Scientific Papers in SCI


Title: Gold promoted Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts prepared from hydrotalcite precursors: Advanced materials for the WGS reaction
Author(s): Santos, JL; Reina, TR; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Source: Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 201 (2017) 310-317

abstract | fulltext

Outstanding catalysts for the water was shift reaction are reported in this work. The combination of gold nanoparticles with Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 prepared from hydrotalcite-like precursors leads to very promising systems for pure hydrogen production. Full CO conversion is reached at temperatures as low as 180 degrees C. The key point seems to be the cooperation of Au and Cu and the optimal metal-oxide contact derived from the synthesis method. The high activity of gold for low temperature CO oxidation and the suitability of copper for the WGS results in a perfect synergy. Moreover the materials developed in this work present good stability and tolerance towards start/stop cycles an indispensable requisite for a realistic application in an integrated hydrogen fuel processor.

February, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.08.017

Title: Pt-impregnated catalysts on powdery SiC and other commercial supports for the combustion of hydrogen under oxidant conditions
Author(s): Arzac, G. M.; Montes, O.; Fernandez, A.
Source: Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 201 (2017) 391-399

abstract | fulltext

We report the study of the catalytic hydrogen combustion over Pt-impregnated powdery silicon carbide (SiC) using H2PtCl6 as precursor. The reaction was conducted in excess of oxygen. beta-SiC was selected for the study because of its thermal conductivity, mechanical properties, chemical inertness and surface area. The obtained Pt particles over SiC were medium size (average particle diameter of 5 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt). The activity of the Pt-impregnated catalyst over SiC was compared to those obtained in oxidized form over TiO2 and Al2O3 commercial supports (Pt particles very small in size, average particle diameter of 1 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt in both cases). The case of a SiO2 support was also discussed. Those Pt/SiC particles were the most active because of their higher contribution of surface Pt, indicating that partially oxidized surfaces have better activity than those totally oxidized in these conditions. SiC was modified with an acid treatment and thus bigger (average particle diameter of 7 nm for 0.5 wt% Pt) and more active Pt particles were obtained. Durability of the SiC and TiO2 supported catalysts was tested upon 5 cycles and both have shown to be durable and even more active than initially. Exposure to the oxidative reaction mixture activates the catalysts and the effect is more pronounced for the completely oxidized particles. This is due to the surface oxygen chemisorption which activates catalystsi surface.

February, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.08.042

Title: Structuring Pt/CeO2/Al2O3 WGS catalyst: Introduction of buffer layer
Author(s): Gonzalez-Castano, M; Ivanova, S; Laguna, OH; Martinez, LM; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Source: Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 200 (2017) 420-427

abstract | fulltext

This work is devoted to the development of novel structured catalytic system for WGS reaction. The new concept is related to the presence of a pre-catalytic "buffer" layer formed by WGS-inert oxide, i.e. not involved in CO conversion, but able to increase the number of participating sites in water dissociation step during the reaction. The performance of the proposed systems appears to depend strongly on the stream composition, being its effect beneficial in highly reducing atmospheres making it ideal for cleanup application. An increment of the partial kinetic order for water species is observed and reveals the key role of the water activation for superior catalytic behavior. 

January, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.07.039

Title: Study of the E. coli elimination from urban wastewater over photocatalysts based on metallized TiO2
Author(s): Murcia, JJ; Avila-Martinez, EG; Rojas, H; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Source: Applied Catalysis B-Envionmental, 200 (2017) 469-476

abstract | fulltext

In this study, a series of photocatalysts based on TiO2 was tested in the elimination of Escherichia coli (E. coli) from urban wastewater. Firstly, TiO2 obtained by sol-gel method was modified by sulfation, and then gold or platinum nanoparticles were photodeposited on sulfated titania surface. Platinized samples were also prepared with different Pt content of 0.5 and 2 wt.%. The samples thus obtained were extensively characterized and it was found that sulfation considerably increases the S-BET value of TiO2 and promotes the anatase phase formation; it was also found that 0.5 wt.% Pt-TiO2 sample presents the lowest noble metal particle size and the best particle dispersion. All the photocatalysts synthesized have shown bactericidal effect and the results obtained by using bare and metalized TiO2 were considerably better than the results obtained with the commercial TiO2 P25 Evonic. Different light intensities were also evaluated in the photocatalytic tests and it was found that 120 W/m(2) leads to obtain the highest E. coli elimination from wastewater samples; however no total elimination of E. coli or other species of bacteria was achieved even after 5 h of photocatalytic treatment without catalyst. Total elimination of the E. coli was achieved after 3 h of photocatalytic reaction by using 120 Wim(2) of light intensity and 2 wt.% Pt-TiO2 as photocatalyst; no bacterial regrowth was observed even after 72 h. 

January, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.07.045

Title: Electron injection and scaffold effects in perovskite solar cells
Author(s): M. Anaya, W. Zhang, B. Clasen Hames, Y. Li, F. Fabregat-Santiago, M.E. Calvo, H.J. Snaith, H. Míguez, I. Mora-Seró
Source: Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 5 (2017) 634-644

abstract | fulltext

In spite of the impressive efficiencies reported for perovskite solar cells (PSCs), key aspects of their working principles, such as electron injection at the contacts or the suitability of the utilization of a specific scaffold layer, are not yet fully understood. Increasingly complex scaffolds attained by the sequential deposition of TiO2 and SiO2 mesoporous layers onto transparent conducting substrates are used to perform a systematic characterization of both the injection process at the electron selective contact and the scaffold effect in PSCs. By forcing multiple electron injection processes at a controlled sequence of perovskite–TiO2 interfaces before extraction, interfacial injection effects are magnified and hence characterized in detail. An anomalous injection behavior is observed, the fingerprint of which is the presence of significant inductive loops in the impedance spectra with a magnitude that correlates with the number of interfaces in the scaffold. Analysis of the resistive and capacitive behavior of the impedance spectra indicates that the scaffolds could hinder ion migration, with positive consequences such as lowering the recombination rate and implications for the current–potential curve hysteresis. Our results suggest that an appropriate balance between these advantageous effects and the unavoidable charge transport resistive losses introduced by the scaffolds will help in the optimization of PSC performance.

January, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/C6TC04639H

Title: Cholesterol biosensing with a polydopamine-modified nanostructured platinum electrode prepared by oblique angle physical vacuum deposition
Author(s): Martin, M; Salazar, P; Alvarez, R; Palmero, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Gonzalez-Mora, JL; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Source: Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 240 (2017) 37-45

abstract | fulltext

This paper reports a novel cholesterol biosensor based on nanostructured platinum (Pt) thin films prepared by Magnetron Sputtering (MS) in an oblique angle (OAD) configuration. Pt thin films were deposited onto a gold screen-printed electrode and characterized using Rutherford Back Scattering (RBS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and wetting analysis. Our results confirmed that the film is highly porous and formed by tilted nanocolumns, with an inclination of around 40 degrees and a total thickness of 280 nm. XRD and CV analysis confirmed the polycrystalline nature of the Pt thin film. Cholesterol oxidase (ChOx) was covalently immobilized using a bioinspired polymer, polydopamine (PDA), via Schiff base formation and Michael-type addition. After being immobilized, ChOx displayed apparent activation energy of 34.09 kJ mol(-1) and Michaelis constant (K-M) values of 34.09 kJ mol(-1) and 3.65 mM, respectively, confirming the high affinity between ChOx and cholesterol and the excellent ability of the PDA film for immobilizing biological material without degradation. Under optimized working conditions the developed biosensor presented a sensitivity of 14.3 mA M(-1)cm(-2) (R-2:0.999) with a linear range up to 0.5 mM and a limit of detection of 10.5 mu M (S/N= 3). Furthermore, the biosensor exhibited a fast response (<8 s), good anti-interference properties and high stability after relatively long-term storage (2 months). 

March, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2016.08.092

Title: Gold catalysts screening in base-free aerobic oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid
Author(s): Benitez, JJ; Heredia-Guerrero, JA; Cruz-Carrillo, MA; Barthel, MJ; Knicker, HE; Heredia, A
Source: Catalysis Today, 279 (2017) 148-154

abstract | fulltext

Base-free aerobic oxidation of glucose in presence of Au/Al2O3, Au/CeO2, Au/CeO2(20 wt%)/Al2O3, Au/CeO2(25 wt%)/ZrO2 and Au/CeO2(50 wt%)/ZrO2 catalysts using molecular oxygen at atmospheric pressure is studied. Within the whole series high conversion and selectivity to gluconic acid are observed after 18 h of reaction at 120 degrees C. The activity and especially the selectivity changes are related to the support nature in a way that the higher the Lewis acidity of the support the lower the selectivity to gluconic acid and the higher the production of lactic acid. The highest yield to gluconic acid is obtained over Au/Al2O3 for which the influence of the reaction time, temperature and stirring rate are further evaluated and discussed.

January, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2016.06.046

Title: Front contact optimization of industrial scale CIGS solar cells for low solar concentration using 2D physical modeling
Author(s): Delgado-Sanchez, JM; Lopez-Gonzalez, JM; Orpella, A; Sanchez-Cortezon, E; Alba, MD; Lopez-Lopez, C; Alcubilla, R
Source: Renewable Energy, 101 (2017) 90-95

abstract | fulltext

Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 (CIGS) technology is one of the best absorber materials with record efficiencies among photovoltaic thin-film technologies (22.3% at lab scale and 16% at large commercial module). Although research on this material was originally motivated by low-cost, glass-glass applications focusing to fixed photovoltaic structures, the high efficiency values make CIGS an interesting alternative for low concentration systems. In this paper a 2D model for Cu(In,Ga)Se-2 (CIGS) solar cells under low solar concentration is described and contrasted with experimental data. Using simulation, the effect of front electric contact design parameters: finger width, finger separation, and number of buses are analyzed for solar concentrations from 1 up to 10 suns. Efficiency maps allowing front contact grid optimization are shown and analyzed for each concentration factor (Cx), assessing the viability of CIGS solar cells for low concentration applications, where commercial CIGS solar cells may exhibit 35% of electrical power increases with proper front grid optimization under low concentration respect to conventional grid design. 

February, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2016.08.046

Title: Outstanding visible photocatalytic activity of a new mixed bismuth titanatate material
Author(s): Zambrano, P; Sayagues, MJ; Navio, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Source: Applied Surface Science, 394 (2017) 16-24

abstract | fulltext

In this work, a new photocatalyst based on bismuth titanates with outstanding visible photocatalytic activity was prepared by a facile hydrothermal method. The synthesised material showed visible activity as high as UV activity of commercial TiO2 P25 under the same experimental conditions for phenol degradation. A wide characterisation of the photocatalyst was performed. The material was composed of three phases; majority of Bi20TiO32 closely interconnected to Bi4Ti3O12 and amorphous TiO2. The high visible activity showed by this material could be ascribed to a combination of several features; i.e. low band gap energy value (2.1 eV), a structure allowing a good separation path for visible photogenerated electron-holes pairs and a relatively high surface area. This photocatalyst appeared as a promising material for solar and visible applications of photocatalysis.

February, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.10.042

Title: Microcalorimetry: A powerful tool for quantitative analysis of aging hardening response of Cu-Ni-Sn alloys
Author(s): Donoso, E; Dianez, MJ; Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Sayagues, MJ; Criado, JM
Source: Journal of alloys and compounds, 694 (2017) 710-714

abstract | fulltext

The method for the deconvolution of overlapping DSC peaks here proposed has been used by the first time for the quantitative determination of the enthalpies associated to the phase transitions undergone during the aging of an alloy. They have been determined the enthalpies evolved along the first and the second overlapping DSC traces of Cu-10 wt%Ni-5.5 wt%Sn alloy, which are associated, respectively, to the spinodal decomposition of the alloy and the segregation of a DO22 (CuxNi1-x)(3)Sn tetragonal phase. The fraction of the DO22 phase (responsible of the aging hardening of this alloy) has been successfully determined from DSC as a function of the annealing treatment, while TEM and XRD failed for this purpose. It has been demonstrated that a threshold higher than 50% of crystallization of the DO22 phase is required for achieving a significant increase of the hardness as a function of the crystallization percentage. These results suggest that microcalorimetric measurement can be a powerful tool to establish quantitative relationships between the mechanical, electrical or functional properties of alloys and their structural changes undergone by aging.

February, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2016.10.060

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