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Sample records for significantly improve biomass

  1. Heat storage in forest biomass significantly improves energy balance closure particularly during stable conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Mölder, M.; Lagergren, F.

    2009-08-01

    Temperature measurements in trunks and branches in a mature ca. 100 years-old mixed pine and spruce forest in central Sweden were used to estimate the heat storage in the tree biomass. The estimated heat flux in the sample trees and data on biomass distributions were used to scale up to stand level biomass heat fluxes. The rate of change of sensible and latent heat storage in the air layer below the level of the flux measurements was estimated from air temperature and humidity profile measurements and soil heat flux was estimated from heat flux plates and soil temperature measurements. The fluxes of sensible and latent heat from the forest were measured with an eddy covariance system in a tower. The analysis was made for a two-month period in summer of 1995. The tree biomass heat flux was the largest of the estimated storage components and varied between 40 and -35 W m-2 on summer days with nice weather. Averaged over two months the diurnal maximum of total heat storage was 45 W m-2 and the minimum was -35 W m-2. The soil heat flux and the sensible heat storage in air were out of phase with the biomass flux and they reached maximum values that were about 75% of the maximum of the tree biomass heat storage. The energy balance closure improved significantly when the total heat storage was added to the turbulent fluxes. The slope of a regression line with sum of fluxes and storage as independent and net radiation as dependent variable, increased from 0.86 to 0.95 for half-hourly data and the scatter was also reduced. The most significant finding was, however, that during nights with strongly stable conditions when the sensible heat flux dropped to nearly zero, the total storage matched the net radiation nearly perfectly. Another interesting result was that the mean energy imbalance started to increase when the Richardson number became more negative than ca. -0.1. In fact, the largest energy deficit occurred at maximum instability. Our conclusion is that eddy

  2. Improved biomass Injera stove- Mirte

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bess, M.; Kenna, J.

    1994-01-01

    The status report of 1994 - 1995 shows as the need to design an improved biomass stove for Injera was recognized. The marketing began in mid-1994 with a Mirte which showed even higher efficiencies in laboratory, using 50 percent less woody biomass than the open fire. By early 1994 several hundreds Mirte stoves had been sold in Addis Ababa at non-subsidized prices. The Mirte is currently produced on a large-scale by building materials companies. 3 figs. 1 tab

  3. Enzymes for improved biomass conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunecky, Roman; Himmel, Michael E.

    2016-02-02

    Disclosed herein are enzymes and combinations of the enzymes useful for the hydrolysis of cellulose and the conversion of biomass. Methods of degrading cellulose and biomass using enzymes and cocktails of enzymes are also disclosed.

  4. Diffusion of improved biomass stoves in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daxiong Qiu; Shuhua Gu; Catania, P.; Kun Huang

    1996-01-01

    The large-scale utilization of inefficient biofuel stoves for cooking and heating in the rural areas of China can cause ecological and environmental problems; thus, in 1982, the Chinese government encouraged the diffusion of improved biomass stoves. From 1982 to 1994, these improved biomass stoves have been used by 144 million households or the equivalent of 90% of all improved stoves installed globally; 62% of the Chinese market has been penetrated. This paper presents the fundamental features of China's diffusion programme of improved biomass stoves, analyses of the future domestic market, and defines some of the lessons learned from the diffusion programme which may be applicable in other emerging nations. (Author)

  5. Biomass burning: A significant source of nutrients for Andean rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, P. F.; Rollenbeck, R.; University Of Marburg, Germany

    2010-12-01

    Regular rain and fogwater sampling in the Podocarpus National Park,on the humid eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes,has been carried out since 2002.The samples,accumulated over about 1-week intervals,were analysed for pH,conductivity,and major ions (K+, Na+, NH4+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl-, SO4 2-, NO3-, PO4 3- ).Annual deposition rates of these ions which, due to poor acidic soils with low mineralization rates,constitute the dominant nutrient supply to the mountaineous rainforests, and major ion sources could be determined using back trajectories,along with satellite data. While most of the Na, Cl, and K as well as Ca and Mg input was found to originate from natural oceanic and desert dust sources,respectively (P.Fabian et al.,Adv.Geosci.22,85-94, 2009), NO3, NH4, and about 90% of SO4 (about 10 % is from active volcanoes) are almost entirely due to anthropogenic sources,most likely biomass burning. Industrial and transportation emissions and other pollutants,however,act in a similar way as the precursors produced by biomass burning.For quantifying the impacts of biomass burning vs. those of anthropogenic sources other than biomass burning we used recently established emission inventories,along with simplified model calculations on back trajectories.First results yielding significant contributions of biomass burning will be discussed.

  6. EFFICIENT USE OF BIOMASS IN IMPROVED COOKSTOVES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. K. PAL

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Traditional biomass cookstoves have very low efficiency. The improved cookstoves have very high efficiency. These improved cookstoves with high efficiency saves biomass fuels. Biomass can be saved in case of rocket elbow cookstoves. The amount of biomass which can be saved in case of rocket elbow cookstoves is 65.88 MT. More biomass can be saved in case of gasifier fan cookstoves. The amount of biomass which can be saved is 155.71 MT. The pollutants like particulate matter, black carbon, carbon mono-oxide and carbon dioxide emission is lesser in case of rocket elbow cookstoves. The pollutants are least in case of gasifier fan cookstoves. The reduction in particulate matter, black carbon, carbon mono-oxide and carbon dioxide emission in gasifier fan cookstoves is 1.77 MT, 0.24 MT, 0.71 MT & 151.64 MT respectively in comparison to traditional cookstoves. Therefore indoor air pollution is greatly reduced in case of improved cookstoves especially in case of gasifier fan cookstoves as compared to traditional cookstoves.

  7. Biomass productivity improvement for eastern cottonwood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry L. Robison; Randy J. Rousseau; Jianwei Zhang

    2006-01-01

    Eastern cottonwood ( Populus deltoides Marsh.) is grown in plantations by MeadWestvaco for use at its Wickliffe Kentucky Fine Papers Mill1. Genetic and productivity research over the past two decades have led to significant increases in biomass yield while reducing production costs.Initially, genetic research identified fast growing...

  8. Improved Biomass Cooking Stoves and Improved Stove Emission Equipment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HATFIELD, MICHAEL; Still, Dean

    2013-04-15

    In developing countries, there is an urgent need for access to safe, efficient, and more affordable cooking technologies. Nearly 2.5 billion people currently use an open fire or traditional cookstove to prepare their meals, and recent models predict that use of biomass for cooking will continue to be the dominant energy use in rural, resource-poor households through 2030. For these families, cooking poses serious risks to health, safety, and income. An alarming 4 million people, primarily women and children, die prematurely each year from indoor and outdoor exposure to the harmful emissions released by solid fuel combustion. Use of traditional stoves can also have a significant impact on deforestation and climate change. This dire situation creates a critical need for cookstoves that significantly and verifiably reduce fuel use and emissions in order to reach protective levels for human health and the environment. Additionally, advances in the scientific equipment needed to measure and monitor stove fuel use and emissions have not kept pace with the significant need within the industry. While several testing centers in the developed world may have hundred thousand-dollar emissions testing systems, organizations in the field have had little more than a thermometer, a scale, and subjective observations to quantify the performance of stove designs. There is an urgent need for easy-to-use, inexpensive, accurate, and robust stove testing equipment for use by laboratory and field researchers around the world. ASAT and their research partner, Aprovecho Research Center (ARC), have over thirty years of experience addressing these two needs, improved cookstoves and emissions monitoring equipment, with expertise spanning the full spectrum of development from conceptual design to product manufacturing and dissemination. This includes: 1) research, design, and verification of clean biomass cookstove technology and emissions monitoring equipment; 2) mass production of quality

  9. IMPROVING BIOMASS LOGISTICS COST WITHIN AGRONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY CONSTRAINTS AND BIOMASS QUALITY TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Richard Hess; Kevin L. Kenney; Christopher T. Wright; David J. Muth; William Smith

    2012-10-01

    Equipment manufacturers have made rapid improvements in biomass harvesting and handling equipment. These improvements have increased transportation and handling efficiencies due to higher biomass densities and reduced losses. Improvements in grinder efficiencies and capacity have reduced biomass grinding costs. Biomass collection efficiencies (the ratio of biomass collected to the amount available in the field) as high as 75% for crop residues and greater than 90% for perennial energy crops have also been demonstrated. However, as collection rates increase, the fraction of entrained soil in the biomass increases, and high biomass residue removal rates can violate agronomic sustainability limits. Advancements in quantifying multi-factor sustainability limits to increase removal rate as guided by sustainable residue removal plans, and mitigating soil contamination through targeted removal rates based on soil type and residue type/fraction is allowing the use of new high efficiency harvesting equipment and methods. As another consideration, single pass harvesting and other technologies that improve harvesting costs cause biomass storage moisture management challenges, which challenges are further perturbed by annual variability in biomass moisture content. Monitoring, sampling, simulation, and analysis provide basis for moisture, time, and quality relationships in storage, which has allowed the development of moisture tolerant storage systems and best management processes that combine moisture content and time to accommodate baled storage of wet material based upon “shelf-life.” The key to improving biomass supply logistics costs has been developing the associated agronomic sustainability and biomass quality technologies and processes that allow the implementation of equipment engineering solutions.

  10. IMPROVED BIOMASS UTILIZATION THROUGH REMOTE FLOW SENSING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Washington University- St. Louis: Muthanna Al-Dahhan (Principal Investigator)

    2007-03-26

    The growth of the livestock industry provides a valuable source of affordable, sustainable, and renewable bioenergy, while also requiring the safe disposal of the large quantities of animal wastes (manure) generated at dairy, swine, and poultry farms. If these biomass resources are mishandled and underutilized, major environmental problems will be created, such as surface and ground water contamination, odors, dust, ammonia leaching, and methane emission. Anaerobic digestion of animal wastes, in which microorganisms break down organic materials in the absence of oxygen, is one of the most promising waste treatment technologies. This process produces biogas typically containing {approx}65% methane and {approx}35% carbon dioxide. The production of biogas through anaerobic digestion from animal wastes, landfills, and municipal waste water treatment plants represents a large source of renewable and sustainable bio-fuel. Such bio-fuel can be combusted directly, used in internal combustion engines, converted into methanol, or partially oxidized to produce synthesis gas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) that can be converted to clean liquid fuels and chemicals via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Different design and mixing configurations of anaerobic digesters for treating cow manure have been utilized commercially and/or tested on a laboratory scale. These digesters include mechanically mixed, gas recirculation mixed, and slurry recirculation mixed designs, as well as covered lagoon digesters. Mixing is an important parameter for successful performance of anaerobic digesters. It enhances substrate contact with the microbial community; improves pH, temperature and substrate/microorganism uniformity; prevents stratification and scum accumulation; facilitates the removal of biogas from the digester; reduces or eliminates the formation of inactive zones (dead zones); prevents settling of biomass and inert solids; and aids in particle size reduction. Unfortunately

  11. Introducing extra NADPH consumption ability significantly increases the photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production of cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jie; Zhang, Fuliang; Meng, Hengkai; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2016-11-01

    Increasing photosynthetic efficiency is crucial to increasing biomass production to meet the growing demands for food and energy. Previous theoretical arithmetic analysis suggests that the light reactions and dark reactions are imperfectly coupled due to shortage of ATP supply, or accumulation of NADPH. Here we hypothesized that solely increasing NADPH consumption might improve the coupling of light reactions and dark reactions, thereby increasing the photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production. To test this hypothesis, an NADPH consumption pathway was constructed in cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The resulting extra NADPH-consuming mutant grew much faster and achieved a higher biomass concentration. Analyses of photosynthesis characteristics showed the activities of photosystem II and photosystem I and the light saturation point of the NADPH-consuming mutant all significantly increased. Thus, we demonstrated that introducing extra NADPH consumption ability is a promising strategy to increase photosynthetic efficiency and to enable utilization of high-intensity lights. Copyright © 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Heat storage in forest biomass improves energy balance closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Mölder, M.; Lagergren, F.

    2010-01-01

    Temperature measurements in trunks and branches in a mature ca. 100 years-old mixed pine and spruce forest in central Sweden were used to estimate the heat storage in the tree biomass. The estimated heat flux in the sample trees and data on biomass distributions were used to scale up to stand level biomass heat fluxes. The rate of change of sensible and latent heat storage in the air layer below the level of the flux measurements was estimated from air temperature and humidity profile measurements and soil heat flux was estimated from heat flux plates and soil temperature measurements. The fluxes of sensible and latent heat from the forest were measured with an eddy covariance system in a tower. The analysis was made for a two-month period in summer of 1995. The tree biomass heat flux was the largest of the estimated storage components and varied between 40 and -35 W m-2 on summer days with nice weather. Averaged over two months the diurnal maximum of total heat storage was 45 W m-2 and the minimum was -35 W m-2. The soil heat flux and the sensible heat storage in air were out of phase with the biomass flux and they reached maximum values that were about 75% of the maximum of the tree biomass heat storage. The energy balance closure improved significantly when the total heat storage was added to the turbulent fluxes. The slope of a regression line with sum of fluxes and storage as independent and net radiation as dependent variable, increased from 0.86 to 0.95 for half-hourly data and the scatter was also reduced. The most significant finding was, however, that during nights with strongly stable conditions when the sensible heat flux dropped to nearly zero, the total storage matched the net radiation very well. Another interesting result was that the mean energy imbalance started to increase when the Richardson number became more negative than ca. -0.1. In fact, the largest energy deficit occurred at maximum instability. Our conclusion is that eddy covariance

  13. Sorghum Brown Midrib Mutants, Tools to Improve Biomass for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    To improve sorghum for cellulosic bioenergy uses, brown midrib mutants are being investigated for their ability to increase the conversion efficiency of biomass. brown midrib 6 and 12 (bmr6 and 12) mutants affect monolignol biosynthesis resulting in reduced lignin content and altered lignin composi...

  14. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  15. Carotid endarterectomy significantly improves postoperative laryngeal sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Georg Philipp; Tomazic, Peter Valentin; Vasicek, Sarah; Graupp, Matthias; Gugatschka, Markus; Baumann, Anneliese; Konstantiniuk, Peter; Koter, Stephan Herwig

    2016-11-01

    sensory threshold on the operated-on side (6.08 ± 2.02 mm Hg) decreased significantly at the 6-week follow-up, even in relation to the preoperative measure (P = .022). With the exception of one patient with permanent unilateral vocal fold immobility, no signs of nerve injury were detected. In accordance with previous reports, injuries to the recurrent laryngeal nerve during CEA seem to be rare. In most patients, postoperative symptoms (globus, dysphagia, dysphonia) and signs fade within a few weeks without any specific therapeutic intervention. This study shows an improved long-term postoperative superior laryngeal nerve function with regard to laryngopharyngeal sensitivity. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Modeling of chemical exergy of agricultural biomass using improved general regression neural network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Y.W.; Chen, M.Q.; Li, Y.; Guo, J.

    2016-01-01

    A comprehensive evaluation for energy potential contained in agricultural biomass was a vital step for energy utilization of agricultural biomass. The chemical exergy of typical agricultural biomass was evaluated based on the second law of thermodynamics. The chemical exergy was significantly influenced by C and O elements rather than H element. The standard entropy of the samples also was examined based on their element compositions. Two predicted models of the chemical exergy were developed, which referred to a general regression neural network model based upon the element composition, and a linear model based upon the high heat value. An auto-refinement algorithm was firstly developed to improve the performance of regression neural network model. The developed general regression neural network model with K-fold cross-validation had a better ability for predicting the chemical exergy than the linear model, which had lower predicted errors (±1.5%). - Highlights: • Chemical exergies of agricultural biomass were evaluated based upon fifty samples. • Values for the standard entropy of agricultural biomass samples were calculated. • A linear relationship between chemical exergy and HHV of samples was detected. • An improved GRNN prediction model for the chemical exergy of biomass was developed.

  17. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. Downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In the present study we sought to further...

  18. Overexpression of the WOX gene STENOFOLIA improves biomass yield and sugar release in transgenic grasses and display altered cytokinin homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Wang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Lignocellulosic biomass can be a significant source of renewable clean energy with continued improvement in biomass yield and bioconversion strategies. In higher plants, the leaf blade is the central energy convertor where solar energy and CO2 are assimilated to make the building blocks for biomass production. Here we report that introducing the leaf blade development regulator STENOFOLIA (STF, a WOX family transcription factor, into the biofuel crop switchgrass, significantly improves both biomass yield and sugar release. We found that STF overexpressing switchgrass plants produced approximately 2-fold more dry biomass and release approximately 1.8-fold more solubilized sugars without pretreatment compared to controls. The biomass increase was attributed mainly to increased leaf width and stem thickness, which was also consistent in STF transgenic rice and Brachypodium, and appeared to be caused by enhanced cell proliferation. STF directly binds to multiple regions in the promoters of some cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX genes and represses their expression in all three transgenic grasses. This repression was accompanied by a significant increase in active cytokinin content in transgenic rice leaves, suggesting that the increase in biomass productivity and sugar release could at least in part be associated with improved cytokinin levels caused by repression of cytokinin degrading enzymes. Our study provides a new tool for improving biomass feedstock yield in bioenergy crops, and uncovers a novel mechanistic insight in the function of STF, which may also apply to other repressive WOX genes that are master regulators of several key plant developmental programs.

  19. Biomass Burning:Significant Source of Nitrate and Sulfate for the Andean Rain Forest in Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, P.; Rollenbeck, R.; Spichtinger, N.

    2009-04-01

    Forest fires are significant sources of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen compounds which, along with their photochemically generated reaction products, can be transported over very long distances, even traversing oceans. Chemical analyses of rain and fogwater samples collected on the wet eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes show frequent episodes of high sulfate and nitrate concentration, from which annual deposition rates of about14 kg/ha and 7 kg/ha ,respectively, are derived. These are comparable to those observed in polluted central Europe. Regular rain and fogwater sampling along an altitude profile between 1800 and 3185 m, has been carried out since 2002.The research area located at 30 58'S ,790 5' W is dominated by trade winds from easterly directions. The samples, generally accumulated over 1-week intervals, were analysed for pH, conductivity and major ions(K+,Na+,NH4+,Ca2+,Mg 2+,SO42-,NO3-,PO43-).For all components a strong seasonal variation is observed, while the altitudinal gradient is less pronounced. About 65 % of the weekly samples were significantly loaded with cations and anions, with pH often as low 3.5 to 4.0 and conductivity up to 50 uS/cm. Back trajectories (FLEXTRA) showed that respective air masses had passed over areas of intense biomass burning, sometimes influenced by volcanoes, ocean spray, or even episodic Sahara and/or Namib desert dust interference not discussed here. Enhanced SO4 2-and NO3- were identified, by combining satellite-based fire pixels with back trajectories, as predominantly resulting from biomass burning. For most cases, by using emission inventories, anthropogenic precursor sources other than forest fires play a minor role, thus leaving biomass burning as the main source of nitrate and sulphate in rain and fogwater. Some SO4 2- , about 10 % of the total input, could be identified to originate from active volcanoes, whose plumes were sometimes encountered by the respective back trajectories. While volcanic, oceanic and

  20. Biomass recycle as a means to improve the energy efficiency of CELSS algal culture systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radmer, R.; Cox, J.; Lieberman, D.; Behrens, P.; Arnett, K.

    1987-01-01

    Algal cultures can be very rapid and efficient means to generate biomass and regenerate the atmosphere for closed environmental life support systems. However, as in the case of most higher plants, a significant fraction of the biomass produced by most algae cannot be directly converted to a useful food product by standard food technology procedures. This waste biomass will serve as an energy drain on the overall system unless it can be efficiently recycled without a significant loss of its energy content. Experiments are reported in which cultures of the alga Scenedesmus obliquus were grown in the light and at the expense of an added carbon source, which either replaced or supplemented the actinic light. As part of these experiments, hydrolyzed waste biomass from these same algae were tested to determine whether the algae themselves could be made part of the biological recycling process. Results indicate that hydrolyzed algal (and plant) biomass can serve as carbon and energy sources for the growth of these algae, suggesting that the efficiency of the closed system could be significantly improved using this recycling process.

  1. Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard R. Parresol

    2001-01-01

    Biomass, the contraction for biological mass, is the amount of living material provided by a given area or volume of the earth's surface, whether terrestrial or aquatic. Biomass is important for commercial uses (e.g., fuel and fiber) and for national development planning, as well as for scientific studies of ecosystem productivity, energy and nutrient flows, and...

  2. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  3. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  4. Improving biogas quality and methane yield via co-digestion of agricultural and urban biomass wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, Tjalfe G; Adelard, Laetitia

    2016-08-01

    Impact of co-digestion versus mono-digestion on biogas and CH4 yield for a set of five biomass materials (vegetable food waste, cow dung, pig manure, grass clippings, and chicken manure) was investigated considering 95 different biomass mixes of the five materials under thermophilic conditions in bench-scale batch experiments over a period of 65days. Average biogas and CH4 yields were significantly higher during co-digestion than during mono-digestion of the same materials. This improvement was most significant for co-digestion experiments involving three biomass types, although it was independent of the specific biomasses being co-digested. Improvement in CH4 production was further more prominent early in the digestion process during co-digestion compared to mono-digestion. Co-digestion also appeared to increase the ultimate CH4/CO2 ratio of the gas produced compared to mono-digestion although this tendency was relatively weak and not statistically significant. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Process Improvements to Biomass Pretreatment of Fuels and Chemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teymouri, Farzaneh [Michigan Biotechnology Inst., Lansing, MI (United States)

    2015-05-30

    MBI, a 501c(3) company focusing on de-risking and scaling up bio-based technologies, has teamed with Michigan State University and the Idaho National Laboratory to develop and demonstrate process improvements to the ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment process. The logistical hurdles of biomass handling are well known, and the regional depot concept - in which small, distributed bioprocessing operations collect, preprocess, and densify biomass before shipping to a centralized refinery - is a promising alternative to centralized collection. AFEXTM (AFEX is a trademark of MBI) has unique features among pretreatments that would make it desirable as a pretreatment prior to densification at the depot scale. MBI has developed a novel design, using a packed bed reactor for the AFEX process that can be scaled down economically to the depot scale at a lower capital cost as compared to the traditional design (Pandia type reactor). Thus, the purpose of this project was to develop, scale-up, demonstrate, and improve this novel design The key challenges are the recovery of ammonia, consistent and complete pretreatment performance, and the overall throughput of the reactor. In this project an engineering scale packed bed AFEX system with 1-ton per day capacity was installed at MBI’s building. The system has been operational since mid-2013. During that time, MBI has demonstrated the robustness, reliability, and consistency of the process. To date, nearly 500 runs have been performed in the reactors. There have been no incidences of plugging (i.e., inability to remove ammonia from biomass after the treatment), nor has there been any instance of a major ammonia release into the atmosphere. Likewise, the sugar released via enzyme hydrolysis has remained consistent throughout these runs. Our economic model shows a 46% reduction in AFEX capital cost at the 100 ton/day scale compared to the traditional design of AFEX (Pandia type reactor). The key performance factors were

  6. Tree biomass in the Swiss landscape: nationwide modelling for improved accounting for forest and non-forest trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, B; Gomez, A; Mathys, L; Gardi, O; Schellenberger, A; Ginzler, C; Thürig, E

    2017-03-01

    Trees outside forest (TOF) can perform a variety of social, economic and ecological functions including carbon sequestration. However, detailed quantification of tree biomass is usually limited to forest areas. Taking advantage of structural information available from stereo aerial imagery and airborne laser scanning (ALS), this research models tree biomass using national forest inventory data and linear least-square regression and applies the model both inside and outside of forest to create a nationwide model for tree biomass (above ground and below ground). Validation of the tree biomass model against TOF data within settlement areas shows relatively low model performance (R 2 of 0.44) but still a considerable improvement on current biomass estimates used for greenhouse gas inventory and carbon accounting. We demonstrate an efficient and easily implementable approach to modelling tree biomass across a large heterogeneous nationwide area. The model offers significant opportunity for improved estimates on land use combination categories (CC) where tree biomass has either not been included or only roughly estimated until now. The ALS biomass model also offers the advantage of providing greater spatial resolution and greater within CC spatial variability compared to the current nationwide estimates.

  7. Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Plant Biomass Quality for Bioethanol Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julián Mario Peña-Castro

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The transition from an economy dependent on nonrenewable energy sources to one with higher diversity of renewables will not be a simple process. It requires an important research effort to adapt to the dynamics of the changing energy market, sort costly processes, and avoid overlapping with social interest markets such as food and livestock production. In this review, we analyze the desirable traits of raw plant materials for the bioethanol industry and the molecular biotechnology strategies employed to improve them, in either plants already under use (as maize or proposed species (large grass families. The fundamentals of these applications can be found in the mechanisms by which plants have evolved different pathways to manage carbon resources for reproduction or survival in unexpected conditions. Here, we review the means by which this information can be used to manipulate these mechanisms for commercial uses, including saccharification improvement of starch and cellulose, decrease in cell wall recalcitrance through lignin modification, and increase in plant biomass.

  8. Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Plant Biomass Quality for Bioethanol Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Moral, Sandra; Núñez-López, Lizeth; Barrera-Figueroa, Blanca E.; Amaya-Delgado, Lorena

    2017-01-01

    The transition from an economy dependent on nonrenewable energy sources to one with higher diversity of renewables will not be a simple process. It requires an important research effort to adapt to the dynamics of the changing energy market, sort costly processes, and avoid overlapping with social interest markets such as food and livestock production. In this review, we analyze the desirable traits of raw plant materials for the bioethanol industry and the molecular biotechnology strategies employed to improve them, in either plants already under use (as maize) or proposed species (large grass families). The fundamentals of these applications can be found in the mechanisms by which plants have evolved different pathways to manage carbon resources for reproduction or survival in unexpected conditions. Here, we review the means by which this information can be used to manipulate these mechanisms for commercial uses, including saccharification improvement of starch and cellulose, decrease in cell wall recalcitrance through lignin modification, and increase in plant biomass. PMID:28951875

  9. Linking biomass fuel consumption and improve cooking stove: A study from Bangladesh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sohel, Md. Shawkat Islam; Rana, Md. Parvez; Akhter, Sayma

    2010-09-15

    The study determines the biomass fuel consumption pattern and environmental consequences of biomass fuel usage in the traditional and improve cooking stove. The introduction of improved cooking stove minimizes people's forest dependence by reducing the amount of fuelwood required to meet their household needs. Firewood was the most frequently used biomass fuel. It has been figured out that the incomplete combustion of biomass in the traditional cooking stove poses severe epidemiological consequences to human health and contributes to global warming. While improve cooking stove help to reduce such consequences.

  10. Pyramiding genes and alleles for improving energy cane biomass yield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ming, Ray [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Nagai, Chifumi [Hawaii Agriculture Research Center; Yu, Qingyi [Texas A & M AgriLife Research

    2018-03-23

    The overall goal of this project is to identify genes and gene interaction networks contributed to the extreme segregants with 30 folds biomass yield difference in sugarcane F2 populations. Towards achieving this goal, yield trials of 108 F2 extreme segregants from S. officinarum LA Purple and S. robustum MOL5829 (LM population) were carried out in two locations in three years. A yield trial of the second F2 population from S. officinarum LA Purple and S. spontaneum US56-14-4 (LU population) was installed in the summer of 2014 and the first set of yield component data was collected. For genotyping, transcriptomes from leaves and stalks of 70 extreme segregants of the LM F2 population and 119 individuals of the LU F2 populations were sequenced. The genomes of 91 F1 individuals from the LM populations are being sequenced to construct ultra-high density genetic maps for each of the two parents for both assisting the LA Purple genome assembling and for testing a hypothesis of female restitution. The genomes of 110 F2 individuals from single F1 in the LU population, a different set from the 119 F2 individuals used for transcriptome sequencing, are being sequenced for mapping genes and QTLs affecting biomass yield and for testing a hypothesis of female restitution. Gene expression analysis between extreme segregants of high and low biomass yield showed up-regulation of cellulose synthase, cellulose, and xylan synthase in high biomass yield segregants among 3,274 genes differentially expressed between the two extremes. Our transcriptome results revealed not only the increment of cell wall biosynthesis pathway is essential, but the rapid turnover of certain cell wall polymers as well as carbohydrate partitioning are also important for recycling and energy conservation during rapid cell growth in high biomass sugarcane. Seventeen differentially expressed genes in auxin, one in ethylene and one in gibberellin related signaling and biosynthesis pathways were identified, which

  11. North Sea Scyphomedusae; summer distribution, estimated biomass and significance particularly for 0-group Gadoid fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, S. J.; Hislop, J. R. G.; Shanks, A. M.

    Data on the by-catch of Scyphomedusae from pelagic trawls was collected during the routine ICES International 0-group Gadoid Surveys of the North Sea, in June and July of the years 1971-1986 (except 1984). These data are used to describe the distributions, abundances and biomasses of three common North Sea Scyphomedusae: Aurelia aurita (L.), Cyanea capillata (L.) and C. lamarckii (Péron & Lesuer). Information is also presented on inter-annual variability, size (umbrella diameter) frequencies and, for the Cyanea species, umbrella diameter: wet weight relationships. The general role and ecological significance of Scyphomedusae is discussed and, given the well known 'shelter' relationships between Scyphomedusae and certain 0-group fish, whiting ( Merlangius merlangus) and haddock ( Melanogrammus aeglefinus), in particular. The data were examined for evidence of such relationships. Aurelia aurita, although fairly widespread in the northern North Sea was virtually absent from the central North Sea but very abundant in coastal waters. This species was particularly abundant off the Scottish east coast and especially in the Moray Firth. Cyanea lamerckii was most abundant in the southern and eastern North Sea. More widespread than Aurelia, this species was also most abundant in coastal regions, particularly off the Danish west coast. Cyanea capillata, with a more northern distribution was also more widely distributed and abundant offshore. This species was most abundant in the area between the Orkney/Shetland Isles and the Norwegian Deep and in shelf waters of the north west approaches to the North Sea. As with C. lamarckii it was also, in some years, abundant off the Scottish east coast and west of Denmark. The abundance and the size frequency of the jellyfish show considerable inter-annual variability, and variability between regions of the North Sea. It is considered that hydrographic variability and differences in food supply to both medusae and to their sessile

  12. Improvement of biomass production and glucoamylase activity by Candida famata using factorial design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosbah, Habib; Aissa, Imen; Hassad, Nahla; Farh, Dhaker; Bakhrouf, Amina; Achour, Sami

    2016-07-01

    To improve biomass production and glucoamylase activity (GA) by Candida famata, culture conditions were optimized. A 2(3) full factorial design (FFD) with a response surface model was used to evaluate the effects and interactions of pH (X1 ), time of cultivation (X2 ), and starch concentration (X3 ) on the biomass production and enzyme activity. A total of 16 experiments were conducted toward the construction of an empiric model and a first-order equation. It was found that all factors (X1 , X2 , and X3 ) and their interactions were significant at a certain confidence level (P production and GA of C. famata. Under this optimized medium, the experimental biomass production and GA obtained were 1.8 ± 0.54 g/L and 0.078 ± 0.012 µmol/L/Min, about 1.5- and 1.8-fold, respectively, higher than those in basal medium. The (R(2) ) coefficients obtained were 0.997 and 0.990, indicating an adequate degree of reliability in the model. Approximately 99% of validity of the predicted value was achieved. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July 22, ... the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. This poor adherence ...

  14. Significant improvement in the thermal annealing process of optical resonators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzenstein, Patrice; Zarubin, Mikhail

    2017-05-01

    Thermal annealing performed during process improves the quality of the roughness of optical resonators reducing stresses at the periphery of their surface thus allowing higher Q-factors. After a preliminary realization, the design of the oven and the electronic method were significantly improved thanks to nichrome resistant alloy wires and chopped basalt fibers for thermal isolation during the annealing process. Q-factors can then be improved.

  15. Improved biomass utilization through the use of nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-10-01

    Biomass is a major by-product resource of agriculture and food manufacturing, but it is under-utilized as a source of food, fibre, and chemicals. Nuclear techniques provide unique tools for studies of the capabilities of micro-organisms in methane digestor operation and in the transformation of lignocellulosic materials to useful products. Nuclear techniques have also been effectively employed as mutagenic agents in the preparation of more efficient microbial strains for the conversion of biomass. This report reviews the variety and diversity of such applications with focus on the development of microbial processes to utilize agricultural wastes and by-products. The value of nuclear techniques is manifestly demonstrated in the production of efficient microbial mutant strains, in the tracing of metabolic pathways, in the monitoring of lignin degradation and also of fermenter operation. Refs, figs and tabs

  16. Biomass chemicals: improvement in quality and quantity with physiological regulators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kossuth, S.V.

    1984-01-01

    The search for alternative biomass energy forms has centered on two approaches: (1) production of cellulose fiber in biomass of low net energy value per unit weight, such as wood and bagasse, and (2) hydrocarbons of high net energy value per unit weight for use as chemical feedstocks and substitutes for petroleum. Major plant chemical products include oleoresin from pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm., P. palustris Mill.) rubber from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell.), and guayule shrub (Parthenium argentatum Gray) and sugar from sugarcane (Saccharum species). Ethylene may be a unifying natural bioregulator that can increase deposition of biomass chemicals in all four of these systems. Examples of bioregulators include the use of paraquat, diquat, and 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid (CEPA) for stimulating the synthesis of oleoresin, CEPA for prolonging the flow of rubber and increasing rubber synthesis in the rubber tree, and triethylamines of chlorinated phenoxy compounds for stimulating rubber production in guayule. In sugarcane, gibberellic acid (GA3) increases internodal elongation. Glyphosate, CEPA and other regulators increase the deposition of sucrose, diquat and CEPA inhibit flowering, and paraquat desiccates leaves to facilitate leaf removal or burning just prior to harvest. The cellular compartmentalization for the synthesis of these plant chemicals is unique for each species, and dictates cultural and harvest techniques. The mode of action and pathways for the success of these physiological regulators are discussed. 42 references.

  17. Maize feedstocks with improved digestibility reduce the costs and environmental impacts of biomass pretreatment and saccharification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Torres Salvador, A.F.; Slegers, Ellen; Noordam-Boot, C.M.M.; Dolstra, O.; Vlaswinkel, L.; Boxtel, van A.J.B.; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2016-01-01

    Background - Despite the recognition that feedstock composition influences biomass conversion efficiency, limited information exists as to how bioenergy crops with reduced recalcitrance can improve the economics and sustainability of cellulosic fuel conversion platforms. We have compared the

  18. Improving satellite retrievals of NO2 in biomass burning regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bousserez, N.; Martin, R. V.; Lamsal, L. N.; Mao, J.; Cohen, R. C.; Anderson, B. E.

    2010-12-01

    The quality of space-based nitrogen dioxide (NO2) retrievals from solar backscatter depends on a priori knowledge of the NO2 profile shape as well as the effects of atmospheric scattering. These effects are characterized by the air mass factor (AMF) calculation. Calculation of the AMF combines a radiative transfer calculation together with a priori information about aerosols and about NO2 profiles (shape factors), which are usually taken from a chemical transport model. In this work we assess the impact of biomass burning emissions on the AMF using the LIDORT radiative transfer model and a GEOS-Chem simulation based on a daily fire emissions inventory (FLAMBE). We evaluate the GEOS-Chem aerosol optical properties and NO2 shape factors using in situ data from the ARCTAS summer 2008 (North America) and DABEX winter 2006 (western Africa) experiments. Sensitivity studies are conducted to assess the impact of biomass burning on the aerosols and the NO2 shape factors used in the AMF calculation. The mean aerosol correction over boreal fires is negligible (+3%), in contrast with a large reduction (-18%) over African savanna fires. The change in sign and magnitude over boreal forest and savanna fires appears to be driven by the shielding effects that arise from the greater biomass burning aerosol optical thickness (AOT) above the African biomass burning NO2. In agreement with previous work, the single scattering albedo (SSA) also affects the aerosol correction. We further investigated the effect of clouds on the aerosol correction. For a fixed AOT, the aerosol correction can increase from 20% to 50% when cloud fraction increases from 0 to 30%. Over both boreal and savanna fires, the greatest impact on the AMF is from the fire-induced change in the NO2 profile (shape factor correction), that decreases the AMF by 38% over the boreal fires and by 62% of the savanna fires. Combining the aerosol and shape factor corrections together results in small differences compared to the

  19. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Muddarisna

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3 100 kg N chicken dung/ ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /ha, and 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + goat dung /ha. Monitoring quality of top soil (0-20 cm was carried out at planting time and 3 months after planting. Soil samples were collected and analyzed for chemical and physical properties. Yield of cassava was measured at 6 months after planting. Results of this study showed that application of organic fertilizer in forms of green manure (Arachis pintoi biomass, and animal dung significantly improved physical and chemical properties of soil. Application of 50% NPK combined with organic manures did not significantly gave different tuber yield with that of 100% NPK.

  20. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  1. Progress Towards Improved MOPITT-based Biomass Burning Emission Inventories for the Amazon Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deeter, M. N.; Emmons, L. K.; Martinez-Alonso, S.; Wiedinmyer, C.; Arellano, A. F.; Fischer, E. V.; González-Alonso, L.; Val Martin, M.; Gatti, L. V.; Miller, J. B.; Gloor, M.; Domingues, L. G.; Correia, C. S. D. C.

    2016-12-01

    The 17-year long record of carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations from the MOPITT satellite instrument is uniquely suited for studying the interannual variability of biomass burning emissions. Data assimilation methods based on Ensemble Kalman Filtering are currently being developed to infer CO emissions within the Amazon Basin from MOPITT measurements along with additional datasets. The validity of these inversions will depend on the characteristics of the MOPITT CO retrievals (e.g., retrieval biases and vertical resolution) as well as the representation of chemistry and dynamics in the chemical transport model (CAM-Chem) used in the data assimilation runs. For example, the assumed vertical distribution ("injection height") of the biomass burning emissions plays a particularly important role. We will review recent progress made on a project to improve biomass burning emission inventories for the Amazon Basin. MOPITT CO retrievals over the Amazon Basin are first characterized, focusing on the MOPITT Version 6 "multispectral" retrieval product (exploiting both thermal-infrared and near-infrared channels). Validation results based on in-situ vertical profiles measured between 2010 and 2013 are presented for four sites in the Amazon Basin. Results indicate a significant negative bias in MOPITT retrieved lower-tropospheric CO concentrations. The seasonal and geographical variability of smoke injection height over the Amazon Basin is then analyzed using a MISR plume height climatology. This work has led to the development of a new fire emission injection height parameterization that was implemented in CAM-Chem and GEOS-Chem.. Finally, we present initial data assimilation results for the Amazon Basin and evaluate the results using available field campaign measurements.

  2. Improved biomass degradation using fungal glucuronoyl-esterases-hydrolysis of natural corn fiber substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    d'Errico, Clotilde; Börjesson, Johan; Ding, Hanshu

    2016-01-01

    of improved degradation of lignocellulosic biomass by the use of GEs. Improved C5 sugar, glucose and glucuronic acid release was observed when heat pretreated corn fiber was incubated in the presence of GEs from Cerrena unicolor and Trichoderma reesei on top of different commercial cellulase...

  3. Xylose utilizing zymomonas mobilis with improved ethanol production in biomass hydrolysate medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caimi, Perry G; Hitz, William D; Stieglitz, Barry; Viitanen, Paul V

    2013-07-02

    Xylose-utilizing, ethanol producing strains of Zymomonas mobilis with improved performance in medium comprising biomass hydrolysate were isolated using an adaptation process. Independently isolated strains were found to have independent mutations in the same coding region. Mutation in this coding may be engineered to confer the improved phenotype.

  4. Significant Improvement of Catalytic Efficiencies in Ionic Liquids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, Choong Eui; Yoon, Mi Young; Choi, Doo Seong

    2005-01-01

    The use of ionic liquids as reaction media can confer many advantages upon catalytic reactions over reactions in organic solvents. In ionic liquids, catalysts having polar or ionic character can easily be immobilized without additional structural modification and thus the ionic solutions containing the catalyst can easily be separated from the reagents and reaction products, and then, be reused. More interestingly, switching from an organic solvent to an ionic liquid often results in a significant improvement in catalytic performance (e.g., rate acceleration, (enantio)selectivity improvement and an increase in catalyst stability). In this review, some recent interesting results which can nicely demonstrate these positive 'ionic liquid effect' on catalysis are discussed

  5. Bedtime Blood Pressure Chronotherapy Significantly Improves Hypertension Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermida, Ramón C; Ayala, Diana E; Fernández, José R; Mojón, Artemio; Crespo, Juan J; Ríos, María T; Smolensky, Michael H

    2017-10-01

    Consistent evidence of numerous studies substantiates the asleep blood pressure (BP) mean derived from ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) is both an independent and a stronger predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than are daytime clinic BP measurements or the ABPM-determined awake or 24-hour BP means. Hence, cost-effective adequate control of sleep-time BP is of marked clinical relevance. Ingestion time, according to circadian rhythms, of hypertension medications of 6 different classes and their combinations significantly improves BP control, particularly sleep-time BP, and reduces adverse effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. [Improvement of Phi bodies stain and its clinical significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xu-Bo; Lu, Xing-Guo; Yan, Li-Juan; Xiao, Xi-Bin; Wu, Dong; Xu, Gen-Bo; Zhang, Xiao-Hong; Zhao, Xiao-Ying

    2009-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve the dyeing method of hydroperoxidase (HPO), to analyze the morphologic features of Phi bodies and to evaluate the clinical application of this method. 128 bone marrow or peripheral blood smears from patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies were stained by improved HPO staining. The Phi bodies were observed with detection rate of Phi bodies in different leukemias. 69 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) specimens were chosen randomly, the positive rate and the number of Phi bodies between the improved HPO and POX stain based on the same substrate of 3, 3'diaminobenzidine were compared. The results showed that the shape of bundle-like Phi bodies was variable, long or short. while the nubbly Phi bodies often presented oval and smooth. Club-like Phi bodies were found in M(3). The detection rates of bundle-like Phi bodies in AML M(1)-M(5) were 42.9% (6/14), 83.3% (15/18), 92.0% (23/25), 52.3% (11/21), 33.3% (5/15) respectively, and those of nubbly Phi bodies were 28.6% (4/14), 66.7% (12/18), 11.1% (3/25), 33.3% (7/21), 20.0% (3/15) respectively. The detection rate of bundle-like Phi bodies in M(3) was significantly higher than that in (M(1) + M(2)) or (M(4) + M(5)) groups. The detection rate of nubbly Phi bodies in (M(1) + M(2)) group was higher than that in M(3) group. In conclusion, after improvement of staining method, the HPO stain becomes simple, the detection rate of Phi bodies is higher than that by the previous method, the positive granules are more obvious, and the results become stable. This improved method plays an important role in differentiating AML from ALL, subtyping AML, and evaluating the therapeutic results.

  7. The adoption potential of biomass transfer and improved fallow ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    Analysis identified optimal combinations of organic and inorganic soil improvement ... associated required investments (capital, labour, and land) of the options within a farm ...... The authors would like to thank The Rockefeller Foundation.

  8. Adoption of biomass improved cookstoves in a patriarchal society. An example from Sudan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El Tayeb Muneer, Siddig [Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, Faculty of Agriculture, King Saud University Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451 (Saudi Arabia); Mukhtar Mohamed, El Waseilah [Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Khartoum (Sudan)

    2003-05-20

    The economic, social, ecological and environmental roles and benefits of forests are obvious and need no emphasis. Inefficient use of fuel wood is considered one of the important causes of deforestation. Use of more efficient improved cookstoves is proposed as one of the measures that can reduce demand for fuel wood and charcoal and help in lowering the annoying deforestation rate in many developing countries. During the 1980s and 1990s several programs aiming at testing and disseminating energy saving technologies were implemented in Sudan. One of these technologies was improved cookstoves, which was intended to increase the efficiency of using energy from biomass sources. This study is carried out to examine the adoption rate and the factors affecting adoption of improved cookstoves in Khartoum State. The study is based on primary data collected through personal interviews with husbands and wives in 300 randomly selected households. Regression analysis was used to analyze the data. The results showed that the device's adoption rate was very low. The improved cookstove's relative advantage, housewife's exposure to messages about improved cookstoves, educational level of the housewife and the average educational level of the female household's members had significant positive effect on the household's innovativeness regarding adoption of improved cookstove. Wife's age and the educational level of the husband had negative significant effects. In the Sudanese patriarchal society all the household domestic tasks, particularly food preparation and related activities, are considered women's responsibilities and all the decisions related to them are taken by women. Therefore, these results could be understood as a reflection of the division of labor, gender relations and decision-making process in the Sudanese household.

  9. Using Biomass to Improve Site Quality and Carbon Sequestration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce J. Stokes; Felipe G. Sanchez; Emily A. Carter

    1998-01-01

    The future demands on forest lands are a concern because of reduced productivity, especially on inherently poor sites, sites with long-depleted soils, or those soils that bear repeated, intensive short rotations. Forests are also an important carbon sink and, when well managed, can make even more significant contributions to sequestration and to reduction of greenhouse...

  10. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  11. IMPROVING SPECIFIC POWER CONSUMPTION FOR MECHANICAL MIXING OF THE FEEDSTOCK IN A BIOGAS FERMENTER BY MECHANICAL DISINTEGRATION OF LIGNOCELLULOSE BIOMASS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukas Kratky

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Lignocellulosic biomass particles in biogas fermenter batch either sediment towards vessel bottom or rise towards batch surface, where they float and form a compact thick scum. These processes have primarily the negative influence on batch homogeneity, on evenness of batch temperature field, on removal of produced biogas bubbles out of liquid batch and also on mass transfer among microorganisms. These facts result in non-effective usage of biomass energy-potential that entails in low biogas yields. Therefore, good mixing of bioreactor batch is very important in order to stabilize anaerobic digestion process. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the impact of wheat straw disintegration and its hydration on hydrodynamic behaviour and on specific power consumption for mechanical mixing of wheat straw-water suspension. Based on experimental results, it was concluded that both hydration and mechanical disintegration of lignocellulosic biomass significantly improve homogeneity and pump-ability of biomass-water batches. Wheat straw hydration itself decreases specific power consumption for batch mixing by 60 % towards untreated straw. Moreover, mechanical disintegration itself decreases specific power consumption by 50 % at least towards untreated hydrated straw.

  12. Diversity of drought-resistant plants and the benefits of their biomass for improving fertility of a degraded soil of Brantas River Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Arisoesilaningsih

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In support of healthy agriculture development to improve farmer’s prosperity status, soil remediation and land conservation efforts maybe relied on the use of biomass of local vegetation. Results of field exploration conducted at Brantas Watershed of East Java indicated that there were at least 154 species of undergrowth scrubs, 47 species of agriculture-plantation crops, and 59 species of road shelter trees. The native undergrowth vegetations had undergone enormous seasonal variations. Biomass of predominance vegetations, e.g. Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, Phaseolus lunatus, Flemingia, Mimosa somian, Acacia villosa, Cassia mimosoides, Mucuna could potentially be used as organic matter sources to improve availability of nitrogen and phosphorus in soils. The amount of nitrogen and phosphorus contributed of the plant biomass significantly correlated with quality of the biomass.

  13. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Biological significance of dead biomass retention trait in Mediterranean Basin species: an analysis between different successional niches and regeneration strategies as functional groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeza, M J; Santana, V M

    2015-11-01

    Standing dead biomass retention is considered one of the most relevant fuel structural traits to affect plant flammability. However, very little is known about the biological significance of this trait and its distribution between different functional groups. Our aim was to analyse how the proportion of dead biomass produced in Mediterranean species is related to the successional niche of species (early-, mid- and late-successional stages) and the regeneration strategy of species (seeders and resprouters). We evaluated biomass distribution by size classes and standing dead biomass retention in nine dominant species from the Mediterranean Basin in different development stages (5, 9, 14 and 26 years since the last fire). The results revealed significant differences in the standing dead biomass retention of species that presented a distinct successional niche or regeneration strategy. These differences were restricted to the oldest ages studied (>9 years). Tree and small tree resprouters, typical in late-successional stages, presented slight variations with age and a less marked trend to retain dead biomass, while seeder shrubs and dwarf shrubs, characteristic of early-successional stages, showed high dead biomass loads. Our results suggest that the species that tend to retain more dead branches are colonising species that may promote fire in early-successional stages. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  15. Dynamic Evaluation of Water Quality Improvement Based on Effective Utilization of Stockbreeding Biomass Resource

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjing Yan

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The stockbreeding industry is growing rapidly in rural regions of China, carrying a high risk to the water environment due to the emission of huge amounts of pollutants in terms of COD, T-N and T-P to rivers. On the other hand, as a typical biomass resource, stockbreeding waste can be used as a clean energy source by biomass utilization technologies. In this paper, we constructed a dynamic linear optimization model to simulate the synthetic water environment management policies which includes both the water environment system and social-economic situational changes over 10 years. Based on the simulation, the model can precisely estimate trends of water quality, production of stockbreeding biomass energy and economic development under certain restrictions of the water environment. We examined seven towns of Shunyi district of Beijing as the target area to analyse synthetic water environment management policies by computer simulation based on the effective utilization of stockbreeding biomass resources to improve water quality and realize sustainable development. The purpose of our research is to establish an effective utilization method of biomass resources incorporating water environment preservation, resource reutilization and economic development, and finally realize the sustainable development of the society.

  16. Exploring the natural fungal biodiversity of tropical and temperate forests toward improvement of biomass conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrin, Jean-Guy; Navarro, David; Couturier, Marie; Olivé, Caroline; Grisel, Sacha; Haon, Mireille; Taussac, Sabine; Lechat, Christian; Courtecuisse, Régis; Favel, Anne; Coutinho, Pedro M; Lesage-Meessen, Laurence

    2012-09-01

    In this study, natural fungal diversity in wood-decaying species was explored for biomass deconstruction. In 2007 and 2008, fungal isolates were collected in temperate forests mainly from metropolitan France and in tropical forests mainly from French Guiana. We recovered and identified 74 monomorph cultures using morphological and molecular identification tools. Following production of fungal secretomes under inductive conditions, we evaluated the capacity of these fungal strains to potentiate a commercial Trichoderma reesei cellulase cocktail for the release of soluble sugars from biomass. The secretome of 19 isolates led to an improvement in biomass conversion of at least 23%. Of the isolates, the Trametes gibbosa BRFM 952 (Banque de Ressources Fongiques de Marseille) secretome performed best, with 60% improved conversion, a feature that was not universal to the Trametes and related genera. Enzymatic characterization of the T. gibbosa BRFM 952 secretome revealed an unexpected high activity on crystalline cellulose, higher than that of the T. reesei cellulase cocktail. This report highlights the interest in a systematic high-throughput assessment of collected fungal biodiversity to improve the enzymatic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass. It enabled the unbiased identification of new fungal strains issued from biodiversity with high biotechnological potential.

  17. Improved Forest Biomass and Carbon Estimations Using Texture Measures from WorldView-2 Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Eckert

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Accurate estimation of aboveground biomass and carbon stock has gained importance in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. In order to develop improved forest stratum–specific aboveground biomass and carbon estimation models for humid rainforest in northeast Madagascar, this study analyzed texture measures derived from WorldView-2 satellite data. A forest inventory was conducted to develop stratum-specific allometric equations for dry biomass. On this basis, carbon was calculated by applying a conversion factor. After satellite data preprocessing, vegetation indices, principal components, and texture measures were calculated. The strength of their relationships with the stratum-specific plot data was analyzed using Pearson’s correlation. Biomass and carbon estimation models were developed by performing stepwise multiple linear regression. Pearson’s correlation coefficients revealed that (a texture measures correlated more with biomass and carbon than spectral parameters, and (b correlations were stronger for degraded forest than for non-degraded forest. For degraded forest, the texture measures of Correlation, Angular Second Moment, and Contrast, derived from the red band, contributed to the best estimation model, which explained 84% of the variability in the field data (relative RMSE = 6.8%. For non-degraded forest, the vegetation index EVI and the texture measures of Variance, Mean, and Correlation, derived from the newly introduced coastal blue band, both NIR bands, and the red band, contributed to the best model, which explained 81% of the variability in the field data (relative RMSE = 11.8%. These results indicate that estimation of tropical rainforest biomass/carbon, based on very high resolution satellite data, can be improved by (a developing and applying forest stratum–specific models, and (b including textural information in addition to spectral information.

  18. Policies to improve biomass-electricity generation in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelho, Suani T.; Bolognini, Marly F.; Zylbersztajn, David

    1999-01-01

    Electricity consumption in Brazil has grown twice from 1979 to 1994 and, for the future, official forecasts estimate high risks of deficit. Brazilian generation system presents highly seasonal characteristics due to its hydroelectric origin and sugar cane origin electricity could be used as complementation for the dry period, instead of conventional thermoelectric power plants, with the corresponding environmental advantages. Nowadays, most sugar/alcohol industries in the state of Sao Paulo are energy self-sufficient and some of them already export a small electricity surplus to the grid. The potential for such surplus is significant, moreover with the introduction of more efficient technologies, but prices are not yet attractive when compared to conventional market prices, besides the existing barriers related to the current legislation. On the other hand, existing studies show that more efficient technologies become competitive when externalities are included. This paper analyses worthing methodologies, externalities-based decisions and policy mechanisms to guide governments, planners, decision-makers and managers in the correct evaluation of bioenergy use and production faced to other alternatives. (Author)

  19. Phosphoric acid pretreatment of Achyranthes aspera and Sida acuta weed biomass to improve enzymatic hydrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siripong, Premjet; Duangporn, Premjet; Takata, Eri; Tsutsumi, Yuji

    2016-03-01

    Achyranthes aspera and Sida acuta, two types of weed biomass are abundant and waste in Thailand. We focus on them as novel feedstock for bio-ethanol production because they contain high-cellulose content (45.9% and 46.9%, respectively) and unutilized material. Phosphoric acid (70%, 75%, and 80%) was employed for the pretreatment to improve by enzymatic hydrolysis. The pretreatment process removed most of the xylan and a part of the lignin from the weeds, while most of the glucan remained. The cellulose conversion to glucose was greater for pretreated A. aspera (86.2 ± 0.3%) than that of the pretreated S. acuta (82.2 ± 1.1%). Thus, the removal of hemicellulose significantly affected the efficiency of the enzymatic hydrolysis. The scanning electron microscopy images showed the exposed fibrous cellulose on the cell wall surface, and this substantial change of the surface structure contributed to improving the enzyme accessibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving North American forest biomass estimates from literature synthesis and meta-analysis of existing biomass equations

    Science.gov (United States)

    David C. Chojnacky; Jennifer C. Jenkins; Amanda K. Holland

    2009-01-01

    Thousands of published equations purport to estimate biomass of individual trees. These equations are often based on very small samples, however, and can provide widely different estimates for trees of the same species. We addressed this issue in a previous study by devising 10 new equations that estimated total aboveground biomass for all species in North America (...

  1. Biomass and its wastes improvement; Aproveitamento de biomassas e seus residuos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Legey, Jose Carlos Loureiro; Luchi, Ney Robilon [NATRON-Consultoria e Projetos S/A, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    1988-12-31

    The significant amount of biomass production in Brazil associated with the restricted fossil materials availability, has been responsible for the constant search of new ways to fulfill country`s demand. This paper presents a general overview in the present and prospective processing possibilities for lignin-cellulose materials considering Brazilian conditions. (author). 2 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  2. Improving bioavailability of fruit wastes using organic acid: An exploratory study of biomass pretreatment for fermentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saha, Shouvik; Kurade, Mayur B.; El-Dalatony, Marwa M.; Chatterjee, Pradip K.; Lee, Dae Sung; Jeon, Byong-Hun

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Maximum sugar recovery was achieved with 100 °C/1 h treatment in 0.2 M acetic acid. • C/N ratios (41–47) were retained in all FPWs after the acetic acid treatment. • Combined severity (−0.83) of acetic acid enhanced the bioavailability of the FPWs. • Acetic acid pretreatment is advantageous over mineral acid to curtail sugar loss. • Estimated methane yields are promising for the industrial feasibility. - Abstract: Maximizing the bioavailability of fermentable biomass components is a key challenge in biomass pretreatment due to the loss of sugars during conventional pretreatment approaches. Pretreatment of fruit peels and wastes (FPWs) with dilute acetic acid assisted in maximizing sugar recovery. Optimized conditions (0.2 M acetic acid, 100 °C, 1 h) at 10% substrate loading resulted in enhanced sugar recovery from banana peels (99.9%), pineapple wastes (99.1%), grape pomace (98.8%), and orange peels (97.9%). These high sugar recoveries retained the high C/N ratios (41–47) suitable for effective bioenergy production through the fermentation of these pretreated biomasses. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated considerable disruption of biomass structural integrity during acetic acid treatment, enhancing the surface area available for better microbial attachment. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed that the acetic acid pretreatment yielded only minor changes to the functional groups in the biomasses, strongly suggesting minimal loss of fermentable sugars. Thus, acetic acid pretreatment aids in enhancing the bioavailability of fermentable sugars from these FPWs biomass, enabling improvements in bioenergy production.

  3. A novel one-stage cultivation/fermentation strategy for improved biogas production with microalgal biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klassen, Viktor; Blifernez-Klassen, Olga; Hoekzema, Yoep; Mussgnug, Jan H; Kruse, Olaf

    2015-12-10

    The use of alga biomass for biogas generation has been studied for over fifty years but until today, several distinct features, like inefficient degradation and low C/N ratios, limit the applicability of algal biomass for biogas production in larger scale. In this work we investigated a novel, one-stage combined cultivation/fermentation strategy including inherently progressing nitrogen starvation conditions to generate improved microalgal biomass substrates. For this strategy, comparable low amounts of nitrogen fertilizers were applied during cultivation and no additional enzymatic, chemical or physical pretreatments had to be performed. The results of this study demonstrate that progressing nitrogen limitation leads to continuously increasing C/N ratios of the biomass up to levels of 24-26 for all three tested alga strains (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Parachlorella kessleri and Scenedesmus obliquus). Importantly, the degradation efficiency of the algal cells increased with progressing starvation, leading to strain-specific cell disintegration efficiencies of 35%-100% during the fermentation process. Nitrogen limitation treatment resulted in a 65% increase of biogas yields for C. reinhardtii biomass (max. 698±23mL biogas g(-1) VS) when compared to replete conditions. For P. kessleri and S. obliquus, yields increased by 94% and 106% (max. 706±39mL and 586±36mL biogas g(-1) VS, respectively). From these results we conclude that this novel one-stage cultivation strategy with inherent nitrogen limitation can be used as a pretreatment for microalgal biomass generation, in order to produce accessible substrates with optimized C/N ratios for the subsequent anaerobic fermentation process, thus increasing methane production and avoiding the risk of ammonia inhibition effects within the fermenter. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Biomass smoke from southern Africa can significantly enhance the brightness of stratocumulus over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zheng; Liu, Xiaohong; Zhang, Zhibo; Zhao, Chun; Meyer, Kerry; Rajapakshe, Chamara; Wu, Chenglai; Yang, Zhifeng; Penner, Joyce E.

