Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56400

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Ultrasound/Microwave Assisted Extraction Recovery and Identification of Bioactive Compounds (Polyphenols) from Tarbush (Fluorensia cernua)
The plant known as tarbush (Fluorensia cernua) is a plant originating in northern Mexico, mainly in the states of Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and Chihuahua. It is a branched shrub that belongs to the family Asteraceae, has oval leaves of 6 to 11 cm in length and also has small yellow flowers. In Mexico, the tarbush is a very appreciated plant because it has been used as a traditional medicinal agent, for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, skin infections and as a healing agent. This plant has been used mainly as an infusion. Due to its traditional use, the content and type of phytochemicals present in the plant are currently unknown and are responsible for its biological properties, so its recovery and identification is very important because the compounds that it contains have relevant applications in the field of food, pharmaceuticals and medicine. The objective of this work was to determine the best extraction condition of phytochemical compounds (mainly polyphenolic compounds) from the leaf using ultrasound/microwave assisted extraction (U/M-AE). To reach the objective, U/M-AE extractions were performed evaluating three mass/volume ratios (1:8, 1:12, 1:16), three ethanol/water solvent concentrations (0%, 30% and 70%), ultrasound extraction time of 20 min and 5 min at 70°C of microwave treatment. All experiments were performed using a fractional factorial experimental design. Once the best extraction condition was defined, the compounds were recovered by liquid column chromatography using Amberlite XAD-16, the polyphenolic fraction was recovered with ethanol and then evaporated. The recovered polyphenolic compounds were quantified by spectrophotometric techniques and identified by HPLC/ESI/MS. The results obtained showed that the best extraction condition of the compounds was using a mass/volume ratio of 1:8 and solvent ethanol/water concentration of 70%. The concentration obtained from polyphenolic compounds using this condition was 22.74 mg/g and finally, 16 compounds of polyphenolic origin were identified. The results obtained in this work allow us to postulate the Mexican plant known as tarbush as a relevant source of bioactive polyphenolic compounds of food, pharmaceutical and medicinal interest.
Development of Polymer Nano-Particles as in vivo Imaging Agents for Photo-Acoustic Imaging
Molecular imaging has attracted much attention to visualize a tumor site in a living body on the basis of biological functions. A fluorescence in vivo imaging technique has been widely employed as a useful modality for small animals in pre-clinical researches. However, it is difficult to observe a site deep inside a body because of a short penetration depth of light. A photo-acoustic effect is a generation of a sound wave following light absorption. Because the sound wave is less susceptible to the absorption of tissues, an in vivo imaging method based on the photoacoustic effect can observe deep inside a living body. The current study developed an in vivo imaging agent for a photoacoustic imaging method. Nano-particles of poly(lactic acid) including indocyanine dye were developed as bio-compatible imaging agent with strong light absorption. A tumor site inside a mouse body was successfully observed in a photo-acoustic image. A photo-acoustic imaging with polymer nano-particle agent would be a powerful method to visualize a tumor.
Investigation of the Effect of Phosphorous on the Flame Retardant of Polyacrylonitrile Nanofiber
Vinyl acetate and methyl acrylate are common monomers to improve physical properties of polyacrylonitrile fiber. Commercially available poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinyl acetate) P(AN-VA) and poly(acrylonitrile-co-methyl acrylate) P(AN-MA) are not satisfactorily meet the demand in flame and fire-resistance. In this work, vinylphosophonic acid was used as a new monomer during polymerization of acrylonitrile, vinyl acetate, methylacrylate to prepare fire-retardant polymers. Then, nanofibers of P(AN-MA) copolymers and terpolymers were produced by electrospray method. FTIR, TGA and SEM are used for the characterization of polymers. Fire retardant properties will be tested by burning method. Properties such as water absorption of copolymers will also be tested and compared with commercial polymers in membrane usage studies.
Evaluation of Zr/NH₄ClO₄ and Zr/KClO₄ Compositions for Development of Igniter for Ammonium Perchlorate and Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene Based Base Bleed System
To achieve an enhanced range of large calibre artillery a base bleed unit equipped with ammonium perchlorate and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (AP/HTPB) based composite propellant grain is installed at the bottom of a projectile which produces jet of hot gasses and reduces base drag during flight of the projectile. Upon leaving the muzzle at very high muzzle velocity, due to sudden pressure drop, the propellant grain gets quenched. Therefore, base-bleed unit is equipped with an igniter to ensure ignition as well as reignition of the propellant grain. Pyrotechnic compositions based on Zr/NH₄ClO₄ and Zr/KClO₄ mixtures have been studied for the effect of fuel/oxidizer ratio and oxidizer type on ballistic properties. Calorific values of mixtures were investigated by bomb calorimeter, the average burning rate was measured by fuse wire technique at ambient conditions, and high-pressure closed vessel was used to record pressure-time profile, maximum pressure achieved (Pmax), time to achieve Pmax and differential pressure (dP/dt). It was observed that the 30, 40, 50 and 60 wt.% of Zr has a very significant effect on ballistic properties of mixtures. Compositions with NH₄ClO₄ produced higher values of Pmax, dP/dt and Calorific value as compared to Zr/KClO₄ based mixtures. Composition containing KClO₄ comparatively produced higher burning rate and maximum burning rate was recorded at 8.30 mm/s with 60 wt.% Zr in Zr/KClO₄ pyrotechnic mixture. Zr/KClO₄ with 50 wt. % of Zr was tests fired in igniter assembly by electric initiation method. Igniter assembly was test fired several times and average burning time of 3.5 sec with igniter mass burning rate of 6.85 g/sec was recorded. Igniter was finally fired on static and dynamic level with base bleed unit which gave successful ignition to the base bleed grain and extended range was achieved with 155 mm artillery projectile.
