Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 48

Thermal Characterization of Graphene Oxide-Epoxy Nanocomposites Produced by Aqueous Emulsion
The present study desired to obtain a nanocomposite of epoxy resin reinforced with graphene oxide (OG), for aerospace application, produced by aqueous emulsion. It was obtained proof bodies with 0.00 wt%, 0.10 wt%, 0.25 wt% and 0.50 wt% in weight of nanoparticles, to check the influence of it in the final quality of the obtained product. The validation of the results was done by the application thermal characterization by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was seen that the nanocomposite reinforced with 0.10 wt% of OG showed the best results, the average glass transition temperature, at 2 °C, compared to the pure resin.
Characterization of Electrospun Carbon Nanofiber Doped Polymer Composites

Ceramic, polymer and composite nanofibers are nowadays begun to be utilized in many fields of nanotechnology. By the means of dimensions, these fibers are as small as nano scale but because of having large surface area and microstructural characteristics, they provide unique mechanic, optical, magnetic, electronic and chemical properties. In terms of nanofiber production, electrospinning has been the most widely used technique in recent years. In this study, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. Images of carbon nanofibers have been taken with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The images have been analyzed to study the fiber morphology and to determine the distribution of the fiber diameter using FibraQuant 1.3 software. Then polymer composites have been produced from mixture of carbon nanofibers and silicone polymer. The final polymer composites have been characterized by X-ray diffraction method and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) measurements. These results have been reported and discussed. At result, homogeneous carbon nanofibers with 100-167 nm of diameter were obtained with optimized electrospinning conditions.

UV Resistibility of a Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composite

Nowadays, a great concern is placed on the harmfulness of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which attacks human bodies. Nanocarbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene, have been considered promising alternatives to shielding materials because of their excellent electrical conductivities, very high surface areas and low densities. In the present work, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. We present the fabrication and characterization of transparent and ultraviolet (UV) shielding CNF/polymer composites. The content of CNF filler has been varied from 0.2% to 0.6 % by weight. UV Spectroscopy has been performed to study the effect of composition on the transmittance of polymer composites.

Sampling and Characterization of Fines Created during the Shredding of Non Hazardous Waste

Fines are heterogeneous residues created during the shredding of non-hazardous waste. They are one of the most challenging issues faced by recyclers, because they are at the present time considered as non-sortable and non-reusable mixtures destined to landfill. However, fines contain a large amount of recoverable materials that could be recycled or reused for the production of solid recovered fuel. This research is conducted in relation to a project named ValoRABES. The aim is to characterize fines and establish a suitable sorting process in order to extract the materials contained in the mixture and define their suitable recovery paths. This paper will highlight the importance of a good sampling and will propose a sampling methodology for fines characterization. First results about the characterization will be also presented.

Mechanical Characterization of Extrudable Foamed Concrete: An Experimental Study
This paper is focused on the mechanical characterization of foamed concrete specimens with protein-based foaming agent. Unlike classic foamed concrete, a peculiar property of the analyzed foamed concrete is the extrudability, which is achieved via a specific additive in the concrete mix that significantly improves the cohesion and viscosity of the fresh cementitious paste. A broad experimental campaign was conducted to evaluate the compressive strength and the indirect tensile strength of the specimens. The study has comprised three different cement types, two water/cement ratios, three curing conditions and three target dry densities. The variability of the strength values upon the above mentioned factors is discussed.
Characterization of Penicillin V Acid and Its Related Compounds by HPLC

Background: 'Penicillin V' is a narrow, bactericidal antibiotic of the beta-lactam family of the naturally occurring penicillin group. It is limited to infections due to the germs defined as sensitive. The objective of this work was to identify and to characterize Penicillin V acid and its related compounds by High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Methods: Firstly phenoxymethylpenicillin was identified by an infrared absorption. The organoleptic characteristics, pH, and determination of water content were also studied. The dosage of Penicillin V acid active substance and the determination of its related compounds were carried on waters HPLC, equipped with a UV detector at 254 nm and Discovery HS C18 column (250 mm X 4.6 mm X 5 µm) which is maintained at room temperature. The flow rate was about 1 ml per min. A mixture of water, acetonitrile and acetic acid (65:35:01) was used as mobile phase for phenoxyacetic acid ‘impurity B' and a mixture of water, acetonitrile and acetic acid (650:150:5.75) for the assay and 4-hydroxypenicillin V 'impurity D'. Results: The identification of Penicillin V acid active substance and the evaluation of its chemical quality showed conformity with USP 35th edition. The Penicillin V acid content in the raw material is equal to 1692.22 UI/mg. The percentage content of phenoxyacetic acid and 4-hydroxypenicillin V was respectively: 0.035% and 0.323%. Conclusion: Through these results, we can conclude that the Penicillin V acid active substance tested is of good physicochemical quality.

