Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2041

Search results for: lead

2041 Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering

Authors: S. Varnagiris, M. Urbonavicius, S. Tuckute, M. Lelis, K. Bockute

Abstract:

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Keywords: Films, magnetron co-sputtering, photocatalysis, TiO2.

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2040 Piezoelectric Power Output Predictions Using Single-Phase Flow to Power Flow Meters

Authors: Umar Alhaji Mukhtar, Abubakar Mohammed El-jummah

Abstract:

This research involved the utilization of fluid flow energy to predict power output using Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) piezoelectric stacks. The aim of this work is to extract energy from a controlled level of pressure fluctuation in single-phase flow which forms a part of the energy harvesting technology that powers flow meters. A device- Perspex box was developed and fixed to 50.8 mm rig to induce pressure fluctuation in the flow. An experimental test was carried out using the single-phase water flow in the developed rig in order to measure the power output generation from the piezoelectric stacks. 16 sets of experimental tests were conducted to ensure the maximum output result. The acquired signal of the pressure fluctuation was used to simulate the expected electrical output from the piezoelectric material. The results showed a maximum output voltage of 12 V with an instantaneous output power of 1 µW generated, when the pressure amplitude is 2.6 kPa at a frequency of 2.4 Hz.

Keywords: Energy harvesting, experimental test, perspex rig, pressure fluctuation.

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2039 Review of the Road Crash Data Availability in Iraq

Authors: Abeer K. Jameel, Harry Evdorides

Abstract:

Iraq is a middle income country where the road safety issue is considered one of the leading causes of deaths. To control the road risk issue, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, General Statistical Organization started to organise a collection system of traffic accidents data with details related to their causes and severity. These data are published as an annual report. In this paper, a review of the available crash data in Iraq will be presented. The available data represent the rate of accidents in aggregated level and classified according to their types, road users’ details, and crash severity, type of vehicles, causes and number of causalities. The review is according to the types of models used in road safety studies and research, and according to the required road safety data in the road constructions tasks. The available data are also compared with the road safety dataset published in the United Kingdom as an example of developed country. It is concluded that the data in Iraq are suitable for descriptive and exploratory models, aggregated level comparison analysis, and evaluation and monitoring the progress of the overall traffic safety performance. However, important traffic safety studies require disaggregated level of data and details related to the factors of the likelihood of traffic crashes. Some studies require spatial geographic details such as the location of the accidents which is essential in ranking the roads according to their level of safety, and name the most dangerous roads in Iraq which requires tactic plan to control this issue. Global Road safety agencies interested in solve this problem in low and middle-income countries have designed road safety assessment methodologies which are basing on the road attributes data only. Therefore, in this research it is recommended to use one of these methodologies.

Keywords: Data availability, Iraq, road safety.

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2038 A Preliminary Study of the Reconstruction of Urban Residential Public Space in the Context of the “Top-down” Construction Model in China: Based on Research of TianZiFang District in Shanghai and Residential Space in Hangzhou

Authors: Wang Qiaowei, Gao Yujiang

Abstract:

With the economic growth and rapid urbanization after the reform and openness, some of China's fast-growing cities have demolished former dwellings and built modern residential quarters. The blind, incomplete reference to western modern cities and the one-off construction lacking feedback mechanism have intensified such phenomenon, causing the citizen gradually expanded their living scale with the popularization of car traffic, and the peer-to-peer lifestyle gradually settled. The construction of large-scale commercial centers has caused obstacles to small business around the residential areas, leading to space for residents' interaction has been compressed. At the same time, the advocated Central Business District (CBD) model even leads to the unsatisfactory reconstruction of many historical blocks such as the Hangzhou Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Street. However, the popularity of historical spaces such as Wuzhen and Hongcun also indicates the collective memory and needs of the street space for Chinese residents. The evolution of Shanghai TianZiFang also proves the importance of the motivation of space participants in space construction in the context of the “top-down” construction model in China. In fact, there are frequent occurrences of “reconstruction”, which may redefine the space, in various residential areas. If these activities can be selectively controlled and encouraged, it will be beneficial to activate the public space as well as the residents’ intercourse, so that the traditional Chinese street space can be reconstructed in the context of modern cities.

Keywords: Rapid urbanization, traditional street space, space re-construction, bottom-up design.

