Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1058

Chemical and Molecular Engineering

A Comparative Study of the Modeling and Quality Control of the Propylene-Propane Classical Distillation and Distillation Column with Heat Pump

The paper presents the research evolution in the propylene – propane distillation process, especially for the distillation columns equipped with heat pump. The paper is structured in three parts: separation of the propylene-propane mixture, steady state process modeling, and quality control systems. The first part is dedicated to state of art of the two distillation processes. The second part continues the author’s researches of the steady state process modeling. There has been elaborated a software simulation instrument that may be used to dynamic simulation of the process and to design the quality control systems. The last part presents the research of the control systems, especially for quality control systems.

A Sensitive Approach on Trace Analysis of Methylparaben in Wastewater and Cosmetic Products Using Molecularly Imprinted Polymer

Parabens are the antimicrobial molecules largely used in cosmetic products as a preservative agent. Among them, the methylparaben (MP) is the most frequently used ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Nevertheless, their potential dangers led to the development of sensible and reliable methods for their determination in environmental samples. Firstly, a sensitive and selective molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) based on screen-printed gold electrode (Au-SPE), assembled on a polymeric layer of carboxylated poly(vinyl-chloride) (PVC-COOH), was developed. After the template removal, the obtained material was able to rebind MP and discriminate it among other interfering species such as glucose, sucrose, and citric acid. The behavior of molecular imprinted sensor was characterized by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. Then, the biosensor was found to have a linear detection range from 0.1 pg.mL-1 to 1 ng.mL-1 and a low limit of detection of 0.12 fg.mL-1 and 5.18 pg.mL-1 by DPV and EIS, respectively. For applications, this biosensor was employed to determine MP content in four wastewaters in Meknes city and two cosmetic products (shower gel and shampoo). The operational reproducibility and stability of this biosensor were also studied. Secondly, another MIP biosensor based on tungsten trioxide (WO3) functionalized by gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) assembled on a polymeric layer of PVC-COOH was developed. The main goal was to increase the sensitivity of the biosensor. The developed MIP biosensor was successfully applied for the MP determination in wastewater samples and cosmetic products.

Anaerobic Digestion of Coffee Wastewater from a Fast Inoculum Adaptation Stage: Replacement of Complex Substrate

In this study, raw coffee wastewater (CWW) was used as a complex substrate for anaerobic digestion. The inoculum adaptation stage, microbial diversity analysis and biomethane potential (BMP) tests were performed. A fast inoculum adaptation stage was used by the replacement of vinasse to CWW in an anaerobic sequential batch reactor (AnSBR) operated at mesophilic conditions. Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity. While, BMP tests using inoculum adapted to CWW were carried out at different inoculum to substrate (I/S) ratios (2:1, 3:1 and 4:1, on a VS basis). Results show that the adaptability percentage was increased gradually until it reaches the highest theoretical value in a short time of 10 d; with a methane yield of 359.10 NmL CH4/g COD-removed; Methanobacterium beijingense was the most abundant microbial (75%) and the greatest specific methane production was achieved at I/S ratio 4:1, whereas the lowest was obtained at 2:1, with BMP values of 320 NmL CH4/g VS and 151 NmL CH4/g VS, respectively. In conclusion, gradual replacement of substrate was a feasible method to adapt the inoculum in a short time even using complex raw substrates, whereas in the BMP tests, the specific methane production was proportional to the initial amount of inoculum.

The Prospect of Producing Hydrogen by Electrolysis of Idle Discharges of Water from Reservoirs and Recycling of Waste-Gas Condensates

The results of the studies for the hydrogen production by the application of water electrolysis and plasma-chemical processing of gas condensate-waste of natural gas production methods are presented. Thin coating covers the electrode surfaces in the process of water electrolysis. Therefore, water for electrolysis was first exposed to electrosedimentation. The threshold voltage is shifted to a lower value compared with the use of electrodes made of stainless steel. At electrolysis of electrosedimented water by use of electrodes from stainless steel, a significant amount of hydrogen is formed. Pyrolysis of gas condensates in the atmosphere of a nitrogen was followed by the formation of acetylene (3-7 vol.%), ethylene (4-8 vol.%), and pyrolysis carbon (10-15 wt.%).

