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Impact of flame confinement with inert ceramic foams on the particulate emissions of domestic heating systems

Ciria, D; Orihuela, MP; Becerra, JA; Chacartegui, R.; Ramirez-Rico, J.
Fuel, 304 (2021) 121264
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


Small solid biomass combustion systems are among the main contributors to the global particulate emissions share, and cheap, efficient abatement systems are not yet available for them. The placement of inert porous material to confine the combustion region is being recently explored as a possible mitigation system for this kind of pollution. However, given the complexity of biomass thermochemical decomposition processes, it is challenging to justify the performance of these systems on the basis of a physicochemical understanding. A foundational experiment-based study is carried out in this work to understand how combustion confinement affects the particulate emissions production mechanisms. A combustion unit was designed and built to systematically test ceramic foams with different porosities: keeping constant airflow and fuel feed rates. A comprehensive characterisation study was carried out on the solid biomass fuel, the temperature profile, the particulate emissions, and the remaining solid residue. The results evidenced that the use of foams has a substantial impact on the temperature distribution in the combustion chamber. The higher the cell density of the foam, the higher and more homogeneous are the temperatures reached in the combustion bed. This fact improved the thermal decomposition process of the pellets due to a better air-fuel mixture, leading to a reduction of the solid particulate matter emissions by more than 70%. These findings suggest that the use of an inert porous material above the combustion region might be a feasible solution for particulate emission control in small-size biomass combustion technology.

Noviembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2021.121264

Waterproof-breathable films from multi-branched fluorinated cellulose esters

Tedeschi, G; Guzman-Puyol, S; Ceseracciu, L; Benitez, JJ; Goldoni, L; Koschella, A; Heinze, T; Cavallo, G; Dichiarante, V; Terraneo, G; Athanassiou, A; Metrangolo, P; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Carbohydrate Polymers, 271 (2021) 118031
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Cellulose ester films were prepared by esterification of cellulose with a multibranched fluorinated carboxylic acid, "BRFA" (BRanched Fluorinated Acid), at different anhydroglucose unit:BRFA molar ratios (i.e., 1:0, 10:1, 5:1, and 1:1). Morphological and optical analyses showed that cellulose-BRFA materials at molar ratios 10:1 and 5:1 formed flat and transparent films, while the one at 1:1 M ratio formed rough and translucent films. Degrees of substitution (DS) of 0.06, 0.09, and 0.23 were calculated by NMR for the samples at molar ratios 10:1, 5:1, and 1:1, respectively. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy confirmed the esterification. DSC thermograms showed a single glass transition, typical of amorphous polymers, at -11 degrees C. The presence of BRFA groups shifted the mechanical behavior from rigid to ductile and soft with increasing DS. Wettability was similar to standard fluoropolymers such as PTFE and PVDF. Finally, breathability and water uptake were characterized and found comparable to materials typically used in textiles.

Noviembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.118031

Development of a novel PANI@WO3 hybrid composite and its application as a promising adsorbent for Cr(VI) ions removal

Abdelghani Hsinia, Yassine Naciri, Mohamed Laabd, Asmae Bouziani, J.A.Navío, F.Puga, Rabah Boukherroub, Rajae Lakhmiri, Abdallah Albourine
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 9 (2021) 105885
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


In the current study, an in-situ oxidative polymerization method was used to synthesize polyaniline-coated tungsten trioxide biphasic composite (PANI@WO3). The as-developed composite material properties were elucidated using different characterization tools such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), N2 sorption-desorption isotherm, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The PANI@WO3 was further applied to remove hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solutions. The results demonstrated that the optimal removal efficacy was achieved at pH 2. Meanwhile, the pseudo-second-order kinetic and isotherm of the Langmuir model were fitted for Cr(VI) adsorption. Cr(VI) amount of 549.37 mg·g−1 was the maximum capacity of adsorption attained for PANI@WO3, which is significantly higher than that of existing adsorbents. From a thermodynamic point of view, the Cr(VI) adsorption process occurred spontaneously and endothermically. Importantly, PANI@WO3 still exhibited an excellent adsorption capability after five regeneration cycles, indicating the potential reusability of the PANI@WO3 composite. XPS analysis of PANI@WO3 surface after adsorption of Cr(VI) confirmed its adsorption and concomitant reduction into Cr(III) ions. The transfer of mass phenomenon, electrostatic attraction, and reduction reaction were the primary processes for Cr(VI) ions elimination. These findings revealed that the synthesized PANI@WO3 exhibited a high potential for wastewater treatment containing Cr(VI).

