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Biofuels-Shell Oil Company

Shell is a worldwide energy and petrochemical company with more than a million workers in about one hundred countries. Shell through its innovative approach ensures that the firm can deal with the future energy crisis. Shell aims at meeting energy requirements globally in a manner that is social, economical and environmentally friendly always. The company also aims at working with its clients, policymakers, and other stakeholders to improve sustainable and efficient utilization of natural resources and energy (Mol 299).

            The company’s objectives are to engage resourcefully, reasonably and profitably in gas chemical, oil, and biofuels, among other few commercial activities. Also, Shell is committed to taking part in the search for and establishment of other energy sources so as to meet the ever increasing customers’ wants and evolving global demand for energy. Shell’s responsibility is ensuring that biofuels and oil are well produced and delivered in time at a profit and in a way that the whole process is both socially and environmentally responsible. The firm’s goal include leading in the oil and energy sector globally regarding customer service, quality, safety and environmentally friendly (Mol 305).

            According to Skjaeseth (99), of all Shell’s products, biofuels are best types of fuels. Shell Oil Company is committed to producing biofuels because they are environmentally friendly. The company encourages recycling activities because in most cases, biofuels are produced from waste materials. Shell manufactures different types of biofuels using a detailed technique with several stages. During the production of biofuels all animal fats, oil and vegetables containing glycerin are converted into esters splitting glycerin. Glycerin and biodiesel are separated using a process called Transesterification. The catalyst used in the whole process is called lye and chemicals used known as methanol or ethanol, which results in the use of methyl esters.    

Industrial Applications of Fluid Power

Task 1a: (LO 1: 1.1)

A 3/2 spring return operated by a push button actuator and is typically closed during rest. Actuation of the valve occurs by pressing the push button. The valve returns to its normal when the push button is released. This action is enabled by the action of a return spring.

A dual pressure valve, also known as AND function, requires two pressure inputs to give an output. When pressure is applied to one input, the shuttle is pushed to one side, thus blocking any airflow. When pressure is applied from both ends, the shuttle is thus centralized, and air flows through the valve.

A shuttle valve, OR gate, has two inputs and one output. In contrast to the dual-pressure valve which requires two signals for the output to be activated, the shuttle valve only requires one input signal to be applied for the output to be enabled. Activating one of the input signals activates the output signal but at the same time deactivates the other input signal.

A 5/2 solenoid operated directional control valve has two flow positions and five equally spaced ports. The valve is actuated by a solenoid and is utilized to isolate and concurrently bypass a passageway for the fluid to extend or retract a double acting cylinder.

A one-way flow restrictor is employed to alter the speed of mechanism. The valve is connected to a working pressure line, between the last control valve and the cylinder ports. When flow occurs in the reverse direction, the compressed air exerts pressure from the bottom of the diaphragm thus opening it, and air passes through it without throttling.

In a 5/3 pilot operated spring return spring to center directional control valve has all the ports closed. When the spool is on the right, port one is joined to port four, while port two is joined to port three. When the spool is on the left, port one is coupled with port two while port four is joined to port five.

A 5/2 pilot operated directional control valve is pneumatically actuated in a single direction and is returned to rest by the use of spring.

Task 1b: (LO4: 4.1, 4.2 &M2)

            Fluid, gas or liquid that can flow naturally or can be made to flow can be utilized for energy transmission in a fluid power system. Initially, water was used as a medium of transmission and thus all systems using liquids were referred to as hydraulic systems. Apart from water, compressed air is also commonly used. The benefit of suing water and air in fluid power systems is that they are both readily available and can be made to flow through pipes quickly. Pneumatic and hydraulic fluid power are utilized in compressed air brakes in heavy commercial vehicles, pressure regulating valves that prevent the flow of a liquid when it attains a certain pressure and also cable jetting, where telecommunication cables are pushed through ducts by the use of compressed air.