Experimental Study of CO2 Absorption in Different Blend Solutions as Solvent for CO2 Capture

Nowadays, removal of CO2 as one of the major contributors to global warming using alternative solvents with high CO2 absorption efficiency, is an important industrial operation. In this study, three amines, including 2-methylpiperazine, potassium sarcosinate and potassium lysinate as potential additives, were added to the potassium carbonate solution as a base solvent for CO2 capture. In order to study the absorption performance of CO2 in terms of loading capacity of CO2 and absorption rate, the absorption experiments in a blend of additives with potassium carbonate were carried out using the vapor-liquid equilibrium apparatus at a temperature of 313.15 K, CO2 partial pressures ranging from 0 to 50 kPa and at mole fractions 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4. Furthermore, the performance of CO2 absorption in these blend solutions was compared with pure monoethanolamine and with pure potassium carbonate. Finally, a correlation with good accuracy was developed using the nonlinear regression analysis in order to predict CO2 loading capacity.

Heteromolecular Structure Formation in Aqueous Solutions of Ethanol, Tetrahydrofuran and Dimethylformamide

The refractometric method has been used to determine optical properties of concentration features of aqueous solutions of ethanol, tetrahydrofuran and dimethylformamide at the room temperature. Changes in dielectric permittivity of aqueous solutions of ethanol, tetrahydrofuran and dimethylformamide in a wide range of concentrations (0÷1.0 molar fraction) have been studied using molecular dynamics method. The curves depending on the concentration of experimental data on excess refractive indices and excess dielectric permittivity were compared. It has been shown that stable heteromolecular complexes in binary solutions are formed in the concentration range of 0.3÷0.4 mole fractions. The real and complex part of dielectric permittivity was obtained from dipole-dipole autocorrelation functions of molecules. At the concentrations of C = 0.3 / 0.4 m.f. the heteromolecular structures with hydrogen bonds are formed. This is confirmed by the extremum values of excessive dielectric permittivity and excessive refractive index of aqueous solutions.

Wet Polymeric Precipitation Synthesis for Monophasic Tricalcium Phosphate

Tricalcium phosphate (β-Ca3(PO4)2, β-TCP) powders were synthesized using wet polymeric precipitation method for the first time to our best knowledge. The results of X-ray diffraction analysis showed the formation of almost single a Ca-deficient hydroxyapatite (CDHA) phase of a poor crystallinity already at room temperature. With continuously increasing the calcination temperature up to 800 °C, the crystalline β-TCP was obtained as the main phase. It was demonstrated that infrared spectroscopy is very effective method to characterize the formation of β-TCP. The SEM results showed that β-TCP solids were homogeneous having a small particle size distribution. The β-TCP powders consisted of spherical particles varying in size from 100 to 300 nm. Fabricated β-TCP specimens were placed to the bones of the rats and maintained for 1-2 months.

High Temperature Oxidation of Cr-Steel Interconnects in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising solution for the energy resources leakage. Ferritic stainless steel becomes a suitable candidate for the SOFCs interconnects due to the recent advancements. Different steel alloys were designed to satisfy the needed characteristics in SOFCs interconnect as conductivity, thermal expansion and corrosion resistance. Refractory elements were used as alloying elements to satisfy the needed properties. The oxidation behaviour of the developed alloys was studied where the samples were heated for long time period at the maximum operating temperature to simulate the real working conditions. The formed scale and oxidized surface were investigated by SEM. Microstructure examination was carried out for some selected steel grades. The effect of alloying elements on the behaviour of the proposed interconnects material and the performance during the working conditions of the cells are explored and discussed. Refractory metals alloying of chromium steel seems to satisfy the needed characteristics in metallic interconnects.

