Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 7

Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

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  • 7
    Enhanced Performance of an All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery Employing Graphene Modified Carbon Paper Electrodes
    Fuel cell grade gas-diffusion layer carbon paper (CP) electrodes are subjected to electrophoresis in N,N’-dimethylformamide (DMF) consisting of reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The rGO modified electrodes are compared with CP in a single asymmetric all-vanadium redox battery system (employing a double serpentine flow channel for each half-cell). Peak power densities improved by 4% when the rGO deposits were facing the ion-exchange membrane (cell performance was poorer when the rGO was facing the flow field). Cycling of the cells showed least degradation of the CP electrodes that were coated with rGO in comparison to pristine samples.
    A Real Time Expert System for Decision Support in Nuclear Power Plants

    In case of abnormal situations, the nuclear power plant (NPP) operators must follow written procedures to check the condition of the plant and to classify the type of emergency. In this paper, we proposed a Real Time Expert System in order to improve operator’s performance in case of transient or accident with reactor shutdown. The expert system’s knowledge is based on the sequence of events (SoE) of known accident and two emergency procedures of the Brazilian Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) NPP and uses two kinds of knowledge representation: rule and logic trees. The results show that the system was able to classify the response of the automatic protection systems, as well as to evaluate the conditions of the plant, diagnosing the type of occurrence, recovery procedure to be followed, indicating the shutdown root cause, and classifying the emergency level.

    Mass Transfer of Paracetamol from the Crosslinked Carrageenan-Polyvinyl Alcohol Film
    In this research, carrageenan extracted from seaweed Eucheuma cottonii was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and then crosslinked using glutaraldehyde (GA). The obtained hydrogel films were applied to control the drug release rate of paracetamol. The aim of this research was to develop a mathematical model that can be used to describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol from the hydrogel film into buffer solution. The effect of weight ratio carrageenan-PVA (5: 0, 1: 0.5, 1: 1, 1: 2, 0: 5) on the parameters of the mathematical model was investigated also. Based on the experimental data, the proposed mathematical model could describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol. The weight ratio of carrageenan-PVA greatly affected the amount of paracetamol absorbed in the hydrogel film and the mass transfer rate of paracetamol.
    Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.
    Experiment Study on the Influence of Tool Materials on the Drilling of Thick Stacked Plate of 2219 Aluminum Alloy

    The drilling and riveting processes are widely used in the assembly of carrier rocket, which makes the efficiency and quality of drilling become the important factor affecting the assembly process. According to the problem existing in the drilling of thick stacked plate (thickness larger than 10mm) of carrier rocket, such as drill break, large noise and burr etc., experimental study of the influence of tool material on the drilling was carried out. The cutting force was measured by a piezoelectric dynamometer, the aperture was measured with an outline projector, and the burr is observed and measured by a digital stereo microscope. Through the measurement, the effects of tool material on the drilling were analyzed from the aspects of drilling force, diameter, and burr. The results show that, compared with carbide drill and coated carbide one, the drilling force of high speed steel is larger. But, the application of high speed steel also has some advantages, e.g. a higher number of hole can be obtained, the height of burr is small, the exit is smooth and the slim burr is less, and the tool experiences wear but not fracture. Therefore, the high speed steel tool is suitable for the drilling of thick stacked plate of 2219 Aluminum alloy.

    Analysis of Bio-Oil Produced by Pyrolysis of Coconut Shell

    The utilization of biomass as a source of new and renewable energy is being carried out. One of the technologies to convert biomass as an energy source is pyrolysis which is converting biomass into more valuable products, such as bio-oil. Bio-oil is a liquid which is produced by steam condensation process from the pyrolysis of coconut shells. The composition of a coconut shell e.g. hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin will be oxidized to phenolic compounds as the main component of the bio-oil. The phenolic compounds in bio-oil are corrosive; they cause various difficulties in the combustion system because of a high viscosity, low calorific value, corrosiveness, and instability. Phenolic compounds are very valuable components which phenol has used as the main component for the manufacture of antiseptic, disinfectant (known as Lysol) and deodorizer. The experiments typically occurred at the atmospheric pressure in a pyrolysis reactor at temperatures ranging from 300 oC to 350 oC with a heating rate of 10 oC/min and a holding time of 1 hour at the pyrolysis temperature. The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) was used to analyze the bio-oil components. The obtained bio-oil has the viscosity of 1.46 cP, the density of 1.50 g/cm3, the calorific value of 16.9 MJ/kg, and the molecular weight of 1996.64. By GC-MS, the analysis of bio-oil showed that it contained phenol (40.01%), ethyl ester (37.60%), 2-methoxy-phenol (7.02%), furfural (5.45%), formic acid (4.02%), 1-hydroxy-2-butanone (3.89%), and 3-methyl-1,2-cyclopentanedione (2.01%).

    Non-Burn Treatment of Health Care Risk Waste

    This research discusses a South African case study for the potential of utilizing refuse-derived fuel (RDF) obtained from non-burn treatment of health care risk waste (HCRW) as potential feedstock for green energy production. This specific waste stream can be destroyed via non-burn treatment technology involving high-speed mechanical shredding followed by steam or chemical injection to disinfect the final product. The RDF obtained from this process is characterised by a low moisture, low ash, and high calorific value which means it can be potentially used as high-value solid fuel. Due to the raw feed of this RDF being classified as hazardous, the final RDF has been reported to be non-infectious and can blend with other combustible wastes such as rubber and plastic for waste to energy applications. This study evaluated non-burn treatment technology as a possible solution for on-site destruction of HCRW in South African private and public health care centres. Waste generation quantities were estimated based on the number of registered patient beds, theoretical bed occupancy. Time and motion study was conducted to evaluate the logistics viability of on-site treatment. Non-burn treatment technology for HCRW is a promising option for South Africa, and successful implementation of this method depends upon the initial capital investment, operational cost and environmental permitting of such technology; there are other influencing factors such as the size of the waste stream, product off-take price as well as product demand.