Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 6971

Search results for: cost methodology

131 A Technology of Hot Stamping and Welding of Carbon Reinforced Plastic Sheets Using High Electric Resistance

Authors: Mitsuhiro Okayasu, Tomofumi Kubota


In recent years, environmental problems and energy problems typified by global warming are intensifying, and transportation devices are required to reduce the weight of structural materials from the viewpoint of strengthening fuel efficiency regulations and energy saving. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) used in this research is attracting attention as a structural material to replace metallic materials. Among them, thermoplastic CFRP is expected to expand its application range in terms of recyclability and cost. High formability and weldability of the unidirectional CFRP sheets conducted by a proposed hot stamping process were proposed, in which the carbon fiber reinforced plastic sheets are heated by a designed technique. In this case, the CFRP sheets are heated by the high electric voltage applied through carbon fibers. In addition, the electric voltage was controlled by the area ratio of exposed carbon fiber on the sample surfaces. The lower exposed carbon fiber on the sample surface makes high electric resistance leading to the high sample temperature. In this case, the CFRP sheets can be heated to more than 150 °C. With the sample heating, the stamping and welding technologies can be carried out. By changing the sample temperature, the suitable stamping condition can be detected. Moreover, the proper welding connection of the CFRP sheets was proposed. In this study, we propose a fusion bonding technique using thermoplasticity, high current flow, and heating caused by electrical resistance. This technology uses the principle of resistance spot welding. In particular, the relationship between the carbon fiber exposure rate and the electrical resistance value that affect the bonding strength is investigated. In this approach, the mechanical connection using rivet is also conducted to make a comparison of the severity of welding. The change of connecting strength is reflected by the fracture mechanism. The low and high connecting strength are obtained for the separation of two CFRP sheets and fractured inside the CFRP sheet, respectively. In addition to the two fracture modes, micro-cracks in CFRP are also detected. This approach also includes mechanical connections using rivets to compare the severity of the welds. The change in bond strength is reflected by the destruction mechanism. Low and high bond strengths were obtained to separate the two CFRP sheets, each broken inside the CFRP sheets. In addition to the two failure modes, micro cracks in CFRP are also detected. In this research, from the relationship between the surface carbon fiber ratio and the electrical resistance value, it was found that different carbon fiber ratios had similar electrical resistance values. Therefore, we investigated which of carbon fiber and resin is more influential to bonding strength. As a result, the lower the carbon fiber ratio, the higher the bonding strength. And this is 50% better than the conventional average strength. This can be evaluated by observing whether the fracture mode is interface fracture or internal fracture.

Keywords: mechanical property, CFRP, hot stamping, weliding, deforamtion

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130 An Economic Way to Toughen Poly Acrylic Acid Superabsorbent Polymer Using Hyper Branched Polymer

Authors: Javad Tavakoli, Nazila Dehbari, Yakani Kambu, Youhong Tang


Superabsorbent hydrogels (SAP), as an enviro-sensitive material have been widely used for industrial and biomedical applications due to their unique structure and capabilities. Poor mechanical properties of SAPs - which is extremely related to their large volume change – count as a great weakness in adopting for high-tech applications. Therefore, improving SAPs’ mechanical properties via toughening methods by mixing different types of cross-linked polymer or introducing energy-dissipating mechanisms is highly focused. In this work, in order to change the intrinsic brittle character of commercialized Poly Acrylic Acid (here as SAP) to be semi-ductile, a commercial available highly branched tree-like dendritic polymers with numerous –OH end groups known as hyper-branched polymer (HB) has been added to PAA-SAP system in a single step, cost effective and environment friendly solvent casting method. Samples were characterized by FTIR, SEM and TEM and their physico-chemical characterization including swelling capabilities, hydraulic permeability, surface tension and thermal properties had been performed. Toughness energy, stiffness, elongation at breaking point, viscoelastic properties and samples extensibility were mechanical properties that had been performed and characterized as a function of samples lateral cracks’ length in different HB concentration. Addition of HB to PAA-SAP significantly improved mechanical and surface properties. Increasing equilibrium swelling ratio by about 25% had been experienced by the SAP-HB samples in comparison with SAPs; however, samples swelling kinetics remained without changes as initial rate of water uptake and equilibrium time haven’t been subjected to any changes. Thermal stability analysis showed that HB is participating in hybrid network formation while improving mechanical properties. Samples characterization by TEM showed that, the aggregated HB polymer binders into nano-spheres with diameter in range of 10–200 nm. So well dispersion in the SAP matrix occurred as it was predictable due to the hydrophilic character of the numerous hydroxyl groups at the end of HB which enhance the compatibility of HB with PAA-SAP. As the profused -OH groups in HB could react with -COOH groups in the PAA-SAP during the curing process, the formation of a 2D structure in the SAP-HB could be attributed to the strong interfacial adhesion between HB and the PAA-SAP matrix which hinders the activity of PAA chains (SEM analysis). FTIR spectra introduced new peaks at 1041 and 1121 cm-1 that attributed to the C–O(–OH) stretching hydroxyl and O–C stretching ester groups of HB polymer binder indicating the incorporation of HB polymer into the SAP structure. SAP-HB polymer has significant effects on the final mechanical properties. The brittleness of PAA hydrogels are decreased by introducing HB as the fracture energies of hydrogels increased from 8.67 to 26.67. PAA-HBs’ stretch ability enhanced about 10 folds while reduced as a function of different notches depth.

Keywords: toughening, viscoelastic properties, superabsorbent polymer, hydrogel network

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129 Evolution of Antimicrobial Resistance in Shigella since the Turn of 21st Century, India

Authors: Ajay Kumar, Neelam Taneja, Abhishek Mewara


Multidrug resistant shigellae have emerged as a therapeutic challenge in India. At our 2000 bed tertiary care referral centre in Chandigarh, North India, which caters to a large population of 7 neighboring states, antibiotic resistance in Shigella is being constantly monitored. Shigellae are isolated from 3 to 5% of all stool samples. In 1990 nalidixic acid was the drug of choice as 82%, and 63% of shigellae were resistant to ampicillin and cotrimoxazole respectively. Nalidixic acid resistance emerged in 1992 and rapidly increased from 6% during 1994-98 to 86% by the turn of 21st century. In the 1990s, the WHO recommended ciprofloxacin as the drug of choice for empiric treatment of shigellosis in view of the existing high level resistance to agents like chloramphenicol, ampicillin, cotrimoxazole and nalidixic acid. First resistance to ciprofloxacin in S. flexneri at our centre appeared in 2000 and rapidly rose to 46% in 2007 (MIC>4mg/L). In between we had an outbreak of ciprofloxacin resistant S.dysenteriae serotype 1 in 2003. Therapeutic failures with ciprofloxacin occurred with both ciprofloxacin-resistant S. dysenteriae and ciprofloxacin-resistant S. flexneri. The severity of illness was more with ciprofloxacin-resistant strains. Till 2000, elsewhere in the world ciprofloxacin resistance in S. flexneri was sporadic and uncommon, though resistance to co-trimoxazole and ampicillin was common and in some areas resistance to nalidixic acid had also emerged. Fluoroquinolones due to extensive use and misuse for many other illnesses in our region are thus no longer the preferred group of drugs for managing shigellosis in India. WHO presently recommends ceftriaxone and azithromycin as alternative drugs to fluoroquinolone-resistant shigellae, however, overreliance on this group of drugs also seems to soon become questionable considering the emerging cephalosporin-resistant shigellae. We found 15.1% of S. flexneri isolates collected over a period of 9 years (2000-2009) resistant to at least one of the third-generation cephalosporins (ceftriaxone/cefotaxime). The first isolate showing ceftriaxone resistance was obtained in 2001, and we have observed an increase in number of isolates resistant to third generation cephalosporins in S. flexneri 2005 onwards. This situation has now become a therapeutic challenge in our region. The MIC values for Shigella isolates revealed a worrisome rise for ceftriaxone (MIC90:12 mg/L) and cefepime (MIC90:8 mg/L). MIC values for S. dysenteriae remained below 1 mg/L for ceftriaxone, however for cefepime, the MIC90 has raised to 4 mg/L. These infections caused by ceftriaxone-resistant S. flexneri isolates were successfully treated by azithromycin at our center. Most worrisome development in the present has been the emergence of DSA(Decreased susceptibility to azithromycin) which surfaced in 2001 and has increased from 4.3% till 2011 to 34% thereafter. We suspect plasmid-mediated resistance as we detected qnrS1-positive Shigella for the first time from the Indian subcontinent in 2 strains from 2010, indicating a relatively new appearance of this PMQR determinant among Shigella in India. This calls for a continuous and strong surveillance of antibiotic resistance across the country. The prevention of shigellosis by developing cost-effective vaccines is desirable as it will substantially reduce the morbidity associated with diarrhoea in the country

Keywords: Resistance, Antimicrobial, India, Shigella

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128 Potential of Dredged Material for CSEB in Building Structure

Authors: BoSheng Liu


The research goal is to re-image a locally-sourced waste product as abuilding material. The author aims to contribute to the compressed stabilized earth block (CSEB) by investigating the promising role of dredged material as an alternative building ingredient in the production of bricks and tiles. Dredged material comes from the sediment deposited near the shore or downstream, where the water current velocity decreases. This sediment needs to be dredged to provide water transportation; thus, there are mounds of the dredged material stored at bay. It is the interest of this research to reduce the filtered un-organic soil in the production of CSEB and replace it with locally dredged material from the Atchafalaya River in Morgan City, Louisiana. Technology and mechanical innovations have evolved the traditional adobe production method, which mixes the soil and natural fiber into molded bricks, into chemically stabilized CSEB made by compressing the clay mixture and stabilizer in a compression chamber with particular loads. In the case of dredged material CSEB (DM-CSEB), cement plays an essential role as the bending agent contributing to the unit strength while sustaining the filtered un-organic soil. Each DM-CSEB unit is made in a compression chamber with 580 PSI (i.e., 4 MPa) force. The research studied the cement content from 5% to 10% along with the range of dredged material mixtures, which differed from 20% to 80%. The material mixture content affected the DM-CSEB's strength and workability during and after its compression. Results indicated two optimal workabilities of the mixture: 27% fine clay content and 63% dredged material with 10% cement, or 28% fine clay content, and 67% dredged material with 5% cement. The final product of DM-CSEB emitted between 10 to 13 times fewer carbon emissions compared to the conventional fired masonry structure. DM-CSEB satisfied the strength requirement given by the ASTM C62 and ASTM C34 standards for construction material. One of the final evaluations tested and validated the material performance by designing and constructing an architectural, conical tile-vault prototype that was 28" by 40" by 24." The vault utilized a computational form-finding approach to generate the form's geometry, which optimized the correlation between the vault geometry and structural load distribution. A series of scaffolding was deployed to create the framework for the tile-vault construction. The final tile-vault structure was made from 2 layers of DM-CSEB tiles jointed by mortar, and the construction of the structure used over 110 tiles. The tile-vault prototype was capable of carrying over 400 lbs of live loads, which further demonstrated the dredged material feasibility as a construction material. The presented case study of Dredged Material Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (DM-CSEB) provides the first impression of dredged material in the clayey mixture process, structural performance, and construction practice. Overall, the approach of integrating dredged material in building material can be feasible, regionally sourced, cost-effective, and environment-friendly.

