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.

UV Resistibility of a Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composite

Nowadays, a great concern is placed on the harmfulness of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which attacks human bodies. Nanocarbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene, have been considered promising alternatives to shielding materials because of their excellent electrical conductivities, very high surface areas and low densities. In the present work, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. We present the fabrication and characterization of transparent and ultraviolet (UV) shielding CNF/polymer composites. The content of CNF filler has been varied from 0.2% to 0.6 % by weight. UV Spectroscopy has been performed to study the effect of composition on the transmittance of polymer composites.

Critical Buckling Load of Carbon Nanotube with Non-Local Timoshenko Beam Using the Differential Transform Method

In this paper, the Differential Transform Method (DTM) is employed to predict and to analysis the non-local critical buckling loads of carbon nanotubes with various end conditions and the non-local Timoshenko beam described by single differential equation. The equation differential of buckling of the nanobeams is derived via a non-local theory and the solution for non-local critical buckling loads is finding by the DTM. The DTM is introduced briefly. It can easily be applied to linear or nonlinear problems and it reduces the size of computational work. Influence of boundary conditions, the chirality of carbon nanotube and aspect ratio on non-local critical buckling loads are studied and discussed. Effects of nonlocal parameter, ratios L/d, the chirality of single-walled carbon nanotube, as well as the boundary conditions on buckling of CNT are investigated.

Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Synthesis by Chemical Vapor Deposition Using Platinum-Group Metal Catalysts

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are generally synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using Fe, Co, and Ni as catalysts. However, due to the Ostwald ripening of metal catalysts, the diameter distribution of the grown SWCNTs is considerably wide (>2 nm), which is not suitable for electronics applications. In addition, reduction in the growth temperature is desirable for fabricating SWCNT devices compatible with the LSI process. Herein, we performed SWCNT growth by alcohol catalytic CVD using platinum-group metal catalysts (Pt, Rh, and Pd) because these metals have high melting points, and the reduction in the Ostwald ripening of catalyst particles is expected. Our results revealed that web-like SWCNTs were obtained from Pt and Rh catalysts at growth temperature between 500 °C and 600 °C by optimizing the ethanol pressure. The SWCNT yield from Pd catalysts was considerably low. By decreasing the growth temperature, the diameter and chirality distribution of SWCNTs from Pt and Rh catalysts became small and narrow. In particular, the diameters of most SWCNTs grown using Pt catalysts were below 1 nm and their diameter distribution was considerably narrow. On the contrary, SWCNTs can grow from Rh catalysts even at 300 °C by optimizing the growth condition, which is the lowest temperature recorded for SWCNT growth. Our results demonstrated that platinum-group metals are useful for the growth of small-diameter SWCNTs and facilitate low-temperature growth.

Investigation of Chlorophylls a and b Interaction with Inner and Outer Surfaces of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Using Molecular Dynamics Simulation

In this work, adsorption of chlorophylls a and b pigments in aqueous solution on the inner and outer surfaces of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) has been studied using molecular dynamics simulation. The linear interaction energy algorithm has been used to calculate the binding free energy. The results show that the adsorption of two pigments is fine on the both positions. Although there is the close similarity between these two pigments, their interaction with the nanotube is different. This result is useful to separate these pigments from one another. According to interaction energy between the pigments and carbon nanotube, interaction between these pigments-SWCNT on the inner surface is stronger than the outer surface. The interaction of SWCNT with chlorophylls phytol tail is stronger than the interaction of SWCNT with porphyrin ring of chlorophylls.

Optimization of Carbon Nanotube Content of Asphalt Nanocomposites with Regard to Resistance to Permanent Deformation

This paper presents the results of the development of asphalt nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with high resistance to permanent deformation, aiming to increase the performance of asphalt surfaces in relation to the rutting problem. Asphalt nanocomposites were prepared with the addition of different proportions of CNTs (1%, 2% and 3%) in relation to the weight of asphalt binder. The base binder used was a conventional binder (50-70 penetration) classified as PG 58-22. The optimum percentage of CNT addition in the asphalt binder (base) was determined through the evaluation of the rheological and empirical characteristics of the nanocomposites produced. In order to evaluate the contribution and the effects of the nanocomposite (optimized) in relation to the rutting, the conventional and nanomodified asphalt mixtures were tested in a French traffic simulator (Orniéreur). The results obtained demonstrate the efficient contribution of the asphalt nanocomposite containing CNTs to the resistance to permanent deformation of the asphalt mixture.

