Open access Journal of Biogeneric Science and Research
Our main dictum of establishing Our Open Access Journal of BGSR is it’s an unique platform which cover all scientific subjects that provides imperative information for all research communities. We at Biogeneric sciences are an open access platform including peer-reviewed Journal articles like Research, Reviews, Conceptual Papers, Case Reports, PPT in seminars, and more effective video articles for easy sympathetic and cramming for all educated & untutored.
The study focused on assessing donkey welfare awareness among Njoro community. This has been a concern despite legal enforcement since most donkey owners and donkey handlers still mishandle these animals, and they do not recognize them as sentient animals but instead, they are viewed as a bridge for making money. Questionnaires and observational studies were used to collect data. Data collection was to focus on those donkeys with poor welfare status. A purposive sampling procedure was used to collect data and based on the findings; most of the respondents were married males thus making the business of using the working donkeys as male business. Most respondents (84.1%) owned 2 donkeys and the donkeys were mostly males. Two-thirds (76. 2%) of the working donkeys work 6 days in a week to transport water to hotels, construction sites and homesteads however 79.4% of the working donkeys work from morning to noon. This means that despite the strenuous work that the donkeys were put through they were given some hours to rest. Even though 95.2% respondents admitted that they would leave donkeys to graze on their own after working, some (4.8%) would supplement with 1 to ½ suck of feed in the evening after work. A huge percentage (90.5%) would provide water at least once a day though this was done only on working days. Health wise, 93.7% of the study donkeys had overgrown hooves with significant percentage having wounds on the shoulders, rump and fetlocks of the forelimbs. All the interviewed respondents were against the donkey slaughter since they claimed that they do not recognized donkey meat as being edible and that the slaughter resulted to too much donkey theft. Therefore, welfare status among working donkeys in the study area is poor which could be attributed to poor management practices.
For many years, animal welfare has been shown to be an important issue for the general public . Due to this concern, legislative codes of practices, organization and campaigns in institutions have been developed to influence improving the donkey welfare among people . All these laws and organizations fight for the animals to ensure that they are in good state of welfare and to achieve this, they assess the general health of the animal, the comfortability of the animals, the behavior change of the animals, human and animal interaction and the animal population.
Despite the legal enforcement and creation of animal welfare awareness among people, there has been reduction in donkey welfare  and therefore more researches and efforts need to be done to facilitate improving the welfare of the donkeys. Today the welfare problems that the donkeys face include inadequate food and water, disease incidences and injuries, harsh environmental conditions and poor managements .
Donkey welfare is one of the primary issues that take millions of money from various animal welfare organization to create and improve awareness among the donkey handlers and farmers despite the legal enforcement. This has been due to the alarming increase of the animal neglect and ignorance . The welfare issues are also contributed by the minimal studies and researches done on donkeys thus not many people are aware of the donkey welfare and management . These donkeys’ welfare issues need to be focused on and studied to minimize the economic constraints that the developing countries are undergoing to improve the donkey welfare.
The study was conducted in Njoro community which is about 26KM from Nakuru town. Njoro is a ward with a population size of 5,101 donkeys and 238,233 human populations . The region experienced a lot of rainfall (moderate climatic condition) thus their main economic activity was agriculture thus the use of donkeys to transport the agricultural products (iris potatoes, maize, cabbages, carrots and cow peas) to the market and to perform other activities. Other individuals were business oriented thus they used donkeys to perform their businesses.
Purposive sampling procedure was used to obtain data. This was achieved through observation and measuring of the welfare status of the donkeys and administering questionnaires to donkey owners/users. This data was collected at the water points, markets and along the roadsides. These were preferred sites since most donkeys and donkeys owners were on their businesses at these points. A total of 98 donkeys and 63 respondents using a formula describe elsewhere were recruited into this study giving a representative sample size to determine the welfare status of working donkeys. The collected data from the working donkey with poor welfare status was edited, re-written and organized after which it was entered into Microsoft excel spreadsheet for further analysis. Statistical significance was considered at P-value < 0.05 with 95% confidence and a 5% margin of error.
During this assessment, 63 donkey owners and handlers were interviewed. The interview was based on questionnaires, observational surveys of the donkey based on handling, harnessing, health parameter assessment and management. The findings were therefore summarized in a descriptive analysis and the results discussed broadly as shown below.
Demographic Characteristic of Working Donkey Owners/Handlers
The donkey owners/handlers were virtually male thus making this business of using working donkey to be male business. 93.7% of the respondents were married and 96.8% had knowledge on how to interact with the donkeys. This study also revealed that 84.1% of the respondents owned 2 donkeys, 11.1% owned more than 2 donkeys and the rest owned 1 or hired donkeys for their activities. This therefore showed that the working donkeys could be used even when they are sick or tired. This is shown in the (Table 1) below.
Table 1: Demographic characteristic of working donkey owners/handlers.
Table 2: Number of working hours.
Figure 1: Number of working donkeys per day.
Figure 2: Feeding of working donkeys per day.
Number of Working Days of Donkeys Per Week
As shown in the data illustrated in the above figure (Figure 1) regarding the number of working days of donkeys per week, 76.2% of working donkeys work 6 days in a week with Sunday being the resting day.15.9% worked 7 days while 7.9% worked 2 days that is Wednesdays and Saturdays during the market days.
Number of Working Hours
This study also reveals the number of working hours for working donkeys, majority (79.4%) of working donkeys in this study work from morning to noon as shown in the above (Table 2).
According to this study, 95.2% of the owners interviewed admitted that they leave the donkeys to graze on their own on dry grass after work. Besides grazing, 3.2% and 1.6% of the interviewed owners provide the donkeys 1 suck and ½ suck of dry grass and maize straw respectively in the evening after work as illustrated in the data in the above figure (Figure 2). According to this study, dry grass is the most common feed, others feed their donkeys with maize straws. Some donkey owners said that they supplement their donkeys with carrots and leguminous plants like the cow peas remains
This study revealed that 90.5% of the respondents provided water to the donkeys once a day, 1.6% of the respondents provided water thrice a day during the working hours and 7.9% of the respondents do not provide water to the working donkeys and this occurs especially during the market days when the donkeys are hired. The donkeys were left to drink water from the river therefore the amount or quantity of water given to the donkeys was not well known by the donkey owners.
