32,036 research outputs found

    Self-Driven Sustainable Oil Separation from Water Surfaces by Biomimetic Adsorbing and Transporting Materials

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    Oil films on water are an increasingly major contamination problem worldwide. In 2020, we published a novel adsorption and transportation technology for oil–water separation based on biological role models like the floating fern Salvinia. This application provides an unexpected ability for the fast and efficient removal of oil films, particularly in ecologically important freshwater biota. A single small Bionic Oil Adsorber (BOA) with 1 m2^2 functional textile can collect up to 4 L of oil per hour, which equals about 100 m2^2 of oil film from a water surface into a collecting vessel. This is a safe, fast, and sustainable solution for the ubiquitous contaminations of, e.g., fuel oil in freshwater environments. Here, we present updated, new experimental data, and a review of the literature published since

    Advanced 3D Electrospinning “Xspin” System: Fabrication of Bifiber Floating Oral Pharmaceutical Scaffolds for Controlled Drug Delivery

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    Electrospinning has become a widely used and efficient method for manufacturing nanofibers from diverse polymers. This study introduces an advanced electrospinning technique, Xspin - a multi-functional 3D printing platform coupled with electrospinning system, integrating a customised 3D printhead, MaGIC - Multi-channeled and Guided Inner Controlling printheads. The Xspin system represents a cutting-edge fusion of electrospinning and 3D printing technologies within the realm of pharmaceutical sciences and biomaterials. This innovative platform excels in the production of novel fiber with various materials and allows for the creation of highly customized fiber structures, a capability hitherto unattainable through conventional electrospinning methodologies. By integrating the benefits of electrospinning with the precision of 3D printing, the Xspin system offers enhanced control over the scaffold morphology and drug release kinetics. Herein, we fabricated a model floating pharmaceutical dosage for the dual delivery of curcumin and ritonavir and thoroughly characterized the product. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy demonstrated that curcumin chemically reacted with the polymer during the Xspin process. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) confirmed the solid-state properties of the active pharmaceutical ingredient after Xspin processing. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the surface morphology of the Xspin-produced fibers, confirming the presence of the bifiber structure. To optimize the quality and diameter control of the electrospun fibers, a design of experiment (DoE) approach based on quality by design (QbD) principles was utilized. The bifibers expanded to approximately 10–11 times their original size after freeze-drying and effectively entrapped 87% curcumin and 84% ritonavir. In vitro release studies demonstrated that the Xspin system released 35% more ritonavir than traditional pharmaceutical pills in 2 h, with curcumin showing complete release in pH 1.2 in 5 min, simulating stomach media. Furthermore, the absorption rate of curcumin was controlled by the characteristics of the linked polymer, which enables both drugs to be absorbed at the desired time. Additionally, multivariate statistical analyses (ANOVA, pareto chart, etc.) were conducted to gain better insights and understanding of the results such as discern statistical differences among the studied groups. Overall, the Xspin system shows significant potential for manufacturing nanofiber pharmaceutical dosages with precise drug release capabilities, offering new opportunities for controlled drug delivery applications

    The emergence of nanocellulose aerogels in CO2 adsorption

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    Mitigating the effect of climate change toward a sustainable development is one of the main challenges of our century. The emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), is a leading cause of the global warming crisis. To address this issue, various sustainable strategies have been formulated for CO2 capture. Renewable nanocellulose aerogels have risen as a highly attractive candidate for CO2 capture thanks to their porous and surface-tunable nature. Nanocellulose offer distinctive characteristics, including significant aspect ratios, exceptional biodegradability, lightweight nature, and the ability for chemical modification due to the abundant presence of hydroxyl groups. In this review, recent research studies on nanocellulose-based aerogels designed for CO2 absorption have been highlighted. The state-of-the-art of nanocellulose-based aerogel has been thoroughly assessed, including their synthesis, drying methods, and characterization techniques. Additionally, discussions were held about the mechanisms of CO2 adsorption, the effects of the porous structure, surface functionalization, and experimental parameters. Ultimately, this synthesis review provides an overview of the achieved adsorption rates using nanocellulose-based aerogels and outlines potential improvements that could lead to optimal adsorption rates. Overall, this research holds significant promise for tackling the challenges of climate change and contributing to a more sustainable future.The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Basque Government (project IT1498-22) and the University of the Basque Country (PIF21/52)

    Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile-Fluorinated Polyurethane/Polysulfone Nanofiber Membranes for Oil–Water Separation

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    Electrospun nanofiber membranes exhibit efficient oil–water separation performance, owing to their fine and controllable fiber diameters. However, the three-dimensional dense stacking of nanofibers leads to low porosity, decreasing the oil flux in oil–water separation. Here, a composite nanofiber membrane with a dual-scale structure was designed to achieve a high oil–water separation efficiency and high oil flux simultaneously. In detail, a dense polyurethane/fluorinated polyurethanes (PAN-FPU) nanofiber layer with a fine fiber diameter (150 nm) and a small pore size (3–4 μm) was combined with a fluffy polysulfone (PSF) nanofiber layer with a coarse diameter (1200 nm) and a large pore size (8–9 μm). Using the PAN-FPU nanofiber layer as the inlet layer, modular electrospinning equipment was used to prepare dual-scale nanofiber membranes with a high oil–water separation efficiency and high flux in one step. When the fiber ratio of PAN-FPU/PSF was 1:2, the resulting composite nanofiber film could achieve a separation efficiency of 99.58% and an oil flux of 4630 L m–2 h–1 for an oil–water mixture. For a water-in-oil emulsion, the separation efficiency and oil flux reached 99.37% and 1124 L m–2 h–1, respectively. In addition, the separation efficiency and flux of the biscale nanofiber membrane were simulated by establishing a fluid model, and the simulation results confirmed that the fiber membrane had excellent separation performance. Dual-scale composite nanofiber membranes have potential applications in the field of oily wastewater treatment and locomotive filters compared with monolayer membranes

    Deep learning analysis of plasma emissions: A potential system for monitoring methane and hydrogen in the pyrolysis processes

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    The estimation of methane and hydrogen production as output from a pyrolysis reaction is paramount to monitor the process and optimize its parameters. In this study, we propose a novel experimental approach for monitoring methane pyrolysis reactions aimed at hydrogen production by quantifying methane and hydrogen output from the system. While we appreciate the complexity of molecular outputs from methane hydrolysis process, our primary approach is a simplified model considering detection of hydrogen and methane only which involves three steps: continuous gas sampling, feeding of the sample into an argon plasma, and employing deep learning model to estimate of the methane and hydrogen concentration from the plasma spectral emission. While our model exhibits promising performance, there is still significant room for improvement in accuracy, especially regarding hydrogen quantification in the presence of methane and other hydrogen bearing molecules. These findings present exciting prospects, and we will discuss future steps necessary to advance this concept, which is currently in its early stages of development

    Constructing resilient solid electrolyte interphases on carbon nanofiber film for advanced potassium metal anodes

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    202210 bcchNot applicableRGCPublished24 month

    Fifty-year study of microplastics ingested by brachyuran and fish larvae in the central English North Sea

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    \ua9 2023 The Authors. Microplastics (MPs) are ubiquitous pollutants in marine environments. Among the many detrimental consequences of microplastic pollution, its consumption by marine biota is of particular relevance for human health, due to exposure through the food web. Long-term time-series biotic samples are overlooked sources of information for microplastics research. These collections are extremely valuable for the detection and monitoring of changes in marine environments. However, there are very few long-term studies (>10 years) of the uptake of microplastics by biota. Here, we used Dove Time Series planktonic samples (from 1971 to 2020) to assess the presence and prevalence of microplastics in the English North Sea coast over time. Fish and brachyuran larvae were selected due to their commercial importance and consequent implications for human health. A custom enzymatic digestion method was used to extract microplastics for FTIR-ATR polymer identification. An increasing cumulative trend in MP ingestion was identified. Cellophane and polyethylene terephthalate were the polymer types found most frequently in both taxa. Although a total higher microplastics uptake was observed in fish, consumption was not significantly different between taxa over time. Equally, results were not clearly related to microplastics shape or polymer type. This work did not find significant long-term evidence on the increasing uptake of microplastic particles by zooplankton over time. However, the results of this report identified additives, plasticisers, and other more complex and hazardous compounds that should not be released to the environment (e.g., bis-(2-hydroxyethyl) dimerate, propylene glycol ricinoleate) inside marine biota. The study detailed herein provides a case study for the use of long-term time-series in providing accurate assessments of microplastic pollution in marine biota

