Characteristics of Nanosilica-Geopolymer Nanocomposites and Mixing Effect

This paper presents the effects of mixing procedures on mechanical properties of flyash-based geopolymer matrices containing nanosilica (NS) at 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 3.0% by weight. Comparison is made with conventional mechanical dry-mixing of NS with flyash and wet-mixing of NS in alkaline solutions. Physical and mechanical properties are investigated using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Results show that generally the addition of NS particles enhanced the microstructure and improved flexural and compressive strengths of geopolymer nanocomposites. However, samples, prepared using dry-mixing approach, demonstrate better physical and mechanical properties comparing to wet-mixing samples.

Thermal and Morphological Evaluation of Chemically Pretreated Sugarcane Bagasse

Enzymatic hydrolysis is one of the major steps involved in the conversion from sugarcane bagasse to yield ethanol. This process offers potential for yields and selectivity higher, lower energy costs and milder operating conditions than chemical processes. However, the presence of some factors such as lignin content, crystallinity degree of the cellulose, and particle sizes, limits the digestibility of the cellulose present in the lignocellulosic biomasses. Pretreatment aims to improve the access of the enzyme to the substrate. In this study sugarcane bagasse was submitted chemical pretreatment that consisted of two consecutive steps, the first with dilute sulfuric acid (1 % (v/v) H2SO4), and the second with alkaline solutions with different concentrations of NaOH (1, 2, 3 and 4 % (w/v)). Thermal Analysis (TG/ DTG and DTA) was used to evaluate hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin contents in the samples. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the morphological structures of the in natura and chemically treated samples. Results showed that pretreatments were effective in chemical degradation of lignocellulosic materials of the samples, and also was possible to observe the morphological changes occurring in the biomasses after pretreatments.

SELF-Cured Alkali Activated Slag Concrete Mixes- An Experimental Study

Alkali Activated Slag Concrete (AASC) mixes are manufactured by activating ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) using sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions. The aim of the present experimental research was to investigate the effect of increasing the dosages of sodium oxide (Na2O, in the range of 4 to 8%) and the activator modulus (Ms) (i.e. the SiO2/Na2O ratio, in the range of 0.5 to 1.5) of the alkaline solutions, on the workability and strength characteristics of self-cured (air-cured) alkali activated Indian slag concrete mixes. Further the split tensile and flexure strengths for optimal mixes were studied for each dosage of Na2O.It is observed that increase in Na2O concentration increases the compressive, split-tensile and flexural strengths, both at the early and later-ages, while increase in Ms, decreases the workability of the mixes. An optimal Ms of 1.25 is found at various Na2O dosages. No significant differences in the strength performances were observed between AASCs manufactured with alkali solutions prepared using either of potable and de-ionized water.

Synthesis of Silk Fibroin Fiber for Indoor air Particulate Removal

The main objective of this research is to synthesize silk fibroin fiber for indoor air particulate removal. Silk cocoons were de-gummed using 0.5 wt % Na2CO3 alkaline solutions at 90 Ó╣ìC for 60 mins, washed with distilled water, and dried at 80 Ó╣ìC for 3 hrs in a vacuum oven. Two sets of experiment were conducted to investigate the impacts of initial particulate matter (PM) concentration and that of air flow rate on the removal efficiency. Rice bran collected from a local rice mill in Ubonratchathani province was used as indoor air contaminant in this work. The morphology and physical properties of silk fibroin (SF) fiber were measured. The SEM revealed the deposition of PM on the used fiber. The PM removal efficiencies of 72.29 ± 3.03 % and 39.33 ± 1.99 % were obtained of PM10 and PM2.5, respectively, when using the initial PM concentration at 0.040 mg/m3 and 0.020 mg/m3 of PM10 and PM2.5, respectively, with the air flow rate of 5 L/min.