International Science Index

239
10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
2731
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238
10011879
Deployment of Beyond 4G Wireless Communication Networks with Carrier Aggregation
Abstract:
With the growing demand for a new blend of applications, the users dependency on the internet is increasing day by day. Mobile internet users are giving more attention to their own experiences, especially in terms of communication reliability, high data rates and service stability on move. This increase in the demand is causing saturation of existing radio frequency bands. To address these challenges, researchers are investigating the best approaches, Carrier Aggregation (CA) is one of the newest innovations, which seems to fulfill the demands of the future spectrum, also CA is one the most important feature for Long Term Evolution - Advanced (LTE-Advanced). For this purpose to get the upcoming International Mobile Telecommunication Advanced (IMT-Advanced) mobile requirements (1 Gb/s peak data rate), the CA scheme is presented by 3GPP, which would sustain a high data rate using widespread frequency bandwidth up to 100 MHz. Technical issues such as aggregation structure, its implementations, deployment scenarios, control signal techniques, and challenges for CA technique in LTE-Advanced, with consideration of backward compatibility, are highlighted in this paper. Also, performance evaluation in macro-cellular scenarios through a simulation approach is presented, which shows the benefits of applying CA, low-complexity multi-band schedulers in service quality, system capacity enhancement and concluded that enhanced multi-band scheduler is less complex than the general multi-band scheduler, which performs better for a cell radius longer than 1800 m (and a PLR threshold of 2%).
Paper Detail
5
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237
10011564
The Benefits of End-To-End Integrated Planning from the Mine to Client Supply for Minimizing Penalties
Abstract:
The control over delivered iron ore blend characteristics is one of the most important aspects of the mining business. The iron ore price is a function of its composition, which is the outcome of the beneficiation process. So, end-to-end integrated planning of mine operations can reduce risks of penalties on the iron ore price. In a standard iron mining company, the production chain is composed of mining, ore beneficiation, and client supply. When mine planning and client supply decisions are made uncoordinated, the beneficiation plant struggles to deliver the best blend possible. Technological improvements in several fields allowed bridging the gap between departments and boosting integrated decision-making processes. Clusterization and classification algorithms over historical production data generate reasonable previsions for quality and volume of iron ore produced for each pile of run-of-mine (ROM) processed. Mathematical modeling can use those deterministic relations to propose iron ore blends that better-fit specifications within a delivery schedule. Additionally, a model capable of representing the whole production chain can clearly compare the overall impact of different decisions in the process. This study shows how flexibilization combined with a planning optimization model between the mine and the ore beneficiation processes can reduce risks of out of specification deliveries. The model capabilities are illustrated on a hypothetical iron ore mine with magnetic separation process. Finally, this study shows ways of cost reduction or profit increase by optimizing process indicators across the production chain and integrating the different plannings with the sales decisions.
Paper Detail
132
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236
10011518
The Effect of Zeolite on Sandy-Silt Soil Mechanical Properties
Abstract:

It is well known that cemented sand is one of the best approaches for soil stabilization. In some cases, a blend of sand, cement and other pozzolan materials such as zeolite, nano-particles and fiber can be widely (commercially) available and be effectively used in soil stabilization, especially in road construction. In this research, we investigate the effects of CaO which is based on the geotechnical characteristics of zeolite composition with sandy silt soil. Zeolites have low amount of CaO in their structures, that is, varying from 3% to 10%, and by removing the cement paste, we want to investigate the effect of zeolite pozzolan without any activator on soil samples strength. In this research, experiments are concentrated on various weight percentages of zeolite in the soil to examine the effect of the zeolite on drainage shear strength and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) both with and without curing. The study also investigates their liquid limit and plastic limit behavior and makes a comparative result by using Feng's and Wroth-Wood's methods in fall cone (cone penetrometer) device; in the final the SEM images have been presented. The results show that by increasing the percentage of zeolite in without-curing samples, the fine zeolite particles increase some soil's strength, but in the curing-state we can see a relatively higher strength toward without-curing state, since the zeolites have no plastic behavior, the pozzolanic property of zeolites plays a much higher role than cementing properties. Indeed, it is better to combine zeolite particle with activator material such as cement or lime to gain better results.