    Electrospun Nanofiber Composite Utilized as an Electrocatalyst for the Detection of Acetaminophen in Multifarious Water Samples

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    Herein, the nanofabrication and characterization of new conductive materials, PANI-CoPc-fur (1) ((PANI = polyaniline and CoPc-fur = tetra-4-(furan-2-methylthiophthalocyaninato)Co(II)) and PANI-CoPc-fur-f-MWCNTs (2) (f-MWCNTs = carboxylic acid-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes), are reported. Subsequently, an electrospun nanofiber (ENF) composite of 2, encapsulated with a poly(vinyl acetate) shell, was fabricated. The resultant core–shell nanoconjugated fibers, ENFs-2, were adsorbed on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE), followed by the immobilization of a permeable adhesion top layer of Nafion (Nf) to render the chemically modified electrode, GCE|ENFs-2-Nf. The electron-mediating properties of the components within the film of GCE|ENFs-2-Nf synergistically aided in promoting its electrocatalytic activities. Consequently, the CME showed greater cyclic voltammetry (CV) peak currents compared to the bare GCE and other modified electrodes, indicating its higher sensitivity toward acetaminophen (APAP), an emerging water pollutant of concern. The detection of APAP at the GCE|ENFs-2-Nf attained by square-wave voltammetry (SWV) was linear from 10 to 200 μM of APAP and was reproducible (%RSD of 3.2%, N = 3). The respective calculated limits of detection and quantification (LOD and LOQ) values of 0.094 and 0.28 μM were lower than those acquired using other electrochemical techniques. Analysis of APAP in the presence of commonly associated interferences metronidazole (MTZ) and dopamine (DA) illustrated a significant separation between the SWV peak potentials of APAP and MTZ, whereas there was some degree of overlap between the SWV current responses of APAP and DA. The analytical performance of the GCE|ENFs-2-Nf rendered a comparable percentage recovery (104%) with that of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) (106%)

    Ultralight, Robust, Thermal Insulating Silica Nanolace Aerogels Derived from Pickering Emulsion Templates

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    Synthesis of silica aerogel insulators with ultralight weight and strong mechanical properties using a simplified technique remains challenging for functional soft materials. This study introduces a promising method for the fabrication of mechanically reinforced ultralight silica aerogels by employing attractive silica nanolace (ASNLs)-armored Pickering emulsion templates. For this, silica nanolaces (SiNLs) are fabricated by surrounding a cellulose nanofiber with necklace-shaped silica nanospheres. In order to achieve amphiphilicity, which is crucial for the stabilization of oil-in-water Pickering emulsions, hydrophobic alkyl chains and hydrophilic amine groups are grafted onto the surface of SiNLs by silica coupling reactions. Freeze-drying of ASNLs-armored Pickering emulsions has established a new type of aerogel system. The ASNLs-supported mesoporous aerogel shows 3-fold greater compressive strength, 4-fold reduced heat transfer, and a swift heat dissipation profile compared to that of the bare ASNL aerogel. Additionally, the ASNL aerogel achieves an ultralow density of 8 mg cm–3, attributed to the pore architecture generated from closely jammed emulsion drops. These results show the potential of the ASNL aerogel system, which is ultralight, mechanically stable, and thermally insulating and could be used in building services, energy-saving technologies, and the aerospace industry
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