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Search results for: waste heat

62 Lignin Valorization: Techno-Economic Analysis of Three Lignin Conversion Routes

Authors: Iris Vural Gursel, Andrea Ramirez


Effective utilization of lignin is an important mean for developing economically profitable biorefineries. Current literature suggests that large amounts of lignin will become available in second generation biorefineries. New conversion technologies will, therefore, be needed to carry lignin transformation well beyond combustion to produce energy, but towards high-value products such as chemicals and transportation fuels. In recent years, significant progress on catalysis has been made to improve transformation of lignin, and new catalytic processes are emerging. In this work, a techno-economic assessment of two of these novel conversion routes and comparison with more established lignin pyrolysis route were made. The aim is to provide insights into the potential performance and potential hotspots in order to guide the experimental research and ease the commercialization by early identifying cost drivers, strengths, and challenges. The lignin conversion routes selected for detailed assessment were: (non-catalytic) lignin pyrolysis as the benchmark, direct hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of lignin and hydrothermal lignin depolymerisation. Products generated were mixed oxygenated aromatic monomers (MOAMON), light organics, heavy organics, and char. For the technical assessment, a basis design followed by process modelling in Aspen was done using experimental yields. A design capacity of 200 kt/year lignin feed was chosen that is equivalent to a 1 Mt/y scale lignocellulosic biorefinery. The downstream equipment was modelled to achieve the separation of the product streams defined. For determining external utility requirement, heat integration was considered and when possible gasses were combusted to cover heating demand. The models made were used in generating necessary data on material and energy flows. Next, an economic assessment was carried out by estimating operating and capital costs. Return on investment (ROI) and payback period (PBP) were used as indicators. The results of the process modelling indicate that series of separation steps are required. The downstream processing was found especially demanding in the hydrothermal upgrading process due to the presence of significant amount of unconverted lignin (34%) and water. Also, external utility requirements were found to be high. Due to the complex separations, hydrothermal upgrading process showed the highest capital cost (50 M€ more than benchmark). Whereas operating costs were found the highest for the direct HDO process (20 M€/year more than benchmark) due to the use of hydrogen. Because of high yields to valuable heavy organics (32%) and MOAMON (24%), direct HDO process showed the highest ROI (12%) and the shortest PBP (5 years). This process is found feasible with a positive net present value. However, it is very sensitive to the prices used in the calculation. The assessments at this stage are associated with large uncertainties. Nevertheless, they are useful for comparing alternatives and identifying whether a certain process should be given further consideration. Among the three processes investigated here, the direct HDO process was seen to be the most promising.

Keywords: biorefinery, economic assessment, lignin conversion, process design

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61 An Adaptable Semi-Numerical Anisotropic Hyperelastic Model for the Simulation of High Pressure Forming

Authors: Daniel Tscharnuter, Eliza Truszkiewicz, Gerald Pinter


High-quality surfaces of plastic parts can be achieved in a very cost-effective manner using in-mold processes, where e.g. scratch resistant or high gloss polymer films are pre-formed and subsequently receive their support structure by injection molding. The pre-forming may be done by high-pressure forming. In this process, a polymer sheet is heated and subsequently formed into the mold by pressurized air. Due to the heat transfer to the cooled mold the polymer temperature drops below its glass transition temperature. This ensures that the deformed microstructure is retained after depressurizing, giving the sheet its final formed shape. The development of a forming process relies heavily on the experience of engineers and trial-and-error procedures. Repeated mold design and testing cycles are however both time- and cost-intensive. It is, therefore, desirable to study the process using reliable computer simulations. Through simulations, the construction of the mold and the effect of various process parameters, e.g. temperature levels, non-uniform heating or timing and magnitude of pressure, on the deformation of the polymer sheet can be analyzed. Detailed knowledge of the deformation is particularly important in the forming of polymer films with integrated electro-optical functions. Care must be taken in the placement of devices, sensors and electrical and optical paths, which are far more sensitive to deformation than the polymers. Reliable numerical prediction of the deformation of the polymer sheets requires sophisticated material models. Polymer films are often either transversely isotropic or orthotropic due to molecular orientations induced during manufacturing. The anisotropic behavior affects the resulting strain field in the deformed film. For example, parts of the same shape but different strain fields may be created by varying the orientation of the film with respect to the mold. The numerical simulation of the high-pressure forming of such films thus requires material models that can capture the nonlinear anisotropic mechanical behavior. There are numerous commercial polymer grades for the engineers to choose from when developing a new part. The effort required for comprehensive material characterization may be prohibitive, especially when several materials are candidates for a specific application. We, therefore, propose a class of models for compressible hyperelasticity, which may be determined from basic experimental data and which can capture key features of the mechanical response. Invariant-based hyperelastic models with a reduced number of invariants are formulated in a semi-numerical way, such that the models are determined from a single uniaxial tensile tests for isotropic materials, or two tensile tests in the principal directions for transversely isotropic or orthotropic materials. The simulation of the high pressure forming of an orthotropic polymer film is finally done using an orthotropic formulation of the hyperelastic model.

Keywords: hyperelastic, anisotropic, polymer film, thermoforming

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60 Window Opening Behavior in High-Density Housing Development in Subtropical Climate

Authors: Minjung Maing, Sibei Liu


This research discusses the results of a study of window opening behavior of large housing developments in the high-density megacity of Hong Kong. The methods used for the study involved field observations using photo documentation of the four cardinal elevations (north, south-east, and west) of two large housing developments in a very dense urban area of approx. 46,000 persons per square meter within the city of Hong Kong. The targeted housing developments (A and B) are large public housing with a population of about 13,000 in each development of lower income. However, the mean income level in development A is about 40% higher than development B and home ownership is 60% in development A and 0% in development B. Mapping of the surrounding amenities and layout of the developments were also studied to understand the available activities to the residents. The photo documentation of the elevations was taken from November 2016 to February 2018 to gather a full spectrum of different seasons and both in the morning and afternoon (am/pm) times. From the photograph, the window opening behavior was measured by counting the amount of windows opened as a percentage of all the windows on that façade. For each date of survey data collected, weather data was recorded from weather stations located in the same region to collect temperature, humidity and wind speed. To further understand the behavior, simulation studies of microclimate conditions of the housing development was conducted using the software ENVI-met, a widely used simulation tool by researchers studying urban climate. Four major conclusions can be drawn from the data analysis and simulation results. Firstly, there is little change in the amount of window opening during the different seasons within a temperature range of 10 to 35 degrees Celsius. This means that people who tend to open their windows have consistent window opening behavior throughout the year and high tolerance of indoor thermal conditions. Secondly, for all four elevations the lower-income development B opened more windows (almost two times more units) than higher-income development A meaning window opening behavior had strong correlations with income level. Thirdly, there is a lack of correlation between outdoor horizontal wind speed and window opening behavior, as the changes of wind speed do not seem to affect the action of opening windows in most conditions. Similar to the low correlation between horizontal wind speed and window opening percentage, it is found that vertical wind speed also cannot explain the window opening behavior of occupants. Fourthly, there is a slightly higher average of window opening on the south elevation than the north elevation, which may be due to the south elevation being well shaded from high angle sun during the summer and allowing heat into units from lower angle sun during the winter season. These findings are important to providing insight into how to better design urban environments and indoor thermal environments for a liveable high density city.

Keywords: high-density housing, subtropical climate, urban behavior, window opening

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59 Fischer Tropsch Synthesis in Compressed Carbon Dioxide with Integrated Recycle

Authors: Kanchan Mondal, Adam Sims, Madhav Soti, Jitendra Gautam, David Carron


Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis is a complex series of heterogeneous reactions between CO and H2 molecules (present in the syngas) on the surface of an active catalyst (Co, Fe, Ru, Ni, etc.) to produce gaseous, liquid, and waxy hydrocarbons. This product is composed of paraffins, olefins, and oxygenated compounds. The key challenge in applying the Fischer-Tropsch process to produce transportation fuels is to make the capital and production costs economically feasible relative to the comparative cost of existing petroleum resources. To meet this challenge, it is imperative to enhance the CO conversion while maximizing carbon selectivity towards the desired liquid hydrocarbon ranges (i.e. reduction in CH4 and CO2 selectivities) at high throughputs. At the same time, it is equally essential to increase the catalyst robustness and longevity without sacrificing catalyst activity. This paper focuses on process development to achieve the above. The paper describes the influence of operating parameters on Fischer Tropsch synthesis (FTS) from coal derived syngas in supercritical carbon dioxide (ScCO2). In addition, the unreacted gas and solvent recycle was incorporated and the effect of unreacted feed recycle was evaluated. It was expected that with the recycle, the feed rate can be increased. The increase in conversion and liquid selectivity accompanied by the production of narrower carbon number distribution in the product suggest that higher flow rates can and should be used when incorporating exit gas recycle. It was observed that this process was capable of enhancing the hydrocarbon selectivity (nearly 98 % CO conversion), reducing improving the carbon efficiency from 17 % to 51 % in a once through process and further converting 16 % CO2 to liquid with integrated recycle of the product gas stream and increasing the life of the catalyst. Catalyst robustness enhancement has been attributed to the absorption of heat of reaction by the compressed CO2 which reduced the formation of hotspots and the dissolution of waxes by the CO2 solvent which reduced the blinding of active sites. In addition, the recycling the product gas stream reduced the reactor footprint to one-fourth of the once through size and product fractionation utilizing the solvent effects of supercritical CO2 were realized. In addition to the negative CO2 selectivities, methane production was also inhibited and was limited to less than 1.5%. The effect of the process conditions on the life of the catalysts will also be presented. Fe based catalysts are known to have a high proclivity for producing CO2 during FTS. The data of the product spectrum and selectivity on Co and Fe-Co based catalysts as well as those obtained from commercial sources will also be presented. The measurable decision criteria were the increase in CO conversion at H2:CO ratio of 1:1 (as commonly found in coal gasification product stream) in supercritical phase as compared to gas phase reaction, decrease in CO2 and CH4 selectivity, overall liquid product distribution, and finally an increase in the life of the catalysts.

