Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Rafid Alkhaddar

17 Enhancement of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration during the Electrocoagulation Process Using an Innovative Flow Column: Electrocoagulation Reactor

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar

Abstract:

Dissolved oxygen (DO) plays a key role in the electrocoagulation process (EC) as it oxidizes the heavy metals, ammonia, and cyanide into other forms that can be removed easily from water. Hence, many of the previous investigations used external aerators to provide the required DO inside EC reactors, especially when the water being treated had a low DO (such as leachate and high organic content waters), or when the DO depleted during the EC treatment. Although the external aeration process effectively enhances the DO concentration, it has a significant impact on energy consumption. Thus, the present project aims to fill a part of this gap in the literature by an innovative use of perforated flow columns in the design of an EC reactor (ECR1). In order to investigate the performance of ECR1, water samples with a controlled DO concentration were pumped at different flow rates (110, 220, and 440 ml/min) to the ECR1 for 10 min. The obtained results demonstrated that the ECR1 increased the DO concentration from 5.0 to 9.54, 10.53, and 11.0 mg/L, which is equivalent to 90.8%, 110.6%, and 120% at flow rates of 110, 220, and 440 mL/min respectively.

Keywords: flow column, electrocoagulation, dissolved oxygen, water treatment

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16 The Effects of Hydraulic Retention Time on the Sludge Characteristics and Effluent Quality in an Aerobic Suspension Sequencing Batch Reactor

Authors: Ali W. N. Alattabi, Clare B. Harris, Rafid M. Alkhaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda, David A. Phipps, Ali Alzeyadi, Khalid S. Hashim

Abstract:

This study was performed to optimise the hydraulic retention time (HRT) and study its effects on the sludge characteristics and the effluent quality in an aerobic suspension sequencing batch reactor (ASSBR) treating synthetic wastewater. The results showed that increasing the HRT from 6 h to 12 h significantly improved the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency; it was increased from 78.7% - 75.7% to 94.7% – 97% for COD and Nitrate respectively. However, increasing the HRT from 12 h to 18 h reduced the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency from 94.7% - 97% to 91.1% – 94.4% respectively. Moreover, Increasing the HRT from 18 h to 24 h did not affect the COD and Nitrate removal efficiency. Sludge volume index (SVI) was used to monitor the sludge settling performance. The results showed a direct relationship between the HRT and SVI value. Increasing the HRT from 6 h to 12 h led to decrease the SVI value from 123 ml/g to 82.5 ml/g, and then it remained constant despite of increasing the HRT from 12 h to 18 h and to 24 h. The results obtained from this study showed that the HRT of 12 h was better for COD and Nitrate removal and a good settling performance occurred during that range.

Keywords: COD, hydraulic retention time, nitrate, sequencing batch reactor, sludge characteristics

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15 Controlling of Water Temperature during the Electrocoagulation Process Using an Innovative Flow Columns -Electrocoagulation Reactor

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

A flow column has been innovatively used in the design of a new electrocoagulation reactor (ECR1) that will reduce the temperature of water being treated; where the flow columns work as a radiator for the water being treated. In order to investigate the performance of ECR1 and compare it to that of traditional reactors; 600 mL water samples with an initial temperature of 35 0C were pumped continuously through these reactors for 30 min at current density of 1 mA/cm2. The temperature of water being treated was measured at 5 minutes intervals over a 30 minutes period using a thermometer. Additional experiments were commenced to investigate the effects of initial temperature (15-35 0C), water conductivity (0.15 – 1.2 S) and current density (0.5 -3 mA/cm2) on the performance of ECR1. The results obtained demonstrated that the ECR1, at a current density of 1 mA/cm2 and continuous flow model, reduced water temperature from 35 0C to the vicinity of 28 0C during the first 15 minutes and kept the same level till the end of the treatment time. While, the temperature increased from 28.1 to 29.8 0C and from 29.8 to 31.9 0C in the batch and the traditional continuous flow models respectively. In term of initial temperature, ECR1 maintained the temperature of water being treated within the range of 22 to 28 0C without the need for external cooling system even when the initial temperatures varied over a wide range (15 to 35 0C). The influent water conductivity was found to be a significant variable that affect the temperature. The desirable value of water conductivity is 0.6 S. However, it was found that the water temperature increased rapidly with a higher current density.

