Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: R. Pereira

30 A Comparative Analysis of Heuristics Applied to Collecting Used Lubricant Oils Generated in the City of Pereira, Colombia

Authors: Diana Fajardo, Sebastián Ortiz, Oscar Herrera, Angélica Santis

Abstract:

Currently, in Colombia is arising a problem related to collecting used lubricant oils which are generated by the increment of the vehicle fleet. This situation does not allow a proper disposal of this type of waste, which in turn results in a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, through the comparative analysis of various heuristics, the best solution to the VRP (Vehicle Routing Problem) was selected by comparing costs and times for the collection of used lubricant oils in the city of Pereira, Colombia; since there is no presence of management companies engaged in the direct administration of the collection of this pollutant. To achieve this aim, six proposals of through methods of solution of two phases were discussed. First, the assignment of the group of generator points of the residue was made (previously identified). Proposals one and four of through methods are based on the closeness of points. The proposals two and five are using the scanning method and the proposals three and six are considering the restriction of the capacity of collection vehicle. Subsequently, the routes were developed - in the first three proposals by the Clarke and Wright's savings algorithm and in the following proposals by the Traveling Salesman optimization mathematical model. After applying techniques, a comparative analysis of the results was performed and it was determined which of the proposals presented the most optimal values in terms of the distance, cost and travel time.

Keywords: Heuristics, optimization model, savings algorithm used vehicular oil, VRP.

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29 Experimental Investigation of Hydrogen Addition in the Intake Air of Compressed Engines Running on Biodiesel Blend

Authors: Hendrick Maxil Zárate Rocha, Ricardo da Silva Pereira, Manoel Fernandes Martins Nogueira, Carlos R. Pereira Belchior, Maria Emilia de Lima Tostes

Abstract:

This study investigates experimentally the effects of hydrogen addition in the intake manifold of a diesel generator operating with a 7% biodiesel-diesel oil blend (B7). An experimental apparatus setup was used to conduct performance and emissions tests in a single cylinder, air cooled diesel engine. This setup consisted of a generator set connected to a wirewound resistor load bank that was used to vary engine load. In addition, a flowmeter was used to determine hydrogen volumetric flowrate and a digital anemometer coupled with an air box to measure air flowrate. Furthermore, a digital precision electronic scale was used to measure engine fuel consumption and a gas analyzer was used to determine exhaust gas composition and exhaust gas temperature. A thermopar was installed near the exhaust collection to measure cylinder temperature. In-cylinder pressure was measured using an AVL Indumicro data acquisition system with a piezoelectric pressure sensor. An AVL optical encoder was installed in the crankshaft and synchronized with in-cylinder pressure in real time. The experimental procedure consisted of injecting hydrogen into the engine intake manifold at different mass concentrations of 2,6,8 and 10% of total fuel mass (B7 + hydrogen), which represented energy fractions of 5,15, 20 and 24% of total fuel energy respectively. Due to hydrogen addition, the total amount of fuel energy introduced increased and the generators fuel injection governor prevented any increases of engine speed. Several conclusions can be stated from the test results. A reduction in specific fuel consumption as a function of hydrogen concentration increase was noted. Likewise, carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC) decreased as hydrogen concentration increased. On the other hand, nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) increased due to average temperatures inside the cylinder being higher. There was also an increase in peak cylinder pressure and heat release rate inside the cylinder, since the fuel ignition delay was smaller due to hydrogen content increase. All this indicates that hydrogen promotes faster combustion and higher heat release rates and can be an important additive to all kind of fuels used in diesel generators.

Keywords: Diesel engine, hydrogen, dual fuel, combustion analysis, performance, emissions.

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28 Network Analysis in a Natural Perturbed Ecosystem

Authors: Nelson F.F. Ebecken, Gilberto C. Pereira

Abstract:

The objective of this work is to explicit knowledge on the interactions between the chlorophyll-a and nine meroplankton larvae of epibenthonic fauna. The studied case is the Arraial do Cabo upwelling system, Southeastern of Brazil, which provides different environmental conditions. To assess this information a network approach based in probability estimative was used. Comparisons among the generated graphs are made in the light of different water masses, application of Shannon biodiversity index, and the closeness and betweenness centralities measurements. Our results show the main pattern among different water masses and how the core organisms belonging to the network skeleton are correlated to the main environmental variable. We conclude that the approach of complex networks is a promising tool for environmental diagnostic.

