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  • 1.
    $$$Östmans, Rebecca
    et al.
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology, 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden; Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC), 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden.
    $$$Benselfelt, Tobias
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology, 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden; NTU Nanyang Technological University, School of Materials Science and Engineering, 639798 Singapore, Singapore.
    $$$Erlandsson, Johan
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology, 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden.
    $$$Rostami, Jowan
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology, 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hall, Stephen
    Lund University, Division of Solid Mechanics, Lund, Sweden.
    Lindström, Stefan B.
    FSCN Research Center, Mid Sweden University, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden.
    $$$Wågberg, Lars
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Fiber and Polymer Technology, 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden; Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC), 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Solidified water at room temperature hosting tailored fluidic channels by using highly anisotropic cellulose nanofibrils2024In: Materials Today Nano, E-ISSN 2588-8420, Vol. 26, article id 100476Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Highly anisotropic cellulose nanofibrils can solidify liquid water, creating self-supporting structures by incorporating a tiny number of fibrils. These fibrillar hydrogels can contain as much as 99.99 wt% water. The structure and mechanical properties of fibrillar networks have so far not been completely understood, nor how they solidify the bulk water at such low particle concentrations. In this work, the mechanical properties of cellulose fibrillar hydrogels in the dilute regime from a wt% perspective have been studied, and an elastoplastic model describing the network structure and its mechanics is presented. A significant insight from this work is that the ability of the fibrils to solidify water is very dependent on particle stiffness and the number of contact points it can form in the network structure. The comparison between the experimental results and the theoretical model shows that the fibrillar networks in the dilute regime form via a non-stochastic process since the fibrils have the time and freedom to find contact points during network formation by translational and rotational diffusion. The formed, dilute fibrillar network deforms by sliding fibril contacts upon straining the network beyond its elastic limit. Our results also show that before macroscopic failure, the fibril contacts are restored once the load is released. The exceptional properties of this solidified water are exploited to host fluidic channels, allowing directed fluid transportation in water. Finally, the microfluidic channels formed in the hydrogels are tailored by the layer-by-layer technique to be interactive against external stimuli, a characteristic envisioned to be useful in biomedical applications.

  • 2.
    Essalhi, Mohamed
    et al.
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden.; African Sustainable Agriculture Research Institute (ASARI), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Laayoune, 70000, Morocco.
    Afsar, Noor Ul
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden..
    Bouyer, Denis
    Institut Europeen des Membranes, IEM, UMR 5635, ENSCM, CNRS, Univ Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
    Sundman, Ola
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden..
    Holmboe, Michael
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden..
    Khayet, Mohamed
    Department of Structure of Matter, Thermal Physics and Electronics, Faculty of Physics, University Complutense of Madrid, Avda. Complutense s/n, 28040, Madrid, Spain., Avda. Complutense s/n.
    Jonsson, Mats
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Chemistry, Applied Physical Chemistry.
    Tavajohi, Naser
    Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden..
    Gamma-irradiated janus electrospun nanofiber membranes for desalination and nuclear wastewater treatment2024In: Journal of Membrane Science, ISSN 0376-7388, E-ISSN 1873-3123, Vol. 700, article id 122726Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study presents the fabrication of double-layer electrospun nanofibrous membranes (DL-ENMs) using polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyether sulfone (PES) based polymers with different degrees of hydrophilicity (PES, sulfonated PES, and PES with hydroxyl terminals). A comparative analysis was carried out with single-layer electrospun nanofiber membranes (SL-ENM) with a total thickness of about 375 μm. Using feed solutions, including sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, and simulated nuclear wastewater (SNWW), the performance of DL-ENMs was evaluated for desalination and radionuclide decontamination by direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) and air gap membrane distillation (AGMD) techniques. The results showed that DL-ENMs, especially those incorporating a sulfonated PES-based hydrophilic layer, exhibited superior permeate fluxes, reaching values of 72.72 kg/m2.h and 73.27 kg/m2.h in the DCMD using aqueous feed solutions of NaCl and NaNO3, respectively, and 70.80 kg/m2.h and 41.96 kg/m2.h using aqueous feed solutions of SNWW in DCMD and AGMD, respectively. Both SL-ENMs and DL-ENMs exhibited high rejection efficiencies and decontamination factors for the feed solutions (>99.9%). In addition, the prepared ENMs were exposed to gamma radiation to evaluate their applicability in real-life applications. The result of irradiation revealed the negative impact of gamma radiation on the fluorine content of PVDF which could be a critical point in using PVDF as a hydrophobic material for decontaminating nuclear wastewater by membrane distillation.

  • 3.
    Toledo-Carrillo, Esteban Alejandro
    et al.
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Applied Physics, Materials and Nanophysics.
    García-Rodríguez, Mario
    Departamento de Química Física e Instituto Universitario de Materiales, Universidad de Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain., Ap. 99.
    Sánchez-Moren, Lorena M.
    Departamen-to de Química Inorgánica e Instituto Universitario de Materiales, Universidad de Alicante, Ap. 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain., Ap. 99.
    Dutta, Joydeep
    KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Applied Physics, Materials and Nanophysics.
    Decoupled supercapacitive electrolyzer for membrane-free water splitting2024In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 10, no 10, p. 3180-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Green hydrogen production via water splitting is vital for decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries. Its integration with renewable energy sources remains to be a challenge, due to the susceptibility to hazardous gas mixture during electrolysis. Here, we report a hybrid membrane-free cell based on earth-abundant materials for decoupled hydrogen production in either acidic or alkaline medium. The design combines the electrocatalytic reactions of an electrolyzer with a capacitive storage mechanism, leading to spatial/temporal separation of hydrogen and oxygen gases. An energy efficiency of 69% lower heating value (48 kWh/kg) at 10 mA/cm2 (5 cm-by-5 cm cell) was achieved using cobalt-iron phosphide bifunctional catalyst with 99% faradaic efficiency at 100 mA/cm2. Stable operation over 20 hours in alkaline medium shows no apparent electrode degradation. Moreover, the cell voltage breakdown reveals that substantial improvements can be achieved by tunning the activity of the bifunctional catalyst and improving the electrodes conductivity. The cell design offers increased flexibility and robustness for hydrogen production.

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