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    MONITORING THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE BEHAVIOUR OF ALKALI-ACTIVATED SLAG PASTE: EFFECT OF THE CURING MODE
    (CZECH TECHNICAL UNIV PRAGUE, 2023-12-31) Nápravník, Petr; Kocáb, Dalibor; Bílek, Vlastimil; Lisztwan, Dominik; Kucharczyková, Barbara
    This paper deals with the monitoring of the internal structure behaviour of an alkali -activated slag (AAS) paste. The slag was activated with a 4M solution of sodium hydroxide. The behaviour of the internal structure of the paste was regularly monitored through the changes in the resonant frequency and the mechanical properties, until the paste reached the age of 90 days. The main aim of the article is to show the long-term maturation and degradation process of an AAS paste under different curing modes. The results obtained suggest that the curing mode of the specimens has a significant effect on the behaviour of the internal structure of the paste based on the AAS. The development of both the dynamic properties and the flexural strength indicates the occurrence of a higher porosity in the internal structure of the paste, especially when the free drying process is started earlier. Insufficient hydration of the binder system is also a likely cause of cracks. The reduction in the relative dynamic moduli values ranging from 50 % to 80 % was observed for drying specimens at the age of 90 days. What is very interesting is that the occurrence of cracks was not prevented even by intensive moist curing of the paste as, between the 21st and the 28th day of maturing, there was a significant decrease of about 20 % in the relative dynamic modulus of elasticity and also a 50 % reduction in the flexural strength.
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    Carboxymethyl starch as a reducing and capping agent in the hydrothermal synthesis of selenium nanostructures for use with three-dimensional-printed hydrogel carriers
    (ROYAL SOC, 2023-10-11) Vishakha, Vishakha; Abdellatif, Abdelmohsen Moustafa; Michalička, Jan; White, Paul B.; Lepcio, Petr; Tinoco Navarro, Lizeth Katherine; Jančář, Josef
    The hydrothermal method is a cost-effective and eco-friendly route for preparing various nanomaterials. It can use a capping agent, such as a polysaccharide, to govern and define the nanoparticle morphology. Elemental selenium nanostructures (spheres and rods) were synthesized and stabilized using a tailor-made carboxymethyl starch (CMS, degree of substitution = 0.3) under hydrothermal conditions. CMS is particularly convenient because it acts simultaneously as the capping and reducing agent, as verified by several analytical techniques, while the reaction relies entirely on green solvents. Furthermore, the effect of sodium selenite concentration, reaction time and temperature on the nanoparticle size, morphology, microstructure and chemical composition was investigated to identify the ideal synthesis conditions. A pilot experiment demonstrated the feasibility of implementing the synthesized nanoparticles into vat photopolymerization three-dimensional-printed hydrogel carriers based on 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). When submersed into the water, the subsequent particle release was confirmed by dynamic light scattering (DLS), promising great potential for use in bio-three-dimensional printing and other biomedical applications.
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    Maximizing the electrochemical performance of supercapacitor electrodes from plastic waste
    (Elsevier, 2023-08-07) Dědek, Ivan; Bartusek, Stanislav; Dvořáček, Josef Jan; Nečas, Jan; Petruš, Josef; Jakubec, Petr; Kupka, Vojtěch; Otyepka, Michal
    The management of the increasing volume of plastic waste has become a key challenge for society. A promising strategy now consists in the transformation of plastic waste into high-value materials that can be utilized in energy storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors. In this study, we demonstrate a two-step procedure, involving pyrolysis, followed by chemical activation that will convert common plastic waste into activated carbons (ACs). This technique makes ACs suitable for supercapacitor electrode materials. Further, the electrochemical performance of ACs is outstanding in terms of capacitance, energy density, and cycling stability. Besides the well-established parameters, including a specific surface area and micropore volume, we found that other critical factors such as polymer glass transition temperature, polymer-activating agent miscibility, activating agent (K2CO3):AC ratio, and AC water dispersion stability also play a crucial role in determining the supercapacitors performance. Controlling these parameters, we obtained ACs as supercapacitor electrodes from a range of plastic waste materials with a competitive electrochemical performance. Specifically, the ACs exhibited a specific capacitance of 220 F g1 (at a current density of 1 A g1), energy and power densities of 61.1 Wh kg1 and 36.9 kW kg1, respectively, and excellent cycling stability (95 % retention after 30,000 cycles). Our findings provide a pathway towards transforming plastic waste into valuable electrode materials for supercapacitors.
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    Accelerated carbonation of oil-well cement blended with pozzolans and latent hydraulic materials
    (SPRINGER, 2023-08-12) Kuzielova, Eva; Slaný, Michal; Žemlička, Matúš; Másilko, Jiří
    Accelerated carbonation of cement mixtures consisting of class G cement, silica fume, metakaolin, or blast furnace slag was studied by thermogravimetric, X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared analyses for 1 year. Surface parts were fully carbonated during the first 7 days. Polymerization of amorphous hydrates due to their decalcification was observed together with the rising amount of calcium carbonates and reformation of gypsum from ettringite and monosulfate. Decalcification of clinker phases took place fast after the depletion of portlandite. Although portlandite was still present in unblended pastes, because of slower carbonation rate in the surface parts and higher C/S ratio of amorphous hydrates, the carbonation front moved inward during 3 months. Pozzolanic reactions in the samples with 30 mass% of additives depleted portlandite, however, higher amounts of C-(A)-S-H phases with lower C/S ratio, denser microstructure and faster carbonation of surface parts ensured their resistance against carbonation throughout the monitored period.
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    Effect of siliceous sand volume fraction on the properties of alkali-activated slag mortars
    (IOP Science, 2023-08-17) Hajzler, Jan; Bílek, Vlastimil; Kejík, Marek; Kucharczyková, Barbara
    One of the critical factors affecting the performance of alkali-activated slag (AAS) is the nature and dose of alkali activator. The activator type can play a significant role during the transition from pastes to mortars or concretes. Therefore, three basic sodium activators (water glass, carbonate, and hydroxide) of the same molarity of 4M Na+ were used to prepare AAS-based mortars with different volume fractions of siliceous sand. These were compared by means of workability, mechanical strength, and long-term shrinkage under autogenous conditions. The results were compared to those obtained on pastes with similar workability. Increasing the content of the sand tended rather to decrease the mechanical properties, while greatly decreased autogenous shrinkage. Nevertheless, the most remarkable differences for different activators were observed when comparing the mortars with pastes. The transition from pastes to mortars resulted in the highest reduction in both compressive and flexural strength for sodium hydroxide. The flexural strength of the mortars with sodium water glass and sodium carbonate even increased considerably in presence of sand.