    2018-03-01

    Marine stratocumulus clouds cover nearly one-quarter of the ocean surface and thus play an extremely important role in determining the global radiative balance. The semipermanent marine stratocumulus deck over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean is of particular interest, because of its interactions with seasonal biomass burning aerosols that are emitted in southern Africa. Understanding the impacts of biomass burning aerosols on stratocumulus clouds and the implications for regional and global radiative balance is still very limited. Previous studies have focused on assessing the magnitude of the warming caused by solar scattering and absorption by biomass burning aerosols over stratocumulus (the direct radiative effect) or cloud adjustments to the direct radiative effect (the semidirect effect). Here, using a nested modeling approach in conjunction with observations from multiple satellites, we demonstrate that cloud condensation nuclei activated from biomass burning aerosols entrained into the stratocumulus (the microphysical effect) can play a dominant role in determining the total radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere, compared with their direct and semidirect radiative effects. Biomass burning aerosols over the region and period with heavy loadings can cause a substantial cooling (daily mean ‑8.05 W m‑2), primarily as a result of clouds brightening by reducing the cloud droplet size (the Twomey effect) and secondarily through modulating the diurnal cycle of cloud liquid water path and coverage (the cloud lifetime effect). Our results highlight the importance of realistically representing the interactions of stratocumulus with biomass burning aerosols in global climate models in this region.

  5. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verbaten, M.N.; Volkerts, E.R.; Olivier, B.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory

  6. Biomass pretreatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennessey, Susan Marie; Friend, Julie; Elander, Richard T; Tucker, III, Melvin P

    2013-05-21

    A method is provided for producing an improved pretreated biomass product for use in saccharification followed by fermentation to produce a target chemical that includes removal of saccharification and or fermentation inhibitors from the pretreated biomass product. Specifically, the pretreated biomass product derived from using the present method has fewer inhibitors of saccharification and/or fermentation without a loss in sugar content.

  7. Improving simulated spatial distribution of productivity and biomass in Amazon forests using the ACME land model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, X.; Thornton, P. E.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Shi, X.; Xu, M.; Hoffman, F. M.; Norby, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Tropical forests play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, accounting for one third of the global NPP and containing about 25% of global vegetation biomass and soil carbon. This is particularly true for tropical forests in the Amazon region, as it comprises approximately 50% of the world's tropical forests. It is therefore important for us to understand and represent the processes that determine the fluxes and storage of carbon in these forests. In this study, we show that the implementation of phosphorus (P) cycle and P limitation in the ACME Land Model (ALM) improves simulated spatial pattern of NPP. The P-enabled ALM is able to capture the west-to-east gradient of productivity, consistent with field observations. We also show that by improving the representation of mortality processes, ALM is able to reproduce the observed spatial pattern of above ground biomass across the Amazon region.

  8. Biomass pre-extraction, hydrolysis and conversion process improvements fro an integrated biorefinery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansen, Robert [Virdia, Inc., Danville, VA (United States)

    2014-12-23

    In this project, Virdia will show that it can improve the production of sugars suitable for the conversion into advanced biofuels from a range of woods. Several biomass feedstocks (Pine wood chips & Eucalyptus wood chips) will be tested on this new integrated biorefinery platform. The resultant drop-in biodiesel can be a cost-effective petroleum-replacement that can compete with projected market prices

  9. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy

    2013-01-01

    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  10. Household biomass energy choice and its policy implications on improving rural livelihoods in Sichuan, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Qiu; Yang, Haoran; Liu, Tianbiao; Zhang, Lin

    2016-01-01

    It is widely known that a switch from traditional biomass energy to modern clean, safe and efficient energy could improve local rural livelihoods by enhancing the access to ‘high quality’ energy and reducing the negative impacts of traditional biomass energy on health, environment and living standards. Hence, in this paper, we used alternative-specific conditional logit model (ASCLM) to examine the rural household energy choice behaviors in Sichuan Province of China from the perspective of revealed and stated preferences. The results show that the fuel switching in our study region is not a simple unidirectional process from traditional biomass energy to modern fuels as incomes improve. Household energy choice behaviors could be not only affected by energy-specific characteristics such as fuel price, smoky level and safety risk, but also influenced by household-specific factors such as income level, age and educational level of the decision maker, household demographic structure, number of people frequently eating at home, distance to the nearest biomass collecting spot and household location, suggesting that government should attach more importance to simultaneously improve energy quality, control energy price and enhance household socio-economic status. - Highlights: •McFadden's choice model was applied to analyze household energy choice in Sichuan. •We examined household revealed and stated preferences for different fuels. •Household fuel switching is not a simple or unidirectional process. •Households prefer to use fuel with lower cost, higher safety and lower indoor pollution. •Household fuel choice is affected by interactions among multiple factors.

  11. Integration and Improvement of Geophysical Root Biomass Measurements for Determining Carbon Credits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boitet, J. I.

    2013-12-01

    Carbon trading schemes fundamentally rely on accurate subsurface carbon quantification in order for governing bodies to grant carbon credits inclusive of root biomass (What is Carbon Credit. 2013). Root biomass makes up a large chunk of the subsurface carbon and is difficult, labor intensive, and costly to measure. This paper stitches together the latest geophysical root measurement techniques into site-dependent recommendations for technique combinations and modifications that maximize large-scale root biomass measurement accuracy and efficiency. "Accuracy" is maximized when actual root biomass is closest to measured root biomass. "Efficiency" is maximized when time, labor, and cost of measurement is minimized. Several combinations have emerged which satisfy both criteria under different site conditions. Use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and/or electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) allow for large tracts of land to be surveyed under appropriate conditions. Among other characteristics, GPR does best with detecting coarse roots in dry soil. ERT does best in detecting roots in moist soils, but is especially limited by electrode configuration (Mancuso, S. 2012). Integration of these two technologies into a baseline protocol based on site-specific characteristics, especially soil moisture and plants species heterogeneity, will drastically theoretically increase efficiency and accuracy of root biomass measurements. Modifications of current measurement protocols using these existing techniques will also theoretically lead to drastic improvements in both accuracy and efficiency. These modifications, such as efficient 3D imaging by adding an identical electrode array perpendicular to the first array used in the Pulled Array Continuous Electrical Profiling (PACEP) technique for ERT, should allow for more widespread application of these techniques for understanding root biomass. Where whole-site measurement is not feasible either due to financial, equipment, or

  12. Low-dose vaporized cannabis significantly improves neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-02-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling medium-dose (3.53%), low-dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being visual analog scale pain intensity. Psychoactive side effects and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed-effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the 2 active dose groups' results (P > .7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo versus low-dose, 2.9 for placebo versus medium-dose, and 25 for medium- versus low-dose. As these NNTs are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1 to 2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. The analgesia obtained from a low dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (1.29%) in patients, most of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite conventional treatments, is a clinically significant outcome. In general, the effect sizes on cognitive testing were consistent with this minimal dose. As a result, one might not anticipate a significant impact on daily functioning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Improving artificial forest biomass estimates using afforestation age information from time series Landsat stacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liangyun; Peng, Dailiang; Wang, Zhihui; Hu, Yong

    2014-11-01

    China maintains the largest artificial forest area in the world. Studying the dynamic variation of forest biomass and carbon stock is important to the sustainable use of forest resources and understanding of the artificial forest carbon budget in China. In this study, we investigated the potential of Landsat time series stacks for aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation in Yulin District, a key region of the Three-North Shelter region of China. Firstly, the afforestation age was successfully retrieved from the Landsat time series stacks in the last 40 years (from 1974 to 2013) and shown to be consistent with the surveyed tree ages, with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) value of 4.32 years and a determination coefficient (R (2)) of 0.824. Then, the AGB regression models were successfully developed by integrating vegetation indices and tree age. The simple ratio vegetation index (SR) is the best candidate of the commonly used vegetation indices for estimating forest AGB, and the forest AGB model was significantly improved using the combination of SR and tree age, with R (2) values from 0.50 to 0.727. Finally, the forest AGB images were mapped at eight epochs from 1985 to 2013 using SR and afforestation age. The total forest AGB in seven counties of Yulin District increased by 20.8 G kg, from 5.8 G kg in 1986 to 26.6 G kg in 2013, a total increase of 360 %. For the persistent forest area since 1974, the forest AGB density increased from 15.72 t/ha in 1986 to 44.53 t/ha in 2013, with an annual rate of about 0.98 t/ha. For the artificial forest planted after 1974, the AGB density increased about 1.03 t/ha a year from 1974 to 2013. The results present a noticeable carbon increment for the planted artificial forest in Yulin District over the last four decades.

  14. Ultrasonic disintegration of microalgal biomass and consequent improvement of bioaccessibility/bioavailability in microbial fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Byong-Hun; Choi, Jeong-A; Kim, Hyun-Chul; Hwang, Jae-Hoon; Abou-Shanab, Reda Ai; Dempsey, Brian A; Regan, John M; Kim, Jung Rae

    2013-01-01

    Microalgal biomass contains a high level of carbohydrates which can be biochemically converted to biofuels using state-of-the-art strategies that are almost always needed to employ a robust pretreatment on the biomass for enhanced energy production. In this study, we used an ultrasonic pretreatment to convert microalgal biomass (Scenedesmus obliquus YSW15) into feasible feedstock for microbial fermentation to produce ethanol and hydrogen. The effect of sonication condition was quantitatively evaluated with emphases on the characterization of carbohydrate components in microalgal suspension and on subsequent production of fermentative bioenergy. Scenedesmus obliquus YSW15 was isolated from the effluent of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The sonication durations of 0, 10, 15, and 60 min were examined under different temperatures at a fixed frequency and acoustic power resulted in morphologically different states of microalgal biomass lysis. Fermentation was performed to evaluate the bioenergy production from the non-sonicated and sonicated algal biomasses after pretreatment stage under both mesophilic (35°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. A 15 min sonication treatment significantly increased the concentration of dissolved carbohydrates (0.12 g g(-1)), which resulted in an increase of hydrogen/ethanol production through microbial fermentation. The bioconvertibility of microalgal biomass sonicated for 15 min or longer was comparable to starch as a control, indicating a high feasibility of using microalgae for fermentative bioenergy production. Increasing the sonication duration resulted in increases in both algal surface hydrophilicity and electrostatic repulsion among algal debris dispersed in aqueous solution. Scanning electron microscope images supported that ruptured algal cell allowed fermentative bacteria to access the inner space of the cell, evidencing an enhanced bioaccessibility. Sonication for 15 min was the best for fermentative

  15. Catalytic Deoxygenation of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapors to Improve Bio-oil Stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dayton, David C. [RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)

    2016-12-22

    The President’s Advanced Energy Initiative called for a change in the way Americans fuel their vehicles to promote improved energy security. Increasing biofuels production from domestic lignocellulosic resources requires advanced technology development to achieve the aggressive targets set forth to reduce motor gasoline consumption by 20% in ten years (by 2017). The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) Office of the Biomass Program (currently Bioenergy Technologies Office) is actively funding research and development in both biochemical and thermochemical conversion technologies to accelerate the deployment of biofuels technologies in the near future to meet the goals of the Advanced Energy Initiative. Thermochemical conversion technology options include both gasification and pyrolysis to enable the developing lignocellulosic biorefineries and maximize biomass resource utilization for production of biofuels.

  16. Technology Innovations to Improve Biomass Cookstoves to Meet Tier 4 Standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Still, Dean K [Aprovecho Research Center, Cottage Grove, OR (United States); Hatfield, Micheal S [Aprovecho Research Center, Cottage Grove, OR (United States)

    2015-12-15

    Technology Innovations to Improve Biomass Cookstoves to Meet Tier 4 Standards. Protecting public health has become a major motivation for investigating how improved cook stoves might function as a viable intervention. Currently, the great majority of cookstoves for sale in the developing world were not designed for this purpose but instead success was based on criteria such as reduced fuel use, affordability, and ease of use. With DOE funding Aprovecho Research Center spent three years creating stoves using an iterative development and modeling approach resulting in four stoves that in lab tests met the World Health Organization (2014) intermediate rate vented targets for PM2.5 and for CO.

  17. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas D.; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling either medium dose (3.53%), low dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being VAS pain intensity. Psychoactive side-effects, and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the two active dose groups’ results (p>0.7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo vs. low dose, 2.9 for placebo vs. medium dose, and 25 for medium vs. low dose. As these NNT are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being, for all intents and purposes, as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1–2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. PMID:23237736

  18. Optimisation and significance of ATP analysis for measuring active biomass in granular activated carbon filters used in water treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Magic-Knezev, A.; Kooij, van der D.

    2004-01-01

    A method for determining the concentration of active microbial biomass in granular activated carbon (GAC) filters used in water treatment was developed to facilitate studies on the interactions between adsorption processes and biological activity in such filters. High-energy sonication at a power

  19. Development of Genomic and Genetic Tools for Foxtail Millet, and Use of These Tools in the Improvement of Biomass Production for Bioenergy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doust, Andrew, N.

    2011-11-11

    The overall aim of this research was to develop genomic and genetic tools in foxtail millet that will be useful in improving biomass production in bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, napier grass, and pearl millet. A variety of approaches have been implemented, and our lab has been primarily involved in genome analysis and quantitative genetic analysis. Our progress in these activities has been substantially helped by the genomic sequence of foxtail millet produced by the Joint Genome Institute (Bennetzen et al., in prep). In particular, the annotation and analysis of candidate genes for architecture, biomass production and flowering has led to new insights into the control of branching and flowering time, and has shown how closely related flowering time is to vegetative architectural development and biomass accumulation. The differences in genetic control identified at high and low density plantings have direct relevance to the breeding of bioenergy grasses that are tolerant of high planting densities. The developmental analyses have shown how plant architecture changes over time and may indicate which genes may best be manipulated at various times during development to obtain required biomass characteristics. This data contributes to the overall aim of significantly improving genetic and genomic tools in foxtail millet that can be directed to improvement of bioenergy grasses such as switchgrass, where it is important to maximize vegetative growth for greatest biomass production.

  20. Minimum emissions from biomass FBC. Improved energy generation based on biomass FBC with minimum emission. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hallgren, A. [TPS Termiska Processer AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    2002-02-01

    The primary aim of the project is to improve the performance of biomass fired FBC (fluidised bed combustion) through a concurrent detailed experimental and modelling approach. The expected results shall establish in experimental investigations, the thermochemical performance of a selection of fuels separately and in combination with suitable bed materials, stipulate recommendations, based on labscale via test rig and pilot scale to commercial scale investigations, how to repress agglomeration and defluidisation in fluidised bed combustion systems, indicate, based on the experimental findings, how to utilise primary measures to minimise the formation of nitrogen oxide compounds in the FB and provide a logistic assessment, based on case studies, identifying optimum logistic strategies for the selected fuels in commercial heat and power production. The investigation programme comprises straw, meat and bone meal (MBM) and forest residues as biofuels, quartz sand, bone ash, magnesium oxide and mullite as bed materials, sodium and ammonia carbonate as NO{sub x} reduction additives, and dolomite, kaolinite and coal ash for suppression of bed defluidisation. All materials have undergone a very detailed characterisation programme generating basic data on their chemical and structural composition as well as their sintering propensities. Combustion residues such as bottom and fly ashes have run through the same characterisation programme. The knowledge obtained by the characterisation programme supports the experimental combustion campaigns which are performed at 20, 90 and 350 kW FBC reactors. The information produced is validated in a 3 MW and 25 MW commercial FBC reactor. NO{sub x} formation and destruction mechanisms and rates have been included in a 3-D CFD software code used for NO{sub x} formation modelling. Parameter assessments confirmed the theoretical achievement of a 20-30 % reduction of NO{sub x} formation through implementation of the alkali injection concept as

  1. Modulation of phytochrome signaling networks for improved biomass accumulation using a bioenergy crop model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mockler, Todd C. [Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO (United States)

    2016-11-07

    Plant growth and development, including stem elongation, flowering time, and shade-avoidance habits, are affected by wavelength composition (i.e., light quality) of the light environment. the molecular mechanisms underlying light perception and signaling pathways in plants have been best characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana where dozens of genes have been implicated in converging, complementary, and antagonistic pathways communicating light quality cues perceived by the phytochrome (red/far-red) cryptochrome (blue) and phototropin (blue) photorecptors. Light perception and signaling have been studied in grasses, including rice and sorghum but in much less detail than in Arabidopsis. During the course of the Mocker lab's DOE-funded wrok generating a gene expression atlas in Brachypodium distachyon we observed that Brachypodium plants grown in continuous monochromatic red light or continuous white light enriched in far-red light accumulated significantly more biomass and exhibited significantly greater seed yield than plants grown in monochromatic blue light or white light. This phenomenon was also observed in two other grasses, switchgrass and rice. We will systematically manipulate the expression of genes predicted to function in Brachypodium phytochrome signaling and assess the phenotypic consequences in transgenic Brachypodium plants in terms of morphology, stature, biomass accumulation, and cell wall composition. We will also interrogate direct interactions between candidate phytochrome signaling transcription factors and target promoters using a high-throughput yeast one-hybrid system. Brachypodium distachyon has emerged as a model grass species and is closely related to candidate feedstock crops for bioethanol production. Identification of genes capable of modifying growth characteristics of Brachypodium, when misexpressed, in particular increasing biomass accumulation, by modulating photoreceptor signaling will provide valuable candidates for

  2. Improving LiDAR Biomass Model Uncertainty through Non-Destructive Allometry and Plot-level 3D Reconstruction with Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stovall, A. E.; Shugart, H. H., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    Future NASA and ESA satellite missions plan to better quantify global carbon through detailed observations of forest structure, but ultimately rely on uncertain ground measurement approaches for calibration and validation. A significant amount of the uncertainty in estimating plot-level biomass can be attributed to inadequate and unrepresentative allometric relationships used to convert plot-level tree measurements to estimates of aboveground biomass. These allometric equations are known to have high errors and biases, particularly in carbon rich forests because they were calibrated with small and often biased samples of destructively harvested trees. To overcome this issue, a non-destructive methodology for estimating tree and plot-level biomass has been proposed through the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS). We investigated the potential for using TLS as a ground validation approach in LiDAR-based biomass mapping though virtual plot-level tree volume reconstruction and biomass estimation. Plot-level biomass estimates were compared on the Virginia-based Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's SIGEO forest with full 3D reconstruction, TLS allometry, and Jenkins et al. (2003) allometry. On average, full 3D reconstruction ultimately provided the lowest uncertainty estimate of plot-level biomass (9.6%), followed by TLS allometry (16.9%) and the national equations (20.2%). TLS offered modest improvements to the airborne LiDAR empirical models, reducing RMSE from 16.2% to 14%. Our findings suggest TLS plot acquisitions and non-destructive allometry can play a vital role for reducing uncertainty in calibration and validation data for biomass mapping in the upcoming NASA and ESA missions.

  3. Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

    It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will be necessary to monitor plant survival and long-term productivity as affected by genetic changes that improve forage quality. Information on the conversion processes that will be used and the biomass characteristics that affect conversion efficiency and rate is absolutely essential as well as information on the relative economic value of specific traits. Because most forage or biomass quality characteristics are highly affected by plant maturity, it is suggested that plant material of specific maturity stages be used in research to determining desirable feedstock quality characteristics. Plant material could be collected at various stages of development from an array of environments and storage conditions that could be used in conversion research. The same plant material could be used to develop NIRS calibrations that could be used by breeders in their selection programs and also to develop criteria for a feedstock quality assessment program. Breeding for improved feedstock quality will likely affect the rate of improvement of biomass production per acre. If the same level of resources are used, multi-trait breeding simply reduces the selection pressure and hence the breeding progress that can be made for a single trait unless all the traits are highly correlated. Since desirable feedstock traits are likely

  4. Formulation, Pretreatment, and Densification Options to Improve Biomass Specifications for Co-Firing High Percentages with Coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaya Shankar Tumuluru; J Richard Hess; Richard D. Boardman; Shahab Sokhansanj; Christopher T. Wright; Tyler L. Westover

    2012-06-01

    There is a growing interest internationally to use more biomass for power generation, given the potential for significant environmental benefits and long-term fuel sustainability. However, the use of biomass alone for power generation is subject to serious challenges, such as feedstock supply reliability, quality, and stability, as well as comparative cost, except in situations in which biomass is locally sourced. In most countries, only a limited biomass supply infrastructure exists. Alternatively, co-firing biomass alongwith coal offers several advantages; these include reducing challenges related to biomass quality, buffering the system against insufficient feedstock quantity, and mitigating the costs of adapting existing coal power plants to feed biomass exclusively. There are some technical constraints, such as low heating values, low bulk density, and grindability or size-reduction challenges, as well as higher moisture, volatiles, and ash content, which limit the co-firing ratios in direct and indirect co-firing. To achieve successful co-firing of biomass with coal, biomass feedstock specifications must be established to direct pretreatment options in order to modify biomass materials into a format that is more compatible with coal co-firing. The impacts on particle transport systems, flame stability, pollutant formation, and boiler-tube fouling/corrosion must also be minimized by setting feedstock specifications, which may include developing new feedstock composition by formulation or blending. Some of the issues, like feeding, co-milling, and fouling, can be overcome by pretreatment methods including washing/leaching, steam explosion, hydrothermal carbonization, and torrefaction, and densification methods such as pelletizing and briquetting. Integrating formulation, pretreatment, and densification will help to overcome issues related to physical and chemical composition, storage, and logistics to successfully co-fire higher percentages of biomass ( > 40

  5. Selectively improving the bio-oil quality by catalytic fast pyrolysis of heavy-metal-polluted biomass: take copper (Cu) as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wu-Jun; Tian, Ke; Jiang, Hong; Zhang, Xue-Song; Ding, Hong-Sheng; Yu, Han-Qing

    2012-07-17

    Heavy-metal-polluted biomass derived from phytoremediation or biosorption is widespread and difficult to be disposed of. In this work, simultaneous conversion of the waste woody biomass into bio-oil and recovery of Cu in a fast pyrolysis reactor were investigated. The results show that Cu can effectively catalyze the thermo-decomposition of biomass. Both the yield and high heating value (HHV) of the Cu-polluted fir sawdust biomass (Cu-FSD) derived bio-oil are significantly improved compared with those of the fir sawdust (FSD) derived bio-oil. The results of UV-vis and (1)H NMR spectra of bio-oil indicate pyrolytic lignin is further decomposed into small-molecular aromatic compounds by the catalysis of Cu, which is in agreement with the GC-MS results that the fractions of C7-C10 compounds in the bio-oil significantly increase. Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses of the migration and transformation of Cu in the fast pyrolysis process show that more than 91% of the total Cu in the Cu-FSD is enriched in the char in the form of zerovalent Cu with a face-centered cubic crystalline phase. This study gives insight into catalytic fast pyrolysis of heavy metals, and demonstrates the technical feasibility of an eco-friendly process for disposal of heavy-metal-polluted biomass.

  6. Expression of a bacterial 3-dehydroshikimate dehydratase reduces lignin content and improves biomass saccharification efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eudes, Aymerick; Sathitsuksanoh, Noppadon; Baidoo, Edward E K; George, Anthe; Liang, Yan; Yang, Fan; Singh, Seema; Keasling, Jay D; Simmons, Blake A; Loqué, Dominique

    2015-12-01

    Lignin confers recalcitrance to plant biomass used as feedstocks in agro-processing industries or as source of renewable sugars for the production of bioproducts. The metabolic steps for the synthesis of lignin building blocks belong to the shikimate and phenylpropanoid pathways. Genetic engineering efforts to reduce lignin content typically employ gene knockout or gene silencing techniques to constitutively repress one of these metabolic pathways. Recently, new strategies have emerged offering better spatiotemporal control of lignin deposition, including the expression of enzymes that interfere with the normal process for cell wall lignification. In this study, we report that expression of a 3-dehydroshikimate dehydratase (QsuB from Corynebacterium glutamicum) reduces lignin deposition in Arabidopsis cell walls. QsuB was targeted to the plastids to convert 3-dehydroshikimate - an intermediate of the shikimate pathway - into protocatechuate. Compared to wild-type plants, lines expressing QsuB contain higher amounts of protocatechuate, p-coumarate, p-coumaraldehyde and p-coumaryl alcohol, and lower amounts of coniferaldehyde, coniferyl alcohol, sinapaldehyde and sinapyl alcohol. 2D-NMR spectroscopy and pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (pyro-GC/MS) reveal an increase of p-hydroxyphenyl units and a reduction of guaiacyl units in the lignin of QsuB lines. Size-exclusion chromatography indicates a lower degree of lignin polymerization in the transgenic lines. Therefore, our data show that the expression of QsuB primarily affects the lignin biosynthetic pathway. Finally, biomass from these lines exhibits more than a twofold improvement in saccharification efficiency. We conclude that the expression of QsuB in plants, in combination with specific promoters, is a promising gain-of-function strategy for spatiotemporal reduction of lignin in plant biomass. © 2015 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The

  7. Improvement of the energy conversion efficiency of Chlorella pyrenoidosa biomass by a three-stage process comprising dark fermentation, photofermentation, and methanogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Ao; Cheng, Jun; Ding, Lingkan; Lin, Richen; Huang, Rui; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2013-10-01

    The effects of pre-treatment methods on saccharification and hydrogen fermentation of Chlorella pyrenoidosa biomass were investigated. When raw biomass and biomass pre-treated by steam heating, by microwave heating, and by ultrasonication were used as feedstock, the hydrogen yields were only 8.8-12.7 ml/g total volatile solids (TVS) during dark fermentation. When biomass was pre-treated by steam heating with diluted acid and by microwave heating with diluted acid, the dark hydrogen yields significantly increased to 75.6 ml/g TVS and 83.3 ml/g TVS, respectively. Steam heating with diluted acid is the preferred pre-treatment method of C. pyrenoidosa biomass to improve hydrogen yield during dark fermentation and photofermentation, which is followed by methanogenesis to increase energy conversion efficiency (ECE). A total hydrogen yield of 198.3 ml/g TVS and a methane yield of 186.2 ml/g TVS corresponding to an overall ECE of 34.0% were obtained through the three-stage process (dark fermentation, photofermentation, and methanogenesis). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The sunflower transcription factor HaHB11 improves yield, biomass and tolerance to flooding in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabello, Julieta V; Giacomelli, Jorge I; Piattoni, Claudia V; Iglesias, Alberto A; Chan, Raquel L

    2016-03-20

    HaHB11 is a member of the sunflower homeodomain-leucine zipper I subfamily of transcription factors. The analysis of a sunflower microarray hybridized with RNA from HaHB11-transformed leaf-disks indicated the regulation of many genes encoding enzymes from glycolisis and fermentative pathways. A 1300bp promoter sequence, fused to the GUS reporter gene, was used to transform Arabidopsis plants showing an induction of expression after flooding treatments, concurrently with HaHB11 regulation by submergence in sunflower. Arabidopsis transgenic plants expressing HaHB11 under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter and its own promoter were obtained and these plants exhibited significant increases in rosette and stem biomass. All the lines produced more seeds than controls and particularly, those of high expression level doubled seeds yield. Transgenic plants also showed tolerance to flooding stress, both to submergence and waterlogging. Carbohydrates contents were higher in the transgenics compared to wild type and decreased less after submergence treatments. Finally, transcript levels of selected genes involved in glycolisis and fermentative pathways as well as the corresponding enzymatic activities were assessed both, in sunflower and transgenic Arabidopsis plants, before and after submergence. Altogether, the present work leads us to propose HaHB11 as a biotechnological tool to improve crops yield, biomass and flooding tolerance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. High temperature corrosion during biomass firing: improved understanding by depth resolved characterisation of corrosion products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okoro, Sunday Chukwudi; Montgomery, Melanie; Jappe Frandsen, Flemming

    2015-01-01

    changes within the near surface region (covering both the deposit and the steel surface). Such cross-section analysis was further complemented by plan view investigations (additionally involving X-ray diffraction) combined with removal of the corrosion products. Improved insights into the nature......The high temperature corrosion of an austenitic stainless steel (TP 347H FG), widely utilised as a superheater tube material in Danish power stations, was investigated to verify the corrosion mechanisms related to biomass firing. KCl coated samples were exposed isothermally to 560 degrees C...... of the corrosion products as a function of distance from the deposit surface were revealed through this comprehensive characterisation. Corrosion attack during simulated straw-firing conditions was observed to occur through both active oxidation and sulphidation mechanisms....

  10. Beyond fuelwood savings. Valuing the economic benefits of introducing improved biomass cookstoves in the Purepecha region of Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia-Frapolli, Eduardo; Schilmann, Astrid; Berrueta, Victor M.; Riojas-Rodriguez, Horacio; Edwards, Rufus D.; Johnson, Michael; Guevara-Sangines, Alejandro; Armendariz, Cynthia; Masera, Omar

    2010-01-01

    Half of the world population relies on biomass for cooking, with very significant health as well as climate change impacts. Improved cookstoves have been disseminated as an alternative to reduce these impacts. However, few detailed studies about the economic benefits of improved cookstoves (ICS) interventions, including environmental and health co-benefits, exist to date. In this paper we perform a comprehensive economic evaluation of a dissemination program of ICS in rural Mexico. The resulting cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of the Patsari improved cookstove is presented, utilizing estimation of direct costs and benefits, including fuelwood savings, income generation, health impacts, environmental conservation, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis is based on comprehensive data obtained through monitoring studies carried out in the Study Area from 2003 to the present. Results show that Patsari cookstoves represent a viable economic option for improving living conditions of the poorest inhabitants of rural Mexico, with benefit/cost ratios estimated between 11.4:1 and 9:1. The largest contributors to economic benefits stemmed from fuelwood savings and reductions in health impacts, which constituted 53% and 28% of the overall benefit, respectively. (author)

  11. Xylose isomerase improves growth and ethanol production rates from biomass sugars for both Saccharomyces pastorianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Kristen P; Gowtham, Yogender Kumar; Henson, J Michael; Harcum, Sarah W

    2012-01-01

    The demand for biofuel ethanol made from clean, renewable nonfood sources is growing. Cellulosic biomass, such as switch grass (Panicum virgatum L.), is an alternative feedstock for ethanol production; however, cellulosic feedstock hydrolysates contain high levels of xylose, which needs to be converted to ethanol to meet economic feasibility. In this study, the effects of xylose isomerase on cell growth and ethanol production from biomass sugars representative of switch grass were investigated using low cell density cultures. The lager yeast species Saccharomyces pastorianus was grown with immobilized xylose isomerase in the fermentation step to determine the impact of the glucose and xylose concentrations on the ethanol production rates. Ethanol production rates were improved due to xylose isomerase; however, the positive effect was not due solely to the conversion of xylose to xylulose. Xylose isomerase also has glucose isomerase activity, so to better understand the impact of the xylose isomerase on S. pastorianus, growth and ethanol production were examined in cultures provided fructose as the sole carbon. It was observed that growth and ethanol production rates were higher for the fructose cultures with xylose isomerase even in the absence of xylose. To determine whether the positive effects of xylose isomerase extended to other yeast species, a side-by-side comparison of S. pastorianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae was conducted. These comparisons demonstrated that the xylose isomerase increased ethanol productivity for both the yeast species by increasing the glucose consumption rate. These results suggest that xylose isomerase can contribute to improved ethanol productivity, even without significant xylose conversion. Copyright © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

  12. Expression of S-adenosylmethionine Hydrolase in Tissues Synthesizing Secondary Cell Walls Alters Specific Methylated Cell Wall Fractions and Improves Biomass Digestibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aymerick Eudes

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Plant biomass is a large source of fermentable sugars for the synthesis of bioproducts using engineered microbes. These sugars are stored as cell wall polymers, mainly cellulose and hemicellulose, and are embedded with lignin, which makes their enzymatic hydrolysis challenging. One of the strategies to reduce cell wall recalcitrance is the modification of lignin content and composition. Lignin is a phenolic polymer of methylated aromatic alcohols and its synthesis in tissues developing secondary cell walls is a significant sink for the consumption of the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet. In this study, we demonstrate in Arabidopsis stems that targeted expression of S-adenosylmethionine hydrolase (AdoMetase, E.C. 3.3.1.2 in secondary cell-wall synthesizing tissues reduces the AdoMet pool and impacts lignin content and composition. In particular, both NMR analysis and pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry of lignin in engineered biomass showed relative enrichment of non-methylated p-hydroxycinnamyl (H units and a reduction of dimethylated syringyl (S units. This indicates a lower degree of methylation compared to that in wild-type lignin. Quantification of cell wall-bound hydroxycinnamates revealed a reduction of ferulate in AdoMetase transgenic lines. Biomass from transgenic lines, in contrast to that in control plants, exhibits an enrichment of glucose content and a reduction in the degree of hemicellulose glucuronoxylan methylation. We also show that these modifications resulted in a reduction of cell wall recalcitrance, because sugar yield generated by enzymatic biomass saccharification was greater than that of wild type plants. Considering that transgenic plants show no important diminution of biomass yields, and that heterologous expression of AdoMetase protein can be spatiotemporally optimized, this novel approach provides a valuable option for the improvement of lignocellulosic biomass feedstock.

  13. Development of an applied black willow tree improvement program for biomass production in the south

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall J. Rousseau; Emile S. Gardiner; Theodor D. Leininger

    2012-01-01

    The development of rapidly growing biomass woody crops is imperative as the United States strives to meet renewable energy goals. The Department of Energy has indicated that biomass is a prime source for renewable energy for the southern United States. Black Willow (Salix nigra Marsh.) is a potential bioenergy/biofuels crop for dedicated short-...

  14. Evaluating kriging as a tool to improve moderate resolution maps of forest biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizabeth A. Freeman; Gretchen G. Moisen

    2007-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA) recently produced a nationwide map of forest biomass by modeling biomass collected on forest inventory plots as nonparametric functions of moderate resolution satellite data and other environmental variables using Cubist software. Efforts are underway to develop methods to enhance this initial map. We...

  15. Deciphering the function and regulation of SbCAD2: A key lignin gene to improve sorghum biomass degradability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of lignin biosynthesis in the cell wall of biofuel feedstocks is likely one of the most effective ways to improve the conversion efficiency of cellulosic biomass to biofuel for the bioenergy industry. As a key enzyme that catalyzes the last step of monolignol synthesis, cinnamy...

  16. Balancing carbon/nitrogen ratio to improve nutrients removal and algal biomass production in piggery and brewery wastewaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hongli; Liu, Mingzhi; Lu, Qian; Wu, Xiaodan; Ma, Yiwei; Cheng, Yanling; Addy, Min; Liu, Yuhuan; Ruan, Roger

    2018-02-01

    To improve nutrients removal from wastewaters and enhance algal biomass production, piggery wastewater was mixed with brewery wastewaters. The results showed that it was a promising way to cultivate microalga in piggery and brewery wastewaters by balancing the carbon/nitrogen ratio. The optimal treatment condition for the mixed piggery-brewery wastewater using microalga was piggery wastewater mixed with brewery packaging wastewater by 1:5 at pH 7.0, resulting in carbon/nitrogen ratio of 7.9, with the biomass concentration of 2.85 g L -1 , and the removal of 100% ammonia, 96% of total nitrogen, 90% of total phosphorus, and 93% of chemical oxygen demand. The application of the established strategies can enhance nutrient removal efficiency of the wastewaters while reducing microalgal biomass production costs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Improvement in HPLC separation of acetic acid and levulinic acid in the profiling of biomass hydrolysate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Rui; Tu, Maobing; Wu, Yonnie; Adhikari, Sushil

    2011-04-01

    5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and furfural could be separated by the Aminex HPX-87H column chromatography, however, the separation and quantification of acetic acid and levulinic acid in biomass hydrolysate have been difficult with this method. In present study, the HPLC separation of acetic acid and levulinic acid on Aminex HPX-87H column has been investigated by varying column temperature, flow rate, and sulfuric acid content in the mobile phase. The column temperature was found critical in resolving acetic acid and levulinic acid. The resolution for two acids increased dramatically from 0.42 to 1.86 when the column temperature was lowered from 60 to 30 °C. So did the capacity factors for levulinic acid that was increased from 1.20 to 1.44 as the column temperature dropped. The optimum column temperature for the separation was found at 45 °C. Variation in flow rate and sulfuric acid concentration improved not as much as the column temperature did. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Improved pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass using enzymatically-generated peracetic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, DeLu Tyler; Jing, Qing; AlDajani, Waleed Wafa; Duncan, Shona; Tschirner, Ulrike; Schilling, Jonathan; Kazlauskas, Romas J

    2011-04-01

    Release of sugars from lignocellulosic biomass is inefficient because lignin, an aromatic polymer, blocks access of enzymes to the sugar polymers. Pretreatments remove lignin and disrupt its structure, thereby enhancing sugar release. In previous work, enzymatically generated peracetic acid was used to pretreat aspen wood. This pretreatment removed 45% of the lignin and the subsequent saccharification released 97% of the sugars remaining after pretreatment. In this paper, the amount of enzyme needed is reduced tenfold using first, an improved enzyme variant that makes twice as much peracetic acid and second, a two-phase reaction to generate the peracetic acid, which allows enzyme reuse. In addition, the eight pretreatment cycles are reduced to only one by increasing the volume of peracetic acid solution and increasing the temperature to 60 °C and the reaction time to 6h. For the pretreatment step, the weight ratio of peracetic acid to wood determines the amount of lignin removed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. National Emergency Preparedness and Response: Improving for Incidents of National Significance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clayton, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

    The national emergency management system has need of significant improvement in its contingency planning and early consolidation of effort and coordination between federal, state, and local agencies...

  20. Development and Optimization of a Flocculation Procedure for Improved Solid-Liquid Separation of Digested Biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patton, Caroline; Lischeske, James J.; Sievers, David A.

    2015-11-03

    One viable treatment method for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels begins with saccharification (thermochemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis), followed by fermentation or catalytic upgrading to fuels such as ethanol, butanol, or other hydrocarbons. The post-hydrolysis slurry is typically 4-8 percent insoluble solids, predominantly consisting of lignin. Suspended solids are known to inhibit fermentation as well as poison catalysts and obstruct flow in catalyst beds. Thus a solid-liquid separation following enzymatic hydrolysis would be highly favorable for process economics, however the material is not easily separated by filtration or gravimetric methods. Use of a polyacrylamide flocculant to bind the suspended particles in a corn stover hydrolyzate slurry into larger flocs (1-2mm diameter) has been found to be extremely helpful in improving separation. Recent and ongoing research on novel pretreatment methods yields hydrolyzate material with diverse characteristics. Therefore, we need a thorough understanding of rapid and successful flocculation design in order to quickly achieve process design goals. In this study potential indicators of flocculation performance were investigated in order to develop a rapid analysis method for flocculation procedure in the context of a novel hydrolyzate material. Flocculation conditions were optimized on flocculant type and loading, pH, and mixing time. Filtration flux of the hydrolyzate slurry was improved 170-fold using a cationic polyacrylamide flocculant with a dosing of approximately 22 mg flocculant/g insoluble solids at an approximate pH of 3. With cake washing, sugar recovery exceeded 90 percent with asymptotic yield at 15 L wash water/kg insoluble solids.

  1. The use of thermostable bacterial hemicellulases improves the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to valuable molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotoarivonina, Harivony; Revol, Pierre-Vincent; Aubry, Nathalie; Rémond, Caroline

    2016-09-01

    The hydrolysis of xylans, one of the main classes of carbohydrates that constitute lignocellulosic biomass, requires the synergistic action of several enzymes. The development of efficient enzymatic strategies for hydrolysis remains a challenge in the pursuit of viable biorefineries, particularly with respect to the valorisation of pentoses. The approach developed in this work is based on obtaining and characterising hemicellulasic cocktails from Thermobacillus xylanilyticus after culturing this bacterium on the hemicellulose-rich substrates wheat bran and wheat straw, which differ in their chemistries. The two obtained cocktails (WSC and WBC, for cocktails obtained from wheat straw and wheat bran, respectively) were resistant to a broad range of temperature and pH conditions. At 60 °C, both cocktails efficiently liberated pentoses and phenolic acids from wheat bran (liberating more than 60, 30 and 40 % of the total xylose, arabinose and ferulic acid in wheat bran, respectively). They acted to a lesser extent on the more recalcitrant wheat straw, with hydrolytic yields of more than 30 % of the total arabinose and xylose content and 22 % of the ferulic acid content. Hydrolysis is associated with a high rate of sugar monomerisation. When associated with cellulases, high quantities of glucose were also obtained. On wheat bran, total glucose yields were improved by 70 % compared to the action of cellulases alone. This improvement was obtained by cellulase complementation either with WSC or with WBC. On wheat straw, similar levels of total glucose were obtained for cellulases alone or complemented with WSC or WBC. Interestingly, the complementation of cellulases with WSC or WBC induced an increase in the monomeric glucose yield of more than 20 % compared to cellulases alone.

  2. Improved prediction of hardwood tree biomass derived from wood density estimates and form factors for whole trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. MacFarlane; Neil R. Ver Planck

    2012-01-01

    Data from hardwood trees in Michigan were analyzed to investigate how differences in whole-tree form and wood density between trees of different stem diameter relate to residual error in standard-type biomass equations. The results suggested that whole-tree wood density, measured at breast height, explained a significant proportion of residual error in standard-type...

  3. Frameworks for improvement: clinical audit, the plan-do-study-act cycle and significant event audit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Steve; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2013-01-01

    This is the first in a series of articles about quality improvement tools and techniques. We explore common frameworks for improvement, including the model for improvement and its application to clinical audit, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles and significant event analysis (SEA), examining the similarities and differences between these and providing examples of each.

  4. The potential of spectral mixture analysis to improve the estimation accuracy of tropical forest biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Basuki, T.M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Laake, van P.E.; Duren, van I.C.; Hussin, Y.A.

    2012-01-01

    A main limitation of pixel-based vegetation indices or reflectance values for estimating above-ground biomass is that they do not consider the mixed spectral components on the earth's surface covered by a pixel. In this research, we decomposed mixed reflectance in each pixel before developing models

  5. Model collaboration for the improved assessment of biomass supply, demand, and impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicke, Birka; van der Hilst, Floortje; Daioglou, Vasileios; Banse, Martin; Beringer, Tim; Gerssen - Gondelach, Sarah; Heijnen, Sanne; Karssenberg, Derek; Laborde, David; Lippe, Melvin; van Meijl, Hans; Nassar, André; Powell, Jeff; Prins, Anne Gerdien; Rose, Steve N K; Smeets, Edward M W; Stehfest, Elke; Tyner, Wallace E.; Verstegen, Judith A.; Valin, Hugo; van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Yeh, Sonia; Faaij, André P C

    Existing assessments of biomass supply and demand and their impacts face various types of limitations and uncertainties, partly due to the type of tools and methods applied (e.g., partial representation of sectors, lack of geographical details, and aggregated representation of technologies

  6. Model collaboration for improved assessment of biomass supply, demand and impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicke, B.; et al, .

    2014-01-01

    Existing assessments of biomass supply and demand and their impacts face various types of limitations and uncertainties, partly due to the type of tools and methods applied (e.g., partial representation of sectors, lack of geographical details, and aggregated representation of technologies

  7. Model collaboration for the improved assessment of biomass supply, demand, and impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicke, B.; Hilst, van der F.; Daioglou, V.; Banse, M.; Beringer, T.; Gerssen-Gondelach, S.; Heijnen, S.; Karssenberg, D.; Laborde, D.; Lippe, M.; Meijl, van H.; Nassar, A.; Powell, J.P.; Prins, A.G.; Rose, S.N.K.; Smeets, E.M.W.; Stehfest, E.; Tyner, W.E.; Verstegen, J.A.; Valin, H.; Vuuren, van D.P.; Yeh, S.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2015-01-01

    Existing assessments of biomass supply and demand and their impacts face various types of limitations and uncertainties, partly due to the type of tools and methods applied (e.g., partial representation of sectors, lack of geographical details, and aggregated representation of technologies

  8. Global Expression in Sorghum Brown Midrib Mutants to Improve Biomass for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown midrib (bmr) mutants are being investigated for their ability to increase the conversion efficiency of sorghum biomass for lignocellulosic bioenergy. Brown midrib 6 and 12 (bmr6 and 12) are impaired the last two steps of monolignol biosynthesis resulting in reduced lignin content and altered ...

  9. Forest operations and woody biomass logistics to improve efficiency, value, and sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathaniel Anderson; Dana Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews the most recent work conducted by scientists and engineers of the Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the areas of forest operations and woody biomass logistics, with an emphasis on feedstock supply for emerging bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts applications. This work is presented in the context of previous...

  10. Engineering Aspergillus oryzae A-4 through the Chromosomal Insertion of Foreign Cellulase Expression Cassette to Improve Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass into Lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Qi; Ma, Junwei; Fu, Jianrong; Zhao, Yuhua

    2014-01-01

    A genetic modification scheme was designed for Aspergillus oryzae A-4, a natural cellulosic lipids producer, to enhance its lipid production from biomass by putting the spotlight on improving cellulase secretion. Four cellulase genes were separately expressed in A-4 under the control of hlyA promoter, with the help of the successful development of a chromosomal genetic manipulation system. Comparison of cellulase activities of PCR-positive transformants showed that these transformants integrated with celA gene and with celC gene had significantly (pcellulase gene in A2-2 and D1-B1 was subsequently investigated. It was noted that cellulase expression repressed biomass formation but enhanced lipid accumulation; whereas the inhibitory effect on cell growth would be shielded during cellulosic lipids production owing to the essential role of cellulase in substrate utilization. Different metabolic profiles also existed between A2-2 and D1-B1, which could be attributed to not only different transgene but also biological impacts of different integration. Overall, both simultaneous saccharification and lipid accumulation were enhanced in A2-2 and D1-B1, resulting in efficient conversion of cellulose into lipids. A regulation of cellulase secretion in natural cellulosic lipids producers could be a possible strategy to enhance its lipid production from lignocellulosic biomass. PMID:25251435

  11. Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in a pilot-scale photobioreactor using real centrate wastewater with waste glycerol for improving microalgae biomass production and wastewater nutrients removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hongyan; Tuo, Jinhua; Addy, Min M; Zhang, Renchuan; Lu, Qian; Anderson, Erik; Chen, Paul; Ruan, Roger

    2017-12-01

    To improve nutrients removal from real centrate wastewater and enhance the microalgae biomass production, cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in lab and a pilot-scale photobioreactor with waste glycerol was studied. The results showed the optimal concentration of the crude glycerol was 1.0gL -1 with the maximum biomass productivity of 460mgL -1 d -1 TVS, the maximum lipid content of 27%, the nutrient removal efficiency of all above 86%, due to more balanced C/N ratio. The synergistic relationship between the wastewater-borne bacteria and the microalgae had significant good influence on nutrient removal. In pilot-scale wastewater-based algae cultivation, with 1gL -1 waste glycerol addition, the average biomass production of 16.7gm -2 d -1 , lipid content of 23.6%, and the removal of 2.4gm -2 d -1 NH 4 + -N, 2.7gm -2 d -1 total nitrogen, 3.0gm -2 d -1 total phosphorous, and 103.0gm -2 d -1 of COD were attained for 34days semi-continuous mode. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Engineering Aspergillus oryzae A-4 through the chromosomal insertion of foreign cellulase expression cassette to improve conversion of cellulosic biomass into lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hui; Wang, Qun; Shen, Qi; Ma, Junwei; Fu, Jianrong; Zhao, Yuhua

    2014-01-01

    A genetic modification scheme was designed for Aspergillus oryzae A-4, a natural cellulosic lipids producer, to enhance its lipid production from biomass by putting the spotlight on improving cellulase secretion. Four cellulase genes were separately expressed in A-4 under the control of hlyA promoter, with the help of the successful development of a chromosomal genetic manipulation system. Comparison of cellulase activities of PCR-positive transformants showed that these transformants integrated with celA gene and with celC gene had significantly (pcellulase gene in A2-2 and D1-B1 was subsequently investigated. It was noted that cellulase expression repressed biomass formation but enhanced lipid accumulation; whereas the inhibitory effect on cell growth would be shielded during cellulosic lipids production owing to the essential role of cellulase in substrate utilization. Different metabolic profiles also existed between A2-2 and D1-B1, which could be attributed to not only different transgene but also biological impacts of different integration. Overall, both simultaneous saccharification and lipid accumulation were enhanced in A2-2 and D1-B1, resulting in efficient conversion of cellulose into lipids. A regulation of cellulase secretion in natural cellulosic lipids producers could be a possible strategy to enhance its lipid production from lignocellulosic biomass.

  13. Comparative potentials of native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to improve nutrient uptake and biomass of Sorghum bicolor Linn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pattarawadee Sumthong Nakmee

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Linn. seedlings were grown in pots using Pakchong soil from Nakhon Ratchasima province. Ten species of native Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi: Glomus sp. 1, Glomus sp. 2, Glomus sp. 3, Glomus aggregatum, Glomus fasciculatum, Acaulospora longula, Glomus occultum, Acaulospora scrobiculata, Acaulospora spinosa and Scutellospora sp., were used to inoculate sorghum seedlings. The sorghum growth and uptake of several major nutrients were evaluated at the harvesting stage. The results revealed that sorghum inoculated with A. scrobiculata produced the greatest biomass, grain dry weight and total nitrogen uptake in shoots. The highest phosphorus uptake in shoots was found in A. spinosa-inoculated plants, followed by Glomus sp. and A. scrobiculata, whereas Scutellospora sp.-inoculated plants showed the highest potassium uptake in shoots followed by A. scrobiculata. Overall, the most efficient AM fungi for improvement of nutrient uptake, biomass and grain dry weight in sorghum were A. scrobiculata.

  14. Discovering the desirable alleles contributing to the lignocellulosic biomass traits in Saccharum germplasm collections for energy cane improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jianping [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Sandhu, Hardev [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2017-03-23

    1) The success in crop improvement programs depends largely on the extent of genetic variability available. Germplasm collections assembles all the available genetic resources and are critical for long-term crop improvement. This world sugarcane germplasm collection contains enormous genetic variability for various morphological traits, biomass yield components, adaptation and many quality traits, prospectively imbeds a large number of valuable alleles for biofuel traits such as high biomass yield, quantity and quality of lignocelluloses, stress tolerance, and nutrient use efficiency. The germplasm collection is of little value unless it is characterized and utilized for crop improvement. In this project, we phenotypically and genotypically characterized the sugarcane world germplasm collection (The results were published in two papers already and another two papers are to be published). This data will be made available for public to refer to for germplasm unitization specifically in the sugarcane and energy cane breeding programs. In addition, we are identifying the alleles contributing to the biomass traits in sugarcane germplasm. This part of project is very challenging due to the large genome and highly polyploid level of this crop. We firstly established a high throughput sugarcane genotyping pipeline in the genome and bioinformatics era (a paper is published in 2016). We identified and modified a software for genome-wide association analysis of polyploid species. The results of the alleles associated to the biomass traits will be published soon, which will help the scientific community understand the genetic makeup of the biomass components of sugarcane. Molecular breeders can develop markers for marker assisted selection of biomass traits improvement. Further, the development and release of new energy cane cultivars through this project not only improved genetic diversity but also improved dry biomass yields and resistance to diseases. These new cultivars

  15. Alkali chloride induced corrosion of superheaters under biomass firing conditions: Improved insights from laboratory scale studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okoro, Sunday Chukwudi; Montgomery, Melanie; Jappe Frandsen, Flemming

    2015-01-01

    One of the major operational challenges experienced by power plants firing biomass is the high corrosion rate of superheaters. This limits the outlet steam temperature of the superheaters and consequently, the efficiency of the power plants. The high corrosion rates have been attributed to the fo......One of the major operational challenges experienced by power plants firing biomass is the high corrosion rate of superheaters. This limits the outlet steam temperature of the superheaters and consequently, the efficiency of the power plants. The high corrosion rates have been attributed......, [1–3]). However, complete understanding of the corrosion mechanism under biomass-firing conditions has not yet been achieved. This is attributed partly to the complex nature of the corrosion process since there are many species produced from fuel combustion which can interact with one another...... and the steel surface. Many studies have focused on specific parameters such as, deposit composition (KCl, K2SO4, K2CO3, etc.) or gas species such as HCl, SO2, H2O [4–6], however, more research is necessary to understand the interaction of deposits and gas mixtures with each other and metallic superheater...

  16. Significance of Lignin S/G Ratio in Biomass Recalcitrance of Populus trichocarpa Variants for Bioethanol Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Chang Geun [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; UT−ORNL; Dumitrache, Alexandru [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Muchero, Wellington [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Natzke, Jace [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Akinosho, Hannah [School; Li, Mi [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; UT−ORNL; Sykes, Robert W. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, Colorado 80401, United States; Brown, Steven D. [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Davison, Brian [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Tuskan, Gerald A. [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; Pu, Yunqiao [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; UT−ORNL; Ragauskas, Arthur J. [BioEnergy; amp, Center for BioEnergy Innovation, Biosciences; UT−ORNL; Department; amp, Center for Renewable

    2017-12-27

    Lignin S/G ratio has been investigated as an important factor in biomass recalcitrance to bioethanol production. Because of the complexity and variety of biomass, recalcitrance was also reportedly influenced by several other factors, such as total lignin content, degree of cellulose polymerization, etc. In addition, the effect of S/G ratio on biomass conversion is not uniform across plant species. Herein, 11 Populus trichocarpa natural variants grown under the same conditions with similar total lignin content were selected to minimize the effects of other factors. The lignin S/G ratio of the selected P. trichocarpa natural variants showed negative correlations with p-hydroxybenzoate (PB) and ..beta..-5 linkage contents, while it had positive ones with ..beta..-O-4 linkage, lignin molecular weight, and ethanol production. This study showed the importance of lignin S/G ratio as an independent recalcitrance factor that may aid future energy crop engineering and biomass conversion strategies.

  17. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Improving Rapport between Track/Cross Country Coaches and Significant Others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helm, David Jay

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the background information and the components of N.L.P., being eye movements, use of predicates, and posturing, as they apply to improving rapport and empathy between track/cross country coaches and their significant others in the arena of competition to help alleviate the inherent stressors.

  18. Persistence and diversity of directional landscape connectivity improves biomass pulsing in expanding and contracting wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurek, Simeon; DeAngelis, Don; Trexler, Joel C.; Klassen, Stephen; Larsen, Laurel G.

    2016-01-01

    In flood-pulsed ecosystems, hydrology and landscape structure mediate transfers of energy up the food chain by expanding and contracting in area, enabling spatial expansion and growth of fish populations during rising water levels, and subsequent concentration during the drying phase. Connectivity of flooded areas is dynamic as waters rise and fall, and is largely determined by landscape geomorphology and anisotropy. We developed a methodology for simulating fish dispersal and concentration on spatially-explicit, dynamic floodplain wetlands with pulsed food web dynamics, to evaluate how changes in connectivity through time contribute to the concentration of fish biomass that is essential for higher trophic levels. The model also tracks a connectivity index (DCI) over different compass directions to see if fish biomass dynamics can be related in a simple way to topographic pattern. We demonstrate the model for a seasonally flood-pulsed, oligotrophic system, the Everglades, where flow regimes have been greatly altered. Three dispersing populations of functional fish groups were simulated with empirically-based dispersal rules on two landscapes, and two twelve-year time series of managed water levels for those areas were applied. The topographies of the simulations represented intact and degraded ridge-and-slough landscapes (RSL). Simulation results showed large pulses of biomass concentration forming during the onset of the drying phase, when water levels were falling and fish began to converge into the sloughs. As water levels fell below the ridges, DCI declined over different directions, closing down dispersal lanes, and fish density spiked. Persistence of intermediate levels of connectivity on the intact RSL enabled persistent concentration events throughout the drying phase. The intact landscape also buffered effects of wet season population growth. Water level reversals on both landscapes negatively affected fish densities by depleting fish populations without

  19. [Compatible biomass models of natural spruce (Picea asperata)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jin Chi; Deng, Hua Feng; Huang, Guo Sheng; Wang, Xue Jun; Zhang, Lu

    2017-10-01

    By using nonlinear measurement error method, the compatible tree volume and above ground biomass equations were established based on the volume and biomass data of 150 sampling trees of natural spruce (Picea asperata). Two approaches, controlling directly under total aboveground biomass and controlling jointly from level to level, were used to design the compatible system for the total aboveground biomass and the biomass of four components (stem, bark, branch and foliage), and the total ground biomass could be estimated independently or estimated simultaneously in the system. The results showed that the R 2 of the one variable and bivariate compatible tree volume and aboveground biomass equations were all above 0.85, and the maximum value reached 0.99. The prediction effect of the volume equations could be improved significantly when tree height was included as predictor, while it was not significant in biomass estimation. For the compatible biomass systems, the one variable model based on controlling jointly from level to level was better than the model using controlling directly under total above ground biomass, but the bivariate models of the two methods were similar. Comparing the imitative effects of the one variable and bivariate compatible biomass models, the results showed that the increase of explainable variables could significantly improve the fitness of branch and foliage biomass, but had little effect on other components. Besides, there was almost no difference between the two methods of estimation based on the comparison.

  20. Method for improving separation of carbohydrates from wood pulping and wood or biomass hydrolysis liquors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, William Louis; Compere, Alicia Lucille; Leitten, Jr., Carl Frederick

    2010-04-20

    A method for separating carbohydrates from pulping liquors includes the steps of providing a wood pulping or wood or biomass hydrolysis pulping liquor having lignin therein, and mixing the liquor with an acid or a gas which forms an acid upon contact with water to initiate precipitation of carbohydrate to begin formation of a precipitate. During precipitation, at least one long chain carboxylated carbohydrate and at least one cationic polymer, such as a polyamine or polyimine are added, wherein the precipitate aggregates into larger precipitate structures. Carbohydrate gel precipitates are then selectively removed from the larger precipitate structures. The method process yields both a carbohydrate precipitate and a high purity lignin.

  1. The potential of Arachis pintoi biomass to improve quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping

    OpenAIRE

    N. Muddarisna; S. Prijono

    2014-01-01

    A field experiment that was aimed to elucidate the effects of application of Arachis pintoi biomass and animal dung on quality of soil continuously used for cassava cropping was conducted at Jatikerto Village, Kromengan District of Malang Regency. Eight treatments tested were 100% NPK inorganic fertilizer, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi/ha, (3) 100 kg N chicken dung / ha, 100 kg N cow dung /ha, 100 kg N goat dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + chicken dung /ha, 100 kg N Arachis pintoi + cow dung /h...

  2. Improved lipid and biomass productivities in Chlorella vulgaris by differing the inoculation medium from the production medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahrbanoo Hamedi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Improvement of biomass and lipid productivities is now one of the main concerns in commercialization of microalgae cultivation as a feedstock for algal biofuel production. Conventional photoautotrophic processes using well-studied and rich in oil strain of Chlorella vulgaris are not able to meet such demands. A new strategy of inoculating algae production medium with cells grown in a different medium from the production medium was proposed herein. More specifically, when SH4 was used as production medium and N8 was used as inoculation medium, biomass and lipid productivities increased by 2.33 folds and 1.44 fold, respectively, compared with when the production and inoculation media were the same, such as SH4. The findings of the present investigation showed that this cultivation scheme resulted in 52% increase in cell number and 54% increase in dry weight leading to improved productivities. Although by even considering this improvement, photoautotrophic cultivation of algae can hardly compete with the heterotrophic cultivation, the high cost of hydrocarbon supply required in large-scale heterotrophic processes marks the technique proposed in the present study as a promising approach for commercialization of algal biofuel production.