Paper Detail
129
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235
10011351
Assessing the Suitability of South African Waste Foundry Sand as an Additive in Clay Masonry Products
Abstract:

The foundry industry generates large quantities of solid waste in the form of waste foundry sand. The ever-increasing quantities of this type of industrial waste put pressure on land-filling space and its proper management has become a global concern. The South African foundry industry is not different when it comes to this solid waste generation. Utilizing the foundry waste sand in other applications has become an attractive avenue to deal with this waste stream. In the present paper, an evaluation was done on the suitability of foundry waste sand as an additive in clay masonry products. Purchased clay was added to the foundry waste sand sample in a 50/50 ratio. The mixture was named FC sample. The FC sample was mixed with water in a pan mixer until the mixture was consistent and suitable for extrusion. The FC sample was extruded and cut into briquettes. Water absorption, shrinkage and modulus of rupture tests were conducted on the resultant briquettes. Foundry waste sand and FC samples were respectively characterized mineralogically using X-Ray Diffraction, and the major and trace elements were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy. Adding purchased clay to the foundry waste sand positively influenced the workability of the test sample. Another positive characteristic was the low linear shrinkage, which indicated that products manufactured from the FC sample would not be susceptible to cracking. The water absorption values were acceptable and the unfired and fired strength values of the briquette’s samples were acceptable. In conclusion, tests showed that foundry waste sand can be used as an additive in masonry clay bricks, provided it is blended with good quality clay.

Paper Detail
167
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234
10011385
Shifting Paradigms of Culture: Rise of Secular Sensibility in Indian Literature
Authors:
Abstract:

Burgeoning demand of ‘Secularism’ has shaken the pillars of cultural studies in the contemporary literature. The perplexity of the culturally estranged term ‘secular’ gives rise to temporal ideologies across the world. Hence, it is high time to scan this concept in the context of Indian lifestyle which is a blend of assimilated cultures woven in multiple religious fabrics. The infliction of such secular taste is depicted in literary productions like ‘Satanic Verses’ and ‘An Area of Darkness’. The paper conceptually makes a cross-cultural analysis of anti-religious Indian literary texts, assessing its revitalization in current times. Further, this paper studies the increasing popularity of secular sensibility in the contemporary times. The mushrooming elements of secularism such as abstraction, spirituality, liberation, individualism give rise to a seemingly newer idea i.e. ‘Plurality’ making the literature highly hybrid. This approach has been used to study Indian modernity reflected in its literature. Seminal works of stalwarts are used to understand the consequence of this cultural synthesis. Conclusively, this theoretical research inspects the efficiency of secular culture, intertwined with internal coherence and throws light on the plurality of texts in Indian literature.

Paper Detail
231
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233
10011150
Blended Learning through Google Classroom
Authors:
Abstract:

This paper discusses that good learning involves all academic groups in the school. Blended learning is learning outside the classroom. Google Classroom is a free service learning app for schools, non-profit organizations and anyone with a personal Google account. Facilities accessed through computers and mobile phones are very useful for school teachers and students. Blended learning classrooms using both traditional and technology-based methods for teaching have become the norm for many educators. Using Google Classroom gives students access to online learning. Even if the teacher is not in the classroom, the teacher can provide learning. This is the supervision of the form of the teacher when the student is outside the school.

Paper Detail
1121
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232
10011062
Characterization and Design of a Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Mix Formulation
Authors:
Abstract:

Laboratory trial results of mixing crumb rubber produced from discarded tires with 60/70 pen grade Kuwaiti bitumen are presented on this paper. PG grading and multiple stress creep recovery tests were conducted on Kuwaiti bitumen blended with 15% and 18% crumb rubber at temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 °C. The results from elastic recovery and non-recoverable creep presented optimum performance at 18% rubber content. The optimum rubberized-bitumen mix was next transformed into a pelletized form (PelletPave®), and was used as a partial replacement to the conventional bitumen in the manufacture of continuously graded hot mix asphalts at a number of binder contents. The trialed PelletPave® contents were at 2.5%, 3.0%, and 3.5% by mass of asphalt mix. In this investigation, it was not possible to utilize the results of standard Marshall method of mix design (i.e. volumetric, stability and flow tests) and subsequently additional assessment of mix compactability was carried out using gyratory compactor in order to determine the optimum PelletPave® and total binder contents.

Paper Detail
309
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231
10011008
Advanced Materials Based on Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymers and Organically Modified Montmorillonite
Abstract:

This paper presents studies on the development and characterization of nanocomposites based on ethylene-propylene terpolymer rubber (EPDM), chlorobutyl rubber (IIR-Cl) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT). Mixtures were made containing 0, 3 and 6 phr (parts per 100 parts rubber) OMMT, respectively. They were obtained by melt intercalation in an internal mixer - Plasti-Corder Brabender, in suitable blending parameters, at high temperature for 11 minutes. Curing agents were embedded on a laboratory roller at 70-100 ºC, friction 1:1.1, processing time 5 minutes. Rubber specimens were obtained by compression, using a hydraulic press at 165 ºC and a pressing force of 300 kN. Curing time, determined using the Monsanto rheometer, decreases with the increased amount of OMMT in the mixtures. At the same time, it was noticed that mixtures containing OMMT show improvement in physical-mechanical properties. These types of nanocomposites may be used to obtain rubber seals for the space application or for other areas of application.

