Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56400

Energy and Environmental Engineering

Effect of Temperature on Pervaporation Performance of Ag-Poly Vinyl Alcohol Nanocomposite Membranes
Bio-ethanol is considered of higher potential as a green renewable energy source owing to its environmental benefits and its high efficiency. In the present study, silver nanoparticles were in-situ generated in a poly (vinyl alcohol) in order to improve its potentials for pervaporation of ethanol-water mixture using solution-casting. Effect of silver content on the pervaporation separation index and the enrichment factor of the membrane at 15 percentage mass water at 40ᵒC was reported. Pervaporation data for nanocomposite membranes showed around 100% increase in the water permeance values while the intrinsic selectivity decreased. The water permeances of origin crosslinked PVA membrane, and the 2.5% silver loaded PVA membrane are 26.65 and 70.45 (g/m².kPa.h) respectively. The values of total flux and water flux are closed to each other, indicating that membranes could be effectively used to break the azeotropic point of ethanol-water. Effect of temperature on the pervaporation performance, permeation parameter and diffusion coefficient of both water and ethanol was discussed. The negative heat of sorption ∆Hs values calculated on the basis of the estimated Arrhenius activation energy values indicating that the sorption process was controlled by Langmuir’s mode. The overall results showed that the membrane containing 0.5 mass percentage of Ag salt exhibited excellent PV performance.
Effect of Ultrasound-Assisted Pretreatment on Saccharification of Spent Coffee Grounds
EU is known as the destination with the highest rate of the coffee consumption per capita in the world. Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are the main by-product of coffee brewing. SCG is either disposed as a solid waste or employed as compost, although the polysaccharides from such lignocellulosic biomass might be used as feedstock for fermentation processes. However, SCG as a lignocellulose have a complex structure and pretreatment process is required to facilitate an efficient enzymatic hydrolysis of carbohydrates. However, commonly used pretreatment methods, such as chemical, physico-chemical and biological techniques are still insufficient to meet optimal industrial production requirements in a sustainable way. Ultrasound is a promising candidate as a sustainable green pretreatment solution for lignocellulosic biomass utilization in a large scale biorefinery. Thus, ultrasound pretreatment of SCG without adding harsh chemicals investigated as a green technology to enhance enzyme hydrolysis. In the present work, ultrasound pretreatment experiments were conducted on SCG using different ultrasound frequencies (25, 35, 45, 130, and 950 kHz) for 60 min. Regardless of ultrasound power, low ultrasound frequency is more effective than high ultrasound frequency in pretreatment of biomass. Ultrasound pretreatment of SCG (at ultrasound frequency of 25 kHz for 60 min) followed by enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in total reducing sugars of 56.1 ± 2.8 mg/g of biomass. Fourier transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was employed to investigate changes in functional groups of biomass after pretreatment, while high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed for determination of glucose. Pretreatment of lignocellulose by low frequency ultrasound in water only was found to be an effective green approach for SCG to improve saccharification and glucose yield compared to native biomass. Pretreatment conditions will be optimized, and the enzyme hydrolysate will be used as media component substitute for the production of ethanol.
Evaluation of Microwave-Assisted Pretreatment for Spent Coffee Grounds
Waste materials from a wide range of agro-industrial processes may be used as substrates for microbial growth, and subsequently the production of a range of high value products and bioenergy. In addition, utilization of these agro-residues in bioprocesses has the dual advantage of providing alternative substrates, as well as solving their disposal problems. Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are a by-product (45%) of coffee processing. SCG is a lignocellulosic material, which is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. Thus, a pretreatment process is required to facilitate an efficient enzymatic hydrolysis of such carbohydrates. In this context, microwave pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass without the addition of harsh chemicals represents a green technology. Moreover, microwave treatment has a high heating efficiency and is easy to implement. Thus, microwave pretreatment of SCG without adding of harsh chemicals investigated as a green technology to enhance enzyme hydrolysis. In the present work, microwave pretreatment experiments were conducted on SCG at varying power levels (100, 250, 440, 600, and 1000 W) for 60 s. By increasing microwave power to a certain level (which vary by varying biomass), reducing sugar increases, then reducing sugar from biomass start to decrease with microwave power increase beyond this level. Microwave pretreatment of SCG at 60s followed by enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in total reducing sugars of 91.6 ± 7.0 mg/g of biomass (at microwave power of 100 w). Fourier transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was employed to investigate changes in functional groups of biomass after pretreatment, while high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed for determination of glucose. Pretreatment of lignocellulose using microwave was found to be an effective and energy efficient technology to improve saccharification and glucose yield. Energy performance will be evaluated for the microwave pretreatment, and the enzyme hydrolysate will be used as media component substitute for the production of ethanol and other high value products.
Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste in Thermal Power Production: A Techno-Economic Study of Kasur City, Punjab, Pakistan
This techno-economic study reports the feasibility of generating thermoelectric power from municipal solid waste (MSW) of Kasur City by incineration process. The data was gathered from different establishments of Kasur, through appropriate permission from their heads, and processed to design different alternative projects for installation of a thermal power plant in the city of Kasur. A technique of discounted cash flow was used to evaluate alternative projects so that their Benefit to Cost Ratio, Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return and Payback Period can be determined. The study revealed that Kasur City currently consumes 18MWh electricity and generates 179 tons/day MSW. The generated waste has the ability to produce 2.1MWh electricity at the cost of USD 0.0581/unit with an expenditure of USD 3,907,692 as initial fixed investment of forming about 1/7th of consumption of Kasur. The cost from this source, when compared to current rate of electricity in Pakistan (USD 0.1346), is roughly half.
