Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 55746

Chemical and Molecular Engineering

Mode of Action of Surface Bound Antimicrobial Peptides Melimine and Mel4 against Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Biomaterial-associated infections are a multi-billion dollar burden globally. Antimicrobial peptide-based coatings may be able to prevent such infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of action surface bound peptides (AMPs) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa 6294. Melimine and Mel4 were covalently attached to glass coverslips using azido-benzoic acid. Attachment was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. P. aeruginosa was allowed to attach to AMP-coated glass for up to 6 hours. The effect of the surface-bound AMPs on bacterial cell membranes was evaluated using the dyes DiSC3-(5), Sytox green, SYTO 9 and propidium iodide with fluorescence microscopy. Release of cytoplasmic materials ATP and DNA/RNA were determined in the surrounding fluid. The amount of cell death was estimated by agar plate counts. The AMPs were successfully covalently bound to the glass as demonstrated by increases in %nitrogen of 3.6% (melimine) and 2.3% (Mel4) compared to controls. Immobilized peptides disrupted the cytoplasmic membrane potential of P. aeruginosa within 10 min. This was followed by the release of ATP after 2 h. Membrane permeabilization started at 3 h of contact with glass coated AMPs. There was a significant number of bacteria (59% for melimine; 36% for Mel-4) with damaged membranes after 4 h of contact. At the 6 h time point, release of DNA occurred with melimine releasing 2 times the amount of DNA/RNA than Mel4 surfaces (p < 0.05). Surface bound AMPs were able to disrupt cell membranes with subsequent release of cytoplasmic materials, and ultimately resulting in bacterial death.
A Study on the Shear-Induced Crystallization of Aliphatic-Aromatic Copolyester
Shear-induced crystallization, originated from orientation of chains along the flow direction, is an inevitable part of most polymer processing technologies. It plays a dominant role in determining the final product properties and is affected by many factors such as shear rate, cooling rate, total strain, etc. Investigation of the shear-induced crystallization process become of great importance for preparation of nanocomposite, which requires crystallization of nanofibrous sheared inclusions at higher temperatures. Thus, the effects of shear time, shear rate, and also thermal condition of cooling on crystallization of two aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters have been investigated. This was performed using Linkam optical shearing system (CSS450) for both Ecoflex® F Blend C1200 produced by BASF and synthesized copolyester of butylene terephthalate and a mixture of butylene esters: adipate, succinate, and glutarate, (PBASGT), containing 60% of aromatic comonomer. Crystallization kinetics of these biodegradable copolyesters was studied at two different conditions of shearing. First, sample with a thickness of 60µm was heated to 60˚C above its melting point and subsequently subjected to different shear rates (100–800 sec-1) while cooling with specific rates. Second, the same type of sample was cooled down when shearing at constant temperature was finished. The intensity of transmitted depolarized light, recorded by a camera attached to the optical microscope, was used as a measure to follow the crystallization. Temperature dependencies of conversion degree of samples during cooling were collected and used to determine the half-temperature (Th), at which 50% conversion degree was reached. Shearing ecoflex films for 45 seconds with a shear rate of 100 sec-1 resulted in significant increase of Th from 56˚C to 70˚C. Moreover, the temperature range for the transition of molten samples to crystallized state decreased from 42˚C to 20˚C. Comparatively low shift of 10˚C in Th towards higher temperature was observed for PBASGT films at shear rate of 600 sec-1 for 45 seconds. However, insufficient melt flow strength and non-laminar flow due to Taylor vortices was a hindrance to reach more elevated Th at very high shear rates (600–800 sec-1). The shift in Th was smaller for the samples sheared at a constant temperature and subsequently cooled down. This may be attributed to the longer time gap between cessation of shearing and the onset of crystallization. The longer this time gap, the more possibility for crystal nucleus to re-melt at temperatures above Tm and for polymer chains to recoil and relax. It is found that the crystallization temperature, crystallization induction time and spherulite growth of aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters are dramatically influenced by both the cooling rate and the shear imposed during the process.
Photophysics of a Coumarin Molecule in Graphene Oxide Containing Reverse Micelle
Graphene oxide (GO) is the two-dimensional (2D) nanoscale allotrope of carbon having several physiochemical properties such as high mechanical strength, high surface area, strong thermal and electrical conductivity makes it an important candidate in various modern applications such as drug delivery, supercapacitors, sensors etc. GO has been used in the photothermal treatment of cancers and Alzheimer’s disease etc. The main idea to choose GO in our work is that it is a surface active molecule, it has a large number of hydrophilic functional groups such as carboxylic acid, hydroxyl, epoxide on its surface and in basal plane. So it can easily interact with organic fluorophores through hydrogen bonding or any other kind of interaction and easily modulate the photophysics of the probe molecules. We have used different spectroscopic techniques for our work. The Ground-state absorption spectra and steady-state fluorescence emission spectra were measured by using UV-Vis spectrophotometer from Shimadzu (model-UV-2550) and spectrofluorometer from Horiba Jobin Yvon (model-Fluoromax 4P) respectively. All the fluorescence lifetime and anisotropy decays were collected by using time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) setup from Edinburgh instrument (model: LifeSpec-II, U.K.). Herein, we described the photophysics of a hydrophilic molecule 7-(n,n׀-diethylamino) coumarin-3-carboxylic acid (7-DCCA) in the reverse micelles containing GO. It was observed that photophysics of dye is modulated in the presence of GO compared to photophysics of dye in the absence of GO inside the reverse micelles. Here we have reported the solvent relaxation and rotational relaxation time in GO containing reverse micelle and compare our work with normal reverse micelle system by using 7-DCCA molecule. Normal reverse micelle means reverse micelle in the absence of GO. The absorption maxima of 7-DCCA were blue shifted and emission maxima were red shifted in GO containing reverse micelle compared to normal reverse micelle. The rotational relaxation time in GO containing reverse micelle is always faster compare to normal reverse micelle. Solvent relaxation time, at lower w₀ values, is always slower in GO containing reverse micelle compare to normal reverse micelle and at higher w₀ solvent relaxation time of GO containing reverse micelle becomes almost equal to normal reverse micelle. Here emission maximum of 7-DCCA exhibit bathochromic shift in GO containing reverse micelles compared to that in normal reverse micelles because in presence of GO the polarity of the system increases, as polarity increases the emission maxima was red shifted an average decay time of GO containing reverse micelle is less than that of the normal reverse micelle. In GO containing reverse micelle quantum yield, decay time, rotational relaxation time, solvent relaxation time at λₑₓ=375 nm is always higher than λₑₓ=405 nm, shows the excitation wavelength dependent photophysics of 7-DCCA in GO containing reverse micelles.
