Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Emanuele Martelli

19 Extraction of Cellulose Nanocrystals from Soy Pods

Authors: Maycon dos Santos, Marivane Turim Koschevic, Karina Sayuri Ueda, Marcello Lima Bertuci, Farayde Matta Fackhouri, Silvia Maria Martelli


The use of cellulose nanocrystals as reinforcing agents in polymer nanocomposites is promising. In this study, we tested four different methods of mercerization were divided into two stages. The sample was treated in 5% NaOH solution for 30 minutes at 50 ° C in the first stage and 30vol H2O2 for 2 hours at 50 ° C in the second step, which showed better results. For the extraction of the sample obtained nanocrystals positive result was that the solution was treated with H2SO4 60% (w / w) for 1 hour at 50 ° C. The results were positive and showed that it is possible to extract CNC at low temperatures.

Keywords: soy pods, cellulose nanocrystals, temperature, acid concentration

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18 Interplay of Material and Cycle Design in a Vacuum-Temperature Swing Adsorption Process for Biogas Upgrading

Authors: Federico Capra, Emanuele Martelli, Matteo Gazzani, Marco Mazzotti, Maurizio Notaro


Natural gas is a major energy source in the current global economy, contributing to roughly 21% of the total primary energy consumption. Production of natural gas starting from renewable energy sources is key to limit the related CO2 emissions, especially for those sectors that heavily rely on natural gas use. In this context, biomethane produced via biogas upgrading represents a good candidate for partial substitution of fossil natural gas. The upgrading process of biogas to biomethane consists in (i) the removal of pollutants and impurities (e.g. H2S, siloxanes, ammonia, water), and (ii) the separation of carbon dioxide from methane. Focusing on the CO2 removal process, several technologies can be considered: chemical or physical absorption with solvents (e.g. water, amines), membranes, adsorption-based systems (PSA). However, none emerged as the leading technology, because of (i) the heterogeneity in plant size, ii) the heterogeneity in biogas composition, which is strongly related to the feedstock type (animal manure, sewage treatment, landfill products), (iii) the case-sensitive optimal tradeoff between purity and recovery of biomethane, and iv) the destination of the produced biomethane (grid injection, CHP applications, transportation sector). With this contribution, we explore the use of a technology for biogas upgrading and we compare the resulting performance with benchmark technologies. The proposed technology makes use of a chemical sorbent, which is engineered by RSE and consists of Di-Ethanol-Amine deposited on a solid support made of γ-Alumina, to chemically adsorb the CO2 contained in the gas. The material is packed into fixed beds that cyclically undergo adsorption and regeneration steps. CO2 is adsorbed at low temperature and ambient pressure (or slightly above) while the regeneration is carried out by pulling vacuum and increasing the temperature of the bed (vacuum-temperature swing adsorption - VTSA). Dynamic adsorption tests were performed by RSE and were used to tune the mathematical model of the process, including material and transport parameters (i.e. Langmuir isotherms data and heat and mass transport). Based on this set of data, an optimal VTSA cycle was designed. The results enabled a better understanding of the interplay between material and cycle tuning. As exemplary application, the upgrading of biogas for grid injection, produced by an anaerobic digester (60-70% CO2, 30-40% CH4), for an equivalent size of 1 MWel was selected. A plant configuration is proposed to maximize heat recovery and minimize the energy consumption of the process. The resulting performances are very promising compared to benchmark solutions, which make the VTSA configuration a valuable alternative for biomethane production starting from biogas.

Keywords: biogas upgrading, biogas upgrading energetic cost, CO2 adsorption, VTSA process modelling

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17 Pretreatment of Cattail (Typha domingensis) Fibers to Obtain Cellulose Nanocrystals

Authors: Marivane Turim Koschevic, Maycon dos Santos, Marcello Lima Bertuci, Farayde Matta Fakhouri, Silvia Maria Martelli


Natural fibers are rich raw materials in cellulose and abundant in the world, its use for the cellulose nanocrystals extraction is promising as an example cited is the cattail, macrophyte native weed in South America. This study deals with the pre-treatment cattail of crushed fibers, at six different methods of mercerization, followed by the use of bleaching. As a result, have found The positive effects of treating fibers by means of optical microscopy and spectroscopy, Fourier transform (FTIR). The sample selected for future testing of cellulose nanocrystals extraction was treated in 2.5% NaOH for 2 h, 60 °C in the first stage and 30vol H2O2, NaOH 5% in the proportion 30/70% (v/v) for 1 hour 60 °C, followed by treatment at 50/50% (v/v) 15 minutes, 50°C, with the same constituents of the solution.