Pneumatics systems are advantageous because they utilize readily available resources, water, and air. Water and air are easy to channel through tubes making the systems cheaper to use. Air can work over a range of temperature and pressure thus making it suitable to be employed in the pressure regulating valves. For the fluid system to be effective, air or water must be passed through a network composed of reservoir, pumps, valves and pipes. The pump will propel the fluid from the source throughout the system to the destination.  The reservoir stores the fluid while the valves regulate the direction and flow. The pipes ensure that the fluid flows at the required pressure. In the above examples, the pipes must be made of a strong material, metal, rubber, or plastic that can withstand the operating pressures (Laguna 2).

Task 1c: (LO4: 4.3)

In the above sketch, the pneumatic cylinder contains the mechanism that powers the device. Air is supplied from the compressor through the solenoid valve which controls the pressure and prevents backflow. When the air gets into the cylinder, the mechanism activates the clamper joints which in turn move the clampers to grab or drop, according to the need of the user. The control unit provides the platform for keying in the parameters required, e.g. the air pressure required. 

Whenever operating machinery in the workshop, safety procedures must be adhered to prevent harm to the operator or damage of the tool being used. The user must have the appropriate PPE to protect them from any harm. Googles, steel-toed boots, leather gloves and aprons are some of the PPE’s to be considered. The compressor must be connected to a valve that regulates the flow. The workshop must be aerated and well lit. Tools must be placed in the appropriate areas to minimize accidents. The tables and work benches should be put at such a height as to be comfortable for the person working on them. All in all, ergonomics should be taken into consideration when designing and installing the device to maximize its output (Xiao, Oo, and Farooq 1).

            A pneumatic accumulator is a storage reservoir whereby a non-compressible fluid is stored under pressure exerted by an external force. The accumulator enables the system to overcome extremes of demand by the use of a less powerful pump. The hydraulic reservoir is utilized for the storage of the fluid that will be used to power the hydraulic system. The fluid moves around the system with the assistance of a fluid power pump which gives it the necessary kinetic energy. The energy contained in the fluid is used to power the fluid power motor, which then generates electric power or motion (Jung, Hwang, and Kim 76).

Physics around Us

Introduction

The word physics is taken by scientist as synonymous to nature. It involves the study of matter as well as its motion and behavior in space and time. It is related to energy and force. In science, a principle is defined as a fundamental law or truth from which others laws are derived. In science, such principles govern nature and can be used to explain occurrences/ observations in our day to day life. Such occurrences/observations range from household, environmental, agriculture, infrastructure, transport, and energy among others. They also explain how various equipment and machinery work and the reason for their design.

One of my observations is the breaking system of an automobile. In this case, we assume that the car is in good condition. (Owen) When the driver steps on the brakes pedal/lever, the car stops without some wheels stopping before the others. This is proved so by the fact that it does not turn or skid when stopped. From this we can deduct that when driver steps on the brakes pedal, it is like he steps on four pedals each one representing each one of the four wheels at the same time. The four wheels stops at the same time.

The system uses an incompressible fluid for the transmission of force from the pedal to the wheels. Basically the system comprises of a pedal, the return springs, the master cylinder, fluid pipes, slave cylinders, brake shoes and drum.

Modern systems have added components like boosters and brake pads replacing the shoe. They improve the efficiency, reliability and durability of the system but all in all both modern and simple systems apply the same principles.an ideal breaking system or one that is not malfunctioning should have an incompressible fluid. It is mostly a liquid that does not have air bubbles or in other words what is referred to as cavitation. The fluid should also occupy the whole space in the connecting pipes. This arrangement of fluid filled pipes is referred to as hydraulics. The fluid is referred to as hydraulic fluid. Apart from transmitting force, the hydraulic fluid also multiplies the force since the force required to stop a car or else a truck is much greater than the force applied on the pedal.

