Open Access Case study

Household Energy Consumption Pattern in Offa City, Kwara State Nigeria

Engr K. O. Kadiri, O. A. Alabi

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1499-1506
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8077

This paper examined the household energy consumption patterns in different apartments of various households. An assessment of the energy sources in Offa Kwara State, Federal Republic of Nigeria was undertaken with the intention to guage their consumption patterns.
Analysis to see result of financial gain, monthly earning and unit size on quantities of energy sources usage was done on modal statistical method and percentage analysis.
The analysis on age range, energy resources in the selected areas and consumption patterns were based on descriptive statistics. Systematic sampling was applied to sample 800 households. Well structured questionnaire with oral interview and measuring equipment were used to obtain and evaluate our data.
The findings enveloped that 20% of the respondents were above 45 years old on average and about 80% had a household size of 1 - 6 members. The major city relies on charcoal as their source of energy. The calculable average daily charcoal usage for cooking, and kerosine for lamp consumption ranged between 1.2 - 33.8 kilogram and 0.5 50.2 litres. The common annual financial gain of the respondents varies between $100 – $1000 U.S.A. currency (17,000Naira - 170,000Naira Federal Republic of Nigeria currency), that shows that majority of those people live average lifestyle in favour of low lost of living. Maximum quantities of kerosine and charcoal consumed by respondents area unit are 33.8litres and 50.2kg respectively so their relationships are significant at 3.3 % financial monthly budget.
Solar energy systems need to be developed and upgraded as power station for constant electricity supply for use in the city of Offa with efficient management and utilization. This will reduce monthly budget on energy consumption and improve welfare of all households in Offa Kwara State, Nigeria.

Open Access Short Research Article

Enhancing AC Electrothermal Micropumping by Integrating Temperature Bias and Surface Modification

Nazmul Islam

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1465-1474
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8876

This paper describes an experimental study of the improvement of bi-directional AC (Alternating Current) electrothermal micropump velocity by a surface modification process and the addition of a temperature bias. The work focuses on exploiting external temperature bias to enhance micropumping by AC electrothermal (ACET) effect. Adding temperature bias to a symmetrical electrode setup provides an advantage of bi-directional characteristic. Here an integrated AC micropump design is proposed, which is expected to solve the problem of on-chip pumping for biofluids. A polymer base nanocomposite coating consisting of a homogeneous mixture of silicon nanoparticles in polydimithylsiloxane (PDMS) is used to improve the hydrophobicity of the micropump surfaces. Due to the hydrophobic nature of PDMS and the monolayer coating with nanoscale surface roughness, the hydrophilic surface of temperature biased ACET micropump will transform to a hydrophobic surface. In addition to hydrophobicity improvement, adding a thin nanocomposite monolayer will physically separate the electrodes from the pumping liquid, thus eliminating their reaction, which is usually observed due to the application of voltage. In addition, the surface modification of micropump will decrease the friction loss and improve the pumping velocity. All experiments were done at 100 kHz VAC that also suppress the bubble generation. As a result, we could apply 7.5 Vrms (equivalent to 21.2 V, peak to peak) voltages to the symmetrical electrode arrays and higher pumping rates (2100 microns/sec) are achieved.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Stevia as a Substitute for Sugar on Physicochemical and Sensory Properties of Fruit Based Milk Shake

Mohammad Alizadeh, Maryam Azizi-lalabadi, Helaleh Hojat-ansari, Sorayya Kheirouri

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1421-1429
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/8623

A food with low calorie density has high importance in managing health concerns attributed to food and nutrition. Replacing sucrose with natural intense sweeteners such as Stevia has been suggested as a way to produce foods with low caloric value. The present study has been conducted to formulate novel fruit based milk shake using a mixture of Kiwi, apple and banana concentrates by replacing sucrose partly with Stevia. Five different treatments of fruit milk shakes were prepared with sucrose/Stevia ratios of 100:0 (TA), 75:25 (TB), 50:50 (TC), 25:75 (TD) and 0:100 (TE). The physico-chemical properties of the beverage were examined using conventional methods. All the products were evaluated by sensory expert evaluators. Substitution of sucrose with Stevia had no remarkable effect on pH, acidity and vitamin C content of beverage. Total soluble solids of the beverage decreased in proportion to the reduction in sucrose content (P<0.05). Control treatment (TA) had the lowest total sugar content which was significantly different from TB, TC and TD (p<0.01). Among Stevia containing beverages, the best mean liking score belonged to sample TD followed by TB, TC and TE. The recommended ratio of sucrose/Stevia in beverage was 25:75. Stevia free beverage had the best sensorial acceptance. It is concluded that Stevia is a good choice to develop low sucrose beverages including fruit based milk shakes. Although Stevia had no adverse impact on physico-chemical properties, its sensorial acceptance is affected by its rate of addition.