Keywords: water temperature, flow column, electrocoagulation

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14 Enhancement of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration during the Electrocoagulation Process Using an Innovative Flow Columns-Electrocoagulation Reactor

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar

Abstract:

Dissolved oxygen concentration (DO) plays a key role in the electrocoagulation process (EC) as it oxidizes the heavy metals, ammonia, and cyanide into other forms that can be removed easily from water. For instance, the DO oxidises Fe (II) to Fe (III), As (III) to As (V), and cyanide to cyanate and then to ammonia. As well as, removal of nitrogenous compounds accomplishes by the presence of DO. Hence, many of the previous investigations used external aerators to provide the required DO inside EC reactors especially when the water being treated has low DO (such as leachate and highly polluted waters with organic matter); or when the DO depleted during the EC treatment. Although the external aeration process effectively enhances the DO concentration, it has a significant impact on energy consumption. Where, the presence of air bubbles increases the electrical resistance of the EC cell that increase the energy consumption in consequence. Thus, the present project aims to fill this gap by an innovative use of perforated flow columns in the designing of a new EC reactor (ECR1). The new reactor (ECR1) consisted of a Perspex made cylinder container having a controllable working volume of 0.5 to 1 L. It supplied with a flow column that consisted of perorated discoid electrodes that made from aluminium. In order to investigate the performance of ECR1; water samples with a controlled DO concentration were pumped at different flow rates (110, 220, and 440 ml/min) to the ECR1 for 10 min. The obtained results demonstrated that the ECR1 increased the DO concentration from 5.0 to 9.54, 10.53, and 11.0 mg/L which equivalent to 90.8%, 110.6%, and 120% at flow rates of 110, 220, and 440 mL/min respectively.

Keywords: dissolved oxygen, flow column, electrocoagulation, aluminium electrodes

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13 An Innovative Use of Flow Columns in Electrocoagulation Reactor to Control Water Temperature

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Alkhaddar, David Phipps, Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

Temperature is an essential parameter in the electrocoagulation process (EC) as it governs the solubility of electrodes and the precipitates and the collision rate of particles in water being treated. Although it has been about 100 years since the EC technology was invented and applied in water and wastewater treatment, the effects of temperature on the its performance were insufficiently investigated. Thus, the present project aims to fill this gap by an innovative use of perforated flow columns in the designing of a new EC reactor (ECR1). The new reactor (ECR1) consisted of a Perspex made cylinder container supplied with a flow column consisted of perorated discoid electrodes that made from aluminium. The flow column has been installed vertically, half submerged in the water being treated, inside a plastic cylinder. The unsubmerged part of the flow column works as a radiator for the water being treated. In order to investigate the performance of ECR1; water samples with different initial temperatures (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 °C) to the ECR1 for 20 min. Temperature of effluent water samples were measured using Hanna meter (Model: HI 98130). The obtained results demonstrated that the ECR1 reduced water temperature from 35, 30, and 25 °C to 24.6, 23.8, and 21.8 °C respectively. While low water temperature, 15 °C, increased slowly to reach 19.1 °C after 15 minutes and kept the same level till the end of the treatment period. At the same time, water sample with initial temperature of 20 °C showed almost a steady level of temperature along the treatment process, where the temperature increased negligibly from 20 to 20.1 °C after 20 minutes of treatment. In conclusion, ECR1 is able to control the temperature of water being treated around the room temperature even when the initial temperature was high (35 °C) or low (15 °C).

Keywords: electrocoagulation, flow column, treatment, water temperature

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12 A Review of the Factors That Influence on Nutrient Removal in Upflow Filters

Authors: Ali Alzeyadi, Edward Loffill, Rafid Alkhaddar Ali Alattabi

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Phosphate, ammonium, and nitrates are forms of nutrients; they are released from different sources. High nutrient levels contribute to the eutrophication of water bodies by accelerating the extraordinary growth of algae. Recently, many filtration and treatment systems were developed and used for different removal processes. Due to enhanced operational aspects for the up-flow, continuous, granular Media filter researchers became more interested in further developing this technology and its performance for nutrient removal from wastewater. Environmental factors significantly affect the filtration process performance, and understanding their impact will help to maintain the nutrient removal process. Phosphate removal by phosphate sorption materials PSMs and nitrogen removal biologically are the methods of nutrient removal that have been discussed in this paper. Hence, the focus on the factors that influence these processes is the scope of this work. The finding showed the presence of factors affecting both removal processes; the size, shape, and roughness of the filter media particles play a crucial role in supporting biofilm formation. On the other hand, all of which are effected on the reactivity of surface between the media and phosphate. Many studies alluded to factors that have significant influence on the biological removal for nitrogen such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH; this is due to the sensitivity of biological processes while the phosphate removal by PSMs showed less affected by these factors. This review work provides help to the researchers in create a comprehensive approach in regards study the nutrient removal in up flow filtration systems.

