Open Access Original Research Article

Optimising the Capacity of Nigeria Construction Sector for Socio-economic Sustainability

Peter Uchenna Okoye

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-16
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/26268

Aims: In this period of economic quandary, Nigeria needs to make workable and precise economic policies and decisions based on accurate information in all sectors of the economy. However, dearth of empirical study on construction sector for economic decisions has made this aspiration more tasking. This study therefore, was aimed at examining the capacity of the construction sector in the socio-economic development of Nigeria using economic data on the construction sector and the aggregate GDP.

Study Design: Quarterly data on construction sector and gross domestic product (GDP) between 2010 and 2015 were obtained from various electronic publications of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The study chose 2010 as the base year because the re-based National Account of Nigerian economy was at the 2010 basic price.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Building, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria between August 2015 and May, 2016.

Methodology: Econometric techniques such as unit root test, cointegration test, Granger causality test as well as ordinary least square regression method were employed to analyse the capacity and relationship of construction sectors output with the aggregate economy (GDP).

Results: The study established that there is significant strong positive relationship (R = 0.709) between the construction sector and the real GDP. The study further established that there is strong bi-directional causal relationship between the aggregate real GDP and the construction sector output of Nigeria. The study also found that about 50.33% (R2 = 0.503305) of the proportion of variations in the real GDP can be explained by the construction sector output. Using a regression model, the study finally developed a model through which the real GDP can be predicted by the construction sector output.

Conclusion: The result implied that the construction sector Granger causes the total GDP and vice versa. It also implied that both the construction sector and aggregate GDP greatly influenced each other in large proportion. It can therefore be deduced from the result of this study that the Nigeria construction sector holds great potentials for improving the national economy through its networks of activities. In this regard, the economic policy makers should closely study and monitor the construction sector because of its propensity for achieving socio-economic sustainability through GDP improvement, improvement in Gross Capital Formation and employment generation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Emotional Trace: Mapping of Facial Expression to Valence-arousal Space

Ayoub Al-Hamadi, Anwar Saeed, Robert Niese, Sebastian Handrich, Heiko Neumann

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27294

The automated analysis of facial expression is a long investigated subject in the computer vision community and has been boosted by applications in the field of human computer interaction (HCI). Besides mapping of facial expressions to basic emotion categories, what is often of limited use for HCI due to sparse occurrence of real emotions, other approaches have been proposed to transform facial expression to the two dimensional so-called valence arousal space. With these affective user state parameters available, the course of the interaction can basically be guided smarter, i.e. the computer can provide help to an apparently confused user. However, it has been shown that the valence arousal space transformation can be impaired due to inaccuracies in image based feature extraction. In this article we present an advanced method using image processing and 3-D computer vision technology that on the one hand suppresses this problem through hierarchical analysis. Further, our concept enables the assignment of an intensity level of the affective state, which can be a valuable parameter for the interaction. In this paper we give details on the system concept with the different processing steps and respective results. By the application of our method we achieve improvement of facial expression recognition compared to other state-of-the-art methods. In particular we can distinguish roughly 15 percent more classes while maintaining the high recognition rate.

Open Access Original Research Article

Structural, Morphological and Optical Characteristics of Low Temperature Oxidized Metallic Zinc Films

K. U. Isah, A. M. Ramalan, B. J. Jolayemi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/26853

This work presents the effect of low temperature- below Zn melting point oxidation of Zn film on the optical, morphological and structural properties of thermally oxidized Zn films. Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were synthesised from thermal vacuum deposited metallic zinc thin films by low temperature thermal oxidation of the Zn films between 200ºC and 400ºC. The ZnO films exhibited preferred (011) orientation wurtzite structure, with presence of Zn peaks that diminishes with increase in the oxidation temperature. The films show modification in morphology exhibiting different nanostructures at different Zn film oxidation temperature. The stoichiometric ratio between Zn and O atoms of the ZnO films synthesized at oxidation temperature of 400ºC show much closer value to the ideal 1:1 ratio giving ZnO0.94 while at 200 and 300ºC oxidation temperature the deviation from ideal was more with stoichiometry of ZnO0.74. The films had optical transmittance of 64-71% in the visible region with the transmission edge becoming sharper and the optical band gap improving from 2.90 to 3.30 eV with increase in oxidation temperature. The lattice parameter c/a ratio was ≈1.732 for all the samples, showing a deviation of 0.099 from the ideal 1.633 of wurtzite structure belonging to the space group P63mc by 0.099. The Zn-O bond length were ≈1.834 Å for each samples, which is also less than ideal 1.993 Å along c-axis an indication of the planes being more closely packed than the  ideal. The refractive index dispersion of the ZnO films below the interband absorption edge were analyzed based on the single-oscillator model.

