Application of Molecular Materials in the Manufacture of Flexible and Organic Devices for Photovoltaic Applications

Many sustainable approaches to generate electric energy have emerged in the last few decades; one of them is through solar cells. Yet, this also has the disadvantage of highly polluting inorganic semiconductor manufacturing processes. Therefore, the use of molecular semiconductors must be considered. In this work, allene compounds C24H26O4 and C24H26O5 were used as dopants to manufacture semiconductor films based on PbPc by high-vacuum evaporation technique. IR spectroscopy was carried out to determine the phase and any significant chemical changes which may occur during the thermal evaporation. According to UV-visible spectroscopy and Tauc’s model, the deposition process generated thin films with an activation energy range of 1.47 eV to 1.55 eV for direct transitions and 1.29 eV to 1.33 eV for indirect transitions. These values place the manufactured films within the range of low bandgap semiconductors. The flexible devices were manufactured: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Indium tin oxide (ITO)/organic semiconductor/Cubic Close Packed (CCP). The characterization of the devices was carried out by evaluating electrical conductivity using the four-probe collinear method. I-V curves were obtained under different lighting conditions at room temperature. OS1 (PbPc/C24H26O4) showed an Ohmic behavior, while OS2 (PbPc/C24H26O5) reached higher current values at lower voltages. The results obtained show that the semiconductor devices doped with allene compounds can be used in the manufacture of optoelectronic devices.

Application of Different Ratios of Effluents of Ethanol Alcohol Factories on Germination of Barley

Using effluent as a sustainable water resource for agriculture not only could provide part of water needs but also would save the existing water resources, durably. Vinasse, the effluent of ethanol alcohol factories, a by-product, which is derived from sugarcane molasses, is one of the water resources that could be effectively utilized for agricultural purposes. In the present study in order to investigate the application of different ratios of water: vinasse on germination and growth of barley seedlings an experiment was designed in pots with completely randomized design with three replications and control treatment. The consequences of four irrigation levels were studied with different water: effluent ratios (100% water, 90% water & 10% effluent, 75% water & 25% effluent, 50% water & 50% effluent) on germination and growth of barley seedling components in sandy-loam soil. The results showed that, with increasing the percentage of vinasse in the irrigation admixture, the germination percentage in barley seedlings decreased, significantly, so that the decrease in germination in comparison with the control samples in the second and third treatments was 20% and 93.33%, respectively. Seed germination percentage was about 46.66. The average stem length in seedlings was 14.3 mm and the average root length was 9.37 mm. The averages of the soils Electrical Conductivity (EC) and pH which were under irrigation with different ratios of vinasse (dSm-1) were 5.85 and 7.32, respectively, which showed a 76.2% increase in soil salinity.

Review of Carbon Materials: Application in Alternative Energy Sources and Catalysis

The application of carbon materials in the branches of the electrochemical industry shows an increasing tendency each year due to the many interesting properties they possess. These are, among others, a well-developed specific surface, porosity, high sorption capacity, good adsorption properties, low bulk density, electrical conductivity and chemical resistance. All these properties allow for their effective use, among others in supercapacitors, which can store electric charges of the order of 100 F due to carbon electrodes constituting the capacitor plates. Coals (including expanded graphite, carbon black, graphite carbon fibers, activated carbon) are commonly used in electrochemical methods of removing oil derivatives from water after tanker disasters, e.g., phenols and their derivatives by their electrochemical anodic oxidation. Phenol can occupy practically the entire surface of carbon material and leave the water clean of hydrophobic impurities. Regeneration of such electrodes is also not complicated, it is carried out by electrochemical methods consisting in unblocking the pores and reducing resistances, and thus their reactivation for subsequent adsorption processes. Graphite is commonly used as an anode material in lithium-ion cells, while due to the limited capacity it offers (372 mAh g-1), new solutions are sought that meet both capacitive, efficiency and economic criteria. Increasingly, biodegradable materials, green materials, biomass, waste (including agricultural waste) are used in order to reuse them and reduce greenhouse effects and, above all, to meet the biodegradability criterion necessary for the production of lithium-ion cells as chemical power sources. The most common of these materials are cellulose, starch, wheat, rice, and corn waste, e.g., from agricultural, paper and pharmaceutical production. Such products are subjected to appropriate treatments depending on the desired application (including chemical, thermal, electrochemical). Starch is a biodegradable polysaccharide that consists of polymeric units such as amylose and amylopectin that build an ordered (linear) and amorphous (branched) structure of the polymer. Carbon is also used as a catalyst. Elemental carbon has become available in many nano-structured forms representing the hybridization combinations found in the primary carbon allotropes, and the materials can be enriched with a large number of surface functional groups. There are many examples of catalytic applications of coal in the literature, but the development of this field has been hampered by the lack of a conceptual approach combining structure and function and a lack of understanding of material synthesis. In the context of catalytic applications, the integrity of carbon environmental management properties and parameters such as metal conductivity range and bond sequence management should be characterized. Such data, along with surface and textured information, can form the basis for the provision of network support services.

