Volume 11, Issue No 2, June 2024

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Issues in Volume 11
I No 1 II No 2 (this issue) II No 2-2 II No 3 II No 4 I

Cover Page and Table of Contents

Original Articles

Application of Newton-Gauss-Seidel method for solving multi-objective constrained optimization problems
Peng Cheng; Jumat Sulaiman; Khadizah Ghazali; Majid Khan Majahar Ali; Ming Ming Xu. 2024. Transactions on Science and Technology, 11(2), 43 - 50.
Abstract Many problems in life are composed of conflicting and influencing multiple objectives, and people often encounter the optimization problem of simultaneously optimizing multiple objectives in each area, which is called multi-objective optimization problem. Therefore, solving such problems has important scientific research value and practical significance. This paper proposes a Newton Gauss-Seidel iteration method for solving multi-objective constrained optimization problems by constructing Newton directions and introducing Gauss-Seidel (GS) iterative method for solving linear equations. The solution of this combination between Newton, Gauss-seidel and Lagrange multiplier method involves two stages: objective function and constraint condition processing stage. In the first stage, the original multi-objective function is scalarized, and only the decision-maker needs to give each objective function a weight, by transforming it into a single objective constrained optimization problem. Then the Lagrange multiplier method was used to transform the constrained optimization problem into an unconstrained optimization problem. The second stage is to use the Newton-Gauss-Seidel (NGS) iterative method to solve the transformed constrained optimization problem. Finally, numerical experiments showed that our proposed algorithm can achieve good results.
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Biostimulant effects of brown seaweed extract (Sargassum polycystum) on the growth and yield of pigmented upland rice (Oryza sativa cv Tadong)
Siti Zaleha Abd Tahar; Noumie Surugau; How Siew Eng; Wei-Hsiang Tan; Lum Mok Sam. 2024. Transactions on Science and Technology, 11(2), 51 - 64.
Abstract Seaweed and its derivatives serve as natural sources of bioactive compounds widely used as biostimulants in agricultural practices to augment plant growth and boost productivity. Tadong rice, a pigmented upland rice variety, is becoming increasingly favoured by consumers in Malaysia, attributed to its perceived health benefits. However, limited commercialization of Tadong rice is attributed to its low grain yield. The present work aimed to address these concerns by utilizing plant biostimulants derived from seaweed, which represents a more environmentally friendly alternative. Seaweed extract (SE) of a brown seaweed species (Sargassum polycystum) was applied to Tadong rice plants at different concentrations (20, 40, 60, and 80%) via foliar application, along with the recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF) in an insect-proof net house. Additionally, one commercial liquid biofertilizer and one control treatment (distilled water) were tested for comparison. The growth and yield of Tadong rice were evaluated along with numerous variables. The results demonstrated that S. polycystum at a 20% concentration had a favorable impact on several growth and yield parameters of Tadong rice. The treatment increased plant height, flag leaf length, flag leaf width, tiller number, panicle number/plant, 1000-grain weight, and yield/plant of Tadong rice (5.73 to 44.11% higher) compared to the control treatment. This study demonstrates that applying SE through foliar applications can boost the growth and yield of pigmented upland rice, providing advantages for upland rice farmers and making a positive contribution to sustainable agriculture and food security. The use of the 20% concentration of SE is particularly notable from an economic perspective, as it achieves these benefits with a lower amount of material compared to higher concentration.
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Adsorption of copper (II) ions from aqueous solution using banana stem biochar
Noor Halini Baharim; Tuan Azmar Tuan Daud; Mohd Rafi Mohd Solleh; Fridelina Sjahrir; Rahmad Mohd Taib; Norazlina Idris; Hajijul Radin. 2024. Transactions on Science and Technology, 11(2), 65 - 73.
Abstract The pollution of copper (II) ions, (Cu2+) in water has become one of the big concerns since this metal can spread easily through living organisms and the environment. The accumulation of ecotoxicological Cu2+ ions is extremely dangerous and causes severe adverse effects on plants, animals, aquatic life and humans. This toxic heavy metal can be removed effectively with an adsorption treatment method by using biochar, a green adsorbent made from biomass feedstock. In this study, the adsorption capacity of biochar derived from banana stems for the removal of Cu2+ ions are examined. The dried stem material was carbonized via slow pyrolysis at 300 °C for 1 h. The produced banana stem biochar was characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX). The effect of the adsorption parameters that are initial Cu2+ ions concentration (100 – 400 mg/L), biochar dosage (0.1 – 0.6 g), pH solution (2 – 12), and stirring speed (60 – 210 rpm) were investigated in batch adsorption experiments at room temperature. Experimental setup parameters that affect the adsorption have been optimized by the one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) technique. Adsorption of Cu2+ ions on biochar increased until reaching equilibrium with increasing initial Cu2+ concentration, increasing pH, increasing stirring speed up to 120 rpm and decreasing dosage. The maximum Cu2+ ions amount adsorbed of 300.10 mg/g was achieved with optimum adsorption parameters that are 350 mg/L of initial Cu2+ ions concentration, pH 6, 0.1 g of biochar dosage and 120 rpm stirring speed. Due to the high adsorption efficiency, banana stems are potentially to be employed as an alternative adsorbent material for removing Cu2+ ions from aqueous solution. As banana stems are abundantly available agricultural wastes, its utilization as adsorbent feedstock will reduce the production and operation cost of removing various toxic metals from wastewater and be beneficial in addressing environmental issues resulting from improper disposal of agricultural wastes.
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Review Articles

