Tag Archives: National Autonomous University of Mexico

Gold nanoparticles used to catalyze biofuel waste and create a useful additive

This work is the result of an international collaboration including Russia (from a May 23, 2017 news item on Nanowerk),

Gold nanoparticles serve as catalysts for obtaining valuable chemical products based on glycerol. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and their international colleagues are developing gold catalysts to recycle one of the main byproducts of biofuel production. The obtained products are in high demand in medicine, agriculture, cosmetic industry and other sectors.

Scientists from the University of Milano (Italy), the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of Madrid (Spain) and the University of Porto (Portugal) take part in the study of gold nanoparticles.

A May 23, 2027 Tomsk Polytechnic University press release, which originated the news item, expands on the theme,

Today the production of biofuels is an important area in many countries. They can be obtained from a great variety of biomasses. In Latin America it is orange and tangerine peel as well as banana skin. In USA biofuels are produced from corn, in the central part of Russia and Europe – from rape (Brassica napus). When processing these plants into biofuels a large amount of glycerol is formed. Its esters constitute the basis of oils and fats. Glycerol is widely used in cosmetic industry as an individual product. However, much more glycerol is obtained in the production of biofuels – many thousands of tons a year. As a result, unused glycerol merely becomes waste,’ describes the problem Alexey Pestryakov, the Head of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. ‘Now, a lot of research groups are engaged in this issue as to how to transform excess glycerol into other useful products. Along with our foreign colleagues we offered catalysts based on gold nanoparticles.’

The authors of the research note that catalytic oxidation on gold is one of the most effective techniques to obtain from glycerol such useful products as aldehydes, esters, carboxylic acids and other substances.

‘All these substances are products of fine organic chemistry and are in demand in a wide range of industries, first of all, in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In agriculture they are applied as part of different feed additives, veterinary drugs, fertilizers, plant treatment products, etc.

Thus, unused glycerol after being processed will further be applied,’ sums up Alexey Pestryakov.

Gold catalysts are super active. They can enter into chemical reactions with other substances at room temperature (other catalysts need to be heated), in some case even under zero. However, gold can be a catalyst only at the nanolevel.

‘If you take a piece of gold, even very tiny, there will be no chemical reaction. In order to make gold become chemically active, the size of its particle should be less than two nanometers. Only then it gets its amazing properties,’ explains the scientist.

As a catalyst gold was discovered not so long ago, in the early 1990s, by Japanese chemists.

To date, TPU scientists and their colleagues are not the only ones who develop such catalysts.

Unlike their counterparts the gold catalysts developed at TPU are more stable (they retain their activity longer).

‘A great challenge in this area is that gold catalysts are very rapidly deactivated, not only during work, but even during storage. Our objective is to ensure their longer shelf life. It is also important to use oxygen as an oxidizer, since toxic and corrosive peroxide compounds are often used for such purposes,’ says Alexey Petryakov.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

More Insights into Support and Preparation Method Effects in Gold Catalyzed Glycerol Oxidation by Nina Bogdanchikova, Inga Tuzovskaya, Laura Prati, Alberto Villa, Alexey Pestryakov, Mario Farías. Current Organic Synthesis VOLUME: 14 ISSUE: 3 Year: 2017Page: [377 – 382] Pages: 6 DOI: 10.2174/1570179413666161031114833

This paper is behind a paywall. (Scroll down the page to find the article.)

Nano outreach and education conferences in Mexico

(Sigh) I really wish for fluency in more languages. Today, it’s Spanish. Miguel Aznar, Director of Education at the Foresight Institute, noted in his April 6, 2012 posting on the Foresight Institute blog that he will be speaking at a symposium (NanoDYF 2012) which is part of a set of nano conferences running from June 11-15, 2012 in Puebla, Mexico (from the posting),

NanoDYF promotes nanoscience / nanotechnology outreach and education in Latin America. The NanoDYF 2012 conference in Puebla, Mexico 2012 June 11 – 13, will draw together leaders in research, education, business, and politics to share discoveries and discuss objectives for this outreach. I will present on critical thinking about nanotechnology.

Here’s a little more about the joint conference set from their homepage (thanks to translate.google.com),

Mexico has very important groups working in N[anoscience] & N[anotechnology] in its leading universities and research centers. The work is of very high quality and results of these studies are published in leading journals in the world. During this week we gather in the city of Puebla to scientists and students from the various areas of nanoscience and Nanotecnogía to have a discussion about real progress, promises and implications of nanotechnology. In this direction there will be three events that traditionally take place on different dates:

First Latin American Symposium Outreach and Education in Nanotechnology, NANODYF’2012.
Second Coordination Meeting of the Network NANODYF – CYTED.
Nanomex’2012, Fifth International Meeting and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.
Second Meeting of the Network of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Conacyt.

You can find out more about NanoDYF and its 2012 symposium here or you can go directly to the symposium page here.

The NanoMex 2012 conference runs from June 13-15, 2012 in Puebla, from the NanoMex 2012 homepage (thanks again to translate.google.com),

NanoMex’12 is the 5th. International Meeting and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience and Nanotechnology organized by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Group is an initiative of nano-UNAM, formed initially by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Sciences and Humanities, the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center and Applied Science and Technological Development. Since 2009, 11 nano-structured UNAM university entities. On this occasion, is done in partnership and with support from the Institute of Physics, Autonomous University of Puebla. It is also done in conjunction with the Second Meeting of the Network of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Conacyt.

As in previous years, seeks to promote high-quality interdisciplinary dialogue on the progress, promise and implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology in order to enrich the national decision-making concerning the distribution of profit maximization and the definition of responsibilities and minimizing unnecessary costs or unwanted.
Be held in the city of Puebla, Puebla 13 to June 15, 2012.

The main themes are:

Preparation and characterization of nanostructured systems.
Specific applications in nanomaterials.
Modeling of nanostructures and molecular systems.
Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and regulation.
International cooperation and national and industrialization.
Ethical, economic, social and legal aspects of nanotechnology.

The stream education, outreach and media in nanoscience and nanotechnology, will be treated in the First Symposium on Dissemination and Training of Nanotechnology [NanoDIY 2012], organized in collaboration with the Network “José Roberto Leite” outreach and training in nanotechnology and to be held in the city of Puebla on 11-13 June. It extends the invitation to our colleagues to discuss, analyze and propose alternatives in a broad context, open and interdisciplinary which includes a whole range of specialists from the exact sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, the business sector and the political sphere, among others.

The official languages ​​of the event are the SPANISH and ENGLISH. There will be no simultaneous translation.

For anyone who’s not familiar with Puebla, Puebla, where this set of conferences is being held (from the Wikipedia essay [links and footnotes have been removed]),

The city of Puebla(Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweβla]) is the seat of the Municipality of Puebla, the capital of the state of Puebla, and one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico. Being a colonial era planned city, it is located to the east of Mexico City and west of Mexico’s main Atlantic port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two in Central Mexico.

Being both the fourth largest city in Mexico and the fourth largest Metropolitan area in Mexico, the city serves as one of the main hubs for eastern Central Mexico. Many students come from all over the country. The city is also important because of its industry, with one of the world’s largest Volkswagen factories outside of Germany located in the Municipality of Cuautlancingo. As a result, a many suppliers factories have opened in the city of Puebla.