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2018


A comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the synthesis of advanced adsorbent materials


Osuna, FJ; Cota, A; Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Journal of Cleaner Production, 194 (2018) 665-672

ABSTRACT

Na-Mica-4, a synthetic fluorophlogopite, is an attractive adsorbent. However, the synthesis at large scale demands an economically prized, feasible scalable and sustainable synthesis method, which requires a deep knowledge of the influence of each synthesis step. A set of Na-Mica-4 were synthesized by methods that had one synthesis parameter as variable. The purity, crystallinity and heteroatoms distribution were analysed thorough X-ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance. The results shed a light on the main factors for the design of the final product and indicated that an environmental friendship synthesis could be possible. 


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.05.179

Performance improvement in olive stone's combustion from a previous carbonization transformation


Gomez-Martin, A; Chacartegui, R; Ramirez-Rico, J; Martinez-Fernandez, J
Fuel, 228 (2018) 254-262

ABSTRACT

Under the framework of circular economy, agricultural wastes are an interesting carbon-based feedstock for thermal energy and power generation. Their use could extend the availability of biomass-based fuel and, at the same time, would reduce negative environmental effects. However, depending on the residues' characteristics, their direct combustion in boilers presents some challenges which could be overcome with a carbonization pretreatment. In this paper, the main mechanisms of thermochemical transformation of an abundant agricultural waste, olive stone, into biochar products via slow carbonization are analyzed, with emphasis on the effect of peak carbonization temperature. Thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry analysis are used to evaluate the performance of the resulting biochars compared to raw olive stone in combustion processes and to assess the correlation between the peak carbonization temperature and compositional and fuel properties. Results show that with a prior treatment up to an optimum temperature of 800 degrees C the energy density is increased up to three times compared to the raw material. These findings suggest that carbonization of olive stones reduces the barriers to their direct use in current biomass boiler technology.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2018.04.127

Nanostructural Analysis of Porous Oblique Angle Deposited (OAD) Multilayer Systems by Grazing-Incidence Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering


Oliva-Ramirez, M; Lopez-Santos, C; Yubero, F; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Advanced Optical Materials, 5 (2018) 1800530

ABSTRACT

This work reports a thorough characterization analysis of various porous thin film multilayers by means of grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). Alternated TiO2/SiO2 nanocolumnar layers deposited at oblique angles are fabricated in slanted, chiral, and zig-zag configurations by rotating azimuthally the substrate from one layer to the next. Multilayer systems formed by the stacking of 3 and 15 alternant thin films of these two oxides are morphologically characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and structurally by GISAXS. This technique has provided a means to determine various vertical and lateral correlation lengths and to assess the anisotropic electron density distribution along the structural elements existing in the multilayers. This information can be systematically used to account for the actual arrangement of nanostructural elements in multilayer systems.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1002/admi.201800530

Sensing and biosensing with screen printed electrodes modified with nanostructured nickel oxide thin films prepared by magnetron sputtering at oblique angles


Salazar, P; Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Electrochemistry Communications, 94 (2018) 5-8

ABSTRACT

This work reports about the sensing and biosensing applications of a novel screen printed electrode (SPE) modified by nanostructured nickel oxide thin films obtained by reactive magnetron sputtering under an oblique angle configuration. Using these films as electrodes we demonstrate their ability to detect hydrogen peroxide under neutral pH conditions. Furthermore, as a proof-of-concept, NiO-modified SPEs have been developed and their cholesterol biosensing properties determined by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2018.07.020

ZnO and Pt-ZnO photocatalysts: Characterization and photocatalytic activity assessing by means of three substrates


Jaramillo, C; Navio, J.A.; Hidalgo, M.C.; Macías, M.
Catalysis Today, 313 (2018) 12-19

ABSTRACT

ZnO nanoparticles have been previously synthesized by a facile precipitation procedure by mixing aqueous solutions of Zn(II) acetate and dissolved Na2CO3 at pH ca. 7.0 without the addition of a template. The as-prepared ZnO material was anealed at 400 °C in air for 2 h. The Pt-ZnO catalysts (0.5 or 1.0 Pt wt.%) were obtained by photochemical deposition method on the surface of the prepared ZnO sample, using hexachloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6). It has been shown that Zn2+ is lost from the photocatalyst to the medium and a replacement of the cationic vacancies of Zn2+ by Pt4+ cations occurs during the platinization process of the ZnO samples, regardless of whether the platinum metal photodeposition process. The as-prepared catalysts were characterized by XRD, BET, FE-SEM, TEM, XPS and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Three different probe molecules were used to evaluate the photocatalytic properties under UV-illumination: Methyl Orange and Rhodamine B were chosen as dye substrates and Phenol as a transparent substrate. High conversion values (ca. 100%) and a total organic carbon (TOC) removal of 90–96%, were obtained over these photocatalysts after 160 min of UV illumination. In general, it was observed that the presence of Pt on ZnO affects the lattice parameters and the crystallite size. Although ZnO can completely degrade RhB, MO and Phenol totally in ca. 60 min, the process is more efficient for Pt–ZnO photocatalysts.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2017.12.009

