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Sauca S.,Facultat de Quimica | Giamberini M.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Reina J.A.,Facultat de Quimica
Polymer Degradation and Stability | Year: 2013

A new set of polymers, which could act as flame retardant additives by blending with "commodity" polymers, was synthesized by chemically modifying poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) through reaction with a phosphorous- containing reagent. The phosphorous-based moiety introduced was 1-oxo-2,6,7-trioxa-1-phosphabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, which has been reported to be a good flame retardancy promoter structure. For a larger application and better compatibility with thermoplastic polymers, we also introduced in the polymeric additives aliphatic (valeroyl group) or aromatic (benzoyl group) moieties. The structures and properties of the polymers obtained were studied by 1H, 13C and 31P NMR, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR), inherent viscosity, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). A detailed study of their thermal degradation was performed by thermogravimetry coupled with mass spectrometry (TG-MS) and pyrolysis. Their thermal behavior and high char yield at high temperatures make them promising candidates to act as flame retardant additives through the formation of protective barriers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cota I.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Medina F.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Gonzalez-Olmos R.,University of Girona | Iglesias M.,Federal University of Bahia
Comptes Rendus Chimie | Year: 2014

A series of novel protic ionic liquids were immobilized on alanine, a cheap readily available amino acid. These short aliphatic chain ionic liquids have a low cost of preparation, a low toxicity, and need simple synthesis/purification processes. Their catalytic activity was tested for citral-acetone and benzaldehyde-acetone condensations, two reactions with an interest for pharmacological as well as flavor and fragrance industry. Good results were obtained in terms of conversion and selectivity; moreover, the catalysts can be recycled and reused for several consecutive cycles without significant loss of activity. © 2013 Académie des sciences.

Pascual-Gonzalez J.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Guillen-Gosalbez G.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Guillen-Gosalbez G.,University of Manchester | Mateo-Sanz J.M.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Jimenez-Esteller L.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Understanding how anthropogenic impacts are generated at a global scale is a major challenge to face. This work studies the environmental impact patterns of the wealthiest nations using environmentally extended multi-regional input-output tables. A multivariate statistical analysis is performed on data covering 69 environmental indicators (classified into 5 main categories: energy, emissions, material, water and land) and 41 countries. This analysis shows that damages in different categories (and also within the same one) are highly correlated and that the wealthiest countries display very similar environmental impact patterns. These findings might help to develop more effective environmental regulations that will focus on controlling a reduced number of key indicators. In addition, the analysis of pollution patterns at a global scale will help to establish unified environmental regulations in countries with similar patterns. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Brunet R.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Cortes D.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Guillen-Gosalbez G.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Jimenez L.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Boer D.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2012

This work presents a computational approach for the simultaneous minimization of the total cost and environmental impact of thermodynamic cycles. Our method combines process simulation, multi-objective optimization and life cycle assessment (LCA) within a unified framework that identifies in a systematic manner optimal design and operating conditions according to several economic and LCA impacts. Our approach takes advantages of the complementary strengths of process simulation (in which mass, energy balances and thermodynamic calculations are implemented in an easy manner) and rigorous deterministic optimization tools. We demonstrate the capabilities of this strategy by means of two case studies in which we address the design of a 10 MW Rankine cycle modeled in Aspen Hysys, and a 90 kW ammonia-water absorption cooling cycle implemented in Aspen Plus. Numerical results show that it is possible to achieve environmental and cost savings using our rigorous approach. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Brunet R.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Antipova E.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Guillen-Gosalbez G.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica | Jimenez L.,Escola Tecnica Superior dEnginyeria Quimica
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research | Year: 2012

In this work, we address the problem of reducing the environmental impact of biodiesel plants through their integration with a solar thermal energy system that generates steam. A mathematical model of the solar energy system that includes energy storage is constructed and coupled with a rigorous simulation model of the biodiesel facility developed in Aspen Plus. The solar energy system model takes the form of a bicriteria nonlinear programming (biNLP) formulation that accounts for the simultaneous minimization of cost and global warming potential (GWP). A detailed cost and environmental analysis of the integrated facility is presented based on data available in the literature. The environmental impact is quantified in terms of contribution to GWP using the CML2001 methodology, a framework based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles. Numerical results indicate that it is possible to reduce the current natural gas consumption required in the biodiesel facility by more than 94.87% compared to the initial base design, which results in an improvement of 19.88% in green house gases (GHG) emissions. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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