Open Access Original Research Article

Identifying Stiff Ordinary Differential Equations and Problem Solving Environments (PSEs)

B. K. Aliyu, C. A. Osheku, A. A. Funmilayo, J. I. Musa

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1430-1448
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9842

Stiff Ordinary Differential Equations (SODEs) are present in engineering, mathematics, and sciences. Identifying them for effective simulation (or prediction) and perhaps hardware implementation in aerospace control systems is imperative. This paper considers only linear Initial Value Problems (IVPs) and brings to light the fact that stiffness ratio or coefficient of a suspected stiff dynamic system can be elusive as regards the phenomenon of stiffness. Though, it gives the insight suggesting stiffness when the value is up to 1000 but is not necessarily so in all ODEs. Neither does a value less than 1000 imply non-stiffness. MATLAB/Simulink® and MAPLE® were selected as the Problem Solving Environment (PSE) largely due to the peculiar attribute of Model Based Software Engineering (MBSE) and analytical computational superiority of each PSEs, respectively. This creates the base for comparing results from both numerical and analytical standpoint. In Simulink, two methods of modelling ODEs are presented. Experimenting with all the variable-step solvers in MATLAB® ODE Suit for selected examples was carried out. Results point to the fact that stiffness coefficient of about 1000does not always suggest that an ODE is stiff nor does a value less than 1000 suggest non-stiff.

Open Access Original Research Article

Party Politics and Electoral Malpractice in Ghana’s Election 2012

Seidu M. Alidu

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1449-1464
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9223

Ghana is one of the thriving democracies in sub-Saharan Africa. It has held relatively free, fair, and transparent elections and in 2000 and 2008, it passed Samuel Huntington’s (1991) ‘two turn-over test’ of democratic consolidation when peaceful alternation of power occurred. However, last year’s election, the sixth in the series of national and parliamentary elections held since the country was ushered into the Fourth Republic was different from the previous five that came before it. Concerted effort was taken to pursue alleged electoral infractions at the Supreme Court rather than the previous practice of pretending that nothing happened. This paper uses a qualitative research design in which documents critical to the 2012 elections including: the results of the elections, the first written petition of the Election Petitions, the responses from the 1st and 2nd Respondents, the amended petition, the written addresses of all parties to the Election Petition, and the written judgments of all the nine Justices that sat on the case were gathered and analyzed. These documents are manually coded into themes which are subsequently discussed. The paper found that although infractions occurred in last year’s election they were not outcome-determinative. They were purely administrative and in most cases ill-advised decisions by electoral officials that had no impact on the overall results and the winner of the elections. Notwithstanding the above conclusion, the paper proposes some administrative, structural, and legal reforms vis-à-vis the Ghanaian electoral architecture.

Open Access Original Research Article

Social Ostracism and Criminality among Medical Waste Workers in Bangladesh: Neurobiological Aspects

Masum A Patwary, Lucina Q. Uddin, William Thomas O’Hare, Mosharraf H. Sarker

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1475-1489
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/7109

Background: Complex relationships exist between socio-economic inequality, social stratification, drug addiction, and criminality in society. A great deal is now known regarding the neurobiology underlying behaviours such as drug addiction and criminality. Most sociological and psychological theories of why such behaviours and phenomena exist have been constructed based on observations made in Western cultures. The unique social, economic, and cultural characteristics of the developing world, and in particular South Asia, have not typically been taken into account. Medical waste workers are a particularly marginalized population in this region, and are uniquely vulnerable to becoming engaged in these behaviours which are harmful to them and to society.
Methods: Here we examine the influence of social inequality and stratification on initiation into criminality, specifically drug use, amongst medical waste operatives, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Data were collected from a wide range of people (n = 74) involved with medical waste handling through sampling strategy to collect the required data using a variety of qualitative techniques included observation, formal and informal dialogue. Sampling strategies included formal representative sampling, purposive and authoritative sampling.
Results: Data suggests that the compounded effects of social discrimination, fatalistic belief system, socio-economic disparity and finally ostracism may interact with neurobiological predispositions to create unique drug abuse and criminality profiles amongst medical waste workers.
Conclusion: These findings challenge current models of factors contributing to drug use and criminality in society among adolescents and suggest a new framework for conceptualizing these complex issues that incorporates these complex biological, psychological, and sociological factors.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparison of Canny’s and Snakes’ Algorithm as Applied to Diabetic Retinopathy

Mohammed Anwer, Ferdous Jahan

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1490-1498
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/7812

