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Open AccessArticle
Procedural Information and Behavioral Control: Longitudinal Analysis of the Intention-Behavior Gap in the Context of Recycling
Recycling 2018, 3(1), 5; doi:10.3390/recycling3010005 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The theory of planned behavior states that individuals act on their intentions, especially when they have behavioral control. The current study examines how seeking recycling-related procedural information—i.e., information about how and where to recycle—is related to behavioral control. Hypothesis testing used hierarchical ordinary
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The theory of planned behavior states that individuals act on their intentions, especially when they have behavioral control. The current study examines how seeking recycling-related procedural information—i.e., information about how and where to recycle—is related to behavioral control. Hypothesis testing used hierarchical ordinary least squares regression analysis of longitudinal data from 553 survey respondents. Results supported seven hypotheses. Most notably, procedural information seeking both mediated and moderated the relationship between intention and behavior. Further, the moderation effect was itself mediated by behavioral control. The argument for this mediated moderation is that information seeking enhances behavioral control, and it is primarily behavioral control that moderates the relationship between intention and behavior. These results have implications for the theory of planned behavior and, more generally, for how individuals use information to support their behaviors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Steel Carburization by Using Snack Packaging Plastic Waste as Carbon Resources
Metals 2018, 8(1), 78; doi:10.3390/met8010078 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In recent years, the research regarding waste conversion to resources technology has attracted growing attention with the continued increase of waste accumulation issues and rapid depletion of natural resources. However, the study, with respect to utilizing plastics waste as carbon resources in the
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In recent years, the research regarding waste conversion to resources technology has attracted growing attention with the continued increase of waste accumulation issues and rapid depletion of natural resources. However, the study, with respect to utilizing plastics waste as carbon resources in the metals industry, is still limited. In this work, an environmentally friendly approach to utilize snack packaging plastic waste as a valuable carbon resources for steel carburization is investigated. At high temperature, plastic waste could be subject to pyrolytic gasification and decompose into small molecular hydrocarbon gaseous products which have the potential to be used as carburization agents for steel. When heating some snack packaging plastic waste and a steel sample together at the carburization temperature, a considerable amount of carbon-rich reducing gases, like methane, could be liberated from the plastic waste and absorbed by the steel sample as a carbon precursor for carburization. The resulting carburization effect on steel was investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, electron probe microanalyzer, and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer techniques. These investigation results all showed that snack packaging plastic waste could work effectively as a valuable carbon resource for steel carburization leading to a significant increase of surface carbon content and the corresponding microstructure evolution in steel. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Current Status of Single Particle Imaging with X-ray Lasers
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 132; doi:10.3390/app8010132 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The advent of ultrafast X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) opens the tantalizing possibility of the atomic-resolution imaging of reproducible objects such as viruses, nanoparticles, single molecules, clusters, and perhaps biological cells, achieving a resolution for single particle imaging better than a few tens of
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The advent of ultrafast X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) opens the tantalizing possibility of the atomic-resolution imaging of reproducible objects such as viruses, nanoparticles, single molecules, clusters, and perhaps biological cells, achieving a resolution for single particle imaging better than a few tens of nanometers. Improving upon this is a significant challenge which has been the focus of a global single particle imaging (SPI) initiative launched in December 2014 at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, USA. A roadmap was outlined, and significant multi-disciplinary effort has since been devoted to work on the technical challenges of SPI such as radiation damage, beam characterization, beamline instrumentation and optics, sample preparation and delivery and algorithm development at multiple institutions involved in the SPI initiative. Currently, the SPI initiative has achieved 3D imaging of rice dwarf virus (RDV) and coliphage PR772 viruses at ~10 nm resolution by using soft X-ray FEL pulses at the Atomic Molecular and Optical (AMO) instrument of LCLS. Meanwhile, diffraction patterns with signal above noise up to the corner of the detector with a resolution of ~6 Ångström (Å) were also recorded with hard X-rays at the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) instrument, also at LCLS. Achieving atomic resolution is truly a grand challenge and there is still a long way to go in light of recent developments in electron microscopy. However, the potential for studying dynamics at physiological conditions and capturing ultrafast biological, chemical and physical processes represents a tremendous potential application, attracting continued interest in pursuing further method development. In this paper, we give a brief introduction of SPI developments and look ahead to further method development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of the Flower Volatile Oils of Fagopyrum esculentum, Fagopyrum tataricum and Fagopyrum Cymosum
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 182; doi:10.3390/molecules23010182 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the chemical composition and biological activity of the volatile oils (VOs) from the flowers of three buckwheat species, Fagopyrum esculentum, Fagopyrum tataricum and Fagopyrum cymosum. The VOs were obtained from the fresh buckwheat
