Articles (19)


14 June 2024

Biobased Vitrimers: A Sustainable Future

Vitrimers are crosslinked polymers containing dynamic covalent linkages. Because of their crosslinked structure, they are stable as thermosets at their service temperatures. At high enough temperatures, dynamic exchange reactions occur and rearrange the polymer network, thus vitrimers become malleable and reprocessable like thermoplastics. The dynamic covalent bonds can also undergo dissociative cleavage reactions under specific conditions, so vitrimers are inherently degradable. To achieve a sustainable future, various biomass resources have been used as raw materials in vitrimer preparation. This review summarizes recent developments in biobased vitrimers and highlights their preparation methods. The limitations of current biobased vitrimers are also discussed.

Baoming Zhao
Tuan Liu
Mingen Fei
Cheng Hao
Brian  Bliss
Yiding Cao
Jinwen Zhang*


31 May 2024

Solid Waste Recycling in Textile Processing Industries: A Case Study of India’s Clothing Hubs

This study investigated the type and amount of solid waste generation from textile wet processing industries and analyzed the disposal and recycling strategies implemented for its utilization. The method involved industrial interactions with textile processing mills. Data was gathered based on a field survey of manufacturing units and their compliance management teams. The solid waste generated in textile processing stages against input raw materials and fuel sources was recorded. The challenges in recycling solid waste are identified and further scope for its valorization is suggested. The results indicate that significant solid waste produced during the wet processing of textiles arises from waste fabric cuttings, combustion of fuels used in processing stages, and sludge generated from the post-effluent treatment. Around 80% of solid waste generated during the wet processing of textiles can find applications in the construction industry. Effective management of solid waste and its potential applications in construction are elaborated in detail.

Shriyasha Tari
Akshay Vade
Ashok Athalye*


06 May 2024

Assessing Energy Emissions and Environmental Impact of Wool Processing: A Case Study of an Indian Textile Mill

The objective of this study is to investigate and analyze the effect of varying sources of energy inputs and their impact on carbon emissions during wool fiber processing. The method involved industrial visits to the textile wool processing mill and interaction with the manufacturing as well as commercial sourcing teams to gather relevant data.  The results and outcome of this analysis indicate that wool wet processing is responsible for a significant carbon emission of about 0.031 tCO2e/unit of production. Coal as a source of energy has the highest carbon emission 0.066 tCO2e/product, while the use of biomass and Pressurized Natural Gas (PNG) had significantly lower CO2 emissions. Further, this study evaluated the scope 1 and scope 2 category emissions produced at the wool processing stage which accounted for 56303.2 tCO2e and 1817.10 tCO2e respectively. 

Akshay Vade
Shriyasha Tari
Ashok Athalye*


18 April 2024

Biodegradable Composite Materials Based on Cassava Starch and Reinforced with Topinambur (Helianthus tuberosus) Aerial Part Fiber

The cultivation of topinambur (Helianthus tuberosus) has aroused the interest of producers since it is a source of inulin and can be used for biofuel production. During tuber processing, the aerial part of the crop remains as a by-product with no practical application. This work aimed to characterize the fibers obtained from the aerial part of topinambur and to evaluate their reinforcing potential in cassava starch-based films. Starch-based films with topinambur fiber (0, 5, and 10%) were prepared by extrusion followed by thermocompression. Topinambur residue contains 88.6% of total fiber, 8.5% ash, and 0.68% lipid. Mechanical film properties evidenced the reinforcement action of topinambur fiber, 10% content was able to increase up to 70% the Young’s modulus. SEM micrographs evidenced the good fiber-matrix interaction. UV-visible capacity, opacity, and chromaticity parameters of TPS films increased with fiber content in the formulation. Fiber incorporation improved the hydrophobicity of the biocomposite materials by increasing the contact angle. Starch-based films biodegraded more than 55% after 110 days, showing a similar trend to that of microcrystalline cellulose. Thus, topinambur residue can be effectively used as a reinforcing agent for TPS materials, being an innovative and non-toxic additive within the circular economy premises.

