Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Publications

4 Performance of an Improved Fluidized System for Processing Green Tea

Authors: Nickson Kipng’etich Lang’at, Thomas Thoruwa, John Abraham, John Wanyoko

Abstract:

Green tea is made from the top two leaves and buds of a shrub, Camellia sinensis, of the family Theaceae and the order Theales. The green tea leaves are picked and immediately sent to be dried or steamed to prevent fermentation. Fluid bed drying technique is a common drying method used in drying green tea because of its ease in design and construction and fluidization of fine tea particles. Major problems in this method are significant loss of chemical content of the leaf and green appearance of tea, retention of high moisture content in the leaves and bed channeling and defluidization. The energy associated with the drying technology has been shown to be a vital factor in determining the quality of green tea. As part of the implementation, prototype dryer was built that facilitated sequence of operations involving steaming, cooling, pre-drying and final drying. The major findings of the project were in terms of quality characteristics of tea leaves and energy consumption during processing. The optimal design achieved a moisture content of 4.2 ± 0.84%. With the optimum drying temperature of 100 ºC, the specific energy consumption was 1697.8 kj.Kg-1 and evaporation rate of 4.272 x 10-4 Kg.m-2.s-1. The energy consumption in a fluidized system can be further reduced by focusing on energy saving designs.

Keywords: Evaporation rate, fluid bed dryer, maceration, specific energy consumption.

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3 Biodiesel Production from Broiler Chicken Waste

Authors: John Abraham, Ramesh Saravana Kumar, Francis Xavier, Deepak Mathew

Abstract:

Broiler slaughter waste has become a major source of pollution throughout the world. Utilization of broiler slaughter waste by dry rendering process produced Rendered Chicken Oil (RCO), a cheap raw material for biodiesel production and Carcass Meal a feed ingredient for pets and fishes. Conversion of RCO into biodiesel may open new vistas for generating wealth from waste besides controlling the major havoc of environmental pollution. A two-step process to convert RCO to good quality Biodiesel was invented. Acid catalysed esterification of FFA followed by base catalysed transesterification of triglycerides was carried out after meticulously standardizing the methanol molar ratio, catalyst concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time to obtain the maximum biodiesel yield of 97.62% and lowest glycerol yield of 6.96%. RCO biodiesel blend was tested in a CRDI diesel engine. The results revealed that the blending of commercial diesel with 20% RCO biodiesel (B20) lead to less engine wear, a quieter engine and better fuel economy. The better lubricating qualities of RCO B20 prevented over heating of engine, which prolongs the engine life. RCO B20 can reduce the import of crude oil and substantially reduce the engine emissions as proved by significantly lower smoke levels, thus mitigating climatic changes.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Broiler Waste, Engine Testing, Rendered Chicken Oil.

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2 Are PEG Molecules a Universal Protein Repellent?

Authors: Norzita Ngadi, John Abrahamson, Conan Fee, Ken Morison

Abstract:

Poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) molecules attached to surfaces have shown high potential as a protein repellent due to their flexibility and highly water solubility. A quartz crystal microbalance recording frequency and dissipation changes (QCM-D) has been used to study the adsorption from aqueous solutions, of lysozyme and α-lactalbumin proteins (the last with and without calcium) onto modified stainless steel surfaces. Surfaces were coated with poly(ethylene imine) (PEI) and silicate before grafting on PEG molecules. Protein adsorption was also performed on the bare stainless steel surface as a control. All adsorptions were conducted at 23°C and pH 7.2. The results showed that the presence of PEG molecules significantly reduced the adsorption of lysozyme and α- lactalbumin (with calcium) onto the stainless steel surface. By contrast, and unexpected, PEG molecules enhanced the adsorption of α-lactalbumin (without calcium). It is suggested that the PEG -α- lactalbumin hydrophobic interaction plays a dominant role which leads to protein aggregation at the surface for this latter observation. The findings also lead to the general conclusion that PEG molecules are not a universal protein repellent. PEG-on-PEI surfaces were better at inhibiting the adsorption of lysozyme and α-lactalbumin (with calcium) than with PEG-on-silicate surfaces.

Keywords: Stainless steel, PEG, QCM-D, protein, PEI layer, silicate layer.

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1 QCM-D Study on Relationship of PEG Coated Stainless Steel Surfaces to Protein Resistance

Authors: Norzita Ngadi, John Abrahamson, Conan Fee, Ken Morison

Abstract:

Nonspecific protein adsorption generally occurs on any solid surfaces and usually has adverse consequences. Adsorption of proteins onto a solid surface is believed to be the initial and controlling step in biofouling. Surfaces modified with end-tethered poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) have been shown to be protein-resistant to some degree. In this study, the adsorption of β-casein and lysozyme was performed on 6 different types of surfaces where PEG was tethered onto stainless steel by polyethylene imine (PEI) through either OH or NHS end groups. Protein adsorption was also performed on the bare stainless steel surface as a control. The adsorption was conducted at 23 °C and pH 7.2. In situ QCM-D was used to determine PEG adsorption kinetics, plateau PEG chain densities, protein adsorption kinetics and plateau protein adsorbed quantities. PEG grafting density was the highest for a NHS coupled chain, around 0.5 chains / nm2. Interestingly, lysozyme which has smaller size than β-casein, appeared to adsorb much less mass than that of β- casein. Overall, the surface with high PEG grafting density exhibited a good protein rejection.

Keywords: QCM-D, PEG, stainless steel, β-casein, lysozyme.

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