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Processes, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 254 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At present, the majority of available road and jet biofuels are produced from oleochemical feedstocks that include vegetable oils and biowastes such as waste cooking oils and animal fats. Additionally, one of the most promising ways to achieve long-term environmental goals is to sustainably use lignocellulosic residues. Accordingly, in this review, we explore recent advancements in the deoxygenation of oleochemical and lignocellulosic feedstocks in the absence of hydrogen to produce high-quality road and jet biofuels, mainly focusing on the use of nanomaterials as catalysts and the valorization of lipid-rich biowastes and lignocellulosic residues. View this paper
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Article
Application of Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction and Non-Thermal Plasma for Fucus virsoides and Cystoseira barbata Polysaccharides Pre-Treatment and Extraction
Processes 2022, 10(2), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020433 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Brown algae Fucus virsoides and Cystoseira barbata are an abundant source of sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan, which has shown a wide range of biological activities. These activities are significantly dependent on the fucoidan chemical composition, which is closely linked with the applied extraction technique [...] Read more.
Brown algae Fucus virsoides and Cystoseira barbata are an abundant source of sulfated polysaccharide fucoidan, which has shown a wide range of biological activities. These activities are significantly dependent on the fucoidan chemical composition, which is closely linked with the applied extraction technique and process parameters. In order to overcome the drawbacks of lengthy conventional extraction (CE), advanced extraction techniques, such as ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and non-thermal plasma (NTP), were applied. Furthermore, this study also investigated the efficiency of different solvents as well as UAE and NTP as 5 min pre-treatments prior to CE as a more effective course of cell wall breakage and, consequently, a higher polysaccharide yield (%PS). Apart from %PS, the effect of this procedure on the chemical composition and antioxidant capacity of the extracted polysaccharides was also monitored. When comparing the extraction solvent, the application of 0.1 M H2SO4, instead of H2O, resulted in a three-fold higher %PS, a higher sulfate group, and a lower fucose content. Application of CE resulted in higher %PS, uronic acids, and fucose content as well as oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and DPPH values, while the average molecular weight (Mw), sulfate group, and glucose content were lower during CE when compared to 30 min of UAE and NTP treatment. Application of UAE and NTP as 5 min pre-treatments decreased fucose content, while %PS and sulfate content were similar to values obtained when using CE. Full article
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Article
CO2 Sequestration through Mineral Carbonation: Effect of Different Parameters on Carbonation of Fe-Rich Mine Waste Materials
Processes 2022, 10(2), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020432 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 519
Abstract
Mineral carbonation is an increasingly popular method for carbon capture and storage that resembles the natural weathering process of alkaline-earth oxides for carbon dioxide removal into stable carbonates. This study aims to evaluate the potential of reusing Fe-rich mine waste for carbon sequestration [...] Read more.
Mineral carbonation is an increasingly popular method for carbon capture and storage that resembles the natural weathering process of alkaline-earth oxides for carbon dioxide removal into stable carbonates. This study aims to evaluate the potential of reusing Fe-rich mine waste for carbon sequestration by assessing the influence of pH condition, particle size fraction and reaction temperature on the carbonation reaction. A carbonation experiment was performed in a stainless steel reactor at ambient pressure and at a low temperature. The results indicated that the alkaline pH of waste samples was suitable for undergoing the carbonation process. Mineralogical analysis confirmed the presence of essential minerals for carbonation, i.e., magnetite, wollastonite, anorthite and diopside. The chemical composition exhibited the presence of iron and calcium oxides (39.58–62.95%) in wastes, indicating high possibilities for carbon sequestration. Analysis of the carbon uptake capacity revealed that at alkaline pH (8–12), 81.7–87.6 g CO2/kg of waste were sequestered. Furthermore, a particle size of <38 µm resulted in 83.8 g CO2/kg being sequestered from Fe-rich waste, suggesting that smaller particle sizes highly favor the carbonation process. Moreover, 56.1 g CO2/kg of uptake capacity was achieved under a low reaction temperature of 80 °C. These findings have demonstrated that Fe-rich mine waste has a high potential to be utilized as feedstock for mineral carbonation. Therefore, Fe-rich mine waste can be regarded as a valuable resource for carbon sinking while producing a value-added carbonate product. This is in line with the sustainable development goals regarding combating global climate change through a sustainable low-carbon industry and economy that can accelerate the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Full article
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Article
Effect of Partial Substitution of Sodium Chloride (NaCl) with Potassium Chloride (KCl) Coupled with High-Pressure Processing (HPP) on Physicochemical Properties and Volatile Compounds of Beef Sausage under Cold Storage at 4 °C
Processes 2022, 10(2), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020431 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of partial substitution of sodium chloride (NaCl) with potassium chloride (KCl) in combination with high-pressure processing (HPP) on the physicochemical properties and volatile compounds of beef sausage during cold storage at 4 °C. Significant differences were [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of partial substitution of sodium chloride (NaCl) with potassium chloride (KCl) in combination with high-pressure processing (HPP) on the physicochemical properties and volatile compounds of beef sausage during cold storage at 4 °C. Significant differences were found in the volatile compounds of beef sausages with 0%, 25%, and 50% NaCl contents partially substituted with KCl subjected to 28 days of storage and were well-visualized by heat map analysis. A total of 75 volatile compounds were identified and quantified in the beef sausages at the end of 28 days of storage, including 12 aldehydes, 4 phenols, 2 ketones, 18 alcohols, 8 acids, 3 esters, 14 terpenes, and 14 alkanes. Thirteen compounds had low odor activity values (OAV) (OAV < 1); however, high OAV (OAV > 1) were obtained after partial substitution of NaCl by KCl at 25% and 50% with HPP treatment compared to the non-HPP treated samples. In addition, 50% NaCl substitution with KCl in conjunction with HPP treatments increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) by (0.46 ± 0.03 mg/MDA) compared with no HPP treatments. Replacement of 25% and 50% NaCl with KCl decreased TBARS by an average of 10.8% and 11.10%, respectively, compared to 100% NaCl coupled with HPP beef sausages. In summary, HPP and partial substitution of NaCl with KCl at 25% and 50% can be used to compensate for the reduction of NaCl in beef sausage by keeping the physical and flavor fraction at required levels. Full article
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Article
Effect of Mold Electromagnetic Stirring on the Flow and Solidification of Φ 800 mm Round Blooms
Processes 2022, 10(2), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020430 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Knowing the effect of electromagnetic force on fluid flow and solidification within the molds of large-size round blooms is of paramount importance to minimize internal and external defects. In this regard, a three-dimensional coupling model is established, containing magnetohydrodynamics, fluid flow, and heat [...] Read more.
