Matching Items (12)

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Quantifying Biological Hydrogen Demand of Sediments

Description

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic processes. The goal of this study was to quantitatively measure the total biological hydrogen demand (TBHD) of soils and sediments in anaerobic environments. We define the total biological hydrogen demand as the sum of all electron acceptors that can be used by hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms. Three sets of anaerobic microcosms were set up with different soils/sediments, named Carolina, Garden, and ASM. The microcosms included 25g of soil/sediment and 75 mL of anaerobic medium. 10 mL of hydrogen were pulse-fed for 100 days. Hydrogen consumption and methane production were tracked using gas chromatography. Chemical analysis of each soil was performed at the beginning of the experiment to determine the concentration of electron acceptors in the soils/sediments, including nitrate, sulfate, iron and bicarbonate. An analysis of the microbial community was done at t = 0 and at the end of the 100 days to examine changes in the microbial community due to the metabolic processes occurring as hydrogen was consumed. Carolina consumed 9810 43 mol of hydrogen and produced 19,572 2075 mol of methane. Garden consumed 4006 33 mol of hydrogen and produced 7,239 543 mol of methane. Lastly, ASM consumed 1557 84 mol of hydrogen and produced 1,325 715 mol of methane. I conclude that the concentration of bicarbonate initially present in the soil had the most influence over the hydrogen demand and microbial community enrichment. To improve this research, I recommend that future studies include a chemical analysis of final soil geochemistry conditions, as this will provide with a better idea of what pathway the hydrogen is taking in each soil.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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A Hydrogen (1H) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Method for Amino Acid Analysis

Description

Amino acid analysis (AAA) of egg white lysozyme and bovine Achilles tendon collagen was performed using 1H solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The proteins were hydrolyzed in 6M HCL

Amino acid analysis (AAA) of egg white lysozyme and bovine Achilles tendon collagen was performed using 1H solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The proteins were hydrolyzed in 6M HCL with and without 0.02% phenol at 110\u00B0C for 24, 48, and 72 hours. For both proteins, 18 of 20 amino acids were characterized including hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine in collagen, using 1-dimensional (1D) and 2-dimensional (2D) NMR spectroscopy experiments. Errors ranging from <1% to 8% were seen in treatments with and without phenol. Both proteins could be correctly identified within their own species using the online database search AACompIdent. The proposed approach is a simple analytical technique that does not require the use of column separation or amino acid derivatization prior to compositional analysis.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Effects of Hydrostatic Loading on Hydrogen Diffusion in Nickel

Description

Hydrogen diffusion causes brittleness and cracking at stresses below the yield strength of susceptible metals. The effects of hydrostatic loading on the rate of hydrogen diffusion is relatively unknown. A

Hydrogen diffusion causes brittleness and cracking at stresses below the yield strength of susceptible metals. The effects of hydrostatic loading on the rate of hydrogen diffusion is relatively unknown. A study of these effects will provide a better understanding in the design process for accounting for the resulting hydrogen embrittlement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Optimizing the Production of Algal Biohydrogen

Description

The oxygen sensitivity of hydrogenase is a large barrier in maximizing the efficiency of algal hydrogen production, despite recent efforts aimed at rewiring photosynthesis. This project focuses on the role

The oxygen sensitivity of hydrogenase is a large barrier in maximizing the efficiency of algal hydrogen production, despite recent efforts aimed at rewiring photosynthesis. This project focuses on the role of photosystem II (PSII) in extended hydrogen production by cells expressing the PSI-HydA1 chimera, with the goal of optimizing continuous production of photobiohydrogen in the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Experiments utilizing an artificial PSII electron
Therefore, it can be concluded that downstream processes are limiting the electron flow to the hydrogenase. It was also shown that the use of a PSII inhibitor, 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1- dimethylurea (DCMU), at sub-saturating concentrations under light exposure during growth temporarily improves the duration of the H2 evolution phase. The maximal hydrogen production rate was found to be approximately 32 nmol h-1 (µg Chl)-1. Although downregulation of PSII activity with DCMU improves the long-term hydrogen production, future experiments must be focused on improving oxygen tolerance of the hydrogenase as a means for higher hydrogen yields.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Improving cyanobacterial hydrogen production through bioprospecting of natural microbial communities

