Biochar obtained from the thermal conversion of biomass has high potential as a substitute material for activated carbon and other carbon-based materials because it is economical, environmentally friendly, and carbon-neutral. The physicochemical properties of biochar can also be controlled by a range of activation methods such as physical, chemical, and hydrothermal treatments. Activated biochar can be used as a catalyst for the catalytic pyrolysis of a biomass and as an absorbent for the removal of heavy metal ions and atmospheric pollutants. The applications of biochar are also expanding not only as a key component in producing energy storage materials, such as supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, and fuel cells, but also in carbon capture and storage. This paper reviews the recent progress on the activation of biochar and its diverse present and future applications.
Milled carbon fiber (mCF) was prepared by a ball milling process, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) diffractograms were obtained by a 2θ continuous scanning analysis to study mCF crystallinity as a function of milling time. The raw material for the mCF was polyacrylonitrile- based carbon fiber (T700). As the milling time increased, the mean particle size of the mCF consistently decreased, reaching 1.826 μm at a milling time of 18 h. The XRD analysis showed that, as the milling time increased, the fraction of the crystalline carbon decreased, while the fraction of the amorphous carbon increased. The (002) peak became asymmetric before and after milling as the left side of the peak showed an increasingly gentle slope. For analysis, the asymmetric (002) peak was deconvoluted into two peaks, less-developed crystalline carbon (LDCC) and more-developed crystalline carbon. In both peaks, Lc decreased and d002 increased, but no significant change was observed after 6 h of milling time. In addition, the fraction of LDCC increased. As the milling continued, the mCF became more amorphous, possibly due to damage to the crystal lattices by the milling.
Pollution of chloride ion-reinforced concrete can trigger active corrosion processes that reduce the useful life of structures. Multifunctional materials used as a counter-electrode by electrochemical techniques have been used to rehabilitate contaminated concrete. Cement-based pastes added to carbonaceous material, fibers or dust, have been used as an anode in the non-destructive Electrochemical Chloride Extraction (ECE) technique. We studied the performance of the addition of Carbon Fiber (CF) in a cement-graphite powder base paste used as an anode in ECE of concretes contaminated with chlorides from the preparation of the mixture. The experimental parameters were: 2.3% of free chlorides, 21 days of ECE application, a Carbon Fiber Volume Fraction (CFVF) of 0.1, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9%, a lithium borate alkaline electrolyte, a current density of 4.0 A / m2 and a cement/graphite ratio of 1.0 for the paste. The efficiency of the ECE in the traditional technique using metal mesh as an anode was 77.6% and for CFVF of 0.9% it was 90.4%, with a tendency to increase to higher percentages of the CFVF in the conductive cement-graphite paste, keeping the pH stable and achieving a homogeneous ECE in the mass of the concrete contaminated with chlorides.
The dielectric medium used in electrophoretic displays (EPDs) is required to be an environmentally friendly solvent with high density, low viscosity, and a large electric constant. Hydrofluoroether, a highly fluorinated solvent with eco-friendly characteristics, is regarded as a viable alternative medium for EPDs, owing to the similarity of its physical properties to those of the conventional EPD medium. Surface modification of particles is required, however, in order for it to disperse in the charged solvent. Also, positive/negative charges should be present on the particle surface to enable electrophoretic behavior. In this study, carbon black particles wrapped with positively charged nitrogen (N-CBs) were fabricated by a simple hydrothermal process using a poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) solution as a black coloring agent for the EPD. The dispersion behavior of N-CBs was investigated in various solvents.
Adsorption is one of the best methods for wastewater purification. The fact that water quality is continuously decreasing requires the development of novel, effective and cost available adsorbents. Herein, a simple procedure for the preparation of a magnetic adsorbent from agricultural waste biomass and ferrofluid has been introduced. Specifically, ferrofluid mixed with wheat straw was directly pyrolyzed either by microwave irradiation (900 W, 30 min) or by conventional heating (550°C, 90 min). Magnetic biochars were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, textural analysis and tested as adsorbents of As(V) oxyanion and cationic methylene blue, respectively. Results showed that microwave pyrolysis produced char with high adsorption capacity of As(V) (Qm= 25.6 mg g–1 at pH 4), whereas conventional pyrolysis was not so effective. In comparison to conventional pyrolysis, one-step microwave pyrolysis produced a material with expressive microporosity, having a nine times higher value of specific surface area as well as total pore volume. We assumed that sorption properties are also caused by several iron-bearing composites identified by Mössbauer spectroscopy ([super] paramagnetic Fe2O3, α-Fe, non-stoichiometric Fe3C, γ-Fe2O3, γ-Fe) transformed from nano-maghemite presented in the ferrofluid. Methylene blue was also more easily removed by magnetic biochar prepared by microwaves (Qm=144.9 mg g–1 at pH 10.9) compared to using conventional techniques.
In this research, a novel and efficient quinoline thioacetamide functionalized magnetic graphene oxide composite (GO@Fe3O4@QTA) was synthesized and utilized for dispersive magnetic solid phase preconcentration of Cd(II) and Ni(II) ions in urine and various food samples. A number of diverse methods were employed for characterization of the new nanosorbent. The design of experiments approach and response surface methodology were applied to monitor and find the parameters that affect the extraction performance. After sorption and elution steps, the concentrations of target analytes were measured by employing FAAS. The highest extraction performance was achieved under the following experimental conditions: pH, 5.8; sorption time, 6.0 min; GO@Fe3O4@QTA amount, 17 mg; 2.4 mL 1.1 mol L-l HNO3 solution as the eluent and elution time, 13.0 min. The detection limit is 0.02 and 0.2 ng mL-1 for Cd(II), and Ni(II) ions, respectively. The accuracy of the new method was investigated by analyzing two certified reference materials (sea food mix, Seronorm LOT NO 2525 urine powder). The interfering study revealed that there are no interferences from commonly occurring ions on the extractability of target ions. Finally, the new method was satisfactorily employed for rapid extraction and determination of target ions in urine and various food samples.