Knowing the effect of electromagnetic force on fluid flow and solidification within the molds of large-size round blooms is of paramount importance to minimize internal and external defects. In this regard, a three-dimensional coupling model is established, containing magnetohydrodynamics, fluid flow, and heat transfer within the mold, and a new approach for the uniformity of the initial shell is presented. Meanwhile, the effect of stirring parameters on fluid flow and solidification is discussed. The results show that M-EMS can significantly change the temperature and velocity distribution within the mold. These changes can stabilize the level fluctuations and make the initial shell uniform. The maximum industrial height fluctuation was reduced from 1.9 mm to 1.3 mm when the stirring intensity was 375 A/3 Hz. The stirring intensity of M-EMS is relatively ideal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Efficiency and High-Quality Continuous Casting Processes)
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Article
Influence of Sparger Type on Mass Transfer in a Pilot-Scale Internal Loop Airlift Reactor
Processes 2022, 10(2), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020429 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 387
Abstract
In a pilot-scale internal loop airlift reactor with a height of 5.5 m and a main column diameter of 0.484 m, the influence of three gas sparger structures (ladder distributor, tri-nozzle sparger and perforated plate) on the volumetric mass transfer coefficient kL [...] Read more.
In a pilot-scale internal loop airlift reactor with a height of 5.5 m and a main column diameter of 0.484 m, the influence of three gas sparger structures (ladder distributor, tri-nozzle sparger and perforated plate) on the volumetric mass transfer coefficient kLa was investigated. It was found that the perforated plate produces the highest gas holdup difference and circulating liquid velocity between the riser and the downcomer. The perforated plate provides the most efficient mass transfer due to the more uniform gas distribution and higher circulating liquid velocity, followed by the ladder distributor and tri-nozzle spargers. Compared with the tri-nozzle sparger, the perforated plate increases the value of kLa by up to 16% at a superficial velocity of 0.15 m/s. Interestingly, the analysis of the liquid-phase mass transfer coefficient kL and specific area a with respect to gas velocity shows that the mass transfer rate is primarily controlled by a. By comparing the predictions of different mass transfer models, the slip velocity model based on penetration theory yields a satisfactory agreement with the experimental results within ±15% error. Meanwhile, empirical correlations regarding gas holdup and kLa were developed and were found to have good consistency with experimental values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Processes and Systems)
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Article
Intelligent Natural Gas and Hydrogen Pipeline Dispatching Using the Coupled Thermodynamics-Informed Neural Network and Compressor Boolean Neural Network
Processes 2022, 10(2), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020428 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 401
Abstract
Natural gas pipelines have attracted increasing attention in the energy industry thanks to the current demand for green energy and the advantages of pipeline transportation. A novel deep learning method is proposed in this paper, using a coupled network structure incorporating the thermodynamics-informed [...] Read more.
Natural gas pipelines have attracted increasing attention in the energy industry thanks to the current demand for green energy and the advantages of pipeline transportation. A novel deep learning method is proposed in this paper, using a coupled network structure incorporating the thermodynamics-informed neural network and the compressor Boolean neural network, to incorporate both functions of pipeline transportation safety check and energy supply predictions. The deep learning model is uniformed for the coupled network structure, and the prediction efficiency and accuracy are validated by a number of numerical tests simulating various engineering scenarios, including hydrogen gas pipelines. The trained model can provide dispatchers with suggestions about the number of phases existing during the transportation as an index showing safety, while the effects of operation temperature, pressure and compositional purity are investigated to suggest the optimized productions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calculating Generalized Thermodynamic Equilibrium)
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Article
Research on Fault Tree Reconstruction Based on Contingency
Processes 2022, 10(2), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020427 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The fault tree analysis (FTA) method is an important analysis method for safety system engineering. Traditional accident analysis theory agrees that basic events lead to top events, but it does not fully consider that the accident process is accidental, and the calculation results [...] Read more.
The fault tree analysis (FTA) method is an important analysis method for safety system engineering. Traditional accident analysis theory agrees that basic events lead to top events, but it does not fully consider that the accident process is accidental, and the calculation results exaggerate the probability of accident occurrence. This paper selects typical collision accidents, analyzes the shortcomings of the existing fault tree, indicates that there is a contingency in the accident process, constructs a probability fault tree based on the traditional fault tree, and puts forward concepts of “probability AND gate” and “probability OR gate”. In addition, based on the traditional quantitative analysis method of fault trees, calculations of the occurrence probability, probability importance coefficient, and critical importance coefficient of top events are modified, and the modified quantitative calculation is applied to accident cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Energy Efficiency, Environment and Health)
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Review
Novel Green Approaches for the Preparation of Gold Nanoparticles and Their Promising Potential in Oncology
Processes 2022, 10(2), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020426 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 661
Abstract
The difficulty of achieving targeted drug delivery following administration of currently marketed anticancer therapeutics is a still a concern. Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) developed through nanotechnology breakthroughs appear to be promising in this regard. Research studies pertaining to gold NPs have indicated their promising [...] Read more.
