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Chemical CO2 recycling via dry and bi reforming of methane using Ni-Sn/Al2O3 and Ni-Sn/CeO2-Al2O3 catalysts

Stroud, T; Smith, TJ; Le Sache, E; Santos, JL; Centeno, MA; Arellano-Garcia, H; Odriozola, JA; Reina, TR
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 224 (2018) 125-135


Carbon formation and sintering remain the main culprits regarding catalyst deactivation in the dry and bi-reforming of methane reactions (DRM and BRM, respectively). Nickel based catalysts (10 wt.%) supported on alumina (Al2O3) have shown no exception in this study, but can be improved by the addition of tin and ceria. The effect of two different Sn loadings on this base have been examined for the DRM reaction over 20 h, before selecting the most appropriate Sn/Ni ratio and promoting the alumina base with 20 wt.% of CeO2. This catalyst then underwent activity measurements over a range of temperatures and space velocities, before undergoing experimentation in BRM. It not only showed good levels of conversions for DRM, but exhibited stable conversions towards BRM, reaching an equilibrium H-2/CO product ratio in the process. In fact, this work reveals how multicomponent Ni catalysts can be effectively utilised to produce flexible syngas streams from CO2/CH4 mixtures as an efficient route for CO2 utilisation.

May, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.10.047

High-temperature compressive creep of novel fine-grained orthorhombic ZrO2 ceramics stabilized with 12 mol% Ta doping

Sponchia, G; Moshtaghioun, BM; Riello, P; Benedetti, A; Gomez-Garcia, D; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A; Ortiz, AL
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 38 (2018) 2445-2448


A novel fine-grained orthorhombic ZrO2 ceramic stabilized with 12 mol% Ta doping was fabricated by spark plasma sintering from home-made powders, and its high-temperature mechanical properties evaluated for the first time by compressive creep tests in both Ar and air. It was found that the high-temperature plasticity of the ceramic deformed in Ar, under which the Ta-doped orthorhombic ZrO2 is a black suboxide with abundant oxygen vacancies in its crystal structure, is controlled by grain boundary sliding (stress exponent similar to 2, and activation energy similar to 780-800 kJ/mol). However, the high-temperature plasticity of the ceramic deformed in air, under which the Ta-doped orthorhombic ZrO2 is a white oxide due to the elimination in situ of oxygen vacancies, is controlled by recovery creep (stress exponent 3, and activation energy similar to 750 kJ/mol). It was also observed that black Ta-doped orthorhombic ZrO2 is more creep resistant than its white counterpart with the same grain size, and that the former deforms as the more conventional Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 does.

May, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.12.055

Is an alumina-whisker-reinforced alumina composite the most efficient choice for an oxidation-resistant high-temperature ceramic?

Tamura, Y; Moshtaghioun, BM; Zapata-Solvas, E; Gomez-Garcia, D; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A; Cerecedo-Fernandez, C; Valcarcel-Juarez, V
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 38 (2018) 1812-1818


The search of a competitive ceramic material for structural applications demands several requisites: a simple microstructure with easy reproducibility, good intrinsic mechanical properties and most of all, an optimal oxidation resistance. This later point is a challenging point for most ultrahigh refractory materials. 
In this work an alumina (Al2O3) whisker-reinforced Al2O3 composite prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) is studied. It will be shown that, although the microstructure is quite similar to that of pure monolithic one, there is a notorious enhancement of the high-temperature deformation resistance, reaching up to one order of magnitude over the pure Al2O3 specimen. On the other hand, the activation energy of these composites increases notably. The results are explained in terms of an original model. A comparison with reported data shows that such composite is as efficient as a SiC-whisker-reinforced Al2O3 composite, with the advantage of its oxidation resistance and much less fabrication cost.

April, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.10.006

Spark plasma sintering of titanium nitride in nitrogen: Does it affect the sinterability and the mechanical properties?