Keywords: cellulose nanocrystal, chemical treatment, mercerization, natural fibers

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16 The Role of Optimization and Machine Learning in e-Commerce Logistics in 2030

Authors: Vincenzo Capalbo, Gianpaolo Ghiani, Emanuele Manni


Global e-commerce sales have reached unprecedented levels in the past few years. As this trend is only predicted to go up as we continue into the ’20s, new challenges will be faced by companies when planning and controlling e-commerce logistics. In this paper, we survey the related literature on Optimization and Machine Learning as well as on combined methodologies. We also identify the distinctive features of next-generation planning algorithms - namely scalability, model-and-run features and learning capabilities - that will be fundamental to cope with the scale and complexity of logistics in the next decade.

Keywords: e-commerce, hardware acceleration, logistics, machine learning, mixed integer programming, optimization

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15 Omni: Data Science Platform for Evaluate Performance of a LoRaWAN Network

Authors: Emanuele A. Solagna, Ricardo S, Tozetto, Roberto dos S. Rabello


Nowadays, physical processes are becoming digitized by the evolution of communication, sensing and storage technologies which promote the development of smart cities. The evolution of this technology has generated multiple challenges related to the generation of big data and the active participation of electronic devices in society. Thus, devices can send information that is captured and processed over large areas, but there is no guarantee that all the obtained data amount will be effectively stored and correctly persisted. Because, depending on the technology which is used, there are parameters that has huge influence on the full delivery of information. This article aims to characterize the project, currently under development, of a platform that based on data science will perform a performance and effectiveness evaluation of an industrial network that implements LoRaWAN technology considering its main parameters configuration relating these parameters to the information loss.

Keywords: Internet of Things, LoRa, LoRaWAN, smart cities

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14 Sustainable Biogas Upgrading: Characterization of Adsorption Properties of Tuff

Authors: Emanuele Bonamente, Andrea Aquino, Franco Cotana


This paper presents experimental results from the analysis of Tuff for CO2 and H2S removal from biogas. Synthetic zeolites, commonly used for biogas upgrading, are characterized by excellent performance in terms of carbon dioxide adsorption, however, cost and environmental footprint represent a negative contribute to their sustainability. Natural zeolites contained in Tuff, a totally inexpensive byproduct of the construction industry, show very interesting selective adsorption properties, associated with its availability in regions, as central Italy, where biogas production from small scale plants is rapidly increasing. An in-house experimental device was assembled to measure the adsorption capacity of Tuff as a function of partial CO2 pressure for different temperatures (i.e. adsorption isotherms). Results show performances as high as 66% with respect to commercial zeolites (13X). A sensitivity analysis of different regeneration processes is also presented. A comparative analysis of natural and synthetic zeolites was finally performed using biogas samples obtained from different types of feedstock and characterized by varying CO2 and H2S content.

Keywords: biogas upgrading, CO2 adsorption, sustainable energy, tuff

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13 Auction Theory In Competitive Takeovers: Ideas For Regulators

Authors: Emanuele Peggi


The regulation of competitive takeover bids is one of the most problematic issues of any legislation on takeovers since it concerns a particular type of market, that of corporate control, whose peculiar characteristic is that companies represent "assets" unique of their kind, for each of which there will be a relevant market characterized by the presence of different subjects interested in acquiring control. Firstly, this work aims to analyze, from a comparative point of view, the regulation of takeover bids in competitive scenarios, characterized by the presence of multiple takeover bids for the same target company, and contribute to the debate on the impact that various solutions adopted in some legal systems examined (Italy, UK, and USA) have had on the efficiency of the market for corporate control. Secondly, the different auction models identified by the economic literature and their possible applications to corporate acquisitions in competitive scenarios will be examined, as well as the consequences that the application of each of them causes on the efficiency of the market for corporate control and the interests of the target shareholders. The scope is to study the possibility of attributing to the management of the target company the power to design the auction in order to better protect the interests of shareholders through the adoption of ad hoc models according to the specific context. and in particular on the ground of their assessment of the buyer's risk profile.

