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Nano- and micro-scale temperature measurements using laser-induced fluorescence thermometry

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A method of determining nanoparticle temperature through fluorescence intensity levels is described. Intracellular processes are often tracked through the use of fluorescence tagging, and ideal temperatures for many of these processes are unknown. Through the use of fluorescence-based thermometry, cellular

A method of determining nanoparticle temperature through fluorescence intensity levels is described. Intracellular processes are often tracked through the use of fluorescence tagging, and ideal temperatures for many of these processes are unknown. Through the use of fluorescence-based thermometry, cellular processes such as intracellular enzyme movement can be studied and their respective temperatures established simultaneously. Polystyrene and silica nanoparticles are synthesized with a variety of temperature-sensitive dyes such as BODIPY, rose Bengal, Rhodamine dyes 6G, 700, and 800, and Nile Blue A and Nile Red. Photographs are taken with a QImaging QM1 Questar EXi Retiga camera while particles are heated from 25 to 70 C and excited at 532 nm with a Coherent DPSS-532 laser. Photographs are converted to intensity images in MATLAB and analyzed for fluorescence intensity, and plots are generated in MATLAB to describe each dye's intensity vs temperature. Regression curves are created to describe change in fluorescence intensity over temperature. Dyes are compared as nanoparticle core material is varied. Large particles are also created to match the camera's optical resolution capabilities, and it is established that intensity values increase proportionally with nanoparticle size. Nile Red yielded the closest-fit model, with R2 values greater than 0.99 for a second-order polynomial fit. By contrast, Rhodamine 6G only yielded an R2 value of 0.88 for a third-order polynomial fit, making it the least reliable dye for temperature measurements using the polynomial model. Of particular interest in this work is Nile Blue A, whose fluorescence-temperature curve yielded a much different shape from the other dyes. It is recommended that future work describe a broader range of dyes and nanoparticle sizes, and use multiple excitation wavelengths to better quantify each dye's quantum efficiency. Further research into the effects of nanoparticle size on fluorescence intensity levels should be considered as the particles used here greatly exceed 2 ìm. In addition, Nile Blue A should be further investigated as to why its fluorescence-temperature curve did not take on a characteristic shape for a temperature-sensitive dye in these experiments.

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2011

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Modeling and characterization of ammonia injection and catalytic reduction in Kyrene Unit-7 HRSG

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ABSTRACT The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a key component of Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP). The exhaust (flue gas) from the CCPP gas turbine flows through the HRSG − this gas typically contains a high concentration of NO

ABSTRACT The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a key component of Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP). The exhaust (flue gas) from the CCPP gas turbine flows through the HRSG − this gas typically contains a high concentration of NO and cannot be discharged directly to the atmosphere because of environmental restrictions. In the HRSG, one method of reducing the flue gas NO concentration is to inject ammonia into the gas at a plane upstream of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit through an injection grid (AIG); the SCR is where the NO is reduced to N2 and H2O. The amount and spatial distribution of the injected ammonia are key considerations for NO reduction while using the minimum possible amount of ammonia. This work had three objectives. First, a flow network model of the Ammonia Flow Control Unit (AFCU) was to be developed to calculate the quantity of ammonia released into the flue gas from each AIG perforation. Second, CFD simulation of the flue gas flow was to be performed to obtain the velocity, temperature, and species concentration fields in the gas upstream and downstream of the SCR. Finally, performance characteristics of the ammonia injection system were to be evaluated. All three objectives were reached. The AFCU was modeled using JAVA - with a graphical user interface provided for the user. The commercial software Fluent was used for CFD simulation. To evaluate the efficacy of the ammonia injection system in reducing the flue gas NO concentration, the twelve butterfly valves in the AFCU ammonia delivery piping (risers) were throttled by various degrees in the model and the NO concentration distribution computed for each operational scenario. When the valves were kept fully open, it was found that it led to a more uniform reduction in NO concentration compared to throttling the valves such that the riser flows were equal. Additionally, the SCR catalyst was consumed somewhat more uniformly, and ammonia slip (ammonia not consumed in reaction) was found lower. The ammonia use could be decreased by 10 percent while maintaining the NO concentration limit in the flue gas exhausting into the atmosphere.

