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ChemEngineering, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 33 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Monitoring microscale photobioreactors for microalgae growth is a challenging task since non-invasive techniques are required to quantify culture properties. In this study, features extracted from RGB images and PAM-imaging fluorescence were used to calibrate a soft-sensor through multivariate image regression. Ad-hoc PLS (partial least squares) regression models were used to estimate biomass concentration and cell content of Chlorophyll at different light intensities during batch growth. Results showed that the proposed monitoring approach is as accurate as traditional measurement techniques and represents a promising methodology for fast and inexpensive monitoring of microscale photobioreactors. View this paper.
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Review
Graphene Oxide Synthesis, Properties and Characterization Techniques: A Comprehensive Review
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030064 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 182
Abstract
The unique properties of graphene oxide (GO) have attracted the attention of the research community and cost-effective routes for its production are studied. The type and percentage of the oxygen groups that decorate a GO sheet are dependent on the synthesis path, and [...] Read more.
The unique properties of graphene oxide (GO) have attracted the attention of the research community and cost-effective routes for its production are studied. The type and percentage of the oxygen groups that decorate a GO sheet are dependent on the synthesis path, and this path specifies the carbon content of the sheet. The chemical reduction of GO results in reduced graphene oxide (rGO) while the removal of the oxygen groups is also achievable with thermal processes (tpGO). This review article introduces the reader to the carbon allotropes, provides information about graphene which is the backbone of GO and focuses on GO synthesis and properties. The last part covers some characterization techniques of GO (XRD, FTIR, AFM, SEM-EDS, N2 porosimetry and UV-Vis) with a view to the fundamental principles of each technique. Some critical aspects arise for GO synthesized and characterized from our group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
A 3D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Study of a Non-Symmetrical Rayleigh Collapse for an Empty Cavity
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030063 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 179
Abstract
In this work the first 3D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics model of a Rayleigh collapse for an empty cavity is proposed with the aim of improving the hydrodynamic analysis of a non-symmetrical collapse. The hydrodynamics of the model is validated against the solution of [...] Read more.
In this work the first 3D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics model of a Rayleigh collapse for an empty cavity is proposed with the aim of improving the hydrodynamic analysis of a non-symmetrical collapse. The hydrodynamics of the model is validated against the solution of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation for a symmetrical collapse. The model is then used to simulate a non-symmetrical collapse of an empty cavity attached to a solid surface with γ=0.6 induced by an external pressure of 50 [MPa]. The results shows that is possible to identify three regions where the hydrodynamics of the collapsing cavity shows different features. For all the stages of the collapse the simulation shows smooth pressure and velocity fields in the liquid and in the solid phase with the formation of a vortex ring in the final phase of the collapse. Finally, the model is compared to a previous 2D model to highlight strong, weak points and the key differences of both approaches in final phase of the collapse. Full article
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Article
Design and Investigation of a 3D-Printed Micro-Fluidized Bed
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030062 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Micro-fluidized bed has aroused much attention due to its low-cost, intensified-process and fast-screening properties. In this paper, a micro-fluidized bed (15 × 15 mm in cross-section) was designed and fabricated with the use of the stereolithography printing technique, for the investigation of bubbles’ [...] Read more.
Micro-fluidized bed has aroused much attention due to its low-cost, intensified-process and fast-screening properties. In this paper, a micro-fluidized bed (15 × 15 mm in cross-section) was designed and fabricated with the use of the stereolithography printing technique, for the investigation of bubbles’ hydrodynamics and comparison of the solids (3D-printed particles VS fungal pellets) fluidization characteristics. In a liquid–gas system, bubble flow regime started from mono-dispersed homogeneous regime, followed by poly-dispersed homogeneous regime, transition bubble regime and heterogeneous bubble regime with increasing gas flowrates from 3.7 mL/min to 32.7 mL/min. The impacts from operating parameters such as gas flowrate, superficial liquid velocity and gas sparger size on bubble size, velocity and volume fraction have been summarized. In liquid–solid fluidization, different solid fluidization regimes for both particles bed and pellets bed were identified. From the bed expansion results, much higher Umf of 7.8 mm/s from pellets fluidization was observed compared that of 2.3 mm/s in particles fluidization, because the hyphal structures of fungal pellets increased surface friction but also tended to agglomerate. The similar R–Z exponent n (5.7 and 5.5 for pellets and particles, respectively) between pellets and particles was explained by the same solid diameter, but much higher Ut of 436 µm/s in particles bed than that of 196 µm/s in pellets bed is a consequence of the higher density of solid particles. This paper gives insights on the development of MFB and its potential in solid processing. Full article
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Article
A Simplified Framework for Modelling Viscoelastic Fluids in Discrete Multiphysics
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030061 - 12 Sep 2021
Viewed by 246
Abstract
A simplified modelling technique for modelling viscoelastic fluids is proposed from the perspective of Discrete Multiphysics. This approach, based on the concept of linear additive composition of energy potentials, aims to integrate Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) with an equivalent elastic potential tailored for [...] Read more.
