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Synthesis and Characterization of 2D Metal-organic Frameworks for Mixed-matrix Membrane Gas Separations

Description

Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating

Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating costs over the conventional gas separation technologies. Unfortunately, the available polymeric (or organic) membranes suffer a trade-off between permeance and selectivity. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) containing two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as fillers are a highly sought approach to redress this trade-off given their enhanced gas permeabilities and selectivities compared to the pure polymeric membrane. These MMMs are increasingly gaining attention by researchers due to their unique properties and wide small- and large-scale gas separation applications. However, straightforward and scalable methods for the synthesis of MOFs nanosheets have thus far been persistently elusive. This study reports the single-phase preparation, and characterization of MMMs with 2D MOFs nanosheets as fillers. The prepared MOF and the polymer matrix form the ‘dense’ MMMs which exhibit increased gas diffusion resistance, and thus improved separation abilities. The single-phase approach was more successful than the bi-phase at synthesizing the MOFs. The influence of sonication power and time on the characteristics and performance of the membranes are examined and discussed. Increasing the sonication power from 50% to 100% reduces the pore size. Additionally, the ultimate effect on the selectivity and permeance of the MMMs with different single gases is reported. Analysis of results with various gas mixers indicates further performance improvements in these MMMs could be achieved by increasing sonication time and tuning suitable membrane thicknesses. Reported results reveal that MMMs are excellent candidates for next-generation gas mixture separations, with potential applications in CO2 capture and storage, hydrogen recovery, alkene recovery from alkanes, and natural gas purification.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Material Processing for Edible Electronics

Description

A new type of electronics was envisioned, namely edible electronics. Edible electronics are made by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified edible materials which can be eaten and digested by

A new type of electronics was envisioned, namely edible electronics. Edible electronics are made by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified edible materials which can be eaten and digested by human body. Different from implantable electronics, test or treatment using edible electronics doesn’t require operations and perioperative complications.

This dissertation bridges the food industry, material sciences, device fabrication, and biomedical engineering by demonstrating edible supercapacitors and electronic components and devices such as pH sensor.

Edible supercapacitors were fabricated using food materials from grocery store. 5 of them were connected in series to power a snake camera. Tests result showed that the current generated by supercapacitor have the ability to kill bacteria. Next more food, processed food and non-toxic level electronic materials were investigated. A “preferred food kit” was created for component fabrication based on the investigation. Some edible electronic components, such as wires, resistor, inductor, etc., were developed and characterized utilizing the preferred food kit. These components make it possible to fabricate edible electronic/device in the future work. Some edible electronic components were integrated into an edible electronic system/device. Then edible pH sensor was introduced and fabricated. This edible pH sensor can be swallowed and test pH of gastric fluid. PH can be read in a phone within seconds after the pH sensor was swallowed. As a side project, an edible double network gel electrolyte was synthesized for the edible supercapacitor.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Comparison of Encapsulant Degradation between Glass/Backsheet and Glass/Glass Field-aged Photovoltaic Modules

Description

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is the most commonly used encapsulant in photovoltaic modules. However, EVA degrades over time and causes performance losses in PV system. Therefore, EVA degradation is a

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is the most commonly used encapsulant in photovoltaic modules. However, EVA degrades over time and causes performance losses in PV system. Therefore, EVA degradation is a matter of concern from a durability point of view.

This work compares EVA encapsulant degradation in glass/backsheet and glass/glass field-aged PV modules. EVA was extracted from three field-aged modules (two glass/backsheet and one glass/glass modules) from three different manufacturers from various regions (cell edges, cell centers, and non-cell region) from each module based on their visual and UV Fluorescence images. Characterization techniques such as I-V measurements, Colorimetry, Different Scanning Calorimetry, Thermogravimetric Analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy were performed on EVA samples.

The intensity of EVA discoloration was quantified using colorimetric measurements. Module performance parameters like Isc and Pmax degradation rates were calculated from I-V measurements. Properties such as degree of crystallinity, vinyl acetate content and degree of crosslinking were calculated from DSC, TGA, and Raman measurements, respectively. Polyenes responsible for EVA browning were identified in FTIR spectra.