Keywords: dredged material, environment-friendly, compressed stabilized earth block, tile-vault, regionally sourced

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127 Photophysics and Torsional Dynamics of Thioflavin T in Deep Eutectic Solvents

Authors: Rajesh Kumar Gautam, Debabrata Seth


Thioflavin-T (ThT) play a key role of an important biologically active fluorescent sensor for amyloid fibrils. ThT molecule has been developed a method to detect the analysis of different type of diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type II diabetes. ThT was used as a fluorescent marker to detect the formation of amyloid fibril. In the presence of amyloid fibril, ThT becomes highly fluorescent. ThT undergoes twisting motion around C-C bonds of the two adjacent benzothiazole and dimethylaniline aromatic rings, which is predominantly affected by the micro-viscosity of the local environment. The present study articulates photophysics and torsional dynamics of biologically active molecule ThT in the presence of deep-eutectic solvents (DESs). DESs are environment-friendly, low cost and biodegradable alternatives to the ionic liquids. DES resembles ionic liquids, but the constituents of a DES include a hydrogen bond donor and acceptor species, in addition to ions. Due to the presence of the H-bonding network within a DES, it exhibits structural heterogeneity. Herein, we have prepared two different DESs by mixing urea with choline chloride and N, N-diethyl ethanol ammonium chloride at ~ 340 K. It was reported that deep eutectic mixture of choline chloride with urea gave a liquid with a freezing point of 12°C. We have experimented by taking two different concentrations of ThT. It was observed that at higher concentration of ThT (50 µM) it forms aggregates in DES. The photophysics of ThT as a function of temperature have been explored by using steady-state, and picoseconds time-resolved fluorescence emission spectroscopic techniques. From the spectroscopic analysis, we have observed that with rising temperature the fluorescence quantum yields and lifetime values of ThT molecule gradually decreases; this is the cumulative effect of thermal quenching and increase in the rate of the torsional rate constant. The fluorescence quantum yield and fluorescence lifetime decay values were always higher for DES-II (urea & N, N-diethyl ethanol ammonium chloride) than those for DES-I (urea & choline chloride). This was mainly due to the presence of structural heterogeneity of the medium. This was further confirmed by comparison with the activation energy of viscous flow with the activation energy of non-radiative decay. ThT molecule in less viscous media undergoes a very fast twisting process and leads to deactivation from the photoexcited state. In this system, the torsional motion increases with increasing temperature. We have concluded that beside bulk viscosity of the media, structural heterogeneity of the medium play crucial role to guide the photophysics of ThT in DESs. The analysis of the experimental data was carried out in the temperature range 288 ≤ T = 333K. The present articulate is to obtain an insight into the DESs as media for studying various photophysical processes of amyloid fibrils sensing molecule of ThT.

Keywords: Photophysics, deep eutectic solvent, Thioflavin T, the torsional rate constant

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126 Redefining Doctors' Role in Terms of Medical Errors and Consumer Protection Act to Be in Line with Medical Ethics

Authors: Manushi Srivastava


Introduction: Doctor’s role, and relation with respect to patient care is at the core of medical ethics. The rapid pace of medical advances along with increasing consumer awareness about their rights and hike in cost of effective health care demand a robust, transparent and patient-friendly medical care system. However, doctors’ role performance is still in the frame of activity-passivity model of Doctor-Patient Relationship (DPR) where doctors act as parent and use to instruct their patients, without their consensus that is not going to help in the 21st century. Thus the current situation is a new challenge for traditional doctor-patient relationship after the introduction of Consumer Protection Act (CPA) in medical profession and the same is evidenced by increasing cases of medical litigation. To strengthen this system of medical services, the doctor plays a vital role, and the same should be reviewed in the present context. Objective: To understand the opinion of consultants regarding medical negligence and effect of Consumer Protection Act in terms of current practices of patient care. Method: This is a cross-sectional study in which both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied. Total 69 consultants were selected from multi-specialty hospitals of densely populated Varanasi city catering a population of about 1.8 million. Two-stage sampling was used for selection of respondents. At the first stage, selection of major wards (Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, and Paediatrics) was carried out, which are more susceptible to medical negligence. At the second stage, selection of consultants from the respective wards was carried out. In-depth Interviews were conducted with the help of semi-structured schedule. Two case studies of medical negligence were also carried out as part of the qualitative study. Analysis: Data were analyzed with the help of SPSS software (21.0 trial version). Semi-structured research tool was used to know consultant’s opinion about the pattern of medical negligence cases, litigations and claims made by patient community and inclusion of government medical services in CPA. Statistical analysis was done to describe data, and non-parametric test was used to observe the association between the variables. Analysis of Verbatim was used in case-study. Findings and Conclusion: Majority (92.8%) of consultants felt changes in the behaviour of community (patient) after implementation of CPA, as it had increased awareness about their rights. Less than half of the consultants opined that Medical Negligence is an Unintentional act of doctors and generally occurs due to communication gap and behavioural problem between doctor and patients. Experienced consultants ( > 10 years) pointed out that unethical practice by doctors and mal-intention of patient to harass doctors were additional reasons of Medical Negligence. In-depth interview revealed that now patients’ community expects more transparency and hence they demand cafeteria approach in diagnosis and management of cases. Thus as study results, we propose ‘Agreement Model’ of DPR to re-ensure ethical practice in medical profession.

Keywords: Communication, doctors, medical error, consumer protection act (CPA)

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125 Selling Electric Vehicles: Experiences from Car Salesmen in Sweden

Authors: Anne Y. Faxer, Ellen Olausson, Jens Hagman, Ana Magazinius, Jenny Janhager Stier


Sweden has the second highest electric vehicle (plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle) sales per capita in Europe but in relation to sales of internal combustion engine electric vehicles sales are still minuscular (< 4%). Much research effort has been placed on various technical and user focused barriers and enablers for adoption of electric vehicles. Less effort has been placed on investigating the retail (dealership-customer) sales process of vehicles in general and electric vehicles in particular. Arguably, no one ought to be better informed about needs and desires of potential electric vehicle buyers than car salesmen, originating from their daily encounters with customers at the dealership. The aim of this paper is to explore the conditions of selling electric vehicle from a car salesmen’s perspective. This includes identifying barriers and enablers for electric vehicle sales originating from internal (dealership and brand) and external (customer, government) sources. In this interview study five car brands (manufacturers) that sell both electric and internal combustion engine vehicles have been investigated. A total of 15 semi-structured interviews have been conducted (three per brand, in rural and urban settings and at different dealerships). Initial analysis reveals several barriers and enablers, experienced by car salesmen, which influence electric vehicle sales. Examples of as reported by car salesmen identified barriers are: -Electric vehicles earn car salesmen less commission on average compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. -It takes more time to sell and deliver an electric vehicle than an internal combustion engine vehicle. -Current leasing contracts entails relatively low second-hand value estimations for electric vehicles and thus a high leasing fee, which negatively affects the attractiveness of electric vehicles for private consumers in particular. -High purchasing price discourages many consumers from considering electric vehicles. -The education and knowledge level of electric vehicles differs between car salesmen, which could affect their self-confidence in meeting well prepared and question prone electric vehicle buyers. Examples of identified enablers are: -Company car tax regulation promotes sales of electric vehicles; in particular, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are sold extensively to companies (up to 95 % of sales). -Low operating cost of electric vehicles such as fuel and service is an advantage when understood by consumers. -The drive performance of electric vehicles (quick, silent and fun to drive) is attractive to consumers. -Environmental aspects are considered important for certain consumer groups. -Fast technological improvements, such as increased range are opening up a wider market for electric vehicles. -For one of the brands; attractive private lease campaigns have proved effective to promote sales. This paper gives insights of an important but often overlooked aspect for the diffusion of electric vehicles (and durable products in general); the interaction between car salesmen and customers at the critical acquiring moment. Extracted through interviews with multiple car salesmen. The results illuminate untapped potential for sellers (salesmen, dealerships and brands) to mitigating sales barriers and strengthening sales enablers and thus becoming a more important actor in the electric vehicle diffusion process.

