International Science Index

International Journal of Chemical and Molecular Engineering

Ultrathin NaA Zeolite Membrane in Solvent Recovery: Preparation and Application
Solvent recovery process is receiving utmost attention in recent year due to the scarcity of natural resource and consciousness of circular economy in chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Solvent dehydration process is one of the important process to recover and to purify the solvent for reuse. Due to the complexity of solvent waste or wastewater effluent produced in pharmaceutical industry resulting the wastewater treatment process become complicated, thus an alternative solution is to recover the valuable solvent in solvent waste. To treat solvent waste and to upgrade solvent purity, membrane pervaporation process is shown to be a promising technology due to the energy intensive and low footprint advantages. Ceramic membrane is adopted as solvent dehydration membrane owing to the chemical and thermal stability properties as compared to polymeric membrane. NaA zeolite membrane is generally used as solvent dehydration process because of its narrow and distinct pore size and high hydrophilicity. NaA zeolite membrane has been mainly applied in alcohol dehydration in fermentation process. At this stage, the membrane performance exhibits high separation factor with low flux using tubular ceramic membrane. Thus, defect free and ultrathin NaA membrane should be developed to increase water flux. Herein, we report a simple preparation protocol to prepare ultrathin NaA zeolite membrane supported on tubular ceramic membrane by controlling the seed size synthesis, seeding methods and conditions, ceramic substrate surface pore size selection and secondary growth conditions. The microstructure and morphology of NaA zeolite membrane will be examined and reported. Moreover, the membrane separation performance and stability will also be reported in isopropanol dehydration, ketone dehydration and ester dehydration particularly for the application in pharmaceutical industry.
Removal of Lead Ions from Aqueous Medium Using Devised Column Filters Packed with Chitosan from Trash Crab Shells: A Characterization Study
Chitosan is a promising biopolymer commonly found in crustacean shells that has plausible effects in water purification and wastewater treatment. It is a primary derivative of chitin and considered second of the most abundant biopolymer prior to cellulose. Morphological analysis had been done using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Microscopy (SEM/EDS), and due to its porous nature, it showcases a certain degree of porosity, hence, larger adsorption site of heavy metal. The Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy of the chitosan and ‘lead-bound’ chitosan, shows a relative increase of percent abundance of lead cation from 1.44% to 2.08% hence, adsorption occurs. Chitosan, as a nitrogenous polysaccharide, subjected to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis shows amide bands ranging from 1635.36 cm⁻¹ for amide 1 band and 1558.40 cm-1 for amide 2 band with NH stretching. For ‘lead-bound’ chitosan, the FT-IR analysis shows a change in peaks upon adsorption of Pb(II) cation. The spectrum shows broadening of OH and NH stretching band. Such observation can be attributed to the probability that the attachment of Pb(II) ions is in these functional groups. A column filter was devised with lead-bound chitosan to determine the zero point charge (pHzpc) of the biopolymer. The results show that at pH 8.34, below than the zpc level of literatures cited for lead which ranges from pH 4 to 7, favors the adsorption site of chitosan and its capability to adsorb traces amount of aqueous lead.
Enhanced Thermal and Electrical Properties of Terbium Manganate-Polyvinyl Alcohol Nanocomposite Film
Polymer nanocomposites are very significant materials both in academia and industry for diverse potential applicability in electronics. Polymer plays the role of matrix element which has low density, flexibility, good mechanical strength and electrical properties. Use of nanosized multiferroic filler in the polymer matrix is suitable to achieve nanocomposites with enhanced magneto-dielectric effect and good mechanical properties both at the same time. Multiferroic terbium manganate (TbMnO₃) nanoparticles have been synthesized by sol-gel method using chloride precursors. Terbium manganate-polyvinyl alcohol (TbMnO₃-PVA) nanocomposite film has been prepared by solution casting method. Crystallite size of TbMnO₃ nanoparticle has been calculated to be ~ 40 nm from XRD analysis. Morphological study of the samples has been done by scanning electron microscopy and a well dispersion of the nanoparticles in the PVA matrix has been found. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) exhibits enhancement of thermal stability of the nanocomposite film with the inclusion of TbMnO₃ nanofiller in PVA matrix. The electrical transport properties of the nanocomposite film sample have been studied in the frequency range 20Hz - 2MHz at and above room temperature. The frequency dependent variation of ac conductivity follows universal dielectric response (UDR) obeying Jhonscher’s sublinear power law. Correlated barrier hopping (CBH) mechanism is the dominant charge transport mechanism with maximum barrier height 19 meV above room temperature. The variation of dielectric constant of the sample with frequency has been studied at different temperatures. Real part of dielectric constant at 1 KHz frequency at room temperature of the sample is found to be ~ 8 which is higher than that of the pure PVA film sample (~ 6). Dielectric constant decreases with the increase in frequency. Relaxation peaks have been observed in the variation of imaginary part of electric modulus with frequency. The relaxation peaks shift towards higher frequency as temperature increases probably due to the existence of interfacial polarization in the sample in presence of applied electric field. The current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the nanocomposite film have been studied under ±40 V applied at different temperatures. I-V characteristic exhibits temperature dependent rectifying nature indicating the formation of Schottky barrier diode (SBD) with barrier height 23 meV. In conclusion, using multiferroic TbMnO₃ nanofiller in PVA matrix, enhanced thermal stability and electrical properties can be achieved.
Removal of Iron (II) from Wastewater in Oil Field Using 3-(P-Methyl) Phenyl-5-Thionyl-1,2,4-Triazoline Assembled on Silver Nanoparticles
In this work we prepared 3-(p-methyl) phenyl-5-thionyl-1,2,4-triazoline (C1). The nanostructure of the prepared C1 compound was fabricated by assembling on silver nanoparticles. The UV and TEM analyses confirm the assembling of C1 compound on silver nanoparticles. The effect of C1 compound on the removal of Iron (II) from Iron contaminated samples and industrial wastewater samples (produced water from oil processing facility) were studied before and after their assembling on silver nanoparticles. The removal of Iron was studied at different concentrations of FeSO4 solution (5, 14 and 39 mg/l) and field sample concentration (661 mg/l). In addition, the removal of Iron (II) was investigated at different times. The Prepared compound and its nanostructure with AgNPs show highly efficient in removing the Iron ions. Quantum chemical descriptors using DFT was discussed. The output of the study pronounces that the C1 molecule can act as chelating agent for Iron (II).