A Mathematical Investigation of the Turkevich Organizer Theory in the Citrate Method for the Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles

Gold nanoparticles are commonly synthesized by reducing chloroauric acid with sodium citrate. This method, referred to as the citrate method, can produce spherical gold nanoparticles (NPs) in the size range 10-150 nm. Gold NPs of this size are useful in many applications. However, the NPs are usually polydisperse and irreproducible. A better understanding of the synthesis mechanisms is thus required. This work thoroughly investigated the only model that describes the synthesis. This model combines mass and population balance equations, describing the NPs synthesis through a sequence of chemical reactions. Chloroauric acid reacts with sodium citrate to form aurous chloride and dicarboxy acetone. The latter organizes aurous chloride in a nucleation step and concurrently degrades into acetone. The unconsumed precursor then grows the formed nuclei. However, depending on the pH, both the precursor and the reducing agent react differently thus affecting the synthesis. In this work, we investigated the model for different conditions of pH, temperature and initial reactant concentrations. To solve the model, we used Parsival, a commercial numerical code, whilst to test it, we considered various conditions studied experimentally by different researchers, for which results are available in the literature. The model poorly predicted the experimental data. We believe that this is because the model does not account for the acid-base properties of both chloroauric acid and sodium citrate.

Condition Monitoring for Twin-Fluid Nozzles with Internal Mixing
Liquid sprays of water are frequently used in air pollution control for gas cooling purposes and for gas cleaning. Twin-fluid nozzles with internal mixing are often used for these purposes because of the small size of the drops produced. In these nozzles the liquid is dispersed by compressed air or another pressurized gas. In high efficiency scrubbers for particle separation, several nozzles are operated in parallel because of the size of the cross section. In such scrubbers, the scrubbing water has to be re-circulated. Precipitation of some solid material can occur in the liquid circuit, caused by chemical reactions. When such precipitations are detached from the place of formation, they can partly or totally block the liquid flow to a nozzle. Due to the resulting unbalanced supply of the nozzles with water and gas, the efficiency of separation decreases. Thus, the nozzles have to be cleaned if a certain fraction of blockages is reached. The aim of this study was to provide a tool for continuously monitoring the status of the nozzles of a scrubber based on the available operation data (water flow, air flow, water pressure and air pressure). The difference between the air pressure and the water pressure is not well suited for this purpose, because the difference is quite small and therefore very exact calibration of the pressure measurement would be required. Therefore, an equation for the reference air flow of a nozzle at the actual water flow and operation pressure was derived. This flow can be compared with the actual air flow for assessment of the status of the nozzles.
Influence of the Moisture Content on the Flowability of Fine-Grained Iron Ore Concentrate

The iron content of the ore used is crucial for the productivity and coke consumption rate in blast furnace pig iron production. Therefore, most iron ore deposits are processed in beneficiation plants to increase the iron content and remove impurities. In several comminution stages, the particle size of the ore is reduced to ensure that the iron oxides are physically liberated from the gangue. Subsequently, physical separation processes are applied to concentrate the iron ore. The fine-grained ore concentrates produced need to be transported, stored, and processed. For smooth operation of these processes, the flow properties of the material are crucial. The flowability of powders depends on several properties of the material: grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape, and moisture content of the material. The flowability of powders can be measured using ring shear testers. In this study, the influence of the moisture content on the flowability for the Krivoy Rog magnetite iron ore concentrate was investigated. Dry iron ore concentrate was mixed with varying amounts of water to produce samples with a moisture content in the range of 0.2 to 12.2%. The flowability of the samples was investigated using a Schulze ring shear tester. At all measured values of the normal stress (1.0 kPa – 20 kPa), the flowability decreased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3-5%. At higher moisture contents, the flowability was nearly constant, while at the maximum moisture content the flowability improved for high values of the normal stress only. The results also showed an improving flowability with increasing consolidation stress for all moisture content levels investigated. The wall friction angle of the dust with carbon steel (S235JR), and an ultra-high molecule low-pressure polyethylene (Robalon) was also investigated. The wall friction angle increased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3%. For higher moisture content levels, the wall friction angles were nearly constant. Generally, the wall friction angle was approximately 4° lower at the higher wall normal stress.

