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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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Development of stimuli-responsive hydrogels integrated with ultra-thin silicon ribbons for stretchable and intelligent devices

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Electronic devices based on various stimuli responsive polymers are anticipated to have great potential for applications in innovative electronics due to their inherent intelligence and flexibility. However, the electronic properties of these soft materials are poor and the applications have

Electronic devices based on various stimuli responsive polymers are anticipated to have great potential for applications in innovative electronics due to their inherent intelligence and flexibility. However, the electronic properties of these soft materials are poor and the applications have been limited due to their weak compatibility with functional materials. Therefore, the integration of stimuli responsive polymers with other functional materials like Silicon is strongly demanded. Here, we present successful strategies to integrate environmentally sensitive hydrogels with Silicon, a typical high-performance electronic material, and demonstrate the intelligent and stretchable capability of this system. The goal of this project is to develop integrated smart devices comprising of soft stimuli responsive polymeric-substrates with conventional semiconductor materials such as Silicon, which can respond to various external stimuli like pH, temperature, light etc. Specifically, these devices combine the merits of high quality crystalline semiconductor materials and the mechanical flexibility/stretchability of polymers. Our innovative system consists of ultra-thin Silicon ribbons bonded to an intelligently stretchable substrate which is intended to interpret and exert environmental signals and provide the desired stress relief. As one of the specific examples, we chose as a substrate the standard thermo-sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) hydrogel with fast response and large deformation. In order to make the surface of the hydrogel waterproof and smooth for high-quality Silicon transfer, we introduced an intermediate layer of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) between the substrate and the Silicon ribbons. The optical microscope results have shown that the system enables stiff Silicon ribbons to become adaptive and drivable by the soft environmentally sensitive substrate. Furthermore, we pioneered the development of complex geometries with two different methods: one is using stereolithography to electronically control the patterns and build up their profiles layer by layer; the other is integrating different multifunctional polymers. In this report, we have designed a bilayer structure comprising of a PNIPAAm hydrogel and a hybrid hydrogel of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) and acrylic acid (AA). Typical variable curvatures can be obtained by the hydrogels with different dimensional expansion. These structures hold interesting possibilities in the design of electronic devices with tunable curvature.

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2012

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Modeling and analysis on pervaporation separation of composite zeolite membranes

Description

Pervaporation is a membrane separation technology that has had industrial application and which is the subject of ongoing research. Two major factors are important in judging the quality of a membrane: selectivity and permeation flux. Although many types of materials

Pervaporation is a membrane separation technology that has had industrial application and which is the subject of ongoing research. Two major factors are important in judging the quality of a membrane: selectivity and permeation flux. Although many types of materials can be used for the separation layer, zeolites will be the material considered in this thesis. A simple mathematical model has been developed to demonstrate the inter-relationships between relative permeation flux, reduced selectivity, and the relative resistance to mass transfer of the support to the zeolite layer. The model was applied to several membranes from our laboratory and to two examples from the literature. The model offers a useful way of conceptualizing membrane performance and facilitates the comparison of different membrane performances. The model predicts the effect of different supports on zeolite supported membrane performance.

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2014

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Continuous in-situ removal of butanol from clostridium acetobutylicum fermentations via expanded-bed adsorption

Description

The use of petroleum for liquid-transportation fuels has strained the environment and caused the global crude oil reserves to diminish. Therefore, there exists a need to replace petroleum as the primary fuel derivative. Butanol is a four-carbon alcohol that can

The use of petroleum for liquid-transportation fuels has strained the environment and caused the global crude oil reserves to diminish. Therefore, there exists a need to replace petroleum as the primary fuel derivative. Butanol is a four-carbon alcohol that can be used to effectively replace gasoline without changing the current automotive infrastructure. Additionally, butanol offers the same environmentally friendly effects as ethanol, but possess a 23% higher energy density. Clostridium acetobutylicum is an anaerobic bacterium that can ferment renewable biomass-derived sugars into butanol. However, this fermentation becomes limited by relatively low butanol concentrations (1.3% w/v), making this process uneconomical. To economically produce butanol, the in-situ product removal (ISPR) strategy is employed to the butanol fermentation. ISPR entails the removal of butanol as it is produced, effectively avoiding the toxicity limit and allowing for increased overall butanol production. This thesis explores the application of ISPR through integration of expanded-bed adsorption (EBA) with the C. acetobutylicum butanol fermentations. The goal is to enhance volumetric productivity and to develop a semi-continuous biofuel production process. The hydrophobic polymer resin adsorbent Dowex Optipore L-493 was characterized in cell-free studies to determine the impact of adsorbent mass and circulation rate on butanol loading capacity and removal rate. Additionally, the EBA column was optimized to use a superficial velocity of 9.5 cm/min and a resin fraction of 50 g/L. When EBA was applied to a fed-batch butanol fermentation performed under optimal operating conditions, a total of 25.5 g butanol was produced in 120 h, corresponding to an average yield on glucose of 18.6%. At this level, integration of EBA for in situ butanol recovered enabled the production of 33% more butanol than the control fermentation. These results are very promising for the production of butanol as a biofuel. Future work will entail the optimization of the fed-batch process for higher glucose utilization and development of a reliable butanol recovery system from the resin.