Aims: To ascertain the effectiveness of edge detection and contour detection algorithms to identify hard exudates and hemorrhage region in fundus images of diabetic patients.
Study Design: Canny’s algorithm was selected as the edge detection algorithm, and Snakes’ algorithm was selected as the contour detection algorithm.
Place and Duration of Study: A total of 212 fundus images were procured from the Department of Ophthalmology of Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation for Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders for this study. The images were captured between 2010 and 2013.
Methodology: Noise was removed from the images using successive Gaussian and median filtering. Green component of the image was used for detection of hard exudates, and red component was used for detection of hemorrhage. To apply Canny’s algorithm, color gradient was calculated, and a threshold was applied to the gradient to select a candidate region. Snakes’ algorithm was applied by scaling the color intensity from 0 to 1, and a threshold color value was chosen to draw the contours. Several filters were applied to the selected region to detect and discard the false-positives. A total of 32 images were used for training purpose. The algorithm was later applied to the rest of the 180 images.
Results: For Canny’s algorithm, a threshold color gradient value of 0.30 was chosen to identify the hard exudates, and a value of 0.28 was chosen to identify the hemorrhage regions. For Snakes’ algorithm, a color intensity value of 0.7 was chosen for detection of hard exudates, and 0.83 was chosen for detection of hemorrhage regions. Both Canny’s algorithm and Snakes’ algorithm performed similarly in detection of hard exudates. For detection of hemorrhage regions, generally Canny’s algorithm performed better compared to Snakes’ algorithm. Even in situations where there was poor color contrast, Canny’s algorithm was able to suggest a candidate region, whereas Snakes’ algorithm completely failed to suggest a region.
Conclusion: Both Canny’s algorithm and Snakes’ algorithm performs equally effectively in detecting hard exudates. But in detection of hemorrhage regions, generally Canny’s algorithm performs better compared to Snakes’ algorithm.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ecological and Environmental State of the North-western Algerian Coast

Bouras Djillali

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1507-1517
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9033

The present study is an analysis of the evolution of the ecological environment natural habitats on a number of years framed in three decades. It is interested in the coastal ecosystem (ecosystem, habitat nature, and Posidonia) in Oran (Algeria). The research activity has exactly been guided in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Nature, Oran University, the North-West of Algeria 2012-2013. The methods used in the study are largely based on several environmental and ecological data acquired during the last thirty years, supplemented by field research and personal observations (dives, offshore work, surveys along the coast). Then the data were collected to arrive at the proposal of a scalable representation of the band of the Oran coast state. During the last thirty years the western Algerian coast has experienced a loss of space and of species (Macta, Kristel, Ain El-Turk Village), and urban expansion has occurred mainly along the coast. The touristic, industrial, and residential development has not taken environmental quality into consideration and has largely contributed to its degradation and to the pollution of the marine and coastal local ecosystem (Targa and El Maleh zone). Today the local environmental and ecological factors are displayed and their variability is relatively identified. It is just as critical to generate studies and efforts to protect the coastal species and habitats, as well as oversight and ongoing discussions of the existing rich ecosystem. Also, laws in favor of marine and coastal resource protection must be applied.

Open Access Original Research Article

Rheological Behavior of Concentrated Solutions EPDM of Some Viscosity Improvers in SAE 10W-40 Mineral Oil

Ioana Stanciu

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1518-1533
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9271

Rheology of polymer concentrated solutions represents a cross-disciplinary field, using wide spectra of theoretical tools from physics and chemistry. They effectively thicken the oil at all temperatures, but the increase of viscosity is more pronounced at high temperatures. The lubricating effect is extends across a wider temperature range and the oil becomes thus a multi-grade one. Its viscosity still decreases logarithmically with temperature, but the slope representing the change is lessened. This slope is dependent on the nature and amount of additive to the base oil. The purpose of this study was to obtain automotive multi-grade oils. They have a number of advantages such as easy starting cold engine, reducing wear and decrease the formation of deposits in the engine. Multi-grade oil can be used longer than the engine base oils because they are more highly refined and contain large proportions of additives. The rheological behaviour of the solutions was determined using a Haake VT 550 Viscometers developing shear rates ranging between 3 and 1312 s-1 and measuring viscosities from 104 to 106 mPa.s when the HV1 viscosity sensor is used. Rheological measurements of 3; 6; 10 and 12% EPDM solutions in SAE 10W-40 mineral oil show non-Newtonian behaviour in the temperature range 313-370 K and shear rates ranging between 3 and 1312 s-1. The lower slope is given by 3% solution, followed by 12%, and the highest one by 10% solutions. EPDM solutions present an increase of slope when passing from 3 to 6% and a decrease when the concentration exceeds the last value. The lowest slope was obtained for solution having the concentration 12%, followed by 3%, while 6% solution has the highest value. This suggests that EPDM can be a better viscosity improver for the mineral oil SAE 10W-40, both at low and high concentrations.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fixed Point Theorems in Quasi-2-Banach Spaces

Silvana Liftaj, Luljeta Gjoni, Kristaq Kikina

Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, Page 1534-1541
DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2014/9655

A number of authors have studied various aspects of fixed point theory in the setting of 2-metric and 2-Banach spaces. In this paper we prove a fixed point theorem for mappings in quasi-2-Banach space via an implicit relation. The results of this paper extend a host of previously known results for metric space in a quasi-2-Banach space.