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Overlooked pitfalls in CaO carbonation kinetics studies nearby equilibrium: Instrumental effects on calculated kinetic rate constants

Arcenegui-Troya, J; Duran-Martin, JD; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Maqueda, LAP; Jimenez, PES
Alexandria Engineering Journal, 61 (2022) 6129-6138
Reactividad de Sólidos


Due to its technological applications, such as CO2 capture, CaO carbonation kinetics has been extensively studied using a wide array of methods and experimental conditions. A complete understanding of carbonation kinetics is key to optimizing the operating conditions as well as to correctly design the carbonation reactor. However, there is yet no consensus on the reaction model and kinetic parameters that can best describe the CaO carbonation reaction. For instance, the value of the activation energy proposed in different works can vary up to 300%. In this work, we demonstrate that the strong influence of the thermodynamic equilibrium on CaO carbonation kinetics demands careful control of the experimental conditions to obtain meaningful kinetic parameters. Specifically, we explore the influence of three experimental parameters on carbonation kinetics: the gas flow rate, the CO2 partial pressure and the time required to fill the reactor after a gas change. We demonstrate that disregarding these aspects may lead to bogus conclusions on reaction kinetics, which could partly explain the considerable discrepancies found in the literature. The conclusions of this work are not only applicable to the process and experimental setup studied here but also to any study that involves the use of gas flow to drive a reaction.

Agosto, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.aej.2021.11.043

Greaseproof, hydrophobic, and biodegradable food packaging bioplastics from C6-fluorinated cellulose esters

Guzman-Puyol, S; Tedeschi, G; Goldoni, L; Benitez, JJ; Ceseracciu, L; Koschella, A; Heinze, T; Athanassiou, A; Heredia-Guerrera, JA
Food Hydrocolloids, 128 (2022) 107562
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Tridecafluorononanoic acid (TFNA), a C6-fluorinated carboxylic acid, was esterified with cellulose at different molar ratios (0:1, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1) in a trifluoroacetic acid (TFA):trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA):CHCl3 (2:1:1, v:v:v) solvent mixture. Free-standing films were obtained for all formulations and are presented as alternatives to composites and blends of paper with fluorinated molecules. Mechanical properties were investigated by tensile tests, and a plasticizer effect of fluorinated chains was observed. Interestingly, the wettability of these new cellulose derivatives was similar or even better than other common cellulose derivatives and fluorinated poly-mers employed in food packaging. Hydrodynamic properties were also improved by addition of TFNA, resulting in materials with water vapor permeability values comparable to other cellulose-based food packaging materials. In addition, films with the higher amounts of TFNA showed the required oil resistance for papers used in food packaging applications, as determined by the Kit Test. Finally, the biodegradation of these C6-fluorinated cel-lulose esters, assessed by biological oxygen demand (BOD) in seawater, was higher than typical bio-based polymers used in food packaging. The bioplastic synthesized at a molar ratio 1:1 (TFNA:cellulose) showed excellent performances in terms of greaseproof, hydrophobicity, ductility, and biodegradability, representing a sustainable alternative to typical plastics used in food packaging.

Julio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107562

Steam-enhanced calcium-looping performance of limestone for thermochemical energy storage: The role of particle size

Arcenegui-Troya, J.; Sánchez-Jiménez, PE; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Pérez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of Energy Storage, 51 (2022) 104305
Reactividad de Sólidos


Steam injection has been proposed to attenuate the decay of CaO reactivity during calcium looping (CaL) under operating conditions compatible with carbon capture and storage. However, it is yet unknown whether the perceived advantages granted by steam hold under the distinct operating conditions required for the integration of the CaL process as a thermochemical energy storage system in Concentrating Solar Power Plants (CaL-CSP). Here, we study the influence of steam in conditions compatible with a CaL-CSP scheme and assess its impact when injected only during one stage; either calcination or carbonation, and also when it is present throughout the entire loop. The results presented here demonstrate that steam boosts the CaO multicycle performance in a CO2 closed loop to attain residual conversion values similar to those achieved at moderate temperatures under inert gas. Moreover, it is found that the enhancement in multicycle activity is more pronounced for larger particles.

