Influence of Silica Surface Hydrophilicity on Adsorbed Water and Isopropanol Studied by in-situ NMR

Surface wettability is a crucial factor in oil recovery. In oil industry, the rock wettability involves the interplay between water, oil, and solid surface. Therefore, studying the interplay between adsorptions of water and hydrocarbon molecules on solid surface would be very informative for understanding rock wettability. Here we use the in-situ Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) gas isotherm technique to study competitive adsorptions of water and isopropanol, an intermediate step from hydrocarbons. This in-situ NMR technique obtains information on thermodynamic properties such as the isotherm, molecular dynamics via spin relaxation measurements, and adsorption kinetics such as how fast the system can reach thermal equilibrium after changes of vapor pressures. Using surfaces of silica glass beads, which can be modified from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, we obtained information on the influence of surface hydrophilicity on the state of surface water via obtained thermodynamic and dynamic properties.

Numerical Simulation of Different Configurations for a Combined Gasification/Carbonization Reactors

Gasification and carbonization are two of the most common ways for biomass utilization. Both processes are using part of the waste to be accomplished, either by incomplete combustion or for heating for both gasification and carbonization, respectively. The focus of this paper is to minimize the part of the waste that is used for heating biomass for gasification and carbonization. This will occur by combining both gasifiers and carbonization reactors in a single unit to utilize the heat in the product biogas to heating up the wastes in the carbonization reactors. Three different designs are proposed for the combined gasification/carbonization (CGC) reactor. These include a parallel combination of two gasifiers and carbonized syngas, carbonizer and combustion chamber, and one gasifier, carbonizer, and combustion chamber. They are tested numerically using ANSYS Fluent Computational Fluid Dynamics to ensure homogeneity of temperature distribution inside the carbonization part of the CGC reactor. 2D simulations are performed for the three cases after performing both mesh-size and time-step independent solutions. The carbonization part is common among the three different cases, and the difference among them is how this carbonization reactor is heated. The simulation results showed that the first design could provide only partial homogeneous temperature distribution, not across the whole reactor. This means that the produced carbonized biomass will be reduced as it will only fill a specified height of the reactor. To keep the carbonized product production high, a series combination is proposed. This series configuration resulted in a uniform temperature distribution across the whole reactor as it has only one source for heat with no temperature distribution on any surface of the carbonization section. The simulations provided a satisfactory result that either the first parallel combination of gasifier and carbonization reactor could be used with a reduced carbonized amount or a series configuration to keep the production rate high.

Vibration Analysis of Magnetostrictive Nano-Plate by Using Modified Couple Stress and Nonlocal Elasticity Theories

In the present study, the free vibration of magnetostrictive nano-plate (MsNP) resting on the Pasternak foundation is investigated. Firstly, the modified couple stress (MCS) and nonlocal elasticity theories are compared together and taken into account to consider the small scale effects; in this paper not only two theories are analyzed but also it improves the MCS theory is more accurate than nonlocal elasticity theory in such problems. A feedback control system is utilized to investigate the effects of a magnetic field. First-order shear deformation theory (FSDT), Hamilton’s principle and energy method are utilized in order to drive the equations of motion and these equations are solved by differential quadrature method (DQM) for simply supported boundary conditions. The MsNP undergoes in-plane forces in x and y directions. In this regard, the dimensionless frequency is plotted to study the effects of small scale parameter, magnetic field, aspect ratio, thickness ratio and compression and tension loads. Results indicate that these parameters play a key role on the natural frequency. According to the above results, MsNP can be used in the communications equipment, smart control vibration of nanostructure especially in sensor and actuators such as wireless linear micro motor and smart nano valves in injectors.

