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.
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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