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Concept: Solvent


In a mixed solvent of water and ethanol, polystyrene/titanium dioxide (PSt/TiO2) composite particles of core-shell structure were prepared by hydrolysis of tetrabutyl titanate in the presence of cationic PSt particles or anionic PSt particles surface-treated using gamma-aminopropyl triethoxysilane. Hollow TiO2 particles were obtained through calcination of the PSt/TiO2 core-shell particles to burn off the PSt core or through dissolution of the core by tetrahydrofuran (THF). An alternative process constituted of preheating the PSt/TiO2 particles at 200[degree sign]C to allow partial crystallization followed by calcination or PSt dissolution by THF. The outcome TiO2 particles thus prepared were examined by TEM, and hollow TiO2 particles were observed. The crystalline phase structure and phase transformation were characterized, which revealed that preheating before the removal of the PSt core was useful to achieve the desired hollow TiO2 particles, and the calcination process was beneficial to the formation of anatase and rutile structures. The tests of TiO2 particles as catalyst in the photodegradation of Rhodamine B demonstrated that a much higher catalytic activity was observed with the TiO2 hollow particles prepared through calcination combined with preheating.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Enzyme, Catalysis, Solvent, Titanium dioxide, Rutile, Photocatalysis, Anatase


To investigate different Musa sp. leave extracts of hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol were evaluated for antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant pathogens causing nosocomial infection by agar well diffusion method and also antioxidant activities.

Concepts: Bacteria, Pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Ethanol, Acetic acid, Solvent, Clostridium difficile


Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants-manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Developmental biology, Educational psychology, Solvent, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Hyperactivity, Polychlorinated biphenyl, Biphenyl


A new desorption method was investigated, which does not require toxic organic solvents. Efficient desorption of organic solvents from activated carbon was achieved with an ananionic surfactant solution, focusing on its washing and emulsion action.

Concepts: Oxygen, Solubility, Carbon, Solvent, Surfactant, Solutions, Solution, Activated carbon


Solar-driven photocatalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels has attracted a lot of interest; however, developing active catalysts that can selectively convert CO2 to fuels with desirable reaction products remains a grand challenge. For instance, complete suppression of the competing H2 evolution during photocatalytic CO2-to-CO conversion has not been achieved before. We design and synthesize a spongy nickel-organic heterogeneous photocatalyst via a photochemical route. The catalyst has a crystalline network architecture with a high concentration of defects. It is highly active in converting CO2 to CO, with a production rate of ~1.6 × 10(4) μmol hour(-1) g(-1). No measurable H2 is generated during the reaction, leading to nearly 100% selective CO production over H2 evolution. When the spongy Ni-organic catalyst is enriched with Rh or Ag nanocrystals, the controlled photocatalytic CO2 reduction reactions generate formic acid and acetic acid. Achieving such a spongy nickel-organic photocatalyst is a critical step toward practical production of high-value multicarbon fuels using solar energy.

Concepts: Oxygen, Catalysis, Acetic acid, Solvent, Carboxylic acid, Carbon monoxide, Formic acid, Propionic acid


The translation of batch chemistries onto continuous flow platforms requires addressing the issues of consistent fluidic behaviour, channel fouling and high-throughput processing. Droplet microfluidic technologies reduce channel fouling and provide an improved level of control over heat and mass transfer to control reaction kinetics. However, in conventional geometries, the droplet size is sensitive to changes in flow rates. Here we report a three-dimensional droplet generating device that exhibits flow invariant behaviour and is robust to fluctuations in flow rate. In addition, the droplet generator is capable of producing droplet volumes spanning four orders of magnitude. We apply this device in a parallel network to synthesize platinum nanoparticles using an ionic liquid solvent, demonstrate reproducible synthesis after recycling the ionic liquid, and double the reaction yield compared with an analogous batch synthesis.

Concepts: Fluid dynamics, Nanotechnology, Solvent, Surface tension, Control theory, Ionic liquid, Microfluidics, Reaction rate


While the use of triphenylphosphine as a reductant is common in organic synthesis, the resulting triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) waste can be difficult to separate from the reaction product. While a number of strategies to precipitate TPPO are available, none have been reported to work in more polar solvents. We report here that mixing ZnCl2 with TPPO precipitates a TPPO-Zn complex in high yield in several common polar organic solvents. The solvent compatibility of this procedure and the reliability of the precipitation in the presence of polar functional groups were examined to show the utility and limitations of this method.

