Scielo RSS <![CDATA[QuĂ­mica Nova]]> vol. 38 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[SYNGAS PRODUCTION FROM CO<sub>2</sub>-REFORMING OF CH<sub>4</sub> OVER SOL-GEL SYNTHESIZED Ni-Co/Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>-MgO-ZrO<sub>2</sub> NANOCATALYST: EFFECT OF ZrO<sub>2</sub> PRECURSOR ON CATALYST PROPERTIES AND PERFORMANCE]]> Ni-Co/Al2O3-MgO-ZrO2 nanocatalyst with utilization of two different zirconia precursors, namely, zirconyl nitrate hydrate (ZNH) and zirconyl nitrate solution (ZNS), was synthesized via the sol-gel method. The physiochemical properties of nanocatalysts were characterized by XRD, FESEM, EDX, BET and FTIR analyses and employed for syngas production from CO2-reforming of CH4. XRD patterns, exhibiting proper crystalline structure and homogeneous dispersion of active phase for the nanocatalyst ZNS precursor employed (NCAMZ-ZNS). FESEM and BET results of NCAMZ-ZNS presented more uniform morphology and smaller particle size and consequently higher surface areas. In addition, average particle size of NCAMZ-ZNS was 15.7 nm, which is close to the critical size for Ni-Co catalysts to avoid carbon formation. Moreover, FESEM analysis indicated both prepared samples were nanoscale. EDX analysis confirmed the existence of various elements used and also supported the statements made in the XRD and FESEM analyses regarding dispersion. Based on the excellent physiochemical properties, NCAMZ-ZNS exhibited the best reactant conversion across all of the evaluated temperatures, e.g. CH4 and CO2 conversions were 97.2 and 99% at 850 ºC, respectively. Furthermore, NCAMZ-ZNS demonstrated a stable yield with H2/CO close to unit value during the 1440 min stability test. <![CDATA[APPLICATION OF SULFONIC ACID FUNCTIONALIZED NANOPOROUS SILICA (SBA-Pr-SO<sub>3</sub>H) FOR THE PREPARATION OF 4,6-DIARYLPYRIMIDIN-2(1<em>H</em>)-ONES]]> In this work, we report the Biginelli-type reaction between various aldehydes, acetophenones and urea systems in the presence of sulfonic acid functionalized silica (SBA-Pr-SO3H) under solvent-free conditions, which led to 4,6-diarylpyrimidin-2(1H)-ones derivatives. SBA-Pr-SO3H with a pore size of 6 nm was found to be an efficient heterogeneous solid acid catalyst for this reaction which led to high product yields, was environmentally benign with short reaction times and easy handling. <![CDATA[EVALUATION OF STANDARD TEST METHODS APPLIED FOR PCBS QUANTIFICATION IN INSULATING OIL]]> Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were widely used between 1940 and 1970 as an insulating fluid for transformers and capacitors. However, they are bioaccumulative and potentially carcinogenic and, according to the 2001 Stockholm Convention, must be eliminated by 2025. In Brazil, they have been gradually eliminated but contaminated equipment remains. The Brazilian official standard for PCBs content in oil analysis is the ABNT NBR 13882 and there is also the IEC 61619 International Standard, both based on GC-ECD quantification. This work identified the inefficiency of these analytical methods and highlights potential failures which generated discrepancies on quantification of these contaminants. It was observed that the IEC 61619 is superior to ABNT NBR 13882 in analytical criteria, but has problems with the inefficiency of the adsorbent material used in pretreatments for removal of oxidation products from oil where these adsorbents adsorbed some PCBs molecules, causing errors in quantification. <![CDATA[ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NANOFIBRILLATED CELLULOSE FROM OAT HULLS]]> The objectives of this work were to investigate the microstructure, crystallinity and thermal stability of nanofibrillated cellulose obtained from oat hulls using bleaching and acid hydrolysis at a mild temperature (45 ºC) followed by ultrasonication. The oat hulls were bleached with peracetic acid, and after bleaching, the compact structure around the cellulosic fibers was removed, and the bundles became individualized. The extraction time (30 or 60 min) did not affect the properties of the nanofibrillated cellulose, which presented a higher crystallinity index and thermal stability than the raw material (oat hulls). The nanocellulose formed interconnected webs of tiny fibers with diameters of 70-100 nm and lengths of several micrometers, producing nanofibers with a relatively high aspect ratio, thus indicating that these materials are suitable for polymer reinforcement. <![CDATA[<em>Zingiber officinale</em> (GINGER) AS AN ENZYME SOURCE FOR THE REDUCTION OF CARBONYL COMPOUNDS]]> Various vegetables as biological catalysts were evaluated in enantioselective reduction of carbonyl compounds. The stereoselectivity of the process was in agreement with Prelog's rule for twelve of the vegetables, whereas okra and green peppers formed anti-Prelog products. Zingiber officinale exhibited the best results with 30% conversion and 89% ee. The parameters of the reaction such as time, solvent and other substrates investigated, as well as the specie, showed good chemo- and enantioselectivity. <![CDATA[THERMODYNAMIC PARAMETERS OF DEHYDRATED ORANGE PEEL]]> The global energy scenario is currently