A Risk Assessment Tool for the Contamination of Aflatoxins on Dried Figs based on Machine Learning Algorithms

Aflatoxins are highly poisonous and carcinogenic compounds produced by species of the genus Aspergillus spp. that can infect a variety of agricultural foods, including dried figs. Biological and environmental factors, such as population, pathogenicity and aflatoxinogenic capacity of the strains, topography, soil and climate parameters of the fig orchards are believed to have a strong effect on aflatoxin levels. Existing methods for aflatoxin detection and measurement, such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can provide accurate results, but the procedures are usually time-consuming, sample-destructive and expensive. Predicting aflatoxin levels prior to crop harvest is useful for minimizing the health and financial impact of a contaminated crop. Consequently, there is interest in developing a tool that predicts aflatoxin levels based on topography and soil analysis data of fig orchards. This paper describes the development of a risk assessment tool for the contamination of aflatoxin on dried figs, based on the location and altitude of the fig orchards, the population of the fungus Aspergillus spp. in the soil, and soil parameters such as pH, saturation percentage (SP), electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, particle size analysis (sand, silt, clay), concentration of the exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na), extractable P and trace of elements (B, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), by employing machine learning methods. In particular, our proposed method integrates three machine learning techniques i.e., dimensionality reduction on the original dataset (Principal Component Analysis), metric learning (Mahalanobis Metric for Clustering) and K-nearest Neighbors learning algorithm (KNN), into an enhanced model, with mean performance equal to 85% by terms of the Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) between observed and predicted values.

Soil Quality Status under Dryland Vegetation of Yabello District, Southern Ethiopia

The current research has investigated the soil quality status under dryland vegetation of Yabello district, Southern Ethiopia in which we should identify the nature and extent of salinity problem of the area for further research bases. About 48 soil samples were taken from 0-30, 31-60, 61-90 and 91-120 cm soil depths by opening 12 representative soil profile pits at 1.5 m depth. Soil color, texture, bulk density, Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Na, K, Mg, Ca, CaCO3, gypsum (CaSO4), pH, Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) were analyzed. The dominant soil texture was silty-clay-loam.  Bulk density varied from 1.1 to 1.31 g/cm3. High SOC content was observed in 0-30 cm. The soil pH ranged from 7.1 to 8.6. The electrical conductivity shows indirect relationship with soil depth while CaCO3 and CaSO4 concentrations were observed in a direct relationship with depth. About 41% are non-saline, 38.31% saline, 15.23% saline-sodic and 5.46% sodic soils. Na concentration in saline soils was greater than Ca and Mg in all the soil depths. Ca and Mg contents were higher above 60 cm soil depth in non-saline soils. The concentrations of SO2-4 and HCO-3 were observed to be higher at the most lower depth than upper. SAR value tends to be higher at lower depths in saline and saline-sodic soils, but decreases at lower depth of the non-saline soils. The distribution of ESP above 60 cm depth was in an increasing order in saline and saline-sodic soils. The result of the research has shown the direction to which extent of salinity we should consider for the Commiphora plant species we want to grow on the area. 

