Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 13

Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

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  • 13
    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.

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

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

    Effect of Gas-Diffusion Oxynitriding on Microstructure and Hardness of Ti-6Al-4V Alloys

    The commercially available titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4V, was oxynitrided in the deoxygenated nitrogen gas at high temperatures followed by cooling in oxygen-containing nitrogen in order to analyze the influence of oxynitriding parameters on the phase modification, hardness, and the microstructural evolution of the oxynitrided coating. The surface microhardness of the oxynitrided alloy increased due to the strengthening effect of the formed titanium oxynitrides, TiNxOy. The maximum microhardness was obtained, when TiNxOy had near equiatomic composition of nitrogen and oxygen. It could be attained under the optimum oxygen partial pressure and temperature-time condition.

    Application of Liquid Emulsion Membrane Technique for the Removal of Cadmium(II) from Aqueous Solutions Using Aliquat 336 as a Carrier
    In the present work, emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) technique was applied for the extraction of cadmium(II) present in aqueous samples. Aliquat 336 (Chloride tri-N-octylmethylammonium) was used as carrier to extract cadmium(II). The main objective of this work is to investigate the influence of various parameters affected the ELM formation and its stability and testing the performance of the prepared ELM on removal of cadmium by using synthetic solution with different concentrations. Experiments were conducted to optimize pH of the feed solution and it was found that cadmium(II) can be extracted at pH 6.5. The influence of the carrier concentration and treat ratio on the extraction process was investigated. The obtained results showed that the optimal values are respectively 3% (Aliquat 336) and a ratio (feed: emulsion) equal to 1:1.
    Numerical Analysis and Design of Dielectric to Plasmonic Waveguides Couplers
    In this work, efficient directional coupler composed of dielectric waveguides and metallic film has been analyzed in details by simulations using finite element method (FEM). The structure consists of a step-index fiber with dielectric core, silica cladding, and a metal nanowire parallel to the core. The results show that an efficient conversion of optical dielectric modes to long range plasmonic is possible. Low insertion losses in conjunction with short coupling length and a broadband operation can be achieved under certain conditions. This kind of couplers has potential applications for the design of photonic integrated circuits for signal routing between dielectric/plasmonic waveguides, sensing, lithography, and optical storage systems. A high efficient focusing of light in a very small region can be obtained.
    Comparative Studies of the Effects of Microstructures on the Corrosion Behavior of Micro-Alloyed Steels in Unbuffered 3.5 Wt% NaCl Saturated with CO2

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

    Influence of Sodium Acetate on Electroless Ni-P Deposits and Effect of Heat Treatment on Corrosion Behavior

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

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

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

    Radiation Effects in the PVDF/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites

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

    Functionalization of Polypropylene with Chiral Monomer for Improving Hemocompatibility

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

    A Numerical Study on Electrophoresis of a Soft Particle with Charged Core Coated with Polyelectrolyte Layer
    Migration of a core-shell soft particle under the influence of an external electric field in an electrolyte solution is studied numerically. The soft particle is coated with a positively charged polyelectrolyte layer (PEL) and the rigid core is having a uniform surface charge density. The Darcy-Brinkman extended Navier-Stokes equations are solved for the motion of the ionized fluid, the non-linear Nernst-Planck equations for the ion transport and the Poisson equation for the electric potential. A pressure correction based iterative algorithm is adopted for numerical computations. The effects of convection on double layer polarization (DLP) and diffusion dominated counter ions penetration are investigated for a wide range of Debye layer thickness, PEL fixed surface charge density, and permeability of the PEL. Our results show that when the Debye layer is in order of the particle size, the DLP effect is significant and produces a reduction in electrophoretic mobility. However, the double layer polarization effect is negligible for a thin Debye layer or low permeable cases. The point of zero mobility and the existence of mobility reversal depending on the electrolyte concentration are also presented.