Studying the Dynamical Response of Nano-Microelectromechanical Devices for Nanomechanical Testing of Nanostructures

Characterizing the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures is one of the most challenging tasks in nanoscience and nanotechnology due to lack of a MEMS/NEMS device for generating uniform cyclic loadings at high frequencies. Here, the dynamic response of a recently proposed MEMS/NEMS device under different inputs signals is completely investigated. This MEMS/NEMS device is designed and modeled based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents, known as Ampere’s Force Law (AFL). Since this MEMS/NEMS device only uses two paired wires for actuation part and sensing part, it represents highly sensitive and linear response for nanostructures with any stiffness and shapes (single or arrays of nanowires, nanotubes, nanosheets or nanowalls). In addition to studying the maximum gains at different resonance frequencies of the MEMS/NEMS device, its dynamical responses are investigated for different inputs and nanostructure properties to demonstrate the capability, usability, and reliability of the device for wide range of nanostructures. This MEMS/NEMS device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the fatigue and fracture properties of nanostructures as well as their softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and/or propagation of nanocracks in them.

Preliminary Evaluation of Decommissioning Wastes for the First Commercial Nuclear Power Reactor in South Korea

The commercial nuclear power reactor in South Korea, Kori Unit 1, which was a 587 MWe pressurized water reactor that started operation since 1978, was permanently shut down in June 2017 without an additional operating license extension. The Kori 1 Unit is scheduled to become the nuclear power unit to enter the decommissioning phase. In this study, the preliminary evaluation of the decommissioning wastes for the Kori Unit 1 was performed based on the following series of process: firstly, the plant inventory is investigated based on various documents (i.e., equipment/ component list, construction records, general arrangement drawings). Secondly, the radiological conditions of systems, structures and components (SSCs) are established to estimate the amount of radioactive waste by waste classification. Third, the waste management strategies for Kori Unit 1 including waste packaging are established. Forth, selection of the proper decontamination and dismantling (D&D) technologies is made considering the various factors. Finally, the amount of decommissioning waste by classification for Kori 1 is estimated using the DeCAT program, which was developed by KEPCO-E&C for a decommissioning cost estimation. The preliminary evaluation results have shown that the expected amounts of decommissioning wastes were less than about 2% and 8% of the total wastes generated (i.e., sum of clean wastes and radwastes) before/after waste processing, respectively, and it was found that the majority of contaminated material was carbon or alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, within the range of availability of information, the results of the evaluation were compared with the results from the various decommissioning experiences data or international/national decommissioning study. The comparison results have shown that the radioactive waste amount from Kori Unit 1 decommissioning were much less than those from the plants decommissioned in U.S. and were comparable to those from the plants in Europe. This result comes from the difference of disposal cost and clearance criteria (i.e., free release level) between U.S. and non-U.S. The preliminary evaluation performed using the methodology established in this study will be useful as a important information in establishing the decommissioning planning for the decommissioning schedule and waste management strategy establishment including the transportation, packaging, handling, and disposal of radioactive wastes.

Characterization and Optimization of Culture Conditions for Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria after Isolation from Rhizospheric Mustard Soil, Decomposing Sites and Pit House

Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes, etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus, sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize, and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated, namely SSF7, SSA21, and SSS6, showing sulphate production of concentration, i.e. 2.268, 3.102, and 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.

Characterization of Organic Matter in Spodosol Amazonian by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.

A Paradigm for Characterization and Checking of a Human Noise Behavior

This paper presents a paradigm for characterization and checking of human noise behavior. The definitions of ‘Noise’ and ‘Noise Behavior’ are devised. The concept of characterization and examining of Noise Behavior is obtained from the proposed paradigm of Psychoacoustics. The measurement of human noise behavior is discussed through definitions of noise sources and noise measurements. The noise sources, noise measurement equations and noise filters are further illustrated through examples. The theory and significance of solar energy acoustics is presented for life and its activities. Human comfort and health are correlated with human brain through physiological responses and noise protection. Examples of heat stress, intense heat, sweating and evaporation are also enumerated.

