Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: SAIF

25 The Advancement of Environmental Impact Assessment for 5th Transmission Natural Gas Pipeline Project in Thailand

Authors: Penrug Pengsombut, Worawut Hamarn, Teerawuth Suwannasri, Kittiphong Songrukkiat, Kanatip Ratanachoo

Abstract:

PTT Public Company Limited or simply PTT has played an important role in strengthening national energy security of the Kingdom of Thailand by transporting natural gas to customers in power, industrial and commercial sectors since 1981. PTT has been constructing and operating natural gas pipeline system of over 4,500-km network length both onshore and offshore laid through different area classifications i.e., marine, forest, agriculture, rural, urban, and city areas. During project development phase, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is conducted and submitted to the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) for approval before project construction commencement. Knowledge and experiences gained and revealed from EIA in the past projects definitely are developed to further advance EIA study process for newly 5th Transmission Natural Gas Pipeline Project (5TP) with approximately 415 kilometers length. The preferred pipeline route is selected and justified by SMARTi map, an advance digital one-map platform with consists of multiple layers geographic and environmental information. Sensitive area impact focus (SAIF) is a practicable impact assessment methodology which appropriate for a particular long distance infrastructure project such as 5TP. An environmental modeling simulation is adopted into SAIF methodology for impact quantified in all sensitive areas whereas other area along pipeline right-of-ways is typically assessed as an impact representative. Resulting time and cost deduction is beneficial to project for early start.

Keywords: environmental impact assessment, EIA, natural gas pipeline, sensitive area impact focus, SAIF

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24 The Impact of Indigenous Architecture and the Origin of Tomb Architecture in Indian Sub-Continent: A Case Study of the Tombs of Muhmmad B. Haroon, Saif-Ud-Daula Mahmud, Khalid Walid and Sultan Ghari; An Appraisal

Authors: Tauqeer Ahmad

Abstract:

A lot of literature have been produced addressing the problem of origin and development of tomb architecture in Pakistan and India. In this attempt, the author would address this problem in the Indian prospective. Particularly, the impact of indigenous architecture would be analyzed in this research paper. As we observe that on early Muslim tombs in Indian sub-continent, to large extent, were contributed in term of architecture by local masons. So far as the material used in these early tombs is concerned was also picked from Indian tradition according to the availability and the local traditions.

Keywords: Khitti Chor, tomb of Sultan Ghari, tomb at Zairan, Lasbela

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23 Investigating the Pronunciation of '-S' and '-Ed' Suffixes in Yemeni English

Authors: Saif Bareq, Vivek Mirgane

Abstract:

The present paper seeks to explicate the pronunciation of the ‘-s’ and ‘-ed’ suffixes when applied in their relative places in word endings. It attempts to investigate the problems faced by Yemenis in the pronunciation of these suffixes in all occurrences and realizations. It discusses the realization of ‘s’ in the four areas of plural, 3rd person singular and genitive markers, and contraction of ‘has’ and ‘is’ as in he’s, it’s ..,etc. and shows how they are differently represented by three different sounds /s/, /z/ and /z/ based on the phonological structure of the words in which they occur. Similarly, it explains the realization of the ‘-ed’ suffix of the past and past participle marker and how it is realized differently by three sounds governed by the phonological structure of these words. Besides, it tries to shed some light on the English morphophonemic and phonological rules that govern the pronunciation of such troublesome endings. It is hypothesized that the absence of such phenomenon in the mother tongue pronunciation of these suffixes.

Keywords: Suffixes' Pronunciation, Phonological Structure, Phonological Rules, Morpho-Phonemics, Yemeni English

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22 Detection of Selected Heavy Metals in Raw Milk: Lahore, Pakistan

Authors: Huma Naeem, Saif-Ur-Rehman Kashif, Muhammad Nawaz Chaudhry

Abstract:

Milk plays a significant role in the dietary requirements of human beings as it is a single source that provides various essential nutrients. A study was conducted to evaluate the heavy metal concentration in the raw milk marketed in Data Gunj Baksh Town of Lahore. A total of 180 samples of raw milk were collected in pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon season from five colonies of Data Gunj Baksh Town, Lahore. The milk samples were subjected to heavy metal analysis (Cr, Cu) by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results indicated high levels of Cr and Cu in post-monsoon seasons. Heavy metals were detected in milk in all samples under study and exceeded the standards given by FAO.

Keywords: atomic absorption spectrophotometer, chromium, copper, heavy metal

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21 Isolation of Biosurfactant Producing Spore-Forming Bacteria from Oman: Potential Applications in Bioremediation

Authors: Saif N. Al-Bahry, Yahya M. Al-Wahaibi, Abdulkadir E. Elshafie, Ali S. Al-Bemani, Sanket J. Joshi

Abstract:

Environmental pollution is a global problem and best possible solution is identifying and utilizing native microorganisms. One possible application of microbial product -biosurfactant is in bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites. We have screened forty two different petroleum contaminated sites from Oman, for biosurfactant producing spore-forming bacterial isolates. Initial screening showed that out of 42 soil samples, three showed reduction in surface tension (ST) and interfacial tension (IFT) within 24h of incubation at 40°C. Out of those 3 soil samples, one was further selected for isolation of bacteria and 14 different bacteria were isolated in pure form. Of those 14 spore-forming, rod shaped bacteria, two showed highest reduction in ST and IFT in the range of 70mN/m to < 35mN/m and 26.69mN/m to < 9mN/m, respectively within 24h. These bacterial biosurfactants may be utilized for bioremediation of oil-spills.

