Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1027

Chemical and Molecular Engineering

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.

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.
Iron Doped Biomaterial Calcium Borate: Synthesis and Characterization

Colemanite is the most common borate mineral, and the main source of the boron required by plants, human, and earth. Transition metals exhibit optical and physical properties such as; non-linear optical character, structural diversity, thermal stability, long cycle life and luminescent radiation. The doping of colemanite with a transition metal, bring it very interesting and attractive properties which make them applicable in industry. Iron doped calcium borate was synthesized by conventional solid state method at 1200 °C for 12 h with a systematic pathway. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive analyze (SEM/EDS) were used to characterize structural and morphological properties. Also, thermal properties were recorded by thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA). 

Wastewater Treatment and Bio-Electricity Generation via Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Operating with Starch Proton Exchange Membrane

Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.

Solar Photocatalysis of Methyl Orange Using Multi-Ion Doped TiO2 Catalysts
Solar-light activated titanium dioxide photocatalysts were prepared by hydrolysis of titanium (IV) isopropoxide with thiourea, followed by calcinations at 450 °C. The experiments demonstrated that methyl orange in aqueous solutions were successfully degraded under solar light using doped TiO2. The photocatalytic oxidation of a mono azo methyl-orange dye has been investigated in multi ion doped TiO2 and solar light. Solutions were irradiated by solar-light until high removal was achieved. It was found that there was no degradation of methyl orange in the dark and in the absence of TiO2. Varieties of laboratory prepared TiO2 catalysts both un-doped and doped using titanium (IV) isopropoxide and thiourea as a dopant were tested in order to compare their photoreactivity. As a result, it was found that the efficiency of the process strongly depends on the working conditions. The highest degradation rate of methyl orange was obtained at optimum dosage using commercially produced TiO2. Our work focused on laboratory synthesized catalyst and the maximum methyl orange removal was achieved at 81% with catalyst loading of 0.04 g/L, initial pH of 3 and methyl orange concentration of 0.005 g/L using multi-ion doped catalyst. The kinetics of photocatalytic methyl orange dye stuff degradation was found to follow a pseudo-first-order rate law. The presence of the multi-ion dopant (thiourea) enhanced the photoefficiency of the titanium dioxide catalyst.
Preparation of CuAlO2 Thin Films on Si or Sapphire Substrate by Sol-Gel Method Using Metal Acetate or Nitrate

CuAlO2 thin films are prepared on Si or sapphire substrate by sol-gel method using two kinds of sols. One is combination of Cu acetate and Al acetate basic, and the other is Cu nitrate and Al nitrate. In the case of acetate sol, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 observed at annealing temperature of 800-950 ºC on both Si and sapphire substrates. In contrast, in the case of the films prepared using nitrate on Si substrate, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 have been observed only at the annealing temperature of 800-850 ºC. At annealing temperature of 850ºC, peaks of other species have been observed beside the CuAlO2 peaks, then, the CuAlO2 peaks disappeared at annealing temperature of 900 °C with increasing in intensity of the other peaks. Intensity of the other peaks decreased at annealing temperature of 950 ºC with appearance of broad SiO2 peak. In the present, we ascribe these peaks as metal silicide.

Plasma Properties Effect on Fluorescent Tube Plasma Antenna Performance

This paper presents the analysis on the performance of monopole antenna with fluorescent tubes. In this research, the simulation and experimental approach is conducted. The fluorescent tube with different length and size is designed using Computer Simulation Technology (CST) software and the characteristics of antenna parameter are simulated throughout the software. CST was used to simulate antenna parameters such as return loss, resonant frequency, gain and directivity. Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) was used to measure the return loss of plasma antenna in order to validate the simulation results. In the simulation and experiment, the supply frequency is set starting from 1 GHz to 10 GHz. The results show that the return loss of plasma antenna changes when size of fluorescent tubes is varied, correspond to the different plasma properties. It shows that different values of plasma properties such as plasma frequency and collision frequency gives difference result of return loss, gain and directivity. For the gain, the values range from 2.14 dB to 2.36 dB. The return loss of plasma antenna offers higher value range from -22.187 dB to -32.903 dB. The higher the values of plasma frequency and collision frequency, the higher return loss can be obtained. The values obtained are comparative to the conventional type of metal antenna.

