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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Problem Statement Greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous

oxide (N2O) are present naturally in a balanced amount in the atmosphere. However, human activities and actions via daily life routines have altered their atmospheric concentrations to a endangering level (Cornejo & Wilkie, 2010). This endangering level can also be referred to as greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect is a process in which the thermal radiation from planet (Earth) surface is absorbed by the available greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and this radiation is then reemitted by these gases back to the surface in various directions. This action results in the increase of the average temperature of the surface of Earth. This increased value of temperature is higher than the value that is caused solely by solar radiation as the only warming mechanism (Allaby & Allaby, 1999). This phenomenon is named as global warming. Our planet Earth is currently warming up globally. The current temperature of Earth is already up more than 0.8 degree Celcius and even more higher at the polar zones. The consequences of this global warming are visible. Among the noted effects are the melting of ice caps at the North and South poles of the Earth. This includes the mountain glaciers and ice sheets. This meltdown causes rise in the sea level, endangering certain island around the world such as Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Maldives. Sea level rise due to global warming is predicted to achieve a rise between 7 and 23 inches by the end of the century. Another effect of global warming is the diminishing of fresh water. Researchers have noted that if the Quelccava ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its present rate, by 2100 the cap will completely disappear. This will be a major casualty to people who depend on this ice cap for drinking water source and also electricity. Besides that, the ecosystem of Earth will also undergo variation due to migration of certain species of fauna form its original habitat

to a newer habitat that has its original environment for living. This cause disruption of the food chain at the original habitat leading to extinction of certain animals. Wildlife research scientist Martyn Obbard discovered that the polar bears are becoming skinnier and unhealthy due to shrinking of ice as habitat and the decreasing amount of fish as food source for the polar bear. If this scenario continues on, along with the melting of ice, the number of polar bears will also melt and eventually dissolves off (National Goegraphic). There are two leading cause of greenhouse gases emissions, namely fossil fuel burning (responsible for carbon dioxide) and agricultural activities (responsible for non-carbon dioxide gases ) . Fossil fuel is the main source of energy for humans on Earth today (Shafiee & Topal, 2009). Energy is an essential factor in the interactions between nature and society and is considered a major element for economic development. Energy resources are essentially used to fulfil many of human needs such as transportation, electricity generation and others (Midili & Dincer, 2008). The burning of this fossil fuel has significantly contribute towards the increase of carbon dioxide gas concentration in the atmosphere. Non carbon dioxide gases of the greenhouse gases family are namely methane and nitrous dioxide. The largest producers of these gases are agricultural field. Methane that is produced via enteric fermentation from livestock and decomposition of manure accounts for almost 70% of emission from this category and nitrous oxide is released from agricultural soil makes up the balance (Cornejo & Wilkie, 2010). Hence, a political regulation has been implanted to combat this situation that is Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is targeted on 37 industrialized countries and the European Community to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas by 5% against the recorded value in

1990 over the period of 2008 to 2012. As of September 2011, 191 countries have signed and ratified the protocol. In parallel to this regulation, we need to cultivate alternative sources to reduce dependency on fossil fuel and also control the emission of greenhouse gases (mainly methane) from the agricultural field. The connecting solution for both these issues that is to kill two birds with one stone is the production of biogas (i.e. methane) from agricultural waste. This will reduce the amount of methane gas released to the atmosphere as it will be utilised as a substituting energy source for fossil fuel in certain areas through this research. RATIONAL OF STUDY This study is to produce biogas from vegetable waste using anaerobic digestion as source of energy and also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Production of biogas via a microbially controlled mechanism is an essential part in the global carbon cycle. The amount of biogas emitted through natural biodegradation of organic substances under anaerobic environment to the atmosphere is estimated to be 590-800 million tons. Hence, an effective biogas recovery system will utilise these biochemical process to obtain biogas by decomposition of multiple biomass. This biogas produced will be a potential energy source (Bond & Templeton, 2011). Biogas production via anaerobic digestion is promising medium of producing alternative energy source which is renewable and also attain several environmental benefits. The heat content of biogas is high and it burns under smokeless condition making it a suitable substitute for cooking, heating and as well as generating electricity for lighting and refrigeration. The slurry from digesting tank can be utilised as fertilisers (Mohammad,

et.al.1996).

Kundasang is a small village town at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. It is also the vegetable capital of the state. Kundasang is well known for producing highland vegetables, which is also a major economic aspect there. Kundasang, at the height of 1600 metres above sea level is an ideal ground to produce highland vegetables namely cabbages, tomatoes, capsicums and carrots. Harvest from cabbages amounted to 200 to 500 kilogrammes per month according to a local website. So far, no researches has been conducted on production biogas from cabbage waste in this state. Hence, this research would be pioneer in this matter. Cabbage leaves are also one the waste in cabbage farm as the outer layers of leaves are normally peeled off. This leave contains significant amount of sugar that can be converted to methane gas via microorganism reaction. Table 1 depicts the amount of substrates present in a cabbage.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) of Raw Cabbage


Energy : 103 kJ (25 kcal) Carbohydrates Sugars Dietary fiber Fat Protein Thiamine (vit. B1) Riboflavin (vit. B2) Niacin (vit. B3) Pantothenic acid (B5) Vitamin B6 Folate (vit. B9) Vitamin C 5.8g 3.2g 2.5g 0.1g 1.28g 0.061 mg (5%) 0.040 mg (3%) 0.234 mg (2%) 0.212 mg (4%) 0.124 mg (10%) 53 g (13%) 36.6 mg (44%)

Vitamin K Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Zinc

76 g (72%) 40 mg (4%) 0.47 mg (4%) 12 mg (3%) 26 mg (4% 170 mg (4%) 0.18 mg (2%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Table 1: Amount of substrates present in a raw cabbage (Source: USDA Nutrient Database)

OBJECTIVE OF RESEARCH 1) To determine the capacity of cabbage leaves to produce biogas at mesophilic condition. 2) To utilise the readily available vegetable waste in abundance(cabbage waste) to produce biogas. 3) To develop a mathematical modelling for the production of biogas from the cabbage waste. 4) To produce alternative energy source for fossil fuel

SCOPE OF STUDY The cabbage waste is to be collected from cabbage farm around Kundasang area. Cow dungs will also be collected from Kundasang at Desa Dairy farm as cow dung will be the provider of microorganism needed to convert the sugar in cabbage into biogas. Then the cabbage waste will be shredded and undergoes partial composting in open air. Then, the waste mixed with water and cow dung will be inserted as slurry into the digester tank and will be allowed to undergo anaerobic digestion for hydraulic retention time of 30 days under mesophilic condition. Once the biogas is produced, it will be collected and is passed through lime water for absorption of carbon dioxide gas. Then the purified biogas, which mainly consist of methane gas will be stored in a proper container for further usage as burning source in Bunsen burner.