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Scientific Papers in SCI

2020


Experimental evidence of HCO species as intermediate in the fischer tropsch reaction using operando techniques


Diaz-Sanchez, RM; de-Paz-Carrion, A; Serrera-Figallo, MA; Torres-Lagares, D; Barranco, A; Leon-Ramos, JR; Gutierrez-Perez, JL
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 272 (2020) 119032

ABSTRACT

Fischer Tropsch's reaction, known from 1925, receives special attention nowadays due to its key role in the CO2 or biomass valorization to liquid fuels and chemicals. Several aspects on the exact mechanism or the role of water in this reaction are not yet completely clear. Formyl species, HCO, have been proposed as the most probable reaction intermediate, but they have never been observed under operation conditions closed to the real ones. In this work, using DRIFTS-MS operando techniques, HCO intermediates are detected under a H2/CO flow and 200 °C. IR bands at 2900 cm−1 and 1440 cm−1 attributed to ν(C–H) and δ(HCO) vibrations modes characterize these species. Evolution of these bands with the reaction time evidences its high reactivity with OH groups, which explains the positive effect of water on the CO conversion previously observed.


September, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2020.119032

Design of a nanoprobe for high field magnetic resonance imaging, dual energy X-ray computed tomography and luminescent imaging


Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Corral, A; Garcia-Embid, S; Balcerzyk, M; Garcia-Martin, ML; de la Fuente, JM; Ocana, M
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 573 (2020) 278-286

ABSTRACT

The combination of different bioimaging techniques, mainly in the field of oncology, allows circumventing the defects associated with the individual imaging modalities, thus providing a more reliable diagnosis. The development of multimodal endogenous probes that are simultaneously suitable for various imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray computed tomography (CT) and luminescent imaging (LI) is, therefore, highly recommended. Such probes should operate in the conditions imposed by the newest imaging equipment, such as MRI operating at high magnetic fields and dual-energy CT. They should show, as well, high photoluminescence emission intensity for their use in optical imaging and present good biocompatibility. In this context, we have designed a single nanoprobe, based on a core-shell architecture, composed of a luminescent Eu3+:Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 core surrounded by an external HoF3 shell that confers the probe with very high magnetic transverse relaxivity at high field. An intermediate, optically inert Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 layer was interposed between the core and the shell to hinder Eu3+-Ho3+ cross-relaxation and avoid luminescence quenching. The presence of Ba and Lu, with different K-edges, allows for good X-ray attenuation at high and low voltages. The core-shell nanoparticles synthesized are good potential candidates as trimodal bioprobes for MRI at high field, dual-energy CT and luminescent imaging. 


August, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.03.101

An electrochemical evaluation of nitrogen-doped carbons as anodes for lithium ion batteries


Gomez-Martin, A; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Ruttert, M; Winter, M; Placke, T; Ramirez-Rico, J
Carbon, 164 (2020) 261-271

ABSTRACT

New anode materials beyond graphite are needed to improve the performance of lithium ion batteries (LIBs). Chemical doping with nitrogen has emerged as a simple strategy for enhancing lithium storage in carbon-based anodes. While specific capacity and rate capability are improved by doping, little is known about other key electrochemical properties relevant to practical applications. This work presents a systematic evaluation of electrochemical characteristics of nitrogen-doped carbons derived from a biomass source and urea powder as anodes in LIB half- and full-cells. Results show that doped carbons suffer from a continuous loss in capacity upon cycling that is more severe for higher nitrogen contents. Nitrogen negatively impacts the voltage and energy efficiencies at low charge/discharge current densities. However, as the charge/discharge rate increases, the voltage and energy efficiencies of the doped carbons outperform the non-doped ones. We provide insights towards a fundamental understanding of the requirements needed for practical applications and reveal drawbacks to be overcome by novel doped carbon-based anode materials in LIB applications. With this work, we also want to encourage other researchers to evaluate electrochemical characteristics besides capacity and cycling stability which are mandatory to assess the practicality of novel materials. 


August, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.04.003

Metal catalysts supported on biochars: Part I synthesis and characterization


Santos, JL; Maki-Arvela, P; Monzon, A; Murzin, DY; Centeno, MA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 268 (2020) 118423

ABSTRACT

In the current study, synthesis and detailed characterization of cellulose biochars as a waste biomass model component and vine shoot biochars as a real waste biomass catalyst was performed. Although initially biochars exhibit poor textural properties, a simple activation process can make them much more suitable as a catalyst supports. A combination of physical (CO2) and chemical activation (ZnCl2) was evaluated. The characterization results indicated that the surface area and pore volume of the biochars have increased significantly by chemical activation treatment with ZnCl2. A series of metal catalysts (Pd, Au and Ru) supported on biochars was prepared and characterized. The prepared materials represent a set of noble metal catalysts supported on biochars with different textural and surface properties, which can be used to evaluate the catalytic role of the active phase and carbon support nature in catalytic reactions of interest, such as hydrodeoxygenation, described in the part II.


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.118423

Hydrodeoxygenation of vanillin over noble metal catalyst supported on biochars: Part II: Catalytic behaviour


Santos, JL; Maki-Arvela, P; Warna, J; Monzon, A; Centeno, MA; Murzin, DY
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 268 (2020) 118425

ABSTRACT

Vanillin hydrodeoxygenation was investigated using noble metal (Pd, Au, Ru) supported on active carbon prepared from waste derived biochars, which were produced via pyrolysis in CO2 atmosphere. Chemical activation with ZnCl2 and HNO3 was also used in the preparation of active carbon to enhance the specific surface area and demineralize material, respectively. Both fresh and spent catalysts were characterized with X-ray diffraction, DRIFTS, zeta potential measurement and HR-TEM. The highest selectivity to p-creosol, 92 % selectivity at complete vanillin conversion after 3 h was obtained in vanillin hydrodeoxygenation at 100 degrees C under 30 bar in hydrogen in water with Pd/C catalyst prepared via pyrolysis under CO2 from wine waste and using ZnCl2 as a chemical activation agent. Hydrodeoxygenation activity increased with increasing metal dispersion. A kinetic model including adsorption of vanillin described well the experimental data.


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.118425

Fast photodegradation of rhodamine B and caffeine using ZnO-hydroxyapatite composites under UV-light illumination


KarimTanji, J.A.Navio, Abdellah Chaqroune, Jamal Naja, F.Puga, M.C.Hidalgo, AbdelhakKherbeche
Catalysis Today, XXX (XXXX) XXX-XXX

ABSTRACT

Zinc oxide-hydroxyapatite composites were prepared using wet impregnation method. Firstly, a natural phosphate ore rich in silica and calcium phosphate was sieved to separate silica phase from phosphate phase. Then, through a chemical precipitation method, a pure hydroxyapatite (HAP) was obtained, which was used as a support for ZnO immobilization and applied for the photodegradation of two toxic contaminants: a transparent molecule (caffeine) and dye molecule (rhodamine B). During the present work two weight ratio percentages of zinc oxide were used: 25 wt.% and 50 wt.% of ZnO relative to HAP. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), BET surface area (SBET), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM-EDS) and by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM-STEM). The immobilization of ZnO on HAP surface followed by thermal treatment at 400 °C for 2 h to get a homogenous dispersion of ZnO on the hydroxyapatite support. At high ZnO impregnation percentage, photodegradation performances of ZnO-HAP under UV illumination were fast and superior than the ZnO photocatalyst alone. The results showed that due to the presence of HAP, the conversion of both molecules became faster and greater, since it promotes the synergic phenomena of adsorption and photocatalysis. The toxicity of the treated substrate solutions obtained in the corn kernels germination test indicated a low toxicity after the photodegradation processes, probably due to a high mineralization degree.