Study of Metakaolin-Based Geopolymer with Addition of Polymer Admixtures
In the present work, metakaolin-based geopolymer including different polymer admixtures was studied. Different types of commercial polymer admixtures VINNAPAS® and polyethylene glycol of different relative molecular weight were used as polymer admixtures. The main objective of this work is to investigate the influence of different types of admixtures on the properties of metakaolin-based geopolymer mortars considering their different dosage. Mechanical properties, such as flexural and compressive strength were experimentally determined. Also, study of the microstructure of selected specimens by using a scanning electron microscope was performed. The results showed that the specimen with addition of 1.5% of VINNAPAS® 7016 F and 10% of polyethylene glycol 400 achieved maximum mechanical properties.
Further Investigation of α+12C and α+16O Elastic Scattering
The current work aims to study the rainbow like-structure observed in the elastic scattering of alpha particles on both 12C and 16O nuclei. We reanalyzed the experimental elastic scattering angular distributions data for α+12C and α+16O nuclear systems at different energies using both optical model and double folding potential of different interaction models such as: CDM3Y1, DDM3Y1, CDM3Y6 and BDM3Y1. Potential created by BDM3Y1 interaction model has the shallowest depth which reflects the necessity to use higher renormalization factor (Nr). Both optical model and double folding potential of different interaction models fairly reproduce the experimental data.
Sulfur Removal of Hydrocarbon Fuels Using Oxidative Desulfurization Enhanced by Fenton Process

A comprehensive development towards the production of ultra-clean fuels as a feed stoke is getting to raise due to the increasing use of diesel fuels and global air pollution. Production of environmental-friendly fuels can be achievable by some limited single methods and most integrated ones. Oxidative desulfurization (ODS) presents vast ranges of technologies possessing suitable characteristics with regard to the Fenton process. Using toluene as a model fuel feed with dibenzothiophene (DBT) as a sulfur compound under various operating conditions is the attempt of this study. The results showed that this oxidative process followed a pseudo-first order kinetics. Removal efficiency of 77.43% is attained under reaction time of 40 minutes with (Fe+2/H2O2) molar ratio of 0.05 in acidic pH environment. In this research, temperature of 50 °C represented the most influential role in proceeding the reaction.

Surface and Drinking Water Quality Monitoring of Thomas Reservoir, Kano State, Nigeria

Drinking water is supplied to Danbatta, Makoda and some parts of Minjibir local government areas of Kano State from the surface water of Thomas Reservoir. The present land use in the catchment area of the reservoir indicates high agricultural activities, fishing, as well as domestic and small scale industrial activities. To study and monitor the quality of surface and drinking water of the area, water samples were collected from the reservoir, treated water at the treatment plant and potable water at the consumer end in three seasons November - February (cold season), March - June (dry season) and July - September (rainy season). The samples were analyzed for physical and chemical parameters, pH, temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity, turbidity, total hardness, suspended solids, total solids, colour, dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chloride ion (Cl-) nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phosphate (PO43-). The higher values obtained in some parameters with respect to the acceptable standard set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) indicate the pollution of both the surface and drinking water. These pollutants were observed to have a negative impact on water quality in terms of eutrophication, largely due to anthropogenic activities in the watershed.