Concepts: Oxygen, Chemical reaction, Ethanol, Solubility, Benzene, Ether, Acetic acid, Solvent


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Although no known medicinal use for Pittosporum undulatum Vent. (Pittosporaceae) has been recorded, anecdotal evidence suggests that Australian Aboriginal people used P. angustifolium Lodd., G.Lodd. & W.Lodd. topically for eczema, pruritis or to induce lactation in mothers following child-birth and internally for coughs, colds or cramps. AIMS OF THE STUDY: Essential oil composition and bioactivity as well as differential solvent extract antimicrobial activity from P. angustifolium is investigated here firstly, to partially describe the composition of volatiles released in traditional applications of P. angustifolium for colds or as a lactagogue, and secondly to investigate antibacterial activity related to topical applications. Essential oils were also investigated from P. undulatum Vent., firstly to enhance essential oil data produced in previous studies, and secondly as a comparison to P. angustifolium. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Essential oils were hydrodistilled from fruit and leaves of both species using a modified approach to lessen the negative (frothing) effect of saponins. This was achieved by floating pumice or pearlite obsidian over the mixture to crush the suds formed while boiling. Essential oil extracts were analysed using GC-MS, quantified using GC-FID then screened for antimicrobial activity using a micro-titre plate broth dilution assay (MIC). Using dichloromethane, methanol, hexane and H(2)O as solvents, extracts were produced from leaves and fruit of P. angustifolium and screened for antimicrobial activity and qualitative phytochemical character. RESULTS: Although the essential oil from leaves and fruit of P. undulatum demonstrated some component variation, the essential oil from fruits of P. angustifolium had major constituents that strongly varied according to the geographical location of collection, suggesting the existence of at least two chemotypes; one with high abundance of acetic acid decyl ester. This chemotype had high antimicrobial activity whilst the other chemotype had only moderate antimicrobial activity against the three microbial species investigated here. This result may support the occurrence of geographical specificity with regard to ethnopharmacological use. Antimicrobial activity screening of the solvent extracts from P. angustifolium revealed the leaves to be superior to fruit, with water being the most suitable extraction solvent. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this study constitutes the first time essential oils, and solvent extracts from the fruits of P. angustifolium, have been examined employing comprehensive chemical and biological analysis. The essential oil composition presented in this paper, includes components with structural similarity as chemosemiotic compounds involved in mother-infant identification, which may have significance with regard to traditional applications as a lactagogue.

Concepts: Water, Ethanol, Petroleum, Acetic acid, Solvent, Essential oil, Oil, Indigenous Australians


Many colloidal synthesis routes are not scalable to high production rates, especially for nanoparticles of complex shape or composition, due to precursor expense and hazards, low yields, and the large number of processing steps. The present work describes a strategy to synthesize hollow nanoparticles (HNPs) out of metal chalcogenides, based on the slow heating of a low-melting-point metal salt, an elemental chalcogen, and an alkylammonium surfactant in octadecene solvent. The synthesis and characterization of CdSe HNPs with an outer diameter of 15.6 ± 3.5 nm and a shell thickness of 5.4 ± 0.9 nm are specifically detailed here. The HNP synthesis is proposed to proceed with the formation of alkylammonium-stabilized nano-sized droplets of molten cadmium salt, which then come into contact with dissolved selenium species to form a CdSe shell at the droplet surface. In a reaction-diffusion mechanism similar to the nanoscale Kirkendall effect it is speculated that the cadmium migrates outwardly through this shell to react with more selenium, causing the CdSe shell to thicken. The proposed CdSe HNP structure comprises a polycrystalline CdSe shell coated with a thin layer of amorphous selenium. Photovoltaic device characterization indicates that HNPs have improved electron transport characteristics compared to standard CdSe quantum dots, possibly due to this selenium layer. The HNPs are colloidally stable in organic solvents even though carboxylate, phosphine, and amine ligands are absent; stability is attributed to octadecene-selenide species bound to the particle surface. This scalable synthesis method presents opportunities to generate hollow nanoparticles with increased structural and compositional variety.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Quantum dot, Colloid, Solvent, Liquid, Cadmium, Solar cell, Solution


Transition-metal-catalyzed carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formations are among the most heavily used types of reactions in both academic and industrial settings. As important as these are to the synthetic community, such cross-couplings come with a heavy price to our environment, and sustainability. E Factors are one measure of waste created, and organic solvents, by far, are the main contributors to the high values associated, in particular, with the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical companies which utilize these reactions. An alternative to organic solvents in which cross-couplings are run can be found in the form of micellar catalysis, wherein nanoparticles composed of newly introduced designer surfactants enable the same cross-couplings, albeit in water, with most taking place at room temperature. In the absence of an organic solvent as the reaction medium, organic waste and hence, E Factors, drop dramatically.

Concepts: Oxygen, Ethanol, Solvent