Oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) were subjected to microbial pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass bioconversion to fermentable sugar. Microbial pre-treatment was carried out by inoculating Ganoderma boninense spores through solid state fermentation. The samples were initially treated with Sulphuric acid method prior to reading with UV-Visible Spectrometer. The readings were taken before and after inoculation of EFB with G. boninense. Bioconversion of 20 g EFB via solid state fermentation was done in five different amounts of G. boninense spore namely 0.0 g (control), 0.5 g (T2), 0.7 g (T3), 0.9 g (T4) and 1.1 g (T5) in 7 days. The result shows the highest delignification in sample inoculated with 1.1g of G. boninense spores, in which the spores are successfully reduced by 61.97% of lignin from total EFB biomass in 7 days compared to 60.08% (T4), 58.65% (T3) and 54.85% (T2). Meanwhile, for control the lignin content was reduced by 5.07% in 7 days. The study shows that G. boninense has the ability to remove lignin from EFB whereby longer incubation period and higher number of spores contribute to higher delignification percentage.
Delignification, G. boninense, ligninolytic enzymes, oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB)
The blended wing body (BWB) aircraft has a unique design. The main body and wing of BWB are merged to increase the lift force on the aircraft. However, BWB has poor stability arising from the absence of the tail. Hence, a small horizontal stabilizer called as canard has been incorporated in front of the main wing to improve BWB's stability. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations conducted to obtain the aerodynamics parameters of the BWB i.e. lift, drag and moment coefficients, showed that overall, the canard is beneficial to the BWB aerodynamics performance.
Aerodynamics, blended wing body (BWB), canard, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
This paper presents the outcome of a laboratory investigation on mix design, resilient modulus, moisture susceptibility and rutting resistance of Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) and Dense Graded Asphalt (AC) that is incorporated with Nanosilica (NS) modified binder. Penetration Grade 60-70 (PEN60-70) types of binder were mixed with nanoparticles (NS) using concentration of 0wt%, 2wt%, 4wt% and 6wt% by weight of asphalt binder. The mixtures were tested for resilient modulus, indirect tensile strength and rutting, in order to evaluate the performance of NS-SMA and NS-AC. The results show that the existence of NS is capable of enhancing the performance of both asphalt mixtures, and the addition of NS decreases the susceptibility of moisture damage and provides better resistance against permanent deformation. Furthermore, the addition of 4wt% NS appears to be the most effective amount for the performance enhancement in AC and SMA mixtures.
The objective of this research is to investigate the regulation of apoptotic associated-genes and proteins expression of aloe emodin on oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive (MCF-7). Oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive (MCF-7) cells were cultured in complete RPMI media. Cells were treated with aloe emodin at its IC50 of 80uM. Maximum treatment time was set for 72 hours in all assays. Both genes and proteins involved in the regulation of apoptosis (Fas, FADD, Caspase-3, Caspase-8, Caspase-9, Bax, Bcl-2, and Cytochrome c) in aloe emodin-treated MCF-7 were determined using Quantigene 2.0 Plex and protein ELISA assays respectively. Aloe emodin, previously reported as anti-cancer agent, was found to act as an apoptotic inducer on MCF-7 cells. In intrinsic apoptosis signalling, Bax, Cytochrome c and Caspase-9 proteins were upregulated (54.11% ± 4.51, 25.17% ± 4.13 and 36.05% ±11.75); while no change was observed in Bcl-2 protein. Except for Caspase-9, these results are in accordance with gene expression. In extrinsic apoptosis, Fas and Caspase-8 were upregulated (133.82% ± 2.85 and 26.44% ± 2.48), contrary to gene expression. These findings indicate that aloe emodin activates both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways. The data suggests (i) aloe emodin has the potential to be a selective apoptotic inducer in ER+-breast cancer management; and (ii) the present study could be used as a basis for in vivo experiment..