a widely discussed topic, with growing concern about the future supplies. Thus, much attention has been dedicated to the utilization of biomass as an energy resource. In this respect, orange peel has become a material of great interest, especially to Brazil, which generates around 9.5 million tons of this waste per year. To this end, the authors studied the kinetics of the thermal processing of dried orange peel in inert and oxidizing atmosphere. The thermodynamic parameters were determined by the Ozawa-Flynn-Wall method for the global process observed during heating from the 25°C up to 800°C. The thermal analysis in air and nitrogen showed 3-2 stages of mass loss, respectively, with approximately 20% residual mass under a nitrogen atmosphere. The increase in the values of activation energy for the conversion points between 20% and 60% for thermal effects in air and nitrogen atmosphere was observed. The activation energy obtained in an oxidizing atmosphere was higher than that obtained under a nitrogen atmosphere. The fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the material has a high level of complexity with the presence of alkali and alkaline earth groups as well as phosphate, plus substances such as pectin, cellulose and lignin. <![CDATA[RAPID AND SENSITIVE DETERMINATION OF PALLADIUM USING HOMOGENEOUS LIQUID-LIQUID MICROEXTRACTION VIA FLOTATION ASSISTANCE FOLLOWED BY GRAPHITE FURNACE ATOMIC ABSORPTION SPECTROMETRY]]> A method for the determination of trace amounts of palladium was developed using homogeneous liquid-liquid microextraction via flotation assistance (HLLME-FA) followed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Ammonium pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (APDC) was used as a complexing agent. This was applied to determine palladium in three types of water samples. In this study, a special extraction cell was designed to facilitate collection of the low-density solvent extraction. No centrifugation was required in this procedure. The water sample solution was added to the extraction cell which contained an appropriate mixture of extraction and homogeneous solvents. By using air flotation, the organic solvent was collected at the conical part of the designed cell. Parameters affecting extraction efficiency were investigated and optimized. Under the optimum conditions, the calibration graph was linear in the range of 1.0-200 µg L-1 with a limit of detection of 0.3 µg L-1. The performance of the method was evaluated for the extraction and determination of palladium in water samples and satisfactory results were obtained. In order to verify the accuracy of the approach, the standard addition method was applied for the determination of palladium in spiked synthetic samples and satisfactory results were obtained. <![CDATA[COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CONTENT IN FREE STEROIDS OF DIFFERENT OILS, FATS AND BIODIESEL BY GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY]]> In this study, the percentage content of free steroid in oils, fats and biodiesel was analyzed. For this, the saponification reaction on a microscale was used, and this procedure for extraction of unsaponifiable fraction was studied in several experimental steps. After the process of saponification, the unsaponifiable fraction was analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detector, where all steroids present in each oil, fat and biodiesel were identified and their contents determined and compared to their respective biodiesel. A reduction in unsaponifiable fraction of each oil and fat and its biodiesel was noted, as well as a reduction in the content of free steroids. The results showed that, compared to the sedimentation problem of steroids in biodiesel, some raw materials, such as chicken fat and babassu oil may be promising because they have low content and high reduction percentages of steroids when converted to biodiesel. <![CDATA[METHANE DRY REFORMING OVER Ni SUPPORTED ON PINE SAWDUST ACTIVATED CARBON: EFFECTS OF SUPPORT SURFACE PROPERTIES AND METAL LOADING]]> The influence of metal loading and support surface functional groups (SFG) on methane dry reforming (MDR) over Ni catalysts supported on pine-sawdust derived activated carbon were studied. Using pine sawdust as the catalyst support precursor, the smallest variety and lowest concentration of SFG led to best Ni dispersion and highest catalytic activity, which increased with Ni loading up to 3 Ni atoms nm-2. At higher Ni loading, the formation of large metal aggregates was observed, consistent with a lower "apparen" surface area and a decrease in catalytic activity. The H2/CO ratio rose with increasing reaction temperature, indicating that increasingly important side reactions were taking place in addition to MDR. <![CDATA[PREDICTING THE BOILING POINT OF PCDD/Fs BY THE QSPR METHOD BASED ON THE MOLECULAR DISTANCE-EDGE VECTOR INDEX]]> The quantitative structure property relationship (QSPR) for the boiling point (Tb) of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) was investigated. The molecular distance-edge vector (MDEV) index was used as the structural descriptor. The quantitative relationship