Julio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.est.2022.104305

Albero: An alternative natural material for solar energy storage by the calcium-looping process

Moreno, V; Arcenegui-Troya, J; Sanchez-Jimenez, P; Perejon, A; Chacartegui, R; Valverde, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 440 (2022) 135707
Reactividad de Sólidos


Large-scale thermochemical energy storage (TCES) is gaining relevance as an alternative to current thermal energy storage systems in Concentrated Solar Power plants. Among the different systems, the reversible reaction between CaO and CO2 stands out due to the wide availability and low cost of the raw material: limestone. Direct solar absorption of the storage media would improve the efficiency of solar-to-thermal energy storage due to reduced thermal transfer barriers, but the solar optical absorption of CaCO3 is poor. In this work, we propose the use of a Ca-rich calcarenite sedimentary rock so-called albem as an alternative to limestone. We demonstrate that this reddish material exhibits an average solar absorptance that is approximately ten times larger than limestone. Moreover, the multicycle carbonation/calcination performance under different experimental conditions has been studied by thermogravimetry, and similar values to those exhibited for limestone have been obtained. Besides, the material is cheap (6 Elton), and simulations showed that the use of this material would significantly improve the overall CaL-CSP efficiency at the industrial level.

Julio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.135707

Electron beam evaporated vs. magnetron sputtered nanocolumnar porous stainless steel: Corrosion resistance, wetting behavior and anti-bacterial activity

Bobaru, S; Rico-Gavira, V; Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Materials Today Communications, 31 (2022) 103266
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Stainless steel (SS), widely used because of its outstanding corrosion protection properties, does not possess any particular anti-stain or anti-bacterial activity as required for household and sanitary applications. This work reports the fabrication of SS thin films that, keeping a similar corrosion resistance than the bulk material, presents hydrophobicity and anti-bacterial activity. These thin films are prepared at ambient temperature by physical vapor deposition (PVD), either electron beam evaporation (EBE) or magnetron sputtering (MS), at oblique angles (OAD). According to their scanning electron microcopy and atomic force microscopy analysis, the microstructure of the OAD-SS thin films consisted of tilted and separated nanocolumns defining a surface topology that, characterized by a high percentage of void space, varied with the deposition conditions and procedure, either EBE or MS. It has been shown that particularly the nanocolumnar MS-OAD thin films preserved and even improved the high corrosion resistance of compact SS, as determined by electrochemical analysis. Besides, all OAD-SS thin films depict hydrophobicity and a high antibacterial activity. These features, particularly remarkable for the MS-OAD thin films, have been related with their tip-like termination at the surface and the existence of large void spaces separating the nanocolumns. This topology appears to affect negatively the bacteria's deployment onto the surface and therefore the survival rate. Differences in the corrosion and antibacterial performance between EBE and MS-OAD thin films have been related with the specificities of these two PVD methods of thin film preparation. A relatively high abrasion resistance, as determined by abrasion tests, supports the use of MS-OAD thin films for the protection of commodity materials.

Junio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.mtcomm.2022.103266

Pursuing efficient systems for glucose transformation to levulinic acid: Homogeneous vs. heterogeneous catalysts and the effect of their co-action

Bounoukta, CE; Megias-Sayago, C; Ivanova, S; Ammari, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
FUEL, 318 (2022) 123712
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


Exploring available catalytic systems to understand their behavior is a must to properly design efficient catalysts aiming to definitively drive biomass from laboratory to industrial scale. Glucose transformation to levulinic acid involves cascade reactions with specific requirements, different active sites in each case and secondary reactions hard to avoid which are intrinsically linked to the catalyst's nature and reaction conditions. In the present work, homogeneous, heterogeneous and heterogeneous/homogeneous catalysts are considered with the unique goal of improving levulinic acid yield while understanding the catalytic behaviour of cost-effective catalysts. The choice of the catalytic systems and the effect of the main reaction parameters on activity and selectivity is studied and discussed.

