Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1234

Search results for: mechanism

1234 TiO2 Nanowires as Efficient Heterogeneous Photocatalysts for Waste-Water Treatment

Authors: Gul Afreen, Sreedevi Upadhyayula, Mahendra K. Sunkara

Abstract:

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanorods find variety of practical application owing to their unique physico-chemical properties. In this work, TiO2 nanowires were synthesized by direct oxidation of titanium particles in a unique microwave plasma jet reactor. The prepared TiO2 nanowires manifested the flexible features, and were characterized by using X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analyzer, UV-Visible and FTIR spectrophotometers, Scanning electron microscope, and Transmission electron microscope. Further, the photodegradation efficiency of these nanowires were tested against toxic organic dye like methylene blue (MB) and the results were compared with the commercial TiO2. It was found that TiO2 nanowires exhibited superior photocatalytic performance (89%) as compared to commercial TiO2 (75%) after 60 min of reaction. This is attributed to the lower recombination rate and increased interfacial charge transfer in TiO2 nanowire. Pseudo-first order kinetic modelling performed with the experimental results revealed that the rate constant of photodegradation in case of TiO2 nanowire was 1.3 times higher than that of commercial TiO2. Superoxide radical (O2˙) was found to be the major contributor in the photodegradation mechanism. Based on the trapping experiments, a plausible mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction is discussed.

Keywords: Heterogeneous catalysis, photodegradation, reactive oxygen species, TiO2 nanowires.

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1233 Numerical Analysis of Flow in the Gap between a Simplified Tractor-Trailer Model and Cross Vortex Trap Device

Authors: Terrance Charles, Zhiyin Yang, Yiling Lu

Abstract:

Heavy trucks are aerodynamically inefficient due to their un-streamlined body shapes, leading to more than of 60% engine power being required to overcome the aerodynamics drag at 60 m/hr. There are many aerodynamics drag reduction devices developed and this paper presents a study on a drag reduction device called Cross Vortex Trap Device (CVTD) deployed in the gap between the tractor and the trailer of a simplified tractor-trailer model. Numerical simulations have been carried out at Reynolds number 0.51×106 based on inlet flow velocity and height of the trailer using the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach. Three different configurations of CVTD have been studied, ranging from single to three slabs, equally spaced on the front face of the trailer. Flow field around three different configurations of trap device have been analysed and presented. The results show that a maximum of 12.25% drag reduction can be achieved when a triple vortex trap device is used. Detailed flow field analysis along with pressure contours are presented to elucidate the drag reduction mechanisms of CVTD and why the triple vortex trap configuration produces the maximum drag reduction among the three configurations tested.

Keywords: Aerodynamic drag, cross vortex trap device, truck, RANS.

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1232 A Comparative Study of Cardio Respiratory Efficiency between Aquatic and Track and Field Performers

Authors: Sumanta Daw, Gopal Chandra Saha

Abstract:

The present study was conducted to explore the basic pulmonary functions which may generally vary according to the bio-physical characteristics including age, height, body weight, and environment etc. of the sports performers. Regular and specific training exercises also change the characteristics of an athlete’s prowess and produce a positive effect on the physiological functioning, mostly upon cardio-pulmonary efficiency and thereby improving the body mechanism. The objective of the present study was to compare the differences in cardio-respiratory functions between aquatics and track and field performers. As cardio-respiratory functions are influenced by pulse rate and blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), so both of the factors were also taken into consideration. The component selected under cardio-respiratory functions for the present study were i) FEVI/FVC ratio (forced expiratory volume divided by forced vital capacity ratio, i.e. the number represents the percentage of lung capacity to exhale in one second) ii) FVC1 (this is the amount of air which can force out of lungs in one second) and iii) FVC (forced vital capacity is the greatest total amount of air forcefully breathe out after breathing in as deeply as possible). All the three selected components of the cardio-respiratory efficiency were measured by spirometry method. Pulse rate was determined manually. The radial artery which is located on the thumb side of our wrist was used to assess the pulse rate. Blood pressure was assessed by sphygmomanometer. All the data were taken in the resting condition. 36subjects were selected for the present study out of which 18were water polo players and rest were sprinters. The age group of the subjects was considered between 18 to 23 years. In this study the obtained data inform of digital score were treated statistically to get result and draw conclusions. The Mean and Standard Deviation (SD) were used as descriptive statistics and the significant difference between the two subject groups was assessed with the help of statistical ‘t’-test. It was found from the study that all the three components i.e. FEVI/FVC ratio (p-value 0.0148 < 0.01), FVC1 (p-value 0.0010 < 0.01) and FVC (p-value 0.0067 < 0.01) differ significantly as water polo players proved to be better in terms of cardio-respiratory functions than sprinters. Thus study clearly suggests that the exercise training as well as the medium of practice arena associated with water polo players has played an important role to determine better cardio respiratory efficiency than track and field athletes. The outcome of the present study revealed that the lung function in land-based activities may not provide much impact than that of in water activities.

