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Processes, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 128 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The aqueous extraction process (AEP) enables the concurrent extraction of oil and protein from [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Biomass Pretreatment with the Szego Mill™ for Bioethanol and Biogas Production
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101327 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Results from an investigation of the mechanical size reduction with the Szego Mill™ as a pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass are presented. Pretreatment is a highly expensive and energy-consuming step in lignocellulosic biomass processing. Therefore, it is vital to study and optimize different [...] Read more.
Results from an investigation of the mechanical size reduction with the Szego Mill™ as a pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass are presented. Pretreatment is a highly expensive and energy-consuming step in lignocellulosic biomass processing. Therefore, it is vital to study and optimize different pretreatment methods to find a most efficient production process. The biomass was milled with the Szego Mill™ using three different approaches: dry milling, wet milling and for the first time nitrogen assisted wet milling was tested. Bioethanol and biogas production were studied, but also fibre analysis and SEM (scanning electron microscope) analysis were carried out to characterize the effect of different milling approaches. In addition, two different process flows were used to evaluate the efficiency of downstream processing steps. The results show that pretreatment of barely straw with the Szego Mill™ enabled obtaining glucose concentrations of up to 7 g L−1 in the hydrolysis mixture, which yields at hydrolysis efficiency of 18%. The final ethanol concentrations from 3.4 to 6.7 g L−1 were obtained. The lowest glucose and ethanol concentrations were measured when the biomass was dry milled, the highest when nitrogen assisted wet milling was used. Milling also resulted in an 6–11% of increase in methane production rate during anaerobic digestion of straw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Consensus Fuzzy K-Modes Clustering Using Coupling DNA-Chain-Hypergraph P System for Categorical Data
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101326 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 223
Abstract
In this paper, a data clustering method named consensus fuzzy k-modes clustering is proposed to improve the performance of the clustering for the categorical data. At the same time, the coupling DNA-chain-hypergraph P system is constructed to realize the process of the clustering. [...] Read more.
In this paper, a data clustering method named consensus fuzzy k-modes clustering is proposed to improve the performance of the clustering for the categorical data. At the same time, the coupling DNA-chain-hypergraph P system is constructed to realize the process of the clustering. This P system can prevent the clustering algorithm falling into the local optimum and realize the clustering process in implicit parallelism. The consensus fuzzy k-modes algorithm can combine the advantages of the fuzzy k-modes algorithm, weight fuzzy k-modes algorithm and genetic fuzzy k-modes algorithm. The fuzzy k-modes algorithm can realize the soft partition which is closer to reality, but treats all the variables equally. The weight fuzzy k-modes algorithm introduced the weight vector which strengthens the basic k-modes clustering by associating higher weights with features useful in analysis. These two methods are only improvements the k-modes algorithm itself. So, the genetic k-modes algorithm is proposed which used the genetic operations in the clustering process. In this paper, we examine these three kinds of k-modes algorithms and further introduce DNA genetic optimization operations in the final consensus process. Finally, we conduct experiments on the seven UCI datasets and compare the clustering results with another four categorical clustering algorithms. The experiment results and statistical test results show that our method can get better clustering results than the compared clustering algorithms, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Simulation and Design of Membrane Computing System)
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Open AccessArticle
Digital Twin for Lyophilization by Process Modeling in Manufacturing of Biologics
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101325 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
Lyophilization stabilizes formulated biologics for storage, transport and application to patients. In process design and operation it is the link between downstream processing and with final formulation to fill and finish. Recent activities in Quality by Design (QbD) have resulted in approaches by [...] Read more.
Lyophilization stabilizes formulated biologics for storage, transport and application to patients. In process design and operation it is the link between downstream processing and with final formulation to fill and finish. Recent activities in Quality by Design (QbD) have resulted in approaches by regulatory authorities and the need to include Process Analytical Technology (PAT) tools. An approach is outlined to validate a predictive physical-chemical (rigorous) lyophilization process model to act quantitatively as a digital twin in order to allow accelerated process design by modeling and to further-on develop autonomous process optimization and control towards real time release testing. Antibody manufacturing is chosen as a typical example for actual biologics needs. Literature is reviewed and the presented procedure is exemplified to quantitatively and consistently validate the physical-chemical process model with aid of an experimental statistical DOE (design of experiments) in pilot scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processes Accelerating Biologics Manufacturing by Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle
A Joint Optimization Strategy of Coverage Planning and Energy Scheduling for Wireless Rechargeable Sensor Networks
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101324 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 215
Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have the characteristics of large-scale deployment, flexible networking, and many applications. They are important parts of wireless communication networks. However, due to limited energy supply, the development of WSNs is greatly restricted. Wireless rechargeable sensor networks (WRSNs) transform the [...] Read more.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have the characteristics of large-scale deployment, flexible networking, and many applications. They are important parts of wireless communication networks. However, due to limited energy supply, the development of WSNs is greatly restricted. Wireless rechargeable sensor networks (WRSNs) transform the distributed energy around the environment into usable electricity through energy collection technology. In this work, a two-phase scheme is proposed to improve the energy management efficiency for WRSNs. In the first phase, we designed an annulus virtual force based particle swarm optimization (AVFPSO) algorithm for area coverage. It adopts the multi-parameter joint optimization method to improve the efficiency of the algorithm. In the second phase, a queuing game-based energy supply (QGES) algorithm was designed. It converts energy supply and consumption into network service. By solving the game equilibrium of the model, the optimal energy distribution strategy can be obtained. The simulation results show that our scheme improves the efficiency of coverage and energy supply, and then extends the lifetime of WSN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Systems and Internet of Things (IoT))
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
CFD Hydrodynamics Investigations for Optimum Biomass Gasifier Design
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101323 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
Biomass gasification is nowadays considered a viable option for clean energy production. Furthermore, still more efforts need to be spent to make this technology fully available at commercial scale. Drawbacks that greatly limit the full-time plant availability—and so its economically feasibility—mainly concerns syngas [...] Read more.