Molecular Characterization of Echinococcus granulosus through Amplification of 12S rRNA Gene and Cox1 Gene Fragments from Cattle in Chittagong, Bangladesh

The dog tapeworms Echinococcus granulosus develop hydatid cysts in various organs in human and domestic animals worldwide including Bangladesh. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the genotype of E. granulosus isolated from cattle using 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 (COX 1) genes. A total of 43 hydatid cyst samples were collected from 390 examined cattle samples derived from slaughterhouses. Among them, three cysts were fertile. Genomic DNA was extracted from germinal membrane and/or protoscoleces followed by PCR amplification of mitochondrial 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 gene fragments. The sequence data revealed existence of G1 (64.28%) and possible G3 (21.43%) genotypes for the first time in Bangladesh. The study indicates that common sheep strain G1 is the dominant subtype of E. granulosus in Chittagong region of Bangladesh. This will increase our understanding of the epidemiology of hydatidosis in the southern part of the country and will be useful to plan suitable control measures in the long run.

Analysis of Flexural Behavior of Wood-Concrete Beams

This study presents an overview of the work carried out by the use of wood waste as coarse aggregate in mortar. The paper describes experimental and numerical investigations carried on pervious concrete made of wood chips and also sheds lights on the mechanical properties of this new product. The properties of pervious wood-concrete such as strength, elastic modulus, and failure modes are compared and evaluated. The characterization procedure of the mechanical properties of wood waste ash are presented and discussed. The numerical and tested load–deflection response results are compared. It was observed that the numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental results.

Combination of Geological, Geophysical and Reservoir Engineering Analyses in Field Development: A Case Study
A sequence of different Reservoir Engineering methods and tools in reservoir characterization and field development are presented in this paper. The real data of Jin Gas Field of L-Basin of Pakistan is used. The basic concept behind this work is to enlighten the importance of well test analysis in a broader way (i.e. reservoir characterization and field development) unlike to just determine the permeability and skin parameters. Normally in the case of reservoir characterization we rely on well test analysis to some extent but for field development plan, the well test analysis has become a forgotten tool specifically for locations of new development wells. This paper describes the successful implementation of well test analysis in Jin Gas Field where the main uncertainties are identified during initial stage of field development when location of new development well was marked only on the basis of G&G (Geologic and Geophysical) data. The seismic interpretation could not encounter one of the boundary (fault, sub-seismic fault, heterogeneity) near the main and only producing well of Jin Gas Field whereas the results of the model from the well test analysis played a very crucial rule in order to propose the location of second well of the newly discovered field. The results from different methods of well test analysis of Jin Gas Field are also integrated with and supported by other tools of Reservoir Engineering i.e. Material Balance Method and Volumetric Method. In this way, a comprehensive way out and algorithm is obtained in order to integrate the well test analyses with Geological and Geophysical analyses for reservoir characterization and field development. On the strong basis of this working and algorithm, it was successfully evaluated that the proposed location of new development well was not justified and it must be somewhere else except South direction.
Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells

Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable,  semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.

Experimental Investigation on Effect of the Zirconium + Magnesium Coating of the Piston and Valve of the Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine to the Engine Performance and Emission

The four-stroke single cylinder diesel engine has been used in this study, the pistons and valves of the engine have been stabilized, the aluminum oxide (Al2O3) in different ratios has been added in the power of zirconium (ZrO2) magnesium oxide (MgO), and has been coated with the plasma spray method. The pistons and valves of the combustion chamber of the engine are coated with 5 different (ZrO2 + MgO), (ZrO2 + MgO + 25% Al2O3), (ZrO2 + MgO + 50% Al2O3), (ZrO2 + MgO + 75% Al2O3), (Al2O3) sample. The material tests have been made for each of the coated engine parts with the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) using Cu Kα radiation surface analysis methods. The engine tests have been repeated for each sample in any electric dynamometer in full power 1600 rpm, 2000 rpm, 2400 rpm and 2800 rpm engine speeds. The material analysis and engine tests have shown that the best performance has been performed with (ZrO2 + MgO + 50% Al2O3). Thus, there is no significant change in HC and Smoke emissions, but NOx emission is increased, as the engine improves power, torque, specific fuel consumption and CO emissions in the tests made with sample A3.

