Matching Items (33)

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Modeling engineered nanoparticles removal by conventional activated sludge treatment process in wastewater treatment plant

Description

The production and applications of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has increased rapidly in the last decade, with release of ENM to the environment through the sewer system and municipal wastewater treatment

The production and applications of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has increased rapidly in the last decade, with release of ENM to the environment through the sewer system and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) being of concern. Currently, the literature on ENM release from WWTPs and removal of ENM by WWTPs is insufficient and disorganized. There is little quantitative data on the removal of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), graphene oxide (GO), or few-layer graphene (FLG), from wastewater onto biomass. The removal of pristine and oxidized MWCNTs (O-MWCNTs), graphene oxide (GO), few-layer graphene (FLG) and Tween™ 20-coated Ag ENM by the interaction with biomass were determined by programmable thermal analysis (PTA) and UV-Vis spectrophotometry. The removal of pristine and O-MWCNTs was 96% from the water phase via aggregation and 30-min settling in presence or absence of biomass with an initial MWCNT concentration of 25 mg/L. The removal of 25 mg/L GO was 65% with biomass concentration at or above 1,000 mg TSS/L. The removal of 1 mg/L FLG was 16% with 50 mg TSS/L. The removal of Tween™ 20 Ag ENM with concentration from 0.97 mg/L to 2.6 mg/L was from 11% to 92% with biomass concentration of 500 mg TSS/L to 3,000 mg TSS/L, respectively.

A database of ENM removal by biomass was established by analyzing data from published papers, and non-linear solid-liquid distribution functions were built into the database. A conventional activated sludge (CAS) model was built based on a membrane bioreactor (MBR) model from a previous paper. An iterative numeric approach was adapted to the CAS model to calculate the result of non-linear adsorption of ENM by biomass in the CAS process. Kinetic studies of the CAS model showed the model performance changed mostly in the first 10 days after changing influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration, and reached a steady state after 11 days. Over 60% of ENMs which have distribution coefficients in the database reached higher than 50% removal by the CAS model under general operational conditions. This result suggests that traditional WWTP which include the CAS process can remove many known types of ENMs in certain degree.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Carbonaceous nanomaterials as flame retardant coating on fabric

Description

Flame retardants (FRs) are applied to variety of consumer products such as textiles and polymers for fire prevention and fire safety. Substantial research is ongoing to replace traditional FRs with

Flame retardants (FRs) are applied to variety of consumer products such as textiles and polymers for fire prevention and fire safety. Substantial research is ongoing to replace traditional FRs with alternative materials that are less toxic, present higher flame retardancy and result in lower overall exposure as there are potential health concerns in case of exposure to popular FRs. Carbonaceous nanomaterials (CNMs) such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene oxide (GO) have been studied and applied to polymer composites and electronics extensively due to their remarkable properties. Hence CNMs are considered as potential alternative materials that present high flame retardancy. In this research, different kinds of CNMs coatings on polyester fabric are produced and evaluated for their use as flame retardants. To monitor the mass loading of CNMs coated on the fabric, a two-step analytical method for quantifying CNMs embedded in polymer composites was developed. This method consisted of polymer dissolution process using organic solvents followed by subsequent programmed thermal analysis (PTA). This quantification technique was applicable to CNTs with and without high metal impurities in a broad range of polymers. Various types of CNMs were coated on polyester fabric and the efficacy of coatings as flame retardant was evaluated. The oxygen content of CNMs emerged as a critical parameter impacting flame retardancy with higher oxygen content resulting in less FR efficacy. The most performant nanomaterials, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and amine functionalized multi-walled carbon nantoubes (NH2-MWCNT) showed similar FR properties to current flame retardants with low mass loading (0.18 g/m2) and hence are promising alternatives that warrant further investigation. Chemical/physical modification of MWCNTs was conducted to produce well-dispersed MWCNT solutions without involving oxygen for uniform FR coating. The MWCNTs coating was studied to evaluate the durability of the coating and the impact on the efficacy during use phase by conducting mechanical abrasion and washing test. Approximately 50% and 40% of MWCNTs were released from 1 set of mechanical abrasion and washing test respectively. The losses during simulated usage impacted the flame retardancy negatively.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Plasma assisted surface atomic layer substitution for creating Janus 2D materials