Octubre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2021.105885

Pure perovskite BiFeO3-BaTiO3 ceramics prepared by reaction flash sintering of Bi2O3-Fe2O3-BaTiO3 mixed powders

Taibi, A; Chaguetmi, S; Sánchez-Jiménez, PE; Perejón, A; García, JE; Satha, H; Pérez-Maqueda, LA
Ceramics International, 47 (2021) 26947-26954
Reactividad de Sólidos


In this work, the 0.67BiFeO(3)-0.33BaTiO(3) ferroelectric ceramic was prepared by Reaction Flash Sintering (RFS). This preparation technique combines synthesis and sintering in a single Flash experiment. The starting oxides reacted during the flash to produce a stoichiometric well-sintered solid solution at a temperature of 858 degrees C by applying a modest field of 35 V cm(-1). The process takes place in a matter of seconds, which allows obtaining a pure perovskite structure without secondary phases. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show the mixture of rhombohedral and pseudocubic phases expected for a composition that lies within a morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) region, since a significant splitting is observed in the reflections at 2 theta values of 39 degrees and 56.5 degrees. The microstructure exhibit a peculiar bimodal grain size distribution that determines the electrical properties. As compared with previous results, flash-prepared 0.67BiFeO(3)-0.33BaTiO(3) evidences smaller grain size, as well as slightly lower remanent polarization (P-r) and smaller coercive field (E-c) under similar electric fields. It is also demonstrated that the preparation by RFS provides benefits regarding electrical energy consumption.

Octubre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2021.06.108

Photonic sensor systems for the identification of hydrocarbons and crude oils in static and flow conditions

Gil-Rostra, J; Quintero-Moreno, S; Rico, VJ; Yubero, F; Sanza, FJ; Casquel, R; Gallo-Valverde, E; Jara-Galan, ME; Sanz-Sanz, P; Holgado, M; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, 344 (2021) 130265
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Identification of hydrocarbons and crude oils is typically carried out with samples that, taken from natural sources or refineries, must be brought to the laboratory for their analysis with rather sophisticated instruments. Alternatively, "in situ" procedures have been also developed for this purpose. In this work, we propose the use of a series of several sensor systems based on photonic transducers in the form of chips for the identification and classification of crude oils and hydrocarbons through the determination of their refractive index in the visible and absorption in the near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Two of the photonic transducers rely on modifications of a Bragg microcavity and they monitor the changes in visible light interference phenomena that occur in response to the variation of the refractive index of oils. The third one, in the form of a dielectric mirror, monitors the near infrared absorption of crude oils and hydrocarbons through the recording of a transflectance spectrum. The capacity of these transducers for crude oil identification is proved by the analysis of a series of oils and distilled fractions that have been properly identified and classified as a function of their density and partition of long hydrocarbon chains. The three photonic transducers are operated with optical fibers and can be used in static and dynamic modes, this latter under conditions that are especially well-suited for "insitu" analysis of oil streams in real facilities. The proved resistance of the chips to high pressure and temperature conditions supports their suitability to withstand harsh working environments as those existing in extraction wells.

Octubre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2021.130265

HfB2 ceramic polycrystals: A low-temperature metal-like ceramic at high temperatures?

Zapata-Solvas, E; Moshtaghioun, BM; Gomez-Garcia, D; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A; Lee, WE
Scripta Materialia, 203 (2021) 114037
Propiedades mecánicas, modelización y caracterización de cerámicos avanzados


Hafnium diboride (HfB2) is a highly refractory (melting above 3000 degrees C) ceramic with many potential applications at high temperatures. To enable its use at temperature for extended periods its high-temperature plasticity must be known. This paper examines the mechanical response at temperatures between 900 degrees C and 2000 degrees C in air and in a reducing atmosphere, interpreting the data in the frame of classical models for the plasticity of compact-packed metals at low temperatures. In particular, the Friedel law and the principle of similitude for dislocation patterning are assessed. This reveals that HfB2 is a singular example of a ceramic material with "metal" mechanical behaviour.

