Open Access Original Research Article

Smallholder Farm Households’ Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate-induced Food Insecurity

A. Candradijaya, C. Kusmana, Y. Syaukat, L. Syaufina, A. Faqih

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 4974-4991
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12848

Smallholder farm households seem to have no alternative in addressing climate-induced food insecurity, but to adapt their livelihood systems to the changing climate condition. The study aimed to explore the link between climate-induced rice-insufficiency and vulnerability level of smallholder farm households, which determined their household-level adaptation responses, in Sumedang District, West Java Province, Indonesia. The Climate Change Impact, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (CCIAV) approach, developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was applied. The result suggested that under current climate condition, most smallholder farm households in the study area were already insufficient in their rice availability, as indicated by their low rice sufficiency level (HRSL). With no adaptation, climate condition was likely to worsen the smallholders’ rice sufficiency status, by shifting the currently rice-sufficient household to be rice-insufficient, or forced those who were already insufficient to be severely insufficient. Further analysis indicated a link between household rice sufficiency status and the composite household vulnerability level (HVI), where rice-severely-insufficient households typically had the highest composite-HVI (0.54), relative to rice-insufficient (0.46) and rice-sufficient households (0.39). Meanwhile, the application of the IPCC-vulnerability framework approach suggested a link between smallholders’ adaptation and vulnerability level. The adapted households typically had smaller overall IPCC-HVI than the non-adapted did, where the IPCC-HVI of the on-farm, off-farm, and the combined on-and off- adapted households was recorded, respectively at -0.11, -0.03, and -0.12, substantially lower than the non-adapted (+0.11). The study also recognized five major areas for adaptation-strengthening interventions in the study area, which involved in sequence according to its level of priority: (1) food condition, (2) irrigation, (3) livelihood, (4) knowledge, and (5) finance.

Open Access Original Research Article

Lead Removal from Contaminated Water by Corn and Palm Nut Husks

Lovell Agwaramgbo, Amarachi Iwuagwu, J. Alinnor

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 4992-4999
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/13315

This study evaluates the efficacy of using two local, cheap, and abundant waste materials such as charred husks from corn and palm nut for the remediation of lead contaminated water. The study was conducted for the development of a very cheap, natural, easy to prepare, and effective technology for the rural natives to remove lead contaminant from water as there was a concern that the dust and soil lead contamination that killed over 500 people in Nigeria could contaminate the water resources. Charred husks from corn cob and palm nut were respectively exposed to 50 ml of 102 ppm of aqueous lead nitrate solution for 48 hours at room temperature without agitation. The mixture was filtered and the filtrate was analyzed for residual lead concentrations using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The results indicated that the two biosorbents were very effective in removing lead from contaminated aqueous solution with 92-99% removal efficiency. The study concluded that charred palm nut and corn cob husks can be used as cheap and safe bioremediators of lead contaminated water.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of the Geotechnical Properties of Residual Soils in Two Different Basement Complex Areas of Nigeria

Imoukhuede M. Idehai, Ayibawari O. Egai, Michael E. Okiotor

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5000-5013
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12679

Rocks from the Basement Complex areas of Nigeria weather to produce residual soils of varying geomechanical properties. Two such soils from the zone of accumulation were collected from Ore (Ors) and Abuja (Abs). The soils were understudied for their suitability for use as construction materials by subjecting to geotechnical analyses in order to evaluate their index and engineering properties. Ors with clays, silts, sands and gravel of (17, 22, 60 & 01) % respectively, and specific gravity of 2.57 g/cm3 is classified as a silty sand with clays whereas Abs is clayey sands with gravels. Their index properties are in the order: LL, (43.45 & 51.7) %; PI, (12.14 & 31.57) %; linear shrinkage, (8.57 & 12.1) %; free swell, (11.1 & 22.5) %; liquidity index, (-1.10 & -0.09); group index, (3.30 & 9.54); and plasticity plots, (ML & CH) for Ors and Abs respectively. Similarly, their engineering characteristics are as follows: maximum dry density, (1.52 & 1.49) g/cm3; optimum moisture content, (22.0 & 22.5) %; change in void ratio, (0.18 & 0.39); change in porosity, (0.05 & 0.10); cohesion (20.65 & 31.65) KN/m2; shear strength, (86.63 & 88.9) KN/m2; and CBR, (27.86 & 26.79) % respectively. Overall, this study shows that whilst Ors has superior analytes properties, both soils can be used as subgrades in flexible pavement design as well as for many other common construction purposes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Lifespan of Aspilia africana Dye Sensitised Solar Cell Using Benzoic Acid