Moshtaghioun, BM; Gomez-Garcia, D; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 38 (2018) 1190-1196


Titanium nitride ceramics have an intrinsic interest due to its optical and structural applications. However, the conditions for sintering of dense pieces are not still clarified. This research work is focused on the spark plasma sintering (SPS) of near-fully dense fine-grained TiN. The main goal is giving a response to a longstanding debate: can the external atmosphere favor sintering? Different sintering atmospheres, either vacuum or a nitrogen flow, have been used during SPS heating to this purpose. X ray diffraction analysis has showed the presence of TiN as the main phase with traces of Ti4O7 in optimal SPS conditions (1600 °C, one minute dwell time). Our results show that the use of a nitrogen flow while heating can improve sinterability very slightly, but mechanical properties are essentially unaltered within the experimental uncertainty. The hardness reaches values as high as 20GPa whereas fracture toughness can be evaluated around 4 MPam1/2.

April, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.12.029

Synthesis of vaterite CaCO3 as submicron and nanosized particles using inorganic precursors and sucrose in aqueous medium

Perez-Villarejo, L; Takabait, F; Mahtout, L; Carrasco-Hurtado, B; Eliche-Quesada, D; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Ceramics International, 44 (2018) 5291-5296


It is reported the synthesis of CaCO3 vaterite as stable nanoparticles and submicron-sized by a simple and relatively rapid procedure. XRD, SEM and FTIR techniques have been used to characterize the precipitated products. The synthesis is based on chemical precipitation of inorganic salt precursors, calcium nitrate tetra hydrate and sodium bicarbonate, and using the disaccharide sucrose as an additive in aqueous medium. The role of the disaccharide sucrose is to control the vaterite precipitation after nucleation and growth. It has been found that an increase in sugar concentration promotes the crystal precipitation of vaterite with spherulitic morphology, as revealed by SEM, and changed the surface of the precipitated particles. There is a significant difference between CaCO3 precipitation in the absence and presence of sucrose. Addition of 0% of sucrose leads to 83% of calcite as identified by XRD methods. In contrast, addition of 67% of sucrose in aqueous medium produces 100% vaterite. The present results may be useful to provide a quick, simple, inexpensive and novel method for the controlled synthesis of new advanced biomaterials based on vaterite particles without hazardous chemicals and inert atmosphere, with great possibilities for industrial scale production.

April, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.12.142

Self-propagating mechanosynthesis of HfB2 nanoparticles by a magnesiothermic reaction

Jalaly, M; Gotor, FJ; Sayagues, MJ
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 101 (2018) 1412-1419


A mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction (MSR) was used to synthesize hafnium diboride nanoparticles. Along this route, magnesium was selected as a robust reducing agent for co-reduction in boron and hafnium oxides in a combustive manner. Combustion occurred after a short milling period of 12 minutes. The hafnium diboride nanoparticles had a polygonal faceted morphology and were 50-250 nm in diameter. The assessment of the processing mechanism revealed that the initial combustive reduction in B2O3 to elemental B by Mg was the major step for progressing the overall reaction. After that, HfO2 can be reduced to elemental Hf, followed by the synthesis of HfB2 phase.

April, 2018 | DOI: 10.1111/jace.15297

Silver-modified ZnO highly UV-photoactive

Jaramillo-Páez, C.; Navío, J.C.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 356 (2018) 112-122


