Background Study 3.0 Pineapple Pyroligneous Acid (PPA)
Figure 3: A pile of pineapple wastage.
Ananas comosus or pineapple fruit is a member of Bromeliaceae family which is widely grown in tropical countries. According to Faostat online database, Malaysia is the 18th largest producer of pineapple in the world (334 400 tonnes production in 2012) with Johor as the largest contributor of pineapple production (Matthew et al., 2014). Normally, the leaves and stem of pineapple plant are discarded after harvesting of the fruit which resulted in huge amounts of pineapple plant waste biomass – which could lead to environmental problems. Thus, the pineapple plant biomass waste could be employed to condensation of pyrolytic vapours to produce pineapple pyroligneous acid (PPA). Pyroligneous acid (PA) or wood vinegar is defined as the smoky acidic liquid from plant biomass which obtained during pyrolysis processes (Souza et al., 2012). PA is a brownish yellow acidic liquid which contain complex mixture of phenolic compounds and sugars (Braz, 2012). Presence of the contents resulted in potential benefits of the PPA which includes application of antimicrobial agent; natural pesticides, which have potential to inhibit the growth of pathogen – ie. Xanthomonas compestris (Mmojije and Hornung, 2015) which is one of the major threat in rice cultivation.
Background Study 2.0 - Coconut Shell Biochar (CSB)
Figure 2.0: Biochar a charcoal-like structure
Coconut is a popular plantation and it is grown in more than 90 countries – including Malaysia. Global production of coconuts sums up to approximately 55 million tonnes per year (Rout, 2014). Coconut shells generated from waste product of oil industry and other uses should be utilised properly – by utilising pyrolysis processes to produce coconut shells biochar (CSB). Lehmann and Joseph (2010) have described biochar as the thermal degradation of plant biomass in the absence of oxygen or low content of oxygen which resulting in production of porous low density carbon rich material and it could be differentiated from charcoal based on its use as a soil amendment. Biochar possesses abilities to enhance soil fertility in conjunction with other ecosystem services and sequester carbon (C) to mitigate global warming effects (Sohi et al., 2010). Based on current knowledge, the effects on soil fertility are mainly due to pH increase in acidic soils and enhancement of nutrient retention through cation adsorption (Liang et al., 2006). However, biochar have also been reported to change soil biological community composition abundance which includes rhizosphere bacteria and fungi – promoting plant growth directly (Warnock et al., 2007). In conclusion, CSB possesses vast potential in agricultural industries in order to improve soil fertility level and resulted in enhancement of yield in crop.
Background Study 1.0 - Oryza sativa sp. (Rice Cultivation)
Rice (Oryza sativa sp.) is an important food crop that serves as a major carbohydrate source for nearly half of the world’s population (Mohanty, 2013). In order to meet the requirement of global rice demands, synthetic nitrogen (N) fertiliser and pesticides have been used in modern rice technology. Indiscrimination of pesticide usage could result in (1) contamination of ground and surface waters through runoff and seepage, (2) reduction of microorganism in paddy soil and water which results in soil infertility and (3) health impairment of farmers due to direct or indirect exposure to hazardous chemical (Peng et al., 2012).
In previous study, it was shown that rice farmer in China are over-applying 40% of pesticides compared to the amount needed and leads to the yield reduction – due to pest outbreaks which resulted from disruption of biodiversity in rice ecosystem (Huang et al., 2003). In 2002, total consumption of the annual N fertiliser in China was 25.4 million metric tons; quarter of it was used in for rice production (FAOSTAT, 2007). Due to overfertilisation, only 20-30% is taken up by the plant; remaining 70-80% is leached out to the environment – resulted in eutrophication in river. In addition, over-application of synthetic N fertiliser could lead to reduction of grain yield due to increasing susceptibility to lodging and damage from pests and diseases. This includes the emergence of Bacterial blight (BB) disease which caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and resulted in losses of yields in rice cultivation. BB causes loses in rice cultivation, averaging from 20%-30% nevertheless severe cases can result in reduction of yield up to 80% (Horgan and Henderson 2015).
In conclusion, modern cultivation of rice have caused detrimental effects to the environment and emergence of diseases which resulted in reduction of rice grains yield and soil infertility. Thus, improvisation of current farming in rice cultivation need to be done in order to overcome these problems.
"YOU" are the chosen ONE
Figure 1: 5-days old of MR269 rice cultivar planted in University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Shadehouse.
Rice (Oryza sativa sp.) is the chosen one. Our group have decided to use Oryza sativa sp. (cultivar MR269) as our subject for this project. As generally know, rice is an important food crop that serves as a major carbohydrate source for nearly half of the world’s population (Mohanty, 2013). However, current practices of rice cultivation have resulted in various deleterious effects on environment and the global production of rice are unable to outweigh world's rice demand. Thus, we believed that by introducing "Second Generation of Green Revolution" could counteracts the current problems of rice cultivation and improving current food insecurity problems.
p/s: Background studies on Oryza sativa sp. will be uploaded soon. Stay tuned :)
Preview - Second Generation of Green Revolution
Accomplishing global food security in 2050 – feeding 9Bn people; will require continuous increases in agriculture productivity which includes rice cultivation; Oryzae sativa sp. However, the usage of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in rice cultivation has resulted in environmental pollution and deterioration of soil properties. Biochar which produced from coconut shells possesses abilities in improving efficiency of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and enhancement of micronutrient uptake in Oryzae sativa sp. and resulted in enhancement of rice yield. On top of that, diseases caused by Xanthomonas oryzae sp. – such as bacterial blight (BB) and bacterial leaf streak; have resulted in loses of yield. Plants-derive products from pineapple waste (pyroligneous acids) may have significant role in crop protections - as compensatory substances for synthetic pesticides which potentially reduced the viability of the pathogenic bacteria. Thus, the aim of this project is to develop a novel approach in agricultural practices (rice cultivar MR269) by combining coconut shells biochar applications and pineapple pyroligneous acids. It is believed that synergistically effects of coconut shells biochar and pineapple pyroligneous acid could be the emergence of “Second-Generation of Green Revolution” which could counteracts the deleterious effect of previous agricultural practices and increase rice cultivar productivity.