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Synthesis, Characterization and Oxygen Adsorption Properties of Substituted Aluminophosphate (AlPO4-5, AFI) Zeolites

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The objective of this research was to develop Aluminophosphate-five (AlPO4-5, AFI) zeolite adsorbents for efficient oxygen removal from a process stream to support an on-going Department of Energy (DOE) project on solar energy storage. A molecular simulation study predicted that

The objective of this research was to develop Aluminophosphate-five (AlPO4-5, AFI) zeolite adsorbents for efficient oxygen removal from a process stream to support an on-going Department of Energy (DOE) project on solar energy storage. A molecular simulation study predicted that substituted AlPO4-5 zeolite can adsorb O2 through a weak chemical bond at ambient temperature. Substituted AlPO4-5 zeolite was successfully synthesized via hydrothermal crystallization by following carefully designed procedures to tailor the zeolite for efficient O2 adsorption. Synthesized AlPO4-5 in this work included Sn/AlPO-5, Mo/AlPO-5, Pd/AlPO-5, Si/AlPO-5, Mn/AlPO-5, Ce/AlPO-5, Fe/AlPO-5, CuCe/AlPO-5, and MnSnSi/AlPO-5. While not all zeolite samples synthesized were fully characterized, selected zeolite samples were characterized by powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) for crystal structure confirmation and phase identification, and nitrogen adsorption for their pore textural properties. The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area and pore size distribution were between 172 m2 /g - 306 m2 /g and 6Å - 9Å, respectively, for most of the zeolites synthesized. Samples of great interest to this project such as Sn/AlPO-5, Mo/AlPO-5 and MnSnSi/AlPO-5 were also characterized using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for morphology and particle size estimation, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) for nature of adsorbed oxygen. Oxygen and nitrogen adsorption experiments were carried out in a 3-Flex adsorption apparatus (Micrometrics) at various temperatures (primarily at 25℃) to determine the adsorption properties of these zeolite samples as potential adsorbents for oxygen/nitrogen separation. Experiments showed that some of the zeolite samples adsorb little-to-no oxygen and nitrogen at 25℃, while other zeolites such as Sn/AlPO-5, Mo/AlPO-5, and MnSnSi/AlPO-5 adsorb decent but inconsistent amounts of oxygen with the highest observed values of about 0.47 mmol/ g, 0.56 mmol/g, and 0.84 mmol/ g respectively. The inconsistency in adsorption is currently attributed to non-uniform doping of the zeolites, and these findings validate that some substituted AlPO4-5 zeolites are promising adsorbents. However, more investigations are needed to verify the causes of this inconsistency to develop a successful AlPO4-5 zeolite-based adsorbent for oxygen/nitrogen separation.

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2021

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Design of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Carbon Capture Applications: Approaches for Adsorptive Separation of CO2/N2 and O2/N2 Mixtures

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The large-scale anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to many unintended consequences, from rising sea levels to ocean acidification. While a clean energy infrastructure is growing, mid-term strategies that are compatible with the current infrastructure should be

The large-scale anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leads to many unintended consequences, from rising sea levels to ocean acidification. While a clean energy infrastructure is growing, mid-term strategies that are compatible with the current infrastructure should be developed. Carbon capture and storage in fossil-fuel power plants is one way to avoid our current gigaton-scale emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, for this to be possible, separation techniques are necessary to remove the nitrogen from air before combustion or from the flue gas after combustion. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous material that show great promise for adsorptive separation processes. Here, potential mechanisms of O2/N2 separation and CO2/N2 separation are explored.

First, a logical categorization of potential adsorptive separation mechanisms in MOFs is outlined by comparing existing data with previously studied materials. Size-selective adsorptive separation is investigated for both gas systems using molecular simulations. A correlation between size-selective equilibrium adsorptive separation capabilities and pore diameter is established in materials with complex pore distributions. A method of generating mobile extra-framework cations which drastically increase adsorptive selectivity toward nitrogen over oxygen via electrostatic interactions is explored through experiments and simulations. Finally, deposition of redox-active ferrocene molecules into systematically generated defects is shown to be an effective method of increasing selectivity towards oxygen.

