Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Matteo Gazzani

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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13 Social Business Models: When Profits and Impacts Are Not at Odds

Authors: Elisa Pautasso, Matteo Castagno, Michele Osella

Abstract:

In the last decade, the emergence of new social needs as an effect of the economic crisis has stimulated the flourishing of business endeavours characterised by explicit social goals. Social start-ups, social enterprises or Corporate Social Responsibility operations carried out by traditional companies are quintessential examples in this regard. This paper analyses these kinds of initiatives in order to discover the main characteristics of social business models and to provide insights to social entrepreneurs for developing or improving their strategies. The research is conducted through the integration of literature review and case study analysis and, thanks to the recognition of the importance of both profits and social impacts as the key success factors for a social business model, proposes a framework for identifying indicators suitable for measuring the social impacts generated.

Keywords: business model, case study, impacts, social business

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12 Study of Nanocrystalline Scintillator for Alpha Particles Detection

Authors: Azadeh Farzaneh, Mohammad Reza Abdi, A. Quaranta, Matteo Dalla Palma, Seyedshahram Mortazavi

Abstract:

We report on the synthesis of cesium-iodide nanoparticles using sol-gel technique. The structural properties of CsI nanoparticles were characterized by X-ray diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Also, optical properties were followed by optical absorption and UV–vis fluorescence. Intense photoluminescence is also observed, with some spectral tuning possible with ripening time getting a range of emission photon wavelength approximately from 366 to 350 nm. The size effect on CsI luminescence leads to an increase in scintillation light yield, a redshift of the emission bands of the on_center and off_center self_trapped excitons (STEs) and an increase in the contribution of the off_center STEs to the net intrinsic emission yield. The energy transfer from the matrix to CsI nanoparticles is a key characteristic for scintillation detectors. So the scintillation spectra to alpha particles of sample were monitored.

Keywords: nanoparticles, luminescence, sol gel, scintillator

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11 A Combinatorial Representation for the Invariant Measure of Diffusion Processes on Metric Graphs

Authors: Michele Aleandri, Matteo Colangeli, Davide Gabrielli

Abstract:

We study a generalization to a continuous setting of the classical Markov chain tree theorem. In particular, we consider an irreducible diffusion process on a metric graph. The unique invariant measure has an atomic component on the vertices and an absolutely continuous part on the edges. We show that the corresponding density at x can be represented by a normalized superposition of the weights associated to metric arborescences oriented toward the point x. A metric arborescence is a metric tree oriented towards its root. The weight of each oriented metric arborescence is obtained by the product of the exponential of integrals of the form ∫a/b², where b is the drift and σ² is the diffusion coefficient, along the oriented edges, for a weight for each node determined by the local orientation of the arborescence around the node and for the inverse of the diffusion coefficient at x. The metric arborescences are obtained by cutting the original metric graph along some edges.

Keywords: diffusion processes, metric graphs, invariant measure, reversibility

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10 The Agri-Environmental Instruments in Agricultural Policy to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution

Authors: Flavio Gazzani

Abstract:

Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for the production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts such as: the loss of biodiversity, eutrophication of waters and soils, drinking water pollution, acidification, greenhouse gas emissions, human health risks. It is a challenge to sustain or increase food production and at the same time reduce losses of reactive nitrogen to the environment, but there are many potential benefits associated with improving nitrogen use efficiency. Reducing nutrient losses from agriculture is crucial to the successful implementation of agricultural policy. Traditional regulatory instruments applied to implement environmental policies to reduce environmental impacts from nitrogen fertilizers, despite some successes, failed to address many environmental challenges and imposed high costs on the society to achieve environmental quality objectives. As a result, economic instruments started to be recognized for their flexibility and cost-effectiveness. The objective of the research project is to analyze the potential for increased use of market-based instruments in nitrogen control policy. The report reviews existing knowledge, bringing different studies together to assess the global nitrogen situation and the most relevant environmental management policy that aims to reduce pollution in a sustainable way without affect negatively agriculture production and food price. This analysis provides some guidance on how different market based instruments might be orchestrated in an overall policy framework to the development and assessment of sustainable nitrogen management from the economics, environmental and food security point of view.