When one presses the brakes pedal, the force is transmitted to the master cylinder. It is then transmitted to the four slave cylinders at each of the four wheels(Owen).The force forces the piston of the slave cylinder to push the brake shoes to the drum. The friction between the shoe and the drum forces the drum to stop rotating thereby stopping the wheel and so is the car. Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.

Multiplication of force and equal distribution is achieved using the principle of transmission of fluid pressure. It was first enunciated by a French scientist, Braise Pascal. It postulates that a “pressure change occurring anywhere in a confined incompressible fluid is transmitted throughout the fluid such that the same changes occur everywhere”.(Durfee etal). According to Pascal, pressure at a point in a fluid at rest is the same in all directions. Pressure is force per unit area. It is measured in bars or in Newton per square meters. From the definition it is evident that when a change in force and area occurs, pressure will remain constant. Thus,

P=F/A where P=Pressure, F=Force, A=Area.

Considering that pressure is constant, force is directly proportional to cross section area(Durfee etal) The smaller the area, the higher the force. In the case of a car, the diameter of the tube from the pedal to the master cylinder is almost the same size as the diameter of the tube from the master cylinder to the wheels. This is so since the system also used the distance moved by the force to compensate for the drastic difference between the two forces.

Work input = work output

Work done = force x distance

Therefore: F1D1 = F2D2

This means that the distance moved by the force on the pedal is higher than the distance moved by force from the shoe original point to the drum. On the other hand, the force on the pedal is much less than the force on the drum.

Pascal’s principle is also used in other hydraulic machines and equipment. For example a car jack, hydraulic press, hydraulic lifts etc.

In hydraulic press, the piston area is smaller than the ram area. Consequently, the piston is observed to moves at a longer distance than the pressing plate.(Durfeeet al) The force on the piston is much less than the force on the load. A price has to be paid by exerting a smaller input force through a larger distance. The force in the smaller cylinder is through a long distance is traded to a larger force exerted on the large cylinder through a small distance.

Conclusion

Science plays a big role in explanation of what we see and why matter behaves the way it does. Through research, scientists have solved many problems that would otherwise be affecting us on daily basis.

DARK MATTER AND DARK ENERGY

In early Studies of other galaxies, scientist thought that the expansion of the universe was slowing due to gravity. Scientists were certain about the expansion of the universe. Theoretically, scientist thought the universe might have enough energy density to stop its expansion and re-collapse or it might have so little energy density that it would never expanding, but the scientists were certain gravity slowed the expansion as time went on.  In reality, scientists had no evidence that the expansion was slowing, but in theory, they were certain the slowing was taking place due to the fact that the universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity pulls matter together.

This thought changed in 1998 when two independent teams of astrophysicists observed a very distant supernovae. They used Hubble Space Telescope to calculate the deceleration. The findings showed that the universe was actually expanding faster than it was a long time ago.it was observed that the universe expansion was actually accelerating, no one expected the findings, and these findings changed everything. The earlier thought that the universe expansion slowed due to gravity changed, scientist were left in a dilemma they could not explain it (Bahcall, 23).

With time scientist and theorists came up with explanations. They came up with three explanations, in one of the explanations theorist thought maybe it was a result of a long dropped version of Einstein’s theory of gravity. The theory contained the term “cosmological constant” this was a term Einstein included in his field equation, he included it for general relativity because he was dissatisfied that his equation did not allow, supposedly, for a static universe. In another explanation, theorists thought maybe there was some peculiar kind of energy-fluid that filled space. The theorist thought that maybe there was something astray with Einstein’s theory of gravity and maybe the development of a new theory could make allowance for some kind of field that creates this cosmic acceleration.

To date theorists still do not have a correct explanation for but they have developed a name for the solution. They named it dark energy. Dark energy is a force that explains the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is still a mystery a lot about this force is unknown than is known scientist are aware of how much of dark energy there is because its effects on universes expansion are known. Dark energy remains a riddle, but it is a vital riddle.it is reported that approximately 69 per cent of the universe is dark energy while dark matter makes up about 27per cent the rest 5 percent is made up of all normal matters this includes everything on earth and everything observable through instruments (Cline, 340).