Amino Acid Derivatives as Green Corrosion Inhibitors for Mild Steel in 1M HCl: Electrochemical, Surface and Density Functional Theory Studies
The amino acids based corrosion inhibitors 2-(3-(carboxymethyl)-1H-imidazol-3-ium-1-yl) acetate (Z-1),2-(3-(1-carboxyethyl)-1H-imidazol-3-ium-1-yl) propanoate (Z-2) and 2-(3-(1-carboxy-2-phenylethyl)-1H-imidazol-3-ium-1-yl)-3- phenylpropanoate (Z-3) were synthesized by the reaction of amino acids, glyoxal and formaldehyde, and characterized by the FTIR and NMR spectroscopy. The corrosion inhibition performance of synthesized inhibitors was studied by electrochemical (EIS and PDP), surface and DFT methods. The results show, the studied Z-1, Z-2 and Z-3 are effective inhibitors, showed the maximum inhibition efficiency of 88.52 %, 89.48 and 96.08% at concentration 200ppm, respectively. The results of potentiodynamic polarization (PDP) study showed that Z-1 act as a cathodic inhibitor, while Z-2 and Z-3 act as mixed type inhibitors. The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies showed that zwitterions inhibit the corrosion through adsorption mechanism. The adsorption of synthesized zwitterions on the mild steel surface was followed the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. The formation of zwitterions film on mild steel surface was confirmed by the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The quantum chemical parameters were used to study the reactivity of inhibitors and supported the experimental results. An inhibitor adsorption model is proposed.
Study of Intermolecular Interactions in Binary Mixtures of 1-Butyl-3-Methyl Imidazolium Bis (Trifluoro Methyl Sulfonyl) Imide and 1-Ethyl-3-Methyl Imidazolium Ethyl Sulphate at Different Temperature from 293.18 to 342.15 K
The densities of pure and its binary mixtures of 1-Butyl-3-methyl imidazolium bis (trifluoro methyl sulfonyl) imide and 1–Ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium ethyl sulphate at different temperature, over the entire composition range were measured at 293.15, 298.15, 303.15, 308.15, 313.15, 318.15, 323.15, 328.15, 33.15, 338.15, 343.15 K. In this study, the liquid-liquid extraction procedure was used. From this experimental data, the excess molar volumes, apparent molar volume, partial molar volumes and the excess partial molar volumes have been calculated for over the whole composition range. Hence, the effect of temperature and composition on all derived thermodynamic properties of this binary mixture will be discussed in terms of intermolecular interactions.
Experimental and Numerical Studies on Hydrogen Behavior in a Small-Scale Container with Passive Autocatalytic Recombiner
One of the most important issue is to ensure the safety of long-term waste storage containers in which fuel debris and radioactive materials are accumulated. In this case, hydrogen generated by water decomposition by radiation is accumulated in the container for a long period of time, so it is necessary to reduce the concentration of hydrogen in the container. In addition, a condition that any power supplies from the outside of the container are unnecessary is requested. Then, radioactive waste storage containers with the passive autocatalytic recombiner (PAR) would be effective. The radioactive waste storage container with PAR was used for moving the fuel debris of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 to the storage location. However, the effect of PAR is not described in detail. Moreover, the reduction of hydrogen concentration during the long-term storage period was performed by the venting system, which was installed on the top of the container. Therefore, development of a long-term storage container with PAR was started with the aim of safely storing fuel debris picked up at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for a long period of time. A fundamental experiment for reducing the concentration of hydrogen which generates in a nuclear waste long-term storage container was carried out using a small-scale container with PAR. Moreover, the circulation flow behavior of hydrogen in the small-scale container resulting from the natural convection by the decay heat was clarified. In addition, preliminary numerical analyses were performed to predict the experimental results regarding the circulation flow behavior and the reduction of hydrogen concentration in the small-scale container. From the results of the present study, the validity of the container with PAR was experimentally confirmed on the reduction of hydrogen concentration. In addition, it was predicted numerically that the circulation flow behavior of hydrogen in the small-scale container is blocked by steam which generates by chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.
Research and Development on Technology for Reducing Concentration of Hydrogen Gas Generated in Long-Term Waste Storage Containers
Research and development (R&D) of hydrogen concentration reduction technology using a passive autocatalytic recombiner (PAR) has been conducted with the purpose of suppressing the risk of burning and explosion of hydrogen generated in long-term waste storage containers. In this R&D, the effectiveness and feasibility of long-term waste storage containers with PAR for reduction of hydrogen concentration were experimentally confirmed. In addition, a numerical analysis method for predicting hydrogen behavior inside the container was developed. The following studies were carried out: as PAR which can be used within a storage container, the ceramic catalyst, and the geopolymer catalyst were developed. These performances, as the catalysts, were experimentally investigated. Moreover, the effectiveness as PAR was clarified; after the ceramic catalyst or the geopolymer catalyst were installed inside a small-scale container, hydrogen gas was supplied from the outside at the bottom of the container to the inside, and the reduction of hydrogen concentration by PAR was experimentally confirmed; and, the analysis method which can evaluate the hydrogen behavior in a long-term waste storage container with PAR was developed. A natural convection model of hydrogen circulating in the container and a chemical reaction model in which oxygen and hydrogen react were made. Simulations were performed using the analysis code which introduced these numerical models, and the verification of each model and the validation of predicted results were conducted. From the results of the present studies, it was confirmed that the hydrogen concentration in long-term waste storage containers can be reduced to less than an explosion limit value using the presently developed PAR.
