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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2076: Associations Between the Dopamine D4 Receptor and DAT1 Dopamine Transporter Genes Polymorphisms and Personality Traits in Addicted Patients International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102076 Authors: Jolanta Chmielowiec Krzysztof Chmielowiec Aleksandra Suchanecka Grzegorz Trybek Bożena Mroczek Iwona Małecka Anna Grzywacz Many factors are involved in addiction. The dopaminergic system is thought to be the key element in this process. The mesolimbic dopamine system is a crucial element in the reward system. Changes in this system are thought to be leading to substance use disorders and dependence. Therefore, for our study we chose an analysis of two polymorphisms in genes (Variable Number of Tandem Repeats in DRD4 and DAT1) responsible for dopaminergic transmission, which might be implicated in the scores of personality traits measured by the NEO-FFI test. The study group consisted of 600 male volunteers—299 addicted subjects and 301 controls. Both groups were recruited by psychiatrists; in the case group addiction was diagnosed; in the controls a mental illness was excluded. In both groups the same psychometric test and genotyping by the PCR VNTR method were performed. The results were investigated by a multivariate analysis of the main effects ANOVA. In the presented study no DRD4 main effects were found for any of the analyzed traits but the DRD4 main effects approximated to the statistical significance for the extraversion scale. However, no DAT1 main effects were found for any of the analyzed traits but the DAT1 main effects approximated to the statistical significance for the agreeability scale.These associations open new possibilities for addiction research.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2074: Suicide on the Railways in Belgium: A Typology of Locations and Potential for Prevention International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102074 Authors: Mathieu Strale Karolina Krysinska Gaëtan Van Overmeiren Karl Andriessen Suicide on railway networks comprises a serious public health problem. However, the geographical distribution and the environmental risk factors remain unclear. This study analyzed the geographic distribution of railway suicides in Belgium from 2008–2013 at the level of a railway section (average length of 3.5 km). Principal component analysis (PCA) identified three groups of correlations that helped explain the variance of railway suicide. The three groups are related to characteristics of urban spaces, psychiatric facilities, and railway traffic density. Based on the PCA results, the study found four types of railway sections. The density of railway suicide was average and low in the urban and rural/industrial sections, respectively. However, it was high in the suburban sections and the sections close to psychiatric facilities. As the geographical proximity of a psychiatric facility comprises a specific risk factor for suicide on railways, preventative measures should target these sections and establish collaborations with psychiatric facilities. The typology of locations found in this study constitutes crucial information for national and local suicide prevention on the Belgian railway network.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2071: Targeted Versus Nontargeted Communication About Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in Three Smoker Groups International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102071 Authors: Bo Yang Jiaying Liu Lucy Popova Background: This study used an audience segmentation and message targeting approach to identify three distinct smoker groups—Older Freedom Smokers (OFS), Reluctant Smokers (RS), and Young Enthusiasts (YE)—and examined whether an electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) message targeting each smoker group (targeted message) was associated with more health-enhancing outcomes than messages targeting other groups (nontargeted messages). Methods: An online experiment was conducted among 580 adult smokers with 180 OFS, 200 RS, and 200 YE. Each smoker group viewed a targeted message and two nontargeted messages in a random order. Following the presentation of each message, participants reported their perceived message effectiveness, message reactions, ENDS- and cigarette-related beliefs, and behavioral intentions. Results: The targeted vs. nontargeted messages mostly did not produce more health-enhancing outcomes on perceptions of absolute and comparative risks of ENDS and cigarettes, response efficacy of ENDS, and self-efficacy as well as intentions to quit smoking. Conclusions: Our targeted messages did not appear to be a better choice over nontargeted messages to communicate about ENDS to smokers. Given the increasing call to accurately inform the public of the risk differences among various tobacco products, future studies should continue to explore whether targeted messages could be employed to communicate about the comparative risks of ENDS.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2073: Factors Associated with the Risk of Developing Coronary Artery Disease in Medicated Patients with Major Depressive Disorder International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102073 Authors: Roger C. M. Ho Anna C. Chua Bach X. Tran Carol C. Choo Syeda Fabeha Husain Giang T. Vu Roger S. McIntyre Cyrus S. H. Ho Background: The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with high Framingham Risk Score (FRS) in medicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: We examined 61 medicated patients with MDD (mean age 37.77 ± 7.67, 90.2% women) and 43 non-depressed controls (mean age 38.26 ± 9.20, 90.7% women). We administered the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and measured systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial BP (MAP), pulse wave velocity (PWV), intima-media thickness (IMT), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and triglycerides. Results: We found that medicated patients with MDD had significantly higher levels of HAM-D score (p < 0.01), SBP (p = 0.015), MAP (p = 0.037), IL−6 level (p = 0.007), as compared with controls. Medicated patients who remained moderately to severely depressed showed significantly higher SBP (p = 0.049), DBP (p = 0.009), MAP (p = 0.024), IL−6 level (p = 0.019), left PWV (p = 0.004) and average PWV (p = 0.026) than those with mild depression. Multivariate regression showed that the interaction effect between HAM-D score and triglyceride level (p = 0.018) was significantly associated with FRS in medicated patients with MDD. Conclusions: This study highlights that the interaction effect of the severity of depression and the triglyceride level, was a modifiable factor positively associated with high FRS.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2072: Meeting Patients’ Right to the Correct Diagnosis: Ongoing International Initiatives on Undiagnosed Rare Diseases and Ethical and Social Issues International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102072 Authors: Sabina Gainotti Deborah Mascalzoni Virginie Bros-Facer Carlo Petrini Giovanna Floridia Marco Roos Marco Salvatore Domenica Taruscio The time required to reach a correct diagnosis is a key concern for rare disease (RD) patients. Diagnostic delay can be intolerably long, often described as an “odyssey” and, for some, a diagnosis may remain frustratingly elusive. The International Rare Disease Research Consortium proposed, as ultimate goal for 2017–2027, to enable all people with a suspected RD to be diagnosed within one year of presentation, if the disorder is known. Subsequently, unsolved cases would enter a globally coordinated diagnostic and research pipeline. In-depth analysis of the genotype through next generation sequencing, together with a standardized in-depth phenotype description and sophisticated high-throughput approaches, have been applied as diagnostic tools to increase the chance of a timely and accurate diagnosis. The success of this approach is evident in the Orphanet database. From 2010 to March 2017 over 600 new RDs and roughly 3600 linked genes have been described and identified. However, combination of -omics and phenotype data, as well as international sharing of this information, has raised ethical concerns. Values to be assessed include not only patient autonomy but also family implications, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, solidarity and reciprocity, which must be respected and promoted and, at the same time, balanced among each other. In this work we suggest that, to maximize patients’ involvement in the search for a diagnosis and identification of new causative genes, undiagnosed patients should have the possibility to: (1) actively participate in the description of their phenotype; (2) choose the level of visibility of their profile in matchmaking databases; (3) express their preferences regarding return of new findings, in particular which level of Variant of Unknown Significance (VUS) significance should be considered relevant to them. The quality of the relationship between individual patients and physicians, and between the patient community and the scientific community, is critically important for optimizing the use of available data and enabling international collaboration in order to provide a diagnosis, and the attached support, to unsolved cases. The contribution of patients to collecting and coding data comprehensively is critical for efficient use of data downstream of data collection.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2070: Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Exposure in Early Life Increases Risk of Childhood Adiposity: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15102070 Authors: Pingping Liu Fang Yang Yongbo Wang Zhanpeng Yuan Some articles have examined perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure in early life in relation to risk of childhood adiposity. Nevertheless, the results from epidemiological studies exploring the associations remain inconsistent and contradictory. We thus conducted an analysis of data currently available to examine the association between PFOA exposure in early life and risk of childhood adiposity. The PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases were searched to identify studies that examined the impact of PFOA exposure in early life on childhood adiposity. A random-effects meta-analysis model was used to pool the statistical estimates. We identified ten prospective cohort studies comprising 6076 participants with PFOA exposure. The overall effect size (relative risk or odds ratio) for childhood overweight was 1.25 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04, 1.50; I2 = 40.5%). In addition, exposure to PFOA in early life increased the z-score of childhood body mass index (β = 0.10, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.17; I2 = 27.9%). Accordingly, exposure to PFOA in early life is associated with an increased risk for childhood adiposity. Further research is needed to verify these findings and to shed light on the molecular mechanism of PFOA in adiposity.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1799: Magnetic and Mössbauer Spectroscopy Studies of Zinc-Substituted Cobalt Ferrites Prepared by the Sol-Gel Method Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101799 Authors: Qing Lin Jianmei Xu Fang Yang Jinpei Lin Hu Yang Yun He Zinc ion-substituted cobalt ferrite powders Co1−xZnxFe2O4 (x = 0–0.7) were prepared by the sol-gel auto-combustion process. The structural properties and magnetic of the samples were investigated with X-ray diffraction (XRD), superconducting quantum interference device, and a Mössbauer spectrometer. The results of XRD showed that the powder of a single cubic phase of ferrites calcined when kept at 800 °C for 3 h. The lattice constant increases with increase in Zn concentration, but average crystallite size does not decrease constantly by increasing the zinc content, which is related to pH value. It was confirmed that the transition from ferrimagnetic to superparamagnetic behaviour depends on increasing zinc concentration by Mössbauer spectra at room temperature. Magnetization at room temperature increases for x ≤ 0.3, but decreases for increasing Zn2+ ions. The magnetization of Co0.7Zn0.3Fe2O4 reached maximum value (83.51 emu/g). The coercivity decreased with Zn2+ ions, which were doped on account of the decrease of the anisotropy constant.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1798: 3D Printing of Resin Material for Denture Artificial Teeth: Chipping and Indirect Tensile Fracture Resistance Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101798 Authors: Yoo-Jin Chung Ji-Man Park Tae-Hyung Kim Jin-Soo Ahn Hyun-Suk Cha Joo-Hee Lee 3D printing of denture artificial teeth with resin materials is worthy of study in a novel way. This study evaluated chipping and indirect tensile fracture resistance of 3D printing resin material (Dentca 3D printing denture teeth resin) compared with conventionally prefabricated resin denture teeth (Premium-8, Surpass, SR-Orthosit-PE, and Preference). One hundred tooth specimens were prepared for testing. The 3D printed tooth specimens were printed at a 50 µm layer thickness with methacrylate-based photopolymerized resin by stereolithography 3D printing. Chipping and indirect tensile fracture tests were conducted at a speed of 1 mm/min until fracture. The indirect tensile fracture loads of the 3D printed resin teeth were higher than those of Premium-8, Surpass, and SR-Orthosit-PE, and lower than those of Preference teeth. Regarding chipping resistance, the 3D printed resin teeth were not different from Surpass and SR-Orthosit-PE, and were lower than Premium-8 and Preference teeth. The 3D printed resin teeth exhibited vertical fracture of the loaded cusp without deformation in chipping. The 3D printed resin teeth showed simultaneous fracture of two cusps in indirect tensile fracture, unlike other teeth. The results of this study suggest that 3D printing technology using resin materials provides adequate fracture resistance for denture artificial tooth use.