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Carboxylate functionalized NaDy(MoO4)(2) nanoparticles with tunable size and shape as high magnetic field MRI contrast agents

Gomez-Gonzalez, E; Nuñez, NO; Caro, C; Garcia-Martin, ML; Ocaña, M
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 629 (2022) 310-321
Materiales Coloidales


Uniform sodium-dysprosium double molybdate (NaDy(MoO4)(2)) nanoparticles having different morphologies (spheres and ellipsoids) and tunable size have been synthesized for the first time in literature. The procedure is based on a homogeneous precipitation process at moderated temperatures (<= 220 ?) from solutions containing appropriated precursors dissolved in ethylene glycol-water mixtures, in the absence (spheres) or the presence (ellipsoids) of tartrate anions. The effects of the morphological characteristics (size and shape) of the nanoparticles on the magnetic relaxivity at high field (9.4 T) have been evaluated finding that the latter magnitude was higher for the spheres than for the ellipsoids, indicating their better suitability as contrast agents for high-field magnetic resonance imaging. Such nanoparticles have been successfully coated with polymers bearing carboxylate functional groups through a layer-by -layer process, which improves the colloidal stability of the nanoparticles in physiological media. It has been also found that the coating layer had no significant effects on the nanoparticles relaxivity and that such coated nanoparticles exhibited a high biocompatibility and a high chemical stability. In summary, we have developed NaDy(MoO4)(2 )based bioprobes which meet the required criteria for their use as contrast agents for high-field magnetic resonance imaging. 

Enero, 2023 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2022.08.130


Materials challenges and opportunities to address growing micro/ nanoplastics pollution: a review of thermochemical upcycling

Parrilla-Lahoz, S; Mahebadevan, S; Kauta, M; Zambrano, MC; Pawlak, JJ; Venditti, RA; Reina, TR; Duyar, MS
Materials Today Sustainability, 20 (2022) 100200
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Micro/nanoplastics have sparked attention in recent years due to their widespread presence in the environment. Currently, several waste valorization approaches are under development in order to upcycle micro/nanoplastics. Thermal conversion technologies such as pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction, or hydrothermal carbonization can yield high-value solid products, oil, and gases from plastics waste. The common thermal conversion technologies investigated focus on maximizing the production of oil and gases (such as H2 and CH4) for use as fuel. Except for hydrogen, when these products are used to generate energy, the carbon emissions generated are comparable to those produced by traditional fossil fuels. Herein, we present a review of the current efforts to capture and convert plastic waste into valuable products with an emphasis on identifying the need to develop processes specifically for micro/nano-plastics while also preventing the release of CO2 emissions. We identify the development of efficient catalytic materials as a critical research need for achieving economically viable thermochemical con-version of micro/nanoplastics.

Diciembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.mtsust.2022.100200

Assessment of pilot-plant scale solar photocatalytic hydrogen generation with multiple approaches: Valorization, water decontamination and disinfection

Ruiz-Aguirre, A; Villachica-Llamosas, JG; Polo-Lopez, MI; Cabrera-Reina, A; Colon, G; Peral, J; Malato, S
Energy, 260 (2022) e10272
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


The main goal of the present study was to explore pilot-scale combination of H-2 generation with simultaneous water disinfection or decontamination. Performance of a TiO2-CuO mixture for solar-to-hydrogen (STH) con-version was studied, focusing on treatment optimization (catalyst dose, proportion of semiconductors in the mixture and concentration of the sacrificial agent). Experiments were performed in a 25-L compound parabolic collector (2 m(2)) solar pilot plant specifically designed for photocatalytic hydrogen generation. The best operating conditions were 100 mg L-1 TiO2-CuO (10:1) with 0.075 M glycerol as the sacrificial agent. The best STH conversion attained was 0.9%. 25 mg L-1 imidacloprid was completely degraded (over 99%). The synergetic effect of anoxic conditions, TiO2:CuO and solar radiation caused a significant reduction (> 5 Log) in concen-tration of E. coli, used as a model waterborne pathogen, in less than 10 min.

Diciembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/

Reactive flash sintering of SrFe12O19 ceramic permanent magnets

Manchon-Gordon, AF; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Blazquez, JS; Perejon, A; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 922 (2022) 166203
Reactividad de Sólidos


Reactive flash-sintering technique has been used in order to obtain strontium ferrite magnets from a mixture of SrCO3 and Fe2O3 commercial powders. This technique allows preparing sintered SrFe12O19 at a furnace temperature of just 973 K during just 2 min by applying a modest field of 40 V cm(-1), instead of the conventional sintering process employed in ferrite magnet manufacturing that demands high temperature and long dwell times. Analysis of structural and magnetic properties were performed as a function of time in which the flash event was held. Mossbauer spectra show the existence of five different kinds of local environments, confirming the formation of strontium hexaferrite. The resulting samples exhibit comparable magnetic properties to the state-of-the-art ferrite magnets. In particular, produced samples reach a coercivity of 0.4 T and a specific saturation magnetization of 70 Am-2 kg(-1).

Noviembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2022.166203

Improvement in cyclic CO2 capture performance and fluidization behavior of eggshell-derived CaCO3 particles modified with acetic acid used in calcium looping process

Imani, M; Tahmasebpoor, M; Sanchez-Jimenez, PE; Valverde, JM; Moreno, V
Journal of CO2 Utilization, 65 (2022) 102207
Reactividad de Sólidos


Although calcium-based materials are the most promising adsorbents used in calcium looping process for carbon dioxide removing, their CO2 capture capacity decaying besides poor fluidization, still are the important challenges. In the present investigation, eggshell as a cheap, easily available and unpolluted source of calcium carbonate was used for CO2 capturing in calcium looping process. Eggshell particles were treated with various volume concentrations of acetic acid to improve its sorption capacity. According to the TGA results after 20 carbonation/calcination cycles, the effective carbonation conversion of modified eggshell with 5%, 20%, 30% and 40%. v/v acetic acid was 21.33%, 24.26%, 25.97% and 28.97%, respectively, which is considerable compared to 20.54% for untreated eggshell. The effect of initial eggshell particle size on the adsorption behavior of final adsorbent was also investigated by using two different sizes including dp < 45 mu m and dp > 320 mu m. The results showed that the effective conversion of the adsorbent containing 40%. v/v acetic acid derived from small particle size eggshells was 9.32% higher than that from larger particle size eggshells. In terms of fluidization behavior, surprisingly the addition of acetic acid to the eggshell particles also increased the bed expansion ratio as 8% and 36.2% at gas velocities of 0.27 and 6.67 cm/s, respectively. Further improvement in the fluidity of eggshell modified with 40% acid was performed by manually mixing of SiO2 nanoparticles at different weight percentages. According to the results, adding 7.5 wt% SiO2 leaded to the homogeneous and agglomerate particulate fluidization.

Noviembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jcou.2022.102207

Boosting the photocatalytic properties of NaTaO3 by coupling with AgBr

Puga, F; Navío, JA; Hidalgo, MC
Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences (2022)
Fotocatálisis Heterogénea: Aplicaciones


AgBr/NaTaO3 composites, with different molar % of NaTaO3 (Br/NTO(X%)), have been synthesized by simple precipitation methods; bare NaTaO3 was synthesized by hydrothermal procedure, while AgBr was synthesized by a precipitation procedure using cetyl-tri-methyl-ammonium bromide (CTAB) and AgNO3. Samples have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption, UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Photocatalytic activity of the as-prepared photo-catalysts was evaluated through photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B (RhB), methyl orange (MO) and caffeic acid (CAFA) under UV and visible illumination. Single AgBr material and Br/NTO(X%) composites displayed the ability to absorb light in the visible region, while NaTaO3 is only photoactive under UV irradiation. Based on the position of conduction and valence bands of AgBr and NaTaO3, the heterojunction between these two photo-catalysts corresponds to a type II junction. In the case of photocatalytic degradation of RhB and CAFA, Br/NTO(x%) composites have highest photocatalytic activity than that obtained by both parental materials under the same operational conditions. AgBr and Br/NTO(x%) composites achieve a fast degradation of MO, together with a considerable adsorption capacity, attributed to the presence of a remaining amount of residual CTAB on the AgBr surface. In summary, coupling AgBr with NaTaO3 improves the photocatalytic activity under both UV and visible illumination with respect to the parental components, but the performance of the composites is highly dependent on the type of substrate to be degraded and the illumination conditions.

Noviembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1007/s43630-022-00334-9

Highly efficient electrical discharge machining of yttria-stabilized zirconia ceramics with graphene nanostructures as fillers

Muñoz-Ferreiro, C; Lopez-Pernia, C; Moriche, R; Gommeringer, A; Kern, F; Poyato, R; Gallardo-Lopez, A
Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 42 (2022) 5943-5952
Reactividad de Sólidos


Electrical-discharge machining (EDM) of advanced ceramics allows the miniaturization of parts with complex shapes. Since electrical conductivity is required, non-conductive ceramics need a conductive second phase. This work assesses the feasibility of industrial EDM in advanced yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia (3YTZP) composites with 20 vol% graphene nanostructures with different morphology using different EDM energies. The structural integrity of the graphene nanostructures, the roughness of the machined surfaces and the geometrical tolerances have been evaluated by Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, showing that it is possible to obtain a stable and efficient EDM process in these composites using low electrode energies. The use of the largest and thickest graphene nanostructures led to the best performance in terms of EDM machinability, the smallest nanostructures produced the best surface finish for low electrode energy and the thinnest nanostructures allowed the highest material removal rate at medium energy in the composites.

Octubre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2022.06.037

Design and Characterization of ITO-Covered Resonant Nanopillars for Dual Optical and Electrochemical Sensing

Tramarin, L; Casquel, R; Gil-Rostra, J; Gonzalez-Martinez, MA; Herrero-Labrador, R; Murillo, AMM; Laguna, MF; Banuls, MJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Holgado, M
Chemosensors, 10 (2022) 393
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


In this work we present a dual optical and electrochemical sensor based on SiO2/Si3N4 resonant nanopillars covered with an indium tin oxide (ITO) thin film. A 25-30 nm thick ITO layer deposited by magnetron sputtering acts as an electrode when incorporated onto the nanostructured array, without compromising the optical sensing capability of the nanopillars. Bulk sensing performances before and after ITO deposition have been measured and compared in accordance with theoretical calculations. The electrochemical activity has been determined by the ferri/ferrocyanide redox reaction, showing a remarkably higher activity than that of flat thin films of similar ITO nominal thickness, and proving that the nanopillar system covered by ITO presents electrical continuity. A label-free optical biological detection has been performed, where the presence of amyloid-beta has been detected through an immunoassay enhanced with gold nanoparticles. Again, the experimental results have been corroborated by theoretical simulations. We have demonstrated that ITO can be a beneficial component for resonant nanopillars sensors by adding potential electrochemical sensing capabilities, without significantly altering their optical properties. We foresee that resonant nanopillars coated with a continuous ITO film could be used for simultaneous optical and electrochemical biosensing, improving the robustness of biomolecular identification.

Octubre, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/chemosensors10100393

Influence of the carbon incorporation on the mechanical properties of TiB2 thin films prepared by HiPIMS

Sala, N; Abad, MD; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Crugeira, F; Ramos-Masana, A; Colominas, C
International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, 107 (2022) 105884
Tribología y Protección de Superficies


Nanostructured TiB2 and TiBC thin films with carbon contents up to 11 at. % were prepared by physical vapor deposition using high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) technology. The influence of carbon incorporation during the deposition of TiB2 coatings was investigated on the chemical composition, microstructure and mechanical properties by means of scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), nanoindentation, scratch test, calotest and adhesion Daimler-Benz test. The results indicated that small additions of carbon up to 3 at. % improved the mechanical behavior and increased the adhesion of the TiB2 thin films. Hardnesses up to 37 GPa were reached and the adhesion of the coating to AISI D2 steel substrates increased from 11 to 18 N. XRD and XPS results showed that the carbon atoms are either occupying interstitial sites within the hexagonal structure of the TiB2 or forming bonds with titanium and boron atoms. The preferred orientation of the films determined by XRD also changed with the increasing carbon content in the (001) crystalline plane.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2022.105884

