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SOCIAL SCIENCES (654 journals)                  1 2 3 4     

Showing 1 - 136 of 136 Journals sorted alphabetically
3C Empresa     Open Access  
A contrario     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi     Open Access  
Abordajes : Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas     Open Access  
Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
About Performance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Academicus International Scientific Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Access     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
ACCESS: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural & Policy Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
ACCORD Occasional Paper     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Accountability in Research: Policies and Quality Assurance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Acta Academica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Acta Scientiarum. Human and Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Adıyaman Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi     Open Access  
Administrative Science Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 135)
Administrative Theory & Praxis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Adultspan Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Appreciative Inquiry     Hybrid Journal  
Advocate: Newsletter of the National Tertiary Education Union     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
África     Open Access  
Africa Spectrum     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
African Affairs     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57)
African Renaissance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
African Research Review     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
African Social Science Review     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Afyon Kocatepe Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi     Open Access  
Ágora : revista de divulgação científica     Open Access  
Akademik İncelemeler Dergisi     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Akademika : Journal of Southeast Asia Social Sciences and Humanities     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Al-Mabsut : Jurnal Studi Islam dan Sosial     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Alliage     Free  
Alteridade     Open Access  
American Communist History     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
ANALES de la Universidad Central del Ecuador     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anales de la Universidad de Chile     Open Access  
Analysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Andamios. Revista de Investigacion Social     Open Access  
Anemon Muş Alparslan Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi     Open Access  
Annals of Humanities and Development Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Annuaire de l’EHESS     Open Access  
Anthropocene Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Anthurium : A Caribbean Studies Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Approches inductives : Travail intellectuel et construction des connaissances     Full-text available via subscription  
Apuntes : Revista de Ciencias Sociales     Open Access  
Apuntes de Investigación del CECYP     Open Access  
Arbor     Open Access  
Argomenti. Rivista di economia, cultura e ricerca sociale     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Argumentos. Revista de crítica social     Open Access  
Around the Globe     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Articulo - Journal of Urban Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Asian Journal of Social Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Management Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Asian Social Science     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Astrolabio     Open Access  
Atatürk Dergisi     Open Access  
Australasian Review of African Studies, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Aboriginal Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Journal of Emergency Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Journal on Volunteering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
BARATARIA. Revista Castellano-Manchega de Ciencias sociales     Open Access  
Basic and Applied Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Basic Income Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences     Open Access  
Berkeley Undergraduate Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Big Data & Society     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
Bildhaan : An International Journal of Somali Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
BMC Medical Ethics     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Bodhi : An Interdisciplinary Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Body Image     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
BOGA : Basque Studies Consortium Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Boletín Cultural y Bibliográfico     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Border Crossing : Transnational Working Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Brain and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
British Review of New Zealand Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Études Andines     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Caderno CRH     Open Access  
California Italian Studies Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
California Journal of Politics and Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Caminho Aberto : Revista de Extensão do IFSC     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Caribbean Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Catalan Social Sciences Review     Open Access  
Catalyst : A Social Justice Forum     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Catholic Social Science Review     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
CBU International Conference Proceedings     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cemoti, Cahiers d'études sur la méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Challenges     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
China Journal of Social Work     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Chinese Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Ciencia e Interculturalidad     Open Access  
Ciencia y Sociedad     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciencia, Cultura y Sociedad     Open Access  
Ciencias Holguin     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ciências Sociais Unisinos     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Ciencias Sociales y Educación     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
CienciaUAT     Open Access  
Citizen Science : Theory and Practice     Open Access  
Citizenship Teaching & Learning     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Ciudad Paz-ando     Open Access  
Civilizar Ciencias Sociales y Humanas     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Civitas - Revista de Ciências Sociais     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Claroscuro     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
CLIO América     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cogent Social Sciences     Open Access  
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Communication, Politics & Culture     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Communities, Children and Families Australia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Compendium     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Comprehensive Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Comuni@cción     Open Access  
Comunitania : Revista Internacional de Trabajo Social y Ciencias Sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Confluenze Rivista di Studi Iberoamericani     Open Access  
Contemporary Journal of African Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Contemporary Social Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Contribuciones desde Coatepec     Open Access  
Convergencia     Open Access  
Corporate Reputation Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
CRDCN Research Highlight / RCCDR en évidence     Open Access  
Creative and Knowledge Society     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Creative Approaches to Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Critical Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Critical Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Critical Studies on Terrorism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Crossing the Border : International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
CTheory     Open Access  
Cuadernos de la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales - Universidad Nacional de Jujuy     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cuadernos Interculturales     Open Access  
Cultural Studies Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Cultural Trends     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Culturales     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Culturas. Revista de Gestión Cultural     Open Access  
Culture Mandala : The Bulletin of the Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies     Open Access  
Culture Scope     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
De Prácticas y Discursos. Cuadernos de Ciencias Sociales     Open Access  
Demographic Research     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Derecho y Ciencias Sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Desacatos     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Desafios     Open Access  
Desenvolvimento em Questão     Open Access  
Developing Practice : The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Diálogo     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
DIFI Family Research and Proceedings     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Discourse & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 63)
Distinktion : Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Doct-Us Journal     Open Access  
Drustvena istrazivanja     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward terrorism and genocide     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
e-Gnosis     Open Access  
e-Hum : Revista das Áreas de Humanidade do Centro Universitário de Belo Horizonte     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Économie et Solidarités     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Education, Business and Society : Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues     Hybrid Journal  
Égypte - Monde arabe     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Éire-Ireland     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Electoral Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Electronic Journal of Radical Organisation Theory     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Empiria. Revista de metodología de ciencias sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Encuentros Multidisciplinares     Open Access  
Enseñanza de las Ciencias Sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Entramado     Open Access  
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion : An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Equidad y Desarrollo     Open Access  
Espace populations sociétés     Open Access   (Followers: 1)     Open Access  
Estudios Avanzados     Open Access  
Estudios Fronterizos     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Estudios Sociales     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Estudios Sociales     Open Access  
Ethics and Social Welfare     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Ethnic and Racial Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37)
Ethnobotany Research & Applications : a journal of plants, people and applied research     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Études canadiennes / Canadian Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Études rurales     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Eureka Street     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
European Journal of Futures Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
European Journal of Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies - Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
European Review of Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
European View     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Exchanges : the Warwick Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ExT : Revista de Extensión de la UNC     Open Access  
Families, Relationships and Societies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Family Matters     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Family Process     Partially Free   (Followers: 8)
Family Relations     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Family Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Fijian Studies: A Journal of Contemporary Fiji     Full-text available via subscription  
FIVE : The Claremont Colleges Journal of Undergraduate Academic Writing     Open Access   (Followers: 1)