between the MDEV index and Tb was modeled by using multivariate linear regression (MLR) and artificial neural network (ANN), respectively. Leave-one-out cross validation and external validation were carried out to assess the prediction performance of the models developed. For the MLR method, the prediction root mean square relative error (RMSRE) of leave-one-out cross validation and external validation was 1.77 and 1.23, respectively. For the ANN method, the prediction RMSRE of leave-one-out cross validation and external validation was 1.65 and 1.16, respectively. A quantitative relationship between the MDEV index and Tb of PCDD/Fs was demonstrated. Both MLR and ANN are practicable for modeling this relationship. The MLR model and ANN model developed can be used to predict the Tb of PCDD/Fs. Thus, the Tb of each PCDD/F was predicted by the developed models. <![CDATA[TUNGSTOPHOSPHORIC ACID HETEROGENIZED ONTO NH<sub>4</sub>ZSM5 AS AN EFFICIENT AND RECYCLABLE CATALYST FOR THE PHOTOCATALYTIC DEGRADATION OF DYES]]> Materials based on tungstophosphoric acid (TPA) immobilized on NH4ZSM5 zeolite were prepared by wet impregnation of the zeolite matrix with TPA aqueous solutions. Their concentration was varied in order to obtain TPA contents of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30% w/w in the solid. The materials were characterized by N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms, XRD, FT-IR, 31P MAS-NMR, TGA-DSC, DRS-UV-Vis, and the acidic behavior was studied by potentiometric titration with n-butylamine. The BET surface area (SBET) decreased when the TPA content was raised as a result of zeolite pore blocking. The X-ray diffraction patterns of the solids modified with TPA only presented the characteristic peaks of NH4ZSM5 zeolites, and an additional set of peaks assigned to the presence of (NH4)3PW12O40. According to the Fourier transform infrared and 31P magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, the main species present in the samples was the [PW12O40]3- anion, which was partially transformed into the [P2W21O71]6- anion during the synthesis and drying steps. The thermal stability of the NH4ZSM5TPA materials was similar to that of their parent zeolites. Moreover, the samples with the highest TPA content exhibited band gap energy values similar to those reported for TiO2. The immobilization of TPA on NH4ZSM5 zeolite allowed the obtention of catalysts with high photocatalytic activity in the degradation of methyl orange dye (MO) in water, at 25 ºC. These can be reused at least three times without any significant decrease in degree of degradation. <![CDATA[UTILIZATION OF BIODIESEL WASTE FOR ACID CARBON PREPARATION WITH HIGH CATALYST ACTIVITY IN THE GLYCEROL ETHERIFICATION REACTION]]> Environmentally friendly acid carbon (CG) catalysts, containing a high amount of sulfonated and oxygenated groups, were prepared from glycerin, a biodiesel waste. CGs were produced by glycerin carbonization in the presence of H2SO4 at 1:3 m:m ratio in a closed autoclave at 180ºC for different times: 0.25; 1; 3 and 6 hours (CG-0.25h; CG-1h; CG-3h and CG-6h, respectively). The catalyst properties for all carbons were evaluated in the glycerol etherification reaction with tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). The yield for mono-tert-butyl glycerol (MTBG), di-tert-butyl glycerol (DTBG) and tri-tert-butyl-glycerol (TTBG) was high and very similar for all CGs, of about 43% and 20% for the MTBG and DTBG + TTBG, respectively. Furthermore, the activity of these catalysts were close to those obtained using a commercial resin, Amberlyst-15, of about 50% and 27% for MTBG and DTBG + TTBG, respectively. <![CDATA[ADAPTATION OF METHOD OF ANALYSIS OF METHEMOGLOBIN AS A BIOMARKER OF EFFECT OF EXPOSURE TO THE PESTICIDE DIFLUBENZURON]]> This work aimed to adapt the analysis of methemoglobin recommended by Evelyn - Malloy (visible spectrophotometry), in order to facilitate its application in the field, or to analysis in clinical laboratory, of existing sites of diflubenzuron application. The parameters changed included: centrifuge rotation speed; time between the collection of biological sample and analysis, and storage temperature of the samples; and the volume of reagents. The comparison of the rotation speed (rpm) of the reference methodology with the rpm of a "clinical centrifuge" did not reveal a statistically significant difference in the levels of methemoglobin. The time between the collection of biological sample and analysis was extended for a period of up to 48 hours for both conservation by refrigeration and ambient temperature, producing no statistically significant difference when compared to the standard duration of 2 hours. Regarding the reagents, the reference methodology already uses the volume necessary to ensure complete reaction, whereas a wider range from the recommended volume to a 5-fold reduction in comparison to the reference methodology could be used. It was concluded that the proposed changes to the methodology for adapting the analysis are applicable to studies of field / workplace exposure and ensure the reliability of results. The adapted methodology was inter-laboratory