Advanced Materials Based on Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymers and Organically Modified Montmorillonite
This paper presents studies on the development and characterization of nanocomposites based on ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymers (EPDM), chlorobutyl rubber (IIR-Cl) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT). Mixtures were made containing 0, 3 and 6 phr (parts per 100 parts rubber) OMMT, respectively. They were obtained by melt intercalation in an internal mixer- Plasti-Corder Brabender, in suitable blending parameters, at a high temperature for 11 minutes. Curing agents were embedded on a laboratory roller at 70-100ºC, friction 1:1.1, processing time 5 minutes. Rubber specimens were obtained by compression, using a hydraulic press at 165ºC and a pressing force of 300 kN. Curing time, determined using the Monsanto rheometer, decreases with the increased amount of OMMT in the mixtures. At the same time, it was noticed that mixtures containing OMMT show improvement in physical-mechanical properties. The new types of nanocomposites may be used to obtain rubber seals for the space application or for other areas of application.
Diamond-Like Carbon-Based Structures as Functional Layers on Shape-Memory Alloy for Orthopedic Applications
NiTi alloys, possessing unique mechanical properties such as pseudoelasticity and shape memory effect (SME), are suitable for many applications, including implanthology and biomedical devices. Additionally, these alloys have similar values of elastic modulus to those of human bones, what is very important in orthopedics. Unfortunately, the environment of physiological fluids in vivo causes unfavorable release of Ni ions, which in turn may lead to metalosis as well as allergic reactions and toxic effects in the body. For these reasons, the surface properties of NiTi alloys should be improved to increase corrosion resistance, taking into account biological properties, i.e. excellent biocompatibility. The prospective in this respect are layers based on DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) structures, which are an attractive solution for many applications in implanthology. These coatings (DLC), usually obtained by PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) and PA CVD (Plasma Activated Chemical Vapour Deposition) methods, can be also modified by doping with other elements like silicon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, titanium and silver. These methods, in combination with a suitably designed structure of the layers, allow the possibility co-decide about physicochemical and biological properties of modified surfaces. Mentioned techniques provide specific physicochemical properties of substrates surface in a single technological process. In this work, the following types of layers based on DLC structures (incl. Si-DLC or Si/N-DLC) were proposed as prospective and attractive approach in surface functionalization of shape memory alloy. Nitinol substrates were modified in plasma conditions, using RF CVD (Radio Frequency Chemical Vapour Deposition). The influence of plasma treatment on the useful properties of modified substrates after deposition DLC layers doped with silica and/or nitrogen atoms, as well as only pre-treated in O2 NH3 plasma atmosphere in a RF reactor was determined. The microstructure and topography of the modified surfaces were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Furthermore, the atomic structure of coatings was characterized by IR and Raman spectroscopy. The research also included the evaluation of surface wettability, surface energy as well as the characteristics of selected mechanical and biological properties of the layers. In addition, the corrosion properties of alloys after and before modification in the physiological saline were also investigated. In order to determine the corrosion resistance of NiTi in the Ringer solution, the potentiodynamic polarization curves (LSV – Linear Sweep Voltamperometry) were plotted. Furthermore, the evolution of corrosion potential versus immersion time of TiNi alloy in Ringer solution was performed. Based on all carried out research, the usefullness of proposed modifications of nitinol for medical applications was assessed. It was shown, inter alia, that the obtained Si-DLC layers on the surface of NiTi alloy exhibit a characteristic complex microstructure, increased surface development, which is an important aspect in improving the osteointegration of an implant. Furthermore, the modified alloy exhibits biocompatibility, the transfer of the metal (Ni, Ti) to Ringer’s solution is clearly limited.
Treatment of Wastewater Contaminated with Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Using UV/H₂O₂ Oxidation Process
The Taguchi experimental design method was applied for the systematic and effective investigation of the optimal treatment conditions of wastewater contaminated with methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) by UV/H₂O₂ process, which would be affected by various parameters, such as MTBE concentration, H₂O₂ concentration, time, distance between solution and UV lamp and initial pH. Most of the experimental conditions in this study showed good results at the low distance between solution and UV lamp and the long time of UV irradiation. Optimum operating conditions for MTBE removal were MTBE concentration 250 ppm, H₂O₂ concentration 2.5 mmol, time 25 min, distance between solution and UV lamp 7 cm and initial pH 7. The percentages contribution of parameters was also investigated.