The Effect of Acrylic Gel Grouting on Groundwater in Porous Media

When digging excavations, groundwater bearing layers are often encountered. In order to allow anhydrous excavation, soil groutings are carried out, which form a water-impermeable layer. As it is injected into groundwater areas, the effects of the materials used on the environment must be known. Developing an eco-friendly, economical and low viscous acrylic gel which has a sealing effect on groundwater is therefore a significant task. At this point the study begins. Basic investigations with the rheometer and a reverse column experiment have been performed with different mixing ratios of an acrylic gel. A dynamic rheology study was conducted to determine the time at which the gel still can be processed and the maximum gel strength is reached. To examine the effect of acrylic gel grouting on determine the parameters pH value, turbidity, electric conductivity, and total organic carbon on groundwater, an acrylic gel was injected in saturated sand filled the column. The structure was rinsed with a constant flow and the eluate was subsequently examined. The results show small changes in pH values and turbidity but there is a dependency between electric conductivity and total organic carbon. The curves of the two parameters react at the same time, which means that the electrical conductivity in the eluate can be measured constantly until the maximum is reached and only then must total organic carbon (TOC) samples be taken.

Geophysical Investigation of Abnormal Seepages in Goronyo Dam Sokoto, North Western Nigeria Using Self-Potential Method

In this research, Self-Potential (SP) method was employed to locate anomalous electrical conductivity located in Goronyo area and also to determine the condition of the embankment of the dam. SP data were plotted against distance along with the profile and spacing of electrode using surfer software (version 12). High and low zones of SP values were identified along the right and left abutments of the dam reservoir. The regions with high SP values were described to be high tendency of fluid flow associate with wet sandy soil. These zones have the SP values ranging from 200 mV and above. High SP values were due to the high moisture content that may lead to the seepage of water leaking through this zone. The zones with high SP values occupied Profiles S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 indicating the presence of potential seepage paths within the subsurface of the embankment. These regions of seepage were identified as weak zones and potential pathways through which water could be lost from the dam reservoir. The SP values for the regions range from 250 m to 400 m (S1), 306 m to 400 m (S2), 192 m to 400 m (S3), 48 m to 200 m (S4) and 7 m to 170 m (S5) with their corresponding maximum depths of 30 m, 28 m, 28 m, 30 m and 26 m respectively. However, zones of low SP values in the overburden were observed which shows the presence of intact regions, which may be due to the compactness and dryness around the dam. The weak zones were considered as geological features (such as fractures, joints, and faults) that have undermined the integrity of the dam structure, which has led to the abnormal seepage.

Adsorption and Electrochemical Regeneration for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Graphite intercalation compound (GIC) has been demonstrated to be a useful, low capacity and rapid adsorbent for the removal of organic micropollutants from water. The high electrical conductivity and low capacity of the material lends itself to electrochemical regeneration. Following electrochemical regeneration, equilibrium loading under similar conditions is reported to exceed that achieved by the fresh adsorbent. This behavior is reported in terms of the regeneration efficiency being greater than 100%. In this work, surface analysis techniques are employed to investigate the material in three states: ‘Fresh’, ‘Loaded’ and ‘Regenerated’. ‘Fresh’ GIC is shown to exhibit a hydrogen and oxygen rich surface layer approximately 150 nm thick. ‘Loaded’ GIC shows a similar but slightly thicker surface layer (approximately 370 nm thick) and significant enhancement in the hydrogen and oxygen abundance extending beyond 600 nm from the surface. 'Regenerated’ GIC shows an oxygen rich layer, slightly thicker than the fresh case at approximately 220 nm while showing a very much lower hydrogen enrichment at the surface. Results demonstrate that while the electrochemical regeneration effectively removes the phenol model pollutant, it also oxidizes the exposed carbon surface. These results may have a significant impact on the estimation of adsorbent life.

Morphological and Electrical Characterization of Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers Synthesized Using Electrospinning Method for Electrical Application

Electrospinning is the most widely utilized method to create nanofibers because of the direct setup, the capacity to mass-deliver consistent nanofibers from different polymers, and the ability to produce ultrathin fibers with controllable diameters. Smooth and much arranged ultrafine Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers with diameters going from submicron to nanometer were delivered utilizing Electrospinning technique. PAN powder was used as a precursor to prepare the solution utilized as a part of this process. At the point when the electrostatic repulsion contradicted surface tension, a charged stream of polymer solution was shot out from the head of the spinneret and along these lines ultrathin nonwoven fibers were created. The effect of electrospinning parameter such as applied voltage, feed rate, concentration of polymer solution and tip to collector distance on the morphology of electrospun PAN nanofibers were investigated. The nanofibers were heat treated for carbonization to examine the changes in properties and composition to make for electrical application. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was performed before and after carbonization to study electrical conductivity and morphological characterization. The SEM images have shown the uniform fiber diameter and no beads formation. The average diameter of the PAN fiber observed 365nm and 280nm for flat plat and rotating drum collector respectively. The four probe strategy was utilized to inspect the electrical conductivity of the nanofibers and the electrical conductivity is significantly improved with increase in oxidation temperature exposed.

