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AppliedChem, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 6 articles

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12 pages, 997 KiB  
Article
Australian Native Lemongrass (Cymbopogon ambiguus A. Camus): An Underestimated Herbal Plant
by Yuntao Zhou, Saleha Akter, Anh Dao Thi Phan, Eshetu Mulisa Bobasa, Maral Seididamyeh, Dharini Sivakumar and Yasmina Sultanbawa
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 212-223; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020014 - 27 May 2024
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Abstract
Lemongrass (genus Cymbopogon) is commonly used in foods, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and material science. Cymbopogon ambiguus A. Camus, the Australian Native Lemongrass, is a lesser-known member of the genus Cymbopogon, and research on this plant is scarce. Australian Indigenous people use the [...] Read more.
Lemongrass (genus Cymbopogon) is commonly used in foods, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and material science. Cymbopogon ambiguus A. Camus, the Australian Native Lemongrass, is a lesser-known member of the genus Cymbopogon, and research on this plant is scarce. Australian Indigenous people use the stalks and leaves of C. ambiguus as teas. Dried chopped leaves are also used as herbs in cooking. The aim of this study was to determine the proximate composition and bioactive properties of Australian native lemongrass (C. ambiguus). Antimicrobial capacity was carried out using the well diffusion method, antioxidant capacity by the FRAP method, and antidiabetic capacity by using the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity assay. The results obtained in the current study were compared with previously published literature on lemongrass (C. citratus). The results showed that C. ambiguus has lower fat and protein content and lower antioxidant and antimicrobial capacities than C. citratus, but it is very rich in fibre (67.55%) and has strong α-glucosidase inhibitory capacity. The total phenolic and total flavonoid content determined in the aqueous extract of C. ambiguus are also notable. The results of the present study showed that Australian native lemongrass has promising bioactive potential to be used as an alternative native herbal tea. Full article
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20 pages, 8014 KiB  
Article
Exploring Olive Pit Powder as a Filler for Enhanced Thermal Insulation in Epoxy Mortars to Increase Sustainability in Building Construction
by Veronica D’Eusanio, Andrea Marchetti, Stefano Pastorelli, Michele Silvestri, Lucia Bertacchini and Lorenzo Tassi
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 192-211; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020013 - 7 May 2024
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Abstract
This article explores the use of olive pit powder (OPP) as a promising resource for enhancing the thermal insulation properties of epoxy mortars. A comprehensive analysis of the chemical and physical characteristics of OPP was conducted, employing analytical techniques including scanning electron microscopy [...] Read more.
This article explores the use of olive pit powder (OPP) as a promising resource for enhancing the thermal insulation properties of epoxy mortars. A comprehensive analysis of the chemical and physical characteristics of OPP was conducted, employing analytical techniques including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis and emitted gas analysis (TG-MS-EGA), and proximal analysis. Experimental samples of epoxy grout were prepared by using different proportions of a conventional inorganic filler, quartz powder, and OPP within an epoxy mortar matrix. As the percentage of OPP in the formulation increased, the microstructure of the samples gradually became more porous and less compact. Consequently, there was a decrease in density with the increase in OPP content. The 28-day compressive strength decreased from 46 MPa to 12.8 MPa, respectively, in the samples containing only quartz (Sample E) and only OPP (Sample A) as a filler. Similarly, flexural strength decreased from 35.2 to 5.3 MPa. The thermal conductivity decreased from 0.3 W/mK in Sample E to 0.11 in Sample A. Therefore, increasing the %wt of OPP improved insulating properties while reducing the mechanical resistance values. This study highlights the potential of OPP as an environmentally friendly and thermally efficient filler for epoxy mortars, thereby promoting sustainable construction practices. Full article
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18 pages, 4838 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Analysis of Formate Production from Plasma-Assisted Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 on Pd-Based Catalysts
by Jie Hu and Fuqiang Liu
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 174-191; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020012 - 5 May 2024
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Abstract
The escalating levels of atmospheric CO2, primarily attributed to human activities, underscore the urgent need for innovative solutions to mitigate environmental challenges. This study delves into the electrochemical reduction of CO2 as a promising avenue for sustainable carbon capture and [...] Read more.
