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Organophilization of acid and thermal treated sepiolite for its application in BTEX adsorption from aqueous solutions

Varela, CF; Pazos, MC; Alba, MD
Journal of Water Process Engineering, 40 (2021) 101949
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Acid and thermal treated sepiolite was organophilized by cationic exchange with several alkylammonium cations (octylammonium, hexadecylammonium, tetradecyltrimethylammonium, and hexadecyltrimethylammonium). The adsorption capacity of BTEX from aqueous solutions was evaluated through the adsorption isotherms performed in batch. The results were analysed using three isotherm models: Freundlich, Langmuir and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R model). The behaviour of adsorption isotherm suggested the multilayer coverage on a heterogeneous surface, which is according to the Freundlich isotherm model. The thermodynamic analyse using the D-R model show that physical mechanisms govern the process. The maximum adsorption capacity of BTEX on the obtained materials was in the range values of 81.19 mg g(-1) - 1448.42 mg g(-)(1), which are higher than those reported up to now. The organo-sepiolite materials exhibit a high potential in the adsorption of BTEX compounds from aqueous solutions.

Abril, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jwpe.2021.101949

Rietveld Refinement, mu-Raman, X-ray Photoelectron, and Mossbauer Studies of Metal Oxide-Nanoparticles Growth on Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Oxide

Ramos-Guivar, JA; Gonzalez-Gonzalez, JC; Litterst, FJ; Passamani, EC
Crystal Growth & Design, 21 (2021) 2128-2141
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Applying a modified coprecipitation method, maghemite and anatase nanoparticles embedded in graphene oxide and multiwall carbon nanotube frameworks were prepared, and a detailed structural characterization is presented. Transmission electron images have revealed that the multiwall carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide act as substrates to reduce the nanoparticle agglomeration with narrow sizes of ca. 9-20 nm, in agreement with the results of the Rietveld refinement, which have also indicated their crystallite apparent size and shapes using the spherical harmonics approach. In structural studies of maghemite nanoparticles by Raman spectroscopy, it was found that the effect of optical density and laser power intensity plays a significant role. When no optical filter was located between the powder sample and the laser source, a transformation from the gamma-Fe2O3 to the alpha-Fe2O3 phase was observed, as demonstrated by the disappearance of the characteristic broad Raman peak (A(1g)) of the gamma-Fe2O3 phase when increasing the laser power. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy has also brought insights into the functionalization mechanism, suggesting that the one-pot reduction of the graphene oxide is favored by the alkaline gamma-Fe2O3 nanoparticle growth. The temperature dependence of the Fe-57 Mossbauer spectra has indicated that the effective anisotropy constant of Fe oxide-based nanoparticles is similar to that of bulk maghemite, and magnetic relaxation of Fe3+ spins depends on particle sizes.

Abril, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01551

Form Birefringence in Resonant Transducers for the Selective Monitoring of VOCs under Ambient Conditions

Oliva-Ramirez, Manuel; Lopez-Santos, Carmen; Berthon, Hermine; Goven, Mathilde; Portoles, Jose; Gil-Rostra, Jorge; Gonzalez-Elipe, Agustin R.; Yubero, Francisco
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (2021) 19148-19158
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


In this work, we have developed a new kind of nanocolumnar birefringent Bragg microcavity (BBM) that, tailored by oblique angle deposition, behaves as a selective transducer of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Unlike the atomic lattice origin of birefringence in anisotropic single crystals, in the BBM, it stems from an anisotropic self-organization at the nanoscale of the voids and structural elements of the layers. The optical adsorption isotherms recorded upon exposure of these nanostructured systems to water vapor and VOCs have revealed a rich yet unexplored phenomenology linked to their optical activity that provides both capacity for vapor identification and partial pressure determination. This photonic response has been reproduced with a theoretical model accounting for the evolution of the form birefringence of the individual layers upon vapor condensation in nanopores and internanocolumnar voids. BBMs that repel water vapor but are accessible to VOCs have been also developed through grafting of their internal surfaces with perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane molecules. These nanostructured photonic systems are proposed for the development of transducers that, operating under environmental conditions, may respond specifically to VOCs without any influence by the degree of humidity of the medium.

