Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes

11 Adaptive Filtering in Subbands for Supervised Source Separation

Authors: Bruna Luisa Ramos Prado Vasques, Mariane Rembold Petraglia, Antonio Petraglia

Abstract:

This paper investigates MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) adaptive filtering techniques for the application of supervised source separation in the context of convolutive mixtures. From the observation that there is correlation among the signals of the different mixtures, an improvement in the NSAF (Normalized Subband Adaptive Filter) algorithm is proposed in order to accelerate its convergence rate. Simulation results with mixtures of speech signals in reverberant environments show the superior performance of the proposed algorithm with respect to the performances of the NLMS (Normalized Least-Mean-Square) and conventional NSAF, considering both the convergence speed and SIR (Signal-to-Interference Ratio) after convergence.

Keywords: Adaptive filtering, multirate processing, normalized subband adaptive filter, source separation.

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10 Production of Bioethanol through Hydrolysis of Agro-Industrial Banana Crop Residues

Authors: Sánchez Acuña, Juan Camilo, Granados Gómez, Mildred Magaly, Navarrete Rodríguez, Luisa Fernanda

Abstract:

Nowadays, the main biofuels source production as bioethanol is food crops. This means a high competition between foods and energy production. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the use of new raw materials friendly to the environment. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the potential of the agro-industrial banana crop residues in the production of bioethanol. A factorial design of 24 was used, the design has variables such as pH, time and concentration of hydrolysis, another variable is the time of fermentation that is of 7 or 15 days. In the hydrolysis phase, the pH is acidic (H2SO4) or basic (NaOH), the time is 30 or 15 minutes and the concentration is 0.1 or 0.5 M. It was observed that basic media, low concentrations, fermentation, and higher pretreatment times produced better performance in terms of biofuel obtained.

Keywords: Bioethanol, biofuels, banana waste, hydrolysis.

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9 Chromium Adsorption by Modified Wood

Authors: I. Domingos, B. Esteves, A. Figueirinha, Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, J. Ferreira, H. Pereira

Abstract:

Chromium is one of the most common heavy metals which exist in very high concentrations in wastewater. The removal is very expensive due to the high cost of normal adsorbents. Lignocellulosic materials and mainly treated materials have proven to be a good solution for this problem.

Adsorption tests were performed at different pH, different times and with varying concentrations.

Results show that is at pH 3 that treated wood absorbs more chromium ranging from 70% (2h treatment) to almost 100% (12 h treatment) much more than untreated wood with less than 40%. Most of the adsorption is made in the first 2-3 hours for untreated and heat treated wood. Modified wood adsorbs more chromium throughout the time. For all the samples, adsorption fitted relatively well the Langmuir model with correlation coefficient ranging from 0.85 to 0.97.

The results show that heat treated wood is a good adsorbent ant that this might be a good utilization for sawdust from treating companies.

Keywords: Adsorption, chromium, heat treatment, wood modification.

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8 Production of Polyurethane Foams from Bark Wastes

Authors: Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, Liliana Rodrigues, Idalina Domingos, José Ferreira, Luís Teixeira de Lemos, Bruno Esteves

Abstract:

Currently, the polyurethanes industry is dependent on fossil resources to obtain their basic raw materials (polyols and isocyanate), as these are obtained from petroleum products. The aim of this work was to use biopolyols from liquefied Pseudotsuga (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) barks for the production of polyurethane foams and optimize the process. Liquefaction was done with glycerol catalyzed by KOH. Foams were produced following different formulations and using biopolyols from both barks. Subsequently, the foams were characterized according to their mechanical properties and the reaction of the foam formation was monitored by FTIR-ATR. The results show that it is possible to produce polyurethane foams using bio-based polyols and the liquefaction conditions are very important because they influence the characteristics of biopolyols and, consequently the characteristics of the foams. However, the process has to be further optimized so that it can obtain better quality foams.

Keywords: Bio-based polyol, mechanical tests, polyurethane foam, Pseudotsuga bark, renewable resources, Turkey oak bark.

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7 Ecotoxicological Safety of Wastewater Treated with Lignocellulosic Adsorbents

Authors: Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, Artur Figueirinha, Isabel Brás, Bruno Esteves

Abstract:

Portugal is an important wine and olive oil producer, activities which generate a high quantity of residues commonly called grape stalks and olive cake, respectively. In this work grape stalks and olive cake were used as lignocellulosic adsorbents for wastewater containing lead treatment. To attain a better knowledge of the factors that could influence the quality of the treated wastewater, a chemical characterization of the materials used in the treatment was done. To access the ecotoxicological safety of the treated wastewater, several tests were performed.