[Keynote Talk]: Morphological Analysis of Continuous Graphene Oxide Fibers Incorporated with Carbon Nanotube and MnCl₂
Graphene oxide fibers have recently received increasing attention due to their excellent properties such as high specific surface area, high mechanical strength, good thermal properties and high electrical conductivity. They have shown notable potential in various applications including batteries, sensors, filtration and separation and wearable electronics. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique structural, mechanical, and electrical properties and can be used together with graphene oxide fibers for several application areas such as lithium ion batteries, wearable electronics, etc. Metals salts that can be converted into metal ions and metal oxide can be also used for several application areas such as battery, purification natural gas, filtration, absorption. This study investigates the effects of CNT and metal complex compounds (MnCl₂, metal salts) on the morphological structure of graphene oxide fibers. The graphene oxide dispersion was manufactured by modified Hummers method, and continuous graphene oxide fibers were produced with wet spinning. The CNT and MnCl₂ were incorporated into the coagulation baths during wet spinning process. Produced composite continuous fibers were analyzed with SEM, SEM-EDS and AFM microscopies and as spun fiber counts were measured.
Waste-Based Surface Modification to Enhance Corrosion Resistance of Aluminium Bronze Alloy
Aluminium bronze alloys are well known for their superior abrasion, tensile strength and non-magnetic properties, due to the co-presence of iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) as alloying elements and have been commonly used in many industrial applications. However, continuous exposure to the marine environment will accelerate the risk of a tendency to Al bronze alloys parts failures. Although a higher level of corrosion resistance properties can be achieved by modifying its elemental composition, it will come at a price through the complex manufacturing process and increases the risk of reducing the ductility of Al bronze alloy. In this research, the use of ironmaking slag and waste plastic as the input source for surface modification of Al bronze alloy was implemented. Microstructural analysis conducted using polarised light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that is equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). An electrochemical corrosion test was carried out through Tafel polarisation method and calculation of protection efficiency against the base-material was determined. Results have indicated that uniform modified surface which is as the result of selective diffusion process, has enhanced corrosion resistance properties up to 12.67%. This approach has opened a new opportunity to access various industrial utilisations in commercial scale through minimising the dependency on natural resources by transforming waste sources into the protective coating in environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways.
Development of Antibacterial Surface Based on Bio-Inspired Hierarchical Surface
The development of antibacterial surface has devoted extensive researches and important field due to the growing antimicrobial resistance strains. The superhydrophobic surface has raised attention because of reducing bacteria adhesion in the absence of antibiotic agents. Evaluating the current development antibacterial surface has to be investigating to consider the potential of applying superhydrophobic surface to reduce bacterial adhesion or role of patterned surfaces on it. In this study, we present different samples with bio-inspired hierarchical and microstructures to consider their ability in reducing bacterial adhesion. The structures have inspired from rice-like pattern and lotus-leaf that developed on the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polypropylene (PP). The results of the attachment behaviors have considered on two bacteria strains of gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The reduction of bacteria adhesion on these roughness surfaces demonstrated the effectiveness of rinsing ability on removing bacterial cells on structured plastic surfaces. Results have also offered the important role of bacterial species, material chemistry and hierarchical structure to prevent bacterial adhesion.
Recirculation Type Photocatalytic Reactor for Degradation of Monocrotophos Using TiO₂ and W-TiO₂ Coated Immobilized Clay Beads
Monocrotophos (MCP) is a widely used pesticide in India, which belong to an extremely toxic organophosphorus family, is persistent in nature and its toxicity is widely reported in all environmental segments in the country. Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) is a promising solution to the problem of water pollution. TiO₂ is being widely used as a photocatalyst because of its many advantages, but it has a large band gap, due to which it is modified using metal and nonmetal dopant to make it active under sunlight and visible light. The use of nanosized powdered catalysts makes the recovery process extremely complicated. Hence the aim is to use low cost, easily available, eco-friendly clay material in form of bead as the support for the immobilization of catalyst, to solve the problem of post-separation of suspended catalyst from treated water. A recirculation type photocatalytic reactor (RTPR), using ultraviolet light emitting source (blue black lamp) was designed which work effectively for both suspended catalysts and catalyst coated clay beads. The bare, TiO₂ and W-TiO₂ coated clay beads were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and N₂ adsorption–desorption measurements techniques (BET) for their structural, textural and electronic properties. The study involved variation of different parameters like light conditions, recirculation rate, light intensity and initial MCP concentration under UV and sunlight for the degradation of MCP. The degradation and mineralization studies of the insecticide solution were performed using UV-Visible spectrophotometer, and COD vario-photometer and GC-MS analysis respectively. The main focus of the work lies in checking the recyclability of the immobilized TiO₂ over clay beads in the developed RTPR up to 30 continuous cycles without reactivation of catalyst. The results demonstrated the economic feasibility of the utilization of developed RTPR for the efficient purification of pesticide polluted water. The prepared TiO₂ clay beads delivered 75.78% degradation of MCP under UV light with negligible catalyst loss. Application of W-TiO₂ coated clay beads filled RTPR for the degradation of MCP under sunlight, however, shows 32% higher degradation of MCP than the same system based on undoped TiO₂. The COD measurements of TiO₂ coated beads led to 73.75% COD reduction while W-TiO₂ resulted in 87.89% COD reduction. The GC-MS analysis confirms the efficient breakdown of complex MCP molecules into simpler hydrocarbons. This supports the promising application of clay beads as a support for the photocatalyst and proves its eco-friendly nature, excellent recyclability, catalyst holding capacity, and economic viability.
