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Synthesis and stability of ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for carbon dioxide separation

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Of the potential technologies for pre-combustion capture, membranes offer the advantages of being temperature resistant, able to handle large flow rates, and having a relatively small footprint. A significant amount of research has centered on the use of polymeric and

Of the potential technologies for pre-combustion capture, membranes offer the advantages of being temperature resistant, able to handle large flow rates, and having a relatively small footprint. A significant amount of research has centered on the use of polymeric and microporous inorganic membranes to separate CO2. These membranes, however, have limitations at high temperature resulting in poor permeation performance. To address these limitations, the use of a dense dual-phase membrane has been studied. These membranes are composed of conductive solid and conductive liquid phases that have the ability to selectively permeate CO2 by forming carbonate ions that diffuse through the membrane at high temperature. The driving force for transport through the membrane is a CO2 partial pressure gradient. The membrane provides a theoretically infinite selectivity. To address stability of the ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for CO2 capture at high temperature, the ceramic phase of the membrane was studied and replaced with materials previously shown to be stable in harsh conditions. The permeation properties and stability of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (LSCF)-carbonate, La0.85Ce0.1Ga0.3Fe0.65Al0.05O3-δ (LCGFA)-carbonate, and Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 (SDC)-carbonate membranes were examined under a wide range of experimental conditions at high temperature. LSCF-carbonate membranes were shown to be unstable without the presence of O2 due to reaction of CO2 with the ceramic phase. In the presence of O2, however, the membranes showed stable permeation behavior for more than one month at 900oC. LCGFA-carbonate membranes showed great chemical and permeation stability in the presence of various conditions including exposure to CH4 and H2, however, the permeation performance was quite low when compared to membranes in the literature. Finally, SDC-carbonate membranes showed great chemical and permeation stability both in a CO2:N2 environment for more than two weeks at 900oC as well as more than one month of exposure to simulated syngas conditions at 700oC. Ceramic phase chemical stability increased in the order of LSCF < LCGFA < SDC while permeation performance increased in the order of LCGFA < LSCF < SDC.

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2013

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Separation of oil and other organics from water using inverse fluidization of hydrophobic aerogels

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This dissertation presents a systematic study of the sorption mechanisms of hydrophobic silica aerogel (Cabot Nanogel®) granules for oil and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in different phases. The performance of Nanogel for removing oil from laboratory synthetic oil-in-water emulsions and

This dissertation presents a systematic study of the sorption mechanisms of hydrophobic silica aerogel (Cabot Nanogel®) granules for oil and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in different phases. The performance of Nanogel for removing oil from laboratory synthetic oil-in-water emulsions and real oily wastewater, and VOCs from their aqueous solution, in both packed bed (PB) and inverse fluidized bed (IFB) modes was also investigated. The sorption mechanisms of VOCs in the vapor, pure liquid, and aqueous solution phases, free oil, emulsified oil, and oil from real wastewater on Nanogel were systematically studied via batch kinetics and equilibrium experiments. The VOC results show that the adsorption of vapor is very slow due to the extremely low thermal conductivity of Nanogel. The faster adsorption rates in the liquid and solution phases are controlled by the mass transport, either by capillary flow or by vapor diffusion/adsorption. The oil results show that Nanogel has a very high capacity for adsorption of pure oils. However, the rate for adsorption of oil from an oil-water emulsion on the Nanogel is 5-10 times slower than that for adsorption of pure oils or organics from their aqueous solutions. For an oil-water emulsion, the oil adsorption capacity decreases with an increasing proportion of the surfactant added. An even lower sorption capacity and a slower sorption rate were observed for a real oily wastewater sample due to the high stability and very small droplet size of the wastewater. The performance of Nanogel granules for removing emulsified oil, oil from real oily wastewater, and toluene at low concentrations in both PB and IFB modes was systematically investigated. The hydrodynamics characteristics of the Nanogel granules in an IFB were studied by measuring the pressure drop and bed expansion with superficial water velocity. The density of the Nanogel granules was calculated from the plateau pressure drop of the IFB. The oil/toluene removal efficiency and the capacity of the Nanogel granules in the PB or IFB were also measured experimentally and predicted by two models based on equilibrium and kinetic batch measurements of the Nanogel granules.