This study showed that there were no donkeys having abnormal mucous membranes, abnormal buccal cavity, eye abnormalities and respiratory conditions. Most of the assessed donkeys had fairly normal oral health apart from few cases of tartar, plaques and erosions on the teeth. Most (84.1%) of the working donkeys had fair body condition with a score of 3/5 and 15.9% of the donkeys were in good body condition with a body score of 4/5. This indicated that despite the donkey’s feeding regime being poor, they were getting most of the nutrients from the grazing site and the little supplementation given to them after work in the evening.
In this study 93.7% of the working donkeys were male and they had skin lesions especially on the shoulder, the forelimbs and the rump lesions. The lesions were as a result of poor harnessing method and materials. The lesions on the forelimbs mostly were as a result of tightening one of the forelimbs with a rope since most donkey owners tied one of their donkeys under a tree when they are left to rest. The lesions on the rump were mostly inflicted by the donkey owners due to severe whipping of the donkey for it to increase its speed during work. The lesions were not fresh and most were healing and had formed scab.
Majority (93.7%) of the observed donkeys in this study had hoof problems such as overgrowth and cracks which could be attributed to the nature of the tredding paths along the tarmac road. All of the respondents admitted that they had never attempted hoof trimming and even if they were to do it, they would not because of fear of being kicked by the donkeys or causing injuries to the hooves. All observed donkeys were active and alert.
In this study 58.7% of the respondents had their donkeys vaccinated during some rabies vaccination campaign and 23.8% of the respondents deworm their donkey at least once a year. On the other hand, 63.5% of the respondents would seek veterinary services when their donkeys become sick while 36.5% of the respondents however admitted that they do not seek veterinary services since their donkeys rarely get ill and if they do so they naturally get healed.
This study revealed that the harnessing materials and methods of the donkeys were poor. The type of harnessing materials used was a suck and a rope inserted in a hose pipe. Others just used rope only without inserting it in a hose pipe for protection. One donkey owner who owned one donkey had cloth rags filled in a suck to protect donkey from being injured with firewood. This therefore indicates that almost all of the donkey owners lacked proper harnessing materials and padding materials to offer proper protection against harnessing wounds.
According to this study, all the donkey owners provided shelter for their donkeys at night. However, most (87.3%) of the donkey owners mixed the donkeys and the other animals at night in a resting yard.
Resting of Donkeys
In this study, donkeys were rested especially at noon and in the afternoon in shades when the temperatures were high.
This was most neglected welfare issue in Njoro community. In this study, 93.7% of the interviewed donkey owners had male donkeys and 6.3% had female donkeys. This showed that most donkeys in Njoro community were male and those that owned female donkeys were in the group of those individuals who had more than two donkeys. They however claimed that they rarely use the female donkeys and thus they usually leave them at home. They also said that if they were to use the female donkey, it’s either one donkey is sick, tired or has died. The reason why they didn’t like the female donkey is that they think it is a waste since the donkey might end up reproducing when they are mixed together reducing the work power. They also claim that the female donkeys might not allow the male donkeys to work properly. Others also claimed that the female donkeys tend to tire faster than the male donkeys.
When interviewed on donkey slaughter, most of the donkey owners were against the donkey slaughter. They complained that when the donkey slaughter started most of their colleagues lost their donkeys to theft. They also reported that the only meat that they know is the meat of the cattle, sheep and goat and that those that have eaten the donkey meat are either not in their senses or if they have eaten it they did it unintentionally. Others claimed that if the slaughter continues, the donkey population will be at risk and this will affect them since most of them earn their living through the aid of the donkeys.
Most of the respondents were married males thus making this business of using working donkey as male business. This male domination could be because of the job involves handling heavy things such as goods and water that women can hardly handle. The findings also showed that 96.8% of the respondents were literate. This showed that despite the donkey business being good, the donkey handlers had a little knowledge on how to interact and associate with the animals for a better business. According to and Hemsworth (1990), education has influence on perception and involvement, particularly in decision making and monitoring of activities regarding resource use. In this study 84.1% of the respondents owned 2 donkeys and this showed that the donkeys could be used even when they are sick or tired and this therefore indicates poor welfare status. This is different to what was reported by of 75% of the responding donkey owners owning only one working donkey and 25% of them owning more than one.
The study also revealed that 76.2% of working donkeys work 6 days in a week to transport water to hotels, homesteads and construction sites and 79.4% of the working donkeys work from morning to noon to transport water to hotels. This indicated that as much as donkey business was concerned, the donkey owners/ handlers spared some time and a day in a week for the donkeys to rest thus indicating good welfare. This finding however contrast with a study carried out by Kamonzo, , that nearly half of the urban/ peri-urban donkeys work for 7 days per week and thus they have less time to rest. Some (7.9%) of the working donkeys were hired mostly during the market days especially on Wednesdays and Saturdays to transport goods to the market during the morning hours. According to this study, 7.9% of the working donkeys were used to do household chores like collecting firewood by women. Others however used the donkeys once in a while to move students who were moving their furniture from one rental to other and to fetch drinking water for animals in a large farm.
According to this study, 95.2% of the owners interviewed admitted that they leave the donkeys to graze on their own on dry grass after work. Besides grazing, 3.2% and 1.6% of the interviewed owners provide the donkeys 1 suck and ½ suck of dry grass and maize straw respectively in the evening after work. However, 12.7% would get other supplements such as carrots or leguminous plants like cow peas. These therefore indicate poor feeding regime since the donkeys are not supplemented with extra requirements like minerals and salts. This finding is not in line with a finding that was documented by Pearson et al.  that donkeys should be provided daily with straws or hay equal to 5% of its body weight, even though it may only eat half of this. According to Aganga et al. , when the animals are expected to produce extra work or when the grazing range has been depleted, supplementary feeding may be required. In addition to that, the findings also showed that the donkey owners and handlers were not interested in the consumption intake capacity of the donkeys thus poor feeding welfare.
Water is vital for donkeys and over 60% of an equines body consists of water Duncunson . Even though donkeys are more thirst tolerant than horses and will maintain their appetites in conditions of water deprivation, they have the same water requirements as horses Duncanson . In this study, 90.5% of the respondents provided water to the donkeys once a day, 1.6% of the respondents provided water thrice a day during the working hours and 7.9% of the respondent do not provide water to the donkeys and this occurs especially during the market days when the donkeys are hired. This therefore indicates poor welfare since the donkeys should always have access to clean water.
