Efficient removal of plastic additives by sunlight active titanium dioxide decorated Cd-Mg ferrite nanocomposite: Green synthesis, kinetics and photoactivity

  • Large use of flame retardants or additives in plastic industries have caused scientific attention as their leaching from consumer products is indicative of environmental concern. Moreover, plastic additives have proven features of endocrine disruptors, genotoxicity and persistence. Therefore, photodegradation of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and bisphenol A (BPA) were explored in water. Seeing environmental safety, titanium dioxide decorated magnesium substituted cadmium ferrite (CdMgFe2O4@TiO2) was synthesized by using plant extract of M. koenigii via co-precipitation. Sharp peaks obtained in PXRD ensured high crystallinity and purity of distorted spherical nanocomposite (5-25 nm). Subsequently, CdMgFe2O4@TiO2 nanocatalyst was evaluated for the effective elimination of plastic additives at variable reaction parameters (pollutant: 2-10 mgL-1; catalyst: 5-25 mg; pH: 3-7, dark-sunlight).
  • With 20 mg of catalytic dose, CdMgFe2O4@TiO2 showed maximum degradation of 2 mgL-1 of TBBPA (91%) and BPA (94%) at neutral pH under sunlight. Considerable reduction in persistence of TBBPA (t1/2:2.4 h) and BPA (2.1 h) indicated admirable photoactivity of CdMgFe2O4@TiO2. Results were supported by BET, zeta potential, band reflectance and photoluminescence analysis that indicated for higher surface area (90 m2g-1), larger particle stability (-20 mV), lower band gap (1.9 eV) and inhibited charge-pairs recombination in nanocomposite.
  • Degradation consisted of initial Langmuir-adsorption followed by first order kinetics. Scavenger analysis revealed the role of hydroxyl radical in photodegradation studies. Nanocomposite was effective up to eight cycles without any significant loss of activity that advocated its high-sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Overall, with excellent surface characteristics, green synthesized CdMgFe2O4@TiO2 nanocomposite is a promising and alternative photocatalyst for industrial applications.

Characterization of the Aroma-Active Compounds in Banana ( Musa AAA Red green) and Their Contributions to the Enhancement of Sweetness Perception

“Hongmeiren” bananas are popular because of their red peel. Two extraction methods solvent-assisted flavor evaporation and headspace solid-phase microextraction, combined with gas chromatography-olfactometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), were used to analyze the volatile components of “Hongmeiren” bananas. A total of 86 aroma compounds were identified by GC-MS, 62 of which were identified as the major aroma-active compounds with an odor activity value ≥ 1 or modified frequency ≥ 30%. Ethyl (E)-2-butenoate, 4-undecanone, and α-phellandrene were found in bananas for the first time.
Sensory experiments showed that eight sweet-associated odorants could significantly achieve the sweetness enhancement effect at 30 g/L sucrose solution by odor-induced changes in taste perception. These experiments suggest that selected odorants can achieve sugar reduction, but with consideration of the sugar concentration. The study of the sweetness enhancement effect of individual compounds provides a more direct theoretical support for sugar reduction in the food industry.

A Single Step Preparation of Photothermally Active Polyvinylidene Fluoride Membranes Using Triethyl Phosphate as a Green Solvent for Distillation Applications

Membrane distillation is a growing technology that can address the growing problem of water shortage. The implementation of renewable energy and a reduction in the environmental impact of membrane production could improve the sustainability of this process. With this perspective, porous hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes were prepared using triethyl phosphate (TEP) as a green solvent, using the non-solvent induced phase separation technique.
Different amounts of carbon black were added to dope solutions to improve the photothermal properties of the membranes and to enable direct heating by solar energy. By optimizing the preparation conditions, membranes with porosity values as high as 87% were manufactured. Vacuum membrane distillation tests carried out using a concentrated NaCl solution at 50 °C showed distillate fluxes of up to 36 L/m2 h and a complete salt rejection. Some preliminary studies on the photothermal performance were also conducted and highlighted the possibility of using such membranes in a direct solar membrane distillation configuration.

Cathode active material recycling from spent lithium batteries: a green (circular) approach based on deep eutectic solvents

The transition to a circular economy vision must handle the increasing request of metals required to satisfy the battery industry; this can be obtained by recycling and feeding back secondary raw materials recovered through proper waste management. Here a novel and green proof-of-concept is proposed, based on deep eutectic solvents (DES) to fully and easily recover valuable metals from various cathode active materials, including LiMn 2 O 4 LiNi 0.5 Mn 1.5 O 4 and LiNi 0.8 Co 0.2 O 2 . DES composed of choline chloride and lactic acid can leach Li, Mn, Co and Ni, achieving efficiency of 100% under much milder conditions with respect to the previous literature.
For the first time, to our best knowledge, a two-step approach is reported in the case of LiNi 0.8 Co 0.2 O 2 for selective recovery of Li, Co and Ni with high yield and purity. Furthermore, other cathode components, namely aluminium current collector and binder, were found to be not dissolved by the proposed DES, so making it possible for a simple separation from the active material. Finally, our strategy is designed to easily regenerate and reuse the leaching solvents for more than one extraction, thus further boosting the process’s sustainability.

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Physicochemical and Active Properties of Gelatine-Based Composite Gels Loaded with Lysozyme and Green Tea Polyphenols

Research background: The use of gel-based systems as a novel method for the delivery of natural antimicrobial, antioxidant and bioactive compounds is a developing innovative solution for the food industry. This research aims to develop multifunctional active edible gels based on gelatine and its composites with improved mechanical properties.
Experimental approach: Antilisterial and bioactive composite gels showing different physical and active properties from classical gelatine gel were developed by loading lysozyme and green tea extract into gelatine/starch and gelatine/wax composite gels. Mechanical properties, swelling profiles, colour, release profiles, and antimicrobial and bioactive properties of the gels were characterised.
Results and conclusions: Gelatine/wax gels showed 1.3- to 2.1-fold higher firmness and cutting strength than gelatine and gelatine/starch composite gels that had similar firmness and cutting strengths. Work to shear of both composite gels was 1.4- to 1.9-fold higher than that of gelatine gel. The gelatine/starch gel showed the highest water absorption capacity. Green tea extract reduced soluble lysozyme in all gels, but composite gels contained higher amount of soluble lysozyme than gelatine gel. All the gels with lysozyme inhibited Listeria innocua growth in the broth media, while green tea extract showed antilisterial activity only in gelatine/wax gels. Gels with green tea extract showed antioxidant, antidiabetic (α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibition), antihypertensive (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition) and antiproliferative activities (on Caco-2 human colon carcinoma cells). However, gelatine and gelatine/wax gels showed the highest antioxidant and antidiabetic activity. The gelatine/wax gels prevented phenolic browning, while green tea extract in other gels showed moderate or extensive browning.
Novelty and scientific contribution: This work clearly showed the possibility of improving mechanical properties and modifying water absorption and controlled release profiles of gelatine gels using gelatine/starch and gelatine/wax composites. The novel composite gels reduced browning of incorporated polyphenols and showed antilisterial and bioactive properties.

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