Abstract: Desalination using solar energy coupled with membrane techniques such as vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is considered as an interesting alternative for the production of pure water. During this work, a developed model of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber membrane module of a VMD unit of seawater was carried out. This simulation leads to establishing a comparison between the effects of two different equations of the vaporization latent heat on the membrane surface temperature and on the unit productivity. Besides, in order to study the effect of putting membrane modules in series on the outlet fluid temperature and on the productivity of the process, a simulation was executed.
Abstract: Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.
Abstract: Our research shows the use of the mobile phone that consolidates the relationship between veterinarians, and that between breeders and veterinarians. On the other hand it asserts that the tool in question is a means of economic development. The results of our survey reveal a positive return to the veterinary community, which shows that the mobile phone has become an effective means of sustainable development through the transfer of a rapid and punctual information inheritance via social networks; including many Internet applications. Our results show that almost all veterinarians use the mobile phone for interprofessional communication. We therefore believe that the use of the mobile phone by livestock operators has greatly improved the working conditions, just as the use of this tool contributes to a better management of the exploitation as long as it allows limit travel but also save time. These results show that we are witnessing a growth in the use of mobile telephony technologies that impact is as much in terms of sustainable development. Allowing access to information, especially technical information, the mobile phone, and Information and Communication of Technology (ICT) in general, give livestock sector players not only security, by limiting losses, but also an efficiency that allows them a better production and productivity.
Abstract: In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38⸗ N, 42°52´02⸗ E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).
Abstract: Lactobionic acid is a disaccharide formed from gluconic acid and galactose, and produced by oxidation of lactose. Productivity of lactobionic acid by microbial synthesis can be affected by various factors, and one of them is a presence of potassium, magnesium and manganese ions. In order to extend lactobionic acid production efficiency, it is necessary to increase the yield of lactobionic acid by optimising the fermentation conditions and available substrates for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The object of the research was to determinate the application of K2HPO4, MnSO4, MgSO4 × 7H2O salts in different concentration for effective lactose oxidation to lactobionic acid by Pseudomonas taetrolens. Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 (NCTC, England) and Pseudomonas taetrolens DSM 21104 (DSMZ, Germany) were used for the study. The acid whey was used as the study object. The content of lactose in whey samples was determined using MilcoScanTM Mars (Foss, Denmark) and high performance liquid chromatography (Shimadzu LC 20 Prominence, Japan). The content of lactobionic acid in whey samples was determined using the high performance liquid chromatography. The impact of studied salts differs, Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions enhanced fermentation instead of K+ ions. Results approved that Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions are necessary for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The study results will help to improve the effectiveness of lactobionic acid production with Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 and DSM 21104.
Abstract: Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.
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.
Abstract: One of the main difficulties in developing multi-robot
systems (MRS) is related to the simulation and testing tools available.
Indeed, if the differences between simulations and real robots are
too significant, the transition from the simulation to the robot
won’t be possible without another long development phase and
won’t permit to validate the simulation. Moreover, the testing of
different algorithmic solutions or modifications of robots requires
a strong knowledge of current tools and a significant development
time. Therefore, the availability of tools for MRS, mainly with
flying drones, is crucial to enable the industrial emergence of these
systems. This research aims to present the most commonly used
tools for MRS simulations and their main shortcomings and presents
complementary tools to improve the productivity of designers in the
development of multi-vehicle solutions focused on a fast learning
curve and rapid transition from simulations to real usage. The
proposed contributions are based on existing open source tools as
Gazebo simulator combined with ROS (Robot Operating System) and
the open-source multi-platform autopilot ArduPilot to bring them to
a broad audience.
Abstract: The telemedicine services require correct computing resource management to guarantee productivity and efficiency for medical and non-medical staff. The aim of this study was to examine web management strategies to ensure the availability of resources and services in telemedicine so as to provide medical information management with an accessible strategy. In addition, to evaluate the quality-of-service parameters, the followings were measured: delays, throughput, jitter, latency, available bandwidth, percent of access and denial of services based of web management performance map with profiles permissions and database management. Through 24 different test scenarios, the results show 100% in availability of medical information, in relation to access of medical staff to web services, and quality of service (QoS) of 99% because of network delay and performance of computer network. The findings of this study suggest that the proposed strategy of web management is an ideal solution to guarantee the availability, reliability, and accessibility of medical information. Finally, this strategy offers seven user profile used at telemedicine center of Bogota-Colombia keeping QoS parameters suitable to telemedicine services.
