Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 13

Effects of Reclaimed Agro-Industrial Wastewater for Long-Term Irrigation of Herbaceous Crops on Soil Chemical Properties

Worldwide, about two-thirds of industrial and domestic wastewater effluent is discharged without treatment, which can cause contamination and eutrophication of the water. In particular, for Mediterranean countries, irrigation with treated wastewater would mitigate the water stress and support the agricultural sector. Changing global weather patterns will make the situation worse, due to increased susceptibility to drought, which can cause major environmental, social, and economic problems. The study was carried out in open field in an intensive agricultural area of the Apulian region in Southern Italy where freshwater resources are often scarce. As well as providing a water resource, irrigation with treated wastewater represents a significant source of nutrients for soil–plant systems. However, the use of wastewater might have further effects on soil. This study thus investigated the long-term impact of irrigation with reclaimed agro-industrial wastewater on the chemical characteristics of the soil. Two crops (processing tomato and broccoli) were cultivated in succession in Stornarella (Foggia) over four years from 2012 to 2016 using two types of irrigation water: groundwater and tertiary treated agro-industrial wastewater that had undergone an activated sludge process, sedimentation filtration, and UV radiation. Chemical analyses were performed on the irrigation waters and soil samples. The treated wastewater was characterised by high levels of several chemical parameters including TSS, EC, COD, BOD5, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4-N, PO4-P, K+, SAR and CaCO3, as compared with the groundwater. However, despite these higher levels, the mean content of several chemical parameters in the soil did not show relevant differences between the irrigation treatments, in terms of the chemical features of the soil.

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Analysis of Trend and Variability of Rainfall in the Mid-Mahanadi River Basin of Eastern India

The major objective of this study was to analyze the trend and variability of rainfall in the middle Mahandi river basin located in eastern India. The trend of variation of extreme rainfall events has predominant effect on agricultural water management and extreme hydrological events such as floods and droughts. Mahanadi river basin is one of the major river basins of India having an area of 1,41,589 km2 and divided into three regions: Upper, middle and delta region. The middle region of Mahanadi river basin has an area of 48,700 km2 and it is mostly dominated by agricultural land, where agriculture is mostly rainfed. The study region has five Agro-climatic zones namely: East and South Eastern Coastal Plain, North Eastern Ghat, Western Undulating Zone, Western Central Table Land and Mid Central Table Land, which were numbered as zones 1 to 5 respectively for convenience in reporting. In the present study, analysis of variability and trends of annual, seasonal, and monthly rainfall was carried out, using the daily rainfall data collected from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for 35 years (1979-2013) for the 5 agro-climatic zones. The long term variability of rainfall was investigated by evaluating the mean, standard deviation and coefficient of variation. The long term trend of rainfall was analyzed using the Mann-Kendall test on monthly, seasonal and annual time scales. It was found that there is a decreasing trend in the rainfall during the winter and pre monsoon seasons for zones 2, 3 and 4; whereas in the monsoon (rainy) season there is an increasing trend for zones 1, 4 and 5 with a level of significance ranging between 90-95%. On the other hand, the mean annual rainfall has an increasing trend at 99% significance level. The estimated seasonality index showed that the rainfall distribution is asymmetric and distributed over 3-4 months period. The study will help to understand the spatio-temporal variation of rainfall and to determine the correlation between the current rainfall trend and climate change scenario of the study region for multifarious use.

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Long Term Variability of Temperature in Armenia in the Context of Climate Change
The purpose of this study is to analyze the temporal and spatial variability of thermal conditions in the Republic of Armenia. The paper describes annual fluctuations in air temperature. Research has been focused on case study region of Armenia and surrounding areas, where long–term measurements and observations of weather conditions have been performed within the National Meteorological Service of Armenia and its surrounding areas. The study contains yearly air temperature data recorded between 1961- 2012. Mann-Kendal test and the autocorrelation function were applied to detect the change trend of annual mean temperature, as well as other parametric and non-parametric tests searching to find the presence of some breaks in the long term evolution of temperature. The analysis of all records reveals a tendency mostly towards warmer years, with increased temperatures especially in valleys and inner basins. The maximum temperature increase is up to 1,5°C. Negative results have not been observed in Armenia. The patterns of temperature change have been observed since the 1990’s over much of the Armenian territory. The climate in Armenia was influenced by global change in the last 2 decades, as results from the methods employed within the study.
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Long-Term Follow-up of Dynamic Balance, Pain and Functional Performance in Cruciate Retaining and Posterior Stabilized Total Knee Arthroplasty