Keywords: takeovers, auction theory, shareholders, target company

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12 A Phase Change Materials Thermal Storage for Ground-Source Heat Pumps: Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of Innovative Layouts

Authors: Emanuele Bonamente, Andrea Aquino, Franco Cotana


The exploitation of the low-temperature geothermal resource via ground-source heat pumps is often limited by the high investment cost mainly due to borehole drilling. From the monitoring of a prototypal system currently used by a commercial building, it was found that a simple upgrade of the conventional layout, obtained including a thermal storage between the ground-source heat exchangers and the heat pump, can optimize the ground energy exploitation requiring for shorter/fewer boreholes. For typical applications, a reduction of up to 66% with respect to the conventional layout can be easily achieved. Results from the monitoring campaign of the prototype are presented in this paper, and upgrades of the thermal storage using phase change materials (PCMs) are proposed using computational fluid dynamics simulations. The PCM thermal storage guarantees an improvement of the system coefficient of performance both for summer cooling and winter heating (up to 25%). A drastic reduction of the storage volume (approx. 1/10 of the original size) is also achieved, making it possible to easily place it within the technical room, avoiding extra costs for underground displacement. A preliminary optimization of the PCM geometry is finally proposed.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics (CFD), geothermal energy, ground-source heat pumps, phase change materials (PCM)

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11 Multi-Objective Optimization in Carbon Abatement Technology Cycles (CAT) and Related Areas: Survey, Developments and Prospects

Authors: Hameed Rukayat Opeyemi, Pericles Pilidis, Pagone Emanuele


An infinitesimal increase in performance can have immense reduction in operating and capital expenses in a power generation system. Therefore, constant studies are being carried out to improve both conventional and novel power cycles. Globally, power producers are constantly researching on ways to minimize emission and to collectively downsize the total cost rate of power plants. A substantial spurt of developmental technologies of low carbon cycles have been suggested and studied, however they all have their limitations and financial implication. In the area of carbon abatement in power plants, three major objectives conflict: The cost rate of the plant, Power output and Environmental impact. Since, an increase in one of this parameter directly affects the other. This poses a multi-objective problem. It is paramount to be able to discern the point where improving one objective affects the other. Hence, the need for a Pareto-based optimization algorithm. Pareto-based optimization algorithm helps to find those points where improving one objective influences another objective negatively and stops there. The application of Pareto-based optimization algorithm helps the user/operator/designer make an informed decision. This paper sheds more light on areas that multi-objective optimization has been applied in carbon abatement technologies in the last five years, developments and prospects.

Keywords: gas turbine, low carbon technology, pareto optimal, multi-objective optimization

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10 Brief Review of the Self-Tightening, Left-Handed Thread

Authors: Robert S. Giachetti, Emanuele Grossi


Loosening of bolted joints in rotating machines can adversely affect their performance, cause mechanical damage, and lead to injuries. In this paper, two potential loosening phenomena in rotating applications are discussed. First, ‘precession,’ is governed by thread/nut contact forces, while the second is based on inertial effects of the fastened assembly. These mechanisms are reviewed within the context of historical usage of left-handed fasteners in rotating machines which appears absent in the literature and common machine design texts. Historically, to prevent loosening of wheel nuts, vehicle manufacturers have used right-handed and left-handed threads on different sides of the vehicle, but most modern vehicles have abandoned this custom and only use right-handed, tapered lug nuts on all sides of the vehicle. Other classical machines such as the bicycle continue to use different handed threads on each side while other machines such as, bench grinders, circular saws and brush cutters still use left-handed threads to fasten rotating components. Despite the continued use of left-handed fasteners, the rationale and analysis of left-handed threads to mitigate self-loosening of fasteners in rotating applications is not commonly, if at all, discussed in the literature or design textbooks. Without scientific literature to support these design selections, these implementations may be the result of experimental findings or aged institutional knowledge. Based on a review of rotating applications, historical documents and mechanical design references, a formal study of the paradoxical nature of left-handed threads in various applications is merited.