Keywords: Coastal upwelling, Ecological networks, Plankton - interactions, Environmental analysis.

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27 Radiation Effects in the PVDF/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites

Authors: Juliana V. Pereira, Adriana S. M. Batista, Jefferson P. Nascimento, Clascídia A. Furtado, Luiz O. Faria

Abstract:

Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.

Keywords: Gamma irradiation, grapheme oxide, nanocomposites, PVDF.

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26 Professional Identity Construction in Higher Education: A Conceptual Framework of the Influencing Factors and Research Agenda

Authors: Alba Barbarà Molinero, Rosalía Cascón Pereira

Abstract:

We assert here that there might be some factors that influence professional identity construction at the university/higher education stage. In accord, we propose a conceptual framework of intervening factors in professional identity construction at university from a literature review and preliminary data from a qualitative pilot study using focus groups. This model identifies several factors that might influence university students- professional identity construction and group them into categories. In turn, we describe how these factors might contribute in strengthening or weakening their professional identity. Finally, we discuss the implications of strengthening students- PI for the university, individuals and organizations and we provide a roadmap for future empirical work in this area.

Keywords: Professional Identity, Higher education, influencing factors.

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25 Modeling the Human Cardiovascular System with Aspecial Focus on the Heart Using Dymola

Authors: Stefanie Heinke, Carina Pereira, Jan Spillner, Steffen Leonhardt

Abstract:

Severe heart failure is a common problem that has a significant effect on health expenditures in industrialized countries; moreover it reduces patient-s quality of life. However, current research usually focuses either on detailed modeling of the heart or on detailed modeling of the cardiovascular system. Thus, this paper aims to present a sophisticated model of the heart enhanced with an extensive model of the cardiovascular system. Special interest is on the pressure and flow values close to the heart since these values are critical to accurately diagnose causes of heart failure. The model is implemented in Dymola an object-oriented, physical modeling language. Results achieved with the novel model show overall feasibility of the approach. Moreover, results are illustrated and compared to other models. The novel model shows significant improvements.

Keywords: Cardiovascular system, heart, modeling.

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24 Consumption Habits of Low-Fat Plant Sterol-Enriched Yoghurt Enriched with Phytosterols

Authors: M. J. Reis Lima, J. Oliveira, A. C. Sousa Pereira, M. C. Castilho, E. Teixeira-Lemos

Abstract:

The increasing interest in plant sterol enriched foods is due to the fact that they reduce blood cholesterol concentrations without adverse side effects. In this context, enriched foods with phytosterols may be helpful in protecting population against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present work was to evaluate in a population of Viseu, Portugal, the consumption habits low-fat, plant sterol-enriched yoghurt. For this study, 577 inquiries were made and the sample was randomly selected for people shopping in various supermarkets. The preliminary results showed that the biggest consumers of these products were women aged 45 to 65 years old. Most of the people who claimed to buy these products consumed them once a day. Also, most of the consumers under antidyslipidemic therapeutics noticed positive effects on hypercholesterolemia.

Keywords: Consumption habits, fermented milk, functional foods, low fat, phytosterols.

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23 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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22 Effects of a Nectandra Membranacea Extract on Labeling of Blood Constituents with Technetium-99m and on the Morphology of Red Blood Cells

Authors: Silvana R.F. Moreno, Jorge J. Carvalho, Ana L. Nascimento, Mario Pereira, Luiz Q. A. Caldas, Mário Bernardo-Filho

Abstract:

The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the possible interference of a Nectandra membranacea extract (i) on the labeling of blood cells (BC), (ii) on the labeling process of BC and plasma (P) proteins with technetium-99m (Tc-99m) and (iii) on the morphology of red blood cells (RBC). Blood samples were incubated with a Nectandra membranacea crude extract, stannous chloride, Tc- 99m (sodium pertechnetate) was added, and soluble (SF) and insoluble (IF) fractions were isolated. Morphometry studies were performed with blood samples incubated with Nectandra membranacea extract. The results show that the Nectandra membranacea extract does not promote significant alteration of the labeling of BC, IF-P and IF-BC. The Nectandra membranacea extract was able to alter the erythrocyte membrane morphology, but these morphological changes were not capable to interfere on the labeling of blood constituents with Tc-99m.