  3. Rehearsal significantly improves immediate and delayed recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

    A repeated observation during memory assessment with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is that patients who spontaneously employ a memory rehearsal strategy by repeating the word list more than once achieve better scores than patients who only repeat the word list once. This observation led to concern about the ability of the standard test procedure of RAVLT and similar tests in eliciting the best possible recall scores. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a rehearsal recall strategy of repeating the word list more than once would result in improved scores of recall on the RAVLT. We report on differences in outcome after standard administration and after experimental administration on Immediate and Delayed Recall measures from the RAVLT of 50 patients. The experimental administration resulted in significantly improved scores for all the variables employed. Additionally, it was found that patients who failed effort screening showed significantly poorer improvement on Delayed Recall compared with those who passed the effort screening. The general clear improvement both in raw scores and T-scores demonstrates that recall performance can be significantly influenced by the strategy of the patient or by small variations in instructions by the examiner.

  4. Impact of the Improved Patsari Biomass Stove on Urinary Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Biomarkers and Carbon Monoxide Exposures in Rural Mexican Women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riojas-Rodriguez, Horacio; Schilmann, Astrid; Marron-Mares, Adriana Teresa; Masera, Omar; Li, Zheng; Romanoff, Lovisa; Sjödin, Andreas; Rojas-Bracho, Leonora; Needham, Larry L.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Cooking with biomass fuels on open fires results in exposure to health-damaging pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and particulate matter. Objective: We compared CO exposures and urinary PAH biomarkers pre- and postintervention with an improved biomass stove, the Patsari stove. Methods: In a subsample of 63 women participating in a randomized controlled trial in central Mexico, we measured personal CO exposure for 8 hr during the day using continuous monitors and passive samplers. In addition, first-morning urine samples obtained the next day were analyzed for monohydroxylated PAH metabolites by gas chromatography/isotope dilution/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Exposure data were collected during the use of an open fire (preintervention) and after installation of the improved stove (postintervention) for 47 women, enabling paired comparisons. Results: Median pre- and postintervention values were 4 and 1 ppm for continuous personal CO and 3 and 1 ppm for passive sampler CO, respectively. Postintervention measurements indicated an average reduction of 42% for hydroxylated metabolites of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene on a whole-weight concentration basis (micrograms per liter of urine), and a 34% reduction on a creatinine-adjusted basis (micrograms per gram of creatinine). Pre- and postintervention geometric mean values for 1-hydroxypyrene were 3.2 and 2.0 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Conclusion: Use of the Patsari stove significantly reduced CO and PAH exposures in women. However, levels of many PAH biomarkers remained higher than those reported among smokers. PMID:21622083

  5. Costello Syndrome with Severe Nodulocystic Acne: Unexpected Significant Improvement of Acanthosis Nigricans after Oral Isotretinoin Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leelawadee Sriboonnark

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of 17-year-old female diagnosed with Costello syndrome. Genetic testing provided a proof with G12S mutation in the HRAS gene since 3 years of age with a presentation of severe nodulocystic acne on her face. After 2 months of oral isotretinoin treatment, improvement in her acne was observed. Interestingly, an unexpected significant improvement of acanthosis nigricans on her neck and dorsum of her hands was found as well. We present this case as a successful treatment option by using oral isotretinoin for the treatment of acanthosis nigricans in Costello syndrome patients.

  6. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail: mdh@soton.ac.uk

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  7. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin

    2011-12-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  8. Communication: Proper treatment of classically forbidden electronic transitions significantly improves detailed balance in surface hopping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sifain, Andrew E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Wang, Linjun [Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Prezhdo, Oleg V. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0485 (United States); Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1062 (United States)

    2016-06-07

    Surface hopping is the most popular method for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. Many have reported that it does not rigorously attain detailed balance at thermal equilibrium, but does so approximately. We show that convergence to the Boltzmann populations is significantly improved when the nuclear velocity is reversed after a classically forbidden hop. The proposed prescription significantly reduces the total number of classically forbidden hops encountered along a trajectory, suggesting that some randomization in nuclear velocity is needed when classically forbidden hops constitute a large fraction of attempted hops. Our results are verified computationally using two- and three-level quantum subsystems, coupled to a classical bath undergoing Langevin dynamics.

  9. Improving oxidative stability of virgin olive oil by addition of microalga Chlorella vulgaris biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavi, Nasireh; Golmakani, Mohammad-Taghi

    2017-07-01

    Antioxidant activity of Chlorella ( Chlorella vulgaris ) was evaluated in virgin olive oil (VOO) at different concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% (w/w) under accelerated storage conditions. Antioxidant activity of Chlorella was compared with those of BHT and β-carotene. Chlorella samples significantly retarded the formation of primary, secondary, and total oxidation products in comparison with those of the control. The stability increased as concentrations of Chlorella increased. Samples containing 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% Chlorella significantly improved VOO stability by 19.99, 28.83, and 33.14%, respectively. Observed effects can be related to the release in the assortment of bioactive compounds from Chlorella algae to the VOO. Among the different antioxidants evaluatedy, BHT exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. On the contrary, β-carotene had no preventive effect against the oxidation of VOO. It also proved incapable of limiting the progress of VOO oxidation and played role as pro-oxidant. In conclusion, Chlorella enhanced VOO oxidative stability. Thus it can be considered as a promising source of natural antioxidants.

  10. Improving material and energy recovery from the sewage sludge and biomass residues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kliopova, Irina, E-mail: irina.kliopova@ktu.lt; Makarskienė, Kristina

    2015-02-15

    Highlights: • SRF production from 10–40 mm fraction of pre-composted sludge and biomass residues. • The material and energy balance of compost and SRF production. • Characteristics of raw materials and classification of produced SRF. • Results of the efficiency of energy recovery, comparison analysis with – sawdust. - Abstract: Sewage sludge management is a big problem all over the world because of its large quantities and harmful impact on the environment. Energy conversion through fermentation, compost production from treated sludge for agriculture, especially for growing energetic plants, and treated sludge use for soil remediation are widely used alternatives of sewage sludge management. Recently, in many EU countries the popularity of these methods has decreased due to the sewage sludge content (heavy metals, organic pollutions and other hazards materials). This paper presents research results where the possibility of solid recovered fuel (SRF) production from the separate fraction (10–40 mm) of pre-composted materials – sewage sludge from municipal waste water treatment plant and biomass residues has been evaluated. The remaining fractions of pre-composted materials can be successfully used for compost or fertiliser production, as the concentration of heavy metals in the analysed composition is reduced in comparison with sewage sludge. During the experiment presented in this paper the volume of analysed biodegradable waste was reduced by 96%: about 20% of input biodegradable waste was recovered to SRF in the form of pellets with 14.25 MJ kg{sup −1} of the net calorific value, about 23% were composted, the rest – evaporated and discharged in a wastewater. The methods of material-energy balances and comparison analysis of experiment data have been chosen for the environmental impact assessment of this biodegradable waste management alternative. Results of the efficiency of energy recovery from sewage sludge by SRF production and burning

  11. Improving material and energy recovery from the sewage sludge and biomass residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kliopova, Irina; Makarskienė, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • SRF production from 10–40 mm fraction of pre-composted sludge and biomass residues. • The material and energy balance of compost and SRF production. • Characteristics of raw materials and classification of produced SRF. • Results of the efficiency of energy recovery, comparison analysis with – sawdust. - Abstract: Sewage sludge management is a big problem all over the world because of its large quantities and harmful impact on the environment. Energy conversion through fermentation, compost production from treated sludge for agriculture, especially for growing energetic plants, and treated sludge use for soil remediation are widely used alternatives of sewage sludge management. Recently, in many EU countries the popularity of these methods has decreased due to the sewage sludge content (heavy metals, organic pollutions and other hazards materials). This paper presents research results where the possibility of solid recovered fuel (SRF) production from the separate fraction (10–40 mm) of pre-composted materials – sewage sludge from municipal waste water treatment plant and biomass residues has been evaluated. The remaining fractions of pre-composted materials can be successfully used for compost or fertiliser production, as the concentration of heavy metals in the analysed composition is reduced in comparison with sewage sludge. During the experiment presented in this paper the volume of analysed biodegradable waste was reduced by 96%: about 20% of input biodegradable waste was recovered to SRF in the form of pellets with 14.25 MJ kg −1 of the net calorific value, about 23% were composted, the rest – evaporated and discharged in a wastewater. The methods of material-energy balances and comparison analysis of experiment data have been chosen for the environmental impact assessment of this biodegradable waste management alternative. Results of the efficiency of energy recovery from sewage sludge by SRF production and burning

  12. The challenges of ESRD care in developing economies: sub-Saharan African opportunities for significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamgboye, Ebun Ladipo

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. This, along with other noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases, poses a double burden on a region that is still struggling to cope with the scourge of communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and more recently Ebola. Causes of CKD in the region are predominantly glomerulonephritis and hypertension, although type 2 diabetes is also becoming a significant cause as is the retroviral disease. Patients are generally younger than in the developed world, and there is a significant male preponderance. Most patients are managed by hemodialysis, with peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation being available in only few countries in the region. Government funding and support for dialysis is often unavailable, and when available, often with restrictions. There is a dearth of trained manpower to treat the disease, and many countries have a limited number of units, which are often ill-equipped to deal adequately with the number of patients who require end-stage renal disease (ESRD) care in the region. Although there has been a significant improvement when compared with the situation, even as recently as 10 years ago, there is also the potential for further improvement, which would significantly improve the outcomes in patients with ESRD in the region. The information in this review was obtained from a combination of renal registry reports (published and unpublished), published articles, responses to a questionnaire sent to nephrologists prior to the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Cape Town, and from nephrologists attending the WCN in Cape Town (March 13 - 17, 2015).

  13. Survival prediction algorithms miss significant opportunities for improvement if used for case selection in trauma quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Catherine; Cole, Elaine; West, Anita; Tai, Nigel; Brohi, Karim

    2016-09-01

    Quality improvement (QI) programs have shown to reduce preventable mortality in trauma care. Detailed review of all trauma deaths is a time and resource consuming process and calculated probability of survival (Ps) has been proposed as audit filter. Review is limited on deaths that were 'expected to survive'. However no Ps-based algorithm has been validated and no study has examined elements of preventability associated with deaths classified as 'expected'. The objective of this study was to examine whether trauma performance review can be streamlined using existing mortality prediction tools without missing important areas for improvement. We conducted a retrospective study of all trauma deaths reviewed by our trauma QI program. Deaths were classified into non-preventable, possibly preventable, probably preventable or preventable. Opportunities for improvement (OPIs) involve failure in the process of care and were classified into clinical and system deviations from standards of care. TRISS and PS were used for calculation of probability of survival. Peer-review charts were reviewed by a single investigator. Over 8 years, 626 patients were included. One third showed elements of preventability and 4% were preventable. Preventability occurred across the entire range of the calculated Ps band. Limiting review to unexpected deaths would have missed over 50% of all preventability issues and a third of preventable deaths. 37% of patients showed opportunities for improvement (OPIs). Neither TRISS nor PS allowed for reliable identification of OPIs and limiting peer-review to patients with unexpected deaths would have missed close to 60% of all issues in care. TRISS and PS fail to identify a significant proportion of avoidable deaths and miss important opportunities for process and system improvement. Based on this, all trauma deaths should be subjected to expert panel review in order to aim at a maximal output of performance improvement programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier

  14. The stage-classified matrix models project a significant increase in biomass carbon stocks in China's forests between 2005 and 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Huifeng; Wang, Shaopeng; Guo, Zhaodi; Xu, Bing; Fang, Jingyun

    2015-06-25

    China's forests are characterized by young age, low carbon (C) density and a large plantation area, implying a high potential for increasing C sinks in the future. Using data of provincial forest area and biomass C density from China's forest inventories between 1994 and 2008 and the planned forest coverage of the country by 2050, we developed a stage-classified matrix model to predict biomass C stocks of China's forests from 2005 to 2050. The results showed that total forest biomass C stock would increase from 6.43 Pg C (1 Pg = 10(15) g) in 2005 to 9.97 Pg C (95% confidence interval: 8.98 ~ 11.07 Pg C) in 2050, with an overall net C gain of 78.8 Tg C yr(-1) (56.7 ~ 103.3 Tg C yr(-1); 1 Tg = 10(12) g). Our findings suggest that China's forests will be a large and persistent biomass C sink through 2050.

  15. The stage-classified matrix models project a significant increase in biomass carbon stocks in China’s forests between 2005 and 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Huifeng; Wang, Shaopeng; Guo, Zhaodi; Xu, Bing; Fang, Jingyun

    2015-01-01

    China’s forests are characterized by young age, low carbon (C) density and a large plantation area, implying a high potential for increasing C sinks in the future. Using data of provincial forest area and biomass C density from China’s forest inventories between 1994 and 2008 and the planned forest coverage of the country by 2050, we developed a stage-classified matrix model to predict biomass C stocks of China’s forests from 2005 to 2050. The results showed that total forest biomass C stock would increase from 6.43 Pg C (1 Pg = 1015 g) in 2005 to 9.97 Pg C (95% confidence interval: 8.98 ~ 11.07 Pg C) in 2050, with an overall net C gain of 78.8 Tg C yr−1 (56.7 ~ 103.3 Tg C yr−1; 1 Tg = 1012 g). Our findings suggest that China’s forests will be a large and persistent biomass C sink through 2050. PMID:26110831

  16. Significance of Lignin S/G Ratio in Biomass Recalcitrance of Populus trichocarpa Variants for Bioethanol Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Chang Geun [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Dumitrache, Alexandru [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Muchero, Wellington [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Natzke, Jace [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Akinosho, Hannah [Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Li, Mi [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Sykes, Robert W. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Brown, Steven D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Davison, Brian [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Tuskan, Gerald A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pu, Yunqiao [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Ragauskas, Arthur J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    2017-12-11

    Lignin S/G ratio has been investigated as an important factor in biomass recalcitrance to bioethanol production. Because of the complexity and variety of biomass, recalcitrance was also reportedly influenced by several other factors, such as total lignin content, degree of cellulose polymerization, etc. In addition, the effect of S/G ratio on biomass conversion is not uniform across plant species. Herein, 11 Populus trichocarpa natural variants grown under the same conditions with similar total lignin content were selected to minimize the effects of other factors. The lignin S/G ratio of the selected P. trichocarpa natural variants showed negative correlations with p-hydroxybenzoate (PB) and β–5 linkage contents, while it had positive ones with β-O-4 linkage, lignin molecular weight, and ethanol production. In conclusion, this study showed the importance of lignin S/G ratio as an independent recalcitrance factor that may aid future energy crop engineering and biomass conversion strategies.

  17. Engineering Aspergillus oryzae A-4 through the chromosomal insertion of foreign cellulase expression cassette to improve conversion of cellulosic biomass into lipids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Lin

    Full Text Available A genetic modification scheme was designed for Aspergillus oryzae A-4, a natural cellulosic lipids producer, to enhance its lipid production from biomass by putting the spotlight on improving cellulase secretion. Four cellulase genes were separately expressed in A-4 under the control of hlyA promoter, with the help of the successful development of a chromosomal genetic manipulation system. Comparison of cellulase activities of PCR-positive transformants showed that these transformants integrated with celA gene and with celC gene had significantly (p<0.05 higher average FPAase activities than those strains integrated with celB gene and with celD gene. Through the assessment of cellulosic lipids accumulating abilities, celA transformant A2-2 and celC transformant D1-B1 were isolated as promising candidates, which could yield 101%-133% and 35.22%-59.57% higher amount of lipids than the reference strain A-4 (WT under submerged (SmF conditions and solid-state (SSF conditions, respectively. Variability in metabolism associated to the introduction of cellulase gene in A2-2 and D1-B1 was subsequently investigated. It was noted that cellulase expression repressed biomass formation but enhanced lipid accumulation; whereas the inhibitory effect on cell growth would be shielded during cellulosic lipids production owing to the essential role of cellulase in substrate utilization. Different metabolic profiles also existed between A2-2 and D1-B1, which could be attributed to not only different transgene but also biological impacts of different integration. Overall, both simultaneous saccharification and lipid accumulation were enhanced in A2-2 and D1-B1, resulting in efficient conversion of cellulose into lipids. A regulation of cellulase secretion in natural cellulosic lipids producers could be a possible strategy to enhance its lipid production from lignocellulosic biomass.

  18. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun, E-mail: yinxj33@msn.com

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  19. Unified Health Gamification can significantly improve well-being in corporate environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahrestani, Arash; Van Gorp, Pieter; Le Blanc, Pascale; Greidanus, Fabrizio; de Groot, Kristel; Leermakers, Jelle

    2017-07-01

    There is a multitude of mHealth applications that aim to solve societal health problems by stimulating specific types of physical activities via gamification. However, physical health activities cover just one of the three World Health Organization (WHO) dimensions of health. This paper introduces the novel notion of Unified Health Gamification (UHG), which covers besides physical health also social and cognitive health and well-being. Instead of rewarding activities in the three WHO dimensions using different mHealth competitions, UHG combines the scores for such activities on unified leaderboards and lets people interact in social circles beyond personal interests. This approach is promising in corporate environments since UHG can connect the employees with intrinsic motivation for physical health with those who have quite different interests. In order to evaluate this approach, we realized an app prototype and we evaluated it in two corporate pilot studies. In total, eighteen pilot users participated voluntarily for six weeks. Half of the participants were recruited from an occupational health setting and the other half from a treatment setting. Our results suggest that the UHG principles are worth more investigation: various positive health effects were found based on a validated survey. The mean mental health improved significantly at one pilot location and at the level of individual pilot participants, multiple other effects were found to be significant: among others, significant mental health improvements were found for 28% of the participants. Most participants intended to use the app beyond the pilot, especially if it would be further developed.

  20. Improving biomass burning pollution predictions in Singapore using AERONET and Lidar observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardacre, Catherine; Chew, Boon Ning; Gan, Christopher; Burgin, Laura; Hort, Matthew; Lee, Shao Yi; Shaw, Felicia; Witham, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Every year millions of people are affected by poor air quality from trans-boundary smoke haze emitted from large scale biomass burning in Asia. These fires are a particular problem in the Indonesian regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan where peat fires, lit to clear land for oil palm plantations and agriculture, typically result in high levels of particulate matter (PM) emissions. In June 2013 and from August-October 2015 the combination of widespread burning, meteorological and climatological conditions resulted in severe air pollution throughout Southeast Asia. The Met Office of the United Kingdom (UKMO) and the Hazard and Risk Impact Assessment Unit of the Meteorological Service of Singapore (MSS) have developed a quantitative haze forecast to provide a reliable, routine warning of haze events in the Singapore region. The forecast system uses the UKMO's Lagrangian particle dispersion model NAME (Numerical Atmosphere-dispersion Modelling Environment) in combination with high resolution, satellite based emission data from the Global Fire Emissions System (GFAS). The buoyancy of biomass burning smoke and it's rise through the atmosphere has a large impact on the amount of air pollution at the Earth's surface. This is important in Singapore, which is affected by pollution that has travelled long distances and that will have a vertical distribution influenced by meteorology. The vertical distribution of atmospheric aerosol can be observed by Lidar which provides information about haze plume structure. NAME output from two severe haze periods that occurred in June 2013 and from August-October 2015 was compared with observations of total column aerosol optical depth (AOD) from AERONET stations in Singapore and the surrounding region, as well as vertically resolved Lidar data from a station maintained by MSS and from MPLNET. Comparing total column and vertically resolved AOD observations with NAME output indicates that the model underestimates PM concentrations throughout

  1. Nitrogen fertilization of switchgrass increases biomass yield and improves net greenhouse gas balance in northern Michigan, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikiema, Paligwende; Rothstein, David E.; Min, Doo-Hong; Kapp, Christian J.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fertilization can increase bioenergy crop production; however, fertilizer production and application can contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, potentially undermining the GHG benefits of bioenergy crops. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of N fertilization on GHG emissions and biomass production of switchgrass bioenergy crop, in northern Michigan. Nitrogen fertilization treatments included 0 kg ha -1 (control), 56 kg ha -1 (low) and 112 kg ha -1 (high) of N applied as urea. Soil fluxes of CO 2 , N 2 O and CH 4 were measured every two weeks using static chambers. Indirect GHG emissions associated with field activities, manufacturing and transport of fertilizer and pesticides were derived from the literature. Switchgrass aboveground biomass yield was evaluated at the end of the growing season. Nitrogen fertilization contributed little to soil GHG emissions; relative to the control, there were additional global warming potential of 0.7 Mg ha -1 y -1 and 1.5 Mg ha -1 y -1 as CO 2 equivalents (CO 2 eq), calculated using the IPCC values, in the low and high N fertilization treatments, respectively. However, N fertilization greatly stimulated CO 2 uptake by switchgrass, resulting in 1.5- and 2.5-fold increases in biomass yield in the low and high N fertilization treatments, respectively. Nitrogen amendments improved the net GHG benefits by 2.6 Mg ha -1 y -1 and 9.4 Mg ha -1 y -1 as CO 2 eq relative to the control. Results suggest that N fertilization of switchgrass in this region could reduce (15-50%) the land base needed for bioenergy production and decrease pressure on land for food and forage crop production. -- Highlights: → We examine the effects of N fertilization of switchgrass on GHG emissions. → Effects of N fertilization on biomass production of switchgrass bioenergy crop. → N fertilization contributed little to greenhouse gas emissions. → N fertilization greatly stimulated CO 2 uptake by the switchgrass. → N

  2. Improvement of biomass char-CO{sub 2} gasification reactivity using microwave irradiation and natural catalyst

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lahijani, Pooya, E-mail: pooya.lahijani@gmail.com [Biomass and Bioenergy Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia); Mohammadi, Maedeh, E-mail: m.mohammadi@nit.ac.ir [Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Babol Noushirvani University of Technology, 47148 Babol (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Zainal, Zainal Alimuddin, E-mail: mezainal@eng.usm.my [Biomass and Bioenergy Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia); Mohamed, Abdul Rahman, E-mail: chrahman@usm.my [Low Carbon Economy (LCE) Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia)

    2015-03-20

    Highlights: • We study microwave-induced gasification of EFB ash-loaded biomass char with CO{sub 2}. • Synergistic effect of microwave and catalyst resulted in CO{sub 2} conversion of 93%. • Gasification of pristine char using conventional heating gives CO{sub 2} conversion of 58%. • E{sub a} of 74 and 247 kJ/mol were obtained for microwave and conventional CO{sub 2} gasification. - Abstract: In char-CO{sub 2} gasification, the highly endothermic nature of the Boudouard reaction (CO{sub 2} (g) + C (s) ↔ 2CO (g)) dictates use of very high temperatures to shift the equilibrium towards CO production. In this study, such high temperature (750–900 °C) was provided by microwave irradiation. A microwave heating system was developed to perform the gasification tests by passing CO{sub 2} through a packed bed of oil palm shell (OPS) char. In order to speed up the microwave-induced CO{sub 2} gasification, ash of palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) was used as natural catalyst (rich in potassium) and incorporated into the skeleton of the OPS char. The synergistic effect of microwave and catalyst concluded to very encouraging results, where a CO{sub 2} conversion of 93% was achieved at 900 °C, within 60 min microwave gasification. In comparison, CO{sub 2} conversion in thermal gasification (conventional heating) of pristine OPS char was only 58% under the same operating condition.

  3. ELECTRICITY-FREE PRODUCTION OF ACTIVATED CARBON FROM BIOMASS IN BORNEO TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasutaka Sasaki,

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Activated carbons (ACs were prepared from biomass of Borneo island (wood charcoal, peat, and coconut husk by using an electricity–free furnace, of which the energy source was exclusively wood charcoal. This furnace was comprised of two parts, an inner vessel equipped with water inlet for steam activation and an outer shell as a heating part for the inner vessel. The inside temperature of the inner vessel was able to reach over 1000 oC. Peat and wood charcoal were converted to AC by carbonization followed by steam activation, and the specific BET surface areas of resultant ACs were 889 m2/g and 749 m2/g, respectively. A mobile apparatus for water purification was newly designed and fabricated with the resultant AC, together with a white quartz sand, which is called keranggas in Kalimantan. The CODOH of both polluted creek water by the University of Palangka Raya and Kahayan River water were remarkably decreased by the purification with the designed apparatus from 20.0 mgO/L to 0.93 mgO/L, and 18.2 mgO/L to 0.74 mgO/L, respectively. Thus, the newly designed furnace and purification apparatus were shown to be highly effective tools to produce a promising agent for water purification and to produce clarified water without use of electricity, respectively.

  4. Computer Aided Analysis and Prototype Testing of an Improved Biogas Reactor For Biomass System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy (Zheng Li

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The alternative fuel resources substituting for conventional fuels are required due to less availability of fuel resources than demand in the market. A large amount of crude oil and petroleum products are required to be imported in many countries over the world. Also the environmental pollution is another serious problem when use petroleum products. Biogas, with the composition of 54.5% CH4, 39.5% CO2, and 6% other elements (i.e., H2, N2, H2S, and O2, is a clear green fuel that can substitute the regular petroleum fuels to reduce the pollutant elements. Biogas can be produced by performing enriching, scrubbing, and bottling processes. The purification process can be further applied to take away the pollutants in biogas. The pure biogas process analyzed in this research is compressed to 2950 psi while being filled into gas cylinder. The daily produced biogas capacity is around 5480 ft3 and the processing efficacy is affected by surrounding environment and other factors. The design and development of this biogas system is assisted through mathematical analysis, 3D modeling, computational simulation, and prototype testing. Both computer aided analysis and prototype testing show close results which validate the feasibility of this biogas system in biomass applications.

  5. Improving the conversion of biomass in catalytic fast pyrolysis via white-rot fungal pretreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yanqing; Zeng, Yelin; Zuo, Jiane; Ma, Fuying; Yang, Xuewei; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Wang, Yujue

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the effect of white-rot fungal pretreatment on corn stover conversion in catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP). Corn stover pretreated by white-rot fungus Irpex lacteus CD2 was fast pyrolyzed alone (non-CFP) and with ZSM-5 zeolite (CFP) in a semi-batch pyroprobe reactor. The fungal pretreatment considerably increased the volatile product yields (predominantly oxygenated compounds) in non-CFP, indicating that fungal pretreatment enhances the corn stover conversion in fast pyrolysis. In the presence of ZSM-5 zeolite, these oxygenated volatiles were further catalytically converted to aromatic hydrocarbons, whose yield increased from 10.03 wt.% for the untreated corn stover to 11.49 wt.% for the pretreated sample. In contrast, the coke yield decreased from 14.29 to 11.93 wt.% in CFP following the fungal pretreatment. These results indicate that fungal pretreatment can enhance the production of valuable aromatics and decrease the amount of undesired coke, and thus has a beneficial effect on biomass conversion in CFP. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Thermosensitive Hydrogel Mask Significantly Improves Skin Moisture and Skin Tone; Bilateral Clinical Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Quattrone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: A temperature-sensitive state-changing hydrogel mask was used in this study. Once it comes into contact with the skin and reaches the body temperature, it uniformly and quickly releases the active compounds, which possess moisturizing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. Methods: An open label clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of the test product on skin hydration, skin tone and skin ageing. Subjects applied the product to one side of their face and underwent Corneometer® and Chromameter measurements, Visual assessment of facial skin ageing and facial photography. All assessments and Self-Perception Questionnaires (SPQ were performed at baseline, after the first application of the test product and after four applications. Results: After a single treatment we observed an increase in skin moisturisation, an improvement of skin tone/luminosity and a reduction in signs of ageing, all statistically significant. After four applications a further improvement in all measured parameters was recorded. These results were confirmed by the subjects’ own perceptions, as reported in the SPQ both after one and four applications. Conclusion: The hydrogel mask tested in this study is very effective in improving skin hydration, skin radiance and luminosity, in encouraging an even skin tone and in reducing skin pigmentation.

  7. E2F5 status significantly improves malignancy diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer

    KAUST Repository

    Kothandaraman, Narasimhan

    2010-02-24

    Background: Ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) usually presents in the later stages of the disease. Factors, especially those associated with cell-cycle genes, affecting the genesis and tumour progression for ovarian cancer are largely unknown. We hypothesized that over-expressed transcription factors (TFs), as well as those that are driving the expression of the OEC over-expressed genes, could be the key for OEC genesis and potentially useful tissue and serum markers for malignancy associated with OEC.Methods: Using a combination of computational (selection of candidate TF markers and malignancy prediction) and experimental approaches (tissue microarray and western blotting on patient samples) we identified and evaluated E2F5 transcription factor involved in cell proliferation, as a promising candidate regulatory target in early stage disease. Our hypothesis was supported by our tissue array experiments that showed E2F5 expression only in OEC samples but not in normal and benign tissues, and by significantly positively biased expression in serum samples done using western blotting studies.Results: Analysis of clinical cases shows that of the E2F5 status is characteristic for a different population group than one covered by CA125, a conventional OEC biomarker. E2F5 used in different combinations with CA125 for distinguishing malignant cyst from benign cyst shows that the presence of CA125 or E2F5 increases sensitivity of OEC detection to 97.9% (an increase from 87.5% if only CA125 is used) and, more importantly, the presence of both CA125 and E2F5 increases specificity of OEC to 72.5% (an increase from 55% if only CA125 is used). This significantly improved accuracy suggests possibility of an improved diagnostics of OEC. Furthermore, detection of malignancy status in 86 cases (38 benign, 48 early and late OEC) shows that the use of E2F5 status in combination with other clinical characteristics allows for an improved detection of malignant cases with sensitivity

  8. Significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improved mass detection in mammography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltonsy, Nevine H; Tourassi, Georgia D; Fadeev, Aleksey; Elmaghraby, Adel S

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to investigate the significance of MPEG-7 textural features for improving the detection of masses in screening mammograms. The detection scheme was originally based on morphological directional neighborhood features extracted from mammographic regions of interest (ROIs). Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) was performed to evaluate the performance of each set of features independently and merged into a back-propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) using the leave-one-out sampling scheme (LOOSS). The study was based on a database of 668 mammographic ROIs (340 depicting cancer regions and 328 depicting normal parenchyma). Overall, the ROC area index of the BPANN using the directional morphological features was Az=0.85+/-0.01. The MPEG-7 edge histogram descriptor-based BPNN showed an ROC area index of Az=0.71+/-0.01 while homogeneous textural descriptors using 30 and 120 channels helped the BPNN achieve similar ROC area indexes of Az=0.882+/-0.02 and Az=0.877+/-0.01 respectively. After merging the MPEG-7 homogeneous textural features with the directional neighborhood features the performance of the BPANN increased providing an ROC area index of Az=0.91+/-0.01. MPEG-7 homogeneous textural descriptor significantly improved the morphology-based detection scheme.

  9. Phytoremediation of Metal Contaminated Soil Using Willow: Exploiting Plant-Associated Bacteria to Improve Biomass Production and Metal Uptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Jolien; Weyens, Nele; Croes, Sarah; Beckers, Bram; Meiresonne, Linda; Van Peteghem, Pierre; Carleer, Robert; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2015-01-01

    Short rotation coppice (SRC) of willow and poplar is proposed for economic valorization and concurrently as remediation strategy for metal contaminated land in northeast-Belgium. However, metal phytoextraction appears insufficient to effectuate rapid reduction of soil metal contents. To increase both biomass production and metal accumulation of SRC, two strategies are proposed: (i) in situ selection of the best performing clones and (ii) bioaugmentation of these clones with beneficial plant-associated bacteria. Based on field data, two experimental willow clones, a Salix viminalis and a Salix alba x alba clone, were selected. Compared to the best performing commercial clones, considerable increases in stem metal extraction were achieved (up to 74% for Cd and 91% for Zn). From the selected clones, plant-associated bacteria were isolated and identified. All strains were subsequently screened for their plant growth-promoting and metal uptake enhancing traits. Five strains were selected for a greenhouse inoculation experiment with the selected clones planted in Cd-Zn-Pb contaminated soil. Extraction potential tended to increase after inoculation of S. viminalis plants with a Rahnella sp. strain due to a significantly increased twig biomass. However, although bacterial strains showing beneficial traits in vitro were used for inoculation, increments in extraction potential were not always observed.

  10. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avet-Loiseau, Hervé; Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-09-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.

  11. Improving material and energy recovery from the sewage sludge and biomass residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliopova, Irina; Makarskienė, Kristina

    2015-02-01

    Sewage sludge management is a big problem all over the world because of its large quantities and harmful impact on the environment. Energy conversion through fermentation, compost production from treated sludge for agriculture, especially for growing energetic plants, and treated sludge use for soil remediation are widely used alternatives of sewage sludge management. Recently, in many EU countries the popularity of these methods has decreased due to the sewage sludge content (heavy metals, organic pollutions and other hazards materials). This paper presents research results where the possibility of solid recovered fuel (SRF) production from the separate fraction (10-40 mm) of pre-composted materials--sewage sludge from municipal waste water treatment plant and biomass residues has been evaluated. The remaining fractions of pre-composted materials can be successfully used for compost or fertiliser production, as the concentration of heavy metals in the analysed composition is reduced in comparison with sewage sludge. During the experiment presented in this paper the volume of analysed biodegradable waste was reduced by 96%: about 20% of input biodegradable waste was recovered to SRF in the form of pellets with 14.25 MJ kg(-1) of the net calorific value, about 23% were composted, the rest--evaporated and discharged in a wastewater. The methods of material-energy balances and comparison analysis of experiment data have been chosen for the environmental impact assessment of this biodegradable waste management alternative. Results of the efficiency of energy recovery from sewage sludge by SRF production and burning, comparison analysis with widely used bio-fuel-sawdust and conclusions made are presented. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Bone Mass and Strength are Significantly Improved in Mice Overexpressing Human WNT16 in Osteocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Imranul; Reilly, Austin M; Alkhouli, Mohammed; Gerard-O'Riley, Rita L; Kasipathi, Charishma; Oakes, Dana K; Wright, Weston B; Acton, Dena; McQueen, Amie K; Patel, Bhavmik; Lim, Kyung-Eun; Robling, Alexander G; Econs, Michael J

    2017-04-01

    Recently, we demonstrated that osteoblast-specific overexpression of human WNT16 increased both cortical and trabecular bone mass and structure in mice. To further identify the cell-specific role of Wnt16 in bone homeostasis, we created transgenic (TG) mice overexpressing human WNT16 in osteocytes using Dmp1 promoter (Dmp1-hWNT16 TG) on C57BL/6 (B6) background. We analyzed bone phenotypes and serum bone biomarkers, performed gene expression analysis and measured dynamic bone histomorphometry in Dmp1-hWNT16 TG and wild-type (WT) mice. Compared to WT mice, Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice exhibited significantly higher whole-body, spine and femoral aBMD, BMC and trabecular (BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Th) and cortical (bone area and thickness) parameters in both male and female at 12 weeks of age. Femur stiffness and ultimate force were also significantly improved in the Dmp1-hWNT16 TG female mice, compared to sex-matched WT littermates. In addition, female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice displayed significantly higher MS/BS, MAR and BFR/BS compared to the WT mice. Gene expression analysis demonstrated significantly higher mRNA level of Alp in both male and female Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice and significantly higher levels of Osteocalcin, Opg and Rankl in the male Dmp1-hWNT16 TG mice in bone tissue compared to sex-matched WT mice. These results indicate that WNT16 plays a critical role for acquisition of both cortical and trabecular bone mass and strength. Strategies designed to use WNT16 as a target for therapeutic interventions will be valuable to treat osteoporosis and other low bone mass conditions.

  13. Radiotherapy is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Susan H; Haydu, Lauren E; Goh, Robin Yeong Hong; Fogarty, Gerald B

    2012-01-01

    Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare tumour of skin. This study is a retrospective audit of patients with MCC from St Vincent’s and Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of radiotherapy (RT) on the local and regional control of MCC lesions and survival of patients with MCC. The data bases in anatomical pathology, RT and surgery. We searched for patients having a diagnosis of MCC between 1996 and 2007. Patient, tumour and treatment characteristics were collected and analysed. Univariate survival analysis of categorical variables was conducted with the Kaplan-Meier method together with the Log-Rank test for statistical significance. Continuous variables were assessed using the Cox regression method. Multivariate analysis was performed for significant univariate results. Sixty seven patients were found. Sixty two who were stage I-III and were treated with radical intent were analysed. 68% were male. The median age was 74 years. Forty-two cases (68%) were stage I or II, and 20 cases (32%) were stage III. For the subset of 42 stage I and II patients, those that had RT to their primary site had a 2-year local recurrence free survival of 89% compared with 36% for patients not receiving RT (p<0.001). The cumulative 2-year regional recurrence free survival for patients having adjuvant regional RT was 84% compared with 43% for patients not receiving this treatment (p<0.001). Immune status at initial surgery was a significant predictor for OS and MCCSS. In a multivariate analysis combining macroscopic size (mm) and immune status at initial surgery, only immune status remained a significant predictor of overall survival (HR=2.096, 95% CI: 1.002-4.385, p=0.049). RT is associated with significant improvement in local and regional control in Merkel cell carcinoma. Immunosuppression is an important factor in overall survival

  14. Integration of biomimicry and nanotechnology for significantly improved detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myung, Ja Hye; Park, Sin-Jung; Wang, Andrew Z; Hong, Seungpyo

    2017-12-13

    Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received a great deal of scientific and clinical attention as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of many types of cancer. Given their potential significance in clinics, a variety of detection methods, utilizing the recent advances in nanotechnology and microfluidics, have been introduced in an effort of achieving clinically significant detection of CTCs. However, effective detection and isolation of CTCs still remain a tremendous challenge due to their extreme rarity and phenotypic heterogeneity. Among many approaches that are currently under development, this review paper focuses on a unique, promising approach that takes advantages of naturally occurring processes achievable through application of nanotechnology to realize significant improvement in sensitivity and specificity of CTC capture. We provide an overview of successful outcome of this biomimetic CTC capture system in detection of tumor cells from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical pilot studies. We also emphasize the clinical impact of CTCs as biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and predictive prognosis, which provides a cost-effective, minimally invasive method that potentially replaces or supplements existing methods such as imaging technologies and solid tissue biopsy. In addition, their potential prognostic values as treatment guidelines and that ultimately help to realize personalized therapy are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Significant Improvement of Organic Thin-Film Transistor Mobility Utilizing an Organic Heterojunction Buffer Layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Feng; Qian Xian-Rui; Huang Li-Zhen; Wang Hai-Bo; Yan Dong-Hang

    2011-01-01

    High-mobility vanadyl phthalocyanine (VOPc)/5,5‴-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,2':5',2″:5″,2‴-quaterthiophene (F2-P4T) thin-film transistors are demonstrated by employing a copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F 16 CuPc)/copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) heterojunction unit, which are fabricated at different substrate temperatures, as a buffer layer. The highest mobility of 4.08cm 2 /Vs is achieved using a F 16 CuPc/CuPc organic heterojunction buffer layer fabricated at high substrate temperature. Compared with the random small grain-like morphology of the room-temperature buffer layer, the high-temperature organic heterojunction presents a large-sized fiber-like film morphology, resulting in an enhanced conductivity. Thus the contact resistance of the transistor is significantly reduced and an obvious improvement in device mobility is obtained. (cross-disciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  16. Significant improvement of optical traps by tuning standard water immersion objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reihani, S Nader S; Mir, Shahid A; Richardson, Andrew C; Oddershede, Lene B

    2011-01-01

    Focused infrared lasers are widely used for micromanipulation and visualization of biological specimens. An inherent practical problem is that off-the-shelf commercial microscope objectives are designed for use with visible and not infrared wavelengths. Less aberration is introduced by water immersion objectives than by oil immersion ones, however, even water immersion objectives induce significant aberration. We present a simple method to reduce the spherical aberration induced by water immersion objectives, namely by tuning the correction collar of the objective to a value that is ∼ 10% lower than the physical thickness of the coverslip. This results in marked improvements in optical trapping strengths of up to 100% laterally and 600% axially from a standard microscope objective designed for use in the visible range. The results are generally valid for any water immersion objective with any numerical aperture

  17. Significant improvement in the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes on molecularly modified Gallium Nitride surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Manjari; Naik, Tejas R.; Pathak, C. S.; Nagarajan, S.; Rao, V. Ramgopal; Singh, R.

    2018-04-01

    III-Nitride semiconductors face the issue of localized surface states, which causes fermi level pinning and large leakage current at the metal semiconductor interface, thereby degrading the device performance. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of a Self-Assembled Monolayer (SAM) of organic molecules to improve the electrical characteristics of Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) on n-type Gallium Nitride (n-GaN) epitaxial films. The electrical characteristics of diodes were improved by adsorption of SAM of hydroxyl-phenyl metallated porphyrin organic molecules (Zn-TPPOH) onto the surface of n-GaN. SAM-semiconductor bonding via native oxide on the n-GaN surface was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. Surface morphology and surface electronic properties were characterized using atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy. Current-voltage characteristics of different metal (Cu, Ni) SBDs on bare n-GaN were compared with those of Cu/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN and Ni/Zn-TPPOH/n-GaN SBDs. It was found that due to the molecular monolayer, the surface potential of n-GaN was decreased by ˜350 mV. This caused an increase in the Schottky barrier height of Cu and Ni SBDs from 1.13 eV to 1.38 eV and 1.07 eV to 1.22 eV, respectively. In addition to this, the reverse bias leakage current was reduced by 3-4 orders of magnitude for both Cu and Ni SBDs. Such a significant improvement in the electrical performance of the diodes can be very useful for better device functioning.

  18. pEPito: a significantly improved non-viral episomal expression vector for mammalian cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogris Manfred

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The episomal replication of the prototype vector pEPI-1 depends on a transcription unit starting from the constitutively expressed Cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV-IEP and directed into a 2000 bp long matrix attachment region sequence (MARS derived from the human β-interferon gene. The original pEPI-1 vector contains two mammalian transcription units and a total of 305 CpG islands, which are located predominantly within the vector elements necessary for bacterial propagation and known to be counterproductive for persistent long-term transgene expression. Results Here, we report the development of a novel vector pEPito, which is derived from the pEPI-1 plasmid replicon but has considerably improved efficacy both in vitro and in vivo. The pEPito vector is significantly reduced in size, contains only one transcription unit and 60% less CpG motives in comparison to pEPI-1. It exhibits major advantages compared to the original pEPI-1 plasmid, including higher transgene expression levels and increased colony-forming efficiencies in vitro, as well as more persistent transgene expression profiles in vivo. The performance of pEPito-based vectors was further improved by replacing the CMV-IEP with the human CMV enhancer/human elongation factor 1 alpha promoter (hCMV/EF1P element that is known to be less affected by epigenetic silencing events. Conclusions The novel vector pEPito can be considered suitable as an improved vector for biotechnological applications in vitro and for non-viral gene delivery in vivo.

  19. Electronic monitoring in combination with direct observation as a means to significantly improve hand hygiene compliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, John M

    2017-05-01

    Monitoring hand hygiene compliance among health care personnel (HCP) is an essential element of hand hygiene promotion programs. Observation by trained auditors is considered the gold standard method for establishing hand hygiene compliance rates. Advantages of observational surveys include the unique ability to establish compliance with all of the World Health Organization "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" initiative Moments and to provide just-in-time coaching. Disadvantages include the resources required for observational surveys, insufficient sample sizes, and nonstandardized methods of conducting observations. Electronic and camera-based systems can monitor hand hygiene performance on all work shifts without a Hawthorne effect and provide significantly more data regarding hand hygiene performance. Disadvantages include the cost of installation, variable accuracy in estimating compliance rates, issues related to acceptance by HCP, insufficient data regarding their cost-effectiveness and influence on health care-related infection rates, and the ability of most systems to monitor only surrogates for Moments 1, 4, and 5. Increasing evidence suggests that monitoring only Moments 1, 4, and 5 provides reasonable estimates of compliance with all 5 Moments. With continued improvement of electronic monitoring systems, combining electronic monitoring with observational methods may provide the best information as part of a multimodal strategy to improve and sustain hand hygiene compliance rates among HCP. Copyright © 2017 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. An On-Chip RBC Deformability Checker Significantly Improves Velocity-Deformation Correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hung Dylan Tsai

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available An on-chip deformability checker is proposed to improve the velocity–deformation correlation for red blood cell (RBC evaluation. RBC deformability has been found related to human diseases, and can be evaluated based on RBC velocity through a microfluidic constriction as in conventional approaches. The correlation between transit velocity and amount of deformation provides statistical information of RBC deformability. However, such correlations are usually only moderate, or even weak, in practical evaluations due to limited range of RBC deformation. To solve this issue, we implemented three constrictions of different width in the proposed checker, so that three different deformation regions can be applied to RBCs. By considering cell responses from the three regions as a whole, we practically extend the range of cell deformation in the evaluation, and could resolve the issue about the limited range of RBC deformation. RBCs from five volunteer subjects were tested using the proposed checker. The results show that the correlation between cell deformation and transit velocity is significantly improved by the proposed deformability checker. The absolute values of the correlation coefficients are increased from an average of 0.54 to 0.92. The effects of cell size, shape and orientation to the evaluation are discussed according to the experimental results. The proposed checker is expected to be useful for RBC evaluation in medical practices.

  1. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koohbor, M.; Soltanian, S.; Najafi, M.; Servati, P.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. ► Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. ► Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. ► The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. ► Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co 1−x Zn x (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of ∼35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 °C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of the NW arrays. The changes in magnetic property of NWs are rooted in a competition between shape anisotropy and

  2. Fabrication of CoZn alloy nanowire arrays: Significant improvement in magnetic properties by annealing process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koohbor, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Soltanian, S., E-mail: s.soltanian@gmail.com [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada); Najafi, M. [Department of Physics, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Department of Physics, Hamadan University of Technology, Hamadan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Servati, P. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)

    2012-01-05

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration changes the structure of NWs from hcp to amorphous. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing the Zn concentration significantly reduces the Hc value of NWs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Magnetic properties of CoZn NWs can be significantly enhanced by appropriate annealing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The pH of electrolyte has no significant effect on the properties of the NW arrays. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Deposition frequency has considerable effects on the magnetic properties of NWs. - Abstract: Highly ordered arrays of Co{sub 1-x}Zn{sub x} (0 {<=} x {<=} 0.74) nanowires (NWs) with diameters of {approx}35 nm and high length-to-diameter ratios (up to 150) were fabricated by co-electrodeposition of Co and Zn into pores of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. The Co and Zn contents of the NWs were adjusted by varying the ratio of Zn and Co ion concentrations in the electrolyte. The effect of the Zn content, electrodeposition conditions (frequency and pH) and annealing on the structural and magnetic properties (e.g., coercivity (Hc) and squareness (Sq)) of NW arrays were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, electron diffraction, and alternating gradient force magnetometer (AGFM). XRD patterns reveal that an increase in the concentration of Zn ions of the electrolyte forces the hcp crystal structure of Co NWs to change into an amorphous phase, resulting in a significant reduction in Hc. It was found that the magnetic properties of NWs can be significantly improved by appropriate annealing process. The highest values for Hc (2050 Oe) and Sq (0.98) were obtained for NWs electrodeposited using 0.95/0.05 Co:Zn concentrations at 200 Hz and annealed at 575 Degree-Sign C. While the pH of electrolyte is found to have no significant effect on the structural and magnetic properties of the NW arrays, the electrodeposition frequency has considerable effects on

  3. Compression stockings significantly improve hemodynamic performance in post-thrombotic syndrome irrespective of class or length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattimer, Christopher R; Azzam, Mustapha; Kalodiki, Evi; Makris, Gregory C; Geroulakos, George

    2013-07-01

    Graduated elastic compression (GEC) stockings have been demonstrated to reduce the morbidity associated with post-thrombotic syndrome. The ideal length or compression strength required to achieve this is speculative and related to physician preference and patient compliance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemodynamic performance of four different stockings and determine the patient's preference. Thirty-four consecutive patients (40 legs, 34 male) with post-thrombotic syndrome were tested with four different stockings (Mediven plus open toe, Bayreuth, Germany) of their size in random order: class 1 (18-21 mm Hg) and class II (23-32 mm Hg), below-knee (BK) and above-knee thigh-length (AK). The median age, Venous Clinical Severity Score, Venous Segmental Disease Score, and Villalta scale were 62 years (range, 31-81 years), 8 (range, 1-21), 5 (range, 2-10), and 10 (range, 2-22), respectively. The C of C0-6EsAs,d,pPr,o was C0 = 2, C2 = 1, C3 = 3, C4a = 12, C4b = 7, C5 = 12, C6 = 3. Obstruction and reflux was observed on duplex in 47.5% legs, with deep venous reflux alone in 45%. Air plethysmography was used to measure the venous filling index (VFI), venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume. Direct pressure measurements were obtained while lying and standing using the PicoPress device (Microlab Elettronica, Nicolò, Italy). The pressure sensor was placed underneath the test stocking 5 cm above and 2 cm posterior to the medial malleolus. At the end of the study session, patients stated their preferred stocking based on comfort. The VFI, venous volume, and time to fill 90% of the venous volume improved significantly with all types of stocking versus no compression. In class I, the VFI (mL/s) improved from a median of 4.9 (range, 1.7-16.3) without compression to 3.7 (range, 0-14) BK (24.5%) and 3.6 (range, 0.6-14.5) AK (26.5%). With class II, the corresponding improvement was to 4.0 (range, 0.3-16.2) BK (18.8%) and 3.7 (range, 0.5-14.2) AK (24

  4. Significant improvement of intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) after traditional Chinese medicine feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Z B; Gatesoupe, F-J; Li, T T; Wang, X H; Zhang, Q Q; Feng, D Y; Feng, Y Q; Chen, H; Li, A H

    2018-03-01

    Increasing attention has been attracted to intestinal microbiota, due to interactions with nutrition, metabolism and immune defence of the host. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) feed additives have been applied in aquaculture to improve fish health, but the interaction with fish gut microbiota is still poorly understood. This study aimed to explore the effect of adding TCM in feed on the intestinal microbiota of gibel carp (Carassius auratus gibelio). Bacterial communities of 16 fish intestinal contents and one water sample were characterized by high-throughput sequencing and analysis of the V4-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. The results showed that the composition and structure of the bacterial community were significantly altered by the TCM feeding. Some phyla increased markedly (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, etc.), while Fusobacteria were significantly reduced. Concurrently, the richness and diversity of the taxonomic units increased, and the microbiota composition of TCM-treated fish was more homogeneous among individuals. At the genus level, the addition of TCM tended to reduce the incidence of potential pathogens (Aeromonas, Acinetobacter and Shewanella), while stimulating the emergence of some potential probiotics (Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Bacillus and Pseudomonas). These data suggested that the feed additive could regulate the fish intestinal microbiota by reinforcing the microbial balance. This study may provide useful information for further application of TCM for diseases prevention and stress management in aquaculture. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  5. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  6. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui; Alotaibi, Hamad S.; Sun, Haiding; Lin, Ronghui; Guo, Wenzhe; Torres-Castanedo, Carlos G.; Liu, Kaikai; Galan, Sergio V.; Li, Xiaohang

    2018-01-01

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  7. Induction-heating MOCVD reactor with significantly improved heating efficiency and reduced harmful magnetic coupling

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Kuang-Hui

    2018-02-23

    In a conventional induction-heating III-nitride metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, the induction coil is outside the chamber. Therefore, the magnetic field does not couple with the susceptor well, leading to compromised heating efficiency and harmful coupling with the gas inlet and thus possible overheating. Hence, the gas inlet has to be at a minimum distance away from the susceptor. Because of the elongated flow path, premature reactions can be more severe, particularly between Al- and B-containing precursors and NH3. Here, we propose a structure that can significantly improve the heating efficiency and allow the gas inlet to be closer to the susceptor. Specifically, the induction coil is designed to surround the vertical cylinder of a T-shaped susceptor comprising the cylinder and a top horizontal plate holding the wafer substrate within the reactor. Therefore, the cylinder coupled most magnetic field to serve as the thermal source for the plate. Furthermore, the plate can block and thus significantly reduce the uncoupled magnetic field above the susceptor, thereby allowing the gas inlet to be closer. The results show approximately 140% and 2.6 times increase in the heating and susceptor coupling efficiencies, respectively, as well as a 90% reduction in the harmful magnetic flux on the gas inlet.

  8. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  9. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akrami, S M R; Nakayachi, H; Fukuma, T; Watanabe-Nakayama, T; Asakawa, H

    2014-01-01

    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O 3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods. (paper)

  10. Significant improvement of accuracy and precision in the determination of trace rare earths by fluorescence analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, L.; Hersh, H.N.

    1976-01-01

    Most of the rare earths in yttrium, gadolinium and lanthanum oxides emit characteristic fluorescent line spectra under irradiation with photons, electrons and x rays. The sensitivity and selectivity of the rare earth fluorescences are high enough to determine the trace amounts (0.01 to 100 ppM) of rare earths. The absolute fluorescent intensities of solids, however, are markedly affected by the synthesis procedure, level of contamination and crystal perfection, resulting in poor accuracy and low precision for the method (larger than 50 percent error). Special care in preparation of the samples is required to obtain good accuracy and precision. It is found that the accuracy and precision for the determination of trace (less than 10 ppM) rare earths by fluorescence analysis improved significantly, while still maintaining the sensitivity, when the determination is made by comparing the ratio of the fluorescent intensities of the trace rare earths to that of a deliberately added rare earth as reference. The variation in the absolute fluorescent intensity remains, but is compensated for by measuring the fluorescent line intensity ratio. Consequently, the determination of trace rare earths (with less than 3 percent error) is easily made by a photoluminescence technique in which the rare earths are excited directly by photons. Accuracy is still maintained when the absolute fluorescent intensity is reduced by 50 percent through contamination by Ni, Fe, Mn or Pb (about 100 ppM). Determination accuracy is also improved for fluorescence analysis by electron excitation and x-ray excitation. For some rare earths, however, accuracy by these techniques is reduced because indirect excitation mechanisms are involved. The excitation mechanisms and the interferences between rare earths are also reported

  11. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

  12. Model training across multiple breeding cycles significantly improves genomic prediction accuracy in rye (Secale cereale L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auinger, Hans-Jürgen; Schönleben, Manfred; Lehermeier, Christina; Schmidt, Malthe; Korzun, Viktor; Geiger, Hartwig H; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Gordillo, Andres; Wilde, Peer; Bauer, Eva; Schön, Chris-Carolin

    2016-11-01

    Genomic prediction accuracy can be significantly increased by model calibration across multiple breeding cycles as long as selection cycles are connected by common ancestors. In hybrid rye breeding, application of genome-based prediction is expected to increase selection gain because of long selection cycles in population improvement and development of hybrid components. Essentially two prediction scenarios arise: (1) prediction of the genetic value of lines from the same breeding cycle in which model training is performed and (2) prediction of lines from subsequent cycles. It is the latter from which a reduction in cycle length and consequently the strongest impact on selection gain is expected. We empirically investigated genome-based prediction of grain yield, plant height and thousand kernel weight within and across four selection cycles of a hybrid rye breeding program. Prediction performance was assessed using genomic and pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP and PBLUP). A total of 1040 S 2 lines were genotyped with 16 k SNPs and each year testcrosses of 260 S 2 lines were phenotyped in seven or eight locations. The performance gap between GBLUP and PBLUP increased significantly for all traits when model calibration was performed on aggregated data from several cycles. Prediction accuracies obtained from cross-validation were in the order of 0.70 for all traits when data from all cycles (N CS  = 832) were used for model training and exceeded within-cycle accuracies in all cases. As long as selection cycles are connected by a sufficient number of common ancestors and prediction accuracy has not reached a plateau when increasing sample size, aggregating data from several preceding cycles is recommended for predicting genetic values in subsequent cycles despite decreasing relatedness over time.

  13. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong

    2017-02-01

    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO 2 ) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO 2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca 2+ decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO 2 . Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO 2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO 2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO 2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Use of numerical modeling in design for co-firing biomass in wall-fired burners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yin, Chungen; Rosendahl, Lasse Aistrup; Kær, Søren Knudsen

    2004-01-01

    modification to the motion and reaction due to their non-sphericity. The simulation results show a big difference between the two cases and indicate it is very significant to take into account the non-sphericity of biomass particles in order to model biomass combustion more accurately. Methods to improve...... of numerical modeling. The models currently used to predict solid fuel combustion rely on a spherical particle shape assumption, which may deviate a lot from reality for big biomass particles. A sphere gives a minimum in terms of the surface-area-to-volume ratio, which impacts significantly both motion...... and reaction of a particle. To better understand biomass combustion and thus improve the design for co-firing biomass in wall-fired burners, non-sphericity of biomass particles is considered. To ease comparison, two cases are numerically studied in a 10m long gas/biomass co-fired burner model. (1) The biomass...

  15. Significant effect of Ca2+ on improving the heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

    The heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been extensively investigated due to its highly practical significance. Reconstituted skim milk (RSM) has been found to be one of the most effective protectant wall materials for microencapsulating microorganisms during convective drying, such as spray drying. In addition to proteins and carbohydrate, RSM is rich in calcium. It is not clear which component is critical in the RSM protection mechanism. This study investigated the independent effect of calcium. Ca(2+) was added to lactose solution to examine its influence on the heat resistance of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY, Lactobacillus casei Zhang, Lactobacillus plantarum P8 and Streptococcus thermophilus ND03. The results showed that certain Ca(2+) concentrations enhanced the heat resistance of the LAB strains to different extents, that is produced higher survival and shorter regrowth lag times of the bacterial cells. In some cases, the improvements were dramatic. More scientifically insightful and more intensive instrumental study of the Ca(2+) behavior around and in the cells should be carried out in the near future. In the meantime, this work may lead to the development of more cost-effective wall materials with Ca(2+) added as a prime factor. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Targeting Heparin to Collagen within Extracellular Matrix Significantly Reduces Thrombogenicity and Improves Endothelialization of Decellularized Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Bin; Suen, Rachel; Wertheim, Jason A; Ameer, Guillermo A

    2016-12-12

    Thrombosis within small-diameter vascular grafts limits the development of bioartificial, engineered vascular conduits, especially those derived from extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we describe an easy-to-implement strategy to chemically modify vascular ECM by covalently linking a collagen binding peptide (CBP) to heparin to form a heparin derivative (CBP-heparin) that selectively binds a subset of collagens. Modification of ECM with CBP-heparin leads to increased deposition of functional heparin (by ∼7.2-fold measured by glycosaminoglycan composition) and a corresponding reduction in platelet binding (>70%) and whole blood clotting (>80%) onto the ECM. Furthermore, addition of CBP-heparin to the ECM stabilizes long-term endothelial cell attachment to the lumen of ECM-derived vascular conduits, potentially through recruitment of heparin-binding growth factors that ultimately improve the durability of endothelialization in vitro. Overall, our findings provide a simple yet effective method to increase deposition of functional heparin on the surface of ECM-based vascular grafts and thereby minimize thrombogenicity of decellularized tissue, overcoming a significant challenge in tissue engineering of bioartificial vessels and vascularized organs.