A simplified modelling technique for modelling viscoelastic fluids is proposed from the perspective of Discrete Multiphysics. This approach, based on the concept of linear additive composition of energy potentials, aims to integrate Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) with an equivalent elastic potential tailored for fluid flow simulations. The model was implemented using a particle-based software, explored and thoroughly validated with results from numerical experiments on three different flow conditions. The model was able to successfully capture a large extent of viscoelastic responses to external forcing, ranging from pure viscous flows to creep-dominated Bingham type of behaviour. It is concluded that, thanks to the modularity and tunable characteristics of the parameters involved, the proposed modelling approach can be a powerful simulation tool for modelling or mimicking the behaviour of viscoelastic substances. Full article
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Article
Fluid-Structure Interaction in Coronary Stents: A Discrete Multiphysics Approach
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030060 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Stenting is a common method for treating atherosclerosis. A metal or polymer stent is deployed to open the stenosed artery or vein. After the stent is deployed, the blood flow dynamics influence the mechanics by compressing and expanding the structure. If the stent [...] Read more.
Stenting is a common method for treating atherosclerosis. A metal or polymer stent is deployed to open the stenosed artery or vein. After the stent is deployed, the blood flow dynamics influence the mechanics by compressing and expanding the structure. If the stent does not respond properly to the resulting stress, vascular wall injury or re-stenosis can occur. In this work, a Discrete Multiphysics modelling approach is used to study the mechanical deformation of the coronary stent and its relationship with the blood flow dynamics. The major parameters responsible for deforming the stent are sorted in terms of dimensionless numbers and a relationship between the elastic forces in the stent and pressure forces in the fluid is established. The blood flow and the stiffness of the stent material contribute significantly to the stent deformation and affect its rate of deformation. The stress distribution in the stent is not uniform with the higher stresses occurring at the nodes of the structure. From the relationship (correlation) between the elastic force and the pressure force, depending on the type of material used for the stent, the model can be used to predict whether the stent is at risk of fracture or not after deployment. Full article
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Article
Effect of the Carrier on the Coprecipitation of Curcumin through Supercritical-Assisted Atomization
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030059 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
In this paper, composite systems containing curcumin (CUR) were prepared through supercritical-assisted atomization (SAA), using different carriers. Curcumin is particularly interesting in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical fields for its antioxidant, antitumoral, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its therapeutic effect on human health is restricted [...] Read more.
In this paper, composite systems containing curcumin (CUR) were prepared through supercritical-assisted atomization (SAA), using different carriers. Curcumin is particularly interesting in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical fields for its antioxidant, antitumoral, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, its therapeutic effect on human health is restricted by its poor water solubility and low dissolution rate, limiting its absorption after its oral administration. To increase the dissolution rate and then the bioavailability of the active compound, CUR was coprecipitated with polymeric, i.e., polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and dextran (DXT), and not polymeric, i.e., hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), carriers. The effects of some operating parameters, namely the concentration of solutes in solution and the active compound/carrier ratio, on the morphology and the particle size distribution of the powders were investigated. Submicrometric particles were produced with all the carriers. Under the best operating conditions, the mean diameters ± standard deviation were equal to 0.69 ± 0.20 μm, 0.40 ± 0.13 μm, and 0.81 ± 0.25 μm for PVP/CUR, DXT/CUR, and HP-β-CD/CUR, respectively. CUR dissolution rates from coprecipitated particles were significantly increased in the case of all the carriers. Therefore, the results are exciting from a pharmaceutical and nutraceutical point of view, to produce supplements containing curcumin, but assuring a high dissolution rate and bioavailability and, consequently, a more effective therapeutic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Influence of Pyrolysis Parameters Using Microwave toward Structural Properties of ZnO/CNS Intermediate and Application of ZnCr2O4/CNS Final Product for Dark Degradation of Pesticide in Wet Paddy Soil
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030058 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Pesticide is a pollution problem in agriculture. The usage of ZnCr2O4/CNS and H2O2 as additive in liquid fertilizer has potency for catalytic pesticide degradation. Colloid condition is needed for easy spraying. Rice husk and sawdust were [...] Read more.
Pesticide is a pollution problem in agriculture. The usage of ZnCr2O4/CNS and H2O2 as additive in liquid fertilizer has potency for catalytic pesticide degradation. Colloid condition is needed for easy spraying. Rice husk and sawdust were used as carbon precursor and ZnCl2 as activator. The biomass–ZnCl2 mixtures were pyrolyzed using microwave (400–800 W, 50 min). The products were dispersed in water by blending then evaporated to obtain ZnO/CNS. The composites were reacted with KOH, CrCl3·6H2O, more ZnCl2, and little water by microwave (600 W, 5 min). The ZnCr2O4/CNS and H2O2 were used for degradation of buthylphenylmethyl carbamate (BPMC) in wet deactivated paddy soil. TOC was measured using TOC meter. The FTIR spectra of the ZnO/CNS composites indicated the completed carbonization except at 800 W without ZnCl2. The X-ray diffractograms of the composites confirmed ZnO/CNS structure. SEM images showed irregular particle shapes for using both biomass. ZnCr2O4/CNS structure was confirmed by XRD as the final product with crystallite size of 74.99 nm. The sawdust produced more stable colloids of CNS and ZnO/CNS composite than the rice husk. The pyrolysis without ZnCl2 formed more stable colloid than with ZnCl2. The ZnCr2O4/CNS from sawdust gave better dark catalytic degradation of BPMC than from rice husk, i.e., 2.5 and 1.6 times larger for 400 and 800 W pyrolysis, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Engineering and Multidisciplinary)
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Article
Simulation-Based Defect Engineering in “α-Spodumene”
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030057 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Naturally occurring lithium-rich α-spodumene (α-LiAlSi2O6) is a technologically important mineral that has attracted considerable attention in ceramics, polymer industries, and rechargeable lithium ion batteries (LIBs). The defect chemistry and dopant properties of this material are studied using a well-established [...] Read more.
