Mechanical, Thermal and Biodegradable Properties of Bioplast-Spruce Green Wood Polymer Composites

Environmental and sustainability concerns push the industries to manufacture alternative materials having less environmental impact. The Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) produced by blending the biopolymers and natural fillers permit not only to tailor the desired properties of materials but also are the solution to meet the environmental and sustainability requirements. This work presents the elaboration and characterization of the fully green WPCs prepared by blending a biopolymer, BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust used as filler with different amounts. Since both components are bio-based, the resulting material is entirely environmentally friendly. The mechanical, thermal, structural properties of these WPCs were characterized by different analytical methods like tensile, flexural and impact tests, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). Their water absorption properties and resistance to the termite and fungal attacks were determined in relation with different wood filler content. The tensile and flexural moduli of WPCs increased with increasing amount of wood fillers into the biopolymer, but WPCs became more brittle compared to the neat polymer. Incorporation of spruce sawdust modified the thermal properties of polymer: The degradation, cold crystallization, and melting temperatures shifted to higher temperatures when spruce sawdust was added into polymer. The termite, fungal and water absorption resistance of WPCs decreased with increasing wood amount in WPCs, but remained in durability class 1 (durable) concerning fungal resistance and quoted 1 (attempted attack) in visual rating regarding to the termites resistance except that the WPC with the highest wood content (30 wt%) rated 2 (slight attack) indicating a long term durability. All the results showed the possibility to elaborate the easy injectable composite materials with adjustable properties by incorporation of BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust. Therefore, lightweight WPCs allow both to recycle wood industry byproducts and to produce a full ecologic material.

Solomon 300 OD (Betacyfluthrin+Imidacloprid): A Combi-Product for the Management of Insect-Pests of Chilli (Capsicum annum L.)

Chilli (Capsicum annum L.) an important commercial vegetable crop is ravaged by a number of insect-pests during both vegetative and reproductive phase resulting into significant crop loss.Thrips, Scirtothripsdorsalis, mite, Polyphagotarsonemuslatus and whitefly, Bemisiatabaci are the key sap feeding insects, their infestation leads to leaf curl, stunted growth and yield loss.During flowering and fruit formation stage, gall midge fly, Asphondyliacapparis (Rubsaaman) infesting flower buds and young fruits andHelicoverpaarmigera (Hubner) feeding on matured green fruits are the important insect pests causing significant crop loss.The pest is known to infest both flower buds and young fruits resulting into malformation of flower buds and twisting of fruits.In order to manage these insect-pests a combi product consisting of imidacloprid and betacyfluthrin (Soloman 300 OD) was evaluated for its bio-efficacy, phytotoxicity and effect on predator activity.Imidacloprid, a systemic insecticide belonging to neo-nicotinoid group, is effective against insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies (sap feeders) and other insectsviz., termites and soil insects.Beta-Cyfluthrin is an insecticide of synthetic pyrethroid group which acts by contact action and ingestion. It acts on the insects' nervous system as sodium channel blocker consequently a disorder of the nervous system occurs leading finally to the death. The field experiments were taken up during 2015 and 2016 at the Main Agricultural Research Station of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.The trials were laid out in a Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications using popular land race of Byadagi crop variety.Results indicated that the product at 21.6 + 50.4% gai/ha (240 ml/ha) and 27.9 + 65% gai/ha (310 ml/ha) was found quite effective in controlling thrips (0.00 to 0.66 thrips per six leaves) as against the standard check insecticide recommended for thrips by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad wherein the density of thrips recorded was significantly higher (1.00 to 2.00 Nos./6 leaves). Similarly, the test insecticide was quite effective against other target insects, whiteflies, fruit borer and gall midge fly as indicated by lower insect population observed in the treatments as compared to standard insecticidal control. The predatory beetle activity was found to be normal in all experimental plots. Highest green fruit yield of 5100-5500 kg/ha was recorded in Soloman 300 OD applied crop at 310 ml/ha rate as compared to 4750 to 5050 kg/ha recorded in check. At present 6-8 sprays of insecticides are recommended for management of these insect-pests on the crop. If combi-products are used in pest management programmes, it is possible to reduce insecticide usages in crop ecosystem.

