Although being very challenging, utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) originating from production processes and flue gases of CO2-intensive sectors has a great environmental and industrial potential due to improving the resource efficiency of industry as well as by contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. As a renewable and environmentally friendly source of carbon, catalytic approaches for CO2 fixation in the synthesis of chemicals offer the way to mitigate the increasing CO2 buildup. Among the catalytic reactions, methanation of CO2 is a particularly promising technique for producing energy carrier or chemical. This article focuses on recent developments in catalytic materials, novel reactors, and reaction mechanism for methanation of CO2.
Currently, a large proportion of global fossil fuel emissions originate from large point sources such as power generation or industrial processes. This trend is expected to continue until the year 2030 and beyond. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), a straightforward and effective carbon reduction approach, will play a significant role in reducing emissions from these sources into the future if atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are to be stabilized and global warming limited below a threshold of 2 °C. This review provides an update on the status of large scale integrated CCS technologies using solvent absorption for CO2 capture and provides an insight into the development of new solvents, including advanced amine solvents, amino acid salts, carbonate systems, aqueous ammonia, immiscible liquids and ionic liquids. These proposed new solvents aim to reduce the overall cost CO2 capture by improving the CO2 absorption rate, CO2 capture capacity, thereby reducing equipment size and decreasing the energy required for solvent regeneration.
Recent advances with Pd containing catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of acetylene are described. The overview classifies enhancement of catalytic properties for monometallic and bimetallic Pd catalysts. Activity/selectivity of Pd catalysts can be modified by controlling particle shape/morphology or immobilisation on a support which interacts strongly with Pd particles. In both cases enhanced ethylene selectivity is generally associated with modifying ethylene adsorption strength and/or changes to hydride formation. Inorganic and organic selectivity modifiers (i.e., species adsorbed onto Pd particle surface) have also been shown to enhance ethylene selectivity. Inorganic modifiers such as TiO2 change Pd ensemble size and modify ethylene adsorption strength whereas organic modifiers such as diphenylsulfide are thought to create a surface template effect which favours acetylene adsorption with respect to ethylene. A number of metals and synthetic approaches have been explored to prepare Pd bimetallic catalysts. Examples where enhanced selectivity is observed are generally associated with decreased Pd ensemble size and/or hindering of the ease with which an unselective hydride phase is formed for Pd. A final class of bimetallic catalysts are discussed where Pd is not thought to be the primary reaction site but merely acts as a site where hydrogen dissociation and spillover occurs onto a second metal (Cu or Au) where the reaction takes place more selectively.
Carbon nanotubes/graphene composites have superior mechanical, electrical and electrochemistry properties with carbon nanotubes as a hydrophobicity boosting agent. Their extraordinary hydrophobic performance is highly suitable for electrode applications in lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors which often employ organic electrolytes. Also the hydrophobic features enable the oil enrichment for the crude oil separation from seawater. The ever reported synthesis routes towards such a composite either involve complicated multi-step reactions, e.g., chemical vapor depositions, or lead to insufficient extrusion of carbon nanotubes in the chemical reductions of graphene oxide, e.g., fully embedding between the compact graphene oxide sheets. As a consequence, the formation of standalone carbon nanotubes over graphene sheets remains of high interests. Herein we use the facile flash light irradiation method to induce the reduction of graphene oxides in the presence of carbon nanotubes. Photographs, micrographs, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis all indicate that graphene oxides has been reduced. And the contact angle tests confirm the excellent hydrophobic performances of the synthesized carbon nanotube/reduced graphene oxide composite films. This one-step treatment represents a straightforward and high efficiency way for the reduction of carbon nanotubes/graphene oxides composites.
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) are among the key factors in plasma medicine. They are generated by atmospheric plasmas in biological fluids, living tissues and in a variety of liquids. This ability of plasmas to create a delicate mix of RONS in liquids has been used to design remote or indirect treatments for oncological therapy by treating biological fluids by plasmas and putting them in contact with the tumour. Documented effects include selective cancer cell toxicity, even though the exact mechanisms involved are still under investigation. However, the “right” dose for suitable therapeutical activity is crucial and still under debate. The wide variety of plasma sources hampers comparisons. This review focuses on atmospheric pressure plasma jets as the most studied plasma devices in plasma medicine and compiles the conditions employed to generate RONS in relevant liquids and the concentration ranges obtained. The concentrations of H2O2, NO2−, NO3− and short-lived oxygen species are compared critically to provide a useful overview for the reader.