Biomass gasification is nowadays considered a viable option for clean energy production. Furthermore, still more efforts need to be spent to make this technology fully available at commercial scale. Drawbacks that greatly limit the full-time plant availability—and so its economically feasibility—mainly concerns syngas purification by contaminants such as tars. Different technological approaches were investigated over last two decades with the aim to increase both the plant availability and the overall efficiency by keeping, at the same time, CAPEX and OPEX low. Among technologies, fluidized beds are surely the most promising architectures for power production at thermal scale above 1 MWth. Gasifier can be surely considered the key component of the whole power plant and its proper design, the main engineering effort. This process involves different engineering aspects: thermo-structural, heat, and mass transfer, and chemical and fluid-dynamic concerns being the most important. In this study, with the aim to reach an optimal reaction chamber design, the hydrodynamics of a bubbling fluidized bed reactor was investigated by using a CFD approach. A Eulerian–Eulerian multiphase model, supported by experimental data, was implemented to describe the interactions between the solid and fluid phases inside the reactor while a discrete dense phase model (DDPM) model was considered to investigate momentum exchange among continuous phases and solid particles simulating char. Different process parameters, such as the bed recirculation rate and the particles circulation time inside the bed, were at least analyzed to characterize the hydrodynamics of the reactor. Results indicate that the recirculation time of bed material is in the order of 6–7 s at bench scale and, respectively, of 15–20 s at full scale. Information about solid particles inside the bed that should be used to avoid elutriation and agglomeration phenomenon, suggest that the dimension of the mother fuel particles should not exceed the value of 5–10 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass to Renewable Energy Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Motor Fault Detection Using Wavelet Transform and Improved PSO-BP Neural Network
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101322 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 211
Abstract
This paper proposes a motor fault detection method based on wavelet transform (WT) and improved PSO-BP neural network which is combined with improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) and a back propagation (BP) neural network with linearly increasing inertia weight. First, this research used [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a motor fault detection method based on wavelet transform (WT) and improved PSO-BP neural network which is combined with improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) and a back propagation (BP) neural network with linearly increasing inertia weight. First, this research used WT to analyze the current signals of the healthy motor, bearing damage motor, stator winding inter-turn short circuit motor, and broken rotor bar motor. Second, features after completing the signal analysis were extracted, and three types of classifiers were used to classify. The results show that the improved PSO-BP neural network can effectively detect the cause of failure. In addition, in order to simulate the actual operating environment of the motor, this study added white noise with signal noise ratios of 30 dB, 25 dB, and 20 dB to verify that this model has a better anti-noise ability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Cell Density Cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with Intensive Multiple Sequential Batches Together with a Novel Technique of Fed-Batch at Cell Level (FBC)
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101321 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 295
Abstract
High cell density cultivation (HCDC) is developed for the production of microbial biomasses and their products. They must be produced from high concentrations of substrate, e.g., glucose or sucrose. In batch culture, a high concentration of those sugars >40–50% (w/v) cannot [...] Read more.
High cell density cultivation (HCDC) is developed for the production of microbial biomasses and their products. They must be produced from high concentrations of substrate, e.g., glucose or sucrose. In batch culture, a high concentration of those sugars >40–50% (w/v) cannot efficiently be utilized because of a dissolved O2 limitation causing the Crabtree effect that produces toxic by-products, i.e., ethanol and/or acetate, that inhibit cell growth. To prevent this effect, the HCDC is conducted with the fed-batch strategies. However, it has many disadvantages, i.e., complicated operations. To overcome those problems, this study was designed to use a new, efficient C-source (carbon source) substrate, namely dextrin, an oligomer of glucose. It can be utilized by yeast at a very high concentration of ~100 g/L although using just batch cultivation. As it is gradually hydrolyzed to release glucose molecules and gradually assimilated into the cells as “fed-batch at the cell level” (FBC), it prevents the yeast cell system from undergoing the Crabtree effect. In this research, the types of medium, the types of sugar compared with dextrin, and the concentrations of yeast extract (YE) were studied. The batch production medium (BPM) with dextrin and YE performed very good results. The concentrations of dextrin for yeast cultivation were studied in the aerobic batch 5-L bioreactors. Its optimum concentration was at 90 g/L with 9 g/L of YE in 3× BPM. It was operated at 3 W/kg energy dissipation rate per unit mass (ε¯T) and 3 vvm airflow rate. Further, the intensive multiple sequential batch (IMSB) technique of high intensities of agitation speed and airflow was developed to achieve higher yield and productivity. The maximum values of cell biomass, specific growth rate, yield coefficient, productivity, and efficiency were at 55.17 g/L, 0.21 h−1, 0.54 g/g, 2.30 g/L/h, and 98.18%, respectively. The studies of cell growth kinetics, biochemical engineering mass balances, and fluid dynamics for the design of impeller speeds of the 5-L bioreactors during the cultivations of yeast using dextrin at the high concentrations were successful. The results can be used for the scale-up of bioreactor for the industrial production of yeast cell biomass at high concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Microbial Fermentation Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Insulin Release from NPH Insulin-Loaded Pluronic® F127 Hydrogel in the Presence of Simulated Tissue Enzyme Activity
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101320 - 21 Oct 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Background: Despite the widespread use of newer basal insulins, Natural Protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin still represents a well-established basal formulation with its long history of use, featuring the native form of human insulin. However, NPH insulin exhibits an undesirable peak within hours after [...] Read more.
