Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 252

Search results for: membrane

252 The Gravitational Impact of the Sun and the Moon on Heavy Mineral Deposits and Dust Particles in Low Gravity Regions of the Earth

Authors: T. B. Karu Jayasundara

Abstract:

The Earth’s gravity is not uniform. The satellite imageries of the Earth’s surface from NASA reveal a number of different gravity anomaly regions all over the globe. When the moon rotates around the earth, its gravity has a major physical influence on a number of regions on the earth. This physical change can be seen by the tides. The tides make sea levels high and low in coastal regions. During high tide, the gravitational force of the Moon pulls the Earth’s gravity so that the total gravitational intensity of Earth is reduced; it is further reduced in the low gravity regions of Earth. This reduction in gravity helps keep the suspended particles such as dust in the atmosphere, sand grains in the sea water for longer. Dramatic differences can be seen from the floating dust in the low gravity regions when compared with other regions. The above phenomena can be demonstrated from experiments. The experiments have to be done in high and low gravity regions of the earth during high and low tide, which will assist in comparing the final results. One of the experiments that can be done is by using a water filled cylinder about 80 cm tall, a few particles, which have the same density and same diameter (about 1 mm) and a stop watch. The selected particles were dropped from the surface of the water in the cylinder and the time taken for the particles to reach the bottom of the cylinder was measured using the stop watch. The times of high and low tide charts can be obtained from the regional government authorities. This concept is demonstrated by the particle drop times taken at high and low tides. The result of the experiment shows that the particle settlement time is less in low tide and high in high tide. The experiment for dust particles in air can be collected on filters, which are cellulose ester membranes and using a vacuum pump. The dust on filters can be used to make slides according to the NOHSC method. Counting the dust particles on the slides can be done using a phase contrast microscope. The results show that the concentration of dust is high at high tide and low in low tide. As a result of the high tides, a high concentration of heavy minerals deposit on placer deposits and dust particles retain in the atmosphere for longer in low gravity regions. These conditions are remarkably exhibited in the lowest low gravity region of the earth, mainly in the regions of India, Sri Lanka and in the middle part of the Indian Ocean. The biggest heavy mineral placer deposits are found in coastal regions of India and Sri Lanka and heavy dust particles are found in the atmosphere of India, particularly in the Delhi region.

Keywords: Dust particles, high and low tides, heavy minerals. low gravity.

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251 Comparison between Open and Closed System for Dewatering with Geotextile: Field and Comparative Study

Authors: Matheus Müller, Delma Vidal

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The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.

Keywords: Consolidation, dewatering, geotextile drying bed, geotextile tube.

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250 Fabrication of a High-Performance Polyetherimide Membrane for Helium Separation

Authors: Y. Alqaheem, A. Alomair, F. Altarkait, F. Alswaileh, Nusrat Tanoli

Abstract:

Helium market is continuously growing due to its essential uses in the electronic and healthcare sectors. Currently, helium is produced by cryogenic distillation but the process is uneconomical especially for low production volumes. On the other hand, polymeric membranes can provide a cost-effective solution for helium purification due to their low operating energy. However, the preparation of membranes involves the use of very toxic solvents such as chloroform. In this work, polyetherimide membranes were prepared using a less toxic solvent, n-methylpyrrolidone with a polymer-to-solvent ratio of 27 wt%. The developed membrane showed a superior helium permeability of 15.9 Barrer that surpassed the permeability of membranes made by chloroform.

Keywords: Helium separation, polyetherimide, dense membrane, gas permeability, solvent.

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249 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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248 A Review on Geomembrane Characteristics and Application in Geotechnical Engineering

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

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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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247 Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 2: Condensation and Solidification Experiments on Liquid Waste

Authors: Sou Watanabe, Hiromichi Ogi, Atsuhiro Shibata, Kazunori Nomura

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As a part of STRAD project conducted by JAEA, condensation of radioactive liquid waste containing various chemical compounds using reverse osmosis (RO) membrane filter was examined for efficient and safety treatment of the liquid wastes accumulated inside hot laboratories. NH4+ ion in the feed solution was successfully concentrated, and NH4+ ion involved in the effluents became lower than target value; 100 ppm. Solidification of simulated aqueous and organic liquid wastes was also tested. Those liquids were successfully solidified by adding cement or coagulants. Nevertheless, optimization in materials for confinement of chemicals is required for long time storage of the final solidified wastes.

