Open Access Original Research Article

Morphological Assessment and Effectiveness of Indigenous Rhizobia Isolates that Nodulate P. vulgaris in Water Hyacinth Compost Testing Field in Lake Victoria Basin

Morris Muthini, John M. Maingi, John O. Muoma, Alice Amoding, Dative Mukaminega, Newton Osoro, Allan Mgutu, Omwoyo Ombori

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 718-738
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/5757

Aims: The study was aimed at isolating, identifying and assessing the effectiveness of indigenous rhizobia nodulating P. vulgaris in Lake Victoria Basin (LVB).
Study Design: Randomized complete block design.
Place and Duration of Study: Soil and nodule samples were collected from Kisumu (Kenya); Kabanyolo (Uganda) and Nyabarongo (Rwanda). Field experiments: Kisumu (Kenya). Lab and greenhouse experiments: Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences Kenyatta University (Kenya) and Makerere University (Uganda). Research was carried out between January 2012 and April 2013.
Methodology: Rhizobia were isolated from nodules obtained from P. vulgaris (rose coco variety) plants planted in the LVB water hyacinth compost trial fields and whole soil trapping experiments in the greenhouse using soil obtained from the LVB. The isolates were characterized using morphological features. Isolates from each group were used in authentication using the infection technique.
Results: One hundred and twenty eight isolates were obtained from the trapping experiments and placed into nine groups based on their morphological characteristics. Four hundred and seventy two isolates were obtained from the nodules of the P. vulgaris grown in soils amended with water hyacinth compost and were placed into sixteen groups. The isolates varied in their morphological characteristics. There was a significant difference in the infectiveness and effectiveness of the representative rhizobia isolates.
Conclusion: The studies revealed that rhizobia isolates from Lake Victoria are different morphologically. Authentication experiments, confirmed that the majority of the isolates were rhizobia due to their ability to infect the host plant P. vulgaris. All representative isolates varied in their ability to infect and fix nitrogen. Isolates that are more effective compared to the commercial Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseolistrain 446 were isolated in this study. The effective indigenous rhizobia have therefore the potential of being sources of inocula for P. vulgaris.

Open Access Original Research Article

Deposition of Conducting Oxide Thin Films as Anode for Solar Cell Device

N. Mustapha, A. Hennache, Z. Fekkai

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 739-748
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6812

Transparent Conducting Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) and Zinc Oxide (ZnO) thin films were deposited with Pulsed Laser Deposition PLD at 300°C. The ITO films have small grain size of 5-10 nm and a high value transmission (95%) in the wavelength range from 300 to 700 nm with a low resistivity of 2.25 × 10−4 Ω.cm. While Zinc Oxide (ZnO) films have grain size of 15 nm and a transmission of 85% with a resistivity of 2.10 × 10−2 Ω.cm.
A lower resistivity and better spectra selectivity is a measurement of the quality and potential use of transparent ITO and ZnO films for the application as anode electrodes for optoelectronic devices. The optimized ITO film was then used individually as anode in a solar cell based on organic conjugated polymer BEH-co-MEH-PPV. The cell fabricated in this study with an active layer made by solution-processed polymer. It was also found that the surface roughness and work function of oxide films are very important to enhance the stability and efficiency of electrode thin films used for solar cells. The solar cell structure ITO/BEHP-co-MEH-PPV/Al has shown a photovoltaic performance with open circuit voltages (Voc) of the cell being 0.45 V and power conversion efficiency of 6.4% and a fill factor of 40%.