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2011

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Membraneless microfluidic fuel cells

Description

Portable devices rely on battery systems that contribute largely to the overall device form factor and delay portability due to recharging. Membraneless microfluidic fuel cells are considered as the next generation of portable power sources for their compatibility with higher

Portable devices rely on battery systems that contribute largely to the overall device form factor and delay portability due to recharging. Membraneless microfluidic fuel cells are considered as the next generation of portable power sources for their compatibility with higher energy density reactants. Microfluidic fuel cells are potentially cost effective and robust because they use low Reynolds number flow to maintain fuel and oxidant separation instead of ion exchange membranes. However, membraneless fuel cells suffer from poor efficiency due to poor mass transport and Ohmic losses. Current microfluidic fuel cell designs suffer from reactant cross-diffusion and thick boundary layers at the electrode surfaces, which result in a compromise between the cell's power output and fuel utilization. This dissertation presents novel flow field architectures aimed at alleviating the mass transport limitations. The first architecture provides a reactant interface where the reactant diffusive concentration gradients are aligned with the bulk flow, mitigating reactant mixing through diffusion and thus crossover. This cell also uses porous electro-catalysts to improve electrode mass transport which results in higher extraction of reactant energy. The second architecture uses porous electrodes and an inert conductive electrolyte stream between the reactants to enhance the interfacial electrical conductivity and maintain complete reactant separation. This design is stacked hydrodynamically and electrically, analogous to membrane based systems, providing increased reactant utilization and power. These fuel cell architectures decouple the fuel cell's power output from its fuel utilization. The fuel cells are tested over a wide range of conditions including variation of the loads, reactant concentrations, background electrolytes, flow rates, and fuel cell geometries. These experiments show that increasing the fuel cell power output is accomplished by increasing reactant flow rates, electrolyte conductivity, and ionic exchange areas, and by decreasing the spacing between the electrodes. The experimental and theoretical observations presented in this dissertation will aid in the future design and commercialization of a new portable power source, which has the desired attributes of high power output per weight and volume and instant rechargeability.

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2010

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Core-shell composite nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, and applications

Description

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug delivery, and environmental remediation. This dissertation focuses on the study of core-shell type of nanoparticles where a polymer serves as the core and inorganic nanoparticles are the shell. This is an interesting class of supramolecular building blocks and can "exhibit unusual, possibly unique, properties which cannot be obtained simply by co-mixing polymer and inorganic particles". The one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization method was successfully developed and applied to synthesize polystyrene-silica core-shell composite particles. Possible mechanisms of the Pickering emulsion polymerization were also explored. The silica nanoparticles were thermodynamically favorable to self-assemble at liquid-liquid interfaces at the initial stage of polymerization and remained at the interface to finally form the shells of the composite particles. More importantly, Pickering emulsion polymerization was employed to synthesize polystyrene/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-silica core-shell nanoparticles with N-isopropylacrylamide incorporated into the core as a co-monomer. The composite nanoparticles were temperature sensitive and could be up-taken by human prostate cancer cells and demonstrated effectiveness in drug delivery and cancer therapy. Similarly, by incorporating poly-2-(N,N)-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (PDMA) into the core, pH sensitive core-shell composite nanoparticles were synthesized and applied as effective carriers to release a rheological modifier upon a pH change. Finally, the research focuses on facile approaches to engineer the transition of the temperature-sensitive particles and develop composite core-shell nanoparticles with a metallic shell.

