Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: K. Ivanov

26 Effect of Compost Application on Uptake and Allocation of Heavy Metals and Plant Nutrients and Quality of Oriental Tobacco Krumovgrad 90

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Venelina T. Popova, Radka V. Ivanova, Givko T. Ivanov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A comparative research on the impact of compost on uptake and allocation of nutrients and heavy metals and quality of Oriental tobacco Krumovgrad 90 has been carried out. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the lead zinc smelter near the town of Kardzali, Bulgaria, after closing the lead production. The compost treatments had significant effects on the uptake and allocation of plant nutrients and heavy metals. The incorporation of compost leads to decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in the tobacco leaves, with Cd, Pb and Zn having values of 36%, 12% and 6%, respectively. Application of the compost leads to increased content of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the leaves of tobacco, and therefore, may favorably affect the burning properties of tobacco. The incorporation of compost in the soil has a negative impact on the quality and typicality of the oriental tobacco variety of Krumovgrad 90. The incorporation of compost leads to an increase in the size of the tobacco plant leaves, the leaves become darker in colour, less fleshy and undergo a change in form, becoming (much) broader in the second, third and fourth stalk position. This is accompanied by a decrease in the quality of the tobacco. The incorporation of compost also results in an increase in the mineral substances (pure ash), total nicotine and nitrogen, and a reduction in the amount of reducing sugars, which causes the quality of the tobacco leaves to deteriorate (particularly in the third and fourth harvests).

Keywords: Chemical composition, compost, oriental tobacco, quality.

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25 E-Government in Transition Economies

Authors: Mario Spremić, Jurica Šimurina, Božidar Jaković, Marijana Ivanov

Abstract:

This paper deals with e-government issues at several levels. Initially we look at the concept of e-government itself in order to give it a sound framework. Than we look at the e-government issues at three levels, first we analyse it at the global level, second we analyse it at the level of transition economies, and finally we take a closer look on developments in Croatia. The analysis includes actual progress being made in selected transition economies given the Euro area averages, along with e-government potential in future demanding period.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, Croatia, e-Government, ICT.

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24 Experimental Study of Dynamic Characteristics of the Electromagnet Actuators with Linear Movement

Authors: Vultchan T. Gueorgiev, Racho M. Ivanov, Ivan S. Yatchev, Krastyo L. Hinov

Abstract:

An approach for experimental measurement of the dynamic characteristics of linear electromagnet actuators is presented. It uses accelerometer sensor to register the armature acceleration. The velocity and displacement of the moving parts can be obtained by integration of the acceleration results. The armature movement of permanent magnet linear actuator is acquired using this technique. The results are analyzed and the performance of the supposed approach is compared with the most commonly used experimental setup where the displacement of the armature vs. time is measured instead of its acceleration.

Keywords: Dynamic characteristics, dynamic simulation, linearactuators.

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23 Ferrites of the MeFe2O4 System (Me – Zn, Cu, Cd) and Their Two Faces

Authors: B. S. Boyanov, A. B. Peltekov, K. I. Ivanov

Abstract:

The ferrites ZnFe2O4, CdFe2O4 and CuFe2O4 are synthesized in laboratory conditions using ceramic technology. Their homogeneity and structure are proven by X-Ray diffraction analysis and Mössbauer spectroscopy. The synthesized ferrites are subjected to strong acid and high temperature leaching with solutions of H2SO4, HCl and HNO3. The results indicate that the highest degree of leaching of Zn, Cd and Cu from the ferrites is achieved by use of HCl. The charging of five zinc sulfide concentrates was optimized using the criterion of minimal amount of zinc ferrite produced when roasting the concentrates in a fluidized bed. The results obtained are interpreted in terms of the hydrometallurgical zinc production and maximum recovery of zinc, copper and cadmium from initial zinc concentrates after their roasting.

Keywords: Hydrometallurgy, inorganic acids, solubility, zinc ferrite.