Description

Some cyanobacteria can generate hydrogen (H2) under certain physiological conditions and are considered potential agents for biohydrogen production. However, they also present low amounts of H2 production, a reaction reversal

Some cyanobacteria can generate hydrogen (H2) under certain physiological conditions and are considered potential agents for biohydrogen production. However, they also present low amounts of H2 production, a reaction reversal towards H2 consumption, and O2 sensitivity. Most attempts to improve H2 production have involved genetic or metabolic engineering approaches. I used a bio-prospecting approach instead to find novel strains that are naturally more apt for biohydrogen production. A set of 36, phylogenetically diverse strains isolated from terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments were probed for their potential to produce H2 from excess reductant. Two distinct patterns in H2 production were detected. Strains displaying Pattern 1, as previously known from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, produced H2 only temporarily, reverting to H2 consumption within a short time and after reaching only moderately high H2 concentrations. By contrast, Pattern 2 cyanobacteria, in the genera Lyngbya and Microcoleus, displayed high production rates, did not reverse the direction of the reaction and reached much higher steady-state H2 concentrations. L. aestuarii BL J, an isolate from marine intertidal mats, had the fastest production rates and reached the highest steady-state concentrations, 15-fold higher than that observed in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Because all Pattern 2 strains originated in intertidal microbial mats that become anoxic in dark, it was hypothesized that their strong hydrogenogenic capacity may have evolved to aid in fermentation of the photosynthate. When forced to ferment, these cyanobacteria display similarly desirable characteristics of physiological H2 production. Again, L. aestuarii BL J had the fastest specific rates and attained the highest H2 concentrations during fermentation, which proceeded via a mixed-acid pathway to yield acetate, ethanol, lactate, H2, CO2 and pyruvate. The genome of L. aestuarii BL J was sequenced and bioinformatically compared to other cyanobacterial genomes to ascertain any potential genetic or structural basis for powerful H2 production. The association hcp exclusively in Pattern 2 strains suggests its possible role in increased H2 production. This study demonstrates the value of bioprospecting approaches to biotechnology, pointing to the strain L. aestuarii BL J as a source of useful genetic information or as a potential platform for biohydrogen production.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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A computational and theoretical study of conductance in hydrogen-bonded molecular junctions

Description

This thesis is devoted to the theoretical and computational study of electron transport in molecular junctions where one or more hydrogen bonds are involved in the process. While electron transport

This thesis is devoted to the theoretical and computational study of electron transport in molecular junctions where one or more hydrogen bonds are involved in the process. While electron transport through covalent bonds has been extensively studied, in recent work the focus has been shifted towards hydrogen-bonded systems due to their ubiquitous presence in biological systems and their potential in forming nano- junctions between molecular electronic devices and biological systems.

This analysis allows us to significantly expand our comprehension of the experimentally observed result that the inclusion of hydrogen bonding in a molecular junc- tion significantly impacts its transport properties, a fact that has important implications for our understanding of transport through DNA, and nano-biological interfaces in general. In part of this work I have explored the implications of quasiresonant transport in short chains of weakly-bonded molecular junctions involving hydrogen bonds. I used theoretical and computational analysis to interpret recent experiments and explain the role of Fano resonances in the transmission properties of the junction.

In a different direction, I have undertaken the study of the transversal conduction through nucleotide chains that involve a variable number of different hydrogen bonds, e.g. NH···O, OH···O, and NH···N, which are the three most prevalent hydrogen bonds in biological systems and organic electronics. My effort here has fo- cused on the analysis of electronic descriptors that allow a simplified conceptual and computational understanding of transport properties. Specifically, I have expanded our previous work where the molecular polarizability was used as a conductance de- scriptor to include the possibility of atomic and bond partitions of the molecular polarizability. This is important because it affords an alternative molecular descrip- tion of conductance that is not based on the conventional view of molecular orbitals as transport channels. My findings suggest that the hydrogen-bond networks are crucial in understanding the conductance of these junctions.

