Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Maciej T. Malecki

27 Association of Nuclear – Mitochondrial Epistasis with BMI in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Patients

Authors: Agnieszka H. Ludwig-Slomczynska, Michal T. Seweryn, Przemyslaw Kapusta, Ewelina Pitera, Katarzyna Cyganek, Urszula Mantaj, Lucja Dobrucka, Ewa Wender-Ozegowska, Maciej T. Malecki, Pawel Wolkow


Obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and its expenditure. Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) analyses have led to discovery of only about 100 variants influencing body mass index (BMI), which explain only a small portion of genetic variability. Analysis of gene epistasis gives a chance to discover another part. Since it was shown that interaction and communication between nuclear and mitochondrial genome are indispensable for normal cell function, we have looked for epistatic interactions between the two genomes to find their correlation with BMI. Methods: The analysis was performed on 366 T1DM patients using Illumina Infinium OmniExpressExome-8 chip and followed by imputation on Michigan Imputation Server. Only genes which influence mitochondrial functioning (listed in Human MitoCarta 2.0) were included in the analysis – variants of nuclear origin (MAF > 5%) in 1140 genes and 42 mitochondrial variants (MAF > 1%). Gene expression analysis was performed on GTex data. Association analysis between genetic variants and BMI was performed with the use of Linear Mixed Models as implemented in the package 'GENESIS' in R. Analysis of association between mRNA expression and BMI was performed with the use of linear models and standard significance tests in R. Results: Among variants involved in epistasis between mitochondria and nucleus we have identified one in mitochondrial transcription factor, TFB2M (rs6701836). It interacted with mitochondrial variants localized to MT-RNR1 (p=0.0004, MAF=15%), MT-ND2 (p=0.07, MAF=5%) and MT-ND4 (p=0.01, MAF=1.1%). Analysis of the interaction between nuclear variant rs6701836 (nuc) and rs3021088 localized to MT-ND2 mitochondrial gene (mito) has shown that the combination of the two led to BMI decrease (p=0.024). Each of the variants on its own does not correlate with higher BMI [p(nuc)=0.856, p(mito)=0.116)]. Although rs6701836 is intronic, it influences gene expression in the thyroid (p=0.000037). rs3021088 is a missense variant that leads to alanine to threonine substitution in the MT-ND2 gene which belongs to complex I of the electron transport chain. The analysis of the influence of genetic variants on gene expression has confirmed the trend explained above – the interaction of the two genes leads to BMI decrease (p=0.0308). Each of the mRNAs on its own is associated with higher BMI (p(mito)=0.0244 and p(nuc)=0.0269). Conclusıons: Our results show that nuclear-mitochondrial epistasis can influence BMI in T1DM patients. The correlation between transcription factor expression and mitochondrial genetic variants will be subject to further analysis.

Keywords: body mass index, epistasis, mitochondria, type 1 diabetes

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26 Assessment of Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Consumption from Means of Transport in Agriculture

Authors: Jerzy Merkisz, Piotr Lijewski, Pawel Fuc, Maciej Siedlecki, Andrzej Ziolkowski, Sylwester Weymann


The paper discusses the problem of load transport using farm tractors and road tractor units. This type of carriage of goods is often done with farm vehicles. The tests were performed with the PEMS equipment (Portable Emission Measurement System) under actual traffic conditions. The vehicles carried a load of 20000 kg. This research method is one of the most desired because it provides reliable information on the actual vehicle emissions and fuel consumption (carbon balance method). For the tests, a route was selected that simulated a trip from a small town to a food-processing facility located in a city. The analysis of the obtained results gave a clear answer as to what vehicles need to be used for the carriage of this type of cargo in terms of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.

Keywords: emission, transport, fuel consumption, PEMS

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25 Icephobic and Hydrophobic Behaviour of Laser Patterned Transparent Coatings

Authors: Bartłomiej Przybyszewski, Rafał Kozera, Anna Boczkowska, Maciej Traczyk, Paulina Kozera, Malwina Liszewska, Daria Pakuła


The goal of the work was to reduce or completely eliminate the accumulation of dirt, snow and ice build-up on transparent coatings by achieving self-cleaning and icephobic properties. The research involved the use of laser surface texturing technology for chemically modified coatings of the epoxy materials group and their hybrids used to protect glass surfaces. For this purpose, two methods of surface structuring and the preceding volumetric modification of the chemical composition with proprietary organosilicon compounds and/or mineral additives were used. An attractive approach to the topic was the development of efficient and, most importantly, durable coatings with self-cleaning and ice-phobic properties that reduced or avoided dirt build-up and adhesion of water, snow and ice. With a view to the future industrial application of the developed technologies, all methods meet the requirements in terms of their practical use on a large scale.

Keywords: icephobic coatings, hydrophobic coatings, transparent coatings, laser patterning

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24 Reduction of Dynamic Influences in Composite Rubber-Concrete Block Designed to Walls Construction

Authors: Maciej Major, Izabela Major


The aim of this paper is a numerical analysis of three-layered block design to walls construction subjected to the dynamic load. The block consists of the layers: concrete with rubber pads in shape of crosses, space filled with air and concrete with I-shape rubber pads. The main purpose of rubber inserts embedded during the production process is additional protection against the transversal dynamic load. For the analysis, as rubber, the Zahorski hyperelastic incompressible material model was assumed. A concentrated force as dynamic load applied to the external block surface was investigated. The results for the considered block observed as the stress distribution plot were compared to the results obtained for the solid concrete block. In order to estimate the percentage damping of proposed composite, rubber-concrete block in relation to the solid block the numerical analysis with the use of finite element method based on ADINA software was performed.

Keywords: dynamics, composite, rubber, Zahorski

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23 Nanocomposite Metal Material: Study of Antimicrobial and Catalytic Properties

Authors: Roman J. Jedrzejczyk, Damian K. Chlebda, Anna Dziedzicka, Rafal Wazny, Agnieszka Domka, Maciej Sitarz, Przemyslaw J. Jodlowski


The aim of this study was to obtain antimicrobial material based on thin zirconium dioxide coatings on structured reactors doped with metal nanoparticles using the sonochemical sol-gel method. As a result, dense, uniform zirconium dioxide films were obtained on the kanthal sheets which can be used as support materials in antimicrobial converters with sophisticated shapes. The material was characterised by physicochemical methods, such as AFM, SEM, EDX, XRF, XRD, XPS and in situ Raman and DRIFT spectroscopy. In terms of antimicrobial activity, the material was tested by ATP/AMP method using model microbes isolated from the real systems. The results show that the material can be potentially used in the market as a good candidate for active package and as active bulkheads of climatic systems. The mechanical tests showed that the developed method is an efficient way to obtain durable converters with high antimicrobial activity against fungi and bacteria.

