The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.
Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.
The aim of this study was to estimate the digestibility of the fruit internal skin of different varieties of hazelnuts to propose hazelnut fruit skin as an alternative feed source as roughage in ruminant nutrition. In 2015, the fruit internal skins of three different varieties of round hazelnuts (RH), pointed hazelnuts (PH) and almond hazelnuts (AH) were obtained from hazelnut processing factory then their crude nutrients analysis were carried out. Organic matter digestibility (OMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) values of hazelnut fruit skins were estimated from gas measured by in vitro gas production method. Their antioxidant activities were determined by spectrophotometric method. Crude nutrient values of three different varieties were; organic matter (OM): 87.83, 87.81 and 87.78%), crude protein (CP): 5.97, 5.93 and 5.89%, neutral detergent fiber (NDF): 30.30, 30.29 and 30.29%, acid detergent fiber (ADF): 48.68, 48.67 and 48.66% and acid detergent lignin (ADL): 25.43, 25.43 and 25.39% respectively. OMD from 24 h incubation time of RH, PH and AH were 22.04, 22.46 and 22.74%; MEGP values were 3.69, 3.75 and 3.79 MJ/kg DM; and antioxidant activity values were 94.60, 94.54 and 94.52 IC 50 mg/mL respectively. The fruit internal skin of different varieties of hazelnuts may be considered as an alternative roughage for ruminant nutrition regarding to their crude and digestible nutritive values. Moreover, hazelnut fruit skin has a rich antioxidant content so it may be used as a feed additive for both ruminant and non-ruminant animals.
Through the exploration of the lived experiences, beliefs and values of instructional leaders, teachers and students in Finland, Germany and Canada, we investigated the factors which contribute to developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments for early adolescents. Student-centred leadership dimensions, effective instructional practices and student agency were examined through the lens of current policy and research on middle-level learning environments emerging from the Canadian province of Manitoba. Consideration of these three research perspectives in the context of early adolescent learning, placed against an international backdrop, provided a previously undocumented perspective on leading, teaching and learning in the middle years. Aligning with a social constructivist, qualitative research paradigm, the study incorporated collective case study methodology, along with constructivist grounded theory methods of data analysis. Data were collected through semi-structured individual and focus group interviews and document review, as well as direct and participant observation. Three case study narratives were developed to share the rich stories of study participants, who had been selected using maximum variation and intensity sampling techniques. Interview transcript data were coded using processes from constructivist grounded theory. A cross-case analysis yielded a conceptual framework highlighting key factors that were found to be significant in the establishment of developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Seven core categories emerged from the cross-case analysis as common to all three countries. Within the visual conceptual framework (which depicts the interconnected nature of leading, teaching and learning in middle-level learning environments), these seven core categories were grouped into Essential Factors (student agency, voice and choice), Contextual Factors (instructional practices; school culture; engaging families and the community), Synergistic Factors (instructional leadership) and Cornerstone Factors (education as a fundamental cultural value; preservice, in-service and ongoing teacher development). In addition, sub-factors emerged from recurring codes in the data and identified specific characteristics and actions found in developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments. Although this study focused on 12 schools in Finland, Germany and Canada, it informs the practice of educators working with early adolescent learners in middle-level learning environments internationally. The authentic voices of early adolescent learners are the most important resource educators have to gauge if they are creating effective learning environments for their students. Ongoing professional dialogue and learning is essential to ensure teachers are supported in their work and develop the pedagogical practices needed to meet the needs of early adolescent learners. It is critical to balance consistency, coherence and dependability in the school environment with the necessary flexibility in order to support the unique learning needs of early adolescents. Educators must intentionally create a school culture that unites teachers, students and their families in support of a common purpose, as well as nurture positive relationships between the school and its community. A large, urban school district in Canada has implemented a school cohort-based model to begin to bring developmentally responsive, intellectually engaging middle-level learning environments to scale.
The practical application of the Fenton-based treatment method for organic compounds-contaminated water purification is limited mainly because of the large amount of ferric sludge formed during the treatment, where ferrous iron (Fe(II)) is used as the activator of the hydrogen peroxide oxidation processes. Reuse of ferric sludge collected from clarifiers to substitute Fe(II) salts allows reducing the total cost of Fenton-type treatment technologies and minimizing the accumulation of hazardous ferric waste. Dissolution of ferric iron (Fe(III)) from the sludge to liquid phase at acidic pH and autocatalytic transformation of Fe(III) to Fe(II) by phenolic compounds (tannic acid, lignin, phenol, catechol, pyrogallol and hydroquinone) added or present as water/wastewater constituents were found to be essentially involved in the Fenton-based oxidation mechanism. Observed enhanced formation of highly reactive species, hydroxyl radicals, resulted in a substantial organic contaminant degradation increase. Sludge reuse at acidic pH and in the presence of ferric iron reductants is a novel strategy in the Fenton-based treatment application for organic compounds-contaminated water purification.
