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.

Oil-Water Two-Phase Flow Characteristics in Horizontal Pipeline – A Comprehensive CFD Study

In the present work, detailed analysis on flow characteristics of a pair of immiscible liquids through horizontal pipeline is simulated by using ANSYS FLUENT 6.2. Moderately viscous oil and water (viscosity ratio = 107, density ratio = 0.89 and interfacial tension = 0.024 N/m) have been taken as system fluids for the study. Volume of Fluid (VOF) method has been employed by assuming unsteady flow, immiscible liquid pair, constant liquid properties, and co-axial flow. Meshing has been done using GAMBIT. Quadrilateral mesh type has been chosen to account for the surface tension effect more accurately. From the grid independent study, we have selected 47037 number of mesh elements for the entire geometry. Simulation successfully predicts slug, stratified wavy, stratified mixed and annular flow, except dispersion of oil in water, and dispersion of water in oil. Simulation results are validated with horizontal literature data and good conformity is observed. Subsequently, we have simulated the hydrodynamics (viz., velocity profile, area average pressure across a cross section and volume fraction profile along the radius) of stratified wavy and annular flow at different phase velocities. The simulation results show that in the annular flow, total pressure of the mixture decreases with increase in oil velocity due to the fact that pipe cross section is completely wetted with water. Simulated oil volume fraction shows maximum at the centre in core annular flow, whereas, in stratified flow, maximum value appears at upper side of the pipeline. These results are in accord with the actual flow configuration. Our findings could be useful in designing pipeline for transportation of crude oil.

Kinetic Parameters for Bioethanol Production from Oil Palm Trunk Juice

Abundant and cheap agricultural waste of oil palm trunk (OPT) juice was used to produce bioethanol. Two strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a strain of Pichia stipitis were used to produce bioethanol from the OPT juice. Fermentation was conducted at previously optimized condition at 30oC and without shaking. The kinetic parameters were estimated and calculated. Monod equation and Hinshelwood model is used to relate the specific growth to the concentration of the limiting substrate and also to simulate bioethanol production rate. Among the three strains, single S. cerevisiae Kyokai no. 7 produce the highest ethanol yield of 0.477 g/l.h within the shortest time (12 h). This yeast also produces more than 20 g/l ethanol concentration within 10 h of fermentation.

Phase Formation of Ba(Ce1-xZrx)0.90Y0.1O3-δ Prepared by a Modified Sol-Gel Method

The powders of Ba(Ce1-xZrx)0.90Y0.1O3-δ (BCZY) with 0.2 ≤ x ≤ 0.6 have been prepared by a modified sol-gel method. Triethylenetetramine (TETA) was employed as chelating agent. Phase formation of calcined powders at 1100oC and sintered pellets at 1400oC of BCZY were examined by an X-ray diffractrometer (XRD). XRD results showed the calcined powder and sintered pellet formed a single perovskite phase over the entire range of x values. As the amount of zirconium substitution (x values) increase, the main peaks are shifted to the higher 2theta values which suggest a complete substitution of zirconium into cerium sites. All the obtained calcined powders and sintered pellets possess cubic structure (Pm-3m) at all x values.

Catalytic Activity of Aluminum Impregnated Catalysts for the Degradation of Waste Polystyrene

The aluminum impregnated catalysts of Al-alumina (Al-Al2O3), Al-montmorillonite (Al-Mmn) and Al-activated charcoal (Al-AC) of various percent loadings were prepared by wet impregnation method and characterized by SEM, XRD and N2 adsorption/desorption (BET). The catalytic properties were investigated in the degradation of waste polystyrene (WPS). The results of catalytic degradation of Al metal, 20% Al-Al2O3, 5% Al-Mmn and 20% Al-AC were compared with each other for optimum conditions. Among the catalyst used 20% Al-Al2O3 was found the most effective catalyst. The BET surface area of 20% Al-Al2O3 determined was 70.2 m2/g. The SEM data revealed the catalyst with porous structure throughout the frame work with small nanosized crystallites. The yield of liquid products with 20% Al-Al2O3 (91.53 ± 2.27 wt%) was the same as compared to Al metal (91.20 ± 0.35 wt%) but the selectivity of hydrocarbons and yield of styrene monomer (56.32 wt%) was higher with 20% Al-Al2O3 catalyst.  

