Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

Search results for: Imoro Alhassan

28 Islamic Banking in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges

Authors: Shaibu Ali, Sherif Heiman Shaban, Musah Ismaila, Imoro Alhassan, Yusif Ali

Abstract:

Purpose: Islamic banking and finance is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the global finance industry. Starting with the Dubai Islamic Bank in 1975, the number of Islamic financial institutions worldwide has shot up astronomically, to over three hundred, with operations in seventy-five countries and assets in excess of US$400 billion. The purpose of this study is to explore the prospects and challenges of Islamic banking introduction in a non-Islamic country like Ghana. Design/Methodology: Data for the study was collected via an expert opinion of three Islamic scholars on Islamic banking from Ghana. Findings: Findings from this study indicates some of the benefits of Islamic banking includes connecting financial markets and economic activity, promoting the principle of financial justice, greater stability, avoiding economic bubbles (and bursts) and reducing the impact of harmful products and practices. The study also identified lack of experts in various fields of Islamic banking, product innovation, moral hazard, and need for experienced staff in Islamic banking as some of the challenges to Islamic banking system’s introduction. Contribution: The study contributes to literature on Islamic banking from a non-Islamic country like Ghana.

Keywords: Islamic banking, Shari’ah, Riba, conventional banking

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27 Phytochemical Screening and Toxicological Studies of Aqueous Stem Bark Extract of Boswellia papyrifera (DEL) in Rats

Authors: Y. Abdulmumin, K. I. Matazu, A. M. Wudil, A. J. Alhassan, A. A. Imam

Abstract:

Phytochemical analysis of Boswellia papryfera confirms the presence of various phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins and cardiac glycosides in its aqueous stem bark extract at different concentration, with tannins being the highest (0.611 ± 0.002 g %). Acute toxicity test (LD50, oral, rat) of the extract showed no mortality at up to 5000 mg/kg and the animals were found active and healthy. The extract was declared as practically non-toxic, this suggest the safety of the extract in traditional medicine.

Keywords: acute toxicity, aqueous extract, boswellia papryfera, phytochemicals and stem bark

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26 Phytochemical Screening and Toxicological Studies of Aqueous Stem Bark Extract of Boswellia papyrifera (DEL) in Albino Rats

Authors: Y. Abdulmumin, K. I. Matazu, A. M. Wudil, A. J. Alhassan, A. A. Imam

Abstract:

Phytochemical analysis of Boswellia papryfera confirms the presence of various phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins and cardiac glycosides in its aqueous stem bark extract at different concentration, with tannins being the highest (0.611 ± 0.002 g %). Acute toxicity test (LD50,oral, rat) of the extract showed no mortality at up to 5000 mg/kg and the animals were found active and healthy. The extract was declared as practically non-toxic, this suggest the safety of the extract in traditional medicine.

Keywords: acute toxicity, aqueous extract, boswellia papryfera, phytochemicals, stem bark extract

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25 Application of Artificial Neural Network to Prediction of Feature Academic Performance of Students

Authors: J. K. Alhassan, C. S. Actsu

Abstract:

This study is on the prediction of feature performance of undergraduate students with Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). With the growing decline in the quality academic performance of undergraduate students, it has become essential to predict the students’ feature academic performance early in their courses of first and second years and to take the necessary precautions using such prediction-based information. The feed forward multilayer neural network model was used to train and develop a network and the test carried out with some of the input variables. A result of 80% accuracy was obtained from the test which was carried out, with an average error of 0.009781.

Keywords: academic performance, artificial neural network, prediction, students

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24 Improvement of Deficient Soils in Nigeria Using Bagasse Ash - A Review

Authors: Musa Alhassan, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha

Abstract:

Review of studies carried out on the use of bagasse ash in the improvement of deficient soils in Nigeria, with emphasis on lateritic and black cotton soils is presented. Although, the bagasse ash is mostly used as additive to the conventional soil stabilizer (cement and lime), the studies generally showed improvement of geotechnical properties of the soils either modified or stabilized with the ash. This showed the potentials of using this agricultural waste (bagasse ash) in the improvement of geotechnical properties of deficient soils. Thus suggesting that using this material at large scale level, in geotechnical engineering practice could help in the provision of stable and durable structures, reduce cost of soil improvement and also reduces environmental nuisance caused by the unused waste in Nigeria

Keywords: bagasse ash, black cotton soil, deficient soil, laterite, soil improvement

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23 Performance Analysis of Artificial Neural Network with Decision Tree in Prediction of Diabetes Mellitus

Authors: J. K. Alhassan, B. Attah, S. Misra

Abstract:

Human beings have the ability to make logical decisions. Although human decision - making is often optimal, it is insufficient when huge amount of data is to be classified. medical dataset is a vital ingredient used in predicting patients health condition. In other to have the best prediction, there calls for most suitable machine learning algorithms. This work compared the performance of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Decision Tree Algorithms (DTA) as regards to some performance metrics using diabetes data. The evaluations was done using weka software and found out that DTA performed better than ANN. Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Radial Basis Function (RBF) were the two algorithms used for ANN, while RegTree and LADTree algorithms were the DTA models used. The Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) of MLP is 0.3913,that of RBF is 0.3625, that of RepTree is 0.3174 and that of LADTree is 0.3206 respectively.

