|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 24|
Micro-mixers play an important role in the lab-on-a-chip applications and micro total analysis systems to acquire the correct level of mixing for any given process. The mixing process can be classified as active or passive according to the use of external energy. Literature of microfluidics reports that most of the work is done on the models of steady laminar flow; however, the study of unsteady laminar flow is an active area of research at present. There are wide applications of this, out of which, we consider nanoparticle synthesis in micro-mixers. In this work, we have developed a model for unsteady flow to study the mixing performance of a passive micro mixer for reactants used for such synthesis. The model is developed in Finite Volume Method (FVM)-based software, OpenFOAM. The model is tested by carrying out the simulations at Re of 0.5. Mixing performance of the micro-mixer is investigated using simulated concentration values of mixed species across the width of the micro-mixer and calculating the variance across a line profile. Experimental validation is done by passing dyes through a Y shape micro-mixer fabricated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer and comparing variances with the simulated ones. Gold nanoparticles are later synthesized through the micro-mixer and collected at two different times leading to significantly different size distributions. These times match with the time scales over which reactant concentrations vary as obtained from simulations. Our simulations could thus be used to create design aids for passive micro-mixers used in nanoparticle synthesis.
Natural fibers have attained the potential market in the composite industry because of the huge environmental impact caused by synthetic fibers. Among the natural fibers, jute fibers are the most abundant plant fibers which are manufactured mainly in countries like India. Even though there is a good motive to utilize the natural supplement, the strength of the natural fiber composites is still a topic of discussion. In recent days, many researchers are showing interest in the chemical modification of the natural fibers to increase various mechanical and thermal properties. In the present study, jute fibers have been modified chemically using glutaric anhydride at different concentrations of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%. The glutaric anhydride solution is prepared by dissolving the different quantity of glutaric anhydride in benzene and dimethyl-sulfoxide using sodium formate catalyst. The jute fiber mats have been treated by the method of retting at various time intervals of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours. The modification structure of the treated fibers has been confirmed with infrared spectroscopy. The degree of modification increases with an increase in retention time, but higher retention time has damaged the fiber structure. The unmodified fibers and glutarylated fibers at different retention times are reinforced with epoxy matrix under room temperature. The tensile strength and flexural strength of the composites are analyzed in detail. Among these, the composite made with glutarylated fiber has shown good mechanical properties when compared to those made of unmodified fiber.
Multi-layered graphene has been produced under low temperature chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth conditions by utilizing an organic solvent and polymer film source. Poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) was dissolved in chlorobenzene solvent and used as a drop-cast film carbon source on a quartz slide. A source temperature (Tsource) of 180 °C provided sufficient carbon to grow graphene, as identified by Raman spectroscopy, on clean copper foil catalytic surfaces. Systematic variation of hydrogen gas (H2) flow rate from 25 standard cubic centimeters per minute (sccm) to 100 sccm and CVD temperature (Tgrowth) from 400 to 800 °C, yielded graphene films of varying quality as characterized by Raman spectroscopy. The optimal graphene growth parameters were found to occur with a hydrogen flow rate of 75 sccm sweeping the 180 °C source carbon past the Cu foil at 600 °C for 1 min. The deposition at 600 °C with a H2 flow rate of 75 sccm yielded a 2D band peak with ~53.4 cm-1 FWHM and a relative intensity ratio of the G to 2D bands (IG/I2D) of 0.21. This recipe fabricated a few layers of good quality graphene.
Commercially available poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinyl acetate) P(AN-VA) or poly(acrylonitrile-co-methyl acrylate) P(AN-MA) are not satisfactory to meet the demand in flame and fire-resistance. In this work, vinylphosphonic acid is used during polymerization of acrylonitrile, vinyl acetate, methacrylic acid to produce fire-retardant polymers. These phosphorus containing polymers are successfully spun in the form of nanofibers. Properties such as water absorption of polymers are also determined and compared with commercial polymers.