Tin (II) Chloride a Suitable Wetting Agent for AA1200 - SiC Composites

SiC reinforced Aluminum samples were produced by stir casting of liquid AA1200 aluminum alloy at 600-650ºC casting temperature. 83µm SiC particles were rinsed in 10g/l, 20g/l and 30g/l molar concentration of Sncl2 through cleaning times of 0, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. Some cast samples were tested for mechanical properties and some were subjected to heat treatment before testing. The SnCl2 rinsed SiC reinforced aluminum exhibited higher yield strength, hardness, stiffness and elongation which increases with cleaning concentration and time up to 120 minutes, compared to composite with untreated SiC. However, the impact energy resistance decreases with cleaning concentration and time. The improved properties were attributed to good wettability and mechanical adhesion at the fiber-matrix interface. Quenching and annealing the composite samples further improve the tensile/yield strengths, elongation, stiffness, hardness similar to those of the as-cast samples.

Nanofibrous Ion Exchangers

The main goal of this study was to find simple and industrially applicable production of ion exchangers based on nanofibrous polystyrene matrix and characterization of prepared material. Starting polystyrene nanofibers were sulfonated and crosslinked under appropriate conditions at the same time by sulfuric acid. Strongly acidic cation exchanger was obtained in such a way. The polymer matrix was made from polystyrene nanofibers prepared by NanospiderTM technology. Various types postpolymerization reactions and other methods of crosslinking were studied. Greatly different behavior between nano- and microsize materials was observed. The final nanofibrous material was characterized and compared to common granular ion exchangers and available microfibrous ion exchangers. The sorption properties of nanofibrous ion exchangers were compared with the granular ion exchangers. For nanofibrous ion exchangers of comparable ion exchange capacity was observed considerably faster adsorption kinetics.

Properties of Rhizophora Charcoal for Product Design

This research investigated the properties of Rhizophora charcoal for product design on 3 aspects: electrical conductor, impurity absorption, and fresh fruit shelf life. After the study, the properties of Rhizophora charcoal were applied to produce local product model at Ban Yisarn, Ampawa District, Samudsongkram Province which can add value to the Rhizophora charcoal as one of the OTOP (One-Tambon-One product). The results showed that the Rhizophora charcoal is not an electrical conductor but good liquid impurity absorber and it can extend fresh fruit shelf life.

Optimization of Artificial Ageing Time and Temperature on Evaluation of Hardness and Resistivity of Al-Si-Mg (Cu or/& Ni) Alloys

The factors necessary to obtain an optimal heat treatment that influence the hardness and resistivity of Al-6Si-0.5Mg casting alloys with Cu or/and Ni additions were investigated. The alloys were homogenised (24hr at 500oC), solutionized (2hr at 540oC) and artificially ageing at various times and temperatures. The alloys were aged isochronally for 60 minutes at temperatures up to 400oC and isothermally at 150, 175, 200, 225, 250 & 300oC for different periods in the range 15 to 360 minutes. The hardness and electrical resistivity of the alloys were measured for various artificial ageing times and temperatures. From the isochronal ageing treatment, hardness found maximum ageing at 225oC. And from the isothermal ageing treatment, hardness found maximum for 60 minutes at 225oC. So the optimal heat treatment consists of 60 minutes ageing at 225oC.

Bamboo Fibre Extraction and Its Reinforced Polymer Composite Material

Natural plant fibres reinforced polymeric composite materials have been used in many fields of our lives to save the environment. Especially, bamboo fibres due to its environmental sustainability, mechanical properties, and recyclability have been utilized as reinforced polymer matrix composite in construction industries. In this review study bamboo structure and three different methods such as mechanical, chemical and combination of mechanical and chemical to extract fibres from bamboo are summarized. Each extraction method has been done base on the application of bamboo. In addition Bamboo fibre is compared with glass fibre from various aspects and in some parts it has advantages over the glass fibre.