Synthesis and Structural Characterization of 6-Nitroindazole Derivatives
The indazole derivatives exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activities. They are known for their anti-tumor, antiplatelet, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-leishmania and even anti-spermatogen. As part of our research on the synthesis of a number of heterocycles capable of exhibiting a biological and pharmacological property, due to our ongoing interest in the development of a simple and low-cost procedure for obtaining heterocyclic compounds that may have an interest for medicinal purposes. We present in this work the synthesis of 6-nitro-indazoles derivatives, using two different methods. the first method is the alkylation of Nitroindazole by two different alkylating agents under the conditions of solid/liquid phase transfer catalysis in N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF) in the presence of potassium carbonate (K₂CO₃) as a base, and tetra-n-butylammonium bromide (BTBA) as a catalyst. While the other method is the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, in this case, we have undertaken the preparation of bi-heterocyclic containing the 6-nitroindazole associate with group of isoxazoline, isoxazole or 1,2,3-Triazole under normal conditions and, under the catalytic conditions of the click chemistry we were also able to determine the structures without any ambiguity by the ¹H and ¹³C NMR.
Preparation of Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced HDPE Using Dialkylimidazolium as a Dispersing Agent: Effect on Thermal and Rheological Properties
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.
Fabrication of ZnO Nanorods Based Biosensor via Hydrothermal Method
Biosensors are playing vital role in industrial, clinical, and chemical analysis applications. Among other techniques, ZnO based biosensor is an easy approach due to its exceptional chemical and electrical properties. ZnO nanorods have positively charged isoelectric point which helps immobilize the negative charge glucose oxides (GOx). Here, we report ZnO nanorods based biosensors for the immobilization of GOx. The ZnO nanorods were grown by hydrothermal method on indium tin oxide substrate (ITO). The fabrication of biosensors was carried through batch processing using conventional photolithography. The buffer solutions of GOx were prepared in phosphate with a pH value of around 7.3. The biosensors effectively immobilized the GOx and result was analyzed by calculation of voltage and current on nanostructures.
Enhancement of Mechanical Properties and Thermal Conductivity of Oil Palm Shell Lightweight Concrete Reinforced with High Performance Polypropylene Fibres
Oil palm shell (OPS) is the solid waste product from the palm oil sector of the agricultural industry and can be used as alternative coarse aggregates to substitute depleting conventional raw materials. This research aims to investigate the incorporation of various high-performance polypropylene (HPP) fibres with different geometry to enhance the mechanical properties and thermal conductivity of OPS lightweight concrete. The effect of different volume fractions (Vf) (0.05%, 0.10% and 0.15%) were studied for each fibre. The results reveal that the effectiveness of HPP fibres to increase the compressive strength at later ages was more pronounced than at early age. It is found that the use of HPP fibres reinforced OPS lightweight concrete (LWC) induced the advantageous of improving mechanical properties (compressive strength, flexural strength and splitting tensile strength) and thermal conductivity. Hence, this HPP fibres is a promising alternative solution to compensate lower mechanical properties as well as contribute to energy efficiency building material in the construction industry.
Solvent-Free Synthesis of Sorbents for Removal of Oil Spills
Hydrophobic sorbents are usually used to remove oil spills from water surfaces. In this study, the hydrophilic fibers of natural cotton were chemically modified with a solvent-free process to modify them into hydrophobic fibers that can remove oil from water surfaces. The cellulose-based fibers of cotton were reacted with trichlorosilanes through gas-solid reaction in a dry chamber. Cotton fibers were exposed to vapors of four different chloroalkylsilanes at room temperature for 24 hours. The chlorosilanes were namely trichloromethylsilane, dichlorodimethyl silane, butyltrichlorosilane, and trichloro (3,3,3-trifluoropropyl) silane. The modified cotton fibers were characterized by IR-spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). The degree of substitution for each of the grafted alkyl groups was in the range between 0.1 and 0.3 per glucose residue. As a result of sialylation, the cotton fibers became hydrophobic; this was reflected by water contact-angle measurements of the fibers which increased from zero for the unmodified cotton to above 100 degrees for the modified fibers. In addition, the adsorption capacity of the fibers for oil from water surfaces increased by about five times that of the unmodified cotton reaching 18 g oil/g of cotton modified by dimethyl substituted silyl ethers. The optimal fiber-oil contact time and temperature for adsorption were 10 mins at 25°C, respectively. Therefore, the efficacy of cotton fibers to remove oil spills from contaminated water surfaces was significantly enhanced by using a simple solvent-free and environment-friendly process.
Synthesis of Solid Polymeric Materials by Maghnite-H⁺ as a Green Catalyst
The Solid Polymeric Materials have been successfully prepared by the copolymerization of e-caprolactone (CL) and poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) employing Maghnite-H+ at 80°C. Maghnite-H+ is a solid catalyst non-toxic. The presence of PEG chains leads to a break in the growth of PCL chains and consequently leads to the copolymer tri-block PCL-PEG-PCL. The objective of this study was to synthesize and characterize of Solid Polymeric Materials. The highly hydrophilic nature of polyethylene glycol has sparked our interest in developing a Solid Polymeric based e-caprolactone and poly (ethylene glycol). PCL and PEG are biocompatible materials. Their ring-opening copolymerization using Maghnite H+ makes to the Solid Polymeric Materials. The morphology and structure of Solid polymeric Materials were characterized by ¹H and ¹³C-NMR spectra and Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC). This paper developed the application of Maghnite-H+ as an efficient catalyst by an easy-to-handle procedure to get solid polymeric materials. A cationic mechanism for the copolymerization reaction was proposed.