Keywords: carbon efficiency, Fischer Tropsch synthesis, low GHG, pressure tunable fractionation

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58 Investigating the Influence of Solidification Rate on the Microstructural, Mechanical and Physical Properties of Directionally Solidified Al-Mg Based Multicomponent Eutectic Alloys Containing High Mg Alloys

Authors: Fatih Kılıç, Burak Birol, Necmettin Maraşlı


The directional solidification process is generally used for homogeneous compound production, single crystal growth, and refining (zone refining), etc. processes. The most important two parameters that control eutectic structures are temperature gradient and grain growth rate which are called as solidification parameters The solidification behavior and microstructure characteristics is an interesting topic due to their effects on the properties and performance of the alloys containing eutectic compositions. The solidification behavior of multicomponent and multiphase systems is an important parameter for determining various properties of these materials. The researches have been conducted mostly on the solidification of pure materials or alloys containing two phases. However, there are very few studies on the literature about multiphase reactions and microstructure formation of multicomponent alloys during solidification. Because of this situation, it is important to study the microstructure formation and the thermodynamical, thermophysical and microstructural properties of these alloys. The production process is difficult due to easy oxidation of magnesium and therefore, there is not a comprehensive study concerning alloys containing high Mg (> 30 wt.% Mg). With the increasing amount of Mg inside Al alloys, the specific weight decreases, and the strength shows a slight increase, while due to formation of β-Al8Mg5 phase, ductility lowers. For this reason, production, examination and development of high Mg containing alloys will initiate the production of new advanced engineering materials. The original value of this research can be described as obtaining high Mg containing (> 30% Mg) Al based multicomponent alloys by melting under vacuum; controlled directional solidification with various growth rates at a constant temperature gradient; and establishing relationship between solidification rate and microstructural, mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. Therefore, within the scope of this research, some > 30% Mg containing ternary or quaternary Al alloy compositions were determined, and it was planned to investigate the effects of directional solidification rate on the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of these alloys. Within the scope of the research, the influence of the growth rate on microstructure parameters, microhardness, tensile strength, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity of directionally solidified high Mg containing Al-32,2Mg-0,37Si; Al-30Mg-12Zn; Al-32Mg-1,7Ni; Al-32,2Mg-0,37Fe; Al-32Mg-1,7Ni-0,4Si; Al-33,3Mg-0,35Si-0,11Fe (wt.%) alloys with wide range of growth rate (50-2500 µm/s) and fixed temperature gradient, will be investigated. The work can be planned as; (a) directional solidification of Al-Mg based Al-Mg-Si, Al-Mg-Zn, Al-Mg-Ni, Al-Mg-Fe, Al-Mg-Ni-Si, Al-Mg-Si-Fe within wide range of growth rates (50-2500 µm/s) at a constant temperature gradient by Bridgman type solidification system, (b) analysis of microstructure parameters of directionally solidified alloys by using an optical light microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), (c) measurement of microhardness and tensile strength of directionally solidified alloys, (d) measurement of electrical conductivity by four point probe technique at room temperature (e) measurement of thermal conductivity by linear heat flow method at room temperature.

Keywords: directional solidification, electrical conductivity, high Mg containing multicomponent Al alloys, microhardness, microstructure, tensile strength, thermal conductivity

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57 The Applications of Zero Water Discharge (ZWD) Systems for Environmental Management

Authors: Walter W. Loo


China declared the “zero discharge rules which leave no toxics into our living environment and deliver blue sky, green land and clean water to many generations to come”. The achievement of ZWD will provide conservation of water, soil and energy and provide drastic increase in Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Our society’s engine needs a major tune up; it is sputtering. ZWD is achieved in world’s space stations – no toxic air emission and the water is totally recycled and solid wastes all come back to earth. This is all done with solar power. These are all achieved under extreme temperature, pressure and zero gravity in space. ZWD can be achieved on earth under much less fluctuations in temperature, pressure and normal gravity environment. ZWD systems are not expensive and will have multiple beneficial returns on investment which are both financially and environmentally acceptable. The paper will include successful case histories since the mid-1970s. ZWD discharge can be applied to the following types of projects: nuclear and coal fire power plants with a closed loop system that will eliminate thermal water discharge; residential communities with wastewater treatment sump and recycle the water use as a secondary water supply; waste water treatment Plants with complete water recycling including water distillation to produce distilled water by very economical 24-hours solar power plant. Landfill remediation is based on neutralization of landfilled gas odor and preventing anaerobic leachate formation. It is an aerobic condition which will render landfill gas emission explosion proof. Desert development is the development of recovering soil moisture from soil and completing a closed loop water cycle by solar energy within and underneath an enclosed greenhouse. Salt-alkali land development can be achieved by solar distillation of salty shallow water into distilled water. The distilled water can be used for soil washing and irrigation and complete a closed loop water cycle with energy and water conservation. Heavy metals remediation can be achieved by precipitation of dissolved toxic metals below the plant or vegetation root zone by solar electricity without pumping and treating. Soil and groundwater remediation - abandoned refineries, chemical and pesticide factories can be remediated by in-situ electrobiochemical and bioventing treatment method without pumping or excavation. Toxic organic chemicals are oxidized into carbon dioxide and heavy metals precipitated below plant and vegetation root zone. New water sources: low temperature distilled water can be recycled for repeated use within a greenhouse environment by solar distillation; nano bubble water can be made from the distilled water with nano bubbles of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from air (fertilizer water) and also eliminate the use of pesticides because the nano oxygen will break the insect growth chain in the larvae state. Three dimensional high yield greenhouses can be constructed by complete water recycling using the vadose zone soil as a filter with no farming wastewater discharge.

Keywords: greenhouses, no discharge, remediation of soil and water, wastewater

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56 Influence of a High-Resolution Land Cover Classification on Air Quality Modelling

Authors: C. Silveira, A. Ascenso, J. Ferreira, A. I. Miranda, P. Tuccella, G. Curci


Poor air quality is one of the main environmental causes of premature deaths worldwide, and mainly in cities, where the majority of the population lives. It is a consequence of successive land cover (LC) and use changes, as a result of the intensification of human activities. Knowing these landscape modifications in a comprehensive spatiotemporal dimension is, therefore, essential for understanding variations in air pollutant concentrations. In this sense, the use of air quality models is very useful to simulate the physical and chemical processes that affect the dispersion and reaction of chemical species into the atmosphere. However, the modelling performance should always be evaluated since the resolution of the input datasets largely dictates the reliability of the air quality outcomes. Among these data, the updated LC is an important parameter to be considered in atmospheric models, since it takes into account the Earth’s surface changes due to natural and anthropic actions, and regulates the exchanges of fluxes (emissions, heat, moisture, etc.) between the soil and the air. This work aims to evaluate the performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem), when different LC classifications are used as an input. The influence of two LC classifications was tested: i) the 24-classes USGS (United States Geological Survey) LC database included by default in the model, and the ii) CLC (Corine Land Cover) and specific high-resolution LC data for Portugal, reclassified according to the new USGS nomenclature (33-classes). Two distinct WRF-Chem simulations were carried out to assess the influence of the LC on air quality over Europe and Portugal, as a case study, for the year 2015, using the nesting technique over three simulation domains (25 km2, 5 km2 and 1 km2 horizontal resolution). Based on the 33-classes LC approach, particular emphasis was attributed to Portugal, given the detail and higher LC spatial resolution (100 m x 100 m) than the CLC data (5000 m x 5000 m). As regards to the air quality, only the LC impacts on tropospheric ozone concentrations were evaluated, because ozone pollution episodes typically occur in Portugal, in particular during the spring/summer, and there are few research works relating to this pollutant with LC changes. The WRF-Chem results were validated by season and station typology using background measurements from the Portuguese air quality monitoring network. As expected, a better model performance was achieved in rural stations: moderate correlation (0.4 – 0.7), BIAS (10 – 21µg.m-3) and RMSE (20 – 30 µg.m-3), and where higher average ozone concentrations were estimated. Comparing both simulations, small differences grounded on the Leaf Area Index and air temperature values were found, although the high-resolution LC approach shows a slight enhancement in the model evaluation. This highlights the role of the LC on the exchange of atmospheric fluxes, and stresses the need to consider a high-resolution LC characterization combined with other detailed model inputs, such as the emission inventory, to improve air quality assessment.

