La Línea de la Concepción, Spain
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Gual A.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Delgado J.A.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Godard C.,Rovira i Virgili University | Castillon S.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 2 more authors.
Topics in Catalysis | Year: 2013

Small water soluble Ru-nanoparticles (ca. 2-5 nm) stabilized by lignins were synthesized by reduction of RuCl3 using H2. For comparison purposes, small Ru-NPs (ca. 2.0 nm) with narrow size distribution were also synthesized using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as stabilizer and H 2 and NaBH4 as reducing agents. All these Ru-NPs were active catalysts in Fischer-Tropsch reaction. Interestingly, CO2 was detected as by-product demonstrating that the water gas shift reaction is taking place under these conditions. The Ru-NPs stabilized by lignins were less active (up to 0.49 molCO mol Ru -1 h-1) that those stabilized by PVP (up to 3.35 molCO mol Ru -1 h-1), exhibiting also higher CO2 production. Several reaction parameters were optimized such as the stirring rate, reducing method, polymer/Ru ratio and size of the Ru-NPs. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Pazos E.,Northwestern University | Pazos E.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Sleep E.,Northwestern University | Perez C.M.R.,Northwestern University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2016

Silver nanoparticles have been of great interest as plasmonic substrates for sensing and imaging, catalysts, or antimicrobial systems. Their physical properties are strongly dependent on parameters that remain challenging to control such as size, chemical composition, and spatial distribution. We report here on supramolecular assemblies of a novel peptide amphiphile containing aldehyde functionality in order to reduce silver ions and subsequently nucleate silver metal nanoparticles in water. This system spontaneously generates monodisperse silver particles at fairly regular distances along the length of the filamentous organic assemblies. The metal-organic hybrid structures exhibited antimicrobial activity and significantly less toxicity toward eukaryotic cells. Metallized organic nanofibers of the type described here offer the possibility to create hydrogels, which integrate the useful functions of silver nanoparticles with controllable metallic content. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


Delgado J.A.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Delgado J.A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Castillon S.,Rovira i Virgili University | Curulla-Ferre D.,Total Research and Technology Feluy | And 3 more authors.
Catalysis Communications | Year: 2015

Cobalt nanoparticles of 2.6 nm were synthesized in water using NaBH4 as the reducing agent and PVP as stabilizer. The nanoparticles were fully characterized and their catalytic performances evaluated in the aqueous phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (AFTS) at various pH values. The pH of the catalytic solution was shown to affect both the activity and selectivity of the AFTS reaction since side reactions such as WGS and formation of formate from CO2 were favored at basic pH. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Santiago D.,Rovira i Virgili University | Fernandez-Francos X.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Ferrando F.,Rovira i Virgili University | De La Flor S.,Rovira i Virgili University
Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics | Year: 2015

A series of shape-memory epoxy thermosets were synthesized by crosslinking diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A with mixtures of commercially available hyperbranched poly(ethyleneimine) and polyetheramine. Thermal, mechanical and shape-memory properties were studied and the effect on them of the content and structure of the hyperbranched polymer was discussed. Measurements showed that the glass transition temperature can be tailored from 60 °C to 117 °C depending on the hyperbranched polymer content, and all formulations showed an appropriate glassy/rubbery storage modulus ratio. Shape-memory programming was carried out at TgE′ given the excellent mechanical properties of the materials, with maximum stress and failure strain up to 15 MPa and 60%, respectively. The resulting shape-memory behavior was excellent, with maximum shape recovery and shape fixity of 98% as well as a fast shape-recovery rate of 22%/min. The results show that hyperbranched poly(ethyleneimine) as a crosslinking agent can be used to enhance mechanical and shape-memory properties with different effects depending on the crosslinking density. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Tylkowski B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Tylkowski B.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Carosio F.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Castaneda J.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 4 more authors.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research | Year: 2013

This paper investigates the effect of the deposition of layer-by-layer (LbL) assemblies on the swelling, permeability, and anthracene rejection of polysulfone (PSf) membranes obtained through a phase inversion precipitation technique. More specifically, the latter have been dip-coated on one side with a completely organic assembly (made of poly(acrylic acid)/branched polyethyleneimine bilayers), varying the number of deposited bilayers (BL) from 10 BL to 20 BL. Prior the deposition, the surface of the polysulfone membranes has been subjected to plasma activation. Static contact angle, scanning electron microscopy, and attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy measurements have been exploited for evaluating the modification of polysulfone after the LbL deposition, as well as the homogeneity of the distribution and coverage of the coatings on the polymeric substrate. The swelling of both untreated and LbL-treated membranes has been evaluated in three different solvents, i.e., methanol, isopropanol, and n-hexane; subsequently, the permeation features of the treated membranes toward these solvents have been assessed and correlated with the presence of the deposited assembly; finally, the retention of anthracene in its n-hexane solutions has been evaluated. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Tsibranska I.H.,University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy of Sofia | Tylkowski B.,University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy of Sofia | Tylkowski B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Tylkowski B.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia
Food and Bioproducts Processing | Year: 2013