Aluminium bronze alloys are well known for their superior abrasion, tensile strength and non-magnetic properties, due to the co-presence of iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) as alloying elements and have been commonly used in many industrial applications. However, continuous exposure to the marine environment will accelerate the risk of a tendency to Al bronze alloys parts failures. Although a higher level of corrosion resistance properties can be achieved by modifying its elemental composition, it will come at a price through the complex manufacturing process and increases the risk of reducing the ductility of Al bronze alloy. In this research, the use of ironmaking slag and waste plastic as the input source for surface modification of Al bronze alloy was implemented. Microstructural analysis conducted using polarised light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that is equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). An electrochemical corrosion test was carried out through Tafel polarisation method and calculation of protection efficiency against the base-material was determined. Results have indicated that uniform modified surface which is as the result of selective diffusion process, has enhanced corrosion resistance properties up to 12.67%. This approach has opened a new opportunity to access various industrial utilisations in commercial scale through minimising the dependency on natural resources by transforming waste sources into the protective coating in environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the formation and adhesion of a protective aluminum-oxide (Al2O3, alumina) layer on the surface of Iron-Chromium-Aluminum Alloy (Fe-Cr-Al) sintered-metal-fibers. The oxide-scale layer was developed via multi-stage thermal oxidation at 930 oC for 1 hour, followed by 1 hour at 960 oC, and finally at 990 oC for 2 hours. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images show that the multi-stage thermal oxidation resulted in the formation of predominantly Al2O3 platelets-like and whiskers. SEM images also reveal non-uniform oxide-scale growth on the surface of the fibers. Furthermore, peeling/spalling of the alumina protective layer occurred after minimum handling, which indicates weak adhesion forces between the protective layer and the base metal alloy. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis of the heat-treated Fe-Cr-Al sintered-metal-fibers confirmed the high aluminum content on the surface of the protective layer, and the low aluminum content on the exposed base metal alloy surface. In conclusion, the failure of the oxide-scale protective layer exposes the base metal alloy to further oxidation, and the fragile non-uniform oxide-scale is not suitable as a support for catalysts.
High-density polyethylene reinforced with carbon nanofibers (HDPE/CNF) have been prepared via melt processing using dialkylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (ionic liquid) as a dispersion agent. The prepared samples were characterized by thermogravimetric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analyses. The samples blended with imidazolium ionic liquid exhibit higher thermal stability. DSC analysis showed clear miscibility of ionic liquid in the HDPE matrix and showed single endothermic peak. The melt rheological analysis of HDPE/CNF composites was performed using an oscillatory rheometer. The influence of CNF and ionic liquid concentration (ranging from 0, 0.5, and 1 wt%) on the viscoelastic parameters was investigated at 200 °C with an angular frequency range of 0.1 to 100 rad/s. The rheological analysis shows the shear-thinning behavior for the composites. An improvement in the viscoelastic properties was observed as the nanofiber concentration increases. The progress in the modulus values was attributed to the structural rigidity imparted by the high aspect ratio CNF. The modulus values and complex viscosity of the composites increased significantly at low frequencies. Composites blended with ionic liquid exhibit slightly lower values of complex viscosity and modulus over the corresponding HDPE/CNF compositions. Therefore, reduction in melt viscosity is an additional benefit for polymer composite processing as a result of wetting effect by polymer-ionic liquid combinations.
In the present study, the reactions involving 4-bromo-2,6-bis-hydroxymethyl-phenol (BBHMP) and nicotinamide (NA) in the presence of Pd(II) ions were investigated. Optimum conditions for the reactions were established as pH = 7 and λ = 450 nm. According to absorbance measurements, the molar ratio of BBHMP: NA: Pd2+ was found to be 1: 2: 2. As a result of physicochemical, spectrophotometric and thermal analyses, the reactions of BBHMP and NA with Pd(II) are complexation reactions and one molecule of BBHMP and two molecules of NA react with two molecules of the Pd(II) ion.
Biofuel production especially that of biodiesel has gained tremendous attention during the last decade due to environmental concerns and shortage in petroleum oil reservoir. This research aims to investigate the influences of operating parameters, such as the alcohol-to-oil molar ratio (4:1, 6:1, and 9:1) and the amount of catalyst (1, 1.5, and 2 wt.%) on the trans esterification of refined palm oil (RPO) in a medium-scale oscillatory baffle reactor. It has been shown that an increase in the methanol-to-oil ratio resulted in an increase in fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) content. The amount of catalyst has an insignificant effect on the FAMEs content. Engine testing was performed on B0 (100 v/v% diesel) and blended fuel or B50 (50 v/v% diesel). Combustion of B50 was found to give lower torque compared to pure diesel. Exhaust gas from B50 was found to contain lower concentration of CO and CO2.
The construction of Nitro -N-amino phenyl maleimide branches onto Cellulose acetate (CA) substrate by free radical graft copolymerization using benzoyl peroxide as initiator led to formation of highly thermal stable copolymers as shown from the results of gravimetric analysis (TGA). CA-g-2,4-dinitro amino phenyl maleimide exhibited higher thermal stability than the CA-g-4-nitro amino phenyl maleimide as shown from the initial decomposition temperature (To). This is due to the ability of nitro group to form hydrogen bonding with hydroxyl group of the glucopyranose ring which increases the crystallinity of polymeric matrix. The crystalline shapes representing the graft part are clearly distinct in the Emission scanning electron microscope (ESEM) morphology of the copolymer. A suggested reaction mechanism for the grafting process was also discussed.