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22 Formation of Nanosize Phases under Thermomechanical Strengthening of Low Carbon Steel

Authors: Victor E. Gromov, Yurii F. Ivanov, Vadim B. Kosterev, Sergey V. Konovalov, Veronica I. Myasnikova, Guoyi Tang

Abstract:

A study of the H-beam's nanosize structure phase states after thermomechanical strengthening was carried out by TEM. The following processes were analyzed. 1. The dispersing of the cementite plates by cutting them by moving dislocations. 2. The dissolution of cementite plates and repeated precipitation of the cementite particles on the dislocations, the boundaries, subgrains and grains. 3. The decay of solid solution of carbon in the α-iron after "self-tempering" of martensite. 4. The final transformation of the retained austenite in beinite with α-iron particles and cementite formation. 5. The implementation of the diffusion mechanism of γ ⇒ α transformation.

Keywords: nanosize, phase, steel, strengthening

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21 Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements

Authors: S. Krustev, V. Angelova, K. Ivanov, P. Zaprjanova

Abstract:

It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.

Keywords: Comparative study, mineralization methods, trace elements.

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20 Application of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Evaluation of the Main Digestion Methods for Determination of Macroelements in Plant Tissue

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova, Stefan V. Krustev, Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Three commonly used digestion methods (dry ashing, acid digestion, and microwave digestion) in different variants were compared for digestion of tobacco leaves. Three main macroelements (K, Ca and Mg) were analysed using AAS Spectrometer Spectra АА 220, Varian, Australia. The accuracy and precision of the measurements were evaluated by using Polish reference material CTR-VTL-2 (Virginia tobacco leaves). To elucidate the problems with elemental recovery X-Ray and SEM–EDS analysis of all residues after digestion were performed. The X-ray investigation showed a formation of KClO4 when HClO4 was used as a part of the acids mixture. The use of HF at Ca and Mg determination led to the formation of CaF2 and MgF2. The results were confirmed by energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. SPSS program for Windows was used for statistical data processing.

Keywords: Digestion methods, determination of macroelements, plant tissue.

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19 Potential of Lavender (Lavandula vera L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Dimitar F. Grekov, Veselin K. Kisyov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of lavender for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in lavender (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) and in the essential oils of lavender were determined. Lavender is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils, and which can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of lead and the accumulators of cadmium and zinc, and can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the lavender, as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. The possibility of further industrial processing will make lavender economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoextraction technology.

Keywords: Heavy metals, lavender, phytoremediation, polluted soils.

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18 Nanosize Structure Phase States in the Titanium Surface Layers after Electroexplosive Carburizing and Subsequent Electron Beam Treatment

Authors: Victor E. Gromov, Evgenii A. Budovskikh, Ludmila P. Bashchenko, Yurii F. Ivanov, Anna V. Ionina, Nina A. Soskova, Guoyi Tang

Abstract:

The peculiarities of the nanoscale structure-phase states formed after electroexplosive carburizing and subsequent electron-beam treatment of technically pure titanium surface in different regimes are established by methods of transmission electron diffraction microscopy and physical mechanisms are discussed. Electroexplosive carburizing leads to surface layer formation (40 m thickness) with increased (in 3.5 times) microhardness. It consists of β-titanium, graphite (monocrystals 100-150 nm, polycrystals 5-10 nm, amorphous particles 3-5nm), TiC (5-10 nm), β-Ti02 (2-20nm). After electron-beam treatment additionally increasing the microhardness the surface layer consists of TiC.

Keywords: nanoscale, phase, structure, titanium

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17 Zinc Sulfide Concentrates and Optimization of their Roasting in Fluidezed Bed Reactor

Authors: B.S.Boyanov, M.P.Sandalski, K.I.Ivanov

Abstract:

The production of glass, ceramic materials and many non-ferrous metals (Zn, Cu, Pb, etc.), ferrous metals (pig iron) and others is connected with the use of a considerable number of initial solid raw materials. Before carrying out the basic technological processes (oxidized roasting, melting, agglomeration, baking) it is necessary to mix and homogenize the raw materials that have different chemical and phase content, granulometry and humidity. For this purpose zinc sulfide concentrates differing in origin are studied for their more complete characteristics using chemical, X-ray diffraction analyses, DTA and TGA as well as Mössbauer spectroscopy. The phases established in most concentrates are: β-ZnS, mZnS.nFeS, FeS2, CuFeS2, PbS, SiO2 (α-quartz). With the help of the developed by us a Web-based information system for a continued period of time different mix proportions from zinc concentrates are calculated and used in practice (roasting in fluidized bed reactor), which have to conform to the technological requirements of the zinc hydrometallurgical technological scheme.

