Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1142

Chemical and Molecular Engineering

Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Colocasia esculenta (L.) Leaves

Colocasia esculenta leaves and roots are widely used in Asian countries, such as, India, Srilanka and Pakistan, as food and feed material. The root is high in carbohydrates and rich in zinc. The leaves and stalks are often traditionally preserved to be eaten in dry season. Leaf juice is stimulant, expectorant, astringent, appetizer, and otalgia. Looking at the medicinal uses of the plant leaves; phytochemicals were extracted from the plant leaves and were characterized using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to find the functional groups. Phytochemical analysis of Colocasia esculenta (L.) leaf was studied using three solvents (methanol, chloroform, and ethanol) with soxhlet apparatus. Powder of the leaves was employed to obtain the extracts, which was qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed for phytochemical content using standard methods. Phytochemical constituents were abundant in the leave extract. Leaf was found to have various phytochemicals such as alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, oxalates and phenols etc., which could have lot of medicinal benefits such as reducing headache, treatment of congestive heart failure, prevent oxidative cell damage etc. These phytochemicals were identified using UV spectrophotometer and results were presented. In order to find the antioxidant activity of the extract, DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) method was employed using ascorbic acid as standard. DPPH scavenging activity of ascorbic acid was found to be 84%, whereas for ethanol it was observed to be 78.92%, for methanol: 76.46% and for chloroform: 72.46%. Looking at the high antioxidant activity, Colocasia esculenta may be recommended for medicinal applications. The characterizations of functional groups were analyzed using FTIR spectroscopy.

Synthesis, Characterization and Antibacterial Screening of 3-Hydroxy-2-[3-(2/3/4-Methoxybenzoyl)Thioureido]Butyric Acid

This study presents the synthesis of a series of methoxybenzoylthiourea amino acid derivatives. The compounds were obtained from the reactions between 2/3/4-methoxybenzoyl isothiocyanate with threonine. All of the compounds were characterized via mass spectrometry, 1H and 13C NMR spectrometry, UV-Vis spectrophotometer and FT-IR spectroscopy. Mass spectra for all of the compounds showed the presence of molecular ion [M]+ peaks at m/z 312, which are in agreement to the calculated molecular weight. For 1H NMR spectra, the presence of OCH3, C=S-NH and C=O-NH protons were observed within range of δH 3.8-4.0 ppm, 11.1-11.5 ppm and 10.0-11.5 ppm, respectively. 13C NMR spectra in all compounds displayed the presence of OCH3, C=O-NH, C=O-OH and C=S carbon resonances within range of δC 55.0-57.0 ppm, 165.0-168.0 ppm, 170.0-171.0 ppm and 180.0-182.0 ppm, respectively. In UV spectra, two absorption bands have been observed and both were assigned to the n-π* and π-π* transitions. Six vibrational modes of v(N-H), v(O-H), v(C=O-OH), v(C=O-NH), v(C=C) aromatic and v(C=S) appeared in the FT-IR spectra within the range of 3241-3467 cm-1, 2976-3302 cm-1, 1720-1768 cm-1, 1655-1672 cm-1, 1519-1525 cm-1 and 754-763 cm-1, respectively. The antibacterial activity for all of the compounds was screened against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli. However, no activity was observed.

One Dimensional Reactor Modeling for Methanol Steam Reforming to Hydrogen

One dimensional pseudo-homogenous modeling has been performed for methanol steam reforming reactor. The results show that the models can well predict the industrial data. The reactor had minimum temperature along axial because of endothermic reaction. Hydrogen productions and temperature profiles along axial were investigated regarding operation conditions such as inlet mass flow rate and mass fraction of methanol, inlet temperature of external thermal oil. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, low inlet temperature, and high mass fraction of methanol decreased minimum temperature along axial. Low inlet mass flow rate of methanol, high mass fraction of methanol, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil made cold point forward. Low mass fraction, high mass flow rate, and high inlet temperature of thermal oil increased hydrogen production. One dimensional models can be a guide for industrial operation.