        1 2 3 4     

Journal Cover Challenges
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 2078-1547
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [148 journals]
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 1: Expert System for Bomb Factory Detection by
           Networks of Advance Sensors

    • Authors: Carlotta Ferrari, Alessandro Ulrici, Francesco Romolo
      First page: 1
      Abstract: (1) Background: Police forces and security administrations are nowadays considering Improvised explosives (IEs) as a major threat. The chemical substances used to prepare IEs are called precursors, and their presence could allow police forces to locate a bomb factory where the on-going manufacturing of IEs is carried out. (2) Methods: An expert system was developed and tested in handling signals from a network of sensors, allowing an early warning. The expert system allows the detection of one precursor based on the signal provided by a single sensor, the detection of one precursor based on the signal provided by more than one sensor, and the production of a global alarm level based on data fusion from all the sensors of the network. (3) Results: The expert system was tested in the Italian Air Force base of Pratica di Mare (Italy) and in the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in Grindsjön (Sweden). (4) Conclusion: The performance of the expert system was successfully evaluated under relevant environmental conditions. The approach used in the development of the expert system allows maximum flexibility in terms of integration of the response provided by any sensor, allowing to easily include in the network all possible new sensors.
      PubDate: 2017-01-03
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010001
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 2: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Challenges in

    • Authors: Editorial Office
      First page: 2
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-01-11
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010002
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 3: Ice XVII as a Novel Material for Hydrogen

    • Authors: Leonardo del Rosso, Milva Celli, Lorenzo Ulivi
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Hydrogen storage is one of the most addressed issues in the green-economy field. The latest-discovered form of ice (XVII), obtained by application of an annealing treatment to a H 2 -filled ice sample in the C 0 -phase, could be inserted in the energy-storage context due to its surprising capacity of hydrogen physisorption, when exposed to even modest pressure (few mbars at temperature below 40 K), and desorption, when a thermal treatment is applied. In this work, we investigate quantitatively the adsorption properties of this simple material by means of spectroscopic and volumetric data, deriving its gravimetric and volumetric capacities as a function of the thermodynamic parameters, and calculating the usable capacity in isothermal conditions. The comparison of ice XVII with materials with a similar mechanism of hydrogen adsorption like metal-organic frameworks shows interesting performances of ice XVII in terms of hydrogen content, operating temperature and kinetics of adsorption-desorption. Any application of this material to realistic hydrogen tanks should take into account the thermodynamic limit of metastability of ice XVII, i.e., temperatures below about 130 K.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010003
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 4: New Studies of the Physical Properties of
           Metallic Amorphous Membranes for Hydrogen Purification

    • Authors: Oriele Palumbo, Francesco Trequattrini, Suchismita Sarker, Madhura Hulyakar, Narendra Pal, Dhanesh Chandra, Michael Dolan, Annalisa Paolone
      First page: 4
      Abstract: Amorphous metallic membranes display promising properties for hydrogen purification up to an ultrapure grade (purity > 99.999%). The hydrogen permeability through amorphous membranes has been widely studied in the literature. In this work we focus on two additional properties, which should be considered before possible application of such materials: the propensity to crystallize at high temperatures should be avoided, as the crystallized membranes can become brittle; the hydrogen solubility should be high, as solubility and permeability are proportional. We investigate the crystallization process and the hydrogen solubility of some membranes based on Ni, Nb, and Zr metals, as a function of Zr content, and with the addition of Ta or B. The boron doping does not significantly affect the crystallization temperature and the thermal stability of the membrane. However, the hydrogen solubility for p ~7 bar is as high as H/M ~0.31 at T = 440 °C and H/M ~0.27 at T = 485 °C. Moreover, the membrane does not pulverize even after repeated thermal cycles and hydrogenation processes up to 485 °C and 7 bar, and it retains its initial shape.
      PubDate: 2017-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010004
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 5: Ionic Mobility and Phase Transitions in
           Perovskite Oxides for Energy Application

