Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 15

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 15
    Development of Efficient Fungal Biomass-Degrading Enzyme Mixtures for Saccharification of Local Lignocellulosic Feedstock

    Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass is the basis process for production of fuels, chemicals and materials in the sustainable biorefinery industry. Saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass is an essential step which produces sugars for further conversion to target value-added products e.g. bio-ethanol, bio-plastic, g-valerolactone (GVL), 5-hydroxymethylfuroic acid (HMF), levulinic acid, etc. The goal of this work was to develop an efficient enzyme for conversion of biomass to reducing sugar based on crude fungal enzyme from Chaetomium globosum BCC5776 produced by submerged fermentation and evaluate its activity comparing to a commercial Acremonium cellulase. Five local biomasses in Thailand: rice straw, sugarcane bagasse, corncobs, corn stovers, and palm empty fruit bunches were pretreated and hydrolyzed with varying enzyme loadings. Saccharification of the biomass led to different reducing sugar levels from 115 mg/g to 720 mg/g from different types of biomass using cellulase dosage of 9 FPU/g. The reducing sugar will be further employed as sugar feedstock for production of ethanol or commodity chemicals. This work demonstrated the use of promising enzyme candidate for conversion of local lignocellulosic biomass in biorefinery industry.

    Solid Waste Characterization and Recycling Potential in Hawassa University, Ethiopia

    Owing to the dramatic expansion of universities in Ethiopia, understanding the composition and nature of solid waste at the source of generation plays an important role in designing a program for an integrated waste management program. In this study, we report the quantity, quality and recycling potential of the waste generated in the three campuses of the Hawassa University, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 3.5 tons of waste was generated per day in the three campuses of the university. More than 95% of the waste constituents were with potential to be recovered. It was a lesson from the study that there was no source reduction, recycling, composting, proper land filling or incineration practices in-place. The considerably high waste generation associated with the expansion of educational programs in the university appears worthwhile requiring implementation of programs for an integrated solid waste management to minimize health risk to humans and reduce environmental implications as a result of improper handling and disposal of wastes.

    Isolation of Biosurfactant Producing Spore-Forming Bacteria from Oman: Potential Applications in Bioremediation

    Environmental pollution is a global problem and best possible solution is identifying and utilizing native microorganisms. One possible application of microbial product -biosurfactant is in bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites. We have screened forty two different petroleum contaminated sites from Oman, for biosurfactant producing spore-forming bacterial isolates. Initial screening showed that out of 42 soil samples, three showed reduction in surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) within 24h of incubation at 40°C. Out of those 3 soil samples, one was further selected for isolation of bacteria and 14 different bacteria were isolated in pure form. Of those 14 spore-forming, rod shaped bacteria, two showed highest reduction in ST and IFT in the range of 70mN/m to <35mN/m and 26.69mN/m to <9mN/m, respectively within 24h. These bacterial biosurfactants may be utilized for bioremediation of oil-spills.

    Screening of Minimal Salt Media for Biosurfactant Production by Bacillus spp.

    Crude oil is a major source of global energy. The major problem is its widespread use and demand resulted is in increasing environmental pollution. One associated pollution problem is ‘oil spills’. Oil spills can be remediated with the use of chemical dispersants, microbial biodegradation and microbial metabolites such as biosurfactants. Four different minimal salt media for biosurfactant production by Bacillus isolated from oil contaminated sites from Oman were screened. These minimal salt media were supplemented with either glucose or sucrose as a carbon source. Among the isolates, W16 and B30 produced the most active biosurfactants. Isolate W16 produced better biosurfactant than the rest, and reduced surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) to 25.26mN/m and 2.29mN/m respectively within 48h which are characteristics for removal of oil in contaminated sites. Biosurfactant was produced in bulk and extracted using acid precipitation method. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of acid precipitate biosurfactant revealed two concentrated bands. Further studies of W16 biosurfactant in bioremediation of oil spills are recommended.

    Verification and Application of Finite Element Model Developed for Flood Routing in Rivers

    Flood wave propagation in river channel flow can be enunciated by nonlinear equations of motion for unsteady flow. It is difficult to find analytical solution of these non-linear equations. Hence, in this paper verification of the finite element model has been carried out against available numerical predictions and field data. The results of the model indicate a good matching with both Preissmann scheme and HEC-RAS model for a river reach of 29km at both sites (15km from upstream and at downstream end) for discharge hydrographs. It also has an agreeable comparison with the Preissemann scheme for the flow depth (stage) hydrographs. The proposed model has also been applying to forecast daily discharges at 400km downstream in the Indus River from Sukkur barrage of Sindh, Pakistan, which demonstrates accurate model predictions with observed the daily discharges. Hence, this model may be utilized for flood warnings in advance.