Keywords: rotating machinery, self-loosening fasteners, wheel fastening, vibration loosening

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9 Design of an Innovative Geothermal Heat Pump with a PCM Thermal Storage

Authors: Emanuele Bonamente, Andrea Aquino


This study presents an innovative design for geothermal heat pumps with the goal of maximizing the system efficiency (COP - Coefficient of Performance), reducing the soil use (e.g. length/depth of geothermal boreholes) and initial investment costs. Based on experimental data obtained from a two-year monitoring of a working prototype implemented for a commercial building in the city of Perugia, Italy, an upgrade of the system is proposed and the performance is evaluated via CFD simulations. The prototype was designed to include a thermal heat storage (i.e. water), positioned between the boreholes and the heat pump, acting as a flywheel. Results from the monitoring campaign show that the system is still capable of providing the required heating and cooling energy with a reduced geothermal installation (approx. 30% of the standard length). In this paper, an optimization of the system is proposed, re-designing the heat storage to include phase change materials (PCMs). Two stacks of PCMs, characterized by melting temperatures equal to those needed to maximize the system COP for heating and cooling, are disposed within the storage. During the working cycle, the latent heat of the PCMs is used to heat (cool) the water used by the heat pump while the boreholes independently cool (heat) the storage. The new storage is approximately 10 times smaller and can be easily placed close to the heat pump in the technical room. First, a validation of the CFD simulation of the storage is performed against experimental data. The simulation is then used to test possible alternatives of the original design and it is finally exploited to evaluate the PCM-storage performance for two different configurations (i.e. single- and double-loop systems).

Keywords: geothermal heat pump, phase change materials (PCM), energy storage, renewable energies

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8 Olive-Mill Wastewater and Organo-Mineral Fertlizers Application for the Control of Parasitic Weed Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel in Tomato

Authors: Grazia Disciglio, Francesco Lops, Annalisa Tarantino, Emanuele Tarantino


The parasitic weed specie Phelipanche ramosa (L) Pomel is one of the major constraints in tomato crop in Apulia region (southern Italy). The experimental was considered to investigate the effect of six organic compounds (Olive miller wastewater, Allil isothiocyanate®, Alfa plus K®, Radicon®, Rizosum Max®, Kendal Nem®) on the naturally infested field of tomato growing season in 2016. The randomized block design with 3 replicates was adopted. Tomato seedling were transplant on 19 May 2016. During the growing cycle of the tomato at 74, 81, 93 and 103 days after transplantation (DAT), the number of parasitic shoots (branched plants) that had emerged in each plot was determined. At harvesting on 13 September 2016 the major quanti-qualitative yield parameters were determined, including marketable yield, mean weight, dry matter, soluble solids, fruit colour, pH and titratable acidity. The treatments provided the results show that none of treatments provided complete control against P. ramosa. However, among the products tested Olive miller wastewater, Alfa plus K®, Rizosum Max® and Kendal Nem® products applied to the soil show the number of emerged shoots significantly lower than Radicon® and especially than the Allil isothiocyanate® treatment and the untreated control. Regarding the effect of different treatments on the tomato productive parameters, the marketable yield resulted significantly higher in the same mentioned treatments which gave the lower P. ramosa infestation. No significative differences for the other fruit characteristics were observed.

