Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4313

Search results for: natural gas

83 An Evaluation of a Prototype System for Harvesting Energy from Pressurized Pipeline Networks

Authors: Nicholas Aerne, John P. Parmigiani


There is an increasing desire for renewable and sustainable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. This desire is the result of several factors. First, is the role of fossil fuels in climate change. Scientific data clearly shows that global warming is occurring. It has also been concluded that it is highly likely human activity; specifically, the combustion of fossil fuels, is a major cause of this warming. Second, despite the current surplus of petroleum, fossil fuels are a finite resource and will eventually become scarce and alternatives, such as clean or renewable energy will be needed. Third, operations to obtain fossil fuels such as fracking, off-shore oil drilling, and strip mining are expensive and harmful to the environment. Given these environmental impacts, there is a need to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources as a primary energy source. Various sources of renewable energy exist. Many familiar sources obtain renewable energy from the sun and natural environments of the earth. Common examples include solar, hydropower, geothermal heat, ocean waves and tides, and wind energy. Often obtaining significant energy from these sources requires physically-large, sophisticated, and expensive equipment (e.g., wind turbines, dams, solar panels, etc.). Other sources of renewable energy are from the man-made environment. An example is municipal water distribution systems. The movement of water through the pipelines of these systems typically requires the reduction of hydraulic pressure through the use of pressure reducing valves. These valves are needed to reduce upstream supply-line pressures to levels suitable downstream users. The energy associated with this reduction of pressure is significant but is currently not harvested and is simply lost. While the integrity of municipal water supplies is of paramount importance, one can certainly envision means by which this lost energy source could be safely accessed. This paper provides a technical description and analysis of one such means by the technology company InPipe Energy to generate hydroelectricity by harvesting energy from municipal water distribution pressure reducing valve stations. Specifically, InPipe Energy proposes to install hydropower turbines in parallel with existing pressure reducing valves in municipal water distribution systems. InPipe Energy in partnership with Oregon State University has evaluated this approach and built a prototype system at the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab. The Oregon State University evaluation showed that the prototype system rapidly and safely initiates, maintains, and ceases power production as directed. The outgoing water pressure remained constant at the specified set point throughout all testing. The system replicates the functionality of the pressure reducing valve and ensures accurate control of down-stream pressure. At a typical water-distribution-system pressure drop of 60 psi the prototype, operating at an efficiency 64%, produced approximately 5 kW of electricity. Based on the results of this study, this proposed method appears to offer a viable means of producing significant amounts of clean renewable energy from existing pressure reducing valves.

Keywords: pressure reducing valve, renewable energy, sustainable energy, water supply

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82 Investigation of Pu-238 Heat Source Modifications to Increase Power Output through (α,N) Reaction-Induced Fission

Authors: Alex B. Cusick


The objective of this study is to improve upon the current ²³⁸PuO₂ fuel technology for space and defense applications. Modern RTGs (radioisotope thermoelectric generators) utilize the heat generated from the radioactive decay of ²³⁸Pu to create heat and electricity for long term and remote missions. Application of RTG technology is limited by the scarcity and expense of producing the isotope, as well as the power output which is limited to only a few hundred watts. The scarcity and expense make the efficient use of ²³⁸Pu absolutely necessary. By utilizing the decay of ²³⁸Pu, not only to produce heat directly but to also indirectly induce fission in ²³⁹Pu (which is already present within currently used fuel), it is possible to see large increases in temperature which allows for a more efficient conversion to electricity and a higher power-to-weight ratio. This concept can reduce the quantity of ²³⁸Pu necessary for these missions, potentially saving millions on investment, while yielding higher power output. Current work investigating radioisotope power systems have focused on improving efficiency of the thermoelectric components and replacing systems which produce heat by virtue of natural decay with fission reactors. The technical feasibility of utilizing (α,n) reactions to induce fission within current radioisotopic fuels has not been investigated in any appreciable detail, and our study aims to thoroughly investigate the performance of many such designs, develop those with highest capabilities, and facilitate experimental testing of these designs. In order to determine the specific design parameters that maximize power output and the efficient use of ²³⁸Pu for future RTG units, MCNP6 simulations have been used to characterize the effects of modifying fuel composition, geometry, and porosity, as well as introducing neutron moderating, reflecting, and shielding materials to the system. Although this project is currently in the preliminary stages, the final deliverables will include sophisticated designs and simulation models that define all characteristics of multiple novel RTG fuels, detailed enough to allow immediate fabrication and testing. Preliminary work has consisted of developing a benchmark model to accurately represent the ²³⁸PuO₂ pellets currently in use by NASA; this model utilizes the alpha transport capabilities of MCNP6 and agrees well with experimental data. In addition, several models have been developed by varying specific parameters to investigate their effect on (α,n) and (n,fi ssion) reaction rates. Current practices in fuel processing are to exchange out the small portion of naturally occurring ¹⁸O and ¹⁷O to limit (α,n) reactions and avoid unnecessary neutron production. However, we have shown that enriching the oxide in ¹⁸O introduces a sufficient (α,n) reaction rate to support significant fission rates. For example, subcritical fission rates above 10⁸ f/cm³-s are easily achievable in cylindrical ²³⁸PuO₂ fuel pellets with a ¹⁸O enrichment of 100%, given an increase in size and a ⁹Be clad. Many viable designs exist and our intent is to discuss current results and future endeavors on this project.

Keywords: radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG), Pu-238, subcritical reactors, (alpha, n) reactions

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81 Gendered Water Insecurity: a Structural Equation Approach for Female-Headed Households in South Africa

Authors: Saul Ngarava, Leocadia Zhou, Nomakhaya Monde


Water crises have the fourth most significant societal impact after weapons of mass destruction, climate change, and extreme weather conditions, ahead of natural disasters. Intricacies between women and water are central to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The majority of the 1.2 billion poor people worldwide, with two-thirds being women, and mostly located in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) and South Asia, do not have access to safe and reliable sources of water. There exist gendered differences in water security based on the division of labour associating women with water. Globally, women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of the households which have no water on their premises. Women spend 16 million hours a day collecting water, while men and children spend 6 million and 4 million per day, respectively, which is time foregone in the pursuit of other livelihood activities. Due to their proximity and activities concerning water, women are vulnerable to water insecurity through exposures to water-borne diseases, fatigue from physically carrying water, and exposure to sexual and physical harassment, amongst others. Proximity to treated water and their wellbeing also has an effect on their sensitivity and adaptive capacity to water insecurity. The great distances, difficult terrain and heavy lifting expose women to vulnerabilities of water insecurity. However, few studies have quantified the vulnerabilities and burdens on women, with a few taking a phenomenological qualitative approach. Vulnerability studies have also been scanty in the water security realm, with most studies taking linear forms of either quantifying exposures, sensitivities or adaptive capacities in climate change studies. The current study argues for the need for a water insecurity vulnerability assessment, especially for women into research agendas as well as policy interventions, monitoring, and evaluation. The study sought to identify and provide pathways through which female-headed households were water insecure in South Africa, the 30th driest country in the world. This was through linking the drinking water decision as well as the vulnerability frameworks. Secondary data collected during the 2016 General Household Survey (GHS) was utilised, with a sample of 5928 female-headed households. Principal Component Analysis and Structural Equation Modelling were used to analyse the data. The results show dynamic relationships between water characteristics and water treatment. There were also associations between water access and wealth status of the female-headed households. Association was also found between water access and water treatment as well as between wealth status and water treatment. The study concludes that there are dynamic relationships in water insecurity (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity) for female-headed households in South Africa. The study recommends that a multi-prong approach is required in tackling exposures, sensitivities, and adaptive capacities to water insecurity. This should include capacitating and empowering women for wealth generation, improve access to water treatment equipment as well as prioritising the improvement of infrastructure that brings piped and safe water to female-headed households.

Keywords: gender, principal component analysis, structural equation modelling, vulnerability, water insecurity

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80 Prospects of Low Immune Response Transplants Based on Acellular Organ Scaffolds

Authors: Inna Kornienko, Svetlana Guryeva, Anatoly Shekhter, Elena Petersen


Transplantation is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from different end-stage diseases. However, it is plagued by a constant shortage of donor organs and the subsequent need of a lifelong immunosuppressive therapy for the patient. Currently some researchers look towards using of pig organs to replace human organs for transplantation since the matrix derived from porcine organs is a convenient substitute for the human matrix. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model, optimized protocols have been created to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluated their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for culture of normal cells and tumor cell lines. These protocols include decellularization by perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) and freezing. Complete decellularization – in terms of residual DNA amount – is an important predictor of probability of immune rejection of materials of natural origin. However, the signs of cellular material may still remain within the matrix even after harsh decellularization protocols. In this regard, the matrices obtained from tissues of low-immunogenic pigs with α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene knock out (GalT-KO) may be a promising alternative to native animal sources. The research included a study of induced effect of frozen and fresh fragments of GalT-KO skin on healing of full-thickness plane wounds in 80 rats. Commercially available wound dressings (Ksenoderm, Hyamatrix and Alloderm) as well as allogenic skin were used as a positive control and untreated wounds were analyzed as a negative control. The results were evaluated on the 4th day after grafting, which corresponds to the time of start of normal wound epithelization. It has been shown that a non-specific immune response in models treated with GalT-Ko pig skin was milder than in all the control groups. Research has been performed to measure technical skin characteristics: stiffness and elasticity properties, corneometry, tevametry, and cutometry. These metrics enabled the evaluation of hydratation level, corneous layer husking level, as well as skin elasticity and micro- and macro-landscape. These preliminary data may contribute to development of personalized transplantable organs from GalT-Ko pigs with significantly limited potential of immune rejection. By applying growth factors to a decellularized skin sample it is possible to achieve various regenerative effects based on the particular situation. In this particular research BMP2 and Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor have been used. Ideally, a bioengineered organ must be biocompatible, non-immunogenic and support cell growth. Porcine organs are attractive for xenotransplantation if severe immunologic concerns can be bypassed. The results indicate that genetically modified pig tissues with knock-outed α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene may be used for production of low-immunogenic matrix suitable for transplantation.