Aloe emodin, MCF-7, intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis, Quatigene 2.0 Plex
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Ficus deltoidea (F. deltoidea) as an anti-oral ulcer on animal models. Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were sedated with Nembutal through intraperitoneal route; oral ulcer models were made by applying 99.5% of glacial acetic acid moistened paper disc on rat buccal mucosa. Four groups of these rats were treated respectively with: no treatment (group 1: negative control); Triamcinolone acetonide (group 2: positive control); 250 mg kg-1F. deltoidea extract (group 3: experimental); 500 mg kg-1F. deltoidea extract (group 4: experimental) for 10 consecutive days, respectively. On days 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, the ulcers size was assessed. Data was analysed statistically by using SPSS. The negative control rats exhibited buccal mucosa injury whereas treatment with F. deltoidea and Triamcinolone acetonide resulted in significantly reduced size of oral ulcer. The percentage of inhibitory area of oral ulcer was more prominent in 500 mg kg-1F. deltoidea extract than 250 mg kg-1. Meanwhile, in vivo study showed that F. deltoidea extract not toxic up to 1000 mg kg-1. The present findings suggest that F. deltoidea extract effectively accelerates oral ulcer healing process, and could therefore be developed as a therapeutic agent for healing oral ulcer.
Ficus deltoidea, Mas Cotek, oral health, oral hygiene, oral ulcer
Many kinds of substrates have been used to investigate bioelectricity production with Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC). Dry algae biomass has the highest maximum power density compared to other substrates due to high carbon sources from its lipid. However, the bacterial digestion of algae biomass is not simple because of the complexity and strength of the algal cell wall structure. An algae biomass extraction is needed to break the cell wall structure and facilitate digestion. Spray drying method is commonly used in high-value products but may degrade some algal components which are crucial for microbial degradation in MFC, while the freeze-drying method is able to preserve algal cell constituents. The MFC was fed with freeze dried and spray dried algae biomass to produce energy and determine the degradation efficiency. Results showed the average voltage generated was 739 mV and 740 mV from freeze dried and spray dried algae biomass, respectively. The maximum power density of freeze dried algae biomass is 159.9 mW/m² and spray dried algae biomass is 152.3 mW/m². Freeze dried algae biomass has 54.2% of COD removal and 28.4% of Coulombic Efficiency while spray dried algae biomass has 50.1% of COD removal and 24.9% of Coulombic Efficiency.
Algae biomass, energy storage and conversion, freeze dry, Microbial Fuel Cell, spray dry
This aim of this study is to study the effects of various contents of Automotive Windscreen Glass Waste Powder (WGWP) as a cement replacement. Mortar incorporating several compositions of WGWP (0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%) by weight of cement was prepared. Three batching systems of cement to sand (C:S) ratios of 1:2.5 superplasticizers (SP), 1:3.0 SP and 1:3.5 SP was also employed. Fixed water to cement (w/c) ratio of 0.5 was used. The samples were water cured and the assessment of the strength performance of mortar cubes carried out at 7 and 28 days. Studies conducted have shown that WGWP has good pozzolanic properties. In term of compressive strength, it was observed that employing C:S ratio of 1:3.5 SP is better than 1:2.5 SP and 1:3.0 SP.
This paper examines the chemical elements used as colour additives in cosmetic coloured contact lenses (Cos-CCL) using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (FESEM-EDX) analysis. The samples comprised two different Cos-CCL brands and colours (sample A1-black iris colour & B1-gray iris colour) with their respective clear contact lens counterparts as controls (sample A2 & B2). The parameters of Cos-CCL were observed carefully so that they resembled their respective controls. All the samples were analysed for chemical element characterisation by using EDX spectroscopy surface mapping analysis on both front and back surfaces. EDX spectroscopy point analysis was done on cross-section surface of Cos-CCL when colour additive pattern could not be detected by FESEM on either surface. FESEM-EDX spectroscopy analysis has revealed iron element in the colour additives of the A1 sample and aluminium elements in the B2 sample. These two elements were not present in the respective control samples. It can be concluded that iron and aluminium elements are exclusively attributed to the colour additive in Cos-CCL samples. It is important for manufacturers of Cos-CCL to disclose information of their products and create greater awareness on the risks facing users.
The aim of this study is to examine the effect of surface treatments involving shot blasting and paste boronizing on the microstructure, microhardness and density of 316L stainless steel. Shot blasting using glass beads was carried out prior to paste boronizing at fix boronizing temperature and soaking time of 850°C and 8 hours respectively. The results show paste boronizing produces boride layers that consist of FeB and Fe2B on the surface of 316L stainless steel with high hardness. Shot blasting on the other hand creates grain refinement on the metal's surface which increases boron diffusion into the surface and improves the case depth of boride layers formed and also its hardness. Higher shot diameter used in shot blasting also influence in improving the case depth of boride layers produced and hardness of 316L stainless steel. The effect of shot blasting using a higher shot diameter and paste boronizing reduces the density of 316L stainless steel very slightly.