Naturally occurring lithium-rich α-spodumene (α-LiAlSi2O6) is a technologically important mineral that has attracted considerable attention in ceramics, polymer industries, and rechargeable lithium ion batteries (LIBs). The defect chemistry and dopant properties of this material are studied using a well-established atomistic simulation technique based on classical pair-potentials. The most favorable intrinsic defect process is the Al-Si anti-site defect cluster (1.08 eV/defect). The second most favorable defect process is the Li-Al anti-site defect cluster (1.17 eV/defect). The Li-Frenkel is higher in energy by 0.33 eV than the Al-Si anti-site defect cluster. This process would ensure the formation of Li vacancies required for the Li diffusion via the vacancy-assisted mechanism. The Li-ion diffusion in this material is slow, with an activation energy of 2.62 eV. The most promising isovalent dopants on the Li, Al, and Si sites are found to be Na, Ga, and Ge, respectively. The formation of both Li interstitials and oxygen vacancies can be facilitated by doping of Ga on the Si site. The incorporation of lithium is studied using density functional theory simulations and the electronic structures of resultant complexes are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Engineering and Multidisciplinary)
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Article
Impact Strength of Hybrid Epoxy–Basalt Composites Modified with Mineral and Natural Fillers
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030056 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 243
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of mineral and natural additives (2.5; 5; 10 wt.%) on the impact strength of epoxy–basalt composites. Three types of filler were used to modify the epoxy matrix: basalt powder (BP), basalt microfiber (BF) [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of mineral and natural additives (2.5; 5; 10 wt.%) on the impact strength of epoxy–basalt composites. Three types of filler were used to modify the epoxy matrix: basalt powder (BP), basalt microfiber (BF) and sunflower husk ash (SA). The impact strength and the maximum force were determined for the materials. The results of the conducted research confirm that the addition of a powder fillers to the epoxy matrix of basalt fiber reinforced composites is an effective method of improving their impact characteristic. The introduction of fillers to epoxy resin allowed to improve the impact properties of all tested groups of laminates. Moreover, in all cases, the introduction of the filler increased the maximum force needed to damage the composite sample and their hardness. For the modified materials, an increase in impact strength was recorded, respectively: by 44% for composites with BP, by 7.5% for composites with BF and by 2.5% for composites with SA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Effects of Pore Connectivity on the Sorption of Fluids in Nanoporous Material: Ethane and CO2 Sorption in Silicalite
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030055 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Adsorption of fluids in nanoporous materials is important for several applications including gas storage and catalysis. The pore network in natural, as well as engineered, materials can exhibit different degrees of connectivity between pores. While this might have important implications for the sorption [...] Read more.
Adsorption of fluids in nanoporous materials is important for several applications including gas storage and catalysis. The pore network in natural, as well as engineered, materials can exhibit different degrees of connectivity between pores. While this might have important implications for the sorption of fluids, the effects of pore connectivity are seldom addressed in the studies of fluid sorption. We have carried out Monte Carlo simulations of the sorption of ethane and CO2 in silicalite, a nanoporous material characterized by sub-nanometer pores of different geometries (straight and zigzag channel like pores), with varied degrees of pore connectivity. The variation in pore connectivity is achieved by selectively blocking some pores by loading them with methane molecules that are treated as a part of the rigid nanoporous matrix in the simulations. Normalized to the pore space available for adsorption, the magnitude of sorption increases with a decrease in pore connectivity. The increased adsorption in the systems where pore connections are removed by blocking them is because of additional, albeit weaker, adsorption sites provided by the blocker molecules. By selectively blocking all straight or zigzag channels, we find differences in the absorption behavior of guest molecules in these channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Thermal Decomposition Kinetic Study of Non-Recyclable Paper and Plastic Waste by Thermogravimetric Analysis
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030054 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
The global net emissions of the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases (GHG), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), fluorinated gases, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), remain substantially high, despite concerted efforts to reduce them. Thermal treatment of solid [...] Read more.
The global net emissions of the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases (GHG), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), fluorinated gases, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), remain substantially high, despite concerted efforts to reduce them. Thermal treatment of solid waste contributes at least 2.8–4% of the GHG in part due to increased generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) and inefficient treatment processes, such as incineration and landfill. Thermal treatment processes, such as gasification and pyrolysis, are valuable ways to convert solid materials, such as wastes into syngas, liquids, and chars, for power generation, fuels, or for the bioremediation of soils. Subcoal™ is a commercial product based on paper and plastics from the source segregated waste that is not readily recyclable and that would otherwise potentially find its way in to landfills. This paper looks at the kinetic parameters associated with this product in pyrolysis, gasification, and combustion conditions for consideration as a fuel for power generation or as a reductant in the blast furnace ironmaking process. Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) in Nitrogen (N2), CO2, and in air, was used to measure and compare the reaction kinetics. The activation energy (Ea) and pre-exponential factor A were measured at different heating rates using non-isothermal Ozawa Flynn Wall and (OFW) and Kissinger-Akahira-Sonuse (KAS) model-free techniques. The TGA curves showed that the thermal degradation of Subcoal™ comprises three main processes: dehydration, devolatilization, and char and ash formation. In addition, the heating rate drifts the devolatilization temperature to a higher value. Likewise, the derivative thermogravimetry (DTG) results stated that Tm degradation increased as the heating rate increased. Substantial variance in Ea was noted between the four stages of thermal decomposition of Subcoal™ on both methods. The Ea for gasification reached 200.2 ± 33.6 kJ/mol by OFW and 179.0 ± 31.9 kJ/mol by KAS. Pyrolysis registered Ea values of 161.7 ± 24.7 kJ/mol by OFW and 142.6 ± 23.5 kJ/mol by KAS. Combustion returned the lowest Ea values for both OFW (76.74 ± 15.4 kJ/mol) and KAS (71.0 ± 4.4 kJ/mol). The low Ea values in combustion indicate shorter reaction time for Subcoal™ degradation compared to gasification and pyrolysis. Generally, TGA kinetics analysis using KAS and OFW methods show good consistency in evaluating Arrhenius constants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Performance Evaluation of the Electric Machine Cooling System Employing Nanofluid as an Advanced Coolant
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030053 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
In this paper, the overall performance of an electric machine cooling system was examined in terms of heat transfer and fluid flow. The structure of the cooling system was based on the cooling jacket method. The cooling jacket contains spiral channels surrounding the [...] Read more.
