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July-Dec, 2023



DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107033

Biochar as a Versatile and Beneficial Soil Amendment: Recent Approaches

Biochar is a promising and viable fertilizer carrier for microbial fertilizers due to its porosity (Wang et al., 2023). Biochar is a type of charcoal produced in the slow pyrolysis of organic materials, such as agricultural waste (Aziz et al., 2023). Pyrolysis, the method used to create biochar, is the conversion of organic materials into a stable form of carbon that can survive in soil for a very long time (hundreds to thousands of years). Recently, a co-pyrolysis technique for improving sewage sludge biochar's performance and immobilizing heavy metals was presented (Fan et al., 2023; He et al., 2023). When organic matter is heated in the absence of oxygen, it can break down into its constituent components without catching fire, resulting in the development of biochar. In order to create biochar, which may be used as a soil amendment to enhance soil health and fertility, a variety of organic waste products, including agricultural waste, forestry residue, and sewage sludge, are employed in the production process. Contrary to conventional charcoal, which is largely used as fuel, biochar is applied to soil as a soil supplement to increase soil fertility and production (Khedulkar et al., 2023). This enables it to absorb carbon from the air, lowering the concentration of greenhouse gases and lessening the effects of climate change.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107181

E-Vehicles and Effects of their Chemical Constituents on Different Organisms

With the growing technology and changing face of the world where technology and innovation is showing its new side every single day, the world has been gifted with the new trend of E-Vehicles (a leading trend in the automobile sector now-a-days). But like the two sides of a coin, every innovation comes with two sides. The increasing use of E-Vehicles batteries, though as per sayings, have low or net zero carbon emission but the heavy cost of it lies in its after-use and disposal strategy. These vehicles although paving a way towards a new world without use of fossil resources and lesser carbon footprint but at the same time, they have hailed a new challenge of their waste management, recycling and disposal. Not only their recycling and disposal is the main headache but the harmful effusions, chemicals and metal ions released from them will contribute towards the environment already degrading health. The planet Earth is already facing several issues since industrialization and had lost its balanced state due to the increasing unavoidable human activities against the laws of nature and now the increasing replacement of conventional internal combustion engine with E-Vehicle batteries have burdened the Earth with more waste collection. The nations, in the race of achieving net zero carbon emission and increasing their dependency on renewable energy resources have forgotten to think about the consequences of the after-use collection of such heavy long-term liability of waste collection on the land. The environment and its organisms are already facing the problem of its previous waste dumping in the oceans and in the landfills and now a new collection of heavy waste have shown its face in the form of E-Vehicles battery waste that needs to be managed at just its initial phase. The objective of this review focuses on the environmental health, the harmful impact of chemicals released by the waste disposal of the batteries on the different organisms’ along with the structural, functional and behavioral abnormalities caused due to these harmful chemicals.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107255

Analysis of Phytochemical Potentiality and In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Jute Leaf Extracts

Jute leaf is used as an herb in Middle Eastern and African countries which has large number of biomolecules that show various pharmacological activities. It has been studied for antibacterial activity by disk diffusion method where it was clear that it has antibacterial activity against all the test organisms. The boiling time has effect on antibacterial activity. In case of Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC), Minimal Bactericidal Concentrations (MBC) and phytochemical activities in jute leaf liquor, it inhibits the growth of Bacillus cereus where the MIC and MBC was 128mg and 256mg, respectively; and Cardial Glycosides phytochemical was found in all the three varieties O-72, O-9897 and CVL-1 jute leaf liquor.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107309

Building a Sustainable Future: Innovative Application of China Clay from Kerala in LC3

Cement manufacturing has significant adverse environmental impacts. Clinker production by heating a mixture of limestone, clay, and other minerals at a high temperature in a kiln releases a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, contributing significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. There is a need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional cement. In the scenario where even geopolymer failed to be a sustainable successor of conventional cement, LC3 is a potential solution. LC3 stands for Limestone Calcined Clay Cement, a blend of limestone, calcined clay, and a small amount of gypsum. The selection of clay is of utmost importance in creating the best outcome for LC3. The properties and performance of the resulting cement can vary depending on the specific type of clay used. Metakaolin is the supplementary cementitious material that contributes to the properties of LC3. Metakaolin is known for its high pozzolanic activity to form additional cementitious compounds. Two clays, namely Hindustan special China clay(C1) and Indian Clay(C2) collected from different parts of Kerala, were subjected to the EDAX test for chemical comparison with pure kaolin. By analysing the weight change over time, TGA provided information about the composition of the kaolinite present in the clay samples. C1 and C2 were activated by heating them in a muffle furnace at varying temperatures of 650–750 °C and holding durations of 30-90 minutes. The changes in the crystalline structure of these materials were evaluated using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). This study aims to investigate the feasibility of utilising locally soured clay in Kerala for the production of LC3 (Limestone Calcined Clay Cement).

