Rehabilitation of Contaminated Surface and Groundwater for Selected Sites in the Illawarra and Sydney Regions Utilising Nanotechnology

A comprehensive study was conducted to examine the removal of inorganic contaminants that exist in surface and groundwater in the Illawarra and Sydney regions. The ability of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), as a generation of membrane technology, was examined using a dead-end filtration cell setup. A set of ten compounds were examined in this study that represent the significant inorganic cations and anions commonly found in contaminated surface and groundwater. The performance of MWCNT buckypaper membranes in excluding anions was found to be better than that of its cation exclusion. This phenomenon can be attributed to the Donnan exclusion mechanism (charge repulsion mechanism). Furthermore, the results revealed that phosphate recorded the highest exclusion value reaching 69.2%, whereas the lowest rejection value was for potassium where no removal occurred (0%). The reason for this is that the molecular weight of phosphate (95.0 g/mol) is greater than the molecular weight of potassium (39.10 g/mol).

A Comparative Study of Single- and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Incorporation to Indium Tin Oxide Electrodes for Solar Cells

Alternative electrode materials for optoelectronic devices have been widely investigated in recent years. Since indium tin oxide (ITO) is the most preferred transparent conductive electrode, producing ITO films by simple and cost-effective solution-based techniques with enhanced optical and electrical properties has great importance. In this study, single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT and MWCNT) incorporated into the ITO structure to increase electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and chemical stability. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were firstly functionalized by acid treatment (HNO3:H2SO4), and the thermal resistance of CNTs after functionalization was determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Thin films were then prepared by spin coating technique and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), four-point probe measurement system and UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The effects of process parameters were compared for ITO, MWCNT-ITO, and SWCNT-ITO films. Two factors including CNT concentration and annealing temperature were considered. The UV-Vis measurements demonstrated that the transmittance of ITO films was 83.58% at 550 nm, which was decreased depending on the concentration of CNT dopant. On the other hand, both CNT dopants provided an enhancement in the crystalline structure and electrical conductivity. Due to compatible diameter and better dispersibility of SWCNTs in the ITO solution, the best result in terms of electrical conductivity was obtained by SWCNT-ITO films with the 0.1 g/L SWCNT dopant concentration and heat-treatment at 550 °C for 1 hour.

Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane for Selective Extraction and Separation of Dysprosium

Dysprosium is a rare earth element which is essential for many growing high-technology applications. Dysprosium along with neodymium plays a significant role in different applications such as metal halide lamps, permanent magnets, and nuclear reactor control rods preparation. The purification and separation of rare earth elements are challenging because of their similar chemical and physical properties. Among the various methods, membrane processes provide many advantages over the conventional separation processes such as ion exchange and solvent extraction. In this work, selective extraction and separation of dysprosium from aqueous solutions containing an equimolar mixture of dysprosium and neodymium by emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) was investigated. The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as carrier, kerosene as base fluid, and nitric acid solution as internal aqueous phase. Factors affecting separation of dysprosium such as carrier concentration, MWCNT concentration, feed phase pH and stripping phase concentration were analyzed using Taguchi method. Optimal experimental condition was obtained using analysis of variance (ANOVA) after 10 min extraction. Based on the results, using MWCNT nanofluid in ELM process leads to increase the extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement and separation factor of 6 for dysprosium over neodymium can be achieved under the optimum conditions. Additionally, demulsification process was successfully performed and the membrane phase reused effectively in the optimum condition.

Optimization of Samarium Extraction via Nanofluid-Based Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Cyanex 272 as Mobile Carrier