Abril, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c02499

New Insights on the Conversion Reaction Mechanism in Metal Oxide Electrodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries

Mosa, J; Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Aparicio, M
Nanomaterials, 11 (2021) 966
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Due to the abundance and low cost of exchanged metal, sodium-ion batteries have attracted increasing research attention for the massive energy storage associated with renewable energy sources. Nickel oxide (NiO) thin films have been prepared by magnetron sputtering (MS) deposition under an oblique angle configuration (OAD) and used as electrodes for Na-ion batteries. A systematic chemical, structural and electrochemical analysis of this electrode has been carried out. The electrochemical characterization by galvanostatic charge-discharge cycling and cyclic voltammetry has revealed a certain loss of performance after the initial cycling of the battery. The conversion reaction of NiO with sodium ions during the discharge process to generate sodium oxide and Ni metal has been confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) and micro-Raman analysis. Likewise, it has been determined that the charging process is not totally reversible, causing a reduction in battery capacity.

Abril, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/nano11040966

Novel procedure for studying laser-surface material interactions during scanning laser ablation cleaning processes on Cu-based alloys

Di Francia, E; Lahoz, R; Neff, D; Rico, V; Nuns, N; Angelini, E; Grassini, S
Applied Surface Science, 544 (2021) art. 178820
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Laser ablation is an effective method to clean Cu-based alloys. A novel procedure of characterisation was developed involving O-18 isotopes evaluated by ToF-SIMS spectroscopy to assess the driving mechanisms of laser-surface interactions. The presence of re-oxidised compounds was detected, discerning between the oxygen from the corrosion layer and the one introduced by the interaction with the laser (that was generated in a controlled atmosphere of O-18 diluted in N-2). A set of samples treated with different laser conditions were characterised by FESEM and mu Raman. The results have shown that re-oxidation phenomenon can occur and its selectivity depends on the laser conditions.

Abril, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2020.148820

Facile synthesis and characterization of a novel 1,2,4,5-benzene tetracarboxylic acid doped polyaniline@zinc phosphate nanocomposite for highly efficient removal of hazardous hexavalent chromium ions from water

Abdelghani Hsini, Yassine Naciri, Mohamed Benafqir, Zeeshan Ajmal, Nouh Aarab, Mohamed Laabd, J.A. Navío, F. Puga, Rabah Boukherroub, Bahcine Bakiz, Abdallah Albourine
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 585 (2021) 560-573
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


The present study describes the preparation of a novel 1,2,4,5-benzene tetracarboxylic acid doped polyaniline@zinc phosphate (BTCA-PANI@ZnP) nanocomposite via a facile two-step procedure. Thereafter, the as-prepared composite material adsorption characteristics for Cr(VI) ions removal were evaluated under batch adsorption. Kinetic approach studies for Cr(VI) removal, clearly demonstrated that the results of the adsorption process followed the pseudo second order and Langmuir models. The thermodynamic study indicated a spontaneous and endothermic process. Furthermore, higher monolayer adsorption was determined to be 933.88 mg g1 . In addition, the capability study regarding Cr(VI) ions adsorption over BTCA-PANI@ZnP nanocomposite clearly revealed that our method is suitable for large scale application. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis confirmed Cr(VI) adsorption on the BTCA-PANI@ZnP surface, followed by its subsequent reduction to Cr(III). Thus, the occurrence of external mass transfer, electrostatic attraction and reduction phenomenon were considered as main mechanistic pathways of Cr(VI) ions removal. The superior adsorption performance of the material, the multidimensional characteristics of the surface and the involvement of multiple removal mechanisms clearly demonstrated the potential applicability of the BTCA-PANI@ZnP material as an effective alternative for the removal of Cr(VI) ions from wastewater.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2020.10.036

Persistent luminescence of transparent ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ thin films from colloidal nanoparticles of tunable size dagger

Arroyo, E; Medran, B; Castaing, V; Lozano, G; Ocana, M; Becerro, AI
Journal of Materials Chemistry C, (2021)
Materiales Coloidales - Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