Keywords: decellularization, low-immunogenic, matrix, scaffolds, transplants

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79 A Magnetic Hydrochar Nanocomposite as a Potential Adsorbent of Emerging Pollutants

Authors: Aura Alejandra Burbano Patino, Mariela Agotegaray, Veronica Lassalle, Fernanda Horst


Water pollution is of worldwide concern due to its importance as an essential resource for life. Industrial and urbanistic growth are anthropogenic activities that have caused an increase of undesirable compounds in water. In the last decade, emerging pollutants have become of great interest since, at very low concentrations (µg/L and ng/L), they exhibit a hazardous effect on wildlife, aquatic ecosystems, and human organisms. One group of emerging pollutants that are a matter of study are pharmaceuticals. Their high consumption rate and their inappropriate disposal have led to their detection in wastewater treatment plant influent, effluent, surface water, and drinking water. In consequence, numerous technologies have been developed to efficiently treat these pollutants. Adsorption appears like an easy and cost-effective technology. One of the most used adsorbents of emerging pollutants removal is carbon-based materials such as hydrochars. This study aims to use a magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite to be employed as an adsorbent for diclofenac removal. Kinetics models and the adsorption efficiency in real water samples were analyzed. For this purpose, a magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite was synthesized through the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) technique hybridized to co-precipitation to add the magnetic component into the hydrochar, based on iron oxide nanoparticles. The hydrochar was obtained from sunflower husk residue as the precursor. TEM, TGA, FTIR, Zeta potential as a function of pH, DLS, BET technique, and elemental analysis were employed to characterize the material in terms of composition and chemical structure. Adsorption kinetics were carried out in distilled water and real water at room temperature, pH of 5.5 for distilled water and natural pH for real water samples, 1:1 adsorbent: adsorbate dosage ratio, contact times from 10-120 minutes, and 50% dosage concentration of DCF. Results have demonstrated that magnetic hydrochar presents superparamagnetic properties with a saturation magnetization value of 55.28 emu/g. Besides, it is mesoporous with a surface area of 55.52 m²/g. It is composed of magnetite nanoparticles incorporated into the hydrochar matrix, as can be proven by TEM micrographs, FTIR spectra, and zeta potential. On the other hand, kinetic studies were carried out using DCF models, finding percent removal efficiencies up to 85.34% after 80 minutes of contact time. In addition, after 120 minutes of contact time, desorption of emerging pollutants from active sites took place, which indicated that the material got saturated after that t time. In real water samples, percent removal efficiencies decrease up to 57.39%, ascribable to a possible mechanism of competitive adsorption of organic or inorganic compounds, ions for active sites of the magnetic hydrochar. The main suggested adsorption mechanism between the magnetic hydrochar and diclofenac include hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions as well as hydrogen bonds. It can be concluded that the magnetic hydrochar nanocomposite could be valorized into a by-product which appears as an efficient adsorbent for DCF removal as a model emerging pollutant. These results are being complemented by modifying experimental variables such as pollutant’s initial concentration, adsorbent: adsorbate dosage ratio, and temperature. Currently, adsorption assays of other emerging pollutants are being been carried out.

Keywords: environmental remediation, emerging pollutants, hydrochar, magnetite nanoparticles

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78 Temporal and Spacial Adaptation Strategies in Aerodynamic Simulation of Bluff Bodies Using Vortex Particle Methods

Authors: Dario Milani, Guido Morgenthal


Fluid dynamic computation of wind caused forces on bluff bodies e.g light flexible civil structures or high incidence of ground approaching airplane wings, is one of the major criteria governing their design. For such structures a significant dynamic response may result, requiring the usage of small scale devices as guide-vanes in bridge design to control these effects. The focus of this paper is on the numerical simulation of the bluff body problem involving multiscale phenomena induced by small scale devices. One of the solution methods for the CFD simulation that is relatively successful in this class of applications is the Vortex Particle Method (VPM). The method is based on a grid free Lagrangian formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations, where the velocity field is modeled by particles representing local vorticity. These vortices are being convected due to the free stream velocity as well as diffused. This representation yields the main advantages of low numerical diffusion, compact discretization as the vorticity is strongly localized, implicitly accounting for the free-space boundary conditions typical for this class of FSI problems, and a natural representation of the vortex creation process inherent in bluff body flows. When the particle resolution reaches the Kolmogorov dissipation length, the method becomes a Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). However, it is crucial to note that any solution method aims at balancing the computational cost against the accuracy achievable. In the classical VPM method, if the fluid domain is discretized by Np particles, the computational cost is O(Np2). For the coupled FSI problem of interest, for example large structures such as long-span bridges, the aerodynamic behavior may be influenced or even dominated by small structural details such as barriers, handrails or fairings. For such geometrically complex and dimensionally large structures, resolving the complete domain with the conventional VPM particle discretization might become prohibitively expensive to compute even for moderate numbers of particles. It is possible to reduce this cost either by reducing the number of particles or by controlling its local distribution. It is also possible to increase the accuracy of the solution without increasing substantially the global computational cost by computing a correction of the particle-particle interaction in some regions of interest. In this paper different strategies are presented in order to extend the conventional VPM method to reduce the computational cost whilst resolving the required details of the flow. The methods include temporal sub stepping to increase the accuracy of the particles convection in certain regions as well as dynamically re-discretizing the particle map to locally control the global and the local amount of particles. Finally, these methods will be applied on a test case and the improvements in the efficiency as well as the accuracy of the proposed extension to the method are presented. The important benefits in terms of accuracy and computational cost of the combination of these methods will be thus presented as long as their relevant applications.

Keywords: adaptation, fluid dynamic, remeshing, substepping, vortex particle method

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77 Covid -19 Pandemic and Impact on Public Spaces of Tourism and Hospitality in Dubai- an Exploratory Study from a Design Perspective

Authors: Manju Bala Jassi


The Covid 19 pandemic has badly mauled Dubai’s GDP heavily dependent on hospitality, tourism, entertainment, logistics, property and the retail sectors. In the context of the World Health protocols on social distancing for better maintenance of health and hygiene, the revival of the battered tourism and hospitality sectors has serious lessons for designers- interiors and public places. The tangible and intangible aesthetic elements and design –ambiance, materials, furnishings, colors, lighting and interior with architectural design issues of tourism and hospitality need a rethink to ensure a memorable tourist experience. Designers ought to experiment with sustainable places of tourism and design, develop, build and projects are aesthetic and leave as little negative impacts on the environment and public as possible. In short, they ought to conceive public spaces that makes use of little untouched materials and energy, and creates pollution and waste that are minimal. The spaces can employ healthier and more resource-efficient prototypes of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition and thereby mitigate the environment impacts of the construction activities and it is sustainable These measures encompass the hospitality sector that includes hotels and restaurants which has taken the hardest fall from the pandemic. The paper sought to examine building energy efficiency and materials and design employed in public places, green buildings to achieve constructive sustainability and to establish the benefits of utilizing energy efficiency, green materials and sustainable design; to document diverse policy interventions, design and Spatial dimensions of tourism and hospitality sectors; to examine changes in the hospitality, aviation sector especially from a design perspective regarding infrastructure or operational constraints and additional risk-mitigation measures; to dilate on the nature of implications for interior designers and architects to design public places to facilitate sustainable tourism and hospitality while balancing convenient space and their operations' natural surroundings. The qualitative research approach was adopted for the study. The researcher collected and analyzed data in continuous iteration. Secondary data was collected from articles in journals, trade publications, government reports, newspaper/ magazine articles, policy documents etc. In depth interviews were conducted with diverse stakeholders. Preliminary data indicates that designers have started imagining public places of tourism and hospitality against the backdrop of the government push and WHO guidelines. For instance, with regard to health, safety, hygiene and sanitation, Emirates, the Dubai-based airline has augmented health measures at the Dubai International Airport and on board its aircraft. It has leveraged high tech/ Nano-tech, social distancing to encourage least human contact, flexible design layouts to limit the occupancy. The researcher organized the data into thematic categories and found that the Government of Dubai has initiated comprehensive measures in the hospitality, tourism and aviation sectors in compliance with the WHO guidelines.

