The Sago Palm (Metroxylon sagu) grows well with minimum care in swamp and peat areas otherwise inhabitable for most other crops. It has a high starch yield: one palm may yield between 150 to 300 kg of starch.
Sarawak exports up to 40,000 tons sago a-year and the effluent (sago starch factory wastewater) resulting from sago debarking and processing are often discharged to nearby rivers. This inevitably contributes to river pollution. A typical sago mill consumes about 1,000 logs per day, generating a minimum of 400 tons of slurry effluent which contains about 5% solids (20 tons).
The Biochemistry Laboratory at the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, UNIMAS under the supervision of Professor Dr Kopli Bujang has for the past couple of years been working on exploiting the potential of the sago waste solids in the slurry effluent, looking at the possible generation of biofuel.
Although the use of sago starch is a clear possibility, the production of biofuel from a food source doest not seems appropriate especially when one is looking at the rising prices of food supply around the world. The group, therefore, have put their focus on using the sago waste solids. This not only shift the reliance away from the sago starch but also minimise the effects of environmental pollution from the sago factories.
To begin with, the research group has successfully established a complete bench-plant in campus, in preparation for the pilot-plants which are currently being constructed at Kotobuki (Japan) and Malaysia under the supervision of a Malaysian private company.
The parameters are currently being set to increase the filtration efficiency of the slurry effluent to carve the possibility of harvesting the sago fibres for production of fermentable sugars in a continuous pilot-scale level. Using an in-house modified enzymatic process, initials attempts were able to extract 20-25% of fermentable sugars from sago fibres. At the conservative conversion of 20%, it is possible to produce a minimum of 4 tons/day of fermentable sugars from the slurry effluent produce in a typical sago mill.
Two units of hydrolysers and one unit of rotating vacuum pump filter for continuous filtration of the sago effluent have been developed and constructed to enable the efficient hydrolysis of sago fibres at the pilot-scale level. These will make a convenient attachment to the pilot-plant for a maximum production of biofuel and other by-products.
One of the other by-products currently investigated is the alga Spirulina culture on the filtered sago effluent. Standard parameters have been established to allow for the culture to be harvested after 10 to 20 days. The final objective is to market this product as a source of protein and organic health supplements, adding further commercial value to a potential pollutant.
Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth
23.03.2018 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
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Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
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