Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: Harald Grethe

20 Assessing the Impacts of Vocational Training System in the Sudan: A Dynamic CGE Application

Authors: Zuhal Mohammed, Khalid Siddig, Harald Grethe

Abstract:

Vocational training (VT) has been identified as a potential engine for achieving economic and social development, particularly in developing countries, while during the last two decades it is deemed as an essential determinant of human capital accumulation. Furthermore, it has a crucial role in reducing inequality, wage gaps and unemployment and in promoting skill decomposition. Government plays an important role in the human capital formulation by providing finance for education. In some countries, a large portion of the public educational investment is devoted to academic education (primary, secondary and tertiary). This is reflected in disproportionately increasing investment in various education sectors other than vocational education and VT. Nevertheless, the finance of VT system is not likely to increase or even remain at its existing level. This paper conducts an in-depth analysis to quantify the impacts of various options for expanding the public expenditure on education as well as vocational training in the Sudan. The study uses a recursive dynamic CGE modelling framework that accommodates VT and allows depicting the impact of various policies targeting the vocational training system with special focus on the agricultural sector. This allows for depicting the potential effects of various resource allocation policies not only among education versus non-education sectors, but also between the various types of education and training. Moreover, the study assesses the role of VT system in the economy through its influence on workers’ skill improvement and their movement across sectors. The results show that an increase in the public educational investment will lead to decrease the supply of low and high educated workers as results of increasing the school participation of the students in the short run. While in the medium to long run, this measure guides to increase the productivity of the labour and thus the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, the findings of the study provide Sudanese policymakers with needed information to help to adopt measures to reduce unemployment, enhance workers’ skill and ultimately improve livelihoods.

Keywords: vocational training, recursive dynamic CGE, skill level, labour market, economic growth, Sudan

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19 A Holistic Approach for Technical Product Optimization

Authors: Harald Lang, Michael Bader, A. Buchroithner

Abstract:

Holistic methods covering the development process as a whole – e.g. systems engineering – have established themselves in product design. However, technical product optimization, representing improvements in efficiency and/or minimization of loss, usually applies to single components of a system. A holistic approach is being defined based on a hierarchical point of view of systems engineering. This is subsequently presented using the example of an electromechanical flywheel energy storage system for automotive applications.

Keywords: design, product development, product optimization, systems engineering

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18 Wood Ashes from Electrostatic Filter as a Replacement for the Fly Ashes in Concrete

Authors: Piotr-Robert Lazik, Harald Garrecht

Abstract:

Many concrete technologists are looking for a solution to replace Fly Ashes that would be unavailable in a few years as an element that occurs as a major component of many types of concrete. The importance of such component is clear - it saves cement and reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that occurs during cement production. Wood Ashes from electrostatic filter can be used as a valuable substitute in concrete. The laboratory investigations showed that the wood ash concrete had a compressive strength comparable to coal fly ash concrete. These results indicate that wood ash can be used to manufacture normal concrete.

Keywords: wood ashes, fly ashes, electric filter, replacement, concrete technology

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17 Possibilities, Challenges and the State of the Art of Automatic Speech Recognition in Air Traffic Control

Authors: Van Nhan Nguyen, Harald Holone

Abstract:

Over the past few years, a lot of research has been conducted to bring Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) into various areas of Air Traffic Control (ATC), such as air traffic control simulation and training, monitoring live operators for with the aim of safety improvements, air traffic controller workload measurement and conducting analysis on large quantities controller-pilot speech. Due to the high accuracy requirements of the ATC context and its unique challenges, automatic speech recognition has not been widely adopted in this field. With the aim of providing a good starting point for researchers who are interested bringing automatic speech recognition into ATC, this paper gives an overview of possibilities and challenges of applying automatic speech recognition in air traffic control. To provide this overview, we present an updated literature review of speech recognition technologies in general, as well as specific approaches relevant to the ATC context. Based on this literature review, criteria for selecting speech recognition approaches for the ATC domain are presented, and remaining challenges and possible solutions are discussed.

