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C, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Physical Activation of Wooden Chips and the Effect of Particle Size, Initial Humidity, and Acetic Acid Extraction on the Properties of Activated Carbons
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
In this research study, two different wooden biomasses (birch and pine) were thermally carbonized and steam-activated into activated carbons in a one-stage process. The effects of particle size and humidity (as received and oven-dried) on the properties, such as specific surface areas, pore
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In this research study, two different wooden biomasses (birch and pine) were thermally carbonized and steam-activated into activated carbons in a one-stage process. The effects of particle size and humidity (as received and oven-dried) on the properties, such as specific surface areas, pore volumes, and pore size distributions, of the final activated carbon characteristics were examined. Another set of biomasses (birch, spruce, and pine) was pre-treated before carbonization and the activation steps through an extractive process using a weak acetic acid in Soxhlet extractors. According to the results, the dried samples had a slightly lower surface area, while no difference was observed in the yields. For the extracted samples, there was a significant difference, especially in the pore size distributions, compared to the non-extracted samples. There appeared to be a shift from a meso-microporous distribution to a microporous distribution caused by the extractive pre-treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Coal, Biomass and Waste Conversion Technologies)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Investigation of Nanographene Produced by In-Liquid Plasma for Development of Highly Durable Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Recently, polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are attracting a lot of attention owing to their small size and relatively low working temperature (below 80 °C), which enables their usage in automobiles and household power generation. However, PEFCs have a problem with decreased output
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Recently, polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are attracting a lot of attention owing to their small size and relatively low working temperature (below 80 °C), which enables their usage in automobiles and household power generation. However, PEFCs have a problem with decreased output caused by corrosion of amorphous carbon, which is commonly used as a catalytic carrier. This problem could be solved by the usage of carbon nanostructures with a stronger crystal structure than amorphous carbon. In this work, nanographene supported by Pt nanoparticles was synthesized and examined for possible applications in the development of PEFCs with increased durability. Nanographene was synthesized by in-liquid plasma generated in ethanol using alternating current (AC) high voltage. A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) was constructed, where Pt nanoparticle-supported nanographene was used as the catalytic layer. Power generation characteristics of the MEA were evaluated and current density for the developed MEA was found to be approximately 240 mA/cm2. From the electrochemical evaluation, it was found that the durability of Pt nanoparticle-supported nanographene was about seven times higher than that of carbon black. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Processing for Carbon-based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Pt Nanocluster Co-Catalysts for Photocatalytic Water Splitting
Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 19 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract
Degussa P25 is a benchmark form of TiO2 used worldwide in photocatalysis studies. Currently, no such benchmark exists for co-catalysts, which are essential for many photocatalytic reactions. Here, we present the preparation of Pt nanocluster co-catalysts on TiO2 using an unmodified
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Degussa P25 is a benchmark form of TiO2 used worldwide in photocatalysis studies. Currently, no such benchmark exists for co-catalysts, which are essential for many photocatalytic reactions. Here, we present the preparation of Pt nanocluster co-catalysts on TiO2 using an unmodified commercial source and equipment that is commonly available. Transmission electron microscopy reveals that the procedure produces TiO2 decorated with Pt atoms and nanoclusters (1–5 atoms). Optical reflectance and X-ray diffraction measurements show that the procedure does not affect the TiO2 polymorph or ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance. Gas phase photocatalytic splitting of heavy water (D2O) shows that the Pt nanocluster-decorated TiO2 outperforms Pt nanoparticle (produced by photodeposition) decorated TiO2 in D2 production. Pt nanoclusters, produced directly from a commercial source, with high co-catalyst activity, are prime candidates to be used in benchmark photocatalytic reactions. Full article
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Open AccessReview A Review on the Synthesis and Characterization of Biomass-Derived Carbons for Adsorption of Emerging Contaminants from Water
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
This review analyzes the preparation and characterization of biomass-derived carbons and their application as adsorbents of emerging contaminants from water. The study begins by identifying the different types of emerging contaminants more often found in water streams, including a brief reference to the
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This review analyzes the preparation and characterization of biomass-derived carbons and their application as adsorbents of emerging contaminants from water. The study begins by identifying the different types of emerging contaminants more often found in water streams, including a brief reference to the available technologies for their removal. It also describes the biomass sources that could be used for the synthesis of biochars and activated carbons (AC). The characterization of the adsorbents and the different approaches that can be followed to learn about the adsorption processes are also detailed. Finally, the work reviews literature studies focused on the adsorption of emerging contaminants on biochars and activated carbons synthesized from biomass precursors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Physicochemical Properties of Activated Carbon: Their Effect on the Adsorption of Pharmaceutical Compounds and Adsorbate–Adsorbent Interactions