The results of the toxicity test show that the samples leachate has a mild effect on the living models tested. The tests performed in lemna and bacteria were the most sensible to toxicity effects of the samples. The results obtained in this work evidenced the importance of use of simple and fast toxicity tests to predict impacts in the environment.

Keywords: Chemical composition, ecotoxicological, lignocellulosic residues, safety.

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6 Financial Inclusion from the Perspective of Social Innovation: The Case of Colombia

Authors: Jaramillo G. Maria Luisa, Turriago H. Álvaro, Thoene Ulf

Abstract:

Financial inclusion has become a crucially important factor in debates on economic inequality posing challenges to the financial systems of countries around the world. Nowadays governments and banks are concerned about creating products that allow access to wide sectors of the population. The creation of banking products by the financial sector for people with low incomes tends to lead to improvements in the quality of life of vulnerable parts of the population. In countries with notable social and economic inequalities, financial inclusion is a key aspect for equitable economic growth. This study is based on the case of Colombia, which is a country with a strong record of economic growth over the past decade. Nevertheless, corruption, unemployment, and poverty contribute to uncertainty regarding the country’s future growth prospects. This study wants to explain the situation of financial exclusion and financial inclusion with respect to the Colombian case. Financial inclusion is going to be studied from the perspective of social innovation.

Keywords: Colombia, financial exclusion, financial inclusion, social innovation.

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5 A Parallel Approach for 3D-Variational Data Assimilation on GPUs in Ocean Circulation Models

Authors: Rossella Arcucci, Luisa D’Amore, Simone Celestino, Giuseppe Scotti, Giuliano Laccetti

Abstract:

This work is the first dowel in a rather wide research activity in collaboration with Euro Mediterranean Center for Climate Changes, aimed at introducing scalable approaches in Ocean Circulation Models. We discuss designing and implementation of a parallel algorithm for solving the Variational Data Assimilation (DA) problem on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). The algorithm is based on the fully scalable 3DVar DA model, previously proposed by the authors, which uses a Domain Decomposition approach (we refer to this model as the DD-DA model). We proceed with an incremental porting process consisting of 3 distinct stages: requirements and source code analysis, incremental development of CUDA kernels, testing and optimization. Experiments confirm the theoretic performance analysis based on the so-called scale up factor demonstrating that the DD-DA model can be suitably mapped on GPU architectures.

Keywords: Data Assimilation, Parallel Algorithm, GPU architectures, Ocean Models.

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4 High-Accuracy Satellite Image Analysis and Rapid DSM Extraction for Urban Environment Evaluations (Tripoli-Libya)

Authors: Abdunaser Abduelmula, Maria Luisa M. Bastos, José A. Gonçalves

Abstract:

Modelling of the earth's surface and evaluation of urban environment, with 3D models, is an important research topic. New stereo capabilities of high resolution optical satellites images, such as the tri-stereo mode of Pleiades, combined with new image matching algorithms, are now available and can be applied in urban area analysis. In addition, photogrammetry software packages gained new, more efficient matching algorithms, such as SGM, as well as improved filters to deal with shadow areas, can achieve more dense and more precise results. This paper describes a comparison between 3D data extracted from tri-stereo and dual stereo satellite images, combined with pixel based matching and Wallis filter. The aim was to improve the accuracy of 3D models especially in urban areas, in order to assess if satellite images are appropriate for a rapid evaluation of urban environments. The results showed that 3D models achieved by Pleiades tri-stereo outperformed, both in terms of accuracy and detail, the result obtained from a Geo-eye pair. The assessment was made with reference digital surface models derived from high resolution aerial photography. This could mean that tri-stereo images can be successfully used for the proposed urban change analyses.

Keywords: 3D Models, Environment, Matching, Pleiades.

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3 Development and Characterization of Wheat Bread with Lupin Flour

Authors: Paula M. R. Correia, Marta Gonzaga, Luis M. Batista, Luísa Beirão-Costa, Raquel F. P. Guiné

Abstract:

The purpose of the present work was to develop an innovative food product with good textural and sensorial characteristics. The product, a new type of bread, was prepared with wheat (90%) and lupin (10%) flours, without the addition of any conservatives. Several experiences were also done to find the most appropriate proportion of lupin flour. The optimized product was characterized considering the rheological, physical-chemical and sensorial properties. The water absorption of wheat flour with 10% of lupin was higher than that of the normal wheat flours, and Wheat Ceres flour presented the lower value, with lower dough development time and high stability time. The breads presented low moisture but a considerable water activity. The density of bread decreased with the introduction of lupin flour. The breads were quite white, and during storage the colour parameters decreased. The lupin flour clearly increased the number of alveolus, but the total area increased significantly just for the Wheat Cerealis bread. The addition of lupin flour increased the hardness and chewiness of breads, but the elasticity did not vary significantly. Lupin bread was sensorially similar to wheat bread produced with WCerealis flour, and the main differences are the crust rugosity, colour and alveolus characteristics.