Estimating Solar Irradiance on a Tilted Surface Using Artificial Neural Networks with Differential Outputs
Photovoltaics modules are usually not installed horizontally to avoid water or dust accumulation. However, the measured irradiance data on tilted surfaces are rarely available since installing pyranometers with various tilt angles induces high costs. Therefore, estimating solar irradiance on tilted surfaces is an important research topic. In this work, artificial neural networks (ANN) are utilized to construct the transfer model to estimate solar irradiance on tilted surfaces. Instead of predicting tilted irradiance directly, the proposed method estimates the differences between the horizontal irradiance and the irradiance on a tilted surface. The outputs of the ANNs in the proposed design are differential values. The experimental results have shown that the proposed ANNs with differential outputs can substantially improve the estimation accuracy compared to ANNs that estimate the titled irradiance directly.
Quantifying Uncertainties in an Archetype-Based Building Stock Energy Model by Use of Individual Building Models
Focus on reducing energy consumption in existing buildings at large scale, e.g. in cities or countries, has been increasing in recent years. In order to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings, political incentive schemes are put in place and large scale investments are made by utility companies. Prioritising these investments requires a comprehensive overview of the energy consumption in the existing building stock, as well as potential energy-savings. However, a building stock comprises thousands of buildings with different characteristics making it difficult to model energy consumption accurately. Moreover, the complexity of the building stock makes it difficult to convey model results to policymakers and other stakeholders. In order to manage the complexity of the building stock, building archetypes are often employed in building stock energy models (BSEMs). Building archetypes are formed by segmenting the building stock according to specific characteristics. Segmenting the building stock according to building type and building age is common, among other things because this information is often easily available. This segmentation makes it easy to convey results to non-experts. However, using a single archetypical building to represent all buildings in a segment of the building stock is associated with loss of detail. Thermal characteristics are aggregated while other characteristics, which could affect the energy efficiency of a building, are disregarded. Thus, using a simplified representation of the building stock could come at the expense of the accuracy of the model. The present study evaluates the accuracy of a conventional archetype-based BSEM that segments the building stock according to building type- and age. The accuracy is evaluated in terms of the archetypes’ ability to accurately emulate the average energy demands of the corresponding buildings they were meant to represent. This is done for the buildings’ energy demands as a whole as well as for relevant sub-demands. Both are evaluated in relation to the type- and the age of the building. This should provide researchers, who use archetypes in BSEMs, with an indication of the expected accuracy of the conventional archetype model, as well as the accuracy lost in specific parts of the calculation, due to use of the archetype method.
Heterodimetallic Ferrocenyl Dithiophosphonate Complexes of Nickel(II), Zinc(II) and Cadmium(II) as High Efficiency Co-Sensitizers in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
The formation, characterization, and dye-sensitized solar cell application of nickel(II), zinc(II) and cadmium(II) ferrocenyl dithiophosphonate complexes were investigated. The multidentate monoanionic ligand [S₂PFc(OH)]¯ (L1) was synthesized from the reaction between ferrocenyl Lawesson’s reagent, [FcP(=S)μ-S]₂ (FcLR), (Fc = ferrocenyl) and water. Ligand L1 could potentially coordinate to metal centers through the S, S’ and O donor atoms. The reaction between metal salt precursors and L1 produced a Ni(II) complex of the type [Ni{S₂P(Fc)(OH)}₂] (1) (molar ratio 1:2), a tetranickel (II) complex of the type [Ni₂{S₂OP(Fc)}₂]₂ (2) (molar ratio (1:1), as well as a Zn(II) complex [Zn{S₂P(Fc)(OH)}₂]₂ (3), and a Cd(II) complex [Cd{S₂P(Fc)(OH)}₂]₂ (4). Complexes 1-4 were characterized by 1H and 31P NMR and FT-IR, and complexes 1 and 2 were additionally analysed by X-Ray crystallography. After co-sensitization, the DSSCs were characterized using UV-Vis, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and photovoltaic measurements (I-V curves). Overall finding shows that co-sensitization of our compounds with ruthenium dye N719 resulted in a better overall solar conversion efficiency than only pure N719 dye under the same experimental conditions. In conclusion, we report the first examples of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) co-sensitized with ferrocenyl dithiophosphonate complexes.
Renewable Energy and Energy Security in Malaysia: A Quantitative Analysis
Robust economic growth, increasing population, and personal consumption are the main drivers for the rapid increase of energy demand in Malaysia. Increasing demand has compounded the issue of national energy security due to over-dependence on fossil fuel, depleting indigenous domestic conventional energy resources which in turns has increased the country’s energy import dependence. In order to improve its energy security, Malaysia has seriously embarked on a renewable energy journey. Many initiatives on renewable energy have been introduced in the past decade. These strategies have resulted in the exploding growth of renewable energy deployment in Malaysia. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of renewable energy deployment on energy security. Secondary data was used to calculate the energy security indicators. The study also compared the results of applying different energy security indicators namely availability, applicability, affordability and acceptability dimension of energy resources. The evaluation shows that Malaysia will experience slight improvement in availability and acceptability dimension of energy security. This study suggests that energy security level could be further enhanced by efficient utilization of energy, reducing carbon content of energy and facilitating low-carbon industries.
