Matching Items (226)

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What Do Chemical Engineers Do, Exactly?

Description

When it comes to the topic of chemical engineering, the general public has a set of neutral, if slightly uninformed perceptions that are largely tempered by the initial emotional responses

When it comes to the topic of chemical engineering, the general public has a set of neutral, if slightly uninformed perceptions that are largely tempered by the initial emotional responses to the field and its associated topics. These topics include the differentiation between chemical engineers and chemists, the importance and potential danger of the products they produce, as well as the association of the subject matter with less than favorable secondary education experiences. This thesis consists of first assessing the opinions of a population meant to represent the general public regarding these subjects, then exploring the potential improvements of opinion and understanding that may be yielded from presenting the subject matter by way of a concise learning tool, such as a video. The results of this effort showed that factual understanding can be at least incrementally improved for 18% of participants through this method, while the effect on opinions can range from being improved to maintaining an enduring indifference, with an average of 17% of participants seeing improvement. Further iteration of this methodology with more consistent, impartial survey methods and refined questions could potentially yield more noteworthy improvements within the subjective domain, with the resultant learning tool of that iteration being applicable as not only an instrument of educating the general public, but also as a means to recruit potential students to the ASU chemical engineering degree program.

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  • 2019-05

In Vitro Osteogenic Study of hMSCs Under Diabetic Conditions

Description

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus experience a slower healing process and poor osteointegration, making it difficult for them to heal properly after a bone fracture. This study aims to

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus experience a slower healing process and poor osteointegration, making it difficult for them to heal properly after a bone fracture. This study aims to compare the proliferation and differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells at different glucose concentrations, as well as with an advanced glycated end-product (AGE) concentration, to mimic a healthy, prediabetic, and diabetic environment in an in vitro model over several experiments. Each experiment was composed of treatment groups in either growth or osteogenic media, with varying levels of glucose concentration or an advanced glycated end-product concentration. The treatment groups were cultured in 24 well plates over 28 days with staining of FITC-maleimide, DAPI, or alkaline phosphatase conducted at varying time points. The plates were imaged, then analyzed in ImageJ and GraphPad Prism. The study supports that at 28 days in culture, the more glucose added to osteogenic media treatment groups, the lower the nuclear count. At 14 days the same is true of growth media treatment groups, though the trend does not persist until 28 days. It does not seem that cell surface area of osteogenic groups, and growth media treatment groups was affected by glucose level. At 14 days, the alkaline phosphatase expression was unaffected by glucose level. However, at the 28 day time point the higher the glucose level of osteogenic treatment groups, the less expression of alkaline phosphatase. The effect of the added AGE concentration on hMSC osteogenesis was inconclusive. Overall, this study enhanced understanding of the role that glucose and AGEs play in the bone healing process for diabetic patients, allowing for future improvements of biomaterials and engineered tissue.

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  • 2019-05

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Green Charcoal: Case of Innovation Ecosystem in Nepal’s Renewable Energy System

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There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is

There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is important in advancing the 17 sustainable development goals as set by the United Nations. Green charcoal is a cooking fuel technology made from ground and compressed biochar, an organic material made from heating a feedstock (biomass, forest residues, agriculture waste, invasive species, etc.) in an oxygen deprived environment to high temperatures. Green charcoal behaves similarly to wood charcoal or coal but is different from these energy products in that it is produced from biomass, not from wood or fossil fuels. Green charcoal has gained prominence as a cooking fuel technology in South-East Asia recently. Within the context of Nepal, green charcoal is currently being produced using lantana camara, an invasive species in Nepal, as a feedstock in order to commoditize the otherwise destructive plant. The purpose of this study was to understand the innovation ecosystem of green charcoal within the context of Nepal’s renewable energy sector. An innovation ecosystem is all of the actors, users and conditions that contribute to the success of a particular method of value creation. Through a series of field interviews, it was determined that the main actors of the green charcoal innovation ecosystem are forest resources governance agencies, biochar producers, boundary organizations, briquette producers, distributors/vendors, the political economy of energy, and the food culture of individuals. The end user (user segment) of this innovation ecosystem is restaurants. Each actor was further analyzed based on the Ecosystem Pie Model methodology as created by Talmar, et al. using the actor’s individual resources, activities, value addition, value capture, dependence on green charcoal and the associated risk as the building blocks for analysis. Based on ecosystem analysis, suggestions were made on how to strengthen the green charcoal innovation ecosystem in Nepal’s renewable energy sector based on actor-actor and actor-green charcoal interactions, associated risks and dependence, and existing knowledge and technology gaps. It was determined that simply deploying a clean cooking technology does not guarantee success of the technology. Rather, there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the success of the clean cooking technology that deserve equal amounts of attention in order to successfully implement the technology.