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2020.07.044

Performance trends in wall-flow diesel particulate filters: Comparative analysis of their filtration efficiency and pressure drop


Orihuela, MP; Chacartegui, R; Gomez-Martin, A; Ramirez-Rico, J; Villanueva, JAB
Journal of Cleaner Production, 60 (2020) 12063

ABSTRACT

Soot and particulate emissions from the transport sector are a major concern worldwide, given their harmful effects on public health and the environment. On-road vehicles are the main contributing source to this kind of pollution. They are strictly regulated in many countries, with limitations on the number and concentration of released particles, and they must be equipped with particle abatement systems. Wall-flow particulate filters are the most popular and effective devices to reduce particulate emissions from diesel and gasoline vehicles. Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) have been a recurrent research topic since the last century. There are different research studies analysing different aspects of these systems, at different levels, using different methodologies and different approaches. Their results are not always comparable. This work analyses the latest advances and trends in this technology by comparing two relevant performance parameters: their filtration efficiency and pressure drop. The findings of this study suggest that, in order to be competitive, upcoming DPFs should have filtration efficiencies above 80%, and pressure drops below 10 kPa, for space velocities of 1.5.10(5) h(-1) or more at the clean state. They should reach similar to 100% efficiency after a short operation period, before the soot load reaches 0.2 g/L. Later, they should keep a low pressure drop for a longer time, with a reference of no more than 13 kPa for 6 g/L of soot load. Based on this analysis, this work proposes some test criteria and suggestions for the main parameters. 


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120863

Influence of Sr-doping on structural, optical and photocatalytic properties of synthesized Ca3(PO4)2


Y.Naciri; A.Hsini; Z.Ajmal; A.Bouddouch; B.Bakiz; J.A.Navíod; A.Albourine; J-C.Valmalette; M.Ezahri; A.Benlhachemi
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 572 (2020) 269-280

ABSTRACT

Well-crystallized Ca3(PO4)2 doped and un-doped nano-particles with the maximum strontium content (40 wt% Sr) followed by calcination at 800 °C for 3 h were synthesized via facile co-precipitation method. DTA/TGA, X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDX), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectrum (UV–vis DRS), Raman spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) techniques were used for material characterization. The (XRD) patterns of as-synthesized Sr-doped Ca3(PO4)2 solid solution samples exhibited a systematic shift toward lower angles by possessing a single rhombohedral crystal structure without any secondary phases. The UV light driven photocatalytic activity was assessed for rhodamine B (RhB) degradation. As a result, ultrafast photodegradation activity was observed after Sr doping. Moreover, the 30 wt% Sr-Ca3(PO4)2 sample showed the highest photocatalytic degradation among the Sr-doped Ca3(PO4)2 samples toward RhB. It was further suggested that as-synthesized 30 wt% Sr-Ca3(PO4)2 superior photocatalytic performance is ascribed to the more proficient partition of photogenerated electron-hole pairs. Furthermore, the involved mechanism of superior photocatalytic performance of the 30 wt% Sr-Ca3(PO4)2 solid solution was also investigated. In addition, regeneration cycles indicated the higher stability of the photocatalyst to be effectively recycled up to four times without any considerable reduction in photocatalytic performance. Thus, these informations further provides us a scalable pathway to fabricate Sr doped Ca3(PO4)2 and its consequent use as an efficient photocatalyst for rhodamine B (RhB) contaminated wastewater treatment.


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.03.105

ICTAC Kinetics Committee recommendations for analysis of multi-step kinetics


Vyazovkin, S; Burnham, AK; Favergeon, L; Koga, N; Moukhina, E; Perez-Maqueda, LA; Sbirrazzuoli, N
Thermochimica Acta, 689 (2020) 178597

ABSTRACT

The present recommendations have been developed by the Kinetics Committee of the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (ICTAC). The recommendations provide guidance on kinetic analysis of multi-step processes as measured by thermal analysis methods such as thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Ways of detecting the multi-step kinetics are discussed first. Then, four different approaches to evaluation of kinetic parameters (the activation energy, the pre-exponential factor, and the reaction model) for individual steps are considered. The approaches considered include multi-step model-fitting as well as distributed reactivity, isoconversional, and deconvolution analyses. For each approach practical advice is offered on its effective usage. Due attention is also paid to the typical problems encountered and to the ways of resolving them. The objective of these recommendations is to help a non-expert with efficiently performing multi-step kinetic analysis and interpreting its results.


July, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.tca.2020.178597

New biomorphic filters to face upcoming particulate emissions policies: A review of the FIL-BIO-DIESEL project


Orihuela, MP; Chacartegui, R; Martinez-Fernandez, J
Energy, 201 (2020) 117577

ABSTRACT

With a high number of diesel vehicles worldwide, particulate emission control is an urgent issue with a global impact, from the health of citizens to commercial future of this technology in some transport segments. Particulate filters are widely used in automotive engines to comply emissions regulations, but current technologies have room for improvement as they add additional backpressure in the exhaust system, and efficient on-board regeneration process is challenging.
The Fil-Bio-Diesel Project is a R&D initiative to improve current particle filtration systems, based on the development of novel biomorphic substrates. By replicating the biologic tissue of a wood precursor, a biomorphic silicon carbide with hierarchic orthotropic microstructure can be produced. The porosity, the pore size, and pore orientation of this bioceramic material can be tailored through the selection of a suitable precursor, widening the initially narrow relationship between filtration efficiency and pressure drop that characterizes granular ceramic materials. In this paper the methodology and main results of the Fil-Bio-Diesel Project are presented. This work shows the peculiar advantages of biomorphic silicon carbide through several experimental studies. The results show the potential of this novel filter substrate to be used in future particulate abatement systems.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2020.117577

5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Furfural Oxidation Over Au/Ce(x)Zr(1-x)O(2)Catalysts


Megias-Sayago, C; Bonincontro, D; Lolli, A; Ivanova, S; Albonetti, S; Cavani, F; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 8 (2020) 461

ABSTRACT

A series of gold catalysts supported on pure CeO2, ZrO2, and two different Ce-Zr mixed oxides have been prepared and tested in the 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural oxidation reaction. All catalysts show high catalytic activity (100% conversion) and important selectivity (27-41%) to the desired product i.e., 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid at low base concentration. Products selectivity changes with the support nature as expected, however, the observed trend cannot be related neither to gold particle size, nor to catalyst reducibility and oxygen mobility. An important relation between the FDCA selectivity and the support textural properties is observed, conducing to the general requirement for optimal pore size for this reaction.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2020.00461

Supported Porous Nanostructures Developed by Plasma Processing of Metal Phthalocyanines and Porphyrins


Obrero, JM; Filippin, AN; Alcaire, M; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Jacob, M; Matei, C; Aparicio, FJ; Macias-Montero, M; Rojas, TC; Espinos, JP; Saghi, Z; Barranco, A; Borras, A
Frontiers in Chemistry, 8 (2020) 520

ABSTRACT

The large area scalable fabrication of supported porous metal and metal oxide nanomaterials is acknowledged as one of the greatest challenges for their eventual implementation in on-device applications. In this work, we will present a comprehensive revision and the latest results regarding the pioneering use of commercially available metal phthalocyanines and porphyrins as solid precursors for the plasma-assisted deposition of porous metal and metal oxide films and three-dimensional nanostructures (hierarchical nanowires and nanotubes). The most advanced features of this method relay on its ample general character from the point of view of the porous material composition and microstructure, mild deposition and processing temperature and energy constrictions and, finally, its straightforward compatibility with the direct deposition of the porous nanomaterials on processable substrates and device-architectures. Thus, taking advantage of the variety in the composition of commercially available metal porphyrins and phthalocyanines, we present the development of metal and metal oxides layers including Pt, CuO, Fe2O3, TiO2, and ZnO with morphologies ranging from nanoparticles to nanocolumnar films. In addition, we combine this method with the fabrication by low-pressure vapor transport of single-crystalline organic nanowires for the formation of hierarchical hybrid organic@metal/metal-oxide and @metal/metal-oxide nanotubes. We carry out a thorough characterization of the films and nanowires using SEM, TEM, FIB 3D, and electron tomography. The latest two techniques are revealed as critical for the elucidation of the inner porosity of the layers.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2020.00520

