Matching Items (16)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

133693-Thumbnail Image.png

Computational Modeling and Experimentation of Pervaporation Membrane Processes for Brackish Water Recovery

Description

Fresh water is essential to the human population and is an integral component in global economics for its multiple uses, and population growth/development cause concern for the possible exhaustion of the limited supply of freshwater. A combined computational and experimental

Fresh water is essential to the human population and is an integral component in global economics for its multiple uses, and population growth/development cause concern for the possible exhaustion of the limited supply of freshwater. A combined computational and experimental approach to observe and evaluate pervaporation membrane performance for brackish water recovery was done to assess its efficiency and practicality for real world application. Results from modeling conveyed accuracy to reported parameter values from literature as well as strong dependence of performance on input parameters such as temperature. Experimentation results showed improved performance in flux by 34%-42% with radiative effect and then additional performance improvement (9%-33%) with the photothermal effect from carbon black application. Future work will include improvements to the model to include scaling propensity and energy consumption as well as continued experimentation to assess quality of pervaporation in water recovery.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133789-Thumbnail Image.png

Mass Transfer Kinetics of Novel Asymmetric Hollow-fiber Membranes

Description

This report investigates the mass-transfer kinetics of gas diffusion through an asymmetrical hollow-fiber membrane developed for the membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) when it is used to microbiologically convert syngas (a mixture of H2, CO2, and CO) to organic products.

This report investigates the mass-transfer kinetics of gas diffusion through an asymmetrical hollow-fiber membrane developed for the membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) when it is used to microbiologically convert syngas (a mixture of H2, CO2, and CO) to organic products. The asymmetric Matrimid® membrane had superior diffusion fluxes compared to commercially available symmetric, three-layer composite and polypropylene single-layer membranes. The Matrimid® asymmetric membrane had a H2 gas-gas diffusion flux between 960- and 1600-fold greater than that of the composite membrane and between 32,000- and 46,800-fold greater than that of the single-layer membrane. Gas-gas diffusion experiments across the Matrimid® membrane also demonstrated plasticization behavior for pure CO2 and H2 gas feeds. In particular, a 10 psia increase in inlet pressure resulted in a 12-fold increase in permeance for H2 and a 16-fold increase for CO2. Plasticization was minimal for symmetric composite and single-layer membranes. Thus, diffusion fluxes were much higher for the asymmetric membrane than for the symmetric composite and single-layer membranes, and this supports the promise of the asymmetric membrane as a high-efficiency means to deliver syngas to biofilms able to convert the syngas to organic products. Gas-liquid diffusion was much slower than gas-gas diffusion, and this supports the benefit of using the MBfR approach over fermentation reactors that rely on sparging syngas.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

Heterogeneous Catalysis for Organic Reactions

Description

This honors thesis is focused on two separate catalysis projects conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Javier Pérez-Ramírez at ETH Zürich. The first project explored ethylene oxychlorination over supported europium oxychloride catalysts. The second project investigated alkyne semihydrogenation over nickel

This honors thesis is focused on two separate catalysis projects conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Javier Pérez-Ramírez at ETH Zürich. The first project explored ethylene oxychlorination over supported europium oxychloride catalysts. The second project investigated alkyne semihydrogenation over nickel phosphide catalysts. This work is the subject of a publication of which I am a co-author, as cited below.

