Special Issue “Materials for Agricultural”


Special Issue Editor

Zhi Zhou ,

* Correspondence: zhouzhi@hunan.edu.cn

College of Science, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, P. R. China

Interests: focus on luminescent materials and devices, facility agricultural lighting and pyrolysis process for industrial organic solid waste. 

Special Issue Information

Aim and Scope: This special issue is orgnanized, orienting to the demand for advanced materials in the field of agricultural production and research, which adheres to the basic concept of “from agriculture to agriculture”. We look forward to provide solutions to scientific and technical problems in the development of modern agriculture with advanced materials, through materials design and preparation to obtain advanced materials then applying them to agriculture. So, we are waiting for your participating in this work. This special issue includes but not limits to following topics: (1) luminescent materials and fluorescent quantum dots applied to agricultural lighting, such as plants photosynthesis and photomorphogenesis, horticulture, greenhouse cultivation, poultry farming, seaweed aquaculture, etc., (2) biochar materials prepared from agricultural and forestry wastes; (3) additive materials applied to pesticides and food; (4) auxiliary materials applied to veterinary drugs, such as surfactant materials; (5) materials applied to the field of agricultural environmental protection, such as advanced membrane materials.

We kindly invite you to submit a manuscript(s) for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Subtopics: Luminescent materials and agricultural lighting; Biomass carbon materials from agriculture; Additive materials pesticide and food; Adjuvant of animal rodenticide; Agricultural environmental protection materials.

Keywords: Luminescent materials; Biomass carbon; Additive materials; Adjuvant materials; Environmental protection materials; Agriculture.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1st July 2020

Manuscript Submission Information

All submissions to Materials International should be made at review@materials.international. The corresponding author has the responsibility of the manuscript during the submission and peer-reviewing process. Please do not forget to state in the email “Subject” the title of this special issue.

Submission Checklist

  1. read the Aim & Scope to gain an overview and assess if your manuscript is suitable for this journal;
  2. use the Microsoft Word Template to prepare your manuscript;
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  4. please try to cite only articles with DOI (digital object identifier); also add DOI for each reference;
  5. please add at least 10 references from the last 2 years (2018-2019) in order to highlight the novelty of your work;
  6. ensure that all authors have approved the content of the submitted manuscript.

Published papers

1) Biomass to Biochar Conversion for Agricultural and Environmental Applications in Nigeria: Challenges, Peculiarities and Prospects


Joshua O. Ighalo 1, *, Adewale George Adeniyi 1, **

1   Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, P. M. B. 1515, Nigeria

*  Correspondence: e-oshea.ighalo@yahoo.com; Scopus ID: 57202955844adeniyi.ag@unilorin.edu.ng; Scopus ID: 57203847713

Planned papers

(1) Utilization of plant-based natural coagulant as alternative sustainable water purification

Ng Meng Hong, Tony Hadibarata

Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Curtin University Malaysia, 98009, Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia


Water is a necessary and indispensable substance for a living life. However, with the growth of human population and rapid industrialization have degraded the water quality and the water demand is increasing rapidly. There are few types of water treatment process that access clean water. Chemical coagulant is one of the methods. However, the residual from chemical coagulant has been reported that could harm human life. Therefore, the plant-based natural coagulant has the potential to substitute the chemical coagulant in the water treatment process. In this work, the potential of plant-based natural coagulants in ability of turbidity removal were identified. The five (5) type of plant-based natural coagulant such as Moringa Oleifera seed, papaya seeds, okra seed, water hyacinth and soybean were tested on the ability of turbidity removal. To improve the effectiveness of plant-based natural coagulants, the extraction process was applied which include salt extraction by NaCl and delipidation. The experiment was conducted by Jar Test experiment. Based on the highest turbidity removal rate, the Moringa Oleifera was selected for batch analysis test. The batch analysis test includes the parameter of pH, contacts time, agitation and dosage.

(2) Effect of silicate oxide (SiO2) on morphological, physical and mechanical properties of biopolymer composites reinforced with wood fibre

1Aina K. S; 1Olayiwola Y.B; 1Oriire L.T and *2Falemara B.C

1Biocomposites Section, Forest Products Development and Utilization Department, *2Research Coordinating Unit, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, P.M.B. 5054, Forest Hills, Jericho, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

falemara.bc@frin.gov.ng; sesan2003toy@gmail.com


Moisture sorption and strength properties of SiO2 modified bio-plastic interlocks made from recycled polyethylene and fibre of Gmelina arborea at different proportional ratio was investigated. The morphological properties and chemical composition of the composites were also examined. The bio-plastic interlocks made at 80/15/5 (SiO2/plastic/wood) was denser than others before and after exposure. All the samples except 30/65/5 were negatively low in water intake after 1 day and 7 days of water absorption respectively. The findings of the study revealed a strong interfacial adhesion in bio-plastic interlocks made at 80/15/5, 70/25/5 and 30/65/5 with presence of voids, no fibre pullout and SiO2 fallout. The tensile-fractured revealed that bio-plastic interlock made at proportional ratio of 30/65/5 had better stress transfer that lead to better strength and modulus. The bio-plastic interlock samples also had good compressional strength at 40 % and 60 % of SiO2 content.  The band spectra for FTIR observed at 1376 to 1384 cm-1 is attributed to O-H bond of the cellulose and band at 1083-1035 cm-1 is also characteristic of Si-O stretching vibration. Compatibility of fibre with SiO2 in composition of plastic composite is a great innovation that could solve the problems of plastic pollution for pavement application.

