International Science Index
International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Research of the Load Bearing Capacity of Inserts Embedded in CFRP under Different Loading Conditions
Continuous carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) exhibit a high application potential for lightweight structures due to their outstanding specific mechanical properties. Embedded metal elements, so-called inserts, can be used to join structural CFRP parts. Drilling of the components to be joined can be avoided using inserts. In consequence, no bearing stress is anticipated. This is a distinctive benefit of embedded inserts, since continuous CFRP have low shear and bearing strength. This paper aims at the investigation of the load bearing capacity after preinduced damages from impact tests and thermal-cycling. In addition, characterization of mechanical properties during dynamic high speed pull-out testing under different loading velocities was conducted. It has been shown that the load bearing capacity increases up to 100% for very high velocities (15 m/s) in comparison with quasi-static loading conditions (1.5 mm/min). Residual strength measurements identified the influence of thermal loading and preinduced mechanical damage. For both, the residual strength was evaluated afterwards by quasi-static pull-out tests. Taking into account the DIN EN 6038 a high decrease of force occurs at impact energy of 16 J with significant damage of the laminate. Lower impact energies of 6 J, 9 J, and 12 J do not decrease the measured residual strength, although the laminate is visibly damaged - distinguished by cracks on the rear side. To evaluate the influence of thermal loading, the specimens were placed in a climate chamber and were exposed to various numbers of temperature cycles. One cycle took 1.5 hours from -40 °C to +80 °C. It could be shown that already 10 temperature cycles decrease the load bearing capacity up to 20%. Further reduction of the residual strength with increasing number of thermal cycles was not observed. Thus, it implies that the maximum damage of the composite is already induced after 10 temperature cycles.
COSMO-RS Prediction for Choline Chloride/Urea Based Deep Eutectic Solvent: Chemical Structure and Application as Agent for Natural Gas Dehydration
In recent years, green solvents named deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have been found to possess significant properties and to be applicable in several technologies. Choline chloride (ChCl) mixed with urea at a ratio of 1:2 and 80 °C was the first discovered DES. In this article, chemical structure and combination mechanism of ChCl: urea based DES were investigated. Moreover, the implementation of this DES in water removal from natural gas was reported. Dehydration of natural gas by ChCl:urea shows significant absorption efficiency compared to triethylene glycol. All above operations were retrieved from COSMOthermX software. This article confirms the potential application of DESs in gas industry.
Time Temperature Dependence of Long Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Manufactured by Direct Long Fiber Thermoplastic Process
In order to reduce fuel consumption, the weight of automobiles has to be reduced. Fiber reinforced polymers offer the potential to reach this aim because of their high stiffness to weight ratio. Additionally, the use of fiber reinforced polymers in automotive applications has to allow for an economic large-scale production. In this regard, long fiber reinforced thermoplastics made by direct processing offer both mechanical performance and processability in injection moulding and compression moulding. The work presented in this contribution deals with long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene directly processed in compression moulding (D-LFT). For the use in automotive applications both the temperature and the time dependency of the materials properties have to be investigated to fulfill performance requirements during crash or the demands of service temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 80 °C. To consider both the influence of temperature and time, quasistatic tensile tests have been carried out at different temperatures. These tests have been complemented by high speed tensile tests at different strain rates. As expected, the increase in strain rate results in an increase of the elastic modulus which correlates to an increase of the stiffness with decreasing service temperature. The results are in good accordance with results determined by dynamic mechanical analysis within the range of 0.1 to 100 Hz. The experimental results from different testing methods were grouped and interpreted by using different time temperature shift approaches. In this regard, Williams-Landel-Ferry and Arrhenius approach based on kinetics have been used. As the theoretical shift factor follows an arctan function, an empirical approach was also taken into consideration. It could be shown that this approach describes best the time and temperature superposition for glass fiber reinforced polypropylene manufactured by D-LFT processing.
Microstructural and Electrochemical Investigation of Carbon Coated Nanograined LiFePO4 as Cathode Material for Li-Batteries
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is a potential cathode material for lithium-ion batteries due to its promising characteristics. In this study, pure LiFePO4 (LFP) and carbon-coated nanograined LiFePO4 (LFP-C) is synthesized and characterized for its microstructural properties. X-ray diffraction patterns of the synthesized samples can be indexed to an orthorhombic LFP structure with about 63 nm crystallite size as calculated by using Scherrer’s equation. Agglomerated particles that range from 200 nm to 300 nm are observed from scanning electron microscopy images. Transmission electron microscopy images confirm the crystalline structure of LFP and coating of amorphous carbon layer. Elemental mapping using energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis revealed the homogeneous dispersion of the compositional elements. In addition, galvanostatic charge and discharge measurements were investigated for the cathode performance of the synthesized LFP and LFP-C samples. The results showed that the carbon-coated sample demonstrated the highest capacity of about 140 mAhg-1 as compared to non-coated and micrograined sized commercial LFP.
