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  • Author or Editor: C. Caruso x
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Abstract  

The continuously increasing demand for electric power together with the demand of environmental friendly technologies require a deep acknowledgement of the directions to give to electric power production in order to satisfy both necessities. The aim of this work is to evaluate the sustainability of Italian electric system by using the emergy function, a methodology developed in the early80s by Odum, and its correlated indices. Emergy is a thermodynamic based function that calculates all the fluxes of energy requested to obtain a product going backward to the solar energy invested. We analyzed all the inputs concurring to the yield of electricity taking into account not only the final phases of the production but also all the sources and materials that had been necessary for the system to operate. We have performed a wide analysis of all the different types of production focusing on thermoelectric sector. We have obtained not only a thermodynamic analysis of electricity production but also an evaluation of the sustainability of the entire process and a scenario for a correct exploitation of resources.

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In many world regions, osmotic and salt stresses are becoming the primary environmental conditions limiting successful establishment of crops. The old durum wheat landraces may provide a source of genes useful to enhance crop resilience to the abiotic stresses of dryland areas or foreseen as a result of climate change. With this in mind, in order to determine the effects of salt and osmotic stresses on durum wheat germination, an old Sicilian durum wheat landrace “Timilia” and a relatively recent cultivar “Mongibello” were investigated at various iso-osmotic solutions of NaCl and mannitol at osmotic potentials of: 0 – control, –0.125, –0.250, –0.500 and –0.750 MPa.

Under stress conditions, different germination and early growth behavior was observed in the two durum wheat genotypes. Timilia presented almost stable germination even at the highest osmotic stresses (96.7% and 88.3% seed germination at 0 and –0.750 MPa, respectively) showing a higher capacity of seed imbibition than Mongibello. The latter thus showed a higher sensitivity than the old landrace to the studied stresses. The variability ascertained in the response to salinity stress indicate that Timilia could be a source of interesting genes for breeding programs.

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The aim of this research was to study the shelf-life of fresh-cut iceberg lettuce, testing a packaging film manufactured with and without addition of anti-UV compounds, and using two different protective atmospheres (N2/CO2 70/30% and Ar/CO2 80/20%). In order to simulate the most common retail storage conditions, the samples were stored at 6 °C under artificial light by using real supermarket refrigerated exposition stands. The data obtained showed that the use of an anti-UV film always causes a lower quality decay of the product; in any case, the best results were obtained when the anti-UV film was utilized in association with the packaging atmosphere consisting of Ar and CO2 (80/20%) gas mixture.

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