Keywords: customer barriers, electric vehicle promotion, sales of electric vehicles, interviews with car salesmen

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124 User-Centered Design in the Development of Patient Decision Aids

Authors: Ariane Plaisance, Holly O. Witteman, Patrick Michel Archambault


Upon admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), all patients should discuss their wishes concerning life-sustaining interventions (e.g., cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)). Without such discussions, interventions that prolong life at the cost of decreasing its quality may be used without appropriate guidance from patients. We employed user-centered design to adapt an existing decision aid (DA) about CPR to create a novel wiki-based DA adapted to the context of a single ICU and tailored to individual patient’s risk factors. During Phase 1, we conducted three weeks of ethnography of the decision-making context in our ICU to identify clinician and patient needs for a decision aid. During this time, we observed five dyads of intensivists and patients discussing their wishes concerning life-sustaining interventions. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with the attending intensivists in this ICU. During Phase 2, we conducted three rounds of rapid prototyping involving 15 patients and 11 other allied health professionals. We recorded discussions between intensivists and patients and used a standardized observation grid to collect patients’ comments and sociodemographic data. We applied content analysis to field notes, verbatim transcripts and the completed observation grids. Each round of observations and rapid prototyping iteratively informed the design of the next prototype. We also used the programming architecture of a wiki platform to embed the GO-FAR prediction rule programming code that we linked to a risk graphics software to better illustrate outcome risks calculated. During Phase I, we identified the need to add a section in our DA concerning invasive mechanical ventilation in addition to CPR because both life-sustaining interventions were often discussed together by physicians. During Phase II, we produced a context-adapted decision aid about CPR and mechanical ventilation that includes a values clarification section, questions about the patient’s functional autonomy prior to admission to the ICU and the functional decline that they would judge acceptable upon hospital discharge, risks and benefits of CPR and invasive mechanical ventilation, population-level statistics about CPR, a synthesis section to help patients come to a final decision and an online calculator based on the GO-FAR prediction rule. Even though the three rounds of rapid prototyping led to simplifying the information in our DA, 60% (n= 3/5) of the patients involved in the last cycle still did not understand the purpose of the DA. We also identified gaps in the discussion and documentation of patients’ preferences concerning life-sustaining interventions (e.g.,. CPR, invasive mechanical ventilation). The final version of our DA and our online wiki-based GO-FAR risk calculator using the risk graphics software are available online at and are ready to be adapted to other contexts. Our results inform producers of decision aids on the use of wikis and user-centered design to develop DAs that are better adapted to users’ needs. Further work is needed on the creation of a video version of our DA. Physicians will also need the training to use our DA and to develop shared decision-making skills about goals of care.

Keywords: ethnography, User-Centered Design, intensive care units, life-sustaining therapies

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123 Role of Baseline Measurements in Assessing Air Quality Impact of Shale Gas Operations

Authors: Paula Costa, Ana Picado, Filomena Pinto, Justina Catarino


Environmental impact associated with large scale shale gas development is of major concern to the public, policy makers and other stakeholders. To assess this impact on the atmosphere, it is important to monitoring ambient air quality prior to and during all shale gas operation stages. Baseline observations can provide a standard of the pre-shale gas development state of the environment. The lack of baseline concentrations was identified as an important knowledge gap to assess the impact of emissions to the air due to shale gas operations. In fact baseline monitoring of air quality are missing in several regions, where there is a strong possibility of future shale gas exploration. This makes it difficult to properly identify, quantify and characterize environmental impacts that may be associated with shale gas development. The implementation of a baseline air monitoring program is imperative to be able to assess the total emissions related with shale gas operations. In fact, any monitoring programme should be designed to provide indicative information on background levels. A baseline air monitoring program should identify and characterize targeted air pollutants, most frequently described from monitoring and emission measurements, as well as those expected from hydraulic fracturing activities, and establish ambient air conditions prior to start-up of potential emission sources from shale gas operations. This program has to be planned for at least one year accounting for ambient variations. In the literature, in addition to GHG emissions of CH4, CO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOx), fugitive emissions from shale gas production can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), aldehydes (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The VOCs include a.o., benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, hexanes, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane, styrene. The concentrations of six air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), and lead) whose regional ambient air levels are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are often discussed. However, the main concern in the emissions to air associated to shale gas operations, seems to be the leakage of methane. Methane is identified as a compound of major concern due to its strong global warming potential. The identification of methane leakage from shale gas activities is complex due to the existence of several other CH4 sources (e.g. landfill, agricultural activity or gas pipeline/compressor station). An integrated monitoring study of methane emissions may be a suitable mean of distinguishing the contribution of different sources of methane to ambient levels. All data analysis needs to be carefully interpreted taking, also, into account the meteorological conditions of the site. This may require the implementation of a more intensive monitoring programme. So, it is essential the development of a low-cost sampling strategy, suitable for establishing pre-operations baseline data as well as an integrated monitoring program to assess the emissions from shale gas operation sites. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 640715.

Keywords: Shale Gas, green house gases, air emissions, baseline

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122 Convergence of Strategic Tasks of Business Tourism and Hotel Industry Development: The Case of Georgia

Authors: Mariam Kutateladze, Nana Katsitadze, Tamar Atanelishvili, Alexandre Tushishvili


In the modern world, tourism has emerged as one of the most powerful economic sectors, and due to its high economic performance, it is attractive to the countries with various levels of economic development. The purpose of the present paper, dedicated to discussing the current problems of tourism development, is to find ways which will contribute to bringing more benefits to the country from the sector. Georgia has been successfully developing leisure tourism for the last ten years, and at the next stage of development business, tourism gains particular importance for Georgia as a means of mitigating the negative socio-economic effects caused by the seasonality of tourism and as a high-cost tourism market. Therefore, the object of the paper is to study the factors that contribute to the development of business tourism. The paper uses the research methods such as system analysis, synthesis, analogy, as well as historical, comparative, economic, and statistical methods of analysis. The information base for the research is made up of the statistics on the functioning of the tourism market of Georgia and foreign countries as well as official data provided by international organizations in the field of tourism. Based on the experience of business tourism around the world and identifying the successful start of business tourism development in Georgia and its causing factors, a business tourism development model for Georgia has been developed. The model might be useful as a methodological material for developing a business tourism development concept for the countries with limited financial resources but rich in tourism resources like Georgia. On the initial stage of development (in absence of conventional centers), the suggested concept of business tourism development involves organizing small and medium-sized meetings both in large cities and in regions by using high-class hotel infrastructure and event management services. Relocation of small meetings to the regions encourages inclusive development of the sector based on increasing the awareness of these regions as tourist sites as well as the increase in employment and sales of other tourism or consumer products. Business tourism increases the number of hotel visitors in the non-seasonal period and improves hotel performance indicators, which enhances the attractiveness of investing in the hotel business. According to the present concept of business tourism development, at the initial stage, development of business tourism is based on the existing markets, including internal market, neighboring markets and the markets of geographically relatively near countries and at the next stage, the concept involves generating tourists from other relatively distant target markets. As a result, by gaining experience in business tourism, enhancing professionalism, increasing awareness and stimulating infrastructure development, the country will prepare the basis to move to a higher stage of tourism development. In addition, the experience showed that for attracting large customers, peculiarities of the field require activation of state policy and active use of marketing mechanisms and tools of the state.

Keywords: hotel industry development, MICE model, MICE strategy, MICE tourism in Georgia

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121 Nonlinear Homogenized Continuum Approach for Determining Peak Horizontal Floor Acceleration of Old Masonry Buildings

Authors: Andreas Rudisch, Ralf Lampert, Andreas Kolbitsch


It is a well-known fact among the engineering community that earthquakes with comparatively low magnitudes can cause serious damage to nonstructural components (NSCs) of buildings, even when the supporting structure performs relatively well. Past research works focused mainly on NSCs of nuclear power plants and industrial plants. Particular attention should also be given to architectural façade elements of old masonry buildings (e.g. ornamental figures, balustrades, vases), which are very vulnerable under seismic excitation. Large numbers of these historical nonstructural components (HiNSCs) can be found in highly frequented historical city centers and in the event of failure, they pose a significant danger to persons. In order to estimate the vulnerability of acceleration sensitive HiNSCs, the peak horizontal floor acceleration (PHFA) is used. The PHFA depends on the dynamic characteristics of the building, the ground excitation, and induced nonlinearities. Consequently, the PHFA can not be generalized as a simple function of height. In the present research work, an extensive case study was conducted to investigate the influence of induced nonlinearity on the PHFA for old masonry buildings. Probabilistic nonlinear FE time-history analyses considering three different hazard levels were performed. A set of eighteen synthetically generated ground motions was used as input to the structure models. An elastoplastic macro-model (multiPlas) for nonlinear homogenized continuum FE-calculation was calibrated to multiple scales and applied, taking specific failure mechanisms of masonry into account. The macro-model was calibrated according to the results of specific laboratory and cyclic in situ shear tests. The nonlinear macro-model is based on the concept of multi-surface rate-independent plasticity. Material damage or crack formation are detected by reducing the initial strength after failure due to shear or tensile stress. As a result, shear forces can only be transmitted to a limited extent by friction when the cracking begins. The tensile strength is reduced to zero. The first goal of the calibration was the consistency of the load-displacement curves between experiment and simulation. The calibrated macro-model matches well with regard to the initial stiffness and the maximum horizontal load. Another goal was the correct reproduction of the observed crack image and the plastic strain activities. Again the macro-model proved to work well in this case and shows very good correlation. The results of the case study show that there is significant scatter in the absolute distribution of the PHFA between the applied ground excitations. An absolute distribution along the normalized building height was determined in the framework of probability theory. It can be observed that the extent of nonlinear behavior varies for the three hazard levels. Due to the detailed scope of the present research work, a robust comparison with code-recommendations and simplified PHFA distributions are possible. The chosen methodology offers a chance to determine the distribution of PHFA along the building height of old masonry structures. This permits a proper hazard assessment of HiNSCs under seismic loads.