Project 1 Abstract: Ethylene Oxychlorination
The current two-step process for the industrial process of vinyl chloride production involves CuCl2 catalyzed ethylene oxychlorination to ethylene dichloride followed by thermal cracking of the latter to vinyl chloride. To date, no industrial application of a one-step process is available. To close this gap, this work evaluates a wide range of self-prepared supported CeO2 and EuOCl catalysts for one-step production of vinyl chloride from ethylene in a fixed-bed reactor at 623 773 K and 1 bar using feed ratios of C2H4:HCl:O2:Ar:He = 3:3 6:1.5 6:3:82 89.5. Among all studied systems, CeO2/ZrO2 and CeO2/Zeolite MS show the highest activity but suffer from severe combustion of ethylene, forming COx, while 20 wt.% EuOCl/γ-Al2O3 leads to the best vinyl chloride selectivity of 87% at 15.6% C2H4 conversion with complete suppression of CO2 formation and only 4% selectivity to CO conversion for over 100 h on stream. Characterization by XRD and EDX mapping reveals that much of the Eu is present in non-active phases such as Al2Eu or EuAl4, indicating that alternative synthesis methods could be employed to better utilize the metal. A linear relationship between conversion and metal loading is found for this catalyst, indicating that always part of the used Eu is available as EuOCl, while the rest forms inactive europium aluminate species. Zeolite-supported EuOCl slightly outperforms EuOCl/γ Al2O3 in terms of total yield, but is prone to significant coking and is unstable. Even though a lot of Eu seems locked in inactive species on EuOCl/γ Al2O3, these results indicate possible savings of nearly 16,000 USD per kg of catalyst compared to a bulk EuOCl catalyst. These very promising findings constitute a crucial step for process intensification of polyvinyl chloride production and exploring the potential of supported EuOCl catalysts in industrially-relevant reactions.

Project 2 Abstract: Alkyne Semihydrogenation
Despite strongly suffering from poor noble metal utilization and a highly toxic selectivity modifier (Pb), the archetypal catalyst applied for the three-phase alkyne semihydrogenation, the Pb-doped Pd/CaCO3 (Lindlar catalyst), is still being utilized at industrial level. Inspired by the very recent strategies involving the modification of Pd with p-block elements (i.e., S), this work extrapolates the concept by preparing crystalline metal phosphides with controlled stoichiometry. To develop an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional hydrogenation catalysts, nickel, a metal belonging to the same group as Pd and capable of splitting molecular hydrogen has been selected. Herein, a simple two-step synthesis procedure involving nontoxic precursors was used to synthesize bulk nickel phosphides with different stoichiometries (Ni2P, Ni5P4, and Ni12P5) by controlling the P:Ni ratios. To uncover structural and surface features, this catalyst family is characterized with an array of methods including X-ray diffraction (XRD), 31P magic-angle nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Bulk-sensitive techniques prove the successful preparation of pure phases while XPS analysis unravels the facile passivation occurring at the NixPy surface that persists even after reductive treatment. To assess the characteristic surface fingerprints of these materials, Ar sputtering was carried out at different penetration depths, reveling the presence of Ni+ and P-species. Continuous-flow three-phase hydrogenations of short-chain acetylenic compounds display that the oxidized layer covering the surface is reduced under reaction conditions, as evidenced by the induction period before reaching the steady state performance. To assess the impact of the phosphidation treatment on catalytic performance, the catalysts were benchmarked against a commercial Ni/SiO2-Al2O3 sample. While Ni/SiO2-Al2O3 presents very low selectivity to the alkene (the selectivity is about 10% at full conversion) attributed to the well-known tendency of naked nickel nanoparticles to form hydrides, the performance of nickel phosphides is highly selective and independent of P:Ni ratio. In line with previous findings on PdxS, kinetic tests indicate the occurrence of a dual-site mechanism where the alkyne and hydrogen do not compete for the same site.

This work is the subject of a publication of which I am a co-author, as cited below.

D. Albani; K. Karajovic; B. Tata; Q. Li; S. Mitchell; N. López; J. Pérez-Ramírez. Ensemble Design in Nickel Phosphide Catalysts for Alkyne Semi-Hydrogenation. ChemCatChem 2019. doi.org/10.1002/cctc.201801430

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

134518-Thumbnail Image.png

Construction and Operation of a Hollow Fiber Membrane Spinning Apparatus

Description

This study details the construction and operation of a dry-jet wet spinning apparatus for extruding hollow fiber membranes (HFMs). The main components of the apparatus are a spinneret, a coagulation bath, and an automatic collection reel. Continuous fiber formation was