Mesoscopic Defects of Forming and Induced Properties on the Impact of a Composite Glass/Polyester

Forming processes induce residual deformations on the reinforcement and sometimes lead to mesoscopic defects, which are more recurrent than macroscopic defects during the manufacture of complex structural parts. This study deals with the influence of the fabric shear and buckles defects, which appear during draping processes of composite, on the impact behavior of a glass fiber reinforced polymer. To achieve this aim, we produced several specimens with different amplitude of deformations (shear) and defects on the fabric using a specific bench. The specimens were manufactured using the contact molding and tested with several impact energies. The results and measurements made on tested specimens were compared to those of the healthy material. The results showed that the buckle defects have a negative effect on elastic parameters and revealed a larger damage with significant out-of-plane mode relatively to the healthy composite material. This effect is the consequence of a local fiber impoverishment and a disorganization of the fibrous network, with a reorientation of the fibers following the out-of-plane buckling of the yarns, in the area where the defects are located. For the material with calibrated shear of the reinforcement, the increased local fiber rate due to the shear deformations and the contribution to stiffness of the transverse yarns led to an increase in mechanical properties.

Effects of Level Densities and Those of a-Parameter in the Framework of Preequilibrium Model for 63,65Cu(n,xp) Reactions in Neutrons at 9 to 15 MeV

In this study, the calculations of proton emission spectra produced by 63Cu(n,xp) and 65Cu(n,xp) reactions are used in the framework of preequilibrium models using the EMPIRE code and TALYS code. Exciton Model predidtions combined with the Kalbach angular distribution systematics and the Hybrid Monte Carlo Simulation (HMS) were used. The effects of levels densities and those of a-parameter have been investigated for our calculations. The comparison with experimental data shows clear improvement over the Exciton Model and HMS calculations.

Comparative Parametric Analysis on the Dynamic Response of Fibre Composite Beams with Debonding

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites enjoy an array of applications ranging from aerospace, marine and military to automobile, recreational and civil industry due to their outstanding properties. A structural glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite sandwich panel made from E-glass fiber skin and a modified phenolic core has been manufactured in Australia for civil engineering applications. One of the major mechanisms of damage in FRP composites is skin-core debonding. The presence of debonding is of great concern not only because it severely affects the strength but also it modifies the dynamic characteristics of the structure, including natural frequency and vibration modes. This paper deals with the investigation of the dynamic characteristics of a GFRP beam with single and multiple debonding by finite element based numerical simulations and analyses using the STRAND7 finite element (FE) software package. Three-dimensional computer models have been developed and numerical simulations were done to assess the dynamic behavior. The FE model developed has been validated with published experimental, analytical and numerical results for fully bonded as well as debonded beams. A comparative analysis is carried out based on a comprehensive parametric investigation. It is observed that the reduction in natural frequency is more affected by single debonding than the equally sized multiple debonding regions located symmetrically to the single debonding position. Thus it is revealed that a large single debonding area leads to more damage in terms of natural frequency reduction than isolated small debonding zones of equivalent area, appearing in the GFRP beam. Furthermore, the extents of natural frequency shifts seem mode-dependent and do not seem to have a monotonous trend of increasing with the mode numbers.

Study on the Electrochemical Performance of Graphene Effect on Cadmium Oxide in Lithium Battery

Graphene and CdO with different stoichiometric ratios of Cd(CH₃COO)₂ and graphene samples were prepared by hydrothermal reaction. The crystalline phases of pure CdO and 3CdO:1graphene were identified by X-ray diffraction (XRD). The particle morphology was studied with SEM. Furthermore, impedance measurements were applied. Galvanostatic measurements for the cells were carried out using potential limits between 0.01 and 3 V vs. Li/Li⁺. The current cycling intensity was 10⁻⁴ A. The specific discharge capacity of 3CdO-1G cell was about 450 Ah.Kg⁻¹ up to more than 100 cycles.

Solitons and Universes with Acceleration Driven by Bulk Particles

Considering a scenario where our universe is taken as a 3d domain wall embedded in a 5d dimensional Minkowski space-time, we explore the existence of a richer class of solitonic solutions and their consequences for accelerating universes driven by collisions of bulk particle excitations with the walls. In particular it is shown that some of these solutions should play a fundamental role at the beginning of the expansion process. We present some of these solutions in cosmological scenarios that can be applied to models that describe the inflationary period of the Universe.

