Despite increasing concern over wildfires in Fennoscandia, there are essentially no studies on the survivability of buildings within the wildland-urban interface of this region. We make use of four recent large-scale fires in Sweden to elucidate which factors are important for survival, using multiple logistic regression analysis of data collected at the sites. We obtained data on 187 buildings within the fire perimeters, nearly all with wood paneling and tile- or sheet metal roofing. 35 % of the buildings were lost or badly damaged. Results indicate that most buildings were approached by relatively low-intensity fire and that ignition primarily occurred through direct flame contact. The most important factor for survivability was the presence of a maintained lawn. The second most important was that no flammable material was present close to the building façade. Further, fire intensity often decreased close to buildings due to a larger portion of deciduous trees around gardens than in the surrounding forest. These factors were more important than specific features of the building itself, reflecting that the majority of buildings have combustible wooden façades. Our results suggest that the greatest potential for increasing building safety in the Swedish WUI is to keep the area immediately surrounding the building (∼5 m) free from tree litter and other flammable material. Also, since fire intensities are generally low, buildings can in most cases be defended with simple tools without compromising personal safety.
This paper investigates how pig housing relates to diversity and circularity of farms and how this influences the capacity of European organic pig producers to cope with economic, legislation, labour and climate-related shocks. It identifies resilience strategies of pig producers in Europe by analysing resilience capacity and attributes to different shocks, namely input and output price shocks, disease outbreaks, climate change, legislation change and labour fluctuations. Based on narratives of 18 pig producers, this paper finds three resilience strategies: an efficiency-based strategy, a nutrient substitution strategy and a farm diversification strategy. Non-resiliency is mostly found among the producers with an all-year outdoor production system following the nutrient substitution strategy related to low feed self-sufficiency. The producers follow an efficiency-based strategy when they cannot accumulate reserves sufficient to cope with shocks. Non-resilience among the farm diversification strategy is related to direct marketing that is labour intensive requires the ability to pay decent wages. To increase the resilience of pig producers in Europe, policies should recognise that these different strategies exist and tailor policies differently for different types of producers.
Non-catalytic and catalytic pyrolysis of two waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) fractions, with two different copper contents (low- and medium-grade WEEE named as LGE and MGE, respectively), were performed using micro- and lab-scale pyrolyzers. This research aimed to fundamentally study the feasibility of chemical recycling of the WEEE fractions via pyrolysis process considering molecular interactions at the interfaces of catalyst active sites and WEEE pyrolyzates which significantly influence the chemical functionality of surface intermediates and catalysis by reorganizing the pyrolyzates near catalytic active sites forming reactive surface intermediates. Hence, Al2O3, TiO2, HBeta, HZSM-5 and spent FCC catalysts were used in in-situ micro-scale pyrolysis. Results indicated that HBeta and HZSM-5 zeolites were more suitable than other catalysts for selective production of aromatic hydrocarbons and BTX. High acidity and shape selectivity of zeotype surfaces make them attractive frameworks for catalytic pyrolysis processes aiming for light hydrocarbons like BTX. Meanwhile, the ex-situ pyrolysis of LGE and MGE were carried out using HZSM-5 in micro- and lab-scale pyrolyzers to investigate the effect of pyrolysis configuration on the BTX selectivity. Although the ex-situ pyrolysis resulted in higher formation of BTX from LGE, the in-situ configuration was more efficient to produce BTX from MGE.
Patients with cardiovascular disease often need replacement or bypass of a diseased blood vessel. With disadvantages of both autologous blood vessels and synthetic grafts, tissue engineering is emerging as a promising alternative of advanced therapy medicinal products for individualized blood vessels. By reconditioning of a decellularized blood vessel with the recipient’s own peripheral blood, we have been able to prevent rejection without using immunosuppressants and prime grafts for efficient recellularization in vivo. Recently, decellularized veins reconditioned with autologous peripheral blood were shown to be safe and functional in a porcine in vivo study as a potential alternative for vein grafting. In this study, personalized tissue engineered arteries (P-TEA) were developed using the same methodology and evaluated for safety in a sheep in vivo model of carotid artery transplantation. Five personalized arteries were transplanted to carotid arteries and analyzed for safety and patency as well as with histology after four months in vivo. All grafts were fully patent without any occlusion or stenosis. The tissue was well cellularized with a continuous endothelial cell layer covering the luminal surface, revascularized adventitia with capillaries and no sign of rejection or infection. In summary, the results indicate that P-TEA is safe to use and has potential as clinical grafts.