Keywords: land use, spatial resolution, WRF-Chem, air quality assessment

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55 Management of Urine Recovery at the Building Level

Authors: Joao Almeida, Ana Azevedo, Myriam Kanoun-Boule, Maria Ines Santos, Antonio Tadeu


The effects of the increasing expansion of cities and climate changes have encouraged European countries and regions to adopt nature-based solutions with ability to mitigate environmental issues and improve life in cities. Among these strategies, green roofs and urban gardens have been considered ingenious solutions, since they have the desirable potential to improve air quality, prevent floods, reduce the heat island effect and restore biodiversity in cities. However, an additional consumption of fresh water and mineral nutrients is necessary to sustain larger green urban areas. This communication discusses the main technical features of a new system to manage urine recovery at the building level and its application in green roofs. The depletion of critical nutrients like phosphorus constitutes an emergency. In turn, their elimination through urine is one of the principal causes for their loss. Thus, urine recovery in buildings may offer numerous advantages, constituting a valuable fertilizer abundantly available in cities and reducing the load on wastewater treatment plants. Although several urine-diverting toilets have been developed for this purpose and some experiments using urine directly in agriculture have already been carried out in Europe, several challenges have emerged with this practice concerning collection, sanitization, storage and application of urine in buildings. To our best knowledge, current buildings are not designed to receive these systems and integrated solutions with ability to self-manage the whole process of urine recovery, including separation, maturation and storage phases, are not known. Additionally, if from a hygiene point of view human urine may be considered a relatively safe fertilizer, the risk of disease transmission needs to be carefully analysed. A reduction in microorganisms can be achieved by storing the urine in closed tanks. However, several factors may affect this process, which may result in a higher survival rate for some pathogens. In this work, urine effluent was collected under real conditions, stored in closed containers and kept in climatic chambers under variable conditions simulating cold, temperate and tropical climates. These samples were subjected to a first physicochemical and microbiological control, which was repeated over time. The results obtained so far suggest that maturation conditions were reached for all the three temperatures and that a storage period of less than three months is required to achieve a strong depletion of microorganisms. The authors are grateful for the Project WashOne (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-017461) funded by the Operational Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization (POCI) of Portugal 2020, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

Keywords: sustainable green roofs and urban gardens, urban nutrient cycle, urine-based fertilizers, urine recovery in buildings

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54 Lessons Learnt from Industry: Achieving Net Gain Outcomes for Biodiversity

Authors: Julia Baker


Development plays a major role in stopping biodiversity loss. But the ‘silo species’ protection of legislation (where certain species are protected while many are not) means that development can be ‘legally compliant’ and result in biodiversity loss. ‘Net Gain’ (NG) policies can help overcome this by making it an absolute requirement that development causes no overall loss of biodiversity and brings a benefit. However, offsetting biodiversity losses in one location with gains elsewhere is controversial because people suspect ‘offsetting’ to be an easy way for developers to buy their way out of conservation requirements. Yet the good practice principles (GPP) of offsetting provide several advantages over existing legislation for protecting biodiversity from development. This presentation describes the learning from implementing NG approaches based on GPP. It regards major upgrades of the UK’s transport networks, which involved removing vegetation in order to construct and safely operate new infrastructure. While low-lying habitats were retained, trees and other habitats disrupting the running or safety of transport networks could not. Consequently, achieving NG within the transport corridor was not possible and offsetting was required. The first ‘lessons learnt’ were on obtaining a commitment from business leaders to go beyond legislative requirements and deliver NG, and on the institutional change necessary to embed GPP within daily operations. These issues can only be addressed when the challenges that biodiversity poses for business are overcome. These challenges included: biodiversity cannot be measured easily unlike other sustainability factors like carbon and water that have metrics for target-setting and measuring progress; and, the mindset that biodiversity costs money and does not generate cash in return, which is the opposite of carbon or waste for example, where people can see how ‘sustainability’ actions save money. The challenges were overcome by presenting the GPP of NG as a cost-efficient solution to specific, critical risks facing the business that also boost industry recognition, and by using government-issued NG metrics to develop business-specific toolkits charting their NG progress whilst ensuring that NG decision-making was based on rich ecological data. An institutional change was best achieved by supporting, mentoring and training sustainability/environmental managers for these ‘frontline’ staff to embed GPP within the business. The second learning was from implementing the GPP where business partnered with local governments, wildlife groups and land owners to support their priorities for nature conservation, and where these partners had a say in decisions about where and how best to achieve NG. From this inclusive approach, offsetting contributed towards conservation priorities when all collaborated to manage trade-offs between: -Delivering ecologically equivalent offsets or compensating for losses of one type of biodiversity by providing another. -Achieving NG locally to the development whilst contributing towards national conservation priorities through landscape-level planning. -Not just protecting the extent and condition of existing biodiversity but ‘doing more’. -The multi-sector collaborations identified practical, workable solutions to ‘in perpetuity’. But key was strengthening linkages between biodiversity measures implemented for development and conservation work undertaken by local organizations so that developers support NG initiatives that really count.

Keywords: biodiversity offsetting, development, nature conservation planning, net gain

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53 Active Filtration of Phosphorus in Ca-Rich Hydrated Oil Shale Ash Filters: The Effect of Organic Loading and Form of Precipitated Phosphatic Material

Authors: Päärn Paiste, Margit Kõiv, Riho Mõtlep, Kalle Kirsimäe


For small-scale wastewater management, the treatment wetlands (TWs) as a low cost alternative to conventional treatment facilities, can be used. However, P removal capacity of TW systems is usually problematic. P removal in TWs is mainly dependent on the physico–chemical and hydrological properties of the filter material. Highest P removal efficiency has been shown trough Ca-phosphate precipitation (i.e. active filtration) in Ca-rich alkaline filter materials, e.g. industrial by-products like hydrated oil shale ash (HOSA), metallurgical slags. In this contribution we report preliminary results of a full-scale TW system using HOSA material for P removal for a municipal wastewater at Nõo site, Estonia. The main goals of this ongoing project are to evaluate: a) the long-term P removal efficiency of HOSA using real waste water; b) the effect of high organic loading rate; c) variable P-loading effects on the P removal mechanism (adsorption/direct precipitation); and d) the form and composition of phosphate precipitates. Onsite full-scale experiment with two concurrent filter systems for treatment of municipal wastewater was established in September 2013. System’s pretreatment steps include septic tank (2 m2) and vertical down-flow LECA filters (3 m2 each), followed by horizontal subsurface HOSA filters (effective volume 8 m3 each). Overall organic and hydraulic loading rates of both systems are the same. However, the first system is operated in a stable hydraulic loading regime and the second in variable loading regime that imitates the wastewater production in an average household. Piezometers for water and perforated sample containers for filter material sampling were incorporated inside the filter beds to allow for continuous in-situ monitoring. During the 18 months of operation the median removal efficiency (inflow to outflow) of both systems were over 99% for TP, 93% for COD and 57% for TN. However, we observed significant differences in the samples collected in different points inside the filter systems. In both systems, we observed development of preferred flow paths and zones with high and low loadings. The filters show formation and a gradual advance of a “dead” zone along the flow path (zone with saturated filter material characterized by ineffective removal rates), which develops more rapidly in the system working under variable loading regime. The formation of the “dead” zone is accompanied by the growth of organic substances on the filter material particles that evidently inhibit the P removal. Phase analysis of used filter materials using X-ray diffraction method reveals formation of minor amounts of amorphous Ca-phosphate precipitates. This finding is supported by ATR-FTIR and SEM-EDS measurements, which also reveal Ca-phosphate and authigenic carbonate precipitation. Our first experimental results demonstrate that organic pollution and loading regime significantly affect the performance of hydrated ash filters. The material analyses also show that P is incorporated into a carbonate substituted hydroxyapatite phase.

Keywords: active filtration, apatite, hydrated oil shale ash, organic pollution, phosphorus

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52 Sustainable Crop Production: Greenhouse Gas Management in Farm Value Chain

Authors: Aswathaman Vijayan, Manish Jha, Ullas Theertha


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

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

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51 Radiation Stability of Structural Steel in the Presence of Hydrogen

Authors: E. A. Krasikov


As the service life of an operating nuclear power plant (NPP) increases, the potential misunderstanding of the degradation of aging components must receive more attention. Integrity assurance analysis contributes to the effective maintenance of adequate plant safety margins. In essence, the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is the key structural component determining the NPP lifetime. Environmentally induced cracking in the stainless steel corrosion-preventing cladding of RPV’s has been recognized to be one of the technical problems in the maintenance and development of light-water reactors. Extensive cracking leading to failure of the cladding was found after 13000 net hours of operation in JPDR (Japan Power Demonstration Reactor). Some of the cracks have reached the base metal and further penetrated into the RPV in the form of localized corrosion. Failures of reactor internal components in both boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors have increased after the accumulation of relatively high neutron fluences (5´1020 cm–2, E>0,5MeV). Therefore, in the case of cladding failure, the problem arises of hydrogen (as a corrosion product) embrittlement of irradiated RPV steel because of exposure to the coolant. At present when notable progress in plasma physics has been obtained practical energy utilization from fusion reactors (FR) is determined by the state of material science problems. The last includes not only the routine problems of nuclear engineering but also a number of entirely new problems connected with extreme conditions of materials operation – irradiation environment, hydrogenation, thermocycling, etc. Limiting data suggest that the combined effect of these factors is more severe than any one of them alone. To clarify the possible influence of the in-service synergistic phenomena on the FR structural materials properties we have studied hydrogen-irradiated steel interaction including alternating hydrogenation and heat treatment (annealing). Available information indicates that the life of the first wall could be expanded by means of periodic in-place annealing. The effects of neutron fluence and irradiation temperature on steel/hydrogen interactions (adsorption, desorption, diffusion, mechanical properties at different loading velocities, post-irradiation annealing) were studied. Experiments clearly reveal that the higher the neutron fluence and the lower the irradiation temperature, the more hydrogen-radiation defects occur, with corresponding effects on the steel mechanical properties. Hydrogen accumulation analyses and thermal desorption investigations were performed to prove the evidence of hydrogen trapping at irradiation defects. Extremely high susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement was observed with specimens which had been irradiated at relatively low temperature. However, the susceptibility decreases with increasing irradiation temperature. To evaluate methods for the RPV’s residual lifetime evaluation and prediction, more work should be done on the irradiated metal–hydrogen interaction in order to monitor more reliably the status of irradiated materials.

