Matching Items (13)

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Gas Interactions with a Photocatalytic Cementitious Surface

Description

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a photocatalytic material which has made its way into the European market for use within building materials (e.g. in photocatalytic cement). The air-cleaning and self-cleaning properties

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a photocatalytic material which has made its way into the European market for use within building materials (e.g. in photocatalytic cement). The air-cleaning and self-cleaning properties of TiO2 make it an attractive material for development. TiO2 has been widely studied to determine the mechanism by which it catalyzes reactions, but research into its use in photocatalytic cement has focused only on the percent pollutant removed and not the composition of the resulting gas. The current research focuses on examining the oxidation of methanol over the solid materials and the development of a methodology to study the formation of intermediates in the removal of the pollutant molecule. The initial methanol oxidation studies over the photocatalytic cement resulted in a reduction in the concentration of methanol and an increase in potential products. However, these studies identified several system challenges that led to a focus on the system design. It is recommended that future reactor systems optimize the transfer of material through the use of agitation and minimize the path length between the reactor cell and the FTIR gas cell. Furthermore, creating an air-tight system is paramount to the success of future studies.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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TiO2 nanomaterials: human exposure and environmental release

Description

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to quantify the level of TiO2 in complex matrices to support environmental, health, and safety research of TiO2 nanomaterials. A pharmacokinetic model showed that the inhalation of TiO2 nanomaterials caused the highest amount to be absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Smaller nanomaterials (< 5nm) accumulated in the kidneys before clearance. Nanoparticles of 25 nm diameter accumulated in the liver and spleen and were cleared from the body slower than smaller nanomaterials. A digestion method using nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and hydrogen peroxide was found to digest organic materials and TiO2 with a recovery of >80%. The samples were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and the method detection limit was 600 ng of Ti. An intratracheal instillation study of TiO2 nanomaterials in rats found anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in the caudal lung lobe of rats 1 day post instillation at a concentration of 1.2 ug/mg dry tissue, the highest deposition rate of any TiO2 nanomaterial. For all TiO2 nanomaterial morphologies the concentrations in the caudal lobes were significantly higher than those in the cranial lobes. In a study of TiO2 concentration in food products, white colored foods or foods with a hard outer shell had higher concentrations of TiO2. Hostess Powdered Donettes were found to have the highest Ti mass per serving with 200 mg Ti. As much as 3.8% of the total TiO2 mass was able to pass through a 0.45 um indicating that some of the TiO2 is likely nanosized. In a study of TiO2 concentrations in personal care products and paints, the concentration of TiO2 was as high as 117 ug/mg in Benjamin Moore white paint and 70 ug/mg in a Neutrogena sunscreen. Greater than 6% of Ti in one sunscreen was able to pass through a 0.45 um filter. The nanosized TiO2 in food products and personal care products may release as much as 16 mg of nanosized TiO2 per individual per day to wastewater.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Optimizing the DSSC fabrication process using lean six sigma

Description

Alternative energy technologies must become more cost effective to achieve grid parity with fossil fuels. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are an innovative third generation photovoltaic technology, which is demonstrating

Alternative energy technologies must become more cost effective to achieve grid parity with fossil fuels. Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) are an innovative third generation photovoltaic technology, which is demonstrating tremendous potential to become a revolutionary technology due to recent breakthroughs in cost of fabrication. The study here focused on quality improvement measures undertaken to improve fabrication of DSSCs and enhance process efficiency and effectiveness. Several quality improvement methods were implemented to optimize the seven step individual DSSC fabrication processes. Lean Manufacturing's 5S method successfully increased efficiency in all of the processes. Six Sigma's DMAIC methodology was used to identify and eliminate each of the root causes of defects in the critical titanium dioxide deposition process. These optimizations resulted with the following significant improvements in the production process: 1. fabrication time of the DSSCs was reduced by 54 %; 2. fabrication procedures were improved to the extent that all critical defects in the process were eliminated; 3. the quantity of functioning DSSCs fabricated was increased from 17 % to 90 %.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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A comparative theoretical and experimental investigation on the adsorption of small molecules on anatase and brookite surfaces