Corrosion of aluminium anode in alkaline solution is a challenging matter for the development of a long-life aluminium anode in Al–air battery. This research focuses on grain size reduction by equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) of Al, Al–Zn, and Al–Zn–In samples. The average grain size of all samples after ECAP is lower than 1μm. Open circuit potential, potentiodynamic polarisation, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and self-corrosion test were carried out to study the effects of alloying elements (Zn, In) and grain size reduction by ECAP on the electrochemical behaviours of aluminium alloy anodes. The results show that alloying element, zinc, can improve the stability of ion dissolution by porous Al2ZnO4 film formation. Indium can activate ion dissolution that causes enhanced electrochemical activities for Al–Zn–In sample. Moreover, increasing grain boundaries through grain size reduction can enhance more negative potential and cause a uniformly corroded surface of Al–Zn–In sample, leading to a longer anode life in alkaline solution.
Overvoltage is becoming increasingly prevalent in distribution networks with high penetration of renewable distributed energy sources (DERs). Local control of converter-based resources is a flexible and scalable method to prevent this growing issue. Reactive power is used for voltage control in many local control schemes. However, the typical range of R/X ratios for distribution power lines indicates that mitigation of overvoltage often requires excessive amounts of reactive power. Complete reliance on reactive power thus limits the effectiveness of local control strategies. In this work we instead propose a method that combines enhanced power factor voltage control with upper voltage limit tracking using PI control. We develop a modelling framework and demonstrate the stability of the proposed method. We then simulate the nonlinear operation of two parallel PI controllers in a medium voltage test system.
The growing prominence of electric vehicle (EV) aggregators in the modern power system is drawing more attention towards modeling their behavior in the short-term electricity markets. The demand-side flexibility offered by the EVs can be leveraged to reduce their charging costs. In this paper, the participation of an EV aggregator in the intraday and balancing market is modeled as a multistage stochastic programming problem. The computational complexity introduced by the peculiarities of the intraday market is solved by a progressive hedging algorithm (PHA), a scenario-based decomposition technique. A randomized scenario sampling approach is implemented to accelerate the PHA which is further improved with a parallel randomized PHA. Finally, an asynchronous version of the parallel randomized PHA is leveraged to speed up the multistage model of EV aggregator trading. We compare the computation time of the modified versions of the PHA algorithm with the conventional PHA for the proposed EV aggregator model. Furthermore, we also show the value of EV aggregator trading in the intraday and balancing markets by comparing its cost to baseline models.
Reliable and comparable quantification methods are needed for assessing the effectiveness of the biogas production and utilisation process in mitigating methane (CH4) emissions as well as improving the database for emission inventories. The objective of this study was to compare and validate CH4 emissions quantified at two agricultural biogas plants, for up to three days, using diverse on-site (two teams) and off-site methods (three teams), including differential absorption lidar (DIAL), tracer gas dispersion (TDM) and inverse dispersion modelling (IDM). For plant 1, with a constant combined heat and power (CHP) load, the average emission factor varied from 0.3% CH4 (on-site approaches) to 1.2% CH4 (off-site approaches). On-site approaches underestimated overall emissions due to many small (unquantified) CH4 leakages. All methods observed comparable average emission factors for plant 2, ranging between 1.9 and 2.2% CH4. In this case, the majority of emissions emanated from just a few sources. However, correcting the significant influence of the varying CHP load during the measurement campaign revealed significant differences between TDM and IDM (DIAL did not participate). It was demonstrated that TDM and IDM could recover the emission rate from a known point source (controlled release of CH4 via a small diffuser) within an accuracy of 93 ± 15% (TDM) and 92 ± 17% (IDM) under favourable and similar conditions.