Keywords: automatic speech recognition, asr, air traffic control, atc

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16 OPEN-EmoRec-II-A Multimodal Corpus of Human-Computer Interaction

Authors: Stefanie Rukavina, Sascha Gruss, Steffen Walter, Holger Hoffmann, Harald C. Traue

Abstract:

OPEN-EmoRecII is an open multimodal corpus with experimentally induced emotions. In the first half of the experiment, emotions were induced with standardized picture material and in the second half during a human-computer interaction (HCI), realized with a wizard-of-oz design. The induced emotions are based on the dimensional theory of emotions (valence, arousal and dominance). These emotional sequences - recorded with multimodal data (mimic reactions, speech, audio and physiological reactions) during a naturalistic-like HCI-environment one can improve classification methods on a multimodal level. This database is the result of an HCI-experiment, for which 30 subjects in total agreed to a publication of their data including the video material for research purposes. The now available open corpus contains sensory signal of: video, audio, physiology (SCL, respiration, BVP, EMG Corrugator supercilii, EMG Zygomaticus Major) and mimic annotations.

Keywords: open multimodal emotion corpus, annotated labels, intelligent interaction

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15 Li-Fi Technology: Data Transmission through Visible Light

Authors: Shahzad Hassan, Kamran Saeed

Abstract:

People are always in search of Wi-Fi hotspots because Internet is a major demand nowadays. But like all other technologies, there is still room for improvement in the Wi-Fi technology with regards to the speed and quality of connectivity. In order to address these aspects, Harald Haas, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, proposed what we know as the Li-Fi (Light Fidelity). Li-Fi is a new technology in the field of wireless communication to provide connectivity within a network environment. It is a two-way mode of wireless communication using light. Basically, the data is transmitted through Light Emitting Diodes which can vary the intensity of light very fast, even faster than the blink of an eye. From the research and experiments conducted so far, it can be said that Li-Fi can increase the speed and reliability of the transfer of data. This paper pays particular attention on the assessment of the performance of this technology. In other words, it is a 5G technology which uses LED as the medium of data transfer. For coverage within the buildings, Wi-Fi is good but Li-Fi can be considered favorable in situations where large amounts of data are to be transferred in areas with electromagnetic interferences. It brings a lot of data related qualities such as efficiency, security as well as large throughputs to the table of wireless communication. All in all, it can be said that Li-Fi is going to be a future phenomenon where the presence of light will mean access to the Internet as well as speedy data transfer.

Keywords: communication, LED, Li-Fi, Wi-Fi

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14 Influence of the Mixer on the Rheological Properties of the Fresh Concrete

Authors: Alexander Nitsche, Piotr-Robert Lazik, Harald Garrecht

Abstract:

The viscosity of the concrete has a great influence on the properties of the fresh concrete. Fresh concretes with low viscosity have a good flowability, whereas high viscosity has a lower flowability. Clearly, viscosity is directly linked to other parameters such as consistency, compaction, and workability of the concrete. The above parameters also depend very much on the energy induced during the mixing process and, of course, on the installation of the mixer itself. The University of Stuttgart has decided to investigate the influence of different mixing systems on the viscosity of various types of concrete, such as road concrete, self-compacting concrete, and lightweight concrete, using a rheometer and other testing methods. Each type is tested with three different mixers, and the rheological properties, namely consistency, and viscosity are determined. The aim of the study is to show that different types of concrete mixed with different types of mixers reach completely different yield points. Therefore, a 3 step procedure will be introduced. At first, various types of concrete mixtures and their differences are introduced. Then, the chosen suspension mixer and conventional mixers, which are going to be used in this paper, will be discussed. Lastly, the influence of the mixing system on the rheological properties of each of the select mix designs, as well as on fresh concrete, in general, will be presented.

Keywords: rheological properties, flowability, suspension mixer, viscosity

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13 Characterization of Molecular Targets to Mediate Skin Itch and Inflammation

Authors: Anita Jäger, Andrew Salazar, Jörg von Hagen, Harald Kolmar

Abstract:

In the treatment of individuals with sensitive and psoriatic skin, several inflammation and itch-related molecular and cellular targets have been identified, but many of these have yet to be characterized. In this study, we present two potential targets in the skin that can be linked to the inflammation and itch cycle. 11ßHSD1 is the enzyme responsible for converting inactive cortisone to active cortisol used to transmit signals downstream. The activation of the receptor NK1R correlates with promoting inflammation and the perception of itch and pain in the skin. In this study, both targets have been investigated based on their involvement in inflammation. The role of both identified targets was characterized based on the secretion of inflammation cytokine- IL6, IL-8, and CCL2, as well as phosphorylation and signaling pathways. It was found that treating skin cells with molecules able to inhibit inflammatory pathways results in the reduction of inflammatory signaling molecules secreted by skin cells and increases their proliferative capacity. Therefore, these molecular targets and their associated pathways show therapeutic potential and can be mitigated via small molecules. This research can be used for further studies in inflammation and itch pathways and can help to treat pathological symptoms.