Multi Response Optimization in Drilling Al6063/SiC/15% Metal Matrix Composite

This investigation proposes a grey-based Taguchi method to solve the multi-response problems. The grey-based Taguchi method is based on the Taguchi’s design of experimental method, and adopts grey relational analysis (GRA) to transfer multi-response problems into single-response problems. In this investigation, an attempt has been made to optimize the drilling process parameters considering weighted output response characteristics using grey relational analysis. The output response characteristics considered are surface roughness, burr height and hole diameter error under the experimental conditions of cutting speed, feed rate, step angle, and cutting environment. The drilling experiments were conducted using L27 orthogonal array. A combination of orthogonal array, design of experiments and grey relational analysis was used to ascertain best possible drilling process parameters that give minimum surface roughness, burr height and hole diameter error. The results reveal that combination of Taguchi design of experiment and grey relational analysis improves surface quality of drilled hole. 

New Dynamic Constitutive Model for OFHC Copper Film

The material properties of OFHC copper film was investigated with the High-Speed Material Micro Testing Machine (HSMMTM) at the high strain rates. The rate-dependent stress-strain curves from the experiment and the Johnson−Cook curve fitting showed large discrepancies as the plastic strain increases since the constitutive model implies no rate-dependent strain hardening effect. A new constitutive model was proposed in consideration of rate-dependent strain hardening effect. The strain rate hardening term in the new constitutive model consists of the strain rate sensitivity coefficients of the yield strength and strain hardening.

Effect of Aging Condition on Semisolid Cast 2024 Aluminum Alloy

2024 Aluminum alloy was squeezed cast by the Gas Induced Semi Solid (GISS) process. Effect of artificial aging on microstructure and mechanical properties of this alloy was studied in the present work. The solutionized specimens were aged hardened at temperatures of 175°C, 200°C, and 225°C under various time durations. The highest hardness of about 77.7 HRE was attained from specimen aged at the temperature of 175°C for 36h. Upon investigation the microstructure by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the S’ phase was mainly attributed to the strengthening effect in the aged alloy. The apparent activation energy for precipitation hardening of the alloy was calculated as 133,805 J/mol.

The Gasification of Acetone via Partial Oxidation in Supercritical Water

Organic solvents find various applications in many industrial sectors and laboratories as dilution solvents, dispersion solvents, cleaners and even lubricants. Millions of tons of spent organic solvents (SOS) are generated each year worldwide, prompting the need for more efficient, cleaner and safer methods for the treatment and resource recovery of SOS. As a result, acetone, selected as a model compound for SOS, was gasified in supercritical water to assess the feasibility of resource recovery of SOS by means of supercritical water processes. Experiments were conducted with an autoclave reactor. Gaseous product is mainly consists of H2, CO, CO2 and CH4. The effects of three major operating parameters, the reaction temperature, from 673 to 773K, the dosage of oxidizing agent, from 0.3 to 0.5 stoichiometric oxygen, and the concentration of acetone in the feed, 0.1 and 0.2M, on the product gas composition, yield and heating value were evaluated with the water density fixed at about 0.188g/ml.

Sintering Atmosphere Effects on the Densification of Al-SiC Compacts

The influence of SiC powder addition on densification of Al-SiC compacts during sintering in different atmospheres was investigated. It was performed in a dilatometer in flowing nitrogen, nitrogen/hydrogen (95/5 by volume) and argon. Fine, F500 grade of SiC powder was used. Mixtures containing 10 and 30 vol.% of SiC reinforcement were prepared in a Turbula mixer. Green compacts of about 82% of theoretical density were made of each mixture. For comparison, compacts made of pure aluminum powder were also investigated. It was shown that nitrogen is the best sintering atmosphere because only in this atmosphere did shrinkage take place. Its amount is lowered by ceramic powder addition, i.e. the more SiC the less densification occurs. Additionally, the formation of clusters, enhanced in compacts containing 30 vol.% SiC, is also responsible for limiting the shrinkage. Microstructural examinations of sintered composites revealed that sintering of compacts occurs in the presence of the liquid phase exclusively in nitrogen.

Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells

In this research, n-dodecylthiol was added to P3HT/ PC70BM polymer solar cells to improve the crystallinity of P3HT and enhance the phase separation of P3HT/PC70BM. The improved crystallinity of P3HT:PC70BM doped with 0-5% by volume of n-dodecylthiol resulted in improving the power conversion efficiency of polymer solar cells by 33%. In addition, thermal annealing of the P3HT/PC70MB/n-dodecylthiolcompound showed further improvement in crystallinity with n-dodecylthiol concentration up to 2%. The highest power conversion efficiency of 3.21% was achieved with polymer crystallites size L of 11.2nm, after annealing at 150°C for 30 minutes under a vacuum atmosphere. The smaller crystallite size suggests a shorter path of the charge carriers between P3HT backbones, which could be beneficial to getting a higher short circuit current in the devices made with the additive. 

