Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: corncob

7 Study on Microbial Pretreatment for Enhancing Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corncob

Authors: Kessara Seneesrisakul, Erdogan Gulari, Sumaeth Chavadej


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.

Keywords: corncob, enzymatic hydrolysis, glucose, microbial pretreatment

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6 Study of the Effect of Using Corn-Cob Ash on Mortar and Concrete Properties: Case Study of Sudan

Authors: Taghried I. M. Abdel-Magid, Gheida T. A. Al-Khelifa, Ahmed O. Adam, Esra G. A. Mohamed, Saeed M. S. Saeed


The use of pozzolanic materials in concrete industry is facing challenges due to unpredictable behavior of natural materials. Corncob ash (CCA) is considered to be one of the promising plant-based materials that possess cementitious properties. Corn is one of the major planted crops in Sudan. Corncob is considered as waste and normally thrown away or burnt. The main purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that CCA can sufficiently replace cement in a concrete mixture or a cement mortar. In this study, CCA was used to replace cement in mortar in three percentages: 0, 20, and 25%. The effect of this replacement was found to be positive in terms of long-term compressive strength, while not as such in short-term compressive strength. In the concrete mix, the introduction of CCA was found to have a positive impact on the slump test characteristics, whereas the early and late compressive strengths deteriorated by approximately 30%. More research is needed in this area to upgrade the efficient use of CCA in cement mortar and concrete properties.

Keywords: cementitious materials, compressive strength, corncob ash, pozzolanic materials

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5 Propolis as Antioxidant Formulated in Nanoemulsion

Authors: Rachmat Mauludin, Irda Fidrianny, Dita Sasri Primaviri, Okti Alifiana


Natural products such as propolis, green tea and corncob are containing several compounds called antioxidant. Antioxidant can be used in topical application to protect skin against free radical, prevent skin cancer and skin aging. Previous study showed that the extract of propolis that has the highest antioxidant activity was ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP). It is important to make a dosage form that could keep the stability and could protect the effectiveness of antioxidant activity of the extracts. In this research, nanoemulsion (NE) was chosen to formulate those natural products. NE is a dispersion system between oil phase and water phase that formed by mechanical force with a lot amount of surfactants and has globule size below 100 nm. In pharmaceutical industries, NE was preferable for its stability, biodegradability, biocompatibility, its ease to be absorbed and eliminated, and for its use as carrier for lipophilic drugs. First, all of the natural products were extracted using reflux methods. Green tea and corncob were extracted using 96% ethanol while propolis using 70% ethanol. Then, the extracts were concentrated using rotavapor to obtain viscous extracts. The yield of EEP was 11.12%; green tea extract (GTE) was 23.37%; and corncob extract (CCE) was 17.23%. EEP contained steroid/triterpenoid, flavonoid and saponin. GTE contained flavonoid, tannin, and quinone while CCE contained flavonoid, phenol and tannin. The antioxidant activities of the extracts were then measured using DPPH scavenging capacity methods. The values of DPPH scavenging capacity were 61.14% for EEP; 97.16% for GTE; and 78.28% for CCE. The value of IC50 for EEP was 0.41629 ppm. After the extracts were evaluated, NE was prepared. Several surfactants and co-surfactants were used in many combinations and ratios in order to form a NE. Tween 80 and Kolliphor RH40 were used as surfactants while glycerin and propylene glycol were used as co-surfactants. The best NE consists of 26.25% of Kolliphor RH40; 8.75% of glycerin; 5% of rice bran oil; 3% of extracts; and 57% of water. EEP NE had globule size around 23.72 nm; polydispersity index below 0.5; and did not cause any irritation on rabbits. EEP NE was proven to be stable after passing stability test within 63 days at room temperature and 6 cycles of Freeze and Thaw test without separated. Based on TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) test, EEP NE had spherical structure with most of its size below 50 nm. The antioxidant activity of EEP NE was monitored for 6 weeks and showed no significant difference. The value of DPPH scavenging capacity for EEP NE was around 58%; for GTE NE was 96.75%; and for CCE NE was 55.69%.

Keywords: propolis, green tea, corncob, antioxidant, nanoemulsion

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4 Assessment of the Change in Strength Properties of Biocomposites Based on PLA and PHA after 4 Years of Storage in a Highly Cooled Condition