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2013

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Synthesis and charaterization of thin ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes for carbon dioxide separation

Description

High temperature CO2 perm-selective membranes offer potential for uses in various processes for CO2 separation. Recently, efforts are reported on fabrication of dense ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes. The membranes provide selective permeation to CO2 and exhibit high permeation flux at high

High temperature CO2 perm-selective membranes offer potential for uses in various processes for CO2 separation. Recently, efforts are reported on fabrication of dense ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes. The membranes provide selective permeation to CO2 and exhibit high permeation flux at high temperature. Research on transport mechanism demonstrates that gas transport for ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane is rate limited by ion transport in ceramic support. Reducing membrane thickness proves effective to improve permeation flux. This dissertation reports strategy to prepare thin ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes to increase CO2 permeance. The work also presents characteristics and gas permeation properties of the membranes. Thin ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane was constructed with an asymmetric porous support consisting of a thin small-pore ionic conducting ceramic top-layer and a large pore base support. The base support must be carbonate non-wettable to ensure formation of supported dense, thin membrane. Macroporous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) layer was prepared on large pore Bi1.5Y0.3Sm0.2O3-δ (BYS) base support using suspension coating method. Thin YSZ-carbonate dual-phase membrane (d-YSZ/BYS) was prepared via direct infiltrating Li/Na/K carbonate mixtures into top YSZ layers. The thin membrane of 10 μm thick offered a CO2 flux 5-10 times higher than the thick dual-phase membranes. Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 (SDC) exhibited highest CO2 flux and long-term stability and was chosen as ceramic support for membrane performance improvement. Porous SDC layers were co-pressed on base supports using SDC and BYS powder mixtures which provided better sintering comparability and carbonate non-wettability. Thin SDC-carbonate dual-phase membrane (d-SDC/SDC60BYS40) of 150 μm thick was synthesized on SDC60BYS40. CO2 permeation flux for d-SDC/SDC60BYS40 exhibited increasing dependence on temperature and partial pressure gradient. The flux was higher than other SDC-based dual-phase membranes. Reducing membrane thickness proves effective to increase CO2 permeation flux for the dual-phase membrane.

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2014

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Comparative life cycle assessment of sunscreen lotion using organic chemicals versus nano-titanium dioxide as UV blocker

Description

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for

producing

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for

producing nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is studied and a case-study has been conducted on comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the application of these nano-TiO2 particles in the sunscreen lotion as a UV-blocker with the conventional organic chemical sunscreen lotion using GaBi software. Nano-TiO2 particles were identified in the sunscreen lotion using Transmission Electron Microscope suggesting the use of these particles in the lotion.

The LCA modeling includes the comparison of the environmental impacts of producing nano-TiO2 particles with that of conventional organic chemical UV-blockers (octocrylene and avobenzone). It also compares the environmental life cycle impacts of the two sunscreen lotions studied. TRACI 2.1 was used for the assessment of the impacts which were then normalized and weighted for the ranking of the impact categories.

Results indicate that nano-TiO2 had higher impacts on the environment than the conventional organic chemical UV-blockers (octocrylene and avobenzone). For the two sunscreen lotions studied, nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant had lower environmental life cycle impacts than its counterpart because of the other chemicals used in the formulation. In the organic chemical sunscreen variant the major impacts came from production of glycerine, ethanol, and avobenzone but in the nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant the major impacts came from the production of nano-TiO2 particles.

Analysis further signifies the trade-offs between few environmental impact categories, for example, the human toxicity impacts were more in the nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant, but the other environmental impact categories viz. fossil fuel depletion, global warming potential, eutrophication were less compared to the organic chemical sunscreen variant.

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2014

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Synthesis and characterization of novel silicone graft copolymers

Description

Silicone compounds have a very low surface energy due to highly flexible Si-O-Si backbone and large number of –CH3 groups, but these compounds are extremely hydrophobic and thus have limited applications in aqueous formulations. Modification of such silicone compounds by

Silicone compounds have a very low surface energy due to highly flexible Si-O-Si backbone and large number of –CH3 groups, but these compounds are extremely hydrophobic and thus have limited applications in aqueous formulations. Modification of such silicone compounds by grafting hydrophilic chains provides a wide range of silicone products called "Silicone Surfactants". Silicone surfactants are surface active agents which get adsorbed at the air-water interface thereby, reducing the interfacial tension. Some of the larger applications of silicone surfactant are in the manufacture of plastic foams, in personal care products and as spreading and wetting agents (Hill, R.M, 2002).

