Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 297

Effect of Heat Treatment on Mechanical Properties and Wear Behavior of Al7075 Alloy Reinforced with Beryl and Graphene Hybrid Metal Matrix Composites

In the recent years, aluminum metal matrix composites were most widely used, which are finding wide applications in various field such as automobile, aerospace defense etc., due to their outstanding mechanical properties like low density, light weight, exceptional high levels of strength, stiffness, wear resistance, high temperature resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion and good formability. In the present work, an effort is made to study the effect of heat treatment on mechanical properties of aluminum 7075 alloy reinforced with constant weight percentage of naturally occurring mineral beryl and varying weight percentage of graphene. The hybrid composites are developed with 0.5 wt. %, 1wt.%, 1.5 wt.% and 2 wt.% of graphene and 6 wt.% of beryl  by stir casting liquid metallurgy route. The cast specimens of unreinforced aluminum alloy and hybrid composite samples were prepared for heat treatment process and subjected to solutionizing treatment (T6) at a temperature of 490±5 oC for 8 hours in a muffle furnace followed by quenching in boiling water. The microstructure analysis of as cast and heat treated hybrid composite specimens are examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The tensile test and hardness test of unreinforced aluminum alloy and hybrid composites are examined. The wear behavior is examined by pin-on disc apparatus. The results of as cast specimens and heat treated specimens were compared. The heat treated Al7075-Beryl-Graphene hybrid composite had better properties and significantly improved the ultimate tensile strength, hardness and reduced wear loss when compared to aluminum alloy and  as cast hybrid composites.

Water Management Scheme: Panacea to Development Using Nigeria’s University of Ibadan Water Supply Scheme as a Case Study

The supply of potable water at least is a very important index in national development. Water tariffs depend on the treatment cost which carries the highest percentage of the total operation cost in any water supply scheme. In order to keep water tariffs as low as possible, treatment costs have to be minimized. The University of Ibadan, Nigeria, water supply scheme consists of a treatment plant with three distribution stations (Amina way, Kurumi and Lander) and two raw water supply sources (Awba dam and Eleyele dam). An operational study of the scheme was carried out to ascertain the efficiency of the supply of potable water on the campus to justify the need for water supply schemes in tertiary institutions. The study involved regular collection, processing and analysis of periodic operational data. Data collected include supply reading (water production on daily basis) and consumers metered reading for a period of 22 months (October 2013 - July 2015), and also collected, were the operating hours of both plants and human beings. Applying the required mathematical equations, total loss was determined for the distribution system, which was translated into monetary terms. Adequacies of the operational functions were also determined. The study revealed that water supply scheme is justified in tertiary institutions. It was also found that approximately 10.7 million Nigerian naira (N) is lost to leakages during the 22-month study period; the system’s storage capacity is no longer adequate, especially for peak water production. The capacity of the system as a whole is insufficient for the present university population and that the existing water supply system is not being operated in an optimal manner especially due to personnel, power and system ageing constraints.

In vitro Study of Laser Diode Radiation Effect on the Photo-Damage of MCF-7 and MCF-10A Cell Clusters

Breast Cancer is one of the most considerable diseases in the United States and other countries and is the second leading cause of death in women. Common breast cancer treatments would lead to adverse side effects such as loss of hair, nausea, and weakness. These complications arise because these cancer treatments damage some healthy cells while eliminating the cancer cells. In an effort to address these complications, laser radiation was utilized and tested as a targeted cancer treatment for breast cancer. In this regard, tissue engineering approaches are being employed by using an electrospun scaffold in order to facilitate the growth of breast cancer cells. Polycaprolacton (PCL) was used as a material for scaffold fabricating because of its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and supporting cell growth. The specific breast cancer cells have the ability to create a three-dimensional cell cluster due to the spontaneous accumulation of cells in the porosity of the scaffold under some specific conditions. Therefore, we are looking for a higher density of porosity and larger pore size. Fibers showed uniform diameter distribution and final scaffold had optimum characteristics with approximately 40% porosity. The images were taken by SEM and the density and the size of the porosity were determined with the Image. After scaffold preparation, it has cross-linked by glutaraldehyde. Then, it has been washed with glycine and phosphate buffer saline (PBS), in order to neutralize the residual glutaraldehyde. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromidefor (MTT) results have represented approximately 91.13% viability of the scaffolds for cancer cells. In order to create a cluster, Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7, breast cancer cell line) and Michigan Cancer Foundation-10A (MCF-10A, human mammary epithelial cell line) cells were cultured on the scaffold in 24 well plate for five days. Then, we have exposed the cluster to the laser diode 808 nm radiation to investigate the effect of laser on the tumor with different power and time. Under the same conditions, cancer cells lost their viability more than the healthy ones. In conclusion, laser therapy is a viable method to destroy the target cells and has a minimum effect on the healthy tissues and cells and it can improve the other method of cancer treatments limitations.