    • Authors: Francesco Cordero, Floriana Craciun, Francesco Trequattrini
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Perovskite oxides find applications or are studied in many fields related to energy production, accumulation and saving. The most obvious application is oxygen or proton conductors in fuel cells (SOFCs), but the (anti)ferroelectric compositions may find application in high energy capacitors for energy storage, efficient electrocaloric cooling, and electromechanical energy harvesting. In SOFCs, the diffusion of O vacancies and other mobile ionic species, such as H+, are at the base of the functioning of the device, while in the other cases they constitute unwanted defects that reduce the performance and life-time of the device. Similarly, the (anti)ferroelectric phase transitions are a requisite for the use of some types of devices, but the accompanying domain walls can generate extended defects detrimental to the life of the material, and structural phase transformations should be avoided in SOFCs. All these phenomena can be studied by mechanical spectroscopy, the measurement of the complex elastic compliance as a function of temperature and frequency, which is the mechanical analogue of the dielectric susceptibility, but probes the elastic response and elastic dipoles instead of the dielectric response and electric dipoles. The two techniques can be combined to provide a comprehensive picture of the material properties. Examples are shown of the study of structural transitions and hopping and tunnelling processes of O vacancies and H in the ion conductor BaCe1-xYxO3-x and in SrTiO3-x, and of the aging and fatigue effects found in PZT at compositions where the ferro- and antiferroelectric states coexist.
      PubDate: 2017-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010005
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 6: Tie-Up Cycles in Long-Term Mating. Part II:
           Fictional Narratives and the Social Cognition of Mating

    • Authors: Lorenza Basili, Pier Sacco
      First page: 6
      Abstract: In the first part of this paper, we have introduced a novel theoretical approach to mating dynamics, known as Tie-Up Theory (TU). In this second part, in the context of the bio-cultural approach to literature, that assigns to fictional narratives an important valence of social cognition, we apply the conceptual tools presented in the first part to the analysis of mating-related interaction dynamics in some blockbuster Hollywood movies from WWII to today. The interaction dynamics envisioned by our theory accurately reflect, to a significant level of detail, the narrative development of the movies under exam from the viewpoint of the mating dynamics of the couple of main characters, accounting for the specific reasons that lead them to react to certain situations via certain behaviors, and for the reasons why such behaviors lead to certain outcomes. Our analysis seems thus to bring some further legitimacy to the bio-cultural foundation of the narrative structure of the movies that we analyze, and moreover to the idea that it is possible to ‘inquire’ characters about their choices according to the narratological-experimental lines suggested by some proponents of the bio-cultural approach.
      PubDate: 2017-02-20
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010006
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 7: A Study of the Conformers of the
           (Nonafluorobutanesulfonyl)imide Ion by Means of Infrared Spectroscopy and
           Density Functional Theory (DFT) Calculations

    • Authors: Oriele Palumbo, Francesco Trequattrini, Giovanni Appetecchi, Annalisa Paolone
      First page: 7
      Abstract: Pyrrolidinium-based ionic liquids with anions of the per(fluoroalkylsulfonyl)imide family are particularly interesting for their use as electrolytes in lithium batteries. These ions have several geometric isomers and the presence of different ion conformers and their distribution affects the ILs (Ionic liquids) physical and chemical properties. In the present work, we report the temperature dependence of the infrared spectra of the N-butyl-N-methyl-pyrrolidinium(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)(nonafluorobutanesulfonyl)imide (PYR14‑IM14) ionic liquid; DFT (Density Functional Theory) calculations performed with different models provides indications about the IM14 conformers and their vibrational spectra. Moreover the temperature dependence of the intensity of the lines identified as markers of different conformers provide indications about the conformers’ distribution and the difference of their enthalpy in the liquid phase.
      PubDate: 2017-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010007
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 8: Hydrides as High Capacity Anodes in Lithium
           Cells: An Italian “Futuro in Ricerca di Base FIRB-2010” Project

    • Authors: Sergio Brutti, Stefania Panero, Annalisa Paolone, Sara Gatto, Daniele Meggiolaro, Francesco Vitucci, Jessica Manzi, David Munaò, Laura Silvestri, Luca Farina, Priscilla Reale
      First page: 8
      Abstract: Automotive and stationary energy storage are among the most recently-proposed and still unfulfilled applications for lithium ion devices. Higher energy, power and superior safety standards, well beyond the present state of the art, are actually required to extend the Li-ion battery market to these challenging fields, but such a goal can only be achieved by the development of new materials with improved performances. Focusing on the negative electrode materials, alloying and conversion chemistries have been widely explored in the last decade to circumvent the main weakness of the intercalation processes: the limitation in capacity to one or at most two lithium atoms per host formula unit. Among all of the many proposed conversion chemistries, hydrides have been proposed and investigated since 2008. In lithium cells, these materials undergo a conversion reaction that gives metallic nanoparticles surrounded by an amorphous matrix of LiH. Among all of the reported conversion materials, hydrides have outstanding theoretical properties and have been only marginally explored, thus making this class of materials an interesting playground for both fundamental and applied research. In this review, we illustrate the most relevant results achieved in the frame of the Italian National Research Project FIRB 2010 Futuro in Ricerca “Hydrides as high capacity anodes in lithium cells” and possible future perspectives of research for this class of materials in electrochemical energy storage devices.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010008
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 9: Case Studies of Energy Storage with Fuel
           Cells and Batteries for Stationary and Mobile Applications

