A packaging material that is environment-friendly with excellent mechanical and physicochemical properties, biodegradable and ultraviolet (UV) protection and thermal stability was prepared to reduce plastic waste. Six different concentrations of Pennisetum purpureum/Napier cellulose nanowhiskers (NWCs) (i.e. 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0 wt%) were used to reinforce polylactic acid (PLA) by a solvent casting method. The resulting bionanocomposite film samples were characterised in terms of their morphology, chemical structure, crystallinity, thermal degradation and stability, light transmittance, water absorption, biodegradability, and physical and mechanical properties. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy showed the excellent dispersion of NWC in the PLA matrix occurred with NWC concentrations of 0.5-1.5 wt%. All the bionanocomposite film samples exhibited good thermal stability at approximately 343-359 °C. The highest water absorption was 1.94%. The lowest transparency at λ800 was 16.16% for the PLA/3.0% NWC bionanocomposite film, which also has the lowest UVA and UVB transmittance of 7.49% and 4.02%, respectively, making it suitable for packaging materials. The PLA/1.0% NWC film exhibited the highest crystallinity of 50.09% and high tensile strength and tensile modulus of 21.22 MPa and 11.35 MPa, respectively.
A comparative study of nutrient composition and in vitro ruminal degradability of selected local plants, Macaranga sp.and Mallotus sp.was carried out and Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) was used as control.The results obtained from proximate analysis revealed that there were significant difference (P
The in vitro degradation and mechanical properties of a 3D porous Pennisetum purpureum (PP)/polylactic acid (PLA)-based scaffold were investigated. In this study, composite scaffolds with PP to PLA ratios of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% were immersed in a PBS solution at 37°C for 40 days. Compression tests were conducted to evaluate the compressive strength and modulus of the scaffolds, according to ASTM F451-95. The compression strength of the scaffolds was found to increase from 1.94 to 9.32MPa, while the compressive modulus increased from 1.73 to 5.25MPa as the fillers' content increased from 0wt% to 30wt%. Moreover, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and X-ray diffraction were employed to observe and analyse the microstructure and fibre-matrix interface. Interestingly, the degradation rate was reduced for the PLA/PP20scaffold, though insignificantly, this could be attributed to the improved mechanical properties and stronger fibre-matrix interface. Microstructure changes after degradation were observed using FESEM. The FESEM results indicated that a strong fibre-matrix interface was formed in the PLA/PP20scaffold, which reflected the addition of P. purpureum into PLA decreasing the degradation rate compared to in pure PLA scaffolds. The results suggest that the P. purpureum/PLA scaffold degradation rate can be altered and controlled to meet requirements imposed by a given tissue engineering application.
The experiment was conducted to determine the feed intake and body weight (BW) change of Boer goats supplemented with a commercial concentrate pellet and combinations of concentrate and soya waste. Twelve male goats were divided into three groups. Each group was randomly allocated to each of the three treatment diets: Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) ad libitum and concentrate pellet at rate of 2.0% of BW, daily (T1); Napier grass ad libitum and concentrate pellet at rate of 1.4% of BW and soya waste at rate of 0.5% of BW, daily (T2) and Napier grass ad libitum and concentrate pellet at rate of 0.9% of BW and soya waste at rate of 0.5% of BW, daily (T3). The results indicated that supplementation of concentrate pellet together with soya waste (T2 or T3) significantly (p<0.05) decreased intakes of grass dry matter (DM), total DM and total crude protein compared to the solely concentrate pellet group (T1). However, BW gain was significantly (p<0.05) higher in T2 treatment compared with the T1 or T3 treatments. Supplementation of concentrate pellet with soya waste (T2 or T3) significantly (p<0.05) improved the feed conversion efficiency and reduced the feed cost of goats compared with solely concentrate pellet group (T1). The results indicated that grass intake and feed cost can be reduced by replacing concentrate pellet with soya waste in the diet of goats where soya waste is available.
Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. is a weed that is currently spreading rapidly to many parts of the world particularly tropical countries. The abundance of P. purpureum in Malaysia is presently a serious problem. A study was conducted to investigate and evaluate the potential allelopathic effects of P. purpureum on Eleusine indica L. Gaertn. using the aqueous leaf extract and plant debris incorporated into the soil. Low concentrations of the P. purpureum aqueous extract (2%) and debris incorporated into the soil (25/500 g) inhibited germination and seedling growth of the bioassay species (E. indica) by >80%. The responses of the bioassay species to the aqueous extract and debris-incorporated soil were concentration dependent. The aqueous extract had higher total phenolic content compared to that from the debris incorporated soil, indicating the presence of certain phytotoxic compounds in the leaf debris and leaf extracts.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of replacing soybean meal with soya waste at different levels on intake, digestibility and growth in goats. Eighteen male goat kids with initial body weight (BW) of 13.0 kg were distributed equally to three dietary groups. They were fed Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and concentrate mixture, and each goat was assigned to an individual pen. Soybean meal in the concentrate mixture was replaced with soya waste at 0% (T1), 50% (T2) and 100% (T3) levels in respective dietary groups. These diets were isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Results showed that animals fed T3 diet exhibited higher Napier grass intake than those fed T1 or T2 diet. There was no influence on total intakes of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), metabolic BW, per cent BW and metabolisable energy by the dietary groups. However, there was an increasing trend on intake and digestibility of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) with increasing levels of soya waste in the diets. Animals fed T3 diet showed higher intake and digestibility of NDF than those fed T1 diet. There was no influence of the dietary groups on digestibilities of DM, OM and CP. Similarly, there was no effect of them on the final BW, total BW gain, daily BW gain, feed conversion ratio and feed cost. Soya waste can replace 100% soybean meal in diets for growing goats, because no change was observed in nutrient intake, digestibility and growth performance; inclusion of soya waste enhanced the intake and digestibility of NDF.