Samarium as a rare-earth element is playing a growing important role in high technology. Traditional methods for extraction of rare earth metals such as ion exchange and solvent extraction have disadvantages of high investment and high energy consumption. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) as an improved solvent extraction technique is an effective transport method for separation of various compounds from aqueous solutions. In this work, the extraction of samarium from aqueous solutions by ELM was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The organic membrane phase of the ELM was a nanofluid consisted of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), Span80 as surfactant, Cyanex 272 as mobile carrier, and kerosene as base fluid. 1 M nitric acid solution was used as internal aqueous phase. The effects of the important process parameters on samarium extraction were investigated, and the values of these parameters were optimized using the Central Composition Design (CCD) of RSM. These parameters were the concentration of MWCNT in nanofluid, the carrier concentration, and the volume ratio of organic membrane phase to internal phase (Roi). The three-dimensional (3D) response surfaces of samarium extraction efficiency were obtained to visualize the individual and interactive effects of the process variables. A regression model for % extraction was developed, and its adequacy was evaluated. The result shows that % extraction improves by using MWCNT nanofluid in organic membrane phase and extraction efficiency of 98.92% can be achieved under the optimum conditions. In addition, demulsification was successfully performed and the recycled membrane phase was proved to be effective in the optimum condition.

Performance Study of Neodymium Extraction by Carbon Nanotubes Assisted Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Response Surface Methodology

The high purity rare earth elements (REEs) have been vastly used in the field of chemical engineering, metallurgy, nuclear energy, optical, magnetic, luminescence and laser materials, superconductors, ceramics, alloys, catalysts, and etc. Neodymium is one of the most abundant rare earths. By development of a neodymium–iron–boron (Nd–Fe–B) permanent magnet, the importance of neodymium has dramatically increased. Solvent extraction processes have many operational limitations such as large inventory of extractants, loss of solvent due to the organic solubility in aqueous solutions, volatilization of diluents, etc. One of the promising methods of liquid membrane processes is emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) which offers an alternative method to the solvent extraction processes. In this work, a study on Nd extraction through multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) assisted ELM using response surface methodology (RSM) has been performed. The ELM composed of diisooctylphosphinic acid (CYANEX 272) as carrier, MWCNTs as nanoparticles, Span-85 (sorbitan triooleate) as surfactant, kerosene as organic diluent and nitric acid as internal phase. The effects of important operating variables namely, surfactant concentration, MWCNTs concentration, and treatment ratio were investigated. Results were optimized using a central composite design (CCD) and a regression model for extraction percentage was developed. The 3D response surfaces of Nd(III) extraction efficiency were achieved and significance of three important variables and their interactions on the Nd extraction efficiency were found out. Results indicated that introducing the MWCNTs to the ELM process led to increasing the Nd extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement. MWCNTs concentration of 407 ppm, Span-85 concentration of 2.1 (%v/v) and treatment ratio of 10 were achieved as the optimum conditions. At the optimum condition, the extraction of Nd(III) reached the maximum of 99.03%.

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.

Biogas Enhancement Using Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Quick development and usage of nanotechnology have resulted to massive use of various nanoparticles, such as iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Thus, this study investigated the role of IONPs and MWCNTs in enhancing bioenergy recovery. Results show that IONPs at a concentration of 750 mg/L and MWCNTs at a concentration of 1500 mg/L induced faster substrate utilization and biogas production rates than the control. IONPs exhibited higher carbon oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency than MWCNTs while on the contrary, MWCNT performance on biogas generation was remarkable than IONPs. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation revealed extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) excretion from AGS had an interaction with nanoparticles. This interaction created a protective barrier to microbial consortia hence reducing their cytotoxicity. Microbial community analyses revealed genus predominance of bacteria of Anaerolineaceae and Longilinea. Their role in biodegradation of the substrate could have highly been boosted by nanoparticles. The archaea predominance of the genus level of Methanosaeta and Methanobacterium enhanced methanation process. The presence of bacteria of genus Geobacter was also reported. Their presence might have significantly contributed to direct interspecies electron transfer in the system. Exposure of AGS to nanoparticles promoted direct interspecies electron transfer among the anaerobic fermenting bacteria and their counterpart methanogens during the anaerobic digestion process. This results provide useful insightful information in understanding the response of microorganisms to IONPs and MWCNTs in the complex natural environment.

