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Carbon Capture Methods Utilizing Organosulfur Compounds

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The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society have recently released a detailed report on the causes and effects of global climate change.1 This report states that

The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society have recently released a detailed report on the causes and effects of global climate change.1 This report states that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity. Specifically, the burning of fossil fuels to satisfy the energy demands of rising global population has resulted in unprecedented levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. These high levels of greenhouse gasses are serving to warm the surface of the planet resulting in extreme weather events. Thus, controlling the atmospheric CO2 level is motivating a great deal of scientific research in the area of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Despite the great strides being made in the areas of alternative energy and solar-energy conversion, consumption of fossil fuels for energy generation will likely continue into the foreseeable future. This is primarily motivated by economic factors inasmuch as fossil fuels are a proven resource base with robust harvesting and distribution infrastructure.2 Presently, there are more than 8,000 stationary CO2 emission sources with an annual output of 13,466 megatons of CO2 per year.2 In this context, development of systems that ameliorate the output of greenhouse gasses from stationary CO2 sources, such as coal and natural gas burning power plants, is urgently needed.

In this document the utility of sulfur nucleophiles for CCS schemes is explored. The main thrust of the research has been utilizing electrogenerated sulfur nucleophiles to capture CO2, which can be electrochemically recovered from the resulting thiocarbonates while concomitantly regenerating the masked capture agent. Further, a temperature swing CO2 capture scheme that employs benzylthiolate as the CO2 sorbent is proposed and methods of manipulating the release temperature and kinetics were investigated. These reports represent the first application of organosulfur compounds toward CCS technologies and there are a number of newly reported compounds. The appendix deviates from the theme of the first four chapters to describe the functionalization of poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) with ferrocene moieties by the copper catalyzed azide-alkyne coupling reaction. This material is discussed within the context of anion recognition and sensing applications.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Characterizing nanomaterials and protic ionic liquids utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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Structural details of phosphonic acid functionalized nanomaterials and protic ionic liquids (PILs) were characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. It is well known that ligands play a critical

Structural details of phosphonic acid functionalized nanomaterials and protic ionic liquids (PILs) were characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. It is well known that ligands play a critical role in the synthesis and properties of nanomaterials. Therefore, elucidating the details of ligand-surface and ligand-ligand interactions is crucial to understanding nanomaterial systems more completely.

In an effort to further the understanding of ligand-surface interactions, a combination of multi-nuclear (1H, 29Si, 31P) and multi-dimensional solid-state NMR techniques were utilized to characterize the phosphonic acid functionalization of fumed silica nanoparticles using methyl phosphonic acid (MPA) and phenyl phosphonic acid (PPA). Quantitative 31P MAS solid-state NMR measurements indicate that ligands favor a monodentate binding mode. Furthermore, 1H-1H single quantum-double quantum (SQ-DQ) back-to-back (BABA) 2D NMR spectra of silica functionalized with MPA and PPA indicate that the MPA and PPA are within 4.2±0.2 Å on the surface of the nanomaterial.

The ligand capping of phosphonic acid (PA) functionalized CdSe/ZnS core-shell quantum dots (QDs) was investigated with a combination of ligand exchange, solution and solid-state 31P NMR spectroscopy. In order to quantify the ligand populations on the surface of the QDs, ligand exchange facilitated by PPA resulted in the displacement of the PAs, and allowed for quantification of the free ligands using 31P liquid state NMR.

In addition to characterizing nanomaterials, the ionicity and transport properties of a series of diethylmethylamine (DEMA) based protic ionic liquids (PILs) were characterized, principally utilizing NMR. Gas phase proton affinity was shown to be a better predictor for the extent of proton transfer, and in turn the ionicity of the PIL, than using ∆pKa. Furthermore, pulsed field gradient (PFG) NMR was used to determine that the exchangeable proton diffuses with the cation or the anion based on the strength of the acid used to generate the PILs.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Electrochemistry of palladium with emphasis on size dependent electrochemistry of water soluble palladium nanoparticles

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Palladium metal in its various forms has been heavily studied for many catalytic, hydrogen storage and sensing applications and as an electrocatalyst in fuel cells. A short review on various

Palladium metal in its various forms has been heavily studied for many catalytic, hydrogen storage and sensing applications and as an electrocatalyst in fuel cells. A short review on various applications of palladium and the mechanism of Pd nanoparticles synthesis will be discussed in chapter 1. Size dependent properties of various metal nanoparticles and a thermodynamic theory proposed by Plieth to predict size dependent redox properties of metal nanoparticles will also be discussed in chapter 1.

To evaluate size dependent stability of metal nanoparticles using electrochemical techniques in aqueous media, a synthetic route was designed to produce water soluble Pd nanoparticles. Also, a purification technique was developed to obtain monodisperse metal nanoparticles to study size dependent stability using electrochemical methods. Chapter 2 will describe in detail the synthesis, characterization and size dependent anodic dissolution studies of water soluble palladium nanoparticles.

The cost associated with using expensive metal catalysts can further decreased by using the underpotential deposition (UPD) technique, in which one metal is electrodeposited in monolayer or submonolayer form on a different metal substrate. Electrochemically, this process can be detected by the presence of a deposition peak positive to the bulk deposition potential in a cyclic voltammetry (CV) experiment. The difference between the bulk deposition potential and underpotential deposition peak (i.e. the UPD shift), which is a measure of the energetics of the monolayer deposition step, depends on the work function difference between the metal pairs. Chapter 3 will explore how metal nanoparticles of different sizes will change the energetics of the UPD phenomenon, using the UPD of Cu on palladium nanoparticles as an example. It will be shown that the UPD shift depends on the size of the nanoparticle substrate in a way that is understandable based on the Plieth model.

High electrocatalytic activity of palladium towards ethanol oxidation in an alkaline medium makes it an ideal candidate for the anode electrocatalyst in direct ethanol based fuel cells (DEFCs). Chapter 4 will explore the poisoning of the catalytic activity of palladium in the presence of halide impurities, often used in synthesis of palladium nanoparticles as precursors or shape directing agents.

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Date Created
  • 2016