A prototype of a fine-crusher (grinder) of wood-cellulosic materials has been constructed with flail-knives and a rotary sieve rotating independently of each other. Pieces of bamboo in batches were fed into the fine-crusher, the crushed material was then treated with pressurized hot water (sub-critical water) to modify its structure and then hydrolyzed into glucose. With an increase in the diameter of the pores of the rotary sieve, the specific energy requirement for fine-crushing decreased remarkably from 500 to 250 kJ/kg, while the estimated glucose yield at 200°C decreased negligibly from 38% to 35%. The best rotational speed of the rotor and the diameter of the sieve pores were 1500 rpm and 4 mm, respectively.
A direct yaw-moment control system of an articulated vehicle is being developed to reduce the vehicle's turning radius. This system can control the yaw moment around the vehicle's center of gravity by operating the right or left braking force. However, it has been noted that the vehicle's stability may worsen when the sideslip angle increases depending on the speed and the road conditions. Thus, as a safety measure, it is necessary to detect the sideslip angle and release the small-radius turning control. In this study, an observer was designed to estimate the body sideslip angle for the articulated vehicle and compared with the experimental results of the vehicle moving in a zigzag line. The estimated sideslip angle agreed with the experimental results.
Ground-based hyperspectral remote sensing was applied to rice plants a week before harvesting in order to estimate the protein content of brown rice. When the accuracy was predicted through a full cross-validation, a 2007 model was estimated with R2 = 0.626, RMSEP = 0.311%, REP = 3.95% and a 2008 model was estimated with R2 = 0.819, RMSEP = 0.188%, and REP = 2.68%. When one model was used for prediction using the other year's data, the prediction error increased twice or more because the tendencies of the regression coefficients were different between the 2007 and 2008 models. When model prediction accuracy using two years' data was calculated by full cross-validation, R2, RMSEP, and REP were 0.850, 0.247% and 3.32%, respectively.
The hot and humid weather of Taiwan causes a wide spread of pests and a great loss to Taiwan's agriculture. In particular, Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) causes huge agricultural disasters in past years. To gather important information related to the outbreak of S. litura, we develop an ecological monitoring system which combines GSM transmission technologies with mechatronics. The proposed system also equips with an MSP430 low-power microcontroller, a solar power supply system, and a trapping tube. All information collected by the system is stored in a specially designed database. The system is then deployed at an outdoor environment to verify its reliability. The test results show that the system is capable of providing effective monitoring information for pest management.
The microstructure of a tofu gel network determines the firmness and hence the taste of the tofu. The structure of a tofu network can be observed with a microscope, and the mechanical properties may be determined through textural analysis. These approaches are destructive and sometimes prohibitively expensive; hence they are unsuitable for on-line measurement of tofu properties in a production line. Therefore, this study uses ultrasound for non-destructive measurement of tofu's structure with scanning electronic microscopy and textural analysis as calibrators. Glucono-delta-lactone (GDL) and CaSO4·2H2O tofu curds from the market were examined using microscopic analysis, textural analysis, and ultrasonic measurement. There is a positive correlation between the area percentage of pores in a network and the attenuation coefficient of ultrasound. Hence, ultrasonic power attenuation can be a potential means of exploring the microstructure of tofu gel.