Center for Process Innovation

Wilton, United Kingdom

Center for Process Innovation

Wilton, United Kingdom
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O'Malley M.A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Theodorou M.K.,Durham University | Theodorou M.K.,Center for Process Innovation | Kaiser C.A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy | Year: 2012

The development of efficient methods to convert plant material (lignocellulose) to fermentable sugars is a promising avenue towards the development of renewable biofuels. Anaerobic fungi that reside within the digestive tract of large herbivores are among the most efficient and robust digesters of lignocellulosic material known in nature. Despite the powerful cellulose degrading capacity of gut fungi, remarkably little is known about the cellulolytic enzymes from these organisms due to the difficulties associated with their isolation and culture. We have cloned five such saccharolytic enzymes (bglA, cel48A, celpin, xylA, and xylB) from a cDNA library prepared from the anaerobic fungus Piromyces sp E2 for expression and extracellular secretion in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. All enzymes were readily produced, but only low-molecular weight proteins (xylA and xylB) were secreted efficiently into the extracellular medium. Piromyces sp E2 enzymes were posttranslationally modified in S. cerevisiae according to their sequence prediction, suggesting compatibility between the two systems, yet not all of the recombinant proteins were catalytically active. Activation of cellular stress mechanisms in the secretory pathway suggest enzyme misfolding during the production of cel48A and bglA, which likely limits activity. However, bglA, exhibited moderate reactivity against pNPG when produced in S. cerevisiae. Furthermore, since we aim to understand how the cellulolytic enzymes of anaerobic fungi are produced in their native system, we have implemented methods to isolate and culture anaerobic fungi obtained from the digestive tract of a horse. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Rowbotham J.S.,Durham University | Dyer P.W.,Durham University | Greenwell H.C.,Durham University | Theodorou M.K.,Center for Process Innovation | Theodorou M.K.,Durham University
Biofuels | Year: 2012

This article offers a critical overview of the recent developments in thermochemical processing of macroalgae, a field that has been comparatively neglected when viewed against the vast wealth of research into alternative biofuel production methods and feedstocks. However, advances in thermochemical techniques have led to a flurry of activity into the applicability and use of macroalgae. Recent research has demonstrated that macroalgae may be used to produce bioresources in a similar way to many conventional terrestrial feedstocks and, indeed, may also possess a number of advantages (notably by not competing for land that could be used for food and forestry, nor requiring extensive use of nitrogenous fertilizers). With this in mind, it is suggested that many of the criticisms that have led to previous disinterest in thermal processing of macroalgae are not valid. Nevertheless, only through the continuation of these recent endeavors can macroalgal biomass, via broader and successively larger scale experimentation, demonstrate itself to be a competitive source of renewable energy. © 2012 Future Science Ltd.


Rowbotham J.S.,Durham University | Dyer P.W.,Durham University | Greenwell H.C.,Durham University | Selby D.,Durham University | And 2 more authors.
Interface Focus | Year: 2013

Thermochemical processing methods such as pyrolysis are of growing interest as a means of converting biomass into fuels and commodity chemicals in a sustainable manner. Macroalgae, or seaweed, represent a novel class of feedstock for pyrolysis that, owing to the nature of the environments in which they grow coupled with their biochemistry, naturally possess high metal contents. Although the impact of metals upon the pyrolysis of terrestrial biomass is well documented, their influence on the thermochemical conversion of marinederived feeds is largely unknown. Furthermore, these effects are inherently difficult to study, owing to the heterogeneous character of natural seaweed samples. The work described in this paper uses copper(II) alginate, together with alginic acid and sodium alginate as model compounds for exploring the effects of metals upon macroalgae thermolysis. A thermogravimetric analysis-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic study revealed that, unusually, Cu2+ ions promote the onset of pyrolysis in the alginate polymer, with copper(II) alginate initiating rapid devolatilization at 143°C, 14°C lower than alginic acid and 61°C below the equivalent point for sodium alginate. Moreover, this effect was mirrored in a sample of wild Laminaria digitata that had been doped with Cu2+ ions prior to pyrolysis, thus validating the use of alginates as model compounds with which to study the thermolysis of macroalgae. These observations indicate the varying impact of different metal species on thermochemical behaviour of seaweeds and offer an insight into the pyrolysis of brown macroalgae used in phytoremediation of metal-containing waste streams. © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Hsieh J.J.P.-A.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Rai A.,Center for Process Innovation | Petter S.,University of Nebraska at Omaha | Zhang T.,Xi'an Jiaotong University
MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems | Year: 2012

