Matching Items (13)

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Controlling nanochannel dimensions in graphene oxide for the fabrication of graphene-based desalination membranes

Description

The purpose of this research was to produce reduced graphene oxides for the fabrication of desalination membranes. Graphene has typically been considered a way to create more energy efficient

The purpose of this research was to produce reduced graphene oxides for the fabrication of desalination membranes. Graphene has typically been considered a way to create more energy efficient desalination membranes. However, graphene is expensive and unstable, while graphene oxide has similar properties, but is less expensive and more stable. Graphene oxide membranes have the potential to perform above the permeability-selectivity tradeoff that is typical in membranes through size-based exclusion. Reduction through heat or Vitamin C reduces the size of graphene oxide nanochannels so salt and organic materials can be rejected in higher numbers. Both reduced and unreduced graphene oxide membranes were created and evaluated by their ability to filter dye and salt in a pressurized membrane cell. The permeability and rejection of the graphene oxide membrane is found to be dependent on the oxidation level of the graphene oxide material and the concentration on the graphene oxide on the membrane. Unreduced graphene oxide membranes were created in three concentrations: 7.37, 14.74, and 29.47 μg/cm2. As graphene oxide concentration increased, dye rejection and salt rejection increased, while water flux decreased. Graphene oxide was reduced in solution using Vitamin C and was used to create a 14.74 μg/cm2 membrane. The reduction resulted in an increase in salt rejection from 12.59% to 100%, an increase in dye rejection from 30.44% to 100%, and a decrease in water flux from 9.502 to 0.198 L/(hr*m2*bar). Future research should focus on creating membranes using different methods of synthesizing graphene oxide from graphene and creating a reduced graphene oxide membrane with a higher water flux.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Evaluating the Efficiency of a Cold Trap Condenser

Description

Water scarcity is still an issue across the globe, so nonconventional desalination methods need to be developed to be able to get access to clean, safe water. One such method

Water scarcity is still an issue across the globe, so nonconventional desalination methods need to be developed to be able to get access to clean, safe water. One such method being studied is the pervaporation system, a membrane process that uses a vapor pressure differential to drive the system. There is a need to find the efficiency of the cold trap condenser that is used to collect the permeate so that a thermodynamic model can be fully developed to assist in the development of an industrial scale pervaporation system. An efficiency was not able to be confidently found, but it is believe to be between 95-100%.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Analysis of the Reverse Osmosis Process

Description

This paper considers the state of desalination today and explores improvement of the reverse osmosis process via exergy analysis. Various methods of desalination in place today were explored, along with

This paper considers the state of desalination today and explores improvement of the reverse osmosis process via exergy analysis. Various methods of desalination in place today were explored, along with the proportion of each of those methods in use today. From literature reviews, it was found the reverse osmosis (RO) and multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination were the main methods of desalination in use today. Desalination is an energy intensive process and so this paper aimed to address this issue in three ways: by exploring various coupling with renewable energy sources, carrying out an exergy analysis on the MSF and RO processes, and finally exploring conceptual methods of interest. It was found that concentrated solar power was best suited for the MSF process, since the MSF process require direct heat. Wind energy was best suited for the RO process, since RO was less energy intensive and so could account for wind variability. The exergy analysis demonstrated very low second law efficiency for both desalination processes (~4%), with most of the exergy being destroyed in the separation process (~75%). The RO process also demonstrated a higher efficiency and lower exergy destruction, reinforcing the conlcusion that RO is the less energy intensive of the two. Based on the analysis, it was found throttling valves account for the next highest exergy destruction after the separation process. An alternate plant design was proposed to fully utilize wasted pressure, which resulted in less energy consumption. Finally, two conceptual methods, a mobile desalination plant and the Hybrid process, were explored that could potentially make the RO process a more valuable asset to society and more economically viable with a higher yield

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Viability of Solar Stills for Desalination

Description

This thesis investigates the viability of a solar still for desalination of a personal water supply. The end goal of the project is to create a design that meets the

This thesis investigates the viability of a solar still for desalination of a personal water supply. The end goal of the project is to create a design that meets the output requirement while tailoring the components to focus on low cost so it would be feasible in the impoverished areas of the world. The primary requirement is an output of 3 liters of potable water per day, the minimum necessary for an adult human. The study examines the effect of several design parameters, such as the basin material, basin thickness, starting water depth, basin dimensions, cover material, cover angle, and cover thickness. A model for the performance of a solar still was created in MATLAB to simulate the system's behavior and sensitivity to these parameters. An instrumented prototype solar still demonstrated viability of the concept and provided data for validation of the MATLAB model.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Direct Solar–powered Membrane Distillation for Small–scale Desalination Applications