H2 Permeation Properties of a Catalytic Membrane Reactor in Methane Steam Reforming Reaction
Cylindrical alumina microfiltration membrane (GMITM Corporation, inside diameter=9 mm, outside diameter=13 mm, length= 50 mm) with an average pore size of 0.5 micrometer and porosity of about 0.35 was used as the support for membrane reactor. This support was soaked in boehmite sols, and the mean particle size was adjusted in the range of 50 to 500 nm by carefully controlling hydrolysis time, and calcined at 650 °C for two hours. This process was repeated with different boehmite solutions in order to achieve an intermediate layer with an average pore size of about 50 nm. The resulting substrate was then coated with a thin and dense layer of silica by counter current chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method. A boehmite sol with 10 wt.% of nickel which was prepared by a standard procedure was used to make the catalytic layer. BET, SEM, and XRD analysis were used to characterize this layer. The catalytic membrane reactor was placed in an experimental setup to evaluate the permeation and hydrogen separation performance for a steam reforming reaction. The setup consisted of a tubular module in which the membrane was fixed, and the reforming reaction occurred at the inner side of the membrane. Methane stream, diluted with nitrogen, and deionized water with a steam to carbon (S/C) ratio of 3.0 entered the reactor after the reactor was heated up to 500 °C with a specified rate of 2 °C/ min and the catalytic layer was reduced at presence of hydrogen for 2.5 hours. Nitrogen flow was used as sweep gas through the outer side of the reactor. Any liquid produced was trapped and separated at reactor exit by a cold trap, and the produced gases were analyzed by an on-line gas chromatograph (Agilent 7890A) to measure total CH4 conversion and H2 permeation. BET analysis indicated uniform size distribution for catalyst with average pore size of 280 nm and average surface area of 275 m2.g-1. Single-component permeation tests were carried out for hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide at temperature range of 500-800 °C, and the results showed almost the same permeance and hydrogen selectivity values for hydrogen as the composite membrane without catalytic layer. Performance of the catalytic membrane was evaluated by applying membranes as a membrane reactor for methane steam reforming reaction at gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 10,000 h−1 and 2 bar. CH4 conversion increased from 50% to 85% with increasing reaction temperature from 600 °C to 750 °C, which is sufficiently above equilibrium curve at reaction conditions, but slightly lower than membrane reactor with packed nickel catalytic bed because of its higher surface area compared to the catalytic layer.
Hydrogen Permeability of BSCY Proton-Conducting Perovskite Membrane

Perovskite-type membrane Ba0.5Sr0.5Ce0.9Y0.1O3-δ (BSCY) was successfully synthesized by liquid citrate method. The hydrogen permeation and stability of BSCY perovskite-type membranes were studied at high temperatures. The phase structure of the powder was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize microstructures of the membrane sintered under various conditions. SEM results showed that increasing in sintering temperature, formed dense membrane with clear grains. XRD results for BSCY membrane that sintered in 1150 °C indicated single phase perovskite structure with orthorhombic configuration, and SEM results showed dense structure with clear grain size which is suitable for permeation tests. Partial substitution of Sr with Ba in SCY structure improved the hydrogen permeation flux through the membrane due to the larger ionic radius of Ba2+. BSCY membrane shows high hydrogen permeation flux of 1.6 ml/min.cm2 at 900 °C and partial pressure of 0.6.

Surface Coating of Polyester Fabrics by Sol Gel Synthesized ZnO Particles

Zinc oxide particles were synthesized using the sol-gel method and dip coated on polyester fabric. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed a single crystal phase of ZnO particles. Chemical characteristics of the polyester fabric surface were investigated using attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) measurements. Morphology of ZnO coated fabric was analyzed using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). After particle analysis, the aqueous ZnO solution resulted in a narrow size distribution at submicron levels. The deposit of ZnO on polyester fabrics yielded a homogeneous spread of spherical particles. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) results also affirmed the presence of ZnO particles on the polyester fabrics.

Rubber Wood as a Potential Biomass Feedstock for Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis
Utilisation of biomass feedstock for biochar has received increasing attention because of their potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of rubber wood as a biomass feedstock for biochar via slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Rubber wood contains 4.13 mf wt.% moisture, 86.30 mf wt.% volatile matter, 0.60 mf wt.% ash content, and 13.10 mf wt.% fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis shows that rubber wood consists of 44.33 mf wt.% carbon, 6.26 mf wt.% hydrogen, 19.31 mf wt.% nitrogen, 0.31 mf wt.% sulphur, and 29.79 mf wt.% oxygen. The higher heating value of rubber wood is 22.5 MJ/kg, and its lower heating value is 21.2 MJ/kg. At 27 °C, the pH value of rubber wood is 6.83 which is acidic. The lignocellulosic analysis revealed that rubber wood composition consists of 2.63 mf wt.% lignin, 20.13 mf wt.% cellulose, and 65.04 mf wt.% hemicellulose. The volatile matter to fixed carbon ratio is 6.58. This led to a biochar yield of 25.14 wt.% at 500 °C. Rubber wood is an environmental friendly feedstock due to its low sulphur content. Rubber wood therefore is a suitable and a potential feedstock for biochar production via slow pyrolysis.
The Effect of Feedstock Type and Slow Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Yield from Coconut Wastes

The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.