Comparison of the Distillation Curve Obtained Experimentally with the Curve Extrapolated by a Commercial Simulator
True Boiling Point distillation (TBP) is one of the most common experimental techniques for the determination of petroleum properties. This curve provides information about the performance of petroleum in terms of its cuts. The experiment is performed in a few days. Techniques are used to determine the properties faster with a software that calculates the distillation curve when a little information about crude oil is known. In order to evaluate the accuracy of distillation curve prediction, eight points of the TBP curve and specific gravity curve (348 K and 523 K) were inserted into the HYSYS Oil Manager, and the extended curve was evaluated up to 748 K. The methods were able to predict the curve with the accuracy of 0.6%-9.2% error (Software X ASTM), 0.2%-5.1% error (Software X Spaltrohr).
Gluability of Bambusa balcooa and Bambusa vulgaris for Development of Laminated Panels
The development of value added composite products from bamboo with the application of gluing technology can play a vital role in economic development and also in forest resource conservation of any country. In this study, the gluability of Bambusa balcooa and Bambusa vulgaris, two locally grown bamboo species of Bangladesh was assessed. As the culm wall thickness of bamboos decreases from bottom to top, a culm portion of up to 5.4 m and 3.6 m were used from the base of B. balcooa and B. vulgaris, respectively, to get rectangular strips of uniform thickness. The color of the B. vulgaris strips was yellowish brown and that of B. balcooa was reddish brown. The strips were treated in borax-boric, bleaching and carbonization for extending the service life of the laminates. The preservative treatments changed the color of the strips. Borax–boric acid treated strips were reddish brown. When bleached with hydrogen peroxide, the color of the strips turned into whitish yellow. Carbonization produced dark brownish strips having coffee flavor. Chemical constituents for untreated and treated strips were determined. B. vulgaris was more acidic than B. balcooa. Then the treated strips were used to develop three-layered bamboo laminated panel. Urea formaldehyde (UF) and polyvinyl acetate (PVA) were used as binder. The shear strength and abrasive resistance of the panel were evaluated. It was found that the shear strength of the UF-panel was higher than the PVA-panel for all treatments. Between the species, gluability of B. vulgaris was better and in some cases better than hardwood species. The abrasive resistance of B. balcooa is slightly higher than B. vulgaris; however, the latter was preferred as it showed well gluability. The panels could be used as structural panel, floor tiles, flat pack furniture component, and wall panel etc. However, further research on durability and creep behavior of the product in service condition is warranted.
Adsorption of Phenol and 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid onto Functional Materials

The objective of this study was to investigate the removal of two organic pollutants; 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) and phenol from synthetic wastewater by the adsorption on mesoporous materials. In this context, the aim of this work is to study the adsorption of organic compounds phenol and 4AHB on MCM-41 and FSM-16 non-grafted (NG) and other grafted (G) by trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS). The results of phenol and 4AHB adsorption in aqueous solution show that the adsorption capacity tends to increase after grafting in relation to the increase in hydrophobicity. The materials are distinguished by a higher adsorption capacity to the other NG materials. The difference in the phenol is 14.43% (MCM-41), 14.55% (FSM-16), and 16.72% (MCM-41), 13.57% (FSM-16) in the 4AHB. Our adsorption results show that the grafted materials by TMCS are good adsorbent at 25 °C.

