Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11002

Search results for: rate of production

10822 Soil Respiration Rate of Laurel-Leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

We assessed the ecology of the organic and mineral soil layers of laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Cryptomeria japonica (BB-2 and Pw) forests in the Kasugayama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan). The soil respiration rate was higher in the deeper horizons (F and H) of organic layers than in those of mineral soil layers, suggesting organic layers may be where active microbial metabolism occurs. Respiration rates in the soil of BB-1, BB-2 and Pw forests were closely similar at 5 and 10°C. However, the soil respiration rate increased in proportion to temperatures of 15°C or above. We therefore consider the activity of soil microorganisms to markedly decrease at temperatures below 10°C. At a temperature of 15°C or above, the soil respiration rate in the BB-1 organic layers was higher than in those of the BB-2 and Pw organic layers, due to differences in forest vegetation that appeared to influence several salient soil properties, particularly pH and the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content of the F and H horizons.

Keywords: forest soil, mineralization rate, heterotroph, soil respiration rate

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10821 Production of Oral Vowels by Chinese Learners of Portuguese: Problems and Didactic Implications

Authors: Adelina Castelo

Abstract:

The increasing number of learners of Portuguese as Foreign Language in China justifies the need to define the phonetic profile of these learners and to design didactic materials that are adjusted to their specific problems in pronunciation. Different aspects of this topic have been studied, but the production of oral vowels still needs to be investigated. This study aims: (i) to identify the problems the Chinese learners of Portuguese experience in the pronunciation of oral vowels; (ii) to discuss the didactic implications drawn from those problems. The participants were eight native speakers of Mandarin Chinese that had been learning Portuguese in College for almost a year. They named pictured objects and their oral productions were recorded and phonetically transcribed. The selection of the objects to name took into account some linguistic variables (e.g. stress pattern, syllable structure, presence of the Portuguese oral vowels in different word positions according to stress location). The results are analysed in two ways: the impact of linguistic variables on the success rate in the vowels' production; the replacement strategies used in the non-target productions. Both analyses show that the Chinese learners of Portuguese (i) have significantly more difficulties with the mid vowels as well as the high central vowel and (ii) do not master the vowel height feature. These findings contribute to define the phonetic profile of these learners in terms of oral vowel production. Besides, they have important didactic implications for the pronunciation teaching to these specific learners. Those implications are discussed and exemplified.

Keywords: Chinese learners, learners’ phonetic profile, linguistic variables, Portuguese as foreign language, production data, pronunciation teaching, oral vowels

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10820 High Pressure Delignification Process for Nanocrystalline Cellulose Production from Agro-Waste Biomass

Authors: Sakinul Islam, Nhol Kao, Sati Bhattacharya, Rahul Gupta

Abstract:

Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) has been widely used for miscellaneous applications due to its superior properties over other nanomaterials. However, the major problems associated with the production of NCC are long reaction time, low production rate and inefficient process. The mass production of NCC within a short period of time is still a great challenge. The main objective of this study is to produce NCC from rice husk agro waste biomass from a high pressure delignification process (HPDP), followed by bleaching and hydrolysis processes. The HPDP has not been explored for NCC production from rice husk biomass (RHB) until now. In order to produce NCC, powder rice husk (PRH) was placed into a stainless steel reactor at 80 ˚C under 5 bars. Aqueous solution of NaOH (4M) was used for the dissolution of lignin and other amorphous impurities from PRH. After certain experimental times (1h, 3.5h and 6h), bleaching and hydrolysis were carried out on delignified samples. NaOCl (20%) and H2SO4 (4M) solutions were used for bleaching and hydrolysis processes, respectively. The NCC suspension from hydrolysis was sonicated and neutralized by buffer solution for various characterisations. Finally NCC suspension was dried and analyzed by FTIR, XRD, SEM, AFM and TEM. The chemical composition of NCC and PRH was estimated by TAPPI (Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry) standard methods to observe the product purity. It was found that, the 6h of the HPDP was more efficient to produce good quality NCC than that at 1h and 3.5h due to low separation of non-cellulosic components from RHB. The analyses indicated the crystallinity of NCC to be 71 %, particle size of 20-50 nm (diameter) and 100-200 nm in length.

