Inexpensive synthesis of electroceramic materials is required for efficient energy storage. Here the design of a scalable process, flame spray pyrolysis (FSP), for synthesis of size-controlled nanomaterials is investigated focusing on understanding the role of air entrainment (AE) during their aerosol synthesis with emphasis on battery materials. The AE into the enclosed FSP reactor is analysed quantitatively by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and calculated temperatures are verified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Various Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) particle compositions are made and characterized by N2 adsorption, electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction while the electrochemical performance of LTO is tested at various charging rates. Increasing AE decreases recirculation in the enclosing tube leading to lower reactor temperatures and particle concentrations by air dilution as well as shorter and narrower residence time distributions. As a result, particle growth by coagulation - coalescence decreases leading to smaller primary particles that are mostly pure LTO exhibiting high C-rate performance with more than 120 mAh/g galvanostatic specific charge at 40C, outperforming commercial LTO. The effect of AE on FSP-made particle characteristics is demonstrated also in combustion synthesis of LiFePO4 and ZrO2.
Filtering nonwovens produced with melt-blown technology are one of the most basic materials used in the construction of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) against harmful aerosols, including bio- and nanoaerosols. The improvement of their filtering properties can be achieved by the development of quasi-permanent electric charge on the fibres. Usually corona discharge method is utilized for this purpose. In the presented study, it was assumed that the low-temperature plasma treatment could be applied as an alternative method for the manufacturing of conventional electret nonwovens for the RPE construction. Low temperature plasma treatment of polypropylene nonwovens was carried out with various process gases (argon, nitrogen, oxygen or air) in a wide range of process parameters (gas flow velocity, time of treatment and power supplied to the reactor electrodes). After the modification, nonwovens were evaluated in terms of filtration efficiency of paraffin oil mist. The stability of the modification results was tested after 12 months of storage and after conditioning at elevated temperature and relative humidity conditions. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy and ATR-IR spectroscopy were used to assess changes in surface topography and chemical composition of the fibres. The modification of melt-blown nonwovens with nitrogen, oxygen and air plasma did not result in a satisfactory improvement of the filtration efficiency. In case of argon plasma treatment, up to 82% increase of filtration efficiency of paraffin oil mist was observed in relation to untreated samples. This effect was stable after 12 months of storage in normal conditions and after thermal conditioning in (70 ± 3)°C for 24 h. The use of low-temperature plasma treatment was proven to be a promising improvement direction of filtering properties of nonwovens used for the protection of respiratory tract against harmful aerosols.
The study investigates chemical modifications of coal fly ash (FA) treated with HCl or NH4HCO3 or NaOH or Na2edta, based on the research conducted to examine the behaviour of Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions adsorbed from water solution on treated fly ash. In laboratory tests, the equilibrium and kinetics were examined applying various temperatures (293 - 333 K) and pH (2 - 11) values. The maximum Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions adsorption capacity obtained at 293 K, pH 9 and mixing time 2 h from the Langmuir model can be grouped in the following order: FA-NaOH > FA-NH4HCO3 > FA > FA-Na2edta > FA-HCl. The morphology of fly ash grains was examined via small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and images of scanning electron microscope (SEM). The adsorption kinetics data were well fitted by a pseudo-second-order rate model but showed a very poor fit for the pseudofirst order model. The intra-particle model also revealed that there are two separate stages in the sorption process, i.e. the external diffusion and the inter-particle diffusion. Thermodynamics parameters such as free energy, enthalpy and entropy were also determined. A laboratory test demonstrated that the modified coal fly ash worked well for the Cd(II) and Pb(II) ion uptake from polluted waters.