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Design and exploitation of flame retardant polymers with high electrical conductivity are desired for polymer applications in electronics. Herein, a novel phosphorus-nitrogen intumescent flame retardant was synthesized from pentaerythritol octahydrogen tetraphosphate, phenylphosphonyl dichloride, and aniline. Low-density polyethylene was combined with the flame retardant and multi-walled carbon nanotubes to form a nanocomposite material via a ball-milling and hot-pressing method. The electrical conductivity, mechanical properties, thermal performance, and flame retardancy of the composites were investigated using a four-point probe instrument, universal tensile machine, thermogravimetric analysis, and cone calorimeter tests, respectively. It was found that the addition of multi-walled carbon nanotubes can significantly improve the electrical conductivity and mechanical properties of the low-density polyethylene composites. Furthermore, the combination of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and phosphorus–nitrogen flame retardant remarkably enhances the flame retardancy of matrixes with an observed decrease of the peak heat release rate and total heat release of 49.8% and 51.9%, respectively. This study provides a new and effective methodology to substantially enhance the electrical conductivity and flame retardancy of polymers with an attractive prospect for polymer applications in electrical equipment.

In this present work, N-doped carbon nanobelts (N-CNBs) were prepared by a confined-pyrolysis approach and the N-CNBs were derived from a polypyrrole (Ppy) tube coated with a compact silica layer. The silica layer provided a confined space for the Ppy pyrolysis, thereby hindering the rapid overflow of pyrolysis gas, which is the activator for the formation of carbonaceous materials. At the same time, the confined environment can activate the carbon shell to create a thin wall and strip the carbon tube into belt morphology. This process of confined pyrolysis realizes self-activation during the pyrolysis of Ppy to obtain the carbon nanobelts without adding any additional activator, which reduces pollution and preparation cost. In addition, this approach is simple to operate and avoids the disadvantages of other methods that consume time and materials. The as-prepared N-CNB shows cross-linked nanobelt morphology and a rich porous structure with a large specific surface area. As supercapacitor electrode materials, the N-CNB can present abundant active sites, and exhibits a specific capacitance of 246 F·g , and excellent ability with 95.44% retention after 10000 cycles. This indicates that the N-CNB is an ideal candidate as a supercapacitor electrode material.

Article 2021-03-10

Separation of

In this study, vapor recompression and heat integration assisted distillation arrangements with either the low or high pressure in the reflux drum are proposed to reduce and/or eliminate the application of the costly refrigerant for the separation of -heptane and isobutanol mixture. The high-pressure arrangement with vapor recompression and heat integration is the most attractive among these four intensified configurations since it can reduce total annual cost by 18.10%, CO emissions by 75.01% based on natural gas (78.78% based on heavy oil fuel), and second-law efficiency by 61.20% compared to a conventional refrigerated distillation system. Furthermore, exergy destruction in each component is calculated for the heat integration configurations and is shown in pie diagrams. The results demonstrate that the high-pressure configuration presents unique advantages in terms of thermodynamic efficiency compared to the low-pressure case. In addition, dynamic control investigation is performed for the economically efficient arrangement and good product compositions are well controlled through a dual-point temperature control strategy with almost negligible product offsets and quick process responses when addressing 20% step changes in production rate and feed composition. Note that there are no composition measurement loops in our developed control schemes.

Saccharide production is critical to the development of biotechnology in the field of food and biofuel. The extraction of saccharide from biomass-based hydrolysate mixtures has become a trend due to low cost and abundant biomass reserves. Compared to conventional methods of fractionation and recovery of saccharides, nanofiltration (NF) has received considerable attention in recent decades because of its high selectivity and low energy consumption and environmental impact. In this review the advantages and challenges of NF based technology in the separation of saccharides are critically evaluated. Hybrid membrane processes, i.e., combining NF with ultrafiltration, can complement each other to provide an efficient approach for removal of unwanted solutes to obtain higher purity saccharides. However, use of NF membrane separation technology is limited due to irreversible membrane fouling that results in high capital and operating costs. Future development of NF membrane technology should therefore focus on improving material stability, antifouling ability and saccharide targeting selectivity, as well as on engineering aspects such as process optimisation and membrane module design.

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