Formation of Protective Aluminum-Oxide Layer on the Surface of Fe-Cr-Al Sintered-Metal-Fibers via Multi-Stage Thermal Oxidation
The objective of this paper is to investigate the formation and adhesion of a protective aluminum-oxide (Al2O3, alumina) layer on the surface of Iron-Chromium-Aluminum Alloy (Fe-Cr-Al) sintered-metal-fibers. The oxide-scale layer was developed via multi-stage thermal oxidation at 930 oC for 1 hour, followed by 1 hour at 960 oC, and finally at 990 oC for 2 hours. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images show that the multi-stage thermal oxidation resulted in the formation of predominantly Al2O3 platelets-like and whiskers. SEM images also reveal non-uniform oxide-scale growth on the surface of the fibers. Furthermore, peeling/spalling of the alumina protective layer occurred after minimum handling, which indicates weak adhesion forces between the protective layer and the base metal alloy.  Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis of the heat-treated Fe-Cr-Al sintered-metal-fibers confirmed the high aluminum content on the surface of the protective layer, and the low aluminum content on the exposed base metal alloy surface. In conclusion, the failure of the oxide-scale protective layer exposes the base metal alloy to further oxidation, and the fragile non-uniform oxide-scale is not suitable as a support for catalysts.
Catalytic Degradation of Tetracycline in Aqueous Solution by Magnetic Ore Pyrite Nanoparticles
This study presents the preparation, characterization and catalytic activity of a novel natural mineral-based catalyst for destructive adsorption of tetracycline (TTC) as water emerging compounds. Degradation potential of raw and calcined magnetite catalyst was evaluated at different experiments situations such as pH, catalyst dose, reaction time and pollutant concentration. Calcined magnetite attained greater catalytic potential than the raw ore in the degradation of tetracycline, around 69% versus 3% at reaction time of 30 min and TTC aqueous solution of 50 mg/L, respectively. Complete removal of TTC could be obtained using 2 g/L calcined nanoparticles at reaction time of 60 min. The removal of TTC increased with the increase in solution temperature. Accordingly, considering its abundance in nature together with its very high catalytic potential, calcined pyrite is a promising and reliable catalytic material for destructive decomposition for catalytic decomposition and mineralization of such pharmaceutical compounds as TTC in water and wastewater.
Effect of Needle Diameter on the Morphological Structure of Electrospun n-Bi2O3/Epoxy-PVA Nanofiber Mats
The effect of needle diameter on the morphological structure of electrospun n-Bi2O3/epoxy-PVA nanofibers has been investigated using three different types of needle diameters. The results were observed and investigated using two techniques of scanning electron microscope (SEM). The first technique is backscattered SEM while the second is secondary electron SEM. The results demonstrate that there is a correlation between the needle diameter and the morphology of electrospun nanofibers. As the internal needle diameter decreases, the average nanofiber diameter decreases and the fibers get thinner and smoother without agglomeration or beads formation. Moreover, with small needle diameter the nanofibrous porosity get larger compared with large needle diameter.
Synthesis of [email protected] Cu Core−Shell Nanowires by Galvanic Displacement of Cu by Pd²⁺ Ions as a Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode for the Simultaneous Determination of Dihydroxybenzene Isomers Speciation
The dihydroxybenzene isomers, hydroquinone (HQ), catechol (CC) and resorcinol (RS) have been widely recognized as important environmental pollutants due to their toxicity and low degradability in the ecological environment. Speciation of HQ, CC and RS is very important for environmental analysis because they co-exist of these isomers in environmental samples and are too difficult to degrade as an environmental contaminant with high toxicity. There are many analytical methods have been reported for detecting these isomers, such as spectrophotometry, fluorescence, High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and electrochemical methods. These methods have attractive advantages such as simple and fast response, low maintenance costs, wide linear analysis range, high efficiency, excellent selectivity and high sensitivity. A novel modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) with [email protected] Cu/CNTs core−shell nanowires for the simultaneous determination of hydroquinone (HQ), catechol (CC) and resorcinol (RS) is described. A detailed investigation by field emission scanning electron microscopy and electrochemistry was performed in order to elucidate the preparation process and properties of the GCE/ Pd/CuNWs-CNTs. The electrochemical response characteristic of the modified GPE/LFOR toward HQ, CC and RS were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) and Chronoamperometry. Under optimum conditions, the calibrations curves were linear up to 228 µM for each with detection limits of 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 µM for HQ, CC and RS, respectively. The diffusion coefficient for the oxidation of HQ, CC and RS at the modified electrode was calculated as 6.5×10⁻⁵, 1.6 ×10⁻⁵ and 8.5 ×10⁻⁵ cm² s⁻¹, respectively. DPV was used for the simultaneous determination of HQ, CC and RS at the modified electrode and the relative standard deviations were 2.1%, 1.9% and 1.7% for HQ, CC and RS, respectively. Moreover, GCE/Pd/CuNWs-CNTs was successfully used for determination of HQ, CC and RS in real samples.
