Volume 6, Issue No 2-2, Science and Natural Resources 2019

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Full Articles

A Study of Process Identification, Frequency Response Analysis and Optimum Proportional-Integral tunings for an Identified Temperature Control System
Ing Ming Chew; Farrah Hock Tze Wong; Awang Bono; Kiing Ing Wong. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 169 - 174
Abstract Single loop feedback control is commonly used in many industrial applications due to low cost. However, it still deserved an optimum control for the good performance of the controlled process to avoid failures and shutdown of the plants. A good control should have a proper process identification to imply the process dynamic behavior. This paper presents the process identification, frequency response analysis and an optimal PI tuning of a single loop controlled system without involving the complicated stage in determining the best PI tunings for both the servo and regulatory control problems at a nominal point. In realizing the objective, a temperature control function of the Process Control Simulator is chosen. Process identification of the First Order Plus Dead Time is obtained through the developed algorithm. Meanwhile, frequency analysis and the optimal PI tunings are studied by using MATLAB simulation tools. It is found that the produced responses are varied by adjusting the compensator ratio where the optimal PI tunings for a stable and aggressive control is eventually determined. View article

Minerals, Amino Acids and Fatty Acids Profile of Two Different Species of Catfish Epidermal Mucus
Nurul Mariam Hussin; Abdul Hamid Ahmad; Mohd Rosni Sulaiman. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 175 - 183
Abstract The minerals, amino acids (AAs) and fatty acids (FAs) profile of the epidermal mucus of Clarias gariepinus (African catfish) and Clarias sp. (local catfish) were determined. Minerals were identified by using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), amino acids by high liquid performance chromatography (HPLC) and fatty acids by gas chromatographic with flame ionisation detector (GC-FID). The levels of macroelements (K, Na, Mg, Ca and P) in the epidermal mucus of Clarias sp. were higher than in the C.gariepinus while the concentrations of trace elements (Cu, Zn, and Fe) of both catfish species are lower than the toxic levels described by FAO/WHO. The high level of AAs total content was found in Clarias sp. epidermal mucus (83.72 mg g-1 fresh weight) mainly essential amino acids (EAA), where the EAA/total AA ratio (50.75 ± 0.423 mg g-1 Fresh Weight) were comparable to FAO/WHO requirements. The epidermal mucus of Clarias sp. contained high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as compared to saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) while SFAs were found higher in C.gariepinus. This study suggested that local catfish, Clarias sp. despite of cultured (African) catfish, C.gariepinus, could be potentially used as ingredients to improve nutritive value and texture of functional foods for human consumption. View article

Perspectives of the Wood-Based Industry on Chain of Custody Certification in Sabah
Michelle Boyou; Kang Chiang Liew. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 184 - 190
Abstract Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification is part of the forest certification that ensures the wood products purchased can be tracked accurately back to its source in the forest. This study was done to determine the current status and the implementation of CoC Certification in the wood-based industries in Sabah. Two populations were identified, which are those holding a CoC certificate and those who do not possess a CoC certificate. Questionnaires were developed with respondents’ opinion and perception regarding forest certification focusing on COC Certification in Sabah. Distribution of questionnaire forms to the industry players related to wood-based industries and interview sessions was conducted with the person-in-charge of the Chain of Custody system. Results indicated that there are low percentage of the industries that possesses CoC Certification and have low knowledge regarding CoC Certification and its benefits. This is because the industry players are mainly targeting for local consumers and certification is not required. Others stated that the cost to obtain CoC Certification is too high with low to no benefit to the industry, while others stated that certification has no importance in terms of market benefits. Most of the wood-based industries in Sabah has low awareness regarding the importance of CoC Certification, hence the low number of companies that holds the certificate. The absence of government support, lack of training, lack of market benefit and price premium are also the factors that influences the low number of certificate holders. View article