Photophysics and Torsional Dynamics of Thioflavin T in Deep Eutectic Solvents
Thioflavin-T (ThT) play a key role of an important biologically active fluorescent sensor for amyloid fibrils. ThT molecule has been developed a method to detect the analysis of different type of diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type II diabetes. ThT was used as a fluorescent marker to detect the formation of amyloid fibril. In the presence of amyloid fibril, ThT becomes highly fluorescent. ThT undergoes twisting motion around C-C bonds of the two adjacent benzothiazole and dimethylaniline aromatic rings, which is predominantly affected by the micro-viscosity of the local environment. The present study articulates photophysics and torsional dynamics of biologically active molecule ThT in the presence of deep-eutectic solvents (DESs). DESs are environment-friendly, low cost and biodegradable alternatives to the ionic liquids. DES resembles ionic liquids, but the constituents of a DES include a hydrogen bond donor and acceptor species, in addition to ions. Due to the presence of the H-bonding network within a DES, it exhibits structural heterogeneity. Herein, we have prepared two different DESs by mixing urea with choline chloride and N, N-diethyl ethanol ammonium chloride at ~ 340 K. It was reported that deep eutectic mixture of choline chloride with urea gave a liquid with a freezing point of 12°C. We have experimented by taking two different concentrations of ThT. It was observed that at higher concentration of ThT (50 µM) it forms aggregates in DES. The photophysics of ThT as a function of temperature have been explored by using steady-state, and picoseconds time-resolved fluorescence emission spectroscopic techniques. From the spectroscopic analysis, we have observed that with rising temperature the fluorescence quantum yields and lifetime values of ThT molecule gradually decreases; this is the cumulative effect of thermal quenching and increase in the rate of the torsional rate constant. The fluorescence quantum yield and fluorescence lifetime decay values were always higher for DES-II (urea & N, N-diethyl ethanol ammonium chloride) than those for DES-I (urea & choline chloride). This was mainly due to the presence of structural heterogeneity of the medium. This was further confirmed by comparison with the activation energy of viscous flow with the activation energy of non-radiative decay. ThT molecule in less viscous media undergoes a very fast twisting process and leads to deactivation from the photoexcited state. In this system, the torsional motion increases with increasing temperature. We have concluded that beside bulk viscosity of the media, structural heterogeneity of the medium play crucial role to guide the photophysics of ThT in DESs. The analysis of the experimental data was carried out in the temperature range 288 ≤ T = 333K. The present articulate is to obtain an insight into the DESs as media for studying various photophysical processes of amyloid fibrils sensing molecule of ThT.
Preparation of Biodegradable Methacrylic Nanoparticles by Semicontinuous Heterophase Polymerization for Drugs Loading: The Case of Acetylsalicylic Acid
Implementation of systems based on nanostructures for drug delivery applications have taken relevance in recent studies focused on biomedical applications. Although there are several nanostructures as drugs carriers, the use of polymeric nanoparticles (PNP) has been widely studied for this purpose, however, the main issue for these nanostructures is the size control below 50 nm with a narrow distribution size, due to they must go through different physiological barriers and avoid to be filtered by kidneys (< 10 nm) or the spleen (> 100 nm). Thus, considering these and other factors, it can be mentioned that drug-loaded nanostructures with sizes varying between 10 and 50 nm are preferred in the development and study of PNP/drugs systems. In this sense, the Semicontinuous Heterophase Polymerization (SHP) offers the possibility to obtain PNP in the desired size range. Considering the above explained, methacrylic copolymer nanoparticles were obtained under SHP. The reactions were carried out in a jacketed glass reactor with the required quantities of water, ammonium persulfate as initiator, sodium dodecyl sulfate/sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate as surfactants, methyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid as monomers with molar ratio of 2/1, respectively. The monomer solution was dosed dropwise during reaction at 70 °C with a mechanical stirring of 650 rpm. Nanoparticles of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) were loaded with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, aspirin) by a chemical adsorption technique. The purified latex was put in contact with a solution of ASA in dichloromethane (DCM) at 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 or 0.6 wt-%, at 35°C during 12 hours. According to the boiling point of DCM, as well as DCM and water densities, the loading process is completed when the whole DCM is evaporated. The hydrodynamic diameter was measured after polymerization by quasi-elastic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy, before and after loading procedures with ASA. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of PNP loaded with ASA were measured by infrared spectroscopy, differential scattering calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. Also, the molar mass distributions of polymers were determined in a gel permeation chromatograph apparatus. The load capacity and efficiency were determined by gravimetric analysis. The hydrodynamic diameter results for methacrylic PNP without ASA showed a narrow distribution with an average particle size around 10 nm and a composition methyl methacrylate/methacrylic acid molar ratio equal to 2/1, same composition of Eudragit S100, which is a commercial compound widely used as excipient. Moreover, the latex was stabilized in a relative high solids content (around 11 %), a monomer conversion almost 95 % and a number molecular weight around 400 Kg/mol. The average particle size in the PNP/aspirin systems fluctuated between 18 and 24 nm depending on the initial percentage of aspirin in the loading process, being the drug content as high as 24 % with an efficiency loading of 36 %. These average sizes results have not been reported in the literature, thus, the methacrylic nanoparticles here reported are capable to be loaded with a considerable amount of ASA and be used as a drug carrier.
Triphenylarsine Catalyzed One-Pot Three-Component Reaction between Aromatic Aldehydes, β-Ketoesters and Urea/Thiourea for the Synthesis of 3,4-Dihydropyrimidin-2-(1H)-Ones under Solvent- Free Conditions
3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2-ones (DHPMs) and their derivatives are important because they have a lot of application in drugs and pharmaceuticals industry. They also exhibit a wide range of biological activities and are extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry as calcium channel blockers, antihypertensive, a-antagonist, antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, anti-inflammatory and HIV agents. Here we report an efficient synthesis of 3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2-(1H)-one derivatives by a one-pot three-component condensation reaction between of ketoesters, aldehydes and urea (or thiourea) in the presence of catalytic amount of triphenylarsine (TPAs) as Lewis base under solvent-free conditions. The presented method approach proved to be reliable and cost-effective for the synthesis of target compounds in 60-86% yields.