Improving the activity of gold nanoparticles for the water-gas shift reaction using TiO2-Y2O3: an example of catalyst design


Plata, JJ; Romero-Sarria, F; Suarez, JA; Marquez, AM; Laguna, OH; Odriozola, JA; Sanz, JF
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 20 (2018) 22076-22083

ABSTRACT

In the last ten years, there has been an acceleration in the pace at which new catalysts for the water-gas shift reaction are designed and synthesized. Pt-based catalysts remain the best solution when only activity is considered. However, cost, operation temperature, and deactivation phenomena are important variables when these catalysts are scaled in industry. Here, a new catalyst, Au/TiO2-Y2O3, is presented as an alternative to the less selective Pt/oxide systems. Experimental and theoretical techniques are combined to design, synthesize, characterize and analyze the performance of this system. The mixed oxide demonstrates a synergistic effect, improving the activity of the catalyst not only at large-to-medium temperatures but also at low temperatures. This effect is related to the homogeneous dispersion of the vacancies that act both as nucleation centers for smaller and more active gold nanoparticles and as dissociation sites for water molecules. The calculated reaction path points to carboxyl formation as the rate-limiting step with an activation energy of 6.9 kcal mol(-1), which is in quantitative agreement with experimental measurements and, to the best of our knowledge, it is the lowest activation energy reported for the water-gas shift reaction. This discovery demonstrates the importance of combining experimental and theoretical techniques to model and understand catalytic processes and opens the door to new improvements to reduce the operating temperature and the deactivation of the catalyst.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1039/c8cp03706j

Graphene or carbon nanofiber-reinforced zirconia composites: Are they really worthwhile for structural applications?


Cano-Crespo, R; Moshtaghioun, BM; Gomez-Garcia, D; Moreno, R; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 38 (2018) 3994-4002

ABSTRACT

The use of allotropic phases of carbon (i.e. nanotubes, graphene or carbon nanofibers) as second phases to design ceramic composites is a hot topic at present. Researchers try to provide a remarkable improvement of the parent ceramic assuming that some of the outstanding mechanical properties of these phases migrate to the resultant composite. This reasonable idea has been questioned severely in the case of nanotubes addition but there is not any analysis for the other two phases cited previously. To elucidate this question, zirconia was selected as a model ceramic. This paper reports the mechanical properties of zirconia composites reinforced either with graphene or carbon nanofibers, with special emphasis on the high-temperature plasticity.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2018.04.045

Mechanosynthesis of Sr1-xLaxTiO3 anodes for SOFCs: Structure and electrical conductivity


Sayagues, MJ; Gotor, J; Pueyo, M; Poyato, R; Garcia-Garcia, FJ
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 763 (2018) 679-686

ABSTRACT

Sr1-xLaxTiO3 (SLT; 0 <= x <= 0.5) powder samples were synthesised at room temperature by a mechanochemical method from SrO, La2O3 and TiO2 mixtures in 90 min. The obtained SLT samples as potential anode materials in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) were investigated. The microstructure, electrical conductivity and chemical compatibility with yttria-stabilised zirconia (YSZ) were studied. The powder samples had a nanometric character after milling. After a subsequently heating at 900 degrees C, the particle size slightly increased, but still remained nanometric. At this high temperature, a good chemical compatibility with YSZ was found. The x = 0.2 sample gave the best electrical conductivity values, i.e. 0.23 W cm(-2). These features make such as-obtained samples good candidates to be used as anodes in SOFCs.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2018.05.243

Nanostructured vanadium carbonitride prepared by combustion synthesis during mechanical milling


Jalaly, M; Gotor, FJ; Sayagues, MJ
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 763 (2018) 18-24

ABSTRACT

Vanadium carbonitride (VCN) nanoparticles were synthesized by a mechanically induced magnesiothermic combustion in a Mg/V2O5/C3H6N6 system. Initial materials ignited after a short milling time of 6 min. Various characterizations such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and elemental mapping confirmed that the product of the combustion was a mixed carbonitride. In this process, magnesium reduces vanadium oxide to generate elemental V and a great amount of heat. Melamine decomposes due to the temperature rise, and its decomposed species form the carbonitride compound. The chemical composition of the synthesized product was estimated to be VC0.26N0.36.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2018.05.352

