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National Postgraduate Conference (NPC), 2011

Date 19-20 Sept. 2011

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  • [Copyright notice]

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  • [Front cover]

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  • Table of contents

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  • Using risk matrix as an inherent risk tool at preliminary design stage for inherently safer design

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (433 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Safety should be considered and addressed in the whole life cycle of a process system or facility. They are many established methodologies to identify, analyze, prioritize and manage risks arising from different stages. One of the design methodologies to reduce and eliminate root causes of hazards during design stage is known as Inherent Safety (IS). The principles to defining IS were formalized by Prof. Trover Kletz and were further developed into guidelines that are more definitive by a number of researchers. An inherently safer process plant could be designed if the information on risk levels, likelihood and severity could be known earlier at the preliminary design stage. The risk levels, likelihood and severity could be reduced or eliminated by applying the principle of inherent safety in the design. However, process designers normally lack of information on risk levels, likelihood and severity from process plant during preliminary design stage. This information is available once Quantitative Risk assessment (QRA) study is completed at the end of detail design stage prior to plant construction as required by law. Therefore, this research aims to overcome this problem by developing an inherent risk tool that can determine the risk levels, likelihood and severity early in the preliminary process design stage and at the same time to provide the opportunity for process designers to apply inherent safety principles for inherently safer process design. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of different cationic forms of montmorillonite by FTIR, XRD and TGA techniques

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    This paper aims at characterization of different cationic forms of montmorillonite clay using FTIR, XRD and TGA techniques. Montmorillonite was separately treated with different alkaline and alkaline earth and transition metal cations, such as Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+ and Cd2+ to get the corresponding homoionic forms of montmorillonite clay mineral. The developed samples were characterized by the above mentioned methods. FTIR spectra of the samples revealed that the exchangeable cations have a minor effect on the stretching and bending bands of the structural OH, while a major one on both position and intensity of the physically adsorbed water was reported. XRD showed the changes in the crystallographic spacings of montmorillonite clay mineral due to ion exchange process. Thermogravimetric study of the examine samples showed two DTG exothermic peaks in their DTG curves, attributed to the dehydration of the physically adsorbed and bounded water and dehydroxylation of the structural water respectively. All the results obtained proved that these exchangeable cations dominated the amount of the physically adsorbed water and initial humidity of the clay. View full abstract»

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  • Application of process hazards management in lab-scale pilot plant

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    Researchers working with lab-scale pilot plants are also exposed to the hazardous material and unsafe environment. Injuries, accidents or even fatalities are often reported due to direct exposure of process hazards such as hazardous chemicals while working with the pilot plant. Even though the quantity of hazardous materials at the lab-scale pilot plant is small compared to real scale plant, but the impact of the hazards can be very high that may cause fatalities and properties damage. However, there is no structured technique reported that successfully manage process hazards in pilot plant. It is well known that the management of process hazards is a requirement in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) CFR 1910.119(e) for process industries. PSM is recognized by industries as the best for prevention of major accidents in process plant, but they are still struggling to comply with the PSM standard due to lack of effective implementation technique. This paper presents a strategy on how researchers could manage the process hazards effectively at the same time could comply with OSHA PSM CFR 1910.119(e). A framework is developed based on OSHA PSM CFR 1910.119(e) as a guideline for easy implementation in the lab-scale plant. The application of this concept will assist by computer technology for efficiently collect, update, review and revalidate the process hazards' information. This method once implemented perhaps could reduce the injuries, fatalities and properties damage due to unsafe workplace. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of novel solvothermolysed dolomite for carbon dioxide separation from synthetic gas mixture

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    Huge emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel fired power plants and industrial plants over the last century have resulted in an increase of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, resulting in so-called green house. Thus development of CO2 adsorbent seems to be crucial nowadays. In this work solvothermolysis processes was performed on dolomite with and without addition of Al(OH)2 in molar ratio of 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 of Al(OH)2 to dolomite using three differences solvent which are water, ethanol and polyethylene glycol. The phase identification of solvothermolysed dolomite was performed using X-ray diffraction technique (XRD) and it was found that the samples possessed the main peaks of the raw dolomite thus conformed that they existed in Hexagonal (Rh) system. t-e-dolomite and 1:2 t-e-AL:d shows improvement in amount of CO2 adsorbed compared to raw dolomite, the lowest average crystal size and decomposed at lowest temperature with highest weight loss in thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). View full abstract»

