Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 90

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.

Bioleaching of Metals Contained in Spent Catalysts by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636

Spent catalysts are considered as hazardous residues of major concern, mainly due to the simultaneous presence of several metals in elevated concentrations. Although hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and chelating agent methods are available to remove and recover some metals contained in spent catalysts; these procedures generate potentially hazardous wastes and the emission of harmful gases. Thus, biotechnological treatments are currently gaining importance to avoid the negative impacts of chemical technologies. To this end, diverse microorganisms have been used to assess the removal of metals from spent catalysts, comprising bacteria, archaea and fungi, whose resistance and metal uptake capabilities differ depending on the microorganism tested. Acidophilic sulfur oxidizing bacteria have been used to investigate the biotreatment and extraction of valuable metals from spent catalysts, namely Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans, as they present the ability to produce leaching agents such as sulfuric acid and sulfur oxidation intermediates. In the present work, the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in five different spent catalysts was assessed by growing the culture in modified Starkey mineral medium (with elemental sulfur at 1%, w/v), and 1% (w/v) pulp density of each residue for up to 21 days at 30 °C and 150 rpm. Sulfur-oxidizing activity was periodically evaluated by determining sulfate concentration in the supernatants according to the NMX-k-436-1977 method. The production of sulfuric acid was assessed in the supernatants as well, by a titration procedure using NaOH 0.5 M with bromothymol blue as acid-base indicator, and by measuring pH using a digital potentiometer. On the other hand, Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry was used to analyze metal removal from the five different spent catalysts by A. thiooxidans DSM 26636. Results obtained show that, as could be expected, sulfuric acid production is directly related to the diminish of pH, and also to highest metal removal efficiencies. It was observed that Al and Fe are recurrently removed from refinery spent catalysts regardless of their origin and previous usage, although these removals may vary from 9.5 ± 2.2 to 439 ± 3.9 mg/kg for Al, and from 7.13 ± 0.31 to 368.4 ± 47.8 mg/kg for Fe, depending on the spent catalyst proven. Besides, bioleaching of metals like Mg, Ni, and Si was also obtained from automotive spent catalysts, which removals were of up to 66 ± 2.2, 6.2±0.07, and 100±2.4, respectively. Hence, the data presented here exhibit the potential of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the simultaneous bioleaching of metals contained in spent catalysts from diverse provenance.

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 were 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.

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

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

Produced Gas Conversion of Microwave Carbon Receptor Reforming

Carbon dioxide and methane, the major components of biomass pyrolysis/gasification gas and biogas, top the list of substances that cause climate change, but they are also among the most important renewable energy sources in modern society. The purpose of this study is to convert carbon dioxide and methane into high-quality energy using char and commercial activated carbon obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a microwave receptor. The methane reforming process produces hydrogen and carbon. This carbon is deposited in the pores of the microwave receptor and lowers catalytic activity, thereby reducing the methane conversion rate. The deposited carbon was removed by carbon gasification due to the supply of carbon dioxide, which solved the problem of microwave receptor inactivity. In particular, the conversion rate remained stable at over 90% when the ratio of carbon dioxide to methane was 1:1. When the reforming results of carbon dioxide and methane were compared after fabricating nickel and iron catalysts using commercial activated carbon as a carrier, the conversion rate was higher in the iron catalyst than in the nickel catalyst and when no catalyst was used. 

Refining Waste Spent Hydroprocessing Catalyst and Their Metal Recovery

Catalysts play an important role in producing valuable fuel products in petroleum refining; but, due to feedstock’s impurities catalyst gets deactivated with carbon and metal deposition. The disposal of spent catalyst falls under the category of hazardous industrial waste that requires strict agreement with environmental regulations. The spent hydroprocessing catalyst contains Mo, V and Ni at high concentrations that have been found to be economically significant for recovery. Metal recovery process includes deoiling, decoking, grinding, dissolving and treatment with complexing leaching agent such as ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA). The process conditions have been optimized as a function of time, temperature and EDTA concentration in presence of ultrasonic agitation. The results indicated that optimum condition established through this approach could recover 97%, 94% and 95% of the extracted Mo, V and Ni, respectively, while 95% EDTA was recovered after acid treatment.

Structure-Activity Relationship of Gold Catalysts on Alumina Supported Cu-Ce Oxides for CO and Volatile Organic Compound Oxidation

The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.