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
The adsorption of salicylic acid, acetaminophen, and methylparaben (pharmaceutical products derived from phenol) on carbons activated with different surface chemistries was carried out. We evaluated the effect of the physicochemical properties of the adsorbent and adsorbates on the adsorption capacity. A study of
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The adsorption of salicylic acid, acetaminophen, and methylparaben (pharmaceutical products derived from phenol) on carbons activated with different surface chemistries was carried out. We evaluated the effect of the physicochemical properties of the adsorbent and adsorbates on the adsorption capacity. A study of the adsorbate–adsorbent interactions via immersion calorimetry in the analytes solutions at different concentrations was included, in addition to the equilibrium data analysis. The results show that the pharmaceutical compounds (2.28–0.71 mmol g−1) have lower adsorption capacities in the activated carbon with the highest content of oxygenated groups (acids), while the activated carbons with amphoteric characteristics increase the capacities of adsorption (2.60–1.38 mmol g−1). This behavior may be associated with the increased affinity between the adsorbent and solvent due to the presence of polar groups, which was corroborated by the high immersion enthalpy value in water (ΔHimmH2O = −66.6 J g−1). The equilibrium data, adjusted to the Freundlich adsorption model, indicated that the heterogeneous adsorption processes involve immersion enthalpy values between −9.42 and −24.3 J g−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Microwave-Driven Plasma-Mediated Methane Cracking: Product Carbon Characterization
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
Methane is the primary industrial H2 source, with the vast majority produced by steam reforming of methane—a highly CO2- and water-intensive process. Alternatives to steam reforming, such as microwave-driven plasma-mediated methane decomposition, offer benefits of no water consumption and zero
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Methane is the primary industrial H2 source, with the vast majority produced by steam reforming of methane—a highly CO2- and water-intensive process. Alternatives to steam reforming, such as microwave-driven plasma-mediated methane decomposition, offer benefits of no water consumption and zero CO2 process emissions while also producing solid carbon formed by pyrolytic reactions and aided by a plasma reactive environment. The economic viability of pyrolytic methane decomposition as a hydrogen source will depend upon the commercial applications of the solid carbon product—which, in turn, will depend upon its physical and chemical characteristics. This study focuses on material characterization of the solid carbon (secondary) product. Characterization by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals forms ranging from graphitic to amorphous. Thermogravimetric analyses reveal three forms by their differing oxidative reactivity, while X-ray diffraction analyses support the different crystalline forms as suggested by Thermogravimetric analysis. Plasma perturbation of the radical pool, elevating radical temperatures and boosting concentrations, is proposed as altering the reaction paths towards solid carbon formation, resulting in the different sp2 forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Processing for Carbon-based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Development of La Doped Ni/CeO2 for CH4/CO2 Reforming
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract
Methane dry reforming (MDR) allows the transformation of carbon dioxide and methane, the two main greenhouse gases, into syngas. Given the high endothermicity of the process, it is necessary to produce a catalytic system that is very active, selective and resistant to coking
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Methane dry reforming (MDR) allows the transformation of carbon dioxide and methane, the two main greenhouse gases, into syngas. Given the high endothermicity of the process, it is necessary to produce a catalytic system that is very active, selective and resistant to coking deactivation; this work focuses on the development of a heterogeneous catalyst based on nickel supported on cerium oxide. Several strategies of synthesis of the catalysts were studied with particular attention to the lanthanum addition methodology. Both supports and catalysts, fresh and used, were deeply characterized by different techniques (N2 physisorption, TPR, XRD, SEM). The effect of temperature on activity and selectivity of the different catalysts was also studied. A positive effect of lanthanum addition is strongly related to the synthetic methodology. Incipient wetness impregnation of lanthanum precursor on an already calcined ceria has led to the best catalytic activity. This behaviour is due to a more effective interaction between nickel and the support, which results in a higher dispersion of the active phase. The structural modifications have led to an improvement of the redox pump of the ceria, reducing the formation of coke during the reaction and improving the stability on time on stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CO2-Derived Products)
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Open AccessReview Enhancing Anaerobic Digestion: The Effect of Carbon Conductive Materials
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
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Abstract
Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technology which has been extensively studied to improve its performance and yield biogas from substrates. The application of different types of pre-treatments has led to an increase in biogas production but also in global energy demand. However, in