Powder carburising compound used for pack carburizing has limited potential in producing thicker case depth. Paste carburizing has proved to be an option to replace powder in conventional pack carburizing as it requires less time and temperature to diffuse carbon atoms, and thereby produce greater case depth. The correlation between case depth and mechanical properties using paste carburising is the objective of this paper where the relationship between case depth with mechanical and tribological properties using powder, paste 1:1 and paste 3:1 compounds at 1000°C for 9 hours are studied. Samples were subjected to microhardness tests, tensile tests and wear tests. Results showed paste 1:1 compound produced the highest case depth (>0.5 mm), allowing us to greater tensile strength, 6.61% and high wear resistance, 49%.
Austempering is one of the trendiest heat treatment processes to promote the strength and toughness of ductile iron. However, such practice is complex because it involves using aqueous solutions as quenchant (salt bath solution). This study was conducted to analyse the heat treatment of the combination processes of annealing-austenitising and evaluate the correlation between microstructure constituent and hardness of the ductile iron. Ductile iron samples in form of double cylinder was produced by conventional CO2 sand casting method. The new heat treatment process was started by annealed at 873 K for 1.8 ks before being oil quenched. Subsequently, the samples were austenitised at austenitising temperatures 1123 K, 1173 K and 1223 K for 3.6 ks respectively before being immediately oil quenched to room temperature. A series of microstructure analysis tests, including optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) was applied. Vickers microhardness tester was used to measure the hardness for each microstructure constituent. The results showed that ductile iron matrix transforms to martensitic during heat treatment of annealing-austenitising combination processes, which in turn contributes to increasing microhardness of martensite and the bulk hardness of ductile iron
Spin coated polyvinlylidenefluoride-trifluoroetylene (PVDF-TrFE 70/30mol%) copolymer thin film were initially produced and annealed at varying temperatures (100°C to 160°C). The morphology, dielectric and ferroelectric analysis showed that PVDF-TrFE film annealed at 120°C produced the highest remnant polarization, Pr of 92 mC/m², with orderly and grain-like shaped crystallites. The filled PVDF-TrFE, loaded with various volume percentages (1 - 7%) of Magnesium Oxide (MgO) nanofillers and then, annealed at 120°C, produced homogenous filler distribution with low agglomerates, especially for 3% PVDF-TrFE filled films. Moreover, the annealed PVDF-TrFE/MgO(3%) generated the highest value of Pr in comparison to the other filled nanocomposite thin films. Most importantly, the saturation of hysteresis loop, Ps for annealed PVDF-TrFE/MgO(3%) film was relatively improved by 20% as compared to the unfilled annealed thin film. This study established that, 3% MgO loaded in PVDF-TrFE thin film and annealed at 120 °C demonstrated a stable ferroelectric thin film, closed to an ideal ferroelectric film, in which the ratio Pr/Ps for the film established a value approaching unity (value of 1).
This study examined the presence and sources of 10 pharmaceuticals in Klang River were studied. The most common pharmaceuticals were caffeine and acetaminophen, 0.57-20.62 ng/mL and "not detected"-1.45 ng/mL. Water samples were clustered based on pharmaceutical concentrations. Source apportionment analysis showed that treated wastewater discharged from treatment plants contributed 18.43% of pharmaceuticals in Klang River. An environmental risk assessment by means of the risk quotient (RQ) was done whereby the latter was more than one for salicylic acid and diclofenac in surface water posing threats to the aquatic environment. Salicylic acid showed high risk for acute toxicity, while diclofenac showed high risk for chronic toxicity. The results indicated a need for regular monitoring on pharmaceutical levels in Klang River and increasing the efficiency of wastewater treatment here.
