Open Access Original Research Article

Life Cycle Impact Assessment of a HT-PEM Fuel Cell Powered by Natural Gas Reforming

Sandra Harumi Fukurozaki, Antônio Braulio Neto, Luzia Bouzan Costa Oliveira, José Octavio Armani Paschoal

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/29253

This study uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to investigate the environmental impacts, including the cumulative energy demand (CED) and energy payback time (EPBT) of a 20 kWel HT-PEM power plant in Brazil. The power plant investigated is a pilot that uses High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cell technology and natural gas (NG) reforming to produce energy for the commercial and residential sectors. The scope of the LCA study covered the production and distribution of natural gas in the state of São Paulo, including the phases of construction, installation and maintenance of NG reforming and HT-PEM systems, as well as the production of hydrogen and electricity over 40,000 hours of operation. The results indicated that the global warming potential (GWP) is the highest environmental impact of the system. The GWP resulted from the natural gas input into the system (77%). In the hydrogen production phase, 34% of emissions derived from fossil fuels were burnt in the heating process, while 44% originated from the consumption of NG in the reforming process itself. On the other side, both the reuse of hydrogen that has not been consumed in FC as fuel in the heating process and the recovery of waste heat generated in the system can lead to a reduction of up to 20% of the emissions generated in the use phase. In terms of cumulative energy demand, it points towards a reduction of up to 25% of the CED. Under these conditions the EPBT of the system is 10.96 years.

Open Access Original Research Article

Plant Regeneration from Alginate Encapsulated Shoot Tips of Boucerosia umbellata (Haw.) Wight & Arn. (Syn.: Caralluma umbellata Haw.)

B. Susheela, S. Sandhya Rani, T. Pullaiah

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/27898

The shoot apices of multiple shoots of Boucerosia umbellata under in vitro conditions were selected for encapsulation studies. Gel matrix Sodium Alginate at different concentrations was exposed to complexing agent Calcium Chloride for different durations. The seeds thus produced were stored at 4°C under aseptic conditions to study their viability and were inoculated on nutrient medium to study their morphogenetic response. The germination percentage decreased after storage of these synthetic seeds. Immediate germination gave a germination percentage of 98 and gradually reduced during storage. After one month of storage, the germination percentage decreased to 74%. After 6 months of storage at 4°C the germination was as low as 36%.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fuzzy Based Breakdown Risk Evaluation of Engineering Facilities: A Case Study

Chidozie Chukwuemeka Nwobi-Okoye, Linda Nwaeto, Stanley Okiy

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/29811

Breakdown is an ever present risk in engineering facilities and infrastructure. Effective maintenance reduces such risks and improves reliability of facilities, plants and infrastructure. This study introduces a new method of accessing breakdown risk using fuzzy set theory. It involves identifying twenty maintenance variables responsible for breakdown and selecting four linguistic variables to identify the conditions of the variable. Four linguistic variables were equally identified for rating the consequence/importance of the maintenance variables to breakdown. A case study, a vegetable oil refining plant, was used to test the new method. An assessment form was used to gather the conditions of the maintenance variables in the plant. Fuzzifying the conditions ratings and the consequences and using fuzzy arithmetic; a condition rating of fair was obtained for the plant. The interpretation of the result implies that the plant is expected to operate with a low reliability and fairly high risk of breakdown.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Losses in Distribution Networks of Selected Industrial Cities in Nigeria Using ETAP

Hachimenum N. Amadi, Fabian I. Izuegbunam, Ephraim N. C. Okafor

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/29910

Distribution losses contribute to energy shortages and therefore power outages in Nigeria’s industries. This work evaluated the technical losses in the distribution networks of selected industrial cities in Nigeria. Power flow simulation of network data collected over the period 2011-2015 from three distribution companies (DisCos) domiciled in these cities was done by Newton-Raphson (N-R) technique using the Electrical Transient and Analysis Program (ETAP) software version 12.6. Results of the power flow simulation showed that between 2011 and 2015 covered by the study, the cities of Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt recorded a total power loss of 15.8 MW, 36.2 MW and 6.04 MW respectively. The findings also revealed that overloaded power transformers is part of the reasons for high losses in the distribution networks of some of the cities. The outcome of the study provides a guide for system planners and utility companies in providing for prioritization and system upgrade to ensure improved efficiency of their distribution networks.

Open Access Original Research Article

Network Device Monitoring System with SMS Alert

Md. Ali, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Md. Nurul Mustafa

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/28453

It is a very vital issue for a network administrator to monitor all the devices or services. A system administrator always has to aware whether all the devices or services are running properly or not but it is too difficult to monitor when an administrator is out of his system. To solve this problem in this article, a network device monitoring system has been designed which quickly detect network errors and failure of different servers or services and alert the specific authorized person through short message service (SMS). Arduino Mega 2560 main board is used in this system. It’s connected with others devices such as Ethernet shield, GSM module, LCD display and Alarm system buzzer. Ethernet shield automatically check all network server IP address by using ICMP (Internet control message protocol) of TCP/IP protocol suit. If any server is not work properly then the system is considered as offline. The LCD display will show message whether the servers are running properly or not. If any server is in offline or fail to provide service it will show on the LCD display and Alarm system buzzer will produce beef sound and SIM 808 in GSM module will communicate with Arduino Mega to send the SMS to the specific mobile number.