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Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technology which has been extensively studied to improve its performance and yield biogas from substrates. The application of different types of pre-treatments has led to an increase in biogas production but also in global energy demand. However, in recent years the use of carbon conductive materials as supplement for this process has been studied resulting in an interesting way for improving the performance of anaerobic digestion without greatly affecting its energy demand. This review offers an introduction to this interesting approach and covers the different experiences performed on the use of carbon conductive materials proposing it as a feasible alternative for the production of energy from biomass, considering also the integration of anaerobic digestion and thermal valorisation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fullerene-to-MWCNT Structural Evolution Synthesized by Arc Discharge Plasma
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
The growth of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has been extensively studied using electron microscopy. The ex situ structural behavior was examined to investigate the growth of the MWCNTs under different environments and pressures using electron microscopy. The arc discharge plasma technique was applied
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The growth of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has been extensively studied using electron microscopy. The ex situ structural behavior was examined to investigate the growth of the MWCNTs under different environments and pressures using electron microscopy. The arc discharge plasma technique was applied to synthesize the MWCNTs by evaporating carbon through the arc plasma between two cylindrical graphite rods, with a background pressure of 10−2 to 102 mbar, inside a vacuum chamber under different ambient environments. The results showed that long MWCNT structures were successfully grown. We suggest that the mechanism involves: (i) fullerene formation; (ii) the elongation of fullerenes; and (iii) the growth of MWCNTs. Agglomeration with other structures then forms MWCNT bundles. We note that the pressure and environment in the vacuum chamber can affect the structure of the MWCNTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission Electron Microscopy and Carbon Materials)
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Open AccessBrief Report Carbon Dioxide Emissions Research and Sustainable Transportation in the Sports Industry
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
The sports industry is an institution that has large responsibility toward global environmental pollution. Over the past decade sports organizations have initiated a variety of environmentally sustainable practices. In this paper, the role of research in CO2 emissions generated by the sports
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The sports industry is an institution that has large responsibility toward global environmental pollution. Over the past decade sports organizations have initiated a variety of environmentally sustainable practices. In this paper, the role of research in CO2 emissions generated by the sports industry pursuits is highlighted. This report recommends that strategic management approaches and policy development are required to control this dangerous environmental pollutant. Specifically, proactive sustainable innovations and policies that mandate alternative transportation behaviors are suggested. In conclusion, after reviewing the current literature, it is proposed that sports associations should apply specific practices in sports events with focus on spectators’ mobility choices such as sustainable transportation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective Crucial Factors for the Application of Functional Nanoporous Carbon-Based Materials in Energy and Environmental Applications
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract
This special issue of C—Journal of Carbon Research is dedicated to “Functional Nanoporous Carbon-Based Materials”. It contains contributions reporting on the synthesis of nanoporous carbons for the adsorption of proteins, their applications in electrochemical energy storage/conversion, and on the characterization/modification of their surface
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This special issue of C—Journal of Carbon Research is dedicated to “Functional Nanoporous Carbon-Based Materials”. It contains contributions reporting on the synthesis of nanoporous carbons for the adsorption of proteins, their applications in electrochemical energy storage/conversion, and on the characterization/modification of their surface chemistry. Nanoporous carbon-based materials are widely researched, but at the same time, the field is still full of unutilized potential. The atomic construction of the carbon framework, pore sizes, pore geometries, presence of heteroatoms, particle size and shape, and many other “internal screws” are available; in the end, the high potential of carbon-based materials will only be fully explored if the interplay of these crucial factors is precisely controlled. This article is a summary of what we consider important for future targeted improvement of porous carbon nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanoporous Carbon-Based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle A Tailor-Made Protocol to Synthesize Yolk-Shell Graphene-Based Magnetic Nanoparticles for Nanomedicine
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
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Abstract
A simple tailor-made protocol to synthesize graphene-based magnetic nanoparticles (GbMNPs) for nanomedicine is herein reported. Different GbMNPs with very distinctive physicochemical and toxicological properties were synthesized by adjusting the number of carbon precursors in the coating of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. In vitro