Keywords: Radioactive liquid waste, condensation, solidification, STRAD project.

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246 Identification of the Best Blend Composition of Natural Rubber-High Density Polyethylene Blends for Roofing Applications

Authors: W. V. W. H. Wickramaarachchi, S. Walpalage, S. M. Egodage

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Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a multifunctional polymeric material which possesses a combination of excellent properties of parent materials. Basically, TPE has a rubber phase and a thermoplastic phase which gives processability as thermoplastics. When the rubber phase is partially or fully crosslinked in the thermoplastic matrix, TPE is called as thermoplastic elastomer vulcanizate (TPV). If the rubber phase is non-crosslinked, it is called as thermoplastic elastomer olefin (TPO). Nowadays TPEs are introduced into the commercial market with different products. However, the application of TPE as a roofing material is limited. Out of the commercially available roofing products from different materials, only single ply roofing membranes and plastic roofing sheets are produced from rubbers and plastics. Natural rubber (NR) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in various industrial applications individually with some drawbacks. Therefore, this study was focused to develop both TPO and TPV blends from NR and HDPE at different compositions and then to identify the best blend composition to use as a roofing material. A series of blends by varying NR loading from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, at 10 wt% intervals, were prepared using a twin screw extruder. Dicumyl peroxide was used as a crosslinker for TPV. The standard properties for a roofing material like tensile properties tear strength, hardness, impact strength, water absorption, swell/gel analysis and thermal characteristics of the blends were investigated. Change of tensile strength after exposing to UV radiation was also studied. Tensile strength, hardness, tear strength, melting temperature and gel content of TPVs show higher values compared to TPOs at every loading studied, while water absorption and swelling index show lower values, suggesting TPVs are more suitable than TPOs for roofing applications. Most of the optimum properties were shown at 10/90 (NR/HDPE) composition. However, high impact strength and gel content were shown at 20/80 (NR/HDPE) composition. Impact strength, as being an energy absorbing property, is the most important for a roofing material in order to resist impact loads. Therefore, 20/80 (NR/HDPE) is identified as the best blend composition. UV resistance and other properties required for a roofing material could be achieved by incorporating suitable additives to TPVs.

Keywords: Thermoplastic elastomer, natural rubber, high density polyethylene, roofing material.

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245 Investigation of the Effect of Phosphorous on the Flame Retardant Polyacrylonitrile Nanofiber

Authors: Mustafa Yılmaz, Ahmet Akar, Nesrin Köken, Nilgün Kızılcan

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Commercially available poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinyl acetate) P(AN-VA) or poly(acrylonitrile-co-methyl acrylate) P(AN-MA) are not satisfactory to meet the demand in flame and fire-resistance. In this work, vinylphosphonic acid is used during polymerization of acrylonitrile, vinyl acetate, methacrylic acid to produce fire-retardant polymers. These phosphorus containing polymers are successfully spun in the form of nanofibers. Properties such as water absorption of polymers are also determined and compared with commercial polymers.

Keywords: Flame retardant, nanofiber, polyacrylonitrile, phosphorous compound, membrane.

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244 An Investigation of a Three-Dimensional Constitutive Model of Gas Diffusion Layers in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Authors: Yanqin Chen, Chao Jiang, Chongdu Cho

Abstract:

This research presents the three-dimensional mechanical characteristics of a commercial gas diffusion layer by experiment and simulation results. Although the mechanical performance of gas diffusion layers has attracted much attention, its reliability and accuracy are still a major challenge. With the help of simulation analysis methods, it is beneficial to the gas diffusion layer’s extensive commercial development and the overall stress analysis of proton electrolyte membrane fuel cells during its pre-production design period. Therefore, in this paper, a three-dimensional constitutive model of a commercial gas diffusion layer, including its material stiffness matrix parameters, is developed and coded, in the user-defined material model of a commercial finite element method software for simulation. Then, the model is validated by comparing experimental results as well as simulation outcomes. As a result, both the experimental data and simulation results show a good agreement with each other, with high accuracy.

Keywords: Gas diffusion layer, proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell, stiffness matrix, three-dimensional mechanical characteristics, user-defined material model.

