Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 359

359
10008257
Speech Enhancement Using Wavelet Coefficients Masking with Local Binary Patterns
Abstract:
In this paper, we present a wavelet coefficients masking based on Local Binary Patterns (WLBP) approach to enhance the temporal spectra of the wavelet coefficients for speech enhancement. This technique exploits the wavelet denoising scheme, which splits the degraded speech into pyramidal subband components and extracts frequency information without losing temporal information. Speech enhancement in each high-frequency subband is performed by binary labels through the local binary pattern masking that encodes the ratio between the original value of each coefficient and the values of the neighbour coefficients. This approach enhances the high-frequency spectra of the wavelet transform instead of eliminating them through a threshold. A comparative analysis is carried out with conventional speech enhancement algorithms, demonstrating that the proposed technique achieves significant improvements in terms of PESQ, an international recommendation of objective measure for estimating subjective speech quality. Informal listening tests also show that the proposed method in an acoustic context improves the quality of speech, avoiding the annoying musical noise present in other speech enhancement techniques. Experimental results obtained with a DNN based speech recognizer in noisy environments corroborate the superiority of the proposed scheme in the robust speech recognition scenario.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
358
10007931
Physicochemical Characterization of Waste from Vegetal Extracts Industry for Use as Briquettes
Abstract:

Wastes from a vegetal extracts industry (cocoa, oak, Guarana and mate) were characterized by particle size, proximate and ultimate analysis, lignocellulosic fractions, high heating value, thermal analysis (Thermogravimetric analysis – TGA, and Differential thermal analysis - DTA) and energy density to evaluate their potential as biomass in the form of briquettes for power generation. All wastes presented adequate particle sizes to briquettes production. The wastes showed high moisture content, requiring previous drying for use as briquettes. Cocoa and oak wastes had the highest volatile matter contents with maximum mass loss at 310 ºC and 450 ºC, respectively. The solvents used in the aroma extraction process influenced in the moisture content of the wastes, which was higher for mate due to water has been used as solvent. All wastes showed an insignificant loss mass after 565 °C, hence resulting in low ash content. High carbon and hydrogen contents and low sulfur and nitrogen contents were observed ensuring a low generation of sulfur and nitrous oxides. Mate and cocoa exhibited the highest carbon and lignin content, and high heating value. The dried wastes had high heating value, from 17.1 MJ/kg to 20.8 MJ/kg. The results indicate the energy potential of wastes for use as fuel in power generation.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
357
10007935
Production Line Layout Planning Based on Complexity Measurement
Abstract:

Mass customization production increases the difficulty of the production line layout planning. The material distribution process for variety of parts is very complex, which greatly increases the cost of material handling and logistics. In response to this problem, this paper presents an approach of production line layout planning based on complexity measurement. Firstly, by analyzing the influencing factors of equipment layout, the complexity model of production line is established by using information entropy theory. Then, the cost of the part logistics is derived considering different variety of parts. Furthermore, the function of optimization including two objectives of the lowest cost, and the least configuration complexity is built. Finally, the validity of the function is verified in a case study. The results show that the proposed approach may find the layout scheme with the lowest logistics cost and the least complexity. Optimized production line layout planning can effectively improve production efficiency and equipment utilization with lowest cost and complexity.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
356
10007978
A Hybrid Approach for Thread Recommendation in MOOC Forums
Abstract:
Recommender Systems have been developed to provide contents and services compatible to users based on their behaviors and interests. Due to information overload in online discussion forums and users diverse interests, recommending relative topics and threads is considered to be helpful for improving the ease of forum usage. In order to lead learners to find relevant information in educational forums, recommendations are even more needed. We present a hybrid thread recommender system for MOOC forums by applying social network analysis and association rule mining techniques. Initial results indicate that the proposed recommender system performs comparatively well with regard to limited available data from users' previous posts in the forum.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
355
10007988
Mass rearing and Effects of Gamma Irradiation on the Pupal Mortality and Reproduction of Citrus Leaf Miner Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae)
Abstract:

Citrus leaf miner (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton) is native to Asia and one of the most serious pests of Iran’s citrus nursery stocks. In the present study, the possibility of insect mass rearing on four various citrus hosts and the effects of gamma irradiation on the pupal mortality and reproduction of this pest were studied. Trifoliate orange and grapefruit showed less infection, while the number of pupae in Valencia oranges and sweet lemons cages was so high. There was not any significant difference between weight of male and female pupae among different citrus hosts, but generally the weight of male pupae was less than females. Use of Valencia orange or sweet lemons seedlings in especial dark emergence and oviposition cages could be recommended for mass rearing of this pest. In this study, the effects of gamma radiation at doses 100 to 450 Gy on biological and reproductive parameters of the pest has been determined. The results show that mean percent of pupal mortality increased with increasing doses and reached to 28.67% at 450 Gy for male pupae and 38.367% for female pupae. Also, the mean values of this parameter were higher for irradiated female, which indicated the higher sensitivity of this sex. The gamma ray irradiation from 200 and 300 Gy caused decrease in male and female adult moth longevity, respectively. The eggs were laid by emerged females, and their hatchability was decreased by increasing gamma doses. The fecundity of females in both combinations of crosses (irradiated male × normal female and irradiated female × normal male) did not differ, but fertility of laid eggs by irradiated female × normal male affected seriously and the mean values of this parameter reached to zero at 300 Gy. The hatchability percentage of produced eggs by normal female × irradiated male at 300 Gy was 23.29% and reached to less than 2 % at 450 Gy as the highest tested dose. The results of this test show that females have more radio-sensitivity in comparison to males.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
354
10008050
Ethanol and Biomass Production from Spent Sulfite Liquor by Filamentous Fungi
Abstract:

Since filamentous fungi are capable of assimilating several types of sugars (hexoses and pentoses), they are potential candidates for bioconversion of spent sulfite liquor (SSL). Three filamentous fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor indicus, and Rhizopus oryzae were investigated in this work. The SSL was diluted in order to obtain concentrations of 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% and supplemented with two types of nutrients. The results from cultivations in shake flask showed that A. oryzae and M. indicus were not able to grow in pure SSL and SSL90% while R. oryzae could grow only in SSL50% and SSL60%. Cultivation with A. oryzae resulted in the highest yield of produced fungal biomass, while R. oryzae cultivation resulted in the lowest fungal biomass yield. Although, the mediums containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O as nutrients supplementations produced higher fungal biomass compared to the mediums containing NH4H2PO4 and ammonia, but there was no significant difference between two types of nutrients in terms of sugars and acetic acid consumption rate. The sugars consumption in M. indicus cultivation was faster than A. oryzae and R. oryzae cultivation. Acetic acid present in SSL was completely consumed during cultivation of all fungi. M. indicus was the best and fastest ethanol producer from SSL among the fungi examined, when yeast extract and salts were used as nutrients supplementations. Furthermore, no further improvement in ethanol concentration and rate of sugars consumption was obtained in medium supplemented with NH4H2PO4 and ammonia compared to medium containing yeast extract, (NH4)2SO4, KH2PO4, CaCl2∙2H2O, and MgSO4∙7H2O. On the other hand, the higher dilution of SSL resulted in a better fermentability, and better consumption of sugars and acetic acid.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
353
10008080
Agent/Group/Role Organizational Model to Simulate an Industrial Control System
Abstract:

