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Processes, Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 136 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper investigates aquathermolysis of heavy oil in carbonate reservoir rocks from Boca de [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Graphene-Based Hydrogen Gas Sensors: A Review
Processes 2020, 8(5), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050633 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Graphene is a material gaining attention as a candidate for new application fields such as chemical sensing. In this review, we discuss recent advancements in the field of hydrogen gas sensors based on graphene. Accordingly, the main part of the paper focuses on [...] Read more.
Graphene is a material gaining attention as a candidate for new application fields such as chemical sensing. In this review, we discuss recent advancements in the field of hydrogen gas sensors based on graphene. Accordingly, the main part of the paper focuses on hydrogen gas sensors and examines the influence of different manufacturing scenarios on the applicability of graphene and its derivatives as key components of sensing layers. An overview of pristine graphene customization methods is presented such as heteroatom doping, insertion of metal/metal oxide nanosized domains, as well as creation of graphene-polymer blends. Volumetric structuring of graphene sheets (single layered and stacked forms) is also considered as an important modifier of its effective use. Finally, a discussion of the possible advantages and weaknesses of graphene as sensing material for hydrogen detection is provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Statistical Validation of Data on Mesh-Coupled Annular Distributor Design for Swirling Fluidized Beds
Processes 2020, 8(5), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050632 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
In this study, velocimetry and statistical analyses were conducted on a swirling fluidized bed. A bed of spherical particles (4 mm) was fluidized by using an annular distributor covered with mesh. The angles of rectangular blades in the distributor were set at 30°, [...] Read more.
In this study, velocimetry and statistical analyses were conducted on a swirling fluidized bed. A bed of spherical particles (4 mm) was fluidized by using an annular distributor covered with mesh. The angles of rectangular blades in the distributor were set at 30°, 45°, 60°, 75° and 90°, and the cell size of the mesh cover was 2.5 × 2.5 mm2. The weight was varied from 500 to 1250 g and the effect of each variable on bed velocity response was quantified through velocimetry and statistical analysis. The statistical analysis was conducted using NCSS statistical software. The blade angle, bed weight and superficial velocity for 4 mm particles were statistically optimized at 750 g, 58.26° and 1.45 m/s, respectively. On the experimental side, these parameters have been optimized at 750 g, 60° and 1.41 m/s, respectively. A small difference of 1.74° was noticed in experimental and statistical predictions for the blade angle. The bed weights and superficial velocities were found to be same in both cases. The confidence interval (95%) for bed velocity was proposed in the range of 0.513 to 0.519 m/s. The experimentally optimized bed velocity remained within the proposed range. The well-agreeing results indicate good practical value of distributor design and high precision of the experimental measurements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Industrial Processes Management for a Sustainable Society: Global Research Analysis
Processes 2020, 8(5), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050631 - 24 May 2020
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Abstract
Few decades ago, the development of the industrial sector was disconnected from society’s protection. Negative effects awareness emerges from the current industrial processes through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), considering the causal implications to build up a more sustainable society. The aim of [...] Read more.
Few decades ago, the development of the industrial sector was disconnected from society’s protection. Negative effects awareness emerges from the current industrial processes through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), considering the causal implications to build up a more sustainable society. The aim of this study is to analyze the state of the art in industrial processes management to obtain positive and sustainable effects on society. Thus, a bibliometric analysis of 1911 articles was set up during the 1988–2019 period, bringing up the authors’ productivity indicators in the scientific field, that is, journals, authors, research institutions, and countries. We have identified environmental management; the impact assessments of industrial processes on the environment and its relation with a more sustainable society; as well as the study of the sustainable management of water resources as the related axes in the study of environmental protection with political, economic, and educational approaches. The growing trend of world scientific publications let us observe the relevance of industrial processes management in the implementation of efficient models to achieve sustainable societies. This research contributes to the academic, scientific, and social debate on decision-making both in public and private institutions, and in multidisciplinary groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Processes: Working towards a Sustainable Society)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Greening the Gas Grid—Evaluation of the Biomethane Injection Potential from Agricultural Residues in Austria
Processes 2020, 8(5), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050630 - 24 May 2020
Viewed by 385
Abstract
In order to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, the current Austrian coalition government has included trend-setting targets in its policy statement. “Green gas” plays a key role in this context, as the natural gas grid shall also gradually become renewable. This article analyses [...] Read more.
In order to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, the current Austrian coalition government has included trend-setting targets in its policy statement. “Green gas” plays a key role in this context, as the natural gas grid shall also gradually become renewable. This article analyses the technical biomethane injection potential for agricultural residues based on Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) data on a municipal level. While a technical biogas potential of 16.2 TWhCH4 from catch crops, farm manure, straw and beet leaves is available, only about half of it can be fed into the gas grid because of technical and economic reasons. Austria’s biomethane injection potential of 7.4 TWhCH4 is mainly produced in arable farming regions. In order to further increase this potential, the investment costs of biogas upgrading plants must be reduced, the use of biogenic waste and energy crops must be further promoted and an investor-friendly legal framework must be created. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anaerobic Digestion Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Catalytic Properties of Thermomyces lanuginosus Lipase Immobilized onto Newly Fabricated Polydopamine-Functionalized Magnetic Fe3O4 Nanoparticles
Processes 2020, 8(5), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050629 - 24 May 2020
Viewed by 266
Abstract
In this study, magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles coated with polydopamine possessing abundant amino groups (Fe3O4@PDA) were conveniently prepared, detailed, and characterized, and then firstly used as a supporting matrix for immobilizing Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase (Fe3O [...] Read more.