The Long-Term Leaching Behaviour of 137Cs, 60Co and 152Eu Radionuclides Incorporated in Mortar Matrices Made from Natural Aggregates and Recycled Aggregates
During the interim storage or final disposal of low level waste, migration/diffusion of radionuclides can occur when the waste comes in contact with water. The long-term leaching behaviour into surrounding fluid (demineralized water) of 137Cs, 60Co and 152Eu radionuclides, artificially incorporated in mortar matrices made from natural aggregates (river sand) and recycled radioactive concrete was studied. Results presented in this work are obtained in two years of mortar testing and will be used for the safety increasing in the storage of low level radioactive waste. The study involved the influence of curing time, type and size distribution of the aggregates on leaching behaviour. The mortar samples were immersed in distilled water for 30 days. The leached activity of the mortar samples was measured on samples from the immersing water and analyzed through a gamma-ray spectrometry method using an HPGe detector with a GESPECOR code for efficiency evaluation. The long-term leaching behaviour of the radionuclides was evaluated from the leaching data calculating the apparent diffusion coefficient.
A Numerical Study on Electrophoresis of a Soft Particle with Charged Core Coated with Polyelectrolyte Layer
Migration of a core-shell soft particle under the influence of an external electric field in an electrolyte solution is studied numerically. The soft particle is coated with a positively charged polyelectrolyte layer (PEL) and the rigid core is having a uniform surface charge density. The Darcy-Brinkman extended Navier-Stokes equations are solved for the motion of the ionized fluid, the non-linear Nernst-Planck equations for the ion transport and the Poisson equation for the electric potential. A pressure correction based iterative algorithm is adopted for numerical computations. The effects of convection on double layer polarization (DLP) and diffusion dominated counter ions penetration are investigated for a wide range of Debye layer thickness, PEL fixed surface charge density, and permeability of the PEL. Our results show that when the Debye layer is in order of the particle size, the DLP effect is significant and produces a reduction in electrophoretic mobility. However, the double layer polarization effect is negligible for a thin Debye layer or low permeable cases. The point of zero mobility and the existence of mobility reversal depending on the electrolyte concentration are also presented.
Functionalization of Polypropylene with Chiral Monomer for Improving Hemocompatibility

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used plastics because of its low density, outstanding mechanical properties, and low cost. However, its drawbacks such as low surface energy, poor dyeability, lack of chemical functionalities, and poor compatibility with polar polymers and inorganic materials, have restricted the application of PP. To expand its application in biomedical materials, functionalization is considered to be the most effective way. In this study, PP was functionalized with a chiral monomer, (S)-1-acryloylpyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid ((S)-APCA), by free-radical grafting in the solid phase. The grafting degree of PP-g-APCA was determined by chemical titration method, and the chemical structure of functionalized PP was characterized by FTIR spectroscopy, which confirmed that the chiral monomer (S)-APCA was successfully grafted onto PP. Static water contact angle results suggested that the surface hydrophilicity of PP was significantly improved by solid phase grafting and assistance of surface water treatment. Protein adsorption and platelet adhesion results showed that hemocompatibility of PP was greatly improved by grafting the chiral monomer.

Radiation Effects in the PVDF/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites

Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.

Optimization of Samarium Extraction via Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Cyanex 272 as Mobile Carrier

Samarium as a rare-earth element is playing a growing important role in high technology. Traditional methods for extraction of rare earth metals such as ion exchange and solvent extraction have disadvantages of high investment and high energy consumption. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) as an improved solvent extraction technique is an effective transport method for separation of various compounds from aqueous solutions. In this work, the extraction of samarium from aqueous solutions by ELM was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisted of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as mobile carrier, and kerosene as base fluid. 1 M nitric acid solution was used as internal aqueous phase. The effects of the important process parameters on samarium extraction were investigated, and the values of these parameters were optimized using the Central Composition Design (CCD) of RSM. These parameters were the concentration of MWCNT in nanofluid, the carrier concentration, and the volume ratio of organic membrane phase to internal phase (Roi). The three-dimensional (3D) response surfaces of samarium extraction efficiency were obtained to visualize the individual and interactive effects of the process variables. A regression model for % extraction was developed, and its adequacy was evaluated. The result shows that % extraction improves by using MWCNT nanofluid in organic membrane phase and extraction efficiency of 98.92% can be achieved under the optimum conditions. In addition, demulsification was successfully performed and the recycled membrane phase was proved to be effective in the optimum condition.