The present investigation considers the flux decline during concentration of ethanolic extracts from Sideritis ssp. L. by nanofiltration. Membranes Duramem with molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) 300 and 500 Da have been used. Two sets of nanofiltration experiments are performed: dead end filtration in a stirred cell and cross flow filtration in a 4 flat sheet membrane rig. Comparable fluxes and rejections are observed. The membrane behaviour with respect to the operation conditions: transmembrane pressure and feed concentration is studied. The effect of the latter is illustrated by experiments with different feed concentrations and permeate-to-feed ratios. The discussion is supported by rejections and mass balance calculations. In both modes flux decreased with concentration and the observed rejections remained constant. Better conditions for reduced flux decline and tendency to a steady value are obtained by cross-flow nanofiltration. Combined with the greater membrane area and feed volume used in these experiments, these results can be regarded as having potential for larger scale applications. © 2012 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Bogdanowicz K.A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Tylkowski B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Tylkowski B.,Center Tecnologic Of La Quimica Of Catalonia | Giamberini M.,Rovira i Virgili University
Langmuir | Year: 2013

Photosensitive microcapsules and membranes based on poly(α- methylstilbenesebacoate-co-α-methylstilbeneisophthalate), containing the photosensitive α-methylstilbene moiety, were prepared by a phase-inversion precipitation process. In order to simulate the morphology and behavior of the microcapsule shell under UV irradiation, an exhaustive characterization of a membrane was first performed by ESEM, POM, AFM, and contact angle measurements. The prepared microcapsules contained either chloroform or a concentrated solution of vanillin in chloroform as the core; in all cases, before UV irradiation, their outer surface appeared smooth and dense. The influence of vanillin on microcapsule cross-section morphology was observed by ESEM microscopy. Release of vanillin in water, at room temperature, was markedly influenced by UV irradiation: in the absence of irradiation, it was practically negligible, while when microcapsules were submitted to continuous irradiation with UV light, the surface morphology of the capsules changed drastically and vanillin started to be released after ca. 20 min of irradiation. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SPIRE-05-2015 | Award Amount: 4.42M | Year: 2015

TERRA project aims to develop, from TRL 3 to 5, a tandem electrocatalytic reactor (TER) coupling an oxidation reaction to a reduction reaction, with thus the great potential advantage of i) saving resources and energy (needed to produce the oxidant and reductants for the two separate reactions), and ii) intensify the process (reduce the nr. of steps, coupling two synthesis processes and especially eliminating those to prepare the oxidation and reduction agents). The proposal address one of SPIRE Roadmap Key Actions New ways of targeting energy input via electrochemical. The TER unit may be used in a large field of applications, but will be developed for a specific relevant case: the synthesis of PEF (PolyEthylene Furanoate), a next generation plastic. TERRA project aims to make a step forward in this process by coupling the FDCA and MEG synthesis in a single novel TER reactor, with relevant process intensification. Between the elements of innovation of the approach are: i) operation at higher T,P than conventional electrochemical devices for chemical manufacturing, ii) use of noble-metal-free electrocatalysts, iii) use of novel 3D-type electrodes to increase productivity, iv) use of electrode with modulation of activity, v) possibility to utilize external bias (from unused electrical renewable energy) to enhance flexibility of operations. In addition to scale-up reactor and test under environmental relevant conditions (TRL 5), the approach in TERRA project is to address the critical elements to pass from lab-scale experimentation to industrial prototype with intensified productivity. These developments are critical for a wider use of electrochemical manufacturing in chemical and process industries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EID | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-EID | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2016

SMARTMEM is a multidisciplinary project leveraging the emerging technology platforms around so-called smart membranes and evolving this platform to commercial use in consumer good products. The objective of this project is the training of 5 PhD students in various scientific fields around membrane technology, involving disciplines from advanced materials synthesis, to membrane production, linking product application and product performance driving new consumer value. The training will be setup in a multi sector way for the students to learn the technical depth of the disciplines as well as the innovation cycle from idea to market application and commercialisation. The objective of the project will be achieved through finding applicability in established markets like textiles with functional benefits, air care devices with health benefits and innovate beyond like develop improved microcapsules which release on demand and improved single dose detergent products, among others. Therefore, SMARTMEM will contribute to accomplish the goals of Europe 2020 strategy through: - training of highly skilful scientists in emerging fields such as stimuli-responsive materials - placing Europe at the vanguard of innovation in sustainable consumer goods by smart controlled release.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2012

The Eco2CO2 project aims at exploiting a photo-electro-chemical (PEC) CO2 conversion route for the synthesis of methanol as a key intermediate for the production of fine chemicals (fragrances, flavourings, adhesives, monomers,) in a lignocellulosic biorefinery. A distinct improvement in the ecological footprint of the envisaged chemical industries will thus be achieved by: i) boosting the potential of lignocellulosic biorefineries by exploiting secondary by-products such as furfurals or lignin; ii) providing a small but non-negligible contribution to the reduction of CO2 release into the atmosphere by exploitation of sunlight as an energy source. The most crucial development in the project will be the development of a PEC reactor capable of converting CO2 into methanol by exploiting water and sun light with a targeted conversion efficiency exceeding 6%, with reference to wavelengths above 400 nm, and an expected durability of 10.000 h. The above specifications must be reached without using expensive noble metals or precious materials which should enable costs of the PEC panels lower than 60 Euro/m2 including the installation. Catalytic reactions of methanol and furfural to produce perfuming agents via partial oxidation or methylation, as well as of lignin or lignin depolymerisation derivatives to produce adhesives or monomers (e.g. p-xylene) will undergo a R&D programme to achieve cost effective production of green fine chemicals, proven by the end of the project via lab bench tests of at least 100 g/h production rates. Based on early calculations, if successful, the Eco2CO2 technologies should be capable of inducing avoided CO2 emissions by the year 2020 as high as 50 Mtons/year worldwide.

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