Matching Items (7)

155765-Thumbnail Image.png

Optimizing the process parameters for electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide

Description

One the major problems of this modern industrialized world is its dependence on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Burning of fossils fuels generates green-house gases which have adverse effects

One the major problems of this modern industrialized world is its dependence on fossil fuels for its energy needs. Burning of fossils fuels generates green-house gases which have adverse effects on global climate contributing to global warming. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), carbon dioxide makes up 80 percent of green-house gases emitted in USA. Electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide is an approach which uses CO2 emissions to produce other useful hydrocarbons which can be used in many ways.

In this study, primary focus was on optimizing the operating conditions, determining the better catalyst material, and analyzing the reaction products for the process of electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (ERC). Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA’s) are developed by air bushing the metal particles with a spray gun on to Nafion-212 which is a solid polymer based electrolyte (SPE), to support the electrodes in the electrochemical reactor gas diffusion layers (GDL) are developed using porous carbon paper. Anode was always made using the same material which is platinum but cathode material was changed as it is the working electrode.

The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is then placed into the electrochemical reactor along with gas diffusion layer (GDL) to assess the performance of the catalyst material by techniques like linear sweep voltammetry and chronoamperometry. Performance of MEA was analyzed at 4 different potentials, 2 different temperatures and for 2 different cathode catalyst materials. The reaction products of the process are analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) which has thermal conductivity detector (TCD) used for detecting hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO) and flame ionization detector (FID) used for detecting hydrocarbons. The experiments performed at 40o C gave the better results when compared with the experiments performed at ambient temperature. Also results suggested that copper oxide cathode catalyst has better durability than platinum-carbon. Maximum faradaic efficiency for methane was 5.3% it was obtained at 2.25V using copper oxide catalyst. Furthermore, experiments must be carried out to make the electrochemical reactor more robust to withstand all the operating conditions like higher potentials and to make it a solar powered reactor.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

155664-Thumbnail Image.png

Optimization of Particle Size of α-Alumina Separator on Performance of Lithium Ion Batteries

Description

Lithium ion batteries prepared with a ceramic separator, have proven to possess improved safety, reliability as well as performance characteristics when compared to those with polymer separators which are prone

Lithium ion batteries prepared with a ceramic separator, have proven to possess improved safety, reliability as well as performance characteristics when compared to those with polymer separators which are prone to thermal runaway. Purely inorganic separators are highly brittle and expensive. The electrode-supported ceramic separator permits thinner separators which are a lot more flexible in comparison. In this work, it was observed that not any α-alumina could be used by the blade coating process to get a good quality separator on Li4Ti5O12 (LTO) electrode. In this work specifically, the effect of particle size of α-alumina, on processability of slurry was investigated. The effect of the particle size variations on quality of separator formation was also studied. Most importantly, the effect of alumina particle size and its distribution on the performance of LTO/Li half cells is examined in detail. Large-sized particles were found to severely limit the ability to fabricate such separators. The α-alumina slurry was coated onto electrode substrate, leading to possible interaction between α-alumina and LTO substrate. The interaction between submicron sized particles of α-alumina with the substrate electrode pores, was found to affect the performance and the stability of the separator. Utilizing a bimodal distribution of submicron sized particles with micron sized particles of α-alumina to prepare the separator, improved cell performance was observed. Yet only a specific ratio of bimodal distribution achieved good results both in terms of separator formation and resulting cell performance. The interaction of α-alumina and binder in the separator, and its effect on the performance of substrate electrode was investigated, to understand the need for bimodal distribution of powder forming the separator.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

154910-Thumbnail Image.png

Low cost system for test of thru-plane thermal transfer coefficient

Description

Determining the thermal conductivity of carbon gas diffusion layers used in hydrogen fuel cells is a very active topic of research. The primary driver behind this research is due to

Determining the thermal conductivity of carbon gas diffusion layers used in hydrogen fuel cells is a very active topic of research. The primary driver behind this research is due to the need for development of proton exchange membrane fuels with longer usable life cycles before failure. As heat is a byproduct of the oxygen-hydrogen reaction an optimized pathway to remove the excess heat is needed to prevent thermal damage to the fuel cell as both mechanical and chemical degradation is accelerated under elevated temperatures. Commercial systems used for testing thermal conductivity are readily available, but are prohibitively expensive, ranging from just over $10,000 to $80,000 for high-end systems. As this cost can exclude some research labs from experimenting with thermal conductivity, a low cost alternative system is a desirable product. The development of a low cost system that maintained typical accuracy levels of commercials systems was carried out successfully at a significant cost reduction. The end product was capable of obtaining comparable accuracy to commercial systems at a cost reduction of more than 600% when compared to entry level commercial models. Combined with a system design that only required some basic fabrication equipment, this design will allow many research labs to expand their testing capabilities without straining departmental budgets. As expected with the development of low cost solutions, the reduction in cost came at the loss in other aspects of system performance, mainly run time. While the developed system requires a significate time investment to obtain useable results, the system can be improved by the used of RTDs in place of thermocouples or incorporation of an isothermal cold plate. These improvements would reduce the runtime to less than that of a standard work day while maintaining an approximate reduction in cost of 350%.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154502-Thumbnail Image.png

Performance analysis of solar assisted domestic hot water system

Description

Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water.