Background: With the perceived pain and poor function experienced following knee arthroplasty, patients usually feel un-satisfied. Yet, a controversy still persists on the appropriate operative technique that doesn’t affect proprioception much. Purpose: This study compared the effects of Cruciate Retaining (CR) and Posterior Stabilized (PS) total knee arthroplasty (TKA on dynamic balance, pain and functional performance following rehabilitation. Methods: Thirty patients with CRTKA (group I), thirty with PSTKA (group II) and fifteen indicated for arthroplasty but weren’t operated on yet (group III) participated in the study. The mean age was 54.53±3.44, 55.13±3.48 and 55.33±2.32 years and BMI 35.7±3.03, 35.7±1.99 and 35.73±1.03 kg/m2 for groups I, II and III respectively. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS), WOMAC pain subscale and Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) and Stair-Climbing (SC) tests were used for assessment. Assessments were conducted four weeks preand post-operatively, three, six and twelve months post-operatively with the control group being assessed at the same time intervals. The post-operative rehabilitation involved hospitalization (1st week), home-based (2nd-4th weeks), and outpatient clinic (5th-12th weeks) programs, follow-up to all groups for twelve months. Results: The Mixed design MANOVA revealed that group I had significantly lower pain scores and SC time compared with group II three, six and twelve months post-operatively. Moreover, the BBS scores increased significantly and the pain scores and TUG and SC time decreased significantly six months post-operatively compared with four weeks pre- and post-operatively and three months postoperatively in groups I and II with the opposite being true four weeks post-operatively. But no significant differences in BBS scores, pain scores and TUG and SC time between six and twelve months postoperatively in groups I and II. Interpretation/Conclusion: CRTKA is preferable to PSTKA, possibly due to the preserved human proprioceptors in the un-excised PCL.

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IPO Price Performance and Signaling

This study examines the credibility of the signaling as explanation for IPO initial underpricing. Findings reveal the initial underpricing and the long-term underperformance of IPOs in Taiwan. However, we only find weak support for signaling as explanation of IPO underpricing.

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A View of Flexible Housing in China

Beginning with the debate of concept, this essay explains the historical source and development of flexible housing in China. In the former part, the flexibility contained in traditional house is explored. While in the latter, the relevant practices in modern times are systematically analyzed as three phases–the Embryonic Period (1949 - 1980), the Systematic Practice (1981 - 2000), as well as the Integrated Trend and Prosperity (2001 - present). As a conclusion, the generalized flexibility is tentatively discussed.

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Reduction of Differential Column Shortening in Tall Buildings

The differential column shortening in tall buildings can be reduced by improving material and structural characteristics of the structural systems. This paper proposes structural methods to reduce differential column shortening in reinforced concrete tall buildings; connecting columns with rigidly jointed horizontal members, using outriggers, and placing additional reinforcement at the columns. The rigidly connected horizontal members including outriggers reduce the differential shortening between adjacent vertical members. The axial stiffness of columns with greater shortening can be effectively increased by placing additional reinforcement at the columns, thus the differential column shortening can be reduced in the design stage. The optimum distribution of additional reinforcement can be determined by applying a gradient based optimization technique.

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Long-Term On-Chip Storage and Release of Liquid Reagents for Diagnostic Lab-on-a-Chip Applications

