Improved FTA methodology and application to subsea pipeline reliability design.
ABSTRACT: An innovative logic tree, Failure Expansion Tree (FET), is proposed in this paper, which improves on traditional Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). It describes a different thinking approach for risk factor identification and reliability risk assessment. By providing a more comprehensive and objective methodology, the rather subjective nature of FTA node discovery is significantly reduced and the resulting mathematical calculations for quantitative analysis are greatly simplified. Applied to the Useful Life phase of a subsea pipeline engineering project, the approach provides a more structured analysis by constructing a tree following the laws of physics and geometry. Resulting improvements are summarized in comparison table form.
Project description:The size and complexity of industrial chemical plants, together with the nature of the products handled, means that an analysis and control of the risks involved is required. This paper presents a methodology for risk analysis in chemical and allied industries that is based on a combination of HAZard and OPerability analysis (HAZOP) and a quantitative analysis of the most relevant risks through the development of fault trees, fault tree analysis (FTA). Results from FTA allow prioritizing the preventive and corrective measures to minimize the probability of failure. An analysis of a case study is performed; it consists in the terminal for unloading chemical and petroleum products, and the fuel storage facilities of two companies, in the port of Valencia (Spain). HAZOP analysis shows that loading and unloading areas are the most sensitive areas of the plant and where the most significant danger is a fuel spill. FTA analysis indicates that the most likely event is a fuel spill in tank truck loading area. A sensitivity analysis from the FTA results show the importance of the human factor in all sequences of the possible accidents, so it should be mandatory to improve the training of the staff of the plants.
Project description:Knowledge of marine ecosystems that grow and reside on and around subsea oil and gas infrastructure is required to understand impacts of this offshore industry on the marine environment and inform decommissioning decisions. This study used baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo-BRUVs) to compare species richness, fish abundance and size along 42.3 km of subsea pipeline and in adjacent areas of varying habitats. The pipeline is laid in an onshore-offshore direction enabling surveys to encompass a range of depths from 9 m nearshore out to 140 m depth offshore. Surveys off the pipeline were performed across this depth range and in an array of natural habitats (sand, macroalgae, coral reef) between 1 km and 40 km distance from the pipeline. A total of 14,953 fish were observed comprising 240 species (131 on the pipeline and 225 off-pipeline) and 59 families (39 on the pipeline and 56 off-pipeline) and the length of 8,610 fish were measured. The fish assemblage on and off the pipeline was similar in depths of <80 m. In depths beyond 80 m, the predominant habitat off-pipeline was sand and differences between fish assemblages on and off-pipeline were more pronounced. The pipeline was characterised by higher biomass and abundances of larger-bodied, commercially important species such as: Pristipomoides multidens (goldband snapper), Lutjanus malabaricus (saddletail snapper) and Lutjanus russellii (Moses' snapper) among others, and possessed a catch value 2-3 times higher per stereo-BRUV deployment than that of fish observed off-pipeline. Adjacent natural seabed habitats possessed higher abundances of Atule mate (yellowtail scad), Nemipterus spp. (threadfin bream) and Terapon jarbua (crescent grunter), species of no or low commercial value. This is the first published study to use stereo-BRUVs to report on the importance of subsea infrastructure to commercially important fishes over a depth gradient and increases our knowledge of the fish assemblage associated with subsea infrastructure off north-west Australia. These results provide a greater understanding of ecological and fisheries implications of decommissioning subsea infrastructure on the north-west shelf, and will help better inform decision-making on the fate of infrastructure at different depths.
Project description:Thawing of subsea permafrost can impact offshore infrastructure, affect coastal erosion, and release permafrost organic matter. Thawing is usually modeled as the result of heat transfer, although salt diffusion may play an important role in marine settings. To better quantify nearshore subsea permafrost thawing, we applied the CryoGRID2 heat diffusion model and coupled it to a salt diffusion model. We simulated coastline retreat and subsea permafrost evolution as it develops through successive stages of a thawing sequence at the Bykovsky Peninsula, Siberia. Sensitivity analyses for seawater salinity were performed to compare the results for the Bykovsky Peninsula with those of typical Arctic seawater. For the Bykovsky Peninsula, the modeled ice-bearing permafrost table (IBPT) for ice-rich sand and an erosion rate of 0.25 m/year was 16.7 m below the seabed 350 m offshore. The model outputs were compared to the IBPT depth estimated from coastline retreat and electrical resistivity surveys perpendicular to and crossing the shoreline of the Bykovsky Peninsula. The interpreted geoelectric data suggest that the IBPT dipped to 15-20 m below the seabed at 350 m offshore. Both results suggest that cold saline water forms beneath grounded ice and floating sea ice in shallow water, causing cryotic benthic temperatures. The freezing point depression produced by salt diffusion can delay or prevent ice formation in the sediment and enhance the IBPT degradation rate. Therefore, salt diffusion may facilitate the release of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere and considerably affect the design of offshore and coastal infrastructure in subsea permafrost areas.