Working Title: Estimating the Power Output of Photovoltaics in Kuwait Using a Monte Carlo Approach
The power generated from photovoltaic (PV) modules is non-dispatchable on demand due to the stochastic nature of solar radiation. The random variations in the measured intensity of solar irradiance are due to clouds and, in the case of arid regions, dust storms which decrease the intensity of intensity of solar irradiance. Therefore, modeling PV power output using average, maximum, or minimum solar irradiance values is inefficient to predict power generation reliably. The overall objective of this paper is to predict the power output of PV modules using Monte Carlo approach based the weather and solar conditions measured in Kuwait. Given the 250 Wp PV module used in study, the average daily power output is 1021 Wh/day. The maximum power was generated in April and the minimum power was generated in January 1187 Wh/day and 823 Wh/day respectively. The certainty of the daily predictions varies seasonally and according to the weather conditions. The output predictions were far more certain in the summer months, for example, the 80% certainty range for August is 89 Wh/day, whereas the 80% certainty range for April is 250 Wh/day.
Sugarcane Trash Biochar: Effect of the Temperature in the Porosity
Biochar can be an alternative to use sugarcane trash. Biochar is a solid material obtained from pyrolysis, that is a biomass thermal degradation with low or no O₂ concentration. Pyrolysis transforms the carbon that is commonly found in other organic structures into a carbon with more stability that can resist microbial decomposition. Biochar has a versatility of uses such as soil fertility, carbon sequestration, energy generation, ecological restoration, and soil remediation. Biochar has a great ability to retain water and nutrients in the soil so that this material can improve the efficiency of irrigation and fertilization. The aim of this study was to characterize biochar produced from sugarcane trash in three different pyrolysis temperatures and determine the lowest temperature with the high yield and carbon content. Physical characterization of this biochar was performed to help the evaluation for the best production conditions. Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) trash was collected at Corredeira Farm, located in Ibaté, São Paulo State, Brazil. The farm has 800 hectares of planted area with an average yield of 87 t·ha⁻¹. The sugarcane varieties planted on the farm are: RB 855453, RB 867515, RB 855536, SP 803280, SP 813250. Sugarcane trash was dried and crushed into 50 mm pieces. Crucibles and lids were used to settle the sugarcane trash samples. The higher amount of sugarcane trash was added to the crucible to avoid the O₂ concentration. Biochar production was performed in three different pyrolysis temperatures (200°C, 325°C, 450°C) in 2 hours residence time in the muffle furnace. Gravimetric yield of biochar was obtained. Proximate analysis of biochar was done using ASTM E-872 and ABNT NBR 8112. Volatile matter and ash content were calculated by direct weight loss and fixed carbon content calculated by difference. Porosity measurement was evaluated using an automatic gas adsorption device, Autosorb-1, with CO₂ described by Nakatani. Approximately 0.5 g of biochar in 2 mm particle sizes were used for each measurement. Vacuum outgassing was performed as a pre-treatment in different conditions for each biochar temperature. The pore size distribution of micropores was determined using Horváth-Kawazoe method. Biochar presented different colors for each treatment. Biochar - 200°C presented a higher number of pieces with 10mm or more and did not present the dark black color like other treatments after 2 h residence time in muffle furnace. Also, this treatment had the higher content of volatiles and the lower amount of fixed carbon. In porosity analysis, while the temperature treatments increase, the amount of pores also increase. The increase in temperature resulted in a biochar with a better quality. The pores in biochar can help in the soil aeration, adsorption, water retention. Acknowledgment: This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brazil – PROAP-CAPES, PDSE and CAPES - Finance Code 001.
Analysis of Sustainability of Groundwater Resources in Rote Island, Indonesia under HADCM3 Global Model Climate Scenarios: Groundwater Flow Simulation and Proposed Adaptive Strategies
Developing tailored management strategies to ensure the sustainability of groundwater resource under climate and demographic changes is critical for tropical karst island, where relatively small watershed and highly porous soil nature make this natural resource highly susceptible and thus very sensitive to those changes. In this study, long-term impacts of climate variability on groundwater recharge and discharge at the Oemau spring, Rote Island, Indonesia were investigated. Following calibration and validation of groundwater model using MODFLOW code, groundwater flow was simulated for period of 2020-2090 under HadCM3 global model climate (GCM) scenarios, using input data of weather variables downscaled by Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM). The reported analysis suggests that the sustainability of groundwater resources will be adversely affected by climate change during dry years. The area is projected to variably experience 2.53-22.80% decrease of spring discharge. A subsequent comprehensive set of management strategies as palliative and adaptive efforts was proposed to be implemented by relevant stakeholders to assist the community dealing with water deficit during the dry years. Three main adaptive strategies, namely socio-cultural, technical, and ecological measures, were proposed by incorporating physical and socio-economic characteristics of the area. This study presents a blueprint for assessing groundwater sustainability under climate change scenarios and developing tailored management strategies to cope with adverse impacts of climate change, which may become fundamental necessities across other tropical karst islands in the future.