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1797: Grain-Boundary Interaction between Inconel 625 and WC during Laser Metal Deposition Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101797 Authors: Jan Huebner Dariusz Kata Paweł Rutkowski Paweł Petrzak Jan Kusiński In this study, the laser metal deposition (LMD) of the Inconel 625–tungsten carbide (WC) metal matrix composite was investigated. The composite coating was deposited on Inconel 625 substrate by powder method. A powder mixture containing 10 wt% of WC (5 µm) was prepared by wet mixing with dextrin binder. Coating samples obtained by low-power LMD were pore- and crack-free. Ceramic reinforcement was distributed homogenously in the whole volume of the material. Topologically close-packed (TCP) phases were formed at grain boundaries between WC and Inconel 625 matrix as a result of partial dissolution of WC in a nickel-based alloy. Line analysis of the elements revealed very small interference of the coating in the substrate material when compared to conventional coating methods. The average Vickers hardness of the coating was about 25% higher than the hardness of pure Inconel 625 reference samples.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1796: Oxidation Behavior of Multilayer Hard Coatings (TiCN/Al2O3/TiN) in Process of Recycling Coated Multicomponent Hardmetal Scrap Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101796 Authors: Hai Kuang Dunqiang Tan Wen He Zhiqiang Yi Zhihang Zou Xiaoru Wang The coating is one of the biggest problems in the recycling of coated multicomponent hardmetal scraps. The isothermal oxidation behavior of WC-Co multicomponent cemented carbide inserts with a TiCN/Al2O3/TiN hard coating in the recycling process was investigated. The oxidation rate slowed down as the protective coating blocked element diffusion. A rapid oxidation rate was obtained when they were milled into powders and isothermally oxidized at 900 °C. A rapid path for element diffusion was provided by the defects, which were promoted by stress, expansion, and gas volatilization. Both the TiN and TiCN layers were oxidized to a porous TiO2 scale, while the Al2O3 phase remained and the dense Al2O3 layer acted as a barrier for its good oxidation resistance. Pieces of the Al2O3 layer were obviously seen in the final oxides. This provides critical information to reduce the negative effect of coatings and improve the performance of recycled WC powders and hard alloys.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1795: Correlation of Materials Property and Performance with Internal Structures Evolvement Revealed by Laboratory X-ray Tomography Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101795 Authors: Lei Zhang Shaogang Wang Although X-rays generated from a laboratory-based tube cannot be compared with synchrotron radiation in brilliance and monochromaticity, they are still viable and accessible in-house for ex situ or interrupted in situ X-ray tomography. This review mainly demonstrates recent works using laboratory X-ray tomography coupled with the measurements of properties or performance testing under various conditions, such as thermal, stress, or electric fields. Evolvements of correlated internal structures for some typical materials were uncovered. The damage features in a graded metallic 3D mesh and a metallic glass under mechanical loading were revealed and investigated. Micro-voids with thermal treatment and void healing phenomenon with electropulsing were clearly demonstrated and quantitatively analyzed. The substance transfer around an electrode of a Li-S battery and the protective performance of a Fe-based metallic glass coating on stainless steel were monitored through electrochemical processes. It was shown that in situ studies of the laboratory X-ray tomography were suitable for the investigation of structure change under controlled conditions and environments. An extension of the research for in situ laboratory X-ray tomography can be expected with supplementary novel techniques for internal strain, global 3D grain orientation, and a fast tomography strategy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1793: An Innovative Method for Forming Balls by Cross Rolling Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101793 Authors: Zbigniew Pater Janusz Tomczak Tomasz Bulzak The paper describes an innovative cross rolling method that enables the production of six balls at the same time, each ball with a diameter of 100 mm. The principle of the proposed rolling technique is discussed and the tools used in this forming process are described. Two variations of the proposed method for producing balls were investigated, one performed with the use of flat tools and the other with the use of two rolls. Results of the numerical modelling are discussed. They clearly demonstrate that the proposed method can be used to produce balls with large diameters. Rolling experiments were performed under laboratory conditions to produce 40 mm diameter balls, i.e., in the 1:2.5 scale. The experimental findings show a good qualitative agreement with the numerical results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1794: Characterisation of InGaN by Photoconductive Atomic Force Microscopy Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101794 Authors: Thomas F. K. Weatherley Fabien C.-P. Massabuau Menno J. Kappers Rachel A. Oliver Nanoscale structure has a large effect on the optoelectronic properties of InGaN, a material vital for energy saving technologies such as light emitting diodes. Photoconductive atomic force microscopy (PC-AFM) provides a new way to investigate this effect. In this study, PC-AFM was used to characterise four thick (∼130 nm) In x Ga 1 − x N films with x = 5%, 9%, 12%, and 15%. Lower photocurrent was observed on elevated ridges around defects (such as V-pits) in the films with x ≤ 12 %. Current-voltage curve analysis using the PC-AFM setup showed that this was due to a higher turn-on voltage on these ridges compared to surrounding material. To further understand this phenomenon, V-pit cross sections from the 9% and 15% films were characterised using transmission electron microscopy in combination with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. This identified a subsurface indium-deficient region surrounding the V-pit in the lower indium content film, which was not present in the 15% sample. Although this cannot directly explain the impact of ridges on turn-on voltage, it is likely to be related. Overall, the data presented here demonstrate the potential of PC-AFM in the field of III-nitride semiconductors.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1792: Chromaticity-Tunable and Thermal Stable Phosphor-in-Glass Inorganic Color Converter for High Power Warm w-LEDs Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11101792 Authors: Zikun Chen Bo Wang Xiaoshuang Li Dayu Huang Hongyang Sun Qingguang Zeng In this work, an aluminate silicate garnet phosphor, Y2Mg2Al2Si2O12:Ce3+ (YMASG:Ce3+), exhibiting strong and broad yellow-orange emission, was successfully synthesized. Attributed to the double cation substitution of YAG:Ce3+, which led to a compression effect, a redshift was observed with respect to YAG:Ce3+. More importantly, a transparent phosphor-in-glass (PiG) sample was obtained by incorporating the phosphor YMASG:Ce3+ into a special low-melting precursor glass. The energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) mapping analysis of the as-prepared PiG sample indicates that YMASG:Ce3+ was successfully incorporated into the glass host, and its powders were uniformly distributed in glass. The photoluminescence intensity of the PiG sample was higher than that of the powder due to its relatively high thermal conductivity. Additionally, the combination of the PiG sample and a blue high-power chip generated a modular white LED with a luminous efficacy of 54.5 lm/W, a correlated color temperature (CCT) of 5274 K, and a color rendering index (CRI) of 79.5 at 350 mA.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-09-22
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 421: A Study on the Flocculation and Sedimentation of Iron Tailings Slurry Based on the Regulating Behavior of Fe3+ Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8100421 Authors: Tao Yue Xiqing Wu Xiao Chen Tianyu Liu Based on the regulating behavior of Fe3+, flocculation and sedimentation tests of iron tailings slurry flocculated using 2 mg/L anionic polyacrylamide (APAM) were studied, including the tests of Fe3+ dosage, regulating time, and pH. Flocculation–sedimentation tests showed that: a recommended addition of 56 mg/L Fe3+ produced a surprisingly bad flocculation effect; sedimentation ability decreased with the increase of regulating time, however, the regulating ability during the first 1 min was low; Fe3+ displayed a high regulating effect at pH 6–7, and then decreased with the increase of slurry pH. Size analysis demonstrated that the regulating ability of Fe3+ was related to the change of floc size, which increased with the decrease of size. Zeta potential analysis and calculation showed that small concentrations of Fe3+ and certain hydroxyl complex ions (such as Fe(OH)2+ and Fe(OH)2+) adsorbed onto the APAM molecular chains, resulting in a decreased charge density of the APAM molecules, and this electrostatic adsorption was able to make the polymer curl more easily. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic (FTIR) indicated the APAM on the hematite was slightly degraded into a monomer-like short-chain polymer while adding certain concentration of Fe3+. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) imaging showed that the network structure of APAM molecules treated by Fe3+ collapsed, and the APAM adsorption amount on hematite was significantly reduced. Therefore, the effect of Fe3+ on the APAM could be recommended as a new method for desorption and degradation of the APAM contained in the tailings slurry or flocs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3206: Double Notched Long-Period Fiber Grating Characterization for CO2 Gas Sensing Applications † Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18103206 Authors: Hsiang-Chang Hsu Tso-Sheng Hsieh Tzu-Hsuan Huang Liren Tsai Chia-Chin Chiang In this study, we applied a double-sided inductively coupled plasma (ICP) process to nanostructure long-period fiber grating (LPFG) in order to fabricate a double-notched LPFG (DNLPFG) sensor with a double-sided surface corrugated periodic grating. Using the sol-gel method, we also added thymol blue and ZnO to form a gas sensing layer, thus producing a DNLPFG CO2 gas sensor. The resulting sensor is the first double-sided etching sensor used to measure CO2. The experimental results showed that as the CO2 concentration increased, the transmission loss increased, and that the smaller the fiber diameter, the greater the sensitivity and the greater the change in transmission loss. When the diameter of the fiber was 32 μm (and the period was 570 μm) and the perfusion rate of CO2 gas was 15%, the maximum loss variation of up to 3.881 dB was achieved, while the sensitivity was 0.2146 dB/% and the linearity was 0.992. These results demonstrate that the DNLPG CO2 gas sensor is highly sensitive.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3205: Field Distortion and Optimization of a Vapor Cell in Rydberg Atom-Based Radio-Frequency Electric Field Measurement Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18103205 Authors: Zhenfei Song Wanfeng Zhang Qi Wu Huihui Mu Xiaochi Liu Linjie Zhang Jifeng Qu Highly excited Rydberg atoms in a room-temperature vapor cell are promising for developing a radio-frequency (RF) electric field (E-field) sensor and relevant measurement standards with high accuracy and sensitivity. The all-optical sensing approach is based on electromagnetically-induced transparency and Autler-Townes splitting induced by the RF E-field. Systematic investigation of measurement uncertainty is of great importance for developing a national measurement standard. The presence of a dielectric vapor cell containing alkali atoms changes the magnitude, polarization, and spatial distribution of the incident RF field. In this paper, the field distortion of rubidium vapor cells is investigated, in terms of both field strength distortion and depolarization. Full-wave numerical simulation and analysis are employed to determine general optimization solutions for minimizing such distortion and validated by measuring the E-field vector distribution inside different vapor cells. This work can improve the accuracy of atom-based RF E-field measurements and contributes to the development of related RF quantum sensors.
    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: 2018-09-23
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3204: A Polarization-Independent Fiber-Optic SPR Sensor Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18103204 Authors: Songquan Li Laixu Gao Changwei Zou Wei Xie Yong Wei Canxin Tian Zesong Wang Feng Liang Yanxiong Xiang Qian Yang Fiber-optic surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors possess the advantages of small size, flexible, allowing for a smaller sample volume, easy to be integrated, and high sensitivity. They have been intensively developed in recent decades. However, the polarizing nature of the surface plasmon waves (SPWs) always hinders the acquisition of SPR spectrum with high signal-noise ratio in wavelength modulation unless a polarizer is employed. The addition of polarizer complicates the system and reduces the degree of compactness. In this work, we propose and demonstrate a novel, polarization-independent fiber-optic SPR sensor based on a BK7 bi-prism with two incident planes orthogonal to each other. In the bi-prism, TM-polarized components of non-polarized incident lights excite SPWs on the first sensing channel, meanwhile the TE components and the remaining TM components are reflected, then the reflected TE components serve as TM components of incident lights for the second sensing channel to excite SPWs. Simulations show the proposed SPR structure permit us to completely eliminate the polarization dependence of the plasmon excitation. Experimental results agree well with the simulations. This kind of devices can be considered an excellent option for development of simple and compact SPR chemical sensors.