Keywords: bioremediation, hydrocarbon pollution, spore-forming bacteria, bio-surfactant

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20 An Approach to Manage and Evaluate Asset Performance

Authors: Mohammed Saif Al-Saidi, John P. T. Mo

Abstract:

Modern engineering assets are complex and very high in value. They are expected to function for years to come, with ability to handle the change in technology and ageing modification. The aging of an engineering asset and continues increase of vendors and contractors numbers forces the asset operation management (or Owner) to design an asset system which can capture these changes. Furthermore, an accurate performance measurement and risk evaluation processes are highly needed. Therefore, this paper explores the nature of the asset management system performance evaluation for an engineering asset based on the System Support Engineering (SSE) principles. The research work explores the asset support system from a range of perspectives, interviewing managers from across a refinery organisation. The factors contributing to complexity of an asset management system are described in context which clusters them into several key areas. It is proposed that SSE framework may then be used as a tool for analysis and management of asset. The paper will conclude with discussion of potential application of the framework and opportunities for future research.

Keywords: asset management, performance, evaluation, modern engineering, System Support Engineering (SSE)

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19 Impact of Safety and Quality Considerations of Housing Clients on the Construction Firms’ Intention to Adopt Quality Function Deployment: A Case of Construction Sector

Authors: Saif Ul Haq

Abstract:

The current study intends to examine the safety and quality considerations of clients of housing projects and their impact on the adoption of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) by the construction firm. Mixed method research technique has been used to collect and analyze the data wherein a survey was conducted to collect the data from 220 clients of housing projects in Saudi Arabia. Then, the telephonic and Skype interviews were conducted to collect data of 15 professionals working in the top ten real estate companies of Saudi Arabia. Data were analyzed by using partial least square (PLS) and thematic analysis techniques. Findings reveal that today’s customer prioritizes the safety and quality requirements of their houses and as a result, construction firms adopt QFD to address the needs of customers. The findings are of great importance for the clients of housing projects as well as for the construction firms as they could apply QFD in housing projects to address the safety and quality concerns of their clients.

Keywords: construction industry, quality considerations, quality function deployment, safety considerations

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18 Corporate Governance Mechanisms, Whistle-Blowing Policy and Earnings Management Practices of Firms in Malaysia

Authors: Mujeeb Saif Mohsen Al-Absy, Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail, Sitraselvi Chandren

Abstract:

This study examines whether corporate governance (CG) mechanisms in firms that have a whistle-blowing policy (WHBLP) are more effective in constraining earnings management (EM), than those without. A sample of 288 Malaysian firms for the years 2013 to 2015, amounting to 864 firm-years were grouped into firms with and without WHBLP. Results show that for firms without WHBLP, the board chairman tenure would minimize EM activities. Meanwhile, for firms with WHBLP, board chairman independence, board chairman tenure, audit committee size, audit committee meeting and women in the audit committees are found to be associated with less EM activities. Further, it is found that ownership concentration and Big 4 auditing firms help to reduce EM activities in firms with WHBLP, while not in firms without WHBLP. Hence, functional and effective governance can be achieved by having a WHBLP, which is in line with agency and resource dependent theories. Therefore, this study suggests that firms should have a WHBLP in place, and policymakers should come up with enhanced criteria to strengthen the mechanisms of WHBLP.

Keywords: corporate governance, earnings management, whistle-blowing policy, audit committee, board of directors

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17 Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Patient and Perception of Caregiver Regarding Speech and Language Therapy in Bangladesh

Authors: K. M. Saif Ur Rahman, Razib Mamun, Himica Arjuman, Fida Al Shams

Abstract:

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become an emerging neurodevelopmental disorder with increasing prevalence. It has become an important public health issue globally. Many approaches including speech and language therapy (SLT), occupational therapy, behavioral therapy etc. are being applied for the betterment of the ASD patients. This study aims to describe the characteristics of ASD patients and perception of caregiver regarding SLT in Bangladesh. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a therapy and rehabilitation center at Dhaka city. Caregivers of 48 ASD patients responded regarding their perception of SLT and characteristics of patients. Results: Among 48 ASD patients, 56.3% were between 3 to 5 years age group with a male predominance (87.5%). More than half of the participants (56.3%) initiated SLT at the age of 1-3 years and the majority (43.8%) were taking SLT for less than 1 year. Majority of the patients (64.6%) were taken to a physician for healthcare as a first contact of which 29.2% were referred to SLT by physicians. More than half (56.3%) of the caregivers were moderately satisfied with SLT and most of them (62.5%) mentioned moderate improvement through SLT. Improvement rate was 10-15% in specific symptoms such as eye contact, complex mannerism, pointing, imitation etc. Conclusion: This study reveals the self-reported perception of caregivers on SLT. Despite reported improvements, more exploration of different approaches and intervention for management of ASD is recommended.