Ternary Oxovanadium(V) Complexes Containing Unusual Pentagonal-Bipyramidal Metal Centers: Syntheses, Structures, and Properties
Reactions of bis(acetylacetonato)oxovanadium(IV) [VO(acac)₂] with H₂L¹ (diacetyl bis(benzoylhydrazone)) and H₂L² (dibenzoyl bis(benzoylhydrazone)) in methanol and chloroform-methanol (1:3) mixture, respectively, afford two novel oxovanadium(V) complexes of formula [VO(Lₙ)(acac)] (1 and 2) in good yields (52 and 60%). Both complexes have been characterized by elemental analysis, mass spectrometric, various spectroscopic (IR (Infrared Spectroscopy), UV-Vis (Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy), and ¹H NMR (Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance)) and electrochemical measurements. The complexes are brown in color. They are diamagnetic and non-electrolytes. Molecular structures of both 1 and 2 have been determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography. The metal center in each complex is in a distorted pentagonal-bipyramidal N₂O₅ coordination sphere. The ONNO-donor fused 5,5,5-membered chelate rings forming (Lⁿ)²⁻ and one of the acetylacetonate-O form a N₂O₃ pentagonal plane around the metal center, while the second acetylacetonate-O and the oxo group occupy the axial positions. In the crystal lattice, intermolecular trifurcated O-H∙∙∙O and bifurcated C-H∙∙∙O interactions lead to the formation of discrete tetranuclear 14∙MeOH units, while the molecules of 2 form a ladder-like one-dimensional structure via intermolecular π-π and C-H∙∙∙π interactions. The spectroscopic features of 1 and 2 are consistent with their molecular structures. Both complexes are redox active and display the metal-centered 1/1⁻ and 2/2⁻ couples at -0.87 and -0.95 V, respectively.
Unsteady Three-Dimensional Adaptive Spatial-Temporal Multi-Scale Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Solver to Simulate Rarefied Gas Flows in Micro/Nano Devices
We present an efficient, three-dimensional parallel multi-scale Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) algorithm for the simulation of unsteady rarefied gas flows in micro/nanosystems. The algorithm employs a novel spatiotemporal adaptivity scheme. The scheme performs a fully dynamic multi-level grid adaption based on the gradients of flow macro-parameters and an automatic temporal adaptation. The computational domain consists of a hierarchical octree-based Cartesian grid representation of the flow domain and a triangular mesh for the solid object surfaces. The hybrid mesh, combined with the spatiotemporal adaptivity scheme, allows for increased flexibility and efficient data management, rendering the framework suitable for efficient particle-tracing and dynamic grid refinement and coarsening. The parallel algorithm is optimized to run DSMC simulations of strongly unsteady, non-equilibrium flows over multiple cores. The presented method is validated by comparing with benchmark studies and then employed to improve the design of micro-scale hotwire thermal sensors in rarefied gas flows.
Effect of the Support Shape on Fischer-Tropsch Cobalt Catalyst Performance
Cobalt catalysts were supported on extruded silica carrier and different-type (SiO₂, γ-Al₂O₃) commercial supports with different shape and size to produce heavy hydrocarbons for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption and H2-TPR. The catalytic performance of the catalysts was tested in a fixed bed reactor. The results of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis performance showed that the cobalt catalyst supported on spherical silica supports displayed a higher activity and a higher selectivity to C₅⁺ products, due to the fact that the active components were only distributed in the surface layer of the spherical carrier, and the influence of gas diffusion restriction on catalytic performance was weakened. Therefore, it can be concluded that the eggshell cobalt catalyst was superior to precious metals modified catalysts in the synthesis of heavy hydrocarbons.
One Dimensional Reactor Modeling for Methanol Steam Reforming to Hydrogen
One dimensional pseudo-homogenous modeling has been performed for methanol steam reforming reactor. The results show that the models can well predict the industrial data. The reactor had minimum temperature along axial because of the endothermic reaction. Hydrogen productions and temperature profiles along axial were investigated in regard to operating conditions such as inlet mass flow rate and mass fraction of methanol, inlet temperature of external thermal oil. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, low inlet temperature and high mass fraction of methanol decreased minimum temperature along axial. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, high mass fraction of methanol and high inlet temperature of thermal oil made cold point forward. Low mass fraction, high mass flow rate and high inlet temperature of thermal oil increased hydrogen production. One dimensional model can be a guide for industrial operation.
Enzyme Immobilization in Multi-Chamber Microfluidic Reactors for Multistep Biocatalytic Conversions
Miniaturizing chemical reactors is of great interest due to a reduced consumption of chemicals and costs. By immobilizing biocatalysts into accordingly designed microfluidic reactors, specific conversions with high turnover rates may be carried out under mild conditions. The herein presented study focuses on the development of multi-chamber PDMS-on-glass microfluidic reactors and the immobilization of biocatalysts for the performance of enzymatic cascade reactions. Using this approach, the benefits of enzyme catalysis (e.g. high substrate and reaction specificity) and microfluidics (e.g. low consumption of chemicals and costs, precise control of reaction parameters) are combined. Additionally, by establishing several spatially separated reaction chambers for serial and parallel enzymatic conversions crosstalk between the enzymes can be eliminated. These characteristics make the developed system highly interesting for applications in biosensing as well as in the synthesis of fine chemicals. To start with, the enzymatic cascade of beta-galactosidase, glucose oxidase, and horseradish peroxidase was selected, as these robust enzymes are suited for proof-of-concept studies. A PEGDA-based hydrogel was developed and applied as a matrix to physically entrap the enzymes. The UV-initiated polymerization and precise photo structuring of hydrogels on glass was optimized for that purpose. Additionally, the material characteristics (e.g. pore size, swelling degree, stress-strain profile) were tuned to obtain a mechanically stable hydrogel which is well permeable for reaction educts and products and safely entraps the enzymes without significantly influencing their conformation. By establishing a colorimetric assay, the enzymatic activity of free and immobilized enzymes was determined with UV spectroscopy. Microfluidic reactors with up to three separated chambers were designed such that a bubble-free filling, smooth fluid flow and a low flow velocity could be obtained. The fluid flow within the microfluidic chips was simulated with Computational Fluid Dynamics and experimentally validated using various fluorescent dyes. Enzymes were immobilized in the microfluidic reactors by photopolymerization of the enzyme-containing hydrogel precursor solution. Finally, the enzymatic activity within the thereby obtained microfluidic chips was investigated especially focusing on long-term stability and reusability. It was shown that the hydrogel matrix is suited for enzyme immobilization, since only minor leakage occurred and the long-time activity could be even increased. Using a molding process, clearly photopatterned hydrogels with adjustable dimensions were obtained and integrated in microfluidic reactors. Additionally, the approach allowed the production of advanced multi-chamber reactors and the successful performance of serial enzymatic reactions. Thereby, a platform of several reactor geometries was developed, which is suited for the immobilization of complex reaction cascades. In the future, enzymatic reactions relevant for biosensing shall be established within the microfluidic reactor. In this respect, further work will focus on new strategies for enzyme immobilization (e.g. pre-encapsulation into polymersomes and covalent attachment to the hydrogel).
