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Concept: Porous media


Until now, few sp carbon materials simultaneously exhibit superior performance for specific surface area (SSA) and electrical conductivity at bulk state. Thus, it is extremely important to make such materials at bulk scale with those two outstanding properties combined together. Here, we present a simple and green but very efficient approach using two standard and simple industry steps to make such three-dimensional graphene-based porous materials at the bulk scale, with ultrahigh SSA (3523 m/g) and excellent bulk conductivity. We conclude that these materials consist of mainly defected/wrinkled single layer graphene sheets in the dimensional size of a few nanometers, with at least some covalent bond between each other. The outstanding properties of these materials are demonstrated by their superior supercapacitor performance in ionic liquid with specific capacitance and energy density of 231 F/g and 98 Wh/kg, respectively, so far the best reported capacitance performance for all bulk carbon materials.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Density, Water, Chemical bond, Physical quantities, Ionic bond, Specific surface area, Porous media


Semianalytical transient solutions have been developed to evaluate what level of fractured porous media (e.g., bedrock or clay) matrix cleanup must be achieved in order to achieve compliance of fracture pore water concentrations within a specified time at specified locations of interest. The developed mathematical solutions account for forward and backward diffusion in a fractured porous medium where the initial condition comprises a spatially uniform, nonzero matrix concentration throughout the domain. Illustrative simulations incorporating the properties of mudstone fractured bedrock demonstrate that the time required to reach a desired fracture pore water concentration is a function of the distance between the point of compliance and the upgradient face of the domain where clean groundwater is inflowing. Shorter distances correspond to reduced times required to reach compliance, implying that shorter treatment zones will respond more favorably to remediation than longer treatment zones in which back-diffusion dominates the fracture pore water response. For a specified matrix cleanup goal, compliance of fracture pore water concentrations will be reached sooner for decreased fracture spacing, increased fracture aperture, higher matrix fraction organic carbon, lower matrix porosity, shorter aqueous phase decay half-life, and a higher hydraulic gradient. The parameters dominating the response of the system can be measured using standard field and laboratory techniques.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Water pollution, Hydrogeology, Porosity, Porous medium, Porous media, Poromechanics


The design of an efficient field-scale remediation based on the use of nanoscale zero valent iron (NZVI) requires an accurate assessment of the mobility of such particles in saturated porous media, both during injection in the subsurface (short-term mobility) and later (long-term mobility). In this study, the mobility of highly concentrated dispersions of bimetallic Fe/Cu nanoparticles (d(50) = 70 ± 5 nm) in sand-packed columns (0.5 m length and 0.025 m inner diameter) was studied. In particular, the influence of flow rate (V = 5 × 10(-4), 1 × 10(-3), 2 × 10(-3) m/s) and injected particle concentrations (2, 5, 8, 12 g/l) was addressed. Breakthrough curves and water pressure drop along the column, averaged effective porosity and final distribution of retained particles along the column were measured. Experimental results evidenced a good mobility of the Fe/Cu particles, with significant breakthrough in all explored experimental conditions of flow rate and C(0), without requiring the addition of any stabilizing agent. Clogging phenomenon of the column and also the pore pressure variation during injection period are strongly affected by injected concentration. Clogging due to deposition of particles following a ripening dynamics was observed in particular for C(0) = 8 and 12 g/l. The experimental data were modeled using the E-MNM1D software. The study has implications for field injection of bimetallic nanoparticles, suggesting that particular care is to be devoted when selecting injection concentration, to avoid porous medium clogging and control the radius of influence.

Concepts: Concentration, Hydrogeology, Porosity, Bulk density, Porous medium, Porous media, Poromechanics, Effective porosity


The hepatic blood circulation is complex, particularly at the microcirculatory level. Previously, 2D liver lobule models using porous media and a 3D model using real sinusoidal geometries have been developed. We extended these models to investigate the role of vascular septa (VS) and anisotropic permeability. The lobule was modelled as a hexagonal prism (with or without VS) and the tissue was treated as a porous medium (isotropic or anisotropic permeability). Models were solved using computational fluid dynamics. VS inclusion resulted in more spatially homogeneous perfusion. Anisotropic permeability resulted in a larger axial velocity component than isotropic permeability. A parameter study revealed that results are most sensitive to the lobule size and radial pressure drop. Our model provides insight into hepatic microhaemodynamics, and suggests that inclusion of VS in the model leads to perfusion patterns that are likely to reflect physiological reality. The model has potential for applications to unphysiological and pathological conditions.