Paper Detail
272
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230
10010781
Resilient Modulus and Deformation Responses of Waste Glass in Flexible Pavement System
Abstract:

Experimental investigations are conducted to assess a layered structure of glass (G) - rock (R) blends under the impact of repeated loading. Laboratory tests included sieve analyses, modified compaction test and repeated load triaxial test (RLTT) is conducted on different structures of stratified GR samples to reach the objectives of this study. Waste materials are such essential components in the climate system, and also commonly used in minimising the need for natural materials in many countries. Glass is one of the most widely used groups of waste materials which have been extensively using in road applications. Full range particle size and colours of glass are collected and mixed at different ratios with natural rock material trying to use the blends in pavement layers. Whole subsurface specimen sequentially consists of a single layer of R and a layer of G-R blend. 12G/88R and 45G/55R mix ratios are employed in this research, the thickness of G-R layer was changed, and the results were compared between the pure rock and the layered specimens. The relations between resilient module (Mr) and permanent deformation with sequence number are presented. During the earlier stages of RLTT, the results indicated that the 45G/55R specimen shows higher moduli than R specimen.

Paper Detail
270
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229
10010672
Interactive Effects in Blended Learning Mode: Exploring Hybrid Data Sources and Iterative Linkages
Authors:
Abstract:

This paper presents an approach for identifying interactive effects using Network Science (NS) supported by Social Network Analysis (SNA) techniques. Based on general observations that learning processes and behaviors are shaped by the social relationships and influenced by learning environment, the central idea was to understand both the human and non-human interactive effects for a blended learning mode of delivery of computer science modules. Important findings include (a) the importance of non-human nodes to influence the centrality and transfer; (b) the degree of non-human and human connectivity impacts learning. This project reveals that the NS pattern and connectivity as measured by node relationships offer alternative approach for hypothesis generation and design of qualitative data collection. An iterative process further reinforces the analysis, whereas the experimental simulation option itself is an interesting alternative option, a hybrid combination of both experimental simulation and qualitative data collection presents itself as a promising and viable means to study complex scenario such as blended learning delivery mode. The primary value of this paper lies in the design of the approach for studying interactive effects of human (social nodes) and non-human (learning/study environment, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructures nodes) components. In conclusion, this project adds to the understanding and the use of SNA to model and study interactive effects in blended social learning.

Paper Detail
286
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228
10010318
WhatsApp as Part of a Blended Learning Model to Help Programming Novices
Abstract:

Programming is one of the challenging subjects in the field of computing. In the higher education sphere, some programming novices’ performance, retention rate, and success rate are not improving. Most of the time, the problem is caused by the slow pace of learning, difficulty in grasping the syntax of the programming language and poor logical skills. More importantly, programming forms part of major subjects within the field of computing. As a result, specialized pedagogical methods and innovation are highly recommended. Little research has been done on the potential productivity of the WhatsApp platform as part of a blended learning model. In this article, the authors discuss the WhatsApp group as a part of blended learning model incorporated for a group of programming novices. We discuss possible administrative activities for productive utilisation of the WhatsApp group on the blended learning overview. The aim is to take advantage of the popularity of WhatsApp and the time students spend on it for their educational purpose. We believe that blended learning featuring a WhatsApp group may ease novices’ cognitive load and strengthen their foundational programming knowledge and skills. This is a work in progress as the proposed blended learning model with WhatsApp incorporated is yet to be implemented.

Paper Detail
692
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227
10010417
Evaluation of Storage Stability and Quality Parameters in Biscuit Made from Blends of Wheat, Cassava (Manihot esculenta) and Carrot (Daucus carota) Flour
Abstract:

Biscuit is one of the most consumed cereal foods in Nigeria and research has shown that locally available tropical crops like cassava, sweet potato can be made into flour and used in the production of biscuits and other pastries. This study investigates some quality parameters in biscuits made from blends of wheat, cassava and carrot flour. The values of result of samples increased with increasing percentage substitution of cassava and carrot flour in some quality parameter like fiber, ash, gluten content, and carbohydrate. The protein content reduced significantly (P < 0.05) with increasing percentage substitution of cassava and carrot flour which ranged from 14.80% to 11.80% compared with the control sample which had 15.60%. There was a recorded significant increase (P < 0.05) in some mineral composition such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin A and C composition as the percentage substitution of cassava and carrot flour increased. During storage stability test, samples stored in the fridge and freezer were found to be the best storage location to preserve the sensory attributes and inhibit microbial growth when compared with storage under the sun and on the shelf. Biscuit made with blends of wheat, cassava and carrot flour can therefore serve as an alternative to biscuits made from 100% wheat flour, as they are richer in vitamin A, vitamin C, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and some essential minerals.

