ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0318.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Sewage sludge, P bio-availability, P species, SMT protocol
Online: 13 November 2018 (15:07:58 CET)
The species and bio-availability of phosphorus (P) in primary, secondary and digested sludge were fractionated and further analyzed in this study. Results showed that inorganic P (IP) was the primary P fraction in the secondary sludge and digested sludge, in which non-apatite IP (NAIP) amounted to 91.6% and 69.3% of IP, respectively. Organic P (OP), accounting for about 71.7% of total P (TP), was the dominant P composition in primary sludge. The content of bio-available P was about 9.7, 43.4, 29.8 mg-P/g-TS in primary sludge, secondary sludge and digested sludge, respectively, suggesting secondary sludge is the optimal choice when land application of sewage sludge is taken into consideration, followed by digested sludge and primary sludge. Polyphosphate and orthophosphate, comprising approximately 54.3% and 89.2% of TP, was the dominant P species in the secondary sludge and digested sludge, respectively. Monoester-P (54.6% of TP in extract) and diester- P (24.1%) were identified as OP species in primary sludge by Phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31PNMR). The present results would be helpful for P recovery and recycle from sewage sludge in wastewater treatment plant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0695.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: clay minerals; limestone; biochar; trace elements; bio-availability; alkaline degraded soils
Online: 28 September 2020 (17:52:02 CEST)
Ca-bentonite (CB) alone and in a mixture with limestone (L), tobacco biochar (TB) and zeolite (Z) on the fixation, geochemical fractions and absorption of Cd and Zn by Chinese cabbage in smelter heavily polluted (S-HP) and smelter low polluted (S-LP) soils were investigated. The results showed that the CB+TB and CB+L+TB treatments significantly immobilized Cd up to 22.03% and 29.68%, respectively, and reduced uptake by Chinese cabbage shoot to 35.98% with CB+Z+L and 61.35% with CB+L in S-HP and S-LP soils compared with the control. The CB+ Z+ L+TB treatment mobilized Cd up to 4.45% and increased absorption in the shoot by 9.85% in S-HP soil. The greatest immobilization of Zn was 53.18% and 58.20% with the CB+Z+L+TB treatment, which reduced Zn uptake in the plant shoot by 9.94% with CB + L and 58.04 with CB+Z+L+TB in S-HP and S-LP soils. The CB+Z+TB and CB+TB treatments mobilized Zn up to 35.40% and 4.80%, respectively, in both soils. Furthermore, the uptake of Zn in plant shoot was observed by 58.96% and 7.82% with application of CB+Z and CB+TB treatments, respectively, in S-HP and S-LP soils. Overall, our results suggest that Ca-bentonite alone and in mixtures with different amendments can be used to reduce the phyto-extraction of Cd and Zn in Zn-smelter polluted soils.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0073.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Distribution; Availability; Analysis
Online: 2 June 2021 (12:15:00 CEST)
The availability rating of any system is the probability that it will be able to operate for a given time in other words, to restore the system in the case of a system failure, or during the failure it is a measure of the availability index of resource system. We aimed to complete the study for the reasons as below. The rating and upgrading of underground mine radio communication system availability is to ensure operation reliability of the underground mine and to establish reliable radio communication system for miner’s safety during failure. Therefore, our study is contributed to reveal system availability rating of single resource (with two parallel connections) system and two resources (with three parallel connections) system. The study is related to not only practical contribution but also reliability engineering theory. To achieve this result, we have used Exponential, Weibull, and Poisson distributions. The readiness rating of single resource (with two parallel connections) and two resources (with three parallel connections) systems were calculated using Matlab software and the simulation results were introduced. This result confirms that any system has a resource system, which increases its readiness rating. The study was in examples of single resource radio communication system on the two shafts of the underground mine and two resource radio communication system for three shafts. During the initial system reliability enhancement study, the readiness of the dual resource system was assessed. The rating shows a 99 percent result, which is very meaningless for systems with more than two n-resources and we have revealed that it can show more than 100 percent result. In the process of the study on system reliability improvement the rating availability of system which has two resources was 99 % result. It is very meaningless for systems with more than two n-resources or more than 100% result.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0188.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Açaí; Residual Seeds; Pyrolysis; Bio-Oil; Distillation; Bio-gasoline; Bio-kerosene
Online: 8 February 2021 (11:10:32 CET)
The bio-oil obtained by pyrolysis of Açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) seeds at 450 ºC, 1.0 atmosphere, in technical scale, submitted to fractional distillation to produce biofuels-like fractions. The distillation of bio-oil carried out in a laboratory distillation column (Vigreux) of 30 cm. The physical-chemistry properties (density, kinematic viscosity, acid value and refractive index) determined by official methods. The chemical functions present in distillation fractions determined by FT-IR and the chemical composition by GC-MS. The distillation of bio-oil yielded gasoline, light kerosene, and kerosene-like fuel fractions of 16.16, 19.56, and 41.89% (wt.), respectively. All the physical-chemistry properties (density, kinematic viscosity, acid value and refractive index) increase with boiling temperature. The gasoline-like fraction is composed by 64.0% (area.) hydrocarbons and 36.0% (area.) oxygenates, while light kerosene-like fraction by 66.67% (area.) hydrocarbons and 33.33% (area.) oxygenates, and kerosene-like fraction by 19.87% (area.) hydrocarbons and 81.13% (area.) oxygenates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0198.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Availability, underground mining, radio communication system, influence
Online: 10 May 2021 (14:21:02 CEST)
Radio communication system in an underground mine is one of the very essential systems for the underground mine. It is required that the radio communication system must be reliable from the starting to construct the underground mine to the closure of the mine. However, underground mine radio communication systems reliability is required to be tested on an active radio communication system in a real environment. In the study was suggested a new research methodology that is studied reliability using dynamic system modeling on Vensim software instead of traditional method to study the reliability of radio communication systems calculating large-scale differential equations. In other words, we suggest a new research methodology. The Motorola Dimetra (TETRA) radio communication system's availability readiness information was used to simulate the reliability of the underground mine radio communication system probability of reliability using Vensim software for system dynamic modeling.Also, the factors that affect the reliability of underground mining radio communication systems was studied. The study was determined factors that affect the underground mine radio communication system from the following risks. The study was in the examples of the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine. The factors that affect the reliable operation of the underground mine radio communication system were determined using the failure statistics of TETRA radio communication system in the Oyu Tolgoi mine in 2015-2018.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0301.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: glyphosate; herbicide degradation; crop health; nutrient availability
Online: 26 September 2019 (12:07:03 CEST)
Glyphosate-based herbicide products are the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicides in the world for post-emergent weed control. There are ever-increasing concerns that glyphosate, if not used judiciously, may cause adverse non-target impacts in agroecosystems. The purpose of this brief review is to present and discuss the state of knowledge with respect to its persistence in the environment, possible effects on crop health, and impacts on crop nutrition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0099.v1
Online: 4 February 2021 (09:15:34 CET)
Use of porous titanium (Ti) and Ti alloys in orthopedic implants or in light structures requires processing routes that could generate an as-much-as possible control in the pores amount, shape, size and connectivity. In this work, a colloidal approach to the processing of Ti porous structures by the inside foaming of a porogen into a gelled high solid content aqueous suspension of Ti powders, is presented. The prepared slurries contained different amounts of Methyl Cellulose (MC) as gelling agent (8, 10 and 12 g/L) and ammonium bicarbonate (BA) as porogen (15, 20, 25 wt. %). The gel-casted samples were heated at mild temperatures ranging (60, 70 and 80 °C) to promote the gelation and produce, at the same time, the porosity by the thermal decomposition of the ammonium bicarbonate. Different structures are obtained depending on the combination of the study variables
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0584.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Bio-organic fertilizer; Bio-chemical fertilizer; Grain yield; N-Fixer
Online: 24 July 2020 (13:46:30 CEST)
The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of All Cosmos Industries (ACI) bio-organic and bio-chemical fertilizers and ACI N-Fixer (N-Bio Booster) on the paddy yields based on the field trial plots at Langkat, Medan, Indonesia. This application of ACI bio-organic fertilizer (NPK 5/5/5) and ACI bio-chemical (NPK 15/15/15) fertilizer and ACI N-Fixer tests were conducted at the paddy farm at Langkat from May-October 2018. This study employed a factorial randomized complete block design which consisted of two factors, namely: Factor I with four types of fertilizers while Factor II consisted of two paddy varieties (Inpari 30 and Inpari 32). Overall, the filled grains in the ACI treatments are significantly (P< 0.05) higher than those in the control treatments that used Normal Chemical Compound NPK. Overall, total weight per meter² (368-617g) in ACI treatments are also significantly (P< 0.05) higher than those (319-371g) in the control treatments. At harvesting time at 105 days after transplanting, significantly higher (P< 0.05) colony counts (13-15 x 106 CFU/mL) (for ACI treatments), than those (8 x 106 CFU/mL) in the controls positively indicated higher total yields of paddy grains per hectare. It was found that the application of ACI bio-organic and bio-chemical fertilizers and ACI N-Fixer can improve paddy yields of the two rice varieties, between 16.4-38.2% (up to 5.75 MT/ha), in the field trial plots at Langkat. These commercial fertilizers play an imperative role in refining the soil fertility and thereby can increase the yield of rice production. Therefore, it is highly recommended that ACI bio-organic and ACI bio-chemical fertilizers and ACI N-Fixer (N-Bio Booster) can be employed to increase the paddy yield in this region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0200.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: water availability; shale gas; water sustainability; Weiyuan play
Online: 21 January 2019 (08:59:29 CET)
Innovations and improvements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well technologies have contributed to the success of the shale gas industry; however, the industry is also challenged by freshwater use and environmental health issues. Increasing water impact makes precise quantification of water consumption important. The objective in this study was to better understand water sustainability and availability of the projected shale gas from 2018 to 2030 in the Weiyuan play, China. The water footprint framework was used to quantify the potential water use and environmental impacts on different time scales. The results showed that the water use per well ranged from 11351.3 to 60664.73 m3, with a median of 36013.94 m3, totaling ~3.44 Mm3 for 97 wells. Yearly evaluation results showed that the gray water footprint was the main contributor and accounted for 83.82% to 96.76%, which was dependent on different scenarios of treatment percentages. The monthly environmental impact results indicated that the annual streamflow statistics were more likely to prevent water withdrawal. Water quality issues may be alleviated through recycling and retreatment measures that improve current waste water management strategies. Resource regulators should manage their water resources by matching water demand to water availability or replenishment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0505.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: dietary intake; sport nutrition knowledge; dietary habits; energy availability
Online: 21 May 2021 (09:01:55 CEST)
Sport nutrition knowledge has been shown to influence dietary habits of athletes. The purpose of the current study was to examine relationships between sport nutrition knowledge and body composition and examine potential predictors of body weight goal in collegiate athletes. Participants included National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III women (n=42, height: 169.9 ± 6.9 cm; body mass: 67.1 ± 8.6 kg; fat-free mass: 51.3 ± 6.6 kg; body fat %: 24.2 ± 5.3%) and men (n=25, height: 180.8 ± 7.2 cm; body mass: 89.2 ± 20.5 kg; fat-free mass: 75.9 ± 12.2 kg; body fat %: 13.5 ± 8.9%) athletes. Body composition was assessed via air displacement plethysmography. Athletes completed a validated questionnaire designed to assess sport nutrition knowledge and were asked questions about their perceived dietary energy and macronutrient requirements, as well as their body weight goal (i.e. lose, maintain, gain weight). Athletes answered 47.98 ± 11.29 % of questions correctly on the nutrition questionnaire with no differences observed between sexes (men: 49.52 ± 11.76% vs. women: 47.03 ± 11.04%; p=0.40). An inverse relationship between sport nutrition knowledge scores and body fat percentage (r = -0.330; p=0.008), and fat mass (r = -.268; p=0.032) was observed for all athletes. Fat mass (β = 0.224), BF % (β = 0.217), and BMI (β = 0.421) were all significant (p<0.05) predictors of body weight goal in women. All athletes significantly (p<0.001) underestimated daily energy (-1,360 ± 610.2 kcal/d), carbohydrate (-301.6 ± 149.2 g/d), and fat (-41.4 ± 34.5 g/d) requirements. Division III collegiate athletes have a low level of sport nutrition knowledge, which was associated with a higher BF %. Women athletes with a higher body weight, BF % and BMI were more likely to select weight loss as a body weight goal. Athletes also significantly underestimated their energy and carbohydrate requirements based upon the demands of their sport, independent of sex.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0691.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: water allocation; planning; river/reservoir systems; water availability modeling
Online: 28 September 2020 (16:55:27 CEST)
Effective water resources management requires assessments of water availability within a framework of complex institutions and infrastructure employed to manage extremely variable stream flow shared by numerous often competing water users and diverse types of use. The Water Rights Analysis Package (WRAP) modeling system is fundamental to water allocation and planning in the state of Texas in the United States. Integration of environmental flow standards into both the modeling system and comprehensive statewide water management is a high priority for continuing research and development. The public domain WRAP software and documentation are generalized for application any place in the world. Lessons learned in developing and implementing the modeling system in Texas are relevant worldwide. The modeling system combines: (1) detailed simulation of water right systems, interstate compacts, international treaties, federal/state/local agreements, and operations of storage and conveyance facilities; (2) simulation of river system hydrology; and (3) statistical frequency and reliability analyses. The continually evolving modeling system has been implemented in Texas by a water management community that includes the state legislature, planning and regulatory agencies, river authorities, water districts, cities, industries, engineering consulting firms, and university researchers. The shared modeling system contributes significantly to integration of water allocation, planning, system operations, and research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0291.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: food availability; food access; food utilization; food stability; Asia
Online: 14 July 2020 (05:39:54 CEST)
Food insecurity has adverse consequences on women and child health in a developing country. This study aims to fill the existing research gap by examining the dynamic impacts of food insecurity on women and child health outcomes, this study adds fresh large scale panel data; and unlike the existing studies, this study estimates the short-run dynamics on food insecurity on women as child health of developing countries. We found that there was a positive association between health expenditure, women's fertility rate, women, and child health outcomes. There was a negative and statistically significant impact of food insecurity on women anemia in developing countries of Asia. Overall, the empirical analysis found that there was a strong strength to be a negative correlation between food insecurity and women and child health outcome, particularly in relation to women’s participation as a productive labor force. The study suggests that there is need to multidimensional approaches such as women and child health outcome, is needed to advance this type of research areas and should be followed broad-spectrum policy interventions to improve the women and child health status as part of sustainable development goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0154.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Access, availability, climate change, deforestation, drought, food security, SSA
Online: 18 February 2019 (10:16:03 CET)
Like the rest of the globe, Forests in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continue to play a vital role when it comes to food security from the perspective of forest function of climate regulation, water provision, and soil protection. Nevertheless, most of the recent deforestation practices in various countries indicate that the region could face severe food insecurity in the near future since there are already signs of shortage in food production. This study, therefore, examines deforestation, climate change, and food security nexus in SSA while exploring a wide range of examples of food insecurity in the region. Content analysis and a synthetic literature study were conducted using data from scientific data banks. The study links deforestation, climate change to food security while citing examples from various SSA countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya to mention but a few. More so, the study investigates how deforestation contributes to climate change, and how such change directly affects agricultural output and hence food security. Lastly, the study discusses the various implication of deforestation in relation to food security.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0438.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: wind turbines; reliability; criticality analysis; failure; down times; availability
Online: 19 October 2018 (07:50:09 CEST)
Failure of wind turbines is a multi-faceted problem and its monetary impact is often unpredicted. In this study, we present a novel application of survival analysis on wind turbine reliability performance that includes accounting of previous failures and history of scheduled maintenance. We investigate the operational, climatic and geographical factors which affect wind turbine failures and model the risk rate of wind turbine failures based on data from 109 turbines in Germany operating during a period of 19 years. Our analysis showed that adequately scheduled maintenance can increase the survivorship of wind turbine systems and electric subsystems up to 2.8 and 3.8 times, respectively compared to the ones without scheduled maintenance. Geared-drive wind turbines and their electrical systems were observed to have 1.2- and 1.4-times higher survivorship, respectively, compared to direct-drive turbines and their electrical systems. It is also found that survivorship of frequently-failed wind turbine components, such as switches, is worse in geared-drive than in direct-drive wind turbines. We show that survival analysis is a useful tool for guiding the reduction of operating and maintenance costs of wind turbines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0266.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: diatomite; bio-composites; , mechanical properties; fractionation; purification of diatomaceous earth; bio-raw materials
Online: 9 March 2021 (11:44:48 CET)
The authors of this paper use an original method of diatomaceous earth fractionation, which allows for obtaining a filler with a specific particle size distribution. The method makes it possible to separate small, disintegrated and broken diatom frustules from those which maintained their original form in diatomaceous earth. The study covers a range of tests conducted to prove that such a separated diatomic fraction shows features different from the base diatomite used as an epoxy resin filler. We have examined mechanical properties of a series of diatomite/resin composites considering the weight fraction of diatoms and the parameters of the composite production process. The studied composites of Epidian 601 epoxy resin cross-linked with amine-based curing agent Z-1 contained 0 to 70% vol. of diatoms or diatomaceous earth. Samples were produced by casting into silicone moulds in vacuum degassing conditions and, alternatively, without degassing. The results have shown that the size and morphology of the filler based on diatomaceous earth affects mechanical and rheological properties of systems based on epoxy resin.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0046.v1
Online: 2 March 2021 (09:10:51 CET)
Application of native PGPR as bio inoculant is an alternative sustainable agricultural practice to enhance crop productivity, grain quality, and soil fertility. In this view, a study was to examine the effect of either individual or consortium PGPR inoculation on growth, yield, and grain nutrient uptake of two teff varieties. The pot experiment was carried out in (CRD) three replication and 10 treatments. The PGPR inoculants used in this study were Pseudomonas fluorescens biotype G, Enterobacter cloacae ss disolvens, and Serratia marcescens ss marcescen and their consortium. Dukem and Magna varieties were used in this study. The results of the analysis of variance showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.001) among the treatment and most of the agronomic traits except number of fertile tillers and also significant different (P ≤ 0.01) for grain P and N uptake. The variety was significantly affected grain Mg, Zn and Fe uptake at 5 % probability level and did not significantly influence all agronomic traits of the two varieties. Furthermore, interaction effects of two factors (TM*VT) were significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) for plant height and panicle length. Individual treatments mean comparison results showed that inoculation of native PGPR consortium significantly affected most of the PGP traits at (P ≤ 0.05). The maximum traits like plant height (189cm), panicle length (66.7cm), shoot dry biomass (9.98g), root dry biomass (2.90g) and grain yield per plant (4.55g) were observed from Dz-01-196. It could be concluded that the consortium of native PGPR inoculants for plant growth, yield and grain nutrient uptake improvement performed better than their individual strain.