Salinity Reduction from Saharan Brackish Water by Fluoride Removal on Activated Natural Materials: A Comparative Study
The present study presents, firstly, to characterize the physicochemical quality of brackish groundwater of the Terminal Complex (TC) from the region of Eloued-souf and to investigate the presence of fluoride, and secondly, to study the comparison of adsorbing power of three materials, such as (activated alumina AA, sodium clay SC and hydroxyapatite HAP) against the groundwater in the region of Eloued-souf. To do this, a sampling campaign over 16 wells and consumer taps was undertaken. The results show that the groundwater can be characterized by very high fluoride content and excessive mineralization that require in some cases, specific treatment before supply. The study of adsorption revealed removal efficiencies fluoride by three adsorbents, maximum adsorption is achieved after 45 minutes at 90%, 83.4% and 73.95%, and with an adsorbed fluoride content of 0.22 mg/L, 0.318 mg/L and 0.52 mg/L for AA, HAP and SC, respectively. The acidity of the medium significantly affects the removal fluoride. Results deducted from the adsorption isotherms also showed that the retention follows the Langmuir model. The adsorption tests by adsorbent materials show that the physicochemical characteristics of brackish water are changed after treatment. The adsorption mechanism is an exchange between the OH- ions and fluoride ions. Three materials are proving to be effective adsorbents for fluoride removal that could be developed into a viable technology to help reduce the salinity of the Saharan hyper-fluorinated waters. Finally, a comparison between the results obtained from the different adsorbents allowed us to conclude that the defluoridation by AA is the process of choice for many waters of the region of Eloued-souf, because it was shown to be a very interesting and promising technique.
An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

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.

Comparative Analysis between Corn and Ramon (Brosimum alicastrum) Starches to Be Used as Sustainable Bio-Based Plastics

Polymers from renewable resources have attracted an increasing amount of attention over the last two decades, predominantly due to two major reasons: firstly environmental concerns, and secondly the realization that our petroleum resources are finite. Finding new uses for agricultural commodities is also an important area of research. Therefore, it is crucial to get new sources of natural materials that can be used in different applications. Ramon tree (Brosimum alicastrum) is a tropical plant that grows freely in Yucatan countryside. This paper focuses on the seeds recollection, processing and starch extraction and characterization in order to find out about its suitability as biomaterial. Results demonstrated that it has a high content of qualities to be used not only as comestible but also as an important component in polymeric blends.

Chemical Characterization and Prebiotic Effect of Water-Soluble Polysaccharides from Zizyphus lotus Leaves
In order to investigate the prebiotic potential of oligosaccharides prepared by chemical hydrolysis of water-soluble polysaccharides (WSP) from Zizyphus lotus leaves, the effect of oligosaccharides on bacterial growth was studied. The chemical composition of WSP was evaluated by colorimetric assays revealed the average values: 7.05±0.73% proteins and 86.21±0.74% carbohydrates, among them 64.81±0.42% is neutral sugar and the rest 16.25±1.62% is uronic acids. The characterization of monosaccharides was determined by high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) was found to be composed of galactose (23.95%), glucose (21.30%), rhamnose (20.28%), arabinose (9.55%), and glucuronic acid (22.95%). The effects of oligosaccharides on the growth of lactic acid bacteria were compared with those of fructooligosaccharide (RP95). The oligosaccharides concentration was 1g/L of Man, Rogosa, Sharpe broth. Bacterial growth was assessed during 2, 4.5, 6.5, 9, 12, 16 and 24 h by measuring the optical density of the cultures at 600 nm (OD600) and pH values. During fermentation, pH in broth cultures decreased from 6.7 to 5.87±0.15. The enumeration of lactic acid bacteria indicated that oligosaccharides led to a significant increase in bacteria (P≤0.05) compared to the control. The fermentative metabolism appeared to be faster on RP95 than on oligosaccharides from Zizyphus lotus leaves. Both RP95 and oligosaccharides showed clear prebiotic effects, but had differences in fermentation kinetics because of to the different degree of polymerization. This study shows the prebiotic effectiveness of oligosaccharides, and provides proof for the selection of leaves of Zizyphus lotus for use as functional food ingredients.
Experimental Investigation on Mechanical Properties of Rice Husk Filled Jute Reinforced Composites
This paper describes the development of new class of epoxy based rice husk filled jute reinforced composites. Rice husk flour is added in 0%, 1%, 3%, 5% by weight. Epoxy resin and triethylenetetramine (T.E.T.A) is used as matrix and hardener respectively. It investigates the mechanical properties of the composites and a comparison is done for monolithic jute composite and the filled ones. The specimens are prepared according to the ASTM standards and experimentation is carried out using INSTRON 8801. The result shows that with the increase of filler percentage the tensile properties increases but compressive and flexural properties decreases.
An Approach on the Design of a Solar Cell Characterization Device
This paper presents the development of a compact, portable and easy to handle solar cell characterization device. The presented device reduces the effort and cost of single solar cell characterization to a minimum. It enables realistic characterization of cells under sunlight within minutes. In the field of photovoltaic research the common way to characterize a single solar cell or a module is, to measure the current voltage curve. With this characteristic the performance and the degradation rate can be defined which are important for the consumer or developer. The paper consists of the system design description, a summary of the measurement results and an outline for further developments.
Delineation of Oil – Polluted Sites in Ibeno LGA, Nigeria, Using Microbiological and Physicochemical Characterization
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the highest crude oil & condensate producer in Nigeria has its operational base and an oil terminal, the Qua Iboe terminal (QIT) located at Ibeno, Nigeria. Other oil companies like Network Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, Frontier Oil Ltd; Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd; Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd and Nigerian Agip Energy, a subsidiary of the Italian ENI E&P operate onshore, on the continental shelf and in deep offshore of the Atlantic Ocean, respectively with the coastal waters of Ibeno, Nigeria as the nearest shoreline. This study was designed to delineate the oil-polluted sites in Ibeno, Nigeria using microbiological and physico-chemical characterization of soils, sediments and ground and surface water samples from the study area. Results obtained revealed that there have been significant recent hydrocarbon inputs into this environment as observed from the high counts of hydrocarbonoclastic microorganisms in excess of 1% at all the stations sampled. Moreover, high concentrations of THC, BTEX and heavy metals contents in all the samples analyzed corroborate the high recent crude oil input into the study area. The results also showed that the pollution of the different environmental media sampled were of varying degrees, following the trend: ground water > surface water > sediments > soils.
Introduction of the Harmfulness of the Seismic Signal in the Assessment of the Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures

The principle of the seismic performance evaluation methods is to provide a measure of capability for a building or set of buildings to be damaged by an earthquake. The common objective of many of these methods is to supply classification criteria. The purpose of this study is to present a method for assessing the seismic performance of structures, based on Pushover method; we are particularly interested in reinforced concrete frame structures, which represent a significant percentage of damaged structures after a seismic event. The work is based on the characterization of seismic movement of the various earthquake zones in terms of PGA and PGD that is obtained by means of SIMQK_GR and PRISM software and the correlation between the points of performance and the scalar characterizing the earthquakes will developed.

Physicochemical Characterizations of Marine and River Sediments in the North of France

This work is undertaken to develop a methodology to enhance the management of dredged marine and river sediments in the North of France. The main objective of this study is to determine the main characteristics of these sediments. In this order, physical, mineralogical and chemical properties of both types of sediments are measured. Moreover, their potential impacts on the environment are assessed throughout leaching tests. From the obtained results, the potential of their use in road engineering is discussed.

Need for Standardization of Manual Inspection in Small and Medium-Scale Manufacturing Industries
In the field of production, characterization of surface roughness plays a vital role in assessing the quality of a manufactured product. The defined parameters for this assessment, each, have their own drawbacks in describing a profile surface. From the purview of small-scale and medium-scale industries, an increase in time spent for manual inspection of a product for various parameters adds to the cost of the product. In order to reduce this, a uniform and established standard is necessary for quantifying a profile of a manufactured product. The inspection procedure in the small and medium-scale manufacturing units at Jigani Industrial area, Bangalore, was observed. The parameters currently in use in those industries are described in the paper and a change in the inspection method is proposed.
Physical, Chemical and Mineralogical Characterization of Construction and Demolition Waste Produced in Greece

