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Stress-responsive nano- and microcomposites featuring mechanophore units

Description

The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of

The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of research that involves the use of mechanical force to induce a chemical change, with recent study focusing on directing the mechanical force to embedded mechanophore units for a targeted chemical response. Mechanophores are molecular units that provide a measureable signal in response to an applied force, often in the form of a visible color change or fluorescent emission, and their application to thermoset network polymers has been limited. Following preliminary work on polymer blends of cyclobutane-based mechanophores and epoxy, dimeric 9-anthracene carboxylic acid (Di-AC)-based mechanophore particles were synthesized and employed to form stress sensitive particle reinforced epoxy matrix composites.

Under an applied stress, the cyclooctane-rings in the Di-AC particles revert back to their fluorescent anthracene form, which linearly enhances the overall fluorescence of the composite in response to the applied strain. The fluorescent signal further allows for stress sensing in the elastic region of the stress-strain curve, which is considered to be a form of damage precursor detection. This behavior was further analyzed at the molecular scale with corresponding molecular dynamics simulations. Following the successful application of Di-AC to an epoxy matrix, the mechanophore particles were incorporated into a polyurethane matrix to show the universal nature of Di-AC as a stress-sensitive particle filler. Interestingly, in polyurethane Di-AC could successfully detect damage with less applied strain compared to the epoxy system.

While mechanophores of varying chemistries have been covalently incorporated into elastomeric and thermoplastic polymer systems, they have not yet been covalently incorporated a thermoset network polymer. Thus, following the study of mechanophore particles as stress-sensitive fillers, two routes of grafting mechanophore units into an epoxy system to form a self-sensing nanocomposite were explored. These involved the mechanophore precursor and mechanophore, cinnamamide and di-cinnamamide, respectively. With both molecules, the free amine groups can directly bond to epoxy resin to covalently incorporate themselves within the thermoset network to form a self-sensing nanocomposite.

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2016

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A novel mobile device for environmental hydrocarbon sensing and its applications

Description

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory irritation, headaches and dizziness. In order to monitor the personal VOCs exposure level at point-of-care, a wearable real time monitor for VOCs detection is necessary. For it to be useful in real world application, it requires low cost, small size and weight, low power consumption, high sensitivity and selectivity.

To meet these requirements, a novel mobile device for personal VOCs exposure monitor has been developed. The key sensing element is a disposable molecularly imprinted polymer based quartz tuning fork resonator. The sensor and fabrication protocol are low cost, reproducible and stable. Characterization on the sensing material and device has been done. Comparisons with gold standards in the field such as GC-MS have been conducted. And the device’s functionality and capability have been validated in field tests, proving that it’s a great tool for VOCs monitoring under different scenarios.

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2017

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Oxygen Ionic-Conducting Ceramics for Gas Separation and Reaction Applications

Description

Mixed-ionic electronic conducting (MIEC) oxides have drawn much attention from researchers because of their potential in high temperature separation processes. Among many materials available, perovskite type and fluorite type oxides are the most studied for their excellent oxygen ion transport

Mixed-ionic electronic conducting (MIEC) oxides have drawn much attention from researchers because of their potential in high temperature separation processes. Among many materials available, perovskite type and fluorite type oxides are the most studied for their excellent oxygen ion transport property. These oxides not only can be oxygen adsorbent or O2-permeable membranes themselves, but also can be incorporated with molten carbonate to form dual-phase membranes for CO2 separation.

Oxygen sorption/desorption properties of perovskite oxides with and without oxygen vacancy were investigated first by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and fixed-bed experiments. The oxide with unique disorder-order phase transition during desorption exhibited an enhanced oxygen desorption rate during the TGA measurement but not in fixed-bed demonstrations. The difference in oxygen desorption rate is due to much higher oxygen partial pressure surrounding the sorbent during the fixed-bed oxygen desorption process, as revealed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of rapidly quenched samples.

Research on using perovskite oxides as CO2-permeable dual-phase membranes was subsequently conducted. Two CO2-resistant MIEC perovskite ceramics, Pr0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8 O3-δ (PSCF) and SrFe0.9Ta0.1O3-δ (SFT) were chosen as support materials for membrane synthesis. PSCF-molten carbonate (MC) and SFT-MC membranes were prepared for CO2-O2 counter-permeation. The geometric factors for the carbonate phase and ceramic phase were used to calculate the effective carbonate and oxygen ionic conductivity in the carbonate and ceramic phase. When tested in CO2-O2 counter-permeation set-up, CO2 flux showed negligible change, but O2 flux decreased by 10-32% compared with single-component permeation. With CO2 counter-permeation, the total oxygen permeation flux is higher than that without counter-permeation.