The difficulty of achieving targeted drug delivery following administration of currently marketed anticancer therapeutics is a still a concern. Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) developed through nanotechnology breakthroughs appear to be promising in this regard. Research studies pertaining to gold NPs have indicated their promising applicability in cancer diagnosis, drug delivery and therapy. These NPs have also recently paved the path for precise drug delivery and site-specific targeting. Our review paper thus highlights the scope and impact of biogenetically generated gold nanoparticles (NPs) in cancer therapy. In a critical, constructive, and methodical manner, we compare the advantages offered by gold NPs over other metal NPs. Moreover, we also focus on novel ‘greener’ strategies that have been recently explored for the preparation of gold NPs and shed light on the disadvantages of conventional NP synthesis routes. Future prospects pertaining to the use of gold NPs in oncotherapy and domains that require further investigation are also addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Nanoparticles in Cancer Therapy)
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Article
Effect of Solid Volume Concentration on Rheological Properties of Chengdu Clay Slurry
Processes 2022, 10(2), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020425 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 292
Abstract
The determination of rheological model about the debris flow is the basis of the simulation of mud flow impact distance and sedimentary fan. By using a mcr301 rheometer, rheological experiments of Chengdu clay slurry with different solid volume concentrations were carried out and [...] Read more.
The determination of rheological model about the debris flow is the basis of the simulation of mud flow impact distance and sedimentary fan. By using a mcr301 rheometer, rheological experiments of Chengdu clay slurry with different solid volume concentrations were carried out and the effect of solid volume concentration on shear stress were analyzed. Then the rheological process of Chengdu clay slurry with different solid volume concentration was fitted on the basis of the power law model, the Bingham model and the H–B model. The conclusions are drawn as follows: Chengdu clay mud is a typical shear-thinning non-Newtonian body. The influence of solid concentration on the flow curve is different. When the solid volume concentration is not less than 34% and the shear rate is less than 1.0 s−1, the shear stress increases rapidly as the shear rate increases. Meanwhile, when the shear rate is greater than 1.0 s−1 the shear stress decreases with the increase in the shear rate. When the solid volume concentration is less than 31.6% and the shear rate is less than 1.0 s−1, the shear stress increases with the increase in the shear rate, while when the shear rate is more than 1.0 s−1, the shear stress is less affected by shear rate. In the range of low shear rate (less than 1.0 s−1), the increase amplitude of shear stress (slope of semi logarithmic coordinate flow curve) increases as the solid volume content increases. The flow curve of Chengdu clay mud can be reflected in the whole process by using the Herschel and Bulkley model. It is the best mathematical model to fit the rheological process of Chengdu clay mud. According to the above results, the effect of solid volume concentration on the yield stress of the H–B model is analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experiment and Simulation of Granular Flows)
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Article
Development of a Novel Reverse Offset Printer Equipped with Double-Layer Blanket (DLB) for Micropattern Printing on 3D Curved Surfaces
Processes 2022, 10(2), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020424 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The double-layer blanket (DLB) reverse offset is a newly designed printing process for patterning electronic circuits on a 3D curved surface. Unlike the existing reverse offset process, the DLB reverse offset utilizes an offset roll composed of two layers comprising polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and [...] Read more.
The double-layer blanket (DLB) reverse offset is a newly designed printing process for patterning electronic circuits on a 3D curved surface. Unlike the existing reverse offset process, the DLB reverse offset utilizes an offset roll composed of two layers comprising polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and a thick, soft cushioned rubber to print microelectrode patterns and transparent electrodes on a curved surface. The optimal printing process was determined by adjusting the printing pressure and printing speed for horizontal and vertical micropatterns, based on which transparent electrodes with metal mesh and honeycomb structures with a line width of 30 μm and pitch of 600 μm with micropatterns ranging from 30 μm to 60 μm were printed on a curved surface. Ag ink was used, and the 3D curved surface indicated a print quality similar to that of the flat surface for both the vertical and horizontal patterns and transparent electrodes. The DLB reverse offset technique demonstrated the possibility of printing on a 3D curved surface and is expected to broaden the range of printed electronics to applications such as smart glasses and 3D shape sensors. Full article
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Article
Precipitation Behavior of Salts in Supercritical Water: Experiments and Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Processes 2022, 10(2), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020423 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Supercritical water desalination (SCWD) shows great potential in the treatment of high-salt wastewater with zero liquid discharge. To investigate the salt precipitation behavior and mechanism in supercritical water, experiments and molecular dynamics simulations (MDs) were used to study the salting-out process of different [...] Read more.