When it comes to underground structures, water ingress from the surrounding formations leads to several environmental, economic and sustainability issues. To obtain the sealing, the grouting of rock fractures is done. Today, in the grouting operations, which are commonly conducted in almost all the tunnel and subsurface infrastructure projects, the pressure applied is static. This type of applied pressure might be suitable for the large fracture apertures > 100 μm, but it has been acknowledged that it is difficult to obtain sufficient penetration through smaller apertures, where filtration of cement particles starts to occur. Research is already done to overcome this issue by applying dynamic grouting pressure instead of static. It was proved that this approach erodes the formed filter cakes and improves grout penetrability in fractures below 100 μm. This research focuses on low‐frequency rectangular pressure impulse as an alternative to other methods. The goal is to improve grout spread in micro‐fractures (especially in apertures < 70 μm). During the investigation, a prototype dynamic injection equipment was built and tested under laboratory conditions. The 4 m variable aperture long slot (VALS) was used in the experiments to simulate rock fractures. The test showed better grout penetrability using dynamic pressure approach. At the current time of writing this article, preparation works are done for field test of prototype equipment at SKB Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) at Äspö, Sweden. Entwicklung einer dynamischen Mörtelinjektion in Labor‐ und Feldversuchen Wenn es um unterirdische Strukturen geht, führt das Eindringen von Wasser aus den umgebenden Formationen zu mehreren Umwelt‐, Wirtschafts‐ und Nachhaltigkeitsproblemen. Zur Erzielung der Abdichtung erfolgt die Verpressung von Gesteinsbrüchen. Heutzutage ist der ausgeübte Druck bei Injektionsarbeiten, die üblicherweise bei fast allen Tunnel‐ und unterirdischen Infrastrukturprojekten durchgeführt werden, statisch. Diese Art des angelegten Drucks könnte für große Bruchöffnungen > 100 μm geeignet sein, aber es wurde anerkannt, dass es schwierig ist, eine ausreichende Durchdringung durch kleinere Öffnungen zu erreichen, wo eine Filtration von Zementpartikeln beginnt. Es wird bereits geforscht, um dieses Problem zu lösen, indem dynamischer Injektionsdruck anstelle von statischem angewendet wird. Es wurde nachgewiesen, dass dieser Ansatz die gebildeten Filterkuchen erodiert und die Durchdringbarkeit des Mörtels in Rissen unter 100 μm verbessert. Diese Forschung konzentriert sich auf niederfrequente rechteckige Druckimpulse als Alternative zu anderen Methoden. Ziel ist es, die Mörtelausbreitung in Mikrorissen (insbesondere in Öffnungen < 70 μm) zu verbessern. Während der Untersuchung wurde ein Prototyp einer dynamischen Injektionsanlage gebaut und unter Laborbedingungen getestet. Der vier Meter lange Variable Aperture Long Slot (VALS) wurde in den Experimenten verwendet, um Gesteinsbrüche zu simulieren. Der Test zeigte eine bessere Eindringfähigkeit des Mörtels unter Verwendung des dynamischen Druckansatzes. Zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt der Erstellung dieses Dokuments werden Vorbereitungsarbeiten für den Feldtest der Prototypausrüstung im SKB Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) in Äspö, Schweden, durchgeführt.
The next decade will bring several technical and organisational challenges to the electrical distribution grids, which are becoming an important pillar of the energy transition. Distribution system operators will play a crucial role and thus need to find innovative solutions that will prepare them for these changes. Acknowledging large differences between European distribution grids, this paper presents pathways for distribution system operators developed within the scope of the UNITED-GRID project, in close cooperation with distribution grids in the Netherlands, France and Sweden. Investment decision tools based on future scenarios and future-readiness assessment form the first step to steer the distribution system operators towards the necessary technical and digital innovations that increase the observability and controllability of the grid. Secondly, new types of business models are introduced that can be integrated into the operators’ portfolios. Thirdly, a workshop methodology is proposed to define the new internal requirements that make distribution system operators more agile to face the fast impacts of the energy transition. Case studies from the demonstration sites in the three countries are used as examples in the paper.
In the face of green energy initiatives and progressively increasing shares of more energy-efficient buildings, there is a pressing need to transform district heating towards low-temperature district heating. The substantially lowered supply temperature of low-temperature district heating broadens the opportunities and challenges to integrate distributed renewable energy, which requires enhancement on intelligent heating load prediction. Meanwhile, to fulfill the temperature requirements for domestic hot water and space heating, separate energy conversion units on user-side, such as building-sized boosting heat pumps shall be implemented to upgrade the temperature level of the low-temperature district heating network. This study conducted hybrid heating load prediction methods with long-term and short-term prediction, and the main work consisted of four steps: (1) acquisition and processing of district heating data of 20 district heating supplied nursing homes in the Nordic climate (2016–2019); (2) long-term district heating load prediction through linear regression, energy signature curve in hourly resolution, providing an overall view and boundary conditions for the unit sizing; (3) short-term district heating load prediction through two Artificial Neural Network models, f72 and g120, with different prediction input parameters; (4) evaluation of the predicted load profiles based on the measured data. Although the three prediction models met the quality criteria, it was found that including the historical hourly heating loads as the input to the forecasting model enhanced the prediction quality, especially for the peak load and low-mild heating season. Furthermore, a possible application of the heating load profiles was proposed by integrating two building-sized heat pumps in low-temperature district heating, which may be a promising heat supply method in low-temperature district heating.
