Nov 2022, Volume 16 Issue 5

Cover illustration

  • Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) deliver inherent advantage of safety over the organic liquid system in rechargeable lithium batteries. However, the single use of polymer or ceramic SSEs can never meet the demand although great progress has been made in the past few years. Composite solid electrolytes (CSEs) composed of flexible polymers and brittle but active ceramics can take advantage of the individual system for solid-state lithium metal batteries (SSLMBs). According to th [Detail] ...

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    Zupeng CHEN, Henrik JUNGE, Matthias BELLER
    Yanfang SONG, Xiao DONG, Wei CHEN, Wei WEI
    Zhouyu ZHANG, Hao CHEN, Zhenglin HU, Shoubin ZHOU, Lan ZHANG, Jiayan LUO

    Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) can address the safety issue of organic electrolyte in rechargeable lithium batteries. Unfortunately, neither polymer nor ceramic SSEs used alone can meet the demand although great progress has been made in the past few years. Composite solid electrolytes (CSEs) composed of flexible polymers and brittle but more conducting ceramics can take advantage of the individual system for solid-state lithium metal batteries (SSLMBs). CSEs can be largely divided into two categories by the mass fraction of the components: “polymer rich” (PR) and “ceramic rich” (CR) systems with different internal structures and electrochemical properties. This review provides a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of recent advances and limitations of both PR and CR electrolytes, with a special focus on the ion conduction path based on polymer-ceramic interaction mechanisms and structural designs of ceramic fillers/frameworks. In addition, it highlights the PR and CR which bring the leverage between the electrochemical property and the mechanical property. Moreover, it further prospects the possible route for future development of CSEs according to their rational design, which is expected to accelerate the practical application of SSLMBs.


    This review provides a recompilation of the most important and recent strategies employed to increase the efficiency of metal–organic framework (MOF)-based systems toward the photocatalytic hydrogen evolution (PHE) reaction through specific strategies: tailoring the photocatalytic activity of bare MOFs and guest@MOF composites, formation of heterojunctions based on MOFs and various photocatalysts, and inorganic photocatalysts derived from MOFs. According to the data reported in this mini-review, the most effective strategy to improve the PHE of MOFs relies on modifying the linkers with new secondary building units (SBUs). Although several reviews have investigated the photocatalytic activity of MOFs from a general point of view, many of these studies relate this activity to the physicochemical and catalytic properties of MOFs. However, they did not consider the interactions between the components of the photocatalytic material. This study highlights the effects of strength of the supramolecular interactions on the photocatalytic performance of bare and MOF-based materials during PHE. A thorough review and comparison of the results established that metal–nanoparticle@MOF composites have weak van der Waals forces between components, whereas heterostructures only interact with MOFs at the surface of bare materials. Regarding material derivatives from MOFs, we found that pyrolysis destroyed some beneficial properties of MOFs for PHE. Thus, we conclude that adding SBUs to organic linkers is the most efficient strategy to perform the PHE because the SBUs added to the MOFs promote synergy between the two materials through strong coordination bonds.

    Shuwei ZHANG, Liyan SHANG, Zhen PAN, Li ZHOU, You GUO

    There is nothing illogical in the concept that hydrates are easily formed in oil and gas pipelines owing to the low-temperature and high-pressure environment, although requiring the cooperation of flow rate, water content, gas-liquid ratio, and other specific factors. Therefore, hydrate plugging is a major concern for the hydrate slurry pipeline transportation technology. In order to further examine potential mechanisms underlying these processes, the present paper listed and analyzed the significant research efforts specializing in the mechanisms of hydrate blockages in the liquid-rich system, including oil-based, water-based, and partially dispersed systems (PD systems), in gathering and transportation pipelines. In addition, it summarized the influences of fluid flow and water content on the risk of hydrate blockage and discussed. In general, flow rate was implicated in the regulation of blockage risk through its characteristic to affect sedimentation tendencies and flow patterns. Increasing water content can potentiate the growth of hydrates and change the oil-water dispersion degree, which causes a transition from completely dispersed systems to PD systems with a higher risk of clogging. Reasons of diversity of hydrate plugging mechanism in oil-based system ought to be studied in-depth by combining the discrepancy of water content and the microscopic characteristics of hydrate particles. At present, it is increasingly necessary to expand the application of the hydrate blockage formation prediction model in order to ensure that hydrate slurry mixed transportation technology can be more maturely applied to the natural gas industry transportation field.