Environmental risk assessment, Klang River, Malaysia, occurrence, pharmaceuticals, source apportionment
An agricultural waste, the cocoa pod husk was chemically modified using a dehydrating agent, zinc chloride (ZnCl²), carbonised and used for the remediation of acid dyes in an aqueous solution. The targeted acid dyes are: (i) Acid Violet 17 (AV17); (ii) Acid Yellow 36 (AY36); and (iii) Acid Blue 29 (AB29). The physicochemical properties of the zinc chloride-modified cocoa pod husk-based carbon (ZCPHC) were characterised by ash content, bulk density, pH slurry, pHpzc and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) analysis. The bulk density and ash content of the prepared carbon is 0.55 g cm-1 and 7.0% respectively. The photograph of SEM shows distinct changes at the ZCPHC carbon surface as it has large pores formed due to ZnCl² modification. The adsorption tests were performed in a batch adsorption system using an aqueous solution of the understudy acid dyes. The influence of pH and dose of an adsorbent on the acid dye uptake was investigated and discussed. The adsorption was in favour at acidic condition with maximum removal observed at pH 2. The removal efficiency of the aqueous acid dye solution increased with the increase in adsorbent dosage. The kinetic experiment showed equilibrium time is less than 40 minutes and the kinetic data for all three understudy acid dyes fitted well with the pseudo-second-order model with a correlation coefficient (R²) values above 0.98.
Acid dyes, adsorption, carbon, chemical activation, cocoa pod husks, zinc chloride
The selection of curve number to represent watersheds with similar land use and land cover is often subjective and ambiguous. Watershed with several soil groups further complicates curve number selection process while wrong curve number selection often produces unrealistic runoff estimates. The 1954 simplified Soil Conservation Services (SCS) runoff model over-predicted runoff with significant amount and further magnified runoff prediction error toward higher rainfall depths in this study. The model was statistically insignificant with the rejection of two null hypotheses and paved the way for regional model calibration study. This paper proposes a new direct curve number derivation technique from the given rainfall-runoff conditions under the guide of inferential statistics. The technique offers a swift and economical solution to improve the runoff prediction ability of the SCS runoff model with statistically significant results. A new rainfall-runoff model was developed with calibration according to the regional hydrological conditions. It out-performed the runoff prediction of the simplified SCS runoff model and the asymptotic runoff model. The derived curve number = 89 at alpha = 0.01 level. The technique can be adopted to predict flash flood and forecast urban runoff.
The purpose of this study is to assess the performance of allied health personnel, after attending a training programme, in conducting vision screening for preschool children. A total of 43 allied health personnel (20 assistant medical officers (AMOs) and 23 nurses) attended a two-day training program prior to conducting vision screening for preschool children. Vision screening was conducted among 136 preschool children using four similar HOTV visual acuity chart at 6 m. The cut-off referral criterion for visual acuity (VA) testing was 6/9 or worse in either eye. All children were referred to two qualified optometrists for a comprehensive eye examination. The accuracy was based on the sensitivity and specificity of screening by each group of personnel. The overall prevalence of reduced VA in the studied population was about 10%. The sensitivity and specificity of vision screening performed by AMOs were 100% and 98% respectively while that performed by nurses were 56% and 94% respectively. Thus, there were discrepancies in the sensitivity of visual acuity testing despite them being conducted by healthcare providers with similar background and training. This suggests that their performance might be influenced by factors other than their professional training.
Heavy metals from mining sites can contribute to adverse health and environmental issues. Conventional liming practice depletes natural limestone deposits. Blood cockle shell (BCS) and palm kernel shell (PKS) calcination produced alkaline ash to immobilize heavy metals in soil. This study investigates the acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of calcined BCS and PKS composites. BCS and PKS composites were prepared at various weight ratios (i.e. 1:0, 1:1, 1:5, 1:10, and 0:1) and were combusted for 1 hour at 400°C and 900°C, respectively. BCS and PKS composites were determined by its yield, pH, and ANC. The combustion characteristics for composites was conducted using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Elemental analysis was conducted using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy. Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) was conducted for functional groups analysis. Ash content of composites increased when the portion of PKS feedstock is decreased. Increasing combustion temperature from 400°C to 900°C reduced the ash contents. The pH of raw and combusted composite (at 400°C) decreased as the portion of PKS feedstock is increased. Calcined composites at 900°C have slightly different pH value except for 0:1 sample. ANC value increased as PKS portion in composites reduced. Higher content of calcium oxide (CaO) in the composites increased the ANC value.
Bioaccumulation, bivalve waste, heavy metals, pyrolysis, soil remediation
Headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) was used to isolate volatile compounds (VOCs) from mangoes (Harumanis cv.). Among the four SPME fibres investigated, the mixed phase coating, 65 µm polydimethyl siloxane-divinylbenzene (DVB/PDMS) showed the highest efficiency in extracting VOCs as 26 compounds were detected with the total area of 9.6 x 109. The optimization of SPME factors was conducted in 2 stages using multivariate design. The first stage involved screening of the significant factors using the Plackett-Burman (P-B) design, followed by the optimization of the significant factors utilizing Central Composite Design (CCD). The experimental design for both P-B and CCD design was generated using Design-Expert version 6.0.4 (Stat Ease Software). Extraction time and temperature appeared to be the most significant factors in extracting VOCs in mangoes, with the optimum conditions prevailing at 55°C and 34 minutes respectively.