In this study, magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles coated with polydopamine possessing abundant amino groups (Fe3O4@PDA) were conveniently prepared, detailed, and characterized, and then firstly used as a supporting matrix for immobilizing Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase (Fe3O4@[email protected]). The effects of some crucial factors on the immobilization efficiency were investigated and the optimal protein loading and activity recovery were found to be 156.4 mg/g and 90.9%, respectively. Characterization studies revealed that Fe3O4@[email protected] displayed a broader pH and temperature adaptability as compared to the free TLL, which allows its use at wider ranges of reaction conditions. With regard to the stabilities, the immobilized TLL clearly displayed improved pH, thermal, and solvent tolerance stabilities compared to the free enzyme, suggesting that the biocompatible Fe3O4@PDA might be an outstanding material for immobilizing TLL and acting as alternative support for different enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Organoboron Ionic Liquids as Extractants for Distillation Process of Binary Ethanol + Water Mixtures
Processes 2020, 8(5), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050628 - 24 May 2020
Viewed by 262
Abstract
Aminoethers of boric acid, which are organoboron ionic liquids, were synthesized by using boric acid, triethanolamine, and triethylene glycol/diethylene glycol. Due to the formation of intermolecular complexes of borates, the structure of aminoethers of boric acid contains ion pairs separated in space, giving [...] Read more.
Aminoethers of boric acid, which are organoboron ionic liquids, were synthesized by using boric acid, triethanolamine, and triethylene glycol/diethylene glycol. Due to the formation of intermolecular complexes of borates, the structure of aminoethers of boric acid contains ion pairs separated in space, giving these compounds the properties inherent to ionic liquids. It is established that the thermal stability of aminoethers under normal atmospheric conditions increases with an increase in the size of the glycol. According to measurements of fast scanning calorimetry, density, dynamic viscosity, and electrical conductivity, water is involved in the structural organization of aminoethers of boric acid. The impact of the most thermostable organoboron ionic liquids on the phase equilibrium conditions of the vapor–liquid azeotropic ethanol–water mixture is studied. It is shown that the presence of these substances leads to increase in the relative volatility of ethanol. In general, the magnitude of this effect is at the level shown by imidazole ionic liquids, which provide high selectivity in the separation of aqueous alcohol solutions. A large separation factor, high resistance to thermal oxidative degradation processes, accompanied by low cost start reagents, make aminoethers of boric acid on the basis of triethylene glycol a potentially effective extractant for the extractive distillation of water–alcohol mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Separation and Extraction Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Spark Plasma Sintering of Cobalt Powders in Conjunction with High Energy Mechanical Treatment and Nanomodification
Processes 2020, 8(5), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050627 - 23 May 2020
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Spark plasma sintering (SPS) investigations were carried out on three sets of Co specimens: untreated, high energy mechanically (HEMT) pre-treated, and nanomodified powders. The microstructure, density, and mechanical properties of sintered pellets were investigated as a function of various pre-treatments and sintering temperatures [...] Read more.
Spark plasma sintering (SPS) investigations were carried out on three sets of Co specimens: untreated, high energy mechanically (HEMT) pre-treated, and nanomodified powders. The microstructure, density, and mechanical properties of sintered pellets were investigated as a function of various pre-treatments and sintering temperatures (700–1000 °C). Fine-grained sinters were obtained for pre-treated Co powders; nano-additives tended to inhibit grain growth by reinforcing particles at grain boundaries and limiting grain-boundary movement. High degree of compaction was also achieved with relative densities of sintered Co pellets ranging between 95.2% and 99.6%. A direct co-relation was observed between the mechanical properties and densities of sintered Co pellets. For a comparable sinter quality, sintering temperatures for pre-treated powders were lower by 100 °C as compared to untreated powders. Highest values of bending strength (1997 MPa), microhardness (305 MPa), and relative density (99.6%) were observed for nanomodified HEMT and SPS processed Co pellets, sintered at 700 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Application of Nano- and Microdispersed Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Environmental Assessment of Olive Mill Solid Waste Valorization via Anaerobic Digestion Versus Olive Pomace Oil Extraction
Processes 2020, 8(5), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050626 - 23 May 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion is a promising alternative to valorize agrifood wastes, which is gaining interest under an environmental sustainability overview. The present research aimed to compare anaerobic digestion with olive pomace oil extraction, by using life cycle assessment, as alternatives for the valorization of [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion is a promising alternative to valorize agrifood wastes, which is gaining interest under an environmental sustainability overview. The present research aimed to compare anaerobic digestion with olive pomace oil extraction, by using life cycle assessment, as alternatives for the valorization of the olive mill solid waste generated in the centrifugation process with a two-outlet decanter from oil mills. In the case of olive pomace oil extraction, two cases were defined depending on the type of fuel used for drying the wet pomace before the extraction: natural gas or a fraction of the generated extracted pomace. The anaerobic digestion alternative consisted of the production of biogas from the olive mill solid waste, heat and electricity cogeneration by the combustion of the generated biogas, and composting of the anaerobic digestate. The life cycle assessment showed that anaerobic digestion was the best alternative, with a global environmental impact reduction of 88.1 and 85.9% respect to crude olive pomace oil extraction using natural gas and extracted pomace, respectively, as fuel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of the Mechanical Properties of Thermosetting-Binding-System-Based Composites by Means of Kneading Procedure Modification and Composite Formulation
Processes 2020, 8(5), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050625 - 23 May 2020
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Abstract
By understanding the effects of the physical properties of individual input materials (e.g., binding system) on the physical and thermal properties of a composite material, the latter can be engineered in advance according to the desired properties and application. Often, a need to [...] Read more.
