Volume 3, Issue No 1, April 2016

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

Cover Page and Table of Contents

Full Articles

Identification of Trichoderma Species From Wet Paddy Field Soil Samples
Azriah Asis; Shafiquzzaman Siddiquee. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 1 - 7
Abstract Trichoderma species has gained immense economic importances because of their production of industrial enzymes and antifungal antibiotics, used as biocontrol agents, used in textile industry and as plant growth promoter. Thus, the correct identification of the species is necessary for its commercial demand. Preliminary identification of the species is usually based on its morphological properties, but the result is inadequate for species level identification. Molecular approaches using a single gene to multiple genes have applied for valid species identification. The main aim of this study is to characterize the genetic variability among twenty isolates of Trichoderma, obtained from wet paddy field soil. Data analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the rDNA and a partial sequence of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (TEF1) were constructed in a phylogenetic analysis and were positively identified as Trichoderma asperellum (85%), T. harzianum (10%) and T. reesei (5%). The result confirmed the potential of molecular data in differentiating the species-specific level among all Trichoderma isolates. View article

The Detection of Calcium and Sodium Using Green Algae Spirogyra
Ling Shing Wong; Wen Yi Kiew. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 8 - 12
Abstract Continuous monitoring of metals is necessary due to the influx of metals into the environment from human activities. The presence of green algae Spirogyra in various water bodies can be used as an effective bioindicator for the detection of metals. In this paper, naturally available pigments in Spirogyra - chlorophylls and carotenoids were used to detect the presence of light metals by measuring the light absorbance at λ = 663 nm and 450 nm respectively, before and after the exposure to Ca and Na. The results showed both markers were sensitive to the presence of Ca and Na in aqueous environment, with carotenoids gave a better response. As all markers showed high correlation to the concentration of metals within 0.001 mg/L - 0.100 mg/L, Spirogyra had great potential to be as bioindicator for Ca and Na in aqueous environment. View article

Comparison of Conventional and Innovative Technique in Monolith Homogeneity Analysis
Yi Wei Chan; Tamar Kansil; Clarence M. Ongkudon. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 13 - 18
Abstract For more than a decade, monolith up scaling has been a huge hurdle as it is tricky to eradicate the exothermic heat associated with the construction of polymethacrylate monolithic column that builds up instantly and results in cracking of monolith sorbents and heterogeneous pore size distribution. Temperature profiling and average pore size analysis have been the most common methods done to determine the degree of heterogeneity caused by internal heat buildup. In our opinion, the mean pore size alone failed to provide enough information to prove the monolith is indeed non - or homogeneous. In this research, we have incorporated pore size distribution analysis together with temperature profiling and qualitative analysis through SEM (PTS) to make a conclusive judgment on homogeneity of monolith. The findings showed that PTS analysis provided more data and trends that could accurately determine the homogeneity of monolith compared to conventional analysis method. View article

Combusted Molluscs Shell as Solid Base Catalyst for Transesterification to Produce Biodiesel
Dayang Aisah Abang Chi; Norhasnan Sahari; Rabuyah Ni; Zani@Zaini Assim. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 19 - 24
Abstract Calcium oxide (CaO) catalyst was synthesized thermally from molluscs shell. The raw material was calcined at temperature between 500 to 1000°C. Both commercial CaO and CaO from combusted cockle shell were used as catalyst in the transesterification reaction. The transesterification reaction was conducted in a mixture of methanol:oil (12:1, v/v) and 8 wt % catalyst for the required reaction time was used. The content was refluxed in ultrasonic bath at 65°C for 15 minutes. The non-ultrasonic reaction was performed using magnetic stirrer for 3 hours. Combustion of cockle shells at 500, 600, 700 and 800°C showed no significant difference in XRD patterns and the XRD patterns are similar to calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The peaks correspond to CaO (2θ = 32.2° and 37.4°) appeared in the XRD pattern of combusted cockle shell at 900 °C and 1000 °C, respectively. However, a peak corresponds to CaCO3 (2θ = 29.4°) disappeared at 900oC. These results indicate CaCO3 transformed to CaO by combustion at or above 900°C. The percentage conversion for CaO from commercial and cockles via mechanical stirring were 96.65% and 96.77%, respectively and 88.40% and 93.33%, respectively, via ultrasonic irradiation. The percentage yield of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) from both sources of CaO were found to be comparable with percentage yield of CaO from cockles which were 27.0% and 29.3% for mechanical stirring and ultrasonic irradiation, respectively. CaO from cockles shell combusted at above 900°C provides a better catalyst than commercial CaO for transesterification reaction due to the higher calcite purity. View article