This study details the construction and operation of a dry-jet wet spinning apparatus for extruding hollow fiber membranes (HFMs). The main components of the apparatus are a spinneret, a coagulation bath, and an automatic collection reel. Continuous fiber formation was achieved using two syringe pumps simultaneously delivering polymer dope and bore fluid to the spinneret. Based on apparatus runs performed with Polysulfone (PSF) dopes dissolved in N,N-Dimethylacetamide and supporting rheological analysis, the entanglement concentration, ce, was identified as a minimum processing threshold for creating HFMs. Similarly, significant increases in the ultimate tensile strength, fracture strain, and Young's modulus for extruded HFMs were observed as polymer dope concentration was increased at levels near ce. Beyond this initial increase, subsequent tests at higher PSF concentrations yielded diminishing changes in mechanical properties, suggesting an asymptotic approach to a point where the trend would cease. Without further research, it is theorized that this point falls on a transition from the semidiute entangled to concentrated concentration regimes. SEM imaging of samples revealed the formation of grooved structures on the inner surface of samples, which was determined to be a result of the low flowrate and polymer dope concentrations used in processing the HFMs during apparatus runs. Based on continued operation of the preliminary apparatus design, many areas of improvement were noted. Namely, these consisted of controlling the collector speed, eliminating rubbing of nascent fibers against the edge of the coagulation bath by installing an elevated roller, and replacing tygon tubing for the polymer line with a luer lock adapter for direct syringe attachment to the spinneret.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2017-05

Membrane modification for sensing urine biomarker levels

Description

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) may be detected through biomarkers in urine. This research is being done to develop a membrane for use in separating urine biomarkers to monitor their level. A hydrophobic membrane was treated to improve separation of the

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) may be detected through biomarkers in urine. This research is being done to develop a membrane for use in separating urine biomarkers to monitor their level. A hydrophobic membrane was treated to improve separation of the desired biomarker for colorimetric sensing. This method was tested with model solutions containing the biomarker. Future work will extend to testing with real urine.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

135442-Thumbnail Image.png

A Stability Study of the MOF-5 Membrane

Description

Within recent years, metal-organic frameworks, or MOF’s, have gained a lot of attention in the materials research community. These micro-porous materials are constructed of a metal oxide core and organic linkers, and have a wide-variety of applications due to their

Within recent years, metal-organic frameworks, or MOF’s, have gained a lot of attention in the materials research community. These micro-porous materials are constructed of a metal oxide core and organic linkers, and have a wide-variety of applications due to their extensive material characteristic possibilities. The focus of this study is the MOF-5 material, specifically its chemical stability in air. The MOF-5 material has a large pore size of 8 Å, and aperture sizes of 15 and 12 Å. The pore size, pore functionality, and physically stable structure makes MOF-5 a desirable material. MOF-5 holds applications in gas/liquid separation, catalysis, and gas storage. The main problem with the MOF-5 material, however, is its instability in atmospheric air. This inherent instability is due to the water in air binding to the zinc-oxide core, effectively changing the material and its structure. Because of this material weakness, the MOF-5 material is difficult to be utilized in industrial applications. Through the research efforts proposed by this study, the stability of the MOF-5 powder and membrane were studied. MOF-5 powder and a MOF-5 membrane were synthesized and characterized using XRD analysis. In an attempt to improve the stability of MOF-5 in air, methyl groups were added to the organic linker in order to hinder the interaction of water with the Zn4O core. This was done by replacing the terepthalic acid organic linker with 2,5-dimethyl terephthalic acid in the powder and membrane synthesis steps. The methyl-modified MOF-5 powder was found to be stable after several days of exposure to air while the MOF-5 powder exhibited significant crystalline change. The methyl-modified membrane was found to be unstable when synthesized using the same procedure as the MOF-5 membrane.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