The mechanical, thermal, and morphological properties of a 3D porous Pennisetum purpureum (PP)/polylactic acid (PLA) based scaffold were investigated. In this study, a scaffold containing P. purpureum and PLA was produced using the solvent casting and particulate leaching method. P. purpureum fibre, also locally known as Napier grass, is composed of 46% cellulose, 34% hemicellulose, and 20% lignin. PLA composites with various P. purpureum contents (10%, 20%, and 30%) were prepared and subsequently characterised. The morphologies, structures and thermal behaviours of the prepared composite scaffolds were characterised using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The morphology was studied using FESEM; the scaffold possessed 70-200μm-sized pores with a high level of interconnectivity. The moisture content and mechanical properties of the developed porous scaffolds were further characterised. The P. purpureum/PLA scaffold had a greater porosity factor (99%) and compression modulus (5.25MPa) than those of the pure PLA scaffold (1.73MPa). From the results, it can be concluded that the properties of the highly porous P. purpureum/PLA scaffold developed in this study can be controlled and optimised. This can be used to facilitate the construction of implantable tissue-engineered cartilage.
Cellulose nanowhisker (NWC) was extracted by hydrolysing Pennisetum purpureum (PP) fibres with acid and alkali. They were subjected to different periods of acid hydrolysis; 30, 45, and 60 min. NWC morphology and physicochemical properties were characterised by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), particle size analyser, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis. NWC3, which underwent the longest hydrolysis time, showed the smallest width and length, under TEM. All samples presented a needle-like shape under TEM and AFM; uneven lengths and irregular shapes under FESEM; and a broad range of distribution, with the particle size analyser. All samples exhibited a good crystallinity index (CrI)-72.0 to 74.6%. The highest CrI% corresponded to 60 min of acid hydrolysis. Thermogravimetric analysis showed thermal stability between 310.72 °C and 336.28 °C. Thus, cellulose nanowhisker from PP fibres, have high potential as bio-nanocomposites.
The Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (KGQR) is proposed for protection as National Heritage and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its spectacular size, exceptional beauty and significant biodiversity. The checklist of vascular plants documents 314 species that comprise a unique combination that grows on lowland quartz and that is distinct from the surrounding lowland equatorial rain forest by the absence of orchids, palms, gingers and tree canopy families. The Rubiaceae, Gramineae, Moraceae, Apocynaceae, Melastomataceae and Polypodiaceae are the most speciose families. The summit vegetation at 200-400 m elevation is dominated by Baeckea frutescens (Myrtaceae) and Rhodoleia championii (Hamamelidaceae) and shows similarities to the plant community on rocky mountain peaks above 1500 m. About 11% of its species are endemic in Peninsular Malaysia and four are endemic to KGQR: Aleisanthia rupestris (Rubiaceae), Codonoboea primulina (Gesneriaceae), Spermacoce pilulifera (Rubiaceae), and Ilex praetermissa (Aquifoliaceae). All four are provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered. Two, Eulalia milsumi (Gramineae) and Sonerila prostrata (Melastomataceae), are endemic to KGQR and a few neighbouring smaller quartz dykes. They are assessed as Endangered. The KGQR is a fragile habitat and conservation management is urgently required to halt the spread of the aggressive alien grass, Pennisetum polystachion and to prevent further habitat degradation from visitors. Based on KGQR being a threatened habitat, its biodiverse flora, and endangered species, it qualifies as an Important Plant Area.
