Ilyas, Saad; Carreno, Armando Arpys Arevalo; Bayes, Ernesto; Foulds, Ian G.; Younis, Mohammad I.(Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-28)[Article]
In this work we demonstrate torsion based complementary MEMS logic device, which is capable, of performing INVERTER, AND, NAND, NOR, and OR gates using one physical structure within an operating range of 0-10 volts. It can also perform XOR and XNOR with one access inverter using the same structure with different electrical interconnects. The paper presents modeling, fabrication and experimental calculations of various performance features of the device including lifetime, power consumption and resonance frequency. The fabricated device is 535 μm by 150 μm with a gap of 1.92 μm and a resonant frequency of 6.51 kHz. The device is capable of performing the switching operation with a frequency of 1 kHz.
Dippenaar, Anzaan; Parsons, Sven David Charles; Sampson, Samantha Leigh; Van Der Merwe, Ruben Gerhard; Drewe, Julian Ashley; Abdallah, Abdallah; Siame, Kabengele Keith; Gey Van Pittius, Nicolaas Claudius; Van Helden, Paul David; Pain, Arnab; Warren, Robin Mark(Tuberculosis, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-21)[Article]
Tuberculosis occurs in various mammalian hosts and is caused by a range of different lineages of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). A recently described member, Mycobacterium suricattae, causes tuberculosis in meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in Southern Africa and preliminary genetic analysis showed this organism to be closely related to an MTBC pathogen of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), the dassie bacillus. Here we make use of whole genome sequencing to describe the evolution of the genome of M. suricattae, including known and novel regions of difference, SNPs and IS6110 insertion sites. We used genome-wide phylogenetic analysis to show that M. suricattae clusters with the chimpanzee bacillus, previously isolated from a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in West Africa. We propose an evolutionary scenario for the Mycobacterium africanum lineage 6 complex, showing the evolutionary relationship of M. africanum and chimpanzee bacillus, and the closely related members M. suricattae, dassie bacillus and Mycobacterium mungi.
Dehwah, Abdullah; Missimer, Thomas M.(Water Research, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-25)[Article]
An investigation of three seawater reverse osmosis facilities located along the shoreline of the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia that use well intake systems showed that the pumping-induced flow of raw seawater through a coastal aquifer significantly improves feed water quality. A comparison between the surface seawater and the discharge from the wells shows that turbidity, algae, bacteria, total organic carbon, most fractions of natural organic matter (NOM), and particulate and colloidal transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) have significant reductions in concentration. Nearly all of the algae, up to 99% of the bacteria, between 84 and 100% of the biopolymer fraction of NOM, and a high percentage of the TEP were removed during transport. The data suggest that the flowpath length and hydraulic retention time in the aquifer play the most important roles in removal of the organic matter. Since the collective concentrations of bacteria, biopolymers, and TEP in the intake seawater play important roles in the biofouling of SWRO membranes, the observed reductions suggest that the desalination facilities that use well intakes systems will have a potentially lower fouling rate compared to open-ocean intake systems. Furthermore, well intake system intakes also reduce the need for chemical usage during complex pretreatment systems required for operation of SWRO facilities using open-ocean intakes and reduce environmental impacts.
Serrano, Oscar; Davis, Grace; Lavery, Paul S.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Martinez-Cortizas, Antonio; Mateo, Miguel Angel; Masqué, Pere; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Rozaimi, Mohammad; Kendrick, Gary A.(Science of The Total Environment, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-02)[Article]
The study of a Posidonia australis sedimentary archive has provided a record of changes in element concentrations (Al, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cd, Co, As, Cu, Ni and S) over the last 3000 years in the Australian marine environment. Human-derived contamination in Oyster Harbor (SW Australia) started ~. 100 years ago (AD ~. 1900) and exponentially increased until present. This appears to be related to European colonization of Australia and the subsequent impact of human activities, namely mining, coal and metal production, and extensive agriculture. Two contamination periods of different magnitude have been identified: Expansion period (EXP, AD ~. 1900-1970) and Establishment period (EST, AD ~. 1970 to present). Enrichments of chemical elements with respect to baseline concentrations (in samples older than ~. 115 cal. years BP) were found for all elements studied in both periods, except for Ni, As and S. The highest enrichment factors were obtained for the EST period (ranging from 1.3-fold increase in Cu to 7.2-fold in Zn concentrations) compared to the EXP period (1.1-fold increase for Cu and Cr to 2.4-fold increase for Pb). Zinc, Pb, Mn and Co concentrations during both periods were 2- to 7-fold higher than baseline levels. This study demonstrates the value of Posidonia mats as long-term archives of element concentrations and trends in coastal ecosystems. We also provide preliminary evidence on the potential for Posidonia meadows to act as significant long-term biogeochemical sinks of chemical elements.