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2011

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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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Improved synthesis and thermal stability of electrode-supported [alpha]-alumina separator for lithium ion batteries

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Lithium ion batteries have emerged as the most popular energy storage system, but they pose safety issues under extreme temperatures or in the event of a thermal runaway. Lithium ion batteries with inorganic separators offer the advantage of safer operation.

Lithium ion batteries have emerged as the most popular energy storage system, but they pose safety issues under extreme temperatures or in the event of a thermal runaway. Lithium ion batteries with inorganic separators offer the advantage of safer operation. An inorganic separator for lithium ion battery was prepared by an improved method of blade coating α-Al2O3 slurry directly on the electrode followed by drying. The improved separator preparation involves a twice-coating process instead of coating the slurry all at once in order to obtain a thin (~40 µm) and uniform coat. It was also found that α-Al2O3 powder with particle size greater than the pore size in the electrode is preferable for obtaining a separator with 40 µm thickness and consistent cell performance. Unlike state-of-the-art polyolefin separators such as polypropylene (PP) which are selectively wettable with only certain electrolytes, the excellent electrolyte solvent wettability of α-Al2O3 allows the coated alumina separator to function with different electrolytes. The coated α-Al2O3 separator has a much higher resistance to temperature effects than its polyolefin counterparts, retaining its dimensional integrity at temperatures as high as 200ºC. This eliminates the possibility of a short circuit during thermal runaway. Lithium ion batteries assembled as half-cells and full cells with coated α-Al2O3 separator exhibit electrochemical performance comparable with that of polyolefin separators at room temperature. However, the cells with coated alumina separator shows better cycling performance under extreme temperatures in the temperature range of -30°C to 60°C. Therefore, the coated α-Al2O3 separator is very promising for application in safe lithium-ion batteries.

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2016

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

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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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Synthesis and Gas Transport Properties of Graphene Oxide Membranes

Description

Graphene oxide membranes have shown promising gas separation characteristics specially for hydrogen that make them of interest for industrial applications. However, the gas transport mechanism for these membranes is unclear due to inconsistent permeation and separation results reported in literature.

Graphene oxide membranes have shown promising gas separation characteristics specially for hydrogen that make them of interest for industrial applications. However, the gas transport mechanism for these membranes is unclear due to inconsistent permeation and separation results reported in literature. Graphene oxide membranes made by filtration, the most common synthesis method, contain wrinkles affecting their gas separation characteristics and the method itself is difficult to scale up. Moreover, the production of graphene oxide membranes with fine-tuned interlayer spacing for improved molecular separation is still a challenge. These unsolved issues will affect their potential impact on industrial gas separation applications.

In this study, high quality graphene oxide membranes are synthesized on polyester track etch substrates by different deposition methods and characterized by XRD, SEM, AFM as well as single gas permeation and binary (H2/CO2) separation experiments. Membranes are made from large graphene oxide sheets of different sizes (33 and 17 micron) using vacuum filtration to shed more light on their transport mechanism. Membranes are made from dilute graphene oxide suspension by easily scalable spray coating technique to minimize extrinsic wrinkle formation. Finally, Brodie’s derived graphene oxide sheets were used to prepare membranes with narrow interlayer spacing to improve their (H2/CO2) separation performance.

An inter-sheet and inner-sheet two-pathway model is proposed to explain the permeation and separation results of graphene oxide membranes obtained in this study. At room temperature, large gas molecules (CH4, N2, and CO2) permeate through inter-sheet pathway of the membranes, exhibiting Knudsen like diffusion characteristics, with the permeance for the small sheet membrane about twice that for the large sheet membrane. The small gases (H2 and He) exhibit much higher permeance, showing significant flow through an inner-sheet pathway, in addition to the flow through the inter-sheet pathway. Membranes prepared by spray coating offer gas characteristics similar to those made by filtration, however using dilute graphene oxide suspension in spray coating will help reduce the formation of extrinsic wrinkles which result in reduction in the porosity of the inter-sheet pathway where the transport of large gas molecules dominates. Brodie’s derived graphene oxide membranes showed overall low permeability and significant improvement in in H2/CO2 selectivity compared to membranes made using Hummers’ derived sheets due to smaller interlayer space height of Brodie’s sheets (~3 Å).