A broader impact of this work pertains the fact that characterizing transport through hydrogen bonding networks may help in developing faster and cost-effective approaches to personalized medicine, to advance DNA sequencing and implantable electronics, and to progress in the design and application of new drugs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Hydrogen in the Nominally Anhydrous Phases and Possible Hydrous Phases in the Lower Mantle

Description

The transport of hydrogen to the Earth’s deep interior remains uncertain. The upper mantle minerals have very low hydrogen solubilities (hundreds of ppm). The hydrogen storage capability in

The transport of hydrogen to the Earth’s deep interior remains uncertain. The upper mantle minerals have very low hydrogen solubilities (hundreds of ppm). The hydrogen storage capability in the transition zone minerals (2 wt%) is high compared to those of the upper mantle. The hydrogen storage in the lower mantle is not well known. The main minerals in the lower mantle bridgmanite and ferropericlase have very low hydrogen storage capacities (less than 20 ppm). In order to further understand the hydrogen storage in the lower mantle, a series of experiments had been conducted to simulate the environment similar to the Earth’s mantle. The experiments with hydrous Mg2SiO4 ringwoodite (Rw) show that it converts to crystalline dense hydrous silica, stishovite (Stv) or CaCl2-type SiO2(mStv), containing ∼1 wt% H2O together with bridgmanite (Brd) and MgO at the pressure-temperature conditions expected for lower mantle depths between approximately 660 to 1600 km. Brd would break down partially to dense hydrous silica (6–25 mol%) and(Mg,Fe)O in mid-mantle regions with 0.05–0.27 wt% H2O. The hydrous stishovite has a CaCl2 structure, which is common among hydrous minerals in the lower mantle. Based on this observation, I hypothesize the existence of hydrous phases in the lower mantle. The experiments found a new hexagonal iron hydroxide (η-Fe12O18+x/2Hx) between the stability fields of the epsilon and pyrite-type FeOOH at 60–80 GPa and high temperature. The new phase contains less H2O, limiting the H2O transport from the shallow to the deep mantle in the Fe–O–H system. Possible hydrogen storage in Ca-perovskite was studied. CaPv could contain 0.5–1 wt% water and the water in CaPv could distort the crystal structure of CaPv from cubic to tetragonal structure. In conclusion, hydrogen can be stored in hydrous stishovite in the shallower depth of the lower mantle. At greater depth, the new η phase and pyrite-type phase would take over the hydrogen storage. The role of CaPv in deep water storage needs to be considered in future studies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The effect of defects on functional properties of niobium for superconducting radio-frequency cavities: a first-principles study

Description

Niobium is the primary material for fabricating superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities. However, presence of impurities and defects degrade the superconducting behavior of niobium twofold, first by nucleating non-superconducting phases and

Niobium is the primary material for fabricating superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities. However, presence of impurities and defects degrade the superconducting behavior of niobium twofold, first by nucleating non-superconducting phases and second by increasing the residual surface resistance of cavities. In particular, niobium absorbs hydrogen during cavity fabrication and promotes precipitation of non-superconducting niobium hydride phases. Additionally, magnetic flux trapping at defects leads to a normal conducting (non-superconducting) core which increases surface resistance and negatively affects niobium performance for superconducting applications. However, undelaying mechanisms related to hydride formation and dissolution along with defect interaction with magnetic fields is still unclear. Therefore, this dissertation aims to investigate the role of defects and impurities on functional properties of niobium for SRF cavities using first-principles methods.

Here, density functional theory calculations revealed that nitrogen addition suppressed hydrogen absorption interstitially and at grain boundaries, and it also decreased the energetic stability of niobium hydride precipitates present in niobium. Further, hydrogen segregation at the screw dislocation was observed to transform the dislocation core structure and increase the barrier for screw dislocation motion. Valence charge transfer calculations displayed a strong tendency of nitrogen to accumulate charge around itself, thereby decreasing the strength of covalent bonds between niobium and hydrogen leading to a very unstable state for interstitial hydrogen and hydrides. Thus, presence of nitrogen during processing plays a critical role in controlling hydride precipitation and subsequent SRF properties.