Keywords: Cardio-respiratory efficiency, spirometry, water polo players, sprinters.

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1231 Failure Analysis of a Medium Duty Vehicle Leaf Spring

Authors: Gül Çevik

Abstract:

This paper summarizes the work conducted to assess the root cause of the failure of a medium commercial vehicle leaf spring failed in service. Macro- and micro-fractographic analyses by scanning electron microscope as well as material verification tests were conducted in order to understand the failure mechanisms and root cause of the failure. Findings from the fractographic analyses indicated that failure mechanism is fatigue. Crack initiation was identified to have occurred from a point on the top surface near to the front face and to the left side. Two other crack initiation points were also observed, however, these cracks did not propagate. The propagation mode of the fatigue crack revealed that the cyclic loads resulting in crack initiation and propagation were unidirectional bending. Fractographic analyses have also showed that the root cause of the fatigue crack initiation and propagation was loading the part above design stress. Material properties of the part were also verified by chemical composition analysis, microstructural analysis by optical microscopy and hardness tests.

Keywords: Leaf spring, failure analysis, fatigue, fractography.

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1230 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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1229 Towards the Prediction of Aesthetic Requirements for Women’s Apparel Product

Authors: Yu Zhao, Min Zhang, Yuanqian Wang, Qiuyu Yu

Abstract:

The prediction of aesthetics of apparel is helpful for the development of a new type of apparel. This study is to build the quantitative relationship between the aesthetics and its design parameters. In particular, women’s pants have been preliminarily studied. This aforementioned relationship has been carried out by statistical analysis. The contributions of this study include the development of a more personalized apparel design mechanism and the provision of some empirical knowledge for the development of other products in the aspect of aesthetics.

Keywords: Aesthetics, crease line, cropped straight leg pants, knee width.

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1228 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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1227 Overtopping Protection Systems for Overflow Earth Dams

Authors: Omid Pourabdollah, Mohsen Misaghian

Abstract:

Overtopping is known as one the most important reasons for the failure of earth dams. In some cases, it has resulted in heavy damages and losses. Therefore, enhancing the safety of earth dams against overtopping has received much attention in the past four decades. In this paper, at first, the overtopping phenomena and its destructive consequences will be introduced. Then, overtopping failure mechanism of embankments will be described. Finally, different types of protection systems for stabilization of earth dams against overtopping will be presented. These include timber cribs, riprap and gabions, reinforced earth, roller compacted concrete, and the precast concrete blocks.

Keywords: Embankment dam, overtopping, roller compacted concrete, wedge concrete block.

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1226 Assessment of Ultra-High Cycle Fatigue Behavior of EN-GJL-250 Cast Iron Using Ultrasonic Fatigue Testing Machine

Authors: Saeedeh Bakhtiari, Johannes Depessemier, Stijn Hertelé, Wim De Waele

Abstract:

High cycle fatigue comprising up to 107 load cycles has been the subject of many studies, and the behavior of many materials was recorded adequately in this regime. However, many applications involve larger numbers of load cycles during the lifetime of machine components. In this ultra-high cycle regime, other failure mechanisms play, and the concept of a fatigue endurance limit (assumed for materials such as steel) is often an oversimplification of reality. When machine component design demands a high geometrical complexity, cast iron grades become interesting candidate materials. Grey cast iron is known for its low cost, high compressive strength, and good damping properties. However, the ultra-high cycle fatigue behavior of cast iron is poorly documented. The current work focuses on the ultra-high cycle fatigue behavior of EN-GJL-250 (GG25) grey cast iron by developing an ultrasonic (20 kHz) fatigue testing system. Moreover, the testing machine is instrumented to measure the temperature and the displacement of  the specimen, and to control the temperature. The high resonance frequency allowed to assess the  behavior of the cast iron of interest within a matter of days for ultra-high numbers of cycles, and repeat the tests to quantify the natural scatter in fatigue resistance.

Keywords: GG25, cast iron, ultra-high cycle fatigue, ultrasonic test.

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1225 A Review on Geomembrane Characteristics and Application in Geotechnical Engineering

Authors: Sandra Ghavam Shirazi, Komeil Valipourian, Mohammad Reza Golhashem

Abstract:

This paper represents the basic idea and mechanisms associated with the durability of geomembranes and discusses the factors influencing the service life and temperature of geomembrane liners. Geomembrane durability is stated as field performance and laboratory test outcomes under various conditions. Due to the high demand of geomembranes as landfill barriers and their crucial role in sensitive projects, sufficient service life of geomembranes is very important, therefore in this paper, the durability, the effect of temperature on geomembrane and the role of this type of reinforcement in different types of soil will be discussed. Also, the role of geomembrane in the earthquake will be considered in the last part of the paper.

Keywords: Geomembrane, durability temperature soil mechanic.

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1224 The State Support to the Tourism Policy Formation Mechanism in Black Sea Basin Countries (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia) and Its Impact on Sustainable Tourism Development

Authors: A. Bahar Ganiyeva, M. Sabuhi Tanriverdiyev

Abstract:

The article analyzes state support and policy mechanisms aimed at driving tourism as one of the vibrant and rapidly developing economies. State programs and long-range strategic roadmaps and previous programs execution, results and their impact on the particular countries economy have been raised during the research. This theme provides a useful framework for discussions with a wider range of stakeholders as the implications arising are of importance both for academics and practitioners engaged in hospitality and tourism development and research. The impact that tourism has on sustainable regional development in emerging markets is highly substantial. For Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, and Russia, with their rich natural resources and cultural heritage, tourism can be an important basis for economic expansion, and a way to form an acceptable image of the countries as safe, open, hospitable, and complex.

Keywords: Sustainable tourism, hospitality, destination, strategic roadmap, tourism, economy, growth, state support, mechanism, policy formation, state program.

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1223 Mordechai Vanunu: “The Atomic Spy” as a Nuclear Threat to Discourse in Israeli Society

Authors: Ada Yurman

Abstract:

Using the case of Israeli Atomic Spy Mordechai Vanunu as an example, this study sought to examine social response to political deviance whereby social response can be mobilized in order to achieve social control. Mordechai Vanunu, a junior technician in the Dimona Atomic Research Center, played a normative role in the militaristic discourse while working in the “holy shrine” of the Israeli defense system for many years. At a certain stage, however, Vanunu decided to detach himself from this collective and launched an assault on this top-secret circle. Israeli society in general and the security establishment in particular found this attack intolerable and unforgivable. They presented Vanunu as a ticking time bomb, delegitimized him and portrayed him as “other”. In addition, Israeli enforcement authorities imposed myriad prohibitions and sanctions on Vanunu even after his release from prison – “as will be done to he who desecrates holiness.” Social response to Vanunu at the time of his capture and trial was studied by conducting a content analysis of six contemporary daily newspapers. The analysis focused on use of language and forms of expression. In contrast with traditional content analysis methodology, this study did not just look at frequency of expressions of ideas and terms in the text and covert content; rather, the text was analyzed as a structural whole, and included examination of style, tone and unusual use of imagery, and more, in order to uncover hidden messages within the text. The social response to this case was extraordinarily intense, not only because in this case of political deviance, involving espionage and treason, Vanunu’s actions comprised a real potential threat to the country, but also because of the threat his behavior posed to the symbolic universe of society. Therefore, the response to this instance of political deviance can be seen as being part of a mechanism of social control aiming to protect world view of society as a whole, as well as to punish the criminal.