Effect of the Support Shape on Fischer-Tropsch Cobalt Catalyst Performance

Cobalt catalysts were supported on extruded silica carrier and different-type (SiO2, γ-Al2O3) commercial supports with different shapes and sizes to produce heavy hydrocarbons for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption and H2-TPR. The catalytic performance of the catalysts was tested in a fixed bed reactor. The results of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis performance showed that the cobalt catalyst supported on spherical silica supports displayed a higher activity and a higher selectivity to C5+ products, due to the fact that the active components were only distributed in the surface layer of spherical carrier, and the influence of gas diffusion restriction on catalytic performance was weakened. Therefore, it can be concluded that the eggshell cobalt catalyst was superior to precious metals modified catalysts in the synthesis of heavy hydrocarbons.

Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design

The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser, and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including time, temperature, and mixing rate was kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.

Impact of Zn/Cr Ratio on ZnCrOx-SAPO-34 Bifunctional Catalyst for Direct Conversion of Syngas to Light Olefins

Light olefins are important building blocks for chemical industry. Direct conversion of syngas to light olefins has been investigated for decades. Meanwhile, the limit for light olefins selectivity described by Anderson-Schulz-Flory (ASF) distribution model is still a great challenge to conventional Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The emerging strategy called oxide-zeolite concept (OX-ZEO) is a promising way to get rid of this limit. ZnCrOx was prepared by co-precipitation method and (NH4)2CO3 was used as precipitant. SAPO-34 was prepared by hydrothermal synthesis, and Tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAOH) was used as template, while silica sol, pseudo-boehmite, and phosphoric acid were Al, Si and P source, respectively. The bifunctional catalyst was prepared by mechanical mixing of ZnCrOx and SAPO-34. Catalytic reactions were carried out under H2/CO=2, 380 ℃, 1 MPa and 6000 mL·gcat-1·h-1 in a fixed-bed reactor with a quartz lining. Catalysts were characterized by XRD, N2 adsorption-desorption, NH3-TPD, H2-TPR, and CO-TPD. The addition of Al as structure promoter enhances CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins. Zn/Cr ratio, which decides the active component content and chemisorption property of the catalyst, influences CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins at the same time. C2-4= distribution of 86% among hydrocarbons at CO conversion of 14% was reached when Zn/Cr=1.5.

Evaluation of the Performance of ACTIFLO® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia

A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo® clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo® clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo®. The Actiflo® clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo® in use.

Production Process for Diesel Fuel Components Polyoxymethylene Dimethyl Ethers from Methanol and Formaldehyde Solution

Polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers (PODEn) as clean diesel additive can improve the combustion efficiency and quality of diesel fuel and alleviate the problem of atmospheric pollution. Considering synthetic routes, PODE production from methanol and formaldehyde is regarded as the most economical and promising synthetic route. However, methanol used for synthesizing PODE can produce water, which causes the loss of active center of catalyst and hydrolysis of PODEn in the production process. Macroporous strong acidic cation exchange resin catalyst was prepared, which has comparative advantages over other common solid acid catalysts in terms of stability and catalytic efficiency for synthesizing PODE. Catalytic reactions were carried out under 353 K, 1 MPa and 3mL·gcat-1·h-1 in a fixed bed reactor. Methanol conversion and PODE3-6 selectivity reached 49.91% and 23.43%, respectively. Catalyst lifetime evaluation showed that resin catalyst retained its catalytic activity for 20 days without significant changes and catalytic activity of completely deactivated resin catalyst can basically return to previous level by simple acid regeneration. The acid exchange capacities of original and deactivated catalyst were 2.5191 and 0.0979 mmol·g-1, respectively, while regenerated catalyst reached 2.0430 mmol·g-1, indicating that the main reason for resin catalyst deactivation is that Brønsted acid sites of original resin catalyst were temporarily replaced by non-hydrogen ion cations. A separation process consisting of extraction and distillation for PODE3-6 product was designed for separation of water and unreacted formaldehyde from reactive mixture and purification of PODE3-6, respectively. The concentration of PODE3-6 in final product can reach up to 97%. These results indicate that the scale-up production of PODE3-6 from methanol and formaldehyde solution is feasible.