Induction Melting as a Fabrication Route for Aluminum-Carbon Nanotubes Nanocomposite

Increasing demands of contemporary applications for high strength and lightweight materials prompted the development of metal-matrix composites (MMCs). After the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1991 (revealing an excellent set of mechanical properties) became one of the most promising strengthening materials for MMC applications. Additionally, the relatively low density of the nanotubes imparted high specific strengths, making them perfect strengthening material to reinforce MMCs. In the present study, aluminum-multiwalled carbon nanotubes (Al-MWCNTs) composite was prepared in an air induction furnace. The dispersion of the nanotubes in molten aluminum was assisted by inherent string action of induction heating at 790°C. During the fabrication process, multifunctional fluxes were used to avoid oxidation of the nanotubes and molten aluminum. Subsequently, the melt was cast in to a copper mold and cold rolled to 0.5 mm thickness. During metallographic examination using a scanning electron microscope, it was observed that the nanotubes were effectively dispersed in the matrix. The mechanical properties of the composite were significantly increased as compared to pure aluminum specimen i.e. the yield strength from 65 to 115 MPa, the tensile strength from 82 to 125 MPa and hardness from 27 to 30 HV for pure aluminum and Al-CNTs composite, respectively. To recognize the associated strengthening mechanisms in the nanocomposites, three foremost strengthening models i.e. shear lag model, Orowan looping and Hall-Petch have been critically analyzed; experimental data were found to be closely satisfying the shear lag model.

Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Ultrasonication on Dispersion and Mechanical Performance of Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotube-Cement Mortar Composites

Due to their remarkable mechanical properties, multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are considered by many researchers to be a highly promising filler and reinforcement agent for enhanced performance cementitious materials. Currently, however, achieving an effective dispersion of MWCNTs remains a major challenge in developing high performance nano-cementitious composites, since carbon nanotubes tend to form large agglomerates and bundles as a consequence of Van der Waals forces. In this study, effective dispersion of low concentrations of MWCNTs at 0.01%, 0.025%, and 0.05% by weight of cement in the composite was achieved by applying different sonication conditions in combination with the use of polycarboxylate ether as a surfactant. UV-Visible spectroscopy and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to assess the dispersion of MWCNTs in water, while the dispersion states of MWCNTs within the cement composites and their surface interactions were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A high sonication intensity applied over a short time period significantly enhanced the dispersion of MWCNTs at initial mixing stages, and 0.025% of MWCNTs wt. of cement, caused 86% and 27% improvement in tensile strength and compressive strength respectively, compared with a plain cement mortar.

Preliminary Studies of MWCNT/PVDF Polymer Composites

The combination of multi–walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with polymers offers an attractive route to reinforce the macromolecular compounds as well as the introduction of new properties based on morphological modifications or electronic interactions between the two constituents. As they are only a few nanometers in dimension, it offers ultra-large interfacial area per volume between the nano-element and polymer matrix. Nevertheless, the use of MWCNTs as a rough material in different applications has been largely limited by their poor processability, insolubility, and infusibility. Studies concerning the nanofiller reinforced polymer composites are justified in an attempt to overcome these limitations. This work presents one preliminary study of MWCNTs dispersion into the PVDF homopolymer. For preparation, the composite components were diluted in n,n-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) with mechanical agitation assistance. After complete dilution, followed by slow evaporation of the solvent at 60°C, the samples were dried. Films of about 80 μm were obtained. FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopic techniques were used to characterize the nanocomposites. The appearance of absorption bands in the FTIR spectra of nanofilled samples, when compared to the spectrum of pristine PVDF samples, are discussed and compared with the UV-Vis measurements.

Surface Activation of Carbon Nanotubes Generating a Chemical Interaction in Epoxy Nanocomposite

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are known for having high elastic properties with high surface area that promote them as good candidates for reinforcing polymeric matrices. In composite materials, CNTs lack chemical bonding with the surrounding matrix which decreases the possibility of better stress transfer between the components. In this work, a chemical treatment for activating the surface of the multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) was applied and the effect of this functionalization on the elastic properties of the epoxy nanocomposites was studied. Functional amino-groups were added to the surface of the CNTs and it was evaluated to be about 34% of the total weight of the CNTs. Elastic modulus was found to increase by about 40% of the neat epoxy resin at CNTs’ weight fraction of 0.5%. The elastic modulus was found to decrease after reaching a certain concentration of CNTs which was found to be 1% wt. The scanning electron microscopic pictures showed the effect of the CNTs on the crack propagation through the sample by forming stress concentrated spots at the nanocomposite samples.