An electroless deposition method was used to modify the surface properties of rice husk ceramic particles (RHC) by depositing nano-nickel on the surface of the RHC (Ni-RHC). The dry tribological performances of aluminum matrix composite adobes containing different contents of RHC and Ni-RHC particles have been investigated using a micro-tribometer. Results showed that the Ni–RHC particles substantially improved both the friction and wear properties of the Ni-RHC/aluminum matrix adobes. The optimal concentration was determined to be 15 wt% for both the RHC and Ni–RHC particles. The improvements in the tribological properties of aluminum adobes including the Ni-RHC were ascribed to frictioninduced peeling off of Ni coating and formation of protection layer on the wear zone, both of which led to low friction and wear volume.
Comprehensive calculations of the Rh decoration effect on zigzag CNTs with n ranging from 7 to 12 were conducted in this work to understand the effect of Rh doping on geometric structures and electronic behaviors upon metallic and semiconducting CNTs. The obtained results indicated that Rh dopant not only contributes to the deformation of C-C bonds on the sidewall of CNTs, but also transforms the electron distribution of related complexes, thereby leading to a remarkable increase of the conductivity of pure CNTs given the emerged novel state within the energy gap for metallic CNTs and the narrowed energy gap for semiconducting CNTs. Our calculations will be meaningful for exploiting novel CNT-based materials with better sensitivity to electrons and higher electrical conductivity compared with pure CNTs.
We assessed the effects of combining bio-char with straw residue mulching on the loss of soil soluble nutrients and citrus yield in sloping land. The two-year study showed that straw residue mulching (ST) and bio-char application combined with straw residue (ST+BC) can significantly reduce soil soluble nutrient loss when compared with the control treatment (CK). The comparative volume of the soil surface runoff after each of the treatments was as follows: CK > ST > ST + BC. Compared with the CK, the runoff volume of the ST was reduced by 13.6 % and 8.5 % in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Compared with the CK, combining bio-char with the ST application reduced the loss of soluble nitrogen and improved the soil total nitrogen content reaching a significant level in 2015. It dramatically increased the soil organic matter content over the two year period (36.3% in 2014, 50.6% in 2015) as well as the carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) (16.6% in 2014 and 39.3% in 2015). Straw mulching combined with bio-char showed a trend for increasing the citrus yield.
The South Korean Ministry of the Environment has revised the laws relating to the management of interior air quality for multiple use facilities, and recommends maintaining carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in passenger vehicles below 1000 ppm during operation in urban areas of large cities. However, the interior CO2 concentration of passenger vehicles can rapidly increase and exceed 5000 ppm within 30 min, as observed when two passengers are traveling in urban areas of the South Korean city of Jeonju with the air conditioner blower turned off and the actuator mode set to internal circulation mode. With four passengers, CO2 concentration can reach up to 6000 ppm within 10 min. To counter this, when the actuator is set to external mode, CO2 concentration can be maintained below 1000 ppm, even after a long period of running time. As part of the air conditioning system, alkali-treated activated carbon fiber filters are considered to be far superior to the commercial non-woven filters or combination filters currently commonly in use.
Morphological differences in multi-layered graphene flakes or graphene nanoplatelets prepared by oxidative (rGO-NP, reduced graphene oxide-nanoplatelets) and non-oxidative (GIC-NP, graphite intercalation compound-nanoplatelets) routes were investigated with various analytical methods. Both types of NPs have similar specific surface areas but very different structural differences. Therefore, this study proposes an effective and simple method to identify structural differences in graphene-like allotropes. The adsorptive potential peaks of rGO-NP attained by the density functional theory method were found to be more scattered over the basal and non-basal regions than those of GIC-NP. Raman spectra and high resolution TEM images showed more distinctive crystallographic defects in the rGO-NP than in the GIC-NP. Because the R-ratio values of the edge and basal plane of the sample were maintained and relatively similar in the rGO-NP (0.944 for edge & 1.026 for basal), the discrepancy between those values in the GIC-NP were found to be much greater (0.918 for edge & 0.164 for basal). The electrical conductivity results showed a remarkable gap between the rGO-NP and GIC-NP attributed to their inherent morphological and crystallographic properties.
This manuscript explains the effective determination of urea by redox cyclic voltammetric analysis, for which a modified polypyrrole-graphene oxide (PPY-GO, GO 20% w/w of PPY) nanocomposite electrode was developed. Cyclic voltammetry measurements revealed an effective electron transfer in 0.1 M KOH electrolytic solution in the potential window range of 0 to 0.6 V. This PPY-GO modified electrode exhibited a moderate electrocatalytic effect towards urea oxidation, thereby allowing its determination in an electrolytic solution. The linear dependence of the current vs. urea concentration was reached using square-wave voltammetry in the concentration range of urea between 0.5 to 3.0 μM with a relatively low limit of detection of 0.27 μM. The scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the morphologies and properties of the nanocomposite layer, along with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results indicated that the nanocomposite film modified electrode exhibited a synergistic effect, including high conductivity, a fast electron-transfer rate, and an inherent catalytic ability.