Keywords: hydrogen, radiation, stability, structural steel

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50 Synthesis, Structure and Some Properties of NZP/NASICON Structured Materials

Authors: Elena Asabina, Vladimir Pet'kov, Pavel Mayorov, Aleksey Markin, Nataliya Smirnova, Andrey Kovalsky


Phosphates with NaZr₂(PO₄)₃ (NZP/NASICON) structure are proposed as solid ionic conductors that may well be exploited in a wide range of temperatures, thermal shock resistant ceramics, and host matrices for immobilization of toxic or radioactive elements into stable insoluble structure. Earlier, we have studied solid solutions in the systems M₀.₅₊ₓM'ₓZr₂₋ₓ(PO₄)₃ (M – Co, Mn, Ca, Ba; M' – Ni, Mg, Cu, Co, Mn). The purpose of this work was to investigate experimentally phase formation, structure, and thermophysical properties of the phosphates M₀.₅₊ₓM'ₓZr₂₋ₓ(PO₄)₃ (M – Cd, Sr, Pb; M' – Mg, Co, Mn). The compounds were synthesized by the sol-gel method. The obtained samples were white or colored polycrystalline powders. Their chemical composition and homogeneity were checked with the aid of a CamScan MV-2300 microprobe. Phase purity was confirmed with powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) at Shimadzu XRD-6000 diffractometer. The functional composition of the samples was confirmed by IR spectroscopy on Shimadzu FTIR 8400S spectrometer. The results of the study of the phosphates M₀.₅₊ₓM'ₓZr₂₋ₓ(PO₄)₃ (M – Cd, Sr, Pb; M' – Mg, Co, Mn) showed the formation of limited solid solutions of NZP/NASICON type. X-ray patterns of the phosphates were indexed in hexagonal symmetry. The dependencies of lattice parameters on the phosphates’ compositions were analyzed. With the aim of making distribution of metals M, M' in the crystallographic sites (framework and cavities) clear, we refined the crystal structures of triple phosphates with x = 0.5 of the compositions MMg₀.₅Zr₁.₅(PO₄)₃ by the Rietveld method using X-ray powder diffraction data. There are two types of framework-forming cationic sites in their structure. In the Sr- and Pb-compounds, these positions are occupied by Zr⁴⁺ and Mg²⁺/Zr⁴⁺ ions, and M²⁺ cations are situated in the framework cavities. Unusual cationic distribution was discovered for the structure of Cd-compound; its framework is built up from polyhedra formed by Zr⁴⁺ and Cd²⁺/Zr⁴⁺ ions (together with PO₄), while its cavities were filled with Cd²⁺ and Mg²⁺ cations. Heat capacity of the phosphates Pb₀.₅₊ₓMgₓZr₂₋ₓ(PO₄)₃ (x = 0,0.5) was measured in the temperature interval 8–660 K. Reversible polymorphic transitions were found at temperatures, close to the room temperature. The results of Rietveld structure refinement performed at 173 and 473 K showed that the transitions are caused by the disordering of lead cations in the cavities of the NZP/NASICON structure. From DSC results, other compounds didn’t exhibit phase transitions. Thermal expansion of the phosphates MMg₀.₅Zr₁.₅(PO₄)₃ was studied by the XRD method in the range 298−1073 K. The temperature dependencies of their lattice parameters were described by linear polynomials. The studied compounds were found to belong to middle and low-expanding materials. Thermal diffusivity of the ceramic samples of phosphates was measured in the interval 298–573 K. It slightly decreased with the growth of temperature. From the results, the studied phosphates are characterized by better thermophysical characteristics than the used fire-resistant materials, such as zirconia, etc. The results on the phosphates M₀.₅₊ₓM'ₓZr₂₋ₓ(PO₄)₃ were discussed. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Projects no. 19-33-90075, 18-29-12063.

Keywords: NASICON, NZP, phosphate, structure, synthesis, thermophysical properties

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49 A Textile-Based Scaffold for Skin Replacements

Authors: Tim Bolle, Franziska Kreimendahl, Thomas Gries, Stefan Jockenhoevel


The therapeutic treatment of extensive, deep wounds is limited. Autologous split-skin grafts are used as a so-called ‘gold standard’. Most common deficits are the defects at the donor site, the risk of scarring as well as the limited availability and quality of the autologous grafts. The aim of this project is a tissue engineered dermal-epidermal skin replacement to overcome the limitations of the gold standard. A key requirement for the development of such a three-dimensional implant is the formation of a functional capillary-like network inside the implant to ensure a sufficient nutrient and gas supply. Tailored three-dimensional warp knitted spacer fabrics are used to reinforce the mechanically week fibrin gel-based scaffold and further to create a directed in vitro pre-vascularization along the parallel-oriented pile yarns within a co-culture. In this study various three-dimensional warp knitted spacer fabrics were developed in a factorial design to analyze the influence of the machine parameters such as the stitch density and the pattern of the fabric on the scaffold performance and further to determine suitable parameters for a successful fibrin gel-incorporation and a physiological performance of the scaffold. The fabrics were manufactured on a Karl Mayer double-bar raschel machine DR 16 EEC/EAC. A fine machine gauge of E30 was used to ensure a high pile yarn density for sufficient nutrient, gas and waste exchange. In order to ensure a high mechanical stability of the graft, the fabrics were made of biocompatible PVDF yarns. Key parameters such as the pore size, porosity and stress/strain behavior were investigated under standardized, controlled climate conditions. The influence of the input parameters on the mechanical and morphological properties as well as the ability of fibrin gel incorporation into the spacer fabric was analyzed. Subsequently, the pile yarns of the spacer fabrics were colonized with Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) to analyze the ability of the fabric to further function as a guiding structure for a directed vascularization. The cells were stained with DAPI and investigated using fluorescence microscopy. The analysis revealed that the stitch density and the binding pattern have a strong influence on both the mechanical and morphological properties of the fabric. As expected, the incorporation of the fibrin gel was significantly improved with higher pore sizes and porosities, whereas the mechanical strength decreases. Furthermore, the colonization trials revealed a high cell distribution and density on the pile yarns of the spacer fabrics. For a tailored reinforcing structure, the minimum porosity and pore size needs to be evaluated which still ensures a complete incorporation of the reinforcing structure into the fibrin gel matrix. That will enable a mechanically stable dermal graft with a dense vascular network for a sufficient nutrient and oxygen supply of the cells. The results are promising for subsequent research in the field of reinforcing mechanically weak biological scaffolds and develop functional three-dimensional scaffolds with an oriented pre-vascularization.

Keywords: fibrin-gel, skin replacement, spacer fabric, pre-vascularization

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48 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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47 Vortex Generation to Model the Airflow Downstream of a Piezoelectric Fan Array

Authors: Alastair Hales, Xi Jiang, Siming Zhang


Numerical methods are used to generate vortices in a domain. Through considered design, two counter-rotating vortices may interact and effectively drive one another downstream. This phenomenon is comparable to the vortex interaction that occurs in a region immediately downstream from two counter-oscillating piezoelectric (PE) fan blades. PE fans are small blades clamped at one end and driven to oscillate at their first natural frequency by an extremely low powered actuator. In operation, the high oscillation amplitude and frequency generate sufficient blade tip speed through the surrounding air to create downstream air flow. PE fans are considered an ideal solution for low power hot spot cooling in a range of small electronic devices, but a single blade does not typically induce enough air flow to be considered a direct alternative to conventional air movers, such as axial fans. The development of face-to-face PE fan arrays containing multiple blades oscillating in counter-phase to one another is essential for expanding the range of potential PE fan applications regarding the cooling of power electronics. Even in an unoptimised state, these arrays are capable of moving air volumes comparable to axial fans with less than 50% of the power demand. Replicating the airflow generated by face-to-face PE fan arrays without including the actual blades in the model reduces the process’s computational demands and enhances the rate of innovation and development in the field. Vortices are generated at a defined inlet using a time-dependent velocity profile function, which pulsates the inlet air velocity magnitude. This induces vortex generation in the considered domain, and these vortices are shown to separate and propagate downstream in a regular manner. The generation and propagation of a single vortex are compared to an equivalent vortex generated from a PE fan blade in a previous experimental investigation. Vortex separation is found to be accurately replicated in the present numerical model. Additionally, the downstream trajectory of the vortices’ centres vary by just 10.5%, and size and strength of the vortices differ by a maximum of 10.6%. Through non-dimensionalisation, the numerical method is shown to be valid for PE fan blades with differing parameters to the specific case investigated. The thorough validation methods presented verify that the numerical model may be used to replicate vortex formation from an oscillating PE fans blade. An investigation is carried out to evaluate the effects of varying the distance between two PE fan blade, pitch. At small pitch, the vorticity in the domain is maximised, along with turbulence in the near vicinity of the inlet zones. It is proposed that face-to-face PE fan arrays, oscillating in counter-phase, should have a minimal pitch to optimally cool nearby heat sources. On the other hand, downstream airflow is maximised at a larger pitch, where the vortices can fully form and effectively drive one another downstream. As such, this should be implemented when bulk airflow generation is the desired result.