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2012

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Enhanced Desorption in Novel Sorbent Materials Using Ultrasound

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In this study, two novel sorbents (zeolite 4A and sodium polyacrylate) are tested to investigate if utilizing ultrasonic acoustic energy could decrease the amount of time and overall energy required to regenerate these materials for use in cooling applications. To

In this study, two novel sorbents (zeolite 4A and sodium polyacrylate) are tested to investigate if utilizing ultrasonic acoustic energy could decrease the amount of time and overall energy required to regenerate these materials for use in cooling applications. To do this, an experiment was designed employing a cartridge heater and a piezoelectric element to be simultaneously providing heat and acoustic power to a custom designed desorption bed while measuring the bed mass and sorbent temperature at various locations. The results prove to be promising showing that early in the desorption process ultrasound may expedite the desorption process in zeolite by as much as five times and in sodium polyacrylate as much as three times in comparison to providing heat alone. The results also show that in zeolite desorption utilizing ultrasound may be particularly beneficial to initiate desorption whereas in sodium polyacrylate ultrasound appears most promising in the after a temperature threshold is met. These are exciting results and may prove to be significant in the future as more novel heat-based cooling cycles are developed.

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2018

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Design and Evaluation of a Concentrating Solar Power System with Thermochemical Water Splitting Process for the Co-production of Hydrogen and Electricity

Description

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed

Thermodynamic development and balance of plant study is completed for a 30 MW solar thermochemical water splitting process that generates hydrogen gas and electric power. The generalized thermodynamic model includes 23 components and 45 states. Quasi-steady state simulations are completed for design point system sizing, annual performance analysis and sensitivity analysis. Detailed consideration is given to water splitting reaction kinetics with governing equations generalized for use with any redox-active metal oxide material. Specific results for Ceria illustrate particle reduction in two solar receivers for target oxygen partial pressure of 10 Pa and particle temperature of 1773 K at a design point DNI of 900 W/m2. Sizes of the recuperator, steam generator and hydrogen separator are calculated at the design point DNI to achieve 100,000 kg of hydrogen production per day from the plant. The total system efficiency of 39.52% is comprised of 50.7% hydrogen fraction and 19.62% electrical fraction. Total plant capital costs and operating costs are estimated to equate a hydrogen production cost of $4.40 per kg for a 25-year plant life. Sensitivity analysis explores the effect of environmental parameters and design parameters on system performance and cost. Improving recuperator effectiveness from 0.7 to 0.8 is a high-value design modification resulting in a 12.1% decrease in hydrogen cost for a modest 2.0% increase in plant $2.85M. At the same time, system efficiency is relatively inelastic to recuperator effectiveness because 81% of excess heat is recovered from the system for electricity production 39 MWh/day and revenue is $0.04 per kWh. Increasing water inlet pressure up to 20 bar reduces the size and cost of super heaters but further pressure rises increasing pump at a rate that outweighs super heater cost savings.

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2018

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Forward Osmosis Desalination Using Thermoresponsive Hydrogels as Draw Agents; An Experimental Study

Description

Hydrogel polymers have been the subject of many studies, due to their fascinating ability to alternate between being hydrophilic and hydrophobic, upon the application of appropriate stimuli. In particular, thermo-responsive hydrogels such as N-Isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM), which possess a unique lower

Hydrogel polymers have been the subject of many studies, due to their fascinating ability to alternate between being hydrophilic and hydrophobic, upon the application of appropriate stimuli. In particular, thermo-responsive hydrogels such as N-Isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM), which possess a unique lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32°C, have been leveraged for membrane-based processes such as using NIPAM as a draw agent for forward osmosis (FO) desalination. The low LCST temperature of NIPAM ensures that fresh water can be recovered, at a modest energy cost as compared to other thermally based desalination processes which require water recovery at higher temperatures. This work studies by experimentation, key process parameters involved in desalination by FO using NIPAM and a copolymer of NIPAM and Sodium Acrylate (NIPAM-SA). It encompasses synthesis of the hydrogels, development of experiments to effectively characterize synthesized products, and the measuring of FO performance for the individual hydrogels. FO performance was measured using single layers of NIPAM and NIPAM-SA respectively. The values of permeation flux obtained were compared to relevant published literature and it was found to be within reasonable range. Furthermore, a conceptual design for future large-scale implementation of this technology is proposed. It is proposed that perhaps more effort should focus on physical processes that have the ability to increase the low permeation flux of hydrogel driven FO desalination systems, rather than development of novel classes of hydrogels

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2019