The problem of degradation of agricultural residues from palm oil industry is increasing due to its expansion. Lignocelloulosic waste from these industry represent large amount of unutilized resources, this is due to their high lignin content. Since white rot fungi are capable of degrading lignin, its potential for the degradation of lignocelloulosic waste from palm oil industry was accessed. The lignocellluloses content was measured before and after biodegradation and the rate of reduction was determined. From the results of the biodegradation, it was observed that hemicellulose reduces by 22.62%, cellulose by 20.97% and lignin by 10.65% from the initials lignocelluloses contents. Thus, to improve the digestibility of palm oil mesocarp fibre, treatment by white rot-fungi is recommended.
Rice husk and kenaf filled with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite were prepared separately using twin-screw extruder at 50rpm. Different filler loading up to 30 parts of rice husk particulate and kenaf fiber were mixed with the fixed 30% amount of CaCO3 mineral filler to produce rice husk/CaCO3/HDPE and kenaf/CaCO3/HDPE hybrid composites. In this study, the effects of natural fiber for both rice husk and kenaf in CaCO3/HDPE composite on physical, mechanical and morphology properties were investigated. Field Emission Scanning Microscope (FeSEM) was used to investigate the impact fracture surfaces of the hybrid composite. The property analyses showed that water absorption increased with the presence of kenaf and rice husk fillers. Natural fibers in composite significantly influence water absorption properties due to natural characters of fibers which contain cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin structures. The result showed that 10% of additional natural fibers into hybrid composite had caused decreased flexural strength, however additional of high natural fiber (>10%) filler loading has proved to increase its flexural strength.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during the pyrolysis of scrap tyres to produce tyre pyrolytic oil (TPO). Due to carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic properties PAHs are priority pollutants. Hence it is essential to remove PAHs from TPO before utilising TPO as a petroleum fuel alternative (to run the engine). Agricultural wastes have promising future to be utilized as biosorbent due to their cost effectiveness, abundant availability, high biosorption capacity and renewability. Various low cost adsorbents were prepared from natural sources. Uptake of PAHs present in tyre pyrolytic oil was investigated using various low-cost adsorbents of natural origin including sawdust (shisham), coconut fiber, neem bark, chitin, activated charcoal. Adsorption experiments of different PAHs viz. naphthalene, acenaphthalene, biphenyl and anthracene have been carried out at ambient temperature (25°C) and at pH 7. It was observed that for any given PAH, the adsorption capacity increases with the lignin content. Freundlich constant Kf and 1/n have been evaluated and it was found that the adsorption isotherms of PAHs were in agreement with a Freundlich model, while the uptake capacity of PAHs followed the order: activated charcoal> saw dust (shisham) > coconut fiber > chitin. The partition coefficients in acetone-water, and the adsorption constants at equilibrium, could be linearly correlated with octanol–water partition coefficients. It is observed that natural adsorbents are good alternative for PAHs removal. Sawdust of Dalbergia sissoo, a by-product of sawmills was found to be a promising adsorbent for the removal of PAHs present in TPO. It is observed that adsorbents studied were comparable to those of some conventional adsorbents.
Today, the pollution due to non-degradable material such as plastics, has led to studies about the development of environmental-friendly material. Because of biodegradability obtained from natural sources, polylactid acid (PLA) and ijuk fiber are interesting to modify into a composite. This material is also expected to reduce the impact of environmental pollution. Surface modification of ijuk fiber through alkalinization with 0.25 M NaOH solution for 30 minutes was aimed to enhance its compatibility to PLA, in order to improve properties of the composite such as the mechanical properties. Alkalinization of the ijuk fibers annihilates some surface components such as lignin, wax and hemicelloluse, so the pore on the surface clearly appeared, decreasing of the density and diameter of the ijuk fibers. The change of the ijuk fiber properties leads to increase the mechanical properties of PLA composites reinforced the ijuk fibers through strengthening of the mechanical interlocking with the PLA matrix. An addition to enhance the distribution of the fibers in the PLA matrix, the stirring during DCM solvent evaporation from the mixture of the ijuk fibers and the dissolved-PLA can reduce amount of the trapped-voids and fibers pull-out phenomena, which can decrease the mechanical properties of the composite.