A Fast Method for Graphene-Supported Pd-Co Nanostructures as Catalyst toward Ethanol Oxidation in Alkaline Media
Nowadays, fuel cells as a promising alternative for power source have been widely studied owing to their security, high energy density, low operation temperatures, renewable capability and low environmental pollutant emission. The nanoparticles of core-shell type could be widely described in a combination of a shell (outer layer material) and a core (inner material), and their characteristics are greatly conditional on dimensions and composition of the core and shell. In addition, the change in the constituting materials or the ratio of core to the shell can create their special noble characteristics. In this study, a fast technique for the fabrication of a Pd-Co/G/GCE modified electrode is offered. Thermal decomposition reaction of cobalt (II) formate salt over the surface of graphene/glassy carbon electrode (G/GCE) is utilized for the synthesis of Co nanoparticles. The nanoparticles of Pd-Co decorated on the graphene are created based on the following method: (1) Thermal decomposition reaction of cobalt (II) formate salt and (2) the galvanic replacement process Co by Pd2+. The physical and electrochemical performances of the as-prepared Pd-Co/G electrocatalyst are studied by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), and Chronoamperometry (CHA). Galvanic replacement method is utilized as a facile and spontaneous approach for growth of Pd nanostructures. The Pd-Co/G is used as an anode catalyst for ethanol oxidation in alkaline media. The Pd-Co/G not only delivered much higher current density (262.3 mAcm-2) compared to the Pd/C (32.1 mAcm-2) catalyst, but also demonstrated a negative shift of the onset oxidation potential (-0.480 vs -0.460 mV) in the forward sweep. Moreover, the novel Pd-Co/G electrocatalyst represents large electrochemically active surface area (ECSA), lower apparent activation energy (Ea), higher levels of durability and poisoning tolerance compared to the Pd/C catalyst. The paper demonstrates that the catalytic activity and stability of Pd-Co/G electrocatalyst are higher than those of the Pd/C electrocatalyst toward ethanol oxidation in alkaline media.
Ultrasonic Irradiation Synthesis of High-Performance [email protected] Nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon Nanotubes-Chitosan Electrocatalyst by Galvanic Replacement toward Ethanol Oxidation in Alkaline Media
The direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) are contemplated as a promising energy source because, In addition to being used in portable electronic devices, it is also used for electric vehicles. The synthesis of bimetallic nanostructures due to their novel optical, catalytic and electronic characteristic which is precisely in contrast to their monometallic counterparts is attracting extensive attention. Galvanic replacement (sometimes is named to as cementation or immersion plating) is an uncomplicated and effective technique for making nanostructures (such as core-shell) of different metals, semiconductors, and their application in DEFCs. The replacement of galvanic does not need any external power supply compared to electrodeposition. In addition, it is different from electroless deposition because there is no need for a reducing agent to replace galvanizing. In this paper, a fast method for the palladium (Pd) wire nanostructures synthesis with the great surface area through galvanic replacement reaction utilizing copper nanowires (CuNWS) as a template by the assistance of ultrasound under room temperature condition is proposed. To evaluate the morphology and composition of [email protected] Copper nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon nanotubes-Chitosan, emission scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were applied. In order to measure the phase structure of the electrocatalysts were performed via room temperature X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) applying an X-ray diffractometer. Various electrochemical techniques including chronoamperometry and cyclic voltammetry were utilized for the electrocatalytic activity of ethanol electrooxidation and durability in basic solution. [email protected] Copper nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon nanotubes-Chitosan catalyst demonstrated substantially enhanced performance and long-term stability for ethanol electrooxidation in the basic solution in comparison to commercial Pd/C that demonstrated the potential in utilizing [email protected] Copper nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon nanotubes-Chitosan as efficient catalysts towards ethanol oxidation. Noticeably, the [email protected] Copper nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon nanotubes-Chitosan presented excellent catalytic activities with a peak current density of 320.73 mAcm² which was 9.5 times more than in comparison to Pd/C (34.2133 mAcm²). Additionally, activation energy thermodynamic and kinetic evaluations revealed that the [email protected] Copper nanowires/MultiWalled Carbon nanotubes-Chitosan catalyst has lower compared to Pd/C which leads to a lower energy barrier and an excellent charge transfer rate towards ethanol oxidation.
Fibroblast Compatibility of Core-Shell Coaxially Electrospun Hybrid Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Chitosan Scaffolds
Tissue engineering is the field of treating defects caused by injuries, trauma or acute/chronic diseases by using artificial scaffolds that mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM), the natural biological support for the tissues and cells within the body. The main aspects of a successful artificial scaffold are (i) large surface area in order to provide multiple anchorage points for cells to attach, (ii) suitable porosity in order to achieve 3 dimensional growth of the cells within the scaffold as well as proper transport of nutrition, biosignals and waste and (iii) physical, chemical and biological compatibility of the material in order to obtain viability throughout the healing process. By hybrid scaffolds where two or more different materials were combined with advanced fabrication techniques into complex structures, it is possible to combine the advantages of individual materials into one single structure while eliminating the disadvantages of each. Adding this to the complex structure provided by advanced fabrication techniques enables obtaining the desired aspects of a successful artificial tissue scaffold. In this study, fibroblast compatibility of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/chitosan core-shell electrospun hybrid scaffolds with proper mechanical, chemical and physical properties successfully developed in our previous study was investigated. Standard 7-day cell culture was carried out with L929 fibroblast cell line. The viability of the cells cultured with the scaffolds was monitored with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) viability assay for every 48 h starting with 24 h after the initial seeding. In this assay, blank commercial tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) Petri dishes, single electrospun PCL and single electrospun chitosan mats were used as control in order to compare and contrast the performance of the hybrid scaffolds. The adhesion, proliferation, spread and growth of the cells on/within the scaffolds were observed visually on the 3rd and the 7th days of the culture period with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CSLM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The viability assay showed that the hybrid scaffolds caused no toxicity for fibroblast cells and provided a steady increase in cell viability, effectively doubling the cell density for every 48 h for the course of 7 days, as compared to TCPS, single electrospun PCL or chitosan mats. The cell viability on the hybrid scaffold was ~2 fold better compared to TCPS because of its 3D ECM-like structure compared to 2D flat surface of commercially cell compatible TCPS, and the performance was ~2 fold and ~10 fold better compared to single PCL and single chitosan mats, respectively, even though both fabricated similarly with electrospinning as non-woven fibrous structures, because single PCL and chitosan mats were either too hydrophobic or too hydrophilic to maintain cell attachment points. The viability results were verified with visual images obtained with CSLM and SEM, in which cells found to achieve characteristic spindle-like fibroblast shape and spread on the surface as well within the pores successfully at high densities.