We report on the fabrication of ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ transparent thin films and the evaluation, for the first time in the literature, of their persistent red to NIR emission. For this purpose, we have used a simple and economic global strategy based on wet processing methods from colloidal nanospheres with uniform size. A microwave-assisted hydrothermal method was first developed for the synthesis of precursor particles, which allows size tuning from 300 nm to 30 nm through simple modification of the Zn2+ precursor and the Cr3+ content of the starting solutions. ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ transparent thin films over quartz substrates were then easily fabricated by spin coating, and their structural and optical characteristics were analyzed in detail after annealing at high temperature to elucidate the effect of processing temperature and particle size on the properties of the films. Indeed, our results indicate that high temperature annealing does not compromise the transparency of the films but improves their photoluminescence. In addition, the analysis reveals that persistence luminescence in our films is rather independent of the size of the precursor nanoparticles. Due to their transparency and persistent emission properties, films fabricated from colloidal suspensions of ZnGa2O4:Cr3+ nanoparticles show great potential for application in the fields of chemical sensing, information storage, labelling, and anti-counterfeiting technology.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1039/d1tc00258a

Solid-State Dewetting of Gold on Stochastically Periodic SiO2 Nanocolumns Prepared by Oblique Angle Deposition

Oliva-Ramirez, M; Wang, D; Flock, D; Rico, V; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Schaaf, P
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (2021) 11385-11395
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Solid-state dewetting (SSD) on patterned substrates is a straightforward method for fabricating ordered arrays of metallic nanoparticles on surfaces. However, a drawback of this procedure is that the patterning of substrates usually requires time-consuming and expensive two-dimensional (2D) fabrication methods. Nanostructured thin films deposited by oblique angle deposition (OAD) present at the surface a form of stochastically arranged periodic bundles of nanocolumns that might act as a patterned template for fabricating arrays of nanoparticles by SSD. In this work, we explore this concept and investigate the effect of three different types of OAD SiO2 thin films on the SSD of Au deposited on their surface. We demonstrate that the size and spatial distribution of the particles can be tailored through the surface morphology of these OAD film substrates. It has been found that the SSD of the evaporated Au layer gives rise to a bimodal size distribution of particles. A majority of them appeared as mesoparticles with sizes.100 nm and the rest as nanoparticles with similar to 10 nm, respectively, located either on top of the nanocolumns following their lateral distribution (i.e., resulting from a patterning effect) or incorporated inside the open mesopores existing among them. Moreover, on the SiO2-OAD thin films where interconnected nanocolumnar bundles arrange in the form of discrete motifs, the patterning effect gave rise to the formation of approximately one Au mesoparticle per motif, which is one of the assets of patterned SSD. The morphological, optical (i.e., plasmon resonance), and crystalline structural characteristics of Au mesoparticles suggest that the interplay between a discontinuous nanocolumnar surface acting as a template and the poor adhesion of Au onto SiO2 are key factors for the observed template effect controlling the SSD on the surface of OAD thin films.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c19327

Overcoming Pd-TiO2 Deactivation during H-2 Production from Photoreforming Using Cu@Pd Nanoparticles Supported on TiO2

Platero, F; Lopez-Martin, A; Caballero, A; Rojas, TC; Nolan, M; Colon, G
ACS Applied Nano Materials, 4 (2021) 3204-3219
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


Different Cu@Pd-TiO2 systems have been prepared by a two-step synthesis to obtain a bimetallic co-catalyst for the H-2 photoreforming reaction. We find that the tailored deposition of Pd covering the Cu nanoclusters by a galvanic replacement process results in the formation of a core@shell structure. The photocatalytic H-2 production after 18 h is 350 mmol/g on the Cu@Pd-1.0-TiO2 bimetallic system, which is higher than that on the monometallic ones with a H-2 production of 250 mmol/g on Pd-supported TiO2. Surface characterization by highangle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy, H-2-temperatureprogramed reduction, CO-FTIR spectroscopy, and XPS gives clear evidence of the formation of a core@shell structure. With a Pd loading of 0.2-0.3 at. %, we propose a full coverage of the Cu nanoparticles with Pd. Long-time photoreforming runs show the enhanced performance of supported Cu@Pd with respect to bare palladium leading to a more stable catalyst and ultimately higher H-2 production.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.1c00345

Functionalized biochars as supports for Pd/C catalysts for efficient hydrogen production from formic acid

Santos, JL; Megias-Sayago, C; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 282 (2021) 119615
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Biomass waste product was used to generate biochars as catalytic supports for selective hydrogen production from formic acid. The supports were obtained after pyrolysis in CO2 atmosphere of non-pretreated and che-mically ZnCl2 activated raw materials (vine shoot and crystalline cellulose). The support series includes materials with different textural properties and surface chemistry. The support nature and especially textural properties firstly affects significantly Pd size and dispersion and its interaction with the support and secondly influence in a great extent the catalytic behavior of the final material. The presence of prevailing mesoporous character appeared to be the most important parameter influencing formic acid dehydrogenation and overall hydrogen production.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2020.119615