Keywords: ASD, characteristics, SLT, Bangladesh

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16 Innovative Strategies for Improving Writing Skills of Secondary Level Students

Authors: Ihsan Ullah Khan, Asim Kareem, Naveed Saif

Abstract:

This research study examined the application of innovative strategies for improving writing skills of Secondary level students. It also examined the steps taken by Secondary level teachers for the improvement of writing skills of their students. Effective written communication is the problem faced by all the ESL students at secondary level. The objective of the study was to help the secondary level students to overcome this problem. More specifically, this research study aimed to guide the teachers, teaching at secondary level, to bring innovation in their teaching by showing the results of innovative strategies. In order to know about the practices of the teachers, inside the classroom, data was calculated through rating scale questionnaire. After that experimental study was carried out. For the experimental study a 10th grade class was selected. Results were drawn by analyzing the pre and post-tests of the students with the help of independent sample t-test. The results showed that a significant change occurred in the writing skills of the students, belonging to Treatment group. No improvement was observed in the writing skills of the students, belonging to Control group. Thus this research study proved to be a great contribution by guiding the teachers to bring a significant change in the writing skills of the students.

Keywords: writing skills, innovative strategies, teachers, students, treatment group, control group

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15 Passive Control of Elliptic Jet by Using Triangular and Truncated Tabs

Authors: Saif Akram, E. Rathakrishnan

Abstract:

The mixing promoting efficiency of two identical sharp and truncated vertex triangular tabs offering geometrical blockage of 2.5% each, placed at the exit of a Mach 1.5 elliptic nozzle was studied experimentally. The effectiveness of both the tabs in enhancing the mixing of jets with the ambient air are determined by measuring the Pitot pressure along the jet axis and the jet spread in both the minor and major axes of the elliptic nozzle, covering marginally overexpanded to moderately underexpanded levels at the nozzle exit. The results reveal that both the tabs enhance mixing characteristics of the uncontrolled elliptic jet when placed at minor axis. A core length reduction of 67% is achieved at NPR 3 which is the overexpanded state. Similarly, the core length is reduced by about 67%, 50% and 57% at NPRs of 4, 5 and 6 (underexpanded states) respectively. However, unlike the considerable increment in mixing promoting efficiency by the use of truncated vertex tabs for axisymmetric jets, the effect is not much pronounced for the case of supersonic elliptic jets. The CPD plots for both the cases almost overlap, especially when tabs are placed at minor axis, at all the pressure conditions. While, when the tabs are used at major axis, in the case of overexpanded condition, the sharp vertex triangular tabs act as a better mixing enhancer for the supersonic elliptic jets. For the jet controlled with truncated vertex triangular tabs, the core length reductions are of the same order as those for the sharp vertex triangular tabs. The jet mixing is hardly influenced by the tip effect in case of supersonic elliptic jet.

Keywords: elliptic jet, tabs, truncated, triangular

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14 Multi Objective Simultaneous Assembly Line Balancing and Buffer Sizing

Authors: Saif Ullah, Guan Zailin, Xu Xianhao, He Zongdong, Wang Baoxi

Abstract:

Assembly line balancing problem is aimed to divide the tasks among the stations in assembly lines and optimize some objectives. In assembly lines the workload on stations is different from each other due to different tasks times and the difference in workloads between stations can cause blockage or starvation in some stations in assembly lines. Buffers are used to store the semi-finished parts between the stations and can help to smooth the assembly production. The assembly line balancing and buffer sizing problem can affect the throughput of the assembly lines. Assembly line balancing and buffer sizing problems have been studied separately in literature and due to their collective contribution in throughput rate of assembly lines, balancing and buffer sizing problem are desired to study simultaneously and therefore they are considered concurrently in current research. Current research is aimed to maximize throughput, minimize total size of buffers in assembly line and minimize workload variations in assembly line simultaneously. A multi objective optimization objective is designed which can give better Pareto solutions from the Pareto front and a simple example problem is solved for assembly line balancing and buffer sizing simultaneously. Current research is significant for assembly line balancing research and it can be significant to introduce optimization approaches which can optimize current multi objective problem in future.

Keywords: assembly line balancing, buffer sizing, Pareto solutions

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13 Rival Conceptions of Sovereignty in Modern South Asian Political Thought: An Analysis Through the Writings of Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maududi and Maulana Hifzurrahman Seoharvi

Authors: Mohammad Saif

Abstract:

In the post-Westphalianworld order, the concept of sovereignty has been a fundamental area of inquiry in Political Science, International Relations, and International Law. Modern Islamic political thought has also dedicated a fair share of debate on the subject. The debate fundamentally revolves around the ‘ontological differentiation’ between western and Islamic political thought. While the centrality of the individual in western political thought regards the individual as the center of universe, Islamic Political thought provides that space to God. The modern liberal democratic principles suggest sovereignty as one of the major attributes of modern nation state; Islamists regard sovereignty as an attribute of God. However, the position regarding God’ssovereignty in Islamic political thought is not coherent in conception. Some scholars regard such a position as ‘the political interpretation of Islam’. This paper is an attempt to first analyze the fundamental discord between two rival political ideologies (western and Islamic), and then forward a debate on the subject of sovereignty in South Asian Islamic Political thought, particularly between Syed Abul Ala Maududi (ideological father of modern islamist movements) andHifzurrahmanSeoharvi (lesser known in Academia but highly influential in shaping Deobandi position of principles related to political nature of Islamic theology). Maududi regardssovereignty as an attribute of God and the rulers as subservient to Gods will, Seoharvi suggests that God's sovereignty does not entail that the caliph or amir cannot be a ruler or hakim, nor can his command or hukum be an order. Certain references have also been made to contemporary scholars like Sayidd Qutub, Rashid al Ghanouchi, who in one way or the other have contributed to the debate on ‘sovereignty in Islamic thought’.

