Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6243

Search results for: energy

63 Tunable Graphene Metasurface Modeling Using the Method of Moment Combined with Generalised Equivalent Circuit

Authors: Imen Soltani, Takoua Soltani, Taoufik Aguili

Abstract:

Metamaterials crossover classic physical boundaries and gives rise to new phenomena and applications in the domain of beam steering and shaping. Where electromagnetic near and far field manipulations were achieved in an accurate manner. In this sense, 3D imaging is one of the beneficiaries and in particular Denis Gabor’s invention: holography. But, the major difficulty here is the lack of a suitable recording medium. So some enhancements were essential, where the 2D version of bulk metamaterials have been introduced the so-called metasurface. This new class of interfaces simplifies the problem of recording medium with the capability of tuning the phase, amplitude, and polarization at a given frequency. In order to achieve an intelligible wavefront control, the electromagnetic properties of the metasurface should be optimized by means of solving Maxwell’s equations. In this context, integral methods are emerging as an important method to study electromagnetic from microwave to optical frequencies. The method of moment presents an accurate solution to reduce the problem of dimensions by writing its boundary conditions in the form of integral equations. But solving this kind of equations tends to be more complicated and time-consuming as the structural complexity increases. Here, the use of equivalent circuit’s method exhibits the most scalable experience to develop an integral method formulation. In fact, for allaying the resolution of Maxwell’s equations, the method of Generalised Equivalent Circuit was proposed to convey the resolution from the domain of integral equations to the domain of equivalent circuits. In point of fact, this technique consists in creating an electric image of the studied structure using discontinuity plan paradigm and taken into account its environment. So that, the electromagnetic state of the discontinuity plan is described by generalised test functions which are modelled by virtual sources not storing energy. The environmental effects are included by the use of an impedance or admittance operator. Here, we propose a tunable metasurface composed of graphene-based elements which combine the advantages of reflectarrays concept and graphene as a pillar constituent element at Terahertz frequencies. The metasurface’s building block consists of a thin gold film, a dielectric spacer SiO₂ and graphene patch antenna. Our electromagnetic analysis is based on the method of moment combined with generalised equivalent circuit (MoM-GEC). We begin by restricting our attention to study the effects of varying graphene’s chemical potential on the unit cell input impedance. So, it was found that the variation of complex conductivity of graphene allows controlling the phase and amplitude of the reflection coefficient at each element of the array. From the results obtained here, we were able to determine that the phase modulation is realized by adjusting graphene’s complex conductivity. This modulation is a viable solution compared to tunning the phase by varying the antenna length because it offers a full 2π reflection phase control.

Keywords: graphene, method of moment combined with generalised equivalent circuit, reconfigurable metasurface, reflectarray, terahertz domain

Procedia PDF Downloads 62
62 National Digital Soil Mapping Initiatives in Europe: A Review and Some Examples

Authors: Dominique Arrouays, Songchao Chen, Anne C. Richer-De-Forges

Abstract:

Soils are at the crossing of many issues such as food and water security, sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity protection, human health and well-being. They deliver many ecosystem services that are essential to life on Earth. Therefore, there is a growing demand for soil information on a national and global scale. Unfortunately, many countries do not have detailed soil maps, and, when existing, these maps are generally based on more or less complex and often non-harmonized soil classifications. An estimate of their uncertainty is also often missing. Thus, there are not easy to understand and often not properly used by end-users. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide end-users with spatially exhaustive grids of essential soil properties, together with an estimate of their uncertainty. One way to achieve this is digital soil mapping (DSM). The concept of DSM relies on the hypothesis that soils and their properties are not randomly distributed, but that they depend on the main soil-forming factors that are climate, organisms, relief, parent material, time (age), and position in space. All these forming factors can be approximated using several exhaustive spatial products such as climatic grids, remote sensing products or vegetation maps, digital elevation models, geological or lithological maps, spatial coordinates of soil information, etc. Thus, DSM generally relies on models calibrated with existing observed soil data (point observations or maps) and so-called “ancillary co-variates” that come from other available spatial products. Then the model is generalized on grids where soil parameters are unknown in order to predict them, and the prediction performances are validated using various methods. With the growing demand for soil information at a national and global scale and the increase of available spatial co-variates national and continental DSM initiatives are continuously increasing. This short review illustrates the main national and continental advances in Europe, the diversity of the approaches and the databases that are used, the validation techniques and the main scientific and other issues. Examples from several countries illustrate the variety of products that were delivered during the last ten years. The scientific production on this topic is continuously increasing and new models and approaches are developed at an incredible speed. Most of the digital soil mapping (DSM) products rely mainly on machine learning (ML) prediction models and/or the use or pedotransfer functions (PTF) in which calibration data come from soil analyses performed in labs or for existing conventional maps. However, some scientific issues remain to be solved and also political and legal ones related, for instance, to data sharing and to different laws in different countries. Other issues related to communication to end-users and education, especially on the use of uncertainty. Overall, the progress is very important and the willingness of institutes and countries to join their efforts is increasing. Harmonization issues are still remaining, mainly due to differences in classifications or in laboratory standards between countries. However numerous initiatives are ongoing at the EU level and also at the global level. All these progress are scientifically stimulating and also promissing to provide tools to improve and monitor soil quality in countries, EU and at the global level.

Keywords: digital soil mapping, global soil mapping, national and European initiatives, global soil mapping products, mini-review

Procedia PDF Downloads 39
61 Environmental Effect of Empty Nest Households in Germany: An Empirical Approach

Authors: Dominik Kowitzke

Abstract:

Housing constructions have direct and indirect environmental impacts especially caused by soil sealing and gray energy consumption related to the use of construction materials. Accordingly, the German government introduced regulations limiting additional annual soil sealing. At the same time, in many regions like metropolitan areas the demand for further housing is high and of current concern in the media and politics. It is argued that meeting this demand by making better use of the existing housing supply is more sustainable than the construction of new housing units. In this context, targeting the phenomenon of so-called over the housing of empty nest households seems worthwhile to investigate for its potential to free living space and thus, reduce the need for new housing constructions and related environmental harm. Over housing occurs if no space adjustment takes place in household lifecycle stages when children move out from home and the space formerly created for the offspring is from then on under-utilized. Although in some cases the housing space consumption might actually meet households’ equilibrium preferences, frequently space-wise adjustments to the living situation doesn’t take place due to transaction or information costs, habit formation, or government intervention leading to increasing costs of relocations like real estate transfer taxes or tenant protection laws keeping tenure rents below the market price. Moreover, many detached houses are not long-term designed in a way that freed up space could be rent out. Findings of this research based on socio-economic survey data, indeed, show a significant difference between the living space of empty nest and a comparison group of households which never had children. The approach used to estimate the average difference in living space is a linear regression model regressing the response variable living space on a two-dimensional categorical variable distinguishing the two groups of household types and further controls. This difference is assumed to be the under-utilized space and is extrapolated to the total amount of empty nests in the population. Supporting this result, it is found that households that move, despite market frictions impairing the relocation, after children left their home tend to decrease the living space. In the next step, only for areas with tight housing markets in Germany and high construction activity, the total under-utilized space in empty nests is estimated. Under the assumption of full substitutability of housing space in empty nests and space in new dwellings in these locations, it is argued that in a perfect market with empty nest households consuming their equilibrium demand quantity of housing space, dwelling constructions in the amount of the excess consumption of living space could be saved. This, on the other hand, would prevent environmental harm quantified in carbon dioxide equivalence units related to average constructions of detached or multi-family houses. This study would thus provide information on the amount of under-utilized space inside dwellings which is missing in public data and further estimates the external effect of over housing in environmental terms.

Keywords: empty nests, environment, Germany, households, over housing

Procedia PDF Downloads 22
60 Assessment of Efficiency of Underwater Undulatory Swimming Strategies Using a Two-Dimensional CFD Method

Authors: Dorian Audot, Isobel Margaret Thompson, Dominic Hudson, Joseph Banks, Martin Warner

Abstract:

In competitive swimming, after dives and turns, athletes perform underwater undulatory swimming (UUS), copying marine mammals’ method of locomotion. The body, performing this wave-like motion, accelerates the fluid downstream in its vicinity, generating propulsion with minimal resistance. Through this technique, swimmers can maintain greater speeds than surface swimming and take advantage of the overspeed granted by the dive (or push-off). Almost all previous work has considered UUS when performed at maximum effort. Critical parameters to maximize UUS speed are frequently discussed; however, this does not apply to most races. In only 3 out of the 16 individual competitive swimming events are athletes likely to attempt to perform UUS with the greatest speed, without thinking of the cost of locomotion. In the other cases, athletes will want to control the speed of their underwater swimming, attempting to maximise speed whilst considering energy expenditure appropriate to the duration of the event. Hence, there is a need to understand how swimmers adapt their underwater strategies to optimize the speed within the allocated energetic cost. This paper develops a consistent methodology that enables different sets of UUS kinematics to be investigated. These may have different propulsive efficiencies and force generation mechanisms (e.g.: force distribution along with the body and force magnitude). The developed methodology, therefore, needs to: (i) provide an understanding of the UUS propulsive mechanisms at different speeds, (ii) investigate the key performance parameters when UUS is not performed solely for maximizing speed; (iii) consistently determine the propulsive efficiency of a UUS technique. The methodology is separated into two distinct parts: kinematic data acquisition and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. For the kinematic acquisition, the position of several joints along the body and their sequencing were either obtained by video digitization or by underwater motion capture (Qualisys system). During data acquisition, the swimmers were asked to perform UUS at a constant depth in a prone position (facing the bottom of the pool) at different speeds: maximum effort, 100m pace, 200m pace and 400m pace. The kinematic data were input to a CFD algorithm employing a two-dimensional Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The algorithm adopted was specifically developed in order to perform quick unsteady simulations of deforming bodies and is therefore suitable for swimmers performing UUS. Despite its approximations, the algorithm is applied such that simulations are performed with the inflow velocity updated at every time step. It also enables calculations of the resistive forces (total and applied to each segment) and the power input of the modeled swimmer. Validation of the methodology is achieved by comparing the data obtained from the computations with the original data (e.g.: sustained swimming speed). This method is applied to the different kinematic datasets and provides data on swimmers’ natural responses to pacing instructions. The results show how kinematics affect force generation mechanisms and hence how the propulsive efficiency of UUS varies for different race strategies.

