Public concern has recently increased over the potential risk of toxic elements emitted from anthropogenic sources. Among these, mercury has drawn special attention owing to its increasing level of bioaccumulation in the environment and in the food chain, with potential risks for human health. This paper presents an overview of research related to mercury control technology and identifies areas requiring additional research and development. It critically reviews measured mercury emissions progress in the development of promising control technologies, including catalytic oxidation, sorbent injection, photochemistry oxidation, and air pollution control devices.
Kenaf fibers, cellulose-based natural fibers, were used as precursor for preparing kenafbased carbon fibers. The effects of carbonization temperature (700oC to 1100oC) and chemical pre-treatment (NaOH and NH4Cl) at various concentrations on the thermal change,chemical composition and fiber morphology of kenaf-based carbon fibers were investigated.
Remarkable weight loss and longitudinal shrinkage were found to occur during the thermal conversion from kenaf precursor to kenaf-based carbon fiber, depending on the carbonization temperature. It was noted that the alkali pre-treatment of kenaf with NaOH played a role in reducing the weight loss and the longitudinal shrinkage and also in increasing the carbon content of kenaf-based carbon fibers. The number and size of the cells and the fiber diameter were reduced with increasing carbonization temperature. Morphological observations implied that the micrometer-sized cells were combined or fused and then re-organized with the neighboring cells during the carbonization process. By the pre-treatment of kenaf with 10 and 15 wt% NaOH solutions and the subsequent carbonization process, the inner cells completely disappeared through the transverse direction of the kenaf fiber, resulting in the fiber densification. It was noticeable that the alkali pre-treatment of the kenaf fibers prior to carbonization contributed to the forming of kenaf-based carbon fibers.
Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) composites with various graphite oxide (GO) contents (0 to 10 wt%) were prepared by sonicating the mixture of PVA and GO, followed by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. GO was pre-treated with oxyfluorination (O2:F2 = 8:2) in order to modify the surface of GO to allow it to carry hydrophilic functional groups. PVA/GO composite hydrogels were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR). The morphology of the PVA/GO composite hydrogels and the variations in soluble gel portion were investigated under various GO contents and UV irradiation doses. The variation in the chemical structure of photo degraded PVA/GO composite hydrogels was studied by FT-IR. The photochemical stability of PVA/GO composite hydrogels under UV irradiation was found to improve noticeably with increasing content of uniformly dispersed GO.
Bagasse fly ash (BFA) is one of the important wastes generated in the sugar industry; it has been studied as a prospective low-cost adsorbent in the removal of congo red (CR) from aqueous solutions. Chemical treatment with H2O2 was applied in order to modify the adsorbability of the raw BFA. Batch studies were performed to evaluate the influence of various experimental parameters such as dye solution pH, contact time, adsorbent dose, and temperature.
Both the adsorbents were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer,energy-dispersive X-ray spectrophotometer and nitrogen adsorption at 77 K. Equilibrium isotherms for the adsorption of CR were analyzed by Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin models using non-linear regression technique. Intraparticle diffusion seems to control the CR removal process. The obtained experimental data can be well described by Langmuir and also followed second order kinetic models. The calculated thermodynamic parameters indicate the feasibility of the adsorption process for the studied adsorbents. The results indicate that BFA can be efficiently used for the treatment of waste water containing dyes.
Activated carbon was prepared from pre-carbonized petroleum coke. Textural properties were determined from studies of the adsorption of nitrogen at 77 K and the surface chemistry was obtained using the Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer technique and the Boehm titration process. The adsorption of three aromatic compounds, namely phenol (P), p-nitrophenol (PNP) and benzoic acid (BA) onto APC in aqueous solution was studied in a batch system with respect to contact time, pH, initial concentration of solutes and temperature. Active carbon APC obtained was found to possess a high surface area and a predominantly microporous structure; it also had an acidic surface character. The experimental data fitted the pseudo-second-order kinetic model well; also, the intraparticle diffusion was the only controlling process in determining the adsorption of the three pollutants investigated. The adsorption data fit well with the Langmuir and Freundlich models. The uptake of the three pollutants was found to be strongly dependent on the pH value and the temperature of the solution. Most of the experiments were conducted at pH 7; the pH(PZC) of the active carbon under study was 5.0; the surface of the active carbon was negatively charged. The thermodynamic parameters evaluated for APC revealed that the adsorption of P was spontaneous and exothermic in nature, while PNP and BA showed no-spontaneity of the adsorption process and that process was endothermic in nature.