Keywords: Bio-plastic interlock, Gmelina arborea, Morphology, Strength, Pollution

(3) Palm kernel shell biochar as renewable filler for low density polyethylene (LDPE) composites

Khaliesah Abbas 1, Robert Thomas Bachmann 1, Siew Kooi Ong 1*,  Soh Kheang Loh2

1   Universiti Kuala Lumpur Branch Campus Malaysian Institute of Chemical & Bioengineering Technology (UniKL MICET), Lot 1988, Kawasan Perindustrian Bandar Vendor, Taboh Naning, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia

2   Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Selangor, Malaysia

*  Correspondence: skong@unikl.edu.my ; Scopus ID: 56224916300


Low density polyethylene (LDPE) mixed with petroleum-based carbon black as filler is traditionally used in agriculture sector for mulching films and polybags. The objective of this work is to substitute the traditional carbon black with biochar in LDPE composites. Biochar was produced from palm kernel shells (PKS) at 500°C and 75 min holding time, sieved to 106 um and melt-blended with LDPE (10-45 wt.% loading), UV stabilizer (1 wt.%) and thermal pro-oxidant (2 wt.%). Melt flow index of LDPE composites shown a linear decrease in viscosity with increasing PKS biochar loading (R2 = 0.9962). FTIR analysis of PKS biochar confirmed the presence of polar groups of O-H and C-O, which affects the affinity between PKS biochar particles and LDPE matrix. Tensile, tear and impact strength as well as elongation at break decreased with increase in biochar loadings probably due to limited interfacial adhesion between PKS biochar and LDPE matrix. PKS biochar was compared with traditional carbon black at optimum loading (10 wt.%) and found to exhibit lower mechanical properties except for elongation at break and hardness due to the present of ash and hydroxyl groups and the decreased of aliphatic groups in PKS biochar surfaces.

 Keywords: palm kernel shell biochar; pyrolysis; LDPE biocomposites;  proceassibility; mechanical properties; morphology analysis

(4) Improving agricultural soil with bio-carbon/polylactide composites: Short term stability in a regional soil quality

Annett Dorner-Reisel 1*, Ertan G. Ertane 1, Thomas  Welzel 2, Mathias Kermer 3, Stefan Svoboda 1

1   Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences, Blechhammer 4-9, D-98574 Schmalkalden; Germany

2   Thüringisches Institut für Textil- und Kunststoff-Forschung e.V.; Breitscheidstraße 97; D-07407 Rudolstadt; Germany

3   Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut Chemnitz e.V.; Annaberger Straße 240; D-09125 Chemnitz; Germany*         

Correspondence: a.dorner-reisel@hs-sm.de


Slow pyrolysis under protective nitrogen atmosphere was applied for bio-carbon production from wheat straw. The bio-carbon is applied for reinforcing polylactide (PLA) filaments. Using different volume fractions of bio-carbon, the mechanical and tribological properties of PLA can be improved [1]. Following to usage of the reinforced biopolymer PLA as a structural material for constructions, the intention is to apply the bio-carbon/PLA composites for soil reconditioning. Biochar and Bio-carbon are known to improve soil quality because it not only promotes the microbial community in agricultural soils, but also improves soils water retention. First result from exposure of PLA with 5 vol.-%, 15 vol.-% and 30 vol.-% of bio-carbon in soils are presented (Fig. 1). The mechanical strength was tested according DIN EN ISO 5079:1996-02. It is reduced after 4 weeks exposure in soil by about 10 %. Degradation of the PLA started at the bio-carbon/biopolymer interfaces. Using special interfacial design provides a possible method to adapt the degradation time or to change the water retention according to the special demands of the agricultural region and climatic conditions.

Keywords: bio-carbon; polylactide; composites, soil improvement

Fig. 1: Bio-carbon/PLA filament from


[1]           Ertan G. Ertane, Annett Dorner-Reisel, Ozlem Baran, Thomas, Welzel, Viola, Matner, Stefan Svoboda,   Processing and Wear Behaviour of 3D printed PLA Reinforced with Biogenic Carbon, Advances in Tribology; 2018; article ID 1763182, 11 pages, https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1763182

(5) The effect of biochar on some physical properties of a sandy soil

Mahdis Tozhi[1], Shoja Ghorbani-Dashtaki[2]*, Hamidreza Motaghian[3], Ahmadreza Ghasemi[4]

[1] MSc Student, Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University

[2] Professor., Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University

[3] Assistant Professor., Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University

[4] Assistant Professor., Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University