Assessing the Suitability of South African Waste Foundry Sand as an Additive in Clay Masonry Products

The foundry industry generates large quantities of solid waste in the form of waste foundry sand. The ever-increasing quantities of this type of industrial waste put pressure on land-filling space and its proper management has become a global concern. The South African foundry industry is not different when it comes to this solid waste generation. Utilizing the foundry waste sand in other applications has become an attractive avenue to deal with this waste stream. In the present paper, an evaluation was done on the suitability of foundry waste sand as an additive in clay masonry products. Purchased clay was added to the foundry waste sand sample in a 50/50 ratio. The mixture was named FC sample. The FC sample was mixed with water in a pan mixer until the mixture was consistent and suitable for extrusion. The FC sample was extruded and cut into briquettes. Water absorption, shrinkage and modulus of rupture tests were conducted on the resultant briquettes. Foundry waste sand and FC samples were respectively characterized mineralogically using X-Ray Diffraction, and the major and trace elements were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy. Adding purchased clay to the foundry waste sand positively influenced the workability of the test sample. Another positive characteristic was the low linear shrinkage, which indicated that products manufactured from the FC sample would not be susceptible to cracking. The water absorption values were acceptable and the unfired and fired strength values of the briquette’s samples were acceptable. In conclusion, tests showed that foundry waste sand can be used as an additive in masonry clay bricks, provided it is blended with good quality clay.

Infrared Lightbox and iPhone App for Improving Detection Limit of Phosphate Detecting Dip Strips

In this paper, we report the development of a portable and inexpensive infrared lightbox for improving the detection limits of paper-based phosphate devices. Commercial paper-based devices utilize the molybdenum blue protocol to detect phosphate in the environment. Although these devices are easy to use and have a long shelf life, their main deficiency is their low sensitivity based on the qualitative results obtained via a color chart. To improve the results, we constructed a compact infrared lightbox that communicates wirelessly with a smartphone. The system measures the absorbance of radiation for the molybdenum blue reaction in the infrared region of the spectrum. It consists of a lightbox illuminated by four infrared light-emitting diodes, an infrared digital camera, a Raspberry Pi microcontroller, a mini-router, and an iPhone to control the microcontroller. An iPhone application was also developed to analyze images captured by the infrared camera in order to quantify phosphate concentrations. Additionally, the app connects to an online data center to present a highly scalable worldwide system for tracking and analyzing field measurements. In this study, the detection limits for two popular commercial devices were improved by a factor of 4 for the Quantofix devices (from 1.3 ppm using visible light to 300 ppb using infrared illumination) and a factor of 6 for the Indigo units (from 9.2 ppm to 1.4 ppm) with repeatability of less than or equal to 1.2% relative standard deviation (RSD). The system also provides more granular concentration information compared to the discrete color chart used by commercial devices and it can be easily adapted for use in other applications.

Study of Pipes Scaling of Purified Wastewater Intended for the Irrigation of Agadir Golf Grass

In Morocco’s Agadir region, the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation of green spaces has faced the problem of scaling of the pipes of these waters. This research paper aims at studying the phenomenon of scaling caused by the treated wastewater from the Mzar sewage treatment plant. These waters are used in the irrigation of golf turf for the Ocean Golf Resort. Ocean Golf, located about 10 km from the center of the city of Agadir, is one of the most important recreation centers in Morocco. The course is a Belt Collins design with 27 holes, and is quite open with deep challenging bunkers. The formation of solid deposits in the irrigation systems has led to a decrease in their lifetime and, consequently, a loss of load and performance. Thus, the sprinklers used in golf turf irrigation are plugged in the first weeks of operation. To study this phenomenon, the wastewater used for the irrigation of the golf turf was taken and analyzed at various points, and also samples of scale formed in the circuits of the passage of these waters were characterized. This characterization of the scale was performed by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential thermal analysis (DTA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results of the physicochemical analysis of the waters show that they are full of bicarbonates (653 mg/L), chloride (478 mg/L), nitrate (412 mg/L), sodium (425 mg/L) and calcium (199mg/L). Their pH is slightly alkaline. The analysis of the scale reveals that it is rich in calcium and phosphorus. It is formed of calcium carbonate (CaCO₃), silica (SiO₂), calcium silicate (Ca₂SiO₄), hydroxylapatite (Ca₁₀P₆O₂₆), calcium carbonate and phosphate (Ca₁₀(PO₄) 6CO₃) and silicate calcium and magnesium (Ca₅MgSi₃O₁₂).