In this study, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) was used with methanol as extraction solvent to extract bioactive compounds from Ananas comosus (pineapple) flesh. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to evaluate the correlative effects of temperature (60 - 150°C) and extraction time (10 - 30 min) on the yield of selected bioactive compounds. In this model, the R² obtained was 0.8788 for selected bioactive compounds for Ananas comosus suggesting a satisfactory agreement between the predicted and experimental values. Two-dimensional high-performance liquid chromatography (2D-HPLC) with a diode array detector (DAD) was used for the separation and detection of the bioactive compounds. Extraction temperature was found to significantly increase the yield of three selected bioactive compounds following which the optimum operating extraction conditions for PLE for Ananas comosus was determined to be 105°C and a static time of 20 min.
Solid polymer electrolyte based on methyl cellulose (MC)-lithium triflate (LiCF3SO3) plasticised with ethylene carbonate (EC) was prepared using solution cast technique. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies proved that the amorphous nature of the electrolyte systems was increases due to the addition of salt and plasticiser. The improved surface morphology of plasticised polymer system ensures it has good electrode-electrolyte contact during performance testing. The polymer electrolyte was found to have high thermal stability indicating that the electrolyte can be used at higher temperature. The ionic conductivity increased up to 1.24 x 10-4 S cm-1 at optimum amount of EC plasticiser associated to the effect of plasticiser that initially leads to the formation of Li+-EC complex. Consequently, it reduces the fraction of polymer-Li+ complex which contributes to the increase of the segmental chain flexibility in the plasticized system. Temperature dependent studies indicate ionic conductivity increase due to the temperature increase and is in line with Arrhenius behaviour pattern. An activation energy of 0.26 eV at highest conductivity sample was obtained. The addition of plasticiser lowers the activation energy thus increasing the ion mobility of the system and contributing to ionic conductivity increment. The plasticization method is a promising means to dealing with the solid polymer electrolyte problem and producing electrolytes that meet the needs of electrochemical devices.
In the electrodeposition system, adding saccharin alters the properties of the metal deposits by changing the electrode kinetics of the deposited surface. In this study, nanocrystalline cobalt-iron (CoFe) coating was synthesised using the electrodeposition technique with different saccharin concentrations. The results obtained showed that the coating thickness increased while the grain size decreased from 51 nm to 40 nm when the saccharin concentration increased from 0 to 2 g/L. The nanocrystalline CoFe coating produced with 2 g/L of saccharin concentration resulted in the smallest particle size of 71.22 nm and the highest microhardness of 251.86 HV. From the salt spray test (24 and 48 hours) it was found that the use of saccharin at higher concentration of 2 g/L improves the corrosion resistance of the nanocrystalline CoFe coating significantly due to the change of surface morphology as well as the decrease in grain size.
This research investigated the wear properties of Carbon Nanotube (CNT) filled epoxy polymer and fiber reinforced composites. The CNT/epoxy composites with 0.5 wt% and 1.0 wt% CNT contents were mixed at 50°C for 1 hour at a speed of 400 rpm using mechanical mixer, while woven glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) nanocomposites were fabricated using vacuum bagging technique. The effect of CNT on wear properties was evaluated using dry sliding abrasion wear test that used vitrified bonded silicon carbide as abrasive wheels. The mass loss and specific wear rate curves show that wear properties of epoxy polymer and GFRP composite systems were enhanced when CNT was added. Epoxy polymer and GFRP nanocomposites showed the highest wear resistance when CNT content was 1.0 wt% and 0.5 wt% respectively. The CNT-filled composite showed improvement till up to 78.9 % from its pure system. This suggested that the load transferability between CNT and epoxy was more effective in nanomodified systems than in its pure systems. Therefore, adding CNT improves the wear properties of epoxy polymer and woven GFRP composite.