Keywords: processing tomato crop, Phelipanche ramosa, olive-mill wastewater, organic fertilizers

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7 Quality Characteristics of Treated Wastewater of 'Industrial Area Foggia'

Authors: Grazia Disciglio, Annalisa Tarantino, Emanuele Tarantino


The production system of Foggia province (Apulia, Southern Italy) is characterized by the presence of numerous agro-food industries whose activities include the processing of vegetables products that release large quantities of wastewater. The reuse in agriculture of these wastewaters offers the opportunity to reduce the costs of their disposal and minimizing their environmental impact. In addition, in this area, which suffers from water shortage, the use of agro-industrial wastewater is essential in the very intensive irrigation cropping systems. The present investigation was carried out in years 2009 and 2010 to monitor the physico-chemical and microbiological characteristics of the industrial wastewater (IWW) from the secondary treatment plant of the 'Industrial Area of Foggia'. The treatment plant released on average about 567,000 m3y-1 of IWW, which distribution was not uniform over the year. The monthly values were about 250,000 m3 from November to June and about 90,000 m3 from July to October. The obtained results revealed that IWW was characterized by low values of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Sodium Absorption Rate (SAR). An occasional presence of heavy metal and high concentration of total phosphorus, total nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen and microbial organisms (Escherichia coli and Salmonella) were observed. Due to the presence of this pathogenic microorganisms and sometimes of heavy metals, which may raise sanitary and environmental problems in order to the possible irrigation reuse of this IWW, a tertiary treatment of wastewater based on filtration and disinfection in line are recommended. Researches on the reuse of treated IWW on crops (olive, artichoke, industrial tomatoes, fennel, lettuce etc.) did not show significant differences among the irrigated plots for most of the soil and yield characteristics.

Keywords: agroindustrial wastewater, irrigation, microbiological characteristic, physico-chemical characteristics

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6 Joint Training Offer Selection and Course Timetabling Problems: Models and Algorithms

Authors: Gianpaolo Ghiani, Emanuela Guerriero, Emanuele Manni, Alessandro Romano


In this article, we deal with a variant of the classical course timetabling problem that has a practical application in many areas of education. In particular, in this paper we are interested in high schools remedial courses. The purpose of such courses is to provide under-prepared students with the skills necessary to succeed in their studies. In particular, a student might be under prepared in an entire course, or only in a part of it. The limited availability of funds, as well as the limited amount of time and teachers at disposal, often requires schools to choose which courses and/or which teaching units to activate. Thus, schools need to model the training offer and the related timetabling, with the goal of ensuring the highest possible teaching quality, by meeting the above-mentioned financial, time and resources constraints. Moreover, there are some prerequisites between the teaching units that must be satisfied. We first present a Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP) model to solve this problem to optimality. However, the presence of many peculiar constraints contributes inevitably in increasing the complexity of the mathematical model. Thus, solving it through a general purpose solver may be performed for small instances only, while solving real-life-sized instances of such model requires specific techniques or heuristic approaches. For this purpose, we also propose a heuristic approach, in which we make use of a fast constructive procedure to obtain a feasible solution. To assess our exact and heuristic approaches we perform extensive computational results on both real-life instances (obtained from a high school in Lecce, Italy) and randomly generated instances. Our tests show that the MIP model is never solved to optimality, with an average optimality gap of 57%. On the other hand, the heuristic algorithm is much faster (in about the 50% of the considered instances it converges in approximately half of the time limit) and in many cases allows achieving an improvement on the objective function value obtained by the MIP model. Such an improvement ranges between 18% and 66%.

Keywords: heuristic, MIP model, remedial course, school, timetabling

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5 The M Health Paradigm for the Chronic Care Management of Obesity: New Opportunities in Clinical Psychology and Medicine

Authors: Gianluca Castelnuovo, Gian Mauro Manzoni, Giada Pietrabissa, Stefania Corti, Emanuele Giusti, Roberto Cattivelli, Enrico Molinari, Susan Simpson