Estimation of Geotechnical Parameters by Comparing Monitoring Data with Numerical Results: Case Study of Arash–Esfandiar-Niayesh Under-Passing Tunnel, Africa Tunnel, Tehran, Iran

The under passing tunnels are strongly influenced by the soils around. There are some complexities in the specification of real soil behavior, owing to the fact that lots of uncertainties exist in soil properties, and additionally, inappropriate soil constitutive models. Such mentioned factors may cause incompatible settlements in numerical analysis with the obtained values in actual construction. This paper aims to report a case study on a specific tunnel constructed by NATM. The tunnel has a depth of 11.4 m, height of 12.2 m, and width of 14.4 m with 2.5 lanes. The numerical modeling was based on a 2D finite element program. The soil material behavior was modeled by hardening soil model. According to the field observations, the numerical estimated settlement at the ground surface was approximately four times more than the measured one, after the entire installation of the initial lining, indicating that some unknown factors affect the values. Consequently, the geotechnical parameters are accurately revised by a numerical back-analysis using laboratory and field test data and based on the obtained monitoring data. The obtained result confirms that typically, the soil parameters are conservatively low-estimated. And additionally, the constitutive models cannot be applied properly for all soil conditions.

Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 1: Overview and Activities in Chemical Processing Facility

Chemical Processing Facility of Japan Atomic Energy Agency is a basic research field for advanced back-end technology developments with using actual high-level radioactive materials such as irradiated fuels from the fast reactor, high-level liquid waste from reprocessing plant. In the nature of a research facility, various kinds of chemical reagents have been offered for fundamental tests. Most of them were treated properly and stored in the liquid waste vessel equipped in the facility, but some were not treated and remained at the experimental space as a kind of legacy waste. It is required to treat the waste in safety. On the other hand, we formulated the Medium- and Long-Term Management Plan of Japan Atomic Energy Agency Facilities. This comprehensive plan considers Chemical Processing Facility as one of the facilities to be decommissioned. Even if the plan is executed, treatment of the “legacy” waste beforehand must be a necessary step for decommissioning operation. Under this circumstance, we launched a collaborative research project called the STRAD project, which stands for Systematic Treatment of Radioactive liquid waste for Decommissioning, in order to develop the treatment processes for wastes of the nuclear research facility. In this project, decomposition methods of chemicals causing a troublesome phenomenon such as corrosion and explosion have been developed and there is a prospect of their decomposition in the facility by simple method. And solidification of aqueous or organic liquid wastes after the decomposition has been studied by adding cement or coagulants. Furthermore, we treated experimental tools of various materials with making an effort to stabilize and to compact them before the package into the waste container. It is expected to decrease the number of transportation of the solid waste and widen the operation space. Some achievements of these studies will be shown in this paper. The project is expected to contribute beneficial waste management outcome that can be shared world widely.

Microwave Plasma Dry Reforming of Methane at High CO2/CH4 Feed Ratio

Dry reforming of methane that converts two greenhouses gases (CH4 and CO2) to synthesis gas (a mixture of H2 and CO) was studied in a commercial bench scale microwave (MW) plasma reactor system at atmospheric pressure. The CO2, CH4 and N2 conversions; H2, CO selectivities and yields, and syngas ratio (H2/CO) were investigated in a wide range of total feed flow rate (0.45 – 2.1 L/min), MW power (700 – 1200 watt) and CO2/CH4 molar ratio (2 – 5). At the feed flow rates of CH4, CO2 and N2 of 0.2, 0.4 and 1.5 L/min respectively, and the MWs input power of 700 W, the highest conversions of CH4 and CO2, selectivity and yield of H2, CO and H2/CO ratio of 79.35%, 44.82%, 50.12, 58.42, 39.77%, 32.89%, and 0.86, respectively, were achieved. The results of this work show that the product ratio increases slightly with the increasing total feed flow rate, but it decreases significantly with the increasing MW power and feeds CO2/CH4 ratio.