Zirconium retention for minimizing environmental risk: Role of counterion and clay mineral

Montes, L; Pavon, E; Cota, A; Alba
Chemosphere, 267 (2021) 128914
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Zr(IV) together with U(IV) are the major components of high-level radionuclide waste (HLRW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) from nuclear power plants. Thus, their retention in the waste disposal is of great importance for the environmental risk control. Here, the influence of clay minerals on the retention of Zr(IV), as component of the nuclear waste and as chemical analogues of U(IV), has been evaluated. Three clay minerals, two bentonites and one saponite, were hydrothermally treated with three zirconium salts. A structural study at long-range order by X-ray diffraction and short-range order by NMR was performed to evaluate the generation of new zirconium phases and degradation of the clay minerals. Three immobilization mechanisms were observed: i) cation exchange of ZrO2+ or Zr4+ by clay minerals, ii) the precipitation/crystallization of ZrO2, and, iii) the chemical interaction of zirconium with the clay minerals, with the formation of zirconium silicates. 

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128914

A first insight into the microstructure and crack propagation in novel boron nitride nanosheet/3YTZP composites

Munoz-Ferreiro, C; Morales-Rodriguez, A; Gallardo-Lopez, A; Poyato, R
Boletin de la Sociedad Española de Cerámica y Vidrio, 60 (2021) 128-136
Reactividad de Sólidos


In this work, novel 3 mol% yttria tetragonal zirconia polycristalline (3YTZP) ceramic composites with boron nitride nanosheets (BNNS) are investigated for the first time. Highly densified composites with 1 and 4 vol% BNNS were obtained by spark plasma sintering (SPS) after BNNS synthesis using a solution exfoliation method and BNNS dispersion into the ceramic powder by ultrasonication. The BNNS presented homogeneous distribution throughout the ceramic matrix and preferential alignment in the plane perpendicular to the pressing axis during SPS. The BNNS incorporation had practically no effect on the Vickers hardness of the material nor on the Young's modulus. Anisotropy in crack development was found in the composite with 4% vol BNNS, together with a mechanism of extensive microcracking. Several energy-absorbing mechanisms during crack propagation, such as crack deflection, crack bridging, crack branching, BNNS pull-out and BNNS debonding, were identified in the composites by a close observation of the indentation-induced fracture paths.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.bsecv.2020.02.003

Understanding the opportunities of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) for CO2 capture and gas-phase CO2 conversion processes: a comprehensive overview

Gandara-Loe, J.; Pastor-Pérez, L.; Bobadilla, L.F.; Odriozola, J.A.; Reina, T.R.
Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, 6 (2021) 787-814
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The rapid increase in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is one of the most pressing problems facing our planet. This challenge has motivated the development of different strategies not only in the reduction of CO2 concentrations via green energy alternatives but also in the capture and conversion of CO2 into value-added products. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous materials with unique structural characteristics such as high surface areas, chemical tunability and stability, and have been extensively studied as promising materials to address this challenge. This comprehensive review identifies the specific structural and chemical properties of MOFs that result in advanced CO2 capture capacities and fairly encouraging catalytic CO2 conversion behaviour. More importantly, we describe an interconnection among the unique properties of MOFs and the engineering aspects of these intriguing materials towards CO2 capture and conversion processes.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1039/d1re00034a

Nanofibrous Gelatin-Based Biomaterial with Improved Biomimicry Using D-Periodic Self-Assembled Atelocollagen

Borrego-Gonzalez, S; Dalby, MJ; Diaz-Cuenca, A
Biomimetics, 6 (2001) 20
Materiales para Bioingeniería y Regeneración Tisular