Octubre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2021.114037

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
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


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.

Octubre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2020.07.044

Effect of Al content on the hardness and thermal stability study of AlTiN and AlTiBN coatings deposited by HiPIMS

Mendez, A; Monclus, MA; Santiago, JA; Fernandez-Martinez, I; Rojas, TC; Garcia-Molleja, J; Avella, M; Dams, N; Panizo-Laiz, M; Molina-Aldareguia, JM
Surface & Coatings Technology, 422 (2021) 127513
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


The microstructure, mechanical properties and thermal stability of AT(x)Ti(1-x)N and Al1Ti1-xBN coatings grown by reactive high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) have been analyzed as a function of Al/(Al + Ti) ratio (x) between 0.5 and 0.8. The coatings were predominantly formed by a face-centered cubic Ti(Al)N crystalline phase, both with and without B, even for x ratios as high as 0.6, which is higher than the ratio typically encountered for AlxTi1-xN coatings deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering. B doping, in combination with the highly energetic deposition conditions offered by HiPIMS, results in the suppression of the columnar grain morphology typically encountered in AlxTi1-xN coatings. On the contrary, the AlxTi1-xN coatings grown by HiPIMS present a dense nanocomposite type microstructure, formed by nanocrystalline Ti(Al) N domains and amorphous regions composed of Ti(Al)B 2 and BN. As a result, high-Al content (x approximate to 0.6) AlxTi1-xN coatings grown by HiPIMS offer higher hardness, elasticity and fracture toughness than AlxTi1-xN coatings. Moreover, the thermal stability and the hot hardness are substantially enhanced, delaying the onset of formation of the detrimental hexagonal AlN phase from 850 degrees C in the case of Al0.6Ti0.4N, to 1000 degrees C in the case of Al0.6Ti0.4N.

Septiembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2021.127513

Photocatalytic production of hydrogen and methane from glycerol reforming over Pt/TiO2–Nb2O5

Iervolino, G; Vaiano, V; Murcia, JJ; Lara, AE; Hernández, JS; Rojas, H; Navío, JA; Hidalgo, MC
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


In this study, platinized mixed oxides (TiO2–Nb2O5) were tested on photocatalytic hydrogen production from a glycerol solution under UV light. Different samples with different Ti:Nb ratios were prepared by using a simple method that simultaneously combined a physical mixture and a platinum photochemical reduction. This method led to improved physicochemical properties such as low band gap, better Pt nanoparticle distribution on the surface, and the formation of different Pt species. Niobia content was also found to be an important factor in determining the overall efficiency of the Pt–TiO2–Nb2O5 photocatalyst in the glycerol reforming reaction. The photocatalytic results showed that Pt on TiO2–Nb2O5 enhanced hydrogen production from the aqueous glycerol solution at a 5 wt% initial glycerol concentration. The influence of different operating conditions such as the catalyst dosage and initial glycerol concentration was also evaluated. The results indicated that the best hydrogen and methane production was equal to 6657 μmol/L and 194 μmol/L, respectively after 4 h of UV radiation using Pt/Ti:Nb (1:2) sample and with 3 g/L of catalyst dosage. Moreover, the role of water in photocatalytic hydrogen production was studied through photocatalytic activity tests in the presence of D2O. The obtained results confirmed the role of water molecules on the photocatalytic production of hydrogen in an aqueous glycerol solution.

Septiembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2021.09.111

Nb-C thin films prepared by DC-MS and HiPIMS: Synthesis, structure, and tribomechanical properties

Sala, N; Abad, MD; Sánchez-López, JC; Caro, J; Colominas, C
Surface & Coatings Technology, 422 (2021) 127569
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


Nanostructured Nb-C thin films were prepared by direct current magnetron sputtering (DC-MS) and high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS). The films were characterized in depth by X-ray diffraction (XRD), grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, electron probe microanalysis, and Raman spectroscopy. The mechanical properties were measured by nanoindentation, and the tribological properties were measured by pin-on-disk tests in ambient air. The wear tracks and ball scars were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy to elucidate the tribochemical reactions that occurred at the contact area and to determine the wear mechanism for each specimen type. The thermal stability of the coatings was studied up to 1000 degrees C using Raman spectroscopy and XRD. The samples prepared by DC-MS were very dense, and the phase composition changed from purely nanocrystalline (Nb2C and NbC) to a mixture of NbC crystals embedded in an amorphous carbon-based matrix (NbC/a-C(:H)). However, the samples prepared by HiPIMS developed a marked columnar morphology with a NbC/a-C(:H) nanocomposite structure. The hardness values ranged from 11 to 20 GPa depending on the deposition technique and the amount of the soft a-C(:H) phase present in the sample. The tribological properties of all the coatings were remarkably good when the carbon content was approximately 50 at.%. The formation of a lubricating sp(2)-rich C tribofilm between the ball and coating during the pin-on-disk tests was observed by Raman spectroscopy. The tribofilm formed preferentially on the samples prepared by HiPIMS, which had higher C contents. At 750 degrees C, the degradation of the NbC phases resulted in the formation of an additional a-C phase and niobium oxides.

Septiembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2021.127569

Photocatalytic Treatment of Stained Wastewater Coming from Handicraft Factories. A Case Study at the Pilot Plant Level

Murcia Mesa, JJ; Hernández Niño, JS; González, W; Rojas, H; Hidalgo, MC; Navío, JA
Water, 13 (2021) 2705
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


UV/H2O2 process and TiO2-based photocatalysis were studied in the present work. The effectiveness of these methods was tested in the treatment of effluents taken from handicraft factories. Microorganisms, dyes, and different organic pollutants were detected in the industrial effluents. The experimental procedure for the wastewater treatment was carried out in a patented sunlight reactor on a pilot plant scale. From this study, UV/H2O2 was found to be the best treatment for dye elimination. The optimal peroxide dosage for the degradation of dyes and the elimination of bacteria was 0.07 M. In this case, 70.80% of discoloration was achieved after 7 h of sunlight exposure, under an average sunlight intensity of 3.42 W/m2. The photocatalytic treatment based on TiO2 achieved the highest elimination of coliform bacteria and the lowest TOC value; however, the presence of this material in the reactor had a detrimental effect on the overall elimination of dyes. A combination of both UV/H2O2 and TiO2 treatments significantly improves the dyes discoloration, the elimination of bacteria, and the organic compounds degradation. Some of the results of this study were presented at the 4th Congreso Colombiano de Procesos Avanzados de Oxidación, 4CCPAOx. 

Septiembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/w13192705

Structure-sensitivity of formic acid dehydrogenation reaction over additive-free Pd NPs supported on activated carbon

Santos, J.L.; Megías-Sayago, C.; Ivanova, S.; Centeno, M.A.; Odriozola, J.A.
Chemical Engineering Journal, 420 (2021) 127641
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


In this study the size-activity dependence of palladium based catalysts in formic acid dehydrogenation reaction was investigated and evaluated. A wide range of particle sizes was considered and the catalyst series were prepared upon variation of some synthetic parameters, precursor and solvent nature in particular. Synthesis method variations affect significantly Pd particle size and results in diverse activity toward hydrogen production. An optimal size was observed and explained by the diverse proportion of low and high coordinated Pd states available for different samples within the series. The evaluation of particles much bigger than 6 nm changes importantly the fraction of high and low coordination atoms and allows the clear confirmation of the importance of the presence of low coordination atoms on the surface of catalyst.