  17. Significant Improvement in Chronic Persistent Headaches Caused by Small Rathke Cleft Cysts After Transsphenoidal Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukui, Issei; Hayashi, Yasuhiko; Kita, Daisuke; Sasagawa, Yasuo; Oishi, Masahiro; Tachibana, Osamu; Nakada, Mitsutoshi

    2017-03-01

    Rathke cleft cysts (RCC) usually are asymptomatic and can be observed via the use of conservative methods. Some patients with RCCs, however, have severe headaches even if they are small enough to be confined to the sella, and these small RCCs seldom have been discussed. This study presents an investigation into clinical characteristics of small RCCs associated with severe headaches, demonstrating efficacy and safety of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) to relieve headaches. In this study, 13 patients with small RCCs (maximum diameter HIT-6) score was calculated both pre- and postoperatively to evaluate headache severity. All patients complained of severe headaches, which disturbed their daily life. Most headaches were nonpulsating and localized in the frontal area. Characteristically, 6 patients (46%) experienced severe headaches with sudden onset that continued chronically. HIT-6 score was 64 on average, meaning headaches affected daily life severely. After surgical decompression of the cyst, headache in all of the patients improved dramatically and HIT-6 score decreased significantly to 37, suggesting that headaches were diminished. No newly developed deficiencies of the anterior pituitary lobe function were detected. Postoperative occurrence of diabetes insipidus was found in 2 patients, both of which were transient. No recurring cysts were found. Severe headaches can develop from small RCCs. In the present study, ETSS was performed on such patients effectively and safely to relieve their headaches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Mild Fe-deficiency improves biomass production and quality of hydroponic-cultivated spinach plants (Spinacia oleracea L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Chong-Wei; Liu, Yue; Mao, Qian-Qian; Wang, Qian; Du, Shao-Ting

    2013-06-15

    It is of great practical importance to improve yield and quality of vegetables in soilless cultures. This study investigated the effects of iron-nutrition management on yield and quality of hydroponic-cultivated spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). The results showed that mild Fe-deficient treatment (1 μM FeEDTA) yielded a greater biomass of edible parts than Fe-omitted treatment (0 μM FeEDTA) or Fe-sufficient treatments (10 and 50 μM FeEDTA). Conversely, mild Fe-deficient treatment had the lowest nitrate concentration in the edible parts out of all the Fe treatments. Interestingly, all the concentrations of soluble sugar, soluble protein and ascorbate in mild Fe-deficient treatments were higher than Fe-sufficient treatments. In addition, both phenolic concentration and DPPH scavenging activity in mild Fe-deficient treatments were comparable with those in Fe-sufficient treatments, but were higher than those in Fe-omitted treatments. Therefore, we concluded that using a mild Fe-deficient nutrition solution to cultivate spinach not only would increase yield, but also would improve quality. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Successful percutaneous coronary intervention significantly improves coronary sinus blood flow as assessed by transthoracic echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyubarova, Radmila; Boden, William E; Fein, Steven A; Schulman-Marcus, Joshua; Torosoff, Mikhail

    2018-06-01

    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) has been used to assess coronary sinus blood flow (CSBF), which reflects total coronary arterial blood flow. Successful angioplasty is expected to improve coronary arterial blood flow. Changes in CSBF after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), as assessed by TTE, have not been systematically evaluated. TTE can be utilized to reflect increased CSBF after a successful, clinically indicated PCI. The study cohort included 31 patients (18 females, 62 ± 11 years old) referred for diagnostic cardiac catheterization for suspected coronary artery disease and possible PCI, when clinically indicated. All performed PCIs were successful, with good angiographic outcome. CSBF per cardiac cycle (mL/beat) was measured using transthoracic two-dimensional and Doppler flow imaging as the product of coronary sinus (CS) area and CS flow time-velocity integral. CSBF per minute (mL/min) was calculated as the product of heart rate and CSBF per cardiac cycle. In each patient, CSBF was assessed prospectively, before and after cardiac catheterization with and without clinically indicated PCI. Within- and between-group differences in CSBF before and after PCI were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Technically adequate CSBF measurements were obtained in 24 patients (77%). In patients who did not undergo PCI, there was no significant change in CSBF (278.1 ± 344.1 versus 342.7 ± 248.5, p = 0.36). By contrast, among patients who underwent PCI, CSBF increased significantly (254.3 ± 194.7 versus 618.3 ± 358.5 mL/min, p < 0.01, p-interaction = 0.03). Other hemodynamic and echocardiographic parameters did not change significantly before and after cardiac catheterization in either treatment group. Transthoracic echocardiographic assessment can be employed to document CSBF changes after angioplasty. Future studies are needed to explore the clinical utility of this noninvasive metric.

  20. Improving the Conventional Pelletization Process to Save Energy during Biomass Densification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongjia Chen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A pellet mill is currently the most frequently used method for producing pellets using either a ring die or a flat die. In the densification process, a great amount of energy is required to avoid spring-back and to overcome the friction between the material and the channel surface of the die. However, extra energy is unnecessarily consumed because of friction between the roller and densified material and the pressure between the roller and die, where there are no opening channels. The aim of this work was to attempt to eliminate a portion of the frictional and compaction energy consumption based on an improved method of densification using a ring die. An upgraded pellet mill was designed and manufactured with rams on its roller. When the die and the roller rotate in a fixed transmission ratio, the rams precisely press raw material into opening channels on the die. Experimental tests on its feasibility were carried out. The results showed that the pellet mill, with this improvement, worked without wear on the surface of either the ring die or the roller; furthermore, the density and mechanical durability of pellets were the same as those produced using the traditional method.

  1. Examining effective use of data sources and modeling algorithms for improving biomass estimation in a moist tropical forest of the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yunyun Feng; Dengsheng Lu; Qi Chen; Michael Keller; Emilio Moran; Maiza Nara dos-Santos; Edson Luis Bolfe; Mateus Batistella

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has explored the potential to integrate lidar and optical data in aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation, but how different data sources, vegetation types, and modeling algorithms influence AGB estimation is poorly understood. This research conducts a comparative analysis of different data sources and modeling approaches in improving AGB estimation....

  2. Electrifying biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kusnierczyk, D.

    2005-01-01

    British Columbia's (BC) energy plan was outlined in this PowerPoint presentation. BC Hydro is the third largest electric utility in Canada with a generating capacity of 11,000 MW, 90 per cent of which is hydro generation. Various independent power project (IPP) biomass technologies were outlined, including details of biogas, wood residue and municipal solid waste facilities. An outline of BC Hydro's overall supply mix was presented, along with details of the IPP supply mix. It was suggested that the cancellation of the Duke Point power project has driven growth in the renewable energy sector. A chart of potential energy contribution by resource type was presented, as well as unit energy cost ranges. Resources included small and large hydro; demand side management; resource smart natural gas; natural gas; coal; wind; geothermal; biomass; wave; and tidal. The acquisition process was reviewed. Details of calls for tenders were presented, and issues concerning bidder responsibility and self-selection were examined. It was observed that wood residue presents a firm source of electricity that is generally local, and has support from the public. In addition, permits for wood residue energy conversion are readily available. However, size limitations, fuel risks, and issues concerning site control may prove to be significant challenges. It was concluded that the success of biomass energy development will depend on adequate access and competitive pricing. tabs., figs

  3. Penetrating the markets: biomass and commercial distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidl, J.

    1999-01-01

    Although biomass accounts for a significant proportion of renewable energy in Europe, its market penetration could be increased if certain barriers can be surmounted. Some of those barriers are identified and suggestions made as to how they may be overcome through improved 'distribution' in various sectors. To integrate biomass into the electricity distribution system, the commercial distribution of liquid biofuels, and in the commercial distribution of biomass in the heat sector, certain rewards and penalties could be introduced and these are discussed. The low temperature heat market is seen as very important for the further development of bioenergy in Europe. (UK)

  4. Discovering the desirable alleles contributing to the lignocellulosic biomass traits in saccharum germplasm collections for energy cane improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Todd, James [USDA ARS Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL (United States); Comstock, Jack C. [USDA ARS Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL (United States)

    2015-11-25

    of the cores and the World Collection are similar to each other genotypically and phenotypically, but the core that was selected using only genotypic data was significantly different phenotypically. This indicates that there is not enough association between the genotypic and phenotypic diversity as to select using only genotypic diversity and get the full phenotypic diversity. Core Collection: Creation and Phenotyping Methods: To evaluate this germplasm for breeding purposes, a representative diversity panel selected from the WCSRG of approximately 300 accessions was planted at Canal Point, FL in three replications. These accessions were measured for stalk height and stalk number multiple times throughout the growing season and Brix and fresh biomass during harvest in 2013 and, stalk height, stalk number, stalk diameter, internode length, Brix and fresh and dry biomass was determined in the ratoon crop harvest in 2014. Results: In correlations of multiple measurements, there were higher correlations for early measurements of stalk number and stalk height with harvest traits like Brix and fresh weight. Hybrids had higher fresh mass and Brix while Saccharum spontaneum had higher stalk number and dry mass. The heritability of hybrid mass traits was lower in the ratoon crop. According to the principal component analysis, the diversity panel was divided into two groups. One group had accessions with high stalk number and high dry biomass like S. spontaneum and the other groups contained accessions with higher Brix and fresh biomass like S. officinarum. Mass traits correlated with each other as expected but hybrids had lower correlations between fresh and dry mass. Stalk number and the mass traits correlated with each other except in S. spontaneum and hybrids in the first ratoon. There were 110 accessions not significantly different in Brix from the commercial sugarcane checks including 10 S. spontaneum accessions. There were 27 dry and 6 fresh mass accessions

  5. Organic cultivation of Ashwagandha with improved biomass and high content of active Withanolides: Use of Vermicompost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Amandeep; Singh, Baldev; Ohri, Puja; Wang, Jia; Wadhwa, Renu; Kaul, Sunil C; Pati, Pratap Kumar; Kaur, Arvinder

    2018-01-01

    Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) has recently been studied extensively for its health-supplementing and therapeutic activities against a variety of ailments. Several independent studies have experimentally demonstrated pharmaceutical potential of its active Withanolides, Withaferin A (Wi-A), Withanone (Wi-N) and Withanolide A (Wil-A). However, to promote its use in herbal industry, an environmentally sustainable cultivation and high yield are warranted. In modern agriculture strategies, there has been indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers to boost the crop-yield, however the practice largely ignored its adverse effect on the quality of soil and the environment. In view of these, we attempted to recruit Vermicompost (Vcom, 20-100%) as an organic fertilizer of choice during the sowing and growing phases of Ashwagandha plants. We report that (i) pre-soaking of seeds for 12 h in Vermicompost leachate (Vcom-L) and Vermicompost tea (Vcom-T) led to higher germination, (ii) binary combination of pre-soaking of seeds and cultivation in Vcom (up to 80%) resulted in further improvement both in germination and seedling growth, (iii) cultivated plants in the presence of Vcom+Vcom-L showed higher leaf and root mass, earlier onset of flowering and fruiting and (iv) leaves from the Vcom+Vcom-L cultivated plants showed higher level of active Withanolides, Withanone (Wi-N), Withanolide A (Wil-A) and Withaferin A (Wi-A) and showed anticancer activities in cell culture assays. Taken together, we report a simple and inexpensive method for improving the yield and pharmaceutical components of Ashwagandha leaves.

  6. Significant improvement of eczema with skin care and food elimination in small children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norrman, Gunilla; Tomicić, Sara; Böttcher, Malin Fagerås; Oldaeus, Göran; Strömberg, Leif; Fälth-magnusson, Karin

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate common methods of investigation and treatment in children younger than 2 y of age with eczema, with or without sensitization to food allergens. One hundred and twenty-three children younger than 2 y of age with eczema and suspected food allergy were included in this prospective study. The children underwent skin-prick test with cow's milk, fresh hen's egg white and wheat. Specific IgE to milk and egg white was analysed. The eczema extent and severity was estimated with SCORAD before and after treatment. Children with a positive skin-prick test were instructed to exclude that food item from their diet. All children were treated with emollients and topical steroids when needed. Sixty-two of the children were skin-prick positive to at least one of the allergens; 62% had mild, 30% moderate and 8% severe eczema at their first visit. After treatment, 90% had mild, 10% moderate and 0% severe eczema. Forty-six per cent of the children had circulating IgE antibodies to milk or egg white. Ten per cent had specific IgE but negative skin-prick test to the same allergen. This subgroup improved their eczema significantly without elimination diet. The conventional treatments for children with eczema, i.e. skin care and food elimination, are effective. The beneficial effect of skin care as the first step should not be neglected, and it may not be necessary to eliminate food allergens to relieve skin symptoms in all food-sensitized children with eczema.

  7. Introduction of e-learning in dental radiology reveals significantly improved results in final examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meckfessel, Sandra; Stühmer, Constantin; Bormann, Kai-Hendrik; Kupka, Thomas; Behrends, Marianne; Matthies, Herbert; Vaske, Bernhard; Stiesch, Meike; Gellrich, Nils-Claudius; Rücker, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Because a traditionally instructed dental radiology lecture course is very time-consuming and labour-intensive, online courseware, including an interactive-learning module, was implemented to support the lectures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of students who have worked with web-based courseware as well as the effect on their results in final examinations. Users (n(3+4)=138) had access to the e-program from any networked computer at any time. Two groups (n(3)=71, n(4)=67) had to pass a final exam after using the e-course. Results were compared with two groups (n(1)=42, n(2)=48) who had studied the same content by attending traditional lectures. In addition a survey of the students was statistically evaluated. Most of the respondents reported a positive attitude towards e-learning and would have appreciated more access to computer-assisted instruction. Two years after initiating the e-course the failure rate in the final examination dropped significantly, from 40% to less than 2%. The very positive response to the e-program and improved test scores demonstrated the effectiveness of our e-course as a learning aid. Interactive modules in step with clinical practice provided learning that is not achieved by traditional teaching methods alone. To what extent staff savings are possible is part of a further study. Copyright © 2010 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Hengl

    Full Text Available 80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na. We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring

  9. Optimized distributed systems achieve significant performance improvement on sorted merging of massive VCF files.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaobo; Gao, Jingjing; Jin, Peng; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G; Beaty, Terri H; Ruczinski, Ingo; Mathias, Rasika A; Barnes, Kathleen; Wang, Fusheng; Qin, Zhaohui S

    2018-06-01

    Sorted merging of genomic data is a common data operation necessary in many sequencing-based studies. It involves sorting and merging genomic data from different subjects by their genomic locations. In particular, merging a large number of variant call format (VCF) files is frequently required in large-scale whole-genome sequencing or whole-exome sequencing projects. Traditional single-machine based methods become increasingly inefficient when processing large numbers of files due to the excessive computation time and Input/Output bottleneck. Distributed systems and more recent cloud-based systems offer an attractive solution. However, carefully designed and optimized workflow patterns and execution plans (schemas) are required to take full advantage of the increased computing power while overcoming bottlenecks to achieve high performance. In this study, we custom-design optimized schemas for three Apache big data platforms, Hadoop (MapReduce), HBase, and Spark, to perform sorted merging of a large number of VCF files. These schemas all adopt the divide-and-conquer strategy to split the merging job into sequential phases/stages consisting of subtasks that are conquered in an ordered, parallel, and bottleneck-free way. In two illustrating examples, we test the performance of our schemas on merging multiple VCF files into either a single TPED or a single VCF file, which are benchmarked with the traditional single/parallel multiway-merge methods, message passing interface (MPI)-based high-performance computing (HPC) implementation, and the popular VCFTools. Our experiments suggest all three schemas either deliver a significant improvement in efficiency or render much better strong and weak scalabilities over traditional methods. Our findings provide generalized scalable schemas for performing sorted merging on genetics and genomics data using these Apache distributed systems.

  10. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (Ppreeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Parameter definition using vibration prediction software leads to significant drilling performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amorim, Dalmo; Hanley, Chris Hanley; Fonseca, Isaac; Santos, Juliana [National Oilwell Varco, Houston TX (United States); Leite, Daltro J.; Borella, Augusto; Gozzi, Danilo [Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PETROBRAS), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    The understanding and mitigation of downhole vibration has been a heavily researched subject in the oil industry as it results in more expensive drilling operations, as vibrations significantly diminish the amount of effective drilling energy available to the bit and generate forces that can push the bit or the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) off its concentric axis of rotation, producing high magnitude impacts with the borehole wall. In order to drill ahead, a sufficient amount of energy must be supplied by the rig to overcome the resistance of the drilling system, including the reactive torque of the system, drag forces, fluid pressure losses and energy dissipated by downhole vibrations, then providing the bit with the energy required to fail the rock. If the drill string enters resonant modes of vibration, not only does it decreases the amount of available energy to drill, but increases the potential for catastrophic downhole equipment and drilling bit failures. In this sense, the mitigation of downhole vibrations will result in faster, smoother, and cheaper drilling operations. A software tool using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been developed to provide better understanding of downhole vibration phenomena in drilling environments. The software tool calculates the response of the drilling system at various input conditions, based on the design of the wellbore along with the geometry of the Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) and the drill string. It identifies where undesired levels of resonant vibration will be driven by certain combinations of specific drilling parameters, and also which combinations of drilling parameters will result in lower levels of vibration, so the least shocks, the highest penetration rate and the lowest cost per foot can be achieved. With the growing performance of personal computers, complex software systems modeling the drilling vibrations using FEA has been accessible to a wider audience of field users, further complimenting with real time

  12. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousseau, Jeffrey D.; Jansen, John R.; Janke, David H.; Plowman, Catherine M.

    2003-01-01

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results

  13. Improvement of pea biomass and seed productivity by simultaneous increase of phloem and embryo loading with amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lizhi; Garneau, Matthew G; Majumdar, Rajtilak; Grant, Jan; Tegeder, Mechthild

    2015-01-01

    The development of sink organs such as fruits and seeds strongly depends on the amount of nitrogen that is moved within the phloem from photosynthetic-active source leaves to the reproductive sinks. In many plant species nitrogen is transported as amino acids. In pea (Pisum sativum L.), source to sink partitioning of amino acids requires at least two active transport events mediated by plasma membrane-localized proteins, and these are: (i) amino acid phloem loading; and (ii) import of amino acids into the seed cotyledons via epidermal transfer cells. As each of these transport steps might potentially be limiting to efficient nitrogen delivery to the pea embryo, we manipulated both simultaneously. Additional copies of the pea amino acid permease PsAAP1 were introduced into the pea genome and expression of the transporter was targeted to the sieve element-companion cell complexes of the leaf phloem and to the epidermis of the seed cotyledons. The transgenic pea plants showed increased phloem loading and embryo loading of amino acids resulting in improved long distance transport of nitrogen, sink development and seed protein accumulation. Analyses of root and leaf tissues further revealed that genetic manipulation positively affected root nitrogen uptake, as well as primary source and sink metabolism. Overall, the results suggest that amino acid phloem loading exerts regulatory control over pea biomass production and seed yield, and that import of amino acids into the cotyledons limits seed protein levels. © 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Genetic improvement and evaluation of black cottonwood for short- rotation biomass production. Final report, 1987--1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stettler, R.F.; Hinckley, T.M. [Washington Univ., Seattle, WA (United States). Coll. of Forest Resources; Heilman, P.E. [Washington State Univ., Puyallup, WA (United States). Research and Extension Center; Bradshaw, H.D. Jr. [Washington Univ., Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry

    1993-04-30

    This project was initiated in 1978 to serve three objectives: (1) develop genetically improved poplar cultivars offering increased productivity under short-rotation culture; (2) identify the major components of productivity in poplar and determine ways in which they can be manipulated, genetically and culturally; and (3) engage in technology transfer to regional industry and agencies so as to make poplar culture in the Pacific Northwest economically feasible. The project is aimed at capturing natural variation in the native black cottonwood. Populus trichocarpa T & G, and enhancing it through selective breeding. Major emphasis has been placed on hybridization of black cottonwood with P deltoides and P maximowiczii, more recently with p nigra. First-generation (F{sub 1}) hybrids have consistently outperformed black cottonwood by a factor of 1.5.-2. The high yields of woody biomass obtained from these clonally propagated hybrids, in rotations of 4-7 years, have fostered the establishment of large-scale plantations by the pulp and paper industry in the region. Physiological studies have helped to elucidate hybrid superiority and several of the underlying mechanisms.

  15. Advanced Biomass Gasification Projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1997-08-01

    DOE has a major initiative under way to demonstrate two high-efficiency gasification systems for converting biomass into electricity. As this fact sheet explains, the Biomass Power Program is cost-sharing two scale-up projects with industry in Hawaii and Vermont that, if successful, will provide substantial market pull for U.S. biomass technologies, and provide a significant market edge over competing foreign technologies.

  16. Land management strategies for improving water quality in biomass production under changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Miae; Wu, May

    2017-03-01

    The Corn Belt states are the largest corn-production areas in the United States because of their fertile land and ideal climate. This attribute is particularly important as the region also plays a key role in the production of bioenergy feedstock. This study focuses on potential change in streamflow, sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus due to climate change and land management practices in the South Fork Iowa River (SFIR) watershed, Iowa. The watershed is covered primarily with annual crops (corn and soybeans). With cropland conversion to switchgrass, stover harvest, and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) (such as establishing riparian buffers and applying cover crops), significant reductions in nutrients were observed in the SFIR watershed under historical climate and future climate scenarios. Under a historical climate scenario, suspended sediment (SS), total nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) at the outlet point of the SFIR watershed could decrease by up to 56.7%, 32.0%, and 16.5%, respectively, compared with current land use when a portion of the cropland is converted to switchgrass and a cover crop is in place. Climate change could cause increases of 9.7% in SS, 4.1% in N, and 7.2% in P compared to current land use. Under future climate scenarios, nutrients including SS, N, and P were reduced through land management and practices and BMPs by up to 54.0% (SS), 30.4% (N), and 7.1% (P). Water footprint analysis further revealed changes in green water that are highly dependent on land management scenarios. The study highlights the versatile approaches in landscape management that are available to address climate change adaptation and acknowledged the complex nature of different perspectives in water sustainability. Further study involving implementing landscape design and management by using long-term monitoring data from field to watershed is necessary to verify the findings and move toward watershed-specific regional programs for climate adaptation.

  17. Detoxification of a lignocellulosic biomass slurry by soluble polyelectrolyte adsorption for improved fermentation efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Brian; Squillace, Phillip; Gilcrease, Patrick C; Menkhaus, Todd J

    2011-09-01

    This study investigated the detoxification of a dilute acid pretreated Ponderosa pine slurry using the polyelectrolyte polyethyleneimine (PEI). The addition of polyelectrolyte to remove enzymatic and/or fermentation inhibitory compounds, that is, acetic acid, furfural, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), was performed either before or after enzymatic hydrolysis to determine the optimal process sequence. Negligible acetic acid, glucose, and xylose were removed regardless of where in the process the polymer addition was made. Maximum furfural and HMF separation was achieved with the addition of PEI to a clarified pre-enzymatic hydrolysis liquor, which showed that 88.3% of furfural and 66.4% of HMF could be removed. On the other hand, only 23.1% and 13.4% of furfural and HMF, respectively, were removed from a post-enzymatic hydrolysis sample; thus, the effects of enzymes, glucose, and wood solids on inhibitor removal were also investigated. The presence of solid particles >0.2 µm and unknown soluble components <10 kDa reduced inhibitory compound removal, but the presence of elevated glucose levels and enzymes (cellulases) did not affect the separation. The fermentability of detoxified versus undetoxified hydrolysate was also investigated. An ethanol yield of 92.6% of theoretical was achieved with Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermenting the detoxified hydrolyzate, while no significant ethanol was produced in the undetoxified hydrolyzate. These results indicate that PEI may provide a practical alternative for furan removal and detoxification of lignocellolosic hydrolysates, and that application before enzymatic hydrolysis minimizes separation interferences. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Contemporary Management of Acute Aortic Occlusion Has Evolved but Outcomes Have Not Significantly Improved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, William P; Patel, Rupal K; Columbo, Jesse A; Flahive, Julie; Aiello, Francesco A; Baril, Donald T; Schanzer, Andres; Messina, Louis M

    2016-07-01

    hospitalization. AAO is now more commonly caused by in situ thrombosis rather than embolism. A high index of suspicion for AAO is required for prompt diagnosis and treatment, particularly when patients present with profound lower extremity neurologic deficit. In comparison with previous reports, the contemporary management of AAO includes increased use of axillobifemoral bypass and now involves endovascular revascularization, although a variety of open surgical procedures are utilized. However, the in-hospital mortality and morbidity of AAO has not decreased significantly over the last 2 decades and mid-term survival remains limited. Further study is required to identify strategies that improve outcomes after AAO. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Optimization of Submerged Cultivation Conditions for Production of Big Cup Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom Clitocybe maxima (Agaricomycetes) Biomass with Significant Antioxidative and Antihyperlipidemic Activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Shu-Hui; Chen, Ker-Shew; Liu, Ming-Yi; Cheung, Peter Chi Keung; Wang, Jinn-Chyi; Chang, Sue-Joan

    2017-01-01

    In this study, a large Clitocybe maxima mycelium biomass was obtained by submerged cultivation under optimal conditions. Three test samples from lyophilized mycelia, including hot water extract (CW) and elutes from solvents with different polarity (CA and CB), were combined and used to explore antioxidant and antihyper-lipidemic activities in vitro and in vivo. The CA group showed the highest DPPH free radical scavenging activity and iron-reducing capability at concentrations of 6.0% and 3.0% (w/v), respectively. Further, the CA group showed the highest glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities at a dose of 0.25 mg/kg body weight (CA-0.25 group) in all hyperlipidemic hamsters tested. Serum lipid levels (apart from high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels) of hamsters in the CA-0.25 group were lower than those of hamsters in the negative control group in antihy-perlipidemic tests. Therefore, we believe that extracts from C. maxima mycelia are rich reservoirs of antioxidant and antihyperlipidemic activities.

  20. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Velde, AA. de; Burtak, F.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper authors deals with nuclear fuel cycle and their economic aspects. At Siemens, the developments focusing on the reduction of fuel cycle costs are currently directed on .further batch average burnup increase, .improvement of fuel reliability, .enlargement of fuel operation margins, .improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. These items will be presented in detail in the full paper and illustrated by the global operating experience of Siemens fuel for both PWRs and BWRs. (authors)

  1. Characterization and Strain Improvement of a Hypercellulytic Variant, Trichoderma reesei SN1, by Genetic Engineering for Optimized Cellulase Production in Biomass Conversion Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Yuanchao; Zhong, Lixia; Hou, Yunhua; Qu, Yinbo; Zhong, Yaohua

    2016-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is a widely used strain for cellulolytic enzyme production. A hypercellulolytic T. reesei variant SN1 was identified in this study and found to be different from the well-known cellulase producers QM9414 and RUT-C30. The cellulose-degrading enzymes of T. reesei SN1 show higher endoglucanase (EG) activity but lower β-glucosidase (BGL) activity than those of the others. A uracil auxotroph strain, SP4, was constructed by pyr4 deletion in SN1 to improve transformation efficiency. The BGL1-encoding gene bgl1 under the control of a modified cbh1 promoter was overexpressed in SP4. A transformant, SPB2, with four additional copies of bgl1 exhibited a 17.1-fold increase in BGL activity and a 30.0% increase in filter paper activity. Saccharification of corncob residues with crude enzyme showed that the glucose yield of SPB2 is 65.0% higher than that of SP4. These results reveal the feasibility of strain improvement through the development of an efficient genetic transformation platform to construct a balanced cellulase system for biomass conversion.

  2. Characterization and strain improvement of a hypercellulytic variant, Trichoderma reesei SN1, by genetic engineering for optimized cellulase production in biomass conversion improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Yuanchao

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is a widely used strain for cellulolytic enzyme production. A hypercellulolytic T. reesei variant SN1 was identified in this study and found to be different from the well-known cellulase producers QM9414 and RUT-C30. The cellulose-degrading enzymes of T. reesei SN1 show higher endoglucanase (EG activity but lower β-glucosidase (BGL activity than those of QM9414 and RUT-C30. A uracil auxotroph strain, SP4, was constructed by pyr4 deletion in SN1 to improve transformation efficiency. The BGL1-encoding gene bgl1 under the control of a modified cbh1 promoter was overexpressed in SP4. A transformant, SPB2, with four additional copies of bgl1 exhibited a 17.1-fold increase in BGL activity and a 30% increase in filter paper activity. Saccharification of corncob residues with crude enzyme showed that the glucose yield of SPB2 is 65% higher than that of SP4. These results reveal the feasibility of strain improvement through the development of an efficient genetic transformation platform to construct a balanced cellulase system for biomass conversion.

  3. Millisecond photo-thermal process on significant improvement of supercapacitor’s performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Kui; Wang, Jixiao; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Song; Wang, Zhi; Wang, Shichang

    2016-01-01

    Graphical abstract: A high way for charge transfer is created by a millisecond photo-thermal process which could decrease contact resistance among nanomaterials and improve the electrochemical performances. - Highlights: • Improve conductivity among nanomaterials with a millisecond photo-thermal process. • The specific capacitance can increase about 25% with an photo-thermal process. • The circle stability and rate capability can be improved above 10% with photo-thermal process. • Provide a new way that create electron path to improve electrochemical performance. - Abstract: Supercapacitors fabricated with nanomaterials usually have high specific capacitance and excellent performance. However, the small size of nanomaterials renders a considerable limitation of the contact area among nanomaterials, which is harmful to charge carrier transfer. This fact may hinder the development and application of nanomaterials in electrochemical storage systems. Here, a millisecond photo-thermal process was introduced to create a charge carries transfer path to decrease the contact resistance among nanomaterials, and enhance the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors. Polyaniline (PANI) nanowire, as a model nanomaterial, was used to modify electrodes under different photo-thermal process conditions. The modified electrodes were characterized by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and the results were analysed by equivalent circuit simulation. These results demonstrate that the photo-thermal process can alter the morphology of PANI nanowires, lower the charge transfer resistances and thus improve the performance of electrodes. The specific capacitance increase of the modified electrodes is about 25%. The improvement of the circle stability and rate capability are above 10%. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt on research the effect of photo-thermal process on the conductivity

  4. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.

    2000-07-01

    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

  5. Reducing dysfunctional beliefs about sleep does not significantly improve insomnia in cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the baseline and at the end of treatment. The results showed that although cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia greatly reduced individuals' scores on both scales, the decrease in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep with treatment did not seem to mediate improvement in insomnia. The findings suggest that sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs endorsed by patients with chronic insomnia may be attenuated by cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, but changes in such beliefs are not likely to play a crucial role in reducing the severity of insomnia.

  6. Reducing Dysfunctional Beliefs about Sleep Does Not Significantly Improve Insomnia in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Okajima, Isa; Nakajima, Shun; Ochi, Moeko; Inoue, Yuichi

    2014-01-01

    The present study examined to examine whether improvement of insomnia is mediated by a reduction in sleep-related dysfunctional beliefs through cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. In total, 64 patients with chronic insomnia received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia consisting of 6 biweekly individual treatment sessions of 50 minutes in length. Participants were asked to complete the Athens Insomnia Scale and the Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep scale both at the...

  7. Significant performance improvement obtained in a wireless mesh network using a beamswitching antenna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lysko, AA

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available mesh network operated in a fixed 11 Mbps mode. The throughput improvement in multi-hop communication obtained in the presence of an interferer is tenfold, from 0.2 Mbps to 2 Mbps. Index Terms?antenna, smart antenna, wireless mesh network, WMN... efficiency in the communications, and active research and development of new methods and technologies enabling this at the physical layer, including multiple antenna techniques, such as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and smart antennas...

  8. Biomass conservation potential of pottery/ceramic lined Mamta Stove: An improved stove promoted under National Programme on Improved Cookstoves in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George, R.; Yadla, V.L. [M.S. Univ. of Baroda, Vadodara (India). Home Management Dept.

    1995-10-01

    To combat biomass scarcity and ensure a cleaner cooking environment with less drudgery, among other things, a variety of improved stoves are promoted under National Programme on Improved Cookstoves (NPIC). Mamta Stove (MS) is one among such improved stoves. An indepth study was undertaken covering a sample of twenty-five rural families with the primary objective of assessing fuel saving potential of MS under field conditions through Kitchen Performance Test (KPT). Conventional stove (CS) used in almost all the families was shielded horse-shoe shaped stove with a negligible proportion using three stone open fire. Nearly 88% depended only on zero private cost fuels. The mean number of persons for whom the stoves were used on the days of field measurements in case of CS and MS were 5.6 and 5.7 respectively with an SD of 1.16 and standard adult equivalent (SAE) was approximately 4. Cooking pots included a concave roasting pan, a deep frying pan and flat bottomed pots. The mean daily fuel consumption on CS and MS were estimated to be 4.88 kg and 3.75 kg respective, thereby, resulting in fuel saving to the tune of 24% on MS. The paper discusses at length the design features of CS and MS, meal pattern, cooking habits, need for user training, consumerism in the area of cooking and stove technology, economics of switching over to MS and policy implications of commercialization of hitherto subsidized stove program. Further, salient characteristics of high and low cooking fuel consumers on MS are presented to bring to limelight their profile.

  9. Potency of Gamma ray, Electric Current and Elicitor Application, as a Novel Practical Technique, to Improve Biomass Production and Glycoside Quality for Digitalis purpurea L. Grown in Sandy Soil Irrigated with Brackish Water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bosila, H.A.; Afifi, L.M.A.; Ahmed, T.E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Digitalis purpurea L seeds were treated before sowing with gamma ray (G:0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 KR, and electric current (E:O, 100, 150, 200 mA) then grown in sandy soil irrigated with brackish water (900 ppm) , in splite-splite plot design for 3 replicat (R) at two subsequent seasons , through surface drip irrigation system. Plants at 4- month old and monthly until before flowering were foliar sprayed with MnSO 4 as abiotic elicitor (M :O, 3 ppm). Biomass/ Feddan, percentage of total glycosides and percentage of bioactive glycosides, digitoxin and gitoxin were quantitated. Statistical analysis for the obtained data revealed that G, E and M achieved significant in biomass yield and its quality traits. Moreover, interactions ; GE, GM, EM and GEM achieved synergistic and significant increment for this traits. At such G dose the trait was increased by increasing E dose and M concentration. Hence, G 2.5, 5,7.5 KR E200 mA M3 ppm achieved significant increment, as percent over that of control, in biomass production / Feddan by 22, 29, 32%, total glycoside by 27, 40, 30%, digitoxin 27, 40, 30% for both first and second seasons, respectively. Whereas, increment for gitoxin were 27, 41, 30% at first season and 26, 38, 30% at second season, respectively. Overall, these finding strongly confirm the reliability of GEM as a novel practical technique for overproduction biomass/Fed. and quality improvement bioactive cardiac glycosides, digitoxin and gitoxin in Digitalis purpurea L.

  10. Use of Ultrasound and Co-solvents to improve the in-situ Transesterification of Microalgae Biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ehimen, Ehiazesebhor Augustine; Sun, Zhifa; Carrington, Gerry C.

    2012-01-01

    and transesterification process. To further improve the feasibility of the use of the in-situ method, this paper investigates modifications to reduce the large process methanol requirements, and potentially improve the oil to methyl esters conversion and biodiesel yields. The results obtained showed that use...... of ultrasound agitation for the in-situ process, as well as combining this stirring regime with co-solvent use (n-pentane and diethyl ether) significantly improved the Chlorella oil to methyl esters conversion with reduced reacting methanol volumes....

  11. Intraoperative Sensorcaine significantly improves postoperative pain management in outpatient reduction mammaplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culliford, Alfred T; Spector, Jason A; Flores, Roberto L; Louie, Otway; Choi, Mihye; Karp, Nolan S

    2007-09-15

    Breast reduction is one of the most frequently performed plastic surgical procedures in the United States; more than 160,500 patients underwent the procedure in 2005. Many outpatient reduction mammaplasty patients report the greatest postoperative discomfort in the first 48 hours. The authors' investigated the effect of intraoperative topical application of the long-acting local anesthetic agent bupivacaine (Sensorcaine or Marcaine) on postoperative pain, time to postanesthesia care unit discharge, and postoperative use of narcotic medication. In a prospective, randomized, single-blind trial, intraoperative use of Sensorcaine versus placebo (normal saline) was compared. Postoperative pain was quantified using the visual analogue scale, and time to discharge from the postanesthesia care unit was recorded. Patients documented their outpatient pain medication usage. Of the 37 patients enrolled in the study, 20 were treated with intraoperative topical Sensorcaine and 17 received placebo. Patients treated with Sensorcaine were discharged home significantly faster (2.9 hours versus 3.8 hours, p = 0.002). The control arm consistently had higher pain scores in the postanesthesia care unit (although not statistically significant) than the Sensorcaine group using the visual analogue scale system. Furthermore, patients receiving Sensorcaine required significantly less narcotic medication while recovering at home (mean, 3.5 tablets of Vicodin) than the control group (mean, 6.4 tablets; p = 0.001). There were no complications resulting from Sensorcaine usage. This prospective, randomized, single-blind study demonstrates that a single dose of intraoperative Sensorcaine provides a safe, inexpensive, and efficacious way to significantly shorten the length of postanesthesia care unit stay and significantly decrease postoperative opioid analgesic use in patients undergoing ambulatory reduction mammaplasty.

  12. Significant Improvements in Pyranometer Nighttime Offsets Using High-Flow DC Ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutchenreiter, Mark; Michalski, J.J.; Long, C.N.; Habte, Aron

    2017-05-22

    Accurate solar radiation measurements using pyranometers are required to understand radiative impacts on the Earth's energy budget, solar energy production, and to validate radiative transfer models. Ventilators of pyranometers, which are used to keep the domes clean and dry, also affect instrument thermal offset accuracy. This poster presents a high-level overview of the ventilators for single-black-detector pyranometers and black-and-white pyranometers. For single-black-detector pyranometers with ventilators, high-flow-rate (50-CFM and higher), 12-V DC fans lower the offsets, lower the scatter, and improve the predictability of nighttime offsets compared to lower-flow-rate (35-CFM), 120-V AC fans operated in the same type of environmental setup. Black-and-white pyranometers, which are used to measure diffuse horizontal irradiance, sometimes show minor improvement with DC fan ventilation, but their offsets are always small, usually no more than 1 W/m2, whether AC- or DC-ventilated.

  13. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-12-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2--N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  14. Efficiency improvement of nuclear power plant operation: the significant role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velde Van de, A.; Burtak, F.

    2001-01-01

    Due to the increased liberalisation of the power markets, nuclear power generation is being exposed to high cost reduction pressure. In this paper we highlight the role of advanced nuclear fuel technologies to reduce the fuel cycle costs and therefore increase the efficiency of nuclear power plant operation. The key factor is a more efficient utilisation of the fuel and present developments at Siemens are consequently directed at (i) further increase of batch average burnup, (ii) improvement of fuel reliability, (iii) enlargement of fuel operation margins and (iv) improvement of methods for fuel design and core analysis. As a result, the nuclear fuel cycle costs for a typical LWR have been reduced during the past decades by about US$ 35 million per year. The estimated impact of further burnup increases on the fuel cycle costs is expected to be an additional saving of US$10 - 15 million per year. Due to the fact that the fuel will operate closer to design limits, a careful approach is required when introducing advanced fuel features in reload quantities. Trust and co-operation between the fuel vendors and the utilities is a prerequisite for the common success. (authors)

  15. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kishigami, Satoshi; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-01-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques

  16. Biomass resources in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiangco, V.M.; Sethi, P.S. [California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The biomass resources in California which have potential for energy conversion were assessed and characterized through the project funded by the California Energy Commission and the US Department of Energy`s Western Regional Biomass Energy Program (WRBEP). The results indicate that there is an abundance of biomass resources as yet untouched by the industry due to technical, economic, and environmental problems, and other barriers. These biomass resources include residues from field and seed crops, fruit and nut crops, vegetable crops, and nursery crops; food processing wastes; forest slash; energy crops; lumber mill waste; urban wood waste; urban yard waste; livestock manure; and chaparral. The estimated total potential of these biomass resource is approximately 47 million bone dry tons (BDT), which is equivalent to 780 billion MJ (740 trillion Btu). About 7 million BDT (132 billion MJ or 124 trillion Btu) of biomass residue was used for generating electricity by 66 direct combustion facilities with gross capacity of about 800 MW. This tonnage accounts for only about 15% of the total biomass resource potential identified in this study. The barriers interfering with the biomass utilization both in the on-site harvesting, collection, storage, handling, transportation, and conversion to energy are identified. The question whether these barriers present significant impact to biomass {open_quotes}availability{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}sustainability{close_quotes} remains to be answered.

  17. The Improvement of Screening the Significant Factors of Oil Blends as Bio lubricant Base Stock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noor Hajarul Ashikin Shamsuddin; Rozaini Abdullah; Zainab Hamzah; Siti Jamilah Hanim Mohd Yusof

    2015-01-01

    A new formulation bio lubricant base stock was developed by blending of waste cooking oil (WCO) with Jatropha curcas oil (JCO). The objective of this research is to evaluate significant factors contributing to the production of oil blends for bio lubricant application. The significant factors used in this study were oil ratio (WCO:JCO), agitation times (min) and agitation speed (rpm). The blended oil bio based lubricant was used to determine the saponification, acid, peroxide and iodine values. The experimental design used in this study was the 2 level-factorial design. In this experiment, it was found that the effect of oil ratio and interaction of oil ratio and agitation speed gave the most significant effect in oil blends as bio lubricant base stock. The highest ratio of oil blend 80 %:20 % WCO:JCO, with low agitation speed of 300 rpm and low agitation time of 30 minutes gave the optimum results. The acid, saponification, peroxide and iodine values obtained were 0.517±0.08 mg KOH/ g, 126.23±1.62 mg/ g, 7.5±2.0 m eq/ kg and 50.42±2.85 mg/ g respectively. A higher ratio of waste cooking oil blends was found to be favourable as bio lubricant base stock. (author)

  18. EASE-Grid 2.0: Incremental but Significant Improvements for Earth-Gridded Data Sets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H. Savoie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Defined in the early 1990s for use with gridded satellite passive microwave data, the Equal-Area Scalable Earth Grid (EASE-Grid was quickly adopted and used for distribution of a variety of satellite and in situ data sets. Conceptually easy to understand, EASE-Grid suffers from limitations that make it impossible to format in the widely popular GeoTIFF convention without reprojection. Importing EASE-Grid data into standard mapping software packages is nontrivial and error-prone. This article defines a standard for an improved EASE-Grid 2.0 definition, addressing how the changes rectify issues with the original grid definition. Data distributed using the EASE-Grid 2.0 standard will be easier for users to import into standard software packages and will minimize common reprojection errors that users had encountered with the original EASE-Grid definition.

  19. A patient/family-centered strategic plan can drive significant improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilli, Richard J; Crandall, Wallace V; Berry, Janet C; Stoverock, Linda; Rosen, Kerry; Budin, Lee; Kelleher, Kelly J; Gleeson, Sean P; Davis, J Terrance

    2014-08-01

    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date.

  20. An integrated PRA module for fast determination of risk significance and improvement effectiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chao, Chun-Chang; Lin, Jyh-Der

    2004-01-01

    With the widely use of PRA technology in risk-informed applications, to predict the changes of CDF and LERF becomes a standard process for risk-informed applications. This paper describes an integrated PRA module prepared for risk-informed applications. The module contains a super risk engine, a super fault tree engine, an advanced PRA model and a tool for data base maintenance. The individual element of the module also works well for purpose other than risk-informed applications. The module has been verified and validated through a series of scrupulous benchmark tests with similar software. The results of the benchmark tests showed that the module has remarkable accuracy and speed even for an extremely large-size top-logic fault tree as well as for the case in which large amount of MCSs may be generated. The risk monitor for nuclear power plants in Taiwan is the first application to adopt the module. The results predicted by the risk monitor are now accepted by the regulatory agency. A tool to determine the risk significance according to the inspection findings will be the next application to adopt the module in the near future. This tool classified the risk significance into four different color codes according to the level of increase on CDF. Experience of application showed that the flexibility, the accuracy and speed of the module make it useful in any risk-informed applications when risk indexes must be determined by resolving a PRA model. (author)

  1. Inulin significantly improves serum magnesium levels in proton pump inhibitor-induced hypomagnesaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, M W; de Baaij, J H F; Broekman, M; Bisseling, T M; Haarhuis, B; Tan, A; Te Morsche, R; Hoenderop, J G J; Bindels, R J M; Drenth, J P H

    2016-06-01

    Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most widely prescribed drugs to treat gastric acid-related disorders. PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia, a defect in intestinal absorption of Mg(2+) , can be a severe side effect of chronic PPI use. To restore serum Mg(2+) concentrations in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients by dietary supplementation with inulin fibres. Eleven patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia and 10 controls were treated with inulin (20 g/day). Each trial consisted of two cycles of 14-day inulin treatment followed by a washout period of 14 days. Patients continued to use their PPI. Serum Mg(2+) levels served as the primary endpoint. Inulin significantly enhanced serum Mg(2+) levels from 0.60 to 0.68 mmol/L in PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia patients, and from 0.84 to 0.93 mmol/L in controls. As a consequence 24 h urinary Mg(2+) excretion was significantly increased in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia (0.3-2.2 mmol/day). Symptoms related to hypomagnesaemia, including muscle cramps and paraesthesia, were reduced during intervention with inulin. Inulin increases serum Mg(2+) concentrations under PPI maintenance in patients with PPI-induced hypomagnesaemia. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Progressive degradation of alloy 690 and the development of a significant improvement in alloy 800CR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staehle, Roger W.; Arioka, Koji; Tapping, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The present most widely used alloys for tubing in steam generators and structural materials in water cooled reactors are Alloy 690 and Alloy 800. However, both alloys, while improved over Alloy 600 may not meet the needs of longer range applications in the range of 80-100 years. Alloy 690 sustains damage resulting from the formation of cavities at grain boundaries which eventually cover about 50% of the area of the grain boundaries with the remainder covering being covered with carbides. The cavities seem to nucleate on the carbides leaving the grain boundaries a structure of cavities and carbides. Such a structure will lead the Alloy 690 to fail completely. Normal Alloy 800 does not produce such cavities and probably retains a large amount of its corrosion resistance but does sustain progressive SCC at low rate. A new alloy, 800CR, has been developed in a collaboration among Arioka, Tapping, and Staehle. This alloy is based on a Cr composition of 23.5-27% with the remainder retaining the previous Alloy 800 composition. 800CR sustains a crack velocity about 100 times less than Alloy 690 and a negligible rate of initiation. The 800CR, alloy is now seeking a patent. (authors)

  3. Significant improvements of electrical discharge machining performance by step-by-step updated adaptive control laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ming; Wu, Jianyang; Xu, Xiaoyi; Mu, Xin; Dou, Yunping

    2018-02-01

    In order to obtain improved electrical discharge machining (EDM) performance, we have dedicated more than a decade to correcting one essential EDM defect, the weak stability of the machining, by developing adaptive control systems. The instabilities of machining are mainly caused by complicated disturbances in discharging. To counteract the effects from the disturbances on machining, we theoretically developed three control laws from minimum variance (MV) control law to minimum variance and pole placements coupled (MVPPC) control law and then to a two-step-ahead prediction (TP) control law. Based on real-time estimation of EDM process model parameters and measured ratio of arcing pulses which is also called gap state, electrode discharging cycle was directly and adaptively tuned so that a stable machining could be achieved. To this end, we not only theoretically provide three proved control laws for a developed EDM adaptive control system, but also practically proved the TP control law to be the best in dealing with machining instability and machining efficiency though the MVPPC control law provided much better EDM performance than the MV control law. It was also shown that the TP control law also provided a burn free machining.

  4. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2013-10-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Silver chlorobromide nanocubes with significantly improved uniformity: synthesis and assembly into photonic crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Zheng; Okasinski, John S.; Gosztola, David J.; Ren, Yang; Sun, Yugang

    2015-01-01

    Silver chlorobromide (AgClxBr1-x, 0 < x < 1) nanocubes with a highly uniform size, morphology, and crystallinity have been successfully synthesized through a co-precipitation of Ag+ ions with both Cl- and Br- ions in ethylene glycol containing polyvinyl pyrrolidone at mild temperatures. Compositions of the synthesized nanocubes can be easily tuned by controlling the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions in the reaction solutions. The size of the nanocubes is determined by varying a number of parameters including the molar ratio of Cl- to Br- ions, injection rate of Ag+ ions, and reaction temperature. The real-time formation of colloidal AgClxBr1-x nanocubes has been monitored, for the first time, by in situ highenergy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The time-resolved results reveal that a fast injection rate of Ag+ ions is critical for the formation of AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with a highly pure face-centered cubic crystalline phase. The improved uniformity of the AgClxBr1-x nanocubes is beneficial for assembling them into order superlattices (e.g., photonic crystals) even by simply applying centrifugation forces. The stop band of the resulting photonic crystals can be easily tuned from the ultraviolet to the infrared region by using AgClxBr1-x nanocubes with different sizes. The variation of the dielectric constant of AgClxBr1-x associated with the change of the relative concentration of halide ions provides an additional knob to tune the optical properties of photonic crystals.

  6. Reduction of oxidative cellular damage by overexpression of the thioredoxin TRX2 gene improves yield and quality of wine yeast dry active biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ros Joaquim

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Wine Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, adapted to anaerobic must fermentations, suffer oxidative stress when they are grown under aerobic conditions for biomass propagation in the industrial process of active dry yeast production. Oxidative metabolism of sugars favors high biomass yields but also causes increased oxidation damage of cell components. The overexpression of the TRX2 gene, coding for a thioredoxin, enhances oxidative stress resistance in a wine yeast strain model. The thioredoxin and also the glutathione/glutaredoxin system constitute the most important defense against oxidation. Trx2p is also involved in the regulation of Yap1p-driven transcriptional response against some reactive oxygen species. Results Laboratory scale simulations of the industrial active dry biomass production process demonstrate that TRX2 overexpression increases the wine yeast final biomass yield and also its fermentative capacity both after the batch and fed-batch phases. Microvinifications carried out with the modified strain show a fast start phenotype derived from its enhanced fermentative capacity and also increased content of beneficial aroma compounds. The modified strain displays an increased transcriptional response of Yap1p regulated genes and other oxidative stress related genes. Activities of antioxidant enzymes like Sod1p, Sod2p and catalase are also enhanced. Consequently, diminished oxidation of lipids and proteins is observed in the modified strain, which can explain the improved performance of the thioredoxin overexpressing strain. Conclusions We report several beneficial effects of overexpressing the thioredoxin gene TRX2 in a wine yeast strain. We show that this strain presents an enhanced redox defense. Increased yield of biomass production process in TRX2 overexpressing strain can be of special interest for several industrial applications.

  7. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  8. Single-atom catalysts for CO2 electroreduction with significant activity and selectivity improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Seoin; Lim, Juhyung; Kim, Na-Young; Kim, Yong-Hyun; Jung, Yousung

    2017-02-01

    A single-atom catalyst (SAC) has an electronic structure that is very different from its bulk counterparts, and has shown an unexpectedly high specific activity with a significant reduction in noble metal usage for CO oxidation, fuel cell and hydrogen evolution applications, although physical origins of such performance enhancements are still poorly understood. Herein, by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we for the first time investigate the great potential of single atom catalysts for CO 2 electroreduction applications. In particular, we study a single transition metal atom anchored on defective graphene with single or double vacancies, denoted M@sv-Gr or M@dv-Gr, where M = Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Ir, Ni, Os, Pd, Pt, Rh or Ru, as a CO 2 reduction catalyst. Many SACs are indeed shown to be highly selective for the CO 2 reduction reaction over a competitive H 2 evolution reaction due to favorable adsorption of carboxyl (*COOH) or formate (*OCHO) over hydrogen (*H) on the catalysts. On the basis of free energy profiles, we identified several promising candidate materials for different products; Ni@dv-Gr (limiting potential U L = -0.41 V) and Pt@dv-Gr (-0.27 V) for CH 3 OH production, and Os@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) and Ru@dv-Gr (-0.52 V) for CH 4 production. In particular, the Pt@dv-Gr catalyst shows remarkable reduction in the limiting potential for CH 3 OH production compared to any existing catalysts, synthesized or predicted. To understand the origin of the activity enhancement of SACs, we find that the lack of an atomic ensemble for adsorbate binding and the unique electronic structure of the single atom catalysts as well as orbital interaction play an important role, contributing to binding energies of SACs that deviate considerably from the conventional scaling relation of bulk transition metals.

  9. Factors Related to Significant Improvement of Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rates in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Receiving Telbivudine Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Te-Fu Lin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim. The improvement of estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs in chronic hepatitis B (CHB patients receiving telbivudine therapy is well known. The aim of this study was to clarify the kinetics of eGFRs and to identify the significant factors related to the improvement of eGFRs in telbivudine-treated CHB patients in a real-world setting. Methods. Serial eGFRs were calculated every 3 months using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI equation. The patients were classified as CKD-1, -2, or -3 according to a baseline eGFR of ≥90, 60–89, or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. A significant improvement of eGFR was defined as a more than 10% increase from the baseline. Results. A total of 129 patients were enrolled, of whom 36% had significantly improved eGFRs. According to a multivariate analysis, diabetes mellitus (DM (p=0.028 and CKD-3 (p=0.043 were both significantly related to such improvement. The rates of significant improvement of eGFR were about 73% and 77% in patients with DM and CKD-3, respectively. Conclusions. Telbivudine is an alternative drug of choice for the treatment of hepatitis B patients for whom renal safety is a concern, especially patients with DM and CKD-3.

  10. Global Expression in Sorghum Brown Midrib (bmr) 6 and 12 Mutants; a Tool to Improve Biomass for Biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown midrib (bmr) mutants are being investigated for their ability to increase the conversion efficiency of sorghum biomass for lignocellulosic bioenergy. Brown midrib 6 and 12 (bmr6 and 12) are impaired in the last two steps of monolignol biosynthesis resulting in reduced lignin content and alter...

  11. Omega-3 fatty acid therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation, however, did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Pyung Chun; Koh, Kwang Kon; Sakuma, Ichiro; Lim, Soo; Lee, Yonghee; Lee, Seungik; Lee, Kyounghoon; Han, Seung Hwan; Shin, Eak Kyun

    2014-10-20

    Experimental studies demonstrate that higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FA) improves insulin sensitivity, however, we reported that n-3 FA 2g therapy, most commonly used dosage did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity despite reducing triglycerides by 21% in patients. Therefore, we investigated the effects of different dosages of n-3 FA in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. This was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Age, sex, and body mass index were matched among groups. All patients were recommended to maintain a low fat diet. Forty-four patients (about 18 had metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes mellitus) in each group were given placebo, n-3 FA 1 (O1), 2 (O2), or 4 g (O4), respectively daily for 2 months. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol and improved flow-mediated dilation, compared with placebo (by ANOVA). However, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly decrease high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, compared with placebo. O1 significantly increased insulin levels and decreased insulin sensitivity (determined by QUICKI) and O2 significantly decreased plasma adiponectin levels relative to baseline measurements. Of note, when compared with placebo, each n-3 FA therapy did not significantly change insulin, glucose, adiponectin, glycated hemoglobin levels and insulin sensitivity (by ANOVA). We observed similar results in a subgroup of patients with the metabolic syndrome. n-3 FA therapy dose-dependently and significantly decreased triglycerides and improved flow-mediated dilation. Nonetheless, n-3 FA therapy did not significantly improve acute-phase reactants and insulin sensitivity in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, regardless of dosages. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  12. Biomass recalcitrance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Felby, Claus

    2009-01-01

    Alternative and renewable fuels derived from lignocellulosic biomass offer a promising alternative to conventional energy sources, and provide energy security, economic growth, and environmental benefits. However, plant cell walls naturally resist decomposition from microbes and enzymes - this co......Alternative and renewable fuels derived from lignocellulosic biomass offer a promising alternative to conventional energy sources, and provide energy security, economic growth, and environmental benefits. However, plant cell walls naturally resist decomposition from microbes and enzymes...... - this collective resistance is known as "biomass recalcitrance." Breakthrough technologies are needed to overcome barriers to developing cost-effective processes for converting biomass to fuels and chemicals. This book examines the connection between biomass structure, ultrastructure, and composition......, to resistance to enzymatic deconstruction, with the aim of discovering new cost-effective technologies for biorefineries. It contains chapters on topics extending from the highest levels of biorefinery design and biomass life-cycle analysis, to detailed aspects of plant cell wall structure, chemical treatments...

  13. Improving estimation of tree carbon stocks by harvesting aboveground woody biomass within airborne LiDAR flight areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, M.; Asner, G. P.; Swemmer, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    The accurate estimation of carbon stored in a tree is essential to accounting for the carbon emissions due to deforestation and degradation. Airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has been successful in estimating aboveground carbon density (ACD) by correlating airborne metrics, such as canopy height, to field-estimated biomass. This latter step is reliant on field allometry which is applied to forest inventory quantities, such as stem diameter and height, to predict the biomass of a given tree stem. Constructing such allometry is expensive, time consuming, and requires destructive sampling. Consequently, the sample sizes used to construct such allometry are often small, and the largest tree sampled is often much smaller than the largest in the forest population. The uncertainty resulting from these sampling errors can lead to severe biases when the allometry is applied to stems larger than those harvested to construct the allometry, which is then subsequently propagated to airborne ACD estimates. The Kruger National Park (KNP) mission of maintaining biodiversity coincides with preserving ecosystem carbon stocks. However, one hurdle to accurately quantifying carbon density in savannas is that small stems are typically harvested to construct woody biomass allometry, yet they are not representative of Kruger's distribution of biomass. Consequently, these equations inadequately capture large tree variation in sapwood/hardwood composition, root/shoot/leaf allocation, branch fall, and stem rot. This study eliminates the "middleman" of field allometry by directly measuring, or harvesting, tree biomass within the extent of airborne LiDAR. This enables comparisons of field and airborne ACD estimates, and also enables creation of new airborne algorithms to estimate biomass at the scale of individual trees. A field campaign was conducted at Pompey Silica Mine 5km outside Kruger National Park, South Africa, in Mar-Aug 2010 to harvest and weigh tree mass. Since

  14. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterly, J.L.; Dunn, S.M.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO 2 , and reduced emissions of SO 2 , the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO 2 and SO 2 , other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO 2 , with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general, the key elements for

  15. Advances in High Throughput Screening of Biomass Recalcitrance (Poster)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turner, G. B.; Decker, S. R.; Tucker, M. P.; Law, C.; Doeppke, C.; Sykes, R. W.; Davis, M. F.; Ziebell, A.

    2012-06-01

    This was a poster displayed at the Symposium. Advances on previous high throughput screening of biomass recalcitrance methods have resulted in improved conversion and replicate precision. Changes in plate reactor metallurgy, improved preparation of control biomass, species-specific pretreatment conditions, and enzymatic hydrolysis parameters have reduced overall coefficients of variation to an average of 6% for sample replicates. These method changes have improved plate-to-plate variation of control biomass recalcitrance and improved confidence in sugar release differences between samples. With smaller errors plant researchers can have a higher degree of assurance more low recalcitrance candidates can be identified. Significant changes in plate reactor, control biomass preparation, pretreatment conditions and enzyme have significantly reduced sample and control replicate variability. Reactor plate metallurgy significantly impacts sugar release aluminum leaching into reaction during pretreatment degrades sugars and inhibits enzyme activity. Removal of starch and extractives significantly decreases control biomass variability. New enzyme formulations give more consistent and higher conversion levels, however required re-optimization for switchgrass. Pretreatment time and temperature (severity) should be adjusted to specific biomass types i.e. woody vs. herbaceous. Desalting of enzyme preps to remove low molecular weight stabilizers and improved conversion levels likely due to water activity impacts on enzyme structure and substrate interactions not attempted here due to need to continually desalt and validate precise enzyme concentration and activity.