Effect of Si/Al Ratio on SSZ-13 Crystallization and Its Methanol-To-Olefins Catalytic Properties

SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were prepared by varying the composition of aluminosilicate precursor solutions upon hydrothermal treatment at 150 °C. The Si/Al ratio of the initial system was systematically changed from 12.5 to infinity in order to study the limits of Al composition in precursor solutions for constructing CHA structure. The intermediates and final products were investigated by complementary techniques such as XRD, HRTEM, FESEM, and chemical analysis. NH3-TPD was used to study the Brønsted acidity of SSZ-13 samples with different Si/Al ratios. The effect of the Si/Al ratio on the precursor species, ultimate crystal size, morphology and yield was investigated. The results revealed that Al species determine the nucleation rate and the number of nuclei, which is tied to the morphology and yield of SSZ-13. The size of SSZ-13 increased and the yield decreased as the Si/Al ratio was improved. Varying Si/Al ratio of the initial system is a facile, commercially viable method of tailoring SSZ-13 crystal size and morphology. Furthermore, SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were tested as catalysts for the methanol to olefins (MTO) reaction at 350 °C. SSZ-13 with the Si/Al ratio of 35 shows the best MTO catalytic performance.

Investigation of the Effect of Nano-Alumina Particles on Adsorption Property of Acrylic Fiber
The flue gas from fossil fuels combustion contains harmful pollutants dangerous for human health and environment. One of the air pollution control methods to restrict the emission of these pollutants is based on using the nanoparticle in adsorption process. In the present research, gamma nano-alumina particle is added to polyacrylonitrile (PAN) polymer through simple loading method, and the adsorption capacity of the wet spun fiber is investigated. The results of exposure the fiber to the acid gases including SO2, CO, NO2, NO, and CO2 show the noticeable increase of gas adsorption capacity on fiber contains nanoparticle. The research has been conducted in Acrylic II Plant of Polyacryl Iran Corporation.
Optimization of Soybean Oil by Modified Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

The content of omega-3 in soybean oil is important in the development of infants and is an alternative for the omega-3 in fish oils. The investigation of extraction of soybean oil is needed to obtain the bioactive compound in the extract. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is modern and green technology to extract herbs and plants to obtain high quality extract due to high diffusivity and solubility of the solvent. The aim of this study was to obtain the optimum condition of soybean oil extraction by modified supercritical carbon dioxide. The soybean oil was extracted by using modified supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) under the temperatures of 40, 60, 80 °C, pressures of 150, 250, 350 Bar, and constant flow-rate of 10 g/min as the parameters of extraction processes. An experimental design was performed in order to optimize three important parameters of SC-CO2 extraction which are pressure (X1), temperature (X2) to achieve optimum yields of soybean oil. Box Behnken Design was applied for experimental design. From the optimization process, the optimum condition of extraction of soybean oil was obtained at pressure 338 Bar and temperature 80 °C with oil yield of 2.713 g. Effect of pressure is significant on the extraction of soybean oil by modified supercritical carbon dioxide. Increasing of pressure will increase the oil yield of soybean oil.

Synthesis and Application of an Organic Dye in Nanostructure Solar Cells Device
Two organic dyes comprising carbazole as the electron donors and cyanoacetic acid moieties as the electron acceptors were synthesized. The organic dye was prepared by standard reaction from carbazole as the starting material. To this end, carbazole was reacted with bromobenzene and further oxidation and reacted with cyanoacetic acid. The obtained organic dye was purified and characterized using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1HNMR), carbon nuclear magnetic resonance (13CNMR) and elemental analysis. The influence of heteroatom on carbazole donors and cyno substitution on the acid acceptor is evidenced by spectral and electrochemical photovoltaic experiments. Finally, light fastness properties for organic dye were investigated.
Hydrogel Based on Cellulose Acetate Used as Scaffold for Cell Growth