Obesity is currently an important public health problem of epidemic proportions (globesity). Moreover Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is typically connected with obesity, even if not occurring exclusively in conjunction with overweight conditions. Typically obesity with BED requires a longer term treatment in comparison with simple obesity. Rehabilitation interventions that aim at improving weight-loss, reducing obesity-related complications and changing dysfunctional behaviors, should ideally be carried out in a multidisciplinary context with a clinical team composed of psychologists, dieticians, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, etc. Long-term outpatient multidisciplinary treatments are likely to constitute an essential aspect of rehabilitation, due to the growing costs of a limited inpatient approach. Internet-based technologies can improve long-term obesity rehabilitation within a collaborative approach. The new m health (m-health, mobile health) paradigm, defined as clinical practices supported by up to date mobile communication devices, could increase compliance- engagement and contribute to a significant cost reduction in BED and obesity rehabilitation. Five psychological components need to be considered for successful m Health-based obesity rehabilitation in order to facilitate weight-loss.1) Self-monitoring. Portable body monitors, pedometers and smartphones are mobile and, therefore, can be easily used, resulting in continuous self-monitoring. 2) Counselor feedback and communication. A functional approach is to provide online weight-loss interventions with brief weekly or monthly counselor or psychologist visits. 3) Social support. A group treatment format is typically preferred for behavioral weight-loss interventions. 4) Structured program. Technology-based weight-loss programs incorporate principles of behavior therapy and change with structured weekly protocolos including nutrition, exercise, stimulus control, self-regulation strategies, goal-setting. 5) Individually tailored program. Interventions specifically designed around individual’s goals typically record higher rates of adherence and weight loss. Opportunities and limitations of m health approach in clinical psychology for obesity and BED are discussed, taking into account future research directions in this promising area.

Keywords: obesity, rehabilitation, out-patient, new technologies, tele medicine, tele care, m health, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, chronic care management

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4 A Stepped Care mHealth-Based Approach for Obesity with Type 2 Diabetes in Clinical Health Psychology

Authors: Gianluca Castelnuovo, Giada Pietrabissa, Gian Mauro Manzoni, Margherita Novelli, Emanuele Maria Giusti, Roberto Cattivelli, Enrico Molinari


Diabesity could be defined as a new global epidemic of obesity and being overweight with many complications and chronic conditions. Such conditions include not only type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, cancer, and various psychosocial and psychopathological disorders. The financial direct and indirect burden (considering also the clinical resources involved and the loss of productivity) is a real challenge in many Western health-care systems. Recently the Lancet journal defined diabetes as a 21st-century challenge. In order to promote patient compliance in diabesity treatment reducing costs, evidence-based interventions to improve weight-loss, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce related comorbidities combine different treatment approaches: dietetic, nutritional, physical, behavioral, psychological, and, in some situations, pharmacological and surgical. Moreover, new technologies can provide useful solutions in this multidisciplinary approach, above all in maintaining long-term compliance and adherence in order to ensure clinical efficacy. Psychological therapies with diet and exercise plans could better help patients in achieving weight loss outcomes, both inside hospitals and clinical centers and during out-patient follow-up sessions. In the management of chronic diseases clinical psychology play a key role due to the need of working on psychological conditions of patients, their families and their caregivers. mHealth approach could overcome limitations linked with the traditional, restricted and highly expensive in-patient treatment of many chronic pathologies: one of the best up-to-date application is the management of obesity with type 2 diabetes, where mHealth solutions can provide remote opportunities for enhancing weight reduction and reducing complications from clinical, organizational and economic perspectives. A stepped care mHealth-based approach is an interesting perspective in chronic care management of obesity with type 2 diabetes. One promising future direction could be treating obesity, considered as a chronic multifactorial disease, using a stepped-care approach: -mhealth or traditional based lifestyle psychoeducational and nutritional approach. -health professionals-driven multidisciplinary protocols tailored for each patient. -inpatient approach with the inclusion of drug therapies and other multidisciplinary treatments. -bariatric surgery with psychological and medical follow-up In the chronic care management of globesity mhealth solutions cannot substitute traditional approaches, but they can supplement some steps in clinical psychology and medicine both for obesity prevention and for weight loss management.

