|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 2|
Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.
Wheat has a bimodal starch granule population and the dependency of the rate of enzymatic hydrolysis on particle size has been investigated. Ungelatinised wheaten starch granules were separated into two populations by sedimentation and decantation. Particle size was analysed by laser diffraction and morphological characteristics were viewed using SEM. The sedimentation technique though lengthy, gave satisfactory separation of the granules. Samples (<10μm, >10μm and original) were digested with a-amylase using a dialysis model. Granules of <10μm showed significantly higher rate of reducing sugar release than those >10μm (p<0.05). In contrast, the rate was not significantly different between the original sample and granules >10μm. Moreover, the digestion rate was dependent on particle size whereby smaller granules produced higher rate of release. The methodology and results reported here can be used as a basis for further evaluations designed to delay the release of glucose during the digestion of native starches.