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: biodegradation; bio-derived polymer; composites
Online: 5 August 2019 (04:29:57 CEST)
Composites with HDPE and PLA matrix have been tested to analyse the effect of natural fillers (wood flour, recycled waste paper and a mix of both fillers) and temperature on polymer degradation. Composting tests have been performed in both mesophilic (35°C) and thermophilic (58°C) conditions. Degradation development has been evaluated through mass variation, TGA and DSC. HDPE, as expected, did not display any relevant variation, confirming its stability under our composting conditions. PLA is sensibly influenced by temperature and humidity, with higher reduction of Mw when composting is performed at 58°C. Natural fillers seem to influence degradation process of composites, already at 35°C. In fact, degradation of fillers at 35°C allows a mass reduction during composting of composites, while neat PLA do not display any variation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0438.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: MHSW; Organic fraction from MHSW, Thermal processing; Bio-char characterization; Bio-oil: Liquid hydrocarbons
Online: 26 August 2022 (03:16:54 CEST)
This work aims to investigate the effect of process temperature and catalyst content by pyrolysis and thermal catalytic cracking of (organic matter + paper) fraction from municipal household solid waste (MHSW) on the yields of reaction products (bio-oil, bio-char, H2O, and gas), acid value and chemical composition of bio-oils, and characterization of bio-chars, in laboratory scale. The collecting sectors of MHSW in the municipality of Belém-Pará-Brazil were chosen based on geographic and socio-economic database. The MHSW collected and transported to the segregation area. The gravimetric analysis of MHSW carried out and the fractions (Paper, Cardboard, Tetra Pack, Hard Plastic, Soft Plastic, Metal, Glass, Organic Matter, and Inert) separated. The selected organic matter and paper submitted to pre-treatment of crushing, drying, and sieving. The experiments carried out at 400, 450, and 475 °C and 1.0 atmosphere, and at 475 °C and 1.0 atmosphere, using 5.0, 10.0, and 15.0% (wt.) Ca(OH)2, in batch mode. The bio-oil characterized for acid value. The chemical functions present in bio-oil identified by FT-IR and the composition by GC-MS. The bio-char characterized by SEM, FT-IR and XRD. The variance in mass (wt.%) for organic fraction of municipal household solid waste, between 56.21 and 67.45% (wt.), lies with the interval of 56% (wt.) and 64% (wt.) of OFMHSW for middle and low income countries. The pyrolysis of MHSW fraction (organic matter + paper) show bio-oil yields between 2.63 and 9.41% (wt.), aqueous phase yields between 28.58 and 35.08% (wt.), solid phase yields between 35.29 and 45.75% (wt.), and gas yields between 16.54 and 26.72% (wt.). The bio-oil yield increases with pyrolysis temperature. For the catalytic cracking, the bio-oil and gas yields increase slightly with CaO content, while that of bio-char decreases, and the H2O phase remains constant. The GC-MS of liquid reaction products identified the presence of hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes, and aromatics) and oxygenates (carboxylic acids, ketones, esters, alcohols, phenols, and aldehydes), as well as compounds containing nitrogen, including amides and amines. The acidity of bio-oil decreases with increasing process temperature and with aid Ca(OH)2 as catalyst. The concentration of hydrocarbons in bio-oil increases with increasing Ca(OH)2-to-MHSW fraction ratio due to the catalytic deoxygenation of fatty acids molecules, by means of de-carboxylation/de-carbonylation, producing aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: body composition; triathlon; ageing; energy availability; macronutrients; performance; protein; carbohydrate
Online: 5 December 2019 (11:54:46 CET)
The purpose of this case study was to evaluate the benefits that evidence-based nutritional and training recommendations could have on the time course of reconditioning following hip arthroplasty in a competitive master triathlete. Methods: During 38 weeks (from 6 weeks prior to surgery through to the return to competition), the athlete was provided with detailed training and nutritional recommendations based on the latest research evidence. Dietary intake (via the remote food photographic method), body composition (via DXA), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak power output (PPO) and cycling efficiency (GE) were assessed 6 weeks pre- and 8, 12, 18, 21 and 25-weeks post-surgery. Training load was quantified (TRIMP score) daily during the retraining. Results: Total body mass increased by 8.2 kg (attributable to a 3.5 and 4.6 kg increase in fat mass and lean mass, respectively) between week -6 and week 8 despite a reduction in carbohydrate (CHO) intake post-surgery (<3.0g/kg/day). This was accompanied with a decrease in VO2peak, PPO, and GE due to a drop in training load. From week 7, the athlete resumed training and was advised to gradually increase CHO intake according to the demands of training. Conclusions: Eventually the athlete was able to return to competition in week 32 with a higher PPO, improved VO2peak and GE. Throughout retraining, energy availability was maintained around 30 kcal/kg LBM/day, protein intake was high while CHO intake was periodised. Such dietary conditions allowed the athlete to maintain and even increase lean mass, which represents a major challenge with ageing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0427.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: Water recycle; upscaling; water governance; water availability; climate change adaptation
Online: 18 October 2018 (16:34:29 CEST)
Cleaning wastewater and using it again for secondary purposes is a measure to address water scarcity in urban areas. However, upscaling of recycled water schemes is challenging due to the possible emergence of various barriers. Based on a review of the governance literature we suggest that a set of five governance conditions is necessary for a successful upscaling of recycled water schemes; (1) policy leadership, (2) policy coordination, (3) availability of financial resources, (4) awareness of a problem, and (5) the presence of a public forum. In order to elaborate on the practical relevance of these conditions we studied a recycled water scheme currently being upscaled in Sabadell, Spain. We reviewed policy documents, conducted a set of 21 semi-structured interviews, and attended two policy meetings about the subject. Our results suggest that Sabadell meets the required conditions for upscaling reused water to a certain extent. However, the presence of a public forum is lacking. We discuss the implications of the absence of the venue and procedures for public participation in Sabadell and how it could be strengthened. Following this discussion, we conclude with some lessons for other cities that plan to upscale their recycled water schemes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0045.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Interoceanic Canal; Nicaragua; environmental impact; water availability; land use classification
Online: 11 September 2017 (16:57:08 CEST)
Nicaragua is preparing the construction of an interoceanic canal that will be the longest and largest canal on earth. An environmental and social impact assessment has been published in 2014 supporting a general viability of the canal. Nonetheless, several scientist and societal actors raised serious concerns regarding the social, economic and ecological sustainability. Despite an open dispute within the Nicaraguan society, no independent, transparent and scientifically sound assessment has been carried out. Only the environmental and social impact assessment, charged by the canal constructor, has so far been realized. The aim of this study is to contribute to an open scientific debate through an objective and independent quantification of land use and hydrological impacts. This article presents a transparently documented and comprehensible impact assessment investigation of the West Canal Segment of the Nicaragua Canal. Based on publically available data and scientifically sound and recognized methods land use, hydrological (water availability) and socio-economic impacts (streets, population) are described, quantified and compared with official declarations in the impact assessment. While some results support official declarations other do not. The number of affected population and the water use of the Brito Lock resulted much higher in this study, for instance. Hence, society and water availability could be affected much higher than estimated in the impact assessment.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0320.v1
Online: 10 November 2020 (15:05:24 CET)
This study evaluates the production of biohydrogen from agro industrial waste. The worldwide energy demand is increasing exponentially and the reserves of fossil fuels are depleting, the combustion of fossil fuels has the effect on environment because of CO2 emission. Hydrogen generation market size is forecast to cross 180 billion by 2024, according to a new research report by global market. For the production of biohydrogen. we had chosen groundnut shell as our source, using Tween80 as a surfactant we had undergone pre-treatment studies for (10min,20min,30min,40min,50min) we had estimated the content of cellulose, protein, carbohydrates at (1%,2%,3%,4%,5%) and obtained the optimum value in the form of graph. The production of hydrogen is done by using the rumen fluid of the cow and the quantity of the hydrogen produced by this process is identified by using the analytical instrument Gas Chromatography.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0314.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Incremental Forming; Bio-composites; Hot Formability
Online: 14 September 2020 (00:25:46 CEST)
The use of biodegradable materials has a growing field of application due to environmental concerns, however, scientific research on incremental forming using biomaterials is scarce. Thus, this study focuses on the single point incremental forming (SPIF) process applied to a composite sheet that combines a biodegradable thermoplastic matrix (Solanyl) reinforced with natural fibres (flax). The influence of the process parameters on the final geometry is determined, evaluating the effect of the following factors: step depth, wall angle and temperature reached during the process. Additionally, a heated aqueous medium is incorporated which facilitates the formability of the composite sheets. This method is especially useful for materials that have poor formability at room temperature. The benefits of using controlled heat include the reduction of formation forces applied to the plate, improved accuracy due to the reduction of elastic recovery, and the manipulation of the samples remarkably close to the glass transition temperatures. Through this experimental study with the variables analysed, a maximum shaping depth of 310 mm is obtained. These results confirm that the single point shaping used with bioplastic materials is possible and has positive outcomes for incremental forming.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0307.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: bio-aerosol; reduction; procedures; dentistry; review
Online: 25 June 2020 (12:24:48 CEST)
Microbe laden air particles, known as bio-aerosols, are routinely generated, in clinical dentistry due to the operative instrumentation within a milieu rich in salivary organisms. As the major mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be airborne aerosols and droplets, there has been an intense focus on such aerosol generating procedures (AGP). As there has been no systematic reviews on the efficacy of bio-aerosol reducing measure in dentistry, the objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the literature on three major AGPs, rubber dam application, pre-procedural oral rinse, and high-volume evacuation (HVE) aimed at reducing dental bio-aerosols. Method: PubMed via Ovid MEDLINE, EBSCO host, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases between January 01, 1985, and April 30, 2020, were searched.Results: A total of 156 records in the English language literature were identified, of which 17 clinical studies with 724 patients were included in the final analyses. The eligible reviewed articles revealed the inadequacy of the afore mentioned three principal AGPs used in contemporary dental practice to minimise bio-aerosols. HVE appears to be the most efficacious method, although no single approach provides total elimination of bio-aerosols. Conclusion:This, the first systematic review on methods of controlling bio-aerosols in dental operatory settings, indicates that employing combination strategies of rubber dam, with a pre-procedural antimicrobial oral rinse, and HVE can significantly minimize bio-aerosols. As the quality of the currently available data on dental bio-aerosols are rather poor, further, controlled, multi-centre studies are essential to address this critical issue.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0253.v1
Online: 16 March 2020 (01:16:25 CET)
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is an attracting property of certain transition metals when they are synthesized in nano-range giving rise to promising optical applications. However, most SPR and associated applications are limited to the noble metal nanoparticles, which limits their potential due to high production cost. We report surface plasmon resonance in copper-copper oxide core-shell quantum dots synthesized via chemical route studied by using UV-Visible spectrophotometry. Tuning of the plasmonic resonance with respect to the particle diameter is achieved by an inexpensive all chemical route. Photoluminescence measurements also support the data. This size reduction leads to remarkable changes in its optical response as compared to the bulk metal. The results point towards applications of these materials in tunable SPR based biosensors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0354.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: alcohol control policy; best buys, classification; evaluation; taxation; availability; marketing; Lithuania
Online: 18 January 2021 (15:09:10 CET)
Given the high levels of overall volume of alcohol use, detrimental drinking patterns, and high levels of alcohol-attributable mortality and burden of disease, Lithuania implemented a series of alcohol control policies within a relatively short period of time (2008 to 2019). Based on their expected impact on alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable harm, as well as their target population, the respective policies were classified using a set of objective criteria and expert opin-ion. The classification criteria included: positive vs. negative outcomes, mainly immediate versus delayed outcomes, and general population versus specific group outcomes. The judgement of the alcohol policy experts converged on the objective criteria, and, as a result, two tiers of inter-vention were identified: Tier 1 – general population interventions with an anticipated immediate impact; Tier 2 – other interventions aimed at the general population. In addition, interventions for specific populations were identified. This adaptable methodological approach to alcohol control policy classification is intended to provide guidance and support the evaluation of alcohol policies elsewhere, lay the foundation for the critical assessment of the respective policies to im-prove health and increase life expectancy, and to reduce crime and violence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0094.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: time; availability; irreversibility; time dilation; biological clock; metabolic efficiency; telomere; mitochondria
Online: 8 May 2019 (11:21:50 CEST)
In Newtonian mechanics, time as well as space are perceived as absolute entities. In 2 Einstein’s special relativity, time is frame dependent. Time is also affected by gravitational field 3 and as the field varies in space, time also varies throughout space. In the present article, a 4 thermodynamic-based time is investigated. The entity is called "irreversibility", which is generated 5 when availability (also known as exergy) is destroyed. Since each thermodynamic system may 6 generate different amount of irreversibility, this quantity is system dependent. The time’s arrow is 7 automatically satisfied, since irreversibility generation always proceeds in one direction (toward 8 future). We have demonstrated that, like common time, irreversibility is frame dependent, and 9 affected by gravity in the similar manner as the common time. For this reason, we propose to 10 assign the entity irreversibility of the system as thermodynamic time. A possible application of the 11 thermodynamic time is an interpretation and managing of the aging of biological systems. The 12 metabolic efficiency is related to the irreversibility of the chemical processes and affect the aging of 13 the system. Our sensation of time-flow may be attributed to the flow of availability and destruction 14 of it through the living system. It is shown by other authors that entropy generation (equivalent to 15 irreversibility) is a parameter for the human life span. Since the thermodynamic time is based on a 16 concept of thermodynamics that is universal, further applications to other subjects, such as biological 17 clock, telomere, and cosmology are possible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0136.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: HEC-HMS model; streamflow; water availability; rainfall-runoff; Tonle Sap Basin