    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: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3207: A Multi-Objective Demand Response Optimization Model for Scheduling Loads in a Home Energy Management System Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18103207 Authors: Jaclason M. Veras Igor Rafael S. Silva Plácido R. Pinheiro Ricardo A. L. Rabêlo Artur Felipe S. Veloso Fábbio Anderson S. Borges Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues Demand Response (DR) aims to motivate end consumers to change their energy consumption patterns in response to changes in electricity prices or when the reliability of the electrical power system (EPS) is compromised. Most of the proposals found in the literature only aim at reducing the cost for end consumers. However, this article proposes a home energy management system (HEMS) that aims to schedule the use of each home appliance based on the price of electricity in real-time (RTP) and on the consumer satisfaction/comfort level in order to guarantee the stability and the safety of the EPS. Thus, this paper presents a multi-objective DR optimization model which was formulated as a multi-objective nonlinear programming problem subjected to a set of constraints and was solved using the Non-Dominated Sorted Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II), in order to determine the scheduling of home appliances for the time horizon. The multi-objective DR optimization model not only to minimize the cost of electricity consumption but also to reduce the level of inconvenience for residential consumers. Moreover, a priori, it is expected to obtain a more uniform demand with fewer peaks in the system and, potentially, achieving a more reliable and safer EPS operation. Thus, the energy management controller (EMC) within the HEMS determines an optimized schedule for each home appliance through the multi-objective DR model presented in this article, and ensures a more economic scenario for end consumers. In this paper, a performance evaluation of HEMS in 15 Brazilian families between 1 January and 31 December 2016 is presented with different electric energy consumption patterns in the cities of Belém—PA, Teresina—PI, Cuiabá—MT, Florianópolis—SC and São Paulo—SP, with three families per city, located in the regions north, northeast, central west, south and the southeast of Brazil, respectively. In addition, a total of 425 home appliances were used in the simulations. The results show that the HEMS achieved reductions in the cost of electricity for all the Scenarios used while minimally affecting the satisfaction/comfort of the end consumers as well as taking into account all the restrictions. The largest reduction in the total cost of electricity occurred for the couple without children, resident in the city of Teresina—PI; with a drop from US$ 99.31 to US$ 90.72 totaling 8.65% savings in the electricity bill. Therefore, the results confirm that the proposed HEMS effectively improves the operating efficiency of home appliances and reduces electricity costs for end consumers.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 20
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 429: New Distance Measure for Atanassov’s Intuitionistic Fuzzy Sets and Its Application in Decision Making Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10100429 Authors: Ke Song Quan The intuitionistic fuzzy set introduced by Atanassov has greater ability in depicting and handling uncertainty. Intuitionistic fuzzy measure is an important research area of intuitionistic fuzzy set theory. Distance measure and similarity measure are two complementary concepts quantifying the difference and closeness of intuitionistic fuzzy sets. This paper addresses the definition of an effective distance measure with concise form and specific meaning for Atanassov’s intuitionistic fuzzy sets (AIFSs). A new distance measure for AIFSs is defined based on a distance measure of interval values and the transformation from AIFSs to interval valued fuzzy sets. The axiomatic properties of the new distance measure are mathematically investigated. Comparative analysis based in numerical examples indicates that the new distance measure is competent to quantify the difference between AIFSs. The application of the new distance measure is also discussed. A new method for multi-attribute decision making (MADM) is developed based on the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution method and the new distance measure. Numerical applications indicate that the developed MADM method can obtain reasonable preference orders. This shows that the new distance measure is effective and rational from both mathematical and practical points of view.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 21
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    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3388: Impacts of Tourists’ Sociodemographic Characteristics on the Travel Motivation and Satisfaction: The Case of Protected Areas in South China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10103388 Authors: Anson T. H. Ma Alice S. Y. Chow Lewis T. O. Cheung Karen M. Y. Lee Shuwen Liu Western studies on nature-based tourism have long explored the relationships among tourists’ sociodemographic characteristics, motivation and satisfaction as a way of predicting their visitation patterns and travel behaviours. Relatively few studies have been conducted in the Chinese context given its varied and extensive landscapes. This paper seeks to fill this gap using data from questionnaire surveys conducted in two popular and prestigious forest nature reserves in Guangdong province between August and December 2015. Data collected were analyzed by multiple regression tests with socio-demographic factors as the predictors of travel motivation and satisfaction in SPSS 24.0. The key findings and observations include the following: First, contrary to some overseas studies, education level was negatively correlated with tourists’ satisfaction with management and educational value. Second, age was positively correlated with the sense of relaxation and nature exploration. Third, education level had a negative correlation with motivation regarding social influence. Fourth, the influence of local culture helps differentiate Chinese tourists from Western tourists, implying that different management strategies should be adopted. All these findings offer insights to nature-based tourism operators that cater to the growing ranks of Chinese ecotourists.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 22
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 428: Some Linguistic Neutrosophic Cubic Mean Operators and Entropy with Applications in a Corporation to Choose an Area Supervisor Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10100428 Authors: Muhammad Gulistan Hafiz Abdul Wahab Florentin Smarandache Salma Khan Sayed Inayat Ali Shah In this paper, we combined entropy with linguisti neutrosophic cubic numbers and used it in daily life problems related to a corporation that is going to choose an area supervisor, which is the main target of our proposed model. For this, we first develop the theory of linguistic neutrosophic cubic numbers, which explains the indeterminate and incomplete information by truth, indeterminacy and falsity linguistic variables (LVs) for the past, present, as well as for the future time very effectively. After giving the definitions, we initiate some basic operations and properties of linguistic neutrosophic cubic numbers. We also define the linguistic neutrosophic cubic Hamy mean operator and weighted linguistic neutrosophic cubic Hamy mean (WLNCHM) operator with some properties, which can handle multi-input agents with respect to the different time frame. Finally, as an application, we give a numerical example in order to test the applicability of our proposed model.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 23
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1314: Analysis of Soil Erosion Induced by Heavy Rainfall: A Case Study from the NE Abruzzo Hills Area in Central Italy Water doi: 10.3390/w10101314 Authors: Tommaso Piacentini Alberto Galli Vincenzo Marsala Enrico Miccadei Soil erosion induced by heavy rainfall deeply affects landscape changes and human activities. It depends on rainfall distribution (e.g., intensity, duration, cumulative per event) and is controlled by the interactions between lithology, orography, hydrography, land use, and vegetation. The Abruzzo piedmont coastal hilly area has been affected by several heavy rainfall events in the last decades. In this work, we investigated three ~1-day heavy rainfall (>35 mm/h and 100–220 mm/day) events in 2007, 2011, and 2012 that occurred in the clayey hilly coastal NE Abruzzo area, analyzing cumulative rainfall, intensity, and duration while mapping triggered geomorphological effects (soil erosion and accumulation) and evaluating average erosion. The analysis provides contributions to a soil erosion assessment of clayey landscapes that characterizes the Adriatic hilly area, with an estimation of rainfall-triggering thresholds for heavy soil erosion and a comparison of erosion in single events with rates known in the Mediterranean area. The triggering threshold for heavy soil erosion shows an expected value of ~100–110 mm. The estimated average soil erosion is from moderate to high (0.08–3.08 cm in ~1-day heavy rainfall events) and shows a good correlation with cumulative rainfall and a poor correlation with peak rainfall intensity. This work outlines the strong impact of soil erosion on the landscape changes in the Abruzzo and Adriatic hilly areas.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 24
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1312: Effectiveness of Contour Farming and Filter Strips on Ecosystem Services Water doi: 10.3390/w10101312 Authors: John Ng’ang’a Gathagu Khaldoon A. Mourad Joseph Sang The failing ecosystem services in Thika-Chania catchment is manifested in the deterioration of water quality, sedimentation of reservoirs, and subsequent increase in water treatment costs due to high turbidity. The services can be restored by implementing relevant soil and water conservation practices to enhance flow regulation and control sediment yield. The impacts of contour farming and filter strips on water and sediment yield were evaluated using Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT), Texas A&M University, USA. Sediment calibration and validation was achieved using data obtained from a bathymetric survey. Model parameters were adjusted to simulate the conservation impacts of contour farming and filter strips. Results indicated the average annual sediment yield as 22 t/ha at the outlet of the catchment and average annual surface runoff of 202 mm. The simulation results showed that filter strips of 5 m width would reduce the average annual sediment yield from the catchment by 54%. The efficacy of filter strips in reducing sediment yield was observed to increase with increasing filter width. Three-meter filter strips and contour farming reduced the average annual sediment yield at catchment outlet by 46% and 36%, respectively. It was concluded that the implementation of contour farming and filters strips reduced sediments by 63% from the base value. Water yield at the sub-basin level was only influenced by contour farming. The total water yield at the catchment outlet experienced no significant change.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 25
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1313: Modified U-Tube for Ruling out Naked DNA Transfer during Conjugation and Application in Antibiotic Resistance Genes Transfer Research Water doi: 10.3390/w10101313 Authors: Ning Zhang Xiang Liu Bing Li Limei Han Xuejiao Ma Fanbin Meng Miao Li Antibiotic resistance is currently a major global public health issue. In particular, the emergence and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) is a matter of primary concern. This study presented a method for ruling out the transfer of naked DNA (plasmid RP4 lysed from donor cells) during the cell-to-cell conjugation, using a modified “U-tube”. A series of gene transfer assays was conducted in both flask and modified U-tube, using Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (P. putida (RP4)) harboring the RP4 plasmid as the donor strain, Escherichia coli (E. coli, ATCC 25922) in pure culture as sole recipient, and bacteria from reclaimed water microcosms as multi-recipients. The verification experiments showed that the U-tube device could prevent direct contact of bacteria without affecting the exchange of free plasmid. In the experiments involving a sole recipient, the transconjugants were obtained in flask samples, but not in modified U-tube. Furthermore, in experiments involving multi-recipients, transfer of naked DNA in the modified U-tube accounted for 5.18% in the transfer frequency of the flask transfer experiment. The modified U-tube proved to be useful for monitoring the interference of naked DNA in the research of conjugative transfer and calculating the exact conjugative transfer rate. This device is identified as a promising candidate for distinguishing different gene transfers in practical application because of its convenient use and easy and simple manufacture.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1311: Season-Dependent Hedging Policies for Reservoir Operation—A Comparison Study Water doi: 10.3390/w10101311 Authors: Nikhil Bhatia Roshan Srivastav Kasthrirengan Srinivasan During periods of significant water shortage or when drought is impending, it is customary to implement some kind of water supply reduction measures with a view to prevent the occurrence of severe shortages (vulnerability) in the near future. In the case of operation of a water supply reservoir, this reduction of water supply is affected by hedging schemes or hedging policies. This research work aims to compare the popular hedging policies: (i) linear two-point hedging; (ii) modified two-point hedging; and, (iii) discrete hedging based on time-varying and constant hedging parameters. A parameterization-simulation-optimization (PSO) framework is employed for the selection of the parameters of the compromising hedging policies. The multi-objective evolutionary search-based technique (Non-dominated Sorting based Genetic Algorithm-II) was used to identify the Pareto-optimal front of hedging policies that seek to obtain the trade-off between shortage ratio and vulnerability. The case example used for illustration is the Hemavathy reservoir in Karnataka, India. It is observed that the Pareto-optimal front that was obtained from time-varying hedging policies show significant improvement in reservoir performance when compared to constant hedging policies. The variation in the monthly parameters of the time-variant hedging policies shows a strong correlation with monthly inflows and available water.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1310: Increasing Energy Efficiency in Water Collection Systems by Submersible PMSM Well Pumps Water doi: 10.3390/w10101310 Authors: Marcus Beck Alexander Sperlich Ricardo Blank Eckehard Meyer Ralf Binz Mathias Ernst Water collection based on groundwater abstraction has a high energy consumption that depends primarily on the operation and performance of submersible well pumps. The fact of the matter is that these machines still work with a global energy efficiency of less than 50%, and further investigations of the energy aspects in well pumps are needed. The present study introduces measures to increase the global efficiency of submersible well pumps linked to electrical energy savings. Common submersible pumps with asynchronous motors (ASMs) were compared with innovative permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) technology in real well fields in Berlin and Hamburg waterworks. This study confirms that PMSM pumps showed a 6.8%-points higher global efficiency compared to ASM pumps at optimal working points. The investigation of the impact of well field operation on local pump efficiency offers an additional increase in the global efficiency. In this context, the influence of variable speed control on the global efficiency and the energy consumption was analyzed. Global efficiencies of over 70%, and potential energy savings of up to 20%, were determined for the speed-controlled PMSM pump. This offers water suppliers new incentives to optimize their water collection systems for less energy consumption.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1309: Performance of Earthworm-Enhanced Horizontal Sub-Surface Flow Filter and Constructed Wetland Water doi: 10.3390/w10101309 Authors: Rajendra Prasad Singh Dafang Fu Jing Jia Jiaguo Wu In this study, the performance of the horizontal sub-surface flow filter (HSSFF) and constructed wetland (HSSFCW) experimental units enhanced with earthworms was investigated for the treatment of construction camp sewage wastewater. All the experimental units (filter and constructed wetland) were filled with the same filler except Eisenia foetida earthworms and Lolium perenne Linn plants. The performance of the earthworm-enhanced filter (EEF) and the earthworm-enhanced constructed wetland (EECW) was compared to that of the blank filter (BF) units. The results revealed that the removal efficiencies for chemical oxygen demand (COD), NH4+-N, total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in EEF were higher than the BF unit. In order to optimize the operating conditions, the experiments were conducted in three different water levels. The results revealed that the removal efficiencies of EEF for these pollutants are the highest in experimental conditions no. 2 (water level ~30 cm; HRT ~3 days; hydraulic load ~4.05 cm/day; and Inflow discharge ~0.27 L/h). Compared to the EEF and BF units, the EECW has higher removal efficiency for COD and TN and has more stable performance than the filters. This work will aid the design and improvement of filters and CWs for treatment of effluent wastewater from construction camps. The selection of appropriate hydraulic parameters and experimental conditions could be very beneficial in achieving the goal of implantation of low impact development (LID).