Authors: Karolina Mazur, Stanislaw Kuciel


Polylactides (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are the two groups of biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastic polymers most commonly utilised in medicine and rehabilitation. The aim of this work is to determine the changes in the strength properties and the microstructures taking place in biodegradable polymer composites during their long-term storage in a highly cooled environment (i.e. a freezer at -24ºC) and to initially assess the durability of such biocomposites when used as single-use elements of rehabilitation or medical equipment. It is difficult to find any information relating to the feasibility of long-term storage of technical products made of PLA or PHA, but nonetheless, when using these materials to make products such as casings of hair dryers, laptops or mobile phones, it is safe to assume that without storing in optimal conditions their degradation time might last even several years. SEM images and the assessment of the strength properties (tensile, bending and impact testing) were carried out and the density and water sorption of two polymers, PLA and PHA (NaturePlast PLE 001 and PHE 001), filled with cellulose fibres (corncob grain – Rehofix MK100, Rettenmaier&Sohne) up to 10 and 20% mass were determined. The biocomposites had been stored at a temperature of -24ºC for 4 years. In order to find out the changes in the strength properties and the microstructure taking place after such a long time of storage, the results of the assessment have been compared with the results of the same research carried out 4 years before. Results shows a significant change in the manner of fractures – from ductile with developed surface for the PHA composite with corncob grain when the tensile testing was performed directly after the injection into a more brittle state after 4 years of storage, which is confirmed by the strength tests, where a decrease of deformation is observed at point of fracture. The research showed that there is a way of storing medical devices made out of PLA or PHA for a reasonably long time, as long as the required temperature of storage is met. The decrease of mechanical properties found during tensile testing and bending for PLA was less than 10% of the tensile strength, while the modulus of elasticity and deformation at fracturing slightly rose, which may implicate the beginning of degradation processes. The strength properties of PHA are even higher after 4 years of storage, although in that case the decrease of deformation at fracturing is significant, reaching even 40%, which suggests its degradation rate is higher than that of PLA. The addition of natural particles in both cases only slightly increases the biodegradation.

Keywords: biocomposites, PLA, PHA, storage

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3 Effect of Enzymatic Hydrolysis and Ultrasounds Pretreatments on Biogas Production from Corn Cob

Authors: N. Pérez-Rodríguez, D. García-Bernet, A. Torrado-Agrasar, J. M. Cruz, A. B. Moldes, J. M. Domínguez


World economy is based on non-renewable, fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas, which entails its rapid depletion and environmental problems. In EU countries, the objective is that at least 20% of the total energy supplies in 2020 should be derived from renewable resources. Biogas, a product of anaerobic degradation of organic substrates, represents an attractive green alternative for meeting partial energy needs. Nowadays, trend to circular economy model involves efficiently use of residues by its transformation from waste to a new resource. In this sense, characteristics of agricultural residues (that are available in plenty, renewable, as well as eco-friendly) propitiate their valorisation as substrates for biogas production. Corn cob is a by-product obtained from maize processing representing 18 % of total maize mass. Corn cob importance lies in the high production of this cereal (more than 1 x 109 tons in 2014). Due to its lignocellulosic nature, corn cob contains three main polymers: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Crystalline, highly ordered structures of cellulose and lignin hinders microbial attack and subsequent biogas production. For the optimal lignocellulose utilization and to enhance gas production in anaerobic digestion, materials are usually submitted to different pretreatment technologies. In the present work, enzymatic hydrolysis, ultrasounds and combination of both technologies were assayed as pretreatments of corn cob for biogas production. Enzymatic hydrolysis pretreatment was started by adding 0.044 U of Ultraflo® L feruloyl esterase per gram of dry corncob. Hydrolyses were carried out in 50 mM sodium-phosphate buffer pH 6.0 with a solid:liquid proportion of 1:10 (w/v), at 150 rpm, 40 ºC and darkness for 3 hours. Ultrasounds pretreatment was performed subjecting corn cob, in 50 mM sodium-phosphate buffer pH 6.0 with a solid: liquid proportion of 1:10 (w/v), at a power of 750W for 1 minute. In order to observe the effect of the combination of both pretreatments, some samples were initially sonicated and then they were enzymatically hydrolysed. In terms of methane production, anaerobic digestion of the corn cob pretreated by enzymatic hydrolysis was positive achieving 290 L CH4 kg MV-1 (compared with 267 L CH4 kg MV-1 obtained with untreated corn cob). Although the use of ultrasound as the only pretreatment resulted detrimentally (since gas production decreased to 244 L CH4 kg MV-1 after 44 days of anaerobic digestion), its combination with enzymatic hydrolysis was beneficial, reaching the highest value (300.9 L CH4 kg MV-1). Consequently, the combination of both pretreatments improved biogas production from corn cob.