Keywords: inflammation, itch, signaling pathway, skin

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12 Experimental Characterization and Modelling of Microfluidic Radial Diffusers

Authors: Eric Chappel, Dimitry Dumont-Fillon, Hugo Musard, Harald van Lintel

Abstract:

A microfluidic radial diffuser typically comprises a hole in a membrane, a small gap and pillar centred with the hole. The fluid is forced to flow radially in this gap between the membrane and the pillar. Such diffusers are notably used to form flow control valves, wherein several holes are machined into a flexible membrane progressively deflecting against pillars as the pressure increases. The fluidic modelling of such diffuser is made difficult by the presence of a transition region between the hole and the diffuser itself. An experimental investigation has been conducted using SOI wafers to form membranes with only one centred hole and Pyrex wafers for the substrate and pillars, both wafers being anodically bonded after alignment. A simple fluidic model accounting for the specific geometry of the diffuser is proposed and compared to experimental results. A good match is obtained, for Reynolds number in the range 0.5 to 35 using the analytical formula of a radial diffuser in the laminar regime with an effective inner radius that is 40% smaller than the real radius, in order to simulate correctly the flow constriction at the entrance of the diffuser.

Keywords: radial diffuser, flow control valve, numerical modelling, drug delivery

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11 Vulnerability Analysis for Risk Zones Boundary Definition to Support a Decision Making Process at CBRNE Operations

Authors: Aliaksei Patsekha, Michael Hohenberger, Harald Raupenstrauch

Abstract:

An effective emergency response to accidents with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive materials (CBRNE) that represent highly dynamic situations needs immediate actions within limited time, information and resources. The aim of the study is to provide the foundation for division of unsafe area into risk zones according to the impact of hazardous parameters (heat radiation, thermal dose, overpressure, chemical concentrations). A decision on the boundary values for three risk zones is based on the vulnerability analysis that covered a variety of accident scenarios containing the release of a toxic or flammable substance which either evaporates, ignites and/or explodes. Critical values are selected for the boundary definition of the Red, Orange and Yellow risk zones upon the examination of harmful effects that are likely to cause injuries of varying severity to people and different levels of damage to structures. The obtained results provide the basis for creating a comprehensive real-time risk map for a decision support at CBRNE operations.

Keywords: boundary values, CBRNE threats, decision making process, hazardous effects, vulnerability analysis, risk zones

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10 Israel versus Palestine: Politological and Depth-Psychological Aspects

Authors: Harald Haas, Andrea Plaschke

Abstract:

Many of the contemporary major conflicts on this earth could not be solved so far, they either are perpetuated, or they are reflated again and again. Efforts of purely political conflict management or -resolution aim merely at the symptoms of conflict, not its roots. These roots are, in almost every case, also psychological ones. Thus, this contribution aims to shed light on the roots of one of the best known and longest-lasting conflicts: the Palestinian-Israeli one. Methodologies used were the compilation of existing scientific resources, field research in Palestine and Israel, as well as tests conducted with the Adult Attachment Projective in Palestine and Israel. Findings show that the majority of Palestinian, as well as Israeli test participants, show a disorganised attachment pattern which, in connection with the assumption of collective traumatization, seem to be a major obstacle to a lasting and peaceful conflict-resolution between these two peoples. There appears to be no short-term solution for this conflict, especially not within the range of usual Western legislative periods. Both sides ought to be provided with a kind of 'safe haven' over a long period of time, accompanied by a framework of various arrangements of coping with trauma, building lasting and secure relationships, as well as raising and educating present and future generations of Palestinians and Israelis for peace and co-operation with each other.

Keywords: conflict-management, trauma, political psychology, attachment theory

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9 Interactive Winding Geometry Design of Power Transformers

Authors: Paffrath Meinhard, Zhou Yayun, Guo Yiqing, Ertl Harald

Abstract:

Winding geometry design is an important part of power transformer electrical design. Conventionally, the winding geometry is designed manually, which is a time-consuming job because it involves many iteration steps in order to meet all cost, manufacturing and electrical requirements. Here a method is presented which automatically generates the winding geometry for given user parameters and allows the user to interactively set and change parameters. To achieve this goal, the winding problem is transferred to a mixed integer nonlinear optimization problem. The relevant geometrical design parameters are defined as optimization variables. The cost and other requirements are modeled as constraints. For the solution, a stochastic ant colony optimization algorithm is applied. It is well-known, that an optimizer can get stuck in a local minimum. For the winding problem, we present efficient strategies to come out of local minima, furthermore a reduced variable search range helps to accelerate the solution process. Numerical examples show that the optimization result is delivered within seconds such that the user can interactively change the variable search area and constraints to improve the design.