Keywords: Covid 19, design, Dubai, hospitality, public spaces, tourism

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76 The Application of Whole-Cell Luminescent Biosensors for Assessing Bactericidal Properties of Medicinal Plants

Authors: Yuliya Y. Gavrichenko


Background and Aims: The increasing bacterial resistance to almost all the available antibiotics has encouraged scientists to search for alternative sources of antibacterial agents. Nowadays, it is known that many plant secondary metabolites have diverse biological activity. These compounds can be potentially active against human bacterial and viral infections. Extended research has been carried out to explore the use of the luminescent bacterial test as a rapid, accurate and inexpensive method to assess the antibacterial properties and to predict the biological activity spectra for plant origin substances. Method: Botanical material of fifteen species was collected from their natural and cultural habitats on the Crimean peninsula. The aqueous extracts of following plants were tested: Robinia pseudoacacia L., Sideritis comosa, Cotinus coggygria Scop., Thymus serpyllum L., Juglans regia L., Securigera varia L., Achillea millefolium L., Phlomis taurica, Corylus avellana L., Sambucus nigra L., Helichrysum arenarium L., Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Elytrigia repens L., Echium vulgare L., Conium maculatum L. The test was carried out using luminous strains of marine bacteria Photobacterium leiognathi, which was isolated from the Sea of Azov as well as four Escherichia coli MG1655 recombinant strains harbouring Vibrio fischeri luxCDABE genes. Results: The bactericidal capacity of plant extracts showed significant differences in the study. Cotinus coggygria, Phlomis taurica, Juglans regia L. proved to be the most toxic to P. leiognathi. (EC50 = 0.33 g dried plant/l). Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Sideritis comosa and Helichrysum arenarium L. had moderate inhibitory effects (EC50 = 3.3 g dried plant/l). The rest of the aqueous extracts have decreased the luminescence of no more than 50% at the lowest concentration (16.5 g dried plant/l). Antibacterial activity of herbal extracts against constitutively luminescent E. coli MG1655 (pXen7-lux) strain was observed at approximately the same level as for P. leiognathi. Cotinus coggygria and Conium maculatum L. extracts have increased light emission in the mutant E. coli MG1655 (pFabA-lux) strain which is associated with cell membranes damage. Sideritis comosa, Phlomis taurica, Juglans regia induced SOS response in E. coli (pColD-lux) strain. Glycyrrhiza glabra L. induced protein damage response in E. coli MG1655 (pIbpA-lux) strain. Conclusion: The received results have shown that the plants’ extracts had nonspecific antimicrobial effects against both E. coli (pXen7-lux) and P. leiognathi biosensors. Mutagenic, cytotoxic and protein damage effects have been observed. In general, the bioluminescent inhibition test result correlated with the traditional use of screened plants. It leads to the following conclusion that whole-cell luminescent biosensors could be the indicator of overall plants antibacterial capacity. The results of the investigation have shown a possibility of bioluminescent method in medicine and pharmacy as an approach to research the antibacterial properties of medicinal plants.

Keywords: antibacterial property, bioluminescence, medicinal plants, whole-cell biosensors

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75 Ecological Planning Method of Reclamation Area Based on Ecological Management of Spartina Alterniflora: A Case Study of Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County

Authors: Dong Yue, Hua Chen


The study region Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County, Ningbo City is located in the central coast of Zhejiang Province. Concerning the wave dispating issue, Ningbo government firstly introduced Spartina alterniflora in 1980s. In the 1990s, S. alterniflora spread so rapidly thus a ‘grassland’ in the sea has been created nowadays. It has become the most important invasive plant of China’s coastal tidal flats. Although S. alterniflora had some ecological and economic functions, it has also brought series of hazards. It has ecological hazards on many aspects, including biomass and biodiversity, hydrodynamic force and sedimentation process, nutrient cycling of tidal flat, succession sequence of soil and plants and so on. On engineering, it courses problems of poor drainage and channel blocking. On economy, the hazard mainly reflected in the threat on aquaculture industry. The purpose of this study is to explore an ecological, feasible and economical way to manage Spartina alterniflora and use the land formed by it, taking Xihu Harbor in Xiangshan County as a case. Comparison method, mathematical modeling, qualitative and quantitative analysis are utilized to proceed the study. Main outcomes are as follows. By comparing a series of S. alterniflora managing methods which include the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation, waterlogging, herbicide and biological substitution from three standpoints – ecology, engineering and economy. It is inferred that the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation is among the top rank of S. alternifora managing methods. The combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation means using large-scale mechanical equipment like large screw seagoing dredger to excavate the S. alterniflora with root and mud together. Then the mix of mud and grass was blown off nearby coastal tidal zone transported by pipelines, which can cushion the silt of tidal zone to form a land. However, as man-made land by coast, the reclamation area’s ecological sensitivity is quite high and will face high possibility of flood threat. Therefore, the reclamation area has many reasonability requirements, including ones on location, specific scope, water surface rate, direction of main watercourse, site of water-gate, the ratio of ecological land to urban construction land. These requirements all became important basis when the planning was being made. The water system planning, green space system planning, road structure and land use all need to accommodate the ecological requests. Besides, the profits from the formed land is the managing project’s source of funding, so how to utilize land efficiently is another considered point in the planning. It is concluded that by aiming at managing a large area of S. alterniflora, the combination of mechanical cutting and hydraulic reclamation is an ecological, feasible and economical method. The planning of reclamation area should fully respect the natural environment and possible disasters. Then the planning which makes land use efficient, reasonable, ecological will promote the development of the area’s city construction.

Keywords: ecological management, ecological planning method, reclamation area, Spartina alternifora, Xihu harbor

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74 Bio-Hub Ecosystems: Expansion of Traditional Life Cycle Analysis Metrics to Include Zero-Waste Circularity Measures

Authors: Kimberly Samaha


In order to attract new types of investors into the emerging Bio-Economy, a new set of metrics and measurement system is needed to better quantify the environmental, social and economic impacts of circular zero-waste design. The Bio-Hub Ecosystem model was developed to address a critical area of concern within the global energy market regarding the use of biomass as a feedstock for power plants. Lack of an economically-viable business model for bioenergy facilities has resulted in the continuation of idled and decommissioned plants. In particular, the forestry-based plants which have been an invaluable outlet for woody biomass surplus, forest health improvement, timber production enhancement, and especially reduction of wildfire risk. This study looked at repurposing existing biomass-energy plants into Circular Zero-Waste Bio-Hub Ecosystems. A Bio-Hub model that first targets a ‘whole-tree’ approach and then looks at the circular economics of co-hosting diverse industries (wood processing, aquaculture, agriculture) in the vicinity of the Biomass Power Plants facilities. It proposes not only models for integration of forestry, aquaculture, and agriculture in cradle-to-cradle linkages of what have typically been linear systems, but the proposal also allows for the early measurement of the circularity and impact of resource use and investment risk mitigation, for these systems. Typically, life cycle analyses measure environmental impacts of different industrial production stages and are not integrated with indicators of material use circularity. This concept paper proposes the further development of a new set of metrics that would illustrate not only the typical life-cycle analysis (LCA), which shows the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also the zero-waste circularity measures of mass balance of the full value chain of the raw material and energy content/caloric value. These new measures quantify key impacts in making hyper-efficient use of natural resources and eliminating waste to landfills. The project utilized traditional LCA using the GREET model where the standalone biomass energy plant case was contrasted with the integration of a jet-fuel biorefinery. The methodology was then expanded to include combinations of co-hosts that optimize the life cycle of woody biomass from tree to energy, CO₂, heat and wood ash both from an energy/caloric value and for mass balance to include reuse of waste streams which are typically landfilled. The major findings of both a formal LCA study resulted in the masterplan for the first Bio-Hub to be built in West Enfield, Maine. Bioenergy facilities are currently at a critical juncture where they have an opportunity to be repurposed into efficient, profitable and socially responsible investments, or be idled and scrapped. If proven as a model, the expedited roll-out of these innovative scenarios can set a new standard for circular zero-waste projects that advance the critical transition from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ paradigm inherent in the energy, forestry and food industries to a more sustainable bio-economy paradigm where waste streams become valuable inputs, supporting local and rural communities in simple, sustainable ways.

Keywords: bio-economy, biomass energy, financing, metrics

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73 Climate Change Adaptation Success in a Low Income Country Setting, Bangladesh

Authors: Tanveer Ahmed Choudhury


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 127
72 Accurate Energy Assessment Technique for Mine-Water District Heat Network

Authors: B. Philip, J. Littlewood, R. Radford, N. Evans, T. Whyman, D. P. Jones


UK buildings and energy infrastructures are heavily dependent on natural gas, a large proportion of which is used for domestic space heating. However, approximately half of the gas consumed in the UK is imported. Improving energy security and reducing carbon emissions are major government drivers for reducing gas dependency. In order to do so there needs to be a wholesale shift in the energy provision to householders without impacting on thermal comfort levels, convenience or cost of supply to the end user. Heat pumps are seen as a potential alternative in modern well insulated homes, however, can the same be said of older homes? A large proportion of housing stock in Britain was built prior to 1919. The age of the buildings bears testimony to the quality of construction; however, their thermal performance falls far below the minimum currently set by UK building standards. In recent years significant sums of money have been invested to improve energy efficiency and combat fuel poverty in some of the most deprived areas of Wales. Increasing energy efficiency of older properties remains a significant challenge, which cannot be achieved through insulation and air-tightness interventions alone, particularly when alterations to historically important architectural features of the building are not permitted. This paper investigates the energy demand of pre-1919 dwellings in a former Welsh mining village, the feasibility of meeting that demand using water from the disused mine workings to supply a district heat network and potential barriers to success of the scheme. The use of renewable solar energy generation and storage technologies, both thermal and electrical, to reduce the load and offset increased electricity demand, are considered. A wholistic surveying approach to provide a more accurate assessment of total household heat demand is proposed. Several surveying techniques, including condition surveys, air permeability, heat loss calculations, and thermography were employed to provide a clear picture of energy demand. Additional insulation can bring unforeseen consequences which are detrimental to the fabric of the building, potentially leading to accelerated dilapidation of the asset being ‘protected’. Increasing ventilation should be considered in parallel, to compensate for the associated reduction in uncontrolled infiltration. The effectiveness of thermal performance improvements are demonstrated and the detrimental effects of incorrect material choice and poor installation are highlighted. The findings show estimated heat demand to be in close correlation to household energy bills. Major areas of heat loss were identified such that improvements to building thermal performance could be targeted. The findings demonstrate that the use of heat pumps in older buildings is viable, provided sufficient improvement to thermal performance is possible. Addition of passive solar thermal and photovoltaic generation can help reduce the load and running cost for the householder. The results were used to predict future heat demand following energy efficiency improvements, thereby informing the size of heat pumps required.