Keywords: Lupin flour, physical-chemical properties, sensorial analysis, wheat flour.

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2 Optimization of Quercus cerris Bark Liquefaction

Authors: Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, Hugo Costa e Silva, Idalina Domingos, José Ferreira, Luís Teixeira de Lemos, Bruno Esteves

Abstract:

The liquefaction process of cork based tree barks has led to an increase of interest due to its potential innovation in the lumber and wood industries. In this particular study the bark of Quercus cerris (Turkish oak) is used due to its appreciable amount of cork tissue, although of inferior quality when compared to the cork provided by other Quercus trees. This study aims to optimize alkaline catalysis liquefaction conditions, regarding several parameters. To better comprehend the possible chemical characteristics of the bark of Quercus cerris, a complete chemical analysis was performed. The liquefaction process was performed in a double-jacket reactor heated with oil, using glycerol and a mixture of glycerol/ethylene glycol as solvents, potassium hydroxide as a catalyst, and varying the temperature, liquefaction time and granulometry. Due to low liquefaction efficiency resulting from the first experimental procedures a study was made regarding different washing techniques after the filtration process using methanol and methanol/water. The chemical analysis stated that the bark of Quercus cerris is mostly composed by suberin (ca. 30%) and lignin (ca. 24%) as well as insolvent hemicelluloses in hot water (ca. 23%). On the liquefaction stage, the results that led to higher yields were: using a mixture of methanol/ethylene glycol as reagents and a time and temperature of 120 minutes and 200 ºC, respectively. It is concluded that using a granulometry of <80 mesh leads to better results, even if this parameter barely influences the liquefaction efficiency. Regarding the filtration stage, washing the residue with methanol and then distilled water leads to a considerable increase on final liquefaction percentages, which proves that this procedure is effective at liquefying suberin content and lignocellulose fraction.

Keywords: Liquefaction, alkaline catalysis, optimization, Quercus cerris bark.

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1 Valorization of Lignocellulosic Wastes – Evaluation of Its Toxicity When Used in Adsorption Systems

Authors: Isabel Brás, Artur Figueirinha, Bruno Esteves, Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes

Abstract:

The agriculture lignocellulosic by-products are receiving increased attention, namely in the search for filter materials that retain contaminants from water. These by-products, specifically almond and hazelnut shells are abundant in Portugal once almond and hazelnuts production is a local important activity. Hazelnut and almond shells have as main constituents lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses, water soluble extractives and tannins. Along the adsorption of heavy metals from contaminated waters, water soluble compounds can leach from shells and have a negative impact in the environment. Usually, the chemical characterization of treated water by itself may not show environmental impact caused by the discharges when parameters obey to legal quality standards for water. Only biological systems can detect the toxic effects of the water constituents. Therefore, the evaluation of toxicity by biological tests is very important when deciding the suitability for safe water discharge or for irrigation applications.

The main purpose of the present work was to assess the potential impacts of waters after been treated for heavy metal removal by hazelnut and almond shells adsorption systems, with short term acute toxicity tests.

To conduct the study, water at pH 6 with 25 mg.L-1 of lead, was treated with 10 g of shell per litre of wastewater, for 24 hours. This procedure was followed for each bark. Afterwards the water was collected for toxicological assays; namely bacterial resistance, seed germination, Lemna minor L. test and plant grow. The effect in isolated bacteria strains was determined by disc diffusion method and the germination index of seed was evaluated using lettuce, with temperature and humidity germination control for 7 days. For aquatic higher organism, Lemnas were used with 4 days contact time with shell solutions, in controlled light and temperature. For terrestrial higher plants, biomass production was evaluated after 14 days of tomato germination had occurred in soil, with controlled humidity, light and temperature.

Toxicity tests of water treated with shells revealed in some extent effects in the tested organisms, with the test assays showing a close behaviour as the control, leading to the conclusion that its further utilization may not be considered to create a serious risk to the environment.

Keywords: Acute toxicity tests, adsorption, lignocellulosic wastes, risk assessment.

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