Keywords: in vitro study, Nectandra membranacea, red bloodcell, technetium-99m

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21 Viscosity of Vegetable Oils and Biodiesel and Energy Generation

Authors: Thiago de O. Macedo, Roberto G. Pereira, Juan M. Pardal, Alexandre S. Soares, Valdir deJ. Lameira

Abstract:

The present work describes an experimental investigation concerning the determination of viscosity behavior with shear rate and temperature of edible oils: canola; sunflower; corn; soybean and the no edible oil: Jatropha curcas. Besides these, it was tested a blend of canola, corn and sunflower oils as well as sunflower and soybean biodiesel. Based on experiments, it was obtained shear stress and viscosity at different shear rates of each sample at 40ºC, as well as viscosity of each sample at various temperatures in the range of 24 to 85ºC. Furthermore, it was compared the curves obtained for the viscosity versus temperature with the curves obtained by modeling the viscosity dependency on temperature using the Vogel equation. Also a test in a stationary engine was performed in order to study the energy generation using blends of soybean oil and soybean biodiesel with diesel.

Keywords: Biofuel, energy generation, vegetable oil, viscosity.

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20 Ecological Networks: From Structural Analysis to Synchronization

Authors: N. F. F. Ebecken, G. C. Pereira

Abstract:

Ecological systems are exposed and are influenced by various natural and anthropogenic disturbances. They produce various effects and states seeking response symmetry to a state of global phase coherence or stability and balance of their food webs. This research project addresses the development of a computational methodology for modeling plankton food webs. The use of algorithms to establish connections, the generation of representative fuzzy multigraphs and application of technical analysis of complex networks provide a set of tools for defining, analyzing and evaluating community structure of coastal aquatic ecosystems, beyond the estimate of possible external impacts to the networks. Thus, this study aims to develop computational systems and data models to assess how these ecological networks are structurally and functionally organized, to analyze the types and degree of compartmentalization and synchronization between oscillatory and interconnected elements network and the influence of disturbances on the overall pattern of rhythmicity of the system.

Keywords: Ecological networks, plankton food webs, fuzzy multigraphs, dynamic of networks.

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19 Overview of CARDIOSENSOR Project on the Development of a Nanosensor for Assessing the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Authors: A.C. Duarte, C.I.L. Justino, K. Duarte, A.C. Freitas, R. Pereira, P. Chaves, P. Bettencourt, S. Cardoso, T.A.P. Rocha-Santos

Abstract:

This paper aims at overviewing the topics of a research project (CARDIOSENSOR) on the field of health sciences (biomaterials and biomedical engineering). The project has focused on the development of a nanosensor for the assessment of the risk of cardiovascular diseases by the monitoring of C-reactive protein (CRP), which has been currently considered as the best validated inflammatory biomarker associated to cardiovascular diseases. The project involves tasks such as: 1) the development of sensor devices based on field effect transistors (FET): assembly, optimization and validation; 2) application of sensors to the detection of CRP in standard solutions and comparison with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); and 3) application of sensors to real samples such as blood and saliva and evaluation of their ability to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes field effect transistors, cardiovascular diseases, C-reactive protein, sensor.

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18 GeNS: a Biological Data Integration Platform

Authors: Joel Arrais, João E. Pereira, João Fernandes, José Luís Oliveira

Abstract:

The scientific achievements coming from molecular biology depend greatly on the capability of computational applications to analyze the laboratorial results. A comprehensive analysis of an experiment requires typically the simultaneous study of the obtained dataset with data that is available in several distinct public databases. Nevertheless, developing a centralized access to these distributed databases rises up a set of challenges such as: what is the best integration strategy, how to solve nomenclature clashes, how to solve database overlapping data and how to deal with huge datasets. In this paper we present GeNS, a system that uses a simple and yet innovative approach to address several biological data integration issues. Compared with existing systems, the main advantages of GeNS are related to its maintenance simplicity and to its coverage and scalability, in terms of number of supported databases and data types. To support our claims we present the current use of GeNS in two concrete applications. GeNS currently contains more than 140 million of biological relations and it can be publicly downloaded or remotely access through SOAP web services.