By understanding the effects of the physical properties of individual input materials (e.g., binding system) on the physical and thermal properties of a composite material, the latter can be engineered in advance according to the desired properties and application. Often, a need to replace a specific component in a composite material arises, due to various reasons such as high raw material prices, product price reduction, environmental issues, improvement of properties, and others. In this study, we focused on the substitution of a phenolic novolac resin binding system and the reduction of compounding process temperature in combination with material throughput and screw speed variation of a phenolic-novolac-resin-based composite material, manufactured by kneading process using a co-kneader single screw extruder. Modifications were carried out in the interest of reducing production process cost and positive environmental effect due to reduction of energy consumption in the compounding process. We achieved great success in improvement of mechanical properties with all four substituted phenolic molding compounds (PMCs), while the decrease in thermal stability was the lowest for PMCs prepared at higher screw speeds and material throughput. The results indicated that higher screw speeds produce the best combination of mechanical and thermal properties of PMCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Bacterial Cellulose as a Versatile Platform for Research and Development of Biomedical Materials
Processes 2020, 8(5), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050624 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 405
Abstract
The unique pool of features found in intracellular and extracellular bacterial biopolymers attracts a lot of research, with bacterial cellulose (BC) being one of the most versatile and common. BC is an exopolysaccharide consisting solely of cellulose, and the variation in the production [...] Read more.
The unique pool of features found in intracellular and extracellular bacterial biopolymers attracts a lot of research, with bacterial cellulose (BC) being one of the most versatile and common. BC is an exopolysaccharide consisting solely of cellulose, and the variation in the production process can vary its shape or even its composition when compounding is applied in situ. Together with ex situ modification pathways, including specialised polymers, particles or exclusively functional groups, BC provides a robust platform that yields complex multifunctional compounds that go far beyond ultra-high purity, intrinsic hydrophilicity, mechanical strength and biocompatibility to introduce bioactive, (pH, thermal, electro) responsive, conductive and ‘smart’ properties. This review summarises the research outcomes in BC-medical applications, focusing mainly on data from the past decade (i.e., 2010–2020), with special emphasis on BC nanocomposites as materials and devices applicable in medicine. The high purity and unique structural/mechanical features, in addition to its capacity to closely adhere to irregular skin surfaces, skin tolerance, and demonstrated efficacy in wound healing, all stand as valuable attributes advantageous in topical drug delivery. Numerous studies prove BC compatibility with various human cells, with modifications even improving cell affinity and viability. Even BC represents a physical barrier that can reduce the penetration of bacteria into the tissue, but in its native form does not exhibit antimicrobial properties, therefore carious modifications have been made or specific compounds added to confer antimicrobial or anti-inflammatory properties. Progress in the use of BC-compounds as wound dressings, vascular grafts, and scaffolds for the treatment of cartilage, bone and osteochondral defects, the role as a basement membrane in blood-brain barrier models and many more are discussed to particular extent, emphasising the need for BC compounding to meet specific requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation of Bacterial Cellulose and its Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Assessment of the SM12, SM8, and SMD Solvation Models for Predicting Limiting Activity Coefficients at 298.15 K
Processes 2020, 8(5), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050623 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 334
Abstract
The SMx (x = 12, 8, or D) universal solvent models are implicit solvent models which using electronic structure calculations can compute solvation free energies at 298.15 K. While solvation free energy is an important thermophysical property, within the thermodynamic modeling [...] Read more.
The SMx (x = 12, 8, or D) universal solvent models are implicit solvent models which using electronic structure calculations can compute solvation free energies at 298.15 K. While solvation free energy is an important thermophysical property, within the thermodynamic modeling of phase equilibrium, limiting (or infinite dilution) activity coefficients are preferred since they may be used to parameterize excess Gibbs free energy models to model phase equilibrium. Conveniently, the two quantities are related. Therefore the present study was performed to assess the ability to use the SMx universal solvent models to predict limiting activity coefficients. Two methods of calculating the limiting activity coefficient where compared: (1) the solvation free energy and self-solvation free energy were both predicted and (2) the self-solvation free energy was computed using readily available vapor pressure data. Overall the first method is preferred as it results in a cancellation of errors, specifically for the case in which water is a solute. The SM12 model was compared to both the Universal Quasichemical Functional-group Activity Coefficients (UNIFAC) and modified separation of cohesive energy density (MOSCED) models. MOSCED was the highest performer, yet had the smallest available compound inventory. UNIFAC and SM12 exhibited comparable performance. Therefore further exploration and research should be conducted into the viability of using the SMx models for phase equilibrium calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics: Modeling and Simulation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Assessment and Prediction of Complex Industrial Steam Network Operation by Combined Thermo-Hydrodynamic Modeling
Processes 2020, 8(5), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050622 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Steam network operation stability and reliability is vital for any industrial branch. A combined steam network model comprising a balance and a coupled thermo-hydrodynamic model, including seasonal variations impact and system specificities, is presented. A balance model can readily be used by a [...] Read more.
Steam network operation stability and reliability is vital for any industrial branch. A combined steam network model comprising a balance and a coupled thermo-hydrodynamic model, including seasonal variations impact and system specificities, is presented. A balance model can readily be used by a refinery’s operators. The thermo-hydrodynamic model identifies system bottlenecks and cold spots and evaluates proposed operation and investment measures including heat loss reduction. A three-pressure levels refinery steam network served for model testing and validation. Balance model results reveal significant misbalance in steam production and consumption, reaching 30.5% in the low-pressure steam system, and heat balance differences in the range of 9.2% to 29.5% on individual pressure levels, attributable both to flow measurement accuracy issues and to heat losses. The thermo-hydrodynamic model results differ from the measured steam parameters by less than 5% (temperature) and by less than 4% (pressure), respectively, with the estimated operational insulation heat conductivity exceeding 0.08 W/m/K. Its comparison with that of 0.03 W/m/K for dry insulation material yields the need for pipelines re-insulation and a partial revamp of the steam network. The model is sufficiently general for any type of industry, pursuing the goal of cleaner and energy-efficient steam transport and consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of Elimination of Stagnation of Solar Thermal Systems
Processes 2020, 8(5), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050621 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The study deals with the possibility of elimination of stagnation of thermal systems. The state of stagnation of thermal systems leads to overheating and evaporation of the heat transfer medium, which increases pressure and can lead to damage to the solar thermal system. [...] Read more.
