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Faria, P, Duarte P, Barbosa D, Ferreira I.  2017.  New composite of natural hydraulic lime mortar with graphene oxide. Construction and Building Materials. 156:1150-1157. AbstractWebsite

Recent studies show the incorporation of graphene oxide (GO) in cement composites. But these composites are frequently incompatible with original materials for building rehabilitation. To overcome this limitation, natural hydraulic lime mortars were used as matrix, and the influence of GO percentage and type of mixing was investigated. The influence on the microstructure, mechanical and physical properties was assessed. The best results were obtained with dispersed GO at concentrations of 0.05% and 0.1%. A slight improvement of mechanical and physical characteristics was achieved. This could lead to new mortars with improved properties that can be used for building rehabilitation.

Fernandes, MJ, Moreira MM, Paíga P, Dias D, Bernardo M, Carvalho M, Lapa N, Fonseca I, Morais S, Figueiredo S, Delerue-Matos C.  2019.  Evaluation of the adsorption potential of biochars prepared from forest and agri-food wastes for the removal of fluoxetine. Bioresource Technology. 292:121973. AbstractWebsite

Twelve biochars from forest and agri-food wastes (pruning of Quercus ilex, Eucalyptus grandis, Pinus pinaster, Quercus suber, Malus pumila, Prunus spinosa, Cydonia oblonga, Eriobotrya japonica, Juglans regia, Actinidia deliciosa, Citrus sinensis and Vitis vinifera) were investigated as potential low-cost and renewable adsorbents for removal of a commonly used pharmaceutical, fluoxetine. Preliminary adsorption experiments allowed to select the most promising adsorbents, Quercus ilex, Cydonia oblonga, Eucalyptus, Juglans regia and Vitis vinifera pruning material. They were characterized by proximate, elemental and mineral analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, determination of specific surface area and pH at the point of zero charge. Batch and equilibrium studies were performed, and the influence of pH was evaluated. The equilibrium was reached in less than 15 min in all systems. The maximum adsorption capacity obtained was 6.41 mg/g for the Eucalyptus biochar, which also demonstrated a good behavior in continuous mode (packed column).

Ferreira, RC, Dias D, Fonseca I, Bernardo M, Pimenta JLCW, Lapa N, de Barros MASD.  2020.  Multi-component adsorption study by using bone char: modelling and removal mechanisms. Environmental Technology. :1-16.: Taylor & Francis AbstractWebsite
Figueira, J, Loureiro J, Marques J, Bianchi C, Duarte P, Ruoho M, Tittonen I, Ferreira I.  2017.  Optimization of Cuprous Oxides Thin Films to be used as Thermoelectric Touch Detectors. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 9:6520-6529., Number 7 AbstractWebsite

The electronic and optical properties of p-type copper oxides (CO) strongly depend on the production technique as it influences the obtained phases: cuprous oxide (Cu2O) or cupric oxide (CuO), the most common ones. Cu films deposited by thermal evaporation have been annealed in air atmosphere, with temperature between 225 and 375 °C and time between 1 and 4 h. The resultant CO films have been studied to understand the influence of processing parameters in the thermoelectric, electrical, optical, morphological, and structural properties. Films with a Cu2O single phase are formed when annealing at 225 °C, while CuO single phase films can be obtained at 375 °C. In between, both phases are obtained in proportions that depend on the film thickness and annealing time. The positive sign of the Seebeck coefficient (S), measured at room temperature (RT), confirms the p-type behavior of both oxides, showing values up to 1.2 mV·°C–1 and conductivity up to 2.9 (Ω·m)−1. A simple detector using Cu2O have been fabricated and tested with fast finger touch events.

do Fraga, AC, Quitete CPB, Ximenes VL, Sousa-Aguiar EF, Fonseca IM, Rego AMB.  2016.  Biomass derived solid acids as effective hydrolysis catalysts. Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical. 422:248-257. AbstractWebsite

The conversion of cellulose into products with higher added value often includes a depolymerization step to obtain glucose, its fundamental unity. The depolymerization reaction is carried out via hydrolysis of the β-1,4-glycosidic bond. The search for a solid acid catalyst capable of breaking these bonds is gaining increasing prominence in the literature. In this regard, sulfonated carbons have shown promising results. This work evaluated the use of a residue from the extraction of palm oil as raw material for the production of sulfonated carbons. The raw material was carbonized and sulfonated. The obtained solid acids were tested in the hydrolysis of cellobiose, a dimer of glucose often used as a model compound for cellulose. The hydrolysis reaction is the first step in converting renewable carbon sources into chemical products and biofuels. Some aspects were investigated, as the effect of carbonization temperature on the concentration of sulfonic groups, the results showing that the content thereof reached a maximum value at 300°C. Regarding the hydrolysis of cellobiose, it has been identified that there is a relationship between the concentration of sulfonic acid groups and the activity of these catalysts. However, there is a drop in the turnover number as the amount of sulfonic acid sites increases. This was related to a preferred position sulfonation mechanism. Furthermore, sulfonated carbons showed higher activity than the commercial acid resins, indicating that this material may be a good option for the generation of solid acid catalysts.