With the rapid development of industrial, large amounts of different inorganic and organic pollutants are released into the natural environments. The efficient elimination of environmental pollutants, i.e., photocatalytic degradation of persistent organic pollutants into nontoxic organic/inorganic chemicals, in-situ solidification or sorption-reduction of heavy metal ions, is crucial to protect the environment. Nanomaterials with large surface area, active sites and abundant functional groups could form strong surface complexes with different kinds of pollutants and thereby could efficiently eliminate the pollutants from the aqueous solutions. In this review, we mainly focused on the recent works about the synthesis of nanomaterials and their applications in the efficient elimination of different organic and inorganic pollutants from wastewater and discussed the interaction mechanism from batch experimental results, the advanced spectroscopy techniques and theoretical calculations. The adsorption and the photocatalytic reduction of organic pollutants and the sorption/reduction of heavy metal ions are generally considered as the main methods to decrease the concentration of pollutants in the natural environment. This review highlights a new way for the real applications of novel nanomaterials in environmental pollution management, especially for the undergraduate students to understand the recent works in the elimination of different kinds of inorganic and organic chemicals in the natural environmental pollution management.
Recently, more and more attention is paid on applications of molten chlorides in concentrated solar power (CSP) plants as high-temperature thermal energy storage (TES) and heat transfer fluid (HTF) materials due to their high thermal stability limits and low prices, compared to the commercial TES/HTF materials in CSP-nitrate salt mixtures. A higher TES/HTF operating temperature leads to higher efficiency of thermal to electrical energy conversion of the power block in CSP, however causes additional challenges, particularly increased corrosiveness of metallic alloys used as containers and structural materials. Thus, it is essential to study corrosion behaviors and mechanisms of metallic alloys in molten chlorides at operating temperatures (500–800 °C) for realizing the commercial application of molten chlorides in CSP. The results of studies on hot corrosion of metallic alloys in molten chlorides are reviewed to understand their corrosion behaviors and mechanisms under various conditions (e.g., temperature, atmosphere). Emphasis has also been given on salt purification to reduce corrosive impurities in molten chlorides and development of electrochemical techniques to in-situ monitor corrosive impurities in molten chlorides, in order to efficiently control corrosion rates of metallic alloys in molten chlorides to meet the requirements of industrial applications.
Catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) is deemed as the most promising way to convert biomass to transportation fuels or value added chemicals. Most works in literature so far have focused on the in situ CFP where the catalysts are packed or co-fed with the feedstock in the pyrolysis reactor. However, the ex situ CFP with catalysts separated from the pyrolyzer has attracted more and more attentions due to its unique advantages of individually optimizing the pyrolysis conditions and catalyst performances. This review compares the differences between the in situ and ex situ CFP operation, and summarizes the development and progress of ex situ CFP applications, including the rationale and performances of different catalysts, and the choices of suitable ex situ reactor systems. Due to the complex composition of bio-oil, no single approach was believed to be able to solve the problems completely among all those existing technologies. With the increased understanding of catalyst performances and reaction process, the recent trend toward an integration of biomass or bio-oil fractionation with subsequent thermo/bio-chemical conversion routes is also discussed.
Poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)/poly(lactic acid) (PLA) microspheres/nanoparticles are one of the most successful drug delivery systems (DDS) in lab and clinic. Because of good biocompatibility and biodegradability, they can be used in various areas, such as long-term release system, vaccine adjuvant, tissue engineering, etc. There have been 15 products available on the US market, but the system still has many problems during development and manufacturing, such as wide size distribution, drug stability issues, and so on. Recently, many new and modified methods have been developed to overcome the above problems. Some of the methods are easy to scale up, and have been available on the market to achieve pilot scale or even industrial production scale. Furthermore, the relevant FDA guidance on the DDS is still incomplete, especially for abbreviated new drug application. In this review, we present some recent achievement of the PLGA/PLA microspheres/nanoparticles, and discuss some promising manufacturing methods. Finally, we focus on the current FDA guidance on the DDS. The review provides an overview on the development of the system in pharmaceutical industry.