Using GIS and Map Data for the Analysis of the Relationship between Soil and Groundwater Quality at Saline Soil Area of Kham Sakaesaeng District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

The study area is Kham Sakaesaeng District in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, the south section of Northeastern Thailand, located in the Lower Khorat-Ubol Basin. This region is the one of saline soil area, located in a dry plateau and regularly experience standing with periods of floods and alternating with periods of drought. Especially, the drought in the summer season causes the major saline soil and saline water problems of this region. The general cause of dry land salting resulted from salting on irrigated land, and an excess of water leading to the rising water table in the aquifer. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of physical and chemical properties between the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were collected in both rainy and summer seasons. The content of pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride and salinity were investigated. The experimental result of soil and groundwater samples show the slightly pH less than 7, EC (186 to 8,156 us/cm and 960 to 10,712 us/cm), TDS (93 to 3,940 ppm and 480 to 5,356 ppm), chloride content (45.58 to 4,177,015 mg/l and 227.90 to 9,216,736 mg/l), and salinity (0.07 to 4.82 ppt and 0.24 to 14.46 ppt) in the rainy and summer seasons, respectively. The distribution of chloride content and salinity content were interpolated and displayed as a map by using ArcMap 10.3 program, according to the season. The result of saline soil and brined groundwater in the study area were related to the low-lying topography, drought area, and salt-source exposure. Especially, the Rock Salt Member of Maha Sarakham Formation was exposed or lies near the ground surface in this study area. During the rainy season, salt was eroded or weathered from the salt-source rock formation and transported by surface flow or leached into the groundwater. In the dry season, the ground surface is dry enough resulting salt precipitates from the brined surface water or rises from the brined groundwater influencing the increasing content of chloride and salinity in the ground surface and groundwater.

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.

Transient Analysis of Central Region Void Fraction in a 3x3 Rod Bundle under Bubbly and Cap/Slug Flows

This study analyzed the transient signals of central region void fraction of air-water two-phase flow in a 3x3 rod bundle. Experimental tests were carried out utilizing a vertical rod bundle test section along with a set of air-water supply/flow control system, and the transient signals of the central region void fraction were collected through the electrical conductivity sensors as well as visualized via high speed photography. By converting the electric signals, transient void fraction can be obtained through the voltage ratios. With a fixed superficial water velocity (Jf=0.094 m/s), two different superficial air velocities (Jg=0.094 m/s and 0.236 m/s) were tested and presented, which were corresponding to the flow conditions of bubbly flows and cap/slug flows, respectively. The time averaged central region void fraction was obtained as 0.109-0.122 with 0.028 standard deviation for the selected bubbly flow and 0.188-0.221with 0.101 standard deviation for the selected cap/slug flow, respectively. Through Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis, no clear frequency peak was found in bubbly flow, while two dominant frequencies were identified around 1.6 Hz and 2.5 Hz in the present cap/slug flow.

Optimization the Conditions of Electrophoretic Deposition Fabrication of Graphene-Based Electrode to Consider Applications in Electro-Optical Sensors

Graphene has gained much attention owing to its unique optical and electrical properties. Charge carriers in graphene sheets (GS) carry out a linear dispersion relation near the Fermi energy and behave as massless Dirac fermions resulting in unusual attributes such as the quantum Hall effect and ambipolar electric field effect. It also exhibits nondispersive transport characteristics with an extremely high electron mobility (15000 cm2/(Vs)) at room temperature. Recently, several progresses have been achieved in the fabrication of single- or multilayer GS for functional device applications in the fields of optoelectronic such as field-effect transistors ultrasensitive sensors and organic photovoltaic cells. In addition to device applications, graphene also can serve as reinforcement to enhance mechanical, thermal, or electrical properties of composite materials. Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is an attractive method for development of various coatings and films. It readily applied to any powdered solid that forms a stable suspension. The deposition parameters were controlled in various thicknesses. In this study, the graphene electrodeposition conditions were optimized. The results were obtained from SEM, Ohm resistance measuring technique and AFM characteristic tests. The minimum sheet resistance of electrodeposited reduced graphene oxide layers is achieved at conditions of 2 V in 10 s and it is annealed at 200 °C for 1 minute.

