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Simulations of Pressure Swing Adsorption of Methane - Carbon Dioxide System

Description

Separation of carbon dioxide and methane for the upgrade of natural gas through use of pressure swing adsorption could potentially save large amounts of energy from the current, costly process of cryogenic distillation and provides greater cost effectiveness for carbon

Separation of carbon dioxide and methane for the upgrade of natural gas through use of pressure swing adsorption could potentially save large amounts of energy from the current, costly process of cryogenic distillation and provides greater cost effectiveness for carbon dioxide capture, and provide larger product flowrates than membrane permeation separation. The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of varying initial conditions of a MatLab simulation, courtesy of Mai Xu, a graduate student at ASU, designed to use Langmuir isotherms, mass transfer equations, and adsorbent and gas properties to simulate a pressure swing adsorption process with a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide gas feed. The effects that will be varied are the adsorption/desorption time, pressurization/depressurization time, adsorption feed composition, desorption purge composition, adsorption pressure, desorption pressure, adsorption flow rate, and desorption flow rate. The study found that the trends in methane purity and production generally follow the trends predicted by literature and relevant equations, with pressure boundaries being the largest impacting factor. In addition there was a markedly inverse correlation between purity of methane product and the productivity of the system. This trend was only violated in one instance, at very low vacuum pressure during desorption, which could indicate an area that requires further study. Overall, the main areas of improvement in pressure swing adsorption for this system would be improving the selectivity of adsorption of carbon dioxide over methane, which requires improvement and change of the adsorbent, and more extreme vacuum pressures during desorption, both of which will increase methane yield and reduce operating costs.

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2018-05

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Bi-phase Synthesis of the Zirconium Metal-Organic Framework, UiO-66

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Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new set of porous materials comprised of metals or metal clusters bonded together in a coordination system by organic linkers. They are becoming popular for gas separations due to their abilities to be tailored toward specific applications. Zirconium MOFs in particular are known for their high stability under standard temperature and pressure due to the strength of the Zirconium-Oxygen coordination bond. However, the acid modulator needed to ensure long range order of the product also prevents complete linker deprotonation. This leads to a powder product that cannot easily be incorporated into continuous MOF membranes. This study therefore implemented a new bi-phase synthesis technique with a deprotonating agent to achieve intergrowth in UiO-66 membranes. Crystal intergrowth will allow for effective gas separations and future permeation testing. During experimentation, successful intergrown UiO-66 membranes were synthesized and characterized. The degree of intergrowth and crystal orientations varied with changing deprotonating agent concentration, modulator concentration, and ligand:modulator ratios. Further studies will focus on achieving the same results on porous substrates.

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2016-12

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Synthesis and Characterization of 2D Metal-organic Frameworks for Mixed-matrix Membrane Gas Separations

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Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating costs over the conventional gas separation technologies. Unfortunately, the available

Membrane-based technology for gas separations is currently at an emerging stage of advancement and adoption for environmental and industrial applications due to its substantial advantages like lower energy and operating costs over the conventional gas separation technologies. Unfortunately, the available polymeric (or organic) membranes suffer a trade-off between permeance and selectivity. Mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) containing two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as fillers are a highly sought approach to redress this trade-off given their enhanced gas permeabilities and selectivities compared to the pure polymeric membrane. These MMMs are increasingly gaining attention by researchers due to their unique properties and wide small- and large-scale gas separation applications. However, straightforward and scalable methods for the synthesis of MOFs nanosheets have thus far been persistently elusive. This study reports the single-phase preparation, and characterization of MMMs with 2D MOFs nanosheets as fillers. The prepared MOF and the polymer matrix form the ‘dense’ MMMs which exhibit increased gas diffusion resistance, and thus improved separation abilities. The single-phase approach was more successful than the bi-phase at synthesizing the MOFs. The influence of sonication power and time on the characteristics and performance of the membranes are examined and discussed. Increasing the sonication power from 50% to 100% reduces the pore size. Additionally, the ultimate effect on the selectivity and permeance of the MMMs with different single gases is reported. Analysis of results with various gas mixers indicates further performance improvements in these MMMs could be achieved by increasing sonication time and tuning suitable membrane thicknesses. Reported results reveal that MMMs are excellent candidates for next-generation gas mixture separations, with potential applications in CO2 capture and storage, hydrogen recovery, alkene recovery from alkanes, and natural gas purification.

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2019-05

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Synthesis and characterization of boronic-acid-containing metal organic frameworks

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We report the synthesis of novel boronic acid-containing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which was synthesized via solvothermal synthesis of cobalt nitride with 3,5-Dicarboxyphenylboronic acid (3,5-DCPBC). Powder X-ray diffraction and BET surface area analysis have been used to verify the successful synthesis

We report the synthesis of novel boronic acid-containing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which was synthesized via solvothermal synthesis of cobalt nitride with 3,5-Dicarboxyphenylboronic acid (3,5-DCPBC). Powder X-ray diffraction and BET surface area analysis have been used to verify the successful synthesis of this microporous material.

We have also made the attempts of using zinc nitride and copper nitride as metal sources to synthesize the boronic acid-containing MOFs. However, the attempts were not successful. The possible reason is the existence of copper and zinc ions catalyzed the decomposition of 3,5-Dicarboxyphenylboronic acid, forming isophthalic acid. The ended product has been proved to be isophthalic acid crystals by the single crystal X-ray diffraction. The effects of solvents, reaction temperature, and added bases were investigated. The addition of triethylamine has been shown to tremendously improve the sample crystallinity by facilitating ligand deprotonation

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Date Created
2014

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Development of mehanochemically active polymers for early damage detection

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Identification of early damage in polymer composite materials is of significant importance so that preventative measures can be taken before the materials reach catastrophic failure. Scientists have been developing damage detection technologies over many years and recently, mechanophore-based polymers, in

Identification of early damage in polymer composite materials is of significant importance so that preventative measures can be taken before the materials reach catastrophic failure. Scientists have been developing damage detection technologies over many years and recently, mechanophore-based polymers, in which mechanical energy is translated to activate a chemical transformation, have received increasing attention. More specifically, the damage can be made detectable by mechanochromic polymers, which provide a visible color change upon the scission of covalent bonds under stress. This dissertation focuses on the study of a novel self-sensing framework for identifying early and in-situ damage by employing unique stress-sensing mechanophores. Two types of mechanophores, cyclobutane and cyclooctane, were utilized, and the former formed from cinnamoyl moeities and the latter formed from anthracene upon photodimerization. The effects on the thermal and mechanical properties with the addition of the cyclobutane-based polymers into epoxy matrices were investigated. The emergence of cracks was detected by fluorescent signals at a strain level right after the yield point of the polymer blends, and the fluorescence intensified with the accumulation of strain. Similar to the mechanism of fluorescence emission from the cleavage of cyclobutane, the cyclooctane moiety generated fluorescent emission with a higher quantum yield upon cleavage. The experimental results also demonstrated the success of employing the cyclooctane type mechanophore as a potential force sensor, as the fluorescence intensification was correlated with the strain increase.

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Date Created
2014

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A Model of Nanoparticle Dispersion in Electrospun Nanofibers

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Polymer-nanoparticle composites (PNCs) show improved chemical and physical properties compared to pure polymers. However, nanoparticles dispersed in a polymer matrix tend to aggregate due to strong interparticle interactions. Electrospun nanofibers impregnated with nanoparticles have shown improved dispersion of nanoparticles. Currently,

Polymer-nanoparticle composites (PNCs) show improved chemical and physical properties compared to pure polymers. However, nanoparticles dispersed in a polymer matrix tend to aggregate due to strong interparticle interactions. Electrospun nanofibers impregnated with nanoparticles have shown improved dispersion of nanoparticles. Currently, there are few models for quantifying dispersion in a PNC, and none for electrospun PNC fibers. A simulation model was developed to quantify the effects of nanoparticle volume loading and fiber to particle diameter ratios on the dispersion in a nanofiber. The dispersion was characterized using the interparticle distance along the fiber. Distributions of the interparticle distance were fit to Weibull distributions and a two-parameter empirical equation for the mean and standard deviation was found. A dispersion factor was defined to quantify the dispersion along the polymer fiber. This model serves as a standard for comparison for future experimental studies through its comparability with microscopy techniques, and as way to quantify and predict dispersion in polymer-nanoparticle electrospinning systems with a single performance metric.

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2016-12

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Stress-responsive nano- and microcomposites featuring mechanophore units

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The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of

The problem of catastrophic damage purveys in any material application, and minimizing its occurrence is paramount for general health and safety. Thus, novel damage detection schemes are required that can sense the precursors to damage. Mechanochemistry is the area of research that involves the use of mechanical force to induce a chemical change, with recent study focusing on directing the mechanical force to embedded mechanophore units for a targeted chemical response. Mechanophores are molecular units that provide a measureable signal in response to an applied force, often in the form of a visible color change or fluorescent emission, and their application to thermoset network polymers has been limited. Following preliminary work on polymer blends of cyclobutane-based mechanophores and epoxy, dimeric 9-anthracene carboxylic acid (Di-AC)-based mechanophore particles were synthesized and employed to form stress sensitive particle reinforced epoxy matrix composites.

Under an applied stress, the cyclooctane-rings in the Di-AC particles revert back to their fluorescent anthracene form, which linearly enhances the overall fluorescence of the composite in response to the applied strain. The fluorescent signal further allows for stress sensing in the elastic region of the stress-strain curve, which is considered to be a form of damage precursor detection. This behavior was further analyzed at the molecular scale with corresponding molecular dynamics simulations. Following the successful application of Di-AC to an epoxy matrix, the mechanophore particles were incorporated into a polyurethane matrix to show the universal nature of Di-AC as a stress-sensitive particle filler. Interestingly, in polyurethane Di-AC could successfully detect damage with less applied strain compared to the epoxy system.

While mechanophores of varying chemistries have been covalently incorporated into elastomeric and thermoplastic polymer systems, they have not yet been covalently incorporated a thermoset network polymer. Thus, following the study of mechanophore particles as stress-sensitive fillers, two routes of grafting mechanophore units into an epoxy system to form a self-sensing nanocomposite were explored. These involved the mechanophore precursor and mechanophore, cinnamamide and di-cinnamamide, respectively. With both molecules, the free amine groups can directly bond to epoxy resin to covalently incorporate themselves within the thermoset network to form a self-sensing nanocomposite.

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Date Created
2016

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A novel mobile device for environmental hydrocarbon sensing and its applications

Description

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory irritation, headaches and dizziness. In order to monitor the personal VOCs exposure level at point-of-care, a wearable real time monitor for VOCs detection is necessary. For it to be useful in real world application, it requires low cost, small size and weight, low power consumption, high sensitivity and selectivity.

To meet these requirements, a novel mobile device for personal VOCs exposure monitor has been developed. The key sensing element is a disposable molecularly imprinted polymer based quartz tuning fork resonator. The sensor and fabrication protocol are low cost, reproducible and stable. Characterization on the sensing material and device has been done. Comparisons with gold standards in the field such as GC-MS have been conducted. And the device’s functionality and capability have been validated in field tests, proving that it’s a great tool for VOCs monitoring under different scenarios.

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Date Created
2017

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Synthesis and functionalization of zinc oxide nanowires

Description

Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the growth of high-quality ZnO NWs and functionalization of ZnO NWs

Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the growth of high-quality ZnO NWs and functionalization of ZnO NWs are critical. In this work, specific types of functionalized ZnO NWs have been synthesized and correlations between specific structures and properties have been investigated. Deposition of δ-Bi2O3 (narrow band gap) epilayers onto ZnO (wide band gap) NWs improves the absorption efficiency of the visible light spectrum by 70%. Furthermore, the deposited δ-Bi2O3 grows selectively and epitaxially on the {11-20} but not on the {10-10} facets of the ZnO NWs. The selective epitaxial deposition and the interfacial structure were thoroughly investigated. The morphology and structure of the Bi2O3/ZnO nanocomposites can be tuned by controlling the deposition conditions.

Various deposition methods, both physical and chemical, were used to functionalize the ZnO NWs with metal or alloy nanoparticles (NPs) for catalytic transformations of important molecules which are relevant to energy and environment. Cu and PdZn NPs were epitaxially grown on ZnO NWs to make them resistant to sintering at elevated temperatures and thus improved the stability of such catalytic systems for methanol steam reforming (MSR) to produce hydrogen. A series of Pd/ZnO catalysts with different Pd loadings were synthesized and tested for MSR reaction. The CO selectivity was found to be strongly dependent on the size of the Pd: Both PdZn alloy and single Pd atoms yield low CO selectivity while Pd clusters give the highest CO selectivity.

By dispersing single Pd atoms onto ZnO NWs, Pd1/ZnO single-atom catalysts (SACs) was synthesized and their catalytic performance was evaluated for selected catalytic reactions. The experimental results show that the Pd1/ZnO SAC is active for CO oxidation and MSR but is not desirable other reactions. We further synthesized ZnO NWs supported noble metal (M1/ZnO; M=Rh, Pd, Pt, Ir) SACs and studied their catalytic performances for CO oxidation. The catalytic test data shows that all the fabricated noble metal SACs are active for CO oxidation but their activity are significantly different. Structure-performance relationships were investigated.

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Date Created
2017

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Development of environmentally responsive multifunctional microgel particles: synthesis, characterization and applications

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Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by the nature of the polymer-solvent interaction. This thesis focuses on design and synthesis of environmentally responsive microgels and their composites, and encompasses methods of utilizing microgel systems in applications as vehicles for the adsorption, retention, and targeted delivery of chemical species. Furthermore, self-assembled microgel particles at ionic liquid (IL)-water interfaces demonstrate responsive colloidal lattice morphology. The thesis first reports on the fundamental aspects of synthesis, functionalization, and characteristic properties of multifunctional environmentally responsive microgels derived from poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) and other functional co-monomers. In particular, the uptake and release of active chemical species such as rheology modifiers into and from these ionic microgels is demonstrated. Moreover, a facile tunable method for the formation of organic-inorganic composites with Fe3O4 nanoparticles adsorbed and embedded within ionic microgel particles is explored. Additionally, the development of zwitterionic microgels (ZI-MG) is presented. These aqueous ZI-MG dispersions exhibit reversible parabolic swelling as a function of pH and display a minimum hydrodynamic diameter at a tunable isoelectric point (IEP). This study also elucidates the controlled uptake and release of surfactants from these particle systems. The extent of surfactant loading and the ensuing relative swelling/deswelling behaviors within the polymer networks are explained in terms of their binding interactions. The latter part of this thesis highlights the versatility of fluorescently labeled microgel particles as stabilizers for IL-water droplets. When the prepared particles form monolayers and equilibrate at the liquid-liquid interface, the colloidal lattice organization may re-order itself depending on the surface charge of these particles. Finally, it is shown that the spontaneously formed and densely packed layers of microgel particles can be employed for extraction applications, as the interface remains permeable to small active species.

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Date Created
2015