Description

More recently there have been a tremendous advancement in theoretical studies showing remarkable properties that could be exploited from transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) Janus crystals through various applications. These Janus

More recently there have been a tremendous advancement in theoretical studies showing remarkable properties that could be exploited from transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) Janus crystals through various applications. These Janus crystals are having a proven intrinsic electrical field due to breaking of out-of-plane inversion symmetry in a conventional TMDC when one of the chalcogenides atomic layer is being completely replaced by a layer of different chalcogen element. However, due to lack of accurate processing control at nanometer scales, key for creating a highly crystalline Janus structure has not yet been familiarized. Thus, experimental characterization and implication of these Janus crystals are still in a state of stagnation. This work presents a new advanced methodology that could prove to be highly efficient and effective for selective replacement of top layer atomic sites at room temperature conditions.

This is specifically more focused on proving an easy repeatability for replacement of top atomic layer chalcogenide from a parent structure of already grown TMDC monolayer (via CVD) by a post plasma processing technique. Though this developed technique is not limited to only chalcogen atom replacement but can be extended to any type of surface functionalization requirements.

Basic characterization has been performed on the Janus crystal of SeMoS and SeWS where, creation and characterization of SeWS has been done for the very first time, evidencing a repeatable nature of the developed methodology.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic characterization of nanomaterials and biopolymers

Description

Nanomaterials have attracted considerable attention in recent research due to their wide applications in various fields such as material science, physical science, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Researchers have developed

Nanomaterials have attracted considerable attention in recent research due to their wide applications in various fields such as material science, physical science, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. Researchers have developed many methods for synthesizing different types of nanostructures and have further applied them in various applications. However, in many cases, a molecular level understanding of nanoparticles and their associated surface chemistry is lacking investigation. Understanding the surface chemistry of nanomaterials is of great significance for obtaining a better understanding of the properties and functions of the nanomaterials. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can provide a familiar means of looking at the molecular structure of molecules bound to surfaces of nanomaterials as well as a method to determine the size of nanoparticles in solution. Here, a combination of NMR spectroscopic techniques including one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopies was used to investigate the surface chemistry and physical properties of some common nanomaterials, including for example, thiol-protected gold nanostructures and biomolecule-capped silica nanoparticles.

Silk is a natural protein fiber that features unique properties such as excellent mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and non-linear optical properties. These appealing physical properties originate from the silk structure, and therefore, the structural analysis of silk is of great importance for revealing the mystery of these impressive properties and developing novel silk-based biomaterials as well. Here, solid-state NMR spectroscopy was used to elucidate the secondary structure of silk proteins in N. clavipes spider dragline silk and B. mori silkworm silk. It is found that the Gly-Gly-X (X=Leu, Tyr, Gln) motif in spider dragline silk is not in a β-sheet or α-helix structure and is very likely to be present in a disordered structure with evidence for 31-helix confirmation. In addition, the conformations of the Ala, Ser, and Tyr residues in silk fibroin of B. mori were investigated and it indicates that the Ala, Ser, and Tyr residues are all present in disordered structures in silk I (before spinning), while show different conformations in silk II (after spinning). Specifically, in silk II, the Ala and Tyr residues are present in both disordered structures and β-sheet structures, and the Ser residues are present primarily in β-sheet structures.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Thermal storage and transport in colloidal nanocrystal-based materials

Description

The rapid progress of solution-phase synthesis has led colloidal nanocrystals one of the most versatile nanoscale materials, provided opportunities to tailor material's properties, and boosted related technological innovations. Colloidal nanocrystal-based