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243 Evaluation of the Performance of ACTIFLO® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia

Authors: Seyed Mohsen Samaei, Shirley Gato-Trinidad

Abstract:

A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo® clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo® clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo®. The Actiflo® clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo® in use.

Keywords: Actiflo® clarifier, membrane, mining wastewater, reverse osmosis, wastewater treatment.

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242 Modeling the Saltatory Conduction in Myelinated Axons by Order Reduction

Authors: Ruxandra Barbulescu, Daniel Ioan, Gabriela Ciuprina

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The saltatory conduction is the way the action potential is transmitted along a myelinated axon. The potential diffuses along the myelinated compartments and it is regenerated in the Ranvier nodes due to the ion channels allowing the flow across the membrane. For an efficient simulation of populations of neurons, it is important to use reduced order models both for myelinated compartments and for Ranvier nodes and to have control over their accuracy and inner parameters. The paper presents a reduced order model of this neural system which allows an efficient simulation method for the saltatory conduction in myelinated axons. This model is obtained by concatenating reduced order linear models of 1D myelinated compartments and nonlinear 0D models of Ranvier nodes. The models for the myelinated compartments are selected from a series of spatially distributed models developed and hierarchized according to their modeling errors. The extracted model described by a nonlinear PDE of hyperbolic type is able to reproduce the saltatory conduction with acceptable accuracy and takes into account the finite propagation speed of potential. Finally, this model is again reduced in order to make it suitable for the inclusion in large-scale neural circuits.

Keywords: Saltatory conduction, action potential, myelinated compartments, nonlinear, Ranvier nodes, reduced order models, POD.

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241 Study on the Effect of Bolt Locking Method on the Deformation of Bipolar Plate in PEMFC

Authors: Tao Chen, ShiHua Liu, JiWei Zhang

Abstract:

Assembly of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) has a very important influence on its performance and efficiency. The various components of PEMFC stack are usually locked and fixed by bolts. Locking bolt will cause the deformation of the bipolar plate and the other components, which will affect directly the deformation degree of the integral parts of the PEMFC as well as the performance of PEMFC. This paper focuses on the object of three-cell stack of PEMFC. Finite element simulation is used to investigate the deformation of bipolar plate caused by quantity and layout of bolts, bolt locking pressure, and bolt locking sequence, etc. Finally, we made a conclusion that the optimal combination packaging scheme was adopted to assemble the fuel cell stack. The scheme was in use of 3.8 MPa locking pressure imposed on the fuel cell stack, type Ⅱ of four locking bolts and longitudinal locking method. The scheme was obtained by comparatively analyzing the overall displacement contour of PEMFC stack, absolute displacement curve of bipolar plate along the given three paths in the Z direction and the polarization curve of fuel cell. The research results are helpful for the fuel cell stack assembly.

Keywords: Bipolar plate, deformation, finite element simulation, fuel cell, locking bolt.

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240 Silicon-To-Silicon Anodic Bonding via Intermediate Borosilicate Layer for Passive Flow Control Valves

Authors: Luc Conti, Dimitry Dumont-Fillon, Harald van Lintel, Eric Chappel

Abstract:

Flow control valves comprise a silicon flexible membrane that deflects against a substrate, usually made of glass, containing pillars, an outlet hole, and anti-stiction features. However, there is a strong interest in using silicon instead of glass as substrate material, as it would simplify the process flow by allowing the use of well controlled anisotropic etching. Moreover, specific devices demanding a bending of the substrate would also benefit from the inherent outstanding mechanical strength of monocrystalline silicon. Unfortunately, direct Si-Si bonding is not easily achieved with highly structured wafers since residual stress may prevent the good adhesion between wafers. Using a thermoplastic polymer, such as parylene, as intermediate layer is not well adapted to this design as the wafer-to-wafer alignment is critical. An alternative anodic bonding method using an intermediate borosilicate layer has been successfully tested. This layer has been deposited onto the silicon substrate. The bonding recipe has been adapted to account for the presence of the SOI buried oxide and intermediate glass layer in order not to exceed the breakdown voltage. Flow control valves dedicated to infusion of viscous fluids at very high pressure have been made and characterized. The results are compared to previous data obtained using the standard anodic bonding method.