Production of Spherical Cementite within Bainitic Matrix Microstructures in High Carbon Powder Metallurgy Steels

The hardness-microstructure relationships of spherical cementite in bainitic matrix obtained by a different heat treatment cycles carried out to high carbon powder metallurgy (P/M) steel were investigated. For this purpose, 1.5 wt.% natural graphite powder admixed in atomized iron powders and the mixed powders were compacted under 700 MPa at room temperature and then sintered at 1150 °C under a protective argon gas atmosphere. The densities of the green and sintered samples were measured via the Archimedes method. A density of 7.4 g/cm3 was obtained after sintering and a density of 94% was achieved. The sintered specimens having primary cementite plus lamellar pearlitic structures were fully quenched from 950 °C temperature and then over-tempered at 705 °C temperature for 60 minutes to produce spherical-fine cementite particles in the ferritic matrix. After by this treatment, these samples annealed at 735 °C temperature for 3 minutes were austempered at 300 °C salt bath for a period of 1 to 5 hours. As a result of this process, it could be able to produced spherical cementite particle in the bainitic matrix. This microstructure was designed to improve wear and toughness of P/M steels. The microstructures were characterized and analyzed by SEM and micro and macro hardness.

A Study on the Effect of Mg and Ag Additions and Age Hardening Treatment on the Properties of As-Cast Al-Cu-Mg-Ag Alloys

This study focuses on the effect of the addition of magnesium (Mg) and silver (Ag) on the mechanical properties of aluminum based alloys. The alloying elements will be added at different levels using the factorial design of experiments of 22; the two factors are Mg and Ag at two levels of concentration. The superior mechanical properties of the produced Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys after aging will be resulted from a unique type of precipitation named as Ω-phase. The formed precipitate enhanced the tensile strength and thermal stability. This paper further investigated the microstructure and mechanical properties of as cast Al–Cu–Mg–Ag alloys after being complete homogenized treatment at 520 °C for 8 hours followed by isothermally age hardening process at 190 °C for different periods of time. The homogenization at 520 °C for 8 hours was selected based on homogenization study at various temperatures and times. The alloys’ microstructures were studied by using optical microscopy (OM). In addition to that, the fracture surface investigation was performed using a scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Studying the microstructure of aged Al-Cu-Mg-Ag alloys reveal that the grains are equiaxed with an average grain size of about 50 µm. A detailed fractography study for fractured surface of the aged alloys exhibited a mixed fracture whereby the random fracture suggested crack propagation along the grain boundaries while the dimples indicated that the fracture was ductile. The present result has shown that alloy 5 has the highest hardness values and the best mechanical behaviors.

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

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

Urban Waste Water Governance in South Africa: A Case Study of Stellenbosch
Due to climate change, population growth and rapid urbanization, the demand for water in South Africa is inevitably surpassing supply. To address similar challenges globally, there has been a paradigm shift from conventional urban waste water management “government” to a “governance” paradigm. From the governance paradigm, Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) principle emerged. This principle emphasizes efficient urban waste water treatment and production of high-quality recyclable effluent. In so doing mimicking natural water systems, in their processes of recycling water efficiently, and averting depletion of natural water resources.  The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of shifting the current urban waste water management approach from a “government” paradigm towards “governance”. The study was conducted through Interactive Management soft systems research methodology which follows a qualitative research design. A case study methodology was employed, guided by realism research philosophy. Qualitative data gathered were analyzed through interpretative structural modelling using Concept Star for Professionals Decision-Making tools (CSPDM) version 3.64.  The constructed model deduced that the main drivers in shifting the Stellenbosch municipal urban waste water management towards IUWM “governance” principles are mainly social elements characterized by overambitious expectations of the public on municipal water service delivery, mis-interpretation of the constitution on access to adequate clean water and sanitation as a human right and perceptions on recycling water by different communities. Inadequate public participation also emerged as a strong driver. However, disruptive events such as draught may play a positive role in raising an awareness on the value of water, resulting in a shift on the perceptions on recycled water. Once the social elements are addressed, the alignment of governance and administration elements towards IUWM are achievable. Hence, the point of departure for the desired paradigm shift is the change of water service authorities and serviced communities’ perceptions and behaviors towards shifting urban waste water management approaches from “government” to “governance” paradigm.
Interaction of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Temperature on Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) Growth and Fruit Yield

Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] and ambient temperature associated with changing climatic conditions will have significant impacts on agriculture crop productivity and quality. Independent effects of the above two environmental variables on the growth, yield and quality of strawberry were well documented. Higher temperatures over the optimum range (20-25ºC) lead to crop failures, while elevated [CO2] stimulated plant growth and yield but compromised the physical quality of fruits. However, there is very limited understanding of the interaction between these variables on the plant growth, yield and quality. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the interactive effect of high temperature and elevated [CO2] on growth, yield and quality of strawberries. Strawberry cultivars ‘Albion’ and ‘San Andreas’ were grown under six different combinations of two temperatures (25 and 30ºC) and three [CO2] (400, 650 and 950 µmol mol-1) in controlled-environmental growth chambers. Plant growth measurements such as plant height, canopy area, number of flowers, and fruit yield were measured during phonological development. Photosynthesis and transpiration, the ratio of intercellular to atmospheric [CO2] (Ci/Ca) were measured to estimate the physiological adjustment to climate stress. The impact of temperature and [CO2] interaction on growth and yield of strawberry was significant (p < 0.05). Across both cultivars, highest fruit yields were observed at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2], which was particularly clear at 25°C. The fruit yield gradually decreased at 30°C under all the treatment combinations. However, photosynthesis rates were highest at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2] but no increment was found at 900 µmol mol-1 [CO2]. Interestingly, Ci/Ca ratio increased with increasing atmospheric [CO2] which was predominant at high temperature. Similarly, fruit yield was substantially reduced at high [CO2] under high temperature. Our findings suggest that increased Ci/Ca ratio at high temperature is likely reduces the photosynthesis and thus yield response to elevated [CO2].

Comparing Field Displacement History with Numerical Results to Estimate Geotechnical Parameters: Case Study of Arash-Esfandiar-Niayesh under Passing Tunnel, 2.5 Traffic Lane Tunnel, Tehran, Iran

Underground structures are of those structures that have uncertainty in design procedures. That is due to the complexity of soil condition around. Under passing tunnels are also such affected structures. Despite geotechnical site investigations, lots of uncertainties exist in soil properties due to unknown events. As results, it possibly causes conflicting settlements in numerical analysis with recorded values in the project. This paper aims to report a case study on a specific under passing tunnel constructed by New Austrian Tunnelling Method in Iran. The intended tunnel has an overburden of about 11.3m, the height of 12.2m and, the width of 14.4m with 2.5 traffic lane. The numerical modeling was developed by a 2D finite element program (PLAXIS Version 8). Comparing displacement histories at the ground surface during the entire installation of initial lining, the estimated surface settlement was about four times the field recorded one, which indicates that some local unknown events affect that value. Also, the displacement ratios were in a big difference between the numerical and field data. Consequently, running several numerical back analyses using laboratory and field tests data, the geotechnical parameters were accurately revised to match with the obtained monitoring data. Finally, it was found that usually the values of soil parameters are conservatively low-estimated up to 40 percent by typical engineering judgment. Additionally, it could be attributed to inappropriate constitutive models applied for the specific soil condition.

Investigation of Microstructure of Differently Sub-Zero Treated Vanadis 6 Steel

Ledeburitic tool steel Vanadis 6 has been subjected to sub-zero treatment (SZT) at -140 °C and -196 °C, for different durations up to 48 h. The microstructure and hardness have been examined with reference to the same material after room temperature quenching, by using the light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Vickers hardness testing method. The microstructure of the material consists of the martensitic matrix with certain amount of retained austenite, and of several types of carbides – eutectic carbides, secondary carbides, and small globular carbides. SZT reduces the retained austenite amount – this is more effective at -196 °C than at -140 °C. Alternatively, the amount of small globular carbides increases more rapidly after SZT at -140 °C than after the treatment at -140 °C. The hardness of sub-zero treated material is higher than that of conventionally treated steel when tempered at low temperature. Compressive hydrostatic stresses are developed in the retained austenite due to the application of SZT, as a result of more complete martensitic transformation. This is also why the population density of small globular carbides is substantially increased due to the SZT. In contrast, the hardness of sub-zero treated samples decreases more rapidly compared to that of conventionally treated steel, and in addition, sub-zero treated material induces a loss the secondary hardening peak.

