Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

ISSN 2095-0179 (Print)
ISSN 2095-0187 (Online)
CN 11-5981/TQ
Postal Subscription Code 80-969
Formerly Known as Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering in China
Impact Factor: 3.552(2019)
5-year Impact Factor: 3.030(2019)
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Review of recent advances of polymer based dielectrics for high-energy storage in electronic power devices from the perspective of target applications
Wenjie Sun, Jiale Mao, Shuang Wang, Lei Zhang, Yonghong Cheng
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1939-4
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Polymer-based dielectric capacitors are widely-used energy storage devices. However, although the functions of dielectrics in applications like high-voltage direct current transmission projects, distributed energy systems, high-power pulse systems and new energy electric vehicles are similar, their requirements can be quite different. Low electric loss is a critical prerequisite for capacitors for electric grids, while high-temperature stability is an essential pre-requirement for those in electric vehicles. This paper reviews recent advances in this area, and categorizes dielectrics in terms of their foremost properties related to their target applications. Requirements for polymer-based dielectrics in various power electronic equipment are emphasized, including high energy storage density, low dissipation, high working temperature and fast-response time. This paper considers innovations including chemical structure modification, composite fabrication and structure re-design, and the enhancements to material performances achieved. The advantages and limitations of these methods are also discussed.

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Effects of BTA2 as the third component on the charge carrier generation and recombination behavior of PTB7:PC71BM photovoltaic system
Leijing Liu, Hao Zhang, Bo Xiao, Yang Liu, Bin Xu, Chen Wang, Shanpeng Wen, Erjun Zhou, Gang Chen, Chan Im, Wenjing Tian
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1936-7
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Effects of a benzotriazole (BTA)-based small molecule, BTA2, as the third component on the charge carrier generation and recombination behavior of poly[[4,8-bis[(2-ethylhexyl)oxy]benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene-2,6-diyl][3-fluoro-2-[(2-ethylhexyl)carbonyl]thieno[3,4-b]thiophenediyl]] (PTB7):[6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) organic solar cells (OSCs) were investigated by optical simulation of a transfer matrix model (TMM), photo-induced charge extraction by linearly increasing voltage (photo-CELIV) technique, atomic force microscope (AFM), and the Onsager–Braun model analysis. BTA2 is an A2-A1-D-A1-A2-type non-fullerene small molecule with thiazolidine-2,4-dione, BTA, and indacenodithiophene as the terminal acceptor (A2), bridge acceptor (A1), and central donor (D), respectively. The short-circuit current density of the OSCs with BTA2 can be enhanced significantly owing to a complementary absorption spectrum. The optical simulation of TMM shows that the ternary OSCs exhibit higher internal absorption than the traditional binary OSCs without BTA2, resulting in more photogenerated excitons in the ternary OSCs. The photo-CELIV investigation indicates that the ternary OSCs suffer higher charge trap-limited bimolecular recombination than the binary OSCs. AFM images show that BTA2 aggravates the phase separation between the donor and the acceptor, which is disadvantageous to charge carrier transport. The Onsager-Braun model analysis confirms that despite the charge collection efficiency of the ternary OSCs being lower than that of the binary OSCs, the optimized photon absorption and exciton generation processes of the ternary OSCs achieve an increase in photogenerated current and thus improve power conversion efficiency.

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Pressure drop analysis on the positive half-cell of a cerium redox flow battery using computational fluid dynamics: Mathematical and modelling aspects of porous media
Fernando F. Rivera, Berenice Miranda-Alcántara, Germán Orozco, Carlos Ponce de León, Luis F. Arenas
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1934-9
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Description of electrolyte fluid dynamics in the electrode compartments by mathematical models can be a powerful tool in the development of redox flow batteries (RFBs) and other electrochemical reactors. In order to determine their predictive capability, turbulent Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and free flow plus porous media (Brinkman) models were applied to compute local fluid velocities taking place in a rectangular channel electrochemical flow cell used as the positive half-cell of a cerium-based RFB for laboratory studies. Two different platinized titanium electrodes were considered, a plate plus a turbulence promoter and an expanded metal mesh. Calculated pressure drop was validated against experimental data obtained with typical cerium electrolytes. It was found that the pressure drop values were better described by the RANS approach, whereas the validity of Brinkman equations was strongly dependent on porosity and permeability values of the porous media.

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Antibacterial and anti-flaming PA6 composite with metathetically prepared nano AgCl@BaSO4 co-precipitates
Wei Zhang, Boren Xu, Caihong Gong, Chunwang Yi, Shen Zhang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1942-9
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In this study, a facile and environmentally friendly method with low energy consumption for preparing nanoscale AgCl and BaSO4 co-precipitates (AgCl@BaSO4 co-precipitates) was developed based on the metathetical reaction. Then, the dried co-precipitates were melt-compounded with polyamide 6 (PA6) resins at a specified mass ratio in a twin-screw extruder. The results demonstrated that in the absence of any coating agent or carrier, the nanoparticles of AgCl@BaSO4 co-precipitates were homogeneously dispersed in the PA6 matrix. Further analysis showed that after the addition of AgCl@BaSO4 co-precipitates, the antibacterial performance, along with the flame-retardance and anti-dripping characteristics of PA6, was enhanced significantly. In addition, the PA6 composites possessed high spinnability in producing pre-oriented yarn.