Functionalized PU Foam for Water Filtration

Polyurethane foam is functionalized with Sulfonic acid groups to remove lead ions (Pb2+) from drinking water through a cation exchange process. The synthesis is based on addition polymerization of the -NCO groups of an isocyanate with the –OH groups of a polyol to form the urethane. Toluene-diisocyanateis reacted with Polypropylene glycol to form a linear pre-polymer, which is further polymerized using a chain extender, N, N-bis(2-hydorxyethyl)-2-aminoethane-sulfonic acid (BES). BES acts as a functional group site to exchange Pb2+ ions. A set of experiments was designed to study the effect of various processing parameters on the performance of the synthesized foam. The maximum Pb2+ ion exchange capacity of the foam was found to be 47ppb/g from a 100ppb Pb2+ solution over a period of 60 minutes. A multistage batch filtration process increased the lead removal to 50-54ppb/3g of foam over a period of 90 minutes.

Cd2+ Ions Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Alginite

Alginite has been evaluated as an efficient pollution control material. In this paper, alginite from maar Pinciná (SR) for removal of Cd2+ ions from aqueous solution was studied. The potential sorbent was characterized by X-ray fluorescence analysis (RFA) analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectral analysis (FT-IR) and specific surface area (SSA) was also determined. The sorption process was optimized from the point of initial cadmium concentration effect and effect of pH value. The Freundlich and Langmuir models were used to interpret the sorption behavior of Cd2+ ions, and the results showed that experimental data were well fitted by the Langmuir equation. Alginite maximal sorption capacity (Qmax) for Cd2+ ions calculated from Langmuir isotherm was 34 mg/g. Sorption process was significantly affected by initial pH value in the range from 4.0-7.0. Alginite is a comparable sorbent with other materials for toxic metals removal. 

Fluidized-Bed Combustion of Biomass with Elevated Alkali Content: A Comparative Study between Two Alternative Bed Materials

Palm kernel shell is an important bioenergy resource in Thailand. However, due to elevated alkali content in biomass ash, this oil palm residue shows high tendency to bed agglomeration in a fluidized-bed combustion system using conventional bed material (silica sand). In this study, palm kernel shell was burned in the conical fluidized-bed combustor (FBC) using alumina and dolomite as alternative bed materials to prevent bed agglomeration. For each bed material, the combustion tests were performed at 45kg/h fuel feed rate with excess air within 20–80%. Experimental results revealed rather weak effects of the bed material type but substantial influence of excess air on the behavior of temperature, O2, CO, CxHy, and NO inside the reactor, as well as on the combustion efficiency and major gaseous emissions of the conical FBC. The optimal level of excess air ensuring high combustion efficiency (about 98.5%) and acceptable level of the emissions was found to be about 40% when using alumina and 60% with dolomite. By using these alternative bed materials, bed agglomeration can be prevented when burning the shell in the proposed conical FBC. However, both bed materials exhibited significant changes in their morphological, physical and chemical properties in the course of the time.

Solubility of Water in CO2 Mixtures at Pipeline Operation Conditions

Carbon capture, transport and underground storage have become a major solution to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants and other large CO2 sources. A big part of this captured CO2 stream is transported at high pressure dense phase conditions and stored in offshore underground depleted oil and gas fields. CO2 is also transported in offshore pipelines to be used for enhanced oil and gas recovery. The captured CO2 stream with impurities may contain water that causes severe corrosion problems, flow assurance failure and might damage valves and instrumentations. Thus, free water formation should be strictly prevented. The purpose of this work is to study the solubility of water in pure CO2 and in CO2 mixtures under real pipeline pressure (90-150 bar) and temperature operation conditions (5-35°C). A set up was constructed to generate experimental data. The results show the solubility of water in CO2 mixtures increasing with the increase of the temperature or/and with the increase in pressure. A drop in water solubility in CO2 is observed in the presence of impurities. The data generated were then used to assess the capabilities of two mixture models: the GERG-2008 model and the EOS-CG model. By generating the solubility data, this study contributes to determine the maximum allowable water content in CO2 pipelines.