A new concept of CO2-permselective membrane reactor for hydrogen production via steam reforming of methane (SRM) was demonstrated. The results of SRM in the membrane reactor confirm that in-situ CO2 removal effectively promotes water-gas shift conversion and thus enhances hydrogen yield. A modeling study was also conducted to assess the performance of the membrane reactor in high-pressure feed/vacuum sweep conditions, which were not carried out due to limitations in current membrane testing set-up. When 5 atm feed pressure and 10-3 atm sweep pressure were applied, the membrane reactor can produce over 99% hydrogen stream in simulation.

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2020

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Statistical Investigations of Parameters that Drive High-Shear Granulation

Description

Granulation is a process within particle technology where a liquid binding agent is added to a powder bed to create larger granules to modify bulk properties for easier processing. Three sets of experiments were conducted to screen for which

Granulation is a process within particle technology where a liquid binding agent is added to a powder bed to create larger granules to modify bulk properties for easier processing. Three sets of experiments were conducted to screen for which factors had the greatest effect on granule formation, size distribution, and morphological properties when wet granulating microcrystalline cellulose and water. Previous experiments had identified the different growth regimes within wet granulation, as well as the granule formation mechanisms in single-drop granulation experiments, but little research has been conducted to determine how results extracted from single drop experiments could be used to better understand the first principles that drive high shear granulation. The experiment found that under a liquid solid ratio of 110%, the granule growth rate was linear as opposed to the induction growth regime experienced at higher liquid solid ratios. L/S ratios less than 100% led to a bimodal distribution comprised of large distributions of ungranulated powder and large irregular granules. Insufficient water hampered the growth of granules due to lack of enough water bridges to connect the granules and powder, while the large molecules continued to agglomerate with particles as they rotated around the mixer. The nozzle end was augmented so that drop size as well as drop height could be adjusted and compared to single-drop granulation experiments in proceeding investigations. As individual factors, neither augmentation had significant contributions to granule size, but preliminary screens identified that interaction between increasing L/S ratio and decreasing drop size could lead to narrower distributions of particles as well as greater circularity. Preliminary screening also identified that decreasing the drop height of the nozzle could increase the rate of particle growth during the 110% L/S trials without changing the growth mechanisms, indicating a way to alter the rate of steady-state particle growth. This paper screens for which factors are most pertinent to associating single-drop and wet granulation in order to develop granulation models that can ascertain information from single-drop granulations and predict the shape and size distribution of any wet granulation, without the need to run costly wet granulation experiments.

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2019

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Modeling the Flowability of Granular Materials

Description

This thesis investigated the effects of differing diameters and varying moisture content on the flowability properties of granular glass beads through use of a Freeman FT4 Powder Rheometer. These parameters were tested in order to construct an empirical model to

This thesis investigated the effects of differing diameters and varying moisture content on the flowability properties of granular glass beads through use of a Freeman FT4 Powder Rheometer. These parameters were tested in order to construct an empirical model to predict flowability properties of glass beads at differing size ranges and moisture contents. The final empirical model outputted an average error of 8.73% across all tested diameters and moisture ranges.

Mohr's circles were constructed from experimentally-obtained shear stress values to quantitatively describe flowability of tested materials in terms of a flow function parameter. A high flow function value (>10) was indicative of a good flow.

By testing 120-180 µm, 120-350 µm, 180-250 µm, 250-350 µm, 430-600 µm, and 600-850 µm glass bead diameter ranges, an increase in size was seen to result in higher flow function values. The limitations of testing using the FT4 became apparent as inconsistent flow function values were obtained at 0% moisture with size ranges above 120-180 µm, or at flow function values of >21. Bead sizes larger than 430 µm showed significant standard deviation over all tested trials--when excluding size ranges above that value, the empirical model showed an average error of only 6.45%.

Wet material testing occurred at all tested glass bead size ranges using a deionized water content of 0%, 1%, 5%, 15%, and 20% by weight. The results of such testing showed a decrease in the resulting flow function parameter as more water content was added. However, this trend changed as 20% moisture content was achieved; the wet material became supersaturated, and an increase in flow function values was observed. The empirical model constructed, therefore, neglected the 20% moisture content regime.

