Recent progress with tailored growth and post-process sorting enables carbon nanotube (CNT) assemblies with predominantly metallic or semi-conducting concentrations. Cryogenic and microwave measurements performed here show transport dimensionality and overall order increasing with increasing metallic concentration, even in atmospheric doping conditions. By 120 GHz, the conductivity of predominantly semi-conducting assemblies grew to 400% its DC value at an increasing growth rate, while other concentrations a growth rate that tapered off. A generalized Drude model fits to the different frequency dependent behaviors and yields useful quality control parameters such as plasma frequency, mean free path, and degree of localization. As one of the first demonstrations of waveguides fabricated from this material, sorted CNTs from both as-made and post-process sources were inserted into sections of practical micro-strip. With both sources, sorted CNT micro-strip increasingly outperformed the unsorted with increasing frequency-- illustrating that sorted CNT assemblies will be important for high frequency applications.
In recent years, plasma-assisted synthesis has been extensively used in large scale production of functional nano- and micro-scale materials for numerous applications in optoelectronics, photonics, plasmonics, magnetism and drug delivery, however systematic formation of these minuscule structures has remained a challenge. Here we demonstrate a new method to closely manipulate mesostructures in terms of size, composition and morphology by controlling permeability at the boundaries of an impermeable plasma surrounded by a blanket of neutrals. In situ and rapid growth of thin films in the core region due to ion screening is among other benefits of our method. Similarly we can take advantage of exceptional properties of plasma to control the morphology of the as deposited nanostructures. Probing the plasma at boundaries by means of observing the nanostructures, further provides interesting insights into the behaviour of gas-insulated plasmas with possible implications on efficacy of viscous heating and non-magnetic confinement.
In this study, luminescent bio-adsorbent nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) was produced and applied for the removal and detection of Hg (II) from aqueous media. N-CDs were synthesized from oil palm empty fruit bunch carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and urea. According to several analytical techniques used, the obtained N-CDs display graphitic core with an average size of 4.2 nm, are enriched with active sites, stable over a wide range of pH and have great resistance to photobleaching. The N-CDs have bright blue emission with an improved quantum yield (QY) of up to 35.5%. The effect of the variables including pH, adsorbent mass, initial concentration and incubation time on the removal of Hg (II) was investigated using central composite design. The statistical results confirmed that the adsorption process could reach equilibrium within 30 min. The reduced cubic model (R2 = 0.9989) revealed a good correlation between the observed values and predicted data. The optimal variables were pH of 7, dose of 0.1 g, initial concentration of 100 mg/L and duration of 30 min. Under these conditions, adsorption efficiency of 84.6% was obtained. The adsorption kinetic data could be well expressed by pseudo-second-order kinetic and Langmuir isotherm models. The optimal adsorption capacity was 116.3 mg g-1. Furthermore, the adsorbent has a good selectivity towards Hg (II) with a detection limit of 0.01 μM due to the special interaction between Hg (II) and carboxyl/amino groups on the edge of N-CDs. This work provided an alternative direction for constructing low-cost adsorbents with effective sorption and sensing of Hg (II).
Wetlands are an important source of DOM. However, the quantity and quality of wetlands' DOM from various climatic regions have not been studied comprehensively. The relationship between the concentrations of DOM (DOC), humic substances (HS) and non-humic substances (NHS) in wetland associated sloughs, streams and rivers, in cool temperate (Hokkaido, Japan), sub-tropical (Florida, USA), and tropical (Sarawak, Malaysia) regions was investigated. The DOC ranged from 1.0 to 15.6 mg CL(-1) in Hokkaido, 6.0-24.4 mg CL(-1) in Florida, and 18.9-75.3 mg CL(-1) in Sarawak, respectively. The relationship between DOC and HS concentrations for the whole sample set was regressed to a primary function with y-intercept of zero (P<0.005) and a slope value of 0.841. A similar correlation was observed between DOC and NHS concentrations, with a smaller slope value of 0.159. However, the correlation coefficient of the latter was much larger when the data was regressed to a logarithmic curve. These observations suggest the presence of a general tendency that the increased DOC in the river waters was mainly due to the increased supply of HS from wetland soils, whereas the rate of the increase in the NHS supply has an upper limit which may be controlled by primary productivity.