Description

Water desalination has become one of the viable solutions to provide drinking water in regions with limited natural resources. This is particularly true in small communities in arid regions, which

Water desalination has become one of the viable solutions to provide drinking water in regions with limited natural resources. This is particularly true in small communities in arid regions, which suffer from low rainfall, declining surface water and increasing salinity of groundwater. Yet, current desalination methods are difficult to be implemented in these areas due to their centralized large-scale design. In addition, these methods require intensive maintenance, and sometimes do not operate in high salinity feedwater. Membrane distillation (MD) is one technology that can potentially overcome these challenges and has received increasing attention in the last 15 years. The driving force of MD is the difference in vapor pressure across a microporous hydrophobic membrane. Compared to conventional membrane-based technologies, MD can treat high concentration feedwater, does not need intensive pretreatment, and has better fouling resistance. More importantly, MD operates at low feed temperatures and so it can utilize low–grade heat sources such as solar energy for its operation. While the integration of solar energy and MD was conventionally indirect (i.e. by having two separate systems: a solar collector and an MD module), recent efforts were focused on direct integration where the membrane itself is integrated within a solar collector aiming to have a more compact, standalone design suitable for small-scale applications. In this dissertation, a comprehensive review of these efforts is discussed in Chapter 2. Two novel direct solar-powered MD systems were proposed and investigated experimentally: firstly, a direct contact MD (DCMD) system was designed by placing capillary membranes within an evacuated tube solar collector (ETC) (Chapter 3), and secondly, a submerged vacuum MD (S-VMD) system that uses circulation and aeration as agitation techniques was investigated (Chapter 4). A maximum water production per absorbing area of 0.96 kg·m–2·h–1 and a thermal efficiency of 0.51 were achieved. A final study was conducted to investigate the effect of ultrasound in an S-VMD unit (Chapter 5), which significantly enhanced the permeate flux (up to 24%) and reduced the specific energy consumption (up to 14%). The results add substantially to the understanding of integrating ultrasound with different MD processes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Analysis and implementation of polyphase alternating current bi-ionic propulsion system for desalination of water

Description

Scarcity of potable water is one of the major problems faced in the world today. Majority of this problem can be solved if technology is developed to obtain potable water

Scarcity of potable water is one of the major problems faced in the world today. Majority of this problem can be solved if technology is developed to obtain potable water from brackish or saline water. The present desalination methods face challenges such as high costs in terms of energy consumption and infrastructure, physical size of the system, requirement of membrane and high pressure systems and hence have been facing various issues in implementation of the same.

This research provides a new low pressure, low energy, portable method to desalinate water without the need for separation membranes, heat or chemical reactions. This method is energy efficient, cost effective, compact, environment friendly and suitable for portable desalination units. This technology, named as Polyphase Alternating current Bi-Ionic Propulsion System (PACBIPS) makes use of polyphase alternating current source to create a gradient in salt concentration. The gradient in salt concentration is achieved due to the creation of a traveling wave which attracts anions on its positive peak (crests) and cations on its negative peak (troughs) and travels along a central pipe thereby flushing the ions down.

Another method of PACBIPS is based on Helmholtz capacitor which involves the formation of an electric double layer between the electrode and electrolyte consisting of equal and opposite ions which can be approximated as a capacitor. Charging and discharging this capacitor helps adsorb the ions onto a carbon electrode which has high surface area and electrical conductivity. This desalinates seawater and provides pure water. Mathematical modeling, analysis and implementation of the two methods have

been presented in this work. The effects of zeta potential, electric field screening, electric mobility on desalination have been discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Passive and active surfaces to reduce fouling of membranes and membane modules

Description

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed spacers, various coatings were applied. The results showed silver-coated biocidal spacers outperformed other spacers by all measures. The control polypropylene spacers performed in-line with, or better than, the other coatings. Polypropylene’s relative anti-adhesiveness is due to its surface free energy (SFE; 30.0 +/- 2.8 mN/m), which, according to previously generated models, is near the ideal SFE for resisting adhesion of bacteria and organics (~25 mN/m).

Previous research has indicated that electrochemical surfaces can be used to remove biofilms. To better elucidate the conditions and kinetics of biofilm removal, optical coherence tomography microscopy was used to visualize the biofouling and subsequent cleaning of the surface. The 50.0 mA cm-2 and 87.5 mA cm-2 current densities proved most effective in removing the biofilm. The 50.0 mA cm-2 condition offers the best balance between performance and energy use for anodic operation.

