This paper describes a study on the design, fabrication and testing of a prototype digging device for sweet potato tubers in bris soil. The soil texture was sandy soil (fine sand 94.53%), with mean moisture content of 9.16% and mean bulk density of 1.44 g-cm-3. The soil was prepared in a soil bin. Three types of soil digging tools were designed and fabricated to determine the optimum draft force. These were Flat or plane, V-shaped and Hoe type blades. Plane and V-shaped blades were 30 cm long, and 13 cm wide, while the Hoe type had three rods, 25 mm in diameter, 30 cm long and 6.5 cm wide with sharp cutting edge. The digging tools were tested in a soil bin filled with bris soil to determine the optimum draft force and area of soil disturbance. The results were analysed using statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA). Comparison between all blade types and blade depths to measured draft force and the area of soil disturbed showed that the highest draft of 0.54 kN-m-2 was caused by a flat or plane blade at the optimum depth of 20 cm when the area of soil disturbed was 0.180 m2 . The V-shaped blade had the mean draft of 0.51 kN-m-2, with area of soil disturbance of 0.185 m2 . Thebest choice was V-shaped blade with a rake angle of 30o at 20 cm. depth. The selected blade was fixed onto the sweet potato harvester and tested on bris soil planted with sweet potato of Telong and VitAto varieties. The harvesting efficiency of the machine in bris soil was 93.64% and 90.49% for Telong (Plot A) and VitAto (Plot B) varieties, respectively. The average ground speed and turning time during operation for plots A and B was 0.56 km-hr-1 and 102.7 s and 0.99 km-hr-1 and 81.22 s, respectively. The harvesting efficiencies for both plots showed no significant difference. The total productive time (harvesting time) and unproductive time (turning time) in plot A, at a tractor speed of 0.56 km.hr-1, was 14.8 hours for harvesting a hectare of sweet potato ( 0.068 ha.hr-1). In plot B, the total time for harvesting a hectare of sweet potato was 8.35 hours (0.12 ha.hr-1) at a tractor speed of 0.99 km.hr-1. The average harvesting time for both plots was 11.47 hr.ha-1. The average field work rate was 0.087 ha.hr-1 or 34 man-hr.ha-1 compared to manual harvesting of 150 man-hrs.ha-1.
Torrefaction is a thermal process to convert biomass into a coal-like material, which has better fuel characteristics than the original biomass. Torrefied biomass has more energy density and hydrophobic which is superior quality for handling and storage. The objective of this research was to develop a simulation model of the torrefied pelletization process from empty fruit bunch (EFB). The process was simulated using ASPEN Plus. Optimization involved a selection of the model option that produced the maximum mass yield and minimum energy requirement, with a converged base case simulation as a starting point. Torrefied biomass pellet offered coal-like properties such as high heating value, brittle, high bulk energy density and more hydrophobic. These properties could potentially avoid costly power plant modifications. On the other hand, Malaysia has issued National Biomass Strategy 2020 with target to solve the problem of under-utilized biomass in this country. Base model was based on previous study. For optimization of mass yield and overall energy consumption, six model options of design configurations were analysed. Design model 0 was used as the base model. For design model 1, flue gas from combustion reactor was channelled to torrefaction reactor. For design model 2, flue gas from combustion reactor was split to dryer and torrefaction reactor. For design model 3, combustion reactor was removed. For design model 4, flue gas was channelled to dryer reactor without combustion reactor. For design model 5, flue gas separator after dryer was removed. Out of five options, results were tabulated for the optimum one. The results showed that the highest mass yield was achieved by simulation Model 5 at 90.76 % and lowest energy requirement was achieved by simulation Model 4 at 411.336 kW. Optimization result meanwhile had shown that Model 4 was selected because it gave the maximum profitability of RM 72834.45 by considering the yield and the energy consumption simultaneously.