Synthesis and Characterization of Highly Oriented Bismuth Oxyiodide Thin Films for the Photocatalytical Degradation of Pharmaceuticals Compounds in Water
Heterogeneous photocatalysis is a promising method to achieve the complete degradation and mineralization of organic pollutants in water via their exhaustive oxidation. In order to take this advanced oxidation process towards sustainability, it is necessary to reduce the energy consumption, referred as the light sources and the post-treatment operations. For this, the synthesis of new nanostructures of low band gap semiconductors in the form of thin films is in continuous development. In this work, thin films of the low band gap semiconductor bismuth oxyiodide (BiOI) were synthesized via the Successive Ionic Layer Adsorption and Reaction (SILAR) method. For this, Bi(NO3)3 and KI solutions were prepared, and glass supports were immersed in each solution under strict rate and time immersion conditions. Synthesis was performed at room temperature and a washing step was set prior to each immersion. Thin films with an average thickness below 100 nm were obtained upon a cycle of 30 immersions, as determined by AFM and profilometry measurements. Cubic BiOI nanocrystals with average size of 17 nm and a high orientation to the 001 plane were observed by XRD. In order to optimize the synthesis method, several Bi/I ratios were tested, namely 1/1, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20 and 1/50. The highest crystallinity of the BiOI films was observed when the 1/5 ratio was used in the synthesis. Non-stoichiometric conditions also resulted in the highest uniformity of the thin layers. PVP was used as an additive to improve the adherence of the BiOI thin films to the support. The addition of 0.1 mg/mL of PVP during the washing step resulted in the highest adherence of the thin films. In photocatalysis tests, degradation rate of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin as high as 75% was achieved using visible light (380 to 700 nm) irradiation for 5 h in batch tests. Mineralization of the antibiotic was also observed, although in a lower extent; ~ 30% of the total organic carbon was removed upon 5 h of visible light irradiation. Some ciprofloxacin by-products were identified throughout the reaction; and some of these molecules displayed residual antibiotic activity. In conclusion, it is possible to obtain highly oriented BiOI thin films under ambient conditions via the SILAR method. Non-stoichiometric conditions using PVP additive are necessary to increase the crystallinity and adherence of the films, which are photocatalytically active to remove recalcitrant organic pollutants under visible light irradiation.
Incorporation of Copper for Performance Enhancement in Metal-Oxides Resistive Switching Device and Its Potential Electronic Application
In this work, fabrication and characterization of copper-doped zinc oxide (Cu:ZnO) based memristor devices with aluminium (Al) and indium tin oxide (ITO) metal electrodes are reported. The thin films of Cu:ZnO was synthesized using low-cost and low-temperature chemical process. The Cu:ZnO was then deposited onto ITO bottom electrodes using spin-coater technique, whereas the top electrode Al was deposited utilizing physical vapor evaporation technique. Ellipsometer was employed in order to measure the Cu:ZnO thickness and it was found to be 50 nm. Several surface and materials characterization techniques were used to study the thin-film properties of Cu:ZnO. To ascertain the efficacy of Cu:ZnO for memristor applications, electrical characterizations such as current-voltage (I-V), data retention and endurance were obtained, all being the critical parameters for next-generation memory. The I-V characteristic exhibits switching behavior with asymmetrical hysteresis loops. This work imputes the resistance switching to the positional drift of oxygen vacancies associated with respect to the Al/Cu:ZnO junction. Further, a non-linear curve fitting regression techniques were utilized to determine the equivalent circuit for the fabricated Cu:ZnO memristors. Efforts were also devoted in order to establish its potentiality for different electronic applications. This study explains a new approach towards the realization of metal-oxides based resistive-switching devices integrated on ITO coated glass platform and also opens up a new possibility for future generation transparent electronics.
Dimensional-Controlled Functional Gold Nanoparticles and Zinc Oxide Nanorods for Solar Water Splitting
Semiconductor photocatalyst is known as one of the key roles in developing clean and sustainable energy. However, most of the semiconductor only possesses photoactivity within the UV light region, and hence, decreases the overall photocatalyst efficiency. Generally, the overall effectiveness of the photocatalyst activity is determined by three critical steps: (i) light absorption efficiency and photoexcitation electron-hole pair generation, (ii) separation and migration of charge carriers to the surface of the photocatalyst, and (iii) surface reaction of the carriers with its environment. Much effort has been invested on optimizing hierarchical nanostructures of semiconductors for efficient photoactivity due to the fact that the visible light absorption capability and occurrence of the chemical reactions mostly depend on the dimension of photocatalysts. In this work, we incorporated zero-dimensional (0D) gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and one dimensional (1D) Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanorods (NRs) onto strontium titanate (STO) for efficient visible light absorption, charge transfer, and separation. We demonstrate that the electrical and optical properties of the photocatalyst can be tuned by controlling the dimensional structures of AuNPs and ZnO NRs. We found that smaller AuNPs sizes exhibited higher photoactivity because of Fermi level shifting toward the conductive band of STO, STO band gap narrowing and broadening of absorption spectrum to the visible light region. For ZnO NRs, it was found that the average ZnO NRs c-axis length must achieve of certain length to induce multiphoton absorption as a result of light reflection and trapping behavior in the free space between adjacent ZnO NRs hence broadening the absorption spectrum of ZnO from UV to visible light region. This work opens up a new way of broadening the absorption spectrum by incorporating controllable nanostructures of semiconductors, which is important in optimizing the solar water splitting process.
