Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Ximena T. Faundez

6 The Use of Microalgae Cultivation for Improving the Effluent Behavior of Anaerobic Digestion of Food Wastes at Psychrophilic Range

Authors: Pedro M. Velasco, Cecilia C. Alday, Oscar C. Avello, Ximena T. Faundez, Luis M. Velasco


Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants of food waste (FW) produced by agro-industry, have been widely developed from last decade to nowadays, because of the advantages over aerobic active sludge systems. Despite several bioreactor configurations and operation modes have been successfully improved and implemented at industrial scale in a wide range of applications, effluent behavior, after AD, does not commonly meet requirements for direct disposal into the environment without further treatments. In addition, literature has rarely shown AD of food waste at psychrophilic range. This temperature range may be of interest for making AD plant operation easier and increasing the stability of digestion. In spite of literature shows several methods for post-treatment, such as the use of microalgae, these have not been cultivated on effluents from AD at psychrophilic range. Hence, with the aim of showing the potential use of AD of FW at the psychrophilic range (25ºC) and the viability of microalgae post-treatment, single batch reactors have been used for methane potential tests at laboratory scale. Afterwards, digestates, derived from this AD of FW sludge, were diluted with fresh water at different ratios (1:0, 1:1; 1:4) and used as culture media for photoautotrophic microalgae. Several parameters, such as pH, biogas production, and chemical oxygen demand, were measured periodically over several months. Results show that methane potential is 150 ml g-1 per volatile solid with up to 57.7 % of methane content. Moreover, microalgae has been successfully cultivated on all tested effluents and in case of 1:1 and 1:4 rates, the resulting effluents meet the quality levels required for irrigation water.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biogas, food waste, microalgae, psychrophilic range

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5 A Cheap Mesoporous Silica from Fly Ash as an Adsorbent for Sulfate in Water

Authors: Ximena Castillo, Jaime Pizarro


This research describes the development of a very cheap mesoporous silica material similar to hexagonal mesoporous silica (HMS) and using a silicate extract as precursor. This precursor is obtained from cheap fly ash by an easy calcination process at 850 °C and a green extraction with water. The obtained mesoporous fly ash material had a surface area of 282 m2 g-1 and a pore size of 5.7 nm. It was functionalized with ethylene diamino moieties via the well-known SAMMS method, followed by a DRIFT analysis that clearly showed the successful functionalization. An excellent adsorbent was obtained for the adsorption of sulfate anions by the solid’s modification with copper forming a copper-ethylenediamine complex. The adsorption of sulfates was studied in a batch system ( experimental conditions: pH=8.0; 5 min). The kinetics data were adjusted according to a pseudo-second order model with a high coefficient of linear regression at different initial concentrations. The adsorption isotherm that best fitted the experimental data was the Freundlich model. The maximum sulfate adsorption capacity of this very cheap fly ash based adsorbent was 146.1 mg g-1, 3 times greater than the values reported in literature and commercial adsorbent materials.

Keywords: fly ash, mesoporous materials, SAMMS, sulfate

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4 Principle of Progressive Implementation and Education Policy for Former Combatants in Colombia

Authors: Ximena Rincon Castellanos


The research target was analyzed the education public policy of Colombia according to the content of the right to education. One problematic element of that content is the principle of progressive implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. The research included a complete study of public documents and other papers; as well as, one focus group with former combatants in a city where is located one of some 'hogares de paz', which hosts these people after leaving the illegal group. This paper presents a critical approach to the public policy strategies to guarantee education to former combatants and its tension with the right to a progressive implementation. Firstly, education is understood as a technology level without considering higher education. Former combatant attends to SENA and private institutions, which offer technology education and it is counted by the Colombian Government as higher education. Therefore, statistics report a high level of attendance of excombatant to that education level, but actually, they do not expect to study a university carrier. Secondly, the budget approved has been invested in private institutions, despite public institutions are able to include this population and they need more money to strengthen the public offer, which has been considered as a better strategy to ensure education as a human right but not a good, by the special rapporteur on the right to education. As a consequence, the progressive implementation should be a guide to change and improve current strategies, invest the budget available into the public system of education in order to give former combatants the chance to access to universities.

Keywords: higher education, progressive implementation, public service, private offering and technology education

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3 Effects of pH, Load Capacity and Contact Time in the Sulphate Sorption onto a Functionalized Mesoporous Structure

Authors: Jaime Pizarro, Ximena Castillo


The intensive use of water in agriculture, industry, human consumption and increasing pollution are factors that reduce the availability of water for future generations; the challenge is to advance in sustainable and low-cost solutions to reuse water and to facilitate the availability of the resource in quality and quantity. The use of new low-cost materials with sorbent capacity for pollutants is a solution that contributes to the improvement and expansion of water treatment and reuse systems. Fly ash, a residue from the combustion of coal in power plants that is produced in large quantities in newly industrialized countries, contains a high amount of silicon oxides and aluminum oxides, whose properties can be used for the synthesis of mesoporous materials. Properly functionalized, this material allows obtaining matrixes with high sorption capacity. The mesoporous materials have a large surface area, thermal and mechanical stability, uniform porous structure, and high sorption and functionalization capacities. The goal of this study was to develop hexagonal mesoporous siliceous material (HMS) for the adsorption of sulphate from industrial and mining waters. The silica was extracted from fly ash after calcination at 850 ° C, followed by the addition of water. The mesoporous structure has a surface area of 282 m2 g-1 and a size of 5.7 nm and was functionalized with ethylene diamine through of a self-assembly method. The material was characterized by Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS). The capacity of sulphate sorption was evaluated according to pH, maximum load capacity and contact time. The sulphate maximum adsorption capacity was 146.1 mg g-1, which is three times higher than commercial sorbents. The kinetic data were fitted according to a pseudo-second order model with a high coefficient of linear regression at different initial concentrations. The adsorption isotherm that best fitted the experimental data was the Freundlich model.

