Matching Items (41)

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Silver Recovery from Silver Fluoride Solution for Solar Module Recycling

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As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious

As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious solar cell materials, a process estimated to generate a potential $15 billion in revenue by 2050. A key part of this process is metal recovery, and specifically, silver recovery. Silver recovery via electrowinning was studied using a hydrofluoric acid leachate/electrolyte. Bulk electrolysis trials were performed at varied voltages using a silver working electrode, silver pseudo-reference electrode and a graphite counter-electrode. The highest mass recovery achieved was 98.8% which occurred at 0.65 volts. Product purity was below 90% for all trials and coulombic efficiency never reached above 20%. The average energy consumption per gram of reduced silver was 2.16kWh/kg. Bulk electrolysis indicates that parasitic reactions are drawing power from the potentiostat and limiting the mass recovery of the system. In order to develop this process to the practical use stage, parasitic reactions must be eliminated, and product purity and power efficiency must improve. The system should be run in a vacuum environment and the reduction peaks in the cell should be characterized using cyclic voltammetry.

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  • 2020-12

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Quinone Removal and Replacement within the Reaction Center Protein of Rhodobacter sphaeroides

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With a quantum efficiency of nearly 100%, the electron transfer process that occurs within the reaction center protein of the photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter (Rh.) sphaeroides is a paragon for understanding

With a quantum efficiency of nearly 100%, the electron transfer process that occurs within the reaction center protein of the photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter (Rh.) sphaeroides is a paragon for understanding the complexities, intricacies, and overall systemization of energy conversion and storage in natural systems. To better understand the way in which photons of light are captured, converted into chemically useful forms, and stored for biological use, an investigation into the reaction center protein, specifically into its cascade of cofactors, was undertaken. The purpose of this experimentation was to advance our knowledge and understanding of how differing protein environments and variant cofactors affect the spectroscopic aspects of and electron transfer kinetics within the reaction of Rh. sphaeroides. The native quinone, ubiquinone, was extracted from its pocket within the reaction center protein and replaced by non-native quinones having different reduction/oxidation potentials. It was determined that, of the two non-native quinones tested—1,2-naphthaquinone and 9,10- anthraquinone—the substitution of the anthraquinone (lower redox potential) resulted in an increased rate of recombination from the P+QA- charge-separated state, while the substitution of the napthaquinone (higher redox potential) resulted in a decreased rate of recombination.

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  • 2015-12

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Selenium Removal with Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Using Conductive Copolymer Sorbents

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Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium

Heavy metals such as selenium can be especially important to limit because they can cause serious health problems even at relatively low concentrations. In an effort to selectively remove selenium from solution, a PAABA (poly(aniline-co-p-aminobenzoic acid) conductive copolymer was synthesized in a selenic acid solution, and its ability to remove selenium was studied. Analysis of the Raman spectra confirmed the hypothesized formation of PAABA polymer. Constant voltage cycles showed success in precipitating the selenium out of solution via electroreduction, and ICP-MS confirmed the reduction of selenium concentrated in solution. These results indicate the PAABA synthesized in selenic acid shows promise for selective water treatment.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Development of low-temperature ionic liquid-organic solvents-salt electrolyte systems for MET seismometer

Description

Ionic liquids boast a wide variety of application as modern electrolytes. Their unique collection of attributes, most notably insignificant vapor pressures, considerable ionic conductivity, and excellent thermal stability, prove ionic

Ionic liquids boast a wide variety of application as modern electrolytes. Their unique collection of attributes, most notably insignificant vapor pressures, considerable ionic conductivity, and excellent thermal stability, prove ionic liquids excellent candidates for low-temperature electrolyte applications. This project focuses on the development of a low-temperature iodide-based ionic liquid electrolyte for a molecular electronic transducer (MET) seismometer. Based on ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide ([BMIM][I]), a functional electrolyte system is developed and optimized with addition of organic solvents, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and propylene carbonate (PC), and lithium iodide, showing the promise of operating at excessively low temperatures. The molecular interactions between [BMIM][I] and the organic solvents were classified using FTIR and 1H NMR spectroscopy. Specifically, the presence of hydrogen bonding between the carbonyl group on the organic solvents and the [BMIM]+ cation were captured. The effect of these interactions on several electrolyte properties were observed, including an extended glass transition temperature (Tg) of -120.2 °C and enhanced transport properties. When compared to the previous formulations, the optimized electrolyte exhibits a broader working temperature range, a higher fluidity over the temperature range from 25°C to -75 °C, and an enhanced ionic conductivity at temperatures below -70 °C as suggested by the Vogel–Fulcher–Tammann (VFT) model. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) confirmed the electrochemical stability of the electrolyte as well as the activity of the I3- / I- redox reaction for the MET sensing technology at room temperature. The presented works not only present a facile strategy of designing low-temperature electrolyte systems via design of molecular interactions, but also support future operations of MET seismometer.