The study deals with the possibility of elimination of stagnation of thermal systems. The state of stagnation of thermal systems leads to overheating and evaporation of the heat transfer medium, which increases pressure and can lead to damage to the solar thermal system. Stagnation can occur due to a fault and stopping of the circulation pump, which causes the circulation of the heat transfer medium to stop. Another possibility is to achieve thermal saturation in the system, which can be affected by low heat consumption from the system. Elimination of stagnation is possible by various construction designs of collectors or by using other technical means. This study describes an experiment verifying the usability of a thermal collector’s tilting system to eliminate thermal stagnation of the system. The system is fully automatic, and when recording the limit values, ensures that the panel is rotated out of the ideal position, thus reducing the amount of received energy. In this way, the temperature of the medium in the system can be reduced by up to 10% in one hour. In the case of thermal saturation of the system, the solution is the automatic circulation of heat-transfer fluid through the system during the night and the release of thermal energy to the outside. These results suggest that the methods used actively eliminate stagnation of thermal systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Safety of Chemical Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
TLC-Densitometric Determination of Five Coxibs in Pharmaceutical Preparations
Processes 2020, 8(5), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050620 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
A class of drugs called coxibs (COX-2 inhibitors) were created to help relieve pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis with the lowest amount of side effects possible. The presented paper describes a new developed, optimized and validated thin layer chromatographic (TLC)-densitometric [...] Read more.
A class of drugs called coxibs (COX-2 inhibitors) were created to help relieve pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis with the lowest amount of side effects possible. The presented paper describes a new developed, optimized and validated thin layer chromatographic (TLC)-densitometric procedure for the simultaneous assay of five coxibs: celecoxib, etoricoxib, firecoxib, rofecoxib and cimicoxib. Chromatographic separation was conducted on HPTLC F254 silica gel chromatographic plates as a stationary phase using chloroform–acetone–toluene (12:5:2, v/v/v) as a mobile phase. Densitometric detection was carried out at two wavelengths of 254 and 290 nm. The method was tested according to ICH guidelines for linearity, recovery and specificity. The presented method was linear in a wide range of concentrations for all analyzed compounds, with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99. The method is specific, precise (%RSD < 1) and accurate (more than 95%, %RSD < 2). Low-cost, simple and rapid, it can be used in laboratories for drug monitoring and quality control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Enzymatic Recovery and Purification of Xylooligosaccharides from Empty Fruit Bunch via Nanofiltration
Processes 2020, 8(5), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050619 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Xylooligosaccharides (XOS) are attracting an ever-increasing amount of interest for use as food prebiotics. In this study, we used efficient membrane separation technology to convert lignocellulosic materials into a renewable source of XOS. This study revealed a dual function of nanofiltration membranes by [...] Read more.
Xylooligosaccharides (XOS) are attracting an ever-increasing amount of interest for use as food prebiotics. In this study, we used efficient membrane separation technology to convert lignocellulosic materials into a renewable source of XOS. This study revealed a dual function of nanofiltration membranes by first achieving a high yield of xylobiose (a main component of XOS) from alkali-pretreated empty fruit bunch (EFB) hydrolysate, and then by achieving a high degree of separation for xylose as a monosaccharide product. Alkali pretreatment could increase the xylan content retention of raw EFB from 23.4% to 26.9%, which eventually contributed to higher yields of both xylobiose and xylose. Nanofiltration increased the total amount of XYN10Ks_480 endoxylanase produced from recombinant Streptomyces lividans 1326 without altering its specific activity. Concentrated XYN10Ks_480 endoxylanase was applied to the recovery of both xylobiose and xylose from alkali-pretreated EFB hydrolysate. Xylobiose and xylose yields reached 41.1% and 17.3%, respectively, and when unconcentrated XYN10Ks_480 endoxylanase was applied, those yields reached 35.1% and 8.3%, respectively. The last step in nanofiltration was to separate xylobiose over xylose, and 41.3 g.L−1 xylobiose (90.1% purity over xylose) was achieved. This nanofiltration method should shorten the processes used to obtain XOS as a high-value end product from lignocellulosic biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Processing and Conversion Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Adjective Selection Personality Assessment Method Using Gradient Boosting Machine Learning
Processes 2020, 8(5), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050618 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Goldberg’s 100 Unipolar Markers remains one of the most popular ways to measure personality traits, in particular, the Big Five. An important reduction was later preformed by Saucier, using a sub-set of 40 markers. Both assessments are performed by presenting a set of [...] Read more.
Goldberg’s 100 Unipolar Markers remains one of the most popular ways to measure personality traits, in particular, the Big Five. An important reduction was later preformed by Saucier, using a sub-set of 40 markers. Both assessments are performed by presenting a set of markers, or adjectives, to the subject, requesting him to quantify each marker using a 9-point rating scale. Consequently, the goal of this study is to conduct experiments and propose a shorter alternative where the subject is only required to identify which adjectives describe him the most. Hence, a web platform was developed for data collection, requesting subjects to rate each adjective and select those describing him the most. Based on a Gradient Boosting approach, two distinct Machine Learning architectures were conceived, tuned and evaluated. The first makes use of regressors to provide an exact score of the Big Five while the second uses classifiers to provide a binned output. As input, both receive the one-hot encoded selection of adjectives. Both architectures performed well. The first is able to quantify the Big Five with an approximate error of 5 units of measure, while the second shows a micro-averaged f1-score of 83%. Since all adjectives are used to compute all traits, models are able to harness inter-trait relationships, being possible to further reduce the set of adjectives by removing those that have smaller importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics Applications Based On Machine Learning)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Data-Driven-Based Industrial Refrigeration Optimization Method Considering Demand Forecasting
Processes 2020, 8(5), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050617 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 316
Abstract
One of the main concerns of industry is energy efficiency, in which the paradigm of Industry 4.0 opens new possibilities by facing optimization approaches using data-driven methodologies. In this regard, increasing the efficiency of industrial refrigeration systems is an important challenge, since this [...] Read more.
