Matching Items (16)

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Kinetic Analysis of O3 Decomposition over TiO2 photocatalyst for passive urban pollutant removal in Los Angeles

Description

Ozone is a highly reactive compound that is harmful at very low concentrations as compared to other pollutants. One method of pollution control is the use of photocatalysis, specifically with

Ozone is a highly reactive compound that is harmful at very low concentrations as compared to other pollutants. One method of pollution control is the use of photocatalysis, specifically with titanium dioxide to induce ozone decomposition. An experiment was designed and executed in order to determine the rate of decomposition by coating concrete in 5% by weight titanium dioxide mixed with paint. The experiment was unsuccessful in inducing decomposition but gave important insight into the adsorptive properties of ozone over surfaces, particularly with bare concrete that had an adsorption of 22.51 ± 2.457 ppbv, which was much better than the coated samples. Further studies into the development of photocatalytic paint is needed in order to develop an effective urban ozone pollution control method to be implemented in major cities, particularly in the most polluted such as Los Angeles, California.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Hexavalent chromium removal using ultraviolet photocatalytic reactor

Description

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove hexavalent chromium from drinking or industrial waters via a UV/titanium dioxide (TiO2) process. Using an integrated UV lamp/ceramic membrane system to recirculate TiO2, both hexavalent and total chromium levels were reduced through photocatalytic processes without additional chemicals. Cr(VI) removal increased as a function of higher energy input and TiO2 dosage, achieving above 90% removal for a 1g/L dose of TiO2. Surface analysis of effluent TiO2 confirmed the presence of chromium species.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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CO2 photocatalytic reduction to fuels

Description

A new photocatalytic material was synthesized to investigate its performance for the photoreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the presence of water vapor (H2O) to valuable products such as carbon

A new photocatalytic material was synthesized to investigate its performance for the photoreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the presence of water vapor (H2O) to valuable products such as carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4). The performance was studied using a gas chromatograph (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID) and a thermal conductivity detector (TCD). The new photocatalytic material was an ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide (IL-RGO (high conductive surface))-TiO2 (photocatalyst) nanocomposite. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis absorption spectroscopy techniques were employed to characterize the new catalyst. In the series of experiments performed, the nanocomposite material was confined in a UV-quartz batch reactor, exposed to CO2 and H2O and illuminated by UV light. The primary product formed was CO with a maximum production ranging from 0.18-1.02 µmol(gcatalyst-hour)-1 for TiO2 and 0.41-1.41 µmol(gcatalyst-hour)-1 for IL-RGO-TiO2. A trace amount of CH4 was also formed with its maximum ranging from 0.009-0.01 µmol(gcatalyst-hour)-1 for TiO2 and 0.01-0.04 µmol(gcatalyst-hour)-1 for IL-RGO-TiO2. A series of background experiments were conducted and results showed that; (a) the use of a ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide -TiO2 produced more products as compared to commercial TiO2, (b) the addition of methanol as a hole scavenger boosted the production of CO but not CH4, (c) a higher and lower reduction time of IL-RGO as compared to the usual 24 hours of reduction presented basically the same production of CO and CH4, (d) the positive effect of having an ionic liquid was demonstrated by the double production of CO obtained for IL-RGO-TiO2 as compared to RGO-TiO2 and (e) a change in the amount of IL-RGO in the IL-RGO-TiO2 represented a small difference in the CO production but not in the CH4 production. This work ultimately demonstrated the huge potential of the utility of a UV-responsive ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide-TiO2 nano-composite for the reduction of CO2 in the presence of H2O for the production of fuels.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Rational metalloprotein design for energy conversion applications

Description

Continuing and increasing reliance on fossil fuels to satisfy our population’s energy demands has encouraged the search for renewable carbon-free and carbon-neutral sources, such as hydrogen gas or CO2 reduction

Continuing and increasing reliance on fossil fuels to satisfy our population’s energy demands has encouraged the search for renewable carbon-free and carbon-neutral sources, such as hydrogen gas or CO2 reduction products. Inspired by nature, one of the objectives of this dissertation was to develop protein-based strategies that can be applied in the production of green fuels. The first project of this dissertation aimed at developing a controllable strategy to incorporate domains with different functions (e. g. catalytic sites, electron transfer modules, light absorbing subunits) into a single multicomponent system. This was accomplished through the rational design of 2,2’-bipyridine modified dimeric peptides that allowed their metal-directed oligomerization by forming tris(bipyridine) complexes, thus resulting in the formation of a hexameric assembly.

