The evolution of the pyrolysis of sewage sludge in a fixed and a fluidized bed was analyzed using a novel measuring technique. This original measuring technique consists of installing the whole reactor over a precision scale, capable of measuring the mass of the complete reactor with enough precision to detect the mass released by the sewage sludge sample during its pyrolysis. The inert conditions required for the pyrolysis process were obtained supplying the bed with a nitrogen flowrate, and the bed temperature was adjusted to either 500 ºC or 600 ºC using a group of three electric resistors. The sewage sludge sample was supplied through the top of the bed in a batch of 10 g. The measurement of the mass released by the sewage sludge sample was employed to determine the evolution of the reaction rate during the pyrolysis, the total amount of volatile matter released, and the pyrolysis time. The pyrolysis tests of sewage sludge in the fluidized bed were conducted using two different bed materials of the same size but different densities: silica sand and sepiolite particles. The higher density of silica sand particles induces a flotsam behavior for the sewage sludge particles which move close to the bed surface. In contrast, the lower density of sepiolite produces a neutrally-buoyant behavior for the sewage sludge particles, which shows a proper circulation throughout the whole bed in this case. The analysis of the evolution of the pyrolysis process in both fluidized beds show that the pyrolysis is faster when buoyancy effects are negligible, i.e. in the bed conformed by sepiolite particles. Moreover, sepiolite was found to show an absorbent capability for the volatile matter released during the pyrolysis of sewage sludge.
High lamination in microchannel is one of the main challenges in on-chip components like micro total analyzer systems and lab-on-a-chips. Electro-osmotic force is highly effective in chip-scale. This research proposes a microfluidic-based micropump for low ionic strength solutions. Narrow microchannels are designed to generate an efficient electroosmotic flow near the walls. Microelectrodes are embedded in the lateral sides and actuated by low electric potential to generate pumping effect inside the channel. Based on the simulation study, the fluid velocity increases by increasing the electric potential amplitude. We achieve a net flow velocity of 100 µm/s, by applying +/- 2 V to the electrode structures. Our proposed low voltage design is of interest in conventional lab-on-a-chip applications.
On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.
The demand for an increasing diversification of the product spectrum associated with the current huge customization desire and subsequently the decreasing unit quantities of each production lot is gaining more and more importance within a great variety of industrial branches, e.g. automotive industry. Nevertheless, traditional product development and production processes (molding, extrusion) are already reaching their limits or fail to address these trends of a flexible and digitized production in view of a product variability up to lot size one. Thus, upcoming innovative production concepts like the additive manufacturing technology basically create new opportunities with regard to extensive potentials in product development (constructive optimization) and manufacturing (economic individualization), but mostly suffer from insufficient strength regarding structural components. Therefore, this contribution presents an innovative technological and procedural conception of a hybrid additive manufacturing process (fiber-reinforced sandwich structures based on selective laser sintering technology) to overcome these current structural weaknesses, and consequently support the design of complex lightweight components.
The available studies in the literature which dealt with the scale effects of strip footings on different sand packing systematically still remain scarce. In this research, the variation of ultimate bearing capacity and deformation pattern of soil beneath strip footings of different widths under plane-strain condition on the surface of loose, medium-dense and dense sand have been systematically studied using experimental and noninvasive methods for measuring microscopic deformations. The presented analyses are based on model scale compression test analysed using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Upper bound analysis of the current study shows that the maximum vertical displacement of the sand under the ultimate load increases for an increase in the width of footing, but at a decreasing rate with relative density of sand, whereas the relative vertical displacement in the sand decreases for an increase in the width of the footing. A well agreement is observed between experimental results for different footing widths and relative densities. The experimental analyses have shown that there exists pronounced scale effect for strip surface footing. The bearing capacity factors Nγ rapidly decrease up to footing widths B=0.25 m, 0.35 m, and 0.65 m for loose, medium-dense and dense sand respectively, after that there is no significant decrease in Nγ. The deformation modes of the soil as well as the ultimate bearing capacity values have been affected by the footing widths. The obtained results could be used to improve settlement calculation of the foundation interacting with granular soil.
Landmine detection is an important and yet challenging problem remains to be solved. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a powerful and rapidly maturing technology for subsurface threat identification. The detection methodology of GPR depends mainly on the contrast of the dielectric properties of the searched target and its surrounding soil. This contrast produces a partial reflection of the electromagnetic pulses that are being transmitted into the soil and then being collected by the GPR. One of the most critical hardware components for the performance of GPR is the antenna system. The current paper explores the design and simulation of a pyramidal horn antenna operating at L-band frequencies (1- 2 GHz) to detect a landmine. A prototype model of the GPR system setup is developed to simulate full wave analysis of the electromagnetic fields in different soil types. The contrast in the dielectric permittivity of the landmine and the sandy soil is the most important parameter to be considered for detecting the presence of landmine. L-band horn antenna is proved to be well-versed in the investigation of landmine detection.