About 58.7% of the respondents had their donkeys vaccinated during some rabies vaccination campaign and 23.8% of the respondents deworm their donkey at least once a year. On the other hand, 63.5% of the respondents would seek veterinary services when their donkeys become sick while 36.5% of the respondents however admitted that they do not seek veterinary services since their donkeys rarely get ill and if they do so they naturally get healed. This indicates that the donkey’s health status is not a priority for as long as they can provide power and work to their owners. This however contrast with a study carried out in Ethiopia by Niraj  on donkey welfare assessment where 31.6% of the diseased donkeys were taken to veterinary clinics, 10.5% were treated traditionally and 57.9% did not get any help from their owners and were forced to work regardless of the disease.
Based on the findings of the study, all the donkey owners provided shelter for their donkeys at night. However, most (87.3%) of the donkey owners mix the donkeys and the other animals at night in a resting yard. The donkeys were also being rested especially at noon and in the afternoon when the temperatures were high. All the donkeys observed for this study were alert and active thus indicating good welfare.
On health assessment, the study showed that there were no donkeys having abnormal mucous membranes, abnormal buccal cavity, eye abnormalities and respiratory conditions. Most of the assessed donkeys had fairly normal oral health apart from few cases of tartar, plaques and erosions on the teeth. Most (84.1%) of the working donkeys had fair body condition with a score of 3/5 and 15.9% of the donkeys were in good body condition with a body score of 4/5. This indicated that despite the donkey’s feeding regime being poor, they were getting most of the nutrients from the grazing site and the little supplementation given to them after work in the evening.
In this study 93.7% of the working donkeys were male and they had skin lesions especially on the shoulder, the forelimbs and the rump lesions. The lesions were as a result of poor harnessing method and materials. The lesions on the forelimbs mostly were as a result of tightening one of the forelimb with a rope since most donkey owners tied one of their donkey under a tree when they are left to rest. The lesions on the rump were mostly inflicted by the donkey owners due to severe whipping of the donkey for it to increase its speed during work. In a similar study by Niraj , the greater distribution of wounds was found at the withers and back region (14.3%) and under the tail (7.7%). These findings therefore showed that most donkey owners had no proper harnessing materials and their handling techniques was also poor. Most (93.7%) of the observed donkeys in this study had hoof problems such as overgrowth and cracks which could be attributed to the nature of the tredding paths along the tarmac road. All of the respondents admitted that they had never attempted hoof trimming and even if they were to do it, they would not because of fear of being kicked by the donkeys or causing injuries to the hooves.
According to the study, 93.7% of the interviewed donkey owners had male donkeys and 6.3% had female donkeys. This showed that most donkeys in Njoro community were male and those that owned female donkeys were in the group of those individuals who had more than two donkeys. They however claimed that they rarely use the female donkeys and thus they usually leave them at home. They also said that if they were to use the female donkey, it’s either one donkey is sick, tired or has died. The reason why they didn’t like the female donkey is that they think it is a waste since the donkey might end up reproducing when they are mixed together reducing the work power. They also claim that the female donkeys might not allow the male donkeys to work properly. Others also claimed that the female donkeys tend to tire faster than the male donkeys.
Generally harnessing method of the donkeys was poor. The type of harnessing materials used was a suck and a rope inserted in a hose pipe. Others just used rope only without inserting it in a hose pipe for protection. One donkey owner who owned one donkey had cloth rags filled in a suck to protect donkey from being injured with firewood. Due to this poor harnessing technique most of the donkeys had shoulder wounds especially those donkeys that were used for pulling carts during water transportation. This therefore indicates that almost all of the donkey owners lacked proper harnessing materials and padding materials to offer proper protection against harnessing wounds.
When interviewed on donkey slaughter, most of the donkey owners were against the donkey slaughter. They complained that when the donkey slaughter started most of their colleagues lost their donkeys to theft. They also reported that the only meat that they know is the meat of the cattle, sheep and goat and that those that have eaten the donkey meat are either not in their senses or if they have eaten it they did it unintentionally. Others claimed that if the slaughter continues, the donkey population will be at risk and this will affect them since most of them earn their living through the aid of the donkeys. These findings are in line with the findings documented by Maichomo et al.  that there was an increasing trend in the number of donkeys slaughtered in subsequent years and thus contributing to the reduction in the donkey population to the extent of being extinct by 2022. According to Maichomo et al. , demand for donkeys far outweighed the supply thus cases of donkey theft.
The donkey welfare status among working donkeys in Njoro community was poor which can be contributed by poor harnessing techniques and management practices such as feeding and disease control .
More information regarding this Article visit: OAJBGSR
The article reviews some significant research trends in the banana fibre. Bannana is a natural fibre and belongs to the category of bast fibres. One area of research explore the areas of applications, particularly in handicraft products such as mat, rope and twines, but only 10% of its pseudo stem is being used for making products and the remaining is used as waste or fertilizer. Owing to its many special properties it can be beneficial to farmers and also serve as a good raw material for the textile and packaging industry. In another area of research, flame retardant functionality has been imparted in cellulosic fabric using mixed formulation of banana psueudo stem sap and boric acid. Flame retardant characteristics of both the control and treated fabrics have been analyzed in terms of limiting oxygen index, vertical flammability, and temperature generation profile during burning. Another area of research reports the influence of treatment with caustic soda at various concentrations, on the physical, morphological, structural and thermal properties. An interesting study has focused on the production of bannana fibre yarns for textile reinforced composites. Thus the viability of spinning a yarn from banana fibres and weaving for the composite is explored. Attempt has been made to produce reinforced composite by weaving enzyme treated banna fibres.