Keywords: nitrogen biological treatment, nutrients, psms, upflow filter, wastewater treatment

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11 The Relationship between Operating Condition and Sludge Wasting of an Aerobic Suspension-Sequencing Batch Reactor (ASSBR) Treating Phenolic Wastewater

Authors: Ali Alattabi, Clare Harris, Rafid Alkhaddar, Ali Alzeyadi

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Petroleum refinery wastewater (PRW) can be considered as one of the most significant source of aquatic environmental pollution. It consists of oil and grease along with many other toxic organic pollutants. In recent years, a new technique was implemented using different types of membranes and sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) to treat PRW. SBR is a fill and draw type sludge system which operates in time instead of space. Many researchers have optimised SBRs’ operating conditions to obtain maximum removal of undesired wastewater pollutants. It has gained more importance mainly because of its essential flexibility in cycle time. It can handle shock loads, requires less area for operation and easy to operate. However, bulking sludge or discharging floating or settled sludge during the draw or decant phase with some SBR configurations are still one of the problems of SBR system. The main aim of this study is to develop and innovative design for the SBR optimising the process variables to result is a more robust and efficient process. Several experimental tests will be developed to determine the removal percentages of chemical oxygen demand (COD), Phenol and nitrogen compounds from synthetic PRW. Furthermore, the dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) of the SBR system will be monitored online to ensure a good environment for the microorganisms to biodegrade the organic matter effectively.

Keywords: petroleum refinery wastewater, sequencing batch reactor, hydraulic retention time, Phenol, COD, mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS)

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10 Deep Foundations: Analysis of the Lateral Response of Closed Ended Steel Tubular Piles Embedded in Sandy Soil Using P-Y Curves

Authors: Ameer A. Jebur, William Atherton, Rafid M. Alkhaddar, Edward Loffill

Abstract:

Understanding the behaviour of the piles under the action of the independent lateral loads and the precise prediction of the capacity of piles subjected to different lateral loads are vital topics in foundation design and analysis. Moreover, the laterally loaded behaviour of deep foundations penetrated in cohesive and non-cohesive soils is basically analysed by the Winkler Model (beam on elastic foundation), in which the interaction between the pile embedded depth and contacted soil is simulated by nonlinear p–y curves. The presence of many approaches to interpret the behaviour of soil-pile interaction has resulted in numerous outputs and indicates that no general approach has yet been adopted. The current study presents the result of numerical modelling of the behaviour of steel tubular piles (25.4mm) outside diameter with various embedment depth-to-diameter ratios (L/d) embedded in a sand calibrated chamber of known relative density. The study revealed that the shear strength parameters of the sand specimens and the (L/d) ratios are the most significant factor influencing the response of the pile and its capacity while taking into consideration the complex interaction between the pile and soil. Good agreement has been achieved when comparing the application of this modelling approach with experimental physical modelling carried out by another researcher.

Keywords: deep foundations, slenderness ratio, soil-pile interaction, winkler model (beam on elastic foundation), non-cohesive soil

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9 Simulation of Soil-Pile Interaction of Steel Batter Piles Penetrated in Sandy Soil Subjected to Pull-Out Loads

Authors: Ameer A. Jebur, William Atherton, Rafid M. Alkhaddar, Edward Loffill

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Superstructures like offshore platforms, tall buildings, transition towers, skyscrapers and bridges are normally designed to resist compression, uplift and lateral forces from wind waves, negative skin friction, ship impact and other applied loads. Better understanding and the precise simulation of the response of batter piles under the action of independent uplift loads is a vital topic and an area of active research in the field of geotechnical engineering. This paper investigates the use of finite element code (FEC) to examine the behaviour of model batter piles penetrated in dense sand, subjected to pull-out pressure by means of numerical modelling. The concept of the Winkler Model (beam on elastic foundation) has been used in which the interaction between the pile embedded depth and adjacent soil in the bearing zone is simulated by nonlinear p-y curves. The analysis was conducted on different pile slenderness ratios (lc⁄d) ranging from 7.5, 15.22 and 30 respectively. In addition, the optimum batter angle for a model steel pile penetrated in dense sand has been chosen to be 20° as this is the best angle for this simulation as demonstrated by other researcher published in literature. In this numerical analysis, the soil response is idealized as elasto-plastic and the model piles are described as elastic materials for the purpose of simulation. The results revealed that the applied loads affect the pullout pile capacity as well as the lateral pile response for dense sand together with varying shear strength parameters linked to the pile critical depth. Furthermore, the pile pull-out capacity increases with increasing the pile aspect ratios.