Microkinetic Modelling of NO Reduction on Pt Catalysts

The major harmful automobile exhausts are nitric oxide (NO) and unburned hydrocarbon (HC). Reduction of NO using unburned fuel HC as a reductant is the technique used in hydrocarbon-selective catalytic reduction (HC-SCR). In this work, we study the microkinetic modelling of NO reduction using propene as a reductant on Pt catalysts. The selectivity of NO reduction to N2O is detected in some ranges of operating conditions, whereas the effect of inlet O2% causes a number of changes in the feasible regimes of operation.

Synthesis of Vic-Dioxime Palladium (II) Complex: Precursor for Deposition on SBA-15 in ScCO2

Synthesizing supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) soluble precursors would be helpful for many processes of material syntheses based on scCO2. Ligand (amphi-(1Z, 2Z)-N-(2-fluoro-3-(trifluoromethyl) phenyl)-N'-hydroxy-2-(hydroxyimino) were synthesized from chloro glyoxime and flourus aniline and Pd(II) complex (precursor) prepared. For scCO2 deposition method, organometallic precursor was dissolved in scCO2 and impregnated onto the SBA-15 at 90 °C and 3000 psi. Then the organometallic precursor was reduced with H2 in the CO2 mixture (150 psi H2 + 2850 psi CO2). Pd deposited support material was characterized by ICP-OES, XRD, FE-SEM, TEM and EDX analyses. The Pd loading of the prepared catalyst, measured by ICP-OES showed a value of about 1.64% mol/g Pd of catalyst. Average particle size was found 5.3 nm. The catalytic activity of prepared catalyst was investigated over Suzuki-Miyaura C-C coupling reaction in different solvent with K2CO3 at 50 oC. The conversion ratio was determined by gas chromatography.

Correlation to Predict the Effect of Particle Type on Axial Voidage Profile in Circulating Fluidized Beds

Bed voidage behavior among different flow regimes for Geldart A, B, and D particles (fluid catalytic cracking catalyst (FCC), particle A and glass beads) of diameter range 57-872 μm, apparent density 1470-3092 kg/m3, and bulk density range 890-1773 kg/m3 were investigated in a gas-solid circulating fluidized bed of 0.1 m-i.d. and 2.56 m-height of plexi-glass. Effects of variables (gas velocity, particle properties, and static bed height) were analyzed on bed voidage. The axial voidage profile showed a typical trend along the riser: a dense bed at the lower part followed by a transition in the splash zone and a lean phase in the freeboard. Bed expansion and dense bed voidage increased with an increase of gas velocity as usual. From experimental results, a generalized model relationship based on inverse fluidization number for dense bed voidage from bubbling to fast fluidization regimes was presented.

Miniaturized PVC Sensors for Determination of Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ in Buffalo-Cows’ Cervical Mucus Samples

Three polyvinyl chloride membrane sensors were developed for the electrochemical evaluation of ferrous, manganese and zinc ions. The sensors were used for assaying metal ions in cervical mucus (CM) of Egyptian river buffalo-cows (Bubalus bubalis) as their levels vary dependent on cyclical hormone variation during different phases of estrus cycle. The presented sensors are based on using ionophores, β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and sulfocalix-4-arene (SCAL) for sensors 1, 2 and 3 for Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+, respectively. Dioctyl phthalate (DOP) was used as the plasticizer in a polymeric matrix of polyvinylchloride (PVC). For increasing the selectivity and sensitivity of the sensors, each sensor was enriched with a suitable complexing agent, which enhanced the sensor’s response. For sensor 1, β-CD was mixed with bathophenanthroline; for sensor 2, porphyrin was incorporated with HP-β-CD; while for sensor 3, oxine was the used complexing agent with SCAL. Linear responses of 10-7-10-2 M with cationic slopes of 53.46, 45.01 and 50.96 over pH range 4-8 were obtained using coated graphite sensors for ferrous, manganese and zinc ionic solutions, respectively. The three sensors were validated, according to the IUPAC guidelines. The obtained results by the presented potentiometric procedures were statistically analyzed and compared with those obtained by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method (AAS). No significant differences for either accuracy or precision were observed between the two techniques. Successful application for the determination of the three studied cations in CM, for the purpose to determine the proper time for artificial insemination (AI) was achieved. The results were compared with those obtained upon analyzing the samples by AAS. Proper detection of estrus and correct time of AI was necessary to maximize the production of buffaloes. In this experiment, 30 multi-parous buffalo-cows were in second to third lactation and weighting 415-530 kg, and were synchronized with OVSynch protocol. Samples were taken in three times around ovulation, on day 8 of OVSynch protocol, on day 9 (20 h before AI) and on day 10 (1 h before AI). Beside analysis of trace elements (Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+) in CM using the three sensors, the samples were analyzed for the three cations and also Cu2+ by AAS in the CM samples and blood samples. The results obtained were correlated with hormonal analysis of serum samples and ultrasonography for the purpose of determining of the optimum time of AI. The results showed significant differences and powerful correlation with Zn2+ composition of CM during heat phase and the ovulation time, indicating that the parameter could be used as a tool to decide optimal time of AI in buffalo-cows.