Keywords: nanocrystalline cellulose, NCC, high pressure delignification, bleaching, hydrolysis, agro-waste biomass

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10819 Quality of So-Called Organic Fertilizers in Vietnam's Market

Authors: Hoang Thi Quynh, Shima Kazuto

Abstract:

Organic farming is gaining interest in Vietnam. However, organic fertilizer production is not sufficiently regulated, resulting in unknown quality. This study investigated characteristics of so-called organic fertilizers in the Vietnam’s market and their mineralization in soil-plant system. We collected 15 commercial products (11 domestic and 4 imported) which labelled 'organic fertilizer' in the market to analyze nutrients composition. A 20 day-incubation experiment was carried on with 80 g sandy-textured soil, amended with the fertilizer at a rate of 109.4 mgN.kg⁻¹soil in 150 mL glass bottle at 25℃. We categorized them according to nutrients content and mineralization rate, and then selected 8 samples for cultivation experiment. The experiment was conducted by growing Komatsuna (Brassica campestris) in sandy-textured soil using an automatic watering apparatus in a greenhouse. The fertilizers were applied to the top one-third of the soil stratum at a rate of 200 mgN.kg⁻¹ soil. Our study also analyzed material flow of coffee husk compost in Central Highland of Vietnam. Total N, P, K, Ca, Mg and C: N ratio varied greatly cross the domestic products, whereas they were quite similar among the imported materials. The proportion of inorganic-N to T-N of domestic products was higher than 25% in 8 of 11 samples. These indicate that N concentration increased dramatically in most domestic products compared with their raw materials. Additionally, most domestic products contained less P, and their proportions of Truog-P to T-P were greatly different. These imply that some manufactures were interested in adjusting P concentration, but some ones were not. Furthermore, the compost was made by mixing with chemical substances to increase nutrients content (N, P), and also added construction surplus soil to gain weight before packing product to sell in the market as 'organic fertilizer'. There was a negative correlation between C:N ratio and mineralization rate of the fertilizers. There was a significant difference in N efficiency among the fertilizer treatments. N efficiency of most domestic products was higher than chemical fertilizer and imported organic fertilizers. These results suggest regulations on organic fertilizers production needed to support organic farming that is based on internationally accepted standards in Vietnam.

Keywords: inorganic N, mineralization, N efficiency, so-called organic fertilizers, Vietnam’s market

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10818 Enhanced Production of Endo-β-1,4-Xylanase from a Newly Isolated Thermophile Geobacillus stearothermophilus KIBGE-IB29 for Prospective Industrial Applications

Authors: Zainab Bibi, Afsheen Aman, Shah Ali Ul Qader

Abstract:

Endo-β-1,4-xylanases [EC 3.2.1.8] are one of the major groups of enzymes that are involved in degradation process of xylan and have several applications in food, textile and paper processing industries. Due to broad utility of endo-β-1,4-xylanase, researchers are focusing to increase the productivity of this hydrolase from various microbial species. Harsh industrial condition, faster reaction rate and efficient hydrolysis of xylan with low risk of contamination are critical requirements of industry that can be fulfilled by synthesizing the enzyme with efficient properties. In the current study, a newly isolated thermophile Geobacillus stearothermophilus KIBGE-IB29 was used in order to attain the maximum production of endo-1,4-β-xylanase. Bacterial culture was isolated from soil, collected around the blast furnace site of a steel processing mill, Karachi. Optimization of various nutritional and physical factors resulted the maximum synthesis of endo-1,4-β-xylanase from a thermophile. High production yield was achieved at 60°C and pH-6.0 after 24 hours of incubation period. Various nitrogen sources viz. peptone, yeast extract and meat extract improved the enzyme synthesis with 0.5%, 0.2% and 0.1% optimum concentrations. Dipotassium hydrogen phosphate (0.25%), potassium dihydrogen phosphate (0.05%), ammonium sulfate (0.05%) and calcium chloride (0.01%) were noticed as valuable salts to improve the production of enzyme. The thermophilic nature of isolate, with its broad pH stability profile and reduced fermentation time indicates its importance for effective xylan saccharification and for large scale production of endo-1,4-β-xylanase.

Keywords: geobacillus, optimization, production, xylanase

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10817 A Condition-Based Maintenance Policy for Multi-Unit Systems Subject to Deterioration

Authors: Nooshin Salari, Viliam Makis

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a condition-based maintenance policy for multi-unit systems considering the existence of economic dependency among units. We consider a system composed of N identical units, where each unit deteriorates independently. Deterioration process of each unit is modeled as a three-state continuous time homogeneous Markov chain with two working states and a failure state. The average production rate of units varies in different working states and demand rate of the system is constant. Units are inspected at equidistant time epochs, and decision regarding performing maintenance is determined by the number of units in the failure state. If the total number of units in the failure state exceeds a critical level, maintenance is initiated, where units in failed state are replaced correctively and deteriorated state units are maintained preventively. Our objective is to determine the optimal number of failed units to initiate maintenance minimizing the long run expected average cost per unit time. The problem is formulated and solved in the semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) framework. A numerical example is developed to demonstrate the proposed policy and the comparison with the corrective maintenance policy is presented.