Luisa FernandaSierra Montes
Mariana AndreaMelaj
María  Cecilia Lorenzo
Laura Ribba*
Maria AlejandraGarcia*


27 March 2024

Research Progress on Electrolyte Additives for Sodium Ion Batteries

In view of the gradual depletion of lithium resources, sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) have emerged as a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). This is primarily attributed to their comparable operational principles and abundant reserves of sodium resources. As an essential component of the secondary battery, the electrolyte is of paramount importance in the functioning of SIBs, and the electrode-electrolyte interface constructed by it affects the battery performance. Adding electrolyte additives in LIBs is a low-cost and efficient method that can enhance the performance of the electrolyte and the interface between the electrode and electrolyte. This method is also applicable to SIBs. Therefore, in this study, we provide a comprehensive overview of various electrolyte additives, including but not limited to carbonate additives, sulfur-containing additives, silicon-containing additives, phosphorus-containing additives and inorganic additives. We extensively analyze the impact of these additives on the electrode-electrolyte interface and the electrochemical performance of SIBs. The purpose of this review is to comprehensively evaluate the current status of electrolyte additives in SIBs, which serves as both a basic overview of the existing situation and a practical guide for selecting suitable additives for practical applications of SIBs.

Zhiwen Zhang
Ziqiang Fan
Jianhui Li*
Haoxuan He
Hang Zhang
Zixiang Li
Jiayi Lin
Xinyue Zhang
Jie Zhang


08 March 2024

Green Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles for Catalytic Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol and Methylene Blue for Sustainable Development

Unique structural features and wide applications of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are inspiring researchers to develop biocompatible, reliable and cost-effective methods for their synthesis. Herein, a clean, eco-friendly and non-toxic method to obtain GNPs was developed by reducing and capping the liquid extract of stem of Lilium longiflorum and highlights the catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) and methylene blue (MB). The formation of GNPs was confirmed through the absorption peak at 535 nm in the UV-Vis spectra. TEM and HRTEM analyses reveal GNPs spherical morphology with an average size of 4.97 nm. SEM and EDX analyses further elucidate the spherical nature of GNPs and elemental composition. FTIR spectroscopy analysis demonstrates that the GNPs were coated with organic compounds, which prevent the nanoparticle from aggregation. GNPs exhibit remarkable efficiency in reducing 4-NP and MB. The catalytic efficacy of the synthesized GNPs was demonstrated through the enhanced reduction rates of 4-NP and MB, with rate constants of 1.50 min−1 and 1.29 min−1, respectively. This study develops a novel and eco-friendly technique for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles and opens possibilities for the green synthesis of other metal nanoparticles. The confirmed catalytic activity holds promise for a range of industrial applications and environmental sustainability. 

Muhammad TahirKhalil
Pengxiang Zhang
Guosheng Han*
Xianli Wu
Baojun Li
Min Xiao


16 January 2024

Purification the Solvent for the Production of High-Density Polyethylene

The adsorption purification of gasoline fraction with NaX zeolites as a solvent for the production of high-density polyethylene at a large pilot plant with a layer height of the adsorbent layer from 1 to 8 m is considered. Removal of impurities of aromatic and unsaturated hydrocarbons, organosulfur impurities and water ensured the production of high-quality polyethylene. The main characteristics of the adsorption process (the dynamic activity of zeolite NaX, the length of the mass transfer zone) in a wide range of flow rates of the cleaned raw materials are determined, allowing the calculation of the adsorber without applying the principles of large-scale transition. 