Although renovation costs can lead to rent increases in energy retrofitting, it is often assumed that reductions in energy costs will counterbalance the rent increase. In Swedish multifamily housing, energy costs for heating are however generally included as a fixed component in the monthly rent, meaning that the rent increase after energy retrofitting corresponds to the net change in rent level as well as energy costs for heating. This makes Sweden a methodologically advantageous setting for studying tenants' cost burden of energy retrofitting. The aim of this study was thus to investigate how energy performance improvement has affected rent increases in Swedish renovation projects between 2013 and 2019. Utilising a national database of multifamily housing, it was found that energy retrofitting entailed a cost relief for tenants in renovation projects with smaller investments. However, in renovation projects with larger investments, energy retrofitting entailed a cost burden for tenants. Moreover, public housing companies had conducted a high share of the extensive energy retrofits, leading to low-income tenant groups being disproportionately subjected to cost burdens of energy retrofitting. On the contrary, light energy retrofits with a cost relief for energy efficiency had been rather evenly distributed across income groups. These results indicate ongoing conflicts with the ability-to-pay principle in the energy transition of Swedish multifamily housing, and suggest that if low-investment energy retrofits are not sufficient for upcoming objectives and requirements, subsidies could be needed to compensate low-income tenants for the cost burden of extensive energy retrofitting.
X‐Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was employed to quantify adsorption of polyelectrolytes from aqueous solutions of low ionic strength onto mica, glass and silica. Silica surfaces were conditioned in base or in acid media as last pre‐treatment step (silica–base last or silica–acid last, respectively). Consistency in the determined adsorbed amount, Γ, was obtained independent of the choice of XPS mode and with the two quantification approaches used in the data evaluation. Under the same adsorption conditions the adsorbed amount, Γ, varied as: Γmica > Γsilica‐base last ≈ Γglass > Γsilica‐acid last. In addition, the adsorbed amount increased with decreasing polyelectrolyte charge density (100% to 1% of segments being charged) for all substrates. Large adsorbed amount was measured for low‐charge density polyelectrolytes, but the number of charged segments per nm2 was low due to steric repulsion between polyelectrolyte chains that limited the adsorption. The adsorbed amount of highly charged polyelectrolytes was controlled by electrostatic interactions, and thus limited to that needed to neutralize the substrate surface charge density. For silica the adsorbed amount depended on the cleaning method, suggesting that this process influenced surface concentration and fraction of different silanol groups. Our results demonstrate that for silica a higher density and/or more acidic silanol groups are formed using base, rather than acid, treatment in the last step.
Percutaneous implants are frequently affected by bacterial growth at the skin-implant interface. Integration between implant and surrounding skin is important to prevent bacteria from spreading to the underlying tissue. The standard method to evaluate skin-implant integration is by histomorphometry on samples which have been placed in tissue grown in vivo or ex vivo. In this study, a biomechanical method was developed and evaluated. The integration of implants into porcine skin was studied in an ex vivo model, where pig skin samples were cultivated in a nutrient solution. Cylindrical shaped implants, consisting of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and titanium (Ti) with different surface treatments, were implanted in the skin tissue and the skin was grown in nutrient solution for 2 weeks. The implants were then extracted from the implantation site and the mechanical force during extraction was measured as a quantitative assessment of skin-implant integration. Implants from each group were also processed for histomorphometry and the degree of epidermal downgrowth (ED) and tissue to implant contact (TIC) was measured. A higher mean pullout force was observed for the PEEK implants compared to the Ti implants. Applying nanosized hydroxyapatite (HA) on Ti and PEEK increased the pullout force compared to uncoated controls, 24% for machined and 70% for blasted Ti, and 51% for machined PEEK. Treatment of Ti and PEEK with nanosized zirconium phosphate (ZrP) did not increase the pullout force. The histomorphometry analysis showed correlation between ED and pullout force, where the pullout force was inversely proportional to ED. For TIC, no significant differences were observed between the groups of same material (i.e. Ti, Ti+HA, Ti+ZrP, and PEEK, PEEK + HA, PEEK + ZrP), but it was significantly higher for PEEK compared to Ti. Scanning electron microscopy analysis was done on samples before and after the pullout tests, showing that the ZrP coating was unaffected by the 2 week ex vivo implantation and pullout procedure, no dissolution or detachment of the coating was observed. For the HA coating, a loss of coating was seen on approximately 5% of the total surface area of the implant. Graphical abstract
During the last decade, uterus transplantation has evolved as the first treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility, caused by absence of a functional uterus. Current challenges in the area of uterus transplantation are organ shortage and side effects of immunosuppression. These hurdles may be solved with novel tissue engineering technologies to produce a uterus from stem cells. For example, the development of patient-specific grafts using a biomaterial together with the patient’s own cells might be utilized for a partial uterus repair therapy or a whole bioengineered uterus might be developed to replace an allogeneic graft in a uterus transplantation setting. During recent years, uterus bioengineering strategies with scaffolds based on decellularized tissue have been particularly assessed. Decellularization protocols were established for both small and large animal models, including the human uterus. Promising in vivo results using such scaffolds to repair a partially injured uterus showed restoration of fertility in rodent models. Scaffold generation protocols and recellularization methodologies including various cell sources are currently being optimized and translated to more clinically relevant injury models in large animals. This review provides a summary of the progress made to date, based on use of decellularized uterine tissue for uterus repair.