Keywords: ant colony optimization, mixed integer nonlinear programming, power transformer, winding design

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8 Railway Accidents: Using the Global Railway Accident Database and Evaluation for Risk Analysis

Authors: Mathias Linden, André Schneider, Harald F. O. von Korflesch

Abstract:

The risk of train accidents is an ongoing concern for railway organizations, governments, insurance companies and other depended sectors. Safety technologies are installed to reduce and to prevent potential damages of train accidents. Since the budgetary for the safety of railway organizations is limited, it is necessary not only to achieve a high availability and high safety standard but also to be cost effective. Therefore, an economic assessment of safety technologies is fundamental to create an accurate risk analysis. In order to conduct an economical assessment of a railway safety technology and a quantification of the costs of the accident causes, the Global Railway Accident Database & Evaluation (GRADE) has been developed. The aim of this paper is to describe the structure of this accident database and to show how it can be used for risk analyses. A number of risk analysis methods, such as the probabilistic safety assessment method (PSA), was used to demonstrate this accident database’s different possibilities of risk analysis. In conclusion, it can be noted that these analyses would not be as accurate without GRADE. The information gathered in the accident database was not available in this way before. Our findings are relevant for railway operators, safety technology suppliers, assurances, governments and other concerned railway organizations.

Keywords: accident causes, accident costs, accident database, global railway accident database & evaluation, GRADE, probabilistic safety assessment, PSA, railway accidents, risk analysis

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7 Silicon-To-Silicon Anodic Bonding via Intermediate Borosilicate Layer for Passive Flow Control Valves

Authors: Luc Conti, Dimitry Dumont-Fillon, Harald van Lintel, Eric Chappel

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Flow control valves comprise a silicon flexible membrane that deflects against a substrate, usually made of glass, containing pillars, an outlet hole, and anti-stiction features. However, there is a strong interest in using silicon instead of glass as substrate material, as it would simplify the process flow by allowing the use of well controlled anisotropic etching. Moreover, specific devices demanding a bending of the substrate would also benefit from the inherent outstanding mechanical strength of monocrystalline silicon. Unfortunately, direct Si-Si bonding is not easily achieved with highly structured wafers since residual stress may prevent the good adhesion between wafers. Using a thermoplastic polymer, such as parylene, as intermediate layer is not well adapted to this design as the wafer-to-wafer alignment is critical. An alternative anodic bonding method using an intermediate borosilicate layer has been successfully tested. This layer has been deposited onto the silicon substrate. The bonding recipe has been adapted to account for the presence of the SOI buried oxide and intermediate glass layer in order not to exceed the breakdown voltage. Flow control valves dedicated to infusion of viscous fluids at very high pressure have been made and characterized. The results are compared to previous data obtained using the standard anodic bonding method.

Keywords: anodic bonding, evaporated glass, flow control valve, drug delivery

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6 Properties of Concrete with Wood Ashes in Construction Engineering

Authors: Piotr-Robert Lazik, Lena Teichmann, Harald Garrecht

Abstract:

Many concrete technologists are looking for a solution to replace fly ashes as a component that occurs as a major component of many types of concrete. The importance of such a component is clear -it saves cement and reduces the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere that occurs during cement production. For example, the amount of cement in ultrahigh strength concrete (UHPC) is approximately 700-800 kg/m³ in normal concrete up to 350 kg/m³. For this reason, it is easy to follow that the use of components like fly ashes or wood ashes protect the environment. The newest investigations carried out at the University of Stuttgart have clearly shown that the use of wood ashes with appropriate pre-treatment in concrete has a positive effect. German-wide, there are hundreds of tons of wood ashes, which can be used in a wide range of construction materials. The strengths of the concrete with different types of cement and with wood ashes have given the same or, in some cases, better results than those with the use of fly ashes. There are many areas in building construction, where the clays of wood ashes can be used as a by-product. This does not only require a strength test but also, for example, an examination of structural-physical parameters. Especially the heat and moisture characteristics have an important role in times of energy-efficient construction. These are therefore determined and then compared with the characteristics of the concretes with fly ashes. The University of Stuttgart has decided to investigate the buildings' physical properties of different types of concrete with wood ashes to find their application in construction. After the examination of the buildings' physical properties in combination with strength tests, it is possible to determine in which field of civil engineering, this type of concrete can be used.