Keywords: Anodic bonding, evaporated glass, microfluidic valve, drug delivery.

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239 Experimental and Numerical Study on the Effects of Oxygen Methane Flames with Water Dilution for Different Pressures

Authors: J. P. Chica Cano, G. Cabot, S. de Persis, F. Foucher

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Among all possibilities to combat global warming, CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) is presented as a great alternative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Several strategies for CCS from industrial and power plants are being considered. The concept of combined oxy-fuel combustion has been the most alternative solution. Nevertheless, due to the high cost of pure O2 production, additional ways recently emerged. In this paper, an innovative combustion process for a gas turbine cycle was studied: it was composed of methane combustion with oxygen enhanced air (OEA), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and H2O issuing from STIG (Steam Injection Gas Turbine), and the CO2 capture was realized by membrane separator. The effect on this combustion process was emphasized, and it was shown that a study of the influence of H2O dilution on the combustion parameters by experimental and numerical approaches had to be carried out. As a consequence, the laminar burning velocities measurements were performed in a stainless steel spherical combustion from atmospheric pressure to high pressure (up to 0.5 MPa), at 473 K for an equivalence ratio at 1. These experimental results were satisfactorily compared with Chemical Workbench v.4.1 package in conjunction with GRIMech 3.0 reaction mechanism. The good correlations so obtained between experimental and calculated flame speed velocities showed the validity of the GRIMech 3.0 mechanism in this domain of combustion: high H2O dilution, low N2, medium pressure. Finally, good estimations of flame speed and pollutant emissions were determined in other conditions compatible with real gas turbine. In particular, mixtures (composed of CH4/O2/N2/H2O/ or CO2) leading to the same adiabatic temperature were investigated. Influences of oxygen enrichment and H2O dilution (compared to CO2) were disused.

Keywords: CO2 capture, oxygen enrichment, water dilution, laminar burning velocity, pollutants emissions.

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238 Separation Characteristics of the Hollow Fiber Membrane Module Using Water Mixed with Small Sized Bubbles Composed of Synthesized Exhalations

Authors: Pil Woo Heo, Hyunse Kim

Abstract:

Fish can breathe freely under water using dissolved oxygen and survive for a long time without going out of the water. A human can also survive under water using dissolved oxygens, if properly used. He needs more dissolved oxygens than the fish, so efficient separation device is required. Since the amount of oxygen contained in water is weak, a person needs a lot of surface area to breathe in water, which leads to a large-sized device. It can be applied to various fields if it is developed as a device which is advantageous to carry in small size. In this paper, we have carried out a study on the effective use of exhalations and proposed the separation characteristics of the gas containing dissolved oxygen in the state of mixed gas considering the components of exhalation. The system was configured to have a fine bubble when the gas mixture injected into the front end of the separator. While the fluid containing the fine bubbles was supplied to the separator, the dissolved gas contained in water was separated using a vacuum pump. The gas separation amount of the separating apparatus with respect to the supplied mixed gas was measured. The amounts of separation of dissolved gas were increased as the amounts of mixed gas supplied were increased.

Keywords: Small sized bubbles, synthesized exhalations, separation, hollow fiber module.

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237 Assessment of Drug Delivery Systems from Molecular Dynamic Perspective

Authors: M. Rahimnejad, B. Vahidi, B. Ebrahimi Hoseinzadeh, F. Yazdian, P. Motamed Fath, R. Jamjah

Abstract:

In this study, we developed and simulated nano-drug delivery systems efficacy in compare to free drug prescription. Computational models can be utilized to accelerate experimental steps and control the experiments high cost. Molecular dynamics simulation (MDS), in particular NAMD was utilized to better understand the anti-cancer drug interaction with cell membrane model. Paclitaxel (PTX) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) were selected for the drug molecule and as a natural phospholipid nanocarrier, respectively. This work focused on two important interaction parameters between molecules in terms of center of mass (COM) and van der Waals interaction energy. Furthermore, we compared the simulation results of the PTX interaction with the cell membrane and the interaction of DPPC as a nanocarrier loaded by the drug with the cell membrane. The molecular dynamic analysis resulted in low energy between the nanocarrier and the cell membrane as well as significant decrease of COM amount in the nanocarrier and the cell membrane system during the interaction. Thus, the drug vehicle showed notably better interaction with the cell membrane in compared to free drug interaction with the cell membrane.