    • Authors: Nadia Belmonte, Carlo Luetto, Stefano Staulo, Paola Rizzi, Marcello Baricco
      First page: 9
      Abstract: In this paper, hydrogen coupled with fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries are considered as alternative energy storage methods. Their application on a stationary system (i.e., energy storage for a family house) and a mobile system (i.e., an unmanned aerial vehicle) will be investigated. The stationary systems, designed for off-grid applications, were sized for photovoltaic energy production in the area of Turin, Italy, to provide daily energy of 10.25 kWh. The mobile systems, to be used for high crane inspection, were sized to have a flying range of 120 min, one being equipped with a Li-ion battery and the other with a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell. The systems were compared from an economical point of view and a life cycle assessment was performed to identify the main contributors to the environmental impact. From a commercial point of view, the fuel cell and the electrolyzer, being niche products, result in being more expensive with respect to the Li-ion batteries. On the other hand, the life cycle assessment (LCA) results show the lower burdens of both technologies.
      PubDate: 2017-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010009
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 10: Electrochemical Sensor for Explosives
           Precursors’ Detection in Water

    • Authors: Cloé Desmet, Agnes Degiuli, Carlotta Ferrari, Francesco Romolo, Loïc Blum, Christophe Marquette
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Although all countries are intensifying their efforts against terrorism and increasing their mutual cooperation, terrorist bombing is still one of the greatest threats to society. The discovery of hidden bomb factories is of primary importance in the prevention of terrorism activities. Criminals preparing improvised explosives (IE) use chemical substances called precursors. These compounds are released in the air and in the waste water during IE production. Tracking sources of precursors by analyzing air or wastewater can then be an important clue for bomb factories’ localization. We are reporting here a new multiplex electrochemical sensor dedicated to the on-site simultaneous detection of three explosive precursors, potentially used for improvised explosive device preparation (hereafter referenced as B01, B08, and B15, for security disclosure reasons and to avoid being detrimental to the security of the counter-explosive EU action). The electrochemical sensors were designed to be disposable and to combine ease of use and portability in a screen-printed eight-electrochemical cell array format. The working electrodes were modified with different electrodeposited metals: gold, palladium, and platinum. These different coatings giving selectivity to the multi-sensor through a “fingerprint”-like signal subsequently analyzed using partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Results are given regarding the detection of the three compounds in a real environment and in the presence of potentially interfering species.
      PubDate: 2017-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010010
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 8, Pages 11: About the Purification Route of Ionic Liquid

    • Authors: Massimo De Francesco, Elisabetta Simonetti, Gianremo Gorgi, Giovanni Appetecchi
      First page: 11
      Abstract: In this work a purification route of precursors for ionic liquids tailored to electrochemical energy storage systems is reported and described. The study was carried out on the N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bromide (PYR14Br) precursor, which represents the intermediate product of the synthesis process of the N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (PYR14TFSI) hydrophobic ionic liquid. The target is to develop an easy and cost-effective approach for efficiently purifying several kinds of ionic liquid precursors and determining their purity content. The PYR14Br precursor was synthesized through an eco-friendly preparation procedure, which requires water as the only processing solvent, and purified through sorbent materials, such as activated charcoal and alumina. The effect of the treatment/nature/content of sorbents and processing temperature/time was investigated. The impurity content was detected by UV-VIS spectrophotometry measurements. Additionally, a correlation between the measured absorbance and the content of impurities within the precursor was obtained. The purity level of the precursor was seen to play a key role in the electrochemical performance of the ionic liquids.
      PubDate: 2017-03-27
      DOI: 10.3390/challe8010011
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 14: Validation of a Miniaturized Spectrometer
           for Trace Detection of Explosives by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

    • Authors: Salvatore Almaviva, Antonio Palucci, Sabina Botti, Adriana Puiu, Alessandro Rufoloni
      First page: 14
      Abstract: Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) measurements of some common military explosives were performed with a table-top micro-Raman system integrated with a Serstech R785 miniaturized device, comprising a spectrometer and detector for near-infrared (NIR) laser excitation (785 nm). R785 was tested as the main component of a miniaturized SERS detector, designed for in situ and stand-alone sensing of molecules released at low concentrations, as could happen in the case of traces of explosives found in an illegal bomb factory, where solid microparticles of explosives could be released in the air and then collected on the sensor’s surface, if placed near the factory, as a consequence of bomb preparation. SERS spectra were obtained, exciting samples in picogram quantities on specific substrates, starting from standard commercial solutions. The main vibrational features of each substance were clearly identified also in low quantities. The amount of the sampled substance was determined through the analysis of scanning electron microscope images, while the spectral resolution and the detector sensitivity were sufficiently high to clearly distinguish spectra belonging to different samples with an exposure time of 10 s. A principal component analysis procedure was applied to the experimental data to understand which are the main factors affecting spectra variation across different samples. The score plots for the first three principal components show that the examined explosive materials can be clearly classified on the basis of their SERS spectra.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020014
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 15: Putting Soil Security on the Policy Agenda:
           Need for a Familiar Framework

    • Authors: David Yawson, Michael Adu, Benjamin Ason, Frederick Armah, Genesis Yengoh
      First page: 15
      Abstract: Soils generate agricultural, environmental, and socio-economic benefits that are vital to human life. The enormity of threats to global soil stocks raises the imperative for securing this vital resource. To contribute to the security framing and advancement of the soil security concept and discourse, this paper provides a working definition and proposes dimensions that can underpin the conceptualization of soil security. In this paper, soil security refers to safeguarding and improving the quality, quantity and functionality of soil stocks from critical and pervasive threats in order to guarantee the availability, access, and utilization of soils to sustainably generate productive goods and ecosystem services. The dimensions proposed are availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability, which are obviously similar to the dimensions of food security. Availability refers to the quality and spatial distribution of soils of a given category. Accessibility relates to the conditions or mechanisms by which actors negotiate and gain entitlements to occupy and use a given soil. Utilization deals with the use or purpose to which a given soil is put and the capacity to manage and generate optimal private and public benefits from the soil. Finally, stability refers to the governance mechanisms that safeguard and improve the first three dimensions. These dimensions, their interactions, and how they can be operationalized in a strategy to secure soils are presented and discussed.
      PubDate: 2016-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020015
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 16: Soft Energy Paths Revisited: Politics and
           Practice in Energy Technology Transitions