Preparation and Conductivity Measurements of LSM/YSZ Composite Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell Anode Materials
One of the most promising anode materials for solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) application is the Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) which is known to have a high electronic conductivity but low ionic conductivity. To increase the ionic conductivity or diffusion of ions through the anode, Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (YSZ), which has good ionic conductivity, is proposed to be combined with LSM to create a composite electrode and to obtain a high mixed ionic and electronic conducting anode. In this study, composite of lanthanum strontium manganite and YSZ oxide, La0.8Sr0.2MnO3/Zr0.92Y0.08O2 (LSM/YSZ), with different wt.% compositions of LSM and YSZ were synthesized using solid-state reaction. The obtained prepared composite samples of 60, 50, and 40 wt.% LSM with remaining wt.% of 40, 50, and 60, respectively for YSZ were fully characterized for its microstructure by using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and Scanning electron microscope/Energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analyses. Surface morphology of the samples via SEM analysis revealed a well-sintered and densified pure LSM, while a more porous composite sample of LSM/YSZ was obtained. Electrochemical impedance measurements at intermediate temperature range (500-700 °C) of the synthesized samples were also performed which revealed that the 50 wt.% LSM with 50 wt.% YSZ (L50Y50) sample showed the highest total conductivity of 8.27x10-1 S/cm at 600 oC with 0.22 eV activation energy.
Wave Interaction with Defects in Pressurized Composite Structures
A wave finite element (WFE) and finite element
(FE) based computational method is presented by which the
dispersion properties as well as the wave interaction coefficients for
one-dimensional structural system can be predicted. The structural
system is discretized as a system comprising a number of waveguides
connected by a coupling joint. Uniform nodes are ensured at the
interfaces of the coupling element with each waveguide. Then,
equilibrium and continuity conditions are enforced at the interfaces.
Wave propagation properties of each waveguide are calculated using
the WFE method and the coupling element is modelled using the
FE method. The scattering of waves through the coupling element,
on which damage is modelled, is determined by coupling the FE and
WFE models. Furthermore, the central aim is to evaluate the effect of
pressurization on the wave dispersion and scattering characteristics
of the prestressed structural system compared to that which is not
prestressed. Numerical case studies are exhibited for two waveguides
coupled through a coupling joint.
Thermal Effect on Wave Interaction in Composite Structures
There exist a wide range of failure modes in composite
structures due to the increased usage of the structures especially in
aerospace industry. Moreover, temperature dependent wave response
of composite and layered structures have been continuously studied,
though still limited, in the last decade mainly due to the broad
operating temperature range of aerospace structures. A wave finite
element (WFE) and finite element (FE) based computational method
is presented by which the temperature dependent wave dispersion
characteristics and interaction phenomenon in composite structures
can be predicted. Initially, the temperature dependent mechanical
properties of the panel in the range of -100 ◦C to 150 ◦C are
measured experimentally using the Thermal Mechanical Analysis
(TMA). Temperature dependent wave dispersion characteristics of
each waveguide of the structural system, which is discretized as a
system of a number of waveguides coupled by a coupling element, is
calculated using the WFE approach. The wave scattering properties,
as a function of temperature, is determined by coupling the WFE
wave characteristics models of the waveguides with the full FE
modelling of the coupling element on which defect is included.
Numerical case studies are exhibited for two waveguides coupled
through a coupling element.
Electrochemical Performance of Al-Mn2O3 Based Electrode Materials
Manganese oxide is being recently used as electrode material for rechargeable batteries. In this study, Al incorporated Mn2O3 compositions were synthesized to study the effect of Al doping on electrochemical performance of host material. Structural studies were carried out using X-ray diffraction analysis to confirm the phase stability and explore the lattice parameters, crystallite size, lattice strain, density and cell volume. Morphology and composition were analyzed using field emission scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, respectively. Dynamic light scattering analysis was performed to observe the average particle size of the compositions. FTIR measurements exhibit the O-Al-O and O-Mn-O and Al-O bonding and with increasing the concentration of Al, the vibrational peaks of Mn-O become sharper. An enhanced electrochemical performance was observed in compositions with higher Al content.
