Archive for the ‘Hot Articles’ Category

Cheap gum removes oil from wastewater

Oil removal from oily water systems using immobilized flaxseed gum gel beads

Long et al., RSC Adv., 2012, Advance Article

‘Flaxseed gum beads can be used to remove oil from wastewater systems,’ claim Chinese scientists.
Flaxseed gum is a mixture of proteins and polysaccharides such as arabinose, rhamnose, fucose, xylose and others. Yu-Jie Fu and co-workers, at the Ministry of Education, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China, explain that the flaxseed gum beads can remove 0.55 g of oil per gram of beads. They showed that flaxseed gum beads have better adsorption capacities than activated carbon.

The flaxseed gum content in the immobilised beads was 30 mg per gram and oil removal was carried out with 2mm diameter beads at room temperature and pH of 7.5.

When investigating the removal of 1.0 kg of oil from oil–water emulsions by immobilized flaxseed gum beads v/s activated carbon. 1.82kg of flaxseed gum beads was required to remove 1.0kg of oil, costing only 2.67 RMB (chinese currency) compared to 2.17 kg of powdered activated carbon costing 43.40 RMB.  Furthermore, the flaxseed gum beads is resuable allowing lower processing costs than traditional oil removal methods. Flaxseed gum bead technology holds great promise as an alternative environmentally-friendly method for oil removal from wastewater.

Read the full paper published in RSC Advances for free:

Oil removal from oily water systems using immobilized flaxseed gum gel beads
Jing-jing Long, Yuan-gang Zu, Yu-jie Fu, Meng Luo, Pan-song Mu, Chun-jian Zhao, Chun-ying Li, Wei Wang and Ji Li
RSC Adv., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA20375H, Paper

- Kathleen Too, Deputy Editor, RSC Advances

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Highly efficient blue electrophosphorescence using simple CBP isomers with high triplet energies

Phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (PhOLEDs) offer high quantum efficiency compared to conventional fluorescent OLEDs because they can harness both singlet and triplet exitons for emission. Green and red PhOLEDs with 100% internal quantum efficiency have been reported, but highly efficient and stable blue PhOLEDs have yet to be developed because of the lack of suitable host materials possessing higher triplet energy levels than blue phosphors. In this hot paper Chuluo Yang, Dongge Ma and colleagues report two simple CBP isomers with high triplet energies as efficient hosts for blue phosphorescent OLEDs, and the efficiencies of the o-CBP-based device are over 2 times higher than those of CBP. Interested to know more? Read the article for free until 2nd March. (Free registration required)

Efficient blue electrophosphorescence using CBP isomers

Simple CBP isomers with high triplet energies for highly efficient blue electrophosphorescence: Shaolong Gong, Xun He, Yonghua Chen, Zuoquan Jiang, Cheng Zhong, Dongge Ma, Jingui Qin and Chuluo Yang, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 2894-2899

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- Russell Johnson, Development Editor, Journal of Materials Chemistry

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Using blood, not urine, to diagnose kidney stones

A method to diagnose urinary lithiasis at an early stage has been devised by Wei Hang and colleagues in Xiamen, China. The method can also distinguish between the different types of stone, which is important when considering treatment options.

Currently, distinguishing between types can only be done after the stones have been removed from a patient, making it difficult to prescribe a treatment.

Urinary lithiasis, stones in the lower urinary tract, has become more common, with about 100,000 new cases each year. It causes substantial pain and leads to renal failure. The stones are caused by a build up of organic materials and inorganic crystals.

The team’s diagnostic method uses elemental analysis on blood serum samples to detect the levels of barium, gallium, antimony and sodium; variations from the norm are linked to the appearance of stones. The test subjects could then be subdivided into calcareous and non-calcareous stone patients by metallomic profiling, and the team found that selenium levels play a major role in this classification.

Analysing kidney stones using blood samples

Gao et al., Anal. Methods, 2012

Compared with urine samples, blood serum samples show smaller variability under normal physiological conditions so are a better choice for elemental screening, say the researchers.

Early diagnosis of urinary lithiasis via elementary profile of serum samples
Yao Gao, Ning Yang, Xiaomei Yan, Wei Hang, Jinchun Xing, Jiaxin Zheng, Eryi Zhu and Benli Huang
Anal. Methods, 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2AY05705K

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Direct infusion mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography mass spectrometry for human metabonomics? A serum metabonomic study of kidney cancer
Lin Lin, Quan Yu, Xiaomei Yan, Wei Hang, Jiaxin Zheng, Jinchun Xing and Benli Huang
Analyst, 2010, 135, 2970-2978
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00265H

Critical Review: Combination of PAGE and LA-ICP-MS as an analytical workflow in metallomics: state of the art, new quantification strategies, advantages and limitations
Alessandra Sussulini and Johanna Sabine Becker
Metallomics, 2011, 3, 1271-1279
DOI: 10.1039/C1MT00116G

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Biofunctionalised graphene as an anticoagulant

Wang et al, 2012Scientists in China have come up with a green way to reduce graphene oxide so that it can be used in the biomedical field.