Multiscale Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulation of Self-Organized Growth of GaN/AlN Quantum Dots

Budagosky, JA; García-Cristobal, A
Nanomaterials, 12 (2022) 3052
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


A three-dimensional kinetic Monte Carlo methodology is developed to study the strained epitaxial growth of wurtzite GaN/AlN quantum dots. It describes the kinetics of effective GaN adatoms on an hexagonal lattice. The elastic strain energy is evaluated by a purposely devised procedure: first, we take advantage of the fact that the deformation in a lattice-mismatched heterostructure is equivalent to that obtained by assuming that one of the regions of the system is subjected to a properly chosen uniform stress (Eshelby inclusion concept), and then the strain is obtained by applying the Green's function method. The standard Monte Carlo method has been modified to implement a multiscale algorithm that allows the isolated adatoms to perform long diffusion jumps. With these state-of-the art modifications, it is possible to perform efficiently simulations over large areas and long elapsed times. We have taylored the model to the conditions of molecular beam epitaxy under N-rich conditions. The corresponding simulations reproduce the different stages of the Stranski-Krastanov transition, showing quantitative agreement with the experimental findings concerning the critical deposition, and island size and density. The influence of growth parameters, such as the relative fluxes of Ga and N and the substrate temperature, is also studied and found to be consistent with the experimental observations. In addition, the growth of stacked layers of quantum dots is also simulated and the conditions for their vertical alignment and homogenization are illustrated. In summary, the developed methodology allows one to reproduce the main features of the self-organized quantum dot growth and to understand the microscopic mechanisms at play.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/nano12173052

Optimization of anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers using ionomer-free electrodes

Lopez-Fernandez, E; Gomez-Sacedon, C; Gil-Rostra, J; Espinos, JP; Brey, JJ; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; de Lucas-Consuegra, A.; Yubero, F
Renewable Energy, 197 (2022) 1183-1191
Nanotecnología en Superficies y Plasma


This work is carried out in the context of the anion exchange membrane water electrolysis (AEMWE) and pursuits to determine the influence of different cell components on the global electrochemical performance. Ionomer-free electrodes consisting of anodic Ni-Fe and cathodic Ni electrocatalysts deposited by magnetron sputtering in an oblique angle deposition configuration were utilized for this study. In addition to the characteristics and equivalent thickness of the electrocatalysts, other factors affecting the efficiency that have been considered in this study encompass the type of gas diffusion layer (GDLs), including carbon paper and stainless-steel fiber paper supports, and several commercial anion exchange membranes. The electrocatalytic performances in both a threeelectrode and complete single cell AEMWE set-ups, together with the physico-chemical characterization of the electrodes before and after operation, have served to select the optimum components for the utilized cell configuration. Thus, current densities of 670 mA cm-2, at polarization voltage of 2.2 V, 1.0 M KOH electrolyte and 40 degrees C were obtained in a membrane electrode assembly. A seven days chronopotentiometry experiment at a fixed current of 400 mA cm-2 demonstrated a noticeable stability of this type of AEMWE cells incorporating ionomer-free electrodes.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2022.08.013

Oxygen production routes assessment for oxy-fuel combustion

Garcia-Luna, S; Ortiz, C; Carro, A; Chacartegui, R; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Energy, 254 (2022) 124303
Reactividad de Sólidos


