Topic Review
CCR Model (DEA)
The first Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model developed by Charnes, Cooper and Rhodes (1978) under the assumption of a Constant Returns to Scale production technology, i.e.,  when an increase in the production resources results in a proportional increase in the output.
  • 3463
  • 30 May 2021
Topic Review
Power Electronic Switches
As the need for green and effective utilization of energy continues to grow, the advancements in the energy and power electronics industry are constantly driven by this need, as both industries are intertwined for obvious reasons. The developments in the power electronics industry has over the years hinged on the progress of the semiconductor device industry. The semiconductor device industry could be said to be on the edge of a turn into a new era, a paradigm shift from the conventional silicon devices to the wide band gap semiconductor technologies. While a lot of work is being done in research and manufacturing sectors, it is important to look back at the past, evaluate the current progress and look at the prospects of the future of this industry. This paper is unique at this time because it seeks to give a good summary of the past, the state-of-the-art, and highlight the opportunities for future improvements. A more or less ‘forgotten’ power electronic switch, the four-quadrant switch, is highlighted as an opportunity waiting to be exploited as this switch presents a potential for achieving an ideal switch.
  • 2254
  • 29 Dec 2020
Topic Review
Sexual Robots
The area of human-robot interaction (HRI), particularly concerning sexual robots, has begun to attract interest in various social issues, such as emotions, ethics, philosophy, and psychology. These new relationships between sexual robots and humans have also awakened the interest of the media, the industry, and the maker world since with a 3D printer, it is already possible to create a sexual robot. Society has begun to consider the idea of having sex with robots, and there is the belief that this will be normal in the future. Although there is still no scientific evidence of its therapeutic benefits, many think it can help treat sexual dysfunctions or even help decrease women’s sexual exploitation. Like sex toys, some experts consider sexual robots (or sexbots) to be the future of sex relationships potentially. 
  • 2141
  • 11 Jan 2021
Topic Review
Hydrogen Storage and Transportation
In the current hydrocarbon economy, transportation is fueled primarily by petroleum. Burning of hydrocarbon fuels emits carbon dioxide and other pollutants. The supply of economically usable hydrocarbon resources in the world is limited, and the demand of hydrocarbon fuels is increasing, particularly in China, India and other countries. Proponents of a world-scale hydrogen economy argue that hydrogen can be environmentally cleaner source of energy to end-users, particularly in transportation applications, without release of pollutants (such as particulate matter) or carbon dioxide at the point of end use. A recent analysis asserted that “most of the hydrogen supply chain pathways would release significantly less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than would gasoline used in hybrid electric vehicles” and that significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions would be possible if carbon capture or carbon sequestration methods were utilized at the site od energy or hydrogen production. Hydrogen storage can be distributed continuously in pipelines or batch wise by ships, trucks, railway or airplanes. All batch transportation requires a storage system also pipelines can be used as pressure storage system. Hydrogen exhibits the highest heating value per weight of all chemical fuels. Furthermore, hydrogen is regenerative and environment friendly. But two difficulties with hydrogen are that hydrogen is just an energy carrier and has a low critical temperature of 35 K, i.e., hydrogen is a gas at room temperature. For mobile and in many cases also for stationary applications the volumetric and gravimetric density of hydrogen in a storage system is crucial. Hydrogen can be stored by six different methods and phenomena: high pressure gas cylinders (up to 800 bar), liquid hydrogen in cryogenic tanks (at 21 K), adsorbed hydrogen on materials with a large specific surface area (at T< 100K), absorbed on interstitial sites in a host metal (at ambient pressure and temperature), chemically bond in covalent and ionic compounds (at ambient pressure), oxidation of reactive metals e.g., Li, Na, Mg, Al, Zn with water. These metals easily react with water to the corresponding hydroxide and liberate the hydrogen from the water. Finally, the metal hydroxides can be thermally reduced to the metals in a solar furnace. In conclusion, routes for the transmission and storage of hydrogen for chemical processes, and hydrogen-based energy systems are increasing their establishment. Here, these routes are described, considering their attractions and difficulties.
  • 1908
  • 18 Jun 2021
Topic Review
Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA)
Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is a non-parametric methodology for measuring the efficiency of Decision Making Units (DMUs) using multiple inputs to outputs configurations. This is the most commonly used tool for frontier estimations in assessments of productivity and efficiency applied to all fields of economic activities.