Abstract: A field experiment was conducted at Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, Nigeria to determine the effects of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at different spacing and weeding regimes on crops productivity. The treatments were 2 x 2 x 3 factorial arrangement involving two spatial crop arrangements. Spacing of 75 cm x 50 cm and 90 cm x 42 cm (41.667 cm) with two plants per stand resulted in plant population of approximately 53,000 plants/hectare. Also, Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with two cropping patterns (sole and intercrop), three weeding regimes (weedy check, weeds once, and weed twice) with three replicates was used. Data were analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and statistical means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) (P ≤ 0.05). Intercropping and crop spacing did not have significant influence on the growth parameters and yield parameters. The maize grain yield of 1.11 t/ha obtained under sole maize was comparable to 1.05 t/ha from maize/jack beans. Weeding regime significantly influenced growth and yields of maize in intercropping with Jack beans. Weeding twice resulted in significantly higher growth than that of the other weeding regimes. Plant height at 6 Weeks After Sowing (WAS) under weeding twice regime (3 and 6 WAS) was 83.9 cm which was significantly different from 67.75 cm and 53.47 cm for weeding once (3 WAS) and no weeding regimes respectively. Moreover, maize grain yield of 1.3 t/ha obtained from plots weeded twice was comparable to that of 1.23 t/ha from single weeding and both were significantly higher than 0.71 t/ha maize grain yield obtained from the no weeding control. The dry matter production of Jack beans reduced at some growth stages due to intercropping of maize with Jack beans though with no significance effect on the other growth parameters of the crop. There was no effect on the growth parameters of Jack beans in maize/jack beans intercrop based on cropping spacing while comparable growth and dry matter production in Jack beans were produced in maize/Jack beans mixture with single weeding.
Abstract: The feasibility of improving the performance of the proposed solar still unit which operated in very hot climate is investigated numerically and verified with experimental data. This solar desalination unit with proposed auxiliary device as seawater preheating system using petrol based textherm oil was used to produce pure fresh water from seawater. The effective evaporation area of basin is about 1 m2. The unit was tested in two main operation modes which are normal and with seawater preheating system. The results showed that, there is good agreement between the theoretical data and the experimental data; this means that the numerical model can be accurately dependable for predicting the proposed solar still performance and design parameters. The results also showed that the fresh water productivity of the solar still in the modified preheating case which is higher than normal case, leads to an increase in productivity of 42%.
Abstract: When long-term changes in normal weather patterns happen in a certain area, it generally could be identified as climate change. Concentration of principal's greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone, and water vapor will cause climate change and perhaps climate variability. Main climate factors are temperature, precipitation, air pressure, and humidity. Extreme events may be the result of the changing of carbon dioxide concentration levels in the atmosphere which cause a change in temperature. Extreme events in some ways will affect the productivity of crop and dairy livestock. In this research, the correlation of milk production and temperature as the main climate factor in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari province in Iran has been considered. The methodology employed for this study consists, collect reports and published national and provincial data, available recorded data on climate factors and analyzing collected data using statistical software. Milk production in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari province is in the same pattern as national milk production in Iran. According to the current study results, there is a significant negative correlation between milk production in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari provinces and temperature as the main climate change factor.
Abstract: As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.
Abstract: Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.
Abstract: Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.
Abstract: Mega construction projects create buildings and major infrastructure to respond to work and life requirements while playing a vital role in promoting any nation’s economy. However, the industry is often criticised for not balancing economic, environmental and social dimensions of their projects, with emphasis typically on one aspect to the detriment of the others. This has resulted in many negative impacts including environmental pollution, waste throughout the project lifecycle, low productivity, and avoidable accidents. The identification of comprehensive Social Responsibility (SR) indicators, which combine social, environmental and economic aspects, is urgently needed. This is particularly the case in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which often has mega public construction projects. The aim of this paper is to develop a set of wide-ranging SR indicators which encompass social, economic and environmental aspects unique to the KSA. A qualitative approach was applied to explore relevant indicators through a review of the existing literature, international standards and reports. A list of appropriate indicators was developed, and its comprehensiveness was corroborated by interviews with experts on mega construction projects working with SR concepts in the KSA. The findings present 39 indicators and their metrics, covering 10 economic, 12 environmental and 17 social aspects of SR mapped against their references. These indicators are a valuable reference for decision-makers and academics in the KSA to understand factors related to SR in mega construction projects. The indicators are related to mega construction projects within the KSA and require validation in a real case scenario or within a different industry to demonstrate their generalisability.