validated and the parameters changed can be selected according to the requirements of the laboratory at which the methemoglobin is to be measured. <![CDATA[CURCUMIN, THE GOLDEN POWDER FROM TURMERIC: INSIGHTS INTO CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES]]> Turmeric, obtained from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae), is a golden colored material, commonly used around the world for seasoning and coloring food dishes. Since antiquity, turmeric has been widely used in the treatment of several diseases in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine (Ayurveda), where it is also known by other names such as Kanchani (goddess gold) or also Gauri (having a bright and luminous face), a designation stemming from the gilded appearance of the plant material. Curcumin, the main chemical component of turmeric, is responsible both for its properties as dyes as well as its biological activities. This diarylheptanoid was first isolated almost two centuries ago and had its chemical structure determined in 1910 as being diferuloylmethane. Subsequently, more detailed and relevant data were obtained furthering the understanding of structural features of curcumin. The classical methodology for the synthesis of curcumin and other curcuminoids was described in 1960 by Pabon. Subsequently, different variations on this methodology have been developed, culminating with the synthesis of different curcuminoids. Several studies have been published in recent years on the biological activities exhibited by curcumin including its antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antimalarial and leishmanicidal activities. <![CDATA[SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATION IN UNDERGRADUATE CHEMISTRY COURSES: A REVIEW]]> The importance of teaching scientific communication skills in undergraduate chemistry courses is well recognized. This paper provides an overview of didactic activities in which students engage to improve these skills. The study was based on an extensive literature review performed on the Journal of Chemical Education and on the Journal of College Science Teaching, in the years spanning from 1991 to 2010, and on The Chemical Educator, from 1996 to 2010. The findings from the study provided an opportunity to expand the knowledge on the variety of methods and contents used to teach scientific communication skills in undergraduate chemistry education, as well as to deepen our understanding of the effects of different approaches to teaching on performance in practice. <![CDATA[DETERMINATION OF BIODIESEL CONTENT IN DIESEL USING THE COLORIMETRIC ASSAY FOR HYDROXAMIC ACID]]> The aim of this paper was to use colorimetric assays for hydroxamic acid to quantify the biodiesel content in diesel and compare it with the traditional method (infrared spectroscopy, using the EN 14078 method). Samples were prepared from B2 to B10 with two kinds of diesel - S500 (red) and S50 (yellow) - to obtain two calibration curves. Through statistical methods it was shown that the slopes of the straight lines obtained for the different types of diesel were the same. Thus, the type of diesel did not influence the results of the colorimetric assay for hydroxamic acid. Real samples collected from gas stations were analyzed by both methods (colorimetry and EN 14078). By applying Student's t-test it was concluded that the methods could be considered statistically equivalent. Therefore, it was confirmed that the colorimetric assay for hydroxamic acid is suitable for detecting and quantifying the content of biodiesel in biodiesel/diesel blends and can also be easily adapted to field analyses. <![CDATA[ULTRASOUND-ASSISTED EXTRACTION FOR COLORIMETRIC DETERMINATION OF IRON IN SOIL: A COMPARISON WITH INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA MASS SPECTROMETRY]]> A simple procedure for ultrasound-assisted extraction and colorimetric determination of iron in soil samples was developed. The iron concentration in the analyzed samples was determined by the colorimetric method and the results compared with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Fifteen soil samples were analyzed and the iron concentration results compared with those obtained by ICP-MS using microwave-assisted sample digestion. The proposed procedure showed good efficiency for iron extraction and the results obtained by colorimetric determination exhibited good agreement with ICP-MS. Moreover, ultrasound-assisted extraction and colorimetric determination is a simple, fast and low-cost procedure for application in routine analysis. <![CDATA[CHEMOSTAT: EXPLORATORY MULTIVARIATE DATA ANALYSIS SOFTWARE]]> The objective of this work was to develop a free access exploratory data analysis software application for academic use that is easy to install and can be handled without user-level programming due to extensive use of chemometrics and its association with applications that require purchased licenses or routines. The developed software, called Chemostat, employs Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), intervals Principal Component Analysis (iPCA), as well as correction methods, data transformation and outlier