Keywords: antimicrobial properties, kanthal steel, nanocomposite, zirconium oxide

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22 Sonochemically Prepared Non-Noble Metal Oxide Catalysts for Methane Catalytic Combustion

Authors: Przemyslaw J. Jodlowski, Roman J. Jedrzejczyk, Damian K. Chlebda, Anna Dziedzicka, Lukasz Kuterasinski, Anna Gancarczyk, Maciej Sitarz


The aim of this study was to obtain highly active catalysts based on non-noble metal oxides supported on zirconia prepared via a sonochemical method. In this study, the influence of the stabilizers addition during the preparation step was checked. The final catalysts were characterized by using such characterization methods as X-ray Diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and µRaman. The proposed preparation method allowed to obtain uniformly dispersed metal-oxide nanoparticles at the support’s surface. The catalytic activity of prepared catalyst samples was measured in a methane combustion reaction. The activity of the catalysts prepared by the sonochemical method was considerably higher than their counterparts prepared by the incipient wetness method.

Keywords: methane catalytic combustion, nanoparticles, non-noble metals, sonochemistry

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21 Financial Sources and Instruments for Public Grants and Financial Facilities of SMEs in Eu

Authors: Simeon Karafolas, Maciej Woźniak


Mostly of public financing programs at national and regional level are funded from European Union sources. EU can participate directly to a national and regional program (example LEADER initiative, URBAN…) or indirectly by funding regional or national funds. Funds from European Union are provided from EU multiannual financial framework form which the annual budget is programmed. The adjusted program 2007-2013 of the EU considered commitments of almost 1 trillion Euros for the EU-28 countries. Provisions of the new program 2014-2020 consider commitments of more than 1 trillion Euros. Sustainable growth, divided to Cohesion and Competitiveness for Growth an Employment, is one of the two principal categories; the other is the preservation and management of natural resources. Through this financing process SMEs benefited of EU and public sources by receiving grants for their investments. Most of the financial instruments are available indirectly through the national financial intermediaries. Part of them is managed by the European Investment Fund. The paper focuses on the public financing to SMEs by examining case studies on divers forms of public help. It tries to distinguish the efficiency of the examined good practices and therefore try to have some conclusions on the possibility of application to other regions.

Keywords: DIFASS, grants, SMEs, public financing

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20 Factors Influencing an Implementation of Financial Participation Programmes in Polish Companies - Some Relationships

Authors: Maciej Kozlowski, Agnieszka Piotrowska-Piatek


Purpose: This article analyses the most important financial participation programmes (FPP) in Poland to show the relationship between the programmes applied and the socio-economic results of enterprises and assesses the impact of participation on these results and the impact of selected factors on the introduction of FPP. Methodology: The research has been based on a questionnaire answered by senior management of listed Polish companies that had at least one out of three major FPPs in operation, namely share ownership, profit-sharing, or a stock option scheme. Findings: The results of the empirical study conducted indicate the existence of some peculiar relationships. The vast majority of schemes in Polish public companies are aimed at the participation of the management personnel; these programmes are narrow-based (only for management) and rather hermetic, with a high concentration of stocks or shares in the hands of the management. Conclusion: FPPs generally have a positive influence on enterprise functioning. However, the effects are more social than economic (no significant economic improvement after programme implementation). The paper contributes to the debate about financial participation and suggests actions to popularize these programmes on a wider scale.

Keywords: financial participation, profit sharing, stock options, worker attitude, worker ownership

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19 Antibacterial Activity of Trans-Cinnamaldehyde and Geraniol and Their Potential as Ingredients of Biocidal Polymers

Authors: Daria Olkiewicz, Maciej Walczak


In this paper, the biocidal effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde (a main component of cinnamon oil) and geraniol (a constituent of Pelargonium graveolens essential oil) are presented. The activity of the combination of trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol was tested against 3 bacterial strains: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 (Gramm+), Escherichia coli ATCC8739 (Gramm-, Lac+) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa KKP 991(Gramm-, Lac-). The biocidal activity of trans-cinnamaldehyde-geraniol mixture against bacteria mentioned above was evaluated by disk-diffusion method. The model strains were exposed on 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 mg of trans-cinnamaldehyde-geraniol mixture per disk, and all strains were susceptible to this combination of plant compounds. For all microorganisms, also Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimal Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) were estimated. For Staphylococcus aureus MIC was 0.0625 mg/ml of the trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol mixture, and MBC was 1.25 mg/ml; For Escherichia coli MIC=0.5 mg/ml, MBC=1 mg/ml, and finally Pseudomonas aeruginosa was inhibited in 0.5 mg/ml, and minimal biocidal concentration of tested mixture for it was 1.25 mg/ml. There are also reports about the synergistic working of trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol against microorganisms and the antimicrobial activity of polymers enriched with trans-cinnamaldehyde or geraniol, therefore the successful development and introduction to the today life of biocidal polymer enriched with trans-cinnamaldehyde and geraniol are possible.

Keywords: antibacterial activity, biocidal polymers, geraniol, trans-cinnamaldehyde

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18 The Impact of Bequest Taxation on Human Capital Accumulation

Authors: Maciej Dudek, Robert Kruszewski, Janusz Kudla, Konrad Walczyk


In this paper, we study how taxation of bequests affects human capital formation in the long term and short term horizon. Our underlying model is an overlapping generation model (OLG) with some degree of altruism on the part of the ancestors' generation towards their descendants. We ask the question in three separate frameworks. First, we study a simple one-sector model where a proxy of human capital is wage income. It the steady-state -for CRRA utility function and human capital produced with non-decreasing returns -the taxation of bequests is neutral to the accumulation of human capital. In the second framework, neutrality applies to the growth rates of human capital, physical capital, and consumption. In this case, taxation increases the level of bequests, leading to a lower value of current consumption. Finally in we consider two periods model instead of infinite horizon model as long as the tax revenue is at least partially rebated back to the public, the fraction of human capital engaged in the process of formation of human capital increases with the tax rate on bequests. In other words, taxation of bequests is partially offset by an increase in human capital formation. Higher human capital allows the future generation to earn higher wages, and today's generation can find it optimal to endow the future generation with more human capital when taxation is imposed on physical capital transferred to the next generation.