Development of Single Layer of WO3 on Large Spatial Resolution by Atomic Layer Deposition Technique
Unique and distinctive properties could be obtained on such two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor as tungsten trioxide (WO3) when the reduction from multi-layer to one fundamental layer thickness takes place. This transition without damaging single-layer on a large spatial resolution remained elusive until the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique was utilized. Here we report the ALD-enabled atomic-layer-precision development of a single layer WO3 with thickness of 0.77±0.07 nm on a large spatial resolution by using (tBuN)2W(NMe2)2 as tungsten precursor and H2O as oxygen precursor, without affecting the underlying SiO2/Si substrate. Versatility of ALD is in tuning recipe in order to achieve the complete WO3 with desired number of WO3 layers including monolayer. Governed by self-limiting surface reactions, the ALD-enabled approach is versatile, scalable and applicable for a broader range of 2D semiconductors and various device applications.
Study of Influencing Factors on the Flowability of Jute Nonwoven Reinforced Sheet Molding Compound
Due to increasing environmental awareness jute fibers are more often used in fiber reinforced composites. In the Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) process, the mold cavity is filled via material flow allowing more complex component design. But, the difficulty of using jute fibers in this process is the decreased capacity of fiber movement in the mold. A comparative flow study with jute nonwoven reinforced SMC was conducted examining the influence of the fiber volume content, the grammage of the jute nonwoven textile and a mechanical modification of the nonwoven textile on the flowability. The nonwoven textile reinforcement was selected to support homogeneous fiber distribution. Trials were performed using two SMC paste formulations differing only in filler type. Platy-shaped kaolin with a mean particle size of 0.8 μm and ashlar calcium carbonate with a mean particle size of 2.7 μm were selected as fillers. Ensuring comparability of the two SMC paste formulations the filler content was determined to reach equal initial viscosity for both systems. The calcium carbonate filled paste was set as reference. The flow study was conducted using a jute nonwoven textile with 300 g/m² as reference. The manufactured SMC sheets were stacked and centrally placed in a square mold. The mold coverage was varied between 25 and 90% keeping the weight of the stack for comparison constant. Comparing the influence of the two fillers kaolin yielded better results regarding a homogeneous fiber distribution. A mold coverage of about 68% was already sufficient to homogeneously fill the mold cavity whereas for calcium carbonate filled system about 79% mold coverage was necessary. The flow study revealed a strong influence of the fiber volume content on the flowability. A fiber volume content of 12 vol.-% and 25 vol.-% were compared for both SMC formulations. The lower fiber volume content strongly supported fiber transport whereas 25 vol.-% showed insignificant influence. The results indicate a limiting fiber volume content for the flowability. The influence of the nonwoven textile grammage was determined using nonwoven jute material with 500 g/m² and a fiber volume content of 20 vol.-%. The 500 g/m² reinforcement material showed inferior results with regard to fiber movement. A mold coverage of about 90 % was required to prevent the destruction of the nonwoven structure. Below this mold coverage the 500 g/m² nonwoven material was ripped and torn apart. Low mold coverages led to damage of the textile reinforcement. Due to the ripped nonwoven structure the textile was modified with cuts in order to facilitate fiber movement in the mold. Parallel cuts of about 20 mm length and 20 mm distance to each other were applied to the textile and stacked with varying orientations prior to molding. Stacks with unidirectional orientated cuts over stacks with cuts in various directions e.g. (0°, 45°, 90°, -45°) were investigated. The mechanical modification supported tearing of the textile without achieving benefit for the flowability.
Eu+3 Ion as a Luminescent Probe in ZrO2: Gd+3 Co-Doped Nanophosphor
Well-defined 2D Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2: Gd+3 nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by microwave assisted solution combustion technique for luminescent applications. The present investigation reports the rapid and effective method for the synthesis of the Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2:Gd+3 nanoparticles and study of the luminescence behavior of Eu+3 ion in ZrO2:Gd+3 nanostructures. The optical properties of the prepared nanostructures were investigated by using UV-visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectra. The phase formation and the morphology of the nanoplatelets were studied by XRD, FESEM and HRTEM. The average grain size was found to be 45-50 nm. The presence of Gd3+ ion increases the crystallinity of the material and hence acts as a good nucleating agent. The ZrO2:Gd3+ co-doped with Eu+3 nanoplatelets gives an emission at 607 nm, a strong red emission under the excitation wavelength of 255 nm.
