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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

Influence of Femtosecond Laser Modification on Biomechanical and Biofunctional Behavior of Porous Titanium Substrates

Beltran, AM; Giner, M; Rodríguez, A; Trueba, P; Rodríguez-Albelo, LM; Vázquez-Gámez, MA; Godinho, V; Alcudia, A; Amado, JM; López-Santos, C; Yadir, T
Materials, 15 (2022) 2969
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


Bone resorption and inadequate osseointegration are considered the main problems of titanium implants. In this investigation, the texture and surface roughness of porous titanium samples obtained by the space holder technique were modified with a femtosecond Yb-doped fiber laser. Different percentages of porosity (30, 40, 50, and 60 vol.%) and particle range size (100-200 and 355-500 mu m) were compared with fully-dense samples obtained by conventional powder metallurgy. After femtosecond laser treatment the formation of a rough surface with micro-columns and micro-holes occurred for all the studied substrates. The surface was covered by ripples over the micro-metric structures. This work evaluates both the influence of the macro-pores inherent to the spacer particles, as well as the micro-columns and the texture generated with the laser, on the wettability of the surface, the cell behavior (adhesion and proliferation of osteoblasts), micro-hardness (instrumented micro-indentation test, P-h curves) and scratch resistance. The titanium sample with 30 vol.% and a pore range size of 100-200 mu m was the best candidate for the replacement of small damaged cortical bone tissues, based on its better biomechanical (stiffness and yield strength) and biofunctional balance (bone in-growth and in vitro osseointegration).

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/ma15092969

Transparent, UV-blocking, and high barrier cellulose-based bioplastics with naringin as active food packaging materials

Guzman-Puyol, S; Hierrezuelo, J; Benitez, JJ; Tedeschi, G; Porras-Vazquez, JM; Heredia, A; Athanassiou, A; Romero, D; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 209 (2022) 1985-1994
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Free-standing, robust, and transparent bioplastics were obtained by blending cellulose and naringin at different proportions. Optical, thermal, mechanical, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties were systematically investigated. In general, the incorporation of naringin produced important UV blocking and plasticizer effects and good antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Moreover, the barrier properties were characterized by determination of their water and oxygen transmission rates, finding that both parameters decreased by increasing the naringin content and reaching values similar to other petroleum-based plastics and cellulose derivatives used for food packaging applications. Finally, the biodegradability of these films was determined by measurement of the biological oxygen demand (BOD) in seawater, demonstrating an excellent decomposition in such conditions.

Mayo, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.04.177

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

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

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

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

Highly uniform Y3Al2Ga3O12-based nanophosphors for persistent luminescence bioimaging in the visible and NIR regions

Arroyo, E; Herrero, BT; De la Fuente, JM; Ocaña, M; Becerro, AI
Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers
Reactividad de Sólidos


In the last few years, persistent phosphors with a garnet crystal structure have attracted a great deal of interest for a plethora of applications ranging from bioimaging to anti-counterfeiting technologies. However, the development of synthesis methods to fabricate uniform garnet-based micro and nanoparticles, that are needed for such applications, is not mature at all. This study reports the synthesis of highly uniform yttrium aluminum gallium garnet nanospheres. The method is based on homogeneous precipitation in a polyol medium followed by silica coating and calcination. The nanoparticles resulting after silica removal were also uniform and were easily functionalized with polyacrylic acid. The colloidal stability of the latter in physiological media and their biocompatibility were analyzed. The luminescence of the particles, doped with Ce3+, Cr3+, and Nd3+, was studied by recording emission and excitation spectra and persistent luminescence decay curves. Due to their uniform morphology, high colloidal stability, absence of toxicity, and persistent emission in the visible and near-infrared regions, the reported nanospheres show great potential as persistent luminescent bioimaging probes. In addition, the synthesis method paves the way for future use of this persistent material in other applications that require the phosphor to be in the form of highly uniform nanoparticles.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1039/d2qi00480a

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

Ionomer-Free Nickel-Iron bimetallic electrodes for efficient anion exchange membrane water electrolysis

Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gomez-Sacedon, C; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Yubero, F; De Lucas-Consuegra, A
Chemical Engineering Journal, 433 (2022) 133774
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


