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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3094: Multi-Parameter Sensing Device to Detect Liquid Layers Using Long-Period Fiber Gratings Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093094 Authors: Zhihui Pan Ying Huang Hai Xiao Insoluble liquids show layers such as water and oil. The detection of the exact interface locations and the level changes for layered liquids are of paramount importance for chemistry purifications, liquid storage in reservoirs, oil transportation, and chemical engineering. However, accurately measuring liquid layers is challenging. This paper introduces a multi-parameter sensing device based on a long-period fiber grating (LPFG) sensor simultaneously detecting boundary and level changes of layered liquids. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that the sensor device would respond to the liquid interface change as a sharp and sudden resonant wavelength change, while it would show a gradual and steady resonant wavelength change to the level changes of layered liquids. The lab experiments also showed that the sensor device has a higher sensitivity when a higher LPFG cladding mode is used.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3292: Toward Sustainable Virtualized Healthcare: Extracting Medical Entities from Chinese Online Health Consultations Using Deep Neural Networks Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093292 Authors: Hangzhou Yang Huiying Gao Increasingly popular virtualized healthcare services such as online health consultations have significantly changed the way in which health information is sought, and can alleviate geographic barriers, time constraints, and medical resource shortage problems. These online patient–doctor communications have been generating abundant amounts of healthcare-related data. Medical entity extraction from these data is the foundation of medical knowledge discovery, including disease surveillance and adverse drug reaction detection, which can potentially enhance the sustainability of healthcare. Previous studies that focus on health-related entity extraction have certain limitations such as demanding tough handcrafted feature engineering, failing to extract out-of-vocabulary entities, and being unsuitable for the Chinese social media context. Motivated by these observations, this study proposes a novel model named CNMER (Chinese Medical Entity Recognition) using deep neural networks for medical entity recognition in Chinese online health consultations. The designed model utilizes Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory and Conditional Random Fields as the basic architecture, and uses character embedding and context word embedding to automatically learn effective features to recognize and classify medical-related entities. Exploiting the consultation text collected from a prevalent online health community in China, the evaluation results indicate that the proposed method significantly outperforms the related state-of-the-art models that focus on the Chinese medical entity recognition task. We expect that our model can contribute to the sustainable development of the virtualized healthcare industry.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3289: Financial Modelling Strategies for Social Life Cycle Assessment: A Project Appraisal of Biodiesel Production and Sustainability in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093289 Authors: Zaman Sajid Nicholas Lynch Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) is a rapidly evolving social impact assessment tool that allows users to identify the social impacts of products along with their life cycles. In recent years, S-LCA methodologies have been increasingly applied to energy systems and resources with notable success yet with limited reliability and even less flexibility or geographic specificity. In response, this study develops a novel assessment tool, named the GreenZee model, to reflect the social impacts of products and their sustainability using local currency units. The model is developed through evaluating both qualitative and quantitative inputs that capture the perceived monetary value of social impacts. To demonstrate the operationalization of the model, we explore a hypothetical case study of the biodiesel industry in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada. Results indicate that biodiesel production in NL would have positive socio-cultural impacts, high cultural values, and would create employment opportunities for locals. Overall, the GreenZee model provides users with a relatively simple approach to translate a variety of qualitative and quantitative social impact inputs (as importance levels) into meaningful and understandable financial outputs (as strength levels). We argue that building and testing models such as the GreenZee are crucial to supporting more flexible approaches to life cycle assessments that need to address increasingly complex social categories, cultural values, and geographic specificity.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3285: Assessment of the Spatial Dynamics and Interactions among Multiple Ecosystem Services to Promote Effective Policy Making across Mediterranean Island Landscapes Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093285 Authors: Roxanne Suzette Lorilla Konstantinos Poirazidis Stamatis Kalogirou Vassilis Detsis Aristotelis Martinis To manage multiple ecosystem services (ES) effectively, it is essential to understand how the dynamics of ES maintain healthy ecosystems to avoid potential negative impacts on human well-being in the context of sustainable development. In particular, the Ionian Islands in the central Mediterranean are characterized by high natural, ecological, and recreational value; however, the intensification of human activities over time has resulted in the loss of natural ecosystems, which might have negatively impacted ES. Here, we aimed to assess and understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of ES supply and how these components interact across the Ionian Islands to optimize future ES provision and mitigate current trade-offs. We quantified multiple ecosystem services and analyzed their interactions at a temporal scale across the four prefectures of the Ionian Islands. Seven ES were quantified covering all three ES sections (provisioning, regulating and maintenance, and cultural) of the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES). ES interactions were investigated by analyzing ES relationships, identifying ES bundles (sets of ES that repeatedly occur together across space and time), and specifying ES occurrence within bundles. The three ES groups exhibited similar patterns on some islands, but differed on islands with areas of high recreation in parallel to low provisioning and regulating ES. Temporal variations showed both stability and changes to the supply of ES, as well as in the interactions among them. Different patterns among the islands were caused by the degree of mixing between natural vegetation and olive orchards. This study identified seven ES bundles that had distinct compositions and magnitudes, with both unique and common bundles being found among the islands. The olive grove bundle delivered the most ES, while the non-vegetated bundle delivered negligible amounts of ES. Spatial and temporal variation in ES appear to be determined by agriculture, land abandonment, and increasing tourism, as well as the occurrence of fires. Knowledge about the spatial dynamics and interactions among ES could provide information for stakeholders and decision-making processes to develop appropriate sustainable management of the ecosystems on the Ionian Islands to secure ecological, social, and economic resilience.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3283: Visitors’ Attitudes towards Bicycle Use in the Teide National Park Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093283 Authors: Rosa Marina González Concepción Román Ángel Simón Marrero Few studies have examined visitor preferences with regard to public bike-sharing inside national parks. Here, we present a case study of the Teide National Park (TNP), the most visited national park in Spain. The TNP is a clear example of a natural site suffering the effects of mass tourism, largely due to the fact that 70% of visitors access the TNP by car. This puts the park’s sustainability under considerable pressure, may well affect visitor enjoyment, and highlights the need to implement alternative transportation systems. The main aim of this paper is to assess the attitudes of visitors to the TNP towards the implementation of a public bike-sharing system. To do so, we combine information on revealed and stated preferences and estimate ordered logit models to establish the determinants of the propensity to choose the bicycle to move around the park. Our findings suggest that the bicycle has potential as a means of transport in this setting. The results have implications for the design of mobility management measures aiming to increase visit quality and reduce the negative externalities associated with mobility patterns in national parks.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3277: Assessing Impacts of Climate Variability and Reforestation Activities on Water Resources in the Headwaters of the Segura River Basin (SE Spain) Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093277 Authors: Javier Senent-Aparicio Sitian Liu Julio Pérez-Sánchez Adrián López-Ballesteros Patricia Jimeno-Sáez Climate change and the land-use and land-cover changes (LULC) resulting from anthropic activity are important factors in the degradation of an ecosystem and in the availability of a basin’s water resources. To know how these activities affect the quantity of the water resources of basins, such as the Segura River Basin, is of vital importance. In this work, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used for the study of the abovementioned impacts. The model was validated by obtaining a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) of 0.88 and a percent bias (PBIAS) of 17.23%, indicating that SWAT accurately replicated monthly streamflow. Next, land-use maps for the years of 1956 and 2007 were used to establish a series of scenarios that allowed us to evaluate the effects of these activities on both joint and individual water resources. A reforestation plan applied in the basin during the 1970s caused that the forest area had almost doubled, whereas the agricultural areas and shrubland had been reduced by one-third. These modifications, together with the effect of climate change, have led to a decrease of 26.3% in the quantity of generated water resources, not only due to climate change but also due to the increase in forest area.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1251: A Hooked-Collar for Bridge Piers Protection: Flow Fields and Scour Water doi: 10.3390/w10091251 Authors: Su-Chin Chen Samkele Tfwala Tsung-Yuan Wu Hsun-Chuan Chan Hsien-Ter Chou A new type of collar, the hooked-collar, was studied through experiments and numerical methods. Tests were conducted using a hooked collar of a width of 1.25b and a height of 0.25b, where b is the bridge-pier width. The hooked-collar efficiency was evaluated by testing different hooked-collar placements within the bridge-pier, which were compared to the bridge-pier without any collar. A double hooked-collar configuration, one placed at the bed level and the other buried 0.25b, was the most efficient at reducing the scour hole. In other cases, a hooked-collar positioned 0.25b above the bed slightly reduced the scour hole and had similar scour patterns when compared to the pier without the hooked-collar. The flow fields along the vertical symmetrical plane in the experiments are also presented. Laboratory experiments and numerical tests show that maximal downflow is highly reduced along with a corresponding decrease in horseshoe vortex strength for the experiments with the hooked-collar, compared to cases without the hooked-collar. The flow fields reveal that the maximum turbulent kinetic energy decreases with the installation of the hooked-collar.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1249: Water Quality as an Indicator of Stream Restoration Effects—A Case Study of the Kwacza River Restoration Project Water doi: 10.3390/w10091249 Authors: Natalia Mrozińska Katarzyna Glińska-Lewczuk Paweł Burandt Szymon Kobus Wojciech Gotkiewicz Monika Szymańska Martyna Bąkowska Krystian Obolewski River restoration projects rely on environmental engineering solutions to improve the health of riparian ecosystems and restore their natural characteristics. The Kwacza River, the left tributary of the Słupia River in northern Poland, and the recipient of nutrients from an agriculturally used catchment area, was restored in 2007. The ecological status of the river’s biotope was improved with the use of various hydraulic structures, including palisades, groynes and stone islands, by protecting the banks with trunks, exposing a fragment of the river channel, and building a by-pass near a defunct culvert. The effects of restoration treatments were evaluated by comparing the physicochemical parameters of river water along the 2.5 km restored section between the source and the mouth to the Słupia, before restoration and 6 years after hydrotechnical treatments. A total of 18 physicochemical parameters were analyzed at 10 cross-sections along the river. The greatest changes were observed in the concentrations of NO3−-N and NH4+-N, which decreased by 70% and 50%, respectively. Dissolved oxygen concentration increased by 65%. Chloride values increased by 44%, and chlorophyll-a concentration increased by 30% after the project. The cut-off channel (by-pass), semi-palisades, and single groynes were the treatments that contributed most to water quality improvement. The results of this study indicate that river restoration projects can substantially reduce nitrogen pollution, which is particularly important in agricultural areas. Such measures can effectively reinstate natural conditions in river ecosystems. Hydrochemical monitoring is required to control the parameters of restored rivers.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1245: Describing and Visualizing a Water–Energy–Food Nexus System Water doi: 10.3390/w10091245 Authors: Aiko Endo Terukazu Kumazawa Michinori Kimura Makoto Yamada Takaaki Kato Kouji Kozaki The objective of this study is to describe a target water–energy–food (WEF) nexus domain world including causal linkages and trade-off relationships between WEF resources and their stakeholders, and to develop a WEF nexus system map as an interdisciplinary tool used for understanding the subsequent complexity of WEF nexus systems. An ontology engineering method, which is a qualitative method, was applied for the replicability of the WEF nexus domain ontology and the map, because ontology engineering is a method of semantic web development for enhancing the compatibility of qualitative descriptions logically or objectively. The WEF nexus system map has three underlying concepts: (1) systems thinking, (2) holistic thinking, and (3) an integrated approach at an operational level, according to the hypothesis that the chains of changes in linkages between water, energy, and food resources holistically and systemically affect the WEF nexus system, including natural and social systems, both temporally and spatially. This study is significant because it allows us to (1) develop the WEF nexus domain ontology database, including defining the concepts and sub-concepts of trade-offs relating to WEF for the replicability of this study; (2) integrate the qualitative ontology method and quantitative network analysis method to identify key concepts serving as linkage hubs in the WEF nexus domain ontology; and (3) visualize human–nature interactions such as linkages between water, energy, and food resources and their stakeholders in social and natural systems. This paper also discusses future challenges in the application of the map for a science–policy–society interface.