In this study, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) cellulose which was earlier isolated from oil palm EFB fibre. In order to isolate the cellulose, the chlorination method was carried out. Then, the MCC was prepared by simultaneous ultrasonic and alkali treatment from the isolated α-cellulose. Based on mass balance calculation, the yields for MCC obtained from EFB was 44%. For fiber characterization, it is observed that the chemical composition of the hemicellulose and lignin for all samples decreased while composition for cellulose increased. The structural property of the MCC was studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) method and the result shows that the MCC produced is a cellulose-I polymorph, with 73% crystallinity.
Bio-composites derived from plant fiber and/or bioderived polymer, are likely more ecofriendly and demonstrate competitive performance with petroleum based composites. In this research, the bio phenol-formaldehyde (bio-PF) was used as a matrix and oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber (EFB) as reinforcement. The matrix was synthesized via liquefaction and condensation to enhance the combination of phenol and formaldehyde, during the process. Then, the bio-PF was mixed with different percentage of EFB (5%, 10%, 15% and 20%) and molded at 180oC. The samples that viewed under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed an excellent wettability and interaction between EFB and matrix. Samples of 10% EFB gave the optimum properties of impact and hardness meanwhile sample 15% of EFB gave the highest reading of flexural modulus (MOE) and flexural strength (MOR). For thermal stability analysis, it was found that the weight loss and the activation energy (Ea) of the bio-composites samples were decreased as the filler content increased.
The complex structure of lignocellulose leads to great difficulties in converting it to fermentable sugars for the ethanol production. The major hydrolysis impediments are the crystallinity of cellulose and the lignin content. To improve the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis, microbial pretreatment of corncob was investigated using two bacterial strains of Bacillus subtilis A 002 and Cellulomonas sp. TISTR 784 (expected to break open the crystalline part of cellulose) and lignin-degrading fungus, Phanerochaete sordida SK7 (expected to remove lignin from lignocellulose). The microbial pretreatment was carried out with each strain under its optimum conditions. The pretreated corncob samples were further hydrolyzed to produce reducing glucose with low amounts of commercial cellulase (25 U·g-1 corncob) from Aspergillus niger. The corncob samples were determined for composition change by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscope (SEM). According to the results, the microbial pretreatment with fungus, P. sordida SK7 was the most effective for enhancing enzymatic hydrolysis, approximately, 40% improvement.
Biological conversion of biomass to methane has received increasing attention in recent years. Grasses have been explored for their potential anaerobic digestion to methane. In this review, extensive literature data have been tabulated and classified. The influences of several parameters on the potential of these feedstocks to produce methane are presented. Lignocellulosic biomass represents a mostly unused source for biogas and ethanol production. Many factors, including lignin content, crystallinity of cellulose, and particle size, limit the digestibility of the hemicellulose and cellulose present in the lignocellulosic biomass. Pretreatments have used to improve the digestibility of the lignocellulosic biomass. Each pretreatment has its own effects on cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, the three main components of lignocellulosic biomass. Solidstate anaerobic digestion (SS-AD) generally occurs at solid concentrations higher than 15%. In contrast, liquid anaerobic digestion (AD) handles feedstocks with solid concentrations between 0.5% and 15%. Animal manure, sewage sludge, and food waste are generally treated by liquid AD, while organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) and lignocellulosic biomass such as crop residues and energy crops can be processed through SS-AD. An increase in operating temperature can improve both the biogas yield and the production efficiency, other practices such as using AD digestate or leachate as an inoculant or decreasing the solid content may increase biogas yield but have negative impact on production efficiency. Focus is placed on substrate pretreatment in anaerobic digestion (AD) as a means of increasing biogas yields using today’s diversified substrate sources.
Banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are agricultural residues that can be used for conversion to bio-char, biooil, and gases by using thermochemical process. The aim of this work is to characterize banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem through proximate analysis, elemental analysis, chemical analysis, thermo-gravimetric analysis, and heating calorific value. The ash contents of the banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 11.0 mf wt.% and 20.6 mf wt.%; while the carbon content of banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are 37.9 mf wt.% and 35.58 mf wt.% respectively. The molecular formulas for banana stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are C24H33NO26 and C19H29NO33 respectively. The measured higher heating values of banana pseudostem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 15.5MJ/kg and 12.7 MJ/kg respectively. By chemical analysis, the lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose contents in the samples will also be presented. The feasibility of the banana wastes to be a feedstock for thermochemical process in comparison with other biomass will be discussed in this paper.
The agriculture lignocellulosic by-products are receiving increased attention, namely in the search for filter materials that retain contaminants from water. These by-products, specifically almond and hazelnut shells are abundant in Portugal once almond and hazelnuts production is a local important activity. Hazelnut and almond shells have as main constituents lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses, water soluble extractives and tannins. Along the adsorption of heavy metals from contaminated waters, water soluble compounds can leach from shells and have a negative impact in the environment. Usually, the chemical characterization of treated water by itself may not show environmental impact caused by the discharges when parameters obey to legal quality standards for water. Only biological systems can detect the toxic effects of the water constituents. Therefore, the evaluation of toxicity by biological tests is very important when deciding the suitability for safe water discharge or for irrigation applications.