Keywords: taxation, bequests, policy, human capital

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17 Sportband: An Idea for Workout Monitoring in Amateur and Recreational Sports

Authors: Kamila Mazur-Oleszczuk, Rafal Banasiuk, Dawid Krasnowski, Maciej Pek, Marcin Podgorski, Krzysztof Rykaczewski, Sabina Zoledowska, Dawid Nidzworski


Workout safety is one of the most significant challenges of recreational sports. Loss of water and electrolytes is a consequence of thermoregulatory sweating during exercise. The rate of sweat loss and its chemical composition can fluctuate within and among individuals. That is why we propose our sportband 'Flow' as a device for monitoring these parameters. 'Flow' consists of two parts: an intelligent module and a mobile application. The application allows verifying the training progress and data archiving. The sportband intelligent module includes temperature, heart rate and pulse measurement (non-invasive, continuous methods of workout monitoring). Apart from the standard components, the device will consist of a sweat composition analyzer situated in sportband intelligent module. Sweat is a water solution of numerous compounds such as ions (sodium up to 1609 µg/ml, potassium up to 274 µg/ml), lactic acid (skin pH is between 4.5 - 6) and a small amount of glucose. Awareness of sweat composition allows personalizing electrolyte intake after training. A comprehensive workout monitoring (sweat composition, heart rate, blood oxygen level) will provide improvement in the training routine and time management, which is our goal for the development of the sweat composition analyzer.

Keywords: flow, sportband, sweat, workout monitoring

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16 Implementation of Lean Management in Non-Governmental Organizations: A Case Study on WrocłAw Food Bank

Authors: Maciej Pieńkowski


Lean Management is nowadays one of the most dominating management concepts within industrial and service environment, providing compelling business benefits to many companies. At the same time, its application in the non-governmental organizations has not been extensively researched yet. Filling this gap will address clear necessity of efficient management system in NGO environment and significantly improve operational performance of many organizations. The goal of the research is to verify effectiveness of Lean Management implementation in the non-governmental organizations, based on Wrocław Food Bank case study. The case study describes a Lean Management implementation project within analyzed organization. During the project, Wrocław Food Bank went through full 5-step Lean Thinking processes, which consist of value identification, value stream mapping, creation of flow, establishing pull and seeking perfection. The research contains a detailed summary of each of those steps and provides with information regarding results of their implementation. The major findings of the study indicate, that application of Lean Management in NGO environment is possible, however physical implementation of its guidelines can be strongly impeded by multiple constraints, which non-governmental organizations are facing. Due to challenges like limited resources, project based activities and lack of traditional supplier-customer relationship, many NGOs may fail in their efforts to implement Lean Management. Successful Lean application requires therefore strong leadership commitment, which would drive transformation to remove barriers and obstacles.

Keywords: lean management, non-governmental organizations, continuous improvement, lean thinking

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15 Thermochromic Behavior of Fluoran-Based Mixtures Containing Liquid-Crystalline 4-N-Alkylbenzoic Acids as Color Developers

Authors: Magdalena Wilk-Kozubek, Jakub Pawłów, Maciej Czajkowski, Maria Zdończyk, Katarzyna Ślepokura, Joanna Cybińska


Thermochromic materials belong to the family of intelligent materials that change their color in response to temperature changes; this ability is called thermochromism. Thermochromic behavior can be displayed by both isolated compounds and multicomponent mixtures. Fluoran leuco dye-based mixtures are well-known thermochromic systems used, for example, in heat-sensitive FAX paper. Weak acids often serve as color developers for such systems. As the temperature increases, the acids melt, and the mixtures become colored. The objective of this research is to determine the influence of acids showing a liquid crystalline nematic phase on the development of the fluoran dye. For this purpose, fluoran-based mixtures with 4-n-alkylbenzoic acids were prepared. The mixtures are colored at room temperature, but they become colorless upon melting the acids. The melting of acids is associated not only with a change in the color of the mixtures but also with a change in their emission color. Phase transitions were investigated by temperature-dependent powder X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry; nematic phases were visualized by polarized optical microscopy, color and emission changes were studied by UV-Vis diffuse reflectance and photoluminescence spectroscopies, respectively. When 4-n-alkylbenzoic acids are used as color developers, the fluoran-based mixtures become colorless after melting the acids. This is because the melting of acids is accompanied by the transition from the crystalline phase to the nematic phase, in which the molecular arrangement of the acids does not allow the fluoran dye to be developed.

Keywords: color developer, leuco dye, liquid crystal, thermochromism

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14 Empirical Analysis of the Love Languages in the Context of Relationship Satisfaction, Sexual Satisfaction and Empathy in Romantic Heterosexual Couples

Authors: Olha Mostova, Maciej Stolarski, Gerald Matthews


The present paper explores and tests Gary Chapman’s claims that (1) people vary in the ways they prefer to receive and express affection and (2) romantic partners, who communicate their feelings correspondingly to their partner’s preferences, experience greater relationship quality. The author proposes five distinct preferences for and tendencies to express love, including acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and gifts. In the present study, partners (N = 100 romantic, heterosexual couples) completed measures assessing their preferences and behavioral tendencies reflecting 1) how they a) tend to express and b) prefer to receive signs of affection in correspondence to the five proposed categories; 2) relationship satisfaction; 3) sexual satisfaction and 4) empathy, which was expected to be the factor that leads to a better understanding of and responding to the partner’s needs. The degree of the within-couple match was calculated separately for each individual based on the discrepancies between one’s felt (preferred) and their partner’s expressed love language. The joint discrepancy indicator was a sum of such discrepancies across the five love languages. Conducted analyses provided evidence for significant associations between matching on love languages and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. In particular, people who expressed their affection in the way their partners preferred to receive it experienced greater satisfaction with their relationships and were more sexually satisfied compared to those who met their partner’s needs to a lesser extent. Other results provide some support for mediating effects of certain domains of empathy in the said associations among male but not female participants.