Paper Detail
344
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226
10010195
Engineering of E-Learning Content Creation: Case Study for African Countries
Abstract:

This research addresses the use of an e-Learning creation methodology for learning objects. Throughout the process, indicators are being gathered, to determine if it responds to the main objectives of an engineering discipline. These parameters will also indicate if it is necessary to review the creation cycle and readjust any phase. Within the project developed for this study, apart from the use of structured methods, there has been a central objective: the establishment of a learning atmosphere. A place where all the professionals involved are able to collaborate, plan, solve problems and determine guides to follow in order to develop creative and innovative solutions. It has been outlined as a blended learning program with an assessment plan that proposes face to face lessons, coaching, collaboration, multimedia and web based learning objects as well as support resources. The project has been drawn as a long term task, the pilot teaching actions designed provide the preliminary results object of study. This methodology is been used in the creation of learning content for the African countries of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. It has been developed within the framework of the MACbioIDi, an Interreg European project for the International cooperation and development. The educational area of this project is focused in the training and advice of professionals of the medicine as well as engineers in the use of applications of medical imaging technology, specifically the 3DSlicer application and the Open Anatomy Browser.

Paper Detail
604
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225
10010303
Identification of the Best Blend Composition of Natural Rubber-High Density Polyethylene Blends for Roofing Applications
Abstract:

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a multifunctional polymeric material which possesses a combination of excellent properties of parent materials. Basically, TPE has a rubber phase and a thermoplastic phase which gives processability as thermoplastics. When the rubber phase is partially or fully crosslinked in the thermoplastic matrix, TPE is called as thermoplastic elastomer vulcanizate (TPV). If the rubber phase is non-crosslinked, it is called as thermoplastic elastomer olefin (TPO). Nowadays TPEs are introduced into the commercial market with different products. However, the application of TPE as a roofing material is limited. Out of the commercially available roofing products from different materials, only single ply roofing membranes and plastic roofing sheets are produced from rubbers and plastics. Natural rubber (NR) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in various industrial applications individually with some drawbacks. Therefore, this study was focused to develop both TPO and TPV blends from NR and HDPE at different compositions and then to identify the best blend composition to use as a roofing material. A series of blends by varying NR loading from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, at 10 wt% intervals, were prepared using a twin screw extruder. Dicumyl peroxide was used as a crosslinker for TPV. The standard properties for a roofing material like tensile properties tear strength, hardness, impact strength, water absorption, swell/gel analysis and thermal characteristics of the blends were investigated. Change of tensile strength after exposing to UV radiation was also studied. Tensile strength, hardness, tear strength, melting temperature and gel content of TPVs show higher values compared to TPOs at every loading studied, while water absorption and swelling index show lower values, suggesting TPVs are more suitable than TPOs for roofing applications. Most of the optimum properties were shown at 10/90 (NR/HDPE) composition. However, high impact strength and gel content were shown at 20/80 (NR/HDPE) composition. Impact strength, as being an energy absorbing property, is the most important for a roofing material in order to resist impact loads. Therefore, 20/80 (NR/HDPE) is identified as the best blend composition. UV resistance and other properties required for a roofing material could be achieved by incorporating suitable additives to TPVs.

Paper Detail
362
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224
10010063
An Experimental Comparative Study of SI Engine Performance and Emission Characteristics Fuelled with Various Gasoline-Alcohol Blends
Abstract:

This experimental investigation aimed to determine the influence of using different types of alcohol and gasoline blends such as ethanol - butanol - propanol on the performance of spark ignition engine. The experimental work studied the effect of various fuel blends such as ethanol – butanol/gasoline and propanol/gasoline with two rates of 15% and 20%, at different operating conditions (engine speed and loads), on engine performance emission characteristics. Laboratory experiments are carried out on a four-cylinder spark ignition (SI) engine. In this practical study, all considerations and precautions are taken into account to ensure the quality and accuracy of practical experiments and different measurements. The results show that the performance of the engine improved significantly in the case of ethanol/butanol-gasoline blends. The results also indicated that the engine emitted pollutants such as CO, hydrocarbon (HC) for alcohol fuel blends compared to base gasoline NOx emission increased for different fuel blends either ethanol/butanol-gasoline or propanol-gasoline fuel blend.