To test the potential to incorporate electrochemical coatings into infrastructure, membranes were coated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), rendering the membranes electrochemically active. These membranes were biofouled and subsequently cleaned via electrochemical reactions. P. aeruginosa was given 72h to develop a biofilm on the CNT-coated membranes in a synthetic medium simulating desalination brines. Cathodic reactions, which generate H2 gas, produce vigorous bubbling at a current density of 12.5 mA cm-2 and higher, leading to a rapid and complete displacement of the biofilm from the CNT-functionalized membrane surface. In comparison, anodic reactions were unable to disperse the biofilms from the surface at similar current densities.

The scaling behavior of a nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation (NESMD) system was investigated. The results showed the NESMD system to be resistant to scaling. The system operated without any decline in flux up to concentrations 6x higher than the initial salt concentration (8,439 mg/L), whereas in traditional membrane distillation (MD), flux essentially stopped at a salt concentration factor of 2x. Microscope and analytical analyses showed more fouling on the membranes from the MD system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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

Description

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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Graphene oxide mixed matrix membranes for improved desalination performance

Description

Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are considered the most effective treatment to remove salt from water. Specifically, thin film composite (TFC) membranes are considered the gold standard for RO. Despite TFC

Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are considered the most effective treatment to remove salt from water. Specifically, thin film composite (TFC) membranes are considered the gold standard for RO. Despite TFC membranes good performance, there are drawbacks to consider including: permeability-selectivity tradeoff, chlorine damage, and biofouling potential. In order to counter these drawbacks, polyamide matrixes were embedded with various nanomaterials called mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) or thin film nanocomposites (TFNs). This research investigates the use of graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) into the polyamide matrix of a TFC membrane. GO and RGO have the potential to alter the permeability-selectivity trade off by offering nanochannels for water molecules to sieve through, protect polyamide from trace amounts of chlorine, as well as increase the hydrophilicity of the membrane thereby reducing biofouling potential. This project focuses on the impacts of GO on the permeability selectivity tradeoff. The hypothesis of this work is that the permeability and selectivity of GO can be tuned by controlling the oxidation level of the material. To test this hypothesis, a range of GO materials were produced in the lab using different graphite oxidation methods. The synthesized GOs were characterized by X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron microscopy to show that the spacing is a function of the GO oxygen content. From these materials, two were selected due to their optimal sheet spacing between 3.4 and 7 angstroms and embedded into desalination MMM. This work reveals that the water permeability coefficient of MMM embedded with GO and RGO increased significantly; however, that the salt permeability coefficient of the membrane also increased. Future research directions are proposed to overcome this limitation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Efficiency improvements in a horizontal humidification-dehumidification unit

Description

The horizontal desalination units belonging to the humidification-dehumidification family purify water using air as a carrier gas. The temperature required for separation can vary from ambient to 99 °C so

The horizontal desalination units belonging to the humidification-dehumidification family purify water using air as a carrier gas. The temperature required for separation can vary from ambient to 99 °C so waste heat, fuel combustion, or solar collectors can drive the process. A unit in which air flows horizontally affords several advantages over similar vertical “Dewvaporation” towers (as an example), including ease of construction and potentially increased efficiency. The objective was to build and test horizontal units and identify areas of potential efficiency improvements. The desalination units consisted of: 1.) A series of aligned, corrugated, polypropylene sheets covered on the outside with absorbent, water-wettable cloth. 2.) A basin that caught saline water flowing downward from the absorbent cloth. 3.) Ten pumps to cycle the basin water back onto the cloth. 4.) An air blower on the front of the unit that drove air horizontally across the cloth, increasing the humidity of the air. 5.) A steam generator on the back of the unit producing steam that mixed with the incoming air to increase the temperature and humidity. 6) A steam box that caused the air to mix with the steam and return to flow inside the corrugations in the plastic sheets, creating a countercurrent heat exchanger as the exiting air transferred its heat to the incoming air and causing purified water to condense from the cooling, oversaturated air. The tested unit produced distillate at a rate of 0.87 gallons per hour with 13 parts per million total dissolved solids and an energy reuse factor of 2.5. Recommendations include the implementation of a continuous longitudinal pump design, a modification of the basin to accommodate top and bottom unit center dividers, increase in insulation coverage, and optimization of air flow rate.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015