Development of a Nano-Alumina-Zirconia Composite Catalyst as an Active Thin Film in Biodiesel Production
A nano-alumina-zirconia composite catalyst was synthesized by a simple aqueous sol-gel method using AlCl3.6H2O and ZrCl4 as precursors. Thermal decomposition of the precursor and subsequent formation of γ-Al2O3 and t-Zr were investigated by thermal analysis. XRD analysis showed that γ-Al2O3 and t-ZrO2 phases were formed at 700 °C. FT-IR analysis also indicated that the phase transition to γ-Al2O3 occurred in corroboration with X-ray studies. TEM analysis of the calcined powder revealed that spherical particles were in the range of 8-12 nm. The nano-alumina-zirconia composite particles were mesoporous and uniformly distributed in their crystalline phase. In order to measure the catalytic activity, esterification reaction was carried out. Biodiesel, as a renewable fuel, was formed in a continuous packed column reactor. Free fatty acid (FFA) was esterified with ethanol in a heterogeneous catalytic reactor. It was found that the synthesized γ-Al2O3/ZrO2 composite had the potential to be used as a heterogeneous base catalyst for biodiesel production processes.
Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol over Copper-Zinc Oxide-Based Catalyst

Carbon dioxide is highly thermochemical stable molecules where it is very difficult to activate the molecule and achieve higher catalytic conversion into alcohols or other hydrocarbon compounds. In this paper, series of the bimetallic Cu/ZnO-based catalyst supported by SBA-15 were systematically prepared via impregnation technique with different Cu: Zn ratio for hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol. The synthesized catalysts were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), temperature programmed desorption, reduction, oxidation and pulse chemisorption (TPDRO), and surface area determination was also performed. All catalysts were tested with respect to the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol in microactivity fixed-bed reactor at 250oC, 2.25 MPa, and H2/CO2 ratio of 3. The results demonstrate that the catalytic structure, activity, and methanol selectivity was strongly affected by the ratio between Cu: Zn, Where higher catalytic activity of 14 % and methanol selectivity of 92 % was obtained over Cu/ZnO-SBA-15 catalyst with Cu:Zn ratio of 7:3 wt. %. Comparing with the single catalyst, the synergetic between Cu and Zn provides additional active sites to adsorb more H2 and CO2 and accelerate the CO2 conversion, resulting in higher methanol production under mild reaction conditions.

Microkinetic Modelling of NO Reduction on Pt Catalysts

The major harmful automobile exhausts are nitric oxide (NO) and unburned hydrocarbon (HC). Reduction of NO using unburned fuel HC as a reductant is the technique used in hydrocarbon-selective catalytic reduction (HC-SCR). In this work, we study the microkinetic modelling of NO reduction using propene as a reductant on Pt catalysts. The selectivity of NO reduction to N2O is detected in some ranges of operating conditions, whereas the effect of inlet O2% causes a number of changes in the feasible regimes of operation.