The reliability of the power grid depends on the successful operation of thousands of protective relays. The failure of one relay to operate as intended may lead the entire power grid to blackout. In fact, major power system failures during transient disturbances may be caused by unnecessary protective relay tripping rather than by the failure of a relay to operate. Adequate relay testing provides a first defense against false trips of the relay and hence improves power grid stability and prevents catastrophic bulk power system failures. The goal of this research project is to design and enhance the relay tester using a technology such as Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) card NI 7851. A PC based tester framework has been developed using Simulink power system model for generating signals under different conditions (faults or transient disturbances) and LabVIEW for developing the graphical user interface and configuring the FPGA. Besides, the interface system has been developed for outputting and amplifying the signals without distortion. These signals should be like the generated ones by the real power system and large enough for testing the relay’s functionality. The signals generated that have been displayed on the scope are satisfactory. Furthermore, the proposed testing system can be used for improving the performance of protective relay.
This is report on experiment out to compare the sulphate resistance of sand mortar made with five different pozzolanic cement. The pozzolanic cement were prepared by blending powered burnt bricks from the Adamawa, Makurdi, Kano, Kaduna and Niger bricks factories with ordinary Portland cement in the ratio 1:4. Sand –pozzolanic cement mortars of mix ratio 1:6 and 1:3 with water-cement ratio of 0.65 and 0.40 respectively were used to prepare cubes and bars specimens. 150 mortar cubes of size 70mm x 70mm x 70mm and 35 mortar bars of 15mm x 15mm x 100mm dimensions were cast and cured for 28 days. The cured specimens then immersed in the solutions of K2SO4, (NH4)2SO4 and water for 28 days and then tested. The compressive strengths of cubes in water increased by 34% while those in the sulphate solutions decreased. Strength decreases of the cubes, cracking and warping of bars immersed in K2SO4 were less than those in (NH4)2SO4. Specimens made with Niger and Makurdi pulverized burnt bricks experienced less effect of the sulphates and can therefore be used as pozzolan in mortar and concrete to resist sulphate.
Kopet-Dagh Mountain Range is located in the north and northeast of Iran. Mozduran Formation in the east of Kopet-Dagh is mainly composed of limestone, dolomite, with shale and sandstone interbedded. Mozduran Formation is reservoir rock of the Khangiran gas field. The location of the study was east Kopet-Dagh basin (Northeast Iran) where the deliberate thickness of formation is 418 meters. In the present study, a total of 57 samples were gathered. Moreover, 100 thin sections were made out of 52 samples. According to the findings of the thin section study, 18 genera and nine species of foraminifera and algae were identified. Based on the index fossils, the age of the Mozduran Formation was identified as Upper Jurassic (Kimmerdgian-Tithonian) in the east of Kopet-Dagh basin. According to the magnetite data (total intensity and RTP map), there is a disconformity (low intensity) between the Kashaf-Rood Formation and Mozduran Formation. At the top, where among Mozduran Formation and Shurijeh Formation, is high intensity and a widespread disconformity (high intensity).
A bi-objective fuzzy transportation problem with the objectives to minimize the total fuzzy cost and fuzzy time of transportation without according priorities to them is considered. To the best of our knowledge, there is no method in the literature to find efficient solutions of the bi-objective transportation problem under uncertainty. In this paper, a bi-objective transportation problem in an uncertain environment has been formulated. An algorithm has been proposed to find efficient solutions of the bi-objective transportation problem under uncertainty. The proposed algorithm avoids the degeneracy and gives the optimal solution faster than other existing algorithms for the given uncertain transportation problem.
Augmented reality sandbox adds new dimensions to education and learning process. It can be a core component of geoscience teaching and learning to understand the geographic contexts and landform processes. Augmented reality sandbox is a useful tool not only to create an interactive learning environment through spatial visualization but also it can provide an active learning experience to students and enhances the cognition process of learning. Augmented reality sandbox can be used as an interactive learning tool to teach geomorphic and landform processes. This article explains the augmented reality sandbox and the constructivism approach for geoscience teaching and learning, and endeavours to explore the ways to teach the geographic processes using the three-dimensional digital environment for the deep learning of the geoscience concepts interactively.