CNT, dry abrasion, epoxy, glass fiber, specific wear rate
This paper investigates the effect of acid and silane treatment of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) on wear properties of epoxy polymer composite. The wear test done was based on ASTM D3389 standard using the Abrasive Wear Tester (TR 600). Characterisation analysis was also done using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) in order to study the dispersion of the CNT inside the epoxy matrix. When untreated CNT was added to the epoxy with amounts of 0.5, 0.75 and 1.0 wt%, the wear rates did not improve except for 0.5 wt% CNT filled epoxy. This was due to the lack of dispersion which causes larger chunks of material being dug out, thus contributing to a higher mass loss and wear rate. When treated with acid and silane, 0.75 wt% and 1.0 wt% CNT filled epoxy composites showed improvement. The TEM images of 0.5 wt%, 0.75 wt% and 1.0 wt% PCNT filled epoxy supported the claim of the lack of dispersion of PCNT inside the epoxy.
Aluminium foam tube is a metal that consists of porous medium with special characteristics such as good energy absorption, good heat transfer and high thermal conductivity. These make it suitable to be used in a wide range of applications such as in heat exchangers. The aim of this project is to identify and analyse mechanical behaviour and microstructure aluminium foam tube produced and fabricated with infiltration method with vacuum-gas. The density of aluminium foam tube was also determined and an average aluminium foam tube with porosity 50% - 80% with the average NaCl particle size 2mm, 3mm and 4mm was produced. Foams with porosity 60%-75% NaCl has higher energy absorption. These was based on foam structure, density and maximum compressive load test result.
AFTP, infiltration method, mechanical behaviour, microstructure, vacuum gas
In recent years, injection moulding process is one of the most advanced and efficient manufacturing processes for mass production of plastic bottles. However, a good quality of parison is difficult to achieve due to uncontrollable humidity, pressure inlet and water inlet velocity. This paper investigates the effect of using multiple mould cavities to improve the process fill time and injection pressure in the production of PET plastic bottles using MoldFlow software. The modelling of parison was developed using CATIA with the consideration of every part of the parison. MoldFlow software was used to analyse the flow of 20 g parison with different cavity numbers (1, 8, 16, 24 cavity), as well as its corresponding runner size towards its fill time and injection pressure. Other important parameters that affect the production of parison, such as melting temperature, mould temperature, atmospheric temperature and cooling time, were remained constant. The fill time required to produce 24 moulds was improved by 60% compared to using 8 mould cavity only, and this enable the production of more plastic bottles in a day. Therefore, fill time and injection pressure are two important parameters to be considered in the injection moulding process, especially to reduce parison defect and increase its production rate.
Clustering refers to reducing selected features involved in determining the clusters. Raw data might come with a lot of features, including unimportant ones. A hybrid similarity measure (discovered in 2014) used in selecting features can be improvised as it might select all the attributes, including insignificant ones. This paper suggests Fuzzy Lambda-Max to be used as a feature selection method since Lambda-Max is normally used in ranking of alternatives. A set of AIDS data is used to measure the performance. Results show that Fuzzy Lambda-Max has the ability to determine criteria weights and ranking the criteria. Hence, feature selection can be done by choosing only the important criteria.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. The number of the Muslim worldwide has been increasing through birth and conversion rate. As the number of Muslim population grow so does that the demand for halal product worldwide. While quality is seen as an integral part of related companies 'strategic business plan. Leadership is difficult to characterise and it implies different things to various individuals. However, it is considered as a noteworthy driver for the TQM practices. This paper examines Lean Manufacturing (LM), Total Quality Management (TQM), Environmental Management System (EMS) and Islamic Manufacturing practices (IMP) and explores the possibility to integrate this management system into a new Islamic model for in the Malaysian food industry as the country moves forward to becoming a Halal Hub Country. This is a conceptual study, and provides a foundation for future research on this topic.
Iris recognition has become a widely popular biometric system. The stable textures and features of the human iris have made such biometric systems efficient and accurate for purposes of verification and identification. The term non-ideal iris refers to a situation in which the iris is occluded by noise, including reflections, eyelashes, eyelids and so on. Most current iris recognition algorithms assume that the iris is not occluded, which is less accurate. A method using only some parts of the iris may be suitable to deal with a non-ideal iris. The current application of iris recognition systems are plagued by weaknesses such as slow processing times, especially when dealing with many irises. In this study, a sub-iris recognition technique is proposed to deal with the non-ideal iris, while reducing execution time via an embedded system using a graphical processing unit (GPU). The experiment revealed that the proposed method was accurate and fast.
