Carbon blacks (CBs) have been widely used as reinforcing materials in advanced rubber composites. The mechanical properties of CB-reinforced rubber composites are mostly controlled by the extent of interfacial adhesion between the CBs and the rubber. Surface treatments are generally performed on CBs to introduce chemical functional groups on its surface. In this study, we review the effects of various surface treatment methods for CBs. In addition, the preparation and properties of CB-reinforced rubber composites are discussed.
Monolithic carbon foams with hierarchical porosity were prepared from polyurethane templates and resol precursors. Mesoporosity was achieved through the use of soft templating with surfactant Pluronic F127, and macroporosity from the polyurethane foams was retained. Conditions to obtain high porosity materials were optimized. The best materials have high specific surface areas (380 and 582 m2 g–1, respectively) and high electrical conductivity, which make them good candidates for supports in sensors. These materials showed an almost linear dependence between the potential and the pH of aqueous solutions.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fibers have high specific strength, elastic modulus, thermal resistance, and thermal conductivity. Due to these properties, they have been increasingly widely used in various spheres including leisure, aviation, aerospace, military, and energy applications. However, if exposed to air at high temperatures, they are oxidized, thus weakening the properties of carbon fibers and carbon composite materials. As such, it is important to understand the oxidation reactions of carbon fibers, which are often used as a reinforcement for composite materials. PAN-based carbon fibers T300 and T700 were isothermally oxidized in air, and microstructural changes caused by oxidation reactions were examined. The results showed a decrease in the rate of oxidation with increasing burn-off for both T300 and T700 fibers. The rate of oxidation of T300 fibers was two times faster than that of T700 fibers. The diameter of T700 fibers decreased linearly with increasing burn-off. The diameter of T300 also decreased with increasing burn-off but at slower rates over time. Cross-sectional observations after oxidation reactions revealed hollow cores in the longitudinal direction for both T300 and T700 fibers. The formation of hollow cores after oxidation can be traced to differences in the fabrication process such as the starting material and final heat treatment temperature.
High pollutant-loading capacities (up to 319 times its own weight) are achieved by three-dimensional (3D) macroporous, slightly reduced graphene oxide (srGO) sorbents, which are prepared through ice-templating and consecutive thermal reduction. The reduction of the srGO is readily controlled by heating time under a mild condition (at 1 10–2 Torr and 200°C). The saturated sorption capacity of the hydrophilic srGO sorbent (thermally reduced for 1 h) could not be improved further even though the samples were reduced for 10 h to achieve the hydrophobic surface. The large meso- and macroporosity of the srGO sorbent, which is achieved by removing the residual water and the hydroxyl groups, is crucial for achieving the enhanced capacity. In particular, a systematic study on absorption parameters indicates that the open porosity of the 3D srGO sorbents significantly contributes to the physical loading of oils and organic solvents on the hydrophilic surface. Therefore, this study provides insight into the absorption behavior of highly macroporous graphene-based macrostructures and hence paves the way to development of promising next-generation sorbents for removal of oils and organic solvent pollutants.
Well-dispersed Ag3VO4 nanoparticles @polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers were synthesized by an easily controlled, template-free method as a photo-catalyst for the degradation of methylene blue. Their structural, optical, and photocatalytic properties have been studied by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy equipped with rapid energy dispersive analysis of X-ray, photoluminescence, and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy. The characterization procedures revealed that the obtained material is PAN nanofibers decorated by Ag3VO4 nanoparticles. Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue investigated in an aqueous solution under irradiation showed 99% degradation of the dye within 75 min. Finally, the antibacterial performance of Ag3VO4 nanoparticles @PAN composite nanofibers was experimentally verified by the destruction of Escherichia coli. These results suggest that the developed inexpensive and functional nanomaterials can serve as a non-precious catalyst for environmental applications.
Graphene was grown on molybdenum (Mo) foil by a chemical vapor deposition method at different growth temperatures (1000°C, 1100°C, and 1200°C). The properties of graphene were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the quality of the deposited graphene layer was affected by the growth temperature. XRD results showed the presence of a carbide phase on the Mo surface; the presence of carbide was more intense at 1200°C. Additionally, a higher I2D/IG ratio (0.418) was observed at 1200°C, which implies that there are fewer graphene layers at this temperature. The lowest ID/IG ratio (0.908) for the graphene layers was obtained at 1200°C, suggesting that graphene had fewer defects at this temperature. The size of the graphene domains was also calculated. We found that by increasing the growth temperature, the graphene domain size also increased.
Sulphonated polysulphone (SPS) has been synthesized and subsequently applied as binder for graphene oxide (GO)-based electrodes for development of electrochemical supercapacitors. Electrochemical performance of the electrode was investigated using cyclic voltammetry in 1M Na2SO4 and 1M KOH solution. The fabricated supercapacitors gave a specific capacitance of 161.6 and 216.8 F/g with 215.4 W/kg and 450 W/kg of power density, in 1M Na2SO4 and 1M KOH solutions, respectively. This suggests that KOH is a better electrolyte than Na2SO4 for studying the electrochemical behavior of electroactive material, and also suggests SPS is a good binder for fabrication of a GO based electrode.
Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) produced using municipal solid waste was pyrolyzed to produce RDF char. For the first time, the RDF char was used to remove aqueous copper, a representative heavy metal water pollutant. Activation of the RDF char using steam and KOH treatments was performed to change the specific surface area, pore volume, and the metal cation quantity of the char. N2 sorption, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the char. The optimum pH for copper removal was shown to be 5.5, and the steam-treated char displayed the best copper removal capability. Ion exchange between copper ions and alkali/alkaline metal cations was the most important mechanism of copper removal by RDF char, followed by adsorption on functional groups existing on the char surface. The copper adsorption behavior was represented well by a pseudo-second-order kinetics model and the Langmuir isotherm. The maximum copper removal capacity was determined to be 38.17 mg/g, which is larger than those of other low-cost char adsorbents reported previously.
Cellulose fibers were stabilized by treatment with an electron-beam (E-beam). The properties of the stabilized fibers were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The E-beam-stabilized cellulose fibers were carbonized in N2 gas at 800°C for 1 h, and their carbonization yields were measured. The structure of the cellulose fibers was determined to have changed to hemicellulose and cross-linked cellulose as a result of the E-beam stabilization. The hemicellulose decreased the initial decomposition temperature, and the cross-linked bonds increased the carbonization yield of the cellulose fibers. Increasing the absorbed E-beam dose to 1500 kGy increased the carbonization yield of the cellulose-based carbon fiber by 27.5% upon exposure compared to untreated cellulose fibers.