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2455: Ray Tracing Comparison between Triple-Junction and Four-Junction Solar Cells in PMMA Fresnel-Based High-CPV Units Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092455 Authors: Juan P. Ferrer-Rodríguez Alvaro Valera Eduardo F. Fernández Florencia Almonacid Pedro Pérez-Higueras The recent development of wafer bonded four-junction concentrator solar cells (FJSCs) with record efficiency among all the existent photovoltaic (PV) cells offers new possibilities for improving the High Concentrator PV (HCPV) technology. However, the concentrator optical systems utilized in HCPV modules may have to be adapted to the new requirements of FJSC in order to properly take advantage of the increased number of p-n junctions. This research theoretically compares two identical optical concentrator systems, a Frensel lens plus a kind of refractive SILO (SIngle-Lens-Optical element) secondary (both made of PMMA, poly(methyl methacrylate)), which are equipped with a typical triple-junction concentrator solar cell (TJSC) in the one case, and with an FJSC in the other case. Both HCPV units are analyzed through ray tracing optical simulations applying an exhaustive optical modelling that takes into account the spectral responses of the different subcells within the multi-junction cells. The HCPV unit with the FJSC and PMMA SOE (secondary optical element) shows much less efficiency than that with the TJSC due to the light absorption through the PMMA SOE in the wavelength range of the bottom subcell. Therefore, PMMA SOEs may be not appropriate for FJSC in general.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2451: Solar-Driven Thermochemical Water-Splitting by Cerium Oxide: Determination of Operational Conditions in a Directly Irradiated Fixed Bed Reactor Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092451 Authors: Lucía Arribas José González-Aguilar Manuel Romero Concentrated solar energy can be transformed into electricity, heat or even solar fuels, such as hydrogen, via thermochemical routes with high exergetic efficiency. In this work, a specific methodology and experimental setup are described, developed to assess the production of hydrogen by water splitting making use of commercial cerium oxide, ceria (CeO2), in a solarized reactor. A fixed bed reactor, directly irradiated by a 7 kWe high flux solar simulator (HFSS) was used. Released H2 and sample temperature levels were continuously monitored. Three tests were carried out consisting of three consecutive redox cycles each, with irradiances in the range of 1017–2034 kWm−2. It was necessary to achieve a compromise between sample temperatures (higher temperatures lead to higher reduction rates) and sample stability, since absorbed radiation can degrade a sample at lower temperature (1280–1480 °C) than in a conventional infrared oven (T > 2000 °C). Irradiating the surface of the sample with an irradiance of 2034 kWm−2 (270 W of total radiation power) during 9.5 min eventually degraded the sample, resulting in a conversion into stoichiometrically reduced oxide (Ce2O3) of 11%. A similar conversion was achieved (9.7%) after 2 min of irradiation at 270 W (100% of radiation), but without irreversibly damaging the sample.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 570: Integrating Density into Dispersal and Establishment Limitation Equations in Tropical Forests Forests doi: 10.3390/f9090570 Authors: Marinés de la Peña-Domene Cristina Martínez-Garza Plant recruitment in tropical forests reflects the chance that seeds arrive at a site resulting in seedling establishment. To inform tropical forest restoration, we ask how seed and seedling densities differentially affect dispersal and establishment limitation in successional habitats in a tropical agricultural landscape. Methods: In Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, we calculated indices of dispersal and establishment limitation using data on seed rain and seedling establishment in old-growth forest, secondary forest, and fenced pasture. We present an index that considers variations in dispersal- and establishment-limitation including density-weighted calculations. Results: There were greater dispersal and establishment limitations in pasture than in forests. Substantial differences in both dispersal and establishment limitation occurred among the 33 species for which seed and seedling data were available. Only 5% of all species had mid to low limitation in both dispersal and establishment. In contrast, 60% of all species showed high dispersal and establishment limitation. Plant recruitment in pastures is impeded by low seed arrival, given that 77% of the recorded species showed extremely high dispersal limitation (>90%). Conclusions: The low capacity of most species to arrive, seeds to germinate and seedlings to establish in pastures slow down succession back to forest.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 351: Identifying Karst Aquifer Recharge Areas using Environmental Isotopes: A Case Study in Central Italy Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8090351 Authors: Giuseppe Sappa Stefania Vitale Flavia Ferranti Water resources management is one of the most important challenges worldwide because water represents a vital resource for sustaining life and the environment. With the aim of sustainable groundwater management, the identification of aquifer recharge areas is a useful tool for water resources protection. In a well-developed karst aquifer, environmental isotopes provide support for identifying aquifer recharge areas, residence time and interconnections between aquifer systems. This study deals with the use of environmental isotopes to identify the main recharge area of a karst aquifer in the Upper Valley of Aniene River (Central Italy). The analysis of 18O/16O and 2H/H values and their spatial distribution make it possible to trace back groundwater recharge areas based on average isotope elevations. The Inverse Hydrogeological Balance Method was used to validate spring recharge elevations obtained by the use of stable isotopes. Areas impacted by direct and rapid rainfall recharge into the study area were delineated, showing groundwater flowpaths from the boundaries to the core of the aquifer. The results of this study demonstrate the contribution that spatial and temporal isotope changes can provide to the identification of groundwater flowpaths in a karst basin, taking into account the hydrogeological setting.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2021: Chinese Urban Hui Muslims’ Access to and Evaluation of Cardiovascular Diseases-Related Health Information from Different Sources International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092021 Authors: Lei Yang Yuping Mao Jeroen Jansz This research aims to identify the sources that urban Hui Muslims access to get health information related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and how they evaluate the information from different sources. This paper focuses on health information related to cardiovascular diseases among Hui Muslims. The data was gathered by means of an online survey administered on mobile devices. To put the answers given by Hui Muslims into perspective and make a comparison between Hui Muslims and the Han people, we also gathered information from Han—the dominant group in China. The results showed that Chinese Hui Muslims mostly used mediated sources, while Han people mainly used interpersonal sources. Both Hui Muslims and Han people trusted and preferred health information about cardiovascular diseases provided by health organizations, doctors, and healthcare providers. The information given by religious leaders was trusted the least, although Hui Muslims were significantly more positive about religious authority than the Han people. The current results are relevant for Chinese health information promoters and can help them diffuse CVD health information more effectively to urban Hui Muslims.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2016: Food Insecurity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among Mississippi Adults International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092016 Authors: Vincent L. Mendy Rodolfo Vargas Gerri Cannon-Smith Marinelle Payton Byambaa Enkhmaa Lei Zhang Background: Food insecurity is a public health problem. There is limited data on food insecurity in Mississippi. Methods: We analyzed data from the 2015 Mississippi Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included the Social Context Module for 5870 respondents. Respondents who indicated that in the past 12 months they were “always”, “usually”, or “sometimes” “worried or stressed about having enough money to buy nutritious meals” were considered food insecure. Food insecurity was compared across sociodemographic and health characteristics using chi-square tests, and the association between food insecurity and select cardiovascular disease risk factors was assessed using logistic regression. Results: The prevalence of food insecurity was 42.9%. Compared to the referent group, Mississippi adults with high blood pressure had 51% higher odds, those with diabetes had 30% higher odds, those who were not physically active had 36% higher odds, and those who consumed fewer than five fruits and vegetables daily had 50% higher odds of being food insecure. Conclusion: Among Mississippi adults, food insecurity is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical inactivity, and smoking.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1461: Road Extraction from High-Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery Using Deep Learning Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091461 Authors: Yongyang Xu Zhong Xie Yaxing Feng Zhanlong Chen The road network plays an important role in the modern traffic system; as development occurs, the road structure changes frequently. Owing to the advancements in the field of high-resolution remote sensing, and the success of semantic segmentation success using deep learning in computer version, extracting the road network from high-resolution remote sensing imagery is becoming increasingly popular, and has become a new tool to update the geospatial database. Considering that the training dataset of the deep convolutional neural network will be clipped to a fixed size, which lead to the roads run through each sample, and that different kinds of road types have different widths, this work provides a segmentation model that was designed based on densely connected convolutional networks (DenseNet) and introduces the local and global attention units. The aim of this work is to propose a novel road extraction method that can efficiently extract the road network from remote sensing imagery with local and global information. A dataset from Google Earth was used to validate the method, and experiments showed that the proposed deep convolutional neural network can extract the road network accurately and effectively. This method also achieves a harmonic mean of precision and recall higher than other machine learning and deep learning methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3088: Design and Implementation of an Infrared Radiant Source for Humidity Testing Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093088 Authors: Hong Zhang Chuansheng Wang Xiaorui Li Boyan Sun Dong Jiang A novel way to measure humidity through testing the emissivity of an area radiant source is presented in this paper. The method can be applied in the environment at near room temperature (5~95 °C) across the relative humidity (RH) range of 20~90% RH. The source, with a grooved radiant surface, works in the far infrared wavelength band of 8~12 μm. The Monte-Carlo model for thermal radiation was set up to analyze the V-grooved radiant surface. Heat pipe technology is used to maintain an isothermal radiant surface. The fuzzy-PID control method was adopted to solve the problems of intense heat inertia and being easily interfered by the environment. This enabled the system to be used robustly across a large temperature range with high precision. The experimental results tested with a scanning radiant thermometer showed that the radiant source can provide a uniform thermal radiation capable of satisfying the requirements of humidity testing. The calibration method for the radiant source for humidity was explored, which is available for testing humidity.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 18
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-14
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3089: Precision and Accuracy of a Direct-Reading Miniaturized Monitor in PM2.5 Exposure Assessment Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093089 Authors: Francesca Borghi Andrea Spinazzè Davide Campagnolo Sabrina Rovelli Andrea Cattaneo Domenico M. Cavallo The aim of this study was to evaluate the precision, accuracy, practicality, and potential uses of a PM2.5 miniaturized monitor (MM) in exposure assessment. These monitors (AirBeam, HabitatMap) were compared with the widely used direct-reading particulate matter monitors and a gravimetric reference method for PM2.5. Instruments were tested during 20 monitoring sessions that were subdivided in two different seasons to evaluate the performance of sensors across various environmental and meteorological conditions. Measurements were performed at an urban background site in Como, Italy. To evaluate the performance of the instruments, different analyses were conducted on 8-h averaged PM2.5 concentrations for comparison between direct-reading monitors and the gravimetric method, and minute-averaged data for comparison between the direct-reading instruments. A linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate whether the two measurement methods, when compared, could be considered comparable and/or mutually predictive. Further, Bland-Altman plots were used to determine whether the methods were characterized by specific biases. Finally, the correlations between the error associated with the direct-reading instruments and the meteorological parameters acquired at the sampling point were investigated. Principal results show a moderate degree of agreement between MMs and the reference method and a bias that increased with an increase in PM2.5 concentrations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 19
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2456: An Analysis of Frequency Variations and its Implications on Connected Equipment for a Nanogrid during Islanded Operation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092456 Authors: Jakob Nömm Sarah K. Rönnberg Math H. J. Bollen Frequency, voltage and reliability data have been collected in a nanogrid for 48 weeks during islanded operation. Frequency values from the 48 week measurements were analyzed and compared to relevant limits. During 19.5% of the 48 weeks, the nanogrid had curtailed the production due to insufficient consumption in islanded operation. The curtailment of production was also the main cause of the frequency variations above the limits. When the microgrid operated on stored battery power, the frequency variations were less than in the Swedish national grid. 39.4% of all the interruptions that occurred in the nanogrid are also indirectly caused by the curtailment of solar production. Possible solutions for mitigating the frequency variations and lowering the number of interruptions are also discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 20
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1743: Taguchi Grey Relational Analysis for Multi-Response Optimization of Wear in Co-Continuous Composite Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091743 Authors: Prasanth Achuthamenon Sylajakumari Ramesh Ramakrishnasamy Gopalakrishnan Palaniappan Co-continuous composites have potential in friction and braking applications due to their unique tribological characteristics. The present study involves Taguchi grey relational analysis-based optimization of wear parameters such as applied load, sliding speed and sliding distance, and their effect on dry sliding wear performance of AA6063/SiC co-continuous composite manufactured by gravity infiltration. A Taguchi L9 orthogonal array was designed and nine experimental runs were performed based on the designed experiments. The coefficient of wear and specific wear rate were recorded for each experiment. Based on the average responses computed from Taguchi grey relational analysis, an applied load of 60 N, sliding speed of 1 m/s and sliding distance of 1000 m were estimated to be the optimal parameters. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to identify the predominant factor and established all the three factors as being significant. The sliding distance was found to have the highest significant influence of 61.05% on the wear of the C4 composite. Confirmation experiments conducted using the optimal parameters indicated an improvement of 35.25% in grey relational grade. Analysis of the worn surfaces of the confirmation experiment revealed adhesive and abrasive wear as the governing mechanisms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 21