The modeling of complex systems is generally based on the decomposition of their components into sub-systems easier to handle. This division has to be made in a methodical way. In this paper, we introduce an industrial control system modeling and simulation based on the Multi-Agent System (MAS) methodology AALAADIN and more particularly the underlying conceptual model Agent/Group/Role (AGR). Indeed, in this division using AGR model, the overall system is decomposed into sub-systems in order to improve the understanding of regulation and control systems, and to simplify the implementation of the obtained agents and their groups, which are implemented using the Multi-Agents Development KIT (MAD-KIT) platform. This approach appears to us to be the most appropriate for modeling of this type of systems because, due to the use of MAS, it is possible to model real systems in which very complex behaviors emerge from relatively simple and local interactions between many different individuals, therefore a MAS is well adapted to describe a system from the standpoint of the activity of its components, that is to say when the behavior of the individuals is complex (difficult to describe with equations). The main aim of this approach is the take advantage of the performance, the scalability and the robustness that are intuitively provided by MAS.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
352
10007879
Mass Transfer of Paracetamol from the Crosslinked Carrageenan-Polyvinyl Alcohol Film
Abstract:
In this research, carrageenan extracted from seaweed Eucheuma cottonii was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and then crosslinked using glutaraldehyde (GA). The obtained hydrogel films were applied to control the drug release rate of paracetamol. The aim of this research was to develop a mathematical model that can be used to describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol from the hydrogel film into buffer solution. The effect of weight ratio carrageenan-PVA (5: 0, 1: 0.5, 1: 1, 1: 2, 0: 5) on the parameters of the mathematical model was investigated also. Based on the experimental data, the proposed mathematical model could describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol. The weight ratio of carrageenan-PVA greatly affected the amount of paracetamol absorbed in the hydrogel film and the mass transfer rate of paracetamol.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
351
10007889
Contrast Enhancement in Digital Images Using an Adaptive Unsharp Masking Method
Abstract:
Captured images may suffer from Gaussian blur due to poor lens focus or camera motion. Unsharp masking is a simple and effective technique to boost the image contrast and to improve digital images suffering from Gaussian blur. The technique is based on sharpening object edges by appending the scaled high-frequency components of the image to the original. The quality of the enhanced image is highly dependent on the characteristics of both the high-frequency components and the scaling/gain factor. Since the quality of an image may not be the same throughout, we propose an adaptive unsharp masking method in this paper. In this method, the gain factor is computed, considering the gradient variations, for individual pixels of the image. Subjective and objective image quality assessments are used to compare the performance of the proposed method both with the classic and the recently developed unsharp masking methods. The experimental results show that the proposed method has a better performance in comparison to the other existing methods.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
350
10007910
Analysis of Bio-Oil Produced by Pyrolysis of Coconut Shell
Abstract:

The utilization of biomass as a source of new and renewable energy is being carried out. One of the technologies to convert biomass as an energy source is pyrolysis which is converting biomass into more valuable products, such as bio-oil. Bio-oil is a liquid which is produced by steam condensation process from the pyrolysis of coconut shells. The composition of a coconut shell e.g. hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin will be oxidized to phenolic compounds as the main component of the bio-oil. The phenolic compounds in bio-oil are corrosive; they cause various difficulties in the combustion system because of a high viscosity, low calorific value, corrosiveness, and instability. Phenolic compounds are very valuable components which phenol has used as the main component for the manufacture of antiseptic, disinfectant (known as Lysol) and deodorizer. The experiments typically occurred at the atmospheric pressure in a pyrolysis reactor at temperatures ranging from 300 oC to 350 oC with a heating rate of 10 oC/min and a holding time of 1 hour at the pyrolysis temperature. The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) was used to analyze the bio-oil components. The obtained bio-oil has the viscosity of 1.46 cP, the density of 1.50 g/cm3, the calorific value of 16.9 MJ/kg, and the molecular weight of 1996.64. By GC-MS, the analysis of bio-oil showed that it contained phenol (40.01%), ethyl ester (37.60%), 2-methoxy-phenol (7.02%), furfural (5.45%), formic acid (4.02%), 1-hydroxy-2-butanone (3.89%), and 3-methyl-1,2-cyclopentanedione (2.01%).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
349
10007521
Schrödinger Equation with Position-Dependent Mass: Staggered Mass Distributions
Abstract:

The Point canonical transformation method is applied for solving the Schrödinger equation with position-dependent mass. This class of problem has been solved for continuous mass distributions. In this work, a staggered mass distribution for the case of a free particle in an infinite square well potential has been proposed. The continuity conditions as well as normalization for the wave function are also considered. The proposal can be used for dealing with other kind of staggered mass distributions in the Schrödinger equation with different quantum potentials.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
348
10007772
Massive Open Online Course about Content Language Integrated Learning: A Methodological Approach for Content Language Integrated Learning Teachers
Authors:
Abstract:

