Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

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Selective hydrogenation of acetylene over Pd/CeO2
Kai Li, Tengteng Lyu, Junyi He, Ben W. L. Jang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2020, 14 (6): 929-936.
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Five hundred ppm Pd/CeO2 catalyst was prepared and evaluated in selective hydrogenation of acetylene in large excess of ethylene since ceria has been recently found to be a reasonable stand-alone catalyst for this reaction. Pd/CeO2 catalyst could be activated in situ by the feed gas during reactions and the catalyst without reduction showed much better ethylene selectivity than the reduced one in the high temperature range due to the formation of oxygen vacancies by reduction. Excellent ethylene selectivity of ~100% was obtained in the whole reaction temperature range of 50°C–200°C for samples calcined at temperatures of 600°C and 800°C. This could be ascribed to the formation of PdxCe1xO2−y or Pd-O-Ce surface species based on the X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results, indicating the strong interaction between palladium and ceria.

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Mechanistic understanding of Cu-based bimetallic catalysts
You Han, Yulian Wang, Tengzhou Ma, Wei Li, Jinli Zhang, Minhua Zhang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2020, 14 (5): 689-748.
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Copper has received extensive attention in the field of catalysis due to its rich natural reserves, low cost, and superior catalytic performance. Herein, we reviewed two modification mechanisms of co-catalyst on the coordination environment change of Cu-based catalysts: (1) change the electronic orbitals and geometric structure of Cu without any catalytic functions; (2) act as an additional active site with a certain catalytic function, as well as their catalytic mechanism in major reactions, including the hydrogenation to alcohols, dehydrogenation of alcohols, water gas shift reaction, reduction of nitrogenous compounds, electrocatalysis and others. The influencing mechanisms of different types of auxiliary metals on the structure-activity relationship of Cu-based catalysts in these reactions were especially summarized and discussed. The mechanistic understanding can provide significant guidance for the design and controllable synthesis of novel Cu-based catalysts used in many industrial reactions.

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Selective catalytic reduction of NOx with ethanol and other C1-4 oxygenates over Ag/Al2O3 catalysts: A review
Pavlo I. Kyriienko
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2020, 14 (4): 471-491.
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Research results regarding selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx with ethanol and other C1-4 oxygenates as reductants over silver-alumina catalysts are summarized. The aspects of the process mechanism, nature of active sites, role of alumina and silver (especially in the formation of bifunctional active sites), effects of reductants and reaction conditions are discussed. It has been determined that key stages of the process include formation of reactive enolic species, their interaction with NOx and formation of nitroorganic compounds which transform to NCOads species and further to N2. The results obtained over various silver-alumina catalysts demonstrate the perspectives of their application for reducing the level of nitrogen oxides in engine emissions, including in the presence of water vapor and sulfur oxides. Ways to improve the catalysts for the SCR of NOx with C1-4 oxygenates are outlined.

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Pilot plants of membrane technology in industry: Challenges and key learnings
Colin A. Scholes
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2020, 14 (3): 305-316.
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Membrane technology holds great potential in gas separation applications, especially carbon dioxide capture from industrial processes. To achieve this potential, the outputs from global research endeavours into membrane technologies must be trialled in industrial processes, which requires membrane-based pilot plants. These pilot plants are critical to the commercialization of membrane technology, be it as gas separation membranes or membrane gas-solvent contactors, as failure at the pilot plant level may delay the development of the technology for decades. Here, the author reports on his experience of operating membrane-based pilot plants for gas separation and contactor configurations as part of three industrial carbon capture initiatives: the Mulgrave project, H3 project and Vales Point project. Specifically, the challenges of developing and operating membrane pilot plants are presented, as well as the key learnings on how to successfully manage membrane pilot plants to achieve desired performance outcomes. The purpose is to assist membrane technologists in the carbon capture field to achieve successful outcomes for their technology innovations.

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Special issue on “Fluorescent probes”
Adam C. Sedgwick, Tony D. James
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2020, 14 (1): 1-3.
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Preface to the CSCST-25 Special IssueŽ1)
Xiaolei Fan, Jiawei Wang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2019, 13 (4): 629-631.
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Tailoring electrical conductivity of two dimensional nanomaterials using plasma for edge electronics: A mini review
Aswathy Vasudevan, Vasyl Shvalya, Aleksander Zidanšek, Uroš Cvelbar
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2019, 13 (3): 427-443.
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Since graphene has been discovered, two-dimensional nanomaterials have attracted attention due to their promising tunable electronic properties. The possibility of tailoring electrical conductivity at the atomic level allows creating new prospective 2D structures for energy harvesting and sensing-related applications. In this respect, one of the most successful way to manipulate the physical properties of the aforementioned materials is related to the surface modification techniques employing plasma. Moreover, plasma-gaseous chemical treatment can provide a controlled change in the bandgap, increase sensitivity and significantly improve the structural stability of material to the environment as well. This review deals with recent advances in the modification of 2D carbon nanostructures for novel ‘edge’ electronics using plasma technology and processes.

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Special Issue on future directions in plasma nanoscience
Erik C. Neyts
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2019, 13 (2): 199-200.
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Nanocomposite materials in orthopedic applications
Mostafa R. Shirdar, Nasim Farajpour, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, Tolou Shokuhfar
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2019, 13 (1): 1-13.
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This chapter is an introduction to nanocomposite materials and its classifications with emphasis on orthopedic application. It covers different types of matrix nanocomposites including ceramics, metal, polymer and natural-based nanocomposites with the main features and applications in the orthopedic. In addition, it presents structure, composition, and biomechanical features of bone as a natural nanocomposite. Finally, it deliberately presents developing methods for nanocomposites bone grafting.

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Steps of fronts in chemical engineering: An overview of the publications of FCSE
Xiaowen Zhu, Yaodong Huang, Jing-Kang Wang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng..  2018, 12 (4): 593-597.
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