Open Access Original Research Article

Inducing Water Productivity from Snow Cover for Sustainable Water Management in Ibrahim River Basin, Lebanon

Talal Darwish, Amin Shaban, Ivan Portoghese, Michele Vurro, Roula Khadra, Sagedah Saqallah, Laurent Drapeau, Simon Gascoin, Nabil Amacha

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 233-243
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13777

The aim of this paper is to explore the effects and linkages between snow cover areas, distribution, probability and measured water discharge along east Mediterranean coastal watershed using moderate-resolution satellite images (MODIS-Terra). The Nahr Ibrahim River is a typical Lebanese watershed with an area of 326 km2 stretching between the sea and mountainous terrain to the east. The largest snow cover often exists in January-February with snow-free conditions between June and November. Image analysis enabled to analyze the temporal variability of the mean and maximum monthly areas of snow cover between 2000 and 2013. Snow cover dynamics were compared with the discharge from main springs (Afqa and Rouaiss) feeding the river and the probability of snow cover was estimated. The mean monthly snow cover, snow melting rates and springs discharge were found to be in direct relationship. In addition, the measured water discharge at the river mouth was found to be higher than the discharge of the two main feeding springs. This indicates a contribution of groundwater to the stream flow, which is again in direct connection with snow melting at the upper bordering slopes and probably from neighboring watersheds. Considering the characteristics of the mountainous rocks (i.e. Sinkholes, fissured and karstified limestone), the pedo-climatic and land cover conditions affect the hydrological regime which is directly responding to the area and temporal distribution of snow cover, which appears after two months from snowing events. This is reflected on water productivity and related disciplines (Agricultural yield, floods). This study highlights the potential of satellite snow detection over the watershed to estimate snow cover duration curve, forecast the stream flow regime and volume for better water management and flood risk preparedness.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fish Bones Proving Their Worth in the De-leadification of Contaminated Water

Lovell Agwaramgbo, Lloynikka , Travis Demley

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 244-249
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13316

Lead is among the heavy metals that contaminate our soil and water. Chronic exposure to lead has been reported to have serious health implications to humans, animals, and plants as well as our food, soil, and water safety. Adsorption onto biomaterials is one of the most promising processes for heavy metal remediation of contaminated water. In order to assess and compare the efficacy of unmodified and unactivated fish bones, Na2CO3, and Na3PO4 as sorbents in remediating lead contaminated water, triplicate samples of fish bones from three types of fish and the carbonate and phosphate salts were separately exposed to 1400 PPM lead nitrate solution under stirring at room temperature for 24 hrs. The residual lead after the exposure period was analyzed using EPA Method 6010 (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)). The percent lead removed from the contaminated aqueous solution by each fish bone, carbonate and phosphate salt was calculated. Lead removal by the fish bone was greater than 99% for each type of fish bone used. The results further suggest that the fish bones removed slightly more lead than sodium carbonate and sodium phosphate. These results suggest that unmodified fish bone is a highly effective biomaterial for removing lead from contaminated water.

Open Access Original Research Article

Study on Structural Characterization of Surfactants Influence on Electroless Ni-P Deposits

Elansezhian Rasu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 250-257
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12640

A novel method to improve the amorphous phase of electroless Nickel-Phosphorus (EN) coatings is developed by adding surfactants to EN bath. The two surfactants namely sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) have significant influence on the structure of EN deposits. The EN coated samples were characterized using X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The XRD pattern of all the deposits indicated the presence of nano crystalline and amorphous phases. Addition of surfactants favors the formation of amorphous phase than its crystalline counterpart. The crystallite size was found to varyfrom 20 nm with no surfactant to 8 nm with addition of surfactants. From the TEM study, dark surfaces corresponding to the amorphous phase can be seen and the SAD pattern of the deposit confirms the predominance of this amorphous phase. This favors wear and corrosion resistance applications. The experimental results and analysis are reported in this paper.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Processing Method on the Antinutrient Content of Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze Flour

Collinlaw J. Ndouyang, Nicolas Y. Njintang, Balaam Facho, Joel Scher, Carl M. F. Mbofung

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 258-269
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/10217