In this paper, the overall performance of an electric machine cooling system was examined in terms of heat transfer and fluid flow. The structure of the cooling system was based on the cooling jacket method. The cooling jacket contains spiral channels surrounding the stator and end-windings of the electric machine. Al2O3-water nanofluid is used inside the channels as the cooling fluid. The concentration of nanoparticles and the geometric structure of the cooling system have special effects on both aspects of heat transfer and fluid flow. Therefore, in this paper, the overall performance of the cooling system was evaluated by considering these effects. This study compared the importance of heat transfer and fluid flow performances on the overall performance of the cooling system. Numerical analyses were performed by 3D computational fluid dynamics and 3D fluid motion analysis. The analyses were carried out based on the 3D finite element method using the pressure-based solver of the Ansys Fluent software in steady mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Kinetic Study of the Ultrasound Effect on Acid Brown 83 Dye Degradation by Hydrogen Peroxide Oxidation Processes
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030052 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The effect of ultrasound on the degradation of the dye Acid Brown 83 by seven different degradation methods (blank test using only ultrasound, hydrogen peroxide in a neutral medium, hydrogen peroxide in a sulfuric acid medium and hydrogen peroxide in a sulfuric acid [...] Read more.
The effect of ultrasound on the degradation of the dye Acid Brown 83 by seven different degradation methods (blank test using only ultrasound, hydrogen peroxide in a neutral medium, hydrogen peroxide in a sulfuric acid medium and hydrogen peroxide in a sulfuric acid medium in the presence of Fe(II), both without and with ultrasonic irradiation) is studied in this paper. The effectiveness of these methods is compared by analyzing the degradation percentages of the dye and its initial degradation rate. The application of ultrasound leads to a significant increase in the efficiency of any of the degradation method studied. Kinetic study of Acid Brown 83 degradation by the above-mentioned methods is carried out by using four kinetic models (first order, second order, Behnajady and pseudo-first order). The pseudo-first order model is the one that best fits the experimental data in all the used degradation methods. Although when the degradation is performed in the presence of Fe(II), the Behnajady model presents correlation coefficients slightly higher than those of the pseudo-first order, the maximum experimental conversions obtained fit much better in all cases to the pseudo first order model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Promising Isotope Effect in Pd77Ag23 for Hydrogen Separation
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030051 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Pd–Ag alloys are largely used as hydrogen separation membranes and, as a consequence, the Pd–Ag–H system has been intensively studied. On the contrary, fewer information is available for the Pd–Ag–D system; thus, the aim of this work is to improve the knowledge of [...] Read more.
Pd–Ag alloys are largely used as hydrogen separation membranes and, as a consequence, the Pd–Ag–H system has been intensively studied. On the contrary, fewer information is available for the Pd–Ag–D system; thus, the aim of this work is to improve the knowledge of the isotope effect on the commercial Pd77Ag23 alloy, especially for temperature above 200 °C. In particular, deuterium absorption measurements are carried out in the Pd77Ag23 alloy in the temperature range between 79 and 400 °C and in the pressure range between 10−2 and 16 bar. In this exploited pressure (p) and composition (c) range, above 300 °C the pc isotherms display the typical shape of materials where only a solid solution of deuterium is present while at lower temperatures these curves seem to be better described by the coexistence of a solid solution and a deuteride in a large composition range. The obtained results are compared and discussed with the ones previously measured with the lightest hydrogen isotope. Such a comparison shows that the Pd77Ag23 alloy exhibits a clear inverse isotope effect, as the equilibrium pressure of the Pd–Ag–D system is higher than in Pd–Ag–H by a factor of ≈2 and the solubility of deuterium is about one half of that of hydrogen. In addition, the absorption measurements were used to assess the deuteration enthalpy that below 300 °C is ΔHdeut = 31.9 ± 0.3 kJ/mol, while for temperatures higher than 300 °C, ΔHdeut increases to 43 ± 1 kJ/mol. Additionally, in this case a comparison with the lighter isotope is given and both deuteration enthalpy values result lower than those reported for hydrogenation. The results described in this paper are of practical interest for applications operating above 200 °C, such as membranes or packing column, in which Pd77Ag23 has to interact with a gas stream containing both hydrogen isotopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Optimizing the Control System of Clinker Cooling: Process Modeling and Controller Tuning
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030050 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 262
Abstract
This paper aims to present efficient efforts to optimize the proportional-integral-differential (PID) controller of clinker cooling in grate coolers, which have a fixed grate and at least two moving ones. The process model contains three transfer functions between the speed of the moving [...] Read more.
