Debabrata Pradhan


1 Microbial Leaching Process to Recover Valuable Metals from Spent Petroleum Catalyst Using Iron Oxidizing Bacteria

Authors: Debabrata Pradhan, Dong J. Kim, Jong G. Ahn, Seoung W. Lee


Spent petroleum catalyst from Korean petrochemical industry contains trace amount of metals such as Ni, V and Mo. Therefore an attempt was made to recover those trace metal using bioleaching process. Different leaching parameters such as Fe(II) concentration, pulp density, pH, temperature and particle size of spent catalyst particle were studied to evaluate their effects on the leaching efficiency. All the three metal ions like Ni, V and Mo followed dual kinetics, i.e., initial faster followed by slower rate. The percentage of leaching efficiency of Ni and V were higher than Mo. The leaching process followed a diffusion controlled model and the product layer was observed to be impervious due to formation of ammonium jarosite (NH4)Fe3(SO4)2(OH)6. In addition, the lower leaching efficiency of Mo was observed due to a hydrophobic coating of elemental sulfur over Mo matrix in the spent catalyst.

Keywords: Bioleaching, diffusion control, shrinking core, spentpetroleum catalyst

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2 WO₃-SnO₂ Sensors for Selective Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds for Breath Analysis

Authors: Debabrata Pradhan, Arpan Kumar Nayak


A simple, single-step and one-pot hydrothermal method was employed to synthesize WO₃-SnO₂ mixed nanostructured metal oxides at 200°C in 12h. The SnO₂ nanoparticles were found to be uniformly decorated on the WO₃ nanoplates. Though it is widely known that noble metals such as Pt, Pd doping or decoration on metal oxides improve the sensing response and sensitivity, we varied the SnO₂ concentration in the WO₃-SnO₂ mixed oxide and demonstrated their performance in ammonia, ethanol and acetone sensing. The sensing performance of WO₃-(x)SnO₂ [x = 0.27, 0.54, 1.08] mixed nanostructured oxides was found to be not only superior to that of pristine oxides but also higher/better than that of reported noble metal-based sensors. The sensing properties (selectivity, limit of detection, response and recovery times) are measured as a function of operating temperature (150-350°C). In particular, the gas selectivity is found to be highly temperature-dependent with optimum performance obtained at 200°C, 300°C and 350°C for ammonia, ethanol, and acetone, respectively. The present results on cost effective WO₃-SnO₂ sensors can find potential application in human breath analysis by noninvasive detection.

Keywords: Ethanol, Ammonia, Mixed Oxides, acetone, gas sensing, nanoplates

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1 Polypyrrole Integrated MnCo2O4 Nanorods Hybrid as Electrode Material for High Performance Supercapacitor

Authors: Debabrata Pradhan, Santimoy Khilari


Ever−increasing energy demand and growing energy crisis along with environmental issues emphasize the research on sustainable energy conversion and storage systems. Recently, supercapacitors or electrochemical capacitors emerge as a promising energy storage technology for future generation. The activity of supercapacitors generally depends on the efficiency of its electrode materials. So, the development of cost−effective efficient electrode materials for supercapacitors is one of the challenges to the scientific community. Transition metal oxides with spinel crystal structure receive much attention for different electrochemical applications in energy storage/conversion devices because of their improved performance as compared to simple oxides. In the present study, we have synthesized polypyrrole (PPy) supported manganese cobaltite nanorods (MnCo2O4 NRs) hybrid electrode material for supercapacitor application. The MnCo2O4 NRs were synthesized by a simple hydrothermal and calcination approach. The MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid was prepared by in situ impregnation of MnCo2O4 NRs during polymerization of pyrrole. The surface morphology and microstructure of as−synthesized samples was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, respectively. The crystallographic phase of MnCo2O4 NRs, PPy and hybrid was determined by X-ray diffraction. Electrochemical charge storage activity of MnCo2O4 NRs, PPy and MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid was evaluated from cyclic voltammetry, chronopotentiometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Significant improvement of specific capacitance was achieved in MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid as compared to the individual components. Furthermore, the mechanically mixed MnCo2O4 NRs, and PPy shows lower specific capacitance as compared to MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid suggesting the importance of in situ hybrid preparation. The stability of as prepared electrode materials was tested by cyclic charge-discharge measurement for 1000 cycles. Maximum 94% capacitance was retained with MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid electrode. This study suggests that MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy hybrid can be used as a low cost electrode material for charge storage in supercapacitors.

Keywords: Supercapacitors, nanorods, polypyrrole, spinel, MnCo2O4

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