Aims: This study was aimed at evaluating the effect of the method of processing on the antinutrient content of flours made from Tacca leontopetaloides (Tacca) tubers.
Study Design: Two experimental designs - the randomized block and the doehlert designs - were used in the study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in the Laboratoire d’ingenierie et Biomolecules of the University of Lorraine, France between September 2011 and May 2012.
Methodology: Fresh tacca tubers were peeled, sliced and subjected to six different soaking and boiling conditions: unprocessed, 36 h soaking- 4h boiling, 72h soaking, 4h boiling, 4h boiling-36 h soaking, 4h acid boiling, 4h alkaline boiling. Following the doehlert design, 9 treatments were obtained within the experimental domain of soaking (0 to 48h) and boiling time (3 to 5 h). The slices were dried and ground into flours which were subsequently analyzed for their antinutrients content.
Results: The results revealed that untreated tacca flour contained high levels of antinutrients: total oxalates 870 mg/100g; soluble oxalates 399.7 mg/100g; phytates 458.0 mg/100g; cyanides 1.59 g/100g; saponins 4081.2 mg/100gDM; total polyphenols 419.3 mg/100g; total tannins 355.2 mg/100g; flavonoids 23.5 mg/100g and alkaloids 803.9 mg/100g. Soaking or boiling alone induced only limited reductions (up to 50% in most cases) in the antinutrients content of the flours. While boiling compared to one step soaking generally had a much higher impact on the reduction in antinutrients, a significant difference was observed amongst boiling solutions. In fact while boiling in water had a limited effect on the elimination of oxalate and saponins, boiling in alkaline was less efficient in the removal of alkaloids. Boiling followed by soaking was more effective in reducing antinutrients compared to boiling or soaking alone. Experiments carried out to optimize the treatment conditions showed 25 and 4-5 hours as the respective optimum conditions for soaking and boiling of the tubers to obtain flour of low antinutrient content.
Conclusion: Soaking and/or boiling in solution leads to more than 50% reduction in the antinutrients contents of tacca. The most efficient treatment condition resulting in 90% reduction in all antinutrients consists of double soaking for periods of 36h each. The residual antinutrients are below non toxic levels, and might play positive roles in metabolism, but this is yet to be investigated.

Open Access Original Research Article

Design and Construction of Cabinet Solar Dryers

H. U. Emelue, N. Omehe, P. Oghome, K. Amanze

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 270-284
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/9433

Two domestic solar dryers were designed and tested in Abraka, Delta State of Nigeria. One has a mirror reflector to concentrate sun – light energy into the dryer while other has no reflector. The dryer ovens were subjected to a number of experimental tests by drying/cooking six different food items in them. The analysis of the results obtained, showed that the temperature and the rate of drying in the oven with reflector were higher than the one without reflector. The temperature and the rate of drying were higher in both ovens compared to the open – air drying. The total power obtained using the oven with reflector was 350.00W, while the oven without reflector gave 330.56W and the open air – drying recorded 233.15W. These could act as an alternative dryer to the conventional open air-drying and cooking for rural farmers in Nigeria and other tropical countries with similar circumstances.

Open Access Original Research Article

Sum Rate Maximization Based on Joint Power Control and Beamforming in MIMO One Way AF Relay Networks

Shahriar Shirvani Moghaddam, Maryam Alibeigi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 285-296
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13115

Aims: Joint Power control and beamforming in MIMO one way AF relay networks by obtaining beamforming weights on relay nodes through maximizing sum rate while the total power consumed in all relay nodes are not greater than the certain predefined threshold.
Study Design: Comparative study by simulation in MATLAB software.
Place and Duration of Study: Digital Communications Signal Processing Research Lab., Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Since June 2012 to June 2014.
Methodology: We consider a wireless communication network consisting of d source-destination pairs communicating in a pairwise manner via R non regenerative one way relay nodes. Our objective is maximizing sum rate supposing that the total power consumed in all relay nodes is not greater than the certain predefined threshold. It is shown that finding beamforming matrix which satisfies our goal is a non-convex problem. So, we use semidefinite relaxation technique to turn this problem into a semidefinite programming (SDP) problem. We propose two new algorithms which maximize total signal to total leakage (interference plus noise) ratio (TSTLR).
Results: Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm is a low-complex algorithm and outperforms the existing total leakage minimization algorithm, named TL. In addition, the effect of the number of relays, the number of transmitter-receiver pairs, quality of uplink as well as downlink channels and imperfect channel state information (CSI) are investigated.
Conclusion: The proposed method maximizes the total signal to total leakage ratio by maximizing the difference between the numerator and the denominator. It is shown that when the number of relays increases or the quality of uplink and downlink channels improves, higher sum rate can be achieved. Moreover, by increasing the number of source – destination pairs the sum rate increases, too. Also, it is shown that when uncertainty of channels increases the achievable sum rate decreases.