Paper Detail
343
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223
10009826
Revisiting Domestication and Foreignisation Methods: Translating the Quran by the Hybrid Approach
Abstract:

The Quran, as it is the sacred book of Islam and considered the literal word of God (Allah) in Arabic, is highly translated into many languages; however, the foreignising or the literal approach excessively stains the quality and discredits the final product in the eyes of its receptors. Such an approach fails to capture the intended meaning of the Quran and to communicate it in any language. Therefore, this study is conducted to propose a different approach that seeks involving other ones according to a hybrid model. Indeed, this study challenges the binary adherence that is highly used in Translation Studies (TS) in general and in the translation of the Quran in particular. Drawing on the genuine fact that the Quran can be communicated in any language in terms of meaning, and the translation is not sacred; this paper approaches the translation of the Quran by blending different methods like domestication or foreignisation in a systematic way, avoiding the binary choice made by many translators. To reach this aim, the paper has a conceptual part that seeks to elucidate and clarify the main methods employed in TS, and criticise and modify them to propose the new hybrid approach (the hybrid model) for translating the Quran – that is, the deductive method. To support and validate the outcome of the previous part, a comparative model is employed in order to highlight the differences between the suggested translation and other widely used ones – that is, the inductive method. By applying this methodology, the paper proves that there is a deficiency of communicating the original meaning of the Quran in light of the foreignising approach. In conclusion, the paper suggests producing a Quran translation has to take into account the adoption of many techniques to express the meaning of the Quran as understood in the original, and to offer this understanding in English in the most native-like manner to serve the intended target readers.

Paper Detail
667
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222
10009676
Combustion Improvements by C4/C5 Bio-Alcohol Isomer Blended Fuels Combined with Supercharging and EGR in a Diesel Engine
Abstract:

Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.

Paper Detail
399
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221
10009454
Biodiesel Production from Palm Oil Using an Oscillatory Baffled Reactor
Abstract:

Biofuel production especially that of biodiesel has gained tremendous attention during the last decade due to environmental concerns and shortage in petroleum oil reservoir. This research aims to investigate the influences of operating parameters, such as the alcohol-to-oil molar ratio (4:1, 6:1, and 9:1) and the amount of catalyst (1, 1.5, and 2 wt.%) on the trans esterification of refined palm oil (RPO) in a medium-scale oscillatory baffle reactor.  It has been shown that an increase in the methanol-to-oil ratio resulted in an increase in fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) content. The amount of catalyst has an insignificant effect on the FAMEs content. Engine testing was performed on B0 (100 v/v% diesel) and blended fuel or B50 (50 v/v% diesel). Combustion of B50 was found to give lower torque compared to pure diesel. Exhaust gas from B50 was found to contain lower concentration of CO and CO2.

Paper Detail
416
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220
10009518
Preparation of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced HDPE Using Dialkylimidazolium as a Dispersing Agent: Effect on Thermal and Rheological Properties
Abstract:

High-density polyethylene reinforced with carbon nanofibers (HDPE/CNF) have been prepared via melt processing using dialkylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (ionic liquid) as a dispersion agent. The prepared samples were characterized by thermogravimetric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analyses. The samples blended with imidazolium ionic liquid exhibit higher thermal stability. DSC analysis showed clear miscibility of ionic liquid in the HDPE matrix and showed single endothermic peak. The melt rheological analysis of HDPE/CNF composites was performed using an oscillatory rheometer. The influence of CNF and ionic liquid concentration (ranging from 0, 0.5, and 1 wt%) on the viscoelastic parameters was investigated at 200 °C with an angular frequency range of 0.1 to 100 rad/s. The rheological analysis shows the shear-thinning behavior for the composites. An improvement in the viscoelastic properties was observed as the nanofiber concentration increases. The progress in the modulus values was attributed to the structural rigidity imparted by the high aspect ratio CNF. The modulus values and complex viscosity of the composites increased significantly at low frequencies. Composites blended with ionic liquid exhibit slightly lower values of complex viscosity and modulus over the corresponding HDPE/CNF compositions. Therefore, reduction in melt viscosity is an additional benefit for polymer composite processing as a result of wetting effect by polymer-ionic liquid combinations.

Paper Detail
391
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219
10009379
Accounting for Rice Productivity Heterogeneity in Ghana: The Two-Step Stochastic Metafrontier Approach
Abstract:

Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.