Keywords: affection, empathy, love languages, relationship satisfaction, romantic couples, sexual satisfaction

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13 LHCII Proteins Phosphorylation Changes Involved in the Dark-Chilling Response in Plant Species with Different Chilling Tolerance

Authors: Malgorzata Krysiak, Anna Wegrzyn, Maciej Garstka, Radoslaw Mazur


Under constantly fluctuating environmental conditions, the thylakoid membrane protein network evolved the ability to dynamically respond to changing biotic and abiotic factors. One of the most important protective mechanism is rearrangement of the chlorophyll-protein (CP) complexes, induced by protein phosphorylation. In a temperate climate, low temperature is one of the abiotic stresses that heavily affect plant growth and productivity. The aim of this study was to determine the role of LHCII antenna complex phosphorylation in the dark-chilling response. The study included an experimental model based on dark-chilling at 4 °C of detached chilling sensitive (CS) runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) and chilling tolerant (CT) garden pea (Pisum sativum L.) leaves. This model is well described in the literature as used for the analysis of chilling impact without any additional effects caused by light. We examined changes in thylakoid membrane protein phosphorylation, interactions between phosphorylated LHCII (P-LHCII) and CP complexes, and their impact on the dynamics of photosystem II (PSII) under dark-chilling conditions. Our results showed that the dark-chilling treatment of CS bean leaves induced a substantial increase of phosphorylation of LHCII proteins, as well as changes in CP complexes composition and their interaction with P-LHCII. The PSII photochemical efficiency measurements showed that in bean, PSII is overloaded with light energy, which is not compensated by CP complexes rearrangements. On the contrary, no significant changes in PSII photochemical efficiency, phosphorylation pattern and CP complexes interactions were observed in CT pea. In conclusion, our results indicate that different responses of the LHCII phosphorylation to chilling stress take place in CT and CS plants, and that kinetics of LHCII phosphorylation and interactions of P-LHCII with photosynthetic complexes may be crucial to chilling stress response. Acknowledgments: presented work was financed by the National Science Centre, Poland grant No.: 2016/23/D/NZ3/01276

Keywords: LHCII, phosphorylation, chilling stress, pea, runner bean

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12 Safe and Scalable Framework for Participation of Nodes in Smart Grid Networks in a P2P Exchange of Short-Term Products

Authors: Maciej Jedrzejczyk, Karolina Marzantowicz


Traditional utility value chain is being transformed during last few years into unbundled markets. Increased distributed generation of energy is one of considerable challenges faced by Smart Grid networks. New sources of energy introduce volatile demand response which has a considerable impact on traditional middlemen in E&U market. The purpose of this research is to search for ways to allow near-real-time electricity markets to transact with surplus energy based on accurate time synchronous measurements. A proposed framework evaluates the use of secure peer-2-peer (P2P) communication and distributed transaction ledgers to provide flat hierarchy, and allow real-time insights into present and forecasted grid operations, as well as state and health of the network. An objective is to achieve dynamic grid operations with more efficient resource usage, higher security of supply and longer grid infrastructure life cycle. Methods used for this study are based on comparative analysis of different distributed ledger technologies in terms of scalability, transaction performance, pluggability with external data sources, data transparency, privacy, end-to-end security and adaptability to various market topologies. An intended output of this research is a design of a framework for safer, more efficient and scalable Smart Grid network which is bridging a gap between traditional components of the energy network and individual energy producers. Results of this study are ready for detailed measurement testing, a likely follow-up in separate studies. New platforms for Smart Grid achieving measurable efficiencies will allow for development of new types of Grid KPI, multi-smart grid branches, markets, and businesses.

Keywords: autonomous agents, Distributed computing, distributed ledger technologies, large scale systems, micro grids, peer-to-peer networks, Self-organization, self-stabilization, smart grids

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11 Similar Correlation of Meat and Sugar to Global Obesity Prevalence

Authors: Wenpeng You, Maciej Henneberg


Background: Sugar consumption has been overwhelmingly advocated as a major dietary offender to obesity prevalence. Meat intake has been hypothesized as an obesity contributor in previous publications, but a moderate amount of meat to be included in our daily diet still has been suggested in many dietary guidelines. Comparable sugar and meat exposure data were obtained to assess the difference in relationships between the two major food groups and obesity prevalence at population level. Methods: Population level estimates of obesity and overweight rates, per capita per day exposure of major food groups (meat, sugar, starch crops, fibers, fats and fruits) and total calories, per capita per year GDP, urbanization and physical inactivity prevalence rate were extracted and matched for statistical analysis. Correlation coefficient (Pearson and partial) comparisons with Fisher’s r-to-z transformation and β range (β ± 2 SE) and overlapping in multiple linear regression (Enter and Stepwise) were used to examine potential differences in the relationships between obesity prevalence and sugar exposure and meat exposure respectively. Results: Pearson and partial correlations (controlled for total calories, physical inactivity prevalence, GDP and urbanization) analyses revealed that sugar and meat exposures correlated to obesity and overweight prevalence significantly. Fisher's r-to-z transformation did not show statistically significant difference in Pearson correlation coefficients (z=-0.53, p=0.5961) or partial correlation coefficients (z=-0.04, p=0.9681) between obesity prevalence and both sugar exposure and meat exposure. Both Enter and Stepwise models in multiple linear regression analysis showed that sugar and meat exposure were most significant predictors of obesity prevalence. Great β range overlapping in the Enter (0.289-0.573) and Stepwise (0.294-0.582) models indicated statistically sugar and meat exposure correlated to obesity without significant difference. Conclusion: Worldwide sugar and meat exposure correlated to obesity prevalence at the same extent. Like sugar, minimal meat exposure should also be suggested in the dietary guidelines.