Septiembre, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2020.127641

Mechanochemical synthesis of ternary chalcogenide chalcostibite CuSbS2 and its characterization

Dutkova, E; Sayagues, MJ; Fabian, M; Kovac, J; Kovat, J; Balaz, M; Stahorsky, M
Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Electronics (2021)
Reactividad de Sólidos


In this work, the very rapid one-step mechanochemical synthesis of nanocrystalline ternary chalcogenide chalcostibite CuSbS2 prepared from copper, antimony, and sulfur precursors by high-energy milling for only 30 min in a planetary mill is reported. XRD confirmed the orthorhombic crystal structure of CuSbS2. The crystallite size of CuSbS2 calculated by LeBail refinement of the X-ray powder diffraction data was 25 nm. The nanocrystalline chalcostibite CuSbS2 was also confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The purity of CuSbS2 was verified by Raman spectroscopy. The synthesized chalcostibite exhibits the specific surface area value of 2.4 m(2)g(-1). UV-Vis spectroscopy showed the optical bandgap of CuSbS2 as 1.54 eV with wide range of absorption in visible region. Photoresponse of CuSbS2 was confirmed by I-V measurements under dark and light illumination. The proposed mechanochemical synthesis provides an alternative approach to prepare also other ternary semiconductor nanomaterials. CuSbS2 semiconductor nanocrystals have the potential to be used as light absorbers in photovoltaics.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.1007/s10854-021-06767-9

One-reactor vacuum and plasma synthesis of transparent conducting oxide nanotubes and nanotrees: from single wire conductivity to ultra-broadband perfect absorbers in the NIR

Castillo-Seoane, J; Gil-Rostra, J; Lopez-Flores, V; Lozano, G; Ferrer, FJ; Espinos, JP; Ostrikov, K; Yubero, F; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Barranco, A; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Borras, A
Nanoscale, 13 (2021) 13882-13895
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma - Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


The eventual exploitation of one-dimensional nanomaterials needs the development of scalable, high yield, homogeneous and environmentally friendly methods capable of meeting the requirements for fabrication of functional nanomaterials with properties on demand. In this article, we demonstrate a vacuum and plasma one-reactor approach for the synthesis of fundamental common elements in solar energy and optoelectronics, i.e. the transparent conducting electrode but in the form of nanotube and nanotree architectures. Although the process is generic and can be used for a variety of TCOs and wide-bandgap semiconductors, we focus herein on indium doped tin oxide (ITO) as the most previously researched in previous applications. This protocol combines widely applied deposition techniques such as thermal evaporation for the formation of organic nanowires serving as 1D and 3D soft templates, deposition of polycrystalline layers by magnetron sputtering, and removal of the templates by simply annealing under mild vacuum conditions. The process variables are tuned to control the stoichiometry, morphology, and alignment of the ITO nanotubes and nanotrees. Four-probe characterization reveals the improved lateral connectivity of the ITO nanotrees and applied on individual nanotubes shows resistivities as low as 3.5 +/- 0.9 x 10(-4) omega cm, a value comparable to that of single-crystalline counterparts. The assessment of diffuse reflectance and transmittance in the UV-Vis range confirms the viability of the supported ITO nanotubes as random optical media working as strong scattering layers. Their further ability to form ITO nanotrees opens a path for practical applications as ultra-broadband absorbers in the NIR. The demonstrated low resistivity and optical properties of these ITO nanostructures open a way for their use in LEDs, IR shields, energy harvesting, nanosensors, and photoelectrochemical applications.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.1039/d1nr01937f

ZnO/Ag3PO4 and ZnO–Malachite as Effective Photocatalysts for the Removal of Enteropathogenic Bacteria, Dyestuffs, and Heavy Metals from Municipal and Industrial Wastewater

Murcia, JJ; Hernández Miño, JS; Rojas, H; Brijaldo, MH; Martin-Gómez, AN; Sánchez-Cid, P; Navío, JA; Hidalgo, MC; Jaramillo-Pérez, C
Water, 13 (2021) 2264
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