Leading theory elucidation of dark energy considers it as a property of space. Einstein was the first to conscious of the fact that space was not empty in his theory of general relativity  Einstein appreciated that space could continue to come into existence he, however, included the cosmological constant term to compliment the static universe scientists thought existed. Later after Huddle tabled the findings of the expanding universe, Einstein realized that the inclusion of the “cosmological constant” term in his theory of general relativity was a mistake. But this mistake could be the best explanation for dark energy. Einstein predicted that empty space could have its own energy because energy is a property of space itself. Einstein’s constant indicates that as more space emerges the more the energy added to the universe thus increasing its expansion (Overduin, 137). Regrettably, people do not understand the cosmological constant they can’t understand why it should even be there, or why it would have exactly the right factors to cause the observed acceleration of the universe.

The quantum theory of matter is a theory that explains how space amasses energy. The theory state that empty space is filled with temporary particles that constantly form and then disappear (Bahcall, 97). To know how much energy these particles would give, physicists did a calculation whose answer was wrong, the answer was too big and ended up increasing the mystery and dilemma on dark energy. In another elucidation for dark energy theorists suggests that dark matter is a new kind of dynamical energy fluid or field something that fills all of space but whose effect on the expansion of matter is the opposite of that matter and normal energy theorist gave this a name they called it “quintessence”. If quintessence is the solution, it is not clear what it is like, what it interacts with or the reason for its existence. So the riddle continues.

The last explanation is that Einstein’s theory of gravity could be wrong.

If this were the case, a lot would be affected from the expansion of the universe to the way normal matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies behaved this would provide ways for scientists to decide if the solution to the dark energy problem is a new gravity theory or not. But in case a new theory of gravity is needed scientist question what kind of theory it would be and how correctly would it describe the motion of the bodies in the solar system, some think that like Einstein’s theory the new theory would make new predictions about the universe and would create more dilemma and mystery. Scientists need to conduct deep research to know more about the dark energy they should collect more and better data to understand more about dark energy possibilities.

Dark matter accounts for most of the matter in the universe.  Dark matter is unidentified type of matter. It emits no light, and it is not a star or a planet .dark matter cannot be seen directly due to the fact that dark matter is small and transparent to electromagnetic radiation, thus, cannot absorb or emit enough radiation that can be detected by current imaging technology (Overduin, 123). For this reason, we can say dark matter is not in the form of dark clouds of normal matter made up baryons because baryonic clouds can be detected by their absorption of radiation passing through them. Dark matter is not antimatter because unique gamma rays that are produced when antimatter annihilates with matter cannot be seen.

Is dark matter a possibility does it exist, there are few dark matter possibilities that are viable Baryonic matter could still make up the dark matter if it were all tied up in brown dwarfs or in small, dense chunks of heavy elements. These possibilities are known as “MACHOs”. But the most common view is that dark matter is not baryonic at all, but that it is made up of other, more exotic particles like axions or WIMPS. Up to now a lot is unknown about dark energy and dark matter scientist are investing more resources and collect more data and better data to ensure the mystery is solved.

Effect of Temperature on Amylase Activity

Abstract

This laboratory experiment was carried out to establish the optimal temperature for bacterial and fungal, Aspergillus oryzae amylases. Besides, it will evaluate the effect of temperature on the ability of amylase to break down starch maltose. Collect 4 test tubes for each of the amylases. The test tubes were then labeled with their matching temperatures. 5ml of the 1.5% starch was added into half of each of the test tubes. Thereafter, each of the test tubes is placed into the corresponding temperatures. An Iodine test was carried out to observe the starch hydrolysis process. The two spot plates were established for fungal amylase and bacterial amylase. Labeling of the spot plates was done with time and temperature as dependent and independent variables respectively. During the process of equilibrating the tubes, 2 drops of Iodine solution were added into the initial rows of the time on each of the spot plates. A few drops of solutions in the tubes were transferred using a pipette to the Iodine solution. This is a process that was carried out at each of the time intervals up to the completion of the experiment. Results of the experiment were then tabulated in figure 1 and figure 2. It was observed that there was no change of color for the majority of the experiments conducted at the temperatures of 85°C and 0°C. The color change was observed at 65°C between 4 and 6 minutes. It can be concluded from the results of the experiment that the optimal temperatures for bacterial and fungal amylases are comparatively 65°C. Therefore, there is a relationship between the metabolic rates of enzyme and its temperature.