ZnO nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by a controlled precipitation procedure by mixing aqueous solutions of Zn(II) acetate and dissolved Na2CO3 at pH ca. 7.0 without template addition and ulterior calcination at 400 °C for 2 h. The Ag-ZnO catalysts (ranging from 0.5 to 10 Ag wt.-%) were obtained by photochemical deposition method at the surface of the prepared ZnO sample, using AgNO3 as precursor. The as-prepared catalysts (with and without silver) were characterized by XRD, BET, FE-SEM, TEM, and XPS and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The effect of Ag-phodeposition on the photocatalytic properties of ZnO nanoparticles was investigated. Three different probe molecules were used to evaluate the photocatalytic properties under UV-illumination and visible illumination: Methyl Orange and Rhodamine B were chosen as hazardous dyes and Phenol as a transparent substrate. For each of the chosen substrates, it was observed that the UV-photocatalytic properties of ZnO improved with the amount of Ag deposited, up to an optimum percentage around 1–5 wt.-% Ag, being even better than the commercial Evonik-TiO2(P25) in the same conditions. Above this amount, the UV-photocatalytic properties of the Ag-ZnO samples remain unchanged, indicating a maximum for Ag-deposition. While ZnO and Ag-ZnO catalysts can photodegrade Rhodamine B, Methyl Orange and Phenol totally within 60 min under UV-illumination, the process is slightly faster for the case of Ag–ZnO nanoparticles. Under Vis-illumination, the silver-metalized samples did not present photocatalytic activity in the degradation of Methyl Orange. However, a very low photoactivity was present for phenol degradation (10% conversion) and a moderate conversion of ca. 70% for Rhodamine B degradation, after 120 min of Visible-illumination. High conversion values and a total organic carbon (TOC) removal of 86–97% were obtained over the Ag-ZnO photocatalysts after 120 min of UV-illumination, suggesting that these Ag-modified ZnO nanoparticles may have good applications in wastewater treatment, due to its reuse properties.

April, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2017.12.044

Tailoring structured WGS catalysts: Impact of multilayered concept on the water surface interactions

Gonzalez-Castano, M; Le Sache, E; Ivanova, S; Romero-Sarria, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 222 (2018) 124-132


A novel multilayer approach for designing structured WGS catalyst is employed in this study as a response to the lack of new strategies in the literature. The approach proposes the use of two successive layers with different functionalities on metallic micromonolith substrate. The WGS catalyst behavior is modulated by the nature of the inner layer which determines the active species surface population by acting on the water activation step. The catalytic promotion attained by introducing inner ceria containing solids with increasing number of oxygen defects is intensely analyzed through FT-IR and H2O-TPD. Several evidences about the participation of the oxygen vacancies, as key sites, for water absorption processes are established. Besides, remarkable relationships between the water absorption strengths and the water splitting processes within their influence on the catalyst performance are also discussed.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.10.018

Robust polarization active nanostructured 1D Bragg Microcavities as optofluidic label-free refractive index sensor

Oliva-Ramirez, M; Gil-Rostra, J; Yubero, F; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 256 (2018) 590-599


In this work we report the use of polarization active porous 1D Bragg microcavities (BM) prepared by physical vapor deposition at oblique angles for the optofluidic analysis of liquid solutions. These photonic structures consist of a series of stacked highly porous layers of two materials with different refractive indices and high birefringence. Their operational principle implies filling the pores with the analyzed liquid while monitoring with linearly polarized light the associated changes in optical response as a function of the solution refractive index. The response of both polarization active and inactive BMs as optofluidic sensors for the determination of glucose concentration in water solutions has been systematically compared. Different methods of detection, including monitoring the BM wave retarder behavior, are critically compared for both low and high glucose concentrations. Data are taken in transmission and reflection modes and different options explored to prove the incorporation of these nanostructured transducers into microfluidic systems and/or onto the tip of an optical fiber. This analysis has proven the advantages of the polarization active transducer sensors for the optofluidic analysis of liquids and their robustness even in the presence of light source instabilities or misalignments of the optical system used for detection.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2017.10.060

Synthesis of Pd-Al/biomorphic carbon catalysts using cellulose as carbon precursor

Cazana, F; Galetti, A; Meyer, C; Sebastian, V; Centeno, MA; Romeo, E; Monzon, A
Catalysis Today, 301 (2018) 226-238