In recent years, boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) and boron-azadipyrromethene (aza-BODIPY) dyes have attracted considerable multidisciplinary attention due to their diverse applications. By introducing various hydrophilic groups, such as quaternary ammonium, sulfonate or oligo-ethyleneglycol moieties into the BODIPY core, the solubilities of these dyes in aqueous solution can be greatly improved while maintaining their high fluorescence quantum yields. Accordingly, applying these fluorescent dyes in aqueous systems to areas such as chemosensors, biomacromolecule labeling, bio-imaging and photodynamic therapy has been achieved. In this article, the recent progress on the synthesis, optical properties and application of water-soluble BODIPY dyes and aza-BODIPY dyes is reviewed.
As an advanced and new technology in molecular simulation fields, ReaxFF reactive force field has been developed and widely applied during the last two decades. ReaxFF bridges the gap between quantum chemistry (QC) and non-reactive empirical force field based molecular simulation methods, and aims to provide a transferable potential which can describe many chemical reactions with bond formation and breaking. This review presents an overview of the development and applications of ReaxFF reactive force field in the fields of reaction processes, biology and materials, including (1) the mechanism studies of organic reactions under extreme conditions (like high temperatures and pressures) related with high-energy materials, hydrocarbons and coals, (2) the structural properties of nanomaterials such as graphene oxides, carbon nanotubes, silicon nanowires and metal nanoparticles, (3) interfacial interactions of solid-solid, solid-liquid and biological/inorganic surfaces, (4) the catalytic mechanisms of many types of metals and metal oxides, and (5) electrochemical mechanisms of fuel cells and lithium batteries. The limitations and challenges of ReaxFF reactive force field are also mentioned in this review, which will shed light on its future applications to a wider range of chemical environments.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has become the third most used plastic after polyethylene and polypropylene and the worldwide demand continues to increase. Polyvinyl chloride is produced by polymerization of the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is manufactured industrially via the dehydrochlorination of dichloroethane or the hydrochlorination of acetylene. Currently PVC production through the acetylene hydrochlorination method accounts for about 70% of the total PVC production capacity in China. However, the industrial production of VCM utilizes a mercuric chloride catalyst to promote the reaction of acetylene and hydrogen chloride. During the hydrochlorination, the highly toxic mercuric chloride tends to sublime, resulting in the deactivation of the catalyst and also in severe environmental pollution problems. Hence, for China, it is necessary to explore environmental friendly non-mercury catalysts for acetylene hydrochlorination as well as high efficiency novel reactors, with the aim of sustainable PVC production via the acetylene-based method. This paper presents a review of non-mercury heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts as well as reactor designs, and recommends future work for developing cleaner processes to produce VCM over non-mercury catalysts with high activity and long stability.
Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are smart materials that can change their shape in a pre-defined manner under a stimulus. The shape memory functionality has gained considerable interest for biomedical applications, which require materials that are biocompatible and sometimes biodegradable. There is a need for SMPs that are prepared from renewable sources to be used as substitutes for conventional SMPs. In this paper, advances in SMPs based on synthetic monomers and bio-compounds are discussed. Materials designed for biomedical applications are highlighted.
Extractive oxidation, wherein aromatic sulfur-containing compounds are extracted and subsequently oxidized to their corresponding sulfones, has proven to be one of the most effective desulfurization methods for producing ultra-low sulfur content fuels. As non-volatile and highly designable solvents, ionic liquids (ILs) have attracted considerable attention for the oxidative desulfurization of fuels. In this review, we systematically discuss the utility of ILs in catalytic and extractive oxidation, including their role as extractant, catalyst, or both. We also discuss the challenges facing the use of ILs in this regard, including their relatively high cost and excessive viscosity, as well as their efficiency and stability as catalyst.