Keywords: fluidized bed reactor, roasting, Web-based information system, zinc concentrates.

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16 Deactivation of Cu - Cr/γ-alumina Catalysts for Combustion of Exhaust Gases

Authors: Krasimir Ivanov, Dimitar Dimitrov, Boyan Boyanov

Abstract:

The paper relates to a catalyst, comprising copperchromium spinel, coated on carrier γ-Al2O3. The effect of preparation conditions on the active component composition and activity behavior of the catalysts is discussed. It was found that the activity of carbon monoxide, DME, formaldehyde and methanol oxidation reaches a maximum at an active component content of 20 – 30 wt. %. Temperature calcination at 500oC seems to be optimal for the γ– alumina supported CuO-Cr2O3 catalysts for CO, DME, formaldehyde and methanol oxidation. A three months industrial experiment was carried out to elucidate the changes in the catalyst composition during industrial exploitation of the catalyst and the main reasons for catalyst deactivation. It was concluded that the CuO–Cr2O3/γ–alumina supported catalysts have enhanced activity toward CO, DME, formaldehyde and methanol oxidation and that these catalysts are suitable for industrial application. The main reason for catalyst deactivation seems to be the deposition of iron and molybdenum, coming from the main reactor, on the active component surface.

Keywords: catalyst deactivation, CuO-Cr2O3 catalysts, deep oxidation.

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15 Modern Spectrum Sensing Techniques for Cognitive Radio Networks: Practical Implementation and Performance Evaluation

Authors: Antoni Ivanov, Nikolay Dandanov, Nicole Christoff, Vladimir Poulkov

Abstract:

Spectrum underutilization has made cognitive radio a promising technology both for current and future telecommunications. This is due to the ability to exploit the unused spectrum in the bands dedicated to other wireless communication systems, and thus, increase their occupancy. The essential function, which allows the cognitive radio device to perceive the occupancy of the spectrum, is spectrum sensing. In this paper, the performance of modern adaptations of the four most widely used spectrum sensing techniques namely, energy detection (ED), cyclostationary feature detection (CSFD), matched filter (MF) and eigenvalues-based detection (EBD) is compared. The implementation has been accomplished through the PlutoSDR hardware platform and the GNU Radio software package in very low Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) conditions. The optimal detection performance of the examined methods in a realistic implementation-oriented model is found for the common relevant parameters (number of observed samples, sensing time and required probability of false alarm).

Keywords: Cognitive radio, dynamic spectrum access, GNU Radio, spectrum sensing.

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14 Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus

Authors: Nguyen Cao Nguyen, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Penka S. Zapryanova

Abstract:

The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.

Keywords: Zinc fertilizers, micro and macro elements, Phyllanthus amarus.

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13 Biometric Technology in Securing the Internet Using Large Neural Network Technology

Authors: B. Akhmetov, A. Doszhanova, A. Ivanov, T. Kartbayev, A. Malygin

Abstract:

The article examines the methods of protection of citizens' personal data on the Internet using biometric identity authentication technology. It`s celebrated their potential danger due to the threat of loss of base biometric templates. To eliminate the threat of compromised biometric templates is proposed to use neural networks large and extra-large sizes, which will on the one hand securely (Highly reliable) to authenticate a person by his biometrics, and on the other hand make biometrics a person is not available for observation and understanding. This article also describes in detail the transformation of personal biometric data access code. It`s formed the requirements for biometrics converter code for his work with the images of "Insider," "Stranger", all the "Strangers". It`s analyzed the effect of the dimension of neural networks on the quality of converters mystery of biometrics in access code.

Keywords: Biometric security technologies, Conversion of personal biometric data access code, Electronic signature, Large neural networks, quality of converters "Biometrics - the code", the Egovernment.