Keywords: Data integration, biological databases

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17 Artificial Neural Network Development by means of Genetic Programming with Graph Codification

Authors: Daniel Rivero, Julián Dorado, Juan R. Rabuñal, Alejandro Pazos, Javier Pereira

Abstract:

The development of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) is usually a slow process in which the human expert has to test several architectures until he finds the one that achieves best results to solve a certain problem. This work presents a new technique that uses Genetic Programming (GP) for automatically generating ANNs. To do this, the GP algorithm had to be changed in order to work with graph structures, so ANNs can be developed. This technique also allows the obtaining of simplified networks that solve the problem with a small group of neurons. In order to measure the performance of the system and to compare the results with other ANN development methods by means of Evolutionary Computation (EC) techniques, several tests were performed with problems based on some of the most used test databases. The results of those comparisons show that the system achieves good results comparable with the already existing techniques and, in most of the cases, they worked better than those techniques.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, Evolutionary Computation, Genetic Programming.

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16 A Real Time Expert System for Decision Support in Nuclear Power Plants

Authors: Andressa dos Santos Nicolau, João P. da S.C Algusto, Claudio Márcio do N. A. Pereira, Roberto Schirru

Abstract:

In case of abnormal situations, the nuclear power plant (NPP) operators must follow written procedures to check the condition of the plant and to classify the type of emergency. In this paper, we proposed a Real Time Expert System in order to improve operator’s performance in case of transient or accident with reactor shutdown. The expert system’s knowledge is based on the sequence of events (SoE) of known accident and two emergency procedures of the Brazilian Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) NPP and uses two kinds of knowledge representation: rule and logic trees. The results show that the system was able to classify the response of the automatic protection systems, as well as to evaluate the conditions of the plant, diagnosing the type of occurrence, recovery procedure to be followed, indicating the shutdown root cause, and classifying the emergency level.

Keywords: Emergence procedure, expert system, operator support, PWR nuclear power plant.

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15 Verification Process of Cylindrical Contact Force Models for Internal Contact Modeling

Authors: Cândida M. Pereira, Amílcar L. Ramalho, Jorge A. Ambrósio

Abstract:

In the numerical solution of the forward dynamics of a multibody system, the positions and velocities of the bodies in the system are obtained first. With the information of the system state variables at each time step, the internal and external forces acting on the system are obtained by appropriate contact force models if the continuous contact method is used instead of a discrete contact method. The local deformation of the bodies in contact, represented by penetration, is used to compute the contact force. The ability and suitability with current cylindrical contact force models to describe the contact between bodies with cylindrical geometries with particular focus on internal contacting geometries involving low clearances and high loads simultaneously is discussed in this paper. A comparative assessment of the performance of each model under analysis for different contact conditions, in particular for very different penetration and clearance values, is presented. It is demonstrated that some models represent a rough approximation to describe the conformal contact between cylindrical geometries because contact forces are underestimated.

Keywords: Clearance joints, Contact mechanics, Contact dynamics, Internal cylindrical contact, Multibody dynamics.

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14 Effect of Gamma Irradiation on the Crystalline Structure of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride)

Authors: Adriana Souza M. Batista, Cláubia Pereira, Luiz O. Faria

Abstract:

The irradiation of polymeric materials has received much attention because it can produce diverse changes in chemical structure and physical properties. Thus, studying the chemical and structural changes of polymers is important in practice to achieve optimal conditions for the modification of polymers. The effect of gamma irradiation on the crystalline structure of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) has been investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction techniques (XRD). Gamma irradiation was carried out in atmosphere air with doses between 100 kGy at 3,000 kGy with a Co-60 source. In the melting thermogram of the samples irradiated can be seen a bimodal melting endotherm is detected with two melting temperature. The lower melting temperature is attributed to melting of crystals originally present and the higher melting peak due to melting of crystals reorganized upon heat treatment. These results are consistent with those obtained by XRD technique showing increasing crystallinity with increasing irradiation dose, although the melting latent heat is decreasing.

Keywords: Differential scanning calorimetry, gamma irradiation, PVDF, X-ray diffraction technique.

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13 Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths

Authors: M. Sousa, C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, J. Cabral, V. Pereira, S. Nunes Caldeira, E. Peixoto

Abstract:

Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology were assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socioeconomic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.