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  • 2020-05

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Characterizing Buffers to Maximize Peroxide Production in the Cathode Chamber of Microbial Fuel Cells

Description

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) facilitate the conversion of organic matter to electrical current to make the total energy in black water treatment neutral or positive and produce hydrogen peroxide to

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) facilitate the conversion of organic matter to electrical current to make the total energy in black water treatment neutral or positive and produce hydrogen peroxide to assist the reuse of gray water. This research focuses on wastewater treatment at the U.S. military forward operating bases (FOBs). FOBs experience significant challenges with their wastewater treatment due to their isolation and dangers in transporting waste water and fresh water to and from the bases. Even though it is theoretically favorable to produce power in a MFC while treating black water, producing H2O2 is more useful and practical because it is a powerful cleaning agent that can reduce odor, disinfect, and aid in the treatment of gray water. Various acid forms of buffers were tested in the anode and cathode chamber to determine if the pH would lower in the cathode chamber while maintaining H2O2 efficiency, as well as to determine ion diffusion from the anode to the cathode via the membrane. For the catholyte experiments, phosphate and bicarbonate were tested as buffers while sodium chloride was the control. These experiments determined that the two buffers did not lower the pH. It was seen that the phosphate buffer reduced the H2O2 efficiency significantly while still staying at a high pH, while the bicarbonate buffer had the same efficiency as the NaCl control. For the anolyte experiments, it was shown that there was no diffusion of the buffers or MFC media across the membrane that would cause a decrease in the H2O2 production efficiency.

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  • 2016-05

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An Examination of the Impact of Support Design on 316 Stainless Steel Supports

Description

The removal of support material from metal 3D printed objects is a laborious necessity for the post-processing of powder bed fusion printing (PBF). Supports are typically mechanically removed by machining

The removal of support material from metal 3D printed objects is a laborious necessity for the post-processing of powder bed fusion printing (PBF). Supports are typically mechanically removed by machining techniques. Sacrificial supports are necessary in PBF printing to relieve thermal stresses and support overhanging parts often resulting in the inclusion of supports in regions of the part that are not easily accessed by mechanical removal methods. Recent innovations in PBF support removal include dissolvable metal supports through an electrochemical etching process. Dissolvable PBF supports have the potential to significantly reduce the costs and time associated with traditional support removal. However, the speed and effectiveness of this approach is inhibited by numerous factors such as support geometry and metal powder entrapment within supports. To fully realize this innovative approach, it is necessary to model and understand the design parameters necessary to optimize support structures applicable to an electrochemical etching process. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of block additive manufacturing support parameters on key process outcomes of the dissolution of 316 stainless steel support structures. The parameters investigated included hatch spacing and perforation, and the outcomes of interests included time required for completion, surface roughness, and effectiveness of the etching process. Electrical current was also evaluated as an indicator of process completion. Analysis of the electrical current throughout the etching process showed that the dissolution is diffusion limited to varying degrees, and is dependent on support structure parameters. Activation and passivation behavior was observed during current leveling, and appeared to be more pronounced in non-perforated samples with less dense hatch spacing. The correlation between electrical current and completion of the etching process was unclear, as the support structures became mechanically removable well before the current leveled. The etching process was shown to improve surface finish on unsupported surfaces, but support was shown to negatively impact surface finish. Tighter hatch spacing was shown to correlate to larger variation in surface finish, due to ridges left behind by the support structures. In future studies, it is recommended current be more closely correlated to process completion and more roughness data be collected to identify a trend between hatch spacing and surface roughness.

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  • 2018-05

Synthesis and Characterization of Molecular Catalysts with Applications in Solar Fuels

Description

Metalloporphyrins serve important roles in biological processes and in emerging technologies with applications to energy conversion. When electrochemically activated in solution, metalloporphyrins have the ability to catalyze the conversion of

Metalloporphyrins serve important roles in biological processes and in emerging technologies with applications to energy conversion. When electrochemically activated in solution, metalloporphyrins have the ability to catalyze the conversion of protons into hydrogen fuels. In this report, the synthesis and characterization of zinc, nickel, cobalt and copper analogs of 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl) porphyrin (PF20) and 5,10,15,20-tetra-p-tolyporphyrin (TTP) are described. All target compounds are characterized with UV-Vis spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The freebase porphyrins and non-paramagnetic metalloporphyrins are further characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and all proton resonances are assigned. Electrochemical measurements show the reduction potential of the fluorinated phenyl substituted porphyrins is shifted to less negative values as compared to the reduction potential measured using non-fluorinated analogs. These results illustrate the ability to use fluorine as a synthetic tool for altering the electronic properties of metalloporphyrins. Further, these findings serve a critical role in choosing metalloporphyrin electrocatalysts with the appropriate energetic and optical properties for integration to semiconductors with applications to solar-to- fuels technologies.