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  • Development of the liquefaction unit for higher LNG production through performance optimization of Main Cryogenic Heat Exchanger (MCHE)

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    Liquefaction unit is the main unit in the LNG plant that functions to cool down natural gas from gaseous to liquefied state. However this unit consumes a lot of energy compared to other units. One of the factors contributes to this problem is due to the inefficiency of several equipments inside the unit. One of the equipment is Main Cryogenic Heat Exchanger (MCHE). This equipment plays an important role for the overall performance of liquefaction unit, yet there are only a few studies done especially in terms of its internal performance of MCHE. Therefore, simulation is a best way in analyzing the phenomena that take inside the MCHE. This paper shows a research study in progress for simulating the heat exchanger which is a Spiral Wound Heat Exchanger (SWHE). In addition, it emphasizes on the details that involves in the modeling will be presented as well. View full abstract»

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  • Performance of fenton oxidation towards sulfide removal for spent caustic remediation

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    In wastewater, sulfides are the primary culprit among malodorous compounds that are most complained about by the general public. A study is made to explore the oxidation process for remediating sulfide from refinery spent caustic solution by means of Fenton's Reagent i.e. ferrous ion, Fe2+ and hydrogen peroxide, H2O2 under acidic condition. The pH adjustment step also contributed towards the objective as 65-70% of sulfide removed in the form of hydrogen sulfide gas, H2S. Elevation in the operating temperature indicates no advantage in terms of sulfide removal percentage thus the process is best done in ambient conditions i.e. 30°C. The optimum Fe2+ and H2O2/COD obtained from this experimental work is 75mg/L and 1.1, respectively. Almost all of sulfide is believed to convert to sulfate within 30-minutes of reaction time. Complete sulfide removal also caused the COD to be reduced by 43% and formation of sulfate in the form of sulphuric acid may be the reason of pH reduction of final effluent from 3.5 to 2.8. View full abstract»

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  • Targeting for process HENs design in the context of total sites

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    The paper presents a targeting method for process heat exchanger networks (HENs) design in the context of total sites. The method is based on a simultaneous optimization framework for the HENs utility cost and utility systems operating cost. Instead of the standalone HEN capital-energy costs trade-off, the method utilizes the trade-off between the HEN capital cost and the total utility systems operating cost. The total utility systems include steam and non-steam utility systems within the site. The energy cost of the HEN is replaced by the total utility systems operating cost to avoid explicit calculations of steam costs when targeting for HENs design. This enables handling the variability of steam costs with the steam utility loads and the minimum approach temperature, ΔTmin, of the HEN without assuming fixed steam costs as in the existing methods. The optimum ΔTmin is that corresponds to the minimum total cost which involves the HEN capital cost and total utility systems operating cost. The simultaneous optimization framework combines the optimization of utility systems using Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP) with targeting for the HENs design using Pinch Analysis. The method was demonstrated using an example total site. View full abstract»

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  • Characteristic of COD and colour removal of azo dye in ozonation and biological treatment

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    In this research, the characteristic of COD and colour removal of azo dye by ozonation and biological treatment was evaluated for applying in azo dye industrial effluent treatment. Reactive Red 120, Remazol Brilliant Blue, Reactive Green 19 and Reactive Black 5 has been selected amongst azo dyes due to its high solubility in aquatic environment. COD removal was contributed simultaneously by ozonation and biological treatment mechanism at lower ozone doses. However, it was significantly contributed by direct oxidation at higher ozone dose. The biodegradable fraction of COD could be further oxidized and completely removed by ozonation. Consequently, ozone will be competitively consumed by residual COD as well as biodegradable COD if higher ozone dose is applied. Therefore, ozonation is effective for reducing the colour of Reactive Red 120, Remazol Brilliant Blue, Reactive Green 19 and Reactive Black 5. View full abstract»