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1740: Electricity Consumption Estimation of the Polymer Material Injection-Molding Manufacturing Process: Empirical Model and Application Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091740 Authors: Ana Elduque Daniel Elduque Carmelo Pina Isabel Clavería Carlos Javierre Polymer injection-molding is one of the most used manufacturing processes for the production of plastic products. Its electricity consumption highly influences its cost as well as its environmental impact. Reducing these factors is one of the challenges that material science and production engineering face today. However, there is currently a lack of data regarding electricity consumption values for injection-molding, which leads to significant errors due to the inherent high variability of injection-molding and its configurations. In this paper, an empirical model is proposed to better estimate the electricity consumption and the environmental impact of the injection-molding process. This empirical model was created after measuring the electricity consumption of a wide range of parts. It provides a method to estimate both electricity consumption and environmental impact, taking into account characteristics of both the molded parts and the molding machine. A case study of an induction cooktop housing is presented, showing adequate accuracy of the empirical model and the importance of proper machine selection to reduce cost, electricity consumption, and environmental impact.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 22
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1478: Improved Detection of Tiny Macroalgae Patches in Korea Bay and Gyeonggi Bay by Modification of Floating Algae Index Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091478 Authors: Ahmed Harun-Al-Rashid Chan-Su Yang This work focuses on the detection of tiny macroalgae patches in the eastern parts of the Yellow Sea (YS) using high-resolution Landsat-8 images from 2014 to 2017. In the comparison between floating algae index (FAI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) better detection by FAI was observed, but many tiny patches still remained undetected. By applying a modification on the FAI around 12% to 27% increased and correct detection of macroalgae is achieved from 35 images compared to the original. Through this method many scattered tiny patches were detected in June or July in Korea Bay and Gyeonggi Bay. Though it was a small-scale phenomenon they occurred in the similar period of macroalgal bloom occurrence in the YS. Thus, by using this modified method we could detect macroalgae in the study areas around one month earlier than the previously used Geostationary Ocean Color Imager NDVI-based detection. Later, more macroalgae patches including smaller ones occupying increased areas were detected. Thus, it seems that those macroalgae started growing locally from tiny patches rather than being transported from the western parts of the YS. Therefore, this modified FAI could be used for the precise detection of macroalgae.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 23
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3126: Fast and Stable Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators with PEDOT:PSS/(Graphene–Ag-Nanowires) Nanocomposite Electrodes Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093126 Authors: Minjeong Park Joohee Kim Hanjung Song Seonpil Kim Minhyon Jeon Ionic electroactive polymer (IEAP) actuators that are driven by electrical stimuli have been widely investigated for use in practical applications. However, conventional electrodes in IEAP actuators have a serious drawback of poor durability under long-term actuation in open air, mainly because of leakage of the inner electrolyte and hydrated cations through surface cracks on the metallic electrodes. To overcome this problem, a top priority is developing new high-performance ionic polymer actuators with graphene electrodes that have superior mechanical, electrical conductivity, and electromechanical properties. However, the task is made difficultby issues such as the low electrical conductivity of graphene (G). The percolation network of silver nanowires (Ag-NWs) is believed to enhance the conductivity of graphene, while poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), which exhibits excellent stability under ambient conditions, is expected to improve the actuation performance of IEAP actuators. In this study, we developed a very fast, stable, and durable IEAP actuator by employing electrodes made of a nanocomposite comprising PEDOT:PSS and graphene–Ag-NWs (P/(G–Ag)). The cost-effective P/(G–Ag) electrodes with high electrical conductivity displayed a smooth surface resulting from the PEDOT:PSS coating, which prevented oxidation of the surface upon exposure to air, and showedstrong bonding between the ionic polymer and the electrode surface. More interestingly, the proposed IEAP actuator based on the P/G–Ag electrode can be used in active biomedical devices, biomimetic robots, wearable electronics, and flexible soft electronics.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 24
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3121: Helicopter Test of a Strapdown Airborne Gravimetry System Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093121 Authors: Tim Enzlberger Jensen Rene Forsberg Airborne gravimetry from a helicopter has been a feasible tool since the 1990s, with gravimeters mounted on a gyro-stabilised platform. In contrast to fixed-wing aircrafts, the helicopter allows for a higher spatial resolution, since it can move slower and closer to the ground. In August 2016, a strapdown gravimetry test was carried out over the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland. To our knowledge, this was the first time that a strapdown system was used in a helicopter. The strapdown configuration is appealing because it is easily installed and requires no operation during flight. While providing additional information over the thickest part of the glacier, the survey was designed to assess repeatability both within the survey and with respect to profiles flown previously using a gyro-stabilised gravimeter. The system’s ability to fly at an altitude following the terrain, i.e., draped flying, was also tested. The accuracy of the gravity profiles was estimated to 2 mGal and a method for inferring the spatial resolution was investigated, yielding a half-wavelength spatial resolution of 4.5 km at normal cruise speed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3310: Are Touristic Attractions Well-Connected in an Olympic Host City? A Network Analysis Measurement of Visitor Movement Patterns in Gangneung, South Korea Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093310 Authors: Eujin-Julia Kim Yongjun Jo Youngeun Kang One of the most serious concerns about mega event-related changes to small cities is how to effectively utilize newly developed public attractions after the Olympic Games. Making connections with existing local amenities and forming attraction networks can be effective strategies for continuing a city’s revitalization. However, despite the expected benefits, attraction network research shows that these benefits often fail to materialize. With the case of Gangneung, a 2018 Winter Olympic hosting city, this study investigated visitation patterns to 19 selected attractions using network analysis. The results indicate that the most influential nodes are located on the northern coast, the eastern coast, and in the south downtown area, those nodes being the central locations where the strongest of connections are made. New attractions such as the Olympic Park and Walwha Linear Park were rather isolated. While seasonal and periodic variations, visitors’ residences, and destination choice attitudes had a significant effect on visitation patterns, the attraction networks, modes of transportation, proximity to region, and type similarity were not significant factors in the forming of visitation patterns. The results make a methodological contribution to tourist behavior and network research. In addition, beyond individual attraction development, the results provide practical implications in regard to networking and cooperation between multiple attractions using temporal and spatial strategies such as management/investment prioritizing, travel route development, and program scheduling.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3307: Household Food Security Status and Its Determinants in Maphumulo Local Municipality, South Africa Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093307 Authors: Primrose Zama Ngema Melusi Sibanda Lovemore Musemwa Food security at the household level remains a major issue in South Africa and for many other developing countries, particularly those in Africa. As a means of ensuring food security in KwaZulu-Natal province, various food security intervention programmes were launched. Nonetheless, food security remains an issue among households in the province. This paper estimates the household food security status of the “One Home One Garden” (OHOG) beneficiaries against that of non-beneficiaries and assesses the determinants of household food security status in Maphumulo. A stratified random sampling technique was used to sample 495 households (including 330 OHOG beneficiaries and 165 non-beneficiaries). The status of household food security was estimated by means of a “Household Dietary Diversity Score” (HDDS). Additionally, a Household Food Consumption Score” (HFCS) tool was employed to supplement the HDDS. The results showed that food consumption patterns were characterized by medium (4.89) and average (4.22) HDDS for the OHOG beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, respectively. Taking HDDS as a proxy for household food security, an independent samples t-test (Levene’s test—equal variances assumed) reveals a significant (p < 0.001) relationship between the sample means of the two groups. A greater proportion (65%) of the OHOG beneficiaries had an acceptable (≥35) HFCS level, whereas just over half (54%) of the non-beneficiaries fell in the borderline (21.5 to 35) HFCS level. The determinants of household food security status were elicited by means of a binary logistic regression model. The results revealed that education (p = 0.036), receiving infrastructural support (irrigation) (p = 0.001), and participation in the OHOG programme (p = 0.000) positively influenced the food security status of households, yet household income (p = 0.000) and access to credit (p = 0.002) showed a negative correlation. This paper proposes that government and developmental agencies, in their efforts to enhance food security through food security intervention programmes, should support households by investing in education and agricultural infrastructure, as well as giving priority to smallholder infrastructural irrigation support for households that largely rely on rain-fed systems.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 141: Generalized Paxos Made Byzantine (and Less Complex) Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11090141 Authors: Miguel Pires Srivatsan Ravi Rodrigo Rodrigues One of the most recent members of the Paxos family of protocols is Generalized Paxos. This variant of Paxos has the characteristic that it departs from the original specification of consensus, allowing for a weaker safety condition where different processes can have a different views on a sequence being agreed upon. However, much like the original Paxos counterpart, Generalized Paxos does not have a simple implementation. Furthermore, with the recent practical adoption of Byzantine fault tolerant protocols in the context of blockchain protocols, it is timely and important to understand how Generalized Paxos can be implemented in the Byzantine model. In this paper, we make two main contributions. First, we attempt to provide a simpler description of Generalized Paxos, based on a simpler specification and the pseudocode for a solution that can be readily implemented. Second, we extend the protocol to the Byzantine fault model, and provide the respective correctness proof.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 28
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3328: Impact of Carbon Prices on Corporate Value: The Case of China’s Thermal Listed Enterprises Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093328 Authors: Fang Zhang Hong Fang Xu Wang The emission trading scheme (ETS) has become a significant tool to solve the climate change problem. China has built domestic carbon trading pilots to control energy consumption and reduce emissions. This paper explores the linkage between the carbon market and covered corporate value in China. To address the relationship, this paper estimates the impact that the carbon prices of different pilots in China have on the value of thermal listed enterprises and the extent of this impact. By using weekly data from July 2014 to June 2017, we analyze the overall effect and perform a comparative study of influences of the three trading years. Moreover, we test if the effect of carbon trading pilots on electricity corporate value is market-specific. The results demonstrate that carbon prices have a significantly negative impact on stock value when looking at the full sample and the effects vary between markets.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 411: Dark Energy and Dark Matter Interaction: Kernels of Volterra Type and Coincidence Problem Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10090411 Authors: Alexander B. Balakin Alexei S. Ilin We study a new exactly solvable model of coupling of the Dark Energy and Dark Matter, in the framework of which the kernel of non-gravitational interaction is presented by the integral Volterra-type operator well-known in the classical theory of fading memory. Exact solutions of this isotropic homogeneous cosmological model were classified with respect to the sign of the discriminant of the cubic characteristic polynomial associated with the key equation of the model. Energy-density scalars of the Dark Energy and Dark Matter, the Hubble function and acceleration parameter are presented explicitly; the scale factor is found in quadratures. Asymptotic analysis of the exact solutions has shown that the Big Rip, Little Rip, Pseudo Rip regimes can be realized with the specific choice of guiding parameters of the model. We show that the Coincidence problem can be solved if we consider the memory effect associated with the interactions in the Dark Sector of the universe.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 30
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-15