A bottleneck for the deployment of the Anion Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysis (AEMWE) is the manufacturing of efficient and long lasting anodes and cathodes for the cells. Highly performant bimetallic Ni/Fe catalyst films with various atomic ratios have been prepared by magnetron sputtering in an oblique angle configuration (MS-OAD) and used as anodes for AEMWE. Electrocatalytic experiments in a small three-electrode cell and a thorough analysis of the electrode properties with various physico-chemical characterization tech-niques have been used to select the nanostructured anode catalyst which, depicting an optimized Ni/Fe ratio, presents the maximum activity for the oxygen evolution reaction. These anode layers are then scale-up for their integration in an AEMWE cell where the influence of assembly conditions and the effect of adding an ionomer to the anodes have been studied. The obtained results have demonstrated the outstanding properties of the fabri-cated bimetallic films in terms of activity, stability, and operation under ionomer-free conditions. Current density values around 400 and 600 mA cm(-2) at 40??& nbsp;and 60 C (2.0 V), respectively, much higher than those obtained with pure Ni, were obtained with an optimized membrane electrode assembly. The high yield obtained with these electrodes gains further relevance when considering that the current yield per unit mass of the anodic active phase catalyst (i.e., 1086 mA mg(-1) at 2.0 V and 40??) is the highest among equivalent values reported in literature. The possibilities and prospects of the use of bimetallic catalyst films prepared by MS-OAD for AEMWE are discussed.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2021.133774

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, 388 (2022) 176-186
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.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2020.07.044

Transparent Phosphor Thin Films Based on Rare-Earth-Doped Garnets: Building Blocks for Versatile Persistent Luminescence Materials

Castaing, V; Lozano, G; Míguez, H
Advanced Photonics Research, 3 (2022) 2100367
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Afterglow properties of persistent phosphors are attracting a great deal of attention in the fields of bioimaging, sensing, labeling, safety, or security. Complex garnet oxides, especially those doped with Ce3+ and Cr3+, are particularly relevant to this end since their persistent luminescence can be tuned through matrix composition and activated by visible light, in contrast to the vast majority of persistent phosphors that require UV excitation. Most extended preparation routes yield micrometer-sized phosphors that display strong light scattering, which limits their versatility and applicability. Herein, nanostructured garnet oxide-based thin films that are transparent and feature persistent luminescence properties are demonstrated. Following a sol–gel route and after high temperature annealing, few hundred nanometre-thick Y3Al2Ga3O12:Ce3+,Cr3+ transparent films showing efficient green emission and afterglow are attained. Gd3Al2Ga3O12:Ce3+,Cr3+ transparent thin films displaying yellow afterglow with distinct persistent kinetics are demonstrated, to prove the generality of the approach herein proposed. Its versatility is further demonstrated by developing layered phosphors with time-dependent chromaticity due to the unique persistent emission color – upon blue light excitation – and kinetics of each layer forming the stack. The results pave an avenue toward nanodevices and multifunctional coatings in which afterglow offers hitherto unexplored properties.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1002/adpr.202100367

Enhanced up-conversion photoluminescence in fluoride-oxyfluoride nanophosphor films by embedding gold nanoparticles

Ngo, TT; Lozano, G; Miguez, H
Materials Advances (2022)
Materiales Ópticos Multifuncionales


Owing to their unique non-linear optical character, lanthanide-based up-converting materials are potentially interesting for a wide variety of fields ranging from biomedicine to light harvesting. However, their poor luminescent efficiency challenges the development of technological applications. In this context, localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) have been demonstrated as a valuable strategy to improve light conversion. Herein, we utilize LSPR induced by gold nanoparticles (NPs) to enhance up-conversion photoluminescence (UCPL) in transparent, i.e. scattering-free, films made of nanophosphors formed by fluoride–oxyfluoride host matrix that feature high thermal stability. Transparency allows excitation by an external source without extinction losses caused by unwanted diffuse reflection. We provide a simple method to embed gold NPs in films made of YF/YOF:Yb3+,Er3+ UC nanophosphors, via preparation of a viscous paste composed of both UC nanophosphors and colloidal gold NPs, reducing complexity in sample fabrication. The dimensions of gold NPs are such that their associated LSPR matches spectrally with the green emission band of the Er3+ doped nanophosphors. In order to demonstrate the benefits of plasmonic nanoparticles for UCPL in nanophosphor films, we provide a careful analysis of the structural properties of the composite thin films along with precise characterization of the impact of the gold NPs on the photophysical properties of UC nanophosphors.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1039/D2MA00068G

Insights into the structural and physicochemical properties of Zn-Bi-O composites for efficient photodegradation of caffeic acid, rhodamine B and methyl orange

F.Puga; J.A.Navío; J.M.Córdoba; F.Romero-Sarria; M.C.Hidalgo
Applied Surface Science, 581 (2022) 152351
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