Paper Detail
517
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218
10009065
Electron Beam Processing of Ethylene-Propylene-Terpolymer-Based Rubber Mixtures
Abstract:

The goal of the paper is to present the results regarding the influence of the irradiation dose and amount of multifunctional monomer trimethylol-propane trimethacrylate (TMPT) on ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer rubber (EPDM) mixtures irradiated in electron beam. Blends, molded on an electrically heated laboratory roller mill and compressed in an electrically heated hydraulic press, were irradiated using the ALID 7 of 5.5 MeV linear accelerator in the dose range of 22.6 kGy to 56.5 kGy in atmospheric conditions and at room temperature of 25 °C. The share of cross-linking and degradation reactions was evaluated by means of sol-gel analysis, cross-linking density measurements, FTIR studies and Charlesby-Pinner parameter (p0/q0) calculations. The blends containing different concentrations of TMPT (3 phr and 9 phr) and irradiated with doses in the mentioned range have present the increasing of gel content and cross-linking density. Modified and new bands in FTIR spectra have appeared, because of both cross-linking and chain scission reactions.

Paper Detail
599
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217
10009133
The Role of Blended Modality in Enhancing Active Learning Strategies in Higher Education: A Case Study of a Hybrid Course of Oral Production and Listening of French
Abstract:

Learning oral skills in an Arabic speaking environment is challenging. A blended course (material, activities, and individual/ group work tasks …) was implemented in a module of level B1 for undergraduate students of French as a foreign language in order to increase their opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills. This research investigates the influence of this modality on enhancing active learning and examines the effectiveness of provided strategies. Moreover, it aims at discovering how it allows teacher to flip the traditional classroom and create a learner-centered framework. Which approaches were integrated to motivate students and urge them to search, analyze, criticize, create and accomplish projects? What was the perception of students? This paper is based on the qualitative findings of a questionnaire and a focus group interview with learners. Despite the doubled time and effort both “teacher” and “student” needed, results revealed that the NTIC allowed a shift into a learning paradigm where learners were the “chiefs” of the process. Tasks and collaborative projects required higher intellectual capacities from them. Learners appreciated this experience and developed new life-long learning competencies at many levels: social, affective, ethical and cognitive. To conclude, they defined themselves as motivated young researchers, motivators and critical thinkers.

Paper Detail
431
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216
10008986
Jalovchat Gabbroic Intrusive of the Caucasus: Petrological Study, Geochemical Peculiarities and Formation Conditions
Abstract:

The Jalovchat intrusive is built up of hornblende gabbros, gabbro-norites and norites. Within the intrusive hornblende-bearing gabbro-pegmatites are widespread. That is a coarse-grained rock with gigantic hornblende crystals. By its unusual composition, the Jalovchat intrusive has no analogue in the Caucasus. However, petrologically and geochemically, the intrusive rocks were studied insufficiently. For comprehensive investigations, the authors applied appropriate methodologies: Microscopic study of thin sections, petro- and geochemical analyses of the samples and also different petrogenic, rare and rare earth elements diagrams and spidergrams. Analytical study established that the Jalovchat intrusive by its composition corresponds mainly to the mid-ocean ridge basalts and according to geodynamic type belongs to the subduction type. In general, it is an anomalous phenomenon, as in the rocks of such composition crystallization of hornblende and especially of its gigantic crystals is atypical. The authors believe that the water-rich magma reservoir, which was necessary for the crystallization of gigantic hornblende crystals, appeared as a result of melting of water-rich mid-ocean ridge basaltic rocks during the subduction process in Bajocian time.

Paper Detail
443
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215
10009151
Mechanical, Thermal and Biodegradable Properties of Bioplast-Spruce Green Wood Polymer Composites
Abstract:

Environmental and sustainability concerns push the industries to manufacture alternative materials having less environmental impact. The Wood Plastic Composites (WPCs) produced by blending the biopolymers and natural fillers permit not only to tailor the desired properties of materials but also are the solution to meet the environmental and sustainability requirements. This work presents the elaboration and characterization of the fully green WPCs prepared by blending a biopolymer, BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust used as filler with different amounts. Since both components are bio-based, the resulting material is entirely environmentally friendly. The mechanical, thermal, structural properties of these WPCs were characterized by different analytical methods like tensile, flexural and impact tests, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD). Their water absorption properties and resistance to the termite and fungal attacks were determined in relation with different wood filler content. The tensile and flexural moduli of WPCs increased with increasing amount of wood fillers into the biopolymer, but WPCs became more brittle compared to the neat polymer. Incorporation of spruce sawdust modified the thermal properties of polymer: The degradation, cold crystallization, and melting temperatures shifted to higher temperatures when spruce sawdust was added into polymer. The termite, fungal and water absorption resistance of WPCs decreased with increasing wood amount in WPCs, but remained in durability class 1 (durable) concerning fungal resistance and quoted 1 (attempted attack) in visual rating regarding to the termites resistance except that the WPC with the highest wood content (30 wt%) rated 2 (slight attack) indicating a long term durability. All the results showed the possibility to elaborate the easy injectable composite materials with adjustable properties by incorporation of BIOPLAST® GS 2189 and spruce sawdust. Therefore, lightweight WPCs allow both to recycle wood industry byproducts and to produce a full ecologic material.