Junio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.123712

Electrocatalytic CO2 conversion to C-2 products: Catalysts design, market perspectives and techno-economic aspects

Ruiz-López, E; Gandara-Loe, J; Baena-Moreno, F; Reina, TR; Odriozola, JA
Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 161 (2022) 112329
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The energy crisis caused by the incessant growth in global energy demand joint to its associated greenhouse emissions motivates the urgent need to control and mitigate atmospheric CO2 levels. Leveraging CO2 as carbon pool to produce value-added products represents a cornerstone of the circular economy. Among the CO2 utilization strategies, electrochemical reduction of CO2 conversion to produce fuels and chemicals is booming due to its versatility and end-product flexibility. Herein most of the studies focused on C-1 products although C-2 and C2+ compounds are chemically and economically more appealing targets requiring advanced catalytic materials. Still, despite the complex pathways for C2+ products formation, their multiple and assorted applications have motivated the search of suitable electrocatalysts. In this review, we gather and analyse in a comprehensive manner the progress made regarding C2+ products considering not only the catalyst design and the electrochemistry features but also techno-economic aspects in order to envisage the most profitable scenarios. This state-of-the-art analysis showcases that electrochemical reduction of CO2 to C-2 products will play a key role in the decarbonisation of the chemical industry paving the way towards a low-carbon future.

Junio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2022.112329

Enhanced photocatalytic activity of TiO2/WO3 nanocomposite from sonochemical-microwave assisted synthesis for the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin and oxytetracycline antibiotics under UV and sunlight

Moghni, N; Boutoumi, H; Khalaf, H; Makaoui, N; Colon, G
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 428 (2022) 113848
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


The TiO2/WO3 photocatalysts were prepared by a simple assisted sonochemical -microwave combination. The wide surface and structural characterization of synthesized material confirmed that the adopted preparation method resulted in nanoparticulated crystallite anatase phase of TiO2 with a large surface area (> 200 m(2)/g), and the dispersion of WO3 on the surface of TiO2. The photoactivity was assessed for the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP) and oxytetracycline (OTC) antibiotics under UV and sunlight irradiation. The mineralization rate, toxicity assessment, pollutant concentration effect on photodegradation efficiency, and reusability potential under sunlight were all investigated. Results showed that TiO2 doped with 5 wt% of WO3 exhibited the best photocatalytic activity under UV (100% degradation) and solar light. Rate constants for CIP and OTC degradation showed that TiO2/WO3 significantly improved with respect to bare TiO2. The antibacterial study revealed that the photodegraded solutions became less toxic than the initial CIP and OTC solutions showing a significant decrease in the inhibition zone diameter and mineralization rates. The prepared TiO2/WO3 maintained high performances in the presence of high concentrations of pollutants as well as good stability after four consecutive uses. The increased photocatalytic activity is attributed to the incorporation of WO3, which extends the light absorption range and decreases the rate of electron -hole recombination.

Junio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2022.113848

Evidence of new Ni-O-K catalytic sites with superior stability for methane dry reforming

Azancot, L; Blay, V; Blay-Roger, R; Bobadilla, LF; Penkova, A; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 307 (2022) 121148
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Liquid fuels produced via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis from biomass-derived syngas constitute an attractive and sustainable energy vector for the transportation sector. This study focuses on the role of potassium as a promoter in Ni-based catalysts for reducing coke deposition during catalytic dry reforming. The study provides a new structural link between catalytic performance and physicochemical properties. We identify new Ni-O-K chemical states associated with high stability in the reforming process, evidenced by different characterization techniques. The nickel particles form a core surrounded by a Ni-O-K phase layer (Ni@Ni-O-K) during the reduction of the catalyst. This phase likely presents an alkali-nickelate-type structure, in which nickel is stabilized in oxidation state + 3. The Ni-O-K formation induces essential changes in the electronic, physical, structural, and morphological properties of the catalysts, notably enhancing their long-term stability in dry reforming. This work thus provides new directions for designing more efficient catalysts for sustainable gas-to-liquids processes.

Junio, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2022.121148

Effect of sintering under CO+N-2/H-2 and CO2+air atmospheres on the physicochemical features of a commercial nano-YSZ

Colomer, M.T.; Simenas, M.; Banys, J.; Vattier, F.; Gagor, A.; Maczka, M.
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 904 (2022) 163976


Given the need to process anodes and composites based on nano-YSZ in reducing or in air containing additional CO2 atmospheres for the fabrication of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), and solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs), we have studied the effect of the exposure to CO+N2/H2 or CO2+air mixtures during sintering of YSZ green pellets, prepared from commercial nanopowders, on their structure, microstructure, chemical composition and their electrical properties. The reduced sample shows Raman bands at 1298 and 1605 cm−1 that are assigned to the D and G bands of carbon, respectively. The bands intensity ratio ID/IG indicates a larger content of disordered carbon. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) shows that C is present in the reduced samples as reduced carbon. However, the samples sintered in CO2+air present C as carbonate-type. Impedance spectroscopy reveals that the highest total conductivity is for the reduced samples in the whole range of studied temperatures. In addition, sintering in CO2+air causes a detrimental effect on the grain boundary conductivity and therefore, on the total electrical conductivity of YSZ. It can be due to the presence of impurities such as carbonates and oxidised or even, polymerised carbonaceous species located at those areas.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2022.163976