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1308: Impact of Uncertainty of Floodplain Digital Terrain Model on 1D Hydrodynamic Flow Calculation Water doi: 10.3390/w10101308 Authors: Adam Kiczko Dorota Mirosław-Świątek This study investigates the effect of the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) uncertainty effect on the output of a 1D flow model. The analysis is performed for the lowland river Biebrza, covered with dense wetland vegetation, with a high uncertainty of terrain elevations. The DTM uncertainty is modeled in two ways: (1) accounting for the uncertainty spatial dependency on the basis of the correlogram function and (2) neglecting the correlation of the elevation points. The model explanation of water levels improves when elevation uncertainty is being included. Without the elevation uncertainty, the model provided a good fit only for peak flows, with uncertainty also representation of lower flows is better. It was shown that the correlation of the elevation uncertainty had a noticeable effect on the modeling outcomes, especially for near bankfull flows, where for the uncorrelated case water levels were underestimated by 5 cm, comparing to the correlated case. The effect was also present for inundation extents, obtained by an interpolation of computed water levels. The correlation of the elevation uncertainty strongly affects estimates of standard deviations of computed water levels, which were almost twice smaller when correlation was neglected. In the result, only when the correlation of the elevation uncertainty was included, it was possible to obtain confidence bands that enclosed observation points.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-09-23
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1307: Removal of Nutrients, Sediment, and Heavy Metals by a Stormwater Treatment Train; a Medium-Density Residential Case Study in Southeast Queensland Water doi: 10.3390/w10101307 Authors: Darren Drapper Andy Hornbuckle Urban stormwater runoff from a medium-density residential development in southeast Queensland has been monitored in the field since November 2013. A treatment train installed on the site includes rainwater tanks collecting roofwater, 200-micron mesh baskets installed in grated gully pits, and two 850-mm-high media filtration cartridges installed in an underground 4-m3 vault. The site has been monitored over a 4.5-year period. Removal efficiencies were observed at this site for the regulated pollutants; the corresponding values for total suspended solids (TSS), total phosphorus (TP), and total nitrogen (TN) for the pit baskets were 61%, 28%, and 45%, respectively. The cartridge filters removed 78% of TSS, 59% of TP, 42% of TN, 40% of total copper, and 51% of total zinc. As the measured influent TSS and TP concentrations to the cartridge filters were low when compared to industry guidelines, the U.S. field dataset was truncated to anticipated guideline levels, confirming results at 90% for TSS and 76% for TP. The total gross pollutant generation rate from the medium-density residential catchment was observed to be 0.24 m3/Ha/year, with a corresponding air-dried mass of 142.5 kg/Ha/year. Less than 2% of the gross pollutant mass was anthropogenic. This paper concludes that the treatment train, and in particular the media filter, provides good removal of total copper and total zinc as well as TSS, TP, and TN from urban stormwater runoff, with higher inlet concentrations producing better performance. Field test data from 58 months of operation and standard maintenance suggests that breakthrough of TSS and TP has not occurred yet.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 18: Composite Likelihood Methods Based on Minimum Density Power Divergence Estimator Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010018 Authors: Elena Castilla Nirian Martín Leandro Pardo Konstantinos Zografos In this paper, a robust version of the Wald test statistic for composite likelihood is considered by using the composite minimum density power divergence estimator instead of the composite maximum likelihood estimator. This new family of test statistics will be called Wald-type test statistics. The problem of testing a simple and a composite null hypothesis is considered, and the robustness is studied on the basis of a simulation study. The composite minimum density power divergence estimator is also introduced, and its asymptotic properties are studied.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 32
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 84: Study of an Altered Magnetic Circuit of a Permanent Magnet Linear Generator for Wave Power Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010084 Authors: Jennifer Leijon Jonathan Sjölund Boel Ekergård Cecilia Boström Sandra Eriksson Irina Temiz Mats Leijon The wave energy converter (WEC) studied and developed at Uppsala University in Sweden is a point absorbing buoy connected to a linear generator (LG) on the seabed. Previous studies have improved the sustainability of the generator, changing its magnets from Nd2Fe14B-magnets to ferrites. In this paper, the magnetic circuit of the linear generator is further studied. Ferrite magnets of two different types (Y30 and Y40) are studied along with different shapes of pole shoes for the system. The finite element method (FEM) simulations in a program called Ace are performed. The results show that a linear generator including both Y30 and Y40 magnets and shortened T-shaped pole shoes can generate a similar magnetic energy in the airgap as a linear generator only containing Y40 magnets and rectangular pole shoes. This shows that the magnetic circuit can be altered, opening up sizes and strengths of magnets for different retailers, and thereby possibly lowering magnet cost and transportation. This work was previously presented as a conference at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) 2017 in Cork, Ireland; this manuscript has been carefully revised and some discussions, on magnet costs for example, have been added to this paper.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 16: The Poincaré Half-Plane for Informationally-Complete POVMs Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010016 Authors: Michel Planat It has been shown in previous papers that classes of (minimal asymmetric) informationally-complete positive operator valued measures (IC-POVMs) in dimension d can be built using the multiparticle Pauli group acting on appropriate fiducial states. The latter states may also be derived starting from the Poincaré upper half-plane model H . To do this, one translates the congruence (or non-congruence) subgroups of index d of the modular group into groups of permutation gates, some of the eigenstates of which are the sought fiducials. The structure of some IC-POVMs is found to be intimately related to the Kochen–Specker theorem.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 34
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 17: Nonlinear Multiscale Entropy and Recurrence Quantification Analysis of Foreign Exchange Markets Efficiency Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010017 Authors: Hongli Niu Lin Zhang The regularity of price fluctuations in exchange rates plays a crucial role in foreign exchange (FX) market dynamics. In this paper, we quantify the multiply irregular fluctuation behaviors of exchange rates in the last 10 years (November 2006–November 2016) of eight world economies with two nonlinear approaches. One is a recently proposed multiscale weighted permutation entropy (MWPE) and another is the typical quantification recurrence analysis (RQA) technique. Furthermore, we utilize the RQA technique to study the different intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) that represents different frequencies and scales of the raw time series via the empirical mode decomposition algorithm. Complexity characteristics of abundance and distinction are obtained in the foreign exchange markets. The empirical results show that JPY/USD (followed by EUR/USD) implies a a higher complexity and indicates relatively higher efficiency of the Japanese FX market, while some economies like South Korea, Hong Kong and China show lower and weaker efficiency of their FX markets. Meanwhile, it is suggested that the financial crisis enhances the market efficiency in the FX markets.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 6: Flood Hazard Management in Public Mountain Recreation Areas vs. Ungauged Fluvial Basins. Case Study of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, Canary Islands (Spain) Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010006 Authors: Julio Garrote Andrés Díez-Herrero José Bodoque María Perucha Pablo Mayer Mar Génova Las Angustias River is an ungauged stream in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park (Spain), where frequent intense flash-flood events occur. The aim of this research is to analyze the flood hazard at the Playa de Taburiente. Based on the limited information available (short time-series of daily precipitation), a statistical frequency analysis of 24 h rainfall was completed and the precipitation results were transformed into surface runoff. To determine if the model underestimates the flows that are generated in the basin, the dendro-geomorphological information available was used to calibrate results. The results of the HMS model were significantly lower. At this point, both the rainfall data and the rainfall-runoff model were re-analyzed to maximize the rainfall intensity values and the runoff generated (increasing the CN value for the basin). For the 1997 flood event, a 1250 m3·s−1 flood minimizes the RMSE for the disturbed tree sample; this flow value also clearly exceeds any peak flow derived from the rainfall-runoff analysis. It is only when rainfall intensity and surface runoff are maximized that the peak flows obtained approximate those associated with dendro-geomorphological data. The results highlight the difficulties of flood hazard management in ungauged torrential basins in mountain recreational areas (such as National Parks). Thus, in the absence of flow records, when considering the maximum rainfall intensity scenario may be a useful and effective tool for flood risk management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 53: Factors Associated with Maintaining the Mental Health of Employees after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Findings from Companies Located in the Evacuation Area International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010053 Authors: Masatsugu Orui Yuriko Suzuki Aya Goto Seiji Yasumura After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on 11 March 2011, some businesses were permitted to continue operating even though they were located in the evacuation area designated by the Japanese government. The aim of this study was to examine differences in the mental health status, workplace, living environment, and lifestyle of employees in the evacuation and non-evacuation areas. We also investigated factors related to their mental health status. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from the questionnaire responses of 647 employees at three medium-sized manufacturing companies in the evacuation and non-evacuation areas. Through a cross-tabulation analysis, employees who worked at companies in the evacuation areas showed an increase in the duration of overtime work, work burden, and commute time, and had experienced separation from family members due to the radiation disaster and perceived radiation risks. The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that, even in a harsh workplace and living environment, being younger, participating regularly in physical activity, having a social network (Lubben Social Network Scale-6 ≤ 12), laughing frequently, and feeling satisfied with one’s workplace and domestic life were significantly associated with maintaining a healthy mental health status after the disaster. These findings are applicable for workers’ health management measures after disasters.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 37
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 67: Combined Supporting Technology with Bolt-Grouting and Floor Pressure-Relief for Deep Chamber: An Underground Coal Mine Case Study Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010067 Authors: Xinxian Zhai Guangshuai Huang Chengyu Chen Rubo Li Based on the engineering geological conditions of the Number 2 chamber in the slope at Xinzhuang coal mine, which is located in the eastern part of Yongcheng City, Henan Province, China, the authors conducted a systematic research on the anchoring-grouting and the floor pressure-relief supporting technology by using theoretical analysis, numerical calculation and field industrial test. Results showed that: (1) the lithology of the surrounding rock was poor, and the stress and effective loading coefficient on the chamber surrounding rock were high due to the abutment pressure that was induced by the shaft protective pillar. Both of them resulted in the floor heave and the surrounding rock deformation damage of the chamber; (2) The numerical calculation showed that, after the floor pressure-relief slot was excavated in the head chamber, the vertical stress of the floor surrounding rock of chamber and the horizontal stress of the side surrounding rock were significantly reduced when compared with the stress before the pressure-relief, and the floor vertical displacement basically remained unchanged. So the floor pressure-relief slot could effectively control the chamber floor heave and was helpful for the long-term stability of the chamber. After the severe deformation chamber was renovated by using a combined support with bolt-mesh-shotcreting and anchor cables, several other techniques were also applied to ensure the stability of the chamber. The floor pressure-relief slot was excavated, both the roof and the sides surrounding rock of chamber were grouted with grouting bolt, and both sides and the floor (including pressure-relief slot) of the chamber were grouted with anchor cable bundles. After implementation of above systematic techniques, the surrounding rock of chamber is in a stable state, which demonstrated that the field test is successful. The combined supporting technology with the anchoring-grouting and the floor pressure-relief has an important practical significance for the long-term stability of the chamber to ensure the safe and efficient production of the mine.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 61: Performance Investigation and Optimization of a Novel Hybrid Saturated-Core Fault-Current Limiter Considering the Leakage Effect Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010061 Authors: Liangliang Wei Baichao Chen Yushun Liu Cuihua Tian Jiaxin Yuan Yuxin Bu Tianan Zhu To reduce the requirement of DC-biasing capacity and improve the biasing ability of a permanent magnet (PM), a novel hybrid saturated-core fault-current limiter (HSCFCL) is proposed in this paper. Compared with traditional saturated-core fault-current limiter (SCFCL), the HSCFCL has the advantages of small size, low DC-biasing capacity, a high biasing ability of the PM and excellent limiting performance. Firstly, the principle and the magnetic circuit model of the HSCFCL are introduced. Then, the improvement of DC-biasing capacity with a PM is analyzed. In addition, the influence of the leakage-flux effect on the biasing ability of the PM is presented in detail, and a small-section optimal structure is proposed to improve the biasing ability of the PM. Finally, to validate the principle and performance of the HSCFCL, various electromagnetic simulations, optimization studies and experiments are carried out. The simulation and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 32: High-Precision Speed Control Based on Multiple Phase-Shift Resonant Controllers for Gimbal System in MSCMG Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010032 Authors: Jian Feng Qing Wang Kun Liu The high precision speed control of gimbal servo system in magnetically suspended control moment gyro (MSCMG) suffers from periodic torque disturbances, which lead to periodic fluctuations in speed control. This paper proposes a novel multiple phase-shift resonant controller (MPRC) for a gimbal servo system to suppress the periodic torque ripples whose frequencies vary with the operational speed of the gimbal servo motor and high-speed motor. First, the periodic torque ripples caused by cogging torque, flux harmonics and the dynamic unbalance of the high speed rotor are analyzed. Second, the principle and structure of MPRC parallel with proportional integral (PI) controllers are discussed. The design and stability analysis of the proposed MPRC plus PI control scheme are given both for the current loop and speed loop. The closed-loop stability is ensured by adjusting the phase in the entire operational speed range. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed control method is verified through simulation and experimental results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 40