Performance Study of Neodymium Extraction by Carbon Nanotubes Assisted Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Response Surface Methodology
The high purity rare earth elements (REEs) have been vastly used in the field of chemical engineering, metallurgy, nuclear energy, optical, magnetic, luminescence and laser materials, superconductors, ceramics, alloys, catalysts, and etc. Neodymium is one of the most abundant rare earths. By development of a neodymium–iron–boron (Nd–Fe–B) permanent magnet, the importance of neodymium has dramatically increased. Solvent extraction processes have many operational limitations such as large inventory of extractants, loss of solvent due to the organic solubility in aqueous solutions, volatilization of diluents, etc. One of the promising methods of liquid membrane processes is emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) which offers an alternative method to the solvent extraction processes. In this work, a study on Nd extraction through multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) assisted ELM using response surface methodology (RSM) has been performed. The ELM composed of diisooctylphosphinic acid (CYANEX 272) as carrier, MWCNTs as nanoparticles, Span-85 (sorbitan triooleate) as surfactant, kerosene as organic diluent and nitric acid as internal phase. The effects of important operating variables namely, surfactant concentration, MWCNTs concentration, and treatment ratio were investigated. Results were optimized using a central composite design (CCD) and a regression model for extraction percentage was developed. The 3D response surfaces of Nd(III) extraction efficiency were achieved and significance of three important variables and their interactions on the Nd extraction efficiency were found out. Results indicated that introducing the MWCNTs to the ELM process led to increasing the Nd extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement. MWCNTs concentration of 407 ppm, Span-85 concentration of 2.1 (%v/v) and treatment ratio of 10 were achieved as the optimum conditions. At the optimum condition, the extraction of Nd(III) reached the maximum of 99.03%.
Influence of Sodium Acetate on Electroless Ni-P Deposits and Effect of Heat Treatment on Corrosion Behavior

The aim of our work is to develop an industrial bath of nickel alloy deposit on mild steel. The optimization of the operating parameters made it possible to obtain a stable Ni-P alloy deposition formulation. To understand the reaction mechanism of the deposition process, a kinetic study was performed by cyclic voltammetry and by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The coatings obtained have a very high corrosion resistance in a very aggressive acid medium which increases with the heat treatment.

Comparative Studies of the Effects of Microstructures on the Corrosion Behavior of Micro-Alloyed Steels in Unbuffered 3.5 Wt% NaCl Saturated with CO2

Corrosion problem which exists in every stage of oil and gas production has been a great challenge to the operators in the industry. The conventional carbon steel with all its inherent advantages has been adjudged susceptible to the aggressive corrosion environment of oilfield. This has aroused increased interest in the use of micro alloyed steels for oil and gas production and transportation. The corrosion behavior of three commercially supplied micro alloyed steels designated as A, B, and C have been investigated with API 5L X65 as reference samples. Electrochemical corrosion tests were conducted in an unbuffered 3.5 wt% NaCl solution saturated with CO2 at 30 0C for 24 hours. Pre-corrosion analyses revealed that samples A, B and X65 consist of ferrite-pearlite microstructures but with different grain sizes, shapes and distribution whereas sample C has bainitic microstructure with dispersed acicular ferrites. The results of the electrochemical corrosion tests showed that within the experimental conditions, the corrosion rate of the samples can be ranked as CR(A)< CR(X65)< CR(B)< CR(C). These results are attributed to difference in microstructures of the samples as depicted by ASTM grain size number in accordance with ASTM E112-12 Standard and ferrite-pearlite volume fractions determined by ImageJ Fiji grain size analysis software.