Keywords: nation state, sovereigty, sovereignty of God (Hakimmiyah), deoband

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12 Mutational and Evolutionary Analysis of Interleukin-2 Gene in Four Pakistani Goat Breeds

Authors: Tanveer Hussain, Misbah Hussain, Masroor Ellahi Babar, Muhammad Traiq Pervez, Fiaz Hussain, Sana Zahoor, Rashid Saif

Abstract:

Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is a cytokine which is produced by activated T cells, play important role in immune response against antigen. It act in both autocrine and paracrine manner. It can stimulate B cells and various other phagocytic cells like monocytes, lymphokine-activated killer cells and natural killer cells. Acting in autocrine fashion, IL-2 protein plays a crucial role in proliferation of T cells. IL-2 triggers the release of pro and anti- inflammatory cytokines by activating several pathways. In present study, exon 1 of IL-2 gene of four local Pakistani breeds (Dera Din Panah, Beetal, Nachi and Kamori) from two provinces was amplified by using reported Ovine IL-2 primers, yielding PCR product of 501 bp. The sequencing of all samples was done to identify the polymorphisms in amplified region of IL-2 gene. Analysis of sequencing data resulted in identification of one novel nucleotide substitution (T→A) in amplified non-coding region of IL-2 gene. Comparison of IL-2 gene sequence of all four breeds with other goat breeds showed high similarity in sequence. While phylogenetic analysis of our local breeds with other mammals showed that IL-2 is a variable gene which has undergone many substitutions. This high substitution rate can be due to the decreased or increased changed selective pressure. These rapid changes can also lead to the change in function of immune system. This pioneering study of Pakistani goat breeds urge for further studies on immune system of each targeted breed for fully understanding the functional role of IL-2 in goat immunity.

Keywords: interleukin 2, mutational analysis, phylogeny, goat breeds, Pakistan

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11 Factors Affecting M-Government Deployment and Adoption

Authors: Saif Obaid Alkaabi, Nabil Ayad

Abstract:

Governments constantly seek to offer faster, more secure, efficient and effective services for their citizens. Recent changes and developments to communication services and technologies, mainly due the Internet, have led to immense improvements in the way governments of advanced countries carry out their interior operations Therefore, advances in e-government services have been broadly adopted and used in various developed countries, as well as being adapted to developing countries. The implementation of advances depends on the utilization of the most innovative structures of data techniques, mainly in web dependent applications, to enhance the main functions of governments. These functions, in turn, have spread to mobile and wireless techniques, generating a new advanced direction called m-government. This paper discusses a selection of available m-government applications and several business modules and frameworks in various fields. Practically, the m-government models, techniques and methods have become the improved version of e-government. M-government offers the potential for applications which will work better, providing citizens with services utilizing mobile communication and data models incorporating several government entities. Developing countries can benefit greatly from this innovation due to the fact that a large percentage of their population is young and can adapt to new technology and to the fact that mobile computing devices are more affordable. The use of models of mobile transactions encourages effective participation through the use of mobile portals by businesses, various organizations, and individual citizens. Although the application of m-government has great potential, it does have major limitations. The limitations include: the implementation of wireless networks and relative communications, the encouragement of mobile diffusion, the administration of complicated tasks concerning the protection of security (including the ability to offer privacy for information), and the management of the legal issues concerning mobile applications and the utilization of services.

Keywords: e-government, m-government, system dependability, system security, trust

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10 Potential of Enhancing Oil Recovery in Omani Oil Fields via Biopolymer Injection

Authors: Yahya Al-Wahaibi, Saif Al-Bahry, Abdulkadir Elshafie, Ali Al-Bemani, Sanket Joshi

Abstract:

Microbial enhanced oil recovery is one of the most economical and efficient methods for extending the life of production wells in a declining reservoir. There are a variety of metabolites produced by microorganisms that can be useful for oil recovery, like biopolymers-polysaccharides secreted by microbes, biodegradable thus environmentally friendly. Some fungi like Schizophyllum commune (a type of mushroom), and Aureobasidium pullulans are reported to produce biopolymers-schizophyllan and pullulan. Hence, we have procured a microbial strain (Schizophyllum commune) from American Type Culture Collection, which is reported for producing a biopolymer and also isolated several Omani strains of Aureobasidium pullulans from different samples. Studies were carried out for maintenance of the strains and primary screening of production media and environmental conditions for growth of S. commune and Omani A. pullulans isolates, for 30 days. The observed optimum growth and production temperature was ≤35 °C for S. commune and Omani A. pullulans isolates. Better growth was observed for both types of fungi under shaking conditions. The initial yield of lyophilized schizophyllan was ≥3.0 g/L, and the yield of pullulan was ≥0.5g/L. Both schizophyllan and pullulan were extracted in crude form and were partially identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), which showed partial similarity in chemical structure with published biopolymers. The produced pullulan and schizophyllan increased the viscosity from 9-20 cp of the control media (without biopolymer) to 20 - 121.4 cp of the cell free broth at 0.1 s-1 shear rate at range of temperatures from 25–45 °C. Enhanced biopolymer production and its physicochemical and rheological properties under different environmental conditions (different temperatures, salt concentrations and wide range of pH), complete characterization and effects on oil recovery enhancement were also investigated in this study.