A hydrogel from cellulose acetate cross linked with ethylenediaminetetraacetic dianhydride (HAC-EDTA) was synthesized by our research group, and submitted to characterization and biological tests. Cytocompatibility analysis was performed by confocal microscopy using human adipocyte derived stem cells (ASCs). The FTIR analysis showed characteristic bands of cellulose acetate and hydroxyl groups and the tensile tests evidence that HAC-EDTA present a Young’s modulus of 643.7 MPa. The confocal analysis revealed that there was cell growth at the surface of HAC-EDTA. After one day of culture the cells presented spherical morphology, which may be caused by stress of the sequestration of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions at the cell medium by HAC-EDTA, as demonstrated by ICP-MS. However, after seven days and 14 days of culture, the cells present fibroblastoid morphology, phenotype expected by this cellular type. The results give efforts to indicate this new material as a potential biomaterial for tissue engineering, in the future in vivo approach.

Biodegradation Behavior of Cellulose Acetate with DS 2.5 in Simulated Soil

The relationship between biodegradation and mechanical behavior is fundamental for studies of the application of cellulose acetate films as a possible material for biodegradable packaging. In this work, the biodegradation of cellulose acetate (CA) with DS 2.5 was analyzed in simulated soil. CA films were prepared by casting and buried in the simulated soil. Samples were taken monthly and analyzed, the total time of biodegradation was 6 months. To characterize the biodegradable CA, the DMA technique was employed. The main result showed that the time of exposure to the simulated soil affects the mechanical properties of the films and the values of crystallinity. By DMA analysis, it was possible to conclude that as the CA is biodegraded, its mechanical properties were altered, for example, storage modulus has increased with biodegradation and the modulus of loss has decreased. Analyzes of DSC, XRD, and FTIR were also carried out to characterize the biodegradation of CA, which corroborated with the results of DMA. The observation of the carbonyl band by FTIR and crystalline indices obtained by XRD were important to evaluate the degradation of CA during the exposure time.

Crude Distillation Process Simulation Using Unisim Design Simulator

The paper deals with the simulation of the crude distillation process using the Unisim Design simulator. The necessity of simulating this process is argued both by considerations related to the design of the crude distillation column, but also by considerations related to the design of advanced control systems. In order to use the Unisim Design simulator to simulate the crude distillation process, the identification of the simulators used in Romania and an analysis of the PRO/II, HYSYS, and Aspen HYSYS simulators were carried out. Analysis of the simulators for the crude distillation process has allowed the authors to elaborate the conclusions of the success of the crude modelling. A first aspect developed by the authors is the implementation of specific problems of petroleum liquid-vapors equilibrium using Unisim Design simulator. The second major element of the article is the development of the methodology and the elaboration of the simulation program for the crude distillation process, using Unisim Design resources. The obtained results validate the proposed methodology and will allow dynamic simulation of the process.  

Experimental Analysis of the Influence of Water Mass Flow Rate on the Performance of a CO2 Direct-Expansion Solar Assisted Heat Pump