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2019

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Experimental and modeling study on pervaporation separation of ethanol and water mixture by polycrystalline MFI zeolite membranes

Description

While the solution diffusion model and pore flow model dominate pervaporation transport mechanism modeling, a new model combining the solution diffusion and viscous flow models is validated using membranes with large scale defects exceeding 2 nm in diameter. A

While the solution diffusion model and pore flow model dominate pervaporation transport mechanism modeling, a new model combining the solution diffusion and viscous flow models is validated using membranes with large scale defects exceeding 2 nm in diameter. A range of membranes was characterized using scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine quality and phase characteristics. MFI zeolite membranes of He/SF6 pure gas permeation ideal selectivities of 25, 15, and 3 for good, medium, and poor quality membranes were subjected to liquid pervaporations with a 5% ethanol in water feed, by weight. Feed pressure was increased from 1 to 5 atm, to validate existence of viscous flow in the defects. Component molar flux is modeled using the solution diffusion model and the viscous flow model, via J_i=F_i (γ_i x_i P_i^sat )+(ρ )/M_W ∅/μ_ij x_i P_h. A negative coefficient of thermal expansion is observed as permeances drop as a function of temperature in all three membranes, where ϕ=((ϵr_p^2)/τ∆x). Experimental parameter ϕ increased as a function of temperature, and increased with decreasing membrane quality. This further proves that zeolitic pores are shrinking in one direction, and pulling intercrystalline voids larger, increasing the (ϵ/τ) ratio. Permiabilities of the bad, medium, and good quality membrane also decreased over time for both ethanol and water, meaning that fundamental membrane characteristics changed as a function of temperature. To conclude, the model reasonably fits empirical data reasonably well.

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2016

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Predicting Flow Function of Bulk Solids Based on Particle Size and Moisture Content

Description

The way a granular material is transported and handled plays a huge part in the quality of final product and the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process. Currently, there is a gap in the understanding of the basic relationship between

The way a granular material is transported and handled plays a huge part in the quality of final product and the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process. Currently, there is a gap in the understanding of the basic relationship between the fundamental variables of granular materials such as moisture content, particle shape and size. This can lead to flowability issues like arching and ratholing, which can lead to unexpected downtimes in the whole manufacturing process and considerable wastage of time, energy, and resources. This study specifically focuses on the development of a model based on the surface mean diameter and the moisture content to predict the flow metric flow function coefficient (FFC) to describe the nature of flow of the material. The investigation involved three parts. The first entailed the characterization of the test materials with respect to their physical properties - density, size, and shape distributions. In the second, flowability tests were conducted with the FT4 Powder Rheometer. Shear cell tests were utilized to calculate each test specimen's flow function parameters. Finally, the physical properties were correlated with the results from the flowability tests to develop a reliable model to predict the nature of flow of the test specimens. The model displayed an average error of -6.5%. Predicted values showed great correlation with values obtained from further shear cell tests on the FT4 Rheometer. Additionally, particle shape factors and other flowability descriptors like Carr Index and Hausner Ratio were also evaluated for the sample materials. All size ranges displayed a decreasing trend in the values of Carr Index, Hausner Ratio, and FFC with increasing moisture percentages except the 5-11 micron glass beads, which showed an increasing trend in FFC. The results from this investigation could be helpful in designing equipment for powder handling and avoiding potential flowability issues.

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2021

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Ionic liquid/water/particle systems: fundamentals through experiment, application and simulation

Description

Ionic liquids (ILs), or low-temperature liquid salts, are a class of materials with unique and useful properties. Made up entirely of ions, ILs are remarkably tunable and diverse as cations and anions can be mixed and matched to yield desired

Ionic liquids (ILs), or low-temperature liquid salts, are a class of materials with unique and useful properties. Made up entirely of ions, ILs are remarkably tunable and diverse as cations and anions can be mixed and matched to yield desired properties. Because of this, IL/water systems range widely—from homogeneous mixtures to multiphasic systems featuring ionic liquid/liquid interfaces. Even more diversity is added when particles are introduced to these systems, as hard particles or soft-matter microgels interact with both ILs and water in complex ways. This work examines both miscible ionic liquid/water mixture and two-phase, immiscible ionic liquid/water systems. Extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are utilized in conjunction with physical measurements to inform theoretical understanding of the nature of these systems, and this theoretical understanding is related to practical applications—in particular, the development of a low-temperature liquid electrolyte for use in molecular electronic transducer (MET) seismometers, and particle self-assembly and transport at ionic liquid/liquid interfaces such as those in Pickering emulsions.

The homogenous mixture of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide and water is examined extensively through MD as well as physical characterization of properties. Molecular ordering within the liquid mixture is related to macroscopic properties. These mixtures are then used as the basis of an electrolyte with unusual characteristics, specifically a wide liquid temperature range with an extremely low lower bound combined with relatively low viscosity allowing excellent performance in the MET sensor. Electrolyte performance is further improved by the addition of fullerene nanoparticles, which dramatically increase device sensitivity. The reasons behind this effect are explored by testing the effect of graphene surface size and through MD simulations of fullerene and a silica nanoparticle (for contrast) in [BMIM][I]/water mixtures.