Keywords: CFD, efficiency, human swimming, hydrodynamics, underwater undulatory swimming

Procedia PDF Downloads 42
59 Subcontractor Development Practices and Processes: A Conceptual Model for LEED Projects

Authors: Andrea N. Ofori-Boadu

Abstract:

The purpose is to develop a conceptual model of subcontractor development practices and processes that strengthen the integration of subcontractors into construction supply chain systems for improved subcontractor performance on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building projects. The construction management of a LEED project has an important objective of meeting sustainability certification requirements. This is in addition to the typical project management objectives of cost, time, quality, and safety for traditional projects; and, therefore increases the complexity of LEED projects. Considering that construction management organizations rely heavily on subcontractors, poor performance on complex projects such as LEED projects has been largely attributed to the unsatisfactory preparation of subcontractors. Furthermore, the extensive use of unique and non-repetitive short term contracts limits the full integration of subcontractors into construction supply chains and hinders long-term cooperation and benefits that could enhance performance on construction projects. Improved subcontractor development practices are needed to better prepare and manage subcontractors, so that complex objectives can be met or exceeded. While supplier development and supply chain theories and practices for the manufacturing sector have been extensively investigated to address similar challenges, investigations in the construction sector are not that obvious. Consequently, the objective of this research is to investigate effective subcontractor development practices and processes to guide construction management organizations in their development of a strong network of high performing subcontractors. Drawing from foundational supply chain and supplier development theories in the manufacturing sector, a mixed interpretivist and empirical methodology is utilized to assess the body of knowledge within literature for conceptual model development. A self-reporting survey with five-point Likert scale items and open-ended questions is administered to 30 construction professionals to estimate their perceptions of the effectiveness of 37 practices, classified into five subcontractor development categories. Data analysis includes descriptive statistics, weighted means, and t-tests that guide the effectiveness ranking of practices and categories. The results inform the proposed three-phased LEED subcontractor development program model which focuses on preparation, development and implementation, and monitoring. Highly ranked LEED subcontractor pre-qualification, commitment, incentives, evaluation, and feedback practices are perceived as more effective, when compared to practices requiring more direct involvement and linkages between subcontractors and construction management organizations. This is attributed to unfamiliarity, conflicting interests, lack of trust, and resource sharing challenges. With strategic modifications, the recommended practices can be extended to other non-LEED complex projects. Additional research is needed to guide the development of subcontractor development programs that strengthen direct involvement between construction management organizations and their network of high performing subcontractors. Insights from this present research strengthen theoretical foundations to support future research towards more integrated construction supply chains. In the long-term, this would lead to increased performance, profits and client satisfaction.

Keywords: construction management, general contractor, supply chain, sustainable construction

Procedia PDF Downloads 13
58 Analyzing the Heat Transfer Mechanism in a Tube Bundle Air-PCM Heat Exchanger: An Empirical Study

Authors: Maria De Los Angeles Ortega, Denis Bruneau, Patrick Sebastian, Jean-Pierre Nadeau, Alain Sommier, Saed Raji

Abstract:

Phase change materials (PCM) present attractive features that made them a passive solution for thermal comfort assessment in buildings during summer time. They show a large storage capacity per volume unit in comparison with other structural materials like bricks or concrete. If their use is matched with the peak load periods, they can contribute to the reduction of the primary energy consumption related to cooling applications. Despite these promising characteristics, they present some drawbacks. Commercial PCMs, as paraffines, offer a low thermal conductivity affecting the overall performance of the system. In some cases, the material can be enhanced, adding other elements that improve the conductivity, but in general, a design of the unit that optimizes the thermal performance is sought. The material selection is the departing point during the designing stage, and it does not leave plenty of room for optimization. The PCM melting point depends highly on the atmospheric characteristics of the building location. The selection must relay within the maximum, and the minimum temperature reached during the day. The geometry of the PCM container and the geometrical distribution of these containers are designing parameters, as well. They significantly affect the heat transfer, and therefore its phenomena must be studied exhaustively. During its lifetime, an air-PCM unit in a building must cool down the place during daytime, while the melting of the PCM occurs. At night, the PCM must be regenerated to be ready for next uses. When the system is not in service, a minimal amount of thermal exchanges is desired. The aforementioned functions result in the presence of sensible and latent heat storage and release. Hence different types of mechanisms drive the heat transfer phenomena. An experimental test was designed to study the heat transfer phenomena occurring in a circular tube bundle air-PCM exchanger. An in-line arrangement was selected as the geometrical distribution of the containers. With the aim of visual identification, the containers material and a section of the test bench were transparent. Some instruments were placed on the bench for measuring temperature and velocity. The PCM properties were also available through differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) tests. An evolution of the temperature during both cycles, melting and solidification were obtained. The results showed some phenomena at a local level (tubes) and on an overall level (exchanger). Conduction and convection appeared as the main heat transfer mechanisms. From these results, two approaches to analyze the heat transfer were followed. The first approach described the phenomena in a single tube as a series of thermal resistances, where a pure conduction controlled heat transfer was assumed in the PCM. For the second approach, the temperature measurements were used to find some significant dimensionless numbers and parameters as Stefan, Fourier and Rayleigh numbers, and the melting fraction. These approaches allowed us to identify the heat transfer phenomena during both cycles. The presence of natural convection during melting might have been stated from the influence of the Rayleigh number on the correlations obtained.

Keywords: phase change materials, air-PCM exchangers, convection, conduction

Procedia PDF Downloads 74
57 Electrochemical Activity of NiCo-GDC Cermet Anode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operated in Methane

Authors: Kamolvara Sirisuksakulchai, Soamwadee Chaianansutcharit, Kazunori Sato

Abstract:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) have been considered as one of the most efficient large unit power generators for household and industrial applications. The efficiency of an electronic cell depends mainly on the electrochemical reactions in the anode. The development of anode materials has been intensely studied to achieve higher kinetic rates of redox reactions and lower internal resistance. Recent studies have introduced an efficient cermet (ceramic-metallic) material for its ability in fuel oxidation and oxide conduction. This could expand the reactive site, also known as the triple-phase boundary (TPB), thus increasing the overall performance. In this study, a bimetallic catalyst Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was combined with Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ (GDC) to be used as a cermet anode (NiCo-GDC) for an anode-supported type SOFC. The synthesis of Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was carried out by ball milling NiO and Co3O4 powders in ethanol and calcined at 1000 °C. The Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ was prepared by a urea co-precipitation method. Precursors of Gd(NO₃)₃·6H₂O and Ce(NO₃)₃·6H₂O were dissolved in distilled water with the addition of urea and were heated subsequently. The heated mixture product was filtered and rinsed thoroughly, then dried and calcined at 800 °C and 1500 °C, respectively. The two powders were combined followed by pelletization and sintering at 1100 °C to form an anode support layer. The fabrications of an electrolyte layer and cathode layer were conducted. The electrochemical performance in H₂ was measured from 800 °C to 600 °C while for CH₄ was from 750 °C to 600 °C. The maximum power density at 750 °C in H₂ was 13% higher than in CH₄. The difference in performance was due to higher polarization resistances confirmed by the impedance spectra. According to the standard enthalpy, the dissociation energy of C-H bonds in CH₄ is slightly higher than the H-H bond H₂. The dissociation of CH₄ could be the cause of resistance within the anode material. The results from lower temperatures showed a descending trend of power density in relevance to the increased polarization resistance. This was due to lowering conductivity when the temperature decreases. The long-term stability was measured at 750 °C in CH₄ monitoring at 12-hour intervals. The maximum power density tends to increase gradually with time while the resistances were maintained. This suggests the enhanced stability from charge transfer activities in doped ceria due to the transition of Ce⁴⁺ ↔ Ce³⁺ at low oxygen partial pressure and high-temperature atmosphere. However, the power density started to drop after 60 h, and the cell potential also dropped from 0.3249 V to 0.2850 V. These phenomena was confirmed by a shifted impedance spectra indicating a higher ohmic resistance. The observation by FESEM and EDX-mapping suggests the degradation due to mass transport of ions in the electrolyte while the anode microstructure was still maintained. In summary, the electrochemical test and stability test for 60 h was achieved by NiCo-GDC cermet anode. Coke deposition was not detected after operation in CH₄, hence this confirms the superior properties of the bimetallic cermet anode over typical Ni-GDC.

Keywords: bimetallic catalyst, ceria-based SOFCs, methane oxidation, solid oxide fuel cell

Procedia PDF Downloads 37
56 Solid Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Based on Siloxane Matrix

Authors: Natia Jalagonia, Tinatin Kuchukhidze

Abstract:

Polymer electrolytes (PE) play an important part in electrochemical devices such as batteries and fuel cells. To achieve optimal performance, the PE must maintain a high ionic conductivity and mechanical stability at both high and low relative humidity. The polymer electrolyte also needs to have excellent chemical stability for long and robustness. According to the prevailing theory, ionic conduction in polymer electrolytes is facilitated by the large-scale segmental motion of the polymer backbone, and primarily occurs in the amorphous regions of the polymer electrolyte. Crystallinity restricts polymer backbone segmental motion and significantly reduces conductivity. Consequently, polymer electrolytes with high conductivity at room temperature have been sought through polymers which have highly flexible backbones and have largely amorphous morphology. The interest in polymer electrolytes was increased also by potential applications of solid polymer electrolytes in high energy density solid state batteries, gas sensors and electrochromic windows. Conductivity of 10-3 S/cm is commonly regarded as a necessary minimum value for practical applications in batteries. At present, polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based systems are most thoroughly investigated, reaching room temperature conductivities of 10-7 S/cm in some cross-linked salt in polymer systems based on amorphous PEO-polypropylene oxide copolymers.. It is widely accepted that amorphous polymers with low glass transition temperatures Tg and a high segmental mobility are important prerequisites for high ionic conductivities. Another necessary condition for high ionic conductivity is a high salt solubility in the polymer, which is most often achieved by donors such as ether oxygen or imide groups on the main chain or on the side groups of the PE. It is well established also that lithium ion coordination takes place predominantly in the amorphous domain, and that the segmental mobility of the polymer is an important factor in determining the ionic mobility. Great attention was pointed to PEO-based amorphous electrolyte obtained by synthesis of comb-like polymers, by attaching short ethylene oxide unit sequences to an existing amorphous polymer backbone. The aim of presented work is to obtain of solid polymer electrolyte membranes using PMHS as a matrix. For this purpose the hydrosilylation reactions of α,ω-bis(trimethylsiloxy)methyl¬hydrosiloxane with allyl triethylene-glycol mo¬nomethyl ether and vinyltriethoxysilane at 1:28:7 ratio of initial com¬pounds in the presence of Karstedt’s catalyst, platinum hydrochloric acid (0.1 M solution in THF) and platinum on the carbon catalyst in 50% solution of anhydrous toluene have been studied. The synthesized olygomers are vitreous liquid products, which are well soluble in organic solvents with specific viscosity ηsp ≈ 0.05 - 0.06. The synthesized olygomers were analysed with FTIR, 1H, 13C, 29Si NMR spectroscopy. Synthesized polysiloxanes were investigated with wide-angle X-ray, gel-permeation chromatography, and DSC analyses. Via sol-gel processes of doped with lithium trifluoromethylsulfonate (triflate) or lithium bis¬(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)¬imide polymer systems solid polymer electrolyte membranes have been obtained. The dependence of ionic conductivity as a function of temperature and salt concentration was investigated and the activation energies of conductivity for all obtained compounds are calculated

