Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: melamine

20 Rapid Detection of Melamine in Milk Products Based on Modified Gold Electrode

Authors: Rovina Kobun, Shafiquzzaman Siddiquee

Abstract:

A novel and simple electrochemical sensor for the determination of melamine was developed based on modified gold electrode (AuE) with chitosan (CHIT) nanocomposite membrane, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) and ionic liquids ([EMIM][Otf]) to enhance the potential current response of melamine. Cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry were used to investigate the electrochemical behaviour between melamine and modified AuE in the presence of methylene blue as a redox indicator. The experimental results indicated that the interaction of melamine with CHIT/ZnONPs/([EMIM][Otf])/AuE were based on the strong interaction of hydrogen bonds. The morphological characterization of modified AuE was observed under scanning electron microscope. Under optimal conditions, the current signal was directly proportional to the melamine concentration ranging from 9.6 x 10-5 to 9.6 x 10-11 M, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9656. The detection limit was 9.6 x 10-12 M. Finally, the proposed method was successfully applied and displayed an excellent sensitivity in the determination of melamine in milk samples.

Keywords: melamine, gold electrode, zinc oxide nanoparticles, cyclic voltammetries, differential pulse voltammetries

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19 Colorimetric Detection of Melamine in Milk Sample by Using In-Situ Formed Silver Nanoparticles by Tannic Acid

Authors: Md Fazle Alam, Amaj Ahmed Laskar, Hina Younus

Abstract:

Melamine toxicity which causes renal failure and death of humans and animals have recently attracted worldwide attention. Developing an easy, fast and sensitive method for the routine melamine detection is the need of the hour. Herein, we have developed a rapid, sensitive, one step and selective colorimetric method for the detection of melamine in milk samples based upon in-situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) via tannic acid at room temperature. These AgNPs thus formed were characterized by UV-VIS spectrophotometer, transmission electron microscope (TEM), zetasizer and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Under optimal conditions, melamine could be selectively detected within the concentration range of 0.05-1.4 µM with a limit of detection (LOD) of 10.1 nM, which is lower than the strictest melamine safety requirement of 1 ppm. This assay does not utilize organic cosolvents, enzymatic reactions, light sensitive dye molecules and sophisticated instrumentation, thereby overcoming some of the limitations of conventional methods.

Keywords: milk adulteration, melamine, silver nanoparticles, tannic acid

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18 Mechanochemical Behaviour of Aluminium–Boron Oxide–Melamine Ternary System

Authors: Ismail Seckin Cardakli, Mustafa Engin Kocadagistan, Ersin Arslan

Abstract:

In this study, mechanochemical behaviour of aluminium - boron oxide - melamine ternary system was investigated by high energy ball milling. According to the reaction Al + B₂O₃ = Al₂O₃ + B, stochiometric amount of aluminium and boron oxide with melamine up to ten percent of total weight was used in the experiments. The powder characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) after leaching of product by 1M HCl acid. Results show that mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction (MSR) between aluminium and boron oxide takes place after four hours high energy ball milling. Al₂O₃/h-BN composite powder is obtained as the product of aluminium - boron oxide - melamine ternary system.

Keywords: high energy ball milling, hexagonal boron nitride, mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction, melamine

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17 Ag Nanoparticle/Melamine Sulfonic Acid Supported on Alumina: Efficient Catalytic System in Synthesis of Dihydropyrimidines

Authors: Parya Nasehi, Mohammad Kazem Mohammadi

Abstract:

3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2(1H)-thiones were synthesized in the presence of Ag nanoparticle/melamine sulfonic acid (MSA) supported on alumina. The reaction was carried out at 110 oC for 20 min under solvent free conditions. This method have some advantages such as good yield, mild reaction conditions, ease of operation and work up, short reaction time and high product purity.