Open Access Original Research Article

Removal of Heavy Metal Pb(II) Ions from Aqueous Solution Using Pentaclethra Macrophylla and Tetracarpidium Conophorum Seed Shells Based Activated Carbons: Equilibrium, Kinetics and Thermodynmamics Studies

C. F. Okey-Onyesolu, O. D. Onukwuli, C. C. Okoye, I. C. Nwokedi

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-20
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27255

Biosorption potentials of activated carbons from pentaclethra Macrophylla (PMAC) and Tetracarpidium Conophorum (TCAC) seed shells for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solution were investigated. The adsorbents were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The effects of particle size (0.2 - 1.2 mm), adsorbent dosage (0.2 - 3.0 g), initial pH of solution (2 - 8), initial Pb(II) concentration (100-500 mg/l), temperature (20ºC - 60ºC) and contact time (10 - 180 min) were studied. The percent Pb(II) uptake was found to increase with increase with increase in adsorbent dosage and contact time and decreased with increase in particle size, initial Pb(II) concentration and temperature. Optimum adsorption of Pb(II) was observed at pH 6. The biosorption equilibrium data were well represented by both Langmuir and the Freundlich models. Kinetic data obtained fitted the pseudo-second-order model very well with high correlation coefficient. The calculated thermodynamic parameters (∆G, ∆H and ∆S) indicated that adsorption of Pb(II) onto PMAC and TCAC was exothermic, spontaneous and feasible in the temperature range studied. Results of this work showed that PMAC and TCAC could be used as low cost adsorbents for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous wastewater.

Open Access Original Research Article

English Copula be in the Interlanguage of Adult L1 Arabic Speakers

Muneera Muftah

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/5248

The study investigates the acquisition of English copula be by adult L1 Arabic speakers learners of L2 English. It sets out to test two competing hypotheses with respect to the characterization of L2 acquisition in post-critical period non-native interlanguage (IL) namely, the Full Transfer Full Access Hypothesis (FTFAH) [1,2] and the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (FFFH) [3] which serves as the framework for the study. The FTFAH view holds that IL representations in post-critical period L2 acquisition can be native-like due to convergence on native-like representations. On the other hand, the FFFH claims that IL representations in post–critical period L2 acquisition diverge from the target grammar despite apparent native-like performance. There are altogether 240 adult L1 Arabic learners of L2 English subdivided into three proficiency levels. A grammaticality judgement task is designed to test the learners’ underlying knowledge of English copula be in past and non-past contexts. The findings indicate that although the adult L1 Arabic IL representations deviate from that of the native-like representations, the IL grammars are able to generate representations that account for the L2 data and that fall within the general constraints of UG.  

Open Access Original Research Article

Extraction Methods for Estimating Available Manganese to Maize (Zea mays L.) in Acid Soils

Ernest U. Eteng, Damian O. Asawalam

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-18
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/26986

Twenty surface soil samples were used to evaluate status of soil Mn using five extraction procedures (Coca-cola, EDTA, HCl, EDTA + NH4OAC and NH4OAC methods). The results show that Coca-cola method extracted the highest amount of the Mn while NH4OAC extracted the least amount of Mn. The results also showed that among the five extractants examined, the highest regression coefficients were found between Coca-Cola and HCl, HCl and EDTA+NH4OAc and, EDTA and EDTA+NH4OAc-extractable Mn for Mn uptake, respectively. Accordingly, the study indicates that, the comparative extraction capacity of these extractants followed the order: Coca-cola> HCl> EDTA> EDTA+NH4OAc> NH4OAC.

Open Access Original Research Article

Study of Kinetics of Chemically Activated Carbon Produced from Palm Kernel Shell

Okafor Vincent, Nwigbo Solomon, Dara Jude

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27324

Palm kernel shells (PKS), waste product of oil mill industrials, were used to produce activated carbon by chemically activating with ZnCl2. The shells were carbonized at temperature ranging from 500°C to 800°C, for an hour and activated with 10%, 20% and 30% concentration of ZnCl2. The effect of carbonization temperature and concentration of ZnCl2 were studied. Batch adsorption studies on adsorption of Cu2+ by ‘PKS 700°C activated’, ‘PKS 700°C non activated’ and ‘PKS 500°C activated’ were also carried out. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms fit the data from the experiment. The adsorption capacities of the samples were studied. Results of single component kinetic studies on the samples revealed that about 93% of the metal ion removal occurred in the first 30 minutes. The adsorption rate constant for the samples at adsorption temperature of 15°C, 25°C and 50°C were ‘0.0462, 0.0654, 0.125’, ‘0.0343, 0.0395, 0.070’ and ‘0.281, 0.0313, 0.054’ (min-1) respectively. The result shows that PKS 700°C activated had the highest adsorption capacity. The entropy and energy of activation were also determined and it was found out that adsorption is an exothermic and a reversible process. The reaction was found to be first order reaction with respect to ZnCl2.