A new concept for long-term reagent storage for Labon- a-Chip (LoC) devices is described. Here we present a polymer multilayer stack with integrated stick packs for long-term storage of several liquid reagents, which are necessary for many diagnostic applications. Stick packs are widely used in packaging industry for storing solids and liquids for long time. The storage concept fulfills two main requirements: First, a long-term storage of reagents in stick packs without significant losses and interaction with surroundings, second, on demand releasing of liquids, which is realized by pushing a membrane against the stick pack through pneumatic pressure. This concept enables long-term on-chip storage of liquid reagents at room temperature and allows an easy implementation in different LoC devices.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
Memory and Higher Cognition
Working memory (WM) can be defined as the system which actively holds information in the mind to do tasks in spite of the distraction. Contrary, short-term memory (STM) is a system that represents the capacity for the active storing of information without distraction. There has been accumulating evidence that these types of memory are related to higher cognition (HC). The aim of this study was to verify the relationship between HC and memory (visual STM and WM, auditory STM and WM). 59 primary school children were tested by intelligence test, mathematical tasks (HC) and memory subtests. We have shown that visual but not auditory memory is a significant predictor of higher cognition. The relevance of these results are discussed.
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Experimental and Computational Analysis of Hygrothermal Performance of an Interior Thermal Insulation System
Combined experimental and computational analysis of hygrothermal performance of an interior thermal insulation system applied on a brick wall is presented in the paper. In the experimental part, the functionality of the insulation system is tested at simulated difference climate conditions using a semi-scale device. The measured temperature and relative humidity profiles are used for the calibration of computer code HEMOT that is finally applied for a long-term hygrothermal analysis of the investigated structure.
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Incorporation of Long-Term Redundancy in ECG Time Domain Compression Methods through Curve Simplification and Block-Sorting
We suggest a novel method to incorporate longterm redundancy (LTR) in signal time domain compression methods. The proposition is based on block-sorting and curve simplification. The proposition is illustrated on the ECG signal as a post-processor for the FAN method. Test applications on the new so-obtained FAN+ method using the MIT-BIH database show substantial improvement of the compression ratio-distortion behavior for a higher quality reconstructed signal.
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Solid Circulation Rate and Gas Leakage Measurements in an Interconnected Bubbling Fluidized Beds
Two-interconnected fluidized bed systems are widely used in various processes such as Fisher-Tropsch, hot gas desulfurization, CO2 capture-regeneration with dry sorbent, chemical-looping combustion, sorption enhanced steam methane reforming, chemical-looping hydrogen generation system, and so on. However, most of two-interconnected fluidized beds systems require riser and/or pneumatic transport line for solid conveying and loopseals or seal-pots for gas sealing, recirculation of solids to the riser, and maintaining of pressure balance. The riser (transport bed) is operated at the high velocity fluidization condition and residence times of gas and solid in the riser are very short. If the reaction rate of catalyst or sorbent is slow, the riser can not ensure sufficient contact time between gas and solid and we have to use two bubbling beds for each reaction to ensure sufficient contact time. In this case, additional riser must be installed for solid circulation. Consequently, conventional two-interconnected fluidized bed systems are very complex, large, and difficult to operate. To solve these problems, a novel two-interconnected fluidized bed system has been developed. This system has two bubbling beds, solid injection nozzles, solid conveying lines, and downcomers. In this study, effects of operating variables on solid circulation rate, gas leakage between two beds have been investigated in a cold mode two-interconnected fluidized bed system. Moreover, long-term operation of continuous solid circulation up to 60 hours has been performed to check feasibility of stable operation.
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Auto-Selective Three Term Control of Position and Compliance of a Pneumatic Actuator

Due to their high power-to-weight ratio and low cost, pneumatic actuators are attractive for robotics and automation applications; however, achieving fast and accurate control of their position have been known as a complex control problem. The paper presents a methodology for obtaining controllers that achieve high position accuracy and preserve the closed-loop characteristics over a broad operating range. Experimentation with a number of conventional (or "classical") three-term controllers shows that, as repeated operations accumulate, the characteristics of the pneumatic actuator change requiring frequent re-tuning of the controller parameters (PID gains). Furthermore, three-term controllers are found to perform poorly in recovering the closed-loop system after the application of load or other external disturbances. The key reason for these problems lies in the non-linear exchange of energy inside the cylinder relating, in particular, to the complex friction forces that develop on the piston-wall interface. In order to overcome this problem but still remain within the boundaries of classical control methods, we designed an auto selective classicaql controller so that the system performance would benefit from all three control gains (KP, Kd, Ki) according to system requirements and the characteristics of each type of controller. This challenging experimentation took place for consistent performance in the face of modelling imprecision and disturbances. In the work presented, a selective PID controller is presented for an experimental rig comprising an air cylinder driven by a variable-opening pneumatic valve and equipped with position and pressure sensors. The paper reports on tests carried out to investigate the capability of this specific controller to achieve consistent control performance under, repeated operations and other changes in operating conditions.

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