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12 The Effect of Soil Contamination on Chemical Composition and Quality of Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Sava G. Tabakov, Aleksander B. Peltekov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and quality of the Aronia fruits, as well as the possibilities of Aronia cultivation on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (NFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The study included four varieties of Aronia; Aron variety, Hugin variety, Viking variety and Nero variety. The Aronia was cultivated according to the conventional technology on areas at a different distance from the source of pollution NFMW- Plovdiv (1 km, 3.5 km, and 15 km). The concentrations of macroelements, microelements, and heavy metals in Aronia fruits were determined. The dry matter content, ash, sugars, proteins, and fats were also determined. Aronia is a crop that is tolerant to heavy metals and can successfully be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The increased content of heavy metals in the soil leads to less absorption of the nutrients (Ca, Mg and P) in the fruit of the Aronia. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the Aronia fruit varieties.

Keywords: Aronia, chemical composition, fruits, quality.

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11 Potential of Salvia sclarea L. for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Radka V. Ivanova, Givko M. Todorov, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Salvia sclarea L. for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The content of heavy metals in different parts of Salvia sclarea L. (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) was determined by ICP. The essential oil of the Salvia sclarea L. was obtained by steam distillation in laboratory conditions and was analyzed for heavy metals and its chemical composition was determined. Salvia sclarea L. is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils. Based on the obtained results and using the most common criteria, Salvia sclarea L. can be classified as Pb hyperaccumulator and Cd and Zn accumulators, therefore, this plant has suitable potential for the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the Salvia sclarea L., as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. For clary sage oil obtained from the processing of clary sage grown on highly contaminated soils, its key odour-determining ingredients meet the quality requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and BS ISO 7609 regarding Bulgarian clary sage oil and/or have values that are close to the limits of these standards. The possibility of further industrial processing will make Salvia sclarea L. an economically interesting crop for farmers of phytoextraction technology.

Keywords: Clary sage, heavy metals, phytoremediation, polluted soils.

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10 Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-La Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation

Authors: Elitsa N. Kolentsova, Dimitar Y. Dimitrov, Petya Cv. Petrova, Georgi V. Avdeev, Diana D. Nihtianova, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Tatyana T. Tabakova

Abstract:

Recently, copper and manganese-containing systems are recognized as active and selective catalysts in many oxidation reactions. The main idea of this study is to obtain more information about γ-Al2O3 supported Cu-La catalysts and to evaluate their activity to simultaneous oxidation of CO, CH3OH and dimethyl ether (DME). The catalysts were synthesized by impregnation of support with a mixed aqueous solution of nitrates of copper, manganese and lanthanum under different conditions. XRD, HRTEM/EDS, TPR and thermal analysis were performed to investigate catalysts’ bulk and surface properties. The texture characteristics were determined by Quantachrome Instruments NOVA 1200e specific surface area and pore analyzer. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor in a wide temperature range. On the basis of XRD analysis and HRTEM/EDS, it was concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-La/γ–alumina catalysts strongly depends on the Cu/Mn molar ratio and consisted of at least four compounds – CuO, La2O3, MnO2 and Cu1.5Mn1.5O4. A homogeneous distribution of the active component on the carrier surface was found. The chemical composition strongly influenced catalytic properties. This influence was quite variable with regards to the different processes.

Keywords: Supported copper-manganese-lanthanum catalysts.

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9 Potential of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) for Phytoremedation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Vanja I. Akova, Stefan V. Krustev, Krasimir I. Ivanov

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of safflower plant for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Field experiments with randomized complete block design with five treatments (control, compost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa, and vermicompost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa) were carried out. The quality of safflower seeds and oil (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) were determined. Tested organic amendments significantly influenced the chemical composition of safflower seeds and oil. The compost and vermicompost treatments significantly reduced heavy metals concentration in safflower seeds and oils, but the effect differed among them. Addition of vermicompost and compost leads to an increase in the content of palmitic acid and linoleic acid, and a decrease in the stearic and oleic acids compared with the control. A significant increase in the quantity of saturated acids was observed in the variants with 20 t/daa of compost and 20 t/daa of vermicompost (9.1 and 8.9% relative to the control). Safflower is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. The processing of seeds to oil and using the obtained oil for nutritional purposes will greatly reduce the cost of phytoremediation.