Oxyfuel combustion is a promising alternative to decarbonize the power sector. However, the main barrier to commercial deployment of the technology is the high energy consumption associated with oxygen production (-200-300 kWh per ton of O-2), which penalizes the thermal-to-electric efficiency of 8.5-12% compared to traditional air combustion plants. Typically, oxygen is obtained from a cryogenic air separation process. However, other technologies have been gaining momentum in recent years, such as membrane technologies, chemical looping air separation, and renewable-driven electrolysis. The present work evaluates all these options for O-2 production to retrofit a 550 MWe coal-fired power plant with oxyfuel combustion. A techno-economic assessment is carried out to estimate the energy penalty, the O-2 production cost (V/ton) and the Levelized Cost of Electricity. The best results are obtained by combining oxygen transport membranes and electrolysis since the energy consumption has been reduced to 98.56 kWh/ton of O(2, )decreasing by 59.31% the cryogenic distillation energy consumption (242.24 kWh/ ton O2), reducing the overall energy penalty compared to cryogenic air separation from 8.88% points to 7.56%points. The oxygen transport membrane presents the lowest cost of electricity in retrofitting cases, 51.48 $/MWh, while cryogenic distillation estimated cost is 52.7 $/MWh. Their costs of avoided CO2 are 31.79 $/ton CO2 and 34.15 $/ton CO2 respectively.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/

Ni-Phosphide catalysts as versatile systems for gas-phase CO2 conversion: Impact of the support and evidences of structure-sensitivity

Zhang, Q; Pastor-Perez, L; Villora-Pico, JJ; Joyce, M; Sepulveda-Escribano, A; Duyar, MS; Reina, TR
Fuel, 323 (2022) 124301
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


We report for the first time the support dependent activity and selectivity of Ni-rich nickel phosphide catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation. New catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation are needed to commercialise the reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) which can feed captured carbon as feedstock for traditionally fossil fuel-based processes, as well as to develop flexible power-to-gas schemes that can synthesise chemicals on demand using surplus renewable energy and captured CO2. Here we show that Ni2P/SiO2 is a highly selective catalyst for RWGS, producing over 80% CO in the full temperature range of 350-750 degrees C. This indicates a high degree of suppression of the methanation reaction by phosphide formation, as Ni catalysts are known for their high methanation activity. This is shown to not simply be a site blocking effect, but to arise from the formation of a new more active site for RWGS. When supported on Al2O3 or CeAl, the dominant phase of as synthesized catalysts is Ni12P5. These Ni12P5 catalysts behave very differently compared to Ni2P/SiO2, and show activity for methanation at low temperatures with a switchover to RWGS at higher temperatures (reaching or approaching thermodynamic equilibrium behaviour). This switchable activity is interesting for applications where flexibility in distributed chemicals production from captured CO2 can be desirable. Both Ni12P5/Al2O3 and Ni12P5/CeAl show excellent stability over 100 h on stream, where they switch between methanation and RWGS reactions at 50-70% conversion. Catalysts are characterized before and after reactions via X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), temperature-programmed reduction and oxidation (TPR, TPO), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and BET surface area measurement. After reaction, Ni2P/SiO(2 )shows the emergence of a crystalline Ni12P5 phase while Ni12P5/Al2O3 and Ni12P5/CeAl both show the crystalline Ni3P phase. While stable activity of the latter catalysts is demonstrated via extended testing, this Ni enrichment in all phosphide catalysts shows the dynamic nature of the catalysts during operation. Moreover, it demonstrates that both the support and the phosphide phase play a key role in determining selectivity towards CO or CH4.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.124301

Unraveling the Mo/HZSM-5 reduction pre-treatment effect on methane dehydroaromatization reaction

Lopez-Martin, A; Caballero, A; Colon, G
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 312 (2022) 121382
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


Reduction pre-treatment at different temperatures were performed over Mo/HZSM-5 system before methane dehydroaromatiztion reaction. We have shown the crucial effect of reduction temperature on the final catalytic performance. Outstanding improvement in the aromatics conversion has been attained. Thus, H-2 formation form methane cracking reaction seems to be hindered for pre-treated catalysts. As a consequence, the deposition of coke in these samples appeared also notably suppressed. The optimum performance has been achieved for reduction pre-treatment at 550 degrees C. For this temperature, we have observed that the fraction of reduced Mo species is higher.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2022.121382