Keywords: Militarism, political deviance, social construction, social control.

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1222 The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement

Authors: J. H. Boonzaaier, A. C. Brent

Abstract:

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

Keywords: Institutional agent, water governance, polycentric water resource management, water resource management.

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1221 Maximization of Lifetime for Wireless Sensor Networks Based on Energy Efficient Clustering Algorithm

Authors: Frodouard Minani

Abstract:

Since last decade, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been used in many areas like health care, agriculture, defense, military, disaster hit areas and so on. Wireless Sensor Networks consist of a Base Station (BS) and more number of wireless sensors in order to monitor temperature, pressure, motion in different environment conditions. The key parameter that plays a major role in designing a protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks is energy efficiency which is a scarcest resource of sensor nodes and it determines the lifetime of sensor nodes. Maximizing sensor node’s lifetime is an important issue in the design of applications and protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks. Clustering sensor nodes mechanism is an effective topology control approach for helping to achieve the goal of this research. In this paper, the researcher presents an energy efficiency protocol to prolong the network lifetime based on Energy efficient clustering algorithm. The Low Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy (LEACH) is a routing protocol for clusters which is used to lower the energy consumption and also to improve the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks. Maximizing energy dissipation and network lifetime are important matters in the design of applications and protocols for wireless sensor networks. Proposed system is to maximize the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks by choosing the farthest cluster head (CH) instead of the closest CH and forming the cluster by considering the following parameter metrics such as Node’s density, residual-energy and distance between clusters (inter-cluster distance). In this paper, comparisons between the proposed protocol and comparative protocols in different scenarios have been done and the simulation results showed that the proposed protocol performs well over other comparative protocols in various scenarios.

Keywords: Base station, clustering algorithm, energy efficient, wireless sensor networks.

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1220 The Characteristics of a Fair and Efficient Tax Auditing Information System as a Tool against Tax Evasion: A Theoretical Framework

Authors: Dimitris Balios, Stefanos Tantos

Abstract:

Economic growth and social evolution are connected to trust relationships in a society. The quality of the accounting information, the tax information system and the tax audit mechanism evolve multiple benefits in an economy. Tax evasion, the illegal practice where people and companies do not pay taxes, is a crime because of the negative effect in economy and society. In this paper, we describe a theoretical framework on the characteristics of a fair and efficient tax auditing information system which could be a tool against tax evasion, a tool for an economy to grow, especially in countries that face fluctuations in economic activity. We conclude that a fair and efficient tax auditing information system increases the reliability of tax administration, improves taxpayers’ tax compliance and causes a developmental trajectory for the economy.

Keywords: Auditing information system, auditing mechanism, tax evasion, taxation, quality of accounting information.

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1219 Game-Theory-Based on Downlink Spectrum Allocation in Two-Tier Networks

Authors: Yu Zhang, Ye Tian, Fang Ye Yixuan Kang

Abstract:

The capacity of conventional cellular networks has reached its upper bound and it can be well handled by introducing femtocells with low-cost and easy-to-deploy. Spectrum interference issue becomes more critical in peace with the value-added multimedia services growing up increasingly in two-tier cellular networks. Spectrum allocation is one of effective methods in interference mitigation technology. This paper proposes a game-theory-based on OFDMA downlink spectrum allocation aiming at reducing co-channel interference in two-tier femtocell networks. The framework is formulated as a non-cooperative game, wherein the femto base stations are players and frequency channels available are strategies. The scheme takes full account of competitive behavior and fairness among stations. In addition, the utility function reflects the interference from the standpoint of channels essentially. This work focuses on co-channel interference and puts forward a negative logarithm interference function on distance weight ratio aiming at suppressing co-channel interference in the same layer network. This scenario is more suitable for actual network deployment and the system possesses high robustness. According to the proposed mechanism, interference exists only when players employ the same channel for data communication. This paper focuses on implementing spectrum allocation in a distributed fashion. Numerical results show that signal to interference and noise ratio can be obviously improved through the spectrum allocation scheme and the users quality of service in downlink can be satisfied. Besides, the average spectrum efficiency in cellular network can be significantly promoted as simulations results shown.