Structure and Activity Research of Hydrocarbons Refining Catalysts Based on Wastes of Ferroalloy Production
An effective way of utilization of ferroalloy production wastes is preparing hydrocarbon refining catalysts from them. It is possible due to accordable transition metals containing in the wastes. In the work, we are presenting the results on elemental analysis of sludge samples from Aksu ferroalloy plant (Aksu, Kazakhstan), method of catalysts preparing, results of physical-chemical analysis of obtained catalysts (X-ray analysis, electron microscopy, the BET method etc.), results of using the catalysts in some hydrocarbons refining processes such as hydrocracking of rubber waste, cracking of gasoil, oxidation of cyclohexane. The main results of catalytic activity research are: a) In hydrocracking of rubber waste 64.9% of liquid products were fuel fractions; b) In cracking of gasoil conversion was 51% and selectivity by liquid products was 99%; c) In oxidation of cyclohexane the maximal product yield 87.9% and selectivity by cyclohexanol 93.0% were achieved.
Investigation on Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis over Cobalt-Gadolinium Catalyst
Cobalt-gadolinium catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis was prepared by impregnation method with commercial silica gel, and its texture properties were characterized by BET, XRD, and TPR. The catalytic performance of the catalyst was tested in a fixed bed reactor. The results showed that the addition of gadolinium to the cobalt catalyst might decrease the size of cobalt particles, and increased the dispersion of catalytic active cobalt phases. The carbon number distributions for the catalysts was calculated by ASF equation.
Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-La Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation
Recently, copper and manganese-containing systems are recognized as active and selective catalysts in many oxidation reactions. The main idea of this study is to obtain more information about γ-Al2O3 supported Cu-La catalysts and to evaluate their activity to simultaneous oxidation of CO, CH3OH and dimethyl ether (DME). The catalysts were synthesized by impregnation of support with a mixed aqueous solution of nitrates of copper, manganese and lanthanum under different conditions. XRD, HRTEM/EDS, TPR and thermal analysis were performed to investigate catalysts’ bulk and surface properties. The texture characteristics were determined by Quantachrome Instruments NOVA 1200e specific surface area and pore analyzer. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor in a wide temperature range. On the basis of XRD analysis and HRTEM/EDS, it was concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-La/γ–alumina catalysts strongly depends on the Cu/Mn molar ratio and consisted of at least four compounds – CuO, La2O3, MnO2 and Cu1.5Mn1.5O4. A homogeneous distribution of the active component on the carrier surface was found. The chemical composition strongly influenced catalytic properties. This influence was quite variable with regards to the different processes.
Reaction Kinetics of Biodiesel Production from Refined Cottonseed Oil Using Calcium Oxide
Power law approximation was used in this study to evaluate the reaction orders of calcium oxide, CaO catalyzed transesterification of refined cottonseed oil and methanol. The kinetics study was carried out at temperatures of 45, 55 and 65 oC. The kinetic parameters such as reaction order 2.02 and rate constant 2.8 hr-1g-1cat, obtained at the temperature of 65 oC best fitted the kinetic model. The activation energy, Ea obtained was 127.744 KJ/mol. The results indicate that the transesterification reaction of the refined cottonseed oil using calcium oxide catalyst is approximately second order reaction.
One-Pot Facile Synthesis of N-Doped Graphene Synthesized from Paraphenylenediamine as Metal-Free Catalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Used for Alkaline Fuel Cells

In the work presented here, nitrogen-doped graphene materials were synthesized and used as metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) under alkaline conditions. Paraphenylenediamine was used as N precursor. The N-doped graphene was synthesized under hydrothermal treatment at 200°C. All the materials have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, for electrochemical evaluation of samples, Rotating Disk electrode (RDE) and Cyclic Voltammetry techniques (CV) were employed. The resulting material exhibits an outstanding catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as well as excellent resistance towards methanol crossover effects, indicating their promising potential as ORR electrocatalysts for alkaline fuel cells.

Preparation and Characterization of Photocatalyst for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission to the environment is inevitable which is responsible for global warming. Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuel, such as methanol, methane etc. is a promising way to reduce greenhouse gas CO2 emission. In the present work, Bi2S3/CdS was synthesized as an effective visible light responsive photocatalyst for CO2 reduction into methanol. The Bi2S3/CdS photocatalyst was prepared by hydrothermal reaction. The catalyst was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument. The photocatalytic activity of the catalyst has been investigated for methanol production as a function of time. Gas chromatograph flame ionization detector (GC-FID) was employed to analyze the product. The yield of methanol was found to increase with higher CdS concentration in Bi2S3/CdS and the maximum yield was obtained for 45 wt% of Bi2S3/CdS under visible light irradiation was 20 μmole/g. The result establishes that Bi2S3/CdS is favorable catalyst to reduce CO2 to methanol.

Preparation of Heterogeneous Ferrite Catalysts and Their Application for Fenton-Like Oxidation of Radioactive Organic Wastewater
Fenton oxidation technology is the general strategy for the treatment of organic compounds-contained wastewater. However, a considerable amount of ferric sludge was produced during the Fenton process as secondary wastes, which were needed to be further removed from the effluent and treated. In this study, heterogeneous catalysts based on ferrite oxide (Cu-Fe-Ce-O) were synthesized and characterized, and their application for Fenton-like oxidation of simulated and actual radioactive organic wastewater was investigated. The results of TOC decomposition efficiency around 54% ~ 99% were obtained when the catalyst loading, H2O2 loading, pH, temperature, and reaction time were controlled. In this case, no secondary wastes formed and the given catalysts were able to be separated by magnetic devices and reused again.
Porous Carbon Nanoparticles Co-Doped with Nitrogen and Iron as an Efficient Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) performance of iron and nitrogen co-doped porous carbon nanoparticles (Fe-NPC) with various physical and (electro) chemical properties have been investigated. Fe-NPC nanoparticles are synthesized via a facile soft-templating procedure by using Iron (III) chloride hexa-hydrate as iron precursor and aminophenol-formaldehyde resin as both carbon and nitrogen precursor. Fe-NPC nanoparticles shows high surface area (443.83 m2g-1), high pore volume (0.52 m3g-1), narrow mesopore size distribution (ca. 3.8 nm), high conductivity (IG/ID=1.04), high kinetic limiting current (11.71 mAcm-2) and more positive onset potential (-0.106 V) compared to metal-free NPC nanoparticles (-0.295V) which make it high efficient ORR metal-free catalysts in alkaline solution. This study may pave the way of feasibly designing iron and nitrogen containing carbon materials (Fe-N-C) for highly efficient oxygen reduction electro-catalysis.
A Two-Step, Temperature-Staged Direct Coal Liquefaction Process