The banana plant not only yields fruit, but also fibre which finds use in textile and related applications. It grows under tropical conditions. All varieties of banana fibres have fibres in abundance. The banana fibre is basically a bast fibre, and is obtained after the fruit is harvested. After the plant yields the fruit, its trunk the pseudo stem largely goes as agricultural waste. These pseudostems can be effectlvely utilized in production of the banana fibres, as annually about 1.5 million tons of dry banana fibres can be produced from the outer sheath of pseudostem. Biomass (pseudostem) waste, a rich source of natural fibres the pseudostem can be profitably utilized for numerous applications and preparation of various products. Cotton being a cellulosic material is flammable and hence can create problems for health and life of mankind. Considerable attempts have been made over the years for enhancement of flame-retardant property of cotton textile materials through utilization of different synthetic chemicals and a number of them are commercially available. Of these, the common ecofriendly admixture formulation of boric acid and borax is considered the simplest . But, higher quantity of chemicals used in this formulation degrades the treated fabric quality. The present days are witnessing increased use of natural lingo cellulosic fibres in composite production . Natural lignocellulose fibres, such as sisal, hemp, coir, kenaf and jute, have low density, good thermal properties, better specific strength, ecofriendly nature and can be used as replacement for glass fibres during composite manufacturing [3,4]. Banana fibres, due to its high specific strength can be used as replacement of glass fibres as reinforcement in the manufacture of composites. Banana fibre is extracted from the pseudo stem waste of the plant after harvesting the fruits. Like any other ligno cellulosic fibre, the major constituents of these fibres are cellulose, lignin, and hemicelluloses . The rising interest in natural fibers in the composites field is undeniable, mainly due to sustainability, but also because of their good mechanical properties and low cost. The differences observed among different natural fibers are due to their chemical composition, origin, climate conditions, etc. On average, vegetable fibers are made of 60%–70% of cellulose, 10%–20% of hemicellulose, 5%–15% of lignin and up to 2% of pectin and waxes . Banana fiber is obtained from the superimposed leaves forming the pseudostem of the plant, which currently has no use, apart from a low percentage dedicated to cattle feed. It belongs to Musa genre, as a monocot. Banana is the most important crop in Canary Islands, which are the most important producers of bananas in Europe. It is important to highlight that fibers are obtained from the pseudostems of the plant once the fruit has been harvested, and that each plant only bears fruit once; this is one of the main benefits of banana fibers in comparison with other natural fibers, as this one is obtained from an agricultural residue.
Potential of Banana Fibre for Product Development
Lignocellulosic are used for various applications depending on their composition and physical properties. All varieties of banana trees abound in fibres. In fact almost each and every part of the banana plant gives fibres of various strength, color and beauty and staple length which can be used for various purposes.All varieties of banana trees abound in fibres. In fact, almost each and every part of the banana plant gives fibres of various strength, color and beauty and staple length which can be used for various purposes. Out of the 14-18 sheaths available in a stem, the outermost 4-6 sheaths yield coarse fibre, the outer 6-8 sheath soft lustrous fibre and the rest middle sheath excluding the innermost 4-6 sheaths yield very soft fibres. The quantity of fibre in each sheath depends upon its width and its location in the stem, as does its quality. In addition to fruit production, huge quantity of biomass (pseudostem, leaves, suckers etc.) is generated [7,8].In india, the fibres extracted from pseudostem of banana plant, is being used for preparing ropes, handicrafts, etc. which otherwise can be used for making home furnishings and good quality papers. The major problem of non-adoption of fibre extraction technology is low recovery of fibres leading to high transport cost. This plant has long been a good source for high quality textiles in many parts of the world especially in japan and Nepal [9-11].
Most of the banana fibers produced today is used for ropes and cordage. The resistance of the fibre to the sea water and its natural buoyancy has created a ready market for it in the manufacture of shipping cables. It is also widely used for making power transmission ropes and cordage, wall drilling cables, fishing nets, lines and other types of cordage. Banana fibers are being utilized in various ways in different countries. In japan, banana fibres are being used for making traditional dresses like kimono and kamishimo during earlier periods. Due to its being lightweight and comfortable to wear, it is still being preferred by people there as summer wear. Banana fiber is also used to make fine cushion covers, neck ties, bags, table cloths, curtains, etc. Rugs made from banana silk yarn fibers are also very popular world over. Owing to its high tenacity, banana fibre made as single composite withstands more strain before failure in tensile testing than the hybrid fiber composite. The fiber was extracted by hand stripping using a stripping device applying low pressure to prevent the fibres from breaking [12,13].
Several products have been made from banana fibres around the globe. These include paper board, tissue paper, natural absorbent, bio remediation agent for bacteria in natural water purifier, mushroom production, handicrafts, quality paper cards, tea bags, string thread, high quality fabric material, paper for currency notes, rope for tyeing, dress materials, wedding gowns and barongs, and many more. It is interesting to note that banana fibre is also being used as lining for car interiors [14-16]. Development of softening processes have been reported for the inherently coarse banana fibres making it more suitable for spinning operations, spinning of the softened fibres into yarns, after blending them with suitable natural fibres and testing the physical and mechanical properties of the yarns.The yarns were further converted into fabrics and again assessed for their physical and mechanical properties. The fabrics were further passed through various finishing processes and then tested for all the mechanical and physical properties. The fabrics were further taken for dyeing with two classes of dyes and then assessed for the various fastness properties .
The development of green packaging from banana fibre for instant food products has been studied. Variables considered in this issue include packaging design of green packaging from banana fibre for instant food products of the envelope(stand up pouch), box(paper box), paper cups(paper cup), paper bags(zip lock paper bag). Banana fibre has been used to produce packaging to select the quality of the physical, chemical and consumer product safety. Packaging is recycling based that is ecofriendly disposal .
Banana is cultivated in about 2.3 lakh hectares of land and the fibre yield is about 8.7 tons. Though banana fibre extraction is not done on any large scale at present, banana fibres are reported to have been spun on the jute spinning machinery and used for hand bags and other fancy articles . Agro based bio fibres have the composition, properties and structure that make them suitable for uses such as composite, textile, pulp and paper manufacture. In addition, bio fibres can also be used to produce fuels, chemicals, enzymes and food. Byproducts produced from the cultivation of corn, wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, surgarcane, pineapple, banana and coconut are the major sources of agro based bio fibres. Likewise, banana fibre based production processes, structure, properties and suitability of these biofibres are to be identified for various industrial applications.