* Corresponding Author Email: ghorbani-sh@sku.ac.ir


Drought and the resulting stress are one of the most important and common environmental stresses that limit agricultural production. Researchers have used organic amendments such as biochar to improve soil properties and reduce the effects of the undesirable stresses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of applicating the provided biochar of Walnut wood and Walnut green shell on retention curve and hydraulic parameters of a sandy soil in completely randomized design. For this purpose, the biochar were produced at 400 0C for 2 h. The amendments (walnut wood and walnut green shell and their biochar) at 1 and 2 w/w% ratios (36 and 72 t.ha-1, respectively) were mixed with soil sample in three replications and were incubated for 120 days in greenhouse conditions. The retention curve of the incubated soils was measured using sandbox and pressure plates apparatus. Statistical analysis showed that the applied biochar had significant effects on bulk density, porosity, stability of aggregates in wet sieving, and van Genuchten’s parameters (except residual moisture parameter). Application of 2% walnut green shell biochar led to 17% reduction in bulk density (17%) compared to the control and increased the total soil porosity. Application of 2% biochar had the highest effect on the soil water retention curve. Also, the addition of biochar significantly increased soil water retention at low tension and decreased the difference in soil moisture content between treatments. Since water retention curve in lower tension is affected by coarse soil pores and soil structure it could be concluded thta addition of biochar improved soil structure and increased coarse soil porosity. Application of appropriate biochar amounts as an amendment in agricultural soil can partially improve the physical and hydraulic properties of sandy soils in semiarid region.

keywords: Biochar, Physical Properties, Walnut wood, Walnut green shell, Water retention Curve

(6) Adsorption Isotherm and Kinetics of Methylene Blue Dye on Chemically-Activated Porous Carbons from Douglas fir wood

Elmar M. Villota1,2, Hanwu Lei1*, Shiela Marie A. Villota2, Wendy C. Mateo1,2, Moriko Qian1, Yunfeng Zhao1, Erguang Huo1, Xiaona Lin1, Zhiyang Huang1, Qingfa Zhang1

[1] Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University – Tri-Cities, Richland, WA 99345-1671, USA

[2] Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, 3120 Philippines

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 509 372 7628; fax +1 509 372 7690. E-mail: hlei@wsu.edu


The effective and practical removal of waste constituents prior to discharge to the environment is a real challenge especially with the current pressure of efforts on environmental protection. Existing methods can either involve precipitation, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and solvent extraction processes that entail technological complexity. Adsorption on the other hand offer much simpler operation and design and AC is a very valid adsorbent owing to its superior structural characteristics such as highly tunable surface area and controllable porosity. Laboratory produced activated carbon (AC) from Douglas fir (DF) wood via chemical activation with H3PO4 were studied for methylene blue (MB) dye adsorption performance. Three kinds of AC activated with different levels (35%, 60%, and 85% by weight) of H3PO4 namely AC35, AC60, and AC85 were tested for equilibrium and kinetic adsorption under a constant temperature of 25°C. Data were modeled using 6 isotherm and 3 kinetics models to outline the performance and understand the mechanism of adsorption with respect to varying pore structure. Isotherm modeling revealed that AC35, a microporous AC, follow Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R)>Temkin>Langmuir models more convincingly among other models while mesoporous AC65 and AC85, favor Freundlich>Halsey>Harkin-Jura over other models. Langmuir maximum monolayer adsorptions were estimated at 256.4, 333.3, and 344.8 mg/g for AC35, AC60, and AC85 respectively. Meanwhile, kinetic modeling suggests that Elovich and pseudo-second order kinetic models best describe adsorption dynamics of MB on all ACs. However, higher surface area and uniformly mesoporous AC85 follow pseudo-second order kinetic more reasonably than Elovich model. Overall, results imply that the effective and favorable adsorption of MB on Douglas fir AC is of physical nature with adsorption rate positively increases with AC’s surface area.

Keywords: Adsorption isotherm, adsorption kinetics, activated carbon, methylene blue adsorption, softwood waste

(7) Hydrophobic Coating Synthesized from Palm Oil Based Waste Ash

Muhammad Fazly Abdul Patah, Mohd Usman Mohd Junaidi, Kar Mei Shum, Muhammad Afiq Danial Awalluddin, Nur’Adilah Abdul Nasir, Aliah Hashim
1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

* Correspondence: usmanj@um.edu.my;

Abstract: Commercial silica is widely used in coating industries to create hydrophobic surfaces, however, it involves high production cost and unhealthy fabrication process. A more environmental friendly approach of producing silica is by extracting this substance from unwanted agriculture waste. In this research, organic-based silane, stearic acid, is used to modify hydrophilic nature of silica to be used as hydrophobic coating at lower cost as compared to that associated with fluoro-based silane. The main objective of this work was to investigate effects of stearic acid silane concentration on hydrophobic properties of the silica produced upon treatment. The silica was obtained from waste palm kernel (PK) and waste palm kernel fibre (PKF) collected from local palm oil mill. In order to extract silica from the raw feedstock, these materials were thermally decomposed into ash before treated with citric acid to remove undesirable contaminants. Stearic acid modification was then conducted on the silica ash and the mixture was then spray on 3M-adhesive glass slides for further analysis. Zeta-sizer, SEM, XRF and contact angle measurement were performed on the silica ash and coating samples. The results showed that the silica ash produced is within nano-size range (835 nm) which is favorable to create high hydrophobicity. XRF analyses on the ash samples revealed higher silica content in PKF (93.6%) than that in PK (73.4%). In hydrophobicity test, higher contact angle was demonstrated when higher stearic acid concentration was used. This work ultimately shows PKF ash modified with stearic acid has good potential to be an alternative for commercial silica in hydrophobic coating industry since it is renewable, inexpensive to produce and environmentally friendly.