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  • In-situ transesterification of Jatropha curcas seeds using the mixture of methanol and isopropanol

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    The solubility and extractability of alcohol to triglyceride is an important factor in biodiesel production to enhance the reaction rate and to obtain a better purification. Methanol and isopropanol have an opposite properties of solubility and extractability to Jatropha curcas oil. Therefore, the mixture of methanol and isopropanol was used for conducting in situ transesterification of Jatropha curcas seeds with sodium methoxide as alkaline catalyst. The reaction was carried out by varying the ratio of solvent volume to seed weight from 6.25 to 8.75 (ml/g), various volume ratio of methanol to mixture from 0.33 to 0.66 (ml MeOH/ml mixture), and various catalyst concentration from 1.0 to 2.0 wt% at 60°C and reaction time 120 minutes. The highest conversion to biodiesel 74.28% was achieved with ratio of methanol and isopropanol volume to seed weight of 7.39, volume ratio of methanol to mixture of 0.655 and NaOMe concentration 1.58 wt% at 60°C and reaction time 120 minutes. View full abstract»

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  • The degradation mechanism of wastewater containing MDEA using UV/H2O2 advanced oxidation process

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    Alkanolamines such as MEA, DEA, MDEA and DIPA in aqueous solutions is frequently used for scrubbing carbon dioxide from natural gas. High quantity of alkanolamine appears in the wastewater during cleaning and maintenance as well as shutdown of the absorption and desorption columns. The alkanolamines waste is toxic to the environment and this wastewater cannot be treated in the conventional wastewater treatment. Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) named UV/H2O2 is introduced to solve this problem. A laboratory set up of degradation MDEA waste using UV/H2O2 was conducted and the degradation mechanism has been studied. Glycine, oxalic acid, acetic acid, nitrate ion, nitrite ion and ammonium ion are identified as degradation intermediate product. View full abstract»

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  • Risk analysis for the road transportation of hazardous chemicals in Malaysia: A methodology

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (477 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Quantitative risk analysis was recognized as a proper method for assessing the risk level of a hazardous activity, however, when this technique is applied to a transport case, there were several parameters and assumptions need to be considered before starting the Transportation Risk Analysis (TRA) calculation. This paper aims to describe how the modified TRA methodology is used for predicting the accident scenarios and their impact to humans and environment. The analytical technique was applied to a case study of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by road tankers. The transportation of LPG via five existing routes was studied in detail, and the corresponding societal risk were evaluated and compared. View full abstract»

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  • Biosorption of heavy metals by potassium hydrogen phosphate and sodium oxalate modified lignocellulosic waste

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    Heavy metals are among the most toxic nuisances that pose a huge pressure on the environment. This in effect calls for for the development of a noble low cost and efficient technology for the removal of heavy metal from industrial effluents. In this particular research, lead (II) biosorption capacity of chemically modified lignocellulosic wastes (rice husk and sugarcane bagasse) has been studied. The two selected biosorbents are abundant and low cost biosorbents with promising potential to remove hazardous heavy metals from effluent streams. In the study, after executing rigorous investigation on the potential of several chemical modifiers, potassium hydrogen phosphate and sodium oxalate were found to be the best modifiers to improve the sorption capacity of rice husk and sugarcane bagasse. Besides, impact of particle size and pH has been studied. Characterization of the sorbent surfaces has been made before and after chemical modification and after sorption of heavy metals using furrier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR). For the selected chemically modified sorbents of rice husk and sugarcane bagasse intensive study was performed on the sorption kinetics for varying metal and sorbent doses. View full abstract»

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  • Optimization of photo-Fenton oxidation of sulfidic spent caustic by using response surface methodology