The Inversion of Helical Twist Sense in Liquid Crystal by Spectroscopy Methods
The chiral liquid crystal phases form the helicoidal structure, which is characterized by the helical pitch and the helical twist sense. In anticlinic smectic phase with antiferroelectric properties three types of helix temperature dependence have been obtained: increased helical pitch with temperature and right-handed helix, decreased helical pitch with temperature and left-handed helix and the inversion of both. The change of helical twist sense may be observed during the transition from one liquid crystal phase to another or within one phase for the same substance. According to Gray and McDonnell theory, the helical handedness depends on the absolute configuration of the assymetric carbon atom and its position related to the rigid core of the molecule. However, this theory does not explain the inversion of helical twist sense phenomenon. It is supposed, that it may be caused by the presence of different conformers with opposite handendess, which concentration may change with temperature. In this work, the inversion of helical twist sense in the chiral liquid crystals differing in the length of alkyl chain, in the substitution the benzene ring by fluorine atoms and in the type of helix handedness was tested by vibrational spectroscopy (infrared and raman spectroscopy) and by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The results obtained from the vibrational spectroscopy confirm the presence of different conformers. Moreover, the analysis of nuclear magnetic resonance spectra is very useful to check, on which structural fragments the change of conformations are important for the change of helical twist sense.
Low-Surface Roughness and High Optical Quality CdS Thin Film Deposited on Heated Substrate Using Room-Temperature Chemical Solution
The high production cost of the conventional solar cells requires the search for economic methods suitable for solar energy conversion. Cadmium Sulfide (CdS) is one of the most important semiconductors used in photovoltaics, especially in large area solar cells; and can be prepared in a thin film form by a wide variety of deposition techniques. The preparation techniques include vacuum evaporation, sputtering and molecular beam epitaxy. Other techniques, based on chemical solutions, are also used for depositing CdS films with dramatically low-cost compared to other vacuum-based methods. Although this technique is widely used during the last decades, due to simplicity and low-deposition temperature (~100°C), there is still a strong need for more information on the growth process and its relation with the quality of the deposited films. Here, we report on deposition of high-quality CdS thin films; with low-surface roughness ( < 3.0 nm) and sharp optical absorption edge; on low-temperature glass substrates (70°C) using a new method based on the room-temperature chemical solution. In this method, a mixture solution of cadmium acetate and thiourea at room temperature was used under special growth conditions for deposition of CdS films. X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements were used to examine the crystal structure properties of the deposited CdS films. In addition, UV-VIS transmittance and low-temperature (4K) photoluminescence (PL) measurements were performed for quantifying optical properties of the deposited films. The deposited films show high optical quality as confirmed by observation of both, sharp edge in the transmittance spectra and strong PL intensity at room temperature. Furthermore, we found a strong effect of the growth conditions on the optical band gap of the deposited films; where remarkable red-shift in the absorption edge with temperature is clearly seen in both transmission and PL spectra. Such tuning of both optical band gap of the deposited CdS films can be utilized for tuning the electronic bands' alignments between CdS and other light-harvesting materials, like CuInGaSe or CdTe, for potential improvement in the efficiency of solar cells devices based on these heterostructures.
Efficient Ni(II)-Containing Layered Triple Hydroxide-Based Catalysts: Synthesis, Characterisation and Their Role in the Heck Reaction
Nickel can efficiently replace palladium in the Heck, Suzuki and Negishi reactions. This study focuses on the synthesis and catalytic application of Ni(II)-containing layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and layered triple hydroxides (LTHs). Our goals were to incorporate Ni(II) ions among the layers of LDHs or LTHs, or binding it to their surface or building it into their layers in such a way that their catalytic activities are maintained or even increased. The LDHs and LTHs were prepared by the co-precipitation method using ethylene glycol as co-solvent. In several cases, post-synthetic modifications (e.g., thermal treatment) were performed. After optimizing the synthesis conditions, the composites displayed good crystallinity and were free of byproducts. The success of the syntheses and the post-synthetic modifications was confirmed by relevant characterization methods (XRD, SEM, SEM-EDX and combined IR techniques). Catalytic activities of the produced and well-characterized solids were investigated through the Heck reaction. The composites behaved as efficient, recyclable catalysts in the Heck reaction between 4-bromoanisole and styrene. Through varying the reaction parameters, we were able to obtain acceptable conversions under mild conditions. Our study highlights the possibility of the application of Ni(II)-containing composites as efficient catalysts in coupling reactions.