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A simple tailor-made protocol to synthesize graphene-based magnetic nanoparticles (GbMNPs) for nanomedicine is herein reported. Different GbMNPs with very distinctive physicochemical and toxicological properties were synthesized by adjusting the number of carbon precursors in the coating of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. In vitro tests show the ability to use these GbMNPs as intelligent and on-demand drug nanocarrier systems for drug delivery, exhibiting the following features: good colloidal stability, good loading capacity of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin, high pH-controlled release of the encapsulated drug (targeting tumour acidic pH conditions), superparamagnetic behaviour and biocompatibility. Due to their combined properties (i.e., physicochemical, magnetic, and biocompatibility), GbMNPs show high potentiality to be combined with other biomedical techniques, such as magnetic hyperthermia, which can represent an enhancement in the treatment of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent C-based materials and nanopowders for magnetic sensing)
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Open AccessReview A Metal-Free Carbon-Based Catalyst: An Overview and Directions for Future Research
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract
Metal-free carbon porous materials (CPMs) have gained the intensive attention of scientists and technologists because of their potential applications, ranging from catalysis to energy storage. Various simple and facile strategies are proposed for the preparation of CPMs with well-controlled sizes, shapes, and modifications
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Metal-free carbon porous materials (CPMs) have gained the intensive attention of scientists and technologists because of their potential applications, ranging from catalysis to energy storage. Various simple and facile strategies are proposed for the preparation of CPMs with well-controlled sizes, shapes, and modifications on the surface. The extraordinary tenability of the pore structure, the environmental acceptability, the unique surface and the corrosion resistance properties allow them to be suitable materials for a large panel of catalysis applications. This review briefly outlines the different signs of progresses made towards synthesizing CPMs, and their properties, including catalytic efficiency, stability, and recyclability. Finally, we make a comparison of their catalytic performances with other nanocomposites, and we provide an outlook on the expected developments in the relevant research works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Catalyst)
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Open AccessReview Design and Preparation of Biomass-Derived Carbon Materials for Supercapacitors: A Review
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
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Abstract
The synthesis and application of biomass-derived carbon in energy storage have drawn increasing research attention due to the ease of fabrication, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability of the meso/microporous carbon produced from various biological precursors, including plants, fruits, microorganisms, and animals. Compared to the artificial
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The synthesis and application of biomass-derived carbon in energy storage have drawn increasing research attention due to the ease of fabrication, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability of the meso/microporous carbon produced from various biological precursors, including plants, fruits, microorganisms, and animals. Compared to the artificial nanostructured carbons, such as fullerene, carbon nanotube and graphene, the biomass-derived carbons may obtain superior capacitance, rate performance and stability in supercapacitor applications ascribing to their intrinsic nanoporous and hierarchical structures. However, challenges remain in processing techniques to obtain biomass-derived carbons with high carbon yield, high energy density, and controllable graphitic microstructures, which may require a clear understanding over the chemical and elemental compositions, and the intrinsic microstructural characteristics of the biological precursors. Herein we present comprehensive analyses over the impacts of the chemical and elemental compositions of the precursors on the carbon yield of the biomass, as well as the mechanism of chemical activation on the nanoporous structure development of the biomass-derived carbons. The structure–property relationship and functional performance of various biomass-derived carbons for supercapacitor applications are also discussed in detail and compared. Finally, useful insights are also provided for the improvements of biomass-derived carbons in supercapacitor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Kinetic and Equilibrium Study of the Adsorption of CO2 in Ultramicropores of Resorcinol-Formaldehyde Aerogels Obtained in Acidic and Basic Medium
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
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Abstract
In this work, aerogels were prepared using resorcinol-formaldehyde as a precursor in two synthetic routes, one basic and one acidic, to perform the adsorption of CO2 at 0 °C and atmospheric pressure. Aerogels were Characterization by N2 and CO2 Physisorption,
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In this work, aerogels were prepared using resorcinol-formaldehyde as a precursor in two synthetic routes, one basic and one acidic, to perform the adsorption of CO2 at 0 °C and atmospheric pressure. Aerogels were Characterization by N2 and CO2 Physisorption, Raman Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Infrared Spectroscopy. In general, was found that aerogels have a polymeric, disordered, three-dimensional structure and have a microporous surface. Langmuir, Freundlich, Sips and Toth equilibrium models present a good data fit of CO2 adsorption at relative pressure ranging between 1 × 10−4 and 3 × 10−2. The diffusion intra-particle kinetic model explains the setps of this process; the Elovich model also showed a good fit, therefore, there are an energetic heterogeneity of the CO2 superficial adsorption sites. The aerogel carbonized in basic medium at 1050 °C (ACB 1050) material was the best adsorbent of this pollutant, reaching an adsorption capacity of 6.43 mmol g−1. Full article
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