Tetracycline as Chemosensor for Simultaneous Recognition of Al³⁺: Application to Bio-Imaging for Living Cells
Antibiotic tetracycline presents as a micro-contaminant in fresh water, wastewater and soils, causing environmental and health problems. In this work, tetracycline (TC) has been employed as chemo-sensor for the recognition of Al³⁺ without interring other ions, and the results show that it enhances the fluorescence intensity for Al³⁺ and there is no interference from other coexisting cation ions (Cd²⁺, Ni²⁺, Co²⁺, Sr²⁺, Mg²⁺, Fe³⁺, K⁺, Sm³⁺, Ag⁺, Na⁺, Ba²⁺, Zn²⁺, and Mn²⁺). For the addition of Cu²⁺ to [TET-Al³⁺], it appears that the intensity of fluorescence has been quenched. Other combinations of metal ions in addition to TC do not change the fluorescence behavior. The stoichiometry determined by Job´s plot for the interaction of TC with Al³⁺ was found to be 1:1. Importantly, the detection of Al³⁺⁺ successfully employed in the real samples like living cells, and it was found that TC efficiently performs as a fluorescent probe for Al³⁺ ion in living systems, especially in Saccharomyces cerevisiae; this is confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy.
Therapeutic Effects of Guar Gum Nanoparticle in Oxazolone-Induced Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic disease of the skin, involving itchy, reddish, and scaly lesions. It mainly affects children and has a high prevalence in developing countries. The AD may occur due to environmental or genetic factors. There is no permanent cure for the AD. Currently, all therapeutic strategies involve methods to simply alleviate the symptoms, and include lotions and corticosteroids, which have adverse effects. Use of phytochemicals and natural products has not yet been exploited fully. The particle used in this study is derived from Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, an edible polysaccharide with a galactomannan component. The mannose component mainly increases its specificity towards cellular uptake by mannose receptors, highly expressed by the macrophage. The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic effect of guar gum nanoparticles (GN) in vitro and in vivo in the AD. To assess the wound healing capacity of the guar gum nanoparticle (GN), we first treated adherent NIH3T3 cells, with a scratch injury, with GN. GN successfully healed the wound caused by the scratch. In the in vivo experiment, Balb/c mice ear were topically treated with oxazolone (oxa) to induce AD and then were topically treated with GN. The ear thickness was increased significantly till day 28 on the treatment of Oxa. The GN application showed a significant decrease in the thickness as assessed on day 28. The total cell count of skin cells showed fold increase when treated with oxa, was again decreased on topical application of GN on the affected skin. The eosinophil count, as assessed by Giemsa staining was also increased when treated with oxa, GN application led to a significant decrease. The IgE level was assessed in the serum samples which showed that GN helped in restoring the alleviated IgE level. The T helper cells and the macrophage population showed increased percentage when treated with oxa, the GN application. This was examined by flow cytometry. The H&E staining of the ear tissue showed epidermal thickness in the oxa treated mice, GN application showed reduced cellular filtration followed by epidermal thickness. Thus our assays showed that GN was successful in alleviating the disease caused by Oxa when administered topically.
Consequence of Multi-Templating of Closely Related Structural Analogues on a Chitosan-Methacryllic Acid Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Matrix-Thermal and Chromatographic Traits
Most polluted environments, most challengingly, aerosol types, contain a cocktail of different toxicants. Multi-templating of matrices have been the recent target by researchers in a bid to solving complex mixed-toxicant challenges using single or common remediation systems. This investigation looks at the effect of such multi-templated system vis-a-vis the synthesis by non-covalent interaction, of a molecularly imprinted polymer architecture using nicotine and its structural analogue Phenylalanine amide individually and, in the blend, (50:50), as template materials in a Chitosan-Methacrylic acid functional monomer matrix. The temperature for polymerization is 60OC and time for polymerization, 12hrs (water bath heating), 4mins for (microwave heating). The characteristic thermal properties of the molecularly imprinted materials are investigated using Simultaneous Thermal Analysis (STA) profiling, while the absorption and separation efficiencies based on the relative retention times and peak areas of templates were studied amongst other properties. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) results obtained, show the creation of heterogeneous nanocavities, regardless, the introduction of Caffeine a close structural analogue presented near-zero perfusion. This confirms the selectivity and specificity of the templated polymers despite its dual-templated nature. The STA results presented the materials as having decomposition temperatures above 250OC and a relative loss in mass of less than19% over a period within 50mins of heating. Consequent to this outcome, multi-templated systems can be fabricated to sequester specifically and selectively targeted toxicants in a mixed toxicant populated system effectively.