  16. Torrefaction of biomass. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-05-15

    The objective of this project was to investigate and understand some of the basics of the process of torrefaction and explore the true characteristics of this new type of solid biomass fuel. Tests with torrefaction of different biomass have thus been conducted in both laboratory scale as well as bench scale investigating samples from milligram up to >100 kg. Test in TGA-FTIR and a lab scale pyro-ofen was used to understand the basic chemistry of the influence of torrefaction temperature on the kinetics of the process as well as the condensable gases leaving the process. The results reveal a process that above 250 deg. C is exothermic and that the major condensable gases consist mainly of methanol, acetic acid and water. Significant amounts of methyl-chloride were detected in the condensable gases and do thereby suggest that a certain amount of corrosive Cl could be reduced from the fuel by means of torrefaction. It was also concluded that great care has to be taken during and after production as the torrefied material was seen to self-ignite in an air environment at temperatures above 200 deg. C. The grindability of the material (energy consumption during milling) is indeed significantly improved by torrefaction and can be reduced up to 6 times compared to raw biomass. The results from test in bench scale as well as in lab scale mills suggested that in order to reach grindability similar to coal a torrefaction temperature above 240 deg. C is required for wood chips and above 290 deg. C for wood pellets. These figures will however differ with the type of biomass torrefied and the particle size of the material torrefied and milled. Moisture uptake in torrefied materials is decreased compared to raw biomass. However, due to formation of cavities in the material during torrefaction, the full effect is met first after densification. The hydrophobicity of the material increases with higher torrefaction temperature, but still a rather significant moisture uptake is

  17. Improved prediction of higher heating value of biomass using an artificial neural network model based on proximate analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzun, Harun; Yıldız, Zeynep; Goldfarb, Jillian L; Ceylan, Selim

    2017-06-01

    As biomass becomes more integrated into our energy feedstocks, the ability to predict its combustion enthalpies from routine data such as carbon, ash, and moisture content enables rapid decisions about utilization. The present work constructs a novel artificial neural network model with a 3-3-1 tangent sigmoid architecture to predict biomasses' higher heating values from only their proximate analyses, requiring minimal specificity as compared to models based on elemental composition. The model presented has a considerably higher correlation coefficient (0.963) and lower root mean square (0.375), mean absolute (0.328), and mean bias errors (0.010) than other models presented in the literature which, at least when applied to the present data set, tend to under-predict the combustion enthalpy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Romania biomass energy. Country study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burnham, M; Easterly, J L; Mark, P E; Keller, A [DynCorp, Alexandria, VA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The present report was prepared under contract to UNIDO to conduct a case study of biomass energy use and potential in Romania. The purpose of the case study is to provide a specific example of biomass energy issues and potential in the context of the economic transition under way in eastern Europe. The transition of Romania to a market economy is proceeding at a somewhat slower pace than in other countries of eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the former regime forced the use of biomass energy with inadequate technology and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. The resulting poor performance thus severely damaged the reputation of biomass energy in Romania as a viable, reliable resource. Today, efforts to rejuvenate biomass energy and tap into its multiple benefits are proving challenging. Several sound biomass energy development strategies were identified through the case study, on the basis of estimates of availability and current use of biomass resources; suggestions for enhancing potential biomass energy resources; an overview of appropriate conversion technologies and markets for biomass in Romania; and estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of the utilization of biomass energy. Finally, optimal strategies for near-, medium- and long-term biomass energy development, as well as observations and recommendations concerning policy, legislative and institutional issues affecting the development of biomass energy in Romania are presented. The most promising near-term biomass energy options include the use of biomass in district heating systems; cofiring of biomass in existing coal-fired power plants or combined heat and power plants; and using co-generation systems in thriving industries to optimize the efficient use of biomass resources. Mid-term and long-term opportunities include improving the efficiency of wood stoves used for cooking and heating in rural areas; repairing the reputation of biogasification to take advantage of livestock wastes

  19. Romania biomass energy. Country study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burnham, M.; Easterly, J.L.; Mark, P.E.; Keller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The present report was prepared under contract to UNIDO to conduct a case study of biomass energy use and potential in Romania. The purpose of the case study is to provide a specific example of biomass energy issues and potential in the context of the economic transition under way in eastern Europe. The transition of Romania to a market economy is proceeding at a somewhat slower pace than in other countries of eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the former regime forced the use of biomass energy with inadequate technology and infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. The resulting poor performance thus severely damaged the reputation of biomass energy in Romania as a viable, reliable resource. Today, efforts to rejuvenate biomass energy and tap into its multiple benefits are proving challenging. Several sound biomass energy development strategies were identified through the case study, on the basis of estimates of availability and current use of biomass resources; suggestions for enhancing potential biomass energy resources; an overview of appropriate conversion technologies and markets for biomass in Romania; and estimates of the economic and environmental impacts of the utilization of biomass energy. Finally, optimal strategies for near-, medium- and long-term biomass energy development, as well as observations and recommendations concerning policy, legislative and institutional issues affecting the development of biomass energy in Romania are presented. The most promising near-term biomass energy options include the use of biomass in district heating systems; cofiring of biomass in existing coal-fired power plants or combined heat and power plants; and using co-generation systems in thriving industries to optimize the efficient use of biomass resources. Mid-term and long-term opportunities include improving the efficiency of wood stoves used for cooking and heating in rural areas; repairing the reputation of biogasification to take advantage of livestock wastes

  20. Biomass torrefaction: A promising pretreatment technology for biomass utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, ZhiWen; Wang, Mingfeng; Ren, Yongzhi; Jiang, Enchen; Jiang, Yang; Li, Weizhen

    2018-02-01

    Torrefaction is an emerging technology also called mild pyrolysis, which has been explored for the pretreatment of biomass to make the biomass more favorable for further utilization. Dry torrefaction (DT) is a pretreatment of biomass in the absence of oxygen under atmospheric pressure and in a temperature range of 200-300 degrees C, while wet torrrefaction (WT) is a method in hydrothermal or hot and high pressure water at the tempertures within 180-260 degrees C. Torrrefied biomass is hydrophobic, with lower moisture contents, increased energy density and higher heating value, which are more comparable to the characteristics of coal. With the improvement in the properties, torrefied biomass mainly has three potential applications: combustion or co-firing, pelletization and gasification. Generally, the torrefaction technology can accelerate the development of biomass utilization technology and finally realize the maximum applications of biomass energy.

  1. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Mattioli

    Full Text Available Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up.

  2. Expression of the Arabidopsis vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) improves the shoot biomass of transgenic barley and increases grain yield in a saline field

    KAUST Repository

    Schilling, Rhiannon K.

    2013-11-22

    Cereal varieties with improved salinity tolerance are needed to achieve profitable grain yields in saline soils. The expression of AVP1, an Arabidopsis gene encoding a vacuolar proton pumping pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase), has been shown to improve the salinity tolerance of transgenic plants in greenhouse conditions. However, the potential for this gene to improve the grain yield of cereal crops in a saline field has yet to be evaluated. Recent advances in high-throughput nondestructive phenotyping technologies also offer an opportunity to quantitatively evaluate the growth of transgenic plants under abiotic stress through time. In this study, the growth of transgenic barley expressing AVP1 was evaluated under saline conditions in a pot experiment using nondestructive plant imaging and in a saline field trial. Greenhouse-grown transgenic barley expressing AVP1 produced a larger shoot biomass compared to segregants, as determined by an increase in projected shoot area, when grown in soil with 150 mm NaCl. This increase in shoot biomass of transgenic AVP1 barley occurred from an early growth stage and also in nonsaline conditions. In a saline field, the transgenic barley expressing AVP1 also showed an increase in shoot biomass and, importantly, produced a greater grain yield per plant compared to wild-type plants. Interestingly, the expression of AVP1 did not alter barley leaf sodium concentrations in either greenhouse- or field-grown plants. This study validates our greenhouse-based experiments and indicates that transgenic barley expressing AVP1 is a promising option for increasing cereal crop productivity in saline fields. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Expression of the Arabidopsis vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) improves the shoot biomass of transgenic barley and increases grain yield in a saline field

    KAUST Repository

    Schilling, Rhiannon K.; Marschner, Petra; Shavrukov, Yuri N.; Berger, Bettina; Tester, Mark A.; Roy, Stuart John; Plett, Darren Craig

    2013-01-01

    Cereal varieties with improved salinity tolerance are needed to achieve profitable grain yields in saline soils. The expression of AVP1, an Arabidopsis gene encoding a vacuolar proton pumping pyrophosphatase (H+-PPase), has been shown to improve the salinity tolerance of transgenic plants in greenhouse conditions. However, the potential for this gene to improve the grain yield of cereal crops in a saline field has yet to be evaluated. Recent advances in high-throughput nondestructive phenotyping technologies also offer an opportunity to quantitatively evaluate the growth of transgenic plants under abiotic stress through time. In this study, the growth of transgenic barley expressing AVP1 was evaluated under saline conditions in a pot experiment using nondestructive plant imaging and in a saline field trial. Greenhouse-grown transgenic barley expressing AVP1 produced a larger shoot biomass compared to segregants, as determined by an increase in projected shoot area, when grown in soil with 150 mm NaCl. This increase in shoot biomass of transgenic AVP1 barley occurred from an early growth stage and also in nonsaline conditions. In a saline field, the transgenic barley expressing AVP1 also showed an increase in shoot biomass and, importantly, produced a greater grain yield per plant compared to wild-type plants. Interestingly, the expression of AVP1 did not alter barley leaf sodium concentrations in either greenhouse- or field-grown plants. This study validates our greenhouse-based experiments and indicates that transgenic barley expressing AVP1 is a promising option for increasing cereal crop productivity in saline fields. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Biomass energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pasztor, J.; Kristoferson, L.

    1992-01-01

    Bioenergy systems can provide an energy supply that is environmentally sound and sustainable, although, like all energy systems, they have an environmental impact. The impact often depends more on the way the whole system is managed than on the fuel or on the conversion technology. The authors first describe traditional biomass systems: combustion and deforestation; health impact; charcoal conversion; and agricultural residues. A discussion of modern biomass systems follows: biogas; producer gas; alcohol fuels; modern wood fuel resources; and modern biomass combustion. The issue of bioenergy and the environment (land use; air pollution; water; socioeconomic impacts) and a discussion of sustainable bioenergy use complete the paper. 53 refs., 9 figs., 14 tabs

  5. Biomass Conversion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Decker, Steve [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Brunecky, Roman [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Lin, Chien-Yuan [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Amore, Antonella [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Wei, Hui [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Chen, Xiaowen [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Tucker, Melvin P [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Czernik, Stefan [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sluiter, Amie D [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Zhang, Min [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Magrini, Kimberly A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Himmel, Michael E [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sheehan, John [Formerly NREL; Dayton, David C. [Formerly NREL; Bozell, Joseph J. [Formerly NREL; Adney, William S. [Formerly NREL; Aden, Andy [Formerly NREL; Hames, Bonnie [Formerly NREL; Thomas, Steven R. [Formerly NREL; Bain, Richard L. [Formerly NREL

    2017-08-02

    Biomass constitutes all the plant matter found on our planet, and is produced directly by photosynthesis, the fundamental engine of life on earth. It is the photosynthetic capability of plants to utilize carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that leads to its designation as a 'carbon neutral' fuel, meaning that it does not introduce new carbon into the atmosphere. This article discusses the life cycle assessments of biomass use and the magnitude of energy captured by photosynthesis in the form of biomass on the planet to appraise approaches to tap this energy to meet the ever-growing demand for energy.

  6. Fiscalini Farms Biomass Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William Stringfellow; Mary Kay Camarillo; Jeremy Hanlon; Michael Jue; Chelsea Spier

    2011-09-30

    waste heat and better documentation of potential of carbon credits, would also improve the economic outlook. Analysis of baseline operational conditions indicated that a reduction in methane emissions and other greenhouse gas savings resulted from implementation of the project. The project results indicate that using anaerobic digestion to produce bio-methane from agricultural biomass is a promising source of electricity, but that significant challenges need to be addressed before dairy-based biomass energy production can be fully integrated into an alternative energy economy. The biomass energy facility was found to be operating undercapacity. Economic analysis indicated a positive economic sustainability, even at the reduced power production levels demonstrated during the baseline period. However, increasing methane generation capacity (via the importation of biomass codigestate) will be critical for increasing electricity output and improving the long-term economic sustainability of the operation. Dairy-based biomass energy plants are operating under strict environmental regulations applicable to both power-production and confined animal facilities and novel approached are being applied to maintain minimal environmental impacts. The use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for nitrous oxide control and a biological hydrogen sulfide control system were tested at this facility. Results from this study suggest that biomass energy systems can be compliant with reasonable scientifically based air and water pollution control regulations. The most significant challenge for the development of biomass energy as a viable component of power production on a regional scale is likely to be the availability of energy-rich organic feedstocks. Additionally, there needs to be further development of regional expertise in digester and power plant operations. At the Fiscalini facility, power production was limited by the availability of biomass for methane generation, not the designed

  7. The biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viterbo, J.

    2011-01-01

    Biomass comes mainly from forests and agriculture and is considered as a clean alternative energy that can be valorized as heat, power, bio-fuels and chemical products but its mass production is challenging in terms of adequate technology but also in terms of rethinking the use of lands. Forests can be managed to produce biomass but bio-fuels can also be generated from sea-weeds. Biomass appears very promising but on one hand we have to secure its supplying and assure its economical profitability and on another hand we have to assure a reasonable use of lands and a limited impact on the environment. The contribution of biomass to sustainable development depends on the balance between these 2 ends. (A.C.)

  8. Biomass [updated

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turhollow Jr, Anthony F [ORNL

    2016-01-01

    Biomass resources and conversion technologies are diverse. Substantial biomass resources exist including woody crops, herbaceous perennials and annuals, forest resources, agricultural residues, and algae. Conversion processes available include fermentation, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, combustion, and transesterification. Bioderived products include liquid fuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel, and gasoline and diesel substitutes), gases, electricity, biochemical, and wood pellets. At present the major sources of biomass-derived liquid fuels are from first generation biofuels; ethanol from maize and sugar cane (89 billion L in 2013) and biodiesel from vegetable oils and fats (24 billion liters in 2011). For other than traditional uses, policy in the forms of mandates, targets, subsidies, and greenhouse gas emission targets has largely been driving biomass utilization. Second generation biofuels have been slow to take off.

  9. Significant clinical improvement in radiation-induced lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy by a treatment combining pentoxifylline, tocopherol, and clodronate (Pentoclo)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delanian, S. [Hop St Louis, Serv Oncol Radiotherapie, APHP, F-75010 Paris, (France); Lefaix, J.L. [CEA-LARIA, CIRIL-GANIL, Caen, (France); Maisonobe, T. [Hop La Pitie Salpetriere, Federat Neurophysiol Clin, APHP, Paris, (France)

    2008-07-01

    Radiation-induced (RI) peripheral neuropathy is a rare and severe delayed complication of radiotherapy that is spontaneously irreversible, with no standard of treatment. We previously developed a successful antioxidant treatment in RI fibrosis and necrosis. Two patients with progressive worsening RI lumbosacral poly-radiculopathy experienced over several years a significant clinical improvement in their neurological sensorimotor symptoms with long-term pentoxifylline-tocopherol-clodronate treatment, and good safety. (authors)

  10. The cumulative effect of small dietary changes may significantly improve nutritional intakes in free-living children and adults

    OpenAIRE

    Bornet , Francis; Paineau , Damien; Beaufils , François; Boulier , Alain; Cassuto , Dominique-Adèle; Chwalow , Judith; Combris , Pierre; Couet , Charles; Jouret , Béatrice; Lafay , Lionel; Laville , Martine; Mahé , Sylvain; Ricour , Claude; Romon , Monique; Simon , Chantal

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background/Objectives: The ELPAS study was an 8-month randomized controlled dietary modification trial designed to test the hypothesis that family dietary coaching would improve nutritional intakes and weight control in 2026 free-living children and parents (Paineau et al., 2008). It resulted in significant nutritional changes, with beneficial effects on body mass index in adults. In these ancillary analyses, we investigated dietary changes throughout the intervention. ...

  11. Biomass for bioenergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bentsen, Niclas Scott

    Across the range of renewable energy resources, bioenergy is probably the most complex, as using biomass to support energy services ties into a number of fields; climate change, food production, rural development, biodiversity and environmental protection. Biomass offer several options...... for displacing fossil resources and is perceived as one of the main pillars of a future low-carbon or no-carbon energy supply. However, biomass, renewable as it is, is for any relevant, time horizon to be considered a finite resource as it replenishes at a finite rate. Conscientious stewardship of this finite...... the undesirable impacts of bioenergy done wrong. However, doing bioenergy right is a significant challenge due to the ties into other fields of society. Fundamentally plant biomass is temporary storage of solar radiation energy and chemically bound energy from nutrients. Bioenergy is a tool to harness solar...

  12. Acid or erythromycin stress significantly improves transformation efficiency through regulating expression of DNA binding proteins in Lactococcus lactis F44.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Binbin; Zhang, Huawei; Liang, Dongmei; Hao, Panlong; Li, Yanni; Qiao, Jianjun

    2017-12-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a gram-positive bacterium used extensively in the dairy industry and food fermentation, and its biological characteristics are usually improved through genetic manipulation. However, poor transformation efficiency was the main restriction factor for the construction of engineered strains. In this study, the transformation efficiency of L. lactis F44 showed a 56.1-fold increase in acid condition (pH 5.0); meanwhile, erythromycin stress (0.04 μg/mL) promoted the transformation efficiency more significantly (76.9-fold). Notably, the transformation efficiency of F44e (L. lactis F44 harboring empty pLEB124) increased up to 149.1-fold under the synergistic stresses of acid and erythromycin. In addition, the gene expression of some DNA binding proteins (DprA, RadA, RadC, RecA, RecQ, and SsbA) changed correspondingly. Especially for radA, 25.1-fold improvement was detected when F44e was exposed to pH 5.0. Overexpression of some DNA binding proteins could improve the transformation efficiency. The results suggested that acid or erythromycin stress could improve the transformation efficiency of L. lactis through regulating gene expression of DNA binding proteins. We have proposed a simple but promising strategy for improving the transformation efficiency of L. lactis and other hard-transformed microorganisms. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Bioenergy in Australia: An improved approach for estimating spatial availability of biomass resources in the agricultural production zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herr, Alexander; Dunlop, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Bioenergy production from crops and agricultural residues has a greenhouse gas mitigation potential. However, there is considerable debate about the size of this potential. This is partly due to difficulties in estimating the feedstock resource base accurately and with good spatial resolution. Here we provide two techniques for spatially estimating crop-based bioenergy feedstocks in Australia using regional agricultural statistics and national land use maps. The approach accommodates temporal variability by estimating ranges of feedstock availability and the shifting nature of zones of the highest spatial concentration of feedstocks. The techniques are applicable to biomass production from forestry, agricultural residues or oilseeds, all of which have been proposed as biofuel feedstocks. -- Highlights: → Dasymetric mapping appoach for producing spatial and temporal variation maps in feedstock production.→ Combines land use and crop statistics to produce regionally precise feedstock maps. → Feedstock concentrations and feedstock density maps enable identification of feedstock concentration spatially and comparison of yearly variation in production.

  14. An initiative to improve the management of clinically significant test results in a large health care network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Christopher L; Rothschild, Jeffrey M; Dighe, Anand S; Schiff, Gordon D; Graydon-Baker, Erin; Lenoci-Edwards, Jennifer; Dwyer, Cheryl; Khorasani, Ramin; Gandhi, Tejal K

    2013-11-01

    The failure of providers to communicate and follow up clinically significant test results (CSTR) is an important threat to patient safety. The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors has endorsed the creation of systems to ensure that results can be received and acknowledged. In 2008 a task force was convened that represented clinicians, laboratories, radiology, patient safety, risk management, and information systems in a large health care network with the goals of providing recommendations and a road map for improvement in the management of CSTR and of implementing this improvement plan during the sub-force sequent five years. In drafting its charter, the task broadened the scope from "critical" results to "clinically significant" ones; clinically significant was defined as any result that requires further clinical action to avoid morbidity or mortality, regardless of the urgency of that action. The task force recommended four key areas for improvement--(1) standardization of policies and definitions, (2) robust identification of the patient's care team, (3) enhanced results management/tracking systems, and (4) centralized quality reporting and metrics. The task force faced many challenges in implementing these recommendations, including disagreements on definitions of CSTR and on who should have responsibility for CSTR, changes to established work flows, limitations of resources and of existing information systems, and definition of metrics. This large-scale effort to improve the communication and follow-up of CSTR in a health care network continues with ongoing work to address implementation challenges, refine policies, prepare for a new clinical information system platform, and identify new ways to measure the extent of this important safety problem.

  15. Grindability and combustion behavior of coal and torrefied biomass blends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, M V; García, R; Pevida, C; Rubiera, F

    2015-09-01

    Biomass samples (pine, black poplar and chestnut woodchips) were torrefied to improve their grindability before being combusted in blends with coal. Torrefaction temperatures between 240 and 300 °C and residence times between 11 and 43 min were studied. The grindability of the torrefied biomass, evaluated from the particle size distribution of the ground sample, significantly improved compared to raw biomass. Higher temperatures increased the proportion of smaller-sized particles after grinding. Torrefied chestnut woodchips (280 °C, 22 min) showed the best grinding properties. This sample was blended with coal (5-55 wt.% biomass). The addition of torrefied biomass to coal up to 15 wt.% did not significantly increase the proportion of large-sized particles after grinding. No relevant differences in the burnout value were detected between the coal and coal/torrefied biomass blends due to the high reactivity of the coal. NO and SO2 emissions decreased as the percentage of torrefied biomass in the blend with coal increased. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The SGLT2 Inhibitor Dapagliflozin Significantly Improves the Peripheral Microvascular Endothelial Function in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Seigo; Jinnouchi, Hideaki; Kurinami, Noboru; Hieshima, Kunio; Yoshida, Akira; Jinnouchi, Katsunori; Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Miyamoto, Fumio; Kajiwara, Keizo; Jinnouchi, Tomio

    2018-03-30

    Objective Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors reduce cardiovascular events and decrease the body fat mass in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined whether or not the SGLT2-inhibitor dapagliflozin can improve the endothelial function associated with a reduction in abdominal fat mass. Methods We prospectively recruited patients with uncontrolled (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] >7.0%) T2DM who were not being treated by SGLT2 inhibitors. Patients were treated with add-on dapagliflozin (5 mg/day) or non-SGLT2 inhibitor medicines for 6 months to improve their HbA1c. We measured the peripheral microvascular endothelial function as assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and calculated the natural logarithmic transformed value of the RH-PAT index (LnRHI). We then investigated changes in the LnRHI and abdominal fat area using computed tomography (CT). Results The subjects were 54 patients with uncontrolled T2DM (72.2% men) with a mean HbA1c of 8.1%. The HbA1c was significantly decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between the groups. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly increased the LnRHI. The changes in the LnRHI were significantly greater in the dapagliflozin group than in the non-SGLT2 inhibitor group. Dapagliflozin treatment, but not non-SGLT2 inhibitor treatment, significantly decreased the abdominal visceral fat area, subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and total fat area (TFA) as assessed by CT and significantly increased the plasma adiponectin levels. The percentage changes in the LnRHI were significantly correlated with changes in the SFA, TFA, systolic blood pressure, and adiponectin. Conclusion Add-on treatment with dapagliflozin significantly improves the glycemic control and endothelial function associated with a reduction in the abdominal fat mass in patients with uncontrolled T2DM.

  17. Spontaneous Resolution of Long-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikakis, Efstratios A; Chatziralli, Irini P; Peponis, Vasileios G; Karagiannis, Dimitrios; Stratos, Aimilianos; Tsiotra, Vasileia A; Mitropoulos, Panagiotis G

    2014-01-01

    To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  18. Spontaneous Resolution ofLong-Standing Macular Detachment due to Optic Disc Pit with Significant Visual Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efstratios A. Parikakis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To report a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing serous macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit, leading to significant visual improvement. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of blurred vision and micropsia in her left eye. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 6/24 in the left eye, and fundoscopy revealed serous macular detachment associated with optic disc pit, which was confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT. The patient was offered vitrectomy as a treatment alternative, but she preferred to be reviewed conservatively. Three years after initial presentation, neither macular detachment nor subretinal fluid was evident in OCT, while the inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS junction line was intact. Her visual acuity was improved from 6/24 to 6/12 in her left eye, remaining stable at the 6-month follow-up after resolution. Conclusion: We present a case of spontaneous resolution of a long-standing macular detachment associated with an optic disc pit with significant visual improvement, postulating that the integrity of the IS/OS junction line may be a prognostic factor for final visual acuity and suggesting OCT as an indicator of visual prognosis and the probable necessity of a surgical management.

  19. An economic evaluation of forest improvement opportunities and impacts from the emergence of a biomass fuel market in southwestern Nova Scotia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manley, A.L.; Savage, G.D.

    1993-01-01

    In 1991, Nova Scotia's public power utility initiated a process to purchase privately produced electrical power. A proposal was received to produce 20--25 megawatts from the burning of 350 to 400,000 tonnes annually of wood residue and forest biomass in a co-generation facility in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. This proposal has been proceeding and is nearing the construction phase. As a result of this potential market, there is an opportunity for increasing the scope and extent of forest improvement operations. Options for a closer integration of planning, harvesting, and silviculture activities will emerge. Optimum end use allocation could occur and enhance overall economic efficiency. The objective of this project is to assess the effect that this emerging market for forest biomass could have on forest management in the supply area. This project has two phases. Phase 1, presented here, develops the framework and methodology. Phase 2 will apply a linear programming-based analytical model for evaluation. Phase 1 accumulated the required data and information for both the current management and marketing situation and that including the emerging biomass market. Growth and yield of the natural stand types were calculated for a mixture of conventional roundwood products and chip equivalents. Management regimes, based on current forest type, site class, and appropriate silviculture treatments, were established. Expected multiproduct yields, by regime were estimated. Silviculture and harvest costs along with product revenues were used to calculate standing timber and soil expectation values. In Phase 2, a stand-based optimization model will be developed to explore and evaluate the long term opportunities and differences between the present and emerging management and market situations

  20. Marine Algae: a Source of Biomass for Biotechnological Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stengel, Dagmar B; Connan, Solène

    2015-01-01

    Biomass derived from marine microalgae and macroalgae is globally recognized as a source of valuable chemical constituents with applications in the agri-horticultural sector (including animal feeds and health and plant stimulants), as human food and food ingredients as well as in the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. Algal biomass supply of sufficient quality and quantity however remains a concern with increasing environmental pressures conflicting with the growing demand. Recent attempts in supplying consistent, safe and environmentally acceptable biomass through cultivation of (macro- and micro-) algal biomass have concentrated on characterizing natural variability in bioactives, and optimizing cultivated materials through strain selection and hybridization, as well as breeding and, more recently, genetic improvements of biomass. Biotechnological tools including metabolomics, transcriptomics, and genomics have recently been extended to algae but, in comparison to microbial or plant biomass, still remain underdeveloped. Current progress in algal biotechnology is driven by an increased demand for new sources of biomass due to several global challenges, new discoveries and technologies available as well as an increased global awareness of the many applications of algae. Algal diversity and complexity provides significant potential provided that shortages in suitable and safe biomass can be met, and consumer demands are matched by commercial investment in product development.

  1. Biomass fuelled indirect fired micro turbine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pritchard, D.

    2005-07-01

    This report summarises the findings of a project to further develop and improve a system based on the Bowman TG50 50kWe turbine and a C3(S) combustor with a high temperature heat exchanger for the production of electricity from biomass. Details are given of the specific aims of the project, the manufacture of a new larger biomass combustor, the development of startup and shutdown procedures, waste heat recuperation, adaption of a PC-based mathematical model, and capital equipment costs. The significant levels of carbon emission savings and the commercial prospects of the biomass generator gas turbine combined heat and power (CHP) system are considered, and recommendations are presented.

  2. Biomass potential

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asplund, D [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland)

    1997-12-31

    Biomass resources of the industrialised countries are enormous, if only a small fraction of set-aside fields were used for energy crops. Forest resources could also be utilised more efficiently than at present for large-scale energy production. The energy content of the annual net growth of the total wood biomass is estimated to be 180 million toe in Europe without the former USSR, and about 50 million toe of that in the EC area, in 1990. Presently, the harvesting methods of forest biomass for energy production are not yet generally competitive. Among the most promising methods are integrated harvesting methods, which supply both raw material to the industry and wood fuel for energy production. Several new methods for separate harvesting of energy wood are being developed in many countries. (orig.)

  3. Biomass potential

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asplund, D. [VTT Energy, Espoo (Finland)

    1996-12-31

    Biomass resources of the industrialised countries are enormous, if only a small fraction of set-aside fields were used for energy crops. Forest resources could also be utilised more efficiently than at present for large-scale energy production. The energy content of the annual net growth of the total wood biomass is estimated to be 180 million toe in Europe without the former USSR, and about 50 million toe of that in the EC area, in 1990. Presently, the harvesting methods of forest biomass for energy production are not yet generally competitive. Among the most promising methods are integrated harvesting methods, which supply both raw material to the industry and wood fuel for energy production. Several new methods for separate harvesting of energy wood are being developed in many countries. (orig.)

  4. Improved biomass and lipid production in Synechocystis sp. NN using industrial wastes and nano-catalyst coupled transesterification for biodiesel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jawaharraj, Kalimuthu; Karpagam, Rathinasamy; Ashokkumar, Balasubramaniem; Kathiresan, Shanmugam; Moorthy, Innasi Muthu Ganesh; Arumugam, Muthu; Varalakshmi, Perumal

    2017-10-01

    In this study, the improved biomass (1.6 folds) and lipid (1.3 folds) productivities in Synechocystis sp. NN using agro-industrial wastes supplementation through hybrid response surface methodology-genetic algorithm (RSM-GA) for cost-effective methodologies for biodiesel production was achieved. Besides, efficient harvesting in Synechocystis sp. NN was achieved by electroflocculation (flocculation efficiency 97.8±1.2%) in 10min when compared to other methods. Furthermore, different pretreatment methods were employed for lipid extraction and maximum lipid content of 19.3±0.2% by Synechocystis sp. NN was attained by ultrasonication than microwave and liquid nitrogen assisted pretreatment methods. The highest FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) conversion of 36.5±8.3mg FAME/g biomass was obtained using titanium oxide as heterogeneous nano-catalyst coupled whole-cell transesterification based method. Conclusively, Synechocystis sp. NN may be used as a biodiesel feedstock and its fuel production can be enriched by hybrid RSM-GA and nano-catalyst technologies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Torrefied biomass for use in power station sector; Torrefizierte Biomasse zum Einsatz im Kraftwerkssektor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Witt, Janet; Schaubach, Kay [Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ) gemeinnuetzige GmbH, Leipzig (Germany). Bereich Bioenergiesysteme; Kiel, Jaap; Carbo, Michiel [Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), Petten (Netherlands); Wojcik, Magdalena [OFI Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology, Vienna (Austria)

    2013-10-01

    In the torrefaction process biomass is heated up in the absence of oxygen to a temperature of at least 250 C. By combining torrefaction with pelletisation or briquetting, biomass materials can be converted into a high-energy-density bioenergy carrier with improved behaviour in (long-distance) transport, handling and storage. Torrefaction also creates superior properties for biomass in many major end-use applications. The process has the potential to provide a significant contribution to an enlarged raw material portfolio for sustainable biomass fuel production inside Europe by including both agricultural and forestry biomass (residues). The article will briefly introduce the concept and objectives of the project and the different torrefaction technologies involved and then focus on the results obtained within the first project phase of the EU-project SECTOR. This comprises production of torrefied biomass batches, subsequent densification (pelletisation and briquetting), characterisation and Round Robin testing of characterisation methods, initial logistics and end-use performance testing, material safety data sheet preparation and sustainability assessment along the value chain. (orig.)

  6. Biomass IGCC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salo, K; Keraenen, H [Enviropower Inc., Espoo (Finland)

    1997-12-31

    Enviropower Inc. is developing a modern power plant concept based on pressurised fluidized-bed gasification and gas turbine combined cycle (IGCC). The process is capable of maximising the electricity production with a variety of solid fuels - different biomass and coal types - mixed or separately. The development work is conducted on many levels. These and demonstration efforts are highlighted in this article. The feasibility of a pressurised gasification based processes compared to competing technologies in different applications is discussed. The potential of power production from biomass is also reviewed. (orig.) 4 refs.

  7. Biomass IGCC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salo, K.; Keraenen, H. [Enviropower Inc., Espoo (Finland)

    1996-12-31

    Enviropower Inc. is developing a modern power plant concept based on pressurised fluidized-bed gasification and gas turbine combined cycle (IGCC). The process is capable of maximising the electricity production with a variety of solid fuels - different biomass and coal types - mixed or separately. The development work is conducted on many levels. These and demonstration efforts are highlighted in this article. The feasibility of a pressurised gasification based processes compared to competing technologies in different applications is discussed. The potential of power production from biomass is also reviewed. (orig.) 4 refs.

  8. Improving biomass-derived carbon by activation with nitrogen and cobalt for supercapacitors and oxygen reduction reaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Man; Jin, Xin; Wang, Linan; Sun, Mengjia; Tang, Yang; Chen, Yongmei; Sun, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaojin; Wan, Pingyu

    2017-07-01

    Biomass-derived carbon by activation with nitrogen and cobalt (denoted as NPACCo) was prepared by one-pot pyrolysis of pomelo peel with melamine, cobalt nitrate and potassium hydroxide, followed by acid leaching. NPACCo possesses high content of quaternary-N (2.5%) and pyridinic-N (1.7%), co-existences of amorphous and short-range ordered carbon, high specific surface area and pore structure with majority of micropores and small mesopores. As electrode material of supercapacitors, NPACCo exhibits high specific capacitance and good rate capability. At ultrahigh rate of 50 A g-1 (135 mA cm-2), the capacitance of NPACCo remains 246 F g-1, which is 6.3, 1.9 and 3.2 times as high as that of other three materials (PC, PAC and NPAC). The as-assembled symmetric supercapacitor of NPACCo delivers high energy density, high power density and excellent cycling stability. With respect to oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), NPACCo exhibits high onset potential (0.87 V), high half-wave potential (0.78 V), excellent methanol tolerance and low yield of H2O2. The ORR properties of NPACCo are comparable or superior to those of commercial Pt/C. This investigation of pomelo peel-based NPACCo would be valuable for development of both supercapacitor and ORR.

  9. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy

    2013-01-01

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  10. Performance of the Sellick maneuver significantly improves when residents and trained nurses use a visually interactive guidance device in simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connor, Christopher W; Saffary, Roya; Feliz, Eddy [Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA (United States)

    2013-12-15

    We examined the proper performance of the Sellick maneuver, a maneuver used to reduce the risk of aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia, using a novel device that measures and visualizes the force applied to the cricoid cartilage using thin-film force sensitive resistors in a form suitable for in vivo use. Performance was tested in three stages with twenty anaesthesiology residents and twenty trained operating room nurses. Firstly, subjects applied force to the cricoid cartilage as was customary to them. Secondly, subjects used the device to guide the application of that force. Thirdly, subjects were again asked to perform the manoeuvre without visual guidance. Each test lasted 1 min and the amount of force applied was measured throughout. Overall, the Sellick maneuver was often not applied properly, with large variance between individual subjects. Performance and inter-subject consistency improved to a very highly significant degree when subjects were able to use the device as a visual guide (p < 0.001). Subsequent significant improvements in performances during the last, unguided test demonstrated that the device initiated learning. (paper)

  11. Combination of blood tests for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis improves the assessment of liver-prognosis in chronic hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boursier, J; Brochard, C; Bertrais, S; Michalak, S; Gallois, Y; Fouchard-Hubert, I; Oberti, F; Rousselet, M-C; Calès, P

    2014-07-01

    Recent longitudinal studies have emphasised the prognostic value of noninvasive tests of liver fibrosis and cross-sectional studies have shown their combination significantly improves diagnostic accuracy. To compare the prognostic accuracy of six blood fibrosis tests and liver biopsy, and evaluate if test combination improves the liver-prognosis assessment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). A total of 373 patients with compensated CHC, liver biopsy (Metavir F) and blood tests targeting fibrosis (APRI, FIB4, Fibrotest, Hepascore, FibroMeter) or cirrhosis (CirrhoMeter) were included. Significant liver-related events (SLRE) and liver-related deaths were recorded during follow-up (started the day of biopsy). During the median follow-up of 9.5 years (3508 person-years), 47 patients had a SLRE and 23 patients died from liver-related causes. For the prediction of first SLRE, most blood tests allowed higher prognostication than Metavir F [Harrell C-index: 0.811 (95% CI: 0.751-0.868)] with a significant increase for FIB4: 0.879 [0.832-0.919] (P = 0.002), FibroMeter: 0.870 [0.812-0.922] (P = 0.005) and APRI: 0.861 [0.813-0.902] (P = 0.039). Multivariate analysis identified FibroMeter, CirrhoMeter and sustained viral response as independent predictors of first SLRE. CirrhoMeter was the only independent predictor of liver-related death. The combination of FibroMeter and CirrhoMeter classifications into a new FM/CM classification improved the liver-prognosis assessment compared to Metavir F staging or single tests by identifying five subgroups of patients with significantly different prognoses. Some blood fibrosis tests are more accurate than liver biopsy for determining liver prognosis in CHC. A new combination of two complementary blood tests, one targeted for fibrosis and the other for cirrhosis, optimises assessment of liver-prognosis. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Identification of candidate genes for yeast engineering to improve bioethanol production in very high gravity and lignocellulosic biomass industrial fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Francisco B

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The optimization of industrial bioethanol production will depend on the rational design and manipulation of industrial strains to improve their robustness against the many stress factors affecting their performance during very high gravity (VHG or lignocellulosic fermentations. In this study, a set of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes found, through genome-wide screenings, to confer resistance to the simultaneous presence of different relevant stresses were identified as required for maximal fermentation performance under industrial conditions. Results Chemogenomics data were used to identify eight genes whose expression confers simultaneous resistance to high concentrations of glucose, acetic acid and ethanol, chemical stresses relevant for VHG fermentations; and eleven genes conferring simultaneous resistance to stresses relevant during lignocellulosic fermentations. These eleven genes were identified based on two different sets: one with five genes granting simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and furfural, and the other with six genes providing simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and vanillin. The expression of Bud31 and Hpr1 was found to lead to the increase of both ethanol yield and fermentation rate, while Pho85, Vrp1 and Ygl024w expression is required for maximal ethanol production in VHG fermentations. Five genes, Erg2, Prs3, Rav1, Rpb4 and Vma8, were found to contribute to the maintenance of cell viability in wheat straw hydrolysate and/or the maximal fermentation rate of this substrate. Conclusions The identified genes stand as preferential targets for genetic engineering manipulation in order to generate more robust industrial strains, able to cope with the most significant fermentation stresses and, thus, to increase ethanol production rate and final ethanol titers.

  13. Biomass pyrolysis for chemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Wild, P.

    2011-07-15

    The problems associated with the use of fossil fuels demand a transition to renewable sources (sun, wind, water, geothermal, biomass) for materials and energy where biomass provides the only renewable source for chemicals. In a biorefinery, biomass is converted via different technologies into heat, power and various products. Here, pyrolysis (thermal degradation without added oxygen) of lignocellulosic biomass can play an important role, because it leads to an array of useful chemicals. Examples are furfural and acetic acid from hemicellulose, levoglucosan from cellulose and phenols and biochar from lignin. Since the three major biomass polymers hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin possess dissimilar thermal stabilities and reactivities, type and amount of degradation products are tunable by proper selection of the pyrolysis conditions. To determine if step-wise pyrolysis would be suitable for the production of chemicals, staged degasification of lignocellulosic biomass was studied. Due to limited yields, a hot pressurized water pre-treatment (aquathermolysis) followed by pyrolysis was subsequently developed as an improved version of a staged approach to produce furfural and levoglucosan from the carbohydrate fraction of the biomass. Lignin is the only renewable source for aromatic chemicals. Lignocellulosic biorefineries for bio-ethanol produce lignin as major by-product. The pyrolysis of side-streams into valuable chemicals is of prime importance for a profitable biorefinery. To determine the added-value of lignin side-streams other than their use as fuel for power, application research including techno-economic analysis is required. In this thesis, the pyrolytic valorisation of lignin into phenols and biochar was investigated and proven possible.

  14. Biomass co-firing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yin, Chungen

    2013-01-01

    Co-firing biomass with fossil fuels in existing power plants is an attractive option for significantly increasing renewable energy resource utilization and reducing CO2 emissions. This chapter mainly discusses three direct co-firing technologies: pulverized-fuel (PF) boilers, fluidized-bed combus......Co-firing biomass with fossil fuels in existing power plants is an attractive option for significantly increasing renewable energy resource utilization and reducing CO2 emissions. This chapter mainly discusses three direct co-firing technologies: pulverized-fuel (PF) boilers, fluidized......-bed combustion (FBC) systems, and grate-firing systems, which are employed in about 50%, 40% and 10% of all the co-firing plants, respectively. Their basic principles, process technologies, advantages, and limitations are presented, followed by a brief comparison of these technologies when applied to biomass co...

  15. Induction Based Training leads to Highly Significant Improvements of Objective and Subjective Suturing Ability in Junior Doctors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Garry

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Simulation based training has shown to be of benefit in the education of medical students. However, the impact of induction based clinical simulation on surgical ability of qualified doctors remains unclear.The aim of this study was to establish if a 60 minute teaching session integrated into an Emergency Medicine speciality induction program produces statistically significant improvements in objective and subjective suturing abilities of junior doctors commencing an Emergency Medicine rotation.Methods: The objective suturing abilities of 16 Foundation Year Two doctors were analysed using a validated OSATs scale prior to a novel teaching intervention. The doctors then undertook an intensive hour long workshop receiving one to one feedback before undergoing repeat OSATs assessment.Subjective ability was measured using a 5 point likert scale and self-assessed competency reporting interrupted suturing before and after the intervention. Photographs of wound closure before and after the intervention were recorded for further blinded assessment of impact of intervention. A survey regarding continued ability was repeated at four months following the intervention. The study took place on 7/12/16 during the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Emergency Medicine induction in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast. The hospital is a regional level 1 trauma centre that has annual departmental attendances in excess of 200,000.All new junior doctors commencing the Emergency Medicine rotation were invited to partake in the study. All 16 agreed. The group consisted of a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate medicaldoctors who all had 16 months experience working in a variety of medical or surgical jobs previously.Results: Following the teaching intervention objective and subjective abilities in interrupted suturing showed statistically significant improvement (P>0.005. Self-reporting of competency of independently suturingwounds improved from 50

  16. A strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae evolved for fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass displays improved growth and fermentative ability in high solids concentrations and in the presence of inhibitory compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hawkins Gary M

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Softwoods are the dominant source of lignocellulosic biomass in the northern hemisphere, and have been investigated worldwide as a renewable substrate for cellulosic ethanol production. One challenge to using softwoods, which is particularly acute with pine, is that the pretreatment process produces inhibitory compounds detrimental to the growth and metabolic activity of fermenting organisms. To overcome the challenge of bioconversion in the presence of inhibitory compounds, especially at high solids loading, a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was subjected to evolutionary engineering and adaptation for fermentation of pretreated pine wood (Pinus taeda. Results An industrial strain of Saccharomyces, XR122N, was evolved using pretreated pine; the resulting daughter strain, AJP50, produced ethanol much more rapidly than its parent in fermentations of pretreated pine. Adaptation, by preculturing of the industrial yeast XR122N and the evolved strains in 7% dry weight per volume (w/v pretreated pine solids prior to inoculation into higher solids concentrations, improved fermentation performance of all strains compared with direct inoculation into high solids. Growth comparisons between XR122N and AJP50 in model hydrolysate media containing inhibitory compounds found in pretreated biomass showed that AJP50 exited lag phase faster under all conditions tested. This was due, in part, to the ability of AJP50 to rapidly convert furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural to their less toxic alcohol derivatives, and to recover from reactive oxygen species damage more quickly than XR122N. Under industrially relevant conditions of 17.5% w/v pretreated pine solids loading, additional evolutionary engineering was required to decrease the pronounced lag phase. Using a combination of adaptation by inoculation first into a solids loading of 7% w/v for 24 hours, followed by a 10% v/v inoculum (approximately equivalent to 1 g/L dry cell weight into 17

  17. The European Academy laparoscopic “Suturing Training and Testing’’ (SUTT) significantly improves surgeons’ performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Z.; Tanos, V.; Van Belle, Y.; Carvalho, J.L.; Campo, R.

    2015-01-01

    The efficiency of suturing training and testing (SUTT) model by laparoscopy was evaluated, measuring the suturingskill acquisition of trainee gynecologists at the beginning and at the end of a teaching course. During a workshop organized by the European Academy of Gynecological Surgery (EAGS), 25 participants with three different experience levels in laparoscopy (minor, intermediate and major) performed the 4 exercises of the SUTT model (Ex 1: both hands stitching and continuous suturing, Ex 2: right hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 3: left hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 4: dominant hand stitching, tissue approximation and intracorporeal knotting). The time needed to perform the exercises is recorded for each trainee and group and statistical analysis used to note the differences. Overall, all trainees achieved significant improvement in suturing time (p psychomotor skills, surgery, teaching, training suturing model. PMID:26977264

  18. High-intensity interval training (swimming) significantly improves the adverse metabolism and comorbidities in diet-induced obese mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motta, Victor F; Aguila, Marcia B; Mandarim-DE-Lacerda, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Controlling obesity and other comorbidities in the population is a challenge in modern society. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) combines short periods of high-intensity exercise with long recovery periods or a low-intensity exercise. The aim was to assess the impact of HIIT in the context of diet-induced obesity in the animal model. C57BL/6 mice were fed one of the two diets: standard chow (lean group [LE]) or a high-fat diet (obese group [OB]). After twelve weeks, the animals were divided into non-trained groups (LE-NT and OB-NT) and trained groups (LE-T and OB-T), and began an exercise protocol. For biochemical analysis of inflammatory and lipid profile, we used a colorimetric enzymatic method and an automatic spectrophotometer. One-way ANOVA was used for statistical analysis of the experimental groups with Holm-Sidak post-hoc Test. Two-way ANOVA analyzed the interactions between diet and HIIT protocol. HIIT leads to significant reductions in body mass, blood glucose, glucose tolerance and hepatic lipid profile in T-groups compared to NT-groups. HIIT was able to reduce plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, HIIT improves the insulin immunodensity in the islets, reduces the adiposity and the hepatic steatosis in the T-groups. HIIT improves beta-oxidation and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha and reduces lipogenesis and PPAR-gamma levels in the liver. In skeletal muscle, HIIT improves PPAR-alpha and glucose transporter-4 and reduces PPAR-gamma levels. HIIT leads to attenuate the adverse effects caused by a chronic ingestion of a high-fat diet.

  19. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of α-Amylase Gene from Bacillus licheniformis in Pichia pastoris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Rong Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available α-Amylase as an important industrial enzyme has been widely used in starch processing, detergent, and paper industries. To improve expression efficiency of recombinant α-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis (B. licheniformis, the α-amylase gene from B. licheniformis was optimized according to the codon usage of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris and expressed in P. pastoris. Totally, the codons encoding 305 amino acids were optimized in which a total of 328 nucleotides were changed and the G+C content was increased from 47.6 to 49.2%. The recombinants were cultured in 96-deep-well microplates and screened by a new plate assay method. Compared with the wild-type gene, the optimized gene is expressed at a significantly higher level in P. pastoris after methanol induction for 168 h in 5- and 50-L bioreactor with the maximum activity of 8100 and 11000 U/mL, which was 2.31- and 2.62-fold higher than that by wild-type gene. The improved expression level makes the enzyme a good candidate for α-amylase production in industrial use.

  20. Biomass Characterization | Bioenergy | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Characterization Biomass Characterization NREL provides high-quality analytical characterization of biomass feedstocks, intermediates, and products, a critical step in optimizing biomass conversion clear, amber liquid Standard Biomass Laboratory Analytical Procedures We maintain a library of

  1. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-01

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants.Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic

  2. Combat-related intradural gunshot wound to the thoracic spine: significant improvement and neurologic recovery following bullet removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H; Freedman, Brett A

    2015-02-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.

  3. Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve diagnostic accuracy in patients undergoing prostate biopsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdonà, Sisto; Bruzzese, Dario; Ferro, Matteo; Autorino, Riccardo; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; Longo, Michele; Spinelli, Rosa; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Oliva, Andrea; De Sio, Marco; Damiano, Rocco; Altieri, Vincenzo; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-02-15

    Prostate health index (phi) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) have been recently proposed as novel biomarkers for prostate cancer (PCa). We assessed the diagnostic performance of these biomarkers, alone or in combination, in men undergoing first prostate biopsy for suspicion of PCa. One hundred sixty male subjects were enrolled in this prospective observational study. PSA molecular forms, phi index (Beckman coulter immunoassay), PCA3 score (Progensa PCA3 assay), and other established biomarkers (tPSA, fPSA, and %fPSA) were assessed before patients underwent a 18-core first prostate biopsy. The discriminating ability between PCa-negative and PCa-positive biopsies of Beckman coulter phi and PCA3 score and other used biomarkers were determined. One hundred sixty patients met inclusion criteria. %p2PSA (p2PSA/fPSA × 100), phi and PCA3 were significantly higher in patients with PCa compared to PCa-negative group (median values: 1.92 vs. 1.55, 49.97 vs. 36.84, and 50 vs. 32, respectively, P ≤ 0.001). ROC curve analysis showed that %p2PSA, phi, and PCA3 are good indicator of malignancy (AUCs = 0.68, 0.71, and 0.66, respectively). A multivariable logistic regression model consisting of both the phi index and PCA3 score allowed to reach an overall diagnostic accuracy of 0.77. Decision curve analysis revealed that this "combined" marker achieved the highest net benefit over the examined range of the threshold probability. phi and PCA3 showed no significant difference in the ability to predict PCa diagnosis in men undergoing first prostate biopsy. However, diagnostic performance is significantly improved by combining phi and PCA3. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Biomass shock pretreatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtzapple, Mark T.; Madison, Maxine Jones; Ramirez, Rocio Sierra; Deimund, Mark A.; Falls, Matthew; Dunkelman, John J.

    2014-07-01

    Methods and apparatus for treating biomass that may include introducing a biomass to a chamber; exposing the biomass in the chamber to a shock event to produce a shocked biomass; and transferring the shocked biomass from the chamber. In some aspects, the method may include pretreating the biomass with a chemical before introducing the biomass to the chamber and/or after transferring shocked biomass from the chamber.

  5. Biomass Energy Basics | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass Energy Basics Biomass Energy Basics We have used biomass energy, or "bioenergy" keep warm. Wood is still the largest biomass energy resource today, but other sources of biomass can landfills (which are methane, the main component in natural gas) can be used as a biomass energy source. A

  6. Modelling tree biomasses in Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Repola, J.

    2013-06-01

    Biomass equations for above- and below-ground tree components of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L), Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst) and birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) were compiled using empirical material from a total of 102 stands. These stands (44 Scots pine, 34 Norway spruce and 24 birch stands) were located mainly on mineral soil sites representing a large part of Finland. The biomass models were based on data measured from 1648 sample trees, comprising 908 pine, 613 spruce and 127 birch trees. Biomass equations were derived for the total above-ground biomass and for the individual tree components: stem wood, stem bark, living and dead branches, needles, stump, and roots, as dependent variables. Three multivariate models with different numbers of independent variables for above-ground biomass and one for below-ground biomass were constructed. Variables that are normally measured in forest inventories were used as independent variables. The simplest model formulations, multivariate models (1) were mainly based on tree diameter and height as independent variables. In more elaborated multivariate models, (2) and (3), additional commonly measured tree variables such as age, crown length, bark thickness and radial growth rate were added. Tree biomass modelling includes consecutive phases, which cause unreliability in the prediction of biomass. First, biomasses of sample trees should be determined reliably to decrease the statistical errors caused by sub-sampling. In this study, methods to improve the accuracy of stem biomass estimates of the sample trees were developed. In addition, the reliability of the method applied to estimate sample-tree crown biomass was tested, and no systematic error was detected. Second, the whole information content of data should be utilized in order to achieve reliable parameter estimates and applicable and flexible model structure. In the modelling approach, the basic assumption was that the biomasses of

  7. Lipid Replacement Therapy Drink Containing a Glycophospholipid Formulation Rapidly and Significantly Reduces Fatigue While Improving Energy and Mental Clarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Settineri

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Fatigue is the most common complaint of patients seeking general medical care and is often treated with stimulants. It is also important in various physical activities of relatively healthy men and women, such as sports performance. Recent clinical trials using patients with chronic fatigue have shown the benefit of Lipid Replacement Therapy in restoring mitochondrial electron transport function and reducing moderate to severe chronic fatigue. Methods: Lipid Replacement Therapy was administered for the first time as an all-natural functional food drink (60 ml containing polyunsaturated glycophospholipids but devoid of stimulants or herbs to reduce fatigue. This preliminary study used the Piper Fatigue Survey instrument as well as a supplemental questionnaire to assess the effects of the glycophospholipid drink on fatigue and the acceptability of the test drink in adult men and women. A volunteer group of 29 subjects of mean age 56.2±4.5 years with various fatigue levels were randomly recruited in a clinical health fair setting to participate in an afternoon open label trial on the effects of the test drink. Results: Using the Piper Fatigue instrument overall fatigue among participants was reduced within the 3-hour seminar by a mean of 39.6% (p<0.0001. All of the subcategories of fatigue showed significant reductions. Some subjects responded within 15 minutes, and the majority responded within one hour with increased energy and activity and perceived improvements in cognitive function, mental clarity and focus. The test drink was determined to be quite acceptable in terms of taste and appearance. There were no adverse events from the energy drink during the study.Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2011; 8:245-254Conclusions: The Lipid Replacement Therapy functional food drink appeared to be a safe, acceptable and potentially useful new method to reduce fatigue, sustain energy and improve perceptions of mental function.

  8. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon D Angus

    -effecitive means of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  9. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  10. The use of biomass for energy in Sweden. Critical factors and lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansson, Bengt; Boerjesson, Paal; Ericsson, Karin; Nilsson, Lars J.; Svenningsson, Per

    2002-08-01

    In this report the development of Swedish biomass use during recent decades is discussed. The relations between biomass supply, biomass demand and various policy initiatives are explored. The objectives are to discuss the most important factors affecting the biomass development and to establish which factors are specific for Swedish conditions and also to identify general factors that are relevant in assessing the possibility of expanding biomass use in different contexts. The focus is on the use of biomass for heat and electricity production. Biomass contributed 14% to the Swedish energy supply in 1999. The major fraction of Swedish biomass is used within the forest industry (63%) and in district heating systems (23%). The remaining fraction is used in small-scale boilers in one- and two family dwellings. Between 1990 and 1999 Swedish bioenergy use (including waste and peat) increased by 44%. During the same period there has been a fourfold increase in the district heating systems. By-products from forestry and the Swedish forest industry dominate the supply of biomass in Sweden, but the importation of biomass increased significantly during the 1990s. A number of factors of various kinds have interacted to bring about the increased use of biomass in Sweden during the past twenty years. These factors can be divided into three categories: structure, policies and actors. The existence of a major forest industry and well-developed district heating systems has enabled a rapid response to strong and standing policy commitments to biomass. The reformation of the taxation system, with the introduction of a high carbon tax on fossil fuels, has led to significantly improved competitiveness for biomass when used for heating purposes.

  11. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognitive responses in urban children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian eCalderon-Garciduenas

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children. We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1 and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty g of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11± 3.4 days (range 9 to 24 days to 18 children (10.55yrs, SD =1.45; 11F/7M. Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p=0.0002. Fifteen children (83% showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  12. Estimates of grassland biomass and turnover time on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Ma, Minna; Liang, Tiangang; Wu, Chaoyang; Yang, Yuanhe; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Yangjian; Yuan, Wenping

    2018-01-01

    The grassland of the Tibetan Plateau forms a globally significant biome, which represents 6% of the world’s grasslands and 44% of China’s grasslands. However, large uncertainties remain concerning the vegetation carbon storage and turnover time in this biome. In this study, we quantified the pool size of both the aboveground and belowground biomass and turnover time of belowground biomass across the Tibetan Plateau by combining systematic measurements taken from a substantial number of surveys (i.e. 1689 sites for aboveground biomass, 174 sites for belowground biomass) with a machine learning technique (i.e. random forest, RF). Our study demonstrated that the RF model is effective tool for upscaling local biomass observations to the regional scale, and for producing continuous biomass estimates of the Tibetan Plateau. On average, the models estimated 46.57 Tg (1 Tg = 1012g) C of aboveground biomass and 363.71 Tg C of belowground biomass in the Tibetan grasslands covering an area of 1.32 × 106 km2. The turnover time of belowground biomass demonstrated large spatial heterogeneity, with a median turnover time of 4.25 years. Our results also demonstrated large differences in the biomass simulations among the major ecosystem models used for the Tibetan Plateau, largely because of inadequate model parameterization and validation. This study provides a spatially continuous measure of vegetation carbon storage and turnover time, and provides useful information for advancing ecosystem models and improving their performance.

  13. Flexible deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes for significant improvement of quantum efficiencies by external bending

    KAUST Repository

    Shervin, Shahab; Oh, Seung Kyu; Park, Hyun Jung; Lee, Keon Hwa; Asadirad, Mojtaba; Kim, Seung Hwan; Kim, Jeomoh; Pouladi, Sara; Lee, Sung-Nam; Li, Xiaohang; Kwak, Joon-Seop; Ryou, Jae-Hyun

    2018-01-01

    Deep ultraviolet (DUV) light at the wavelength range of 250‒280 nm (UVC spectrum) is essential for numerous applications such as sterilization, purification, sensing, and communication. III-nitride-based DUV light-emitting diodes (DUV LEDs), like other solid-state lighting sources, offer a great potential to replace the conventional gas-discharged lamps with short lifetimes and toxic-element-bearing nature. However, unlike visible LEDs, the DUV LEDs are still suffering from low quantum efficiencies (QEs) and low optical output powers. In this work, reported is a new route to improve QEs of AlGaN-based DUV LEDs using mechanical flexibility of recently developed bendable thin-film structures. Numerical studies show that electronic band structures of AlGaN heterostructures and resulting optical and electrical characteristics of the devices can be significantly modified by external bending through active control of piezoelectric polarization. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is enhanced higher than three times, when the DUV LEDs are moderately bent to induce in-plane compressive strain in the heterostructure. Furthermore, efficiency droop at high injection currents is mitigated and turn-on voltage of diodes decreases with the same bending condition. The concept of bendable DUV LEDs with a controlled external strain can provide a new path for high-output-power and high-efficiency devices.

  14. Flexible deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes for significant improvement of quantum efficiencies by external bending

    KAUST Repository

    Shervin, Shahab

    2018-01-26

    Deep ultraviolet (DUV) light at the wavelength range of 250‒280 nm (UVC spectrum) is essential for numerous applications such as sterilization, purification, sensing, and communication. III-nitride-based DUV light-emitting diodes (DUV LEDs), like other solid-state lighting sources, offer a great potential to replace the conventional gas-discharged lamps with short lifetimes and toxic-element-bearing nature. However, unlike visible LEDs, the DUV LEDs are still suffering from low quantum efficiencies (QEs) and low optical output powers. In this work, reported is a new route to improve QEs of AlGaN-based DUV LEDs using mechanical flexibility of recently developed bendable thin-film structures. Numerical studies show that electronic band structures of AlGaN heterostructures and resulting optical and electrical characteristics of the devices can be significantly modified by external bending through active control of piezoelectric polarization. Internal quantum efficiency (IQE) is enhanced higher than three times, when the DUV LEDs are moderately bent to induce in-plane compressive strain in the heterostructure. Furthermore, efficiency droop at high injection currents is mitigated and turn-on voltage of diodes decreases with the same bending condition. The concept of bendable DUV LEDs with a controlled external strain can provide a new path for high-output-power and high-efficiency devices.