Keywords: slenderness ratio, soil-pile interaction, winkler model (beam on elastic foundation), pull-out capacity

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8 Moment Estimators of the Parameters of Zero-One Inflated Negative Binomial Distribution

Authors: Rafid Saeed Abdulrazak Alshkaki

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In this paper, zero-one inflated negative binomial distribution is considered, along with some of its structural properties, then its parameters were estimated using the method of moments. It is found that the method of moments to estimate the parameters of the zero-one inflated negative binomial models is not a proper method and may give incorrect conclusions.

Keywords: zero one inflated models, negative binomial distribution, moments estimator, non negative integer sampling

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7 Utilizing Grid Computing to Enhance Power Systems Performance

Authors: Rafid A. Al-Khannak, Fawzi M. Al-Naima

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Power load is one of the most important controlling keys which decide power demands and illustrate power usage to shape power market. Hence, power load forecasting is the parameter which facilitates understanding and analyzing all these aspects. In this paper, power load forecasting is solved under MATLAB environment by constructing a neural network for the power load to find an accurate simulated solution with the minimum error. A developed algorithm to achieve load forecasting application with faster technique is the aim for this paper. The algorithm is used to enable MATLAB power application to be implemented by multi machines in the Grid computing system, and to accomplish it within much less time, cost and with high accuracy and quality. Grid Computing, the modern computational distributing technology, has been used to enhance the performance of power applications by utilizing idle and desired Grid contributor(s) by sharing computational power resources.

Keywords: DeskGrid, Grid Server, idle contributor(s), grid computing, load forecasting

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6 Effect of Electrodes Spacing on Energy Consumption of Electrocoagulation Cells

Authors: Khalid S. Hashim, Andy Shaw, Rafid Al-Khaddar, Montserrat Ortoneda Pedrola

Abstract:

In spite of the acknowledged advantages of the electrocoagulation (EC) method to remove a wide range of pollutants from waters and wastewaters, its efficiency is limited by several operational parameters (such as electrolysis time, current density, electrode material, distance between electrodes, and water temperature). Hence, optimizing these key operating parameters is considered a vital step to remove a pollutant efficiently. In this context, the present study has been carried out to explore the influence of electrodes spacing on energy consumption, temperature of the water being treated, and iron removal from water. To achieve this target, iron containing synthetic water samples were electrolysed for 20 min, using a new flow column electrocoagulation reactor (FCER), at three different gaps between electrodes (5, 10, and 20 mm). These batch experiments were commenced at a constant current density of 1.5 mA/cm² and initial pH of 6. The obtained results demonstrated that increasing gap between electrodes negatively influenced the performance of the EC method. It was found that increasing the gap between electrodes from 5 to 20 mm increased the energy consumption from about 3.3 to 7.3 kW.h/m³, and water temperature from 20.2 to 22 °C, respectively. In addition, it has been found, after 20 min of electrolysing, that increasing the gap between electrodes from 5 to 20 mm increased the residual iron concentration from 0.05 to 1.01 mg/L, respectively.

Keywords: electrocoagulation, water, electrodes, iron

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5 Brain Tumor Segmentation from MRI Images

Authors: Sidratul Montaha, A. K. M. Rakibul Haque Rafid, Sami Azam, Md. Zahid Hasan, Pronab Ghosh, Asif Karim, Mirjam Jonkman

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A fully automated and reliable system for brain tumor segmentation and abnormality detection could be a diagnostic aid to clinical specialists, as manual segmentation is often challenging, arduous, tedious, and error-prone. Researches have proposed several neural network-based systems using either two or three-dimensional convolution to improve the segmentation of tumor sub-regions. With the advance of deep convolutional neural networks (DCNN) and the larger availability of computing resources, automatic CNN-based networks can now be used for brain tumor segmentation based on three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. However, segmentation employing 3D convolutions requires a very large computational cost and memory capacity. This study, therefore, proposes a fully automated segmentation approach based on 2D U-net architecture to determine tumor regions (regions of interest or ROIs) from healthy brain tissue. The proposed model is trained and assessed on the dataset of BraTS2020. Accuracy, specificity, sensitivity, and dice coefficient (DC) score are utilized to evaluate the performance. Using optimizer Adam with a learning rate of 0.001 on the Flair MRI sequence, we get an accuracy of 99.41% and a DC value of 93%, demonstrating the effectiveness of our proposed approach.