The results from the characterization techniques confirmed that when EVA undergoes degradation, crosslinking in EVA increases beyond 90% causing a decrease in the degree of crystallinity and an increase in vinyl acetate content of EVA. Presence of polyenes in FTIR spectra of degraded EVA confirmed the occurrence of Norrish II reaction. However, photobleaching occurred in glass/backsheet modules due to the breathable backsheet whereas no photobleaching occurred in glass/glass modules because they were hermetically sealed. Hence, the yellowness index along with the Isc and Pmax degradation rates of EVA in glass/glass module is higher than that in glass/backsheet modules.

The results implied that more acetic acid was produced in the non-cell region due to its double layer of EVA compared to the front EVA from cell region. But, since glass/glass module is hermetically sealed, acetic acid gets entrapped inside the module further accelerating EVA degradation whereas it diffuses out through backsheet in glass/backsheet modules. Hence, it can be said that EVA might be a good encapsulant for glass/backsheet modules, but the same cannot be said for glass/glass modules.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2019

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Development of environmentally responsive multifunctional microgel particles: synthesis, characterization and applications

Description

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by the nature of the polymer-solvent interaction. This thesis focuses on design and synthesis of environmentally responsive microgels and their composites, and encompasses methods of utilizing microgel systems in applications as vehicles for the adsorption, retention, and targeted delivery of chemical species. Furthermore, self-assembled microgel particles at ionic liquid (IL)-water interfaces demonstrate responsive colloidal lattice morphology. The thesis first reports on the fundamental aspects of synthesis, functionalization, and characteristic properties of multifunctional environmentally responsive microgels derived from poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) and other functional co-monomers. In particular, the uptake and release of active chemical species such as rheology modifiers into and from these ionic microgels is demonstrated. Moreover, a facile tunable method for the formation of organic-inorganic composites with Fe3O4 nanoparticles adsorbed and embedded within ionic microgel particles is explored. Additionally, the development of zwitterionic microgels (ZI-MG) is presented. These aqueous ZI-MG dispersions exhibit reversible parabolic swelling as a function of pH and display a minimum hydrodynamic diameter at a tunable isoelectric point (IEP). This study also elucidates the controlled uptake and release of surfactants from these particle systems. The extent of surfactant loading and the ensuing relative swelling/deswelling behaviors within the polymer networks are explained in terms of their binding interactions. The latter part of this thesis highlights the versatility of fluorescently labeled microgel particles as stabilizers for IL-water droplets. When the prepared particles form monolayers and equilibrate at the liquid-liquid interface, the colloidal lattice organization may re-order itself depending on the surface charge of these particles. Finally, it is shown that the spontaneously formed and densely packed layers of microgel particles can be employed for extraction applications, as the interface remains permeable to small active species.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2018

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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

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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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

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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Date Created
  • 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

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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Date Created
  • 2017

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3D Printing of Stainless Steel 316L for Corrosive and Low-pressure Environments

Description

Corrosion is one of the key failure modes for stainless steel (SS) piping assets handling water resources managed by utility companies. During downtime, the costs start to incur as the

Corrosion is one of the key failure modes for stainless steel (SS) piping assets handling water resources managed by utility companies. During downtime, the costs start to incur as the field engineer procures its replacement parts. The parts may or may not be in stock depending on how old, complex, and common the part model is. As a result, water utility companies and its resilience to operate amid part failure are a strong function of the supply chain for replacement piping. Metal additive manufacturing (AM) has been widely recognized for its ability to (a) deliver small production scales, (b) address complex part geometries, (c) offer large elemental metal and alloy selections, (d) provide superior material properties. The key motive is to harvest the short lead time of metal AM to explore its use for replacement parts for legacy piping assets in utility-scale water management facilities. In this paper, the goal was to demonstrate 3D printing of stainless steel (SS) 316L parts using selective laser melting (SLM) technology. The corrosion resistance of 3D printed SS 316L was investigated using (a) Chronoamperometry (b) Cyclic Potentiodynamic Polarization (CPP) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and its improved resistance from wrought (conventional) part was also studied. Then the weldability of 3D printed SS 316L to wrought SS 316L was illustrated and finally, the mechanical strength of the weld and the effect of corrosion on weld strength was investigated using uniaxial tensile testing. The results show that 3D printed part compared to the wrought part has a) lower mass loss before and after corrosion, (b) higher pitting potential, and (c) higher charge transfer resistance. The tensile testing of welded dog bone specimens indicates that the 3D printed parts despite being less ductile were observed to have higher weld strength compared to the wrought part. On this basis, metal AM holds great value to be explored further for replacement piping parts owing to their better corrosion resistance and mechanical performance.

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Date Created
  • 2021