Brazilian Brown Propolis as a Natural Source against Leishmania amazonensis
Leishmaniasis is a serious health problem around the world. The treatment of infected individuals with pentavalent antimonial drugs is the main therapeutic strategy. However, they present high toxicity and persistence side effects. Therefore, the discovery of new and safe natural-derived therapeutic agents against leishmaniasis is important. Propolis is a resin of viscous consistency produced by Apis mellifera bees from parts of plants. The main types of Brazilian propolis are green, red, yellow and brown. Thus, the aim of this work was to investigate the chemical composition and leishmanicidal properties of a brown propolis (BP). For this purpose, the hydroalcoholic crude extract of BP was obtained and was fractionated by liquid-liquid chromatography. The chemical profile of the extract and its fractions were obtained by HPLC-UV-DAD. The fractions were submitted to preparative HPLC chromatography for isolation of the major compounds of each fraction. They were analyzed by NMR for structural determination. The volatile compounds were obtained by hydrodistillation and identified by GC/MS. Promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis were cultivated in M199 medium and then 2×106 parasites.mL-1 were incubated in 96-well microtiter plates with the samples. The BP was dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and diluted into the medium, to give final concentrations of 1.56, 3.12, 6.25, 12.5, 25 and 50 µg.mL⁻¹. The plates were incubated at 25ºC for 24 h, and the lysis percentage was determined by using a Neubauer chamber. The bioassays were performed in triplicate, using a medium with 0.5% DMSO as a negative control and amphotericin B as a positive control. The leishimnicidal effect against promastigote forms was also evaluated at the same concentrations. Cytotoxicity experiments also were performed in 96-well plates against normal (CHO-k1) and tumor cell lines (AGP01 and HeLa) using XTT colorimetric method. Phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and terpenoids were identified in brown propolis. The major compounds were identified as follows: p-coumaric acid (24.6%) for a methanolic fraction, Artepelin-C (29.2%) for ethyl acetate fraction and the compounds of hexane fraction are in the process of structural elucidation. The major volatile compounds identified were β-caryophyllene (10.9%), germacrene D (9.7%), nerolidol (10.8%) and spathulenol (8.5%). The propolis did not show cytotoxicity against normal cell lines (CHO) with IC₅₀ > 100 μg.mL⁻¹, whereas the IC₅₀ < 10 μg.mL⁻¹ showed a potential against the AGP01 cell line, propolis did not demonstrate cytotoxicity against HeLa cell lines IC₅₀ > 100 μg.mL⁻¹. In the determination of the leishmanicidal activity, the highest (50 μg.mL⁻¹) and lowest (1.56 μg.mL⁻¹) concentrations of the crude extract caused the lysis of 76% and 45% of promastigote forms of L. amazonensis, respectively. To the amastigote form, the highest (50 μg.mL⁻¹) and lowest (1.56 μg.mL⁻¹) concentrations caused the mortality of 89% and 75% of L. amazonensis, respectively. The IC₅₀ was 2.8 μg.mL⁻¹ to amastigote form and 3.9 μg.mL⁻¹ to promastigote form, showing a promising activity against Leishmania amazonensis.
Optimization of Soybean Oil by Modified Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
The content of omega-3 in soybean oil is important in the development of infants and is an alternative for the omega-3 in fish oils. The investigation of extraction of soybean oil is needed to obtain the bioactive compound in the extract. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is modern and green technology to extract herbs and plants to obtain high quality extract due to high diffusivity and solubility of the solvent. The aim of this study was to obtain the optimum condition of soybean oil extraction by modified supercritical carbon dioxide. The soybean oil was extracted by using modified supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) under the temperatures of 40, 60, 80 &deg;C, pressures of 150, 250, 350 Bar, and constant flow-rate of 10 g/min as the parameters of extraction processes. An experimental design was performed in order to optimize three important parameters of SC-CO2 extraction which are pressure (X1), temperature (X2) to achieve optimum yields of soybean oil. Box Behnken Design was applied for experimental design. From the optimization process, the optimum condition of extraction of soybean oil was obtained at pressure 338 Bar and temperature 80 &deg;C with oil yield of 2.713 g. Effect of pressure is significant on the extraction of soybean oil by modified supercritical carbon dioxide. Increasing of pressure will increase the oil yield of soybean oil.
3D Nanostructured Assembly of 2D Transition Metal Chalcogenide/Graphene as High Performance Electrocatalysts
Design and development of highly efficient, inexpensive, and long-term stable earth-abundant electrocatalysts hold tremendous promise for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water electrolysis. The 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, especially molybdenum disulfide attracted a great deal of interests due to its high electrocatalytic activity. However, due to its poor electrical conductivity and limited exposed active sites, the performance of these catalysts is limited. In this context, a facile and scalable synthesis method for fabrication nanostructured electrocatalysts composed 3D graphene porous aerogels supported with MoS₂ and WS₂ is highly desired. Here we developed a highly active and stable electrocatalyst catalyst for the HER by growing it into a 3D porous architecture on conducting graphene. The resulting nanohybrids were thoroughly investigated by means of several characterization techniques to understand structure and properties. Moreover, the HER performance of these 3D catalysts is expected to greatly improve in compared to other, well-known catalysts which mainly benefits from the improved electrical conductivity of the by graphene and porous structures of the support. This technologically scalable process can afford efficient electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reactions (HER) and hydrodesulfurization catalysts for sulfur-rich petroleum fuels. Owing to the lower cost and higher performance, the resulting materials holds high potential for various energy and catalysis applications. In typical hydrothermal method, sonicated GO aqueous dispersion (5 mg mL⁻¹) was mixed with ammonium tetrathiomolybdate (ATTM) and tungsten molybdate was treated in a sealed Teflon autoclave at 200 ◦C for 4h. After cooling, a black solid macroporous hydrogel was recovered washed under running de-ionized water to remove any by products and metal ions. The obtained hydrogels were then freeze-dried for 24 h and was further subjected to thermal annealing driven crystallization at 600 ◦C for 2h to ensure complete thermal reduction of RGO into graphene and formation of highly crystalline MoS₂ and WoS₂ phases. The resulting 3D nanohybrids were characterized to understand the structure and properties. The SEM-EDS clearly reveals the formation of highly porous material with a uniform distribution of MoS₂ and WS₂ phases. In conclusion, a novice strategy for fabrication of 3D nanostructured MoS₂-WS₂/graphene is presented. The characterizations revealed that the in-situ formed promoters uniformly dispersed on to few layered MoS₂¬-WS₂ nanosheets that are well-supported on graphene surface. The resulting 3D hybrids hold high promise as potential electrocatalyst and hydrodesulfurization catalyst.