Keywords: synthesis, PMHS, membrane, electrolyte

Procedia PDF Downloads 138
55 Functional Traits and Agroecosystem Multifunctionality in Summer Cover Crop Mixtures and Monocultures

Authors: Etienne Herrick

Abstract:

As an economically and ecologically feasible method for farmers to introduce greater diversity into their crop rotations, cover cropping presents a valuable opportunity for improving the sustainability of food production. Planted in-between cash crop growing seasons, cover crops serve to enhance agroecosystem functioning, rather than being destined for sale or consumption. In fact, cover crops may hold the capacity to deliver multiple ecosystem functions or services simultaneously (multifunctionality). Building upon this line of research will not only benefit society at present, but also support its continued survival through its potential for restoring depleted soils and reducing the need for energy-intensive and harmful external inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. This study utilizes a trait-based approach to explore the influence of inter- and intra-specific interactions in summer cover crop mixtures and monocultures on functional trait expression and ecosystem services. Functional traits that enhance ecosystem services related to agricultural production include height, specific leaf area (SLA), root, shoot ratio, leaf C and N concentrations, and flowering phenology. Ecosystem services include biomass production, weed suppression, reduced N leaching, N recycling, and support of pollinators. Employing a trait-based approach may allow for the elucidation of mechanistic links between plant structure and resulting ecosystem service delivery. While relationships between some functional traits and the delivery of particular ecosystem services may be readily apparent through existing ecological knowledge (e.g. height positively correlating with weed suppression), this study will begin to quantify those relationships so as to gain further understanding of whether and how measurable variation in functional trait expression across cover crop mixtures and monocultures can serve as a reliable predictor of variation in the types and abundances of ecosystem services delivered. Six cover crop species, including legume, grass, and broadleaf functional types, were selected for growth in six mixtures and their component monocultures based upon the principle of trait complementarity. The tricultures (three-way mixtures) are comprised of a legume, grass, and broadleaf species, and include cowpea/sudex/buckwheat, sunnhemp/sudex/buckwheat, and chickling vetch/oat/buckwheat combinations; the dicultures contain the same legume and grass combinations as above, without the buckwheat broadleaf. By combining species with expectedly complimentary traits (for example, legumes are N suppliers and grasses are N acquirers, creating a nutrient cycling loop) the cover crop mixtures may elicit a broader range of ecosystem services than that provided by a monoculture, though trade-offs could exist. Collecting functional trait data will enable the investigation of the types of interactions driving these ecosystem service outcomes. It also allows for generalizability across a broader range of species than just those selected for this study, which may aid in informing further research efforts exploring species and ecosystem functioning, as well as on-farm management decisions.

Keywords: agroecology, cover crops, functional traits, multifunctionality, trait complementarity

Procedia PDF Downloads 167
54 Simple Finite-Element Procedure for Modeling Crack Propagation in Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck under Repetitive Moving Truck Wheel Loads

Authors: Rajwanlop Kumpoopong, Sukit Yindeesuk, Pornchai Silarom

Abstract:

Modeling cracks in concrete is complicated by its strain-softening behavior which requires the use of sophisticated energy criteria of fracture mechanics to assure stable and convergent solutions in the finite-element (FE) analysis particularly for relatively large structures. However, for small-scale structures such as beams and slabs, a simpler approach relies on retaining some shear stiffness in the cracking plane has been adopted in literature to model the strain-softening behavior of concrete under monotonically increased loading. According to the shear retaining approach, each element is assumed to be an isotropic material prior to cracking of concrete. Once an element is cracked, the isotropic element is replaced with an orthotropic element in which the new orthotropic stiffness matrix is formulated with respect to the crack orientation. The shear transfer factor of 0.5 is used in parallel to the crack plane. The shear retaining approach is adopted in this research to model cracks in RC bridge deck with some modifications to take into account the effect of repetitive moving truck wheel loads as they cause fatigue cracking of concrete. First modification is the introduction of fatigue tests of concrete and reinforcing steel and the Palmgren-Miner linear criterion of cumulative damage in the conventional FE analysis. For a certain loading, the number of cycles to failure of each concrete or RC element can be calculated from the fatigue or S-N curves of concrete and reinforcing steel. The elements with the minimum number of cycles to failure are the failed elements. For the elements that do not fail, the damage is accumulated according to Palmgren-Miner linear criterion of cumulative damage. The stiffness of the failed element is modified and the procedure is repeated until the deck slab fails. The total number of load cycles to failure of the deck slab can then be obtained from which the S-N curve of the deck slab can be simulated. Second modification is the modification in shear transfer factor. Moving loading causes continuous rubbing of crack interfaces which greatly reduces shear transfer mechanism. It is therefore conservatively assumed in this study that the analysis is conducted with shear transfer factor of zero for the case of moving loading. A customized FE program has been developed using the MATLAB software to accomodate such modifications. The developed procedure has been validated with the fatigue test of the 1/6.6-scale AASHTO bridge deck under the applications of both fixed-point repetitive loading and moving loading presented in the literature. Results are in good agreement both experimental vs. simulated S-N curves and observed vs. simulated crack patterns. Significant contribution of the developed procedure is a series of S-N relations which can now be simulated at any desired levels of cracking in addition to the experimentally derived S-N relation at the failure of the deck slab. This permits the systematic investigation of crack propagation or deterioration of RC bridge deck which is appeared to be useful information for highway agencies to prolong the life of their bridge decks.

Keywords: bridge deck, cracking, deterioration, fatigue, finite-element, moving truck, reinforced concrete

Procedia PDF Downloads 114
53 Sustainable Crop Production: Greenhouse Gas Management in Farm Value Chain

Authors: Aswathaman Vijayan, Manish Jha, Ullas Theertha

Abstract:

Climate change and Global warming have become an issue for both developed and developing countries and perhaps the biggest threat to the environment. We at ITC Limited believe that a company’s performance must be measured by its Triple Bottom Line contribution to building economic, social and environmental capital. This Triple Bottom Line strategy focuses on - Embedding sustainability in business practices, Investing in social development and Adopting a low carbon growth path with a cleaner environment approach. The Agri Business Division - ILTD operates in the tobacco crop growing regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka province of India. The Agri value chain of the company comprises of two distinct phases: First phase is Agricultural operations undertaken by ITC trained farmers and the second phase is Industrial operations which include marketing and processing of the agricultural produce. This research work covers the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management strategy of ITC in the Agricultural operations undertaken by the farmers. The agriculture sector adds considerably to global GHG emissions through the use of carbon-based energies, use of fertilizers and other farming operations such as ploughing. In order to minimize the impact of farming operations on the environment, ITC has a taken a big leap in implementing system and process in reducing the GHG impact in farm value chain by partnering with the farming community. The company has undertaken a unique three-pronged approach for GHG management at the farm value chain: 1) GHG inventory at farm value chain: Different sources of GHG emission in the farm value chain were identified and quantified for the baseline year, as per the IPCC guidelines for greenhouse gas inventories. The major sources of emission identified are - emission due to nitrogenous fertilizer application during seedling production and main-field; emission due to diesel usage for farm machinery; emission due to fuel consumption and due to burning of crop residues. 2) Identification and implementation of technologies to reduce GHG emission: Various methodologies and technologies were identified for each GHG emission source and implemented at farm level. The identified methodologies are – reducing the consumption of chemical fertilizer usage at the farm through site-specific nutrient recommendation; Usage of sharp shovel for land preparation to reduce diesel consumption; implementation of energy conservation technologies to reduce fuel requirement and avoiding burning of crop residue by incorporation in the main field. These identified methodologies were implemented at farm level, and the GHG emission was quantified to understand the reduction in GHG emission. 3) Social and farm forestry for CO2 sequestration: In addition, the company encouraged social and farm forestry in the waste lands to convert it into green cover. The plantations are carried out with fast growing trees viz., Eucalyptus, Casuarina, and Subabul at the rate of 10,000 Ha of land per year. The above approach minimized considerable amount of GHG emission at the farm value chain benefiting farmers, community, and environment at a whole. In addition, the CO₂ stock created by social and farm forestry program has made the farm value chain to become environment-friendly.

Keywords: CO₂ sequestration, farm value chain, greenhouse gas, ITC limited

Procedia PDF Downloads 215
52 Backward-Facing Step Measurements at Different Reynolds Numbers Using Acoustic Doppler Velocimetry

Authors: Maria Amelia V. C. Araujo, Billy J. Araujo, Brian Greenwood

Abstract:

The flow over a backward-facing step is characterized by the presence of flow separation, recirculation and reattachment, for a simple geometry. This type of fluid behaviour takes place in many practical engineering applications, hence the reason for being investigated. Historically, fluid flows over a backward-facing step have been examined in many experiments using a variety of measuring techniques such as laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV), hot-wire anemometry, particle image velocimetry or hot-film sensors. However, some of these techniques cannot conveniently be used in separated flows or are too complicated and expensive. In this work, the applicability of the acoustic Doppler velocimetry (ADV) technique is investigated to such type of flows, at various Reynolds numbers corresponding to different flow regimes. The use of this measuring technique in separated flows is very difficult to find in literature. Besides, most of the situations where the Reynolds number effect is evaluated in separated flows are in numerical modelling. The ADV technique has the advantage in providing nearly non-invasive measurements, which is important in resolving turbulence. The ADV Nortek Vectrino+ was used to characterize the flow, in a recirculating laboratory flume, at various Reynolds Numbers (Reh = 3738, 5452, 7908 and 17388) based on the step height (h), in order to capture different flow regimes, and the results compared to those obtained using other measuring techniques. To compare results with other researchers, the step height, expansion ratio and the positions upstream and downstream the step were reproduced. The post-processing of the AVD records was performed using a customized numerical code, which implements several filtering techniques. Subsequently, the Vectrino noise level was evaluated by computing the power spectral density for the stream-wise horizontal velocity component. The normalized mean stream-wise velocity profiles, skin-friction coefficients and reattachment lengths were obtained for each Reh. Turbulent kinetic energy, Reynolds shear stresses and normal Reynolds stresses were determined for Reh = 7908. An uncertainty analysis was carried out, for the measured variables, using the moving block bootstrap technique. Low noise levels were obtained after implementing the post-processing techniques, showing their effectiveness. Besides, the errors obtained in the uncertainty analysis were relatively low, in general. For Reh = 7908, the normalized mean stream-wise velocity and turbulence profiles were compared directly with those acquired by other researchers using the LDV technique and a good agreement was found. The ADV technique proved to be able to characterize the flow properly over a backward-facing step, although additional caution should be taken for measurements very close to the bottom. The ADV measurements showed reliable results regarding: a) the stream-wise velocity profiles; b) the turbulent shear stress; c) the reattachment length; d) the identification of the transition from transitional to turbulent flows. Despite being a relatively inexpensive technique, acoustic Doppler velocimetry can be used with confidence in separated flows and thus very useful for numerical model validation. However, it is very important to perform adequate post-processing of the acquired data, to obtain low noise levels, thus decreasing the uncertainty.