Keywords: nanoparticle melamine sulfonic acid, Al2O3, Biginelli reaction, 3, 4-dihydropyrimidin-2(1H, solvent free

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16 Colorimetric Detection of Ceftazdime through Azo Dye Formation on Polyethylenimine-Melamine Foam

Authors: Pajaree Donkhampa, Fuangfa Unob

Abstract:

Ceftazidime is an antibiotic drug commonly used to treat several human and veterinary infections. However, the presence of ceftazidime residues in the environment may induce microbial resistance and cause side effects to humans. Therefore, monitoring the level of ceftazidime in environmental resources is important. In this work, a melamine foam platform was proposed for simultaneous extraction and colorimetric detection of ceftazidime based on the azo dye formation on the surface. The melamine foam was chemically modified with polyethyleneimine (PEI) and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Ceftazidime is a sample that was extracted on the PEI-modified melamine foam and further reacted with nitrite in an acidic medium to form an intermediate diazonium ion. The diazotized molecule underwent an azo coupling reaction with chromotropic acid to generate a red-colored compound. The material color changed from pale yellow to pink depending on the ceftazidime concentration. The photo of the obtained material was taken by a smartphone camera and the color intensity was determined by Image J software. The material fabrication and ceftazidime extraction and detection procedures were optimized. The detection of a sub-ppm level of ceftazidime was achieved without using a complex analytical instrument.

Keywords: colorimetric detection, ceftazidime, melamine foam, extraction, azo dye

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15 A Study of Resin-Dye Fixation on Dyeing Properties of Cotton Fabrics Using Melamine Based Resins and a Reactive Dye

Authors: Nurudeen Ayeni, Kasali Bello, Ovi Abayeh

Abstract:

Study of the effect of dye–resin complexation on the degree of dye absorption were carried out using Procion Blue MX-R to dye cotton fabric in the presence hexamethylol melamine (MR 6) and its phosphate derivative (MPR 4) for resination. The highest degree of dye exhaustion was obtained at 400 C for 1 hour with the resinated fabric showing more affinity for the dye than the ordinary fiber. Improved fastness properties was recorded which show a relatively higher stability of dye–resin–cellulose network formed.

Keywords: cotton fabric, reactive dye, dyeing, resination

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14 Synergistic Studies of Multi-Flame Retarders Using Silica Nanoparticles, and Nitrogen and Phosphorus-Based Compounds for Polystyrene Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Florencio D. De Los Reyes, Magdaleno R. Vasquez Jr., Mark Daniel G. De Luna, Peerasak Paoprasert

Abstract:

The effect of adding silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) obtained from rice husk, and phosphorus and nitrogen based compounds namely 9,10-dihydro-9-oxa-10-phosphaphenantrene-10-oxide (DOPO) and melamine, respectively, on the flammability of polystyrene (PS) was studied using response surface methodology (RSM). The flammability of PS was reduced as the limiting oxygen index (LOI) values increased when the flame retardant additives were added. DOPO exhibited the best retarding property increasing the LOI value of PS by 42.4%. A quadratic model for LOI was obtained from the RSM results, with percent loading of SiNPs, DOPO, and melamine, as independent variables. The observed increase in the LOI value as the percent loading of the flame retardant additives is increased, was attributed both to the main effects and synergistic effects of the parameters, as the LOI response of SiNPs is greatly enhanced by the addition of DOPO and melamine, as shown by the response surface plots. This indicates the potential of producing a cheaper, effective, and non-toxic multi-flame retardant system for the polymeric system via different flame retarding mechanisms.

Keywords: flame retardancy, polystyrene, response surface methodology, rice husk, silica nanoparticle

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13 Mimosa Tannin – Starch - Sugar Based Wood Adhesive

Authors: Salise Oktay, Nilgün Kizilcan, Başak Bengü

Abstract:

At present, formaldehyde based adhesives such as urea formaldehyde (UF), melamine formaldehyde (MF), melamine – urea formaldehyde (MUF), etc. are mostly used in wood based panel industry because of their high reactivity, chemical versatility, and economic competitiveness. However, formaldehyde based wood adhesives are produced from non- renewable resources. Hence, there has been a growing interest in the development of environment friendly, economically competitive, bio-based wood adhesives in order to meet wood based panel industry requirements. In this study, as formaldehyde free adhesive, Mimosa tannin, starch, sugar based wood adhesivewas synthesized. Citric acid and tartaric acid were used as hardener for the resin system. Solid content, viscosity, and gel time analyzes of the prepared adhesive were performed in order to evaluate the adhesive processability. FTIR characterization technique was used to elucidate the chemical structures of the cured adhesivesamples. In order to evaluate the performance of the prepared bio-based resin formulation, particleboards were produced in a laboratory scale, and mechanical, physical properties of the boards were investigated. Besides, the formaldehyde contents of the boards were determined by using the perforator method. The obtained results revealed that the developed bio-based wood adhesive formulation can be a good potential candidate to use wood based panel industry with some developments.