This paper focuses on the design of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and more specifically about how teachers can use CLIL as an educational approach incorporating technology in their teaching as well. All the four weeks of the MOOC will be presented and a step-by-step analysis of each lesson will be offered. Additionally, the paper includes detailed lesson plans about CLIL lessons with proposed CLIL activities and games in which technology plays a central part. The MOOC is structured based on certain criteria, in order to ensure success, as well as a positive experience that the learners need to have after completing this MOOC. It addresses to all language teachers who would like to implement CLIL into their teaching. In other words, it presents the methodology that needs to be followed so as to successfully carry out a CLIL lesson and achieve the learning objectives set at the beginning of the course. Firstly, in this paper, it is very important to give the definitions of MOOCs and LMOOCs, as well as to explore the difference between a structure-based MOOC (xMOOC) and a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) and present the criteria of a successful MOOC. Moreover, the notion of CLIL will be explored, as it is necessary to fully understand this concept before moving on to the design of the MOOC. Onwards, the four weeks of the MOOC will be introduced as well as lesson plans will be presented: The type of the activities, the aims of each activity and the methodology that teachers have to follow. Emphasis will be placed on the role of technology in foreign language learning and on the ways in which we can involve technology in teaching a foreign language. Final remarks will be made and a summary of the main points will be offered at the end.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
347
10007106
Evaluation of Electro-Flocculation for Biomass Production of Marine Microalgae Phaodactylum tricornutum
Abstract:

The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
346
10007288
Influence of Mass Flow Rate on Forced Convective Heat Transfer through a Nanofluid Filled Direct Absorption Solar Collector
Abstract:
The convective and radiative heat transfer performance and entropy generation on forced convection through a direct absorption solar collector (DASC) is investigated numerically. Four different fluids, including Cu-water nanofluid, Al2O3-waternanofluid, TiO2-waternanofluid, and pure water are used as the working fluid. Entropy production has been taken into account in addition to the collector efficiency and heat transfer enhancement. Penalty finite element method with Galerkin’s weighted residual technique is used to solve the governing non-linear partial differential equations. Numerical simulations are performed for the variation of mass flow rate. The outcomes are presented in the form of isotherms, average output temperature, the average Nusselt number, collector efficiency, average entropy generation, and Bejan number. The results present that the rate of heat transfer and collector efficiency enhance significantly for raising the values of m up to a certain range.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
345
10007544
A Partially Accelerated Life Test Planning with Competing Risks and Linear Degradation Path under Tampered Failure Rate Model
Abstract:
In this paper, we propose a method to model the relationship between failure time and degradation for a simple step stress test where underlying degradation path is linear and different causes of failure are possible. It is assumed that the intensity function depends only on the degradation value. No assumptions are made about the distribution of the failure times. A simple step-stress test is used to shorten failure time of products and a tampered failure rate (TFR) model is proposed to describe the effect of the changing stress on the intensities. We assume that some of the products that fail during the test have a cause of failure that is only known to belong to a certain subset of all possible failures. This case is known as masking. In the presence of masking, the maximum likelihood estimates (MLEs) of the model parameters are obtained through an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm by treating the causes of failure as missing values. The effect of incomplete information on the estimation of parameters is studied through a Monte-Carlo simulation. Finally, a real example is analyzed to illustrate the application of the proposed methods.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
344
10007870
Unsteady Natural Convection Heat and Mass Transfer of Non-Newtonian Casson Fluid along a Vertical Wavy Surface
Abstract:
Detailed numerical calculations are illustrated in our investigation for unsteady natural convection heat and mass transfer of non-Newtonian Casson fluid along a vertical wavy surface. The surface of the plate is kept at a constant temperature and uniform concentration. To transform the complex wavy surface to a flat plate, a simple coordinate transformation is employed. The resulting partial differential equations are solved using the fully implicit finite difference method with SUR procedure. Flow and heat transfer characteristics are investigated for a wide range of values of the Casson parameter, the dimensionless time parameter, the buoyancy ratio and the amplitude-wavelength parameter. It is found that, the variations of the Casson parameter have significant effects on the fluid motion, heat and mass transfer. Also, the maximum and minimum values of the local Nusselt and Sherwood numbers increase by increase either the Casson parameter or the buoyancy ratio.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
343
10006918
Structural Engineering Forensic Evaluation of Misdiagnosed Concrete Masonry Wall Cracking
Authors:
Abstract:
Given that concrete masonry walls are expected to experience shrinkage combined with thermal expansion and contraction, and in some cases even carbonation, throughout their service life, cracking is to be expected. However, after concrete masonry walls have been placed into service, originally anticipated and accounted for cracking is often misdiagnosed as a structural defect. Such misdiagnoses often result in or are used to support litigation. This paper begins by discussing the causes and types of anticipated cracking within concrete masonry walls followed by a discussion on the processes and analyses that exists for properly evaluating them and their significance. From here, the paper then presents a case of misdiagnosed concrete masonry cracking and the flawed logic employed to support litigation.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
342
10006950
Bone Mineral Density and Quality, Body Composition of Women in the Postmenopausal Period
Abstract:

In the diagnostics of osteoporosis, the gold standard is considered to be bone mineral density; however, X-ray densitometry is not an accurate indicator of osteoporotic fracture risk under all circumstances. In this regard, the search for new methods that could determine the indicators not only of the mineral density, but of the bone tissue quality, is a logical step for diagnostic optimization. One of these methods is the evaluation of trabecular bone quality. The aim of this study was to examine the quality and mineral density of spine bone tissue, femoral neck, and body composition of women depending on the duration of the postmenopausal period, to determine the correlation of body fat with indicators of bone mineral density and quality. The study examined 179 women in premenopausal and postmenopausal periods. The patients were divided into the following groups: Women in the premenopausal period and women in the postmenopausal period at various stages (early, middle, late postmenopause). A general examination and study of the above parameters were conducted with General Electric X-ray densitometer. The results show that bone quality and mineral density probably deteriorate with advancing of postmenopausal period. Total fat and lean mass ratio is not likely to change with age. In the middle and late postmenopausal periods, the bone tissue mineral density of the spine and femoral neck increases along with total fat mass.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
341
10006961
Conceptual Model for Massive Open Online Blended Courses Based on Disciplines’ Concepts Capitalization and Obstacles’ Detection
Abstract:

Since its appearance, the MOOC (massive open online course) is gaining more and more intention of the educational communities over the world. Apart from the current MOOCs design and purposes, the creators of MOOC focused on the importance of the connection and knowledge exchange between individuals in learning. In this paper, we present a conceptual model for massive open online blended courses where teachers over the world can collaborate and exchange their experience to get a common efficient content designed as a MOOC opened to their students to live a better learning experience. This model is based on disciplines’ concepts capitalization and the detection of the obstacles met by their students when faced with problem situations (exercises, projects, case studies, etc.). This detection is possible by analyzing the frequently of semantic errors committed by the students. The participation of teachers in the design of the course and the attendance by their students can guarantee an efficient and extensive participation (an important number of participants) in the course, the learners’ motivation and the evaluation issues, in the way that the teachers designing the course assess their students. Thus, the teachers review, together with their knowledge, offer a better assessment and efficient connections to their students.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
340
10007169
Numerical Model of Low Cost Rubber Isolators for Masonry Housing in High Seismic Regions
Abstract:
Housings in developing countries have often inadequate seismic protection, particularly for masonry. People choose this type of structure since the cost and application are relatively cheap. Seismic protection of masonry remains an interesting issue among researchers. In this study, we develop a low-cost seismic isolation system for masonry using fiber reinforced elastomeric isolators. The elastomer proposed consists of few layers of rubber pads and fiber lamina, making it lower in cost comparing to the conventional isolators. We present a finite element (FE) analysis to predict the behavior of the low cost rubber isolators undergoing moderate deformations. The FE model of the elastomer involves a hyperelastic material property for the rubber pad. We adopt a Yeoh hyperelasticity model and estimate its coefficients through the available experimental data. Having the shear behavior of the elastomers, we apply that isolation system onto small masonry housing. To attach the isolators on the building, we model the shear behavior of the isolation system by means of a damped nonlinear spring model. By this attempt, the FE analysis becomes computationally inexpensive. Several ground motion data are applied to observe its sensitivity. Roof acceleration and tensile damage of walls become the parameters to evaluate the performance of the isolators. In this study, a concrete damage plasticity model is used to model masonry in the nonlinear range. This tool is available in the standard package of Abaqus FE software. Finally, the results show that the low-cost isolators proposed are capable of reducing roof acceleration and damage level of masonry housing. Through this study, we are also capable of monitoring the shear deformation of isolators during seismic motion. It is useful to determine whether the isolator is applicable. According to the results, the deformations of isolators on the benchmark one story building are relatively small.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
339
10007758
Body Mass Index and Dietary Habits among Nursing College Students Living in the University Residence in Kirkuk City, Iraq
Authors:
Abstract:

Obesity prevalence is increasing worldwide. University life is a challenging period especially for students who have to leave their familiar surroundings and settle in a new environment. The current study aimed to assess the diet and exercise habits and their association with body mass index (BMI) among nursing college students living at Kirkuk University residence. This was a descriptive study. A non-probability (purposive) sample of 101 students living in Kirkuk University residence was recruited during the period from the 15th November 2015 to the 5th May 2016. A questionnaire was constructed for the purpose of the study which consisted of four parts: the demographic characteristics of the study sample, eating habits, eating at college and healthy habits. The data were collected by interviewing the study sample and the weight and height were measured by a trained researcher at the college. Descriptive statistical analysis was undertaken. Data were prepared, organized and entered into the computer file; the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 20) was used for data analysis. A p value≤ 0.05 was accepted as statistical significant. A total of 63 (62.4%) of the sample were aged20-21with a mean age of 22.1 (SD±0.653). A third of the sample 38 (37.6%) were from level four at college, 67 (66.3%) were female and 46 45.5% of participants were from a middle socio-economic status. 14 (13.9%) of the study sample were overweight (BMI =25-29.9kg/m2) and 6 (5.9%) were obese (BMI≥30kg/m2) compared to 73 (72.3%) were of normal weight (BMI =18.5-24.9kg/m2). With regard to eating habits and exercise, 42 (41.6%) of the students rarely ate breakfast, 79 (78.2%) eat lunch at university residence, 77 (78.2%) of the students reported rarely doing exercise and 62 (61.4%) of them were sleeping for less than eight hours. No significant association was found between the variables age, sex, level of college and socio-economic status and BMI, while there was a significant association between eating lunch at university and BMI (p =0.03). No significant association was found between eating habits, healthy habits and BMI. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the study sample was 19.8% with female students being more obese than males. Further studies are needed to identify BMI among residence students in other colleges and increasing the awareness of undergraduate students to healthy food habits.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
338
10006887
Ground Response Analyses in Budapest Based on Site Investigations and Laboratory Measurements
Abstract:

Near-surface loose sediments and local ground conditions in general have a major influence on seismic response of structures. It is a difficult task to model ground behavior in seismic soil-structure-foundation interaction problems, fully account for them in seismic design of structures, or even properly consider them in seismic hazard assessment. In this study, we focused on applying seismic soil investigation methods, used for determining soil stiffness and damping properties, to response analysis used in seismic design. A site in Budapest, Hungary was investigated using Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves, Seismic Cone Penetration Tests, Bender Elements, Resonant Column and Torsional Shear tests. Our aim was to compare the results of the different test methods and use the resulting soil properties for 1D ground response analysis. Often in practice, there are little-to no data available on dynamic soil properties and estimated parameters are used for design. Therefore, a comparison is made between results based on estimated parameters and those based on detailed investigations. Ground response results are also compared to Eurocode 8 design spectra.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
337
10006437
Effects of High-Protein, Low-Energy Diet on Body Composition in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Clinical Trial
Abstract:

Background: In addition to reducing body weight, the low-calorie diets can reduce the lean body mass. It is hypothesized that in addition to reducing the body weight, the low-calorie diets can maintain the lean body mass. So, the current study aimed at evaluating the effects of high-protein diet with calorie restriction on body composition in overweight and obese individuals. Methods: 36 obese and overweight subjects were divided randomly into two groups. The first group received a normal-protein, low-energy diet (RDA), and the second group received a high-protein, low-energy diet (2×RDA). The anthropometric indices including height, weight, body mass index, body fat mass, fat free mass, and body fat percentage were evaluated before and after the study. Results: A significant reduction was observed in anthropometric indices in both groups (high-protein, low-energy diets and normal-protein, low-energy diets). In addition, more reduction in fat free mass was observed in the normal-protein, low-energy diet group compared to the high -protein, low-energy diet group. In other the anthropometric indices, significant differences were not observed between the two groups. Conclusion: Independently of the type of diet, low-calorie diet can improve the anthropometric indices, but during a weight loss, high-protein diet can help the fat free mass to be maintained.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
336
10006496
Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Gas-Liquid Phase Stirred Tank
Abstract:
A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technique has been applied to simulate the gas-liquid phase in double stirred tank of Rushton impeller. Eulerian-Eulerian model was adopted to simulate the multiphase with standard correlation of Schiller and Naumann for drag co-efficient. The turbulence was modeled by using standard k-ε turbulence model. The present CFD model predicts flow pattern, local gas hold-up, and local specific area. It also predicts local kLa (mass transfer rate) for single impeller. The predicted results were compared with experimental and CFD results of published literature. The predicted results are slightly over predicted with the experimental results; however, it is in reasonable agreement with other simulated results of published literature.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
335
10006694
Influence of Valve Lift Timing on Producer Gas Combustion and Its Modeling Using Two-Stage Wiebe Function
Abstract:

Producer gas is a biomass derived gaseous fuel which is extensively used in internal combustion engines for power generation application. Unlike the conventional hydrocarbon fuels (Gasoline and Natural gas), the combustion properties of producer gas fuel are much different. Therefore, setting of optimal spark time for efficient engine operation is required. Owing to the fluctuating tendency of producer gas composition during gasification process, the heat release patterns (dictating the power output and emissions) obtained are quite different from conventional fuels. It was found that, valve lift timing is yet another factor which influences the burn rate of producer gas fuel, and thus, the heat release rate of the engine. Therefore, the present study was motivated to estimate the influence of valve lift timing analytically (Wiebe model) on the burn rate of producer gas through curve fitting against experimentally obtained mass fraction burn curves of several producer gas compositions. Furthermore, Wiebe models are widely used in zero-dimensional codes for engine parametric studies and are quite popular. This study also addresses the influence of hydrogen and methane concentration of producer gas on combustion trends, which are known to cause dynamics in engine combustion.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
334
10006325
The Effect of Impact on the Knee Joint Due to the Shocks during Double Impact Phase of Gait Cycle
Abstract:
The major contributor to the human locomotion is the knee flexion and extension. During heel strike, a huge amount of energy is transmitted through the leg towards knee joint, which in fact is damped at heel and leg muscles. During high shocks, although it is damped to a certain extent, the balance force transmits towards knee joint which could damage the knee. Due to the vital function of the knee joint, it should be protected against damage due to additional load acting on it. This work concentrates on the development of spring mass damper system which exactly replicates the stiffness at the heel and muscles and the objective function is optimized to minimize the force acting at the knee joint. Further, the data collected using force plate are put into the model to verify its integrity and are found to be in good agreement.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
333
10006189
A Xenon Mass Gauging through Heat Transfer Modeling for Electric Propulsion Thrusters
Abstract:

The current state-of-the-art methods of mass gauging of Electric Propulsion (EP) propellants in microgravity conditions rely on external measurements that are taken at the surface of the tank. The tanks are operated under a constant thermal duty cycle to store the propellant within a pre-defined temperature and pressure range. We demonstrate using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations that the heat-transfer within the pressurized propellant generates temperature and density anisotropies. This challenges the standard mass gauging methods that rely on the use of time changing skin-temperatures and pressures. We observe that the domes of the tanks are prone to be overheated, and that a long time after the heaters of the thermal cycle are switched off, the system reaches a quasi-equilibrium state with a more uniform density. We propose a new gauging method, which we call the Improved PVT method, based on universal physics and thermodynamics principles, existing TRL-9 technology and telemetry data. This method only uses as inputs the temperature and pressure readings of sensors externally attached to the tank. These sensors can operate during the nominal thermal duty cycle. The improved PVT method shows little sensitivity to the pressure sensor drifts which are critical towards the end-of-life of the missions, as well as little sensitivity to systematic temperature errors. The retrieval method has been validated experimentally with CO2 in gas and fluid state in a chamber that operates up to 82 bar within a nominal thermal cycle of 38 °C to 42 °C. The mass gauging error is shown to be lower than 1% the mass at the beginning of life, assuming an initial tank load at 100 bar. In particular, for a pressure of about 70 bar, just below the critical pressure of CO2, the error of the mass gauging in gas phase goes down to 0.1% and for 77 bar, just above the critical point, the error of the mass gauging of the liquid phase is 0.6% of initial tank load. This gauging method improves by a factor of 8 the accuracy of the standard PVT retrievals using look-up tables with tabulated data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
332
10006393
Hydrodynamic Simulation of Co-Current and Counter Current of Column Distillation Using Euler Lagrange Approach
Abstract:

Packed columns of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consists of separating the liquid mixture of propane and butane to pure gas components by the distillation phenomenon. The flow of the gas and liquid inside the columns is operated by two ways: The co-current and the counter current operation. Heat, mass and species transfer between phases represent the most important factors that influence the choice between those two operations. In this paper, both processes are discussed using computational CFD simulation through ANSYS-Fluent software. Only 3D half section of the packed column was considered with one packed bed. The packed bed was characterized in our case as a porous media. The simulations were carried out at transient state conditions. A multi-component gas and liquid mixture were used out in the two processes. We utilized the Euler-Lagrange approach in which the gas was treated as a continuum phase and the liquid as a group of dispersed particles. The heat and the mass transfer process was modeled using multi-component droplet evaporation approach. The results show that the counter-current process performs better than the co-current, although such limitations of our approach are noted. This comparison gives accurate results for computations times higher than 2 s, at different gas velocity and at packed bed porosity of 0.9.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
331
10006621
Modelling of a Biomechanical Vertebral System for Seat Ejection in Aircrafts Using Lumped Mass Approach
Abstract:

In the case of high-speed fighter aircrafts, seat ejection is designed mainly for the safety of the pilot in case of an emergency. Strong windblast due to the high velocity of flight is one main difficulty in clearing the tail of the aircraft. Excessive G-forces generated, immobilizes the pilot from escape. In most of the cases, seats are ejected out of the aircrafts by explosives or by rocket motors attached to the bottom of the seat. Ejection forces are primarily in the vertical direction with the objective of attaining the maximum possible velocity in a specified period of time. The safe ejection parameters are studied to estimate the critical time of ejection for various geometries and velocities of flight. An equivalent analytical 2-dimensional biomechanical model of the human spine has been modelled consisting of vertebrae and intervertebral discs with a lumped mass approach. The 24 vertebrae, which consists of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, in addition to the head mass and the pelvis has been designed as 26 rigid structures and the intervertebral discs are assumed as 25 flexible joint structures. The rigid structures are modelled as mass elements and the flexible joints as spring and damper elements. Here, the motions are restricted only in the mid-sagittal plane to form a 26 degree of freedom system. The equations of motions are derived for translational movement of the spinal column. An ejection force with a linearly increasing acceleration profile is applied as vertical base excitation on to the pelvis. The dynamic vibrational response of each vertebra in time-domain is estimated.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
330
10005786
A Comparative Study on Biochar from Slow Pyrolysis of Corn Cob and Cassava Wastes
Abstract:

Biomass such as corn and cassava wastes if left to decay will release significant quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) including carbon dioxide and methane. The biomass wastes can be converted into biochar via thermochemical process such as slow pyrolysis. This approach can reduce the biomass wastes as well as preserve its carbon content. Biochar has the potential to be used as a carbon sequester and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome in order to identify their potential as pyrolysis feedstocks for biochar production. This was achieved by using the proximate and elemental analyses as well as calorific value and lignocellulosic determination. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar produced. A fixed bed slow pyrolysis reactor was used to pyrolyze the corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome. The pyrolysis temperatures were varied between 400 °C and 600 °C, while the heating rate and the holding time were fixed at 5 °C/min and 1 hour, respectively. Corn cob, cassava stem, and cassava rhizome were found to be suitable feedstocks for pyrolysis process because they contained a high percentage of volatile matter more than 80 mf wt.%. All the three feedstocks contained low nitrogen and sulphur content less than 1 mf wt.%. Therefore, during the pyrolysis process, the feedstocks give off very low rate of GHG such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Independent of the types of biomass, the percentage of biochar yield is inversely proportional to the pyrolysis temperature. The highest biochar yield for each studied temperature is from slow pyrolysis of cassava rhizome as the feedstock contained the highest percentage of ash compared to the other two feedstocks. The percentage of fixed carbon in all the biochars increased as the pyrolysis temperature increased. The increment of pyrolysis temperature from 400 °C to 600 °C increased the fixed carbon of corn cob biochar, cassava stem biochar and cassava rhizome biochar by 26.35%, 10.98%, and 6.20% respectively. Irrespective of the pyrolysis temperature, all the biochars produced were found to contain more than 60 mf wt.% fixed carbon content, much higher than its feedstocks.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):

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