Globally, environmental challenges have been recognised as a matter of concern. Among these challenges are the reduced availability and quality of drinking water, and greenhouse gases that give rise to change in climate by entrapping heat, which result in respirational illness from smog and air pollution. Globally, the rate of demand for the use of freshwater has outgrown the rate of population increase; as the rapid growth in town and cities place a huge pressure on neighbouring water resources. Besides, the rapid growth in anthropogenic activities, such as the generation of energy and its conveyance, release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, warming the planet. Polymer nanocomposite has played a significant role in finding solutions to current environmental problems. It has found interest due to its high potential for the reduction of gas emission, and elimination of pollutants, heavy metals, dyes, and oil in wastewater. The revolution of integrating developed novel nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, nanofibers and activated carbon, in polymers, have instigated revitalizing and favourable inventive nanotechnologies for the treatment of wastewater and gas separation. This review discusses the effective employment of polymer nanocomposites for environmental utilizations. Polymer nanocomposite membranes for wastewater treatment and gas separation were reviewed together with their mechanisms. The use of polymer nanocomposites as an adsorbent for toxic metals ions removal and an adsorbent for dye removal were also discussed, together with the mechanism of the adsorption process. Patents in the utilization of innovative polymeric nanocomposite membranes for environmental utilizations were discussed.
Activated carbons were produced from coconut shells of tall and dwarf tree varieties. The activated carbon from the tall tree variety was initially synthesized using 1 M concentration of each of ZnCl 2 , H 3 PO 4 , and KOH solutions. From the adsorptive tests conducted using methylene blue solution, the activated carbon produced with H 3 PO 4 gave the best absorbance and adsorptive performance. Coconut shells of dwarf tree variety were then obtained and treated with same mass of coconut shells of the tall tree variety using varied concentrations of the acid in order to determine whether the optimum concentration and temperature for producing carbon black from the coconut shells are distinct or similar for both varieties. The process was also modelled using the Differential Response Method (DRM) in order to determine the yields and adsorptive performances of the activated carbons by varying the carbonization temperature and concentration. The results from experiment and the developed mathematical model were both found to be in agreement giving the optimum concentration of phosphoric acid and pH for producing activated carbon to be 0.67 M and 2.07 for the tall tree variety and 1 M and 1.98 for the dwarf variety at optimum temperatures in the range of 450-575 ∘ C and 575 ∘ C, respectively.
Some oil and gas reservoirs are often weakly consolidated making them liable to sand intrusion. During upstream petroleum production operations, crude oil and sand eroded from formation zones are often transported as a mixture through horizontal pipes up to the well heads and between well heads and flow stations. The sand transported through the pipes poses serious problems ranging from blockage, corrosion, abrasion, and reduction in pipe efficiency to loss of pipe integrity. A mathematical description of the transport process of crude oil and sand in a horizontal pipe is presented in this paper. The model used to obtain the mathematical description is the modified form of Doan et al. (1996 and 2000) models. Based on the necessity to introduce a sand deposit concentration term in the mass conservation equation, an additional equation for solid phase was derived. Difference formulae were generated having applied Fick’s equation for diffusion to the mass conservation equations since diffusion is one of the transport mechanisms. Mass and volume flow rates of oil were estimated. The new model, when tested with field data, gave 85% accuracy at the pipe inlet and 97% accuracy at the exit of the pipe.
Due to the global menace caused by carbon emissions from environmental, anthropogenic, and industrial processes, it has become expedient to consider the use of systems, with high trapping potentials for these carbon-based compounds. Several prior studies have considered the use of amines, activated carbon, and other solid adsorbents. Advances in carbon capture research have led to the use of ionic liquids, enzyme-based systems, microbial filters, membranes, and metal-organic frameworks in capturing CO2. Therefore, it is common knowledge that some of these systems have their lapses, which then informs the need to prioritize and optimize their synthetic routes for optimum efficiency. Some authors have also argued about the need to consider the use of hybrid systems, which offer several characteristics that in turn give synergistic effects/properties that are better compared to those of the individual components that make up the composites. For instance, some membranes are hydrophobic in nature, which makes them unsuitable for carbon capture operations; hence, it is necessary to consider modifying properties such as thermal stability, chemical stability, permeability, nature of the raw/starting material, thickness, durability, and surface area which can enhance the performance of these systems. In this review, previous and recent advances in carbon capture systems and sequestration technologies are discussed, while some recommendations and future prospects in innovative technologies are also highlighted.
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