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2037 Price Prediction Line, Investment Signals and Limit Conditions Applied for the German Financial Market

Authors: Cristian Păuna

Abstract:

In the first decades of the 21st century, in the electronic trading environment, algorithmic capital investments became the primary tool to make a profit by speculations in financial markets. A significant number of traders, private or institutional investors are participating in the capital markets every day using automated algorithms. The autonomous trading software is today a considerable part in the business intelligence system of any modern financial activity. The trading decisions and orders are made automatically by computers using different mathematical models. This paper will present one of these models called Price Prediction Line. A mathematical algorithm will be revealed to build a reliable trend line, which is the base for limit conditions and automated investment signals, the core for a computerized investment system. The paper will guide how to apply these tools to generate entry and exit investment signals, limit conditions to build a mathematical filter for the investment opportunities, and the methodology to integrate all of these in automated investment software. The paper will also present trading results obtained for the leading German financial market index with the presented methods to analyze and to compare different automated investment algorithms. It was found that a specific mathematical algorithm can be optimized and integrated into an automated trading system with good and sustained results for the leading German Market. Investment results will be compared in order to qualify the presented model. In conclusion, a 1:6.12 risk was obtained to reward ratio applying the trigonometric method to the DAX Deutscher Aktienindex on 24 months investment. These results are superior to those obtained with other similar models as this paper reveal. The general idea sustained by this paper is that the Price Prediction Line model presented is a reliable capital investment methodology that can be successfully applied to build an automated investment system with excellent results.

Keywords: Algorithmic trading, automated investment system, DAX Deutscher Aktienindex.

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2036 Fast Adjustable Threshold for Uniform Neural Network Quantization

Authors: Alexander Goncharenko, Andrey Denisov, Sergey Alyamkin, Evgeny Terentev

Abstract:

The neural network quantization is highly desired procedure to perform before running neural networks on mobile devices. Quantization without fine-tuning leads to accuracy drop of the model, whereas commonly used training with quantization is done on the full set of the labeled data and therefore is both time- and resource-consuming. Real life applications require simplification and acceleration of quantization procedure that will maintain accuracy of full-precision neural network, especially for modern mobile neural network architectures like Mobilenet-v1, MobileNet-v2 and MNAS. Here we present a method to significantly optimize training with quantization procedure by introducing the trained scale factors for discretization thresholds that are separate for each filter. Using the proposed technique, we quantize the modern mobile architectures of neural networks with the set of train data of only ∼ 10% of the total ImageNet 2012 sample. Such reduction of train dataset size and small number of trainable parameters allow to fine-tune the network for several hours while maintaining the high accuracy of quantized model (accuracy drop was less than 0.5%). Ready-for-use models and code are available in the GitHub repository.

Keywords: Distillation, machine learning, neural networks, quantization.

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2035 Residential and Care Model for Elderly People Based on “Internet Plus”

Authors: Haoyi Sheng

Abstract:

China's aging tendency is becoming increasingly severe, which leads to the embarrassing situation of "getting old before getting wealthy". The traditional pension model does not comply with the need of today. Relying on "Internet Plus", it can efficiently integrate information and resources and meet the personalized needs of elderly care. It can reduce the operating cost of community elderly care facilities and lay a technical foundation for providing better services for the elderly. The key for providing help for the elderly in the future is to effectively integrate technology, make good use of technology, and improve the efficiency of elderly care services. The effective integration of traditional home care, community care, intelligent elderly care equipment and medical resources to create the "Internet Plus" community intelligent pension service mode has become the future development trend of aging care. The research method of this paper is to collect literature and conduct theoretical research on community pension firstly. Secondly, the combination of suitable aging design and "Internet Plus" is elaborated through research. Finally, this paper states the current level of intelligent technology in old-age care and looks into the future by understanding multiple levels of "Internet Plus". The development of community intelligent pension mode and content under "Internet Plus" has enormous development potential. In addition to the characteristics and functions of ordinary houses, residential design of endowment housing has higher requirements for comfort and personalization, and the people-oriented is the principle of design.

Keywords: Ageing tendency, "Internet plus", community intelligent elderly care, elderly care service model, technology.

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2034 Study of a Developed Model Describing a Vacuum Membrane Distillation Unit Coupled to Solar Energy

Authors: Fatma Khaled, Khaoula Hidouri, Bechir Chaouachi

Abstract:

Desalination using solar energy coupled with membrane techniques such as vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is considered as an interesting alternative for the production of pure water. During this work, a developed model of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber membrane module of a VMD unit of seawater was carried out. This simulation leads to establishing a comparison between the effects of two different equations of the vaporization latent heat on the membrane surface temperature and on the unit productivity. Besides, in order to study the effect of putting membrane modules in series on the outlet fluid temperature and on the productivity of the process, a simulation was executed.