Polyvinyl Alcohol Processed Templated Polyaniline Films: Preparation, Characterization and Assessment of Tensile Strength
Polyaniline (PANI) is one of the most extensively studied material among the conducting polymers due to its simple synthesis by chemical and electrochemical routes. PANIs have advantages of chemical stability and high conductivity making their commercial applications quite attractive. However, to our knowledge, very little work has been reported on the tensile strength properties of templated PANIs processed with polyvinyl alcohol and also, detailed study has not been carried out. We have investigated the effect of small molecule and polymers as templates on PANI. Stable aqueous colloidal suspensions of trisodium citrate (TSC), poly(ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT-PSS), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) templated PANIs were prepared through chemical synthesis, processed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and were fabricated into films by solution casting. Absorption and infra-red spectra were studied to gain insight into the possible molecular interactions. Surface morphology was studied through scanning electron microscope and optical microscope. Interestingly, tensile testing studies revealed least strain for pure PVA when compared to the blends of templated PANI. Furthermore, among the blends, TSC templated PANI possessed maximum elasticity. The ultimate tensile strength for PVA processed, PEG-templated PANI was found to be five times more than other blends considered in this study. We establish structure–property correlation with morphology, spectral characterization and tensile testing studies.
Air Classification of Dust from Steel Converter Secondary De-dusting for Zinc Enrichment
The off-gas from the basic oxygen furnace (BOF), where pig iron is converted into steel, is treated in the primary ventilation system. This system is in full operation only during oxygen-blowing when the BOF converter vessel is in a vertical position. When pig iron and scrap are charged into the BOF and when slag or steel are tapped, the vessel is tilted. The generated emissions during charging and tapping cannot be captured by the primary off-gas system. To capture these emissions, a secondary ventilation system is usually installed. The emissions are captured by a canopy hood installed just above the converter mouth in tilted position. The aim of this study was to investigate the dependence of Zn and other components on the particle size of BOF secondary ventilation dust. Because of the high temperature of the BOF process it can be expected that Zn will be enriched in the fine dust fractions. If Zn is enriched in the fine fractions, classification could be applied to split the dust into two size fractions with a different content of Zn. For this air classification experiments with dust from the secondary ventilation system of a BOF were performed. The results show that Zn and Pb are highly enriched in the finest dust fraction. For Cd, Cu and Sb the enrichment is less. In contrast, the non-volatile metals Al, Fe, Mn and Ti were depleted in the fine fractions. Thus, air classification could be considered for the treatment of dust from secondary BOF off-gas cleaning.
Experimental Study on Using the Aluminum Sacrificial Anode as a Cathodic Protection for Marine Structures
The corrosion is natural chemical phenomenon that is applied in many engineering structures. Hence, it is one of the important topics to study in the engineering research. Ship and offshore structures are most exposed to corrosion due to the presence of corrosive medium of air and the seawater. Consequently, investigation of the corrosion behavior and properties over ship and offshore hulls is one of the important topics to study in the marine engineering research. Using sacrificial anode is the most popular solution for protecting marine structures from corrosion. Hence, this research investigates the extent of corrosion between the composite ship model and relative velocity of water, along with the sacrificial aluminum anode consumption and its degree of protection in seawater. In this study, the consumption rate of sacrificial aluminum anode with respect to relative velocity at different Reynold’s numbers was studied experimentally, and it was found that, the degree of cathodic protection represented by the cathode potential at a given distance from the aluminum anode was decreased slightly with increment of the relative velocity.
Gate Voltage Controlled Humidity Sensing Using MOSFET of VO2 Particles
This article presents gate-voltage controlled humidity sensing performance of vanadium dioxide nanoparticles prepared from NH4VO3 precursor using microwave irradiation technique. The X-ray diffraction, transmission electron diffraction, and Raman analyses reveal the formation of VO2 (B) with V2O5 and an amorphous phase. The BET surface area is found to be 67.67 m2/g. The humidity sensing measurements using the patented lateral-gate MOSFET configuration was carried out. The results show the optimum response at 5 V up to 8 V of gate voltages for 10 to 80% of relative humidity. The dose-response equation reveals the enhanced resilience of the gated VO2 sensor which may saturate above 272% humidity. The response and recovery times are remarkably much faster (about 60 s) than in non-gated VO2 sensors which normally show response and recovery times of the order of 5 minutes (300 s).
Effect of Different Types of Nano/Micro Fillers on the Interfacial Shear Properties of Polyamide 6 with De-Sized Carbon Fiber
The current study aims to investigate the effect of fillers with different geometries and sizes on the interfacial shear properties of PA6 composites with de-sized carbon fiber. The fillers which have been investigated are namely; nano-layer silicates (nanoclay), sub-micro aluminum titanium (ALTi) particles, and multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT). By means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), epoxide group which defined as a sizing agent, has been removed. Sizing removal can reduce the acid parameter of carbon fibers surface promoting bonding strength at the fiber/matrix interface which is a desirable property for the carbon fiber composites. Microdroplet test showed that the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) has been enhanced with the addition of 10wt% ALTi by about 23% comparing with neat PA6. However, with including other types of fillers into PA6, the results did not show enhancement of IFSS.