The rapid progress of solution-phase synthesis has led colloidal nanocrystals one of the most versatile nanoscale materials, provided opportunities to tailor material's properties, and boosted related technological innovations. Colloidal nanocrystal-based materials have been demonstrated success in a variety of applications, such as LEDs, electronics, solar cells and thermoelectrics. In each of these applications, the thermal transport property plays a big role. An undesirable temperature rise due to inefficient heat dissipation could lead to deleterious effects on devices' performance and lifetime. Hence, the first project is focused on investigating the thermal transport in colloidal nanocrystal solids. This study answers the question that how the molecular structure of nanocrystals affect the thermal transport, and provides insights for future device designs. In particular, PbS nanocrystals is used as a monitoring system, and the core diameter, ligand length and ligand binding group are systematically varied to study the corresponding effect on thermal transport.

Next, a fundamental study is presented on the phase stability and solid-liquid transformation of metallic (In, Sn and Bi) colloidal nanocrystals. Although the phase change of nanoparticles has been a long-standing research topic, the melting behavior of colloidal nanocrytstals is largely unexplored. In addition, this study is of practical importance to nanocrystal-based applications that operate at elevated temperatures. Embedding colloidal nanocrystals into thermally-stable polymer matrices allows preserving nanocrystal size throughout melt-freeze cycles, and therefore enabling observation of stable melting features. Size-dependent melting temperature, melting enthalpy and melting entropy have all been measured and discussed.

In the next two chapters, focus has been switched to developing colloidal nanocrystal-based phase change composites for thermal energy storage applications. In Chapter 4, a polymer matrix phase change nanocomposite has been created. In this composite, the melting temperature and energy density could be independently controlled by tuning nanocrystal diameter and volume fractions. In Chapter 5, a solution-phase synthesis on metal matrix-metal nanocrytal composite is presented. This approach enables excellent morphological control over nanocrystals and demonstrated a phase change composite with a thermal conductivity 2 - 3 orders of magnitude greater than typical phase change materials, such as organics and molten salts.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Metal oxide nanoparticles in electrospun polymers and their fate in aqueous waste streams

Description

Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly present in our environment. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), defined as objects that measure less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension, are being integrated into commercial

Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly present in our environment. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), defined as objects that measure less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension, are being integrated into commercial products because of their small size, increased surface area, and quantum effects. These special properties have made ENPs antimicrobial agents in clothing and plastics, among other applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and prosthetics. This thesis incorporates investigations into both application of nanoparticles into polymers as well as implications of nanoparticle release into the environment. First, the integration of ENPs into polymer fibers via electrospinning was explored. Electrospinning uses an external electric field applied to a polymer solution to produce continuous fibers with large surface area and small volume, a quality which makes the fibers ideal for water and air purification purposes. Indium oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles were embedded in polyvinylpyrrolidone and polystyrene. Viscosity, critical voltage, and diameter of electrospun fibers were analyzed in order to determine the effects of nanoparticle integration into the polymers. Critical voltage and viscosity of solution increased at 5 wt% ENP concentration. Fiber morphology was not found to change significantly as a direct effect of ENP addition, but as an effect of increased viscosity and surface tension. These results indicate the possibility for seamless integration of ENPs into electrospun polymers. Implications of ENP release were investigated using phase distribution functional assays of nanoscale silver and silver sulfide, as well as photolysis experiments of nanoscale titanium dioxide to quantify hydroxyl radical production. Functional assays are a means of screening the relevant importance of multiple processes in the environmental fate and transport of ENPs. Four functional assays – water-soil, water-octanol, water-wastewater sludge and water-surfactant – were used to compare concentrations of silver sulfide ENPs (Ag2S-NP) and silver ENPs (AgNP) capped by four different coatings. The functional assays resulted in reproducible experiments which clearly showed variations between nanoparticle phase distributions; the findings may be a product of the effects of the different coatings of the ENPs used. In addition to phase distribution experiments, the production of hydroxyl radical (HO•) by nanoscale titanium dioxide (TiO2) under simulated solar irradiation was investigated. Hydroxyl radical are a short-lived, highly reactive species produced by solar radiation in aquatic environments that affect ecosystem function and degrades pollutants. HO• is produced by photolysis of TiO2 and nitrate (NO3-); these two species were used in photolysis experiments to compare the relative loads of hydroxyl radical which nanoscale TiO2 may add upon release to natural waters. Para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA) was used as a probe. Measured rates of pCBA oxidation in the presence of various concentrations of TiO2 nanoparticles and NO3- were utilized to calculate pseudo first order rate constants. Results indicate that, on a mass concentration basis in water, TiO2 produces hydroxyl radical steady state concentrations at 1.3 times more than the equivalent amount of NO3-; however, TiO2 concentrations are generally less than one order of magnitude lower than concentrations of NO3-. This has implications for natural waterways as the amount of nanoscale TiO2 released from consumer products into natural waterways increases in proportion to its use.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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1-dimensional zinc oxide nanomaterial growth and solar cell applications