Simultaneous Improvement of Wear Performance and Toughness of Ledeburitic Tool Steels by Sub-Zero Treatment

The strength, hardness, and toughness (ductility) are in strong conflict for the metallic materials. The only possibility how to make their simultaneous improvement is to provide the microstructural refinement, by cold deformation, and subsequent recrystallization. However, application of this kind of treatment is impossible for high-carbon high-alloyed ledeburitic tool steels. Alternatively, it has been demonstrated over the last few years that sub-zero treatment induces some microstructural changes in these materials, which might favourably influence their complex of mechanical properties. Commercially available PM ledeburitic steel Vanadis 6 has been used for the current investigations. The paper demonstrates that sub-zero treatment induces clear refinement of the martensite, reduces the amount of retained austenite, enhances the population density of fine carbides, and makes alterations in microstructural development that take place during tempering. As a consequence, the steel manifests improved wear resistance at higher toughness and fracture toughness. Based on the obtained results, the key question “can the wear performance be improved by sub-zero treatment simultaneously with toughness” can be answered by “definitely yes”.

Different Formula of Mixed Bacteria as a Bio-Treatment for Sewage Wastewater

This study aims to investigate the ability of different formula of mixed bacteria as a biological treatments of wastewater after primary treatment as a bio-treatment and bio-removal and bio-adsorbent of different heavy metals in natural circumstances. The wastewater was collected from Sarpium forest site-Ismailia Governorate, Egypt. These treatments were mixture of free cells and mixture of immobilized cells of different bacteria. These different formulas of mixed bacteria were prepared under Lab. condition. The obtained data indicated that, as a result of wastewater bio-treatment, the removal rate was found to be 76.92 and 76.70% for biological oxygen demand, 79.78 and 71.07% for chemical oxygen demand, 32.45 and 36.84 % for ammonia nitrogen as well as 91.67 and 50.0% for phosphate after 24 and 28 hrs with mixed free cells and mixed immobilized cells, respectively. Moreover, the bio-removals of different heavy metals were found to reach 90.0 and 50. 0% for Cu ion, 98.0 and 98.5% for Fe ion, 97.0 and 99.3% for Mn ion, 90.0 and 90.0% Pb, 80.0% and 75.0% for Zn ion after 24 and 28 hrs with mixed free cells and mixed immobilized cells, respectively. The results indicated that 13.86 and 17.43% of removal efficiency and reduction of total dissolved solids were achieved after 24 and 28 hrs with mixed free cells and mixed immobilized cells, respectively.

An Alternative and Complementary Medicine Method in Vulnerable Pediatric Cancer Patients: Yoga

Pediatric cancer patients experience multiple distressing, challenges, physical symptom such as fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, and balance impairment that continue years after treatment completion. In recent years, yoga is often used in children with cancer to cope with these symptoms. Yoga practice is defined as a unique physical activity that combines physical practice, breath work and mindfulness/meditation. Yoga is an increasingly popular mind-body practice also characterized as a mindfulness mode of exercise. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of yoga intervention of children with cancer. This article planned searching the literature in this field. It has been determined that individualized yoga is feasible and provides benefits for inpatient children, improves health-related quality of life, physical activity levels, physical fitness. After yoga program, children anxiety score decreases significantly. Additionally, individualized yoga is feasible for inpatient children receiving intensive chemotherapy. As a result, yoga is an alternative and complementary medicine that can be safely used in children with cancer.

Surface Modification of Titanium Alloy with Laser Treatment

The effect of laser surface treatment parameters on the residual strength of titanium alloy has been investigated. The influence of the laser surface treatment on the bonding strength between the titanium and poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) surfaces was also evaluated and compared to those offered by titanium foils without surface treatment to optimize the laser parameters. Material characterization using an optical microscope was carried out to study the microstructure and to measure the mean roughness value of the titanium surface. The results showed that the surface roughness shows a significant dependency on the laser power parameters in which surface roughness increases with the laser power increment. Moreover, the results of the tensile tests have shown that there is no significant dropping in tensile strength for the treated samples comparing to the virgin ones. In order to optimize the laser parameter as well as the corresponding surface roughness, single-lap shear tests were conducted on pairs of the laser treated titanium stripes. The results showed that the bonding shear strength between titanium alloy and PEKK film increased with the surface roughness increment to a specific limit. After this point, it is interesting to note that there was no significant effect for the laser parameter on the bonding strength. This evidence suggests that it is not necessary to use very high power of laser to treat titanium surface to achieve a good bonding strength between titanium alloy and the PEKK film.