Keywords: agriculture waste, hydrophobic coating, palm oil, renewable alternative

(8) Potentials of Nanomaterials in Sustainable Agriculture

Jainendra Pathak1, Haseen Ahmed2,3, Abha Pandey2, Deepak K. Singh2,4, Neha Kumari2, Jyoti Jaiswal2 and Rajeshwar P. Sinha2*

1Department of Botany, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru College, Banda-210001, India

2Laboratory of Photobiology and Molecular Microbiology, Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India

3Department of Botany, Government Girls PG College, Satna-485001, India

4Department of Botany, Acharya Narendra Deo Kisan P. G. College, Gonda-271313, India

*Corresponding author: Rajeshwar Prasad Sinha,e-mails: r.p.sinha@gmx.net; rpsinhabhu@gmail.com,

Abstract: Nanotechnology has emerged as an important field of interdisciplinary research by controlling crucial agricultural processes owing to its miniature sized nanomaterials. It finds tremendous applications in electronics, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. The ever increasing global population especially in developing countries face food shortages because of environmental impacts and political instability. The crucial challenge is development of pest and drought resistant crops which would maximize the agricultural yield and nanotechnology has the potential to improve the agriculture and food industry with novel nanomaterials which enhance the capacity of plants to absorb nutrients and help in rapid disease diagnosis. These nanomaterials have shown potential applications in agriculture as nanofertilizers and nanopesticides to trail products and nutrients levels and hence increase the productivity without decontamination of soils, waters, and it also provide protection against several microbial diseases and insect pests. Hence, researches in agriculture and food nanotechnologies are increasing because of improved food quality and safety, improved processing and nutritionand reduced agricultural inputs. Nanomaterials could reduce the amount of chemicals used in agriculture, minimize nutrient losses in fertilization and could increase yields through pest and nutrient management. Nanomaterials could also act as sensors for monitoring soil quality of agricultural field and thus help in maintaining the optimum yield of the crops. The present review deals with the potential applications of novel nanomaterials in maintaining the sustainability of agriculture and challenges related with such approach.

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Nanofertilizers, Nanopesticides, Sustainable agriculture

(9) Biocolorants from Agro-industrial Wastes: An Environmental Revalorization Approach 

Mohd Yusuf

Department of Chemistry, YMD College, M. D. University, Nuh, Haryana- 122107 India Email: yusuf1020@gmail.com

Abstract: The current era requires eco-safe, environment-compatible and renewable materials with significant applied properties. There is no doubt that wastes by agro-industries exist in abundance everywhere. In recent years, biomass from various agro-industrial processes has been the spotlight of global R&D communities due to capability to produce many raw materials that may utilized to generate diversified value-added products. Biocolorants have been obtained since antiquity from natural resources such as aerial and underground plant parts, vegetables, animal etc. Day-by-day, there is an increasing demand for the use of colorants of nature-origin because of positive benefits to the health and hygiene as well as environmental concerns. This review encompasses overview onto biocolorants from agro-industrial wastes and their potential applicable sectors to make a greener globe which are not largely explored.

(10) Agrinanotechnologies:  The present and the future

T.N.V.K.V.Prasad*1, A.R. Nirmal Kumar2, Kadiri.Mohan1, P.Sudhakar1, N.Supraja1, G.S.Aparna1, and P.Rajasekhar1

1Regional Agricultural Research Station, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Tirupati – 517 502. Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

 2Department of Crop Physiology, S.V.Agricultural Collge, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Tirupati – 517 502, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

*Corresponding author: tnvkvprasad@gmail.com

Abstract: Now a day, nanotechnologies (the technologies which dealt with the materials, objects, systems whose measured size is less than 100 nm in at least one dimension) have gained intense attention because of their wide applications in many fields including medicine and engineering. However, the focus in application of nanotechnologies towards agriculture and food sectors (could be termed as Agrinanotechnologies) has gained lot of interest across the disciplines due to their potential in enhancing in agricultural production through controlled and slow release nanoscale fertilizers and nutrients, rapid and accurate plant gene delivery systems and the effective monitoring of pest and diseases and also novel nanoscale materials developed for soil remediation and water purification. Further, with the interventions of nanotechnologies, effective systems for processing and storage and packaging could be developed. In this review paper, we intend to catch recent research, development and potential use of nanotechnologies in major agricultural sectors like crop improvement, crop management- protection, Precision farming and post harvesting etc., in a nut shell. Further, emphasized on the design and implementation of  regulatory issues related to agrinanotechnologies to promise the bio-safety of these technologies to the stake holders and also to attain the global food and nutritional security thereby.

Keywords: Agrinanotechnology, Nanoscale materials, Biosafety, Food

(11) A review of nano materials in agriculture and allied sectors: preparation, characterization, applications, opportunities and challenges

Davidson E. Egirania Nabila Shehatab, and M. H. Khedrc

aFaculty of Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Nigeria.

bEnvironmental Science and Industrial development dept., Faculty of Postgraduate Studies for Advanced Sciences, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.cMaterials Science and Nanotechnology Dept., Faculty of Postgraduate Studies for Advanced Sciences, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.