Keywords: artificial neural network, classification, decision tree algorithms, diabetes mellitus

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22 Service Quality Improvement in Ghana's Healthcare Supply Chain

Authors: Ammatu Alhassan

Abstract:

Quality healthcare delivery is a crucial indicator in assessing the overall developmental status of a country. There are many limitations in the Ghanaian healthcare supply chain due to the lack of studies about the correlation between quality health service and the healthcare supply chain. Patients who visit various healthcare providers face unpleasant experiences such as delays in the availability of their medications. In this study, an assessment of the quality of services provided to Ghanaian outpatients who visit public healthcare providers was investigated to establish its effect on the healthcare supply chain using a conceptual model. The Donabedian’s structure, process, and outcome theory for service quality evaluation were used to analyse 20 Ghanaian hospitals. The data obtained was tested using the structural equation model (SEM). The findings from this research will help us to improve the overall quality of the Ghanaian healthcare supply chain. The model which will be developed will help us to understand better the linkage between quality healthcare and the healthcare supply chain as well as serving as a reference tool for future healthcare research in Ghana.

Keywords: Ghana, healthcare, outpatients, supply chain

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21 Big Data Analytics and Data Security in the Cloud via Fully Homomorphic Encryption

Authors: Waziri Victor Onomza, John K. Alhassan, Idris Ismaila, Noel Dogonyaro Moses

Abstract:

This paper describes the problem of building secure computational services for encrypted information in the Cloud Computing without decrypting the encrypted data; therefore, it meets the yearning of computational encryption algorithmic aspiration model that could enhance the security of big data for privacy, confidentiality, availability of the users. The cryptographic model applied for the computational process of the encrypted data is the Fully Homomorphic Encryption Scheme. We contribute theoretical presentations in high-level computational processes that are based on number theory and algebra that can easily be integrated and leveraged in the Cloud computing with detail theoretic mathematical concepts to the fully homomorphic encryption models. This contribution enhances the full implementation of big data analytics based cryptographic security algorithm.

Keywords: big data analytics, security, privacy, bootstrapping, homomorphic, homomorphic encryption scheme

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20 Using Data Mining Technique for Scholarship Disbursement

Authors: J. K. Alhassan, S. A. Lawal

Abstract:

This work is on decision tree-based classification for the disbursement of scholarship. Tree-based data mining classification technique is used in other to determine the generic rule to be used to disburse the scholarship. The system based on the defined rules from the tree is able to determine the class (status) to which an applicant shall belong whether Granted or Not Granted. The applicants that fall to the class of granted denote a successful acquirement of scholarship while those in not granted class are unsuccessful in the scheme. An algorithm that can be used to classify the applicants based on the rules from tree-based classification was also developed. The tree-based classification is adopted because of its efficiency, effectiveness, and easy to comprehend features. The system was tested with the data of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Abuja, a Parastatal of Federal Ministry of Communication Technology that is mandated to develop and regulate information technology in Nigeria. The system was found working according to the specification. It is therefore recommended for all scholarship disbursement organizations.

Keywords: classification, data mining, decision tree, scholarship

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19 Big Data Analytics and Data Security in the Cloud via Fully Homomorphic Encyption Scheme

Authors: Victor Onomza Waziri, John K. Alhassan, Idris Ismaila, Noel Dogonyara

Abstract:

This paper describes the problem of building secure computational services for encrypted information in the Cloud. Computing without decrypting the encrypted data; therefore, it meets the yearning of computational encryption algorithmic aspiration model that could enhance the security of big data for privacy or confidentiality, availability and integrity of the data and user’s security. The cryptographic model applied for the computational process of the encrypted data is the Fully Homomorphic Encryption Scheme. We contribute a theoretical presentations in a high-level computational processes that are based on number theory that is derivable from abstract algebra which can easily be integrated and leveraged in the Cloud computing interface with detail theoretic mathematical concepts to the fully homomorphic encryption models. This contribution enhances the full implementation of big data analytics based on cryptographic security algorithm.

Keywords: big data analytics, security, privacy, bootstrapping, Fully Homomorphic Encryption Scheme

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18 Investigation of the Morphology and Optical Properties of CuAlO₂ Thin Film

Authors: T. M. Aminu, A. Salisu, B. Abdu, H. U. Alhassan, T. H. Dharma

Abstract:

Thin films of CuAlO2 were deposited on clean glass substrate using the chemical solution deposition (sol-gel) method of deposition with CuCl and AlCl3 taken as the starting materials. CuCl was dissolved in HCl while AlCl₃ in distilled water, pH value of the mixture was controlled by addition of NaOH. The samples were annealed at different temperatures in order to determine the effect of annealing temperatures on the morphological and optical properties of the deposited CuAlO₂ thin film. The surface morphology reveals an improved crystalline as annealing temperature increases. The results of the UV-vis and FT-IR spectrophotometry indicate that the absorbance for all the samples decreases sharply from a common value of about 89% at about 329 nm to a range of values of 56.2%-35.2% and the absorption / extinction coefficients of the films decrease with increase in annealing temperature from 1.58 x 10⁻⁶ to1.08 x 10⁻⁶ at about 1.14eV in the infrared region to about 1.93 x 10⁻⁶ to 1.29 x 10⁻⁶ at about 3.62eV in the visible region, the transmittance, reflectance and band gaps vary directly with annealing temperature, the deposited films were found to be suitable in optoelectronic applications.

