Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Uchenna Egwu

7 A Study of the Effects of Temperatures and Optimum pH on the Specific Methane Production of Perennial Ryegrass during Anaerobic Digestion Process under a Discontinuous Daily Feeding Condition

Authors: Uchenna Egwu, Paul Jonathan Sallis

Abstract:

Perennial ryegrass is an abundant renewable lignocellulosic biofuel feedstock for biomethane production through anaerobic digestion (AD). In this study, six anaerobic continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) were set up in three pairs. Each pair of the CSTRs was then used to study the effects of operating temperatures – psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic, and optimum pH on the specific methane production (SMP) of the ryegrass during AD under discontinuous daily feeding conditions. The reactors were fed at an organic loading rate (OLR) ranging from 1-1.5 kgVS.L⁻¹d⁻¹ and hydraulic residence time, HRT=20 days for 140 days. The pH of the digesters was maintained at the range of 6.8-7.2 using 1 M NH₄HCO₃ solution, but this was replaced with biomass ash-extracts from day 105-140. The results obtained showed that the mean SMP of ryegrass measured between HRT 3 and 4 were 318.4, 425.4 and 335 N L CH₄ kg⁻¹VS.d⁻¹ for the psychrophilic (25 ± 2°C), mesophilic (40 ± 1°C) and thermophilic (60 ± 1°C) temperatures respectively. It was also observed that the buffering ability of the reactors increased with operating temperature, probably due to an increase in the solubility of ammonium bicarbonate (NH₄HCO₃) with temperature. The reactors also achieved a mean VS destruction of 61.9, 68.5 and 63.5%, respectively, which signifies that the mesophilic reactors achieved the highest specific methane production (SMP), while the psychrophilic reactors achieved the lowest. None of the reactors attained steady-state condition due to the discontinuous daily feeding times, and therefore, such feeding practice may not be the most effective for maximum biogas production over long periods of time. The addition of NH₄HCO₃ as supplement provided a good buffering condition in these AD digesters, but the digesters failed in the long run due to inhibition from the accumulation of free ammonia, which later led to decrease in pH, acidification, and souring of the digesters. However, the addition of biomass ash extracts was shown to potentially revive failed AD reactors by providing an adequate buffering and essential trace nutrient supplements necessary for optimal bacterial growth.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, discontinuous feeding, perennial ryegrass, specific methane production, supplements, temperature

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6 Animated Movies and Violence: A Participant Observatory Research on Nigerian Children

Authors: Uchenna Bella Onu

Abstract:

Violence has become a deadly plague in Nigeria and is spreading at an alarming rate. There is every indication that in a normal person, violence is not inborn but learned. Animated movies, which are designed to amuse and entertain children may contain a level of violence. These violent animated movies may affect the susceptible minds of children. This paper examines the effect of selected animated movies on Nigerian children. Sample is on Nigerian children aged seven and below. Method explored is participant observation with visual arts and visual technologies in a natural and familiar environment. Visual arts are used to draw out the innermost feelings of the young children. Findings show that animated movies have strong effect on Nigerian children. Whether the effect will be negative or positive depends largely on the content of the animated movies.

Keywords: animated movies, drawings, Nigerian children, videos, violence

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5 Global Communication: Trends and Impact of Unbalanced Information in Nigerian Society

Authors: Uchenna Patricia Ekwugha, Cornelius Aghadiegwu Ukwueze

Abstract:

Global communication has changed life at the international scene affecting on the whole social, cultural and political life of individuals in a global community. It has brought about a changing trend in the field of communication and allowed people to learn, create and process information through mainline media and new media technologies. The paper debates that music is an integral form of global communication that cannot be overlooked because it is a beautiful and powerful tool in relating information to the people which they gladly imbibe. It is worrisome that through global communication there has been consistent clash of values on information’s disseminated to the global community of which the developing countries like Nigerians are the sufferers. Particularly involved in this vicious social dogma are the Nigerian youths, who learn defiant behaviour through global communication and lose touch of African cultural values.