Immiscible ionic liquid/water systems are explored through MD studies of particles at IL/water interfaces. By increasing the concentration of hydrophobic nanoparticles at the IL/water interface, one study discovers the formation of a commingled IL/water/particle pseudo-phase, and relates this discovery to previously-observed unique behaviors of these interfaces, particularly spontaneous particle transport across the interface. The other study demonstrates that IL hydrophobicity can influence the deformation of thermo-responsive soft particles at the liquid/liquid interface.

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Date Created
2016

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Molecular Dynamic Simulations of Diffusion and Phase Behaviors of Colloidal Particles in Two-Component Liquid Systems

Description

A comprehensive and systematic investigation on the diffusion and phase behaviors of nanoparticles and macromolecules in two component liquid-liquid systems via Molecule Dynamic (MD) simulations is presented in this dissertation.

The interface of biphasic liquid systems has attracted great attention because

A comprehensive and systematic investigation on the diffusion and phase behaviors of nanoparticles and macromolecules in two component liquid-liquid systems via Molecule Dynamic (MD) simulations is presented in this dissertation.

The interface of biphasic liquid systems has attracted great attention because it offers a simple, flexible, and highly reproducible template for the assembly of a variety of nanoscale objects. However, certain important fundamental issues at the interface have not been fully explored, especially when the size of the object is comparable with the liquid molecules. In the first MD simulation system, the diffusion and self-assembly of nanoparticles with different size, shape and surface composition were studied in an oil/water system. It has been found that a highly symmetrical nanoparticle with uniform surface (e.g. buckyball) can lead to a better-defined solvation shell which makes the “effective radius” of the nanoparticle larger than its own radius, and thus, lead to slower transport (diffusion) of the nanoparticles across the oil-water interface. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) is a thermoresponsive polymer with a Lower Critical Solution Temperature (LCST) of 32°C in pure water. It is one of the most widely studied stimulus-responsive polymers which can be fabricated into various forms of smart materials. However, current understanding about the diffusive and phase behaviors of PNIPAM in ionic liquids/water system is very limited. Therefore, two biphasic water-ionic liquids (ILs) systems were created to investigate the interfacial behavior of PNIPAM in such unique liquid-liquid interface. It was found the phase preference of PNIPAM below/above its LCST is dependent on the nature of ionic liquids. This potentially allows us to manipulate the interfacial behavior of macromolecules by tuning the properties of ionic liquids and minimizing the need for expensive polymer functionalization. In addition, to seek a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of ionic liquids on the phase behavior of PNIPAM, PNIPAM was studied in two miscible ionic liquids/water systems. The thermodynamic origin causes the reduction of LCST of PNIPAM in imidazolium based ionic liquids/water system was found. Energy analysis, hydrogen boding calculation and detailed structural quantification were presented in this study to support the conclusions.

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2017

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Shape factors for the pseudo-steady state flow in fractured hydrocarbon wells of various drainage area geometries

Description

Pseudo-steady state (PSS) flow is an important time-dependent flow regime that

quickly follows the initial transient flow regime in the constant-rate production of

a closed boundary hydrocarbon reservoir. The characterization of the PSS flow

regime is of importance in describing the reservoir pressure

Pseudo-steady state (PSS) flow is an important time-dependent flow regime that

quickly follows the initial transient flow regime in the constant-rate production of

a closed boundary hydrocarbon reservoir. The characterization of the PSS flow

regime is of importance in describing the reservoir pressure distribution as well as the

productivity index (PI) of the flow regime. The PI describes the production potential

of the well and is often used in fracture optimization and production-rate decline

analysis. In 2016, Chen determined the exact analytical solution for PSS flow of a

fully penetrated vertically fractured well with finite fracture conductivity for reservoirs

of elliptical shape. The present work aimed to expand Chen’s exact analytical solution

to commonly encountered reservoirs geometries including rectangular, rhomboid,

and triangular by introducing respective shape factors generated from extensive

computational modeling studies based on an identical drainage area assumption. The

aforementioned shape factors were generated and characterized as functions for use

in spreadsheet calculations as well as graphical format for simplistic in-field look-up

use. Demonstrative use of the shape factors for over 20 additional simulations showed

high fidelity of the shape factor to accurately predict (mean average percentage error

remained under 1.5 %) the true PSS constant by modulating Chen’s solution for

elliptical reservoirs. The methodology of the shape factor generation lays the ground

work for more extensive and specific shape factors to be generated for cases such as

non-concentric wells and other geometries not studied.

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Date Created
2017