Keywords: brain tumor segmentation, 3D MRI, U-Net, BrasTS dataset

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4 Breast Cancer Classification Using Feature Extraction and Machine Learning Algorithms

Authors: A. K. M. Rakibul Haque Rafid, Sidratul Montaha, Kazi Mumtahina Puspita, Asif Karim, Sami Azam, Md. Zahid Hasan, Pronab Ghosh

Abstract:

Breast Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women, caused by an unregulated cell division or mutation in single breast tissue. In this work, a feature extraction-based approach with machine learning algorithms has been proposed to classify the four stages of breast cancer, namely benign calcification (BC), benign mass (BM), malignant calcification (MC) and malignant mass (MM). Curated Breast Imaging Subset of Digital Database for Screening Mammography (CBIS-DDSM) dataset is considered with a total of 1459 mammogram images which later augmented with seven different augmentation techniques and outreach 11536 mammogram images. The ROI extracted images are considered here for extracting features with the help of the geometrical feature extraction method after removing artifacts from images and applying enhancement techniques. In order to compare the models in terms of accuracy, four commonly used machine learning algorithms were investigated in breast cancer categorization. Using the geometrical feature, the random forest (RF) classifier has a maximum accuracy of 97.71 % when identifying four different stages of breast cancer. The aforementioned irregularity recognition in mammogram images is evaluated using five statistical metrics, including Sensitivity, Specificity, Precision, Accuracy, and F1-Score, all of which indicate substantial improvement.

Keywords: breast cancer classification, feature extraction, ROI extraction, mammograms, machine learning, CBIS-DDSM

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3 Investigation into the Optimum Hydraulic Loading Rate for Selected Filter Media Packed in a Continuous Upflow Filter

Authors: A. Alzeyadi, E. Loffill, R. Alkhaddar

Abstract:

Continuous upflow filters can combine the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphate) and suspended solid removal in one unit process. The contaminant removal could be achieved chemically or biologically; in both processes the filter removal efficiency depends on the interaction between the packed filter media and the influent. In this paper a residence time distribution (RTD) study was carried out to understand and compare the transfer behaviour of contaminants through a selected filter media packed in a laboratory-scale continuous up flow filter; the selected filter media are limestone and white dolomite. The experimental work was conducted by injecting a tracer (red drain dye tracer –RDD) into the filtration system and then measuring the tracer concentration at the outflow as a function of time; the tracer injection was applied at hydraulic loading rates (HLRs) (3.8 to 15.2 m h-1). The results were analysed according to the cumulative distribution function F(t) to estimate the residence time of the tracer molecules inside the filter media. The mean residence time (MRT) and variance σ2 are two moments of RTD that were calculated to compare the RTD characteristics of limestone with white dolomite. The results showed that the exit-age distribution of the tracer looks better at HLRs (3.8 to 7.6 m h-1) and (3.8 m h-1) for limestone and white dolomite respectively. At these HLRs the cumulative distribution function F(t) revealed that the residence time of the tracer inside the limestone was longer than in the white dolomite; whereas all the tracer took 8 minutes to leave the white dolomite at 3.8 m h-1. On the other hand, the same amount of the tracer took 10 minutes to leave the limestone at the same HLR. In conclusion, the determination of the optimal level of hydraulic loading rate, which achieved the better influent distribution over the filtration system, helps to identify the applicability of the material as filter media. Further work will be applied to examine the efficiency of the limestone and white dolomite for phosphate removal by pumping a phosphate solution into the filter at HLRs (3.8 to 7.6 m h-1).

Keywords: filter media, hydraulic loading rate, residence time distribution, tracer

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2 Na Doped ZnO UV Filters with Reduced Photocatalytic Activity for Sunscreen Application