Keywords: Anti-cancer drug, center of Mass, interaction energy, molecular dynamics simulation, nanocarrier.

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236 Probabilistic Life Cycle Assessment of the Nano Membrane Toilet

Authors: A. Anastasopoulou, A. Kolios, T. Somorin, A. Sowale, Y. Jiang, B. Fidalgo, A. Parker, L. Williams, M. Collins, E. J. McAdam, S. Tyrrel

Abstract:

Developing countries are nowadays confronted with great challenges related to domestic sanitation services in view of the imminent water scarcity. Contemporary sanitation technologies established in these countries are likely to pose health risks unless waste management standards are followed properly. This paper provides a solution to sustainable sanitation with the development of an innovative toilet system, called Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT), which has been developed by Cranfield University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The particular technology converts human faeces into energy through gasification and provides treated wastewater from urine through membrane filtration. In order to evaluate the environmental profile of the NMT system, a deterministic life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted in SimaPro software employing the Ecoinvent v3.3 database. The particular study has determined the most contributory factors to the environmental footprint of the NMT system. However, as sensitivity analysis has identified certain critical operating parameters for the robustness of the LCA results, adopting a stochastic approach to the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will comprehensively capture the input data uncertainty and enhance the credibility of the LCA outcome. For that purpose, Monte Carlo simulations, in combination with an artificial neural network (ANN) model, have been conducted for the input parameters of raw material, produced electricity, NOX emissions, amount of ash and transportation of fertilizer. The given analysis has provided the distribution and the confidence intervals of the selected impact categories and, in turn, more credible conclusions are drawn on the respective LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) profile of NMT system. Last but not least, the specific study will also yield essential insights into the methodological framework that can be adopted in the environmental impact assessment of other complex engineering systems subject to a high level of input data uncertainty.

Keywords: Sanitation systems, nano membrane toilet, LCA, stochastic uncertainty analysis, Monte Carlo Simulations, artificial neural network.

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235 Design and Modeling of Human Middle Ear for Harmonic Response Analysis

Authors: Shende Suraj Balu, A. B. Deoghare, K. M. Pandey

Abstract:

The human middle ear (ME) is a delicate and vital organ. It has a complex structure that performs various functions such as receiving sound pressure and producing vibrations of eardrum and propagating it to inner ear. It consists of Tympanic Membrane (TM), three auditory ossicles, various ligament structures and muscles. Incidents such as traumata, infections, ossification of ossicular structures and other pathologies may damage the ME organs. The conditions can be surgically treated by employing prosthesis. However, the suitability of the prosthesis needs to be examined in advance prior to the surgery. Few decades ago, this issue was addressed and analyzed by developing an equivalent representation either in the form of spring mass system, electrical system using R-L-C circuit or developing an approximated CAD model. But, nowadays a three-dimensional ME model can be constructed using micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (μCT) scan data. Moreover, the concern about patient specific integrity pertaining to the disease can be examined well in advance. The current research work emphasizes to develop the ME model from the stacks of μCT images which are used as input file to MIMICS Research 19.0 (Materialise Interactive Medical Image Control System) software. A stack of CT images is converted into geometrical surface model to build accurate morphology of ME. The work is further extended to understand the dynamic behaviour of Harmonic response of the stapes footplate and umbo for different sound pressure levels applied at lateral side of eardrum using finite element approach. The pathological condition Cholesteatoma of ME is investigated to obtain peak to peak displacement of stapes footplate and umbo. Apart from this condition, other pathologies, mainly, changes in the stiffness of stapedial ligament, TM thickness and ossicular chain separation and fixation are also explored. The developed model of ME for pathologies is validated by comparing the results available in the literatures and also with the results of a normal ME to calculate the percentage loss in hearing capability.

Keywords: Computed tomography, human middle ear, harmonic response, pathologies, tympanic membrane.