One of the main concerns of industry is energy efficiency, in which the paradigm of Industry 4.0 opens new possibilities by facing optimization approaches using data-driven methodologies. In this regard, increasing the efficiency of industrial refrigeration systems is an important challenge, since this type of process consume a huge amount of electricity that can be reduced with an optimal compressor configuration. In this paper, a novel data-driven methodology is presented, which employs self-organizing maps (SOM) and multi-layer perceptron (MLP) to deal with the (PLR) issue of refrigeration systems. The proposed methodology takes into account the variables that influence the system performance to develop a discrete model of the operating conditions. The aforementioned model is used to find the best PLR of the compressors for each operating condition of the system. Furthermore, to overcome the limitations of the historical performance, various scenarios are artificially created to find near-optimal PLR setpoints in each operation condition. Finally, the proposed method employs a forecasting strategy to manage the compressor switching situations. Thus, undesirable starts and stops of the machine are avoided, preserving its remaining useful life and being more efficient. An experimental validation in a real industrial system is performed in order to validate the suitability and the performance of the methodology. The proposed methodology improves refrigeration system efficiency up to 8%, depending on the operating conditions. The results obtained validates the feasibility of applying data-driven techniques for the optimal control of refrigeration system compressors to increase its efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synergies in Combined Development of Processes and Models)
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Open AccessArticle
Robust Design of PC/ABS Filled with Nano Carbon Black for Electromagnetic Shielding Effectiveness and Surface Resistivity
Processes 2020, 8(5), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050616 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
This study focuses on the electromagnetic interference shielding effectiveness (EMI SE), dissipation of electrostatic discharge (ESD), and surface resistivity of polymer blends between polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) filled with carbon black powder (CBp) and carbon black masterbatch (CBm). The mixtures of PC/ABS/CB [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the electromagnetic interference shielding effectiveness (EMI SE), dissipation of electrostatic discharge (ESD), and surface resistivity of polymer blends between polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) filled with carbon black powder (CBp) and carbon black masterbatch (CBm). The mixtures of PC/ABS/CB composites were prepared by the injection molding for the 4-mm thickness of the specimen. The D-optimal mixture design was applied in this experiment. The EMI SE was measured at the frequency of 800 and 900 MHz with a network analyzer, MIL-STD-285. The result showed that the EMI SE was increased when the amount of filler increased. The surface resistivity of the composites was determined according to the ASTM D257. It was found that the surface resistivity of the plastic with no additives was 1012 Ω/ square. When the amount of fillers was added, the surface resistivity of plastic composites decreased to the range of 106–1011 Ω/square, which was suitable for the application without the electrostatic discharge. The optimization of multi-response showed using high amounts of PC and CB was the best mixture of this research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Technologies: Bridging Conventional Practices and Industry 4.0)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Comparison of Bioactive Glass Scaffolds Fabricated ‎by Robocasting from Powders Made by Sol–Gel and Melt-Quenching Methods
Processes 2020, 8(5), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050615 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Bioactive glass scaffolds are used in bone and tissue biomedical implants, and there is great interest in their fabrication by additive manufacturing/3D printing techniques, such as robocasting. Scaffolds need to be macroporous with voids ≥100 m to allow cell growth and vascularization, biocompatible [...] Read more.
Bioactive glass scaffolds are used in bone and tissue biomedical implants, and there is great interest in their fabrication by additive manufacturing/3D printing techniques, such as robocasting. Scaffolds need to be macroporous with voids ≥100 m to allow cell growth and vascularization, biocompatible and bioactive, with mechanical properties matching the host tissue (cancellous bone for bone implants), and able to dissolve/resorb over time. Most bioactive glasses are based on silica to form the glass network, with calcium and phosphorous content for new bone growth, and a glass modifier such as sodium, the best known being 45S5 Bioglass®. 45S5 scaffolds were first robocast in 2013 from melt-quenched glass powder. Sol–gel-synthesized bioactive glasses have potential advantages over melt-produced glasses (e.g., greater porosity and bioactivity), but until recently were never robocast as scaffolds, due to inherent problems, until 2019 when high-silica-content sol–gel bioactive glasses (HSSGG) were robocast for the first time. In this review, we look at the sintering, porosity, bioactivity, biocompatibility, and mechanical properties of robocast sol–gel bioactive glass scaffolds and compare them to the reported results for robocast melt-quench-synthesized 45S5 Bioglass® scaffolds. The discussion includes formulation of the printing paste/ink and the effects of variations in scaffold morphology and inorganic additives/dopants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Biomedical Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Variations of Flow from Tributary Channel on the Flow Behavior in a T-Shape Confluence
Processes 2020, 8(5), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050614 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Channel confluences are of the common structures in fluid transport channels. In this study, a series of numerical simulations were performed, utilizing a 3D code to investigate the reaction of the flow parameters and vortical structure to the variations in flow discharge and [...] Read more.