The world crude oil demand is projected to rise to 108.5 million bbl/d by the year 2035. With reserves estimated at 869 billion tonnes worldwide, coal remains an abundant resource. The aim of this work was to produce a high value hydrocarbon liquid product using a Direct Coal Liquefaction (DCL) process at, relatively mild operating conditions. Via hydrogenation, the temperature-staged approach was investigated in a dual reactor lab-scale pilot plant facility. The objectives included maximising thermal dissolution of the coal in the presence of tetralin as the hydrogen donor solvent in the first stage with 2:1 and 3:1 solvent: coal ratios. Subsequently, in the second stage, hydrogen saturation, in particular, hydrodesulphurization (HDS) performance was assessed. Two commercial hydrotreating catalysts were investigated viz. NickelMolybdenum (Ni-Mo) and Cobalt-Molybdenum (Co-Mo). GC-MS results identified 77 compounds and various functional groups present in the first and second stage liquid product. In the first stage 3:1 ratios and liquid product yields catalysed by magnetite were favoured. The second stage product distribution showed an increase in the BTX (Benzene, Toluene, Xylene) quality of the liquid product, branched chain alkanes and a reduction in the sulphur concentration. As an HDS performer and selectivity to the production of long and branched chain alkanes, Ni-Mo had an improved performance over Co-Mo. Co-Mo is selective to a higher concentration of cyclohexane. For 16 days on stream each, Ni-Mo had a higher activity than Co-Mo. The potential to cover the demand for low–sulphur, crude diesel and solvents from the production of high value hydrocarbon liquid in the said process, is thus demonstrated. 

Intensification of Ethyl Esters Synthesis Using a Packed-Bed Tubular Reactor at Supercritical Conditions

In the present study, the non-catalytic transesterification of soybean oil in continuous mode using supercritical ethanol were investigated. Experiments were performed in a packed-bed tubular reactor (PBTR) and variable studied were reaction temperature (523 K to 598 K), pressure (10 MPa to 20 MPa), oil to ethanol molar ratio (1:10 to 1:40) and water concentration (0 wt% to 10 wt% in ethanol). Results showed that ethyl esters yields obtained in the PBTR were higher (> 20 wt%) than those verified in a tubular reactor (TR), due to improved mass transfer conditions attained in the PBTR. Results demonstrated that temperature, pressure, oil to ethanol molar ratio and water concentration had a positive effect on fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) production in the experimental range investigated, with appreciable reaction yields (90 wt%) achieved at 598 K, 20 MPa, oil to ethanol molar ratio of 1:40 and 10 wt% of water concentration.