Keywords: Nonstructural Components, nonlinear macro-model, time-history analysis, unreinforced masonry

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120 Characterization of Potato Starch/Guar Gum Composite Film Modified by Ecofriendly Cross-Linkers

Authors: Sujosh Nandi, Proshanta Guha


Synthetic plastics are preferred for food packaging due to high strength, stretch-ability, good water vapor and gas barrier properties, transparency and low cost. However, environmental pollution generated by these synthetic plastics is a major concern of modern human civilization. Therefore, use of biodegradable polymers as a substitute for synthetic non-biodegradable polymers are encouraged to be used even after considering drawbacks related to mechanical and barrier properties of the films. Starch is considered one of the potential raw material for the biodegradable polymer, encounters poor water barrier property and mechanical properties due to its hydrophilic nature. That apart, recrystallization of starch molecules occurs during aging which decreases flexibility and increases elastic modulus of the film. The recrystallization process can be minimized by blending of other hydrocolloids having similar structural compatibility, into the starch matrix. Therefore, incorporation of guar gum having a similar structural backbone, into the starch matrix can introduce a potential film into the realm of biodegradable polymer. However, hydrophilic nature of both starch and guar gum, water barrier property of the film is low. One of the prospective solution to enhance this could be modification of the potato starch/guar gum (PSGG) composite film using cross-linker. Over the years, several cross-linking agents such as phosphorus oxychloride, sodium trimetaphosphate, etc. have been used to improve water vapor permeability (WVP) of the films. However, these chemical cross-linking agents are toxic, expensive and take longer time to degrade. Therefore, naturally available carboxylic acid (tartaric acid, malonic acid, succinic acid, etc.) had been used as a cross-linker and found that water barrier property enhanced substantially. As per our knowledge, no works have been reported with tartaric acid and succinic acid as a cross-linking agent blended with the PSGG films. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to examine the changes in water vapor barrier property and mechanical properties of the PSGG films after cross-linked with tartaric acid (TA) and succinic acid (SA). The cross-linkers were blended with PSGG film-forming solution at four different concentrations (4, 8, 12 & 16%) and cast on teflon plate at 37°C for 20 h. From the fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study of the developed films, a band at 1720cm-1 was observed which is attributed to the formation of ester group in the developed films. On the other hand, it was observed that tensile strength (TS) of the cross-linked film decreased compared to non-cross linked films, whereas strain at break increased by several folds. Moreover, the results depicted that tensile strength diminished with increasing the concentration of TA or SA and lowest TS (1.62 MPa) was observed for 16% SA. That apart, maximum strain at break was also observed for TA at 16% and the reason behind this could be a lesser degree of crystallinity of the TA cross-linked films compared to SA. However, water vapor permeability of succinic acid cross-linked film was reduced significantly, but it was enhanced significantly by addition of tartaric acid.

Keywords: guar gum, organic acids, cross linking agent, potato starch

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119 C-Coordinated Chitosan Metal Complexes: Design, Synthesis and Antifungal Properties

Authors: Pengcheng Li, Weixiang Liu, Yukun Qin, Song Liu


Plant diseases can cause the death of crops with great economic losses. Particularly, those diseases are usually caused by pathogenic fungi. Metal fungicides are a type of pesticide that has advantages of a low-cost, broad antimicrobial spectrum and strong sterilization effect. However, the frequent and wide application of traditional metal fungicides has caused serious problems such as environmental pollution, the outbreak of mites and phytotoxicity. Therefore, it is critically necessary to discover new organic metal fungicides alternatives that have a low metal content, low toxicity, and little influence on mites. Chitosan, the second most abundant natural polysaccharide next to cellulose, was proved to have broad-spectrum antifungal activity against a variety of fungi. However, the use of chitosan was limited due to its poor solubility and weaker antifungal activity compared with commercial fungicide. Therefore, in order to improve the water solubility and antifungal activity, many researchers grafted the active groups onto chitosan. The present work was to combine free metal ions with chitosan, to prepare more potent antifungal chitosan derivatives, thus, based on condensation reaction, chitosan derivative bearing amino pyridine group was prepared and subsequently followed by coordination with cupric ions, zinc ions and nickel ions to synthesize chitosan metal complexes. The calculations by density functional theory (DFT) show that the copper ions and nickel ions underwent dsp2 hybridization, the zinc ions underwent sp3 hybridization, and all of them are coordinated by the carbon atom in the p-π conjugate group and the oxygen atoms in the acetate ion. The antifungal properties of chitosan metal complexes against Phytophthora capsici (P. capsici), Gibberella zeae (G. zeae), Fusarium oxysporum (F. oxysporum) and Botrytis cinerea (B. cinerea) were also assayed. In addition, a plant toxicity experiment was carried out. The experiments indicated that the derivatives have significantly enhanced antifungal activity after metal ions complexation compared with the original chitosan. It was shown that 0.20 mg/mL of O-CSPX-Cu can 100% inhibit the growth of P. capsici and 0.20 mg/mL of O-CSPX-Ni can 87.5% inhibit the growth of B. cinerea. In general, their activities are better than the positive control oligosaccharides. The combination of the pyridine formyl groups seems to favor biological activity. Additionally, the ligand fashion was precisely analyzed, and the results revealed that the copper ions and nickel ions underwent dsp2 hybridization, the zinc ions underwent sp3 hybridization, and the carbon atoms of the p-π conjugate group and the oxygen atoms of acetate ion are involved in the coordination of metal ions. The phytotoxicity assay of O-CSPX-M was also conducted, unlike the traditional metal fungicides, the metal complexes were not significantly toxic to the leaves of wheat. O-CSPX-Zn can even increase chlorophyll content in wheat leaves at 0.40 mg/mL. This is mainly because chitosan itself promotes plant growth and counteracts the phytotoxicity of metal ions. The chitosan derivative described here may lend themselves to future applicative studies in crop protection.

Keywords: coordination, chitosan, metal complex, antifungal properties

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118 Fly-Ash/Borosilicate Glass Based Geopolymers: A Mechanical and Microstructural Investigation

Authors: Gianmarco Taveri, Ivo Dlouhy


Geopolymers are well-suited materials to abate CO2 emission coming from the Portland cement production, and then replace them, in the near future, in building and other applications. The cost of production of geopolymers may be seen the only weakness, but the use of wastes as raw materials could provide a valid solution to this problem, as demonstrated by the successful incorporation of fly-ash, a by-product of thermal power plants, and waste glasses. Recycled glass in waste-derived geopolymers was lately employed as a further silica source. In this work we present, for the first time, the introduction of recycled borosilicate glass (BSG). BSG is actually a waste glass, since it derives from dismantled pharmaceutical vials and cannot be reused in the manufacturing of the original articles. Owing to the specific chemical composition (BSG is an ‘alumino-boro-silicate’), it was conceived to provide the key components of zeolitic networks, such as amorphous silica and alumina, as well as boria (B2O3), which may replace Al2O3 and contribute to the polycondensation process. The solid–state MAS NMR spectroscopy was used to assess the extent of boron oxide incorporation in the structure of geopolymers, and to define the degree of networking. FTIR spectroscopy was utilized to define the degree of polymerization and to detect boron bond vibration into the structure. Mechanical performance was tested by means of 3 point bending (flexural strength), chevron notch test (fracture toughness), compression test (compressive strength), micro-indentation test (Vicker’s hardness). Spectroscopy (SEM and Confocal spectroscopy) was performed on the specimens conducted to failure. FTIR showed a characteristic absorption band attributed to the stretching modes of tetrahedral boron ions, whose tetrahedral configuration is compatible to the reaction product of geopolymerization. 27Al NMR and 29Si NMR spectra were instrumental in understanding the extent of the reaction. 11B NMR spectroscopies evidenced a change of the trigonal boron (BO3) inside the BSG in favor of a quasi-total tetrahedral boron configuration (BO4). Thanks to these results, it was inferred that boron is part of the geopolymeric structure, replacing the Si in the network, similarly to the aluminum, and therefore improving the quality of the microstructure, in favor of a more cross-linked network. As expected, the material gained as much as 25% in compressive strength (45 MPa) compared to the literature, whereas no improvements were detected in flexural strength (~ 5 MPa) and superficial hardness (~ 78 HV). The material also exhibited a low fracture toughness (0.35 MPa*m1/2), with a tangible brittleness. SEM micrographies corroborated this behavior, showing a ragged surface, along with several cracks, due to the high presence of porosity and impurities, acting as preferential points for crack initiation. The 3D pattern of the surface fracture, following the confocal spectroscopy, evidenced an irregular crack propagation, whose proclivity was mainly, but not always, to follow the porosity. Hence, the crack initiation and propagation are largely unpredictable.

Keywords: Characterization, fly-ash, borosilicate glass, geopolymerization

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117 Addressing Housing Issue at Regional Level Planning: A Case Study of Mumbai Metropolitan Region

Authors: Bhakti Chitale


Mumbai city, which is the business capital of India and one of the most crowded cities in the world, holds the biggest slum in Asia. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) occupies an area of 4035 with a population of 22.8 million people. This population is mostly urban with 91% of this population living in areas of Municipal Corporations and Councils. Another 3% live in Census Towns. The region has 9 Municipal Corporations, 8 Municipal councils, and around 1000 villages. On the one hand MMR reflects the highest contribution to the Nations overall economy and on the other hand it shows the horrible and intolerable picture of about 2 million people, who are living in slums/without even slum with totally unhygienic conditions and with total loss of hope. The generations are about to get affected adversely if the solution is not worked out. This study is an attempt towards working out the solution. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is state government's authority, specially formed to govern the development of MMR. MMRDA is engaged in long term planning, promotion of new growth centres, implementation of strategic projects and financing infrastructure development. While preparing the master plan for MMR for next 20 years MMRDA conducted a detail study regarding Housing scenario in MMR and possible options for improvement. The author was the in charge officer for the said assignment. This paper puts light on the interesting outcomes of the research study, which ranges from the adverse effects of government policies, automatic responses of housing market, effects on planning processes, and overall changing needs of housing patterns in the world due to changes in the social mechanism. It alarms the urban planners who usually focus on smart infrastructure development, about allied future dangers. This housing study will explain the complexities, realities and needs of innovations in the housing policies all over the world. The paper will explain further few success stories and failure stories of government initiatives with reasons. It gives the clear idea about the differences in needs of housing for people from different economic groups and direct and indirect market pressures on low cost housing. Magical phenomenon came in front like a large percentage of vacant houses is present in spite of the huge need. Housing market gets affected by the developments or any other physical and financial changes taking place in the nearby areas or cities, also by changes in cities which are located far from the region and also by the international investments or policy changes. Instead of just depending on governments actions in case of generation of affordable housing, it becomes equally important to make the housing markets automatically generate such stock and still make them sustainable is the aim of all the movement. In summary, we may say that the paper will sequentially elaborate the complete dynamics of housing in one of the most crowded urban area in the world that is Mumbai Metropolitan Region, with a lot of data, analysis, case studies, and recommendations.