Design of bioinspired materials that mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) at the nanoscale is a challenge in tissue engineering. While nanofibrillar gelatin materials mimic chemical composition and nano-architecture of natural ECM collagen components, it lacks the characteristic D-staggered array (D-periodicity) of 67 nm, which is an important cue in terms of cell recognition and adhesion properties. In this study, a nanofibrous gelatin matrix with improved biomimicry is achieved using a formulation including a minimal content of D-periodic self-assembled atelocollagen. We suggest a processing route approach consisting of the thermally induced phase separation of the gelatin based biopolymeric mixture precursor followed by chemical-free material cross-linking. The matrix nanostructure is characterized using field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), wide angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The cell culture assays indicate that incorporation of 2.6 wt.% content of D-periodic atelocollagen to the gelatin material, produces a significant increase of MC3T3-E1 mouse preosteoblast cells attachment and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) proliferation, in comparison with related bare gelatin matrices. The presented results demonstrate the achievement of an efficient route to produce a cost-effective, compositionally defined and low immunogenic “collagen-like” instructive biomaterial, based on gelatin.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics6010020

Cation-driven electrical conductivity in Ta-doped orthorhombic zirconia ceramics

Moshtaghioun, BM; Laguna-Bercero, MA; Pena, JI; Gomez-Garcia, D; Dominguez-Rodriguez, A
Ceramics International, 47 (2021) 7248-7522
Propiedades mecánicas, modelización y caracterización de cerámicos avanzados


This paper is devoted to the study of the electrical conductivity of tantalum-doped zirconia ceramics prepared by spark plasma sintering. In this study, the temperature dependence of conductivity in as-prepared specimens and in those previously annealed in air is determined and compared. A semi-empirical model, which is based on the oxidation states of the cations, has been developed and successfully assessed. According to this, the conductivity is basically controlled by the diffusion of tetravalent zirconium cations in both cases, although the concentration of these species varies drastically with the amount of induced oxygen vacancies. This is a quite unexpected fact, since conductivity is normally controlled by anionic diffusion in zirconia ceramics. This option is forbidden here due to the presence of substitutional pentavalent cations. Therefore, conductivity values are much lower than those reported in trivalent or divalent substitutional cation doped zirconia ceramics.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2020.10.227

Electrical and reaction performances of packed-bed plasma reactors moderated with ferroelectric or dielectric materials

Gomez-Ramirez, A; Alvarez, R; Navascues, P; Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Palmero, A; Cotrino, J; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Plasma Processes and Polymers, (2021) e2000193
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


The operational behavior of packed-bed plasma reactors depends on the dimension, shape, and chemical properties of the pellets used as moderators, but little information exists about the influence of their specific dielectric properties. Herein, we comparatively study the electrical behavior of a packed-bed reactor filled with pellets of either dielectric (Al2O3 and glass) or ferroelectric (BaTiO3 and lead zirconate titanate) materials. We found that plasma current was higher for ferroelectrics and presented a nonlineal dependence on voltage. Moreover, for BaTiO3, we found a drastic decrease at around its relatively low Curie temperature. Differences in electrical behavior have a direct effect on the reactor performance, as illustrated for the ammonia synthesis, demonstrating the importance of moderator material dielectric properties and their dependence on temperature.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/ppap.202000193

Synergizing carbon capture and utilization in a biogas upgrading plant based on calcium chloride: Scaling-up and profitability analysis

Baena-Moreno, FM; Reina, TR; Rodriguez-Galan, M; Navarrete, B; Vilches, LF
Science of The Total Environment, 758 (2021) 143645
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Herein we analyze the profitability of a novel regenerative process to synergize biogas upgrading and carbon dioxide utilization. Our proposal is a promising alternative which allows to obtain calcium carbonate as added value product while going beyond traditional biogas upgrading methods with high thermal energy consumption. Recently we have demonstrated the experimental viability of this route. In this work, both the scale-up and the profitability of the process are presented. Furthermore, we analyze three representative scenarios to undertake a techno-economic study of the proposed circular economy process. The scale-up results demonstrate the technical viability of our proposal. The precipitation efficiency and the product quality are still remarkable with the increase of the reactor size. The techno-economic analysis reveals that the implementation of this circular economy strategy is unprofitable without subsidies. Nonetheless, the results are somehow encouraging as the subsides needed to reach profitability are lower than in other biogas upgrading and carbon dioxide utilization proposals. Indeed, for the best-case scenario, a feed-in tariff incentive of 4.3 (sic)/MWh makes the approach profitable. A sensitivity study through tornado analysis is also presented, revealing the importance of reducing bipolar membrane electrodialysis energy consumption. Overall our study envisages the big challenge that the EU faces during the forthcoming years. The evolution towards bio-based and circular economies requires the availability of economic resources and progress on engineering technologies.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143645