Keywords: Adolescence, early memories, paranoid ideation, parenting styles, shame, submissiveness.

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12 Characterization of Gamma Irradiated PVDF and PVDF/Graphene Oxide Composites by Spectroscopic Techniques

Authors: Juliana V. Pereira, Adriana S. M. Batista, Jefferson P. Nascimento, Clascídia A. Furtado, Luiz O. Faria

Abstract:

The combination of the properties of graphene oxide (OG) and PVDF homopolymer makes their combined composite materials as multifunctional systems with great potential. Knowledge of the molecular structure is essential for better use. In this work, the degradation of PVDF polymer exposed to gamma irradiation in oxygen atmosphere in high dose rate has been studied and compared to degradation of PVDF/OG composites. The samples were irradiated with a Co-60 source at constant dose rate, with doses ranging from 100 kGy to 1,000 kGy. In FTIR data shown that the formation of oxidation products was at the both samples with formation of carbonyl and hydroxyl groups amongst the most prevalent products in the pure PVDF samples. In the other hand, the composites samples exhibit less presence of degradation products with predominant formation of carbonyl groups, these results also seen in the UV-Vis analysis. The results show that the samples of composites may have greater resistance to the irradiation process, since they have less degradation products than pure PVDF samples seen by spectroscopic techniques.

Keywords: Gamma irradiation, PVDF, PVDF/OG composites, spectroscopic techniques.

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11 Simplified Models to Determine Nodal Voltagesin Problems of Optimal Allocation of Capacitor Banks in Power Distribution Networks

Authors: A. Pereira, S. Haffner, L. V. Gasperin

Abstract:

This paper presents two simplified models to determine nodal voltages in power distribution networks. These models allow estimating the impact of the installation of reactive power compensations equipments like fixed or switched capacitor banks. The procedure used to develop the models is similar to the procedure used to develop linear power flow models of transmission lines, which have been widely used in optimization problems of operation planning and system expansion. The steady state non-linear load flow equations are approximated by linear equations relating the voltage amplitude and currents. The approximations of the linear equations are based on the high relationship between line resistance and line reactance (ratio R/X), which is valid for power distribution networks. The performance and accuracy of the models are evaluated through comparisons with the exact results obtained from the solution of the load flow using two test networks: a hypothetical network with 23 nodes and a real network with 217 nodes.

Keywords: Distribution network models, distribution systems, optimization, power system planning.

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10 Malt Bagasse Waste as Biosorbent for Malachite Green: An Ecofriendly Approach for Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution

Authors: H. C. O. Reis, A. S. Cossolin, B. A. P. Santos, K. C. Castro, G. M. Pereira, V. C. Silva, P. T. Sousa Jr, E. L. Dall’Oglio, L. G. Vasconcelos, E. B. Morais

Abstract:

In this study, malt bagasse, a low-cost waste biomass, was tested as a biosorbent to remove the cationic dye Malachite green (MG) from aqueous solution. Batch biosorption experiments were investigated as functions of different experimental parameters such as initial pH, salt (NaCl) concentration, contact time, temperature and initial dye concentration. Higher removal rates of MG were obtained at pH 8 and 10. The equilibrium and kinetic studies suggest that the biosorption follows Langmuir isotherm and the pseudo-second-order model. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity was estimated at 117.65 mg/g (at 45 °C). According to Dubinin–Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm model, biosorption of MG onto malt bagasse occurs physically. The thermodynamic parameters such as Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy indicated that the MG biosorption onto malt bagasse is spontaneous and endothermic. The results of the ionic strength effect indicated that the biosorption process under study had a strong tolerance under high salt concentrations. It can be concluded that malt bagasse waste has potential for application as biosorbent for removal of MG from aqueous solution.

Keywords: Color removal, kinetic and isotherm studies, thermodynamic parameters, FTIR.