Combined kinetic analysis of multistep processes of thermal decomposition of polydimethylsiloxane silicone


Garcia-Garrido, C; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Criado, JM; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE
Polymer, 153 (2018) 558-564

ABSTRACT

In this work, we studied the thermal decomposition of a widely employed silicone elastomer, polydimethylsiloxane, in an inert atmosphere. This silicone elastomer has several applications due to its high thermal stability such as MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) precursors, microfluidic components, adhesives, lubricants, and precursors for non-porous ceramics. Therefore, a reliable description of the thermal decomposition kinetics is important to prevent or control the decomposition in such applications. While the decomposition has been amply reported as a complex process, most kinetic studies published on this system use simplified methods that avoid the fact that the entire process cannot be described by a single kinetic triplet. Here, we have studied the decomposition process by first separating the overall reaction into its three constituent steps which were subsequently analysed independently. The deconvolution was carried out using Fraser-Suzuki function that is capable of fitting an asymmetric peak fitting function. The resulting kinetic parameters proved to be able to reconstruct the original experimental curves but are also capable of producing accurate predictions of curves recorded at heating schedules different from those employed to record the experimental data used in the kinetic analysis. Finally, it was found that the rate limiting step of all stages is the diffusion of the gases released during the polymer decomposition through the transforming polymeric matrix.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2018.08.045

Absorption enhancement in methylammonium lead iodide perovskite solar cells with embedded arrays of dielectric particles


Jimenez-Solano, A; Carretero-Palacios, S; Miguez, H
Optics Express, 26 (2018) A865-A878

ABSTRACT

In the field of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite based photovoltaics, there is a growing interest in the exploration of novel and smarter ways to improve the cells light harvesting efficiency at targeted wavelength ranges within the minimum volume possible, as well as in the development of colored and/or semitransparent devices that could pave the way both to their architectonic integration and to their use in the flowering field of tandem solar cells. The work herein presented targets these different goals by means of the theoretical optimization of the optical design of standard opaque and semitransparent perovskite solar cells. In order to do so, we focus on the effect of harmless, compatible and commercially available dielectric inclusions within the absorbing material, methylammonium lead iodide (MAPI). Following a gradual and systematic process of analysis, we are capable of identifying the appearance of collective and hybrid (both localized and ex tended) photonic resonances which allow to significantly improve light harvesting and thus the overall efficiency of the standard device by above 10% with respect to the reference value while keeping the semiconductor film thickness to a minimum. We believe our results will be particularly relevant in the promising field of perovskite solar cell based tandem photovoltaic devices, which has posed new challenges to the solar energy community in order to maximize the performance of semitransparent cells, but also for applications focusing on architectonic integration. 


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1364/OE.26.00A865

Adhesion enhancement of DLC hard coatings by HiPIMS metal ion etching pretreatment


Santiago, JA; Fernandez-Martinez, I; Wennberg, A; Molina-Aldareguia, JM; Castillo-Rodriguez, M; Rojas, TC; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Gonzalez, MU; Garcia-Martin, JM; Li, H; Bellido-Gonzalez, V; Monclus, MA; Gonzalez-Arrabal, R
Surface & Coatings Technology, 349 (2018) 787-796

ABSTRACT

Poor adhesion is a recurrent problem for the wider use of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings in industrial applications. In this work, we investigate the effectiveness of high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) metal ion etching to improve the adhesion of DLC coatings on high speed steel substrates. The influence of HiPIMS pretreatment parameters, the metal ion selection for the process and the addition of bonding layers on the adhesion properties were studied. Daimler-Benz and nanoscratch test methods were used to evaluate the adhesion. The elemental composition, morphology and microstructure of the samples were evaluated by EELS, SEM, AFM and HRTEM. In general, samples pretreated with HiPIMS metal ion etching withstand larger critical loads than those pretreated by conventional Ar + glow discharge and bonding layers. The pretreatment is proven to be very effective at removing surface contaminants and providing a gradual interface. The selection of Cr over Ti contributes to a significant improvement on the adhesion due to the reduction of the oxygen level at the interface thus ensuring an optimal coating-substrate contact and a more compliant structure, which prevents the delamination failure.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2018.04.090

An approach to the heating dynamics of residues from greenhouse-crop plant biomass originated by tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum, L.)