At present, heavy metal pollution is a major environmental concern and the adsorption technique is a potent method for removal of these heavy metals from wastewater. Activated carbon is one of the best adsorbents for metal ionsremoval but it is sometimes restricted due to high cost and problems with regeneration hamper large scale application. Low cost adsorbent is alternatively being introduced to replace activated carbon since it is available in large quantity, renewable and inexpensive. Hence, Pennisetum purpureum(elephant grass) was investigated for its potential in cadmium ions removal. The adsorbent was characterized by Fourier Transforms Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) analyses.The effects of pH (1 to 5), initial metal ion concentration (5 to 25 mg/L), contact time (10 to 60 minutes) and adsorbent dosage (0.2 to 1.0 g) on cadmium ions removal were conducted by batch adsorption experiments. In this study, the FT-IR results demonstrated that the functional groups for untreated and nitric acid-treated P. purpureum mainly consisted of carbonyl, carboxyl, hydroxyl and amine groups which are able to bind with positively charged cadmium ions. SEM micrographs have proven that nitric acid modification would remove the surface impurities of P. purpureum, which increased the surface roughness, produced deep, open pores and better pore size distribution. From the BET and BJH analyses, the treated P. purpureum was mesoporous, had larger surface area and pore volume compared to untreated P. purpureum. The best pH, adsorbent dosage and contact time were pH 4, 0.6 g and 30 minutes, respectively. The highest removal percentage of cadmium ions for both untreated and treated P. purpureum were 92% and 98% correspondingly. The results shown strengthened the fact that both biosorbents have great potential in cadmium ions removal.
In the Philippines, phytoremediation studies on heavy metals are mainly concentrated in mining areas amidst several reports of heavy metal contamination even in non-mining sites in various parts of the country. Such was the case Balili River which was reportedly contaminated with mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). Aquatic macrophytes growing in the river could offer the solution to this problem via phytoremediation. Thus, this study was conceptualised to determine the uptake of Hg and Pb in selected dominant macrophytes of the river namely Amaranthus spinosus, Eleusine indica and Pennisetum purpureum. Soil, water and plant samples gathered from the study sites were submitted to Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) laboratory for Hg and Pb determination. Soil and wastewater of Balili River were found contaminated with Pb but not with Hg. The soil recorded higher Hg concentration than water while Pb concentrations did not differ between the two media. The aquatic macrophytes in the study registered consistently higher Hg and Pb in their shoots > roots but differed in their capacities and distribution in the shoot organs. Hg and Pb accumulation was significantly (p = 0.00) higher in stem of P. purpureum while in E. indica, leaf had the highest accumulation, though not statistically significant (p = 0.09). For A. spinosus, Hg was highest in its leaf while Pb in stem, though not statistically significant (p = 0.06). Among the three macrophytes, P. purpureum showed the highest potential for Hg uptake and translocation and for Pb uptake. On the other hand, the highest Pb internal transfer was recorded in E. indica. These results contradict initial findings that Pb is mostly accumulated in plant roots with minimal shoot translocation. Also, these results show that local macrophytes in Balili River, even if obnoxious weeds, are ecologically important and could be used for phytoremediation of local rivers that are recipient of small-scale mine tailings.
The effects of palm kernel cake (PKC) as a protein source in a concentrate diet (comprising 35 % crushed maize, 30 % rice bran, 32 % PKC, 2 % vitamin mineral premix and 1 % salt) were examined on intake, live weight (LW) gain and digestibility in female goats (average LW of 12.4 ± 2.6 kg). Four goats were randomly allocated to each of the four treatment diets: (a) Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) offered ad libitum (T1), (b) T1 + concentrate at 0.5 % of LW (T2), (c) T1 + concentrate at 1.0 % of LW (T3) and (d) T1 + concentrate at 2.0 % of LW (T4). A 7-day digestibility trial and an 82-day growth experiment were conducted. No differences were observed among diets for intakes of roughage dry matter (DM), total DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF). The crude protein (CP) intake increased (P 0.05) among treatments. The digestibility of dietary NDF decreased (P 0.05) difference between T2 and T3 diets. Supplementing a basal diet of Napier grass with PKC-based concentrate improved CP intake and LW gain. The PKC-based concentrate diet can therefore be exploited for the use of local feed resources for goat production; however, further research is required to achieve the best growth response.
The purpose of the study is to investigate the utilisation of Napier fiber (Pennisetum purpureum) as a source for the fabrication of cellulose nanofibers (CNF). In this study, cellulose nanofibers (CNF) from Napier fiber were isolated via ball-milling assisted by acid hydrolysis. Acid hydrolysis with different molarities (1.0, 3.8 and 5.6 M) was performed efficiently facilitate cellulose fiber size reduction. The resulting CNFs were characterised through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), particle size analyser (PSA), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The FTIR results demonstrated that there were no obvious changes observed between the spectra of the CNFs with different molarities of acid hydrolysis. With 5.6 M acid hydrolysis, the XRD analysis displayed the highest degree of CNF crystallinity at 70.67%. In a thermal analysis by TGA and DTG, cellulose nanofiber with 5.6 M acid hydrolysis tended to produce cellulose nanofibers with higher thermal stability. As evidenced by the structural morphologies, a fibrous network nanostructure was obtained under TEM and AFM analysis, while a compact structure was observed under FESEM analysis. In conclusion, the isolated CNFs from Napier-derived cellulose are expected to yield potential to be used as a suitable source for nanocomposite production in various applications, including pharmaceutical, food packaging and biomedical fields.