Influence of Alkali Treatment on Fibre Properties
The use of natural lignocellulose fibres in the manufacture of composites is increasing day by day . Natural lignocellulose fibres, such as sisal, hemp, coir, kenaf and jute, have low density, good thermal properties, better specific strength, ecofriendly nature and can be used as replacement for glass fibres during composite manufacturing [21,22]. Banana fibres, due to its high specific strength can be used as replacement of glass fibres as reinforcement in the manufacture of composites. Banana fibre is extracted from the pseudo stem waste of the plant after harvesting the fruits. Like any other ligno cellulosic fibre, the major constituents of these fibres are cellulose, lignin, and hemicelluloses . The removal of lignin and hemicellulose substances and roughening of surface is required to improve the interfacial strength of composites . Banana fibres are hydrophilic and have poor adhesion with the matrix materials. To improve adhesion of the natural fibres with matrix materials various treatments, such as alkali, acetylation and benzoylation, are given. Among all these treatments, mercerization or alkali treatment is a versatile one, which brings about changes in dimensions, fine structure, chemical composition, morphology, and crystalline component as well as it improves the wettability, resin pick up of natural fibres like coir, sisal, flax and cotton [25,26]. Alkali treatment improves adhesion between these hydrophilic fibres and the hydrophobic matrix by roughening and exposing more cellulose on the surface.
The alkali treatment modifies the chemical constituents which results in changes in mechanical properties, surface roughening, crystallinity and also in the thermal behavior of fibres [27,28]. Available literature reveals that NaOH treatment removes the binding materials, depending on the treatment time, concentration of NaOH used, temperature of treatment and liquor ratio. Study on effect of NaOH treatment on properties of banana fibre has already been performed by few researchers [29,30]. The effect of NaOH concentration on fibre yield (extraction) from the pseudo stem has also been reported . However, the changes in the fibre due to such treatment at various levels are unknown. This is essential for optimum use of alkali and also to avoid degradation of fibres which will happen at higher concentration treatments. Similarly, the effect of NaOH concentration on the other fibre properties is not yet been studied. Hence in this study, the banana fibres are treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) at three different concentrations of 10, 15 and 20% and the treated fibres are tested for chemical composition and physical, morphological, structural and thermal properties.
It is found that the hemicellulose and lignin removal occur till 15% NaOH treatment concentration, and after that there is no much removal occurred. In line with those finding, the density of the fibre also shows an increment up to 15% NaOH and further increment in alkali percentage reduces the density. The moisture regain of the banana fibre also shows the same trend as that of density . At 20% NaOH treatment, the moisture regains are found higher than at 15% NaOH treatment. Increment in the NaOH concentration also increases the lignin and hemicelluloses removal percentage, which is confirmed by the scanning electron microscope analysis. The breaking strength and the tenacity values of the banana fibre increase with NaOH concentration up to 15%. Further increment in alkali concentration degrades the fibre. The removal of lignin and hemicellulose contents from the banana fibre is confirmed by the FTIR and crystallinity analyses. The thermal stability analysis also confirms that the alkali treatment improvs the thermal stability value up to 15% NaOH concentration. The colour assessment studies show that the appearance of banana fibre becomes darker and red in colour due to the alkali treatment.
Production of Technical Textile Reinforced Composites
The rising interest in natural fibers in the composites field is undeniable, mainly due to sustainability, but also because of their good mechanical properties and low cost. The differences observed among different natural fibers are due to their chemical composition, origin, climate conditions, etc. On average, vegetable fibers are made of 60%–70% of cellulose, 10%–20% of hemicellulose, 5%–15% of lignin and up to 2% of pectin and waxes . Banana fiber is obtained from the superimposed leaves forming the pseudostem of the plant, which currently has no use, apart from a low percentage dedicated to cattle feed. It belongs to Musa genre, as a monocot. Banana is the most important crop in Canary Islands, which are the most important producers of bananas in Europe. It is important to highlight that fibers are obtained from the pseudostems of the plant once the fruit has been harvested, and that each plant only bears fruit once; this is one of the main benefits of banana fibers in comparison with other natural fibers, as this one is obtained from an agricultural residue.
The use of natural fibers as reinforcement of polymeric parts has been widely studied, special focusing on injection molding technology. In fact, around 21,000 tons of natural fibers were used in 2003 in the European industry; the most relevant fibers for the industrial production of plastic composites are flax, sisal and hemp. Natural fibers are less harmful to humans, machinery and the environment, thus being realistic alternatives to glass fiber . Some studies have also been carried out for the compression molding technology, some withlong fibers and others with woven fibers, both for thermoset and thermoplastic polymers [35-39]. These studies show that specific mechanical properties of natural fibers composites are similar to those reinforced with glass fiber, although mechanical properties under humid conditions show an important decrease for the natural fiber composites, due to their moisture absorption. These studies mainly focus on the production of non-structural parts for the automotive sector. It is known that mechanical properties of composites strongly depend on the orientation of the fibers, getting better properties when the fiber is woven and placed in the composite in an appropriate orientation. The BANTEX project (MAT2013-47393-C2-1-R) is aimed at obtaining a composite material made of woven banana fibers. Woven fabrics have the advantage of enabling the orientation of the fibers, allowing control of the density of the fabric and its mechanical properties. Nonwovens provide multiaxial orientation but lower and non-predictable mechanical properties. There is wide bibliography about the production of composite materials with natural fibers (flax, hemp, jute) in woven and non-woven fabrics [40-43]; however, no references have been found in the use of banana fibers to produce them. Furthermore, the use of banana fibers to produce yarns for technical textile products has not been reported.
Banana fibers are made of cellulose (43.6%), hemicellulose (14%), lignin (11%) and other substances (such as pectin, wax, 31.4%) . Chemical methods for fiber extraction are usually performed with NaOH, although other chemicals are also used (KMnO4, benzoyl chloride, stearic acid, among others); these processes may cause environmental problems due to the need for treating the residues produced. Mechanical means are not able to remove the non-cellulosic constituents (lignin). An alternative is the use of biological processes, such as the immersed or solid-state fermentations. Enzymatic means are considered more environmentally friendly, and also avoid the fibers breakage, while altering the properties of the cellulosic fibers [45-48]. There are different parameters which affect the enzyme choice, such as the type of substrate, composition, size, lignin content, etc. Previous studies show Pectinase and Xylanase as the most suitable ones for fiber extraction [49,50]. Enzymatic treatments have been applied to hemp, flax or pineapple for fiber refining. Celullases are used to remove fibrils from the surface and increase the smoothness of the fiber, although this treatment can also damage the fibers and reduce their mechanical properties. Pectinases are used in the textile industry for retting and degumming fiber crops, as they are capable of breaking down complex molecules of plant tissues into simpler ones, such as galacturonic acid; on the other hand, endoglucanases only act on amorphous celluloses .