Evaluation of the Discoloration of Methyl Orange Using Black Sand as Semiconductor through Photocatalytic Oxidation and Reduction

Organic compounds in wastewaters coming from textile and pharmaceutical industry generated multiple harmful effects on the environment and the human health. One of them is the methyl orange (MeO), an azoic dye considered to be a recalcitrant compound. The heterogeneous photocatalysis emerges as an alternative for treating this type of hazardous compounds, through the generation of OH radicals using radiation and a semiconductor oxide. According to the author’s knowledge, catalysts such as TiO2 doped with metals show high efficiency in degrading MeO; however, this presents economic limitations on industrial scale. Black sand can be considered as a naturally doped catalyst because in its structure is common to find compounds such as titanium, iron and aluminum oxides, also elements such as zircon, cadmium, manganese, etc. This study reports the photocatalytic activity of the mineral black sand used as semiconductor in the discoloration of MeO by oxidation and reduction photocatalytic techniques. For this, magnetic composites from the mineral were prepared (RM, M1, M2 and NM) and their activity were tested through MeO discoloration while TiO2 was used as reference. For the fractions, chemical, morphological and structural characterizations were performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. M2 fraction showed higher MeO discoloration (93%) in oxidation conditions at pH 2 and it could be due to the presence of ferric oxides. However, the best result to reduction process was using M1 fraction (20%) at pH 2, which contains a higher titanium percentage. In the first process, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was used as electron donor agent. According to the results, black sand mineral can be used as natural semiconductor in photocatalytic process. It could be considered as a photocatalyst precursor in such processes, due to its low cost and easy access.

Comparative Study in Evaluating the Antioxidation Efficiency for Native Types Antioxidants Extracted from Crude Oil with the Synthesized Class

The natural native antioxidants N,N-P-methyl phenyl acetone and N,N-phenyl acetone were isolated from the Iraqi crude oil region of Kirkuk by ion exchange and their structure was characterized by spectral and chemical analysis methods. Tetraline was used as a liquid hydrocarbon to detect the efficiency of isolated molecules at elevated temperature (393 K) that it has physicochemical specifications and structure closed to hydrocarbons fractionated from crude oil. The synthesized universal antioxidant 2,6-ditertiaryisobutyl-p-methyl phenol (Unol) with known stochiometric coefficient of inhibition equal to (2) was used as a model for comparative evaluation at the same conditions. Modified chemiluminescence method was used to find the amount of absorbed oxygen and the induction periods in and without the existence of isolated antioxidants molecules. The results of induction periods and quantity of absorbed oxygen during the oxidation process were measured by manometric installation. It was seen that at specific equal concentrations of N,N-phenyl acetone and N, N-P-methyl phenyl acetone in comparison with Unol at 393 K were with (2) and (2.5) times efficient than do Unol. It means that they had the ability to inhibit the formation of new free radicals and prevent the chain reaction to pass from the propagation to the termination step rather than decomposition of formed hydroperoxides.

Biogas Enhancement Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Quick development and usage of nanotechnology have resulted to massive use of various nanoparticles, such as iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Thus, this study investigated the role of IONPs and MWCNTs in enhancing bioenergy recovery. Results show that IONPs at a concentration of 750 mg/L and MWCNTs at a concentration of 1500 mg/L induced faster substrate utilization and biogas production rates than the control. IONPs exhibited higher carbon oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency than MWCNTs while on the contrary, MWCNT performance on biogas generation was remarkable than IONPs. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation revealed extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) excretion from AGS had an interaction with nanoparticles. This interaction created a protective barrier to microbial consortia hence reducing their cytotoxicity. Microbial community analyses revealed genus predominance of bacteria of Anaerolineaceae and Longilinea. Their role in biodegradation of the substrate could have highly been boosted by nanoparticles. The archaea predominance of the genus level of Methanosaeta and Methanobacterium enhanced methanation process. The presence of bacteria of genus Geobacter was also reported. Their presence might have significantly contributed to direct interspecies electron transfer in the system. Exposure of AGS to nanoparticles promoted direct interspecies electron transfer among the anaerobic fermenting bacteria and their counterpart methanogens during the anaerobic digestion process. This results provide useful insightful information in understanding the response of microorganisms to IONPs and MWCNTs in the complex natural environment.