Synthesis, Characterization and Impedance Analysis of Polypyrrole/La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 Nanocomposites
Perovskite manganite La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 was synthesized by Sol-gel method. Polymerization of pyrrole was carried by in-situ polymerization method. The composite of pyrrole (Py)/La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 composite in the presence of oxidizing agent ammonium per sulphate to synthesize polypyrrole (PPy)/La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 (LCM) composite was carried out by the same in-situ polymerization method. The PPy/LCM composites were synthesized with varying compositions like 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 wt.% of LCM in Py. The surface morphologies of these composites were analyzed by using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The images show that LCM particles are embedded in PPy chain. The impedance measurement of PPy/LCM at different temperature ranges from 30 to 180 °C was studied using impedance analyzer. The study shows that impedance is frequency and temperature dependent and it is found to decrease with increase in frequency and temperature.
High Strength, High Toughness Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co-Valerate Based Biocomposites
Biocomposites is a field that has gained much scientific attention due to the current substantial consumption of non-renewable resources and the environmentally harmful disposal methods required for traditional polymer composites. Research on natural fiber reinforced polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) has gained considerable momentum over the past decade. There is little work on PHAs reinforced with unidirectional (UD) natural fibers and little work on using epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) as a toughening agent for PHA-based biocomposites. In this work, we prepared polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) biocomposites reinforced with UD 30 wt.% flax fibers and evaluated the use of ENR with 50% epoxidation (ENR50) as a toughening agent for PHBV biocomposites. Quasi-unidirectional flax/PHBV composites were prepared by hand layup, powder impregnation followed by compression molding. Toughening agents – polybutylene adiphate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) and ENR50 – were cryogenically ground into powder and mechanically mixed with main matrix PHBV to maintain the powder impregnation process. The tensile, flexural and impact properties of the biocomposites were measured and morphology of the composites examined using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The UD biocomposites showed exceptionally high mechanical properties as compared to the results obtained previously where only short fibers have been used. The improved tensile and flexural properties were attributed to the continuous nature of the fiber reinforcement and the increased proportion of fibers in the loading direction. The improved impact properties were attributed to a larger surface area for fiber-matrix debonding and for subsequent sliding and fiber pull-out mechanisms to act on, allowing more energy to be absorbed. Coating cryogenically ground ENR50 particles with PHBV powder successfully inhibits the self-healing nature of ENR-50, preventing particles from coalescing and overcoming problems in mechanical mixing, compounding and molding. Cryogenic grinding, followed by powder impregnation and subsequent compression molding is an effective route to the production of high-mechanical-property biocomposites based on renewable resources for high-obsolescence applications such as plastic casings for consumer electronics.
The Thermochemical Conversion of Lactic Acid in Subcritical and Supercritical Water
One way to utilize biomass is to thermochemically convert it into gases and chemicals. For conversion of biomass, glucose is a particularly popular model compound for cellulose, or more generally for biomass. The present study takes a different approach by employing lactic acid as the model compound for cellulose. Since lactic acid and glucose have identical elemental composition, they are expected to produce similar results as they go through the conversion process. In the current study, lactic acid was thermochemically converted to assess its reactivity and reaction mechanism in subcritical and supercritical water, by using a 16-ml autoclave reactor. The major operating parameters investigated include: The reaction temperature, from 673 to 873 K, the reaction pressure, 10 and 25 MPa, the dosage of oxidizing agent, 0 and 0.5 chemical oxygen demand, and the concentration of lactic acid in the feed, 0.5 and 1.0 M. Gaseous products from the conversion were generally found to be comparable to those derived from the conversion of glucose.