Development of Electrospun Porous Carbon Fibers from Cellulose/Polyacrylonitrile Blend
Carbon fibers are one of the most demanding materials on earth due to their potential application in energy, high strength materials, and conductive materials. The nanostructure of carbon fibers offers enhanced properties of conductivity due to the larger surface area. The next generation carbon nanofibers demand the porous structure as it offers more surface area. Multiple techniques are used to produce carbon fibers. However, electrospinning followed by carbonization of the polymeric materials is easy to carry process on a laboratory scale. Also, it offers multiple diversity of changing parameters to acquire the desired properties of carbon fibers. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is the most used material for the production of carbon fibers due to its promising processing parameters. Also, cellulose is one of the highest yield producers of carbon fibers. However, the electrospinning of cellulosic materials is difficult due to its rigid chain structure. The combination of PAN and cellulose can offer a suitable solution for the production of carbon fibers. Both materials are miscible in the mixed solvent of N, N, Dimethylacetamide and lithium chloride. This study focuses on the production of porous carbon fibers as a function of PAN/Cellulose blend ratio, solution properties, and electrospinning parameters. These single polymer and blend with different ratios were electrospun to give fine fibers. The higher amount of cellulose offered more difficulty in electrospinning of nanofibers. After carbonization, the carbon fibers were studied in terms of their blend ratio, surface area, and texture. Cellulose contents offered the porous structure of carbon fibers. Also, the presence of LiCl contributed to the porous structure of carbon fibers.
Greywater Treatment Using Activated Bio-Char Produced from Agricultural Waste
The increase in urbanisation in South Africa has led to an increase in water demand and a decline in freshwater supply. Despite this, poor water usage is still a major challenge in South Africa, for instance, freshwater is still used for non-drinking applications. The freshwater shortage can be alleviated by using other sources of water for non-portable purposes such as greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste. The success of Activated biochar produced from agricultural waste to treat greywater can be both economically and environmentally beneficial. Greywater treatment with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste is considered a cost-effective wastewater treatment. This work was aimed at determining the ability of Activated Bio-char to remove Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Ammonium (NH4-N), Nitrate (NO3-N, and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) from greywater. The experiments were carried out in 200ml laboratory plastic cylinders used as filter columns. 2.5 cm layer of gravel was used at the bottom and top of the column to sandwich the Activated Bio-char material. A measured amount (200g and 400g) of Activated Bio-char material was loaded in a column and used as a filter medium for greywater. Samples were collected once a week for four weeks and sent for analysis. Four types of greywater were treated, namely: Kitchen, floor cleaning water, shower and laundry water. The results showed that activated biochar produced from agricultural waste reduces a certain amount of pollutants from greywater. The highest reduction of pollutants were: TSS (95 % on kitchen greywater), NH4-N (85% on Bathroom greywater), NO3-N (76 % on kitchen greywater) and COD (63% on kitchen greywater). These results indicated the ability of Activated Bio-char to treat greywater for onsite reuse purposes.
Carbon-Foam Supported Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are electrochemical energy conversion devices used for portable, residential and vehicular applications due to their low emissions, high efficiency, and quick start-up characteristics. However, PEMFCs generally use expensive, Pt-based electrocatalysts as electrode catalysts. Due to the high cost and limited availability of platinum, research and development to either drastically reduce platinum loading, or replace platinum with alternative catalysts is of paramount importance. A combination of high surface area supports and nano-structured active sites is essential for effective operation of catalysts. We synthesize carbon foam supports by thermal decomposition of sodium ethoxide, using a template-free, gram scale, cheap, and scalable pyrolysis method. This carbon foam has a high surface area, highly porous, three-dimensional framework which is ideal for electrochemical applications. These carbon foams can have surface area larger than 2500 m²/g, and electron microscopy reveals that they have micron-scale cells, separated by few-layer graphene-like carbon walls. We applied this carbon foam as a platinum catalyst support, resulting in the improved electrochemical surface area and mass activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), compared to carbon black. Similarly, silver-decorated carbon foams showed higher activity and efficiency for electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion than silver-decorated carbon black. A promising alternative to Pt-catalysts for the ORR is iron-impregnated nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts (Fe-N-C). Doping carbon with nitrogen alters the chemical structure and modulates the electronic properties, allowing a degree of control over the catalytic properties. We have adapted our synthesis method to produce nitrogen-doped carbon foams with large surface area, using triethanolamine as a nitrogen feedstock, in a novel bottom-up protocol. These foams are then infiltrated with iron acetate (FeAc) and pyrolysed to form Fe-N-C foams. The resulting Fe-N-C foam catalysts have high initial activity (half-wave potential of 0.68 VRHE), comparable to that of commercially available Pt-free catalysts (e.g., NPC-2000, Pajarito Powder) in acid solution. In alkaline solution, the Fe-N-C carbon foam catalysts have a half-wave potential of 0.89 VRHE, which is higher than that of NPC-2000 by almost 10 mVRHE, and far out-performing platinum. However, the durability is still a problem at present. The lessons learned from X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical measurements will be used to carefully design Fe-N-C catalysts for higher performance PEMFCs.
Removal of Chromium by UF5kDa Membrane: Its Characterization, Optimization of Parameters, and Evaluation of Coefficients
Water pollution is escalated owing to industrialization and random ejection of one or more toxic heavy metal ions from the semiconductor industry, electroplating, metallurgical, mining, chemical manufacturing, tannery industries, etc., In semiconductor industry various kinds of chemicals in wafers preparation are used . Fluoride, toxic solvent, heavy metals, dyes and salts, suspended solids and chelating agents may be found in wastewater effluent of semiconductor manufacturing industry. Also in the chrome plating, in the electroplating industry, the effluent contains heavy amounts of Chromium. Since Cr(VI) is highly toxic, its exposure poses an acute risk of health. Also, its chronic exposure can even lead to mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. On the contrary, Cr (III) which is naturally occurring, is much less toxic than Cr(VI). Discharge limit of hexavalent chromium and trivalent chromium are 0.05 mg/L and 5 mg/L, respectively. There are numerous methods such as adsorption, chemical precipitation, membrane filtration, ion exchange, and electrochemical methods for the heavy metal removal. The present study focuses on the removal of Chromium ions by using flat sheet UF5kDa membrane. The Ultra filtration membrane process is operated above micro filtration membrane process. Thus separation achieved may be influenced due to the effect of Sieving and Donnan effect. Ultrafiltration is a promising method for the rejection of heavy metals like chromium, fluoride, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, etc. from effluent water. Benefits behind ultrafiltration process are that the operation is quite simple, the removal efficiency is high as compared to some other methods of removal and it is reliable. Polyamide membranes have been selected for the present study on rejection of Cr(VI) from feed solution. The objective of the current work is to examine the rejection of Cr(VI) from aqueous feed solutions by flat sheet UF5kDa membranes with different parameters such as pressure, feed concentration and pH of the feed. The experiments revealed that with increasing pressure, the removal efficiency of Cr(VI) is increased. Also, the effect of pH of feed solution, the initial dosage of chromium in the feed solution has been studied. The membrane has been characterized by FTIR, SEM and AFM before and after the run. The mass transfer coefficients have been estimated. Membrane transport parameters have been calculated and have been found to be in a good correlation with the applied model.