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234 The Mechanism Study of Degradative Solvent Extraction of Biomass by Liquid Membrane-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Authors: W. Ketren, J. Wannapeera, Z. Heishun, A. Ryuichi, K. Toshiteru, M. Kouichi, O. Hideaki

Abstract:

Degradative solvent extraction is the method developed for biomass upgrading by dewatering and fractionation of biomass under the mild condition. However, the conversion mechanism of the degradative solvent extraction method has not been fully understood so far. The rice straw was treated in 1-methylnaphthalene (1-MN) at a different solvent-treatment temperature varied from 250 to 350 oC with the residence time for 60 min. The liquid membrane-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) technique is applied to study the processing mechanism in-depth without separation of the solvent. It has been found that the strength of the oxygen-hydrogen stretching  (3600-3100 cm-1) decreased slightly with increasing temperature in the range of 300-350 oC. The decrease of the hydroxyl group in the solvent soluble suggested dehydration reaction taking place between 300 and 350 oC. FTIR spectra in the carbonyl stretching region (1800-1600 cm-1) revealed the presence of esters groups, carboxylic acid and ketonic groups in the solvent-soluble of biomass. The carboxylic acid increased in the range of 200 to 250 oC and then decreased. The prevailing of aromatic groups showed that the aromatization took place during extraction at above 250 oC. From 300 to 350 oC, the carbonyl functional groups in the solvent-soluble noticeably decreased. The removal of the carboxylic acid and the decrease of esters into the form of carbon dioxide indicated that the decarboxylation reaction occurred during the extraction process.

Keywords: Biomass upgrading, liquid membrane-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, FTIR, degradative solvent extraction, mechanism.

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233 Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane for Selective Extraction and Separation of Dysprosium

Authors: Maliheh Raji, Hossein Abolghasemi, Jaber Safdari, Ali Kargari

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Dysprosium is a rare earth element which is essential for many growing high-technology applications. Dysprosium along with neodymium plays a significant role in different applications such as metal halide lamps, permanent magnets, and nuclear reactor control rods preparation. The purification and separation of rare earth elements are challenging because of their similar chemical and physical properties. Among the various methods, membrane processes provide many advantages over the conventional separation processes such as ion exchange and solvent extraction. In this work, selective extraction and separation of dysprosium from aqueous solutions containing an equimolar mixture of dysprosium and neodymium by emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was investigated. The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as carrier, kerosene as base fluid, and nitric acid solution as internal aqueous phase. Factors affecting separation of dysprosium such as carrier concentration, MWCNT concentration, feed phase pH and stripping phase concentration were analyzed using Taguchi method. Optimal experimental condition was obtained using analysis of variance (ANOVA) after 10 min extraction. Based on the results, using MWCNT nanofluid in ELM process leads to increase the extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement and separation factor of 6 for dysprosium over neodymium can be achieved under the optimum conditions. Additionally, demulsification process was successfully performed and the membrane phase reused effectively in the optimum condition.

Keywords: Emulsion liquid membrane, MWCNT nanofluid, separation, Taguchi Method.

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232 Assessment of Conventional Drinking Water Treatment Plants as Removal Systems of Virulent Microsporidia

Authors: M. A. Gad, A. Z. Al-Herrawy

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Microsporidia comprises various pathogenic species can infect humans by means of water. Moreover, chlorine disinfection of drinking-water has limitations against this protozoan pathogen. A total of 48 water samples were collected from two drinking water treatment plants having two different filtration systems (slow sand filter and rapid sand filter) during one year period. Samples were collected from inlet and outlet of each plant. Samples were separately filtrated through nitrocellulose membrane (142 mm, 0.45 µm), then eluted and centrifuged. The obtained pellet from each sample was subjected to DNA extraction, then, amplification using genus-specific primer for microsporidia. Each microsporidia-PCR positive sample was performed by two species specific primers for Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis. The results of the present study showed that the percentage of removal for microsporidia through different treatment processes reached its highest rate in the station using slow sand filters (100%), while the removal by rapid sand filter system was 81.8%. Statistically, the two different drinking water treatment plants (slow and rapid) had significant effect for removal of microsporidia. Molecular identification of microsporidia-PCR positive samples using two different primers for Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis showed the presence of the two pervious species in the inlet water of the two stations, while Encephalitozoon intestinalis was detected in the outlet water only. In conclusion, the appearance of virulent microsporidia in treated drinking water may cause potential health threat.

Keywords: Removal, efficacy, microsporidia, drinking water treatment plants, PCR.