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Preparation and properties of hollow fibre nanofiltration membrane with continuous coffee-ring structure
Xiuzhen Wei, Xufeng Xu, Yi Chen, Qian Zhang, Lu Liu, Ruiyuan Yang, Jinyuan Chen, Bosheng Lv
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1943-8
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Polyamide (PA) hollow fibre composite nanofiltration (NF) membranes with a coffee-ring structure and beneficial properties were prepared by adding graphene oxide (GO) into the interfacial polymerization process. The presentation of the coffee-ring structure was attributed to the heterogeneous, finely dispersed multiphase reaction system and the “coffee-stain” effect of the GO solution. When the piperazine concentration was 0.4 wt-%, the trimesoyl chloride concentration was 0.3 wt-%, and the GO concentration was 0.025 wt-%, the prepared NF membranes showed the best separation properties. The permeate flux was 76 L·m2·h1, and the rejection rate for MgSO4 was 98.6% at 0.4 MPa. Scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the chemical structure and morphology of the PA/GO NF membrane. The results showed that GO was successfully entrapped into the PA functional layer. Under neutral operating conditions, the PA/GO membrane showed typical negatively charged NF membrane separation characteristics, and the rejection rate decreased in the order of Na2SO4>MgSO4>MgCl2>NaCl. The PA/GO NF membrane showed better antifouling performance than the PA membrane.

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Conversion of phenol to cyclohexane in the aqueous phase over Ni/zeolite bi-functional catalysts
Jimei Zhang, Fuping Tian, Junwen Chen, Yanchun Shi, Hongbin Cao, Pengge Ning, Shanshan Sun, Yongbing Xie
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1932-y
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A series of Ni/HZSM-5 and Ni/HIM-5 bi-functional catalysts were synthesized and applied to the aqueous-phase hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of phenol. The Ni dispersibility and particle sizes were shown to be directly related to the porosity and crystal sizes of the parent zeolites, which further influenced the catalytic performances. The large pores and small crystal sizes of the parent zeolites were beneficial for dispersing Ni and forming small Ni particles, and the corresponding Ni/zeolite catalyst exhibited a higher phenol conversion and selectivity towards hydrocarbons. Importantly, the Ni/HIM-5 bi-functional catalyst exhibited a high activity (98.3%) and high selectivity for hydrocarbons (98.8%) when heated at 220°C for 1 h and is thus a new potential catalyst for the HDO of phenolics to form hydrocarbons in the aqueous phase.

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Effects of rotor and stator geometry on dissolution process and power consumption in jet-flow high shear mixers
Lin Yang, Wenpeng Li, Junheng Guo, Wei Li, Baoguo Wang, Minqing Zhang, Jinli Zhang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1928-7
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The jet-flow high shear mixer (JF-HSM) is a new type of intensified equipment with special configurations of the rotor and the stator. The mass transfer property and power consumption were studied in the solid-liquid system for a series of JF-HSMs involving different configuration parameters, such as rotor diameter, rotor blade inclination, rotor blade bending direction, stator diameter, and stator bottom opening diameter. The flow characteristics were examined by computational fluid dynamic simulations. Results indicate that the turbulent power consumption of the JF-HSM is affected by the change in rotor blade inclination and stator bottom opening. With the increase in the shear head size and the change in the rotor into a backward-curved blade, the solid-liquid mass transfer rate can be remarkably increased under the same input power. Dimensionless correlations for the mass transfer coefficient and power consumption were obtained to guide the scale-up design and selection of such a new type of equipment to intensify the overall mixing efficiency.

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A review on catalytic & non-catalytic bio-oil upgrading in supercritical fluids
Sainab Omar, Yang Yang, Jiawei Wang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1933-x
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This review article summarizes the key published research on the topic of bio-oil upgrading using catalytic and non-catalytic supercritical fluid (SCF) conditions. The precious metal catalysts Pd, Ru and Pt on various supports are frequently chosen for catalytic bio-oil upgrading in SCFs. This is reportedly due to their favourable catalytic activity during the process including hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and esterification, which leads to improvements in liquid yield, heating value, and pH of the upgraded bio-oil. Due to the costs associated with precious metal catalysts, some researchers have opted for non-precious metal catalysts such as acidic HZSM-5 which can promote esterification in supercritical ethanol. On the other hand, SCFs have been effectively used to upgrade crude bio-oil without a catalyst. Supercritical methanol, ethanol, and water are most commonly used and demonstrate catalyst like activities such as facilitating esterification reactions and reducing solid yield by alcoholysis and hydrolysis, respectively.

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Fischer-Tropsch synthesis by reduced graphene oxide nanosheets supported cobalt catalysts: Role of support and metal nanoparticle size on catalyst activity and products selectivity
Hasan Oliaei Torshizi, Ali Nakhaei Pour, Ali Mohammadi, Yahya Zamani, Seyed Mehdi Kamali Shahri
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-020-1925-x
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In this paper, a series of cobalt catalysts supported on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets with the loading of 5, 15 and 30 wt-% were provided by the impregnation method. The activity of the prepared catalysts is evaluated in the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS). The prepared catalysts were carefully characterized by nitrogen adsorption-desorption, hydrogen chemisorption, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, temperature programmed reduction, transmission electron microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy techniques to confirm that cobalt particles were greatly dispersed on the rGO nanosheets. The results showed that with increasing the cobalt loading on the rGO support, the carbon defects are increased and as a consequence, the reduction of cobalt is decreased. The FTS activity results showed that the cobalt-time yield and turnover frequency passed from a maximum for catalyst with the Co0 average particle size of 15 nm due to the synergetic effect of cobalt reducibility and particle size. The products selectivity results indicated that the methane selectivity decreases, whereas the C5+ selectivity raises with the increasing of the cobalt particle size, which can be explained by chain propagation in the primary chain growth reactions.

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