Description

The mitigation and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to more useful carbon chemicals is a research topic that is at the forefront of current engineering and sustainability applications. Direct photocatalytic

The mitigation and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to more useful carbon chemicals is a research topic that is at the forefront of current engineering and sustainability applications. Direct photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with water (H2O) vapor to C1-C4 hydrocarbons has significant potential in setting substantial groundwork for meeting the increasing energy demands with minimal environmental impact. Previous studies indicate that titanium dioxide (TiO2) containing materials serve as the best photocatalyst for CO2 and H2O conversion to higher-value products. An understanding of the CO2-H2O reaction mechanism over TiO2 materials allows one to increase the yield of certain products such as carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4). The basis of the work discussed in this thesis, investigates the interaction of small molecules (CO, CH4,H2O) over the least studied TiO2 polymorph - brookite. Using the Gaussian03 computational chemistry software package, density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed to investigate the adsorption behavior of CO, H2O, and CH4 gases on perfect and oxygen-deficient brookite TiO2 (210) and anatase TiO2 (101) surfaces. The most geometrically and energetically favorable configurations of these molecules on the TiO2 surfaces were computed using the B3LYP/6-31+G(2df,p) functional/basis set. Calculations from this theoretical study indicate all three molecules adsorb more favorably onto the brookite TiO2 (210) surface. Diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS) was used to investigate the adsorption and desorption behavior of H2O and CH4 on Evonik P25 TiO2. Results from the experimental studies and theoretical work will serve as a significant basis for reaction prediction on brookite TiO2 surfaces.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Photocatalysis for reductive transformation of nitrate and chromate in drinking water

Description

Contamination of drinking water supplies from oxo-anion pollutants necessitates treatment prior to potable use. This dissertation aims to inform and improve light delivery (emission spectra, radiant intensity, reactor configuration) in

Contamination of drinking water supplies from oxo-anion pollutants necessitates treatment prior to potable use. This dissertation aims to inform and improve light delivery (emission spectra, radiant intensity, reactor configuration) in order to enhance the photocatalytic reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) and nitrate, two common oxo-anions in drinking water, and photocatalytic oxidation of two model organic pollutants (methylene blue, (MB) and para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA)). By varying the photon fluence dose, two metrics (contaminant quantum yield (Φ), and electrical energy per order (EEO)) were used to assess photocatalytic reactor performance. A detailed literature review and experimental results demonstrated how different irradiance sources with variable intensity and emission spectra synergistically enhanced contaminant removal by a coupled photolytic/photocatalytic reaction mechanism. Cr(VI) was photocatalytically reduced on TiO2 and formed Cr(OH)3(s) in a large-scale slurry reactor, but Cr(III) was then photolyzed and reformed Cr(VI). UV light also led to photo-aggregation of TiO2 which improved its recovery by the ceramic membrane within the reactor. For nitrate reduction, light source emission spectra and fluence dose delineate the preferred pathways as intermediates were reduced via wavelength-dependent mechanisms. HONO was identified as a key nitrate reduction intermediate, which was reduced photocatalytically (UV wavelengths) and/or readily photolyzed at 365nm, to yield nitrogen gases. Photocatalytic nitrate reduction efficiency was higher for discrete wavelength irradiation than polychromatic irradiation. Light delivery through aqueous media to the catalyst surface limits efficiency of slurry-based photocatalysts because absorption and scattering of light in nanomaterial slurries decreases effective photon transmittance and minimizes photolytic reactions. The use of optical fibers coupled to light emitting diodes (OF-LED) with immobilized catalyst demonstrated higher performance compared to slurry systems. OF-LED increased Φ for MB degradation by increasing direct photon delivery to the photocatalyst. Design of OF-LED reactors using bundled optical fibers demonstrated photocatalytic pCBA removal with high Φ and reduced EEO due to increased surface area and catalytic sites compared to single OF/LED couples. This work advances light delivery as well as the suspension and attachment of nanoparticles in photocatalytic water treatment for selective transformation of oxo-anions and organic compounds to innocuous species.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Comparative life cycle assessment of sunscreen lotion using organic chemicals versus nano-titanium dioxide as UV blocker