Optimisation Frequency for Different Lift off on Aluminium using Eddy Current Testing (ECT) Technique
Salmia Santa; Fauziah Sulaiman; Elnetthra Folly Eldy. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 191 - 197
Abstract One of the main hindrances of Eddy-current Testing (ECT) technique is the lift-off (LO) effect which it can easily mask defect signals. This paper is an ongoing study on analysing the optimum lift-off value distance for specific design of ECT technique theoretically and experimentally. Through this approach, the detection of imperfections was determined by the slope of the peak value of the different frequency varied by various lift off values and was verified by experiment with an established circuit. This circuit is efficient and could be used with different range of desired frequencies (i.e., 250 kHz -3.5 MHz) by using a function generator and an established probe consists of excitation coils and receiver coils known as dual sensors device. Result obtained from the output voltage signal at higher frequency becomes much lower as the lift-off distance increases. It showed that the signal responses for measuring the various lift-off values, whilst at certain lower frequency could not been detected, however convenient for detect imperfections. Throughout this, the applicable lift-off distance that used to detect imperfection for aluminium with different imperfection sizes was 3 mm for frequency 2.65 MHz, 2 mm for frequency 2.75 MHz, 1 mm for frequency 2.85MHz, and 0 mm for frequency 2.95MHz. It can be concluded that, using higher excitation can be used to measure suitable lift-off, however lower frequency can be used to detect imperfection including its sizes. View article

Mathematical Model for the Alkylation of 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene with Cyclopentene in the presence of Sulphuric Acid
Sariah Abang; S. M. Anisuzzaman; Mariani Rajin; Masdiana H. Guntur; Nor Farjanah Nasir. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 198 - 202
Abstract In this research, the individual and interaction effects of three processing variables (reaction temperature, molar ratio of 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene to cyclopentene, amount of sulphuric acid) on the alkylation alkylation of 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene with cyclopentene in the presence of sulphuric acid were studied based on Central Composite Design with Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The coefficient of determination R2 was 0.91, showed that the experimental data fitted with the mathematical model. The mathematical model indicated that the significant parameters that affecting the alkylation reaction were the reaction temperature and the amount of acid sulphuric. View article

Factors Affecting the Export Demand of Malaysian Palm Oil
Nur Aliyah Jazuli; Assis Kamu. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 203 - 209
Abstract This paper develops studies made on determinants for export demand of the Malaysian palm oil in the world market especially in top importing countries. The factors comprised in the analysis such as total area planted, production of palm oil, number of population, country’s import of palm oil, price of palm oil and its substitutes, GDP of own country and importing countries, exchange rates (MYR/USD) and even to downstream details on number of mills, refineries and biodiesel with oleochemical plants and number of production of palm oil’s food and non-food products. For this paper, Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Regression using model building approach of Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) is being used to obtain the best model equation. Result obtained reflects a different findings from other studies regarding the factors that affect the export demand which are the production of palm oil, price of substitutes (fish oil), and palm oil based product (RBD palm olein) that significantly affects the demand for Malaysian palm oil export. View article

A false colour analysis: An image processing approach to distinguish between dead and living pupae of the bagworms, Metisa plana Walker (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)
Mohd Najib Ahmad; Abdul Rashid Mohamed Shariff; Ishak Aris; Izhal Abdul Halin; Ramle Moslim. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 210 - 215
Abstract The bagworm is one of the main species of vicious leaf eating insect pest threats to the oil palm plantations in Malaysia. The economic impact from a moderate bagworm attack of 10%-50% leaf damage may cause 43% yield loss. Without any control actions, the bagworm population often increases to above its threshold limits, subsequently attributed to a severe outbreak. Realizing the impact, identification and detection of bagworm populations at the pupal stage are required as preliminary steps to ensure proper planning of control actions in the infested areas. Through a false colour analysis, a colour filter absorbed the unwanted colour wavelengths, which attributed to each pixel was specified to a certain colour wavelength. Distinct differences in the pixel count based on the slopes were observed for dead and live pupae at 630nm and 940nm, with the slopes being recorded at 0.38 and 0.28, respectively. The lower slope value indicated the living pupae and the higher slope value, represented the dead pupae. Hence, the analysis for distinguishing between the living and dead pupae of Metisa plana Walker, a species of Malaysia’s local bagworm using RGB images is proposed for automated classification. View article

