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Titulo: Carbon nanofibers replacing graphene oxide in ceramic composites as a reinforcing-phase: Is it feasible?
Autores: Cano-Crespo, Rafael; Malmal Moshtaghioun, Bibi; Gomez-Garcia, Diego; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Arturo; Moreno, Rodrigo
Revista: Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 37 (2017) 3791-3796
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In recent years, the interest of graphene and graphene-oxide has increased extraordinarily due to the outstanding properties concurring in this material. In ceramic science, the possibility of combining excellent electrical conductivities together with an enhancement of mechanical properties has motivated the research in fabrication of graphene oxide-reinforced ceramic composites despite the intrinsic difficulties for sintering. In this work a comparison is made between graphene oxide-reinforced alumina composites and carbon nanofiber-reinforced alumina ones. It will be concluded that the improvement of mechanical properties is scarce, if any. Since carbon nanofibers have also a good electrical conductivity their importance for future applications as a replacement of more sophisticated but expensive graphene-based ceramic composites will be stressed.

Septiembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.03.027

Titulo: High-temperature thermal conductivity of biomorphic SiC/Si ceramics
Autores: Ramirez-Rico, J.; Singh, M.; Zhu, D.; Martinez-Fernandez, J.
Revista: Journal of Materials Science, 52 (2017) 10038-10046
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Thermal conductivity of biomorphic SiC/Si, a silicon carbide + silicon containing two phase material, was evaluated using the laser steady-state heat flux method. These materials were processed via silicon melt infiltration of wood-derived carbon scaffolds. In this approach, heat flux was measured through the thickness when one side of the specimen was heated with a 10.6-A mu m CO2 laser. A thin mullite layer was applied to the heated surface to ensure absorption and minimize reflection losses, as well as to ensure a consistent emissivity to facilitate radiative loss corrections. The influence of the mullite layer was accounted for in the thermal conductivity calculations. The effect of microstructure and composition (inherited from the wood carbonaceous performs) on measured conductivity was evaluated. To establish a baseline for comparison, a dense, commercially available sintered SiC ceramic was also evaluated. It was observed that at a given temperature, thermal conductivity falls between that of single-crystal silicon and fine-grained polycrystalline SiC and can be rationalized in terms of the SiC volume fraction in biomorphic SiC/Si material.

Septiembre, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s10853-017-1199-y

Titulo: The role of cobalt hydroxide in deactivation of thin film Co-based catalysts for sodium borohydride hydrolysis
Autores: Paladini, M; Arzac, GM; Godinho, V; Hufschmidt, D; de Haro, MCJ; Beltran, AM; Fernandez, A
Revista: Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 210 (2017) 342-351
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Deactivation of a Co catalyst prepared as thin film by magnetron sputtering was studied for the sodium borohydride (SB) hydrolysis reaction under different conditions. Under high SB concentration in single run experiments, the formation of a B-O passivating layer was observed after 1.5 and 24 h use. This layer was not responsible for the catalyst deactivation. Instead, a peeling-off mechanism produced the loss of cobalt. This peeling-off mechanism was further studied in cycling experiments (14 cycles) under low SB concentrations. Ex-situ study of catalyst surface after use and solid reaction products (precipitates) was performed by X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The presence of cobalt hydroxide and oxyhydroxide was detected as major components on the catalyst surface after use and as precipitates in the supernatant solutions after washing. Cobalt borate, cobalt carbonate and oxycarbonate were also formed but in lesser amounts. These oxidized cobalt species were formed and further detached from the catalyst at the end of the reaction and/or during catalyst washing by decomposition of the unstable in-situ formed cobalt boride. Leaching of cobalt soluble species was negligible. Thin film mechanical detachment was also found but in a smaller extent. To study the influence of catalyst composition on deactivation processes, cycling experiments were performed with Co-B and Co-C catalysts, also prepared as thin films. We found that the deactivation mechanism proposed by us for the pure Co catalyst also occurred for a different pure Co (prepared at higher pressure) and the Co-B and Co-C samples in our experimental conditions. 

Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.04.005

Titulo: Large-scale high-temperature solar energy storage using natural minerals
Autores: Benitez-Guerrero, Monica; Sarrion, Beatriz; Perejon, Antonio; Sanchez-Jimenez, Pedro E.; Perez-Maqueda, Luis A.; Manuel Valverde, Jose
Revista: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 168 (2017) 14-21
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The present work is focused on thermochemical energy storage (TCES) in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants by means of the Calcium-Looping (CaL) process using cheap, abundant and non-toxic natural carbonate minerals. CaL conditions for CSP storage involve calcination of CaCO3 in the solar receiver at relatively low temperature whereas carbonation of CaO is carried out at high temperature and high CO2 concentration to use the heat of reaction for power production by means of a CO2 closed power cycle. Under these conditions, large CaO particles derived from limestone to be used in industrial processes are rapidly deactivated due to pore plugging, which limits the extent of the reaction. This is favored by the relatively small pores of the CaO skeleton generated by low temperature calcination, the large thickness of the CaCO3 layer built upon the CaO surface and the very fast carbonation kinetics. On the other hand, at CaL conditions for CSP storage does not limit carbonation of CaO derived from dolomite (dolime). Dolime is shown to exhibit a high multicycle conversion regardless of particle size, which is explained by the presence of inert MgO grains that allow the reacting gas to percolate inside the porous particles.

Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2017.04.013

Titulo: New insights into surface-functionalized swelling high charged micas: Their adsorption performance for non-ionic organic pollutants
Autores: Pazos, MC; Castro, MA; Cota, A; Osuna, FJ; Pavon, E; Alba, MD
Revista: Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 52 (2017) 179-186
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The major components of the wastewater from the petroleum refineries are benzene, toluene and phenol and one of the techniques applied to the treatment of effluents is sorption using organo-functionalized clay. The materials exploited in the present study are a family of surface-functionalized synthetic micas and their sorption capacities for non-ionic organic pollutants are analyzed. The organo-functionalization of their surface provides them the capacity to sorb effectively non-ionic pollutants in the interface. Their adsorption performance is a function of the alkylamonium properties such as the chain length, the mass fraction and the organization of the organic cation in the interlayer space of the micas.

Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jiec.2017.03.042

Titulo: Crystal structure, NIR luminescence and X-ray computed tomography of Nd3+:Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres
Autores: Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Cantelar, E; Cusso, F; Briat, A; Boyer, D; Ocana, M
Revista: Dalton Transactions, 46 (2017) 6580-6587
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Uniform, hydrophilic 50 nm diameter Nd3+-doped Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres are synthesized at 120 degrees C using a singular one-pot method based on the use of ethylene glycol as solvent, in the absence of any additive. The composition and crystal structure of the undoped material are analyzed in detail using ICP and XRD, which reveals a BaF2 cubic crystal structure that is able to incorporate 70 mol% of Lu ions. This finding contrasts with the reported phase diagram of the system, where the maximum solubility is around 30 mol% Lu. XRD proves as well that the Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 structure is able to incorporate Nd3+ ions up to, at least 10 mol%, without altering the uniform particles morphology. The Nd-doped particles exhibit near-infrared luminescence when excited at 810 nm. The maximum emission intensity with the minimum concentration quenching effect is obtained at 1.5% Nd doping level. X-ray computed tomography experiments are carried out on powder samples of the latter composition. The sample significantly absorbs X-ray photons, thus demonstrating that the Nd3+-doped Ba0.3Lu0.7F2.7 nanospheres are good candidates as contrast agents in computed tomography.

Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7dt00453b

Titulo: Thermal study of residues from greenhouse crops plant biomass
Autores: Morales, Laura; Garzon, Eduardo; Maria Martinez-Blanes, Jose; Jose Sanchez-Soto, Pedro
Revista: Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 129 (2017) 1111-1120
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The principal aim of this work is to examine the effect of thermal treatments using a muffle furnace (static heating) and by simultaneous TG/DTA (dynamic heating) on selected greenhouse crops plant biomass investigated here as the first time. The effect of fractionation by sieving (<25 and <2.5 mm), preheating at 150 °C for 48 h and leaching with water on the thermal behavior has been studied. The observation of similar profiles of mass variation corresponding to several samples heated in air up to 1150 °C allows to conclude that particle size did not influence the thermal evolution, but the effect of heating cycle is evidenced. Thermal analysis in air of a representative sample showed the several mass variation steps and DTA exothermic effects produced by the complex thermal decomposition and pyrolysis of the organic matter. Elemental analysis (CHNS and O) of the starting samples and thermally treated revealed the effect of the temperature, with formation of ashes with lower C content from 44.37 to 0.70 mass% as a minimum after elimination of organic matter by heating. Leaching increased the thermal mass variation as an effect of elimination of water-soluble components. According to the present results, the size fractionation of the greenhouse crops biomass did not influence the results of elemental composition. The present study has provided results of interest concerning this biomass source of renewable energy originated by the remains of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), being estimated the highest of all the biomass produced by the greenhouse crops agricultural industry in Almería (SE Spain).