Keywords: bio-based wood adhesives, mimosa tannin, corn starch, sugar, polycarboxyclic acid

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12 Synthesis and Properties of Oxidized Corn Starch Based Wood Adhesive

Authors: Salise Oktay, Nilgun Kizilcan, Basak Bengu

Abstract:

At present, formaldehyde-based adhesives such as urea-formaldehyde (UF), melamine-formaldehyde (MF), melamine – urea-formaldehyde (MUF), etc. are mostly used in wood-based panel industry because of their high reactivity, chemical versatility, and economic competitiveness. However, formaldehyde-based wood adhesives are produced from non- renewable resources and also formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen (Group B1) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Therefore, there has been a growing interest in the development of environment-friendly, economically competitive, bio-based wood adhesives to meet wood-based panel industry requirements. In this study, like a formaldehyde-free adhesive, oxidized starch – urea wood adhesives was synthesized. In this scope, firstly, acid hydrolysis of corn starch was conducted and then acid thinned corn starch was oxidized by using hydrogen peroxide and CuSO₄ as an oxidizer and catalyst, respectively. Secondly, the polycondensation reaction between oxidized starch and urea conducted. Finally, nano – TiO₂ was added to the reaction system to strengthen the adhesive network. Solid content, viscosity, and gel time analyses of the prepared adhesive were performed to evaluate the adhesive processability. FTIR, DSC, TGA, SEM characterization techniques were used to investigate chemical structures, thermal, and morphological properties of the adhesive, respectively. Rheological analysis of the adhesive was also performed. In order to evaluate the quality of oxidized corn starch – urea adhesives, particleboards were produced in laboratory scale and mechanical and physical properties of the boards were investigated such as an internal bond, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, formaldehyde emission, etc. The obtained results revealed that oxidized starch – urea adhesives were synthesized successfully and it can be a good potential candidate to use the wood-based panel industry with some developments.

Keywords: nano-TiO₂, corn starch, formaldehyde emission, wood adhesives

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11 Effect of a Reactive Dye-Resin Complex on Dyeing Properties of Cotton Fabrics

Authors: Nurudeen Afolami Ayeni, Kasali Adewale Bello

Abstract:

Study of the effect of dye-resin complexation on the degree of dye absorption were carried out using Procion Blue MX-R to dye cotton fabric in the presence hexamethylol melamine (MR6) and its phosphate derivative (MPR4) for resination. The highest degree of dye exhaustion was obtained at 400C for 1 hour with the resinated fabric showing more affinity for the dye than the ordinary fibre. Improved fastness properties was recorded which show a relatively higher stability of dye-resin complex formed in the fibre.

Keywords: affinity, cotton, dyeing, reactive dye, resination

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10 Quality and Shelf life of UHT Milk Produced in Tripoli, Libya

Authors: Faozia A. S. Abuhtana, Yahia S. Abujnah, Said O. Gnann

Abstract:

Ultra High Temperature (UHT) processed milk is widely distributed and preferred in numerous countries all over the world due its relatively high quality and long shelf life. Because of the notable high consumption rate of UHT in Libya in addition to negligible studies related to such product on the local level, this study was designed to assess the shelf life of locally produced as well as imported reconstituted sterilized whole milk samples marketed in Tripoli, Libya . Four locally produced vs. three imported brands were used in this study. All samples were stored at room temperature (25± 2C ) for 8 month long period, and subjected to physical, chemical, microbiological and sensory tests. These tests included : measurement of pH, specific gravity, percent acidity, and determination of fat, protein and melamine content. Microbiological tests included total aerobic count, total psychotropic bacteria, total spore forming bacteria and total coliform counts. Results indicated no detection of microbial growth of any type during the study period, in addition to no detection of melamine in all samples. On the other hand, a gradual decline in pH accompanied with gradual increase in % acidity of both locally produced and imported samples was observed. Such changes in both pH and % acidity reached their lowest and highest values respectively during the 24th week of storage. For instance pH values were (6.40, 6.55, 6.55, 6.15) and (6.30, 6.50, 6.20) for local and imported brands respectively. On the other hand, % acidity reached (0.185, 0181, 0170, 0183) and (0180, 0.180, 0.171) at the 24th week for local and imported brands respectively. Similar pattern of decline was also observed in specific gravity, fat and protein content in some local and imported samples especially at later stages of the study. In both cases, some of the recorded pH values, % acidity, sp. gravity and fat content were in violation of the accepted limits set by Libyan standard no. 356 for sterilized milk. Such changes in pH, % acidity and other UHT sterilized milk constituents during storage were coincided with a gradual decrease in the degree of acceptance of the stored milk samples of both types as shown by sensory scores recorded by the panelists. In either case degree of acceptance was significantly low at late stages of storage and most milk samples became relatively unacceptable after the 18th and 20th week for both untrained and trained panelists respectively.