This paper aims to present efficient efforts to optimize the proportional-integral-differential (PID) controller of clinker cooling in grate coolers, which have a fixed grate and at least two moving ones. The process model contains three transfer functions between the speed of the moving grate and the pressures of the static and moving grates. The developed software achieves the identification of the model parameters using industrial data and by implementing non-linear regression methods. The design of the PID controller follows a loop-shaping technique, imposing as a constraint the maximum sensitivity, Ms, of the open-loop transfer function and providing a set of PIDs that satisfy a range of Ms. A simulator determines the optimal PID sets among those calculated at the design step using the integral of absolute error (IAE) as a performance criterion. The combination of a robustness constraint with a performance criterion, Ms and IAE respectively, leads to an area of controllers with Ms belonging to the range of 1.2 to 1.35. The IAE is between 4.2% and 4.8%, depending on the set-point value. PID sets located near the middle of this area can be chosen and implemented in the cooler’s routine operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Microalgae Monitoring in Microscale Photobioreactors via Multivariate Image Analysis
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030049 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Microscale photobioreactors for microalgae growth represent an interesting technology for fast data production and biomass characterization; however, the small scale poses severe monitoring challenges, as traditional methods cannot be used. Non-invasive techniques are therefore needed to quantify biomass concentration and other culture properties, [...] Read more.
Microscale photobioreactors for microalgae growth represent an interesting technology for fast data production and biomass characterization; however, the small scale poses severe monitoring challenges, as traditional methods cannot be used. Non-invasive techniques are therefore needed to quantify biomass concentration and other culture properties, for example, pigment composition. To this purpose, a soft sensing approach based on multivariate image regression is proposed to exploit RGB images and/or PAM-imaging chlorophyll fluorescence. Different PLS (Partial Least Squares) regression models are used to estimate: (a) biomass concentration from the features extracted by RGB indices and/or PAM-imaging chlorophyll fluorescence measurements; and (b) Chlorophyll a content per cell from the features extracted by RGB indices and biomass concentration measurements. Every single model is aimed at characterizing the microalgae culture at different light intensities during batch growth. Results show that the proposed monitoring approach is as accurate as traditional measurement approaches and may represent a promising methodology for fast and inexpensive monitoring of microscale photobioreactors. Full article
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Article
In Silico Study of the Influence of Various Substrates on the Electronic Properties and Electrical Conductivity of Mono- and Bilayer Films of Armchair Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030048 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 242
Abstract
We investigate electronic and electro-physical properties of mono- and bilayer armchair single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films located on substrates of different types, including substrates in the form of crystalline silicon dioxide (SiO2) films with P42/mnm and P3121 [...] Read more.
We investigate electronic and electro-physical properties of mono- and bilayer armchair single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films located on substrates of different types, including substrates in the form of crystalline silicon dioxide (SiO2) films with P42/mnm and P3121 space symmetry groups. The SWCNT films interact with substrate only by van der Waals forces. The densities of electronic states (DOS) and the electron transmission functions are calculated for SWCNT films with various substrates. The electrical conductivity of SWCNT films is calculated based on the electron transmission function. It is found that the substrate plays an important role in the formation of DOS of the SWCNT films, and the surface topology determines the degree and nature of the mutual influence of the nanotube and the substrate. It is shown that the substrate affects the electronic properties of monolayer films, changing the electrical resistance value from 2% to 17%. However, the substrate has practically no effect on the electrical conductivity and resistance of the bilayer film in both directions of current transfer. In this case, the values of the resistances of the bilayer film in both directions of current transfer approach the value of ~6.4 kΩ, which is the lowest for individual SWCNT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Review
Water Purification of Classical and Emerging Organic Pollutants: An Extensive Review
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030047 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
The main techniques used for organic pollutant removal from water are adsorption, reductive and oxidative processes, phytoremediation, bioremediation, separation by membranes and liquid–liquid extraction. In this review, strengths and weaknesses of the different purification techniques are discussed, with particular attention to the newest [...] Read more.
The main techniques used for organic pollutant removal from water are adsorption, reductive and oxidative processes, phytoremediation, bioremediation, separation by membranes and liquid–liquid extraction. In this review, strengths and weaknesses of the different purification techniques are discussed, with particular attention to the newest results published in the scientific literature. This study highlighted that adsorption is the most frequently used method for water purification, since it can balance high organic pollutants removal efficiency, it has the possibility to treat a large quantity of water in semi-continuous way and has acceptable costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Production of Sustainable Biochemicals by Means of Esterification Reaction and Heterogeneous Acid Catalysts
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030046 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
In recent years, the use of renewable raw materials for the production of chemicals has been the subject of different studies. In particular, the interest of the present study was the use of oleins, mixtures of free fatty acids (FFAs), and oleic acid [...] Read more.
