Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 10

10
10010889
Separation of Water/Organic Mixtures Using Micro- and Nanostructured Membranes of Special Type of Wettability
Abstract:

Both hydrophilic-oleophobic and hydrophobic-oleophilic membranes were obtained by coating of the substrate of membranes, presented by stainless steel meshes with various dimensions of their openings, with a composition that forms the special type of their surface wettability via spray-coating method. The surface morphology of resulting membranes was studied using SEM, the type of their wettability was identified by measuring the contact angle between the surface of membrane and a drop of studied liquid (water or organic liquid) and efficiency of continuous separation of water and organic liquid was studied on self-assembled setup.

9
10000241
A Novel Method to Manufacture Superhydrophobic and Insulating Polyester Nanofibers via a Meso-Porous Aerogel Powder
Abstract:

In this research, waterglass based aerogel powder was prepared by sol–gel process and ambient pressure drying. Inspired by limited dust releasing, aerogel powder was introduced to the PET electrospinning solution in an attempt to create required bulk and surface structure for the nanofibers to improve their hydrophobic and insulation properties. The samples evaluation was carried out by measuring density, porosity, contact angle, heat transfer, FTIR, BET, and SEM. According to the results, porous silica aerogel powder was fabricated with mean pore diameter of 24 nm and contact angle of 145.9º. The results indicated the usefulness of the aerogel powder confined into nanofibers to control surface roughness for manipulating superhydrophobic nanowebs with water contact angle of 147º. It can be due to a multi-scale surface roughness which was created by nanowebs structure itself and nanofibers surface irregularity in presence of the aerogels while a layer of fluorocarbon created low surface energy. The wettability of a solid substrate is an important property that is controlled by both the chemical composition and geometry of the surface. Also, a decreasing trend in the heat transfer was observed from 22% for the nanofibers without any aerogel powder to 8% for the nanofibers with 4% aerogel powder. The development of thermal insulating materials has become increasingly more important than ever in view of the fossil energy depletion and global warming that call for more demanding energysaving practices.

8
9999065
Effects of Drought on Microbial Activity in Rhizosphere, Soil Hydrophobicity and Leaching of Mineral Nitrogen from Arable Soil Depending on Method of Fertilization
Abstract:

This work presents the first results from the long-term laboratory experiment dealing with impact of drought on soil properties. Three groups of the treatment (A, B and C) with different regime of irrigation were prepared. The soil water content was maintained at 70 % of soil water holding capacity in group A, at 40 % in group B. In group C, soil water regime was maintained in the range of wilting point. Each group of the experiment was divided into three variants (A1 = B1, C1; A2 = B2, C2 etc.) with three repetitions: Variants A1 (B1, C1) were a controls without addition of another fertilizer. Variants A2 (B2, C2) were fertilized with mineral nitrogen fertilizer DAM 390 (0.140 Mg of N per ha) and variants A3 (B3, C3) contained 45 g of Cp per a pot.

The significant differences (ANOVA, P<0.05) in the leaching of mineral nitrogen and values of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) were found. The highest values of Ksat were found in variants (within each group) with addition of compost (A3, B3, C3). Conversely, the lowest values of Ksat were found in variants with addition of mineral nitrogen. Low values of Ksat indicate an increased level of hydrophobicity in individual groups of the experiment. Moreover, all variants with compost addition showed lower amount of mineral nitrogen leaching and high level of microbial activity than variants without. This decrease of mineral nitrogen leaching was about 200 % in comparison with the control variant and about 300 % with variant, where mineral nitrogen was added. Based on these results, we can conclude that changes of soil water content directly have impact on microbial activity, soil hydrophobicity and loss of mineral nitrogen from soil. 