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the chemical composition and biological activity of the volatile oils (VOs) from the flowers of three buckwheat species, Fagopyrum esculentum, Fagopyrum tataricum and Fagopyrum cymosum. The VOs were obtained from the fresh buckwheat flowers by hydrodistillation, and were analyzed for their chemical composition by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Nonanoic acid (7.58%), (E)-3-hexen-1-ol (6.52%), and benzothiazole (5.08%) were the major constituents among the 28 identified components which accounted for 92.89% of the total oil of F. esculentum. 2-Pentadecanone (18.61%), eugenol (17.18%), 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(2-methylpropyl) ester (13.19%), and (E,E)-farnesylacetone (7.15%) were the major compounds among the 14 identified components which accounted for 88.48% of the total oil of F. tataricum. Eugenol (12.22%), (E)-3-hexen-1-yl acetate (8.03%), linalool oxide (7.47%), 1-hexanol (7.07%), and benzothiazole (6.72%) were the main compounds of the 20 identified components which accounted for 90.23% of the total oil of F. cymosum. The three VOs were screened to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranged from 100.0 μg/mL to 800.0 μg/mL against the tested bacteria, and their median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were from 68.32 μg/mL to 452.32 μg/mL. Xanthomonas vesicatoria was the most sensitive bacterium. Moreover, the flower VOs of F. esculentum, F. tataricum and F. cymosum also exhibited noteworthy antioxidant capacity with the IC50 value of 354.15 μg/mL, 210.63 μg/mL, and 264.92 μg/mL for the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay, and the value of 242.06 μg/mL, 184.13 μg/mL, and 206.11 μg/mL respectively for the β-carotene-linoleic bleaching test. These results suggested the volatile oils of buckwheat flowers could be potential resource of natural antimicrobial and antioxidant agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-Approach and Departure System for Left-Turn Vehicles at a Fixed-Time Signalized Intersection
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 273; doi:10.3390/su10010273 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)
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This research proposed an eco-approach and departure system for left-turn vehicles at a fixed-time signalized intersection. This system gives higher priority to enhancing traffic safety than improving mobility and fuel efficiency, and optimizes the entire traffic consisted of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and conventional human-driven vehicles by providing ecological speed trajectories for left-turn CAVs. All the ecological speed trajectories are offline optimized before the implementation of system. The speed trajectory optimization is constructed in Pontryagin’s Minimum Principle structure. The before and after evaluation of the proposed system shows the percentage of vehicles that drive pass the intersection at safe speed increases by 2.14% to 45.65%, fuel consumption benefits range 0.53% to 18.44%, emission benefits range from 0.57% to 15.69%, no significant throughput benefits is observed. The proposed system significantly enhances the traffic safety and improves the fuel efficiency and emission reduction of left-turn vehicles with no adverse effect on mobility, and has a good robustness against the randomness of traffic. The investigation also indicates that the computation time of proposed system is greatly reduced compared to previous eco-driving system with online speed optimization. The computation time is up to 0.01 s. The proposed system is ready for real-time application. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mathematical Modeling of Liquid-fed Pulsed Plasma Thruster
Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 13; doi:10.3390/aerospace5010013 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Liquid propellants are fast becoming attractive for pulsed plasma thrusters due to their high efficiency and low contamination issues. However, the complete plasma interaction and acceleration processes are still not very clear. Present paper develops a multi-layer numerical model for liquid propellant PPTs
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Liquid propellants are fast becoming attractive for pulsed plasma thrusters due to their high efficiency and low contamination issues. However, the complete plasma interaction and acceleration processes are still not very clear. Present paper develops a multi-layer numerical model for liquid propellant PPTs (pulsed plasma thrusters). The model is based on a quasi-steady flow assumption. The model proposes a possible acceleration mechanism for liquid-fed pulsed plasma thrusters and accurately predicts the propellant utilization capabilities and estimations for the fraction of propellant gas that is completely ionized and accelerated to high exit velocities. Validation of the numerical model and the assumptions on which the model is based on is achieved by comparing the experimental results and the simulation results for two different liquid-fed thrusters developed at the University of Tokyo. Simulation results shows that up-to 50% of liquid propellant injected is completely ionized and accelerated to high exit velocities (>50 Km/s), whereas, neutral gas contribute to only 7% of the total specific impulse and accelerated to low exit velocity (<4 Km/s). The model shows an accuracy up-to 92%. Optimization methods are briefly discussed to ensure efficient propellant utilization and performance. The model acts as a tool to understand the background physics and to optimize the performance for liquid-fed PPTs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Entropy in Web Usage Data Preprocessing
Entropy 2018, 20(1), 67; doi:10.3390/e20010067 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The paper is focused on an examination of the use of entropy in the field of web usage mining. Entropy creates an alternative possibility of determining the ratio of auxiliary pages in the session identification using the Reference Length method. The experiment was
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The paper is focused on an examination of the use of entropy in the field of web usage mining. Entropy creates an alternative possibility of determining the ratio of auxiliary pages in the session identification using the Reference Length method. The experiment was conducted on two different web portals. The first log file was obtained from a course of virtual learning environment web portal. The second log file was received from the web portal with anonymous access. A comparison of the results of entropy estimation of the ratio of auxiliary pages and a sitemap estimation of the ratio of auxiliary pages showed that in the case of sitemap abundance, entropy could be a full-valued substitution for the estimate of the ratio of auxiliary pages. Full article
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