High temperature mechanical properties of polycrystalline Y2SiO5

Cabezas-Rodríguez, R; Ciria, D; Martínez-Fernandez, J; Dezanneau, G; Karolak, F; Ramirez-Rico, J
Boletin de la Sociedad Española de Ceramica y Vidrio, 61 (2022) S60-S68-228
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


The high temperature mechanical properties of polycrystalline Y2SiO5 were studied in compression at temperatures in the range of 1200-1400 degrees C, both in constant strain rate and constant stress experiments. To examine the effect of grain size on the plastic deformation, two routes were used for the synthesis and sintering of Y2SiO5: one of solid state reaction followed by conventional sintering in air, and one of sol-gel synthesis followed by spark-plasma sintering, resulting in starting grain sizes of 2.2 and 0.9 mu m, respectively. Ceramics obtained by these routes exhibited different high-temperature compression behavior: while the conventionally processed ceramic exhibited grain growth during mechanical testing and a stress exponent close to one, compatible with diffusional creep, the spark-plasma sintered ceramic showed no grain growth but significant cavitation, a stress exponent close to two and partially superplastic behavior. These results have implications for the design and lifetime assessment of rare earth silicate-based environmental barrier coatings. 

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.bsecv.2021.09.008

Role of Surface Topography in the Superhydrophobic Effect-Experimental and Numerical Studies

Ibrahim, SH; Wejrzanowski, T; Przybyszewski, B; Kozera, R; Garcia-Casas, X; Barranco, A
Materials, 15 (2022) 3112
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Within these studies, the effect of surface topography for hydrophobic coatings was studied both numerically and experimentally. Chemically modified polyurethane coating was patterned by application of a laser beam. A set of patterns with variously distant linear peaks and grooves was obtained. The cross section of the pattern showed that the edges of the peaks and grooves were not sharp, instead forming a rounded, rectangle-like shape. For such surfaces, experimental studies were performed, and in particular the static contact angle (SCA), contact angle hysteresis (CAH), and roll-off angle (ROA) were measured. Profilometry was used to create a numerical representation of the surface. Finite volume method was then applied to simulate the behavior of the water droplets. The model developed herewith enabled us to reproduce the experimental results with good accuracy. Based on the verified model, the calculation was extended to study the behavior of the water droplet on the simulated patterns, both spiked and rectangular. These two cases, despite a similar SCA of the water droplet, have shown extremely different ROA. Thus, more detailed studies were dedicated to other geometrical features of such topography, such as the size and distance of the surface elements. Based on the results obtained herewith, the future design of superhydrophobic and/or icephobic topography is discussed.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/ma15093112

The SrCO3/SrO system for thermochemical energy storage at ultra-high temperature

Amghar, N; Ortiz, C; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Maqueda, LP; Jimenez, PES
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 238 (2022) 111632
Reactividad de Sólidos


Thermochemical energy storage (TCES) has attracted interest in the last years due to the possibility of attaining high energy densities, seasonal storage capacity and greater efficiencies than currently commercial thermal energy storage systems using molten salts. This work analyses the potential of an ultra-high temperature TCES system based on the SrCO3/SrO system. The process relies upon the reversible decomposition of SrCO3 into SrO and CO2. As proposed in previous works for the integration of the Ca-Looping process to store energy in CSP plants, both the calcination (endothermic) and carbonation (exothermic) reactions are carried out in a closed CO2 loop. At these conditions, the required temperature to attain full calcination in short residence times is around 1400 degrees C whereas carbonation takes place at about 1200 degrees C. Using this process, the energy density potentially achievable by the storage material is very high (around 2000 MJ/m(3)) while the ultra-high carbonation temperature would improve thermoelectric efficiency. The enhancement of the multicycle performance of the SrCO3/SrO system using refractory additives is also explored. Even though current commercial CSP plants with tower technology cannot yet operate at these ultra-high temperatures, recent advances in the development of high-temperature solar receivers could allow operation at 1400 degrees C in the medium term. Finally, a conceptual model of the integration of the SrCO3/SrO system in a CSP plant supports higher overall efficiency and energy density, but lower solar-to-electric efficiency due to thermal losses.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2022.111632