detection. The data can be imported from the clipboard, text files, ASCII or FT-IR Perkin-Elmer “.sp” files. It generates a variety of charts and tables that allow the analysis of results that can be exported in several formats. The main features of the software were tested using midinfrared and near-infrared spectra in vegetable oils and digital images obtained from different types of commercial diesel. In order to validate the software results, the same sets of data were analyzed using Matlab© and the results in both applications matched in various combinations. In addition to the desktop version, the reuse of algorithms allowed an online version to be provided that offers a unique experience on the web. Both applications are available in English. <![CDATA[ANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL APPROACHES TO THE PERIODIC TABLE IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS USED IN BRAZIL IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY]]> The aim of this paper was to analyze the historical approaches to the periodic table in general chemistry textbooks used in Brazilian universities in the twentieth century. Textbooks were qualitatively analyzed according to the following criteria: position of the discussion about the periodic table in the book; presence or absence of a specific chapter on the subject; presentation of attempts to classify chemical elements before Mendeleev; presentation of the construction process of the periodic table by Mendeleev; identification of problems in the original table; discussion of Mendeleev's predictions about unknown elements; organization of the periodic table; periodic properties presented and discussed; and the enunciation of the periodic law. The analysis revealed different approaches at specific periods of the twentieth century, from more descriptive approaches to emphasis on attempts to explain the periodic table in terms of atomic orbitals. These changes point to different ways of understanding chemistry during the period studied. <![CDATA[BIOORGANIC CONCEPTS INVOLVED IN THE DETERMINATION OF GLUCOSE, CHOLESTEROL AND TRIGLYCERIDES IN PLASMA USING THE ENZYMATIC COLORIMETRIC METHOD]]> Bioorganic and biological chemistry have been found to be highly motivating to undergraduate students and in this context, biochemical blood parameter analysis emerges as highly attractive content. In this proposal, several aspects related to analyses of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides using the enzymatic colorimetric method were involved, and the findings have at least two relevant implications: i) introducing students to connections between organic chemistry and biology based on enzymatic processes, including reactivity and mechanistic aspects; ii) performing a micro scale bioassay analysis. The proposal requires two theoretical classes (2 h per class) and one practical class (4 h). <![CDATA[INNOVATIVE USE OF A TABLET DEVICE TO DELIVER INSTRUCTION IN UNDERGRADUATE CHEMISTRY LECTURES]]> This report describes a simple, inexpensive and highly effective instructional model based on the use of a tablet device to enable the real-time projection of the instructor's digitally handwritten annotations to teach chemistry in undergraduate courses. The projection of digital handwriting allows the instructor to build, present and adapt the class contents in a dynamic fashion and to save anything that is annotated or displayed on the screen for subsequent sharing with students after each session. This method avoids the loss of continuity and information that often occurs when instructors switch between electronic slides and white/chalk board during lessons. Students acknowledged that this methodology allows them to follow the instructor's cognitive process and the progressive development of contents during lectures as the most valuable aspect of the implemented instructional model. <![CDATA[THE ROLE OF NANOMATERIALS IN COSMETICS: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASPECTS]]> Nanotechnology is currently one of the fastest growing scientific fields. The products of this science have become part of our everyday lives. However, to date, regulatory agencies have not yet established a single definition for nanomaterials and nanotechnology. Therefore, each country has its own definitions and legislation to control products containing nanomaterials. Being relatively new materials, there are no long-term studies showing their impact on human health and the environment. Consequently, countries control the amount of nanomaterials present in cosmetics, allowing the end consumer to choose which cosmetic to use, by choosing products with or without nanomaterials. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to identify the most used nanomaterials in cosmetics and verify whether these formulations are in accordance with the laws in force in the United States, the European Union and Brazil, thereby determining if the cosmetics on the market are in line with the existing laws in these three economic powers. This study is unique and will contribute to furthering the discussion on existing laws pertinent to the use of nanotechnology in cosmetics.