The effect of needle diameter on the morphological structure of electrospun n-Bi2O3/epoxy-PVA nanofibers has been investigated using three different types of needle diameters. The results were observed and investigated using two techniques of scanning electron microscope (SEM). The first technique is backscattered SEM while the second is secondary electron SEM. The results demonstrate that there is a correlation between the needle diameter and the morphology of electrospun nanofibers. As the internal needle diameter decreases, the average nanofiber diameter decreases and the fibers get thinner and smoother without agglomeration or beads formation. Moreover, with small needle diameter the nanofibrous porosity get larger compared with large needle diameter.
The goal of the paper is to present the results regarding the influence of the irradiation dose and amount of multifunctional monomer trimethylol-propane trimethacrylate (TMPT) on ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer rubber (EPDM) mixtures irradiated in electron beam. Blends, molded on an electrically heated laboratory roller mill and compressed in an electrically heated hydraulic press, were irradiated using the ALID 7 of 5.5 MeV linear accelerator in the dose range of 22.6 kGy to 56.5 kGy in atmospheric conditions and at room temperature of 25 °C. The share of cross-linking and degradation reactions was evaluated by means of sol-gel analysis, cross-linking density measurements, FTIR studies and Charlesby-Pinner parameter (p0/q0) calculations. The blends containing different concentrations of TMPT (3 phr and 9 phr) and irradiated with doses in the mentioned range have present the increasing of gel content and cross-linking density. Modified and new bands in FTIR spectra have appeared, because of both cross-linking and chain scission reactions.
In an energy-intensive world, minimizing energy consumption is paramount to cost saving and reducing the carbon footprint. Improving mixture procedures utilizing warm mix additive Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and modified bitumen highlights a greener and sustainable approach to modified bitumen. In this study, the impact of FT wax on optimized EVA/waste crumb rubber modified bitumen is assayed with a maximum loading of 2.5%. The rationale of the FT wax loading is to maintain the original maximum loading of EVA in the optimized mixture. The phase change abilities of FT wax enable EVA co-crystallization with the support of the elastomeric backbone of crumb rubber. Less than 1% loading of FT wax worked in the EVA/crumb rubber modified bitumen energy-sustainability nexus. Response surface methodology approach to the mixture design is implemented amongst the different loadings of FT wax, EVA for a consistent amount of crumb rubber and bitumen. Rheological parameters (complex shear modulus, phase angle and rutting parameter) were the factors used as performance indicators of the different optimized mixtures. The low temperature chemistry of the optimized mixtures is analyzed using elementary beam theory and the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle. Master curves and black space diagrams are developed and used to predict age-induced cracking of the different long term aged mixtures. Modified binder rheology reveals that the strain response is not linear and that there is substantial re-arrangement of polymer chains as stress is increased, this is based on the age state of the mixture and the FT wax and EVA loadings. Dominance of individual effects is evident over effects of synergy in co-interaction of EVA and FT wax. All-inclusive FT wax and EVA formulations were best optimized in mixture 4 with mixture 7 reflecting increase in ease of workability. Findings show that interaction chemistry of bitumen, crumb rubber EVA, and FT wax is first and second order in all cases involving individual contributions and co-interaction amongst the components of the mixture.
Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.
The main objective of this study is to investigate basic properties of different natural clays, by two methods. The first method is a gas phase conversion of methylbutynol (MBOH). The second method is the application of Pyrrole-tpd. Based on the product distribution from the first method, the acidic, basic and coordinately unsaturated sites were differentiated. It was shown that both the conversion and the selectivity for basic products did not change with reaction time. Nevertheless, a deviation from the stoichiometric ratio R of formed acetylene to acetone was observed (R=0.8…0.97). The conversion normalized to the surface area was used for establishing the activity sequence: White kaolinite > red kaolinite > bentonite > zeolite > diatomite. In addition, the results were compared with synthetic amorphous alumosilicates and typical basic materials like MgO and ZnO. The basic properties were characterized using the Pyrrole-tpd. The Pyrrole-tpd results showed the same basicity sequence as the MBOH gas phase reaction.
An environmental friendly approach for disposal of voluminous durian husk waste could be implemented by substituting them into various valuable commodities, such as healthcare and biofuel products. Thus, the study of composition value in each segment of durian husk was very crucial to determine the suitable proportions of nutrients that need to be added and mixed in the product. A total of 12 ‘Durian Kampung’ fruits from Sg Ruan, Pahang were selected and each fruit husk was divided into four segments and labelled as P-L (thin neck area of white inner husk), P-B (thick bottom area of white inner husk), H (green and thorny outer husk) and W (whole combination of P-B and H). Four experiments have been carried out to determine the dry matter, moisture, ash and crude fibre content. The results show that the H segment has the highest dry matter content (30.47%), while the P-B segment has the highest percentage in moisture (81.83%) and ash (6.95%) content. It was calculated that the ash content of the P-B segment has a higher rate of moisture level which causes the ash content to increase about 2.89% from the P-L segment. These data have proven that each segment of durian husk has a significant difference in terms of composition value, which might be useful information to fully utilize every part of the durian husk in the future.