Keywords: Aureobasidium pullulans, biopolymer, oil recovery enhancement, Schizophyllum commune

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9 Identification of Avian Fauna of Bara Gali Summer Campus, University of Peshawar

Authors: Saif Ullah

Abstract:

Survey of avian fauna of Bara Gali Summer Campus, University of Peshawar in the Hazara District was conducted from April to October, 2013. A total of 21 species belonging to 5 orders and 15 families were recorded. Out of these 6 were resident, 12 were summer visitor and 3 were rare. Order Passeriformes was represented by 16 species which are Certhia himalayana, Megalaima virens, Phylloscopus trochiloides, Garrulax lineatus, Passer rutilans, Corvus macrorhynchos, Hypsipetes leucocephalus, Acridotheres tristis, Delichon dasypus cashmeriensis, Hirundo rustica, Muscicapa thalassina, Saxicola ferrea, Myiophoneus caeruleus, Parus melonolophus, Parus rufonuchalis, Parus monticolus, belonging to 11 families. Two species Dendrocopos himalayansis and Picus squamatus belongs to only 1 family of order Piciformes. Only one species from the remaining 3 orders were recorded i.e. Accipiter virgatus belongs to order Accipitriformes, Upupa epops from order Coraciformes, while order Psittaciformes represented by Psittacula himalayana .The distribution and abundance varied with season and maximum number of species was found during the monsoon season when most of the birds migrate for breeding. Some habits and behaviors like nesting, feeding, breeding and vocalizations were also studied which are very unique from other birds. Among bird species adapted to diverse habitat in the field, Himalayan Jungle Crow, Common Mynas, Bulbuls, Barn Swallows, barbets were prominent. Interesting feature of the avian fauna is familiarity with flora was greatly observed. Human related impacts such as grazing by livestock, removal of shrub cover, disturbance of habitat etc. were also studied.

Keywords: birds, summer visitor, Phylloscopus trochiloides, Parus monticolus

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8 Ni Mixed Oxides Type-Spinel for Energy: Application in Dry Reforming of Methane for Syngas (H2 & Co) Production

Authors: Bouhenni Mohamed Saif El Islam

Abstract:

In the recent years, the dry reforming of methane has received considerable attention from an environmental view point because it consumes and eliminates two gases (CH4 and CO2) responsible for global warming by greenhouse effect. Many catalysts containing noble metal (Rh, Ru, Pd, Pt and Ir) or transition metal (Ni, Co and Fe) have been reported to be active in this reaction. Compared to noble metals, Ni-materials are cheap but very easily deactivated by coking. Ni-based mixed oxides structurally well-defined like perovskites and spinels are being studied because they possibly make solid solutions and allow to vary the composition and thus the performances properties. In this work, nano-sized nickel ferrite oxides are synthesized using three different methods: Co-precipitation (CP), hydrothermal (HT) and sol gel (SG) methods and characterized by XRD, Raman, XPS, BET, TPR, SEM-EDX and TEM-EDX. XRD patterns of all synthesized oxides showed the presence of NiFe2O4 spinel, confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. Hematite was present only in CP sample. Depending on the synthesis method, the surface area, particle size, as well as the surface Ni/Fe atomic ratio (XPS) and the behavior upon reduction varied. The materials were tested in methane dry reforming with CO2 at 1 atm and 650-800 °C. The catalytic activity of the spinel samples was not very high (XCH4 = 5-20 mol% and XCO2 = 25-40 mol %) when no pre-reduction step was carried out. A significant contribution of RWGS explained the low values of H2/CO ratio obtained. The reoxidation step of the catalyst carried out after reaction showed little amounts of coke deposition. The reducing pretreatment was particularly efficient in the case of SG (XCH4 = 80 mol% and XCO2 = 92 mol%, at 800 °C), with H2/CO > 1. In conclusion, the influence of preparation was strong for most samples and the catalytic behavior could be interpreted by considering the distribution of cations among octahedral (Oh) and tetrahedral (Td) sites as in (Ni2+1-xFe3+x)Td (Ni2+xFe3+2-x)OhO2-4 influenced the reducibility of materials and thus their catalytic performance.