In recent years, the use of renewable raw materials for the production of chemicals has been the subject of different studies. In particular, the interest of the present study was the use of oleins, mixtures of free fatty acids (FFAs), and oleic acid to produce bio-based components for lubricants formulations and the investigation of the performance of a styrene-divinylbenzene acid resin (sPSB-SA) in the esterification reaction of fatty acids. This resin has shown good activity as a heterogeneous catalyst and high stability at elevated temperatures (180 °C). It was tested in the esterification reaction of oleic acid with 1,3-propanediol and of oleic acid with glycerol. In particular, the esterification reactions were performed in a steel stirred batch reactor and a PBR loop reactor. Tests were conducted varying the reaction conditions, such as alcohol type, temperature, reaction time, and catalysts, both homogeneous and heterogeneous ones. From the obtained results, acid resin (both in reticulated and not-reticulated form) showed high activity in esterification reaction of oleic acid with 1,3-propanediol and of oleic acid with glycerol and good resistance to the deactivation; thus, they can be considered promising candidates for future applications in continuous devices. Viscosity tests were performed, underlining the good properties of the obtained products as lubricant bases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Investigation and Computational Modelling of Variable TEG Leg Geometries
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030045 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
In this work, computational modelling and performance assessment of several different types of variable thermoelectric legs have been performed under steady-state conditions and the results reviewed. The study conducted has covered geometries, not previously analysed in the literature, such as Cone-leg and Diamond-leg, [...] Read more.
In this work, computational modelling and performance assessment of several different types of variable thermoelectric legs have been performed under steady-state conditions and the results reviewed. The study conducted has covered geometries, not previously analysed in the literature, such as Cone-leg and Diamond-leg, based on the corresponding thermoelectric generator leg shape structure. According to the findings, it has been demonstrated that the inclusion of a variable cross-section can have an impact on the efficiency of a thermoelectric generator. It has been concluded that the Diamond configuration generated a slightly larger voltage difference than the conventional Rectangular geometry. In addition, for two cases, Rectangular and Diamond configurations, the voltage generated by a TEG module consisting of 128 pairs of legs was analysed. As thermal stress analysis is an important factor in the selection of TEG leg geometries, it was observed based on simulations that the newly implemented Diamond-leg geometry encountered lower thermal stresses than the traditional Rectangular model, while the Cone-shape may fail structurally before the other TEG models. The proposed methodology, taking into account the results of the simulation carried out, provides guidance for the development of thermoelectric modules with different forms of variable leg geometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Heat Exchangers for Waste Heat Recovery Applications)
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Article
Characterization of Soluplus/ASC-DP Nanoparticles Encapsulated with Minoxidil for Skin Targeting
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030044 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Soluplus (Sol) is an amphiphilic graft copolymer capable of forming self-assembled micelles and L-ascorbyl 2,6-dipalmitate (ASC-DP) aggregates spontaneously to form micelles. Micelles are used as drug carriers and can nanoparticulate drugs that are poorly soluble in water, such as minoxidil. The study aimed [...] Read more.
Soluplus (Sol) is an amphiphilic graft copolymer capable of forming self-assembled micelles and L-ascorbyl 2,6-dipalmitate (ASC-DP) aggregates spontaneously to form micelles. Micelles are used as drug carriers and can nanoparticulate drugs that are poorly soluble in water, such as minoxidil. The study aimed to prepare minoxidil-encapsulated nanoparticles using Sol/ASC-DP and evaluate their potential for targeted skin application. Sol/ASC-DP nanoparticles or Sol/ASC-DP with minoxidil were prepared using the hydration method, and physical evaluations were carried out, including assessments of particle size and zeta potential. Particle structure was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectra to assess particle stability and perform functional evaluations in skin penetration tests. TEM images showed spherical micelle-like particles of approximately 100 nm for Sol/ASC-DP at a 9:1 ratio and of approximately 80 nm for Sol/ASC-DP with incorporated minoxidil at a 9:1:0.5 ratio. Changes were also observed in the solid state, suggesting a hydrophobic interaction between Sol and ASC-DP. In addition, evaporated microparticles (Sol/ASC-DP/minoxidil = 9/1/0.5) improved the skin permeability of minoxidil. These results suggest that Sol/ASC-DP nanoparticles form a stable new nanoparticle due to hydrophobic interactions, which would improve the skin permeability of minoxidil. Full article
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Review
A Review on Gas-Liquid Mass Transfer Coefficients in Packed-Bed Columns
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030043 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 562
Abstract
This review provides a thorough analysis of the most famous mass transfer models for random and structured packed-bed columns used in absorption/stripping and distillation processes, providing a detailed description of the equations to calculate the mass transfer parameters, i.e., gas-side coefficient per unit [...] Read more.
This review provides a thorough analysis of the most famous mass transfer models for random and structured packed-bed columns used in absorption/stripping and distillation processes, providing a detailed description of the equations to calculate the mass transfer parameters, i.e., gas-side coefficient per unit surface ky [kmol·m−2·s−1], liquid-side coefficient per unit surface kx [kmol·m−2·s−1], interfacial packing area ae [m2·m−3], which constitute the ingredients to assess the mass transfer rate of packed-bed columns. The models have been reported in the original form provided by the authors together with the geometric and model fitting parameters published in several papers to allow their adaptation to packings different from those covered in the original papers. Although the work is focused on a collection of carefully described and ready-to-use equations, we have tried to underline the criticalities behind these models, which mostly rely on the assessment of fluid-dynamics parameters such as liquid film thickness, liquid hold-up and interfacial area, or the real liquid paths or any mal-distributions flow. To this end, the paper reviewed novel experimental and simulation approaches aimed to better describe the gas-liquid multiphase flow dynamics in packed-bed column, e.g., by using optical technologies (tomography) or CFD simulations. While the results of these studies may not be easily extended to full-scale columns, the improved estimation of the main fluid-dynamic parameters will provide a more accurate modelling correlation of liquid-gas mass transfer phenomena in packed columns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
Communication
2D Model of Transfer Processes for Water Boiling Flow in Microchannel
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030042 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The modeling of transfer processes is a step in the generalization and interpretation of experimental data on heat transfer. The developed two-dimensional model is based on a homogeneous mixture model for boiling water flow in a microchannel with a new evaporation submodel. The [...] Read more.