Keywords: piezoelectric fans, low energy cooling, vortex formation, computational fluid dynamics

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46 Defense Priming from Egg to Larvae in Litopenaeus vannamei with Non-Pathogenic and Pathogenic Bacteria Strains

Authors: Angelica Alvarez-Lee, Sergio Martinez-Diaz, Jose Luis Garcia-Corona, Humberto Lanz-Mendoza


World aquaculture is always looking for improvements to achieve productions with high yields avoiding the infection by pathogenic agents. The best way to achieve this is to know the biological model to create alternative treatments that could be applied in the hatcheries, which results in greater economic gains and improvements in human public health. In the last decade, immunomodulation in shrimp culture with probiotics, organic acids and different carbon sources has gained great interest, mainly in larval and juvenile stages. Immune priming is associated with a strong protective effect against a later pathogen challenge. This work provides another perspective about immunostimulation from spawning until hatching. The stimulation happens during development embryos and generates resistance to infection by pathogenic bacteria. Massive spawnings of white shrimp L. vannamei were obtained and placed in experimental units with 700 mL of sterile seawater at 30 °C, salinity of 28 ppm and continuous aeration at a density of 8 embryos.mL⁻¹. The immunostimulating effect of three death strains of non-pathogenic bacterial (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis) and a pathogenic strain for white shrimp (Vibrio parahaemolyticus) was evaluated. The strains killed by heat were adjusted to O.D. 0.5, at A 600 nm, and directly added to the seawater of each unit at a ratio of 1/100 (v/v). A control group of embryos without inoculum of dead bacteria was kept under the same physicochemical conditions as the rest of the treatments throughout the experiment and used as reference. The duration of the stimulus was 12 hours, then, the larvae that hatched were collected, counted and transferred to a new experimental unit (same physicochemical conditions but at a salinity of 28 ppm) to carry out a challenge of infection against the pathogen V. parahaemolyticus, adding directly to seawater an amount 1/100 (v/v) of the live strain adjusted to an OD 0.5; at A 600 nm. Subsequently, 24 hrs after infection, nauplii survival was evaluated. The results of this work shows that, after 24 hrs, the hatching rates of immunostimulated shrimp embryos with the dead strains of B. subtillis and V. parahaemolyticus are significantly higher compared to the rest of the treatments and the control. Furthermore, survival of L. vanammei after a challenge of infection of 24 hrs against the live strain of V. parahaemolyticus is greater (P < 0.05) in the larvae immunostimulated during the embryonic development with the dead strains B. subtillis and V. parahaemolyticus, followed by those that were treated with E. coli. In summary superficial antigens can stimulate the development cells to promote hatching and can have normal development in agreeing with the optical observations, plus exist a differential response effect between each treatment post-infection. This research provides evidence of the immunostimulant effect of death pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacterial strains in the rate of hatching and oversight of shrimp L. vannamei during embryonic and larval development. This research continues evaluating the effect of these death strains on the expression of genes related to the defense priming in larvae of L. vannamei that come from massive spawning in hatcheries before and after the infection challenge against V. parahaemolyticus.

Keywords: immunostimulation, L. vannamei, hatching, survival

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45 Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain

Authors: Raquel Dafouz Neus Cáceres, Javier Fernandez-Rubio, Belinda Huerta José Luis Rodríguez-Gil, Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló, Yolanda Valcárcel


The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.

Keywords: drug of abuse, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, environmental risk, seawater

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44 Simulation and Thermal Evaluation of Containers Using PCM in Different Weather Conditions of Chile: Energy Savings in Lightweight Constructions

Authors: Paula Marín, Mohammad Saffari, Alvaro de Gracia, Luisa F. Cabeza, Svetlana Ushak


Climate control represents an important issue when referring to energy consumption of buildings and associated expenses, both in installation or operation periods. The climate control of a building relies on several factors. Among them, localization, orientation, architectural elements, sources of energy used, are considered. In order to study the thermal behaviour of a building set up, the present study proposes the use of energy simulation program Energy Plus. In recent years, energy simulation programs have become important tools for evaluation of thermal/energy performance of buildings and facilities. Besides, the need to find new forms of passive conditioning in buildings for energy saving is a critical component. The use of phase change materials (PCMs) for heat storage applications has grown in importance due to its high efficiency. Therefore, the climatic conditions of Northern Chile: high solar radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations ranging from -10°C to 30°C (Calama city), low index of cloudy days during the year are appropriate to take advantage of solar energy and use passive systems in buildings. Also, the extensive mining activities in northern Chile encourage the use of large numbers of containers to harbour workers during shifts. These containers are constructed with lightweight construction systems, requiring heating during night and cooling during day, increasing the HVAC electricity consumption. The use of PCM can improve thermal comfort and reduce the energy consumption. The objective of this study was to evaluate the thermal and energy performance of containers of 2.5×2.5×2.5 m3, located in four cities of Chile: Antofagasta, Calama, Santiago, and Concepción. Lightweight envelopes, typically used in these building prototypes, were evaluated considering a container without PCM inclusion as the reference building and another container with PCM-enhanced envelopes as a test case, both of which have a door and a window in the same wall, orientated in two directions: North and South. To see the thermal response of these containers in different seasons, the simulations were performed considering a period of one year. The results show that higher energy savings for the four cities studied are obtained when the distribution of door and window in the container is in the north direction because of higher solar radiation incidence. The comparison of HVAC consumption and energy savings in % for north direction of door and window are summarised. Simulation results show that in the city of Antofagasta 47% of heating energy could be saved and in the cities of Calama and Concepción the biggest savings in terms of cooling could be achieved since PCM reduces almost all the cooling demand. Currently, based on simulation results, four containers have been constructed and sized with the same structural characteristics carried out in simulations, that are, containers with/without PCM, with door and window in one wall. Two of these containers will be placed in Antofagasta and two containers in a copper mine near to Calama, all of them will be monitored for a period of one year. The simulation results will be validated with experimental measurements and will be reported in the future.

Keywords: energy saving, lightweight construction, PCM, simulation

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43 Numerical Study of Homogeneous Nanodroplet Growth

Authors: S. B. Q. Tran


Drop condensation is the phenomenon that the tiny drops form when the oversaturated vapour present in the environment condenses on a substrate and makes the droplet growth. Recently, this subject has received much attention due to its applications in many fields such as thin film growth, heat transfer, recovery of atmospheric water and polymer templating. In literature, many papers investigated theoretically and experimentally in macro droplet growth with the size of millimeter scale of radius. However few papers about nanodroplet condensation are found in the literature especially theoretical work. In order to understand the droplet growth in nanoscale, we perform the numerical simulation work to study nanodroplet growth. We investigate and discuss the role of the droplet shape and monomer diffusion on drop growth and their effect on growth law. The effect of droplet shape is studied by doing parametric studies of contact angle and disjoining pressure magnitude. Besides, the effect of pinning and de-pinning behaviours is also studied. We investigate the axisymmetric homogeneous growth of 10–100 nm single water nanodroplet on a substrate surface. The main mechanism of droplet growth is attributed to the accumulation of laterally diffusing water monomers, formed by the absorption of water vapour in the environment onto the substrate. Under assumptions of quasi-steady thermodynamic equilibrium, the nanodroplet evolves according to the augmented Young–Laplace equation. Using continuum theory, we model the dynamics of nanodroplet growth including the coupled effects of disjoining pressure, contact angle and monomer diffusion with the assumption of constant flux of water monomers at the far field. The simulation result is validated by comparing with the published experimental result. For the case of nanodroplet growth with constant contact angle, our numerical results show that the initial droplet growth is transient by monomer diffusion. When the flux at the far field is small, at the beginning, the droplet grows by the diffusion of initially available water monomers on the substrate and after that by the flux at the far field. In the steady late growth rate of droplet radius and droplet height follow a power law of 1/3, which is unaffected by the substrate disjoining pressure and contact angle. However, it is found that the droplet grows faster in radial direction than high direction when disjoining pressure and contact angle increase. The simulation also shows the information of computational domain effect in the transient growth period. When the computational domain size is larger, the mass coming in the free substrate domain is higher. So the mass coming in the droplet is also higher. The droplet grows and reaches the steady state faster. For the case of pinning and de-pinning droplet growth, the simulation shows that the disjoining pressure does not affect the droplet radius growth law 1/3 in steady state. However the disjoining pressure modifies the growth rate of the droplet height, which then follows a power law of 1/4. We demonstrate how spatial depletion of monomers could lead to a growth arrest of the nanodroplet, as observed experimentally.

