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Eng, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2022) – 7 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Rare-earth elements (REE) are highly valued for their unique magnetic, optical, and catalytic properties, making them essential for a number of high-technology industries. With the depletion of high-grade ores, unconventional resources, including mining tailings, have been targeted for value extraction. Some ore deposits have been identified to be rich in copper, gold, silver, and other metals with a subeconomic REE grade. The extraction of primary commodities from such ores results in the accumulation of REE values in the tailings stream. This paper summarizes the findings from studies carried out to ascertain the technical feasibility of recovering REE minerals from tailings using froth flotation as well as magnetic and gravity preconcentration methods. View this paper
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25 pages, 8307 KiB  
Technical Report
Quantifying Small-Scale Hyporheic Streamlines and Resident Time under Gravel-Sand Streambed Using a Coupled HEC-RAS and MIN3P Model
by Md Abdullah Al Mehedi, Munshi Md. Shafwat Yazdan, Md Tanvir Ahad, Wisdom Akatu, Raaghul Kumar and Ashiqur Rahman
Eng 2022, 3(2), 276-300; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020021 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2251
Abstract
Distribution of the water flow path and residence time (HRT) in the hyporheic zone is a pivotal aspect in anatomizing the transport of environmental contaminants and the metabolic rates at the groundwater and surface water interface in fluvial habitats. Due to high variability [...] Read more.
Distribution of the water flow path and residence time (HRT) in the hyporheic zone is a pivotal aspect in anatomizing the transport of environmental contaminants and the metabolic rates at the groundwater and surface water interface in fluvial habitats. Due to high variability in material distribution and composition in streambed and subsurface media, a pragmatic model setup in the laboratory is strenuous. Moreover, investigation of an individual streamline cannot be efficiently executed in laboratory experiments. However, an automated generation of water flow paths, i.e., streamlines in the hyporheic zone with a range of different streambed configurations could lead to a greater insight into the behavior of hyporheic water flow. An automated approach to quantifying the water flow in hyporheic zone is developed in this study where the surface water modeling tool, HER-RAS, and subsurface water flow modelling code, MIN3P, are coupled. A 1m long stream with constant water surface elevation of 2 cm to generate hydraulic head gradients and a saturated subsurface computational space with the dimensions of x:y:z = 1:0.1:0.1 m is considered to analyze the hyporheic exchange. Response in the hyporheic streamlines and residence time due to small-scale changes in the gravel-sand streambed were analyzed. The outcomes of the model show that the size, shape, and distribution of the gravel and sand portions have a significant influence on the hyporheic flow path and HRT. A high number and length of the hyporheic flow path are found in case of the highly elevated portion of gravel pieces. With the increase in the base width of gravel pieces, the length of hyporheic flow path and HRT decreases. In the case of increased amounts of gravel and sand portions on the streambed, both the quantity and length of the hyporheic flow path are reduced significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical, Civil and Environmental Engineering)
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17 pages, 3329 KiB  
Review
Recovery of Rare Earth Elements Minerals from Iron-Oxide-Silicate-Rich Tailings: Research Review
by George Blankson Abaka-Wood, Kathy Ehrig, Jonas Addai-Mensah and William Skinner
Eng 2022, 3(2), 259-275; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020020 - 6 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4053
Abstract
The rapid depletion of high-grade rare earth elements (REE) resources implies that future supplies may be augmented with low-grade ores, tailings, and other unconventional resources to meet cut-off grades and, subsequently, supply demands. This paper presents an amalgamation of studies conducted on selected [...] Read more.