Fuzzy Contrast Enhancement by Intensification Operator in Flat Electroencephalography Image
Suzelawati Zenian; Tahir Ahmad; Amidora Idris. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 216 - 220
Abstract Contrast enhancement plays a major role in image processing. It is applied to improve the visibility or perceptibility of objects by enhancing the brightness difference between objects and their backgrounds. In this paper, the contrast of Flat Electroencephalography (fEEG) image is enhanced by using fuzzy approach. The fEEG image itself is a fuzzy object which is in grayscale. It is originated from a technique known as fEEG which mapped high dimensional signal into low dimensional space. Contrast improvement of fEEG image is done by using Intensification Operator (INT) and New Intensification Operator (NINT). Moreover, the output images are compared for both operators. View article

Preliminary Investigation on the Chemical Composition of Local Medicinal Herbs (Curcuma longa L., Persicaria odorata L. and Eleutherine palmifolia L.) as Potential Layer Feed Additives for the Production of Healthy Eggs
Ooi Phaik Sim; Rohaida Abdul Rasid; Nur Hardy Abu Daud; Devina David; Borhan Abdul Haya; Kartini Saibeh; Jupikely James Silip; Abd. Rahman Milan; Abd Razak Alimon. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 221 - 227
Abstract This study was carried out to determine the phytochemical and proximate compositions of the three selected local medicinal herbs: Curcuma longa L., Persicaria odorata L. and Eleutherine palmifolia L. as potential layer feed additive for the production of healthy eggs. In spite of easy cultivation and availability, these three herbs were selected as they are quite common as basic cooking ingredients and food additives in local cuisine. Fresh Curcuma longa L. (rhizome), Persicaria odorata L. (leaves) and Eleutherine palmifolia L. (bulb) were obtained from local markets at Ranau and Sandakan (Sabah). Fresh samples were washed and dried completely in oven (±55°) before being pulverized into powder form and kept in sealed polythene bags under room temperature prior the analysis of proximate and phytochemical analysis. Values obtained from the proximate analysis of the Curcuma longa L., Persicaria odorata L. and Eleutherine palmifolia L. were shown as following; moisture (9.13%, 88.64% and 84.08%), ash (2.07, 1.83 and 2.16%), crude protein (6.19%, 3.5% and 7.62%), crude fat (5.08%, 0.83% and 0.24%), crude fibre (5.85%, 10.66% and 2.68%), Calcium (0.2%, 0.47% and 0.06%) and Phosphorus (0.43%, 0.12% and 0.14%) respectively; Meanwhile, the results of phytochemical screening test revealed that there were presence of saponins, tannins, total phenols, flavonoids and alkaloids in the three herbs as plant secondary metabolites. Results of this study suggest some merit on the chemical compositions of these three herbs which could be used as references in the further study of this project. View article

Newton-MSOR Method for Solving Large-Scale Unconstrained Optimization Problems with an Arrowhead Hessian Matrices
Khadizah Ghazali; Jumat Sulaiman; Yosza Dasril; Darmesah Gabda. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 228 - 234
Abstract Due to a large-scale problem, solving unconstrained optimization using classical Newton’s method is typically expensive to store its Hessian matrix and solve its Newton direction. Therefore, in this paper, we proposed a Newton-MSOR method for solving large scale unconstrained optimization problems whose Hessian matrix is an arrowhead matrix to overcome these problems. This Newton-MSOR method is a combination of the Newton method and modified successive-over relaxation (MSOR) iterative method. Some test functions are provided to show the validity and applicability of the proposed method. In order to calculate the performance of the proposed method, combinations between the Newton method with Gauss-Seidel point iterative method and the Newton method with successive-over relaxation (SOR) point iterative method were used as reference methods. Finally, the numerical results show that our proposed method provides results that are more efficient compared to the reference methods in terms of execution time and a number of iterations. View article