    An Assessment of the Effects of Microbial Products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake in Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

    Sustaining a desired rate of oxygen transfer for microbial activity is a matter of major concern for biological wastewater treatment (MBR). The study reported in the paper was aimed at assessing the effects of microbial products on the specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR) in a conventional membrane bioreactor (CMBR) and that in a sponge submerged MBR (SSMBR). The production and progressive accumulation of soluble microbial products (SMP) and bound-extracellular polymeric substances (bEPS) were affecting the SOUR of the microorganisms which varied at different stages of operation of the MBR systems depending on the variable concentrations of the SMP/bEPS. The effect of bEPS on the SOUR was stronger in the SSMBR compared to that of the SMP, while relative high concentrations of SMP had adverse effects on the SOUR of the CMBR system. Of the different mathematical correlations analyzed in the study, logarithmic mathematical correlations could be established between SOUR and bEPS in SSMBR, and similar correlations could also be found between SOUR and SMP concentrations in the CMBR.

    Implementation Gas Lift Selection Technique and Design in the Wafa Field of Ghadamis Basin, West Libya

    Implementing of a continues flow gas lift system for one vertical oil well producer in Wafa field was investigated under five reservoir pressures and their dependent parameters. Well 03 producers were responded positively to the gas lift system despite of the high well head operating pressures. However, the flowing bottom hole pressures were reduced by a ratio from 6 to 33 % in the case A3 for example, for the design runs conducted under the existing operating conditions for years 2003, 2006 and 2009. This reduction in FBHP has increased the production rate by a ratio from 12 to 22.5%. The results indicated that continues flow gas lift system is a good candidate as an artificial lift system to be considered for the one vertical producer covered by this study. Most significantly, timing for artificial lift by a gas lift system for this field is highly dependent on the amount of gas available at the time of implementation because of the high gas production rate from the top of the reservoir. 

    Variability of Metal Composition and Concentrations in Road Dust in the Urban Environment

    Urban road dust comprises of a range of potentially  toxic metal elements and plays a critical role in degrading urban  receiving water quality. Hence, assessing the metal composition and  concentration in urban road dust is a high priority. This study  investigated the variability of metal composition and concentrations  in road dust in 4 different urban land uses in Gold Coast, Australia.  Samples from 16 road sites were collected and tested for selected 12  metal species. The data set was analyzed using both univariate and  multivariate techniques. Outcomes of the data analysis revealed that  the metal concentrations inroad dust differs considerably within and  between different land uses. Iron, aluminum, magnesium and zinc are  the most abundant in urban land uses. It was also noted that metal  species such as titanium, nickel, copper and zinc have the highest  concentrations in industrial land use. The study outcomes revealed  that soil and traffic related sources as key sources of metals deposited  on road surfaces.


    Prediction of Soil Liquefaction by Using UBC3D-PLM Model in PLAXIS

    Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength  and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid  cyclic loading. Liquefaction and related phenomena have been  responsible for huge amounts of damage in historical earthquakes  around the world.  Modeling of soil behavior is the main step in soil liquefaction  prediction process. Nowadays, several constitutive models for sand  have been presented. Nevertheless, only some of them can satisfy this  mechanism. One of the most useful models in this term is  UBCSAND model. In this research, the capability of this model is  considered by using PLAXIS software. The real data of superstition  hills earthquake 1987 in the Imperial Valley was used. The results of  the simulation have shown resembling trend of the UBC3D-PLM  model. 

    Thermal Properties of the Ground in Cyprus and Their Correlations and Effect on the Efficiency of Ground Heat Exchangers

    Ground Coupled Heat Pumps (GCHPs) exploit effectively the heat capacity of the ground, with the use of Ground Heat Exchangers (GHE). Depending on the mode of operation of the GCHPs, GHEs dissipate or absorb heat from the ground. For sizing the GHE the thermal properties of the ground need to be known. This paper gives information about the density, thermal conductivity, specific heat and thermal diffusivity of various lithologies encountered in Cyprus with various relations between these properties being examined through comparison and modeling. The results show that the most important correlation is the one encountered between thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity with both properties showing similar response to the inlet and outlet flow temperature of vertical and horizontal heat exchangers.

    Factors Affecting the Ultimate Compressive Strength of the Quaternary Calcarenites, North Western Desert, Egypt

    The calcarenites carbonate rocks of the Quaternary ridges, which extend along the northwestern Mediterranean coastal plain of Egypt, represent an excellent model for the transformation of loose sediments to real sedimentary rocks by the different stages of meteoric diagenesis. The depositional and diagenetic fabrics of the rocks, in addition to the strata orientation, highly affect their ultimate compressive strength and other geotechnical properties.

