In this sense, a research group of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry of the University of Granada works on a project subsidized by the Spanish Ministry of Environmental Issues to obtain activated coal from polymeric waste as raw materials.
Activated coal is a solid with a big specific area, as it presents numerous pores of the order of the nanometres which make that a surface area of a small quantity of coal ranks equally with the area of a football pitch, as points out the coordinator of the group Francisco Javier López Garzón.
It is used to manufacture filters for cigarettes, in catalysis processes, or in the decontamination of the atmosphere, among other applications. This is, precisely, in the ambit of gaseous effluents depuration, where the research group has been working for four years to obtain activated coal with a developed and homogeneous porosity and lower production expenses at the same time. In general, commercial activated coal are obtained from precursors like olive pits, almond shells or coconut shell, natural and heterogeneous products that produce heterogeneous coal, unselective as regards the absorption of pollutant substances.
Scientists have found an alternative to the use of organic polymers as precursors. However, such precursors are very expensive. That is why they have selected a waste polymer like terephthalate of polyethylene, commonly known as PET, a plastic material used in the production of drink containers. Taking into account that such waste is calculated in millions of tons in all Europe, it is an abundant raw material, easily available, because at best, these containers end up in controlled garbage dumps, whose salvage would involve the compliance of the European regulation currently in force.
The transformation of the PET into active coal is carried out by means of a process of pyrolysis, this is, the material is burnt in a special oven and in the absence of oxygen, in such a way that it does not react with coal, which is the desired product. The researchers have obtained a highly porous, selective and uniform active coal, as they have proved through absorption tests carried out with molecules of different sizes, from nitrogen to organic vapours. Faced with the obtained results, the team is experimenting with other polymeric materials, at the same time that they optimize the production process to obtain a performance of 60%, as an important fraction of the PET volatilizes during the process, and it is necessary to recover it and turn it into coal.
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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