Synthesis of Pyrimidine-Based Polymers Consist of 2-{3-[4,6-Bis-(4-Hexyl-Thiophen-2-yl)-Pyrimidin-2-yl]Phenyl}-Thiazolo[5,4-B]Pyridine as Electron-Deficient Unit for Photovoltaics
Recently, the development of photovoltaics is rapidly accelerating as one of green energy sources. So we designed pyrimidine-based polymers with 2-{3-[4,6-bis-(4-hexyl-thiophen-2-yl)-pyrimidin-2-yl]-phenyl}-thiazolo[5,4-b]pyridine (mPTP), as active layer substances for polymer solar cells. Polymers with push-pull types, mPTPBDT-12, mPTPBDT-EH, mPTPBDTT-EH and mPTPTTI, are comprised of electron pushing unit using benzo[1,2-b;3,4-b’]dithiophene (BDT) or 4,8-bis(5-thiophen-2-yl)benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene (BDTT) or 6-(2-thienyl)-4H-thieno[3,2-b]indole(TTI) and electron pulling unit using mPTP. The device including mPTPTTI-12 indicated a VOC of 0.67 V, a JSC of 2.16 mA/cm², and a fill factor (FF) of 0.30, giving a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 0.43%. The device including mPTPBDT-EH indicated a VOC of 0.56 V, a JSC of 2.64 mA/cm², and an FF of 0.30, giving a PCE of 0.44%. The device including mPTPBDTT-EH indicated a VOC of 0.44 V, a JSC of 2.45 mA/cm², and an FF of 0.29, giving a PCE of 0.31%. The device including mPTPTTI indicated a VOC of 0.72 V, a JSC of 4.95 mA/cm², and an FF of 0.32, giving a PCE of 1.15%. Therefore, mPTPBDT-12, mPTPBDT-EH, mPTPBDTT-EH and mPTPTTI were fabricated by Stille polymerization. Their optical properties were measured and the results show that pyrimidine-based polymers have a great promise to act as donor of active layer.
Synthesis of Pyrimidine-Based Polymers Consist of 2-{4-[4,6-Bis-(4-Hexyl-Thiophen-2-yl)-Pyrimidin-2-yl]-Phenyl}-Thiazolo[5,4-B]Pyridine with Deep HOMO Level for Photovoltaics
Photovoltaics, which have many advantages in cost, easy processing, and light-weight, have attracted attention. We synthesized pyrimidine-based conjugated polymers with 2-{4-[4,6-bis-(4-hexyl-thiophen-2-yl)-pyrimidin-2-yl]-phenyl}-thiazolo[5,4-b]pyridine (pPTP) which have an ability of powerful electron withdrawing and introduced into the PSCs. By Stille polymerization, we designed the conjugated polymers, pPTPBDT-12, pPTPBDT-EH, pPTPBDTT-EH and pPTPTTI. The HOMO energy levels of four polymers (pPTPBDT-12, pPTPBDT-EH, pPTPBDTT-EH and pPTPTTI) were at -5.61 ~ -5.89 eV, their LUMO (Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital) energy levels were at -3.95 ~ -4.09 eV. The device including pPTPBDT-12 and PC71BM (1:2) indicated a V_oc of 0.67 V, a J_sc of 1.33 mA/cm², and a fill factor (FF) of 0.25, giving a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 0.23%. The device including pPTPBDT-EH and PC71BM (1:2) indicated a V_oc of 0.72 V, a J_sc of 2.56 mA/cm², and a fill factor (FF) of 0.30, giving a power conversion efficiency of 0.56%. The device including pPTPBDTT-EH and PC71BM (1:2) indicated a V_oc of 0.72 V, a J_sc of 3.61 mA/cm², and a fill factor (FF) of 0.29, giving a power conversion efficiency of 0.74%. The device including pPTPTTI and PC71BM (1:2) indicated a V_oc of 0.83 V, a J_sc of 4.41 mA/cm², and a fill factor (FF) of 0.31, giving a power conversion efficiency of 1.13%. Therefore, pPTPBDT-12, pPTPBDT-EH, pPTPBDTT-EH, and pPTPTTI were synthesized by Stille polymerization. And We find one of the best efficiency for these polymers, called pPTPTTI. Their optical properties were measured and the results show that pyrimidine-based polymers especially like pPTPTTI have a great promise to act as the donor of the active layer.
Rapid Biosynthesis of Silver-Montmorillonite Nanocomposite Using Water Extract of Satureja hortensis L. and Evaluation of the Antibacterial Capacities
In this work, facile and green biosynthesis and characterization of silver–montmorillonite (MMT) nanocomposite is reported at room temperature. Silver nanoparticles (Ag–NPs) were synthesized into the interlamellar space of (MMT) by using water extract of Satureja hortensis L as reducing agent. The MMT was suspended in the aqueous AgNO₃ solution, and after the absorption of silver ions, Ag⁺ was reduced using water extract of Satureja hortensis L to Ag°. Evaluation of the antibacterial properties are also reported. The nanocomposite was characterized by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM study showed the formation of nanocomposite using water extract of Satureja hortensis L in the 4.88 – 26.70 nm range and average particles size were 15.79 nm also the XRD study showed that the particles have a face-centered cubic (fcc) structure. The nanocomposite showed the antibacterial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Protective Role of CoQ10 or L-Carnitine on the Integrity of the Myocardium in Doxorubicin Induced Toxicity
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a chemotherapeutic agent used for the treatment of different cancers and its clinical usage is hindered by the oxidative injury-related cardiotoxicity. This work aims to declare if the harmful effects of DOX on the heart can be alleviated with the use of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or L-carnitine. The study was performed on seventy-two female Wistar albino rats divided into six groups, 12 animals each: Control group; DOX group (10 mg/kg); CoQ10 group (200 mg/kg); L-carnitine group (100 mg/kg); DOX + CoQ10 group; DOX + L-carnitine group. CoQ10 and L-carnitine treatment orally started five days before a single dose of 10 mg/kg DOX that injected intraperitoneally (IP) then the treatment continued for ten days. At the end of the study, serum biochemical parameters of cardiac damage, oxidative stress indices, and histopathological changes were investigated. CoQ10 or L-carnitine showed noticeable effects in improving cardiac functions evidenced reducing serum enzymes as serum interleukin-1 beta (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-), leptin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Cardiotrophin-1, Troponin-I and Troponin-T. Also, alleviate oxidative stress, decrease of cardiac Malondialdehyde (MDA), Nitric oxide (NO) and restoring cardiac reduced glutathione levels to normal levels. Both corrected the cardiac alterations histologically and ultrastructurally. With visible improvements in -SMA, vimentin and eNOS immunohistochemical markers. CoQ10 or L-carnitine supplementation improves the functional and structural integrity of the myocardium.