Keywords: meat, sugar, obesity, energy surplus, meat protein, fats, insulin resistance

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10 BRG1 and Ep300 as a Transcriptional Regulators of Breast Cancer Growth

Authors: Maciej Sobczak, Julita Pietrzak, Tomasz Płoszaj, Agnieszka Robaszkiewicz


Brg1, a member of SWI/SNF complex, plays a role in chromatin remodeling, therefore, regulates expression of many genes. Brg1 is an ATPase of SWI/SNF complex, thus its activity requires ATP. Through its bromodomain recognizes acetylated histone residues and evicts them, thus promoting transcriptionally active state of chromatin. One of the enzymes that is responsible for acetylation of histone residues is Ep300. It was previously shown in the literature that cooperation of Brg1 and Ep300 occurs at the promoter regions that have binding sites for E2F-family transcription factors as well as CpG islands. According to literature, approximately 20% of human cancer possess mutation in Brg1 or any other crucial SWI/SNF subunit. That phenomenon makes Brg1-Ep300 a very promising target for anti-cancer therapy. Therefore in our study, we investigated if physical interaction between Brg1 and Ep300 exists and what impact those two proteins have on key for breast cancer cells processes such as DNA damage repair and cell proliferation. Bioinformatical analysis pointed out, that genes involved in cell proliferation and DNA damage repair are overexpressed in MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, promoter regions of these genes are highly acetylated, which suggests high transcriptional activity of those sites. Notably, many of those gene possess within their promoters an E2F, Brg1 motives, as well as CpG islands and acetylated histones. Our data show that Brg1 physically interacts with Ep300, and together they regulate expression of genes involved in DNA damage repair and cell proliferation. Upon inhibiting Brg1 or Ep300, expression of vital for cancer cell survival genes such as CDK2/4, BRCA1/2, PCNA, and XRCC1 is decreased in MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells. Moreover, inhibition or silencing of either Brg1 or Ep300 leads to cell cycle arrest in G1. After inhibition of BRG1 or Ep300 on tested gene promoters, the repressor complex including Rb, HDAC1, and EZH2 is formed, which inhibits gene expression. These results highlight potentially significant target for targeted anticancer therapy to be introduced as a supportive therapy.

Keywords: brg1, ep300, breast cancer, epigenetics

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9 Automated, Objective Assessment of Pilot Performance in Simulated Environment

Authors: Maciej Zasuwa, Grzegorz Ptasinski, Antoni Kopyt


Nowadays flight simulators offer tremendous possibilities for safe and cost-effective pilot training, by utilization of powerful, computational tools. Due to technology outpacing methodology, vast majority of training related work is done by human instructors. It makes assessment not efficient, and vulnerable to instructors’ subjectivity. The research presents an Objective Assessment Tool (gOAT) developed at the Warsaw University of Technology, and tested on SW-4 helicopter flight simulator. The tool uses database of the predefined manoeuvres, defined and integrated to the virtual environment. These were implemented, basing on Aeronautical Design Standard Performance Specification Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft (ADS-33), with predefined Mission-Task-Elements (MTEs). The core element of the gOAT enhanced algorithm that provides instructor a new set of information. In details, a set of objective flight parameters fused with report about psychophysical state of the pilot. While the pilot performs the task, the gOAT system automatically calculates performance using the embedded algorithms, data registered by the simulator software (position, orientation, velocity, etc.), as well as measurements of physiological changes of pilot’s psychophysiological state (temperature, sweating, heart rate). Complete set of measurements is presented on-line to instructor’s station and shown in dedicated graphical interface. The presented tool is based on open source solutions, and flexible for editing. Additional manoeuvres can be easily added using guide developed by authors, and MTEs can be changed by instructor even during an exercise. Algorithm and measurements used allow not only to implement basic stress level measurements, but also to reduce instructor’s workload significantly. Tool developed can be used for training purpose, as well as periodical checks of the aircrew. Flexibility and ease of modifications allow the further development to be wide ranged, and the tool to be customized. Depending on simulation purpose, gOAT can be adjusted to support simulator of aircraft, helicopter, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Keywords: automated assessment, flight simulator, human factors, pilot training

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8 Application of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes with Anionic Surfactant to Cement Paste

Authors: Maciej Szelag


The discovery of the carbon nanotubes (CNT), has led to a breakthrough in the material engineering. The CNT is characterized by very large surface area, very high Young's modulus (about 2 TPa), unmatched durability, high tensile strength (about 50 GPa) and bending strength. Their diameter usually oscillates in the range from 1 to 100 nm, and the length from 10 nm to 10-2 m. The relatively new approach is the CNT’s application in the concrete technology. The biggest problem in the use of the CNT to cement composites is their uneven dispersion and low adhesion to the cement paste. Putting the nanotubes alone into the cement matrix does not produce any effect because they tend to agglomerate, due to their large surface area. Most often, the CNT is used as an aqueous suspension in the presence of a surfactant that has previously been sonicated. The paper presents the results of investigations of the basic physical properties (apparent density, shrinkage) and mechanical properties (compression and tensile strength) of cement paste with the addition of the multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The studies were carried out on four series of specimens (made of two different Portland Cement). Within each series, samples were made with three w/c ratios – 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 (water/cement). Two series were an unmodified cement matrix. In the remaining two series, the MWCNT was added in amount of 0.1% by cement’s weight. The MWCNT was used as an aqueous dispersion in the presence of a surfactant – SDS – sodium dodecyl sulfate (C₁₂H₂₅OSO₂ONa). So prepared aqueous solution was sonicated for 30 minutes. Then the MWCNT aqueous dispersion and cement were mixed using a mechanical stirrer. The parameters were tested after 28 days of maturation. Additionally, the change of these parameters was determined after samples temperature loading at 250°C for 4 hours (thermal shock). Measurement of the apparent density indicated that cement paste with the MWCNT addition was about 30% lighter than conventional cement matrix. This is due to the fact that the use of the MWCNT water dispersion in the presence of surfactant in the form of SDS resulted in the formation of air pores, which were trapped in the volume of the material. SDS as an anionic surfactant exhibits characteristics specific to blowing agents – gaseous and foaming substances. Because of the increased porosity of the cement paste with the MWCNT, they have obtained lower compressive and tensile strengths compared to the cement paste without additive. It has been observed, however, that the smallest decreases in the compressive and tensile strength after exposure to the elevated temperature achieved samples with the MWCNT. The MWCNT (well dispersed in the cement matrix) can form bridges between hydrates in a nanoscale of the material’s structure. Thus, this may result in an increase in the coherent cohesion of the cement material subjected to a thermal shock. The obtained material could be used for the production of an aerated concrete or using lightweight aggregates for the production of a lightweight concrete.