Additionally, two different approaches to incorporate non-natural organometallic catalysts into protein matrix are discussed. First, cobalt protoporphyrin IX was incorporated into cytochrome b562 to produce a water-soluble proton and CO2 reduction catalyst that is active upon irradiation in the presence of a photosensitizer. The effect of the porphyrin axial ligands provided by the protein environment has been investigated by introducing mutations into the native scaffold, indicating that catalytic activity of proton reduction is dependent on axial coordination to the porphyrin. It is also shown that effects of the protein environment are not directly transferred when applied to other reactions, such as CO2 reduction.

Inspired by the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenases, the second approach is based on the stereoselective preparation of a novel amino acid bearing a 1,2-benzenedithiol side chain. This moiety can serve as an anchoring point for the introduction of metal complexes into protein matrices. By doing so, this strategy enables the study of protein interactions with non-natural cofactors and the effects that it may have on catalysis. The work developed herein lays a foundation for furthering the study of the use of proteins as suitable environments for tuning the activity of organometallic catalysts in aqueous conditions, and interfacing these systems with other supporting units into supramolecular assemblies.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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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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Date Created
  • 2017

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Nanoscale heterogeneities in visible light absorbing photocatalysts: connecting structure to functionality through electron microscopy and spectroscopy

Description

Photocatalytic water splitting over suspended nanoparticles represents a potential solution for achieving CO2-neutral energy generation and storage. To design efficient photocatalysts, a fundamental understanding of the material’s structure, electronic properties,

Photocatalytic water splitting over suspended nanoparticles represents a potential solution for achieving CO2-neutral energy generation and storage. To design efficient photocatalysts, a fundamental understanding of the material’s structure, electronic properties, defects, and how these are controlled via synthesis is essential. Both bulk and nanoscale materials characterization, in addition to various performance metrics, can be combined to elucidate functionality at multiple length scales. In this work, two promising visible light harvesting systems are studied in detail: Pt-functionalized graphitic carbon nitrides (g-CNxHys) and TiO2-supported CeO2-x composites.

Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) is used to sense variations in the local concentration of amine moieties (defects believed to facilitate interfacial charge transfer) at the surface of a g-CNxHy flake. Using an aloof-beam configuration, spatial resolution is maximized while minimizing damage thus providing nanoscale vibrational fingerprints similar to infrared absorption spectra. Structural disorder in g-CNxHys is further studied using transmission electron microscopy at low electron fluence rates. In-plane structural fluctuations revealed variations in the local azimuthal orientation of the heptazine building blocks, allowing planar domain sizes to be related to the average polymer chain length. Furthermore, competing factors regulating photocatalytic performance in a series of Pt/g-CNxHys is elucidated. Increased polymer condensation in the g-CNxHy support enhances the rate of charge transfer to reactants owing to higher electronic mobility. However, active site densities are over 3x lower on the most condensed g-CNxHy which ultimately limits its H2 evolution rate (HER). Based on these findings, strategies to improve the cocatalyst configuration on intrinsically active supports are given.

In TiO2/CeO2-x photocatalysts, the effect of the support particle size on the bulk
anoscale properties and photocatalytic performance is investigated. Small anatase supports facilitate highly dispersed CeO2-x species, leading to increased visible light absorption and HERs resulting from a higher density of mixed metal oxide (MMO) interfaces with Ce3+ species. Using monochromated EELS, bandgap states associated with MMO interfaces are detected, revealing electronic transitions from 0.5 eV up to the bulk bandgap onset of anatase. Overall, the electron microscopy/spectroscopy techniques developed and applied herein sheds light onto the relevant defects and limiting processes operating within these photocatalyst systems thus suggesting rational design strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Sustainable new energy materials: design and discovery of novel materials and architectures for lithium ion batteries and solar energy conversion

Description

There is a fundamental attractiveness about harnessing renewable energy in an age when sustainability is an ethical norm. Lithium ion batteries and hydrogen fuels are considered the most promising energy

There is a fundamental attractiveness about harnessing renewable energy in an age when sustainability is an ethical norm. Lithium ion batteries and hydrogen fuels are considered the most promising energy source instead of fossil fuels. This work describes the investigation of new cathode materials and devices architectures for lithium ion batteries, and photocatalysts for their usage in water splitting and waste water treatment.

LiCoO2 and LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 were exfoliated into nanosheets using electrochemical oxidation followed by intercalation of tetraethylammonium cations. The nanosheets were purified using dialysis and electrophoresis. The nanosheets were successfully restacked into functional cathode materials with microwave hydrothermal assistance, indicating that new cathodes can be obtained by reassembling nanosheets. This method can pave the way for the synthesis of materials with novel structures and electrochemical properties, as well as facilitate the fabrication of hybrid and composite structures from different nanosheets as building blocks.