Energy use is one of the main indicators for the economic and social development of a country, reflecting directly in the quality of life of the population. The expansion of energy use together with the depletion of fossil resources and the poor efficiency of energy systems have led many countries in recent years to invest in renewable energy sources. In this context, solar-assisted heat pump has become very important in energy industry, since it can transfer heat energy from the sun to water or another absorbing source. The direct-expansion solar assisted heat pump (DX-SAHP) water heater system operates by receiving solar energy incident in a solar collector, which serves as an evaporator in a refrigeration cycle, and the energy reject by the condenser is used for water heating. In this paper, a DX-SAHP using carbon dioxide as refrigerant (R744) was assembled, and the influence of the variation of the water mass flow rate in the system was analyzed. The parameters such as high pressure, water outlet temperature, gas cooler outlet temperature, evaporator temperature, and the coefficient of performance were studied. The mainly components used to assemble the heat pump were a reciprocating compressor, a gas cooler which is a countercurrent concentric tube heat exchanger, a needle-valve, and an evaporator that is a copper bare flat plate solar collector designed to capture direct and diffuse radiation. Routines were developed in the LabVIEW and CoolProp through MATLAB software’s, respectively, to collect data and calculate the thermodynamics properties. The range of coefficient of performance measured was from 3.2 to 5.34. It was noticed that, with the higher water mass flow rate, the water outlet temperature decreased, and consequently, the coefficient of performance of the system increases since the heat transfer in the gas cooler is higher. In addition, the high pressure of the system and the CO2 gas cooler outlet temperature decreased. The heat pump using carbon dioxide as a refrigerant, especially operating with solar radiation has been proven to be a renewable source in an efficient system for heating residential water compared to electrical heaters reaching temperatures between 40 °C and 80 °C.

Participation in IAEA Proficiency Test to Analyse Cobalt, Strontium and Caesium in Seawater Using Direct Counting and Radiochemical Techniques

Radiation monitoring in the environment and foodstuffs is one of the main responsibilities of Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) as the nuclear regulatory body of Thailand. The main goal of the OAP is to assure the safety of the Thai people and environment from any radiological incidents. Various radioanalytical methods have been developed to monitor radiation and radionuclides in the environmental and foodstuff samples. To validate our analytical performance, several proficiency test exercises from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been performed. Here, the results of a proficiency test exercise referred to as the Proficiency Test for Tritium, Cobalt, Strontium and Caesium Isotopes in Seawater 2017 (IAEA-RML-2017-01) are presented. All radionuclides excepting ³H were analysed using various radioanalytical methods, i.e. direct gamma-ray counting for determining ⁶⁰Co, ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs and developed radiochemical techniques for analysing ¹³⁴Cs, ¹³⁷Cs using AMP pre-concentration technique and 90Sr using di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (HDEHP) liquid extraction technique. The analysis results were submitted to IAEA. All results passed IAEA criteria, i.e. accuracy, precision and trueness and obtained ‘Accepted’ statuses. These confirm the data quality from the OAP environmental radiation laboratory to monitor radiation in the environment.

Kinetics and Thermodynamics Adsorption of Phenolic Compounds on Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Mesoporous Material

Mesoporous materials are very commonly used as adsorbent materials for removing phenolic compounds. However, the adsorption mechanism of these compounds is still poorly controlled. However, understanding the interactions mesoporous materials/adsorbed molecules is very important in order to optimize the processes of liquid phase adsorption. The difficulty of synthesis is to keep an orderly and cubic pore structure and achieve a homogeneous surface modification. The grafting of Si(CH3)3 was chosen, to transform hydrophilic surfaces hydrophobic surfaces. The aim of this work is to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of two volatile organic compounds VOC phenol (PhOH) and P hydroxy benzoic acid (4AHB) on a mesoporous material of type MCM-48 grafted with an organosilane of the Trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS) type, the material thus grafted or functionalized (hereinafter referred to as MCM-48-G). In a first step, the kinetic and thermodynamic study of the adsorption isotherms of each of the VOCs in mono-solution was carried out. In a second step, a similar study was carried out on a mixture of these two compounds. Kinetic models (pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order) were used to determine kinetic adsorption parameters. The thermodynamic parameters of the adsorption isotherms were determined by the adsorption models (Langmuir, Freundlich). The comparative study of adsorption of PhOH and 4AHB proved that MCM-48-G had a high adsorption capacity for PhOH and 4AHB; this may be related to the hydrophobicity created by the organic function of TMCS in MCM-48-G. The adsorption results for the two compounds using the Freundlich and Langmuir models show that the adsorption of 4AHB was higher than PhOH. The values ​​obtained by the adsorption thermodynamics show that the adsorption interactions for our sample with the phenol and 4AHB are of a physical nature. The adsorption of our VOCs on the MCM-48 (G) is a spontaneous and exothermic process.

