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- ItemOpen AccessThermal plasma-driven looping for metal scrap processing with hydrogen(2023-01-01) Sarafraz, M.M.; Christo, F.C.; Rolfe, B.; Shabani, B.; Tran, Nam Nghiep; Fulcheri, L.; Escribà i Gelonch, Marc; Hessel , VolkerIn the present research, a novel process was proposed and assessed using an equilibrium thermochemical modelling study to evaluate the performance of a combined disruptive technology of thermal plasma and thermochemical looping to utilise hydrogen for iron reduction processing. The study was aimed at conducting a high-level power performance assessment of the process by integrating a built-in power block with a focus on a novel equilibrium thermal plasma technology for reducing iron scrap particles. The effect of thermal plasma operating parameters such as temperature (1000 °C < T < 1800 °C) and hydrogen-to-iron ratio in the feed stream to the thermal plasma reactor (0 < H2/metal < 20) on the performance of the system was numerically investigated using Aspen coupled with Matlab. Also, the self-sustaining factor was evaluated coupled with a quantitative analysis of the sustainability and lifecycle of the process aiming at better understanding the impact of the proposed system on the environment. Results showed that the system is crucially sensitive to the ratio of H2/metal such that the overall power demand of the reactor can change in a way that the dominant regime of the plasma can change from endothermic (partial reduction of iron) to exothermic (complete reduction, combustion of iron) once the hydrogen to metal ratio exceeds ∼ 2.5. It was also identified that an increase in the temperature of the combustor decreased the power demand for the thermal plasma reactor. Similarly, with increasing the temperature, a ramp-up in the self-sustaining factor was observed reaching 0.8 showing that 80 % of the energy of the auxiliaries can be maintained using the built-in heat recovery and power block. The thermal efficiency of the system was also a strong function of the H2/metal ratio reaching ∼ 0.4 at the H2/metal ratio of ∼ 2.5 reflecting the fact that the proposed process efficiency is within the state-of-the-art power production systems. The sustainability assessments showed that the process offers a high circular economy capability of the process with above-the-average lifetime and Material Circularity Indicator values.
- ItemOpen AccessImpact of an Intervention to Promote the Vaccination of Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease(MDPI, 2023) García-Serrano, Cristina; Artigues i Barberà, Eva María; Mirada Masip, Glòria; Estany, Pepi; Sol, Joaquim; Ortega Bravo, MartaPatients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a dysregulated immune system, being at high risk of opportunistic infections. Low vaccination rates hinder the prevention of such diseases. Therefore, we implemented an intervention to increase vaccination rates, and we aimed to evaluate the effect. We determined the change in professionals and the change in the vaccination rates after the intervention. A quasi-experimental study was carried out using data from 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2021. First, healthcare professionals specializing in IBD agreed on a vaccination protocol; then, this protocol was passed on to the professionals involved in vaccination. We evaluated the perception of knowledge, capacity, and intention to vaccinate patients with IBD among the professionals before and after the intervention with a survey. We also described the effectiveness of the intervention for already diagnosed patients and compared the vaccination rates between patients diagnosed prior to the intervention and newly diagnosed patients. The intervention resulted in an improved perception of knowledge, capacity, and intention to vaccinate patients with IBD among the professionals (p < 0.05). Moreover, during the post-intervention period, in the 315 patients, the vaccination rate increased for all immune-preventable diseases (p < 0.05). The professionals positively valued the intervention, and compliance with the recommended vaccination protocol in patients with IBD improved significantly.
- ItemOpen AccessOlder people’s use of Social Network Sites while participating in local online communities from an ethnographical perspective(Monash University, 2015-11) Righi, Valeria; Sayago Barrantes, Sergio; Blat, JosepSocial Networks Sites (SNS) are attracting a lot of public and academic interest. However, despite an increasing uptake of Information and Communication Technologies amongst the older population, very little is known about how older people use popular SNS, such as Facebook. We focus on older people’s use of SNS with the aim to gain an understanding on how they can be used to foster involvement of older people in online and offline local communities. We have conducted a 17-months ethnographical study with c.55 older people in a local physical community in Barcelona, Spain. We address the evolution of their interests in SNS and concerns over time, the type of their participation in online communities, and the importance of trust, together with the strategies they adopt to build trust online.