Garzon, E; Morales, L; Ortiz-Rodriguez, IM; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25 (2018) 25880-25887

ABSTRACT

The most representative of greenhouse-crop plant biomass residues of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) were selected for this study by using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). The heating dynamics in air in the 600-1150 degrees C range of these residues for the production of renewable energy and the resultant ashes have been investigated. A total of 11 elements were determined by XRF in the biomass ashes and some minor elements. The content of alkaline elements and chlorides decreased as increasing heating temperature and disappeared at 1150 degrees C. Alkaline salts, NaCl and KCl, were volatilized by heating since 800 degrees C. The total contents of S and P in the biomass ashes were associated to CaSO4, and a complex phosphate identified by XRD. CaCO3 present at 600 degrees C was decomposed to CaO with disappearance at 1000 degrees C. By heating, new silicates were formed by solid-state reactions in the biomass residue. The minor elements have been found in a relative proportion lower than 0.9wt.% and they characterized the obtained ashes, with potential use as micronutrients.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-2577-y

Vitrification and derived glass-ceramics from mining wastes containing vermiculite and lithium aluminium phosphate


Rincon, JM; Callejas, P; Sanchez-Soto, PJ; Jordan, MM
Materials Letters, 227 (2018) 86-89

ABSTRACT

The waste vitrification of abandoned open sky vermiculite deposits has been considered by combining with a natural phosphate mineral residue. Several batches haven been designed from the composition system: Li2O-MgO-Al2O3-P2O5-SiO2 including some Fe2O3 and Fluoride. The resulting glasses are transparent and smooth green coloured, giving rise after TTT treatments to several opal, opaque glass-ceramics with iridescent surface. Full characterization has been carried out by XRD and electron microscopy with EDS, as well as by XPS spectroscopies, concluding that the main crystalline phases formed were alpha-cordierite and beta-spodumene. The surface of these glass-ceramics from vermiculiteamblygonite is enriched in Fe2O3. Compared to the parent glasses, the final glass-ceramics exhibited and improvement in fracture toughness.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2018.05.001

Synthesis, characterization and combined kinetic analysis of thermal decomposition of hydrotalcite (Mg6Al2(OH)(16)CO3 center dot 4H(2)O)


Yahyaoui, R; Jimenez, PES; Maqueda, LAP; Nahdi, K; Luque, JMC
Thermochimica Acta, 667 (2018) 177-184

ABSTRACT

Here, a kinetic study of the thermal decomposition of synthesized hydrotalcite, Mg-6 Al-2 CO3(OH)(16)center dot H2O, has been carried out using thermogravimetric experiments in air atmosphere. It is shown that the thermal decomposition occurs in two well differentiated stages. The first one is a single-step dehydration process that comprises the release of four water molecules. On the other hand, the second stage is complex and corresponds to both dehydroxylation and decarbonation processes which occur simultaneously. The kinetic parameters describing all processes were calculated by means of a combined approach comprising isoconversional, model-fitting and deconvolution methods. It was concluded that dehydroxilation and decarbonization cannot be separated by TG experiments and the two stages contributing to the complex process do not apparently match the expected stoichiometry of the process. Therefore, it is proposed that such stages mark a change on the reaction mechanism due to the structural collapse of the laminar double hydroxide.


Septiembre, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tca.2018.07.025

Solar pilot plant scale hydrogen generation by irradiation of Cu/TiO2 composites in presence of sacrificial electron donors


Maldonado, MI; Lopez-Martin, A; Colon, G; Peral, J; Martinez-Costa, JI; Malato, S
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 229 (2018) 15-23

ABSTRACT

A Cu/TiO2 photocatalyst has been synthesised by reducing a Cu precursor with NaBH4 onto the surface of a sulphate pretreated TiO2 obtained by a sol-gel procedure. The catalyst, that shows a clearly defined anatase phase with high crystallinity and relatively high surface area, and contains Cu2O and CuO deposits on its surface, has been used to produce hydrogen in a solar driven pilot plant scale photocatalytic reactor. Different electron donor aqueous solutions (methanol, glycerol, and a real municipal wastewater treatment plant influent) have been tested showing similar or even higher energy efficiency than those obtained using more expensive noble metal based photocatalytic systems. The glycerol solutions have provided the best reactive environments for hydrogen generation.


