|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 6|
Nowadays, a great concern is placed on the harmfulness of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which attacks human bodies. Nanocarbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene, have been considered promising alternatives to shielding materials because of their excellent electrical conductivities, very high surface areas and low densities. In the present work, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. We present the fabrication and characterization of transparent and ultraviolet (UV) shielding CNF/polymer composites. The content of CNF filler has been varied from 0.2% to 0.6 % by weight. UV Spectroscopy has been performed to study the effect of composition on the transmittance of polymer composites.
High-density polyethylene reinforced with carbon nanofibers (HDPE/CNF) have been prepared via melt processing using dialkylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (ionic liquid) as a dispersion agent. The prepared samples were characterized by thermogravimetric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analyses. The samples blended with imidazolium ionic liquid exhibit higher thermal stability. DSC analysis showed clear miscibility of ionic liquid in the HDPE matrix and showed single endothermic peak. The melt rheological analysis of HDPE/CNF composites was performed using an oscillatory rheometer. The influence of CNF and ionic liquid concentration (ranging from 0, 0.5, and 1 wt%) on the viscoelastic parameters was investigated at 200 °C with an angular frequency range of 0.1 to 100 rad/s. The rheological analysis shows the shear-thinning behavior for the composites. An improvement in the viscoelastic properties was observed as the nanofiber concentration increases. The progress in the modulus values was attributed to the structural rigidity imparted by the high aspect ratio CNF. The modulus values and complex viscosity of the composites increased significantly at low frequencies. Composites blended with ionic liquid exhibit slightly lower values of complex viscosity and modulus over the corresponding HDPE/CNF compositions. Therefore, reduction in melt viscosity is an additional benefit for polymer composite processing as a result of wetting effect by polymer-ionic liquid combinations.
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.
The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and especially in water has gained increasing attention. They are included in emerging class of pollutants, and for most of them, legal limits have not been set-up due to their impact on human health and ecosystem was not determined and/or there is not the advanced analytical method for their quantification. In this context, the development of various advanced analytical methods for the quantification of pharmaceuticals in water is required. The electrochemical methods are known to exhibit the great potential for high-performance analytical methods but their performance is in direct relation to the electrode material and the operating techniques. In this study, two types of carbon-based electrodes materials, i.e., boron-doped diamond (BDD) and carbon nanofiber (CNF)-epoxy composite electrodes have been investigated through voltammetric techniques for the detection of naproxen in water. The comparative electrochemical behavior of naproxen (NPX) on both BDD and CNF electrodes was studied by cyclic voltammetry, and the well-defined peak corresponding to NPX oxidation was found for each electrode. NPX oxidation occurred on BDD electrode at the potential value of about +1.4 V/SCE (saturated calomel electrode) and at about +1.2 V/SCE for CNF electrode. The sensitivities for NPX detection were similar for both carbon-based electrode and thus, CNF electrode exhibited superiority in relation to the detection potential. Differential-pulsed voltammetry (DPV) and square-wave voltammetry (SWV) techniques were exploited to improve the electroanalytical performance for the NPX detection, and the best results related to the sensitivity of 9.959 µA·µM-1 were achieved using DPV. In addition, the simultaneous detection of NPX and fluoxetine -a very common antidepressive drug, also present in water, was studied using CNF electrode and very good results were obtained. The detection potential values that allowed a good separation of the detection signals together with the good sensitivities were appropriate for the simultaneous detection of both tested pharmaceuticals. These results reclaim CNF electrode as a valuable tool for the individual/simultaneous detection of pharmaceuticals in water.
High purity hydrogen and the valuable by-product of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be produced by the methane catalytic decomposition. The methane conversion and the performance of CNTs were determined by the choices of catalysts and the condition of decomposition reaction. In this paper, Ni/MgO and Ni/O-D (oxidized diamond) catalysts were prepared by wetness impregnation method. The effects of reaction temperature and space velocity of methane on the methane conversion were investigated in a fixed-bed. The surface area, structure and micrography were characterized with BET, XPS, SEM, EDS technology. The results showed that the conversion of methane was above 8% within 150 min (T=500) for 33Ni/O-D catalyst and higher than 25% within 120 min (T=650) for 41Ni/MgO catalyst. The initial conversion increased with the increasing temperature of the decomposition reaction, but their catalytic activities decreased rapidly while at too higher temperature. To decrease the space velocity of methane was propitious to promote the methane conversion, but not favor of the hydrogen yields. The appearance of carbon resulted from the methane decomposition lied on the support type and the condition of catalytic reaction. It presented as fiber shape on the surface of Ni/O-D at the relatively lower temperature such as 500 and 550, but as grain shape stacked on and overlayed on the surface of the metal nickel while at 650. The carbon fiber can form on the Ni/MgO surface at 650 and the diameter of the carbon fiber increased with the decreasing space velocity.