Supercritical water desalination (SCWD) shows great potential in the treatment of high-salt wastewater with zero liquid discharge. To investigate the salt precipitation behavior and mechanism in supercritical water, experiments and molecular dynamics simulations (MDs) were used to study the salting-out process of different salts in supercritical water. The equilibrium concentrations of NaCl, KCl, CaCl2, Na2SO4, and Na2CO3 in supercritical water were experimentally measured. When the temperature exceeded 693 K, the salt equilibrium concentration measured in the experiment was less than 130 mg/L. The solubility decreased in the order of KCl > NaCl > CaCl2 > Na2SO4 > Na2CO3. To elucidate the effects of different cations and anions in supercritical water on salt dissolution and precipitation behavior, the potential energy, radial distribution function (RDF) and coordination number in the system were obtained via molecular dynamics simulation. Experimental and MD results showed that salt solubility has significant positive correlation with systemic potential energy and hydration number. MD results indicated that a small ionic radius, large ionic charge, and low hydration coordination number are favorable for inorganic salts to precipitate and crystallize since these factors can strengthen the interaction between free ions and salt clusters. Moreover, due to the formation of multilayer coordination structure, polyatomic ions can achieve a lower equilibrium concentration than that of the corresponding monatomic ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes)
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Article
Amine-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Adsorbent for CO2 Capture in Confined-Fluidized Bed: Study of the Breakthrough Adsorption Curves as a Function of Several Operating Variables
Processes 2022, 10(2), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020422 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is one of the key promising technologies that can reduce GHG emissions from those industries that generate CO2 as part of their production processes. Compared to other effective CO2 capture methods, the adsorption technique offers [...] Read more.
Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is one of the key promising technologies that can reduce GHG emissions from those industries that generate CO2 as part of their production processes. Compared to other effective CO2 capture methods, the adsorption technique offers the possibility of reducing the costs of the process by setting solid sorbent with a high capacity of adsorption and easy regeneration and, also, controlling the performance of gas-solid contactor. In this work, an amine-functionalized mesoporous sorbent was used to capture CO2 emissions in a confined-fluidized bed. The adoption of a confined environment allows the establishment of a homogeneous expansion regime for the sorbent and allows to improve the exchange of matter and heat between gas and solid phase. The results illustrate how the different concentration of the solution adopted during the functionalization affects the adsorption capacity. That, measured as mg of CO2 per g of sorbent, was determined by breakthrough curves from continuous adsorption tests using different concentrations of CO2 in air. Mesoporous silica functionalized with a concentration of 20% of APTES proves to be the best viable option in terms of cost and ease of preparation, low temperature of regeneration, and effective use for CO2 capture. Full article
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Article
Thermo-Economic Analysis of Near-Surface Geothermal Energy Considering Heat and Cold Supply within a Low-Temperature District Heating Network
Processes 2022, 10(2), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020421 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 384
Abstract
This study evaluates low-temperature district heating (LTDH) networks with different geothermal heat sources under thermo-economic criteria. In particular, the heat and cold supply of modern neighbourhoods are taken into account in a dynamic simulation model built on the modelling language Modelica. Both horizontal [...] Read more.
This study evaluates low-temperature district heating (LTDH) networks with different geothermal heat sources under thermo-economic criteria. In particular, the heat and cold supply of modern neighbourhoods are taken into account in a dynamic simulation model built on the modelling language Modelica. Both horizontal and vertical ground heat exchangers (GHE) were investigated in respect to the load profiles of the consumers, depending on dimension as well as location. The selected base case represents a LTDH network near Stuttgart (Germany). The corresponding results of an annual simulation show that a horizontal GHE is suitable for pure heat supply and can reduce costs by up to 12% compared to a vertical system. This economic advantage remains when the cooling demand is considered. Subsequently, a variation of the system location was carried out. It is shown that horizontal GHEs operate more economically in northern regions, whereas vertical ones are more advantageous in regions with increased cooling demand. For both cases, possible savings of between 3.0% and 4.2% resulted from the simulations. The heating-to-cooling demand ratio was used as a first decision criteria to weigh-up between the two systems. Vertical GHEs were more economical than horizontal systems as soon as the ratio dropped below 1.5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Integrated Geothermal Energy Systems)
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Article
Electrochemical Performance of Al-1Zn-0.1In-0.1Sn-0.5Mg-xMn (x = 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) Alloys Used as the Anode of an Al-Air Battery
Processes 2022, 10(2), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020420 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
In this work, Al-1Zn-0.1In-0.1Sn-0.5Mg-xMn (x = 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) alloys are prepared and used as the anode of an Al-air battery (AAB). We use scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM) to analyze the microstructures of [...] Read more.
In this work, Al-1Zn-0.1In-0.1Sn-0.5Mg-xMn (x = 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) alloys are prepared and used as the anode of an Al-air battery (AAB). We use scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM) to analyze the microstructures of the alloys. The hydrogen evolution rate, electrochemical performance (including polarization curves), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and battery performance of the samples are examined in the 4 M NaOH electrolyte. The experimental data display that the average grain size is significantly refined after adding manganese into the Al-1Zn-0.1In-0.1Sn-0.5Mg alloy, with a decrease in grain size from over 100 μm to about 10 μm. The improved activity of the aluminum anode in the AAB can be attributed to the introduction of manganese. The Al-1Zn-0.1In-0.1Sn-0.5Mg-0.1Mn alloy possesses the optimal overall performance with a lower self-corrosion rate (0.128 mL∙cm−2∙min−1), the highest working potential (1.630 V) and energy density (2415 mWh·g−1), a higher capacity (1481 mAh·g−1) and anodic utilization (49.75%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State of the Art of Energy Storage and Conversion Materials)
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Article
Process Design and Optimization towards Digital Twins for HIV-Gag VLP Production in HEK293 Cells, including Purification
Processes 2022, 10(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020419 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 399
Abstract
Despite great efforts to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS if untreated, no approved HIV vaccine is available to date. A promising class of vaccines are virus-like particles (VLPs), which were shown to be very effective for the [...] Read more.