The team has used the anticoagulant heparin, a straight-chain anionic glycosaminoglycan and a natural polymer, to reduce and stabilise the graphene oxide. The heparin–reduced graphene oxide sheets show excellent biocompatibility and activity as a blood anticoagulant, according to the researchers. They also say that the heparin–reduced graphene oxide could bind strongly to anticancer drugs for highly efficient loading.

In order to read more about this work, please download the full article for free by simply registering here:

Green and easy synthesis of biocompatible graphene for use as an anticoagulant
Yi Wang, Pu Zhang, Chun Fang Liu, Lei Zhan, Yuan Fang Li and Cheng Zhi Huang
RSC Adv., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C2RA00841F

- Kathleen Too

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Nanoscience: Removing cadmium from blood

Removing cadmium from bloodResearchers at Lanzhou University, China, have designed a nanocomposite to effectively remove cadmium ions from human blood.

Previous materials designed for this purpose have either had good selectivity, high saturation magnetisation or good water dispersibility, but the new material has all three properties. And, the composite is highly supermagnetic, making subsequent removal of the nanoparticles easier.

Removing cadmium (which is produced during industrial processes) from the blood is important because they bind to proteins in the body, affecting their functions.

The nanocomposite consists of four components; The first is magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, chosen for their low toxicity. They are coated with polyethylenimine to increase the amino groups on the particles’ surface to bind Cd2+, but also to lower nanoparticle uptake by red blood cells, maximising the circulation time of the composites in the blood. Polyethylene glycol is grafted onto this as an anchor for negatively charged 2,2’-phenylazanediyl, which counteracts the hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions between the nanoparticles and plasma proteins or white blood cells.

Read the Nanoscale article now:

2, 2′-(phenylazanediyl) diacetic acid modified Fe3O4@PEI for selective removal of cadmium ions from blood
Jun Jin, Fang Yang, Fengwei Zhang, Wuquan Hu, Shao-bo Sun and Jiantai Ma
Nanoscale, 2012
DOI: 10.1039/c2nr11481j

- Jane Hordern, Deputy Editor, Nanoscale

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Two Hot Papers on materials for white LEDs

Graphical abstract: Highly efficient single-layer white polymer light-emitting devices employing triphenylamine-based iridium dendritic complexes as orange emissive componentDendritic complexes for white polymer light-emitting diodes. Chinese scientists have fabricated single-layer white polymer light-emitting devices (WPLED) by double-doping sky-blue emitter iridium(III) bis(2-(4,6-difluorophenyl)-pyridinato-N,C2)picolinate (FIrpic) into orange iridium dendrimers. These WPLEDs achieve the maximum current/power/external quantum efficiencies of 37.0 cd A−1/19.4 lm W−1/18.5%, which are among the highest efficiencies for dual-color WPLEDs ever reported.

Highly efficient single-layer white polymer light-emitting devices employing triphenylamine-based iridium dendritic complexes as orange emissive component: Minrong Zhu, Jianhua Zou, Sujun Hu, Chen’ge Li, Chuluo Yang, Hongbin Wu, Jingui Qin and Yong Cao, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 361-366

Graphical abstract: Stacking-induced white-light and blue-light phosphorescence from purely organic radical materialsStacking-induced phosphorescence from organic radical materials. A new class of organic phosphorescent materials have been developed by scientists at University of Science and Technology of China. Based on salts of an organic radical material, the phosphorescent complexes show stacking-induced white-light and blue-light phosphorescence. The team say that these materials could lead to new LEDs.

Stacking-induced white-light and blue-light phosphorescence from purely organic radical materials: Guo-Ping Yong, Yi-Man Zhang, Wen-Long She and Ying-Zhou Li, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 18520-18522

Read both of the papers for free until 12th January (free registration required).

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts or RSS feeds or follow Journal of Materials Chemistry on Twitter.

- Russell Johnson, Development Editor, Journal of Materials Chemistry

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Sulfonated copolymers with SO3H and COOH groups for the hydrolysis of polysaccharides

Sulfonated copolymers for the hydrolysis of polysaccharidesHydrolysis of polysaccharides in unused biomass offers a sustainable method to produce glucose and other chemicals derived from it.