Agosto, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2018.02.005

Unravelling the Role of Oxygen Vacancies in the Mechanism of the Reverse Water-Gas Shift Reaction by Operando DRIFTS and Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy


Bobadilla, LF; Santos, JL; Ivanova, S; Odriozola, JA; Urakawa, A
ACS Catalysis, 8 (2018) 7455-7467

ABSTRACT

The reaction mechanism of the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction was investigated using two commercial gold-based catalysts supported on Al2O3 and TiO2. The surface species formed during the reaction and reaction mechanisms were elucidated by transient and steady-state operando DRIFTS studies. It was revealed that RWGS reaction over Au/Al2O3 proceeds through the formation of formate intermediates that are reduced to CO. In the case of the Au/TiO2 catalyst, the reaction goes through a redox mechanism with the suggested formation of hydroxycarbonyl intermediates, which further decompose to CO and water. The Ti-3+ species, the surface hydroxyls, and oxygen vacancies jointly participate. The absence of carbonyl species adsorbed on gold particles during the reaction for both catalysts indicates that the reaction pathway involving dissociative adsorption of CO2 on Au particles can be discarded. To complete the study, operando ultraviolet visible spectroscopy was successfully applied to confirm the presence of Ti3+ and to understand the role of the oxygen vacancies of TiO2 support in activating CO2 and thus the subsequent RWGS reaction.


Agosto, 2018 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.8b02121

Iron-Catalyzed Graphitic Carbon Materials from Biomass Resources as Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries


Gomez-Martin, A; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Ruttert, M; Heckmann, A; Winter, M; Placke, T; Ramirez-Rico, J
Chemsuschem, 11 (2018) 2776-2787

ABSTRACT

Graphitized carbon materials from biomass resources were successfully synthesized with an iron catalyst, and their electrochemical performance as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) was investigated. Peak pyrolysis temperatures between 850 and 2000 degrees C were covered to study the effect of crystallinity and microstructural parameters on the anodic behavior, with a focus on the first-cycle Coulombic efficiency, reversible specific capacity, and rate performance. In terms of capacity, results at the highest temperatures are comparable to those of commercially used synthetic graphite derived from a petroleum coke precursor at higher temperatures, and up to twice as much as that of uncatalyzed biomass-derived carbons. The opportunity to graphitize low-cost biomass resources at moderate temperatures through this one-step environmentally friendly process, and the positive effects on the specific capacity, make it interesting to develop more sustainable graphite-based anodes for LIBs.


Agosto, 2018 | DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201800831

Effect of milling mechanism on the CO2 capture performance of limestone in the Calcium Looping process


Benitez-Guerrero, M; Valverde, JM; Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 346 (2018) 549-556

ABSTRACT

This work analyzes the relevant influence of milling on the CO2 capture performance of CaO derived from natural limestone. Diverse types of milling mechanisms produce contrasting effects on the microstructure of the CaO formed after calcination of the milled limestone samples, which affects crucially the kinetics of carbonation at conditions for CO2 capture. The capture capacity of CaO derived from limestone samples milled using either shear or impact based mills is impaired compared to as-received limestone. After calcination of the milled samples, the resulting CaO porosity is increased while crystallinity is enhanced, which hinders carbonation. Conversely, if the material is simultaneously subjected to intense impact and shear stresses, CaO porosity is promoted whereas CaO cristanillity is reduced, which enhances carbonation in both the reaction and solid-state diffusion controlled regimes.


Agosto, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2018.03.146

Synergy achieved in silver-TiO2 nanocomposites for the inhibition of biofouling on limestone


Becerra, J; Zaderenko, AP; Sayagues, MJ; Ortiz, R; Ortiz, P
Building and Environment, 141 (2018) 80-90

ABSTRACT

Biodeterioration of stone monuments is estimated to be as high as 20-30% of the total degradation suffered by Cultural Heritage constructions. With regard to this problem, bactericidal treatments are mainly based on cleaning. These processes, while effective in the short term, require frequent reapplications increasing potential damages to the monument. Silver nanoparticles offer many advantages over traditionally employed products, such as their prolonged biocide efficacy and their low toxicity to humans and environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of seven nanocomposite treatments based on titanium dioxide and/or silver nanoparticles to prevent biodeterioration of limestone monuments. These nanocomposites were characterized by UV Visible spectrophotometry, Dynamic Light Scattering and Electron Microscopy. To assess their bactericidal activity, accelerated weathering tests were performed on limestones from the quarry of Utrera, a source widely employed in such iconic monuments as the Cathedral of Seville (Spain). Furthermore, the samples of biopatina employed in our assays stemmed from the fa ades of historical buildings from Seville. Our results show that silver and titanium dioxide nanocomposites stabilized by citrate achieve a high biocide effect while maintaining color alterations at a low level.


Agosto, 2018 | DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.05.020

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