This work presents the results obtained with novel Pd and Pd-Al catalysts supported on carbon, which have been prepared using a biomorphic mineralization technique. The catalyst synthesis procedure includes a stage of thermal decomposition under reductive atmosphere of cellulose previously impregnated with the metallic precursors. We have studied the influence of the temperature and time of decomposition, and of the Al precursor addition, on the textural and catalytic properties. The characterisation results indicate that the preparation method used leads to the formation of carbonaceous supports with a high microporosity (up to 97% micropore volume) and values of the BET surface up to 470 m2/g while maintaining the original external structure. The use of low temperatures (ca. 600 °C) during the decomposition step allows the preparation of highly dispersed catalysts with narrow Pd particle size distributions. However, the thermal decomposition at elevated temperatures (ca. 800 °C) increases the Pd particle size due to the sintering of the metallic phase. This phenomenon is augmented with the decomposition time and is not affected by the presence of Al. Consequently, the catalytic activity of these materials in cyclohexene hydrogenation is strongly affected by the operational conditions used during the thermal decomposition step. Unexpectedly, the more sintered catalysts, i.e. those prepared at 800 °C, show the highest activity. According to the characterization results, this fact can be explained considering that the smaller Pd particles obtained after preparation at e.g. 600 °C are quite inactive because they are confined in the internal structure of the micropores of the support and/or embedded inside the carbon matrix. In contrast, after decomposition at 800 °C, the larger Pd particles formed are placed at the external surface of the catalyst, being accessible to the reactants. In addition, for the specific conditions under which the Pd is accessible, the presence of Al favours the cyclohexene conversion due to the enhancement of the adsorption on the Pd surface as a consequence of a charge transfer phenomenon. These results can serve as a guideline for the preparation of these catalysts based on raw lignocellulosic materials in order to maximize their catalytic performance.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2017.05.026

Gold catalyst recycling study in base-free glucose oxidation reaction

Megias-Sayago, C.; Bobadilla, L. F.; Ivanova, S.; Penkova, A.; Centeno, M. A.; Odriozola, J. A.
Catalysis Today, 301 (2018) 72-77


This work is devoted to the study of viability of immobilized gold colloids on carbon as catalysts for the base-free glucose oxidation reaction with a special emphasis made on catalysts' recycling, operational life and possible routes for deactivation/reactivation under batch conditions. The observed catalytic behavior is related to all possible manners of deactivation, like gold metal state changes (particle size agglomeration or leaching), support modifications or active sites blocking by intermediates. In an attempt to recover the initial catalytic activity, the samples are subjected to different treatments such as H2O and NaOH washings and calcination. The failure of the regeneration procedures to recover the initial activity and after detailed catalyst' characterization allows us to find out the main cause of deactivation

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2017.03.022

Synthesis and optical properties of environmentally benign and highly uniform NaCe(MoO4)(2) based yellow nanopigments

Laguna, M; Nuñez, NO; Fernandez, M; Ocaña, M
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 739 (2018) 542-548


A method for the synthesis of uniform and aggregation free NaCeMoO4 based nanospheroids with tunable size is reported. The procedure is based on a precipitation reaction at 120 degrees C for 20 h from solutions containing Na2MoO4, sodium citrate and Ce(NO3)(3) and different amounts of Y(NO3)(3) or Gd(NO3)(3). The role played by the later compounds on the formation of the particles and their morphological and structural characteristics is analyzed through the analysis of the mechanism of particle formation. The chromaticity coordinates of the obtained samples are also evaluated showing that the here reported nanoparticles constitute an ecofriendly alternative to more toxic commercial yellow pigments. The synthesized nanoparticles are also free of aggregation in water suspensions and might be suitable for injet-printing technologies. 