Keywords: Mumbai India, slum housing, region planning, market recommendations

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116 Need and Willingness to Use ‘Meditation on Twin Hearts’ for Management of Anxiety and Depression for the Transgender Community: A Pilot Study

Authors: Neha Joshi, Srikanth Jois, Hector J. Peughero, Poornima Jayakrishna, Moulya R., Purnima Madivanan, Kiran Kumar K. Salagame


Transgenders are a marginalized section of the community, who are at high risk of mental health problems due to their stigmatization, abandonment by family, prejudice, discrimination by society at large, and the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from both within and outside their community. Their mental healthcare needs remain largely unaddressed due to lack of access, discrimination by healthcare professions, and lack of resources, including time and money, to seek conventional medical and psychotherapeutic treatments. Meditation is increasingly receiving acceptance as a tool for managing stress and anxiety by the patients as well as mental healthcare professionals. “Meditation on Twin Hearts” is a no cost, self-administered intervention that a person can practice anywhere and at any time of the day. This pilot study evaluates the need for alternate traditional and ingenious interventions like “Meditation of Twin Hearts” to address the mental healthcare needs of the transgender community and acceptance of such an intervention by the community. Thirteen individuals identifying themselves as transgender were invited to participate in one (Hunsur Taluk) of the five scheduled free meditation camps in Mysore. After obtaining informed consent for participation in the study, their mental health status is captured using an anonymous survey using standard, validated, self-reported questionnaires Generalised Anxiety Disorders (GAD)-7 for anxiety, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression, and Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised for suicidality. Then, they were requested to attend a session on “Meditation on Twin Hearts.” After the session, their feedback on willingness to further explore the meditation technique for managing their mental healthcare need was assessed through another survey form. Out of the 13 participants, 92% scored for anxiety (4 mild, and 8 moderate anxiety). In the depression scale, 5 scored for mild and 5 for moderate depression, with a total of 77% (10/13) scoring positively on depression scale. Nearly 70% of participants (9/13), scored greater than the clinical cutoff for the need for clinical intervention. The proportion of individuals at risk for suicide was particularly high in this group, with 8/ 13 (61.5%) participants scoring the clinical cutoff score of ≥ 7. Surprisingly, none of the participants had ever consulted a mental healthcare professional. All the participants (13/13; 100%) responded in affirmative to the question, “Will you be willing to continue meditation for management of your anxiety?” Six out of 13 participants described their experience of meditation as “happy” and 3 described it as “peaceful”. None of the participants reported any negative beliefs or experience regarding the meditation. The study provides evidence for the urgent yet unmet mental healthcare need of the transgender community. The findings of the study also supports the rationale of conducting future systematic research to evaluate and explore ingenious and traditional practices, such as meditation, to meet the healthcare needs, especially in marginalized populations in a low income setting such as Lower and Middle Income countries. Based on these preliminary findings, the Principal Investigator (PI) is planning to cover 4 more areas of Mysore district.

Keywords: Depression, Anxiety, Transgender, meditation on twin heart, suicidality

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115 Elevated Systemic Oxidative-Nitrosative Stress and Cerebrovascular Function in Professional Rugby Union Players: The Link to Impaired Cognition

Authors: Tom S. Owens, Tom A. Calverley, Benjamin S. Stacey, Christopher J. Marley, George Rose, Lewis Fall, Gareth L. Jones, Priscilla Williams, John P. R. Williams, Martin Steggall, Damian M. Bailey


Introduction and aims: Sports-related concussion (SRC) represents a significant and growing public health concern in rugby union, yet remains one of the least understood injuries facing the health community today. Alongside increasing SRC incidence rates, there is concern that prior recurrent concussion may contribute to long-term neurologic sequelae in later-life. This may be due to an accelerated decline in cerebral perfusion, a major risk factor for neurocognitive decline and neurodegeneration, though the underlying mechanisms remain to be established. The present study hypothesised that recurrent concussion in current professional rugby union players would result in elevated systemic oxidative-nitrosative stress, reflected by a free radical-mediated reduction in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and impaired cerebrovascular and cognitive function. Methodology: A longitudinal study design was adopted across the 2017-2018 rugby union season. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of South Wales Ethics Committee. Data collection is ongoing, and therefore the current report documents result from the pre-season and first half of the in-season data collection. Participants were initially divided into two subgroups; 23 professional rugby union players (aged 26 ± 5 years) and 22 non-concussed controls (27 ± 8 years). Pre-season measurements were performed for cerebrovascular function (Doppler ultrasound of middle cerebral artery velocity (MCAv) in response to hypocapnia/normocapnia/hypercapnia), cephalic venous concentrations of the ascorbate radical (A•-, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy), NO (ozone-based chemiluminescence) and cognition (neuropsychometric tests). Notational analysis was performed to assess contact in the rugby group throughout each competitive game. Results: 1001 tackles and 62 injuries, including three concussions were observed across the first half of the season. However, no associations were apparent between number of tackles and any injury type (P > 0.05). The rugby group expressed greater oxidative stress as indicated by increased A•- (P < 0.05 vs. control) and a subsequent decrease in NO bioavailability (P < 0.05 vs. control). The rugby group performed worse in the Ray Auditory Verbal Learning Test B (RAVLT-B, learning, and memory) and the Grooved Pegboard test using both the dominant and non-dominant hands (visuomotor coordination, P < 0.05 vs. control). There were no between-group differences in cerebral perfusion at baseline (MCAv: 54 ± 13 vs. 59 ± 12, P > 0.05). Likewise, no between-group differences in CVRCO2Hypo (2.58 ± 1.01 vs. 2.58 ± 0.75, P > 0.05) or CVRCO2Hyper (2.69 ± 1.07 vs. 3.35 ± 1.28, P > 0.05) were observed. Conclusion: The present study identified that the rugby union players are characterized by impaired cognitive function subsequent to elevated systemic-oxidative-nitrosative stress. However, this appears to be independent of any functional impairment in cerebrovascular function. Given the potential long-term trajectory towards accelerated cognitive decline in populations exposed to SRC, prophylaxis to increase NO bioavailability warrants consideration.

Keywords: Cognition, Concussion, Rugby, mild traumatic brain injury

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114 Interdigitated Flexible Li-Ion Battery by Aerosol Jet Printing

Authors: Yohann R. J. Thomas, Sébastien Solan


Conventional battery technology includes the assembly of electrode/separator/electrode by standard techniques such as stacking or winding, depending on the format size. In that type of batteries, coating or pasting techniques are only used for the electrode process. The processes are suited for large scale production of batteries and perfectly adapted to plenty of application requirements. Nevertheless, as the demand for both easier and cost-efficient production modes, flexible, custom-shaped and efficient small sized batteries is rising. Thin-film, printable batteries are one of the key areas for printed electronics. In the frame of European BASMATI project, we are investigating the feasibility of a new design of lithium-ion battery: interdigitated planar core design. Polymer substrate is used to produce bendable and flexible rechargeable accumulators. Direct fully printed batteries lead to interconnect the accumulator with other electronic functions for example organic solar cells (harvesting function), printed sensors (autonomous sensors) or RFID (communication function) on a common substrate to produce fully integrated, thin and flexible new devices. To fulfill those specifications, a high resolution printing process have been selected: Aerosol jet printing. In order to fit with this process parameters, we worked on nanomaterials formulation for current collectors and electrodes. In addition, an advanced printed polymer-electrolyte is developed to be implemented directly in the printing process in order to avoid the liquid electrolyte filling step and to improve safety and flexibility. Results: Three different current collectors has been studied and printed successfully. An ink of commercial copper nanoparticles has been formulated and printed, then a flash sintering was applied to the interdigitated design. A gold ink was also printed, the resulting material was partially self-sintered and did not require any high temperature post treatment. Finally, carbon nanotubes were also printed with a high resolution and well defined patterns. Different electrode materials were formulated and printed according to the interdigitated design. For cathodes, NMC and LFP were efficaciously printed. For anodes, LTO and graphite have shown to be good candidates for the fully printed battery. The electrochemical performances of those materials have been evaluated in a standard coin cell with lithium-metal counter electrode and the results are similar with those of a traditional ink formulation and process. A jellified plastic crystal solid state electrolyte has been developed and showed comparable performances to classical liquid carbonate electrolytes with two different materials. In our future developments, focus will be put on several tasks. In a first place, we will synthesize and formulate new specific nano-materials based on metal-oxyde. Then a fully printed device will be produced and its electrochemical performance will be evaluated.

