Abstract Chitin and its derived products have immense economic value due to their vital role in various biological activities as well as biomedical and industrial application. Insects, microorganism and crustaceans are the main supply of chitin but the crustaceans shell like shrimp, krill, lobsters and crabs are the main commercial sources. Chitin content of an individual varies depending on the structures possessing the polymer and the species. In this study edible crabs’ shells (Callinectes sapidus) were demineralized and deproteinized resulting in 13.8% (dry weight) chitin recovery from chitin wastes. FTIR and XRD analyses of the experimental crude as well as purified chitins revealed that both were much comparable to the commercially purchased controls. The acid pretreatment ceded 54g of colloidal chitin that resulted in 1080% of the crude chitin. The colloidal chitin was exploited for isolation of eighty five chitinolytic bacterial isolates from different sources. Zone of clearance was displayed by the thirty five isolates (41.17%) succeeding their growth at pH 7 on colloidal chitin agar medium. Maximum chitinolytic activity i.e. 301.55 U/ml was exhibited by isolate JF70 when cultivated in extracted chitin containing both carbon and nitrogen. The study showed wastes of blue crabs can be utilized for extraction of chitin and isolation of chitinolytic bacteria that can be used to degrade chitin waste, resolve environmental pollution as well as industrial purpose.
The enzymatic saccharification of sugarcane bagasse was significantly increased by alkali pretreatment under mild conditions. The effectiveness of different concentrations of alkali and acid pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse for improving the enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulose has been evaluated. The sugarcane bagasse was characterized to contain 39.52% celluloses, 25.63% hemicelluloses, and 30.36% lignin. After that, sugarcane bagasse was pretreated with 5 and 10% of H2SO4 and NaOH at 121°C for 60 min. FTIR, XRD, and SEM analyses also showed significant molecular and surface structure changes of the sugarcane bagasse with 10% NaOH. Maximum saccharification was 489.5 mg/g from 10% NaOH pretreatment followed by 322.75, 301.25, and 276.6 mg/g from 10% H2SO4, 5% NaOH, and 5% H2SO4, respectively, which were 55.1, 32.0, 27.1, and 20.6 times higher than the that of the control. Cellulase and xylanase produced by Pseudomonas sp. CVB-10 (MK443365) and Bacillus paramycoides T4 (MN370035) were used to hydrolyze the pretreated bagasse, and the optimal condition was determined to be 30 h of the enzymatic reaction with the 3:1 ratio of enzymes under the temperature of 55°C, pH 5.0, and substrate concentration of 3%, leading to celluloses and hemicelluloses conversion in the enzymatic hydrolysis/saccharification that is more proficient.
Biomass from perennial plants can be considered a carbon-neutral renewable resource. The tall wheatgrass hybrid Szarvasi-1 (Agropyron elongatum, hereafter referred to as “Szarvasi”) belongs to the perennial Poaceae representing a species, which can grow on marginal soils and produce large amounts of biomass. Several conventional and advanced pretreatment methods have been developed to enhance the saccharification efficiency of plant biomass. Advanced pretreatment methods, such as microwave-assisted pretreatment methods are faster and use less energy compared to conventional pretreatment methods. In this study, we investigated the potential of Szarvasi biomass as a biorefinery feedstock. For this purpose, the lignocellulosic structure of Szarvasi biomass was investigated in detail. In addition, microwave-assisted pretreatments were applied to Szarvasi biomass using different reagents including weak acids and alkali. The produced pulp, hydrolysates, and extracted lignin were quantitatively characterized. In particular, the alkali pretreatment significantly enhanced the saccharification efficiency of the pulp 16-fold compared to untreated biomass of Szarvasi. The acid pretreatment directly converted 25% of the cellulose into glucose without the need of enzymatic digestion. In addition, based on lignin compositional and lignin linkage analysis a lignin chemical model structure present in Szarvasi biomass could be established.