The modeling of transfer processes is a step in the generalization and interpretation of experimental data on heat transfer. The developed two-dimensional model is based on a homogeneous mixture model for boiling water flow in a microchannel with a new evaporation submodel. The outcome of the simulation is the distribution of velocity, void fraction and temperature profiles in the microchannel. The predicted temperature profile is consistent with the experimental literature data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
MoS2-Cysteine Nanofiltration Membrane for Lead Removal
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030041 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
To overcome the limitations of polymers, such as the trade-off relationship between water permeance and solute rejection, as well as the difficulty of functionalization, research on nanomaterials is being actively conducted. One of the representative nanomaterials is graphene, which has a two-dimensional shape [...] Read more.
To overcome the limitations of polymers, such as the trade-off relationship between water permeance and solute rejection, as well as the difficulty of functionalization, research on nanomaterials is being actively conducted. One of the representative nanomaterials is graphene, which has a two-dimensional shape and chemical tunability. Graphene is usually used in the form of graphene oxide in the water treatment field because it has advantages such as high water permeance and functionality on its surface. However, there is a problem in that it lacks physical stability under water-contacted conditions due to the high hydrophilicity. To overcome this problem, MoS2, which has a similar shape to graphene and hydrophobicity, can be a new option. In this study, bulk MoS2 was dispersed in a mixed solvent of acetone/isopropyl alcohol, and MoS2 nanosheet was obtained by applying sonic energy to exfoliate. In addition, Cysteine was functionalized in MoS2 with a mild reaction. When the nanofiltration (NF) performance of the membrane was compared under various conditions, the composite membrane incorporated by Cysteine 10 wt % (vs. MoS2) showed the best NF performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Modelling Particle Agglomeration on through Elastic Valves under Flow
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030040 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 634
Abstract
This work proposes a model of particle agglomeration in elastic valves replicating the geometry and the fluid dynamics of a venous valve. The fluid dynamics is simulated with Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics, the elastic leaflets of the valve with the Lattice Spring Model, while [...] Read more.
This work proposes a model of particle agglomeration in elastic valves replicating the geometry and the fluid dynamics of a venous valve. The fluid dynamics is simulated with Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics, the elastic leaflets of the valve with the Lattice Spring Model, while agglomeration is modelled with a 4-2 Lennard-Jones potential. All the models are combined together within a single Discrete Multiphysics framework. The results show that particle agglomeration occurs near the leaflets, supporting the hypothesis, proposed in previous experimental work, that clot formation in deep venous thrombosis is driven by the fluid dynamics in the valve. Full article
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Article
Optimization of Exopolysaccharide (EPS) Production by Rhodotorula mucilaginosa sp. GUMS16
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030039 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) are important biopolymers with diverse applications such as gelling compounds in food and cosmetic industries and as bio-flocculants in pollution remediation and bioplastics production. This research focuses on enhancing crude EPS production from Rhodotorula mucilaginosa sp. GUMS16 using the central composite [...] Read more.
Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) are important biopolymers with diverse applications such as gelling compounds in food and cosmetic industries and as bio-flocculants in pollution remediation and bioplastics production. This research focuses on enhancing crude EPS production from Rhodotorula mucilaginosa sp. GUMS16 using the central composite design method in which five levels of process variables of sucrose, pH, and ammonium sulfate were investigated with sucrose and ammonium sulfate serving as carbon and nitrogen sources during microbial incubation. The optimal crude EPS production of 13.48 g/100 mL was achieved at 1 g/100 mL of sucrose concentration, 14.73 g/100 mL of ammonium sulfate at pH 5. Variations in ammonium sulfate concentrations (1.27–14.73 g/100 mL) presented the most significant effects on the crude EPS yield, while changes in sucrose concentrations (1–5 g/100 mL) constituted the least important process variable influencing the EPS yield. The Rhodotorula mucilaginosa sp. GUMS16 may have the potential for large-scale production of EPS for food and biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Intraparticle Model for Non-Uniform Active Phase Distribution Catalysts in a Batch Reactor
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030038 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 703
Abstract
The study and the understanding of the importance of the morphological properties of heterogeneous catalysts can pave the way for important improvements in the performance of catalytic systems. Non-uniform active phase distribution catalysts are normally adopted for consecutive reactions to improve the selectivity [...] Read more.
The study and the understanding of the importance of the morphological properties of heterogeneous catalysts can pave the way for important improvements in the performance of catalytic systems. Non-uniform active phase distribution catalysts are normally adopted for consecutive reactions to improve the selectivity to the desired intermediate product. Attributes on which minor attention is paid, such as the distribution and thickness of the active phase, can be decisive in the final rationale of the catalyst synthesis strategy. Starting from a previous work, where a single non-uniform active phase model for catalyst particles was developed, a key step to control the entire system is to include the bulk-phase equations and related transport phenomena. For this purpose, this work proposes a modeling approach of a biphasic reactive system in a batch reactor in the presence of three different kinds of catalytic particles (egg shell, egg white, and egg yolk) whose distinction lies in the localization of the active zone. The reactive network consists of a couple of reactions in series, which take place exclusively on the solid surface, and the intermediate component is the main product of interest. To reveal the influence related to the type of catalyst, an extensive parametric study was conducted, varying several structural coefficients to highlight the changes in the intraparticle and bulk concentration profiles of the different chemical species. The main results can be considered of wide interest for the chemical reaction engineering community, as it was demonstrated that mass and heat transfer limitations affect the catalyst performance. For the chosen system, the egg shell catalyst normally led to better catalytic performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Chemical Engineering)
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Article
Thermodynamic Design of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) Based on Petroleum Coke Combustion
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030037 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 720
Abstract
Thermodynamic analysis of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) was performed in this work. The Petroleum Coke burner provided the required heat flux for the Butane Boiler. The simulation of pet-coke combustion was carried out by using Fire Dynamics Simulator software (FDS) version 5.0. Validation [...] Read more.