A free-standing film consisting of 49% PMMA grafted-natural rubber electrolytes was prepared. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) and propylene carbonate (PC) was added to the preparation and the properties of the electrolytes measured using complex impedance analysis at various temperatures. The addition of plasticiser in alkaline polymer electrolyte gives rise to the ionic conductivity up to 2.647 x 10-6 S cm-1 at composition consisting of 50wt.% of PC. The dielectric properties of the GPEs were studied and the relaxations at higher frequencies appear in both imaginary and real part of the permittivity. These relaxations are related with the interface ion polarisations at the polymer-electrode interface and segmental motion of the polymer electrolyte molecular chains. The influence of the impedance spectra on temperature was studied. Results showed rising temperature increased conductivity, top frequency (f*), relative dielectric constant (εr) and geometrical capacitance (Cg) due to the mobility of free ion carriers.
Solid polymer electrolyte based on methyl cellulose (MC)-lithium triflate (LiCF3SO3) plasticised with ethylene carbonate (EC) was prepared using solution cast technique. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies proved that the amorphous nature of the electrolyte systems was increases due to the addition of salt and plasticiser. The improved surface morphology of plasticised polymer system ensures it has good electrode-electrolyte contact during performance testing. The polymer electrolyte was found to have high thermal stability indicating that the electrolyte can be used at higher temperature. The ionic conductivity increased up to 1.24 x 10-4 S cm-1 at optimum amount of EC plasticiser associated to the effect of plasticiser that initially leads to the formation of Li+-EC complex. Consequently, it reduces the fraction of polymer-Li+ complex which contributes to the increase of the segmental chain flexibility in the plasticized system. Temperature dependent studies indicate ionic conductivity increase due to the temperature increase and is in line with Arrhenius behaviour pattern. An activation energy of 0.26 eV at highest conductivity sample was obtained. The addition of plasticiser lowers the activation energy thus increasing the ion mobility of the system and contributing to ionic conductivity increment. The plasticization method is a promising means to dealing with the solid polymer electrolyte problem and producing electrolytes that meet the needs of electrochemical devices.
The distribution of dissolved iron (dFe) and particulate iron in the estuarine system was studied where in-situ water sampling stations were selected at Bagan Pasir, Perak. The concentration of dFe was 1.17±0.28 mg/L on average at the estuary, while in freshwater samples its concentration was 0.08±0.00 mg/L. This study found that the concentration of particulate Fe in freshwater system was higher than that in the estuary system. The Fe concentration was 0.95±0.03 mg/kg and 0.80±0.18 mg/kg at the freshwater and estuary systems, respectively. We have applied a distribution coefficient (KD) in order to quantify the partitioning of Fe between the particulate (>0.45 µm) and dissolved (
This paper is an attempt to perceive and order guns using a two-layer neural system model taking into account a feedforward backpropagation calculation. Numerical properties from the joined pictures were utilised for enhanced gun characterisation execution. Inputs of the system model were 747 pictures blackmailed from the discharging pin impression of five differing guns model, Parabellum Vector SPI 9mm. Components created from the dataset were further grouped into preparation set (523 components), testing set (112 components) and acceptance set (112 components). Under managed learning, exact results exhibited that a two-layer BPNN of 11-11-5 arrangement, with tansig/purelin exchange capacities and a “trainlm” preparing calculation, had productively delivered 87% right aftereffect of grouping. The order result serves to be progressed and contrasted with the previous works. Finally, the joined picture districts can offer some accommodating data on the grouping of gun.
In Malaysia, the use of groundwater can help to meet the increasing water demand. The utilization of the aquifers is currently contributing in water supplies, particularly for the northern states. In this study, quantitative and qualitative assessments were carried out for the groundwater exploitation in the states of Kelantan, Melaka, Terengganu and Perak. The relevant data was acquired from the Department of Mineral and Geoscience, Malaysia. The quantitative assessment mainly included the determination of the use to yield ratio (UTY). The formula was proposed to determine the UTY ratio for aquifers in Malaysia. The proposed formula was applied to determine the maximum UTY ratios for the aquifers located in the states of Kelantan, Melaka, and Terengganu, and were found to be 4.2, 5.2 and 0.6, respectively. This indicated that exploitation of groundwater was beyond the safe limit in the states of Kelantan and Melaka. The qualitative assessment showed that the groundwater is slightly acidic. In addition, the concentrations of iron and manganese were found to be higher than the allowable limits, but the chloride concentration was found within the allowable limit.