Description

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for

producing nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is studied and a case-study has been conducted on comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the application of these nano-TiO2 particles in the sunscreen lotion as a UV-blocker with the conventional organic chemical sunscreen lotion using GaBi software. Nano-TiO2 particles were identified in the sunscreen lotion using Transmission Electron Microscope suggesting the use of these particles in the lotion.

The LCA modeling includes the comparison of the environmental impacts of producing nano-TiO2 particles with that of conventional organic chemical UV-blockers (octocrylene and avobenzone). It also compares the environmental life cycle impacts of the two sunscreen lotions studied. TRACI 2.1 was used for the assessment of the impacts which were then normalized and weighted for the ranking of the impact categories.

Results indicate that nano-TiO2 had higher impacts on the environment than the conventional organic chemical UV-blockers (octocrylene and avobenzone). For the two sunscreen lotions studied, nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant had lower environmental life cycle impacts than its counterpart because of the other chemicals used in the formulation. In the organic chemical sunscreen variant the major impacts came from production of glycerine, ethanol, and avobenzone but in the nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant the major impacts came from the production of nano-TiO2 particles.

Analysis further signifies the trade-offs between few environmental impact categories, for example, the human toxicity impacts were more in the nano-TiO2 sunscreen variant, but the other environmental impact categories viz. fossil fuel depletion, global warming potential, eutrophication were less compared to the organic chemical sunscreen variant.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Surface characterization of an organized titanium dioxide Layer

Description

Soft lithographic printing techniques can be used to control the surface morphology of titanium dioxide layers on length scales of several hundred nanometers. Controlling surface morphology and volumetric organization of

Soft lithographic printing techniques can be used to control the surface morphology of titanium dioxide layers on length scales of several hundred nanometers. Controlling surface morphology and volumetric organization of titanium dioxide electrodes can potentially be used in dye-sensitized solar cell devices. This thesis explores how layer-by-layer replication can lead to well defined, dimensionally controlled volumes and details how these control mechanisms influence surface characteristics of the semiconducting oxide.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Exposure to engineered nanomaterial results in disruption of brush borders in epithelia models in vitro

Description

Engineered nanoparticles (NP; 10-9 m) have found use in a variety of consumer goods and medical devices because of the unique changes in material properties that occur when synthesized on

Engineered nanoparticles (NP; 10-9 m) have found use in a variety of consumer goods and medical devices because of the unique changes in material properties that occur when synthesized on the nanoscale. Although many definitions for nanoparticle exist, from the perspective of size, nanoparticle is defined as particles with diameters less than 100 nm in any external dimension. Examples of their use include titanium dioxide added as a pigment in products intended to be ingested by humans, silicon dioxide NPs are used in foods as an anticaking agent, and gold or iron oxide NPs can be used as vectors for drug delivery or contrast agents for specialized medical imaging. Although the intended use of these NPs is often to improve human health, it has come to the attention of investigators that NPs can have unintended or even detrimental effects on the organism. This work describes one such unintended effect of NP exposure from the perspective of exposure via the oral route. First, this Dissertation will explain an event referred to as brush border disruption that occurred after nanoparticles interacted with an in vitro model of the human intestinal epithelium. Second, this Dissertation will identify and characterize several consumer goods that were shown to contain titanium dioxide that are intended to be ingested. Third, this Dissertation shows that sedimentation due to gravity does not artifactually result in disruption of brush borders as a consequence of exposure to food grade titanium dioxide in vitro. Finally, this Dissertation will demonstrate that iron oxide nanoparticles elicited similar effects after exposure to an in vitro brush border expressing model of the human placenta. Together, these data suggest that brush border disruption is not an artifact of the material/cell culture model, but instead represents a bona fide biological response as a result of exposure to nanomaterial.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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A density functional theory study of CO2 interaction with brookite TiO2