  • 1851
  • 28 Jan 2022
Topic Review
Drainpipe Materials through the Centuries
Agricultural drainage plays an important role worldwide in food production and conservation of soil resources, while safeguarding investments in agricultural production and irrigation projects. It can improve crop yields and land productivity, especially on poorly drained soils and in cases of prolonged waterlogging. Both the subsurface drainage materials and the installation techniques used have a long history dating to prehistoric times. Over time, new subsurface drainage materials, installation techniques and modernized equipment developed continuously to take advantage of technological advances provided through research and development, while the planning and organization of the implementation process improved.
  • 1516
  • 27 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Supercritical Water Gasification (SCWG)
Gasification with supercritical water (SCWG) is a thermochemical process which, exploiting the properties of supercritical water (374.1 °C and 22.1 MPa ), allows to obtain a syngas rich in hydrogen. Both biomass and waste plastic can be used as feedstock.
  • 1270
  • 18 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Multivariable Formulation of Surfactant-Oil-Water Systems
Surfactant-Oil-Water (SOW) systems are found in nature and synthetic products. They usually result in two immiscible phases, e.g., for two liquids, a water phase (often a brine), and an oily phase (which could be extremely complex as petroleum). Surfactant partitions between the two phases according to some physicochemical rules due to molecular interactions. There is a very particular formulation case in which SOW systems can form three immiscible phases, that is, two excess phases (water and oil) in equilibrium with a  so-called middle phase (because of an intermediate density that places it in the middle of a test tube). This middle phase is a so-called bicontinuous microemulsion which has no droplets dispersed in an external phase as a typical emulsion, but a complex single-phase structure similar to a disordered liquid crystal. When stirred, SOW systems can form multiple dispersed systems that can be described as macroemulsions or nanoemulsions depending on the drop size (O/W or W/O) or multiple emulsions (w/O/W or o/W/O) with droplets inside larger drops. Since the beginnings of the 20th century with Bancroft’s rule, the properties of these systems have been related to many thermodynamic variables, generally with one effect at a time. Nowadays, the generalized physicochemical concept of SOW systems with many formulation variables involved allows to make predictions in various application cases, even for very complex systems, as in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), crude oil dehydration, paints, foods, cosmetics and pharmaceutical formulations, that requires the control on 6-8 variables or even more. This is mainly because of the presence of mixtures of oils from linear alkanes to triglycerides or complex molecules perfumes, or a mixture of salts with cations from sodium to calcium or aluminum, and anions like chloride to phosphate. The complexity is even worse with mixtures of very different surface-active species, resulting in non-linear interactions.
  • 1002
  • 17 Aug 2021
Topic Review
Carbon-Based Quantum Dots for Supercapacitors
Carbon-based Quantum dots (C-QDs) are carbon-based materials that experience the quantum confinement effect, which results in superior optoelectronic properties. In recent years, C-QDs have attracted attention significantly and have shown great application potential as a high-performance supercapacitor device. C-QDs (either as a bare electrode or composite) give a new way to boost supercapacitor performances in higher specific capacitance, high energy density, and good durability. This review comprehensively summarizes the up-to-date progress in C-QD applications either in a bare condition or as a composite with other materials for supercapacitors. The current state of the three distinct C-QD families used for supercapacitors including carbon quantum dots, carbon dots, and graphene quantum dots is highlighted. 
  • 965
  • 28 Sep 2021
Topic Review
Passive Films
The outstanding corrosion resistance of many metals and alloys results from the presence of a thin oxide-“passive”-film on the bare metal surface formed during its exposure to an oxidising environment. Once a film is formed, typically 1-3 nm thick, the reaction rate between the metallic material and the environment will be several orders of magnitude lower. The original theory of film formation goes back to Michael  Faraday, who in the 19th century studied iron surfaces and found them “altered”. A review of the early days of passive film research has been written by Uhlig (1979). A general introduction to the theory of passivity has been published by Sato (1990), whereas the electronic properties of passive films on different materials have been  reviewed by Schultze and Lohrengel (2000). The characterisation of the composition and structure of such thin films and the study of their interaction with corrosive environments requires a combination of sophisticated experimental techniques, namely electrochemical methods, XPS, ESCA, AES, SIMS, ISS, ARXPS, XANES, ICP-AES/MS, and others, which are leading to advanced progress over the past two decades.
  • 884
  • 21 Dec 2020
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