Testing was conducted for a solar assisted water heater and conventional all electric water heater for the purpose of investigating the advantages of utilizing solar energy to heat up water. The testing conducted simulated a four person household living in the Phoenix, Arizona region. With sensors and a weather station, data was gathered and analyzed for the water heaters. Performance patterns were observed that correlated to ambient conditions and functionality of the solar assisted water heater. This helped better understand how the solar water heater functioned and how it may continue to function. The testing for the solar assisted water heater was replicated with the all-electric water heater. One to one analyzes was conducted for comparison. The efficiency and advantages were displayed by the solar assisted water heater having a 61% efficiency. Performance parameters were calculated for the solar assisted water heater and it showed how accurate certified standards are. The results showed 8% difference in performance, but differed in energy savings. This further displayed the effects of uncontrollable ambient conditions and the effects of different testing conditions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154779-Thumbnail Image.png

Performance, modeling, and characteristics of LFP pack for HEV using FUDS (depleting) in hot and arid conditions

Description

There was a growing trend in the automotive market on the adoption of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) for consumers to purchase. This was partially due to external pressures such

There was a growing trend in the automotive market on the adoption of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) for consumers to purchase. This was partially due to external pressures such as the effects of global warming, cost of petroleum, governmental regulations, and popularity of the vehicle type. HEV technology relied on a variety of factors which included the powertrain (PT) of the system, external driving conditions, and the type of driving pattern being driven. The core foundation for HEVs depended heavily on the battery pack and chemistry being adopted for the vehicle performance and operations. This paper focused on the effects of hot and arid temperatures on the performance of LiFePO4 (LFP) battery packs and presented a possible modeling method for overall performance.

Lithium-ion battery (LIB) packs were subjected to room and high temperature settings while being cycled under a current profile created from a drive cycle. The Federal Urban Driving Schedule (FUDS) was selected and modified to simulate normal city driving situation using an electric only drive mode. Capacity and impedance fade of the LIB packs were monitored over the lifetime of the pack to determine the overall performance through the variables of energy and power fade. Regression analysis was done on the energy and power fade of the LIB pack to determine the duration life of LIB packs for HEV applications. This was done by comparing energy and power fade with the average lifetime mileage of a vehicle.

The collected capacity and impedance data was used to create an electrical equivalent model (EEM). The model was produced through the process of a modified Randles circuit and the creation of the inverse constant phase element (ICPE). Results indicated the model had a potential for high fidelity as long as a sufficient amount of data was gathered. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) was performed on a fresh and cycled LFP battery. SEM results suggested a dramatic growth on LFP crystals with a reduction in carbon coating after cycling. XRD effects showed a slight uniformed strain and decrease in size of LFP olivine crystals after cycling.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154786-Thumbnail Image.png

Improved synthesis and thermal stability of electrode-supported [alpha]-alumina separator for lithium ion batteries

Description

Lithium ion batteries have emerged as the most popular energy storage system, but they pose safety issues under extreme temperatures or in the event of a thermal runaway. Lithium ion

Lithium ion batteries have emerged as the most popular energy storage system, but they pose safety issues under extreme temperatures or in the event of a thermal runaway. Lithium ion batteries with inorganic separators offer the advantage of safer operation. An inorganic separator for lithium ion battery was prepared by an improved method of blade coating α-Al2O3 slurry directly on the electrode followed by drying. The improved separator preparation involves a twice-coating process instead of coating the slurry all at once in order to obtain a thin (~40 µm) and uniform coat. It was also found that α-Al2O3 powder with particle size greater than the pore size in the electrode is preferable for obtaining a separator with 40 µm thickness and consistent cell performance. Unlike state-of-the-art polyolefin separators such as polypropylene (PP) which are selectively wettable with only certain electrolytes, the excellent electrolyte solvent wettability of α-Al2O3 allows the coated alumina separator to function with different electrolytes. The coated α-Al2O3 separator has a much higher resistance to temperature effects than its polyolefin counterparts, retaining its dimensional integrity at temperatures as high as 200ºC. This eliminates the possibility of a short circuit during thermal runaway. Lithium ion batteries assembled as half-cells and full cells with coated α-Al2O3 separator exhibit electrochemical performance comparable with that of polyolefin separators at room temperature. However, the cells with coated alumina separator shows better cycling performance under extreme temperatures in the temperature range of -30°C to 60°C. Therefore, the coated α-Al2O3 separator is very promising for application in safe lithium-ion batteries.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154407-Thumbnail Image.png

Development of automated solar tracker for a solar concentrating water heater with phase change energy storage

Description

With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new

alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many

of these technologies are in their infancy, still being

With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new

alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many

of these technologies are in their infancy, still being too inefficient or too costly to

implement on a large scale. This list of alternative energies include biofuels,

geothermal power, solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric power. This thesis

focuses on developing a concentrating solar thermal energy unit for the application

of an on-demand hot water system with phase change material. This system already

has a prototype constructed and needs refinement in several areas in order to

increase its efficiency to determine if the system could ever reach a point of

feasibility in a residential application. Having put additional control refining

systems on the solar water heat collector, it can be deduced that the efficiency has

increased. However, due to limited testing and analysis it is undetermined just how

much the efficiency of the system has increased. At minimum, the capabilities of the

research platform have dramatically increased, allowing future research to more

accurately study the dynamics of the system as well as conduct studies in more

targeted areas of engineering. In this aspect, the thesis was successful.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016