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Sara H.R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Enrico B.,Marconi University | Mauro V.,University of Tuscia | Andrea D.C.,Aquila | Vincenzo N.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Energy Procedia | Year: 2016

Hydrogen has the potential to be a clean alternative to the fossil fuels currently used. This is especially true if hydrogen is manufactured from renewable resources such as biomass. However, hydrogen from biomass faces techno and economic challenges especially in the small size required for the decentralized hydrogen production. In this purpose, a techno economic analysis was carried out on small scale (100kWth) system. The plant is mainly composed of gasifier (double bubbling fluidized bed reactor) coupled with a Portable Purification Unit (PPS: catalytic filter candles, Water Gas Shift and Pressure Swing Absorption). This work focuses on system costs to identify barriers to the development of this technology. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to study hydrogen production cost as a function of capital cost, operating cost and hydrogen production efficiency. The results showed that although efficiency of the production system is the main factor to fall production cost, it cannot be able to reduce costs to favorable level alone. In other words, PPS cost recognized as the major cost is requisite to go down. Therefore, the 50% reduction of PPS cost and the variation of steam to biomass from 1 to 1.5 allow the special cost to fluctuate between 12.75-9.5 €/kg. © 2016 The Authors.


Dazzi F.,Marconi University
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: The study aims to identify independent predictors of physical restraint in acute psychiatric patients and to determine the predictive power of a risk assessment model centered on psychopathological dimensions. We included 1552 patients admitted to a psychiatric intensive care unit over a 5-year period. Patients were rated on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-E) at admission. Principal axis factoring (PAF) with varimax rotation was performed on BPRS-E items to identify psychopathological factors. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed. PAF pointed six factors: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, resistance, activation, negative affect, and disorganization. Male sex, younger age, proposal for compulsory admission, severity of symptoms, resistance, activation, and disorganization were identified as independent predictors. Negative symptoms and negative affect were instead protective factors. The BPRS-E factors, when added to other sociodemographic and clinical variables, significantly increased the predictive power of the model. Our findings suggest that a systematic evaluation of the psychopathological dimensions can be usefully included in the early risk assessment of restraint. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Bocci E.,Marconi University | Sisinni M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Moneti M.,University of Tuscia | Vecchione L.,University of Tuscia | And 2 more authors.
Energy Procedia | Year: 2014

The security of supply and climate change issues and the linked recent growth of the local power generation by means of renewable energies technologies are providing real opportunities for the development of small scale biomass gasification systems. The present paper reports the state of art of the small scale gasification power plants. Initial attention has been given to the different biomass feedstock suitable for gasification, focusing on residues with low cost and low environmental impact. Then the two major typologies of gasifiers (fixed and fluidized bed) have been analyzed in terms of raw gas yield, composition and tar and particulate content. The different cold and hot raw gas conditioning systems, highlighting their compatibility with the different gasification system, are described. High efficiency examples of power production by means of internal combustion engine, micro gas turbine, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell or a mix of them, both as realized plants and process simulated ones, have been then reported. The paper provides an overview of the different power plants in terms of efficiency, reliability and cost. © 2013 The Authors.


Moneti M.,University of Tuscia | Di Carlo A.,University of L'Aquila | Bocci E.,Marconi University | Foscolo P.U.,University of L'Aquila | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2016

The production of hydrogen from waste biomass could play an important role in the world energy scenario if efficient and reliable processes will be developed. Via kinetic and thermodynamic simulation and experimental data system, realized during the European project UNIfHY, to produce pure hydrogen from biomass is analysed. The plant is mainly composed of bubbling fluidized bed gasifier with catalytic filter candles, Water Gas Shift and Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA). Focussing on the hydrogen production, a sensitivity study was carried out varying parameters as the steam to biomass ratio and the gasifier operating temperature. The results show that the hydrogen yield increases at increasing temperature and steam to biomass ratio, even if the required energy input increases as well. The global efficiency depends substantially on the PSA unit: the off gas of this unit is composed of residual CO, CH4 and H2, that can be burned in the combustor of the dual fluidized bed gasifier to supply the extra-heat to the gasification process avoiding the input of auxiliary fuel. © 2016 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC


Bellusci M.,ENEA | La Barbera A.,ENEA | Padella F.,ENEA | Mancuso M.,ENEA | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2014

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are candidate contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging and targeted drug delivery. Biodistribution and toxicity assessment are critical for the development of nanoparticle-based drugs, because of nanoparticle-enhanced biological reactivity. Here, we investigated the uptake, in vivo biodistribution, and in vitro and in vivo potential toxicity of manganese ferrite (MnFe2O4) nanoparticles, synthesized by an original high-yield, low-cost mechanochemical process. Cultures of murine Balb/3T3 fibroblasts were exposed for 24, 48, or 72 hours to increasing ferrofluid concentrations. Nanoparticle cellular uptake was assessed by flow-cytometry scatter-light measurements and microscopy imaging after Prussian blue staining; cytotoxicity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and colony-forming assays. After a single intravenous injection, in vivo nanoparticle biodistribution and clearance were evaluated in mice by Mn spectrophotometric determination and Prussian blue staining in the liver, kidneys, spleen, and brain at different posttreatment times up to 21 days. The same organs were analyzed for any possible histopathological change. The in vitro study demonstrated dose-dependent nanoparticle uptake and statistically significant cytotoxic effects from a concentration of 50 μg/mL for the MTT assay and 20 μg/mL for the colony-forming assay. Significant increases in Mn concentrations were detected in all analyzed organs, peaking at 6 hours after injection and then gradually declining. Clearance appeared complete at 7 days in the kidneys, spleen, and brain, whereas in the liver Mn levels remained statistically higher than in vehicle-treated mice up to 3 weeks postinjection. No evidence of irreversible histopathological damage to any of the tested organs was observed. A comparison of the lowest in vitro toxic concentration with the intravenously injected dose and the administered dose of other ferrofluid drugs currently in clinical practice suggests that there might be sufficient safety margins for further development of our formulation. © 2014 Bellusci et al.


Arcidiacono G.,Marconi University | Bucciarelli L.,Marconi University
Quality and Reliability Engineering International | Year: 2016

Research of solutions to problem in existing processes often deals with the tendency to follow mental schemes because of the psychological inertia. This study illustrates a knowledge-based systematic methodology of inventive problem solving for the effective development of new systems and solutions, a theory that consists of theoretical foundation, analytical and knowledge-based tools, applicable in conjunction with other creativity and engineering methodologies. The TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solution) applicability in process reliability can develop new and effective solutions thanks to the examination of contradiction, different prospective, and points of view. The systematic innovation process provides a platform to integrate heterogeneous resources and tools opening the problem-solving methodology to new and different interdisciplinary approaches. The deconstruction and identification of issues to analyze the problems in their context and in relation to other factors are adopted in many areas of industrial production as well as in the more general problem-solving matters. In particular, this study will show how TRIZ can be used in process optimization rather than research and development where this methodology is commonly adopted. This case represents a practical application of the TRIZ to increase quality and reliability in regard to a manufacturing process of an industry that designs and builds molds and equipment for the production of aluminum food containers. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


D'Orazio A.,University of L'Aquila | Rapagna S.,University of Teramo | Foscolo P.U.,University of L'Aquila | Gallucci K.,University of L'Aquila | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2015

The biomass steam gasification is a promising path to obtain hydrogen-rich syngas and to improve the global efficiency for cogeneration purposes. The present study reports the results of a campaign of steam gasification tests performed in a bench-scale gasifier (0.1 m ID) housing in its freeboard a ceramic filter, in a temperature range of 800 °C-815 °C. Three new ceramic filters have been tested: (i) noncatalytic candle with new support, (ii) filter candle with catalytic layer, (iii) filter candle with new integrated catalytic foam system and results were compared to those obtained in tests without candle. The volume composition of the syngas was monitored and analyzed by online measurement by means of infrared - thermal conductivity detector (IR-TCD) facilities to evaluate the CO, CO2, CH4, H2, NH3 composition. The Topping Atmosphere Residue (tar) content was evaluated by gas-chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) facility; gas yield, water conversion and char conversion were also calculated from direct measurements. The best results were obtained in the case of innovative catalytic filter in association with cycled olivine bed, obtaining gas yield equal to 1.80 Nm3/kgdaf (vs 1.00 Nm3/kgdaf without candle); observed to theoretical water conversion ratio equal to 0.88 (vs 0.33); H2 volume content equal to 56% (vs 39%); total tar content equal to 0.14 g/Nm3 (vs 6 g/Nm3). © 2015 Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC.