The problem of the effectiveness of the established pre-treatments of seeds of local tree species is posed more and more often, with acuity. It appears necessary that studies are led to explore new methods of pre-treatment, or to update the old instructions applied, for a better success and at lower cost, of the production of seedlings. The present study concerned five species: Acacia nilotica, Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa, Piliostigma reticulatum and Tamarindus indica. The methodology involved subjecting the seeds to three different pretreatments: (i) seeds treated with sulfuric acid (T0), (ii) seeds soaked in hot water for 24 hours (T1), (iii) seeds soaked in hot water for 48 hours (T2). For Acacia nilotica seeds, the different pretreatments did not result in statistically different germination rates. The germination rates are 77%, 65% and 62% (respectively for soaking in hot water for 48 hours, sulfuric acid and soaking in hot water for 24 hours). The different pretreatments also do not result in different germination rates for Tamarindus indica. Indeed, the germination rates after 30 days for this species are good but statistically identical (85% for the pretreatment with sulfuric acid and hot water for 24 hours). For Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa and Piliostigma reticulatum, the sulfuric acid pretreatment gave the best germination rate (49%, 54% and 41% respectively). The results of this study may have practical consequences in terms of management of the different species studied. They show that immersing in boiling water and left for 24 hours and 48 hours yields fairly satisfactory germination rates for Acacia nilotica and Tamarindus indica seeds. These inexpensive techniques, accessible to all, can be considered as means to easily produce seedlings of these species.
Aloe vera gel has been investigated as possible edible coating to help improve the storage life of fruits after harvest. The study sought to investigate the effect Aloe vera gel coating with or without citric acid pretreatment on the quality of eggplant fruits during low temperature storage and in shelf life. Briefly, eggplants were coated with Aloe vera gel (some fruits were pretreated with citrate prior to the coating) and the changes in physicochemical quality of the fruit measured during storage at 10 °C. After 14 days, however, some fruits were transferred for storage at room temperature until day 18. Coating with Aloe vera decreased moisture loss, and consequently, decreased weight loss and loss of firmness of the fruit. The coating did help maintain the phenolic content, ascorbate levels and antioxidant capacity of the fruit. Pre-treating the fruit with citrate did not improve quality, showing that Aloe vera gel can be applied alone to enhance the storage quality of eggplant fruit. Results obtained from this study shows that Aloe vera gel coating can be useful in extending the postharvest storage life and maintaining the quality of eggplant fruits during low temperature storage.
Miners around Zimbabwe used to supply gold concentrates from sulphide flotation to the Kwekwe Roasting Plant (Zimbabwe) for toll treatment. The concentrates were roasted in Edward’s roasters and the calcine product was leached by cyanidation. Due to inefficient roasting, overall gold recoveries of 75–80% left behind a rich calcine leach residue at the Kwekwe Roasting Plant. The characterization performed to establish a potential process route involved several techniques, such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), fire assaying and inductively coupled plasma (ICP). Assays conducted on samples from the 350,000 tons tailings dam residue, created over the operational years, gave an average Au grade of 8.58 g/t and 12.54 g/t for Ag. The base metals assayed—0.11% Cu, 0.10% Pb, 0.17% Zn and 26.05% Fe. SiO2 (36.1%), Fe2O3 (36.9%), Mg3Si4O10 (OH)2 (8.9%), NaAlSi3O8 (6.9%), and Fe3O4 (6.4%)—were the major mineral phases in the cyanide leach residue. SEM gold scans on 24 polished sections showed only 2 discrete gold particles of less than 5 µm, with one partially liberated and associated with quartz, while the other was fully liberated. Therefore, the particulate gold in the calcine leach residue was negligible. It was deduced from the analysis after ultrafine milling (P80 < 5 µm) followed by cyanidation that 68.53% of the gold was sub-microscopic. Direct cyanidation using bottle roll resulted in only 2.33% of the total gold being leachable, indicating that the calcine leach residue was highly refractory. Diagnostic leaching by sequential use of acids in order of their strength resulted in HCl leachable phases (CaCO3, CaMg(CO3)2, PbS, Fe1-XS, and Fe2O3) freeing 4.2% of the total Au during subsequent cyanidation leach. H2SO4 leachable phases (Cu–Zn sulphides, labile FeS2) released an additional 26.57% during cyanidation, whereas HNO3 leachable phases (FeS2, FeAsS) released a further 20.98% of Au. After acid treatment and subsequent cyanidation, hot caustic leach of the residue followed by carbon in pulp resulted 4.43% of the total gold being eluted. Therefore, 4.43% of the total gold was surface bound. From the analysis after diagnostic acid leaching, it was deduced that a total of 54.08% of the gold was in the acid-leachable phase. Due to cost and environmental considerations, H2SO4 was selected for the evaluation of acid digestion as a pretreatment stage followed by cyanidation. Increasing the H2SO4 strength for the pretreatment of the calcine leach residue increased gold recoveries during cyanidation.