Novel carbon-supported Ni catalysts (Ni/C/Al2O3) for wastewater treatment by the hydrothermal gasification were prepared by the sol-gel method using polyethylene glycol (PEG) and aluminium tri-s-butoxide (ASB). Phenol and glycerin aqueous solutions were used as a model wastewater and as a model byproduct of biodiesel, respectively. It was found from XRD patterns that metal Ni in fresh catalysts increased with increasing PEG, and that amorphous Al2O3-support was transformed to boehmite during hydrothermal gasification. N2 adsorption measurement revealed that effect of amounts of PEG on surface area and pore volume was negligibly small for sol-gel derived catalysts, whereas surface area, pore volume and pore diameter of catalyst prepared by impregnation method decreased during impregnation of Ni. The catalysts prepared using more PEG tended to show higher phenol conversion and higher yields of gases (methane and carbon dioxide) for hydrothermal gasification under the same condition. The sol-gel derived catalysts, especially sg-16N63C21A (Figures show 16wt% of Ni, 63wt% of carbon in PEG, 21wt% of Al2O3, respectively. Similarly described below. LHSV=48h-1, phenol water 2-20 g/L), exhibited high catalytic activity compared with (1) catalyst prepared without PEG (sg-16N84A), (2) catalyst prepared by the impregnation method (i-16N/sg-11C73A) and (3) commercial reference Ni catalyst (ref. Ni). In the present case, it is considered that Al2O3-support does not play an important role in hydrothermal gasification, because the catalytic activity was stable during the reaction, even if the surface area and pore volume decreased, and the boehmite was formed during hydrothermal gasification. However, introduction of PEG dispersed metal Ni with high loading on carbon derived from PEG. Thus, the sol-gel method using PEG was effective in preparation of catalysts for hydrothermal gasification.
The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess change in energy conservation awareness after energy education incorporating "visualization" of gas consumption during food service training. An intervention study using a before-and-after design without a control group was conducted with 37 third-year students from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Osaka City University. The duration of the education intervention was 4 months. During this period, the students attended two lectures and a training session, and a display monitor was installed in the training room to show gas consumption. A scale was developed to objectively assess energy conservation awareness. Changes in awareness were measured by the scale and compared before and after the intervention. Using the scale, of which reliability and validity had been previously determined, the average score was increased in each of the following areas (p<0.05): "motivation for energy saving", "motivation to learn about energy", and "understanding of energy". In conclusion, this study found that the educational intervention changed students' awareness of effective and reduced energy consumption, and indicated the possibility that the educational approach is effective.
Biodiesel or fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) is a renewable source of fuel which has the potential to substitute petroleum based diesel. In this study, a two-step alkali-alkali transesterification method was utilized for the production of FAME from palm oil and waste palm cooking oil (WPCO) with KOH as a catalyst. The effects of total catalyst loading, reaction temperature and total oil to methanol molar ratio on reaction performance were investigated. Palm oil and WPCO showed similar trends during investigation for each parameter. The findings showed that both palm oil and WPCO are feasible feedstock for FAME production by utilising the two-step alkali-alkali transesterification process. FAME yield and FAME purity were compared in deciding the optimum reaction conditions for both palm oil and WPCO.