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 355: Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Tropospheric Ozone and Its Precursors in Guangxi, South China Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9090355 Authors: Yapeng Wang Chao Yu Jinhua Tao Zifeng Wang Yidan Si Liangxiao Cheng Hongmei Wang Songyan Zhu Liangfu Chen The temporal and spatial distributions of tropospheric ozone and its precursors (NO2, CO, HCHO) are analyzed over Guangxi (GX) in South China. We used tropospheric column ozone (TCO) from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) onboard the Aura satellite (OMI/MLS), NO2 and HCHO from OMI and CO from the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument in the period 2005–2016. The TCO shows strong seasonality, with the highest value in spring and the lowest value observed in the monsoon season. The seasonal variation of HCHO is similar to that of TCO, while NO2 and CO show slightly different patterns with higher values in spring and winter compared to lower values in autumn and summer. The surface ozone, NO2 and CO observed by national air quality monitoring network sites are also compared with satellite-observed TCO, NO2 and CO, showing good agreement for NO2 and CO but a different seasonal pattern for ozone. Unlike TCO, surface ozone has the highest value in autumn and the lowest value in winter. To reveal the difference, the vertical profiles of ozone and CO from the measurement of ozone and water vapor by airbus in-service aircraft (MOZAIC) observations over South China are also examined. The seasonal averaged vertical profiles of ozone and CO show obvious enhancements at 2–6 km altitudes in spring. Furthermore, we investigate the dependence of TCO and surface ozone on meteorology and transport in detail along with the ECMWF reanalysis data, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3BV42 dataset, OMI ultraviolet index (UV index) dataset, MODIS Fire Radiative Power (FRP) and back trajectory. Our results show that the wind pattern at 800 hPa plays a significant role in determining the seasonality of TCO over GX, especially for the highest value in spring. Trajectory analysis, combined with MODIS FRP suggests that the air masses that passed through the biomass burning (BB) region of Southeast Asia (SEA) induced the enhancement of TCO and CO in the upper-middle troposphere in spring. However, the seasonal cycle of surface ozone is associated with wind patterns at 950 hPa, and the contribution of the photochemical effect is offset by the strong summer monsoon, which results in the maximum surface ozone concentration in post-monsoon September. The variations in the meteorological conditions at different levels and the influence of transport from SEA can account for the vertical distribution of ozone and CO. We conclude that the seasonal distribution of TCO results from the combined impact of meteorology and long-term transport.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 31
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1276: Diurnal and Semidiurnal Cyclicity of Radon (222Rn) in Groundwater, Giardino Spring, Central Apennines, Italy Water doi: 10.3390/w10091276 Authors: Marino Domenico Barberio Francesca Gori Maurizio Barbieri Andrea Billi Roberto Devoti Carlo Doglioni Marco Petitta Federica Riguzzi Sergio Rusi Understanding natural variations of Rn (222Rn) concentrations is the fundamental prerequisite of using this radioactive gas as a tracer, or even precursor, of natural processes, including earthquakes. In this work, Rn concentrations in groundwater were continuously measured over a seven-month period, during 2017, in the Giardino Spring, Italy, together with groundwater levels in a nearby well installed into a fractured regional aquifer. Data were processed to reduce noise, and then analyzed to produce the Fourier spectra of Rn concentrations and groundwater levels. These spectra were compared with the spectrum of tidal forces. Results showed that diurnal and semidiurnal cycles of Rn concentrations, and filtered oscillations of groundwater levels, in the nearby well, are correlated with solar and luni-solar components of tidal forces, and suggested no correlation with the principal lunar components. Therefore, influencing factors linked to solar cycles, such as daily oscillations of temperature and atmospheric pressure, and related rock deformations, may have played a role in Rn concentrations and groundwater levels. An open question remains regarding the correlation, which is documented elsewhere, of Rn concentrations and groundwater levels with the lunar components of the solid Earth tides.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1270: A Systematic Operation Program of a Hydropower Plant Based on Minimizing the Principal Stress: Haditha Dam Case Study Water doi: 10.3390/w10091270 Authors: Jing Li Ameen Mohammed Salih Ameen Thamer Ahmad Mohammad Nadhir Al-Ansari Zaher Mundher Yaseen Dam operation and management have become more complex recently because of the need for considering hydraulic structure sustainability and environmental protect on. An Earthfill dam that includes a powerhouse system is considered as a significant multipurpose hydraulic structure. Understanding the effects of running hydropower plant turbines on the dam body is one of the major safety concerns for earthfill dams. In this research, dynamic analysis of earthfill dam, integrated with a hydropower plant system containing six vertical Kaplan turbines (i.e., Haditha dam), is investigated. In the first stage of the study, ANSYS-CFX was used to represent one vertical Kaplan turbine unit by designing a three-dimensional (3-D) finite element (FE) model. This model was used to differentiate between the effect of turbine units’ operation on dam stability in accordance to maximum and minimum reservoir upstream water levels, and the varying flowrates in a fully open gate condition. In the second stage of the analysis, an ANSYS-static modeling approach was used to develop a 3-D FE earthfill dam model. The water pressure pattern determined on the boundary of the running turbine model is transformed into the pressure at the common area of the dam body with turbines. The model is inspected for maximum and minimum upstream water levels. Findings indicate that the water stress fluctuations on the dam body are proportional to the inverse distance from the turbine region. Also, it was found that the cone and outlet of the hydropower turbine system are the most affected regions when turbine is running. Based on the attained results, a systematic operation program was proposed in order to control the running hydropower plant with minimized principal stress at selected nodes on the dam model and the six turbines.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1269: Preliminary Study of Computational Time Steps in a Physically Based Distributed Rainfall–Runoff Model Water doi: 10.3390/w10091269 Authors: Yun Seok Choi Mun-Ju Shin Kyung Tak Kim The choice of the computational time step (dt) value and the method for setting dt can have a bearing on the accuracy and performance of a simulation, and this effect has not been comprehensively researched across different simulation conditions. In this study, the effects of the fixed time step (FTS) method and the automatic time step (ATS) method on the simulated runoff of a distributed rainfall–runoff model were compared. The results revealed that the ATS method had less peak flow variability than the FTS method for the virtual catchment. In the FTS method, the difference in time step had more impact on the runoff simulation results than the other factors such as differences in the amount of rainfall, the density of the stream network, or the spatial resolution of the input data. Different optimal parameter values according to the computational time step were found when FTS and ATS were used in a real catchment, and the changes in the optimal parameter values were smaller in ATS than in FTS. The results of our analyses can help to yield reliable runoff simulation results.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 364: Single Scattering Albedo’s Spectral Dependence Effect on UV Irradiance Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9090364 Authors: Ioannis-Panagiotis Raptis Stelios Kazadzis Kostas Eleftheratos Vassilis Amiridis Ilias Fountoulakis The absorbing and scattering nature of aerosols affects the total radiative forcing and is quantified by single scattering albedo (SSA), which is defined as the absorption to total extinction ratio. There are limited measurements of SSA in the ultraviolet (UV) irradiance spectrum, hence, the influence of SSA on incoming UV irradiance has not been explored in great depth. In the present study, UV irradiance was calculated and compared using different SSA datasets retrieved at Athens, Greece during 2009–2014; including SSA time series from Ultraviolet Multi-Filter Radiometer (UVMFR) at 332 and 368 nm, SSA from AERONET at 440 nm, from OMI satellite at 342.5 nm and AeroCom climatological database at 300 nm. Irradiances were estimated using a radiative transfer model (RTM). Comparisons of these results revealed that relative differences of UVA and UVB could be as high as 20%, whilst average relative differences varied from 2% to 8.7% for the entire experimental period. Both UVA and UVB drop by a rate of ~12% for 0.05 aerosol absorption optical depth in comparison to ones estimated with the use of SSA at visible range. Brewer irradiance measurements at 324 nm were used to validate modeled monochromatic irradiances and a better agreement was found when UVMFR SSAs were used with an average difference of 0.86%. However, when using visible or climatological input, relative differences were estimated +4.91% and +4.15% accordingly.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 35
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2491: Impact of Forest Fuels on Gas Emissions in Coal Slurry Fuel Combustion Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092491 Authors: Galina Nyashina Pavel Strizhak Anthropogenic emissions from coal combustion pose a serious threat to human wellbeing. One prospective way to solve this problem is by using slurry fuels instead of coal. The problem is especially pressing in China and Russia, so these countries need reliable experimental data on the SOx and NOx emissions reduction range more than others do. The experiments in this research are based on the components that are typical of Russia. Experimental research was conducted on the way typical forest fuels (ground pine needles, leaves and their mixtures, bark, sawdust, and charcoal) affect the gas emissions from the combustion of slurry fuels based on the wastes. It was established that using forest fuels as additives to coal-water slurries reduces SOx and NOx emissions by 5–91% as compared to coal or to slurries based on used turbine oil. It was revealed that even small concentrations of such additives (7–15%) could result in a several-fold reduction in SOx and NOx. The higher the temperature, the more prominent the role of forest biomass. The calculated complex criterion illustrates that forest fuels increase the performance indicator of fuel suspensions by 1.2–10 times.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2487: Modified High Back-Pressure Heating System Integrated with Raw Coal Pre-Drying in Combined Heat and Power Unit Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092487 Authors: Heng Chen Zhen Qi Qiao Chen Yunyun Wu Gang Xu Yongping Yang A conceptual high-back pressure (HBP) heating system cooperating raw coal pre-drying for combined heat and power (CHP) was proposed to improve the performance of the HBP-CHP unit. In the new design, besides of heating the supply-water of the heating network, a portion of the exhaust steam from the turbine is employed to desiccate the raw coal prior to the coal pulverizer, which further recovers the waste heat of the exhaust steam and contributes to raising the overall efficiency of the unit. Thermodynamic and economic analyzes were conducted based on a typical 300 MW coal-fired HBP-CHP unit with the application of the modified configuration. The results showed that the power generation thermal efficiency promotion of the unit reaches 1.7% (absolute value) owing to suggested retrofitting, and meanwhile, the power generation standard coal consumption rate is diminished by 5.8 g/kWh. Due to the raw coal pre-drying, the energy loss of the exhaust flue gas of the boiler is reduced by 19.1% and the boiler efficiency increases from 92.7% to 95.4%. The impacts of the water content of the dried coal and the unit heating capacity on the energy-saving effect of the new concept were also examined.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1750: Effects of V and Co Element Addition on Microstructures and the Mechanical Properties of In Situ Biphasic Hybrid (TiCxNy–TiB2)/Ni Cermets Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091750 Authors: Feng Qiu Xiangzheng Duan Xiujuan Li Hongyu Yang Yawei Wang In situ micro-(TiCxNy–TiB2)/Ni cermets with different Co and V content (2,5 and 8 wt.%) were successfully fabricated by combustion synthesis and hot press consolidation in Ni–(V/Co)–Ti–B4C–BN systems. The results indicate that as Co content increased from 0 to 8 wt.%, the average sizes of the ceramic particles decreased, when the content of V increased from 0 to 8 wt.%, the size of the ceramic particles first decreased and then increased, and when the V content is 5%, the ceramic particle size is the smallest. The Co element did not participate in the SHS reaction and was a diluent; therefore, when the Co element was added, the combustion temperature continued to decrease. When the V content was no more than 5 wt.%, as the V content increased, the maximum combustion temperature decreased. When the content of V was less than 5 wt.%, the concentration of V was not sufficient to greatly promote the generation of VN. Therefore, V absorbed a large amount of heat during the reaction, resulting in a continuous decrease in the reaction temperature of the reaction system during the reaction. When the content of the added V continued to increase to 8 wt.%, V participated in the reaction, which was exothermic. The results indicate that as Co content increased from 0 to 8 wt.%, the average sizes of the ceramic particles decreased, and the cermets with 5 wt.% Co possessed the best comprehensive properties: the highest hardness (1967 Hv), superior compression strength (3.25 GPa) and higher fracture strain (3.3%). Correspondingly, when the V content was 8 wt.%, the ultimate compressive strength and hardness of the cermets reached 1823 Hv and 3.11 GPa, respectively, 262 Hv and 0.17 GPa higher than those of the unalloyed cermets, respectively. Furthermore, the effects of Co and V on strengthening mechanisms were analyzed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 38
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1746: A Multiscale Analysis on the Superelasticity Behavior of Architected Shape Memory Alloy Materials Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091746 Authors: Rui Xu Céline Bouby Hamid Zahrouni Tarak Ben Zineb Heng Hu Michel Potier-Ferry In this paper, the superelasticity effects of architected shape memory alloys (SMAs) are focused on by using a multiscale approach. Firstly, a parametric analysis at the cellular level with a series of representative volume elements (RVEs) is carried out to predict the relations between the void fraction, the total stiffness, the hysteresis effect and the mass of the SMAs. The superelasticity effects of the architected SMAs are modeled by the thermomechanical constitutive model proposed by Chemisky et al. 2011. Secondly, the structural responses of the architected SMAs are studied by the multilevel finite element method (FE 2 ), which uses the effective constitutive behavior of the RVE to represent the behavior of the macroscopic structure. This approach can truly couple the responses of both the RVE level and structural level by the real-time information interactions between two levels. Through a three point bending test, it is observed that the structure inherits the strong nonlinear responses—both the hysteresis effect and the superelasticity—of the architected SMAs at the cellular level. Furthermore, the influence of the void fraction at the RVE level to the materials’ structural responses can be more specifically and directly described, instead of using an RVE to predict at the microscopic level. Thus, this work could be referred to for optimizing the stiffness, the hysteresis effect and the mass of architected SMA structures and extended for possible advanced applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 39