A Levelized Cost Analysis for Solar Energy Powered Sea Water Desalination in the Arabian Gulf Region
A levelized cost analysis of solar energy powered seawater desalination in The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is conducted to show that clean and renewable desalination is economically viable. The Emirate heavily relies on seawater desalination for its freshwater needs due to limited freshwater resources available. This trend is expected to increase further due to growing population and economic activity, rapid decline in limited freshwater reserves, and aggravating effects of climate change. Seawater desalination in Abu Dhabi is currently done through thermal desalination technologies such as multi-stage flash (MSF) and multi-effect distillation (MED) which are coupled with thermal power plants known as co-generation. Our analysis indicates that these thermal desalination methods are inefficient regarding energy consumption and harmful to the environment due to CO₂ emissions and other dangerous byproducts. Therefore, utilization of clean and renewable desalination options has become a must for The Emirate for the transition to a sustainable future. The rapid decline in the cost of solar PV system for energy production and RO technology for desalination makes the combination of these two an ideal option for a future of sustainable desalination in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. A Levelized cost analysis for water produced by solar PV + RO system indicates that Abu Dhabi is well positioned to utilize this technological combination for cheap and clean desalination for the coming years. It has been shown that cap-ex cost of solar PV powered RO system has potential to go as low as to 101 million US $ (1111 $/m³) at best case considering the recent technological developments. The levelized cost of water (LCW) values fluctuate between 0.34 $/m³ for the baseline case and 0.27 $/m³ for the best case. Even the highly conservative case yields LCW cheaper than 100% from all thermal desalination methods currently employed in the Emirate. Exponential cost decreases in both solar PV and RO sectors along with increasing economic scale globally signal the fact that a cheap and clean desalination can be achieved by the combination of these technologies.
Evaluation of the Performance of Actiflo® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: A Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia
In mines which are using reverse osmosis (RO) treatment plant, pre-treatment stage prior to RO is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes. This study aims to evaluate the application of the ACTIFLO® clarifier as a part of pre-treatment unit in mining operations, and analyse the quality of RO feed water. Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia has been used as the case study. The Costerfield operations includes the underground gold-antimony Augusta mine and the Cuffley deposit which have been operational since 2006 and 2013 respectively. In 2014, treatment plant consists of pre-treatment unit and RO plant has been constructed. Until recently, mining waste water was pre-treated with a combination of conventional techniques such as pH adjustment, polymer dosing, and cartridge filtration. The major issue associated with the conventional pre-treatment system was inconsistency in the quality of RO feed water which caused irreversible fouling and physical damage of RO membrane several times since the treatment plant has started operating. To address this problem, ACTIFLO ® clarifier that is developed and presented by Veolia Water Technologies has been recently added to the pre-treatment system prior to RO plant. This clarifier operates based on coagulation- ballasted flocculation and settling for the treatment of wastewater. Preliminary analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has significantly improved since ACTIFLO® clarifier has been commissioned. Dissolved oxygen (DO), suspended solids (SS) and turbidity levels are reduced by 25, 50 and 80 percent respectively in RO feed water with ACTIFLO® in use. This clarifier is serving as an effective member of pre-treatment system prior to RO, and it has the potential to successfully reduce the risk of physical damage of RO membranes and fouling potential. In long term, steady state operations with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected.
N-Glycosylation in the Green Microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
N-glycosylation is a post-translational modification taking place in the Endoplasmic Reticulum and the Golgi apparatus where defined glycan features are added on protein in a very specific sequence Asn-X-Thr/Ser/Cys were X can be any amino acid except proline. Because it is well-established that those N-glycans play a critical role in protein biological activity, protein half-life and that a different N-glycan structure may induce an immune response, they are very important in Biopharmaceuticals which are mainly glycoproteins bearing N-glycans. From now, most of the biopharmaceuticals are produced by mammalian cells like Chinese Hamster Ovary cells (CHO) for their N-glycosylation similar to the human, but due to the high production costs, several other species are investigated as the possible alternative system. In this purpose, the green microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was investigated as the potential production system for Biopharmaceuticals. This choice was influenced by the facts that C. reinhardtii is a well-study microalgae which is growing fast with a lot of molecular biology tools available. This organism is also producing N-glycan on its endogenous proteins. However, the analysis of the N-glycan structure of this microalgae has revealed some differences as compared to the human. Rather than in Human where the glycans are processed by key enzymes called N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I and II (GnTI and GnTII) adding GlcNAc residue to form a GlcNAc₂Man₃GlcNAc₂ core N-glycan, C. reinhardtii lacks those two enzymes and possess a GnTI independent glycosylation pathway. Moreover, some enzymes like xylosyltransferases and methyltransferases not present in human are supposed to act on the glycans of C. reinhardtii. Furthermore, the recent structural study by mass spectrometry shows that the N-glycosylation precursor supposed to be conserved in almost all eukaryotic cells results in a linear Man₅GlcNAc₂ rather than a branched one in C. reinhardtii. In this work, we will discuss the new released MS information upon C. reinhardtii N-glycan structure and their impact on our attempt to modify the glycan in a Human manner. Two strategies will be discussed. The first one consisted in the study of Xylosyltransferase insertional mutants from the CLIP library in order to remove xyloses from the N-glycans. The second will go further in the humanization by transforming the microalgae with the exogenous gene from Toxoplasma gondii having an activity similar to GnTI and GnTII with the aim to synthesize GlcNAc₂Man₃GlcNAc₂ in C. reinhardtii.