Background: Despite the widespread use of newer basal insulins, Natural Protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin still represents a well-established basal formulation with its long history of use, featuring the native form of human insulin. However, NPH insulin exhibits an undesirable peak within hours after a single subcutaneous (s.c.) injection, which may lead to hypoglycemia followed by insufficient basal insulin delivery. This may be attributed to the s.c. enzyme activities degrading the protamine in NPH microcrystals. Methods: A thermogelling block copolymer Pluronic® F127 (PF127) was utilized as a protective carrier for NPH microcrystals and as a modulator for insulin release from NPH. NPH insulin-loaded PF127 gel was prepared with varying concentrations of the polymer (15–25%) under mild conditions. The formulations were characterized for their gelling temperature, morphology, gel erosion, and in vitro insulin release, with trypsin concentrations up to 5 U/mL. Results: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that the integrity of NPH microcrystals was maintained after preparation. The burst release of insulin from NPH was significantly attenuated over the course of ~16h in the presence of PF127 with or without enzyme activity. Conclusion: NPH-PF127 successfully resisted the acceleration of NPH crystal dissolution and insulin release in vitro in the presence of protamine-degrading enzyme activity, warranting further testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Different Slurry Concentrations and Wire Speeds for Swinging and Non-Swinging Wire-Saw Machining
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101319 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 200
Abstract
Slurry concentration and wire speed affect the yield and machining quality of ceramics (Al2O3) that are produced using wire-saw machining (WSM). This study determines the effect of slurry concentration and wire speed on the material removal rate (MRR), the [...] Read more.
Slurry concentration and wire speed affect the yield and machining quality of ceramics (Al2O3) that are produced using wire-saw machining (WSM). This study determines the effect of slurry concentration and wire speed on the material removal rate (MRR), the machined surface roughness (SR), the kerf width, the wire wear and the flatness for swinging and non-swinging WSM. The experiments show that swinging WSM results in a higher machining efficiency than non-swinging WSM. WSM with swinging also achieves a peak MRR at a medium slurry concentration (25 wt%) and a higher wire speed (5.6 m/s) using the cutting conditions for the experimental region. However, slurry concentration and wire speed have no significant effect on the machined SR, the kerf width, the wire wear or the flatness for WSM with swinging mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Digital and Other Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Brooks and Corey Capillary Pressure Model Revisited from Pore Network Simulations of Capillarity-Controlled Invasion Percolation Process
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101318 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 13708
Abstract
Relating the macroscopic properties of porous media such as capillary pressure with saturation is an on-going problem in many fields, but examining their correlations with microstructural traits of the porous medium is a challenging task due to the heterogeneity of the solid matrix [...] Read more.
Relating the macroscopic properties of porous media such as capillary pressure with saturation is an on-going problem in many fields, but examining their correlations with microstructural traits of the porous medium is a challenging task due to the heterogeneity of the solid matrix and the limitations of laboratory instruments. Considering a capillarity-controlled invasion percolation process, we examined the macroscopic properties as functions of matrix saturation and pore structure by applying the throat and pore network model. We obtained a relationship of the capillary pressure with the effective saturation from systematic pore network simulations. Then, we revisited and identified the microstructure parameters in the Brooks and Corey capillary pressure model. The wetting phase residual saturation is related to the ratio of standard deviation to the mean radius, the ratio of pore radius to the throat length, and pore connectivity. The size distribution index in the Brooks and Corey capillary pressure model should be more reasonably considered as a meniscus size distribution index rather than a pore size distribution index, relating this parameter with the invasion process and the structural properties. The size distribution index is associated with pore connectivity and the ratio of standard deviation to mean radius (σ0/r¯), increasing with the decline of σ0/r¯ but the same for networks with same σ0/r¯. The identified parameters of the Brooks and Corey model might be further utilized for correlations with other transport properties such as permeability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamics, Multi Phase Flow, and Thermal Recovery Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Short Blade Circumferential Position Arrangement on Gas-Liquid Two-Phase Flow Performance of Centrifugal Pump
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101317 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 255
Abstract
In order to study the internal flow characteristics of centrifugal pumps with a split impeller under gas-liquid mixed transportation conditions, this paper conducted a steady calculation of the flow field in the centrifugal pump under the conditions of different inlet gas volume fractions [...] Read more.