Introduction

The aim of carrying out this laboratory experiment was to determine the optimal temperatures for both bacterial and fungal amylases. Amylases are both proteins and enzymes. Proteins are essential in the human body due to the fact that they perform various functions such as storage, regulation, motion, enzyme catalysis, support, defense, and transport. On the other hand, enzymes functions as a biological catalyst. As a result, enzymes increase the rates of chemical reactions that are essential to live. This is done through the reduction of the activation energy of the enzymes. Activation energy refers to the amount of vital energy needed for the process of chemical reactions to happen (Peter, Zakhartsev & Westerhoff, 2006). Activation energy can be reduced by enzymes through the substrate binding. The active site of enzymes has unique shapes that only suit to a particular substrate. This is a model normally referred to as the “lock and key”. Characteristics, charge, and shape of the substrate molecules and enzymes are determined by the specificity of the active site results of the enzyme (Alberte, Pitzer, & Calero, 2012). The shape of the enzyme is transformed to increase the process of chemical reactions after its binding to the enzyme’s active site, commonly known as the “induced fit” model.  Nevertheless, there are other factors that can change the shape of the enzyme. These factors constitute salt concentration, substrate concentration, pH level, temperature as well as the presence of cofactors, activators, and inhibitors. Carbohydrates such as sugars and starches are catabolized by amylases (Olivieri et al, 2011). Hydrolysis is a process that helps in the breaking down of the different molecules of carbohydrates. Larger carbohydrate molecules are broken down into smaller molecules through hydrolysis reactions. This involves gaining of a water molecule. Energy is usually released to perform the work after breaking down the larger molecules through hydrolysis reactions. There are certain optimal conditions that help enzymes to carry out their work effectively. For instance, the optimal working conditions for enzymes are normally within a very small range. The Very high temperature will result to the denaturing of the majority of the enzymes hence thwarting substrate binding. In addition, very low temperatures also contribute to low reactions of the enzymes. Nevertheless, the majority of the enzymes have a high tolerance of temperature. Accelerated results will be produced by a warmer temperature in case the temperature is linked to the amylase activity. For instance, perhaps there will be very low temperature at 0°C hence leading to slow chemical reactions. However, there will be high chemical reactions at 65°C and 85°C thus leading to denaturing of the amylase enzyme. This is normally dependent on the hydrogen bonding of the enzymes of a particular organization. The strength of the hydrogen bonding usually determines the shape of the enzymes (Hunter, Jin, & Kelly, 2011). Stronger bonds enable numerous optimal conditions while the weak bonds contribute to low range of the normal conditions. The optimal temperature will be achieved at 25°C.