Numerical Modeling and Prediction of Nanoscale Transport Phenomena in Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Catalyst Layers by the Lattice Boltzmann Simulation
In this study, the nanoscale transport properties and catalyst utilization of vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) catalyst layers are computationally predicted by the three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann simulation based on the quasi-random nanostructural model in pursuance of fuel cell catalyst performance improvement. A series of catalyst layers are randomly generated with statistical significance at the 95% confidence level to reflect the heterogeneity of the catalyst layer nanostructures. The nanoscale gas transport phenomena inside the catalyst layers are simulated by the D3Q19 (i.e., three-dimensional, 19 velocities) lattice Boltzmann method, and the corresponding mass transport characteristics are mathematically modeled in terms of structural properties. Considering the nanoscale reactant transport phenomena, a transport-based effective catalyst utilization factor is defined and statistically analyzed to determine the structure-transport influence on catalyst utilization. The tortuosity of the reactant mass transport path of VACNT catalyst layers is directly calculated from the streaklines. Subsequently, the corresponding effective mass diffusion coefficient is statistically predicted by applying the pre-estimated tortuosity factors to the Knudsen diffusion coefficient in the VACNT catalyst layers. The statistical estimation results clearly indicate that the morphological structures of VACNT catalyst layers reduce the tortuosity of reactant mass transport path when compared to conventional catalyst layer and significantly improve consequential effective mass diffusion coefficient of VACNT catalyst layer. Furthermore, catalyst utilization of the VACNT catalyst layer is substantially improved by enhanced mass diffusion and electric current paths despite the relatively poor interconnections of the ion transport paths.
Reactors with Effective Mixing as a Solutions for Micro-Biogas Plant
Technologies for the micro-biogas plant with heating and mixing systems are presented as a part of the Research Coordination for a Low-Cost Biomethane Production at Small and Medium Scale Applications (Record Biomap). The main objective of the Record Biomap project is to build a network of operators and scientific institutions interested in cooperation and the development of promising technologies in the sector of small and medium-sized biogas plants. The activities carried out in the project will bridge the gap between research and market and reduce the time of implementation of new, efficient technological and technical solutions. Reactor with simultaneously mixing and heating system is a concrete tank with a rectangular cross-section. In the reactor, heating is integrated with the mixing of substrate and anaerobic sludge. This reactor is solution dedicated for substrates with high solids content, which cannot be introduced to the reactor with pumps, even with positive displacement pumps. Substrates are poured to the reactor and then with a screw pump, they are mixed with anaerobic sludge. The pumped sludge, flowing through the screw pump, is simultaneously heated by a heat exchanger. The level of the fermentation sludge inside the reactor chamber is above the bottom edge of the cover. Cover of the reactor is equipped with the screw pump driver. Inside the reactor, an electric motor is installed that is driving a screw pump. The heated sludge circulates in the digester. The post-fermented sludge is collected using a drain well. The inlet to the drain well is below the level of the sludge in the digester. The biogas is discharged from the reactor by the biogas intake valve located on the cover. The technology is very useful for fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass and substrates with high content of dry mass (organic wastes). The other technology is a reactor for micro-biogas plant with a pressure mixing system. The reactor has a form of plastic or concrete tank with a circular cross-section. The effective mixing of sludge is ensured by profiled at 90° bottom of the tank. Substrates for fermentation are supplied by an inlet well. The inlet well is equipped with a cover that eliminates odour release. The introduction of a new portion of substrates is preceded by pumping of digestate to the disposal well. Optionally, digestate can gravitationally flow to digestate storage tank. The obtained biogas is discharged into the separator. The valve supplies biogas to the blower. The blower presses the biogas from the fermentation chamber in such a way as to facilitate the introduction of a new portion of substrates. Biogas is discharged from the reactor by valve that enables biogas removal but prevents suction from outside the reactor.
Technology for Biogas Upgrading with Immobilized Algae Biomass
Technologies of biogas upgrading are now perceived as competitive solution combustion and production of electricity and heat. Biomethane production will ensure broader application as energy carrier than biogas. Biomethane can be used as fuel in internal combustion engines or introduced into the natural gas transmission network. Therefore, there is a need to search for innovative, economically and technically justified methods for biogas enrichment. The aim of this paper is to present a technology solution for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass. Reactor for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass can be used for removing CO₂ from the biogas, flue gases and the waste gases especially coming from different industry sectors, e.g. from the food industry from yeast production process, biogas production systems, liquid and gaseous fuels combustion systems, hydrocarbon processing technology. The basis for the technological assumptions of presented technology were laboratory works and analyses that tested technological variants of biogas upgrading. The enrichment of biogas with a methane content of 90-97% pointed to technological assumptions for installation on a technical scale. Reactor for biogas upgrading with algae biomass is characterized by a significantly lower cubature in relation to the currently used solutions which use CO₂ removal processes. The invention, by its structure, assumes achieving a very high concentration of biomass of algae through its immobilization in capsules. This eliminates the phenomenon of lowering the pH value, i.e. acidification of the environment in which algae grow, resulting from the introduction of waste gases at a high CO₂ concentration. The system for introducing light into algae capsules is characterized by a higher degree of its use, due to lower losses resulting from the phenomenon of absorption of light energy by water. The light from the light source is continuously supplied to the formed biomass of algae or cyanobacteria in capsules by the light tubes. The light source may be sunlight or a light generator of a different wavelength of light from 300 nm to 800 nm. A portion of gas containing CO₂, accumulated in the tank and conveyed by the pump is periodically introduced into the housing of the photobioreactor tank. When conveying the gas that contains CO₂, it penetrates the algal biomass in capsules through the outer envelope, displacing, from the algal biomass, gaseous metabolic products which are discharged by the outlet duct for gases. It contributes to eliminating the negative impact of this factor on CO₂ binding processes. As a result of the cyclic dosing of gases containing carbon dioxide, gaseous metabolic products of algae are displaced and removed outside the technological system. Technology for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass is suitable for the small biogas plant. The advantages of this technology are high efficiency as well as useful algae biomass which can be used mainly as animal feed, fertilizers and in the power industry. The construction of the device allows effective removal of carbon dioxide from gases at a high CO₂ concentration.