    • Authors: Chelsea Schelly, Aparajita Banerjee
      First page: 16
      Abstract: This paper argues that current efforts to study and advocate for a change in energy technologies to reduce their climate and other environmental impacts often ignore the political, social, and bodily implications of energy technology choices. Framing renewable energy technologies exclusively in terms of their environmental benefits dismisses important questions about how energy infrastructures can be designed to correspond to democratic forms of socio-politics, forms of social organization that involve independence in terms of meeting energy needs, resilience in terms of adapting to change, participatory decision making and control, equitable distribution of knowledge and efficacy, and just distribution of ownership. Recognizing technological choices as political choices brings explicit attention to the kinds of socio-political restructuring that could be precipitated through a renewable energy technology transition. This paper argues that research on energy transitions should consider the political implications of technological choices, not just the environmental consequences. Further, emerging scholarship on energy practices suggests that social habits of energy usage are themselves political, in that they correspond to and reinforce particular arrangements of power. Acknowledging the embedded politics of technology, as the decades’ old concept of soft path technologies encourages, and integrating insights on the politics of technology with insights on technological practices, can improve future research on energy policy and public perceptions of energy systems. This paper extends insights regarding the socio-political implications of energy paths to consider how understandings of energy technologies as constellations of embedded bodily practices can help further develop our understanding of the consequences of energy technologies, consequences that move beyond environmental implications to the very habits and behaviors of patterned energy usage, which are themselves arguably political. This paper calls for future research that involves explicit examination of the relationship between technologies, socio-political distributions of power and access to energy resources, the social organization of energy practices, and options for energy transitions not just in terms of energy source, but also in terms of scale, design, and modes of ownership and control.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020016
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 17: Field Prototype of the ENEA Neutron Active
           Interrogation Device for the Detection of Dirty Bombs

    • Authors: Nadia Cherubini, Alessandro Dodaro, Giada Gandolfo, Luigi Lepore, Giuseppe Marzo, Ermanno Piccinelli, Romolo Remetti
      First page: 17
      Abstract: The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) Neutron Active Interrogation (NAI) device is a tool designed to improve CBRNE defense. It is designed to uncover radioactive and nuclear threats including those in the form of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the so-called “dirty bombs”. The NAI device, at its current development stage, allows to detect 6 g of 235U hidden in a package. It is easily transportable, light in weight, and with a real-time response. Its working principle is based on two stages: (1) an “active” stage in which neutrons are emitted by a neutron generator to interact with the item under inspection, and (2) a “passive” stage in which secondary neutrons are detected originating a signal that, once processed, allows recognition of the offence. In particular, a clear indication of the potential threat is obtained by a dedicated software based on the Differential Die-Away Time Analysis method.
      PubDate: 2016-10-19
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020017
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 18: Optimization of Plating Conditions for the
           Determination of Polonium Using Copper Foils

    • Authors: Bolaji Babatunde
      First page: 18
      Abstract: The technique of adsorption of polonium onto metal surfaces by spontaneous deposition has found applications in the analysis of environmental samples such as marine sediments, foodstuff, water, and tobacco since the 1960s. Silver foil has been preferred by many scientists but can become quite expensive for routine analysis. Deposition onto copper was first proposed in the 1970s, but has remained poorly studied. In the present study, the cost-effective and rapid optimum conditions necessary for the optimal recovery of Po from aqueous solutions during spontaneous deposition onto copper foils was evaluated while minimizing the deposition of Bi and Pb, which may interfere with subsequent analyses. A series of experiments was performed to determine adsorption yields for Po, Bi, and Pb to copper foils for a range of pH values from 1.0 to 5.5, with and without stable Bi and Pb carriers. Different methods for cleaning the copper foils were also compared. After initial measurements, Po, Bi, and Pb were desorbed from the disc in plating solutions without added activity. At higher pH values (3.0 and 5.5), less Bi was adsorbed to the copper foils, and subsequent desorption removed up to 99.1% of the plated Bi. The polonium yield remained fairly constant at all pH values and was unaffected by the desorption process. There was also no measureable increase in the polonium activity after 33 days, suggesting that Bi and Pb were not significantly co-deposited. All three cleaning methods performed well, whereas uncleaned foils in the same solution showed limited uptake. The use of copper foil under the optimum conditions described here could provide a valuable alternative to the use of silver in 210Po analyses.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020018
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 19: Challenges in Specialty Coffee Processing
           and Quality Assurance