Keywords: clinical health psychology, mhealth, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stepped care, chronic care management

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3 A New Model to Perform Preliminary Evaluations of Complex Systems for the Production of Energy for Buildings: Case Study

Authors: Roberto de Lieto Vollaro, Emanuele de Lieto Vollaro, Gianluca Coltrinari


The building sector is responsible, in many industrialized countries, for about 40% of the total energy requirements, so it seems necessary to devote some efforts in this area in order to achieve a significant reduction of energy consumption and of greenhouse gases emissions. The paper presents a study aiming at providing a design methodology able to identify the best configuration of the system building/plant, from a technical, economic and environmentally point of view. Normally, the classical approach involves a building's energy loads analysis under steady state conditions, and subsequent selection of measures aimed at improving the energy performance, based on previous experience made by architects and engineers in the design team. Instead, the proposed approach uses a sequence of two well known scientifically validated calculation methods (TRNSYS and RETScreen), that allow quite a detailed feasibility analysis. To assess the validity of the calculation model, an existing, historical building in Central Italy, that will be the object of restoration and preservative redevelopment, was selected as a case-study. The building is made of a basement and three floors, with a total floor area of about 3,000 square meters. The first step has been the determination of the heating and cooling energy loads of the building in a dynamic regime by means of TRNSYS, which allows to simulate the real energy needs of the building in function of its use. Traditional methodologies, based as they are on steady-state conditions, cannot faithfully reproduce the effects of varying climatic conditions and of inertial properties of the structure. With TRNSYS it is possible to obtain quite accurate and reliable results, that allow to identify effective combinations building-HVAC system. The second step has consisted of using output data obtained with TRNSYS as input to the calculation model RETScreen, which enables to compare different system configurations from the energy, environmental and financial point of view, with an analysis of investment, and operation and maintenance costs, so allowing to determine the economic benefit of possible interventions. The classical methodology often leads to the choice of conventional plant systems, while RETScreen provides a financial-economic assessment for innovative energy systems and low environmental impact. Computational analysis can help in the design phase, particularly in the case of complex structures with centralized plant systems, by comparing the data returned by the calculation model RETScreen for different design options. For example, the analysis performed on the building, taken as a case study, found that the most suitable plant solution, taking into account technical, economic and environmental aspects, is the one based on a CCHP system (Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power) using an internal combustion engine.

Keywords: energy, system, building, cooling, electrical

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2 The Chinese Inland-Coastal Inequality: The Role of Human Capital and the Crisis Watershed

Authors: Iacopo Odoardi, Emanuele Felice, Dario D'Ingiullo


We investigate the role of human capital in the Chinese inland-coastal inequality and how the consequences of the 2007-2008 crisis may induce China to refocus its development path on human capital. We compare panel data analyses for two periods for the richer/coastal and the relatively poor/inland provinces. Considering the rapid evolution of the Chinese economy and the changes forced by the international crisis, we wonder if these events can lead to rethinking local development paths, fostering greater attention on the diffusion of higher education. We expect that the consequences on human capital may, in turn, have consequences on the inland/coastal dualism. The focus on human capital is due to the fact that the growing differences between inland and coastal areas can be explained by the different local endowments. In this respect, human capital may play a major role and should be thoroughly investigated. To assess the extent to which human capital has an effect on economic growth, we consider a fixed-effects model where differences among the provinces are considered parametric shifts in the regression equation. Data refer to the 31 Chinese provinces for the periods 1998-2008 and 2009-2017. Our dependent variable is the annual variation of the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) at the prices of the previous year. Among our regressors, we include two proxies of advanced human capital and other known factors affecting economic development. We are aware of the problem of conceptual endogeneity of variables related to human capital with respect to GDP; we adopt an instrumental variable approach (two-stage least squares) to avoid inconsistent estimates. Our results suggest that the economic strengths that influenced the Chinese take-off and the dualism are confirmed in the first period. These results gain relevance in comparison with the second period. An evolution in local economic endowments is taking place: first, although human capital can have a positive effect on all provinces after the crisis, not all types of advanced education have a direct economic effect; second, the development path of the inland area is changing, with an evolution towards more productive sectors which can favor higher returns to human capital. New strengths (e.g., advanced education, transport infrastructures) could be useful to foster development paths of inland-coastal desirable convergence, especially by favoring the poorer provinces. Our findings suggest that in all provinces, human capital can be useful to promote convergence in growth paths, even if investments in tertiary education seem to have a negative role, most likely due to the inability to exploit the skills of highly educated workers. Furthermore, we observe important changes in the economic characteristics of the less developed internal provinces. These findings suggest an evolution towards more productive economic sectors, a greater ability to exploit both investments in fixed capital and the available infrastructures. All these aspects, if connected with the improvement in the returns to human capital (at least at the secondary level), lead us to assume a better reaction (i.e., resilience) of the less developed provinces to the crisis effects.

