• Catalytic membrane reactors (CMRs), which synergistically carry out separations and reactions, are expected to become a green and sustainable technology in chemical engineering. The use of ceramic membranes in CMRs is being widely considered because it permits reactions and separations to be carried out under harsh conditions in terms of both temperature and the chemical environment. This article presents the two most important types of CMRs: those based on dense mixed-conducting membranes for gas separation, and those based on porous ceramic membranes for heterogeneous catalytic processes. New developments in and innovative uses of both types of CMRs over the last decade are presented, along with an overview of our recent work in this field. Membrane reactor design, fabrication, and applications related to energy and environmental areas are highlighted. First, the configuration of membranes and membrane reactors are introduced for each of type of membrane reactor. Next, taking typical catalytic reactions as model systems, the design and optimization of CMRs are illustrated. Finally, challenges and difficulties in the process of industrializing the two types of CMRs are addressed, and a view of the future is outlined.

  • A highly effective Ag-AlO catalyst was prepared using the sol-gel method, and characterized by surface area using nitrogen adsorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques. The catalyst performance was tested on a real lean-burn gasoline engine. Only unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the exhaust were directly used as reductant (without any external reductant), the maximum NO conversion could only reach 40% at 450?C. When an external reductant, ethanol was added, the average NO conversion was greater than 60%. At exhaust gas temperature range of 350 500?C, the maximum NO conversion reached about 90%. CO and HC could be efficiently oxidized with Pt-AO oxidation catalyst placed at the end of SCR converter. However, NO conversion drastically decreased because of the oxidation of some intermediates to NO again. The possible reaction mechanism was proposed as two typical processes, nitration, and reduction in HC-SCR over Ag-AlO.
  • The objective of this study was to prepare a new photocatalyst with high activities for degradation of organic pollutants. Coupled ZrO/ZnO photocatalyst was prepared with a simple precipitation method with cheap raw
  • In this study, ultrasound was used to control the membrane fouling online in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AMBR). Short-term running experiments were carried out under different operating conditions to explore feasible ultrasonic parameters. The experimental results indicated that when the crossflow velocity was more than 1.0 m/s, membrane fouling could be controlled effectively only by hydrodynamic methods without ultrasound. When ultrasound was applied, an ultrasonic power range of 60–150 W was suitable for the membrane fouling control in the experimental system. The experimental results showed that the membrane fouling was controlled so well that membrane filtration resistance (Σ) could stay at 5 × 10 m for more than a week with the crossflow velocity of 0.75 m/s, which equaled the effect of crossflow velocity of more than 1.0 m/s without ultrasound.
  • We constructed a eukaryotic expression plasmid encoding Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 2 (EBV, LMP2) and evaluated its effects on humoral immunity. First, the encoding sequence of the EBV was amplified from B95−8 cell RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and then was directionally cloned into eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1. It was employed to evaluate immune response of the mice inoculated doubly with the DNA vaccine. The serum antibody against LMP2 was detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.1- was confirmed by the restrictive endonuclease analysis and sequence analysis. The serum titer of IgG antibody against LMP2 epitope in the mice immunized with the DNA vaccine encoding LMP2 was up to 1∶4000. In conclusion, the EBV DNA vaccine can induce a strong humoral immune response in mice.
  • Proper cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts mediated by integrin adhesion receptors are important for development, immune response, hemostasis and wound healing. Integrins pass trans-membrane signals bidirectionally through their regulated affinities for extracellular ligands and intracellular signaling molecules. Such bidirectional signaling by integrins is enabled by the conformational changes that are often linked among extracellular, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Here, we review how talin-integrin and kindlin-integrin interactions, in cooperation with talin-lipid and kindlin-lipid interactions, regulate integrin affinities and how the progress in these areas helps us understand integrin-related diseases.

  • Because it is difficult for the traditional PID algorithm for nonlinear time-variant control objects to obtain satisfactory control results, this paper studies a neuron PID controller. The neuron PID controller makes use of neuron self-learning ability, complies with certain optimum indicators, and automatically adjusts the parameters of the PID controller and makes them adapt to changes in the controlled object and the input reference signals. The PID controller is used to control a nonlinear time-variant membrane structure inflation system. Results show that the neural network PID controller can adapt to the changes in system structure parameters and fast track the changes in the input signal with high control precision.
  • Multi-cellular inflatable structures are ultra-light and robust against membrane damage such as pinholes caused by space debris. Due to their robustness, inflatable structures supported by inner gases can be applied as space structures. In the present study, shape control for a simple multi-cellular inflatable panel was achieved via a novel diaphragm mechanism. When the bending actuator in a center membrane bends, the inner pressures of sub-cells become different, and the diaphragm mechanism bends as a whole. Because a sliding component is not included, this deformable system is a reliable mechanism. In addition, the proposed mechanism has higher rigidity than that of a bending actuator used alone. In the present paper, we investigate the feasibility of a novel diaphragm mechanism and its characteristics using experimental and numerical results.

  • A hybrid membrane process for simultaneous sludge thickening and digestion (MSTD) was studied. During one cycle (15 d) of operation under a hydraulic retention time of 1 d, the concentration of mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) continuously increased from about 4 g·L to 34 g·L, and the mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS) increased from about 3 g·L to over 22 g·L. About 42% of the MLVSS and 39% of the MLSS reduction were achieved. The thickening and digestion effects in the MSTD were further analyzed based on a mass balance analysis. Test results showed that biopolymers and cations of biomass were gradually released to the bulk solution during the process. It was also found that the capillary suction time, colloidal chemical oxygen demand, soluble microbial products, viscosity, and MLSS had significant positive correlations with the membrane fouling rate, whereas extracellular polymeric substances, polysaccharides, and proteins extracted from biomass had negative impacts on membrane fouling.
  • A long-term pilot-scale H-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) was tested for removal of nitrate from actual groundwater. A key feature of this second-generation pilot MBfR is that it employed lower cost polyester hollow fibers and still achieved high loading rate. The steady-state maximum nitrate surface loading at which the effluent nitrate and nitrite concentrations were below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) was at least 5.9 g·N·(m·d), which corresponds to a maximum volumetric loading of at least 7.7 kg·N·(m·d) . The steady-state maximum nitrate surface area loading was higher than the highest nitrate surface loading reported in the first-generation MBfRs using composite fibers (2.6 g·N·(m·d)). This work also evaluated the H-utilization efficiency in MBfR. The measured H supply rate was only slightly higher than the stoichiometric H-utilization rate. Thus, H utilization was controlled by diffusion and was close to 100% efficiency, as long as biofilm accumulated on the polyester-fiber surface and the fibers had no leaks.
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