Keywords: augmented young-laplace equation, contact angle, disjoining pressure, nanodroplet growth

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42 Study of Formation and Evolution of Disturbance Waves in Annular Flow Using Brightness-Based Laser-Induced Fluorescence (BBLIF) Technique

Authors: Andrey Cherdantsev, Mikhail Cherdantsev, Sergey Isaenkov, Dmitriy Markovich


In annular gas-liquid flow, liquid flows as a film along pipe walls sheared by high-velocity gas stream. Film surface is covered by large-scale disturbance waves which affect pressure drop and heat transfer in the system and are necessary for entrainment of liquid droplets from film surface into the core of gas stream. Disturbance waves are a highly complex and their properties are affected by numerous parameters. One of such aspects is flow development, i.e., change of flow properties with the distance from the inlet. In the present work, this question is studied using brightness-based laser-induced fluorescence (BBLIF) technique. This method enables one to perform simultaneous measurements of local film thickness in large number of points with high sampling frequency. In the present experiments first 50 cm of upward and downward annular flow in a vertical pipe of 11.7 mm i.d. is studied with temporal resolution of 10 kHz and spatial resolution of 0.5 mm. Thus, spatiotemporal evolution of film surface can be investigated, including scenarios of formation, acceleration and coalescence of disturbance waves. The behaviour of disturbance waves' velocity depending on phases flow rates and downstream distance was investigated. Besides measuring the waves properties, the goal of the work was to investigate the interrelation between disturbance waves properties and integral characteristics of the flow such as interfacial shear stress and flow rate of dispersed phase. In particular, it was shown that the initial acceleration of disturbance waves, defined by the value of shear stress, linearly decays with downstream distance. This lack of acceleration which may even lead to deceleration is related to liquid entrainment. Flow rate of disperse phase linearly grows with downstream distance. During entrainment events, liquid is extracted directly from disturbance waves, reducing their mass, area of interaction to the gas shear and, hence, velocity. Passing frequency of disturbance waves at each downstream position was measured automatically with a new algorithm of identification of characteristic lines of individual disturbance waves. Scenarios of coalescence of individual disturbance waves were identified. Transition from initial high-frequency Kelvin-Helmholtz waves appearing at the inlet to highly nonlinear disturbance waves with lower frequency was studied near the inlet using 3D realisation of BBLIF method in the same cylindrical channel and in a rectangular duct with cross-section of 5 mm by 50 mm. It was shown that the initial waves are generally two-dimensional but are promptly broken into localised three-dimensional wavelets. Coalescence of these wavelets leads to formation of quasi two-dimensional disturbance waves. Using cross-correlation analysis, loss and restoration of two-dimensionality of film surface with downstream distance were studied quantitatively. It was shown that all the processes occur closer to the inlet at higher gas velocities.

Keywords: annular flow, disturbance waves, entrainment, flow development

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41 Study on Preparation and Storage of Jam Incorporating Carrots (Dacus Carrota), Banana (Musa Acuminata) and Lime (Citrus Aurantifola)

Authors: K. Premakumar, D. S. Rushani, H. N. Hettiarachchi


The production and consumption of preserved foods have gained much importance due to globalization, and they provide a health benefit apart from the basic nutritional functions. Therefore, a study was conducted to develop a jam incorporating carrot, banana, and lime. Considering the findings of several preliminary studies, five formulations of the jam were prepared by blending different percentages of carrot and banana including control (where the only carrot was added). The freshly prepared formulations were subjected to physicochemical and sensory analysis.Physico-Chemical parameters such as pH, TSS, titrable acidity, ascorbic acid content, total sugar and non-reducing sugar and organoleptic qualities such as colour, aroma, taste, spread ability and overall acceptability and microbial analysis (total plate count) were analyzed after formulations. Physico-Chemical Analysis of the freshly prepared Carrot –Banana Blend jam showed increasing trend in titrable acidity (from 0.8 to 0.96, as % of citric acid), TSS (from 70.05 to 67.5 0Brix), ascorbic acid content (from 0.83 to 11.465 mg/100ml), reducing sugar (from 15.64 to 20.553%) with increase in carrot pulp from 50 to 100%. pH, total sugar, and non-reducing sugar were also reduced when carrot concentration is increased. Five points hedonic scale was used to evaluate the organoleptic characters. According to Duncan's Multiple Range Test, the mean scores for all the assessed sensory characters varied significantly (p<0.05) in the freshly made carrot-banana blend jam formulations. Based on the physicochemical and sensory analysis, the most preferred carrot: banana combinations of 50:50, 100:0 and 80:20 (T1, T2, and T5) were selected for storage studies.The formulations were stored at 300 °C room temperature and 70-75% of RH for 12 weeks. The physicochemical characteristics were measured at two weeks interval during storage. The decreasing trends in pH and ascorbic acid and an increasing trend in TSS, titrable acidity, total sugar, reducing sugar and non-reducing sugar were noted with advancement of storage periods of 12 weeks. The results of the chemical analysis showed that there were significance differences (p<0.05) between the tested formulations. Sensory evaluation was done for carrot –banana blends jam after a period of 12 weeks through a panel of 16 semi-trained panelists. The sensory analysis showed that there were significant differences (p<0.05) for organoleptic characters between carrot-banana blend jam formulations. The highest overall acceptability was observed in formulation with 80% carrot and 20% banana pulp. Microbiological Analysis was carried out on the day of preparation, 1 month, 2 months and 3 months after preparation. No bacterial growth was observed in the freshly made carrot -banana blend jam. There were no counts of yeast and moulds and coliforms in all treatments after the heat treatments and during the storage period. Only the bacterial counts (Total Plate Counts) were observed after three months of storage below the critical level, and all formulations were microbiologically safe for consumption. Based on the results of physio-chemical characteristics, sensory attributes, and microbial test, the carrot –banana blend jam with 80% carrot and 20% banana (T2) was selected as best formulation and could be stored up to 12 weeks without any significant changes in the quality characteristics.

Keywords: formulations, physicochemical parameters, microbiological analysis, sensory evaluation

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40 Integration of Building Information Modeling Framework for 4D Constructability Review and Clash Detection Management of a Sewage Treatment Plant

Authors: Malla Vijayeta, Y. Vijaya Kumar, N. Ramakrishna Raju, K. Satyanarayana


Global AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry has been coined as one of the most resistive domains in embracing technology. Although this digital era has been inundated with software tools like CAD, STADD, CANDY, Microsoft Project, Primavera etc. the key stakeholders have been working in siloes and processes remain fragmented. Unlike the yesteryears’ simpler project delivery methods, the current projects are of fast-track, complex, risky, multidisciplinary, stakeholder’s influential, statutorily regulative etc. pose extensive bottlenecks in preventing timely completion of projects. At this juncture, a paradigm shift surfaced in construction industry, and Building Information Modeling, aka BIM, has been a panacea to bolster the multidisciplinary teams’ cooperative and collaborative work leading to productive, sustainable and leaner project outcome. Building information modeling has been integrative, stakeholder engaging and centralized approach in providing a common platform of communication. A common misconception that BIM can be used for building/high rise projects in Indian Construction Industry, while this paper discusses of the implementation of BIM processes/methodologies in water and waste water industry. It elucidates about BIM 4D planning and constructability reviews of a Sewage Treatment Plant in India. Conventional construction planning and logistics management involves a blend of experience coupled with imagination. Even though the excerpts or judgments or lessons learnt gained from veterans might be predictive and helpful, but the uncertainty factor persists. This paper shall delve about the case study of real time implementation of BIM 4D planning protocols for one of the Sewage Treatment Plant of Dravyavati River Rejuvenation Project in India and develops a Time Liner to identify logistics planning and clash detection. With this BIM processes, we shall find that there will be significant reduction of duplication of tasks and reworks. Also another benefit achieved will be better visualization and workarounds during conception stage and enables for early involvement of the stakeholders in the Project Life cycle of Sewage Treatment Plant construction. Moreover, we have also taken an opinion poll of the benefits accrued utilizing BIM processes versus traditional paper based communication like 2D and 3D CAD tools. Thus this paper concludes with BIM framework for Sewage Treatment Plant construction which will achieve optimal construction co-ordination advantages like 4D construction sequencing, interference checking, clash detection checking and resolutions by primary engagement of all key stakeholders thereby identifying potential risks and subsequent creation of risk response strategies. However, certain hiccups like hesitancy in adoption of BIM technology by naïve users and availability of proficient BIM trainers in India poses a phenomenal impediment. Hence the nurture of BIM processes from conception, construction and till commissioning, operation and maintenance along with deconstruction of a project’s life cycle is highly essential for Indian Construction Industry in this digital era.

