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Scalable continuous flow synthesis of ZnO nanorod arrays in 3-D ceramic honeycomb substrates for low-temperature desulfurization

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Abstract

Scalable and cost-effective synthesis and assembly of technologically important nanostructures in three-dimensional (3D) substrates hold keys to bridge the demonstrated nanotechnologies in academia with industrially relevant scalable manufacturing. In this work, using ZnO nanorod arrays as an example, a hydrothermal-based continuous flow synthesis (CFS) method is successfully used to integrate the nano-arrays in multi-channeled monolithic cordierite. Compared to the batch process, CFS enhances the average growth rate of nano-arrays by 125%, with the average length increasing from 2 μm to 4.5 μm within the same growth time of 4 hours. The precursor utilization efficiency of CFS is enhanced by 9 times compared to that of batch process by preserving the majority of precursors in recyclable solution. Computational fluid dynamic simulation suggests a steady-state solution flow and mass transport inside the channels of honeycomb substrates, giving rise to steady and consecutive growth of ZnO nano-arrays with an average length of 10 μm in 12 h. The monolithic ZnO nano-array-integrated cordierite obtained through CFS shows enhanced low-temperature (200 °C) desulfurization capacity and recyclability in comparison to ZnO powder wash-coated cordierite. This can be attributed to exposed ZnO {10[1 with combining macron]0} planes, better dispersion and stronger interactions between sorbent and reactant in the ZnO nanorod arrays, as well as the sintering-resistance of nano-array configurations during sulfidation–regeneration cycles. With the demonstrated scalable synthesis and desulfurization performance of ZnO nano-arrays, a promising, industrially relevant integration strategy is provided to fabricate metal oxide nano-array-based monolithic devices for various environmental and energy applications.

Graphical abstract: Scalable continuous flow synthesis of ZnO nanorod arrays in 3-D ceramic honeycomb substrates for low-temperature desulfurization

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 May 2017, accepted on 25 Jul 2017 and first published on 26 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CE00921F
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2017, Advance Article
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    Scalable continuous flow synthesis of ZnO nanorod arrays in 3-D ceramic honeycomb substrates for low-temperature desulfurization

    S. Wang, Y. Wu, R. Miao, M. Zhang, X. Lu, B. Zhang, A. Kinstler, Z. Ren, Y. Guo, T. Lu, S. L. Suib and P. Gao, CrystEngComm, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CE00921F

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