Keywords: Heavy metals, organic amendments, phytoremediation, safflower.

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8 Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-Cr Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Elitsa N. Kolentsova, Dimitar Y. Dimitrov, Petya Ts. Petrova, Tatyana T. Tabakova

Abstract:

This work studies the effect of chemical composition on the activity and selectivity of γ–alumina supported CuO/ MnO2/Cr2O3 catalysts toward deep oxidation of CO, dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of the support with an aqueous solution of copper nitrate, manganese nitrate and CrO3 under different conditions. Thermal, XRD and TPR analysis were performed. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Flow-line equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions that mimic closely the industrial ones was used. The reactant and product gases were analyzed by means of on-line gas chromatographs. On the basis of XRD analysis it can be concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-Cr/γ–alumina catalysts consists of at least six compounds – CuO, Cr2O3, MnO2, Cu1.5Mn1.5O4, Cu1.5Cr1.5O4 and CuCr2O4, depending on the Cu/Mn/Cr molar ratio. Chemical composition strongly influences catalytic properties, this influence being quite variable with regards to the different processes. The rate of CO oxidation rapidly decrease with increasing of chromium content in the active component while for the DME was observed the reverse trend. It was concluded that the best compromise are the catalysts with Cu/(Mn + Cr) molar ratio 1:5 and Mn/Cr molar ratio from 1:3 to 1:4.

Keywords: Copper-manganese-chromium oxide catalysts, CO, deep oxidation, volatile organic compounds.

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7 Alumina Supported Copper-Manganese Catalysts for Combustion of Exhaust Gases: Effect of Preparation Method

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Elitsa N. Kolentsova, Dimitar Y. Dimitrov

Abstract:

The development of active and stable catalysts without noble metals for low temperature oxidation of exhaust gases remains a significant challenge. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of the preparation method on the catalytic activity of the supported copper-manganese mixed oxides in terms of VOCs oxidation. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of γ- Al2O3 with copper and manganese nitrates and acetates and the possibilities for CO, CH3OH and dimethyl ether (DME) oxidation were evaluated using continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Effect of the support, Cu/Mn mole ratio, heat treatment of the precursor and active component loading were investigated. Highly active alumina supported Cu-Mn catalysts for CO and VOCs oxidation were synthesized. The effect of preparation conditions on the activity behavior of the catalysts was discussed. The synergetic interaction between copper and manganese species increases the activity for complete oxidation over mixed catalysts. Type of support, calcination temperature and active component loading along with catalyst composition are important factors, determining catalytic activity. Cu/Mn molar ratio of 1:5, heat treatment at 450oC and 20 % active component loading are the best compromise for production of active catalyst for simultaneous combustion of CO, CH3OH and DME.

Keywords: Copper-manganese catalysts, Preparation methods, Exhaust gases oxidation.

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6 Potential of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals

Authors: Violina R. Angelova, Mariana N. Perifanova-Nemska, Galina P. Uzunova, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Huu Q. Lee

Abstract:

A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Field experiments with a randomized, complete block design with five treatments (control, compost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa, and vemicompost amendments added at 20 and 40 t/daa) were carried out. The accumulation of heavy metals in the sunflower plant and the quality of the sunflower oil (heavy metals and fatty acid composition) were determined. The tested organic amendments significantly influenced the uptake of Pb, Zn and Cd by the sunflower plant. The incorporation of 40 t/decare of compost and 20 t/decare of vermicompost to the soil led to an increase in the ability of the sunflower to take up and accumulate Cd, Pb and Zn. Sunflower can be subjected to the accumulators of Pb, Zn and Cd and can be successfully used for phytoremediation of contaminated soils with heavy metals. The 40 t/daa compost treatment led to a decrease in heavy metal content in sunflower oil to below the regulated limits. Oil content and fatty acids composition were affected by compost and vermicompost amendment treatments. Adding compost and vermicompost increased the oil content in the seeds. Adding organic amendments increased the content of stearic, palmitoleic and oleic acids, and reduced the content of palmitic and gadoleic acids in sunflower oil. The possibility of further industrial processing of seeds to oil and use of the obtained oil will make sunflowers economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoremediation technology.