Open Access Original Research Article

Growth of Chlorella sp. on Flue Gas

H. A. Neboh, O. K. Agwa, G. O. Abu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 749-763
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/7064

Aims: To use the ubiquitous dirt scavenger, Chlorella sp. as an affordable, low tech transducing device in the interplay between energy utilization and extreme climatic and ecological impacts which is a key to sustainable development.
Methodology: Chlorella sp. was isolated from effluent samples of a fertilizer company in the Niger Delta. The Chlorella sp. was cultured using a mixture of effluent and river water and supplied with 2%, 5%, 10% and 15% flue gas from a 3.0 kW TEC gasoline powered generator. The cultures, in triplicate, were aerated with an aquarium pump and the growth conditions were monitored as cell density (OD 600nm), cell number (cells/ml), lipid (mg/g), dry matter (mg/l) and CO2 utilization (g/l) for 14 days at an ambient temperature of 29±2ºC.
Results: The flue gas solution supported the growth of the Chlorella sp. with no lag phase. The CO2 removal in the culture was quantitatively measured as 0.0428g/l, 0.1214g/l, 0.2094g/l and 0.3219g/l for the 2%, 5%, 10% and 15% flue gas concentrations respectively. The highest increase in cell number was recorded with the 15% flue gas concentration. Dry cell weight of 3.30mg/ml, 4.40mg/ml, 5.40mg/ml and 5.60mg/ml were obtained for the 2%, 5% 10% and 15% flue gas concentrations respectively. Lipid yields of 45mg/g, 47.5mg/g, 52.5mg/g, and 57.5mg/g of cell dry weight were obtained on the 14th day for the respective flue gas concentrations.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate that an inexpensive growth medium can be realized from the flue gas, the effluent and river water for cultivation of the Chlorella sp. for biomass and lipids. The biomass can be used as food supplements (nutriceuticals) and biochemicals while the lipid can be converted into biofuel as biodiesel. The flue gas is sequestered reducing environmental pollution (a clean development methodology) which could mitigate the effects of global warming in an environmentally friendly way.


Open Access Original Research Article

Planning and Execution of the European Union-Assisted Water Supply and Sanitation Projects in Imo State, Nigeria: Constraints, Lessons and Success Factors

N. Ezirim Onyekwere, C. Onyenechere Emmanuella

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 764-774
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/5534

This paper analyses constraints, lessons and success factors, in the planning and execution of the European-Union Micro-Projects Programme on water supply in Imo State, Nigeria. The questionnaire was employed for data collection. From the results, the constraints indicated by the respondents are inadequate community involvement, sourcing of funds, reliance on top-down approach to water project delivery, inadequate distribution of sufficient surface/ground water, inappropriate cost recovery system, irregular functioning of installed facility, and inadequate local built-up capacity. It was also observed that the lessons indicated by the respondents are community involvement process, project delivery process, knowledge of project outcomes/benefits, operation and maintenance of projects, sense of project ownership, process of building capacity, and new project identification. Whereas the success factors indicated by the respondents are; inclusiveness of all socioeconomic groups, equitable sharing of costs and responsibility, stimulated timely delivery of project services, sustained achievement of project objectives, guaranteed equitable distribution of project benefits to all socioeconomic groups, promoted sense of project ownership, and stimulated new project identification. The paper concludes that the above factors provide feedback on the effectiveness of the Eu-Mpp6 externally-funded projects and they also provide the basis for formulating strategies for improving development projects in the future.


Open Access Original Research Article

Farmers’ Knowledge and Cultivation of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Verdc.) in Three Communities of Bolgatanga Municipality, Upper East Region, Ghana

M. M. Akpalu, M. Salaam, D. Oppong-Sekyere, S. E. Akpalu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 775-792
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6969