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 60: Analysis on the Amplitude and Frequency Characteristics of the Rotor Unbalanced Magnetic Pull of a Multi-Pole Synchronous Generator with Inter-Turn Short Circuit of Field Windings Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010060 Authors: Guangtao Zhang Junyong Wu Liangliang Hao Inter-turn short circuit of field windings (ISCFW) is a common generator fault which can result in serious safety accidents for power systems, if the fault is not eliminated in time. Taking advantage of the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the generator after a fault as a fault criterion is a new idea for fault monitoring, so finding out the frequency and amplitude frequency characteristics of rotor unbalanced magnetic pull (UMP)—the vibration excitation source of the fault—is the basis and key of the research. Taking a six-pole generator as an example, the effects of harmonic magnetic motive force (MMF) interaction on rotor UMP, as well as the frequency characteristics of rotor UMP after generator faults in different stator windings, are obtained based on the analysis of the air-gap MMF of the generator after a fault, and the results of theoretical analysis are verified by simulation. Based on the above results, the simulation calculation on rotor UMP of generators with three stator winding forms under different operating conditions has been achieved, to get the relation between rotor UMP amplitude and active power and field current, and to find out the mechanism of rotor UMP amplitude change along with operating conditions and effect of stator winding forms on UMP amplitude by theoretical analysis. The conclusions are of important significance for studying fault mechanical characteristics of generators and lay a foundation for online monitoring on ISCFW by integrating mechanical and electrical information.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 41
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 71: Flux-Angle-Difference Feedback Control for the Brushless Doubly Fed Machine Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010071 Authors: Chaoying Xia Xiaoxin Hou Feng Chen In direct torque control (DTC) of the brushless doubly fed machine (BDFM) system, the inverter switching voltage vectors cannot always meet the control requirements, and the torque will lose control. For the losing control problem, this paper presents a solution of indirectly controlling torque by controlling the angle difference between the power motor (PM) stator flux and the control motor (CM) stator flux (called as the flux-angle-difference). Firstly, based on the CM static coordinate system BDFM model, the derivative equations of CM stator flux amplitude, the torque, and the flux-angle-difference are deduced. The losing control problem of BDFM’s DTC is studied by utilizing the CM stator flux amplitude and the torque derivatives. From the flux-angle-difference derivative, it is found that the phase angles of the flux-angle-difference derivative curves remain unchanged. Based on this property, by replacing the torque hysteresis comparator of conventional DTC with a flux-angle-difference hysteresis comparator, a modified control strategy called flux-angle-difference feedback control (FADFC) is proposed to solve the losing control problem. Finally, the validity and the good dynamic characteristic of the FADFC strategy are verified by simulation results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 42
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 79: Study on the Evaluation Index System and Evaluation Method of Voltage Stability of Distribution Network with High DG Penetration Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010079 Authors: Jingjing Tu Zhongdong Yin Yonghai Xu With the development of new energy technologies, distributed generation (DG) plays a growing role in power distribution networks. Although it solves the power supply problem in some areas, it also poses a challenge to the traditional power grid. To help with this problem, we establish a static voltage stability analysis model for high penetration DG, taking into account its large capacity, and the high fluctuations of its output. Based on the theoretical analysis and the mathematical derivation, we propose an improved voltage stability evaluation index (IVSE) accounting for DG. Finally, using the typical circuit of the IEEE 33 & 69 node system, we simulate high penetration DG access in different locations and capacities. In the simulations, the traditional power flow equation is modified by a continuous parametric equation accounting for DG. Based on consideration of the system transmission power limit, voltage stability margin and system loss, the value of IVSE is demonstrated, in comparison with the traditional index. Thus, we verify that the IVSE index is easy to understand, simple to calculate, and highly versatile.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 43
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 77: Anisotropy in Thermal Recovery of Oil Shale—Part 1: Thermal Conductivity, Wave Velocity and Crack Propagation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010077 Authors: Guoying Wang Dong Yang Zhiqin Kang Jing Zhao In this paper, the evolution of thermal conductivity, wave velocity and microscopic crack propagation both parallel and perpendicular to the bedding plane in anisotropic rock oil shale were studied at temperatures ranging from room temperature to 600 °C. The results show that the thermal conductivity of the perpendicular to bedding direction (KPER) (PER: perpendicular to beeding direction), wave velocity of perpendicular to bedding diretion (VPER), thermal conduction coefficient of parallel to beeding direction (KPAR) and wave velocity of parallel to beeding direction (VPAR) (PAR: parallel to bedding direction) decreased with the increase in temperature, but the rates are different. KPER and VPER linearly decreased with increasing temperature from room temperature to 350 °C, with an obvious decrease at 400 °C corresponding to a large number of cracks generated along the bedding direction. KPER, VPER, KPAR and VPAR generally maintained fixed values from 500 °C to 600 °C. 400 °C has been identified as the threshold temperature for anisotropic evolution of oil shale thermal physics. In addition, the relationship between the thermal conductivity and wave velocity based on the anisotropy of oil shale was fitted using linear regression. The research in this paper can provide reference for the efficient thermal recovery of oil shale, thermal recovery of heavy oil reservoirs and the thermodynamic engineering in other sedimentary rocks.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 64: Practical On-Board Measurement of Lithium Ion Battery Impedance Based on Distributed Voltage and Current Sampling Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010064 Authors: Xuezhe Wei Xueyuan Wang Haifeng Dai Battery impedance based state estimation methods receive extensive attention due to its close relation to internal dynamic processes and the mechanism of a battery. In order to provide impedance for a battery management system (BMS), a practical on-board impedance measuring method based on distributed signal sampling is proposed and implemented. Battery cell perturbing current and its response voltage for impedance calculation are sampled separately to be compatible with BMS. A digital dual-channel orthogonal lock-in amplifier is used to calculate the impedance. With the signal synchronization, the battery impedance is obtained and compensated. And the relative impedance can also be obtained without knowing the current. For verification, an impedance measuring system made up of electronic units sampling and processing signals and a DC-AC converter generating AC perturbing current is designed. A type of 8 Ah LiFePO4 battery is chosen and the valuable frequency range for state estimations is determined with a series of experiments. The battery cells are connected in series and the impedance is measured with the prototype. It is shown that the measurement error of the impedance modulus at 0.1 Hz–500 Hz at 5 °C–35 °C is less than 4.5% and the impedance phase error is less than 3% at <10 Hz at room temperature. In addition, the relative impedance can also be tracked well with the designed system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 45
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 45: A Three-Phase Dynamic Wireless Charging System with Constant Output Voltage Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010045 Authors: Ruikun Mai Hongchao Li Yeran Liu Kunzhuo Zhou Ling Fu Zhengyou He A dynamic wireless power transfer (WPT) system is an effective method, which can reduce charging time and extend the driving range of the electric vehicles. In the dynamic WPT systems, the output voltage may fluctuate when the receiver moves along the transmitter coils. This paper proposes a three-phase dynamic WPT charging system with overlapped three-phase transmitter coils. The overlap length is optimized to depress the fluctuation of the output voltage. These coils are powered by a three-phase inverter to generate an even magnetic field, and a unipolar coil is employed as a receiver to simplify the coil structure of the secondary side. Based on the proposed three-phase coil structure, the output voltage characteristics of the system are analyzed in detail. A 500 W dynamic charging prototype is established to validate the proposed dynamic charging system. Experimental results show that the output voltage fluctuation is within ±3.05%. The maximum system efficiency reaches 89.94%.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 80: Well Test Analysis for Fractured and Vuggy Carbonate Reservoirs of Well Drilling in Large Scale Cave Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010080 Authors: Cuiqiao Xing Hongjun Yin Kexin Liu Xingke Li Jing Fu A well test analysis model for fractured and vuggy carbonate reservoir of wells drilling in large scale cave considering wellbore storage and skin factor is established in this paper. The Laplace transformation and Stehfest numerical inversion are applied to obtain the results of wellbore pressure. Through the sensitivity analysis of different parameters for the well test typical curves, it is found that the change of the well test curves is in accordance with the theoretical analysis. With the increase of skin factor, the hump of well test typical curves is steeper. The storage ratio influences the depth and width of the concave in the pressure derivative curves. The cross flow coefficient mainly affects the position of the concave occurrence in the pressure derivative curves. The dimensionless reservoir radius mainly affects the middle and late stages of the log-log pressure type curves, and the later well test curves will be upturned for sealed boundary. The duration of the early stage of the log-log curves will become longer when drilling in large scale cave. The effective well radius is increased to a certain extent, which is in full agreement with the conclusions in this paper. The size of the caves has the same effect on the well test typical curves as wellbore storage coefficient. Due to acidification, fracturing, and other reasons, the boundary of the cave will collapse. Therefore, considering the wellbore storage coefficient and skin effect is very important during well testing. However, the existing models for well testing of fractured and vuggy carbonate reservoir often ignore the wellbore storage coefficient and skin effect. For fractured and vuggy carbonate reservoirs of well drilling in large scale cave, the existing models are not applicable. Since the previous models are mostly based on the triple-porosity medium and the equivalent continuum. The well test model for well drilling in large scale cave of fracture-cavity carbonate reservoirs with wellbore storage coefficient and skin factor in this work has significant application value for oil field.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 3: Bringing the Natives Back: Identifying and Alleviating Establishment Limitations of Native Hardwood Species in a Conifer Plantation Forests doi: 10.3390/f9010003 Authors: Yu-Tsen Li Yueh-Hsin Lo Yi-Ching Lin Biing Guan Juan Blanco Chi-How You To facilitate the reintroduction of five native late-successional Taiwanese Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica (D.) Don) plantations, we experimented with methods to alleviate their establishment limitations. We tested different combinations of tree species, seedling development stages, and site preparation techniques. First, we directly sowed both fresh and germinated acorns under both closed and opened (thinned) canopies. Both fresh and germinated acorns survived only six months at most. Wildlife consumption was the most critical factor hindering their survival. We subsequently experimented with different methods for increasing establishment rates, such as thinning in combination with understory control, applying chemical animal repellents to seeds, using physical barriers against seed predators, and using seedlings of different ages. Among the methods experimented, none was effective. The effects of silvicultural treatments to deter seed consumption lasted only the first few weeks after sowing, whereas the effects of physical barriers were inconsistent. We also tested planting 3-month and 1-year-old seedlings. Seedling survival after 9 months was about 20% on average for 3-month-old seedlings but reached 80% for 1-year-old seedlings. Our results suggest that planting seedlings older than six months or establishing physical obstacles to prevent seed predation will be the most effective strategies to reintroduce late-successional hardwood Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar plantations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 2: An Anonymous Offline RFID Grouping-Proof Protocol Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10010002 Authors: Zhibin Zhou Pin Liu Qin Liu Guojun Wang As more and more items are tagged with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, grouping-proof technology is widely utilized to provide a coexistence evidence for a group of related items. Due to the wireless channel used in RFID systems, a security risk exists in the communication between the reader and tags. How to ensure the tag’s information security and to generate reliable grouping-proof becomes a hot research topic. To protect the privacy of tags, the verification of grouping-proof is traditionally executed by the verifier, and the reader is only used to collect the proof data. This approach can cause the reader to submit invalid proof data to the verifier in the event of DoP (Deny of Proof) attack. In this paper, an ECC-based, off-line anonymous grouping-proof protocol (EAGP) is proposed. The protocol authorizes the reader to examine the validity of grouping-proof without knowing the identities of tags. From the security and performance analysis, the EAGP can protect the security and privacy of RFID tags, and defence impersonation and replay attacks. Furthermore, it has the ability to reduce the system overhead caused by the invalid submission of grouping-proofs. As a result, the proposed EAGP equips practical application values.