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  • Author: F. G. SILVA x
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Abstract

The pH neutralization process is typical in chemical, biological and petrochemical industries. One of the major challenges to control it is to understand its nonlinearities and that requires several fine adjustments from conventional controls. Artificial Intelligence has been used to study these nonlinearities; one of them is Neuro-Fuzzy Logic, which was investigated in this work to develop controls dedicated to this process. These controls are formed by logical structures and may be adjusted to different configurations. In practical applications, it is highly important to adapt control parameters based on artificial intelligence to obtain better performance. The present work studied the effect of different configurations of a neuro-fuzzy control on the performance of a regulatory control to pH neutralization process by means of a virtual plant developed in both Indusoft© and Matlab© environments. For both variables, pH and reactor level control, membership function (MF) = [Gaussian], method “OR” = [probabilistic], method “E” = [product], type of MF output = [linear] and the optimization method = [hybrid], have improved control performance, which confirms the importance of configuration choices in neuro-fuzzy control adjustments. Moreover, the most determining factor in NFC performance is the types of membership functions.

Abstract

The hydrothermal synthesis of MCM-22 zeolite was carried out using silica, sodium aluminate and hexamethyleneimine, under static conditions at 150 °C for a period of 10 days, followed by washing with deionized water, drying overnight and calcination at 650 °C. The obtained material was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The XRD analysis evidenced that MCM-22 presented a well defined MWW structure. The FT-IR spectrum confirmed the efficiency of the hexamethyleneimine as an organic template used to direct the structure of the MCM-22 zeolite under static conditions. The SEM image indicated that the particles are spherical in shape, with a diameter of ca. 10 μm. The acid properties of the MCM-22 zeolite, as determined by n-buthylamine adsorption, were investigated in the temperature ranges of 105 to 300 °C and 300 to 525 °C, relative to medium and strong acid sites, respectively.

Abstract

The leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, 1908 is the most harmful of the Eucalyptus pests, causing severe losses in wood production through defoliation. Various strategies have been tried and effort spent on the development of methods to control this pest, however no practical and environmentally acceptable one currently exists. In this work the chemical composition of the essential oil of seven Eucalyptus species was identified and the selectivity and sensitivity of antennal receptors of A. sexdens rubropilosa workers to the volatile compounds were determined using the electroantennographic technique (EAG and GC-EAD). Analysis by GC-EAD showed in E. cloesiana and E. maculata, respectively, seventeen and sixteen terpenes that elicited responses in ant workers’ antennae, indicating the potential role of the essential oils as allelochemicals that determine the choice of the foraging material.

The fruits of Cipadessa fruticosa Bl. afforded two new limonoids: methyl 8α,30α-epoxide-3β - (2’-methylbutyryloxy)-1-oxomeliacate (cipadesin A) and methyl 21,23-dihydro-23-hydroxy-21-oxo- 3β -tigloyloxy-1-oxomeliac-8(30)-enate (febrifugin A), along with the known limonoids cipadesin, khayasin T, febrifugin, ruageanin A and mexicanolide. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods

The phytochemistry of the genus Piper (Piperaceae) has been widely studied due to the biological properties of amides from these plants. In this work, we have synthesized and evaluated the toxic effect of 11 amides against the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda larvae. The naturally occurring piperine was also evaluated. The most active amide was N- [3-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-(E)-propenoyl]piperidine with a LD50 of 1.07 μg mg−1 larvae. This amide was also evaluated by ingestion.

The [RE(NTA)(H2O)2]⋅(H2O) rare-earth complexes (RE3+: Eu, Gd, Tb and NTA: nitrilotriacetate) were synthesized and characterized by elemental analysis, thermogravimetry, X-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy. The complexes show high crystallinity and thermostability. The photoluminescence behavior was studied based on the excitation and emission spectra, and luminescence decay curves. The compounds exhibit red (Eu3+), green (Tb3+) and UV (Gd3+) monochromatic emissions under UV excitation. The NTA ligand acts as luminescence sensitizer in the ligand-to- RE3+ intramolecular energy transfer process, owing to the fact that the first excited triplet state (T1: 29 000 cm−1) is located above of the 5D0 (Eu3+) and 5D4 (Tb3+) emitting levels. The experimental intensity parameters Ωλ (λ: 2 and 4) for the Eu3+ NTA complex were calculated, and the results are discussed. The Gd3+-NTA complex exhibits a high-intensity emission band in the UV region (32 000 cm−1) assigned to the 6P7/28S7/2 intraconfigurational transition.

Abstract

The current interest in functionalized calixarenes with phosphorylated pendant arms resides in their coordination ability towards f elements and capability towards actinide/rare earth separation. Uranyl cation forms 1:1 and 1:2 (M:L) complexes with a tetra-phosphinoylated p-tert-butylcalix[4]arene, B4bL4: UO2(NO3)2(B4bL4)n· xH2O (n = 1, x = 2, 1; n = 2, x = 6, 2). Spectroscopic data point to the inner coordination sphere of 1 containing one monodentate nitrate anion, one water molecule and the four phosphinoylated arms bound to UO2 2+ while in 2, uranyl is only coordinated to calixarene ligands. In both cases the U(VI) ion is 8-coordinate. Uranyl complexes display enhanced metal-centred luminescence due to energy transfer from the calixarene ligands; the luminescence decays are bi-exponential with associated lifetimes in the ranges 220 μs <τ s <250 μs and 630 μs <τ L < 640 μs, pointing to the presence of two species with differently coordinated calixarene, as substantiated by a XPS study of U(4f 5/2,7/2), O(1s) and P(2p) levels on solid state samples. The extraction study of UO2 2+ cation and trivalent rare-earth (Y, La, Eu) ions from acidic nitrate media by B4bL4 in chloroform shows the uranyl cation being much more extracted than rare earths.