Hydrothermal liquefaction of lignin has been demonstrated as a successful process for the synthesis of value-added phenolic chemical compounds such as vanillin. Vanillin has commercial value as a flavor and fragrance ingredient. This study performs a comparative process simulation and life cycle assessment (LCA) of synthesis of vanillin from depolymerization of lignin, one of the most abundant natural polymers on Earth.Laboratory-scale scenarios for alkali lignin treatment were analyzed using LCA (TRACI 2.1) and green design metrics (process and energy efficiency, waste prevention, renewability, and hazard/pollution avoidance); scenarios included temperature, residence time, lignin loading, gas presence, and catalyst variants.Results show that models which adhere better to green design metrics also result in environmental impact reductions, demonstrating a positive correlation between both sustainability metrics. Vanillin yield increased ~ 7% when reaction time increased from 10 to 20 min; however, the energy used for maintaining operational conditions during process increased between 10 and 50%. Catalyst selection was found to be a deterministic factor affecting results. A catalytic system comprised of a heterogeneous catalyst (nickel oxide) and acidic homogeneous catalyst (supercritical carbon dioxide) was identified as the best option; the catalyst reduced carcinogenic and ecotoxicity impacts by ~ 80 and 90%, respectively when compared to molybdenum oxide. Use of energy and dichloromethane were found to be significant overall environmental impact contributors.Laboratory results can be used and evaluated via LCA to identify sustainable pathways for commercial chemical processing development.
We propose a method of identifying discretionary fiscal policy reactions using real-time data. Automatic stabilizers should depend on true GDP, while discretionary fiscal policy is contingent on the information that policy makers have in real time. We can compute a real-time measurement error by comparing the first release of GDP data with later revisions. Discretionary fiscal policy is influenced by this measurement error, whereas automatic fiscal policy is not. We use this identification approach to test the central identifying assumption of Blanchard and Perotti's (2002) seminal structural vector autoregression (VAR). According to this assumption, fiscal policy makers do not react to GDP developments contemporaneously in a discretionary fashion. We find that government expenditure is adjusted upward if GDP growth in real time is lower than true GDP. This suggests that fiscal policy makers use short-term funds to buy goods and services in response to their perception of GDP dynamics.
Audit research has generally concluded that auditors primarily organize their memory of financial statement errors by audit objective rather than transaction cycle. Although this stream of research has typically used the cue sorting method, the concept of primary organizing dimension is believed to be sufficiently general to obtain consistent results with other experimental methods (e. g., Nelson et al. 1995). The purpose of this study is to determine if the finding that auditor knowledge of financial statement errors is organized primarily around audit objectives can be replicated with a priming/reaction time method. The priming/reaction time method is widely used in knowledge structure research and appears consistent with the concept of primary organizing dimension discussed in the audit literature. We conducted a study with sorting and priming/reaction time phases. Consistent with prior research, the sorting phase found that audit objective was the primary organizing dimension for both managers and staff. However, the priming/reaction time phase found that managers' knowledge was primarily structured around transaction cycle, while staff demonstrated no primary organizing structure.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate application of the Taguchi method-based conceptual signal-to-noise (S N) approach and Pareto analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine optimum level of three important factors related to mobile phone conversation during driving, namely time of drive (day or night), distance between cars, and mobile phone call duration that minimizes drivers' reaction time (RT) in braking response.Design methodology approach - Three levels of each factor based on the experience, are considered in the present study. The design of experiment, in the form of an L18 orthogonal array, as proposed by Genichi Taguchi is used to conduct 18 experiments. A total of 27 young male subjects participated in the experimental study. The experimental task involved pressing the brake pedal of the car by the driver upon seeing another car in front while the driver is talking on a mobile phone. Drivers' performance, measured in terms of RT in braking response, is recorded. Conceptual S N ratio and Pareto ANOVA are employed to investigate the drivers' performance.Findings - Results show that within the test range, drivers' performance, i.e. RT in braking response is optimum (minimum) when they performed the driving task at day time, distance between cars is long (20 meters), and mobile phone call duration is short (30 seconds). Mobile call duration is found to be the dominant parameter with a percentage contribution ratio of 41.882 percent towards the laid down objective followed by time of driving, 32.003 percent and distance between cars, 1.353 percent.Practical implications - This paper provides valuable information to the drivers with respect to the use of optimum level of these factors in order to minimize their RT in braking response.Originality value - To the best of the authors' knowledge, no study has been conducted in the past to investigate the effect of these factors on the performance of drivers when they use mobile phones for conversation during driving. In addition, no attempt has yet been made to find the optimal level of these factors from drivers' performance in braking response view point. This paper is an original research work of authors and in the opinion it carries significantly important values as it provides new information to the persons who talk on mobile phones during driving.