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.12.158

Investigation of use of coal fly ash in eco-friendly construction materials: fired clay bricks and silica-calcareous non fired bricks

Eliche-Quesada, D; Sandalio-Perez, JA; Martinez-Martinez, S; Perez-Villarejo, L; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Ceramics International, 44 (2018) 4400-4412


The use of coal fly ash (CFA) as raw material for the manufacture of two construction materials, fired clay bricks and silica-calcareous non-fired bricks, was investigated. Fired clay bricks were manufactured using a commercial clay and different waste ratios (0-50 wt%), moulded at 10 MPa and fired at 1000 degrees C (4 h). Silica-calcareous non fired bricks were prepared using two wastes as raw material: CFA and "geosilex"(G), a hidrated lime residue which comes entirely from acetylene industry waste. Different proportions CFA (80-30 wt%) G (20-70 wt%) were investigated. Raw materials were moulded at 10 MPa and cured in water at room temperature during 28 days. The results indicated that the incorporation of up to 20 wt% of CFA produced fired clay bricks with physical and mechanical properties similar to control bricks without waste. However, additions of a higher amount (30-50 wt%) of residue resulted in a more pronounced decrease in mechanical properties (between 25-50%) due to an increase in open porosity. The technological characterization of the silica-calcareous non fired bricks showed a reduction in the values of bulk density and water absorption when the coal fly ash content decreases. Silica-calcareous non-fired bricks containing between 40 and 60 wt% of CFA had the highest values of compressive strength in the range 46-43 MPa. These silica-calcareous non-fired bricks, 60CFA-40 G, 50CFA-50 G and 40CFA-60 G, presented the optimum amount of pozzolanic materials (SiO2 and Al2O3) in the coal fly ash and calcium hydroxide in the geosilex to give rise to the formation of calcium silicate hydrates and calcium aluminate hydrates, the phases responsible for the mechanical resistance increase of the construction materials. Therefore, CFA-clay fired bricks and silica-calcareous CFA-Geosilex non-fired bricks presented optimal technological properties that attain the quality standards.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.12.039

LaFeO3 ceramics as selective oxygen sensors at mild temperature

Jaouali, I; Hamrouni, H; Moussa, N; Nsib, MF; Centeno, MA; Bonavita, A; Neri, G; Leonardi, SG
Ceramics International, 44 (2018) 4183-4189


In this study, an investigation about the oxygen sensing properties of lanthanum orthoferrite (LaFeO3) ceramics is reported. LaFeO3 nanoparticles were synthesized by using tartaric sol-gel route and annealed in air at different temperatures (500, 700 and 900 degrees C). The samples have been characterized by using thermal analysis (TA), BET surface area and porosity, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results of sensing tests indicate that LaFeO3 nanoparticles exhibit good response to oxygen at mild temperatures (300-450 degrees C). The effect of annealing temperature on gas sensing performance was investigated, demonstrating that LaFeO3 ceramics obtained after annealing at 500 degrees C display better characteristics with respect to others. The oxygen sensor developed shows also high stability in humid environment and excellent selectivity to oxygen over other interfering gases such as CO, NO2, CO2, H-2 and ethanol.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2017.11.221

Urban wastewater treatment by using Ag/ZnO and Pt/TiO2 photocatalysts

J.J. Murcia, L.G. Arias Bolivar, H.A. Rojas Sarmiento, E.G. Ávila Martínez, C. Jaramillo Páez, M.A. Lara, J.A. Navío Santos, M.C. Hidalgo López
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2018) 1-9


In this study, the treatment of wastewater coming from a river highly polluted with domestic and industrial effluents was evaluated. For this purpose, series of photocatalysts obtained by ZnO and TiO2 modification were evaluated. The effect of metal addition and Ti precursor (in the case of the titania series) over the physicochemical and photocatalytic properties of the materials obtained was also analyzed. The evaluation of the photocatalytic activity showed that semiconductor modification and precursor used in the materials synthesis are important factors influencing the physicochemical and therefore the photocatalytic properties of the materials obtained. The water samples analyzed in the present work were taken from a highly polluted river, and it was found that the effectiveness of the photocatalytic treatment increases when the reaction time increases and for both, wastewater samples and isolated Escherichia coli strain follow the next order Pt/TiO2 << ZnO. It was also observed that biochemical and chemical demand oxygen and turbidity significantly decrease after treatment, thus indicating that photocatalysis is a non-selective technology, which can lead to recover wastewater containing different pollutants.