Some Aspects on Growth, Yield, Phenology and Grape Quality of ‘Isabella’ Grapevine (Vitis X labruscana) Planted in Sandakan, Sabah as Ornamental Plant
Januarius Gobilik; Jontih Enggihon. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 235 - 252
Abstract In wet tropical areas, a successful planting of grapevines will depend on several factors including the use of greenhouse and the effort to carry out intensive pruning. These requirements are expensive especially for using these plants for home decoration. Thus, in the present study, growth and development of ‘Isabella’ grapevine (Vitis ´ labruscana) grown in pot system without the use of greenhouse to beautify a semi-shaded home sidewalk were studied to assess its potential to serve as ornamental and fruit-bearing plants. The seedlings from the woodcuts of ‘Isabella’ grapevine were planted on organic soil in 55 L plant pots. The pots were placed in 19 L water basins and positioned at 84 cm interval on a walkway (0.9–1.2 m width) of a house (310 cm tall wall; 76 cm long roof extension). Tap water was supplied as 2–4 L/grapevine following a 1-1-0-0-1-0-0 cycle per week (1 = watered; 0 = not watered). Initial fertiliser was added as 20 g NPK 15:15:15 and maintenance fertiliser was supplied monthly as 8 g NPKMg+TE 12: 12: 17: 2 per grapevine. After 3 months, pruning was carried out once a week. Data were recorded for vine vigour, berry, cluster and yield attributes, phenology, grape quality, fruit predators, pests and diseases. It was found that the grapevines have no issues in terms of vigour, cluster production, grape ripening and grape quality. The average physical size of the grapevines was 1.25 m (tall) ´ 0.75 m (width). Trunk diameter was 18 mm/grapevine. Cordon, cane and shoot number per grapevine was 14, 49 and 53, respectively. Fruitful shoot diameter was 3.8 mm/shoot/grapevine. The grapes achieved veraison at day 78 and berry ripe at day 124 after bud burst. The average yield was 37 grape clusters/grapevine, 16 g/cluster or 3 g/berry. Hens and chicks berry problem was 64% vs. 36% per cluster. The average sugar content (ºBrix) was 18.5; the berries were sweet-sour. The titratable acidity was 1.55 g/100 mL of juice. The pH was 3.3. There was, however, a marked grape loss due to a predation by yellow-vented bulbul and bats. ‘Isabella’ grapevine grown in pot system has a potential to serve as ornamental and fruit-bearing plants without the use of greenhouse. Preview article   

Evaluation of the Yield of Upland Rice Varieties under Open Field Trial
Ferrelly Voney Sinton; Lum Mok Sam; Suzan Benedick; Mohamadu Boyie Jalloh. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 253 - 258
Abstract Rice is a major staple food in most Asian countries. In Malaysia, the self-sufficiency level is currently at 72% that is, still 8% lower than the 80% target. One of the constraints in the industry is low rice production especially rice farms in hilly areas. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the phenotypic diversity and yield of selected upland rice varieties under open field trial. The study was carried out from March to October 2017. Three upland rice varieties were selected in this study, which was Bario, Tadong, and Kondoduvon. The varieties were sampled from Telupid and Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia. The study was conducted at a 30 m X 10 m plot of Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia (5°55'43.8"N 118°00'20.2"E) in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six replications. Selected seeds were directly sown in beds of size 5 m X 1 m on 3rd March 2017 with 3 seeds per hill. The spacing between hills was 30 X 30 cm. Granular fertilizer, NPK green was manually applied ten days after sowing at 200 Kg/ha. Application of 200 Kg/ha of NPK blue fertilizer was done at panicle initiation of each variety. Ultisols soil was used as a planting medium. Bario showed the highest mean of the productive tiller (26.83) and percentage of filled grain (61.5%). Tadong showed the longest panicle length (28.47 cm) and highest extrapolated yield (3.77 tons ha-1) while Kondoduvon showed the highest mean of 100-grain weight (3.39 g) and number of spikelets (159.67). In conclusion, Tadong is suggested to be the most suitable candidate for future breeding of high yielding upland rice variety. View article