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  • 2019-05

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Cloning Sulfate Transporters in Growth Inhibited Yeast S. Cerevisiae

Description

The yeast project studies the growth of yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (S. Cerevisiae) in high and low sulfate environments and analyzes the potential for genetically mutated plasmids to facilitate sulfate uptake

The yeast project studies the growth of yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (S. Cerevisiae) in high and low sulfate environments and analyzes the potential for genetically mutated plasmids to facilitate sulfate uptake in gene deficient yeast medias. The goal of the project was to transform the Sul1 and Sul2 transporters into the nutrient deficient yeast strain BY4743 and observe growth in conditions that would otherwise prohibit growth in order to create a model that can be used to study the effect of sulfate concentration on the transporters. The experimental results showed that expressing the sulfate transporters in the BY4743 strain provided the potential for the yeast to grow in nutrient-poor media. The growth potential model allows for further analysis on the sulfate transporters and will be used for research projects going forward.

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  • 2019-05

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Computational Modeling and Experimentation of Pervaporation Membrane Processes for Brackish Water Recovery

Description

Fresh water is essential to the human population and is an integral component in global economics for its multiple uses, and population growth/development cause concern for the possible exhaustion of

Fresh water is essential to the human population and is an integral component in global economics for its multiple uses, and population growth/development cause concern for the possible exhaustion of the limited supply of freshwater. A combined computational and experimental approach to observe and evaluate pervaporation membrane performance for brackish water recovery was done to assess its efficiency and practicality for real world application. Results from modeling conveyed accuracy to reported parameter values from literature as well as strong dependence of performance on input parameters such as temperature. Experimentation results showed improved performance in flux by 34%-42% with radiative effect and then additional performance improvement (9%-33%) with the photothermal effect from carbon black application. Future work will include improvements to the model to include scaling propensity and energy consumption as well as continued experimentation to assess quality of pervaporation in water recovery.

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  • 2018-05

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Augmenting Protocols for In-situ Separation of Biocompounds.

Description

In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative

In our modern world the source of for many chemicals is to acquire and refine oil. This process is becoming an expensive to the environment and to human health. Alternative processes for acquiring the final product have been developed but still need work. One product that is valuable is butanol. The normal process for butanol production is very intensive but there is a method to produce butanol from bacteria. This process is better because it is more environmentally safe than using oil. One problem however is that when the bacteria produce too much butanol it reaches the toxicity limit and stops the production of butanol. In order to keep butanol from reaching the toxicity limit an adsorbent is used to remove the butanol without harming the bacteria. The adsorbent is a mesoporous carbon powder that allows the butanol to be adsorbed on it. This thesis explores different designs for a magnetic separation process to extract the carbon powder from the culture.

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  • 2015-05

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Solution-Cast Membranes for Wastewater Recovery: A New Chemical-Resistant Nanocomposite Design

Description

The goal of this research project is to create a mixed matrix membrane that can withstand very acidic environments but still be used to purify water. The ultimate goal of

The goal of this research project is to create a mixed matrix membrane that can withstand very acidic environments but still be used to purify water. The ultimate goal of this membrane is to be used to purify urine both here on Earth and in space. The membrane would be able to withstand these harsh conditions due the incorporation of a resilient impermeable polymer layer that will be cast above the lower hydrophilic layer. Nanoparticles called zeolites will act as a water selective pathway through this impermeable layer and allow water to flow through the membrane. This membrane will be made using a variety of methods and polymers to determine both the cheapest and most effective way of creating this chemical resistant membrane. If this research is successful, many more water sources can be tapped since the membranes will be able to withstand hard conditions. This document is primarily focused on our progress on the development of a highly permeable polymer-zeolite film that makes up the bottom layer of the membrane. Multiple types of casting methods were investigated and it was determined that spin coating at 4000 rpm was the most effective. Based on a literature review, we selected silicalite-1 zeolites as the water-selective nanoparticle component dispersed in a casting solution of polyacrylonitrile in N-methylpyrrolidinone to comprise this hydrophilic layer. We varied the casting conditions of several simple solution-casting methods to produce thin films on the porous substrate with optimal film properties for our membrane design. We then cast this solution on other types of support materials that are more flexible and inexpensive to determine which combination resulted in the thinnest and most permeable film.