Keywords: human capital, inland-coastal inequality, Great Recession, China

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1 Monte Carlo Risk Analysis of a Carbon Abatement Technology

Authors: Hameed Rukayat Opeyemi, Pericles Pilidis, Pagone Emanuele


Climate change represents one of the single most challenging problems facing the world today. According to the National Oceanic and Administrative Association, Atmospheric temperature rose almost 25% since 1958, Artic sea ice has shrunk 40% since 1959 and global sea levels have risen more than 5.5 cm since 1990. Power plants are the major culprits of GHG emission to the atmosphere. Several technologies have been proposed to reduce the amount of GHG emitted to the atmosphere from power plant, one of which is the less researched Advanced zero emission power plant. The advanced zero emission power plants make use of mixed conductive membrane (MCM) reactor also known as oxygen transfer membrane (OTM) for oxygen transfer. The MCM employs membrane separation process. The membrane separation process was first introduced in 1899 when Walter Hermann Nernst investigated electric current between metals and solutions. He found that when a dense ceramic is heated, current of oxygen molecules move through it. In the bid to curb the amount of GHG emitted to the atmosphere, the membrane separation process was applied to the field of power engineering in the low carbon cycle known as the Advanced zero emission power plant (AZEP cycle). The AZEP cycle was originally invented by Norsk Hydro, Norway and ABB Alstom power (now known as Demag Delaval Industrial turbo machinery AB), Sweden. The AZEP drew a lot of attention because its ability to capture ~100% CO2 and also boasts of about 30-50 % cost reduction compared to other carbon abatement technologies, the penalty in efficiency is also not as much as its counterparts and crowns it with almost zero NOx emissions due to very low nitrogen concentrations in the working fluid. The advanced zero emission power plants differ from a conventional gas turbine in the sense that its combustor is substituted with the mixed conductive membrane (MCM-reactor). The MCM-reactor is made up of the combustor, low temperature heat exchanger LTHX (referred to by some authors as air pre-heater the mixed conductive membrane responsible for oxygen transfer and the high temperature heat exchanger and in some layouts, the bleed gas heat exchanger. Air is taken in by the compressor and compressed to a temperature of about 723 Kelvin and pressure of 2 Mega-Pascals. The membrane area needed for oxygen transfer is reduced by increasing the temperature of 90% of the air using the LTHX; the temperature is also increased to facilitate oxygen transfer through the membrane. The air stream enters the LTHX through the transition duct leading to inlet of the LTHX. The temperature of the air stream is then increased to about 1150 K depending on the design point specification of the plant and the efficiency of the heat exchanging system. The amount of oxygen transported through the membrane is directly proportional to the temperature of air going through the membrane. The AZEP cycle was developed using the Fortran software and economic analysis was conducted using excel and Matlab followed by optimization case study. This paper discusses techno-economic analysis of four possible layouts of the AZEP cycle. The Simple bleed gas heat exchange layout (100 % CO2 capture), Bleed gas heat exchanger layout with flue gas turbine (100 % CO2 capture), Pre-expansion reheating layout (Sequential burning layout) – AZEP 85 % (85 % CO2 capture) and Pre-expansion reheating layout (Sequential burning layout) with flue gas turbine– AZEP 85 % (85 % CO2 capture). This paper discusses Montecarlo risk analysis of four possible layouts of the AZEP cycle.

Keywords: gas turbine, global warming, green house gases, power plants

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