Keywords: biogas, corn cob, enzymatic hydrolysis, ultrasound

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2 Single Cell Oil of Oleaginous Fungi from Lebanese Habitats as a Potential Feed Stock for Biodiesel

Authors: M. El-haj, Z. Olama, H. Holail


Single cell oils (SCOs) accumulated by oleaginous fungi have emerged as a potential alternative feedstock for biodiesel production. Five fungal strains were isolated from the Lebanese environment namely Fusarium oxysporum, Mucor hiemalis, Penicillium citrinum, Aspergillus tamari, and Aspergillus niger that have been selected among 39 oleaginous strains for their potential ability to accumulate lipids (lipid content was more than 40% on dry weight basis). Wide variations were recorded in the environmental factors that lead to maximum lipid production by fungi under test and were cultivated under submerged fermentation on medium containing glucose as a carbon source. The maximum lipid production was attained within 6-8 days, at pH range 6-7, 24 to 48 hours age of seed culture, 4 to 6.107 spores/ml inoculum level and 100 ml culture volume. Eleven culture conditions were examined for their significance on lipid production using Plackett-Burman factorial design. Reducing sugars and nitrogen source were the most significant factors affecting lipid production process. Maximum lipid yield was noticed with 15.62, 14.48, 12.75, 13.68 and 20.41g/l for Fusarium oxysporum, Mucor hiemalis, Penicillium citrinum, Aspergillus tamari, and Aspergillus niger respectively. A verification experiment was carried out to examine model validation and revealed more than 94% validity. The profile of extracted lipids from each fungal isolate was studied using thin layer chromatography (TLC) indicating the presence of monoacylglycerols, diaacylglycerols, free fatty acids, triacylglycerols and sterol esters. The fatty acids profiles were also determined by gas-chromatography coupled with flame ionization detector (GC-FID). Data revealed the presence of significant amount of oleic acid (29-36%), palmitic acid (18-24%), linoleic acid (26.8-35%), and low amount of other fatty acids in the extracted fungal oils which indicate that the fatty acid profiles were quite similar to that of conventional vegetable oil. The cost of lipid production could be further reduced with acid-pretreated lignocellulotic corncob waste, whey and date molasses to be utilized as the raw material for the oleaginous fungi. The results showed that the microbial lipid from the studied fungi was a potential alternative resource for biodiesel production.

Keywords: agro-industrial waste products, biodiesel, fatty acid, single cell oil, Lebanese environment, oleaginous fungi

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1 ENDO-β-1,4-Xylanase from Thermophilic Geobacillus stearothermophilus: Immobilization Using Matrix Entrapment Technique to Increase the Stability and Recycling Efficiency

Authors: Afsheen Aman, Zainab Bibi, Shah Ali Ul Qader


Introduction: Xylan is a heteropolysaccharide composed of xylose monomers linked together through 1,4 linkages within a complex xylan network. Owing to wide applications of xylan hydrolytic products (xylose, xylobiose and xylooligosaccharide) the researchers are focusing towards the development of various strategies for efficient xylan degradation. One of the most important strategies focused is the use of heat tolerant biocatalysts which acts as strong and specific cleaving agents. Therefore, the exploration of microbial pool from extremely diversified ecosystem is considerably vital. Microbial populations from extreme habitats are keenly explored for the isolation of thermophilic entities. These thermozymes usually demonstrate fast hydrolytic rate, can produce high yields of product and are less prone to microbial contamination. Another possibility of degrading xylan continuously is the use of immobilization technique. The current work is an effort to merge both the positive aspects of thermozyme and immobilization technique. Methodology: Geobacillus stearothermophilus was isolated from soil sample collected near the blast furnace site. This thermophile is capable of producing thermostable endo-β-1,4-xylanase which cleaves xylan effectively. In the current study, this thermozyme was immobilized within a synthetic and a non-synthetic matrice for continuous production of metabolites using entrapment technique. The kinetic parameters of the free and immobilized enzyme were studied. For this purpose calcium alginate and polyacrylamide beads were prepared. Results: For the synthesis of immobilized beads, sodium alginate (40.0 gL-1) and calcium chloride (0.4 M) was used amalgamated. The temperature (50°C) and pH (7.0) optima of immobilized enzyme remained same for xylan hydrolysis however, the enzyme-substrate catalytic reaction time raised from 5.0 to 30.0 minutes as compared to free counterpart. Diffusion limit of high molecular weight xylan (corncob) caused a decline in Vmax of immobilized enzyme from 4773 to 203.7 U min-1 whereas, Km value increased from 0.5074 to 0.5722 mg ml-1 with reference to free enzyme. Immobilized endo-β-1,4-xylanase showed its stability at high temperatures as compared to free enzyme. It retained 18% and 9% residual activity at 70°C and 80°C, respectively whereas; free enzyme completely lost its activity at both temperatures. The Immobilized thermozyme displayed sufficient recycling efficiency and can be reused up to five reaction cycles, indicating that this enzyme can be a plausible candidate in paper processing industry. Conclusion: This thermozyme showed better immobilization yield and operational stability with the purpose of hydrolyzing the high molecular weight xylan. However, the enzyme immobilization properties can be improved further by immobilizing it on different supports for industrial purpose.

Keywords: immobilization, reusability, thermozymes, xylanase

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