Project description:Natural CO2 releases from shallow marine hydrothermal vents are assumed to mix into the water column, and not accumulate into stratified seafloor pools. We present newly discovered shallow subsea pools located within the Santorini volcanic caldera of the Southern Aegean Sea, Greece, that accumulate CO2 emissions from geologic reservoirs. This type of hydrothermal seafloor pool, containing highly concentrated CO2, provides direct evidence of shallow benthic CO2 accumulations originating from sub-seafloor releases. Samples taken from within these acidic pools are devoid of calcifying organisms, and channel structures among the pools indicate gravity driven flow, suggesting that seafloor release of CO2 at this site may preferentially impact benthic ecosystems. These naturally occurring seafloor pools may provide a diagnostic indicator of incipient volcanic activity and can serve as an analog for studying CO2 leakage and benthic accumulations from subsea carbon capture and storage sites.
Project description:The rates of subsea permafrost degradation and occurrence of gas-migration pathways are key factors controlling the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) methane (CH4) emissions, yet these factors still require assessment. It is thought that after inundation, permafrost-degradation rates would decrease over time and submerged thaw-lake taliks would freeze; therefore, no CH4 release would occur for millennia. Here we present results of the first comprehensive scientific re-drilling to show that subsea permafrost in the near-shore zone of the ESAS has a downward movement of the ice-bonded permafrost table of ?14?cm year-1 over the past 31-32 years. Our data reveal polygonal thermokarst patterns on the seafloor and gas-migration associated with submerged taliks, ice scouring and pockmarks. Knowing the rate and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation is a prerequisite to meaningful predictions of near-future CH4 release in the Arctic.
Project description:The follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) and follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA) are malignant and benign thyroid neoplasms, respectively. MicroRNA (miRNA) expressions have been touted as an indicator for prognostic outcome in thyroid cancer. The study objective was to explore genes suppressed by miRNA-21-3p and miRNA-21-5p for potential therapeutic insights. Differentially expressed genes and their functional enrichment were obtained from 25 FTA and 27 FTC gene microarray dataset GSE82208 using R and Bioconductor tools. The miRNA target sites were obtained from miR-TarBase database. A unique gene list of differentially expressed FTC and FTA were entered into miR-TarBase database to obtain target genes for both miRNA-21-3p and miRNA-21-5p. The result showed that miRNA-21-3p and miRNA-21-5p downregulated TIMP3, MAT2A, TGFBR2, and PLAT gene in FTC and FTA leading to significant expression of acute phase-response to metallothionein, metal ions, and unfolded protein response (UPR). The computational analysis suggests that the suppression of miRNA-21-3p and miRNA-21-5p could be an intervention strategy for therapeutically targeting FTC and FTA treatments.