Keywords: Femtocell networks, game theory, interference mitigation, spectrum allocation.

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1218 Effect of Pre-Plasma Potential on Laser Ion Acceleration

Authors: Djemai Bara, Mohamed Faouzi Mahboub, Djamila Bennaceur-Doumaz

Abstract:

In this work, the role of the preformed plasma created on the front face of a target, irradiated by a high intensity short pulse laser, in the framework of ion acceleration process, modeled by Target Normal Sheath Acceleration (TNSA) mechanism, is studied. This plasma is composed of cold ions governed by fluid equations and non-thermal & trapped with densities represented by a "Cairns-Gurevich" equation. The self-similar solution of the equations shows that electronic trapping and the presence of non-thermal electrons in the pre-plasma are both responsible in ion acceleration as long as the proportion of energetic electrons is not too high. In the case where the majority of electrons are energetic, the electrons are accelerated directly by the ponderomotive force of the laser without the intermediate of an accelerating plasma wave.

Keywords: Cairns-Gurevich Equation, ion acceleration, plasma expansion, pre-plasma.

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1217 Application of Thermoplastic Microbioreactor to the Single Cell Study of Budding Yeast to Decipher the Effect of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural on Growth

Authors: Elif Gencturk, Ekin Yurdakul, Ahmet Y. Celik, Senol Mutlu, Kutlu O. Ulgen

Abstract:

Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.  

Keywords: COP, HMF, ribosome biogenesis, thermoplastic microbioreactor, yeast.

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1216 Analysis and Evaluation of the Public Responses to Traffic Congestion Pricing Schemes in Urban Streets

Authors: Saeed Sayyad Hagh Shomar

Abstract:

Traffic congestion pricing in urban streets is one of the most suitable options for solving the traffic problems and environment pollutions in the cities of the country. Unlike its acceptable outcomes, there are problems concerning the necessity to pay by the mass. Regarding the fact that public response in order to succeed in this strategy is so influential, studying their response and behavior to get the feedback and improve the strategies is of great importance. In this study, a questionnaire was used to examine the public reactions to the traffic congestion pricing schemes at the center of Tehran metropolis and the factors involved in people’s decision making in accepting or rejecting the congestion pricing schemes were assessed based on the data obtained from the questionnaire as well as the international experiences. Then, by analyzing and comparing the schemes, guidelines to reduce public objections to them are discussed. The results of reviewing and evaluating the public reactions show that all the pros and cons must be considered to guarantee the success of these projects. Consequently, with targeted public education and consciousness-raising advertisements, prior to initiating a scheme and ensuring the mechanism of the implementation after the start of the project, the initial opposition is reduced and, with the gradual emergence of the real and tangible benefits of its implementation, users’ satisfaction will increase.

Keywords: Demand management, international experiences, traffic congestion pricing, public acceptance, public objection.

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1215 Power Efficiency Characteristics of Magnetohydrodynamic Thermodynamic Gas Cycle

Authors: Mahmoud Huleihil

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In this study, the performance of a thermodynamic gas cycle of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation is considered and presented in terms of power efficiency curves. The dissipation mechanisms considered include: fluid friction modeled by means of the isentropic efficiency of the compressor, heat transfer leakage directly from the hot reservoir to the cold heat reservoir, and constant velocity of the MHD generator. The study demonstrates that power and efficiency vanish at the extremes of both slow and fast operating conditions. These points are demonstrated on power efficiency curves and the locus of efficiency at maximum power and the locus of maximum efficiency. Qualitatively, the considered loss mechanisms have a similar effect on the efficiency at maximum power operation and on maximum efficiency operation, thus these efficiencies are reduced, even for small values of the loss mechanisms.

Keywords: Magnetohydrodynamic generator, electrical efficiency, maximum power, maximum efficiency, heat engine.