Keywords: ADV, experimental data, multiple Reynolds number, post-processing

Procedia PDF Downloads 14
51 Application of Alumina-Aerogel in Post-Combustion CO₂ Capture: Optimization by Response Surface Methodology

Authors: S. Toufigh Bararpour, Davood Karami, Nader Mahinpey

Abstract:

Dependence of global economics on fossil fuels has led to a large growth in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Among the various GHGs, carbon dioxide is the main contributor to the greenhouse effect due to its huge emission amount. To mitigate the threatening effect of CO₂, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies have been studied widely in recent years. For the combustion processes, three main CO₂ capture techniques have been proposed such as post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxyfuel combustion. Post-combustion is the most commonly used CO₂ capture process as it can be readily retrofit into the existing power plants. Multiple advantages have been reported for the post-combustion by solid sorbents such as high CO₂ selectivity, high adsorption capacity, and low required regeneration energy. Chemical adsorption of CO₂ over alkali-metal-based solid sorbents such as K₂CO₃ is a promising method for the selective capture of diluted CO₂ from the huge amount of nitrogen existing in the flue gas. To improve the CO₂ capture performance, K₂CO₃ is supported by a stable and porous material. Al₂O₃ has been employed commonly as the support and enhanced the cyclic CO₂ capture efficiency of K₂CO₃. Different phases of alumina can be obtained by setting the calcination temperature of boehmite at 300, 600 (γ-alumina), 950 (δ-alumina) and 1200 °C (α-alumina). By increasing the calcination temperature, the regeneration capacity of alumina increases, while the surface area reduces. However, sorbents with lower surface areas have lower CO₂ capture capacity as well (except for the sorbents prepared by hydrophilic support materials). To resolve this issue, a highly efficient alumina-aerogel support was synthesized with a BET surface area of over 2000 m²/g and then calcined at a high temperature. The synthesized alumina-aerogel was impregnated on K₂CO₃ based on 50 wt% support/K₂CO₃, which resulted in the preparation of a sorbent with remarkable CO₂ capture performance. The effect of synthesis conditions such as types of alcohols, solvent-to-co-solvent ratios, and aging times was investigated on the performance of the support. The best support was synthesized using methanol as the solvent, after five days of aging time, and at a solvent-to-co-solvent (methanol-to-toluene) ratio (v/v) of 1/5. Response surface methodology was used to investigate the effect of operating parameters such as carbonation temperature and H₂O-to-CO₂ flowrate ratio on the CO₂ capture capacity. The maximum CO₂ capture capacity, at the optimum amounts of operating parameters, was 7.2 mmol CO₂ per gram K₂CO₃. Cyclic behavior of the sorbent was examined over 20 carbonation and regenerations cycles. The alumina-aerogel-supported K₂CO₃ showed a great performance compared to unsupported K₂CO₃ and γ-alumina-supported K₂CO₃. Fundamental performance analyses and long-term thermal and chemical stability test will be performed on the sorbent in the future. The applicability of the sorbent for a bench-scale process will be evaluated, and a corresponding process model will be established. The fundamental material knowledge and respective process development will be delivered to industrial partners for the design of a pilot-scale testing unit, thereby facilitating the industrial application of alumina-aerogel.

Keywords: alumina-aerogel, CO₂ capture, K₂CO₃, optimization

Procedia PDF Downloads 27
50 Promotion of Healthy Food Choices in School Children through Nutrition Education

Authors: Vinti Davar

Abstract:

Introduction: Childhood overweight increases the risk for certain medical and psychological conditions. Millions of school-age children worldwide are affected by serious yet easily treatable and preventable illnesses that inhibit their ability to learn. Healthier children stay in school longer, attend more regularly, learn more and become healthier and more productive adults. Schools are an important setting for nutrition education because one can reach most children, teachers and parents. These years offer a key window for shaping their lifetime habits, which have an impact on their health throughout life. Against this background, an attempt was made to impart nutrition education to school children in Haryana state of India to promote healthy food choices and assess the effectiveness of this program. Methodology: This study was completed in two phases. During the first phase, pre-intervention anthropometric and dietary survey was conducted; the teaching materials for nutrition intervention program were developed and tested; and the questionnaire was validated. In the second phase, an intervention was implemented in two schools of Kurukshetra, Haryana for six months by personal visits once a week. A total of 350 children in the age group of 6-12 years were selected. Out of these, 279 children, 153 boys and 126 girls completed the study. The subjects were divided into four groups namely: underweight, normal, overweight and obese based on body mass index-for-age categories. A power point colorful presentation to improve the quality of tiffin, snacks and meals emphasizing inclusion of all food groups especially vegetables every day and fruits at least 3-4 days per week was used. An extra 20 minutes of aerobic exercise daily was likewise organized and a healthy school environment created. Provision of clean drinking water by school authorities was ensured. Selling of soft drinks and energy-dense snacks in the school canteen as well as advertisements about soft drink and snacks on the school walls were banned. Post intervention, anthropometric indices and food selections were reassessed. Results: The results of this study reiterate the critical role of nutrition education and promotion in improving the healthier food choices by school children. It was observed that normal, overweight and obese children participating in nutrition education intervention program significantly (p≤0.05) increased their daily seasonal fruit and vegetable consumption. Fat and oil consumption was significantly reduced by overweight and obese subjects. Fast food intake was controlled by obese children. The nutrition knowledge of school children significantly improved (p≤0.05) from pre to post intervention. A highly significant increase (p≤0.00) was noted in the nutrition attitude score after intervention in all four groups. Conclusion: This study has shown that a well-planned nutrition education program could improve nutrition knowledge and promote positive changes in healthy food choices. A nutrition program inculcates wholesome eating and active life style habits in children and adolescents that could not only prevent them from chronic diseases and early death but also reduce healthcare cost and enhance the quality of life of citizens and thereby nations.

Keywords: children, eating habits healthy food, obesity, school going, fast foods

Procedia PDF Downloads 120
49 Climate Change Adaptation Success in a Low Income Country Setting, Bangladesh

Authors: Tanveer Ahmed Choudhury

Abstract:

Background: Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world, with high population density and high rates of poverty and illiteracy. 80% of the country is on low-lying floodplains, leaving the country one of the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change: sea level rise, cyclones and storms, salinity intrusion, rising temperatures and heavy monsoon downpours. Such climatic events already limit Economic Development in the country. Although Bangladesh has had little responsibility in contributing to global climatic change, it is vulnerable to both its direct and indirect impacts. Real threats include reduced agricultural production, worsening food security, increased incidence of flooding and drought, spreading disease and an increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources. Currently, 8.3 million Bangladeshis live in cyclone high risk areas. However, by 2050 this is expected to grow to 20.3 million people, if proper adaptive actions are not taken. Under a high emissions scenario, an additional 7.6 million people will be exposed to very high salinity by 2050 compared to current levels. It is also projected that, an average of 7.2 million people will be affected by flooding due to sea level rise every year between 2070-2100 and If global emissions decrease rapidly and adaptation interventions are taken, the population affected by flooding could be limited to only about 14,000 people. To combat the climate change adverse effects, Bangladesh government has initiated many adaptive measures specially in infrastructure and renewable energy sector. Government is investing huge money and initiated many projects which have been proved very success full. Objectives: The objective of this paper is to describe some successful measures initiated by Bangladesh government in its effort to make the country a Climate Resilient. Methodology: Review of operation plan and activities of different relevant Ministries of Bangladesh government. Result: The following initiative projects, programs and activities are considered as best practices for Climate Change adaptation successes for Bangladesh: 1. The Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL); 2. Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU); 3. The Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF); 4. Community Climate Change Project (CCCP); 5. Health, Population, Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP, 2011-2016)- "Climate Change and Environmental Issues"; 6. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh and WHO Collaboration; - National Adaptation Plan. -"Building adaptation to climate change in health in least developed countries through resilient WASH". 7. COP-21 “Climate and health country profile -2015 Bangladesh. Conclusion: Due to a vast coastline, low-lying land and abundance of rivers, Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to climate change. Having extensive experience with facing natural disasters, Bangladesh has developed a successful adaptation program, which led to a significant reduction in casualties from extreme weather events. In a low income country setting, Bangladesh had successfully adapted various projects and initiatives to combat future Climate Change challenges.

Keywords: climate, change, success, Bangladesh

Procedia PDF Downloads 126
48 Molecular Characterization and Arsenic Mobilization Properties of a Novel Strain IIIJ3-1 Isolated from Arsenic Contaminated Aquifers of Brahmaputra River Basin, India

Authors: Soma Ghosh, Balaram Mohapatra, Pinaki Sar, Abhijeet Mukherjee

Abstract:

Microbial role in arsenic (As) mobilization in the groundwater aquifers of Brahmaputra river basin (BRB) in India, severely threatened by high concentrations of As, remains largely unknown. The present study, therefore, is a molecular and ecophysiological characterization of an indigenous bacterium strain IIIJ3-1 isolated from As contaminated groundwater of BRB and application of this strain in several microcosm set ups differing in their organic carbon (OC) source and terminal electron acceptors (TEA), to understand its role in As dissolution under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Strain IIIJ3-1 was found to be a new facultative anaerobic, gram-positive, endospore-forming strain capable of arsenite (As3+) oxidation and dissimilatory arsenate (As5+) reduction. The bacterium exhibited low genomic (G+C)% content (45 mol%). Although, its 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed a maximum similarity of 99% with Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579(T) but the DNA-DNA relatedness of their genomic DNAs was only 49.9%, which remains well below the value recommended to delimit different species. Abundance of fatty acids iC17:0, iC15:0 and menaquinone (MK) 7 though corroborates its taxonomic affiliation with B. cereus sensu-lato group, presence of hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs), C18:2, MK5 and MK6 marked its uniqueness. Besides being highly As resistant (MTC=10mM As3+, 350mM As5+), metabolically diverse, efficient aerobic As3+ oxidizer; it exhibited near complete dissimilatory reduction of As5+ (1 mM). Utilization of various carbon sources with As5+ as TEA revealed lactate to serve as the best electron donor. Aerobic biotransformation assay yielded a lower Km for As3+ oxidation than As5+ reduction. Arsenic homeostasis was found to be conferred by the presence of arr, arsB, aioB, and acr3(1) genes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of this bacterium revealed reduction in cell size upon exposure to As and formation of As-rich electron opaque dots following growth with As3+. Incubation of this strain with sediment (sterilised) collected from BRB aquifers under varying OC, TEA and redox conditions revealed that the strain caused highest As mobilization from solid to aqueous phase under anaerobic condition with lactate and nitrate as electron donor and acceptor, respectively. Co-release of highest concentrations of oxalic acid, a well known bioweathering agent, considerable fold increase in viable cell counts and SEM-EDX and X-ray diffraction analysis of the sediment after incubation under this condition indicated that As release is consequent to microbial bioweathering of the minerals. Co-release of other elements statistically proves decoupled release of As with Fe and Zn. Principle component analysis also revealed prominent role of nitrate under aerobic and/or anaerobic condition in As release by strain IIIJ3-1. This study, therefore, is the first to isolate, characterize and reveal As mobilization property of a strain belonging to the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group isolated from highly As contaminated aquifers of Brahmaputra River Basin.

Keywords: anaerobic microcosm, arsenic rich electron opaque dots, Arsenic release, Bacillus strain IIIJ3-1

Procedia PDF Downloads 29
47 An Infrared Inorganic Scintillating Detector Applied in Radiation Therapy

Authors: Sree Bash Chandra Debnath, Didier Tonneau, Carole Fauquet, Agnes Tallet, Julien Darreon

Abstract:

Purpose: Inorganic scintillating dosimetry is the most recent promising technique to solve several dosimetric issues and provide quality assurance in radiation therapy. Despite several advantages, the major issue of using scintillating detectors is the Cerenkov effect, typically induced in the visible emission range. In this context, the purpose of this research work is to evaluate the performance of a novel infrared inorganic scintillator detector (IR-ISD) in the radiation therapy treatment to ensure Cerenkov free signal and the best matches between the delivered and prescribed doses during treatment. Methods: A simple and small-scale infrared inorganic scintillating detector of 100 µm diameter with a sensitive scintillating volume of 2x10-6 mm3 was developed. A prototype of the dose verification system has been introduced based on PTIR1470/F (provided by Phosphor Technology®) material used in the proposed novel IR-ISD. The detector was tested on an Elekta LINAC system tuned at 6 MV/15MV and a brachytherapy source (Ir-192) used in the patient treatment protocol. The associated dose rate was measured in count rate (photons/s) using a highly sensitive photon counter (sensitivity ~20ph/s). Overall measurements were performed in IBATM water tank phantoms by following international Technical Reports series recommendations (TRS 381) for radiotherapy and TG43U1 recommendations for brachytherapy. The performance of the detector was tested through several dosimetric parameters such as PDD, beam profiling, Cerenkov measurement, dose linearity, dose rate linearity repeatability, and scintillator stability. Finally, a comparative study is also shown using a reference microdiamond dosimeter, Monte-Carlo (MC) simulation, and data from recent literature. Results: This study is highlighting the complete removal of the Cerenkov effect especially for small field radiation beam characterization. The detector provides an entire linear response with the dose in the 4cGy to 800 cGy range, independently of the field size selected from 5 x 5 cm² down to 0.5 x 0.5 cm². A perfect repeatability (0.2 % variation from average) with day-to-day reproducibility (0.3% variation) was observed. Measurements demonstrated that ISD has superlinear behavior with dose rate (R2=1) varying from 50 cGy/s to 1000 cGy/s. PDD profiles obtained in water present identical behavior with a build-up maximum depth dose at 15 mm for different small fields irradiation. A low dimension of 0.5 x 0.5 cm² field profiles have been characterized, and the field cross profile presents a Gaussian-like shape. The standard deviation (1σ) of the scintillating signal remains within 0.02% while having a very low convolution effect, thanks to lower sensitive volume. Finally, during brachytherapy, a comparison with MC simulations shows that considering energy dependency, measurement agrees within 0.8% till 0.2 cm source to detector distance. Conclusion: The proposed scintillating detector in this study shows no- Cerenkov radiation and efficient performance for several radiation therapy measurement parameters. Therefore, it is anticipated that the IR-ISD system can be promoted to validate with direct clinical investigations, such as appropriate dose verification and quality control in the Treatment Planning System (TPS).

Keywords: IR-Scintillating detector, dose measurement, micro-scintillators, Cerenkov effect

Procedia PDF Downloads 31
46 Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor Followed by Dissolved Air Flotation Treating Municipal Sewage

Authors: Priscila Ribeiro dos Santos, Luiz Antonio Daniel

Abstract:

Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation has become one of the most widespread problems affecting people throughout the developing world, leading to an unceasing need for low-cost and sustainable wastewater treatment systems. The UASB technology has been widely employed as a suitable and economical option for the treatment of sewage in developing countries, which involves low initial investment, low energy requirements, low operation and maintenance costs, high loading capacity, short hydraulic retention times, long solids retention times and low sludge production. Whereas dissolved air flotation process is a good option for the post-treatment of anaerobic effluents, being capable of producing high quality effluents in terms of total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, phosphorus, and even pathogens. This work presents an evaluation and monitoring, over a period of 6 months, of one compact full-scale system with this configuration, UASB reactors followed by dissolved air flotation units (DAF), operating in Brazil. It was verified as a successful treatment system, and an issue of relevance since dissolved air flotation process treating UASB reactor effluents is not widely encompassed in the literature. The study covered the removal and behavior of several variables, such as turbidity, total suspend solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), Escherichia coli, total coliforms and Clostridium perfringens. The physicochemical variables were analyzed according to the protocols established by the Standard Methods for Examination of Water and Wastewater. For microbiological variables, such as Escherichia coli and total coliforms, it was used the “pour plate” technique with Chromocult Coliform Agar (Merk Cat. No.1.10426) serving as the culture medium, while the microorganism Clostridium perfringens was analyzed through the filtering membrane technique, with the Ágar m-CP (Oxoid Ltda, England) serving as the culture medium. Approximately 74% of total COD was removed in the UASB reactor, and the complementary removal done during the flotation process resulted in 88% of COD removal from the raw sewage, thus the initial concentration of COD of 729 mg.L-1 decreased to 87 mg.L-1. Whereas, in terms of particulate COD, the overall removal efficiency for the whole system was about 94%, decreasing from 375 mg.L-1 in raw sewage to 29 mg.L-1 in final effluent. The UASB reactor removed on average 77% of the TSS from raw sewage. While the dissolved air flotation process did not work as expected, removing only 30% of TSS from the anaerobic effluent. The final effluent presented an average concentration of 38 mg.L-1 of TSS. The turbidity was significantly reduced, leading to an overall efficiency removal of 80% and a final turbidity of 28 NTU.The treated effluent still presented a high concentration of fecal pollution indicators (E. coli, total coliforms, and Clostridium perfringens), showing that the system did not present a good performance in removing pathogens. Clostridium perfringens was the organism which suffered the higher removal by the treatment system. The results can be considered satisfactory for the physicochemical variables, taking into account the simplicity of the system, besides that, it is necessary a post-treatment to improve the microbiological quality of the final effluent.

Keywords: dissolved air flotation, municipal sewage, UASB reactor, treatment

Procedia PDF Downloads 236
45 Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Plasmonic Lens Focused Longitudinal Electric Field Excitation

Authors: Mingqian Zhang

Abstract:

Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) is a scanning probe technique for individual objects and structured surfaces investigation that provides a wealth of enhanced spectral information with nanoscale spatial resolution and high detection sensitivity. It has become a powerful and promising chemical and physical information detection method in the nanometer scale. The TERS technique uses a sharp metallic tip regulated in the near-field of a sample surface, which is illuminated with a certain incident beam meeting the excitation conditions of the wave-vector matching. The local electric field, and, consequently, the Raman scattering, from the sample in the vicinity of the tip apex are both greatly tip-enhanced owning to the excitation of localized surface plasmons and the lightning-rod effect. Typically, a TERS setup is composed of a scanning probe microscope, excitation and collection optical configurations, and a Raman spectroscope. In the illumination configuration, an objective lens or a parabolic mirror is always used as the most important component, in order to focus the incident beam on the tip apex for excitation. In this research, a novel TERS setup was built up by introducing a plasmonic lens to the excitation optics as a focusing device. A plasmonic lens with symmetry breaking semi-annular slits corrugated on gold film was designed for the purpose of generating concentrated sub-wavelength light spots with strong longitudinal electric field. Compared to conventional far-field optical components, the designed plasmonic lens not only focuses an incident beam to a sub-wavelength light spot, but also realizes a strong z-component that dominants the electric field illumination, which is ideal for the excitation of tip-enhancement. Therefore, using a PL in the illumination configuration of TERS contributes to improve the detection sensitivity by both reducing the far-field background and effectively exciting the localized electric field enhancement. The FDTD method was employed to investigate the optical near-field distribution resulting from the light-nanostructure interaction. And the optical field distribution was characterized using an scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope to demonstrate the focusing performance of the lens. The experimental result is in agreement with the theoretically calculated one. It verifies the focusing performance of the plasmonic lens. The optical field distribution shows a bright elliptic spot in the lens center and several arc-like side-lobes on both sides. After the focusing performance was experimentally verified, the designed plasmonic lens was used as a focusing component in the excitation configuration of TERS setup to concentrate incident energy and generate a longitudinal optical field. A collimated linearly polarized laser beam, with along x-axis polarization, was incident from the bottom glass side on the plasmonic lens. The incident light focused by the plasmonic lens interacted with the silver-coated tip apex and enhanced the Raman signal of the sample locally. The scattered Raman signal was gathered by a parabolic mirror and detected with a Raman spectroscopy. Then, the plasmonic lens based setup was employed to investigate carbon nanotubes and TERS experiment was performed. Experimental results indicate that the Raman signal is considerably enhanced which proves that the novel TERS configuration is feasible and promising.