  15. Novel ventilation design of combining spacer and mesh structure in sports T-shirt significantly improves thermal comfort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Chao; Au, Joe Sau-chuen; Fan, Jintu; Zheng, Rong

    2015-05-01

    This paper reports on novel ventilation design in sports T-shirt, which combines spacer and mesh structure, and experimental evidence on the advantages of design in improving thermal comfort. Evaporative resistance (Re) and thermal insulation (Rc) of T-shirts were measured using a sweating thermal manikin under three different air velocities. Moisture permeability index (i(m)) was calculated to compare the different designed T-shirts. The T-shirts of new and conventional designs were also compared by wearer trials, which were comprised of 30 min treadmill running followed by 10 min rest. Skin temperature, skin relative humidity, heart rate, oxygen inhalation and energy expenditure were monitored, and subjective sensations were asked. Results demonstrated that novel T-shirt has 11.1% significant lower im than control sample under windy condition. The novel T-shirt contributes to reduce the variation of skin temperature and relative humidity up to 37% and 32%, as well as decrease 3.3% energy consumption during exercise. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Significant improvement of thermal stability of glucose 1-dehydrogenase by introducing disulfide bonds at the tetramer interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Haitao; Gao, Fen; Liu, Danfeng; Li, Zeli; Xu, Xiaohong; Wu, Min; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-12-10

    Rational design was applied to glucose 1-dehydrogenase (LsGDH) from Lysinibacillus sphaericus G10 to improve its thermal stability by introduction of disulfide bridges between subunits. One out of the eleven mutants, designated as DS255, displayed significantly enhanced thermal stability with considerable soluble expression and high specific activity. It was extremely stable at pH ranging from 4.5 to 10.5, as it retained nearly 100% activity after incubating at different buffers for 1h. Mutant DS255 also exhibited high thermostability, having a half-life of 9900min at 50°C, which was 1868-fold as that of its wild type. Moreover, both of the increased free energy of denaturation and decreased entropy of denaturation of DS255 suggested that the enzyme structure was stabilized by the engineered disulfide bonds. On account of its robust stability, mutant DS255 would be a competitive candidate in practical applications of chiral chemicals synthesis, biofuel cells and glucose biosensors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Imparting improvements in electrochemical sensors: evaluation of different carbon blacks that give rise to significant improvement in the performance of electroanalytical sensing platforms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicentini, Fernando Campanhã; Ravanini, Amanda E.; Figueiredo-Filho, Luiz C.S.; Iniesta, Jesús; Banks, Craig E.; Fatibello-Filho, Orlando

    2015-01-01

    Three different carbon black materials have been evaluated as a potential modifier, however, only one demonstrated an improvement in the electrochemical properties. The carbon black structures were characterised with SEM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy and found to be very similar to that of amorphous graphitic materials. The modifications utilised were constructed by three different strategies (using ultrapure water, chitosan and dihexadecylphosphate). The fabricated sensors are electrochemically characterised using N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-para-phenylenediamine and both inner-sphere and outer-sphere redox probes, namely potassium ferrocyanide(II) and hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride, in addition to the biologically relevant and electroactive analytes, dopamine (DA) and acetaminophen (AP). Comparisons are made with an edge-plane pyrolytic graphite and glassy-carbon electrode and the benefits of carbon black implemented as a modifier for sensors within electrochemistry are explored, as well as the characterisation of their electroanalytical performances. We reveal significant improvements in the electrochemical performance (excellent sensitivity, faster heterogeneous electron transfer rate (HET)) over that of a bare glassy-carbon and edge-plane pyrolytic graphite electrode and thus suggest that there are substantial advantages of using carbon black as modifier in the fabrication of electrochemical based sensors. Such work is highly important and informative for those working in the field of electroanalysis where electrochemistry can provide portable, rapid, reliable and accurate sensing protocols (bringing the laboratory into the field), with particular relevance to those searching for new electrode materials

  18. Biomass in Switzerland. Energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guggisberg, B.

    2006-01-01

    In the long term, biomass could be used for energy production in a three times more intensive way, compared to current figures. A major contribution would be delivered to Switzerland's energy supply. Numerous biomass conversion technologies do exist, for the production of heat, power or vehicle fuel. However, the implementation of such a large-scale utilisation of biomass requires a couple of strategic decisions in order to improve the framework conditions for biomass development and precisely target the supporting measures applicable to both research and pilot plants. In short, a clear and efficient strategy is necessary in what regards biomass, that will be used for the definition of a future catalogue of measures. (author)

  19. Conditioning biomass for microbial growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodie, Elizabeth A; England, George

    2015-03-31

    The present invention relates to methods for improving the yield of microbial processes that use lignocellulose biomass as a nutrient source. The methods comprise conditioning a composition comprising lignocellulose biomass with an enzyme composition that comprises a phenol oxidizing enzyme. The conditioned composition can support a higher rate of growth of microorganisms in a process. In one embodiment, a laccase composition is used to condition lignocellulose biomass derived from non-woody plants, such as corn and sugar cane. The invention also encompasses methods for culturing microorganisms that are sensitive to inhibitory compounds in lignocellulose biomass. The invention further provides methods of making a product by culturing the production microorganisms in conditioned lignocellulose biomass.

  20. Characterization of a Cellulomonas fimi exoglucanase/xylanase-endoglucanase gene fusion which improves microbial degradation of cellulosic biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duedu, Kwabena O; French, Christopher E

    2016-11-01

    Effective degradation of cellulose requires multiple classes of enzyme working together. However, naturally occurring cellulases with multiple catalytic domains seem to be rather rare in known cellulose-degrading organisms. A fusion protein made from Cellulomonas fimi exo- and endo- glucanases, Cex and CenA which improves breakdown of cellulose is described. A homologous carbohydrate binding module (CBM-2) present in both glucanases was fused to give a fusion protein CxnA. CxnA or unfused constructs (Cex+CenA, Cex, or CenA) were expressed in Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii. The latter recombinant strains were cultured at the expense of cellulose filter paper. The expressed CxnA had both exo- and endo- glucanase activities. It was also exported to the supernatant as were the non-fused proteins. In addition, the hybrid CBM from the fusion could bind to microcrystalline cellulose. Growth of C. freundii expressing CxnA was superior to that of cells expressing the unfused proteins. Physical degradation of filter paper was also faster with the cells expressing fusion protein than the other constructs. Our results show that fusion proteins with multiple catalytic domains can improve the efficiency of cellulose degradation. Such fusion proteins could potentially substitute cloning of multiple enzymes as well as improving product yields. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Drought-tolerance of wheat improved by rhizosphere bacteria from harsh environments: enhanced biomass production and reduced emissions of stress volatiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salme Timmusk

    Full Text Available Water is the key resource limiting world agricultural production. Although an impressive number of research reports have been published on plant drought tolerance enhancement via genetic modifications during the last few years, progress has been slower than expected. We suggest a feasible alternative strategy by application of rhizospheric bacteria coevolved with plant roots in harsh environments over millions of years, and harboring adaptive traits improving plant fitness under biotic and abiotic stresses. We show the effect of bacterial priming on wheat drought stress tolerance enhancement, resulting in up to 78% greater plant biomass and five-fold higher survivorship under severe drought. We monitored emissions of seven stress-related volatiles from bacterially-primed drought-stressed wheat seedlings, and demonstrated that three of these volatiles are likely promising candidates for a rapid non-invasive technique to assess crop drought stress and its mitigation in early phases of stress development. We conclude that gauging stress by elicited volatiles provides an effectual platform for rapid screening of potent bacterial strains and that priming with isolates of rhizospheric bacteria from harsh environments is a promising, novel way to improve plant water use efficiency. These new advancements importantly contribute towards solving food security issues in changing climates.

  2. Biomass Demand-Resources Value Targeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, Chun Hsion; Lam, Hon Loong

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Introduce DRVT supply chain modelling approach to consider underutilised biomass. • Advantages of the novel DRVT biomass supply chain approach. • A case study is presented to demonstrate the improvement of the system. - Abstract: With the global awareness towards sustainability, biomass industry becomes one of the main focuses in the search of alternative renewable resources for energy and downstream product. However, the efficiency of the biomass management, especially in supply chain is still questionable. Even though many researches and integrations of supply chain network have been conducted, less has considered underutilised biomass. This leads to the ignorance of potential value in particular biomass species. A new Demand-Resources Value Targeting (DRVT) approach is introduced in this study to investigate the value of each biomass available in order to fully utilise the biomass in respective applications. With systematic biomass value classification, integration of supply chain based on biomass value from biomass resources-to-downstream product can be developed. DRVT model allows better understanding of biomass and their potential downstream application. A simple demonstration of DRVT approach is conducted based on biomass resources in Malaysia

  3. Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients in southern Ethiopia: significance of improved HIV-related care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimelis, Techalew; Tassachew, Yayehyirad; Lambiyo, Tariku

    2016-05-10

    Intestinal parasitic infections are known to cause gastroenteritis, leading to higher morbidity and mortality, particularly in people living with HIV/AIDS. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and other intestinal parasitic infections among HIV patients receiving care at a hospital in Ethiopia where previous available baseline data helps assess if improved HIV-related care has reduced infection rates. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Hawassa University Hospital in southern Ethiopia from May, 2013 to March, 2014. A consecutive sample of 491 HIV- infected patients with diarrhea or a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasites. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University. Physicians managed participants found to be infected with any pathogenic intestinal parasite. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among the study population was 35.8 %. The most prevalent parasites were Cryptosporidium (13.2 %), followed by Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (10.2 %), and Giardia lamblia (7.9 %). The rate of single and multiple infections were 25.5 and 10.3 %, respectively. Patients with a CD4 T cell count intestinal parasitic infection or cryptosporidiosis compared to those with counts ≥ 200 cells/μl, but with some type of diarrhea. The study shows high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the study population. However, the results in the current report are significantly lower compared to previous findings in the same hospital. The observed lower infection rate is encouraging and supports the need to strengthen and sustain the existing intervention measures in order to further reduce intestinal parasitic infections in people living with HIV/AIDS.

  4. Extended-release niacin/laropiprant significantly improves lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus irrespective of baseline glycemic control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bays HE

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Harold E Bays,1 Eliot A Brinton,2 Joseph Triscari,3 Erluo Chen,3 Darbie Maccubbin,3 Alexandra A MacLean,3 Kendra L Gibson,3 Rae Ann Ruck,3 Amy O Johnson-Levonas,3 Edward A O’Neill,3 Yale B Mitchel3 1Louisville Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center (L-MARC, Louisville, KY, USA; 2Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; 3Merck & Co, Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA Background: The degree of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM may alter lipid levels and may alter the efficacy of lipid-modifying agents. Objective: Evaluate the lipid-modifying efficacy of extended-release niacin/laropiprant (ERN/LRPT in subgroups of patients with T2DM with better or poorer glycemic control. Methods: Post hoc analysis of clinical trial data from patients with T2DM who were randomized 4:3 to double-blind ERN/LRPT or placebo (n=796, examining the lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT in patients with glycosylated hemoglobin or fasting plasma glucose levels above and below median baseline levels. Results: At Week 12 of treatment, ERN/LRPT significantly improved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein (a, compared with placebo, with equal efficacy in patients above or below median baseline glycemic control. Compared with placebo, over 36 weeks of treatment more patients treated with ERN/LRPT had worsening of their diabetes and required intensification of antihyperglycemic medication, irrespective of baseline glycemic control. Incidences of other adverse experiences were generally low in all treatment groups. Conclusion: The lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT are independent of the degree of baseline glycemic control in patients with T2DM (NCT00485758. Keywords: lipid-modifying agents, hyperglycemia, LDL, HDL, triglycerides

  5. Comparative study of different waste biomass for energy application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motghare, Kalyani A; Rathod, Ajit P; Wasewar, Kailas L; Labhsetwar, Nitin K

    2016-01-01

    Biomass is available in many varieties, consisting of crops as well as its residues from agriculture, forestry, and the agro-industry. These different biomass find their way as freely available fuel in rural areas but are also responsible for air pollution. Emissions from such solid fuel combustion to indoor, regional and global air pollution largely depend on fuel types, combustion device, fuel properties, fuel moisture, amount of air supply for combustion and also on climatic conditions. In both economic and environment point of view, gasification constitutes an attractive alternative for the use of biomass as a fuel, than the combustion process. A large number of studies have been reported on a variety of biomass and agriculture residues for their possible use as renewable fuels. Considering the area specific agriculture residues and biomass availability and related transportation cost, it is important to explore various local biomass for their suitability as a fuel. Maharashtra (India) is the mainstay for the agriculture and therefore, produces a significant amount of waste biomass. The aim of the present research work is to analyze different local biomass wastes for their proximate analysis and calorific value to assess their potential as fuel. The biomass explored include cotton waste, leaf, soybean waste, wheat straw, rice straw, coconut coir, forest residues, etc. mainly due to their abundance. The calorific value and the proximate analysis of the different components of the biomass helped in assessing its potential for utilization in different industries. It is observed that ash content of these biomass species is quite low, while the volatile matter content is high as compared to Indian Coal. This may be appropriate for briquetting and thus can be used as a domestic fuel in biomass based gasifier cook stoves. Utilizing these biomass species as fuel in improved cook-stove and domestic gasifier cook-stoves would be a perspective step in the rural energy and

  6. 2nd generation lignocellulosic bioethanol: is torrefaction a possible approach to biomass pretreatment?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chiaramonti, David; Rizzo, Andrea Maria; Prussi, Matteo [University of Florence, CREAR - Research Centre for Renewable Energy and RE-CORD, Florence (Italy); Tedeschi, Silvana; Zimbardi, Francesco; Braccio, Giacobbe; Viola, Egidio [ENEA - Laboratory of Technology and Equipment for Bioenergy and Solar Thermal, Rotondella (Italy); Pardelli, Paolo Taddei [Spike Renewables s.r.l., Florence (Italy)

    2011-03-15

    Biomass pretreatement is a key and energy-consuming step for lignocellulosic ethanol production; it is largely responsible for the energy efficiency and economic sustainability of the process. A new approach to biomass pretreatment for the lignocellulosic bioethanol chain could be mild torrefaction. Among other effects, biomass torrefaction improves the grindability of fibrous materials, thus reducing energy demand for grinding the feedstock before hydrolysis, and opens the biomass structure, making this more accessible to enzymes for hydrolysis. The aim of the preliminary experiments carried out was to achieve a first understanding of the possibility to combine torrefaction and hydrolysis for lignocellulosic bioethanol processes, and to evaluate it in terms of sugar and ethanol yields. In addition, the possibility of hydrolyzing the torrefied biomass has not yet been proven. Biomass from olive pruning has been torrefied at different conditions, namely 180-280 C for 60-120 min, grinded and then used as substrate in hydrolysis experiments. The bioconversion has been carried out at flask scale using a mixture of cellulosolytic, hemicellulosolitic, {beta}-glucosidase enzymes, and a commercial strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The experiments demonstrated that torrefied biomass can be enzymatically hydrolyzed and fermented into ethanol, with yields comparable with grinded untreated biomass and saving electrical energy. The comparison between the bioconversion yields achieved using only raw grinded biomass or torrefied and grinded biomass highlighted that: (1) mild torrefaction conditions limit sugar degradation to 5-10%; and (2) torrefied biomass does not lead to enzymatic and fermentation inhibition. Energy consumption for ethanol production has been preliminary estimated, and three different pretreatment steps, i.e., raw biomass grinding, biomass-torrefaction grinding, and steam explosion were compared. Based on preliminary results, steam explosion still has a

  7. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1999-06-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  8. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 8

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    2000-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  9. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 6

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1999-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  10. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1998-07-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  11. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1996-12-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  12. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1997-07-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  13. BIOMASS newsletter. No. 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Carlos

    1998-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency Programme on Biosphere Modelling and Assessment (BIOMASS) Newsletter has been launched with general objectives of providing an international focal point in the area of biosphere assessment modelling, developing methods for analysis of radionuclide transfer in the biosphere for use in radiological assessment, improving modelling methods, and developing international consensus on biosphere modelling philosophies, approaches and parameter values. The main themes included in the Newsletter include radioactive waste disposal (reference biosphere), environmental releases and biosphere processes

  14. Environmental impacts of biomass energy resource production and utilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Easterly, J L; Dunn, S M [DynCorp, Alexandria, VA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the environmental impacts associated with the production, conversion and utilization of biomass energy resources and compare them with the impacts of conventional fuels. The use of sustainable biomass resources can play an important role in helping developing nations meet their rapidly growing energy needs, while providing significant environmental advantages over the use of fossil fuels. Two of the most important environmental benefits biomass energy offers are reduced net emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO{sub 2}, and reduced emissions of SO{sub 2}, the primary contributor to acid rain. The paper also addresses the environmental impacts of supplying a range of specific biomass resources, including forest-based resources, numerous types of biomass residues and energy crops. Some of the benefits offered by the various biomass supplies include support for improved forest management, improved waste management, reduced air emissions (by eliminating the need for open-field burning of residues) and reduced soil erosion (for example, where perennial energy crops are planted on degraded or deforested land). The environmental impacts of a range of biomass conversion technologies are also addressed, including those from the thermochemical processing of biomass (including direct combustion in residential wood stoves and industrial-scale boilers, gasification and pyrolysis); biochemical processing (anaerobic digestion and fermentation); and chemical processing (extraction of organic oils). In addition to reducing CO{sub 2} and SO{sub 2}, other environmental benefits of biomass conversion technologies include the distinctly lower toxicity of the ash compared to coal ash, reduced odours and pathogens from manure, reduced vehicle emissions of CO{sub 2}, with the use of ethanol fuel blends, and reduced particulate and hydrocarbon emissions where biodiesel is used as a substitute for diesel fuel. In general

  15. Fates of Chemical Elements in Biomass during Its Pyrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wu-Jun; Li, Wen-Wei; Jiang, Hong; Yu, Han-Qing

    2017-05-10

    Biomass is increasingly perceived as a renewable resource rather than as an organic solid waste today, as it can be converted to various chemicals, biofuels, and solid biochar using modern processes. In the past few years, pyrolysis has attracted growing interest as a promising versatile platform to convert biomass into valuable resources. However, an efficient and selective conversion process is still difficult to be realized due to the complex nature of biomass, which usually makes the products complicated. Furthermore, various contaminants and inorganic elements (e.g., heavy metals, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine) embodied in biomass may be transferred into pyrolysis products or released into the environment, arousing environmental pollution concerns. Understanding their behaviors in biomass pyrolysis is essential to optimizing the pyrolysis process for efficient resource recovery and less environmental pollution. However, there is no comprehensive review so far about the fates of chemical elements in biomass during its pyrolysis. Here, we provide a critical review about the fates of main chemical elements (C, H, O, N, P, Cl, S, and metals) in biomass during its pyrolysis. We overview the research advances about the emission, transformation, and distribution of elements in biomass pyrolysis, discuss the present challenges for resource-oriented conversion and pollution abatement, highlight the importance and significance of understanding the fate of elements during pyrolysis, and outlook the future development directions for process control. The review provides useful information for developing sustainable biomass pyrolysis processes with an improved efficiency and selectivity as well as minimized environmental impacts, and encourages more research efforts from the scientific communities of chemistry, the environment, and energy.

  16. Biomass supply management for advanced energy: applications in developing countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ranney, J W [Joint Institute for Energy and Environment, Knoxville, TN (United States); Perlack, R D [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Advanced biomass energy systems, including new biomass resource enhancement technologies, should be developed only where compelling situations for investors or communities exist to economically do so. These situations, or minimum viable operating conditions, are assessed from a pragmatic perspective. They are determined by specific circumstances and divergent interests that take time to define and integrate. Customized solutions are necessary and can change quickly with geography and market circumstances New technologies offer more options but are not necessarily the best. The example of energy crop technology is used to demonstrate the interdependencies that exist between new resource enhancement technology and biomass energy systems operations. The ability to genetically increase the energy density of energy crops is compared to other enhancement measures such as increasing the number of tonnes grown per hectare-year, reducing costs per tonne and improving other characteristics. Issues that need to be considered include significant knowledge gaps, lack of commitments in R and D, specificity of conversion system requirements, handling capabilities and opportunity costs. Broader biomass procurement strategies, which may be more important than resource enhancement technologies, are discussed. Biomass cost-supply is utilized as a strong analytical feature to evaluate the effectiveness of biomass procurement strategies and new biomass production technologies. Some past experiences are reviewed. Cost-supply is assessed from the perspective of the whole biomass energy system to expose the interdependencies between production operations, conversion scale and technologies, and community markets and service. Investment limits, for example, may be as important a determinant as the cost-efficiency of a new technology, which, in turn, affects biomass cost-supply-quality requirements. The cost of new technologies can then be compared to the changed performance of the overall

  17. Biomass supply management for advanced energy: applications in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranney, J.W.; Perlack, R.D.

    1995-01-01

    Advanced biomass energy systems, including new biomass resource enhancement technologies, should be developed only where compelling situations for investors or communities exist to economically do so. These situations, or minimum viable operating conditions, are assessed from a pragmatic perspective. They are determined by specific circumstances and divergent interests that take time to define and integrate. Customized solutions are necessary and can change quickly with geography and market circumstances New technologies offer more options but are not necessarily the best. The example of energy crop technology is used to demonstrate the interdependencies that exist between new resource enhancement technology and biomass energy systems operations. The ability to genetically increase the energy density of energy crops is compared to other enhancement measures such as increasing the number of tonnes grown per hectare-year, reducing costs per tonne and improving other characteristics. Issues that need to be considered include significant knowledge gaps, lack of commitments in R and D, specificity of conversion system requirements, handling capabilities and opportunity costs. Broader biomass procurement strategies, which may be more important than resource enhancement technologies, are discussed. Biomass cost-supply is utilized as a strong analytical feature to evaluate the effectiveness of biomass procurement strategies and new biomass production technologies. Some past experiences are reviewed. Cost-supply is assessed from the perspective of the whole biomass energy system to expose the interdependencies between production operations, conversion scale and technologies, and community markets and service. Investment limits, for example, may be as important a determinant as the cost-efficiency of a new technology, which, in turn, affects biomass cost-supply-quality requirements. The cost of new technologies can then be compared to the changed performance of the overall

  18. Basic mechanisms of photosynthesis and applications to improved production and conversion of biomass to fuels and chemical products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    El-Sayed, M. [Georgia Institute of Tech., Atlanta, GA (United States); Greenbaum, E. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (United States); Wasielewski, M. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)

    1996-09-01

    Natural photosynthesis, the result of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary experimentation, is the best proven, functional solar energy conversion technology. It is responsible for filling the vast majority of humanity`s energy, nutritional, and materials needs. Understanding the basic physical chemical principles underlying photosynthesis as a working model system is vital to further exploitation of this natural technology. These principles can be used to improve or modify natural photosynthesis so that it is more efficient or so that it can produce unusual products such as hydrogen, methane, methanol, ethanol, diesel fuel substitutes, biodegradable materials, or other high value chemical products. Principles garnered from the natural process can also be used to design artificial photosynthetic devices that employ analogs of natural antenna and reaction center function, self-assembly and repair concepts, photoinduced charge transfer processes, photoprotection, and dark reactions that facilitate catalytic action to convert light into, useful chemical or electrical energy. The present broad understanding of many structural and functional aspects of photosynthesis has resulted from rapid recent research progress. X-ray structures of several key photosynthetic reaction centers and antenna systems are available, and the overall principles controlling photoinduced energy and electron transfer are being established.

  19. Bearings for the biomass boom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacQueen, Duncan

    2011-03-15

    Biomass energy is booming –– more than two billion people depend on biomass for their energy and the International Energy Agency predicts that biomass' share of the global energy supply will treble by 2050. But in many developing countries it is still regarded as a traditional and dirty solution that is often criminalised, unsustainable and poorly paid. A more sophisticated approach that legalises and secures sustainable production by and for local people could help improve energy security, cut carbon emissions, protect forests and reduce poverty.

  20. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaindoa, Emmanuel W; Matowo, Nancy S; Ngowo, Halfan S; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south-eastern Tanzania.

  1. Interventions that effectively target Anopheles funestus mosquitoes could significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matowo, Nancy S.; Ngowo, Halfan S.; Mkandawile, Gustav; Mmbando, Arnold; Finda, Marcelina; Okumu, Fredros O.

    2017-01-01

    An. arabiensis (44.1%). Though An. arabiensis is still the most abundant vector species here, the remaining malaria transmission is predominantly mediated by An. funestus, possibly due to high insecticide resistance and high survival probabilities. Interventions that effectively target An. funestus mosquitoes could therefore significantly improve control of persistent malaria transmission in south–eastern Tanzania. PMID:28542335

  2. Combining woody biomass for combustion with green waste composting: Effect of removal of woody biomass on compost quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandecasteele, Bart; Boogaerts, Christophe; Vandaele, Elke

    2016-12-01

    The question was tackled on how the green waste compost industry can optimally apply the available biomass resources for producing both bioenergy by combustion of the woody fraction, and high quality soil improvers as renewable sources of carbon and nutrients. Compost trials with removal of woody biomass before or after composting were run at 9 compost facilities during 3 seasons to include seasonal variability of feedstock. The project focused on the changes in feedstock and the effect on the end product characteristics (both compost and recovered woody biomass) of this woody biomass removal. The season of collection during the year clearly affected the biochemical and chemical characteristics of feedstock, woody biomass and compost. On one hand the effect of removal of the woody fraction before composting did not significantly affect compost quality when compared to the scenario where the woody biomass was sieved from the compost at the end of the composting process. On the other hand, quality of the woody biomass was not strongly affected by extraction before or after composting. The holocellulose:lignin ratio was used in this study as an indicator for (a) the decomposition potential of the feedstock mixture and (b) to assess the stability of the composts at the end of the process. Higher microbial activity in green waste composts (indicated by higher oxygen consumption) and thus a lower compost stability resulted in higher N immobilization in the compost. Removal of woody biomass from the green waste before composting did not negatively affect the compost quality when more intensive composting was applied. The effect of removal of the woody fraction on the characteristics of the green waste feedstock and the extracted woody biomass is depending on the season of collection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Perceptions of Improved Biomass and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Stoves in Puno, Peru: Implications for Promoting Sustained and Exclusive Adoption of Clean Cooking Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Hollada

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Many households in low- and middle-income countries cook with inefficient biomass-burning stoves, which cause high levels of household air pollution and threaten long-term health. Although clean stoves and fuels are available, uptake and consistent use has been low. Using observations and in-depth interviews, we assessed the attitudes, preferences, and beliefs about traditional versus liquefied petroleum gas (LPG stoves in rural Puno, Peru. A total of 31 in-depth interviews were conducted with primary cooks and their families, health workers, community leaders, and improved stove contractors. Six in-home observations of meal preparation were also conducted. Six major barriers to consistent use of clean stoves were identified: (1 perceived differences in food taste and nutrition by stove type; (2 cooking niches filled by different stoves; (3 social norms related to cooking practices; (4 safety concerns; (5 comparative costs of using different stoves; and (6 lack of awareness and concern about long-term health risks. These findings suggest that to successfully reduce household air pollution, clean cooking programs and policies must consider the many factors influencing adoption beyond health, such as cost, taste, fears, and cultural traditions. These factors could be incorporated into community-based and national efforts to scale-up sustained and exclusive adoption of clean cooking.

  4. Tree Biomass Allocation and Its Model Additivity for Casuarina equisetifolia in a Tropical Forest of Hainan Island, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Yang; Yang, Zhongyang; Wang, Xiaoyan; Lin, Zhipan; Li, Dunxi; Su, Shaofeng

    2016-01-01

    Casuarina equisetifolia is commonly planted and used in the construction of coastal shelterbelt protection in Hainan Island. Thus, it is critical to accurately estimate the tree biomass of Casuarina equisetifolia L. for forest managers to evaluate the biomass stock in Hainan. The data for this work consisted of 72 trees, which were divided into three age groups: young forest, middle-aged forest, and mature forest. The proportion of biomass from the trunk significantly increased with age (Pbiomass of the branch and leaf decreased, and the biomass of the root did not change. To test whether the crown radius (CR) can improve biomass estimates of C. equisetifolia, we introduced CR into the biomass models. Here, six models were used to estimate the biomass of each component, including the trunk, the branch, the leaf, and the root. In each group, we selected one model among these six models for each component. The results showed that including the CR greatly improved the model performance and reduced the error, especially for the young and mature forests. In addition, to ensure biomass additivity, the selected equation for each component was fitted as a system of equations using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR). The SUR method not only gave efficient and accurate estimates but also achieved the logical additivity. The results in this study provide a robust estimation of tree biomass components and total biomass over three groups of C. equisetifolia.

  5. Tree Biomass Allocation and Its Model Additivity for Casuarina equisetifolia in a Tropical Forest of Hainan Island, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Yang; Yang, Zhongyang; Wang, Xiaoyan; Lin, Zhipan; Li, Dunxi; Su, Shaofeng

    2016-01-01

    Casuarina equisetifolia is commonly planted and used in the construction of coastal shelterbelt protection in Hainan Island. Thus, it is critical to accurately estimate the tree biomass of Casuarina equisetifolia L. for forest managers to evaluate the biomass stock in Hainan. The data for this work consisted of 72 trees, which were divided into three age groups: young forest, middle-aged forest, and mature forest. The proportion of biomass from the trunk significantly increased with age (Pbiomass of the branch and leaf decreased, and the biomass of the root did not change. To test whether the crown radius (CR) can improve biomass estimates of C. equisetifolia, we introduced CR into the biomass models. Here, six models were used to estimate the biomass of each component, including the trunk, the branch, the leaf, and the root. In each group, we selected one model among these six models for each component. The results showed that including the CR greatly improved the model performance and reduced the error, especially for the young and mature forests. In addition, to ensure biomass additivity, the selected equation for each component was fitted as a system of equations using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR). The SUR method not only gave efficient and accurate estimates but also achieved the logical additivity. The results in this study provide a robust estimation of tree biomass components and total biomass over three groups of C. equisetifolia. PMID:27002822

  6. Biomass boiler still best choice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, Paula

    2014-01-01

    Full text: The City of Mount Gambier upgraded its boiler in September after analysis showed that biomass was still the optimal energy option. The Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre was built by the local city council in the 1980s as an outdoor pool facility for the public. The complex has three pools — an Olympic-sized, toddler and a learner pool — for a total volume of 1.38ML (including balance tanks). The large pool is heated to 27-28°C, the smaller one 30-32°C. From the very beginning, the pool water was heated by a biomass boiler, and via two heat exchangers whose combined capacity is 520 kW. The original biomass boiler ran on fresh sawdust from a local timber mill. After thirty years of dedicated service the original boiler had become unreliable and difficult to operate. Replacement options were investigated and included a straight gas boiler, a combined solar hot water and gas option, and biomass boilers. The boiler only produces heat, not electricity. All options were subjected to a triple bottom line assessment, which included potential capital costs, operating costs, community and environmental benefits and costs. The project was also assessed using a tool developed by Mount Gambier City Council that considers the holistic benefits — the CHAT Tool, which stands for Comprehensive Holistic Assessment Tool. “Basically it is a survey that covers environmental, social, economic and governance factors,” the council's environmental sustainability officer, Aaron Izzard told WME. In relation to environmental considerations, the kinds of questions explored by the CHAT Tool included: Sustainable use of resources — objective is to reduce council's dependence on non-renewable resources; Greenhouse emissions — objective is to reduce council's contribution of GHG into the atmosphere; Air quality — objective is to improve local air quality. The conclusion of these analyses was that while a biomass boiler would have a higher capital cost than a straight gas

  7. Significant survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer in the periods 2001-2008 vs. 1992-2000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishimura Sumiko

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is unclear whether individualized treatments based on biological factors have improved the prognosis of recurrent breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer after the introduction of third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs and trastuzumab. Methods A total of 407 patients who received first diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer and treatment at National Kyushu Cancer Center between 1992 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated. As AIs and trastuzumab were approved for clinical use in Japan in 2001, the patients were divided into two time cohorts depending on whether the cancer recurred before or after 2001. Cohort A: 170 patients who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2000. Cohort B: 237 patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. Tumor characteristics, treatments, and outcome were compared. Results Fourteen percent of cohort A and 76% of cohort B received AIs and/or trastuzumab (P Conclusions The prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer was improved over time following the introduction of AIs and trastuzumab and the survival improvement was apparent in HR- and/or HER-2-positive tumors.

  8. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

  9. Biomass torrefaction mill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprouse, Kenneth M.

    2016-05-17

    A biomass torrefaction system includes a mill which receives a raw biomass feedstock and operates at temperatures above 400 F (204 C) to generate a dusty flue gas which contains a milled biomass product.

  10. Promoting helix pitch and trichome length to improve biomass harvesting efficiency and carbon dioxide fixation rate by Spirulina sp. in 660 m2 raceway ponds under purified carbon dioxide from a coal chemical flue gas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jun; Guo, Wangbiao; Ameer Ali, Kubar; Ye, Qing; Jin, Guiyong; Qiao, Zhanshan

    2018-08-01

    The helix pitch and trichome length of Spirulina sp. were promoted to improve the biomass harvesting efficiency and CO 2 fixation rate in 660 m 2 raceway ponds aerated with food-grade CO 2 purified from a coal chemical flue gas. The CO 2 fixation rate was improved with increased trichome length of the Spirulina sp. in a raceway pond with double paddlewheels, baffles, and CO 2 aerators (DBA raceway pond). The trichome length has increased by 33.3 μm, and CO 2 fixation rate has increased by 42.3% and peaked to 51.3 g/m 2 /d in a DBA raceway pond. Biomass harvesting efficiency was increased with increased helix pitch. When the day-average greenhouse temperature was 33 °C and day-average sunlight intensity was 72,100 lu×, the helix pitch of Spirulina sp. was increased to 56.2 μm. Hence the biomass harvesting efficiency was maximized to 75.6% and biomass actual yield was increased to 35.9 kg in a DBA raceway pond. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Brief Communication: Upper Air Relaxation in RACMO2 Significantly Improves Modelled Interannual Surface Mass Balance Variability in Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Berg, W. J.; Medley, B.

    2016-01-01

    The Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) has been a powerful tool for improving surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper-air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice-sheet-integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for regional climate model simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  12. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in evergreen coniferous forests and its significance in carbon and water fluxes modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Chen, J. M.; Luo, X.

    2016-12-01

    Modeling of carbon and water fluxes at the continental and global scales requires remotely sensed LAI as inputs. For evergreen coniferous forests (ENF), severely underestimated winter LAI has been one of the issues for mostly available remote sensing products, which could cause negative bias in the modeling of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Unlike deciduous trees which shed all the leaves in winter, conifers retains part of their needles and the proportion of the retained needles depends on the needle longevity. In this work, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) was used to model GPP and ET at eight FLUXNET Canada ENF sites. Two sets of LAI were used as the model inputs: the 250m 10-day University of Toronto (U of T) LAI product Version 2 and the corrected LAI based on the U of T LAI product and the needle longevity of the corresponding tree species at individual sites. Validating model daily GPP (gC/m2) against site measurements, the mean RMSE over eight sites decreases from 1.85 to 1.15, and the bias changes from -0.99 to -0.19. For daily ET (mm), mean RMSE decreases from 0.63 to 0.33, and the bias changes from -0.31 to -0.16. Most of the improvements occur in the beginning and at the end of the growing season when there is large correction of LAI and meanwhile temperature is still suitable for photosynthesis and transpiration. For the dormant season, the improvement in ET simulation mostly comes from the increased interception of precipitation brought by the elevated LAI during that time. The results indicate that model performance can be improved by the application the corrected LAI. Improving the winter RS LAI can make a large impact on land surface carbon and energy budget.

  13. Biomass processing over gold catalysts

    CERN Document Server

    Simakova, Olga A; Murzin, Dmitry Yu

    2014-01-01

    The book describes the valorization of biomass-derived compounds over gold catalysts. Since biomass is a rich renewable feedstock for diverse platform molecules, including those currently derived from petroleum, the interest in various transformation routes has become intense. Catalytic conversion of biomass is one of the main approaches to improving the economic viability of biorefineries.  In addition, Gold catalysts were found to have outstanding activity and selectivity in many key reactions. This book collects information about transformations of the most promising and important compounds derived from cellulose, hemicelluloses, and woody biomass extractives. Since gold catalysts possess high stability under oxidative conditions, selective oxidation reactions were discussed more thoroughly than other critical reactions such as partial hydrogenation, acetalization, and isomerization. The influence of reaction conditions, the role of the catalyst, and the advantages and disadvantages of using gold are pre...

  14. Global biomass burning: Atmospheric, climatic, and biospheric implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levine, J.S.

    1991-01-01

    As a significant source of atmospheric gases, biomass burning must be addressed as a major environmental problem. Biomass burning includes burning forests and savanna grasslands for land clearing and conversion, burning agricultural stubble and waste after harvesting, and burning biomass fuels. The editor discusses the history of biomass burning and provides an overview of the individual chapters

  15. Biomass Supply and Trade Opportunities of Preprocessed Biomass for Power Generation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batidzirai, B.; Junginger, M.; Klemm, M.; Schipfer, F.; Thrän, D.

    2016-01-01

    International trade of solid biomass is expected to increase significantly given the global distribution of biomass resources and anticipated expansion of bioenergy deployment in key global power markets. Given the unique characteristics of biomass, its long-distance trade requires optimized

  16. High Pressure Biomass Gasification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agrawal, Pradeep K [Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA (United States)

    2016-07-29

    According to the Billion Ton Report, the U.S. has a large supply of biomass available that can supplement fossil fuels for producing chemicals and transportation fuels. Agricultural waste, forest residue, and energy crops offer potential benefits: renewable feedstock, zero to low CO2 emissions depending on the specific source, and domestic supply availability. Biomass can be converted into chemicals and fuels using one of several approaches: (i) biological platform converts corn into ethanol by using depolymerization of cellulose to form sugars followed by fermentation, (ii) low-temperature pyrolysis to obtain bio-oils which must be treated to reduce oxygen content via HDO hydrodeoxygenation), and (iii) high temperature pyrolysis to produce syngas (CO + H2). This last approach consists of producing syngas using the thermal platform which can be used to produce a variety of chemicals and fuels. The goal of this project was to develop an improved understanding of the gasification of biomass at high pressure conditions and how various gasification parameters might affect the gasification behavior. Since most downstream applications of synags conversion (e.g., alcohol synthesis, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis etc) involve utilizing high pressure catalytic processes, there is an interest in carrying out the biomass gasification at high pressure which can potentially reduce the gasifier size and subsequent downstream cleaning processes. It is traditionally accepted that high pressure should increase the gasification rates (kinetic effect). There is also precedence from coal gasification literature from the 1970s that high pressure gasification would be a beneficial route to consider. Traditional approach of using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) or high-pressure themogravimetric analyzer (PTGA) worked well in understanding the gasification kinetics of coal gasification which was useful in designing high pressure coal gasification processes. However

  17. Migration ability and Toll-like receptor expression of human mesenchymal stem cells improves significantly after three-dimensional culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Panpan; Liu, Zilin; Li, Xue; Zhang, Bing; Wang, Xiaoyuan; Lan, Jing; Shi, Qing; Li, Dong; Ju, Xiuli

    2017-09-16

    While the conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture protocol is well accepted for the culture of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), this method fails to recapitulate the in vivo native three-dimensional (3D) cellular microenvironment, and may result in phenotypic changes, and homing and migration capacity impairments. MSC preparation in 3D culture systems has been considered an attractive preparatory and delivery method recently. We seeded human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (hUCMSCs) in a 3D culture system with porcine acellular dermal matrix (PADM), and investigated the phenotypic changes, the expression changes of some important receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) when hUCMSCs were transferred from 2D to 3D systems, as well as the alterations in in vivo homing and migration potential. It was found that the percentage of CD105-positive cells decreased significantly, whereas that of CD34- and CD271-positive cells increased significantly in 3D culture, compared to that in 2D culture. The mRNA and protein expression levels of TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR6, and CXCR4 in hUCMSCs were increased significantly upon culturing with PADM for 3 days, compared to the levels in 2D culture. The numbers of migratory 3D hUCMSCs in the heart, liver, spleen, and bone marrow were significantly greater than the numbers of 2D hUCMSCs, and the worst migration occurred in 3D + AMD3100 (CXCR4 antagonist) hUCMSCs. These results suggested that 3D culture of hUCMSCs with PADM could alter the phenotypic characteristics of hUCMSCs, increase their TLR and CXCR4 expression levels, and promote their migratory and homing capacity in which CXCR4 plays an important role. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The patient's safety - For a dynamics of improvement. Nr 3. How to analyze your significant radiation protection events?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this publication is to present event analysis methods which are the most frequently used by radiotherapy departments. After an indication of key figures concerning radiotherapy patients, sessions and events, the document indicates the objectives and steps of an event analysis. It presents various analysis methods: Ishikawa diagram (or 5M method or causes-effects diagram), the cause tree, the ALARM method (association of litigation and risk management), the ORION method. It proposes a comparison between these five methods, their possibilities, their limits. Good practices are outlined in terms of data acquisition, method choice, event analysis, and improvement actions. The use of the cause tree analysis is commented by members of the Limoges hospital radiotherapy department, and that of the Ishikawa method by a member of the Beauvais hospital

  19. Different surgical strategies for chronic pancreatitis significantly improve long-term outcome: a comparative single center study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hildebrand P

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective In general, chronic pancreatitis (CP primarily requires conservative treatment. The chronic pain syndrome and complications make patients seek surgical advice, frequently after years of progression. In the past, surgical procedures involving drainage as well as resection have been employed successfully. The present study compared the different surgical strategies. Patients and Methods From March 2000 until April 2005, a total of 51 patients underwent surgical treatment for CP at the Department of surgery, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck. Out of those 51 patients, 39 (76.5% were operated according to the Frey procedure, and in 12 cases (23.5% the Whipple procedure was performed. Patient data were documented prospectively throughout the duration of the hospital stay. The evaluation of the postoperative pain score was carried out retrospectively with a validated questionnaire. Results Average operating time was 240 minutes for the Frey group and 411 minutes for the Whipple group. The medium number of blood transfusions was 1 in the Frey group and 4.5 in the Whipple group. Overall morbidity was 21% in the Frey group and 42% in the Whipple group. 30-day mortality was zero for all patients. During the median follow-up period of 50 months, an improvement in pain score was observed in 93% of the patients of the Frey group and 67% of the patients treated according to the Whipple procedure. Conclusion The results show that both the Frey procedure as well as partial pancreaticoduodenectomy are capable of improving chronic pain symptoms in CP. As far as later endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is concerned, however, the extended drainage operation according to Frey proves to be advantageous compared to the traditional resection procedure by Whipple. Accordingly, the Frey procedure provides us with an organ-preserving surgical procedure which treats the complications of CP sufficiently, thus being an

  20. Economics of power generation from imported biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lako, P.; Van Rooijen, S.N.M.

    1998-02-01

    Attention is paid to the economics of import of biomass to the Netherlands, and subsequent utilisation for power generation, as a means to reduce dependence on (imported) fossil fuels and to reduce CO2 emission. Import of wood to the extent of 40 PJ or more from Baltic and South American states seems to be readily achievable. Import of biomass has various advantages, not only for the European Union (reduced CO2 emissions) but also for the countries of origin (employment creation). However, possible disadvantages or risks should be taken into account. With that in mind, import of biomass from Baltic states seems very interesting, although it should be noted that in some of those countries the alternative of fuel-switching to biomass seems to be more cost-effective than import of biomass from those countries. Given the expected increase in inland biomass consumption in the Baltic countries and the potential substantial future demand for biomass in other Western European countries it is expected that the biomass supply from Baltic countries will not be sufficient to fulfill the demand. An early focus on import from other countries seems advisable. Several power generation options are available with short to medium term potential and long term potential. The margin between costs of biomass-fuelled power and of coal fired power will be smaller, due to substantial improvements in power generating efficiency and reductions of investment costs of options for power generation from biomass, notably Biomass Gasification Combined Cycle. 18 refs

  1. Unconventional biomasses as feedstocks for production of biofuels and succinic acid in a biorefinery concept

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Ingólfur Bragi

    composition of the specific biomass feedstock, as well as which pretreatment, saccharification, fermentation and extraction techniques are used. Furthermore, integrating biological processes into the biorefinery that effectively consume CO2 will become increasingly important. Such process integration could...... significantly improve the sustainability indicators of the overall biorefinery process. In this study, unconventional lignocellulosic- and aquatic biomasses were investigated as biorefinery feedstocks. The studied biomasses were Jerusalem artichoke, industrial hemp and macroalgae species Laminaria digitata....... The chemical composition of biomasses was determined in order to demonstrate their biorefinery potential. Bioethanol and biogas along with succinic acid production were the explored bioconversion routes, while potential production of other compounds was also investigated. Differences and changes in biomass...

  2. Significant improvement of bone mineral density by denosumab treatment in Japanese osteoporotic patients following breast cancer treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakamura Y

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Yukio Nakamura,1,2 Mikio Kamimura,3 Akio Morikawa,4 Akira Taguchi,5 Takako Suzuki,1 Hiroyuki Kato1 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 3Center for Osteoporosis and Spinal Disorders, Kamimura Orthopaedic Clinic, Matsumoto, 4Department of Surgery, Showa-Inan General Hospital, Komagane, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Matsumoto Dental University, Shiojiri, Japan Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of denosumab in patients with osteoporosis (OP and non-metastatic breast cancer following treatment of 1 surgery, 2 surgery and aromatase inhibitors, and 3 surgery, aromatase inhibitors, and anti-cancer agents, compared with those in primary OP patients. Patients and methods: In this retrospective 24-month study, patients were divided into the primary OP group (34 cases or OP receiving breast cancer treatment group (breast cancer group; 17 cases. We measured serum calcium, whole parathyroid hormone (PTH, 1,25OH2D3, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b (TRACP-5b, and bone mineral density (BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral total hips (H-BMD for 24 months. Results: The percent changes of serum calcium in the breast cancer group were significantly lower than those in the primary OP group at 1 week, 1 and 12 months. The percent changes of whole PTH in the primary OP group were significantly lower than those in the breast cancer group at 2 and 4 months. Significant differences were found between the groups at 18 months (-34.5% in the primary OP group and -52.6% in the breast cancer group, respectively for the percent changes of BAP. Significant differences were found between the groups at 12, 18, and 24 months (-39.7% in the primary OP group and -64.0% in the breast cancer group at 24 months, respectively for the percent

  3. Significant Improvement Selected Mediators of Inflammation in Phenotypes of Women with PCOS after Reduction and Low GI Diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Szczuko

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Many researchers suggest an increased risk of atherosclerosis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In the available literature, there are no studies on the mediators of inflammation in women with PCOS, especially after dietary intervention. Eicosanoids (HETE and HODE were compared between the biochemical phenotypes of women with PCOS (normal and high androgens and after the 3-month reduction diet. Eicosanoid profiles (9(S-HODE, 13(S-HODE, 5(S-HETE, 12(S-HETE, 15(S-HETE, 5(S-oxoETE, 16(R-HETE, 16(S-HETE and 5(S, 6(R-lipoxin A4, 5(S, 6(R, 15(R-lipoxin A4 were extracted from 0.5 ml of plasma using solid-phase extraction RP-18 SPE columns. The HPLC separations were performed on a 1260 liquid chromatograph. No significant differences were found in the concentration of analysed eicosanoids in phenotypes of women with PCOS. These women, however, have significantly lower concentration of inflammatory mediators than potentially healthy women from the control group. Dietary intervention leads to a significant (p<0.01 increase in the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators, reaching similar levels as in the control group. The development of inflammatory reaction in both phenotypes of women with PCOS is similar. The pathways for synthesis of proinflammatory mediators in women with PCOS are dormant, but can be stimulated through a reduction diet. Three-month period of lifestyle change may be too short to stimulate the pathways inhibiting inflammatory process.

  4. Bio energy: Production of Biomass; Produksjon av biomasse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noreng, Katrina; Indergaard, Mentz; Liodden, Ole Joergen; Hohle, Erik Eid; Sandberg, Eiliv

    2001-07-01

    This is Chapter 2 of the book ''Bio energy - Environment, technique and market''. Its main sections are: (1) Biomass resources in Norway, (2) The foundation - photosynthesis, (3) Biomass from forestry, (4) Biomass from peat lands, (5) Biomass from agriculture and (6) Biomass from lakes and sea. The exposition largely describes the conditions in Norway, where the use of bio energy can be increased from 15 TWh to 35 TWh using available technology. At present, water-borne heating systems are not extensively used in Norway and 30% of the biomass that is cut in the forests remains there as waste. Using this waste for energy generation would not only contribute to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, but would often lead to improved forest rejuvenation. Use of a few per thousand of the Norwegian peat lands would produce 2 - 3 TWh. According to calculations, along the coast of Norway, there are at least 15 mill tonnes of kelp and sea tangle and these resources can be utilized in a sustainable way.

  5. A study to determine whether targeted education significantly improves the perception of human torture in medical students in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Munawwar; Ghaffar, Usama B; Usmani, Jawed Ahmad; Rivzi, Shameem Jahan

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to find out the knowledge of torture in MBBS students. A fair comparison was done by selecting two groups of medical students; one, to whom torture was not taught ie, pretaught group (PrTG, n = 125), and second, to whom torture was taught in classroom ie, post-taught group (PoTG, n = 110) in more than one sessions. The topic on torture was taught under many headings maximising the effort to cover as much as possible; namely, definition, geographical distribution, types of torture (physical, psychological and sexual), post-torture sequelae, sociopolitical environment prevailing in the country, doctors' involvement in torture, rehabilitation of torture victims and the UNO's role in containment of torture. In all a questionnaire was designed having MCQ types on these aspects. It was found that significant level of difference in perception and knowledge about torture existed amongst the groups, and this was further accentuated in medical and non-medical intratopics. 'P' value of each question was computed separately. It was found that the study was statistically significant and reestablished the need of fortifying the gossameric firmament of education specific to torture.

  6. Drilling for improvement : Statoil and Halliburton report significant cost savings and more accurate well placement at the Leismer demonstration project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaremko, D.

    2010-07-15

    This article discussed new improvements in steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) made by Statoil and Halliburton at the Leismer demonstration project. The Leismer project is Statoil's inaugural project in oil sands development, and will have a capacity to produce 10,000 barrels per day through 4 separate well pads with 23 well pairs. Challenges to the project included the long lateral sections required for the well pairs to remain parallel to each other while remaining within the target formation. An azimuthal deep resistivity (ADR) tool was used to detect the proximity of the wellbore to shale and water zones. Use of the tool allowed operators to modify the planned well trajectory in order to optimize placements within the reservoir. A rotary steerable system (RSS) was used increase injection times. The project was completed 6 to 8 weeks ahead of schedule. Applications have now been filed for a further 10 phases that will produce 240,000 barrels per day. 1 fig.

  7. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

  8. Improvement of Fabry Disease-Related Gastrointestinal Symptoms in a Significant Proportion of Female Patients Treated with Agalsidase Beta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilcox, William R; Feldt-Rasmussen, Ulla; Martins, Ana Maria

    2018-01-01

    of organ involvement. Although variable, gastrointestinal symptoms are among the most common and significant early clinical manifestations; they tend to persist into adulthood if left untreated. To further understand the effects of sustained enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase beta......Fabry disease, an X-linked inherited lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding α-galactosidase, GLA. In patients with Fabry disease, glycosphingolipids accumulate in various cell types, triggering a range of cellular and tissue responses that result in a wide spectrum...... on gastrointestinal symptoms in heterozygotes, a data analysis of female patients enrolled in the Fabry Registry was conducted. To be included, females of any age must have received agalsidase beta (average dose 1.0 mg/kg every 2 weeks) for at least 2.5 years. Measured outcomes were self-reported gastrointestinal...

  9. Towards an improved prediction of the free radical scavenging potency of flavonoids: the significance of double PCET mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amić, Ana; Marković, Zoran; Dimitrić Marković, Jasmina M; Stepanić, Višnja; Lučić, Bono; Amić, Dragan

    2014-01-01

    The 1H(+)/1e(-) and 2H(+)/2e(-) proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes of free radical scavenging by flavonoids were theoretically studied for aqueous and lipid environments using the PM6 and PM7 methods. The results reported here indicate that the significant contribution of the second PCET mechanism, resulting in the formation of a quinone/quinone methide, effectively discriminates the active from inactive flavonoids. The predictive potency of descriptors related to the energetics of second PCET mechanisms (the second O-H bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE2) related to hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism, and the second electron transfer enthalpy (ETE2) related to sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) mechanism) are superior to the currently used indices, which are related to the first 1H(+)/1e(-) processes, and could serve as primary descriptors in development of the QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) of flavonoids. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Release of Hormones from Conjugates: Chloroplast Expression of β-Glucosidase Results in Elevated Phytohormone Levels Associated with Significant Increase in Biomass and Protection from Aphids or Whiteflies Conferred by Sucrose Esters1[C][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Shuangxia; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Verma, Dheeraj; Lange, Theo; Daniell, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Transplastomic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants expressing β-glucosidase (Bgl-1) show modified development. They flower 1 month earlier with an increase in biomass (1.9-fold), height (1.5-fold), and leaf area (1.6-fold) than untransformed plants. Trichome density on the upper and lower leaf surfaces of BGL-1 plants increase by 10- and 7-fold, respectively, harboring 5-fold more glandular trichomes (as determined by rhodamine B staining), suggesting that BGL-1 lines produce more sugar esters than control plants. Gibberellin (GA) levels were investigated because it is a known regulator of flowering time, plant height, and trichome development. Both GA1 and GA4 levels are 2-fold higher in BGL-1 leaves than in untransformed plants but do not increase in other organs. In addition, elevated levels of other plant hormones, including zeatin and indole-3-acetic acid, are observed in BGL-1 lines. Protoplasts from BGL-1 lines divide and form calli without exogenous hormones. Cell division in protoplasts is enhanced 7-fold in the presence of exogenously applied zeatin-O-glucoside conjugate, indicating the release of active hormones from their conjugates. Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and aphid (Myzus persicae) populations in control plants are 18 and 15 times higher than in transplastomic lines, respectively. Lethal dose to kill 50% of the test population values of 26.3 and 39.2 μg per whitefly and 23.1 and 35.2 μg per aphid for BGL-1 and untransformed control exudates, respectively, confirm the enhanced toxicity of transplastomic exudates. These data indicate that increase in sugar ester levels in BGL-1 lines might function as an effective biopesticide. This study provides a novel strategy for designing plants for enhanced biomass production and insect control by releasing plant hormones or sugar esters from their conjugates stored within their chloroplasts. PMID:21068365

  11. Release of hormones from conjugates: chloroplast expression of β-glucosidase results in elevated phytohormone levels associated with significant increase in biomass and protection from aphids or whiteflies conferred by sucrose esters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Shuangxia; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Verma, Dheeraj; Lange, Theo; Daniell, Henry

    2011-01-01

    Transplastomic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants expressing β-glucosidase (Bgl-1) show modified development. They flower 1 month earlier with an increase in biomass (1.9-fold), height (1.5-fold), and leaf area (1.6-fold) than untransformed plants. Trichome density on the upper and lower leaf surfaces of BGL-1 plants increase by 10- and 7-fold, respectively, harboring 5-fold more glandular trichomes (as determined by rhodamine B staining), suggesting that BGL-1 lines produce more sugar esters than control plants. Gibberellin (GA) levels were investigated because it is a known regulator of flowering time, plant height, and trichome development. Both GA(1) and GA(4) levels are 2-fold higher in BGL-1 leaves than in untransformed plants but do not increase in other organs. In addition, elevated levels of other plant hormones, including zeatin and indole-3-acetic acid, are observed in BGL-1 lines. Protoplasts from BGL-1 lines divide and form calli without exogenous hormones. Cell division in protoplasts is enhanced 7-fold in the presence of exogenously applied zeatin-O-glucoside conjugate, indicating the release of active hormones from their conjugates. Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and aphid (Myzus persicae) populations in control plants are 18 and 15 times higher than in transplastomic lines, respectively. Lethal dose to kill 50% of the test population values of 26.3 and 39.2 μg per whitefly and 23.1 and 35.2 μg per aphid for BGL-1 and untransformed control exudates, respectively, confirm the enhanced toxicity of transplastomic exudates. These data indicate that increase in sugar ester levels in BGL-1 lines might function as an effective biopesticide. This study provides a novel strategy for designing plants for enhanced biomass production and insect control by releasing plant hormones or sugar esters from their conjugates stored within their chloroplasts.

  12. The particular role of the biomass in the use of renewable energies in developing countries to fight against poverty and improve the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Girard, Ph.; Bal, J.L.; Courillon, M.

    2002-01-01

    The biomass deserves a special place in the energy sector of developing countries, for the following reasons: it constitutes the main source of energy for household supply in many tropical countries; unlike other renewable energies, resource management is essential; the transition from household uses of the biomass towards fossil energies is unavoidable and related to the increasing income of the population and diminishing poverty; the transition will be done through wood carbonization and in the same time, the impact on the forest can be reduced; in order to maintain the place of rural economy and the value of the forest, the transition needs to be done towards modern uses of the energy biomass, which transition will not be done naturally. Those are the aspects discussed in this documents, with the purpose of offering a few leads for a better use of that sector in the fight against poverty in developing countries. (authors)

  13. Biomass treatment method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Julie; Elander, Richard T.; Tucker, III; Melvin P.; Lyons, Robert C.

    2010-10-26

    A method for treating biomass was developed that uses an apparatus which moves a biomass and dilute aqueous ammonia mixture through reaction chambers without compaction. The apparatus moves the biomass using a non-compressing piston. The resulting treated biomass is saccharified to produce fermentable sugars.

  14. Rheology of concentrated biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.R. Samaniuk; J. Wang; T.W. Root; C.T. Scott; D.J. Klingenberg

    2011-01-01

    Economic processing of lignocellulosic biomass requires handling the biomass at high solids concentration. This creates challenges because concentrated biomass behaves as a Bingham-like material with large yield stresses. Here we employ torque rheometry to measure the rheological properties of concentrated lignocellulosic biomass (corn stover). Yield stresses obtained...

  15. Major Biomass Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Top Scientists, Industry and Government Leaders to Gather for Major Biomass Conference America, South America and Europe will focus on building a sustainable, profitable biomass business at the Third Biomass Conference of the Americas in Montreal. Scheduled presentations will cover all biomass

  16. Biomass Feedstocks | Bioenergy | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feedstocks Biomass Feedstocks Our mission is to enable the coordinated development of biomass generic biomass thermochemical conversion process (over a screened-back map of the United States) showing U.S. Biomass Resources, represented by photos of timber, corn stover, switchgrass, and poplar. All

  17. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Methods for pretreating biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balan, Venkatesh; Dale, Bruce E; Chundawat, Shishir; Sousa, Leonardo

    2017-05-09

    A method for pretreating biomass is provided, which includes, in a reactor, allowing gaseous ammonia to condense on the biomass and react with water present in the biomass to produce pretreated biomass, wherein reactivity of polysaccharides in the biomass is increased during subsequent biological conversion as compared to the reactivity of polysaccharides in biomass which has not been pretreated. A method for pretreating biomass with a liquid ammonia and recovering the liquid ammonia is also provided. Related systems which include a biochemical or biofuel production facility are also disclosed.