Recent progress on the enhancement of photocatalytic properties of BiPO4 using π–conjugated materials


Naciri, Y., Hsini, A., Ajmal, Z., Navio, J.A., Bakiz, B., Albourine, A., Ezahri, M., Benlhachemi, A.
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, 280 (2020) 102160

ABSTRACT

Semiconductor photocatalysis is regarded as most privileged solution for energy conversion and environmental application. Recently, photocatalysis methods using bismuth-based photocatalysts, such as BiPO4, have been extensively investigated owing to their superior efficacy regarding organic pollutant degradation and their further mineralization into CO2 and H2O. It is well known that BiPO4 monoclinic phase exhibited better photocatalytic performance compared to Degussa (Evonik) P25 TiO2 in term of ultraviolet light driven organic pollutants degradation. However, its wide band gap, poor adsorptive performance and large size make BiPO4 less active under visible light irradiation. However, extensive research works have been conducted in the past with the aim of improving visible light driven BiPO4 activity by constructing a series of heterostructures, mainly coupled with π-conjugated architecture (e.g., conductive polymer, dye sensitization and carbonaceous materials). However, a critical review of modified BiPO4 systems using π-conjugated materials has not been published to date. Therefore, this current review article was designed with the aim of presenting a brief current state-of-the-art towards synthesis methods of BiPO4 in the first section, with an especial focuses onto its crystal-microstructure, optical and photocatalytic properties. Moreover, the most relevant strategies that have been employed to improve its photocatalytic activities are then addressed as the main part of this review. Finally, the last section presents ongoing challenges and perspectives for modified BiPO4 systems using π–conjugated m


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cis.2020.102160

Surface Modification of Rutile TiO2 with Alkaline-Earth Oxide Nanoclusters for Enhanced Oxygen Evolution


Rhatigan, S; Sukola, E; Nolan, M; Colon, G
ACS Applied Nano Materials, 3 (2020) 6017-6033

ABSTRACT

The oxygen (O-2) evolution reaction (OER) is accepted as the bottleneck in the overall water splitting and has seen intense interest. In this work, we prepared rutile TiO2 modified with nanoclusters of alkaline-earth metal oxides for the OER. Photocatalytic OER was performed over rutile TiO2 surface-modified with alkaline-earth oxide nanoclusters, namely, CaO and MgO. The O-2 evolution activity is notably enhanced for MgO-modified systems at low loadings and a combination of characterization and first-principles simulations allows interpretation of the role of the nanocluster modification in improving the photocatalytic performance of alkaline-earth-modified rutile TiO2. At such low loadings, the nanocluster modifiers would be small, and this facilitates a close correlation with theoretical models. Structural and surface characterizations of the modified systems indicate that the integrity of the rutile phase is maintained after modification. However, charge-carrier separation is strongly affected by the presence of surface nanoclusters. This improved performance is related to surface features such as higher ion dispersion and surface hydroxylation, which are also discussed with first-principles simulations. The modified systems are reducible so that Ti3+ ions will be present. Water dissociation is favorable at cluster and interfacial sites of the stoichiometric and reduced modified surfaces. Pathways to water oxidation at interfacial sites of reduced MgO-modified rutile TiO2 are identified, requiring an overpotential of 0.68 V. In contrast, CaO-modified systems required overpotentials in excess of 0.85 V for the reaction to proceed.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.0c01237

Electrochemically Exfoliated Graphene-Like Nanosheets for Use in Ceramic Nanocomposites