Evaluation of the Performance of ACTIFLO® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia
A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo&reg; clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo&reg; unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo&reg; unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo&reg; clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo&reg;. The Actiflo&reg; clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo&reg; in use.
The Effect of Sulfur and Calcium on the Formation of Dioxin in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed Incinerator
For the incineration process, the inhibition of dioxin formation is an important issue. Many investigations indicate that adding sulfur compounds in the combustion process can be an effectively inhibition for the dioxin formation. In the process, the ratio of sulfur-to-chlorine plays an important role for the reduction efficiency of dioxin formation. Ca-base sorbent is also a common used for the acid gas removing. Moreover, that is also the indirectly way for dioxin inhibition. Although sulfur and calcium can reduce the dioxin formation, it still have some confusion exists between these additives. To understand and clarify the relationship between the dioxin and simultaneous addition of sulfur and calcium are presented in this study. The experimental data conducted in a pilot scale fluidized bed combustion system at various operating conditions are analysis comprehensively. The focus is on the dioxin of fly ash in this study. The experimental data in this study showed that the PCDD/Fs concentration in the fly ash collected from the baghouse is increased slightly as the simultaneous addition of sulfur and calcium. This work described the CO concentration with the addition of sulfur and calcium at the freeboard temperature from 800°C to 900°C, which is raised by the fuel complexity. The positive correlation exists between the dioxin concentration and CO concentration and carbon contained in the fly ash.. At the same sulfur/chlorine ratio, the toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) can be reduced by increasing the actual concentration of sulfur and calcium. The homologue profiles showed that the P₅CDD and P₅CDF were the two major sources for the toxicity of dioxin. 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF reduced by the addition of pyrite and hydrated lime. The experimental results showed that the trend of PCDD/Fs concentration in the fly ash was different by the different sulfur/chlorine ratio with the addition of sulfur at 800°C.
Spatial Distribution of Heavy Metals in Khark Island-Iran Using Geographic Information System
The concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Ni were determined from 40 soil samples collected in surface soils of Khark Island. Geostatistic methods and GIS were used to identify heavy metal sources and their spatial pattern. Principal component analysis coupled with correlation between heavy metals showed that level of mentioned heavy metal was lower than the standard level. Then the data obtained from the soil analyzing were studied for the purposes of normal distribution. The best way of interior finding for cadmium and nickel was ordinary kriging and the best way of interpolation of lead was inverse distance weighted. The result of this study help us to understand heavy metals distribution and make decision for remediation of soil pollution.
Temperature Dependent Magneto-Transport Properties of MnAl Binary Alloy Thin Films
High perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) and low damping constant (α) in ferromagnets are one of the few necessary requirements for their potential applications in the field of spintronics. In this regards, ferromagnetic τ-phase of MnAl possesses the highest PMA (Ku > 107 erg/cc) at room temperature, high saturation magnetization (Ms~800 emu/cc) and a Curie temperature of ~395K. In this work, we have investigated the magnetotransport behaviour of this potentially useful binary system MnₓAl₁₋ₓ films were synthesized by co-sputtering (pulsed DC magnetron sputtering) on Si/SiO₂ (where SiO₂ is native oxide layer) substrate using 99.99% pure Mn and Al sputtering targets. Films of constant thickness (~25 nm) were deposited at the different growth temperature (Tₛ) viz. 30, 300, 400, 500, and 600 ºC with a deposition rate of ~5 nm/min. Prior to deposition, the chamber was pumped down to a base pressure of 2×10⁻⁷ Torr. During sputtering, the chamber was maintained at a pressure of 3.5×10⁻³ Torr with the 55 sccm Ar flow rate. Films were not capped for the purpose of electronic transport measurement, which leaves a possibility of metal oxide formation on the surface of MnAl (both Mn and Al have an affinity towards oxide formation). In-plane and out-of-plane transverse magnetoresistance (MR) measurements on films sputtered under optimized growth conditions revealed non-saturating behavior with MR values ~6% and 40% at 9T, respectively at 275 K. Resistivity shows a parabolic dependence on the field H, when the H is weak. At higher H, non-saturating positive MR that increases exponentially with the strength of magnetic field is observed, a typical character of hopping type conduction mechanism. An anomalous decrease in MR is observed on lowering the temperature. From the temperature dependence of reistivity, it is inferred that the two competing states are metallic and semiconducting, respectively and the energy scale of the phenomenon produces the most interesting effects, i.e., the metal-insulator transition and hence the maximum sensitivity to external fields, at room temperature. Theory of disordered 3D systems effectively explains the crossover temperature coefficient of resistivity from positive to negative with lowering of temperature. These preliminary findings on the MR behavior of MnAl thin films will be presented in detail. The anomalous large MR in mixed phase MnAl system is evidently useful for future spintronic applications.
Asymmetric Synthesis of Catalponol Using Chiral Iridium Catalyst
The development of catalytic asymmetric reaction is important for the synthesis of natural products. To construct the multiple stereogenic centers, the desymmetrization of meso compounds is powerful strategy for the synthesis of chiral molecules. Oxidative desymmetrization of meso diols using chiral iridium catalyst provides a chiral hydroxyl ketone. The reaction is practical and an environmentally benign method which does not require the use of stoichiometric amount of heavy metals. This time we report here catalytic asymmetric synthesis of catalponol based on tandem coupling of meso-diols and an aldehyde. The tandem reaction includes oxidative desymmetrization of meso-diols, aldol condensation with an aldehyde. The reaction of meso-diol, benzaldehyde in the presence of a catalytic amount of chiral Ir complex and CsOH in tetrahydrofuran afforded the desired benzylidene ketone in 82% yield with 96% ee (enantiomeric excess). Next, we applied this benzylidene ketone derivative to the synthesis of catalponol. The corresponding benzylidene ketone was obtained in 87% yield with 99% ee. Finally, catalponol was synthesized by the regio- and stereo-selective reduction of dienone moiety in good yield.