The escalating levels of atmospheric CO2, primarily attributed to human activities, underscore the urgent need for innovative solutions to mitigate environmental challenges. This study delves into the electrochemical reduction of CO2 as a promising avenue for sustainable carbon capture and utilization. Focused on the formation of formate (HCOO/HCOOH), a high-value product, the research explores the integration of nonthermal plasma (NTP) with electrochemical processes—an approach rarely studied in existing literature. A comprehensive investigation involves varying parameters such as plasma discharging voltage, carrier gas, discharging mode, electrolysis voltage, polarity, and plasma type. The electrochemical tests employ a 10 wt.% Pd/C catalyst, and formate production is quantitatively analyzed using NMR. Results reveal that NTP significantly enhances CO2 reduction, with key factors influencing formate yield elucidated. The study reveals the complexity of CO2 electrochemical reduction, providing novel insights into the synergistic effects of NTP. These findings contribute to advancing sustainable technologies for CO2 utilization, paving the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly processes in the pursuit of a carbon-neutral future. Full article
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17 pages, 1348 KiB  
Article
Biochar–Nitrogen Composites: Synthesis, Properties, and Use as Fertilizer for Maize
by Caio Pereira Mota and Carlos Alberto Silva
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 157-173; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020011 - 17 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Nitrogen (N) is highly reactive and prone to being easily lost into the air and soil water. Biochar–N composites have proven effective in nourishing and improving maize growth. The aim of this study was to synthesize and assess the properties of composites made [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) is highly reactive and prone to being easily lost into the air and soil water. Biochar–N composites have proven effective in nourishing and improving maize growth. The aim of this study was to synthesize and assess the properties of composites made from biochars (pyrolyzed at 300 °C) derived from chicken manure (N = 3.5%) and leguminous cake (N = 9%) and enriched with ammonium sulfate (AS), urea, and diammonium phosphate (DAP). The biochar pH was adjusted to approximately 6 using sulfuric and phosphoric acids prior to formulating the six tested composites. Maize was cultivated for 50 days under greenhouse conditions, with evaluations of the maize dry matter (DM) and N in the plant shoot. The biochar and composite properties underwent scrutiny for chemical and physicochemical attributes, as well as for soluble N in water and in an HCl solution. Throughout maize cultivation, the release of N as ammonium and nitrate from the composites and pure biochars in the Oxisol solution was successively assessed. Composites formulated with DAP and supplied at a dose of 270 mg kg−1 N yielded the same maize dry matter as composites in which 400 mg kg−1 N was supplied to plants. Regardless of the N source, at the end of maize cultivation, the residual N in the Oxisol was reduced and inadequate for a new cultivation, even in soils treated with urea. Notably, the biochar–N composites, particularly those formulated with DAP, were as effective as urea in nourishing and promoting robust maize growth. In contrast, the maize biomass was lower for plants fertilized with pure biochars, indicating that the N from the carbonized matrices was insufficient for optimal biomass production. Full article
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17 pages, 3930 KiB  
Article
Antidiabetic Activities and GC-MS Analysis of 4-Methoxychalcone
by Leonard D. R. Acho, Edinilze S. C. Oliveira, Simone B. Carneiro, Fernanda Paula A. Melo, Leilane de S. Mendonça, Renyer A. Costa, Rosivaldo S. Borges, Marcos B. Machado, Hector H. F. Koolen, Igor Rafael dos S. Magalhães and Emersom S. Lima
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 140-156; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020010 - 10 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease that is mainly characterized by hyperglycemia. Chalcones and their derivatives have demonstrated promising pharmacological potential for the treatment of diabetes. The aim of the study was to evaluate antidiabetic activities and analyze 4-methoxychalcone (MPP) using GC-MS. [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disease that is mainly characterized by hyperglycemia. Chalcones and their derivatives have demonstrated promising pharmacological potential for the treatment of diabetes. The aim of the study was to evaluate antidiabetic activities and analyze 4-methoxychalcone (MPP) using GC-MS. The compound was characterized using mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance and headspace with gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS). MPP was evaluated via the inhibition of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme, cell viability and antiglycation and hemolytic activities in vitro. The study of the interaction between the bovine serum albumin protein and MPP was investigated via molecular docking. Oral sucrose tolerance and oral glucose tolerance tests were performed in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. The HS-GC-MS method was able to accurately detect and characterize the compound, and the interaction between MPP and BSA revealed the remarkable affinity for the two main binding sites of BSA. This was confirmed by the in vitro antiglycation test, since MPP showed activity through both oxidative and non-oxidative stress. MPP significantly attenuated the increase in glycemia after glucose loading in STZ-induced diabetic mice. These results confirm that MPP has antihyperglycemic activity and may be an alternative for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Full article
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18 pages, 919 KiB  
Article
A New Simple Method for the Determination of Complex Wine Aroma Compounds Using GC-MS/MS—The Case of the Greek Variety “Agiorgitiko”
by Ioannis Ligas, Elli Goulioti, Petros Tarantilis and Yorgos Kotseridis
AppliedChem 2024, 4(2), 122-139; https://doi.org/10.3390/appliedchem4020009 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Wine exerts a fundamental influence on the global market, and its aroma remains a crucial attribute contributing to its commercial value. The market could benefit significantly if a simple and cheap method of analyzing a wine’s aromatic profile were developed. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Wine exerts a fundamental influence on the global market, and its aroma remains a crucial attribute contributing to its commercial value. The market could benefit significantly if a simple and cheap method of analyzing a wine’s aromatic profile were developed. The purpose of this study is to develop such a method. A multi-analytical method for quantifying 39 volatile compounds of wine aroma was developed and validated using liquid–liquid extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The method was validated for its linearity, reproducibility, recovery, limit of detection, and limit of quantification and showed excellent results for almost all compounds. The method was applied to 25 commercial Protected Designation of Origin “Nemea” wines, and the results were compared and correlated with the sensory analysis results by a trained panel. The correlations among the parameters indicated that the newly developed GC-MS/MS method produces similar results to human responses. Full article
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