Application of Liquid Emulsion Membrane Technique for the Removal of Cadmium(II) from Aqueous Solutions Using Aliquat 336 as a Carrier
In the present work, emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) technique was applied for the extraction of cadmium(II) present in aqueous samples. Aliquat 336 (Chloride tri-N-octylmethylammonium) was used as carrier to extract cadmium(II). The main objective of this work is to investigate the influence of various parameters affected the ELM formation and its stability and testing the performance of the prepared ELM on removal of cadmium by using synthetic solution with different concentrations. Experiments were conducted to optimize pH of the feed solution and it was found that cadmium(II) can be extracted at pH 6.5. The influence of the carrier concentration and treat ratio on the extraction process was investigated. The obtained results showed that the optimal values are respectively 3% (Aliquat 336) and a ratio (feed: emulsion) equal to 1:1.
Evaluation of Produced Water Treatment Using Advanced Oxidation Processes and Sodium Ferrate(VI)

Oil and gas exploration is an essential activity for modern society, although the supply of its global demand has caused enough damage to the environment, mainly due to produced water generation, which is an effluent associated with the oil and gas produced during oil extraction. It is the aim of this study to evaluate the treatment of produced water, in order to reduce its oils and greases content (OG), by using flotation as a pre-treatment, combined with oxidation for the remaining organic load degradation. Thus, there has been tested Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) using both Fenton and photo-Fenton reactions, as well as a chemical oxidation treatment using sodium ferrate(VI), Na2[FeO4], as a strong oxidant. All the studies were carried out using real samples of produced water from petroleum industry. The oxidation process using ferrate(VI) ion was studied based on factorial experimental designs. The factorial design was used in order to study how the variables pH, temperature and concentration of Na2[FeO4] influences the O&G levels. For the treatment using ferrate(VI) ion, the results showed that the best operating point is obtained when the temperature is 28 °C, pH 3, and a 2000 mg.L-1 solution of Na2[FeO4] is used. This experiment has achieved a final O&G level of 4.7 mg.L-1, which means 94% percentage removal efficiency of oils and greases. Comparing Fenton and photo-Fenton processes, it was observed that the Fenton reaction did not provide good reduction of O&G (around 20% only). On the other hand, a degradation of approximately 80.5% of oil and grease was obtained after a period of seven hours of treatment using photo-Fenton process, which indicates that the best process combination has occurred between the flotation and the photo-Fenton reaction using solar radiation, with an overall removal efficiency of O&G of approximately 89%.

Development of a Nano-Alumina-Zirconia Composite Catalyst as an Active Thin Film in Biodiesel Production
A nano-alumina-zirconia composite catalyst was synthesized by a simple aqueous sol-gel method using AlCl3.6H2O and ZrCl4 as precursors. Thermal decomposition of the precursor and subsequent formation of γ-Al2O3 and t-Zr were investigated by thermal analysis. XRD analysis showed that γ-Al2O3 and t-ZrO2 phases were formed at 700 °C. FT-IR analysis also indicated that the phase transition to γ-Al2O3 occurred in corroboration with X-ray studies. TEM analysis of the calcined powder revealed that spherical particles were in the range of 8-12 nm. The nano-alumina-zirconia composite particles were mesoporous and uniformly distributed in their crystalline phase. In order to measure the catalytic activity, esterification reaction was carried out. Biodiesel, as a renewable fuel, was formed in a continuous packed column reactor. Free fatty acid (FFA) was esterified with ethanol in a heterogeneous catalytic reactor. It was found that the synthesized γ-Al2O3/ZrO2 composite had the potential to be used as a heterogeneous base catalyst for biodiesel production processes.
Optimization of Process Parameters using Response Surface Methodology for the Removal of Zinc(II) by Solvent Extraction

A factorial design of experiments and a response surface methodology were implemented to investigate the liquid-liquid extraction process of zinc (II) from acetate medium using the 1-Butyl-imidazolium di(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate [BIm+][D2EHP-]. The optimization process of extraction parameters such as the initial pH effect (2.5, 4.5, and 6.6), ionic liquid concentration (1, 5.5, and 10 mM) and salt effect (0.01, 5, and 10 mM) was carried out using a three-level full factorial design (33). The results of the factorial design demonstrate that all these factors are statistically significant, including the square effects of pH and ionic liquid concentration. The results showed that the order of significance: IL concentration > salt effect > initial pH. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showing high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.91) and low probability values (P < 0.05) signifies the validity of the predicted second-order quadratic model for Zn (II) extraction. The optimum conditions for the extraction of zinc (II) at the constant temperature (20 °C), initial Zn (II) concentration (1mM) and A/O ratio of unity were: initial pH (4.8), extractant concentration (9.9 mM), and NaCl concentration (8.2 mM). At the optimized condition, the metal ion could be quantitatively extracted.

