Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 18

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 18
    Support Vector Regression for Retrieval of Soil Moisture Using Bistatic Scatterometer Data at X-Band
    An approach was evaluated for the retrieval of soil moisture of bare soil surface using bistatic scatterometer data in the angular range of 200 to 700 at VV- and HH- polarization. The microwave data was acquired by specially designed X-band (10 GHz) bistatic scatterometer. The linear regression analysis was done between scattering coefficients and soil moisture content to select the suitable incidence angle for retrieval of soil moisture content. The 250 incidence angle was found more suitable. The support vector regression analysis was used to approximate the function described by the input output relationship between the scattering coefficient and corresponding measured values of the soil moisture content. The performance of support vector regression algorithm was evaluated by comparing the observed and the estimated soil moisture content by statistical performance indices %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE). The values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 2.9451, 1.0986 and 0.9214 respectively at HHpolarization. At VV- polarization, the values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 3.6186, 0.9373 and 0.9428 respectively.
    Performance Evaluation of Single Basin Solar Still
    In an attempt to investigate the performance of single basin solar still for climate conditions of Ludhiana a single basin solar still was designed, fabricated and tested. The energy balance equations for various parts of the still are solved by Gauss-Seidel iteration method. Computer model was made and experimentally validated. The validated computer model was used to estimate the annual distillation yield and performance ratio of the still for Ludhiana. The Theoretical and experimental distillation yield were 4318.79 ml and 3850 ml respectively for the typical day. The predicted distillation yield was 12.5% higher than the experimental yield. The annual distillation yield per square metre aperture area and annual performance ratio for single basin solar still is 1095 litres and 0.43 respectively. The payback period for micro-stepped solar still is 2.5 years.
    Assessment of Groundwater Quality in Karakulam Grama Panchayath in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State, South India

    Groundwater is vital to the livelihoods and health of the majority of the people, since it provides almost the entire water resource for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. Groundwater quality comprises the physical, chemical and bacteriological qualities. The present investigation was carried out to determine the physicochemical and bacteriological quality of the ground water sources in the residential areas of Karakulam Grama Panchayath in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala state in India. Karakulam is located in the eastern suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram city. The major drinking water source of the residents in the study area is wells. The present study aims to assess the portability and irrigational suitability of groundwater in the study area. The water samples were collected from randomly selected dug wells and bore wells in the study area during post monsoon and pre monsoon seasons of the year 2014 after a preliminary field survey. The physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters of the water samples were analyzed following standard procedures. The concentration of heavy metals (Cd, Pb and Mn) in the acid digested water samples were determined by using an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. The results showed that the pH of well water samples ranged from acidic to alkaline level. In majority of well water samples (>54 %) the iron and magnesium content were found high in both the seasons studied, and the values were above the permissible limits of WHO drinking water quality standards. Bacteriological analyses showed that 63% of the wells were contaminated with total coliforms in both the seasons studied. Irrigational suitability of groundwater was assessed by determining the chemical indices like Sodium Percentage (%Na), Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Residual Sodium Carbonate (RSC), Permeability Index (PI), and the results indicate that the well water in the study area are good for irrigation purposes. Therefore, the study reveals the degradation of drinking water quality groundwater sources in Karakulam Grama Panchayath in Thiruvananthapuram District, Keralain terms of its chemical and bacteriological characteristics, and is not potable without proper treatment. In the study, more than 1/3rdof the well water samples tested were positive for total coliforms, and the bacterial contamination may pose threat to public health. The study recommends the need for periodic well water quality monitoring in the study area and to conduct awareness programs among the residents.