Preparation and Characterization of CuFe2O4/TiO2 Photocatalyst for the Conversion of CO2 into Methanol under Visible Light

A systematic study was conducted to explore the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol on TiO2 loaded copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. The phases and crystallite size of the photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and it indicates CuFe2O4 as tetragonal phase incorporation with anatase TiO2 in CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The XRD results confirmed the formation of spinel type tetragonal CuFe2O4 phases along with predominantly anatase phase of TiO2 in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. UV-Vis absorption spectrum suggested the formation of the hetero-junction with relatively lower band gap than that of TiO2. Photoluminescence (PL) technique was used to study the electron–hole (e−/h+) recombination process. PL spectra analysis confirmed the slow-down of the recombination of electron–hole (e−/h+) pairs in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The photocatalytic performance of CuFe2O4/TiO2 was evaluated based on the methanol yield with varying amount of TiO2 over CuFe2O4 (0.5:1, 1:1, and 2:1) and changing light intensity. The mechanism of the photocatalysis was proposed based on the fact that the predominant species of CO2 in aqueous phase were dissolved CO2 and HCO3- at pH ~5.9. It was evident that the CuFe2O4 could harvest the electrons under visible light irradiation, which could further be injected to the conduction band of TiO2 to increase the life time of the electron and facilitating the reactions of CO2 to methanol. The developed catalyst showed good recycle ability up to four cycles where the loss of activity was ~25%. Methanol was observed as the main product over CuFe2O4, but loading with TiO2 remarkably increased the methanol yield. Methanol yield over CuFe2O4/TiO2 was found to be about three times higher (651 μmol/gcat L) than that of CuFe2O4 photocatalyst. This occurs because the energy of the band excited electrons lies above the redox potentials of the reaction products CO2/CH3OH.

Salinity Reduction from Saharan Brackish Water by Fluoride Removal on Activated Natural Materials: A Comparative Study
The present study presents, firstly, to characterize the physicochemical quality of brackish groundwater of the Terminal Complex (TC) from the region of Eloued-souf and to investigate the presence of fluoride, and secondly, to study the comparison of adsorbing power of three materials, such as (activated alumina AA, sodium clay SC and hydroxyapatite HAP) against the groundwater in the region of Eloued-souf. To do this, a sampling campaign over 16 wells and consumer taps was undertaken. The results show that the groundwater can be characterized by very high fluoride content and excessive mineralization that require in some cases, specific treatment before supply. The study of adsorption revealed removal efficiencies fluoride by three adsorbents, maximum adsorption is achieved after 45 minutes at 90%, 83.4% and 73.95%, and with an adsorbed fluoride content of 0.22 mg/L, 0.318 mg/L and 0.52 mg/L for AA, HAP and SC, respectively. The acidity of the medium significantly affects the removal fluoride. Results deducted from the adsorption isotherms also showed that the retention follows the Langmuir model. The adsorption tests by adsorbent materials show that the physicochemical characteristics of brackish water are changed after treatment. The adsorption mechanism is an exchange between the OH- ions and fluoride ions. Three materials are proving to be effective adsorbents for fluoride removal that could be developed into a viable technology to help reduce the salinity of the Saharan hyper-fluorinated waters. Finally, a comparison between the results obtained from the different adsorbents allowed us to conclude that the defluoridation by AA is the process of choice for many waters of the region of Eloued-souf, because it was shown to be a very interesting and promising technique.
Structure and Activity Research of Hydrocarbons Refining Catalysts Based on Wastes of Ferroalloy Production
An effective way of utilization of ferroalloy production wastes is preparing hydrocarbon refining catalysts from them. It is possible due to accordable transition metals containing in the wastes. In the work, we are presenting the results on elemental analysis of sludge samples from Aksu ferroalloy plant (Aksu, Kazakhstan), method of catalysts preparing, results of physical-chemical analysis of obtained catalysts (X-ray analysis, electron microscopy, the BET method etc.), results of using the catalysts in some hydrocarbons refining processes such as hydrocracking of rubber waste, cracking of gasoil, oxidation of cyclohexane. The main results of catalytic activity research are: a) In hydrocracking of rubber waste 64.9% of liquid products were fuel fractions; b) In cracking of gasoil conversion was 51% and selectivity by liquid products was 99%; c) In oxidation of cyclohexane the maximal product yield 87.9% and selectivity by cyclohexanol 93.0% were achieved.
Carbon-Based Electrodes for Parabens Detection