The Thermochemical Conversion of Lactic Acid in Subcritical and Supercritical Water

One way to utilize biomass is to thermochemically convert it into gases and chemicals. For conversion of biomass, glucose is a particularly popular model compound for cellulose, or more generally for biomass. The present study takes a different approach by employing lactic acid as the model compound for cellulose. Since lactic acid and glucose have identical elemental composition, they are expected to produce similar results as they go through the conversion process. In the current study, lactic acid was thermochemically converted to assess its reactivity and reaction mechanism in subcritical and supercritical water, by using a 16-ml autoclave reactor. The major operating parameters investigated include: The reaction temperature, from 673 to 873 K, the reaction pressure, 10 and 25 MPa, the dosage of oxidizing agent, 0 and 0.5 chemical oxygen demand, and the concentration of lactic acid in the feed, 0.5 and 1.0 M. Gaseous products from the conversion were generally found to be comparable to those derived from the conversion of glucose.

Polyvinyl Alcohol Processed Templated Polyaniline Films: Preparation, Characterization and Assessment of Tensile Strength
Polyaniline (PANI) is one of the most extensively studied material among the conducting polymers due to its simple synthesis by chemical and electrochemical routes. PANIs have advantages of chemical stability and high conductivity making their commercial applications quite attractive. However, to our knowledge, very little work has been reported on the tensile strength properties of templated PANIs processed with polyvinyl alcohol and also, detailed study has not been carried out. We have investigated the effect of small molecule and polymers as templates on PANI. Stable aqueous colloidal suspensions of trisodium citrate (TSC), poly(ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT-PSS), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) templated PANIs were prepared through chemical synthesis, processed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and were fabricated into films by solution casting. Absorption and infra-red spectra were studied to gain insight into the possible molecular interactions. Surface morphology was studied through scanning electron microscope and optical microscope. Interestingly, tensile testing studies revealed least strain for pure PVA when compared to the blends of templated PANI. Furthermore, among the blends, TSC templated PANI possessed maximum elasticity. The ultimate tensile strength for PVA processed, PEG-templated PANI was found to be five times more than other blends considered in this study. We establish structure–property correlation with morphology, spectral characterization and tensile testing studies.
Electrochemical Performance of Al-Mn2O3 Based Electrode Materials

Manganese oxide is being recently used as electrode material for rechargeable batteries. In this study, Al incorporated Mn2O3 compositions were synthesized to study the effect of Al doping on electrochemical performance of host material. Structural studies were carried out using X-ray diffraction analysis to confirm the phase stability and explore the lattice parameters, crystallite size, lattice strain, density and cell volume. Morphology and composition were analyzed using field emission scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, respectively. Dynamic light scattering analysis was performed to observe the average particle size of the compositions. FTIR measurements exhibit the O-Al-O and O-Mn-O and Al-O bonding and with increasing the concentration of Al, the vibrational peaks of Mn-O become sharper. An enhanced electrochemical performance was observed in compositions with higher Al content.

COSMO-RS Prediction for Choline Chloride/Urea Based Deep Eutectic Solvent: Chemical Structure and Application as Agent for Natural Gas Dehydration
In recent years, green solvents named deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have been found to possess significant properties and to be applicable in several technologies. Choline chloride (ChCl) mixed with urea at a ratio of 1:2 and 80 °C was the first discovered DES. In this article, chemical structure and combination mechanism of ChCl: urea based DES were investigated. Moreover, the implementation of this DES in water removal from natural gas was reported. Dehydration of natural gas by ChCl:urea shows significant absorption efficiency compared to triethylene glycol. All above operations were retrieved from COSMOthermX software. This article confirms the potential application of DESs in gas industry.
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