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 54: Favourable Perceptions of Electronic Cigarettes Relative to Cigarettes and the Associations with Susceptibility to Electronic Cigarette Use in Hong Kong Chinese Adolescents International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010054 Authors: Lok Leung Sai Ho Jianjiu Chen Man Wang Tai Lam We investigated favourable perceptions of electronic cigarettes (ECs) relative to cigarettes and their associations with EC use susceptibility in adolescents. Hong Kong Chinese Secondary 1–6 (U.S. grade 7–12) students (n = 40,202) were surveyed in 2014/2015 on EC use, cigarette smoking, favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes, EC use susceptibility, family smoking, and socio-demographic characteristics. Cox regression yielded adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) of EC use susceptibility in never users, excluding those unaware of ECs. In all students, 8.9% were ever EC users, 47.2% reported favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes, such as less likely to cause accidents (25.2%) and less harmful to users (24.5%), and 28.9% did not know ECs. Among never EC users who were aware of ECs (n = 24,663), EC use susceptibility was associated with each of the favourable perceptions, especially greater attractiveness (APR 2.84, 95% CI 2.53–3.19), and better parental (2.75, 2.41–3.15) and school acceptability (2.56, 2.15–3.05). An increased number of favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes was associated more strongly with the susceptibility (p for trend < 0.001). Our findings inform strategies to reduce unwarranted favourable perceptions and prevent adolescent EC use.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 10: Spatial Data Structure and Functionalities for 3D Land Management System Implementation: Israel Case Study ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010010 Authors: Ruba Jaljolie Peter van Oosterom Sagi Dalyot With the existence of mature technologies and modern urban planning necessities, there is a growing public demand to improve the efficiency and transparency of government administrations. This includes the formation of a comprehensive modern spatial land management (cadastre) system having the capacity to handle various types of data in a uniform way—above-terrain and below-terrain—enabling the utilization of land and space for various complex entities. To utilize existing knowledge and systems, an adaptive approach suggests extending and augmenting the existing 2D cadastre systems to facilitate 3D land management capabilities. Following a comprehensive examination of the Survey of Israel’s operative cadastral system that supports 2D land administration, it turned out that it is crucial to outline new concepts, modify existing terms and define specification guidelines. That is, to augment and provide full 3D support to the current operative cadastral system, and to create a common and uniform language for the various parties involved in the preparation of 2D and 3D mutation plans required for modern urban planning needs. This study refers to the legal and technical aspects of Survey of Israel’s CHANIT, which is the legal set of cadastral work processes specifications, focusing on database, data structure, functionality, and regulation gaps while emphasizing on 3D cadastral processes. The outcome is recommendations concerning data structure and functionalities needed to be addressed for the facilitation and implementation of an operative 3D land management system in Israel.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 9: A New Geographical Cluster View on Passenger Vehicle Purchasing in Chinese Cities ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010009 Authors: Daqian Liu Wei Song Jia Lu Chunyan Xie Xin Wen It is important to understand urban auto markets from a spatial perspective. Specifically, the question of how to simplify and visualize the relatedness of the complicated urban markets arises. Based on the concept of ‘product space’, this research explores the similarity between Chinese cities and identifies the city clusters using data of automobile sales in 2012. A city’s automobile market is shared by different manufacturers and the proximity between two cities is evaluated based on the similarity or relatedness in the structure of the two markets. The spatial structures of the ‘city clusters’ derived from the proximities of automobile markets among cities are mapped, examined, and interpreted. The analysis indicates that cities with higher proximity tend to be similar. According to the intercity proximity index, four geographical city-clusters are identified: the Southeast developed city-cluster, North China city-cluster, Northeast city-cluster, and West city-cluster. Cities in the same cluster tend to share many common characteristics while cities in different clusters exhibit obvious variances, especially in terms of economic status and dominant automakers.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 7: Exploring Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Urban Fires: A Case of Nanjing, China ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010007 Authors: Xiaoxiang Zhang Jing Yao Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka Urban fire occurs within the built environment, usually involving casualties and economic losses, and affects individuals and socioeconomic activities in the surrounding neighborhoods. A good understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of fire incidents can offer insights into potential determinants of various fire events, therefore enabling better fire risk estimation which can assist with future allocation of prevention resources and strategic planning of mitigation programs. Using a twelve-year (2002–2013) dataset containing the urban fire events in Nanjing, China, this research explores the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban fires using a range of exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) approaches. Of particular interest here are the fire incidents involving residential properties and local facilities due to their relatively higher occurrence frequencies. The results indicate that the overall amount of urban fires has greatly increased in the last decade and the spatiotemporal distribution of fire events varies among different incident types. The identified spatiotemporal patterns of urban fires in Nanjing can be linked to the urban development strategies and how they have been reflected in reality in recent years.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 53
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 8: Cartographic Redundancy in Reducing Change Blindness in Detecting Extreme Values in Spatio-Temporal Maps ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010008 Authors: Paweł Cybulski Beata Medyńska-Gulij The article investigates the possibility of using cartographic redundancy to reduce the change blindness effect on spatio-temporal maps. Unlike in the case of previous research, the authors take a look at various methods of cartographic presentation and modify the visual variables in order to see how those modifications affect the user’s perception of changes on spatio-temporal maps. The study described in the following article was the first attempt at minimizing the change blindness phenomenon by manipulating graphical parameters of cartographic visualization and using various quantitative mapping methods. Research shows that cartographic redundancy is not enough to completely resolve the problem of change blindness; however, it might help reduce it.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 54
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 61: Enhancing of Osseointegration with Propolis-Loaded TiO2 Nanotubes in Rat Mandible for Dental Implants Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010061 Authors: Nithideth Somsanith Yu-Kyoung Kim Young-Seok Jang Young-Hee Lee Ho-Keun Yi Jong-Hwa Jang Kyoung-A Kim Tae-Sung Bae Min-Ho Lee TiO2 nanotubes (TNT) formation is beneficial for improving bone cell–material interaction and drug delivery for Ti dental implants. Among the natural drugs to be installed in TNT, selected propolis has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a resinous natural product which is collected by the honeybees from the various types of plants with their salivary enzymes. This study concludes that TNT loaded with a propolis (PL-TNT-Ti) dental implant has the ability to improve osseointegration. The propolis particles were embedded within the TNT or adhered to the top. In a cytotoxicity test using osteoblast, PL-TNT-Ti group exhibited an increased cell proliferation and differentiation. A Sprague Dawley rat mandibular model was used to evaluate the osseointegration and bone bonding of TNT or PL-TNT-Ti. From the µ-CT and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) histological results after implantation at 1 and 4 weeks to rat mandibular, an increase in the extent of new bone formation and mineral density around the PL-TNT-Ti implant was confirmed. The Masson’s trichrome staining showed the expression of well-formed collagenous for bone formation on the PL-TNT-Ti. Immunohistochemistry staining indicate that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP-2 and BMP-7) around the PL-TNT-Ti increased the expression of collagen fibers and of osteogenic differentiation whereas the expression of inflammatory cytokine such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is decreased.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 93: On the Evolution of the Integral Time Scale within Wind Farms Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010093 Authors: Huiwen Liu Imran Hayat Yaqing Jin Leonardo Chamorro A wind-tunnel investigation was carried out to characterize the spatial distribution of the integral time scale ( T u ) within, and in the vicinity of, two model wind farms. The turbine arrays were placed over a rough wall and operated under high turbulence. The two layouts consisted of aligned units distinguished only by the streamwise spacing ( Δ x T ) between the devices, set at five and ten rotor diameters d T (or S x = Δ x T / d T = 5 and 10). They shared the same spanwise spacing between turbines of 2.5 d T ; this resulted in arrays of 8 × 3 and 5 × 3 horizontal-axis turbines. Hotwire anemometry was used to characterize the instantaneous velocity at various vertical and transverse locations along the central column of the wind farms. Results show that T u was modulated by the wind farm layout. It was significantly reduced within the wind farms and right above them, where the internal boundary layer develops. The undisturbed levels above the wind farms were recovered only at ≈ d T / 2 above the top tip. This quantity appeared to reach adjusted values starting the fifth row of turbines in the S x = 5 wind farm, and earlier in the S x = 10 counterpart. Within the adjusted zone, the distribution of T u at hub height exhibited a negligible growth in the S x = 5 case; whereas it underwent a mild growth in the S x = 10 wind farm. In addition, the flow impinging the inner turbines exhibited T u / T i n c u < 1 , where T i n c u is the integral time scale of the overall incoming flow. Specifically, T u → β T i n c u at z = z h u b , where β < 1 within standard layouts of wind farms, in particular β ≈ 0.5 and 0.7 for S x = 5 and 10.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 7: Information Theoretic Approaches for Motor-Imagery BCI Systems: Review and Experimental Comparison Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010007 Authors: Rubén Martín-Clemente Javier Olias Deepa Thiyam Andrzej Cichocki Sergio Cruces Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have been attracting a great interest in recent years. The common spatial patterns (CSP) technique is a well-established approach to the spatial filtering of the electroencephalogram (EEG) data in BCI applications. Even though CSP was originally proposed from a heuristic viewpoint, it can be also built on very strong foundations using information theory. This paper reviews the relationship between CSP and several information-theoretic approaches, including the Kullback–Leibler divergence, the Beta divergence and the Alpha-Beta log-det (AB-LD)divergence. We also revise other approaches based on the idea of selecting those features that are maximally informative about the class labels. The performance of all the methods will be also compared via experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 57
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 19: Thermodynamics-Based Evaluation of Various Improved Shannon Entropies for Configurational Information of Gray-Level Images Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010019 Authors: Peichao Gao Zhilin Li Hong Zhang The quality of an image affects its utility and image quality assessment has been a hot research topic for many years. One widely used measure for image quality assessment is Shannon entropy, which has a well-established information-theoretic basis. The value of this entropy can be interpreted as the amount of information. However, Shannon entropy is badly adapted to information measurement in images, because it captures only the compositional information of an image and ignores the configurational aspect. To fix this problem, improved Shannon entropies have been actively proposed in the last few decades, but a thorough evaluation of their performance is still lacking. This study presents such an evaluation, involving twenty-three improved Shannon entropies based on various tools such as gray-level co-occurrence matrices and local binary patterns. For the evaluation, we proposed: (a) a strategy to generate testing (gray-level) images by simulating the mixing of ideal gases in thermodynamics; (b) three criteria consisting of validity, reliability, and ability to capture configurational disorder; and (c) three measures to assess the fulfillment of each criterion. The evaluation results show only the improved entropies based on local binary patterns are invalid for use in quantifying the configurational information of images, and the best variant of Shannon entropy in terms of reliability and ability is the one based on the average distance between same/different-value pixels. These conclusions are theoretically important in setting a direction for the future research on improving entropy and are practically useful in selecting an effective entropy for various image processing applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 58
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 17: Provenance Variation in Phenology and Frost Tolerance in Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) Planted in Denmark and Iceland Forests doi: 10.3390/f9010017 Authors: Brynjar Skulason Ole Hansen Ulrik Nielsen In Iceland and Denmark, there is an interest in planting Abies lasiocarpa for use as Christmas trees. To search for usable genetic material for both countries, 26 provenances of subalpine fir, covering most of its natural range, were planted in eastern Iceland and Jutland, Denmark. Flushing, bud set and survival rates were assessed. Artificial freezing of twigs, from field trials in eastern Iceland and Denmark, was done to rank the provenances for frost tolerance in the spring and autumn. The northernmost provenances showed earliest bud set, highest autumn frost tolerance and a latitudinal cline was delineated. Differences between provenances in flushing and spring frost tolerance were less than that found for bud set and autumn frost tolerance. The southernmost provenances showed earliest flushing and the most spring frost damage on buds. Mortality of single provenances in the field tests could not be attributed to low freezing tolerances in the autumn or spring. The southernmost provenances of Abies lasiocarpa from New Mexico and Arizona showed the highest survival rate in the field trial in East Iceland, while the eastern provenances showed a low survival rate except for two provenances from Utah and Wyoming. The western provenances from Washington state showed the best survival in Denmark, followed by the southernmost provenances.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 59