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  • 2015-05

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LTA Zeolite Monolayers via the Langmuir-Blodgett Technique

Description

Zeolite thin films and membranes are currently a promising technology for pervaporation, gas separation and water purification. The main drawback with these technologies is that the synthesis is not consistent

Zeolite thin films and membranes are currently a promising technology for pervaporation, gas separation and water purification. The main drawback with these technologies is that the synthesis is not consistent leading to varied and unreproducible results. The Langmuir-Blodgett technique is a robust method for transferring monolayers of molecules or crystals to a solid substrate. By measuring the surface pressure and controlling the area, reliable results can be achieved by transferring monolayers to different solid substrates. It has been shown previously that various types of zeolites can be functionalized and dispersed on the top of water. This is done by using an alcohol to form a hydrophobic coating on the surface of zeolite. The Langmuir-Blodgett can be used to create thin, compact films of zeolites for synthesizing and growing zeolite films. For the first reported time, cubic LTA Zeolites monolayers have been assembled with the Langmuir-Blodgett technique with multiple solvents and different sizes of zeolites. These films were characterized with Scanning Electron Microscopy and Pressure-Area Isotherms generated from the Langmuir-Blodgett. It was found that linoleic acid is a required addition to the zeolite dispersions to protect the mechanical stability during agitation. Without this addition, the LTA zeolites are broken apart and lose their characteristic cubic structure. This effect is discussed and a theory is presented that the interparticle interactions of the long alkane chain of the linoleic acid help reduce the shear stress on the individual zeolite particles, thus preventing them from being broken. The effect of size of the zeolites on the monolayer formation was also discussed. There seemed to be little correlation between the monolayer quality and formation as size was changed. However, to optimize the process, different concentrations and target pressures are needed. Lastly, the effect of the solvent was explored and it was found that there is a different between monolayer formations for different solvents likely due to differing interparticle interactions. Overall, LTA zeolites were successfully fabricated and the important factors to consider are the zeolite size, the solvent, and the amount of surfactant stabilizer added.

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  • 2016-12

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Lipopolymer-Mediated Transgene Delivery to Human Stem Cells

Description

Genetic manipulation of human cell lines has widespread applications in biomedical research ranging from disease modeling to therapeutic development. Human cells are generally difficult to genetically engineer, but exogenous nucleic

Genetic manipulation of human cell lines has widespread applications in biomedical research ranging from disease modeling to therapeutic development. Human cells are generally difficult to genetically engineer, but exogenous nucleic acids can be expressed by viral, chemical, or nonchemical means. Chemical transfections are simpler in practice than both viral and nonchemical delivery of genetic material, but often suffer from cytotoxicity and low efficiency. Novel aminoglycoside antibiotic-derived lipopolymers have been synthesized to mediate transgene delivery to human cells. These polymers are comprised of either paromomycin or apramycin crosslinked with glycerol diglycidylether and derivatized with stearoyl chloride in varying molar ratios. In this work, three previously identified target lipopolymers were screened against a library of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell lines. Cells were transfected with a plasmid encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expression was quantified with flow cytometry 48 hours after transfection. Transfection efficiency was evaluated between three distinct lipopolymers and four lipopolymer:DNA mass ratios. GFP expression was compared to that of cells transfected with commercially available chemical gene delivery reagent controls\u2014JetPEI, Lipofectamine, and Fugene\u2014at their recommended reagent:DNA ratios. Improved transgene expression in stem cell lines allows for improved research methods. Human stem cell-derived neurons that have been genetically manipulated to express phenotypic characteristics of aging can be utilized to model neurodegenerative diseases, elucidating information about these diseases that would be inaccessible in unmanipulated tissue.

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  • 2017-05

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Enhancing the Profile of Chemical Engineers as Relevant to Society amongst Middle School and High School Students

Description

The objective of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of a poster-based messaging campaign and engineering-based activities for middle school and high school students to encourage students to

The objective of this research study is to assess the effectiveness of a poster-based messaging campaign and engineering-based activities for middle school and high school students to encourage students to explore and to pursue chemical engineering. Additionally, presentations are incorporated into both methods to provide context and improve understanding of the presented poster material or activity. Pre-assessments and post-assessments are the quantitative method of measuring effectiveness. For the poster campaign, ASU juniors and seniors participated in the poster campaign by producing socially relevant messages about their research or aspirations to address relevant chemical engineering problems. For the engineering-based activity, high school students participated in an Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering program "Young Engineers Shape the World" in which the students participated in six-hour event learning about four engineering disciplines, and the chemical engineering presentation and activity was conducted in one of the sessions. Pre-assessments were given at the beginning of the event, and the post-assessments were provided towards the end of the event. This honors thesis project will analyze the collected data.

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  • 2017-05