Keywords: longitudinal electric field, plasmonics, raman spectroscopy, tip-enhancement

Procedia PDF Downloads 255
44 Transcriptomic Analysis of Acanthamoeba castellanii Virulence Alteration by Epigenetic DNA Methylation

Authors: Yi-Hao Wong, Li-Li Chan, Chee-Onn Leong, Stephen Ambu, Joon-Wah Mak, Priyasashi Sahu

Abstract:

Background: Acanthamoeba is a genus of amoebae which lives as a free-living in nature or as a human pathogen that causes severe brain and eye infections. Virulence potential of Acanthamoeba is not constant and can change with growth conditions. DNA methylation, an epigenetic process which adds methyl groups to DNA, is used by eukaryotic cells, including several human parasites to control their gene expression. We used qPCR, siRNA gene silencing, and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to study DNA-methyltransferase gene family (DNMT) in order to indicate the possibility of its involvement in programming Acanthamoeba virulence potential. Methods: A virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba isolate (designation: ATCC; original isolate: ATCC 50492) was subjected to mouse passages to restore its pathogenicity; a virulence-reactivated isolate (designation: AC/5) was generated. Several established factors associated with Acanthamoeba virulence phenotype were examined to confirm the succession of reactivation process. Differential gene expression of DNMT between ATCC and AC/5 isolates was performed by qPCR. Silencing on DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate was achieved by siRNA duplex. Total RNAs extracted from ATCC, AC/5, and siRNA-treated (designation: si-146) were subjected to RNA-Seq for comparative transcriptomic analysis in order to identify the genome-wide effect of DNMT in regulating Acanthamoeba gene expression. qPCR was performed to validate the RNA-Seq results. Results: Physiological and cytophatic assays demonstrated an increased in virulence potential of AC/5 isolate after mouse passages. DNMT gene expression was significantly higher in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate (p ≤ 0.01) by qPCR. si-146 duplex reduced DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate by 30%. Comparative transcriptome analysis identified the differentially expressed genes, with 3768 genes in AC/5 vs ATCC isolate; 2102 genes in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate and 3422 genes in si-146 vs ATCC isolate, respectively (fold-change of ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5, p-value adjusted (padj) < 0.05). Of these, 840 and 1262 genes were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate. Eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments revealed a higher percentage of downregulated gene expression in si-146 compared to AC/5 isolate, were related to posttranslational modification, signal transduction and energy production. Gene Ontology (GO) terms for those downregulated genes shown were associated with transport activity, oxidation-reduction process, and metabolic process. Among these downregulated genes were putative genes encoded for heat shock proteins, transporters, ubiquitin-related proteins, proteins for vesicular trafficking (small GTPases), and oxidoreductases. Functional analysis of similar predicted proteins had been described in other parasitic protozoa for their survival and pathogenicity. Decreased expression of these genes in si146-treated isolate may account in part for Acanthamoeba reduced pathogenicity. qPCR on 6 selected genes upregulated in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate corroborated the RNA sequencing findings, indicating a good concordance between these two analyses. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation and its effects on gene expression in Acanthamoeba spp. The present data indicate that DNA methylation has substantial effect on global gene expression, allowing further dissection of the genome-wide effects of DNA-methyltransferase gene in regulating Acanthamoeba pathogenicity.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba, DNA methylation, RNA sequencing, virulence

Procedia PDF Downloads 52
43 Nanoscale Photo-Orientation of Azo-Dyes in Glassy Environments Using Polarized Optical Near-Field

Authors: S. S. Kharintsev, E. A. Chernykh, S. K. Saikin, A. I. Fishman, S. G. Kazarian

Abstract:

Recent advances in improving information storage performance are inseparably linked with circumvention of fundamental constraints such as the supermagnetic limit in heat assisted magnetic recording, charge loss tolerance in solid-state memory and the Abbe’s diffraction limit in optical storage. A substantial breakthrough in the development of nonvolatile storage devices with dimensional scaling has been achieved due to phase-change chalcogenide memory, which nowadays, meets the market needs to the greatest advantage. A further progress is aimed at the development of versatile nonvolatile high-speed memory combining potentials of random access memory and archive storage. The well-established properties of light at the nanoscale empower us to use them for recording optical information with ultrahigh density scaled down to a single molecule, which is the size of a pit. Indeed, diffraction-limited optics is able to record as much information as ~1 Gb/in2. Nonlinear optical effects, for example, two-photon fluorescence recording, allows one to decrease the extent of the pit even more, which results in the recording density up to ~100 Gb/in2. Going beyond the diffraction limit, due to the sub-wavelength confinement of light, pushes the pit size down to a single chromophore, which is, on average, of ~1 nm in length. Thus, the memory capacity can be increased up to the theoretical limit of 1 Pb/in2. Moreover, the field confinement provides faster recording and readout operations due to the enhanced light-matter interaction. This, in turn, leads to the miniaturization of optical devices and the decrease of energy supply down to ~1 μW/cm². Intrinsic features of light such as multimode, mixed polarization and angular momentum in addition to the underlying optical and holographic tools for writing/reading, enriches the storage and encryption of optical information. In particular, the finite extent of the near-field penetration, falling into a range of 50-100 nm, gives the possibility to perform 3D volume (layer-to-layer) recording/readout of optical information. In this study, we demonstrate a comprehensive evidence of isotropic-to-homeotropic phase transition of the azobenzene-functionalized polymer thin film exposed to light and dc electric field using near-field optical microscopy and scanning capacitance microscopy. We unravel a near-field Raman dichroism of a sub-10 nm thick epoxy-based side-chain azo-polymer films with polarization-controlled tip-enhanced Raman scattering. In our study, orientation of azo-chromophores is controlled with a bias voltage gold tip rather than light polarization. Isotropic in-plane and homeotropic out-of-plane arrangement of azo-chromophores in glassy environment can be distinguished with transverse and longitudinal optical near-fields. We demonstrate that both phases are unambiguously visualized by 2D mapping their local dielectric properties with scanning capacity microscopy. The stability of the polar homeotropic phase is strongly sensitive to the thickness of the thin film. We make an analysis of α-transition of the azo-polymer by detecting a temperature-dependent phase jump of an AFM cantilever when passing through the glass temperature. Overall, we anticipate further improvements in optical storage performance, which approaches to a single molecule level.

Keywords: optical memory, azo-dye, near-field, tip-enhanced Raman scattering

Procedia PDF Downloads 91
42 Engineering Design of a Chemical Launcher: An Interdisciplinary Design Activity

Authors: Mei Xuan Tan, Gim-Yang Maggie Pee, Mei Chee Tan

Abstract:

Academic performance, in the form of scoring high grades in enrolled subjects, is not the only significant trait in achieving success. Engineering graduates with experience in working on hands-on projects in a team setting are highly sought after in industry upon graduation. Such projects are typically real world problems that require the integration and application of knowledge and skills from several disciplines. In a traditional university setting, subjects are taught in a silo manner with no cross participation from other departments or disciplines. This may lead to knowledge compartmentalization and students are unable to understand and connect the relevance and applicability of the subject. University instructors thus see this integration across disciplines as a challenging task as they aim to better prepare students in understanding and solving problems for work or future studies. To improve students’ academic performance and to cultivate various skills such as critical thinking, there has been a gradual uptake in the use of an active learning approach in introductory science and engineering courses, where lecturing is traditionally the main mode of instruction. This study aims to discuss the implementation and experience of a hands-on, interdisciplinary project that involves all the four core subjects taught during the term at the Singapore University of Technology Design (SUTD). At SUTD, an interdisciplinary design activity, named 2D, is integrated into the curriculum to help students reinforce the concepts learnt. A student enrolled in SUTD experiences his or her first 2D in Term 1. This activity. which spans over one week in Week 10 of Term 1, highlights the application of chemistry, physics, mathematics, humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) in designing an engineering product solution. The activity theme for Term 1 2D revolved around “work and play”. Students, in teams of 4 or 5, used a scaled-down model of a chemical launcher to launch a projectile across the room. It involved the use of a small chemical combustion reaction between ethanol (a highly volatile fuel) and oxygen. This reaction generated a sudden and large increase in gas pressure built up in a closed chamber, resulting in rapid gas expansion and ejection of the projectile out of the launcher. Students discussed and explored the meaning of play in their lives in HASS class while the engineering aspects of a combustion system to launch an object using underlying principles of energy conversion and projectile motion were revisited during the chemistry and physics classes, respectively. Numerical solutions on the distance travelled by the projectile launched by the chemical launcher, taking into account drag forces, was developed during the mathematics classes. At the end of the activity, students developed skills in report writing, data collection and analysis. Specific to this 2D activity, students gained an understanding and appreciation on the application and interdisciplinary nature of science, engineering and HASS. More importantly, students were exposed to design and problem solving, where human interaction and discussion are important yet challenging in a team setting.