Keywords: reliability, maintenance optimization, semi-Markov decision process, production

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10816 The Role of the Rate of Profit Concept in Creating Economic Stability in Islamic Financial Market

Authors: Trisiladi Supriyanto

Abstract:

This study aims to establish a concept of rate of profit on Islamic banking that can create economic justice and stability in the Islamic Financial Market (Banking and Capital Markets). A rate of profit that creates economic justice and stability can be achieved through its role in maintaining the stability of the financial system in which there is an equitable distribution of income and wealth. To determine the role of the rate of profit as the basis of the profit sharing system implemented in the Islamic financial system, we can see the connection of rate of profit in creating financial stability, especially in the asset-liability management of financial institutions that generate a stable net margin or the rate of profit that is not affected by the ups and downs of the market risk factors, including indirect effect on interest rates. Furthermore, Islamic financial stability can be seen from the role of the rate of profit on the stability of the Islamic financial assets value that are measured from the Islamic financial asset price volatility in the Islamic Bond Market in the Capital Market.

Keywords: economic justice, equitable distribution of income, equitable distribution of wealth, rate of profit, stability in the financial system

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10815 A New Model for Production Forecasting in ERP

Authors: S. F. Wong, W. I. Ho, B. Lin, Q. Huang

Abstract:

ERP has been used in many enterprises for management, the accuracy of the production forecasting module is vital to the decision making of the enterprise, and the profit is affected directly. Therefore, enhancing the accuracy of the production forecasting module can also increase the efficiency and profitability. To deal with a lot of data, a suitable, reliable and accurate statistics model is necessary. LSSVM and Grey System are two main models to be studied in this paper, and a case study is used to demonstrate how the combination model is effective to the result of forecasting.

Keywords: ERP, grey system, LSSVM, production forecasting

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10814 Determination of Strain Rate Sensitivity (SRS) for Grain Size Variants on Nanocrystalline Materials Produced by ARB and ECAP

Authors: P. B. Sob, T. B. Tengen, A. A. Alugongo

Abstract:

Mechanical behavior of 6082T6 aluminum is investigated at different temperatures. The strain rate sensitivity is investigated at different temperatures on the grain size variants. The sensitivity of the measured grain size variants on 3-D grain is discussed. It is shown that the strain rate sensitivities are negative for the grain size variants during the deformation of nanostructured materials. It is also observed that the strain rate sensitivities vary in different ways with the equivalent radius, semi minor axis radius, semi major axis radius and major axis radius. From the obtained results, it is shown that the variation of strain rate sensitivity with temperature suggests that the strain rate sensitivity at the low and the high temperature ends of the 6082T6 aluminum range is different. The obtained results revealed transition at different temperature from negative strain rate sensitivity as temperature increased on the grain size variants.

Keywords: nanostructured materials, grain size variants, temperature, yield stress, strain rate sensitivity

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10813 Impacts of Exchange Rate and Inflation Rate on Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan

Authors: Saad Bin Nasir

Abstract:

The study identifies the impact of inflation and foreign exchange rate on foreign direct investment in Pakistan. Inflation and exchange rates are used as independent variables and foreign direct investment is taken as dependent variable. Discreet time series data has been used from the period of 1999 to 2009. The results of regression analysis reveal that high inflation has negative impact on foreign direct investment and higher exchange rates has positive impact on foreign direct investment in Pakistan. The inflation and foreign exchange rates both are insignificant in the analysis.

Keywords: inflation rate, foreign exchange rate, foreign direct investment, foreign assets

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10812 Measurement of CES Production Functions Considering Energy as an Input

Authors: Donglan Zha, Jiansong Si

Abstract:

Because of its flexibility, CES attracts much interest in economic growth and programming models, and the macroeconomics or micro-macro models. This paper focuses on the development, estimating methods of CES production function considering energy as an input. We leave for future research work of relaxing the assumption of constant returns to scale, the introduction of potential input factors, and the generalization method of the optimal nested form of multi-factor production functions.

Keywords: bias of technical change, CES production function, elasticity of substitution, energy input

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10811 The Response of the Central Bank to the Exchange Rate Movement: A Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium-Vector Autoregressive Approach for Tunisian Economy

Authors: Abdelli Soulaima, Belhadj Besma

Abstract:

The paper examines the choice of the central bank toward the movements of the nominal exchange rate and evaluates its effects on the volatility of the output growth and the inflation. The novel hybrid method of the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium called the DSGE-VAR is proposed for analyzing this policy experiment in a small scale open economy in particular Tunisia. The contribution is provided to the empirical literature as we apply the Tunisian data with this model, which is rarely used in this context. Note additionally that the issue of treating the degree of response of the central bank to the exchange rate in Tunisia is special. To ameliorate the estimation, the Bayesian technique is carried out for the sample 1980:q1 to 2011 q4. Our results reveal that the central bank should not react or softly react to the exchange rate. The variance decomposition displayed that the overall inflation volatility is more pronounced with the fixed exchange rate regime for most of the shocks except for the productivity and the interest rate. The output volatility is also higher with this regime with the majority of the shocks exempting the foreign interest rate and the interest rate shocks.