Keywords: copper aluminium-oxide (CuAlO2), absorbance, transmittance, reflectance, band gaps

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17 Assessment of Digital Literacy Skills of Librarians in Tertiary Institutions Inniger State

Authors: Mustapha Abdulkadir Gana, Jibrin Attahiru Alhassan, Adamu Musa Baba

Abstract:

The exponential growth of information sources, resources and the continued Communication Technology (ICT) sophistication of libraries all over the world call for capable and ICT compliant librarians in Nigeria, this article assesses the digital literacy skills of librarians in tertiary institutions in Niger state. The survey research method was applied in the study using a random sampling technique to draw the sample. Fifty-eight copies of the questionnaire were administered while forty-nine copies were completed, returned, and used in the study, which represents 84% of the response rate. Two research questions were answered, and data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The finding uncovered that the librarians lack the requisite digital literacy skills to access the wealth of digital information resources available. The study recommends some steps to turn around the situations amongst; librarians must be empowered with all necessary digital literacy skills, embark on rigorous training and retraining programs, workshops, conferences, and seminars, there should also be a coherent training policy for the librarians on a sustainable basis to increase their requisite digital literacy skills.

Keywords: digital, information, literacy, skills

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16 Modeling and Analysis the Effects of Temperature and Pressure on the Gas-Crossover in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolyzer

Authors: Abdul Hadi Bin Abdol Rahim, Alhassan Salami Tijani

Abstract:

Hydrogen produced by means of polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzer (PEME) is one of the most promising methods due to clean and renewable energy source. In the process, some energy loss due to mass transfer through a PEM is caused by diffusion, electro-osmotic drag, and the pressure difference between the cathode channel and anode channel. In PEME water molecules and ionic particles transferred between the electrodes from anode to cathode, Extensive mixing of the hydrogen and oxygen at anode channel due to gases cross-over must be avoided. In recent times the consciousness of safety issue in high pressure PEME where the oxygen mix with hydrogen at anode channel could create, explosive conditions have generated a lot of concern. In this paper, the steady state and simulation analysis of gases crossover in PEME on the temperature and pressure effect are presented. The simulations have been analysis in MATLAB based on the well-known Fick’s Law of molecular diffusion. The simulation results indicated that as temperature increases, there is a significant decrease in operating voltage.

Keywords: diffusion, gases crosover, steady state, Fick’s law

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15 Identifying the Level of Awareness on Value Management Practice amongst Construction Practitioners in Nigeria

Authors: Alhassan Dahiru

Abstract:

Value management is widely accepted technique of eliminating unnecessary cost at different stages of project development that maximizes the functional value of a project by managing its evolution and development from concept to completion. Many construction industry practitioners are not aware of Value Management practice, and its use is less widespread in Nigeria. The aim of this research is to identify the level of awareness on value management practice amongst construction practitioners with a view to contribute to the improvement of the implementation of value management practice in the Nigerian construction industry. In this study, construction practitioners have been chosen as respondents from the 6 geopolitical zones of the federation including FCT Abuja. Through the survey, a total number of 360 semi-structured questionnaires were administered and 284 were returned and remained good for the analysis. The results indicate that most of the respondents were aware of the value management concept and issues surrounding construction industry in Nigeria, while about 32% of the respondents were not aware of its potential benefits. Therefore, organisations should review their techniques and processes from time to time for improvement on effective service delivery. Additionally, a change management strategy should also be part of every organization to ease the introduction of new techniques such as value management. There is also the need for more value management training workshops and seminars in order to enlighten the participants of the construction industry on the principles, concept, and techniques involved in the value management process.

Keywords: sustainability, value management, construction practitioners, Nigeria

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14 Preliminary Geophysical Assessment of Soil Contaminants around Wacot Rice Factory Argungu, North-Western Nigeria

Authors: A. I. Augie, Y. Alhassan, U. Z. Magawata

Abstract:

Geophysical investigation was carried out at wacot rice factory Argungu north-western Nigeria, using the 2D electrical resistivity method. The area falls between latitude 12˚44′23ʺN to 12˚44′50ʺN and longitude 4032′18′′E to 4032′39′′E covering a total area of about 1.85 km. Two profiles were carried out with Wenner configuration using resistivity meter (Ohmega). The data obtained from the study area were modeled using RES2DIVN software which gave an automatic interpretation of the apparent resistivity data. The inverse resistivity models of the profiles show the high resistivity values ranging from 208 Ωm to 651 Ωm. These high resistivity values in the overburden were due to dryness and compactness of the strata that lead to consolidation, which is an indication that the area is free from leachate contaminations. However, from the inverse model, there are regions of low resistivity values (1 Ωm to 18 Ωm), these zones were observed and identified as clayey and the most contaminated zones. The regions of low resistivity thereby indicated the leachate plume or the highly leachate concentrated zones due to similar resistivity values in both clayey and leachate. The regions of leachate are mainly from the factory into the surrounding area and its groundwater. The maximum leachate infiltration was found at depths 1 m to 15.9 m (P1) and 6 m to 15.9 m (P2) vertically, as well as distance along the profiles from 67 m to 75 m (P1), 155 m to 180 m (P1), and 115 m to 192 m (P2) laterally.