Channel confluences are of the common structures in fluid transport channels. In this study, a series of numerical simulations were performed, utilizing a 3D code to investigate the reaction of the flow parameters and vortical structure to the variations in flow discharge and its Froude number from both main channel and tributary branch in a T-shape junction. The code was calibrated with the experimental data. Parameters, including the velocity, the turbulence energy, stream surface profile, head losses, and the transverse flow motions, were considered in different situations. It was concluded that increasing the ratio of discharge of flow from side-channel to the main channel (Q*) increased the area and power of the recirculation zone, as well as the width of separation plate downstream of the confluence, while it reduced the area of the stagnation zone (or the wake vortex) within the side-channel. It was also indicated that increasing the discharge ratio from side-channel resulted in an increase in the upstream water level in the main channels, which was dependent on the upstream discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer of Nanofluids)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
MOF-Based Adsorbents for Atmospheric Emission Control: A Review
Processes 2020, 8(5), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050613 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
This review focuses on the use of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) for adsorbing gas species that are known to weaken the thermal self-regulation capacities of Earth’s atmosphere. A large section is dedicated to the adsorption of carbon dioxide, while another section is dedicated to [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the use of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) for adsorbing gas species that are known to weaken the thermal self-regulation capacities of Earth’s atmosphere. A large section is dedicated to the adsorption of carbon dioxide, while another section is dedicated to the adsorption of other different gas typologies, whose emissions, for various reasons, represent a “wound” for Earth’s atmosphere. High emphasis is given to MOFs that have moved enough ahead in their development process to be currently considered as potentially usable in “real-world” (i.e., out-of-lab) adsorption processes. As a result, there is strong evidence of a wide gap between laboratory results and the industrial implementation of MOF-based adsorbents. Indeed, when a MOF that performs well in a specific process is commercially available in large quantities, economic observations still make designers tend toward more traditional adsorbents. Moreover, there are cases in which a specific MOF remarkably outperforms the currently employed adsorbents, but it is not industrially produced, thus strongly limiting its possibilities in large-scale use. To overcome such limitations, it is hoped that the chemical industry will be able to provide more and more mass-produced MOFs at increasingly competitive costs in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Metal Organic Frameworks Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluation of Toxicity on Ctenopharyngodon idella Due to Tannery Effluent Remediated by Constructed Wetland Technology
Processes 2020, 8(5), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050612 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Aquatic pollution caused by industrial effluents is an environmental issue, imposing deleterious impacts on the overall environment, specifically, on humans, by disrupting the balance of the ecosystem. Among all the industries, tanneries are considered some of the most polluting due to heavy use [...] Read more.
Aquatic pollution caused by industrial effluents is an environmental issue, imposing deleterious impacts on the overall environment, specifically, on humans, by disrupting the balance of the ecosystem. Among all the industries, tanneries are considered some of the most polluting due to heavy use of toxic organic and inorganic compounds during leather processing, most of which find their way into rivers, lakes, and streams, thus exerting adverse effects on aquatic life, particularly on fish. Considering the huge concentrations of pollutants present in tannery effluents, toxicity evaluation is of prime importance. Therefore, bioassays are usually employed to assess the acute toxicity of industrial effluents and efficiency of effluent clean-up technologies as they provide a thorough response of test species to the substances present in the tested media. In the present study, the toxic effects of tannery effluent on common grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) were studied for 96 h in laboratory conditions. The effluent was added at different concentrations, before and after treatment by constructed wetlands (CWs). During this period, mortality data was collected to calculate the 96 h-LC50 (lethal concentration inducing 50% mortality) and acute toxicity of C. idella. In addition to this, observations on change in morphological, physiological, and behavioural patterns were also made every 24 h. The present toxicity assay revealed that the raw tannery effluent changed the morphology, physiology, and behavioural response of fish. Moreover, fish exposure to raw/untreated effluent caused high acute toxicity and 100% mortality, due to the presence of high concentrations of salts and chromium (Cr) metal. While treatment of tannery effluent by CWs vegetated with different plants (B. mutica, L. fusca, and T. domingensis) significantly reduced its toxicity and fish mortality as well, and inoculation of salt and Cr-tolerant endophytic bacteria (Enterobacter sp. HU38, Microbacterium arborescens HU33, and Pantoea stewartii ASI11) further reduced (up to 90%) its toxicity level. Hence, the use of CWs for tannery effluent treatment can be recommended to favour public health and promote the overall safety of the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Biodegradation and Bioremediation)
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Open AccessArticle
Mathematical Modelling of Blanch-Assisted Drying of Pomegranate (Punica granatum) Arils in a Hot-Air Drier
Processes 2020, 8(5), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050611 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 315
Abstract
The effect of blanching conditions on the hot-air drying kinetics of three pomegranates (cvs. “Acco”, “Herskawitz” and “Wonderful”) were assessed. Water blanching conditions considered were 90 °C for 30 s, 90 °C for 60 s, 100 °C for 30 s and 100 °C [...] Read more.