Sustainable routes for acetic acid production: Traditional processes vs a low-carbon, biogas-based strategy

Martin-Espejo, JL; Gandara-Loe, J; Odriozola, JA; Reima, TR; Pastor-Pérez, L
Science of the Total Environment, 840 (2022) 156663
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


The conversion of biogas, mainly formed of CO2 and CH4, into high-value platform chemicals is increasing attention in a context of low-carbon societies. In this new paradigm, acetic acid (AA) is deemed as an interesting product for the chemical industry. Herein we present a fresh overview of the current manufacturing approaches, compared to potential low-carbon alternatives. The use of biogas as primary feedstock to produce acetic acid is an auspicious alternative, representing a step-ahead on carbon-neutral industrial processes. Within the spirit of a circular economy, we propose and analyse a new BIO-strategy with two noteworthy pathways to potentially lower the environmental impact. The generation of syngas via dry reforming (DRM) combined with CO2 utilisation offers a way to produce acetic acid in a two-step approach (BIO-Indirect route), replacing the conventional, petroleum-derived steam reforming process. The most recent advances on catalyst design and technology are discussed. On the other hand, the BIO-Direct route offers a ground-breaking, atom-efficient way to directly generate acetic acid from biogas. Nevertheless, due to thermodynamic restrictions, the use of plasma technology is needed to directly produce acetic acid. This very promising approach is still in an early stage. Particularly, progress in catalyst design is mandatory to enable low-carbon routes for acetic acid production.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156663

Hydrogen production from landfill biogas: Profitability analysis of a real case study

Vidal-Barrero, F; Baena-Moreno, FM; Preciado-Cardenas, C; Villanueva-Perales, A; Reina, TR
Fuel, 324 (2022) 124438
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Hydrogen is not only considered as a cornerstone within renewable energy portfolio but it is also a key enabler for CO2 valorisation being a central resource for industrial decarbonization. This work evaluates the profitability of hydrogen production via combined biogas reforming and water-gas shift reaction, based on a real case scenario for landfill biogas plant in Seville (Spain). A techno-economic model was developed based on a process model and the discounted cash-flow method. A biogas flow of 700 m(3)/h (input given by the landfill biogas plant) was used as plant size and the analysis was carried out for two different cases: (1) use of already available energy sources at the industrial plant, and (2) solar energy generation to power the process. The economic outputs obtained showed that under the current circumstances, this hydrogen production route is not profitable. The main reason is the relatively low current hydrogen prices which comes from fossil fuels. A revenues analysis indicates that hydrogen from biogas selling prices between 2.9 and 5.7 euro/kg would be needed to reach profitability, which are considerably higher than the current hydrogen cost (1.7 euro/kg). A subsidy scheme is suggested to improve the competitiveness of this hydrogen production process in the short-medium term. A cost analysis is also performed, revealing that electricity prices and investment costs have a high impact on the total share (23-40% and 8-22%, respectively). Other potential costs reduction such as catalyst, labour and manteinance & overhead are also evaluated, showing that cutting-down production costs is mandatory to unlock the potential of hydrogen generation from biogas. Our work showcases the techno-economic challenge that green energy policies face in the path toward sustainable societies.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.124438

Sol-Gel Synthesis of Endodontic Cements: Post-Synthesis Treatment to Improve Setting Performance and Bioactivity

Song, X; Diaz-Cuenca, A
Materials, 15 (2022) 6051
Materiales para Bioingeniería y Regeneración Tisular


The sol-gel process is a wet chemical technique that allows very fine control of the composition, microstructure, and final textural properties of materials, and has great potential for the synthesis of endodontic cements with improved properties. In this work, the influence of different sol-gel synthesis variables on the preparation of endodontic cement based on calcium silicate with Ca/Si stoichiometry equal to 3 was studied. Starting from the most optimal hydraulic composition selected, a novel second post-synthesis treatment using ethanol was essayed. The effects of the tested variables were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, nitrogen physisorption, and Gillmore needles to determine the setting time and simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion to measure the bioactive response in vitro. The results indicated that the sol-gel technique is effective in obtaining bioactive endodontic cements (BECs) with high content of the hydraulic compound tricalcium silicate (C3S) in its triclinic polymorph. The implementation of a novel post-synthesis treatment at room temperature using ethanol allows obtaining a final BEC product with a finer particle size and a higher CaCO3 content, which results in an improved material in terms of setting time and bioactive response.