Concepts: Blood, Liver, Computer graphics, Porosity, Computational fluid dynamics, 3D computer graphics, Porous medium, Porous media


Autocatalytic reaction fronts between two reacting species in the absence of fluid flow, propagate as solitary waves. The coupling between autocatalytic reaction front and forced simple hydrodynamic flows leads to stationary fronts whose velocity and shape depend on the underlying flow field. We address the issue of the chemico-hydrodynamic coupling between forced advection in porous media and self-sustained chemical waves. Towards that purpose, we perform experiments over a wide range of flow velocities with the well characterized iodate arsenious acid and chlorite-tetrathionate autocatalytic reactions in transparent packed beads porous media. The characteristics of these porous media such as their porosity, tortuosity, and hydrodynamics dispersion are determined. In a pack of beads, the characteristic pore size and the velocity field correlation length are of the order of the bead size. In order to address these two length scales separately, we perform lattice Boltzmann numerical simulations in a stochastic porous medium, which takes into account the log-normal permeability distribution and the spatial correlation of the permeability field. In both experiments and numerical simulations, we observe stationary fronts propagating at a constant velocity with an almost constant front width. Experiments without flow in packed bead porous media with different bead sizes show that the front propagation depends on the tortuous nature of diffusion in the pore space. We observe microscopic effects when the pores are of the size of the chemical front width. We address both supportive co-current and adverse flows with respect to the direction of propagation of the chemical reaction. For supportive flows, experiments and simulations allow observation of two flow regimes. For adverse flow, we observe upstream and downstream front motion as well as static front behaviors over a wide range of flow rates. In order to understand better these observed static state fronts, flow experiments around a single obstacle were used to delineate the range of steady state behavior. A model using the “eikonal thin front limit” explains the observed steady states.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Fundamental physics concepts, Fluid dynamics, Fluid mechanics, Hydrogeology, Porosity, Porous medium, Porous media


A new technique that allows direct three-dimensional (3D) investigations of mesopores in carbon materials and quantitative characterization of their physical properties is reported. Focused ion beam nanotomography (FIB-nt) is performed by a serial sectioning procedure with a dual beam FIB-scanning electron microscopy instrument. Mesoporous carbons (MPCs) with tailored mesopore size are produced by carbonization of resorcinol-formaldehyde gels in the presence of a cationic surfactant as a pore stabilizer. A visual 3D morphology representation of disordered porous carbon is shown. Pore size distribution of MPCs is determined by the FIB-nt technique and nitrogen sorption isotherm methods to compare both results. The obtained MPCs exhibit pore sizes of 4.7, 7.2, and 18.3 nm, and a specific surface area of ca. 560 m2/g.

Concepts: Electron, Hydrogen, Surfactant, Mesoporous material, Mesoporous silica, Coal, Specific surface area, Porous media


A simple method is presented to synthesize micro/nano-structured Fe-Ni binary oxides based on co-precipitation and subsequent calcination. It has been found that the Fe-Ni binary oxides are composed of the porous microsized aggregates built with nanoparticles. When the atomic ratio of Fe to Ni is 2 to 1 the binary oxide is the micro-scaled aggregates consisting of the ultrafine NiFe2O4 nanoparticles with 3-6nm in size, and shows porous structure with pore diameter of 3nm and a specific surface area of 245m(2)g(-1). Such material is of abundant surface functional groups and has exhibited high adsorption performance to As(III) and As(V). The kinetic adsorption can be described by pseudo-second order model and the isothermal adsorption is subject to Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption capacity on such Fe-Ni porous binary oxide is up to 168.6mgg(-1) and 90.1mgg(-1) for As(III) and As(V), respectively, which are much higher than the arsenic adsorption capacity for most commercial adsorbents. Such enhanced adsorption ability for this material is mainly attributed to its porous structure and high specific surface area as well as the abundant surface functional groups. Further experiments have revealed that the influence of the anions such as sulfate, carbonate, and phosphate, which commonly co-exist in water, on the arsenic adsorption is insignificant, exhibiting strong adsorption selectivity to arsenic. This micro/nano-structured porous Fe-Ni binary oxide is hence of good practicability to be used as a highly efficient adsorbent for arsenic removal from the real arsenic-contaminated waters.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Adsorption, Materials science, Specific surface area, Surface chemistry, Calcium oxide, BET theory, Porous media