Keywords: heat demand, heat pump, renewable energy, retrofit

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71 A Next-Generation Pin-On-Plate Tribometer for Use in Arthroplasty Material Performance Research

Authors: Lewis J. Woollin, Robert I. Davidson, Paul Watson, Philip J. Hyde


Introduction: In-vitro testing of arthroplasty materials is of paramount importance when ensuring that they can withstand the performance requirements encountered in-vivo. One common machine used for in-vitro testing is a pin-on-plate tribometer, an early stage screening device that generates data on the wear characteristics of arthroplasty bearing materials. These devices test vertically loaded rotating cylindrical pins acting against reciprocating plates, representing the bearing surfaces. In this study, a pin-on-plate machine has been developed that provides several improvements over current technology, thereby progressing arthroplasty bearing research. Historically, pin-on-plate tribometers have been used to investigate the performance of arthroplasty bearing materials under conditions commonly encountered during a standard gait cycle; nominal operating pressures of 2-6 MPa and an operating frequency of 1 Hz are typical. There has been increased interest in using pin-on-plate machines to test more representative in-vivo conditions, due to the drive to test 'beyond compliance', as well as their testing speed and economic advantages over hip simulators. Current pin-on-plate machines do not accommodate the increased performance requirements associated with more extreme kinematic conditions, therefore a next-generation pin-on-plate tribometer has been developed to bridge the gap between current technology and future research requirements. Methodology: The design was driven by several physiologically relevant requirements. Firstly, an increased loading capacity was essential to replicate the peak pressures that occur in the natural hip joint during running and chair-rising, as well as increasing the understanding of wear rates in obese patients. Secondly, the introduction of mid-cycle load variation was of paramount importance, as this allows for an approximation of the loads present in a gait cycle to be applied and to test the fatigue properties of materials. Finally, the rig must be validated against previous-generation pin-on-plate and arthroplasty wear data. Results: The resulting machine is a twelve station device that is split into three sets of four stations, providing an increased testing capacity compared to most current pin-on-plate tribometers. The loading of the pins is generated using a pneumatic system, which can produce contact pressures of up to 201 MPa on a 3.2 mm² round pin face. This greatly exceeds currently achievable contact pressures in literature and opens new research avenues such as testing rim wear of mal-positioned hip implants. Additionally, the contact pressure of each set can be changed independently of the others, allowing multiple loading conditions to be tested simultaneously. Using pneumatics also allows the applied pressure to be switched ON/OFF mid-cycle, another feature not currently reported elsewhere, which allows for investigation into intermittent loading and material fatigue. The device is currently undergoing a series of validation tests using Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene pins and 316L Stainless Steel Plates (polished to a Ra < 0.05 µm). The operating pressures will be between 2-6 MPa, operating at 1 Hz, allowing for validation of the machine against results reported previously in the literature. The successful production of this next-generation pin-on-plate tribometer will, following its validation, unlock multiple previously unavailable research avenues.

Keywords: arthroplasty, mechanical design, pin-on-plate, total joint replacement, wear testing

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70 Livelihood Security and Mitigating Climate Changes in the Barind Tract of Bangladesh through Agroforestry Systems

Authors: Md Shafiqul Bari, Md Shafiqul Islam Sikdar


This paper summarizes the current knowledge on Agroforestry practices in the Barind tract of Bangladesh. The part of greater Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur and Bogra district of Bangladesh is geographically identified as the Barind tract. The hard red soil of these areas is very significant in comparison to that of the other parts of the country. A typical dry climate with comparatively high temperature prevails in the Barind area. Scanty rainfall and excessive extraction of groundwater have created an alarming situation among the Barind people and others about irrigation to the rice field. In addition, the situation may cause an adverse impact on the people whose livelihood largely depends on agriculture. The groundwater table has been declined by at least 10 to 15 meters in some areas of the Barind tract during the last 20 years. Due to absent of forestland in the Barind tract, the soil organic carbon content can decrease more rapidly because of the higher rate of decomposition. The Barind soils are largely carbon depleted but can be brought back to carbon-carrying capacity by bringing under suitable Agroforestry systems. Agroforestry has tremendous potential for carbon sequestration not only in above C biomass but also root C biomass in deeper soil depths. Agroforestry systems habitually conserve soil organic carbon and maintain a great natural nutrient pool. Cultivation of trees with arable crops under Agroforestry systems help in improving soil organic carbon content and sequestration carbon, particularly in the highly degraded Barind lands. Agroforestry systems are a way of securing the growth of cash crops that may constitute an alternative source of income in moments of crisis. Besides being a source of fuel wood, a greater presence of trees in cropping system contributes to decreasing temperatures and to increasing rainfall, thus contrasting the negative environmental impact of climate changes. In order to fulfill the objectives of this study, two experiments were conducted. The first experiment was survey on the impact of existing agroforestry system on the livelihood security in the Barind tract of Bangladesh and the second one was the role of agroforestry system on the improvement of soil properties in a multilayered coconut orchard. Agroforestry systems have been generated a lot of employment opportunities in the Barind area. More crops mean involvement of more people in various activities like involvements in dairying, sericulture, apiculture and additional associated agro-based interventions. Successful adoption of Agroforestry practices in the Barind area has shown that the Agroforestry practitioners of this area were very sound positioned economically, and had added social status too. However, from the findings of the present study, it may be concluded that the majority rural farmers of the Barind tract of Bangladesh had a very good knowledge and medium extension contact related to agroforestry production system. It was also observed that 85 per cent farmers followed agroforestry production system and received benefits to a higher extent. Again, from the research study on orchard based mutistoried agroforestry cropping system, it was evident that there was an important effect of agroforestry cropping systems on the improvement of soil chemical properties. As a result, the agroforestry systems may be helpful to attain the development objectives and preserve the biosphere core.

Keywords: agroforestry systems, Barind tract, carbon sequestration, climate changes

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69 A Comprehensive Planning Model for Amalgamation of Intensification and Green Infrastructure

Authors: Sara Saboonian, Pierre Filion


The dispersed-suburban model has been the dominant one across North America for the past seventy years, characterized by automobile reliance, low density, and land-use specialization. Two planning models have emerged as possible alternatives to address the ills inflicted by this development pattern. First, there is intensification, which promotes efficient infrastructure by connecting high-density, multi-functional, and walkable nodes with public transit services within the suburban landscape. Second is green infrastructure, which provides environmental health and human well-being by preserving and restoring ecosystem services. This research studies incompatibilities and the possibility of amalgamating the two alternatives in an attempt to develop a comprehensive alternative to suburban model that advocates density, multi-functionality and transit- and pedestrian-conduciveness, with measures capable of mitigating the adverse environmental impacts of compactness. The research investigates three Canadian urban growth centers, where intensification is the current planning practice, and the awareness of green infrastructure benefits is on the rise. However, these three centers are contrasted by their development stage, the presence or absence of protected natural land, their environmental approach, and their adverse environmental consequences according to the planning cannons of different periods. The methods include reviewing the literature on green infrastructure planning, criticizing the Ontario provincial plans for intensification, surveying residents’ preferences for alternative models, and interviewing officials who deal with the local planning for the centers. Moreover, the research draws on recalling debates between New Urbanism and Landscape/Ecological Urbanism. The case studies expose the difficulties in creating urban growth centres that accommodate green infrastructure while adhering to intensification principles. First, the dominant status of intensification and the obstacles confronting intensification have monopolized the planners’ concerns. Second, the tension between green infrastructure and intensification explains the absence of the green infrastructure typologies that correspond to intensification-compatible forms and dynamics. Finally, the lack of highlighted social-economic benefits of green infrastructure reduces residents’ participation. Moreover, the results from the research provide insight into predominating urbanization theories, New Urbanism and Landscape/Ecological Urbanism. In order to understand political, planning, and ecological dynamics of such blending, dexterous context-specific planning is required. Findings suggest the influence of the following factors on amalgamating intensification and green infrastructure. Initially, producing ecosystem services-based justifications for green infrastructure development in the intensification context provides an expert-driven backbone for the implementation programs. This knowledge-base should be translated to effectively imbue different urban stakeholders. Moreover, due to the limited greenfields in intensified areas, spatial distribution and development of multi-level corridors such as pedestrian-hospitable settings and transportation networks along green infrastructure measures are required. Finally, to ensure the long-term integrity of implemented green infrastructure measures, significant investment in public engagement and education, as well as clarification of management responsibilities is essential.

Keywords: ecosystem services, green infrastructure, intensification, planning

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68 Genome-Scale Analysis of Streptomyces Caatingaensis CMAA 1322 Metabolism, a New Abiotic Stress-Tolerant Actinomycete

Authors: Suikinai Nobre Santos, Ranko Gacesa, Paul F. Long, Itamar Soares de Melo


Extremophilic microorganism are adapted to biotopes combining several stress factors (temperature, pressure, radiation, salinity and pH), which indicate the richness valuable resource for the exploitation of novel biotechnological processes and constitute unique models for investigations their biomolecules (1, 2). The above information encourages us investigate bioprospecting synthesized compounds by a noval actinomycete, designated thermotolerant Streptomyces caatingaensis CMAA 1322, isolated from sample soil tropical dry forest (Caatinga) in the Brazilian semiarid region (3-17°S and 35-45°W). This set of constrating physical and climatic factores provide the unique conditions and a diversity of well adapted species, interesting site for biotechnological purposes. Preliminary studies have shown the great potential in the production of cytotoxic, pesticidal and antimicrobial molecules (3). Thus, to extend knowledge of the genes clusters responsible for producing biosynthetic pathways of natural products in strain CMAA1322, whole-genome shotgun (WGS) DNA sequencing was performed using paired-end long sequencing with PacBio RS (Pacific Biosciences). Genomic DNA was extracted from a pure culture grown overnight on LB medium using the PureLink genomic DNA kit (Life Technologies). An approximately 3- to 20-kb-insert PacBio library was constructed and sequenced on an 8 single-molecule real-time (SMRT) cell, yielding 116,269 reads (average length, 7,446 bp), which were allocated into 18 contigs, with 142.11x coverage and N50 value of 20.548 bp (BioProject number PRJNA288757). The assembled data were analyzed by Rapid Annotations using Subsystems Technology (RAST) (4) the genome size was found to be 7.055.077 bp, comprising 6167 open reading frames (ORFs) and 413 subsystems. The G+C content was estimated to be 72 mol%. The closest-neighbors tool, available in RAST through functional comparison of the genome, revealed that strain CMAA1322 is more closely related to Streptomyces hygroscopicus ATCC 53653 (similarity score value, 537), S. violaceusniger Tu 4113 (score value, 483), S. avermitilis MA-4680 (score value, 475), S. albus J1074 (score value, 447). The Streptomyces sp. CMAA1322 genome contains 98 tRNA genes and 135 genes copies related to stress response, mainly osmotic stress (14), heat shock (16), oxidative stress (49). Functional annotation by antiSMASH version 3.0 (5) identified 41 clusters for secondary metabolites (including two clusters for lanthipeptides, ten clusters for nonribosomal peptide synthetases [NRPS], three clusters for siderophores, fourteen for polyketide synthetase [PKS], six clusters encoding a terpene, two clusters encoding a bacteriocin, and one cluster encoding a phenazine). Our work provide in comparative analyse of genome and extract produced (data no published) by lineage CMAA1322, revealing the potential of microorganisms accessed from extreme environments as Caatinga” to produce a wide range of biotechnological relevant compounds.