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1214 Corporate Governance Mechanisms, Whistle-Blowing Policy and Earnings Management Practices of Firms in Malaysia

Authors: Mujeeb Saif Mohsen Al-Absy, Ku Nor Izah Ku Ismail, Sitraselvi Chandren

Abstract:

This study examines whether corporate governance (CG) mechanisms in firms that have a whistle-blowing policy (WHBLP) are more effective in constraining earnings management (EM), than those without. A sample of 288 Malaysian firms for the years 2013 to 2015, amounting to 864 firm-years were grouped into firms with and without WHBLP. Results show that for firms without WHBLP, the board chairman tenure would minimize EM activities. Meanwhile, for firms with WHBLP, board chairman independence, board chairman tenure, audit committee size, audit committee meeting and women in the audit committees are found to be associated with less EM activities. Further, it is found that ownership concentration and Big 4 auditing firms help to reduce EM activities in firms with WHBLP, while not in firms without WHBLP. Hence, functional and effective governance can be achieved by having a WHBLP, which is in line with agency and resource dependent theories. Therefore, this study suggests that firms should have a WHBLP in place, and policymakers should come up with enhanced criteria to strengthen the mechanisms of WHBLP.

Keywords: Corporate governance, earnings management, whistle-blowing policy, audit committee, board of directors.

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1213 Developing a Regulator for Improving the Operation Modes of the Electrical Drive Motor

Authors: Baghdasaryan Marinka

Abstract:

The operation modes of the synchronous motors used in the production processes are greatly conditioned by the accidentally changing technological and power indices.  As a result, the electrical drive synchronous motor may appear in irregular operation regimes. Although there are numerous works devoted to the development of the regulator for the synchronous motor operation modes, their application for the motors working in the irregular modes is not expedient. In this work, to estimate the issues concerning the stability of the synchronous electrical drive system, the transfer functions of the electrical drive synchronous motors operating in the synchronous and induction modes have been obtained.  For that purpose, a model for investigating the frequency characteristics has been developed in the LabView environment. Frequency characteristics for assessing the transient process of the electrical drive system, operating in the synchronous and induction modes have been obtained, and based on their assessment, a regulator for improving the operation modes of the motor has been proposed. The proposed regulator can be successfully used to prevent the irregular modes of the electrical drive synchronous motor, as well as to estimate the operation state of the drive motor of the mechanism with a changing load.

Keywords: Electrical drive system, synchronous motor, regulator, stability, transition process.

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1212 Seismic Performance of Slopes Subjected to Earthquake Mainshock Aftershock Sequences

Authors: Alisha Khanal, Gokhan Saygili

Abstract:

It is commonly observed that aftershocks follow the mainshock. Aftershocks continue over a period of time with a decreasing frequency and typically there is not sufficient time for repair and retrofit between a mainshock–aftershock sequence. Usually, aftershocks are smaller in magnitude; however, aftershock ground motion characteristics such as the intensity and duration can be greater than the mainshock due to the changes in the earthquake mechanism and location with respect to the site. The seismic performance of slopes is typically evaluated based on the sliding displacement predicted to occur along a critical sliding surface. Various empirical models are available that predict sliding displacement as a function of seismic loading parameters, ground motion parameters, and site parameters but these models do not include the aftershocks. The seismic risks associated with the post-mainshock slopes ('damaged slopes') subjected to aftershocks is significant. This paper extends the empirical sliding displacement models for flexible slopes subjected to earthquake mainshock-aftershock sequences (a multi hazard approach). A dataset was developed using 144 pairs of as-recorded mainshock-aftershock sequences using the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) database. The results reveal that the combination of mainshock and aftershock increases the seismic demand on slopes relative to the mainshock alone; thus, seismic risks are underestimated if aftershocks are neglected.

Keywords: Seismic slope stability, sliding displacement, mainshock, aftershock, landslide, earthquake.

