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    Wanli Wang, Dongfang Yang, Xiaoran Yan, Licheng Wang, Han Hu, Kai Wang
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2023, 17(6): 635-678.

    Wave energy is inexhaustible renewable energy. Making full use of the huge ocean wave energy resources is the dream of mankind for hundreds of years. Nowadays, the utilization of water wave energy is mainly absorbed and transformed by electromagnetic generators (EMGs) in the form of mechanical energy. However, waves usually have low frequency and uncertainty, which means low power generation efficiency for EMGs. Fortunately, in this slow current and random direction wave case, the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) has a relatively stable output power, which is suitable for collecting blue energy. This article summarizes the main research results of TENG in harvesting blue energy. Firstly, based on Maxwell’s displacement current, the basic principle of the nanogenerator is expounded. Then, four working modes and three applications of TENG are introduced, especially the application of TENG in blue energy. TENG currently used in blue energy harvesting is divided into four categories and discussed in detail. After TENG harvests water wave energy, it is meaningless if it cannot be used. Therefore, the modular storage of TENG energy is discussed. The output power of a single TENG unit is relatively low, which cannot meet the demand for high power. Thus, the networking strategy of large-scale TENG is further introduced. TENG’s energy comes from water waves, and each TENG’s output has great randomness, which is very unfavorable for the energy storage after large-scale TENG integration. On this basis, this paper discusses the power management methods of TENG. In addition, in order to further prove its economic and environmental advantages, the economic benefits of TENG are also evaluated. Finally, the development potential of TENG in the field of blue energy and some problems that need to be solved urgently are briefly summarized.

    Wang Li, Wen-Ying Li, Xing-Bao Wang, Jie Feng
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(12): 1689-1699.

    Radicals are important intermediates in direct coal liquefaction. Certain radicals can cause the cleavage of chemical bonds. At high temperatures, radical fragments can be produced by the splitting of large organic molecules, which can break strong chemical bonds through the induction pyrolysis of radicals. The reaction between the formation and annihilation of coal radical fragments and the effect of hydrogen-donor solvents on the radical fragments are discussed in lignite hydrogenolysis. Using the hydroxyl and ether bonds as indicators, the effects of different radicals on the cleavage of chemical bond were investigated employing density functional theory calculations and lignite hydrogenolysis experiments. Results showed that the adjustment of the coal radical fragments could be made by the addition of hydrogen-donor solvents. Results showed that the transition from coal radical fragment to H radical leads to the variation of product distribution. The synergistic mechanism of hydrogen supply and hydrogenolysis of hydrogen-donor solvent was proposed.

    Xi-Le Hu, Hui-Qi Gan, Fan-De Meng, Hai-Hao Han, De-Tai Shi, Shu Zhang, Lei Zou, Xiao-Peng He, Tony D. James
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(10): 1425-1437.

    Due to their simplicity in preparation, sensitivity and selectivity, fluorescent probes have become the analytical tool of choice in a wide range of research and industrial fields, facilitating the rapid detection of chemical substances of interest as well as the study of important physiological and pathological processes at the cellular level. In addition, many long-wavelength fluorescent probes developed have also proven applicable for in vivo biomedical applications including fluorescence-guided disease diagnosis and theranostics (e.g., fluorogenic prodrugs). Impressive progresses have been made in the development of sensing agents and materials for the detection of ions, organic small molecules, and biomacromolecules including enzymes, DNAs/RNAs, lipids, and carbohydrates that play crucial roles in biological and disease-relevant events. Here, we highlight examples of fluorescent probes and functional materials for biological applications selected from the special issues “Fluorescent Probes” and “Molecular Sensors and Logic Gates” recently published in this journal, offering insights into the future development of powerful fluorescence-based chemical tools for basic biological studies and clinical translation.

    Mónica P. S. Santos, Dawid P. Hanak
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(9): 1291-1317.