An increasing number of organizations are now implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems to support front-line employees' service tasks. With the belief that CRM can enhance employees' service quality, management often mandates employees to use the implemented CRM. However, challenges emerge if/when employees are dissatisfied with using the system. To understand the role of front-line employee users' satisfaction with their mandated use of CRM in determining their service quality, we conducted a field study in one of the largest telecommunications service organizations in China and gathered time-lagged data from self-reported employee surveys, as well as from the firm's archival data sources. Our results suggest that employees' overall user satisfaction (UserSat) with their mandated use of CRM has a positive impact on employee service quality (ESQ) above and beyond the expected positive impacts that job dedication (JD) and embodied service knowledge (ESK) have on ESQ. Interestingly, the positive effect of UserSat on ESQ is comparable to the positive effects of JD and ESK, respectively, on ESQ. Importantly, UserSat and ESK have a substitutive effect on ESQ, suggesting that the impact of UserSat on ESQ is stronger/weaker for employees with lower/higher levels of ESK. Finally, ESQ predicts customer satisfaction with customer service employees (CSWCSE); ESQ also fully mediates the impacts of UserSat and ESK, and partially mediates the impact of JD, on CSWCSE. The results of this study emphasize the importance of user satisfaction in determining employees' task outcomes when use of an information system is mandated.


PubMed | Durham University and Center for Process Innovation
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta crystallographica. Section C, Structural chemistry | Year: 2015

Four new cocrystals of pyrimidin-2-amine and propane-1,3-dicarboxylic (glutaric) acid were crystallized from three different solvents (acetonitrile, methanol and a 50:50 wt% mixture of methanol and chloroform) and their crystal structures determined. Two of the cocrystals, namely pyrimidin-2-amine-glutaric acid (1/1), C4H5N3C6H8O4, (I) and (II), are polymorphs. The glutaric acid molecule in (I) has a linear conformation, whereas it is twisted in (II). The pyrimidin-2-amine-glutaric acid (2/1) cocrystal, 2C4H5N3C6H8O4, (III), contains glutaric acid in its linear form. Cocrystal-salt bis(2-aminopyrimidinium) glutarate-glutaric acid (1/2), 2C4H6N3(+)C6H6O4(2-)2C6H8O4, (IV), was crystallized from the same solvent as cocrystal (II), supporting the idea of a cocrystal-salt continuum when both the neutral and ionic forms are present in appreciable concentrations in solution. The diversity of the packing motifs in (I)-(IV) is mainly caused by the conformational flexibility of glutaric acid, while the hydrogen-bond patterns show certain similarities in all four structures.


Gharfalkar M.,University of Teesside | Ali Z.,University of Teesside | Hillier G.,University of Teesside | Hillier G.,Center for Process Innovation
Waste Management and Research | Year: 2016

Earth's natural resources are finite. To be environmentally sustainable, it may not only be necessary to use them 'efficiently' but also 'effectively'. While we consider 'repair', 'recondition', 'refurbish' and 'remanufacture' to be 'reuse' options, not all researchers agree. Also, there is lack of clarity between the different options that are likely to be challenging for both; the policy makers who formulate policies aimed to encourage 'reuse' of 'waste' products and for decision makers to initiate appropriate action for recovering 'reusable resources' from 'waste streams'. This dichotomy could result into more 'waste' to landfill. A systematic analysis of peer reviewed literature is conducted to understand inconsistencies and/or lack of clarity that exist between the definitions or descriptions of identified 'reuse' options. This article proposes a 'hierarchy of reuse options' that plots the relative positions of identified 'reuse' options vis-à-vis five variables, namely work content, energy requirement, cost, performance and warranty. Recommendations are made on how to incentivise original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to 'remanufacture'. Finally, an alternative 'Type II Resource Effective Close-loop Model' is suggested and a conceptual 'Type II/2 Model of Resource Flows' that is restricted to the use of environmentally benign and renewable resources is introduced. These suggestions are likely to help decision makers to prioritise between 'reuse' options, drive resource effectiveness and also environmental sustainability. © The Author(s) 2016.