Different composites based on ZnO/Ag3PO4 and ZnO–malachite (Cu2(OH)2CO3) were synthesized in order to determine their effectiveness in the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewaters (mainly polluted by enteropathogenic bacteria, dyes, and heavy metals). The addition of Ag3PO4 and malachite did not significantly modify the physicochemical properties of ZnO; however, the optical properties of this oxide were modified as a result of its coupling with the modifiers. The modification of ZnO led to an improvement in its effectiveness in the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater. In general, the amount of malachite or silver phosphate and the effluent to be treated were the determining factors in the effectiveness of the wastewater treatment. The highest degree of elimination of bacteria from municipal wastewater and discoloration of textile staining wastewater were achieved by using ZnO/Ag3PO4 (5%), but an increase in the phosphate content had a detrimental effect on the treatment. Likewise, the highest Fe and Cu photoreduction from coal mining wastewater was observed by using ZnO–malachite (2.5%) and ZnO/Ag3PO4 (10%), respectively. Some of the results of this work were presented at the fourth Congreso Colombiano de Procesos Avanzados de Oxidación (4CCPAOx).

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/w13162264

Kinetics and cyclability of limestone (CaCO3) in presence of steam during calcination in the CaL scheme for thermochemical energy storage

Arcenegui-Troya, J; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Perejon, A; Moreno, V; Valverde, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 417 (2021) 129194
Reactividad de Sólidos


In the present work, we explore the use of steam in the CaCO3 calcination step of the Calcium Looping process devised for thermochemical energy storage (CaL-TCES). Steam produces a double benefit: firstly, it fastens calcination, allowing a reduction of the temperature needed to attain full calcination in short residence times, as those required in practice, resulting in energy savings. This behaviour is justified on the basis of a kinetics study results obtained from a non-parametric kinetic analysis, which demonstrate that the presence of steam during calcination can reduce the apparent activation energy from 175 kJ/mol to 142 kJ/mol with a steam's partial pressure of 29%. In addition, the results obtained for multicycle CaL-TCES tests show that steam alleviates the deactivation of the sorbent, which is one of the main limiting factors of this technology. This behaviour is explained in terms of the effect of steam on the microstructure of the regenerated CaO. Importantly, the values of residual conversion attained by calcining in steam are higher than those without steam.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2021.129194

Geopolymers made from metakaolin sources, partially replaced by Spanish clays and biomass bottom ash

Eliche-Quesada, D; Calero-Rodriguez, A; Bonet-Martinez, E;Perez-Villarejo, L; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Journal of Building Engineering, 40 (2021) 102761
Materiales Avanzados


The main objective of this investigation is to study the effect of the substitution of metakaolin (MK) (from calcined industrial kaolin) by four different calcined natural Southern Spain clays traditionally used in the brick and tile sector, as well as by the biomass bottom ash residue (BBA) from the combustion of a mix of olive and pine pruning on the synthesis of geopolymer with physical, mechanical and thermal properties comparable to those of classic construction materials. As alkaline activator, a 8 M solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate have been used. Raw materials, metakaolin; Spanish clays: black clay (BC), yellow clay (YC), white clay (WC), red clay (RC) and BBA were characterized by chemical analysis (XRF), mineralogical analysis (XRD), and particle size analysis. Control geopolymers containing only metakaolin, and batch of geopolymers were formulated containing equal proportions of metakaolin, BBA and each of the four types of clay. After the curing period, at 60 degrees C for 1 day geopolymers were demolded and stored 27 days at room temperature. Geopolymers were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), XRD and Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared Spec troscopy (ATR-FTIR). Their physical, mechanical and thermal properties have also been studied. The addition of BBA and different types of calcined clays to metakaolin gives rise to geopolymers with higher mechanical properties increasing the compressive strength of the control geopolymer containing only MK (24.9 MPa) by more than 50% for the GMK-BBA-WC geopolymers (38.5 MP a). The clays act as fillers and/or promote the precipitation of calcium-rich phases (Ca)-A-S-H-G gel that coexists with the (Na)-A-S-H gel type. The relevant results of physical, mechanical and thermal properties obtained in this research demonstrate the potential of Spanish clays and BBA as binders and substitutes for metakaolin.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2021.102761

Study of the Influence of Sintering Atmosphere and Mechanical Activation on the Synthesis of Bulk Ti2AlN MAX Phase Obtained by Spark Plasma Sintering

Salvo, C; Chicardi, E; García-Garrido, C; Poyato, R; Jimenez, JA; Mangalaraja, RV
Materials, 14 (2021) 4574
Reactividad de Sólidos