Despite great efforts to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS if untreated, no approved HIV vaccine is available to date. A promising class of vaccines are virus-like particles (VLPs), which were shown to be very effective for the prevention of other diseases. In this study, production of HI-VLPs using different 293F cell lines, followed by a three-step purification of HI-VLPs, was conducted. The quality-by-design-based process development was supported by process analytical technology (PAT). The HI-VLP concentration increased 12.5-fold while >80% purity was achieved. This article reports on the first general process development and optimization up to purification. Further research will focus on process development for polishing and formulation up to lyophilization. In addition, process analytical technology and process modeling for process automation and optimization by digital twins in the context of quality-by-design framework will be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Autonomous Operation of Biologics and Botanicals)
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Article
Study on an Oscillating Water Column Wave Power Converter Installed in an Offshore Jacket Foundation for Wind-Turbine System Part II: Experimental Test on the Converting Efficiency
Processes 2022, 10(2), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020418 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
This study is an experimental study corresponding to an analytical study presented previously, where a scaled-down model was built and tested in a water tank by following the size and shape of the structure applied in the analytical study. In this study, a [...] Read more.
This study is an experimental study corresponding to an analytical study presented previously, where a scaled-down model was built and tested in a water tank by following the size and shape of the structure applied in the analytical study. In this study, a wave energy converter of an oscillating water column (OWC) system is integrated with the infrastructure of a jacket-type offshore platform applied to an offshore wind turbine system. The purpose is to conduct a combination system through the simultaneous utilization of both wind power and wave power so that sustainable energy can be maximized. During the analytical study’s analysis, the airflow response and the converting efficiency of wave energy from an OWC system integrated with an offshore template structural system were evaluated. By following the analytical study’s analysis, the performance of all the systems is tested, including the airflow velocity, pneumatic power, and the converting efficiency of the power from waves. The experimental data are analyzed and discussed in terms of the variations of the OWC system’s geometrical parameters. The parameters under consideration include the exhale orifice-area of airflow, gate-openings of inflow water, and the submerged chamber depth. It is found from the experimental results that, through the comparison between the experimental data and the analytical results, the results of the analytical study’s analysis are countable, and an open sea OWC system can be successfully applied to the template structure of offshore wind power infrastructure as a secondary generating system for the multi-purpose utilization of the structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Technologies in Taiwan)
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Article
Research on Predictive Control Algorithm of Vehicle Turning Path Based on Monocular Vision
Processes 2022, 10(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020417 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 309
Abstract
To solve the issue that the monocular vision vehicle navigation system is limited by the field of vision acquired by the charge-coupled device camera and cannot acquire navigation turning path information throughout the turning process, decreasing the vehicle turning control accuracy, this paper [...] Read more.
To solve the issue that the monocular vision vehicle navigation system is limited by the field of vision acquired by the charge-coupled device camera and cannot acquire navigation turning path information throughout the turning process, decreasing the vehicle turning control accuracy, this paper proposed a turning control algorithm based on monocular vision vehicle turning path prediction. Firstly, the camera’s distortion was adjusted. Secondly, the camera imaging model was built, and the turning path’s position information was determined using the imaging position relationship. The vehicle motion model was built in accordance with the vehicle steering mode. Lastly, the cornering trajectory of a vehicle was estimated using the vehicle’s front axle length and front-wheel adjustment data, determining the vehicle turning point and turn operations on the basis of the projected relationship between the vehicle turning track and the turning path position. The experimental results showed that the proposed algorithm can effectively measure the position parameters of the cornering path and complete vehicle cornering control. The maximum absolute error of intercept and slope in turn path position parameters were 0.2525 m and 0.014 m, respectively. The cornering control accuracy was 0.093 m and 0.085 m, which met the vehicle navigation cornering control requirements. At the same time, the research can provide theoretical reference for research on precise navigation control of other cornering vehicles and other path guidance modes. Full article
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Article
Identifying Graphite Purity by Weighted Fusion Method
Processes 2022, 10(2), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020416 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The purity of graphite often affects its application in different fields. In view of the low efficiency of manual recognition and the omission of features extracted by single convolution neural network, this paper proposes a method for identifying graphite purity using a multi-model [...] Read more.
The purity of graphite often affects its application in different fields. In view of the low efficiency of manual recognition and the omission of features extracted by single convolution neural network, this paper proposes a method for identifying graphite purity using a multi-model weighted fusion mechanism. The ideas suggested in this paper are as follows. On the self-built small sample data set, offline expansion and online enhancement are carried out to improve the generalization ability of the model and reduce the overfitting problem of deep convolution neural networks. Combined with transfer learning, a dual-channel convolution neural network is constructed using the optimized Alex Krizhevsky Net (AlexNet) and Alex Krizhevsky Net 50 (AlexNet50) to extract the deep features of the graphite image. After the weighted fusion of the two features, the Softmax classifier is used for classification. Experimental results show that recognition accuracy after weighted fusion is better than that of single network, reaching 97.94%. At the same time, the stability of the model is enhanced, and convergence speed is accelerated, which proves the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction in Process Industry)
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Review
Genistein, a Potential Phytochemical against Breast Cancer Treatment-Insight into the Molecular Mechanisms
Processes 2022, 10(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020415 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common malignancies in women. Although widespread successful synthetic drugs are available, natural compounds can also be considered as significant anticancer agents for treating BC. Some natural compounds have similar effects as synthetic drugs with fewer [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common malignancies in women. Although widespread successful synthetic drugs are available, natural compounds can also be considered as significant anticancer agents for treating BC. Some natural compounds have similar effects as synthetic drugs with fewer side effects on normal cells. Therefore, we aimed to unravel and analyze several molecular mechanisms of genistein (GNT) against BC. GNT is a type of dietary phytoestrogen included in the flavonoid group with a similar structure to estrogen that might provide a strong alternative and complementary medicine to existing chemotherapeutic drugs. Previous research reported that GNT could target the estrogen receptor (ER) human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) and several signaling molecules against multiple BC cell lines and sensitize cancer cell lines to this compound when used at an optimal inhibitory concentration. More specifically, GNT mediates the anticancer mechanism through apoptosis induction, arresting the cell cycle, inhibiting angiogenesis and metastasis, mammosphere formation, and targeting and suppressing tumor growth factors. Furthermore, it acts via upregulating tumor suppressor genes and downregulating oncogenes in vitro and animal model studies. In addition, this phytochemical synergistically reverses the resistance mechanism of standard chemotherapeutic drugs, increasing their efficacy against BC. Overall, in this review, we discuss several molecular interactions of GNT with numerous cellular targets in the BC model and show its anticancer activities alone and synergistically. We conclude that GNT can have favorable therapeutic advantages when standard drugs are not available in the pharma markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Systems Biology and Natural Products)
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Article
Pyraclostrobin Removal in Pilot-Scale Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands and in Porous Media Filters
Processes 2022, 10(2), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020414 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Pyraclostrobin is a fungicide extensively used for the control of various fungal diseases and is frequently detected in environmental samples. Natural systems, such as constructed wetlands (CWs) and gravity filters, are effective and environmentally friendly treatment systems, which can reduce or eliminate pesticides [...] Read more.