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    This paper investigated the degradation of sulfidic spent caustic by using photo-Fenton oxidation process. Response surface methodology was employed to study the interaction effect between process parameters namely ferrous ion and H2O2 dosage towards the oxidation efficiency of sulfidic spent caustic. Hence, the best conditions for photo-Fenton process were determine based on the developed empirical model. By comprehensive studies, the optimal conditions of photo-Fenton reaction are at dosage ratio Fe/H2O2 and H2O2/COD of 0.07 and 1.84 correspondingly. View full abstract»

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  • Reactive extraction of Jatropha curcas l assisted by phase transfer catalyst for the production of biodiesel

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    Transesterification is a very slow reaction due to limited solubility of alcohol in vegetable oils that strongly affect the reaction rate. Application of phase transfer catalyst (PTC) can be advantageous to improve the solubility of alcohol in oils and increase the rate of reaction. Use of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTMAB) as a PTC on in-situ transesterification of J. curcas l. with alkaline methanol was investigated. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to statistically evaluate and optimize the in situ transesterification method of biodiesel production. The effects of process variables were investigated using 25 factorial and central composite design (CCD) technique. Mathematical model was developed to predict the yield of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). After optimizing the process variables using the model equation, FAME yield (88.25wt %) was predicted and compared with the experimental yield (89.3 ± 0.7wt %) obtained at optimal condition. There is a good agreement between the predicted value and the experimental result. View full abstract»

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  • Optimization approach for kinetics parameters determination for oil palm waste steam gasification with in-situ CO2 capture for hydrogen production

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    Biomass steam gasification with in-situ carbon dioxide capture using CaO exhibits good prospects for the production of hydrogen rich gas. The present work focused on the determination of reaction rate kinetics for hydrogen production from oil palm waste steam gasification using optimization approach in MATLAB. The kinetics parameters were calculated by fitting experimental data to kinetics model and minimization of least squared error between the model predictions and experimental results. The model was validated and showed good agreement with the literature. The developed model was used to investigate the effect of temperature and steam/biomass ratio on the product gas composition. Based on the results, hydrogen purity of more than 70 mol% can be achieved. It was found that increment in temperature and steam/biomass ratio is in favor of hydrogen production. The study provided a useful optimization approach for the determination of kinetics parameters for a specific biomass in future experimental work. View full abstract»

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  • Nitrogen physical adsorption and adsorption equilibrium for natural gas dehydration on zeolite 3A and 4A

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    Natural gas dehydration is one of the crucial upstream operation processes to protect the gas transportation pipeline and fulfill the sale gas specification. The most commonly used technology for the gas dehydration is glycol absorption. Even though the glycol absorption is effective for practical dehydration application, but it still have various drawbacks related to its operation, environmental effect (due to chemical carry-over), large footprint, and frequent monitoring and maintenance. Physical adsorption with zeolite material has been identified as a potential alternative for dehydration technology. Based on the preliminary screening work, zeolite 3A and 4A have been identified for further performance evaluation due to its potential for practical dehydration application. The performance is based on dehydration capacity of these adsorbents which was evaluated through nitrogen physical adsorption and equilibrium adsorption using Magnetic Suspension Balance (MSB). The results showed that physical adsorption potentially gives better or at par separation efficiency as compared to absorption dehydration process and greener technology approach. View full abstract»

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  • Gas permeation models in mixed matrix membranes

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    In the domain for the improvement of acid gas removal technologies from valuable product gas streams by membrane application, this paper discussed gas permeation theoretical models for mixed matrix membranes (MMMs). The models that were considered include Maxwell model, modified Maxwell model, Bruggeman model, Lewis-Nielson model, Pal model, Felske model and modified Felske model. Experimental permeability data on mixed matrix membrane (MMMs) were used to evaluate the selected theoretical models. Comparison of those models based on absolute average relative error percent was conducted. Moreover, present methodology was proposed on modifying Pal model to account for non ideal performance of three phase MMMs and hence minimize the higher deviations obtained by using the original Pal model. The present methodology for the estimation of permeability in MMMs was in a good agreement with experimental literature data. View full abstract»

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  • Parameter estimation in removal of CO2 from natural gas using membrane processes