Description

Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide

Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide (ITO), graphene, and carbon nanotube film. It has been known as a conductive material when doped with elements such as indium, gallium and aluminum. The solubility of those dopant elements in ZnO is still debatable; but, it is necessary to find alternative conducting materials when their form is film or nanostructure for display devices. This is a consequence of the ever increasing price of indium. In addition, a new generation solar cell (nanostructured or hybrid photovoltaics) requires compatible materials which are capable of free standing on substrates without seed or buffer layers and have the ability introduce electrons or holes pathway without blocking towards electrodes. The nanostructures for solar cells using inorganic materials such as silicon (Si), titanium oxide (TiO2), and ZnO have been an interesting topic for research in solar cell community in order to overcome the limitation of efficiency for organic solar cells. This dissertation is a study of the rational solution-based synthesis of 1-dimentional ZnO nanomaterial and its solar cell applications. These results have implications in cost effective and uniform nanomanufacturing for the next generation solar cells application by controlling growth condition and by doping transition metal element in solution.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Dealloying induced stress corrosion cracking

Description

Dealloying induced stress corrosion cracking is particularly relevant in energy conversion systems (both nuclear and fossil fuel) as many failures in alloys such as austenitic stainless steel and nickel-based systems

Dealloying induced stress corrosion cracking is particularly relevant in energy conversion systems (both nuclear and fossil fuel) as many failures in alloys such as austenitic stainless steel and nickel-based systems result directly from dealloying. This study provides evidence of the role of unstable dynamic fracture processes in dealloying induced stress-corrosion cracking of face-centered cubic alloys. Corrosion of such alloys often results in the formation of a brittle nanoporous layer which we hypothesize serves to nucleate a crack that owing to dynamic effects penetrates into the un-dealloyed parent phase alloy. Thus, since there is essentially a purely mechanical component of cracking, stress corrosion crack propagation rates can be significantly larger than that predicted from electrochemical parameters. The main objective of this work is to examine and test this hypothesis under conditions relevant to stress corrosion cracking. Silver-gold alloys serve as a model system for this study since hydrogen effects can be neglected on a thermodynamic basis, which allows us to focus on a single cracking mechanism. In order to study various aspects of this problem, the dynamic fracture properties of monolithic nanoporous gold (NPG) were examined in air and under electrochemical conditions relevant to stress corrosion cracking. The detailed processes associated with the crack injection phenomenon were also examined by forming dealloyed nanoporous layers of prescribed properties on un-dealloyed parent phase structures and measuring crack penetration distances. Dynamic fracture in monolithic NPG and in crack injection experiments was examined using high-speed (106 frames s-1) digital photography. The tunable set of experimental parameters included the NPG length scale (20-40 nm), thickness of the dealloyed layer (10-3000 nm) and the electrochemical potential (0.5-1.5 V). The results of crack injection experiments were characterized using the dual-beam focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy. Together these tools allow us to very accurately examine the detailed structure and composition of dealloyed grain boundaries and compare crack injection distances to the depth of dealloying. The results of this work should provide a basis for new mathematical modeling of dealloying induced stress corrosion cracking while providing a sound physical basis for the design of new alloys that may not be susceptible to this form of cracking. Additionally, the obtained results should be of broad interest to researchers interested in the fracture properties of nano-structured materials. The findings will open up new avenues of research apart from any implications the study may have for stress corrosion cracking.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Sensing and regulation from nucleic acid devices