Keywords: active learning, collaborative learning, first year undergraduate, interdisciplinary, STEAM

Procedia PDF Downloads 10
41 Gas-Phase Noncovalent Functionalization of Pristine Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with 3D Metal(II) Phthalocyanines

Authors: Vladimir A. Basiuk, Laura J. Flores-Sanchez, Victor Meza-Laguna, Jose O. Flores-Flores, Lauro Bucio-Galindo, Elena V. Basiuk

Abstract:

Noncovalent nanohybrid materials combining carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with phthalocyanines (Pcs) is a subject of increasing research effort, with a particular emphasis on the design of new heterogeneous catalysts, efficient organic photovoltaic cells, lithium batteries, gas sensors, field effect transistors, among other possible applications. The possibility of using unsubstituted Pcs for CNT functionalization is very attractive due to their very moderate cost and easy commercial availability. However, unfortunately, the deposition of unsubstituted Pcs onto nanotube sidewalls through the traditional liquid-phase protocols turns to be very problematic due to extremely poor solubility of Pcs. On the other hand, unsubstituted free-base H₂Pc phthalocyanine ligand, as well as many of its transition metal complexes, exhibit very high thermal stability and considerable volatility under reduced pressure, which opens the possibility for their physical vapor deposition onto solid surfaces, including nanotube sidewalls. In the present work, we show the possibility of simple, fast and efficient noncovalent functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with a series of 3d metal(II) phthalocyanines Me(II)Pc, where Me= Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. The functionalization can be performed in a temperature range of 400-500 °C under moderate vacuum and requires about 2-3 h only. The functionalized materials obtained were characterized by means of Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), Raman, UV-visible and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM, respectively) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). TGA suggested that Me(II)Pc weight content is 30%, 17% and 35% for NiPc, CuPc, and ZnPc, respectively (CoPc exhibited anomalous thermal decomposition behavior). The above values are consistent with those estimated from EDS spectra, namely, of 24-39%, 27-36% and 27-44% for CoPc, CuPc, and ZnPc, respectively. A strong increase in intensity of D band in the Raman spectra of SWNT‒Me(II)Pc hybrids, as compared to that of pristine nanotubes, implies very strong interactions between Pc molecules and SWNT sidewalls. Very high absolute values of binding energies of 32.46-37.12 kcal/mol and the highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (HOMO and LUMO, respectively) distribution patterns, calculated with density functional theory by using Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof general gradient approximation correlation functional in combination with the Grimme’s empirical dispersion correction (PBE-D) and the double numerical basis set (DNP), also suggested that the interactions between Me(II) phthalocyanines and nanotube sidewalls are very strong. The authors thank the National Autonomous University of Mexico (grant DGAPA-IN200516) and the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT, grant 250655) for financial support. The authors are also grateful to Dr. Natalia Alzate-Carvajal (CCADET of UNAM), Eréndira Martínez (IF of UNAM) and Iván Puente-Lee (Faculty of Chemistry of UNAM) for technical assistance with FTIR, TGA measurements, and TEM imaging, respectively.

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, functionalization, gas-phase, metal(II) phthalocyanines

Procedia PDF Downloads 30
40 Influence of the Local External Pressure on Measured Parameters of Cutaneous Microcirculation

Authors: Irina Mizeva, Elena Potapova, Viktor Dremin, Mikhail Mezentsev, Valeri Shupletsov

Abstract:

The local tissue perfusion is regulated by the microvascular tone which is under the control of a number of physiological mechanisms. Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) together with wavelet analyses is the most commonly used technique to study the regulatory mechanisms of cutaneous microcirculation. External factors such as temperature, local pressure of the probe on the skin, etc. influence on the blood flow characteristics and are used as physiological tests to evaluate microvascular regulatory mechanisms. Local probe pressure influences on the microcirculation parameters measured by optical methods: diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and LDF. Therefore, further study of probe pressure effects can be useful to improve the reliability of optical measurement. During pressure tests variation of the mean perfusion measured by means of LDF usually is estimated. An additional information concerning the physiological mechanisms of the vascular tone regulation system in response to local pressure can be obtained using spectral analyses of LDF samples. The aim of the present work was to develop protocol and algorithm of data processing appropriate for study physiological response to the local pressure test. Involving 6 subjects (20±2 years) and providing 5 measurements for every subject we estimated intersubject and-inter group variability of response of both averaged and oscillating parts of the LDF sample on external surface pressure. The final purpose of the work was to find special features which further can be used in wider clinic studies. The cutaneous perfusion measurements were carried out by LAKK-02 (SPE LAZMA Ltd., Russia), the skin loading was provided by the originally designed device which allows one to distribute the pressure around the LDF probe. The probe was installed on the dorsal part of the distal finger of the index figure. We collected measurements continuously for one hour and varied loading from 0 to 180mmHg stepwise with a step duration of 10 minutes. Further, we post-processed the samples using the wavelet transform and traced the energy of oscillations in five frequency bands over time. Weak loading leads to pressure-induced vasodilation, so one should take into account that the perfusion measured under pressure conditions will be overestimated. On the other hand, we revealed a decrease in endothelial associated fluctuations. Further loading (88 mmHg) induces amplification of pulsations in all frequency bands. We assume that such loading leads to a higher number of closed capillaries, higher input of arterioles in the LDF signal and as a consequence more vivid oscillations which mainly are formed in arterioles. External pressure higher than 144 mmHg leads to the decrease of oscillating components, after removing the loading very rapid restore of the tissue perfusion takes place. In this work, we have demonstrated that local skin loading influence on the microcirculation parameters measured by optic technique; this should be taken into account while developing portable electronic devices. The proposed protocol of local loading allows one to evaluate PIV as far as to trace dynamic of blood flow oscillations. This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under project N 18-15-00201.

Keywords: blood microcirculation, laser Doppler flowmetry, pressure-induced vasodilation, wavelet analyses blood

Procedia PDF Downloads 31
39 Integrated Services Hub for Exploration and Production Industry: An Indian Narrative

Authors: Sunil Arora, Anitya Kumar Jena, S. A. Ravi

Abstract:

India is at the cusp of major reforms in the hydrocarbon sector. Oil and gas sector is highly liberalised to attract private investment and to increase domestic production. Major hydrocarbon Exploration & Production (E&P) activity here have been undertaken by Government owned companies but with easing up and reworking of hydro carbon exploration licensing policies private players have also joined the fray towards achieving energy security for India. Government of India has come up with policy and administrative reforms including Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), Sagarmala (port-led development with coastal connectivity), and Development of Small Discovered Fields, etc. with the intention to make industry friendly conditions for investment, ease of doing business and reduce gestation period. To harness the potential resources of Deep water and Ultra deep water, High Pressure – High Temperature (HP-HT) regions, Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Shale Hydrocarbons besides Gas Hydrates, participation shall be required from both domestic and international players. Companies engaged in E&P activities in India have traditionally been managing through their captive supply base, but with crude prices under hammer, the need is being felt to outsource non-core activities. This necessitates establishment of a robust support services to cater to E&P Industry, which is currently non-existent to meet the bourgeon challenges. This paper outlines an agenda for creating an Integrated Services Hub (ISH) under Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to facilitate complete gamut of non-core support activities of E&P industry. This responsive and proficient multi-usage facility becomes viable with better resource utilization, economies of scale to offer cost effective services. The concept envisages companies to bring-in their core technical expertise leaving complete hardware peripherals outsourced to this ISH. The Integrated Services Hub, complying with the best in class global standards, shall typically provide following Services under Single Window Solution, but not limited to: a) Logistics including supply base operations, transport of manpower and material, helicopters, offshore supply vessels, warehousing, inventory management, sourcing and procurement activities, international freight forwarding, domestic trucking, customs clearance service etc. b) Trained/Experienced pool of competent Manpower (Technical, Security etc.) will be available for engagement by companies on either short or long term basis depending upon the requirements with provisions of meeting any training requirements. c) Specialized Services through tie-up with global best companies for Crisis Management, Mud/Cement, Fishing, Floating Dry-dock besides provision of Workshop, Repair and Testing facilities, etc. d) Tools and Tackles including drill strings, etc. A pre-established Integrated Services Hub shall facilitate an early start-up of activities with substantial savings in time lines. This model can be replicated at other parts of the world to expedite E&P activities.

Keywords: integrated service hub, India, oil gas, offshore supply base

Procedia PDF Downloads 76
38 Mean Nutrient Intake and Nutrient Adequacy Ratio in India: Occurrence of Hidden Hunger in Indians

Authors: Abha Gupta, Deepak K. Mishra

Abstract:

The focus of food security studies in India has been on the adequacy of calories and its linkage with poverty level. India currently being undergoing a massive demographic and epidemiological transition has demonstrated a decline in average physical activity with improved mechanization and urbanization. Food consumption pattern is also changing with decreasing intake of coarse cereals and a marginal increase in the consumption of fruits, vegetables and meat products resulting into a nutrition transition in the country. However, deficiency of essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals is rampant despite their growing importance in fighting back with lifestyle and other modern diseases. The calorie driven studies can hardly tackle the complex problem of malnutrition. This paper fills these research lacuna and analyses mean intake of different major and micro-nutrients among different socio-economic groups and adequacy of these nutrients from recommended dietary allowance. For the purpose, a cross-sectional survey covering 304 households selected through proportional stratified random sampling was conducted in six villages of Aligarh district of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Data on quantity consumed of 74 food items grouped into 10 food categories with a recall period of seven days was collected from the households and converted into energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C using standard guidelines of National Institute of Nutrition. These converted nutrients were compared with recommended norms given by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau. Per capita nutrient adequacy was calculated by dividing mean nutrient intake by the household size and then by comparing it with recommended norm. Findings demonstrate that source of both macro and micro-nutrients are mainly cereals followed by milk, edible oil and sugar items. Share of meat in providing essential nutrients is very low due to vegetarian diet. Vegetables, pulses, nuts, fruits and dry fruits are a poor source for most of the nutrients. Further analysis evinces that intake of most of the nutrients is higher than the recommended norm. Riboflavin is the only vitamin whose intake is less than the standard norm. Poor group, labour, small farmers, Muslims, scheduled caste demonstrate comparatively lower intake of all nutrients than their counterpart groups, though, they get enough macro and micro-nutrients significantly higher than the norm. One of the major reasons for higher intake of most of the nutrients across all socio-economic groups is higher consumption of monotonous diet based on cereals and milk. Most of the nutrients get their major share from cereals particularly wheat and milk intake. It can be concluded from the analysis that although there is adequate intake of most of the nutrients in the diet of rural population yet their source is mainly cereals and milk products depicting a monotonous diet. Hence, more efforts are needed to diversify the diet by giving more focus to the production of other food items particularly fruits, vegetables and pulse products. Awareness among the population, more accessibility and incorporating food items other than cereals in government social safety programmes are other measures to improve food security in India.