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2018

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Stability, Transport and Modification of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 Membranes for Light Hydrocarbon Separations

Description

Membrane technology is a viable option to debottleneck distillation processes and minimize the energy burden associated with light hydrocarbon mixture separations. Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are a new class of microporous metal-organic frameworks with highly tailorable zeolitic pores and unprecedented

Membrane technology is a viable option to debottleneck distillation processes and minimize the energy burden associated with light hydrocarbon mixture separations. Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are a new class of microporous metal-organic frameworks with highly tailorable zeolitic pores and unprecedented separation characteristics. ZIF-8 membranes demonstrate superior separation performance for propylene/propane (C3) and hydrogen/hydrocarbon mixtures at room temperature. However, to date, little is known about the static thermal stability and ethylene/ethane (C2) separation characteristics of ZIF-8. This dissertation presents a set of fundamental studies to investigate the thermal stability, transport and modification of ZIF-8 membranes for light hydrocarbon separations.

Static TGA decomposition kinetics studies show that ZIF-8 nanocrystals maintain their crystallinity up to 200○C in inert, oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. At temperatures of 250○C and higher, the findings herein support the postulation that ZIF-8 nanocrystals undergo temperature induced decomposition via thermolytic bond cleaving reactions to form an imidazole-Zn-azirine structure. The crystallinity/bond integrity of ZIF-8 membrane thin films is maintained at temperatures below 150○C.

Ethane and ethylene transport was studied in single and binary gas mixtures. Thermodynamic parameters derived from membrane permeation and crystal adsorption experiments show that the C2 transport mechanism is controlled by adsorption rather than diffusion. Low activation energy of diffusion values for both C2 molecules and limited energetic/entropic diffusive selectivity are observed for C2 molecules despite being larger than the nominal ZIF-8 pore aperture and is due to pore flexibility.

Finally, ZIF-8 membranes were modified with 5,6 dimethylbenzimidazole through solvent assisted membrane surface ligand exchange to narrow the pore aperture for enhanced molecular sieving. Results show that relatively fast exchange kinetics occur at the mainly at the outer ZIF-8 membrane surface between 0-30 minutes of exchange. Short-time exchange enables C3 selectivity increases with minimal olefin permeance losses. As the reaction proceeds, the ligand exchange rate slows as the 5,6 DMBIm linker proceeds into the ZIF-8 inner surface, exchanges with the original linker and first disrupts the original framework’s crystallinity, then increases order as the reaction proceeds. The ligand exchange rate increases with temperature and the H2/C2 separation factor increases with increases in ligand exchange time and temperature.

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2017

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Design of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Carbon Capture Applications: Approaches for Adsorptive Separation of CO2/N2 and O2/N2 Mixtures

Description

The large-scale anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to many unintended consequences, from rising sea levels to ocean acidification. While a clean energy infrastructure is growing, mid-term strategies that are compatible with the current infrastructure should be

The large-scale anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to many unintended consequences, from rising sea levels to ocean acidification. While a clean energy infrastructure is growing, mid-term strategies that are compatible with the current infrastructure should be developed. Carbon capture and storage in fossil-fuel power plants is one way to avoid our current gigaton-scale emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, for this to be possible, separation techniques are necessary to remove the nitrogen from air before combustion or from the flue gas after combustion. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous material that show great promise for adsorptive separation processes. Here, potential mechanisms of O2/N2 separation and CO2/N2 separation are explored.

First, a logical categorization of potential adsorptive separation mechanisms in MOFs is outlined by comparing existing data with previously studied materials. Size-selective adsorptive separation is investigated for both gas systems using molecular simulations. A correlation between size-selective equilibrium adsorptive separation capabilities and pore diameter is established in materials with complex pore distributions. A method of generating mobile extra-framework cations which drastically increase adsorptive selectivity toward nitrogen over oxygen via electrostatic interactions is explored through experiments and simulations. Finally, deposition of redox-active ferrocene molecules into systematically generated defects is shown to be an effective method of increasing selectivity towards oxygen.