Optimization of Air Pollution Control Model for Mining

The sustainable measures on air quality management are recognized as one of the most serious environmental concerns in the mining region. The mining operations emit various types of pollutants which have significant impacts on the environment. This study presents a stochastic control strategy by developing the air pollution control model to achieve a cost-effective solution. The optimization method is formulated to predict the cost of treatment using linear programming with an objective function and multi-constraints. The constraints mainly focus on two factors which are: production of metal should not exceed the available resources, and air quality should meet the standard criteria of the pollutant. The applicability of this model is explored through a case study of an open pit metal mine, Utah, USA. This method simultaneously uses meteorological data as a dispersion transfer function to support the practical local conditions. The probabilistic analysis and the uncertainties in the meteorological conditions are accomplished by Monte Carlo simulation. Reasonable results have been obtained to select the optimized treatment technology for PM2.5, PM10, NOx, and SO2. Additional comparison analysis shows that baghouse is the least cost option as compared to electrostatic precipitator and wet scrubbers for particulate matter, whereas non-selective catalytical reduction and dry-flue gas desulfurization are suitable for NOx and SO2 reduction respectively. Thus, this model can aid planners to reduce these pollutants at a marginal cost by suggesting control pollution devices, while accounting for dynamic meteorological conditions and mining activities.

Catalytic Study of Methanol-to-Propylene Conversion over Nano-Sized HZSM-5

Methanol-to-propylene conversion was carried out in a continuous-flow fixed-bed reactor over nano-sized HZSM-5 zeolites. The HZSM-5 catalysts were synthesized with different Si/Al ratio and silicon sources, and treated with NaOH. The structural property, morphology, and acidity of catalysts were measured by XRD, N2 adsorption, FE-SEM, TEM, and NH3-TPD. The results indicate that the increment of Si/Al ratio decreased the acidity of catalysts and then improved propylene selectivity, while silicon sources had slight impact on the acidity but affected the product distribution. The desilication after alkali treatment could increase intracrystalline mesopores and enhance propylene selectivity.

Integrated Waste-to-Energy Approach: An Overview

This study evaluates the benefits of advanced waste management practices in unlocking waste-to-energy opportunities within the solid waste industry. The key drivers of sustainable waste management practices, specifically with respect to packaging waste-to-energy technology options are discussed. The success of a waste-to-energy system depends significantly on the appropriateness of available technologies, including those that are well established as well as those that are less so. There are hard and soft interventions to be considered when packaging an integrated waste treatment solution. Technology compatibility with variation in feedstock (waste) quality and quantities remains a key factor. These factors influence the technology reliability in terms of production efficiencies and product consistency, which in turn, drives the supply and demand network. Waste treatment technologies rely on the waste material as feedstock; the feedstock varies in quality and quantities depending on several factors; hence, the technology fails, as a result. It is critical to design an advanced waste treatment technology in an integrated approach to minimize the possibility of technology failure due to unpredictable feedstock quality, quantities, conversion efficiencies, and inconsistent product yield or quality. An integrated waste-to-energy approach offers a secure system design that considers sustainable waste management practices.

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

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

Developing Laser Spot Position Determination and PRF Code Detection with Quadrant Detector

In this paper, we are interested in modeling, simulation, and measurement of the laser spot position with a quadrant detector. We enhance detection and tracking of semi-laser weapon decoding system based on microcontroller. The system receives the reflected pulse through quadrant detector and processes the laser pulses through a processing circuit, a microcontroller decoding laser pulse reflected by the target. The seeker accuracy will be enhanced by the decoding system, the laser detection time based on the receiving pulses number is reduced, a gate is used to limit the laser pulse width. The model is implemented based on Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) technique with two microcontroller units (MCU). MCU1 generates laser pulses with different codes. MCU2 decodes the laser code and locks the system at the specific code. The codes EW selected based on the two selector switches. The system is implemented and tested in Proteus ISIS software. The implementation of the full position determination circuit with the detector is produced. General system for the spot position determination was performed with the laser PRF for incident radiation and the mechanical system for adjusting system at different angles. The system test results show that the system can detect the laser code with only three received pulses based on the narrow gate signal, and good agreement between simulation and measured system performance is obtained.