Keywords: DSGE-VAR modeling, exchange rate, monetary policy, Bayesian estimation

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10810 Causal Relationship between Macro-Economic Indicators and Fund Unit Price Behaviour: Evidence from Malaysian Equity Unit Trust Fund Industry

Authors: Anwar Hasan Abdullah Othman, Ahamed Kameel, Hasanuddeen Abdul Aziz

Abstract:

In this study, an attempt has been made to investigate the relationship specifically the causal relation between fund unit prices of Islamic equity unit trust fund which measure by fund NAV and the selected macro-economic variables of Malaysian economy by using VECM causality test and Granger causality test. Monthly data has been used from Jan, 2006 to Dec, 2012 for all the variables. The findings of the study showed that industrial production index, political election and financial crisis are the only variables having unidirectional causal relationship with fund unit price. However, the global oil prices is having bidirectional causality with fund NAV. Thus, it is concluded that the equity unit trust fund industry in Malaysia is an inefficient market with respect to the industrial production index, global oil prices, political election and financial crisis. However, the market is approaching towards informational efficiency at least with respect to four macroeconomic variables, treasury bill rate, money supply, foreign exchange rate and corruption index.

Keywords: fund unit price, unit trust industry, Malaysia, macroeconomic variables, causality

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10809 Eco-Biological Study of Artemia salina (Branchiopoda, Anostraca) in Sahline Salt Lake, Tunisia

Authors: Khalil Trigui, Rafik Ben Said, Fourat Akrout, Neji Aloui

Abstract:

In this study, we examined in the first part the eco-biology of Artemia (A.salina) collected from Sahline Salt Lake (governorate of Monastir: Tunisia) during an annual cycle. The correlations between environmental factors and some biological parameters of Artemia were determined. The results obtained showed that the environmental factors affected the biology of Artemia. The highest abundance was recorded in May (550 ± 2,16 ind/l) and all life history stages existed with different seasonal proportions. The Artemia population is bisexual with ovoviviparous reproduction at the beginning and oviparous at the end of the life cycle. We also recorded the dominance of males at the start and the females at the end of the cycle. During all the study period, the size of mature females is bigger than that of males. The fertility obtained resulted in a significant production of cysts compared to the nauplii. A negative correlation with highly significant effect was deduced between environmental factors (temperature and salinity) and the production of nauplii (ovoviviparity) in contrast with dissolved oxygen. In the second part of our work is consecrated to the mastery of breeding Artemia. For this, we tested the effect of five external factors (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, light intensity and food) on the survival of this crustacean. Thereby, the survival rates of Artemia were affected by the different values of studied factors. The recorded results showed that Artemia salina has an optimum temperature ranged from 25 to 27°C with a survival rate ranging from 84 to 88%. The optimal salinity to breed Artemia salina was 37 psu (62 ± 0,23%). Nevertheless, this crustacean was able to survive and withstand the salinity of 0 psu (freshwater). The optimum concentration of dissolved oxygen was 7mg/l with a survival rate of 87,11 ± 0,04%. An optimum light intensity of 10 lux revealed a survival rate equal to 85,33 ± 0,01%. The results also showed that the preferred micro-algae by Artemia is Dunaliella salina with a maximum survival rate of the order of 80 ± 0,15%. There is a significant effect for all experienced parameters on the survival of Artemia reared except the nature of food.

Keywords: Artemia salina, biology, breeding, ecology, Sahline salt lake

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10808 Test of Capital Account Monetary Model of Floating Exchange Rate Determination: Further Evidence from Selected African Countries

Authors: Oloyede John Adebayo

Abstract:

This paper tested a variant of the monetary model of exchange rate determination, called Frankel’s Capital Account Monetary Model (CAAM) based on Real Interest Rate Differential, on the floating exchange rate experiences of three developing countries of Africa; viz: Ghana, Nigeria and the Gambia. The study adopted the Auto regressive Instrumental Package (AIV) and Almon Polynomial Lag Procedure of regression analysis based on the assumption that the coefficients follow a third-order Polynomial with zero-end constraint. The results found some support for the CAAM hypothesis that exchange rate responds proportionately to changes in money supply, inversely to income and positively to interest rates and expected inflation differentials. On this basis, the study points the attention of monetary authorities and researchers to the relevance and usefulness of CAAM as appropriate tool and useful benchmark for analyzing the exchange rate behaviour of most developing countries.