    • Authors: Palmiro Poltronieri, Franca Rossi
      First page: 19
      Abstract: Coffee is an important crop that assures a sustainable economy to farmers in tropical regions. A dramatic concern for coffee production is currently represented by climate change, which threatens the survival of Coffea arabica cultivation worldwide and imposes modifications of the agronomic practices to prevent this risk. The quality of coffee beans depends on optimized protocols of cultivation, ripe berries collection, and removal of the outer fruit layers by dry or wet processes and moisture reduction. Storage and shipment represent two steps where bean quality needs to be preserved by preventing fungal contamination that may impact the final product and form mycotoxins, mainly ochratoxin A. In this review, we describe the challenges faced by the coffee industry to guarantee quality from production to roasting and brewing. An overview of novel technologies, such as the application of starter cultures in fermentation and the exploitation of industrial enzymes in accelerating the process of flavour development in coffee beans, is given. Moreover, the results of studies on microbial populations on coffee and the differences found in fungi, yeasts and bacteria composition among the investigations, are summarized. In particular, this review describes new attempts to contain the development of mycotoxigenic fungi, through the application of antagonistic microorganisms such as S. cerevisiae. The new wave of specialty coffees, i.e., those with a cupping score higher than 85/100, is also presented. It is shown how, through careful coffee production methods and controlled fermentation processes, coffee producers may increase their income by assuring high standards of quality and high added value for the coffee experience sector.
      PubDate: 2016-10-24
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020019
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 20: Technical Problem Identification for the
           Failures of the Liberty Ships

    • Authors: Wei Zhang
      First page: 20
      Abstract: The U.S. Liberty Ship Building Program in World War II set a record—a total of 2700 Liberty Ships were built in 6 years, in order to support the battle against Nazi-Germany. However, numerous vessels suffered sudden fracture, some of them being split in half. This paper demonstrates and investigation of the Liberty Ships failure and problems, which reveals that the failures are caused by a combination of three factors. The welds produced by largely unskilled work force contain crack type flaws. Beyond these cracks, another important reason for failure associated with welding is the hydrogen embitterment; most of the fractures initiate at deck square hatch corners where there is a stress concentration; and the ship steel has fairly poor Charpy-Impact tested fracture toughness. It has been admitted that, although the numerous catastrophic failures were a painful experience, the failures of the Liberty Ships caused significant progress in the study of fracture mechanics. Considering their effect, the Liberty Ships are still a success.
      PubDate: 2016-11-08
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020020
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 21: A Linear Bayesian Updating Model for
           Probabilistic Spatial Classification

    • Authors: Xiang Huang, Zhizhong Wang
      First page: 21
      Abstract: Categorical variables are common in spatial data analysis. Traditional analytical methods for deriving probabilities of class occurrence, such as kriging-family algorithms, have been hindered by the discrete characteristics of categorical fields. To solve the challenge, this study introduces the theoretical backgrounds of the linear Bayesian updating (LBU) model for spatial classification through an expert system. The main purpose of this paper is to present the solid theoretical foundations of the LBU approach. Since the LBU idea is originated from aggregating expert opinions and is not restricted to conditional independent assumption (CIA), it may prove to be reasonably adequate for analyzing complex geospatial data sets, such as remote sensing images or area-class maps.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020021
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 22: Innovations in Detection of Deliberate or
           Accidental Contamination with Biological Agents in Environment and Foods

    • Authors: Palmiro Poltronieri
      First page: 22
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020022
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 23: Stand-Off Device for Plastic Debris
           Recognition in Post-Blast Scenarios

    • Authors: Valeria Spizzichino, Luisa Caneve, Francesco Colao
      First page: 23
      Abstract: The fast analysis of crime scenes is a very critical issue for investigators that should collect, as much as possible, all and only meaningful evidence, and rapidly bring back to normality the involved area. With the scope to respond to the end user’s requirements, the project FORLAB (Forensic Laboratory for in-situ evidence analysis in a post blast scenario) has set, as its main goal, to develop a system of sensors for fast screening of post-blast scenes. In this frame, a new sensor based on laser induced fluorescence has been developed for standoff individuation and localization of plastic debris in post-blast scenarios. The system can scan large areas in short times (in some cases, minutes) providing real-time images of the scene where material discrimination is highlighted. In fact, the combined use of a laser source with a high repetition rate and of a signal collection setup based on a fixed intensified charged coupled device (ICCD) with a large field of view has allowed for the brief duration of the scanning process. In addition, dedicated software elaborates the fluorescence data obtained from the targets and retrieves a chemical characterization useful for material recognition.
      PubDate: 2016-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020023
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 24: Early Warning of Biological Threats via
           Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy: A Case Study of Bacillus Spores

    • Authors: Antonia Lai, Salvatore Almaviva, Valeria Spizzichino, Domenico Luciani
      First page: 24
      Abstract: A study on the application of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in detecting biological threats is here reported. Simulants of deadly Bacillus anthracis endospores were used. This study proposes an automated device where SERS is used as a fast, pre-alarm technique of a two-stage sensor equipped with a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In order to check the potentialities of SERS in terms of sensitivity and specificity for on-site, real-time, automatic detection and identification of biological agents, two strains of genetically and harmless closely B. anthracis-related spores, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus atrophaeus, were used as simulants. In order to assure the selectivity of the SERS substrate against B. thuringiensis spores, the substrate was functionalized by specific peptides. The obtained SERS measurements are classified as positive or negative hits by applying a special data evaluation based on the Euclidian distance between each spectrum and a reference spectrum of blank measurement. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied for discriminating between different strains representing dangerous and harmless spores. The results show that the SERS sensor is capable of detecting a few tenths of spores in a few minutes, and is particularly sensitive and fast for this purpose. Post-process analysis of the spectra allowed for discrimination between the contaminated and uncontaminated SERS sensors and even between different strains of spores, although not as clearly. For this purpose, the use of a non-functionalized SERS substrate is suggested.
      PubDate: 2016-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7020024
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 1: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Challenges in