New Highly-Scalable Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Glasses and Ceramics

We report herein the development and preliminary mechanical characterization of fully-dense multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-reinforced ceramics and glasses based on a completely new methodology termed High Shear Compaction (HSC). The tubes are introduced and bound to the matrix grains by aid of polymeric binders to form flexible green bodies which are sintered and densified by spark plasma sintering to unprecedentedly high densities of 100% of the pure-matrix value. The strategy was validated across a PyrexTM glass / MWCNT composite while no identifiable factors limit application to other types of matrices. Nondestructive evaluation, based on ultrasonics, of the dynamic mechanical properties of the materials including elastic, shear and bulk modulus as well as Poisson’s ratio showed optimum property improvement at 0.5 %wt tube loading while evidence of nanoscalespecific energy dissipative characteristics acting complementary to nanotube bridging and pull-out indicate a high potential in a wide range of reinforcing and multifunctional applications. 

Dielectric Properties of MWCNT-Muscovite/Epoxy Hybrid Composites

In the present work, the dielectric properties of Epoxy/MWCNT-muscovite HYBRID and MIXED composites based on a ratio 30:70 were studied. The multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) were prepared using two methods: (a) MWCNTmuscovite hybrids were synthesised by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and (b) physically mixing muscovite with MWCNT. The effects of different preparation of the composites and filler loading were evaluated. It was revealed that the dielectric constants of HYBRID epoxy composites are slightly higher than MIXED epoxy composites. It was also indicated that the dielectric constant increased by increasing the MWCNT filler loading.

The Effects of Increasing Unsaturation in Palm Oil and Incorporation of Carbon Nanotubes on Resinous Properties

Considering palm oil as non-drying oil owing to its low iodine value, an attempt was taken to increase the unsaturation in the fatty acid chains of palm oil for the preparation of alkyds. To increase the unsaturation in the palm oil, sulphuric acid (SA) and para-toluene sulphonic acid (PTSA) was used prior to alcoholysis for the dehydration process. The iodine number of the oil samples was checked for the unsaturation measurement by Wijs method. Alkyd resin was prepared using the dehydrated palm oil by following alcoholysis and esterification reaction. To improve the film properties 0.5wt.% multi-wall carbon nano tubes (MWCNTs) were used to manufacture polymeric film. The properties of the resins were characterized by various physico-chemical properties such as density, viscosity, iodine value, saponification value, etc. Structural elucidation was confirmed by Fourier transform of infrared spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance; surfaces of the films were examined by field-emission scanning electron microscope. In addition, pencil hardness and chemical resistivity was also measured by using standard methods. The effect of enhancement of the unsaturation in the fatty acid chain found significant and motivational. The resin prepared with dehydrated palm oil showed improved properties regarding hardness and chemical resistivity testing. The incorporation of MWCNTs enhanced the thermal stability and hardness of the films as well.

Characterization and Detection of Cadmium Ion Using Modification Calixarene with Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes

Water contamination by toxic compound is one of the serious environmental problems today. These toxic compounds mostly originated from industrial effluents, agriculture, natural sources and human waste. These studies focus on modification of multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNTs) with nanoparticle of calixarene and explore the possibility of using this modification for the remediation of cadmium in water. The nanocomposites were prepared by dissolving calixarene in chloroform solution as solvent, followed by additional multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNTs) then sonication process for 3 hour and fabricated the nanocomposites on substrate by spin coating method. Finally, the nanocomposites were tested on cadmium ion (10 mg/ml). The morphology of nanocomposites was investigated by FESEM showing the formation of calixarene on the outer walls of carbon nanotube and cadmium ion also clearly seen from the micrograph. This formation was supported by using energy dispersive x-ray (EDX). The presence of cadmium ions in the films, leads to some changes in the surface potential and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).The nanocomposites MWCNTs-calixarene have potential for development of sensor for pollutant monitoring and nanoelectronics devices applications.

