Open Access Short Communication

Mineral Compositions of an Edible Emulsion (Bemul-Wax) from Cassava (Manihot esculentum) Starch

Afolabi Israel Sunmola, Oloyede Oyelola Bukoye

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 16-22
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/617

Aims: An edible coating “bemul-wax” developed from cassava starch (Manihot esculentum) was examined for its safety for coating agro-crops.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Place and duration of study: Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Chemistry/ Biochemistry Laboratory, Km. 3, Asa-Dam Road, P.M.B. 1489, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria., between January 2007 and July 2007.

Methodology: Some minerals component of the emulsion were assessed and compared with their recommended safety standards.

Results: The emulsion was found to contain some health beneficial mineral elements (sodium, potassium, copper, calcium, manganese, iron, and zinc) to human kind. Bicarbonate, fluorine, chlorine, nitrate, sulphate, and phosphate were also found at a level of 35.90 ± 0.09, 1.16 ± 0.04, 112 ± 3.13, 53.93 ± 2.99, 4.10 ± 0.03 and 5.64 ± 0.07 mg/L, respectively. The major minerals component of the wax emulsion were found to be calcium (108.1 mg/L), chlorine (112.93 mg/L) and to a lesser extent sodium (87.17 mg/L) and nitrate (53.93 mg/L).

Conclusion: Bemul-wax and its coated products may be considered safe for consumption from elemental point of view. It may also be a good source of health beneficial minerals.


Open Access Original Research Article

An Evaluation of the Global Potential of Cocoyam (Colocasia and Xanthosoma species) as An Energy Crop

B. A. Adelekan

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/603

Aims: To evaluate the potential of cocoyam (Colocasia and Xanthosoma species) for the production of ethanol and methane for use as energy sources.
Study design: Laboratory experimentation.
Place and duration of study: Federal College of Agriculture Ibadan and Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria between December 2010 and June 2011.
Methodology: Five, 15, 25 and 35 kg samples of peeled cocoyam corms were weighed in three replicates. Next, the weighed cocoyam was soaked in clean water for 24 hr, and afterwards placed on a clean tray and allowed to air dry naturally for 4 hr. The cocoyam corms were then cut and the pieces transferred to a mortar where they were mashed to attain sufficient size reduction. The mash was then transferred into a plastic bucket. Five
hundred, 650, 800 and 950 ml of N-hexane (C6H14) was added to the 5, 15, 25 and 35kg samples. The mash was thoroughly stirred to achieve an even mixture with the hexane. It was then covered and left undisturbed in the laboratory at room temperature for 8 days. The fermented mash was poured onto a 0.6 mm aperture size sieve and completely squeezed to dryness while the liquid filtered through the sieve. N-hexane was removed from the filtered liquid. The collected liquid was poured into a glass dish and then gradually heated at 79°C for a total of 10 hr (at intervals of 2 hr heating followed by 1 hr cooling) to ensure complete evaporation of any trapped H2O or CO2 remaining in it. Afterwards the final liquid (ethanol) was allowed to cool normally in the lab and its mass, volume and other properties were measured.
Results: It was found that ethanol was yielded at the rate of 139 L/tonne of cocoyam. Therefore, 10 million tonnes annual global production of cocoyam is potentially able to produce 331 million gallons of ethanol (i.e. 200 million gallons gasoline equivalent) or 39.5 million cubic metres of methane which on burning would produce 179.3 x 107 MJ of energy. The mash obtained as byproduct of the processes is capable of supplying 59 calories of food energy per 100g. 
Conclusion: Cocoyam has very good potential as a source of ethanol and methane. Its use as a renewable source of energy for the production of biofuels is recommended and doing so poses no threat to the environment or food supply. The mash produced is an excellent feedstock for livestock. The scientific innovation and relevance of this study lies in the fact that cocoyam is a renewable produce and the fermentation and anaerobic digestion methods used are applicable across countries and regions irrespective of available degree of industrialization and climate.


Open Access Original Research Article

Application of Artificial Neural Network for Predicting the Indoor Air Temperature in Modern Building in Humid Region

Alexis Kémajou, Léopold Mba, Pierre Meukam

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 23-34
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/641

This work was aimed to apply the artificial neural network (ANNs) for predicting indoor air temperature in modern building, seven hours in advance in humid region, using as inputs only the outdoor air temperature and the last six hourly values of indoor air temperature. The building experiment is built with cement hallow block in the town of Douala in Cameroon, and the experimentation was carried out for six months. Experimental data were used to determine the optimal ANN structure with Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm by using Matlab software. The optimal structure was the multilayer perceptron (MLP) with seven input variables, thirty hidden neurons and one neuron in the output layer. The activation functions were respectively the hyperbolic tangent in the hidden layer and the linear function in the output layer. Moreover, the indoor air temperature results simulated by using the developed ANN model were strongly correlated with the experimental data. These results testified that ANN can be valuable tool for hourly indoor air temperature prediction in particular and others indoor air parameters of building, such as relative humidity, cooling loads.


Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Study of Potassium Halides Parameters with Many Body and van der Waals Three Body Force Shell Model [VTBFSM]

U. C. Srivastava

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 35-47
DOI: 10.9734/cjast/2012/v2i18426

In present paper authors have used the theoretical model for calculation of value of different model parameters of potassium halides by using the effect of Many body (Puri and Verma, 1977) (Basic model for calculation and aurthor directley used the all calculated value of many body) and compared by van der Waals three body force shell model. In presence of both the effects, better result came, which gave good agreement between theoratical and experimental result. Inclusion of van der Waals interactions (VWI) and three body interactions in the framework of a polarizable rigid shell model (RSM) gave FOEC (Forth order elastic constants), which is not possible to calculate only by many body effects. By using VTBFS model we can calculate all parameters like second and third order elastic constants (SOEC, TOEC and FOEC), pressure derivatives of first, second order and cauchy relation. So calculated result, compared well with the corresponding experimental results, which provided important theoratical formula to calculate all the property of alkali halides, earth alkaline metal and also for chalcoganides. So inclusion of [VTBFSM] interactions gave complete theoratical investigation for all type crystals.


Open Access Original Research Article

Energy, Iron and Zinc Densities of Commonly Consumed Traditional Complementary Foods in Nigeria

Joy A. Ogbonnaya, A. O. Ketiku, C. N. Mojekwu, J. N. Mojekwu, J. A. Ogbonnaya

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 48-57
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/553

Aim: To assess the energy, iron and zinc densities of ten selected commonly consumed traditional complementary foods in Nigeria.
Study Design: Survey and Experimental study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Hotel and Catering Management, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria between June and August, 2004.
Methodology: A validated interviewer-administered questionnaire was distributed to 600 nursing mothers and used to identify the most commonly consumed traditional complementary foods in Nigeria. Thereafter, ten traditional complementary foods were selected and analyzed for proximate composition, iron and zinc using Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric methods.
Results: The traditional complementary foods have high moisture content ranging from 55.80% to 91.17%. The protein content of the complementary foods ranged from 1.06g/100g to 13.81g/100g. The energy densities of the selected traditional complementary ranged from 0.48kcal/g to1.50kcal/g. The study revealed that half of the traditional complementary foods in this study did not meet the PAHO/WHO recommendation of 0.8kcal/g while the remaining half exceeded this basic requirement for energy densities. However, the high requirement of 7.7mg and 1.6mg for iron and zinc densities respectively, could not be met by any of the complementary foods assessed.
Conclusion: Incorporation of some animal foods into these plant based diets will have a lot of advantages as animals-source foods are good sources of readily available haemiron and zinc. Therefore, more recipes should be developed to improve the intake of animal source foods which are needed to ensure adequate protein, iron and zinc densities of complementary foods for infants in Nigeria.


Open Access Original Research Article

Geoelectrical Investigation of the Groundwater Potential in Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria

L. Adeoti, O. M. Alile, O. Uchegbulam, R. B. Adegbola

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 58-71
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/677

Electrical resistivity survey was carried out to delineate subsurface layers and to determine the ground water potential in the study area. The study was carried out using the ABEM SAS 1000 terrameter which worked on 16 vertical electrical sounding (VES) points within the area. A maximum distance of 550m current electrode spread was adopted for this survey. The result showed the presence of four geoelectric layers with the resistivity of the first layer ranging from 25.54Ωm to 619.45Ωm and thickness of 0.14-9.21m representing topsoil. The second geoelectric layer has resistivity ranging from 20.94Ωm to 706.82Ωm and thickness of 2.58 to 35.36m representing laterite. The third geoelectric layer has resistivity ranging from 12.29Ωm to 598.93Ωm and thickness of 3.33 to 58.06m representing sandy clay. The fourth geoelectric layer has resistivity ranging from 12.1Ωm to 1980.52Ωm and thickness of 11.4 to 45m representing sand. The depth to the aquifers are 13.11m, 55.31m, 6.35m, 50.28m, 51.08m and 28.01m in VES 1, 2, 6, 9, 11 and 16 respectively.

Open Access Original Research Article

Harmattan Dust: Composition, Characteristics and Effects on Soil Fertility in Enugu, Nigeria

Ifeanyi C. Enete, E. A . Obienusi, I. N. Igu, R. Ayadiulo

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 72-81
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2012/950

Aim: This study examines the characteristics of harmattan dust and its composition in Enugu, Nigeria.
Study Design: Survey Study.
Place and Duration of Study: Enugu urban between October – April of 2009/10 and October – April, 2010/11.
Methodology: Five different sites were selected as experimental sites where dusts were collected (Achara layout, Abakpa, New layout, Independence layout and Trans-Ekwulu). Atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) bulk scientific 205 model was used to determine the concentration of elements in the dust sample. Also, a modified version of Angstrom -Prescott method of estimating global radiation was employed.
Results: The result showed a significant difference in the composition of dust particles brought into Enugu via harmattan and that of soil existing in Enugu urban. The conclusion was reached based on the analysis conducted on the elemental analysis, mineralogy composition and physical properties of the dust. It also showed that solar radiation was depleted during harmattan season by dust particles.
Conclusion: Chemical properties of harmattan dust increases the fertility of Enugu soil while the depletion ability of harmattan dust is seen in the drastic reduction of visibility in the city during harmattan period with other multiplier effects.