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9 Preliminary Studies of MWCNT/PVDF Polymer Composites

Authors: Esther Lorrayne M. Pereira, Adriana Souza M. Batista, Fabíola A. S. Ribeiro, Adelina P. Santos, Clascídia A. Furtado, Luiz O. Faria

Abstract:

The combination of multi–walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with polymers offers an attractive route to reinforce the macromolecular compounds as well as the introduction of new properties based on morphological modifications or electronic interactions between the two constituents. As they are only a few nanometers in dimension, it offers ultra-large interfacial area per volume between the nano-element and polymer matrix. Nevertheless, the use of MWCNTs as a rough material in different applications has been largely limited by their poor processability, insolubility, and infusibility. Studies concerning the nanofiller reinforced polymer composites are justified in an attempt to overcome these limitations. This work presents one preliminary study of MWCNTs dispersion into the PVDF homopolymer. For preparation, the composite components were diluted in n,n-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) with mechanical agitation assistance. After complete dilution, followed by slow evaporation of the solvent at 60°C, the samples were dried. Films of about 80 μm were obtained. FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopic techniques were used to characterize the nanocomposites. The appearance of absorption bands in the FTIR spectra of nanofilled samples, when compared to the spectrum of pristine PVDF samples, are discussed and compared with the UV-Vis measurements.

Keywords: Composites materials, FTIR, MWNTs, PVDF, UVVis.

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8 Assessing drought Vulnerability of Bulgarian Agriculture through Model Simulations

Authors: Z. Popova, L. S. Pereira, М. Ivanova, P. Alexandrova, K. Doneva, V. Alexandrov, M. Kercheva

Abstract:

This study assesses the vulnerability of Bulgarian agriculture to drought using the WINISAREG model and seasonal standard precipitation index SPI(2) for the period 1951-2004. This model was previously validated for maize on soils of different water holding capacity (TAW) in various locations. Simulations are performed for Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Sofia. Results relative to Plovdiv show that in soils of large TAW (180 mm m-1) net irrigation requirements (NIRs) range 0-40 mm in wet years and 350-380 mm in dry years. In soils of small TAW (116 mm m-1), NIRs reach 440 mm in the very dry year. NIRs in Sofia are about 80 mm smaller. Rainfed maize is associated with great yield variability (29%91%) were found for seasonal agricultural drought relating the SPI (2) for “July-Aug" with the simulated RYD of rainfed maize while in Stara Zagora and Sofia the relationships are less accurate (R2>71%). When rainfed maize is grown on soils of large TAW economical losses are produced when high peak season SPI (2) < -0.50 in Plovdiv/Stara Zagora and SPI (2) < -0.90 in Sofia. The corresponding NIR thresholds were identified.

Keywords: Drought vulnerability, ISAREG simulation model, South Bulgaria, SPI-index

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7 Extending BDI Multiagent Systems with Agent Norms

Authors: Francisco José Plácido da Cunha, Tassio Ferenzini Martins Sirqueira, Marx Leles Viana, Carlos José Pereira de Lucena

Abstract:

Open Multiagent Systems (MASs) are societies in which heterogeneous and independently designed entities (agents) work towards similar, or different ends. Software agents are autonomous and the diversity of interests among different members living in the same society is a fact. In order to deal with this autonomy, these open systems use mechanisms of social control (norms) to ensure a desirable social order. This paper considers the following types of norms: (i) obligation — agents must accomplish a specific outcome; (ii) permission — agents may act in a particular way, and (iii) prohibition — agents must not act in a specific way. All of these characteristics mean to encourage the fulfillment of norms through rewards and to discourage norm violation by pointing out the punishments. Once the software agent decides that its priority is the satisfaction of its own desires and goals, each agent must evaluate the effects associated to the fulfillment of one or more norms before choosing which one should be fulfilled. The same applies when agents decide to violate a norm. This paper also introduces a framework for the development of MASs that provide support mechanisms to the agent’s decision-making, using norm-based reasoning. The applicability and validation of this approach is demonstrated applying a traffic intersection scenario.

Keywords: BDI aAgent, BDI4JADE framework, multiagent system, normative agents.

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6 Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin

Authors: Claudineia Brazil, Elison Eduardo Bierhals, Francisco Pereira, José Leandro Néris, Matheus Rippel, Luciane Salvi

Abstract:

The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Keywords: Climate change, hydrological potential, precipitation, mitigation.

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5 Mapping of Solar Radiation Anomalies Based on Climate Change

Authors: Elison Eduardo Jardim Bierhals, Claudineia Brazil, Francisco Pereira, Elton Rossini

Abstract:

The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.

Keywords: Climate change, solar radiation, energy utilization.