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to answer why the predominant competitive reaction (CR) is non-reactive one in the previous literature by showing that some fluctuations of CR may average out to zero. Design/methodology/approach – This research proposes a model for measuring CR volatility to examine whether a firm’s CR differs over time. A rolling-windows time series approach is applied to three different data sets. Findings – The results show that firms indeed react to each other, but the types of reactions vary over time, thereby creating a misunderstood “no-reaction” in the literature. Practical implications – This study may help understand the gap between academic findings (i.e. no-reaction) and managerial reality (i.e. marketing wars). Originality/value – Although a firm’s CR should be understood as a series of managerial actions that may change over time, the extant literature has not considered this temporal variation of CR. This paper provides a systematic review of the empirically based literature and provides insights into the importance of strategic variation in competitive dynamics.
Studies investigating developmental synaesthesia have sought to describe a number of qualities that might capture in behavioural terms the defining characteristics of this unusual phenomenon. The task of generating a definition is made more difficult by the fact that any description of synaesthesia must be broad enough to capture the 61 different variants of the condition already reported to date. Given these difficulties, the current literature now contains a number of conflicting assumptions about the nature of this condition. Here, I attempt to address several of these divisive areas from a set of contemporary definitions. I present evidence that might argue against previous claims that synaesthesia is (a) a ‘merging of the senses’, which (b) gives rise to consistent synaesthetic associations over time, with (c) synaesthetic associations that are spatially extended. I then investigate the possible benefits of moving from a behavioural definition to a neurobiological one and explore the ways in which this might force a rethink about the potential outermost boundaries of this fascinating condition.
The paper attempts to determine whether market participants see value in the corporate choice to begin publishing a standalone sustainability report. It also seeks to investigate whether differences in market reactions are associated with the quality of the sustainability report. The paper uses standard market model methods to isolate the unexpected change in market returns in the period surrounding the announcement of the release of a first-time sustainability report. The paper finds, on average, no significant market reaction to the announcement of the release of the sustainability reports. However, in cross-sectional analyses, it is found that companies with the highest quality reports exhibited significantly more positive market reactions than companies issuing lower quality reports. These results hold when we control for firm size and membership in socially exposed industries. The paper examines only the US firms and the measure of quality is based on an assessment of the extent to which reports provide disclosures recommended by the Global Reporting Initiative. The sample is also relatively small. Finally, the analysis examines perceived value for only one potential stakeholder group - shareholders. Future research could address any of these shortcomings. The evidence suggests that companies seeking value from their sustainability reporting need to carefully consider the quality of their presentations. The finding that quality of sustainability reporting is important to investors provides valuable evidence to support improvements in the implementation of sustainability accounting and reporting.
•Response times (RT) are an important measure of the choice process.•Presents a reconsideration of the growing RT literature in experimental economics.•Sequential sampling models can account for many observed RT effects in economics.•Joint modeling of choice and RT facilitates novel behavioral predictions. Economics is increasingly using process data to make novel inferences about preferences and predictions of choices. The measurement of response time (RT), the amount of time it takes to make a decision, offers a cost-effective and direct way to study the choice process. Yet, relatively little theory exists to guide the integration of RT into economic analysis. This article presents a canonical process model from psychology and neuroscience, the Drift-Diffusion Model (DDM), and shows that many RT phenomena in the economics literature are consistent with the predictions of the DDM. Additionally, use of the class of sequential sampling models facilitates a more principled consideration of findings from cognitive science and neuroeconomics. Application of the DDM demonstrates the rich inference made possible when using models that can jointly model choice and process, highlighting the need for more work in this area.