Mining Wastes of an Albite Deposit as Raw Materials for Vitrified Mullite Ceramics

Sanchez-Soto, PJ; Garzon, E; Perez-Villarejo, L; Angelopoulos, GN; Eliche-Quesada, D
Minerals, 11 (2021) 232
Materiales Avanzados


In this work, an examination of mining wastes of an albite deposit in south Spain was carried out using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), particle size analysis, thermodilatometry and Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) and Thermogravimetric (TG) analysis, followed by the determination of the main ceramic properties. The albite content in two selected samples was high (65-40 wt. %), accompanied by quartz (25-40 wt. %) and other minor minerals identified by XRD, mainly kaolinite, in agreement with the high content of silica and alumina determined by XRF. The content of Na2O was in the range 5.44-3.09 wt. %, being associated with albite. The iron content was very low (<0.75 wt. %). The kaolinite content in the waste was estimated from similar to 8 to 32 wt. %. The particle size analysis indicated values of 11-31 wt. % of particles <63 mu m. The ceramic properties of fired samples (1000-1350 degrees C) showed progressive shrinkage by the thermal effect, with water absorption and open porosity almost at zero at 1200-1250 degrees C. At 1200 ffiC, the bulk density reached a maximum value of 2.38 g/cm(3). An abrupt change in the phase evolution by XRD was found from 1150 to 1200 degrees C, with the disappearance of albite by melting in accordance with the predictions of the phase diagram SiO2-Al2O3-Na2O and the system albite-quartz. These fired materials contained as main crystalline phases quartz and mullite. Quartz was present in the raw samples and mullite was formed by decomposition of kaolinite. The observation of mullite forming needle-shape crystals was revealed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The formation of fully densified and vitrified mullite materials by firing treatments was demonstrated.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.3390/min11030232

Zr and Fe on Pt/CeO2-MOx/Al2O3 catalysts for WGS reaction

Gonzalez-Castano, M; Ivanova, S; Centeno, MA; Ioanides, T; Arellano-Garcia, H; Odriozola, JA
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, (2021)
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


By evaluating the functional modifications induced by Zr and Fe as dopants in Pt/CeO2‐MOx/Al2O3 catalysts (M = Fe and Zr), the key features for improving water gas shift (WGS) performance for these systems have been addressed. Pt/ceria intrinsic WGS activity is often related to improved H2 surface dynamics, H2O absorption, retentions and dissociation capacities which are influenced greatly by the support nature. Two metals, iron and zirconia, were chosen as ceria dopants in this work, either in separate manner or combined. Iron incorporation resulted in CO‐redox properties and oxygen storage capacities (OSC) improvement but the formation of Ce‐Fe solid solutions did not offer any catalytic benefit, while the Zr incorporation influenced in a great manner surface electron densities and shows higher catalytic activity. When combined both metals showed an important synergy evidenced by 30% higher CO conversions and attributed to greater surface electron densities population and therefore absorption and activity. This work demonstrates that for Pt/ceria catalysts OSC enhancement does not necessarily imply a catalytic promotion.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/er.6646

The Complex Interplay of Lead Halide Perovskites with Their Surroundings

Galisteo-Lopez, JF; Calvo, ME; Miguez, H
Advanced Optical Materials, (2021) 2100133
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Photoexcitation of lead halide perovskites induces a restructuration of the material that simultaneously enhances its emission properties and triggers its degradation. These concomitant processes are strongly dependent on the surroundings of the perovskite, both while and after being processed, underlining the relevance the environment and the interfacial design have in the stability and performance of these materials and the devices based on them. This shocking observation reveals that when subjected to external illumination, lead halide perovskites undergo a number of photophysical processes that strongly modify their structure and thus their optoelectronic properties. Such photoinduced instability stems from a defective structure directly linked to the low-temperature and solution-processed fabrication routes generally employed to build perovskite solar cells with efficiencies comparable to state-of-the-art values. On the other hand, these same inexpensive and unsophisticated procedures make this material a promising component in energy conversion devices. Here, an analysis is provided regarding the different impact on the perovskite structure, hence on its optoelectronic performance, that the interaction with its surroundings has, providing specific examples that highlight this interplay, describing the kind of modification it induces, and listing the related effects on the optoelectronic properties that should be accounted for when characterizing them.

Marzo, 2021 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.202100133