Authors: Rafid Mueen, Konstantin Konstantinov, Micheal Lerch, Zhenxiang Cheng

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In the past two decades, the concern for skin protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation has attracted considerable attention due to the increased intensity of UV rays that can reach the Earth’s surface as a result of the breakdown of ozone layer. Recently, UVA has also attracted attention, since, in comparison to UVB, it can penetrate deeply into the skin, which can result in significant health concerns. Sunscreen agents are one of the significant tools to protect the skin from UV irradiation, and it is either organic or in organic. Developing of inorganic UV blockers is essential, which provide efficient UV protection over a wide spectrum rather than organic filters. Furthermore inorganic UV blockers are good comfort, and high safety when applied on human skin. Inorganic materials can absorb, reflect, or scatter the ultraviolet radiation, depending on their particle size, unlike the organic blockers, which absorb the UV irradiation. Nowadays, most inorganic UV-blocking filters are based on (TiO2) and ZnO). ZnO can provide protection in the UVA range. Indeed, ZnO is attractive for in sunscreen formulization, and this relates to many advantages, such as its modest refractive index (2.0), absorption of a small fraction of solar radiation in the UV range which is equal to or less than 385 nm, its high probable recombination of photogenerated carriers (electrons and holes), large direct band gap, high exciton binding energy, non-risky nature, and high tendency towards chemical and physical stability which make it transparent in the visible region with UV protective activity. A significant issue for ZnO use in sunscreens is that it can generate ROS in the presence of UV light because of its photocatalytic activity. Therefore it is essential to make a non-photocatalytic material through modification by other metals. Several efforts have been made to deactivate the photocatalytic activity of ZnO by using inorganic surface modifiers. The doping of ZnO by different metals is another way to modify its photocatalytic activity. Recently, successful doping of ZnO with different metals such as Ce, La, Co, Mn, Al, Li, Na, K, and Cr by various procedures, such as a simple and facile one pot water bath, co-precipitation, hydrothermal, solvothermal, combustion, and sol gel methods has been reported. These materials exhibit greater performance than undoped ZnO towards increasing the photocatalytic activity of ZnO in visible light. Therefore, metal doping can be an effective technique to modify the ZnO photocatalytic activity. However, in the current work, we successfully reduce the photocatalytic activity of ZnO through Na doped ZnO fabricated via sol-gel and hydrothermal methods.

Keywords: photocatalytic, ROS, UVA, ZnO

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1 Retrospective Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of Percutaneous Microwave Ablation in the Management of Hepatic Lesions

Authors: Suang K. Lau, Ismail Goolam, Rafid Al-Asady

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Background: The majority of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not suitable for curative treatment, in the form of surgical resection or transplantation, due to tumour extent and underlying liver dysfunction. In these non-resectable cases, a variety of non-surgical therapies are available, including microwave ablation (MWA), which has shown increasing popularity due to its low morbidity, low reported complication rate, and the ability to perform multiple ablations simultaneously. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of MWA as a viable treatment option in the management of HCC and hepatic metastatic disease, by assessing its efficacy and complication rate at a tertiary hospital situated in Westmead (Australia). Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed evaluating patients that underwent MWA between 1/1/2017–31/12/2018 at Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia. Outcome measures, including residual disease, recurrence rates, as well as major and minor complication rates, were retrospectively analysed over a 12-months period following MWA treatment. Excluded patients included those whose lesions were treated on the basis of residual or recurrent disease from previous treatment, which occurred prior to the study window (11 patients) and those who were lost to follow up (2 patients). Results: Following treatment of 106 new hepatic lesions, the complete response rate (CR) was 86% (91/106) at 12 months follow up. 10 patients had the residual disease at post-treatment follow up imaging, corresponding to an incomplete response (ICR) rate of 9.4% (10/106). The local recurrence rate (LRR) was 4.6% (5/106) with follow-up period up to 12 months. The minor complication rate was 9.4% (10/106) including asymptomatic pneumothorax (n=2), asymptomatic pleural effusions (n=2), right lower lobe pneumonia (n=3), pain requiring admission (n=1), hypotension (n=1), cellulitis (n=1) and intraparenchymal hematoma (n=1). There was 1 major complication reported, with pleuro-peritoneal fistula causing recurrent large pleural effusion necessitating repeated thoracocentesis (n=1). There was no statistically significant association between tumour size, location or ablation factors, and risk of recurrence or residual disease. A subset analysis identified 6 segment VIII lesions, which were treated via a trans-pleural approach. This cohort demonstrated an overall complication rate of 33% (2/6), including 1 minor complication of asymptomatic pneumothorax and 1 major complication of pleuro-peritoneal fistula. Conclusions: Microwave ablation therapy is an effective and safe treatment option in cases of non-resectable hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases, with good local tumour control and low complication rates. A trans-pleural approach for high segment VIII lesions is associated with a higher complication rate and warrants greater caution.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, liver metastases, microwave ablation, trans-pleural approach

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