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.

Dimensional Accuracy of CNTs/PMMA Parts and Holes Produced by Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a very common production method for cutting 2D polymeric parts. Developing of polymer composites with nano-fibers makes important their other properties like laser workability. The aim of this research is investigation of the influence different laser cutting conditions on the dimensional accuracy of parts and holes from poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA)/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) material. Experiments were carried out by considering of CNTs (in four level 0,0.5, 1 and 1.5% wt.%), laser power (60, 80, and 100 watt) and cutting speed 20, 30, and 40 mm/s as input variable factors. The results reveal that CNTs adding improves the laser workability of PMMA and the increasing of power has a significant effect on the part and hole size. The findings also show cutting speed is effective parameter on the size accuracy. Eventually, the statistical analysis of results was done, and calculated mathematical equations by the regression are presented for determining relation between input and output factor.

O-Functionalized CNT Mediated CO Hydro-Deoxygenation and Chain Growth

Worldwide energy independence is reliant on the ability to leverage locally available resources for fuel production. Recently, syngas produced through gasification of carbonaceous materials provided a gateway to a host of processes for the production of various chemicals including transportation fuels. The basis of the production of gasoline and diesel-like fuels is the Fischer Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) process: A catalyzed chemical reaction that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) into long chain hydrocarbons. Until now, it has been argued that only transition metal catalysts (usually Co or Fe) are active toward the CO hydrogenation and subsequent chain growth in the presence of hydrogen. In this paper, we demonstrate that carbon nanotube (CNT) surfaces are also capable of hydro-deoxygenating CO and producing long chain hydrocarbons similar to that obtained through the FTS but with orders of magnitude higher conversion efficiencies than the present state-of-the-art FTS catalysts. We have used advanced experimental tools such as XPS and microscopy techniques to characterize CNTs and identify C-O functional groups as the active sites for the enhanced catalytic activity. Furthermore, we have conducted quantum Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations to confirm that C-O groups (inherent on CNT surfaces) could indeed be catalytically active towards reduction of CO with H2, and capable of sustaining chain growth. The DFT calculations have shown that the kinetically and thermodynamically feasible route for CO insertion and hydro-deoxygenation are different from that on transition metal catalysts. Experiments on a continuous flow tubular reactor with various nearly metal-free CNTs have been carried out and the products have been analyzed. CNTs functionalized by various methods were evaluated under different conditions. Reactor tests revealed that the hydrogen pre-treatment reduced the activity of the catalysts to negligible levels. Without the pretreatment, the activity for CO conversion as found to be 7 µmol CO/g CNT/s. The O-functionalized samples showed very activities greater than 85 µmol CO/g CNT/s with nearly 100% conversion. Analyses show that CO hydro-deoxygenation occurred at the C-O/O-H functional groups. It was found that while the products were similar to FT products, differences in selectivities were observed which, in turn, was a result of a different catalytic mechanism. These findings now open a new paradigm for CNT-based hydrogenation catalysts and constitute a defining point for obtaining clean, earth abundant, alternative fuels through the use of efficient and renewable catalyst.

Implication of the Exchange-Correlation on Electromagnetic Wave Propagation in Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Using the linearized quantum hydrodynamic model (QHD) and by considering the role of quantum parameter (Bohm’s potential) and electron exchange-correlation potential in conjunction with Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic wave propagation in a single-walled carbon nanotubes was studied. The electronic excitations are described. By solving the mentioned equations with appropriate boundary conditions and by assuming the low-frequency electromagnetic waves, two general expressions of dispersion relations are derived for the transverse magnetic (TM) and transverse electric (TE) modes, respectively. The dispersion relations are analyzed numerically and it was found that the dependency of dispersion curves with the exchange-correlation effects (which have been ignored in previous works) in the low frequency would be limited. Moreover, it has been realized that asymptotic behaviors of the TE and TM modes are similar in single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The results show that by adding the function of electron exchange-correlation potential lead to the phenomena and make to extend the validity range of QHD model. The results can be important in the study of collective phenomena in nanostructures.