Keywords: UHT milk, shelf life, quality, gravity, bacteria

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9 A Plasmonic Mass Spectrometry Approach for Detection of Small Nutrients and Toxins

Authors: Haiyang Su, Kun Qian

Abstract:

We developed a novel plasmonic matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) approach to detect small nutrients and toxin in complex biological emulsion samples. We used silver nanoshells (SiO₂@Ag) with optimized structures as matrices and achieved direct analysis of ~6 nL of human breast milk without any enrichment or separation. We performed identification and quantitation of small nutrients and toxins with limit-of-detection down to 0.4 pmol (for melamine) and reaction time shortened to minutes, superior to the conventional biochemical methods currently in use. Our approach contributed to the near-future application of MALDI MS in a broad field and personalized design of plasmonic materials for real case bio-analysis.

Keywords: plasmonic materials, laser desorption/ionization, mass spectrometry, small nutrients, toxins

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8 Comprehensive Microstructural and Thermal Analysis of Nano Intumescent Fire Retardant Coating for Structural Applications

Authors: Hammad Aziz

Abstract:

Intumescent fire retardant coating (IFRC) is applied on the surface of material requiring fire protection. In this research work, IFRC’s were developed using ammonium polyphosphate, expandable graphite, melamine, boric acid, zinc borate, mica, magnesium oxide, and bisphenol A BE-188 with polyamide polyamine H-4014 as curing agent. Formulations were prepared using nano size MgO and compared with control formulation i.e. without nano size MgO. Small scale hydrocarbon fire test was conducted to scrutinize the thermal performance of the coating. Char and coating were further characterized by using FESEM, FTIR, EDS, TGA and DTGA. Thus, Intumescent coatings reinforced with 2 wt. % of nano-MgO (rod shaped particles) provide superior thermal performance and uniform microstructure of char due to well dispersion of nano particles.

Keywords: intumescent coating, char, SEM, TGA

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7 Flame Retardant Study of Methylol Melamine Phosphate-Treated Cotton Fibre

Authors: Nurudeen Afolami Ayeni, Kasali Bello

Abstract:

Methylolmelamine with increasing degree of methylol substitution and the phosphates derivatives were used to resinate cotton fabric (CF). The resination was carried out at different curing time and curing temperature. Generally, the results show a reduction in the flame propagation rate of the treated fabrics compared to the untreated cotton fabric (CF). While the flame retardancy of methylolmelamine-treated fibre could be attributed to the degree of crosslinking of fibre-resin network which promotes stability, the methylolmelamine phosphate-treated fabrics show better retardancy due to the intumescences action of the phosphate resin upon decomposition in the resin – fabric network.

Keywords: cotton fabric, flame retardant, methylolmelamine, crosslinking, resination

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6 Study of the Impact of Quality Management System on Chinese Baby Dairy Product Industries

Authors: Qingxin Chen, Liben Jiang, Andrew Smith, Karim Hadjri

Abstract:

Since 2007, the Chinese food industry has undergone serious food contamination in the baby dairy industry, especially milk powder contamination. One of the milk powder products was found to contain melamine and a significant number (294,000) of babies were affected by kidney stones. Due to growing concerns among consumers about food safety and protection, and high pressure from central government, companies must take radical action to ensure food quality protection through the use of an appropriate quality management system. Previously, though researchers have investigated the health and safety aspects of food industries and products, quality issues concerning food products in China have been largely over-looked. Issues associated with baby dairy products and their quality issues have not been discussed in depth. This paper investigates the impact of quality management systems on the Chinese baby dairy product industry. A literature review was carried out to analyse the use of quality management systems within the Chinese milk power market. Moreover, quality concepts, relevant standards, laws, regulations and special issues (such as Melamine, Flavacin M1 contamination) have been analysed in detail. A qualitative research approach is employed, whereby preliminary analysis was conducted by interview, and data analysis based on interview responses from four selected Chinese baby dairy product companies was carried out. Through the analysis of literature review and data findings, it has been revealed that for quality management system that has been designed by many practitioners, many theories, models, conceptualisation, and systems are present. These standards and procedures should be followed in order to provide quality products to consumers, but the implementation is lacking in the Chinese baby dairy industry. Quality management systems have been applied by the selected companies but the implementation still needs improvement. For instance, the companies have to take measures to improve their processes and procedures with relevant standards. The government need to make more interventions and take a greater supervisory role in the production process. In general, this research presents implications for the regulatory bodies, Chinese Government and dairy food companies. There are food safety laws prevalent in China but they have not been widely practiced by companies. Regulatory bodies must take a greater role in ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. The Chinese government must also play a special role in urging companies to implement relevant quality control processes. The baby dairy companies not only have to accept the interventions from the regulatory bodies and government, they also need to ensure that production, storage, distribution and other processes will follow the relevant rules and standards.

Keywords: baby dairy product, food quality, milk powder contamination, quality management system

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5 Thermally Stable Crystalline Triazine-Based Organic Polymeric Nanodendrites for Mercury(2+) Ion Sensing

Authors: Dimitra Das, Anuradha Mitra, Kalyan Kumar Chattopadhyay

Abstract:

Organic polymers, constructed from light elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur, and boron atoms, are the emergent class of non-toxic, metal-free, environmental benign advanced materials. Covalent triazine-based polymers with a functional triazine group are significant class of organic materials due to their remarkable stability arising out of strong covalent bonds. They can conventionally form hydrogen bonds, favour π–π contacts, and they were recently revealed to be involved in interesting anion–π interactions. The present work mainly focuses upon the development of a single-crystalline, highly cross-linked triazine-based nitrogen-rich organic polymer with nanodendritic morphology and significant thermal stability. The polymer has been synthesized through hydrothermal treatment of melamine and ethylene glycol resulting in cross-polymerization via condensation-polymerization reaction. The crystal structure of the polymer has been evaluated by employing Rietveld whole profile fitting method. The polymer has been found to be composed of monoclinic melamine having space group P21/a. A detailed insight into the chemical structure of the as synthesized polymer has been elucidated by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopic analysis. X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopic (XPS) analysis has also been carried out for further understanding of the different types of linkages required to create the backbone of the polymer. The unique rod-like morphology of the triazine based polymer has been revealed from the images obtained from Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Interestingly, this polymer has been found to selectively detect mercury (Hg²⁺) ions at an extremely low concentration through fluorescent quenching with detection limit as low as 0.03 ppb. The high toxicity of mercury ions (Hg²⁺) arise from its strong affinity towards the sulphur atoms of biological building blocks. Even a trace quantity of this metal is dangerous for human health. Furthermore, owing to its small ionic radius and high solvation energy, Hg²⁺ ions remain encapsulated by water molecules making its detection a challenging task. There are some existing reports on fluorescent-based heavy metal ion sensors using covalent organic frameworks (COFs) but reports on mercury sensing using triazine based polymers are rather undeveloped. Thus, the importance of ultra-trace detection of Hg²⁺ ions with high level of selectivity and sensitivity has contemporary significance. A plausible sensing phenomenon by the polymer has been proposed to understand the applicability of the material as a potential sensor. The impressive sensitivity of the polymer sample towards Hg²⁺ is the very first report in the field of highly crystalline triazine based polymers (without the introduction of any sulphur groups or functionalization) towards mercury ion detection through photoluminescence quenching technique. This crystalline metal-free organic polymer being cheap, non-toxic and scalable has current relevance and could be a promising candidate for Hg²⁺ ion sensing at commercial level.