Keywords: exchange rate, monetary model, interest differentials, capital account

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10807 Aggregate Production Planning Framework in a Multi-Product Factory: A Case Study

Authors: Ignatio Madanhire, Charles Mbohwa

Abstract:

This study looks at the best model of aggregate planning activity in an industrial entity and uses the trial and error method on spreadsheets to solve aggregate production planning problems. Also linear programming model is introduced to optimize the aggregate production planning problem. Application of the models in a furniture production firm is evaluated to demonstrate that practical and beneficial solutions can be obtained from the models. Finally some benchmarking of other furniture manufacturing industries was undertaken to assess relevance and level of use in other furniture firms

Keywords: aggregate production planning, trial and error, linear programming, furniture industry

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10806 Evaluating the Factors Influencing the Efficiency and Usage of Public Sports Services in a Chinese Province

Authors: Zhankun Wang, Timothy Makubuya

Abstract:

The efficiency of public sports service of prefecture-level cities in Zhejiang from 2008 to 2012 was evaluated by applying the DEA method, then its influencing factors were also analyzed through Tobit model. Upon analysis, the results revealed the following; (i) the change in average efficiency of public sports service in Zhejiang present a smooth uptrend and at a relatively high level from 2008 to 2012 (ii) generally, the productivity of public sports service in Zhejiang improved from 2008 to 2012, the productivity efficiency varied greatly in different years, and the regional difference of production efficiency increased. (iii) The correlations for urbanization rate, aging rate, per capita GDP and the population density were significantly positive with the public sports service efficiency in Zhejiang, of which the most significant was the aging rate. However, the population density and per capita GDP had less impact on the efficiency of public sports service in Zhejiang. In addition, whether the efficiency of public sports services in different areas in Zhejiang reciprocates to overall benefits in public wellbeing in both rural and urban settings is still arguable.

Keywords: DEA model, public sports service, efficiency, Tobit model, Malmquist productivity index, Zhejiang

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10805 The Invisibility of Production: A Comparative Study of the Marker of Modern Urban-Centric Economic Development

Authors: Arpita Banerjee

Abstract:

We now live in a world where half of the human population is city dwellers. The migration of people from rural to urban areas is rising continuously. But, the promise of a greater wage and better quality of life cannot keep up with the pace of migration. The rate of urbanization is much higher in developing countries. The UN predicts that 95 percent of this urban expansion will take place in the developing world in the next few decades. The population in the urban settlements of the developing nations is soaring, and megacities like Mumbai, Dhaka, Jakarta, Karachi, Manila, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and Kinshasa are crammed with people, a majority of whom are migrants. Rural-urban migration has taken a new shape with the rising number of smaller cities. Apart from the increase in non-agricultural economic activities, growing demand for resources and energy, an increase in wastes and pollution, and a greater ecological footprint, there is another significant characteristic of the current wave of urbanization. This paper analyses that important marker of urbanization. It is the invisibility of production sites. The growing urban space ensures that the producers, the production sites, or the process stay beyond urban visibility. In cities and towns, living is majorly about earning money in either the informal service and small scale manufacturing sectors (a major part of which is food preparation), or the formal service sector. In the cases of both the informal service and small scale manufacturing or the formal service sector, commodity creation cannot be seen. The urban space happens to be the marketplace, where nature and its services, along with the non-urban labour, cannot be seen unless it is sold in the market. Hence, the consumers are now increasingly becoming disengaged from the producers. This paper compares the rate of increase in the size of and employment in the informal sector and/or that of the formal sector of some selected urban areas of India. Also, a comparison over the years of the aforementioned characteristics is presented in this paper, in order to find out how the anonymity of the producers to the urban consumers have grown as urbanization has risen. This paper also analyses the change in the transport cost of goods into the cities and towns of India and supports that claim made here that the invisibility of production is a crucial marker of modern-day urban-centric economic development. Such urbanization has an important ecological impact. The invisibility of the production site saves the urban consumer society from dealing with the ethical and ecological aspects of the production process. Once the real sector production is driven out of the cities and towns, the invisible ethical and ecological impacts of the growing urban consumption frees the consumers from associating themselves with any responsibility towards those impacts.

Keywords: ecological impact of urbanization, informal sector, invisibility of production, urbanization

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10804 Energy Use and Econometric Models of Soybean Production in Mazandaran Province of Iran

Authors: Majid AghaAlikhani, Mostafa Hojati, Saeid Satari-Yuzbashkandi

Abstract:

This paper studies energy use patterns and relationship between energy input and yield for soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) in Mazandaran province of Iran. In this study, data were collected by administering a questionnaire in face-to-face interviews. Results revealed that the highest share of energy consumption belongs to chemical fertilizers (29.29%) followed by diesel (23.42%) and electricity (22.80%). Our investigations showed that a total energy input of 23404.1 MJ.ha-1 was consumed for soybean production. The energy productivity, specific energy, and net energy values were estimated as 0.12 kg MJ-1, 8.03 MJ kg-1, and 49412.71 MJ.ha-1, respectively. The ratio of energy outputs to energy inputs was 3.11. Obtained results indicated that direct, indirect, renewable and non-renewable energies were (56.83%), (43.17%), (15.78%) and (84.22%), respectively. Three econometric models were also developed to estimate the impact of energy inputs on yield. The results of econometric models revealed that impact of chemical, fertilizer, and water on yield were significant at 1% probability level. Also, direct and non-renewable energies were found to be rather high. Cost analysis revealed that total cost of soybean production per ha was around 518.43$. Accordingly, the benefit-cost ratio was estimated as 2.58. The energy use efficiency in soybean production was found as 3.11. This reveals that the inputs used in soybean production are used efficiently. However, due to higher rate of nitrogen fertilizer consumption, sustainable agriculture should be extended and extension staff could be proposed substitution of chemical fertilizer by biological fertilizer or green manure.

Keywords: Cobbe Douglas function, economical analysis, energy efficiency, energy use patterns, soybean

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10803 An Improved Transmission Scheme in Cooperative Communication System

Authors: Seung-Jun Yu, Young-Min Ko, Hyoung-Kyu Song

Abstract:

Recently developed cooperative diversity scheme enables a terminal to get transmit diversity through the support of other terminals. However, most of the introduced cooperative schemes have a common fault of decreased transmission rate because the destination should receive the decodable compositions of symbols from the source and the relay. In order to achieve high data rate, we propose a cooperative scheme that employs hierarchical modulation. This scheme is free from the rate loss and allows seamless cooperative communication.

Keywords: cooperative communication, hierarchical modulation, high data rate, transmission scheme

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10802 An Assessment of the Effects of Microbial Products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake in Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

Authors: M. F. R. Zuthi, H. H. Ngo, W. S. Guo, S. S. Chen, N. C. Nguyen, L. J. Deng, T. D. C Tran

Abstract:

Sustaining a desired rate of oxygen transfer for microbial activity is a matter of major concern for Biological Wastewater Treatment (MBR). The study reported in the paper was aimed at assessing the effects of microbial products on the Specific Oxygen Uptake Rate (SOUR) in a Conventional Membrane Bioreactor (CMBR) and that in a Sponge Submerged MBR (SSMBR). The production and progressive accumulation of Soluble Microbial Products (SMP) and Bound-Extracellular Polymeric Substances (BEPS) were found affecting the SOUR of the microorganisms which varied at different stages of operation of the MBR systems depending on the variable concentrations of the SMP/bEPS. The effect of bEPS on the SOUR was stronger in the SSMBR compared to that of the SMP, while relative high concentrations of SMP had adverse effects on the SOUR of the CMBR system. Of the different mathematical correlations analyzed in the study, logarithmic mathematical correlations could be established between SOUR and bEPS in SSMBR, and similar correlations could also be found between SOUR and SMP concentrations in the CMBR.

Keywords: microbial products, microbial activity, specific oxygen uptake rate, membrane bioreactor

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10801 Microfluidic Continuous Approaches to Produce Magnetic Nanoparticles with Homogeneous Size Distribution

Authors: Ane Larrea, Victor Sebastian, Manuel Arruebo, Jesus Santamaria

Abstract:

We present a gas-liquid microfluidic system as a reactor to obtain magnetite nanoparticles with an excellent degree of control regarding their crystalline phase, shape and size. Several types of microflow approaches were selected to prevent nanomaterial aggregation and to promote homogenous size distribution. The selected reactor consists of a mixer stage aided by ultrasound waves and a reaction stage using a N2-liquid segmented flow to prevent magnetite oxidation to non-magnetic phases. A milli-fluidic reactor was developed to increase the production rate where a magnetite throughput close to 450 mg/h in a continuous fashion was obtained.

Keywords: continuous production, magnetic nanoparticles, microfluidics, nanomaterials

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10800 Stability Analysis of Green Coffee Export Markets of Ethiopia: Markov-Chain Analysis

Authors: Gabriel Woldu, Maria Sassi

Abstract:

Coffee performs a pivotal role in Ethiopia's GDP, revenue, employment, domestic demand, and export earnings. Ethiopia's coffee production and exports show high variability in the amount of production and export earnings. Despite being the continent's fifth-largest coffee producer, Ethiopia has not developed its ability to shine as a major exporter in the globe's green coffee exports. Ethiopian coffee exports were not stable and had high volume and earnings fluctuations. The main aim of this study was to analyze the dynamics of the export of coffee variation to different importing nations using a first-order Markov Chain model. 14 years of time-series data has been used to examine the direction and structural change in the export of coffee. A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was used to determine the annual growth rate in the coffee export quantity, value, and per-unit price over the study period. The major export markets for Ethiopian coffee were Germany, Japan, and the USA, which were more stable, while countries such as France, Italy, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia were less stable and had low retention rates for Ethiopian coffee. The study, therefore, recommends that Ethiopia should again revitalize its market to France, Italy, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia, as these countries are the major coffee-consuming countries in the world to boost its export stake to the global coffee markets in the future. In order to further enhance export stability, the Ethiopian Government and other stakeholders in the coffee sector should have to work on reducing the volatility of coffee output and exports in order to improve production and quality efficiency, so that stabilize markets as well as to make the product attractive and price competitive in the importing countries.