The incidence of ureteric calculus as a cause for severe abdominal pain in children is mounting, especiallyin the tropical country. The course of illness may be non-specific but a swift detection via non-invasiveimaging modalities singly or in combination may avert unnecessary radiation hazard and futile surgery ina young child. In this paper, we discussed a case of an 11 year-old boy who was presented with a suddenonset of the right side severe abdominal colic whose a bedside ultrasound was positive for hydronephrosisfor which localisation of stone was further confirmed via a low dose limited intravenous urography (IVU).It is important to note that data available on the value of a combined ultrasound and the limited IVU inan emergency setting when urolithiais is being suspected in children with abdominal pain are particularlyscarce. Hence, this case documented the potential value of a combined ultrasound and a limited IVUstudy as a unique combined armamentarium used in a suspected childhood urolithiasis in the tropics.
Colo-colic intussusception is a rare manifestation of a primary tumour in an adult patient. This article
aims to document the rarity of colo-colic intussusception features on the 18 FDG- PET-CT in a patient
with primary colonic carcinoma. An 18 FDG-PET-CT was performed for the purpose of pretreatment
staging of a colonic carcinoma in a 61-year-old man following a diagnostic colosnoscopic biopsy. He
presented with abdominal distension and peri-rectal bleeding for a month. The fused 18 F-FDG PET-CT
image revealed an FDG-avid mass in the left hemicolon showing a rim of FDG avidity denoting the head
of intussusceptum. There are also multiple FDG-avid nodules seen along the anti-mesenteric colonic fat
suspicious for lymph nodes metastasis. Debulking of tumour revealed a mucinous adenocarcinoma of
colon with a metastatic lymph node. 18 FDG PET-CT features of intussusception in colonic carcinoma
have never been described before. It can potentially become a preferred diagnostic tool in delineating a
potential tumour mass within the intussusceptions that help improve prognosis in patients with malignancy.
The presence of calcification in a particular FDG-avid soft tissue lesion may at times present uncertainty
regarding the clinical course of the disease pathology. Calcific deposits are not specific for either benign
or malignant aetiologies (Brant et al., 2010). Altered glucose metabolism with associated calcification
may underpin underlying aggressive pathophysiology with necrosis as sequelae. Mantle Cell Lymphoma
(MCL) is a subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is a rare B-cell NHL that is prevalent in men over
the age of 60. The disease may be aggressive but it can also behave in a more indolent fashion in some
patients. MCL comprises about 5% of all NHLs. The disease is called Mantle Cell Lymphoma because the
tumour cells originally come from the ‘mantle zone’ of the lymph node (Zhou et al., 2004). Pretreatment
Hodgkin’s lymphoma with calcification may masquerade as other second primary pathologies, e.g.
extraosseous osteosarcoma or myositis ossificans (Apter et al., 2002; Korek-Amorosa et al., 1974). A
calcified perineural lymphoma prior to treatment is exceedingly rare and calcification usually occurs
one to five years after chemotherapy or radiation therapy with an incidence of 2% (Apter et al., 2002).
This case documents how the manifestation of a rare malignant perineural mantle cell lymphoma may
be indistinguishable from other pathological entities based on its pattern of distribution in a combined
FDG- PET-CT study.