Sustainability of Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Concrete

Concrete, despite being one of the most produced materials in the world, still has weaknesses and drawbacks. Significant concern of the cementitious materials in structural applications is their quasi-brittle behavior, which causes the material to crack and lose its durability. One of the very recently proposed mitigations for this problem is the implementation of nanotechnology in the concrete mix by adding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to it. CNTs can enhance the critical mechanical properties of concrete as a structural material. Thus, this paper demonstrates a state-of-the-art review of reinforcing concrete with CNTs, emphasizing on the structural performance. It also goes over the properties of CNTs alone, the present methods and costs associated with producing them, the possible special applications of concretes reinforced with CNTs, the key challenges and drawbacks that this new technology still encounters, and the most reliable practices and methodologies to produce CNT-reinforced concrete in the lab. This work has shown that the addition of CNTs to the concrete mix in percentages as low as 0.25% weight of cement could increase the flexural strength and toughness of concrete by more than 45% and 25%, respectively, and enhance other durability-related properties, given that an effective dispersion of CNTs in the cementitious mix is achieved. Since nano reinforcement for cementitious materials is a new technology, many challenges have to be tackled before it becomes practiced at the mass level.

Properties Modification of Fiber Metal Laminates by Nanofillers

During past decades, increasing demand of modified Fiber Metal Laminates (FMLs) has stimulated a strong trend towards the development of these structures. FMLs contain several thin layers of metal bonded with composite materials. Characteristics of FMLs such as low specific mass, high bearing strength, impact resistance, corrosion resistance and high fatigue life are attractive. Nowadays, increasing development can be observed to promote the properties of polymer-based composites by nanofillers. By dispersing strong, nanofillers in polymer matrix, modified composites can be developed and tailored to individual applications. On the other hand, the synergic effects of nanoparticles such as graphene and carbon nanotube can significantly improve the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of nanocomposites. In present paper, the modifying of FMLs by nanofillers and the dispersing of nanoparticles in the polymers matrix are discussed. The evaluations have revealed that this approach is acceptable. Finally, a prospect is presented. This paper will lead to further work on these modified FML species.

Carbon Nanotubes Based Porous Framework for Filtration Applications Using Industrial Grinding Waste

Forging, milling, turning, grinding and shaping etc. are the various industrial manufacturing processes which generate the metal waste. Grinding is extensively used in the finishing operation. The waste generated contains significant impurities apart from the metal particles. Due to these significant impurities, it becomes difficult to process and gets usually dumped in the landfills which create environmental problems. Therefore, it becomes essential to reuse metal waste to create value added products. Powder injection molding process is used for producing the porous metal matrix framework. This paper discusses the presented design of the porous framework to be used for the liquid filter application. Different parameters are optimized to obtain the better strength framework with variable porosity. Carbon nanotubes are used as reinforcing materials to enhance the strength of the metal matrix framework.

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.

Molecular Dynamics Analysis onI mpact Behaviour of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Sheets

Impact behavior of striker on graphene sheet and carbon nanotube is investigated based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A MD simulation is conducted to obtain the maximum dynamic deflections of a square and rectangular single-layered graphene sheets (SLGSs) with various values of side-length and striker parameter. Effect of (i) chirality, (ii) graphene side-length and nanotube length, (iii) striker mass on the maximum dynamic deflections of graphene and nanotube are investigated. The effect of different types of boundary condition on the maximum dynamic deflections is studied for zigzag and armchair SWCNTs with various aspect ratios (Length/Diameter).

Performance Assessment of Carbon Nano Tube Based Cutting Fluid in Machining Process

In machining, there is always a problem with heat generation and friction produced during the process as they consequently affect tool wear and surface finish. An instant heat transfer mechanism could protect the cutting tool edge and enhance the tool life by cooling the cutting edge of the tool. In the present work, carbon nanotube (CNT) based nano-cutting fluid is proposed for machining a hard-to-cut material. Tool wear and surface roughness are considered for the evaluation of the nano-cutting fluid in turning process. The performance of nanocoolant is assessed against the conventional coolant and dry machining conditions and it is observed that the proposed nanocoolant has produced better performance than the conventional coolant.