Abstract: Plant viruses can cause loss of yield and quality in a
lot of important crops. Symptoms of pathogens are variable
depending on the cultivars and virus strain. Selection of resistant
potato varieties would reduce the risk of virus transmission and
significant economic impact. Other way to avoid reduced harvest
yields is regular potato seed production sampling and testing for viral
infection. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and
distribution of viral diseases according potato cultivars for further
selection of virus-free material in Georgia. During the summer 2015-
2016, 5 potato cultivars (Sante, Laura, Jelly, Red Sonia, Anushka) at
5 different farms located in Akhalkalaki were tested for 6 different
potato viruses: Potato virus A (PVA), Potato virus M (PVM), Potato
virus S (PVS), Potato virus X (PVX), Potato virus Y (PVY) and
potato leaf roll virus (PLRV). A serological method, Double
Antibody Sandwich-Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (DASELISA)
was used at the laboratory to analyze the results. The result
showed that PVY (21.4%) and PLRV (19.7%) virus presence in
collected samples was relatively high compared to others. Researched
potato cultivars except Jelly and Laura were infected by PVY with
different concentrations. PLRV was found only in three potato
cultivars (Sante, Jelly, Red Sonia) and PVM virus (3.12%) was
characterized with low prevalence. PVX, PVA and PVS virus
infection was not reported. It would be noted that 7.9% of samples
were containing PVY/PLRV mix infection. Based on the results it
can be concluded that PVY and PLRV infections are dominant in all
research cultivars. Therefore significant yield losses are expected.
Systematic, long-term control of potato viral infection, especially
seed-potatoes, must be regarded as the most important factor to
increase seed productivity.
Abstract: Science offers opportunities for revolutionizing human activities, enriched by input from scientific research and technology. Biotechnology is a major force for development in developing countries such as Nigeria. It is found to contribute to solving human problems like water and food insecurity that impede national development and threaten peace wherever it is applied. This review identified the problems of agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria. On the part of rural farmers, there is a lack of adequate knowledge or awareness of biotechnology despite the fact that they constitute the bulk of Nigerian farmers. On part of the government, the problems include: lack of adequate implementation of government policy on bio-safety and genetically modified products, inadequate funding of education as well as research and development of products related to biotechnology. Other problems include: inadequate infrastructures (including laboratory), poor funding and lack of national strategies needed for development and running of agricultural biotechnology. In spite of all the challenges associated with agricultural biotechnology, its prospects still remain great if Nigeria is to meet with the food needs of the country’s ever increasing population. The introduction of genetically engineered products will lead to the high productivity needed for commercialization and food security. Insect, virus and other related diseases resistant crops and livestock are another viable area of contribution of biotechnology to agricultural production. In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology will not only ensure food security, but, in addition, will ensure that the local farmers utilize appropriate technology needed for large production, leading to the prosperity of the farmers and national economic growth, provided government plays its role of adequate funding and good policy implementation.
Abstract: Jatropha curcas L. is one of the crops producing non edible oil which is potential for bio-energy. Jatropha cultivation and development program in Indonesia is facing several problems especially low seed yield resulting in inefficient crop cultivation cost. To cope with the problem, development of high yielding varieties is necessary. Development of varieties to improve seed yield was conducted by hybridization and selection, and resulted in 14 potential genotypes. The yield potential of the 14 genotypes were evaluated and compared with two check varieties. The objective of the evaluation was to find Jatropha hybrids with some characters i.e. productivity higher than check varieties, oil content > 40% and harvesting age ≤ 110 days. Hybridization and individual plant selection were carried out from 2010 to 2014. Evaluation of high yield was conducted in Asembagus experimental station, Situbondo, East Java in three years (2015-2017). The experimental designed was Randomized Complete Block Design with three replication and plot size of 10 m x 8 m. The characters observed were number of capsules per plant, dry seed yield (kg/ha) and seed oil content (%). The results of this experiment indicated that all the hybrids evaluated have higher productivity than check variety IP-3A. There were two superior hybrids i.e. HS-49xSP-65/32 and HS-49xSP-19/28 with highest seed yield per hectare and number of capsules per plant during three years.
Abstract: Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is potential vegetables to develop, because it has high economic value and has the potential to be exported. There is a decrease in tomato productivity due to unfavorable growth conditions such as bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, high humidity, high temperature and inappropriate production technology. Grafting technology is one alternative technology. In addition to being able to control the disease in the soil, grafting is also able to increase the growth and yield of production. Besides, it is also necessary to know the economic benefits if using grafting technology. A promising eggplant rootstock for tomato grafting is Solanum torvum. S. torvum is selected as a rootstock with high compatibility. The purpose of this research is to know the effect of grafting several varieties of tomatoes with Solanum torvum as a rootstock. The experiment was conducted in Agricultural Extension Center Pare. Experimental Garden of Pare Kediri sub-district from July to early December 2016. The materials used were tomato Cervo varieties, Karina, Timoty, and Solanum torvum. Economic analysis, growth, and yield including plant height, number of leaves, percentage of disease and tomato production were used as performance measures. The study showed that grafting tomato Timoty scion with Solanum torvum as rootstock had higher production. Financially, grafting tomato Timoty and Cervo scion had higher profit about. 28,6% and 16,3% compared to Timoty and Cervo variety treatment without grafting.