Keywords: Nanomaterials, Lithium-Ion Battery, high resolution digital printing, solid-state electrolytes

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113 Furnishing Ancillary Alternatives for High Speed Corridors and Pedestrian Crossing: Elevated Cycle Track, an Expedient to Urban Space Prototype in New Delhi

Authors: Suneet Jagdev, Abhishek Singh, Hrishabh Amrodia, Siddharth Menon, Mansi Shivhare


Delhi, the National Capital, has undergone a surge in development rate, consequently engendering an unprecedented increase in population. Over the years the city has transformed into a car-centric infrastructure with high-speed corridors, flyovers and fast lanes. A considerable section of the population is hankering to rehabilitate to the good old cycling days, in order to contribute towards a green environment as well as to maintain their physical well-being. Furthermore, an extant section of Delhi’s population relies on cycles as their primary means of commuting in the city. Delhi has the highest number of cyclists and second highest number of pedestrians in the country. However, the tumultuous problems of unregulated traffic, inadequate space on roads, adverse weather conditions stifle them to opt for cycling. Lately, the city has been facing a conglomeration of problems such as haphazard traffic movement, clogged roads, congestion, pollution, accidents, safety issues, etc. In 1957, Delhi’s cyclists accounted for 36 per cent of trips which dropped down to a mere 4 per cent in 2008. The declining rate is due to unsafe roads and lack of proper cycle lanes. Now as the 10 percent of the city has cycle tracks. There is also a lack of public recreational activities in the city. These conundrums incite the need of a covered elevated cycling bridge track to facilitate the safe and smooth cycle commutation in the city which would also serve the purpose of an alternate urban public space over the cycle bridge reducing the cost as well as the space requirement for the same, developing a user–friendly transportation and public interaction system for urban areas in the city. Based on the archival research methodologies, the following research draws information and extracts records from the data accounts of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. as well as the Centre for Science and Environment, India. This research will predominantly focus on developing a prototype design for high speed elevated bicycle lanes based on different road typologies, which can be replicated with minor variations in similar situations, all across the major cities of our country including the proposed smart cities. Furthermore, how these cycling lanes could be utilized for the place making process accommodating cycle parking and renting spaces, public recreational spaces, food courts as well as convenient shopping facilities with appropriate optimization. How to preserve and increase the share of smooth and safe cycling commute cycling for the routine transportation of the urban community of the polluted capital which has been on a steady decline over the past few decades.

Keywords: Road Safety, Urban Spaces, prototype, bicycle track

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112 Green Synthesis (Using Environment Friendly Bacteria) of Silver-Nanoparticles and Their Application as Drug Delivery Agents

Authors: Suban K. Sahoo, Sutapa Mondal Roy


The primary aim of this work is to synthesis silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) through environmentally benign routes to avoid any chemical toxicity related undesired side effects. The nanoparticles were stabilized with drug ciprofloxacin (Cp) and were studied for their effectiveness as drug delivery agent. Targeted drug delivery improves the therapeutic potential of drugs at the diseased site as well as lowers the overall dose and undesired side effects. The small size of nanoparticles greatly facilitates the transport of active agents (drugs) across biological membranes and allows them to pass through the smallest capillaries in the body that are 5-6 μm in diameter, and can minimize possible undesired side effects. AgNPs are non-toxic, inert, stable, and has a high binding capacity and thus can be considered as biomaterials. AgNPs were synthesized from the nutrient broth supernatant after the culture of environment-friendly bacteria Bacillus subtilis. The AgNPs were found to show the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) band at 425 nm. The Cp capped Ag nanoparticles formation was complete within 30 minutes, which was confirmed from absorbance spectroscopy. Physico-chemical nature of the AgNPs-Cp system was confirmed by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) etc. The AgNPs-Cp system size was found to be in the range of 30-40 nm. To monitor the kinetics of drug release from the surface of nanoparticles, the release of Cp was carried out by careful dialysis keeping AgNPs-Cp system inside the dialysis bag at pH 7.4 over time. The drug release was almost complete after 30 hrs. During the drug delivery process, to understand the AgNPs-Cp system in a better way, the sincere theoretical investigation is been performed employing Density Functional Theory. Electronic charge transfer, electron density, binding energy as well as thermodynamic properties like enthalpy, entropy, Gibbs free energy etc. has been predicted. The electronic and thermodynamic properties, governed by the AgNPs-Cp interactions, indicate that the formation of AgNPs-Cp system is exothermic i.e. thermodynamically favorable process. The binding energy and charge transfer analysis implies the optimum stability of the AgNPs-Cp system. Thus, the synthesized Cp-Ag nanoparticles can be effectively used for biological purposes due to its environmentally benign routes of synthesis procedures, which is clean, biocompatible, non-toxic, safe, cost-effective, sustainable and eco-friendly. The Cp-AgNPs as biomaterials can be successfully used for drug delivery procedures due to slow release of drug from nanoparticles over a considerable period of time. The kinetics of the drug release show that this drug-nanoparticle assembly can be effectively used as potential tools for therapeutic applications. The ease of synthetic procedure, lack of possible chemical toxicity and their biological activity along with excellent application as drug delivery agent will open up vista of using nanoparticles as effective and successful drug delivery agent to be used in modern days.

Keywords: drug delivery, Density Functional Theory, Silver Nanoparticles, ciprofloxacin

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111 Train Timetable Rescheduling Using Sensitivity Analysis: Application of Sobol, Based on Dynamic Multiphysics Simulation of Railway Systems

Authors: Soha Saad, Jean Bigeon, Florence Ossart, Etienne Sourdille


Developing better solutions for train rescheduling problems has been drawing the attention of researchers for decades. Most researches in this field deal with minor incidents that affect a large number of trains due to cascading effects. They focus on timetables, rolling stock and crew duties, but do not take into account infrastructure limits. The present work addresses electric infrastructure incidents that limit the power available for train traction, and hence the transportation capacity of the railway system. Rescheduling is needed in order to optimally share the available power among the different trains. We propose a rescheduling process based on dynamic multiphysics railway simulations that include the mechanical and electrical properties of all the system components and calculate physical quantities such as the train speed profiles, voltage along the catenary lines, temperatures, etc. The optimization problem to solve has a large number of continuous and discrete variables, several output constraints due to physical limitations of the system, and a high computation cost. Our approach includes a phase of sensitivity analysis in order to analyze the behavior of the system and help the decision making process and/or more precise optimization. This approach is a quantitative method based on simulation statistics of the dynamic railway system, considering a predefined range of variation of the input parameters. Three important settings are defined. Factor prioritization detects the input variables that contribute the most to the outputs variation. Then, factor fixing allows calibrating the input variables which do not influence the outputs. Lastly, factor mapping is used to study which ranges of input values lead to model realizations that correspond to feasible solutions according to defined criteria or objectives. Generalized Sobol indexes are used for factor prioritization and factor fixing. The approach is tested in the case of a simple railway system, with a nominal traffic running on a single track line. The considered incident is the loss of a feeding power substation, which limits the power available and the train speed. Rescheduling is needed and the variables to be adjusted are the trains departure times, train speed reduction at a given position and the number of trains (cancellation of some trains if needed). The results show that the spacing between train departure times is the most critical variable, contributing to more than 50% of the variation of the model outputs. In addition, we identify the reduced range of variation of this variable which guarantees that the output constraints are respected. Optimal solutions are extracted, according to different potential objectives: minimizing the traveling time, the train delays, the traction energy, etc. Pareto front is also built.

Keywords: Optimization, Sensitivity Analysis, rescheduling, railway system, train timetable

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110 A Hybrid of BioWin and Computational Fluid Dynamics Based Modeling of Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants for Model-Based Control

Authors: Komal Rathore, Kiesha Pierre, Kyle Cogswell, Aaron Driscoll, Andres Tejada Martinez, Gita Iranipour, Luke Mulford, Aydin Sunol


Modeling of Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants requires several parameters for kinetic rate expressions, thermo-physical properties, and hydrodynamic behavior. The kinetics and associated mechanisms become complex due to several biological processes taking place in wastewater treatment plants at varying times and spatial scales. A dynamic process model that incorporated the complex model for activated sludge kinetics was developed using the BioWin software platform for an Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Valrico, Florida. Due to the extensive number of tunable parameters, an experimental design was employed for judicious selection of the most influential parameter sets and their bounds. The model was tuned using both the influent and effluent plant data to reconcile and rectify the forecasted results from the BioWin Model. Amount of mixed liquor suspended solids in the oxidation ditch, aeration rates and recycle rates were adjusted accordingly. The experimental analysis and plant SCADA data were used to predict influent wastewater rates and composition profiles as a function of time for extended periods. The lumped dynamic model development process was coupled with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of the key units such as oxidation ditches in the plant. Several CFD models that incorporate the nitrification-denitrification kinetics, as well as, hydrodynamics was developed and being tested using ANSYS Fluent software platform. These realistic and verified models developed using BioWin and ANSYS were used to plan beforehand the operating policies and control strategies for the biological wastewater plant accordingly that further allows regulatory compliance at minimum operational cost. These models, with a little bit of tuning, can be used for other biological wastewater treatment plants as well. The BioWin model mimics the existing performance of the Valrico Plant which allowed the operators and engineers to predict effluent behavior and take control actions to meet the discharge limits of the plant. Also, with the help of this model, we were able to find out the key kinetic and stoichiometric parameters which are significantly more important for modeling of biological wastewater treatment plants. One of the other important findings from this model were the effects of mixed liquor suspended solids and recycle ratios on the effluent concentration of various parameters such as total nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc. The ANSYS model allowed the abstraction of information such as the formation of dead zones increases through the length of the oxidation ditches as compared to near the aerators. These profiles were also very useful in studying the behavior of mixing patterns, effect of aerator speed, and use of baffles which in turn helps in optimizing the plant performance.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, flow-sheet simulation, kinetic modeling, process dynamics

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109 Optimizing Stormwater Sampling Design for Estimation of Pollutant Loads