The main purpose of the present work was to assess the potential impacts of waters after been treated for heavy metal removal by hazelnut and almond shells adsorption systems, with short term acute toxicity tests.
To conduct the study, water at pH 6 with 25 mg.L-1 of lead, was treated with 10 g of shell per litre of wastewater, for 24 hours. This procedure was followed for each bark. Afterwards the water was collected for toxicological assays; namely bacterial resistance, seed germination, Lemna minor L. test and plant grow. The effect in isolated bacteria strains was determined by disc diffusion method and the germination index of seed was evaluated using lettuce, with temperature and humidity germination control for 7 days. For aquatic higher organism, Lemnas were used with 4 days contact time with shell solutions, in controlled light and temperature. For terrestrial higher plants, biomass production was evaluated after 14 days of tomato germination had occurred in soil, with controlled humidity, light and temperature.
Toxicity tests of water treated with shells revealed in some extent effects in the tested organisms, with the test assays showing a close behaviour as the control, leading to the conclusion that its further utilization may not be considered to create a serious risk to the environment.
The characterisation of agro-wastes fibres for composite applications from Nigeria using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) has been done. Fibres extracted from groundnut shell, coconut husk, rice husk, palm fruit bunch and palm fruit stalk are processed using two novel cellulose fibre production methods developed by the authors. Cellulose apparent crystallinity calculated using the deconvolution of the diffractometer trace shows that the amorphous portion of cellulose was permeable to hydrolysis yielding high crystallinity after treatment. All diffratograms show typical cellulose structure with well-defined 110, 200 and 040 peaks. Palm fruit fibres had the highest 200 crystalline cellulose peaks compared to others and it is an indication of rich cellulose content. Surface examination of the resulting fibres using SEM indicates the presence of regular cellulose network structure with some agglomerated laminated layer of thin leaves of cellulose microfibrils. The surfaces were relatively smooth indicating the removal of hemicellulose, lignin and pectin.
Water pollution is a major concern for the pulp and paper industry due to the large quantities of effluents generated. Biodegradation of industrial Lignin and AOX by a fungal isolate identified as Aspergillus flavus, white rot fungi which was isolated from Pulp and Paper effluent was studied in batch flask system with industrial effluent and synthetic solution. The flasks were operated at temperature 32°C at 200rpm for eight days in continuous mode. The average overall pH, Temperature, DO, C.O.D, T.D.S, T.S.S, Lignin, AOX were up to 4.56, 32oC, 4.2mg/l, 104mg/l, 6000 mg/l, 4000mg/l, 575.5mg/l, 2195 mg/l respectively after treatment. The Aspergillus flavus sp was the most effective in the biodegradation of Lignin of pulp industry for 94% at 480nm, AOX for 62% at 510nm and of chemical oxygen demand levels for 45% after 8 days of incubation. The optimal conditions found were 4 pH and 32oC temperature for lignin and AOX degradation.
Pattern discovery from time series is of fundamental importance. Particularly, when information about the structure of a pattern is not complete, an algorithm to discover specific patterns or shapes automatically from the time series data is necessary. The dynamic time warping is a technique that allows local flexibility in aligning time series. Because of this, it is widely used in many fields such as science, medicine, industry, finance and others. However, a major problem of the dynamic time warping is that it is not able to work with structural changes of a pattern. This problem arises when the structure is influenced by noise, which is a common thing in practice for almost every application. This paper addresses this problem by means of developing a novel technique called adaptive dynamic time warping.
Enzymatic hydrolysis is one of the major steps involved in the conversion from sugarcane bagasse to yield ethanol. This process offers potential for yields and selectivity higher, lower energy costs and milder operating conditions than chemical processes. However, the presence of some factors such as lignin content, crystallinity degree of the cellulose, and particle sizes, limits the digestibility of the cellulose present in the lignocellulosic biomasses. Pretreatment aims to improve the access of the enzyme to the substrate. In this study sugarcane bagasse was submitted chemical pretreatment that consisted of two consecutive steps, the first with dilute sulfuric acid (1 % (v/v) H2SO4), and the second with alkaline solutions with different concentrations of NaOH (1, 2, 3 and 4 % (w/v)). Thermal Analysis (TG/ DTG and DTA) was used to evaluate hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin contents in the samples. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the morphological structures of the in natura and chemically treated samples. Results showed that pretreatments were effective in chemical degradation of lignocellulosic materials of the samples, and also was possible to observe the morphological changes occurring in the biomasses after pretreatments.