A Review on the Importance of Nursing Approaches in Nutrition of Children with Cancer

In recent years, cancer has been at the top of diseases that cause death in children. Adequate and balanced nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of cancer. Cancer and cancer treatment is affecting food intake, absorption and metabolism, causing nutritional disorders. Appropriate nutrition is very important for the cancerous child to feel well before, during and after the treatment. There are various difficulties in feeding children with cancer. These are the cancer-related factors. Other factors are environmental and behavioral. As health professionals who spend more time with children in the hospital, nurses should be able to support the children on nutrition and help them to have balanced nutrition. This study aimed to evaluate the importance of nursing approaches in the nutrition of children with cancer. This article is planned as a review article by searching the literature on this field. Anorexia may develop due to psychogenic causes or chemotherapeutic agents or accompanying infections and nutrient uptake may be reduced.  In addition, stomatitis, mucositis, taste and odor changes in the mouth, the feeling of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also reduce oral intake and result in significant losses in the energy deficit. In assessing the nutritional status of children with cancer, determining weight loss and good nutrition is essential anamnesis of a child.  Some anthropometric measurements and biochemical tests should be used to evaluate the nutrition of the child. The nutritional status of pediatric cancer patients has been studied for a long time and malnutrition, in particular under nutrition, in this population has long been recognized. Yet, its management remains variable with many malnourished children going unrecognized and consequently untreated. Nutritional support is important to pediatric cancer patients and should be integrated into the overall treatment of these children.

Optimization of the Co-Precipitation of Industrial Waste Metals in a Continuous Reactor System

A continuous copper precipitation treatment (CCPT) system was conceived at Intel Chandler Site to serve as a first-of-kind (FOK) facility-scale waste copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and manganese (Mn) co-precipitation facility. The process was designed to treat highly variable wastewater discharged from a substrate packaging research factory. The paper discusses metals co-precipitation induced by internal changes for manufacturing facilities that lack the capacity for hardware expansion due to real estate restrictions, aggressive schedules, or budgetary constraints. Herein, operating parameters such as pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) were examined to analyze the ability of the CCPT System to immobilize various waste metals. Additionally, influential factors such as influent concentrations and retention times were investigated to quantify the environmental variability against system performance. A total of 2,027 samples were analyzed and statistically evaluated to measure the performance of CCPT that was internally retrofitted for Mn abatement to meet environmental regulations. In order to enhance the consistency of the influent, a separate holding tank was cannibalized from another system to collect and slow-feed the segregated Mn wastewater from the factory into CCPT. As a result, the baseline influent Mn decreased from 17.2+18.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 5.15+8.11 mg1L-1 post-pilot (70.1% reduction). Likewise, the pre-trial and post-trial average influent Cu values to CCPT were 52.0+54.6 mg1L-1 and 33.9+12.7 mg1L-1, respectively (34.8% reduction). However, the raw Ni content of 0.97+0.39 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot increased to 1.06+0.17 mg1L-1 at post-pilot. The average Mn output declined from 10.9+11.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 0.44+1.33 mg1L-1 at post-pilot (96.0% reduction) as a result of the pH and ORP operating setpoint changes. In similar fashion, the output Cu quality improved from 1.60+5.38 mg1L-1 to 0.55+1.02 mg1L-1 (65.6% reduction) while the Ni output sustained a 50% enhancement during the pilot study (0.22+0.19 mg1L-1 reduced to 0.11+0.06 mg1L-1). pH and ORP were shown to be significantly instrumental to the precipitative versatility of the CCPT System.