Keywords: cement paste, elevated temperature, mechanical parameters, multiwall carbon nanotubes, physical parameters, SDS

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7 Growing Pains and Organizational Development in Growing Enterprises: Conceptual Model and Its Empirical Examination

Authors: Maciej Czarnecki


Even though growth is one of the most important strategic objectives for many enterprises, we know relatively little about this phenomenon. This research contributes to broaden our knowledge of managerial consequences of growth. Scales for measuring organizational development and growing pains were developed. Conceptual model of connections among growth, organizational development, growing pains, selected development factors and financial performance were examined. The research process contained literature review, 20 interviews with managers, examination of 12 raters’ opinions, pilot research and 7 point Likert scale questionnaire research on 138 Polish enterprises employing 50-249 people which increased their employment at least by 50% within last three years. Factor analysis, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, student’s t-test and chi-squared test were used to develop scales. High Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were obtained. The verification of correlations among the constructs was carried out with factor correlations, multiple regressions and path analysis. When the enterprise grows, it is necessary to implement changes in its structure, management practices etc. (organizational development) to meet challenges of growing complexity. In this paper, organizational development was defined as internal changes aiming to improve the quality of existing or to introduce new elements in the areas of processes, organizational structure and culture, operational and management systems. Thus; H1: Growth has positive effects on organizational development. The main thesis of the research is that if organizational development does not catch up with growing complexity of growing enterprise, growing pains will arise (lower work comfort, conflicts, lack of control etc.). They will exert a negative influence on the financial performance and may result in serious organizational crisis or even bankruptcy. Thus; H2: Growth has positive effects on growing pains, H3: Organizational development has negative effects on growing pains, H4: Growing pains have negative effects on financial performance, H5: Organizational development has positive effects on financial performance. Scholars considered long lists of factors having potential influence on organizational development. The development of comprehensive model taking into account all possible variables may be beyond the capacity of any researcher or even statistical software used. After literature review, it was decided to increase the level of abstraction and to include following constructs in the conceptual model: organizational learning (OL), positive organization (PO) and high performance factors (HPF). H1a/b/c: OL/PO/HPF has positive effect on organizational development, H2a/b/c: OL/PO/HPF has negative effect on growing pains. The results of hypothesis testing: H1: partly supported, H1a/b/c: supported/not supported/supported, H2: not supported, H2a/b/c: not supported/partly supported/not supported, H3: supported, H4: partly supported, H5: supported. The research seems to be of a great value for both scholars and practitioners. It proved that OL and HPO matter for organizational development. Scales for measuring organizational development and growing pains were developed. Its main finding, though, is that organizational development is a good way of improving financial performance.

Keywords: organizational development, growth, growing pains, financial performance

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6 Hardware Implementation on Field Programmable Gate Array of Two-Stage Algorithm for Rough Set Reduct Generation

Authors: Tomasz Grzes, Maciej Kopczynski, Jaroslaw Stepaniuk


The rough sets theory developed by Prof. Z. Pawlak is one of the tools that can be used in the intelligent systems for data analysis and processing. Banking, medicine, image recognition and security are among the possible fields of utilization. In all these fields, the amount of the collected data is increasing quickly, but with the increase of the data, the computation speed becomes the critical factor. Data reduction is one of the solutions to this problem. Removing the redundancy in the rough sets can be achieved with the reduct. A lot of algorithms of generating the reduct were developed, but most of them are only software implementations, therefore have many limitations. Microprocessor uses the fixed word length, consumes a lot of time for either fetching as well as processing of the instruction and data; consequently, the software based implementations are relatively slow. Hardware systems don’t have these limitations and can process the data faster than a software. Reduct is the subset of the decision attributes that provides the discernibility of the objects. For the given decision table there can be more than one reduct. Core is the set of all indispensable condition attributes. None of its elements can be removed without affecting the classification power of all condition attributes. Moreover, every reduct consists of all the attributes from the core. In this paper, the hardware implementation of the two-stage greedy algorithm to find the one reduct is presented. The decision table is used as an input. Output of the algorithm is the superreduct which is the reduct with some additional removable attributes. First stage of the algorithm is calculating the core using the discernibility matrix. Second stage is generating the superreduct by enriching the core with the most common attributes, i.e., attributes that are more frequent in the decision table. Described above algorithm has two disadvantages: i) generating the superreduct instead of reduct, ii) additional first stage may be unnecessary if the core is empty. But for the systems focused on the fast computation of the reduct the first disadvantage is not the key problem. The core calculation can be achieved with a combinational logic block, and thus add respectively little time to the whole process. Algorithm presented in this paper was implemented in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) as a digital device consisting of blocks that process the data in a single step. Calculating the core is done by the comparators connected to the block called 'singleton detector', which detects if the input word contains only single 'one'. Calculating the number of occurrences of the attribute is performed in the combinational block made up of the cascade of the adders. The superreduct generation process is iterative and thus needs the sequential circuit for controlling the calculations. For the research purpose, the algorithm was also implemented in C language and run on a PC. The times of execution of the reduct calculation in a hardware and software were considered. Results show increase in the speed of data processing.