Keywords: caatinga, streptomyces, environmental stresses, biosynthetic pathways

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67 Microplastics in Fish from Grenada, West Indies: Problems and Opportunities

Authors: Michelle E. Taylor, Clare E. Morrall


Microplastics are small particles produced for industrial purposes or formed by breakdown of anthropogenic debris. Caribbean nations import large quantities of plastic products. The Caribbean region is vulnerable to natural disasters and Climate Change is predicted to bring multiple additional challenges to island nations. Microplastics have been found in an array of marine environments and in a diversity of marine species. Occurrence of microplastic in the intestinal tracts of marine fish is a concern to human and ecosystem health as pollutants and pathogens can associate with plastics. Studies have shown that the incidence of microplastics in marine fish varies with species and location. Prevalence of microplastics (≤ 5 mm) in fish species from Grenadian waters (representing pelagic, semi-pelagic and demersal lifestyles) harvested for human consumption have been investigated via gut analysis. Harvested tissue was digested in 10% KOH and particles retained on a 0.177 mm sieve were examined. Microplastics identified have been classified according to type, colour and size. Over 97% of fish examined thus far (n=34) contained microplastics. Current and future work includes examining the invasive Lionfish (Pterois spp.) for microplastics, investigating marine invertebrate species as well as examining environmental sources of microplastics (i.e. rivers, coastal waters and sand). Owing to concerns of pollutant accumulation on microplastics and potential migration into organismal tissues, we plan to analyse fish tissue for mercury and other persistent pollutants. Despite having ~110,000 inhabitants, the island nation of Grenada imported approximately 33 million plastic bottles in 2013, of which it is estimated less than 5% were recycled. Over 30% of the imported bottles were ‘unmanaged’, and as such are potential litter/marine debris. A revised Litter Abatement Act passed into law in Grenada in 2015, but little enforcement of the law is evident to date. A local Non-governmental organization (NGO) ‘The Grenada Green Group’ (G3) is focused on reducing litter in Grenada through lobbying government to implement the revised act and running sessions in schools, community groups and on local media and social media to raise awareness of the problems associated with plastics. A local private company has indicated willingness to support an Anti-Litter Campaign in 2018 and local awareness of the need for a reduction of single use plastic use and litter seems to be high. The Government of Grenada have called for a Sustainable Waste Management Strategy and a ban on both Styrofoam and plastic grocery bags are among recommendations recently submitted. A Styrofoam ban will be in place at the St. George’s University campus from January 1st, 2018 and many local businesses have already voluntarily moved away from Styrofoam. Our findings underscore the importance of continuing investigations into microplastics in marine life; this will contribute to understanding the associated health risks. Furthermore, our findings support action to mitigate the volume of plastics entering the world’s oceans. We hope that Grenada’s future will involve a lot less plastic. This research was supported by the Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter.

Keywords: Caribbean, microplastics, pollution, small island developing nation

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66 Spatial Assessment of Creek Habitats of Marine Fish Stock in Sindh Province

Authors: Syed Jamil H. Kazmi, Faiza Sarwar


The Indus delta of Sindh Province forms the largest creeks zone of Pakistan. The Sindh coast starts from the mouth of Hab River and terminates at Sir Creek area. In this paper, we have considered the major creeks from the site of Bin Qasim Port in Karachi to Jetty of Keti Bunder in Thatta District. A general decline in the mangrove forest has been observed that within a span of last 25 years. The unprecedented human interventions damage the creeks habitat badly which includes haphazard urban development, industrial and sewage disposal, illegal cutting of mangroves forest, reduced and inconsistent fresh water flow mainly from Jhang and Indus rivers. These activities not only harm the creeks habitat but affected the fish stock substantially. Fishing is the main livelihood of coastal people but with the above-mentioned threats, it is also under enormous pressure by fish catches resulted in unchecked overutilization of the fish resources. This pressure is almost unbearable when it joins with deleterious fishing methods, uncontrolled fleet size, increase trash and by-catch of juvenile and illegal mesh size. Along with these anthropogenic interventions study area is under the red zone of tropical cyclones and active seismicity causing floods, sea intrusion, damage mangroves forests and devastation of fish stock. In order to sustain the natural resources of the Indus Creeks, this study was initiated with the support of FAO, WWF and NIO, the main purpose was to develop a Geo-Spatial dataset for fish stock assessment. The study has been spread over a year (2013-14) on monthly basis which mainly includes detailed fish stock survey, water analysis and few other environmental analyses. Environmental analysis also includes the habitat classification of study area which has done through remote sensing techniques for 22 years’ time series (1992-2014). Furthermore, out of 252 species collected, fifteen species from estuarine and marine groups were short-listed to measure the weight, health and growth of fish species at each creek under GIS data through SPSS system. Furthermore, habitat suitability analysis has been conducted by assessing the surface topographic and aspect derivation through different GIS techniques. The output variables then overlaid in GIS system to measure the creeks productivity. Which provided the results in terms of subsequent classes: extremely productive, highly productive, productive, moderately productive and less productive. This study has revealed the Geospatial tools utilization along with the evaluation of the fisheries resources and creeks habitat risk zone mapping. It has also been identified that the geo-spatial technologies are highly beneficial to identify the areas of high environmental risk in Sindh Creeks. This has been clearly discovered from this study that creeks with high rugosity are more productive than the creeks with low levels of rugosity. The study area has the immense potential to boost the economy of Pakistan in terms of fish export, if geo-spatial techniques are implemented instead of conventional techniques.

Keywords: fish stock, geo-spatial, productivity analysis, risk

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65 Effect of Climate Change on Rainfall Induced Failures for Embankment Slopes in Timor-Leste

Authors: Kuo Chieh Chao, Thishani Amarathunga, Sangam Shrestha


Rainfall induced slope failures are one of the most damaging and disastrous natural hazards which occur frequently in the world. This type of sliding mainly occurs in the zone above the groundwater level in silty/sandy soils. When the rainwater begins to infiltrate into the vadose zone of the soil, the negative pore-water pressure tends to decrease and reduce the shear strength of soil material. Climate change has resulted in excessive and unpredictable rainfall in all around the world, resulting in landslides with dire consequences to human lives and infrastructure. Such problems could be overcome by examining in detail the causes for such slope failures and recommending effective repair plans for vulnerable locations by considering future climatic change. The selected area for this study is located in the road rehabilitation section from Maubara to Mota Ain road in Timor-Leste. Slope failures and cracks have occurred in 2013 and after repairs reoccurred again in 2017 subsequent to heavy rains. Both observed and future predicted climate data analyses were conducted to understand the severe precipitation conditions in past and future. Observed climate data were collected from NOAA global climate data portal. CORDEX data portal was used to collect Regional Climate Model (RCM) future predicted climate data. Both observed and RCM data were extracted to location-based data using ArcGIS Software. Linear scaling method was used for the bias correction of future data and bias corrected climate data were assigned to GeoStudio Software. Precipitations of wet seasons (December to March ) in 2007 to 2013 is higher than 2001-2006 period and it is more than nearly 40% higher precipitation than usual monthly average precipitation of 160mm.The results of seepage analyses which were carried out using SEEP/W model with observed climate, clearly demonstrated that the pore water pressure within the fill slope was significantly increased due to the increase of the infiltration during the wet season of 2013.One main Regional Climate Models (RCM) was analyzed in order to predict future climate variation under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).In the projected period of 76 years ahead from 2014, shows that the amount of precipitation is considerably getting higher in the future in both RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 emission scenarios. Critical pore water pressure conditions during 2014-2090 were used in order to recommend appropriate remediation methods. Results of slope stability analyses indicated that the factor of safety of the fill slopes was reduced from 1.226 to 0.793 during the dry season to wet season in 2013.Results of future slope stability which were obtained using SLOPE/W model for the RCP emissions scenarios depict that, the use of tieback anchors and geogrids in slope protection could be effective in increasing the stability of slopes to an acceptable level during the wet seasons. Moreover, methods and procedures like monitoring of slopes showing signs or susceptible for movement and installing surface protections could be used to increase the stability of slopes.