7
7606
Multi-Functional Insect Cuticles: Informative Designs for Man-Made Surfaces
Abstract:
Biomimicry has many potential benefits as many technologies found in nature are superior to their man-made counterparts. As technological device components approach the micro and nanoscale, surface properties such as surface adhesion and friction may need to be taken into account. Lowering surface adhesion by manipulating chemistry alone might no longer be sufficient for such components and thus physical manipulation may be required. Adhesion reduction is only one of the many surface functions displayed by micro/nano-structured cuticles of insects. Here, we present a mini review of our understanding of insect cuticle structures and the relationship between the structure dimensions and the corresponding functional mechanisms. It may be possible to introduce additional properties to material surfaces (indeed multi-functional properties) based on the design of natural surfaces.
6
12464
On the Prediction of Transmembrane Helical Segments in Membrane Proteins
Abstract:
The prediction of transmembrane helical segments (TMHs) in membrane proteins is an important field in the bioinformatics research. In this paper, a method based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT) has been developed to predict the number and location of TMHs in membrane proteins. PDB coded as 1F88 was chosen as an example to describe the prediction of the number and location of TMHs in membrane proteins by using this method. One group of test data sets that contain total 19 protein sequences was utilized to access the effect of this method. Compared with the prediction results of DAS, PRED-TMR2, SOSUI, HMMTOP2.0 and TMHMM2.0, the obtained results indicate that the presented method has higher prediction accuracy.
5
11891
On the Prediction of Transmembrane Helical Segments in Membrane Proteins Based on Wavelet Transform
Abstract:
The prediction of transmembrane helical segments (TMHs) in membrane proteins is an important field in the bioinformatics research. In this paper, a new method based on discrete wavelet transform (DWT) has been developed to predict the number and location of TMHs in membrane proteins. PDB coded as 1KQG was chosen as an example to describe the prediction of the number and location of TMHs in membrane proteins by using this method. To access the effect of the method, 80 proteins with known 3D-structure from Mptopo database are chosen at random as the test objects (including 325 TMHs), 308 of which can be predicted accurately, the average predicted accuracy is 96.3%. In addition, the above 80 membrane proteins are divided into 13 groups according to their function and type. In particular, the results of the prediction of TMHs of the 13 groups are satisfying.
4
5196
Identification and Analysis of Binding Site Residues in Protein-Protein Complexes
Abstract:

We have developed an energy based approach for identifying the binding sites and important residues for binding in protein-protein complexes. We found that the residues and residuepairs with charged and aromatic side chains are important for binding. These residues influence to form cation-¤Ç, electrostatic and aromatic interactions. Our observation has been verified with the experimental binding specificity of protein-protein complexes and found good agreement with experiments. The analysis on surrounding hydrophobicity reveals that the binding residues are less hydrophobic than non-binding sites, which suggests that the hydrophobic core are important for folding and stability whereas the surface seeking residues play a critical role in binding. Further, the propensity of residues in the binding sites of receptors and ligands, number of medium and long-range contacts, and influence of neighboring residues will be discussed.

3
15845
Hydrophobic Characteristics of EPDM Composite Insulators in Simulated Arid Desert Environment
Authors:
Abstract:
Overhead electrical insulators form an important link in an electric power system. Along with the traditional insulators (i.e. glass and porcelain, etc) presently the polymeric insulators are also used world widely. These polymeric insulators are very sensitive to various environmental parameters such temperature, environmental pollution, UV-radiations, etc. which seriously effect their electrical, chemical and hydrophobic properties. The UV radiation level in the central region of Saudi Arabia is high as compared to the IEC standard for the accelerated aging of the composite insulators. Commonly used suspension type of composite EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) insulator was subjected to accelerated stress aging as per modified IEC standard simulating the inland arid deserts atmospheric condition and also as per IEC-61109 standard. The hydrophobic characteristics were studied by measuring the contact angle along the insulator surface before and after the accelerated aging of the samples. It was found that EPDM insulator loses it hydrophobic properties proportional to the intensity of UV irradiations and its rate of recovery is also very low as compared to Silicone Rubber insulator.KeywordsEPDM, composite insulators, accelerated aging, hydrophobicity, contact angle.
2
72
Effect of Calcium Chloride on Rheological Properties and Structure of Inulin - Whey Protein Gels
Abstract:

The rheological properties, structure and potential synergistic interactions of whey proteins (1-6%) and inulin (20%) in mixed gels in the presence of CaCl2 was the aim of this study. Whey proteins have a strong influence on inulin gel formation. At low concentrations (2%) whey proteins did not impair in inulin gel formation. At higher concentration (4%) whey proteins impaired inulin gelation and inulin impaired the formation of a Ca2+-induced whey protein network. The presence of whey proteins at a level allowing for protein gel network formation (6%) significantly increased the rheological parameters values of the gels. SEM micrographs showed that whey protein structure was coated by inulin moieties which could make the mixed gels firmer. The protein surface hydrophobicity measurements did not exclude synergistic interactions between inulin and whey proteins, however. The use of an electrophoretic technique did not show any stable inulin-whey protein complexes.

1
10710
Analysis of Polymer Surface Modifications due to Discharges Initiated by Water Droplets under High Electric Fields
Abstract:
This paper investigates the influence of various parameters on the behaviour of water droplets on polymeric surfaces under high electric fields. An inclined plane test was carried out to understand the droplet behaviour in strong electric field. Parameters such as water droplet conductivity, droplet volume, polymeric surface roughness and droplet positioning with respect to the electrodes were studied. The flashover voltage is affected by all aforementioned parameters. The droplet positioning is in some cases more vital than the droplet volume. Surface damages were analysed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) studies and by Energy dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDAX). It is observes that magnitude of discharge have direct influence on amount of surface da
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