Effect of Acids with Different Chain Lengths Modified by Methane Sulfonic Acid and Temperature on the Properties of Thermoplastic Starch/Glycerin Blends
In this study, acids with various chain lengths (C6, C8, C10 and C12) modified by methane sulfonic acid (MSA) and temperature were used to modify tapioca starch (TPS), then the glycerol (GA) were added into modified starch, to prepare new blends. The mechanical properties, thermal properties and physical properties of blends were studied. This investigation was divided into two parts. First, the biodegradable materials were used such as starch and glycerol with hexanedioic acid (HA), suberic acid (SBA), sebacic acid (SA), decanedicarboxylic acid (DA) manufacturing with different temperatures (90, 110 and 130 °C). And then, the solution was added into modified starch to prepare the blends by using single-screw extruder. The FT-IR patterns indicated that the characteristic peak of C=O in ester was observed at 1730 cm-1. It is proved that different chain length acids (C6, C8, C10 and C12) reacted with glycerol by esterification and these are used to plasticize blends during extrusion. In addition, the blends would improve the hydrolysis and thermal stability. The water contact angle increased from 43.0° to 64.0°. Second, the HA (110 °C), SBA (110 °C), SA (110 °C), and DA blends (130 °C) were used in study, because they possessed good mechanical properties, water resistances and thermal stability. On the other hand, the various contents (0, 0.005, 0.010, 0.020 g) of MSA were also used to modify the mechanical properties of blends. We observed that the blends were added to MSA, and then the FT-IR patterns indicated that the C=O ester appeared at 1730 cm-1. For this reason, the hydrophobic blends were produced. The water contact angle of the MSA blends increased from 55.0° to 71.0°. Although break elongation of the MSA blends reduced from the original 220% to 128%, the stress increased from 2.5 MPa to 5.1 MPa. Therefore, the optimal composition of blends was the DA blend (130 °C) with adding of MSA (0.005 g).
Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol over Copper-Zinc Oxide-Based Catalyst
Carbon dioxide is highly thermochemical stable molecules where it is very difficult to activate the molecule and achieve higher catalytic conversion into alcohols or other hydrocarbon compounds. In this paper, series of the bimetallic Cu/ZnO-based catalyst supported by SBA-15 were systematically prepared via impregnation technique with different Cu: Zn ratio for hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol. The synthesized catalysts were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), temperature programmed desorption, reduction, oxidation and pulse chemisorption (TPDRO), and surface area determination was also performed. All catalysts were tested with respect to the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol in microactivity fixed-bed reactor at 250oC, 2.25 MPa, and H2/CO2 ratio of 3. The results demonstrate that the catalytic structure, activity, and methanol selectivity was strongly affected by the ratio between Cu: Zn, Where higher catalytic activity of 14 % and methanol selectivity of 92 % was obtained over Cu/ZnO-SBA-15 catalyst with Cu:Zn ratio of 7:3 wt. %. Comparing with the single catalyst, the synergetic between Cu and Zn provides additional active sites to adsorb more H2 and CO2 and accelerate the CO2 conversion, resulting in higher methanol production under mild reaction conditions.
Submicron Laser-Induced Dot, Ripple and Wrinkle Structures and Their Applications
Polymers exposed to laser or plasma treatment or modified with different wet methods which enable the introduction of nanoparticles or biologically active species, such as amino-acids, may find many applications both as biocompatible or anti-bacterial materials or on the contrary, can be applied for a decrease in the number of cells on the treated surface which opens application in single cell units. For the experiments, two types of materials were chosen, a representative of non-biodegradable polymers, polyethersulphone (PES) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) as biodegradable material. Exposure of solid substrate to laser well below the ablation threshold can lead to formation of various surface structures. The ripples have a period roughly comparable to the wavelength of the incident laser radiation, and their dimensions depend on many factors, such as chemical composition of the polymer substrate, laser wavelength and the angle of incidence. On the contrary, biopolymers may significantly change their surface roughness and thus influence cell compatibility. The focus was on the surface treatment of PES and PHB by pulse excimer KrF laser with wavelength of 248 nm. The changes of physicochemical properties, surface morphology, surface chemistry and ablation of exposed polymers were studied both for PES and PHB. Several analytical methods involving atomic force microscopy, gravimetry, scanning electron microscopy and others were used for the analysis of the treated surface. It was found that the combination of certain input parameters leads not only to the formation of optimal narrow pattern, but to the combination of a ripple and a wrinkle-like structure, which could be an optimal candidate for cell attachment. The interaction of different types of cells and their interactions with the laser exposed surface were studied. It was found that laser treatment contributes as a major factor for wettability/contact angle change. The combination of optimal laser energy and pulse number was used for the construction of a surface with an anti-cellular response. Due to the simple laser treatment, we were able to prepare a biopolymer surface with higher roughness and thus significantly influence the area of growth of different types of cells (U-2 OS cells).
Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells
Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable, semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.