Methods

Performance of an Iodine test will help to observe the breakdown of starch in fungal amylase and bacterial amylase. Iodine test assists individual to observe the starch hydrolysis process when it changes color from black to yellow. The first step was to set the paper towels below the spot plates with adequate room to facilitate labeling. The next step was to label the left and top side as time and temperature respectively. The various temperatures that would be tested include 0°C, 25°C, 65°C, and 85°C.  On the other hand, time will be recorded after an interval of 2 minutes. The labeling of time will be done on the right side as 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 minutes. Four test tubes were collected and labeled all the bacterial enzymes as “B” where each of the tubes has distinct temperature. Another four test tubes will be collected for the fungal enzymes where they were marked “F”. During this period, a starch solution “S” will also be written for the four test tubes. 5ml of the 1.5% solution of starch was added to all the test tubes that were marked “S”. Thereafter, 1ml of amylase was added into the other test tubes and put each of them into the corresponding temperatures. Allow it to heat for 5 minutes then transfer the solution of starch to the spot plates. During this process, add 2 drops of Iodine solution to the 0 minute row in the spot plate. After equilibration has occurred, add some drops of the starch solution from each of the temperatures to the 0 minute row. The test tubes were not removed from the water bath during the transfer process. Each of the pipettes was labeled with the corresponding temperature for each of the time interval. Results should then be recorded at the end of the laboratory experiment.

According to figure 1, testing of the effects of the starch catalysis in the bacterial amylase after a particular period at various temperatures was carried out. It was observed that the color was a #5 at 0 minute and 0°C. The starch hydrolysis scale indicates that a #1 and a #5 represent smallest and highest amount of starch respectively. The color was a #4 at 2 and 4 minutes while it was a #3.5 at 6, 8, and 10 minutes respectively at the same 0°C. At 85°C, the color remained a #5 at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 minutes.

In the second figure, testing of the effects of starch catalysis in the fungal amylase for a period of time was done. It was established that the color was a #5 at 0°C, 25°C and 85°C from 0 minutes to 10 minutes. Nevertheless, the color was a #4 at 55°C for 4 minutes to 10 minutes. The results were represented in the graphs of figure 1 and figure 2.

Discussion

After carrying out the laboratory experiment and examining the results from the graphs and the table, it was concluded that the null hypothesis was disregarded. According to the tabulated information, it demonstrates the association between metabolic rate and temperatures of the enzyme. It was observed that there is a reduction in the reaction of the enzyme at temperatures that are beneath the optimal level. Nevertheless, denaturing of the enzyme occurs at temperatures that are above the optimal level. For instance, according to the graphical representation of the fungal amylase effects at different temperatures of 0°C and 85°C, it indicated that there was no any change of color through the entire laboratory experiment. As a result, there was no start that was broken down at these temperatures. Nevertheless, it was observed that the starch hydrolysis reaction began very swiftly at 0°C and 85°C due to the fact that it illustrated the same results (Arvanitis & Mylonakis, 2015). Half of the laboratory experiment did not indicate any change of color. The color change began to emerge after a period of 4 minutes at temperatures of 25°C and 65°C. It was also observed that there was swift starch hydrolysis at 65°C after a period of 6 minutes due to the fact that the color also changed. Therefore, based on the results obtained from the experiment, a conclusion can be made that the optimal temperatures of fungal amylase and bacterial amylase is comparatively near 65°C. Nevertheless, there might be other errors that might have affected the end results of the laboratory experiments. It was not easy to find the color change at 85°C after 8 and 10 minutes for the fungal amylase. The results might have been very different in case all the information was gathered in the experiment.

It was also observed that there was change of color in the bacterial amylase after 8 minutes at a temperature level of 85°C. In case denaturing of the enzyme could have occurred then it might not have functioned effectively. This might be as a result of the errors incurred during the experiment. Determining whether the experiment was carried out appropriately is essential due to the fact that it helps to get the most precise results. Despite the fact that the experiment was carried out as per the stipulated procedures, there are certain improvements that need to be made. For instance, it is important to assign different individuals a particular temperature for the fungal amylase and bacterial amylase. This is vital due to the fact that it will help make sure that the measurements are taken appropriately as per the time intervals outlined. In addition, it would be appropriate to use higher temperatures so as to observe the effects of higher temperatures on the enzymes. This would be vital in determining the behaviors of enzymes in various environmental conditions. The experiment achieved its objectives since it was able to establish the effects of temperature on amylase activity. The challenges experienced during the experiment should be addressed so as to ensure that future experiments achieve high level of accuracy (Raven et al, 2014).