Different Zn-Bi-O composites were synthesized following the starting chemical molar composition of ZnBi2O4 spinels by a sol–gel method, (ZnBiO)-SG, and its subsequent hydrothermal treatment, (ZnBiO)-HT. The acquired X-ray diffractograms after sequential thermal treatments at a programmed rate indicate that both precursors evolved, after calcination at 500 °C, to materials (ZnBiO) with different stoichiometry. The use of different characterization techniques (both FT-IR and TEM), allowed us to establish that, with the sol–gel process a mixed ZnO/Bi2O3 oxide is generated, while after hydrothermal process a ternary Zn-Bi-O oxide is formed, with small amounts of residual ZnO. The photocatalytic properties of the synthesized samples were evaluated using Caffeic acid, Rhodamine B and Methyl Orange as model substrates. It can be concluded that both catalysts showed excellent photocatalytic activity for the degradation of trans-caffeic acid under both UV and visible illumination. The leaching process (in particular of zinc), which is produced with the illumination time (in particular under UV illumination) in the presence of oxygen, raises the hypothesis of a foreseeable formation of complexes (photochemically stable or unstable) of caffeic acid with Zn2+ and Bi3+ ions. The plausible donor/acceptor interactions between the toxic molecules studied and the Zn2+ and Bi3+ ions, could condition the degradation processes, by means of a photoassisted process that would take place both, in the heterogeneous (photocatalytic) and homogeneous (photoassisted) phases. For the degradation processes of Rhodamine B and Methyl Orange, additional experimental conditions are studied that significantly improved their photocatalytic degradation.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2021.152351

Structural analysis of mixed alpha- and beta-amyrin samples

Gomez-Pulido, LDM; Gonzalez-Cano, RC; Benitez, JJ; Dominguez, E; Heredia, A
Royal Society Open Science, 9 (2022) 211787
Materiales de Diseño para la Energía y Medioambiente


Little is known about the structure and molecular arrangement of alpha- and beta-amyrin, a class of triterpenoids found within the cuticle of higher plants. Blends of both amyrin isomers with different ratios have been studied taking into consideration a combined methodology of density functional theory (DFT) calculations with experimental data from scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and Raman vibrational spectroscopy. Results indicate that trigonal trimeric aggregations of isomer mixtures are more stable, especially in the 1 : 2 (alpha : beta) ratio. A combination of Raman spectroscopy and DFT calculations has allowed to develop an equation to determine the amount of beta-amyrin in a mixed sample.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1098/rsos.211787

3D-printed structured catalysts for CO2 methanation reaction: Advancing of gyroid-based geometries

Gonzalez-Castano, M; Baena-Moreno, F; De Miguel, JCN; Miah, KUM; Arroyo-Torralvo, F; Ossenbrink, R; Odriozola, JA; Benzinger, W; Hensel, A; Wenka, A; Arellano-García, H
Energy Conversion and Management, 258 (2022) 115464
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This work investigates the CO2 methanation rate of structured catalysts by tuning the geometr y of 3D-printed metal Fluid Guiding Elements (FGEs) structures based on periodically variable pseudo-gyroid geometries. The enhanced performance showed by the structured catalytic systems is mostly associated with the capability of the FGEs substrate geometries for efficient heat usages. Thus, variations on the channels diameter resulted in ca. 25% greater CO2 conversions values at intermediate temperature ranges. The highest void fraction evidenced in the best performing catalyst (3D-1) favored the radial heat transfer and resulted in significantly enhanced catalytic activity, achieving close to equilibrium (75%) conversions at 400 ? and 120 mL/min. For the 3D-1 catalyst, a mathematical model based on an experimental design was developed thus enabling the estimation of its behavior as a function of temperature, spatial velocity, hydrogen to carbon dioxide (H-2/CO2) ratio, and inlet CO2 concentration. Its optimal operating conditions were established under 3 different scenarios: 1) no restrictions, 2) minimum H-2:CO2 ratios, and 3) minimum temperatures and H-2/CO2 ratio. For instance, for the lattest scenario, the best CO2 methanation conditions require operating at 431 ?, 200 mL/min, H-2/CO2 = 3 M ratio, and inlet CO2 concentration = 10 %.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2022.115464

Insight into the role of temperature, time and pH in the effective zirconium retention using clay minerals

Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 308 (2022) 114635
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


The use of zirconium in chemical industries generates a potential risk of Zr contamination in the environment, with particular concern for the decommissioning of uranium-graphite reactors. Among the natural adsorbents employed for the treatment of nuclear waste, clay minerals showed a very high affinity adsorption for radionuclides, but the influence of the chemical composition, pressure, temperature and time reaction have not yet been analysed on deep. Thus, the objective of this research is to explore several experimental conditions for an actual prediction of the behaviour of zirconium immobilization by clay minerals. The results have shown that factors such as zirconium cation nature (Zr4+ or ZrO2+), temperature, time and pH influence the extent of zirconium immobilization by clay minerals and the zirconium phases generated. At moderate conditions, zirconium tectosilicates are formed and evolve to zircon at high temperature and a longer time reaction.

Abril, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.114635