Analytical and Numerical Results for Free Vibration of Laminated Composites Plates

The reinforcement and repair of concrete structures by bonding composite materials have become relatively common operations. Different types of composite materials can be used: carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) as well as functionally graded material (FGM). The development of analytical and numerical models describing the mechanical behavior of structures in civil engineering reinforced by composite materials is necessary. These models will enable engineers to select, design, and size adequate reinforcements for the various types of damaged structures. This study focuses on the free vibration behavior of orthotropic laminated composite plates using a refined shear deformation theory. In these models, the distribution of transverse shear stresses is considered as parabolic satisfying the zero-shear stress condition on the top and bottom surfaces of the plates without using shear correction factors. In this analysis, the equation of motion for simply supported thick laminated rectangular plates is obtained by using the Hamilton’s principle. The accuracy of the developed model is demonstrated by comparing our results with solutions derived from other higher order models and with data found in the literature. Besides, a finite-element analysis is used to calculate the natural frequencies of laminated composite plates and is compared with those obtained by the analytical approach.

Equilibrium and Kinetic Studies of Lead Adsorption on Activated Carbon Derived from Mangrove Propagule Waste by Phosphoric Acid Activation

The removal of lead ion (Pb2+) from aqueous solution by activated carbon with phosphoric acid activation employing mangrove propagule as precursor was investigated in a batch adsorption system. Batch studies were carried out to address various experimental parameters including pH and contact time. The Langmuir and Freundlich models were able to describe the adsorption equilibrium, while the pseudo first order and pseudo second order models were used to describe kinetic process of Pb2+ adsorption. The results show that the adsorption data are seen in accordance with Langmuir isotherm model and pseudo-second order kinetic model.

Rapid Method for Low Level 90Sr Determination in Seawater by Liquid Extraction Technique

Determination of low level 90Sr in seawater has been widely developed for the purpose of environmental monitoring and radiological research because 90Sr is one of the most hazardous radionuclides released from atmospheric during the testing of nuclear weapons, waste discharge from the generation nuclear energy and nuclear accident occurring at power plants. A liquid extraction technique using bis-2-etylhexyl-phosphoric acid to separate and purify yttrium followed by Cherenkov counting using a liquid scintillation counter to determine 90Y in secular equilibrium to 90Sr was developed to monitor 90Sr in the Asia Pacific Ocean. The analytical performance was validated for the accuracy, precision, and trueness criteria. Sr-90 determination in seawater using various low concentrations in a range of 0.01 – 1 Bq/L of 30 liters spiked seawater samples and 0.5 liters of IAEA-RML-2015-01 proficiency test sample was performed for statistical evaluation. The results had a relative bias in the range from 3.41% to 12.28%, which is below accepted relative bias of ± 25% and passed the criteria confirming that our analytical approach for determination of low levels of 90Sr in seawater was acceptable. Moreover, the approach is economical, non-laborious and fast.

Plasma Arc Burner for Pulverized Coal Combustion
Development of new highly efficient plasma arc combustion system of pulverized coal is presented. As it is well-known, coal is one of the main energy carriers by means of which electric and heat energy is produced in thermal power stations. The quality of the extracted coal decreases very rapidly. Therefore, the difficulties associated with its firing and complete combustion arise and thermo-chemical preparation of pulverized coal becomes necessary. Usually, other organic fuels (mazut-fuel oil or natural gas) are added to low-quality coal for this purpose. The fraction of additional organic fuels varies within 35-40% range. This decreases dramatically the economic efficiency of such systems. At the same time, emission of noxious substances in the environment increases. Because of all these, intense development of plasma combustion systems of pulverized coal takes place in whole world. These systems are equipped with Non-Transferred Plasma Arc Torches. They allow practically complete combustion of pulverized coal (without organic additives) in boilers, increase of energetic and financial efficiency. At the same time, emission of noxious substances in the environment decreases dramatically. But, the non-transferred plasma torches have numerous drawbacks, e.g. complicated construction, low service life (especially in the case of high power), instability of plasma arc and most important – up to 30% of energy loss due to anode cooling. Due to these reasons, intense development of new plasma technologies that are free from these shortcomings takes place. In our proposed system, pulverized coal-air mixture passes through plasma arc area that burns between to carbon electrodes directly in pulverized coal muffler burner. Consumption of the carbon electrodes is low and does not need a cooling system, but the main advantage of this method is that radiation of plasma arc directly impacts on coal-air mixture that accelerates the process of thermo-chemical preparation of coal to burn. To ensure the stability of the plasma arc in such difficult conditions, we have developed a power source that provides fixed current during fluctuations in the arc resistance automatically compensated by the voltage change as well as regulation of plasma arc length over a wide range. Our combustion system where plasma arc acts directly on pulverized coal-air mixture is simple. This should allow a significant improvement of pulverized coal combustion (especially low-quality coal) and its economic efficiency. Preliminary experiments demonstrated the successful functioning of the system.
Adsorption of Reactive Dye Using Entrapped nZVI