Hemicellulases are able to reduce water absorption by pentosan hydrolysis; xylanase and mannanase are used to dissolve hemicellulose (mainly xylan and glucomannan, respectively) . Tests have been performed using a cocktail of two different enzymes made of pectinase and hemicellulase. In this research, different formulations of the enzymatic treatment have been applied to the banana fibers in order to determine the optimal conditions (time, temperature, enzymes content, bath renewal, fiber/enzymes ratio, etc.) for the refining process, in order to obtain a banana textile grade fiber. Fibers have been characterized prior to and after the enzymatic treatment, in terms of length, diameter and thermal stability. The spinning process at the lab scale has taken place, resulting in the production of a yarn with enough quality to be woven and produce a technical textile suitable for composite reinforcement.
The enzymatic treatment has proven to be useful for banana fiber treatment, achieving an improvement in terms of cleanliness and fibrillation. The most effective enzyme for banana fiber treatment is poligalacturonase (Biopectinase K), showing a high specific activity and being specific for substrates not damaging the cellulosic structure of fibers . Long duration treatments (24 h, 48 h and 7 days) did not provide good results, due to enzyme deactivation. 6 h was optimal to obtain a textile grade banana fiber.Optimal conditions for banana fiber enzymatic treatment are: 100% Biopectinase K, 6 h; 45oC, pH = 4.5, with bath renewal after 3 h.Stability studies have demonstrated that over 80% of its activity takes place in the first 3 h; afterwards, the enzyme activity decreases reaching 12% 24 h later.Enzymatic treatments improve the thermal stability of fibers by the removal of pectin and hemicellulose, while producing a slight decrease in mechanical properties, probably due to defibrillation found under SEM observations. Banana fiber can be spun to produce yarns, mixed or not mixed with other fibers, while the most suitable for industrial scale-up without major equipment changes would be the blend of banana fiber and wool. Banana/PP yarn shows higher tenacity than flax/PP yarn and is more homogeneous
Banana is a natural bast fibre which has wide range of uses in handicraft product developments such as mat, rope and twines, but only 10% of its pseudo stem is being used for making products and remaining is waste or used as fertilizer. As it has a property like weather proof, UV protection (because of lignin content), moisture absorption, anti-oxidant and biodegradable, etc., it can be used to make a variety of products that help farmers economically and have wide scope to create new market. Recent studies have indicated that banana fibre possesses a lot of advantageous physical and chemical properties which can be used a very good raw material for the textile and packaging industry . Banana fibres treated with varied concentrations of caustic soda show improvement in cellulose content, lignin removal, tenacity, crystallinity, and thermal resistance till 10% concentration, and after that no improvement is observed beyond 15%. Colour has turned the fibre towards darker side slightly aesthetically unappealing. It is noted that the 15% NaOH concentration is optimum for treating banana fibres used as reinforcement.
More information regarding this Article visit: OAJBGSR
Concerns around the usage of motor vehicle emissions on human health issues are especially concentrated on aerial pollution and are regulated via controls on tailpipe emissions. Toxic heavy metals are mentioned as a variety of important environmental contaminants cause of their none-degraded or none-destroyed properties. In this study, we investigated the pollution of heavy metal of pointed locations in the roadside dust in Rasht province (center of Guilan province in Iran northern). In this study, we have tried to considerate to road dust aspects in roadside soils of two distinct points: along road with dense traffic (20 street, high traffic volume) and road with lower traffic, a local road (20 street, low traffic volume). Samples of road dust (20 in general) were gathered under stable weather conditions during June and July of 2020. Samples of road dust were collected and analyzed for their variety of lead (Pb), Zinc (Zn), Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co) and Cadmium (Cd) concentrations by ICP-OES. The results have demonstrated that all heavy metal amounts except Cd, are higher than acceptable values in the target soils. Tend to illnesses, especially carcinogenic effects affected by these toxic metals are predictable.
Keywords: Heavy metals; Roadside; Rasht, Toxic; Health.
Changing the life style and using the machinery gadgets are being varied daily. The main value of the heavy metals are toxic to the living organism and even those considered as essential could be toxic if present in excess. The heavy metals can follow significant biochemical process posing a threat to human health, plant growth and animal life. [1-7]. Accumulation of metals in soil could affect the ecosystem safety and pose a threat to animals, plants, and human. High concentrations of metals in the plant could inhibit the ability of the plant to produce chlorophyll, increase the plant oxidative stress and weaken stomata resistance. Roads, plastics, industrial effluents, and sewage have polluted and occurred many issues for vegetation, animals, and humans [8-25]. One of the most pointed chemical contaminants is heavy metals, causing irreparable damage . Human activity increases the level of heavy metals pollution in the nature . Because these compounds are not metabolized in the body, they could be stored in body tissues such as muscles and bones. Heavy metals have the potential to cause illnesses such as mental retardation, hearing impairment, immune system dysfunction, brain diseases, blindness, muscle weakness, and cancer [28,29]. Roads are usually rich in Pb, Zn and copper [30-32].
The pollution of soils by heavy metals from automobile source is a serious worldwide environmental issue. These metals are released during different operations of the road transport such as combustion, component wear, fluid leakage and corrosion of metals. Lead, cadmium, copper and zinc are the major metal pollutants of the roadside environments and are released from burning of fuel, wearing out of tyres, leakage of oils, and corrosion of batteries and metallic parts such as radiators etc. The presence of these metals on the road is usually due to leaded gasoline, tire wear, corrosion of roadside safety fences, and wear of brake linings [33,34]. Also, the source of Ni and chromium in road dust is probably due to corrosion of vehicular parts. Moreover, heavy metals can enter the environment through natural paths, such as mineral erosion, wind, river, groundwater, and volcanic activities where all the items are connected each other. Malkoc (2010) did the research on the levels of heavy metal pollution in roadside soils of Eskisehir, Turkey. Fifteen soil samples were taken from three different lines: only - tramway lines, only - traffic lines, and both traffic and tramway lines and analysed for different heavy metals viz., Cd, Cu, Cr, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn. The level of pollution in soil was estimated based on the geoaccumulation index (Igeo), enrichment factor (EF), pollution index and integrated pollution index (IPI). The values of the integrated pollution index (IPI) were found to be in the order of Pb > Zn > Cu > Fe > Mn > Ni > Cr > Cd [34-40]. In this research, the concentrations of heavy metals such as lead ( Pb ), Zinc (Zn), Nickle (Ni), Cobalt (Co), and Cadmium (Cd) in road in Rasht province areas (Iran northern) were studied using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES).