Electrochemical Activity of NiCo-GDC Cermet Anode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operated in Methane
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) have been considered as one of the most efficient large unit power generators for household and industrial applications. The efficiency of an electronic cell depends mainly on the electrochemical reactions in the anode. The development of anode materials has been intensely studied to achieve higher kinetic rates of redox reactions and lower internal resistance. Recent studies have introduced an efficient cermet (ceramic-metallic) material for its ability in fuel oxidation and oxide conduction. This could expand the reactive site, also known as the triple-phase boundary (TPB), thus increasing the overall performance. In this study, a bimetallic catalyst Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was combined with Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ (GDC) to be used as a cermet anode (NiCo-GDC) for an anode-supported type SOFC. The synthesis of Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was carried out by ball milling NiO and Co3O4 powders in ethanol and calcined at 1000 °C. The Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ was prepared by a urea co-precipitation method. Precursors of Gd(NO₃)₃·6H₂O and Ce(NO₃)₃·6H₂O were dissolved in distilled water with the addition of urea and were heated subsequently. The heated mixture product was filtered and rinsed thoroughly, then dried and calcined at 800 °C and 1500 °C, respectively. The two powders were combined followed by pelletization and sintering at 1100 °C to form an anode support layer. The fabrications of an electrolyte layer and cathode layer were conducted. The electrochemical performance in H₂ was measured from 800 °C to 600 °C while for CH₄ was from 750 °C to 600 °C. The maximum power density at 750 °C in H₂ was 13% higher than in CH₄. The difference in performance was due to higher polarization resistances confirmed by the impedance spectra. According to the standard enthalpy, the dissociation energy of C-H bonds in CH₄ is slightly higher than the H-H bond H₂. The dissociation of CH₄ could be the cause of resistance within the anode material. The results from lower temperatures showed a descending trend of power density in relevance to the increased polarization resistance. This was due to lowering conductivity when the temperature decreases. The long-term stability was measured at 750 °C in CH₄ monitoring at 12-hour intervals. The maximum power density tends to increase gradually with time while the resistances were maintained. This suggests the enhanced stability from charge transfer activities in doped ceria due to the transition of Ce⁴⁺ ↔ Ce³⁺ at low oxygen partial pressure and high-temperature atmosphere. However, the power density started to drop after 60 h, and the cell potential also dropped from 0.3249 V to 0.2850 V. These phenomena was confirmed by a shifted impedance spectra indicating a higher ohmic resistance. The observation by FESEM and EDX-mapping suggests the degradation due to mass transport of ions in the electrolyte while the anode microstructure was still maintained. In summary, the electrochemical test and stability test for 60 h was achieved by NiCo-GDC cermet anode. Coke deposition was not detected after operation in CH₄, hence this confirms the superior properties of the bimetallic cermet anode over typical Ni-GDC.
Development of Transparent Nano-Structured Super-Hydrophobic Coating on Glass and Evaluation of Anti-Dust Properties
Super-hydrophobicity is an effect in which a surface roughness and chemical composition are combined to produce unusual water and dust repellent surface. The super-hydrophobic surface is widely used in many applications such as windshields of the automobile, aircraft, lens, solar cells, roofing, boat hull, paints, etc. Four coating solutions were prepared by varying compositions of 1,1,1,3,3,3 hexametyldisilazane (HDMS) and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) sol. These solutions were coated on glass slides by a spin coating method and etched at a high temperature ranging 250 -350 oC. All the coatings were studied for its different properties like water repellent, anti-dust, and transparency and contact angle measurements. Stability of coatings was also studied with respect to temperature, external environment, and pH. It was found that all coatings impart a significant super-hydrophobicity on a glass surface with contact angle ranging from 156o to 162o and have good stability in the external environment. The results of the different coatings were observed and compared with each other. On increasing layers of coatings the super-hydrophobicity and anti-dust properties increases but after 3 coatings the transparency of coating starts decreasing.
Effect of Pressure and Dissolved Oxygen on Stress Corrosion Cracking Susceptibility of Inconel 617 in Steam and Supercritical Water
Inconel 617, a nickel-based alloy designed for high-temperature applications, got an excellent amalgamation of strength and oxidation resistance at high temperatures. For a better understanding of its suitability to be used in superheater and reheater tubes in ultra-supercritical power plants, stress corrosion cracking (SCC) susceptibility must be evaluated. In the present study, the effect of medium environment on SCC behavior of Inconel 617, in the form of a round bar tensile specimen, was tested via slow strain rate tensile tests in steam and supercritical water (SCW) at 650 °C. The results showed that SCC susceptibility has a linear relationship with exposed pressure and increases monotonically with an increase in pressure. A severe SCC susceptibility was observed in SCW followed by that in a steam environment. Fracture and gage surface showed apparent characteristics of brittle fracture. Intergranular cracks initiated from the edge region and propagated into the matrix through cross section until ductile rupture. When dissolved oxygen contents were decreased in SCW environment, it showed no noticeable effect on mechanical properties but SCC susceptibility slightly decreased. The research revealed the influence of environment on SCC susceptibility of Inconel 617 in steam and SCW.