Description

Over the past years, an interest has arisen in resolving two major issues: increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and depleting energy resources. A convenient solution would be a process that

Over the past years, an interest has arisen in resolving two major issues: increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and depleting energy resources. A convenient solution would be a process that could simultaneously use CO2 while producing energy. The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels over the photocatalyst titanium dioxide (TiO2) is such a process. However, this process is presently inefficient and unsuitable for industrial applications. A step toward making this process more effective is to alter TiO2 based photocatalysts to improve their activity. The interactions of CO2 with oxygen-deficient and unmodified (210) surfaces of brookite TiO2 were studied using first-principle calculations on cluster systems. Charge and spin density analyses were implemented to determine if charge transfer to the CO2 molecule occurred and whether this charge transfer was comparable to that seen with the oxygen-deficient and unmodified anatase TiO2 (101) surfaces. Although the unmodified brookite (210) surface provided energetically similar CO2 interactions as compared to the unmodified anatase (101) surface, the unmodified brookite surface had negligible charge transfer to the CO2 molecule. This result suggests that unmodified brookite is not a suitable catalyst for the reduction of CO2. However, the results also suggest that modification of the brookite surface through the creation of oxygen vacancies may lead to enhancements in CO2 reduction. The computational results were supported with laboratory data for CO2 interaction with perfect brookite and oxygen-deficient brookite. The laboratory data, generated using diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, confirms the presence of CO2- on only the oxygen-deficient brookite. Additional computational work was performed on I-doped anatase (101) and I-doped brookite (210) surface clusters. Adsorption energies and charge and spin density analyses were performed and the results compared. While charge and spin density analyses showed minute charge transfer to CO2, the calculated adsorption energies demonstrated an increased affinity for CO2adsorption onto the I-doped brookite surface. Gathering the results from all calculations, the computational work on oxygen-deficient, I-doped, and unmodified anatase and brookite surface structures suggest that brookite TiO2 is a potential photocatalysts for CO2 photoreduction.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials for the photocatalytic reduction of nitrate in water

Description

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to improve nitrate photocatalysis and transition treatment to the full-scale. The research objectives were to (1) examine commercial and synthesized photocatalysts, (2) determine the effect of water quality parameters (e.g., pH), (3) conduct responsible engineering by ensuring detection methods were in place for novel materials, and (4) develop a conceptual framework for designing nitrate-specific photocatalysts. The key issues for implementing photocatalysis for nitrate drinking water treatment were efficient nitrate removal at neutral pH and by-product selectivity toward nitrogen gases, rather than by-products that pose a human health concern (e.g., nitrite). Photocatalytic nitrate reduction was found to follow a series of proton-coupled electron transfers. The nitrate reduction rate was limited by the electron-hole recombination rate, and the addition of an electron donor (e.g., formate) was necessary to reduce the recombination rate and achieve efficient nitrate removal. Nano-sized photocatalysts with high surface areas mitigated the negative effects of competing aqueous anions. The key water quality parameter impacting by-product selectivity was pH. For pH < 4, the by-product selectivity was mostly N-gas with some NH4+, but this shifted to NO2- above pH = 4, which suggests the need for proton localization to move beyond NO2-. Co-catalysts that form a Schottky barrier, allowing for localization of electrons, were best for nitrate reduction. Silver was optimal in heterogeneous systems because of its ability to improve nitrate reduction activity and N-gas by-product selectivity, and graphene was optimal in two-electrode systems because of its ability to shuttle electrons to the working electrode. "Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials" is to ensure that detection methods are in place for the nanomaterials tested. While methods exist for the metals and metal oxides examined, there are currently none for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene. Acknowledging that risk assessment encompasses dose-response and exposure, new analytical methods were developed for extracting and detecting CNTs and graphene in complex organic environmental (e.g., urban air) and biological matrices (e.g. rat lungs).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013