Matching Items (9)

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Synthesis of Enzyme-Mimetic Catalysts

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The synthesis of the bis(2-diphenylphosphinoethyl)amine chelating ligand (1) was a crucial component in the preparation of non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs) throughout the project. Studies in this project indicated the need

The synthesis of the bis(2-diphenylphosphinoethyl)amine chelating ligand (1) was a crucial component in the preparation of non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs) throughout the project. Studies in this project indicated the need to isolate the ligand from its hydrochloride salt form seen in (1) which led to the synthesis of the brown oil, (Ph2PCH2CH2)2NH, (2). The ligand features a phosphine-nitrogen-phosphine group that is not observed in existing NCAAs. Phosphine groups are rarely seen in existing NCAAs and avoided by biochemists because they tend to oxidize before metal addition. In this project, (1) was used in a 1-[bis(dimethylamino)methylene]-1H-1,2,3-triazolo[4,5-b]pyridinium 3-oxid hexafluorophosphate (HATU) mediated method and palladium-catalyzed method to tether an amino acid to the nitrogen atom of the ligand framework. Both methods were monitored through the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. While the palladium catalyzed method exhibited little to no coupling, the 31P NMR spectrum obtained for the HATU mediated method did reveal that some coupling had occurred. The unsuccessful attempts to tether an amino acid to (1) led to the hypothesis that the phosphine groups were interfering with the palladium catalyst during the cross-coupling reaction. In an effort to test this hypothesis, (2) was reacted with the dimer, [Rh(nbd)Cl]2, to coordinate the rhodium metal to the free phosphorous arms and the nitrogen atom of the isolated PNP ligand. The PNP-based metal complex was used in the palladium catalyzed method, but cross-coupling was not observed. The new PNP-based metal complex was investigated to demonstrate that it exhibits moisture and air stability.

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  • 2018-05

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A Sustainable Approach to Wastewater Treatment Using Microbial Fuel Cells with Peroxide Production

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Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) promote the sustainable conversion of organic matter in black water to electrical current, enabling the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) while making waste water treatment energy

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) promote the sustainable conversion of organic matter in black water to electrical current, enabling the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) while making waste water treatment energy neutral or positive. H2O2 is useful in remote locations such as U.S. military forward operating bases (FOBs) for on-site tertiary water treatment or as a medical disinfectant, among many other uses. Various carbon-based catalysts and binders for use at the cathode of a an MFC for H2O2 production are explored using linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) techniques. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode has slow kinetics at conditions present in the MFC, making it important to find a catalyst type and loading which promote a 2e- (rather than 4e-) reaction to maximize H2O2 formation. Using LSV methods, I compared the cathodic overpotentials associated with graphite and Vulcan carbon catalysts as well as Nafion and AS-4 binders. Vulcan carbon catalyst with Nafion binder produced the lowest overpotentials of any binder/catalyst combinations. Additionally, I determined that pH control may be required at the cathode due to large potential losses caused by hydroxide (OH-) concentration gradients. Furthermore, RRDE tests indicate that Vulcan carbon catalyst with a Nafion binder has a higher H2O2 production efficiency at lower catalyst loadings, but the trade-off is a greater potential loss due to higher activation energy. Therefore, an intermediate catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 Vulcan carbon with Nafion binder is recommended for the final MFC design. The chosen catalyst, binder, and loading will maximize H2O2 production, optimize MFC performance, and minimize the need for additional energy input into the system.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Modeling and characterization of ammonia injection and catalytic reduction in Kyrene Unit-7 HRSG

Description

ABSTRACT The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a key component of Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP). The exhaust (flue gas) from the CCPP gas turbine flows through the HRSG