Open Access Original Research Article

An Edge Detection Technique for Grayscale Images Based on Fuzzy Logic

Azzam Sleit, Maha Saadeh, Wesam Al Mobaideen

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/29653

Edge detection is a preliminary process in many image processing and computer vision applications such as object detection and object extraction. It detects important events in the image where sharp discontinuity in pixels intensity is found. Several edge detection techniques have been proposed including Sobel, Canny, Prewitt, etc. In this paper, an edge detection technique based on fuzzy inference system is proposed. Since fuzzy logic is a powerful tool to manage the uncertainty efficiently, it can be used in edge detection to help in making a decision regarding whether to consider a certain pixel as an edge pixel or not.  A two-phase fuzzy inference system is proposed to detect edges in gray level images. In the first phase the discontinuity in pixels intensity is evaluated according to various directions, while in the second phase the final decision is determined based on the results obtained from the first phase. The proposed algorithm is implemented using MATLAB and the experimental results show improvement when compared with other edge detection techniques.

Open Access Original Research Article

Investigation of Partially Methylolated Polyacrylamide Guar Gum by FTIR and Thermal Properties

R. I. Mahmoud

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/28761

Cotton samples were modified with the reactive composite with different methylolation percentage varying from 20 to 80%. The Fourier transforms infrared (FTIR) spectra of modified cotton fabrics have followed at each condition which had been prepared via graft copolymerization of acryalmide and guar gum using the KBrO3/Thiourea redox system in the presence of ammonium chloride as catalyst. The thermal properties of the samples were analyzed using Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) techniques. TGA tested results indicates that the thermal stability of modified cotton fabric with 40% methylolation got enhanced than the blank, the relative TGA results show that the char residue of cotton sample after 400ºC is higher than the blank one which means  lesser volatile hazardous components. DSC measurement shows variation in the thermal behavior according to different methylolation percentage.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pattern of Early Growth Traits and Predictions in Progenies of Mongrel Rabbits

U. H. Udoh, M. M. Udofot

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/28092

A research lasting six months was carried out with progenies of mongrel rabbits to investigate the pattern of early growth traits and to predict body weight. Rabbits were managed extensively, and fed ad libitum proprietary feed (15% CP and 2300 Kcal/kg ME), supplemented with forages. Data collected (body weight; head and neck circumferences; body, ear and face lengths; hind and forelimbs) were analyzed using regression, in Gen Stat software computer programme, 13th edition. Prediction equations for estimating body weight using linear body measurements were determined. Results revealed a pattern of gradual increase in body weight from birth till 70th day. Highest percentage increase was observed from birth to day 14. Linear body measurements ranked in the following order: hind limb (45.60 cm), body length (39.69 cm), body circumference (37.81 cm), forelimb (25.53 cm), ear length (22.50 cm), neck circumference (18.16 cm), head circumference (17.17 cm), and face length (16.08 cm). When body weight was predicted within specific age groups, face length and head circumference were not part of the prediction equations. Body weight was predictable from face length, hind limb, body and neck circumferences when age was not considered. Prediction equations involving more linear parameters were more reliable than those with fewer body parameters.

Open Access Original Research Article

Bioremediation of Nuclear Waste Compound-TCE Using Microbial Consortium/Potential Organism in Different Designed & Developed Reactors

M. H. Fulekar

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-21
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/28673

Nuclear waste dumping site found to contain the traces of organic compounds and heavy metals; in spite of the present physicochemical and biological treatment. The organic waste was commonly found to contain traces of Trichloroethylene. The remediation technology has been developed by using the bioresources of adapted microbial consortium and potential microorganisms at varying concentration in designed and developed reactors such as Shake Flask reactor (SFB), Packed Bed Reactor (PBR) and Hybrid Reactor (HR). The effectiveness of the remediation of TCE in different reactors studied. Remediation of TCE by microbial consortium and potential organism has been studied. The strain improvement method like immobilization, adaptation and mutation were found effective for developing cultures to increase biodegradation potential. In the present study, the reactors and the culture developed used for remediation of Nuclear Waste Compound- TCE has proved for developing bioremediation technology.

Open Access Original Research Article

Assessment of Organic Farmers’ Knowledge and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change and Variability in Central Kenya

O. H. Ndukhu, N. R. Onwonga, G. R. Wahome, G. Kironchi, H. H. Jensen

Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, Page 1-22
DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2016/16270

A survey was carried out to determine the causes of low vegetable production by looking at the challenges faced by organic based smallholder farmers and the potential coping strategies employed and their experiences, coping and adaptation strategies to climate change and variability (CCV). The study’s objective was to determine the major vegetables grown, marketable quality attributes, challenges faced and coping strategies to enhance vegetable production and understanding of CCV. More than 60 organic based farmers from Kajiado, Kiambu and Murang’a counties of Kenya were selected for the survey through questionnaires. The data collected was analysed using SPSS. The challenges faced in production of the key vegetables included; unpredictable rains 85%, lack of irrigation equipment 43%, crop pests and diseases 28%, among others. Causes of CCV cited were; deforestation and poor agricultural practices (62%) and emission of green house gases (33%). Effects of climate change were (80%) reduced crop yields. Ninety percent of farmers’ responded to the effects of CCV through good agricultural practices such as; agro-forestry, mulching, organic inputs, drought tolerant crops and rain water harvesting. The farmers contended that through trainings and exposure, they would be empowered to cope with and reverse the negative impacts of CCV and consequently guarantee food and nutritional security. In addition, research efforts ought to be directed towards soil analysis, irrigation and greenhouse production and recommendations on site specific input rate application made available to the farmers.