Keywords: climate change, precipitation, SEEP/W, SLOPE/W, unsaturated soil

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64 The Effects of Circadian Rhythms Change in High Latitudes

Authors: Ekaterina Zvorykina


Nowadays, Arctic and Antarctic regions are distinguished to be one of the most important strategic resources for global development. Nonetheless, living conditions in Arctic regions still demand certain improvements. As soon as the region is rarely populated, one of the main points of interest is health accommodation of the people, who migrate to Arctic region for permanent and shift work. At Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, personnel face polar day and polar night conditions during the time of the year. It means that they are deprived of natural sunlight in winter season and have continuous daylight in summer. Firstly, the change in light intensity during 24-hours period due to migration affects circadian rhythms. Moreover, the controlled artificial light in winter is also an issue. The results of the recent studies on night shift medical professionals, who were exposed to permanent artificial light, have already demonstrated higher risks in cancer, depression, Alzheimer disease. Moreover, people exposed to frequent time zones change are also subjected to higher risks of heart attack and cancer. Thus, our main goals are to understand how high latitude work and living conditions can affect human health and how it can be prevented. In our study, we analyze molecular and cellular factors, which play important role in circadian rhythm change and distinguish main risk groups in people, migrating to high latitudes. The main well-studied index of circadian timing is melatonin or its metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. In low light intensity melatonin synthesis is disturbed and as a result human organism requires more time for sleep, which is still disregarded when it comes to working time organization. Lack of melatonin also causes shortage in serotonin production, which leads to higher depression risk. Melatonin is also known to inhibit oncogenes and increase apoptosis level in cells, the main factors for tumor growth, as well as circadian clock genes (for example Per2). Thus, people who work in high latitudes can be distinguished as a risk group for cancer diseases and demand more attention. Clock/Clock genes, known to be one of the main circadian clock regulators, decrease sensitivity of hypothalamus to estrogen and decrease glucose sensibility, which leads to premature aging and oestrous cycle disruption. Permanent light exposure also leads to accumulation superoxide dismutase and oxidative stress, which is one of the main factors for early dementia and Alzheimer disease. We propose a new screening system adjusted for people, migrating from middle to high latitudes and accommodation therapy. Screening is focused on melatonin and estrogen levels, sleep deprivation and neural disorders, depression level, cancer risks and heart and vascular disorders. Accommodation therapy includes different types artificial light exposure, additional melatonin and neuroprotectors. Preventive procedures can lead to increase of migration intensity to high latitudes and, as a result, the prosperity of Arctic region.

Keywords: circadian rhythm, high latitudes, melatonin, neuroprotectors

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63 Explanation of Sentinel-1 Sigma 0 by Sentinel-2 Products in Terms of Crop Water Stress Monitoring

Authors: Katerina Krizova, Inigo Molina


The ongoing climate change affects various natural processes resulting in significant changes in human life. Since there is still a growing human population on the planet with more or less limited resources, agricultural production became an issue and a satisfactory amount of food has to be reassured. To achieve this, agriculture is being studied in a very wide context. The main aim here is to increase primary production on a spatial unit while consuming as low amounts of resources as possible. In Europe, nowadays, the staple issue comes from significantly changing the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. Recent growing seasons have been considerably affected by long drought periods that have led to quantitative as well as qualitative yield losses. To cope with such kind of conditions, new techniques and technologies are being implemented in current practices. However, behind assessing the right management, there is always a set of the necessary information about plot properties that need to be acquired. Remotely sensed data had gained attention in recent decades since they provide spatial information about the studied surface based on its spectral behavior. A number of space platforms have been launched carrying various types of sensors. Spectral indices based on calculations with reflectance in visible and NIR bands are nowadays quite commonly used to describe the crop status. However, there is still the staple limit by this kind of data - cloudiness. Relatively frequent revisit of modern satellites cannot be fully utilized since the information is hidden under the clouds. Therefore, microwave remote sensing, which can penetrate the atmosphere, is on its rise today. The scientific literature describes the potential of radar data to estimate staple soil (roughness, moisture) and vegetation (LAI, biomass, height) properties. Although all of these are highly demanded in terms of agricultural monitoring, the crop moisture content is the utmost important parameter in terms of agricultural drought monitoring. The idea behind this study was to exploit the unique combination of SAR (Sentinel-1) and optical (Sentinel-2) data from one provider (ESA) to describe potential crop water stress during dry cropping season of 2019 at six winter wheat plots in the central Czech Republic. For the period of January to August, Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 images were obtained and processed. Sentinel-1 imagery carries information about C-band backscatter in two polarisations (VV, VH). Sentinel-2 was used to derive vegetation properties (LAI, FCV, NDWI, and SAVI) as support for Sentinel-1 results. For each term and plot, summary statistics were performed, including precipitation data and soil moisture content obtained through data loggers. Results were presented as summary layouts of VV and VH polarisations and related plots describing other properties. All plots performed along with the principle of the basic SAR backscatter equation. Considering the needs of practical applications, the vegetation moisture content may be assessed using SAR data to predict the drought impact on the final product quality and yields independently of cloud cover over the studied scene.

Keywords: precision agriculture, remote sensing, Sentinel-1, SAR, water content

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62 Superhydrophobic Materials: A Promising Way to Enhance Resilience of Electric System

Authors: M. Balordi, G. Santucci de Magistris, F. Pini, P. Marcacci


The increasing of extreme meteorological events represents the most important causes of damages and blackouts of the whole electric system. In particular, the icing on ground-wires and overheads lines, due to snowstorms or harsh winter conditions, very often gives rise to the collapse of cables and towers both in cold and warm climates. On the other hand, the high concentration of contaminants in the air, due to natural and/or antropic causes, is reflected in high levels of pollutants layered on glass and ceramic insulators, causing frequent and unpredictable flashover events. Overheads line and insulator failures lead to blackouts, dangerous and expensive maintenances and serious inefficiencies in the distribution service. Inducing superhydrophobic (SHP) properties to conductors, ground-wires and insulators, is one of the ways to face all these problems. Indeed, in some cases, the SHP surface can delay the ice nucleation time and decrease the ice nucleation temperature, preventing ice formation. Besides, thanks to the low surface energy, the adhesion force between ice and a superhydrophobic material are low and the ice can be easily detached from the surface. Moreover, it is well known that superhydrophobic surfaces can have self-cleaning properties: these hinder the deposition of pollution and decrease the probability of flashover phenomena. Here this study presents three different studies to impart superhydrophobicity to aluminum, zinc and glass specimens, which represent the main constituent materials of conductors, ground-wires and insulators, respectively. The route to impart the superhydrophobicity to the metallic surfaces can be summarized in a three-step process: 1) sandblasting treatment, 2) chemical-hydrothermal treatment and 3) coating deposition. The first step is required to create a micro-roughness. In the chemical-hydrothermal treatment a nano-scale metallic oxide (Al or Zn) is grown and, together with the sandblasting treatment, bring about a hierarchical micro-nano structure. By coating an alchilated or fluorinated siloxane coating, the surface energy decreases and gives rise to superhydrophobic surfaces. In order to functionalize the glass, different superhydrophobic powders, obtained by a sol-gel synthesis, were prepared. Further, the specimens were covered with a commercial primer and the powders were deposed on them. All the resulting metallic and glass surfaces showed a noticeable superhydrophobic behavior with a very high water contact angles (>150°) and a very low roll-off angles (<5°). The three optimized processes are fast, cheap and safe, and can be easily replicated on industrial scales. The anti-icing and self-cleaning properties of the surfaces were assessed with several indoor lab-tests that evidenced remarkable anti-icing properties and self-cleaning behavior with respect to the bare materials. Finally, to evaluate the anti-snow properties of the samples, some SHP specimens were exposed under real snow-fall events in the RSE outdoor test-facility located in Vinadio, western Alps: the coated samples delay the formation of the snow-sleeves and facilitate the detachment of the snow. The good results for both indoor and outdoor tests make these materials promising for further development in large scale applications.

Keywords: superhydrophobic coatings, anti-icing, self-cleaning, anti-snow, overheads lines

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61 Understanding Responses of the Bee Community to an Urbanizing Landscape in Bengaluru, South India

Authors: Chethana V. Casiker, Jagadishakumara B., Sunil G. M., Chaithra K., M. Soubadra Devy


A majority of the world’s food crops depends on insects for pollination, among which bees are the most dominant taxon. Bees pollinate vegetables, fruits and oilseeds which are rich in essential micronutrients. Besides being a prerequisite for a nutritionally secure diet, agrarian economies such as India depend heavily on pollination for good yield and quality of the product. As cities all over the world expand rapidly, large tracts of green spaces are being built up. This, along with high usage of agricultural chemicals has reduced floral diversity and shrunk bee habitats. Indeed, pollinator decline is being reported from various parts of the world. Further, the FAO has reported a huge increase in the area of land under cultivation of pollinator-dependent crops. In the light of increasing demand for pollination and disappearing natural habitats, it is critical to understand whether and how urban spaces can support pollinators. To this end, this study investigates the influence of landscape and local habitat quality on bee community dynamics. To capture the dynamics of expanding cityscapes, the study employs a space for time substitution, wherein a transect along the gradient of urbanization substitutes a timeframe of increasing urbanization. This will help understand how pollinators would respond to changes induced by increasing intensity of urbanization in the future. Bengaluru, one of the fastest growing cities of Southern India, is an excellent site to study impacts associated with urbanization. With sites moving away from the Bengaluru’s centre and towards its peripheries, this study captures the changes in bee species diversity and richness along a gradient of urbanization. Bees were sampled under different land use types as well as in different types of vegetation, including plantations, croplands, fallow land, parks, lake embankments, and private gardens. The relationship between bee community metrics and key drivers such as a percentage of built-up area, land use practices, and floral resources was examined. Additionally, data collected using questionnaire interviews were used to understand people’s perceptions towards and level of dependence on pollinators. Our results showed that urban areas are capable of supporting bees. In fact, a greater diversity of bees was recorded in urban sites compared to adjoining rural areas. This suggests that bees are able to seek out patchy resources and survive in small fragments of habitat. Bee abundance and species richness correlated positively with floral abundance and richness, indicating the role of vegetation in providing forage and nesting sites which are crucial to their survival. Bee numbers were seen to decrease with increase in built-up area demonstrating that impervious surfaces could act as deterrents. Findings from this study challenge the popular notion of cities being biodiversity-bare spaces. There is indeed scope for conserving bees in urban landscapes, provided that there are city-scale planning and local initiative. Bee conservation can go hand in hand with efforts such as urban gardening and terrace farming that could help cities urbanize sustainably.