Becker J.-M.,University of Cologne | Rai A.,Center for Process Innovation | Ringle C.M.,University of Management and Technology | Ringle C.M.,University of Newcastle | Volckner F.,University of Cologne
MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems | Year: 2013

A large proportion of information systems research is concerned with developing and testing models pertaining to complex cognition, behaviors, and outcomes of individuals, teams, organizations, and other social systems that are involved in the development, implementation, and utilization of information technology. Given the complexity of these social and behavioral phenomena, heterogeneity is likely to exist in the samples used in IS studies. While researchers now routinely address observed heterogeneity by introducing moderators, a priori groupings, and contextual factors in their research models, they have not examined how unobserved heterogeneity may affect their findings. We describe why unobserved heterogeneity threatens different types of validity and use simulations to demonstrate that unobserved heterogeneity biases parameter estimates, thereby leading to Type I and Type II errors. We also review different methods that can be used to uncover unobserved heterogeneity in structural equation models. While methods to uncover unobserved heterogeneity in covariance-based structural equation models (CB-SEM) are relatively advanced, the methods for partial least squares (PLS) path models are limited and have relied on an extension of mixture regression-finite mixture partial least squares (FIMIX-PLS) and distance measure-based methods-that have mismatches with some characteristics of PLS path modeling. We propose a new method-prediction-oriented segmentation (PLSPOS)- to overcome the limitations of FIMIX-PLS and other distance measure-based methods and conduct extensive simulations to evaluate the ability of PLS-POS and FIMIX-PLS to discover unobserved heterogeneity in both structural and measurement models. Our results show that both PLS-POS and FIMIX-PLS perform well in discovering unobserved heterogeneity in structural paths when the measures are reflective and that PLS-POS also performs well in discovering unobserved heterogeneity in formative measures. We propose an unobserved heterogeneity discovery (UHD) process that researchers can apply to (1) avert validity threats by uncovering unobserved heterogeneity and (2) elaborate on theory by turning unobserved heterogeneity into observed heterogeneity, thereby expanding theory through the integration of new moderator or contextual variables.


Mccall K.L.,Center for Process Innovation | Rutter S.R.,Center for Process Innovation | Bone E.L.,Center for Process Innovation | Forrest N.D.,Peakdale Molecular Ltd. | And 7 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2014

High mobility organic semiconductor formulations with excellent uniformity across large area substrates are prepared via the use of formulations containing small molecule and high permittivity semiconducting oligomers. The use of these high-k (k > 3.3) oligomers allows control of the wetting via the manipulation of the surface energy of the substrate being coated. Organic thin film transistors results with mobilities of up to 5 cm2 V -1 s-1, standard deviation <10 %, on/off ratios of 109 are presented. High mobility organic semiconductor formulations with excellent uniformity are prepared by combining a small molecule and high permittivity semiconducting oligomers. The use of these high-k (k > 3.3) oligomers allows control of the performance by manipulation of the surface energy of the substrate. Organic thin film transistors results with mobilities of 5 cm2 V-1 s-1, standard deviation <10% and on/off ratios of 109 are presented. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Smith A.,Center for Process Innovation
Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators Fall Technical Conference and 24th International Vacuum Web Coating Conference 2010 | Year: 2010

Flexible substrates with high mositure barrier performance are required for a wide range of devices, from flexible photovolatics through to flexible OLED displays. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and sputtering techniques for the production of these barriers on plastic webs will be discussed and compared. Considerations to the barrier laminate structure and the effect on performance and the lifetime of it will be discussed.


Blunt L.,University of Huddersfield | Flemin L.,University of Huddersfield | Elrawemi M.,University of Huddersfield | Robbins D.,Center for Process Innovation | Muhamedsalih H.,University of Huddersfield
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference of the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology, EUSPEN 2013 | Year: 2013

This paper reports on the recent work carried out as part of the initial stages of the EU funded NanoMend project. The project seeks to develop integrated process inspection, cleaning, repair for nano-scale thin films on large area substrates. Flexible photovoltaic (PV) films based on CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide CuInxGa(1-x)Se2) have been reported to have light energy conversion efficiencies as high as 19%. CIGS based multi-layer flexible devices are fabricated on polymer film by the repeated deposition, and patterning, of thin layer materials using roll-to-roll processes (R2R), where the whole film is approximately 3μm thick prior to final encapsulation. The resultant films are lightweight and easily adaptable to building integration. Current wide scale implementation however is hampered by long term degradation of efficiency due to water ingress to the CIGS modules causing electrical shorts and efficiency drops. The present work reports on the use of areal surface metrology to correlate defect morphology with water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) through the protective barrier coatings.

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