Volatile Organic Compounds Destruction by Catalytic Oxidation for Environmental Applications
Pt/γ-Al2O3 membrane catalysts were prepared via an evaporative-crystallization deposition method. The obtained Pt/γ- Al2O3 catalyst activity was tested after characterization (SEM-EDAX observation, BET measurement, permeability assessment) in the catalytic oxidation of selected volatile organic compound (VOC) i.e. propane, fed in mixture of oxygen. The VOC conversion (nearly 90%) obtained by varying the operating temperature showed that flow-through membrane reactor might do better in the abatement of VOCs.
Alumina Supported Copper-Manganese Catalysts for Combustion of Exhaust Gases: Catalysts Characterization
In recent research copper and manganese systems were found to be the most active in CO and organic compounds oxidation among the base catalysts. The mixed copper manganese oxide has been widely studied in oxidation reactions because of their higher activity at low temperatures in comparison with single oxide catalysts. The results showed that the formation of spinel CuxMn3−xO4 in the oxidized catalyst is responsible for the activity even at room temperature. That is why the most of the investigations are focused on the hopcalite catalyst (CuMn2O4) as the best coppermanganese catalyst. Now it’s known that this is true only for CO oxidation, but not for mixture of CO and VOCs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the alumina supported copper-manganese catalysts with different Cu/Mn molar ratio in terms of oxidation of CO, methanol and dimethyl ether. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of γ-Al2O3 with copper and manganese nitrates and the catalytic activity measurements were carried out in two stage continuous flow equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions closest possible to the industrial. Gas mixtures on the input and output of the reactor were analyzed with a gas chromatograph, equipped with FID and TCD detectors. The texture characteristics were determined by low-temperature (- 196oС) nitrogen adsorption in a Quantachrome Instruments NOVA 1200e (USA) specific surface area & pore analyzer. Thermal, XRD and TPR analyses were performed. It was established that the active component of the mixed Cu- Mn/γ–alumina catalysts strongly depends on the Cu/Mn molar ratio. Highly active alumina supported Cu-Mn catalysts for CO, methanol and DME oxidation were synthesized. While the hopcalite is the best catalyst for CO oxidation, the best compromise for simultaneous oxidation of all components is the catalyst with Cu/Mn molar ratio 1:5.
Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-Cr Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation
This work studies the effect of chemical composition on the activity and selectivity of γ–alumina supported CuO/ MnO2/Cr2O3 catalysts toward deep oxidation of CO, dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of the support with an aqueous solution of copper nitrate, manganese nitrate and CrO3 under different conditions. Thermal, XRD and TPR analysis were performed. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Flow-line equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions that mimic closely the industrial ones was used. The reactant and product gases were analyzed by means of on-line gas chromatographs. On the basis of XRD analysis it can be concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-Cr/γ–alumina catalysts consists of at least six compounds – CuO, Cr2O3, MnO2, Cu1.5Mn1.5O4, Cu1.5Cr1.5O4 and CuCr2O4, depending on the Cu/Mn/Cr molar ratio. Chemical composition strongly influences catalytic properties, this influence being quite variable with regards to the different processes. The rate of CO oxidation rapidly decrease with increasing of chromium content in the active component while for the DME was observed the reverse trend. It was concluded that the best compromise are the catalysts with Cu/(Mn + Cr) molar ratio 1:5 and Mn/Cr molar ratio from 1:3 to 1:4.
ORR Activity and Stability of Pt-Based Electrocatalysts in PEM Fuel Cell
A comparison of activity and stability of the as-formed Pt/C, Pt-Co and Pt-Pd/C electrocatalysts, prepared by a combined approach of impregnation and seeding, was performed. According to the activity test in a single Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) activity of the Pt-M/C electrocatalyst was slightly lower than that of Pt/C. The j0.9 V and E10 mA/cm2 of the as-prepared electrocatalysts increased in the order of Pt/C > Pt-Co/C > Pt-Pd/C. However, in the medium-to-high current density region, Pt-Pd/C exhibited the best performance. With regard to their stability in a 0.5 M H2SO4 electrolyte solution, the electrochemical surface area decreased as the number of rounds of repetitive potential cycling increased due to the dissolution of the metals within the catalyst structure. For long-term measurement, Pt- Pd/C was the most stable than the other three electrocatalysts.
Alumina Supported Copper-Manganese Catalysts for Combustion of Exhaust Gases: Effect of Preparation Method

The development of active and stable catalysts without noble metals for low temperature oxidation of exhaust gases remains a significant challenge. The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of the preparation method on the catalytic activity of the supported copper-manganese mixed oxides in terms of VOCs oxidation. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of γ- Al2O3 with copper and manganese nitrates and acetates and the possibilities for CO, CH3OH and dimethyl ether (DME) oxidation were evaluated using continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Effect of the support, Cu/Mn mole ratio, heat treatment of the precursor and active component loading were investigated. Highly active alumina supported Cu-Mn catalysts for CO and VOCs oxidation were synthesized. The effect of preparation conditions on the activity behavior of the catalysts was discussed. The synergetic interaction between copper and manganese species increases the activity for complete oxidation over mixed catalysts. Type of support, calcination temperature and active component loading along with catalyst composition are important factors, determining catalytic activity. Cu/Mn molar ratio of 1:5, heat treatment at 450oC and 20 % active component loading are the best compromise for production of active catalyst for simultaneous combustion of CO, CH3OH and DME.

Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies

PLA emerged as a promising polymer because of its property as a compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable sources. PLA can be polymerized from monomers (Lactide or Lactic acid) obtained by fermentation processes from renewable sources such as corn starch or sugarcane. For PLA synthesis, ring opening polymerization (ROP) of Lactide monomer is one of the preferred methods. In the literature, the technique mainly developed for ROP of PLA is based on metal/bimetallic catalyst (Sn, Zn and Al) or other organic catalysts in suitable solvent. However, the PLA synthesized using such catalysts may contain trace elements of the catalyst which may cause toxicity. This work estimated the usefulness and drawbacks of using different catalysts as well as effect of alternative energies and future aspects for PLA production.

Control of Airborne Aromatic Hydrocarbons over TiO2-Carbon Nanotube Composites

Poly vinyl acetate (PVA)-based titania (TiO2)–carbon nanotube composite nanofibers (PVA-TCCNs) with various PVA-to-solvent ratios and PVA-based TiO2 composite nanofibers (PVA-TN) were synthesized using an electrospinning process, followed by thermal treatment. The photocatalytic activities of these nanofibers in the degradation of airborne monocyclic aromatics under visible-light irradiation were examined. This study focuses on the application of these photocatalysts to the degradation of the target compounds at sub-part-per-million indoor air concentrations. The characteristics of the photocatalysts were examined using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. For all the target compounds, the PVA-TCCNs showed photocatalytic degradation efficiencies superior to those of the reference PVA-TN. Specifically, the average photocatalytic degradation efficiencies for benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and o-xylene (BTEX) obtained using the PVA-TCCNs with a PVA-to-solvent ratio of 0.3 (PVA-TCCN-0.3) were 11%, 59%, 89%, and 92%, respectively, whereas those observed using PVA-TNs were 5%, 9%, 28%, and 32%, respectively. PVA-TCCN-0.3 displayed the highest photocatalytic degradation efficiency for BTEX, suggesting the presence of an optimal PVA-to-solvent ratio for the synthesis of PVA-TCCNs. The average photocatalytic efficiencies for BTEX decreased from 11% to 4%, 59% to 18%, 89% to 37%, and 92% to 53%, respectively, when the flow rate was increased from 1.0 to 4.0 L min1. In addition, the average photocatalytic efficiencies for BTEX increased 11% to ~0%, 59% to 3%, 89% to 7%, and 92% to 13%, respectively, when the input concentration increased from 0.1 to 1.0 ppm. The prepared PVA-TCCNs were effective for the purification of airborne aromatics at indoor concentration levels, particularly when the operating conditions were optimized.

Semiconductor Supported Gold Nanoparticles for Photodegradation of Rhodamine B

Rhodamine B (RB) is a toxic dye used extensively in textile industry, which must be remediated before its drainage to environment. In the present study, supported gold nanoparticles on commercially available titania and zincite were successfully prepared and then their activity on the photodegradation of RB under UV A light irradiation were evaluated. The synthesized photocatalysts were characterized by ICP, BET, XRD, and TEM. Kinetic results showed that Au/TiO2 was an inferior photocatalyst to Au/ZnO. This observation could be attributed to the strong reflection of UV irradiation by gold nanoparticles over TiO2 support.

Synthesis of Novel Nanostructured Catalysts for Pyrolysis of Biomass

Nanostructured catalysts were successfully prepared by acidification of diatomite and regeneration of FCC spent catalysts. The obtained samples were characterized by IR, XRD, SEM, EDX, MAS-NMR (27Al and 29Si), NH3-TPD and tested in catalytic pyrolysis of biomass (rice straw). The results showed that the similar bio-oil yield of 41.4% can be obtained by pyrolysis with catalysts at 450oC as compared to that of the pyrolysis without catalyst at 550oC. The bio-oil yield reached a maximum of 42.55% at the pyrolysis temperature of 500oC with catalytic content of 20%. Moreover, by catalytic pyrolysis, bio-oil quality was better as reflected in higher ratio of H/C, lower ratio of O/C. This clearly indicated high application potential of these new nanostructured catalysts in the production of bio-oil with low oxygenated compounds.

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