The Effect of Feedstock Type and Slow Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Yield from Coconut Wastes
The first objective of this study is to investigate the suitability of coconut frond (CF) and coconut husk (CH) as feedstocks using a laboratory-scale slow pyrolysis experimental setup. The second objective is to investigate the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the biochar yield. The properties of CF and CH feedstocks were compared. The properties of the CF and CH feedstocks were investigated using proximate and elemental analysis, lignocellulosic determination, and also thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The CF and CH feedstocks were pyrolysed at 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 °C for 2 hours at 10 °C/min heating rate. The proximate analysis showed that CF feedstock has 89.96 mf wt% volatile matter, 4.67 mf wt% ash content and 5.37 mf wt% fixed carbon. The lignocelluloses analysis showed that CF feedstock contained 21.46% lignin, 39.05% cellulose and 22.49% hemicelluloses. The CH feedstock contained 84.13 mf wt% volatile matter, 0.33 mf wt% ash content, 15.54 mf wt% fixed carbon, 28.22% lignin, 33.61% cellulose and 22.03% hemicelluloses. Carbon and oxygen are the major component of the CF and CH feedstock compositions. Both of CF and CH feedstocks contained very low percentage of sulfur, 0.77% and 0.33%, respectively. TGA analysis indicated that coconut wastes are easily degraded. It may be due to their high volatile content. Between the temperature ranges of 300 and 800 °C, the TGA curves showed that the weight percentage of CF feedstock is lower than CH feedstock by 0.62%-5.88%. From the D TGA curves, most of the weight loss occurred between 210 and 400 °C for both feedstocks. The maximum weight loss for both CF and CH are 0.0074 wt%/min and 0.0061 wt%/min, respectively, which occurred at 324.5 °C. The yield percentage of both CF and CH biochars decreased significantly as the pyrolysis temperature was increased. For CF biochar, the yield decreased from 49.40 wt% to 28.12 wt% as the temperature increased from 300 to 700 °C. The yield for CH biochars also decreased from 52.18 wt% to 28.72 wt%. The findings of this study indicated that both CF and CH are suitable feedstock for slow pyrolysis of biochar.
Rubber Wood as a Potential Biomass Feedstock for Biochar via Slow Pyrolysis
Utilisation of biomass feedstock for biochar has received increasing attention because of their potential for carbon sequestration and soil amendment. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of rubber wood as a biomass feedstock for biochar via slow pyrolysis process. This was achieved by using proximate, ultimate, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) as well as heating value, pH and lignocellulosic determination. Rubber wood contains 4.13 mf wt.% moisture, 86.30 mf wt.% volatile matter, 0.60 mf wt.% ash content, and 13.10 mf wt.% fixed carbon. The ultimate analysis shows that rubber wood consists of 44.33 mf wt.% carbon, 6.26 mf wt.% hydrogen, 19.31 mf wt.% nitrogen, 0.31 mf wt.% sulphur, and 29.79 mf wt.% oxygen. The higher heating value of rubber wood is 22.5 MJ/kg, and its lower heating value is 21.2 MJ/kg. At 27 °C, the pH value of rubber wood is 6.83 which is acidic. The lignocellulosic analysis revealed that rubber wood composition consists of 2.63 mf wt.% lignin, 20.13 mf wt.% cellulose, and 65.04 mf wt.% hemicellulose. The volatile matter to fixed carbon ratio is 6.58. This led to a biochar yield of 25.14 wt.% at 500 °C. Rubber wood is an environmental friendly feedstock due to its low sulphur content. Rubber wood therefore is a suitable and a potential feedstock for biochar production via slow pyrolysis.
Surface Coating of Polyester Fabrics by Sol Gel Synthesized ZnO Particles
Zinc oxide particles were synthesized using the sol-gel method and dip coated on polyester fabric. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed a single crystal phase of ZnO particles. Chemical characteristics of the polyester fabric surface were investigated using attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) measurements. Morphology of ZnO coated fabric was analyzed using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). After particle analysis, the aqueous ZnO solution resulted in a narrow size distribution at submicron levels. The deposit of ZnO on polyester fabrics yielded a homogeneous spread of spherical particles. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) results also affirmed the presence of ZnO particles on the polyester fabrics.
Hydrogen Permeability of BSCY Proton-Conducting Perovskite Membrane
Perovskite-type membrane Ba0.5Sr0.5Ce0.9Y0.1O3-δ (BSCY) was successfully synthesized by liquid citrate method. The hydrogen permeation and stability of BSCY perovskite-type membranes were studied at high temperatures. The phase structure of the powder was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize microstructures of the membrane sintered under various conditions. SEM results showed that increasing in sintering temperature, formed dense membrane with clear grains. XRD results for BSCY membrane that sintered in 1150 °C indicated single phase perovskite structure with orthorhombic configuration, and SEM results showed dense structure with clear grain size which is suitable for permeation tests. Partial substitution of Sr with Ba in SCY structure improved the hydrogen permeation flux through the membrane due to the larger ionic radius of Ba2+. BSCY membrane shows high hydrogen permeation flux of 1.6 ml/min.cm2 at 900 °C and partial pressure of 0.6.