Rasht city center was the place for selecting the samples. All samples were randomly selected from several points, where mainly the vehicles running on these roads use gasoline and diesel engines which were or target. A mass of people traveling daily on these roads are subjected to its dusty environment to introduce as a point.
Measurements and Characterization
A PerkinElmer (Shelton, CT, USA) Optima 3300 DV ICP-OES instrument was used for determinations.
Preparation of Samples
Totally, we have tried prepare samples according to routine methods which were used in literatures. At each of these points, dust samples were collected within 0.5 m distance from the edge of the pavement. These surface soil samples were taken from the top (0-2) cm of soil. At each sampling point, three sub-samples were taken and then mixed to achieve a bulk sample. Such a sampling strategy was adopted in order to decrease the possibility of random effect of urban waste not obviously visible. Samples were placed in plastic bags, labeled by attention, and taken to the laboratories for further processes. Soil samples were digested with HCl, NHO3, and H2O2 according to U. S. EPA 3050B method and prepared for results [35-39].
Results and Discussion
The results of heavy metals from the samples are given in (Tables 1 & 2). The results have shown that all heavy metal amounts except Cd, are higher than reasonable values in natural soils which were investigated. The average concentration of Pb was 822.1 mg/kg. Pb is remarkably affected by car exhaust and vehicle emissions, eg tire wear, bearing wear. This high concentration of lead mostly is due to the non-standard gasoline applications. The average concentration of Zn was 712.2 mg/kg, which is due to the application of Zn compounds as antioxidants and as detergent/dispersants improving agents for motor oil in the car and machinery industries. We express that the source of Ni in street dust is cause of the corrosion of vehicular parts or related industries. The high rate of corrosion and wear from old vehicles (due to the use of worn-out cars in Iran) plying these roads could have accounted for the significant levels of anthropogenic contributions of Ni in the road dust. The average street concentration of Co was 32.20 mg / kg, which was reasonable value.
Table 1: Mean concentration of metals (mg/kg) in street dust (dense traffic).
Table 2: Mean concentration of metals (mg/kg) in street dust (lower traffic).
The mean Cd concentration has been measured in the street 2.06 mg/kg. Cd is a relatively rare heavy metal, which occurs naturally in combination with other metals. Cd has been observed in road dust due to its presence in both automobile fuel and in soil. Prolonged exposure to Cd could affect some related organs with the kidney being the principal target where it is being researched as more in literatures every day. Because of the special climatic condition of Rasht, which is significantly rainy in the year, there is a concern that these toxic heavy metals will enter the surface water or groundwater which are usable in different applications and have daily usages. In northern Iran, natural products and farm harvestings are also irrigated from surface and groundwater, increasing the concerns that these metals may enter the food chain or play some dependable roles in the health tips of the people in this area [40-42].
Generally, the average concentration of some heavy metals in roadside soils of Rasht province area (northern Iran) was measured and compared by attention. The results have showed that the amounts of studied heavy metals are high in some areas and threaten the health of all organisms especially the neighbourhoods. Cause of the rapidly increasing population of Rasht city, the pollution rate along this roads is expected to increase in the coming years. Some protective measures such as the use of public transportation, conversion of liquid fossil fuel to gaseous fuel or other clean energies, having more green landscapes as well as storing the natural sources and assessing the pollution centers to control and better managements are suggested to combat this problem.
More information regarding this Article visit: OAJBGSR
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the 75-85% of primary liver tumors. Chronic liver disease, in particular cirrhosis, is the leading risk factor for HCC . Liver Transplantation (LT) is an effective therapy for HCC, allowing an oncological resection of the tumor and a resolution of the underlying liver dysfunction. However, due to the shortage of liver grafts and a concomitant increase of candidates for LT, a longer waiting time for LT is occurring . In patients affected by HCC, a longer waitlist is associated with a higher risk of drop out, especially due to tumor progression. In the last years, Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT) has been evaluated as a viable option to Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation (DDLT) to reduce waitlist mortality and/or the risk of patient drop out.
With the increased experience in LDLT for patients with HCC, concerns have been raised about the outcome in terms of HCC recurrence and Overall Survival (OS) compared to DDLT. The aim of this paper is to summarize the available studies comparing DDLT versus LDLT in patients affected by HCC, especially in terms of HCC recurrence rate.
HCC Recurrence after LDLT
The correct patient selection and prioritization for LT are ongoing matters of debate in DDLT. Variables such as number, dimension and bio markers of HCC, especially AFP, have been proposed to select the patients with lower risk of HCC recurrence and the best OS after LT. The Milan criteria (a single tumor size of ≤5 cm or up to 3 tumors with sizes ≤3 cm in diameter with no macrovascular invasion) are widely apply to select HCC patients for LT [3-6]. However, different selection criteria have been proposed, such as utility models (based on radiologic morphology) biology models, or a combination of the two . HCC recurrence is an essential variable also in the LDLT, and a debate has been raised about the HCC recurrence after LDLT compared to DDLT.
Some studies showed that LDLT was associated with a higher HCC recurrence rate, compared to DDLT [8-11]. Some features related to the LDLT procedure have been proposed as possible explanations.
In the LDLT the graft used is different compared to DDLT. The whole organ is usually used in the DDLT, while the right liver graft is mainly used in adult LDLT. Some studies suggested that the consequent liver regeneration after LDLT, with a rapid increase in growth factors and cytokines, might stimulate HCC recurrence. Furthermore, the small-for-size grafts have been associated with higher endothelial growth-factor expression and angiogenesis [12-16].