Pyrethroid Resistance and Its Mechanism in Field Populations of the Sand Termite, Psammotermes hypostoma Desneux

Termites are eusocial insects that are found on all continents except Antarctica. Termites have serious destructive impact, damaging local huts and crops of poor subsistence. The annual cost of termite damage and its control is determined in the billions globally. In Egypt, most of these damages are due to the subterranean termite species especially the sand termite, P. hypostoma. Pyrethroids became the primary weapon for subterranean termite control, after the use of chlorpyrifos as a soil termiticide was banned. Despite the important role of pyrethroids in termite control, its extensive use in pest control led to the eventual rise of insecticide resistance which may make many of the pyrethroids ineffective. The ability to diagnose the precise mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in any insect species would be the key component of its management at specified location for a specific population. In the present study, detailed toxicological and biochemical studies was conducted on the mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in P. hypostoma. The susceptibility of field populations of P. hypostoma against deltamethrin, α-cypermethrin and ƛ-cyhalothrin was evaluated. The obtained results revealed that the workers of P. hypostoma have developed high resistance level against the tested pyrethroids. Studies carried out through estimation of detoxification enzyme activity indicated that enhanced esterase and cytochrome P450 activities were probably important mechanisms for pyrethroid resistance in field populations. Elevated esterase activity and also additional esterase isozyme were observed in the pyrethroid-resistant populations compared to the susceptible populations. Strong positive correlation between cytochrome P450 activity and pyrethroid resistance was also reported. |Deltamethrin could be recommended as a resistance-breaking pyrethroid that is active against resistant populations of P. hypostoma.

Eco-Friendly Preservative Treated Bamboo Culm: Compressive Strength Analysis

Bamboo is extensively used in construction industry. Low durability of bamboo due to fungus infestation and termites attack under storage puts certain constrains for it usage as modern structural material. Looking at many chemical formulations for bamboo treatment leading to severe harmful environment effects, research on eco-friendly preservatives for bamboo treatment has been initiated world-over. In the present studies, eco-friendly preservative for bamboo treatment has been developed. To validate its application for structural purposes, investigation of effect of treatment on compressive strength has been investigated. Neemoil (25%) integrated with copper naphthenate (0.3%) on dilution with kerosene oil impregnated into bamboo culm at 2 bar pressure, has shown weight loss of only 3.15% in soil block analysis method. The results from compressive strength analysis using HEICO Automatic Compression Testing Machine reveal that preservative treatment has not altered the structural properties of bamboo culms. Compressive strength of control (11.72 N/mm2) and above treated samples (11.71 N/mm2) was found to be comparable.

Effect of Different Microbial Strains on Biological Pretreatment of Sugarcane Bagasse for Enzymatic Hydrolysis

Among agricultural residues, sugarcane bagasse is one of the most convincing raw materials for the production of bioethanol due to its availability, and low cost through enzymatic hydrolysis and yeast fermentation. A pretreatment step is needed to enhance the enzymatic step. In this study, sugarcane bagasse (SCB), one of the most abundant agricultural residues in Thailand, was pretreated biologically with various microorganisms of white-rot fungus—Phanerochaete sordid (SK 7), Cellulomonas sp. (TISTR 784), and strain A 002 (Bacillus subtilis isolated from Thai higher termites). All samples with various microbial pretreatments were further hydrolyzed enzymatically by a commercial enzyme obtained from Aspergillus niger. The results showed that the pretreatment with the white-rot fungus gave the highest glucose concentration around two-fold higher when compared with the others.

Influence of Seasons on Honeybee Wooden Hives Attack by Termites in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Termites have been observed as major pre-colonisation and post-colonisation pest insect of honeybees’ wooden hives in Nigeria. However, pest situation studies in modern beekeeping have been largely directed towards those pests that affect honeybees rather than the biological structure (wood) which houses the honeybees and the influence of seasons on the pests’ activities against the hives. This study, therefore, investigated the influence of seasons on the intensity of hives attacks by termites for 2 years in University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State using visual inspection. The Experimental Apiary was established with 15 Kenyan’s top bar hives made of Triplochiton scleroxylon wood that were strategically placed and observed within the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management arboretum. The colonies hives consistently showed comparatively lower termite’s infestation levels in the dry season and, consequently, also lower attacks on the colonized hives. The result indicated raining season as a distinct period for more destructive activities of termites on the hives and strongly associated with dryness of the hives. Since previous study and observations have linked colonization with dry season coupled with minimal attacked on colonized hives; the non-colonised hives should be removed from the field at the onset of raining season and returned two weeks prior to dry season to reduce hives degradation by pests.

Production of Glucose from the Hydrolysis of Cassava Residue using Bacteria Isolates from Thai Higher Termites

The possibility of using cassava residue containing 49.66% starch, 21.47% cellulose, 12.97% hemicellulose, and 21.86% lignin as a raw material to produce glucose using enzymatic hydrolysis was investigated. In the experiment, each reactor contained the cassava residue, bacteria cells, and production medium. The effects of particles size (40 mesh and 60 mesh) and strains of bacteria (A002 and M015) isolated from Thai higher termites, Microcerotermes sp., on the glucose concentration at 37°C were focused. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with a refractive index detector was used to determine the quantity of glucose. The maximum glucose concentration obtained at 37°C using strain A002 and 60 mesh of the cassava residue was 1.51 g/L at 10 h.