Pyraclostrobin is a fungicide extensively used for the control of various fungal diseases and is frequently detected in environmental samples. Natural systems, such as constructed wetlands (CWs) and gravity filters, are effective and environmentally friendly treatment systems, which can reduce or eliminate pesticides from the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of two pilot-scale CWs (porous media: cobbles and fine gravel, planted with Phragmites australis) and six gravity filters (filling material: bauxite, carbonate gravel and zeolite) to remove pyraclostrobin from polluted water originating from spraying equipment rinsing sites. For this, experiments were conducted to test the performance of the above natural systems in removing this fungicide. The results showed that the mean percent pyraclostrobin removal efficiencies for cobbles and fine gravel CW units were 56.7% and 75.2%, respectively, and the mean percent removals for HRTs of 6 and 8 days were 68.7% and 62.8%, respectively. The mean removal efficiencies for the bauxite, carbonate gravel and zeolite filter units were 32.5%, 36.7% and 61.2%, respectively, and the mean percent removals for HRTs 2, 4 and 8 days were 39.9%, 43.4% and 44.1%, respectively. Regarding the feeding strategy, the mean removal values of pyraclostrobin in gravity filter units were 43.44% and 40.80% for continuous and batch feeding, respectively. Thus, these systems can be used in rural areas for the treatment of spraying equipment rinsing water. Full article
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Article
Vienna Rectifier-Based Control of a PMSG Wind Turbine Generator
Processes 2022, 10(2), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020413 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Vienna converters have several advantages, including low construction costs, improved total harmonics, and considerable reliability. Generally, they are used in applications with a high switching frequency, particularly in telecommunications, and their use in power generation systems is recent but promising. They can be [...] Read more.
Vienna converters have several advantages, including low construction costs, improved total harmonics, and considerable reliability. Generally, they are used in applications with a high switching frequency, particularly in telecommunications, and their use in power generation systems is recent but promising. They can be an interesting solution for medium and large wind power systems as they have the advantage of a high power density compared to traditional two-level converters. In this paper, a wind energy production system based on a Vienna rectifier and the permanent magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) is proposed. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the performance of the vector control strategy of the PMSG associated with the Vienna rectifier considering the real conditions of wind power systems. The feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed control strategy are evaluated through the simulations in MATLAB/Simulink and experimental tests based on a laboratory prototype. The outcomes present interesting performances in terms of dynamics and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control Techniques for Wind Turbine Systems)
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Article
Research and Modelling the Ability of Waste from Water and Wastewater Treatment to Remove Phosphates from Water
Processes 2022, 10(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020412 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
This research investigated the ability of two materials, which are waste generated during water treatment and wastewater treatment, to remove phosphates from water. The selected materials were quartz sand used in drinking water treatment plants (OQS) and incinerated (600 °C) sewage sludge (ISS). [...] Read more.
This research investigated the ability of two materials, which are waste generated during water treatment and wastewater treatment, to remove phosphates from water. The selected materials were quartz sand used in drinking water treatment plants (OQS) and incinerated (600 °C) sewage sludge (ISS). The materials were chosen for their composition: both contain aluminium, iron, and calcium. The experiments were carried out in the laboratory (in batch and in columns stand). Modelling of the sorption processes was performed on the basis of results from experiments in batches. The maximum adsorption capacity of the OQS was 1.14 mg/g obtained using the linearized Langmuir model and the maximum adsorption capacity of the ISS was 0.86 mg/g for the linearized Langmuir model (in batch). A pseudo-first-order model obtained using a nonlinear fit can accurately explain phosphate adsorption kinetics using both adsorbents: OQS and ISS. During the column filtration experiment, a higher sorption capacity of the ISS filter media was achieved −2.1 mg of phosphate phosphorus per gram of filter media. The determined adsorption capacity of the investigated materials was average, but the reuse of this waste would help to solve the issues of the circular economy. Full article
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Editorial
Special Issue on “Industrial Chemistry Reactions: Kinetics, Mass Transfer and Industrial Reactor Design”
Processes 2022, 10(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020411 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 341
Abstract
The impressive developments in commercially available technologies, in terms of new equipment and faster computers, allow us to solve ever-more complicated chemical and technical issues within industrial chemistry and reaction engineering fields [...] Full article
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Article
Toxicological and Nutraceutical Screening Assays of Some Artificial Sweeteners
Processes 2022, 10(2), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020410 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Artificial sweeteners are food additives worldwide used instead of fructose or glucose in many diet beverages. Furthermore, diet beverages intake has been increasing every year. Thus, some food agencies should regulate it based on toxicological studies. Debates and controversial results are demonstrated, and [...] Read more.