The influence of the mechanical activation process and sintering atmosphere on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk Ti2AlN has been investigated. The mixture of Ti and AlN powders was prepared in a 1:2 molar ratio, and a part of this powder mixture was subjected to a mechanical activation process under an argon atmosphere for 10 h using agate jars and balls as milling media. Then, the sintering and production of the Ti2AlN MAX phase were carried out by Spark Plasma Sintering under 30 MPa with vacuum or nitrogen atmospheres and at 1200 degrees C for 10 min. The crystal structure and microstructure of consolidated samples were characterized by X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy. The X-ray diffraction patterns were fitted using the Rietveld refinement for phase quantification and determined their most critical microstructural parameters. It was determined that by using nitrogen as a sintering atmosphere, Ti4AlN3 MAX phase and TiN were increased at the expense of the Ti2AlN. In the samples prepared from the activated powders, secondary phases like Ti5Si3 and Al2O3 were formed. However, the higher densification level presented in the sample produced by using both nitrogen atmosphere and MAP powder mixture is remarkable. Moreover, the high-purity Ti2AlN zone of the MAX-1200 presented a hardness of 4.3 GPa, and the rest of the samples exhibited slightly smaller hardness values (4.1, 4.0, and 4.2 GPa, respectively) which are matched with the higher porosity observed on the SEM images.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/ma14164574

Calcination under low CO2 pressure enhances the calcium Looping performance of limestone for thermochemical energy storage

Sarrion, B; Perejon, A; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Amghar, N; Chacartegui, R; Valverde, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 417 (2021) 127922
Reactividad de Sólidos


The Calcium Looping performance of limestone for thermochemical energy storage has been investigated under novel favorable conditions, which involve calcination at moderate temperatures under CO2 at low pressure (0.01 and 0.1 bar) and carbonation at high temperature under CO2 at atmospheric pressure. Calcining at low CO2 pressures allows to substantially reduce the temperature to achieve full calcination in short residence times. Moreover, it notably enhances CaO multicycle conversion. The highest values of conversion are obtained for limestone samples calcined under 0.01 bar CO2 at 765 degrees C. Under these conditions, the residual conversion is increased by a factor of 10 as compared to conditions involving calcination under CO2 at atmospheric pressure. The enhancement of CaO conversion is correlated to the microstructure of the CaO samples obtained after calcination. As seen from SEM, BET surface and XRD analysis, calcination under low CO2 pressure leads to a remarkable decrease of pore volume and CaO crystallite size. Consequently, CaO surface area available for carbonation in the fast reaction-controlled regime and therefore reactivity in short residence times is promoted.

Agosto, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2020.127922

Bimetallic Ni-Ru and Ni-Re Catalysts for Dry Reforming of Methane: Understanding the Synergies of the Selected Promoters

Moreno, AA; Ramirez-Reina, T; Ivanova, S; Roger, AC; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 9 (2021) 694976
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Designing an economically viable catalyst that maintains high catalytic activity and stability is the key to unlock dry reforming of methane (DRM) as a primary strategy for biogas valorization. Ni/Al2O3 catalysts have been widely used for this purpose; however, several modifications have been reported in the last years in order to prevent coke deposition and deactivation of the samples. Modification of the acidity of the support and the addition of noble metal promoters are between the most reported strategies. Nevertheless, in the task of designing an active and stable catalyst for DRM, the selection of an appropriate noble metal promoter is turning more challenging owing to the lack of homogeneity of the different studies. Therefore, this research aims to compare Ru (0.50 and 2.0%) and Re (0.50 and 2.0%) as noble metal promoters for a Ni/MgAl2O4 catalyst under the same synthesis and reaction conditions. Catalysts were characterized by XRF, BET, XRD, TPR, hydrogen chemisorption (H-2-TPD), and dry reforming reaction tests. Results show that both promoters increase Ni reducibility and dispersion. However, Ru seems a better promoter for DRM since 0.50% of Ru increases the catalytic activity in 10% and leads to less coke deposition.

Julio, 2021 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2021.694976