Naum A.Samoilov*


25 September 2023

Anion Exchange Membrane Reinforced with Polyethylene Substrate for Alkaline Fuel Cell Applications

To enhance mechanical robustness of our in-house anion exchange membrane (QPAF-4), the reinforcement technique was applied using ozone-treated, porous polyethylene (PE) thin film (Toray SETELA) as a substrate. Homogenous and flexible reinforced membranes (QPAF-4-PE, 15–20 µm thick) were obtained by bar-coating method. The cross-sectional SEM image and EDS analysis revealed triple-layered (sandwich-like) structure without detectable pinholes. The QPAF-4-PE with ion exchange capacity (IEC) of 1.48 meq·g−1 exhibited lower water uptake (15 wt% at 90% relative humidity) and slightly lower hydroxide ion conductivity (71 mS·cm−1 at 80 ℃) than those of the pristine QPAF-4 (IEC = 1.84 meq·g−1, 25 wt% water uptake and 82 mS·cm−1 of the conductivity). The reinforced QPAF-4-PE exhibited slightly higher viscoelasticity (particularly, in MD direction) due to the suppressed water absorbability. Furthermore, the elongation at break increased by 9.8% in TD direction and 6.3% in MD direction. An H2/O2 fuel cell using QPAF-4-PE as membrane was investigated at different back-pressure, in which the cell with 100 kPa back-pressure onto the cathode side only achieved the maximum performance (176 mW·cm−2 at current density of 364 mA·cm−2) and the longest durability for (>200 h) at a constant current density of 100 mA·cm−2 maintaining 0.43 V of the cell voltage (67% remaining). The durability was eight times longer than that with ambient pressure and two times longer than that with back-pressure on both sides.

Ahmed Mohamed AhmedMahmoud
Keijiro Nagahara
Kenji Miyatake*


08 September 2023

Synthesis and Characterization of Cyclic Carbonate End-Functional Linear and Star Polyesters via Ring-Opening Polymerization

Well-defined α-(cyclic carbonate), ω-hydroxyl heterotelechelic poly (D,L-lactide)s (PDLLAs) were prepared with good end-group fidelity by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of D,L-lactide catalyzed by organo catalyst namely, N,N′ dimethyl amino pyridine (DMAP) in conjunction with a renewable, functional bio-based initiator namely glycerol 1,2-carbonate (GC) in bulk at 135 °C with 82% yield. In the case of GC/DMAP catalyzed polymerizations, the HO-PDLLA-COOH series was not observed in MALDI TOF mass analysis unlike as obtained due to transesterification reactions when catalyzed by GC/Sn(Oct)2. Also, cyclic carbonate end-functional 4-arm star poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) was prepared via coupling of GC with (PCL-COOH)4 at room temperature in the presence of N,N′-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC) and DMAP. Quantitative conversion of hydroxyl functionality in (PCL-OH)4 to carboxylic acid and then to cyclic carbonate functionality was achieved with 90% yield for low molecular weight 4-arm star PCL confirmed by NMR, FT-IR, and MALDI TOF mass spectroscopy.

Ravindra MahadevPatil
Satyanarayana  Ganugapati
Rudhramyna  Gnaneshwar*


15 August 2023

Green Composites Using Naturally Occurring Fibers: A Comprehensive Review

Depletion of non-renewable resources and health hazards of petroleum-based polymers and plastics has enforced the development of eco-friendly materials. The use of conventional plastics has to be minimized and can be replaced with environmentally friendly and sustainable bio-based polymers or biopolymers due to extensive environmental impact. A major share of petroleum-based polymers is used for polymeric composites with research focus on green composites and biocomposites containing renewable/bioderived matrix polymer and fillers from naturally occurring fibers. Biocomposites hold great promise to replace petroleum-based polymer composites owing to their lower cost, non-toxicity, abundance of raw material, renewability, and high specific strength. All these merits of biocomposites have led to an increment in the development of new biocomposites with enhanced properties, wide applicability and ever demanding criteria. The recently published review studies detailed the raw materials used, fabrication techniques, characterization, and applications including biodegradation and rheological studies performed in recent years. This review covers all the important properties of biocomposites along with detailed description of synthesis, properties, characterizations and applicability of these green composites in several areas. The review also focuses on their raw materials, types, recent biocomposites, processing techniques, characterizations, applications, and current challenges with future aspects.

Hans  Raj
Swikriti  Tripathi
Sudepta Bauri
Avishek  Mallick Choudhury
Subham  SekharMandal
Pralay  Maiti*