Electrochemical Performance of Carbon Nanotube Based Supercapacitor

Carbon nanotube is one of the most attractive materials for the potential applications of nanotechnology due to its excellent mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical properties. In this paper we report a supercapacitor made of nickel foil electrodes, coated with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) thin film using electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method. Chemical vapor deposition method was used for the growth of MWCNTs and ethanol was used as a hydrocarbon source. High graphitic multiwall carbon nanotube was found at 750oC analyzing by Raman spectroscopy. We observed the electrochemical performance of supercapacitor by cyclic voltammetry. The electrodes of supercapacitor fabricated from MWCNTs exhibit considerably small equivalent series resistance (ESR), and a high specific power density. Electrophoretic deposition is an easy method in fabricating MWCNT electrodes for high performance supercapacitor.

Mercury Removing Capacity of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes as Detected by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy: Kinetic & Equilibrium Studies

Multiwall carbon nanotubes, prepared by chemical vapor deposition, have an average diameter of 60-100 nm as shown by High Resolution Transmittance Electron Microscope, HR-TEM. The Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were further characterized using X-ray Diffraction and Raman Spectroscopy. Mercury uptake capacity of MWCNTs was studied using batch adsorption method at different concentration ranges up to 150 ppm. Mercury concentration (before and after the treatment) was measured using cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy. The effect of time, concentration, pH and adsorbent dose were studied. MWCNT were found to perform complete absorption in the sub-ppm concentrations (parts per billion levels) while for high concentrations, the adsorption efficiency was 92% at the optimum conditions; 0.1 g of the adsorbent at 150 ppm mercury (II) solution. The adsorption of mercury on MWCNTs was found to follow the Freundlich adsorption isotherm and the pseudo-second order kinetic model.

Hydrogen Gas Sensing Properties of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes Network Partially Coated with SnO2 Nanoparticles at Room Temperature

In the present work, hydrogen gas sensor of modest sensitivity utilizing functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes partially decorated with tin oxide nanoparticles (F-MWCNTs/SnO2) has been fabricated. This sensing material was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, a remarkable finding was that the F-MWCNTs/SnO2 sensor shows good sensitivity as compared to F-MWCNTs for low concentration (0.05-1% by volume) of H2 gas. The fabricated sensors show complete resistance recovery and good repeatability when exposed to H2 gas at the room temperature conditions.

Multi-Wavelength Q-Switched Erbium-Doped Fiber Laser with Photonic Crystal Fiber and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

A simple multi-wavelength passively Q-switched Erbium-doped fiber laser (EDFL) is demonstrated using low cost multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) based saturable absorber (SA), which is prepared using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a host polymer. The multi-wavelength operation is achieved based on nonlinear polarization rotation (NPR) effect by incorporating 50 m long photonic crystal fiber (PCF) in the ring cavity. The EDFL produces a stable multi-wavelength comb spectrum for more than 14 lines with a fixed spacing of 0.48 nm. The laser also demonstrates a stable pulse train with the repetition rate increases from 14.9 kHz to 25.4 kHz as the pump power increases from the threshold power of 69.0 mW to the maximum pump power of 133.8 mW. The minimum pulse width of 4.4 μs was obtained at the maximum pump power of 133.8 mW while the highest energy of 0.74 nJ was obtained at pump power of 69.0 mW.

Role of Dispersion of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on Compressive Strength of Cement Paste

The outstanding mechanical properties of Carbon  nanotubes (CNTs) have generated great interest for their potential as  reinforcements in high performance cementitious composites. The  main challenge in research is the proper dispersion of carbon  nanotubes in the cement matrix. The present work discusses the role  of dispersion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the  compressive strength characteristics of hydrated Portland IS 1489  cement paste. Cement-MWCNT composites with different mixing  techniques were prepared by adding 0.2% (by weight) of MWCNTs  to Portland IS 1489 cement. Rectangle specimens of size  approximately 40mm × 40mm ×160mm were prepared and curing of  samples was done for 7, 14, 28 and 35days. An appreciable increase  in compressive strength with both techniques; mixture of MWCNTs  with cement in powder form and mixture of MWCNTs with cement  in hydrated form 7 to 28 days of curing time for all the samples was  observed.