The effect of blanching conditions on the hot-air drying kinetics of three pomegranates (cvs. “Acco”, “Herskawitz” and “Wonderful”) were assessed. Water blanching conditions considered were 90 °C for 30 s, 90 °C for 60 s, 100 °C for 30 s and 100 °C for 60 s. The drying experiments were carried out at 60 °C, 19.6% relative humidity and at a constant air velocity of 1.0 m s−1. The experimental curves were fitted to seven different drying models. For the Acco cultivar, the drying behaviour was best predicted by the Logarithmic and Page model for blanched (R2 ranging between 0.9966 and 0.9989) and unblanched (R2 = 0.9918) samples, respectively. Furthermore, for the Herskawitz cultivar, Logarithm, Page and Midili models were most suitable for predicting drying behaviour of both blanched and unblanched samples. Also, for the Wonderful cultivar, Logarithm and Midili models were most accurate for predicting the drying behaviour for both blanched and unblanched samples amongst other models. The blanched samples dried faster with shorter drying times: “Acco” (7 h), “Herskawitz” (8 h), and “Wonderful” (7 h), compared to the unblanched samples, which dried after 15, 20 and 11 h, respectively. Effective diffusion coefficient of moisture in pomegranate arils ranged from 4.81 × 10−9 and 1.11 × 10−8 m2 s−1 for the Acco cultivar, for the Herskawitz cultivar; 3.29 × 10−9 and 1.01 × 10−8 m2 s−1 and for the Wonderful cultivar; 5.83 × 10−9 and 1.09 × 10−8 m2 s−1. Overall, blanching resulted in low energy consumption during drying of pomegranate arils. In addition, the Logarithmic model generally showed an appropriate model for blanched samples regardless of cultivar. For unblanched samples, the Page model was more appropriate for “Acco” and “Herskawitz”, while the Midili model was appropriate for “Wonderful”. Therefore, this study provided science-based and practical drying conditions for the investigated pomegranate cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drying Kinetics and Quality Control in Food Processing)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Compound Identification and In Vitro Cytotoxicity of the Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extract of Papaya Freeze-Dried Leaf Juice
Processes 2020, 8(5), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050610 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Carica papaya leaves are used as a remedy for the management of cancer. Freeze-dried C. papaya leaf juice was extracted using a supercritical fluid extraction system. Compound identification was carried out using analytical techniques including liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass [...] Read more.
Carica papaya leaves are used as a remedy for the management of cancer. Freeze-dried C. papaya leaf juice was extracted using a supercritical fluid extraction system. Compound identification was carried out using analytical techniques including liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC–QToF-MS) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The cytotoxic activities of the scCO2 extract and its chemical constituents were determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay on squamous cell carcinoma (SCC25) and human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cell lines. The chemical constituents were quantified by QToF-MS. The supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) extract of papaya freeze-dried leaf juice showed cytotoxic activity against SCC25. Three phytosterols, namely, β-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, together with α-tocopherol, were confirmed to be present in the scCO2 extract. Quantitative analysis showed that β-sitosterol was the major phytosterol present followed by α-tocopherol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. β-Sitosterol and campesterol were active against SCC25 (half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) ≈ 1 µM), while stigmasterol was less active (~33 µM) but was biologically more selective against SCC25. Interestingly, an equimolar mixture of phytosterols was not more effective (no synergistic effect was observed) but was more selective than the individual compounds. The compounds identified are likely accountable for at least part of the cytotoxicity and selectivity effects of C. papaya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Supercritical Fluids Technology in Biomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on State Recognition and Failure Prediction of Axial Piston Pump Based on Performance Degradation Data
Processes 2020, 8(5), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050609 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Degradation state recognition and failure prediction are the key steps of prognostic and health management (PHM), which directly affect the reliability of the equipment and the selection of preventive maintenance strategy. Given the problem that the distinction between feature vectors is not obvious [...] Read more.
Degradation state recognition and failure prediction are the key steps of prognostic and health management (PHM), which directly affect the reliability of the equipment and the selection of preventive maintenance strategy. Given the problem that the distinction between feature vectors is not obvious and the accuracy of fault prediction is low, a method based on multi-class Gaussian process classification and Gaussian process regression (GPR) is studied by the vibration signal and flow signal in six degraded states of the axial piston pump. For degradation state recognition, the variational mode decomposition (VMD) was used to decompose the vibration signal, and obtaining intrinsic mode function (IMF) components with rich information. Subsequently, multi-scale permutation entropy (MPE) was employed to select feature vectors of IMF components in different states. In order to reduce feature dimensions and improve recognition performance, ReliefF was used to select feature vectors with high weight, then a method based on multi-class Gaussian process classification was established by using these feature vectors to realize the research on the degradation state recognition. The test results demonstrate that the method can effectively identify the degradation state. Its recognition rate reaches 98.9%. Besides, for failure prediction, through the analysis of the wear process and wear mechanism of the valve plate, the curve fitting between the flow and the wear amount was performed by GPR to realize the failure prediction of the axial piston pump. Depending on the evaluation index, the GPR obtained a better failure prediction effect. The results will assist in the realization of predictive maintenance, and which also has significant practical value in project items. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Experimental Analysis of the Performance and Load Cycling of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
Processes 2020, 8(5), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050608 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 294
Abstract
In this work, a comprehensive experimental analysis on the performance of a 50 cm2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is presented, including experimental results for a dedicated load cycling test. The harmonized testing protocols defined by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) [...] Read more.
In this work, a comprehensive experimental analysis on the performance of a 50 cm2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is presented, including experimental results for a dedicated load cycling test. The harmonized testing protocols defined by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission for automotive applications were followed. With respect to a reference conditions representative of automotive applications, the impact of variations in the cell temperature, reactants pressure, and cathode stoichiometry was analyzed. The results showed that a higher temperature resulted in an increase in cell performance. A higher operating pressure also resulted in higher cell voltages. Higher cathode stoichiometry values negatively affected the cell performance, as relatively dry air was supplied, thus promoting the dry-out of the cell. However, a too low stoichiometry caused a sudden drop in the cell voltage at higher current densities, and also caused significant cell voltage oscillations. No significant cell degradation was observed after the load cycling tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Representative Model and Flow Characteristics of Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Innovative Design of an Integrated MED-TVC and Reverse Osmosis System for Seawater Desalination: Process Explanation and Performance Evaluation
Processes 2020, 8(5), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050607 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 547
Abstract
In recent times two or more desalination processes have been combined to form integrated systems that have been widely used to resolve the limitations of individual processes as well as producing high performance systems. In this regard, a simple integrated system of the [...] Read more.