This review aims at the treatment of the entire landfill, including the waste mass and the harmful emissions: leachate and landfill gas. Different landfill treatments (aerobic, anaerobic and semi-aerobic bioreactor landfills, dry-tomb landfills), leachate treatments (anaerobic and aerobic treatments, anammox, adsorption, chemical oxidation, coagulation/flocculation and membrane processes) and landfill gas treatments (flaring, adsorption, absorption, permeation and cryogenic treatments) are reviewed. Available information and the gaps present in current knowledge is summarized. The most significant areas to expand are landfill waste treatments, which in recent years has begun to grow but there is an opportunity for much more. Another area to explore is the treatment of landfill gas, a very large field to which not much effort has been put forth. This review is to compare different treatment methods and give direction to future research.
The emergence of electronic devices has brought earth-shaking changes to people’s life. However, an external power source may become indispensable to the electronic devices due to the limited capacity of batteries. As one of the possible solutions for the external power sources, the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) provides a novel idea to the increasing number of personal electronic devices. TENG is a new type of energy collector, which has become a hot spot in the field of nanotechnology. It is widely used at the acquisition and conversion of mechanical energy to electric energy through the principle of electrostatic induction. On this basis, the TENG could be integrated with the energy storage system into a self-powered system, which can supply power to the electronic devices and make them work continuously. In this review, TENG’s basic structure as well as its working process and working mode are firstly discussed. The integration method of TENGs with energy storage systems and the related research status are then introduced in detail. At the end of this paper, we put forward some problems and discuss the prospect in the future.
Ferritin, a major iron storage protein with a hollow interior cavity, has been reported recently to play many important roles in biomedical and bioengineering applications. Owing to the unique architecture and surface properties, ferritin nanoparticles offer favorable characteristics and can be either genetically or chemically modified to impart functionalities to their surfaces, and therapeutics or probes can be encapsulated in their interiors by controlled and reversible assembly/disassembly. There has been an outburst of interest regarding the employment of functional ferritin nanoparticles in nanomedicine. This review will highlight the recent advances in ferritin nanoparticles for drug delivery, bioassay, and molecular imaging with a particular focus on their biomedical applications.
Galvanic replacement, co-impregnation and sequential impregnation have been employed to prepare Pd-Cu bimetallic catalysts with less than 1 wt-% Cu and ca. 0.03 wt-% Pd for selective hydrogenation of acetylene in excess ethylene. High angle annular dark field-scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) and H2 chemisorption results confirmed that Pd-Cu single-atom alloy structures were constructed in all three bimetallic catalysts. Catalytic tests indicated that when the conversion of acetylene was above 99%, the selectivity of ethylene of these three single atom alloy catalysts was still more than 73%. Furthermore, the single atom alloy catalyst prepared by sequential incipient wetness impregnation was found to have the best stability among the three procedures used.
In this paper, an investigation is made to study the effects of radiation and heat source/sink on the unsteady boundary layer flow and heat transfer past a shrinking sheet with suction/injection. The flow is permeated by an externally applied magnetic field normal to the plane of flow. The self-similar equations corresponding to the velocity and temperature fields are obtained, and then solved numerically by finite difference method using quasilinearization technique. The study reveals that the momentum boundary layer thickness increases with increasing unsteadiness and decreases with magnetic field. The thermal boundary layer thickness decreases with Prandtl number, radiation parameter and heat sink parameter, but it increases with heat source parameter. Moreover, increasing unsteadiness, magnetic field strength, radiation and heat sink strength boost the heat transfer.
In recent years, nanostructured oxide films on titanium alloy surfaces have gained significant interest due to their electrical, catalytic and biological properties. In literature, there is variety of different approaches to fabricate nanostructured oxide films. Among these methods, anodization technique, which allows fine-tuning of oxide film thickness, feature size, topography and chemistry, is one of the most popular approaches to fabricate nanostructured oxide films on titanium alloys, and it has been widely investigated for orthopedic applications. Briefly, anodization is the growth of a controlled oxide film on a metallic component attached to the anode of an electrochemical cell. This review provides an overview of the anodization technique to grow nanostructured oxide films on titanium and titanium alloys and summarizes the interactions between anodized titanium alloy surfaces with cells in terms of cellular adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. It will start with summarizing the mechanism of nanofeatured oxide fabrication on titanium alloys and then switch its focus on the latest findings for anodization of titanium alloys, including the use of fluoride free electrolytes and anodization of 3D titanium foams. The review will also highlight areas requiring further research to successfully translate anodized titanium alloys to clinics for orthopedic applications.