Boyo Adenike, Kesinro Olasunkanmi, Oseni Olanrewaju

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5014-5020
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12416

Aspilia africana flower dye was extracted by using ethanol as solvent. Absorbance of the extracted dye were measured at different wavelengths and used in fabricating Dye sensitized solar cells. The mixture of dye with TiO2 indicates changes in absorbance values and the phytochemical screening shows the presence of anthocyanin and flavonoids in the plant. Benzoic acid was mixed with the extracted dye to prolong the effectiveness of the dye and the solar cell was observed for a period of time. The sintered film for the control cell was characterized by FTIR and reported. We noticed that benzoic acid has a variety impacts on life span and electrical characteristics of the dye Sensitized solar cell. This can be concluded that the addition of benzoic acid can increase the life span of DSSC.

Open Access Original Research Article

Adsorption of Cu (II) Ions from Aqueous Solution onto Chemically Prepared Activated Carbon from Theobroma cacoa

D. L. Ajifack, J. N. Ghogomu, T. D. Noufame, J. N. Ndi, J. M. Ketcha

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5021-5044
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12742

This present research was aimed at studying the adsorption characteristics of Cu(II) ions from aqueous solutions onto two samples of low-cost, cocoa shell-based activated carbons (CSBAC) using the batch adsorption mode. Activated carbon samples were obtained by chemical treatment via pyrolysis using phosphoric acid (PAA) and potassium hydroxide (PHA) as activation agent. Findings from the studies unveiled a pH at zero-point charge (pHzpc) of 7.0 and 5.9 for PAA and PHA samples respectively. Contact time of 35 minutes for PAA and 15 minutes for PHA at pHmax = 4 by 0.1 g were observed. Optimum adsorption quantities were 62.2 mg/g for PAA and 42.2 mg/g for PHA for an initial metal ion concentration of 2400 ppm. The Langmuir model for PHA and Freundlich model for PAA best described the adsorption of Cu (II) ions from aqueous solution. The two CSBAC samples both obeyed pseudo-second order kinetics. Generally, these results indicate that CSBAC can be used as an effective and low-cost adsorbent for the removal of Cu (II) ions from aqueous solutions.

Open Access Original Research Article

Quality Characteristics of Pre-treated Yam Chips Produced from Irradiated Yams

Joyce Agyei-Amponsah, Mavis Owureku-Asare, Wisdom Selorm K. Agbemavor, Jonathan Armah, Abena Okyere, Elvis Baidoo, Solomon Dowuona, Charles Tortoe

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5045-5057
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/13081

Aims: The objective of this research was to study the effect of irradiation on some quality characteristics of yam chips produced from irradiated yam tubers.
Study Design: In this study, irradiated yam (Lariboko) was processed into yam chips and quality characteristics (moisture, texture and colour) of the frozen yam chips evaluated over 4 weeks storage period.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out at the Radiation Technology Centre of BNARI and Food Research Institute of CSIR, between November 2011 to September 2013.
Methodology: Yam samples were irradiated at 0Gy (control), 120Gy and 200Gy at the Gamma Irradiation Facility (GIF) of the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), Accra at the rate of 0.3927kGy/hr. Irradiated yam samples were washed and peeled. The mid sections of the tubers were diced into chips (1 x 1 x 7cm) and divided into 3 groups. Each group was dipped into 0.1% Citric Acid (CA), 0.1% Sodium Metabisulphite (SMBS) and Blanched (BLA) in boiling water for 1min. The treated samples were vacuum packed and blast frozen to Maxi chill (-26ºC) for 1½ hours and then stored in a freezer at - 20ºC. Moisture was determine by air-oven method (AOAC), tristimulus colour L*a*b* was measured, and TX plus Texture Analyzer (Gallenkamp hotbox oven, UK) used to determine the texture characteristics.
Results: Gamma irradiation doses significantly affected (P=.000) the hardness of the yam chips and only affected the surface elasticity in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of storage. There was a low negative correlation (R = -.095) between hardness and surface elasticity of the treated samples at the various doses. Irradiation did not have a significant effect on the Lightness, L*colour index of the yam chips produced, however L* for the irradiated samples was relatively higher compared to the un-irradiated samples. Irradiation also affected the moisture contents of chips treated with both CA and SMBS significantly (P<.05).
Conclusion: Combination treatment of gamma irradiation at an optimum dose of 120Gy with chemical treatments with SMBS or CA is recommended for the processing of yams into chips all year round.