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2019

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Experimental and Simulation Study on Novel Adsorbents for Carbon Capture, Oxygen Sorption, and Methane Recovery

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Global warming resulted from greenhouse gases emission has received widespread attention. Meanwhile, it is required to explore renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources due to the severe pollution of the environment caused by fossil fuel combustion. In order to realize

Global warming resulted from greenhouse gases emission has received widespread attention. Meanwhile, it is required to explore renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources due to the severe pollution of the environment caused by fossil fuel combustion. In order to realize a substantial adsorption process to resolve the environmental issues, the development of new adsorbents with improved properties has become the most critical issue. This dissertation presents the work of four individual but related studies on systematic characterization and process simulations of novel adsorbents with superior adsorption properties.

A perovskite oxide material, La0.1Sr0.9Co0.9Fe0.1O3-δ (LSCF1991), was investigated first for high-temperature air separation. The oxygen sorption/desorption behavior of LSCF1991 was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and fixed-bed breakthrough experiments. A parametric study was performed to design and optimize the operating parameters of the high-temperature air separation process by pressure swing adsorption (PSA). The results have shown great potential for applying LSCF1991 to the high-temperature air separation due to its excellent separation performance and low energy requirement.

Research on using nanostructured zeolite NaX (NZ) as adsorbents for CO2 capture was subsequently conducted. The CO2/N2 adsorption characterizations indicated that the NZ samples lead to enhanced adsorption properties compared with the commercial zeolites (MZ). From the two-bed six-step PSA simulation, NZ saved around 30% energy over MZ for CO2 capture and recovery while achieving a higher CO2 purity and productivity.

A unique screening method was developed for efficient evaluation of adsorbents for PSA processes. In the case study, 47 novel adsorbents have been screened for coal bed methane (CBM) recovery. The adsorbents went through scoring-based prescreening, PSA simulation, and optimization. The process performance indicators were correlated with the adsorption selectivity and capacities, which provides new insights for predicting the PSA performance.

A new medium-temperature oxygen sorbent, YBaCo4O7+δ (YBC114), was investigated as an oxygen pumping material to facilitate solar thermochemical fuel production. The oxygen uptake and release attributes of YBC114 were studied by both TGA and a small-scale evacuation test. The study proved that the particle size has a significant effect on the oxygen pumping behavior of YBC114, especially for the uptake kinetics.

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2020

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Application of Ultrasound in Regeneration of Adsorbents

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Desorption processes are an important part of all processes which involve utilization of solid adsorbents such as adsorption cooling, sorption thermal energy storage, and drying and dehumidification processes and are inherently energy-intensive. Here, how those energy requirements can be

Desorption processes are an important part of all processes which involve utilization of solid adsorbents such as adsorption cooling, sorption thermal energy storage, and drying and dehumidification processes and are inherently energy-intensive. Here, how those energy requirements can be reduced through the application of ultrasound for three widely used adsorbents namely zeolite 13X, activated alumina and silica gel is investigated. To determine and justify the effectiveness of incorporating ultrasound from an energy-savings point of view, an approach of constant overall input power of 20 and 25 W was adopted. To measure the extent of the effectiveness of using ultrasound, the ultrasonic-power-to-total power ratios of 0.2, 0.25, 0.4 and 0.5 were investigated and the results compared with those of no-ultrasound (heat only) at the same total power. Duplicate experiments were performed at three nominal frequencies of 28, 40 and 80 kHz to observe the influence of frequency on regeneration dynamics. Regarding moisture removal, application of ultrasound results in higher desorption rate compared to a non-ultrasound process. A nonlinear inverse proportionality was observed between the effectiveness of ultrasound and the frequency at which it is applied. Based on the variation of desorption dynamics with ultrasonic power and frequency, three mechanisms of reduced adsorbate adsorption potential, increased adsorbate surface energy and enhanced mass diffusion are proposed. Two analytical models that describe the desorption process were developed based on the experimental data from which novel efficiency metrics were proposed, which can be employed to justify incorporating ultrasound in regeneration and drying processes.

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2021