Keywords: data reduction, digital systems design, field programmable gate array (FPGA), reduct, rough set

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5 The Influence of Microsilica on the Cluster Cracks' Geometry of Cement Paste

Authors: Maciej Szeląg


The changing nature of environmental impacts, in which cement composites are operating, are causing in the structure of the material a number of phenomena, which result in volume deformation of the composite. These strains can cause composite cracking. Cracks are merging by propagation or intersect to form a characteristic structure of cracks known as the cluster cracks. This characteristic mesh of cracks is crucial to almost all building materials, which are working in service loads conditions. Particularly dangerous for a cement matrix is a sudden load of elevated temperature – the thermal shock. Resulting in a relatively short period of time a large value of a temperature gradient between the outer surface and the material’s interior can result in cracks formation on the surface and in the volume of the material. In the paper, in order to analyze the geometry of the cluster cracks of the cement pastes, the image analysis tools were used. Tested were 4 series of specimens made of two different Portland cement. In addition, two series include microsilica as a substitute for the 10% of the cement. Within each series, specimens were performed in three w/b indicators (water/binder): 0.4; 0.5; 0.6. The cluster cracks were created by sudden loading the samples by elevated temperature of 250°C. Images of the cracked surfaces were obtained via scanning at 2400 DPI. Digital processing and measurements were performed using ImageJ v. 1.46r software. To describe the structure of the cluster cracks three stereological parameters were proposed: the average cluster area - A ̅, the average length of cluster perimeter - L ̅, and the average opening width of a crack between clusters - I ̅. The aim of the study was to identify and evaluate the relationships between measured stereological parameters, and the compressive strength and the bulk density of the modified cement pastes. The tests of the mechanical and physical feature have been carried out in accordance with EN standards. The curves describing the relationships have been developed using the least squares method, and the quality of the curve fitting to the empirical data was evaluated using three diagnostic statistics: the coefficient of determination – R2, the standard error of estimation - Se, and the coefficient of random variation – W. The use of image analysis allowed for a quantitative description of the cluster cracks’ geometry. Based on the obtained results, it was found a strong correlation between the A ̅ and L ̅ – reflecting the fractal nature of the cluster cracks formation process. It was noted that the compressive strength and the bulk density of cement pastes decrease with an increase in the values of the stereological parameters. It was also found that the main factors, which impact on the cluster cracks’ geometry are the cement particles’ size and the general content of the binder in a volume of the material. The microsilica caused the reduction in the A ̅, L ̅ and I ̅ values compared to the values obtained by the classical cement paste’s samples, which is caused by the pozzolanic properties of the microsilica.

Keywords: cement paste, cluster cracks, elevated temperature, image analysis, microsilica, stereological parameters

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4 The Use of Image Analysis Techniques to Describe a Cluster Cracks in the Cement Paste with the Addition of Metakaolinite

Authors: Maciej Szeląg, Stanisław Fic


The impact of elevated temperatures on the construction materials manifests in change of their physical and mechanical characteristics. Stresses and thermal deformations that occur inside the volume of the material cause its progressive degradation as temperature increase. Finally, the reactions and transformations of multiphase structure of cementitious composite cause its complete destruction. A particularly dangerous phenomenon is the impact of thermal shock – a sudden high temperature load. The thermal shock leads to a high value of the temperature gradient between the outer surface and the interior of the element in a relatively short time. The result of mentioned above process is the formation of the cracks and scratches on the material’s surface and inside the material. The article describes the use of computer image analysis techniques to identify and assess the structure of the cluster cracks on the surfaces of modified cement pastes, caused by thermal shock. Four series of specimens were tested. Two Portland cements were used (CEM I 42.5R and CEM I 52,5R). In addition, two of the series contained metakaolinite as a replacement for 10% of the cement content. Samples in each series were made in combination of three w/b (water/binder) indicators of respectively 0.4; 0.5; 0.6. Surface cracks of the samples were created by a sudden temperature load at 200°C for 4 hours. Images of the cracked surfaces were obtained via scanning at 1200 DPI; digital processing and measurements were performed using ImageJ v. 1.46r software. In order to examine the cracked surface of the cement paste as a system of closed clusters – the dispersal systems theory was used to describe the structure of cement paste. Water is used as the dispersing phase, and the binder is used as the dispersed phase – which is the initial stage of cement paste structure creation. A cluster itself is considered to be the area on the specimen surface that is limited by cracks (created by sudden temperature loading) or by the edge of the sample. To describe the structure of cracks two stereological parameters were proposed: A ̅ – the cluster average area, L ̅ – the cluster average perimeter. The goal of this study was to compare the investigated stereological parameters with the mechanical properties of the tested specimens. Compressive and tensile strength testes were carried out according to EN standards. The method used in the study allowed the quantitative determination of defects occurring in the examined modified cement pastes surfaces. Based on the results, it was found that the nature of the cracks depends mainly on the physical parameters of the cement and the intermolecular interactions on the dispersal environment. Additionally, it was noted that the A ̅/L ̅ relation of created clusters can be described as one function for all tested samples. This fact testifies about the constant geometry of the thermal cracks regardless of the presence of metakaolinite, the type of cement and the w/b ratio.

Keywords: cement paste, cluster cracks, elevated temperature, image analysis, metakaolinite, stereological parameters

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3 Review of Carbon Materials: Application in Alternative Energy Sources and Catalysis

Authors: Marita Pigłowska, Beata Kurc, Maciej Galiński


The application of carbon materials in the branches of the electrochemical industry shows an increasing tendency each year due to the many interesting properties they possess. These are, among others, a well-developed specific surface, porosity, high sorption capacity, good adsorption properties, low bulk density, electrical conductivity and chemical resistance. All these properties allow for their effective use, among others in supercapacitors, which can store electric charges of the order of 100 F due to carbon electrodes constituting the capacitor plates. Coals (including expanded graphite, carbon black, graphite carbon fibers, activated carbon) are commonly used in electrochemical methods of removing oil derivatives from water after tanker disasters, e.g. phenols and their derivatives by their electrochemical anodic oxidation. Phenol can occupy practically the entire surface of carbon material and leave the water clean of hydrophobic impurities. Regeneration of such electrodes is also not complicated, it is carried out by electrochemical methods consisting in unblocking the pores and reducing resistances, and thus their reactivation for subsequent adsorption processes. Graphite is commonly used as an anode material in lithium-ion cells, while due to the limited capacity it offers (372 mAh g-1), new solutions are sought that meet both capacitive, efficiency and economic criteria. Increasingly, biodegradable materials, green materials, biomass, waste (including agricultural waste) are used in order to reuse them and reduce greenhouse effects and, above all, to meet the biodegradability criterion necessary for the production of lithium-ion cells as chemical power sources. The most common of these materials are cellulose, starch, wheat, rice, and corn waste, e.g. from agricultural, paper and pharmaceutical production. Such products are subjected to appropriate treatments depending on the desired application (including chemical, thermal, electrochemical). Starch is a biodegradable polysaccharide that consists of polymeric units such as amylose and amylopectin that build an ordered (linear) and amorphous (branched) structure of the polymer. Carbon is also used as a catalyst. Elemental carbon has become available in many nano-structured forms representing the hybridization combinations found in the primary carbon allotropes, and the materials can be enriched with a large number of surface functional groups. There are many examples of catalytic applications of coal in the literature, but the development of this field has been hampered by the lack of a conceptual approach combining structure and function and a lack of understanding of material synthesis. In the context of catalytic applications, the integrity of carbon environmental management properties and parameters such as metal conductivity range and bond sequence management should be characterized. Such data, along with surface and textured information, can form the basis for the provision of network support services.