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8256143

The Values and Blue Carbon Ecosystem of the Chilika Lagoon through Ages, India

Chilika, the world’s 2nd largest brackish water lagoon of Meghalayan origin had active ports, drains, and dense mangroves that have deteriorated drastically since the 18th century, confronting warm periods, the little ice age (LIA), and oscillating Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR). The present study investigates the systematic unveiling of the cachet of past Chilika by scientific searches, and historical sneezes. The palynological, radiocarbon dating, paleo sediment, and phenology records from various searches and ground realities are correlated. The existing proxies are available in past histories and archeological findings. The remains of vegetation are compared with past mangroves, inland taxa, strand lines, and the tidal Inlet (TIs). They are interrelated with existing Survey of India (SoI) maps of 1930, 1963, and 1983, with GIS maps of 2022 after mosaicking, and georeferencing. The warm and dry periods, weak ISMR, LIA, anthropogenic interventions in the adjoint hydraulic system, regional mean sea level (RMSL) changes, and the strand line shifts, have made the BoB retrogress or transgress and transformed the coastal landform/ vegetation pattern since 1000YBP. The loss of maritime activity, mangrove losses, lagoon characteristics changes, and tidal inlet positioning has affected the lagoon’s salinity and ecosystem. The unbalanced sedimentary budget and extreme climates have deteriorated the Lagoon’s eco-health leaving today the fishing and tourism uses only. Consequently, lagoon users, especially fisherfolks, are marginalized, socio-politically exploited, and economically retrograded. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1,2, 8, 13, to 15 must be well attended to augment the flora, fauna, environment, and socio-economic status of the lagoon users.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8311591

Impact of Microplastic Pollution on Human Health

Besides visible plastic pollution, there is also a microplastic threat. Microplastics are ultrasmall plastic items, smaller than 5 mm in size. The presence of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems is increasing at an exponential rate posing a direct or indirect threat to all biodiversity on the planet This paper highlights the Indian scenario of microplastic pollution in comparison with developed regions of the globe while primarily focusing on impacts on human health. Microplastic particles are not metabolised by living organisms and thus they keep bioaccumulating. These tiny plastics also sorb a wide plethora of chemical substances that may have severe effects on life forms. Pathogenic bacteria may also adhere to microplastics affecting health. Exposure to microplastics has become impossible to avoid as these tiny plastics can enter through food, cosmetics and even via air. Besides bioaccumulating microplastics have been proven to interfere with cellular processes and normal physiological functioning of the human body. Very few papers have been published to date highlighting this issue, more research needs to be done on sources, distribution patterns and effects of microplastics on the ecosystem and humans.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107143

Study on Strength Behaviour of Handmade Paper Treated by Sizing Material "Rosin"

With a view to fabricating prominently strong handmade paper, MCC suspension (exterior additive), wax emulsion (interior additive) and reinforcement were applied with rosin. Optimal outcome was achieved on application of rosin incorporated with alum (internal additive) and MCC suspension. The strength was enhanced by 24.23% on rosin-alum treatment and use of MCC suspension. It was also noticed that use of rosin along with wax always lowered the strength.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107219

Response of Sweet Corn Growth to Soil Fertilization with Sulfur, NPK Levels and Spraying of Ascorbic Acid

The experiment was carried out in Abu Gharaq area, 10 km west of Hilla city, Iraq during the autumn season of 2018 in silt clay soil to study the effect of foam sulfur addition (0 and 20 Kg.ha-1), NPK fertilizer (20:20:20) at levels of 0, 75 and 150 Kg.ha-1, ascorbic acid spraying at concentrations of (0, 25 and 50 mg.L-1) and their interactions on growth of sweet corn. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used. The results showed that the addition of (20 Kg.ha-1) foam sulfur caused a significant increase in plant height (125.9 cm), plant leaf number (12.19), plant leaf area (4206 cm2), chlorophyll (60.4 SPAD), leaf content of N, P and K (15.49, 2.854 and 19.66 mg.g-1) respectively. Increasing the level of NPK up to (150 Kg.ha-1) significantly caused an increase in plant height (126.8 cm), plant leaf number (12.06), plant leaf area (4258 cm2), chlorophyll (61.7 SPAD), leaf content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (15.63, 2.88 and 19.96 mg.g-1) respectively. Spraying ascorbic acid up to (50 mg.L-1) significantly increased plant leaf area (4208), and chlorophyll leaf content (59.2). The interactions between the factors caused a significant effect on most traits.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8107283

A Comparative Investigation of Rain Water Quality Parameters Between Natural and Industrial Areas in Duhok Governorate, Kurdistan Region-Iraq