Exploring Experiences With Nature Among Urban and Suburban School Children in Southeast Asia
Huda Farhana Mohamad Muslim; Tetsuro Hosaka; Shinya Numata; Noor Azlin Yahya; Masashi Soga. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 259 - 265
Abstract Current rapid growth of urbanization has indirectly changed the trend of using leisure time among young people, including children. A decline in direct experience with nature can lead to disaffection of natural environments, wildlife, and public indifference towards biodiversity conservation. This unfortunate lack of contact may shift children’s attitude towards nature conservation. However, research on childhood nature-related experiences and their effects are largely biased toward developed western countries. This study examined direct, indirect and vicarious nature-related experiences and surveyed both urban and suburban schools in Peninsular Malaysia. To assess their experiences with nature-related activities, a survey was conducted in 2016 among the school children aged 10 to 12 years old (N=401). The results of Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) analysis confirmed that the socio-demographic characteristics (gender, ethnicity, school locations) and having a pet significantly influenced children to actively participate in nature-related experiences. Exploring connections with nature both during childhood or present experiences help to identify biodiversity conservation opportunities, especially among urbanites. Besides, these findings could be integrated with planning programs to be implemented by environmental educators, city planners, and landscape managers. The direct nature-related experiences have remained as an essential element to improve children’s attitudes, although vicarious experience has substituted direct contact with nature. View article

Rehabilitation of Malaysia Coastline: An Economic Perspective
Mukrimah Abdullah; Mohd Parid Mamat; Faten Naseha Tuan Hussain. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 266 - 271
Abstract Malaysia has a wide range of ecosystems includes marines and terrestrial habitats. Coastal ecosystems and their services have economic as well as social value. They directly contribute to a number of economic sectors, including tourism and fisheries. After the tsunami disaster in 2004, a large scale of replanting activities was conducted along the country coastlines. This effort was made by government to increase the natural buffer zones. Unexpectedly, few replanting sites have become tourist spots and are able to generate income, since the initiation of the coastline rehabilitation project. Pantai Senok, Kelantan or known as “Nami Island Malaysia” is one of the most impressive achievement of the project. Pantai Senok rehabilitation began in 2009; where approximately 3 hectares of land has been planted with Casuarina species. In 2018, an economic study was conducted to empirically estimate the economic benefits of rehabilitation of Pantai Senok by using environmental economic tools of stated preferences method. A total of 311 visitors were successfully interviewed and the results show significant economic benefits of the Pantai Senok rehabilitation. It indicates that more concerted effort is needed by governments and other stakeholders to conserve and rehabilitate the coastal ecosystem in Malaysia. View article