Nowadays, Concurrent Engineering (CE) is becoming more important as companies compete in the worldwide market. Reduced time in product development process, higher product quality, lower cost in manufacturing process and fulfilment of customers’ requirements are the key factors to determine the success of a company. To produce excellent products, the concept of Concurrent Engineering must be implemented. Concurrent Engineering is a systematic approach which can be achieved when all design activities are integrated and executed in a parallel manner. The CE approach has radically changed the method used in product development process in many companies. Thus, this paper reviews the basic principles and tools of Concurrent Engineering and discusses how to employ them. Similarly, to ensure a product development process in the CE environment to run smoothly and efficiently, some modifications of the existing product development processes are proposed; these should start from market investigation to detail design.
Skin detection has gained popularity and importance in the computer vision community. It is an essential step for important vision tasks such as the detection, tracking and recognition of face, segmentation of hand for gesture analysis, person identification, as well as video surveillance and filtering of objectionable web images. All these applications are based on the assumption that the regions of the human skin are already located. In the recent past, numerous techniques for skin colour modeling and recognition have been proposed. The aims of this paper are to compile the published pixel-based skin colour detection techniques to describe their key concepts and try to find out and summarize their advantages, disadvantages and characteristic features.
Skin colour is an important visual cue for face detection, face recogmtlon, hand segmentation for gesture analysis and filtering of objectionable images. In this paper, the adaptive skin color detection model is proposed, based on two bivariate normal distribution models of the skin chromatic subspace, and on image segmentation using an automatic and adaptive multi-thresholding technique. Experimental results on images presenting a wide range of variations in lighting condition and background demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed skin-segmentation algorithm.
Cellulose acetate (CA) is an interesting material due to its wide spectrum of utilities across different domains ranging from absorbent to membrane filters. In this study, polystyrene (PS) nanofibres, and cellulose acetate/polystyrene (CA/PS) blend nanofibres with various ratios of CA: PS from 20: 80 to 80: 20 were fabricated by using electrospinning technique. The SEM images show that the nanofibres exhibited non-uniform and random orientation with the average fibre diameter in the range of 100 to 800 nm. It was found that the incorporation of PS had a great effect on the morphology of nanofibre. At high proportion of PS, no or less beaded CA/PS nanofibres were formed. Thermal properties of the composite nanofibres were investigated by using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques. The TGA results showed thermal stability of CA/PS nanofibres were higher than pristine CA.
A GIS-based user-interface programme was developed to compute the geospatial Water ProductivityIndex (WPI) of a river-fed rice irrigation scheme in Northwest Selangor, Malaysia. The spatial analysisincludes irrigation blocks with sizes ranging from 20 to 300 ha. The amount of daily water use for eachirrigation block was determined using irrigation delivery model and stored in the database for both mainseason (August to December) and off season (February to May). After cut-off of the irrigation supply,a sub-module was used to compute the total water use including rainfall for each irrigation block. Therice yield data for both seasons were obtained from DOA (Department of Agriculture, Malaysia) of thescheme. Then, the Water Productivity Index (WPI) was computed for each irrigation block and spatialthematic map was also generated. ArcObjects and Visual Basic Application (VBA) programminglanguages were used to structure user-interface in the ArcGIS software. The WPI, expressed in termsof crop yield per unit amount of water used (irrigation and effective rainfall), ranged from 0.02 to 0.57kg/m3 in the main season and 0.02 to 0.40 in off season among irrigation blocks, respectively. Thedevelopment of the overall system and the procedure are illustrated using the data obtained from thestudy area. The approach could be used to depict the gaps between the existing and appropriate watermanagement practices. Suitable interventions could be made to fill the gaps and enhance water useefficiency at the field level and also help in saving irrigation water through remedial measures in theseason. The approach could be useful for irrigation managers to rectify and enhance decision-makingin both the management and operation of the next irrigation season.