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 4: Drought-Induced Changes in Wood Density Are Not Prevented by Thinning in Scots Pine Stands Forests doi: 10.3390/f9010004 Authors: David Candel-Pérez Yueh-Hsin Lo Juan Blanco Chih-Ming Chiu J. Camarero Ester González de Andrés J. Imbert Federico Castillo Density is an important wood mechanical property and an indicator of xylem architecture and hydraulic conductivity. It can be influenced by forest management and climate. We studied the impact of thinning and climate variables on annual stem radial growth (ring width and ring density, and their earlywood and latewood components) in two contrasting Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in northern Spain (one continental, one Mediterranean). At each site, three thinning regimes (control or T0, removing 20% basal area or T20, and removing 30% or T30) were randomly applied to nine plots per site (three plots per treatment) in 1999. Thinning was repeated at the Mediterranean site in 2009 (increasing thinning intensity in T30 to 40%). Eight trees per plot were cored in spring 2014. Second thinning at the Mediterranean site and first thinning at the continental site generally caused significantly wider ring (RW), earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) widths, although no differences between T20 and T30/40 were found, supporting in part the common observation that radial growth is enhanced following thinning as competition for water and nutrients is reduced. At the Mediterranean site, values of latewood density (LD) and maximum density (Dmax) relative to pre-thinning conditions were significantly lower in T0 than in T30. However, at the continental site, relative changes of ring density (RD) and LD were significantly higher in T0 than in T20 and T30. Climate significantly affected not only RW but also RD, with significant RD drops during or right after unusually warm-dry years (e.g., 2003, 2011), which were characterized by LD reductions between 5.4 and 8.0%. Such RD decreases were quickly followed by recovery of pre-drought density values. These results indicate trees temporarily reduce LD as a way to enhance hydraulic conductivity during dry summers. However, climate effects on wood density were site-dependent. We also detected that the thinning effect was not intense enough to prevent drought-induced changes in wood density by altering water availability, but it could help to reduce wood properties fluctuations and therefore maintain more homogeneous wood mechanic features.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 11: Development of a Seamless, High-Resolution Bathymetric Model to Compare Reef Morphology around the Subtropical Island Shelves of Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid, Southwest Pacific Ocean Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010011 Authors: Michelle Linklater Sarah Hamylton Brendan Brooke Scott Nichol Alan Jordan Colin Woodroffe Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid are located approximately 600 km offshore of the southeastern Australian mainland, in the subtropical waters of the northern Tasman Sea. Lord Howe Island hosts the most southern coral reef in the Pacific Ocean, and the shelves surrounding both islands feature fossil coral reefs. This study creates a seamless, high-resolution (5 m cell size) bathymetry model of the two shelves to compare and contrast the extent of reef development and shelf morphology. This was produced by integrating satellite-derived depth data (derived to 35 m depth) and multibeam echosounder (MBES) data. Image partitioning and filtering improved the accuracy of the bathymetry estimates and the suitability for integration with MBES data. Diverse accretionary and erosional geomorphic features were mapped on both shelves, with fossil reefs dominating the shelves in 25–50 m depth. Similar patterns of shelf morphology were observed for the middle and outer shelves, while the inner shelf regions were most dissimilar, with reef development greater around Lord Howe Island compared to the more restricted inner shelf reefs around Balls Pyramid. Understanding the relative extent and morphology of shelf features provides insights into the geological and ecological processes that have influenced the formation of the shelves.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 8: Subsidence Trends of Volturno River Coastal Plain (Northern Campania, Southern Italy) Inferred by SAR Interferometry Data Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010008 Authors: Fabio Matano Marco Sacchi Marco Vigliotti Daniela Ruberti The Volturno Plain is one of the largest alluvial plains of peninsular Italy, which is one of the most susceptible plains to coastal hazards. This area is characterized by both natural and human-induced subsidence. This present study is based on the post-processing, analysis and mapping of the available Persistent Scatterer interferometry datasets. The latter were derived from the combination of both ascending and descending orbits of three different radar satellite systems during an observation period of almost two decades (June 1992–September 2010). The main output of this study is a map of vertical deformation, which provides new insights into the areal variability of the ground deformation processes (subsidence/uplift) of Volturno plain over the last few decades. The vertical displacement values obtained by the post-processing of the interferometric data show that the Volturno river plain is characterized by significant subsidence in the central axial sectors and in the river mouth area. Moderate uplift is detected in the eastern part of the plain, whereas other sectors of the study area are characterized by moderate subsidence and/or stability. On the basis of the analyzed subsoil stratigraphy, we inferred that the subsidence recorded in the Volturno plain is mainly a consequence of a natural process related to the compaction of the fluvial and palustrine deposits that form the alluvial plain. The anthropic influences (e.g., water exploitation, urbanization) are substantially considered to be an additional factor that may enhance subsidence only locally. The uplift mapped in the eastern sector of the plain is related to the tectonic activity. The study of the subsidence in the Volturno plain is a valuable tool for river flood analyses and the assessment of the coastal inundation hazards and related risk mitigation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 9: Groundwater Natural Contamination by Toluene in Beja and Faro Districts, Portugal Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010009 Authors: Gabriel Barberes Rui Pena dos Reis André Spigolon Paulo Fonseca Carlos Bandeira de Mello Maria Barata The focus area is located along Beja and Faro districts (southwestern of Portugal), where the Baixo Alentejo Flysch Group exists, is composed of the Mértola, Mira, and Brejeira Formations. The aim of this article is to characterize the groundwater contamination by toluene, one of the petroleum products that may originate from natural petroleum systems and have been introduced into the environment by natural seepage. For this study, twenty soil samples and thirty-one water samples were collected, in 2016, from artesian wells, boreholes, and springs, and analyzed in a GC-FID system. Sampling was performed using headspace vials, with distilled water and a bactericide to inhibit any bacterial activities. The results showed that 93.5% of water samples range between 1000 and 6000 μg/L, and 55% are higher than 3000 μg/L of toluene concentration. In soil samples, amounts of toluene are less than 1000 μg/L in general. These levels are much higher than the World Health Organization health-based guideline for drinkable water (700 μg/L) and higher than those usually found in other places, being only comparable with values from severe industrial contamination. Contaminated groundwater represents a serious concern for human health, and residents should be informed to avoid drinking contaminated ground water or using it for other domestic proposes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 7: Multibeam Bathymetric Investigations of the Morphology and Associated Bedforms, Sulina Channel, Danube Delta Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010007 Authors: Florin Duţu Nicolae Panin Gabriel Ion Laura Tiron Duţu In the Danube Delta, on the Sulina branch, the morphology, sediment, and bedform characteristics were investigated. Three-dimensional (3D) bathymetry, flow velocity, suspended-load concentration, and liquid and solid discharge data were acquired throughout several cross sections along the Sulina channel, in order to investigate the distribution of water and sediment discharges and their influence against the river bed. A single observation (in February 2007) was made regarding the geometry, sediment composition, and hydraulic conditions under which the dunes grew and degenerated. The investigation focuses here mostly on the geometrical parameters of these bedforms, such as height, length, as well as grain size characteristic of the sediment and water dynamics. Based on in-site measurements, different hydraulic parameters were calculated, such as bed shear stresses and Reynolds number. During the field campaign, the measured water mean velocity was from v = 0.22–1.13 m∙s−1. At the same time, the measured range of shear stresses within the dune field formation was from τ0 = 2.86 N·m−2 (on the cutoffs) to 8.62 N·m−2 (on the main channel). It was found that the correlation between height (H) and length (L) of the Sulina branch dunes describes the formula: H = 0.093L0.5268. The bedforms of the Sulina channel are, in general, developed in fine sand (D50 between 0.06 and 0.35 mm).
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 10: Feasibility Study of SQp and SQs Attributes Application for Facies Classification Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8010010 Authors: Maman Hermana Jia Ngui Chow Weng Sum Deva Prasad Ghosh Formation evaluation is a critical requirement in oil and gas exploration and development projects. Although it may be costly, wireline logs need to be acquired to evaluate and understand the subsurface formation. Gamma ray and resistivity are the two main well-log data used for formation evaluation purposes. However, outside the well, formation evaluation becomes difficult, as these logs are not available. Hence, it is important to have other data equivalent to the gamma ray or resistivity logs, which can be derived from other technique, such as seismic data. As a consequence, the dependency on well-log data can be avoided. Thus, the complexity in formation evaluation outside the well, such as the determination of facies, lithology, and fluid content, as well as petrophysical properties can be solved accurately even without well-log data. The objective of this paper was to demonstrate an application of the SQp and SQs attributes for facies classification. These attributes were derived from attenuation attributes through rock physics approximation by using basic elastic properties: P-wave, S-wave, and density. A series of tests were carried out to show the applicability of these attributes on well-logs and real seismic data from offshore the Malaysia Peninsular. Simultaneous inversion was used in the data sets to produce the three-dimensional (3D) SQp and SQs attributes required as inputs of a neural network engine in defining the facies distribution. The results showed that the SQp attribute was very similar to the gamma ray, while the SQs attribute was similar to the resistivity responses even in different reservoir conditions, including low resistivity low contrast and coal masking environment. In conclusion, the SQp motif, which is similar to the gamma ray motif, can potentially be used for facies classification/identification. Together with the SQs attribute, the SQp attribute can be used as input for the facies classification workflow. The application of the SQp and SQs attributes successfully identified the gas sand distribution and separated it clearly from the brine distribution in an offshore Malaysian field.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 58: Analysis of Gambling in the Media Related to Screens: Immersion as a Predictor of Excessive Use? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010058 Authors: Jean-Jacques Rémond Lucia Romo This study investigates the intricacies between the player interface proposed by the screens, (in particular on smartphone applications or in video games) and gambling. Recent research indicates connections between “immersion” and excessive screen practice. We want to understand the causal-effects between online gambling and the “immersion” variable and understand their relationship and its contingencies. This article empirically investigates whether and how it is possible to observe immersion with its sub-dimensions in gambling on different screens. The objective of this study was to analyze: (1) the costs and benefits associated with gambling practice on screens (2) the link between gambling practice and screen practice (video game, Internet, mobile screen); (3) to observe the propensity to immersion for individuals practicing gambling on screens; and (4) to examine the comorbidities and cognitive factors associated with the practice of gambling on screen. A total of 432 adults (212 men, 220 women), recruited from Ile-de-France (France), responded to a battery of questionnaires. Our study suggests that immersion variables make it possible to understand the cognitive participation of individuals towards screens in general, the practice of gambling on screens and the excessive practice of screens.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 59: Arsenic Uptake, Toxicity, Detoxification, and Speciation in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Aspects International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010059 Authors: Ghulam Abbas Behzad Murtaza Irshad Bibi Muhammad Shahid Nabeel Niazi Muhammad Khan Muhammad Amjad Munawar Hussain Natasha Environmental contamination with arsenic (As) is a global environmental, agricultural and health issue due to the highly toxic and carcinogenic nature of As. Exposure of plants to As, even at very low concentration, can cause many morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes. The recent research on As in the soil-plant system indicates that As toxicity to plants varies with its speciation in plants (e.g., arsenite, As(III); arsenate, As(V)), with the type of plant species, and with other soil factors controlling As accumulation in plants. Various plant species have different mechanisms of As(III) or As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification. This review briefly describes the sources and global extent of As contamination and As speciation in soil. We discuss different mechanisms responsible for As(III) and As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification in plants, at physiological, biochemical, and molecular levels. This review highlights the importance of the As-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as their damaging impacts on plants at biochemical, genetic, and molecular levels. The role of different enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and ascorbate peroxidase) and non-enzymatic (salicylic acid, proline, phytochelatins, glutathione, nitric oxide, and phosphorous) substances under As(III/V) stress have been delineated via conceptual models showing As translocation and toxicity pathways in plant species. Significantly, this review addresses the current, albeit partially understood, emerging aspects on (i) As-induced physiological, biochemical, and genotoxic mechanisms and responses in plants and (ii) the roles of different molecules in modulation of As-induced toxicities in plants. We also provide insight on some important research gaps that need to be filled to advance our scientific understanding in this area of research on As in soil-plant systems.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 56: The Development Evaluation of Economic Zones in China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010056 Authors: Wei Liu Hong-Bo Shi Zhe Zhang Sang-Bing Tsai Yuming Zhai Quan Chen Jiangtao Wang After the Chinese reform and opening up, the construction of economic zones, such as Special Economic Zones, Hi-tech Zones and Bonded Zones, has played an irreplaceable role in China’s economic development. Currently, against the background of Chinese economic transition, research on development evaluation of economic zones has become popular and necessary. Similar research usually focuses on one specific field, and the methods that are used to evaluate it are simple. This research aims to analyse the development evaluation of zones by synthesis. A new hybrid multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) model that combines the DEMATEL technique and the DANP method is proposed. After establishing the evaluation criterion system and acquiring data, the influential weights of dimensions and criteria can be calculated, which will be a guide for forming measures of development. Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone is used in the empirical case analysis. The results show that Transportation Conditions, Industrial Structure and Business Climate are the main influencing criteria and measures based on these criteria are proposed.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 11: Space-Ruled Ecological Processes: Introduction to the Special Issue on Spatial Ecology ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010011 Authors: Duccio Rocchini This special issue explores most of the scientific issues related to spatial ecology and its integration with geographical information at different spatial and temporal scales.[...]