Keywords: Vacuum membrane distillation, membrane module, membrane temperature, productivity.

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2033 Evaluation of the Power Generation Effect Obtained by Inserting a Piezoelectric Sheet in the Backlash Clearance of a Circular Arc Helical Gear

Authors: Barenten Suciu, Yuya Nakamoto

Abstract:

Power generation effect, obtained by inserting a piezo- electric sheet in the backlash clearance of a circular arc helical gear, is evaluated. Such type of screw gear is preferred since, in comparison with the involute tooth profile, the circular arc profile leads to reduced stress-concentration effects, and improved life of the piezoelectric film. Firstly, geometry of the circular arc helical gear, and properties of the piezoelectric sheet are presented. Then, description of the test-rig, consisted of a right-hand thread gear meshing with a left-hand thread gear, and the voltage measurement procedure are given. After creating the tridimensional (3D) model of the meshing gears in SolidWorks, they are 3D-printed in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resin. Variation of the generated voltage versus time, during a meshing cycle of the circular arc helical gear, is measured for various values of the center distance. Then, the change of the maximal, minimal, and peak-to-peak voltage versus the center distance is illustrated. Optimal center distance of the gear, to achieve voltage maximization, is found and its significance is discussed. Such results prove that the contact pressure of the meshing gears can be measured, and also, the electrical power can be generated by employing the proposed technique.

Keywords: Power generation, circular arc helical gear, piezo- electric sheet, contact problem, optimal center distance.

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2032 Forecast of Polyethylene Properties in the Gas Phase Polymerization Aided by Neural Network

Authors: Nasrin Bakhshizadeh, Ashkan Forootan

Abstract:

A major problem that affects the quality control of polymer in the industrial polymerization is the lack of suitable on-line measurement tools to evaluate the properties of the polymer such as melt and density indices. Controlling the polymerization in ordinary method is performed manually by taking samples, measuring the quality of polymer in the lab and registry of results. This method is highly time consuming and leads to producing large number of incompatible products. An online application for estimating melt index and density proposed in this study is a neural network based on the input-output data of the polyethylene production plant. Temperature, the level of reactors' bed, the intensity of ethylene mass flow, hydrogen and butene-1, the molar concentration of ethylene, hydrogen and butene-1 are used for the process to establish the neural model. The neural network is taught based on the actual operational data and back-propagation and Levenberg-Marquart techniques. The simulated results indicate that the neural network process model established with three layers (one hidden layer) for forecasting the density and the four layers for the melt index is able to successfully predict those quality properties.

Keywords: Polyethylene, polymerization, density, melt index, neural network.

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2031 Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum

Authors: Krasimira Georgieva, Yordan Denev

Abstract:

Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

Keywords: Gas-filled thermosets, mechanical properties, phosphogypsum, urea-formaldehyde resins.

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2030 Demonstration of Land Use Changes Simulation Using Urban Climate Model

Authors: Barbara Vojvodikova, Katerina Jupova, Iva Ticha

Abstract:

Cities in their historical evolution have always adapted their internal structure to the needs of society (for example protective city walls during classicism era lost their defense function, became unnecessary, were demolished and gave space for new features such as roads, museums or parks). Today it is necessary to modify the internal structure of the city in order to minimize the impact of climate changes on the environment of the population. This article discusses the results of the Urban Climate model owned by VITO, which was carried out as part of a project from the European Union's Horizon grant agreement No 730004 Pan-European Urban Climate Services Climate-Fit city. The use of the model was aimed at changes in land use and land cover in cities related to urban heat islands (UHI). The task of the application was to evaluate possible land use change scenarios in connection with city requirements and ideas. Two pilot areas in the Czech Republic were selected. One is Ostrava and the other Hodonín. The paper provides a demonstration of the application of the model for various possible future development scenarios. It contains an assessment of the suitability or inappropriateness of scenarios of future development depending on the temperature increase. Cities that are preparing to reconstruct the public space are interested in eliminating proposals that would lead to an increase in temperature stress as early as in the assignment phase. If they have evaluation on the unsuitability of some type of design, they can limit it into the proposal phases. Therefore, especially in the application of models on Local level - in 1 m spatial resolution, it was necessary to show which type of proposals would create a significant temperature island in its implementation. Such a type of proposal is considered unsuitable. The model shows that the building itself can create a shady place and thus contribute to the reduction of the UHI. If it sensitively approaches the protection of existing greenery, this new construction may not pose a significant problem. More massive interventions leading to the reduction of existing greenery create a new heat island space.