    Shuyu SONG, Zhiming LIU, Li ZHOU, Liyan SHANG, Yaxin WANG

    The plugging mechanism of multiphase mixed rich-liquid transportation in submarine pipeline is a prerequisite for maintaining the fluid flow in the pipeline and ensuring safe fluid flow. This paper introduced the common experimental devices used to study multiphase flow, and summarized the plugging progress and mechanism in the liquid-rich system. Besides, it divided the rich-liquid phase system into an oil-based system, a partially dispersed system, and a water-based system according to the different water cuts, and discussed the mechanism of hydrate plugging. Moreover, it summarized the mechanism and the use of anti-agglomerates in different systems. Furthermore, it proposed some suggestions for future research on hydrate plugging. First, in the oil-based system, the effect factors of hydrates are combined with the mechanical properties of hydrate deposit layer, and the hydrate plugging mechanism models at inclined and elbow pipes should be established. Second, the mechanism of oil-water emulsion breaking in partially dispersed system and the reason for the migration of the oil-water interface should be analyzed, and the property of the free water layer on the hydrate plugging process should be quantified. Third, a complete model of the effect of the synergy of liquid bridge force and van der Waals force in the water-based system on the hydrate particle coalescence frequency model is needed, and the coalescence frequency model should be summarized. Next, the dynamic analysis of a multiphase mixed rich-liquid transportation pipeline should be coupled with the process of hydrate coalescence, deposition, and blockage decomposition. Finally, the effects of anti-agglomerates on the morphological evolution of hydrate under different systems and pipeline plugging conditions in different media should be further explored.

    Yujing BI, Yonglin JU

    CO2 in natural gas (NG) is prone to condense directly from gas to solid or solidify from liquid to solid at low temperatures due to its high triple point and boiling temperature, which can cause a block of equipment. Meanwhile, CO2 will also affect the calorific value of NG. Based on the above reasons, CO2 must be removed during the NG liquefaction process. Compared with conventional methods, cryogenic technologies for CO2 removal from NG have attracted wide attention due to their non-polluting and low-cost advantages. Its integration with NG liquefaction can make rational use of the cold energy and realize the purification of NG and the production of by-product liquid CO2. In this paper, the phase behavior of the CH4-CO2 binary mixture is summarized, which provides a basis for the process design of cryogenic CO2 removal from NG. Then, the detailed techniques of design and optimization for cryogenic CO2 removal in recent years are summarized, including the gas-liquid phase change technique and the gas-solid phase change technique. Finally, several improvements for further development of the cryogenic CO2 removal process are proposed. The removal process in combination with the phase change and the traditional techniques with renewable energy will be the broad prospect for future development.

    Lin LI, Cehuang FU, Shuiyun SHEN, Fangling JIANG, Guanghua WEI, Junliang ZHANG

    The development of highly active nitrogen-doped carbon-based transition metal (M-N-C) compounds for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) greatly helps reduce fuel cell cost, thus rapidly promoting their commercial applications. Among different M-N-C electrocatalysts, the series of Fe-N-C materials are highly favored because of their high ORR activity. However, there remains a debate on the effect of Fe, and rare investigations focus on the influence of Fe addition in the second heat treatment usually performed after acid leaching in the catalyst synthesis. It is thus very critical to explore the influences of Fe on the ORR electrocatalytic activity, which will, in turn, guide the design of Fe-N-C materials with enhanced performance. Herein, a series of Fe-N-C electrocatalysts are synthesize and the influence of Fe on the ORR activity are speculated both experimentally and theoretically. It is deduced that the active site lies in the structure of Fe-N4, accompanied with the addition of appropriate Fe, and the number of active sites increases without the occurrence of agglomeration particles. Moreover, it is speculated that Fe plays an important role in stabilizing N as well as constituting active sites in the second pyrolyzing process.