An overview of toxigenic fungi associated with corn seeds and milled corn products
Mari Neila Seco; Ayn Kristina Beltran; Jonathan Jaime Guerrero; Mark Angelo Balendres. 2024. Transactions on Science and Technology, 11(2), 74 - 83.
Abstract The effects of climate change highlight concerns about food safety, including fungal contaminants, some of which could produce toxic compounds. Toxigenic fungi are expected to become more prevalent with climate change. This paper summarized the common fungal microflora of corn seeds and milled-corn products, focusing on the postharvest stage. The commonly produced mycotoxin groups and toxin-mitigating measures were also discussed. Commonly reported fungal species associated with corn seeds and milled products belong to the genera Aspergillus (A. flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, A. terreus, A. parasiticus, A. ochraceous, A. candidus), Fusarium (F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum), Penicillium (P. citrinum), Alternaria (A. alternata) and Eurotium (E. chevalieri). Six mycotoxin groups are associated with these fungal contaminants and have been detected in corn seeds. These mycotoxins were aflatoxin, fumonisin, ochratoxin, nivalenol, zearalenone, and cyclopiazonic acid. The presence of fungi does not necessarily indicate the presence of mycotoxins. Several factors affect these toxic metabolites' production, such as the fungal strains, substrate composition, moisture content, aeration, temperatures, and other storage conditions. This review provides a consolidated account of fungi detected and isolated from corn seeds and milled corn products.
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Short Communications

Single-step production of Compressed Stabilized Sludge Blocks (CSSB) using sludge from water treatment plants as the sole raw material
Jude Abel Logijin; Jeaner Lyea Joachim; Debbie Annabell Peter; Jedol Dayou. 2024. Transactions on Science and Technology, 11(2), 84 - 89.
Abstract The utilization of sludge derived from water treatment plants as a viable material in Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB) production has attracted significant interest among researchers mainly due to escalating challenges associated with sludge management, which not only pose environmental concerns but also entail substantial financial burdens. Currently, researchers use sludge only as a substitute of raw materials in CSEB manufacturing processes. However, this approach is not only complicated due to mixing ratio of many raw materials but also not fully minimized the production cost. This paper presents a pioneering approach towards Compressed Stabilized Sludge Blocks (CSSB) production utilizing a single-step method involving sludge as the sole raw material. The sludge sourced from the water treatment plant serves as the primary ingredient, blended solely with cement. Initially, the dried sludge undergoes crushing to achieve the desired particle size. Subsequently, it is evenly mixed with cement and a controlled amount of water to form a homogeneous mixture. The resulting blend is then poured into interlocking brick molds and subjected to automated compression. Following the molding process, the CSSB undergo a curing period, during which they are intermittently sprinkled with water twice daily. Finally, the CSSB are subjected to compressive strength test. Remarkably, the findings reveal that the CSSB produced using this single-step method exhibit strength that comply to standard requirement for building construction. This approach not only presents a straight-forward solution for addressing the challenges associated with sludge but also underscores its potential for sustainable sludge management while yielding multiple financial benefits.
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