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 57: Assessment of Nutritional Status of Infants Living in Arsenic-Contaminated Areas in Bangladesh and Its Association with Arsenic Exposure International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010057 Authors: Abul Milton John Attia Mohammad Alauddin Mark McEvoy Patrick McElduff Sumaira Hussain Ayesha Akhter Shahnaz Akter M. Islam AM Ahmed Vasu Iyengar Md Islam Data is scarce on early life exposure to arsenic and its association with malnutrition during infancy. This study followed the nutritional status of a cohort of 120 infants from birth to 9 months of age in an arsenic contaminated area in Bangladesh. Anthropometric data was collected at 3, 6 and 9 months of the infant’s age for nutritional assessment whereas arsenic exposure level was assessed via tube well drinking water arsenic concentration at the initiation of the study. Weight and height measurements were converted to Z-scores of weight for age (WAZ-underweight), height for age (HAZ-stunting), weight for height (WHZ-wasting) for children by comparing with WHO growth standard. Arsenic exposure levels were categorized as <50 μg/L and ≥50 μg/L. Stunting rates (<−2 SD) were 10% at 3 months and 44% at both 6 and 9 months. Wasting rates (<−2 SD) were 23.3% at 3 months and underweight rates (<−2 SD) were 25% and 10% at 3 and 6 months of age, respectively. There was a significant association of stunting with household drinking water arsenic exposure ≥50 μg/L at age of 9 months (p = 0.009). Except for stunting at 9 months of age, we did not find any significant changes in other nutritional indices over time or with levels of household arsenic exposure in this study. Our study suggests no association between household arsenic exposure and under-nutrition during infancy; with limiting factors being small sample size and short follow-up. Difference in stunting at 9 months by arsenic exposure at ≥50 μg/L might be a statistical incongruity. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to establish any association.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 55: Application of SCM with Bayesian B-Spline to Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Hypertension in China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010055 Authors: Zirong Ye Li Xu Zi Zhou Yafei Wu Ya Fang Most previous research on the disparities of hypertension risk has neither simultaneously explored the spatio-temporal disparities nor considered the spatial information contained in the samples, thus the estimated results may be unreliable. Our study was based on the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), including residents over 12 years old in seven provinces from 1991 to 2011. Bayesian B-spline was used in the extended shared component model (SCM) for fitting temporal-related variation to explore spatio-temporal distribution in the odds ratio (OR) of hypertension, reveal gender variation, and explore latent risk factors. Our results revealed that the prevalence of hypertension increased from 14.09% in 1991 to 32.37% in 2011, with men experiencing a more obvious change than women. From a spatial perspective, a standardized prevalence ratio (SPR) remaining at a high level was found in Henan and Shandong for both men and women. Meanwhile, before 1997, the temporal distribution of hypertension risk for both men and women remained low. After that, notably since 2004, the OR of hypertension in each province increased to a relatively high level, especially in Northern China. Notably, the OR of hypertension in Shandong and Jiangsu, which was over 1.2, continuously stood out after 2004 for males, while that in Shandong and Guangxi was relatively high for females. The findings suggested that obvious spatial–temporal patterns for hypertension exist in the regions under research and this pattern was quite different between men and women.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 62: Simulating Porous Magnetite Layer Deposited on Alloy 690TT Steam Generator Tubes Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010062 Authors: Soon-Hyeok Jeon Yeong-Ho Son Won-Ik Choi Geun Song Do Hur In nuclear power plants, the main corrosion product that is deposited on the outside of steam generator tubes is porous magnetite. The objective of this study was to simulate porous magnetite that is deposited on thermally treated (TT) Alloy 690 steam generator tubes. A magnetite layer was electrodeposited on an Alloy 690TT substrate in an Fe(III)-triethanolamine solution. After electrodeposition, the dense magnetite layer was immersed to simulate porous magnetite deposits in alkaline solution for 50 days at room temperature. The dense morphology of the magnetite layer was changed to a porous structure by reductive dissolution reaction. The simulated porous magnetite layer was compared with flakes of steam generator tubes, which were collected from the secondary water system of a real nuclear power plant during sludge lancing. Possible nuclear research applications using simulated porous magnetite specimens are also proposed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 64: Charge Transport and Phase Behavior of Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquid Crystals from Fully Atomistic Simulations Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010064 Authors: Michael Quevillon Jonathan Whitmer Ionic liquid crystals occupy an intriguing middle ground between room-temperature ionic liquids and mesostructured liquid crystals. Here, we examine a non-polarizable, fully atomistic model of the 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium nitrate family using molecular dynamics in the constant pressure–constant temperature ensemble. These materials exhibit a distinct “smectic” liquid phase, characterized by layers formed by the molecules, which separate the ionic and aliphatic moieties. In particular, we discuss the implications this layering may have for electrolyte applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 63: The Study on the Overall Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation for 6061–7075 Dissimilar Aluminum Alloy Welded Parts Based on the Dielectric Breakdown Theory Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010063 Authors: Yanfei Chen Xiaocun Song Jixue Zhou Hongtao Liu Yuansheng Yang Electrical connection of dissimilar metals will lead to galvanic corrosion. Therefore, overall surface treatment is necessary for the protection of dissimilar metal welded parts. However, serious unbalanced reactions may occur during overall surface treatment, which makes it difficult to prepare integral coating. In this paper, an overall ceramic coating was fabricated by plasma electrolytic oxidation to wrap the 6061–7075 welded part integrally. Moreover, the growth mechanism of the coating on different areas of the welded part was studied based on the dielectric breakdown theory. The reaction sequence of each area during the treatment was verified through specially designed dielectric breakdown tests. The results showed that the high impedance overall of ceramic coating can inhibit the galvanic corrosion of the 6061–7075 welded part effectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 74
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 8: Metal Recovery from the Mobile Phone Waste by Chemical and Biological Treatments Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8010008 Authors: Yumi Kim Hyunhee Seo Yul Roh Recycling electronic waste is an important subject not only from the point of view of waste treatment, but also regarding the recovery of valuable metals. This research examined the stepwise recovery of metals in mobile phone waste using chemical treatment via pH swing and the biological method using biomineralization. In chemical treatment, the metal fraction attached to the printed circuit board (PCB) and camera parts were separated from the mobile phone waste and were then pulverized into particles with a size less than ~2 mm. The metal fraction was dissolved in aqua regia, and the pH of the solution was increased to 10.5 by adding NH4OH. The first precipitate was iron oxide, produced by raising the pH to 3.1~4.2 with NH4OH. Sequentially, copper chloride and rare earth-metal complex were produced at pH 5.7~7.7 and 8.3~10.5, respectively. In the biological method, the filtrate at pH 7.7 was added to a metal-reducing bacteria growth medium as a precursor. After two weeks of incubation, rhodochrosite and calcite were precipitated as nano-sized minerals. The results indicate that effective metal recovery of mobile phone waste is feasible using chemical and biological treatments, and the recovered metals and rare earth metals can be recycled into raw materials for various industries.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 75
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 95: Data Governance Taxonomy: Cloud versus Non-Cloud Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010095 Authors: Majid Al-Ruithe Elhadj Benkhelifa Khawar Hameed Forward-thinking organisations believe that the only way to solve the data problem is the implementation of effective data governance. Attempts to govern data have failed before, as they were driven by information technology, and affected by rigid processes and fragmented activities carried out on a system-by-system basis. Until very recently, governance has been mostly informal, with very ambiguous and generic regulations, in siloes around specific enterprise repositories, lacking structure and the wider support of the organisation. Despite its highly recognised importance, the area of data governance is still underdeveloped and under-researched. Consequently, there is a need to advance research in data governance in order to deepen practice. Currently, in the area of data governance, research consists mostly of descriptive literature reviews. The analysis of literature further emphasises the need to build a standardised strategy for data governance. This task can be a very complex one and needs to be accomplished in stages. Therefore, as a first and necessary stage, a taxonomy approach to define the different attributes of data governance is expected to make a valuable contribution to knowledge, helping researchers and decision makers to understand the most important factors that need to be considered when implementing a data governance strategy for cloud computing services. In addition to the proposed taxonomy, the paper clarifies the concepts of data governance in contracts with other governance domains.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 76
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 94: Impact of Energy Consumption on Air Quality in Jiangsu Province of China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010094 Authors: Lingyun He Zhangqi Zhong Fang Yin Deqing Wang Air quality has become an important sustainability concern for China’s highly developed economic regions. Taking Jiangsu Province as a case, this study investigates the effect of energy consumption on air quality when both considering and not considering control variables, such as industrial structure, energy consumption structure and energy efficiency from 2006 to 2015 and further explores the influence of the related policies on air quality and the relationship between energy consumption and air quality. One important finding is that the relationship between energy consumption and the air quality index of Jiangsu Province shows a U-shaped curve and it is now in the increasing part of the curve, which reveals the effectiveness of controlling energy consumption in improving air quality. Another important finding is that, when considering the effect of related polices, there is still a U-shaped curve relationship between energy consumption and air quality index, with the opening of curve becoming bigger and the influence of energy consumption on air quality becoming more obvious. Moreover, although air quality is improved whether considering policies separately or together, the effect of combined policies is better than is the effect of a separate policy. This not only reflects the effectiveness of related polices but also shows the importance of policy coordination. Furthermore, a 1% optimization of industrial structure inhibits air quality index by 0.0054%, while the relationship of energy efficiency and energy consumption structure with air quality is inconsistent with theoretical analysis. This implies that, in practice, there is still room for improvement in both energy saving and emission reduction and even in air quality improvement. This study may help the stakeholders, whether from Jiangsu Province, other provinces in China or other countries at the global level, identify the impacts of energy consumption on air quality and formulate effective energy saving and air quality improvement policies in conjunction with their economic characteristics.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 77
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 13: An Effective Authentication Scheme Using DCT for Mobile Devices Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10010013 Authors: Chin-Chen Chang Tzu-Chuen Lu Zhao-Hua Zhu Hui Tian This paper proposes an image authentication scheme for mobile devices. The proposed scheme generates an image watermark by using discrete cosine transform (DCT) and hides the watermark in the spatial pixels for image authentication and tamper detection. The hiding operator used in this paper is very simple in a mobile environment allowing high-speed authentication using a low-power mobile device. The quality of the stego-image and the recovered image becomes excellent as a result of the proposed scheme.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 78
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 28: Comparison of GCM Precipitation Predictions with Their RMSEs and Pattern Correlation Coefficients Water doi: 10.3390/w10010028 Authors: Chulsang Yoo Eunsaem Cho This study evaluated 20 general circulation models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which provide the prediction results for the period of 2006 to 2014, the period from which the observation data (the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) data) are available. Both the GCM predictions of precipitation and the GPCP data were compared for three data structures—the global, zonal, and grid mean—with conventional statistics like the root mean square error (RMSE) and the pattern correlation coefficient of the cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions (CSEOFs). As a result, it was possible to select a GCM which showed the best performance among the 20 GCMs considered in this study. Overall, the NorSM1-M model was found to be the most similar to the GPCP data. Additionally, the IPSL-CM5A-LR, BCC-CSM, and GFDL-CMS models were also found to be quite similar to the GPCP data.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 30: Assessing the Coordinated Operation of Reservoirs and Weirs for Sustainable Water Management in the Geum River Basin under Climate Change Water doi: 10.3390/w10010030 Authors: Jung Ahn Deuk Yang Kang Jung Dong Shin In this study, an integrated system for the comprehensive analysis of climate change, runoff, reservoir operation, and power generation was developed. In order to apply reliable climate change scenarios to the Geum River Basin, we applied representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its fifth assessment report in 2014 to the streamflow synthesis and reservoir regulation model at a regional scale with 1-km spatial resolution to analyze future runoff. This analyzed future runoff was applied to the Hydrologic Engineering Center—Reservoir System Simulation to analyze the hydrological behavior caused by reservoir operation through flow duration analysis at each of several important points. The objective was to provide initial data suitable for future basin management through an examination of power generation. Applying the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios showed that runoff would increase continuously compared with the past. However, in the RCP 8.5 scenario (where carbon reductions have not been achieved), runoff from flooding would be reduced considerably. It was found that power generation would be reduced compared with the past under the climate change scenarios, but additional power generation could be realized with the coordinated operation of reservoirs and weirs. These results suggest that, despite climate change, the risk to power generation could be reduced with the coordinated operation of reservoirs and weirs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 80
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 29: Global Water Governance and Climate Change: Identifying Innovative Arrangements for Adaptive Transformation Water doi: 10.3390/w10010029 Authors: Maria Melo Zurita Dana Thomsen Neil Holbrook Timothy Smith Anna Lyth Paul Munro Annemarieke de Bruin Giovanna Seddaiu Pier Roggero Julia Baird Ryan Plummer Ryan Bullock Kevin Collins Neil Powell A convoluted network of different water governance systems exists around the world. Collectively, these systems provide insight into how to build sustainable regimes of water use and management. We argue that the challenge is not to make the system less convoluted, but rather to support positive and promising trends in governance, creating a vision for future environmental outcomes. In this paper, we analyse nine water case studies from around the world to help identify potential ‘innovative arrangements’ for addressing existing dilemmas. We argue that such arrangements can be used as a catalyst for crafting new global water governance futures. The nine case studies were selected for their diversity in terms of location, scale and water dilemma, and through an examination of their contexts, structures and processes we identify key themes to consider in the milieu of adaptive transformation. These themes include the importance of acknowledging socio-ecological entanglements, understanding the political dimensions of environmental dilemmas, the recognition of different constructions of the dillema, and the importance of democratized processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 81
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    In: Energies