    A Comparative Case Study of the Impact of Square and Yurt-Shape Buildings on Energy Efficiency
    Regions with extreme climate conditions such as Astana city require energy saving measures to increase energy performance of buildings which are responsible for more than 40% of total energy consumption. Identification of optimal building geometry is one of key factors to be considered. Architectural form of a building has impact on space heating and cooling energy use, however the interrelationship between the geometry and resultant energy use is not always readily apparent. This paper presents a comparative case study of two prototypical buildings with compact building shape to assess its impact on energy performance.
    Impact of Disposed Drinking Water Sachets in Damaturu, Yobe State, Nigeria
    Damaturu is the capital of Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria where civic amenities and facilities are not adequate even after 24 years of its existence. The volatile security and political situations are most significant causes for the same. The basic facility for the citizens in terms of drinking water and electricity are not available. For the drinking water, they have to rely on personal boreholes or the filtered borehole waters available in packaged sachets in market. The present study is concerned with environmental impact of indiscriminate disposal of drinking synthetic polythene water sachets in Damaturu. The sachet water is popularly called as “pure water”, but its purity is questionable. Increased production and consumption of sachet water has led to indiscriminate dumping and disposal of empty sachets leading to serious environmental threat. The evidence of this is seen for sachets littering the streets and the drainages blocked by ‘blocks’ of water sachet waste. Sachet water gained much popularity in Nigeria because the product is convenient for use, affordable and economically viable. The present study aims to find out the solution to this environmental problem. The fieldbased study has found some significant factors that cause environmental and socio economic effect due to this. Some recommendations have been made based on research findings regarding sustainable waste management, recycling and re-use of the non-biodegradable products in society.
    Photocatalytic Cleaning Performance of Air Filters for a Binary Mixture
    Ultraviolet photocatalytic oxidation (UV-PCO) technology has been recommended as a green approach to health indoor environment when it is integrated into mechanical ventilation systems for inorganic and organic compounds removal as well as energy saving due to less outdoor air intakes. Although much research has been devoted to UV-PCO, limited information is available on the UV-PCO behavior tested by the mixtures in literature. This project investigated UV-PCO performance and by-product generation using a single and a mixture of acetone and MEK at 100 ppb each in a single-pass duct system in an effort to obtain knowledge associated with competitive photochemical reactions involved in. The experiments were performed at 20 % RH, 22 °C, and a gas flow rate of 128 m3/h (75 cfm). Results show that acetone and MEK mutually reduced each other’s PCO removal efficiency, particularly negative removal efficiency for acetone. These findings were different from previous observation of facilitatory effects on the adsorption of acetone and MEK on photocatalyst surfaces.
    Effects of Initial Moisture Content on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Norway Spruce Briquettes
    The moisture content of densified biomass is a limiting parameter influencing the quality of this solid biofuel. It influences its calorific value, density, mechanical strength and dimensional stability as well as affecting its production process. This paper deals with experimental research into the effect of moisture content of the densified material on the final quality of biofuel in the form of logs (briquettes or pellets). Experiments based on the singleaxis densification of the spruce sawdust were carried out with a hydraulic piston press (piston and die), where the densified logs were produced at room temperature. The effect of moisture content on the qualitative properties of the logs, including density, change of moisture, expansion and physical changes, and compressive and impact resistance were studied. The results show the moisture ranges required for producing good-quality logs. The experiments were evaluated and the moisture content of the tested material was optimized to achieve the optimum value for the best quality of the solid biofuel. The dense logs also have high-energy content per unit volume. The research results could be used to develop and optimize industrial technologies and machinery for biomass densification to achieve high quality solid biofuel.
    Improvement of Deficient Soils in Nigeria Using Bagasse Ash: A Review
    Review of studies carried out on the use of bagasse ash for the improvement of deficient soils in Nigeria, with emphasis on lateritic and black cotton soils is presented. Although, the bagasse ash is mostly used as additive to the conventional soil stabilizers (cement and lime), the studies generally showed improvement in the geotechnical properties of the soils, either modified or stabilized with the ash. This showed the potentials of using this agricultural waste (bagasse ash) in the improvement of geotechnical properties of deficient soils, thus suggesting that using this material at large scale level in geotechnical engineering practice could help in the provision of stable and durable structures, reduce cost of soil improvement and also reduces environmental nuisance caused by the unused waste in Nigeria.
    Bowen Ratio in Western São Paulo State, Brazil

    This paper discusses micrometeorological aspects of the urban climate in three cities in Western São Paulo State: Presidente Prudente, Assis and Iepê. Particular attention is paid to the method used to estimate the components of the energy balance at the surface. Estimates of convective fluxes showed that the Bowen ratio was an indicator of the local climate and that its magnitude varied between 0.3 and 0.7. Maximum values for the Bowen ratio occurred earlier in Iepê (11:00 am) than in Presidente Prudente (4:00 pm). The results indicate that the Bowen ratio is modulated by the radiation balance at the surface and by different clusters of vegetation.