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  • 2018-05

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Direct Flame Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Use in Remote Powering Applications

Description

In this Honors thesis, direct flame solid oxide fuel cells (DFFC) were considered for their feasibility in providing a means of power generation for remote powering needs. Also considered for

In this Honors thesis, direct flame solid oxide fuel cells (DFFC) were considered for their feasibility in providing a means of power generation for remote powering needs. Also considered for combined heat and fuel cell power cogeneration are thermoelectric cells (TEC). Among the major factors tested in this project for all cells were life time, thermal cycle/time based performance, and failure modes for cells. Two types of DFFC, anode and electrolyte supported, were used with two different fuel feed streams of propane/isobutene and ethanol. Several test configurations consisting of single cells, as well as stacked systems were tested to show how cell performed and degraded over time. All tests were run using a Biologic VMP3 potentiostat connected to a cell placed within the flame of a modified burner MSR® Wisperlite Universal stove. The maximum current and power output seen by any electrolyte supported DFFCs tested was 47.7 mA/cm2 and 9.6 mW/cm2 respectively, while that generated by anode supported DFFCs was 53.7 mA/cm2 and 9.25 mW/cm2 respectively with both cells operating under propane/isobutene fuel feed streams. All TECs tested dramatically outperformed both constructions of DFFC with a maximum current and power output of 309 mA/cm2 and 80 mW/cm2 respectively. It was also found that electrolyte supported DFFCs appeared to be less susceptible to degradation of the cell microstructure over time but more prone to cracking, while anode supported DFFCs were dramatically less susceptible to cracking but exhibited substantial microstructure degradation and shorter usable lifecycles. TECs tested were found to only be susceptible to overheating, and thus were suggested for use with electrolyte supported DFFCs in remote powering applications.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Pre-Symptomatic Detection of Lung Cancer Via Protein Biomarkers

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The purpose of this project was to examine the viability of protein biomarkers in pre-symptomatic detection of lung cancer. Regular screening has been shown to vastly improve patient survival outcome.

The purpose of this project was to examine the viability of protein biomarkers in pre-symptomatic detection of lung cancer. Regular screening has been shown to vastly improve patient survival outcome. Lung cancer currently has the highest occurrence and mortality of all cancers and so a means of screening would be highly beneficial. In this research, the biomarker neuron-specific enolase (Enolase-2, eno2), a marker of small-cell lung cancer, was detected at varying concentrations using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in order to develop a mathematical model of predicting protein expression based on a measured impedance value at a determined optimum frequency. The extent of protein expression would indicate the possibility of the patient having small-cell lung cancer. The optimum frequency was found to be 459 Hz, and the mathematical model to determine eno2 concentration based on impedance was found to be y = 40.246x + 719.5 with an R2 value of 0.82237. These results suggest that this approach could provide an option for the development of small-cell lung cancer screening utilizing electrochemical technology.

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  • 2014-05

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A Sustainable Approach to Wastewater Treatment Using Microbial Fuel Cells with Peroxide Production

Description

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) promote the sustainable conversion of organic matter in black water to electrical current, enabling the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) while making waste water treatment energy

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) promote the sustainable conversion of organic matter in black water to electrical current, enabling the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) while making waste water treatment energy neutral or positive. H2O2 is useful in remote locations such as U.S. military forward operating bases (FOBs) for on-site tertiary water treatment or as a medical disinfectant, among many other uses. Various carbon-based catalysts and binders for use at the cathode of a an MFC for H2O2 production are explored using linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) techniques. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode has slow kinetics at conditions present in the MFC, making it important to find a catalyst type and loading which promote a 2e- (rather than 4e-) reaction to maximize H2O2 formation. Using LSV methods, I compared the cathodic overpotentials associated with graphite and Vulcan carbon catalysts as well as Nafion and AS-4 binders. Vulcan carbon catalyst with Nafion binder produced the lowest overpotentials of any binder/catalyst combinations. Additionally, I determined that pH control may be required at the cathode due to large potential losses caused by hydroxide (OH-) concentration gradients. Furthermore, RRDE tests indicate that Vulcan carbon catalyst with a Nafion binder has a higher H2O2 production efficiency at lower catalyst loadings, but the trade-off is a greater potential loss due to higher activation energy. Therefore, an intermediate catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 Vulcan carbon with Nafion binder is recommended for the final MFC design. The chosen catalyst, binder, and loading will maximize H2O2 production, optimize MFC performance, and minimize the need for additional energy input into the system.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05