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10009245
Plastic Waste Utilization as Asphalt Binder Modifier in Asphalt Concrete Pavement
Abstract:
The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the use of plastic waste as a low cost asphalt binder modifier. For this purpose Marshall mix design procedure was used. Marshall mix design procedure seeks to select the Optimum Binder Content (OBC) to be added to a specific aggregate blend resulting in a mixture that satisfies the desired properties of strength and durability. In order to evaluate the plastic waste modified (PWM) asphalt mixtures, the OBC for the conventional asphalt mix was first identified, and then different percentages of crushed plastic waste by weight of the identified OBC were tested. Marshall test results for the modified asphalt mixtures were analyzed to find the optimum PWM content. Finally, the static indirect tensile strength (IDT) was determined for all mixtures using the splitting tensile test. It was found that PWM content of 7.43% by weight of OBC is recommended as the optimum PWM content needed for enhancing the performance of asphalt mixtures. It enhanced stability by 42.56%, flow by 89.91% and strength by 13.54%. This would lead to a more durable pavement by improving the pavement resistance to fatigue cracking and rutting.
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10008294
Comparative Parametric and Emission Characteristics of Single Cylinder Spark Ignition Engine Using Gasoline, Ethanol, and H₂O as Micro Emulsion Fuels
Abstract:

In this paper, the performance and emission characteristics of a Single Cylinder Spark Ignition engine have been investigated. The research is based on micro emulsion application as fuel in a gasoline engine. We have analyzed many micro emulsion compositions in various proportions, for predicting the performance of the Spark Ignition engine. This new technology of fuel modifications is emerging very rapidly as lot of research is going on in the field of micro emulsion fuels in Compression Ignition engines, but the micro emulsion fuel used in a Gasoline engine is very rare. The use of micro emulsion as fuel in a Spark Ignition engine is virtually unexplored. So, our main goal is to see the performance and emission characteristics of micro emulsions as fuel, in Spark Ignition engines, and finding which composition is more efficient. In this research, we have used various micro emulsion fuels whose composition varies for all the three blends, and their performance and emission characteristic were predicted in AVL Boost software. Conventional Gasoline fuel 90%, 80% and 85% were blended with co-surfactant Ethanol in different compositions, and water was used as an additive for making it crystal clear transparent micro emulsion fuel, which is thermodynamically stable. By comparing the performances of engines, the power has shown similarity for micro emulsion fuel and conventional Gasoline fuel. On the other hand, Torque and BMEP shows increase for all the micro emulsion fuels. Micro emulsion fuel shows higher thermal efficiency and lower Specific Fuel Consumption for all the compositions as compared to the Gasoline fuel. Carbon monoxide and Hydro carbon emissions were also measured. The result shows that emissions decrease for all the composition of micro emulsion fuels, and proved to be the most efficient fuel both in terms of performance and emission characteristics.

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552
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212
10008317
Production, Characterisation and Assessment of Biomixture Fuels for Compression Ignition Engine Application
Abstract:

Hardly any neat biodiesel satisfies the European EN14214 standard for compression ignition engine application. To satisfy the EN14214 standard, various additives are doped into biodiesel; however, biodiesel additives might cause other problems such as increase in the particular emission and increased specific fuel consumption. In addition, the additives could be expensive. Considering the increasing level of greenhouse gas GHG emissions and fossil fuel depletion, it is forecasted that the use of biodiesel will be higher in the near future. Hence, the negative aspects of the biodiesel additives will likely to gain much more importance and need to be replaced with better solutions. This study aims to satisfy the European standard EN14214 by blending the biodiesels derived from sustainable feedstocks. Waste Cooking Oil (WCO) and Animal Fat Oil (AFO) are two sustainable feedstocks in the EU (including the UK) for producing biodiesels. In the first stage of the study, these oils were transesterified separately and neat biodiesels (W100 & A100) were produced. Secondly, the biodiesels were blended together in various ratios: 80% WCO biodiesel and 20% AFO biodiesel (W80A20), 60% WCO biodiesel and 40% AFO biodiesel (W60A40), 50% WCO biodiesel and 50% AFO biodiesel (W50A50), 30% WCO biodiesel and 70% AFO biodiesel (W30A70), 10% WCO biodiesel and 90% AFO biodiesel (W10A90). The prepared samples were analysed using Thermo Scientific Trace 1300 Gas Chromatograph and ISQ LT Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). The GS-MS analysis gave Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) breakdowns of the fuel samples. It was found that total saturation degree of the samples was linearly increasing (from 15% for W100 to 54% for A100) as the percentage of the AFO biodiesel was increased. Furthermore, it was found that WCO biodiesel was mainly (82%) composed of polyunsaturated FAMEs. Cetane numbers, iodine numbers, calorific values, lower heating values and the densities (at 15 oC) of the samples were estimated by using the mass percentages data of the FAMEs. Besides, kinematic viscosities (at 40 °C and 20 °C), densities (at 15 °C), heating values and flash point temperatures of the biomixture samples were measured in the lab. It was found that estimated and measured characterisation results were comparable. The current study concluded that biomixture fuel samples W60A40 and W50A50 were perfectly satisfying the European EN 14214 norms without any need of additives. Investigation on engine performance, exhaust emission and combustion characteristics will be conducted to assess the full feasibility of the proposed biomixture fuels.