Open Access Original Research Article

Anxiety and Depression in Brazilian Undergraduate Students: The Role of Sociodemographic Variables, Undergraduate Course Characteristics and Social Skills

Alessandra Turini Bolsoni-Silva, Sonia Regina Loureiro

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 297-307
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/13004

The prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders in undergraduate students is high and several variables can be influential. The aim is to verify the predictive value of social skills, sociodemographic variables, and course characteristics for depression and anxiety. A total of 1282 students of a public university, of both sexes and from different years and courses, participated in this study. Screening instruments for depression and anxiety were applied, as well as an instrument investigating social skills and a questionnaire covering socio demographic indicators and course characteristics. The data were analyzed using univariate analysis followed by multiple binary regression analysis in order to define the relevance of these depression and anxiety measures. The rates of anxiety and depression were 19.4% and 3.8%, respectively. The social skills and living situation were predictive of depression, with the social skills and course area (with higher prevalence for the exact and human sciences) remaining in the final model for anxiety. Such data have implications for psychological prevention and intervention with this population.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Analysis for Prediction of Electrical Power Demand of Bayelsa State (Nigeria) by Year 2025

D. C. Idoniboyeobu, R. J. Idumangi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 308-320
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/10958

This work predicts the peak electrical load demand consumption of Bayelsa State by the year 2025. The data of electrical load allocation and utilization of power consumption of the State in the past five (5) years (2006-2010) were extracted from control room log sheets of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and Kolo Creek Gas Turbine Power Station (Glory Power Company Ltd) for the comparative analysis. Population growth rate for the state as well as Master plan by the Capital City Development Authority were also used. The loads for the analysis were divided into the following categories: domestic, commercial, industrial and electrical load consumed by government agencies. Various improved engineering analysis models and applications including calculations, diagrams and graphs were reviewed and applied to justify the study; the Study revealed that Second-Order Polynomial Model gives the best fit because it gives the least error of 0.66 and provides a good approximation to the shape of f(x) function which describes the trend of the electrical power demand distribution in Bayelsa State.

Open Access Original Research Article

Critical Issues in Reforming the Nigerian Construction Industry

Aniekwu Nathaniel Anny, C. Igboanugo Anthony, Onifade Morakinyo Kehinde

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 321-332
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12617

It is the consensus of scholars that the productivity of the construction industry in Nigeria is very low compared with other industries. This situation has been attributed to the fragmented approach commonly adopted in the delivery of construction projects and does not effectively encourage the integration, coordination and communication between participants in the construction industry [1]. Many studies have enunciated this fact and suggested various ways to improve the performance, including the adoption of new construction delivery concepts from other more successful industries. This work therefore seeks to identify the critical elements that will be influential in diffusing these new delivery concepts into the Nigerian construction industry in order to improve their productivity. A detailed literature search and preliminary questionnaire survey were conducted and identified 63 variables that will influence the adoption of new construction delivery concepts in the Nigerian construction industry. The Kendall coefficient of concordance was applied to the responses from 25 experienced construction professionals who ranked the variables in their order of importance and also compute the degree of agreement among these respondents to improve the reliability of the results. A coefficient of concordance (W=0.56) was obtained indicating a good level of agreement. The 46 topmost variables out of 63 were selected and used to design a wieldy 5-step ordinal scale Likert type questionnaire, which was distributed to 459 professionals in the construction industry with a 57% response rate. Principal Component Analysis (PCA), based on a 260 x 46 data matrix, was conducted on the survey responses. PCA was chosen over other models due to the fact that it identifies patterns in data, and expresses the data in a way that highlights their similarities and differences. It also reduces the number of dimensions, without much loss of information. Further analysis using StatistiXL and SPSS software packages using PCA output as input. A correlation matrix of 46 dimensions was obtained from which communalities and Kaiser-Olkin-Mayer (KMO) of the variables was developed.
The construction life cycle variable had the highest communalities of 0.752 and a meritorious KMO value of 0.840 for the entire variables, thus justifying the adequacy of the sample. The eigen-values obtained for the variables ranged between + or- 0.001 and + or – 0.499, indicating that the variables had more characteristics of relating with others and were clearly correlated. The Varimax rotation grouped the 46 variables into 10 clusters based on their similarities. Cluster 7 which was creatively labeled Regulatory Environment housed the highest number of variables with above average factor loading between 0.09 to 0.0.657. The severity index (SI) analysis of the data matrix presented Delayed Remuneration, a variable under Regulatory Environment, as the most influential variable with SI of 4.396. The work identified that the focus of any ameliorative measures should be on Regulatory environment, which should aim at building credible Institutions and Infrastructure. A policy framework for diffusing innovations and new construction delivery systems will be a good extension to this work.

Open Access Review Article

The Seven Factors of Production

Sunday Okerekehe Okpighe

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 217-232
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2015/12080

The review of the Factors of Production is reported. The dynamics and response of globalization has rubbished the age long definition of factors of production. General management as entrenched in operations and production in the past centuries gave birth to non-responsive and dormant factors of production which dictated public service bureaucracy. Information and Time change were of no essence. Bureaucracy has been swept off the stage in the face of the emerging technology-driven global markets were competitiveness demands that the consumer/customer is king. In this era, Information and Time are considered of great essence to the success or failure of products/project delivery to the consumer. Consequent on the above, the review has revealed seven factors of Production which are relevant and sufficient to drive the global markets.