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Baden, Switzerland

Roos A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Lindstrom M.,Innventia Ab | Heuts L.,Chalmers University of Technology | Hylander N.,AF Consult | And 2 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research

The purpose of this study is to understand the innovation diffusion of new wood-based materials, "from lab to market," to identify the success factors and barriers to market introduction, and to reveal important factors for the success of commercialization. Examples are given from target markets in the furniture, appliance, and automotive sectors. This study is based on three qualitative interview studies in Sweden from 2010 to 2012. The analysis showed that the diffusion process of a new bio-based material normally takes up to 10 years or even more. There are only a few companies along the supply chain whose specialized function is finding new materials. However, the automotive industry regularly monitors the development of new materials. Industrial customers of materials generally obtain information about biobased materials from suppliers, exhibitions, conferences, professional contacts, industry magazines, digital media, customers, and partners in development projects. Different industry sectors apply specific material requirements. Regulations regarding safety issues have a high priority, and the interviewees believed that environmental considerations will increase with time. If the materials are equal in other quality dimensions, environmental performance may cast the deciding vote. Recommendations for a faster diffusion cover the right mix of competences, financing, regulations, creativity, and support from the leadership. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Stahl H.,AF Consult
Dams and Reservoirs under Changing Challenges - Proceedings of the International Symposium on Dams and Reservoirs under Changing Challenges - 79 Annual Meeting of ICOLD, Swiss Committee on Dams

The access tunnel to the powerhouse cavern of Nant de Drance pump storage scheme, currently under construction, passes at a horizontal distance of some 800 m from Emosson arch dam. As a result of lessons learned from an incident in 1978, whereby the construction of an investigation gallery caused serious damage to the Zeuzier dam, the Emosson dam is under intensified monitoring with the aim of detecting any unexpected developments in due time in order to initiate timely corrective measures. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group. Source

De La Vaissiere R.,Andra Inc | Noiret A.,Andra Inc | Cote P.,Institute francais des science et technologies des transports | Helmlinger B.,Solexperts France | And 5 more authors.
Geological Society Special Publication

The investigation of the induced fractures network around seals in drifts or shafts, and in particular its evolution, is a key issue for the performance assessment of an underground waste repository. Within this framework, a specific experiment was designed and implemented in the Meuse/Haute-Marne Underground Research Laboratory (URL). This experiment, called CDZ (Compression of the Damaged Zone), is dedicated to studying the effect of mechanical compression within the induced fractures zone of the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COx). An unequalled level of knowledge in the 3D structure of the fractures network has been attained. A multidisciplinary approach was applied to observe not only the initial state of the induced fracture zone but also its evolution during a loading cycle. The investigations show that the fracture network which composed the Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) was initially interconnected and open for flow and then partially closed progressively following the increasing mechanical stress applied on the drift wall. Moreover, the evolution of the EDZ after unloading indicates a self-sealing process. © The Geological Society of London 2014. Source

Keipi T.,Tampere University of Technology | Hankalin V.,AF Consult | Nummelin J.,AF Consult | Raiko R.,Tampere University of Technology
Energy Conversion and Management

This paper presents a techno-economic analysis of four concepts that apply the thermal decomposition of methane (TDM) with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in natural gas combustion. Different technical solutions are applied to convert methane in natural gas to gaseous hydrogen, which is combusted to produce electricity with a steam power cycle, and solid carbon, which is assumed to be sold as carbon black. The cost of electricity production and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions in each concept were evaluated and compared to the reference case of direct methane combustion. With a moderate emission allowance price (20€/tCO2) and product carbon price (500€/tcarbon) the cost of electricity production in the concepts was 12-58% higher than in the reference case. However, the price of product carbon had a significant effect on the feasibility of the concepts. Thus, the methane burner, which showed the best performance, produced 17% less CO2 emissions per MWhe and had a smaller cost of electricity production than the reference case already with the carbon price of 600-700€/tcarbon. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Bartsch M.,AF Consult | Schiess Zamora A.,AF Consult | Sfeiger K.M.,AF Consult
International Journal on Hydropower and Dams

Dam engineers have to deal increasingly with the back-analysis of existing dams in relation to the upgrading of existing schemes, renewal of hydropower plant concessions, changes in environmental conditions, new rules and regulations, unusual behaviour of dams or simply progress in knowledge. In Switzerland, the new guidelines concerning the seismic safety of dams currently require the backanalysis of almost all major dams. To be able to draw reliable conclusions from the results of such analyses, detailed knowledge of the dam's long-term behaviour is essential. Continuous monitoring is therefore of vital concern to every owner responsible for the operation of large dams. Source

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