However, the implication of these factors in HCC recurrence is questioned . A technical aspect has been suggested as possible further explanation of higher HCC recurrence in LDLT showed in some studies. In particular, in the recipient, the preservation of the native inferior vena cava, the longer hepatic artery and bile duct might be associated with insufficient tumor removal and HCC residue and dissemination.
Another variable introduced with the LDLT compared to DDLT is the waiting time list. In the LDLT the waiting time list is drastically reduced, with the potential to overcome the organ shortage, reducing the waitlist mortality and the risk of drop out due to HCC progression. For example, Bhangui et al. reported the waiting time for LDLT patients (2.8±2.4 months) was significantly shorter than DDLT (7.9±9 months; P<0.001), and some center reported a median of 44 days [18,19].
However, time in the waiting list is another important indirect selection criterion that can influence the HCC recurrence. During the waiting time, the patient is usually observed and, in some cases, treated with loco regional treatments, such as TACE or ablative techniques (MWA or RFA). The waitlist and the response to the loco regional treatments could show the patient with a more aggressive HCC pattern. In the LDLT this “test of time” is significantly reduced compared to DDLT, and the results of the higher HCC recurrence can be the consequence of the inclusion of patient with aggressive tumor [8, 10, 11, 20-24].
Last but not least, patients who underwent LDLT often exceeded the most common HCC inclusion criteria (Milan criteria, UCSF) and the criteria used for DDLT are not the same for LLDT. Most studies report an LDLT offered to a patient affected with a more advanced HCC, raising concern about the ethical aspect . All these factors would predispose the LDLT to have a worse outcome in terms of OS, RFS and HCC recurrence. However, as previously reported, the data are inconsistent.
To date, few meta analysis comparing the HCC outcome after LDLT or DDLT are available. In 2012, Lian et al. evaluated 1310 patient affected by HCC underwent to LDLT or DDLT in seven studies. Six were retrospective cohort studies, one was a prospective study, none was randomized trial . To note, the tumor-related baseline variables, such as the TNM stage, size, and number of tumors, tumor differentiation, microvascular invasion, MELD score, Child-Pugh class, percentage of patients beyond the Milan or UCSF criteria, and treatment before LT were comparable between groups in all studies. In the LDLT groups, a significantly shorter waiting period and cold ischemia time have been showed. At 1, 3 and 5 years the LDLT and DDLT recipients had similar OS rate with no significant heterogeneity among the studies, except for the 5-year survival rates (4 studies showed a statistically significant heterogeneity; P . 0.13, I2 . 47%). Similarly, the RFS at 1,3 and 5 years was similar between LDLT and DDLT with no significant heterogeneity among the studies. The HCC recurrence rate at 1,3 and 5 years showed a similar pattern, but varying degrees of heterogeneity were found in the studies comparisons at 1,3 and 5 years20.
An additional analysis was performed comparing LDLT and DDLT in patients with HCC Milan criteria in or out. At 1,3 and 5 year the OS and RFS were similar between the two groups within the Milan criteria, while the LDLT recipients had a greater 1-year recurrence rate than DDLT recipients (insufficient data were available to perform a 3- and 5-years comparison). In the patients beyond Milan criteria, the OR, RFS and recurrence rate were similar between DDLT and LDLT20.
In 2019, Zhang et al. published a meta-analysis selecting, with strict inclusion criteria, seven studies, reporting a significantly increased risk of HCC recurrence in the LDLT group compared to DDLT group (P = 0.01) . Zhu et al. performed a meta-analysis comparing LDLT and DDLT in twenty-nine studies with 5376 HCC patients with an Intention to Treat analysis (ITT). At 1,3 and 5 year the OS, DFS and HCC recurrence were similar between the LDLT and DDLT groups. Furthermore, LDLT was associated with better 5-year intention-to-treat patient survival than DDLT (RR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.01–1.22, P = 0.04) .
The inconsistent data reported by the previous meta-analyses can be explained by some bias associated with the studies. These meta analyses compared multiple studies that often have an extremely heterogeneous transplanted population. HCC staging system, selection criteria, pre-LT treatment, waitlist time, donor preservation, surgical technique, and post LT management are some of the most variables that contribute to increase the complexity of LDLT evaluation. Furthermore, the evaluation of the outcome starting not at the time of the LT but at the waitlist (ITT analyses) is another factor leading to different results among the studies.
Deeping in the studies that reported a higher HCC recurrence rate in LDLT compared to DDLT, most of them reported patients with higher levels of AFP, more tumors beyond Milan and/or UCSF criteria and micro vascular invasion. Furthermore, less pre-LT ablation therapy is used in patients treated with LDLT due to the shorter waiting time compared to DDLT. Thereby, the main reasons for a different outcome reported by some studies and higher HCC recurrence in LDLT compared to DDLT could not be related to the type of technique per se (LDLT or DDLT), but probably to the different patient’s selection.
Transplant benefit might be the correct way to evaluate the real outcome of LDLT compared to DDLT. Most of the studies evaluated only the post LT outcomes, without including the results for patients on the waitlist. In particular, a percentage of patients listed for DDLT will drop out from the waitlist due to tumor progression, while in the LDLT group with a shorter waiting time allows these patients with more aggressive HCC pattern to be transplanted, affecting the final outcome. With this consideration, probably the transplant survival benefit in the LDLT is not correctly evaluated compared to DDLT . In the last years, studies with an ITT analysis (evaluating the outcome from the time of listing, and not from the time of LT), showed comparable results in terms of OS and HCC recurrence among LDLT and DDLT groups . In particular, Goldaracena et al. showed a transplant benefit of LDLT compared to DDLT in an ITT analysis associated with a reduction in the drop out rate in the LDLT groups. Similar results were obtained by Wong et al. that performed a ITT and propensity score matching analysis of 375 patients with 5-year OS of 81.4% for LDLT versus 40.8% for DDLT.
In conclusion, LDLT was firstly associated with a higher HCC recurrence. In the last years, most studies showed similar results comparing LDLT to DDLT in terms of HCC recurrence and OS, especially at ITT analysis. To date, no randomized studies are available comparing LDLT to DDLT. The different outcome between LDLT and DDLT might be related more to the variables associate with the procedure (patient selection, HCC staging, waitlist, pre- and post-LT treatment) than the procedure itself.
More information regarding this Article visit: OAJBGSR