Online: 28 December 2016 (11:22:01 CET)
Hydrologic studies on rainfall-runoff have been extensively conducted in many regions around the globe to fulfill various desirable needs with a purpose of effective and proper planning and managing water resources for present and future uses, whereas such study is not well drawn much attention to river catchments of Tonle Sap Lake Basin in Cambodia, which may prevail to water insecurity. The Stung Sreng catchment, which is one among them considered to be a significant basin for water resources management in Cambodia, is remarkably increasing under intolerable pressures in water resources development. This study was to apply HEC-HMS (Hydrological Engineering Center-Hydrological Model System) model to predict streamflow of Stung Sangker catchment, located in Tonlesap Lake Basin in Cambodia. The result showed that the calibration was good at monthly basis. The model performance was given by Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency criteria followed by 0.44 for daily and 0.71 for monthly basis, respectively. Moreover, the Percent Bias (PBIAS) for daily and monthly simulation was 4.13% and 3.56%, indicating a satisfactory model fit. The HEC-HMS conceptual model can be used to simulate flow of Stung Sangke catchment on a continuous time scale particularly monthly basis. The result also indicated that there was a clear seasonal variation in monthly water availability, especially during both wet and dry season.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0032.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: internet of thing; IoT; cognitive sensor networks; forwarding; spectrum-availability; retransmission
Online: 10 October 2016 (12:17:22 CEST)
The widespread proliferation of sensor nodes in the era of Internet of Things (IoT) coupled with increasing usage of wireless spectrums especially the ISM band makes it difficult to deploy real-life IoT. Currently, the cognitive radio technology enables sensor nodes communicate with each other through the licensed spectrum bands as well as the free ISM bands. Cognitive radio networks (CRSNs) are considered as a promising solution to the problem of spectrum under utilization and artificial radio spectrum scarcity. The paradigm of dynamic spectrum access allows secondary users (SUs) to utilize wireless spectrum resources which belong to primary users (PUs) with minimal interference to PUs. Due to the dynamic spectrum availability and quality, routing for SUs in multi-hop CRSNs is a challenge. In this paper, we introduce novel routing metrics that estimate both the future spectrum availability and the average transmission time with the consideration of both the global statistical spectrum usage and local instant spectrum resources. In our novel routing metrics, one retransmission is allowed and considered to reduce the probability of rerouting upon PU's arrival. Then, we propose two routing algorithms for multi-hop CRSNs. Finally, we conduct simulations, whose results show that our proposed algorithms lead to a significant performance improvement over the reference algorithm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0359.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Music Studies Keywords: Scambi; Bio-Art; Bio-Music; music; counterpoint; process composition; dynamic programming; Needleman-Wunsch algorithm; global alignment
Online: 30 June 2020 (08:17:20 CEST)
The Needleman-Wunsch process is a classic tool in bioinformatics, being a dynamic programming algorithm that performs a pairwise alignment of two input biological sequences, either protein or nucleic acid. A distance matrix between the tokens used in the sequences is also required as input. The distance matrix is used to generate a positional pairwise similarity matrix between the input sequences, which is in turn used to generate a dynamic programming matrix. The best path through the dynamic programming matrix is navigated using a traceback procedure that maximises similarity, inserting gaps as necessary. Needleman-Wunsch can align both nucleic acids or proteins, which use alphabets of size 4 and 20 tokens respectively. It can also be applied to any other kind of sequence where distance matrices can be specified. Here, we apply it to chains of Pousseur’s Scambi electronic music fragments, of which there are 32, and which Pousseur categorised by their sonic properties, thus permitting the consecutive construction of distance, similarity and dynamic programming matrices. Traceback through the dynamic programming matrix thus produces contrapuntal duet compositions in which two Scambi chains are played in the maximally euphonious manner, providing also an illustration of the principles of biological sequence alignment in sound.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0429.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: biomass, bio-energy, bio-chemicals, advanced technologies, agricultural production, trade, land use, economic modelling, MAGNET model
Online: 23 July 2018 (15:08:09 CEST)
As the EU is moving towards a low carbon economy and seeks to further develop its renewable energy policy, this paper quantitatively investigates the impact of plausible energy market reforms from the perspective of bio-renewables. Employing a state-of-the-art biobased variant of a computable general equilibrium model, this study assesses the perceived medium-term benefits, risks and trade-offs which arise from an advanced biofuels plan, two exploratory scenarios of a more 'sustainable' conventional biofuels plan and a 'no-mandate' scenario. Consistent with more recent studies, none of the scenarios considered present significant challenges to EU food-security or agricultural land usage. An illustrative advanced biofuels plan simulation requires non-trivial public support to implement whilst a degree of competition for biomass with (high-value) advanced biomass material industries is observed. On the other hand, it significantly alleviates land use pressures, whilst lignocellulose biomass prices are not expected to increase to unsustainable levels. Clearly, these observations are subject to assumptions on technological change, sustainable biomass limits, expected trends in fossil fuel prices and EU access to third-country trade. With these same caveats in mind, the switch to increased bioethanol production does not result in significant market tensions in biomass markets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0426.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: IEEE 802.15.4g, Smart Utility Networks; Low-Power; Wireless; Modulation Diversity; Reliability; Availability
Online: 28 February 2020 (12:08:40 CET)
The IEEE 802.15.4-2015 standard includes the SUN (Smart Utility Networks) modulations, i.e., SUN-FSK, SUN-OQPSK and SUN-OFDM, which provide long range communications and allow to trade data rate, occupied bandwidth and reliability. However, given the constraints of low-power devices and the challenges of the wireless channel, communication reliability cannot still meet the PDR (Packet Delivery Ratio) requirements of industrial applications, i.e., PDR>99%. Hence, in this paper we evaluate the benefits of improving communication reliability by combining packet transmissions with modulation diversity using multiple IEEE 802.15.4g SUN modulations. The results derived from a real-world deployment show that going from 1 to 3 packet transmissions with the same SUN modulation can increase PDR from 85.0/84.6/71.3% to 94.2/94.1/86.0% using SUN-FSK, SUN-OQPSK and SUN-OFDM, respectively. Combining the same number of packet transmissions with modulation diversity allows to further increase the average PDR to 97.1%, indicating its potential as a tool to help meeting the reliability requirements of industrial applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0024.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: by-products; biogas; Biogasdoneright; citrus pulp; olive pomace; GIS; indicators; biomass availability
Online: 2 March 2018 (13:11:14 CET)
The necessity to investigate suitable alternatives to conventional fossil fuels has developed the interests in many renewable energy alternatives, especially biomass resources which are widely available and allow to reach both environmental and socio-economic improvements. Among the bioenergy solutions the anaerobic digestion technology makes it possible to produce biogas by reusing and valorising agricultural residues and by-products. In Southern Italy, to date, the development of biogas sector is still very limited, despite the importance of the agricultural sector, especially of citrus and olive cultivation. For this reason, in previous studies the availability of two by-products, i.e., citrus pulp and olive pomace, was analysed in order to choose the most suitable area for a sustainable development of new biogas plants according to the new Biogasdoneright concept. In this paper, after a resume of the multi-step methodology which allowed the computation of biogas production, it was demonstrated that 15.9 GWh-e electricity and 24.5 GWh-e heat per year could be generate by reusing only these two kind of by-products, and could satisfy approximate 17% of the total electricity demand of the agricultural sector (90.2 GWh-e/year) in Catania.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0155.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, General & Theoretical Computer Science Keywords: component-based software development; dependability attributes; availability; reliability; integrity; confidentiality; safety; maintainability
Online: 15 August 2016 (12:21:45 CEST)
The software industry has adopted component-based software development (CBSD) to rapidly build and deploy large and complex software systems with significant savings at minimal engineering effort, cost, and time. However, CBSD encounters issues on security trust, mainly with respect to dependability attributes. A system is considered dependable when it can produce the outputs for which it was designed with no adverse effect on its intended environment. Dependability consists of several attributes that imply availability, confidentiality, integrity, reliability, safety, and maintainability. Dependability attributes must be embedded in a CBSD model to develop dependable component software. Motivated by the importance of these attributes, this paper pursues two objectives: to design a model for developing a dependable system that mitigates the vulnerabilities of software components, and to evaluate the proposed model. The model proposed in this study is labelled as developing dependable component-based software (2DCBS). To develop this model, the CBSD architectural phases and processes must be framed and the six dependability attributes embedded according to the best practice method. The expert opinion approach was applied to evaluate 2DCBS framing. In addition, the 2DCBS model was applied to the development of an information communication technology (ICT) portal through an empirical study method. Vulnerability assessment tools (VATs) were employed to verify the dependability attributes of the developed ICT portal. Results show that the 2DCBS model can be adopted to develop web application systems and to mitigate the vulnerabilities of the developed systems. This study contributes to CBSD and facilitates the specification and evaluation of dependability attributes throughout model development. Furthermore, the reliability of the dependable model can increase confidence in the use of CBSD for industries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0063.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Microalgae; Bio acids; Phytohormones; Medium Culture; Stress
Online: 3 February 2023 (08:45:13 CET)
Natural astaxanthin is a precious substance obtained from some organisms such as microalgae. This plant has many benefits for humans, so research into its cost-effective and economical production has recently increased. For this purpose, some methods such as the use of different culture media, gene engineering, different stresses, nanoparticles, bio acids, and phytohormones are important. Accordingly, this review study was conducted to demonstrate the effect of the factors mentioned above for the high production of astaxanthin in microalgae, especially Haematococcus pluvialis (H.p).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0136.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Bio-briquettes; Heating values; lignocellulosic composition; Binders
Online: 8 July 2022 (07:54:23 CEST)
Briquetting of biomass is an ideal technique for improvising both its volumetric and net energy density; besides, serving as an effective means for reducing pollution. In general, numerous biomass and organic by-products are discarded as wastes, citing their non-edibility, composition of chemical compounds present in their raw form, in addition to their zero usage value. Yet, these biomass wastes hold significant heating values, which promote them into promising solid biofuels, either in their existing or pre-treated form. Accordingly, this review article discusses about the various biomasses used as raw feedstock for briquetting, besides summarising the works carried out in relevance to their respective briquettes. In addition, proximate and lignocellulosic composition of these biomasses, and their pre-treatment techniques followed to prepare them for briquetting, have also been discussed. This study suggested that the heating value of biomasses ranged between 10-20 MJ/kg, whilst, their briquettes reported between 15 and 25 MJ/kg; thereby citing their potential as viable replacement for existing fossil coals. Besides, factors affecting different thermal and physicochemical properties of these briquettes have also been studied and concluded that these properties play a crucial role in deciding the overall quality of the briquettes. Ultimately, this study proposed that any biomass with good calorific value and lignin content can be processed into briquettes with good strength and durability; however, the choice of biomass will also be accounted for by its availability, geographical distribution, and handleability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0272.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: saponin-containing plants; cleansing plants; bio-surfactant
Online: 12 November 2018 (09:07:26 CET)
The natural forests of Northern Thailand are the mother source of many utilisable natural products because of their diverse flora and fauna. Among many plant species found within Northern Thai forests, detergent plants are known for its distinctive cleansing properties. Several local species of detergent plants in Thailand are traditionally used by the locals and indigenous people. However, these plants may become extinct because their habitats have been replaced by industrial agriculture, and their uses have been replaced by chemically synthesised detergents. Researchers need to study and communicate the biology, phytochemistry, and the importance of these plants to conserve natural biodiversity of Northern Thailand. Of many utilisable detergent phytochemicals, natural saponins are known as bio-surfactant and foaming agents. Their physiochemical and biological properties feature structural diversity, which leads to many industrial applications. In this review, we explained the term “detergent” from the physiological mechanism perspective and the detergent effects of saponin. We also compiled a list of Thai local plants with cleansing properties focusing on the saponin-containing plants. Future studies should investigate information relative to plant environment, ethnobotanical data and bioactive compound content of these plants. The knowledge acquired from this study will promote the maintenance of the local biodiversity and the conservation of the detergent plant species found in Thailand.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0046.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Bio-disinfection, G. latifolium, Water, Z. zanthoxyloides.