Hoey, Andrew; Feary, David A.; Burt, John A.; Vaughan, Grace; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Berumen, Michael L.(Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier BV, 2015-11-20)[Article]
Parrotfishes (f. Labridae) are a unique and ubiquitous group of herbivorous reef fishes. We compared the distribution and ecosystem function (grazing and erosion) of parrotfishes across 75 reefs in Arabia. Our results revealed marked regional differences in the abundance, and taxonomic and functional composition of parrotfishes between the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Arabian Gulf. High densities and diversity of parrotfishes, and high rates of grazing (210% year) and erosion (1.57 kg m year) characterised Red Sea reefs. Despite Arabian Sea and Red Sea reefs having broadly comparable abundances of parrotfishes, estimates of grazing (150% year) and erosion (0.43 kg m year) were markedly lower in the Arabian Sea. Parrotfishes were extremely rare within the southern Arabian Gulf, and as such rates of grazing and erosion were negligible. This regional variation in abundance and functional composition of parrotfishes appears to be related to local environmental conditions.
Chen, Si Cong; Amy, Gary L.; Chung, Neal Tai-Shung(Water Research, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-25)[Article]
RO retentate from a municipal water recycling plant is considered as a potential feed stream for osmotic power generation in this paper. The feasibility of using RO retentate from a municipal water recycling plant was examined from two aspects: (a) the membrane fouling propensity of RO retentate, and (b) the efficacy of anti-fouling strategies. The membranes used in this study were the inner selective thin film composite polyethersulfone (TFC/PES) hollow fiber membranes, which possessed a high water permeability and good mechanical strength. Scaling by phosphate salts was found to be one possible inorganic fouling on the innermost layer of the PES membrane, whereas silica fouling was observed to be the governing fouling on the outmost surface of the PES membrane. Two anti-fouling pretreatments, i.e., pH adjustment and anti-scalant pre-treatment for the feed stream, were studied and found to be straightforward and effective. Using RO retentate at pH 7.2 as the feed and 1 M NaCl as the draw solution, the average power density was 7.3 W/m at 20 bar. The average power density increased to 12.6 W/m by modifying RO retentate with an initial pH value of 5.5 using HCl and to 13.4 W/m by adding 1.1 mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Moreover, the flux recovery of the fouled membranes, without the indicated pretreatments, reached 84.9% using deionized (DI) water flushing and 95.0% using air bubbling under a high crossflow velocity of 23.3 cm/s (Re = 2497) for 30 min. After pretreatment by pH adjustment, the flux recovery increased to 94.6% by DI water flushing and 100.0% by air bubbling. After pretreatment by adding 1.1 mM EDTA into RO retentate, flux was almost fully restored by physical cleaning by DI water flushing and air bubbling. These results provide insight into developing an effective pretreatment by either pH adjustment or EDTA addition before PRO and physical cleaning methods by DI water flushing and air bubbling for membrane used in osmotic power generation.
The potential of utilizing polyethylene (PE) membranes in membrane distillation (MD) for sea water desalination has been explored in this study. The advantages of using PE membranes are (1) their intrinsic hydrophobicity with low surface energy of 28-33×10N/m, (2) good chemical stability and low thermal conductivity and (3) their commercial availability that may expedite the MD commercialization process. Several commercial PE membranes with different physicochemical properties are employed to study the capability and feasibility of PE membrane application in an MD process. The effect of membrane pore size, porosity, thickness and wetting resistance on MD performance and energy efficiency have been investigated. The PE membranes demonstrate impressive separation performance with permeation fluxes reaching 123.0L/mh for a 3.5wt% sodium chloride (NaCl) feed solution at 80°C. This superior performance surpasses most of the prior commercial and lab-made flat sheet and hollow fiber membranes. A long term MD testing of 100h is also performed to evaluate the durability of PE membranes, and a relatively stable performance is observed during the entire experiment. This long term stability signifies the suitability of PE membranes for MD applications.
Graphene dots (GDs) are used for enhancing the performance of the poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS)-based counter electrodes in Pt-free dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). As compared to PEDOT:PSS CEs, GD-PEDOT:PSS films possess a rough surface morphology, high conductivity and electrocatalytic activity, and low charge-transfer resistance toward I/I redox reaction, pushing cell efficiency to 7.36%, which is 43% higher than that of the cell with PEDOT:PSS CEs (5.14%). Without much impact on efficiency, the DSSCs with GD-PEDOT:PSS CEs work well under low-light conditions (light intensity <13.5mWcm and angle of incidence >60°), such as indoor and low-level outdoor lighting and of the sun while the other traditional cells would fail to work. The concurrent advantage in low cost in Pt-free materials, simple fabrication processes, comparable efficiency with Pt CEs, and high performance under low-light conditions makes the DSSC with GD-PEDOT:PSS CEs suitable to harvest light for a diverse range of indoor and low-level outdoor lighting locations.
Hot-press molding of glass-fiber-reinforced polypropylene (GFPP) laminates was monitored using longitudinally and transversely embedded fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) at different locations in unidirectional laminates. The optical sensors proved to efficiently characterize some material properties; for example, strain variations could be related physical change of the laminate, revealing key transition points such as the onset of melt or solidification. These results were confirmed through some comparison with traditional techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry. After the GFPP plate was released from the mold, residual strains were estimated. Because cooling rate is an important process parameter in thermoplastics, affecting crystallinity and ultimately residual strain, two different conditions (22 and 3 °C/min) were investigated. In the longitudinal direction, results were nearly identical while in the transverse direction results showed a 20% discrepancy. Coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) were also identified during a post-process heating procedure using the embedded FBGs and compared to the results of a thermo-mechanical analysis. Again, dissimilarities were observed for the transverse direction. With regards to through the thickness properties, no differences were observed for residual strains or for CTEs.
Li, Sheng; Winters, Harvey; Jeong, Sanghyun; Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.; Vigneswaran, Saravanamuthu; Amy, Gary L.(Desalination, Elsevier BV, 2015-10-31)[Article]
This paper investigated the characteristics and membrane fouling potential of bacterial transparent exopolymer particles (TEP)/TEP precursors released from two marine bacteria, Pseudidiomarina homiensis (P. homiensis) and Pseudoalteromonas atlantica (P. atlantica), isolated from the Red Sea. Results showed that both bacteria grew at the similar rate, but the production of TEP/TEP precursors from P. atlantica was higher than that from P. homiensis. During the 168. h of incubation time, production rates of TEP/TEP precursors from P. atlantica and P. homiensis were 0.30 and 0.08 xanthan gum eq. mg/L-h, respectively. Isolated bacterial TEP precursors were mainly biopolymer, and P. atlantica produced a significantly higher concentration of biopolymer than that produced by P. homiensis. TEP/TEP precursors from both marine bacteria possessed protein-like material and were very similar in composition to previously reported foulants isolated from a fouled reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. Bacterial TEP/TEP precursors mostly consisted of aliphatic hydrocarbon from amino acids and amide group carbon of proteins (around 55%). Bacterial TEP precursors caused obvious fouling on RO membranes, which may create an ideal environment for bacteria attachment and promote to biofouling.
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