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1747: Developing a New Generation of Therapeutic Dental Polymers to Inhibit Oral Biofilms and Protect Teeth Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091747 Authors: Ke Zhang Bashayer Baras Christopher D. Lynch Michael D. Weir Mary Anne S. Melo Yuncong Li Mark A. Reynolds Yuxing Bai Lin Wang Suping Wang Hockin H. K. Xu Polymeric tooth-colored restorations are increasingly popular in dentistry. However, restoration failures remain a major challenge, and more than 50% of all operative work was devoted to removing and replacing the failed restorations. This is a heavy burden, with the expense for restoring dental cavities in the U.S. exceeding $46 billion annually. In addition, the need is increasing dramatically as the population ages with increasing tooth retention in seniors. Traditional materials for cavity restorations are usually bioinert and replace the decayed tooth volumes. This article reviews cutting-edge research on the synthesis and evaluation of a new generation of bioactive dental polymers that not only restore the decayed tooth structures, but also have therapeutic functions. These materials include polymeric composites and bonding agents for tooth cavity restorations that inhibit saliva-based microcosm biofilms, bioactive resins for tooth root caries treatments, polymers that can suppress periodontal pathogens, and root canal sealers that can kill endodontic biofilms. These novel compositions substantially inhibit biofilm growth, greatly reduce acid production and polysaccharide synthesis of biofilms, and reduce biofilm colony-forming units by three to four orders of magnitude. This new class of bioactive and therapeutic polymeric materials is promising to inhibit tooth decay, suppress recurrent caries, control oral biofilms and acid production, protect the periodontium, and heal endodontic infections.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 40
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2054: Activity-Friendly Built Environments in a Super-Aged Society, Japan: Current Challenges and toward a Research Agenda International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092054 Authors: Mohammad Javad Koohsari Tomoki Nakaya Koichiro Oka There is a growing recognition of the role of built environment attributes, such as streets, shops, greenways, parks, and public transportation stations, in supporting people’s active behaviors. In particular, surrounding built environments may have an important role in supporting healthy active aging. Nevertheless, little is known about how built environments may influence active lifestyles in “super-aged societies”. More robust evidence-based research is needed to identify how where people live influences their active behaviors, and how to build beneficial space in the context of super-aged societies. This evidence will also be informative for the broader international context, where having an aging society will be the inevitable future. This commentary sought to move this research agenda forward by identifying key research issues and challenges in examining the role of built environment attributes on active behaviors in Japan, which is experiencing the longest healthy life expectancy, but rapid “super-aging”, with the highest proportion of old adults among its population in the world.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 41
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-20
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1497: Recent Progress and Developments in Imaging Spectroscopy Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091497 Authors: Mathias Kneubühler Alexander Damm-Reiser n/a
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 42
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3323: Consumers’ Preference and Factors Influencing Offal Consumption in Amathole District Eastern Cape, South Africa Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093323 Authors: Babatunde Oluwasegun Alao Andrew Bamidele Falowo Amanda Chulayo Voster Muchenje This study was conducted to determine the consumers’ perceptions and factors influencing offal meat consumption in Amathole District in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. A total of 202 consumers from Amathole District were randomly sampled from three municipalities. The study revealed that consumers were more influenced by the freshness, price, and availability of the product and these factors determine the point of purchase. The most preferred purchase-point for offal meat in this study was butchery. However, sheep offal was more preferred to cattle offal. The point of purchase, however, remains a prominent factor among other factors that could influence decision making for any consumer. When it comes to offal meat, the results showed that the majority of consumers purchased more liver, intestine, and tripe, which is because they are often sold in a combo at the butchery. Furthermore, it was revealed that consumers have nutritional knowledge of the offal meat products before making their purchase but health reasons emerged as a factor that the consumers considered the least at the point of purchase.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3318: The Greening of Terminal Concessions in Seaports Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093318 Authors: Theo Notteboom Jasmine Siu Lee Lam Port authorities around the world are pursuing a greening of port management in view of safeguarding their license to operate, and increasing their economic and environmental competitiveness. This paper analyzes how port authorities, via the design and implementation of concession agreements, can contribute to a further greening of port management. The paper presents a typology of green instruments applicable to a terminal concession setting. The instruments are evaluated on overall feasibility and suitability in a concession context, but also on more specific criteria related to implementation issues, contribution to green strategies, and targets of port authorities and regulatory/enforcement aspects. The evaluation matrix is based on the output of a structured workshop with port managers and concession experts in a sample of European ports. We demonstrate that a variety of regulatory, investment, and pricing measures are available to port authorities to include green targets in terminal concession agreements. Not all instruments have the same likeliness of being embraced or implemented by port authorities, in part because of a low perceived contribution, high associated regulation costs, or simply because the port authority is unlikely to have jurisdiction in that specific area. Measures related to information reporting and some types of harm-based standards, design standards, and technology specifications are relatively easy to implement in a concession setting. The results also show that many of the measures with a higher expected contribution to innovation and environmental objectives are typically also the ones with higher regulation costs, which might post a higher complexity in terms of their implementation in a concession setting. We further argue that initiatives toward the greening of concession procedures can only reap full benefits if these actions are embedded in a chain approach toward the environment (ship, port, terminal, warehouse, and inland transport).
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3316: Mode Choice of Commuter Students in a College Town: An Exploratory Study from the United States Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093316 Authors: Jiangping Zhou Yin Wang Jiangyue Wu Research of travel behaviors of university students is of theoretical and empirical importance. The literature, however, has paid little attention to mode choice of students at college towns. This study aims to specifically explore influence factors of the mode choice of college town students. After conducting a survey of commuter students at Iowa State University, a college-town university in the United States, the study uses both simple statistics and advanced statistical models (e.g., multinomial logit and nested logit models) to analyze the data and produces findings to confirm and test existing knowledge and to gain new insights. Firstly, students at a college town are more likely to adopt greener (non-driving-alone) modes, especially walking, to commute compared to their counterparts at urban universities; this is as revealed in the literature. Secondly, students may use “bundled services” to fulfill their travel needs. The students who prioritized rent affordability in housing choice tend to live in proximity to bus stops and are more likely to ride buses. Lastly, commuter students who do not drive alone to school tend to prefer a residence with transit proximity. Moreover, students who reside in proximity to transit and who reported “peer effects” would use non-driving modes more if commute time was shortened.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3314: Evaluation of Spatial Balance of China’s Regional Development Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093314 Authors: Hongyan Shen Fei Teng Jinping Song China’s substantial economic growth and rapid urbanization has brought about some negative effects, one of which is spatial imbalance. Spatial imbalance has attracted considerable attention from both the government and researchers, since it has severely hindered regional sustainable development. This study, from the perspective of the matching relationship between spatial supply capacity and development demand intensity, evaluates the spatial balance of 290 prefecture-level cities in China by establishing an index system that considers the economy, society, resources, and the environment. The findings of this study have demonstrated that the strategies and measures of China in the last few years have brought about a spatial imbalance in regional development while rapidly boosting economic growth. The results reveal that there is not a corresponding relationship between spatial supply capacity and development demand intensity in China’s regional development, indicating that most cities in China are in an imbalanced state regarding regional development. Only a few cities have reached spatial balance, while overexploitation is a common phenomenon. This study displays an overall perspective on the state of spatial balance in China, providing a sound basis for implementing pertinent governance measures in different regions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 405: Fixed Points Results in Algebras of Split Quaternion and Octonion Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10090405 Authors: Mobeen Munir Asim Naseem Akhtar Rasool Muhammad Shoaib Saleem Shin Min Kang Fixed points of functions have applications in game theory, mathematics, physics, economics and computer science. The purpose of this article is to compute fixed points of a general quadratic polynomial in finite algebras of split quaternion and octonion over prime fields Z p. Some characterizations of fixed points in terms of the coefficients of these polynomials are also given. Particularly, cardinalities of these fixed points have been determined depending upon the characteristics of the underlying field.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 47
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1268: Risk Assessment of Upper-Middle Reaches of Luanhe River Basin in Sudden Water Pollution Incidents Based on Control Units of Water Function Areas Water doi: 10.3390/w10091268 Authors: Yao Xiao Suiliang Huang Jianguo Zhou Fanqing Kong Mingzhe Liu Ying Li Upper-middle reaches of Luanhe River Basin belongs to Haihe River Basin and it is a pretty important water source to North China, especially to Tianjin and Tangshan Cities, Hebei. Based on control units of the water function areas and the sub-basins the working units were produced. The index system for environmental risk source hazard was constructed by adopting the pressure state response (PSR) environmental analysis model. The environment risk sources are identified, and their hazard grade assessment is performed. In the environmental risk source hazard an assessment index system, namely “downstream characteristics of environmental risk sources” is added by taking the fact into account that environmental risk sources themselves are affected by different functional areas (working units) downstream of the rivers. Through collecting hazard data, determining their standards and weights for environment risk sources, the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method is used to calculate the risk source hazard grades and the vulnerability grades of the working units. Using the one-dimensional exponential decay river model for pollutants in rivers, the hazard grade evaluation method of working units is established. This consists of two parts: (1) The risk source hazard grade of the working unit itself, and (2) the impact of the risk sources upstream on the working unit downstream of the rivers. Combining the hazard grade with the vulnerability grade of the working unit, the risk grade of the working unit is evaluated through the risk matrix. The risk zones of the watershed are realized by merging working units in the same control units of the water function areas with the same risk grades. The risk zoning of sudden water pollution incidents in the upper and middle reaches of Luanhe River Basin is obtained by applying the above risk zoning method. It is found that there are 55 risk zones in total, including three highest risk zones, 15 higher risk zones, 14 lower risk zones, 23 lowest risk zones. These results indicate that the upper and middle reaches of River Luanhe are overall at low risk. The corresponding management methods for the different risk zones are suggested.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 362: Extreme Rainfall Forecast with the WRF-ARW Model in the Central Andes of Peru Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9090362 Authors: Aldo S. Moya-Álvarez José Gálvez Andrea Holguín René Estevan Shailendra Kumar Elver Villalobos Daniel Martínez-Castro Yamina Silva The ability of the WRF-ARW (Weather Research and Forecasting-Advanced Research WRF) model to forecast extreme rainfall in the Central Andes of Peru is evaluated in this study, using observations from stations located in the Mantaro basin and GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) images. The evaluation analyzes the synoptic conditions averaged over 40 extreme event cases, and considers model simulations organized in 4 nested domains. We first establish that atypical events in the region are those with more than 27 mm of rainfall per day when averaging over all the stations. More than 50% of the selected cases occurred during January, February, and April, with the most extreme occurring during February. The average synoptic conditions show negative geopotential anomalies and positive humidity anomalies in 700 and 500 hPa. At 200 hPa, the subtropical upper ridge or “Bolivian high” was present, with its northern divergent flank over the Mantaro basin. Simulation results show that the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model underestimates rainfall totals in approximately 50–60% of cases, mainly in the south of the basin and in the extreme west along the mountain range. The analysis of two case studies shows that the underestimation by the model is probably due to three reasons: inability to generate convection in the upstream Amazon during early morning hours, apparently related to processes of larger scales; limitations on describing mesoscale processes that lead to vertical movements capable of producing extreme rainfall; and limitations on the microphysics scheme to generate heavy rainfall.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 359: Characteristics of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Structure during PM2.5 and Ozone Pollution Events in Wuhan, China Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9090359 Authors: Yassin Mbululo Jun Qin Jun Hong Zhengxuan Yuan In this study, we investigated six air pollutants from 21 monitoring stations scattered throughout Wuhan city by analyzing meteorological variables in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and air mass backward trajectories from HYSPLIT during the pollution events. Together with this, ground meteorological variables were also used throughout the investigation period: 1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016. Analysis results during this period show that the city was polluted in winter by PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamics of less than 2.5 microns) and in summer by ozone (O3). The most polluted day during the investigation period was 25 December 2015 with an air quality index (AQI) of 330 which indicates ‘severe pollution’, while the cleanest day was 26 August 2016 with an AQI of 27 indicating ‘excellent’ air quality. The average concentration of PM2.5 (O3) on the most polluted day was 265.04 (135.82) µg/m3 and 9.10 (86.40) µg/m3 on the cleanest day. Moreover, the percentage of days which exceeded the daily average limit of NO2, PM10, PM2.5, and O3 for the whole year was 2.46%, 14.48%, 23.50%, and 39.07%, respectively, while SO2 and CO were found to be below the set daily limit. The analysis of ABL during PM2.5 pollution events showed the existence of a strong inversion layer, low relative humidity, and calm wind. These observed conditions are not favorable for horizontal and vertical dispersion of air pollutants and therefore result in pollutant accumulation. Likewise, ozone pollution events were accompanied by extended sunshine hours, high temperature, a calm wind, a strongly suspended inversion layer, and zero recorded rainfall. These general characteristics are favorable for photochemical production of ozone and accumulation of pollutants. Apart from the conditions of ABL, the results from backward trajectories suggest trans-boundary movement of air masses to be one of the important factors which determines the air quality of Wuhan.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 50