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231 All-or-None Principle and Weakness of Hodgkin-Huxley Mathematical Model

Authors: S. A. Sadegh Zadeh, C. Kambhampati

Abstract:

Mathematical and computational modellings are the necessary tools for reviewing, analysing, and predicting processes and events in the wide spectrum range of scientific fields. Therefore, in a field as rapidly developing as neuroscience, the combination of these two modellings can have a significant role in helping to guide the direction the field takes. The paper combined mathematical and computational modelling to prove a weakness in a very precious model in neuroscience. This paper is intended to analyse all-or-none principle in Hodgkin-Huxley mathematical model. By implementation the computational model of Hodgkin-Huxley model and applying the concept of all-or-none principle, an investigation on this mathematical model has been performed. The results clearly showed that the mathematical model of Hodgkin-Huxley does not observe this fundamental law in neurophysiology to generating action potentials. This study shows that further mathematical studies on the Hodgkin-Huxley model are needed in order to create a model without this weakness.

Keywords: All-or-none, computational modelling, mathematical model, transmembrane voltage, action potential.

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230 A Quick Prediction for Shear Behaviour of RC Membrane Elements by Fixed-Angle Softened Truss Model with Tension-Stiffening

Authors: X. Wang, J. S. Kuang

Abstract:

The Fixed-angle Softened Truss Model with Tension-stiffening (FASTMT) has a superior performance in predicting the shear behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) membrane elements, especially for the post-cracking behaviour. Nevertheless, massive computational work is inevitable due to the multiple transcendental equations involved in the stress-strain relationship. In this paper, an iterative root-finding technique is introduced to FASTMT for solving quickly the transcendental equations of the tension-stiffening effect of RC membrane elements. This fast FASTMT, which performs in MATLAB, uses the bisection method to calculate the tensile stress of the membranes. By adopting the simplification, the elapsed time of each loop is reduced significantly and the transcendental equations can be solved accurately. Owing to the high efficiency and good accuracy as compared with FASTMT, the fast FASTMT can be further applied in quick prediction of shear behaviour of complex large-scale RC structures.

Keywords: Bisection method, fixed-angle softened truss model with tension-stiffening, iterative root-finding technique, reinforced concrete membrane.

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229 Enhanced Performance of an All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery Employing Graphene Modified Carbon Paper Electrodes

Authors: Barun Chakrabarti, Dan Nir, Vladimir Yufit, P. V. Aravind, Nigel Brandon

Abstract:

Fuel cell grade gas-diffusion layer carbon paper (CP) electrodes are subjected to electrophoresis in N,N’-dimethylformamide (DMF) consisting of reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The rGO modified electrodes are compared with CP in a single asymmetric all-vanadium redox battery system (employing a double serpentine flow channel for each half-cell). Peak power densities improved by 4% when the rGO deposits were facing the ion-exchange membrane (cell performance was poorer when the rGO was facing the flow field). Cycling of the cells showed least degradation of the CP electrodes that were coated with rGO in comparison to pristine samples.

Keywords: All-vanadium redox flow batteries, carbon paper electrodes, electrophoretic deposition, reduced graphene oxide.

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228 Efficiency of Geocell Reinforcement for Using in Expanded Polystyrene Embankments via Numerical Analysis

Authors: S. N. Moghaddas Tafreshi, S. M. Amin Ghotbi

Abstract:

This paper presents a numerical study for investigating the effectiveness of geocell reinforcement in reducing pressure and settlement over EPS geofoam blocks in road embankments. A 3-D FEM model of soil and geofoam was created in ABAQUS, and geocell was also modeled realistically using membrane elements. The accuracy of the model was tested by comparing its results with previous works. Sensitivity analyses showed that reinforcing the soil cover with geocell has a significant influence on the reduction of imposed stresses over geofoam and consequently decreasing its deformation.

Keywords: EPS geofoam, road embankments, geocell, reinforcement, lightweight fill.