Numerical Simulation of a Combined Impact of Cooling and Ventilation on the Indoor Environmental Quality
Impact of three different combinations of cooling and ventilation systems on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has been studied. Comparison of chilled ceiling cooling in combination with displacement ventilation, cooling with fan coil unit and cooling with flat wall displacement outlets was performed. All three combinations were evaluated from the standpoint of whole-body and local thermal comfort criteria as well as from the standpoint of ventilation effectiveness. The comparison was made on the basis of numerical simulation with DesignBuilder and Fluent. Numerical simulations were carried out in two steps. Firstly the DesignBuilder software environment was used to model the buildings thermal performance and evaluation of the interaction between the environment and the building. Heat gains of the building and of the individual space, as well as the heat loss on the boundary surfaces in the room, were calculated. In the second step Fluent software environment was used to simulate the response of the indoor environment, evaluating the interaction between building and human, using the simulation results obtained in the first step. Among the systems presented, the ceiling cooling system in combination with displacement ventilation was found to be the most suitable as it offers a high level of thermal comfort with adequate ventilation efficiency. Fan coil cooling has proved inadequate from the standpoint of thermal comfort whereas flat wall displacement outlets were inadequate from the standpoint of ventilation effectiveness. The study showed the need in evaluating indoor environment not solely from the energy use point of view, but from the point of view of indoor environmental quality as well.
Hydrogen Production from Auto-Thermal Reforming of Ethanol Catalyzed by Tri-Metallic Catalyst
The increasing of the world energy demand makes today biomass an attractive energy source, based on the minimizing of CO2 emission and on the global warming reduction purposes. Recently, COP-21, the international meeting on global climate change, defined the roadmap for sustainable worldwide development, based on low-carbon containing fuel. Hydrogen is an energy vector able to substitute the conventional fuels from petroleum. Ethanol for hydrogen production represents a valid alternative to the fossil sources due to its low toxicity, low production costs, high biodegradability, high H2 content and renewability. Ethanol conversion to generate hydrogen by a combination of partial oxidation and steam reforming reactions is generally called auto-thermal reforming (ATR). The ATR process is advantageous due to the low energy requirements and to the reduced carbonaceous deposits formation. Catalyst plays a pivotal role in the ATR process, especially towards the process selectivity and the carbonaceous deposits formation. Bimetallic or trimetallic catalysts, as well as catalysts with doped-promoters supports, may exhibit high activity, selectivity and deactivation resistance with respect to the corresponding monometallic ones. In this work, NiMoCo/GDC, NiMoCu/GDC and NiMoRe/GDC (where GDC is Gadolinia Doped Ceria support and the metal composition is 60:30:10 for all catalyst) have been prepared by impregnation method. The support, Gadolinia 0.2 Doped Ceria 0.8, was impregnated by metal precursors solubilized in aqueous ethanol solution (50%) at room temperature for 6 hours. After this, the catalysts were dried at 100°C for 8 hours and, subsequently, calcined at 600°C in order to have the metal oxides. Finally, active catalysts were obtained by reduction procedure (H2 atmosphere at 500°C for 6 hours). All sample were characterized by different analytical techniques (XRD, SEM-EDX, XPS, CHNS, H2-TPR and Raman Spectorscopy). Catalytic experiments (auto-thermal reforming of ethanol) were carried out in the temperature range 500-800°C under atmospheric pressure, using a continuous fixed-bed microreactor. Effluent gases from the reactor were analyzed by two Varian CP4900 chromarographs with a TCD detector. The analytical investigation focused on the preventing of the coke deposition, the metals sintering effect and the sulfur poisoning. Hydrogen productivity, ethanol conversion and products distribution were measured and analyzed. At 600°C, all tri-metallic catalysts show the best performance: H2 + CO reaching almost the 77 vol.% in the final gases. While NiMoCo/GDC catalyst shows the best selectivity to hydrogen whit respect to the other tri-metallic catalysts (41 vol.% at 600°C). On the other hand, NiMoCu/GDC and NiMoRe/GDC demonstrated high sulfur poisoning resistance (up to 200 cc/min) with respect to the NiMoCo/GDC catalyst. The correlation among catalytic results and surface properties of the catalysts will be discussed.
Analysis of Conflict and Acceptance Factors on Water and Land Photovoltaic Facility
Photovoltaic facility occurs conflicts and disputes over environmental issues such as soil runoff, landscapes damage, and ecosystems damage. Because of these problems, huge social and economic cost occurred. The purpose of this study is to analyze resident‘s acceptability and conflict factors on the location of PV facilities, and suggest ways to promote resident’s acceptability and solutions for conflicts. Literature review, cases analysis, and expert interview on the acceptance and conflict factors related to the location of PV facilities are used to derive results. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the minimization of environmental impact and social conflict due to the development of renewable energy in the future.