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    Natural gas is one of the important principle sources of energy to the world. The impurities; carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and heavy hydrocarbon from natural gas facing separation process before delivered to the end user markets. Currently, membrane processes have been broadly applied since it provides operating and cost advantage rather than other technologies. In this work, the behaviour of polymer and penetrant is predicted using a conventional mathematical model. Dual mode sorption and partial immobilization of the hole population transport model are used with the assumption of local equilibrium relaxed. Parameter estimation method is used to evaluate the separation of CO2, and CH4 impurities mixture. The effect of operating pressure on the sorbed concentration, diffusion, permeability coefficient and selectivity of penetrant in the membrane are studied. The result shows the sorption and permeation properties are well fitted to a dual mode model. The permeability coefficient of pure gas is higher than mixture gas measurement due to competition effects between the penetrant. View full abstract»

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  • Epoxidation of Fatty Acid Methyl Esters derived from Jatropha oil

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    Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAMEs) from transesterification of Jatropha oil were obtained by both acid and base catalyzed transesterification reactions. These FAMEs were epoxidized in or without solvent by either peroxyformic acid or peroxyacetic acid, formed in situ by 30% hydrogen peroxide. n-hexane was used as solvent. Detailed study regarding effects of type and concentration of organic acid used in and without solvent at temperatures 50°C, 60°C and 69°C is presented here. Molar ratio of FAMEs: H2O2 was fixed at 1:3.5 and reaction time was fixed at 6 hours. The formic acid-FAMEs molar ratio was (FAMEs: Formic acid) 1:0.45, while for acetic acid molar ratio was (FAMEs: Acetic acid) 1:0.60. For formic acid, it was found that without solvent, the conversion was 79% while in solvent; it was found that the highest conversion (83%) was obtained at a temperature of 60°C. When acetic acid as oxygen carrier was used, it required 1.5% H2SO4 as catalyst for the reaction in solvent to give maximum conversion of 71%. Without solvent the conversion was 74% at 69°C. The products were analyzed by NMR, GC-MS, FT-IR and volumetric analyses for qualitative and quantitative determinations. View full abstract»

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  • Use of a membrane bioreactor in effluent treatment from electroplating industry: Oil and grease

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    In this study, performance of a laboratory-scale submerged hollow fibre membrane to treat oily wastewater from electroplating plant was investigated. The degradation of raw oily wastewater at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 13.3 hours was studied. Results of the three runs showed that oil and grease (O&G) was biodegraded in the MBR system to a high extent, with removal efficiency between 91.1-98.7%. View full abstract»

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  • Formulation of a scheduling problem for crude oil unloading operations

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    Scheduling involves allocation of plant resources to comply with orders as well as constraints, and thus it defines which run-mode to use and when to perform changeovers. This study will focus on the formulation of scheduling problem for crude oil unloading at the front end of a refinery. This problem involves crude oil vessels, storage tanks, charge tanks and crude distillation units. Among the benefits of having a good schedule include having optimized crude storage, ensuring safe refinery operations and may help maintain profit margins. Refinery scheduling is often a complex problem, but its successful implementation with the help of suitable mathematical models can result in significant cost savings. View full abstract»

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  • Equilibrium model for steam gasification of palm kernel shell for hydrogen production

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    Hydrogen is a potential alternative energy source over fossil fuels when produced from biomass via thermal conversion process. This is indeed very attractive as Malaysia is having abundant biomass resources. In this paper, a mathematical model is developed to predict the maximum possible attainable composition of the product gas from a thermal conversion process, i.e. gasification, of palm kernel shell for hydrogen production. The work is motivated by the need to study the technical feasibility of the process under different operating conditions, i.e., temperature and Steam/Biomass ratio. The model predicts a maximum hydrogen production of approximately 50 mol% at system pressure and temperature of 1 atm and 1200 K and steam/biomass ratio of 1. Generally, the model is capable to capture the thermodynamic limit of the process, which is an essential knowledge on accessing the feasibility of the process. In addition, such information is also vital in designing the gasifier and for selection of materials for construction as well. View full abstract»

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