Keywords: nitrogen emissions, chemical fertilizers, eutrophication, non-point of source pollution, dairy farm

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9 Predicting Machine-Down of Woodworking Industrial Machines

Authors: Matteo Calabrese, Martin Cimmino, Dimos Kapetis, Martina Manfrin, Donato Concilio, Giuseppe Toscano, Giovanni Ciandrini, Giancarlo Paccapeli, Gianluca Giarratana, Marco Siciliano, Andrea Forlani, Alberto Carrotta

Abstract:

In this paper we describe a machine learning methodology for Predictive Maintenance (PdM) applied on woodworking industrial machines. PdM is a prominent strategy consisting of all the operational techniques and actions required to ensure machine availability and to prevent a machine-down failure. One of the challenges with PdM approach is to design and develop of an embedded smart system to enable the health status of the machine. The proposed approach allows screening simultaneously multiple connected machines, thus providing real-time monitoring that can be adopted with maintenance management. This is achieved by applying temporal feature engineering techniques and training an ensemble of classification algorithms to predict Remaining Useful Lifetime of woodworking machines. The effectiveness of the methodology is demonstrated by testing an independent sample of additional woodworking machines without presenting machine down event.

Keywords: predictive maintenance, machine learning, connected machines, artificial intelligence

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8 The Evaluation of Current Pile Driving Prediction Methods for Driven Monopile Foundations in London Clay

Authors: John Davidson, Matteo Castelletti, Ismael Torres, Victor Terente, Jamie Irvine, Sylvie Raymackers

Abstract:

The current industry approach to pile driving predictions consists of developing a model of the hammer-pile-soil system which simulates the relationship between soil resistance to driving (SRD) and blow counts (or pile penetration per blow). The SRD methods traditionally used are broadly based on static pile capacity calculations. The SRD is used in combination with the one-dimensional wave equation model to indicate the anticipated blowcounts with depth for specific hammer energy settings. This approach has predominantly been calibrated on relatively long slender piles used in the oil and gas industry but is now being extended to allow calculations to be undertaken for relatively short rigid large diameter monopile foundations. This paper evaluates the accuracy of current industry practice when applied to a site where large diameter monopiles were installed in predominantly stiff fissured clay. Actual geotechnical and pile installation data, including pile driving records and signal matching analysis (based upon pile driving monitoring techniques), were used for the assessment on the case study site.

Keywords: driven piles, fissured clay, London clay, monopiles, offshore foundations

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7 IPO Valuation and Profitability Expectations: Evidence from the Italian Exchange

Authors: Matteo Bonaventura, Giancarlo Giudici

Abstract:

This paper analyses the valuation process of companies listed on the Italian Exchange in the period 2000-2009 at their Initial Public Offering (IPO). One the most common valuation techniques declared in the IPO prospectus to determine the offer price is the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) method. We develop a ‘reverse engineering’ model to discover the short term profitability implied in the offer prices. We show that there is a significant optimistic bias in the estimation of future profitability compared to ex-post actual realization and the mean forecast error is substantially large. Yet we show that such error characterizes also the estimations carried out by analysts evaluating non-IPO companies. The forecast error is larger the faster has been the recent growth of the company, the higher is the leverage of the IPO firm, the more companies issued equity on the market. IPO companies generally exhibit better operating performance before the listing, with respect to comparable listed companies, while after the flotation they do not perform significantly different in term of return on invested capital. Pre-IPO book building activity plays a significant role in partially reducing the forecast error and revising expectations, while the market price of the first day of trading does not contain information for further reducing forecast errors.

Keywords: initial public offerings, DCF, book building, post-IPO profitability drop

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6 Simulation of Lean Principles Impact in a Multi-Product Supply Chain

Authors: Matteo Rossini, Alberto Portioli Staudacher

Abstract:

The market competition is moving from the single firm to the whole supply chain one because of increasing competition and growing need for operational efficiencies and customer orientation. Supply chain management allows companies to look beyond their organizational boundaries to develop and leverage resources and capabilities of their supply chain partners. This leads to create competitive advantages in the marketplace and because of this SCM has acquired strategic importance. Lean Approach is a management strategy that focuses on reducing every type of waste present in an organization. This approach is becoming more and more popular among supply chain managers. The supply chain application of lean approach is low diffused. It is not well studied which are the impacts of lean approach principles in a supply chain context. In literature there are only few studies simulating the lean approach performance in single products supply chain. This research work studies the impacts of lean principles implementation along a supply chain. To achieve this, a simulation model of a three-echelon multiproduct product supply chain has been built. Kanban system (and several priority policies) and setup time reduction degrees are implemented in the lean-configured supply chain to apply pull and lot-sizing decrease principles respectively. To evaluate the benefits of lean approach, lean supply chain is compared with an EOQ-configured supply chain. The simulation results show that Kanban system and setup-time reduction improve inventory stock level. They also show that logistics efforts are affected to lean implementation degree. The paper concludes describing performances of lean supply chain in different contexts.