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2019

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Zwitterionic poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers: membrane applications and fundamentals

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Zwitterionic polymers, due to their supurior capability of electrostatically induced hydration, have been considered as effective functionalities to alleviate bio-fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Bulk modification of polysulfone-based matrices to improve hydrophilicity, on the other hand, is favored due

Zwitterionic polymers, due to their supurior capability of electrostatically induced hydration, have been considered as effective functionalities to alleviate bio-fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. Bulk modification of polysulfone-based matrices to improve hydrophilicity, on the other hand, is favored due to the high membrane performance, processibility, and intrinsic chlorine resistance. Here a novel synthetic method was demonstrated to prepare zwitterionic poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) copolymers, which was blended with native polysulfone (PSf) to fabricate free-standing asymmetric membranes via non-solvent induced phase separation process. Both the porosity of the support layer and surface hydrophilicity increased drastically due to the incorporation of zwitterion functionalities in the rigid polysulfone matrix. The water permeance and antifouling ability of the blend membranes were both remarkably improved to 2.5 Lm−2 h−1 bar−1 and 94% of flux recovery ratio, respectively, while salt rejection remained at a high level (98%) even under the high exposure to chlorine (8,000 ppm•h). Besides the preliminary blended membrane design, for the future membrane property enhancement, this dissertation also focused on polymer structure optimizations via elucidating the fundamentals from two perspectives: 1). Synthetic reaction kinetics and mechanisms on polycondensation of PAES. Interestingly, in combination of experiments and the computational calculations by density functional theory (DFT) methods in this work, only the aryl chlorides (ArCl) monomer follows the classical second-order reaction kinetics of aromatic nucleophilic substitution (SNAr) mechanism, while the kinetics of the aryl fluorides (ArF) reaction fit a third-order rate law. The third order reaction behavior of the ArF monomer is attributed to the activation of the carbon-fluorine bond by two potassium cations (at least one bounded to phenolate), which associate as a strong three-body complex. This complex acts as the predominant reactant during the attack by the nucleophile. 2). Optimized copolymer structures were developed for controlled high molecular weight (Mw ~ 65 kDa) and zwitterionic charge content (0~100 mol%), via off-set stoichiometry during polycondensations, following with thiol-ene click reaction and ring-opening of sultone to introduce the sulfobetaine functional groups. The structure-property-morphology relationships were elucidated for better understanding atomic-level features in the charged polymers for future high-performance desalination applications.

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2019

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Experimental and Simulation Study on Novel Adsorbents for Carbon Capture, Oxygen Sorption, and Methane Recovery

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Global warming resulted from greenhouse gases emission has received widespread attention. Meanwhile, it is required to explore renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources due to the severe pollution of the environment caused by fossil fuel combustion. In order to realize

Global warming resulted from greenhouse gases emission has received widespread attention. Meanwhile, it is required to explore renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources due to the severe pollution of the environment caused by fossil fuel combustion. In order to realize a substantial adsorption process to resolve the environmental issues, the development of new adsorbents with improved properties has become the most critical issue. This dissertation presents the work of four individual but related studies on systematic characterization and process simulations of novel adsorbents with superior adsorption properties.

A perovskite oxide material, La0.1Sr0.9Co0.9Fe0.1O3-δ (LSCF1991), was investigated first for high-temperature air separation. The oxygen sorption/desorption behavior of LSCF1991 was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and fixed-bed breakthrough experiments. A parametric study was performed to design and optimize the operating parameters of the high-temperature air separation process by pressure swing adsorption (PSA). The results have shown great potential for applying LSCF1991 to the high-temperature air separation due to its excellent separation performance and low energy requirement.

Research on using nanostructured zeolite NaX (NZ) as adsorbents for CO2 capture was subsequently conducted. The CO2/N2 adsorption characterizations indicated that the NZ samples lead to enhanced adsorption properties compared with the commercial zeolites (MZ). From the two-bed six-step PSA simulation, NZ saved around 30% energy over MZ for CO2 capture and recovery while achieving a higher CO2 purity and productivity.

A unique screening method was developed for efficient evaluation of adsorbents for PSA processes. In the case study, 47 novel adsorbents have been screened for coal bed methane (CBM) recovery. The adsorbents went through scoring-based prescreening, PSA simulation, and optimization. The process performance indicators were correlated with the adsorption selectivity and capacities, which provides new insights for predicting the PSA performance.

A new medium-temperature oxygen sorbent, YBaCo4O7+δ (YBC114), was investigated as an oxygen pumping material to facilitate solar thermochemical fuel production. The oxygen uptake and release attributes of YBC114 were studied by both TGA and a small-scale evacuation test. The study proved that the particle size has a significant effect on the oxygen pumping behavior of YBC114, especially for the uptake kinetics.

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2020