Open Access Original Research Article

Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metals in Soils from Municipal Solid Waste Landfill

J. C. Ifemeje, S. C. Udedi, C. B. Lukong, A. U. Okechukwu, C. Egbuna

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5058-5071
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12324

Aims: The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals in soils from Onitsha municipal solid waste landfill were studied.
Study Design: The Onitsha solid waste dumpsite were divided into two groups, the active site labelled (A), where waste dumping is still actively practised and the dormant site labelled (B) with passive or withdrawing waste dumping. Soil samples were obtained in triplicate at each site at the depth of 0-15 cm using calibrated soil auger. At each sampling site, the surface debris were removed and subsurface soil dug to 0-15 cm. Then 20g of soil sample from each depth was taken into a sterile container and transported to the laboratory for analysis.
Place and Duration of Study: The Analysis was done at the Department of Biochemistry, Anambra State University, Department of Applied Biochemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Spring Board Research Laboratory, Awka between February and sMarch 2014.
Methodology: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined simultaneously using high resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) (GC/MS Shimadzzi QP 2010) while Heavy metals were analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).
Results: The result showed that Low molecular weight PAHs were not detected in both active and dormant dumpsite. High molecular weight PAHs (HMW PAHs) were predominant in soil from active site. Among the HMW PAHs, Benzo (a) pyrene was highest followed by Benzo(k) fluoranthene and Indeno (1,2,3-cd) pyrene and the least was 1,2 Benzo(a)anthracene. The medium molecular weight PAHs (MMW PAHs) Fluoranthene occurred sparingly in the active dumpsite. The result of heavy metal concentration in the soil were in the order of Fe > Cu > Zn > Cr > Pb > Ni > Cd.
Conclusion: PAHs and Heavy metal concentration were found to be very high and as such the practice of cultivating vegetables on soil from these dumpsites for agricultural purposes should be discouraged.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Background Ionization Radiation of Oil Spillage Site at Obodo Creek in Gokana L.G.A of River State, Nigeria

O. Avwiri Gregory, U. Nte Felix, E. Esi Oghenevovwero

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 5072-5079
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/12502

The assessment of background ionization radiation of oil spillage site at Obodo Creek in Gokana L.G.A of River State, Nigeria was carried out. An In-situ measurement was done usinga well calibrated nuclear radiation meter (Radalert-100) and a geographical positioning system (GPS). The mean background Ionization radiation values from the East, West, North and South cardinal direction of the spill site are 0.0164±0.004mR/hr, 0.0164±0.004mR/hr, 0.0171±0.006mR/hr and 0.0155±0.004mR/hr respectively while the mean Equivalent Dose Rate value are 1.3287±0.002mSv/y, 1.2278±0.001mSv/y, 1.4380±0.002mSv/y and 1.3035±0.002mSv/y. Both the background ionization radiation and equivalent dose rate levels obtained values are higher than the normal world average background ionization radiation (BIR) level of 0.013mR/h and 1.0mSv/y respectively ICRP [1]. This study revealed that the crude oil spill site environment may have been impacted, but there is no immediate health implication. However, it will pose some long-term health side effects on the residents and the environment.