Moringa oleifera is a plant containing many nutrients that are mostly concentrated within the leaves. Commonly, the separation process of these nutrients involves solid-liquid extraction followed by evaporation and drying to obtain a concentrated extract, which is rich in proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients that can be used in the food industry. In this work, three drying methods were used, which involved very different temperature and pressure conditions, to evaluate the effect of each method on the vitamin C content and the antioxidant efficiency of the extracts. Solid-liquid extractions of Moringa leaf (LE) were carried out by employing an ethanol solution (35% v/v) at 50 °C for 2 hours. The resulting extracts were then dried i) in a convective oven (CO) at 100 °C and at an atmospheric pressure of 750 mbar for 8 hours, ii) in a vacuum evaporator (VE) at 50 °C and at 300 mbar for 2 hours, and iii) in a freeze-drier (FD) at -40 °C and at 0.050 mbar for 36 hours. The antioxidant capacity (EC50, mg solids/g DPPH) of the dry solids was calculated by the free radical inhibition method employing DPPH˙ at 517 nm, resulting in a value of 2902.5 ± 14.8 for LE, 3433.1 ± 85.2 for FD, 3980.1 ± 37.2 for VE, and 8123.5 ± 263.3 for CO. The calculated antioxidant efficiency (AE, g DPPH/(mg solids·min)) was 2.920 × 10-5 for LE, 2.884 × 10-5 for FD, 2.512 × 10-5 for VE, and 1.009 × 10-5 for CO. Further, the content of vitamin C (mg/L) determined by HPLC was 59.0 ± 0.3 for LE, 49.7 ± 0.6 for FD, 45.0 ± 0.4 for VE, and 23.6 ± 0.7 for CO. The results indicate that the convective drying preserves vitamin C and antioxidant efficiency to 40% and 34% of the initial value, respectively, while vacuum drying to 76% and 86%, and freeze-drying to 84% and 98%, respectively.
Manganese oxide is being recently used as electrode material for rechargeable batteries. In this study, Al incorporated Mn2O3 compositions were synthesized to study the effect of Al doping on electrochemical performance of host material. Structural studies were carried out using X-ray diffraction analysis to confirm the phase stability and explore the lattice parameters, crystallite size, lattice strain, density and cell volume. Morphology and composition were analyzed using field emission scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, respectively. Dynamic light scattering analysis was performed to observe the average particle size of the compositions. FTIR measurements exhibit the O-Al-O and O-Mn-O and Al-O bonding and with increasing the concentration of Al, the vibrational peaks of Mn-O become sharper. An enhanced electrochemical performance was observed in compositions with higher Al content.
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is a potential cathode material for lithium-ion batteries due to its promising characteristics. In this study, pure LiFePO4 (LFP) and carbon-coated nanograined LiFePO4 (LFP-C) is synthesized and characterized for its microstructural properties. X-ray diffraction patterns of the synthesized samples can be indexed to an orthorhombic LFP structure with about 63 nm crystallite size as calculated by using Scherrer’s equation. Agglomerated particles that range from 200 nm to 300 nm are observed from scanning electron microscopy images. Transmission electron microscopy images confirm the crystalline structure of LFP and coating of amorphous carbon layer. Elemental mapping using energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis revealed the homogeneous dispersion of the compositional elements. In addition, galvanostatic charge and discharge measurements were investigated for the cathode performance of the synthesized LFP and LFP-C samples. The results showed that the carbon-coated sample demonstrated the highest capacity of about 140 mAhg-1 as compared to non-coated and micrograined sized commercial LFP.
Controlled release urea has become popular in agricultural industry as it helps to solve environmental issues and increase crop yield. Recently biomass was identified to replace the polymer used as a coating material in the conventional coated urea. In this paper spreading and contact angle of biomass droplet (lignin, cellulose and clay) on urea surface are investigated experimentally. There were two tests were conducted, sessile drop for contact angle measurement and pendant drop for contact angle measurement. A different concentration of biomass droplet was released from 30 mm above a substrate. Glass was used as a controlled substrate. Images were recorded as soon as the droplet impacted onto the urea before completely adsorb into the urea. Digitized droplets were then used to identify the droplet-s surface tension and contact angle. There is large difference observed between the low surface tension and high surface tension liquids, where the wetting and spreading diameter is higher for lower surface tension. From the contact angle results, the data showed that the biomass coating films were possible as wetting liquid (θ < 90º). Contact angle of biomass coating material gives good indication for the wettablity of a liquid on urea surface.