Keywords: contaminant, leachate, soil, groundwater, electrical, resistivity

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13 Influence of Driving Strategy on Power and Fuel Consumption of Lightweight PEM Fuel Cell Vehicle Powertrain

Authors: Suhadiyana Hanapi, Alhassan Salami Tijani, W. A. N Wan Mohamed

Abstract:

In this paper, a prototype PEM fuel cell vehicle integrated with a 1 kW air-blowing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack as a main power sources has been developed for a lightweight cruising vehicle. The test vehicle is equipped with a PEM fuel cell system that provides electric power to a brushed DC motor. This vehicle was designed to compete with industrial lightweight vehicle with the target of consuming least amount of energy and high performance. Individual variations in driving style have a significant impact on vehicle energy efficiency and it is well established from the literature. The primary aim of this study was to assesses the power and fuel consumption of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle operating at three difference driving technique (i.e. 25 km/h constant speed, 22-28 km/h speed range, 20-30 km/h speed range). The goal is to develop the best driving strategy to maximize performance and minimize fuel consumption for the vehicle system. The relationship between power demand and hydrogen consumption has also been discussed. All the techniques can be evaluated and compared on broadly similar terms. Automatic intelligent controller for driving prototype fuel cell vehicle on different obstacle while maintaining all systems at maximum efficiency was used. The result showed that 25 km/h constant speed was identified for optimal driving with less fuel consumption.

Keywords: prototype fuel cell electric vehicles, energy efficient, control/driving technique, fuel economy

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12 Investigation of the Effects of Gamma Radiation on the Electrically Active Defects in InAs/InGaAs Quantum Dots Laser Structures Grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy on GaAs Substrates Using Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy

Authors: M. Al Huwayz, A. Salhi, S. Alhassan, S. Alotaibi, A. Almalki, M.Almunyif, A. Alhassni, M. Henini

Abstract:

Recently, there has been much research carried out to investigate quantum dots (QDs) lasers with the aim to increase the gain of quantum well lasers. However, one of the difficulties with these structures is that electrically active defects can lead to serious issues in the performance of these devices. It is therefore essential to fully understand the types of defects introduced during the growth and/or the fabrication process. In this study, the effects of Gamma radiation on the electrically active defects in p-i-n InAs/InGaAsQDs laser structures grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) technique on GaAs substrates were investigated. Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS), current-voltage (I-V), and capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements were performed to explore these effects on the electrical properties of these QDs lasers. I-V measurements showed that as-grown sample had better electrical properties than the irradiated sample. However, DLTS and Laplace DLTS measurements at different reverse biases revealed that the defects in the-region of the p-i-n structures were decreased in the irradiated sample. In both samples, a trap with an activation energy of ~ 0.21 eV was assigned to the well-known defect M1 in GaAs layers

Keywords: quantum dots laser structures, gamma radiation, DLTS, defects, nAs/IngaAs

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11 Effect of Rapid Thermal Annealing on the Optical Properties of InAs Quantum Dots Grown on (100) and (311)B GaAs Substrates by Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Authors: Amjad Almunyif, Amra Alhassni, Sultan Alhassan, Maryam Al Huwayz, Saud Alotaibi, Abdulaziz Almalki, Mohamed Henini

Abstract:

The effect of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) on the optical properties of InAs quantum dots (QDs) grown at an As overpressure of 2x 10⁻⁶ Torr by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on (100) and (311)B GaAs substrates was investigated using photoluminescence (PL) technique. PL results showed that for the as-grown samples, the QDs grown on the high index plane (311)B have lower PL intensity and lower full width at half maximum (FWHM) than those grown on the conventional (100) plane. The latter demonstrates that the (311)B QDs have better size uniformity than (100) QDs. Compared with as-grown samples, a blue-shift was observed for all samples with increasing annealing temperature from 600°C to 700°C. For (100) samples, a narrowing of the FWHM was observed with increasing annealing temperature from 600°C to 700°C. However, in (311)B samples, the FWHM showed a different behaviour; it slightly increased when the samples were annealed at 600°C and then decreased when the annealing temperature increased to 700°C. As expected, the PL peak intensity for all samples increased when the laser excitation power increased. The PL peak energy temperature dependence showed a strong redshift when the temperature was increased from 10 K to 120 K. The PL peak energy exhibited an abnormal S-shape behaviour as a function of temperature for all samples. Most samples exhibited a significant enhancement in their activation energies when annealed at 600°C and 700°C, suggesting that annealing annihilated defects created during sample growth.