    Carbon capture and storage will play a crucial role in industrial decarbonisation. However, the current literature presents a large variability in the techno-economic feasibility of CO2 capture technologies. Consequently, reliable pathways for carbon capture deployment in energy-intensive industries are still missing. This work provides a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art CO2 capture technologies for decarbonisation of the iron and steel, cement, petroleum refining, and pulp and paper industries. Amine scrubbing was shown to be the least feasible option, resulting in the average avoided CO2 cost of between 62.7 €·t CO2 1 for the pulp and paper and 104.6 €·t CO21 for the iron and steel industry. Its average equivalent energy requirement varied between 2.7 (iron and steel) and 5.1 MJthkgCO2 1 (cement). Retrofits of emerging calcium looping were shown to improve the overall viability of CO2 capture for industrial decarbonisation. Calcium looping was shown to result in the average avoided CO2 cost of between 32.7 (iron and steel) and 42.9 €·t CO21 (cement). Its average equivalent energy requirement varied between 2.0 (iron and steel) and 3.7 MJthkg CO21 (pulp and paper). Such performance demonstrated the superiority of calcium looping for industrial decarbonisation. Further work should focus on standardising the techno-economic assessment of technologies for industrial decarbonisation.

    Jinjian Hou, Jinze Du, Hong Sui, Lingyu Sun
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(8): 1165-1197.

    Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been widely used to recover residual oil after the primary or secondary oil recovery processes. Compared to conventional methods, chemical EOR has demonstrated high oil recovery and low operational costs. Nanofluids have received extensive attention owing to their advantages of low cost, high oil recovery, and wide applicability. In recent years, nanofluids have been widely used in EOR processes. Moreover, several studies have focused on the role of nanofluids in the nanofluid EOR (N-EOR) process. However, the mechanisms related to N-EOR are unclear, and several of the mechanisms established are chaotic and contradictory. This review was conducted by considering heavy oil molecules/particle/surface micromechanics; nanofluid-assisted EOR methods; multiscale, multiphase pore/core displacement experiments; and multiphase flow fluid-solid coupling simulations. Nanofluids can alter the wettability of minerals (particle/surface micromechanics), oil/water interfacial tension (heavy oil molecules/water micromechanics), and structural disjoining pressure (heavy oil molecules/particle/surface micromechanics). They can also cause viscosity reduction (micromechanics of heavy oil molecules). Nanofoam technology, nanoemulsion technology, and injected fluids were used during the EOR process. The mechanism of N-EOR is based on the nanoparticle adsorption effect. Nanoparticles can be adsorbed on mineral surfaces and alter the wettability of minerals from oil-wet to water-wet conditions. Nanoparticles can also be adsorbed on the oil/water surface, which alters the oil/water interfacial tension, resulting in the formation of emulsions. Asphaltenes are also adsorbed on the surface of nanoparticles, which reduces the asphaltene content in heavy oil, resulting in a decrease in the viscosity of oil, which helps in oil recovery. In previous studies, most researchers only focused on the results, and the nanoparticle adsorption properties have been ignored. This review presents the relationship between the adsorption properties of nanoparticles and the N-EOR mechanisms. The nanofluid behaviour during a multiphase core displacement process is also discussed, and the corresponding simulation is analysed. Finally, potential mechanisms and future directions of N-EOR are proposed. The findings of this study can further the understanding of N-EOR mechanisms from the perspective of heavy oil molecules/particle/surface micromechanics, as well as clarify the role of nanofluids in multiphase core displacement experiments and simulations. This review also presents limitations and bottlenecks, guiding researchers to develop methods to synthesise novel nanoparticles and conduct further research.

    Toyin D. Shittu, Olumide B. Ayodele
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(7): 1031-1059.