Artificial sweeteners are food additives worldwide used instead of fructose or glucose in many diet beverages. Furthermore, diet beverages intake has been increasing every year. Thus, some food agencies should regulate it based on toxicological studies. Debates and controversial results are demonstrated, and authority can revise its decision on the basis of new data reporting toxicological effects since cyclamate has been forbidden in some countries. Therefore, the aim of this study was to report new data about the toxicity of acesulfame-k, aspartame, and cyclamate, which are useful for authority agencies, determining the toxic potential and nutraceutical capabilities of these compounds. The toxicity, antitoxicity, genotoxicity, antigenotoxicity, and life expectancy assays were carried out in Drosophila as an in vivo model. In addition, in vitro HL-60 line cell was used to evaluate the chemopreventive activity determining the cytotoxic effect and the capability of producing DNA damage due to internucleosomal fragmentation or DNA strand breaks. Furthermore, the methylated status of these cancer cells treated with the tested compounds was assayed as a cancer therapy. Our results demonstrated that all tested compounds were neither toxic nor genotoxic, whereas these compounds resulted in antigenotoxic and cytotoxic substances, except for cyclamate. Aspartame showed antitoxic effects in Drosophila. All tested compounds decreased the quality of life of this in vivo organism model. Acesulfame-k, aspartame, and cyclamate induced DNA damage in the HL-60 cell line in the comet assay, and acesulfame-k generally increased the methylation status. In conclusion, all tested artificial sweeteners were safe compounds at assayed concentrations since toxicity and genotoxicity were not significantly induced in flies. Moreover, Aspartame and Cyclamate showed protective activity against a genotoxin in Drosophila Regarding nutraceutical potential, acesulfame-k and aspartame could be demonstrated to be chemopreventive due to the cytotoxicity activity shown by these compounds. According to DNA fragmentation and comet assays, a necrotic way could be the main mechanism of death cells induced by acesulfame-k and aspartame. Finally, Acesulfame-K hypermethylated repetitive elements, which are hypomethylated in cancer cells resulting in a benefit to humans. Full article
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Article
Mapping Uncertainties of Soft-Sensors Based on Deep Feedforward Neural Networks through a Novel Monte Carlo Uncertainties Training Process
Processes 2022, 10(2), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020409 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Data-driven sensors are techniques capable of providing real-time information of unmeasured variables based on instrument measurements. They are valuable tools in several engineering fields, from car automation to chemical processes. However, they are subject to several sources of uncertainty, and in this way, [...] Read more.
Data-driven sensors are techniques capable of providing real-time information of unmeasured variables based on instrument measurements. They are valuable tools in several engineering fields, from car automation to chemical processes. However, they are subject to several sources of uncertainty, and in this way, they need to be able to deal with uncertainties. A way to deal with this problem is by using soft sensors and evaluating their uncertainties. On the other hand, the advent of deep learning (DL) has been providing a powerful tool for the field of data-driven modeling. The DL presents a potential to improve the soft sensor reliability. However, the uncertainty identification of the soft sensors model is a known issue in the literature. In this scenario, this work presents a strategy to identify the uncertainty of DL models prediction based on a novel Monte Carlo uncertainties training strategy. The proposed methodology is applied to identify a Soft Sensor to provide a real-time prediction of the productivity of a chemical process. The results demonstrate that the proposed methodology can yield a soft sensor based on DL that provides reliable predictions, with precision being proven by its corresponding coverage region. Full article
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Article
Hydrodynamic Behavior of a Pump as Turbine under Transient Flow Conditions
Processes 2022, 10(2), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020408 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Centrifugal pumps as turbines (PATs) are widely used in chemical engineering for recycling the abundant energy from high-pressure fluid. The operation of PATs is significantly affected by their upstream conditions, which are not steady (i.e., with a constant flow rate) in reality, thus, [...] Read more.
Centrifugal pumps as turbines (PATs) are widely used in chemical engineering for recycling the abundant energy from high-pressure fluid. The operation of PATs is significantly affected by their upstream conditions, which are not steady (i.e., with a constant flow rate) in reality, thus, research on the flow mechanism of PATs under transient conditions should be considered of higher importance. In this study, a numerical model of a PAT was developed by employing the sliding mesh method to describe turbine rotation, and a user-defined function (UDF) for characterizing transient flow conditions. Corresponding experiments were also conducted to provide validation results for the simulation, and the simulation results agreed well with the experimental outcomes. The instantaneous characteristic curves under the current working conditions were obtained for different transient flow rates. The results show that the turbine’s efficiency is significantly affected by transient flow conditions. In particular, a rapid increase (large time derivative) of flow rate results in a large energy dissipation at the turbine outlet, and therefore, the turbine efficiency decreases. In addition, as the flow rate increases, the hydrodynamic force on the impeller, and the pressure fluctuation amplitude in the volute first decrease and then increase, reaching the minimum near the design flow rate. The current study provides a reliable and precise approach for the estimation of hydrodynamic performance of fluid machinery under transient flow conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Optimization Method of Pumps)
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Article
The Influence of a Pumping Chamber on Hydraulic Losses in a Mixed-Flow Pump
Processes 2022, 10(2), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020407 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 332
Abstract
In this study, entropy generation theory based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to study the influence of a pumping chamber type (guide vane and volute scheme) on the spatial distribution of hydraulic loss in a mixed-flow pump. The CFD data of [...] Read more.