*correspondence: eenonidavidson@yahoo.com

Abstract: This review is objectively positioned and aimed at bringing to the fore, the advances made in nanotechnology and present knowledge on the preparation (i.e. physical-mechanical, chemical and biological processes), characterization (i.e. using a combination of techniques to evaluate the sizes, crystal structures, elemental composition, thickness, and density), applications in the agricultural and allied industries such as construction (i.e. farm implements), food, electronics (i.e. Luminescent materials and agricultural lighting), medical (i.e. transgenic plants and animals), renewable energy( i.e. the use of renewable energy in powering agriculture), oil/gas(i.e. raw materials and energy in the manufacture of fertilizers and pesticides), textiles (i.e. the use of landscape fabric for weed control), environmental remediation (i.e. the use of solid state fermentation to produce eco-friendly environmental materials), and the military (i.e. military presence and farming structures), and public perception on nano-based technology. Also, the review has highlighted the positives and negatives in terms of challenges being faced by stakeholders in the nanotechnology sector. A good understanding of the strength (i.e. a steadily growing technology) and weaknesses (i.e. poor labelling and marketing strategy of products based on inadequate legislation) in these sectors as highlighted would provide a driving force for stakeholders to tackle the existing challenges herein.

(12) Crops residues as a renewable source of biomass in agricultural sector

A. Rodzkin

Department of Engineering ecology, Belarusian National Technical University, Minsk, Belarus, e-mail: aleh.rodzkin@rambler.ru

E. Charnenok

Department of Engineering ecology, Belarusian National Technical University, Minsk, Belarus, email: e.v.chernenok@gmail.com

Abstract: Bioenergy is one of the most perspective sources of renewable energy for nearest future. There are some different sources of biomass: residues of wood and crops, solid waste or special agricultural crops growing for energy. The big potential for bioenergy has a straw of cereal crops, flax residues, hay and others. It connected as with big area of cereal, rape, rice and other crops in agricultural sector and also with cost of unit of energy which may be produced from the straw. There are several technologies of straw utilization as a biomass for energy, including biogas production, straw gasification, straw briquette and pellets production and so on, which are already commercialized and popularized. Nevertheless, direct combustion of biomass is the main and traditional way of the utilization of biomass energy. The problems for direct combustion of straw it is a high content of elements in biomass, which may damage boilers. For instance, high content of chlorine, potassium, sodium in straw biomass which are highly aggressive and causes slagging of pipes and accelerates corrosion of the metal surfaces of the boiler during combustion. The goal of our experiments was assessment of influence of humidity of straw which was left in the field for several weeks after harvesting of crops on contents of ash and chemicals in biomass. The different kinds of crop residues were investigated. The ash content in biomass varied between 2-10%, depending on type of crops. The calorific value was highest for the crops with the lowest ash content in biomass. The contents of chlorine, potassium and sulphur decreased with increasing of water contents in residues biomass in the field.

Key words: crops residues, renewable energy, contents of ash and chemicals in biomass, calorific value.

(13) Biological control of pest in agricultural field: A modelling study

Prabir Panja

Department of Applied Science, Haldia Institute of Technology, Purba Midnapore-721657, W.B., India E-mail: prabirpanja@gmail.com

Abstract: In this paper, we have developed a three species predator-prey model among the interaction of crops, pest and predator population. The growth rate of crops is considered as logistic. It is assumed that pest consumes crops and predator population consumes pests. Harvesting of crops has been considered. Here Holling type II functional response for the consumption of crops and pests have been considered. Equilibrium points are determined and stability of our proposed system around these equilibrium points have been studied. Optimal harvesting rate of crops has been determined using the Pontryagins maximum principle. Hopf bifurcation analysis has been done with respect to the consumption rate of pest (γ), half saturation constant (b), carrying capacity of crops (k), the death rate of predator (e) and harvesting rate of crops (E). Finally, some numerical simulation result have been presented for understanding the actual dynamics of our proposed model.

Keywords: Crops; Pest; Predator; Harvesting; Hopf bifurcation.

(14) Potential For Carbon Sequestration And Avoided Soil Co2 Emissions Through Improved Management Practices In Sugarcane Fields In Brazil

Mara Regina Moitinho1, Ricardo de Oliveira Bordonal1, Elton da Silva Bicalho2, Alan Rodrigo Panosso2, Newton La Scala Jr.2

1 Brazilian Biorenewables National Laboratory (LNBR), Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), Rua Giuseppe Máximo Scolfaro, 10000, 13083-100 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Department of Exact Sciences, São Paulo State University (FCAV–UNESP), Via de Acesso Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane s/n, 14884-900 Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brazil

*correspondence: maramoitinho@gmail.com

Abstract: Increasing the efficiency of conventional agricultural practices by integrating and/or replacing them with more sustainable management alternatives is constantly reported as one of the potential solutions to push world agriculture towards greater sustainability. This study aimed to quantify the potential of carbon sequestration and soil CO2 emission (FCO2) mitigation in agricultural areas managed with sugarcane cultivation in southern Brazil. This study was developed under two field conditions. Two adjacent areas were evaluated in the first condition: an unburned sugarcane area (US) under mechanized harvesting system, with large amount of crop residues left on the soil surface after mechanized harvesting; and a burned sugarcane area (BS), with manual harvesting. Additionally, the soil under natural forest was considered as referential for the initial soil conditions. The second experimental condition consisted of the investigation of the spatial variability pattern of FCO2 after sugarcane reform activities. Soil temperature, moisture, and physical, chemical, and microbiological attributes were also determined in all experimental areas. FCO2 was, on average, 37% higher in BS (2.63 µmol m−2 s−1) when compared to US (1.92 µmol m−2 s−1). The values of the soil carbon decay constant indicated that carbon was decomposed faster in BS (0.00070 days−1) than in US (0.00046 days−1). Thus, soil carbon half-life was 52% longer in US (1,572.82 days) when compared to BS (1,033.95 days). However, the agricultural operations during sugarcane planting at the end of the production cycle (reform) indicated regions with different potentials for CO2 emission and carbon sequestration in the soil, with high spatial variability associated with different soil physical, chemical, and microbiological patterns, although the area was homogeneous. Adoption of improved management practices is among researchable priorities for consolidating the large potential of sugarcane plantation for increasing soil carbon stocks and offsetting the anthropogenic CO2 emission, and effectively mitigating the global climate change.