Carbon Stock Estimation of Agroforestry System in Tawau, Sabah
Herawandi Suardi; Normah Awang Besar; Mui-How Phua; Mazlin Mokhtar. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 25 - 30
Abstract Studies on total aboveground carbon (TAC) and belowground carbon (TBC) stock has been conducted in Balung Plantation, Tawau, Sabah. The main objective of the study was to determine the above and below ground carbon stock in agroforestry system. The combination of agroforestry systems with different ages were investigated, which is oil palm (25 years) and agarwood (7 years), oil palm (20 years) and agarwood (7 years), and oil palm (17 years) and agarwood (5 years). Monoculture of oil palm (16 years) and Tawau Hill Park forest reserve was set as control. A random systematic sampling method was used in conducting field inventory and soil sampling. The size of the sampled area in agroforestry and monoculture is 3 × 50m × 50m, while for forest reserve, the sampled area is 3 x 30m x 30m. Allometric equations were used to calculate the stand biomass. Sampling for organic and shrub layers were collected in a square frame (1m × 1m). Soil samples and bulk density was collected from three different layers which are 0 – 5 cm, 5 – 10 cm and 10 – 30 cm in randomly located sites within the plots. Soil samples, organic and shrub layer were analyzed using CHN628 series for carbon content. Result shows that the amount of total carbon stock in agroforestry was 79.12 tan C ha-1, 85.39 tan C ha-1 and 78.27 tan C ha-1, respectively. Monoculture of oil palm (16 years) has 76.44 tan C ha-1 while Tawau Hill Park forest reserve has total carbon stock at 287.38 tan C ha-1. Forest reserve stand has the highest total carbon stock compared to agroforestry and monoculture systems. But, in terms of soil carbon, forest reserve has the lowest TBC compared to agroforestry and monoculture systems. ANOVA was conducted to explore the impact of planting systems on total carbon stock. There was a statistically significant difference at the p less than .05 level for soil carbon, living tree and organic layer between agroforestry, monoculture and forest reserve. Good crop and fertilizer management in agroforestry and monoculture systems helps in increasing soil organic carbon (SOC). View article

Path Planning Algorithm in Complex Environment: A Survey
Atikah Janis; Abdullah Bade. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 31 - 40
Abstract Path finding algorithm is a very challenging problem for navigating autonomous virtual robots in complex environment. A reliable navigation system must be able to identify the virtual robot current location, avoid any collisions and determine the smooth path trajectory of the object. At present, the needs to produce systematic and efficient path finding algorithm with impressive collision scheme has led number of researchers to conduct various experiments to improve and modify the existing algorithms in order to solve several issues in path planning algorithm with collision avoidance for autonomous virtual robot. This paper presents series of path planning algorithms for the last 10 years in order to solve the navigation of autonomous virtual robot in complex environment. We believe that all algorithms reviewed in this paper will give researchers in the field of virtual environment, collision detection and robotic about some fundamental background, issues and challenges on how navigation procedures of autonomous virtual robot in such a complex environment works. View article

Study of the Adhesion Properties of the Electrode and the Piezoelectric Film-Type Sensor
Se-Gi Park; Hui-Yun Hwang. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 41 - 46
Abstract PVDF film sensor embedded tactile sensing systems have been used due to their flexible and adaptable characteristics to curved surfaces. For reliable sensing, PVDF film sensor must be firmly fixed to a specific location of the substrate because the deformation of the substrate must be transmitted well to the PVDF film sensor. Therefore, adhesion of the substrate and the film sensor is an important factor. We implement adhesion test between the film and the electrode. The electrodes were fabricated on the film by plasma sputtering method. With gold and silver coated PVDF films, pull-off tests and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) were conducted to figure out the adhesion characteristics between the electrode and the film according to the type and thickness of the electrode. Adhesion strength between the electrode and PVDF films increased as the plasma sputtering duration increased and seems to be saturated to the certain value. View article


Plate Tectonics and Seismic Activities in Sabah Area
Kuei-Hsiang Cheng. 2016. Transactions on Science and Technology, 3(1), 47 - 58
Abstract Ever since the Pliocene which was 1.6 million years ago, the structural geology of Sabah is already formed; it is mainly influenced by the early South China Sea Plate, which is subducted into the Sunda Plate. However, since the Cenozoic, the Sunda Plate is mainly influenced by the western and southern of the Sunda-Java Arc and Trench system, and the eastern side of Luzon Arc and Trench system which has an overall impact on the tectonic and seismic activity of Sunda plate. Despite the increasing tectonic activities of Sunda-Java Arc and Trench System, and of Luzon Arc and Trench System since the Quaternary, which cause many large and frequent earthquakes. One particular big earthquake is the M9.0 one in Indian Ocean in 2004, leading to more than two hundred and ninety thousand deaths or missing by the tsunami caused by the earthquake. As for Borneo island which is located in residual arc, the impact of tectonic earthquake is trivial; on the other hand, the Celebes Sea which belongs to the back-arc basin is influenced by the collision of small plates, North Sulawesi, which leads to two M above 7 earthquakes (1996 M7.9 and 1999 M7.1) in the 20th century. In Sabah, there is a complete record of earthquake catalog for more than 40 years. The major earthquake affected Sabah area is from the northwest to the southeast of the seismic zone. The present study is based on the 66 earthquakes (M above 3.7) occurred in Sabah areas since 1974. With the use of seismic zoning method, Sabah area is divided into eight seismic zones. The study uses two predictive models, GM (1,1) model and GM (1,1) Verhulst model of Grey Forecasting theory in Grey System Theory, to evaluate these eight seismic potential zones of future earthquakes. The result shows that Sandakan, Semporna and Celebes Sea have reached a critical point of accumulating seismic energy. If any trigger factor appears, there is a high possibility for moderate to heavy earthquakes to occur. Additionally, there will be high earthquake potential in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kudat, Ranau, Tarakan and Sitangkai within the next seven years (2015-2022). Possible disaster reduction is needed. View article

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