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2485: Improved Current Doubler Rectifier Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092485 Authors: Mihail Antchev It is widely accepted to examine and explain the functioning of the standard “Current Doubler Rectifier” as strictly symmetrical according to the electrical current through the two inductances. The present work challenges this consideration and proposes a new version of the electrical circuit diagram where the current symmetry is improved. The proposed circuit is called the “Improved Current Doubler Rectifier”.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2486: A Compensation Control Scheme of Voltage Unbalance Using a Combined Three-Phase Inverter in an Islanded Microgrid Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092486 Authors: Biying Ren Xiangdong Sun Shasha Chen Huan Liu A large number of single-phase loads in an islanded microgrid have a bad influence on the alternating current (AC) bus voltage symmetry, which will further impact the power supply for the other loads. In this paper, the combined three-phase inverter is adopted as the distributed generation (DG) interface circuit for its independent control of each bridge. However, the combined three-phase inverter will generate an asymmetrical voltage with the traditional droop control. Moreover, the system impedance also effects the voltage symmetry. Therefore, the improved droop control method based on the self-adjusting P-f and Q-U droop curves and the system impedance voltage drop compensation are proposed. The system control scheme is also designed in detail. A simulation and an experiment under the conditions of the balanced, unbalanced loads are carried out, and the results verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the control strategy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 52
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2477: Pelleting Vineyard Pruning at Low Cost with a Mobile Technology Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092477 Authors: Giuseppe Toscano Vincenzo Alfano Antonio Scarfone Luigi Pari The goal of this work was to test a patented pruning harvester and a mobile pelleting system specifically designed for the vineyard agripellet chain. Biomass was characterized before and after storage and after the pelleting stage. The performance, the fuel consumption, and the work quality of the harvester were assessed together with the productivity and the power consumption of the mobile pelleting system. Production costs of pellet were estimated for the whole logistic chain, considering two scenarios: Storage and pelleting directly at the farm site or at a dedicated location at variable distance from the fields. For comparison, the direct production of chips without pelleting was considered. Results indicate that harvester performance was quite good and comparable with commercial solutions; the chips produced exhibited excellent storage performance, allowing direct pelleting without forced drying; the pellet quality was good comparable with that produced from forestry biomass. From an economic point of view, in-field pelleting was the most cost-effective solution, with a good margin of profit up to 57€ t−1; on the other hand, when transport to an intermediate storage center is necessary, profit margin reduces gradually and fades off at an average 50 km distance from the fields.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 53
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 715: Evaluating Sustainability of Regional Water Resources Based on Improved Generalized Entropy Method Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090715 Authors: Ming Zhang Jinghong Zhou Runjuan Zhou The sustainability of regional water resources has important supporting data needed for establishing policies on the sustainable development of the social economy. The purpose of this paper is to propose an assessment method to accurately reflect the sustainability of regional water resources in various areas. The method is based on the relative entropy of the information entropy theory. The steps are as follows. Firstly, the pretreatment of the evaluation sample data is required, before the relative entropy of each standard evaluation sample and evaluation grade (SEG) is calculated to obtain the entropy weight of each evaluation index. After this, the entropy weighted comprehensive index (WCI) of the standard evaluation grade sample is obtained. The function relation between WCI and SEG can be fitted by the cubic polynomial to construct the evaluation function. Using the above steps, a generalized entropy method (GEM) for the sustainable assessment of regional water resources is established and it is used to evaluate the sustainability of water resources in the Pingba and Huai River areas in China. The results show that the proposed GEM model can accurately reflect the sustainable water resources in the two regions. Compared with the other evaluation models, such as the Shepherd method, Artificial Neural Network and Fuzzy comprehensive evaluation, the GEM model has larger differences in its evaluation results, which are more reasonable. Thus, the proposed GEM model can provide scientific data support for coordinating the relationship between the sustainable development and utilization of regional water resources in order to improve the development of regional population, society and economy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 54
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 576: Effect of Rotation Age and Thinning Regime on Visual and Structural Lumber Grades of Douglas-Fir Logs Forests doi: 10.3390/f9090576 Authors: Eini C. Lowell Eric C. Turnblom Jeff M. Comnick CL Huang Douglas-fir, the most important timber species in the Pacific Northwest, US (PNW), has high stiffness and strength. Growing it in plantations on short rotations since the 1980s has led to concerns about the impact of juvenile/mature wood proportion on wood properties. Lumber recovered from four sites in a thinning trial in the PNW was analyzed for relationships between thinning regime and lumber grade yield. Linear mixed-effects models were developed for understanding how rotation age and thinning affect the lumber grade yield. Log small-end diameter was overall the most important for describing the presence of an appearance grade, generally exhibiting an indirect relationship with the lower quality grades. Stand Quadratic Mean Diameter (QMD) was found to be the next most uniformly important predictor, its influence (positive or negative) depending on the lumber grade. For quantity within a grade, as log small-end diameter increased, the quantity of the highest grade increased, while decreasing the quantity of the lower grades differentially. Other tree and stand attributes were of varying importance among grades, including stand density, tree height, and stand slope, but logically depicted the tradeoffs or rebalancing among the grades as the tree and stand characteristics change. Structural lumber grade presence was described best by acoustic wave flight time, log position (decreasing presence in upper logs), and an increasing presence with rotation age. A smaller set of variables proved useful for describing quantity within a structural grade. Forest managers can use these results in planning to best capture value in harvesting, allowing them to direct raw materials (logs) to appropriate manufacturing facilities given market demand.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2044: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Off-Job Activities on Recovery and Sleep: A Two-Wave Panel Study among Health Care Employees International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092044 Authors: Jan de Jonge Akihito Shimazu Maureen Dollard This study examined whether particular recovery activities after work have a positive or negative effect on employee recovery from work (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and physical detachment) and sleep quality. We used a two-wave panel study of 230 health care employees which enabled looking at both short-term and long-term effects (i.e., two-year time interval). Gender, age, marital status, children at home, education level, management position, and working hours were used as control variables. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that work-related off-job activities were negatively associated with cognitive and emotional detachment in both the short and long run, whereas low-effort off-job activities were positively related to cognitive detachment in the short run. Moreover, household/care off-job activities were positively related to sleep quality in the long run, whereas physical off-job activities were negatively associated with sleep quality in the long run. The long-term findings existed beyond the strong effects of baseline detachment and sleep quality. This study highlights the importance of off-job recovery activities for health care employees’ detachment from work and sleep quality. Practical implications and avenues for further research are discussed.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 56
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2042: A Bayesian Quantile Modeling for Spatiotemporal Relative Risk: An Application to Adverse Risk Detection of Respiratory Diseases in South Carolina, USA International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092042 Authors: Chawarat Rotejanaprasert Andrew B. Lawson Quantile modeling has been seen as an alternative and useful complement to ordinary regression mainly focusing on the mean. To directly apply quantile modeling to areal data the discrete conditional quantile function of the data can be an issue. Although jittering by adding a small number from a uniform distribution to impose pseudo-continuity has been proposed, the approach can have a great influence on responses with small values. Thus we proposed an alternative to model the quantiles of relative risk for spatiotemporal areal health data within a Bayesian framework using the log-Laplace distribution. A simulation study was conducted to assess the performance of the proposed method and examine whether the model could robustly estimate quantiles of spatiotemporal count data. To perform a test with a real data example, we evaluated the potential application of clustering under the proposed log-Laplace and mean regression. The data were obtained from the total number of emergency room discharges for respiratory conditions, both infectious and non-infectious diseases, in the U.S. state of South Carolina in 2009. From both simulation and case studies, the proposed quantile modeling demonstrated potential for broad applicability in various areas of spatial health studies including anomaly detection.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 57
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2038: Effects of Clockwise and Counterclockwise Job Shift Work Rotation on Sleep and Work-Life Balance on Hospital Nurses International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092038 Authors: Dana Shiffer Maura Minonzio Franca Dipaola Mattia Bertola Antonio Roberto Zamuner Laura Adelaide Dalla Vecchia Monica Solbiati Giorgio Costantino Raffaello Furlan Franca Barbic Rotational shift work is associated with sleep disturbances, increased risk of cardiovascular and psychological disorders, and may negatively impact work–life balance. The direction of shift rotation (Clockwise, CW or counterclockwise, CCW) and its role in these disorders are poorly understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of the shift schedule direction on sleep quantity and quality, alertness and work performance, and on work–life balance on hospital nurses. One-hundred female nurses, working a continuous rapid shift schedule in hospitals in the north of Italy, participated in this cross-sectional study. Fifty worked on CW rotation schedule (Morning: 6 a.m.–2 p.m., Afternoon: 2 p.m.–10 p.m., Night: 10 p.m.–6 a.m., 2 rest days) and fifty on CCW rotation (Afternoon, Morning, Morning, Night, 3 rest days). Data were collected by ad hoc questionnaire and daily diary. During the shift cycle CW nurses slept longer (7.40 ± 2.24 h) than CCW (6.09 ± 1.73; p < 0.001). CW nurses reported less frequently than CCW awakening during sleep (40% vs. 80%; p < 0.001), attention disturbance during work (20% vs. 64%; p < 0.001), and interference with social and family life (60% vs. 96% and 20% vs. 70%, respectively; p < 0.001). CCW rotating shift schedule seems to be characterized by higher sleep disturbances and a worse work–life balance.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 380: Determining Optimal Video Length for the Estimation of Building Height through Radial Displacement Measurement from Space ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7090380 Authors: Andrew Plowright Riccardo Tortini Nicholas C. Coops We presented a methodology for estimating building heights in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, using a high definition video (HDV) recorded from the International Space Station. We developed an iterative routine based on multiresolution image segmentation to track the radial displacement of building roofs over the course of the HDV, and to predict the building heights using an ordinary least-squares regression model. The linear relationship between the length of the tracking vector and the height of the buildings was excellent (r2 ≤ 0.89, RMSE ≤ 8.85 m, p < 0.01). Notably, the accuracy of the height estimates was not improved considerably beyond 10 s of outline tracking, revealing an optimal video length for estimating the height or elevation of terrestrial features. HDVs are demonstrated to be a viable and effective data source for target tracking and building height prediction when high resolution imagery, spectral information, and/or topographic data from other sources are not available.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 59