Analysis of the Factors of Local Acceptance of Wind Power Generation Facilities
The government that declared 'de-nuclearization' pushes up renewable energy policies such as solar power and wind power as an alternative to nuclear power generation. However, local residents who are concerned about the development and natural disasters have been hit by opposition, and related businesses around the country are experiencing difficulties. There is also a voice saying that installing a large wind power generator will cause landslides, low frequencies and noise, which will have a bad influence. Renewal is only a harmful and disgusting facility for the residents. In this way, it is expected that extreme social conflicts will occur in the decision making process related to the locally unwanted land-use (LULU). The government's efforts to solve this problem have been steadily progressing, but the systematic methodology for bringing in active participation and opinion gathering of the residents has not yet been established except for the simple opinion poll or referendum. Therefore, it is time to identify the factors that concern the local residents about the wind power generation facilities, and to find ways to make policy decision-making possible. In this study, we analyze the perception of people about offshore and onshore wind power facilities through questionnaires or interviews, and examine quantitative and qualitative precedent studies to analyze them. In addition, the study evaluates what factors affect the local acceptance of wind power facilities. As a result of the factor analysis of the questionnaire items, factors affecting the residents' acceptance of the wind power facility were extracted from four factors such as environmental, economic, risk, social, and management factor. The study also found that the influence of the determinants of local acceptance on the regional acceptability differs according to the demographic characteristics such as gender and income level. This study will contribute to minimizing the conflict on the installation of wind power facilities through communication among the local residents.
Comparative Analysis of Local Acceptance of Renewable Energy Facilities and Spent Nuclear Fuel Repositories
Public deliberation committee on Shin-Gori Nuclear Reactors No. 5 & 6 in South Korea recently suggested policy recommendation in July 2017 including complementary measures for resumption of construction: 1) nuclear power generation reduction, 2) expansion of investment to increase proportion of renewable energy, 3) repositories of spent nuclear fuel. Even when constructing eco-friendly renewable energy facilities such as solar and wind power plants, local residents are opposed to construction of these facilities due to environmental pollution and health impacts. In order to transform eco-friendly energy, it is necessary to convert nuclear energy into renewable energy and to take measures to increase the acceptance of residents through the participation of citizens. Therefore, this study aims to compare the factors of local acceptance of renewable energy facilities and spent nuclear fuel repositories through literature review and in-depth interview. The results show that environmental and economic concerns, risk perceptions, sociality, demographic characteristics and subjective recognition types affect the local acceptance for spent nuclear fuel repository. The factors of local acceptance for renewable energy facilities are partially coincide with those for spent nuclear fuel repository. The results of this study will contribute to improving residents' acceptance and reducing conflicts when determining the location of facilities in the future.
Reuse of Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Fly Ash for the Synthesis of Zeolite: Effects of Different Operation Conditions
This study tries to reuse the fly ash of municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) for the synthesis of zeolites. The fly ashes were treated with NaOH alkali fusion at different temperatures for 40 mins and then synthesized the zeolites with hydrothermal method at 105oC for different operation times. The effects of different operation conditions and the optimum synthesis parameters were explored. The specific surface area, surface morphology, species identification, adsorption capacity, and the reuse potentials of the synthesized zeolites were analyzed and evaluated. Experimental results showed that the optimum operation conditions for the synthesis of zeolite from the mixed fly ash were Si/Al=20, alkali/ash=1.5, alkali fusion reaction with NaOH at 800oC for 40 mins, hydrolysis with L/S=200 at 105oC for 24 hr, and hydrothermal synthesis at 105oC for 48 hr. The largest specific surface area of synthesized zeolite could be increased to 943.05m2/g. The influence of different operation parameters on the synthesis of zeolite from mixed fly ash followed the sequence of Si/Al > hydrolysis L/S> hydrothermal time > alkali fusion temperature > alkali/ash ratio. The XRD patterns of synthesized zeolites were identified to be similar with the ZSM-23 zeolite. The adsorption capacities of synthesized zeolite for pollutants were increased as rising the specific surface area of synthesized zeolite. In summary, MSWI fly ash can be treated and reused to synthesize the zeolite with high specific surface area by the alkali fusion and hydrothermal method. The zeolite can be reuse for the adsorption of various pollutants. They have great potential for development.
Understanding the Thermal Transformation of Random Access Memory Cards: A Pathway to Their Efficient Recycling
Globally, electronic waste (e-waste) continues to grow at an alarming rate. Several technologies have been developed to recover valuable materials from e-waste, however, their efficiency can be increased with a better knowledge of the e-waste components. Random access memory cards (RAMs) are considered as high value scrap for the e-waste recyclers. Despite their high precious metal content, RAMs are still recycled in a conventional manner resulting in huge loss of resources. Our research work highlights the precious metal rich components of a RAM. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis of RAMs of six different generations have been carried out and the trends in their metal content have been investigated. Over the past decade, the copper content of RAMs has halved and their tin content has increased by 70 %. The stricter environmental laws have facilitated ~96 % drop in the lead content of RAMs. To comprehend the fundamentals of thermal transformation of RAMs, our research provides their detailed kinetic study. This can assist the e-waste recyclers in optimising their metal recovery processes. Thus, understanding the chemical and thermal behaviour of RAMs can open new avenues for efficient e-waste recycling.