    Ethylene is an important feedstock for various industrial processes, particularly in the polymer industry. Unfortunately, during naphtha cracking to produce ethylene, there are instances of acetylene presence in the product stream, which poisons the Ziegler–Natta polymerization catalysts. Thus, appropriate process modification, optimization, and in particular, catalyst design are essential to ensure the production of highly pure ethylene that is suitable as a feedstock in polymerization reactions. Accordingly, carefully selected process parameters and the application of various catalyst systems have been optimized for this purpose. This review provides a holistic view of the recent reports on the selective hydrogenation of acetylene. Previously published reviews were limited to Pd catalysts. However, effective new metal and non-metal catalysts have been explored for selective acetylene hydrogenation. Updates on this recent progress and more comprehensive computational studies that are now available for the reaction are described herein. In addition to the favored Pd catalysts, other catalyst systems including mono, bimetallic, trimetallic, and ionic catalysts are presented. The specific role(s) that each process parameter plays to achieve high acetylene conversion and ethylene selectivity is discussed. Attempts have been made to elucidate the possible catalyst deactivation mechanisms involved in the reaction. Extensive reports suggest that acetylene adsorption occurs through an active single-site mechanism rather than via dual active sites. An increase in the reaction temperature affords high acetylene conversion and ethylene selectivity to obtain reactant streams free of ethylene. Conflicting findings to this trend have reported the presence of ethylene in the feed stream. This review will serve as a useful resource of condensed information for researchers in the field of acetylene-selective hydrogenation.

    Congjie Gao, Nanping Xu, Weihong Xing
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(5): 561-563.
    Yinteng Shi, Lin Ai, Haonan Shi, Xiaoyu Gu, Yujun Han, Jixiang Chen
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(4): 443-460.

    Carbon-coated Ni, Co and Ni-Co alloy catalysts were prepared by the carbonization of the metal doped resorcinol-formaldehyde resins synthesized by the one-pot extended Stöber method. It was found that the introduction of Co remarkably reduced the carbon microsphere size. The metallic Ni, Co, and Ni-Co alloy particles (mainly 10–12 nm) were uniformly distributed in carbon microspheres. A charge transfer from Ni to Co appeared in the Ni-Co alloy. Compared with those of metallic Ni and Co, the d-band center of the Ni-Co alloy shifted away from and toward the Fermi level, respectively. In the in-situ aqueous phase hydrodeoxygenation of methyl palmitate with methanol as the hydrogen donor at 330 °C, the decarbonylation/decarboxylation pathway dominated on all catalysts. The Ni-Co@C catalysts gave higher activity than the Ni@C and Co@C catalysts, and the yields of n-pentadecane and n-C6n-C16 reached 71.6% and 92.6%, respectively. The excellent performance of Ni-Co@C is attributed to the electronic interactions between Ni and Co and the small carbon microspheres. Due to the confinement effect of carbon, the metal particles showed high resistance to sintering under harsh hydrothermal conditions. Catalyst deactivation is due to the carbonaceous deposition, and the regeneration with CO2 recovered the catalyst reactivity.

    Xiangsheng Liu, Hui Sun, Xueqing Wang, Huan Meng
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(3): 333-344.

    Compared to conventional hyperthermia that is limited by low selectivity and severe side effects, nano-enabled hyperthermia yields great potentials to tackle these limitations for cancer treatment. Another major advance is the observation of immunological responses associated with nano-enabled hyperthermia, which introduces a new avenue, allowing a potential paradigm shift from the acutely effective and cytotoxicity-centric response to the next-phase discovery, i.e., long-lasting and/or systemic anti-tumor immunity. This perspective first discusses the temperature-gradient and the spatially-structured immunological landscape in solid tumors receiving nano-enabled hyperthermia. This includes the discussion about underlying mechanism such as immunogenic cell death, which initiates a profound immunological chain reaction. In order to propagate the immune activation as a viable therapeutic principle, we further discussed the tumor type-specific complexity in the immunological tumor microenvironment, including the creative design of nano-enabled combination therapy to synergize with nano-enabled hyperthermia.

    Luling Wu, Tony D. James
    Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering, 2022, 16(1): 1-3.