Keywords: Heat islands, land use, urban climate model.

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2029 Intelligent Parking Systems for Quasi-Close Communities

Authors: Ayodele Adekunle Faiyetole, Olumide Olawale Jegede

Abstract:

This paper presents the experimental design and needs justifications for a localized intelligent parking system (L-IPS), ideal for quasi-close communities with increasing vehicular volume that depends on limited or constant parking facilities. For a constant supply in parking facilities, the demand for an increasing vehicular volume could lead to poor time conservation or extended travel time, traffic congestion or impeded mobility, and safety issues. Increased negative environmental and economic externalities are other associated and consequent downsides of disparities in demand and supply. This L-IPS is designed using a microcontroller, ultrasonic sensors, LED indicators, such that the current status, in terms of parking spots availability, can be known from the main entrance to the community or a parking zone on a LCD screen. As an advanced traffic management system (ATMS), the L-IPS is designed to resolve aspects of infrastructure-to-driver (I2D) communication and parking detection issues. Thus, this L-IPS can act as a timesaver for users by helping them know the availability of parking spots. Providing on-time, informed routing, to a next preference or seamless moving to berth on the available spot on a proximate facility as the case may be. Its use could also increase safety and increase mobility, and fuel savings and costs, therefore, reducing negative environmental and economic externalities due to transportation systems.

Keywords: Intelligent parking systems, localized intelligent parking system, intelligent transport systems, advanced traffic management systems, infrastructure-to-drivers communication.

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2028 Conceptual Model for Knowledge Sharing Model in Creating Idea for Mobile Application

Authors: Hanafizan Hussain

Abstract:

This study shows that several projects will be conducted at the workshop in which using the conceptual model for knowledge sharing approach to create an idea for mobile application. The sharing idea has been done through the collaborative activity in which a group of different field sought to define the mobile application which will lead to new media approach of using social media platform. The collaborative activity will be provided and implemented in the form of one day workshop to determine the approach towards the theme given. The activity later will be continued for four weeks for the participant to prepare for the pitch day workshop. This paper shows the pitch of idea including the interface and prototype for the said products. The collaboration between the members with different field of study shows that social media influenced the knowledge sharing model and its creation or innovations. One of the projects supported a collaborative activity in which a group of young designers sought to define the knowledge sharing model of their ability in creating idea for mobile applications.

Keywords: Mobile application, collaborative activity, conceptual knowledge sharing model, social media platform.

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2027 Association of Smoking with Chest Radiographic and Lung Function Findings in Retired Bauxite Mining Workers

Authors: L. R. Ferreira, R. C. G. Bianchi, L. C.R. Ferreira, C. M. Galhardi, E. P. Baciuk, L. H. Oliveira

Abstract:

Inhalation hazards are associated with potentially injurious exposure and increased risk for lung diseases, within the bauxite mining industry, especially for the smelter workers. Smoking is related to decreased lung function and leads to chronic lung diseases. This study had the objective to evaluate whether smoking is related to functional and radiographic respiratory changes in retired bauxite mining workers. Methods: This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study involving the analysis of database information of 140 retired bauxite mining workers from Poços de Caldas-MG evaluated at Worker’s Health Reference Center and at the Social Security Brazilian National Institute, from July 1st, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. The workers were divided into three groups: non-smokers (n = 47), ex-smokers (n = 46), and smokers (n = 47). The data included: age, gender, spirometry results, and the presence or not of pulmonary pleural and/or parenchymal changes in chest radiographs. Chi-Squared test was used (p < 0,05). Results: In the smokers’ group, 83% of spirometry tests and 64% of chest x-rays were altered. In the non-smokers’ group, 19% of spirometry tests and 13% of chest x-rays were altered. In the ex-smokers’ group, 35% of spirometry tests and 30% of chest x-rays were altered. Most of the results were statistically significant. Results demonstrated a significant difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ groups in regard to spirometric and radiographic pulmonary alterations. Ex-smokers’ and non-smokers’ group demonstrated better results when compared to the smokers’ group in relation to altered spirometry and radiograph findings. These data may contribute to planning strategies to enhance smoking cessation programs within the bauxite mining industry.

Keywords: Bauxite mining, spirometry, chest radiography, smoking.

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2026 How Children Synchronize with Their Teacher: Evidence from a Real-World Elementary School Classroom

Authors: Reiko Yamamoto

Abstract:

This paper reports on how synchrony occurs between children and their teacher, and what prevents or facilitates synchrony. The aim of the experiment conducted in this study was to precisely analyze their movements and synchrony and reveal the process of synchrony in a real-world classroom. Specifically, the experiment was conducted for around 20 minutes during an English as a foreign language (EFL) lesson. The participants were 11 fourth-grade school children and their classroom teacher in a public elementary school in Japan. Previous researchers assert that synchrony causes the state of flow in a class. For checking the level of flow, Short Flow State Scale (SFSS) was adopted. The experimental procedure had four steps: 1) The teacher read aloud the first half of an English storybook to the children. Both the teacher and the children were at their own desks. 2) The children were subjected to an SFSS check. 3) The teacher read aloud the remaining half of the storybook to the children. She made the children remove their desks before reading. 4) The children were again subjected to an SFSS check. The movements of all participants were recorded with a video camera. From the movement analysis, it was found that the children synchronized better with the teacher in Step 3 than in Step 1, and that the teacher’s movement became free and outstanding without a desk. This implies that the desk acted as a barrier between the children and the teacher. Removal of this barrier resulted in the children’s reactions becoming synchronized with those of the teacher. The SFSS results proved that the children experienced more flow without a barrier than with a barrier. Apparently, synchrony is what caused flow or social emotions in the classroom. The main conclusion is that synchrony leads to cognitive outcomes such as children’s academic performance in EFL learning.

Keywords: Movement synchrony, teacher–child relationships, English as a foreign language, EFL learning.

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2025 Developing a Web-Based Tender Evaluation System Based on Fuzzy Multi-Attributes Group Decision Making for Nigerian Public Sector Tendering

Authors: Bello Abdullahi, Yahaya M. Ibrahim, Ahmed D. Ibrahim, Kabir Bala

Abstract:

Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.

Keywords: e-Tendering, e-Procurement, public tendering, tender evaluation, tender evaluation committee, web-based group decision support system.

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2024 Impact of Out-of-Plane Stiffness of the Diaphragm on Deflection of Wood Light-Frame Shear Walls

Authors: M. M. Bagheri, G. Doudak, M. Gong

Abstract:

The in-plane rigidity of light frame diaphragms has been investigated by researchers due to the importance of this subsystem regarding lateral force distribution between the lateral force resisting system (LFRS). Where research has lacked is in evaluating the impact of out-of-plane raigidity of the diaphragm on the deflection of shear walls. This study aims at investigating the effect of the diaphragm on the behavior of wood light-frame shear walls, in particular its out-of-plane rigidity was simulated by modeling the floors as beam. The out of plane stiffness of the diaphragm was investigated for idealized (infinitely stiff or flexible) as well as “realistic”. The results showed reductions in the shear wall deflection in the magnitude of approximately 80% considering the out of plane rigidity of the diaphragm. It was also concluded that considering conservative estimates of out-of-plane stiffness might lead to a very significant reduction in deflection and that assuming the floor diaphragm to be infinitely rigid out of plan seems to be reasonable. For diaphragms supported on multiple panels, further reduction in the deflection was observed. More work, particularly at the experimental level, is needed to verify the finding obtained in the numerical investigation related to the effect of out of plane diaphragm stiffness.

Keywords: Deflection of light-frame wood shear walls, out-of-plane stiffness of the diaphragm, initial stiffness.

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2023 A Numerical Study on the Effects of N2 Dilution on the Flame Structure and Temperature Distribution of Swirl Diffusion Flames

Authors: Yasaman Tohidi, Shidvash Vakilipour, Saeed Ebadi Tavallaee, Shahin Vakilipoor Takaloo, Hossein Amiri

Abstract:

The numerical modeling is performed to study the effects of N2 addition to the fuel stream on the flame structure and temperature distribution of methane-air swirl diffusion flames with different swirl intensities. The Open source Field Operation and Manipulation (OpenFOAM) has been utilized as the computational tool. Flamelet approach along with modified k-ε model is employed to model the flame characteristics.  The results indicate that the presence of N2 in the fuel stream leads to the flame temperature reduction. By increasing of swirl intensity, the flame structure changes significantly. The flame has a conical shape in low swirl intensity; however, it has an hour glass-shape with a shorter length in high swirl intensity. The effects of N2 dilution decrease the flame length in all swirl intensities; however, the rate of reduction is more noticeable in low swirl intensity.