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499
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211
10008360
ZnS and Graphene Quantum Dots Nanocomposite as Potential Electron Acceptor for Photovoltaics
Abstract:

Zinc sulphide (ZnS) quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized successfully via simple sonochemical method. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analysis revealed the average size of QDs of the order of 3.7 nm. The band gap of the QDs was tuned to 5.2 eV by optimizing the synthesis parameters. UV-Vis absorption spectra of ZnS QD confirm the quantum confinement effect. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis confirmed the formation of single phase ZnS QDs. To fabricate the diode, blend of ZnS QDs and P3HT was prepared and the heterojunction of PEDOT:PSS and the blend was formed by spin coating on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass substrate. The diode behaviour of the heterojunction was analysed, wherein the ideality factor was found to be 2.53 with turn on voltage 0.75 V and the barrier height was found to be 1.429 eV. ZnS-Graphene QDs nanocomposite was characterised for the surface morphological study. It was found that the synthesized ZnS QDs appear as quasi spherical particles on the graphene sheets. The average particle size of ZnS-graphene nanocomposite QDs was found to be 8.4 nm. From voltage-current characteristics of ZnS-graphene nanocomposites, it is observed that the conductivity of the composite increases by 104 times the conductivity of ZnS QDs. Thus the addition of graphene QDs in ZnS QDs enhances the mobility of the charge carriers in the composite material. Thus, the graphene QDs, with high specific area for a large interface, high mobility and tunable band gap, show a great potential as an electron-acceptors in photovoltaic devices.

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899
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10008674
Humic Acid and Azadirachtin Derivatives for the Management of Crop Pests
Abstract:

Organic cultivation of crops is gaining importance consumer awareness towards pesticide residue free foodstuffs is increasing globally. This is also because of high costs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, making the conventional farming non-remunerative. In India, organic manures (such as vermicompost) are an important input in organic agriculture.  Though vermicompost obtained through earthworm and microbe-mediated processes is known to comprise most of the crop nutrients, but they are in small amounts thus necessitating enrichment of nutrients so that crop nourishment is complete. Another characteristic of organic manures is that the pest infestations are kept under check due to induced resistance put up by the crop plants. In the present investigation, deoiled neem cake containing azadirachtin, copper ore tailings (COT), a source of micro-nutrients and microbial consortia were added for enrichment of vermicompost. Neem cake is a by-product obtained during the process of oil extraction from neem plant seeds. Three enriched vermicompost blends were prepared using vermicompost (at 70, 65 and 60%), deoiled neem cake (25, 30 and 35%), microbial consortia and COTwastes (5%). Enriched vermicompost was thoroughly mixed, moistened (25+5%), packed and incubated for 15 days at room temperature. In the crop response studies, the field trials on chili (Capsicum annum var. longum) and soybean, (Glycine max cv JS 335) were conducted during Kharif 2015 at the Main Agricultural Research Station, UAS, Dharwad-Karnataka, India. The vermicompost blend enriched with neem cake (known to possess higher amounts of nutrients) and vermicompost were applied to the crops and at two dosages and at two intervals of crop cycle (at sowing and 30 days after sowing) as per the treatment plan along with 50% recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF). 10 plants selected randomly in each plot were studied for pest density and plant damage. At maturity, crops were harvested, and the yields were recorded as per the treatments, and the data were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools and procedures. In the crops, chili and soybean, crop nourishment with neem enriched vermicompost reduced insect density and plant damage significantly compared to other treatments. These treatments registered as much yield (16.7 to 19.9 q/ha) as that realized in conventional chemical control (18.2 q/ha) in soybean, while 72 to 77 q/ha of green chili was harvested in the same treatments, being comparable to the chemical control (74 q/ha). The yield superiority of the treatments was of the order neem enriched vermicompost>conventional chemical control>neem cake>vermicompost>untreated control.  The significant features of the result are that it reduces use of inorganic manures by 50% and synthetic chemical insecticides by 100%.

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