The utilization of carbon dioxide for the production of valuable chemicals via catalysts is one of the efficient ways to mitigate the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is known that the carbon dioxide conversion and product yields are still low even if the reaction is operated at high pressure and temperature. The carbon dioxide utilization and conversion provides many challenges in exploring new concepts and opportunities for development of unique catalysts for the purpose of activating the carbon dioxide molecules. In this paper, the role of carbon-based nanocatalysts in the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide and direct synthesis of dimethyl carbonate from carbon dioxide and methanol are reviewed. The current catalytic results obtained with different carbon-based nanocatalysts systems are presented and how these materials contribute to the carbon dioxide conversion is explained. In addition, different strategies and preparation methods of nanometallic catalysts on various carbon supports are described to optimize the dispersion of metal nanoparticles and catalytic activity.
The process parameters of microwave hydrothermal carbonization (MHTC) have significant effect on yield of hydrochar. This study discusses the effect of process parameters on hydrochar yield produced from MHTC of rice husk. Results revealed that, over the ranges tested, a lower temperature, lower reaction time, lower biomass to water ratio, and higher particle size produce more hydrochar. Maximum hydrochar yield of 62.8% was obtained at 1000 W, 220 °C, and 5 min. The higher heating value (HHV) was improved significantly from 6.80 MJ/kg of rice husk to 16.10 MJ/kg of hydrochar. Elemental analysis results showed that the carbon content increased and oxygen content decreased in hydrochar from 25.9 to 47.2% and 68.5 to 47.0%, respectively, improving the energy and combustion properties. SEM analysis exhibited modification in structure of rice husk and improvement in porosity after MHTC, which was further confirmed from BET surface analysis. The BET surface area increased from 25.0656 m2/g (rice husk) to 92.6832 m2/g (hydrochar). Thermal stability of hydrochar was improved from 340 °C for rice husk to 370 °C for hydrochar.
The objectives of the study are to use immobilized acclimated biomass and immobilized biomass-powdered activated carbon (PAC) as a novel approach in the bioregeneration of granular activated carbon (GAC) loaded with phenol and o-cresol, respectively, and to compare the efficiency and rate of the bioregeneration of the phenolic compound-loaded GAC using immobilized and suspended biomasses under varying GAC dosages. Bioregeneration of GAC loaded with phenol and o-cresol, respectively, was conducted in batch system using the sequential adsorption and biodegradation approach. The results showed that the bioregeneration efficiency of GAC loaded with phenol or o-cresol was basically the same irrespective of whether the immobilized or suspended biomass was used. Nonetheless, the duration for bioregeneration was longer under immobilized biomass. The beneficial effect of immobilized PAC-biomass for bioregeneration is the enhancement of the removal rate of the phenolic compounds via adsorption and the shortening of the bioregeneration duration.
The present work covers the preparation of carbon-based nanosorbents by ethylene decomposition on stainless steel mesh without the use of external catalyst for the treatment of water containing nickel ions (Ni2+). The reaction temperature was varied from 650 to 850 degrees C, while reaction time and ethylene to nitrogen flow ratio were maintained at 30 min and 1:1 cm3/min, respectively. Results show that nanosorbents synthesised at a reaction temperature of 650 degrees C had the smallest average diameter (75 nm), largest BET surface area (68.95 m2/g) and least amount of impurity (0.98 wt.% Fe). A series of batch-sorption tests were performed to evaluate the effects of initial pH, initial metal concentration and contact time on Ni2+ removal by the nanosorbents. The equilibrium data fitted well to Freundlich isotherm. The kinetic data were best correlated to a pseudo second-order model indicating that the process was of chemisorption type. Further analysis by the Boyd kinetic model revealed that boundary layer diffusion was the controlling step. This primary study suggests that the prepared material with Freundlich constants compared well with those in the literature, is a promising sorbent for the sequestration of Ni2+ in aqueous solutions.
Oil palm fibre was used to prepare activated carbon using physiochemical activation method which consisted of potassium hydroxide (KOH) treatment and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) gasification. The effects of three preparation variables: the activation temperature, activation time and chemical impregnation (KOH:char) ratio on methylene blue (MB) uptake from aqueous solutions and activated carbon yield were investigated. Based on the central composite design (CCD), a quadratic model and a two factor interaction (2FI) model were respectively developed to correlate the preparation variables to the MB uptake and carbon yield. From the analysis of variance (ANOVA), the significant factors on each experimental design response were identified. The optimum activated carbon prepared from oil palm fibre was obtained by using activation temperature of 862 degrees C, activation time of 1h and chemical impregnation ratio of 3.1. The optimum activated carbon showed MB uptake of 203.83 mg/g and activated carbon yield of 16.50%. The equilibrium data for adsorption of MB on the optimum activated carbon were well represented by the Langmuir isotherm, giving maximum monolayer adsorption capacity as high as 400mg/g at 30 degrees C.