Keywords: fluorescence quenching , mercury ion sensing, single-crystalline, triazine-based polymer

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4 Modification of Polyurethane Adhesive for OSB/EPS Panel Production

Authors: Stepan Hysek, Premysl Sedivka, Petra Gajdacova

Abstract:

Currently, structural composite materials contain cellulose-based particles (wood chips, fibers) bonded with synthetic adhesives containing formaldehyde (urea-formaldehyde, melamine-formaldehyde adhesives and others). Formaldehyde is classified as a volatile substance with provable carcinogenic effects on live organisms, and an emphasis has been put on continual reduction of its content in products. One potential solution could be the development of an agglomerated material which does not contain adhesives releasing formaldehyde. A potential alternative to formaldehyde-based adhesives could be polyurethane adhesives containing no formaldehyde. Such adhesives have been increasingly used in applications where a few years ago formaldehyde-based adhesives were the only option. Advantages of polyurethane adhesive in comparison with others in the industry include the high elasticity of the joint, which is able to resist dynamic stress, and resistance to increased humidity and climatic effects. These properties predict polyurethane adhesives to be used in OSB/EPS panel production. The objective of this paper is to develop an adhesive for bonding of sandwich panels made of material based on wood and other materials, e.g. SIP) and optimization of input components in order to obtain an adhesive with required properties suitable for bonding of the given materials without involvement of formaldehyde. It was found that polyurethane recyclate as a filler is suitable modification of polyurethane adhesive and results have clearly revealed that modified adhesive can be used for OSB/EPS panel production.

Keywords: adhesive, polyurethane, recyclate, SIP

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3 Highly Active, Non-Platinum Metal Catalyst Material as Bi-Functional Air Cathode in Zinc Air Battery

Authors: Thirupathi Thippani, Kothandaraman Ramanujam

Abstract:

Current research on energy storage has been paid to metal-air batteries, because of attractive alternate energy source for the future. Metal – air batteries have the probability to significantly increase the power density, decrease the cost of energy storage and also used for a long time due to its high energy density, low-level pollution, light weight. The performance of these batteries mostly restricted by the slow kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) on cathode during battery discharge and charge. The ORR and OER are conventionally carried out with precious metals (such as Pt) and metal oxides (such as RuO₂ and IrO₂) as catalysts separately. However, these metal-based catalysts are regularly undergoing some difficulties, including high cost, low selectivity, poor stability and unfavorable to environmental effects. So, in order to develop the active, stable, corrosion resistance and inexpensive bi-functional catalyst material is mandatory for the commercialization of zinc-air rechargeable battery technology. We have attempted and synthesized non-precious metal (NPM) catalysts comprising cobalt and N-doped multiwalled carbon nanotubes (N-MWCNTs-Co) were synthesized by the solid-state pyrolysis (SSP) of melamine with Co₃O₄. N-MWCNTs-Co acts as an excellent electrocatalyst for both the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), and hence can be used in secondary metal-air batteries and in unitized regenerative fuel cells. It is important to study the OER and ORR at high concentrations of KOH as most of the metal-air batteries employ KOH concentrations > 4M. In the first 16 cycles of the zinc-air battery while using N-MWCNTs-Co, 20 wt.% Pt/C or 20 wt.% IrO₂/C as air electrodes. In the ORR regime (the discharge profile of the zinc-air battery), the cell voltage exhibited by N-MWCNTs-Co was 44 and 83 mV higher (based on 5th cycle) in comparison to of 20 wt.% Pt/C and 20 wt.% IrO₂/C respectively. To demonstrate this promise, a zinc-air battery was assembled and tested at a current density of 0.5 Ag⁻¹ for charge-discharge 100 cycles.

Keywords: oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction(OER), non-platinum, zinc air battery

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2 Nanoporous Activated Carbons for Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors

Authors: A. Volperts, G. Dobele, A. Zhurinsh, I. Kruusenberg, A. Plavniece, J. Locs

Abstract:

Nowadays energy consumption constantly increases and development of effective and cheap electrochemical sources of power, such as fuel cells and electrochemical capacitors, is topical. Due to their high specific power, charge and discharge rates, working lifetime supercapacitor based energy accumulation systems are more and more extensively being used in mobile and stationary devices. Lignocellulosic materials are widely used as precursors and account for around 45% of the total raw materials used for the manufacture of activated carbon which is the most suitable material for supercapacitors. First part of our research is devoted to study of influence of main stages of wood thermochemical activation parameters on activated carbons porous structure formation. It was found that the main factors governing the properties of carbon materials are specific surface area, volume and pore size distribution, particles dispersity, ash content and oxygen containing groups content. Influence of activated carbons attributes on capacitance and working properties of supercapacitor are demonstrated. The correlation between activated carbons porous structure indices and electrochemical specifications of supercapacitors with electrodes made from these materials has been determined. It is shown that if synthesized activated carbons are used in supercapacitors then high specific capacitances can be reached – more than 380 F/g in 4.9M sulfuric acid based electrolytes and more than 170 F/g in 1 M tetraethylammonium tetrafluoroborate in acetonitrile electrolyte. Power specifications and minimal price of H₂-O₂ fuel cells are limited by the expensive platinum-based catalysts. The main direction in development of non-platinum catalysts for the oxygen reduction is the study of cheap porous carbonaceous materials which can be obtained by the pyrolysis of polymers including renewable biomass. It is known that nitrogen atoms in carbon materials to a high degree determine properties of the doped activated carbons, such as high electrochemical stability, hardness, electric resistance, etc. The lack of sufficient knowledge on the doping of the carbon materials calls for the ongoing researches of properties and structure of modified carbon matrix. In the second part of this study, highly porous activated carbons were synthesized using alkali thermochemical activation from wood, cellulose and cellulose production residues – craft lignin and sewage sludge. Activated carbon samples were doped with dicyandiamide and melamine for the application as fuel cell cathodes. Conditions of nitrogen introduction (solvent, treatment temperature) and its content in the carbonaceous material, as well as porous structure characteristics, such as specific surface and pore size distribution, were studied. It was found that efficiency of doping reaction depends on the elemental oxygen content in the activated carbon. Relationships between nitrogen content, porous structure characteristics and electrodes electrochemical properties are demonstrated.

Keywords: activated carbons, low-temperature fuel cells, nitrogen doping, porous structure, supercapacitors

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1 Investigation of Delamination Process in Adhesively Bonded Hardwood Elements under Changing Environmental Conditions

Authors: M. M. Hassani, S. Ammann, F. K. Wittel, P. Niemz, H. J. Herrmann

Abstract:

Application of engineered wood, especially in the form of glued-laminated timbers has increased significantly. Recent progress in plywood made of high strength and high stiffness hardwoods, like European beech, gives designers in general more freedom by increased dimensional stability and load-bearing capacity. However, the strong hygric dependence of basically all mechanical properties renders many innovative ideas futile. The tendency of hardwood for higher moisture sorption and swelling coefficients lead to significant residual stresses in glued-laminated configurations, cross-laminated patterns in particular. These stress fields cause initiation and evolution of cracks in the bond-lines resulting in: interfacial de-bonding, loss of structural integrity, and reduction of load-carrying capacity. Subsequently, delamination of glued-laminated timbers made of hardwood elements can be considered as the dominant failure mechanism in such composite elements. In addition, long-term creep and mechano-sorption under changing environmental conditions lead to loss of stiffness and can amplify delamination growth over the lifetime of a structure even after decades. In this study we investigate the delamination process of adhesively bonded hardwood (European beech) elements subjected to changing climatic conditions. To gain further insight into the long-term performance of adhesively bonded elements during the design phase of new products, the development and verification of an authentic moisture-dependent constitutive model for various species is of great significance. Since up to now, a comprehensive moisture-dependent rheological model comprising all possibly emerging deformation mechanisms was missing, a 3D orthotropic elasto-plastic, visco-elastic, mechano-sorptive material model for wood, with all material constants being defined as a function of moisture content, was developed. Apart from the solid wood adherends, adhesive layer also plays a crucial role in the generation and distribution of the interfacial stresses. Adhesive substance can be treated as a continuum layer constructed from finite elements, represented as a homogeneous and isotropic material. To obtain a realistic assessment on the mechanical performance of the adhesive layer and a detailed look at the interfacial stress distributions, a generic constitutive model including all potentially activated deformation modes, namely elastic, plastic, and visco-elastic creep was developed. We focused our studies on the three most common adhesive systems for structural timber engineering: one-component polyurethane adhesive (PUR), melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF), and phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde (PRF). The corresponding numerical integration approaches, with additive decomposition of the total strain are implemented within the ABAQUS FEM environment by means of user subroutine UMAT. To predict the true stress state, we perform a history dependent sequential moisture-stress analysis using the developed material models for both wood substrate and adhesive layer. Prediction of the delamination process is founded on the fracture mechanical properties of the adhesive bond-line, measured under different levels of moisture content and application of the cohesive interface elements. Finally, we compare the numerical predictions with the experimental observations of de-bonding in glued-laminated samples under changing environmental conditions.

Keywords: engineered wood, adhesive, material model, FEM analysis, fracture mechanics, delamination

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