Keywords: carbon materials, catalysis, BET, capacitors, lithium ion cell

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2 Iron-Metal-Organic Frameworks: Potential Application as Theranostics for Inhalable Therapy of Tuberculosis

Authors: Gabriela Wyszogrodzka, Przemyslaw Dorozynski, Barbara Gil, Maciej Strzempek, Bartosz Marszalek, Piotr Kulinowski, Wladyslaw Piotr Weglarz, Elzbieta Menaszek


MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks) belong to a new group of porous materials with a hybrid organic-inorganic construction. Their structure is a network consisting of metal cations or clusters (acting as metallic centers, nodes) and the organic linkers between nodes. The interest in MOFs is primarily associated with the use of their well-developed surface and large porous. Possibility to build MOFs of biocompatible components let to use them as potential drug carriers. Furthermore, forming MOFs structure from cations possessing paramagnetic properties (e.g. iron cations) allows to use them as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) contrast agents. The concept of formation of particles that combine the ability to transfer active substance with imaging properties has been called theranostic (from words combination therapy and diagnostics). By building MOF structure from iron cations it is possible to use them as theranostic agents and monitoring the distribution of the active substance after administration in real time. In the study iron-MOF: Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was chosen, consisting of iron cluster in nodes of the structure and amino-terephthalic acid as a linker. The aim of the study was to investigate the possibility of applying Fe-MIL-101-NH2 as inhalable theranostic particulate system for the first-line anti-tuberculosis antibiotic – isoniazid. The drug content incorporated into Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was evaluated by dissolution study using spectrophotometric method. Results showed isoniazid encapsulation efficiency – ca. 12.5% wt. Possibility of Fe-MIL-101-NH2 application as the MRI contrast agent was demonstrated by magnetic resonance tomography. FeMIL-101-NH2 effectively shortening T1 and T2 relaxation times (increasing R1 and R2 relaxation rates) linearly with the concentrations of suspended material. Images obtained using multi-echo magnetic resonance imaging sequence revealed possibility to use FeMIL-101-NH2 as positive and negative contrasts depending on applied repetition time. MOFs micronization via ultrasound was evaluated by XRD, nitrogen adsorption, FTIR, SEM imaging and did not influence their crystal shape and size. Ultrasonication let to break the aggregates and achieve very homogeneously looking SEM images. MOFs cytotoxicity was evaluated in in vitro test with a highly sensitive resazurin based reagent PrestoBlue™ on L929 fibroblast cell line. After 24h no inhibition of cell proliferation was observed. All results proved potential possibility of application of ironMOFs as an isoniazid carrier and as MRI contrast agent in inhalatory treatment of tuberculosis. Acknowledgments: Authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Center Poland for providing financial support, grant no 2014/15/B/ST5/04498.

Keywords: imaging agents, metal-organic frameworks, theranostics, tuberculosis

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1 Application of Large Eddy Simulation-Immersed Boundary Volume Penalization Method for Heat and Mass Transfer in Granular Layers

Authors: Artur Tyliszczak, Ewa Szymanek, Maciej Marek


Flow through granular materials is important to a vast array of industries, for instance in construction industry where granular layers are used for bulkheads and isolators, in chemical engineering and catalytic reactors where large surfaces of packed granular beds intensify chemical reactions, or in energy production systems, where granulates are promising materials for heat storage and heat transfer media. Despite the common usage of granulates and extensive research performed in this field, phenomena occurring between granular solid elements or between solids and fluid are still not fully understood. In the present work we analyze the heat exchange process between the flowing medium (gas, liquid) and solid material inside the granular layers. We consider them as a composite of isolated solid elements and inter-granular spaces in which a gas or liquid can flow. The structure of the layer is controlled by shapes of particular granular elements (e.g., spheres, cylinders, cubes, Raschig rings), its spatial distribution or effective characteristic dimension (total volume or surface area). We will analyze to what extent alteration of these parameters influences on flow characteristics (turbulent intensity, mixing efficiency, heat transfer) inside the layer and behind it. Analysis of flow inside granular layers is very complicated because the use of classical experimental techniques (LDA, PIV, fibber probes) inside the layers is practically impossible, whereas the use of probes (e.g. thermocouples, Pitot tubes) requires drilling of holes inside the solid material. Hence, measurements of the flow inside granular layers are usually performed using for instance advanced X-ray tomography. In this respect, theoretical or numerical analyses of flow inside granulates seem crucial. Application of discrete element methods in combination with the classical finite volume/finite difference approaches is problematic as a mesh generation process for complex granular material can be very arduous. A good alternative for simulation of flow in complex domains is an immersed boundary-volume penalization (IB-VP) in which the computational meshes have simple Cartesian structure and impact of solid objects on the fluid is mimicked by source terms added to the Navier-Stokes and energy equations. The present paper focuses on application of the IB-VP method combined with large eddy simulation (LES). The flow solver used in this work is a high-order code (SAILOR), which was used previously in various studies, including laminar/turbulent transition in free flows and also for flows in wavy channels, wavy pipes and over various shape obstacles. In these cases a formal order of approximation turned out to be in between 1 and 2, depending on the test case. The current research concentrates on analyses of the flows in dense granular layers with elements distributed in a deterministic regular manner and validation of the results obtained using LES-IB method and body-fitted approach. The comparisons are very promising and show very good agreement. It is found that the size, number of elements and their distribution have huge impact on the obtained results. Ordering of the granular elements (or lack of it) affects both the pressure drop and efficiency of the heat transfer as it significantly changes mixing process.

Keywords: granular layers, heat transfer, immersed boundary method, numerical simulations

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