Keywords: fly ash, mesoporous siliceous, sorption, sulphate

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2 Viability Analysis of a Centralized Hydrogen Generation Plant for Use in Oil Refining Industry

Authors: C. Fúnez Guerra, B. Nieto Calderón, M. Jaén Caparrós, L. Reyes-Bozo, A. Godoy-Faúndez, E. Vyhmeister


The global energy system is experiencing a change of scenery. Unstable energy markets, an increasing focus on climate change and its sustainable development is forcing businesses to pursue new solutions in order to ensure future economic growth. This has led to the interest in using hydrogen as an energy carrier in transportation and industrial applications. As an energy carrier, hydrogen is accessible and holds a high gravimetric energy density. Abundant in hydrocarbons, hydrogen can play an important role in the shift towards low-emission fossil value chains. By combining hydrogen production by natural gas reforming with carbon capture and storage, the overall CO2 emissions are significantly reduced. In addition, the flexibility of hydrogen as an energy storage makes it applicable as a stabilizer in the renewable energy mix. The recent development in hydrogen fuel cells is also raising the expectations for a hydrogen powered transportation sector. Hydrogen value chains exist to a large extent in the industry today. The global hydrogen consumption was approximately 50 million tonnes (7.2 EJ) in 2013, where refineries, ammonia, methanol production and metal processing were main consumers. Natural gas reforming produced 48% of this hydrogen, but without carbon capture and storage (CCS). The total emissions from the production reached 500 million tonnes of CO2, hence alternative production methods with lower emissions will be necessary in future value chains. Hydrogen from electrolysis is used for a wide range of industrial chemical reactions for many years. Possibly, the earliest use was for the production of ammonia-based fertilisers by Norsk Hydro, with a test reactor set up in Notodden, Norway, in 1927. This application also claims one of the world’s largest electrolyser installations, at Sable Chemicals in Zimbabwe. Its array of 28 electrolysers consumes 80 MW per hour, producing around 21,000 Nm3/h of hydrogen. These electrolysers can compete if cheap sources of electricity are available and natural gas for steam reforming is relatively expensive. Because electrolysis of water produces oxygen as a by-product, a system of Autothermal Reforming (ATR) utilizing this oxygen has been analyzed. Replacing the air separation unit with electrolysers produces the required amount of oxygen to the ATR as well as additional hydrogen. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the technical and economic potential of large-scale production of hydrogen for oil refining industry. Sensitivity analysis of parameters such as investment costs, plant operating hours, electricity price and sale price of hydrogen and oxygen are performed.

Keywords: autothermal reforming, electrolyser, hydrogen, natural gas, steam methane reforming

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1 Safety Evaluation of Post-Consumer Recycled PET Materials in Chilean Industry by Overall Migration Tests

Authors: Evelyn Ilabaca, Ximena Valenzuela, Alejandra Torres, María José Galotto, Abel Guarda


One of the biggest problems in food packaging industry, especially with the plastic materials, is the fact that these materials are usually obtained from non-renewable resources and also remain as waste after its use, causing environmental issues. This is an international concern and particular attention is given to reduction, reuse and recycling strategies for decreasing the waste from plastic packaging industry. In general, polyethylenes represent most plastic waste and recycling process of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PCR-PET) has been studied. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) have generated different legislative documents to control the use of PCR-PET in the production of plastic packaging intended direct food contact in order to ensure the capacity of recycling process to remove possible contaminants that can migrate into food. Consequently, it is necessary to demonstrate by challenge test that the recycling process is able to remove specific contaminants, obtaining a safe recycled plastic to human health. These documents establish that the concentration limit for substitute contaminants in PET is 220 ppb (ug/kg) and the specific migration limit is 10 ppb (ug/kg) for each contaminant, in addition to assure the sensorial characteristics of food are not affected. Moreover, under the Commission Regulation (EU) N°10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, it is established that overall migration limit is 10 mg of substances per 1 dm2 of surface area of the plastic material. Thus, the aim of this work is to determine the safety of PCR-PET-containing food packaging materials in Chile by measuring their overall migration, and their comparison with the established limits at international level. This information will serve as a basis to provide a regulation to control and regulate the use of recycled plastic materials in the manufacture of plastic packaging intended to be in direct contact with food. The methodology used involves a procedure according to EN-1186:2002 with some modifications. The food simulants used were ethanol 10 % (v/v) and acetic acid 3 % (v/v) as aqueous food simulants, and ethanol 95 % (v/v) and isooctane as substitutes of fatty food simulants. In this study, preliminary results showed that Chilean food packaging plastics with different PCR-PET percentages agree with the European Legislation for food aqueous character.

Keywords: contaminants, polyethylene terephthalate, plastic food packaging, recycling

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