We have studied the effect of the engineered nanomaterial Taunit, containing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), on the growth of
Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8), composed of Zn ions and imidazolate ligands, is a class of metal-organic frameworks, which possesses a similar structure as conventional aluminosilicate zeolites. This material exhibits inherent porous property, high loading capacity, and pH-sensitive degradation, as well as exceptional thermal and chemical stability. Extensive research effort has been devoted to relevant research aspects ranging from synthesis methods, property characterization to potential applications of ZIF-8. This review focuses on the recent development of ZIF-8 synthesis methods and its promising applications in drug delivery. The potential risks of using ZIF-8 for drug delivery are also summarized.
Great interests have arisen over the last decade in the development of hierarchically porous materials. The hierarchical structure enables materials to have maximum structural functions owing to enhanced accessibility and mass transport properties, leading to improved performances in various applications. Hierarchical porous materials are in high demand for applications in catalysis, adsorption, separation, energy and biochemistry. In the present review, recent advances in synthesis routes to hierarchically porous materials are reviewed together with their catalytic contributions.
Amphiphilic block copolymers (ABCs) assemble into a spherical nanoscopic supramolecular core/shell nanostructure termed a polymeric micelle that has been widely researched as an injectable nanocarrier for poorly water-soluble anticancer agents. The aim of this review article is to update progress in the field of drug delivery towards clinical trials, highlighting advances in polymeric micelles used for drug solubilization, reduced off-target toxicity and tumor targeting by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Polymeric micelles vary in stability in blood and drug release rate, and accordingly play different but key roles in drug delivery. For intravenous (IV) infusion, polymeric micelles that disassemble in blood and rapidly release poorly water-soluble anticancer agent such as paclitaxel have been used for drug solubilization, safety and the distinct possibility of toxicity reduction relative to existing solubilizing agents, e.g., Cremophor EL. Stable polymeric micelles are long-circulating in blood and reduce distribution to non-target tissue, lowering off-target toxicity. Further, they participate in the EPR effect in murine tumor models. In summary, polymeric micelles act as injectable nanocarriers for poorly water-soluble anticancer agents, achieving reduced toxicity and targeting tumors by the EPR effect.
Zeolites have been regarded as one of the most important catalysts in petrochemical industry due to their excellent catalytic performance. However, the sole micropores in zeolites severely limit their applications in oil refining and natural gas conversion. To solve the problem, mesoporous zeolites have been prepared by introducing mesopores into the zeolite crystals in recent years, and thus have the advantages of both mesostructured materials (fast diffusion and accessible for bulky molecules) and microporous zeolite crystals (strong acidity and high hydrothermal stability). In this review, after giving a brief introduction to preparation, structure, and characterization of mesoporous zeolites, we systematically summarize catalytic applications of these mesoporous zeolites as efficient catalysts in oil refining and natural gas conversion including catalytic cracking of heavy oil, alkylation, isomerization, hydrogenation, hydrodesulfurization, methane dehydroaromatization, methanol dehydration to dimethyl ether, methanol to olefins, and methanol to hydrocarbons.