Palm shell was used to prepare activated carbon using potassium carbonate (K2CO3) as activating agent. The influence of carbonization temperatures (600-1000 degrees C) and impregnation ratios (0.5-2.0) of the prepared activated carbon on the pore development and yield were investigated. Results showed that in all cases, increasing the carbonization temperature and impregnation ratio, the yield decreased, while the adsorption of CO2 increased, progressively. Specific surface area of activated carbon was maximum about 1170 m2/g at 800 degrees C with activation duration of 2 h and at an impregnation ratio of 1.0.
Polypyrrole (PPy) and polypyrrole-carboxylic functionalized multi wall carbon nanotube composites (PPy/f-MWCNT) were synthesized by in situ chemical oxidative polymerization of pyrrole on the carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The structure of the resulting complex nanotubes was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The effects of f-MWCNT concentration on the electrical properties of the resulting composites were studied at temperatures between 100 K and 300 K. The Hall mobility and Hall coefficient of PPy and PPy/f-MWCNT composite samples with different concentrations of f-MWCNT were measured using the van der Pauw technique. The mobility decreased slightly with increasing temperature, while the conductivity was dominated by the gradually increasing carrier density.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) serve as low-costing alternatives to silicon solar cells because of their low material and fabrication costs. Usually, they utilize Pt as the counter electrode (CE) to catalyze the iodine redox couple and to complete the electric circuit. Given that Pt is a rare and expensive metal, various carbon materials have been intensively investigated because of their low costs, high surface areas, excellent electrochemical stabilities, reasonable electrochemical activities, and high corrosion resistances. In this feature article, we provide an overview of recent studies on the electrochemical properties and photovoltaic performances of carbon-based CEs (e.g., activated carbon, nanosized carbon, carbon black, graphene, graphite, carbon nanotubes, and composite carbon). We focus on scientific challenges associated with each material and highlight recent advances achieved in overcoming these obstacles. Finally, we discuss possible future directions for this field of research aimed at obtaining highly efficient DSSCs.
Diamond like carbon (DLC) is applied as a thin film onto substrates to obtain desired surface properties such as increased hardness and corrosion resistance, and decreased friction and wear rate. Microdimple is an advanced surface modification technique enhancing the tribological performance. In this study, DLC coated microdimples were fabricated on hip prosthesis heads and their mechanical, material and surface properties were characterized. An Electro discharge machining (EDM) oriented microdrilling was utilized to fabricate a defined microdimple array (diameter of 300 µm, depth of 70 µm, and pitch of 900 µm) on stainless steel (SS) hip prosthesis heads. The dimpled surfaces were then coated by hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) and tetrahedral amorphous carbon (Ta-C) layers by using a magnetron sputtering technology. A preliminary tribology test was conducted on these fabricated surfaces against a ceramic ball in simulated hip joint conditions. It was found that the fabricated dimples were perpendicular to the spherical surfaces and no cutting-tools wear debris was detected inside the individual dimples. The a-C:H and Ta-C coatings increased the hardness at both the dimple edges and the nondimpled region. The tribology test showed a significant reduction in friction coefficient for coated surfaces regardless of microdimple arrays: the lowest friction coefficient was found for the a-C:H samples (µ = 0.084), followed by Ta-C (µ = 0.119), as compared to the SS surface (µ = 0.248).