Description

The highly predictable structural and thermodynamic behavior of deoxynucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) have made them versatile tools for creating artificial nanostructures over broad range. Moreover, DNA and

The highly predictable structural and thermodynamic behavior of deoxynucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) have made them versatile tools for creating artificial nanostructures over broad range. Moreover, DNA and RNA are able to interact with biological ligand as either synthetic aptamers or natural components, conferring direct biological functions to the nucleic acid devices. The applications of nucleic acids greatly relies on the bio-reactivity and specificity when applied to highly complexed biological systems.

This dissertation aims to 1) develop new strategy to identify high affinity nucleic acid aptamers against biological ligand; and 2) explore highly orthogonal RNA riboregulators in vivo for constructing multi-input gene circuits with NOT logic. With the aid of a DNA nanoscaffold, pairs of hetero-bivalent aptamers for human alpha thrombin were identified with ultra-high binding affinity in femtomolar range with displaying potent biological modulations for the enzyme activity. The newly identified bivalent aptamers enriched the aptamer tool box for future therapeutic applications in hemostasis, and also the strategy can be potentially developed for other target molecules. Secondly, by employing a three-way junction structure in the riboregulator structure through de-novo design, we identified a family of high-performance RNA-sensing translational repressors that down-regulates gene translation in response to cognate RNAs with remarkable dynamic range and orthogonality. Harnessing the 3WJ repressors as modular parts, we integrate them into biological circuits that execute universal NAND and NOR logic with up to four independent RNA inputs in Escherichia coli.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Passive and active surfaces to reduce fouling of membranes and membane modules

Description

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed spacers, various coatings were applied. The results showed silver-coated biocidal spacers outperformed other spacers by all measures. The control polypropylene spacers performed in-line with, or better than, the other coatings. Polypropylene’s relative anti-adhesiveness is due to its surface free energy (SFE; 30.0 +/- 2.8 mN/m), which, according to previously generated models, is near the ideal SFE for resisting adhesion of bacteria and organics (~25 mN/m).

Previous research has indicated that electrochemical surfaces can be used to remove biofilms. To better elucidate the conditions and kinetics of biofilm removal, optical coherence tomography microscopy was used to visualize the biofouling and subsequent cleaning of the surface. The 50.0 mA cm-2 and 87.5 mA cm-2 current densities proved most effective in removing the biofilm. The 50.0 mA cm-2 condition offers the best balance between performance and energy use for anodic operation.

To test the potential to incorporate electrochemical coatings into infrastructure, membranes were coated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), rendering the membranes electrochemically active. These membranes were biofouled and subsequently cleaned via electrochemical reactions. P. aeruginosa was given 72h to develop a biofilm on the CNT-coated membranes in a synthetic medium simulating desalination brines. Cathodic reactions, which generate H2 gas, produce vigorous bubbling at a current density of 12.5 mA cm-2 and higher, leading to a rapid and complete displacement of the biofilm from the CNT-functionalized membrane surface. In comparison, anodic reactions were unable to disperse the biofilms from the surface at similar current densities.

The scaling behavior of a nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation (NESMD) system was investigated. The results showed the NESMD system to be resistant to scaling. The system operated without any decline in flux up to concentrations 6x higher than the initial salt concentration (8,439 mg/L), whereas in traditional membrane distillation (MD), flux essentially stopped at a salt concentration factor of 2x. Microscope and analytical analyses showed more fouling on the membranes from the MD system.

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Date Created
  • 2019