Construction industry in Greece consumes annually more than 25 million tons of natural aggregates originating mainly from quarries. At the same time, more than 2 million tons of construction and demolition waste are deposited every year, usually without control, therefore increasing the environmental impact of this sector. A potential alternative for saving natural resources and minimize landfilling, could be the recycling and re-use of Concrete and Demolition Waste (CDW) in concrete production. Moreover, in order to conform to the European legislation, Greece is obliged to recycle non-hazardous construction and demolition waste to a minimum of 70% by 2020. In this paper characterization of recycled materials - commercially and laboratory produced, coarse and fine, Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCA) - has been performed. Namely, X-Ray Fluorescence and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis were used for chemical and mineralogical analysis respectively. Physical properties such as particle density, water absorption, sand equivalent and resistance to fragmentation were also determined. This study, first time made in Greece, aims at outlining the differences between RCA and natural aggregates and evaluating their possible influence in concrete performance. Results indicate that RCA’s chemical composition is enriched in Si, Al, and alkali oxides compared to natural aggregates. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses results indicated the presence of calcite, quartz and minor peaks of mica and feldspars. From all the evaluated physical properties of coarse RCA, only water absorption and resistance to fragmentation seem to have a direct influence on the properties of concrete. Low Sand Equivalent and significantly high water absorption values indicate that fine fractions of RCA cannot be used for concrete production unless further processed. Chemical properties of RCA in terms of water soluble ions are similar to those of natural aggregates. Four different concrete mixtures were produced and examined, replacing natural coarse aggregates with RCA by a ratio of 0%, 25%, 50% and 75% respectively. Results indicate that concrete mixtures containing recycled concrete aggregates have a minor deterioration of their properties (3-9% lower compression strength at 28 days) compared to conventional concrete containing the same cement quantity.

Physicochemical Characterization of MFI–Ceramic Hollow Fibres Membranes for CO2 Separation with Alkali Metal Cation

This paper present some preliminary work on the preparation and physicochemical caracterization of nanocomposite MFI-alumina structures based on alumina hollow fibres. The fibers are manufactured by a wet spinning process. α-alumina particles were dispersed in a solution of polysulfone in NMP. The resulting slurry is pressed through the annular gap of a spinneret into a precipitation bath. The resulting green fibres are sintered. The mechanical strength of the alumina hollow fibres is determined by a three-point-bending test while the pore size is characterized by bubble-point testing. The bending strength is in the range of 110 MPa while the average pore size is 450 nm for an internal diameter of 1 mm and external diameter of 1.7 mm. To characterize the MFI membranes various techniques were used for physicochemical characterization of MFI–ceramic hollow fibres membranes: The nitrogen adsorption, X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy combined with X emission microanalysis. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Microanalysis by the X-ray were used to observe the morphology of the hollow fibre membranes (thickness, infiltration into the carrier, defects, homogeneity). No surface film, has been obtained, as observed by SEM and EDX analysis and confirmed by high temperature variation of N2 and CO2 gas permeances before cation exchange. Local analysis and characterise (SEM and EDX) and overall (by ICP elemental analysis) were conducted on two samples exchanged to determine the quantity and distribution of the cation of cesium on the cross section fibre of the zeolite between the cavities.

Quality Characterization of Burger Affected by Soybean Additives (Natto & Protein Hydrolysate) and Ascorbic Acid

Soy protein is a common ingredient added to processed meats to enhance its functional characteristics. In our study, soybean products (fermented soy Natto and protein hydrolysate) containing hydrolyzed peptides and amino acids, with or without ascorbic acid were added to burger in order to improve its quality characteristics. Results showed that soy additives significantly increased moisture and protein content and reduced (P < 0.05) fat values. Ash content did not affect with Natto additive. Color tools, lightness and yellowness were higher (P<0.05) for the samples with added soybean products (with or without ascorbic acid), while redness decreased. Both of protein hydrolysate and ascorbic acid increased the softiness while, Natto additive increased the hardness of samples. Natto & protein hydrolysate additives increased the total volatile basic nitrogen while, samples with ascorbic acid decreased TVBN values at significant levels. Also, soy additives were improved both of cooking quality and sensory evaluation of the burger in order to prove that soy products actually affect the quality characteristics of meat products.

Radionuclides Transport Phenomena in Vadose Zone

Radioactive waste management is fundamental to safeguard population and environment by radiological risks. Environmental assessment of a site, where nuclear activities are located, allows understanding the hydro geological system and the radionuclides transport in groundwater and subsoil. Use of dedicated software is the basis of transport phenomena investigation and for dynamic scenarios prediction; this permits to understand the evolution of accidental contamination events, but at the same time the potentiality of the software itself can be verified. The aim of this paper is to perform a numerical analysis by means of HYDRUS 1D code, so as to evaluate radionuclides transport in a nuclear site in Piedmont region (Italy). In particular, the behavior in vadose zone was investigated. An iterative assessment process was performed for risk assessment of radioactive contamination. The analysis therein developed considers the following aspects: i) hydro geological site characterization; ii) individuation of the main intrinsic and external site factors influencing water flow and radionuclides transport phenomena; iii) software potential for radionuclides leakage simulation purposes.

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