  19. Amphoteric Ion-Exchange Membranes with Significantly Improved Vanadium Barrier Properties for All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nibel, Olga; Rojek, Tomasz; Schmidt, Thomas J; Gubler, Lorenz

    2017-07-10

    All-vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) have attracted considerable interest as promising energy-storage devices that can allow the efficient utilization of renewable energy sources. The membrane, which separates the porous electrodes in a redox flow cell, is one of the key components in VRBs. High rates of crossover of vanadium ions and water through the membrane impair the efficiency and capacity of a VRB. Thus, membranes with low permeation rate of vanadium species and water are required, also characterized by low resistance and stability in the VRB environment. Here, we present a new design concept for amphoteric ion-exchange membranes, based on radiation-induced grafting of vinylpyridine into an ethylene tetrafluoroethylene base film and a two-step functionalization to introduce cationic and anionic exchange sites, respectively. During long-term cycling, redox flow cells containing these membranes showed higher efficiency, less pronounced electrolyte imbalance, and significantly reduced capacity decay compared to the cells with the benchmark material Nafion 117. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  1. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanne Terryn

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate, when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP.

  2. Commercial Biomass Syngas Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Daniell

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The use of gas fermentation for the production of low carbon biofuels such as ethanol or butanol from lignocellulosic biomass is an area currently undergoing intensive research and development, with the first commercial units expected to commence operation in the near future. In this process, biomass is first converted into carbon monoxide (CO and hydrogen (H2-rich synthesis gas (syngas via gasification, and subsequently fermented to hydrocarbons by acetogenic bacteria. Several studies have been performed over the last few years to optimise both biomass gasification and syngas fermentation with significant progress being reported in both areas. While challenges associated with the scale-up and operation of this novel process remain, this strategy offers numerous advantages compared with established fermentation and purely thermochemical approaches to biofuel production in terms of feedstock flexibility and production cost. In recent times, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology techniques have been applied to gas fermenting organisms, paving the way for gases to be used as the feedstock for the commercial production of increasingly energy dense fuels and more valuable chemicals.

  3. Advancing Commercialization of Algal Biofuel through Increased Biomass Productivity and Technical Integration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anton, David [Cellana, LLC, Kailua-Kona, HI (United States)

    2016-12-31

    The proposed project built on the foundation of over several years years of intensive and ground-breaking R&D work at Cellana's Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF). Phycological and engineering solutions were provided to tackle key cultivation issues and technical barriers limiting algal biomass productivity identified through work conducted outdoors at industrial (1 acre) scale. The objectives of this project were to significantly improve algal biomass productivity and reduce operational cost in a seawater-based system, using results obtained from two top-performing algal strains as the baseline while technically advancing and more importantly, integrating the various unit operations involved in algal biomass production, processing, and refining.

  4. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-11-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1-T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20-30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  5. Marrying Step Feed with Secondary Clarifier Improvements to Significantly Increase Peak Wet Weather Treatment Capacity: An Integrated Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigger, Glen T; Siczka, John S; Smith, Thomas F; Frank, David A; McCorquodale, J A

    2017-08-01

      The need to increase the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of the City of Akron, Ohio, Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) provided the opportunity to test an integrated methodology for maximizing the peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity of activated sludge systems. An initial investigation, consisting of process modeling of the secondary treatment system and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of the existing relatively shallow secondary clarifiers (3.3 and 3.7 m sidewater depth in 30.5 m diameter units), indicated that a significant increase in capacity from 416 000 to 684 000 m3/d or more was possible by adding step feed capabilities to the existing bioreactors and upgrading the existing secondary clarifiers. One of the six treatment units at the WRF was modified, and an extensive 2-year testing program was conducted to determine the total peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity achievable. The results demonstrated that a peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity approaching 974 000 m3/d is possible as long as secondary clarifier solids and hydraulic loadings could be separately controlled using the step feed capability provided. Excellent sludge settling characteristics are routinely experienced at the City of Akron WRF, raising concerns that the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity could not be maintained should sludge settling characteristics deteriorate for some reason. Computational fluid dynamics analysis indicated that the impact of the deterioration of sludge settling characteristics could be mitigated and the identified peak wet weather secondary treatment capacity maintained by further use of the step feed capability provided to further reduce secondary clarifier solids loading rates at the identified high surface overflow rates. The results also demonstrated that effluent limits not only for total suspended solids (TSS) and five-day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD5) could be

  6. Integrated biomass energy systems and emissions of carbon dioxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boman, U.R.; Turnbull, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have been funding a number of case studies under the initiative entitled ''Economic Development through Biomass Systems Integration'', with the objective of investigating the feasibility of integrated biomass energy systems utilizing a dedicated feedstock supply system (DFSS) for energy production. This paper deals with the full fuel cycle for four of these case studies, which have been examined with regard to the emissions of carbon dioxide., CO 2 . Although the conversion of biomass to electricity in itself does not emit more CO 2 than is captured by the biomass through photosynthesis, there will be some CO 2 emissions from the DFSS. External energy is required for the production and transportation of the biomass feedstock, and this energy is mainly based on fossil fuels. By using this input energy, CO 2 and other greenhouse gases are emitted. However, by utilizing biomass with fossil fuels as external input fuels, we would get about 10-15 times more electric energy per unit fossil fuel, compared with a 100% coal power system. By introducing a DFSS on former farmland the amount of energy spent for production of crops can be reduced, the amount of fertilizers can be decreased, the soil can be improved and a significant amount of energy will be produced compared with an ordinary farm crop. Compared with traditional coal-based electricity production, the CO 2 emissions are in the most cases reduced significantly by as much as 95%. The important conclusion is the great potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the offset of coal by biomass. (author)

  7. Integrated biomass energy systems and emissions of carbon dioxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boman, U.R.; Turnbull, J.H.

    1996-01-01

    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and US Department of Energy (DOE) have been funding a number of case studies under the initiative entitled 'Economic Development through Biomass Systems Integration', with the objective to investigate the feasibility of integrated biomass energy systems, utilizing a dedicated feedstock supply system (DFSS) for energy production. This paper deals with the full cycle for four of these case studies, which have been examined with regard to the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO 2 . Although the conversion of biomass to electricity in itself does not emit more CO 2 than is captured by the biomass through photosynthesis, there will be some CO 2 -emissions from DFSS. External energy is required for the production and transportation of the biomass feedstock, and this energy is mainly based on fossil fuels. By using this input energy, CO 2 and other greenhouse gases are emitted. But, by utilizing biomass with fossil fuels as external input fuels, we would get about 10-15 times more electric energy per unit fossil fuel, compared to a 100% coal power system. By introducing a DFSS on former farmland, the amount of energy spent for production of crops can be reduced, the amount of fertilizers can be decreased, the soil can be improved, and a significant amount of energy will be produced, compared to an ordinary farm crop. Compared to traditional coal based electricity production, the CO 2 -emissions are in most cases reduced significantly, as much as 95%. The important conclusion is the great potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the offset of coal by biomass. 23 refs,, 8 figs, 2 tabs

  8. Kinetics of improved 1,4-alpha-D-glucan glucohydrolase biosynthesis from a newly isolated Aspergillus oryzae IIB-6 and parameter significance analysis by 2-factorial design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Bilqees; Ali, Sikander

    2012-01-01

    Sixteen different mould cultures viz. Aspergillus, Alternaria, Arthroderma, Trichoderma, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Chochliobolus were isolated from the soil samples of Qatar by serial dilution method. The preliminary screening of isolates was done by selecting initial colonies showing relatively bigger zones of starch hydrolysis on nutrient agar plates. The isolates were then subjected to secondary screening by submerged fermentation (SmF). The 1,4-α-D-glucan glucohydrolase (GGH) activity ranged from 1.906-12.675 U/ml/min. The product yield was analysed in dependence of mycelial morphology, biomass level and protein content. The isolate Aspergillus oryzae llB-6 which gave maximum enzyme production was incubated in M3 medium containing 20 g/l starch, 10 g/l lactose, 8.5 g/l yeast extract, 6 g/l corn steep liquor (CSL), 1.2 g/l MgSO4.7H2O, 1.3 g/l NH4Cl, 0.6 g/l CaCl2.2H2O, pH 5 at 30±2°C and 200 rpm. On the basis of kinetic variables, notably Qp (0.058±0.01(a) U/g/h), Yp/s (0.308±0.03(ab) U/g) and qp (0.210±0.032(abc) U/g fungal biomass/h), A. oryzae IIB-6 was found to be a hyper producer of GGH (LSD 0.0345) compared to A. kawachii IIB-2. A noticeable enhancement in enzyme activity of over 30% was observed (13.917±1.01 U/ml/min) when the process parameters viz. cultural conditions (pH 5, incubation period 72 h) and nutritional requirements (6 g/l CSL, 9.5 g/l yeast extract, 10 g/l starch, 20 g/l lactose) were further optimized using a 2-factorial Plackett-Burman design. The model terms were found to be highly significant (HS, p≤0.05), indicating the potential utility of the culture (dof~3).

  9. Non-Destructive Lichen Biomass Estimation in Northwestern Alaska: A Comparison of Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosso, Abbey; Neitlich, Peter; Smith, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial lichen biomass is an important indicator of forage availability for caribou in northern regions, and can indicate vegetation shifts due to climate change, air pollution or changes in vascular plant community structure. Techniques for estimating lichen biomass have traditionally required destructive harvesting that is painstaking and impractical, so we developed models to estimate biomass from relatively simple cover and height measurements. We measured cover and height of forage lichens (including single-taxon and multi-taxa “community” samples, n = 144) at 73 sites on the Seward Peninsula of northwestern Alaska, and harvested lichen biomass from the same plots. We assessed biomass-to-volume relationships using zero-intercept regressions, and compared differences among two non-destructive cover estimation methods (ocular vs. point count), among four landcover types in two ecoregions, and among single-taxon vs. multi-taxa samples. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of using lichen height (instead of volume) as a predictor of stand-level biomass. Although lichen taxa exhibited unique biomass and bulk density responses that varied significantly by growth form, we found that single-taxon sampling consistently under-estimated true biomass and was constrained by the need for taxonomic experts. We also found that the point count method provided little to no improvement over ocular methods, despite increased effort. Estimated biomass of lichen-dominated communities (mean lichen cover: 84.9±1.4%) using multi-taxa, ocular methods differed only nominally among landcover types within ecoregions (range: 822 to 1418 g m−2). Height alone was a poor predictor of lichen biomass and should always be weighted by cover abundance. We conclude that the multi-taxa (whole-community) approach, when paired with ocular estimates, is the most reasonable and practical method for estimating lichen biomass at landscape scales in northwest Alaska. PMID:25079228

  10. Non-destructive lichen biomass estimation in northwestern Alaska: a comparison of methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abbey Rosso

    Full Text Available Terrestrial lichen biomass is an important indicator of forage availability for caribou in northern regions, and can indicate vegetation shifts due to climate change, air pollution or changes in vascular plant community structure. Techniques for estimating lichen biomass have traditionally required destructive harvesting that is painstaking and impractical, so we developed models to estimate biomass from relatively simple cover and height measurements. We measured cover and height of forage lichens (including single-taxon and multi-taxa "community" samples, n = 144 at 73 sites on the Seward Peninsula of northwestern Alaska, and harvested lichen biomass from the same plots. We assessed biomass-to-volume relationships using zero-intercept regressions, and compared differences among two non-destructive cover estimation methods (ocular vs. point count, among four landcover types in two ecoregions, and among single-taxon vs. multi-taxa samples. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of using lichen height (instead of volume as a predictor of stand-level biomass. Although lichen taxa exhibited unique biomass and bulk density responses that varied significantly by growth form, we found that single-taxon sampling consistently under-estimated true biomass and was constrained by the need for taxonomic experts. We also found that the point count method provided little to no improvement over ocular methods, despite increased effort. Estimated biomass of lichen-dominated communities (mean lichen cover: 84.9±1.4% using multi-taxa, ocular methods differed only nominally among landcover types within ecoregions (range: 822 to 1418 g m-2. Height alone was a poor predictor of lichen biomass and should always be weighted by cover abundance. We conclude that the multi-taxa (whole-community approach, when paired with ocular estimates, is the most reasonable and practical method for estimating lichen biomass at landscape scales in northwest Alaska.

  11. Non-destructive lichen biomass estimation in northwestern Alaska: a comparison of methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosso, Abbey; Neitlich, Peter; Smith, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial lichen biomass is an important indicator of forage availability for caribou in northern regions, and can indicate vegetation shifts due to climate change, air pollution or changes in vascular plant community structure. Techniques for estimating lichen biomass have traditionally required destructive harvesting that is painstaking and impractical, so we developed models to estimate biomass from relatively simple cover and height measurements. We measured cover and height of forage lichens (including single-taxon and multi-taxa "community" samples, n = 144) at 73 sites on the Seward Peninsula of northwestern Alaska, and harvested lichen biomass from the same plots. We assessed biomass-to-volume relationships using zero-intercept regressions, and compared differences among two non-destructive cover estimation methods (ocular vs. point count), among four landcover types in two ecoregions, and among single-taxon vs. multi-taxa samples. Additionally, we explored the feasibility of using lichen height (instead of volume) as a predictor of stand-level biomass. Although lichen taxa exhibited unique biomass and bulk density responses that varied significantly by growth form, we found that single-taxon sampling consistently under-estimated true biomass and was constrained by the need for taxonomic experts. We also found that the point count method provided little to no improvement over ocular methods, despite increased effort. Estimated biomass of lichen-dominated communities (mean lichen cover: 84.9±1.4%) using multi-taxa, ocular methods differed only nominally among landcover types within ecoregions (range: 822 to 1418 g m-2). Height alone was a poor predictor of lichen biomass and should always be weighted by cover abundance. We conclude that the multi-taxa (whole-community) approach, when paired with ocular estimates, is the most reasonable and practical method for estimating lichen biomass at landscape scales in northwest Alaska.

  12. Thermal Pretreatment of Wood for Co-gasification/co-firing of Biomass and Coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Ping [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); Howard, Bret [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); Hedges, Sheila [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); Morreale, Bryan [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States); Van Essendelft, Dirk [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States); Berry, David [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Morgantown, WV (United States)

    2013-10-29

    Utilization of biomass as a co-feed in coal and biomass co-firing and co-gasification requires size reduction of the biomass. Reducing biomass to below 0.2 mm without pretreatment is difficult and costly because biomass is fibrous and compressible. Torrefaction is a promising thermal pretreatment process and has the advantages of increasing energy density, improving grindability, producing fuels with more homogenous compositions and hydrophobic behavior. Temperature is the most important factor for the torrefaction process. Biomass grindability is related to cell wall structure, thickness and composition. Thermal treatment such as torrefaction can cause chemical changes that significantly affect the strength of biomass. The objectives of this study are to understand the mechanism by which torrefaction improves the grindability of biomass and discuss suitable temperatures for thermal pretreatment for co-gasification/co-firing of biomass and coal. Wild cherry wood was selected as the model for this study. Samples were prepared by sawing a single tangential section from the heartwood and cutting it into eleven pieces. The samples were consecutively heated at 220, 260, 300, 350, 450 and 550⁰C for 0.5 hr under flowing nitrogen in a tube furnace. Untreated and treated samples were characterized for physical properties (color, dimensions and weight), microstructural changes by SEM, and cell wall composition changes and thermal behaviors by TGA and DSC. The morphology of the wood remained intact through the treatment range but the cell walls were thinner. Thermal treatments were observed to decompose the cell wall components. Hemicellulose decomposed over the range of ~200 to 300⁰C and resulted in weakening of the cell walls and subsequently improved grindability. Furthermore, wood samples treated above 300⁰C lost more than 39% in mass. Therefore, thermal pretreatment above the hemicelluloses decomposition temperature but below 300⁰C is probably sufficient to

  13. Forest biomass mapping from fusion of GEDI Lidar data and TanDEM-X InSAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, W.; Hancock, S.; Armston, J.; Marselis, S.; Dubayah, R.

    2017-12-01

    Mapping forest above-ground biomass (hereafter biomass) can significantly improve our ability to assess the role of forest in terrestrial carbon budget and to analyze the ecosystem productivity. Global Ecosystem Dynamic Investigation (GEDI) mission will provide the most complete lidar observations of forest vertical structure and has the potential to provide global-scale forest biomass data at 1-km resolution. However, GEDI is intrinsically a sampling mission and will have a between-track spacing of 600 m. An increase in adjacent-swath distance and the presence of cloud cover may also lead to larger gaps between GEDI tracks. In order to provide wall-to-wall forest biomass maps, fusion algorithms of GEDI lidar data and TanDEM-X InSAR data were explored in this study. Relationship between biomass and lidar RH metrics was firstly developed and used to derive biomass values over GEDI tracks which were simulated using airborne lidar data. These GEDI biomass values were then averaged in each 1-km cell to represent the biomass density within that cell. Whereas for cells without any GEDI observations, regression models developed between GEDI-derived biomass and TDX InSAR variables were applied to predict biomass over those places. Based on these procedures, contiguous biomass maps were finally generated at 1-km resolution over three representative forest types. Uncertainties for these biomass maps were also estimated at 1 km following methods developed in Saarela et al. (2016). Our results indicated great potential of GEDI/TDX fusion for large-scale biomass mapping. Saarela, S., Holm, S., Grafstrom, A., Schnell, S., Naesset, E., Gregoire, T.G., Nelson, R.F., & Stahl, G. (2016). Hierarchical model-based inference for forest inventory utilizing three sources of information. Annals of Forest Science, 73, 895-910

  14. Biomass co-firing under oxy-fuel conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Álvarez, L.; Yin, Chungen; Riaza, J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an experimental and numerical study on co-firing olive waste (0, 10%, 20% on mass basis) with two coals in an entrained flow reactor under three oxy-fuel conditions (21%O2/79%CO2, 30%O2/70%CO2 and 35%O2/65%CO2) and air–fuel condition. Co-firing biomass with coal was found...... to have favourable synergy effects in all the cases: it significantly improves the burnout and remarkably lowers NOx emissions. The reduced peak temperatures during co-firing can also help to mitigate deposition formation in real furnaces. Co-firing CO2-neutral biomass with coals under oxy-fuel conditions...... the model can be used to aid in design and optimization of large-scale biomass co-firing under oxy-fuel conditions....

  15. Lessons learned from existing biomass power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiltsee, G.

    2000-02-24

    This report includes summary information on 20 biomass power plants, which represent some of the leaders in the industry. In each category an effort is made to identify plants that illustrate particular points. The project experiences described capture some important lessons learned that lead in the direction of an improved biomass power industry.

  16. Biomass energy conversion: conventional and advanced technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, B C; Hauserman, W B [Energy and Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Increasing interest in biomass energy conversion in recent years has focused attention on enhancing the efficiency of technologies converting biomass fuels into heat and power, their capital and operating costs and their environmental emissions. Conventional combustion systems, such as fixed-bed or grate units and entrainment units, deliver lower efficiencies (<25%) than modem coal-fired combustors (30-35%). The gasification of biomass will improve energy conversion efficiency and yield products useful for heat and power generation and chemical synthesis. Advanced biomass gasification technologies using pressurized fluidized-bed systems, including those incorporating hot-gas clean-up for feeding gas turbines or fuel cells, are being demonstrated. However, many biomass gasification processes are derivatives of coal gasification technologies and do not exploit the unique properties of biomass. This paper examines some existing and upcoming technologies for converting biomass into electric power or heat. Small-scale 1-30 MWe units are emphasized, but brief reference is made to larger and smaller systems, including those that bum coal-biomass mixtures and gasifiers that feed pilot-fuelled diesel engines. Promising advanced systems, such as a biomass integrated gasifier/gas turbine (BIG/GT) with combined-cycle operation and a biomass gasifier coupled to a fuel cell, giving cycle efficiencies approaching 50% are also described. These advanced gasifiers, typically fluid-bed designs, may be pressurized and can use a wide variety of biomass materials to generate electricity, process steam and chemical products such as methanol. Low-cost, disposable catalysts are becoming available for hot-gas clean-up (enhanced gas composition) for turbine and fuel cell systems. The advantages, limitations and relative costs of various biomass gasifier systems are briefly discussed. The paper identifies the best known biomass power projects and includes some information on proposed and

  17. Biomass energy conversion: conventional and advanced technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, B.C.; Hauserman, W.B.

    1995-01-01

    Increasing interest in biomass energy conversion in recent years has focused attention on enhancing the efficiency of technologies converting biomass fuels into heat and power, their capital and operating costs and their environmental emissions. Conventional combustion systems, such as fixed-bed or grate units and entrainment units, deliver lower efficiencies (<25%) than modem coal-fired combustors (30-35%). The gasification of biomass will improve energy conversion efficiency and yield products useful for heat and power generation and chemical synthesis. Advanced biomass gasification technologies using pressurized fluidized-bed systems, including those incorporating hot-gas clean-up for feeding gas turbines or fuel cells, are being demonstrated. However, many biomass gasification processes are derivatives of coal gasification technologies and do not exploit the unique properties of biomass. This paper examines some existing and upcoming technologies for converting biomass into electric power or heat. Small-scale 1-30 MWe units are emphasized, but brief reference is made to larger and smaller systems, including those that bum coal-biomass mixtures and gasifiers that feed pilot-fuelled diesel engines. Promising advanced systems, such as a biomass integrated gasifier/gas turbine (BIG/GT) with combined-cycle operation and a biomass gasifier coupled to a fuel cell, giving cycle efficiencies approaching 50% are also described. These advanced gasifiers, typically fluid-bed designs, may be pressurized and can use a wide variety of biomass materials to generate electricity, process steam and chemical products such as methanol. Low-cost, disposable catalysts are becoming available for hot-gas clean-up (enhanced gas composition) for turbine and fuel cell systems. The advantages, limitations and relative costs of various biomass gasifier systems are briefly discussed. The paper identifies the best known biomass power projects and includes some information on proposed and

  18. Biomass energy in the making

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    2008-01-01

    Wood, straw, agricultural residues, organic wastes, biomass is everywhere you look. But the efficient use of this source of green electricity - the world's second largest renewable energy source - requires optimization of biomass collection and combustion processes. Biomass is back on the political agenda. In mid-June of this year, the French government gave this renewable energy a boost by selecting twenty-two projects to generate power and heat with biomass. The plants, to be commissioned by 2010, will be located in eleven different regions and will consume energy from organic plant matter. The power generated will be bought at a firm price of 128 euros per megawatt-hour. Most of the fuel will come from forest and paper industry waste, but straw and even grape pomace will be used in some cases. The plants will have a combined generating capacity of 300 MWh, raising France's installed biomass capacity to a total of 700 MWe. A drop of water in the ocean in the overall scheme of France's electricity. It is true that France has long neglected biomass. In 2004, electricity generated from biological resources represented a mere 1.74 TWhe in France, just 0.3% of its power consumption. This will rise to 0.6% once the new plants have come on line. The trend is the same in all of the EU's 27 member states, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Communities: the amount of electricity generated from biomass (including biogas, municipal waste and wood) has practically doubled in six years, rising from 40 to 80 TWhe between 2000 and 2005. This is an improvement, but it still only represents 2.5% of the electricity supplied to Europeans. On a global scale, biomass contributes just 1% of total electric power generation. Yet biomass is an energy resource found all over the world, whether as agricultural waste, wood chips, or dried treatment plant sludge, to name but a few. Biomass power plants have managed to gain a foothold mainly in countries that produce

  19. Biomass energetics potential of wetlands at Saare county

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kask, U.; Kask, L.

    2002-01-01

    Most of the fuels that are being used to produce the thermal and electrical power are nonrenewable. Transferring them into energy pollutes the environment with CO 2 and surplus heat. Biomass is the most suitable energy resource in Estonian natural circumstances. Hitherto, one kind of biomass - plants of wetland - has almost not been used. There are plenty of wetlands in Saaremaa that have reasonably high productivity of biomass. Exertion of technologies of processing and using the biomass helps to create new jobs in agriculture as well in other sector of economy and evolve the regional development. The local currency circulation will improve and there are also possibilities in increase of capital expenditures and export potential. The biomass productivity of wetland plants accounting to dry matter can reach up to 4-5 kg/m 2 in a year. One advantage to use the plants of wetland (reed, cattail) in energy production is the fact that these plants will disengage from water in the end of their growth period and will need no extra drying. There are over 12000 ha of wetlands in Saaremaa, half of them could be used to get energetical biomass. The other half is either under (nature)protection or it would be economically inefficient to cut reed there. The major wetlands are in the surroundings of Mullatu bay and the Koigi swamp, also in Tornimae. There could be significant reduce in the emission of solid particles into the atmosphere, if the biomass of wetlands would be used to produce thermal and electrical power in Kuressaare. (author)

  20. Soil microbial biomass in an agroforestry system of Northeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosane C. Rodrigues

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Agroforestry systems (AFS are considered alternative land use options to help prevent soil degradation and improve soil microbial biomass and organic C status. However, it is unclear how different densities of babassu palm [Attalea speciosa (syn. Orbignya phalerata], which is an important tree in Northeast Brazil, affect the soil microbial biomass. We investigated the soil microbial biomass C and activity under AFS with different densities of babassu palm associated with Brachiaria brizantha grass. Soil microbial biomass C (MBC, soil microbial biomass N (MBN, MBC:total organic C ratio, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis and dehydrogenase activity showed highest values in plots with high density of babassu palm. On the other hand, the respiratory quotient (qCO2 was significantly greater in plots without babassu palm. Brachiaria brizantha in monoculture may promote C losses from the soil, but AFS with high density of babassu palm may increase the potential of soils to accumulate C.Keywords: Enzyme activity, tropical soil, babassu palm, silvopastoral system, soil quality.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(341-48

  1. Biomass combustion for greenhouse carbon dioxide enrichment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roy, Yves; Lefsrud, Mark; Orsat, Valerie; Filion, Francis; Bouchard, Julien; Nguyen, Quoc; Dion, Louis-Martin; Glover, Antony; Madadian, Edris; Lee, Camilo Perez

    2014-01-01

    Greenhouses in northern climates have a significant heat requirement that is mainly supplied by non-renewable fuels such as heating oil and natural gas. This project's goal was the development of an improved biomass furnace able to recover the heat and the CO 2 available in the flue gas and use them in the greenhouse. A flue gas purification system was designed, constructed and installed on the chimney of a wood pellet furnace (SBI Caddy Alterna). The purification system consists of a rigid box air filter (MERV rating 14, 0.3 μm pores) followed by two sets of heating elements and a catalytic converter. The air filter removes the particulates present in the flue gas while the heating elements and catalysers transform the noxious gases into less harmful gases. Gas analysis was sampled at different locations in the system using a TESTO 335 flue gas analyzer. The purification system reduces CO concentrations from 1100 cm 3  m −3 to less than 1 cm 3  m −3 NO x from 70 to 5.5 cm 3  m −3 SO 2 from 19 cm 3  m −3 to less than 1 cm 3  m −3 and trapped particulates down to 0.3 μm with an efficiency greater than 95%. These results are satisfactory since they ensure human and plant safety after dilution into the ambient air of the greenhouse. The recuperation of the flue gas has several obvious benefits since it increases the heat usability per unit biomass and it greatly improves the CO 2 recovery of biomass heating systems for the benefit of greenhouse grown plants. - Highlights: • Biomass furnace shows high potential for greenhouse carbon dioxide enrichment. • Flue gas recuperation significantly increases the thermal efficiency of a furnace. • Catalytic converter can reduce CO and NOx below humans and plants exposure limit. • Particulates control is essential to maintain the efficiency of the catalytic conversion. • CO 2 recovery from biomass heating systems reduces farmer's reliance on fossil fuel

  2. Static viscoelasticity of biomass polyethylene composites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keyan Yang

    Full Text Available The biomass polyethylene composites filled with poplar wood flour, rice husk, cotton stalk or corn stalk were prepared by extrusion molding. The static viscoelasticity of composites was investigated by the dynamic thermal mechanical analyzer (DMA. Through the stress-strain scanning, it is found that the linear viscoelasticity interval of composites gradually decreases as the temperature rises, and the critical stress and strain values are 0.8 MPa and 0.03% respectively. The experiment shows that as the temperature rises, the creep compliance of biomass polyethylene composites is increased; under the constant temperature, the creep compliance decreases with the increase of content of biomass and calcium carbonate. The biomass and calcium carbonate used to prepare composites as filler can improve damping vibration attenuation and reduce stress deformation of composites. The stress relaxation modulus of composites is reduced and the relaxation rate increases at the higher temperature. The biomass and calcium carbonate used to prepare composites as filler not only can reduce costs, but also can increase stress relaxation modulus and improve the size thermostability of composites. The corn stalk is a good kind of biomass raw material for composites since it can improve the creep resistance property and the stress relaxation resistance property of composites more effectively than other three kinds of biomass (poplar wood flour, rice husk and cotton stalk. Keywords: Biomass, Composites, Calcium carbonate, Static viscoelasticity, Creep, Stress relaxation

  3. Sustainable Development Strategies of Biomass Energy in Beijing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, H. Z.; Huang, B. R.

    2017-10-01

    The development of biomass energy industry can effectively improve the rural environment and alleviate the shortage of living energy in rural areas, especially in mountain areas. In order to make clear the current situation of biomass energy industry development in Beijing, this paper analyzed the status of biomass resources and biomass energy utilization and discussed the factors hindering the development of biomass energy industry in Beijing. Based on the analysis, suggestions for promoting sustainable development of Biomass Energy Industry in Beijing are put forward.

  4. Lidar-based biomass assessment for the Yukon River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, B.; Wylie, B. K.; Stoker, J.; Nossov, D.

    2010-12-01

    Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on high-latitude forests in terms of their ability to sequester carbon as expressed as pools of standing total biomass and soil organic matter. Above ground biomass is an important driver in ecosystem process models used to assess, predict, and understand climate change impacts. Therefore, it is of compelling interest to acquire accurate assessments of current biomass levels for these high-latitude forests, a particular challenge because of their vastness and remoteness. At this time, remote sensing is the only feasible method through which to acquire such assessments. In this study, the use of lidar data for estimating shrub and tree biomass for the Yukon Flats region of Alaska’s Yukon River Basin (YRB) is demonstrated. The lidar data were acquired in the late summer and fall of 2009 as were an initial set of field sampling data collected for training and validation purposes. The 2009 field campaigns were located near Canvasback Lake and Boot Lake in the YRB. Various tallies of biomass were calculated from the field data using allometric equations (Bond-Lamberty et al. 2002, Yarie et al. 2007, Mack et al. 2008). Additional field data were also collected during two 2010 field campaigns at different locations in the Yukon Flats. Linear regressions have been developed based on field-based shrub and tree biomass and various lidar metrics of canopy height calculated for the plots (900 m^2). A multiple linear regression performed at the plot level resulted in a strong relationship (R^2=0.88) between observed and predicted biomass at the plot level. The coefficients for this regression were used to generate a shrub and tree biomass map for the entire Yukon Flats study area covered by lidar. This biomass map will be evaluated using additional field data collected in 2010 as well as other remote sensing data sources. Furthermore, additional lidar metrics (e.g. height of median energy) are being derived from the raw

  5. Trends and Challenges in Catalytic Biomass Conversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Osmundsen, Christian Mårup; Egeblad, Kresten; Taarning, Esben

    2013-01-01

    The conversion of biomass to the plethora of chemicals used in modern society is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Due to the significant differences between biomass resources and the current feedstock, crude oil, new technologies need to be developed encompassing all steps...... in the value chain, from pretreatment to purification. Heterogeneous catalysis is at the heart of the petrochemical refinery and will likely play an equally important role in the future biomass-based chemical industry. Three potentially important routes to chemicals from biomass are highlighted in this chapter....... The conversion of biomass-derived substrates, such as glycerol, by hydrogenolysis to the important chemicals ethylene glycol and propane diols. Secondly, the conversion of carbohydrates by Lewis acidic zeolites to yield alkyl lactates, and finally the conversion of lignin, an abundant low value source of biomass...

  6. Impact assessment of biomass-based district heating systems in densely populated communities. Part II: Would the replacement of fossil fuels improve ambient air quality and human health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Olga; Bi, Xiaotao; Lau, Anthony

    2017-07-01

    To determine if replacing fossil fuel combustion with biomass gasification would impact air quality, we evaluated the impact of a small-scale biomass gasification plant (BRDF) at a university campus over 5 scenarios. The overall incremental contribution of fine particles (PM2.5) is found to be at least one order of magnitude lower than the provincial air quality objectives. The maximum PM2.5 emission from the natural gas fueled power house (PH) could adversely add to the already high background concentration levels. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from the BRDF with no engineered pollution controls for NOx in place exceeded the provincial objective in all seasons except during summer. The impact score, IS, was the highest for NO2 (677 Disability Adjusted Life Years, DALY) when biomass entirely replaced fossil fuels, and the highest for PM2.5 (64 DALY) and CO (3 DALY) if all energy was produced by natural gas at PH. Complete replacement of fossil fuels by one biomass plant can result in almost 28% higher health impacts (708 DALY) compared to 513 DALY when both the current BRDF and the PH are operational mostly due to uncontrolled NO2 emissions. Observations from this study inform academic community, city planners, policy makers and technology developers on the impacts of community district heating systems and possible mitigation strategies: a) community energy demand could be met either by splitting emissions into more than one source at different locations and different fuel types or by a single source with the least-impact-based location selection criteria with biomass as a fuel; b) advanced high-efficiency pollution control devices are essential to lower emissions for emission sources located in a densely populated community; c) a spatial and temporal impact assessment should be performed in developing bioenergy-based district heating systems, in which the capital and operational costs should be balanced with not only the benefit to greenhouse gas emission

  7. Pretreated densified biomass products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Bruce E; Ritchie, Bryan; Marshall, Derek

    2014-03-18

    A product comprising at least one densified biomass particulate of a given mass having no added binder and comprised of a plurality of lignin-coated plant biomass fibers is provided, wherein the at least one densified biomass particulate has an intrinsic density substantially equivalent to a binder-containing densified biomass particulate of the same given mass and h a substantially smooth, non-flakey outer surface. Methods for using and making the product are also described.

  8. Biomass a fast growing energy resource

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Ulf

    2003-01-01

    Biomass as an energy resource is as versatile as the biodiversity suggests. The global net primary production, NPP, describes the annual growth of biomass on land and in the seas. This paper focuses on biomass grown on land. A recent estimate for the NPP on land is 120 billion tons of dry matter. How much of this biomass are available for energy purposes? The potential contribution of wood fuel and energy plants from sustainable production is limited to some 5% of NPP, i.e. 6 Bt. One third of the potential is energy forests and energy plantations which at present are not economic. One third is used in rural areas as traditional fuel. The remaining third would be available for modern biomass energy conversion. Biomass is assigned an expanding role as a new resource in the world's energy balance. The EU has set a target of doubling the share of renewable energy sources by 2010. For biomass the target is even more ambitious. The challenge for biomass utilization lies in improving the technology for traditional usage and expanding the role into other areas like power production and transportation fuel. Various technologies for biomass utilization are available among those are combustion, gasification, and liquefaction. Researchers have a grand vision in which the chemical elements in the hydrocarbon molecules of biomass are separated and reformed to yield new tailored fuels and form the basis for a new world economy. The vision of a new energy system based on fresh and fossilized biomass to be engineered into an environmentally friendly and sustainable fuel is a conceivable technical reality. One reason for replacing exhaustible fossil fuels with biomass is to reduce carbon emissions. The most efficient carbon dioxide emission reduction comes from replacing brown coal in a steam-electric unit, due to the efficiency of the thermal cycle and the high carbon intensity of the coal. The smallest emission reduction comes from substituting natural gas. (BA)

  9. Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Repairs at Lyonsdale Biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brower, Michael R; Morrison, James A; Spomer, Eric; Thimot, Carol A

    2012-07-31

    This project enabled Lyonsdale Biomass, LLC to effect analyses, repairs and upgrades for its biomass cogeneration facility located in Lewis County, New York and close by the Adirondack Park to reduce air emissions by improving combustion technique and through the overall reduction of biomass throughput by increasing the system's thermodynamic efficiency for its steam-electrical generating cycle. Project outcomes result in significant local, New York State, Northeast U.S. and national benefits including improved renewable energy operational surety, enhanced renewable energy efficiency and more freedom from foreign fossil fuel source dependence. Specifically, the reliability of the Lyonsdale Biomass 20MWe woody biomass combined-heat and power (CHP) was and is now directly enhanced. The New York State and Lewis County benefits are equally substantial since the facility sustains 26 full-time equivalency (FTE) jobs at the facility and as many as 125 FTE jobs in the biomass logistics supply chain. Additionally, the project sustains essential local and state payment in lieu of taxes revenues. This project helps meet several USDOE milestones and contributes directly to the following sustainability goals:  Climate: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with bio-power production, conversion and use, in comparison to fossil fuels. Efficiency and Productivity: Enhances efficient use of renewable resources and maximizes conversion efficiency and productivity. Profitability: Lowers production costs. Rural Development: Enhances economic welfare and rural development through job creation and income generation. Standards: Develop standards and corresponding metrics for ensuring sustainable biopower production. Energy Diversification and Security: Reduces dependence on foreign oil and increases energy supply diversity. Net Energy Balance: Ensures positive net energy balance for all alternatives to fossil fuels.

  10. Five-year results from a prospective multicentre study of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation demonstrate sustained removal of significant pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow tract obstruction and improved quality of life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hager, Alfred; Schubert, Stephan; Ewert, Peter

    2017-01-01

    . The EQ-5D quality of life utility index and visual analogue scale scores were both significantly improved six months post PPVI and remained so at five years. CONCLUSIONS: Five-year results following PPVI demonstrate resolved moderate or severe pulmonary regurgitation, improved right ventricular outflow...

  11. How important is biomass burning in Canada to mercury contamination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Annemarie; Dastoor, Ashu; Ryjkov, Andrei

    2018-05-01

    Wildfire frequency has increased in past four decades in Canada and is expected to increase in future as a result of climate change (Wotton et al., 2010). Mercury (Hg) emissions from biomass burning are known to be significant; however, the impact of biomass burning on air concentration and deposition fluxes in Canada has not been previously quantified. We use estimates of burned biomass from FINN (Fire INventory from NCAR) and vegetation-specific emission factors (EFs) of mercury to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of Hg emissions in Canada. We use Environment and Climate Change Canada's GEM-MACH-Hg (Global Environmental Multi-scale, Modelling Air quality and Chemistry model, mercury version) to quantify the impact of biomass burning in Canada on spatiotemporal variability of air concentrations and deposition fluxes of mercury in Canada. We use North American gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) observations (2010-2015), GEM-MACH-Hg, and an inversion technique to optimize the EFs for GEM for five vegetation types represented in North American fires to constrain the biomass burning impacts of mercury. The inversion results suggest that EFs representing more vegetation types - specifically peatland - are required. This is currently limited by the sparseness of measurements of Hg from biomass burning plumes. More measurements of Hg concentration in the air, specifically downwind of fires, would improve the inversions. We use three biomass burning Hg emissions scenarios in Canada to conduct three sets of model simulations for 2010-2015: two scenarios where Hg is emitted only as GEM using literature or optimized EFs and a third scenario where Hg is emitted as GEM using literature EFs and particle bound mercury (PBM) emitted using the average GEM/PBM ratio from lab measurements. The three biomass burning emission scenarios represent a range of possible values for the impacts of Hg emissions from biomass burning in Canada on Hg concentration and deposition. We find

  12. Biomass yield from an urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utilizing biomass from urban landscapes could significantly contribute to the nation’s renewable energy needs. In 2007, an experiment was begun to evaluate the biomass production from a bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon (L.) Pers., lawn in Woodward, Oklahoma and to estimate the potential...

  13. Pyrolytic sugars from cellulosic biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzhiyil, Najeeb

    phosphoric acids) and organic acids (formic and acetic acids) followed by analytical pyrolysis on a micropyrolyzer/GC/MS/FID system. It was found that sulfuric and phosphoric acids are very effective in passivating the AAEM thereby increasing the yield of anhydrosugars. An excellent correlation was discovered between the amount of acid required to obtain the maximum yield of anhydrosugars and the amount of AAEM contained in the biomass feedstock. In the micro-scale studies, up to 56% of the cellulose contained in the biomass was converted into anhydrosugars which is close to the 57% conversion obtained from pure cellulose pyrolysis. It is known that LG polymerization and subsequent charring occur at temperatures above 275°C depending on the vapor pressure of LG in the gas stream. A study of pyrolysis of acid-infused biomass feedstocks at various temperatures revealed that LG recovery is best at lower temperatures than the conventional pyrolysis temperature range of 450-500°C. Pyrolysis of acid-infused biomass failed in a continuous fluidized bed reactor due to clogging of the bed. The feedstock formed vitreous material along with the fluidizing sand that was formed from poor pyrolysis of lignin. However, more investigation of this phenomenon is a subject for future work. Pyrolysis experiments on an auger type reactor were successful in producing bio-oils with unprecedented amounts of sugars. Though there was increase in charring when compared to the control feedstock, pyrolysis of red oak infused with 0.4 wt% of sulfuric acid produced bio-oil with 18wt% of sugars. One of the four fractions of bio-oil collected contained most of the sugars, which shows significant potential for separating the sugars from bio-oil using simple means. This work points towards a new pathway for making advanced biofuels viz. upgrading pyrolytic sugars from biomass that could compete with enzymatic sugars from biomass.

  14. Biomass Burning: Major Uncertainties, Advances, and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokelson, R. J.; Stockwell, C.; Veres, P. R.; Hatch, L. E.; Barsanti, K. C.; Liu, X.; Huey, L. G.; Ryerson, T. B.; Dibb, J. E.; Wisthaler, A.; Müller, M.; Alvarado, M. J.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Robinson, A. L.; Toon, O. B.; Peischl, J.; Pollack, I. B.

    2014-12-01

    Domestic and open biomass burning are poorly-understood, major influences on Earth's atmosphere composed of countless individual fires that (along with their products) are difficult to quantify spatially and temporally. Each fire is a minimally-controlled complex phenomenon producing a diverse suite of gases and aerosols that experience many different atmospheric processing scenarios. New lab, airborne, and space-based observations along with model and algorithm development are significantly improving our knowledge of biomass burning. Several campaigns provided new detailed emissions profiles for previously undersampled fire types; including wildfires, cooking fires, peat fires, and agricultural burning; which may increase in importance with climate change and rising population. Multiple campaigns have better characterized black and brown carbon and used new instruments such as high resolution PTR-TOF-MS and 2D-GC/TOF-MS to improve quantification of semi-volatile precursors to aerosol and ozone. The aerosol evolution and formation of PAN and ozone, within hours after emission, have now been measured extensively. The NASA DC-8 sampled smoke before and after cloud-processing in two campaigns. The DC-8 performed continuous intensive sampling of a wildfire plume from the source in California to Canada probing multi-day aerosol and trace gas aging. Night-time plume chemistry has now been measured in detail. Fire inventories are being compared and improved, as is modeling of mass transfer between phases and sub-grid photochemistry for global models.

  15. Biomass CCS study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cavezzali, S.

    2009-11-15

    The use of biomass in power generation is one of the important ways in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, the cofiring of biomass with coal could be regarded as a common feature to any new build power plant if a sustainable supply of biomass fuel is readily accessible. IEA GHG has undertaken a techno-economic evaluation of the use of biomass in biomass fired and co-fired power generation, using post-combustion capture technology. This report is the result of the study undertaken by Foster Wheeler Italiana.

  16. Energy from biomass and waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This report provides a review of the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) Energy Demonstration Programme in the sector of Energy from biomass and waste, and examines the current status of the energy technologies associated with the sector, in relation to projects supported under the Programme, those included under various national programmes and by reference to the published literature. Detailed overviews of five sub-categories represented in the Energy from biomass and waste sector are presented to illustrate their relative significance in terms of estimated energy potential, technological and economic status and the nature of future research, development and demonstration needs. Finally the potential role of the biomass and waste energy technologies in meeting the energy needs of the developing world is discussed. 33 refs; 2 figs; 11 tabs

  17. Forestry and biomass energy projects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swisher, J.N.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive and consistent methodology to account for the costs and net carbon flows of different categories of forestry and biomass energy projects and describes the application of the methodology to several sets of projects in Latin America. The results suggest that both...... biomass energy development and forestry measures including reforestation and forest protection can contribute significantly to the reduction of global CO2 emissions, and that local land-use capacity must determine the type of project that is appropriate in specific cases. No single approach alone...... is sufficient as either a national or global strategy for sustainable land use or carbon emission reduction. The methodology allows consistent comparisons of the costs and quantities of carbon stored in different types of projects and/or national programs, facilitating the inclusion of forestry and biomass...

  18. Addition of 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline results in significantly improved anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrović, Ana; Sosič, Izidor; Kos, Špela; Tratar, Urša Lampreht; Breznik, Barbara; Kranjc, Simona; Mirković, Bojana; Gobec, Stanislav; Lah, Tamara; Serša, Gregor; Kos, Janko

    2017-08-29

    Lysosomal cysteine peptidase cathepsin B, involved in multiple processes associated with tumor progression, is validated as a target for anti-cancer therapy. Nitroxoline, a known antimicrobial agent, is a potent and selective inhibitor of cathepsin B, hence reducing tumor progression in vitro and in vivo . In order to further improve its anti-cancer properties we developed a number of derivatives using structure-based chemical synthesis. Of these, the 7-aminomethylated derivative (compound 17 ) exhibited significantly improved kinetic properties over nitroxoline, inhibiting cathepsin B endopeptidase activity selectively. In the present study, we have evaluated its anti-cancer properties. It was more effective than nitroxoline in reducing tumor cell invasion and migration, as determined in vitro on two-dimensional cell models and tumor spheroids, under either endpoint or real time conditions. Moreover, it exhibited improved action over nitroxoline in impairing tumor growth in vivo in LPB mouse fibrosarcoma tumors in C57Bl/6 mice. Taken together, the addition of a 2-(ethylamino)acetonitrile group to nitroxoline at position 7 significantly improves its pharmacological characteristics and its potential for use as an anti-cancer drug.

  19. Communal biomass conversion plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holm-Nielsen, J.B.; Huntingford, S.; Halberg, N.

    1993-03-01

    The aim was to show the agricultural advantages of farmers being in connection with Communal Biogas Plant. Whether a more environmentally protectire distribution of plant nutrients from animal manure takes place through a biogas plants distribution system, whether the nitrogen in the digested slurry is better utilized and whether the connection results in slurry transportation-time reduction, are discussed. The average amount of nitrogen from animal manure used per hectare was reduced. The area of manure distribution was larger. The nitrogen efficiency was increased when using digested slurry and purchase of N mineral fertilizer decreased, resulting in considerable reduction in nitrogen leaching. The amount of slurry delivered to the local storage tanks was approximately 45 per cent of the total amount treated on the biogas plant. Conditions of manure transport improved greatly as this was now the responsibility of the communal biomass conversion plant administrators. (AB) (24 refs.)

  20. Infrastructure improvement project for rationalization of international energy use. Basic survey project on efficient use of unutilized biomass in ASEAN countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-03-01

    Surveys and researches were performed on a small-size power generation system using biomass which is available affluently in ASEAN countries, but is not fully utilized. The current fiscal year has carried out researches on a small-size power generation system using palm shells available in great abundance in Malaysia. Having been performed in December 2000 are the preliminary conferences of ACE with Ptm, collection of necessary data and literatures, and decisions on the specifications of the small-size power generation system and its basic design conditions. In January 2001, collection of literatures related to production, combustion, and use of the biomass for the purpose of power generation and other than the power generation, as well as visits to palm oil factories were implemented. In March 2001, the final specifications were decided on the small-size power generation system. This project has carried out not only the discussions on the specifications of devices, but also joint researches on design ideas to facilitate technological transfer. This paper includes the reports and literatures used at the workshops in addition to the basic specifications of the small-size power generation system that can be used in wide areas. (NEDO)

  1. Improved biomass and lipid production in a mixotrophic culture of Chlorella sp. KR-1 with addition of coal-fired flue-gas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Praveenkumar, Ramasamy; Kim, Bohwa; Choi, Eunji; Lee, Kyubock; Park, Ji-Yeon; Lee, Jin-Suk; Lee, Young-Chul; Oh, You-Kwan

    2014-11-01

    Industrial CO2-rich flue-gases, owing to their eco-toxicity, have yet to be practically exploited for microalgal biomass and lipid production. In this study, various autotrophic and mixotrophic culture modes for an oleaginous microalga, Chlorella sp. KR-1 were compared for the use in actual coal-fired flue-gas. Among the mixotrophic conditions tested, the fed-batch feedings of glucose and the supply of air in dark cycles showed the highest biomass (561 mg/L d) and fatty-acid methyl-ester (168 mg/L d) productivities. This growth condition also resulted in the maximal population of microalgae and the minimal population and types of KR-1-associated-bacterial species as confirmed by particle-volume-distribution and denaturing-gradient-gel-electrophoresis (DGGE) analyses. Furthermore, microalgal lipid produced was assessed, based on its fatty acid profile, to meet key biodiesel standards such as saponification, iodine, and cetane numbers. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Impact of torrefaction on the grindability and fuel characteristics of forest biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phanphanich, Manunya; Mani, Sudhagar

    2011-01-01

    Thermal pretreatment or torrefaction of biomass under anoxic condition can produce an energy dense and consistent quality solid biomass fuel for combustion and co-firing applications. This paper investigates the fuel characteristics and grindability of pine chips and logging residues torrefied at temperatures ranging from 225 °C to 300 °C and 30 min residence time. Grinding performance of torrefied biomass evaluated by determining energy required for grinding, particle size distribution and average particle size were compared with raw biomass and coal. Specific energy required for grinding of torrefied biomass decreased significantly with increase in torrefaction temperatures. The grinding energy of torrefied biomass was reduced to as low as 24 kW h/t at 300 °C torrefaction temperature. The gross calorific value of torrefied chips increased with increase in torrefaction temperature. Torrefaction of biomass clearly showed the improved fuel characteristics and grinding properties closer to coal. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Combustion performance of cellulosic biomass in a gasifier-based cookstove

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulaiman, Shaharin A.; Romli, Raffisyazana

    2012-06-01

    Depletion in fossil fuel and increase in the world population may change the trend in future kitchens in households. Cooking with LPG fuel may one day become impossible and households would have to consider alternatives such as electric stoves. One other solution to this problem is through the use of biomass cook stoves. However, traditional cook stoves, predominantly used in the households, are not efficient and its utilizations for domestic cooking have been a major contributor to the ill effects related in respiratory and other health problem. Improved cook stoves programs implemented in the developing world attempt to address these problems. Biomass gasification appears to have significant potential in Asia for domestic cooking applications. Gasifier-based cook stoves are fuel efficient in comparison to traditional cook stove. The objective of this paper is to study the performance of various type of cellulosic biomass in a gasifier-based cook stove. The biomass considered in this study are oil palm fronds, dried leaves, wood sticks, coconut shells, bagasse, charcoal, and saw dust. The samples are analyzed in order to study their chemical properties. The thermochemical properties of the biomass were characterized. The performance of the each of the samples is studied by observing the time taken to boil water. It is found that oil palm fronds are the best type of biomass for the gasifer cook stove. It is also concluded that the higher the carbon content and the calorific value in a biomass, the lesser the time taken to boil the water.

  4. Experimental methods for laboratory-scale ensilage of lignocellulosic biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanjore, Deepti; Richard, Tom L.; Marshall, Megan N.

    2012-01-01

    Anaerobic fermentation is a potential storage method for lignocellulosic biomass in biofuel production processes. Since biomass is seasonally harvested, stocks are often dried or frozen at laboratory scale prior to fermentation experiments. Such treatments prior to fermentation studies cause irreversible changes in the plant cells, influencing the initial state of biomass and thereby the progression of the fermentation processes itself. This study investigated the effects of drying, refrigeration, and freezing relative to freshly harvested corn stover in lab-scale ensilage studies. Particle sizes, as well as post-ensilage drying temperatures for compositional analysis, were tested to identify the appropriate sample processing methods. After 21 days of ensilage the lowest pH value (3.73 ± 0.03), lowest dry matter loss (4.28 ± 0.26 g. 100 g-1DM), and highest water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations (7.73 ± 0.26 g. 100 g-1DM) were observed in control biomass (stover ensiled within 12 h of harvest without any treatments). WSC concentration was significantly reduced in samples refrigerated for 7 days prior to ensilage (3.86 ± 0.49 g. 100 g −1 DM). However, biomass frozen prior to ensilage produced statistically similar results to the fresh biomass control, especially in treatments with cell wall degrading enzymes. Grinding to decrease particle size reduced the variance amongst replicates for pH values of individual reactors to a minor extent. Drying biomass prior to extraction of WSCs resulted in degradation of the carbohydrates and a reduced estimate of their concentrations. The methods developed in this study can be used to improve ensilage experiments and thereby help in developing ensilage as a storage method for biofuel production. -- Highlights: ► Laboratory-scale methods to assess the influence of ensilage biofuel production. ► Drying, freezing, and refrigeration of biomass influenced microbial fermentation. ► Freshly ensiled stover exhibited

  5. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

  6. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporter that transports Na(+) into the vacuole and exports H(+) into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na(+)/H(+) antiporter that exports Na(+) to the extracellular space and imports H(+) into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na(+) out of the cell or to sequester Na(+) into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na(+) in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  7. Enhanced production of biomass, pigments and antioxidant capacity of a nutritionally important cyanobacterium Nostochopsis lobatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Usha; Pandey, J

    2008-07-01

    A diazotrophic cyanobacterium Nostochopsis lobatus was evaluated for enhanced production of biomass, pigments and antioxidant capacity. N. lobatus showed potentially high antioxidant capacity (46.12 microM AEAC) with significant improvement under immobilized cell cultures (87.05 microM AEAC). When a mixture of P and Fe was supplemented, biomass, pigments, nutritive value and antioxidant capacity increased substantially at pH 7.8. When considered separately, P appeared to be a better supplement than Fe for the production of biomass, chlorophyll and carotenoids. However, for phycocyanin, phycoerythrin, nutritive value and antioxidant capacity, Fe appeared more effective than P. Our study indicates N. lobatus to be a promising bioresource for enhanced production of nutritionally rich biomass, pigments and antioxidants. The study also suggests that P and Fe are potentially effective supplements for scale-up production for commercial application.

  8. How Technology Can Improve the Efficiency of Excavator-Based Cable Harvesting for Potential Biomass Extraction—A Woody Productivity Resource and Cost Analysis for Ireland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ger Devlin

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Two cable logging systems were reviewed to compare the efficiency of potential biomass extraction from remote forest sites in Ireland based on productive machine hour (PMH and unit cost of operation (€/m3. Three operational scenarios (SC were analysed where SC I was a three man crew operation (choker setter, the carriage operator and unhooking chokers. SC II was a variation of this with a two man crew operation. SC III was operating radio controlled chokers there was a two man crew (choker setter and carriage operator. The study aims to assess how operations in Ireland perform against previous known cable studies to determine whether the cost of timber extraction on remote forest sites inaccessible for mechanised felling, has a future given the increased demand for wood fibre in Ireland, both from the sawmilling industries and the wood for energy sector. The volume per PMH was recorded at 17.97 for SC I, 15.09 for SC II and 20.58 m3 for SC III. The difference in productivity versus SC III remote controlled chokers is 5.49 m3/PMH for SC II crew and 2.61 m3/PMH for SC I. The decrease in total volume extracted from SCs I and II versus SC III was recorded at 15.69 m3 (15% and 32.97 m3 (36% product respectively. In value terms, the unit cost (€/m3 varied from 6.29 (SC I to 6.43 (SC II to 4.57 (SC III. When looking at the production unit costs of normal wood energy supply chains in Ireland, the figures are similar ranging from 3.17 €/m3 to 8.01 €/m3. The value of the end product of course will always determine which market the eventually goes to but given that cable log wood fibre has been unthinned and unmaintained then the biomass sector may be an ever increasing demand point in the search for increased woody biomass given that the unit costs can be competitive with other wood energy supply chains.

  9. Vitamin D and Calcium Addition during Denosumab Therapy over a Period of Four Years Significantly Improves Lumbar Bone Mineral Density in Japanese Osteoporosis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takako Suzuki

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether or not vitamin D and calcium supplementation affected bone metabolism and bone mineral density (BMD over a period of four years of denosumab therapy in patients with primary osteoporosis. Patients were divided into a denosumab monotherapy group (22 cases or a denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium supplementation group (combination group, 21 cases. We measured serum bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP-5b, urinary N-terminal telopeptide of type-I collagen (NTX, and BMD of the lumbar 1–4 vertebrae (L-BMD and bilateral hips (H-BMD at baseline and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 months of treatment. There were no significant differences in patient background. Serum BAP, TRACP-5b, and urinary NTX were significantly and comparably inhibited in both groups from 12 to 48 months versus baseline values. L-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in both groups, while H-BMD was significantly increased at every time point in the combination group only. There were significant differences between the groups for L-BMD at 24, 36, and 48 months (P < 0.05 and for H-BMD at 12 months (P < 0.05. Compared with denosumab monotherapy, combination therapy of denosumab plus vitamin D and calcium significantly increased H-BMD at 12 months and L-BMD from 24 to 48 months. These findings indicate that continuous vitamin D and calcium supplementation is important, especially for 12 months to improve H-BMD and from 24 to 48 months to improve L-BMD.

  10. A sustainable woody biomass biorefinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shijie; Lu, Houfang; Hu, Ruofei; Shupe, Alan; Lin, Lu; Liang, Bin

    2012-01-01

    Woody biomass is renewable only if sustainable production is imposed. An optimum and sustainable biomass stand production rate is found to be one with the incremental growth rate at harvest equal to the average overall growth rate. Utilization of woody biomass leads to a sustainable economy. Woody biomass is comprised of at least four components: extractives, hemicellulose, lignin and cellulose. While extractives and hemicellulose are least resistant to chemical and thermal degradation, cellulose is most resistant to chemical, thermal, and biological attack. The difference or heterogeneity in reactivity leads to the recalcitrance of woody biomass at conversion. A selection of processes is presented together as a biorefinery based on incremental sequential deconstruction, fractionation/conversion of woody biomass to achieve efficient separation of major components. A preference is given to a biorefinery absent of pretreatment and detoxification process that produce waste byproducts. While numerous biorefinery approaches are known, a focused review on the integrated studies of water-based biorefinery processes is presented. Hot-water extraction is the first process step to extract value from woody biomass while improving the quality of the remaining solid material. This first step removes extractives and hemicellulose fractions from woody biomass. While extractives and hemicellulose are largely removed in the extraction liquor, cellulose and lignin largely remain in the residual woody structure. Xylo-oligomers, aromatics and acetic acid in the hardwood extract are the major components having the greatest potential value for development. Higher temperature and longer residence time lead to higher mass removal. While high temperature (>200°C) can lead to nearly total dissolution, the amount of sugars present in the extraction liquor decreases rapidly with temperature. Dilute acid hydrolysis of concentrated wood extracts renders the wood extract with monomeric sugars

  11. Transporter engineering in biomass utilization by yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Kiyotaka Y; Kobayashi, Jyumpei; Yamada, Ryosuke; Sasaki, Daisuke; Kuriya, Yuki; Hirono-Hara, Yoko; Ishii, Jun; Araki, Michihiro; Kondo, Akihiko

    2017-11-01

    Biomass resources are attractive carbon sources for bioproduction because of their sustainability. Many studies have been performed using biomass resources to produce sugars as carbon sources for cell factories. Expression of biomass hydrolyzing enzymes in cell factories is an important approach for constructing biomass-utilizing bioprocesses because external addition of these enzymes is expensive. In particular, yeasts have been extensively engineered to be cell factories that directly utilize biomass because of their manageable responses to many genetic engineering tools, such as gene expression, deletion and editing. Biomass utilizing bioprocesses have also been developed using these genetic engineering tools to construct metabolic pathways. However, sugar input and product output from these cells are critical factors for improving bioproduction along with biomass utilization and metabolic pathways. Transporters are key components for efficient input and output activities. In this review, we focus on transporter engineering in yeast to enhance bioproduction from biomass resources. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. [Applications of GIS in biomass energy source research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xian-Ming; Wang, Wu-Kui; Li, Yi-Wei; Sun, Wen-Xiang; Shi, Hai; Zhang, Da-Hong

    2010-03-01

    Biomass resources have the characteristics of widespread and dispersed distribution, which have close relations to the environment, climate, soil, and land use, etc. Geographic information system (GIS) has the functions of spatial analysis and the flexibility of integrating with other application models and algorithms, being of predominance to the biomass energy source research. This paper summarized the researches on the GIS applications in biomass energy source research, with the focus in the feasibility study of bioenergy development, assessment of biomass resources amount and distribution, layout of biomass exploitation and utilization, evaluation of gaseous emission from biomass burning, and biomass energy information system. Three perspectives of GIS applications in biomass energy source research were proposed, i. e., to enrich the data source, to improve the capacity on data processing and decision-support, and to generate the online proposal.