Keywords: NiFe2O4, dry reforming of methane, spinel oxide, XCO2

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7 Comparative Study of Skeletonization and Radial Distance Methods for Automated Finger Enumeration

Authors: Mohammad Hossain Mohammadi, Saif Al Ameri, Sana Ziaei, Jinane Mounsef

Abstract:

Automated enumeration of the number of hand fingers is widely used in several motion gaming and distance control applications, and is discussed in several published papers as a starting block for hand recognition systems. The automated finger enumeration technique should not only be accurate, but also must have a fast response for a moving-picture input. The high performance of video in motion games or distance control will inhibit the program’s overall speed, for image processing software such as Matlab need to produce results at high computation speeds. Since an automated finger enumeration with minimum error and processing time is desired, a comparative study between two finger enumeration techniques is presented and analyzed in this paper. In the pre-processing stage, various image processing functions were applied on a real-time video input to obtain the final cleaned auto-cropped image of the hand to be used for the two techniques. The first technique uses the known morphological tool of skeletonization to count the number of skeleton’s endpoints for fingers. The second technique uses a radial distance method to enumerate the number of fingers in order to obtain a one dimensional hand representation. For both discussed methods, the different steps of the algorithms are explained. Then, a comparative study analyzes the accuracy and speed of both techniques. Through experimental testing in different background conditions, it was observed that the radial distance method was more accurate and responsive to a real-time video input compared to the skeletonization method. All test results were generated in Matlab and were based on displaying a human hand for three different orientations on top of a plain color background. Finally, the limitations surrounding the enumeration techniques are presented.

Keywords: comparative study, hand recognition, fingertip detection, skeletonization, radial distance, Matlab

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6 Avifauna of Bara Gali Summer Campus, University of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Authors: Saif Ullah, Zaigham Hasan, Muhammad Ali, Qaisar Jamal, Kiran Salahuddin, Muhammad Awais

Abstract:

Survey of avian fauna of Bara Gali Summer Campus, University of Peshawar situated in Abbottabad was conducted from April to October, 2013. A total of 21 species belonging to 5 orders and 15 families were recorded. Out of these, 6 were resident, 12 summer visitor and 3 rare. Order Passeriformes was represented by 16 species which are Certhia himalayana, Megalaima virens, Phylloscopus trochiloides, Garrulax lineatus, Passer rutilans, Corvus macrorhynchos, Hypsipetes leucocephalus, Acridotheres tristis, Delichon dasypus cashmeriensis, Hirundo rustica, Muscicapa thalassina, Saxicola ferrea, Myiophoneus caeruleus, Parus melonolophus, Parus rufonuchalis, Parus monticolus, belonging to 11 families. Two species Dendrocopos himalayansis and Picus squamatus belong to only one family Picidae of order Piciformes. Among rest of the three orders each is represented by only a single species; Accipitriformes by Accipiter virgatus, Coraciformes by Upupa epops while order Psittaciformes has been represented by Psittacula himalayana. The distribution and abundance varied with season and maximum number of species were found during the monsoon season when most of the birds migrate for breeding. Some habits and behaviors like nesting, feeding, breeding and vocalizations were also studied which are very unique from other birds found at lower elevations. Among bird species adapted to diverse habitat in the field, Himalayan Jungle Crow, Common Mynas, Bulbuls, Barn Swallows, barbets were prominent. Interesting feature of the avian fauna is its familiarity with flora, was also observed during the present studies that some birds are very quick and active in their movement on a tree surface i.e Certhia himalayana.

Keywords: avifauna diversity, distribution, Bara Gali, Abbottabad

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5 Humans’ Physical Strength Capacities on Different Handwheel Diameters and Angles

Authors: Saif K. Al-Qaisi, Jad R. Mansour, Aseel W. Sakka, Yousef Al-Abdallat

Abstract:

Handwheels are common to numerous industries, such as power generation plants, oil refineries, and chemical processing plants. The forces required to manually turn handwheels have been shown to exceed operators’ physical strengths, posing risks for injuries. Therefore, the objectives of this research were twofold: (1) to determine humans’ physical strengths on handwheels of different sizes and angles and (2) to subsequently propose recommended torque limits (RTLs) that accommodate the strengths of even the weaker segment of the population. Thirty male and thirty female participants were recruited from a university student population. Participants were asked to exert their maximum possible forces in a counter-clockwise direction on handwheels of different sizes (35 cm, 45 cm, 60 cm, and 70 cm) and angles (0°-horizontal, 45°-slanted, and 90°-vertical). The participant’s posture was controlled by adjusting the handwheel to be at the elbow level of each participant, requiring the participant to stand erect, and restricting the hand placements to be in the 10-11 o’clock position for the left hand and the 4-5 o’clock position for the right hand. A torque transducer (Futek TDF600) was used to measure the maximum torques generated by the human. Three repetitions were performed for each handwheel condition, and the average was computed. Results showed that, at all handwheel angles, as the handwheel diameter increased, the maximum torques generated also increased, while the underlying forces decreased. In controlling the handwheel diameter, the 0° handwheel was associated with the largest torques and forces, and the 45° handwheel was associated with the lowest torques and forces. Hence, a larger handwheel diameter –as large as 70 cm– in a 0° angle is favored for increasing the torque production capacities of users. Also, it was recognized that, regardless of the handwheel diameter size and angle, the torque demands in the field are much greater than humans’ torque production capabilities. As such, this research proposed RTLs for the different handwheel conditions by using the 25th percentile values of the females’ torque strengths. The proposed recommendations may serve future standard developers in defining torque limits that accommodate humans’ strengths.