Online: 3 October 2018 (12:53:16 CEST)
Water and sanitation facilities in sub-Saharan Africa and Africa in general are appalling and for the most part absent. Progress continues with respect to the development of plant materials as potent adsorbents, disinfectants, coagulants, flocculants, wetland species and lots more as substitutes for the dangerous chemical disinfectants. This research presents the potential of phyto-active components of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Gongronema latifolium as effective biocides against water microbial contaminants. Dry powder of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Gongronema latifolium were extracted and prepared into different concentrations with ethyl acetate and chloroform, ranging from 25 to 500 mg/ml. These fractions were then examined for antimicrobial activities against inherent bacterial and fungal water contaminants using disc diffusion assay. Fractions were afterwards screened for phytochemical active compounds using standard methods. Crude extracts of the different plant examined selectively comprise saponins, tannins, reducing sugars, anthraquinones, flavonoids, terpenoids, phlobatanins and alkaloids. All plant extracts showed broad spectrum antibiosis against selected gram positive and gram negative bacteria including E. coli, P. aeruginosa, Klebsiella sp, S. pneumoniae and B. cereus, as well as tested fungi, including A. niger, A. flavus, Trichoderma sp and Candida sp. While all extracts exhibited maximum antibiosis at 500 mg/ml, the chloroform extracts compared well than ethyl acetate extracts. The overall results revealed that antimicrobial activities of the plant extracts are dose dependent with comparative activity greater than that of commercial antibiotics at the concentration of extracts tested. E.coli was the most susceptible microbial isolate tested and represents the potential of the extract against a group of coliform which are important indicators of microbial pollution in water. Other microbial isolates also recorded sensitivity to extracts tested at varying degrees. The findings indicate that microbes tested were mostly susceptible to chloroform extract of Z. zanthoxyloides and G. latifolium except for the activity of ethyl acetate extract of Z. zanthoxyloide against E.coli. Results of phytochemical screening of the extract also showed the varied presence of alkaloids, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids and anthraquinones The results indicated that plant materials investigated can be developed as effective biocides against water microbial contaminants
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0158.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Dhidhessa; Sub-basin; RCP; stream flow; SWAT; Climate Models; Surface Water Availability; Scenario
Online: 11 July 2022 (10:15:11 CEST)
The main target of this study was to evaluate the impact of future climate change on the available surface water resources in the Dhidhessa Sub-basin, Abbay Basin, Ethiopia. For the prediction, high-resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) from multiple climate models with data from Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) prepared by the CCAFS were used. The predictions of future discharge (stream flow) were based on climate scenarios data of baseline period of 1991 to 2020 and for the future with two time windows, 2044 (2030–2059) and 2084 (2070–2099), on a monthly time step after bias correction was conducted to both precipitation and temperature in the future climate under each RCP scenario. After sensitivity analysis, calibration (1994–2011), and validation (2012–2020) of the model for the Dhidhessa Sub-basin with the SUFI-2 program in the SWAT-CUP model, the SWAT model was used to determine water balance and stream flow from the SWAT model system. The SWAT model performed well in predicting stream flow in the Dhidhessa Sub-basins, with a coefficient of determination (R2) ranging from 0.8 to 0.94 and a Nash Sutcliffe value (NSE) ranging from 0.76 to 0.89. The percent decrease in mean annual stream flow from 2044 and 2084 were 10 %, in 2044, and 6.3% in 2084 respectively. The seasonal result under short-term 2044 of stream flow present change significantly decreased in spring, winter, and autumn with 20.2%, 67.4%, and 67.4% respectively. While summer season increased by 43.1%, under short-term 204. In long-term 2084 percent change declined except summer seasons, with 14.7%, 58.1%, and 3.3%, change in spring, winter, and autumn, respectively, and summer, with 51.1% increased and With RCP4.5 (1.64%) and RCP8.5 (2.1%) changed. In the future Dhidhessa stream flow increases and decreases from the baseline era. The decreasing stream flow in 2044 and 2084 will negatively affect agricultural production. This study revealed that any effect on this river resulting in a drop in flow will have a direct impact on ongoing water resource development and socio-economic development of the area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0171.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Alien plant species; Availability hypothesis; Versatility hypothesis; Residence time hypothesis; theory driven ethnobotany
Online: 14 February 2022 (10:02:40 CET)
Ethnobotany has been, for too long, a descriptive discipline. However, ethnobotanists are increasingly calling for a paradigm shift towards the formulation of unifying theories and hypothesis-driven research in ethnobotany. Here, we formulated a theory, termed time-since-introduction theory, to explain the integration of alien plants into local pharmacopoeias in their recipient environment. This theory suggests that the factor time is paramount in determining which alien plants are more likely to be included in the medicinal flora of the areas they are introduced in. The theory relies on three hypotheses, the availability and versatility hypotheses alongside the residence time hypothesis newly proposed in the present study. We tested this theory by fitting a structural equation model to ethnobotanical data collected on South Africa’s alien woody flora. Although residence time is a direct predictor of medicinal status of alien plants, it is a better predictor when mediated through plant versatility. These findings are in support of the theory, and we consequently proposed a framework with which to understand different paths linking all three hypotheses. Collectively, our study shows the value of time in the development of ethnobotanical knowledge and fully responds to the pressing call for paradigm shift in ethnobotany.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0070.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Web app; Cloud computing; High Availability; High performance computing; Docker container; Horizontal Scaling
Online: 6 January 2022 (10:33:58 CET)
This study analyses some of the leading technologies for the construction and configuration of IT infrastructures to provide services to users. For modern applications, guaranteeing service continuity even in very high computational load or network problems is essential. Our configuration has among the main objectives of being highly available (HA) and horizontally scalable, that is, able to increase the computational resources that can be delivered when needed and reduce them when they are no longer necessary. Various architectural possibilities are analysed, and the central schemes used to tackle problems of this type are also described in terms of disaster recovery. The benefits offered by virtualisation technologies are highlighted and are bought with modern techniques for managing Docker containers that will be used to build the back-end of a sample infrastructure related to a use-case we have developed. In addition to this, an in-depth analysis is reported on the central autoscaling policies that can help manage high loads of requests from users to the services provided by the infrastructure. The results we have presented show an average response time of 21.7 milliseconds with a standard deviation of 76.3 milliseconds showing excellent responsiveness. Some peaks are associated with high-stress events for the infrastructure, but the response time does not exceed 2 seconds even in this case. The results of the considered use case studied for nine months are presented and discussed. In the study period, we improved the back-end configuration and defined the main metrics to deploy the web application efficiently.
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Bio-image Analysis; Core-Facility; Sustainability; FAIR-principles
Online: 30 January 2023 (10:03:53 CET)
Recent advances in microscopy imaging and image analysis motivate more and more institutes world-wide to establish dedicated core-facilities for bio-image analysis. To maximize the benefits research groups at these institutes gain from their core-facilities, they should be established to fit well into their respective environment. In this article, we introduce common collaborator requests and corresponding potential services core-facilities can offer. We also discuss potential conflicts of interests between the targeted missions and implementations of services to guide decision makers and core-facility founders to circumvent common pitfalls.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0160.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Bio-Sensing; inter-symbol interference; molecular communication; synchronisation
Online: 11 March 2022 (04:43:21 CET)
Molecular communication (MC) is a promising bio-inspired paradigm for exchanging molecule information among nanomachines. This paper proposes a synchronisation-assist photolysis MC system that aims to transmit the bio-sensing signal of the tumour microenvironment, facilitated by mitigating redundant molecules for improved bit error rate (BER) performance. Benefits from bio-compatible MC, biosensors could transmit bio-sensing signals of the tumour in $vivo$ instead of converting them to electrical signals. Due to diffusion motion's slow and stochastic nature, inter-symbol interference (ISI), resulting from previous symbols' residual information molecules, inevitably occurs in diffusion-based MC. ISI is one of the challenges in diffusion-based MC, which significantly impacts signal detection. Inspired by on-off keying (OOK) modulation, the proposed modulation implements a switch of molecules and light alternatively. The light emitted is triggered by a synchronisation signal, and the photolysis reactions could reduce the redundant molecules. An expression for the relevant channel impulse response (CIR) is derived from a hybrid channel model of diffusion and photolysis-reaction. This paper implements the maximum posterior estimation scheme to find the optimal decision threshold and analysis the BER performance in terms of different time intervals of the system. Numerical simulations demonstrate that the proposed method can improve the channel capacity and BER performance. We believe that our work may pave the way for MC application in bio-sensing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0273.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Capsicum annuum; flavonoids; fluorescence monitoring; bio-waste utilization
Online: 20 December 2019 (11:05:22 CET)
The green biomass of horticultural plants contains valuable secondary metabolites (SM) which can potentially be extracted and sold. When exposed to stress, plants accumulate higher amounts of these SMs, making the extraction and commercialization even more attractive. We evaluated the potential for accumulating of the flavones cynaroside and graveobioside A in leaves of two bell pepper cultivars (Mavras and Stayer) when exposed to salt stress (100 mM NaCl), UVA/B excitation (UVA 4-5 W/m²; UVB 10-14 W/m² for 3 hours per day) or a combination of both stressors. HPLC analyses proved the enhanced accumulation of both metabolites under stress conditions. Cynaroside accumulation is effectively triggered by high-UV stress, whereas graveobioside A contents increase under salt stress. Highest contents were observed in plants exposed to combined stress. Effects of stress on overall plant performance differed significantly between treatments, with least negative impact on aboveground biomass found for high-UV stressed plants. The usage of two non-destructive instruments (Dualex and Multiplex) allowed us to gain insights in ontogenetical effects at the leaf level and temporal development of SM contents over time. Indices provided by those devices correlate fairly with amounts detected via HPLC (Cynaroside: R2 = 0.46 – 0.66; Graveobioside A: R2 = 0.51 – 0.71). The concentrations of both metabolites tend to decrease at leaf level during the ontogenetical development even under stress conditions. High-UV stress is a promising tool for enriching plant leaves with valuable SM without major effects on plant biomass. All data is available online .
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0268.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: intellectual capital; sustainability; harness; bio-economy; global crisis
Online: 24 April 2019 (12:10:55 CEST)
Bio-economy is a major area of the strategy that can afford the European Union to achieve growth: (i) smart, through the development of knowledge and innovation; and (ii) sustainable, based on a greener, more efficient economy in resource management. We believe that the progress of bio-economy cannot be achieved without the harnessing of intellectual capital. Our research aimed to emphasize the benefits of the dynamics of the intellectual capital growth on the evolution of the bio-economy. Thus, the information published by Eurostat (European Statistic Institute) during a period spanning seven years (2011-2018) was used to assess the influence exerted by the conduct of the harness of intellectual capital related to sustainability as well as for the reporting of indicators relevant to appreciating an economic progress and sustainability (renewable waste material, share of renewable energy and energy intensity of the economy). The ultimate goal was represented by the generation of a regression model to see what factor influences mostly the progress of the bio-economy at European and Romanian level. Significant dependency relationships were identified. The results remain robust even after the introduction of certain control variables, such as gross domestic product rate, food production, population growth, urbanization growth and inflation. Our paper sets out to contribute to expanding the specialty literature by highlighting the involvement of intellectual capital as a factor in optimizing sustainability growth and, at a methodological level, by using a multiple regression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0282.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: intellectual capital; sustainability; harness; bio-economy; global crisis
Online: 3 January 2019 (11:08:57 CET)
Bio-economy is a major area of the strategy that must enable the European Union to achieve growth: smart, through the development of knowledge and innovation; and sustainable, based on a greener, more efficient economy in resource management. We believe that the progress of bio-economy cannot be achieved without the harnessing of intellectual capital. Our research aimed to emphasize the benefits of the dynamics of the intellectual capital growth on the evolution of the bio-economy. The aim of this analysis was to study the established link between the Energy Intensity of the Economy (EIE) and a number of factors that can measure the intellectual capital, such as: Market Capitalization of Bitcoin, Patent applications listed by European Patent Office and the Turnover from Innovation as a proportion of the total Turnover. The ultimate goal was represented by the generation of a regression model to see what factor influences mostly the progress of the bio-economy at European and Romanian level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0167.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Bio-separation, magnetic separation, magnetic particles, continuous-flow
Online: 10 July 2018 (10:53:45 CEST)
Bio-separation of natural molecules as well as clinical compounds has been constantly developed in last decades. Several techniques are available but the majority of them presents drawbacks such us impossibility to be applied for industrial purposes. The main limitations for the scaling up are high costs and the fact that the devices work with microfluid dynamics. Nevertheless, magnetic bio-separation is considered the most prone to be used for large scale applications. Herein, we propose a simple magnetic separation method that is not based on microfluid dynamics, can work in a continuous- and high-flow rate and can be easily automated in order to be used for standard separation purposes. It is based on the use of an anisotropic flexible ferric magnetic strip, Teflon hoses and a pumping device. We show the modelling of the separation process along with an experimental test on iron oxide magnetic particles. The results showed that it is possible to remove, and separately collect, more than 92% of magnetic particles from a liquid solution of 100 ml in roughly 15 minutes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0043.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: saccharides; biomass burning; haze; source apportionment; bio-aerosol
Online: 4 June 2018 (12:47:58 CEST)
The characteristics of biogenic aerosols in urban area were explored by determining the composition, temporal distribution of saccharides in PM2.5 in Shanghai. The total saccharides showed a wide range of 15.2 ng/m3 to 1752.8 ng/m3, with the averaged concentrations were 169.8 ng/m3，300.5 ng/m3，288.4 ng/m3，688 ng/m3 in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. The concerned saccharides include anhydrosaccharides (levoglucosan and mannosan), which were higher in cold seasons due to the increased biomass burning, saccharide alcohols (mannitol, arabitol, sorbitol) and monosaccharides (fructose, glucose), which showed more abundant in warm seasons attributed to the biological emissions. By PMF analysis, four emission sources of saccharides were demonstrated, including biomass burning, fungal spores, soil suspension and plant pollens. Resolution of backward trajectory and fire points showed a process of high concentrations of levoglucosan. We found that concentrations of anhydrosaccharides showed relatively stable under different pollution levels while saccharide alcohols exhibited an obvious decrease, indicated that biomass burning was not the core reason of the heavy haze pollution, however, and high level PM2.5 pollution might inhibit effects of biological activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0068.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Feature engineering; vibration; high performance computing (HPC); dataset; prognostics and availability management (P&AM)
Online: 3 September 2021 (14:21:24 CEST)
The Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) enabled smart system has entered into a golden era of rapid technology growth. IIoT is a concept to make every system interrelated such that they are able to collect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. In this paper, we discuss the development of an IoT enabled system to monitor the vibration signature of equipment as part of prognosis and availability management system (P&AM) that serves to prevent unplanned operation downtime and catastrophic failure of a whole system. In order to simply the complexity of processing video content and performing inference, the Intel OpenVINO platform was selected because of it’s simplicity, portability across Intel AI processors, performance and comprehensiveness of it’s analytical and diagnostics capabilities that can be tested in Intel’s DevCloud. The IIoT system consists of a High Performance Computing (HPC) platform based on Intel’s Xeon processors and Movidius AI accelerator, Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit for AI, a Regul high performance programmable controller capturing vibration data through sensors and a low-latency network connection. Notifications of anomalies are sent to a smartphone. This paper reveals an approach for the features extraction and selection, known as feature engineering, of the equipment component we want to protect. Feature engineering is the first step for the P&AM of these components and extends to the whole system. The broader aim of this paper is to help technical leaders at the exploring or experimenting stages of their AI framework to learn the concepts of implementing algorithms using datasets that have real value to their companies. Datasets generated and referred to in this paper were generated by simulation under various material failure scenarios.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0203.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: pyrolysis; pyrolysis reactors; bio-waste; biofuels; biochar; pyrolytic gas
Online: 12 January 2023 (02:11:03 CET)
Pyrolysis has been applied in the human economy for many years, and it has become a significant alternative to the production of chemical compounds, including biofuels. The article focuses mostly on recent achievements in the technical and processing aspects of pyrolysis. This review provides an overview of the recent advanced pyrolysis technology used in gas, bio-oil, and biochar production. The key parameters to maximize the production of specific chemical compounds were discussed and considered during the construction of the reactors. The emphasis is put on optimizing the process parameters, technical requirements, and renewable energy use in the process and conception to improve the efficiency of product production. The application of pyrolysis gas, oil, and biochar as valuable chemical compounds are related to the intensifying effects of climate change, biofuel production, and waste management in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0230.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: plastic; bio-based plastic; willingness to pay; attitudes; recycling
Online: 24 March 2021 (16:54:11 CET)
Fossil-based plastics are significant contributors to global warming through CO2 emissions. For more sustainable alternatives to be successful, it is important to ensure that consumers become aware of the benefits of innovations such as bio-based plastics, in order to create demand and a willingness to initially pay more. Given that consumer attitudes and (inaccurate) beliefs can influence the uptake such new technologies, we investigated participants’ attitudes towards fossil-based and bio-based plastic, their perceived importance of recycling both types of plastic, their willingness to pay, and their perceptions of bio-based plastic in four studies (total N = 961). The pre-registered fourth study experimentally manipulated information about bio-based plastic and measured willingness to pay for different types of plastic. The results suggest participants hold very favourable attitudes and are willing to pay more for bio-based products. However, they also harbour misconceptions, especially overestimating bio-based plastic’s biodegradability, and they find it less important to recycle bio-based than fossil-based plastic. Study 4 provided evidence that educating consumers about the properties of bio-based plastic can dispel misconceptions, retain a favourable attitude and a high willingness to pay. We found mixed evidence for the effect of attitudes on willingness to pay, suggesting other psychological factors may also play a role. We discuss how attitudes and misconceptions affect the uptake of new sustainable technologies such as bio-based plastics and consumers’ willingness to purchase them.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0486.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; Bio-surfactants; emulsification index; Hydrocarbons; surface tension.