Keywords: integrated BIM workflow, 4D planning with BIM, building information modeling, clash detection and visualization, constructability reviews, project life cycle

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39 A Spatial Perspective on the Metallized Combustion Aspect of Rockets

Authors: Chitresh Prasad, Arvind Ramesh, Aditya Virkar, Karan Dholkaria, Vinayak Malhotra


Solid Propellant Rocket is a rocket that utilises a combination of a solid Oxidizer and a solid Fuel. Success in Solid Rocket Motor design and development depends significantly on knowledge of burning rate behaviour of the selected solid propellant under all motor operating conditions and design limit conditions. Most Solid Motor Rockets consist of the Main Engine, along with multiple Boosters that provide an additional thrust to the space-bound vehicle. Though widely used, they have been eclipsed by Liquid Propellant Rockets, because of their better performance characteristics. The addition of a catalyst such as Iron Oxide, on the other hand, can drastically enhance the performance of a Solid Rocket. This scientific investigation tries to emulate the working of a Solid Rocket using Sparklers and Energized Candles, with a central Energized Candle acting as the Main Engine and surrounding Sparklers acting as the Booster. The Energized Candle is made of Paraffin Wax, with Magnesium filings embedded in it’s wick. The Sparkler is made up of 45% Barium Nitrate, 35% Iron, 9% Aluminium, 10% Dextrin and the remaining composition consists of Boric Acid. The Magnesium in the Energized Candle, and the combination of Iron and Aluminium in the Sparkler, act as catalysts and enhance the burn rates of both materials. This combustion of Metallized Propellants has an influence over the regression rate of the subject candle. The experimental parameters explored here are Separation Distance, Systematically varying Configuration and Layout Symmetry. The major performance parameter under observation is the Regression Rate of the Energized Candle. The rate of regression is significantly affected by the orientation and configuration of the sparklers, which usually act as heat sources for the energized candle. The Overall Efficiency of any engine is factorised by the thermal and propulsive efficiencies. Numerous efforts have been made to improve one or the other. This investigation focuses on the Orientation of Rocket Motor Design to maximize their Overall Efficiency. The primary objective is to analyse the Flame Spread Rate variations of the energized candle, which resembles the solid rocket propellant used in the first stage of rocket operation thereby affecting the Specific Impulse values in a Rocket, which in turn have a deciding impact on their Time of Flight. Another objective of this research venture is to determine the effectiveness of the key controlling parameters explored. This investigation also emulates the exhaust gas interactions of the Solid Rocket through concurrent ignition of the Energized Candle and Sparklers, and their behaviour is analysed. Modern space programmes intend to explore the universe outside our solar system. To accomplish these goals, it is necessary to design a launch vehicle which is capable of providing incessant propulsion along with better efficiency for vast durations. The main motivation of this study is to enhance Rocket performance and their Overall Efficiency through better designing and optimization techniques, which will play a crucial role in this human conquest for knowledge.

Keywords: design modifications, improving overall efficiency, metallized combustion, regression rate variations

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38 Review of Urbanization Pattern in Kabul City

Authors: Muhammad Hanif Amiri, Edris Sadeqy, Ahmad Freed Osman


International Conference on Architectural Engineering and Skyscraper (ICAES 2016) on January 18 - 19, 2016 is aimed to exchange new ideas and application experiences face to face, to establish business or research relations and to find global partners for future collaboration. Therefore, we are very keen to participate and share our issues in order to get valuable feedbacks of the conference participants. Urbanization is a controversial issue all around the world. Substandard and unplanned urbanization has many implications on a social, cultural and economic situation of population life. Unplanned and illegal construction has become a critical issue in Afghanistan particularly Kabul city. In addition, lack of municipal bylaws, poor municipal governance, lack of development policies and strategies, budget limitation, low professional capacity of ainvolved private sector in development and poor coordination among stakeholders are the other factors which made the problem more complicated. The main purpose of this research paper is to review urbanization pattern of Kabul city and find out the improvement solutions and to evaluate the increasing of population density which caused vast illegal and unplanned development which finally converts the Kabul city to a slam area as the whole. The Kabul city Master Plan was reviewed in the year 1978 and revised for the planned 2million population. In 2001, the interim administration took place and the city became influx of returnees from neighbor countries and other provinces of Afghanistan mostly for the purpose of employment opportunities, security and better quality of life, therefore, Kabul faced with strange population growth. According to Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan population of Kabul has been estimated approx. 5 million (2015), however a new Master Plan has been prepared in 2009, but the existing challenges have not been dissolved yet. On the other hand, 70% of Kabul population is living in unplanned (slam) area and facing the shortage of drinking water, inexistence of sewerage and drainage network, inexistence of proper management system for solid waste collection, lack of public transportation and traffic management, environmental degradation and the shortage of social infrastructure. Although there are many problems in Kabul city, but still the development of 22 townships are in progress which caused the great attraction of population. The research is completed with a detailed analysis on four main issues such as elimination of duplicated administrations, Development of regions, Rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure, and prevention of new townships establishment in Kabul Central Core in order to mitigate the problems and constraints which are the foundation and principal to find the point of departure for an objective based future development of Kabul city. The closure has been defined to reflect the stage-wise development in light of prepared policy and strategies, development of a procedure for the improvement of infrastructure, conducting a preliminary EIA, defining scope of stakeholder’s contribution and preparation of project list for initial development. In conclusion this paper will help the transformation of Kabul city.

Keywords: development of regions, illegal construction, population density, urbanization pattern

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37 Numerical Model of Crude Glycerol Autothermal Reforming to Hydrogen-Rich Syngas

Authors: A. Odoom, A. Salama, H. Ibrahim


Hydrogen is a clean source of energy for power production and transportation. The main source of hydrogen in this research is biodiesel. Glycerol also called glycerine is a by-product of biodiesel production by transesterification of vegetable oils and methanol. This is a reliable and environmentally-friendly source of hydrogen production than fossil fuels. A typical composition of crude glycerol comprises of glycerol, water, organic and inorganic salts, soap, methanol and small amounts of glycerides. Crude glycerol has limited industrial application due to its low purity thus, the usage of crude glycerol can significantly enhance the sustainability and production of biodiesel. Reforming techniques is an approach for hydrogen production mainly Steam Reforming (SR), Autothermal Reforming (ATR) and Partial Oxidation Reforming (POR). SR produces high hydrogen conversions and yield but is highly endothermic whereas POR is exothermic. On the downside, PO yields lower hydrogen as well as large amount of side reactions. ATR which is a fusion of partial oxidation reforming and steam reforming is thermally neutral because net reactor heat duty is zero. It has relatively high hydrogen yield, selectivity as well as limits coke formation. The complex chemical processes that take place during the production phases makes it relatively difficult to construct a reliable and robust numerical model. Numerical model is a tool to mimic reality and provide insight into the influence of the parameters. In this work, we introduce a finite volume numerical study for an 'in-house' lab-scale experiment of ATR. Previous numerical studies on this process have considered either using Comsol or nodal finite difference analysis. Since Comsol is a commercial package which is not readily available everywhere and lab-scale experiment can be considered well mixed in the radial direction. One spatial dimension suffices to capture the essential feature of ATR, in this work, we consider developing our own numerical approach using MATLAB. A continuum fixed bed reactor is modelled using MATLAB with both pseudo homogeneous and heterogeneous models. The drawback of nodal finite difference formulation is that it is not locally conservative which means that materials and momenta can be generated inside the domain as an artifact of the discretization. Control volume, on the other hand, is locally conservative and suites very well problems where materials are generated and consumed inside the domain. In this work, species mass balance, Darcy’s equation and energy equations are solved using operator splitting technique. Therefore, diffusion-like terms are discretized implicitly while advection-like terms are discretized explicitly. An upwind scheme is adapted for the advection term to ensure accuracy and positivity. Comparisons with the experimental data show very good agreements which build confidence in our modeling approach. The models obtained were validated and optimized for better results.

Keywords: autothermal reforming, crude glycerol, hydrogen, numerical model

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36 Stability of Porous SiC Based Materials under Relevant Conditions of Radiation and Temperature

Authors: Marta Malo, Carlota Soto, Carmen García-Rosales, Teresa Hernández


SiC based composites are candidates for possible use as structural and functional materials in the future fusion reactors, the main role is intended for the blanket modules. In the blanket, the neutrons produced in the fusion reaction slow down and their energy is transformed into heat in order to finally generate electrical power. In the blanket design named Dual Coolant Lead Lithium (DCLL), a PbLi alloy for power conversion and tritium breeding circulates inside hollow channels called Flow Channel Inserts (FCIs). These FCI must protect the steel structures against the highly corrosive PbLi liquid and the high temperatures, but also provide electrical insulation in order to minimize magnetohydrodynamic interactions of the flowing liquid metal with the high magnetic field present in a magnetically confined fusion environment. Due to their nominally high temperature and radiation stability as well as corrosion resistance, SiC is the main choice for the flow channel inserts. The significantly lower manufacturing cost presents porous SiC (dense coating is required in order to assure protection against corrosion and as a tritium barrier) as a firm alternative to SiC/SiC composites for this purpose. This application requires the materials to be exposed to high radiation levels and extreme temperatures, conditions for which previous studies have shown noticeable changes in both the microstructure and the electrical properties of different types of silicon carbide. Both initial properties and radiation/temperature induced damage strongly depend on the crystal structure, polytype, impurities/additives that are determined by the fabrication process, so the development of a suitable material requires full control of these variables. For this work, several SiC samples with different percentage of porosity and sintering additives have been manufactured by the so-called sacrificial template method at the Ceit-IK4 Technology Center (San Sebastián, Spain), and characterized at Ciemat (Madrid, Spain). Electrical conductivity was measured as a function of temperature before and after irradiation with 1.8 MeV electrons in the Ciemat HVEC Van de Graaff accelerator up to 140 MGy (~ 2·10 -5 dpa). Radiation-induced conductivity (RIC) was also examined during irradiation at 550 ºC for different dose rates (from 0.5 to 5 kGy/s). Although no significant RIC was found in general for any of the samples, electrical conductivity increase with irradiation dose was observed to occur for some compositions with a linear tendency. However, first results indicate enhanced radiation resistance for coated samples. Preliminary thermogravimetric tests of selected samples, together with posterior XRD analysis allowed interpret radiation-induced modification of the electrical conductivity in terms of changes in the SiC crystalline structure. Further analysis is needed in order to confirm this.