(15) Sawdust as a useful absorbable biomaterial from drug residues 

Berghiche Amine

Laboratory of Science and Technic of living, Mohamed Cherrif Messaadia University, Souk Ahras, Algeria

*correspondence: amine_berghiche@yahoo.com

Sawdust, an affordable resource, is being investigated as an adsorbent to eliminate residual contaminants from water. Wood processing residues such as bark and sawdust have been widely studied for some years for their adsorption and removal properties of toxic metals contained in contaminated effluents. The aim of our study to give a global vision on the possibility of using these biomaterials as absorbent in polluted aquatic ecosystems, through a comparative synthesis of the different studies carried out, including my own.

(16) Bacteria as biological materials for environmental technologies

Berghiche Amine

Laboratory of Science and Technic of living, Mohamed Cherrif Messaadia University, Souk Ahras, Algeria

*correspondence: amine_berghiche@yahoo.com

During the last few years, the interest in biotechnology and process engineering for biodegradation mechanisms oriented to environmental protection has increased dramatically. Among the many facts that explain this resurgence of interest in biodepollution, such as the awareness of the importance of the accumulation of domestic pollution, industries and the agricultural system. Bioremediation is an old technique that has been widely used in closed systems such as settling ponds, aerobic wastewater treatment systems or anaerobic digesters. On the other hand, bioremediation, which is the voluntary use of bioremediation to remove pollutants from groundwater, is a recent technique that requires a multidisciplinary approach because of the complexity of the polluting agents and the media to be treated. How bacteria eliminate waste from human activity is the theme of this paper, or the biochemistry of the environmental remediation that they actually perform In our work we will give a systematic approach and detailed idea on the use of its techniques with the help of microorganisms.

(17) Protection against the alteration in sexual hormones and organs pathology in nicotine-treated female rats via dietary supplementation of milk by-products

Mona A. Hassan1, Rofanda M. Bakeer2, Hagar E. Mohammed3,Mosaad A. Abdel-Wahhab4§§

1Food evaluation and food Science Department, National Organization for Drug Control and Research, Giza, Egypt

2Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

3Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Arish University, Arish, Egypt

4Food Toxicology and Contaminants Department, National Research Center, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt

§§ Corresponding author: Fax: 202-3337-0931, Tel: 202-2283-1943, E-mail: mosaad_abdelwahhab@yahoo.com (M. A. Abdel-Wahhab)


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant activity of skim milk (SM) and permeate (P) in vitro and to evaluate their protective role against nicotine (NT)-induce oxidative stress, disturbances in sex hormones and histological changes in different organs of female rats. Methods: Four groups of female rats were treated orally for 4 weeks included the control group, NT-treated group (0.6 mg/kg b.w), NT plus SM-treated group (100 mg/kg b.w) and NT plus P-treated group (200 mg/kg b.w). Blood and tissue samples were collected at the end of experiment for different analyses. Results: The in vitro results showed that SM and P have a DPPH scavenging activity in a dose dependent and SM was more effective than P. The in vivo results showed that NT administration induced a significant reduction in super oxide dismutase (SOD), reduced glutathione (GSH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) accompanied with significant histological changes in ovary, colon and urinary bladder. Co-administration of NT plus SM or P could alleviate the histological changes, and normalized FSH and LH. The overall results showed that SM was more effective than P. Conclusion: It could be concluded that these milk by-product can be used as dietary supplement to reduce the risk of tobacco smoking or tobacco chewing.

Keywords: Nicotine; skimmed milk, permeate, sex hormones; antioxidant; pathological changes

(18) Antioxidant metabolism of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) seedlings under polyethylene glycol (PEG) induced drought stress condition 

Amit Verma

Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, India

*correspondence: amibiochem19@gmail.com

Abstract: The study was conducted to investigate the effect of Brassinosteroid (BR) application on the germination, physiological and biochemical parameters in a week old tomato seedlings under different treatments i.e. i) Distilled water (control); ii) 15% polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution (drought stress (DS)); iii) BR concentration @ 0.30µM and iv) 15% PEG supplemented with BR concentration @ 0.30µM. Water deficit condition resulted in a significant reduction in seed germination, growth, and biomass development of tomato seedlings. BR application improved these parameters under both control and DS conditions. In addition to this, BR application alone as well as under PEG induced drought improves the antioxidant activity and osmolyte accumulation and resulted in the reduction of H2O2 generation and lipid peroxidation resulting in overall ionic homeostasis and maintenance of tissue osmotic conditions. Conclusionally, PEG induced DS resulted in adverse effects on seedlings growth and development which was alleviated under BR application.