The successful development of Li-O2 battery technology depends on resolving the issue of cathode corrosion by the discharge product (Li2O2) and/or by the intermediates (LiO2) generated during cell cycling. As an important step toward this goal, we report for the first time the nanoporous Ni with a nanoengineered AuNi alloy surface directly attached to Ni foam as a new all-metal cathode system. Compared with other noncarbonaceous cathodes, the Li-O2 cell with an all-metal cathode is capable of operation with ultrahigh specific capacity (22,551 mAh g(-1) at a current density of 1.0 A g(-1)) and long-term life (286 cycles). Furthermore, compared with the popularly used carbon cathode, the new all-metal cathode is advantageous because it does not show measurable reactivity toward Li2O2 and/or LiO2. As a result, extensive cyclability (40 cycles) with 87.7% Li2O2 formation and decomposition was obtained. These superior properties are explained by the enhanced solvation-mediated formation of the discharge products as well as the tailored properties of the all-metal cathode, including intrinsic chemical stability, high specific surface area, highly porous structure, high conductivity, and superior mechanical stability.

Concepts: Cathode, Density, Battery, Electrical conductivity, Specific surface area, Surface chemistry, Specific heat capacity, Porous media


The nanostructured design of porous carbon-based electrode materials is key to improving the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors. In this study, hierarchically porous carbon nanosheets (HP-CNSs) were fabricated using waste coffee grounds by in situ carbonisation and activation processes using KOH. Despite the simple synthesis process, the HP-CNSs had a high aspect ratio nanostructure (~20-nm thickness to several microns in lateral size), a high specific surface area of 1945.7 m2 g-1, numerous heteroatoms, and good electrical transport properties, as well as hierarchically porous characteristics (size: 0.5-10 nm). The HP-CNS-based supercapacitors showed a specific energy of 35.4 Wh kg-1 at 11,250 W kg-1 and 23 Wh kg-1 for a 3-s charge/discharge current rate, corresponding to a specific power of 30,000 W kg-1. Additionally, the HP-CNS supercapacitors demonstrated good cyclic performance over 5000 cycles.

Concepts: Nanomaterials, Electrode, Aspect ratio, Specific surface area, Surface chemistry, Porous media


In the new century, electrospun nanofibrous webs are widely employed in various applications due to their specific surface area and porous structure with narrow pore size. The mechanical properties have a major influence on the applications of nanofiber webs. Lamination technology is an important method for improving the mechanical strength of nanofiber webs. In this study, the influence of laminating pressure on the properties of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanofibers/laminate was investigated. Heat-press lamination was carried out at three different pressures, and the surface morphologies of the multilayer nanofibrous membranes were observed under an optical microscope. In addition, air permeability, water filtration, and contact angle experiments were performed to examine the effect of laminating pressure on the breathability, water permeability and surface wettability of multilayer nanofibrous membranes. A bursting strength test was developed and applied to measure the maximum bursting pressure of the nanofibers from the laminated surface. A water filtration test was performed using a cross-flow unit. Based on the results of the tests, the optimum laminating pressure was determined for both PAN and PVDF multilayer nanofibrous membranes to prepare suitable microfilters for liquid filtration.

Concepts: Thermodynamics, Wetting, Surface tension, Polyvinylidene fluoride, Specific surface area, Surface chemistry, Laminate, Porous media