Keywords: Swirl diffusion flame, N2 dilution, OpenFOAM, Swirl intensity.

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2022 Investigating the Effective Parameters in Determining the Type of Traffic Congestion Pricing Schemes in Urban Streets

Authors: Saeed Sayyad Hagh Shomar

Abstract:

Traffic congestion pricing – as a strategy in travel demand management in urban areas to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and noise pollution – has drawn many attentions towards itself. Unlike the satisfying findings in this method, there are still problems in determining the best functional congestion pricing scheme with regard to the situation. The so-called problems in this process will result in further complications and even the scheme failure. That is why having proper knowledge of the significance of congestion pricing schemes and the effective factors in choosing them can lead to the success of this strategy. In this study, first, a variety of traffic congestion pricing schemes and their components are introduced; then, their functional usage is discussed. Next, by analyzing and comparing the barriers, limitations and advantages, the selection criteria of pricing schemes are described. The results, accordingly, show that the selection of the best scheme depends on various parameters. Finally, based on examining the effective parameters, it is concluded that the implementation of area-based schemes (cordon and zonal) has been more successful in non-diversion of traffic. That is considering the topology of the cities and the fact that traffic congestion is often created in the city centers, area-based schemes would be notably functional and appropriate.

Keywords: Congestion pricing, demand management, flat toll, variable toll.

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2021 The Mouth and Gastrointestinal Tract of the African Lung Fish Protopterus annectens in River Niger at Agenebode, Nigeria

Authors: Marian Agbugui

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The West African Lung fishes are fishes rich in protein and serve as an important source of food supply for man. The kind of food ingested by this group of fishes is dependent on the alimentary canal as well as the fish’s digestive processes which provide suitable modifications for maximum utilization of food taken. A study of the alimentary canal of P. annectens will expose the best information on the anatomy and histology of the fish. Samples of P. annectens were dissected to reveal the liver, pancreas and entire gut wall. Digital pictures of the mouth, jaws and the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were taken. The entire gut was identified, sectioned and micro graphed. P. annectens was observed to possess a terminal mouth that opens up to 10% of its total body length, an adaptive feature to enable the fish to swallow the whole of its pry. Its dentition is made up of incisors- scissor-like teeth which also help to firmly grip, seize and tear through the skin of prey before swallowing. A short, straight and longitudinal GIT was observed in P. annectens which is known to be common feature in lungfishes, though it is thought to be a primitive characteristic similar to the lamprey. The oesophagus is short and distensible similar to other predatory and carnivorous species. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach before it is passed down into the intestine. A pyloric aperture is seen at the end of the double folded pyloric valve which leads into an intestine that makes up 75% of the whole GIT. The intestine begins at the posterior end of the pyloric aperture and winds down in six coils through the whole length intestine and ends at the cloaca. From this study it is concluded that P. annectens possess a composite GIT with organs similar to other lung fishes; it is a detritor with carnivorous abilities.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal tract, incisors scissor-like teeth, intestine, mucus, Protopterus annectens, serosa.

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2020 Exploring Employee Experiences of Distributed Leadership in Consultancy SMEs

Authors: Mohamed Haffar, Ramdane Djebarni, Russell Evans

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Despite a growth in literature on distributed leadership, the majority of studies are centred on large public organisations particularly within the health and education sectors. The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the literature by exploring employee experiences of distributed leadership within two commercial consultancy SME businesses in the UK and USA. The aim of the study informed an exploratory method of research to gather qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews involving a sample of employees in each organisation. A series of broad, open questions were used to explore the employees’ experiences; evidence of distributed leadership; and extant barriers and practices in each organisation. Whilst some of our findings aligned with patterns and practices in the existing literature, it importantly discovered some emergent themes that have not previously been recognised in the previous studies. Our investigation identified that whilst distributed leadership was in evidence in both organisations, the interviewees’ experience reported that it was sporadic and inconsistent. Moreover, non-client focused projects were reported to be less important and distributed leadership was found to be inconsistent or non-existent.

Keywords: Consultancy, distributed leadership, owner-manager, SME, entrepreneur.