Thermodynamic analysis of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) was performed in this work. The Petroleum Coke burner provided the required heat flux for the Butane Boiler. The simulation of pet-coke combustion was carried out by using Fire Dynamics Simulator software (FDS) version 5.0. Validation of the FDS calculation results was carried out by comparing the temperature of the gaseous mixture and CO2 mole fractions to the literature. It was discovered that they are similar to those reported in the literature. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) time forecasting analysis was performed on this work. The AI algorithm was applied to the temperature and soot sensor readings. Two Python libraries were applied in order to forecast the time behaviour of the thermocouple readings: Statistical model—ARIMA (Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average) and KERAS—deep learning library. ARIMA is a class of model that captures a suite of different standard temporal structures in time series data. Keras is a python library applied for deep learning and runs on top of Tensor-Flow. It has been developed in order to perform deep learning models as fast and easily as possible for research and development. The model accuracy and model loss plot shows comparable performance (train and test). Butane has been employed as a working fluid in the ORC. Butane is considered one of the best pure fluids in terms of exergy efficiency. It has low specific radiative forcing (RF) compared to Ethane and Propane. Moreover, it has zero ozone depletion potential and low Global Warming Potential. It is considered flammable, highly stable and non-corrosive. The thermodynamic properties of Butane needed to evaluate the heat rate and the power were calculated by applying the ASIMPTOTE online thermodynamic calculator. It was shown that the calculated net power of the ORC cycle is similar to the net power reported in the literature (relative error of 4.8%). The proposed ORC energetic system obeys the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The thermal efficiency of the cycle is 20.4%. Full article
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Review
Development of Solid–Fluid Reaction Models—A Literature Review
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030036 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
A comprehensive review is carried out on the models and correlations for solid/fluid reactions that result from a complex multi-scale physicochemical process. A simulation of this process with CFD requires various complicated submodels and significant computational time, which often makes it undesirable and [...] Read more.
A comprehensive review is carried out on the models and correlations for solid/fluid reactions that result from a complex multi-scale physicochemical process. A simulation of this process with CFD requires various complicated submodels and significant computational time, which often makes it undesirable and impractical in many industrial activities requiring a quick solution within a limited time frame, such as new product/process design, feasibility studies, and the evaluation or optimization of the existing processes, etc. In these circumstances, the existing models and correlations developed in the last few decades are of significant relevance and become a useful simulation tool. However, despite the increasing research interests in this area in the last thirty years, there is no comprehensive review available. This paper is thus motivated to review the models developed so far, as well as provide the selection guidance for model and correlations for the specific application to help engineers and researchers choose the most appropriate model for feasible solutions. Therefore, this review is also of practical relevance to professionals who need to perform engineering design or simulation work. The areas needing further development in solid–fluid reaction modelling are also identified and discussed. Full article
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Article
Coagulated Mineral Adsorbents for Dye Removal, and Their Process Intensification Using an Agitated Tubular Reactor (ATR)
ChemEngineering 2021, 5(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering5030035 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 600
Abstract
The aim of this study was to understand the efficacy of widely available minerals as dual-function adsorbers and weighter materials, for the removal of toxic azo-type textile dyes when combined with coprecipitation processes. Specifically, the adsorption of an anionic direct dye was measured [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to understand the efficacy of widely available minerals as dual-function adsorbers and weighter materials, for the removal of toxic azo-type textile dyes when combined with coprecipitation processes. Specifically, the adsorption of an anionic direct dye was measured on various mineral types with and without the secondary coagulation of iron hydroxide (‘FeOOH’) in both a bench-scale stirred tank, as well as an innovative agitated tubular reactor (ATR). Talc, calcite and modified bentonite were all able to remove 90–95% of the dye at 100 and 200 ppm concentrations, where the kinetics were fitted to a pseudo second-order rate model and adsorption was rapid (<30 min). Physical characterisation of the composite mineral-FeOOH sludges was also completed through particle size and sedimentation measurements, as well as elemental scanning electron microscopy to determine the homogeneity of the minerals in the coagulated structure. Removal of >99% of the dye was achieved for all the coagulated systems, where additionally, they produced significantly enhanced settling rates and bed compression. The greatest settling rate (9 mm min−1) and solids content increase (450% w/w) were observed for the calcium carbonate system, which also displayed the most homogenous distribution. This system was selected for scale-up and benchmarking in the ATR. Dye removal and sediment dispersion in the ATR were enhanced with respect to the bench scale tests, although lower settling rates were observed due to the relatively high shear rate of the agitator. Overall, results highlight the applicability of these cost-effective minerals as both dye adsorbers and sludge separation modifiers to accelerate settling and compression in textile water treatment. Additionally, the work indicates the suitability of the ATR as a flexible, modular alternative to traditional stirred tank reactors. Full article
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