Keywords: hidden hunger, India, nutrients, recommended norm

Procedia PDF Downloads 225
37 Metabolic Changes during Reprogramming of Wheat and Triticale Microspores

Authors: Natalia Hordynska, Magdalena Szechynska-Hebda, Miroslaw Sobczak, Elzbieta Rozanska, Joanna Troczynska, Zofia Banaszak, Maria Wedzony

Abstract:

Albinism is a common problem encountered in wheat and triticale breeding programs, which require in vitro culture steps e.g. generation of doubled haploids via androgenesis process. Genetic factor is a major determinant of albinism, however, environmental conditions such as temperature and media composition influence the frequency of albino plant formation. Cold incubation of wheat and triticale spikes induced a switch from gametophytic to sporophytic development. Further, androgenic structures formed from anthers of the genotypes susceptible to androgenesis or treated with cold stress, had a pool of structurally primitive plastids, with small starch granules or swollen thylakoids. High temperature was a factor inducing andro-genesis of wheat and triticale, but at the same time, it was a factor favoring the formation of albino plants. In genotypes susceptible to albinism or after heat stress conditions, cells formed from anthers were vacuolated, and plastids were eliminated. Partial or complete loss of chlorophyll pigments and incomplete differentiation of chloroplast membranes result in formation of tissues or whole plant unable to perform photosynthesis. Indeed, susceptibility to the andro-genesis process was associated with an increase of total concentration of photosynthetic pigments in anthers, spikes and regenerated plants. The proper balance of the synthesis of various pigments, was the starting point for their proper incorporation into photosynthetic membranes. In contrast, genotypes resistant to the androgenesis process and those treated with heat, contained 100 times lower content of photosynthetic pigments. In particular, the synthesis of violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll b was limited. Furthermore, deregulation of starch and lipids synthesis, which led to the formation of very complex starch granules and an increased number of oleosomes, respectively, correlated with the reduction of the efficiency of androgenesis. The content of other sugars varied depending on the genotype and the type of stress. The highest content of various sugars was found for genotypes susceptible to andro-genesis, and highly reduced for genotypes resistant to androgenesis. The most important sugars seem to be glucose and fructose. They are involved in sugar sensing and signaling pathways, which affect the expression of various genes and regulate plant development. Sucrose, on the other hand, seems to have minor effect at each stage of the androgenesis. The sugar metabolism was related to metabolic activity of microspores. The genotypes susceptible to androgenesis process had much faster mitochondrium- and chloroplast-dependent energy conversion and higher heat production by tissues. Thus, the effectiveness of metabolic processes, their balance and the flexibility under the stress was a factor determining the direction of microspore development, and in the later stages of the androgenesis process, a factor supporting the induction of androgenic structures, chloroplast formation and the regeneration of green plants. The work was financed by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development within Program: ‘Biological Progress in Plant Production’, project no HOR.hn.802.15.2018.

Keywords: androgenesis, chloroplast, metabolism, temperature stress

Procedia PDF Downloads 143
36 A Simple Chemical Approach to Regenerating Strength of Thermally Recycled Glass Fibre

Authors: Sairah Bashir, Liu Yang, John Liggat, James Thomason

Abstract:

Glass fibre is currently used as reinforcement in over 90% of all fibre-reinforced composites produced. The high rigidity and chemical resistance of these composites are required for optimum performance but unfortunately results in poor recyclability; when such materials are no longer fit for purpose, they are frequently deposited in landfill sites. Recycling technologies, for example, thermal treatment, can be employed to address this issue; temperatures typically between 450 and 600 °C are required to allow degradation of the rigid polymeric matrix and subsequent extraction of fibrous reinforcement. However, due to the severe thermal conditions utilised in the recycling procedure, glass fibres become too weak for reprocessing in second-life composite materials. In addition, more stringent legislation is being put in place regarding disposal of composite waste, and so it is becoming increasingly important to develop long-term recycling solutions for such materials. In particular, the development of a cost-effective method to regenerate strength of thermally recycled glass fibres will have a positive environmental effect as a reduced volume of composite material will be destined for landfill. This research study has demonstrated the positive impact of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution, prepared at relatively mild temperatures and at concentrations of 1.5 M and above, on the strength of heat-treated glass fibres. As a result, alkaline treatments can potentially be implemented to glass fibres that are recycled from composite waste to allow their reuse in second-life materials. The optimisation of the strength recovery process is being conducted by varying certain reaction parameters such as molarity of alkaline solution and treatment time. It is believed that deep V-shaped surface flaws exist commonly on severely damaged fibre surfaces and are effectively removed to form smooth, U-shaped structures following alkaline treatment. Although these surface flaws are believed to be present on glass fibres they have not in fact been observed, however, they have recently been discovered in this research investigation through analytical techniques such as AFM (atomic force microscopy) and SEM (scanning electron microscopy). Reaction conditions such as molarity of alkaline solution affect the degree of etching of the glass fibre surface, and therefore the extent to which fibre strength is recovered. A novel method in determining the etching rate of glass fibres after alkaline treatment has been developed, and the data acquired can be correlated with strength. By varying reaction conditions such as alkaline solution temperature and molarity, the activation energy of the glass etching process and the reaction order can be calculated respectively. The promising results obtained from NaOH and KOH treatments have opened an exciting route to strength regeneration of thermally recycled glass fibres, and the optimisation of the alkaline treatment process is being continued in order to produce recycled fibres with properties that match original glass fibre products. The reuse of such glass filaments indicates that closed-loop recycling of glass fibre reinforced composite (GFRC) waste can be achieved. In fact, the development of a closed-loop recycling process for GFRC waste is already underway in this research study.

Keywords: glass fibers, glass strengthening, glass structure and properties, surface reactions and corrosion

Procedia PDF Downloads 104
35 Thermally Stable Crystalline Triazine-Based Organic Polymeric Nanodendrites for Mercury(2+) Ion Sensing

Authors: Dimitra Das, Anuradha Mitra, Kalyan Kumar Chattopadhyay

Abstract:

Organic polymers, constructed from light elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur, and boron atoms, are the emergent class of non-toxic, metal-free, environmental benign advanced materials. Covalent triazine-based polymers with a functional triazine group are significant class of organic materials due to their remarkable stability arising out of strong covalent bonds. They can conventionally form hydrogen bonds, favour π–π contacts, and they were recently revealed to be involved in interesting anion–π interactions. The present work mainly focuses upon the development of a single-crystalline, highly cross-linked triazine-based nitrogen-rich organic polymer with nanodendritic morphology and significant thermal stability. The polymer has been synthesized through hydrothermal treatment of melamine and ethylene glycol resulting in cross-polymerization via condensation-polymerization reaction. The crystal structure of the polymer has been evaluated by employing Rietveld whole profile fitting method. The polymer has been found to be composed of monoclinic melamine having space group P21/a. A detailed insight into the chemical structure of the as synthesized polymer has been elucidated by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopic analysis. X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic (XPS) analysis has also been carried out for further understanding of the different types of linkages required to create the backbone of the polymer. The unique rod-like morphology of the triazine based polymer has been revealed from the images obtained from Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Interestingly, this polymer has been found to selectively detect mercury (Hg²⁺) ions at an extremely low concentration through fluorescent quenching with detection limit as low as 0.03 ppb. The high toxicity of mercury ions (Hg²⁺) arise from its strong affinity towards the sulphur atoms of biological building blocks. Even a trace quantity of this metal is dangerous for human health. Furthermore, owing to its small ionic radius and high solvation energy, Hg²⁺ ions remain encapsulated by water molecules making its detection a challenging task. There are some existing reports on fluorescent-based heavy metal ion sensors using covalent organic frameworks (COFs) but reports on mercury sensing using triazine based polymers are rather undeveloped. Thus, the importance of ultra-trace detection of Hg²⁺ ions with high level of selectivity and sensitivity has contemporary significance. A plausible sensing phenomenon by the polymer has been proposed to understand the applicability of the material as a potential sensor. The impressive sensitivity of the polymer sample towards Hg²⁺ is the very first report in the field of highly crystalline triazine based polymers (without the introduction of any sulphur groups or functionalization) towards mercury ion detection through photoluminescence quenching technique. This crystalline metal-free organic polymer being cheap, non-toxic and scalable has current relevance and could be a promising candidate for Hg²⁺ ion sensing at commercial level.

Keywords: fluorescence quenching , mercury ion sensing, single-crystalline, triazine-based polymer

Procedia PDF Downloads 21
34 Physiological Effects during Aerobatic Flights on Science Astronaut Candidates

Authors: Pedro Llanos, Diego García

Abstract:

Spaceflight is considered the last frontier in terms of science, technology, and engineering. But it is also the next frontier in terms of human physiology and performance. After more than 200,000 years humans have evolved under earth’s gravity and atmospheric conditions, spaceflight poses environmental stresses for which human physiology is not adapted. Hypoxia, accelerations, and radiation are among such stressors, our research involves suborbital flights aiming to develop effective countermeasures in order to assure sustainable human space presence. The physiologic baseline of spaceflight participants is subject to great variability driven by age, gender, fitness, and metabolic reserve. The objective of the present study is to characterize different physiologic variables in a population of STEM practitioners during an aerobatic flight. Cardiovascular and pulmonary responses were determined in Science Astronaut Candidates (SACs) during unusual attitude aerobatic flight indoctrination. Physiologic data recordings from 20 subjects participating in high-G flight training were analyzed. These recordings were registered by wearable sensor-vest that monitored electrocardiographic tracings (ECGs), signs of dysrhythmias or other electric disturbances during all the flight. The same cardiovascular parameters were also collected approximately 10 min pre-flight, during each high-G/unusual attitude maneuver and 10 min after the flights. The ratio (pre-flight/in-flight/post-flight) of the cardiovascular responses was calculated for comparison of inter-individual differences. The resulting tracings depicting the cardiovascular responses of the subjects were compared against the G-loads (Gs) during the aerobatic flights to analyze cardiovascular variability aspects and fluid/pressure shifts due to the high Gs. In-flight ECG revealed cardiac variability patterns associated with rapid Gs onset in terms of reduced heart rate (HR) and some scattered dysrhythmic patterns (15% premature ventricular contractions-type) that were considered as triggered physiological responses to high-G/unusual attitude training and some were considered as instrument artifact. Variation events were observed in subjects during the +Gz and –Gz maneuvers and these may be due to preload and afterload, sudden shift. Our data reveal that aerobatic flight influenced the breathing rate of the subject, due in part by the various levels of energy expenditure due to the increased use of muscle work during these aerobatic maneuvers. Noteworthy was the high heterogeneity in the different physiological responses among a relatively small group of SACs exposed to similar aerobatic flights with similar Gs exposures. The cardiovascular responses clearly demonstrated that SACs were subjected to significant flight stress. Routine ECG monitoring during high-G/unusual attitude flight training is recommended to capture pathology underlying dangerous dysrhythmias in suborbital flight safety. More research is currently being conducted to further facilitate the development of robust medical screening, medical risk assessment approaches, and suborbital flight training in the context of the evolving commercial human suborbital spaceflight industry. A more mature and integrative medical assessment method is required to understand the physiology state and response variability among highly diverse populations of prospective suborbital flight participants.

Keywords: g force, aerobatic maneuvers, suborbital flight, hypoxia, commercial astronauts

Procedia PDF Downloads 18