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2022 ◽  
Vol 13 ◽  
pp. 63-73
Robin Vacher ◽  
Astrid S de Wijn

Friction and wear of polymers at the nanoscale is a challenging problem due to the complex viscoelastic properties and structure. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate how a graphene sheet on top of the semicrystalline polymer polyvinyl alcohol affects the friction and wear. Our setup is meant to resemble an AFM experiment with a silicon tip. We have used two different graphene sheets, namely an unstrained, flat sheet, and one that has been crumpled before being deposited on the polymer. The graphene protects the top layer of the polymer from wear and reduces the friction. The unstrained flat graphene is stiffer, and we find that it constrains the polymer chains and reduces the indentation depth.

Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (1) ◽  
pp. 288
Saleha Al-Mardeai ◽  
Emad Elnajjar ◽  
Raed Hashaikeh ◽  
Boguslaw Kruczek ◽  
Bart Van der Bruggen ◽  

Hydrolysis is the heart of the lignocellulose-to-bioethanol conversion process. Using enzymes to catalyze the hydrolysis represents a more environmentally friendly pathway compared to other techniques. However, for the process to be economically feasible, solving the product inhibition problem and enhancing enzyme reusability are essential. Prior research demonstrated that a flat-sheet membrane bioreactor (MBR), using an inverted dead-end filtration system, could achieve 86.7% glucose yield from purified cellulose in 6 h. In this study, the effectiveness of flat-sheet versus radial-flow MBR designs was assessed using real, complex lignocellulose biomass, namely date seeds (DSs). The tubular radial-flow MBR used here had more than a 10-fold higher membrane surface area than the flat-sheet MBR design. With simultaneous product separation using the flat-sheet inverted dead-end filtration MBR, a glucose yield of 10.8% from pretreated DSs was achieved within 8 h of reaction, which was three times higher than the yield without product separation, which was only 3.5% within the same time and under the same conditions. The superiority of the tubular radial-flow MBR to hydrolyze pretreated DSs was confirmed with a glucose yield of 60% within 8 h. The promising results obtained by the novel tubular MBR could pave the way for an economic lignocellulose-to-bioethanol process.

2022 ◽  
pp. 120222
Bing Wang ◽  
Yan Zhang ◽  
Yuan Fang ◽  
Kaisong Zhang ◽  
Robert W. Field

2021 ◽  
Vol 17 (6) ◽  
pp. 752-767
Raja Norimie Raja Sulaiman ◽  
Norasikin Othman ◽  
Kissan Vithilingam

Supported liquid membrane (SLM) is one of the potential extraction methods for the treatment of wastewater containing various toxic heavy metal ions. Advantageously, this process offers simultaneous removal and recovery, as well as low energy consumption and operational cost. In this study, the prediction of nickel removal was investigated using a diffusion model developed through MATLAB. 

Membranes ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 19
Fanny Rivera ◽  
Raúl Muñoz ◽  
Pedro Prádanos ◽  
Antonio Hernández ◽  
Laura Palacio

Ammonia recovery from synthetic and real anaerobic digestates was accomplished using hydrophobic flat sheet membranes operated with H2SO4 solutions to convert ammonia into ammonium sulphate. The influence of the membrane material, flow rate (0.007, 0.015, 0.030 and 0.045 m3 h−1) and pH (7.6, 8.9, 10 and 11) of the digestate on ammonia recovery was investigated. The process was carried out with a flat sheet configuration at a temperature of 35 °C and with a 1 M, or 0.005 M, H2SO4 solution on the other side of the membrane. Polytetrafluoroethylene membranes with a nominal pore radius of 0.22 µm provided ammonia recoveries from synthetic and real digestates of 84.6% ± 1.0% and 71.6% ± 0.3%, respectively, for a membrane area of 8.6 × 10−4 m2 and a reservoir volume of 0.5 L, in 3.5 h with a 1 M H2SO4 solution and a recirculation flow on the feed side of the membrane of 0.030 m3 h−1. NH3 recovery followed first order kinetics and was faster at higher pHs of the H2SO4 solution and recirculation flow rate on the membrane feed side. Fouling resulted in changes in membrane surface morphology and pore size, which were confirmed by Atomic Force Microscopy and Air Displacement Porometry.

Membranes ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (12) ◽  
pp. 960
Gun Woo Park ◽  
Gerhard Nägele

Cross-flow membrane ultrafiltration (UF) is used for the enrichment and purification of small colloidal particles and proteins. We explore the influence of different membrane geometries on the particle transport in, and the efficiency of, inside-out cross-flow UF. For this purpose, we generalize the accurate and numerically efficient modified boundary layer approximation (mBLA) method, developed in recent work by us for a hollow cylindrical membrane, to parallel flat sheet geometries with one or two solvent-permeable membrane sheets. Considering a reference dispersion of Brownian hard spheres where accurate expressions for its transport properties are available, the generalized mBLA method is used to analyze how particle transport and global UF process indicators are affected by varying operating parameters and the membrane geometry. We show that global process indicators including the mean permeate flux, the solvent recovery indicator, and the concentration factor are strongly dependent on the membrane geometry. A key finding is that irrespective of the many input parameters characterizing an UF experiment and its membrane geometry, the process indicators are determined by three independent dimensionless variables only. This finding can be very useful in the design, optimization, and scale-up of UF processes.

Structures ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 34 ◽  
pp. 979-994
Francesco Laccone ◽  
Luigi Malomo ◽  
Nico Pietroni ◽  
Paolo Cignoni ◽  
Tim Schork

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