(19) Functional polyurethane particles based on aminoglycosides for controlled-release of phytohormones: Contribution of π-π interactions

Manuel Palencia 1*, Angélica García-Quintero 1,2, Nazly Chates-Galvis 1, Enrique Combatt 3

1 Department of Chemistry, Universidad del Valle, Cali-Colombia

2 Mindtech Research Group (Mindtech-RG), Mindtech s.a.s., Cali-Colombia

3 Department of Agricultural Engineering and Rural Development, Universidad de Córdoba, Montería-Colombia

*correspondence: manuel.palencia@correounivalle.edu.co

Abstract: Polyurethanes are low-cost common structural materials with diverse applications due to their mechanical, thermal and chemical properties. However, it is has been demonstrated that these materials also can be synthesized to possess interesting functional properties with importance in many fields, as environmental sciences and agriculture. In particular, in the agriculture, functional polyurethanes can be used for the phytohormone controlled release, e.g., naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), or the adsorption and recovery of these molecules in order to minimize their lost and the residual amounts discharged into the environment. The objective of this work was determining the contribution of π-π interactions on the naphthalene acetic acid-controlled release from cationic polyurethane obtained by green synthesis using methylene-diphenyl-diisocyanate (MDI) and N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG). For that, cationic polyurethane was synthesized in absence of solvent from MDI and 3-NMDG-2-hydroxypropyl-N,N,N-trimethylammonium chloride (NMDG-HtMA) (1:1). Polymer was characterized by infrared spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Retention and release experiments of NAA were performed in function of pH (5.5, 7.0 and 8.5) and ionic strength (0.0, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mole/L of NaCl). Results of release were compared with computational simulation using the Density Functional Theory (DFT) by software Gaussian (09W/Gaussview5.0.8). The results show that π-π interactions play an important role in the release and retention properties of NAA by these materials, consequently, it is suggested that release strategies should be designed primarily to modulate π-π interactions rather than conventional methods based on the shielding of electrostatic interactions.

Keywords: Functional polyurethane, π-π interactions, phytohormone, controlled-release

(20) Technological features of medium density particle boards produced with Acrocarpus fraxinifolius in association with Pinus oocarpa

Abner Henrique Santos Reis1, Danillo Wisky Silva1, Mário Vanoli Scatolino*1,

Rafael Farinassi Mendes2, Lourival Marin Mendes1

1Department of Forest Science, Federal University of Lavras/UFLA, Lavras, MG, Brazil

2Department Engineering, Federal University of Lavras/UFLA, Lavras, MG, Brazil

*Corresponding author. Tel: +55 (035) 9 8433-2968; e-mail: mario_paraiso@hotmail.com

Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of mixing Acrocarpus fraxinifolius particles with Pinus oocarpa particles for production of medium density particleboard (MDP). The three-layer MDPs (20/60/20) were produced at five different levels of Acrocarpus fraxinifolius particles content (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100%) in association with Pinus wood. The adhesive urea-formaldehyde was applied in amount 11% in the faces and 7% in the core, based on the dry mass of particles. The mixture of particles and adhesive was placed in molds (50 x 50 x 1.5 cm) and hot-pressed under a pressure of 3.92 MPa and 160 °C of temperature for 8 minutes. Properties of panels such as density, modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), internal bond (IB), water absorption (2 and 24h) and thickness swelling (2 and 24h) were evaluated. There were no statistical differences between the densities of the particleboards. The contents 25 to 100% of Acrocarpus fraxinifolius obtained improvement in mechanical properties. The MDP 100% Acrocarpus showed potential for some higher value uses, such as in dump environments. However, until more testing is done, these panels are only recommended for dry-use applications. Using Acrocarpus fraxinifolius in combination with Pinus wood, or even using only Acrocarpus fraxinifolius wood is suitable for production of MDP.

Keywords: Hardwood; Particleboard; Alternative species; Physical properties; Mechanical properties.

(21) Bioprospecting of extremophilic organisms for novel metabolites

E. Parameswari1, T.Ilakiya2 V. Davamani1, P.Kalaiselvi1 and S.Paul Sebastian1

1Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

2Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,

Coimbatore, India Corresponding author: parameswariphd@gmail.com;  Scopus ID: 34168231500

Abstract: Bioprospecting is the systematic search for valuable chemicals, genes and their products in living organisms. It is the intersection of biotechnological use, biodiversity conservation and comprehensive exploration of taxonomic space. Bioprospecting is nothing new, infact people have been bioprospecting since the dawn of civilization. Most of the potential bioprospecting is currently related to the study of microorganisms. Microorganisms can live almost everywhere and scientist expect that the study of microorganisms will lead to many new discoveries over the next few decades because they have realized that most of life on earth is microscopic. In fact there are more microorganisms by weight, by volume, by total number and by number of different species than all of the animals and plants put together. Current biological investigations have expanded our information into many habitats and among those are the extremophiles. Such microorganisms thrive in an endmost range of temperature levels, pH ranges, pressure, salinity, desiccation and other extreme conditions. Microorganisms from these severe environments may represent models for the origin of the first cells as well as a pattern for extraterrestrial life. Only a small fraction of the chemicals made by microbes has been fully assessed for useful biological activity. It was argued that preservation of this unexplored biodiversity was of significant commercial interest to protect the valuable chemical diversity. The rate of discovery of novel metabolites from non-extreme, terrestrial microorganisms are decreasing and the emergence of multiple drug resistant bacterial infections creates a pressing need to develop new antimicrobial agents. Novel secondary metabolites including antibiotics from extremophiles are attracting the scientific attention in recent days.