Dazzi F.,Marconi University | De Nitto S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Zambetti G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Loriedo C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ciofalo A.,University of Rome La Sapienza
European Eating Disorders Review | Year: 2013

Objective The purpose of this study was to assess olfactory-gustatory function impairment in patients with eating disorders. Methods Nineteen patients with a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, 18 patients with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a control sample of 19 healthy subjects were recruited from the day hospital service of the Complex Operative Unit for Alimentary Conduct Disorders of the Policlinico Umberto I in Rome. Evaluation of olfactory and gustatory functions was performed on patients through the 'Sniffin' Sticks' method in order to assess the olfactory threshold, the capacity for discriminating and identifying olfactory stimuli, and the overall olfactory function, and through the 'taste strip' kit method in order to assess the gustatory function. The results were processed statistically to assess differences between patients with anorexia nervosa, patients with bulimia nervosa and healthy controls. Results The two groups of patients with bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa showed a poorer olfactory and gustatory function compared with the healthy controls; discrimination of olfactory stimuli and overall olfactory function were reduced in both samples, as well as the overall gustatory function and the perception of bitter stimuli, whereas olfactory threshold was altered only in patients with bulimia nervosa. In both samples, scores for olfactory function fell within the range of hyposmia. Discussion Our data suggest that patients with eating disorders have an altered perception of olfactory and gustatory stimuli. The alterations observed are worth further investigation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.


Dazzi F.,Marconi University | Dazzi F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Picardi A.,Italian National Institute of Health | Orso L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Biondi M.,University of Rome La Sapienza
General Hospital Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Objective: To identify which patient factors predict psychiatric hospitalization in patients presenting to the emergency department and to examine the role of the dimensional approach to psychopathology in predicting hospitalization. Methods: We consecutively recruited 312 patients undergoing psychiatric evaluation in the emergency room of a hospital in Rome over a 6-month period. Patients were rated on the SVARAD (Scala per la Valutazione Rapida Dimensionale), a scale designed for the rapid assessment of the main psychopathological dimensions. Information about patient history, as well as sociodemographic and clinical variables, was also collected. Univariate analysis was performed to detect the variables associated with recommendation of psychiatric hospitalization. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of hospitalization and compare their strength. A replication study was performed in another hospital on a random sample of 118 patients. Results: In both studies, patients who were recommended for psychiatric hospitalization showed significantly higher levels of anger/aggressiveness, apathy, impulsivity, reality distortion, thought disorganization and activation. Multivariate analysis identified psychopathological dimensions (reality distortion, impulsivity, apathy), diagnosis of psychotic or mood disorders and proposal for compulsory admission as independent predictors of psychiatric hospitalization. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the dimensional evaluation was the strongest predictor. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, in emergency setting, a systematic dimensional assessment may usefully complement the categorical assessment. Future research should aim at developing an operational assessment model, including both categorical and dimensional approaches to psychopathology. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Dazzi F.,Marconi University | Di Leone F.G.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Eating and Weight Disorders | Year: 2014

The current nosography of eating disorders (ED) has various limitations in terms of validity and accuracy. The changes adopted in the DSM-5 limit some of the current problems, such as excessive prevalence of ED not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and the lack of longitudinal stability, but are unlikely to adequately capture the clinical complexity of ED. Many authors suggest the need for a thorough review of the current nosography to support evidence-based classification. In this paper, we discuss the validity of the current diagnostic categories and their possible reorganization. Furthermore, we review the main empirical models of classification and the diagnostic approach from a personality perspective, with particular attention to research and to the prognostic and therapeutic implications. © 2013 Springer International Publishing.

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