Characterization of Re-Mo/ZSM-5 catalysts: How Re improves the performance of Mo in the methane dehydroaromatization reaction

Lopez-Martin, A; Sini, MF; Cutrufello, MG; Caballero, A; Colon, G
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 304 (2022) 120960
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


In this study, the promoting effect of rhenium addition as a co-dopant on Mo/ZSM-5 catalysts system has been analysed. Hence, bimetallic (Re-Mo/ZSM-5) catalysts have been synthesized using a sequential impregnation methodology. The catalytic performance for direct aromatization of methane reaction has been determined and correlated with their physical and chemical state combining multiple characterization techniques. An important synergy between Mo and Re, affected by the sequential impregnation, has been observed. Thus, Re1-Mo4/ZSM-5 in which Re has been incorporated first shows notably higher aromatic yields and stability against deactivation. Characterization results suggest that catalytic enhancement is due to the important effect of Re presence in close interaction with Mo. Improved evolution of ethane through C-C coupling would be correlated to this catalytic performance. As we discuss, Mo nature and location in the bimetallic systems are strongly conditioned by Re and the impregnation sequence and favours such intermediate step.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2021.120960

Versatile Ni-Ru catalysts for gas phase CO2 conversion: Bringing closer dry reforming, reverse water gas shift and methanation to enable end-products flexibility

Merkouri, LP; le Sache, E; Pastor-Perez, L; Duyar, MS; Reina, TR
Fuel, 315 (2022) 123097
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Advanced catalytic materials able to catalyse more than one reaction efficiently are needed within the CO2 utilisation schemes to benefit from end-products flexibility. In this study, the combination of Ni and Ru (15 and 1 wt%, respectively) was tested in three reactions, i.e. dry reforming of methane (DRM), reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) and CO2 methanation. A stability experiment with one cycle of CO2 methanation-RWGS-DRM was carried out. Outstanding stability was revealed for the CO2 hydrogenation reactions and as regards the DRM, coke formation started after 10 h on stream. Overall, this research showcases that a multicomponent Ni-Ru/CeO2 -Al2O3 catalyst is an unprecedent versatile system for gas phase CO2 recycling. Beyond its excellent performance, our switchable catalyst allows a fine control of end-products selectivity.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2021.123097

Synthesis and characterization of alkali-activated materials containing biomass fly ash and metakaolin: effect of the soluble salt content of the residue

Jurado-Contreras, S; Bonet-Martínez, E; Sánchez-Soto, PJ; Gencel, O; Eliche-Quesada, D
Archives of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, 22 (2022) 121
Materiales Avanzados


The present study investigates the production and characterization of alkali-activated bricks prepared with mixing metakaolin (MK) and biomass fly ash from the combustion of a mix of pine pruning, forest residues and energy crops (BFA). To use this low cost and high availability waste, different specimens were prepared by mixing MK with different proportions of BFA (25, 50 and 75 wt%). Specimens containing only metakaolin and biomass fly ash were produced for the purpose of comparison. Effects of the alkali content of biomass fly ash, after a washing pretreatment (WBFA), as well as the concentration of NaOH solution on the physical, mechanical and microstructural properties of the alkali-activated bricks were studied. It was observed that up to 50 wt% addition of the residue increases compressive strength of alkali-activated bricks. Alkalinity and soluble salts in fly ash have a positive effect, leading materials with the improved mechanical properties. Concentration of NaOH 8 M or higher is required to obtain optimum mechanical properties. The compressive strength increases from 23.0 MPa for the control bricks to 44.0 and 37.2 MPa with the addition of 50 wt% BFA and WBFA, respectively, indicating an increase of more than 60%. Therefore, the use of biomass fly ash provides additional alkali (K) sources that could improve the dissolution of MK resulting in high polycondensation. However, to obtain optimum mechanical properties, the amount of BFA cannot be above 50 wt%.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1007/s43452-022-00444-2

Neodymium doped lanthanide fluoride nanoparticles as contrast agents for luminescent bioimaging and X-ray computed tomography

Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Calderon-Olvera, RM; Cantelar, E; Corral, A; Balcerzyk, M; De la Fuente, JM; Ocaña, M
Boletin de la Sociedad Española de Ceramica y Vidrio, 61 (2022) 540-549
Materiales Coloidales


The synthesis of uniform neodymium-doped lanthanum trifluoride nanoparticles with lenticular shape and a mean diameter around 45 nm by using a homogeneous precipitation method is reported. The luminescent properties of the synthesized samples in terms of their emission spectra and emission lifetime are analyzed as a function of the Nd content to find the optimum phosphor and its suitability for luminescent imaging in the second biological window. The X-ray attenuation properties of the optimum phosphor are evaluated to investigate their additional ability as contrast agent for X-ray computed tomography. Finally, the colloidal stability of the obtained nanoparticles in physiological medium and their cytotoxicity are also analyzed to assess their aptness for in vivo bioimaging applications. 

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.bsecv.2021.07.004

H-2 Photoproduction Efficiency: Implications of the Reaction Mechanism as a Function of the Methanol/Water Mixture

Barba-Nieto, I; Colon, G; Kubacka, A; Fernandez-Garcia, M
Catalysts, 12 (2022) 402
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


The influence of the reaction pathway of the sacrificial molecule oxidation to generate hydrogen is here investigated for lean and rich methanol reaction mixtures. Pt-TiO2 powders promoted or not with tin sulfide were used as catalysts. With the help of in situ infrared experiments under reaction conditions, methanol evolution was shown to take place by hole-related oxidation steps, with alkoxy and carbon-centered species as key radical species. The study analyzed quantitatively the fate and chemical use of the photons absorbed by the solids with the help of the quantum efficiency and the useful fraction of photons observables. Within this framework, the role of the sulfide component to promote photoactivity is interpreted, braiding chemical and photonic information.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/catal12040402

QUEELS: Software to calculate the energy loss processes in TEELS, REELS, XPS and AES including effects of the core hole

Tougaard, S; Pauly, N; Yubero, F
Surface and Interface Analysis
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


We present the user-friendly and freely available software package QUEELS (QUantitative analysis of Electron Energy Losses at Surfaces) that allows to calculate effective inelastic scattering cross sections within the dielectric response description, for swift electrons travelling nearby surfaces in several environments. We briefly describe the underlying theoretical models and illustrate its use to evaluate the distribution of energy losses taking place in electron spectroscopies like transmission electron energy loss spectroscopy (TEELS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS), which are widely used for material analysis. This includes the intrinsic excitations due to the core hole in XPS and AES.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1002/sia.7095

Z-scheme WO3/PANI heterojunctions with enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light: A depth experimental and DFT studies

Y. Naciri; A.Hsini; A.Bouziani; K.Tanji; B.El Ibrahimi; M.N.Ghazza; B. Bakiz; A.Albourine; A.Benlhachemi; J.A. Navío
Chemosphere, 292 (2022) 133468
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


A WO3@PANI heterojunction photocatalyst with a various mass ratio of polyaniline to WO3 was obtained via the in situ oxidative deposition polymerization of aniline monomer in the presence of WO3 powder. The characterization of WO3@PANI composites was carried via X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflection spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). The photocatalytic efficiency of WO3@PANI photocatalysts was assessed by following the decomposition of the Rhodamine B (RhB) dye under visible light irradiation (λ >420 nm). The results evidenced the high efficiency of the WO3@PANI (0.5 wt %) nanocomposite in the photocatalytic degradation of RhB (90% within 120 min) under visible light irradiation 3.6 times compared to pure WO3. The synergistic effect between PANI and WO3 is the reason for the increased photogenerated carrier separation. The superior photocatalytic performance of the WO3@PANI catalyst was ascribed to the increased visible light in the visible range and the efficient charge carrier separation. Furthermore, the Density Functional Theory study (DFT) of WO3@PANI was performed at the molecular level, to find its internal nature for the tuning of photocatalytic efficiency. The DFT results indicated that the chemical bonds connected the solid-solid contact interfaces between WO3 and PANI. Finally, a plausible photocatalytic mechanism of WO3@PANI (0.5 wt %) performance under visible light illumination is suggested to guide additional photocatalytic activity development.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.133468