Keywords: RTA, QDs, InAs, MBE

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10 Variation with Depth of Physico-Chemical, Mineralogical and Physical Properties of Overburden over Gneiss Basement Complex in Minna Metropolis, North Central Nigeria

Authors: M. M. Alhaji, M. Alhassan, A. M. Yahaya

Abstract:

Soil engineers pay very little or no attention to variation in the mineralogical and consequently, the geotechnical properties of overburden with depth on basement complexes, a situation which can lead to sudden failure of civil engineering structures. Soil samples collected at depths ranging from 0.5m to 4.0m at 0.5m intervals, from a trial pit dogged manually to depth of 4.0m on an overburden over gneiss basement complex, was evaluated for physico-chemical, mineralogical and physical properties. This is to determine the variation of these properties with depth within the profile of the strata. Results showed that sodium amphibolite and feldspar, which are both primary minerals dominate the overall profile of the overburden. Carbon which dominates the lower profile of the strata was observed to alter to gregorite at upper section of the profile. Organic matter contents and cation exchange capacity reduces with increase in depth while lost on ignition and pH were relatively constant with depth. The index properties, as well as natural moisture contents, increases from 0.5m to between 1.0m to 1.5m depth after which the values reduced to constant values at 3.0m depth. The grain size analysis shows high composition of sand sized particles with silts of low to non-plasticity. The maximum dry density (MDD) values are generally relatively high and increases from 2.262g/cm³ at 0.5m depth to 2.410g/cm³ at 4.0m depth while the optimum moisture content (OMC) reduced from 9.8% at 0.5m depth to 6.7% at 4.0m depth.

Keywords: Gneiss basement complex, mineralogical properties, North Central Nigeria, physico-chemical properties, physical properties, overburden soil

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9 Investigating Non-suicidal Self-Injury Discussions on Twitter

Authors: Muhammad Abubakar Alhassan, Diane Pennington

Abstract:

Social networking sites have become a space for people to discuss public health issues such as non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). There are thousands of tweets containing self-harm and self-injury hashtags on Twitter. It is difficult to distinguish between different users who participate in self-injury discussions on Twitter and how their opinions change over time. Also, it is challenging to understand the topics surrounding NSSI discussions on Twitter. We retrieved tweets using #selfham and #selfinjury hashtags and investigated those from the United kingdom. We applied inductive coding and grouped tweeters into different categories. This study used the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) algorithm to infer the optimum number of topics that describes our corpus. Our findings revealed that many of those participating in NSSI discussions are non-professional users as opposed to medical experts and academics. Support organisations, medical teams, and academics were campaigning positively on rais-ing self-injury awareness and recovery. Using LDAvis visualisation technique, we selected the top 20 most relevant terms from each topic and interpreted the topics as; children and youth well-being, self-harm misjudgement, mental health awareness, school and mental health support and, suicide and mental-health issues. More than 50% of these topics were discussed in England compared to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our findings highlight the advantages of using the Twitter social network in tackling the problem of self-injury through awareness. There is a need to study the potential risks associated with the use of social networks among self-injurers.

Keywords: self-harm, non-suicidal self-injury, Twitter, social networks

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8 Attitudes of Secondary School Students towards Science and Technical Education in Yauri Metropolis Kebbi State, Nigeria

Authors: Ibrahim Alhassan Libata

Abstract:

This study was carried out to assess attitude of secondary school students towards science and technical education in Yauri metropolis, Kebbi State, Nigeria. The population of the study was 200. Proportionate random sampling method was used in selecting 132 as sample size. Science and technical education is the most powerful forces for change in the world today, and students who hope to have a hand in shaping a better future must participate for their advancements. Four Null hypotheses were generated to guide the conduct of the study, questionnaire was the only instrument used in the study; the instrument was subjected to test-retest reliability. The reliability index of the instrument was 0.69. Overall scores of the Students were analyzed and a mean score was determined, the mean score of students was 85. There were no significant differences between the attitudes of male and female students towards science and technical education. The results also revealed that there was significant difference between the attitude of boding and day school students towards science and technical education, personality constraints of students is one factor militating against the participation of students in science and technical education, socio-economic status of the parents over the years have been the dominant factor of student’s inadequate representation in the field of science and technical education. Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommended that teachers should motivate students, which they can do through their teaching styles and by showing them the relevance of the learning topics to their everyday lives. Government and the school management should create the learning environment that helps motivate students not only to come to classes but also want to learn and enjoy learning science and technical education, establishment of more Science and Technical Colleges education, more Public enlightenment campaigns to motivate parents and the entire community to support their children in studying science and technical education.

Keywords: attitude, students, science, Yauri

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7 Facile Synthesis of Sulfur Doped TiO2 Nanoparticles with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity

Authors: Vishnu V. Pillai, Sunil P. Lonkar, Akhil M. Abraham, Saeed M. Alhassan

Abstract:

An effectual technology for wastewater treatment is a great demand now in order to encounter the water pollution caused by organic pollutants. Photocatalytic oxidation technology is widely used in removal of such unsafe contaminants. Among the semi-conducting metal oxides, robust and thermally stable TiO2 has emerged as a fascinating material for photocatalysis. Enhanced catalytic activity was observed for nanostructured TiO2 due to its higher surface, chemical stability and higher oxidation ability. However, higher charge carrier recombination and wide band gap of TiO2 limits its use as a photocatalyst in the UV region. It is desirable to develop a photocatalyst that can efficiently absorb the visible light, which occupies the main part of the solar spectrum. Hence, in order to extend its photocatalytic efficiency under visible light, TiO2 nanoparticles are often doped with metallic or non-metallic elements. Non-metallic doping of TiO2 has attracted much attention due to the low thermal stability and enhanced recombination of charge carriers endowed by metallic doping of TiO2. Amongst, sulfur doped TiO2 is most widely used photocatalyst in environmental purification. However, the most of S-TiO2 synthesis technique uses toxic chemicals and complex procedures. Hence, a facile, scalable and environmentally benign preparation process for S-TiO2 is highly desirable. In present work, we have demonstrated new and facile solid-state reaction method for S-TiO2 synthesis that uses abundant elemental sulfur as S source and moderate temperatures. The resulting nano-sized S-TiO2 has been successfully employed as visible light photocatalyst in methylene blue dye removal from aqueous media.