First-principles methods were further implemented to gain a theoretical perspective about the experimental observations that lattice defects are effective at trapping magnetic flux in high-purity superconducting niobium. Full-potential linear augmented plane-wave methods were used to analyze the effects of magnetic field on the superconducting state surrounding these defects. A considerable amount of trapped flux was obtained at the dislocation core and grain boundaries which can be attributed to significantly different electronic structure of defects as compared to bulk niobium. Electron redistribution at defects enhances non-paramagnetic effects that perturb superconductivity, resulting in local conditions suitable for flux trapping. Therefore, controlling accumulation or depletion of charge at the defects could mitigate these tendencies and aid in improving superconductive behavior of niobium.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Crystalline and amorphous metallic membranes for hydrogen separation

Description

In the United States, 95% of the industrially produced hydrogen is from natural gas reforming. Membrane-based techniques offer great potential for energy efficient hydrogen separations. Pd77Ag23 is the bench-mark metallic

In the United States, 95% of the industrially produced hydrogen is from natural gas reforming. Membrane-based techniques offer great potential for energy efficient hydrogen separations. Pd77Ag23 is the bench-mark metallic membrane material for hydrogen separation at high temperatures. However, the high cost of palladium limits widespread application. Amorphous metals with lower cost elements are one alternative to replace palladium-based membranes. The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the potential of binary and ternary amorphous metallic membranes for hydrogen separation. First, as a benchmark, the influence of surface state of Pd77Ag23 crystalline metallic membranes on the hydrogen permeability was investigated. Second, the hydrogen permeability, thermal stability and mechanical properties of Cu-Zr and Ni60Nb35M5 (M=Sn, Ti and Zr) amorphous metallic membranes was evaluated.

Different heat treatments were applied to commercial Pd77Ag23 membranes to promote surface segregation. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicates that the membrane surface composition changed after heat treatment. The surface area of all membranes increased after heat treatment. The higher the surface Pd/(Pd+Ag) ratio, the higher the hydrogen permeability. Surface carbon removal and surface area increase cannot explain the observed permeability differences.

Previous computational modeling predicted that Cu54Zr46 would have high hydrogen permeability. Amorphous metallic Cu-Zr (Zr=37, 54, 60 at. %) membranes were synthesized and investigated. The surface oxides may result in the lower experimental hydrogen permeability lower than that predicted by the simulations. The permeability decrease indicates that the Cu-Zr alloys crystallized in less than two hours during the test (performed at 300 °C) at temperatures below the glass transition temperature. This original experimental results show that thermal stability of amorphous metallic membranes is critical for hydrogen separation applications.

The hydrogen permeability of Ni60Nb35M5 (M=Sn, Ti and Zr) amorphous metallic membranes was investigated. Nanoindentation shows that the Young’s modulus and hardness increased after hydrogen permeability test. The structure is maintained amorphous after 24 hours of hydrogen permeability testing at 400°C. The maximum hydrogen permeability of three alloys is 10-10 mol m-1 s-1 Pa-0.5. Though these alloys exhibited a slight hydrogen permeability decreased during the test, the amorphous metallic membranes were thermally stable and did not crystalize.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Temperature dependent qualities of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide passivating stacks

Description

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of various materials. The minority carrier lifetime, optical band gap and FTIR spectra were observed at incremental stages of thermal annealing. By observing the changes in the lifetimes the sample structure responsible for the most thermally robust surface passivation could be determined. These results were correlated to the optical band gap and the position and relative area of peaks in the FTIR spectra related to to silicon-hydrogen bonds in the layers. It was found that due to an increased presence of hydrogen bonded to silicon at voids within the passivating layer, hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide at the interface of the substrate coupled with a hydrogenated amorphous silicon top layer provides better passivation after high temperature annealing than other device structures.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016