Conducting polymer-coated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were prepared by template polymerization in order to enhance their gas sensitivity. This investigation of the conducting polymer phases that formed on the surface of the MWCNTs is based on field-emission scanning electron microscopy images. The thermal stability of the conducting polymer-coated MWCNTs was significantly improved by the high thermal stability of MWCNTs. The synergistic effects of the conducting polymer-coated MWCNTs improve the gas-sensing properties. MWCNTs coated with polyaniline uniformly show outstanding improvement in gas sensitivity to NH3 due to the synergistic combination of efficient adsorption of NH3 gas and variation in the conduction of electrons.
Petroleum pitch-based activated carbons (ACs) were obtained in this work from a combination of pretreatment with different amounts of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and chemical activation with potassium hydroxide. The surface characteristics of the pitch after the KMnO4 pretreatment were characterized by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The structural characteristics of the pitch after the KMnO4 pretreatment were determined by means of X-ray diffraction. The influence of the KMnO4 treatment on the textural properties of the petroleum pitch-based ACs was investigated by means of N2/77K adsorption isotherms. The investigation also involved the use of the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller equation and the Dubinin-Radushkevich method. The FT-IR results show that the pretreatment promotes the formation of surface oxygen functionalities and leads to an increase of the interplanar distance (d002) of the functional groups induced between carbon layers. Moreover, the specific surface area of the pitch-based ACs increases in proportion to the amount of KMnO4 pretreatment and reaches its highest value of 2334 m2/g with 2 g of KMnO4 because the surface oxygen groups of the pitch act as an active site during chemical activation.
Polyacrylonitrile-based carbon nanofibers (CNFs) containing Ti and Mn were prepared by electrospinning. The effect of metal content on the hydrogen storage capacity of the nanofibers was evaluated. The nanofibers containing Ti and Mn exhibited maximum hydrogen adsorption capacities of 1.6 and 1.1 wt%, respectively, at 303 K and 9 MPa. Toward the development of an improved hydrogen storage system, the optimum conditions for the production of metalized CNFs were investigated by characterizing the specific surface areas,pore volumes, sizes, and shapes of the fibers. According to the results of Brunauer-Emmett-Teller analysis, the activation of the CNFs using potassium hydroxide resulted in a large pore volume and specific surface area in the samples. This is attributable to the optimized pore structure of the metal-containing polyacrylonitrile-based electrospun CNFs, which may provide better sites for hydrogen adsorption than do current adsorbates.
The use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as a reinforcing material in a polymer matrix has increased in various industries. In this study, the flexural behavior of CNT-modified epoxy/basalt (CNT/epoxy/basalt) composites is investigated. The effects of CNT modification with silane on the flexural properties of CNT/epoxy/basalt composites were also examined.
Flexural tests were performed using epoxy/basalt, oxidized CNT/epoxy/basalt, and silanized CNT/epoxy/basalt multi-scale composites. After the flexural tests, the fracture surfaces of the specimens were examined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate the fracture mechanisms of the CNT/epoxy/basalt multi-scale composites with respect to the CNT modification process. The flexural properties of the epoxy/basalt composites were improved by the addition of CNTs. The flexural modulus and strength of the silane-treated CNT/epoxy/basalt multi-scale composites increased by approximately 54% and 34%, respectively,compared to those of epoxy/basalt composites. A SEM examination of the fracture surfaces revealed that the improvement in the flexural properties of the silane-treated CNT/epoxy/basalt multi-scale composites could be attributed to the improved dispersion of the CNTs in the epoxy.
Li metal is accepted as a good counter electrode for electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) as the active material in Li-ion and Li-ion polymer batteries. We examined the existence of signal noise from a Li-metal counter quantitatively as a preliminary study. We suggest an electrochemical cell with one switchable electrode to obtain the exact impedance signal of active materials. To verify the effectiveness of the switchable electrode, EIS measurements of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) before severe Li+ intercalation to SFG6 graphite (at > ca. 0.25 V vs. Li/Li+) were taken. As a result, the EIS spectra without the signal of Li metal were obtained and analyzed successfully for the following parameters i) Li+ conduction in the electrolyte, ii) the geometric resistance and constant phase element of the electrode (insensitive to the voltage), iii) the interfacial behavior of the SEI related to the Li+ transfer and residence throughout the near-surface (sensitive to voltage), and iv) the term reflecting the differential limiting capacitance of Li+ in the graphite lattice.