 and 0.5% Cremophore EL. Overall, our investigation makes a pathway in proving that the use of ultrasound cavitation is an efficient yet promising approach in the generation of stable and uniform nano multiple emulsions and could be used in the encapsulation of various active pharmaceutical ingredients in the near future.
Oil-in-water (O/W) nanoemulsions play an important key role in transporting bioactive compounds into a range of cosmeceutical products to the skin. Small droplet sizes have an inherent stability against creaming, sedimentation, flocculation, and coalescence. O/W emulsions varying in manufacturing process were prepared. The preparation and characterization of O/W nanoemulsions with average diameters of as low as 62.99 nm from palm oil esters were carried out. This was achieved using rotor-stator homogenizer and ultrasonic cavitation. Ultrasonic cell was utilized for the emulsification of palm oil esters and water in the presence of mixed surfactants, Tween 80 and Span 80 emulsions with a mean droplet size of 62.99 nm and zeta potential value at -37.8 mV. Results were comparable with emulsions prepared with rotor-stator homogenizer operated at 6000 rpm for 5 min. The stability of the emulsions was evaluated through rheology measurement properties. This included non-Newtonian viscosity, elastic modulus G', and loss modulus G″. A highly stable emulsion was prepared using ultrasonic cavitation comprising a very small particle size with higher zeta potential value and G' > G″ demonstrating gel-like behavior.
The present work covers the preparation of carbon-based nanosorbents by ethylene decomposition on stainless steel mesh without the use of external catalyst for the treatment of water containing nickel ions (Ni2+). The reaction temperature was varied from 650 to 850 degrees C, while reaction time and ethylene to nitrogen flow ratio were maintained at 30 min and 1:1 cm3/min, respectively. Results show that nanosorbents synthesised at a reaction temperature of 650 degrees C had the smallest average diameter (75 nm), largest BET surface area (68.95 m2/g) and least amount of impurity (0.98 wt.% Fe). A series of batch-sorption tests were performed to evaluate the effects of initial pH, initial metal concentration and contact time on Ni2+ removal by the nanosorbents. The equilibrium data fitted well to Freundlich isotherm. The kinetic data were best correlated to a pseudo second-order model indicating that the process was of chemisorption type. Further analysis by the Boyd kinetic model revealed that boundary layer diffusion was the controlling step. This primary study suggests that the prepared material with Freundlich constants compared well with those in the literature, is a promising sorbent for the sequestration of Ni2+ in aqueous solutions.
Hydrogen produced from the photocatalytic splitting of water is one of the reliable alternatives to replace the polluting fossil and the radioactive nuclear fuels. Here, we provide unequivocal evidence for the existence of blue- and red-shifting O-H covalent bonds within a single water molecule adsorbed on the MgO surface as a result of asymmetric displacement polarizabilities. The adsorbed H-O-H on MgO gives rise to one weaker H-O bond, while the other O-H covalent bond from the same adsorbed water molecule compensates this effect with a stronger bond. The weaker bond (nearest to the surface), the interlayer tunneling electrons and the silver substrate are shown to be the causes for the smallest dissociative activation energy on the MgO monolayer. The origin that is responsible to initiate the splitting mechanism is proven to be due to the changes in the polarizability of an adsorbed water molecule, which are further supported by the temperature-dependent static dielectric constant measurements for water below the first-order electronic-phase transition temperature.
Decomposition of oil palm fruit press fiber (FPF) to various liquid products in subcritical water was investigated using a high-pressure autoclave reactor with and without the presence of catalyst. When the reaction was carried in the absence of catalyst, the conversion of solid to liquid products increased from 54.9% at 483 K to 75.8% at 603 K. Simultaneously, the liquid yield increased from 28.8% to 39.1%. The liquid products were sub-categorized to bio-oil (benzene soluble, diethylether soluble, acetone soluble) and water soluble. When 10% ZnCl(2) was added, the conversion increased slightly but gaseous products increased significantly. However, when 10% Na(2)CO(3) and 10% NaOH were added independently, the solid conversion increased to almost 90%. In the presence of catalyst, the liquid products were mainly bio-oil compounds. Although solid conversion increased at higher reaction temperature, but the liquid yield did not increase at higher temperature.
The structure of the adsorbed protein layer at the oil/water interface is essential to the understanding of the role of proteins in emulsion stabilization, and it is important to glean the mechanistic events of protein adsorption at such buried interfaces. This article reports on a novel experimental methodology for probing protein adsorption at the buried oil/water interface. Neutron reflectivity was used with a carefully selected set of isotopic contrasts to study the adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) at the hexadecane/water interface, and the results were compared to those for the air/water interface. The adsorption isotherm was determined at the isoelectric point, and the results showed that a higher degree of adsorption could be achieved at the more hydrophobic interface. The adsorbed BSA molecules formed a monolayer on the aqueous side of the interface. The molecules in this layer were partially denatured by the presence of oil, and once released from the spatial constraint by the globular framework they were free to establish more favorable interactions with the hydrophobic medium. Thus, a loose layer extending toward the oil phase was clearly observed, resulting in an overall broader interface. By analogy to the air/water interface, as the concentration of BSA increased to 1.0 mg mL(-1) a secondary layer extending toward the aqueous phase was observed, possibly resulting from the steric repulsion upon the saturation of the primary monolayer. Results clearly indicate a more compact arrangement of molecules at the oil/water interface: this must be caused by the loss of the globular structure as a consequence of the denaturing action of the hexadecane.
Torrefaction process of biomass material is essential in converting them into biofuel with improved calorific value and physical strength. However, the production of torrefied biomass is loose, powdery, and nonuniform. One method of upgrading this material to improve their handling and combustion properties is by densification into briquettes of higher density than the original bulk density of the material. The effects of critical parameters of briquetting process that includes the type of biomass material used for torrefaction and briquetting, densification temperature, and composition of binder for torrefied biomass are studied and characterized. Starch is used as a binder in the study. The results showed that the briquette of torrefied rubber seed kernel (RSK) is better than torrefied palm oil shell (POS) in both calorific value and compressive strength. The best quality of briquettes is yielded from torrefied RSK at the ambient temperature of briquetting process with the composition of 60% water and 5% binder. The maximum compressive load for the briquettes of torrefied RSK is 141 N and the calorific value is 16 MJ/kg. Based on the economic evaluation analysis, the return of investment (ROI) for the mass production of both RSK and POS briquettes is estimated in 2-year period and the annual profit after payback was approximately 107,428.6 USD.
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.
Low methoxyl (LM) pectin was extracted from pomelo peels using subcritical water in a dynamic mode. The effects of pressure and temperature were analyzed through a face-centred central composite design. Extraction yield and the rate of extraction were found to be predominantly influenced by temperature. Optimization of the subcritical water extraction (SWE) yielded an optimized operating condition of 120°C and 30bar with a predicted pectin yield of 18.8%. The corresponding experimental yield was 19.6%, which is in close agreement with the predicted data. The pectin obtained from the optimized condition was further analyzed for its physicochemical properties. The kinetics of the SWE was also evaluated whereby the one-site kinetic desorption model was found to be in good agreement with experimental data (R2>0.94).