Keywords: ecofriendly, nanomaterials, methylene blue, photocatalysts

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6 Effects of Irrigation Scheduling and Soil Management on Maize (Zea mays L.) Yield in Guinea Savannah Zone of Nigeria

Authors: I. Alhassan, A. M. Saddiq, A. G. Gashua, K. K. Gwio-Kura

Abstract:

The main objective of any irrigation program is the development of an efficient water management system to sustain crop growth and development and avoid physiological water stress in the growing plants. Field experiment to evaluate the effects of some soil moisture conservation practices on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize was carried out in three locations (i.e. Mubi and Yola in the northern Guinea Savannah and Ganye in the southern Guinea Savannah of Adamawa State, Nigeria) during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. The experiment consisted of three different irrigation levels (7, 10 and 12 day irrigation intervals), two levels of mulch (mulch and un-mulched) and two tillage practices (no tillage and minimum tillage) arranged in a randomized complete block design with split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The Blaney-Criddle method was used for measuring crop evapotranspiration. The results indicated that seven-day irrigation intervals and mulched treatment were found to have significant effect (P>0.05) on grain yield and water use efficiency in all the locations. The main effect of tillage was non-significant (P<0.05) on grain yield and WUE. The interaction effects of irrigation and mulch were significant (P>0.05) on grain yield and WUE at Mubi and Yola. Generally, higher grain yield and WUE were recorded on mulched and seven-day irrigation intervals, whereas lower values were recorded on un-mulched with 12-day irrigation intervals. Tillage exerts little influence on the yield and WUE. Results from Ganye were found to be generally higher than those recorded in Mubi and Yola; it also showed that an irrigation interval of 10 days with mulching could be adopted for the Ganye area, while seven days interval is more appropriate for Mubi and Yola.

Keywords: irrigation, maize, mulching, tillage, savanna

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5 Structural Property and Mechanical Behavior of Polypropylene–Elemental Sulfur (S8) Composites: Effect of Sulfur Loading

Authors: S. Vijay Kumar, Kishore K. Jena, Saeed M. Alhassan

Abstract:

Elemental sulfur is currently produced on the level of 70 million tons annually by petroleum refining, majority of which is used in the production of sulfuric acid, fertilizer and other chemicals. Still, over 6 million tons of elemental sulfur is generated in excess, which creates exciting opportunities to develop new chemistry to utilize sulfur as a feedstock for polymers. Development of new polymer composite materials using sulfur is not widely explored and remains an important challenge in the field. Polymer nanocomposites prepared by carbon nanotube, graphene, silica and other nanomaterials were well established. However, utilization of sulfur as filler in the polymer matrix could be an interesting study. This work is to presents the possibility of utilizing elemental sulfur as reinforcing fillers in the polymer matrix. In this study we attempted to prepare polypropylene/sulfur nanocomposite. The physical, mechanical and morphological properties of the newly developed composites were studied according to the sulfur loading. In the sample preparation, four levels of elemental sulfur loading (5, 10, 20 and 30 wt. %) were designed. Composites were prepared by the melt mixing process by using laboratory scale mini twin screw extruder at 180°C for 15 min. The reaction time and temperature were maintained constant for all prepared composites. The structure and crystallization behavior of composites was investigated by Raman, FTIR, XRD and DSC analysis. It was observed that sulfur interfere with the crystalline arrangement of polypropylene and depresses the crystallization, which affects the melting point, mechanical and thermal stability. In the tensile test, one level of test temperature (room temperature) and crosshead speed (10 mm/min) was designed. Tensile strengths and tensile modulus of the composites were slightly decreased with increasing in filler loading, however, percentage of elongation improved by more than 350% compared to neat polypropylene. The effect of sulfur on the morphology of polypropylene was studied with TEM and SEM techniques. Microscope analysis revels that sulfur is homogeneously dispersed in polymer matrix and behaves as single phase arrangement in the polymer. The maximum elongation for the polypropylene can be achieved by adjusting the sulfur loading in the polymer. This study reviles the possibility of using elemental sulfur as a solid plasticizer in the polypropylene matrix.