    • Authors: Challenges Editorial Office
      First page: 1
      Abstract: The editors of Challenges would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...]
      PubDate: 2016-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010001
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 2: Challenges in Creating Evidence in
           Environmental Health Risk Assessments: The Example of Second-Hand Smoke

    • Authors: Florian Fischer
      First page: 2
      Abstract: Public health interventions are directed to influence the (state of a) risk factor, either by behavioral or environmental changes. Therefore, environmental health risk assessments are highly relevant for public health decision making and policy development. The credibility of an environmental health risk assessment depends, to a large extent, on the strength of the scientific evidence on which it is based. In this article, the main challenges for assessing the impact of a potential adverse health effect from an environmental pollutant are described. Second-hand smoke (SHS) was chosen to illustrate the current state of evidence. The assessment of the impact of potential adverse health effects from environmental risk factors is dependent on several issues, such as the hypothesized health outcome, the nature of the exposure, the dose-response-relationship and the variability and susceptibility of the exposed population. The example of SHS exposure highlights the need for evidence-based public health. Several challenges in terms of study design, assessment methods, as well as data analysis and synthesis with respect to the stratification of results, and consideration of bias and confounding exist. Future research needs to take into account which methods and techniques will be used to generate evidence for population-level decisions.
      PubDate: 2016-01-30
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010002
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 3: Practical Eco-Design and Eco-Innovation of
           Consumer Electronics—the Case of Mobile Phones

    • Authors: Anders Andrae, Mengjun Xia, Jianli Zhang, Xiaoming Tang
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Annually, it is estimated that about 4 billion units of consumer electronics for mobile communications are produced worldwide. This could lead to various ecological imbalances unless the design and disposal of the products are handled optimally. To illustrate how industry looks at and responds to the increasing social awareness, this article describes how sustainability is successfully implemented in practice at a large Chinese company, developing and producing various kinds of electronic products used for communication. It also describes how a variety of eco-innovations and business models contribute to reducing the environmental impact; for example, through increased recovery and recycling. A new kind of eco-design procedure is presented along with a new methodology which shows how a mobile phone gradually becomes more sustainable from one generation to the next. The issues with and set-up of new eco-labeling schemes for mobile phones, eco-rating, is described in detail. The conclusion is that due to high competition between companies, the industry acts resourcefully and a lot is done to the save the ecological environment.
      PubDate: 2016-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010003
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 4: Use of Bacteriocinogenic Cultures without
           Inhibiting Cheese Associated Nonstarter Lactic Acid Bacteria; A Trial with
           Lactobacillus plantarum

    • Authors: Franca Rossi, Gianluca Veneri
      First page: 4
      Abstract: Bacteriocinogenic cultures can represent a natural way to increase the safety of cheeses made from raw milk, in which a relevant role in ripening and flavor formation is exerted by the nonstarter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB). Since the latter can be inhibited by bacteriocin producers, this study evaluated to which extent a nisinogenic culture inoculated at low initial levels can affect the growth rate and peptide degradation activity of the nisin-sensitive cheese isolate Lactobacillus plantarum LZ by comparison with its isogenic variant, L. plantarum LZNI, with increased immunity to nisin. A growth delay of the nisin sensitive strain was observed only when its initial number was 100-fold lower than the nisin producer and nisin was added as an inducer of its own production. In this case, the amount of free α-amino groups was significantly different between cultures of L. plantarum LZ and LZNI only at Day 1. Reverse Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-HPLC) highlighted a few differences between the peptide profiles of co-cultures L. plantarum LZ and LZNI. However, results showed that the bacteriocin producer did not dramatically influence the behavior of the sensitive NSLAB and that the evaluation of the effects on microbial contaminants in cheese is worthwhile.
      PubDate: 2016-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010004
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 5: Bridging the Gap between Eco-Design and the
           Human Thinking System

    • Authors: Mona Komeijani, Erinn Ryen, Callie Babbitt
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Technological progress has enabled widespread adoption and use of consumer electronics, changing how global society lives and works. This progress has come with immense environmental cost, including extraction of scarce materials, consumption of fossil fuels, and growing e-waste challenges. Eco-design has emerged as a promising approach to reduce the environmental footprint of electronics by integrating sustainability-oriented decisions early in the product realization process. However, most approaches focus on the product itself, not on the consumer who ultimately decides how to purchase, use, maintain, and dispose of the device. This article presents a new framework to guide designers in developing products with features that encourage consumers to use them in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Sustainable Behavior Design (SBD) framework links common design concepts (ergonomic, emotional, preventative, and interaction design) with core aspects of the human thinking system to create features to make users aware of their behavior and decisions (reflective thinking) or result in sustainable behaviors even when users are unaware (automatic thinking). The SBD framework is demonstrated using a case study on a smartphone, a high demand product. The reimagined smartphone design integrates solutions addressing both automatic and reflective thinking systems, potentially reducing life cycle impacts by almost 30%.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010005
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 6: On Energy Resources, Climate Change, Fossil
           Fuels, and Drilling. Challenges in Tackling Problems by Governments in
           Europe and USA