    Effect of Oyster Mushroom on Biodegradation of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fibre

    The problem of degradation of agricultural residues from palm oil industry is increasing due to its expansion. Lignocelloulosic waste from these industry represent large amount of unutilized resources, this is due to their high lignin content. Since white rot fungi are capable of degrading lignin, its potential for the degradation of lignocelloulosic waste from palm oil industry was accessed. The lignocellluloses content was measured before and after biodegradation and the rate of reduction was determined. From the results of the biodegradation, it was observed that hemicellulose reduces by 22.62%, cellulose by 20.97% and lignin by 10.65% from the initials lignocelluloses contents. Thus, to improve the digestibility of palm oil mesocarp fibre, treatment by white rot-fungi is recommended.

    Investigating the Nail Walls Performance in Jointed Rock Medium
    Evaluation of the excavation-induced ground movements is an important design aspect of support systems in urban areas. Geological and geotechnical conditions of an excavation area have significant effects on excavation-induced ground movements and the related damage. This paper is aimed at studying the performance of excavation walls supported by nails in jointed rock medium. The performance of nailed walls is investigated based on evaluating the excavation-induced ground movements. For this purpose, a set of calibrated 2D finite element models are developed by taking into account the nail-rock-structure interactions, the anisotropic properties of jointed rock, and the staged construction process. The results of this paper highlight effects of different parameters such as joint inclinations, anisotropy of rocks and nail inclinations on deformation parameters of excavation wall supported by nails.
    The Automated Soil Erosion Monitoring System (ASEMS)
    The advancements in technology allow the development of a new system that can continuously measure surface soil erosion. Continuous soil erosion measurements are required in order to comprehend the erosional processes and propose effective and efficient conservation measures to mitigate surface erosion. Mitigating soil erosion, especially in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, is essential in order to maintain environmental and agricultural sustainability. In this paper, we present the Automated Soil Erosion Monitoring System (ASEMS) that measures surface soil erosion along with other factors that impact erosional process. Specifically, this system measures ground level changes (surface soil erosion), rainfall, air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture. Another important innovation is that the data will be collected by remote communication. In addition, stakeholder’s awareness is a key factor to help reduce any environmental problem. The different dissemination activities that were utilized are described. The overall outcomes were the development of a new innovative system that can measure erosion very accurately. These data from the system help study the process of erosion and find the best possible methods to reduce erosion. The dissemination activities enhance the stakeholders and public's awareness on surface soil erosion problems and will lead to the adoption of more effective soil erosion conservation practices in Greece.
    Stabilization of Clay Soil Using A-3 Soil
    A clay soil classified as A-7-6 and CH soil according to AASHTO and unified soil classification system respectively, was stabilized using A-3 soil (AASHTO soil classification system). The clay soil was replaced with 0%, 10%, 20%, to 100% A-3 soil, compacted at both British Standard Light (BSL) and British Standard Heavy (BSH) compaction energy levels and using Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) as evaluation criteria. The Maximum Dry Density (MDD) of the treated soils at both the BSL and BSH compaction energy levels showed increase from 0% to 40% A-3 soil replacement after which the values reduced to 100% replacement. The trend of the Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) with varied A-3 soil replacement was similar to that of MDD but in a reversed order. The OMC reduced from 0% to 40% A-3 soil replacement after which the values increased to 100% replacement. This trend was attributed to the observed reduction in void ratio from 0% to 40% replacement after which the void ratio increased to 100% replacement. The maximum UCS for the soil at varied A-3 soil replacement increased from 272 and 770 kN/m2 for BSL and BSH compaction energy level at 0% replacement to 295 and 795 kN/m2 for BSL and BSH compaction energy level respectively at 10% replacement after which the values reduced to 22 and 60 kN/m2 for BSL and BSH compaction energy level respectively at 70% replacement. Beyond 70% replacement, the mixtures could not be moulded for UCS test.
    Optimization of Multi-Zone Unconventional (Shale) Gas Reservoir Using Hydraulic Fracturing Technique
    Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most important stimulation techniques available to the petroleum engineer to extract hydrocarbons in tight gas sandstones. It allows more oil and gas production in tight reservoirs as compared to conventional means. The main aim of the study is to optimize the hydraulic fracturing as technique and for this purpose three multi-zones layer formation is considered and fractured contemporaneously. The three zones are named as Zone1 (upper zone), Zone2 (middle zone) and Zone3 (lower zone) respectively and they all occur in shale rock. Simulation was performed with Mfrac integrated software which gives a variety of 3D fracture options. This simulation process yielded an average fracture efficiency of 93.8%for the three respective zones and an increase of the average permeability of the rock system. An average fracture length of 909 ft with net height (propped height) of 210 ft (average) was achieved. Optimum fracturing results was also achieved with maximum fracture width of 0.379 inches at an injection rate of 13.01 bpm with 17995 Mscf of gas production.
    Ecosystem Post-Wildfire Effects of Thasos Island
    Fires is one of the main types of disturbances that shape ecosystems in the Mediterranean region. However nowadays, climate alterations towards higher temperatures result on increased levels of fire intensity, frequency and spread as well as difficulties for natural regeneration to occur. Thasos Island is one of the Greek islands that has experienced those problems. Since 1984, a series of wildfires led to the reduction of forest cover from 61.6% to almost 20%. The negative impacts were devastating in many different aspects for the island. The absence of plant cover, post-wildfire precipitation and steep slopes were the major factors that induced severe soil erosion and intense floods. That also resulted to serious economic problems to the local communities and the inability of the burnt areas to regenerate naturally. Despite the substantial amount of published work regarding Thasos wildfires, there is no information related to post-wildfire effects on factors such as soil erosion. More research related to post-fire effects should help to an overall assessment of the negative impacts of wildfires on land degradation through processes such as soil erosion and flooding.
    Research on Building Urban Sustainability along the Coastal Area in China
    At present, in China, the research about the urban sustainability construction is still in the exploratory stage. The ecological problems of the coastal area are more sensitive and complicated. In the background of global warming with serious ecological damage, this paper deeply researches on the main characteristics of urban sustainability and measures how to build urban sustainability. Through combining regional environmental with economic ability along the coastal area, then authors put forward the system planning framework, construction strategy and the evaluation index system, in order to seek the way of building urban sustainability along coastal area in China.
    Wadi Halfa Oolitic Ironstone Formation, Wadi Halfa and Argein Areas, North Sudan
    In present study, a large deposit of oolitic iron ore of Late Carboniferous-Permotriassic-Lower Jurassic age was discovered in Wadi Halfa and Argein areas, North Sudan. It seems that the iron ore mineralization exists in the west and east bank of the River Nile of the study area that are found on the Egyptian-Sudanese border. The Carboniferous-Lower Jurassic age strata were covered by 67 sections and each section has been examined and carefully described. The iron-ore in Wadi Halfa occurs as oolitic ironstone and contained two horizons: (A) horizon and (B) horizon. Only horizon (A) was observed in southern Argein area. The texture of the ore is variable depending on the volume of the component. In thin sections, the average of the ooids was ranged between 90%-80%. The matrix varies between 10%-20% by volume and detritus quartz in other component my reach up to 30% by volume in sandy massive ore. Ooids size ranges from 0.2mm-1.00 mm on average in very coarse ooids may attend up to 1 mm in size. The matrix around the ooids is dominated by iron hydroxide, carbonate, fine, and amorphous silica. The probable ore reserve estimate of 1.234 billion at a head grade of 41.29% Fe for the Wadi Halfa Oolitic Ironstone Formation. The iron ore shows higher content of phosphorus ranges from 6.15% to 0.16%, with mean 1.45%. The new technology Hatch–Ironstone Chloride Segregation (HICS) can be used to produce commercial-quality of iron and reduce phosphorus and silica to acceptable levels for steel industry. The presence of infrastructures in addition to the presence of massive quantities of iron ore would make exploitation economically.
    Assessment of the Energy Balance Method in the Case of Masonry Domes

    Masonry dome structures had been widely used for covering large spans in the past. The seismic assessment of these historical structures is very complicated due to the nonlinear behavior of the material, their rigidness, and special stability configuration. The assessment method based on energy balance concept, as well as the standard pushover analysis, is used to evaluate the effectiveness of these methods in the case of masonry dome structures. The Soltanieh dome building is used as an example to which two methods are applied. The performance points are given from superimposing the capacity, and demand curves in Acceleration Displacement Response Spectra (ADRS) and energy coordination are compared with the nonlinear time history analysis as the exact result. The results show a good agreement between the dynamic analysis and the energy balance method, but standard pushover method does not provide an acceptable estimation.