Introducing α-Oxoester (COBz) as a Protecting Group for Carbohydrates
Oligosaccharides, which are essential to all cellular organisms, play vital roles in cell recognition, signaling, and are involved in a broad range of biological processes. The chemical synthesis of carbohydrates represents a powerful tool to provide homogeneous glycans. In carbohydrate synthesis, the major concern is the orthogonal protection of hydroxyl groups that can be unmasked independently. Classical protecting groups include benzyl ethers (Bn), which are normally cleaved through hydrogenolysis or by means of metal reduction, and acetate (Ac), benzoate (Bz) or pivaloate esters, which are removed using base promoted hydrolysis. In present work a series of α-Oxoester (COBz) protected saccharides, with divergent base sensitivity profiles against benzoyl (Bz) and acetyl (Ac), were designed and KHSO₅/CH₃COCl in methanol was identified as an easy, mild, selective and efficient deprotecting reagent for their removal in the perspective of carbohydrate synthesis. Timely monitoring of later reagent was advantageous in establishing both sequential as well as simultaneous deprotecting of COBz, Bz, and Ac. The salient feature of our work is its ease to generate different acceptors using designed monosaccharides. In summary, we demonstrated α-Oxoester (COBz) as a new protecting group for carbohydrates and the application of this group for the synthesis of Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor are in progress.
Transformation of Glycals to Chiral Fused Aromatic Cores via Annulative π-Extension Reaction with Arynes
Carbohydrate-derived chiral intermediates which contain arrays of defined stereocenters have found enormous applications in organic synthesis due to their inherent functional group, stereochemical and structural diversities as well as their ready availability. Stereodiversity of these classes of molecules has motivated synthetic organic chemistry over the years. One major challenge is control of relative configuration during construction of acyclic fragments. Here, we show that The Diels Alder addition of arynes to appropriately substituted vinyl/aryl glycals followed by π-extension via pyran ring opening smoothly furnished meta-disubstituted fused aromatic cores containing a stereo-defined orthogonally protected chiral side chain. The method is broad in terms of aryl homologation affording benzene, naphthalene, and phenanthrene derivatives. Base-induced deprotonation followed by cleavage of the allylic C-O bond appears to be the crucial steps leading to the development of aromaticity, which is the driving force behind the annulative π-extension process. The present protocol can be used for the synthesis of meta-disubstituted naphthalene aldehydes and substrates for aldolases.
Molecular Evolutionary Relationships Between O-Antigens of Enteric Bacteria
Enteric bacteria Escherichia coli is the predominant facultative anaerobe of the colonic flora, and some specific serotypes are associated with enteritis, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Shigella spp. are human pathogens that cause diarrhea and bacillary dysentery (shigellosis). They are in effect E. coli with a specific mode of pathogenicity. Strains of Salmonella enterica are responsible for a food-borne infection (salmonellosis), and specific serotypes cause typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever. All these bacteria are closely related in respect to structure and genetics of the lipopolysaccharide, including the O-polysaccharide part (O‑antigen). Being exposed to the bacterial cell surface, the O antigen is subject to intense selection by the host immune system and bacteriophages giving rise to diverse O‑antigen forms and providing the basis for typing of bacteria. The O-antigen forms of many bacteria are unique, but some are structurally and genetically related to others. The sequenced O-antigen gene clusters between conserved galF and gnd genes were analyzed taking into account the O-antigen structures established by us and others for all S. enterica and Shigella and most E. coli O-serogroups. Multiple genetic mechanisms of diversification of the O-antigen forms, such as lateral gene transfer and mutations, were elucidated and are summarized in the present paper. They include acquisition or inactivation of genes for sugar synthesis or transfer or recombination of O-antigen gene clusters or their parts. The data obtained contribute to our understanding of the origins of the O‑antigen diversity, shed light on molecular evolutionary relationships between the O-antigens of enteric bacteria, and open a way for studies of the role of gene polymorphism in pathogenicity.
Chemical Composition, in vitro Antioxidant Activity and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Essential Oil and Extracts of Ruta chalpensis aerial Parts Growing in Tunisian Sahara
Ruta chalpensis L. is a medicinal plant in the family of Rutaceae, has been used as an important traditional in the Mediterranean basin in the treatment of many diseases. The current study was devoted to investigate and evaluate the chemical composition, total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin contents, and in vitro antioxidant activities of ethyl acetate, ethanol and hydroalcoholic extracts and essential oil from the aerial parts of Ruta chalpensis from Tunisian Sahara. Total phenolic, flavonoid and tannin contents of extracts ranged from 40.39 ± 1.87 to 75.13 ± 1.22 mg of GAE/g, from 22.62 ± 1.55 to 27.51 ± 1.04 mg of QE/g, and from 5.56 ± 1.32 to 10.89 ± 1.10 mg of CE/g respectively. Results showed that the highest antioxidant activities was determined for ethanol extract with IC50 value of 26.23 ± 0.91 µg/mL for 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay, and for hydroalcoholic extract with EC50 value of 412.95±6.57 µg/mL and 105.52±2.45 mg of α-tocopherol/g for ferric reducing antioxidant power and total antioxidant capacity assays, respectively. Furthermore, Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of essential oil led to identification of 20 compounds representing 98.96 % of the total composition. The major components of essential oil were 2-undecanone (39.13%), 2-nonanone (25.04), 1-nonene (13.81), and α-limonene (7.72). Spectral data of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analysis (FT-IR) of extracts revealed the presence of functional groups such as C= O, C─O, ─OH, and C─H, which confirmed its richness on polyphenols and biological active functional groups. These results showed that Ruta chalpensis could be a potential natural source of antioxidants that can be used in food and nutraceutical applications.