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are the most studied allotropic form of carbon. They can be used in various biomedical applications due to their novel physicochemical properties. In particular, the small size of CNTs, with a large surface area per unit volume, has a considerable impact on their toxicity. Despite of the use of CNTs in various applications, toxicity is a big problem that requires more research. In this Review, we discuss the toxicity of CNTs and the associated mechanisms. Physicochemical factors, such as metal impurities, length, size, solubilizing agents, CNTs functionalization, and agglomeration, that may lead to oxidative stress, toxic signaling pathways, and potential ways to control these mechanisms are also discussed. Moreover, with the latest mechanistic evidence described in this Review, we expect to give new insights into CNTs' toxicological effects at the molecular level and provide new clues for the mitigation of harmful effects emerging from exposure to CNTs.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a refractory pollutant presents in water body that possesses serious threats to living organisms. To deal with it, we investigate and evaluate the effectiveness of GO@BiOI/Bi2WO6 composite as a novel photocatalyst for BPA removal from aqueous solutions under UV-vis irradiation. To enhance its removal for BPA, the surface of BiOI/Bi2WO6 is modified with graphene oxide (GO). This composite is named as 'GO@BiOI/Bi2WO6'. Changes in its physico-chemical properties after surface modification with GO are characterized by XRD, FTIR, FESEM-EDS, XPS, PL, and BET methods. Optimized conditions of BPA degradation by the composite are determined under identical conditions. Photodegradation pathways of BPA and its removal mechanisms by the same composite are presented. It is obvious that the GO@BiOI/Bi2WO6 has demonstrated its potential as a promising photocatalyst for BPA removal under UV-vis irradiation. About 81% of BPA removal is attained by the GO@BiOI/Bi2WO6 under optimized conditions (10 mg/L of BPA, 0.5 g/L of dose, pH 7 and 5 h of reaction time). The oxidation by-products of BPA degradation include p-hydroquinone or 4-(1-hydroxy-1-methyl-ethyl)-phenol. In spite of its performance, the treated effluents are still unable to meet the maximum discharge limit of <1 mg/L set by national legislation. Therefore, subsequent biological processes are essential to maximize its biodegradation in the wastewater samples before their discharge into waterbody.
Carbon-based quantum dots (C-QDs) were synthesized through microwave-assisted carbonization of an aqueous starch suspension mediated by sulphuric and phosphoric acids. The as-prepared C-QDs showed blue, green and yellow luminescence without the addition of any surface-passivating agent. The C-QDs were further analyzed by UV-vis spectroscopy to measure the optical response of the organic compound. The energy gaps revealed narrow sizing of C-QDs in the semiconductor range. The optical refractive index and dielectric constant were investigated. The C-QDs size distribution was characterized. The results suggested an easy route to the large scale production of C-QDs materials.
A novel glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with a composite film of poly (4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (P4VP/MWCNT GCE) was used for the voltammetric determination of paracetamol (PCT). This novel electrode displayed a combined effect of P4VP and MWCNT on the electro-oxidation of PCT in a solution of phosphate buffer at pH 7. Hence, conducting properties of P4VP along with the remarkable physical properties of MWCNTs might have combined effects in enhancing the kinetics of PCT oxidation. The P4VP/MWCNT GCE has also demonstrated excellent electrochemical activity toward PCT oxidation compared to that with bare GCE and MWCNT GCE. The anodic peak currents of PCT on the P4VP/MWCNT GCE were about 300 fold higher than that of the non-modified electrodes. By applying differential pulse voltammetry technique under optimized experimental conditions, a good linear ratio of oxidation peak currents and concentrations of PCT over the range of 0.02-450 μM with a limit of detection of 1.69 nM were achieved. This novel electrode was stable for more than 60 days and reproducible responses were obtained at 99% of the initial current of PCT without any influence of physiologically common interferences such as ascorbic acid and uric acid. The application of this electrode to determine PCT in tablets and urine samples was proposed.
Genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) have been developed and used in guiding systems' metabolic engineering strategies for strain design and development. This strategy has been used in fermentative production of bio-based industrial chemicals and fuels from alternative carbon sources. However, computer-aided hypotheses building using established algorithms and software platforms for biological discovery can be integrated into the pipeline for strain design strategy to create superior strains of microorganisms for targeted biosynthetic goals. Here, I described an integrated workflow strategy using GEMs for strain design and biological discovery. Specific case studies of strain design and biological discovery using Escherichia coli genome-scale model are presented and discussed. The integrated workflow presented herein, when applied carefully would help guide future design strategies for high-performance microbial strains that have existing and forthcoming genome-scale metabolic models.
A novel method is proposed to study the behavior and phase formation of a Si+C compacted pellet under centrifugal acceleration in a hybrid reaction. Si+C as elemental mixture in the form of a pellet is embedded in a centrifugal tube. The pellet assembly and tube are exposed to the sudden thermal energy of a thermite reaction resulted in a hybrid reaction. The hybrid reaction of thermite and Si+C produced unique phases. X-ray diffraction pattern (XRD) as well as microstructural and elemental analyses are then investigated. XRD pattern showed formation of materials with possible electronic and magnetic properties. The cooling rate and the molten particle viscosity mathematical model of the process are meant to assist in understanding the physical and chemical phenomena took place during and after reaction. The results analysis revealed that up to 85% of materials converted into secondary products as ceramics-matrix composite.