Keywords: Bioprospecting, extremophiles, microorganism, novel metabolites

(22) Metallothioneins- a novel metal binding proteins

E.Parameswari1, T.Ilakiya2 V.Davamani1, P.Kalaiselvi1 and S.Paul Sebastian1

1Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

2Horticultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,

Coimbatore, India Corresponding author: parameswariphd@gmail.com,  Scopus ID: 34168231500

Abstract: Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of cysteine (Cys) rich, low molecular weight proteins which are found ubiquitously in animals, fungi, cyanobacteria and plants. They are grouped into class I, II and III. Class I and II MTs are polypeptides which are direct gene products, class III MTs are non-translational cysteine-rich molecules named phytochelatins.  Metal ions are sequestered by MTs through complexation with the -SH group of the Cys rich motifs. All cysteines occur in the reduced form and are coordinated to the metal ions through mercaptide bonds, giving rise to spectroscopic features characteristic of metal-thiolate clusters. The cysteines in MTs are absolutely conserved across species, it was suspected that the cysteines are necessary for function and MTs is essential for life. The various physiological and toxicological factors stimulating the biosynthesis of MTs, makes it difficult to pinpoint a specific biological role. In fact, more than five decades after their discovery, their functional significance is still a topic of discussion. According to hypothesis, MTs are commonly believed to be involved in essential metal homeostasis and the detoxification of toxic heavy metals. Under normal conditions, MTs function in the storage and mobilization of essential metals such as Zinc (Zn) and Copper (Cu). However, when the organism faces a toxic metal such as Cadmium (Cd), it acts as scavengers to protect cells against metal toxicity. MTs are still the only biological compounds known to contain this metal. However, Cd is one of several optional metallic components, the others being most commonly Zn and Cu. The conservation of the structure of MTs in evolution, their ubiquitous occurrence, the redundancy of genes and the programmed synthesis of MTs in the development, regeneration and reproduction of living organisms are weighty arguments for suspecting MTs to also serve other and perhaps more specific metal-related cellular roles.

Keywords:  Metallothioneins, proteins, heavy metals

(23) Applying Rice Husk Biochar for Carbon Sequestration in Building-Integrated Agriculture for Sustainable Urban Agriculture

Saowanee Wijitkosum 1,a, and Preamsuda Jiwnok 2,b

1  Environmental Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

2  Chula Unisearch, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand E-mail:

a* w.m.saowanee@gmail.com, saowanee.w@chula.ac.th (Corresponding author), b,preamsuda456@gmail.com

Abstract: The porous structure of biochar and its high chemically stable carbon content make it useful for carbon sequestration in soil agriculture. The physical and chemical characteristics of biochar can improve the soil functions and enhance crop yields. Incorporating biochar as a soil amendment increases its potential to become an important bio-sequestration agent and makes the agricultural sector a key contributor to climate change mitigation. The research aimed to assess carbon storage in roof-top farming using biochar as a soil amendment. Rice husk biochar (RHB) obtained through a pyrolysis process using an innovative retort invented by the research team for an in-situ use. Seven soil supplementation treatments were assayed, as: (i) 20% by weight (wt.%) organic fertilizer (worm casts), (ii–iv) RHB (1.5, 2.0, or 2.5 wt.%), and (v–vii) 20 wt.% worm casts with RHB (1.5, 2.0, or 2.5 wt.%); plus (viii) non-supplemented soil as the control. The highest amount of carbon in the form of biomass and carbon in the soil was found when using soil supplemented with worm casts plus 2.5 wt.% RHB, with a positive impact on the amount of carbon sequestered within the soils in a rooftop agricultural area and food security in urban area.

Keywords: rice husk biochar; soil amendment; carbon sequestration; urban agriculture; building-integrated agriculture

(24) Application of biochar from agricultural waste towards waste-water treatment strategies and effective management of biomass

Mary R Louis, Laxmi Gayatri Sorokhaibam

Correponding author:: laxmigayatri1@gmail.com/ laxmigayatri@chm.vnit.ac.in

Environmental Remediation Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology Nagpur (VNIT), Maharashtra, India-(440010)

Abstract: The limited fresh-water resource is massively required for several industrial, agricultural, civil activities and hence must be prudently utilized to minimize its wastage. Thus, several regulatory bodies have imposed huge economic implications on the industries utilizing this resource. The reuse and recycle of the waste-water is an effective solution which maximizes the availability of water. In the search for cost-effective and efficient treatment strategy, adsorption of pollutants using biochar has gained impedance in recent time. These materials may be prepared from the wastes and agricultural bio-wastes which are surplus in availability and an environmental menace in its disposal management. This diversion of bio-wastes may be a help in both; effective management of the surplus biomasses and recycle and reuse of the huge quantities of waste-water generated. This will also further reduce the large quantities of waste-water which are let off untreated to the nearby surrounding, reducing the pollution of soil, fresh water and ground water reservoirs, air, etc. The review discusses the conversion and application of these waste materials in waste-water treatment strategies. The review also identifies maximum utilization of the agricultural wastes and biochar preparation methods, application towards removal of several pollutants from waste-water and drawback associated with them that may limit their real-life application.