Precision agriculture with regard to crop science was introduced to apply only the required and optimal amount of fertiliser, which inspired the present study of nutrient prediction for oil palm using spectroradiometer with wavelengths ranging from 350 to 2500 nm. Partial least square (PLS) method was used to develop a statistical model to interpret spectral data for nutrient deficiency of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) and boron (B) of oil palm. Prior to the development of the PLS model, pre-processing was conducted to ensure only the smooth and best signals were studied, which includes the multiplicative scatter correction (MSC), first and second derivatives and standard normal variate (SNV), Gaussian filter and Savitzky-Golay smoothing. The MSC technique was the optimal overall pre-treatment method for nutrients in this study, with highest prediction R2 of 0.91 for N and lowest RMSEP value of 0.00 for P.
Mass valuation of properties is important for purposes like property tax, price indices construction, and understanding market dynamics. There are several ways that the mass valuation can be carried out. This paper reviews the conventional MRA and several other advanced methods such as SAR, Kriging, GWR, and MWR. SAR and Kriging are good for modeling spatial dependence while GWR and MWR are good for modeling spatial heterogeneity. The difference between SAR and Kriging is the calculation of weights. Kriging weights are based on the spatial dependence or so called the semi-variogram analysis of the price data whereas the weights in SAR are based on the spatial contiguity between the sample data. MWR and GWR are special types of regression where study region is subdivided into local sections to increase the accuracy of prediction through neutralizing the heterogeneity of autocorrelations. MWR assigns equal weights for observations within a window while GWR uses distance decay functions. The merits and drawbacks of each method are discussed.
Computer games are often considered a teaching and learning tool as it is generally appealing to students. In this preliminary study, we investigate students’ perceptions of engaging game design in Learning of Historical Patriotic Heroes. In total, 33 students were involved in this study. The data was examined using standard descriptive statistical approaches. The results of the study indicated that the majority of the respondents are interested in the idea of Learning of Historical Patriotic Heroes through game approach. Hopefully, the outcome of this preliminary study will underline the need for developing a rigorous engaging game design for education.
Land development, especially construction works, increase storm water volumes and pollution loads into rivers and lakes. The temporary drainage system at construction sites, particularly during the construction stage discharges a large amount of pollutants that can damage the aquatic system of the receiving water bodies. The potential of vegetative swale to alleviate this problem was evaluated. The size of the constructed vegetative swale was 7cm deep, 400cm long and 15cm wide at the bottom, and 17cm wide at the top. The experiment was conducted batch wise by filling the storage tank with the run-off water from the construction site. The water was allowed to flow through a pipe into the retention basin to maintain uniform flow before it entered the swale. The study showed that the run-off infiltrated through the soil at a rate of 489.6 mm/hr. Samples of surface run-off and infiltration water were collected at the end and the bottom of the swale. The results indicate that chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solid (TSS), turbidity, iron and zinc were reduced by 85.4%, 80.8%, 36.4%, 52.8% and 96.0%, respectively, by surface flow and 91.1%, 98.8%, 58.2% 55.5% and 98.1%, respectively, by infiltration. Removal of nitrate and phosphorus by the planted vegetation was 69.4% and 21.1%, respectively, by infiltration. However, nutrient removal by surface flow was negligible. In conclusion, the vegetative swale was able to improve the water quality of the storm water run-off from the construction site from Class V to Class III, according to the Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia.
Xylitol can be obtained from lignocellulosic materials containing xylose. However, the fraction of lignocellulose converted through dilute acid hydrolysis contains compounds that inhibit the fermenting micro-organisms. These inhibitors can be removed from the hydrolysate by detoxification method, prior to fermentation. This study describes effectiveness of overliming process to reduce the toxicity of hydrolysates generated from pre-treatment of sago trunk for xylitol production. The overliming pH 9 and 10 was studied and the results showed that pH 9 was showed 20% of sugar loss, which is low compared to pH 10. Candida tropicalis strain was used to evaluate the fermentability of overlimed sago trunk hydrolysate at pH 9 and non-overlimed hydrolysate medium. Meanwhile, Xylitol accumulation and productivity in the overlimed medium was found to be higher than the non-treated medium. The maximum production of xylitol was increased up to 74% and converted within 76 h. The results obtained improved the fermentation process when compared with the nontreated medium.