Evaluation of Groundwater Quality and Its Suitability for Drinking and Agricultural Purposes Using Self-Organizing Maps

In the present study, the self-organizing map (SOM) clustering technique was applied to identify homogeneous clusters of hydrochemical parameters in El Milia plain, Algeria, to assess the quality of groundwater for potable and agricultural purposes. The visualization of SOM-analysis indicated that 35 groundwater samples collected in the study area were classified into three clusters, which showed progressive increase in electrical conductivity from cluster one to cluster three. Samples belonging to cluster one are mostly located in the recharge zone showing hard fresh water type, however, water type gradually changed to hard-brackish type in the discharge zone, including clusters two and three. Ionic ratio studies indicated the role of carbonate rock dissolution in increases on groundwater hardness, especially in cluster one. However, evaporation and evapotranspiration are the main processes increasing salinity in cluster two and three.

Performance Assessment of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Offshore Multiport Brine Diffuser during ‘Hot Standby’ Operation

Alongside the rapid expansion of Seawater Reverse Osmosis technologies there is a concurrent increase in the production of hypersaline brine by-products. To minimize environmental impact, these by-products are commonly disposed into open-coastal environments via submerged diffuser systems as inclined dense jet outfalls. Despite the widespread implementation of this process, diffuser designs are typically based on small-scale laboratory experiments under idealistic quiescent conditions. Studies concerning diffuser performance in the field are limited. A set of experiments were conducted to assess the near field characteristics of brine disposal at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant offshore multiport diffuser. The aim of the field experiments was to determine the trajectory and dilution characteristics of the plume under various discharge configurations with production ranging 66 – 100% of plant operative capacity. The field monitoring system employed an unprecedented static array of temperature and electrical conductivity sensors in a three-dimensional grid surrounding a single diffuser port. Complimenting these measurements, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers were also deployed to record current variability over the depth of the water column and wave characteristics. Recorded data suggested the open-coastal environment was highly active over the experimental duration with ambient velocities ranging 0.0 – 0.5 m∙s-1, with considerable variability over the depth of the water column observed. Variations in background electrical conductivity corresponding to salinity fluctuations of ± 1.7 g∙kg-1 were also observed. Increases in salinity were detected during plant operation and appeared to be most pronounced 10 – 30 m from the diffuser, consistent with trajectory predictions described by existing literature. Plume trajectories and respective dilutions extrapolated from salinity data are compared with empirical scaling arguments. Discharge properties were found to adequately correlate with modelling projections. Temporal and spatial variation of background processes and their subsequent influence upon discharge outcomes are discussed with a view to incorporating the influence of waves and ambient currents in the design of brine outfalls into the future.

Preparation of n-type Bi2Te3 Films by Electrophoretic Deposition

A high quality crack-free film of Bi2Te3 material has been deposited for the first time using electrophoretic deposition (EPD) and microstructures of various films have been investigated. One of the most important thermoelectric (TE) applications is Bi2Te3 to manufacture TE generators (TEG) which can convert waste heat into electricity targeting the global warming issue. However, the high cost of the manufacturing process of TEGs keeps them expensive and out of reach for commercialization. Therefore, utilizing EPD as a simple and cost-effective method will open new opportunities for TEG’s commercialization. This method has been recently used for advanced materials such as microelectronics and has attracted a lot of attention from both scientists and industry. In this study, the effect of media of suspensions has been investigated on the quality of the deposited films as well as their microstructure. In summary, finding an appropriate suspension is a critical step for a successful EPD process and has an important effect on both the film’s quality and its future properties.