In this study, entropy generation theory based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to study the influence of a pumping chamber type (guide vane and volute scheme) on the spatial distribution of hydraulic loss in a mixed-flow pump. The CFD data of the mixed-flow pump with a volute is validated by external characteristic test data under Q = 561.4–1598.6 m3/h. The results show that the efficiency and the head of the guide vanes scheme are lower under Q = 800–1200 m3/h, which resulted from a higher total entropy production (TEP) in the pumping chamber and outlet pipe. The high total entropy production rate (TEPR) inside the guide vanes can be found near the leading edge of the hub side and trailing edge of the rim side due to flow separation, which reduces the recovery efficiency of kinetic energy of the guide vanes. The high TEPR inside outlet pipe can be seen near the inlet, caused by back flow. However, the efficiency and head of the volute scheme are lower, under Q = 1200–1600 m3/h, owing to the fact that the volute cannot effectively convert kinetic energy into pressure energy and thus the high TEPR can be found near outlet of volute and inlet of outlet pipe. These results can provide useful suggestions to the matching optimization of the impeller and pumping chamber in a mixed-flow pump. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Optimization Method of Pumps)
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Article
Microbiological Control in Decontamination of Sludge from Wastewater Treatment Plant
Processes 2022, 10(2), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020406 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Dynamics of the microbiological indicators of fresh sludge from wastewater treatment plants with a concentration of CaO, 10% and 20%, and ash, −30% and 50%, and treated with quicklime, ash, and microbial fertilizer for a 50-day period of composting were studied. The influence [...] Read more.
Dynamics of the microbiological indicators of fresh sludge from wastewater treatment plants with a concentration of CaO, 10% and 20%, and ash, −30% and 50%, and treated with quicklime, ash, and microbial fertilizer for a 50-day period of composting were studied. The influence of temperature, water content, and oxygen on the development of microbes was established in laboratory conditions. Microbiological analysis included the determination of non-pathogenic (non-spore-forming bacteria, bacilli, actinomycetes, micromycetes, bacteria digesting mineral nitrogen), and pathogenic (Salmonella, Listeria, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, Clostridium perfringens) microorganisms. Of the beneficial microflora in the sludge before treating, the amount of non-spore-forming bacteria was the highest, followed by bacilli and micromycetes. It was found that actinomycetes were absent in the untreated sludge. Clostridium perfringens occupied a major share in the composition of the pathogenic microflora, followed by Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and Listeria. The best results for decontamination of the sludge were obtained by adding 20% quicklime and 50% ash. Alkalization of the sludge after treatment led to the destruction of pathogenic microflora but also reduced the number of beneficial microorganisms. The decrease in pH during the study period determined the redevelopment of pathogenic microflora. Combined variants with lime or ash and microbial fertilizer showed better results for the development of non-pathogenic microflora and the destruction of pathogens. Full article
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Article
Inhibition of Four Inert Powders on the Minimum Ignition Energy of Sucrose Dust
Processes 2022, 10(2), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020405 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 337
Abstract
In order to evaluate the effect of inert powder on the ignition sensitivity of sucrose dust, this study investigated the effects of NaHCO3, NaCl, NH4H2PO4 and Al(OH)3 on the minimum ignition energy (MIE) of sucrose [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the effect of inert powder on the ignition sensitivity of sucrose dust, this study investigated the effects of NaHCO3, NaCl, NH4H2PO4 and Al(OH)3 on the minimum ignition energy (MIE) of sucrose dust. The results showed that all four different inert powders inhibited the MIE of sucrose dust, and all of them showed a trend that the smaller the particle size of the inert powders, the better the inhibition effect. The inhibition effect was ranked as NaHCO3 > NH4H2PO4 > NaCl > Al(OH)3. NaHCO3 and NH4H2PO4 had both physical and chemical inhibition effects, which were better compared to NaCl and Al(OH)3, which had only physical inhibition effects. Analysis of the flame images showed that the inert powder slowed down the combustion of the sucrose dust flame and reduced the flame height. No flame appeared in the region of higher inert powder concentration. Full article
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Article
Digitalized Automation Engineering of Industry 4.0 Production Systems and Their Tight Cooperation with Digital Twins
Processes 2022, 10(2), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10020404 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 588
Abstract
Smart production systems conforming the Industry 4.0 vision are based on subsystems that are integrated in a way that supports high flexibility and re-configurability. Specific components and devices, such as industrial and mobile robots or transport systems, now pose full-blown systems, and the [...] Read more.
Smart production systems conforming the Industry 4.0 vision are based on subsystems that are integrated in a way that supports high flexibility and re-configurability. Specific components and devices, such as industrial and mobile robots or transport systems, now pose full-blown systems, and the entire Industry 4.0 production system constitutes a system-of-systems. Testing, fine-tuning, and production planning are important tasks in the entire engineering production system life-cycle. All these steps can be significantly supported and improved by digital twins, which are digitalized replicas of physical systems that are synchronized with the real systems at runtime. However, the design and implementation of digital twins for such integrated, yet partly stand-alone, industrial sub-systems can represent challenging and significantly time-consuming engineering tasks. In this article, the problem of the digital twin design for discrete-event production systems is addressed. The article also proposes to utilize a formal description of production resources and related production operations that the resources can perform. An executable version of such formalization can be automatically derived into a form of a digital twin. Such a derived digital twin can be enhanced with operation duration times that are obtained with process mining methods, leading to more realistic simulations for the entire production system. The proposed solution was successfully tested and validated in the Industry 4.0 Testbed, equipped with four robots and a transport system, which is utilized as a use-case in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digitalized Industrial Production Systems and Industry 4.0)
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