Iron nanoparticles were used to cleanup effluents. This paper involves synthesis of iron nanoparticles chemically by sodium borohydride reduction of ammonium ferrous sulfate solution (FAS). Iron oxide nanoparticles have lesser efficiency of adsorption than Zero Valent Iron nanoparticles (nZVI). Glucosamine acts as a stabilizing agent and chelating agent to prevent Iron nanoparticles from oxidation. nZVI particles were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Thus, the synthesized nZVI was subjected to entrapment in biopolymer, viz. barium (Ba)-alginate beads. The beads were characterized using SEM. Batch dye degradation studies were conducted using Reactive black Water soluble Nontoxic Natural substances (WNN) dye which is one of the most hazardous dyes used in textile industries. Effect of contact time, effect of pH, initial dye concentration, adsorbent dosage, isotherm and kinetic studies were carried out.

Ultrasound Assisted Extraction and Microwave Assisted Extraction of Carotenoids from Melon Shells
Cantaloupes (muskmelon and watermelon) contain biologically active molecules such as carotenoids which are natural pigments used as food colorants and afford health benefits. ß-carotene is the major source of carotenoids present in muskmelon and watermelon shell. Carotenoids were extracted using Microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and Ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) utilising organic lipophilic solvents such as acetone, methanol, and hexane. Extraction conditions feed-solvent ratio, microwave power, ultrasound frequency, temperature and particle size were varied and optimized. It was found that the yield of carotenoids was higher using UAE than MAE, and muskmelon had the highest yield of carotenoids when was ethanol used as a solvent for 0.5 mm particle size.
Quantum Modelling of AgHMoO4, CsHMoO4 and AgCsMoO4 Chemistry in the Field of Nuclear Power Plant Safety

In a major nuclear accident, the released fission products (FPs) and the structural materials are likely to influence the transport of iodine in the reactor coolant system (RCS) of a pressurized water reactor (PWR). So far, the thermodynamic data on cesium and silver species used to estimate the magnitude of FP release show some discrepancies, data are scarce and not reliable. For this reason, it is crucial to review the thermodynamic values related to cesium and silver materials. To this end, we have used state-of-the-art quantum chemical methods to compute the formation enthalpies and entropies of AgHMoO₄, CsHMoO₄, and AgCsMoO₄ in the gas phase. Different quantum chemical methods have been investigated (DFT and CCSD(T)) in order to predict the geometrical parameters and the energetics including the correlation energy. The geometries were optimized with TPSSh-5%HF method, followed by a single point calculation of the total electronic energies using the CCSD(T) wave function method. We thus propose with a final uncertainty of about 2 kJmol⁻¹ standard enthalpies of formation of AgHMoO₄, CsHMoO₄, and AgCsMoO₄.

Synthesis and Characterization of Nickel and Sulphur Sensitized Zinc Oxide Structures

The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.