ABSTRACT The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a key component of Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP). The exhaust (flue gas) from the CCPP gas turbine flows through the HRSG − this gas typically contains a high concentration of NO and cannot be discharged directly to the atmosphere because of environmental restrictions. In the HRSG, one method of reducing the flue gas NO concentration is to inject ammonia into the gas at a plane upstream of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit through an injection grid (AIG); the SCR is where the NO is reduced to N2 and H2O. The amount and spatial distribution of the injected ammonia are key considerations for NO reduction while using the minimum possible amount of ammonia. This work had three objectives. First, a flow network model of the Ammonia Flow Control Unit (AFCU) was to be developed to calculate the quantity of ammonia released into the flue gas from each AIG perforation. Second, CFD simulation of the flue gas flow was to be performed to obtain the velocity, temperature, and species concentration fields in the gas upstream and downstream of the SCR. Finally, performance characteristics of the ammonia injection system were to be evaluated. All three objectives were reached. The AFCU was modeled using JAVA - with a graphical user interface provided for the user. The commercial software Fluent was used for CFD simulation. To evaluate the efficacy of the ammonia injection system in reducing the flue gas NO concentration, the twelve butterfly valves in the AFCU ammonia delivery piping (risers) were throttled by various degrees in the model and the NO concentration distribution computed for each operational scenario. When the valves were kept fully open, it was found that it led to a more uniform reduction in NO concentration compared to throttling the valves such that the riser flows were equal. Additionally, the SCR catalyst was consumed somewhat more uniformly, and ammonia slip (ammonia not consumed in reaction) was found lower. The ammonia use could be decreased by 10 percent while maintaining the NO concentration limit in the flue gas exhausting into the atmosphere.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Structural analysis of nickel doped cerium oxide catalysts for fuel reforming in solid oxide fuel cells

Description

As world energy demands increase, research into more efficient energy production methods has become imperative. Heterogeneous catalysis and nanoscience are used to promote chemical transformations important for energy production. These

As world energy demands increase, research into more efficient energy production methods has become imperative. Heterogeneous catalysis and nanoscience are used to promote chemical transformations important for energy production. These concepts are important in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) which have attracted attention because of their potential to provide an efficient and environmentally favorable power generation system. The SOFC is also fuel-flexible with the ability to run directly on many fuels other than hydrogen. Internal fuel reforming directly in the anode of the SOFC would greatly reduce the cost and complexity of the device. Methane is the simplest hydrocarbon and a main component in natural gas, making it useful when testing catalysts on the laboratory scale. Nickel (Ni) and gadolinium (Gd) doped ceria (CeO2) catalysts for potential use in the SOFC anode were synthesized with a spray drying method and tested for catalytic performance using partial oxidation of methane and steam reforming. The relationships between catalytic performance and structure were then investigated using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and environmental transmission electron microscopy. The possibility of solid solutions, segregated phases, and surface layers of Ni were explored. Results for a 10 at.% Ni in CeO2 catalyst reveal a poor catalytic behavior while a 20 at.% Ni in CeO2 catalyst is shown to have superior activity. The inclusion of both 10 at.% Gd and 10 at.% Ni in CeO2 enhances the catalytic performance. Analysis of the presence of Ni in all 3 samples reveals Ni heterogeneity and little evidence for extensive solid solution doping. Ni is found in small domains throughout CeO2 particles. In the 20 at.% Ni sample a segregated, catalytically active NiO phase is observed. Overall, it is found that significant interaction between Ni and CeO2 occurs that could affect the synthesis and functionality of the SOFC anode.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Synthesis and functionalization of zinc oxide nanowires

Description

Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the

Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the growth of high-quality ZnO NWs and functionalization of ZnO NWs are critical. In this work, specific types of functionalized ZnO NWs have been synthesized and correlations between specific structures and properties have been investigated. Deposition of δ-Bi2O3 (narrow band gap) epilayers onto ZnO (wide band gap) NWs improves the absorption efficiency of the visible light spectrum by 70%. Furthermore, the deposited δ-Bi2O3 grows selectively and epitaxially on the {11-20} but not on the {10-10} facets of the ZnO NWs. The selective epitaxial deposition and the interfacial structure were thoroughly investigated. The morphology and structure of the Bi2O3/ZnO nanocomposites can be tuned by controlling the deposition conditions.

Various deposition methods, both physical and chemical, were used to functionalize the ZnO NWs with metal or alloy nanoparticles (NPs) for catalytic transformations of important molecules which are relevant to energy and environment. Cu and PdZn NPs were epitaxially grown on ZnO NWs to make them resistant to sintering at elevated temperatures and thus improved the stability of such catalytic systems for methanol steam reforming (MSR) to produce hydrogen. A series of Pd/ZnO catalysts with different Pd loadings were synthesized and tested for MSR reaction. The CO selectivity was found to be strongly dependent on the size of the Pd: Both PdZn alloy and single Pd atoms yield low CO selectivity while Pd clusters give the highest CO selectivity.