H2 Permeation Properties of a Catalytic Membrane Reactor in Methane Steam Reforming Reaction
Cylindrical alumina microfiltration membrane (GMITM Corporation, inside diameter=9 mm, outside diameter=13 mm, length= 50 mm) with an average pore size of 0.5 micrometer and porosity of about 0.35 was used as the support for membrane reactor. This support was soaked in boehmite sols, and the mean particle size was adjusted in the range of 50 to 500 nm by carefully controlling hydrolysis time, and calcined at 650 °C for two hours. This process was repeated with different boehmite solutions in order to achieve an intermediate layer with an average pore size of about 50 nm. The resulting substrate was then coated with a thin and dense layer of silica by counter current chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method. A boehmite sol with 10 wt.% of nickel which was prepared by a standard procedure was used to make the catalytic layer. BET, SEM, and XRD analysis were used to characterize this layer. The catalytic membrane reactor was placed in an experimental setup to evaluate the permeation and hydrogen separation performance for a steam reforming reaction. The setup consisted of a tubular module in which the membrane was fixed, and the reforming reaction occurred at the inner side of the membrane. Methane stream, diluted with nitrogen, and deionized water with a steam to carbon (S/C) ratio of 3.0 entered the reactor after the reactor was heated up to 500 °C with a specified rate of 2 °C/ min and the catalytic layer was reduced at presence of hydrogen for 2.5 hours. Nitrogen flow was used as sweep gas through the outer side of the reactor. Any liquid produced was trapped and separated at reactor exit by a cold trap, and the produced gases were analyzed by an on-line gas chromatograph (Agilent 7890A) to measure total CH4 conversion and H2 permeation. BET analysis indicated uniform size distribution for catalyst with average pore size of 280 nm and average surface area of 275 m2.g-1. Single-component permeation tests were carried out for hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide at temperature range of 500-800 °C, and the results showed almost the same permeance and hydrogen selectivity values for hydrogen as the composite membrane without catalytic layer. Performance of the catalytic membrane was evaluated by applying membranes as a membrane reactor for methane steam reforming reaction at gas hourly space velocity (GHSV) of 10,000 h−1 and 2 bar. CH4 conversion increased from 50% to 85% with increasing reaction temperature from 600 °C to 750 °C, which is sufficiently above equilibrium curve at reaction conditions, but slightly lower than membrane reactor with packed nickel catalytic bed because of its higher surface area compared to the catalytic layer.
Metallurgy of Friction Welding of Porous Stainless Steel-Solid Iron Billets
The research work reported here was aimed at investigating the feasibility of joining high-porosity stainless steel discs and wrought iron bars by friction welding. The sound friction-welded joints were then subjected to a metallurgical investigation and an analysis of failure resulting from tensile loading. Discs having 50 mm diameter and 10 mm thickness were produced by loose sintering of stainless steel powder at a temperature of 1350 oC in an argon atmosphere for one hour. Minor machining was then carried out to control the dimensions of the discs, and the density of each disc could then be determined. The level of porosity was calculated and was found to be about 40% in all of those discs. Solid wrought iron bars were also machined to facilitate tensile testing of the joints produced by friction welding. Using our previously gained experience, the porous stainless steel disc and the wrought iron tube were successfully friction welded. SEM was employed to examine the fracture surface after a tensile test of the joint in order to determine the type of failure. It revealed that the failure did not occur in the joint, but rather in the in the porous metal in the area adjacent to the joint. The load carrying capacity was actually determined by the strength of the porous metal and not by that of the welded joint. Macroscopic and microscopic metallographic examinations were also performed and showed that the welded joint involved a dense heat-affected zone where the porous metal underwent densification at elevated temperature, explaining and supporting the findings of the SEM study.
Surface and Drinking Water Quality Monitoring of Thomas Reservoir, Kano State, Nigeria
Drinking water is supplied to Danbatta, Makoda and some parts of Minjibir local government areas of Kano State from the surface water of Thomas Reservoir. The present land use in the catchment area of the reservoir indicates high agricultural activities, fishing, as well as domestic and small scale industrial activities. To study and monitor the quality of surface and drinking water of the area, water samples were collected from the reservoir, treated water at the treatment plant and potable water at the consumer end in three seasons November - February (cold season), March - June (dry season) and July - September (rainy season). The samples were analyzed for physical and chemical parameters, pH, temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity, turbidity, total hardness, suspended solids, total solids, colour, dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chloride ion (Cl-) nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and phosphate (PO43-). The higher values obtained in some parameters with respect to the acceptable standard set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) indicate the pollution of both the surface and drinking water. These pollutants were observed to have a negative impact on water quality in terms of eutrophication, largely due to anthropogenic activities in the watershed.