A study was conducted in Kumbosco, Zuarungu and Yarigabisi in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana. The research sought to examine the extent to which farmers’ knowledge, perception and management practices influenced the cultivation of cowpea. In the survey, both open-ended and close-ended questionnaires as well as interviews were administered. A total sample size of 60 was used for the study with 20 from each district. Data collected included sex distribution, number of acreages cultivated, household sizes, gender issues, utilization and constraints in production of the crop. Data gathered was analyzed using the Statistical package for Social Scientist (SPSS version 16.0). Frequencies, percentages, bar charts and par charts were used to analyze the various variables. The findings from the study showed that farmers in these three communities cultivated cowpea but intercropped with it millet. The research revealed again that cowpea was not cultivated by the people as a main crop (91.67%). From the study, males formed the majority (56.67%) of people involved in cultivation of cowpea. Active working age of people who engaged in cowpea production was between 30-39 years. Majority (56.67%) in these communities were Christians, even though cowpea is a traditional crop. Most of the farmers in the three communities used the local white variety (76.67%) for cultivation as compared to the improved varieties: Boufor, Asontem and Red Nkwanta varieties. Majority (68.33%) of the farmers in these communities who cultivated cowpea were married. The results revealed that smaller families (1-5, 38.33%) were more involved in cowpea production either for sale or consumption. It was revealed that the number of acres most farmers cultivated was one acre or less (63.6%) due to non-availability of land in these communities, but 6.06% cultivated 7acres of land. 88.33% of the farmers inherited the land. One of the basic aims of agricultural extension is about rural development through the introduction of appropriate interventions and strategies to farmers. Results from this research could be useful to the Ministry of Agriculture, the District Assemblies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in their poverty reduction strategies. This study would, therefore, provide an important first step at improving the crop in Ghana, particularly the North, and also provide a foundation to enhance their potential use in future, contributing to food security.

Open Access Original Research Article

Implementation of Digital Village Projects in Developing Countries - Case of Kenya

Loice V. Atieno, Christopher A. Moturi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 793-807
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6663

This paper looked at the implementation of Digital Village Projects (DVPs) in Kenya and the constraints that hinder the successful implementation of these projects. DVPs like any other Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) are projects that were initiated with the objective of economically empowering the community. The success of these projects is therefore paramount if the objective is to be achieved. An existing ICT4D assessment framework was adopted and its elements used to assess the implementation of these projects. The elements were tested using data collected through questionnaires, interview and observation. Several factors came out strongly as major hindrances to successful implementation of these projects. These include low level of information literacy, awareness, branding of DVPs, cost of services, and unavailability of affordable bandwidth. The study showed that the projects, even though still young, have contributed significantly to the lives of the beneficiaries. It is also evident that more could be achieved by adopting the adapted framework when implementing the projects.


Open Access Original Research Article

Photocatalytic Degradation of Chlorobenzene in Aqueous Solutions–Comparison of Tio2 with Periwinkle and Snail Shells’ Powder as Photo Catalyst

K. M. Oghenejoboh, F. A. Aisien, N. Ihoeghian

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 808-822
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/1901

Aim: The goal of the study is to determine the efficiency of periwinkle shell powder and snail shell powder – two locally prepared photocatalysts in comparison with TiO2 in the treatment of wastewater polluted with chlorobenzene.
Place and Duration of Study: The present study was conducted between January and October 2011 at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Benin-Nigeria as part of a Master of Engineering Degree research project.
Methodology: The obtained periwinkle (PSA) and snail (SSA) shells were crushed to powder, sieved and then analysed for the functional group (especially the transition metals) using Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) analysis. The catalytic activity of the unmodified PSA, SSA as well as their modification with H2O2 were then compared with commercial grade TiO2 (Degussa P25) for the degradation of chlorobenzene in wastewater both under laboratory condition (dark) and solar irradiation using sets of special boron-silica glass reactors. UV/VIS spectrophotometer model T70 installed with printer was used for the determination of chlorobenzene concentration while BET surface area of the catalysts was determined by means of nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm.
Results: The result show that the photocatalytic activity of pure PSA and SSA were very poor when compared with TiO2. However, PSA and SSA modified with H2O2 showed greater promise as their degradation efficiency increased by 87.98% and 41.72% respectively.
Conclusion: PSA and SSA cannot be used as photocatalyst for the degradation of organic pollutants in aqueous solution without being modified or doped with appropriate metal or non metal dopants.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Orange Peel Flour on the Quality Characteristics of Bread

L. C. Okpala, M. N. Akpu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 823-830
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6610