A series of Mn-promoted 15 wt-% Ni/Al2O3 catalysts were prepared by an incipient wetness impregnation method. The effect of the Mn content on the activity of the Ni/Al2O3 catalysts for CO2 methanation and the co-methanation of CO and CO2 in a fixed-bed reactor was investigated. The catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption, hydrogen temperature-programmed reduction and desorption, carbon dioxide temperature-programmed desorption, X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The presence of Mn increased the number of CO2 adsorption sites and inhibited Ni particle agglomeration due to improved Ni dispersion and weakened interactions between the nickel species and the support. The Mn-promoted 15 wt-% Ni/Al2O3 catalysts had improved CO2 methanation activity especially at low temperatures (250 to 400 °C). The Mn content was varied from 0.86% to 2.54% and the best CO2 conversion was achieved with the 1.71Mn-Ni/Al2O3 catalyst. The co-methanation tests on the 1.71Mn-Ni/Al2O3 catalyst indicated that adding Mn markedly enhanced the CO2 methanation activity especially at low temperatures but it had little influence on the CO methanation performance. CO2 methanation was more sensitive to the reaction temperature and the space velocity than the CO methanation in the co-methanation process.
This paper overviews the development of the anthraquinone auto-oxidation (AO) process for the production of hydrogen peroxide in China and abroad. The characteristics and differences between the fixed-bed and fluidized-bed reactors for the AO process are presented. The detailed comparison indicates that the production of hydrogen peroxide with the fluidized-bed reactor has many advantages, such as lower operation cost and catalyst consumption, less anthraquinone degradation, higher catalyst utilization efficiency, and higher hydrogenation efficiency. The key characters of the production technology of hydrogen peroxide based on the fluidized-bed reactor developed by the Research Institute of Petroleum Processing, Sinopec are also disclosed. It is apparent that substituting the fluidized-bed reactor for the fixed-bed reactor is a major direction of breakthrough for the production technology of hydrogen peroxide in China.
Carbon-based materials have been extensively applied in photodynamic therapy owing to the unique optical characteristics, good biocompatibility and tunable systematic toxicity. This mini-review mainly focuses on the recent application of carbon-based materials including graphene, carbon nanotube, fullerene, corannulene, carbon dot and mesoporous carbon nanoparticle. The carbon-based materials can perform not only as photosensitizers, but also effective carriers for photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy, and its combined treatment.
A flexible, multi-site tactile and thermal sensor (MTTS) based on polyvinylidene fluoride (resolution 50 × 50) is reported. It can be used to implement spatial mapping caused by tactile and thermal events and record the two-dimensional motion trajectory of a tracked target object. The output voltage and current signal are recorded as a mapping by sensing the external pressure and thermal radiation stimulus, and the response distribution is dynamically observed on the three-dimensional interface. Through the mapping relationship between the established piezoelectric and pyroelectric signals, the piezoelectric component and the pyroelectric component are effectively extracted from the composite signals. The MTTS has a good sensitivity for tactile and thermal detection, and the electrodes have good synchronism. In addition, the signal interference is less than 9.5% and decreases as the pressure decreases after the distance between adjacent sites exceeds 200 µm. The integration of MTTS and signal processing units has potential applications in human-machine interaction systems, health status detection and smart assistive devices.
Hydrogen was recovered and purified from coal gasification-produced syngas using two kinds of hybrid processes: a pressure swing adsorption (PSA)-membrane system (a PSA unit followed by a membrane separation unit) and a membrane-PSA system (a membrane separation unit followed by a PSA unit). The PSA operational parameters were adjusted to control the product purity and the membrane operational parameters were adjusted to control the hydrogen recovery so that both a pure hydrogen product (>99.9%) and a high recovery (>90%) were obtained simultaneously. The hybrid hydrogen purification processes were simulated using HYSYS and the processes were evaluated in terms of hydrogen product purity and hydrogen recovery. For comparison, a PSA process and a membrane separation process were also used individually for hydrogen purification. Neither process alone produced high purity hydrogen with a high recovery. The PSA-membrane hybrid process produced hydrogen that was 99.98% pure with a recovery of 91.71%, whereas the membrane-PSA hybrid process produced hydrogen that was 99.99% pure with a recovery of 91.71%. The PSA-membrane hybrid process achieved higher total H2 recoveries than the membrane-PSA hybrid process under the same H2 recovery of membrane separation unit. Meanwhile, the membrane-PSA hybrid process achieved a higher total H2 recovery (97.06%) than PSA-membrane hybrid process (94.35%) at the same H2 concentration of PSA feed gas (62.57%).