By dispersing single Pd atoms onto ZnO NWs, Pd1/ZnO single-atom catalysts (SACs) was synthesized and their catalytic performance was evaluated for selected catalytic reactions. The experimental results show that the Pd1/ZnO SAC is active for CO oxidation and MSR but is not desirable other reactions. We further synthesized ZnO NWs supported noble metal (M1/ZnO; M=Rh, Pd, Pt, Ir) SACs and studied their catalytic performances for CO oxidation. The catalytic test data shows that all the fabricated noble metal SACs are active for CO oxidation but their activity are significantly different. Structure-performance relationships were investigated.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Nanoporous transparent conducting oxides and new solid acid catalysts

Description

New sol-gel routes were developed to fabricate transparent conducting oxide coatings for energy applications. Sol-gel synthesis was chosen because the metal oxide products have high surface area and porosity.

New sol-gel routes were developed to fabricate transparent conducting oxide coatings for energy applications. Sol-gel synthesis was chosen because the metal oxide products have high surface area and porosity. Titanium sol-gel chemistry was the main focus of the studies, and the synthesis of macroporous antimony-doped tin oxide was also explored. The surface chemistry and band characteristics of anatase TiO2 show promise for solar energy purposes as photoelectrodes in DSSCs and as photocatalysts to degrade organic dyes and to split water. Modifying the band structure by increasing the conduction band edge energy is specifically of interest for reducing protons in water. To this end, a new sol-gel method was developed for incorporating Zr-dopant in nanoporous anatase TiO2. The products follow Vegard’s law up to 20 atom%, exhibiting surface area of 79 m2/g and pore volume of 0.20 cm3/g with average pore diameter of 10.3 nm; the conduction band edge energy increased by 0.22 eV and the band gap increased by 0.1 eV.

In pursuit of a greener sol-gel route for TiO2 materials, a solution of TiOSO4 in water was explored. Success in obtaining a gel came by utilizing hydrogen peroxide as a ligand that suppressed precipitation reactions. Through modifying this sol-gel chemistry to obtain a solid acid, the new material hydrogen titanium phosphate sulfate, H1-xTi2(PO4)3-x(SO4)x, (0 < x < 0.5) was synthesized and characterized for the first time. From the reported synthetic route, this compound took the form of macroscopic agglomerates of nanoporous aggregates of nanoparticles around 20 nm and the product calcined at 600 °C exhibited surface area of 78 m2/g, pore volume of 0.22 cm3/g and an average pore width of 11 nm. This solid acid exhibits complete selectivity for the non-oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde and hydrogen gas, with >50% conversion at 300 °C.

Finally, hierarchically meso-macroporous antimony doped tin oxide was synthesized with regular macropore size around 210 nm, determined by statistical dye trajectory tracking, and also with larger pores up to micrometers in size. The structure consisted of nanoparticles around 4 nm in size, with textural mesopores around 20 nm in diameter.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Development of homogeneous molybdenum catalysts for the activation of small molecules

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Over the last few decades, homogeneous molybdenum catalysis has been a center of interest to inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemists. Interestingly, most of the important advancements in molybdenum chemistry such

Over the last few decades, homogeneous molybdenum catalysis has been a center of interest to inorganic, organic, and organometallic chemists. Interestingly, most of the important advancements in molybdenum chemistry such as non-classical dihydrogen coordination, dinitrogen reduction, olefin metathesis, and water reduction utilize diverse oxidation states of the metal. However, employment of redox non-innocent ligands to tune the stability and reactivity of such catalysts have been overlooked. With this in mind, the Trovitch group has developed a series of novel bis(imino)pyridine (or pyridine diimine, PDI) and diimine (DI) ligands that have coordinating phosphine or amine arms to exert coordination flexibility to the designed complexes. The research described in this dissertation is focused on the development of molybdenum catalysts that are supported by PDI and DI chelates and their application in small molecule activation.