    Cheng PAN, Chao FAN, Wanqin WANG, Teng LONG, Benhua HUANG, Donghua ZHANG, Peigen SU, Aqun ZHENG, Yang SUN

    Most known catalytic dehydration of sugar alcohols such as D-sorbitol and D-mannitol can only produce di-dehydrated forms as major product, but mono-dehydrated products are also useful chemicals. Moreover, both di- and mono-dehydration demand a high temperature (150°C or higher), which deserves further attentions. To improve the mono-dehydration efficiency, a series of metal-containing hydrothermal carbonaceous materials (HTC) are prepared as catalyst in this work. Characterization reveals that the composition of preparative solution has a key influence on the morphology of HTC. In transformation of D-sorbitol, all HTC catalysts show low conversions in water regardless of temperature, but much better outputs are obtained in ethanol, especially at a higher temperature. When D-mannitol is selected as substrate, moderate to high conversions are obtained in both water and ethanol. On the other hand, high mono-dehydration selectivity is obtained for both sugar alcohols by using all catalysts. The origin of mono-dehydration selectivity and role of carbon component in catalysis are discussed in association with calculations. This study provides an efficient, mild, eco-friendly, and cost-effective system for mono-dehydration of sugar alcohols, which means a lot to development in new detergents or other fine chemicals.

    Chen ZHANG, Guoliang AN, Liwei WANG, Shaofei WU

    Sorption selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) (sorption-SCR) has ever been proposed for replacing commercial urea selective catalytic reduction of NOx (urea-SCR), while only the single-stage sorption cycle is hitherto adopted for sorption-SCR. Herein, various multi-stage ammonia production cycles is built to solve the problem of relative high starting temperature with ammonia transfer (AT) unit and help detect the remaining ammonia in ammonia storage and delivery system (ASDS) with ammonia warning (AW) unit. Except for the single-stage ammonia production cycle with MnCl2, other sorption-SCR strategies all present overwhelming advantages over urea-SCR considering the much higher NOx conversion driven by the heat source lower than 100°C and better matching characteristics with low-temperature catalysts. Furthermore, the required mass of sorbent for each type of sorption-SCR is less than half of the mass of AdBlue for urea-SCR. Therefore, the multifunctional multi-stage sorption-SCR can realize compact and renewable ammonia storage and delivery with low thermal energy consumption and high NOx conversion, which brings a bright potential for efficient commercial de-NOx technology.

    Yonghuan LI, Wei SONG, Guang JIANG, Yue YANG, Hongmei YU, Zhigang SHAO, Fangwei DUAN, Yingxuan YANG

    Fuel starvation can occur and cause damage to the cell when proton exchange membrane fuel cells operate under complex working conditions. In this case, carbon corrosion occurs. Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts can alleviate carbon corrosion by introducing water electrolysis at a lower potential at the anode in fuel shortage. The mixture of hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and unsupported OER catalyst not only reduces the electrolysis efficiency, but also influences the initial performance of the fuel cell. Herein, Ti4O7 supported IrOx is synthesized by utilizing the surfactant-assistant method and serves as reversal tolerant components in the anode. When the cell reverse time is less than 100 min, the cell voltage of the MEA added with IrOx/Ti4O7 has almost no attenuation. Besides, the MEA has a longer reversal time (530 min) than IrOx (75 min), showing an excellent reversal tolerance. The results of electron microscopy spectroscopy show that IrOx particles have a good dispersity on the surface of Ti4O7 and IrOx/Ti4O7 particles are uniformly dispersed on the anode catalytic layer. After the stability test, the Ti4O7 support has little decay, demonstrating a high electrochemical stability. IrOx/Ti4O7 with a high dispersity has a great potential to the application on the reversal tolerance anode of the fuel cell.


    The present work aims to investigate the influence of extended surfaces (fins) on the multi-objective optimization of a tubular heat exchanger network (THEN). An increase in the heat transfer area using various extended surfaces (fins) to enhance the performance of the heat exchanger was used while considering the effectiveness and total heat transfer area as two objective functions. In addition to the simulation of simple fins, a new set of fins, called constructal fins, was designed based on the constructal theory. Tubular heat exchanger network design parameters were chosen as optimization variables, and optimization results were achieved in such a way as to enhance the effectiveness and decrease the total heat transfer area. The results show the importance of constructal fins in improving the objective functions of heat exchangers. For instance, the simple fins case enhances the effectiveness by up to 5.3% compared to that without fins (usual heat exchanger) while using constructal fins, in addition to the 7% increment of effectiveness, reduces the total heat transfer area by 9.47%. In order to optimize the heat exchanger, the heat transfer rate and cold fluid temperature must increase, and at the same time, the hot exiting fluid temperature should decrease at the same constant total heat transfer area, which is higher in the constructal fins case. Finally, optimized design variables were studied for different cases, and the effects of various fins were reported.

    Hongmei WU, Feng LI, Yanqi YUAN, Jing LIU, Liping ZHAO, Peng ZHANG, Lian GAO