134902-Thumbnail Image.png

Bi-phase Synthesis of the Zirconium Metal-Organic Framework, UiO-66

Description

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward specific applications. Zirconium MOFs in particular are known for their high stability under standard temperature and pressure due to the strength of the Zirconium-Oxygen coordination bond. However, the acid modulator needed to ensure long range order of the product also prevents complete linker deprotonation. This leads to a powder product that cannot easily be incorporated into continuous MOF membranes. This study therefore implemented a new bi-phase synthesis technique with a deprotonating agent to achieve intergrowth in UiO-66 membranes. Crystal intergrowth will allow for effective gas separations and future permeation testing. During experimentation, successful intergrown UiO-66 membranes were synthesized and characterized. The degree of intergrowth and crystal orientations varied with changing deprotonating agent concentration, modulator concentration, and ligand:modulator ratios. Further studies will focus on achieving the same results on porous substrates.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

136987-Thumbnail Image.png

Model Membrane System to Determine Water Permeability of Linde Type A Zeolite

Description

In this research, construction of a model membrane system using Polyvinylidene Chloride-Co Acrylonitrile and Linde Type A zeolites is described. The systems aims to separate out flow through zeolite pores and flow through interfaces between zeolites and polymers through the

In this research, construction of a model membrane system using Polyvinylidene Chloride-Co Acrylonitrile and Linde Type A zeolites is described. The systems aims to separate out flow through zeolite pores and flow through interfaces between zeolites and polymers through the use of pore filled and pore open zeolites. Permeation tests and salt rejection tests were performed, and the data analyzed to yield approximation of separated flow through zeolites and interfaces. This work concludes the more work is required to bring the model system into a functioning state. New polymer selections and new techniques to produce the membrane system are described for future work.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

135735-Thumbnail Image.png

Effects of Aging and Crystallization Time and Temperature in the Synthesis of Ideal Zeolite Linde Type A

Description

One of the grand challenges of engineering is to provide access to clean water because it is predicted that by 2025 more than two thirds of the world’s population will face severe water shortages. To combat this global issue,

One of the grand challenges of engineering is to provide access to clean water because it is predicted that by 2025 more than two thirds of the world’s population will face severe water shortages. To combat this global issue, our lab focuses on creating a novel composite membrane to recover potable water from waste. For use as the water-selective component in this membrane design Linde Type A zeolites were synthesized for optimal size without the use of a template. Current template-free synthesis of zeolite LTA produces particles that are too large for our application therefore the particle size was reduced in this study to reduce fouling of the membrane while also investigating the nanoparticle synthesis mechanisms. The time and temperature of the reaction and the aging of the precursor gel were systematically modified and observed to determine the optimal conditions for producing the particles. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and energy dispersive x-ray analysis were used for characterization. Sub-micron sized particles were synthesized at 2 weeks aging time at -8°C with an average size of 0.6 micrometers, a size suitable for our membrane. There is a limit to the posterity and uniformity of particles produced from modifying the reaction time and temperature. All results follow general crystallization theory. Longer aging produced smaller particles, consistent with nucleation theory. Spinodal decomposition is predicted to affect nucleation clustering during aging due to the temperature scheme. Efforts will be made to shorten the effective aging time and these particles will eventually be incorporated into our mixed matrix osmosis membrane.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

137034-Thumbnail Image.png

Synthesis and Characterization of Thin Supported PDMS/ZIF-71 Films for Pervaporative Biofuel Recovery

Description

The recovery of biofuels permits renewable alternatives to present day fossil fuels that cause devastating effects on the planet. Pervaporation is a separation process that shows promise for the separation of ethanol from biologically fermentation broths. The performance of thin

The recovery of biofuels permits renewable alternatives to present day fossil fuels that cause devastating effects on the planet. Pervaporation is a separation process that shows promise for the separation of ethanol from biologically fermentation broths. The performance of thin film composite membranes of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and zeolite imidazolate frameworks (ZIF-71) dip coated onto a porous substrate are analyzed. Pervaporation performance factors of flux, separation factor and selectivity are measured for varying ZIF-71 loadings of pure PDMS, 5 wt%, 12.5 wt% and 25 wt% at 60 oC with a 2 wt% ethanol/water feed. The increase in ZIF-71 loadings increased the performance of PDMS to produce higher flux, higher separation factor and high selectivity than pure polymeric films.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05