Ozone Assisted Low Temperature Catalytic Benzene Oxidation over Al2O3, SiO2, AlOOH Supported Ni/Pd Catalytic

Catalytic oxidation of benzene assisted by ozone, on alumina, silica, and boehmite-supported Ni/Pd catalysts was investigated at 353 K to assess the influence of the support on the reaction. Three bimetallic Ni/Pd nanosized samples with loading 4.7% of Ni and 0.17% of Pd supported on SiO2, AlOOH and Al2O3 were synthesized by the extractive-pyrolytic method. The phase composition was characterized by means of XRD and the surface area and pore size were estimated using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) methods. At the beginning of the reaction, catalysts were significantly deactivated due to the accumulation of intermediates on the catalyst surface and after 60 minutes it turned stable. Ni/Pd/AlOOH catalyst showed the highest steady-state activity in comparison with the Ni/Pd/SiO2 and Ni/Pd/Al2O3 catalysts. Their activity depends on the ozone decomposition potential of the catalysts because of generating oxidizing active species. The sample with the highest ozone decomposition ability which correlated to the surface area of the support oxidizes benzene to the highest extent.

Eco-Design of Multifunctional System Based on a Shape Memory Polymer and ZnO Nanoparticles for Sportswear

Since the beginning of the 20th century, sportswear has a major contribution to the impact of fashion on our lives. Nowadays, the embracing of sportswear fashion/looks is undoubtedly noticeable, as the modern consumer searches for high comfort and linear aesthetics for its clothes. This compromise lead to the arise of the athleisure trend. Athleisure surges as a new style area that combines both wearability and fashion sense, differentiated from the archetypal sportswear, usually associated to “gym clothes”. Additionally, the possibility to functionalize and implement new technologies have shifted and progressively empowers the connection between the concepts of physical activities practice and well-being, allowing clothing to be more interactive and responsive with its surroundings. In this study, a design inspired in retro and urban lifestyle was envisioned, engineering textile structures that can respond to external stimuli. These structures are enhanced to be responsive to heat, water vapor and humidity, integrating shape memory polymers (SMP) to improve the breathability and heat-responsive behavior of the textiles and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to heighten the surface hydrophobic properties. The best results for hydrophobic exhibited superhydrophobic behavior with water contact angle (WAC) of more than 150 degrees. For the breathability and heat-response properties, SMP-coated samples showed an increase in water vapour permeability values of about 50% when compared with non SMP-coated samples. These innovative technological approaches were endorsed to design innovative clothing, in line with circular economy and eco-design principles, by assigning a substantial degree of mutability and versatility to the clothing. The development of a coat and shirt, in which different parts can be purchased separately to create multiple products, aims to combine the technicality of both the fabrics used and the making of the garments. This concept translates itself into a real constructive mechanism through the symbiosis of high-tech functionalities and the timeless design that follows the athleisure aesthetics.

Energy Recovery Potential from Food Waste and Yard Waste in New York and Montréal

Landfilling of organic waste is still the predominant waste management method in the USA and Canada. Strategic plans for waste diversion from landfills are needed to increase material recovery and energy generation from waste. In this paper, we carried out a statistical survey on waste flow in the two cities New York and Montréal and estimated the energy recovery potential for each case. Data collection and analysis of the organic waste (food waste, yard waste, etc.), paper and cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, carton, textile, electronic products and other materials were done based on the reports published by the Department of Sanitation in New York and Service de l'Environnement in Montréal. In order to calculate the gas generation potential of organic waste, Buswell equation was used in which the molar mass of the elements was calculated based on their atomic weight and the amount of organic waste in New York and Montréal. Also, the higher and lower calorific value of the organic waste (solid base) and biogas (gas base) were calculated. According to the results, only 19% (598 kt) and 45% (415 kt) of New York and Montréal waste were diverted from landfills in 2017, respectively. The biogas generation potential of the generated food waste and yard waste amounted to 631 million m3 in New York and 173 million m3 in Montréal. The higher and lower calorific value of food waste were 3482 and 2792 GWh in New York and 441 and 354 GWh in Montréal, respectively. In case of yard waste, they were 816 and 681 GWh in New York and 636 and 531 GWh in Montréal, respectively. Considering the higher calorific value, this amount would mean a contribution of around 2.5% energy in these cities.