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4 An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

Authors: Paula Pascoal-Faria, Rúben Pereira, Elodie Pinto, Miguel Belbut, Ana Rosa, Inês Sousa, Nuno Alves

Abstract:

Apple bruise damage from harvesting, handling, transporting and sorting is considered to be the major source of reduced fruit quality, resulting in loss of profits for the entire fruit industry. The three factors which can physically cause fruit bruising are vibration, compression load and impact, the latter being the most common source of bruise damage. Therefore, prediction of the level of damage, stress distribution and deformation of the fruits under external force has become a very important challenge. In this study, experimental and numerical methods were used to better understand the impact caused when an apple is dropped from different heights onto a plastic surface and a conveyor belt. Results showed that the extent of fruit damage is significantly higher for plastic surface, being dependent on the height. In order to support the development of a biomimetic electronic device for the determination of fruit damage, the mechanical properties of the apple fruit were determined using mechanical tests. Preliminary results showed different values for the Young’s modulus according to the zone of the apple tested. Along with the mechanical characterization of the apple fruit, the development of the first two prototypes is discussed and the integration of the results obtained to construct the final element model of the apple is presented. This work will help to reduce significantly the bruise damage of fruits or vegetables during the entire processing which will allow the introduction of exportation destines and consequently an increase in the economic profits in this sector.

Keywords: Apple, fruit damage, impact during crop and post-crop, mechanical characterization of the apple, numerical evaluation of fruit bruise damage, electronic device.

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3 Use of Multiple Linear Regressions to Evaluate the Influence of O3 and PM10 on Biological Pollutants

Authors: S. I. V. Sousa, F.G. Martins, M. C. Pereira, M. C. M. Alvim-Ferraz, H. Ribeiro, M. Oliveira, I. Abreu

Abstract:

Exposure to ambient air pollution has been linked to a number of health outcomes, starting from modest transient changes in the respiratory tract and impaired pulmonary function, continuing to restrict activity/reduce performance and to the increase emergency rooms visits, hospital admissions or mortality. The increase of allergenic symptoms has been associated with air contaminants such as ozone, particulate matter, fungal spores and pollen. Considering the potential relevance of crossed effects of nonbiological pollutants and airborne pollens and fungal spores on allergy worsening, the aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of non-biological pollutants (O3 and PM10) and meteorological parameters on the concentrations of pollen and fungal spores using multiple linear regressions. The data considered in this study were collected in Oporto which is the second largest Portuguese city, located in the North. Daily mean of O3, PM10, pollen and fungal spore concentrations, temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind velocity, pollen and fungal spore concentrations, for 2003, 2004 and 2005 were considered. Results showed that the 90th percentile of the adjusted coefficient of determination, P90 (R2aj), of the multiple regressions varied from 0.613 to 0.916 for pollen and from 0.275 to 0.512 for fungal spores. O3 and PM10 showed to have some influence on the biological pollutants. Among the meteorological parameters analysed, temperature was the one that most influenced the pollen and fungal spores airborne concentrations. Relative humidity also showed to have some influence on the fungal spore dispersion. Nevertheless, the models for each pollen and fungal spore were different depending on the analysed period, which means that the correlations identified as statistically significant can not be, even so, consistent enough.

Keywords: Air pollutants, meteorological parameters, biologicalpollutants, multiple linear correlations.

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2 Antibacterial Effect of Silver Diamine Fluoride Incorporated in Fissure Sealants

Authors: Nélio Veiga, Paula Ferreira, Tiago Correia, Maria J. Correia, Carlos Pereira, Odete Amaral, Ilídio J. Correia

Abstract:

Introduction: The application of fissure sealants is considered to be an important primary prevention method used in dental medicine. However, the formation of microleakage gaps between tooth enamel and the fissure sealant applied is one of the most common reasons of dental caries development in teeth with fissure sealants. The association between various dental biomaterials may limit the major disadvantages and limitations of biomaterials functioning in a complementary manner. The present study consists in the incorporation of a cariostatic agent – silver diamine fluoride (SDF) – in a resin-based fissure sealant followed by the study of release kinetics by spectrophotometry analysis of the association between both biomaterials and assessment of the inhibitory effect on the growth of the reference bacterial strain Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) in an in vitro study. Materials and Methods: An experimental in vitro study was designed consisting in the entrapment of SDF (Cariestop® 12% and 30%) into a commercially available fissure sealant (Fissurit®), by photopolymerization and photocrosslinking. The same sealant, without SDF was used as a negative control. The effect of the sealants on the growth of S. mutans was determined by the presence of bacterial inhibitory halos in the cultures at the end of the incubation period. In order to confirm the absence of bacteria in the surface of the materials, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization was performed. Also, to analyze the release profile of SDF along time, spectrophotometry technique was applied. Results: The obtained results indicate that the association of SDF to a resin-based fissure sealant may be able to increase the inhibition of S. mutans growth. However, no SDF release was noticed during the in vitro release studies and no statistical significant difference was verified when comparing the inhibitory halo sizes obtained for test and control group.  Conclusions: In this study, the entrapment of SDF in the resin-based fissure sealant did not potentiate the antibacterial effect of the fissure sealant or avoid the immediate development of dental caries. The development of more laboratorial research and, afterwards, long-term clinical data are necessary in order to verify if this association between these biomaterials is effective and can be considered for being used in oral health management. Also, other methodologies for associating cariostatic agents and sealant should be addressed.

Keywords: Biomaterial, fissure sealant, primary prevention, silver diamine fluoride, S. mutans.

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1 The Philosophical Hermeneutics Contribution to Form a Highly Qualified Judiciary in Brazil

Authors: Thiago R. Pereira

Abstract:

The philosophical hermeneutics is able to change the Brazilian Judiciary because of the understanding of the characteristics of the human being. It is impossible for humans, to be invested in the function of being a judge, making absolutely neutral decisions, but the philosophical hermeneutics can assist the judge making impartial decisions, based on the federal constitution. The normative legal positivism imagined a neutral judge, a judge able to try without any preconceived ideas, without allowing his/her background to influence him/her. When a judge arbitrates based on legal rules, the problem is smaller, but when there are no clear legal rules, and the judge must try based on principles, the risk of the decision is based on what they believe in. Solipsistically, this issue gains a huge dimension. Today, the Brazilian judiciary is independent, but there must be a greater knowledge of philosophy and the philosophy of law, partially because the bigger problem is the unpredictability of decisions made by the judiciary. Actually, when a lawsuit is filed, the result of this judgment is absolutely unpredictable. It is almost a gamble. There must be the slightest legal certainty and predictability of judicial decisions, so that people, with similar cases, may not receive opposite sentences. The relativism, since classical antiquity, believes in the possibility of multiple answers. Since the Greeks in in the sixth century before Christ, through the Germans in the eighteenth century, and even today, it has been established the constitution as the great law, the Groundnorm, and thus, the relativism of life can be greatly reduced when a hermeneut uses the Constitution as North interpretational, where all interpretation must act as the hermeneutic constitutional filter. For a current philosophy of law, that inside a legal system with a Federal Constitution, there is a single correct answer to a specific case. The challenge is how to find this right answer. The only answer to this question will be that we should use the constitutional principles. But in many cases, a collision between principles will take place, and to resolve this issue, the judge or the hermeneut will choose a solipsism way, using what they personally believe to be the right one. For obvious reasons, that conduct is not safe. Thus, a theory of decision is necessary to seek justice, and the hermeneutic philosophy and the linguistic turn will be necessary for one to find the right answer. In order to help this difficult mission, it will be necessary to use philosophical hermeneutics in order to find the right answer, which is the constitutionally most appropriate response. The constitutionally appropriate response will not always be the answer that individuals agree to, but we must put aside our preferences and defend the answer that the Constitution gives us. Therefore, the hermeneutics applied to Law, in search constitutionally appropriate response, should be the safest way to avoid judicial individual decisions. The aim of this paper is to present the science of law starting from the linguistic turn, the philosophical hermeneutics, moving away from legal positivism. The methodology used in this paper is qualitative, academic and theoretical, philosophical hermeneutics with the mission to conduct research proposing a new way of thinking about the science of law. The research sought to demonstrate the difficulty of the Brazilian courts to depart from the secular influence of legal positivism. Moreover, the research sought to demonstrate the need to think science of law within a contemporary perspective, where the linguistic turn, philosophical hermeneutics, will be the surest way to conduct the science of law in the present century.

Keywords: Hermeneutic, right answer, solipsism, Brazilian Judiciary.

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