- ItemOpen AccessAre voice assistants suitable learning companions for generation-Z students of computer science in the classroom? A Pilot Study(CIDUI, 2021) Sayago Barrantes, SergioHow do voice assistants such as Apple Siri play the role of learning companions of Generation-Z students of Computer Science (CS) in the classroom? This paper is an exploratory pilot study, based on participant observation, of (N=18) students’ experiences of using Apple Siri and Google Assistant in two mandatory CS courses over a semester. This paper shows that neither Siri nor Assistant were good enough learning companions for the students, who expected Siri and Assistant to behave like competent, human tutors. Yet, neither tool met their expectations.
- ItemOpen AccessIntroducing Teacher of the Day in the Databases Course of the New Degree on Digital and Computing Interaction Techniques at Universitat de Lleida(CIDUI, 2021) Sayago Barrantes, SergioThis paper discusses the lessons learned from introducing teacher of the day, a variant of peer tutoring, in an undergraduate course of the new Degree of Digital and Computing Interaction Techniques at Universitat de Lleida. Teacher of the day fostered a learning environment wherein students engaged in active learning over a semester, playing new roles for them (peer teaching and assessment). Students rated the activity as excellent and reported learning about academic and non-academic aspects.
- ItemOpen AccessLessons Learned From Developing an Integrated and Entrepreneur Project For Enhancing Software Engineering Skills: A Case Study(CIDUI, 2023) Sayago Barrantes, Sergio; Mateo Fornés, JordiThis paper presents a case study that brings together entrepreneurship and project based learning in Software Engineering education. Over 3 academic years, we conducted an integrated, project-based software development assignment in the Digital Interaction and Computing Techniques Degree at the University of Lleida. The results show that the project helped the students to enhance their organization, communication and coding skills. The task also encouraged the lecturers to reflect on, and improve, their coordination and motivational skills.
- ItemOpen AccessValidation of Modaplex POLE mutation assay in endometrial carcinoma(Springer, 2023) Dorca, Eduard; Velasco, Ana; Varela, Mar; Gatius Calderó, Sònia; Villatoro, Sergio; Fullana, Neus; Cuevas Sánchez, Dolors; Vaquero Susagna, Marta; Birnbaum, Astrid; Neumann, Karsten; Matias-Guiu, XavierThe TCGA-based molecular classification of endometrial cancer has emerged as an important tool to stratify patients according to prognosis. A simplified scheme has been proposed, by using immunohistochemistry for p53, MSH6, and PMS2 and a molecular test for POLE mutations (NGS or Sanger sequencing, techniques that are not available in many centers worldwide). In this study, we validate a novel method that allows simultaneous analysis of multiple pathogenic POLE mutations. The Modaplex technology integrates polymerase chain reaction and capillary electrophoresis. The design of this study encompassed 4 different steps: (1) a retrospective-pilot phase, with 80 tumors, balancing the four molecular subgroups. (2) A retrospective phase of 25 tumors obtained between 2016 and 2020, and 30 tumors obtained between 2000 and 2015. (3) An inter-laboratory corssavalidation step with 19 cases (belonging to phases 1 and 2). (4) A prospective cohort of 123 tumors, of unknown POLE status, with simultaneous validation by Sanger sequencing. A total of 258 samples were analyzed. In the first and second phases, the test showed positive/negative predictive values of 100%, by correctly identifying POLE mutation status in 79/79 and 55/55 cases. Phase 3 showed 100% of inter-laboratory consistency. Phase 4 showed 16 positive samples out of the 123 prospective cases. Overall, the test has revealed sensitivity and specificity of 100%, identifying a total of 47 POLE-mutated tumors. We have shown that this technique allows faster and easier identification of multiple pathogenic POLE mutations with high robustness and confidence when comparing to other tests such as Sanger sequencing.