Keywords: coffee, CAGR, Markov chain, direction of trade, Ethiopia

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10799 Application Use of Slaughterhouse Waste to Improve Nutrient Level in Apium glaviolens

Authors: Hasan Basri Jumin

Abstract:

Using the slaughterhouse waste combined to suitable dose of nitrogen fertilizer to Apium glaviolen gives the significant effect to mean relative growth rate. The same pattern also showed significantly in net assimilation rate. The net assimilation rate increased significantly during 42 days old plants. Combination of treatment of 100 ml/l animal slaughterhouse waste and 0.1 g/kg nitrogen fertilizer/kg soil increased the vegetative growth of Apium glaviolens. The biomass of plant and mean relative growth rate of Apium glaviolens were rapidly increased in 4 weeks after planting and gradually decreased after 35 days at the harvest time. Combination of 100 ml/l slaughterhouse waste and applied 0.1 g/kg nitrogen fertilizer has increased all parameters. The highest vegetative growth, biomass, mean relative growth rate and net assimilation rate were received from 0.56 mg-l.m-2.days-1.

Keywords: Apium glaviolent, nitrogen, pollutant, slaughterhouse, waste

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10798 Effect of Tillage Practices and Planting Patterns on Growth and Yield of Maize (Zee Maize)

Authors: O. R. Obalowu, F. B. Akande, T. P Abegunrin

Abstract:

Maize (Zea may) is mostly grown and consumed by Nigeria farmers using different tillage practices which have a great effect on its growth and yield. In order to maximize output, there is need to recommend a suitable tillage practice for crop production which will increase the growth and yield of maize. This study investigated the effect of tillage practices and planting pattern on the growth and yield of maize. The experiment was arranged in a 4x3x3 Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) layout, with four tillage practices consisting of no-tillage (NT), disc ploughing only (Ponly), disc ploughing followed by harrowing (PH), and disc ploughing, harrowing then ridging (PHR). Three planting patterns which include; 65 x 75, 75 x 75 and 85 x 75 cm spacing within and between the rows respectively, were randomly applied on the plots. All treatments were replicated three times. Data which consist of plant height, stem girth, leaf area and weight of maize per plots were taken and recorded. Data gathered were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in the Minitab Software Package. The result shows that PHR under the third planting pattern has the highest growth rate (216.50 cm) while NT under the first planting pattern has the lowest mean value of growth rate (115.60 cm). Also, Ponly under the first planting pattern gives a better maize yield (19.45 kg) when compared with other tillage practices while NT under first planting pattern recorded the least yield of maize (9.40 kg). In conclusion, considering soil and weather conditions of the research area, plough only under the first planting pattern (65 x 75 cm) is the best alternative for the production of the Swan maize variety.

Keywords: tillage practice, planting pattern, disc ploughing, harrowing, ridging

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10797 The Impact of Innovation Efficiency on the Production of New Knowledge: A Manufacturing Firm Level Perspective

Authors: Vasilios Kanellopoulos

Abstract:

The present paper examines the effect of innovation efficiency on the production of new knowledge from a firm level perspective. It resorts to the Greek version of community innovation survey (CIS 2012-2014 microdata) and employs 1274 firms of the manufacturing, which constitutes the main sector of examination. It assumes a knowledge production function (KPF) and finds that R&D spillovers related to the expenditures on innovation activities, internal R&D, external R&D, skilled labor, and the expenditures in the acquisition of machinery have a positive and significant effect on the production of new knowledge when OLS techniques are applied. However, innovation efficiency comes from a Banker and Morey (1986) data envelopment analysis (DEA) with categorical variables has a statistically insignificant impact on the production of new knowledge measured by firm’s turnover.