Mechanical Properties of Organic Polymer and Exfoliated Graphite Reinforced Bacteria Cellulose Paper

Bacterial Cellulose (BC) is a structural organic compound produced in the anaerobic process. This material can be a useful eco-friendly substitute for commercial textiles that are used in industries today. BC is easily and sustainably produced and has the capabilities to be used as a replacement in textiles. However, BC is extremely fragile when it completely dries. This research was conducted to improve the mechanical properties of the BC by reinforcing with an organic polymer and exfoliated graphite (EG). The BC films were grown over a period of weeks in a green tea and kombucha solution at 30 °C, then cleaned and added to an enhancing solution. The enhancing solutions were a mixture of 2.5 wt% polymer and 2.5 wt% latex solution, a 5 wt% polymer solution, a 0.20 wt% graphite solution and were each allowed to sit in a furnace for 48 h at 50 °C. Tensile test samples were prepared and tested until fracture at a strain rate of 8 mm/min. From the research with the addition of a 5 wt% polymer solution, the flexibility of the BC has significantly improved with the maximum strain significantly larger than that of the base sample. The addition of EG has also increased the modulus of elasticity of the BC by about 25%.

Computational Model for Prediction of Soil-Gas Radon-222 Concentration in Soil-Depths and Soil Grain Size Particles

Percentage of soil-gas radon-222 concentration (222Rn) from soil-depths contributing to outdoor radon atmospheric level depends largely on some physical parameters of the soil. To determine its dependency in soil-depths, survey tests were carried out on soil depths and grain size particles using in-situ measurement method of soil-gas radon-222 concentration at different soil depths. The measurements were carried out with an electronic active radon detector (RAD-7) manufactured by Durridge Company USA. Radon-222 concentrations (222Rn) in soil-gas were measured at four different soil depths of 20, 40, 60 and 100 cm in five feasible locations. At each soil depth, soil samples were collected for grain size particle analysis using soil grasp sampler. The result showed that highest value of radon-222 concentration (24,680 ± 1960 Bqm-3) was measured at 100 cm depth with utmost grain size particle of 17.64% while the lowest concentration (7370 ± 1139 Bqm-3) was measured at 100 cm depth with least grain size particle of 10.75% respectively. A computational model was derived using SPSS regression package. This model could be a yardstick for prediction on soil gas radon concentration reference to soil grain size particle at different soil-depths.

In situ Real-Time Multivariate Analysis of Methanolysis Monitoring of Sunflower Oil Using FTIR

The combination of world population and the third industrial revolution led to high demand for fuels. On the other hand, the decrease of global fossil 8fuels deposits and the environmental air pollution caused by these fuels has compounded the challenges the world faces due to its need for energy. Therefore, new forms of environmentally friendly and renewable fuels such as biodiesel are needed. The primary analytical techniques for methanolysis yield monitoring have been chromatography and spectroscopy, these methods have been proven reliable but are more demanding, costly and do not provide real-time monitoring. In this work, the in situ monitoring of biodiesel from sunflower oil using FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) has been studied; the study was performed using EasyMax Mettler Toledo reactor equipped with a DiComp (Diamond) probe. The quantitative monitoring of methanolysis was performed by building a quantitative model with multivariate calibration using iC Quant module from iC IR 7.0 software. 15 samples of known concentrations were used for the modelling which were taken in duplicate for model calibration and cross-validation, data were pre-processed using mean centering and variance scale, spectrum math square root and solvent subtraction. These pre-processing methods improved the performance indexes from 7.98 to 0.0096, 11.2 to 3.41, 6.32 to 2.72, 0.9416 to 0.9999, RMSEC, RMSECV, RMSEP and R2Cum, respectively. The R2 value of 1 (training), 0.9918 (test), 0.9946 (cross-validation) indicated the fitness of the model built. The model was tested against univariate model; small discrepancies were observed at low concentration due to unmodelled intermediates but were quite close at concentrations above 18%. The software eliminated the complexity of the Partial Least Square (PLS) chemometrics. It was concluded that the model obtained could be used to monitor methanol of sunflower oil at industrial and lab scale.