Keywords: bee, landscape ecology, urbanization, urban pollination

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60 Green Building Risks: Limits on Environmental and Health Quality Metrics for Contractors

Authors: Erica Cochran Hameen, Bobuchi Ken-Opurum, Mounica Guturu


The United Stated (U.S.) populous spends the majority of their time indoors in spaces where building codes and voluntary sustainability standards provide clear Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) metrics. The existing sustainable building standards and codes are aimed towards improving IEQ, health of occupants, and reducing the negative impacts of buildings on the environment. While they address the post-occupancy stage of buildings, there are fewer standards on the pre-occupancy stage thereby placing a large labor population in environments much less regulated. Construction personnel are often exposed to a variety of uncomfortable and unhealthy elements while on construction sites, primarily thermal, visual, acoustic, and air quality related. Construction site power generators, equipment, and machinery generate on average 9 decibels (dBA) above the U.S. OSHA regulations, creating uncomfortable noise levels. Research has shown that frequent exposure to high noise levels leads to chronic physiological issues and increases noise induced stress, yet beyond OSHA no other metric focuses directly on the impacts of noise on contractors’ well-being. Research has also associated natural light with higher productivity and attention span, and lower cases of fatigue in construction workers. However, daylight is not always available as construction workers often perform tasks in cramped spaces, dark areas, or at nighttime. In these instances, the use of artificial light is necessary, yet lighting standards for use during lengthy tasks and arduous activities is not specified. Additionally, ambient air, contaminants, and material off-gassing expelled at construction sites are one of the causes of serious health effects in construction workers. Coupled with extreme hot and cold temperatures for different climate zones, health and productivity can be seriously compromised. This research evaluates the impact of existing green building metrics on construction and risk management, by analyzing two codes and nine standards including LEED, WELL, and BREAM. These metrics were chosen based on the relevance to the U.S. construction industry. This research determined that less than 20% of the sustainability context within the standards and codes (texts) are related to the pre-occupancy building sector. The research also investigated the impact of construction personnel’s health and well-being on construction management through two surveys of project managers and on-site contractors’ perception of their work environment on productivity. To fully understand the risks of limited Environmental and Health Quality metrics for contractors (EHQ) this research evaluated the connection between EHQ factors such as inefficient lighting, on construction workers and investigated the correlation between various site coping strategies for comfort and productivity. Outcomes from this research are three-pronged. The first includes fostering a discussion about the existing conditions of EQH elements, i.e. thermal, lighting, ergonomic, acoustic, and air quality on the construction labor force. The second identifies gaps in sustainability standards and codes during the pre-occupancy stage of building construction from ground-breaking to substantial completion. The third identifies opportunities for improvements and mitigation strategies to improve EQH such as increased monitoring of effects on productivity and health of contractors and increased inclusion of the pre-occupancy stage in green building standards.

Keywords: construction contractors, health and well-being, environmental quality, risk management

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59 Production Factor Coefficients Transition through the Lens of State Space Model

Authors: Kanokwan Chancharoenchai


Economic growth can be considered as an important element of countries’ development process. For developing countries, like Thailand, to ensure the continuous growth of the economy, the Thai government usually implements various policies to stimulate economic growth. They may take the form of fiscal, monetary, trade, and other policies. Because of these different aspects, understanding factors relating to economic growth could allow the government to introduce the proper plan for the future economic stimulating scheme. Consequently, this issue has caught interest of not only policymakers but also academics. This study, therefore, investigates explanatory variables for economic growth in Thailand from 2005 to 2017 with a total of 52 quarters. The findings would contribute to the field of economic growth and become helpful information to policymakers. The investigation is estimated throughout the production function with non-linear Cobb-Douglas equation. The rate of growth is indicated by the change of GDP in the natural logarithmic form. The relevant factors included in the estimation cover three traditional means of production and implicit effects, such as human capital, international activity and technological transfer from developed countries. Besides, this investigation takes the internal and external instabilities into account as proxied by the unobserved inflation estimation and the real effective exchange rate (REER) of the Thai baht, respectively. The unobserved inflation series are obtained from the AR(1)-ARCH(1) model, while the unobserved REER of Thai baht is gathered from naive OLS-GARCH(1,1) model. According to empirical results, the AR(|2|) equation which includes seven significant variables, namely capital stock, labor, the imports of capital goods, trade openness, the REER of Thai baht uncertainty, one previous GDP, and the world financial crisis in 2009 dummy, presents the most suitable model. The autoregressive model is assumed constant estimator that would somehow cause the unbias. However, this is not the case of the recursive coefficient model from the state space model that allows the transition of coefficients. With the powerful state space model, it provides the productivity or effect of each significant factor more in detail. The state coefficients are estimated based on the AR(|2|) with the exception of the one previous GDP and the 2009 world financial crisis dummy. The findings shed the light that those factors seem to be stable through time since the occurrence of the world financial crisis together with the political situation in Thailand. These two events could lower the confidence in the Thai economy. Moreover, state coefficients highlight the sluggish rate of machinery replacement and quite low technology of capital goods imported from abroad. The Thai government should apply proactive policies via taxation and specific credit policy to improve technological advancement, for instance. Another interesting evidence is the issue of trade openness which shows the negative transition effect along the sample period. This could be explained by the loss of price competitiveness to imported goods, especially under the widespread implementation of free trade agreement. The Thai government should carefully handle with regulations and the investment incentive policy by focusing on strengthening small and medium enterprises.

Keywords: autoregressive model, economic growth, state space model, Thailand

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58 Effects of Irrigation Applications during Post-Anthesis Period on Flower Development and Pyrethrin Accumulation in Pyrethrum

Authors: Dilnee D. Suraweera, Tim Groom, Brian Chung, Brendan Bond, Andrew Schipp, Marc E. Nicolas


Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) is a perennial plant belongs to family Asteraceae. This is cultivated commercially for extraction of natural insecticide pyrethrins, which accumulates in their flower head achenes. Approximately 94% of the pyrethrins are produced within secretory ducts and trichomes of achenes of the mature pyrethrum flower. This is the most widely used botanical insecticide in the world and Australia is the current largest pyrethrum producer in the world. Rainfall in pyrethrum growing regions in Australia during pyrethrum flowering period, in late spring and early summer is significantly less. Due to lack of adequate soil moisture and under elevated temperature conditions during post-anthesis period, resulting in yield reductions. Therefore, understanding of yield responses of pyrethrum to irrigation is important for Pyrethrum as a commercial crop. Irrigation management has been identified as a key area of pyrethrum crop management strategies that could be manipulated to increase yield. Pyrethrum is a comparatively drought tolerant plant and it has some ability to survive in dry conditions due to deep rooting. But in dry areas and in dry seasons, the crop cannot reach to its full yield potential without adequate soil moisture. Therefore, irrigation is essential during the flowering period prevent crop water stress and maximise yield. Irrigation during the water deficit period results in an overall increased rate of water uptake and growth by the plant which is essential to achieve the maximum yield benefits from commercial crops. The effects of irrigation treatments applied at post-anthesis period on pyrethrum yield responses were studied in two irrigation methods. This was conducted in a first harvest commercial pyrethrum field in Waubra, Victoria, during 2012/2013 season. Drip irrigation and overhead sprinkler irrigation treatments applied during whole flowering period were compared with ‘rainfed’ treatment in relation to flower yield and pyrethrin yield responses. The results of this experiment showed that the application of 180mm of irrigation throughout the post-anthesis period, from early flowering stages to physiological maturity under drip irrigation treatment increased pyrethrin concentration by 32%, which combined with the 95 % increase in the flower yield to give a total pyrethrin yield increase of 157%, compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. In contrast to that overhead sprinkler irrigation treatment increased pyrethrin concentration by 19%, which combined with the 60 % increase in the flower yield to give a total pyrethrin yield increase of 91%, compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. Irrigation treatments applied throughout the post-anthesis period significantly increased flower yield as a result of enhancement of number of flowers and flower size. Irrigation provides adequate soil moisture for flower development in pyrethrum which slows the rate of flower development and increases the length of the flowering period, resulting in a delayed crop harvest (11 days) compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. Overall, irrigation has a major impact on pyrethrin accumulation which increases the rate and duration of pyrethrin accumulation resulting in higher pyrethrin yield per flower at physiological maturity. The findings of this study will be important for future yield predictions and to develop advanced agronomic strategies to maximise pyrethrin yield in pyrethrum.