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2019 Reinforcing Effects of Natural Micro-Particles on the Dynamic Impact Behaviour of Hybrid Bio-Composites Made of Short Kevlar Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Armor

Authors: Edison E. Haro, Akindele G. Odeshi, Jerzy A. Szpunar

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Hybrid bio-composites are developed for use in protective armor through positive hybridization offered by reinforcement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with Kevlar short fibers and palm wood micro-fillers. The manufacturing process involved a combination of extrusion and compression molding techniques. The mechanical behavior of Kevlar fiber reinforced HDPE with and without palm wood filler additions are compared. The effect of the weight fraction of the added palm wood micro-fillers is also determined. The Young modulus was found to increase as the weight fraction of organic micro-particles increased. However, the flexural strength decreased with increasing weight fraction of added micro-fillers. The interfacial interactions between the components were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The influence of the size, random alignment and distribution of the natural micro-particles was evaluated. Ballistic impact and dynamic shock loading tests were performed to determine the optimum proportion of Kevlar short fibers and organic micro-fillers needed to improve impact strength of the HDPE. These results indicate a positive hybridization by deposition of organic micro-fillers on the surface of short Kevlar fibers used in reinforcing the thermoplastic matrix leading to enhancement of the mechanical strength and dynamic impact behavior of these materials. Therefore, these hybrid bio-composites can be promising materials for different applications against high velocity impacts.

Keywords: Hybrid bio-composites, organic nano-fillers, dynamic shocking loading, ballistic impacts, energy absorption.

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2018 Detailed Sensitive Detection of Impurities in Waste Engine Oils Using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Rotating Disk Electrode Optical Emission Spectroscopy and Surface Plasmon Resonance

Authors: Cherry Dhiman, Ayushi Paliwal, Mohd. Shahid Khan, M. N. Reddy, Vinay Gupta, Monika Tomar

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The laser based high resolution spectroscopic experimental techniques such as Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Rotating Disk Electrode Optical Emission spectroscopy (RDE-OES) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) have been used for the study of composition and degradation analysis of used engine oils. Engine oils are mainly composed of aliphatic and aromatics compounds and its soot contains hazardous components in the form of fine, coarse and ultrafine particles consisting of wear metal elements. Such coarse particulates matter (PM) and toxic elements are extremely dangerous for human health that can cause respiratory and genetic disorder in humans. The combustible soot from thermal power plants, industry, aircrafts, ships and vehicles can lead to the environmental and climate destabilization. It contributes towards global pollution for land, water, air and global warming for environment. The detection of such toxicants in the form of elemental analysis is a very serious issue for the waste material management of various organic, inorganic hydrocarbons and radioactive waste elements. In view of such important points, the current study on used engine oils was performed. The fundamental characterization of engine oils was conducted by measuring water content and kinematic viscosity test that proves the crude analysis of the degradation of used engine oils samples. The microscopic quantitative and qualitative analysis was presented by RDE-OES technique which confirms the presence of elemental impurities of Pb, Al, Cu, Si, Fe, Cr, Na and Ba lines for used waste engine oil samples in few ppm. The presence of such elemental impurities was confirmed by LIBS spectral analysis at various transition levels of atomic line. The recorded transition line of Pb confirms the maximum degradation which was found in used engine oil sample no. 3 and 4. Apart from the basic tests, the calculations for dielectric constants and refractive index of the engine oils were performed via SPR analysis.

Keywords: Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, rotating disk electrode optical emission spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, ICCD spectrometer, Nd:YAG laser, engine oil.

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2017 Energy Consumption, Emission Absorption and Carbon Emission Reduction on Semarang State University Campus

Authors: Dewi Liesnoor Setyowati, Puji Hardati, Tri Marhaeni Puji Astuti, Muhammad Amin

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Universitas Negeri Semarang (UNNES) is a university with a vision of conservation. The impact of the UNNES conservation is the existence of a positive response from the community for the effort of greening the campus and the planting of conservation value in the academic community. But in reality,  energy consumption in UNNES campus tends to increase. The objectives of the study were to analyze the energy consumption in the campus area, to analyze the absorption of emissions by trees and the awareness of UNNES citizens in reducing emissions. Research focuses on energy consumption, carbon emissions, and awareness of citizens in reducing emissions. Research subjects in this study are UNNES citizens (lecturers, students and employees). The research area covers 6 faculties and one administrative center building. Data collection is done by observation, interview and documentation. The research used a quantitative descriptive method to analyze the data. The number of trees in UNNES is 10,264. Total emission on campus UNNES is 7.862.281.56 kg/year, the tree absorption is 6,289,250.38 kg/year. In UNNES campus area there are still 1,575,031.18 kg/year of emissions, not yet absorbed by trees. There are only two areas of the faculty whose trees are capable of absorbing emissions. The awareness of UNNES citizens in reducing energy consumption is seen in change the habit of: using energy-saving equipment (65%); reduce energy consumption per unit (68%); do energy literacy for UNNES citizens (74%). UNNES leaders always provide motivation to the citizens of UNNES, to reduce and change patterns of energy consumption.