Microwave Plasma Dry Reforming of Methane at High CO₂/CH₄ Feed Ratio
Dry reforming of methane that converts two greenhouses gases (CH₄ and CO₂) to synthesis gas (a mixture of H₂ and CO) was studied in a commercial bench scale microwave (MW) plasma reactor system at atmospheric pressure. The CO₂ and CH₄ conversions, H₂ and CO yields and syngas H₂/CO ratio and were investigated in a wide range of total feed flow rate (0.45 – 2.1 L/min), MW power (700 – 1200 watt) and CO₂/CH₄ molar ratio (2 – 5). At the feed flow rates of CH₄, CO₂ and N₂ of 0.2, 0.4 and 1.5 L/min respectively, and the MWs input power of 700 W, the highest conversions of CH₄ and CO₂ yield of H₂, CO and H₂/CO ratio of 79.35%, 44.82%, 39.77%, 32.89%, and 0.86, respectively were achieved. The results of this work show the product ratio increases slightly with the increasing total feed flow rate, but it decreases significantly with the increasing MW power and feeds CO₂/CH₄ ratio.
Chemical Composition, in vitro Antioxidant Activity and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Essential Oil and Extracts of Ruta chalpensis aerial Parts Growing in Tunisian Sahara
Ruta chalpensis L. is a medicinal plant in the family of Rutaceae, has been used as an important traditional in the Mediterranean basin in the treatment of many diseases. The current study was devoted to investigate and evaluate the chemical composition, total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin contents, and in vitro antioxidant activities of ethyl acetate, ethanol and hydroalcoholic extracts and essential oil from the aerial parts of Ruta chalpensis from Tunisian Sahara. Total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin contents of extracts ranged from 40.39 ± 1.87 to 75.13 ± 1.22 mg of GAE/g, from 22.62 ± 1.55 to 27.51 ± 1.04 mg of QE/g, and from 5.56 ± 1.32 to 10.89 ± 1.10 mg of CE/g respectively. Results showed that the highest antioxidant activities was determined for ethanol extract with IC50 value of 26.23 ± 0.91 µg/mL for 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay, and for hydroalcoholic extract with EC50 value of 412.95±6.57 µg/mL and 105.52±2.45 mg of α-tocopherol/g for ferric reducing antioxidant power and total antioxidant capacity assays, respectively. Furthermore, Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of essential oil led to identification of 20 compounds representing 98.96 % of the total composition. The major components of essential oil were 2-undecanone (39.13%), 2-nonanone (25.04), 1-nonene (13.81), and α-limonene (7.72). Spectral data of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analysis (FT-IR) of extracts revealed the presence of functional groups such as C= O, C─O, ─OH, and C─H, which confirmed its richness on polyphenols and biological active functional groups. These results showed that Ruta chalpensis could be a potential natural source of antioxidants that can be used in food and nutraceutical applications.
Magnetic Carriers of Organic Selenium (IV) Compounds: Physicochemical Properties and Possible Applications in Anticancer Therapy
Despite the significant progress in cancer treatment, there is a need to search for new therapeutic methods in order to minimize side effects. Chemotherapy, the main current method of treating cancer, is non-selective and has a number of limitations. Toxicity to healthy cells is undoubtedly the biggest problem limiting the use of many anticancer drugs. The problem of how to kill cancer without harming a patient can be solved by using organic selenium (IV) compounds. Organic selenium (IV) compounds are a new class of materials showing a strong anticancer activity. They are first organic compounds containing selenium at the +4 oxidation level and therefore they eliminate the multidrug-resistance for all tumor cell lines tested so far. These materials are capable of selectively killing cancer cells without damaging the healthy ones. They are obtained by the incorporation of selenous acid (H2SeO3) into molecules of fatty acids of sunflower oil and therefore, they are inexpensive to manufacture. Attaching these compounds to magnetic carriers enables their precise delivery directly to the tumor area and the simultaneous application of the magnetic hyperthermia, thus creating a huge opportunity to effectively get rid of the tumor without any side effects. Polylactic-co-glicolic acid (PLGA) nanocapsules loaded with maghemite (-Fe2O3) nanoparticles and organic selenium (IV) compounds are successfully prepared by nanoprecipitation method. In vitro antitumor activity of the nanocapsules were evidenced using murine melanoma (B16-F10), oral squamos carcinoma (OSCC) and murine (4T1) and human (MCF-7) breast lines. Further exposure of these cells to an alternating magnetic field increased the antitumor effect of nanocapsules. Moreover, the nanocapsules presented antitumor effect while not affecting normal cells. Magnetic properties of the nanocapsules were investigated by means of dc magnetization, ac susceptibility and electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements. The nanocapsules presented a typical superparamagnetic behavior around room temperature manifested itself by the split between zero field-cooled/field-cooled (ZFC/FC) magnetization curves and the absence of hysteresis on the field-dependent magnetization curve above the blocking temperature. Moreover, the blocking temperature decreased with increasing applied magnetic field. The superparamagnetic character of the nanocapsules was also confirmed by the occurrence of a maximum in temperature dependences of both real ′(T) and imaginary ′′ (T) components of the ac magnetic susceptibility, which shifted towards higher temperatures with increasing frequency. Additionally, upon decreasing the temperature the ESR signal shifted to lower fields and gradually broadened following closely the predictions for the ESR of superparamagnetoc nanoparticles. The observed superparamagnetic properties of nanocapsules enable their simple manipulation by means of magnetic field gradient, after introduction into the blood stream, which is a necessary condition for their use as magnetic drug carriers. The observed anticancer and superparamgnetic properties show that the magnetic nanocapsules loaded with organic selenium (IV) compounds should be considered as an effective material system for magnetic drug delivery and magnetohyperthermia inductor in antitumor therapy.
N₂O₂ Salphen-Like Ligand and Its Pd(II), Ag(I) and Cu(II) Complexes as Potentially Anticancer Agents: Design, Synthesis, Antimicrobial, CT-DNA Binding and Molecular Docking
In this investigation, Cu(II), Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes with the tetra-dentate DSPH Schiff base ligand were synthesized. The DSPH Schiff base and its complexes were characterized by using different physicochemical and spectral analysis. The results revealed that the metal ions coordinated with DSPH ligand through azomethine nitrogen and phenolic oxygen. Cu(II), Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes are present in a 1:1 molar ratio. Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes have square planar geometries while, Cu(II) has a distorted octahedral (Oh) geometry. All investigated complexes are nonelectrolytes. The investigated compounds were tested against different strains of bacteria and fungi. Both prepared compounds showed good results of inhibition against the selected pathogenic microorganism. Moreover, the interaction of investigated complexes with CT-DNA was studied via various techniques and the binding modes are mainly intercalative and grooving modes. Operating Environment MOE package was used to do docking studies for the investigated complexes to explore the potential binding mode and energy. Furthermore, the growth inhibitory effect of the investigated compounds was examined on some cancer cells lines.