Keywords: inventory policy, Kanban, lean supply chain, simulation study, supply chain management, planning

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5 Path-Tracking Controller for Tracked Mobile Robot on Rough Terrain

Authors: Toshifumi Hiramatsu, Satoshi Morita, Manuel Pencelli, Marta Niccolini, Matteo Ragaglia, Alfredo Argiolas

Abstract:

Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.

Keywords: the agricultural robot, autonomous control, path-tracking control, tracked mobile robot

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4 Everyday Interactions among Imprisoned Sex Offenders: A Qualitative Study within the 'Due Palazzi' Prison in Padua

Authors: Matteo Mazzucato, Elena Faccio, Antonio Iudici

Abstract:

Prison is a social reality constructed by everyday interactions between an inmate, other social actors (cellmates, prison officers, educationalists and psychologists or other detainees) and the external world which participates in this complex construction through the social discourses on prison reality and its problems. Being a detainee means performing a self dealing with processes of stereotypization, attribution of a social role and prejudices assigned by various interlocutors and depending on what kind of crime one has been convicted of. Among all inmates, sex offenders are the ones who risk more to be socially condemned beyond a legal sentence since they have committed one of the most hated and disapproved crime. Regarding this, prison has to be considered as a critical context in which all community expectations and beliefs are converged: for common sense, rapists and child molesters are dangerous people who have to be stigmatized, punished and isolated. Furthermore, other detainees share a code of conduct by which the ‘sex offender’ is collocated at the lowest level of the social hierarchy of the prison. The penitentiary administration too defines this kind of detainee as a ‘vulnerable person to protect’ while prison staff considers him as a particular inmate who has to be treated and definitely changed. Considering all the complexities connected with being imprisoned as a sex offender, our research aimed at exploring how people convicted of sex crimes are called upon to manage all these hetero-narrations about their selves. Set this goal, textual data retrieved from this qualitative research show that sex offenders tend to not face the stigma assigned to them. They are rather used to minimize the story telling about their selves and costruct alternative biographies to be shared with other inmates. Managing narrations about their selves in this way permits to distance them from all the threats perceived living together with other detainees but it blocks sex offenders’ ri-signification of their offences during prison treatment. Given these results, prison administration should develop activities in order to create fields of interaction between detainees where experiencing new versions of their selves spendable even in external social situations. Regarding this it’s important to re-consider prison as part of the community and the sex offenders as a member of it.

Keywords: interactions, qualitative research, prison reality, sex offender

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3 West Nile Virus in North-Eastern Italy: Overview of Integrated Surveillance Activities

Authors: Laura Amato, Paolo Mulatti, Fabrizio Montarsi, Matteo Mazzucato, Laura Gagliazzo, Michele Brichese, Manlio Palei, Gioia Capelli, Lebana Bonfanti

Abstract:

West Nile virus (WNV) re-emerged in north-eastern Italy in 2008, after ten years from its first appearance in Tuscany. In 2009, a national surveillance programme was implemented, and re-modulated in north-eastern Italy in 2011. Hereby, we present the results of surveillance activities in 2008-2016 in the north-eastern Italian regions, with inferences on WNV epidemiological trend in the area. The re-modulated surveillance programmes aimed at early detecting WNV seasonal reactivation by searching IgM antibodies in horses. In 2013, the surveillance plans were further modified including a risk-based approach. Spatial analysis techniques, including Bernoulli space-time scan-statistics, were applied to the results of 2010–2012 surveillance on mosquitoes, equines, and humans to identify areas where WNV reactivation was more likely to occur. From 2008 to 2016, residential horses tested positive for anti-WNV antibodies on a yearly basis (503 cases), also in areas where WNV circulation was not detected in mosquito populations. Surveillance activities detected 26 syndromic cases in horses, 102 infected mosquito pools and WNV in 18 dead wild birds. Human cases were also recurrently detected in the study area during the surveillance period (68 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease). The recurrent identification of WNV in animals, mosquitoes, and humans indicates the virus has likely become endemic in the area. In 2016, findings of WNV positives in horses or mosquitoes were included as triggers for enhancing screening activities in humans. The evolution of the epidemiological situation prompts for continuous and accurate surveillance measures. The results of the 2013-2016 surveillance indicate that the risk-based approach was effective in early detecting seasonal reactivation of WNV, key factor of the integrated surveillance strategy in endemic areas.