A Cheap Mesoporous Silica from Fly Ash as an Adsorbent for Sulfate in Water
This research describes the development of a very cheap mesoporous silica material similar to hexagonal mesoporous silica (HMS) and using a silicate extract as precursor. This precursor is obtained from cheap fly ash by an easy calcination process at 850 °C and a green extraction with water. The obtained mesoporous fly ash material had a surface area of 282 m2 g-1 and a pore size of 5.7 nm. It was functionalized with ethylene diamino moieties via the well-known SAMMS method, followed by a DRIFT analysis that clearly showed the successful functionalization. An excellent adsorbent was obtained for the adsorption of sulfate anions by the solid’s modification with copper forming a copper-ethylenediamine complex. The adsorption of sulfates was studied in a batch system ( experimental conditions: pH=8.0; 5 min). The kinetics data were adjusted according to a pseudo-second order model with a high coefficient of linear regression at different initial concentrations. The adsorption isotherm that best fitted the experimental data was the Freundlich model. The maximum sulfate adsorption capacity of this very cheap fly ash based adsorbent was 146.1 mg g-1, 3 times greater than the values reported in literature and commercial adsorbent materials.
Comparative Studies of Distributed and Aggregated Energy Storage Configurations in Direct Current Microgrids
Energy storage system (ESS) is an essential part of a microgrid (MG) because of its immense benefits to the economics and the stability of MG. For a direct current (DC) MG (DCMG) in which the generating units are mostly variable renewable energy generators, DC bus voltage fluctuation is inevitable; hence ESS is vital in managing the mismatch between load demand and generation. Besides, to accrue the maximum benefits of ESS in the microgrid, there is the need for proper sizing and location of the ESSs. In this paper, a performance comparison is made between two configurations of ESS; distributed battery energy storage system (D-BESS) and an aggregated (centralized) battery energy storage system (A-BESS), on the basis of stability and operational cost for a DCMG. The configuration consists of four households with rooftop PV panels and a wind turbine. The objective is to evaluate and analyze the technical efficiencies, cost effectiveness as well as controllability of each configuration. The MG is first modelled with MATLAB Simulink then, a mathematical model is used to determine the optimal size of the BESS that minimizes the total operational cost of the MG. The performance of the two configurations would be tested with simulations. The two configurations are expected to reduce DC bus voltage fluctuations, but in the cases of voltage stability and optimal cost, the best configuration performance will be determined at the end of the research. The work is in progress, and the result would help MG designers and operators to make the best decision on the use of BESS for DCMG configurations.
Waste Utilization by Combustion in the Composition of Gel Fuels
In recent years, due to the intensive development of the Arctic and Antarctic areas, the actual task is to develop technology for the effective utilization of solid and liquid combustible wastes in an environment with low temperatures. Firstly, such technology will help to prevent the dumping of waste into the World Ocean and reduce the risks of causing environmental damage to the Far North areas. Secondly, promising actions will help to prepare fuel compositions from the waste in the places of their production. Such kind of fuels can be used as energy resources. It will reduce waste utilization costs when transporting them to the mainland. In the present study, we suggest a solution to the problem of waste utilization by the preparation of gel fuels based on solid and liquid combustible components with the addition of the thickener. Such kind of fuels is characterized by ease of preparation, storage, transportation and use (as energy resources). The main regularities and characteristics of physical and chemical processes are established with varying parameters of gel fuels and heating sources in wide ranges. The obtained results let us conclude about the prospects of gel fuels practical application for combustible wastes utilization. Appropriate technology will be characterized by positive environmental, operational and economic effects. The composition of the gel fuels can vary in a wide range. The fuels preparation based on one type of a combustible liquid or a several liquids mixture with the finely dispersed components addition makes it possible to obtain compositions with predicted rheological, energy or environmental characteristics. Besides, gel fuels have a lower level of the fire hazard compared to common solid and liquid fuels. This makes them convenient for storage and transportation. In such conditions, it is not necessary to transport combustible wastes from the territory of the Arctic and the Antarctic to the mainland for processing, which is now quite an expensive procedure. The research was funded by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 18-13-00031).
Photovoltaic Solar Energy in Public Buildings: A Showcase for Society
This paper aims to mobilize and sensitize public administration leaders to good practices and encourage investment in the PV system in Brazil. It presents a case study methodology for dimensioning the PV system in the roofs of the public buildings of the Esplanade of the Ministries, Brasilia, capital of the country, with predefined resources, starting with the Sustainable Esplanade Project (SEP), of the exponential growth of photovoltaic solar energy in the world and making a comparison with the solar power plant of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), active since: 6/10/2016. In order to do so, it was necessary to evaluate the energy efficiency of the buildings in the period from January 2016 to April 2017, (16 months) identifying the opportunities to reduce electric energy expenses, through the adjustment of contracted demand, the tariff framework and correction of existing active energy. The instrument used to collect data on electric bills was the e-SIC citizen information system. The study considered in addition to the technical and operational aspects, the historical, cultural, architectural and climatic aspects, involved by several actors. Identifying the reductions of expenses, the study directed to the following aspects: Case 1) economic feasibility for exchanges of common lamps, for LED lamps, and, Case 2) economic feasibility for the implementation of photovoltaic solar system connected to the grid. For the case 2, PV*SOL Premium Software was used to simulate several possibilities of photovoltaic panels, analyzing the best performance, according to local characteristics, such as solar orientation, latitude, annual average solar radiation. A simulation of an ideal photovoltaic solar system was made, with due calculations of its yield, to provide a compensation of the energy expenditure of the building - or part of it - through the use of the alternative source in question. The study develops a methodology for public administration, as a major consumer of electricity, to act in a responsible, fiscalizing and incentive way in reducing energy waste, and consequently reducing greenhouse gases.