Execution time, graphical processing unit, iris recognition system, non-ideal iris, sub-iris technique
This paper presents adaptive particle swarm optimization for solving non-convex economic dispatch problems. In this study, a new technique was developed known as adaptive particle swarm optimization (APSO), to alleviate the problems experienced in the traditional particle swarm optimisation (PSO). The traditional PSO was reported that this technique always stuck at local minima. In APSO, economic dispatch problem are considered with valve point effects. The search efficiency was improved when a new parameter was inserted into the velocity term. This has achieved local minima. In order to show the effectiveness of the proposed technique, this study examined two case studies, with and without contingency.
This paper proposes a 3D object recognition method based on 3D SURF and the derivation of the robot space transformations. In a previous work, a three fingered robot hand had been developed for grasping task. The reference position of the robot hand was programmed based on predetermined values for grasping two different shapes of object. The work showed successful grasping but it could not generate the reference position on its own since no external sensor was used, hence it is not fully automated. Later, a 2D Speed-Up Robust Features (SURF) and 3D point cloud algorithm were applied to calculate the object's 3D position where the result showed that the method was capable of recognising but unable to calculate the 3D position. Thus, the present study developed 3D SURF by combining recognised images based on 2D SURF and triangulation method. The identified object grasping points then are converted to robot space using the robot's transformation equation which is derived based on dimensions between robot and camera in the workplace. The result supported the capability of the SURF algorithm for recognising the target without fail for nine random images but produced errors in the 3D position. Meanwhile, the transformation has been successful where the calculated object positions are inclined towards the directions of actual measured positions accordingly related to robot coordinates. However, maximum error of 3.90 cm was observed due to the inaccuracy of SURF detection and human error during manual measurement which can to be solved by improving the SURF algorithm in future.
3D SURF, object recognition, robot coordinates, robot hand, transformation, triangulation
Two imines of different molecular sizes namely 3-(phenylimino) indolin-2-one (PII) and 3,3- (1,4-phenylenebis (azan-1-yl-1-ylidene) diindolin-2-one (PDI) were investigated for their corrosion inhibition on mild steel in 1 M HCl solution using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The bigger molecule PDI containing double the amount of isatin moiety exhibited higher inhibition efficiency of 87.3% while PII that contained monoisatin moiety showed a lower inhibition efficiency of 74.8%. Both compounds had an increase in inhibition efficiencies percentage as concentrations increased. Density functional theory (DFT) was used to determine the correlation between the corrosion inhibition efficiency and electronic parameters. The DFT calculations indicated that the corrosion inhibition efficiency was mainly dependant on the frontier orbital energy gap and the chemical softness/hardness of the imines.
Corrosion inhibition, DFT, Isatin, mild steel, Schiff base
A mononuclear and new tetranuclear metal complexes of Zn(II) with Schiff base ligands L1 and L2 respectively, were synthesised. L1 was obtained through the condensation of salicylaldehyde with Ortho-phenylenediamine while L2 was the product of reaction between of Ortho-vanillin with 2,4,6-trimethyl-m-phenylenediamine. The ligands and complexes were characterised via elemental analysis, melting point, IR and NMR spectroscopy. The shifting of v(C=N), v(C-OH) and v(O-CH3) infrared peaks upon coordination with Zn(II) indicated that these three moieties play a significant role in the complexation. It was found that L1 acted as tetradentate ligand, coordinating with Zn(II) centres through phenolic oxygen and imine nitrogen. The ligand L2 acted as a hexadentate ligand, bonded to metal via phenolic oxygen, imine nitrogen and methoxy oxygen, where four Zn(II) centres formed bridges to connect two ligands.
Schiff base, metal complexes, mononuclear, tetranuclear
The syntheses of salicylideneaniline (L1a) and 4-hydroxybenzalaniline (L1b) was carried out via condensation reaction giving yields of 80.74% and 81.65% respectively. The compounds were characterised by physical and spectroscopic techniques, namely melting point, micro elemental analysis (C, H and N), ¹H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The characteristic n(C=N) peaks were observed at 1615 cm-1 and 1575 cm-1 respectively. Chronoamperometry (CA) was employed to electrodeposit both compounds on mild steel at 0.1 M inhibitor concentration in 0.3 M NaOH at three different potentials, +0.8 V, +1.05 V and +1.7 V. Formation of yellow imine films was observed on the mild steel. The corrosion behaviour of coated and uncoated mild steel was studied using Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR) in 0.5 M NaCl. Coated mild steel showed better corrosion resistance and with the highest inhibition efficiency of 90.34%, L1a provides a better protection against corrosion for mild steel than L1b.