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227 Analyzing the Performance Properties of Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayer Modified with Recycled Crumb Rubber

Authors: Seyed Mohammad Asgharzadeh, Moein Biglari

Abstract:

Asphalt overlay is the most commonly used technique of pavement rehabilitation. However, the reflective cracks which occur on the overlay surface after a short period of time are the most important distresses threatening the durability of new overlays. Stress Absorbing Membrane Interlayers (SAMIs) are used to postpone the reflective cracking in the overlays. Sand asphalt mixtures, in unmodified or crumb rubber modified (CRM) conditions, can be used as an SAMI material. In this research, the performance properties of different SAMI applications were evaluated in the laboratory using an Indirect Tensile (IDT) fracture energy. The IDT fracture energy of sand asphalt samples was also evaluated and then compared to that of the regular dense graded asphalt used as an overlay. Texas boiling water and modified Lottman tests were also conducted to evaluate the moisture susceptibility of sand asphalt mixtures. The test results showed that sand asphalt mixtures can stand higher levels of energy before cracking, and this is even more pronounced for the CRM sand mix. Sand asphalt mixture using CRM binder was also shown to be more resistance to moisture induced distresses.

Keywords: SAMI, sand asphalt, crumb rubber, Lottman Modified Test.

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226 Experimental Simulation of Soil Boundary Condition for Dynamic Studies

Authors: Omar.S. Qaftan, T. T. Sabbagh

Abstract:

This paper studies the free-field response by adopting a flexible membrane container as soil boundary for experimental shaking table tests. The influence of the soil container boundary on the soil behaviour and the dynamic soil properties under seismic effect were examined. A flexible container with 1/50 scale factor was adopted in the experimental tests, including construction, instrumentation, and determination of the results of dynamic tests on a shaking table. Horizontal face displacements and accelerations were analysed to determine the influence of the container boundary on the performance of the soil. The outputs results show that the flexible boundary container allows more displacement and larger accelerations. The soil in a rigid wall container cannot deform as similar as the soil in the real field does. Therefore, the response of flexible container tested is believed to be more reliable for soil boundary than that in the rigid container.

Keywords: Soil, boundary, seismic, earthquake, ground motion.

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225 Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Authors: Mohanapriya Subramanian, V. Raj

Abstract:

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.

Keywords: Biopolymers, fuel cells, nanocomposite, methanol crossover.

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224 A Review on Electrical Behavior of Different Substrates, Electrodes and Membranes in Microbial Fuel Cell

Authors: Bharat Mishra, Sanjay Kumar Awasthi, Raj Kumar Rajak

Abstract:

The devices, which convert the energy in the form of electricity from organic matters, are called microbial fuel cell (MFC). Recently, MFCs have been given a lot of attention due to their mild operating conditions, and various types of biodegradable substrates have been used in the form of fuel. Traditional MFCs were included in anode and cathode chambers, but there are single chamber MFCs. Microorganisms actively catabolize substrate, and bioelectricities are produced. In the field of power generation from non-conventional sources, apart from the benefits of this technique, it is still facing practical constraints such as low potential and power. In this study, most suitable, natural, low cost MFCs components are electrodes (anode and cathode), organic substrates, membranes and its design is selected on the basis of maximum potential (voltage) as an electrical parameter, which indicates a vital role of affecting factor in MFC for sustainable power production.

Keywords: Substrates, electrodes, membranes, microbial fuel cells, voltage.

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223 The Effect of Ultrasound on Permeation Flux and Changes in Blocking Mechanisms during Dead-End Microfiltration of Carrot Juice

Authors: A. Hemmati, H. Mirsaeedghazi, M. Aboonajmi

Abstract:

Carrot juice is one of the most nutritious foods that are consumed around the world. Large particles in carrot juice causing turbid appearance make some problems in the concentration process such as off-flavor due to the large particles burnt on the walls of evaporators. Microfiltration (MF) is a pressure driven membrane separation method that can clarify fruit juices without enzymatic treatment. Fouling is the main problem in the membrane process causing reduction of permeate flux. Ultrasound as a cleaning technique was applied at 20 kHz to reduce fouling in membrane clarification of carrot juice using dead-end MF system with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane. Results showed that application of ultrasound waves reduce diphasic characteristic of carrot juice and permeate flux increased. Evaluation of different membrane fouling mechanisms showed that application of ultrasound waves changed creation time of each fouling mechanism. Also, its behavior was changed with varying transmembrane pressure.

Keywords: Carrot juice, dead end, microfiltration, ultrasound.

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