Carbon nanofiber-epoxy composite electrode has been investigated through voltammetric and amperometric techniques in order to detect parabens from aqueous solutions. The occurrence into environment as emerging pollutants of these preservative compounds has been extensively studied in the last decades, and consequently, a rapid and reliable method for their quantitative quantification is required. In this study, methylparaben (MP) and propylparaben (PP) were chosen as representatives for paraben class. The individual electrochemical detection of each paraben has been successfully performed. Their electrochemical oxidation occurred at the same potential value. Their simultaneous quantification should be assessed electrochemically only as general index of paraben class as a cumulative signal corresponding to both MP and PP from solution. The influence of pH on the electrochemical signal was studied. pH ranged between 1.3 and 9.0 allowed shifting the detection potential value to smaller value, which is very desired for the electroanalysis. Also, the signal is better-defined and higher sensitivity is achieved. Differential-pulsed voltammetry and square-wave voltammetry were exploited under the optimum pH conditions to improve the electroanalytical performance for the paraben detection. Also, the operation conditions were selected, i.e., the step potential, modulation amplitude and the frequency. Chronomaprometry application as the easiest electrochemical detection method led to worse sensitivity, probably due to a possible fouling effect of the electrode surface. The best electroanalytical performance was achieved by pulsed voltammetric technique but the selection of the electrochemical technique is related to the concrete practical application. A good reproducibility of the voltammetric-based method using carbon nanofiber-epoxy composite electrode was determined and no interference effect was found for the cation and anion species that are common in the water matrix. Besides these characteristics, the long life-time of the electrode give to carbon nanofiber-epoxy composite electrode a great potential for practical applications.

Lubricating Grease from Waste Cooking Oil and Waste Motor Sludge
Increase in population has increased the demand of energy to fulfill all its needs. This will result in burden on fossil fuels especially crude oil. Waste oil due to its disposal problem creates environmental degradation. In this context, this paper studies utilization of waste cooking oil and waste motor sludge for making lubricating grease. Experimental studies have been performed by variation in time and concentration of mixture of waste cooking oil and waste motor sludge. The samples were analyzed using penetration test (ASTM D-217), dropping point (ASTM D-566), work penetration (ASTM D-217) and copper strip test (ASTM D-408). Among 6 samples, sample 6 gives the best results with a good drop point and a fine penetration value. The dropping point and penetration test values were found to be 205 °C and 315, respectively. The penetration value falls under the category of NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) consistency number 1.
Radiochemical Purity of 68Ga-BCA-Peptides: Separation of All 68Ga Species with a Single iTLC Strip
In the present study, highly effective iTLC single strip method for the determination of radiochemical purity (RCP) of 68Ga-BCA-peptides was developed (with no double-developing, changing of eluents or other additional manipulation). In this method iTLC-SG strips and commonly used eluent TFAaq. (3-5 % (v/v)) are used. The method allows determining each of the key radiochemical forms of 68Ga (colloidal, bound, ionic) separately with the peaks separation being no less than 4 σ. Rf = 0.0-0.1 for 68Ga-colloid; Rf = 0.5-0.6 for 68Ga-BCA-peptides; Rf = 0.9-1.0 for ionic 68Ga. The method is simple and fast: For developing length of 75 mm only 4-6 min is required (versus 18-20 min for pharmacopoeial method). The method has been tested on various compounds (including 68Ga-DOTA-TOC, 68Ga-DOTA-TATE, 68Ga-NODAGA-RGD2 etc.). The cross-validation work for every specific form of 68Ga showed good correlation between method developed and control (pharmacopoeial) methods. The method can become convenient and much more informative replacement for pharmacopoeial methods, including HPLC.
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