The rapid depletion of high-grade rare earth elements (REE) resources implies that future supplies may be augmented with low-grade ores, tailings, and other unconventional resources to meet cut-off grades and, subsequently, supply demands. This paper presents an amalgamation of studies conducted on selected complex low-grade iron-oxide-silicate-rich tailings, with the overall aim of developing efficacious methods and associated process mineralogy characterization for enhanced REE minerals recovery and upgrade. To this end, a summary of the overarching key results from froth flotation, magnetic separation, and gravity separation studies of the tailings and their implications are presented in this review. Reconciliation of all the findings reveals lucid links between feed ore properties, mainly mineralogy and particle size distribution, as the key influential factors that affect the beneficiation of real complex low-grade tailings, although distinct differences in physicochemical properties of the valuable and gangue minerals may exist. It is clearly established that the unliberated association between REE and gangue minerals within the ore can lead to either synergistic or antagonistic effects on the quality of concentrates produced. Furthermore, the limitations presented by the poorly liberated minerals are exacerbated by their “fine” nature. With appreciable recoveries obtained using such readily available conventional separation methods, the tailings provide additional REE value to the primary commodities; hence, such material could be considered a potential resource for REE beneficiation. The learnings from the respective beneficiation studies are significantly important as they provide the knowledge base and greater understanding of the mineralogical characteristics and beneficiation response of REE minerals in typical complex, low-grade tailings. Full article
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5 pages, 204 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue: Feature Papers in Eng 2021
by Antonio Gil Bravo
Eng 2022, 3(2), 254-258; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020019 - 1 May 2022
Viewed by 1870
Abstract
The aim of this first Eng Special Issue is to collect experimental and theoretical research relating to engineering science and technology [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Eng)
18 pages, 609 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Grid Disturbances Caused by Massive Integration of Utility Level Solar Power Systems
by Esteban A. Soto, Lisa B. Bosman, Ebisa Wollega and Walter D. Leon-Salas
Eng 2022, 3(2), 236-253; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020018 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4120
Abstract
Solar generation has increased rapidly worldwide in recent years and it is projected to continue to grow exponentially. A problem exists in that the increase in solar energy generation will increase the probability of grid disturbances. This study focuses on analyzing the grid [...] Read more.
Solar generation has increased rapidly worldwide in recent years and it is projected to continue to grow exponentially. A problem exists in that the increase in solar energy generation will increase the probability of grid disturbances. This study focuses on analyzing the grid disturbances caused by the massive integration to the transmission line of utility-scale solar energy loaded to the balancing authority high-voltage transmission lines in four regions of the United States electrical system: (1) California, (2) Southwest, (3) New England, and (4) New York. Statistical analysis of equality of means was carried out to detect changes in the energy balance and peak power. Results show that when comparing the difference between hourly net generation and demand, energy imbalance occurs in the regions with the highest solar generation: California and Southwest. No significant difference was found in any of the four regions in relation to the energy peaks. The results imply that regions with greater utility-level solar energy adoption must conduct greater energy exchanges with other regions to reduce potential disturbances to the grid. It is essential to bear in mind that as the installed solar generation capacity increases, the potential energy imbalances created in the grid increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Eng 2022)
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12 pages, 2617 KiB  
Article
Influence of Internal Rubber Damper on Cable External Viscous Damper Effectiveness
by Changzhao Li, Jiayi Peng, Mengying Zhang, Chao Yang, Yu Cheng and Yufeng Zhang
Eng 2022, 3(2), 224-235; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020017 - 2 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2113
Abstract
In practice, the internal rubber dampers are widely installed inside the cable guide pipe between the external viscous damper and the cable anchorage. In order to study the effect of the internal damper on the performance of the external viscous damper, the theoretical [...] Read more.