Keywords: crystallization, elemental sulfur, morphology, thermo-mechanical properties, polypropylene, polymer nanocomposites

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4 Response of Local Cowpea to Intra Row Spacing and Weeding Regimes in Yobe State, Nigeria

Authors: A. G. Gashua, T. T. Bello, I. Alhassan, K. K. Gwiokura

Abstract:

Weeds are known to interfere seriously with crop growth, thereby affecting the productivity and quality of crops. Crops are also known to compete for natural growth resources if they are not adequately spaced, also affecting the performance of the growing crop. Farmers grow cowpea in mixtures with cereals and this is known to affect its yield. For this reason, a field experiment was conducted at Yobe State College of Agriculture Gujba, Damaturu station in the 2014 and 2015 rainy seasons to determine the appropriate intra row spacing and weeding regime for optimum growth and yield of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in pure stand in Sudan Savanna ecology. The treatments consist of three levels of spacing within rows (20 cm, 30 cm and 40 cm) and four weeding regimes (none, once at 3 weeks after sowing (WAS), twice at 3 and 6WAS, thrice at 3WAS, 6WAS and 9WAS); arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and replicated three times. The variety used was the local cowpea variety (white, early and spreading) commonly grown by farmers. The growth and yield data were collected and subjected to analysis of variance using SAS software, and the significant means were ranked by Students Newman Keul’s test (SNK). The findings of this study revealed better crop performance in 2015 than in 2014 despite poor soil condition. Intra row spacing significantly influenced vegetative growth especially the number of main branches, leaves and canopy spread at 6WAS and 9WAS with the highest values obtained at wider spacing (40 cm). The values obtained in 2015 doubled those obtained in 2014 in most cases. Spacing also significantly affected the number of pods in 2015, seed weight in both years and grain yield in 2014 with the highest values obtained when the crop was spaced at 30-40 cm. Similarly, weeding regime significantly influenced almost all the growth attributes of cowpea with higher values obtained from where cowpea was weeded three times at 3-week intervals, though statistically similar results were obtained even from where cowpea was weeded twice. Weeding also affected the entire yield and yield components in 2015 with the highest values obtained with increase weeding. Based on these findings, it is recommended that spreading cowpea varieties should be grown at 40 cm (or wider spacing) within rows and be weeded twice at three-week intervals for better crop performance in related ecologies.

Keywords: intra-row spacing, local cowpea, Nigeria, weeding

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3 Assessment of N₂ Fixation and Water-Use Efficiency in a Soybean-Sorghum Rotation System

Authors: Mmatladi D. Mnguni, Mustapha Mohammed, George Y. Mahama, Alhassan L. Abdulai, Felix D. Dakora

Abstract:

Industrial-based nitrogen (N) fertilizers are justifiably credited for the current state of food production across the globe, but their continued use is not sustainable and has an adverse effect on the environment. The search for greener and sustainable technologies has led to an increase in exploiting biological systems such as legumes and organic amendments for plant growth promotion in cropping systems. Although the benefits of legume rotation with cereal crops have been documented, the full benefits of soybean-sorghum rotation systems have not been properly evaluated in Africa. This study explored the benefits of soybean-sorghum rotation through assessing N₂ fixation and water-use efficiency of soybean in rotation with sorghum with and without organic and inorganic amendments. The field trials were conducted from 2017 to 2020. Sorghum was grown on plots previously cultivated to soybean and vice versa. The succeeding sorghum crop received fertilizer amendments [organic fertilizer (5 tons/ha as poultry litter, OF); inorganic fertilizer (80N-60P-60K) IF; organic + inorganic fertilizer (OF+IF); half organic + inorganic fertilizer (HIF+OF); organic + half inorganic fertilizer (OF+HIF); half organic + half inorganic (HOF+HIF) and control] and was arranged in a randomized complete block design. The soybean crop succeeding fertilized sorghum received a blanket application of triple superphosphate at 26 kg P ha⁻¹. Nitrogen fixation and water-use efficiency were respectively assessed at the flowering stage using the ¹⁵N and ¹³C natural abundance techniques. The results showed that the shoot dry matter of soybean plants supplied with HOF+HIF was much higher (43.20 g plant-1), followed by OF+HIF (36.45 g plant⁻¹), and HOF+IF (33.50 g plant⁻¹). Shoot N concentration ranged from 1.60 to 1.66%, and total N content from 339 to 691 mg N plant⁻¹. The δ¹⁵N values of soybean shoots ranged from -1.17‰ to -0.64‰, with plants growing on plots previously treated to HOF+HIF exhibiting much higher δ¹⁵N values, and hence lower percent N derived from N₂ fixation (%Ndfa). Shoot %Ndfa values varied from 70 to 82%. The high %Ndfa values obtained in this study suggest that the previous year’s organic and inorganic fertilizer amendments to sorghum did not inhibit N₂ fixation in the following soybean crop. The amount of N-fixed by soybean ranged from 106 to 197 kg N ha⁻¹. The treatments showed marked variations in carbon (C) content, with HOF+HIF treatment recording the highest C content. Although water-use efficiency varied from -29.32‰ to -27.85‰, shoot water-use efficiency, C concentration, and C:N ratio were not altered by previous fertilizer application to sorghum. This study provides strong evidence that previous HOF+HIF sorghum residues can enhance N nutrition and water-use efficiency in nodulated soybean.