Graphene/ZnO/Polymer Nanocomposite Thin Film for Separation of Oil-Water Mixture

Offshore oil-spill has become the most emerging problem in the world. In the current paper, a graphene/ZnO/polymer nanocomposite thin film is coated on stainless steel mesh via layer by layer deposition method. The structural characterization of materials is determined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and separation efficiency have been measured via gas chromatography – flame ionization detector (GC-FID). TPHs are reduced to 2 ppm and separation efficiency of the nanocomposite coated mesh is reached ≥ 99% for the final sample. The nanocomposite coated mesh acts as a promising candidate for the separation of oil- water mixture.

Application of Synthetic Monomers Grafted Xanthan Gum for Rhodamine B Removal in Aqueous Solution

The rapid industrialisation and population growth have led to a steady fall in freshwater supplies worldwide. As a result, water systems are affected by modern methods upon use due to secondary contamination. The application of novel adsorbents derived from natural polymer holds a great promise in addressing challenges in water treatment. In this study, the UV irradiation technique was used to prepare acrylamide (AAm) monomer, and acrylic acid (AA) monomer grafted xanthan gum (XG) copolymer. Furthermore, the factors affecting rhodamine B (RhB) adsorption from aqueous media, such as pH, dosage, concentration, and time were also investigated. The FTIR results confirmed the formation of graft copolymer by the strong vibrational bands at 1709 cm-1 and 1612 cm-1 for AA and AAm, respectively. Additionally, more irregular, porous and wrinkled surface observed from SEM of XG-g-AAm/AA indicated copolymerization interaction of monomers. The optimum conditions for removing RhB dye with a maximum adsorption capacity of 313 mg/g at 25 0C from aqueous solution were pH approximately 5, initial dye concentration = 200 ppm, adsorbent dose = 30 mg. Also, the detailed investigation of the isothermal and adsorption kinetics of RhB from aqueous solution showed that the adsorption of the dye followed a Freundlich model (R2 = 0.96333) and pseudo-second-order kinetics. The results further indicated that this absorbent based on XG had the universality to remove dye through the mechanism of chemical adsorption. The outstanding adsorption potential of the grafted copolymer could be used to remove cationic dyes from aqueous solution as a low-cost product.

Liquid Chromatography Microfluidics for Detection and Quantification of Urine Albumin Using Linear Regression Method

Nearly a hundred per million of the Filipino population is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The early stage of CKD has no symptoms and can only be discovered once the patient undergoes urinalysis. Over the years, different methods were discovered and used for the quantification of the urinary albumin such as the immunochemical assays where most of these methods require large machinery that has a high cost in maintenance and resources, and a dipstick test which is yet to be proven and is still debated as a reliable method in detecting early stages of microalbuminuria. This research study involves the use of the liquid chromatography concept in microfluidic instruments with biosensor as a means of separation and detection respectively, and linear regression to quantify human urinary albumin. The researchers’ main objective was to create a miniature system that quantifies and detect patients’ urinary albumin while reducing the amount of volume used per five test samples. For this study, 30 urine samples of unknown albumin concentrations were tested using VITROS Analyzer and the microfluidic system for comparison. Based on the data shared by both methods, the actual vs. predicted regression were able to create a positive linear relationship with an R2 of 0.9995 and a linear equation of y = 1.09x + 0.07, indicating that the predicted values and actual values are approximately equal. Furthermore, the microfluidic instrument uses 75% less in total volume – sample and reagents combined, compared to the VITROS Analyzer per five test samples.