Keywords: DCLL blanket, electrical conductivity, flow channel insert, porous SiC, radiation damage, thermal stability

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35 Effect of Spermidine on Physicochemical Properties of Protein Based Films

Authors: Mohammed Sabbah, Prospero Di Pierro, Raffaele Porta


Protein-based edible films and coatings have attracted an increasing interest in recent years since they might be used to protect pharmaceuticals or improve the shelf life of different food products. Among them, several plant proteins represent an abundant, inexpensive and renewable raw source. These natural biopolymers are used as film forming agents, being able to form intermolecular linkages by various interactions. However, without the addition of a plasticizing agent, many biomaterials are brittle and, consequently, very difficult to be manipulated. Plasticizers are generally small and non-volatile organic additives used to increase film extensibility and reduce its crystallinity, brittleness and water vapor permeability. Plasticizers normally act by decreasing the intermolecular forces along the polymer chains, thus reducing the relative number of polymer-polymer contacts, producing a decrease in cohesion and tensile strength and thereby increasing film flexibility allowing its deformation without rupture. The most commonly studied plasticizers are polyols, like glycerol (GLY) and some mono or oligosaccharides. In particular, GLY not only increases film extensibility but also migrates inside the film network often causing the loss of desirable mechanical properties of the material. Therefore, replacing GLY with a different plasticizer might help to improve film characteristics allowing potential industrial applications. To improve film properties, it seemed of interest to test as plasticizers some cationic small molecules like polyamines (PAs). Putrescine, spermidine (SPD), and spermine are PAs widely distributed in nature and of particular interest for their biological activities that may have some beneficial health effects. Since PAs contains amino instead of hydroxyl functional groups, they are able to trigger ionic interactions with negatively charged proteins. Bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia; BV) is an ancient grain legume crop, originated in the Mediterranean region, which can be found today in many countries around the world. This annual Vicia genus shows several favorable features, being their seeds a cheap and abundant protein source. The main objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different concentrations of SPD on the mechanical and permeability properties of films prepared with native or heat denatured BV proteins in the presence of different concentrations of SPD and/or GLY. Therefore, a BV seed protein concentrate (BVPC), containing about 77% proteins, was used to prepare film forming solutions (FFSs), whereas GLY and SPD were added as film plasticizers, either singly or in combination, at various concentrations. Since a primary plasticizer is generally defined as a molecule that when added to a material makes it softer, more flexible and easier to be processed, our findings lead to consider SPD as a possible primary plasticizer of protein-based films. In fact, the addition of millimolar concentrations of SPD to BVPC FFS allowed obtaining handleable biomaterials with improved properties. Moreover, SPD can be also considered as a secondary plasticizer, namely an 'extender', because of its ability even to enhance the plasticizing performance of GLY. In conclusion, our studies indicate that innovative edible protein-based films and coatings can be obtained by using PAs as new plasticizers.

Keywords: edible films, glycerol, plasticizers, polyamines, spermidine

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34 Tensile and Bond Characterization of Basalt-Fabric Reinforced Alkali Activated Matrix

Authors: S. Candamano, A. Iorfida, F. Crea, A. Macario


Recently, basalt fabric reinforced cementitious composites (FRCM) have attracted great attention because they result to be effective in structural strengthening and cost/environment efficient. In this study, authors investigate their mechanical behavior when an inorganic matrix, belonging to the family of alkali-activated binders, is used. In particular, the matrix has been designed to contain high amounts of industrial by-products and waste, such as Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBFS) and Fly Ash. Fresh state properties, such as workability, mechanical properties and shrinkage behavior of the matrix have been measured, while microstructures and reaction products were analyzed by Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Diffractometry. Reinforcement is made up of a balanced, coated bidirectional fabric made out of basalt fibres and stainless steel micro-wire, with a mesh size of 8x8 mm and an equivalent design thickness equal to 0.064 mm. Mortars mixes have been prepared by maintaining constant the water/(reactive powders) and sand/(reactive powders) ratios at 0.53 and 2.7 respectively. An appropriate experimental campaign based on direct tensile tests on composite specimens and single-lap shear bond test on brickwork substrate has been thus carried out to investigate their mechanical behavior under tension, the stress-transfer mechanism and failure modes. Tensile tests were carried out on composite specimens of nominal dimensions equal to 500 mm x 50 mm x 10 mm, with 6 embedded rovings in the loading direction. Direct shear tests (DST) were carried out on brickwork substrate using an externally bonded basalt-FRCM composite strip 10 mm thick, 50 mm wide and a bonded length of 300 mm. Mortars exhibit, after 28 days of curing, an average compressive strength of 32 MPa and flexural strength of 5.5 MPa. Main hydration product is a poorly crystalline aluminium-modified calcium silicate hydrate (C-A-S-H) gel. The constitutive behavior of the composite has been identified by means of direct tensile tests, with response curves showing a tri-linear behavior. Test results indicate that the behavior is mainly governed by cracks development (II) and widening (III) up to failure. The ultimate tensile strength and strain were respectively σᵤ = 456 MPa and ɛᵤ= 2.20%. The tensile modulus of elasticity in stage III was EIII= 41 GPa. All single-lap shear test specimens failed due to composite debonding. It occurred at the internal fabric-to-matrix interface, and it was the result of a fracture of the matrix between the fibre bundles. For all specimens, transversal cracks were visible on the external surface of the composite and involved only the external matrix layer. This cracking appears when the interfacial shear stresses increase and slippage of the fabric at the internal matrix layer interface occurs. Since the external matrix layer is bonded to the reinforcement fabric, it translates with the slipped fabric. Average peak load around 945 N, peak stress around 308 MPa and global slip around 6 mm were measured. The preliminary test results allow affirming that Alkali-Activated Materials can be considered a potentially valid alternative to traditional mortars in designing FRCM composites.

Keywords: Alkali-activated binders, Basalt-FRCM composites, direct shear tests, structural strengthening

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33 Piezotronic Effect on Electrical Characteristics of Zinc Oxide Varistors

Authors: Nadine Raidl, Benjamin Kaufmann, Michael Hofstätter, Peter Supancic


If polycrystalline ZnO is properly doped and sintered under very specific conditions, it shows unique electrical properties, which are indispensable for today’s electronic industries, where it is used as the number one overvoltage protection material. Under a critical voltage, the polycrystalline bulk exhibits high electrical resistance but becomes suddenly up to twelve magnitudes more conductive if this voltage limit is exceeded (i.e., varistor effect). It is known that these peerless properties have their origin in the grain boundaries of the material. Electric charge is accumulated in the boundaries, causing a depletion layer in their vicinity and forming potential barriers (so-called Double Schottky Barriers, or DSB) which are responsible for the highly non-linear conductivity. Since ZnO is a piezoelectric material, mechanical stresses induce polarisation charges that modify the DSB heights and as a result the global electrical characteristics (i.e., piezotronic effect). In this work, a finite element method was used to simulate emerging stresses on individual grains in the bulk. Besides, experimental efforts were made to testify a coherent model that could explain this influence. Electron back scattering diffraction was used to identify grain orientations. With the help of wet chemical etching, grain polarization was determined. Micro lock-in infrared thermography (MLIRT) was applied to detect current paths through the material, and a micro 4-point probes method system (M4PPS) was employed to investigate current-voltage characteristics between single grains. Bulk samples were tested under uniaxial pressure. It was found that the conductivity can increase by up to three orders of magnitude with increasing stress. Through in-situ MLIRT, it could be shown that this effect is caused by the activation of additional current paths in the material. Further, compressive tests were performed on miniaturized samples with grain paths containing solely one or two grain boundaries. The tests evinced both an increase of the conductivity, as observed for the bulk, as well as a decreased conductivity. This phenomenon has been predicted theoretically and can be explained by piezotronically induced surface charges that have an impact on the DSB at the grain boundaries. Depending on grain orientation and stress direction, DSB can be raised or lowered. Also, the experiments revealed that the conductivity within one single specimen can increase and decrease, depending on the current direction. This novel finding indicates the existence of asymmetric Double Schottky Barriers, which was furthermore proved by complementary methods. MLIRT studies showed that the intensity of heat generation within individual current paths is dependent on the direction of the stimulating current. M4PPS was used to study the relationship between the I-V characteristics of single grain boundaries and grain orientation and revealed asymmetric behavior for very specific orientation configurations. A new model for the Double Schottky Barrier, taking into account the natural asymmetry and explaining the experimental results, will be given.

Keywords: Asymmetric Double Schottky Barrier, piezotronic, varistor, zinc oxide

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