Keywords: achene, drip irrigation, overhead irrigation, pyrethrin

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57 Suitability Assessment of Water Harvesting and Land Restoration in Catchment Comprising Abandoned Quarry Site in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors: Rahel Birhanu Kassaye, Ralf Otterpohl, Kumelachew Yeshitila


Water resource management and land degradation are among the critical issues threatening the suitable livability of many cities in developing countries such as Ethiopia. Rapid expansion of urban areas and fast growing population has increased the pressure on water security. On the other hand, the large transformation of natural green cover and agricultural land loss to settlement and industrial activities such as quarrying is contributing to environmental concerns. Integrated water harvesting is considered to play a crucial role in terms of providing alternative water source to insure water security and helping to improve soil condition, agricultural productivity and regeneration of ecosystem. Moreover, it helps to control stormwater runoff, thus reducing flood risks and pollution, thereby improving the quality of receiving water bodies and the health of inhabitants. The aim of this research was to investigate the potential of applying integrated water harvesting approaches as a provision for water source and enabling land restoration in Jemo river catchment consisting of abandoned quarry site adjacent to a settlement area that is facing serious water shortage in western hilly part of Addis Ababa city, Ethiopia. The abandoned quarry site, apart from its contribution to the loss of aesthetics, has resulted in poor water infiltration and increase in stormwater runoff leading to land degradation and flooding in the downstream. Application of GIS and multi-criteria based analysis are used for the assessment of potential water harvesting technologies considering the technology features and site characteristics of the case study area. Biophysical parameters including precipitation, surrounding land use, surface gradient, soil characteristics and geological aspects are used as site characteristic indicators and water harvesting technologies including retention pond, check dam, agro-forestation employing contour trench system were considered for evaluation with technical and socio-economic factors used as parameters in the assessment. The assessment results indicate the different suitability potential among the analyzed water harvesting and restoration techniques with respect to the abandoned quarry site characteristics. Application of agro-forestation with contour trench system with the revegetation of indigenous plants is found to be the most suitable option for reclamation and restoration of the quarry site. Successful application of the selected technologies and strategies for water harvesting and restoration is considered to play a significant role to provide additional water source, maintain good water quality, increase agricultural productivity at urban peri-urban interface scale and improve biodiversity in the catchment. The results of the study provide guideline for decision makers and contribute to the integration of decentralized water harvesting and restoration techniques in the water management and planning of the case study area.

Keywords: abandoned quarry site, land reclamation and restoration, multi-criteria assessment, water harvesting

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56 Development and Implementation of An "Electric Island" Monitoring Infrastructure for Promoting Energy Efficiency in Schools

Authors: Vladislav Grigorovitch, Marina Grigorovitch, David Pearlmutter, Erez Gal


The concept of “electric island” is involved with achieving the balance between the self-power generation ability of each educational institution and energy consumption demand. Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar system installed on the roofs of educational buildings is a common way to absorb the available solar energy and generate electricity for self-consumption and even for returning to the grid. The main objective of this research is to develop and implement an “electric island” monitoring infrastructure for promoting energy efficiency in educational buildings. A microscale monitoring methodology will be developed to provide a platform to estimate energy consumption performance classified by rooms and subspaces rather than the more common macroscale monitoring of the whole building. The monitoring platform will be established on the experimental sites, enabling an estimation and further analysis of the variety of environmental and physical conditions. For each building, separate measurement configurations will be applied taking into account the specific requirements, restrictions, location and infrastructure issues. The direct results of the measurements will be analyzed to provide deeper understanding of the impact of environmental conditions and sustainability construction standards, not only on the energy demand of public building, but also on the energy consumption habits of the children that study in those schools and the educational and administrative staff that is responsible for providing the thermal comfort conditions and healthy studying atmosphere for the children. A monitoring methodology being developed in this research is providing online access to real-time data of Interferential Therapy (IFTs) from any mobile phone or computer by simply browsing the dedicated website, providing powerful tools for policy makers for better decision making while developing PV production infrastructure to achieve “electric islands” in educational buildings. A detailed measurement configuration was technically designed based on the specific conditions and restriction of each of the pilot buildings. A monitoring and analysis methodology includes a large variety of environmental parameters inside and outside the schools to investigate the impact of environmental conditions both on the energy performance of the school and educational abilities of the children. Indoor measurements are mandatory to acquire the energy consumption data, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and other air quality conditions in different parts of the building. In addition to that, we aim to study the awareness of the users to the energy consideration and thus the impact on their energy consumption habits. The monitoring of outdoor conditions is vital for proper design of the off-grid energy supply system and validation of its sufficient capacity. The suggested outcomes of this research include: 1. both experimental sites are designed to have PV production and storage capabilities; 2. Developing an online information feedback platform. The platform will provide consumer dedicated information to academic researchers, municipality officials and educational staff and students; 3. Designing an environmental work path for educational staff regarding optimal conditions and efficient hours for operating air conditioning, natural ventilation, closing of blinds, etc.

Keywords: sustainability, electric island, IOT, smart building

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55 ESRA: An End-to-End System for Re-identification and Anonymization of Swiss Court Decisions

Authors: Joel Niklaus, Matthias Sturmer


The publication of judicial proceedings is a cornerstone of many democracies. It enables the court system to be made accountable by ensuring that justice is made in accordance with the laws. Equally important is privacy, as a fundamental human right (Article 12 in the Declaration of Human Rights). Therefore, it is important that the parties (especially minors, victims, or witnesses) involved in these court decisions be anonymized securely. Today, the anonymization of court decisions in Switzerland is performed either manually or semi-automatically using primitive software. While much research has been conducted on anonymization for tabular data, the literature on anonymization for unstructured text documents is thin and virtually non-existent for court decisions. In 2019, it has been shown that manual anonymization is not secure enough. In 21 of 25 attempted Swiss federal court decisions related to pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceuticals, and legal parties involved could be manually re-identified. This was achieved by linking the decisions with external databases using regular expressions. An automated re-identification system serves as an automated test for the safety of existing anonymizations and thus promotes the right to privacy. Manual anonymization is very expensive (recurring annual costs of over CHF 20M in Switzerland alone, according to an estimation). Consequently, many Swiss courts only publish a fraction of their decisions. An automated anonymization system reduces these costs substantially, further leading to more capacity for publishing court decisions much more comprehensively. For the re-identification system, topic modeling with latent dirichlet allocation is used to cluster an amount of over 500K Swiss court decisions into meaningful related categories. A comprehensive knowledge base with publicly available data (such as social media, newspapers, government documents, geographical information systems, business registers, online address books, obituary portal, web archive, etc.) is constructed to serve as an information hub for re-identifications. For the actual re-identification, a general-purpose language model is fine-tuned on the respective part of the knowledge base for each category of court decisions separately. The input to the model is the court decision to be re-identified, and the output is a probability distribution over named entities constituting possible re-identifications. For the anonymization system, named entity recognition (NER) is used to recognize the tokens that need to be anonymized. Since the focus lies on Swiss court decisions in German, a corpus for Swiss legal texts will be built for training the NER model. The recognized named entities are replaced by the category determined by the NER model and an identifier to preserve context. This work is part of an ongoing research project conducted by an interdisciplinary research consortium. Both a legal analysis and the implementation of the proposed system design ESRA will be performed within the next three years. This study introduces the system design of ESRA, an end-to-end system for re-identification and anonymization of Swiss court decisions. Firstly, the re-identification system tests the safety of existing anonymizations and thus promotes privacy. Secondly, the anonymization system substantially reduces the costs of manual anonymization of court decisions and thus introduces a more comprehensive publication practice.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, courts, legal tech, named entity recognition, natural language processing, ·privacy, topic modeling

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54 Effectiveness of Essential Oils as Inhibitors of Quorum Sensing Activity Using Biomonitor Strain Chromobacterium Violaceum

Authors: Ivana Cabarkapa, Zorica Tomicic, Olivera Duragic


Antimicrobial resistance represents one of the major challenges facing humanity in the last decades. Increasing antibiotic-resistant pathogens indicates the need for the development of alternative antibacterial drugs and new treatment strategies. One of the innovative emerging treatments in overcoming multidrug-resistant pathogens certainly represents the inhibition anti-quorum sensing system. For most of the food-borne pathogens, the expression of the virulence depends on their capability communication with other members of the population by means of quorum sensing (QS). QS represents a specific way of bacterial intercellular communication, which enabled owing to their ability to detect and to respond to cell population density by gene regulation. QS mechanisms are responsible for controls the pathogenesis, virulence luminescence, motility, sporulation and biofilm formation of many organisms by regulating gene expression. Therefore, research in this field is being an attractive target for the development of new natural antibacterial agents. Anti-QS compounds are known to have the ability to prohibit bacterial pathogenicity. Considering the importance of quorum sensing during bacterial pathogenesis, this research has been focused on evaluation anti - QS properties of four essential oils (EOs) Origanum heracleoticum, Origanum vulgare, Thymus vulgare, and Thymus serpyllum, using biomonitor strain of Chromobacterium violaceum CV026. Tests conducted on Luria Bertani agar supplemented with N hexanol DL homoserine lacton (HHL) 10µl/50ml of agar. The anti-QS potential of the EOs was assayed in a range of concentrations of 200 – 0.39 µl/ml using the disc diffusion method. EOs of Th. vulgaris and T. serpyllum were exhibited anti-QS activity indicated by a non- pigmented ring with a dilution-dependent manner. The lowest dilution of EOs T. vulgaris and T. serpyllum in which they exhibited visually detectable inhibition of violacein synthesis was 6.25 µl/ml for both tested EOs. EOs of O. heracleoticum and O. vulgare were displayed different active principles, i.e., antimicrobial activity indicated by the inner clear ring and anti-QS activity indicated by the outer non-pigmented ring, in a concentration-dependent manner. The lowest dilution of EOs of O. heracleoticum and O. vulgare in which exhibited visually detectable inhibition of violacein synthesis was 1.56 and 3.25 µl/ml, respectively. Considering that, the main constituents of the tested EOs represented by monoterpenes (carvacrol, thymol, γ-terpinene, and p-cymene), anti - QS properties of tested EOs can be mainly attributed to their activity. In particular, from the scientific literature, carvacrol and thymol show a sub-inhibitory effect against foodborne pathogens. Previous studies indicated that sub-lethal concentrations of carvacrol reduced the mobility of bacteria due to the ability of interference using QS mechanism between the bacterial cells, and thereby reducing the ability of biofilm formation The precise mechanism by which carvacrol inhibits biofilm formation is still not fully understood. Our results indicated that EOs displayed different active principles, i.e., antimicrobial activity indicated by the inner clear ring and anti-QS activity indicated by an outer non- pigmented ring with visually detectable inhibition of violacein. Preliminary results suggest that EOs represent a promising alternative for effective control of the emergence and spread of resistant pathogens.

Keywords: anti-quorum sensing activity, Chromobacterium violaceum, essential oils, violacein

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