Keywords: handwheel angle, handwheel diameter, humans’ torque production strengths, recommended torque limits

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4 Comparison of EMG Normalization Techniques Recommended for Back Muscles Used in Ergonomics Research

Authors: Saif Al-Qaisi, Alif Saba

Abstract:

Normalization of electromyography (EMG) data in ergonomics research is a prerequisite for interpreting the data. Normalizing accounts for variability in the data due to differences in participants’ physical characteristics, electrode placement protocols, time of day, and other nuisance factors. Typically, normalized data is reported as a percentage of the muscle’s isometric maximum voluntary contraction (%MVC). Various MVC techniques have been recommended in the literature for normalizing EMG activity of back muscles. This research tests and compares the recommended MVC techniques in the literature for three back muscles commonly used in ergonomics research, which are the lumbar erector spinae (LES), latissimus dorsi (LD), and thoracic erector spinae (TES). Six healthy males from a university population participated in this research. Five different MVC exercises were compared for each muscle using the Tringo wireless EMG system (Delsys Inc.). Since the LES and TES share similar functions in controlling trunk movements, their MVC exercises were the same, which included trunk extension at -60°, trunk extension at 0°, trunk extension while standing, hip extension, and the arch test. The MVC exercises identified in the literature for the LD were chest-supported shoulder extension, prone shoulder extension, lat-pull down, internal shoulder rotation, and abducted shoulder flexion. The maximum EMG signal was recorded during each MVC trial, and then the averages were computed across participants. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was utilized to determine the effect of MVC technique on muscle activity. Post-hoc analyses were performed using the Tukey test. The MVC technique effect was statistically significant for each of the muscles (p < 0.05); however, a larger sample of participants was needed to detect significant differences in the Tukey tests. The arch test was associated with the highest EMG average at the LES, and also it resulted in the maximum EMG activity more often than the other techniques (three out of six participants). For the TES, trunk extension at 0° was associated with the largest EMG average, and it resulted in the maximum EMG activity the most often (three out of six participants). For the LD, participants obtained their maximum EMG either from chest-supported shoulder extension (three out of six participants) or prone shoulder extension (three out of six participants). Chest-supported shoulder extension, however, had a larger average than prone shoulder extension (0.263 and 0.240, respectively). Although all the aforementioned techniques were superior in their averages, they did not always result in the maximum EMG activity. If an accurate estimate of the true MVC is desired, more than one technique may have to be performed. This research provides additional MVC techniques for each muscle that may elicit the maximum EMG activity.

Keywords: electromyography, maximum voluntary contraction, normalization, physical ergonomics

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3 Resonant Tunnelling Diode Output Characteristics Dependence on Structural Parameters: Simulations Based on Non-Equilibrium Green Functions

Authors: Saif Alomari

Abstract:

The paper aims at giving physical and mathematical descriptions of how the structural parameters of a resonant tunnelling diode (RTD) affect its output characteristics. Specifically, the value of the peak voltage, peak current, peak to valley current ratio (PVCR), and the difference between peak and valley voltages and currents ΔV and ΔI. A simulation-based approach using the Non-Equilibrium Green Function (NEGF) formalism based on the Silvaco ATLAS simulator is employed to conduct a series of designed experiments. These experiments show how the doping concentration in the emitter and collector layers, their thicknesses, and the width of the barriers and the quantum well influence the above-mentioned output characteristics. Each of these parameters was systematically changed while holding others fixed in each set of experiments. Factorial experiments are outside the scope of this work and will be investigated in future. The physics involved in the operation of the device is thoroughly explained and mathematical models based on curve fitting and underlaying physical principles are deduced. The models can be used to design devices with predictable output characteristics. These models were found absent in the literature that the author acanned. Results show that the doping concentration in each region has an effect on the value of the peak voltage. It is found that increasing the carrier concentration in the collector region shifts the peak to lower values, whereas increasing it in the emitter shifts the peak to higher values. In the collector’s case, the shift is either controlled by the built-in potential resulting from the concentration gradient or the conductivity enhancement in the collector. The shift to higher voltages is found to be also related to the location of the Fermi-level. The thicknesses of these layers play a role in the location of the peak as well. It was found that increasing the thickness of each region shifts the peak to higher values until a specific characteristic length, afterwards the peak becomes independent of the thickness. Finally, it is shown that the thickness of the barriers can be optimized for a particular well width to produce the highest PVCR or the highest ΔV and ΔI. The location of the peak voltage is important in optoelectronic applications of RTDs where the operating point of the device is usually the peak voltage point. Furthermore, the PVCR, ΔV, and ΔI are of great importance for building RTD-based oscillators as they affect the frequency response and output power of the oscillator.