  13. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy - Observational study and randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Boerner

    Full Text Available The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL. Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP. The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients.The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h, with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin' Sticks before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group. The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007 after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001. In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046 whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501.Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure.ISRCTN11128866.

  14. Evaluation of sampling strategies to estimate crown biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishna P Poudel; Hailemariam Temesgen; Andrew N Gray

    2015-01-01

    Depending on tree and site characteristics crown biomass accounts for a significant portion of the total aboveground biomass in the tree. Crown biomass estimation is useful for different purposes including evaluating the economic feasibility of crown utilization for energy production or forest products, fuel load assessments and fire management strategies, and wildfire...

  15. Biomass production on marginal lands - catalogue of bioenergy crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, Wibke; Ivanina, Vadym; Hanzhenko, Oleksandr

    2017-04-01

    Marginal lands are the poorest type of land, with various limitations for traditional agriculture. However, they can be used for biomass production for bioenergy based on perennial plants or trees. The main advantage of biomass as an energy source compared to fossil fuels is the positive influence on the global carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere. During combustion of biofuels, less carbon dioxide is emitted than is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. Besides, 20 to 30 times less sulphur oxide and 3 to 4 times less ash is formed as compared with coal. Growing bioenergy crops creates additional workplaces in rural areas. Soil and climatic conditions of most European regions are suitable for growing perennial energy crops that are capable of rapid transforming solar energy into energy-intensive biomass. Selcted plants are not demanding for soil fertility, do not require a significant amount of fertilizers and pesticides and can be cultivated, therefore, also on unproductive lands of Europe. They prevent soil erosion, contribute to the preservation and improvement of agroecosystems and provide low-cost biomass. A catalogue of potential bioenergy plants was developed within the EU H2020 project SEEMLA including woody and perennial crops that are allowed to be grown in the territory of the EU and Ukraine. The catalogue lists high-productive woody and perennial crops that are not demanding to the conditions of growing and can guarantee stable high yields of high-energy-capacity biomass on marginal lands of various categories of marginality. Biomass of perennials plants and trees is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are directly used to produce solid biofuels. Thanks to the well-developed root system of trees and perennial plants, they are better adapted to poor soils and do not require careful maintenance. Therefore, they can be grown on marginal lands. Particular C4 bioenergy crops are well adapted to a lack of moisture and high

  16. Effects of a community scorecard on improving the local health system in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo: qualitative evidence using the most significant change technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Lara S; Labrecque, Guillaume; Batonon, Isatou; Salsi, Viviana; Ratnayake, Ruwan

    2015-01-01

    More than a decade of conflict has weakened the health system in the Democratic Republic of Congo and decreased its ability to respond to the needs of the population. Community scorecards have been conceived as a way to increase accountability and responsiveness of service providers, but there is limited evidence of their effects, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. This paper describes the implementation of community scorecards within a community-driven reconstruction project in two provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Between June 2012 and November 2013, 45 stories of change in the health system were collected from village development committee, health committee, community members (20 men and 18 women) and healthcare providers (n = 7) in 25 sites using the Most Significant Change technique. Stories were analyzed qualitatively for content related to the types and mechanisms of change observed. The most salient changes were related to increased transparency and community participation in health facility management, and improved quality of care. Quality of care included increased access to services, improved patient-provider relationships, improved performance of service providers, and improved maintenance of physical infrastructure. Changes occurred through many different mechanisms including provider actions in response to information, pressure from community representatives, or supervisors; and joint action and improved collaboration by health facility committees and providers. Although it is often assumed that confrontation is a primary mechanism for citizens to change state-provided services, this study demonstrates that healthcare providers may also be motivated to change through other means. Positive experiences of community scorecards can provide a structured space for interface between community members and the health system, allowing users to voice their opinions and preferences and bridge information gaps for both

  17. Modelling of biomass pyrolysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kazakova, Nadezhda; Petkov, Venko; Mihailov, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Pyrolysis is an essential preliminary step in a gasifier. The first step in modelling the pyrolysis process of biomass is creating a model for the chemical processes taking place. This model should describe the used fuel, the reactions taking place and the products created in the process. The numerous different polymers present in the organic fraction of the fuel are generally divided in three main groups. So, the multistep kinetic model of biomass pyrolysis is based on conventional multistep devolatilization models of the three main biomass components - cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin. Numerical simulations have been conducted in order to estimate the influence of the heating rate and the temperature of pyrolysis on the content of the virgin biomass, active biomass, liquid, solid and gaseous phases at any moment. Keywords: kinetic models, pyrolysis, biomass pyrolysis.

  18. Biomass cogeneration: A business assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skelton, J. C.

    1981-11-01

    The biomass cogeneration was reviewed. The business assessment is based in part on discussions with key officials from firms that have adopted biomass cogeneration systems and from organizations such as utilities, state and federal agencies, and banks directly involved in a biomass cogeneration project. The guide is organized into five chapters: biomass cogeneration systems, biomass cogeneration business considerations, biomass cogeneration economics, biomass cogeneration project planning, and case studies.

  19. Methanol from biomass: A technoeconomic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevens, D.J.

    1991-01-01

    Biomass-derived methanol offers significant potential as an alternative transportation fuel. Methanol is cleaner burning and has a lower flame temperature than gasoline. These characteristics can result in lower carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions when methanol is used as a fuel. Methanol produced from biomass offers potential advantages over that from other sources. When produced from biomass which is subsequently regrown, methanol does not contribute net emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere. The introduction of alternative fuels will likely be driven by a number of political and economic decisions. The ability of biomass to compete with other resources will be determined in part by the economics of the production systems. In this paper, recent technoeconomic analyses of biomass-methanol systems are presented. The results are compared with methanol production from coal and natural gas

  20. A Small Decrease in Rubisco Content by Individual Suppression of RBCS Genes Leads to Improvement of Photosynthesis and Greater Biomass Production in Rice Under Conditions of Elevated CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanno, Keiichi; Suzuki, Yuji; Makino, Amane

    2017-03-01

    Rubisco limits photosynthesis at low CO2 concentrations ([CO2]), but does not limit it at elevated [CO2]. This means that the amount of Rubisco is excessive for photosynthesis at elevated [CO2]. Therefore, we examined whether a small decrease in Rubisco content by individual suppression of the RBCS multigene family leads to increases in photosynthesis and biomass production at elevated [CO2] in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Our previous studies indicated that the individual suppression of RBCS decreased Rubisco content in rice by 10-25%. Three lines of BC2F2 progeny were selected from transgenic plants with individual suppression of OsRBCS2, 3 and 5. Rubisco content in the selected lines was 71-90% that of wild-type plants. These three transgenic lines showed lower rates of CO2 assimilation at low [CO2] (28 Pa) but higher rates of CO2 assimilation at elevated [CO2] (120 Pa). Similarly, the biomass production and relative growth rate (RGR) of the two lines were also smaller at low [CO2] but greater than that of wild-type plants at elevated [CO2]. This greater RGR was caused by the higher net assimilation rate (NAR). When the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) for the NAR was estimated by dividing the NAR by whole-plant leaf N content, the NUE for NAR at elevated [CO2] was higher in these two lines. Thus, a small decrease in Rubisco content leads to improvements of photosynthesis and greater biomass production in rice under conditions of elevated CO2. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Green energy. Biomass fuels and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    The United Nations Environment Programme has been concerned with energy/environment issues since it was first set up after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972. In the late 1970s, UNEP compiled three comprehensive reports on the the environmental impacts of the production and use of fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources. In 1987 it was decided to update the volume on renewable energy since knowledge of biofuels and their effects on the environment had greatly improved. Among many innovations, Brazil's decision to embark on a major, and now successful, programme to produce ethanol from sugarcane as a substitute vehicle fuel is one of the most significant. At the same time, energy tree crops, agroforestry systems and the use of plantations for environmental improvement have become issues of key importance to sustainable development in developing countries. Biomass fuels, of course, have always been important in terms of the numbers of people who use them; the significant change during the 1980s was that the potential advantages of these fuels took on a new significance in the light of environmental degradation and related issues such as greenhouse warming. The biomass fuels began to be considered as attractive energy sources in their own right - not simply as 'last resort' fuels for developing countries with only limited energy options. While this development may solve some environmental problems, it certainly raises others - the improper utilization of biomass fuels in the past has been responsible for deforestation, desertification and the ill health of many millions of the women in developing countries who use biomass fuels in unventilated huts. These issues currently affect about half of the world population. The new UNEP study was intended to provide an up-to-date evaluation of the environmental issues raised by the use of biomass fuels, and hence to reduce or eliminate their adverse impacts while

  2. Process for treating biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Timothy J.; Teymouri, Farzaneh

    2018-04-10

    This invention is directed to a process for treating biomass. The biomass is treated with a biomass swelling agent within the vessel to swell or rupture at least a portion of the biomass. A portion of the swelling agent is removed from a first end of the vessel following the treatment. Then steam is introduced into a second end of the vessel different from the first end to further remove swelling agent from the vessel in such a manner that the swelling agent exits the vessel at a relatively low water content.

  3. Energy production from biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bestebroer, S.I.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of the task group 'Energy Production from Biomass', initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, was to identify bottlenecks in the development of biomass for energy production. The bottlenecks were identified by means of a process analysis of clean biomass fuels to the production of electricity and/or heat. The subjects in the process analysis are the potential availability of biomass, logistics, processing techniques, energy use, environmental effects, economic impact, and stimulation measures. Three categories of biomass are distinguished: organic residual matter, imported biomass, and energy crops, cultivated in the Netherlands. With regard to the processing techniques attention is paid to co-firing of clean biomass in existing electric power plants (co-firing in a coal-fired power plant or co-firing of fuel gas from biomass in a coal-fired or natural gas-fired power plant), and the combustion or gasification of clean biomass in special stand-alone installations. 5 figs., 13 tabs., 28 refs

  4. The role of gap phase processes in the biomass dynamics of tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Davies, Stuart J; Ashton, Peter S; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Nur Supardi, M.N; Kassim, Abd Rahman; Tan, Sylvester; Chave, Jérôme

    2007-01-01

    The responses of tropical forests to global anthropogenic disturbances remain poorly understood. Above-ground woody biomass in some tropical forest plots has increased over the past several decades, potentially reflecting a widespread response to increased resource availability, for example, due to elevated atmospheric CO2 and/or nutrient deposition. However, previous studies of biomass dynamics have not accounted for natural patterns of disturbance and gap phase regeneration, making it difficult to quantify the importance of environmental changes. Using spatially explicit census data from large (50 ha) inventory plots, we investigated the influence of gap phase processes on the biomass dynamics of four ‘old-growth’ tropical forests (Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama; Pasoh and Lambir, Malaysia; and Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK), Thailand). We show that biomass increases were gradual and concentrated in earlier-phase forest patches, while biomass losses were generally of greater magnitude but concentrated in rarer later-phase patches. We then estimate the rate of biomass change at each site independent of gap phase dynamics using reduced major axis regressions and ANCOVA tests. Above-ground woody biomass increased significantly at Pasoh (+0.72% yr−1) and decreased at HKK (−0.56% yr−1) independent of changes in gap phase but remained stable at both BCI and Lambir. We conclude that gap phase processes play an important role in the biomass dynamics of tropical forests, and that quantifying the role of gap phase processes will help improve our understanding of the factors driving changes in forest biomass as well as their place in the global carbon budget. PMID:17785266

  5. Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Angie [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Bertjens, Steve [Natural Resources Conservation Service, Madison, WI (United States); Lieurance, Mike [Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Postville, IA (United States); Berguson, Bill [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.; Buchman, Dan [Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Natural Resources Research Inst.

    2012-12-31

    The Driftless Area Initiative Biomass Energy Project evaluated the potential for biomass energy production and utilization throughout the Driftless Region of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The research and demonstration aspect of the project specifically focused on biomass energy feedstock availability and production potential in the region, as well as utilization potential of biomass feedstocks for heat, electrical energy production, or combined heat and power operations. The Driftless Region was evaluated because the topography of the area offers more acres of marginal soils on steep slopes, wooded areas, and riparian corridors than the surrounding “Corn Belt”. These regional land characteristics were identified as potentially providing opportunity for biomass feedstock production that could compete with traditional agriculture commodity crops economically. The project researched establishment methods and costs for growing switchgrass on marginal agricultural lands to determine the economic and quantitative feasibility of switchgrass production for biomass energy purposes. The project was successful in identifying the best management and establishment practices for switchgrass in the Driftless Area, but also demonstrated that simple economic payback versus commodity crops could not be achieved at the time of the research. The project also analyzed the availability of woody biomass and production potential for growing woody biomass for large scale biomass energy production in the Driftless Area. Analysis determined that significant resources exist, but costs to harvest and deliver to the site were roughly 60% greater than that of natural gas at the time of the study. The project contributed significantly to identifying both production potential of biomass energy crops and existing feedstock availability in the Driftless Area. The project also analyzed the economic feasibility of dedicated energy crops in the Driftless Area. High commodity crop prices

  6. High yielding biomass genotypes of willow (Salix spp.) show differences in below ground biomass allocation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cunniff, Jennifer; Purdy, Sarah J.; Barraclough, Tim J.P.; Castle, March; Maddison, Anne L.; Jones, Laurence E.; Shield, Ian F.; Gregory, Andrew S.; Karp, Angela

    2015-01-01

    Willows (Salix spp.) grown as short rotation coppice (SRC) are viewed as a sustainable source of biomass with a positive greenhouse gas (GHG) balance due to their potential to fix and accumulate carbon (C) below ground. However, exploiting this potential has been limited by the paucity of data available on below ground biomass allocation and the extent to which it varies between genotypes. Furthermore, it is likely that allocation can be altered considerably by environment. To investigate the role of genotype and environment on allocation, four willow genotypes were grown at two replicated field sites in southeast England and west Wales, UK. Above and below ground biomass was intensively measured over two two-year rotations. Significant genotypic differences in biomass allocation were identified, with below ground allocation differing by up to 10% between genotypes. Importantly, the genotype with the highest below ground biomass also had the highest above ground yield. Furthermore, leaf area was found to be a good predictor of below ground biomass. Growth environment significantly impacted allocation; the willow genotypes grown in west Wales had up to 94% more biomass below ground by the end of the second rotation. A single investigation into fine roots showed the same pattern with double the volume of fine roots present. This greater below ground allocation may be attributed primarily to higher wind speeds, plus differences in humidity and soil characteristics. These results demonstrate that the capacity exists to breed plants with both high yields and high potential for C accumulation. - Highlights: • SRC willows are a source of biomass and act as carbon (C) sinks. • Biomass allocation was measured in 4 willow genotypes grown in two UK field sites. • The greatest yielding genotype had the greatest below ground biomass at both sites. • Below ground biomass allocation differed by up to 10% between genotypes and 94% between sites. • Environment e.g. wind

  7. Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuzel, F.

    1993-01-01

    The Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program (GLRBEP) was initiated September, 1983, with a grant from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The program provides resources to public and private organizations in the Great Lakes region to increase the utilization and production of biomass fuels. The objectives of the GLRBEP are to: (1) improve the capabilities and effectiveness of biomass energy programs in the state energy offices; (2) assess the availability of biomass resources for energy in light of other competing needs and uses; (3) encourage private sector investments in biomass energy technologies; (4) transfer the results of government-sponsored biomass research and development to the private sector; (5) eliminate or reduce barriers to private sector use of biomass fuels and technology; (6) prevent or substantially mitigate adverse environmental impacts of biomass energy use. The Program Director is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the GLRBEP and for implementing program mandates. A 40 member Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) sets priorities and recommends projects. The governor of each state in the region appoints a member to the Steering Council, which acts on recommendations of the TAC and sets basic program guidelines. The GLRBEP is divided into three separate operational elements. The State Grants component provides funds and direction to the seven state energy offices in the region to increase their capabilities in biomass energy. State-specific activities and interagency programs are emphasized. The Subcontractor component involves the issuance of solicitations to undertake projects that address regional needs, identified by the Technical Advisory Committee. The Technology Transfer component includes the development of nontechnical biomass energy publications and reports by Council staff and contractors, and the dissemination of information at conferences, workshops and other events

  8. Forest gardening on abandoned terraces links local biomass carbon accumulation to international carbon markets, reverses land degradation, improves food diversity, and increases farmer income

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Pandit, Bishnu Hari; Kammann, Claudia

    2017-04-01

    project to a carbon capture financing system. All planted trees are GIS inventoried and their yearly biomass carbon up-take is calculated on the base of the average ten-year carbon accumulation. The 25,000 mixed trees accumulate the equivalent of 350 t CO2 per year. At 35 US per t of CO2eq paid in advance by the international community in form of private carbon compensation subscriptions, all costs for the set-up of the forest gardens, their maintenance for three years plus a yearly prime could be paid. After this initial period of three years, the income from tree crops (fruits, nuts, medicine, essential oil, silk, perfume, honey, timber, animal fodder) exceeds by far the (catalyzer) carbon credits providing average crop incomes for the 25,000 trees including secondary mixed cropping of more than 150,000 USD per year. With new processed tree crop products, better-paid jobs are created, the local economy is fostered and the "lost generation" can start to return to their home villages. The objective of this pilot forest garden project was to establish a robust socio-agronomic system that can be multiplied from village to village, increasing soil fertility, protecting abandoned terraces from erosion, replenishing water resources, and generating stable incomes with climate-smart agriculture. The essential catalyst of the project was to link the global need to capture atmospheric carbon and to create negative emissions to slow down climate change with the local capacity to increase biomass growth and to sequester biomass carbon with new low-tech technology (biochar). The financial exchange between global CO2-emmitting communities with local CO2 capturing farmer communities could become a new motor to reverse land degradation, to reestablish ecosystem services, and to develop the rural socio-economy.

  9. Statistics for PV, wind and biomass generators and their impact on distribution grid planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nykamp, Stefan; Molderink, Albert; Hurink, Johann L.; Smit, Gerardus Johannes Maria

    2012-01-01

    The integration of renewable energy generation leads to major challenges for distribution grid operators. When the feed-in of photovoltaic (PV), biomass and wind generators exceed significantly the local consumption, large investments are needed. To improve the knowledge on the interaction between

  10. A facile template method to synthesize significantly improved LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 using corn stalk as a bio-template

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Guiyang; Kong, Xin; Sun, Hongyan; Wang, Baosen; Yi, Zhongzhou; Wang, Quanbiao

    2014-01-01

    In order to simplify the template method for the synthesis of cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, a facile template method using plant stalks as bio-templates has been introduced. Based on this method, LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 spinel with a significantly improved electrochemical performance has been synthesized using corn stalk as a template. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared pectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) have been used to investigate the phase composition and micro-morphologies of the products. Charge-discharge measurements in lithium cells, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) have been used to study the electrochemical performance of the products. The results indicate that the templated product exhibits higher crystallinity than that of non-templated product. Both of the templated product and the non-templated product are combination of the ordered space group P4 3 32 and the disordered Fd-3 m. The specific BET surface area of the templated product is about twice larger than that of the non-templated product. Moreover, the electrochemical performances of the templated product including specific capacity, cycling stability and rate capability are significantly improved as compared with the non-templated product, due to its higher crystallinity, larger Li + diffusion coefficient and lower charge transfer resistance

  11. Arthroscopic Debridement for Primary Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Elbow Leads to Significant Improvement in Range of Motion and Clinical Outcomes: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sochacki, Kyle R; Jack, Robert A; Hirase, Takashi; McCulloch, Patrick C; Lintner, David M; Liberman, Shari R; Harris, Joshua D

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether arthroscopic debridement of primary elbow osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in (1) elbow range of motion and (2) clinical outcomes with (3) low complication and reoperation rates. A systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched for studies that investigated the outcomes of arthroscopic debridement for the treatment of primary osteoarthritis of the elbow in adult human patients. Study methodological quality was analyzed. Studies that included post-traumatic arthritis were excluded. Elbow motion and all elbow-specific patient-reported outcome scores were eligible for analysis. Comparisons between preoperative and postoperative values from each study were made using 2-sample Z-tests (http://in-silico.net/tools/statistics/ztest) using a P value osteoarthritis results in statistically significant and clinically relevant improvement in elbow range of motion and clinical outcomes with low complication and reoperation rates. Systematic review of level IV studies. Copyright © 2017 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Transplantation of N-Acetyl Aspartyl-Glutamate Synthetase-Activated Neural Stem Cells after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury Significantly Improves Neurological Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingfeng Li

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Neural stem cells (NSCs hold considerable potential as a therapeutic tool for repair of the damaged nervous system. In the current study, we examined whether transplanted N-acetyl aspartyl-glutamate synthetase (NAAGS-activated NSCs (NAAGS/NSCs further improve neurological recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI in Sprague-Dawley rats. Methods: Animals received TBI and stereotactic injection of NSCs, NAAGS/NSCs or phosphate buffered saline without cells (control into the injured cortex. NAAGS protein expression was detected through western blot analysis. Dialysate NAAG levels were analyzed with radioimmunoassay. Cell apoptosis was detected via TUNEL staining. The expression levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Groups with transplanted NSCs and NAAGS/NSCs displayed significant recovery of the motor behavior, compared to the control group. At 14 and 21 days post-transplantation, the motor behavior in NAAGS/NSC group was significantly improved than that in NSC group (pConclusion: Our results collectively demonstrate that NAAGS/NSCs provide a more powerful autoplastic therapy for the injured nervous system.

  13. Deodorization of Arthrospira platensis biomass for further scale-up food applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuellar-Bermúdez, Sara P; Barba-Davila, Bertha; Serna-Saldivar, Sergio O; Parra-Saldivar, Roberto; Rodriguez-Rodriguez, José; Morales-Davila, Sandra; Goiris, Koen; Muylaert, Koenraad; Chuck-Hernández, Cristina

    2017-12-01

    Given the importance of A. platensis as a potential food protein source, we describe an affordable deodorization process that does not significantly affect the nutritional value of algae biomass. Ethanol, acetone or hexane were used to deodorize algae biomass and then to identify the profile of volatile compounds associated with its distinctive odor. Sensorial characteristics were improved in the biomass cake after the proposed solvent extraction. Panelists identified the ethanolic extract with the most pronounced algae-related odor. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that a mixture of 20 different compounds derived from fatty acids and amino acids contributed to the characteristic smell of A. platensis biomass. The results of the present study show that the ethanol solvent-free A. platensis biomass contained > 600 g kg -1 protein,  65% in vitro protein digestibility, similar to the original biomass. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy secondary protein structure was comparable among samples, indicating that the only change after ethanol extraction was a reduction of the algae smell. The various extraction procedures investigated in the present study were effective in deodorizing the algae biomass. The most effective protocol was the removal of odoriferous compounds with ethanol. This particular procedure yielded an algae biomass with an improved sensorial traits. The results of the present study should help with the identification of odoriferous compounds derived from fatty acids, pigments and proteins associated with A. platensis. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. Method for producing ethanol and co-products from cellulosic biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Quang A

    2013-10-01

    The present invention generally relates to processes for production of ethanol from cellulosic biomass. The present invention also relates to production of various co-products of preparation of ethanol from cellulosic biomass. The present invention further relates to improvements in one or more aspects of preparation of ethanol from cellulosic biomass including, for example, improved methods for cleaning biomass feedstocks, improved acid impregnation, and improved steam treatment, or "steam explosion."

  15. BUBE. Better Use of Biomass for Energy. Background Report to the Position Paper of IEA RETD and IEA Bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fritsche, U.R.; Henneberg, K.; Huenecke, K.; Kampman, B.; Bergsma, G.; Schepers, B.; Croezen, H.; Molenaar, J.W.; Kessler, J.J.; Slingerland, S.; Van der Linde, C.

    2010-07-01

    This report aims to provide a document that gives guidance on the issue of biomass energy policies in OECD countries. The main conclusions and messages from this project were published in a joint IEA RETD and IEA Bioenergy Position Paper and presented at the COP15 in December 2009. As the main contributor to renewable energy around the world (about 10% of total energy consumption), the term 'biomass for energy' covers a broad range of products, including traditional use of wood for cooking and heating, industrial process heat, co-firing of biomass in coal-based power plants, biogas and biofuels. In many OECD countries, bioenergy is deployed to reduce fossil fuel use and improve security of supply, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or create new employment. Modern biomass can be more expensive than its fossil competitors, however, and there is evidence that biomass, unless produced sustainable, could have significant negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. This report elaborates on how to improve the use of biomass for energy. It assesses and provides guidelines on how to make better use of sustainable biomass potential and how to increase the positive and reduce the negative impacts.

  16. BUBE. Better Use of Biomass for Energy. Background Report to the Position Paper of IEA RETD and IEA Bioenergy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fritsche, U.R.; Henneberg, K.; Huenecke, K. [Oeko-Institut, Freiburg (Germany); Kampman, B.; Bergsma, G.; Schepers, B.; Croezen, H. [CE Delft, Delft (Netherlands); Molenaar, J.W.; Kessler, J.J. [AidEnvironment, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Slingerland, S.; Van der Linde, C. [Clingendael International Energy Programme CIEP, Den Haag (Netherlands)

    2010-07-15

    This report aims to provide a document that gives guidance on the issue of biomass energy policies in OECD countries. The main conclusions and messages from this project were published in a joint IEA RETD and IEA Bioenergy Position Paper and presented at the COP15 in December 2009. As the main contributor to renewable energy around the world (about 10% of total energy consumption), the term 'biomass for energy' covers a broad range of products, including traditional use of wood for cooking and heating, industrial process heat, co-firing of biomass in coal-based power plants, biogas and biofuels. In many OECD countries, bioenergy is deployed to reduce fossil fuel use and improve security of supply, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or create new employment. Modern biomass can be more expensive than its fossil competitors, however, and there is evidence that biomass, unless produced sustainable, could have significant negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. This report elaborates on how to improve the use of biomass for energy. It assesses and provides guidelines on how to make better use of sustainable biomass potential and how to increase the positive and reduce the negative impacts.

  17. DUE GlobBiomass - Estimates of Biomass on a Global Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberle, J.; Schmullius, C.

    2017-12-01

    For the last three years, a new ESA Data User Element (DUE) project had focussed on creating improved knowledge about the Essential Climate Variable Biomass. The main purpose of the DUE GlobBiomass project is to better characterize and to reduce uncertainties of AGB estimates by developing an innovative synergistic mapping approach in five regional sites (Sweden, Poland, Mexico, Kalimantan, South Africa) for the epochs 2005, 2010 and 2015 and for one global map for the year 2010. The project team includes leading Earth Observation experts of Europe and is linked through Partnership Agreements with further national bodies from Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and South Africa. GlobBiomass has demonstrated how EO observation data can be integrated with in situ measurements and ecological understanding to provide improved biomass estimates that can be effectively exploited by users. The target users had mainly be drawn from the climate and carbon cycle modelling communities and included users concerned with carbon emissions and uptake due to biomass changes within initiatives such as REDD+. GlobBiomass provided a harmonised structure that can be exploited to address user needs for biomass information, but will be capable of being progressively refined as new data and methods become available. This presentation will give an overview of the technical prerequisites and final results of the GlobBiomass project.

  18. Biomass energy development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng'eny-Mengech, A.

    1990-01-01

    This paper deals more specifically with biomethanation process and non conventional sources of biomass energy such as water hyacinths and vegetable oil hydrocarbon fuels. It highlights socioeconomic issues in biomass energy production and use. The paper also contains greater details on chemical conversion methods and processes of commercial ethanol and methanol production. (author). 291 refs., 6 tabs

  19. 11 Soil Microbial Biomass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    186–198. Insam H. (1990). Are the soil microbial biomass and basal respiration governed by the climatic regime? Soil. Biol. Biochem. 22: 525–532. Insam H. D. and Domsch K. H. (1989). Influence of microclimate on soil microbial biomass. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21: 211–21. Jenkinson D. S. (1988). Determination of microbial.

  20. Hydrothermal conversion of biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knezevic, D.

    2009-01-01

    This thesis presents research of hydrothermal conversion of biomass (HTC). In this process, hot compressed water (subcritical water) is used as the reaction medium. Therefore this technique is suitable for conversion of wet biomass/ waste streams. By working at high pressures, the evaporation of

  1. World wide biomass resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faaij, A.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    In a wide variety of scenarios, policy strategies, and studies that address the future world energy demand and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, biomass is considered to play a major role as renewable energy carrier. Over the past decades, the modern use of biomass has increased

  2. Hydrogen from biomass

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claassen, P.A.M.; Vrije, de G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Hydrogen is generally regarded as the energy carrier of the future. The development of a process for hydrogen production from biomass complies with the policy of the Dutch government to obtain more renewable energy from biomass. This report describes the progress of the BWP II project, phase 2 of

  3. How Good Is Good: Improved Tracking and Managing of Safety Goals, Performance Indicators, Production Targets and Significant Events Using Learning Curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffey, Rommey B.; Saull, John W.

    2002-01-01

    We show a new way to track and measure safety and performance using learning curves derived on a mathematical basis. When unusual or abnormal events occur in plants and equipment, the regulator and good management practice requires they be reported, investigated, understood and rectified. In addition to reporting so-called 'significant events', both management and the regulator often set targets for individual and collective performance, which are used for both reward and criticism. For almost completely safe systems, like nuclear power plants, commercial aircraft and chemical facilities, many parameters are tracked and measured. Continuous improvement has to be demonstrated, as well as meeting reduced occurrence rates, which are set as management goals or targets. This process usually takes the form of statistics for availability of plant and equipment, forced or unplanned maintenance outage, loss of safety function, safety or procedural violations, etc. These are often rolled up into a set of so-called 'Performance Indicators' as measures of how well safety and operation is being managed at a given facility. The overall operating standards of an industry are also measured. A whole discipline is formed of tracking, measuring, reporting, managing and understanding the plethora of indicators and data. Decreasing occurrence rates and meeting or exceeding goals are seen and rewarded as virtues. Managers and operators need to know how good is their safety management system that has been adopted and used (and paid for), and whether it can itself be improved. We show the importance of accumulated experience in correctly measuring and tracking the decreasing event and error rates speculating a finite minimum rate. We show that the rate of improvement constitutes a measurable 'learning curve', and the attainment of the goals and targets can be affected by the adopted measures. We examine some of the available data on significant events, reportable occurrences, and loss of

  4. Mobile physician reporting of clinically significant events-a novel way to improve handoff communication and supervision of resident on call activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabors, Christopher; Peterson, Stephen J; Aronow, Wilbert S; Sule, Sachin; Mumtaz, Arif; Shah, Tushar; Eskridge, Etta; Wold, Eric; Stallings, Gary W; Burak, Kathleen Kelly; Goldberg, Randy; Guo, Gary; Sekhri, Arunabh; Mathew, George; Khera, Sahil; Montoya, Jessica; Sharma, Mala; Paudel, Rajiv; Frishman, William H

    2014-12-01

    Reporting of clinically significant events represents an important mechanism by which patient safety problems may be identified and corrected. However, time pressure and cumbersome report entry procedures have discouraged the full participation of physicians. To improve the process, our internal medicine training program developed an easy-to-use mobile platform that combines the reporting process with patient sign-out. Between August 25, 2011, and January 25, 2012, our trainees entered clinically significant events into i-touch/i-phone/i-pad based devices functioning in wireless-synchrony with our desktop application. Events were collected into daily reports that were sent from the handoff system to program leaders and attending physicians to plan for rounds and to correct safety problems. Using the mobile module, residents entered 31 reportable events per month versus the 12 events per month that were reported via desktop during a previous 6-month study period. Advances in information technology now permit clinically significant events that take place during "off hours" to be identified and reported (via handoff) to next providers and to supervisors via collated reports. This information permits hospital leaders to correct safety issues quickly and effectively, while attending physicians are able to use information gleaned from the reports to optimize rounding plans and to provide additional oversight of trainee on call patient management decisions.

  5. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Féfé Khuabi Matondo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p<0.05 in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p<0.05. Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly.

  6. Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toor, Saqib; Rosendahl, Lasse; Rudolf, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews the hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass with the aim of describing the current status of the technology. Hydrothermal liquefaction is a medium-temperature, high-pressure thermochemical process, which produces a liquid product, often called bio-oil or bi-crude. During...... the hydrothermal liquefaction process, the macromolecules of the biomass are first hydrolyzed and/or degraded into smaller molecules. Many of the produced molecules are unstable and reactive and can recombine into larger ones. During this process, a substantial part of the oxygen in the biomass is removed...... by dehydration or decarboxylation. The chemical properties of bio-oil are highly dependent of the biomass substrate composition. Biomass constitutes of various components such as protein; carbohydrates, lignin and fat, and each of them produce distinct spectra of compounds during hydrothermal liquefaction...

  7. Biomass power in transition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, D.K. [Zurn/NEPCO, Redmond, WA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Electricity production from biomass fuel has been hailed in recent years as an environmentally acceptable energy source that delivers on its promise of economically viable renewable energy. A Wall Street Journal article from three years ago proclaimed wood to be {open_quotes}moving ahead of costly solar panels and wind turbines as the leading renewable energy alternative to air-fouling fossils fuels and scary nuclear plants.{close_quotes} Biomass fuel largely means wood; about 90% of biomass generated electricity comes from burning waste wood, the remainder from agricultural wastes. Biomass power now faces an uncertain future. The maturing of the cogeneration and independent power plant market, restructuring of the electric industry, and technological advances with power equipment firing other fuels have placed biomass power in a competitive disadvantage with other power sources.

  8. Remarks on energetic biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathis, Paul; Pelletier, Georges

    2011-01-01

    The authors report a study of energy biomass by considering its three main sources (forest, agriculture and wastes) and three energy needs (heat, fuel for transports, electricity) in the French national context. After having recalled the various uses of biomass (animal feeding, energy production, materials, chemical products), the authors discuss the characteristics of biomass with respect to other energy sources. Then, they analyse and discuss the various energy needs which biomass could satisfy: heat production (in industry, in the residential and office building sector), fuel for transports, electricity production. They assess and discuss the possible biomass production of its three main sources: forest, agriculture, and wastes (household, agricultural and industrial wastes). They also discuss the opportunities for biogas production and for second generation bio-fuel production

  9. Preprocessing Moist Lignocellulosic Biomass for Biorefinery Feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neal Yancey; Christopher T. Wright; Craig Conner; J. Richard Hess

    2009-06-01

    Biomass preprocessing is one of the primary operations in the feedstock assembly system of a lignocellulosic biorefinery. Preprocessing is generally accomplished using industrial grinders to format biomass materials into a suitable biorefinery feedstock for conversion to ethanol and other bioproducts. Many factors affect machine efficiency and the physical characteristics of preprocessed biomass. For example, moisture content of the biomass as received from the point of production has a significant impact on overall system efficiency and can significantly affect the characteristics (particle size distribution, flowability, storability, etc.) of the size-reduced biomass. Many different grinder configurations are available on the market, each with advantages under specific conditions. Ultimately, the capacity and/or efficiency of the grinding process can be enhanced by selecting the grinder configuration that optimizes grinder performance based on moisture content and screen size. This paper discusses the relationships of biomass moisture with respect to preprocessing system performance and product physical characteristics and compares data obtained on corn stover, switchgrass, and wheat straw as model feedstocks during Vermeer HG 200 grinder testing. During the tests, grinder screen configuration and biomass moisture content were varied and tested to provide a better understanding of their relative impact on machine performance and the resulting feedstock physical characteristics and uniformity relative to each crop tested.

  10. Developing business in emerging biomass energy markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kadyszewski, J.

    2005-01-01

    Global market trends for forest products were reviewed in this PowerPoint presentation. The status of biomass energy products in relation to climate change and renewable energy portfolio standards was also examined. It was noted that China has increased investment in processing capacity and has increased imports of raw logs. India has doubled its imports of raw logs. Details of major tropical log producers and consumers were presented. Details of the biomass industry in the United States were presented, as well as data on fuel use at biomass energy plants and biomass energy capacity. An overview of biomass energy in the Russian far east and Siberia was presented, as well as details of activities and opportunities in Brazil and Indonesia. An economic analysis for small dry kilns was presented. Issues concerning boiler capacity in Russian companies for 2001-2005 were discussed. A case study of a biomass project from Congo was presented. It was noted that projects that replace fossil fuels can obtain revenues from the sale of carbon benefits, and that biomass energy offers the most attractive current option for the removal of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) from the atmosphere. Details of a district heating project in Siberia were presented, and it was noted that in remote regions, costs for heat and power from biomass can be lower than costs from diesel and coal. It was concluded that there will be significant growth for biomass energy systems in the developing world, and that climate change will be an increasingly important element in advancing biomass energy. tabs., figs

  11. Hydrogen from biomass: state of the art and research challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milne, Thomas A; Elam, Carolyn C; Evans, Robert J

    2002-02-01

    The report was prepared for the International Energy Agency (IEA) Agreement on the Production and Utilization of Hydrogen, Task 16, Hydrogen from Carbon-Containing Materials. Hydrogen's share in the energy market is increasing with the implementation of fuel cell systems and the growing demand for zero-emission fuels. Hydrogen production will need to keep pace with this growing market. In the near term, increased production will likely be met by conventional technologies, such as natural gas reforming. In these processes, the carbon is converted to CO2 and released to the atmosphere. However, with the growing concern about global climate change, alternatives to the atmospheric release of CO2 are being investigated. Sequestration of the CO2 is an option that could provide a viable near-term solution. Reducing the demand on fossil resources remains a significant concern for many nations. Renewable-based processes like solar- or wind-driven electrolysis and photobiological water splitting hold great promise for clean hydrogen production; however, advances must still be made before these technologies can be economically competitive. For the near-and mid-term, generating hydrogen from biomass may be the more practical and viable, renewable and potentially carbon-neutral (or even carbon-negative in conjunction with sequestration) option. Recently, the IEA Hydrogen Agreement launched a new task to bring together international experts to investigate some of these near- and mid-term options for producing hydrogen with reduced environmental impacts. This review of the state of the art of hydrogen production from biomass was prepared to facilitate in the planning of work that should be done to achieve the goal of near-term hydrogen energy systems. The relevant technologies that convert biomass to hydrogen, with emphasis on thermochemical routes are described. In evaluating the viability of the conversion routes, each must be put in the context of the availability of

  12. Scissor-type knife significantly improves self-completion rate of colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection: Single-center prospective randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashina, Takeshi; Takeuchi, Yoji; Nagai, Kengo; Matsuura, Noriko; Ito, Takashi; Fujii, Mototsugu; Hanaoka, Noboru; Higashino, Koji; Uedo, Noriya; Ishihara, Ryu; Iishi, Hiroyasu

    2017-05-01

    Colorectal endoscopic submucosal dissection (C-ESD) is recognized as a difficult procedure. Recently, scissors-type knives were launched to reduce the difficulty of C-ESD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combined use of a scissors-type knife and a needle-type knife with a water-jet function (WJ needle-knife) for C-ESD compared with using the WJ needle-knife alone. This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in a referral center. Eighty-five patients with superficial colorectal neoplasms were enrolled and randomly assigned to undergo C-ESD using a WJ needle-knife alone (Flush group) or a scissor-type knife-supported WJ needle-knife (SB Jr group). Procedures were conducted by two supervised residents. Primary endpoint was self-completion rate by the residents. Self-completion rate was 67% in the SB Jr group, which was significantly higher than that in the Flush group (39%, P = 0.01). Even after exclusion of four patients in the SB Jr group in whom C-ESD was completed using the WJ needle-knife alone, the self-completion rate was significantly higher (63% vs 39%; P = 0.03). Median procedure time among the self-completion cases did not differ significantly between the two groups (59 vs 51 min; P = 0.14). No fatal adverse events were observed in either group. In this single-center phase II trial, scissor-type knife significantly improved residents' self-completion rate for C-ESD, with no increase in procedure time or adverse events. A multicenter trial would be warranted to confirm the validity of the present study. © 2016 Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society.

  13. Call-to-balloon time dashboard in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction results in significant improvement in the logistic chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermans, Maaike P J; Velders, Matthijs A; Smeekes, Martin; Drexhage, Olivier S; Hautvast, Raymond W M; Ytsma, Timon; Schalij, Martin J; Umans, Victor A W M

    2017-08-04

    Timely reperfusion with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients is associated with superior clinical outcomes. Aiming to reduce ischaemic time, an innovative system for home-to-hospital (H2H) time monitoring was implemented, which enabled real-time evaluation of ischaemic time intervals, regular feedback and improvements in the logistic chain. The objective of this study was to assess the results after implementation of the H2H dashboard for monitoring and evaluation of ischaemic time in STEMI patients. Ischaemic time in STEMI patients transported by emergency medical services (EMS) and treated with pPCI in the Noordwest Ziekenhuis, Alkmaar before (2008-2009; n=495) and after the implementation of the H2H dashboard (2011-2014; n=441) was compared. Median time intervals were significantly shorter in the H2H group (door-to-balloon time 32 [IQR 25-43] vs. 40 [IQR 28-55] minutes, p-value dashboard was independently associated with shorter time delays. Real-time monitoring and feedback on time delay with the H2H dashboard improves the logistic chain in STEMI patients, resulting in shorter ischaemic time intervals.

  14. Improving significantly the failure strain and work hardening response of LPSO-strengthened Mg-Y-Zn-Al alloy via hot extrusion speed control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Xinghe; Chee, Winston; Chan, Jimmy; Kwok, Richard; Gupta, Manoj

    2017-07-01

    The effect of hot extrusion speed on the microstructure and mechanical properties of MgY1.06Zn0.76Al0.42 (at%) alloy strengthened by the novel long-period stacking ordered (LPSO) phase was systematically investigated. Increase in the speed of extrusion accelerated dynamic recrystallization of α-Mg via particle-stimulated nucleation and grain growth in the alloy. The intensive recrystallization and grain growth events weakened the conventional basal texture and Hall-Petch strengthening in the alloy which led to significant improvement in its failure strain from 4.9% to 19.6%. The critical strengthening contribution from LPSO phase known for attributing high strength to the alloy was observed to be greatly undermined by the parallel competition from texture weakening and the adverse Hall-Petch effect when the alloy was extruded at higher speed. Absence of work hardening interestingly observed in the alloy extruded at lower speed was discussed in terms of its ultra-fine grained microstructure which promoted the condition of steady-state defect density in the alloy; where dislocation annihilation balances out the generation of new dislocations during plastic deformation. One approach to improve work hardening response of the alloy to prevent unstable deformation and abrupt failure in service is to increase the grain diameter in the alloy by judiciously increasing the extrusion speed.

  15. Autohydrolysis Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Bioethanol Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Qiang

    Autohydrolysis, a simple and environmental friendly process, has long been studied but often abandoned as a financially viable pretreatment for bioethanol production due to the low yields of fermentable sugars at economic enzyme dosages. The introduction of mechanical refining can generate substantial improvements for autohydrolysis process, making it an attractive pretreatment technology for bioethanol commercialization. In this study, several lignocellulosic biomass including wheat straw, switchgrass, corn stover, waste wheat straw have been subjected to autohydrolysis pretreatment followed by mechanical refining to evaluate the total sugar recovery at affordable enzyme dosages. Encouraging results have been found that using autohydrolysis plus refining strategy, the total sugar recovery of most feedstock can be as high as 76% at 4 FPU/g enzymes dosages. The mechanical refining contributed to the improvement of enzymatic sugar yield by as much as 30%. Three non-woody biomass (sugarcane bagasse, wheat straw, and switchgrass) and three woody biomass (maple, sweet gum, and nitens) have been subjected to autohydrolysis pretreatment to acquire a fundamental understanding of biomass characteristics that affect the autohydrolysis and the following enzymatic hydrolysis. It is of interest to note that the nonwoody biomass went through substantial delignification during autohydrolysis compared to woody biomass due to a significant amount of p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid. It has been found that hardwood which has a higher S/V ratio in the lignin structure tends to have a higher total sugar recovery from autohydrolysis pretreatment. The economics of bioethanol production from autohydrolysis of different feedstocks have been investigated. Regardless of different feedstocks, in the conventional design, producing bioethanol and co-producing steam and power, the minimum ethanol revenues (MER) required to generate a 12% internal rate of return (IRR) are high enough to

  16. Forest biomass variation in Southernmost Brazil: the impact of Araucaria trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenfield, Milena Fermina; Souza, Alexandre F

    2014-03-01

    significantly higher biomass than angiosperm species. In Brazil, this endangered species is part of a high diversity forest (Araucaria Forest) and has the potential for biomass storage. The results of the present study show the spatial and local variability in aboveground biomass in subtropical forests and highlight the importance of these ecosystems in global carbon stock, stimulating the improvement of future biomass estimates.

  17. Do plants modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Yang, Qiang; Jiang, Li-Fen; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Biomass allocation is an important plant trait that responds plastically to environmental heterogeneities. However, the effects on this trait of pollutants owing to human activities remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the response of biomass allocation of Phragmites australis to petroleum pollution by a 13CO2 pulse-labelling technique. Our data show that plant biomass significantly decreased under petroleum pollution, but the root–shoot ratio for both plant biomass and 13C increased with increasing petroleum concentration, suggesting that plants could increase biomass allocation to roots in petroleum-polluted soil. Furthermore, assimilated 13C was found to be significantly higher in soil, microbial biomass and soil respiration after soils were polluted by petroleum. These results suggested that the carbon released from roots is rapidly turned over by soil microbes under petroleum pollution. This study found that plants can modulate biomass allocation in response to petroleum pollution. PMID:20484231

  18. [Effects of bio-crust on soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities in copper mine tailings].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zheng; Yang, Gui-de; Sun, Qing-ye

    2009-09-01

    Bio-crust is the initial stage of natural primary succession in copper mine tailings. With the Yangshanchong and Tongguanshan copper mine tailings in Tongling City of Anhui Province as test objects, this paper studied the soil microbial biomass C and N and the activities of dehydrogenase, catalase, alkaline phosphatase, and urease under different types of bio-crust. The bio-crusts improved the soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities in the upper layer of the tailings markedly. Algal crust had the best effect in improving soil microbial biomass C and N, followed by moss-algal crust, and moss crust. Soil microflora also varied with the type of bio-crust. No'significant difference was observed in the soil enzyme activities under the three types of bio-crust. Soil alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly positively correlated with soil microbial biomass and dehydrogenase and urease activities, but negatively correlated with soil pH. In addition, moss rhizoid could markedly enhance the soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities in moss crust rhizoid.

  19. Release of Chlorine and Sulfur during Biomass Torrefaction and Pyrolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saleh, Suriyati Binti; Flensborg, Julie Pauline; Shoulaifar, Tooran Khazraie

    2014-01-01

    The release of chlorine (Cl) and sulfur (S) during biomass torrefaction and pyrolysis has been investigated via experiments in two laboratory-scale reactors: a rotating reactor and a fixed bed reactor. Six biomasses with different chemical compositions covering a wide range of ash content and ash...... reporting that biomasses with a lower chlorine content release a higher fraction of chlorine during the pyrolysis process. A significant sulfur release (about 60%) was observed from the six biomasses investigated at 350 degrees C. The initial sulfur content in the biomass did not influence the fraction...

  20. Biomass CHP Catalog of Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report reviews the technical and economic characterization of biomass resources, biomass preparation, energy conversion technologies, power production systems, and complete integrated CHP systems.

  1. Adsorption characteristics of SO{sub 2}, NO by steam activated biomass chars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Fei; Shu, Tong; Wang, Kuan; Lu, Ping [Nanjing Normal Univ. (China). School of Energy and Mechanical Engineering

    2013-07-01

    Wheat straw and rice husk collected from the suburb of Nanjing, China, were prepared to different kinds of steam activated biomass-based chars, and the adsorption characteristics of the biomass-based chars was carried out in a fixed bed reactor. The specific surface area and pore structure of different biomass chars were measured by nitrogen adsorption-desorption analysis instrument at 77K. The effects of biomass type, pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, activation temperature and concentration of SO{sub 2}, NO on the adsorption efficiency of SO{sub 2}, NO were analyzed. The results indicated that the steam activation has significant effects on the specific surface area, total pore volume and micro-morphology of biomass chars by improving the internal structure. The adsorption efficiency of SO{sub 2}, NO increased with the decreasing of SO{sub 2}, NO concentration in the experimental range. The optimal condition of char preparation (873K, fast pyrolysis) and steam activation (1,073K) was proposed based on the adsorption efficiency and adsorption volume of SO{sub 2}, NO. It builds a theoretical basis for industrial applications of biomass.

  2. High-biomass C4 grasses-Filling the yield gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullet, John E

    2017-08-01

    A significant increase in agricultural productivity will be required by 2050 to meet the needs of an expanding and rapidly developing world population, without allocating more land and water resources to agriculture, and despite slowing rates of grain yield improvement. This review examines the proposition that high-biomass C 4 grasses could help fill the yield gap. High-biomass C 4 grasses exhibit high yield due to C 4 photosynthesis, long growth duration, and efficient capture and utilization of light, water, and nutrients. These C 4 grasses exhibit high levels of drought tolerance during their long vegetative growth phase ideal for crops grown in water-limited regions of agricultural production. The stems of some high-biomass C 4 grasses can accumulate high levels of non-structural carbohydrates that could be engineered to enhance biomass yield and utility as feedstocks for animals and biofuels production. The regulatory pathway that delays flowering of high-biomass C 4 grasses in long days has been elucidated enabling production and deployment of hybrids. Crop and landscape-scale modeling predict that utilization of high-biomass C 4 grass crops on land and in regions where water resources limit grain crop yield could increase agricultural productivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Forest Type and Tree Characteristics Determine the Vertical Distribution of Epiphytic Lichen Biomass in Subtropical Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Li

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Epiphytic lichens are an important component in subtropical forests and contribute greatly to forest biodiversity and biomass. However, information on epiphytic lichens still remains scarce in forest conservation owing to the difficulty of accessing all canopy layers for direct observation. Here, epiphytic lichens were quantified on 73 whole trees in five forest types in Southwest China to clarify the vertical stratification of their biomass in subtropical forests. Lichen biomass was significantly influenced by forest type and host attributes, varying from 187.11 to 8.55 g∙tree−1 among forest types and from 289.81 to <0.01 g∙tree−1 among tree species. The vertical stratification of lichen biomass was also determined by forest type, which peaked at the top in primary Lithocarpus forest and middle-aged oak secondary forest and in the middle upper heights in other forests. Overall, the proportion of lichen biomass accounted for 73.17–100.00% of total lichen biomass on branches and 0.00–26.83% on trunks in five forests, and 64.53–100.00% and 0.00–35.47% on eight host species. Seven functional groups showed marked and various responses to tree height between and among forest types. This information improves our understanding of the distribution of epiphytic lichens in forest ecosystems and the promotion of forest management in subtropical China.

  4. Forest above Ground Biomass Inversion by Fusing GLAS with Optical Remote Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohuan Xi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest biomass is an important parameter for quantifying and understanding biological and physical processes on the Earth’s surface. Rapid, reliable, and objective estimations of forest biomass are essential to terrestrial ecosystem research. The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS produced substantial scientific data for detecting the vegetation structure at the footprint level. This study combined GLAS data with MODIS/BRDF (Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function and ASTER GDEM data to estimate forest aboveground biomass (AGB in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China. The GLAS waveform characteristic parameters were extracted using the wavelet method. The ASTER DEM was used to compute the terrain index for reducing the topographic influence on the GLAS canopy height estimation. A neural network method was applied to assimilate the MODIS BRDF data with the canopy heights for estimating continuous forest heights. Forest leaf area indices (LAIs were derived from Landsat TM imagery. A series of biomass estimation models were developed and validated using regression analyses between field-estimated biomass, canopy height, and LAI. The GLAS-derived canopy heights in Xishuangbanna correlated well with the field-estimated AGB (R2 = 0.61, RMSE = 52.79 Mg/ha. Combining the GLAS estimated canopy heights and LAI yielded a stronger correlation with the field-estimated AGB (R2 = 0.73, RMSE = 38.20 Mg/ha, which indicates that the accuracy of the estimated biomass in complex terrains can be improved significantly by integrating GLAS and optical remote sensing data.

  5. Modeling of biomass pyrolysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samo, S.R.; Memon, A.S.; Akhund, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    The fuels used in industry and power sector for the last two decades have become expensive. As a result renewable energy source have been emerging increasingly important, of these, biomass appears to be the most applicable in the near future. The pyrolysis of biomass plays a key role amongst the three major and important process generally encountered in a gas producer, namely, pyrolysis, combustion and reduction of combustion products. Each biomass has its own pyrolysis characteristics and this important parameters must be known for the proper design and efficient operation of a gasification system. Thermogravimetric analysis has been widely used to study the devolatilization of solid fuels, such as biomass. It provides the weight loss history of a sample heated at a predetermined rate as a function of time and temperature. This paper presents the experimental results of modelling the weight loss curves of the main biomass components i.e. cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Thermogravimetric analysis of main components of biomass showed that pyrolysis is first order reaction. Furthermore pyrolysis of cellulose and hemicelluloe can be regarded as taking place in two stages, for while lignin pyrolysis is a single stage process. This paper also describes the Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) technique to predict the weight retained during pyrolysis at any temperature, for number of biomass species, such as cotton stalk, bagasse ad graoundnut shell. (author)

  6. The biomass file

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    As biomass represents the main source of renewable energy to reach the 23 per cent objective in terms of energy consumption by 2020, a first article gives a synthetic overview of its definition, its origins, its possible uses, its share in the French energy mix, its role by 2020, strengths and weaknesses for its development, the growth potential of its market, and its implications in terms of employment. A second article outlines the assets of biomass, indicates the share of some crops in biomass energy production, and discusses the development of new resources and the possible energy valorisation of various by-products. Interviews about biomass market and development perspectives are proposed with representatives of institutions, energy industries and professional bodies concerned with biomass development and production. Other articles comments the slow development of biomass-based cogeneration, the coming into operation of a demonstration biomass roasting installation in Pau (France), the development potential of biogas in France, the project of bio natural gas vehicles in Lille, and the large development of biogas in Germany

  7. MO-FG-204-03: Using Edge-Preserving Algorithm for Significantly Improved Image-Domain Material Decomposition in Dual Energy CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, W; Niu, T; Xing, L; Xiong, G; Elmore, K; Min, J; Zhu, J; Wang, L

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To significantly improve dual energy CT (DECT) imaging by establishing a new theoretical framework of image-domain material decomposition with incorporation of edge-preserving techniques. Methods: The proposed algorithm, HYPR-NLM, combines the edge-preserving non-local mean filter (NLM) with the HYPR-LR (Local HighlY constrained backPRojection Reconstruction) framework. Image denoising using HYPR-LR framework depends on the noise level of the composite image which is the average of the different energy images. For DECT, the composite image is the average of high- and low-energy images. To further reduce noise, one may want to increase the window size of the filter of the HYPR-LR, leading resolution degradation. By incorporating the NLM filtering and the HYPR-LR framework, HYPR-NLM reduces the boost material decomposition noise using energy information redundancies as well as the non-local mean. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with both iodine concentration numerical phantom and clinical patient data by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). Results: The results show iterative material decomposition method reduces noise to the lowest level and provides improved DECT images. HYPR-NLM significantly reduces noise while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and resolution. For the iodine concentration numerical phantom, the averaged noise levels are about 2.0, 0.7, 0.2 and 0.4 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter- DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. For the patient data, the noise levels of the water images are about 0.36, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.13 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter-DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. Difference images of both HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT show edge effect, while no significant edge effect is shown for HYPR-NLM, suggesting spatial resolution is well preserved for HYPR-NLM. Conclusion: HYPR

  8. YH12852, a potent and highly selective 5-HT4 receptor agonist, significantly improves both upper and lower gastrointestinal motility in a guinea pig model of postoperative ileus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Z; Lee, Y J; Yang, H; Jeong, E J; Sim, J Y; Park, H

    2017-10-01

    Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient gastrointestinal (GI) dysmotility that commonly develops after abdominal surgery. YH12852, a novel, potent and highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT 4 ) receptor agonist, has been shown to improve both upper and lower GI motility in various animal studies and may have applications for the treatment of POI. Here, we investigated the effects and mechanism of action of YH12852 in a guinea pig model of POI to explore its therapeutic potential. The guinea pig model of POI was created by laparotomy, evisceration, and gentle manipulation of the cecum for 60 seconds, followed by closure with sutures under anesthesia. Group 1 received an oral administration of vehicle or YH12852 (1, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg) only, while POI Group 2 was intraperitoneally pretreated with vehicle or 5-HT 4 receptor antagonist GR113808 (10 mg/kg) prior to oral dosing of vehicle or YH12852 (3 or 10 mg/kg). Upper GI transit was evaluated by assessing the migration of a charcoal mixture in the small intestine, while lower GI transit was assessed via measurement of fecal pellet output (FPO). YH12852 significantly accelerated upper and lower GI transit at the doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg and reached its maximal effect at 10 mg/kg. These effects were significantly blocked by pretreatment of GR113808 10 mg/kg. Oral administration of YH12852 significantly accelerates and restores delayed upper and lower GI transit in a guinea pig model of POI. This drug may serve as a useful candidate for the treatment of postoperative ileus. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Estimating aboveground tree biomass on forest land in the Pacific Northwest: a comparison of approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaoping Zhou; Miles A. Hemstrom

    2009-01-01

    Live tree biomass estimates are essential for carbon accounting, bioenergy feasibility studies, and other analyses. Several models are currently used for estimating tree biomass. Each of these incorporates different calculation methods that may significantly impact the estimates of total aboveground tree biomass, merchantable biomass, and carbon pools. Consequently,...

  10. Biomass energy potential in Brazil. Country study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreira, J [Biomass Users Network-Brazil Regional Office, Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    1995-12-01

    The present paper was prepared as a country study about the biomass potential for energy production in Brazil. Information and analysis of the most relevant biomass energy sources and their potential are presented in six c