Keywords: ¹³C and ¹⁵N natural abundance, N-fixed, organic and inorganic fertilizer amendments, shoot %Ndfa

Procedia PDF Downloads 71
2 3D Nanostructured Assembly of 2D Transition Metal Chalcogenide/Graphene as High Performance Electrocatalysts

Authors: Sunil P. Lonkar, Vishnu V. Pillai, Saeed Alhassan

Abstract:

Design and development of highly efficient, inexpensive, and long-term stable earth-abundant electrocatalysts hold tremendous promise for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water electrolysis. The 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, especially molybdenum disulfide attracted a great deal of interests due to its high electrocatalytic activity. However, due to its poor electrical conductivity and limited exposed active sites, the performance of these catalysts is limited. In this context, a facile and scalable synthesis method for fabrication nanostructured electrocatalysts composed 3D graphene porous aerogels supported with MoS₂ and WS₂ is highly desired. Here we developed a highly active and stable electrocatalyst catalyst for the HER by growing it into a 3D porous architecture on conducting graphene. The resulting nanohybrids were thoroughly investigated by means of several characterization techniques to understand structure and properties. Moreover, the HER performance of these 3D catalysts is expected to greatly improve in compared to other, well-known catalysts which mainly benefits from the improved electrical conductivity of the by graphene and porous structures of the support. This technologically scalable process can afford efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) and hydrodesulfurization catalysts for sulfur-rich petroleum fuels. Owing to the lower cost and higher performance, the resulting materials holds high potential for various energy and catalysis applications. In typical hydrothermal method, sonicated GO aqueous dispersion (5 mg mL⁻¹) was mixed with ammonium tetrathiomolybdate (ATTM) and tungsten molybdate was treated in a sealed Teflon autoclave at 200 ◦C for 4h. After cooling, a black solid macroporous hydrogel was recovered washed under running de-ionized water to remove any by products and metal ions. The obtained hydrogels were then freeze-dried for 24 h and was further subjected to thermal annealing driven crystallization at 600 ◦C for 2h to ensure complete thermal reduction of RGO into graphene and formation of highly crystalline MoS₂ and WoS₂ phases. The resulting 3D nanohybrids were characterized to understand the structure and properties. The SEM-EDS clearly reveals the formation of highly porous material with a uniform distribution of MoS₂ and WS₂ phases. In conclusion, a novice strategy for fabrication of 3D nanostructured MoS₂-WS₂/graphene is presented. The characterizations revealed that the in-situ formed promoters uniformly dispersed on to few layered MoS₂¬-WS₂ nanosheets that are well-supported on graphene surface. The resulting 3D hybrids hold high promise as potential electrocatalyst and hydrodesulfurization catalyst.

Keywords: electrocatalysts, graphene, transition metal chalcogenide, 3D assembly

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1 Ethnobotanical and Laboratory Investigations of Plants Used for the Treatment of Typhoid Fever in Gombe State, North-Eastern Nigeria

Authors: Abubakar Bello Usman, Alhassan Muhammad Gani, Kolo Ibrahim

Abstract:

The use of botanical raw materials to produce pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies, teas, spirits, cosmetics, sweets, dietary supplements, special industrial compounds and crude materials constitute an important global resource in terms of healthcare and economy. In Nigeria and other developing countries, the indigenous knowledge on the uses of plants lies with the older generation and the traditional healers. However, these custodians are decreasing in number due to death and other unforeseen occurrences. An Ethno-botanical survey was carried out to obtain information on the ethno medical values of wide range of plants used by the people of Gombe State, North-Eastern Nigeria, in the practice of healing and cure of typhoid (enteric) fever. Oral interviews were conducted so as to consider those with low literacy level who are involved in the practice of traditional medicine and thirty four (34) informants availed themselves for the interview and were consulted. All relevant information obtained from the respondents was recorded. A recent and valid nomenclature, along with local names, family names, part of the plant(s) used, methods of preparation and administration and fifty four (54) plant species belonging to 27 families as well as 7 unidentified species that are commonly used by the people of the state in ethnomedical treatment of the ailment were tabulated. Those interviewed included traditional practitioners, local herb sellers, traditional rulers, hunters, farmers and patients. Specific questions were asked and information supplied by informants was promptly documented. Results showed that the people of Gombe State are knowledgeable on herbal medicine in the treatment of diseases and ailments. Furthermore, the aqueous leaf extracts of Senna siamea, the plant species with the highest PPK (percentage of people who have knowledge about the use of a species for treating typhoid fever) in this ethnobotanical survey, was tested for its activity against clinical isolates of Salmonella typhi using the agar well diffusion method. The aqueous extracts showed some activity (zones of inhibition 11, 9, 7.5, 3.5, 1.3 mm) at 2000, 1800, 1600, 1400, 1200 µg/ml concentrations respectively. Preliminary phytochemical studies of the aqueous leaf extracts of the plant revealed the presence of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids and cardiac glycosides. Though a large number of traditionally used plants for the treatment of enteric fever were identified, further scientific validation of the traditional claims of anti-typhoid properties is imperative. This would establish their candidature for any possible future research for active principles and the possible development of new cheaper and more effective anti-typhoid drugs, as well as in the conservation of this rich diversity of medicinal plants.

Keywords: antimicrobial activities, ethnobotany, gombe state, north-eastern Nigeria, phytochemical screening, senna siamea, typhoid fever

Procedia PDF Downloads 241