Online: 21 August 2020 (13:27:24 CEST)
Bio-surfactants are surface-active molecules which are produced by the wide range of microbes including bacteria, fungi, and yeast. This study was conducted to identify bio-surfactants by Bacillus subtilis combined with use of cheap substrates and industrial wastes (Mustard cake, Whey and Soya cake) which are found locally in Nepal. Bacillus subtilis, one of the most potential bio-surfactants producer; was isolated from soil sample of hydrocarbon contaminated site. Isolates were grown in a Minimal Salt Media (MSM) with 10% (v/v) mustard oil cake, whey and soya cake separately. The presence and potential of surfactant was determined by the oil spreading technique, emulsification index (%E24) and surface tension measurement. It was revealed that the surface tensions of cell free extract were 54.41, 60.02 and 56.64 mN/m for from mustard cake, whey and soya cake respectively as compared to distilled water (72.09) at 25oC. The emulsification index values are was found to be highest in engine oil from the bio-surfactant extracted from mustard cake, soya cake and whey respectively. Similarly, mustard oil showed the lowest value of emulsification index. The highest emulsification activity was shown in mustard oil i.e. 1.13 from the cell free extract from mustard oil and lowest in engine oil i.e., 0.07, by the extract from soya cake medium, when measured in spectrophotometer at 540 nm. In conclusion, strain of Bacillus subtilis was found to be the potential surface active agent producers on the mustard oil cake, which can be useful medium for various environmental, food and industrial processes.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0380.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: bio-oil; biomass conversion; carbide catalyst; ketonization; doped carbides
Online: 16 November 2018 (07:10:50 CET)
Carboxylic acids such as acetic acid and propionic acid have been investigated as representative components for fast pyrolysis (FP) bio-oil upgrading. Selective catalytic conversion of carboxylic acids can enhance bio-refinery processing economics through catalyst preservation and process intensification. Various metal-doped molybdenum carbide bead catalysts have been synthesized and developed in this work. Our aim is to enable selective conversion of carboxylic acids. In the case of acetic acid conversion, calcium doped Mo2C beads offer the highest yield of acetone ~96% at 450 °C among undoped and Ca or Ni doped catalysts. By comparing hot gas filter with and without Ca-Mo2C catalyst tested with real FP vapors, the former showed a 36.7% reduction of acetic acid, a 37.5% reduction of small ketones in aqueous phase, and a ~50% reduction of methoxies (methoxy phenols and methoxy aromatics) in organic phase. The conversion resulted in the formation of more long chain chemicals in the organic phase, which are more amendable for downstream upgrading.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0351.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: blend; bio-derived polymers; compatibilization; thermoplastic matrix for composite
Online: 15 November 2018 (08:49:26 CET)
High density polyethylene (HDPE) and poly(lactic) acid (PLA) blends with different ratios of both polymers, namely 30:70, 50:50 and 70:30, were produced. Polyethylene grafted maleic anhydride and a random copolymer of ethylene and glycidyl methacrylate, were also proposed as compatibilizers to modify HDPE-PLA optimal blends and were added in the amounts of 1, 3 and 5 wt.%. Blends properties have been evaluated through different aspects by performing tensile tests, scanning electron microscopy to analyze blend morphology and interfaces, and thermomechanical analysis through differential scanning calorimetry, thermo-gravimetric analyses and infrared spectroscopy. The second blend, the one with equal amounts of HDPE and PLA seems to represent a good balance between high amount of bio-derived charge and acceptable mechanical properties. This suggests a good potential of these blends, which would be a good starting point for the production of composites with lingo-cellulosic fillers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0266.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: cyclic nucleotide monophosphate; bio-reversible protection; acyloxybenzyl phosphate ester
Online: 12 October 2018 (11:32:45 CEST)
Adenine nucleotide (AN) 2nd messengers such as 3’,5’-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) are central elements of intracellular signaling, but many details of underlying processes remain still elusive. Like all nucleotides, cyclic nucleotide monophosphates (cNMPs) are net-negatively charged at physiologic pH which limits their applicability in cell-based settings. Thus, many cellular assays rely on sophisticated techniques like microinjection or electroporation. This setup is not feasible for medium- to high-throughput formats, and the mechanic stress that cells are exposed to raises the probability of interfering artefacts or false-positives. Here, we present a short and flexible chemical route yielding membrane-permeable, bio-reversibly masked cNMPs for which we employed the octanoyloxybenzyl (OB) group. We further show hydrolysis studies on chemical stability and enzymatic activation, and present results of real-time assays, where we used cAMP and Ca2+ live cell imaging to demonstrate high permeability and prompt intracellular conversion of some selected masked cNMPs. Consequently, our novel OB-masked cNMPs constitute valuable precursor-tools for non-invasive studies on intracellular signaling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0421.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: Nanoparticles – Bio-nano interfaces – Electrostatic interactions – Supported Lipid Bilayers
Online: 20 September 2018 (16:29:35 CEST)
The impact of nanomaterials on lung fluids or on the plasma membrane of living cells has prompted researchers to examine the interactions between nanoparticles and lipid vesicles. Recent studies have shown that nanoparticle-lipid interaction leads to a broad range of structures including supported lipid bilayers (SLB), particles adsorbed at the surface or internalized inside vesicles, and mixed aggregates. Today, there is a need to have simple protocols that can readily assess the nature of structures obtained from particles and vesicles. Here we apply the method of continuous variation for measuring Job scattering plots and provide analytical expressions for the scattering intensity in various scenarios. The result that emerges from the comparison between modeling and experimental measurements is that electrostatics plays a key role in the association, but it is not sufficient to induce the formation of supported lipid bilayers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0361.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: bio-digesters; household income levels; renewable energy; socio-economic
Online: 25 May 2018 (10:55:58 CEST)
1) Background: The environmental, financial and social questions in Africa remain unanswered up-to-date, with the rapid increase in human population and the demand for fuel energy, trigger the need to generate data on the socio-economic factors influencing the knowledge of use and adoption of family-sized bio-digesters. The increasing prices of fossil fuels and taxes on energy sources require finding the alternative, clean and economical sources of energy for households in developing countries. Moreover, in Africa, the consumption of firewood and charcoal continues to increase, with wood fuel consumption predicted to increase by 2030 to over 140%. The study objectives were 1) to determine the socio-economic characteristics of the people in Ngoma district, 2) to assess socio-economic factors influencing people to use and adopt family-sized bio-digesters. 2) Methods: Quantitative data collected with semi-structured questionnaires and interviews were analyzed using descriptive statistics. 3) Results: The results show that many households had not realized the potential benefits of biogas use and adoption in Rwanda. The study further found that a number of factors such as household income levels, socio-economic, technological, and institutional influence the household use and adoption of biogas energy. 4) Conclusions: At the end, the study suggests the need for all players such as Government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) and local communities to work together to provide incentives and favorable environment that can attract individual households to invest in biogas energy production and utilization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0138.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: Mean time to failure; Poisson shock; Steady-state availability; Steady-state frequency; Supplementary variable technique.
Online: 4 February 2021 (13:07:59 CET)
This article examines the impact of some system parameters on an industrial system composed of two dissimilar parallel units with one repairman. The active unit may fail due to essential factors like aging or deteriorating, or exterior phenomena such as Poisson shocks that occur at various time periods. Whenever the value of a shock is larger than the specified threshold of the active unit, the active unit will fail. The article assumes that the repairman has the right to take any of two decisions at the beginning of the system operation: either a takes a vacation if the two units work in a normal way, or stay in the system to monitor the system until the first system failure. In case of having a failure in any of the two units during the absence of the repairman, the failing unit will have to wait until the repairman is called back to work. We suppose that the value of every shock is assumed to be i.i.d. with some known distribution. The length of the repairman’s vacation, repair time, and recall time are arbitrary distributions. Various reliability measures have been calculated by the supplementary variable technique and the Markov’s vector process theory. At last, numerical computation and graphical analysis have been given for a particular case to validate the derived indices.
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: CTs molecular weight; ruminal fermentation; bio-hydrogenation; milk compositions; goat
Online: 20 September 2020 (14:44:56 CEST)
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of condensed tannin (CTs) with differing molecular weight on their capacity to modify the fatty acid profile in milk. Twenty multiparous crossbred lactating dairy goats were assigned in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), and were subjected to receive the dietary treatments as followings; T1: control (with no CTs supplementation), T2: supplemented with mangosteen peel in a concentrate as a source of low molecular weight CTs at level of 3.0 %DM of CTs equivalent, T3: supplemented with the same diet with T2 but added with polyethylene glycol (PEG, as tannin inactivator) as the control of T2, and T4: supplemented with quebracho CT extract (UNITAN ATO, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 75-77 % tannins) in a concentrate as a source of high molecular weight CTs at level of 3.0 %DM of CTs equivalent, and T5) supplemented with the same diet with T4 but added with PEG as the control of T4. No significant change was detected for feed intake and nutrient digestibility indicate that CTs at level of 3.0 %DM of diet did not showed the detrimental effect to feed intake and nutrient digestibility, however, ruminal fermentation parameters and milk yield and milk compositions did not affected by different source of CT inclusion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0136.v1
Online: 5 September 2020 (09:40:46 CEST)
This research seeks to interpret the component analysis of an innovative bio-asphalt binder using guayule resin in addition to crumb rubber modifier (CRM) at high concentrations. Such asphalt modification aims to minimize the dependency on virgin asphalt binder and provide new solutions concerning sustainable, flexible pavement industry. Guayule resin is a promising bioresource for asphalt binder replacement. By now, it could be considered a no value byproduct extracted during the guayule natural rubber production. CRM is a recycled material derived from scrap tires. The provided interpretation could help in understanding the asphalt-rubber-guayule interaction mechanism. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), supported by thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), was used to investigate the component analyses of guayule resin composition, asphalt guayule interaction, and asphalt rubber guayule interaction, compared to corresponding asphalt rubber interaction. Additionally, the rheological properties at elevated temperatures were provided to link the microscale properties with the final product performance. The study clarified the distinct carbon and hydrogen compositional elements of guayule resin. Asphalt and guayule resin have similarities in chemical composition and rheological behavior with temperature susceptibility. The asphalt guayule binder had physical interaction. However, when both interacted with rubber, a chemical interaction was attributed, with no difference in rubber dissolution tendency, in asphalt rubber guayule, compared to asphalt rubber. A bio-binder composed of 62.5% asphalt, 25% guayule and 12.5% CRM had the potential to provide rheological properties better than base asphalt. Such behavior was interpreted by a high release of rubber components.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0373.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: carbon nanostructures; nanodiamonds; metal nanoparticles; functionalization electrochemical (bio)sensor; nanocomposites
Online: 31 January 2020 (02:13:31 CET)
The incorporation of nanomaterials on (bio)sensors based on composite materials has led to important advances in analytical chemistry field due to the extraordinary properties that these materials offer. Nanodiamonds (NDs) are a novel type of material that has raised much attention, as they have the possibility of being produced on large scale by using relatively inexpensive synthetic methodologies. Moreover, NDs present some other interesting features as suitability for fluorescence due to surface functionalization and a proved biocompatibility, which makes them well suited for biomedical applications. In addition, NDs can be modified with metallic nanoparticles (NP), such as silver or gold, in order to combine the special features of both. The aim of this research work is the nanostructuration of novel sensing devices using NDs combined with silver (Ag@NDs) and gold (Au@NDs) nanoparticles. A complete morphological and electrochemical characterization as function of the prepared nanocomposite composition have been performed in order to improve the electroanalytical properties of the developed (bio)sensors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0140.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: shallot; cabbage; green peach aphid; lacewing; bio-stress; companion planting
Online: 13 January 2020 (15:47:15 CET)
Phloem-feeding insects strive to offset the disadvantageous effects of stressors to sustain their offspring and survive. Adaptive responses to environmental stress are not well understood under complex influences of companion planting, natural enemies, and host gradient. In this study, under predation by lacewing Chrysoperla carnea Stephens (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), we survey the responses of green peach aphid Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae), reared on different densities of cabbage Brassica oleracea L. (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) to its shallot companion Allium cepa (L.) var. aggregatum G. Don (Asparagales: Amaryllidaceae). Firstly, aphid aggregative abundance was strongly influenced by shallot perturbation, predator presence and changes in cabbage-host biomass, altering aphid phenotypic plasticity. Interestingly, the shallot and predation negative impacts can be of similar magnitudes. Secondly, changes in the cabbage-host availability and biomass, especially under predation, had a strong impact on aphid traits. Our study underscores the benefits of including shallots as crop-companions in augmenting pest control, but also suggests that the outcome of coupling companion planting with natural enemies is context-dependent and thus should be empirically applied. At the confluence of ecology and agronomy, this work provides insights on how manipulated functional biodiversity may function as an alternative strategy for pestilent herbivory management in model and green-house systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0080.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: algal oil; green chemistry; green solvents; extraction; biofuel; bio compound
Online: 8 November 2019 (03:16:06 CET)
The procedures for the extraction and separation of lipids and nutraceutics from microalgae using classic solvents have been used many times. However, these production methods usually require expensive and toxic solvents. Based on our studies involving the use of eco-sustainable methodologies and alternative solvents, we select ethanol (EtOH) and cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME) for extracting bio-oil and lipids from algae. Different percentage of EtOH in CPME favors the production of an oil rich of SFA useful to production biofuel or rich of compounds bioactive. The proposed method for obtain a rich extract of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids from dry algal biomass is disclosed is eco-friendly and allows a good extraction yield. The method is compared both in extracted oil percentage yield and in extracted fatty acids selectivity to extraction by supercritical carbon dioxide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0132.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Bacteriophages; Bio-control; E. coli O157:H7; Podoviridae; TEM, safety
Online: 14 January 2019 (11:18:57 CET)
Bacteriophages can provide alternative measures for the control of E. coli O157:H7 that is currently an emerging food-borne pathogen of severe public health concern. This study was aimed at characterising E. coli O157:H7 specific phages as potential biocontrol agents for these pathogens. Fifteen phages were isolated and screened against 69 environmental E. coli O157:H7. Only 3 phages displayed broad lytic spectra against environmental shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 strains. These 3 lytic phages were designated V3, V7 and V8. Subsequent characterization indicated that they displayed very high degree of similarities despite isolation from different locations. Transmission Electron microscopy (TEM) of the phages revealed that they all had isometric heads of about 73 – 77 nm in diameter and short tails ranging from 20 - 25 nm in diameter. Phages V3, V7 and V8 were assigned to the family Podoviridae based on their morphology. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genome estimation of the 3 phages demonstrated identical genome sizes of ~ 69 nm. The latent periods of these phages were 20 min, 15 min, and 20 min for V3, V7 and V8 respectively while the burst sizes were 374, 349 and 419 PFU/ infected cell respectively. While all the phages were relatively stable over a wide range of salinity, temperatures and pH values, their range of infectivity or lytic profile was rather narrow on environmental E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from cattle faeces. This study showed that the Podoviridae bacteriophages are the dominant E. coli O57:H7-infecting phages harboured in cattle faeces in the North-West Province of South Africa and due to their favourable characteristics can be exploited in the formulation of phage cocktails for the bio-control of E. coli O157:H7 in meat and other meat products.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0567.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: bio-impedance, phase angle, over-hydration, body composition, nutrition, hemodialysis
Online: 23 November 2018 (15:01:18 CET)
Background A body composition monitor (BCM) has a role not only in determining over-hydration (OH) but also as an aid to nutritional assessment. For dialysis patient-specific clinical applications of BCM, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between body composition parameters and OH in healthy Chinese individuals. Methods This cross-sectional study involved 314 healthy individuals with a mean age of 45.7±13.1 years. BCM measurements were performed while the subjects were fasting. Results The mean OH level was 0.379±0.81 L. Lean tissue index (LTI) and Lean tissue mass (LTM) were significantly higher in males (p<0.001), while fat tissue index (FTI) was significantly higher in females (p<0.001). In univariate correlation analysis, FTI, Fat, and ATM had a negative correlation with OH in females and all subjects (p<0.05), while LTM and BCM had a positive correlation in all subjects (p<0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between phase angle (PhA) and OH in males, females, and all subjects (r=-0.634, p<0.001; r=-0.666, p<0.001; r=-0.484, p<0.001, respectively). In multivariate linear regression analysis, PhA (b=-1.266, p<0.001), LTM (b=0.987, p<0.001), age (b=-0.307, p<0.001) were independent predictors of OH. Conclusions This study demonstrated that age, LTM and especially PhA, had important roles in predicting OH in healthy Chinese individuals. In the future, PhA may aid in clinical assessment by helping to titrate dry weight among hemodialysis patients with malnutrition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0364.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: Bio-sensing, Extinction cross-section, Nano-particles, Plasmons, Raman scattering.