Project description:PREMISE OF THE STUDY:An efficient, effective DNA extraction method is necessary for comprehensive analysis of plant genomes. This study analyzed the quality of DNA obtained using paper FTA cards prepared directly in the field when compared to the more traditional cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-based extraction methods from silica-dried samples. METHODS:DNA was extracted using FTA cards according to the manufacturer's protocol. In parallel, CTAB-based extractions were done using the automated AutoGen DNA isolation system. DNA quality for both methods was determined for 15 non-agricultural species collected in situ, by gel separation, spectrophotometry, fluorometry, and successful amplification and sequencing of nuclear and chloroplast gene markers. RESULTS:The FTA card extraction method yielded less concentrated, but also less fragmented samples than the CTAB-based technique. The card-extracted samples provided DNA that could be successfully amplified and sequenced. The FTA cards are also useful because the collected samples do not require refrigeration, extensive laboratory expertise, or as many hazardous chemicals as extractions using the CTAB-based technique. DISCUSSION:The relative success of the FTA card method in our study suggested that this method could be a valuable tool for studies in plant population genetics and conservation biology that may involve screening of hundreds of individual plants. The FTA cards, like the silica gel samples, do not contain plant material capable of propagation, and therefore do not require permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for transportation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: As FTA cards provide an ideal medium for the field collection of DNA we sought to assess the quality of genomic DNA extracted from this source for use on the Illumina BovineSNP50 iSelect BeadChip which requires unbound, relatively intact (fragment sizes >or= 2 kb), and high-quality DNA. Bovine blood and nasal swab samples collected on FTA cards were extracted using the commercially available GenSolve kit with a minor modification. The call rate and concordance of genotypes from each sample were compared to those obtained from whole blood samples extracted by standard PCI extraction. FINDINGS: An ANOVA analysis indicated no significant difference (P > 0.72) in BovineSNP50 genotype call rate between DNA extracted from FTA cards by the GenSolve kit or extracted from whole blood by PCI. Two sample t-tests demonstrated that the DNA extracted from the FTA cards produced genotype call and concordance rates that were not different to those produced by assaying DNA samples extracted by PCI from whole blood. CONCLUSION: We conclude that DNA extracted from FTA cards by the GenSolve kit is of sufficiently high quality to produce results comparable to those obtained from DNA extracted from whole blood when assayed by the Illumina iSelect technology. Additionally, we validate the use of nasal swabs as an alternative to venous blood or buccal samples from animal subjects for reliably producing high quality genotypes on this platform.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Methods involving the analysis of nucleic acids have become widespread in the fields of traditional biology and ecology, however the storage and transport of samples collected in the field to the laboratory in such a manner to allow purification of intact nucleic acids can prove problematical. RESULTS: FTA databasing paper is widely used in human forensic analysis for the storage of biological samples and for purification of nucleic acids. The possible uses of FTA databasing paper in the purification of DNA from samples of wildlife origin were examined, with particular reference to problems expected due to the nature of samples of wildlife origin. The processing of blood and tissue samples, the possibility of excess DNA in blood samples due to nucleated erythrocytes, and the analysis of degraded samples were all examined, as was the question of long term storage of blood samples on FTA paper. Examples of the end use of the purified DNA are given for all protocols and the rationale behind the processing procedures is also explained to allow the end user to adjust the protocols as required. CONCLUSIONS: FTA paper is eminently suitable for collection of, and purification of nucleic acids from, biological samples from a wide range of wildlife species. This technology makes the collection and storage of such samples much simpler.
Project description:Human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling (self-HPV) is valuable in cervical cancer screening. HPV testing is usually performed on physician-collected cervical smears stored in liquid-based medium. Dry filters and swabs are an alternative. We evaluated the adequacy of self-HPV using two dry storage and transport devices, the FTA cartridge and swab.A total of 130 women performed two consecutive self-HPV samples. Randomization determined which of the two tests was performed first: self-HPV using dry swabs (s-DRY) or vaginal specimen collection using a cytobrush applied to an FTA cartridge (s-FTA). After self-HPV, a physician collected a cervical sample using liquid-based medium (Dr-WET). HPV types were identified by real-time PCR. Agreement between collection methods was measured using the kappa statistic.HPV prevalence for high-risk types was 62.3% (95%CI: 53.7-70.2) detected by s-DRY, 56.2% (95%CI: 47.6-64.4) by Dr-WET, and 54.6% (95%CI: 46.1-62.9) by s-FTA. There was overall agreement of 70.8% between s-FTA and s-DRY samples (kappa = 0.34), and of 82.3% between self-HPV and Dr-WET samples (kappa = 0.56). Detection sensitivities for low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or worse (LSIL+) were: 64.0% (95%CI: 44.5-79.8) for s-FTA, 84.6% (95%CI: 66.5-93.9) for s-DRY, and 76.9% (95%CI: 58.0-89.0) for Dr-WET. The preferred self-collection method among patients was s-DRY (40.8% vs. 15.4%). Regarding costs, FTA card was five times more expensive than the swab (~5 US dollars (USD)/per card vs. ~1 USD/per swab).Self-HPV using dry swabs is sensitive for detecting LSIL+ and less expensive than s-FTA.International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 43310942.