Keywords: Heavy metals, organic amendments, phytoremediation, sunflower.

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5 Image Ranking to Assist Object Labeling for Training Detection Models

Authors: Tonislav Ivanov, Oleksii Nedashkivskyi, Denis Babeshko, Vadim Pinskiy, Matthew Putman

Abstract:

Training a machine learning model for object detection that generalizes well is known to benefit from a training dataset with diverse examples. However, training datasets usually contain many repeats of common examples of a class and lack rarely seen examples. This is due to the process commonly used during human annotation where a person would proceed sequentially through a list of images labeling a sufficiently high total number of examples. Instead, the method presented involves an active process where, after the initial labeling of several images is completed, the next subset of images for labeling is selected by an algorithm. This process of algorithmic image selection and manual labeling continues in an iterative fashion. The algorithm used for the image selection is a deep learning algorithm, based on the U-shaped architecture, which quantifies the presence of unseen data in each image in order to find images that contain the most novel examples. Moreover, the location of the unseen data in each image is highlighted, aiding the labeler in spotting these examples. Experiments performed using semiconductor wafer data show that labeling a subset of the data, curated by this algorithm, resulted in a model with a better performance than a model produced from sequentially labeling the same amount of data. Also, similar performance is achieved compared to a model trained on exhaustive labeling of the whole dataset. Overall, the proposed approach results in a dataset that has a diverse set of examples per class as well as more balanced classes, which proves beneficial when training a deep learning model.

Keywords: Computer vision, deep learning, object detection, semiconductor.

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4 Structure-Activity Relationship of Gold Catalysts on Alumina Supported Cu-Ce Oxides for CO and Volatile Organic Compound Oxidation

Authors: Tatyana T. Tabakova, Elitsa N. Kolentsova, Dimitar Y. Dimitrov, Krasimir I. Ivanov, Yordanka G. Karakirova, Petya Cv. Petrova, Georgi V. Avdeev

Abstract:

The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.

Keywords: CO and VOCs oxidation, copper oxide, ceria, gold catalysts.

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3 Alumina Supported Copper-Manganese Catalysts for Combustion of Exhaust Gases: Catalysts Characterization

Authors: Krasimir I. Ivanov, Elitsa N. Kolentsova, Dimitar Y. Dimitrov, Georgi V. Avdeev, Tatyana T. Tabakova

Abstract:

In recent research copper and manganese systems were found to be the most active in CO and organic compounds oxidation among the base catalysts. The mixed copper manganese oxide has been widely studied in oxidation reactions because of their higher activity at low temperatures in comparison with single oxide catalysts. The results showed that the formation of spinel CuxMn3−xO4 in the oxidized catalyst is responsible for the activity even at room temperature. That is why the most of the investigations are focused on the hopcalite catalyst (CuMn2O4) as the best coppermanganese catalyst. Now it’s known that this is true only for CO oxidation, but not for mixture of CO and VOCs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the alumina supported copper-manganese catalysts with different Cu/Mn molar ratio in terms of oxidation of CO, methanol and dimethyl ether. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of γ-Al2O3 with copper and manganese nitrates and the catalytic activity measurements were carried out in two stage continuous flow equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions closest possible to the industrial. Gas mixtures on the input and output of the reactor were analyzed with a gas chromatograph, equipped with FID and TCD detectors. The texture characteristics were determined by low-temperature (- 196oС) nitrogen adsorption in a Quantachrome Instruments NOVA 1200e (USA) specific surface area & pore analyzer. Thermal, XRD and TPR analyses were performed. It was established that the active component of the mixed Cu- Mn/γ–alumina catalysts strongly depends on the Cu/Mn molar ratio. Highly active alumina supported Cu-Mn catalysts for CO, methanol and DME oxidation were synthesized. While the hopcalite is the best catalyst for CO oxidation, the best compromise for simultaneous oxidation of all components is the catalyst with Cu/Mn molar ratio 1:5.

