Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Sisira K. Weliwegamage

4 Isolation and Characterization of an Ethanol Resistant Bacterium from Sap of Saccharum officinarum for Efficient Fermentation

Authors: Rukshika S Hewawasam, Sisira K. Weliwegamage, Sanath Rajapakse, Subramanium Sotheeswaran

Abstract:

Bio fuel is one of the emerging industries around the world due to arise of crisis in petroleum fuel. Fermentation is a cost effective and eco-friendly process in production of bio-fuel. So inventions in microbes, substrates, technologies in fermentation cause new modifications in fermentation. One major problem in microbial ethanol fermentation is the low resistance of conventional microorganisms to the high ethanol concentrations, which ultimately lead to decrease in the efficiency of the process. In the present investigation, an ethanol resistant bacterium was isolated from sap of Saccharum officinarum (sugar cane). The optimal cultural conditions such as pH, temperature, incubation period, and microbiological characteristics, morphological characteristics, biochemical characteristics, ethanol tolerance, sugar tolerance, growth curve assay were investigated. Isolated microorganism was tolerated to 18% (V/V) of ethanol concentration in the medium and 40% (V/V) glucose concentration in the medium. Biochemical characteristics have revealed as Gram negative, non-motile, negative for Indole test ,Methyl Red test, Voges- Proskauer`s test, Citrate Utilization test, and Urease test. Positive results for Oxidase test was shown by isolated bacterium. Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Maltose, Dextrose, Arabinose, Raffinose, Lactose, and Sachcharose can be utilized by this particular bacterium. It is a significant feature in effective fermentation. The fermentation process was carried out in glucose medium under optimum conditions; pH 4, temperature 30˚C, and incubated for 72 hours. Maximum ethanol production was recorded as 12.0±0.6% (V/V). Methanol was not detected in the final product of the fermentation process. This bacterium is especially useful in bio-fuel production due to high ethanol tolerance of this microorganism; it can be used to enhance the fermentation process over conventional microorganisms. Investigations are currently conducted on establishing the identity of the bacterium

Keywords: bacterium, bio-fuel, ethanol tolerance, fermentation

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3 Decarboxylation of Waste Coconut Oil and Comparison of Acid Values

Authors: Pabasara H. Gamage, Sisira K. Weliwegamage, Sameera R. Gunatilake, Hondamuni I. C De Silva, Parakrama Karunaratne

Abstract:

Green diesel is an upcoming category of biofuels, which has more practical advantages than biodiesel. Production of green diesel involves production of hydrocarbons from various fatty acid sources. Though green diesel is chemically similar to fossil fuel hydrocarbons, it is more environmentally friendly. Decarboxylation of fatty acid sources is one of green diesel production methods and is less expensive and more energy efficient compared to hydrodeoxygenation. Free fatty acids (FFA), undergo decarboxylation readily than triglycerides. Waste coconut oil, which is a rich source of FFA, can be easily decarboxylated than other oils which have lower FFA contents. These free fatty acids can be converted to hydrocarbons by decarboxylation. Experiments were conducted to carry out decarboxylation of waste coconut oil in a high pressure hastealloy reactor (Toption Goup LTD), in the presence of soda lime and mixtures of soda lime and alumina. Acid value (AV) correlates to the amount of FFA available in a sample of oil. It can be shown that with the decreasing of AV, FFAs have converted to hydrocarbons. First, waste coconut oil was reacted with soda lime alone, at 150 °C, 200 °C, and 250 °C and 1.2 MPa pressure for 2 hours. AVs of products at different temperatures were compared. AV of products decreased with increasing temperature. Thereafter, different mixtures of soda lime and alumina (100% Soda lime, 1:1 soda lime and alumina and 100% alumina) were employed at temperatures 150 °C, 200 °C, and 250 °C and 1.2 MPa pressure. The lowest AV of 2.99±0.03 was obtained when 1:1 soda lime and alumina were employed at 250 °C. It can be concluded with respect to the AV that the amount of FFA decreased when decarboxylation temperature was increased. Soda lime:alumina 1:1 mixture showed the lowest AV among the compositions studied. These findings lead to formulate a method to successfully synthesize hydrocarbons by decarboxylating waste coconut oil in the presence of soda lime and alumina (1:1) at elevated tempertaures such as 250 °C.

Keywords: acid value, free fatty acids, green diesel, high pressure reactor, waste coconut oil

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2 The Influence of E-Health Education on Professional Practice: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Sisira Edirippulige, Anthony C. Smith, Sumudu Wickramasinghe, Nigel R. Armfield

Abstract:

Background: E-Health is steadily integrating into modern health services, making significant changes in the way health services are traditionally delivered. To work in this new environment, healthcare workers are required to have new knowledge, skills, and competencies specific to e-Health. The aim of this study was to understand the self-reported perceptions of graduates regarding the influence of an e-Health postgraduate program on their professional careers. Methods: All graduates from 2005 to 2015 were surveyed using an online questionnaire that consisted of a mixture of closed and open-ended questions. Results: The number of participants in the study was 32. Response rate was 62%. Graduates thought that the postgraduate e-Health program had an influence on their professional practice. The majority of the participants mentioned that they had worked in the e-Health field since their graduation. Their professional roles mainly involved implementation of e-Health in health service settings and the use of e-Health in clinical practice. Conclusions: While e-Health may be steadily integrating into modern health services, e-Health specific job opportunities are still relatively limited. E-Health workforce development must be given priority.

Keywords: e-health, postgraduate education, clinical practice, curriculum

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1 University Students' Perspectives on a Mindfulness-Based App for Weight, Weight Related Behaviors, and Stress: A Qualitative Focus Group Study

Authors: Lynnette Lyzwinski, Liam Caffery, Matthew Bambling, Sisira Edirippulige

Abstract:

Introduction: A novel method of delivering mindfulness interventions for populations at risk of weight gain and stress-related eating, in particular, college students, is through mHealth. While there have been qualitative studies on mHealth for weight loss, there has not been a study on mHealth for weight loss using mindfulness that has explored student perspectives on a student centred mindfulness app and mindfulness-based text messages for eating and stress. Student perspective data will provide valuable information for creating a specific purpose weight management app and mindfulness-based text messages (for the Mindfulness App study). Methods: A qualitative focus group study was undertaken at St Lucia campus at the University of Queensland in March 2017. Students over the age of 18 were eligible to participate. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. One week following the focus group, students were sent sample mindfulness-based text messages based on their responses. Students provided written feedback via email. Data were analysed using N Vivo software. Results: The key themes in a future mindfulness-based app are a simple design interface, a focus on education/practical tips, and real-life practical exercises. Social media should be avoided. Key themes surrounding barriers include the perceived difficulty of mindfulness and a lack of proper guidance or knowledge. The mindfulness-based text messages were received positively. Key themes were creating messages with practical tips about how to be mindful and how to integrate mindful reflection of both one’s body and environment while on campus. Other themes including creating positive, inspirational messages. There was lack of agreement on the ideal timing for messages. Discussion: This is the first study that explored student perspectives on a mindfulness-app and mindfulness-based text messages for stress and weight management as a pre-trial study for the Mindfulness App trial for stress, lifestyle, and weight in students. It is important to consider maximizing the potential facilitators of use and minimize potential identified barriers when developing and designing a future mHealth mindfulness-based intervention tailored to the student consumer. Conclusion: Future mHealth studies may consider integrating mindfulness-based text messages in their interventions for weight and stress as this is a novel feature that appears to be acceptable for participants. The results of this focus group provide the basis to develop content for a specific purpose student app for weight management.

Keywords: mindfulness, college students, mHealth, weight loss

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