Keywords: firms, innovation efficiency, production of new knowledge, R&D spillovers

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10796 Efficient Compact Micro Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) Plasma Reactor for Ozone Generation for Industrial Application in Liquid and Gas Phase Systems

Authors: D. Kuvshinov, A. Siswanto, J. Lozano-Parada, W. Zimmerman

Abstract:

Ozone is well known as a powerful fast reaction rate oxidant. The ozone based processes produce no by-product left as a non-reacted ozone returns back to the original oxygen molecule. Therefore an application of ozone is widely accepted as one of the main directions for a sustainable and clean technologies development. There are number of technologies require ozone to be delivered to specific points of a production network or reactors construction. Due to space constrains, high reactivity and short life time of ozone the use of ozone generators even of a bench top scale is practically limited. This requires development of mini/micro scale ozone generator which can be directly incorporated into production units. Our report presents a feasibility study of a new micro scale rector for ozone generation (MROG). Data on MROG calibration and indigo decomposition at different operation conditions are presented. At selected operation conditions with residence time of 0.25 s the process of ozone generation is not limited by reaction rate and the amount of ozone produced is a function of power applied. It was shown that the MROG is capable to produce ozone at voltage level starting from 3.5kV with ozone concentration of 5.28E-6 (mol/L) at 5kV. This is in line with data presented on numerical investigation for a MROG. It was shown that in compare to a conventional ozone generator, MROG has lower power consumption at low voltages and atmospheric pressure. The MROG construction makes it applicable for emerged and dry systems. With a robust compact design MROG can be used as incorporated unit for production lines of high complexity.

Keywords: dielectric barrier discharge (DBD), micro reactor, ozone, plasma

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10795 Aeration of Fish Pond Aquaculture Using Wind Power

Authors: Fatima Hassan Mohamed Ahmed

Abstract:

This study discusses the possibility techniques of using wind energy to operate the aeration devices which are used in the intensive fish farm for Nile Tilapia. The main objective is to show at what expense this renewable energy source can increase the production. The study was done for the oxygen consumption by 1 kg fishes of tilapia put in 1 m3. The theoretical study shows that the fishes consume around 0.5 gO2/hour when using paddle wheels with average oxygen transfer rate 2.6 kgO2/kW.h comparing this with dissolved oxygen consumed by fishes it was found that 1 kW will aerate 5200 m3 and the same power will aerate 1800 m3 when using air diffuser system with average oxygen transfer rate 0.9 kgO2/kW.h, this power can be supplied by the wind turbine with dimension with a tower 6 m high and diameter 2.7 m.

Keywords: aeration, fish pond, wind, power

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10794 The Effects of Water Fraction and Salinity on Crude Oil-Water Dispersions

Authors: Ramin Dabirian, Yi Zhang, Ilias Gavrielatos, Ram Mohan, Ovadia Shoham

Abstract:

Oil-water emulsions can be found in almost every part of the petroleum industry, namely in reservoir rocks, drilling cuttings circulation, production in wells, transportation pipelines, surface facilities and refining process. However, it is necessary for oil production and refinery engineers to resolve the petroleum emulsion problems as well as to eliminate the contaminants in order to meet environmental standards, achieve the desired product quality and to improve equipment reliability and efficiency. A state-of-art Dispersion Characterization Rig (DCR) has been utilized to investigate crude oil-distilled water dispersion separation. Over 80 experimental tests were ran to investigate the flow behavior and stability of the dispersions. The experimental conditions include the effects of water cuts (25%, 50% and 75%), NaCl concentrations (0, 3.5% and 18%), mixture flow velocities (0.89 and 1.71 ft/s), and also orifice place types on the separation rate. The experimental data demonstrate that the water cut can significantly affects the separation time and efficiency. The dispersion with lower water cut takes longer time to separate and have low separation efficiency. The medium and lower water cuts will result in the formation of Mousse emulsion and the phase inversion happens around the medium water cut. The data also confirm that increasing the NaCl concentration in aqueous phase can increase the crude oil water dispersion separation efficiency especially at higher salinities. The separation profile for dispersions with lower salt concentrations has a lower sedimentation rate slope before the inflection point. Dispersions in all tests with higher salt concentrations have a larger sedimenting rate. The presence of NaCl can influence the interfacial tension gradients along the interface and it plays a role in avoiding the Mousse emulsion formation.

Keywords: oil-water dispersion, separation mechanism, phase inversion, emulsion formation

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10793 Forecasting Unemployment Rate in Selected European Countries Using Smoothing Methods

Authors: Ksenija Dumičić, Anita Čeh Časni, Berislav Žmuk

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to select the most accurate forecasting method for predicting the future values of the unemployment rate in selected European countries. In order to do so, several forecasting techniques adequate for forecasting time series with trend component, were selected, namely: double exponential smoothing (also known as Holt`s method) and Holt-Winters` method which accounts for trend and seasonality. The results of the empirical analysis showed that the optimal model for forecasting unemployment rate in Greece was Holt-Winters` additive method. In the case of Spain, according to MAPE, the optimal model was double exponential smoothing model. Furthermore, for Croatia and Italy the best forecasting model for unemployment rate was Holt-Winters` multiplicative model, whereas in the case of Portugal the best model to forecast unemployment rate was Double exponential smoothing model. Our findings are in line with European Commission unemployment rate estimates.

Keywords: European Union countries, exponential smoothing methods, forecast accuracy unemployment rate

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