Authors: Raja Umer Sajjad, Chang Hee Lee


Stormwater runoff is the leading contributor to pollution of receiving waters. In response, an efficient stormwater monitoring program is required to quantify and eventually reduce stormwater pollution. The overall goals of stormwater monitoring programs primarily include the identification of high-risk dischargers and the development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). The challenge in developing better monitoring program is to reduce the variability in flux estimates due to sampling errors; however, the success of monitoring program mainly depends on the accuracy of the estimates. Apart from sampling errors, manpower and budgetary constraints also influence the quality of the estimates. This study attempted to develop optimum stormwater monitoring design considering both cost and the quality of the estimated pollutants flux. Three years stormwater monitoring data (2012 – 2014) from a mix land use located within Geumhak watershed South Korea was evaluated. The regional climate is humid and precipitation is usually well distributed through the year. The investigation of a large number of water quality parameters is time-consuming and resource intensive. In order to identify a suite of easy-to-measure parameters to act as a surrogate, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied. Means, standard deviations, coefficient of variation (CV) and other simple statistics were performed using multivariate statistical analysis software SPSS 22.0. The implication of sampling time on monitoring results, number of samples required during the storm event and impact of seasonal first flush were also identified. Based on the observations derived from the PCA biplot and the correlation matrix, total suspended solids (TSS) was identified as a potential surrogate for turbidity, total phosphorus and for heavy metals like lead, chromium, and copper whereas, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) was identified as surrogate for organic matter. The CV among different monitored water quality parameters were found higher (ranged from 3.8 to 15.5). It suggests that use of grab sampling design to estimate the mass emission rates in the study area can lead to errors due to large variability. TSS discharge load calculation error was found only 2 % with two different sample size approaches; i.e. 17 samples per storm event and equally distributed 6 samples per storm event. Both seasonal first flush and event first flush phenomena for most water quality parameters were observed in the study area. Samples taken at the initial stage of storm event generally overestimate the mass emissions; however, it was found that collecting a grab sample after initial hour of storm event more closely approximates the mean concentration of the event. It was concluded that site and regional climate specific interventions can be made to optimize the stormwater monitoring program in order to make it more effective and economical.

Keywords: pollutant load, first flush, stormwater monitoring, surrogate parameters

Procedia PDF Downloads 114
108 Deterioration Prediction of Pavement Load Bearing Capacity from FWD Data

Authors: Kotaro Sasai, Daijiro Mizutani, Kiyoyuki Kaito


Expressways in Japan have been built in an accelerating manner since the 1960s with the aid of rapid economic growth. About 40 percent in length of expressways in Japan is now 30 years and older and has become superannuated. Time-related deterioration has therefore reached to a degree that administrators, from a standpoint of operation and maintenance, are forced to take prompt measures on a large scale aiming at repairing inner damage deep in pavements. These measures have already been performed for bridge management in Japan and are also expected to be embodied for pavement management. Thus, planning methods for the measures are increasingly demanded. Deterioration of layers around road surface such as surface course and binder course is brought about at the early stages of whole pavement deterioration process, around 10 to 30 years after construction. These layers have been repaired primarily because inner damage usually becomes significant after outer damage, and because surveys for measuring inner damage such as Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) survey and open-cut survey are costly and time-consuming process, which has made it difficult for administrators to focus on inner damage as much as they have been supposed to. As expressways today have serious time-related deterioration within them deriving from the long time span since they started to be used, it is obvious the idea of repairing layers deep in pavements such as base course and subgrade must be taken into consideration when planning maintenance on a large scale. This sort of maintenance requires precisely predicting degrees of deterioration as well as grasping the present situations of pavements. Methods for predicting deterioration are determined to be either mechanical or statistical. While few mechanical models have been presented, as far as the authors know of, previous studies have presented statistical methods for predicting deterioration in pavements. One describes deterioration process by estimating Markov deterioration hazard model, while another study illustrates it by estimating Proportional deterioration hazard model. Both of the studies analyze deflection data obtained from FWD surveys and present statistical methods for predicting deterioration process of layers around road surface. However, layers of base course and subgrade remain unanalyzed. In this study, data collected from FWD surveys are analyzed to predict deterioration process of layers deep in pavements in addition to surface layers by a means of estimating a deterioration hazard model using continuous indexes. This model can prevent the loss of information of data when setting rating categories in Markov deterioration hazard model when evaluating degrees of deterioration in roadbeds and subgrades. As a result of portraying continuous indexes, the model can predict deterioration in each layer of pavements and evaluate it quantitatively. Additionally, as the model can also depict probability distribution of the indexes at an arbitrary point and establish a risk control level arbitrarily, it is expected that this study will provide knowledge like life cycle cost and informative content during decision making process referring to where to do maintenance on as well as when.

Keywords: Pavement, load bearing capacity, falling weight deflectometer, deterioration hazard model, inner damage

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107 A Comparative Evaluation of Cognitive Load Management: Case Study of Postgraduate Business Students

Authors: Kavita Goel, Donald Winchester


In a world of information overload and work complexities, academics often struggle to create an online instructional environment enabling efficient and effective student learning. Research has established that students’ learning styles are different, some learn faster when taught using audio and visual methods. Attributes like prior knowledge and mental effort affect their learning. ‘Cognitive load theory’, opines learners have limited processing capacity. Cognitive load depends on the learner’s prior knowledge, the complexity of content and tasks, and instructional environment. Hence, the proper allocation of cognitive resources is critical for students’ learning. Consequently, a lecturer needs to understand the limits and strengths of the human learning processes, various learning styles of students, and accommodate these requirements while designing online assessments. As acknowledged in the cognitive load theory literature, visual and auditory explanations of worked examples potentially lead to a reduction of cognitive load (effort) and increased facilitation of learning when compared to conventional sequential text problem solving. This will help learner to utilize both subcomponents of their working memory. Instructional design changes were introduced at the case site for the delivery of the postgraduate business subjects. To make effective use of auditory and visual modalities, video recorded lectures, and key concept webinars were delivered to students. Videos were prepared to free up student limited working memory from irrelevant mental effort as all elements in a visual screening can be viewed simultaneously, processed quickly, and facilitates greater psychological processing efficiency. Most case study students in the postgraduate programs are adults, working full-time at higher management levels, and studying part-time. Their learning style and needs are different from other tertiary students. The purpose of the audio and visual interventions was to lower the students cognitive load and provide an online environment supportive to their efficient learning. These changes were expected to impact the student’s learning experience, their academic performance and retention favourably. This paper posits that these changes to instruction design facilitates students to integrate new knowledge into their long-term memory. A mixed methods case study methodology was used in this investigation. Primary data were collected from interviews and survey(s) of students and academics. Secondary data were collected from the organisation’s databases and reports. Some evidence was found that the academic performance of students does improve when new instructional design changes are introduced although not statistically significant. However, the overall grade distribution of student’s academic performance has changed and skewed higher which shows deeper understanding of the content. It was identified from feedback received from students that recorded webinars served as better learning aids than material with text alone, especially with more complex content. The recorded webinars on the subject content and assessments provides flexibility to students to access this material any time from repositories, many times, and this enhances students learning style. Visual and audio information enters student’s working memory more effectively. Also as each assessment included the application of the concepts, conceptual knowledge interacted with the pre-existing schema in the long-term memory and lowered student’s cognitive load.

Keywords: Working memory, cognitive load theory, learning style, instructional environment

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106 Cobb Angle Measurement from Coronal X-Rays Using Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Andrew N. Saylor, James R. Peters


Scoliosis is a complex 3D deformity of the thoracic and lumbar spines, clinically diagnosed by measurement of a Cobb angle of 10 degrees or more on a coronal X-ray. The Cobb angle is the angle made by the lines drawn along the proximal and distal endplates of the respective proximal and distal vertebrae comprising the curve. Traditionally, Cobb angles are measured manually using either a marker, straight edge, and protractor or image measurement software. The task of measuring the Cobb angle can also be represented by a function taking the spine geometry rendered using X-ray imaging as input and returning the approximate angle. Although the form of such a function may be unknown, it can be approximated using artificial neural networks (ANNs). The performance of ANNs is affected by many factors, including the choice of activation function and network architecture; however, the effects of these parameters on the accuracy of scoliotic deformity measurements are poorly understood. Therefore, the objective of this study was to systematically investigate the effect of ANN architecture and activation function on Cobb angle measurement from the coronal X-rays of scoliotic subjects. The data set for this study consisted of 609 coronal chest X-rays of scoliotic subjects divided into 481 training images and 128 test images. These data, which included labeled Cobb angle measurements, were obtained from the SpineWeb online database. In order to normalize the input data, each image was resized using bi-linear interpolation to a size of 500 × 187 pixels, and the pixel intensities were scaled to be between 0 and 1. A fully connected (dense) ANN with a fixed cost function (mean squared error), batch size (10), and learning rate (0.01) was developed using Python Version 3.7.3 and TensorFlow 1.13.1. The activation functions (sigmoid, hyperbolic tangent [tanh], or rectified linear units [ReLU]), number of hidden layers (1, 3, 5, or 10), and number of neurons per layer (10, 100, or 1000) were varied systematically to generate a total of 36 network conditions. Stochastic gradient descent with early stopping was used to train each network. Three trials were run per condition, and the final mean squared errors and mean absolute errors were averaged to quantify the network response for each condition. The network that performed the best used ReLU neurons had three hidden layers, and 100 neurons per layer. The average mean squared error of this network was 222.28 ± 30 degrees2, and the average mean absolute error was 11.96 ± 0.64 degrees. It is also notable that while most of the networks performed similarly, the networks using ReLU neurons, 10 hidden layers, and 1000 neurons per layer, and those using Tanh neurons, one hidden layer, and 10 neurons per layer performed markedly worse with average mean squared errors greater than 400 degrees2 and average mean absolute errors greater than 16 degrees. From the results of this study, it can be seen that the choice of ANN architecture and activation function has a clear impact on Cobb angle inference from coronal X-rays of scoliotic subjects.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, Medical Imaging, scoliosis, cobb angle

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105 Effect of Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) Extract on Damaged Brain Cells