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2034: Influenza Vaccinations for All Pregnant Women? Better Evidence Is Needed International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092034 Authors: Alberto Donzelli Pregnant women are a World Health Organization (WHO) priority group for influenza vaccination, but evidence of effectiveness and safety for pregnant women comes from observational studies, which are notoriously prone to confounding by indication and healthy-vaccinee bias. The latter type of bias leads to an overestimation of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, which may be what occurs in pregnant women. Indeed, better educated women with healthier behaviors and who seek better medical care may be more adherent to vaccinations recommended by doctors, scientific societies and health authorities. Therefore, it is fundamental to obtain information about vaccine effectiveness and safety from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Cochrane reviews have identified only one RCT with “low risk of bias”. Its results were unclear in terms of maternal, perinatal, and infant deaths and hospitalization, and showed a Number Needed to Vaccine (NNV) of 55 for mothers, with an excess of local adverse effects. A Cochrane review concluded that the inactivated influenza vaccine provides pregnant women with uncertain or very limited protection against influenza-like illnesses and influenza. Some observational studies have suggested possible adverse effects of the inflammation following the vaccination. Consistent with the Cochrane reviewers’ conclusions, further trials for influenza vaccines with appropriate study designs and comparison groups are required before promoting universal seasonal influenza vaccinations of pregnant women. Meanwhile, vaccination in second to third trimester should be offered while communicating the uncertainties that still exist, promoting informed choices. Vaccination in the first trimester is debatable and debated. This does not mean leaving women defenseless; many other useful behavioral and environmental measures can reduce infectious disease.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 60
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1765: Effect of CO2 Partial Pressure on the Corrosion Behavior of J55 Carbon Steel in 30% Crude Oil/Brine Mixture Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091765 Authors: Haitao Bai Yongqing Wang Yun Ma Qingbo Zhang Ningsheng Zhang The influence of CO2 partial pressure on the corrosion properties, including corrosion rate, morphology, chemical composition, and corrosion depth, of J55 carbon steel in 30% crude oil/brine at 65 °C was investigated. A corrosion mechanism was then proposed based on the understanding of the formation of localized corrosion. Results showed that localized corrosion occurred in 30% crude oil/brine with CO2. The corrosion rate sharply increased as the CO2 partial pressure (P co 2 ) was increased from 0 to 1.5 MPa, decreased from P co 2 = 1.5 MPa to P co 2 = 5.0 MPa, increased again at P co 2 = 5.0 MPa, and then reached a constant value after P co 2 = 9.0 MPa. The system pH initially decreased, rapidly increased, and then stabilized as CO2 partial pressure was increased. In the initial period, the surface of J55 carbon steel in the CO2/30% crude oil/brine mixtures showed intense corrosion. In conclusion, CO2 partial pressure affects the protection performance of FeCO3 by changing the formation of corrosion scale and further affecting the corrosion rate.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 61
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1762: Graphene-Based Light Sensing: Fabrication, Characterisation, Physical Properties and Performance Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091762 Authors: Adolfo De Sanctis Jake D. Mehew Monica F. Craciun Saverio Russo Graphene and graphene-based materials exhibit exceptional optical and electrical properties with great promise for novel applications in light detection. However, several challenges prevent the full exploitation of these properties in commercial devices. Such challenges include the limited linear dynamic range (LDR) of graphene-based photodetectors, the lack of efficient generation and extraction of photoexcited charges, the smearing of photoactive junctions due to hot-carriers effects, large-scale fabrication and ultimately the environmental stability of the constituent materials. In order to overcome the aforementioned limits, different approaches to tune the properties of graphene have been explored. A new class of graphene-based devices has emerged where chemical functionalisation, hybridisation with light-sensitising materials and the formation of heterostructures with other 2D materials have led to improved performance, stability or versatility. For example, intercalation of graphene with FeCl 3 is highly stable in ambient conditions and can be used to define photo-active junctions characterized by an unprecedented LDR while graphene oxide (GO) is a very scalable and versatile material which supports the photodetection from UV to THz frequencies. Nanoparticles and quantum dots have been used to enhance the absorption of pristine graphene and to enable high gain thanks to the photogating effect. In the same way, hybrid detectors made from stacked sequences of graphene and layered transition-metal dichalcogenides enabled a class of devices with high gain and responsivity. In this work, we will review the performance and advances in functionalised graphene and hybrid photodetectors, with particular focus on the physical mechanisms governing the photoresponse, the performance and possible future paths of investigation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 62
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1758: Enrichment and Purification of Aucubin from Eucommia ulmoides Ionic Liquid Extract Using Macroporous Resins Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091758 Authors: Xinyu Yang Mengxia Wei Hao Tian Tingting Liu Lei Yang Aiming to address the shortcomings of high-concentration ethanol or methanol extraction solutions that need to be diluted and concentrated prior to use in conventional macroporous resin adsorption approaches, an efficient approach for enrichment and purification of aucubin from the ionic liquid extraction solution of samaras of Eucommia ulmoides was proposed. Among the nine kinds of macroporous resins investigated, the HPD850 resin was found to be the most suitable. Equilibrium adsorption tests were investigated and found to be better fitted by the Langmuir isotherm model. After the dynamic tests on a column packed with HPD850, the optimum operational conditions were as follows: for the absorption process, an initial aucubin concentration of 9.87 mg/L, a sample volume of 13 bed volumes (BV), and a flow rate of 2 BV/h; for the water washing process, 5 BV of deionized water and a flow rate of 3 BV/h; for the ethanol desorption process, a 10–80% ethanol volume fraction as the eluent, 2 BV for each ethanol volume fraction, and a flow rate of 3 BV/h. The 40–80% ethanol volume fraction eluent was collected and concentrated to produce the final products, resulting in an aucubin purity and recovery of 79.41% and 72.92%, respectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 63
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1753: The Effect of Gradient Bias Design on Electrochemistry and Tribology Behaviors of PVD CrN Film in a Simulative Marine Environment Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091753 Authors: Shihong Cen Xiaogai Lv Beibei Xu Ying Xu CrN films with various bias voltage designs (−20, −50, −80, −20~−80 V gradient change) were prepared via arc ion plating. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), nanoIndentor, electrochemistry workstation and tribo-meter were selected to evaluate the microstructure, mechanics, electrochemistry and tribology behaviors of as-prepared specimens in a simulative marine environment. By comparison, the adhesion force and anti-corrosion ability of CrN film with a gradient bias design were greatly enhanced compared with other films. The tribology behaviors of as-prepared specimens under various normal loads and sliding frequencies were deeply discussed. The result showed that the bias design played a critical role to impact the friction and wear behavior of film. Meanwhile, the CrN film with gradient bias design could bear a load of 25 N while other single CrN films failed, implying the strongest load-bearing capacity. Furthermore, at the same test condition, the lowest friction coefficient (COF) and wear loss were observed for CrN film with a gradient bias design, implying outstanding anti-friction and anti-wear abilities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 64
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1737: Electrospinning of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate/Poly(Lactic Acid) Blends on a Water Surface Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091737 Authors: Eliška Číková Jaroslav Kuliček Ivica Janigová Mária Omastová The electrospinning of an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer with a vinyl acetate content of 28 wt.% is limited due to the solubility of the copolymer in standard laboratory conditions. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer that can be electrospun easily. However, PLA has limited applicability because it is brittle. Blends of these polymers are of interest in order to obtain new types of materials with counterbalanced properties originating from both polymeric compounds. The fibers were electrospun on a water surface from a solution mixture containing various weight ratios of both polymers using a dichloromethane and acetone (70:30 v/v) mixture as solvent. The morphologies of the prepared non-woven mats were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the chemical composition was investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The fibers’ thermal properties and stability were examined, and the mechanical properties were tested. The results showed that the strength and flexibility of the blend samples were enhanced by the presence of PLA.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 65
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1738: Laboratory and Field Investigation of the Feasibility of Crumb Rubber Waste Application to Improve the Flexibility of Anti-Rutting Performance of Asphalt Pavement Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091738 Authors: Hongyin Li Hailong Jiang Wenwu Zhang Peng Liu Shanshan Wang Fei Wang Jizhe Zhang Zhanyong Yao Resistance of asphalt mix to low-temperature cracking and rutting at high temperature is very important to ensure the service performance of asphalt pavement under seasonal changes in temperature and loading. However, it is challenging to balance the improvement of such resistance by using additives, e.g., anti-rutting agent (ARA). This study focuses on improving the flexibility of anti-rutting asphalt mix by incorporating crumb rubber (CR) and ARA. The properties of the prepared modified asphalt mix were evaluated in the laboratory by performing wheel tracking, three-point bending, indirect tensile, and uniaxial compression tests. The experimental results showed that the dynamic stability of modified asphalt mix was significantly increased due to the addition of ARA and further improved by incorporating CR. The maximum bending strain at −10 °C was increased due to the contribution of CR. The results of indirect tensile strength and resilient modulus further indicated that the CR-modified anti-rutting mixture was more flexible. Moreover, the field observation and evaluation indicated that the CR-modified anti-rutting asphalt pavement met the standard requirements, better than normal asphalt mixture in many parameters. A conclusion can be made that incorporating CR in asphalt mixture prepared with ARA can improve pavement performance at both high and low in-service temperatures.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 66
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3118: Entropy Correlation and Its Impacts on Data Aggregation in a Wireless Sensor Network Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093118 Authors: Nga Thanh Khanh Kim Son Hong Trung Lam A correlation characteristic has significant potential advantages for the development of efficient communication protocols in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). To exploit the correlation in WSNs, the correlation model is required. However, most of the present correlation models are linear and distance-dependent. This paper proposes a general distance-independent entropy correlation model based on the relation between joint entropy and the number of members in a group. This relation is estimated using entropy of individual members and entropy correlation coefficients of member pairs. The proposed model is then applied to evaluate two data aggregation schemes in WSNs including data compression and representative schemes. In the data compression scheme, some main routing strategies are compared and evaluated to find the most appropriate strategy. In the representative scheme, with the desired distortion requirement, a method to calculate the number of representative nodes and the selection of these nodes are proposed. The practical validations showed the effectiveness of the proposed correlation model and data reduction schemes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1475: The Contribution of Terrestrial Laser Scanning to the Analysis of Cliff Slope Stability in Sugano (Central Italy) Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091475 Authors: Paolo Mazzanti Luca Schilirò Salvatore Martino Benedetta Antonielli Elisa Brizi Alessandro Brunetti Claudio Margottini Gabriele Scarascia Mugnozza In this work, we describe a comprehensive approach aimed at assessing the slope stability conditions of a tuff cliff located below the village of Sugano (Central Italy) starting from remote geomechanical analysis on high-resolution 3D point clouds collected by terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) surveys. Firstly, the identification of the main joint systems has been made through both manual and automatic analyses on the 3D slope model resulting from the surveys. Afterwards, the identified joint sets were considered to evaluate the slope stability conditions by attributing safety factor (SF) values to the typical rock blocks whose kinematic was proved as compatible with tests for toppling under two independent triggering conditions: hydrostatic water pressure within the joints and seismic action. The results from the remote investigation of the cliff slope provide geometrical information of the blocks more susceptible to instability and pointed out that limit equilibrium condition can be achieved for potential triggering scenarios in the whole outcropping slope.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 68
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3115: Fibre Bragg Grating Based Strain Sensors: Review of Technology and Applications Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093115 Authors: Carlo Edoardo Campanella Antonello Cuccovillo Clarissa Campanella Abdulkadir Yurt Vittorio M. N. Passaro Fibre Bragg grating (FBG) strain sensors are not only a very well-established research field, but they are also acquiring a bigger market share due to their sensitivity and low costs. In this paper we review FBG strain sensors with high focus on the underlying physical principles, the interrogation, and the read-out techniques. Particular emphasis is given to recent advances in highly-performing, single head FBG, a category FBG strain sensors belong to. Different sensing schemes are described, including FBG strain sensors based on mode splitting. Their operation principle and performance are reported and compared with the conventional architectures. In conclusion, some advanced applications and key sectors the global fibre-optic strain sensors market are envisaged, as well as the main market players acting in this field.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 69
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-16
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3303: Detecting Land Use Changes in a Rapidly Developing City during 1990–2017 Using Satellite Imagery: A Case Study in Hangzhou Urban Area, China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093303 Authors: Yuqing An Jin Yeu Tsou Kapo Wong Yuanzhi Zhang Dawei Liu Yu Li As one of the rapidly-developing mega cities in China, Hangzhou has experienced great land use change during the past three decades. By analyzing land use change in designated period, it is beneficial to understand urbanization process in Hangzhou, and undertake further urban management and urban planning. In this study, the land use change from 1990 to 2017 in Hangzhou urban area was detected by a method of supervised classification with Landsat TM images from 1990, 1997, 2004, 2010 and 2017, and analyzed by a Markov matrix. The results show that from 1990 to 2017, a great deal of rural areas transformed into built up areas in the Hangzhou urban area. Consequently, the urban area of Hangzhou increased eight times over the period from 1990 to 2017. This may imply that such a change should be directly related to the Chinese government policy, of which the main factor is rapidly-developing urbanization in China, such as in Hangzhou. Thus, it is believed that China’s land use change is going to be small in the following decades. This may indicate that China’s urban construction is slowing down, while its urban planning is being shifted from construction to management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-09-21