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1211 Context Aware Anomaly Behavior Analysis for Smart Home Systems

Authors: Zhiwen Pan, Jesus Pacheco, Salim Hariri, Yiqiang Chen, Bozhi Liu

Abstract:

The Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to the development of advanced Smart Home services that are pervasive, cost-effective, and can be accessed by home occupants from anywhere and at any time. However, advanced smart home applications will introduce grand security challenges due to the increase in the attack surface. Current approaches do not handle cybersecurity from a holistic point of view; hence, a systematic cybersecurity mechanism needs to be adopted when designing smart home applications. In this paper, we present a generic intrusion detection methodology to detect and mitigate the anomaly behaviors happened in Smart Home Systems (SHS). By utilizing our Smart Home Context Data Structure, the heterogeneous information and services acquired from SHS are mapped in context attributes which can describe the context of smart home operation precisely and accurately. Runtime models for describing usage patterns of home assets are developed based on characterization functions. A threat-aware action management methodology, used to efficiently mitigate anomaly behaviors, is proposed at the end. Our preliminary experimental results show that our methodology can be used to detect and mitigate known and unknown threats, as well as to protect SHS premises and services.

Keywords: Internet of Things, network security, context awareness, intrusion detection

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1210 Social Semantic Web-Based Analytics Approach to Support Lifelong Learning

Authors: Khaled Halimi, Hassina Seridi-Bouchelaghem

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to describe how learning analytics approaches based on social semantic web techniques can be applied to enhance the lifelong learning experiences in a connectivist perspective. For this reason, a prototype of a system called SoLearn (Social Learning Environment) that supports this approach. We observed and studied literature related to lifelong learning systems, social semantic web and ontologies, connectivism theory, learning analytics approaches and reviewed implemented systems based on these fields to extract and draw conclusions about necessary features for enhancing the lifelong learning process. The semantic analytics of learning can be used for viewing, studying and analysing the massive data generated by learners, which helps them to understand through recommendations, charts and figures their learning and behaviour, and to detect where they have weaknesses or limitations. This paper emphasises that implementing a learning analytics approach based on social semantic web representations can enhance the learning process. From one hand, the analysis process leverages the meaning expressed by semantics presented in the ontology (relationships between concepts). From the other hand, the analysis process exploits the discovery of new knowledge by means of inferring mechanism of the semantic web.

Keywords: Connectivism, data visualization, informal learning, learning analytics, semantic web, social web.

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1209 Seismic Hazard Assessment of Offshore Platforms

Authors: F. D. Konstandakopoulou, G. A. Papagiannopoulos, N. G. Pnevmatikos, G. D. Hatzigeorgiou

Abstract:

This paper examines the effects of pile-soil-structure interaction on the dynamic response of offshore platforms under the action of near-fault earthquakes. Two offshore platforms models are investigated, one with completely fixed supports and one with piles which are clamped into deformable layered soil. The soil deformability for the second model is simulated using non-linear springs. These platform models are subjected to near-fault seismic ground motions. The role of fault mechanism on platforms’ response is additionally investigated, while the study also examines the effects of different angles of incidence of seismic records on the maximum response of each platform.

Keywords: Hazard analysis, offshore platforms, earthquakes, safety.

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1208 Formation of Protective Silicide-Aluminide Coating on Gamma-TiAl Advanced Material

Authors: S. Nouri

Abstract:

In this study, the Si-aluminide coating was prepared on gamma-TiAl [Ti-45Al-2Nb-2Mn-1B (at. %)] via liquid-phase slurry procedure. The high temperature oxidation resistance of this diffusion coating was evaluated at 1100 °C for 400 hours. The results of the isothermal oxidation showed that the formation of Si-aluminide coating can remarkably improve the high temperature oxidation of bare gamma-TiAl alloy. The identification of oxide scale microstructure showed that the formation of protective Al2O3+SiO2 mixed oxide scale along with a continuous, compact and uniform layer of Ti5Si3 beneath the surface oxide scale can act as an oxygen diffusion barrier during the high temperature oxidation. The other possible mechanisms related to the formation of Si-aluminide coating and oxide scales were also discussed.

Keywords: Gamma-TiAl alloy, Si-aluminide coating, slurry procedure, high temperature oxidation.

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1207 Connotation Reform and Problem Response of Rural Social Relations under the Influence of the Earthquake: With a Review of Wenchuan Decade

Authors: Yanqun Li, Hong Geng

Abstract:

The occurrence of Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 has led to severe damage to the rural areas of Chengdu city, such as the rupture of the social network, the stagnation of economic production and the rupture of living space. The post-disaster reconstruction has become a sustainable issue. As an important link to maintain the order of rural social development, social network should be an important content of post-disaster reconstruction. Therefore, this paper takes rural reconstruction communities in earthquake-stricken areas of Chengdu as the research object and adopts sociological research methods such as field survey, observation and interview to try to understand the transformation of rural social relations network under the influence of earthquake and its impact on rural space. It has found that rural societies under the earthquake generally experienced three phases: the break of stable social relations, the transition of temporary non-normal state, and the reorganization of social networks. The connotation of phased rural social relations also changed accordingly: turn to a new division of labor on the social orientation, turn to a capital flow and redistribution in new production mode on the capital orientation, and turn to relative decentralization after concentration on the spatial dimension. Along with such changes, rural areas have emerged some social issues such as the alienation of competition in the new industry division, the low social connection, the significant redistribution of capital, and the lack of public space. Based on a comprehensive review of these issues, this paper proposes the corresponding response mechanism. First of all, a reasonable division of labor should be established within the villages to realize diversified commodity supply. Secondly, the villages should adjust the industrial type to promote the equitable participation of capital allocation groups. Finally, external public spaces should be added to strengthen the field of social interaction within the communities.

Keywords: Social relations, social support networks, industrial division, capital allocation, public space.

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1206 Government Responses to the Survivors of Trafficking in Human Beings: A Study of Albania

Authors: Irida Agolli Nasufi, Anxhela Bruci

Abstract:

This paper presents Albanian government policies regarding the reintegration process for returning Albanian survivors of trafficking in human beings. Focusing on an in-depth analysis of governmental, non-governmental documents and semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with service providers and trafficking survivors. Furthermore, this paper will especially focus on the governmental efforts to provide support to the survivors, focusing on their needs and challenges. This study explores the conditions and actual services provided to the survivors of trafficking in human beings that are in the reintegration process in Albania. Moreover, it examines the responsible mechanisms accountable for the reintegration process, by analysing synergies between governmental and non-governmental organisations. Also, this paper explores the governmental approach towards trafficking survivors and apprises policymakers to undertake changes and reforms in their future actions.

Keywords: Policies, social services, service user, trafficking in human beings, government.

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1205 The Quality of Fishery Product on the Moldovan Market, Regulations, National Institutions, Controls and Non-Compliant Products

Authors: Mihaela Munteanu (Pila), Silvius Stanciu

Abstract:

This paper presents the aspects of the official control of fishery in the Republic of Moldova. Currently, the regulations and the activity of national institutions with responsibilities in the field of food quality are in a process of harmonization with the European rules, aiming at European integration, quality improvement and providing a higher level of food safety. The National Agency for Food Safety is the main national body with responsibilities in the field of food safety. In the field of fishery products, the Agency carries out an intensive activity of informing the citizen and controlling the products marketed. The paper presents the dangers related to the consumption of fish and fishery products traded on the national market, the sanitary-veterinary inspections conducted by the profile institution and the improper situations identified. The national market of fishery products depends largely on imports, mainly focused on ocean fish. The research carried out has shown that during the period 2011-2018, following the inspections carried out on fishery products traded on the national market, a number of inconsistencies have been identified. Thus, indigenous products were frequently detected with sensory characteristics unfit for consumption, and being commercialized in inappropriate locations or contaminated with chemical pollutants. On import products controlled, the most frequent inconsistent situations have been represented by inconsistent sensory aspects and by parasite contamination. Taking into account the specific aspects of aquatic products, including the high level of alterability, special conditions of growth, marketing, culinary preparation and consumption are necessary in order to decrease the risk of disease over the population. Certificates, attestations and other documents certifying the quality of batches, completed by additional laboratory examinations, are necessary in order to increase the level of confidence on the quality of products marketed in the Republic. The implementation of various control procedures and mechanisms at national level, correlated with the focused activity of the specialized institutions, can decrease the risk of contamination and avoid cases of disease on the population due to the consumption of fishery products.

Keywords: Fishery products, food safety, insurance, inspection, Republic of Moldova.

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