Septiembre, 2022 | DOI: 10.3390/ma15176051

Tuning the co-catalyst loading for the optimization of thermo-photocatalytic hydrogen production over Cu/TiO2

Platero, F; Caballero, A; Colon, G
Applied Catalysis A-General, 643 (2022) 118804
Materiales y Procesos Catalíticos de Interés Ambiental y Energético


We have optimized the H-2 production by methanol thermo-photocatalytic reforming in the gas phase using Cu/TiO2 catalyst by tuning metal loading. Metal co-catalyst has been deposited by means of chemical reduction deposition. We have stated that thermo- and thermo-photocatalytic process leads to a notable H-2 production at 200 C. By in-situ FTIR studies we evidenced that formate formation follows a different evolution depending on the reforming experiment. These surface formate would lead to CO formation through dehydration reaction. At higher Cu content the low CO selectivity denote that water-gas-shift reaction would predominate and exalt H-2 yield. Thus, different optimum Cu content is found for each reforming experiment. While for the photocatalytic reforming Cu/TiO2 (2 wt%) is the best catalyst of the series, we should increase the Cu content to Cu/TiO2 (5 wt%) to achieve the optimum performance for thermo-photocatalytic reforming of methanol.

Agosto, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2022.118804

Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass-Gasification Mixtures Using Ni-Fe/ MgAl2O4 as a Bifunctional Catalyst

Tarifa, P; Reina, TR; González-Castaño, M; Arellano-Garcia, H
Energy & Fuels, 36 (2022) 8267-8273
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


Biomass gasification streams typically contain a mixture of CO, H-2, CH4, and CO(2 )as the majority components and frequently require conditioning for downstream processes. Herein, we investigate the catalytic upgrading of surrogate biomass gasifiers through the generation of syngas. Seeking a bifunctional system capable of converting CO2 and CH4 to CO, a reverse water gas shift (RWGS) catalyst based on Fe/MgAl(2)O(4 )was decorated with an increasing content of Ni metal and evaluated for producing syngas using different feedstock compositions. This approach proved efficient for gas upgrading, and the incorporation of adequate Ni content increased the CO content by promoting the RWGS and dry reforming of methane (DRM) reactions. The larger CO productivity attained at high temperatures was intimately associated with the generation of FeNi3 alloys. Among the catalysts' series, Ni-rich catalysts favored the CO productivity in the presence of CH4, but important carbon deposition processes were noticed. On the contrary, 2Ni-Fe/MgAl2O4 resulted in a competitive and cost-effective system delivering large amounts of CO with almost no coke deposits. Overall, the incorporation of a suitable realistic application for valorization of variable composition of biomass-gasification derived mixtures obtaining a syngas-rich stream thus opens new routes for biosyngas production and upgrading.

Agosto, 2022 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.2c01452

Structure effect of modified biochar in Ru/C catalysts for sugar mixture hydrogenation

Santos, JL; Sanz-Moral, LM; Aho, A; Ivanova, S; Murzin, DY; Centeno, MA
Biomass & Bioenergy, 163 (2022) 106504
Química de Superficies y Catálisis


This study deals with the production and activation of biochars and their use as supports for a series of ruthenium catalysts for hydrogenation of L-arabinose/D-galactose sugar mixture. The synthesized biochars differ in physicochemical properties and surface chemistry influencing ruthenium metal uptake and dispersion and as a consequence its catalytic behaviour. Selectivity exceeding 95% was observed for both hexitols. The catalytic performance of the prepared Ru supported catalysts is also compared to the already known Ru/activated carbon commercial catalyst.

Agosto, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2022.106504