Functional Role of Tyr12 in the Catalytic Activity of Zeta-Like Glutathione S-Transferase from Acidovorax sp. KKS102
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are family of enzymes that function in the detoxification of variety of electrophilic substrates. In the present work, we report a novel zeta-like GST (designated as KKSG9) from the biphenyl/polychlorobiphenyl degrading organism Acidovorax sp. KKS102. KKSG9 possessed low sequence similarity but similar biochemical properties to zeta class GSTs. The gene for KKSG9 was cloned, purified and biochemically characterized. Functional analysis showed that the enzyme exhibits wider substrate specificity compared to most zeta class GSTs by reacting with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), p-nitrobenzyl chloride (NBC), ethacrynic acid (EA), hydrogen peroxide, and cumene hydroperoxide (CuOOH). The enzyme also displayed dehalogenation function against dichloroacetate (a common substrate for zeta class GSTs) in addition to permethrin, and dieldrin. The functional role of Tyr12 was also investigated by site-directed mutagenesis. The mutant (Y12C) displayed low catalytic activity and dehalogenation function against all the substrates when compared with the wild type. Kinetic analysis using NBC and GSH as substrates showed that the mutant (Y12C) displayed a higher affinity for NBC when compared with the wild type, however, no significant change in GSH affinity was observed. These findings suggest that the presence of tyrosine residue in the motif might represent an evolutionary trend toward improving the catalytic activity of the enzyme. The enzyme as well could be useful in the bioremediation of various types of organochlorine pollutants.
Consequence of Multi-Templating of Closely Related Structural Analogues on a Chitosan-Methacryllic Acid Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Matrix-Thermal and Chromatographic Traits
Most polluted environments, most challengingly, aerosol types, contain a cocktail of different toxicants. Multi-templating of matrices have been the recent target by researchers in a bid to solving complex mixed-toxicant challenges using single or common remediation systems. This investigation looks at the effect of such multi-templated system vis-a-vis the synthesis by non-covalent interaction, of a molecularly imprinted polymer architecture using nicotine and its structural analogue Phenylalanine amide individually and, in the blend, (50:50), as template materials in a Chitosan-Methacrylic acid functional monomer matrix. The temperature for polymerization is 60OC and time for polymerization, 12hrs (water bath heating), 4mins for (microwave heating). The characteristic thermal properties of the molecularly imprinted materials are investigated using Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA) profiling, while the absorption and separation efficiencies based on the relative retention times and peak areas of templates were studied amongst other properties. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) results obtained, show the creation of heterogeneous nanocavities, regardless, the introduction of Caffeine a close structural analogue presented near-zero perfusion. This confirms the selectivity and specificity of the templated polymers despite its dual-templated nature. The STA results presented the materials as having decomposition temperatures above 250OC and a relative loss in mass of less than19% over a period within 50mins of heating. Consequent to this outcome, multi-templated systems can be fabricated to sequester specifically and selectively targeted toxicants in a mixed toxicant populated system effectively.
Single Ion Conductors for Lithium-Ion Battery Application
Next generation lithium batteries are taking more attention and single-ion polymer electrolytes are expected to play a significant role in the development of these kinds of energy storage systems. In the present work we used a different strategy to design of novel solid single-ion conducting inorganic polymer electrolytes based on lithium polyvinyl alcohol oxalate borate (Li(PVAOB), lithium polyacrylic acid oxalate borate (LiPAAOB) and poly (ethylene glycol) methacrylate (PEGMA). Free radical polymerization was used to convert PEGMA into PPEGMA and LiPAAOB is prepared from poly (acrylic acid), oxalic acid and boric acid. Blend polymer electrolytes were produced by mixing of LiPAAOB or Li (PVAOB with PPEGMA at different stoichiometric ratios to enhance the single ion conductivity of the systems. To exploit the flexible chemistry and increase the segmental mobility of the blend electrolyte, the composition was changed up to 80% with respect to the guest polymer, PPEGMA. FT-IR and differential scanning calorimeter techniques confirmed the interaction between the host and guest polymers. TGA verified that the thermal stability of the blends increased up to approximately 200 C. Scanning electron microscopy images confirm the homogeneity of the blend electrolytes. CV studies showed that electrochemical stability electrochemical stability window is approximately 5 V versus Li/Li⁺. The effect of PPEGMA on to the Lithium-ion conductivity was investigated using dielectric impedance analyzer. The maximum single ion conductivity was measured as 1.3 × 10⁻⁴ S/cm at 100 C for the sample LiPAAOB-80PPEGMA. Clearly, the results confirmed the positive effect to the increment in ionic conductivity of the blend electrolytes with the addition of PPEGMA.
Silica Nanoparticles Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in MRC-5 Human Lung Fibroblasts
Silica nanoparticles (SiO2-NPs) are widely used in consumer products such as paints, plastics, insulation materials, tires, concrete production, as well as in gene delivery systems and imaging procedures. Environmental human exposure to them occurs during utilization of these products, in a time-dependent manner, the uptake being by topic and inhalation route especially. SiO2-NPs enter cells and induce membrane damage, oxidative stress and inflammatory reactions in a concentration-dependent manner. In this study, MRC-5 cells (human fetal lung fibroblasts) were exposed to amorphous SiO2-NPs at a dose of 62.5 μg/ml for 24, 48 and 72 hours. The size distribution of NPs was a lognormal function, in the range 3-14 nm. A time-dependent decrease of total reduced glutathione concentration by 36%, 50%, and 78% and an increase of NO level by 62%, 32%, respectively 24% compared to control were noticed. An up-regulation of NF-kB expression by 20%, 50% respectively 10% and of Nrf-2 by 139%, 58%, and 16% compared to control after 24, 48 and 72 hours was noticed also. The expression of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and COX-2 was up-regulated in a time-dependent manner. Also, the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were down-regulated after 48 and 72 hours, whereas their activities raised in a time-dependent manner. Exposure of cells to NPs up-regulated the expression of inducible NO synthase, as previously was shown, and probably this is the reason for the increased level of NO, that can react with the thiol groups of reduced glutathione molecules, diminishing its concentration Nrf2 is a transcription factor translocated in nucleus, under oxidative stress, where downstream gene expression activates in order to modulate the adaptive intracellular response against oxidative stress. The cross-talk between Nrf2 and NF-kB activities regulates the inflammatory processes. The activation of NF-kB could activate up-regulation of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8. The increase of COX-2 expression could be correlated with IL-1β one. Also, probably in response to the pro-inflammatory cytokines, MMP-2 and MMP-9 were induced and activated. In conclusion, the exposure of MRC-5 cells to SiO2-NPs generated inflammation in a time-dependent manner.