Keywords: fly ashes, wood ashes, structural-physical parameters, UHPC

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5 A Conceptual Model of Social Entrepreneurial Intention Based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory

Authors: Anh T. P. Tran, Harald Von Korflesch

Abstract:

Entrepreneurial intention play a major role in entrepreneurship academia and practice. The spectrum ranges from the first model of the so-called Entrepreneurial Event, then the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Theory of Planned Behavior Entrepreneurial Model, and the Social Cognitive Career Theory to some typical empirical studies with more or less diverse results. However, little is known so far about the intentions of entrepreneurs in the social areas of venture creation. It is surprising that, since social entrepreneurship is an emerging field with growing importance. Currently, all around the world, there is a big challenge with a lot of urgent soaring social and environmental problems such as poor households, people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS infected people, the lonely elderly, or neglected children, some of them even actual in the Western countries. In addition, the already existing literature on entrepreneurial intentions demonstrates a high level of theoretical diversity in general, especially the missing link to the social dimension of entrepreneurship. Seeking to fill the mentioned gaps in the social entrepreneurial intentions literature, this paper proposes a conceptual model of social entrepreneurial intentions based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory with two main factors influencing entrepreneurial intentions namely self-efficacy and outcome expectation. Moreover, motives, goals and plans do not arise from empty nothingness, but are shaped by interacting with the environment. Hence, personalities (i.e., agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, openness) as well as contextual factors (e.g., role models, education, and perceived support) are also considered as the antecedents of social entrepreneurship intentions.

Keywords: entrepreneurial intention, social cognitive career theory, social entrepreneurial intention, social entrepreneurship

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4 The Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio after Surgery for Hip Fracture in a New, Simple, and Objective Score to Predict Postoperative Mortality

Authors: Philippe Dillien, Patrice Forget, Harald Engel, Olivier Cornu, Marc De Kock, Jean Cyr Yombi

Abstract:

Introduction: Hip fracture precedes commonly death in elderly people. Identification of high-risk patients may contribute to target patients in whom optimal management, resource allocation and trials efficiency is needed. The aim of this study is to construct a predictive score of mortality after hip fracture on the basis of the objective prognostic factors available: Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), age, and sex. C-Reactive Protein (CRP), is also considered as an alternative to the NLR. Patients and methods: After the IRB approval, we analyzed our prospective database including 286 consecutive patients with hip fracture. A score was constructed combining age (1 point per decade above 74 years), sex (1 point for males), and NLR at postoperative day+5 (1 point if >5). A receiver-operating curve (ROC) curve analysis was performed. Results: From the 286 patients included, 235 were analyzed (72 males and 163 females, 30.6%/69.4%), with a median age of 84 (range: 65 to 102) years, mean NLR values of 6.47+/-6.07. At one year, 82/280 patients died (29.3%). Graphical analysis and log-rank test confirm a highly statistically significant difference (P<0.001). Performance analysis shows an AUC of 0.72 [95%CI 0.65-0.79]. CRP shows no advantage on NLR. Conclusion: We have developed a score based on age, sex and the NLR to predict the risk of mortality at one year in elderly patients after surgery for a hip fracture. After external validation, it may be included in clinical practice as in clinical research to stratify the risk of postoperative mortality.

Keywords: neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, hip fracture, postoperative mortality, medical and health sciences

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3 Immobilized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Stem Cell Reconstruction in Magnetic Particle Imaging

Authors: Kolja Them, Johannes Salamon, Harald Ittrich, Michael Kaul, Tobias Knopp

Abstract:

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are nanoscale magnets which can be biologically functionalized for biomedical applications. Stem cell therapies to repair damaged tissue, magnetic fluid hyperthermia for cancer therapy and targeted drug delivery based on SPIONs are prominent examples where the visualization of a preferably low concentrated SPION distribution is essential. In 2005 a new method for tomographic SPION imaging has been introduced. The method named magnetic particle imaging (MPI) takes advantage of the nanoparticles magnetization change caused by an oscillating, external magnetic field and allows to directly image the time-dependent nanoparticle distribution. The SPION magnetization can be changed by the electron spin dynamics as well as by a mechanical rotation of the nanoparticle. In this work different calibration methods in MPI are investigated for image reconstruction of magnetically labeled stem cells. It is shown that a calibration using rotationally immobilized SPIONs provides a higher quality of stem cell images with fewer artifacts than a calibration using mobile SPIONs. The enhancement of the image quality and the reduction of artifacts enables the localization and identification of a smaller number of magnetically labeled stem cells. This is important for future medical applications where low concentrations of functionalized SPIONs interacting with biological matter have to be localized.