March, 2018 | DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-1592-3

Self-Assembly of the Nonplanar Fe(III) Phthalocyanine Small-Molecule: Unraveling the Impact on the Magnetic Properties of Organic Nanowires

Filippin, AN; Lopez-Flores, V; Rojas, TC; Saghi, Z; Rico, VJ; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Espinos, JP; Zitolo, A; Viret, M; Midgley, PA; Barranco, A; Borras, A
Chemistry of Materials, 30 (2018) 879-887


In this article we show for the first time the formation of magnetic supported organic nanowires (ONWs) driven by self-assembly of a nonplanar Fe(III) phthalocyanine chloride (FePcCl) molecule. The ONWs grow by a crystallization mechanism on roughness-tailored substrates. The growth methodology consists of a vapor deposition under low vacuum and mild temperature conditions. The structure, microstructure, and chemical composition of the FePcCl NWs are thoroughly elucidated and compared with those of Fe(II) phthalocyanine NWs by a consistent and complementary combination of advanced electron microscopies and X-ray spectroscopies. In a further step, we vertically align the NWs by conformal deposition of a SiO2 shell. Such orientation is critical to analyze the magnetic properties of the FePcCl and FePc supported NWs. A ferromagnetic behavior below 30 K with an easy axis perpendicular to the phthalocyanine plane was observed in the two cases with the FePcCl nanowires presenting a wider hysteresis. These results open the path to the fabrication of nanostructured one-dimensional small-molecule spintronic devices.

February, 2018 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b04515

High {0 0 1} faceted TiO2 nanoparticles for the valorization of oxygenated compounds present in aqueous biomass-derived feedstocks

Fernández-Arroyo, A.; Lara, M.A.; Domine, M.E.; Sayagués,M.J.; Navío, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.
Journal of Catalysis, 358 (2018) 266-276


{0 0 1} faceted TiO2 catalysts are hydrothermally synthesized by using titanium(IV) isopropoxide and butoxide precursors (ISO and BUT TiO2 samples) together with HF addition. Their activity and stability are evaluated in the catalytic condensation of light oxygenated organic compounds present in an aqueous model mixture simulating a real bio-refinery effluent, under moderate operation conditions. High {0 0 1} faceted TiO2 catalysts show organic products yields superior to those attained with other TiO2 samples (anatase, rutile, and P25). This enhanced catalytic activity relates to their physico-chemical and textural properties, such as high surface area (≈100 m2/g), regular morphology (platelets conformed by partially agglomerated TiO2 nanoparticles), and adequate Lewis acidity. XRD and Raman measurements evidence the unique presence of anatase crystalline phase in both ISO and BUT materials, in which the use of HF during synthesis produces the preferential growth of TiO2 crystals mainly exposing the {0 0 1} plane. This effective {0 0 1} facet exposition directly determines catalytic results. Moreover, TiO2 ISO catalyst shows outstanding stability under reaction conditions, maintaining practically unaltered their activity after several re-uses. In particular, Lewis acid sites present in TiO2 faceted materials are more stable in the presence of organic acids under aqueous environments. This opens new possibilities for the application of these materials in the valorization of light oxygenated compounds present in biomass-derived aqueous effluents.

February, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2017.12.018

In situ monitoring of the phenomenon of electrochemical promotion of catalysis

Espinos, JP; Rico, VJ; Gonzalez-Cobos, J; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Perez-Dieste, V; Escudero, C; de Lucas-Consuegra, A; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Journal of Catalysis, 358 (2018) 27-34


In this work we investigate by in-situ near-ambient pressure photoemission (NAPP) spectroscopy the phenomenon of Electrochemical Promotion of Catalysis (EPOC). We studied the reduction and diffusion kinetics of alkaline ions in a solid electrolyte cell formed by a nickel electrode supported on K+-beta-alumina electrolyte. Experiments in ultra-high vacuum and in the presence of steam showed that the amount of potassium atoms supplied to the surface is probably affected by nickel electronic modifications induced by adsorbed OH- groups. It was also deduced that part of the segregated potassium would be adsorbed at inner interfaces where it would be inaccessible to the photoelectron analyzer. A migration mechanism of the promoter is proposed consisting in: (i) the electrochemical reduction of the alkali ions (potassium) at the Ni/solid electrolyte/gas interface; (ii) the spillover of potassium atoms onto the Ni gas-exposed surface; and (iii) the diffusion of potassium atoms to Ni inner grain boundary interfaces.

February, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2017.11.027

Calcium-Looping performance of mechanically modified Al2O3-CaO composites for energy storage and CO2 capture

Benitez-Guerrero, M; Valverde, JM; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perejon, A; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 334 (2018) 2343-2355


This work reports the Calcium-Looping (CaL) multicycle performance under energy storage and CO2 capture conditions of different Al-composites prepared by milling mixtures of nanoalumina and natural limestone powders. The micro-and nanostructure of the composites have been analyzed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy as affected by the type of CaL conditions employed, either for energy storage in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants or for post-combustion CO2 capture. Two types of calcium aluminates are formed under these diverse CaL conditions. A calcium aluminate with ratio Ca/Al < 1 (Ca4Al6O13) is formed under CaL-CSP conditions, which helps stabilize the CaO microstructure and mitigate pore-plugging. On the other hand, a crystalline phase Ca3Al2O6 is formed (Ca/Al > 1) under CaL-CO2 capture conditions presumably due to the higher calcination temperature, which withdraws from the sorbent a relatively higher amount of active Ca. Moreover, the addition of nano-alumina, and the consequent generation of calcium aluminate, affects in a diverse way the microstructure and morphology of the CaO particles as depending on the CaL application, which critically modifies the performance of the composites.

February, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2017.11.183

Experimental measurement of the filtration efficiency and pressure drop of wall-flow diesel particulate filters (DPF) made of biomorphic Silicon Carbide using laboratory generated particles

Orihuela, MP; Gomez-Martin, A; Miceli, P; Becerra, JA; Chacartegui, R; Fino, D
Applied Thermal Engineering, 131 (2018) 41-53


Biomorphic Silicon Carbide (bioSiC) has been recently introduced in the scope of porous ceramic substrates for hot gas filtration applications, where it has demonstrated to have good thermal and mechanical properties, and a high potential to meet the requirements for current Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). In this experimental study, a small wall-flow bioSiC diesel filter was characterized using a soot generator, the particle size distribution of which being similar to the one generated by a diesel engine. The bioSiC samples were manufactured from Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) following a general manufacturing procedure for bioSiC ceramics, but paying special attention in the mechanizing stage to the geometry and optimal design of the honeycomb structure required for diesel engine applications. The samples had a cell density of 57.59 cell/cm(2) (371.6 cpsi), a square cross section of 9.2 x 9.2 mm, and a length of 31 mm. To generate the particle laden stream and perform the filtration tests, a synthetic Soot Generator (SG) was used. Tests were performed under controlled and reproducible conditions, with a fixed gas flow rate of 5 LPM and a soot mass flow rate of 4 mg/h. The filtration efficiency was determined with the aid of a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) from the measurements of the particle concentration upstream and downstream the filter samples. During the soot loading process, the pressure drop was also monitored. The results show that, in the initial stage (clean filter), bioSiC wall-flow DPFs may have a filtration efficiency between 0.7 and 0.85 and a pressure drop of around 2 kPa for a normalized wall velocity of 0.01 m/s at ambient temperature. The filtration performance of wall-flow bioSiC particle filters showed in this work can help us to better understand their real potential for automotive applications. 

February, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.11.149