Agosto, 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s10973-017-6243-2

Titulo: Cobalt Carbide Identified as Catalytic Site for the Dehydrogenation of Ethanol to Acetaldehyde
Autores: A. Rodríguez-Gómez; J.P. Holgado; A. Caballero
Revista: ACS Catalysis, 7 (2017) 5243-5247
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Two cobalt catalysts, Co/SBA-15 and Co/SiO2, have been studied in steam reforming of ethanol (SRE). Besides the steam reforming products, ethoxide dehydrogenation to acetaldehyde is observed as one of the main reactions. Although by hydrogen treatment cobalt is reduced to the metallic state, under SRE conditions, a phase appears that has been identified as cobalt carbide and correlates with acetaldehyde production. These findings provide insights about the catalytic sites, for SRE, in cobalt catalysts. Comparison with previous results shows that these conclusions are not translatable to other cobalt catalysts, stressing the importance of the support on the catalytic behavior of cobalt.

Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b01348

Titulo: Plasma assisted deposition of single and multistacked TiO2 hierarchical nanotube photoanodes
Autores: Filippin, AN; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Idigoras, J; Rojas, TC; Barranco, A; Anta, JA; Borras, A
Revista: Nanoscale, 9 (2017) 8133-8141
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We present herein an evolved methodology for the growth of nanocrystalline hierarchical nanotubes combining physical vapor deposition of organic nanowires (ONWs) and plasma enhanced chemical vacuum deposition of anatase TiO2 layers. The ONWs act as vacuum removable 1D and 3D templates, with the whole process occurring at temperatures ranging from RT to 250 degrees C. As a result, a high density of hierarchical nanotubes with tunable diameter, length and tailored wall microstructures are formed on a variety of processable substrates as metal and metal oxide films or nanoparticles including transparent conductive oxides. The reiteration of the process leads to the development of an unprecedented 3D nanoarchitecture formed by stacking the layers of hierarchical TiO2 nanotubes. As a proof of concept, we present the superior performance of the 3D nanoarchitecture as a photoanode within an excitonic solar cell with efficiencies as high as 4.69% for a nominal thickness of the anatase layer below 2.75 mu m. Mechanical stability and straightforward implementation in devices are demonstrated at the same time. The process is extendable to other functional oxides fabricated by plasma-assisted methods with readily available applications in energy harvesting and storage, catalysis and nanosensing.

Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1039/c7nr00923b

Titulo: Photonic Tuning of the Emission Color of Nanophosphor Films Processed at High Temperature
Autores: Geng, Dongling; Lozano, Gabriel; Calvo, Mauricio E.; Nunez, Nuria O.; Becerro, Ana I.; Ocana, Manuel; Miguez, Hernan
Revista: Advanced Optical Materials, 5 (2017) art. 1700099
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Photonics offers new possibilities to tailor the photoluminescence process in phosphor-converted light emitting diodes. Herein, it is demonstrated that the emission color of thin layers of rare-earth doped nanocrystals can be strongly modulated in tunable spectral ranges using optical resonators specifically designed to this end. GdVO4:Dy3+ nanoparticles of controlled size and shape are synthesized using a solvothermal method with which highly transparent nanophosphor thin films are prepared. This paper designs and fabricates optical multilayers, which are transparent in the UV and resonant at the frequencies where the Dy3+ ions emit, to prove that the color coordinates of this emitter can be tuned from green to blue or yellow with unprecedented precision. Key to the achievement herein reported is the careful analysis of the structural and optical properties of thin nanophosphor layers with the processing temperature in order to achieve efficient photoluminescence while preserving the transparency of the film. The results open a new path for fundamental and applied research in solid-state lighting in which photonic nanostructures allow controlling the emission properties of state-of-the-art materials without altering their structure or chemical composition.

Julio, 2017 | DOI: 10.1002/adom.201700099