Matching Items (2)
- All Subjects: RSSCT
- Genre: Academic theses
- Creators: Lind, Marylaura
- Creators: McIntyre, Sean
- Status: Published
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.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are detected ubiquitously in the aquatic environment, biota, and humans. Human exposure and adverse health of PFAS through consuming impacted drinking water is getting regulatory attention. Adsorption using granular activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange resin (IX) has proved to be efficient in removing PFAS from water. There is a need to study the effectiveness of commercially available sorbents in PFAS removal at the pilot-scale with real PFAS contaminated water, which would aid in efficient full-scale plant design. Additionally, there is also a need to have validated bench-scale testing techniques to aid municipalities and researchers in selecting or comparing adsorbents to remove PFAS. Rapid Small-Scale Column Tests (RSSCTs) are bench-scale testing to assess media performance and operational life to remove trace organics but have not been validated for PFAS. Different design considerations exist for RSSCTs, which rely upon either proportional diffusivity (PD) or constant diffusivity (CD) dimensionless scaling relationships.
This thesis aims to validate the use of RSSCTs to simulate PFAS breakthrough in pilot columns. First, a pilot-scale study using two GACs and an IX was conducted for five months at a wellsite in central Arizona. PFAS adsorption capacity was greatest for a commercial IX, and then two GAC sources exhibited similar performance. Second, RSSCTs scaled using PD or CD relationships, simulated the pilot columns, were designed and performed. For IX and the two types of GAC, the CD–RSSCTs simulated the PFAS breakthrough concentration, shape, and order of C8 to C4 compounds observed pilot columns better than the PD-RSSCTs. Finally, PFAS breakthrough and adsorption capacities for PD- and CD-RSSCTs were performed on multiple groundwaters (GWs) from across Arizona to assess the treatability of PFAS chain length and functional head-group moieties. PFAS breakthrough in GAC and IX was dictated by chain length (C4>C6>C8) and functional group (PFCAs>PFSAs) of the compound. Shorter-chain PFAS broke through earlier than the longer chain, and removal trends were related to the hydrophobicity of PFAS. Overall, single-use IX performed superior to any of the evaluated GACs across a range of water chemistries in Arizona GWs.