Online: 15 November 2018 (14:54:58 CET)
In this paper, the far field and near field optical responses of a gold nanoparticle are studied and simulated numerically. The electromagnetic field was excited by an electric dipole located near one end of the nanorod, which is used to model the emission of a quantum dot. Another excitation method was also simulated in which an incident plane wave is used. The excitation of dark plasmon modes of the gold nanorod is presented. The Poynting equation was solved numerically to study the influence of the gold nanorod on the dipole radiative power. In addition, the extinction cross section of the gold nanoparticle illuminated by the incident plane wave was calculated to estimate the amount of the scattered and absorbed light.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0061.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: reverse micelles, biomimetic, confinement, water dynamics, nanoparticles, nano(bio) sensors
Online: 2 November 2018 (13:25:22 CET)
This paper presents an overview of the principal structural and dynamics characteristics of reverse micelles (RMs) in order to highlight their structural flexibility and versatility, along with the possibility to modulate their parameters in a controlled-manner. The multifunctionality in a large range of different scientific fields is exemplified in two distinct directions: a theoretical model for mimicry of biological microenvironment and practical application in the field of nanotechnology and nano-based sensors. RMs represents a convenient experimental approach that limits the drawbacks of the conventionally biological studies in vitro, while the particular structure confers them the status of simplified mimics of cells by reproducing a complex supramolecular organization in an artificial system. The biological relevance of RMs is discussed in some particular cases referring to the confinement and crowding environment, molecular dynamics of water and cell membrane structure. The use of RMs in different range of applications seems to be more promising due to their structural and compositional flexibility, a high efficiency and selectivity being achieved. The advance in nanotechnology is based on developing new methods of nanomaterials synthesis and deposition. This review highlighting the advantages of using RMs in synthesis of nanoparticles with specific properties and in nano (bio)sensors design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0552.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: Colliguaya integerrima; Colliguaja salicifolia; vegetable oil; bio-polyol; renewable resources
Online: 28 September 2018 (04:44:48 CEST)
In this study we investigated the potential of two non-edible oil extracts from seeds of Colliguaya Integerrima (CIO) and Colliguaja Salicifolia (CSO) to use as a renewable source for polyols and eventually polyurethane foams or biodiesel. For this purpose, two novel polyols from the aforementioned oils were obtained in a one-single step reaction using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid. The polyol derivatives obtained from the two studied oils were characterized by spectral (FT-IR, 1H NMR and 13C NMR), physico-chemical (e.g. chromatographic analysis, acid value, oxidizability values, iodine value, peroxide value, saponification number, kinematic viscosity, theorical molecular weights, density, hydroxyl number and hydroxyl functionality) and thermal (TGA) analyses according to standard methods. Physico-chemical results revealed that all parameters, with the exception of the iodine value, were higher for bio-polyols (CSP and CIP polyols) compared to the starting oils. The NMR, TGA and FT-IR analyses demonstrated the formation of polyols. Finally, the OH functionality values for CIP and CSP polyols were 4.50 and 5.00, respectively. This result indicated the possible used of CIP and CSP polyols as a raw material for the preparation of polyurethane rigid foams.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0089.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Availability hypothesis; Ethnobotany; Ex-situ Conservation; Kruger National Park; Sustainable Development of Traditional Knowledge; Traditional medicine
Online: 6 June 2022 (13:19:18 CEST)
In ethnobotany, the availability hypothesis predicts that plants that are abundant and easily accessible to people are more likely to be medicinal than not. By protecting species diversity away from people, protected areas (PAs) may act as a limiting factor to a sustainable development of traditional knowledge concerning medicinal uses, and in so doing, PAs provide opportunity to prioritize ex-situ conservation for species that are PAs restricted. In this scenario, ex-situ conservation becomes the only chance for people to develop traditional knowledge on plants which otherwise wouldn’t be documented as traditionally useful to people. To test these expectations, we used data collected for almost 20 years of fieldworks on plant medicinal uses and their abundance inside and outside the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. We fitted four different scenarios of structural equation models (SEMs) to the data collected. We found that total plant abundance (abundance outside + inside KNP) is a significant positive predictor of medicinal status, and so is abundance outside KNP, thus supporting the availability hypothesis. However, not only abundance inside KNP is not a direct significant correlate of medicinal status, but also the relationship between both is negative. The lack of predictive power of inside-abundance is most likely because some species are exclusively found inside KNP, and local communities do not have access to them. It also shows that the positive and direct correlation of total abundance with medicinal status is driven by outside-abundance. In addition, the negative relationships between inside abundance and medicinal status implies that abundant plants inside KNP tend to be not-medicinal, further providing evidence that PAs hinder the development of medicinal knowledge. Furthermore, when inside and outside abundance were included simultaneously in a model as two distinct variables, inside abundance was never a direct significant predictor of medicinal status, but it was so, via an indirect path mediated by outside abundance. This suggests that outside abundance is the key variable driving the development of medicinal plant knowledge. Cumulatively, our findings suggest that anything that promotes the growth of PA-restricted plants beyond the natural realized niches of these plants (ex-situ conservation) such as in botanical gardens, private gardens, in agroforestry systems, etc., is to be promoted so that people-plant interactions may continue for the benefits of ethnobotanical knowledge development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0387.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: bio-stimulant; seaweed liquid extract; rice; Oryza sativa; plant growth promoter
Online: 25 October 2022 (10:55:27 CEST)
Rice is considered as the most important crop for most of the world population. Utilization of seaweed as bio-stimulant can be an alternative way to enhance rice plant growth and productivity, as well as a strategic move to reduce the use of inorganic fertilizer that is harmful to the environment. Seaweed and its derivative products have been widely used as bio-stimulant in the agricultural industry because of their potential use in increasing plant growth and productivity. Auxins, gibberellins, and cytokinin are some of growth regulators found in seaweed extract, as well as macro and micronutrients required for plant growth and development. Several studies have found that seaweed extract has a variety of favorable effects as a plant growth promoter, including early seed germination and establishment, improved nutritional quality, increased yield and crop performance, and increased tolerance to environmental stress. The purpose of this paper is to give a comprehensive overview of the impacts of several seaweed species on seed germination, crop development and production, enhancement of rice plants (Oryza sativa) nutritional quality and the modes of action of seaweed extract includes the chemical components that might be causing plant physiological changes.
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Bio-Binder; Guayule Resin; HMA; Mix Performance; Superpave Mix Design; Sustainability
Online: 20 August 2021 (08:54:55 CEST)
Literature revealed the potential of using guayule resin for asphalt cement replacement from the binder’s perspective. However, monitoring guayule resin through binder-aggregate mixture could disclose its performance through field. In this study, designated binders were employed to investigate the applicability of such an innovative replacer through mixture, which were neat asphalt and guayule-based binders (neat guayule, asphalt-rubber-guayule, guayule-rubber binders). Consecutively, field-simulated lab mixtures were prepared to investigate the major distresses. Moisture damage, rutting, fatigue cracking, and thermal cracking resistances were investigated using the modified Lottman (TSR) test, rut test by asphalt pavement analyzer (APA), semi-circular bending (SCB) test, and disk-shaped compact tension (DCT) test, respectively. Additionally, the Hamburg wheel-tracking (HWT) test was employed to evaluate moisture susceptibility and rutting resistance. Outcomes revealed that the neat guayule was susceptible to moisture damage at a 7% air content (Va) when the TSR test was employed. In contrast, all investigated mixtures yielded perfect performances against moisture susceptibility under the HWT test. Guayule-based mixtures perfectly resisted rutting, as analyzed by the rut test and HWT test. Generally, changing parameters (e.g., Va, rubber addition, and partial asphalt replacement by guayule and rubber) enhanced the guayule-based mixture resistance to rutting and moisture damage resulting in acceptable performances. Guayule-based mixture had a high fracture toughness at low temperatures, hence fatigue fracture resistance at intermediate temperatures. Neat guayule mixture with or without rubber addition did not entirely resist thermal fracture. However, partial asphalt replacement by guayule and rubber resisted the thermal fracture to a great extent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0720.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: microneedle; microneedle array, interstitial fluid; bio sensing, wearable system; ISF sampling
Online: 30 March 2021 (09:55:02 CEST)
Dermal interstitial fluid (ISF) is a novel source of biomarkers that can be considered as an alternative to blood sampling for disease diagnosis and treatment. Nevertheless, in vivo extraction and analysis of ISF are challenging. On the other hand, microneedle (MN) technology can address most of the challenges associated with dermal ISF extraction and is well-suited for long-term, continuous ISF monitoring as well as in situ detection. In this review, we first briefly summarise the different dermal ISF collection methods and compare them with MN methods. Next, we elaborate on the design considerations and biocompatibility of MNs. Subsequently, the fabrication technologies of various MNs used for dermal ISF extraction, including solid MNs, hollow MNs, porous MNs and hydrogel MNs, are thoroughly explained. In addition, different sensing mechanisms of ISF detection will be discussed in detail. Subsequently, we identify the challenges and propose the possible solutions associated with ISF extraction. A detailed investigation is provided for the transport and sampling mechanism of ISF in vivo. Also, the current in vitro skin model integrated with the MN arrays will be discussed. Finally, future directions to develop a point-of-care (POC) device to sample ISF are proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0618.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Binding sites; Optimization; cell free bacteria condition for metal bio-sorbents
Online: 25 March 2021 (13:59:50 CET)
Bacteria a Microscopic organisms are the most inexhaustible and flexible of microorganisms and constitute a huge division of the whole living earthly biomass, certain microorganisms were found to amass metallic components at a high limit Was Known as Bacterial Bio-sorption Due to their little size, capacity to become under controlled conditions, and their Accommodation to an extensive variety of ecological situations; Potent metal bio-sorbents among microorganisms, at low pH esteems, cell divider ligands are protonated and contend essentially with metals for official. With expanding pH, more ligands, such as amino and carboxyl groups, could be exposed, leading to attraction between these negative charges and the metals, and consequently increment bio-sorption onto the cell surface. Starting with Isolation and identification of heavy metal-resistant bacteria from rock Ore. Studying Factors Affecting Uranium Bio-sorption, Optimization of bacterial growth conditions and optimum for metal uptake by free and immobilized bacterial cells and Desorption ratio of uranium ions adsorbed by Coli. /alginate, All this evidence suggest that functions groups Represented in our study are responsible for metal uptake in our bacterial biomass beside change in peaks position which assigned for it's groups confirm bio-sorption of metal ions from waste due to ions charge interaction comparing with immobilized we found increase in no of binding sites indicate that immobilized bacterial have high efficiency for metal up take which also change in peaks position which assigned for its groups confirm bio-sorption of metal ions from waste due to ions charge interaction, Where the high bio-sorption yield obtained by bacteria, the Uranium & heavy metal bioremediation process expects microorganisms to be joined to a strong surface.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0238.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Artificial reefs; design; building material; bio-monitoring; species diversity; European Atlantic
Online: 13 January 2021 (10:31:56 CET)
Artificial reefs have been deployed in multiple regions of the world for different purposes including habitat restoration and protection, biodiversity and fish stock enhancement, fisheries management and recreation. Artificial reefs can be a valuable tool for ecosystem protection and rehabilitation, helping mitigate the effects of anthropogenic impacts that we face today. However, knowledge on artificial reefs is unevenly distributed worldwide, with some regions having much more quality information available and published (e.g. European Mediterranean Sea area), while others, for instance the North-East Atlantic area, do not. Here, we provide a characterization of purposely built artificial reefs in North-East Atlantic area based on all available literature (i.e. research papers and reports), highlighting the needs and gaps that are vital for establishing future perspectives for artificial reef deployment and research. In the North-East Atlantic area, sixty-one purposely built artificial reefs have been deployed since 1970, mostly between the years 1990-2009, with Spain being the country with the highest number of artificial reefs. The most reported purpose for their deployment is fisheries productivity and habitat/species protection, although, most artificial reefs are multipurpose in order to maximise the benefits of a given financial investment. The majority of artificial reefs were submerged at < 50 m, mainly between 10-20 m of depth. The most used designs were cubic blocks and complex designs made by an array of combined shapes, which mostly consist of concrete (79%). From all the analysed data on artificial reefs, 67% of the cases reported surveys to assess biodiversity after the deployment. However, in 26% of those cases, data was not available. When data was available, only 31% of cases reported long-term biomonitoring surveys (3 years or more). Based upon these findings, we noticed a general lack of scientifically robust data, including records of species and abundance of both fish and invertebrates, as well as macroalgae. Preventing an adequate determination of the best balance between shape, construction material and bio-colonization. Critiques and suggestions are discussed in the light of current available data in order to perform more efficient research, evaluation and functioning of future artificial reefs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0306.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Egyptian mongoose; Gut microbiota; Microbial profiling; Bio-ecology; Mediterranean Wild Carnivores