Catalytic Study of Methanol-to-Propylene Conversion over Nano-Sized HZSM-5

Methanol-to-propylene conversion was carried out in a continuous-flow fixed-bed reactor over nano-sized HZSM-5 zeolites. The HZSM-5 catalysts were synthesized with different Si/Al ratio and silicon sources, and treated with NaOH. The structural property, morphology, and acidity of catalysts were measured by XRD, N2 adsorption, FE-SEM, TEM, and NH3-TPD. The results indicate that the increment of Si/Al ratio decreased the acidity of catalysts and then improved propylene selectivity, while silicon sources had slight impact on the acidity but affected the product distribution. The desilication after alkali treatment could increase intracrystalline mesopores and enhance propylene selectivity.

Application of Stabilized Polyaniline Microparticles for Better Protective Ability of Zinc Coatings

Coatings based on polyaniline (PANI) can improve the resistance of steel against corrosion. In this work, the preparation of stable suspensions of colloidal PANI-SiO2 particles, suitable for obtaining of composite anticorrosive coating on steel, is described. Electrokinetic data as a function of pH are presented, showing that the zeta potentials of the PANI-SiO2 particles are governed primarily by the charged groups at the silica oxide surface. Electrosteric stabilization of the PANI-SiO2 particles’ suspension against aggregation is realized at pH>5.5 (EB form of PANI) by adsorption of positively charged polyelectrolyte molecules onto negatively charged PANI-SiO2 particles. The PANI-SiO2 particles are incorporated by electrodeposition into the metal matrix of zinc in order to obtain composite (hybrid) coatings. The latter are aimed to ensure sacrificial protection of steel mainly in aggressive media leading to local corrosion damages. The surface morphology of the composite zinc coatings is investigated with SEM. The influence of PANI-SiO2 particles on the cathodic and anodic processes occurring in the starting electrolyte for obtaining of the coatings is followed with cyclic voltammetry. The electrochemical and corrosion behavior is evaluated with potentiodynamic polarization curves and polarization resistance measurements. The beneficial effect of the stabilized PANI-SiO2 particles for the increased protective ability of the composites is commented and discussed.

Evaluation of TRIS-DMA-NVP Hydrogels for Making Silicone-Based Contact Lenses

In this study, contact lenses were prepared through the polymerization of tris-(trimethyl-silyl-propyl-methacrylate) (TRIS), N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA), N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP), and cross-linked with ethylene glycol dimethylacrylate (EGDMA). The equilibrium water content (EWC), oxygen permeability (Dk), light transmittance, and in vitro cytotoxicity of TRIS-DMA-NVP with various ratios were measured. The results showed that the EWC increased while the Dk decreased with the increase of NVP content. For the sample with 25 wt% NVP, the EWC attained 53% whereas the Dk decreased to 46 barrers. All these lenses exhibited light transmittance over than 95%. In addition, all these lenses exhibited no inhibition to the growth of L292 fibroblasts. Thus, this study showed that TRIS-DMA-NVP can be applicable for making contact lens.

Sorption of Congo Red from Aqueous Solution by Surfactant-Modified Bentonite: Kinetic and Factorial Design Study

An organoclay (HDTMA-B) was prepared from sodium bentonite (Na-B). The starting material was modified using the hexadecyltrimethylammonium ion (HDTMA+) in the amounts corresponding to 100 % of the CEC value. Batch experiments were carried out in order to model and optimize the sorption of Congo red dye from aqueous solution. The pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order kinetic models have been developed to predict the rate constant and the sorption capacity at equilibrium with the effect of temperature, the solid/solution ratio and the initial dye concentration. The equilibrium time was reached within 60 min. At room temperature (20 °C), optimum dye sorption of 49.4 mg/g (98.9%) was achieved at pH 6.6, sorbent dosage of 1g/L and initial dye concentration of 50 mg/L, using surfactant modified bentonite. The optimization of adsorption parameters mentioned above on dye removal was carried out using Box-Behnken design. The sorption parameters were analyzed statistically by means of variance analysis by using the Statgraphics Centurion XVI software.

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