In an effort to make the process more commercially viable, scientists at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, China, have designed and synthesized efficient catalysts for the hydrolysis of starch and cellulose based on copolymers of poly(acrylic acid) and poly(styrene sulfonic acid). The random copolymer PAA-r-PSSH gave the highest glucose yield among the prepared catalysts which the team attribute to the synergic effect of the SO3H and COOH groups in the polymer chain.

Read the article for free until 30th December (free registration required):

Sulfonated copolymers with SO3H and COOH groups for the hydrolysis of polysaccharides
Xiutao Li, Yijun Jiang, Li Shuai, Lili Wang, Lingqian Meng and Xindong Mu
J. Mater. Chem., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12954F

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts or RSS feeds or follow Journal of Materials Chemistry on Twitter.

- Russell Johnson, Development Editor, Journal of Materials Chemistry

Sulfonated copolymers with SO3H and COOH groups for the hydrolysis of polysaccharides
Xiutao Li, Yijun Jiang, Li Shuai, Lili Wang, Lingqian Meng and Xindong Mu
J. Mater. Chem., 2012, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM12954F
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Graphene-wrapped nanosilicon for high performance Li-ion batteries

Graphene-wrapped nanoparticlesChinese scientists have used graphene sheets to wrap silicon nanoparticles to make nanocomposites which resemble bath lilies.

Zi-Feng Ma and co-workers, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, have assessed the performance of the novel bath lily-like graphene sheet-wrapped silicon (GS-Si) nanocomposites as anode materials for Li-ion batteries. They showed that the GS-Si nanocomposites exhibit a high reversible capacity of 1525mAh g-1 and superior cycling stability.  Conventional graphite anodes display a theoretical specific capacity of only 372 mAh g-1, making it a weak candidate for anodes of Li-ion batteries.

The GS-Si nanocomposites were synthesised using a spray-drying technique which requires “no surfactant, no filtration or washing processes and no high vacuum conditions.” The authors believe that the procedure is safe and environmentally friendly and can be scaled up for the mass production of graphene-based composite materials.

The obtained GS-Si composite possesses an open nano/micro-structure, in which nanosized Si particles are uniformly dispersed and wrapped in the graphene sheet (GS) matrix. “The GS not only constitutes a good conducting network, but also provides enough void spaces to accommodate the volume change of Si and prevent the aggregation of nano-Si particles during cycling, ” explains Ma et al.

Find out more about graphene sheet-wrapped nanocomposites by downloading the full article for free until December 2012.

Communication: A novel bath lily-like graphene sheet-wrapped nano-Si composite as a high performance anode material for Li-ion batteries
Yu-Shi He, Pengfei Gao, Jun Chen, Xiaowei Yang, Xiao-Zhen Liao, Jun Yang and Zi-Feng Ma
RSC Adv., 2011, 1, 958-960

- Kathleen Too, Deputy Editor, RSC Advances

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Hot Paper: Graphene supported Au-Pd bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures and superior peroxidase-like activities

Chen et al., 2011Au@Pd bimetallic nanoparticles were successfully dispersed on graphene by a simple one step reducing method.

The bimetallic nanoparticles show superior catalytic activity over the monometallic counterparts. Including the Au core minimizes the use of more expensive Pd precursors and plays an important role in enhancing the catalytic activity arising from the strong catalytic bimetallic electronic ligand interactions. The composition and shell thickness of the nanoparticles is controlled by loading different amounts of the metallic precursors. Interested to know more? Read the article for free until 16th December…

Graphene supported Au-Pd bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures and superior peroxidase-like activities
Hongyu Chen, Yang Li, Fengbao Zhang, Guoliang Zhang and Xiaobin Fan
J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 17658-17661
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM13356J

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the journal’s e-alerts or RSS feeds or follow Journal of Materials Chemistry on Twitter.

- Russell Johnson, Development Editor, Journal of Materials Chemistry

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Journal of Environmental Monitoring

JEM 2011, Issue 11 front coverThe research of Xiang Li and Jiamin Chen from Fudan University features on the front cover the Journal of Environmental Monitoring.

The futuristic image on the outside front cover image highlights their work on solid-phase microextraction (SPME) analysis of PAHs in fog.  Polluted fog is a serious problem in Shanghai, where the study took place, and this research should provide a basis for better understanding of PAHs in fog-rain events.

Characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in fog–rain events
Xiang Li, Pengfei Li, Lili Yan, Jianmin Chen, Tiantao Cheng and Shifen Xu
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 2988-2993
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10543D

- Francesca Burgoyne, Development Editor, Journal of Environmental Monitoring

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