Online: 21 February 2020 (08:02:59 CET)
Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) is a medium-size carnivore that in Europe is restricted to Iberia. The bio-ecology of this species remains to be elucidated in several dimensions, including gut microbiota that is nowadays recognized as a fundamental component of mammals. In this work, we investigated the gut microbiota of this herpestid by single-molecule real-time sequencing of twenty paired male (n=10) and female (n=10) intestinal samples. This culture-independent approach enabled microbial profiling based on 16S rDNA and investigation of taxonomical and functional features. The core gut microbiome of the adult subpopulation was dominated by Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria. Eight genera were uniquely found in adults and five in non-adults. When comparing gut bacterial communities across sex, four genera were exclusive of females and six uniquely found in males. Despite these compositional distinctions, alpha- and beta-diversity analyses showed no statistically significant differences across sex or between adult and non-adult specimens. However, males presented a significantly higher abundance of amino acid and citrate cycle metabolic pathways, compared to the significant overrepresentation in females of galactose’ metabolic pathways. Adults showed a significantly higher abundance of cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance pathways, while non-adults bared a significant overrepresentation of two-component systems associated with antibiotic synthesis, flagellin production and chemotaxis control. This study adds new insights into mongoose bio-ecology palette, highlighting taxonomical and functional microbiome dissimilarities across sex and age classes, possibly related to primary production resources and life-history traits that impact on behavior, diet and gut ecosystem.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0185.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: bioeconomy; bio-based products; GDP; policy measures; sustainability assessment; sustainable development
Online: 16 April 2018 (04:54:19 CEST)
Developments in technology have enabled envisioning the derivation of materials and products from renewable biomass, as an alternative to finite fossil-based resource consumption. Therefore, bioeconomy is regarded as an opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Countries are formulating strategies in accordance with their goals to attain from bioeconomy. Proper measurement, monitoring and reporting of the outcomes of these strategies is crucial for long-term success. This study aims to critically evaluate the national methods used for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of bioeconomy contribution to the total economy. For this purpose, research and surveys have been conducted on selected countries (Argentina, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United States). The results reveal that the bioeconomy targets set up in the strategies often reflect country’s priorities and comparative advantages. However, comprehensive approaches to measure and monitor bioeconomy progress are frequently lacking. Most countries only measure the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), turnover and employment of the sectors included in their bioeconomy definition, which may provide an incomplete picture. In addition, this study identifies the mismatch between the targets and measurement methods, as the environmental and social impacts of bioeconomy are often foreseen, but not measured. It is concluded that existing global efforts towards a sustainable bioeconomy monitoring can be strengthened and leveraged to measure progress towards sustainable goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0090.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: drug delivery; dentine; diffusion; bio-active molecules; CFD; μ-LIF; microfluidics
Online: 14 November 2017 (10:15:29 CET)
This work deals with the numerical investigation of the delivery of potential therapeutic agents through dentinal discs (i.e. a cylindrical segment of the dentinal tissue) towards the dentin-pulp junction. The aim is to assess the main key features (i.e. molecular size, initial concentration, consumption rate, disc porosity and thickness) that affect the delivery of therapeutic substances to the dental pulp and consequently to define the necessary quantitative and qualitative issues related to a specific agent before its potential application in clinical practice. The CFD code used for the computational study is validated with relevant experimental data obtained using micro Laser Induced Fluorescence (μ-LIF) a non-intrusive optical measuring technique. As the phenomenon is diffusion dominated and strongly dependent on the molecular size, the time needed for the concentration of released molecules to attain a required value can be controlled by their initial concentration. Finally, a model is proposed which, given the maximum acceptable time for the drug concentration to attain a required value at the pulpal side of the tissue along with the aforementioned key design parameters, is able to estimate the initial concentration to be imposed and vice versa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0375.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: availability; cipher coding; clogged water; honeycomb tori; maintainability; mutually independent Hamiltonian paths (MIHP); interference; privacy; reliability; wicked problems
Online: 18 August 2021 (11:22:39 CEST)
Holistic information integrity for managing wicked problems, developing equity is getting attention. Artifitial intelligence based topologies, dual sensor-information nodes, are prototyped to offer more availability, reliability, maintainability for operating healthy urbanism. Bipartite spider-webs, cube-connected cycles are aimed in ‘the radial-ring urban-building skeleton’ and ‘wetlands and sparsely populated areas’, respectively. Furthermore, honeycomb tori, mathematical HT(m), m≥2, for tasks related to wireless communications, are found having two mutually independent Hamiltonian paths (MIHP). This parallelism creates dual cipher-coding, supports logistic privacy, and help prevent information loss, electromagnetic interference, unexpected changes caused by such as clogged water.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0360.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: earthen buildings; 3D printing; bio-composites; aging; mechanical properties; lime carbonation; vulcanization
Online: 22 December 2021 (12:11:21 CET)
This paper is part of a study of earthen mixtures for 3D printing of buildings. To meet the ever-growing environmental needs, the focus of the paper is on a particular type of bio-composite for the stabilization of earthen mixtures – the rice husk-lime bio-composite – and on how to enhance its effect on the long-term mechanical properties of the hardened product. Having assumed that the shredding of the vegetable fiber is precisely one of the possible ways to improve the mechanical properties, we compared the results of uniaxial compression tests performed on cubic specimens made with both shredded and raw vegetable fiber, for three curing periods. The results showed that the hardened earthen mixture is not a brittle material in the strict sense, because it exhibits some peculiar behaviors, anomalous for a brittle material. However, being a “designable” material, its properties can be varied with a certain flexibility to get as close as possible to the desired ones. One of the peculiar properties of the hardened earthen mixture deserves further investigation, rather than corrections. This is the vulcanization that occurs (in a completely natural way) in the long term, thanks to the mineralization of the vegetable fiber by carbonation of the lime.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0325.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Virus diversity; Quercus suber; Castanea sativa; hornbeam decline; hypovirulence; bio-control; Portugal.
Online: 20 September 2021 (10:52:30 CEST)
Cryphonectria is a fungal genus associated with economically significant disease of trees. Herein we characterized a novel double-stranded RNA virus from the fungal species Cryphonectria naterciae, a species unexplored as a virus host. De novo assembly of RNA-seq data and Sanger sequencing of RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) clones gave the complete, non-segmented genome (10,164 bp) of the virus termed Cryphonectria naterciae fusagravirus (CnFGV1) that was phylogenetically placed within the previously proposed viral family Fusagraviridae. Of 31 field-collected strains of C. naterciae, 40% tested CnFGV1-positive. Co-cultivation resulted in within-species transmission of CnFGV1 to virus-free strains of C. naterciae. Comparison of the mycelium phenotype and the growth rate of CnFGV1-infected and virus-free isogenic strains revealed frequent sectoring and growth reduction in C. naterciae. Co-culturing also led to cross-species transmission of CnFGV1 to Cryphonectria carpinicola and Cryphonectria radicalis, but not to Cryphonectria parasitica. The virus-infected C. naterciae and the experimentally infected Cryphonectria spp. readily transmitted CnFGV1 through asexual spores to the next generation. CnFGV1 strongly reduced conidiation and in some cases vegetative growth of C. carpinicola, which is involved in the European hornbeam disease. This study is the first report of a fusagravirus in the family Cryphonectriaceae and lays the groundwork for assessing a hypovirulence effect of CnFGV1 against the hornbeam decline in Europe.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0026.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: bio-inspired structures; bioelastomers; hydrogels; polymer-polymer hybrids; injectable biomaterials; adhesive surfaces
Online: 1 June 2021 (11:18:20 CEST)
Novel bio-inspired materials have gained recently great attention, especially in medical applications. Applying sophisticated design and engineering methods, various polymer-polymer hybrid systems with outstanding performance have been developed in last decades. Hybrid systems composed of bioelastomers and hydrogels are very attractive due to their high biocompatibility and elastic nature for advanced biomaterials used in various medical applications such as drug delivery systems and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Herein, we describe the advances in current state-of-the-art design, properties and applications of polymer-polymer hybrid systems in medical applications. Bio-inspired functionalities, including bioadhesiveness, injectability, antibacterial properties and degradability applicable to advanced drug delivery systems and medical devices will be discussed in a context of future efforts towards development of bioinspired materials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0068.v1
Subject: Keywords: Bio-energy; Artiﬁcial intelligence; Industry 4.0; Biodiesel; Biogas; Renewable energy; Supply Chain
Online: 3 September 2020 (09:32:40 CEST)
Machine learning (ML) is penetrating in all walks of life and is one of the major driving forces behind the fourth industrial revolution, typically known as Industry 4.0. This study reviews the state-of-the-art ML applications in the biofuels’ life cycle stages, i.e., soil, feedstock, production, consumption, and emissions. A keyword search is performed to retrieve relevant articles from the databases of the Web of Science and Google Scholar. ML applications in the soil stage were mostly based on the use of satellite images of land for estimation of biofuels yield or suitability analysis of agricultural land. In the second stage of the life cycle, assessment of rheological properties of the feedstocks and their effect on the quality of biofuels were dominant studies reported in the literature. The production stage included estimation and optimization of quality, quantity, and process conditions. The fuel consumption and emissions stage included analysis of engine performance and estimation of emissions temperature and composition, such as NOx, CO, and CO2. This study identiﬁed the following trends: dominant ML method, the stage of life cycle getting more usage of ML, the type of data used for the development of the ML-based models, and the stage-wise frequently used input and output variables. The ﬁndings of this article are beneﬁcial for academia and industry-related people involved in model development in different stages of biofuel’s life cycle.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0033.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: Bio-energy; Artificial intelligence; Industry 4.0; Biodiesel; Biogas; Renewable energy; Supply Chain
Online: 2 September 2020 (07:56:48 CEST)
Machine learning (ML) is penetrating in all walks of life and is one of the major driving forces behind the fourth industrial revolution, typically known as Industry 4.0. The purpose of the present study is to review the state-of-the-art ML applications in the biofuels' life cycle stages, i.e., soil, feedstock, production, consumption, and emissions. A keyword search is performed to retrieve relevant articles from the databases of the Web of Science and Google Scholar. ML applications in the soil stage were mostly based on the use of satellite images of land for estimation of biofuels yield or suitability analysis of agricultural land. In the second stage of the life cycle, assessment of rheological properties of the feedstocks and their effect on the quality of biofuels were dominant studies reported in the literature. The production stage included estimation and optimization of quality, quantity, and process conditions. The fuel consumption and emissions stage included analysis of engine performance and estimation of emissions temperature and composition, such as NOx CO, and CO2. This study identified the following trends: dominant ML method, the stage of life cycle getting more usage of ML, the type of data used for the development of the ML-based models, and the stage-wise frequently used input and output variables. The findings of this article are beneficial for academia and industry-related people involved in model development in different stages of biofuel’s life cycle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0217.v2
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Bio inspired robot; legged Robot; locomotion; position control; walk gait; wooden robot
Online: 20 July 2020 (04:13:18 CEST)
We present the design and overall development of an eight degrees of freedom (DOF) based Bioinspired Quadruped Robot (BiQR). The robot is designed with a skeleton made of cedar wood. The wooden skeleton is based on exploring the potential of cedar wood to be a choice for legged robots’ design. With a total weight of 1.19 kg, the robot uses eight servo motors that run the position control. Relying on the inverse kinematics, the control design enables the robot to perform the walk gait-based locomotion in a controlled environment. The robot has two main aspects: 1) the initial wooden skeleton development of the robot showing it to be an acceptable choice for robot design, 2) the robot’s applicability as a low-cost legged platform to test the locomotion in a laboratory or a classroom setting.
CONFERENCE PAPER | doi:10.3390/sci2020020
Online: 28 March 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
How did life begin on Earth? And is there life elsewhere in the Cosmos? Challenging questions, indeed. The series of conferences established by NoR CEL in 2013, addresses these very same questions. The basis for this paper is the summary report of oral presentations that were delivered by NoR CEL’s network members during the 2018 Athens conference and, as such, disseminates the latest research which they have put forward. More in depth material can be found by consulting the contributors referenced papers. Overall, the outcome of this conspectus on the conference demonstrates a case for the existence of “probable chemistry” during the prebiotic epoch.
Subject: Engineering, Energy & Fuel Technology Keywords: gas turbine engine; two-spool turboprop engine; pt6a engine; aero-thermal model; matlab-simulink; bio-diesel; start-up transient.