Keywords: Supported copper-manganese catalysts, CO and VOCs oxidation.

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2 Data Projects for “Social Good”: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Mikel Niño, Roberto V. Zicari, Todor Ivanov, Kim Hee, Naveed Mushtaq, Marten Rosselli, Concha Sánchez-Ocaña, Karsten Tolle, José Miguel Blanco, Arantza Illarramendi, Jörg Besier, Harry Underwood

Abstract:

One of the application fields for data analysis techniques and technologies gaining momentum is the area of social good or “common good”, covering cases related to humanitarian crises, global health care, or ecology and environmental issues, among others. The promotion of data-driven projects in this field aims at increasing the efficacy and efficiency of social initiatives, improving the way these actions help humanity in general and people in need in particular. This application field, however, poses its own barriers and challenges when developing data-driven projects, lagging behind in comparison with other scenarios. These challenges derive from aspects such as the scope and scale of the social issue to solve, cultural and political barriers, the skills of main stakeholders and the technological resources available, the motivation to be engaged in such projects, or the ethical and legal issues related to sensitive data. This paper analyzes the application of data projects in the field of social good, reviewing its current state and noteworthy initiatives, and presenting a framework covering the key aspects to analyze in such projects. The goal is to provide guidelines to understand the main challenges and opportunities for this type of data project, as well as identifying the main differential issues compared to “classical” data projects in general. A case study is presented on the initial steps and stakeholder analysis of a data project for the inclusion of refugees in the city of Frankfurt, Germany, in order to empirically confront the framework with a real example.

Keywords: Data-Driven projects, humanitarian operations, personal and sensitive data, social good, stakeholders analysis.

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1 Banking Union: A New Step towards Completing the Economic and Monetary Union

Authors: Marijana Ivanov, Roman Šubić

Abstract:

This study analyzes the critical gaps in the architecture of European stability and the expected role of the banking union as the new important step towards completing the Economic and Monetary Union that should enable the creation of safe and sound financial sector for the euro area market. The single rulebook together with the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution Mechanism - as two main pillars of the banking union, should provide a consistent application of common rules and administrative standards for supervision, recovery and resolution of banks – with the final aim of replacing the former bail-out practice with the bail-in system through which possible future bank failures would be resolved by their own funds, i.e. with minimal costs for taxpayers and real economy. In this way, the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns would be broken. It would also reduce the financial fragmentation recorded in the years of crisis as the result of divergent behaviors in risk premium, lending activities and interest rates between the core and the periphery. In addition, it should strengthen the effectiveness of monetary transmission channels, in particular the credit channels and overflows of liquidity on the money market which, due to the fragmentation of the common financial market, has been significantly disabled in period of crisis. However, contrary to all the positive expectations related to the future functioning of the banking union, major findings of this study indicate that characteristics of the economic system in which the banking union will operate should not be ignored. The euro area is an integration of strong and weak entities with large differences in economic development, wealth, assets of banking systems, growth rates and accountability of fiscal policy. The analysis indicates that low and unbalanced economic growth remains a challenge for the maintenance of financial stability and this problem cannot be resolved just by a single supervision. In many countries bank assets exceed their GDP by several times and large banks are still a matter of concern, because of their systemic importance for individual countries and the euro zone as a whole. The creation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution Mechanism is a response to the European crisis, which has particularly affected peripheral countries and caused the associated loop between the banking crisis and the sovereign debt crisis, but has also influenced banks’ balance sheets in the core countries, as the result of crossborder capital flows. The creation of the SSM and the SRM should prevent the similar episodes to happen again and should also provide a new opportunity for strengthening of economic and financial systems of the peripheral countries. On the other hand, there is a potential threat that future focus of the ECB, resolution mechanism and other relevant institutions will be extremely oriented towards large and significant banks (whereby one half of them operate in the core and most important euro area countries), and therefore it remains questionable to what extent will the common resolution funds will be used for rescue of less important institutions. Recent geopolitical developments will be the optimal indicator to show whether the previously established mechanisms are sufficient enough to maintain the adequate financial stability in the euro area market.

Keywords: Banking Union, financial integration, single supervisory mechanism (SSM).

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