High alkali impregnation (HAI) increases the total yield of softwood pulps following kraft cooking. This yield improvement is also maintained after oxygen delignification. This study evaluates how bleaching with either chlorine dioxide or hydrogen peroxide affects the final yield of samples obtained with standard and HAI. The chemical composition, viscosity, brightness, mechanical and morphological properties were studied. Compared to cooking after standard impregnation the yield improvement achieved by HAI was preserved in both types of bleaching sequences (2 % units for chlorine dioxide and 4 % units for hydrogen peroxide). The introduction of charged groups into the cellulose fibers was higher with hydrogen peroxide bleaching than with chlorine dioxide however, no significant impact was seen on the swelling or mechanical properties. The brightness was higher for the pulps bleached with chlorine dioxide compared with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide bleaching resulted in similar brightness development for both standard and HAI. Fibers bleached with chlorine dioxide had the highest curl index (16–17 %) compared to the fibers bleached with hydrogen peroxide (15 %).
Non-fossil hydrocarbons are desirable for transport fuels and lubricant oils to reach a fossil carbon neutral economy. Herein, we show the production of such end-products from crude raw materials via the photosensitized dimerization of terpenes. Terpenes are hydrocarbons originating from renewable sources, such as forestry, industrial bio-waste and photosynthetically active microorganisms. Under irradiation at 365 nm, we observed high conversions of terpenes into dimers (e.g. 96.1 wt.%, 12 h for α-phellandrene), and remarkable results were obtained using simulated and natural sunlight (90.8 wt.% and 46.6 wt.%, respectively, for α-phellandrene). We show that the lower reactivities of some isomeric monoterpenes could be overcome by a cross-photodimerization with α-phellandrene. We also utilized the cross-photodimerization approach to obtain C15 and C30 products, combining mixtures of isoprene, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Hydrogenation of the terpene dimers gave materials with physical properties suitable as high energy density fuels and lubricant oils. Finally, our preliminary analysis based on recent literature points to the commercial viability of this route to produce fuels and lubricant oils, as well as to a potential for reduction of the environmental impact compared to fossil-based routes.
Mucus is a self‐healing gel that lubricates the moist epithelium and provides protection against viruses by binding to viruses smaller than the gel's mesh size and removing them from the mucosal surface by active mucus turnover. As the primary nonaqueous components of mucus (≈0.2%–5%, wt/v), mucins are critical to this function because the dense arrangement of mucin glycans allows multivalence of binding. Following nature's example, bovine submaxillary mucins (BSMs) are assembled into “mucus‐like” gels (5%, wt/v) by dynamic covalent crosslinking reactions. The gels exhibit transient liquefaction under high shear strain and immediate self‐healing behavior. This study shows that these material properties are essential to provide lubricity. The gels efficiently reduce human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV‐1) and genital herpes virus type 2 (HSV‐2) infectivity for various types of cells. In contrast, simple mucin solutions, which lack the structural makeup, inhibit HIV‐1 significantly less and do not inhibit HSV‐2. Mechanistically, the prophylaxis of HIV‐1 infection by BSM gels is found to be that the gels trap HIV‐1 by binding to the envelope glycoprotein gp120 and suppress cytokine production during viral exposure. Therefore, the authors believe the gels are promising for further development as personal lubricants that can limit viral transmission.
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