Thermal plasma-driven looping for metal scrap processing with hydrogen
In the present research, a novel process was proposed and assessed using an equilibrium thermochemical modelling study to evaluate the performance of a combined disruptive technology of thermal plasma and thermochemical looping to utilise hydrogen for iron reduction processing. The study was aimed at conducting a high-level power performance assessment of the process by integrating a built-in power block with a focus on a novel equilibrium thermal plasma technology for reducing iron scrap particles. The effect of thermal plasma operating parameters such as temperature (1000 °C < T < 1800 °C) and hydrogen-to-iron ratio in the feed stream to the thermal plasma reactor (0 < H2/metal < 20) on the performance of the system was numerically investigated using Aspen coupled with Matlab. Also, the self-sustaining factor was evaluated coupled with a quantitative analysis of the sustainability and lifecycle of the process aiming at better understanding the impact of the proposed system on the environment. Results showed that the system is crucially sensitive to the ratio of H2/metal such that the overall power demand of the reactor can change in a way that the dominant regime of the plasma can change from endothermic (partial reduction of iron) to exothermic (complete reduction, combustion of iron) once the hydrogen to metal ratio exceeds ∼ 2.5. It was also identified that an increase in the temperature of the combustor decreased the power demand for the thermal plasma reactor. Similarly, with increasing the temperature, a ramp-up in the self-sustaining factor was observed reaching 0.8 showing that 80 % of the energy of the auxiliaries can be maintained using the built-in heat recovery and power block. The thermal efficiency of the system was also a strong function of the H2/metal ratio reaching ∼ 0.4 at the H2/metal ratio of ∼ 2.5 reflecting the fact that the proposed process efficiency is within the state-of-the-art power production systems. The sustainability assessments showed that the process offers a high circular economy capability of the process with above-the-average lifetime and Material Circularity Indicator values.
Impact of an Intervention to Promote the Vaccination of Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a dysregulated immune system, being at high risk of opportunistic infections. Low vaccination rates hinder the prevention of such diseases. Therefore, we implemented an intervention to increase vaccination rates, and we aimed to evaluate the effect. We determined the change in professionals and the change in the vaccination rates after the intervention. A quasi-experimental study was carried out using data from 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2021. First, healthcare professionals specializing in IBD agreed on a vaccination protocol; then, this protocol was passed on to the professionals involved in vaccination. We evaluated the perception of knowledge, capacity, and intention to vaccinate patients with IBD among the professionals before and after the intervention with a survey. We also described the effectiveness of the intervention for already diagnosed patients and compared the vaccination rates between patients diagnosed prior to the intervention and newly diagnosed patients. The intervention resulted in an improved perception of knowledge, capacity, and intention to vaccinate patients with IBD among the professionals (p < 0.05). Moreover, during the post-intervention period, in the 315 patients, the vaccination rate increased for all immune-preventable diseases (p < 0.05). The professionals positively valued the intervention, and compliance with the recommended vaccination protocol in patients with IBD improved significantly.