Online: 19 September 2019 (05:36:45 CEST)
Instead of simplified steady-state models, with modern computers, one can solve the complete aero-thermodynamics happening in gas turbine engines. In the present article, we describe a mathematical model and numerical procedure to represent the transient response of a PT6A gas turbine engine operating at off-design conditions. The aero-thermal model consists of a set of algebraic and ordinary differential equations that arise from the application of the mass, linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy balances in each engine's component. The solution code has been developed in Matlab-Simulink using a block-oriented approach. Transient simulations of the PT6A engine start-up have been carried out by changing the original Jet-A1 fuel with biodiesel blends. Time plots of the main thermodynamic variables are shown, especially those regarding the structural integrity of the burner. Numerical results have been validated against reported experimental measurements and GasTurb simulations. The computer model has been capable to predict acceptable fuel blends, such that the real PT6A engine can be substituted to avoid the risk of damaging it.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0076.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: bio aerosol; Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO); hydroxyl; hydrogen peroxide; SPICE; surface sanitizer
Online: 19 October 2016 (10:02:08 CEST)
In this research paper a novel Ultra Violet Photo Catalyst Oxidation (UVPCO) sensor for air and surface sanitization using Common Source (CS) amplifier is presented. The ultra violet photo catalysis is the process in which the highly reactive radicals like H+, OH-and peroxides ions are produced from air in the presence of the ultra violet radiation and photo catalyst. In this process, the free radicals outbreaks the bio aerosols like bacteria, fungus and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and destroy them. The proposed system is relies on the fast operation of PCS which operates under sub-threshold conditions and reduced computation time. The properties of common source amplifier like very high voltage gain and input output resistance increased the sensitivity as well as stability of the circuit. The system is more user friendly and the outcomes of simulation are fairly in agreement with the theoretical estimation. Keywords: bio aerosol, Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO), hydroxyl, hydrogen peroxide, SPICE, surface sanitizer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0119.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Agroecology; Bio-economic farm models; Crop Syst; Aqua Crop; Organic farming; sustainable development
Online: 7 July 2022 (09:12:26 CEST)
Nations of the world have seen unprecedented changes in climate variables in recent decades. But it is unclear to what extent climate change has impacted and will impact food systems in some developing regions, and how policymakers can frame an approach to encouraging adaptation and advancing climate-smart agriculture. Many studies attempting to link agroecology to climate change adaptation do so without understanding the potential of Agroecology not only to mitigate climate change – which is the weak response – but to reverse its impact and ‘climate proof’ our food systems. By modeling the near and far future impacts of climate change on crop production, we showed how climate will impact crop production under two crop production systems (agroecology and non-agroecology production systems). The overarching aim is to derive sustainable development strategies and lessons for policymakers and climate researchers - essential components of environment and Agricultural development. Using case studies from Nigeria, we observed that transitioning to agroecology, even at the farm level also transforms farm designs, thereby affecting their overall food and nutrition status. The result showed that the use of agroecology management practices not only reduces the impact of climate change in the near future but will also lead to increased crop yield in the future. The finding suggests that to feed the over 400 million projected population of Nigeria by 2050, the use of agroecological practices will be a better alternative to the conventional farming methods. To advance the use of agroecological farming methods, governments at every level in Nigeria need to mainstream organic agriculture in national government policies. This is important as it will not only address climate change impacts but also hunger and poverty.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0019.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: sorption; kinetics; peat; cenosphere; oil sorption; Weber-Morris; diffusion model; granules; bio-composite
Online: 1 February 2022 (17:09:59 CET)
Among the various methods for collecting oil spills and oil products, including from the water surface, one of the most effective is the use of sorbents. In this work, three-component bio-based composite granular adsorbents were produced and studied for oil products pollution collection. A bio-based binder made of peat, devulcanised crumb rubber from used tyres, and part fly ash as cenospheres were used for absorbent production. The structure, surface morphology, porosity, mechanical properties, and sorption kinetics of the obtained samples were studied. Composite hydrophobicity and sorption capacity to oil products such as diesel fuel (DF) and motor oil (MO) were determined. The obtained pellets are characterised by a sufficiently pronounced ability to absorb oil products such as DF. As the amount of CR in the granules increases, the diesel absorption capacity increases significantly. The case of 30-70-0 is almost 3 times higher than the granules from homogenised peat. The increase in q is due to two factors: pronounced surface hydrophobicity of the samples (Θ = 152°) and a heterogeneous porous granule structure. The presence of the cenosphere in the biocomposite reduces its surface hydrophobicity while increasing the diesel absorption capacity. Relatively rapid realisation of the maximum saturation by the MO was noted. In common, the designed absorbent shows up to 0.7 g·g-1 sorption capacity for MO and up to 1.55 g·g-1 sorption capacity for diesel. A possible mechanism of DF absorption and the limiting stages of the process approximated for different kinetic models are discussed. The Weber-Morris diffusion model is used to primarily distinguish the limiting effect of external and internal diffusion of adsorbate on the absorption process
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0060.v3
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: RNAi; dsRNA; silencing; encapsulation; liposomes; virus-like particles; polyplex nanoparticles; bio-clay; regulatory
Online: 13 October 2021 (15:39:34 CEST)
RNAi technology is a versatile, effective, safe, and eco-friendly alternative for crop protection. There is plenty of evidence of its use through host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) and spray-induced gene silencing (SIGS) techniques to control viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, and nematodes. For SIGS, its most significant challenge is achieving stability and avoiding premature degradation of RNAi in the environment or during its absorption by the target organism. One alternative is encapsulation in liposomes, virus-like particles, polyplex nanoparticles, and bioclay, which can be obtained through the recombinant production of RNAi in vectors, transgenesis, and micro/nanoencapsulation. The materials must be safe, biodegradable, and stable in multiple chemical environments, favoring the controlled release of RNAi. Most of the current research on encapsulated RNAi focuses primarily on oral delivery to control insects by silencing essential genes. The regulation of RNAi technology focuses on risk assessment using different approaches; however, this technology has positive economic, environmental, and human health implications for its use in agriculture. The emergence of alternatives combining RNAi gene silencing with the induction of resistance in crops by elicitation and metabolic control is expected, as well as multiple silencing and biotechnological optimization of its large-scale production.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0228.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.); Mercury stress; Phytotoxicity; Physiological and bio-chemical response
Online: 11 May 2021 (10:18:21 CEST)
Cotton is a potential and excellent candidate to balance both agricultural production and reme-diation of mercury-contained soil, as its main production fiber hardly involve into food chains. However, there is known rarely about the tolerance and response to Hg environments in cotton. In this study, The biochemical and physiological damages, in response to mercury (Hg), were investigated in upland cotton seedlings. The results on cottonseeds germination, indicated the germination rate were suppressed by high Hg levels, as the decrease of percentage was more than 10% at 1000 µM Hg. Shoots and roots’ growth were significantly inhibited above 10 µM Hg. The inhibitor rates (IR) in fresh weight were close between shoots and roots, whereas that in dry weight the root growth was more obviously influenced by Hg. In comparison of organs, the growth inhibition ranked as root > leaf > stem. The declining of translocation factor (TF) op-posed the Hg level even as low to 0.05 at 50 µM Hg. The assimilation of cotton plants was af-fected negatively by Hg toxicity, as evidenced from the performances on photosynthesis pig-ments (chlorophyll a and b) and gas exchange (Intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), CO2 assimila-tion rate (Pn) and stomatal conductance (Gs)). Sick phenotypes on leaf surface included small white zone, shrinking and necrosis. Membrane lipid peroxidation and leakage were Hg dose-dependent as indicated by malondialdehyde (MDA) content and relative conductivity (RC) values in leaves and roots. More than 10 µM Hg damaged antioxidant enzyme system in both leaves and roots (P<0.05). Concludingly, 10 µM Hg post negative consequences to upland cotton plants in growth, physiology and biochemistry, whereas high phytotoxicity and damage ap-peared at more than 50 µM Hg concentration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0610.v1
Subject: Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment; Bio-based materials; Flax fibre; Climate change; Aviation; Interior fittings
Online: 29 October 2020 (12:23:03 CET)
As part of the efforts to reduce the environmental impacts caused by the aviation sector, the use of bio-based instead of fossil-based materials has been assessed as a possible mitigation option. Natural Fibre Polymer Composites have proven to have a higher environmental performance in the automotive sector and are emerging as an option for weight reduction in aircraft. This study quantifies, though Life Cycle Assessment, the environmental performance of specific flax-based composite panels intended for aircrafts as interior fitting elements (i.e. partition panels, tray tables, baggage compartments) compared to a glass fibre/epoxy composite with a honeycomb core. Through system expansion, the fate of co-products issued from the production of the flax fibre technical textile used as reinforcement in the biocomposite material were considered in the assessment. Results showed that for an application in the aeronautics sector, the weight of the panels is the upmost critical parameter shaping the overall environmental performance of panels. Focusing on the panel production only, the biocomposite panel showed a higher environmental performance in the categories of climate change and marine eutrophication compared to the conventional panel, and the fire suppressant agent was identified as the main contributor to the environmental impacts of the bio-based panel. Yet these gains were negligible when considering the full life cycle of the panels, due to the higher weight (14%) of the bio-based panels; which is linked to the bio-based panel being at a prototype stage.In order to improve the environmental performance of the biocomposite panel and thus reduce its weight, it was shown relevant to optimize geometry of the panel itself, especially its core, so less resin could be used.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0511.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Bio-economy; Agricultural by-product; Horizontal coordination; Contract mechanism; Choice model; Waste valorization
Online: 22 October 2018 (16:11:55 CEST)
Efficient use of agricultural wastes and by-products, basically transforming waste materials into value added products, is considered as pivotal for an effective bioeconomy strategy for the rural development. To this scope, citrus waste management represents a major issue for citrus processors but, at the same time, it embodies a potentially unexploited resource for the rural sustainable development. This study focuses on analyzing the current management of citrus waste in South Italy and identifying the determinants and barriers that may affect an entrepreneur’s choice on the destination of citrus waste. Citrus processors’ preferences about the contract characteristics needed to take part in a co-investment scheme have been investigated. Both analyses are preliminary steps to design an innovative and sustainable citrus by-product supply chain. Results show that the distance between the citrus processors and the citrus by-products plant is one of the main criteria for choosing alternative valorization pathways. Moreover, the required guaranteed capital, the short duration of the contract, and low risk are contract scheme characteristics that improve entrepreneurs’ willingness to co-invest in the development of a citrus waste multifunctional plant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0487.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: bio-accessibility; 24-h diet; preschool children; arsenic intake; cadmium intake; lead intake
Online: 6 October 2018 (11:02:24 CEST)
Lead, known as a metal with high neurotoxicity to children, cadmium, which is a carcinogenic and bioaccumulative contaminant, and arsenic, a class 1 carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, are toxic elements (TEs) whose relevant route of exposure may be diet. We determined the bio-accessible fraction of lead, cadmium, and arsenic from the diet of preschool children from two day care centers (DCC). A cross-sectional study was conducted with 64 one–four-year-old children from two DCCs where the 24-h duplicate diet samples were collected. The diet samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for lead, cadmium, and arsenic total concentrations (n = 64) and their bio-accessibility were analyzed for a subsample (n = 10). The dietary intake (DI) mean for lead, cadmium, and arsenic were 0.18 ± 0.11 µg kg−1 bw, 0.08 ± 0.04 µg kg−1 bw, and 0.61 ± 0.41 µg kg−1 bw, respectively. All DI calculated for TEs, considering total intake, were found lower than the tolerable limits (TL) (European Union, or World Health Organization, WHO, when applicable) except for one child’s Pb intake. Bio-accessibilities ranged between 0% to 93%, 0% to 103%, and 0% to 69%, for lead, cadmium, and arsenic, respectively. Although DI for TEs has been found lower than TL, these reference values have been recently decreased or withdrawn since it was for lead and arsenic whose TL were withdrawn by WHO.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0068.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: Quantum mechanics; superposition; collapse; bio-psychology; observation, mental representation; reality; potentiality; infinity; nothingness;
Online: 8 February 2018 (14:56:38 CET)
When phenomena in quantum mechanics are interpreted from the perspective of bio-psychology, wave function collapse from several to a single eigenstate must be plausibly explained. Quantum mechanics requires a context, yet the context of an observer is rarely considered. On the other hand, in bio-psychology, the observer context is examined to explain superposition and collapse by different mental functions used in everyday life. Three mental functions are described, one of which is responsible for observation, and the others for conservation and treatment of information in mental representation. Whereas observation produces information with certainty, the subsequent processes result in uncertain potentiality. In order to encompass uncertainty, multiple possibilities are simultaneously considered in mental superposition, one of which should represent the unknown future outcome. During observation, all suggested potentialities necessarily collapse to one real outcome. The collapse of superposition does not occur in observable physical reality, but in its mental representation. Some physical principles—such as superposition, infinity and nothingness before the Big Bang—are pure phenomena of mental representation, which will always remain unverifiable by observation. This argument proves that mental representation brought about by the observer context participates in the production of mental models for the best approximation of physical reality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0125.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: state-space model; uncertainty; mixed-integer linear programming; model predictive control; bio-manufacturing
Online: 18 October 2017 (03:56:31 CEST)
We present a generalized state-space model formulation particularly motivated by an online scheduling perspective. Through these proposed generalizations, we enable a natural way to handle routinely encountered disturbances and a rich set of corresponding counter-decisions. Thereby, greatly simplifying and extending the possible application of mathematical programming based online scheduling solutions to diverse application settings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0482.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Solute Transport; Bio-geo-chemical reactions; Dispersion; Mixing; Heterogeneity; Effective transport; Microbial communities, Biofilms
Online: 25 November 2021 (15:53:41 CET)
Reactive transport (RT) couples bio-geo-chemical reactions and transport. RT is important to understand numerous scientific questions and solve some engineering problems. RT is highly multidisciplinary, which hinders the development of a body of knowledge shared by RT modelers and developers. The goal of this paper is to review the basic conceptual issues shared by all RT problems, so as to facilitate advance along the current frontier: biochemical reactions. To this end, we review the basic equations to point that chemical systems are controlled by the set of equilibrium reactions, which are easy to model, but whose rate is controlled by mixing. Since mixing is not properly represented by the standard advection-dispersion equation (ADE), we conclude that this equation is poor for RT. This leads us to review alternative transport formulations, and the methods to solve RT problems using both the ADE and alternative equations. Since equilibrium is easy, difficulties arise for kinetic reactions, which is especially true for biochemistry, where numerous frontiers are open (how to represent microbial communities, impact of genomics, effect of biofilms on flow and transport, etc.). We conclude with the basic 10 issues that we consider fundamental for any conceptually sound RT effort.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0287.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Keywords: membrane bio-reactor (mbr); ozone oxidation; paper and papermill; fluorescent whitening agents; water reuse
Online: 25 October 2019 (11:34:11 CEST)
In this study, effluent water was produced through Submerged Membrane Bio-Reactor (SMBR) process, which is a simple system and decomposes organic matter contained in wastewater with biological treatment process and performs solid-liquid separation, Especially, ozone oxidation treatment process is applied to effluent water containing fluorescent whitening agent, which is a trace pollutant which is not removed by biological treatment, and influences the quality of reused water. The concentration of COD in the SMBR was 449.3 mg/ℓ-COD, and the concentration of permeate water was 100.3 mg/ℓ-COD. The removal efficiency was about 70.1%. The amount of ozone re- quired for the removal of the fluorescent whitening agent in the permeated water in SMBR was 6.67 g-O3/min, and the amount of ozone required to remove COD relative to the permeate water was calculated to remove 0.997 mg-COD for 1 mg of O3.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0148.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Multimode Interferometer, thermo-optical Switch, phase shifter, Silicon on Insulator, SOI technology, bio-sensor
Online: 15 January 2019 (09:46:06 CET)
This paper reports 2 × 4 hybrid Mach-zehnder interferometer (MZI) - multi-mode interferometers (MMI) based compact thermo-optical switch consisting of slab waveguides on silicon-on-insulator, SOI, platform. The device consists of two identical MMIs, each of 6 μm wide and 140 μm long connected with two phase shifters MMIs each with 2 μm wide and 8 μm long and linear tappers each 4 μm long, connected at both ends of the MMIs to minimize the power coupling loss. The loss for linear taper is found to be below 0.02dB. The footprint of the whole device is six 6 μm × 324 μm. This structure is based on unique multimode region shape, which leads optical switch to have less coupling loss and reduced cross-talk. The average thermo-optical switching power consumption is 1.4 mW, the excess losses are 0.8 dB, and the imbalances are 0.1 dB. Aluminum is used as a heating pad, and a trench is created around this pad to prevent from spreading of heat and reduce power loss almost by a factor of 2 to the adjacent phase shifter. Our new heating method has advantages of compact size and ease of fabrication with the current CMOS technology.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0262.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: carbon nanotubes; gas sensors; bio-sensors; photo-sensors; photodetectors; pressure sensors; field effect transistor
Online: 12 November 2018 (04:44:28 CET)
Carbon nanotubes have been attracting considerable interest among material scientists, physicists, chemists and engineers for almost 30 years. Owing to their high aspect ratio, coupled with remarkable mechanical, electronic and thermal properties, carbon nanotubes have found application in diverse fields. In this review, we will cover the work on carbon nanotubes used for sensing applications. In particular, we will see examples where carbon nanotubes act as main players in devices sensing biomolecules, gas, light or pressure changes. Furthermore, we will discuss how to improve the performance of carbon nanotube-based sensors after proper modification.