Authors: Batul Kagalwala


The nervous system is made up of complex delicate structures such as the spinal cord, peripheral nerves and the brain. These are prone to various types of injury ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to trauma leading to diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple system atrophy etc. Unfortunately, because of the complicated structure of nervous system, spontaneous regeneration, repair and healing is seldom seen due to which brain damage, peripheral nerve damage and paralysis from spinal cord injury are often permanent and incapacitating. Hence, innovative and standardized approach is required for advance treatment of neurological injury. Nigella sativa (N. sativa), an annual flowering plant native to regions of southern Europe and Asia; has been suggested to have neuroprotective and anti-seizures properties. Neuroregeneration is found to occur in damaged cells when treated using extract of N. sativa. Due to its proven health benefits, lots of experiments are being conducted to extract all the benefits from the plant. The flowers are delicate and are usually pale blue and white in color with small black seeds. These seeds are the source of active components such as 30–40% fixed oils, 0.5–1.5% essential oils, pharmacologically active components containing thymoquinone (TQ), ditimoquinone (DTQ) and nigellin. In traditional medicine, this herb was identified to have healing properties and was extensively used Middle East and Far East for treating diseases such as head ache, back pain, asthma, infections, dysentery, hypertension, obesity and gastrointestinal problems. Literature studies have confirmed the extract of N. sativa seeds and TQ have inhibitory effects on inducible nitric oxide synthase and production of nitric oxide as well as anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. Experimental investigation will be conducted to understand which ingredient of N. sativa causes neuroregeneration and roots to its healing property. An aqueous/ alcoholic extract of N. sativa will be made. Seed oil is also found to have used by researchers to prepare such extracts. For the alcoholic extracts, the seeds need to be powdered and soaked in alcohol for a period of time and the alcohol must be evaporated using rotary evaporator. For aqueous extracts, the powder must be dissolved in distilled water to obtain a pure extract. The mobile phase will be the extract while the suitable stationary phase (substance that is a good adsorbent e.g. silica gels, alumina, cellulose etc.) will be selected. Different ingredients of N. sativa will be separated using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for treating damaged cells. Damaged brain cells will be treated individually and in different combinations of 2 or 3 compounds for different intervals of time. The most suitable compound or a combination of compounds for the regeneration of cells will be determined using DOE methodology. Later the gene will also be determined and using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) it will be replicated in a plasmid vector. This plasmid vector shall be inserted in the brain of the organism used and replicated within. The gene insertion can also be done by the gene gun method. The gene in question can be coated on a micro bullet of tungsten and bombarded in the area of interest and gene replication and coding shall be studied. Investigation on whether the gene replicates in the organism or not will be examined.

Keywords: Vectors, Plasmids, Damage, extract, PCR, black cumin, brain cells, neuroregeneration

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104 Carbon-Foam Supported Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Authors: Albert Mufundirwa, Satoru Yoshioka, K. Ogi, Takeharu Sugiyama, George F. Harrington, Bretislav Smid, Benjamin Cunning, Kazunari Sasaki, Akari Hayashi, Stephen M. Lyth


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are electrochemical energy conversion devices used for portable, residential and vehicular applications due to their low emissions, high efficiency, and quick start-up characteristics. However, PEMFCs generally use expensive, Pt-based electrocatalysts as electrode catalysts. Due to the high cost and limited availability of platinum, research and development to either drastically reduce platinum loading, or replace platinum with alternative catalysts is of paramount importance. A combination of high surface area supports and nano-structured active sites is essential for effective operation of catalysts. We synthesize carbon foam supports by thermal decomposition of sodium ethoxide, using a template-free, gram scale, cheap, and scalable pyrolysis method. This carbon foam has a high surface area, highly porous, three-dimensional framework which is ideal for electrochemical applications. These carbon foams can have surface area larger than 2500 m²/g, and electron microscopy reveals that they have micron-scale cells, separated by few-layer graphene-like carbon walls. We applied this carbon foam as a platinum catalyst support, resulting in the improved electrochemical surface area and mass activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), compared to carbon black. Similarly, silver-decorated carbon foams showed higher activity and efficiency for electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion than silver-decorated carbon black. A promising alternative to Pt-catalysts for the ORR is iron-impregnated nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts (Fe-N-C). Doping carbon with nitrogen alters the chemical structure and modulates the electronic properties, allowing a degree of control over the catalytic properties. We have adapted our synthesis method to produce nitrogen-doped carbon foams with large surface area, using triethanolamine as a nitrogen feedstock, in a novel bottom-up protocol. These foams are then infiltrated with iron acetate (FeAc) and pyrolysed to form Fe-N-C foams. The resulting Fe-N-C foam catalysts have high initial activity (half-wave potential of 0.68 VRHE), comparable to that of commercially available Pt-free catalysts (e.g., NPC-2000, Pajarito Powder) in acid solution. In alkaline solution, the Fe-N-C carbon foam catalysts have a half-wave potential of 0.89 VRHE, which is higher than that of NPC-2000 by almost 10 mVRHE, and far out-performing platinum. However, the durability is still a problem at present. The lessons learned from X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical measurements will be used to carefully design Fe-N-C catalysts for higher performance PEMFCs.

Keywords: Platinum, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, carbon-foam, Pt-free, Fe-N-C, ORR

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103 Assessing Sustainability of Bike Sharing Projects Using Envision™ Rating System

Authors: Tamar Trop


Bike sharing systems can be important elements of smart cities as they have the potential for impact on multiple levels. These systems can add a significant alternative to other modes of mass transit in cities that are continuously looking for measures to become more livable and maintain their attractiveness for citizens, businesses and tourism. Bike-sharing began in Europe in 1965, and a viable format emerged in the mid-2000s thanks to the introduction of information technology. The rate of growth in bike-sharing schemes and fleets has been very rapid since 2008 and has probably outstripped growth in every other form of urban transport. Today, public bike-sharing systems are available on five continents, including over 700 cities, operating more than 800,000 bicycles at approximately 40,000 docking stations. Since modern bike sharing systems have become prevalent only in the last decade, the existing literature analyzing these systems and their sustainability is relatively new. The purpose of the presented study is to assess the sustainability of these newly emerging transportation systems, by using the Envision™ rating system as a methodological framework and the Israeli 'Tel -O-Fun' – bike sharing project as a case study. The assessment was conducted by project team members. Envision™ is a new guidance and rating system used to assess and improve the sustainability of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects. This tool provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of infrastructure projects over the course of their life cycle. This evaluation method has 60 sustainability criteria divided into five categories: Quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, and climate and risk. 'Tel -O-Fun' project was launched in Tel Aviv-Yafo on 2011 and today provides about 1,800 bikes for rent, at 180 rental stations across the city. The system is based on a complex computer terminal that is located in the docking stations. The highest-rated sustainable features that the project scored include: (a) Improving quality of life by: offering a low cost and efficient form of public transit, improving community mobility and access, enabling the flexibility of travel within a multimodal transportation system, saving commuters time and money, enhancing public health and reducing air and noise pollution; (b) improving resource allocation by: offering inexpensive and flexible last-mile connectivity, reducing space, materials and energy consumption, reducing wear and tear on public roads, and maximizing the utility of existing infrastructure, and (c) reducing of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Overall, 'Tel -O-Fun' project was highly scored as an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable infrastructure. The use of this practical framework for evaluation also yielded various interesting insights on the shortcoming of the system and the characteristics of good solutions. This can contribute to the improvement of the project and may assist planners and operators of bike sharing systems to develop a sustainable, efficient and reliable transportation infrastructure within smart cities.

Keywords: Sustainable Infrastructure, bike sharing, Envision™, sustainability rating system

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102 The Influence of a Radio Intervention on Farmers’ Practices in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Kilifi, Kenya

Authors: Fiona Mwaniki


Climate change is considered a serious threat to sustainable development globally and as one of the greatest ecological, economic and social challenges of our time. The global demand for food is projected to increase by 60% by 2050. Small holder farmers who are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change are expected to contribute to this projected demand. Effective climate change education and communication is therefore required for smallholder and subsistence farmers’ in order to build communities that are more climate change aware, prepared and resilient. In Kenya radio is the most important and dominant mass communication tool for agricultural extension. This study investigated the potential role of radio in influencing farmers’ understanding and use of climate change information. The broad aims of this study were three-fold. Firstly, to identify Kenyan farmers’ perceptions and responses to the impacts of climate change. Secondly, to develop radio programs that communicate climate change information to Kenyan farmers and thirdly, to evaluate the impact of information disseminated through radio on farmers’ understanding and responses to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This study was conducted within the farming community of Kilifi County, located along the Kenyan coast. Education and communication about climate change was undertaken using radio to make available information understandable to different social and cultural groups. A mixed methods pre-and post-intervention design that provided the opportunity for triangulating results from both quantitative and qualitative data was used. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected simultaneously, where quantitative data was collected through semi structured surveys with 421 farmers’ and qualitative data was derived from 11 focus group interviews, six interviews with key informants and nine climate change experts. The climate change knowledge gaps identified in the initial quantitative and qualitative data were used in developing radio programs. Final quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis enabled an assessment of the impact of climate change messages aired through radio on the farming community in Kilifi County. Results of this study indicate that 32% of the farmers’ listened to the radio programs and 26% implemented technologies aired on the programs that would help them adapt to climate change. The most adopted technologies were planting drought tolerant crops including indigenous crop varieties, planting trees, water harvesting and use of manure. The proportion of farmers who indicated they knew “a fair amount” about climate change increased significantly (Z= -5.1977, p < 0.001) from 33% (at the pre intervention phase of this study) to 64% (post intervention). However, 68% of the farmers felt they needed “a lot more” information on agriculture interventions (43%), access to financial resources (21%) and the effects of climate change (15%). The challenges farmers’ faced when adopting the interventions included lack of access to financial resources (18%), high cost of adaptation measures (17%), and poor access to water (10%). This study concludes that radio effectively complements other agricultural extension methods and has the potential to engage farmers’ on climate change issues and motivate them to take action.

Keywords: Climate Change, Radio, farmers, climate change intervention

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