Keywords: Energy consumption, carbon emission absorption, emission reduction, energy literation.

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2016 Cost Efficient Receiver Tube Technology for Eco-Friendly Concentrated Solar Thermal Applications

Authors: M. Shiva Prasad, S. R. Atchuta, T. Vijayaraghavan, S. Sakthivel

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The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.

Keywords: Concentrated solar thermal system, solar selective coating, tandem absorber, ultralow refractive index.

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2015 The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries

Authors: Chinwendu R. Nnabalu, Gioia Falcone, Imma Bortone

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Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.

Keywords: Design, emissions, fluid catalytic cracking, petroleum refineries.

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2014 The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir vis-à-vis Its Competitors

Authors: Elisa Orofino

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Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.

Keywords: Agency, Caliphate, Radicalization, Vocal Radicals.

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2013 Analysis of Pressure Drop in a Concentrated Solar Collector with Direct Steam Production

Authors: Sara Sallam, Mohamed Taqi, Naoual Belouaggadia

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Solar thermal power plants using parabolic trough collectors (PTC) are currently a powerful technology for generating electricity. Most of these solar power plants use thermal oils as heat transfer fluid. The latter is heated in the solar field and transfers the heat absorbed in an oil-water heat exchanger for the production of steam driving the turbines of the power plant. Currently, we are seeking to develop PTCs with direct steam generation (DSG). This process consists of circulating water under pressure in the receiver tube to generate steam directly into the solar loop. This makes it possible to reduce the investment and maintenance costs of the PTCs (the oil-water exchangers are removed) and to avoid the environmental risks associated with the use of thermal oils. The pressure drops in these systems are an important parameter to ensure their proper operation. The determination of these losses is complex because of the presence of the two phases, and most often we limit ourselves to describing them by models using empirical correlations. A comparison of these models with experimental data was performed. Our calculations focused on the evolution of the pressure of the liquid-vapor mixture along the receiver tube of a PTC-DSG for pressure values and inlet flow rates ranging respectively from 3 to 10 MPa, and from 0.4 to 0.6 kg/s. The comparison of the numerical results with experience allows us to demonstrate the validity of some models according to the pressures and the flow rates of entry in the PTC-DSG receiver tube. The analysis of these two parameters’ effects on the evolution of the pressure along the receiving tub, shows that the increase of the inlet pressure and the decrease of the flow rate lead to minimal pressure losses.

Keywords: Direct steam generation, parabolic trough collectors, pressure drop.

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2012 A Theoretical Analysis of Air Cooling System Using Thermal Ejector under Variable Generator Pressure

Authors: Mohamed Ouzzane, Mahmoud Bady

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Due to energy and environment context, research is looking for the use of clean and energy efficient system in cooling industry. In this regard, the ejector represents one of the promising solutions. The thermal ejector is a passive component used for thermal compression in refrigeration and cooling systems, usually activated by heat either waste or solar. The present study introduces a theoretical analysis of the cooling system which uses a gas ejector thermal compression. A theoretical model is developed and applied for the design and simulation of the ejector, as well as the whole cooling system. Besides the conservation equations of mass, energy and momentum, the gas dynamic equations, state equations, isentropic relations as well as some appropriate assumptions are applied to simulate the flow and mixing in the ejector. This model coupled with the equations of the other components (condenser, evaporator, pump, and generator) is used to analyze profiles of pressure and velocity (Mach number), as well as evaluation of the cycle cooling capacity. A FORTRAN program is developed to carry out the investigation. Properties of refrigerant R134a are calculated using real gas equations. Among many parameters, it is thought that the generator pressure is the cornerstone in the cycle, and hence considered as the key parameter in this investigation. Results show that the generator pressure has a great effect on the ejector and on the whole cooling system. At high generator pressures, strong shock waves inside the ejector are created, which lead to significant condenser pressure at the ejector exit. Additionally, at higher generator pressures, the designed system can deliver cooling capacity for high condensing pressure (hot season).

Keywords: Air cooling system, refrigeration, thermal ejector, thermal compression.

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