Open Access Original Research Article

Recreational Values and Factors that Correlate with the Use of Coastal Beaches in Cameroon: Statistical Reasoning in Psychometric Models

Innocent Ndoh Mbue

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27904

Coastal recreations in South Western Cameroon are a representative ecosystem critically important for global climate change, biodiversity and local livelihoods of indigenous communities. In order to increase awareness of the significance of these resources in the stability of ecosystem functions, a cross sectional survey applying statistical reasoning in psychometric models was used to estimate the recreational value and predict the factors influencing visitors’ willingness to pay for such recreations, taking Seme beach as an example. The model development involved two major tasks: (i) the construction of data collection instruments (questionnaire) and (ii) the development of procedures for measurement. Binary logistic regression was conducted to isolate factors that correlate with visitors’ willingness to pay for 180 visitors using age, gender, occupation, income, distance, education and family size as predictors. Overall, the mean willingness to pay was estimated at FCFA 1, 851.2 ($3.4)/household/month. The amounts visitors were willing to pay varied significantly amongst age groups, χ2(8, N = 180) = 50.312, p = .000; income groups, χ2(12, N = 180) = 28.203, p = 0.005; and educational attainment, χ2(12, N = 180) = 22.584, p = .031. Visitors residing closer to the area (M = 6.23, SD = 0.94) were significantly more willing to pay than those further away (M = 5.87, SD = 1.29), t(178) = 2.71, p = .007. A test of the full logistic model against a constant only model was statistically significant, indicating that, the predictors, as a set, reliably distinguished between acceptors and decliners of the offer χ2 (2, N = 180) = 25.685, p =.005). Nagelkerke’s R2 of .783 indicated a moderately strong relationship between prediction and grouping. Prediction success overall was 71.1% (80.7% for decliners and 57.0% for acceptors). The findings could be a valuable asset to stakeholders with professional interest in outdoor recreation and ecosystem management, while identifying research needs for the future.

Open Access Review Article

Sustainable Infrastructural Development in Oil and Gas Sector: Challenges and Prospects

S. K. Bello, A. A. Yekinni, C. Madu

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27214

Nigeria, though blessed with more natural gas than any other country in Africa, has very little capacity to put it to good use. The country lacks pipelines, processing facilities, petrochemicals plants and much of the other infrastructure needed for a thriving sector As a result of this, Nigeria is the world’s number two practitioner of flaring-burning gas when it comes from wells instead of trying to put it to use. Only Russia flairs more gas on an annual basis than Nigeria. With few supply bottlenecks removed, a clear legislation and an end to the sabotage and kidnapping common in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria’s gas could be the catalyst for economic growth: new businesses, jobs and the removal of millions out of poverty level. The recent global crisis in oil prices has brought us to the need to note that this over-dependence on the oil creates needless shocks and thus, the need for diversification of the nation’s resource base and long term growth path. Nigeria still has a long way to go, to solve its many problems in the Oil and Gas sector; and that most of it has to do with infrastructural decay.

Open Access Review Article

National Building Regulations of Iran Benchmarked with BREEAM and LEED: A Comparative Analysis for Regional Adaptations

Hossein Omrany, Abdul Kadir Marsono

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27401

Building sector is responsible for consuming nearly 40 percent of the total primary energy in Iran. There have been implemented several efforts to diminish the amount of energy utilization in building sector. In early 90s, Iranian Ministry of Housing and Urbanism released the first version of building codes under the appellation of Issue 19. Although these codes address the importance of energy saving in building, they are deemed to be ineffective in fully mitigating the energy consumption in building sector. This paper attempts to benchmark the two most widely-used sustainable assessment tools, LEED and BREEAM, against Issue 19 in order to underline their strengths in dealing with the energy utilization and environmental issues of building sector. The primary aim of this paper is to identify the potential areas in Issue 19 for considering future improvements based on the acquired results. This study found that, LEED & BREEAM and Issue 19 have various differences in their approaches toward sustainable built environment, and energy usage in building sector. These differences are classified into five categories, ‘the environmental concerns’, ‘energy optimization’, ‘waste management’, ‘indoor air quality’, and ‘innovation’. Accordingly, this study puts forward necessary recommendations which can be potentially considered for the future improvements of Issue 19.