Keywords: arboviruses, horses, Italy, surveillance, west nile virus, zoonoses

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2 Crowdsensing Project in the Brazilian Municipality of Florianópolis for the Number of Visitors Measurement

Authors: Carlos Roberto De Rolt, Julio da Silva Dias, Rafael Tezza, Luca Foschini, Matteo Mura

Abstract:

The seasonal population fluctuation presents a challenge to touristic cities since the number of inhabitants can double according to the season. The aim of this work is to develop a model that correlates the waste collected with the population of the city and also allow cooperation between the inhabitants and the local government. The model allows public managers to evaluate the impact of the seasonal population fluctuation on waste generation and also to improve planning resource utilization throughout the year. The study uses data from the company that collects the garbage in Florianópolis, a Brazilian city that presents the profile of a city that attracts tourists due to numerous beaches and warm weather. The fluctuations are caused by the number of people that come to the city throughout the year for holidays, summer time vacations or business events. Crowdsensing will be accomplished through smartphones with access to an app for data collection, with voluntary participation of the population. Crowdsensing participants can access information collected in waves for this portal. Crowdsensing represents an innovative and participatory approach which involves the population in gathering information to improve the quality of life. The management of crowdsensing solutions plays an essential role given the complexity to foster collaboration, establish available sensors and collect and process the collected data. Practical implications of this tool described in this paper refer, for example, to the management of seasonal tourism in a large municipality, whose public services are impacted by the floating of the population. Crowdsensing and big data support managers in predicting the arrival, permanence, and movement of people in a given urban area. Also, by linking crowdsourced data to databases from other public service providers - e.g., water, garbage collection, electricity, public transport, telecommunications - it is possible to estimate the floating of the population of an urban area affected by seasonal tourism. This approach supports the municipality in increasing the effectiveness of resource allocation while, at the same time, increasing the quality of the service as perceived by citizens and tourists.

Keywords: big data, dashboards, floating population, smart city, urban management solutions

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1 Spatial Climate Changes in the Province of Macerata, Central Italy, Analyzed by GIS Software

Authors: Matteo Gentilucci, Marco Materazzi, Gilberto Pambianchi

Abstract:

Climate change is an increasingly central issue in the world, because it affects many of human activities. In this context regional studies are of great importance because they sometimes differ from the general trend. This research focuses on a small area of central Italy which overlooks the Adriatic Sea, the province of Macerata. The aim is to analyze space-based climate changes, for precipitation and temperatures, in the last 3 climatological standard normals (1961-1990; 1971-2000; 1981-2010) through GIS software. The data collected from 30 weather stations for temperature and 61 rain gauges for precipitation were subject to quality controls: validation and homogenization. These data were fundamental for the spatialization of the variables (temperature and precipitation) through geostatistical techniques. To assess the best geostatistical technique for interpolation, the results of cross correlation were used. The co-kriging method with altitude as independent variable produced the best cross validation results for all time periods, among the methods analysed, with 'root mean square error standardized' close to 1, 'mean standardized error' close to 0, 'average standard error' and 'root mean square error' with similar values. The maps resulting from the analysis were compared by subtraction between rasters, producing 3 maps of annual variation and three other maps for each month of the year (1961/1990-1971/2000; 1971/2000-1981/2010; 1961/1990-1981/2010). The results show an increase in average annual temperature of about 0.1°C between 1961-1990 and 1971-2000 and 0.6 °C between 1961-1990 and 1981-2010. Instead annual precipitation shows an opposite trend, with an average difference from 1961-1990 to 1971-2000 of about 35 mm and from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010 of about 60 mm. Furthermore, the differences in the areas have been highlighted with area graphs and summarized in several tables as descriptive analysis. In fact for temperature between 1961-1990 and 1971-2000 the most areally represented frequency is 0.08°C (77.04 Km² on a total of about 2800 km²) with a kurtosis of 3.95 and a skewness of 2.19. Instead, the differences for temperatures from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010 show a most areally represented frequency of 0.83 °C, with -0.45 as kurtosis and 0.92 as skewness (36.9 km²). Therefore it can be said that distribution is more pointed for 1961/1990-1971/2000 and smoother but more intense in the growth for 1961/1990-1981/2010. In contrast, precipitation shows a very similar shape of distribution, although with different intensities, for both variations periods (first period 1961/1990-1971/2000 and second one 1961/1990-1981/2010) with similar values of kurtosis (1st = 1.93; 2nd = 1.34), skewness (1st = 1.81; 2nd = 1.62 for the second) and area of the most represented frequency (1st = 60.72 km²; 2nd = 52.80 km²). In conclusion, this methodology of analysis allows the assessment of small scale climate change for each month of the year and could be further investigated in relation to regional atmospheric dynamics.

Keywords: climate change, GIS, interpolation, co-kriging

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