Paper folding techniques are used in order to compact a Li-ion battery and increase its energy per footprint area. Full cells were prepared using Li4Ti5O12 and LiCoO2 powders deposited onto current collectors consisting of paper coated with carbon nanotubes. Folded cells showed higher areal capacities compared to the planar versions. Origami lithium-ion battery made in this method that can be deformed at an unprecedented high level, including folding, bending and twisting.

Spray pyrolysis was used to prepare films of AgInS2 with and without Sn as an extrinsic dopant. The photoelectrochemical performance of these films was evaluated after annealing under a N2 or S atmosphere with different amounts of the Sn dopant. Density Function Theory (DFT) was used to calculate the band structure of AgInS2 and understand the role of Sn doping in the observed properties.

Cr(VI) removal was investigated using multiple oxide photocatalyst and additives. The efficiency for Cr(VI) removal using these photocatalysts was investigated in synthetic neutral and alkaline water, as well as in cooling tower blowdown water. While sulfite alone can chemically reduce Cr(VI), sulfite in combination with a photocatalyst resulted in faster and complete removal of Cr(VI) in 10 min using a SO32−/Cr(VI) ratio >35 in pH ∼ 8 solutions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Atomic level study of structural changes of TiO2 based photocatalysts during solar water splitting reactions using TEM

Description

Photocatalytic water splitting is a promising technique to produce H2 fuels from water using sustainable solar energy. To better design photocatalysts, the understanding of charge transfer at surfaces/interfaces and the

Photocatalytic water splitting is a promising technique to produce H2 fuels from water using sustainable solar energy. To better design photocatalysts, the understanding of charge transfer at surfaces/interfaces and the corresponding structure change during the reaction is very important. Local structural and chemical information on nanoparticle surfaces or interfaces can be achieved through characterizations on transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Emphasis should be put on materials structure changes during the reactions in their “working conditions”. Environmental TEM with in situ light illumination system allows the photocatalysts to be studied under light irradiation when exposed to H2O vapor. A set of ex situ and in situ TEM characterizations are carried out on typical types of TiO2 based photocatalysts. The observed structure changes during the reaction are correlated with the H2 production rate for structure-property relationships.

A surface disordering was observed in situ when well-defined anatase TiO2 rhombohedral nanoparticles were exposed to 1 Torr H2O vapor and 10suns light inside the environmental TEM. The disordering is believed to be related to high density of hydroxyl groups formed on surface oxygen vacancies during water splitting reactions.

Pt co-catalyst on TiO2 is able to split pure water producing H2 and O2. The H2 production rate drops during the reaction. Particle size growth during reaction was discovered with Z-contrast images. The particle size growth is believed to be a photo-electro-chemical Ostwald ripening.

Characterizations were also carried out on a more complicated photocatalyst system: Ni/NiO core/shell co-catalyst on TiO2. A decrease of the H2 production rate resulting from photo-corrosion was observed. The Ni is believed to be oxidized to Ni2+ by OH• radicals which are intermediate products of H2O oxidation. The mechanism that the OH• radicals leak into the cores through cracks on NiO shells is more supported by experiments.

Overall this research has done a comprehensive ex situ and in situ TEM characterizations following some typical TiO2 based photocatalysts during reactions. This research has shown the technique availability to study photocatalyst inside TEM in photocatalytic conditions. It also demonstrates the importance to follow structure changes of materials during reactions in understanding deactivation mechanisms.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Electron Microscopy Study of the Phase Transformation and Metal Functionalization of Titanium Oxide Nanotubes

Description

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase.

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2 nanotubes were studied using ex-situ and in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy studies were also performed to understand the phase and morphology of the nanotubes. As prepared TiO2 nanotubes supported on Ti metal substrate were amorphous, during the heat treatment in the ex-situ furnace nanotubes transform to anatase at 450 oC and transformed to rutile when heated to 800 oC. TiO2 nanotubes that were heat treated in an in-situ environmental TEM, transformed to anatase at 400 oC and remain anatase even up to 800 oC. In both ex-situ an in-situ case, the morphology of the nanotubes drastically changed from a continuous tubular structure to aggregates of individual nanoparticles. The difference between the ex-situ an in-situ treatments and their effect on the phase transformation is discussed. Metal doping is one of the effective ways to improve the photocatalytic performance. Several approaches were performed to get metal loading on to the TiO2 nanotubes. Mono-dispersed platinum nanoparticles were deposited on the TiO2 nanopowder and nanotubes using photoreduction method. Photo reduction for Ag and Pt bimetallic nanoparticles were also performed on the TiO2 powders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014