Study of Two Adsorbent-Refrigerant Pairs for the Application of Solar-Powered Adsorption Refrigeration System
This article presents a detailed study of two working pairs intended for use in solar adsorption refrigeration (SAR) system. The study was based on two indicators: the daily production and coefficient of performance (COP). The thermodynamic cycle of the system is based on the adsorption phenomena at a constant temperature. A computer simulation program has been developed for modeling and performance evaluation for the solar-powered adsorption refrigeration cycle. It was found that maximal cycled mass is obtained by S40/water (0.280kg/kg) followed by CarboTech C40/1/methanol (0.260kg/kg). At a condenser temperature of 30°C, with an adsorbent mass of 38.59 kg, and an integrated collector/bed configuration, the couple CarboTech C40/1/methanol for the ice-maker purpose can reach cycle COP of 0.63 and can produce about 13.6kg ice per day, while the couple S40/water for the air-conditioning can reach cycle COP of 0.66 and 212kg as daily cold-water production. Additionally, adequate indicators are evaluated addressing the economic and environmental associated with each working pair.
Acidic Dye Removal From Aqueous Solution Using Heat Treated and Polymer Modified Waste Containing Boron Impurity
In this study, we investigated the possibility of using waste containing boron impurity (BW) as an adsorbent for the removal of Orange 16 from aqueous solution. Surface properties of the BW, heat treated BW, and diblock copolymer coated BW were examined by using Zeta Meter and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The polymer modified sample having the highest positive zeta potential was used as an adsorbent. Batch adsorption studies were carried out. The operating variables studied were the initial dye concentration, contact time, solution pH, and adsorbent dosage. It was found that the dye adsorption largely depends on the initial pH of the solution with maximum uptake occurring at pH 3. The adsorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and the isotherm fit well to the Langmuir model.
An Investigation on the Removal of Synthetic Dyes from Aqueous Solution by a Functional Polymer
The synthetic dyes, one of the most hazardous chemical compound classes, are important potential water pollutions since their presence in water bodies reduces light penetration, precluding the photosynthesis of aqueous flora and causing various diseases. Some the synthetic dyes are highly toxic and/or carcinogenic, and their biodegradation can produce even more toxic aromatic amines. The adsorption procedure is one of the most effective means of removing synthetic dye pollutants, and has been described in a number of previous studies by using the functional polymers. In this study, we investigated the removal of synthetic dyes from aqueous solution by using a functional polymer as an adsorbent material. The effect of initial solution concentration, pH, and contact time on the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent were studied in details. The results showed that functional polymer has a potential to be used as cost-effective and efficient adsorbent for the treatment of aqueous solutions from textile industries.
Fabrication of LiNbO₃ Based Conspicuous Nanomaterials for Renewable Energy Devices
Optical and dielectric properties of lithium niobates have made them the fascinating materials to be used in optical industry for device formation such as Q and optical switching. Synthesis of lithium niobates was carried out by solvothermal process with and without temperature fluctuation at 200°C for 4 hrs, and behavior of properties for different durations was also examined. Prepared samples of LiNbO₃ were examined in a way as crystallographic phases by using XRD diffractometer, morphology by scanning electron microscope (SEM), absorption by UV-Visible Spectroscopy and dielectric measurement by impedance analyzer. A structural change from trigonal to spherical shape was observed by changing the time of reaction. Crystallite size decreases by the temperature fluctuation and increasing reaction time. Band gap decreases whereas dielectric constant and dielectric loss was increased with increasing time of reaction. Trend of AC conductivity is explained by Joschner’s power law. Due to these significant properties, it finds its applications in devices, such as cells, Q switching and optical switching for laser and gigahertz frequencies, respectively and these applications depend on the industrial demands.
The Effect of Glass Thickness on Stress in Vacuum Glazing
Heat transfer through multiple pane windows can be reduced by creating a vacuum pressure less than 0.1 Pa between the glass panes, with low emittance coatings on one or more of the internal surfaces. Fabrication of vacuum glazing (VG) requires the formation of a hermetic seal around the periphery of the glass panes together with an array of support pillars between the panes to prevent them from touching under atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure and temperature differentials induce stress which can affect the integrity of the glazing. Several parameters define the stresses in VG including the glass thickness, pillar specifications, glazing dimensions and edge seal configuration. Inherent stresses in VG can result in fractures in the glass panes and failure of the edge seal. In this study, stress in VG with different glass thicknesses is theoretically studied using Finite Element Modelling (FEM). Based on the finding in this study, suggestions are made to address problems resulting from the use of thinner glass panes in the fabrication of VG. This can lead to the development of high performance, light and thin VG.