Effects of Dairy Farm Effluent Compost on Growth and Yield of Pak Choy (Brassica rapa L.) in Pot System
Andrea Joyce Maludin; Nur Aisar Izzati Che Musa; Jupikely James Silip; Yap Yun Fook; Januarius Gobilik. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 272 - 282
Abstract Compost produced from dairy farm waste has been reported to be useful to increase and sustain crop yield. However, there is little known about this in Sabah. Thus, the present study was carried out to investigate the effects of locally produced dairy farm effluent compost (DEC) on the growth and yield of two Pak Choy varieties: Brassica rapa L. ‘Curly Dwarf Pak Choy’ (CDP) and ‘Shanghai Dwarf Pak Choy’ (SDP). Pot experiments (18L pot size) of 8 treatments were laid out in a completely randomized design; the treatments were four mixtures of DEC and infertile soil (0:100, 25:75, 50:50 and 100:0, % w/w) with or without addition of 6g of NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer. The media (DECM) was first used to grow the CDP for two cycles and then the SDP for another two cycles. At the end of each cycle (42 – 45 day), growth was measured as height (cm), leaf number, leaf area (cm2) and root (g) to shoot (g) ratio (R:S). Yield was measured as fresh and dry matter weights of CDP and SDP (g/plant). It was found that CDP grown on the media with DEC addition did not grow well during the first cycle, indicating the unreadiness of the DEC for a use. In subsequent cycles, there was a significant increase in height, leaf number, leaf area and fresh and dry matter weights of CDP and SDP grown on compost media compared to that on control media (100% soil). The data indicated that 25:75 DECM is satisfactory to increase the yield of CDP and SDP. The highest yield of CDP was 71g/plant (214g/pot), achieved at 50:50 DECM, but this was not significantly higher than that at 25:75 DECM. In fact, addition of DEC into the media beyond 25% did not significantly increase the yield of CDP. The highest yield of SDP was 47g/plant (141 g/pot) and this was achieved at 25:75 DECM. NPK fertilizer supplement to DECM had significant effect on the yield of SDP, but for CDP, the effect was limited only in 50:50 DECM, meaning at a first use, soil with addition of properly composted DEC does not necessarily need to be supplemented with NPK fertilizer to increase crop yield; however, to sustain the yield, NPK addition is necessary. Well composted DEC has a potential to be used as soil amendment for improving leafy vegetable production without the need of fertilizer application, during the first or second planting cycle. View article

Characterization and Identification of Polypore Fungi Collected from Forests in Sandakan, Sabah Based on the Macro- and Micro-morphology
Darlis Darwana; Mohd Rashid Mohd Rakib; Mohamadu Boyie Jalloh. 2019. Transactions on Science and Technology, 6(2-2), 283 - 291
Abstract Polypore is a group of fungi from the order polyporales that form fruiting bodies with pores or tubes on the underside. Although tropical rainforests are one of the global biodiversity hotspots, but the diversity of polypore fungi has been little examined especially in Sandakan, Sabah. In addition, polypore fungi probably could be exploited as bio-control agents against phytopathogens, and they should be identified. Thus, the objectives of this study were to (i) investigate the macro- and micro-morphological characteristics of polypore fungi; (ii) identify the polypore fungi based on their macro- and micro-morphologies. Fruiting bodies of polypore fungi were collected from Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) and Sandakan Rainforest Park (SRP), located in Sandakan, Sabah. In addition, few samples of polypore fungi were obtained from mushroom farms and oil palm estates. A total 35 polypore fungi were collected, their macro-morphologies were characterized based on 47 characteristics of the fruiting bodies, and then isolated using potato dextrose agar (PDA). Moreover, the in-vitro micro-morphologies of the fungi were characterized based on 37 characteristics of the pure cultures. Dendrograms were generated using unweight pair group of arithmetic averages (UPGMA). The macro-morphological characteristics exhibited high variation (20% to 90%) among the fungi. The fungi were categorized into 29 groups at 90% similarity of their macro-morphologies. While for micro-morphology, the fungi were categorized into 32 groups at 100% similarity. The isolates for micro-morphology showed less than 33% dissimilarity among the fungi. These results indicated that most polypore fungi collected are from family Polyporaceae and Ganodermataceae. Among these family, there are about 10 different genera were identified based on their macro- and micro-morphological characteristics. Either the family, genus, or species of 25 out of 35 polypore fungi (71%) were identified and others remain unidentified based on their macro- and micro-morphological characteristics. Further research should be conducted to study the potential uses of the polypore fungi, such as in bio-control against phytopathogens. View article

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