Keywords: biomedical imaging, iron oxide nanoparticles, magnetic particle imaging, stem cell imaging

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2 Optimal Management of Forest Stands under Wind Risk in Czech Republic

Authors: Zohreh Mohammadi, Jan Kaspar, Peter Lohmander, Robert Marusak, Harald Vacik, Ljusk Ola Eriksson

Abstract:

Storms are important damaging agents in European forest ecosystems. In the latest decades, significant economic losses in European forestry occurred due to storms. This study investigates the problem of optimal harvest planning when forest stands risk to be felled by storms. One of the most applicable mathematical methods which are being used to optimize forest management is stochastic dynamic programming (SDP). This method belongs to the adaptive optimization class. Sequential decisions, such as harvest decisions, can be optimized based on sequential information about events that cannot be perfectly predicted, such as the future storms and the future states of wind protection from other forest stands. In this paper, stochastic dynamic programming is used to maximize the expected present value of the profits from an area consisting of several forest stands. The region of analysis is the Czech Republic. The harvest decisions, in a particular time period, should be simultaneously taken in all neighbor stands. The reason is that different stands protect each other from possible winds. The optimal harvest age of a particular stand is a function of wind speed and different wind protection effects. The optimal harvest age often decreases with wind speed, but it cannot be determined for one stand at a time. When we consider a particular stand, this stand also protects other stands. Furthermore, the particular stand is protected by neighbor stands. In some forest stands, it may even be rational to increase the harvest age under the influence of stronger winds, in order to protect more valuable stands in the neighborhood. It is important to integrate wind risk in forestry decision-making.

Keywords: Czech republic, forest stands, stochastic dynamic programming, wind risk

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1 The Impact of Mycotoxins on the Anaerobic Digestion Process

Authors: Harald Lindorfer, Bettina Frauz, Dietmar Ramhold

Abstract:

Next to the well-known inhibitors in anaerobic digestion like ammonia, antibiotics or disinfectants, the number of process failures connected with mould growth in the feedstock increased significantly in the last years. It was assumed that mycotoxins are the cause of the negative effects. The financial damage to plants associated with these process failures is considerable. The aim of this study was to find a way of predicting the failures and furthermore strategies for a fast process recovery. In a first step, mould-contaminated feedstocks causing process failures in full-scale digesters were sampled and analysed on mycotoxin content. A selection of these samples was applied to biological inhibition tests. In this test, crystalline cellulose is applied in addition to the feedstock sample as standard substrate. Affected digesters were also sampled and analytical process data as well as operational data of the plants were recorded. Additionally, different mycotoxin substances, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenon, Aflatoxin B1, Mycophenolic acid and Citrinin, were applied as pure substances to lab-scale digesters, individually and in various combinations, and effects were monitored. As expected, various mycotoxins were detected in all of the mould-contaminated samples. Nevertheless, inhibition effects were observed with only one of the collected samples, after applying it to an inhibition test. With this sample, the biogas yield of the standard substrate was reduced by approx. 20%. This result corresponds with observations made on full-scale plants. However, none of the tested mycotoxins applied as pure substance caused a negative effect on biogas production in lab scale digesters, neither after application as individual substance nor in combination. The recording of the process data in full-scale plants affected by process failures in most cases showed a severe accumulation of fatty acids alongside a decrease in biogas production and methane concentration. In the analytical data of the digester samples, a typical distribution of fatty acids with exceptionally high acetic acid concentrations could be identified. This typical fatty acid pattern can be used as a rapid identification parameter pointing to the cause of the process troubles and enable a fast implication of countermeasures. The results of the study show that more attention needs to be paid to feedstock storage and feedstock conservation before their application to anaerobic digesters. This is all the more important since first studies indicate that the occurrence of mycotoxins will likely increase in Europe due to the ongoing climate change.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Feedstock conservation, Fungal mycotoxins, Inhibition, process failure

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