A Computational Study Concerning the Biological Effects of the Most Commonly Used Phthalates
Phthalates are a class of plastic additives that are used to enhance the physical properties of plastics and as solvents in paintings and some of them proved to be of particular concern for the human health. There are insufficient data concerning the health risks of phthalates and further research on evaluating their effects in humans is needed. As humans are not volunteers for such experiments, computational analysis may be used to predict the biological effects of phthalates in humans. Within this study we have used some computational approaches (SwissADME, admetSAR, FAFDrugs) for predicting the absorption, distribution, metabolization, excretion and toxicity (ADME-Tox) profiles and pharmacokinetics for the most common used phthalates. These computational tools are based on quantitative structure-activity relationship modeling approach. The predictions are further compared to the known effects of each considered phthalate in humans and correlations between computational results and experimental data are discussed. Our data revealed that phthalates are a class of compounds reflecting high toxicity both when ingested and when inhaled, but by inhalation their toxicity is even greater. The predicted harmful effects of phthalates are: toxicity and irritations of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, dyspnea, skin and eye irritations and disruption of the functions of liver and of the reproductive system. Many of investigated phthalates are predicted to be able to inhibit some of the cytochromes involved in the metabolism of numerous drugs and consequently to affect the efficiency of administrated treatments for many diseases and to intensify the adverse drugs reactions. The obtained predictions are in good agreement with clinical data concerning the observed effects of some phthalates in cases of acute exposures. Our study emphasizes the possible health effects of numerous phthalates and underlines the applicability of computational methods for predicting the biological effects of xenobiotics.
A Levelized Cost Analysis for Solar Energy Powered Sea Water Desalination in the Arabian Gulf Region
A levelized cost analysis of solar energy powered seawater desalination in The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is conducted to show that clean and renewable desalination is economically viable. The Emirate heavily relies on seawater desalination for its freshwater needs due to limited freshwater resources available. This trend is expected to increase further due to growing population and economic activity, rapid decline in limited freshwater reserves, and aggravating effects of climate change. Seawater desalination in Abu Dhabi is currently done through thermal desalination technologies such as multi-stage flash (MSF) and multi-effect distillation (MED) which are coupled with thermal power plants known as co-generation. Our analysis indicates that these thermal desalination methods are inefficient regarding energy consumption and harmful to the environment due to CO₂ emissions and other dangerous byproducts. Therefore, utilization of clean and renewable desalination options has become a must for The Emirate for the transition to a sustainable future. The rapid decline in the cost of solar PV system for energy production and RO technology for desalination makes the combination of these two an ideal option for a future of sustainable desalination in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. A Levelized cost analysis for water produced by solar PV + RO system indicates that Abu Dhabi is well positioned to utilize this technological combination for cheap and clean desalination for the coming years. It has been shown that cap-ex cost of solar PV powered RO system has potential to go as low as to 101 million US $ (1111 $/m³) at best case considering the recent technological developments. The levelized cost of water (LCW) values fluctuate between 0.34 $/m³ for the baseline case and 0.27 $/m³ for the best case. Even the highly conservative case yields LCW cheaper than 100% from all thermal desalination methods currently employed in the Emirate. Exponential cost decreases in both solar PV and RO sectors along with increasing economic scale globally signal the fact that a cheap and clean desalination can be achieved by the combination of these technologies.
A Near Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Study on Platinum Nanoparticles Supported on Zr-Based Metal Organic Frameworks
The first near ambient pressure (NAP)-XPS study of CO oxidation over Pt nanoparticles (NPs) incorporated into Zr-based UiO (UiO for Universitetet i Oslo) MOFs was carried out. For this purpose, the MOF-based Catalysts were prepared by wetness impregnation ([email protected]) and linker design ([email protected]) methods along with [email protected]₂ as the control catalyst. Firstly, the as-synthesized catalysts were reduced in situ prior to the operando XPS analysis. The existence of Pt(II) species was proved in UiO-67 by observing Pt 4f core level peaks at a high binding energy of 72.6 ± 0.1 eV. However, by heating the [email protected] catalyst in situ to 200 °C under vacuum, the higher BE components disappear, leaving only the metallic Pt 4f doublet, confirming the formation of Pt NPs. The complete reduction of [email protected] is achieved at 250 °C and 1 mbar H₂. To understand the chemical state of Pt NPs in UiO-67 during catalytic turnover, we analyzed the Pt 4f region using operando NAP-XPS in the temperature-programmed measurements (100-260 °C) with reference to [email protected]₂ catalyst. CO conversion during NAP-XPS experiments with the stoichiometric mixture shows that [email protected] has a better CO turnover frequency (TOF, 0.066 s⁻¹ at 260 °C) than the other two (ca. 0.055 s⁻¹). Pt 4f peaks only show one chemical species present at all temperatures, but the core level BE shifts change as a function of reaction temperature, i.e., Pt 4f peak from 71.8 eV at T < 200 °C to 71.2 eV at T > 200 °C. As this higher BE state of 71.8 eV was not observed after in situ reductions of the catalysts and only once the CO/O₂ mixture was introduced, we attribute it to the surface saturation of Pt NPs with adsorbed CO. In general, the quantitative analysis of Pt 4f data from the operando NAP-XPS experiments shows that the surface chemistry of the Pt active phase in the two [email protected] catalysts is the same, comparable to that of [email protected]₂. The observed difference in the catalytic activity can be attributed to the particle sizes of Pt NPs, as well as the dispersion of active phase in the support, which are different in the three catalysts.
[Keynote Talk]: Ultrasound Assisted Synthesis of ZnO of Different Morphologies by Solvent Variation
ZnO nanoparticles have been synthesized by ultrasonic irradiation from simple linear alcohols and water/ethanolic mixtures, at 50 oC. By changing the composition of the solvent, the shape could be altered. While no product was obtained from methanolic solutions, in ethanol, sheet like lamellar structures prevail.n-propanol and n-butanol resulted in needle like structures. The morphology of ZnO could be thus tailored in a simple way, by varying the solvent, under ultrasonic irradiation, in a relatively less time consuming method. Variation of the morphology and size of Zn also provides a means for modulating the band-gap. Although the chemical effects of ultrasound do not come from direct interaction with molecular species, the high energy derived from acoustic cavitation creates a unique interaction of energy and matter with great potential for synthesis.