Keywords: global communication, trends, impact, unbalanced information

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4 Preservation of Artistic Heritage: Effect of Modernization on Antiquities and Traditional Murals in Nigeria

Authors: Uchenna Bella Onu

Abstract:

Traditional art is one of Nigerian cultural heritage. It is an excellent instrument for documentation and identification. Antiquities are priceless and irreplaceable. They are basically preserved for future generations. Sadly, preserving these highly prized cultural heritage is becoming a serious challenge. This paper examines the extent modernization has affected the preservation of traditional art in Nigeria. Particularly hit is the antiquities and traditional murals of eastern part of Nigeria. Participatory visual methods were used for this study. Efforts were made to reach the few surviving and aged mural artists. Oral information was collected from them as well as first hand drawings and some photographs of their works. Findings indicate that modernization has seriously affected the preservation of Nigerian artistic heritage. Further findings show that traditional mural artists are gradually dwindling and dangerously going into extinct. Antiquities are indiscriminately destroyed due to sheer ignorance and the blind quest to fit into the so called modern world.  

Keywords: antiquities, artistic heritage, cultural preservation, drawings, modernization, murals

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3 Rising Levels of Greenhouse Gases: Implication for Global Warming in Anambra State South Eastern Nigeria

Authors: Chikwelu Edward Emenike, Ogbuagu Uchenna Fredrick

Abstract:

About 34% of the solar radiant energy reaching the earth is immediately reflected back to space as incoming radiation by clouds, chemicals, dust in the atmosphere and by the earth’s surface. Most of the remaining 66% warms the atmosphere and land. Most of the incoming solar radiation not reflect away is degraded into low-quality heat and flows into space. The rate at which this energy returns to space as low-quality heat is affected by the presence of molecules of greenhouse gases. Gaseous emission was measured with the aid of Growen gas Analyzer with a digital readout. Total measurements of eight parameters of twelve selected sample locations taken at two different seasons within two months were made. The ambient air quality investigation in Anambra State has shown the overall mean concentrations of gaseous emission at twelve (12) locations. The mean gaseous emissions showed (NO2=0.66ppm, SO2=0.30ppm, CO=43.93ppm, H2S=2.17ppm, CH4=1.27ppm, CFC=1.59ppb, CO2=316.33ppm, N2O=302.67ppb and O3=0.37ppm). These values do not conform to the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and thus contribute significantly to the global warming. Because some of these gaseous emissions (SO2, NO2) are oxidizing agents, they act as irritants that damage delicate tissues in the eyes and respiratory passages. These can impair lung function and trigger cardiovascular problems as the heart tries to compensate for lack of Oxygen by pumping faster and harder. The major sources of air pollution are transportation, industrial processes, stationary fuel combustion and solid waste disposal, thus much is yet to be done in a developing country like Nigeria. Air pollution control using pollution-control equipment to reduce the major conventional pollutants, relocating people who live very close to dumpsites, processing and treatment of gases to produce electricity, heat, fuel and various chemical components should be encouraged.

Keywords: ambient air, atmosphere, greenhouse gases, anambra state

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2 Beyond Rhetoric and Buzzword, Policies and Politics: Towards Practical Institutional Involvement in Science and Technology Teacher Education Programmes for Sustainable Development

Authors: Alvin Uchenna Ugwu

Abstract:

The United Nation’s 2030 agenda and Global Action Programme (GAP) for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has mandated all sectors in the societies, including education, to develop strategies towards actualizing sustainability in all facets of the society, by the year 2030. Education is no doubt a key tool for social change. However, educational institutions in most African nations need a paradigmatic shift to strike a balance between policies (curricular) and practices, with regards to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The paradigm shift in this regard is described as whole-institution/school approach. The whole institution approaches advocate action-focused ESD. In other words, ESD policy and curriculum makers, formal and non-formal education institutions, need to ‘practice what they preach’. This paper is developed from an ongoing study carried out by the author and guided by two research questions: -What are the views of intermediate phase science and technology preservice teachers on the ESD content included in the science and technology modules? -What challenges or enable intermediate phase science and technology pre-service teachers to learn about ESD in science and technology modules? The study drew from the views and experiences of preservice science teachers, learning about ESD in a university’s college of education in South Africa. Using qualitative case study research design, the research data were generated via questionnaires and focus group discussions. Analysis of generated data indicates that universities and institutions of higher learning need to demonstrate practical involvement while implementing ESD in societies, rather than just standing as knowledge media. Findings of the study further suggest that natural sciences and technology courses in teacher education programmes and other institutions of higher learning, should be perceived as key transformative tools in shaping the consciousness of students towards integrating and fostering ESD in developing countries such as South Africa. Thus, this paper seeks to promote ‘Whole Institution Involvement’ in teacher education colleges in South Africa, as a measure of improving ESD in higher education settings. The paper suggests that in order to achieve ESD in higher education settings and beyond, policies and practices should be reexamined beyond rhetoric and buzzwords. The paper further argues that implementation of ESD is largely influenced by context, hence two different contexts should be examined empirically.

Keywords: education for sustainable development, higher education institutions, pre-service science teachers, qualitative case study research, whole institution involvement

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1 Physicochemical Properties and Toxicity Studies on a Lectin from the Bulb of Dioscorea bulbifera

Authors: Uchenna Nkiruka Umeononihu, Adenike Kuku, Oludele Odekanyin, Olubunmi Babalola, Femi Agboola, Rapheal Okonji

Abstract:

In this study, a lectin from the bulb of Dioscorea bulbifera was purified, characterised, and its acute and sub-acute toxicity was investigated with a view to evaluate its toxic effects in mice. The protein from the bulb was extracted by homogenising 50 g of the bulb in 500 ml of phosphate buffered saline (0.025 M) of pH 7.2, stirred for 3 hr, and centrifuged at the speed of 3000 rpm. Blood group and sugar specificity assays of the crude extract were determined. The lectin was purified in a two-step procedure- gel filtration on Sephadex G-75 and affinity chromatography on Sepharose 4-B arabinose. The degree of purity of the purified lectin was ascertained by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Detection of covalently bound carbohydrate was carried out with Periodic Acid-Schiffs (PAS) reagent staining technique. Effects of temperature, pH, and EDTA on the lectin were carried out using standard methods. This was followed by acute toxicity studies via oral and subcutaneous routes using mice. The animals were monitored for mortality and signs of toxicity. The sub-acute toxicity studies were carried out using rats. Different concentrations of the lectin were administered twice daily for 5 days via the subcutaneous route. The animals were sacrificed on the sixth day; blood samples and liver tissues were collected. Biochemical assays (determination of total protein, direct bilirubin, Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) were carried out on the serum and liver homogenates. The collected organs (heart, liver, kidney, and spleen) were subjected to histopathological analysis. The results showed that lectin from the bulbs of Dioscorea bulbifera agglutinated non-specifically the erythrocytes of the human ABO system as well as rabbit erythrocytes. The haemagglutinating activity was strongly inhibited by arabinose and dulcitol with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.781 and 6.25, respectively. The lectin was purified to homogeneity with native and subunit molecular weights of 56,273 and 29,373 Daltons, respectively. The lectin was thermostable up to 30 0C and lost 25 %, 33.3 %, and 100 % of its heamagglutinating activity at 40°C, 50°C, and 60°C, respectively. The lectin was maximally active at pH 4 and 5 but lost its total activity at pH eight, while EDTA (10 mM) had no effect on its haemagglutinating activity. PAS reagent staining showed that the lectin was not a glycoprotein. The sub-acute studies on rats showed elevated levels of ALT, AST, serum bilirubin, total protein in serum and liver homogenates suggesting damage to liver and spleen. The study concluded that the aerial bulb of D. bulbifera lectin was non-specific in its heamagglutinating activity and dimeric in its structure. The lectin shared some physicochemical characteristics with lectins from other Dioscorecea species and was moderately toxic to the liver and spleen of treated animals.

Keywords: Dioscorea bulbifera, heamagglutinin, lectin, toxicity

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