Using the phosphine containing PDI chelate, Ph2PPrPDI, several low-valent molybdenum complexes have been synthesized and characterized. While the zerovalent monocarbonyl complex, (Ph2PPrPDI)MoCO, catalyzes the reduction of aldehyde C=O bonds, the C-H activated Mo(II) complex, (6-P,N,N,N,C,P-Ph2PPrPDI)MoH was found to be the first well-defined molybdenum catalyst for reducing carbon dioxide to methanol. Along with low- oxidation state compounds, a Mo(IV) complex, [(Ph2PPrPDI)MoO][PF6]2 was also synthesized and utilized in electrocatalytic hydrogen production from neutral water. Moreover, with the proper choice of reductant, an uncommon Mo(I) oxidation state was stabilized and characterized by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and single crystal X-ray diffraction.

While the synthesized (PDI)Mo complexes unveiled versatile reduction chemistry, varying the ligand backbone to DI uncovered completely different reactivity when bound to molybdenum. Unlike PDI, no chelate-arm C-H activation was observed with the propyl phosphine DI, Ph2PPrDI; instead, a bis(dinitrogen) Mo(0) complex, (Ph2PPrDI)Mo(N2)2 was isolated. Surprisingly, this complex was found to convert carbon dioxide into dioxygen and carbon monoxide under ambient conditions through a novel tail-to-tail CO2 reductive coupling pathway. Detailed experimental and theoretical studies are underway to gain further information about the possible mechanism of Mo mediated direct conversion of CO2 to O2.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Hydrothermal reactions of organic compounds in the presence of minerals: a study of carboxylic acids

Description

Carboxylic acids are an abundant and reactive species present throughout our solar system. The reactions of carboxylic acids can shape the organic abundances within oil field brines, carbonaceous chondrites,

Carboxylic acids are an abundant and reactive species present throughout our solar system. The reactions of carboxylic acids can shape the organic abundances within oil field brines, carbonaceous chondrites, and different ranks of coal.

I have performed hydrothermal experiments with model aromatic carboxylic acids in the presences of different oxide minerals to investigate the reactions available to carboxylic acids in the presence of mineral surfaces. By performing experiments containing one organic compound and one mineral surface, I can begin to unravel the different reactions that can occur in the presence of different minerals.

I performed experiments with phenylacetic acid (PAA), hydrocinnamic acid (HCA) and benzoic acid (BA) in the presence of spinel (MgAl2O4), magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3), and corundum (Al2O3). The focus of this work was metal oxide minerals, with and without transition metal atoms, and with different crystal structures. I found that all four oxide minerals facilitated ketonic decarboxylation reactions of carboxylic acids to form ketone structures. The two minerals containing transition metals (magnetite and hematite) also opened a reaction path involving electrochemical oxidation of one carboxylic acid, PAA, to the shorter chain version of a second carboxylic acid, BA, in experiments starting with PAA. Fundamental studies like these can help to shape our knowledge of the breadth of organic reactions that are possible in geologic systems and the mechanisms of those reactions.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Comparison of Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesis processes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Description

Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel

Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFCs) features high energy conversion efficiency and nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions, because of its combination of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) at anode side and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode side. Synthesis of Pt nanoparticles supported on multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) possess a highly durable electrochemical surface area (ESA) and show good power output on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. Platinum on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support were synthesized by two different processes to transfer PtCl62- from aqueous to organic phase. While the first method of Pt/MWCNTs synthesis involved dodecane thiol (DDT) and octadecane thiol (ODT) as anchoring agent, the second method used ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) as the dispersion/anchoring agent. The particle size and distribution of platinum were examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The TEM images showed homogenous distribution and uniform particle size of platinum deposited on the surface of MWCNTs. The single cell fuel cell performance of the Pt/MWCNTs synthesized thiols and ALS based electrode containing 0.2 (anode) and 0.4 mg (cathode) Pt.cm-2 were evaluated using Nafion-212 electrolyte with H2 and O2 gases at 80 oC and ambient pressure. The catalyst synthesis with ALS is relatively simple compared to that with thiols and also showed higher performance (power density reaches about 1070 mW.cm-2). The Electrodes with Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesized using ALS were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) for durability evaluation using humidified H2 and N2 gases at room temperature (21 oC) along with commercial Pt/C for comparison. The ESA measured by cyclic voltammetry between 0.15 and 1.2 V showed significant less degradation after 1000 cycles for ALS based Pt/MWCNTs.

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Date Created
  • 2011