Electrophoretic Deposition of p-Type Bi2Te3 for Thermoelectric Applications

Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) of p-type Bi2Te3 material has been accomplished, and a high quality crack-free thick film has been achieved for thermoelectric (TE) applications. TE generators (TEG) can convert waste heat into electricity, which can potentially solve global warming problems. However, TEG is expensive due to the high cost of materials, as well as the complex and expensive manufacturing process. EPD is a simple and cost-effective method which has been used recently for advanced applications. In EPD, when a DC electric field is applied to the charged powder particles suspended in a suspension, they are attracted and deposited on the substrate with the opposite charge. In this study, it has been shown that it is possible to prepare a TE film using the EPD method and potentially achieve high TE properties at low cost. The relationship between the deposition weight and the EPD-related process parameters, such as applied voltage and time, has been investigated and a linear dependence has been observed, which is in good agreement with the theoretical principles of EPD. A stable EPD suspension of p-type Bi2Te3 was prepared in a mixture of acetone-ethanol with triethanolamine as a stabilizer. To achieve a high quality homogenous film on a copper substrate, the optimum voltage and time of the EPD process was investigated. The morphology and microstructures of the green deposited films have been investigated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The green Bi2Te3 films have shown good adhesion to the substrate. In summary, this study has shown that not only EPD of p-type Bi2Te3 material is possible, but its thick film is of high quality for TE applications.

Graphene Oxide Fiber with Different Exfoliation Time and Activated Carbon Particle

In recent years, research on continuous graphene oxide fibers has been intensified. Therefore, many factors of production stages are being studied. In this study, the effect of exfoliation time and presence of activated carbon particle (ACP) on graphene oxide fiber’s properties has been analyzed. It has been seen that cross-sectional appearance of sample with ACP is harsh and porous because of ACP. The addition of ACP did not change the electrical conductivity. However, ACP results in an enormous decrease of mechanical properties. Longer exfoliation time results to higher crystallinity degree, C/O ratio and less d space between layers. The breaking strength and electrical conductivity of sample with less exfoliation time is some higher than sample with high exfoliation time.

Influence of Organic Modifier Loading on Particle Dispersion of Biodegradable Polycaprolactone/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites

Natural sodium montmorillonite (NaMMT), Cloisite Na+ and two organophilic montmorillonites (OMMTs), Cloisites 20A and 15A were used. Polycaprolactone (PCL)/MMT composites containing 1, 3, 5, and 10 wt% of Cloisite Na+ and PCL/OMMT nanocomposites containing 5 and 10 wt% of Cloisites 20A and 15A were prepared via solution intercalation technique to study the influence of organic modifier loading on particle dispersion of PCL/ NaMMT composites. Thermal stabilities of the obtained composites were characterized by thermal analysis using the thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) which showed that in the presence of nitrogen flow the incorporation of 5 and 10 wt% of filler brings some decrease in PCL thermal stability in the sequence: Cloisite Na+>Cloisite 15A > Cloisite 20A, while in the presence of air flow these fillers scarcely influenced the thermoxidative stability of PCL by slightly accelerating the process. The interaction between PCL and silicate layers was studied by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy which confirmed moderate interactions between nanometric silicate layers and PCL segments. The electrical conductivity (σ) which describes the ionic mobility of the systems was studied as a function of temperature and showed that σ of PCL was enhanced on increasing the modifier loading at filler content of 5 wt%, especially at higher temperatures in the sequence: Cloisite Na+

Hydro-Geochemistry of Qare-Sou Catchment and Gorgan Gulf, Iran: Examining Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Major Ions and Determining the River’s Hydro-Chemical Type

This study examined the hydro-geochemistry of Qare-Sou catchment and Gorgan Gulf in order to determine the spatial distribution of major ions. In this regard, six hydrometer stations in the catchment and four stations in Gorgan Gulf were chosen and the samples were collected. Results of spatial and temporal distribution of major ions have shown similar variation trends for calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate ions. Also, the spatial trend of chloride, sulfate, sodium and potassium ions were same as Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Total Dissolved Solid (TDS). In Nahar Khoran station, the concentrations of ions were more than other stations which may be related to human activities and the role of geology. The Siah Ab station’s ions showed high concentration which is may be related to the station’s close proximity to Gorgan Gulf and the return of water to Qare-Sou River. In order to determine the interaction of water and rock, the Gibbs diagram was used and the results showed that water of the river falls in the rock range and it is affected more by weathering and reaction between water and stone and less by evaporation and crystallization. Assessment of the quality of river water by using graphic methods indicated that the type of water in this area is Ca-HCO3-Mg. Major ions concentration in Qare-Sou in the universal average was more than but not more than the allowed limit by the World Health Organization and China Standard Organization. A comparison of ions concentration in Gorgan Gulf, seas and oceans showed that the pH in Gorgan Gulf was more than the other seas but in Gorgan Gulf the concentration of anion and cation was less than other seas.