This study statistically models the surface f0 contour and the underlying pitch target of a well-studied third sandhi tone of Mandarin Chinese. Although the growth curve analysis on the surface f0 contours indicates non-neutralization of this sandhi tone (T3) and the base T2, their underlying pitch targets do show neutralization. These results in Mandarin are also consistent with the perception of native speakers, where they cannot distinguish the third T3 from the base T2, compensating contextual variation. It is possible to use the proposed statistical procedure of testing underlying pitch targets to verify tone sandhi processes in other tonal languages.
The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.
Interoperable medical devices (IMDs) face threats due to the increased attack surface accessible by interoperability and the corresponding infrastructure. Initiating networking and coordination functionalities primarily modify medical systems' security properties. Understanding the threats is a vital first step in ultimately crafting security solutions for such systems. The key to this problem is coming up with some common types of threats or attacks with those of security and privacy, and providing this information as a roadmap. This paper analyses the security issues in interoperability of devices and presents the main types of threats that have to be considered to build a secured system.
The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.
This paper attempted to investigate whether there is Granger-causality running from trade to environment as evidenced in the changing climatic condition and land degradation. Using Tanzania as the reference, VAR-Granger-causality test was employed to rationalize the conundrum of causal-effect relationship between trade and environment. The changing climatic condition, as the proxy of both nitrous oxide emissions (in thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent) and land degradation measured by the size of arable land were tested against trade using both exports and imports variables. The result indicated that neither of the trade variables Granger-cause the variability on gas emissions and arable land size. This suggests the possibility that all trade concerns in relation to environment to have been internalized in domestic policies to offset any likely negative consequence.
In order to prevent encountering unpredictable factors, geotechnical engineers always conduct numerical analysis for braced excavation design. Simulation work in advance can predict the response of subsequent excavation and thus will be designed to increase the security coefficient of construction. The parameters that are considered include geological conditions, soil properties, soil distributions, loading types, and the analysis and design methods. National Ilan University is located on the LanYang plain, mainly deposited by clayey soil and loose sand, and thus is vulnerable to external influence displacement. National Ilan University experienced a construction of braced excavation with a complete program of monitoring excavation. This study takes advantage of a one-dimensional finite element method RIDO to simulate the excavation process. The predicted results from numerical simulation analysis are compared with the monitored results of construction to explore the differences between them. Numerical simulation analysis of the excavation process can be used to analyze retaining structures for the purpose of understanding the relationship between the displacement and supporting system. The resulting deformation and stress distribution from the braced excavation cab then be understand in advance. The problems can be prevented prior to the construction process, and thus acquire all the affected important factors during design and construction.
Utilizing waste materials in civil engineering applications has a positive influence on the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and issues associated with waste disposal. Granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) is a by-product of the iron and steel industry, with millions of tons of slag being annually produced worldwide. Slag has been widely used in structural engineering and for stabilizing clay soils; however, studies on the effect of slag on sandy soils are scarce. This article investigates the effect of slag content on shear strength parameters through direct shear tests and unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests on mixtures of Perth sand and slag. For this purpose, sand-slag mixtures, with slag contents of 2%, 4%, and 6% by weight of samples, were tested with direct shear tests under three normal stress values, namely 100 kPa, 150 kPa, and 200 kPa. Unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests were performed under a single confining pressure of 100 kPa and relative density of 80%. The internal friction angles and shear stresses of the mixtures were determined via the direct shear tests, demonstrating that shear stresses increased with increasing normal stress and the internal friction angles and cohesion increased with increasing slag. There were no significant differences in shear stresses parameters when slag content rose from 4% to 6%. The unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests demonstrated that shear strength increased with increasing slag content.
In recent years, nanotechnology has played an important role in the design of an efficient radiation shielding polymeric composites. It is well known that, high loading of nanomaterials with radiation absorption properties can enhance the radiation attenuation efficiency of shielding structures. However, due to difficulties in dispersion of nanomaterials into polymer matrices, there has been a limitation in higher loading percentages of nanoparticles in the polymer matrix. Therefore, the objective of the present work is to provide a methodology to fabricate and then to characterize the functionally graded radiation shielding structures, which can provide an efficient radiation absorption property along with good structural integrity. Sandwich structures composed of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric as face sheets and functionally graded epoxy nanocomposite as core material were fabricated. A method to fabricate a functionally graded core panel with controllable gradient dispersion of nanoparticles is discussed. In order to optimize the design of functionally graded sandwich composites and to analyze the stress distribution throughout the sandwich composite thickness, a finite element method was used. The sandwich panels were discretized using 3-Dimensional 8 nodded brick elements. Classical laminate analysis in conjunction with simplified micromechanics equations were used to obtain the properties of the face sheets. The presented finite element model would provide insight into deformation and damage mechanics of the functionally graded sandwich composites from the structural point of view.