In this thesis, a series of silicone surfactant graft copolymers were synthesized via hydrosilylation reaction. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of different chain length was grafted to a hydrophobic Poly(methylhydrosiloxane) (PMHS) backbone to improve the final hydrophilicity. Also, a positively charged quaternary ammonium salt (allyltriethylammonium bromide) was grafted to the PMHS backbone. The objective of this thesis was to synthesize polymers in predefined ratios of the above mentioned side groups and utilize these polymers to-

1) Study the effect of PEG chain length and its composition on the hydrophilicity of the polymer.

2) Study the effect of PEG: ammonium salt ratio on the surface tension of aqueous systems.

Analysis of FT-IR and 1H NMR spectra of the polymers confirmed the predicted structure. The absence of characteristic Si-H absorbance peak at 2160 cm-1 in FT-IR spectra indicates consumption of silane groups along the polymer backbone. The actual moles of the side chain grafted on the backbone are calculated by 1H NMR peak integration. The results of contact angle studies indicated an increase in hydrophilicity with an increase in the composition of PEG in molecule. A 2*2 factorial DOE analysis reported that the fraction of Si-H bonds converted to PEG grafts was the critical factor towards increasing the hydrophilicity (p value of 0.015). Surface tension studies report that the air-water interfacial tension of the synthesized polymers is between 28mN/m – 45mN/m. The amount of Si-H was concluded to be the deciding factor in lowering the surface tension.

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Date Created
2016

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Biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals

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This dissertation focuses on the biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals in engineered Escherichia coli from renewable resources. The discussed metabolic pathways take advantage of key metabolites in the shikimic acid pathway, which is responsible for the production of the

This dissertation focuses on the biosynthetic production of aromatic fine chemicals in engineered Escherichia coli from renewable resources. The discussed metabolic pathways take advantage of key metabolites in the shikimic acid pathway, which is responsible for the production of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. For the first time, the renewable production of benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol has been achieved in recombinant E. coli with a maximum titer of 114 mg/L of benzyl alcohol. Further strain development to knockout endogenous alcohol dehydrogenase has reduced the in vivo degradation of benzaldehyde by 9-fold, representing an improved host for the future production of benzaldehyde as a sole product. In addition, a novel alternative pathway for the production of protocatechuate (PCA) and catechol from the endogenous metabolite chorismate is demonstrated. Titers for PCA and catechol were achieved at 454 mg/L and 630 mg/L, respectively. To explore potential routes for improved aromatic product yields, an in silico model using elementary mode analysis was developed. From the model, stoichiometric optimums maximizing both product-to-substrate and biomass-to-substrate yields were discovered in a co-fed model using glycerol and D-xylose as the carbon substrates for the biosynthetic production of catechol. Overall, the work presented in this dissertation highlights contributions to the field of metabolic engineering through novel pathway design for the biosynthesis of industrially relevant aromatic fine chemicals and the use of in silico modelling to identify novel approaches to increasing aromatic product yields.

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2016

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Development and characterization of chemical resistant water separation composite membranes by using impermeable polymer matrix

Description

Water recovery from impaired sources, such as reclaimed wastewater, brackish groundwater, and ocean water, is imperative as freshwater resources are under great pressure. Complete reuse of urine wastewater is also necessary to sustain life on space exploration missions of greater

Water recovery from impaired sources, such as reclaimed wastewater, brackish groundwater, and ocean water, is imperative as freshwater resources are under great pressure. Complete reuse of urine wastewater is also necessary to sustain life on space exploration missions of greater than one year’s duration. Currently, the Water Recovery System (WRS) used on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shuttles recovers only 70% of generated wastewater.1 Current osmotic processes show high capability to increase water recovery from wastewater. However, commercial reverse osmosis (RO) membranes rapidly degrade when exposed to pretreated urine-containing wastewater. Also, non-ionic small molecules substances (i.e., urea) are very poorly rejected by commercial RO membranes.

In this study, an innovative composite membrane that integrates water-selective molecular sieve particles into a liquid-barrier chemically resistant polymer film is synthetized. This plan manipulates distinctive aspects of the two materials used to create the membranes: (1) the innate permeation and selectivity of the molecular sieves, and (2) the decay-resistant, versatile, and mechanical strength of the liquid-barrier polymer support matrix.

To synthesize the membrane, Linde Type A (LTA) zeolite particles are anchored to the porous substrate, producing a single layer of zeolite particles capable of transporting water through the membrane. Thereafter, coating the chemically resistant latex polymer filled the space between zeolites. Finally, excess polymer was etched from the surface to expose the zeolites to the feed solution. The completed membranes were tested in reverse osmosis mode with deionized water, sodium chloride, and rhodamine solutions to determine the suitability for water recovery.

The main distinguishing characteristics of the new membrane design compared with current composite membrane include: (1) the use of an impermeable polymer broadens the range of chemical resistant polymers that can be used as the polymer matrix; (2) the use of zeolite particles with specific pore size insures the high rejection of the neutral molecules since water is transported through the zeolite rather than the polymer; (3) the use of latex dispersions, environmentally friendly water based-solutions, as the polymer matrix shares the qualities of low volatile organic compound, low cost, and non- toxicity.

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Date Created
2016