Aims: This study was carried out to investigate the effects of orange peel flour (OPF) substitution with wheat flour in bread production (substitution levels of 3, 6 and 9%) on the proximate composition, phytochemicals content, baking and sensory characteristics.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Food Science and Technology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria for seven months.
Methodology: Oranges were washed thoroughly and peeled. Peels were boiled in water, sundried and ground into flour. Bread was produced by replacing wheat flour with 3, 6 and 9% OPF. Bread samples were analyzed for proximate composition (fat, moisture, protein, ash, fibre and carbohydrates), phytochemicals (tannins, saponins and alkaloids), baking characteristics (oven spring, loaf volume, specific volume and weight) and sensory quality.
Results: The addition of orange peel flour led to reduction in protein (8.2-2.7%) and fat (1.7-0.8%) but increased the ash (2.3-4.3%), fibre (0.6-5.8%) and carbohydrates (59.9-62.1%) contents. Phytochemicals levels also increased with increased levels of orange peel flour in the samples. Tannins ranged from 3.6-8.0mg/g, saponins from 0.9-1.4mg/g and alkaloids from 3.6-4.8mg/g. Oven spring decreased from 2.0 to 0.2cm, loaf volume from 8.0 to 4.8cm3 and specific volume from 5.3 to 3.2cm3/g. Sensory quality decreased with increase in orange peel flour for all the attributes studied. However sensory quality of bread made with 3% OPF did not differ from that made with 100% wheat flour.
Conclusion: The use of orange peel flour in bread has the advantage of improving the fibre, ash and phytochemicals levels in bread. However only bread produced with 3% OPF had sensory quality comparable to that produced with 100% wheat. Orange peel flour in bread production will not only add value to food but will also reduce environmental pollution as well as reduce the cost of importation of wheat.


Open Access Original Research Article

Estimation of Shear Wave Velocity for Near-surface Characterisation; Case Study: Ifako/Gbagada Area of Lagos State, S.W. Nigeria

B. Adegbola Rafiu, O. Badmus Ganiyu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 831-840
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6841

Near-surface shear–wave velocity profiles were acquired at four locations; these at strategic stations in Ifako/Gbagada a sub-urban area in Lagos State. The geophysical surveyed obtained the shear-wave velocity data using Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) technique. These data were acquired with a view to delineating the existing or potential hazards relating to subsidence, distressing and weakening of structures above the earth which is important to public safety, mitigation of property damage and to see the effectiveness of MASW technique in engineering site investigation. The processing method was fully automated by software called SURFSEIS. The study showed that the entire profiles depicted a very low shear-wave velocity (~80m/s to 160m/s) region down to 15m, a signature of saturated peaty/clayey formation. Thus, subsidence, distressing and weakening of structures were inferred to probably resulted from the loose nature of the subsurface soil.


Open Access Original Research Article

Geology, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Clay Occurrences within the Northern Anambra Basin, Nigeria

S. O. Idakwo, E. K. Alege, Y. B. Gideon

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 841-852
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/6968

Clay occurrences at Aloji, Udane Biomi, Ofe-jiji and Agbenema, within Northern Anambra Basin were characterized mineralogically and geochemically in order to investigate its compositional characteristics and petrogenesis. Mineralogical analysis portrays kaolinite as the only observable clay mineral.
Abundances of major oxides show that SiO2 (69.67 – 90.28%) and Al2O3 (5.10 – 15.24%) constitute over 76% of the bulk chemical compositions, the high content of Si02 shows that the source rocks are rich in quartz and silica-rich minerals confirming the grittiness of the clay. Other oxides are present in relatively very small amounts. The occurrences of Ca0, Na0 and K20 which are the major components of feldspar in clay suggest the clay to be of granitic origin possibly from Oban Massif, east of the Anambra Basin.
Although notable disparities exist in the SiO2 and Al2O3 contents of the clays, the Udane Biomi is more siliceous and less aluminous than the others whereas, the Aloji clay is more aluminous than others confirming a high degree of weathering activities.
Evaluation of the clays based on their mineralogical and geochemical characteristics revealed that they are suitable for the production of refractory bricks only.