Poyato, R; Verdugo, R; Munoz-Ferreiro, C; Gallardo-Lopez, A
Materials, 13 (2020) 11

ABSTRACT

In this work, the synthesis of graphene-like nanosheets (GNS) by an electrochemical exfoliation method, their microstructural characterization and their performance as fillers in a ceramic matrix composite have been assessed. To fabricate the composites, 3 mol % yttria tetragonal zirconia (3YTZP) powders with 1 vol % GNS were processed by planetary ball milling in tert-butanol to enhance the GNS distribution throughout the matrix, and densified by spark plasma sintering (SPS). According to a thorough Raman analysis and SEM observations, the electrochemically exfoliated GNS possessed less than 10 graphene layers and a lateral size lower than 1 mu m. However, they contained amorphous carbon and vacancy-like defects. In contrast the GNS in the sintered composite exhibited enhanced quality with a lower number of defects, and they were wavy, semi-transparent and with very low thickness. The obtained nanocomposite was fully dense with a homogeneous distribution of GNS into the matrix. The Vickers hardness of the nanocomposite showed similar values to those of a monolithic 3YTZP ceramic sintered in the same conditions, and to the reported ones for a 3YTZP composite with the same content of commercial graphene nanosheets.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.3390/ma13112656

Chemistry and Electrocatalytic Activity of Nanostructured Nickel Electrodes for Water Electrolysis


Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Consuegra, AD; Yubero, F
ACS Catalysis, 10 (2020) 6159-6170

ABSTRACT

Herein we have developed nanostructured nickel-based electrode films for anion exchange membrane water electrolysis (AEMWE). The electrodes were prepared by magnetron sputtering (MS) in an oblique angle configuration and under various conditions aimed at preparing metallic, oxide, or oxyhydroxide films. Their electrochemical analysis has been complemented with a thorough physicochemical characterization to determine the effect of microstructure, chemical state, bilayer structure, and film thickness on the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The maximum electrocatalytic activity was found for the metallic electrode, where analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) demonstrated that the active catalytic phase at the surface after its electrochemical conditioning is a kind of oxidized nickel oxide/hydroxide layer with the thickness of a few nanometers. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis of these steady-state working electrodes supports that the enhanced performance of the metallic nickel anode vs other chemical states resides in the easier electron transfer through the electrode films and the various interlayers built up during their fabrication and activation. The long-term steady-state operation of the anodes and their efficiency for water splitting was proved in a full-cell AEMWE setup incorporating magnetron-sputtered metallic nickel as the cathode. This work proves that MS is a suitable technique to prepare active, stable, and low-cost electrodes for AEMWE and the capacity of this technique to control the chemical state of the electrocatalytically active layers involved in the OER.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.0c00856

Reductant atmospheres during slow pyrolysis of cellulose: First approach to obtaining efficient char -based catalysts in one pot


Santos, JL; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 148 (2020) 104821

ABSTRACT

Char based metallic (Pd-Au-Ru-Pt/C) catalysts have drawn increasing research interest due to their versatility in biomass related industrial reactions. Recent studies dealing with the synthesis of char-based catalysts in one single step (one-pot) use reductant atmospheres for biomass pyrolysis. In this work, the influence of the use of a reductant N2/H2 atmosphere on the physicochemical properties of the resulting chars was evaluated in comparison with the use of an inert N2 atmosphere. Specifically, the fundamental parameter of the pyrolysis process, the temperature, was evaluated in the 500−900 °C range. Produced chars were fully characterized by N2 isotherms, ultimate CHNS analysis, X-ray Diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, Diffuse Reflectance Infrared spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy, helium Temperature Programmed Decomposition and Isoelectric Point analysis. Slow pyrolysis under reductant atmosphere favours deoxygenation reaction against dehydrogenation ones, reduces the carbon yield and results in chars with a more hydrophobic and graphitic character, higher thermal stability and weak surface functionalization. The use of intermediates temperatures (700 °C) favours the obtaining of chars with suitable physicochemical properties and good surface functionalization, which will facilitate the anchoring of the active phase on the surface, improving the metallic dispersion of the resulting one pot catalyst. This leads us to affirm that the use of reducing atmospheres at intermediate temperatures, is superior to the use of inert atmospheres for this purpose. This analysis on the impact of the use of a reductant atmosphere during slow pyrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose opens a new working path for the optimization of char-based catalysts obtained in a single stage.


June, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jaap.2020.104821

Microwave-assisted sol-gel synthesis of TiO2 in the presence of halogenhydric acids. Characterization and photocatalytic activity


Puga,F.;Navío,J.A.;Jaramillo-Páez,C.;Sánchez-Cid,P.;Hidalgo,M.C.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 394 (2020) 112457

ABSTRACT

The synthesis of mesoporous TiO2 nanosheets is reported using Ti(IV) Isopropoxide as Ti(IV) precursor. A sol-gel process combined with microwave activation is used. Three different halogenhydric acids (HX), were used to peptise the sol: HF(ac), HCl (ac) and HBr (ac). The three obtained TiO2-I(HX) samples were characterized by XRD, XRF, N2-adsorption, SEM, TEM, DRS and XPS. The three synthesized samples have high values of specific surfaces (between 100 m2/g and 200 m2/g) and similar band gap values (3.2–3.3 eV). The analysis of the surface composition by XPS confirms the presence of the halogenated species (F, Cl or Br) on the surface of each ones of the samples. The nanometric size (ca 5 nm) of the particles for each of the three samples was confirmed by XRD and by TEM. On the other hand, the nature of the halogenated acid used plays a role in the composition of the phases. While the TiO2-I (HF) sample was 100 % anatase, the other samples turned out to be biphasic, showing anatase/rutile in the TiO2-I(HCl) sample and anatase/brookite in the TiO2-I(HBr) sample. The samples were tested under two illumination conditions (UV and visible light) using rhodamine B and caffeine. The indirect role of the halide agent on the photocatalytic activities thereof is discussed.


May, 2020 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2020.112457

Optical properties of molybdenum in the ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet by reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy


Pauly, N; Yubero, F; Tougaard, S
Applied Optics, 59 (2020) 4527-4532

ABSTRACT

Optical properties of polycrystalline molybdenum are determined from ultraviolet up to extreme ultraviolet by reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS). Calculations are performed within the dielectric response theory by means of the quantitative analysis of electron energy losses at surfaces QUEELS-epsilon (k, omega)-REELS software [Surf. Interface Anal. 36, 824 (2004)] that allows the simulation of inelastic scattering cross sections, using a parametric energy loss function describing the optical response of the material. From this energy loss function, the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric function, the refractive index, and the extinction coefficient are deduced and compared with previously published results.


May, 2020 | DOI: 10.1364/AO.391014

Premelting of ice adsorbed on a rock surface


Esteso, V; Palacios, SC; MacDowell, LG; Fiedler, J; Parsons, DF; Spallek, F; Miguez, H; Persson, C; Buhmann, SY; Brevik, I; Bostrom, M
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 22 (2020) 11362-11373

ABSTRACT

Considering ice-premelting on a quartz rock surface (i.e. silica) we calculate the Lifshitz excess pressures in a four layer system with rock-ice-water-air. Our calculations give excess pressures across (1) ice layer, (2) water layer, and (3) ice-water interface for different ice and water layer thicknesses. We analyse equilibrium conditions where the different excess pressures take zero value, stabilized in part by repulsive Lifshitz interactions. In contrast to previous investigations which considered varying thickness of only one layer (ice or water), here we present theory allowing for simultaneous variation of both layer thicknesses. For a given total thickness of ice and water, this allows multiple alternative equilibrium solutions. Consequently the final state of a system will depend on initial conditions and may explain variation in experimental measurements of the thicknesses of water and ice layers.


May, 2020 | DOI: 10.1039/c9cp06836h

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