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

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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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2015-05

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Synthesis of amine-modified aerogel sorbents and metal-organic framework-5 (MOF-5) membranes for carbon dioxide separation

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Amine-modified solid sorbents and membrane separation are promising technologies for separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from combustion flue gas. Amine absorption processes are mature, but still have room for improvement. This work focused on the synthesis of amine-modified

Amine-modified solid sorbents and membrane separation are promising technologies for separation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from combustion flue gas. Amine absorption processes are mature, but still have room for improvement. This work focused on the synthesis of amine-modified aerogels and metal-organic framework-5 (MOF-5) membranes for CO2 separation. A series of solid sorbents were synthesized by functionalizing amines on the surface of silica aerogels. This was done by three coating methods: physical adsorption, magnetically assisted impact coating (MAIC) and atomic layer deposition (ALD). CO2 adsorption capacity of the sorbents was measured at room temperature in a Cahn microbalance. The sorbents synthesized by physical adsorption show the largest CO2 adsorption capacity (1.43-1.63 mmol CO2/g). An additional sorbent synthesized by ALD on hydrophilic aerogels at atmospheric pressures shows an adsorption capacity of 1.23 mmol CO2/g. Studies on one amine-modified sorbent show that the powder is of agglomerate bubbling fluidization (ABF) type. The powder is difficult to fluidize and has limited bed expansion. The ultimate goal is to configure the amine-modified sorbents in a micro-jet assisted gas fluidized bed to conduct adsorption studies. MOF-5 membranes were synthesized on α-alumina supports by two methods: in situ synthesis and secondary growth synthesis. Characterization by scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging and X-ray diffraction (XRD) show that the membranes prepared by both methods have a thickness of 14-16 μm, and a MOF-5 crystal size of 15-25 μm with no apparent orientation. Single gas permeation results indicate that the gas transport through both membranes is determined by a combination of Knudsen diffusion and viscous flow. The contribution of viscous flow indicates that the membranes have defects.

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2010