    There is a marked increase in the compressive strength (UCS) from the first to the fourth ridge rock samples. The lowest values are related to the loose packing, weakly cemented aragonitic ooid sediments with high porosity, besides the irregularly distributed of cement, which result in decreasing the ability of these rocks to withstand crushing under direct pressure. The high (UCS) values are attributed to the low porosity, the presence of micritic cement, the reduction in grain size and the occurrence of micritization and calcretization processes.

    The strata orientation has a notable effect on the measured (UCS). The lowest values have been recorded for the samples cored in the inclined direction; whereas the highest values have been noticed in most samples cored in the vertical and parallel directions to bedding plane. In case of the inclined direction, the bedding planes were oriented close to the plane of maximum shear stress. The lowest and highest anisotropy values have been recorded for the first and the third ridges rock samples, respectively, which may attributed to the relatively homogeneity and well sorted grainstone of the first ridge rock samples, and relatively heterogeneity in grain and pore size distribution and degree of cementation of the third ridge rock samples, besides, the abundance of shell fragments with intraparticle pore spaces, which may produce lines of weakness within the rock.

    Contribution of Electrochemical Treatment in Treating Textile Dye Wastewater

    The introduction of more stringent pollution regulations, in relation to financial and social pressures for sustainable development, has pressed toward limiting the volumes of industrial and domestic effluents discharged into the environment - as well as to increase the efforts within research and development of new or more efficient wastewater treatment technologies. Considering both discharge volume and effluent composition, wastewater generated by the textile industry is rated as the most polluting among all industrial sectors. The pollution load is mainly due to spent dye baths, which are composed of unreacted dyes, dispersing agents, surfactants, salts and organics. In the present investigation, the textile dye wastewater was characterized by high color, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH. Electrochemical oxidation process for four plate electrodes was carried out at five different current intensities, out of which 0.14A has achieved maximum percentage removal of COD with 75% and 83% of color. The COD removal rate in kg COD/h/m2 decreases with increase in the current intensity. The energy consumption increases with increase in the current intensity. Hence, textile dye wastewater can be effectively pretreated by electrochemical oxidation method where the process limits objectionable color while leaving the COD associated with organics left for natural degradation thus causing a sustainable reduction in pollution load.

    Monitoring of Water Pollution and Its Consequences: An Overview

    Water a vital component for all living forms is derived from variety of sources, including surface water (rivers, lakes, reservoirs and ponds) and ground water (aquifers). Over the years of time, water bodies are subjected to human interference regularly resulting in deterioration of water quality. Therefore, pollution of water bodies has become matter of global concern. As the water quality closely relate to human health, water analysis before usage is of immense importance. Improper management of water bodies can cause serious problems in availability and quality of water. The quality of water may be described according to their physico-chemical and microbiological characteristics. For effective maintenance of water quality through appropriate control measures, continuous monitoring of metals, physico-chemical and biological parameter is essential for the establishment of baseline data for the water quality in any study area. The present study has focused on to explore the status of water pollution in various areas and to estimate the magnitude of its toxicity using different bioassay.

    Spatial Analysis of Trees Composition, Diversity and Richnesss in the Built up Areas of University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

    The study investigated the spatial analysis of trees composition, diversity and richness in the built up area of University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Four quadrats of 25m x 25m size were laid randomly in each of the three parks and inventories of trees ≥10cm girth at breast height were taken and used to calculate the species composition, diversity and richness. Results showed that species composition and diversity in Abuja Park was the highest with 134 species and 0.866 respectively while the species richness was highest in Choba Park with a value of 2.496. The correlation between the size of park (spatial coverage) and species composition was 0.99 while the correlation between the size of the park and species diversity was 0.78. There was direct relationship between species composition and diversity while the relationship between species composition and species richness was inversely proportional. Rational use of these resources is encouraged.

    The Potential of Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting as a Water Resource in Jordan: Featuring Two Application Case Studies

    Roof top rainwater harvesting (RWH) has been carried out worldwide to provide an inexpensive source of water for many people. This research aims at evaluating the potential of roof top rain water harvesting as a resource in Jordan. For the purpose of this work, two case studies at Al-Jubiha and Shafa-Badran districts in Amman city were selected. All existing rooftops in both districts were identified by digitizing 2012 satellite images of the two districts using Google earth and ArcGIS tools. Rational method was used to estimate the potential volume of rainwater that can be harvested from the digitized rooftops. Results indicated that 1.17 and 0.526 MCM/yr can be harvested in Al-Jubiha and Shafa-Badran districts, respectively. This study should increase the attention to the importance of implementing RWH technique in Jordanian residences as a viable alternative for ensuring a continued source of non-potable water.