This study looked at mutagenic effectiveness of gamma rays d on two varieties of Zingiber officinale Roscoe: Bentong and Tanjung Sepat. The rhizomes were exposed to different doses (0, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 Gy) using Caesium-137 as source of the gamma rays. The effect of different gamma doses on the crude fibre composition of irradiated ginger was studied and genetic variability was assessed using molecular marker technique, RAPD. Findings showed different doses of gamma rays could induce variability in these two ginger varieties and the effect was found to be variety-dependent. Bentong variety irradiated with 9 Gy recorded 8.53% of crude fibre composition while Tanjung Sepat irradiated ginger with 5 Gy recorded 8.70% of crude fibre which gave the lowest composition compared with other irradiated ginger. A total of nine different arbitrary decamers were used as primers to amplify DNA from mutant plant material to assess their polymorphism level of ginger mutant lines. Polymorphism of all mutant lines was 97.62% indicating that there were significant changes in genetic sequences in irradiated ginger genotypes.
This study proposes a new method to evaluate the performance of palm oil extraction based on Predictive Scoring Index methodology. The variables, Oil Extraction Rate (OER) and Oil Loss (OL), were identified as important to develop a new extraction index based on three different steriliser systems. There were six performance categories: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Average, Poor and Very Poor. Based on 75 selected palm oil mills data from 2009-2013, Continuous Sterilizer (CS) system and Conventional Sterilizer (CV) system recorded 2.7% and 1.3% respectively under the Excellent category. The Compact Modular Concept (CMC) system only recorded 'Very Good' (20%) and 'Good' (13.3%). This study showed that EPI could be used to monitor palm oil extraction performance to ensure maximum oil extraction and minimum losses.
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is one of the most popular tropical herbal plants as it is believed to enhance virility and sexual prowess. This study looked examined chromatographic fingerprint of Tongkat Ali roots and its products generated using online solid phase-extraction liquid chromatography (SPE-LC) combined with chemometric approaches. The aim was to determine its quality. Pressurised liquid extraction (PLE) technique was used prior to online SPE-LC using polystyrene divinyl benzene (PSDVB) and C18 columns. Seventeen Tongkat Ali roots and 10 products (capsules) were analysed. Chromatographic dataset was subjected to chemometric techniques, namely cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA) and principal component analysis (PCA) using 37 selected peaks. The samples were grouped into three clusters based on their quality. The PCA resulted in 11 latent factors describing 90.8% of the whole variance. Pattern matching analysis showed no significant difference (p>0.05) between the roots and products within the same CA grouping. The findings showed the combination of chromatographic fingerprint and chemometric techniques provided comprehensive evaluation for efficient quality control of Tongkat Ali formulation.
Distributed generator is one of the most common sources of electric power as it has many advantages. However, it might cause negative effects to the distribution system if appropriate conditions are undermined. Thus, this paper describes ways to optimise the use of distributed generator in a distribution system in order to reduce total power losses and to improve system performance by increasing stability of the voltage profile. This study focuses on the installation of distributed generator that is installed on 69-bus radial distribution system. Optimisation are done through Particle Swarm Optimization and Voltage Stability Indicator. The findings show that total power loss was reduced by 44.6%, and there was improvement in voltage profile stability.
Distributed generator, Particle Swarm Optimization, Voltage Stability Indicator
A free-standing film consisting of 49% PMMA grafted-natural rubber electrolytes was prepared. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) and propylene carbonate (PC) was added to the preparation and the properties of the electrolytes measured using complex impedance analysis at various temperatures. The addition of plasticiser in alkaline polymer electrolyte gives rise to the ionic conductivity up to 2.647 x 10-6 S cm-1 at composition consisting of 50wt.% of PC. The dielectric properties of the GPEs were studied and the relaxations at higher frequencies appear in both imaginary and real part of the permittivity. These relaxations are related with the interface ion polarisations at the polymer-electrode interface and segmental motion of the polymer electrolyte molecular chains. The influence of the impedance spectra on temperature was studied. Results showed rising temperature increased conductivity, top frequency (f*), relative dielectric constant (er) and geometrical capacitance (Cg) due to the mobility of free ion carriers