    • Authors: Palmiro Poltronieri
      First page: 6
      Abstract: This month in Italy a public consultation will decide (by majority, in case 50% of voters will participate) whether to renew the ongoing concessions between Italian government and drilling companies at the end of their contracts, even if the fossil fuels have not been extracted completely.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-04-01
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010006
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 7: Fossil Fuels, Let’s Leave Them under Earth.
           Four Reasons to Vote “Yes” at the Italian Referendum on Drilling

    • Authors: ASPO Italy Association for the Study of PeakOil And Gas; ASPO Italy Association for the Study of PeakOil And Gas
      First page: 7
      Abstract: The referendum that will be held on 17 April 2016 is calling Italians to express their willingness on an aspect of licensing the sea drilling activities: The end of the licenses to the offshore exploitation of fossil fuel resources within the 12 miles from the coast.
      PubDate: 2016-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010007
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 8: Policies Supporting Renewable Energies Uses:
           The Next Big Challenge

    • Authors: Ferdinando Boero
      First page: 8
      Abstract: The question in the referendum on 17 April is: “At the end of the concessions presently authorized for extraction plants in the sea, at a distance within 12 km from the coast of Italy, are you in favor of stopping the extraction, even if there is still some methane or oil to be extracted?”.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-04-11
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010008
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 9: Modeling Autonomous Decision-Making on Energy
           and Environmental Management Using Petri-Net: The Case Study of a
           Community in Bandung, Indonesia

    • Authors: Niken Prilandita, Benjamin McLellan, Tetsuo Tezuka
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Autonomous decision-making in this study is defined as the process where decision-makers have the freedom and ability to find problems, select goals, and make decisions for achieving the selected problems/goals by themselves. Autonomous behavior is considered significant for achieving decision implementation, especially in the context of energy and environmental management, where multiple stakeholders are involved and each stakeholder holds valuable local information for making decisions. This paper aims to build a structured process in modeling the autonomous decision-making. A practical decision-making process in waste-to-energy conversion activities in a community in Bandung, Indonesia, is selected as a case study. The decision-making process here is considered as a discrete event system, which is then represented as a Petri-net model. First, the decision-making process in the case study is decomposed into discrete events or decision-making stages, and the stakeholders’ properties in each stage are extracted from the case study. Second, several stakeholder properties that indicate autonomous behavior are identified as autonomous properties. Third, presented is a method to develop the decision-making process as a Petri-net model. The model is utilized for identifying the critical points for verifying the performance of the derived Petri-net.
      PubDate: 2016-04-14
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010009
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 10: Flaws and Drawbacks in Present Regulation
           and the Need to Take Action and Support the Renewable Energies Policies in

    • Authors: Valeria Mezzolla
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Renewable energies is an important sector that needs to be sustained and increased by the action of policies and economic support.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-04-14
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010010
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 11: Alternative Energies and Fossil Fuels in the
           Bioeconomy Era: What is Needed in the Next Five Years for Real Change

    • Authors: Palmiro Poltronieri
      First page: 11
      Abstract: Sustainable biomass feedstock is the key to sustainable biofuels.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-04-18
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010011
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 12: Tie-Up Cycles in Long-Term Mating. Part I:

    • Authors: Lorenza Lucchi Basili, Pier Sacco
      First page: 12
      Abstract: In this paper, we propose a new approach to couple formation and dynamics that abridges findings from sexual strategies theory and attachment theory to develop a framework where the sexual and emotional aspects of mating are considered in their strategic interaction. Our approach presents several testable implications, some of which find interesting correspondences in the existing literature. Our main result is that, according to our approach, there are six typical dynamic interaction patterns that are more or less conducive to the formation of a stable couple, and that set out an interesting typology for the analysis of real (as well as fictional, as we will see in the second part of the paper) mating behaviors and dynamics.
      PubDate: 2016-05-03
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010012
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Challenges, Vol. 7, Pages 13: Potential for Reuse of E-Plastics through
           Processing by Compression Molding

    • Authors: William Mills, Robert Tatara
      First page: 13
      Abstract: The amounts of e-waste, consisting of metal (e-metals) and plastic (e-plastics) streams from electronic goods, are increasing in the United States and elsewhere. The e-metals waste streams are being recycled to a reasonable degree due to the value of precious metals. E-plastic waste streams currently are not recycled or reused to a significant extent. As a result, most e-plastics are disposed of by landfilling or thermal treatment, or sent overseas for alleged recycling or reuse, any of which could result in unsafe worker exposure and release into the environment. Two of the major barriers to e-plastics’ reuse or recycling are the mixed plastic content and the presence in the e-plastics of flame retardants (FR), of which two classes in particular, the brominated flame retardants (BFR) and organo-phosphorus flame retardants (OPFR), have associated health concerns. The major goal of this project is to investigate the possibility of direct reuse of e-plastics in compression molding. Preliminary data generated have identified a molding procedure that yields remanufactured e-plastics having a tensile strength of 29.3 MPa. This moderate strength level is suspected to be due to inclusions of plastic bits that did not melt and internal voids from out-gassing. Handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was utilized to characterize elemental components in the e-plastics tested for compression molding. Several high “hits” for Br were found that could not be predicted visually. The preliminary XRF data for BFR and OPFR in this work are helpful for environmental and occupational hazard assessments of compression molding activities. Additionally, methods are suggested to characterize the metals, BFR, and OPFR content of the e-plastics using several different additional laboratory analytical techniques to determine the suitability for cost-effective and easy-to-use technologies.
      PubDate: 2016-05-19
      DOI: 10.3390/challe7010013
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
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