The Effect of Alkaline Treatment on Tensile Strength and Morphological Properties of Kenaf Fibres for Yarn Production
This paper investigates the effect of alkali treatment and mechanical properties of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) fibre for the development of yarn. Two different fibre sources are used for the yarn production. Kenaf fibres were treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the concentration of 3, 6, 9, and 12% prior to fibre opening process and tested for their tensile strength and Young’s modulus. Then, the selected fibres were introduced to fibre opener at three different opening processing parameters; namely, speed of roller feeder, small drum, and big drum. The diameter size, surface morphology, and fibre durability towards machine of the fibres were characterized. The results show that concentrations of NaOH used have greater effects on fibre mechanical properties. From this study, the tensile and modulus properties of the treated fibres for both types have improved significantly as compared to untreated fibres, especially at the optimum level of 6% NaOH. It is also interesting to highlight that 6% NaOH is the optimum concentration for the alkaline treatment. The untreated and treated fibres at 6% NaOH were then introduced to fibre opener, and it was found that the treated fibre produced higher fibre diameter with better surface morphology compared to the untreated fibre. Higher speed parameter during opening was found to produce higher yield of opened-kenaf fibres.
Thermo-Mechanical Treatment of Chromium Alloyed Low Carbon Steel
Thermo-mechanical processing with various processing parameters was applied to 0.2%C-0.6%Mn-2S%i-0.8%Cr low alloyed high strength steel. The aim of the processing was to achieve the microstructures typical for transformation induced plasticity (TRIP) steels. Thermo-mechanical processing used in this work incorporated two or three deformation steps. The deformations were in all the cases carried out during the cooling from soaking temperatures to various bainite hold temperatures. In this way, 4-10% of retained austenite were retained in the final microstructures, consisting further of ferrite, bainite, martensite and pearlite. The complex character of TRIP steel microstructure is responsible for its good strength and ductility. The strengths achieved in this work were in the range of 740 MPa – 836 MPa with ductility A5mm of 31-41%.
Family Carers' Experiences in Striving for Medical Care and Finding Their Solutions for Family Members with Mental Illnesses

Wishes and choices being respected, and the right to be supported rather than coerced, have been internationally recognized as the human rights of persons with mental illness. In Taiwan, ‘coerced hospitalization’ has become difficult since the revision of the mental health legislation in 2007. Despite trend towards human rights, the real problem families face when their family members are in mental health crisis is the lack of alternative services. This study aims to explore: 1) When is hospitalization seen as the only solution by family members? 2) What are the barriers for arranging hospitalization, and how are they managed? 3) What have family carers learned, in their experiences of caring for their family members with mental illness? To answer these questions, qualitative approach was adopted, and focus group interviews were taken to collect data. This study includes 24 family carers. The main findings of this research include: First, hospital is the last resort for carers in helplessness. Family carers tend to do everything they could to provide care at home for their family members with mental illness. Carers seek hospitalization only when a patient’s behavior is too violent, weird, and/or abnormal, and beyond their ability to manage. Hospitalization, nevertheless, is never an easy choice. Obstacles emanate from the attitudes of the medical doctors, the restricted areas of ambulance service, and insufficient information from the carers’ part. On the other hand, with some professionals’ proactive assistance, access to medical care while in crisis becomes possible. Some family carers obtained help from the medical doctor, nurse, therapist and social workers. Some experienced good help from policemen, taxi drivers, and security guards at the hospital. The difficulty in accessing medical care prompts carers to work harder on assisting their family members with mental illness to stay in stable states. Carers found different ways of helping the ‘person’ to get along with the ‘illness’ and have better quality of life. Taking back ‘the right to control’ in utilizing medication, from passiveness to negotiating with medical doctors and seeking alternative therapies, are seen in many carers’ efforts. Besides, trying to maintain regular activities in daily life and play normal family roles are also experienced as important. Furthermore, talking with the patient as a person is also important. The authors conclude that in order to protect the human rights of persons with mental illness, it is crucial to make the medical care system more flexible and to make the services more humane: sufficient information should be provided and communicated, and efforts should be made to maintain the person’s social roles and to support the family.

Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits

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.

Vibrational Behavior of Cylindrical Shells in Axial Magnetic Field
The investigation of the vibrational character of magnetic cylindrical shells placed in an axial magnetic field has important practical applications. In this work, we study the vibrational behaviour of such a cylindrical shell by making use of the so-called exact space treatment, which does not assume any hypothesis. We discuss the effects of several practically important boundary conditions on the vibrations of the described setup. We find that, for some cases of boundary conditions, e.g. clamped, simply supported or peripherally earthed, as well as for some values of the wave numbers, the vibrational frequencies of the shell are approximately zero. The theoretical and numerical exploration of this fact confirms that the vibrations are absent or attenuate very rapidly. For all the considered cases, the imaginary part of the frequencies is negative, which implies stability for the vibrational process.
Productivity Effect of Urea Deep Placement Technology: An Empirical Analysis from Irrigation Rice Farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana

This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.

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