Keywords: peak to valley ratio, peak voltage shift, resonant tunneling diodes, structural parameters

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2 Treatment with Triton-X 100: An Enhancement Approach for Cardboard Bioprocessing

Authors: Ahlam Said Al Azkawi, Nallusamy Sivakumar, Saif Nasser Al Bahri

Abstract:

Diverse approaches and pathways are under development with the determination to develop cellulosic biofuels and other bio-products eventually at commercial scale in “bio-refineries”; however, the key challenge is mainly the high level of complexity in processing the feedstock which is complicated and energy consuming. To overcome the complications in utilizing the naturally occurring lignocellulose biomass, using waste paper as a feedstock for bio-production may solve the problem. Besides being abundant and cheap, bioprocessing of waste paper has evolved in response to the public concern from rising landfill cost from shrinking landfill capacity. Cardboard (CB) is one of the major components of municipal solid waste and one of the most important items to recycle. Although 50-70% of cardboard constitute is known to be cellulose and hemicellulose, the presence of lignin around them cause hydrophobic cross-link which physically obstructs the hydrolysis by rendering it resistant to enzymatic cleavage. Therefore, pretreatment is required to disrupt this resistance and to enhance the exposure of the targeted carbohydrates to the hydrolytic enzymes. Several pretreatment approaches have been explored, and the best ones would be those can influence cellulose conversion rates and hydrolytic enzyme performance with minimal or less cost and downstream processes. One of the promising strategies in this field is the application of surfactants, especially non-ionic surfactants. In this study, triton-X 100 was used as surfactants to treat cardboard prior enzymatic hydrolysis and compare it with acid treatment using 0.1% H2SO4. The effect of the surfactant enhancement was evaluated through its effect on hydrolysis rate in respect to time in addition to evaluating the structural changes and modification by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and through compositional analysis. Further work was performed to produce ethanol from CB treated with triton-X 100 via separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF) and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). The hydrolysis studies have demonstrated enhancement in saccharification by 35%. After 72 h of hydrolysis, a saccharification rate of 98% was achieved from CB enhanced with triton-X 100, while only 89 of saccharification achieved from acid pre-treated CB. At 120 h, the saccharification % exceeded 100 as reducing sugars continued to increase with time. This enhancement was not supported by any significant changes in the cardboard content as the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin content remained same after treatment, but obvious structural changes were observed through SEM images. The cellulose fibers were clearly exposed with very less debris and deposits compared to cardboard without triton-X 100. The XRD pattern has also revealed the ability of the surfactant in removing calcium carbonate, a filler found in waste paper known to have negative effect on enzymatic hydrolysis. The cellulose crystallinity without surfactant was 73.18% and reduced to 66.68% rendering it more amorphous and susceptible to enzymatic attack. Triton-X 100 has proved to effectively enhance CB hydrolysis and eventually had positive effect on the ethanol yield via SSF. Treating cardboard with only triton-X 100 was a sufficient treatment to enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis and ethanol production.

Keywords: cardboard, enhancement, ethanol, hydrolysis, treatment, Triton-X 100

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1 High Pressure Thermophysical Properties of Complex Mixtures Relevant to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Processing

Authors: Saif Al Ghafri, Thomas Hughes, Armand Karimi, Kumarini Seneviratne, Jordan Oakley, Michael Johns, Eric F. May

Abstract:

Knowledge of the thermophysical properties of complex mixtures at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature have always been essential to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry’s evolution because of the tremendous technical challenges present at all stages in the supply chain from production to liquefaction to transport. Each stage is designed using predictions of the mixture’s properties, such as density, viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity and phase behaviour as a function of temperature, pressure, and composition. Unfortunately, currently available models lead to equipment over-designs of 15% or more. To achieve better designs that work more effectively and/or over a wider range of conditions, new fundamental property data are essential, both to resolve discrepancies in our current predictive capabilities and to extend them to the higher-pressure conditions characteristic of many new gas fields. Furthermore, innovative experimental techniques are required to measure different thermophysical properties at high pressures and over a wide range of temperatures, including near the mixture’s critical points where gas and liquid become indistinguishable and most existing predictive fluid property models used breakdown. In this work, we present a wide range of experimental measurements made for different binary and ternary mixtures relevant to LNG processing, with a particular focus on viscosity, surface tension, heat capacity, bubble-points and density. For this purpose, customized and specialized apparatus were designed and validated over the temperature range (200 to 423) K at pressures to 35 MPa. The mixtures studied were (CH4 + C3H8), (CH4 + C3H8 + CO2) and (CH4 + C3H8 + C7H16); in the last of these the heptane contents was up to 10 mol %. Viscosity was measured using a vibrating wire apparatus, while mixture densities were obtained by means of a high-pressure magnetic-suspension densimeter and an isochoric cell apparatus; the latter was also used to determine bubble-points. Surface tensions were measured using the capillary rise method in a visual cell, which also enabled the location of the mixture critical point to be determined from observations of critical opalescence. Mixture heat capacities were measured using a customised high-pressure differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The combined standard relative uncertainties were less than 0.3% for density, 2% for viscosity, 3% for heat capacity and 3 % for surface tension. The extensive experimental data gathered in this work were compared with a variety of different advanced engineering models frequently used for predicting thermophysical properties of mixtures relevant to LNG processing. In many cases the discrepancies between the predictions of different engineering models for these mixtures was large, and the high quality data allowed erroneous but often widely-used models to be identified. The data enable the development of new or improved models, to be implemented in process simulation software, so that the fluid properties needed for equipment and process design can be predicted reliably. This in turn will enable reduced capital and operational expenditure by the LNG industry. The current work also aided the community of scientists working to advance theoretical descriptions of fluid properties by allowing to identify deficiencies in theoretical descriptions and calculations.

Keywords: LNG, thermophysical, viscosity, density, surface tension, heat capacity, bubble points, models

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