Even though rainfall is thought of as a source that is free from contamination, human activities, especially those in the industrial and agricultural sectors, contaminate this clean kind of water. This study was conducted in two regions (Kwashe industrial area and Gara natural area) for the evaluation of rain water quality and indirectly the comparison between the evaluation of air pollution load created in both areas in Duhok governorate, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. For this investigation, seven samples of each area were collected in the months of January and February 2023 during rainfall and they were compared. After data collection, a statistical analysis was carried out to determine the variables that affected rainwater quality. According to the current study, the first rain's water quality was significantly worse than the second rain's due to pollution. It was determined that there was a substantial difference between the first and second rain, favoring increased air pollution in the industrial region. The variation in pollutant concentrations of rainfall provides a general idea of the area's air pollution load. The outcomes of the quality evaluation program largely agreed with those found by a number of other researchers. The findings of the rainwater quality test show that pH values were lower in the Kwashe area and that some values throughout the research period exceeded the WHO-recommended limits for transportable. The results of the quality analyses indicate that it is not recommended to drink rainwater that has not been treated when it falls directly on an industrial area since it poses a health risk. The most samples of rainwater that were taken at the study site were inside of acceptable ranges for drinking use, except pH in industrial area. pH, EC, TDS, DO, alkalinity, acidity, hardness, Ca2+, Mg2+, COD, BOD, Cl-, and etc. were among the water quality metrics measured. The pollutants in the rainwater can be removed and before being used as drinking water, it should often go through some form of filtration treatment to reduce the sediment load.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8252382

Bacterial Inocula Package Formulation and Application for Fibre Extraction from Bark of Dried Cultivated Varieties of Corchorus capsularis

In the present study, the bacterial consortia of three combinations were used and identification of unknown bacteria was carried out. The combination of 3PRRF5b+4DTF1b+10DTW2b was found to have better retting performance. Formulations showed good potential as candidates for the microbial consortium. Selected microbes were screened out by gram staining. Growth and colony characteristics were determined and the Gram-Negative and Positive selection criteria of unknown bacteria were done. The possible dichotomous identification maps and dendrogram for Gram-Negative and Gram-Positive organisms were measured for probable detection of the isolates. On the biochemical analysis, the organisms can match up to 80% till genus level but this research needs to be optimized for the identification of these consortia.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8273271

Isolation and Characterization of Bacterial Species from Selected Swimming Pools of Makurdi, Nigeria

Swimming pools are used for recreational activities, rehabilitative treatment or sport. Swimming pool water should meet portable water standards by being transparent, odourless and tasteless and should be devoid of harmful organisms. The study was carried out to determine the bacteria associated with selected swimming pools in Makurdi. A total of 6 water samples were collected from six different swimming pools (both used and unused) in Makurdi metropolis. The swimming pools were City Bay, Reuphina A, Reuphina B, Smile View Hotel, Hallidays and M J Resort. Standard microbiological and biochemical tests were carried out to identify the organisms. A total of 51 isolates were obtained from the 6 water samples and the organisms identified were Bacillus species, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species, Proteus species and Pseudomonas species. The percentage prevalence of bacterial isolates shows that Staphylococcus species and Klebsiella species were the most prevalent (23.53%). Statistically, data analysis using ANOVA shows that there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the Total Colony Counts of bacteria in the unused swimming pools. The highest bacterial count among the unused pool was found in Smile View (5.75x102 ± 7.70x101 CFU/ml) while the lowest was in Reuphina B (9.50x101 ± 9.90 CFU/ml). In the used swimming pools, there was a significant difference (P<0.05) in the bacterial total colony counts. Hallydays swimming pool had the highest total colony count of bacteria (7.00x103 ± 2.83x102 CFU/ml) while City Bay had the lowest counts (1.38x103 ± 3.68 x102 CFU/ml). Majority of the bacterial populations in the swimming pools are contaminations or release from bathers. This implies that the microbial load has a direct proportional relation to the number of users as well as the sanitation condition of users.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.8336732

Entomotoxic Potential of Plant Lectins as an Environment Friendly Tool to Control Insect Pests

A large number of insect pests infest crops at various stages including, pre- and post-harvest periods. Since immemorial times, agriculturists have applied numerous protective strategies to control insect infestation viz. variable cultural practices, crop rotation etc. and in modern times the application of chemical pesticides. Chemical pesticides impart environmental (soil, water) toxicity leading to health hazards and also have a negative impact on non-target species, thereby, disrupting natural biological control along with the development of resistance among target pests. Plant lectins combine specifically with the carbohydrate components of glycoproteins, glycolipids and other glycoconjugates in the pest and interfere with insect metabolism. Due to this property plant lectins can be utilised as defence proteins against phytophagous pests. Some of the plant lectins have been tested for their promising entomotoxic potential. This review demonstrates the entomotoxic potential of some candidate lectins and their impact on insect pests.

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