In practice, the internal rubber dampers are widely installed inside the cable guide pipe between the external viscous damper and the cable anchorage. In order to study the effect of the internal damper on the performance of the external viscous damper, the theoretical analysis model of a taut cable with an internal rubber damper and an external viscous damper is established in this paper, where the internal damper is assumed to be a high damping rubber damper with a flexible support and the external damper is considered to be a linear viscous damper. Then, the numerical iterative formula and approximate solution expression for the cable modal damping ratio are derived. Based on the approximate solution, the parameters of the internal rubber damper are analyzed comprehensively, and its influence on the cable modal damping in cable multimode is studied as well. Results show that, except for the support flexibility of the internal rubber damper, other parameters will have a negative effect on external viscous damper effectiveness. From the perspective of cable multimode vibration control, the installation of an internal rubber damper significantly weakens the modal damping, and this effect is more pronounced in lower frequency modes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
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17 pages, 8544 KiB  
Article
The Role of Hybrid Battery–SMES Energy Storage in Enriching the Permanence of PV–Wind DC Microgrids: A Case Study
by Hossam S. Salama, Kotb M. Kotb, Istvan Vokony and András Dán
Eng 2022, 3(2), 207-223; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020016 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2997
Abstract
The superior access to renewable sources in modern power systems increases the fluctuations in system voltage and power. Additionally, the central dilemmas in using renewable energy sources (RESs) are the intermittent nature of and dependence on wind speed and solar irradiance for wind [...] Read more.
The superior access to renewable sources in modern power systems increases the fluctuations in system voltage and power. Additionally, the central dilemmas in using renewable energy sources (RESs) are the intermittent nature of and dependence on wind speed and solar irradiance for wind and photovoltaic (PV) systems, respectively. Therefore, utilizing a vigorous and effective energy storage system (ESS) with RESs is crucial to overcoming such challenges and dilemmas. This paper describes the impacts of using a battery storage system (BSS) and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system on a DC bus microgrid-integrated hybrid solar–wind system. The proposed method employs a combination of BSS and SMES to improve the microgrid stability during different events, such as wind variation, shadow, wind turbine (WT) connection, and sudden PV outage events. Distinct control approaches are proposed to control the system’s different components in order to increase overall system stability and power exchange. Both the PV and wind systems are further equipped with unique maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controllers. Additionally, each of the ESSs is controlled using a proposed control method to supervise the interchange of the active power within the system and to keep the DC bus voltage constant during the different examined instabilities. Furthermore, to maintain the load voltage /frequency constant, the prime inverter is controlled using the proposed inverter control unit. The simulation results performed with Matlab/Simulink show that the hybrid BSS + SMES system successfully achieves the main targets, i.e., DC voltage, interchange power, and load voltage/frequency are improved and smoothed out. Moreover, a comparison among three case studies is presented, namely without using ESSs, using the BSS only, and once more using both BSS and SMES systems. The findings prove the efficacy of the proposed control method based on the hybrid BSS + SMES approach over BSS only in preserving the modern power system’s stability and reliability during the variable events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
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11 pages, 1544 KiB  
Article
Vector Diagram: How to Get More Useful Information from Hydraulic Unit Monitoring
by Evgeniia Georgievskaia
Eng 2022, 3(2), 196-206; https://doi.org/10.3390/eng3020015 - 25 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2003
Abstract
The development of an effective hydraulic unit (HU) diagnostic system, which recognizes critical fault at an early stage of their development, is a relevant and practically important objective for many hydroelectric power plants (HPP). The main trends in recent years in this area [...] Read more.
The development of an effective hydraulic unit (HU) diagnostic system, which recognizes critical fault at an early stage of their development, is a relevant and practically important objective for many hydroelectric power plants (HPP). The main trends in recent years in this area are the expansion of the hardware base and the introduction of digital technologies to handle the increasing flow of data monitoring. At the same time, much less attention is paid to the improvement of algorithms for potential defect recognition and the creation of new diagnostic rules; much of the monitoring data are used only for the trend construction, and do not participate in the diagnosis. The method of vector diagrams is proposed for estimating actual forces applied towards the support joints of an HU: each mode of operation is represented on a phase plane in the form of a vector proportional to the vibration displacement. The vector difference determines the actual forces of mechanical, electromagnetic and hydraulic origin in each operating mode, taking into account the individual characteristics of the HU. The example of vector diagram analysis shows how to obtain more useful information about the technical status of the unit from the same amount of basic vibration monitoring data, to predict possible deterioration in the operation of the equipment well before the generation of a warning or an alarm signal by the diagnostic system. Full article
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