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Membrane modification for sensing urine biomarker levels

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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.

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2017-05

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

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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.

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2016-12

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

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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.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Analysis of Free Standing Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Inclusion Nano Composite (ZIFINC) Membranes on Ethanol/Water Separations

Description

Due to the environmental problems caused by global warming, it has become necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. Biofuels, such as ethanol, have proven to release cleaner emissions when combusted. However, large scale production of these alcohols

Due to the environmental problems caused by global warming, it has become necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. Biofuels, such as ethanol, have proven to release cleaner emissions when combusted. However, large scale production of these alcohols is uneconomical and inefficient due to limitations in standard separation processes, the most common being distillation. Pervaporation is a novel separation technique that utilizes a specialized membrane to separate multicomponent solutions. In this research project, pervaporation utilizing ZIF-71/PDMS mixed matrix membranes are investigated to see their ability to recover ethanol from an ethanol/aqueous separation. Membranes with varying nanoparticle concentrations were created and their performances were analyzed. While the final results indicate that no correlation exists between nanoparticle weight percentage and selectivity, this technology is still a promising avenue for biofuel production. Future work will be conducted to improve this existing process and enhance membrane selectivity.

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Date Created
2015-05

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LTA Zeolite Monolayers via the Langmuir-Blodgett Technique

Description

Zeolite thin films and membranes are currently a promising technology for pervaporation, gas separation and water purification. The main drawback with these technologies is that the synthesis is not consistent leading to varied and unreproducible results. The Langmuir-Blodgett technique is

Zeolite thin films and membranes are currently a promising technology for pervaporation, gas separation and water purification. The main drawback with these technologies is that the synthesis is not consistent leading to varied and unreproducible results. The Langmuir-Blodgett technique is a robust method for transferring monolayers of molecules or crystals to a solid substrate. By measuring the surface pressure and controlling the area, reliable results can be achieved by transferring monolayers to different solid substrates. It has been shown previously that various types of zeolites can be functionalized and dispersed on the top of water. This is done by using an alcohol to form a hydrophobic coating on the surface of zeolite. The Langmuir-Blodgett can be used to create thin, compact films of zeolites for synthesizing and growing zeolite films. For the first reported time, cubic LTA Zeolites monolayers have been assembled with the Langmuir-Blodgett technique with multiple solvents and different sizes of zeolites. These films were characterized with Scanning Electron Microscopy and Pressure-Area Isotherms generated from the Langmuir-Blodgett. It was found that linoleic acid is a required addition to the zeolite dispersions to protect the mechanical stability during agitation. Without this addition, the LTA zeolites are broken apart and lose their characteristic cubic structure. This effect is discussed and a theory is presented that the interparticle interactions of the long alkane chain of the linoleic acid help reduce the shear stress on the individual zeolite particles, thus preventing them from being broken. The effect of size of the zeolites on the monolayer formation was also discussed. There seemed to be little correlation between the monolayer quality and formation as size was changed. However, to optimize the process, different concentrations and target pressures are needed. Lastly, the effect of the solvent was explored and it was found that there is a different between monolayer formations for different solvents likely due to differing interparticle interactions. Overall, LTA zeolites were successfully fabricated and the important factors to consider are the zeolite size, the solvent, and the amount of surfactant stabilizer added.

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Date Created
2016-12