Chemical interactions of air pollutants: air pollutant control and sensing applications
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are central to atmospheric chemistry and have significant impacts on the environment. The reaction of oxygenated VOCs with OH radicals was first studied to understand the fate of oxygenated VOCs. The rate constants of the gas-phase reaction of OH radicals with trans-2-hexenal, trans-2-octenal, and trans-2 nonenal were determined using the relative rate technique. Then the interactions between VOCs and ionic liquid surfaces were studied. The goal was to find a material to selectively detect alcohol compounds. Computational chemistry calculations were performed to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with different classes of VOCs. The thermodynamic data suggest that 1-butyl-3-methylimindazolium chloride (C4mimCl) preferentially interacts with alcohols as compared to other classes of VOCs. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to probe the ionic liquid surface before and after exposure to the VOCs that were tested. New spectral features were detected after exposure of C4mimCl to various alcohols and a VOC mixture with an alcohol in it. The new features are characteristic of the alcohols tested. No new IR features were detected after exposure of the C4mimCl to the aldehyde, ketone, alkane, alkene, alkyne or aromatic compounds. The experimental results demonstrated that C4mimCl is selective to alcohols, even in complex mixtures. The kinetic study of the association and dissociation of alcohols with C4minCl surfaces was performed. The findings in this work provide information for future gas-phase alcohol sensor design. CO2 is a major contributor to global warming. An ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide (IL-RGO)/ TiO2 nanocomposite was synthesized and used to reduce CO2 to a hydrocarbon in the presence of H2O vapor. The SEM image revealed that IL-RGO/TiO2 contained separated reduced graphite oxide flakes with TiO2 nanoparticles. Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy was used to study the conversion of CO2 and H2O vapor over the IL-RGO/TiO2 catalyst. Under UV-Vis irradiation, CH4 was found to form after just 40 seconds of irradiation. The concentration of CH4 continuously increased under longer irradiation time. This research is particularly important since it seems to suggest the direct, selective formation of CH4 as opposed to CO.