In order to study the internal flow characteristics of centrifugal pumps with a split impeller under gas-liquid mixed transportation conditions, this paper conducted a steady calculation of the flow field in the centrifugal pump under the conditions of different inlet gas volume fractions based on the Eulerian-Eulerian heterogeneous flow model, using air and water as the working media and the Schiller Nauman model for the interphase resistance. This paper takes a low specific speed centrifugal pump as the research object, through the controlling variables, using the same pump body structure and pump body geometric parameters and setting three different arrangements of long and short blades (each plan uses the same long and short blades) to explore the influence of the short blade arrangement on the low specific speed centrifugal pump performance under a gas-liquid two-phase flow. The research results show that, under pure water conditions, the reasonable arrangement of the short blade circumferential position can eliminate the hump of the centrifugal pump under low-flow conditions, can make the flow velocity in the impeller more uniform, and can optimize the performance of the pump. Under the design conditions and the gas-liquid two-phase inflow conditions, when the circumferential position of the short blades is close to the suction surface of the long blades, some of the bubbles on the suction surface of the long blade can be broken under the work of the pressure surface of the short blade and flow out of the impeller with the liquid, which improves the flow state of the flow field in the impeller. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Efficient Simulation of Chromatographic Processes Using the Conservation Element/Solution Element Method
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101316 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Chromatographic separation processes need efficient simulation methods, especially for nonlinear adsorption isotherms such as the Langmuir isotherms which imply the formation of concentration shocks. The focus of this paper is on the space–time conservation element/solution element (CE/SE) method. This is an explicit method [...] Read more.
Chromatographic separation processes need efficient simulation methods, especially for nonlinear adsorption isotherms such as the Langmuir isotherms which imply the formation of concentration shocks. The focus of this paper is on the space–time conservation element/solution element (CE/SE) method. This is an explicit method for the solution of systems of partial differential equations. Numerical stability of this method is guaranteed when the Courant–Friedrichs–Lewy condition is satisfied. To investigate the accuracy and efficiency of this method, it is compared with the classical cell model, which corresponds to a first-order finite volume discretization using a method of lines approach (MOL). The evaluation is done for different models, including the ideal equilibrium model and a mass transfer model for different adsorption isotherms—including linear and nonlinear Langmuir isotherms—and for different chromatographic processes from single-column operation to more sophisticated simulated moving bed (SMB) processes for the separation of binary and ternary mixtures. The results clearly show that CE/SE outperforms MOL in terms of computational times for all considered cases, ranging from 11-fold for the case with linear isotherm to 350-fold for the most complicated case with ternary center-cut eight-zone SMB with Langmuir isotherms, and it could be successfully applied for the optimization and control studies of such processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Methods in Process and Systems Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution and Physical Characteristics of a Raceway Based on a Transient Eulerian Multiphase Flow Model
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101315 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 201
Abstract
In industrial processes, a semi-cavity area formed by airflow wherein the particles circulate is called a “raceway”. In a blast furnace, the role of the raceway is particularly important. To understand and predict the evolution and physical characteristics of the raceway, a three-dimensional [...] Read more.
In industrial processes, a semi-cavity area formed by airflow wherein the particles circulate is called a “raceway”. In a blast furnace, the role of the raceway is particularly important. To understand and predict the evolution and physical characteristics of the raceway, a three-dimensional transient Eulerian multiphase flow model in a packed particle bed was developed. In the model, it was assumed that the gas and solid (particle) phases constitute an interpenetrating continuum. The gas-phase turbulence was described as a k–ε dispersed model. The gas-phase stress was considered in terms of the effective viscosity of the gas. The solid-phase constitutive relationship was expressed in terms of solid stress. It was found that the evolution process of the raceway can be divided into three stages: (1) rapid expansion, (2) slow contraction, and (3) gradual stabilization. When the blast velocity was increased from 150 m/s to 300 m/s, the surface area of the raceway increased from 0.194 m2 to 1.644 m2. The depth and height of the raceway increased considerably with velocity, while the width slightly increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Modeling in Pyrometallurgical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Some Physical Properties and Mass Modelling of Pepper Berries (Piper nigrum L.), Variety Kuching, at Different Maturity Levels
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101314 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Pepper berry (Piper nigrum L.) is known as the king of spices and has sharp, pungent flavour and aroma. In this study, the physical properties (weight, dimensions, sphericity, volume, surface area, and projected area) were measured, and the mass of pepper berries [...] Read more.
Pepper berry (Piper nigrum L.) is known as the king of spices and has sharp, pungent flavour and aroma. In this study, the physical properties (weight, dimensions, sphericity, volume, surface area, and projected area) were measured, and the mass of pepper berries of the Kuching variety at different maturity levels (immature, mature, and ripe) was predicted using four models: linear, quadratic, s-curve, and power. When the models were based on volume and projected area, the mass could be predicted with maximum precision. The Quadratic model was best fitted for mass prediction at all mass maturity levels (immature, mature, and ripe). The results showed that mass modelling based on the actual volume of pepper berries was more applicable compared to other properties with the highest determination coefficient, 0.995, at the 1% probability level. From an economical point of view, mass prediction based on actual volume in the Quadratic form, M= 0.828 − 0.015 V + 7.376 ×105V2, is recommended. The findings of physical properties and mass modelling of the berries would be useful to the scientific knowledge base, which may help in developing grading, handling, and packaging systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Postharvest Process Systems)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
NMPC-Based Workflow for Simultaneous Process and Model Development Applied to a Fed-Batch Process for Recombinant C. glutamicum
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101313 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 177
Abstract
For the fast and improved development of bioprocesses, new strategies are required where both strain and process development are performed in parallel. Here, a workflow based on a Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) algorithm is described for the model-assisted development of biotechnological processes. [...] Read more.
For the fast and improved development of bioprocesses, new strategies are required where both strain and process development are performed in parallel. Here, a workflow based on a Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) algorithm is described for the model-assisted development of biotechnological processes. By using the NMPC algorithm, the process is designed with respect to a target function (product yield, biomass concentration) with a drastically decreased number of experiments. A workflow for the usage of the NMPC algorithm as a process development tool is outlined. The NMPC algorithm is capable of improving various process states, such as product yield and biomass concentration. It uses on-line and at-line data and controls and optimizes the process by model-based process extrapolation. In this study, the algorithm is applied to a Corynebacterium glutamicum process. In conclusion, the potency of the NMPC algorithm as a powerful tool for process development is demonstrated. In particular, the benefits of the system regarding the characterization and optimization of a fed-batch process are outlined. With the NMPC algorithm, process development can be run simultaneously to strain development, resulting in a shortened time to market for novel products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fermentation Optimization and Modeling)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Exploring the Function of Ion-Exchange Membrane in Membrane Capacitive Deionization via a Fully Coupled Two-Dimensional Process Model
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101312 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 267
Abstract
In the arid west, the freshwater supply of many communities is limited, leading to increased interest in tapping brackish water resources. Although reverse osmosis is the most common technology to upgrade saline waters, there is also interest in developing and improving alternative technologies. [...] Read more.
In the arid west, the freshwater supply of many communities is limited, leading to increased interest in tapping brackish water resources. Although reverse osmosis is the most common technology to upgrade saline waters, there is also interest in developing and improving alternative technologies. Here we focus on membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI), which has attracted broad attention as a portable and energy-efficient desalination technology. In this study, a fully coupled two-dimensional MCDI process model capable of capturing transient ion transport and adsorption behaviors was developed to explore the function of the ion-exchange membrane (IEM) and detect MCDI influencing factors via sensitivity analysis. The IEM enhanced desalination by improving the counter-ions’ flux and increased adsorption in electrodes by encouraging retention of ions in electrode macropores. An optimized cycle time was proposed with maximal salt removal efficiency. The usage of the IEM, high applied voltage, and low flow rate were discovered to enhance this maximal salt removal efficiency. IEM properties including water uptake volume fraction, membrane thickness, and fixed charge density had a marginal impact on cycle time and salt removal efficiency within certain limits, while increasing cell length and electrode thickness and decreasing channel thickness and dispersivity significantly improved overall performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Control and Optimization of Desalination Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrodynamics and Mass Transfer Analysis in BioFlow® Bioreactor Systems
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101311 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Biotechnological processes involving the presence of microorganisms are realized by using various types of stirred tanks or laboratory-scale dual-impeller commercial bioreactor. Hydrodynamics and mass transfer rate are crucial parameters describing the functionality and efficiency of bioreactors. Both parameters strictly depend on mixing applied [...] Read more.
Biotechnological processes involving the presence of microorganisms are realized by using various types of stirred tanks or laboratory-scale dual-impeller commercial bioreactor. Hydrodynamics and mass transfer rate are crucial parameters describing the functionality and efficiency of bioreactors. Both parameters strictly depend on mixing applied during bioprocesses conducted in bioreactors. Establishing optimum hydrodynamics conditions for the realized process with microorganisms maximizes the yield of desired products. Therefore, our main objective was to analyze and define the main operational hydrodynamic parameters (including flow field, power consumption, mixing time, and mixing energy) and mass transfer process (in this case, gas–liquid transfer) of two different commercial bioreactors (BioFlo® 115 and BioFlo® 415). The obtained results are allowed using mathematical relationships to describe the analyzed processes that can be used to predict the mixing process and mass transfer ratio in BioFlo® bioreactors. The proposed correlations may be applied for the design of a scaled-up or scaled-down bioreactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Digital and Other Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Process Strategies for the Transition of 1G to Advanced Bioethanol Production
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101310 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Nowadays, the transport sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution in cities. The use of renewable energies is therefore imperative to improve the environmental sustainability of this sector. In this regard, biofuels play an important [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the transport sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution in cities. The use of renewable energies is therefore imperative to improve the environmental sustainability of this sector. In this regard, biofuels play an important role as they can be blended directly with fossil fuels and used in traditional vehicles’ engines. Bioethanol is the most used biofuel worldwide and can replace gasoline or form different gasoline-ethanol blends. Additionally, it is an important building block to obtain different high added-value compounds (e.g., acetaldehyde, ethylene, 1,3-butadiene, ethyl acetate). Today, bioethanol is mainly produced from food crops (first-generation (1G) biofuels), and a transition to the production of the so-called advanced ethanol (obtained from lignocellulosic feedstocks, non-food crops, or industrial waste and residue streams) is needed to meet sustainability criteria and to have a better GHG balance. This work gives an overview of the current production, use, and regulation rules of bioethanol as a fuel, as well as the advanced processes and the co-products that can be produced together with bioethanol in a biorefinery context. Special attention is given to the opportunities for making a sustainable transition from bioethanol 1G to advanced bioethanol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioethanol Production Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Construction and Automation of a Microcontrolled Solar Tracker
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101309 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 251
Abstract
A solar tracker can be defined as an electromechanical system capable of following the apparent path of the Sun, in order to orient an array of solar panels and/or collectors directly to the solar rays, maximizing the collected energy. Accordingly, the present work [...] Read more.
A solar tracker can be defined as an electromechanical system capable of following the apparent path of the Sun, in order to orient an array of solar panels and/or collectors directly to the solar rays, maximizing the collected energy. Accordingly, the present work describes the process of building and automating a micro-controlled solar tracker. Two mobile structures were built, one equipped with high-precision step motors and four luminosity sensors separated in quadrants by a cross structure, and the other equipped with DC motors and the 275 Wp solar panel, allowing the design and evaluation of the behavior of each structure separately. The control and automation system is centralized in an Arduino MEGA2560 microcontroller, which runs the tracking and positioning algorithms. The built prototype allows us to carry out studies of solar tracking strategies based on sensor and control systems applied to DC motors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process System Engineering-Brazil (PSE-BR))
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Open AccessArticle
Chaotic Mixing Analyzing in Continuous Mixer with Tracing the Morphology Development of a Polymeric Drop
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101308 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
The chaotic mixing process in a continuous mixer plays an important role and has an essential influence on the performance of prepared materials. To reveal how a polymeric drop experienced the chaotic mixing and give more specific analysis about the chaotic mixing, the [...] Read more.
The chaotic mixing process in a continuous mixer plays an important role and has an essential influence on the performance of prepared materials. To reveal how a polymeric drop experienced the chaotic mixing and give more specific analysis about the chaotic mixing, the morphology development of a single drop was traced and recorded with an on-line visualization system. The drop would undergo elongation deformation, reorientation, and folding process, which were the typical signs of chaotic mixing. The elongation deformation was an important precondition for drop experiencing the reorientation and folding process and mainly existed in the region near the barrier, rotor tip clearance, and wedgelike region. The reorientation and folding process mostly appeared in the region near the rotor flat and interaction window. Besides, the erosion process of the drop was observed at the initial stage under lower rotor rotation speed. The chaotic mixing always held the dominant place in continuous mixer although the rotor rotation speed and drop viscoelasticity were adjusted. In this work, the chaotic mixing in a continuous mixer was dynamically presented. The dynamical results would give a more real and visual understanding of the chaotic mixing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Adaptive Monitoring of Biotechnological Processes Kinetics
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101307 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 329
Abstract
In this paper, an approach for the monitoring of biotechnological process kinetics is proposed. The kinetics of each process state variable is presented as a function of two time-varying unknown parameters. For their estimation, a general software sensor is derived with on-line measurements [...] Read more.
In this paper, an approach for the monitoring of biotechnological process kinetics is proposed. The kinetics of each process state variable is presented as a function of two time-varying unknown parameters. For their estimation, a general software sensor is derived with on-line measurements as inputs that are accessible in practice. The stability analysis with a different number of inputs shows that stability can be guaranteed for fourth- and fifth-order software sensors only. As a case study, the monitoring of the kinetics of processes carried out in stirred tank reactors is investigated. A new tuning procedure is derived that results in a choice of only one design parameter. The effectiveness of the proposed procedure is demonstrated with experimental data from Bacillus subtilis fed-batch cultivations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Optimal Design of Complex Biological Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Denitrification Control in a Recirculating Aquaculture System—A Simulation Study
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101306 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 362
Abstract
The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is a land-based water treatment technology, which allows for farming aquatic organisms, such as fish, by reusing the water in the production (often less than 5%). This technology is based on the use of filters, either mechanical or [...] Read more.
The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is a land-based water treatment technology, which allows for farming aquatic organisms, such as fish, by reusing the water in the production (often less than 5%). This technology is based on the use of filters, either mechanical or biological, and can, in principle, be used for any species grown in aquaculture. Due to the low recirculation rate, ammonia accumulates in the system and must be converted into nitrate using nitrification reactors. Although less toxic for fish, nitrate can also be further reduced into nitrogen gas by the use of denitrification biofilters which may create several issues, such as incomplete denitrification, resulting in toxic substances, such as nitrite and nitric oxide, or a waste of carbon source in excess. Control of the added quantity of carbon source in the denitrification biofilter is then mandatory to keep nitrate/nitrite concentrations under toxic levels for fish and in accordance with local effluent regulations, and to reduce costs related to wasted organic carbon sources. This study therefore investigates the application of different control methodologies to a denitrification reactor in a RAS. To this end, a numerical simulator is built to predict the RAS behavior and to allow for the comparison of different control approaches, in the presence of changes in the operating conditions, such as fish density and biofilter removal efficiency. First, a classical proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller was designed, based on an SIMC tuning method depending on the amount of ammonia excreted by fish. Then, linearizing and cascade controllers were considered as possible alternatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Performance of T-shaped Obstacles in a Solar Air Heater
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101305 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
This paper proposes T-shaped ribs as obstacles attached to the heat absorber plate in a rectangular solar air heater to promote heat transfer. The thermal and aerodynamic performance of the solar heater was numerically evaluated using three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations with the shear [...] Read more.
This paper proposes T-shaped ribs as obstacles attached to the heat absorber plate in a rectangular solar air heater to promote heat transfer. The thermal and aerodynamic performance of the solar heater was numerically evaluated using three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations with the shear stress transport turbulence model. A parameter study was performed using the ratios of rib height to channel height, rib width to channel width, and rib width to rib height. The area-averaged Nusselt number and friction factor were selected as the performance parameters of the solar air heater to evaluate the heat transfer and friction loss, respectively. In addition, the performance factor was defined as the ratio of the area-averaged Nusselt number to the friction factor. The maximum area-averaged Nusselt number was found at h/e = 0.83 for a fixed rib area. Compared with triangular ribs, the T-shaped ribs showed up to a 65 % higher area-averaged Nusselt number and up to a 49.7% higher performance factor. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mathematical Model of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in South Korea: The Impacts of Travel Restrictions, Social Distancing, and Early Detection
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101304 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) poses a severe threat to public health officials all around the world. The early COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea displayed significant spatial heterogeneity. The number of confirmed cases increased rapidly in the Daegu and Gyeongbuk (epicenter), whereas the [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) poses a severe threat to public health officials all around the world. The early COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea displayed significant spatial heterogeneity. The number of confirmed cases increased rapidly in the Daegu and Gyeongbuk (epicenter), whereas the spread was much slower in the rest of Korea. A two-patch mathematical model with a mobility matrix is developed to capture this significant spatial heterogeneity of COVID-19 outbreaks from 18 February to 24 March 2020. The mobility matrix is taken from the movement data provided by the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI). Some of the essential patch-specific parameters are estimated through cumulative confirmed cases, including the transmission rates and the basic reproduction numbers (local and global). Our simulations show that travel restrictions between the epicenter and the rest of Korea effectively prevented massive outbreaks in the rest of Korea. Furthermore, we explore the effectiveness of several additional strategies for the mitigation and suppression of Covid-19 spread in Korea, such as implementing social distancing and early diagnostic interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Simulation and Control for Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Inner Surface State of Thick-Walled Tubes by Heat Treatments with Internal Quenching Considering a Simulation Based Optimization
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101303 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 267
Abstract
Internal Quenching is an innovative heat treatment method for difficult to access component sections. Especially, the microstructure, as well as the residual stress state at inner surfaces, of thick-walled tubes can be adjusted with the presented flexible heat treatment process. Based on multiphysical [...] Read more.
Internal Quenching is an innovative heat treatment method for difficult to access component sections. Especially, the microstructure, as well as the residual stress state at inner surfaces, of thick-walled tubes can be adjusted with the presented flexible heat treatment process. Based on multiphysical FE-models of two different steels, a simulative optimization study, considering different internal quenching strategies, was performed in order to find the optimal cooling conditions. The focus hereby was on the adjustment of a martensitic inner surface with high compressive residual stresses. The simulatively determined optimal cooling strategies were carried out experimentally and analyzed. A good agreement of the resulting hardness and residual stresses was achieved, validating the presented Fe-model of the Internal Quenching process. The shown results also indicate that the arising inner surface state is very sensitive to the transformation behavior of the used steel. Furthermore, the presented study shows that a preliminary simulative consideration of the heat treatment process helps to evaluate significant effects, reducing the experimental effort and time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Real-Time Nanoplasmonic Sensor for IgG Monitoring in Bioproduction
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101302 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Real-time monitoring of product titers during process development and production of biotherapeutics facilitate implementation of quality-by-design principles and enable rapid bioprocess decision and optimization of the production process. Conventional analytical methods are generally performed offline/at-line and, therefore, are not capable of generating real-time [...] Read more.
Real-time monitoring of product titers during process development and production of biotherapeutics facilitate implementation of quality-by-design principles and enable rapid bioprocess decision and optimization of the production process. Conventional analytical methods are generally performed offline/at-line and, therefore, are not capable of generating real-time data. In this study, a novel fiber optical nanoplasmonic sensor technology was explored for rapid IgG titer measurements. The sensor combines localized surface plasmon resonance transduction and robust single use Protein A-modified sensor chips, housed in a flexible flow cell, for specific IgG detection. The sensor requires small sample volumes (1–150 µL) and shows a reproducibility and sensitivity comparable to Protein G high performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet (HPLC-UV). The dynamic range of the sensor system can be tuned by varying the sample volume, which enables quantification of IgG samples ranging from 0.0015 to 10 mg/mL, without need for sample dilution. The sensor shows limited interference from the sample matrix and negligible unspecific protein binding. IgG titers can be rapidly determined in samples from filtered unpurified Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell cultures and show good correlation with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measurement Technologies for up- and Downstream Bioprocessing)
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Open AccessArticle
Mathematical Modeling of Hydrodynamics in Bioreactor by Means of CFD-Based Compartment Model
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101301 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
This study presents the procedure of deriving a compartmental model (CM) based on an analysis obtained from the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a bioreactor. The CM is composed of two parts, a structural (that takes into account the architecture of the [...] Read more.
This study presents the procedure of deriving a compartmental model (CM) based on an analysis obtained from the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a bioreactor. The CM is composed of two parts, a structural (that takes into account the architecture of the mathematical model), and a parametric part (which contains the extrinsic parameters of the model). The CM is composed of the branches containing the set of perfectly mixed continuous stirred-tank reactors (CSTRs) in a configuration that matches the bioreactor’s flow patterns. Therefore, this work’s main objective was to develop a mathematical model that incorporated the flow field obtained by CFD technique. The proposed mathematical model was validated by means of the experimental data in the form of the residence time distribution (RTD) measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Group Key Management Scheme for Multicast Communication Fog Computing Networks
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101300 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 265
Abstract
In group key management, the implementation of encryption often fails because multicast communication does not provide reliable linkage. In this paper, a new group key management scheme is proposed for multicast communication in fog computing networks. In the proposed scheme, any legal fog [...] Read more.
In group key management, the implementation of encryption often fails because multicast communication does not provide reliable linkage. In this paper, a new group key management scheme is proposed for multicast communication in fog computing networks. In the proposed scheme, any legal fog user belonging to a fog node will be able to decrypt a ciphertext encrypted by a secret shared key. The shared secret key is divided into key segments. In the rekeying operation process, each key segment is split into two factors with its shared production mechanism. The key updates are required to belong to the fog provider or the group management device. Fog users will have independent key segments unchanged. Then, the cost, the message of rekeying, and the dependence on credible channels will be decreased. This method can resist collusion attacks and ensure backward security and forward security, even if the number of users leaving is larger than the threshold value. Our scheme is also suitable for untrusted affiliate networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Systems and Internet of Things (IoT))
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Open AccessArticle
A Method of Bending Shrinkage Groove on Vortex Suppression and Energy Improvement for a Hydrofoil with Tip Gap
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101299 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
Hydro energy is a kind of typical renewable energy, which can be converted by hydraulic machinery. However, tip leakage vortex (TLV) has a significant negative influence on the flow pattern and energy performance of hydraulic machinery. In this paper, a bending shrinkage groove [...] Read more.
Hydro energy is a kind of typical renewable energy, which can be converted by hydraulic machinery. However, tip leakage vortex (TLV) has a significant negative influence on the flow pattern and energy performance of hydraulic machinery. In this paper, a bending shrinkage groove (BSG) is proposed to suppress the TLV and improve the energy performance of a hydrofoil first, and then a parametric optimization design method is briefly introduced and applied to determine the optimal configuration of the groove. The main geometric parameters of the groove are selected as optimized variables and three different groove configurations are selected from the optimization result. Finally, the performance improvement of the hydrofoil with groove, the sensitivity analysis of the optimization variables, and the groove impacts on the TLV and flow patterns are investigated. The results demonstrate that the preferred groove reduces the non-dimensional Q criterion vortex isosurfaces area (Qarea = 2 × 107) by 5.13% and increases the lift drag ratio by 17.02%, comparing to the origin hydrofoil. Groove depth d and groove width w are proved to have more significant impacts on the hydrofoil energy performance. The TLV and flow patterns are greatly affected by the different BSG configurations, and the wider BSG contributed to reducing the area of TLV, at the cost of energy performance deterioration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Water Salinity as Potential Aid for Improving the Carbon Dioxide Replacement Process’ Effectiveness in Natural Gas Hydrate Reservoirs
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101298 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Natural gas hydrates represent a valid opportunity to counteract two of the most serious issues that are affecting humanity this century: climate change and the need for new energy sources, due to the fast and constant increase in the population worldwide. The energy [...] Read more.
Natural gas hydrates represent a valid opportunity to counteract two of the most serious issues that are affecting humanity this century: climate change and the need for new energy sources, due to the fast and constant increase in the population worldwide. The energy that might be produced with methane contained in hydrates is greater than any amount of energy producible with known conventional energy sources; being widespread in all oceans, they would greatly reduce problems and conflicts associated with the monopoly of energy sources. The possibility of extracting methane and simultaneously performing the permanent storage of carbon dioxide makes hydrate an almost carbon-neutral energy source. The main topic of scientific research is to improve the recovery of technologies and guest species replacement strategies in order to make the use of gas hydrates economically advantageous. In the present paper, an experimental study on how salt can alter the formation process of both methane and carbon dioxide hydrate was carried out. The pressure–temperature conditions existing between the two respective equilibrium curves are directly proportional to the effectiveness of the replacement process and thus its feasibility. Eighteen formation tests were realized at three different salinity values: 0, 30 and 37 g/L. Results show that, as the salinity degree increases, the space between CO2 and CH4 formation curves grows. A further aspect highlighted by the tests is how the carbon dioxide formation process tends to assume a very similar trend in all experiments, while curves obtained during methane tests show a similar trend but with some significant differences. Moreover, this tendency became more pronounced with the increase in the salinity degree. Full article
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