In recent times two or more desalination processes have been combined to form integrated systems that have been widely used to resolve the limitations of individual processes as well as producing high performance systems. In this regard, a simple integrated system of the Multi Effect Distillation (MED)/Thermal Vapour Compression (TVC) and Permeate Reprocessing Reverse Osmosis (PRRO) process was developed by the same authors and confirmed its validity after a comparison study against other developed configurations. However, this design has a considerable amount of retentate flowrate and low productivity. To resolve this issue, two novel designs of MED and double reverse osmosis (RO) processes including Permeate and Retentate Reprocessing designs (PRRP and RRRO) are developed and modelled in this paper. To systematically assess the consistency of the presented designs, the performance indicators of the novel designs are compared against previous simple designs of MED and PRRO processes at a specified set of operating conditions. Results show the superiority of the integrated MED and double permeate reprocessing design. This has specifically achieved both economic and environmental advantages where total productivity is increased by around 9% and total retentate flowrate (disposed to water bodies) is reduced by 5% with a marginally reduced energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redesign Processes in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution)
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Open AccessArticle
AOC-OPTICS: Automatic Online Classification for Condition Monitoring of Rolling Bearing
Processes 2020, 8(5), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050606 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Bearings are essential components in rotating machines. They ensure the rotation and power transmission. So, these components are essential elements for industrial machines. Thus, real-time monitoring is required to detect a possible anomaly, diagnose the failure of rolling bearing and follow its evolution. [...] Read more.
Bearings are essential components in rotating machines. They ensure the rotation and power transmission. So, these components are essential elements for industrial machines. Thus, real-time monitoring is required to detect a possible anomaly, diagnose the failure of rolling bearing and follow its evolution. This paper presents a methodology for automatic online implementation of fault diagnosis of rolling bearings, by AOC-OPTICS (automatic online classification monitoring based on ordering points to identify clustering structure, OPTICS). The algorithm consists of three phases namely: initialization, detection and follow-up. These phases use the combination of features extraction methods, smart ranking, features weighting and classification by the OPTICS method. Two methods have been integrated in the dimension reduction step to improve the efficiency of detection and the followed of the defect (relief method and t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding method). Thus, the determination of the internal parameters of the OPTICS method is improved. A regression model and exponential model are used to track the fault. The analytical simulations discuss the influence of parameters automation. Experimental validation shows detection with 100% accuracy and regression models of monitoring reaching R 2 = 0.992 . Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Process Monitoring for Industry 4.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Model Calibration of Stochastic Process and Computer Experiment for MVO Analysis of Multi-Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Data
Processes 2020, 8(5), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050605 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 328
Abstract
An electromagnetic (EM) technique is employed in seabed logging (SBL) to detect offshore hydrocarbon-saturated reservoirs. In risk analysis for hydrocarbon exploration, computer simulation for subsurface modelling is a crucial task. It can be expensive and time-consuming due to its complicated mathematical equations, and [...] Read more.
An electromagnetic (EM) technique is employed in seabed logging (SBL) to detect offshore hydrocarbon-saturated reservoirs. In risk analysis for hydrocarbon exploration, computer simulation for subsurface modelling is a crucial task. It can be expensive and time-consuming due to its complicated mathematical equations, and only a few realizations of input-output pairs can be generated after a very lengthy computational time. Understanding the unknown functions without any uncertainty measurement could be very challenging as well. We proposed model calibration between a stochastic process and computer experiment for magnitude versus offset (MVO) analysis. Two-dimensional (2D) Gaussian process (GP) models were developed for low-frequencies of 0.0625–0.5 Hz at different hydrocarbon depths to estimate EM responses at untried observations with less time consumption. The calculated error measurements revealed that the estimates were well-matched with the computer simulation technology (CST) outputs. Then, GP was fitted in the MVO plots to provide uncertainty quantification. Based on the confidence intervals, hydrocarbons were difficult to determine especially when their depth was 3000 m from the seabed. The normalized magnitudes for other frequencies also agreed with the resulting predictive variance. Thus, the model resolution for EM data decreases as the hydrocarbon depth increases even though multi-low frequencies were exercised in the SBL application. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Process Data Analytics)
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Open AccessArticle
Inside–Out Method for Simulating a Reactive Distillation Process
Processes 2020, 8(5), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8050604 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Reactive distillation is a technical procedure that promotes material strengthening and its simulation plays an important role in the design, research, and optimization of reactive distillation. The solution to the equilibrium mathematical model of the reactive distillation process involves the calculation of a [...] Read more.
Reactive distillation is a technical procedure that promotes material strengthening and its simulation plays an important role in the design, research, and optimization of reactive distillation. The solution to the equilibrium mathematical model of the reactive distillation process involves the calculation of a set of nonlinear equations. In view of the mutual influence between reaction and distillation, the nonlinear enhancement of the mathematical model and the iterative calculation process are prone to fluctuations. In this study, an improved Inside–Out method was proposed to solve the reaction distillation process. The improved Inside–Out methods mainly involved—(1) the derivation of a new calculation method for the K value of the approximate thermodynamic model from the molar fraction summation equation and simplifying the calculation process of the K value, as a result; and (2) proposal for an initial value estimation method suitable for the reactive distillation process. The algorithm was divided into two loop iterations—the outer loop updated the relevant parameters and the inside loop solved the equations, by taking the isopropyl acetate reactive distillation column as an example for verifying the improved algorithm. The simulation results presented a great agreement with the reference, and only the relative deviation of the reboiler heat duty reached 2.57%. The results showed that the calculation results were accurate and reliable, and the convergence process was more stable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Process Design, Simulation and Optimization)
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