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 586: A Low-Cost Spore Trap Allows Collection and Real-Time PCR Quantification of Airborne Fusarium circinatum Spores Forests doi: 10.3390/f9100586 Authors: Tania Quesada Jennifer Hughes Katherine Smith Keumchul Shin Patrick James Jason Smith A variety of commercial instruments are available for sampling and quantifying microscopic airborne organisms from the environment. Although most samplers are highly sensitive, they are also expensive, costing thousands of dollars per unit, a price that is out of reach for many researchers, especially those looking to design experiments with replication. While looking at options to monitor pine stands for the presence of Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pitch canker disease, on multiple sites with several units per site, we developed a simple, low-cost spore trap that allows surveying spore abundance in outdoor environments. The trap consists of a rotating motor that holds a metal rod and two petroleum jelly-coated microscope slides. As the motor rotates, the slides collect airborne particles. To test whether the traps allowed detection of F. circinatum spores, we placed six traps on three sites: an actively-managed slash pine commercial stand located in Lake Butler, FL, a semi-managed loblolly and slash pine stand near Gainesville, FL, and a site with little perturbance at Goethe State Forest, FL, consisting of mainly slash pine trees. The slides were replaced weekly, and F. circinatum was detected by quantitative PCR using species-specific primers. Results show detection of low levels ( X ¯ = 1.7–77.1 picograms ± SE = 0.3–39.7) of the pathogen spores with high reproducibility. These traps offer a low-cost solution to spore, pollen, or small insect trapping experiments for initial or general assessment of a pathogen or species population. Their low cost has the added benefit that multiple traps can be deployed per experiment, thus increasing statistical power by using multiple replications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 71
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2458: THD Reduction in Wind Energy System Using Type-4 Wind Turbine/PMSG Applying the Active Front-End Converter Parallel Operation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092458 Authors: Salgado-Herrera Campos-Gaona Anaya-Lara Medina-Rios Tapia-Sánchez Rodríguez-Rodríguez In this paper, the active front-end (AFE) converter topology for the total harmonic distortion (THD) reduction in a wind energy system (WES) is used. A higher THD results in serious pulsations in the wind turbine (WT) output power and several power losses at the WES. The AFE converter topology improves the capability, efficiency, and reliability in the energy conversion devices; by modifying a conventional back-to-back converter, from using a single voltage source converter (VSC) to use pVSC connected in parallel, the AFE converter is generated. The THD reduction is achieved by applying a different phase shift angle at the carrier of digital sinusoidal pulse width modulation (DSPWM) switching signals of each VSC. To verify the functionality of the proposed methodology, the WES simulation in Matlab-Simulink® (Matlab r2015b, Mathworks, Natick, MA, USA) is analyzed, and the experimental laboratory tests using the concept of rapid control prototyping (RCP) and the real-time simulator Opal-RT Technologies (Montreal, QC, Canada) is achieved. The obtained results show a type-4 WT with a total output power of 6 MVA, generating a THD reduction up to 5.5 times of the total WES current output by Fourier series expansion.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 72
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 712: Entropy Contribution to the Line Tension: Insights from Polymer Physics, Water String Theory, and the Three-Phase Tension Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090712 Authors: Edward Bormashenko The notion of three-phase (line) tension remains one of the most disputable notions in surface science. A very broad range of its values has been reported. Experts even do not agree on the sign of line tension. The polymer-chain-like model of three-phase (triple) line enables rough estimation of entropic input into the value of line tension, estimated as Γ e n ≅ k B T d m ≅ 10 − 11 N , where d m is the diameter of the liquid molecule. The introduction of the polymer-chain-like model of the triple line is justified by the “water string” model of the liquid state, predicting strong orientation effects for liquid molecules located near hydrophobic moieties. The estimated value of the entropic input into the line tension is close to experimental findings, reported by various groups, and seems to be relevant for the understanding of elastic properties of biological membranes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 73
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1742: Effect of Ti Transition Layer Thickness on the Structure, Mechanical and Adhesion Properties of Ti-DLC Coatings on Aluminum Alloys Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091742 Authors: Hongshuai Cao Fugang Qi Xiaoping Ouyang Nie Zhao Yun Zhou Beibei Li Wenzhong Luo Bin Liao Jun Luo Multilayers of Ti doped diamond-like carbon (Ti-DLC) coatings were deposited on aluminum alloys by filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) technology using C2H2 as a reactive gas. The effect of different Ti transition layer thicknesses on the structure, mechanical and adhesion properties of the coatings, was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), nanoindentation and a scratch tester. The results showed that the Ti transition layer could improve interfacial transition between the coating and the substrate, which was beneficial in obtaining excellent adhesion of the coatings. The Ti transition layer thickness had no significant influence on the composition and structure of the coatings, whereas it affected the distortion of the sp2-C bond angle and length. Nanoindentation and scratch test results indicated that the mechanical and adhesion properties of the Ti-DLC coatings depended on the Ti transition layer thickness. The Ti transition layer proved favorable in decreasing the residual compressive stress of the coating. As the Ti transition layer thickness increased, the hardness value of the coating gradually decreased. However, its elastic modulus and adhesion exhibited an initial decrease followed by an increasing fluctuation. Among them, the Ti-DLC coating with a Ti transition layer thickness of 1.1 μm exhibited superior mechanical properties.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-17
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1480: Wind Direction Inversion from Narrow-Beam HF Radar Backscatter Signals in Low and High Wind Conditions at Different Radar Frequencies Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091480 Authors: Shen Gurgel Land-based, high-frequency (HF) surface wave radar has the unique capability of monitoring coastal surface parameters, such as current, waves, and wind, up to 200 km off the coast. The Doppler spectrum of the backscattered radar signal is characterized by two strong peaks that are caused by the Bragg-resonant scattering from the ocean surface. The wavelength of Bragg resonant waves is exactly half the radio wavelength (grazing incidence), and these waves are located at the higher frequency part of the wave spectral distribution. When HF radar operates at higher frequencies, the resonant waves are relatively shorter waves, which are more sensitive to a change in wind direction, and they rapidly respond to local wind excitation and a change in wind direction. When the radar operates at lower frequencies, the corresponding resonant waves are relatively longer and take longer time to respond to a change in wind direction due to the progress of wave growth from short waves to long waves. For the wind inversion from HF radar backscatter signals, the accuracy of wind measurement is also relevant to radar frequency. In this paper, a pattern-fitting method for extracting wind direction by estimating the wave spreading parameter is presented, and a comparison of the pattern-fitting method and a conventional method is given as well, which concludes that the pattern-fitting method presents better results than the conventional method. In order to analyze the wind direction inversion from radar backscatter signals under different wind conditions and at different radar frequencies, two radar experiments accomplished in Norway and Italy are introduced, and the results of wind direction inversion are presented. In the two experiments, the radar worked at 27.68 MHz and 12 MHz, respectively, and the wind conditions at the sea surface were quite different. In the experiment in Norway, 67.4% of the wind records were higher than 5 m/s, while, in the experiment in Italy, only 18.9% of the wind records were higher than 5 m/s. All these factors affect the accuracy of wind direction inversion. The paper analyzes the radar data and draws a conclusion on the influencing factor of wind direction inversion.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 75
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-19
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1492: The Potential of Spectral Indices in Detecting Various Stages of Afforestation over the Loess Plateau Region of China Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10091492 Authors: Jing Guo Peng Gong China has the greatest afforestation area in the world, mainly due to the implementation of various ecological restoration projects, which have taken place over several decades. However, the progress of these restoration projects has rarely been evaluated through sapling growth monitoring. In this research, we assessed the potential of eighteen spectral indices derived from time-series Landsat data to characterize the different stages of afforestation over the Loess Plateau region. First, we obtained data for the afforestation area from 1997 to 2010. Then we estimated the average year of afforestation that could be uniquely identified and the sensitivity to growth exhibited by each of the indices. The results show that the first shortwave infrared band (SWIR1) of the Landsat Thematic Mapper and the Brightness index from the tasseled cap transformation (TCB) had the fastest response to sapling growth. It takes 4.2 and 4.3 years on average for the saplings to be detected as forest by SWIR1 and TCB, respectively. However, these two indices saturate too soon to allow better distinction of the various stages of sapling growth but are better for monitoring the over-reporting situation. By contrast, the disturbance index (DI), and the normalized burnt ratio (NBR) and the normalized burnt ratio 2 (NBR2) respond slowly to sapling growth and can detect forest at 7.4 years on average. Unlike SWIR1 and TCB, these indices do not saturate early and can provide more detail on the level and structural condition of sapling growth.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 76
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-09-21
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 417: Optimizing Flotation Circuit Recovery by Effective Stage Arrangements: A Case Study Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8100417 Authors: Vahid Radmehr Sied Ziaedin Shafaei Mohammad Noaparast Hadi Abdollahi Recovery is one of the most important metallurgical parameters in designing and evaluating flotation circuits. The present study used the recovery arrangement for two and three stage circuits to evaluate the effect of stage recovery on the overall circuit recovery and flotation circuit configuration. The results showed that mainly the highest recovery value should be assigned to the rougher stage in order to achieve the maximum overall circuit recovery. Countercurrent rougher-cleaner and rougher-scavenger circuits, in which recycling streams step back one stage at a time, follow a general rule for the assignment of recovery. Finally, a flotation plant containing six flotation banks was examined as a case study. A program for calculating total circuit recovery, for all possible combinations of recovery was developed in MATLAB software. 720 recovery combinations were evaluated. The results showed that optimal recovery allocation in stages could be effective in achieving overall circuit recovery. It was shown that the use of a large number of stages in some of the flotation circuits leads to the loss of equipment and additional costs. The proposed approach can be employed as an effective tool for designing and optimizing various flotation circuits and their operational parameters.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 77
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 353: Highlights on Geochemical Changes in Archaean Granitoids and Their Implications for Early Earth Geodynamics Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8090353 Authors: Jaana Halla The Archaean (4.0–2.5 Ga) continental crust is mainly composed of granitoids, whose geochemical characteristics are a function of their formation mechanisms and components, as well as physical conditions of their source. Therefore, revealing changes in Archaean geodynamic processes requires understanding of geochemical changes in Archaean granitoids. This paper compares key geochemical signatures in granitoid occurrences from the Eoarchaean to Neoarchaean Eras and aims to highlight changes or variations in their geochemical signatures. The study is performed by exploring and comparing geochemical and geochronological datasets of Archaean granitoids compiled from literature. The results show that two end-members of sodic TTGs (tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite) occur throughout the Archaean: low- and high-HREE (heavy rare earth elements) types. A profound change in granitoid geochemistry occurred between 3.0 and 2.5 Ga when multi-source high-K calc-alkaline granitoid batholiths emerged, possibly indicating the onset of modern-type plate tectonics.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 78
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2031: Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and Its Associated Factors among Vegetarians in Malaysia International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15092031 Authors: Yuan Kei Ching Yit Siew Chin Mahenderan Appukutty Wan Ying Gan Vasudevan Ramanchadran Yoke Mun Chan The prevalence and factors associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain unknown in Malaysian vegetarians. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS among vegetarians in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor and its associated factors. The data on socio-demographic characteristics, vegetarianism practises, lifestyle behaviours, body weight, height, waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and blood lipid profiles were collected from 273 vegetarians. A majority of the respondents were lacto-ovo vegetarians (44.0%), females (64.8%) and Chinese (54.9%). The prevalence of MetS was 24.2%. High BP (48.7%) and high WC (43.6%) were the most common MetS components. Females had lower WC, SBP, DBP, FBG, TG and higher HDL-c (p < 0.05) as compared to males. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that being overweight and obese (Odds Ratio (OR) = 7.74, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 4.04–14.82) was the main risk factor of MetS after being adjusted for sex and age. This study found that one in four vegetarians had MetS. An intervention programme should be developed to reduce Body Mass Index (BMI) among vegetarians, especially among those who are found to be overweight and obese.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering