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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2020


This dissertation presents a systematic study of the sorption mechanisms of hydrophobic silica aerogel (Cabot Nanogel®) granules for oil and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in different phases. The performance of Nanogel for removing oil from laboratory synthetic oil-in-water emulsions and real oily wastewater, and VOCs from their aqueous solution, in both packed bed (PB) and inverse fluidized bed (IFB) modes was also investigated. The sorption mechanisms of VOCs in the vapor, pure liquid, and aqueous solution phases, free oil, emulsified oil, and oil from real wastewater on Nanogel were systematically studied via batch kinetics and equilibrium experiments. The VOC results …

Contributors
Wang, Ding, Lin, Jerry Y.S., Pfeffer, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2011

Mesoporous materials that possess large surface area, tunable pore size, and ordered structures are attractive features for many applications such as adsorption, protein separation, enzyme encapsulation and drug delivery as these materials can be tailored to host different guest molecules. Films provide a model system to understand how the pore orientation impacts the potential for loading and release of selectively sized molecules. This research work aims to develop structure-property relationships to understand how pore size, geometry, and surface hydrophobicity influence the loading and release of drug molecules. In this study, the pore size is systematically varied by incorporating pore-swelling agent …

Contributors
Labiano, Alpha Chavez, Vogt, Bryan, Rege, Kaushal, et al.
Created Date
2011

ABSTRACT The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is a key component of Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP). The exhaust (flue gas) from the CCPP gas turbine flows through the HRSG − this gas typically contains a high concentration of NO and cannot be discharged directly to the atmosphere because of environmental restrictions. In the HRSG, one method of reducing the flue gas NO concentration is to inject ammonia into the gas at a plane upstream of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit through an injection grid (AIG); the SCR is where the NO is reduced to N2 and H2O. The …

Contributors
Adulkar, Sajesh B., Roy, Ramendra, Lee, Taewoo, et al.
Created Date
2011

Gold nanoparticles as potential diagnostic, therapeutic and sensing systems have a long history of use in medicine, and have expanded to a variety of applications. Gold nanoparticles are attractive in biological applications due to their unique optical, chemical and biological properties. Particularly, gold nanorods (GNRs) are increasingly used due to superior optical property in the near infrared (NIR) window. Light absorbed by the nanorod can be dissipated as heat efficiently or re-emitted by the particle. However, the limitations for clinical translation of gold nanorods include low yields, poor stability, depth-restricted imaging, and resistance of cancer cells to hyperthermia, are severe. …

Contributors
Huang, Huang-Chiao, Rege, Kaushal, Sierks, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2012

The effects of specific histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) on transgene expression in combination with a novel polymer as a delivery vehicle are investigated in this research. Polymer vectors, although safer than viruses, are notorious for low levels of gene expression. In this investigation, the use of an emerging chemotherapeutic anti-cancer drug molecule, HDACi, was used to enhance the polymer-mediated gene expression. HDACi are capable of inhibiting deacetylation activities of histones and other non-histone proteins in the cytoplasm and nucleus, as well as increase transcriptional activities necessary for gene expression. In a prior study, a parallel synthesis and screening of polymers …

Contributors
Lehrman, Jennifer Nicole, Rege, Kaushal, Caplan, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2012

Electronic devices based on various stimuli responsive polymers are anticipated to have great potential for applications in innovative electronics due to their inherent intelligence and flexibility. However, the electronic properties of these soft materials are poor and the applications have been limited due to their weak compatibility with functional materials. Therefore, the integration of stimuli responsive polymers with other functional materials like Silicon is strongly demanded. Here, we present successful strategies to integrate environmentally sensitive hydrogels with Silicon, a typical high-performance electronic material, and demonstrate the intelligent and stretchable capability of this system. The goal of this project is to …

Contributors
Pan, Yuping, Dai, Lenore, Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2012

ABSTRACT Among the major applications of pervaporation membrane processes, organic separation from organic/water mixtures is becoming increasingly important. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is among the most interesting and promising membranes and has been extensively investigated. PDMS is an "organicelastomeric material, often referred to as "silicone rubber", exhibiting excellent film-forming ability, thermal stability, chemical and physiological inertness. In this thesis incorporation of nanosilicalite-1 particles into a PDMS matrix and effect of particle loading and temperature variation on membrane performance was studied. A strong influence of zeolite was found on the pervaporation of alcohol/water mixtures using filled PDMS membranes. The mixed matrix membrane …

Contributors
Yadav, Amit Binodkumar, Lind, Mary L, Lin, Jerry Ys, et al.
Created Date
2012

Due to depletion of oil resources, increasing fuel prices and environmental issues associated with burning of fossil fuels, extensive research has been performed in biofuel production and dramatic progress has been made. But still problems exist in economically production of biofuels. One major problem is recovery of biofuels from fermentation broth with the relatively low product titer achieved. A lot of in situ product recovery techniques including liquid-liquid extraction, membrane extraction, pervaporation, gas stripping and adsorption have been developed and adsorption is shown to be the most promising one compared to other methods. Yet adsorption is not perfect due to …

Contributors
Wang, Yuchen, Nielsen, David Ross, Andino, Jean, et al.
Created Date
2012

Over the past years, an interest has arisen in resolving two major issues: increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and depleting energy resources. A convenient solution would be a process that could simultaneously use CO2 while producing energy. The photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels over the photocatalyst titanium dioxide (TiO2) is such a process. However, this process is presently inefficient and unsuitable for industrial applications. A step toward making this process more effective is to alter TiO2 based photocatalysts to improve their activity. The interactions of CO2 with oxygen-deficient and unmodified (210) surfaces of brookite TiO2 were studied using first-principle …

Contributors
Rodriguez, Monique M., Andino, Jean M, Nielsen, David R, et al.
Created Date
2012

The diversity of industrially important chemicals that can be produced biocatalytically from renewable resources continues to expand with the aid of metabolic and pathway engineering. In addition to biofuels, these chemicals also include a number of monomers with utility in conventional and novel plastic materials production. Monomers used for polyamide production are no exception, as evidenced by the recent engineering of microbial biocatalysts to produce cadaverine, putrescine, and succinate. In this thesis the repertoire and depth of these renewable polyamide precursors is expanded upon through the engineering of a novel pathway that enables Escherichia coli to produce, as individual products, …

Contributors
Adkins, Jake, Nielsen, David R., Caplan, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2012

The disordered nature of glass-forming melts results in two features for its dynamics i.e. non-Arrhenius and non-exponential behavior. Their macroscopic properties are studied through observing spatial heterogeneity of the molecular relaxation. Experiments performed in a low-frequency range tracks the flow of energy in time on slow degrees of freedom and transfer to the vibrational heat bath of the liquid, as is the case for microwave heating. High field measurements on supercooled liquids result in generation of fictive temperatures of the absorbing modes which eventually result in elevated true bath temperatures. The absorbed energy allows us to quantify the changes in …

Contributors
Pathak, Ullas, Richert, Ranko, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2012

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are central to atmospheric chemistry and have significant impacts on the environment. The reaction of oxygenated VOCs with OH radicals was first studied to understand the fate of oxygenated VOCs. The rate constants of the gas-phase reaction of OH radicals with trans-2-hexenal, trans-2-octenal, and trans-2 nonenal were determined using the relative rate technique. Then the interactions between VOCs and ionic liquid surfaces were studied. The goal was to find a material to selectively detect alcohol compounds. Computational chemistry calculations were performed to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with different classes of VOCs. The thermodynamic data …

Contributors
Gao, Tingting, Andino, Jean M, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2012

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug delivery, and environmental remediation. This dissertation focuses on the study of core-shell type of nanoparticles where a polymer serves as the core and inorganic nanoparticles are the shell. This is an interesting class of supramolecular building blocks and can "exhibit unusual, possibly unique, properties which cannot be obtained simply by co-mixing polymer and inorganic particles". The one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization …

Contributors
Sanyal, Sriya, Dai, Lenore L., Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the properties of mesoporous carbon based materials and the utilization of those properties into different applications such as electrodes materials for super capacitors, adsorbents for water treatments and biosensors. The thickness of mesoporous carbon films on Si substrates are measured by Ellipsometry method and pore size distribution has been calculated by Kelvin equation based on toluene adsorption and desorption isotherms monitored by Ellipsometer. The addition of organometallics cobalt and vanalyl acetylacetonate in the synthesis precursor leads to the metal oxides in the carbon framework, which largely decreased the shrink of the framework during …

Contributors
Dai, Mingzhi, Vogt, Bryan D, La Belle, Jeffrey T, et al.
Created Date
2012

The mitigation and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to more useful carbon chemicals is a research topic that is at the forefront of current engineering and sustainability applications. Direct photocatalytic reduction of CO2 with water (H2O) vapor to C1-C4 hydrocarbons has significant potential in setting substantial groundwork for meeting the increasing energy demands with minimal environmental impact. Previous studies indicate that titanium dioxide (TiO2) containing materials serve as the best photocatalyst for CO2 and H2O conversion to higher-value products. An understanding of the CO2-H2O reaction mechanism over TiO2 materials allows one to increase the yield of certain products such as …

Contributors
Rollins, Selisa, Andino, Jean M, Dai, Lenore L, et al.
Created Date
2012

In today's world where sustainability is of prime importance, energy efficient method for sea water desalination and waste water treatment is gaining attention. State of art Reverse Osmosis (RO) method has high power consumption; hence people are diverting their attention towards Forward Osmosis (FO). It has been determined that the support membrane hydrophilicity plays an important role impacting the water flux through membranes in forward osmosis processes. The support layer of commercially available thin film composite RO membranes has been modified with a hydrophilic polymer Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). Previous research has demonstrated that PVA coating of the top selective layer …

Contributors
Saraf, Aditi, Lind, Dr. Mary, Dai, Dr. Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2012

The use of petroleum for liquid-transportation fuels has strained the environment and caused the global crude oil reserves to diminish. Therefore, there exists a need to replace petroleum as the primary fuel derivative. Butanol is a four-carbon alcohol that can be used to effectively replace gasoline without changing the current automotive infrastructure. Additionally, butanol offers the same environmentally friendly effects as ethanol, but possess a 23% higher energy density. Clostridium acetobutylicum is an anaerobic bacterium that can ferment renewable biomass-derived sugars into butanol. However, this fermentation becomes limited by relatively low butanol concentrations (1.3% w/v), making this process uneconomical. To …

Contributors
Wiehn, Michael, Nielsen, David, Lin, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2013

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading neurodegenerative disease, affecting roughly 8% of people 65 years of age or older. There exists an imperative need to develop a non-invasive test for the earlier detection of AD. The use of biomarkers is a promising option that examines the toxic mechanisms and metabolic pathways that cause Alzheimer's disease, eventually leading to an early diagnostic method. This thesis presents the use of oligomeric beta-amyloid as a biomarker to detect Alzheimer's disease via a specialized enzyme-linked protein assay. Specifically, this paper details the optimization and development of a novel phage capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) …

Contributors
Brownlee, Taylor, Sierks, Michael, Williams, Stephanie, et al.
Created Date
2013

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and women respectively, while pancreatic cancer is the fourth most fatal in both men and women. Developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer is both a slow and expensive process. It is estimated that it takes an average of 15 years and an expense of $800 million to bring a single new drug to the market. However, it is also …

Contributors
Taylor, David, Rege, Kaushal, Jayaraman, Arul, et al.
Created Date
2013

Liquid-liquid interfaces serve as ideal 2-D templates on which solid particles can self-assemble into various structures. These self-assembly processes are important in fabrication of micron-sized devices and emulsion formulation. At oil/water interfaces, these structures can range from close-packed aggregates to ordered lattices. By incorporating an ionic liquid (IL) at the interface, new self-assembly phenomena emerge. ILs are ionic compounds that are liquid at room temperature (essentially molten salts at ambient conditions) that have remarkable properties such as negligible volatility and high chemical stability and can be optimized for nearly any application. The nature of IL-fluid interfaces has not yet been …

Contributors
Frost, Denzil Scott, Dai, Lenore L, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2013

To further the efforts producing energy from more renewable sources, microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) can utilize anode respiring bacteria (ARB) to couple the oxidation of an organic substrate to the delivery of electrons to the anode. Although ARB such as Geobacter and Shewanella have been well-studied in terms of their microbiology and electrochemistry, much is still unknown about the mechanism of electron transfer to the anode. To this end, this thesis seeks to elucidate the complexities of electron transfer existing in Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms by employing Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) as the tool of choice. Experiments measuring EIS resistances as …

Contributors
Ajulo, Oluyomi, Torres, Cesar, Nielsen, David, et al.
Created Date
2013

Of the potential technologies for pre-combustion capture, membranes offer the advantages of being temperature resistant, able to handle large flow rates, and having a relatively small footprint. A significant amount of research has centered on the use of polymeric and microporous inorganic membranes to separate CO2. These membranes, however, have limitations at high temperature resulting in poor permeation performance. To address these limitations, the use of a dense dual-phase membrane has been studied. These membranes are composed of conductive solid and conductive liquid phases that have the ability to selectively permeate CO2 by forming carbonate ions that diffuse through the …

Contributors
Norton, Tyler Tracy, Lin, Jerry Y.S., Alford, Terry, et al.
Created Date
2013

Metabolic engineering is an extremely useful tool enabling the biosynthetic production of commodity chemicals (typically derived from petroleum) from renewable resources. In this work, a pathway for the biosynthesis of styrene (a plastics monomer) has been engineered in Escherichia coli from glucose by utilizing the pathway for the naturally occurring amino acid phenylalanine, the precursor to styrene. Styrene production was accomplished using an E. coli phenylalanine overproducer, E. coli NST74, and over-expression of PAL2 from Arabidopsis thaliana and FDC1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The styrene pathway was then extended by just one enzyme to either (S)-styrene oxide (StyAB from Pseudomonas putida …

Contributors
Mckenna, Rebekah, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar, et al.
Created Date
2014

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, affecting one in nine people age 65 and older. One of the most important neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease is the aggregation and deposition of the protein beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is produced by proteolytic processing of the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). Production of beta-amyloid from APP is increased when cells are subject to stress since both APP and beta-secretase are upregulated by stress. An increased beta-amyloid level promotes aggregation of beta-amyloid into toxic species which cause an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decrease in cell viability. Therefore reducing …

Contributors
Suryadi, Vicky Rulando, Sierks, Michael, Nielsen, David, et al.
Created Date
2014

High temperature CO2 perm-selective membranes offer potential for uses in various processes for CO2 separation. Recently, efforts are reported on fabrication of dense ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes. The membranes provide selective permeation to CO2 and exhibit high permeation flux at high temperature. Research on transport mechanism demonstrates that gas transport for ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane is rate limited by ion transport in ceramic support. Reducing membrane thickness proves effective to improve permeation flux. This dissertation reports strategy to prepare thin ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membranes to increase CO2 permeance. The work also presents characteristics and gas permeation properties of the membranes. Thin ceramic-carbonate dual-phase …

Contributors
Lu, Bo, Lin, Yuesheng, Crozier, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2014

The accurate and fast determination of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels is critical for many health and environmental applications. For example, the analysis of CO2 levels in exhaled breath allows for the evaluation of systemic metabolism, perfusion, and ventilation, and provides the doctors and patients with a non-invasive and simple method to predict the presence and severity of asthma, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Similarly, the monitoring of CO2 levels in the atmosphere allows for assessment of indoor air quality (IAQ) as the indoor CO2 levels have been proved to be associated with increased prevalence of certain mucous membrane and …

Contributors
Zhao, Di, Forzani, Erica S, Lin, Jerry Ys, et al.
Created Date
2014

The production of monomer compounds for synthesizing plastics has to date been largely restricted to the petroleum-based chemical industry and sugar-based microbial fermentation, limiting its sustainability and economic feasibility. Cyanobacteria have, however, become attractive microbial factories to produce renewable fuels and chemicals directly from sunlight and CO2. To explore the feasibility of photosynthetic production of (S)- and (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), building-block monomers for synthesizing the biodegradable plastics polyhydroxyalkanoates and precursors to fine chemicals, synthetic metabolic pathways have been constructed, characterized and optimized in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (hereafter Synechocystis 6803). Both types of 3HB molecules were produced and readily …

Contributors
Wang, Bo, Meldrum, Deirdre R, Zhang, Weiwen, et al.
Created Date
2014

A new photocatalytic material was synthesized to investigate its performance for the photoreduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the presence of water vapor (H2O) to valuable products such as carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4). The performance was studied using a gas chromatograph (GC) with a flame ionization detector (FID) and a thermal conductivity detector (TCD). The new photocatalytic material was an ionic liquid functionalized reduced graphite oxide (IL-RGO (high conductive surface))-TiO2 (photocatalyst) nanocomposite. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis absorption spectroscopy techniques were employed to characterize the new catalyst. In the series of experiments performed, …

Contributors
Castaneda Flores, Alejandro, Andino, Jean M, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2014

Many therapeutics administered for some of the most devastating illnesses can be toxic and result in unwanted side effects. Recent developments have been made in an alternative treatment method, called gene therapy. Gene therapy has potential to rectify the genetic defects that cause a broad range of diseases. Many diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) already have gene therapy protocols that are currently in clinical trials. Finding a non-toxic and efficient gene transfer method has been a challenge. Viral vectors are effective at transgene delivery however potential for insertion mutagenesis and activation of immune responses raises …

Contributors
Mallik, Amrita, Rege, Kaushal, Dai, Lennore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used in the chemical process sector to compare the environmental merits of different product or process alternatives. One of the tasks that involves much time and cost in LCA studies is the specification of the exact materials and processes modeled which has limited its widespread application. To overcome this, researchers have recently created probabilistic underspecification as an LCA streamlining method, which uses a structured data classification system to enable an LCA modeler to specify materials and processes in a less precise manner. This study presents a statistical procedure to understand when streamlined LCA methods can …

Contributors
Murali, Ashwin Krishna, Dooley, Kevin, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

The utilization of solar energy requires an efficient means of its storage as fuel. In bio-inspired artificial photosynthesis, light energy can be used to drive water oxidation, but catalysts that produce molecular oxygen from water are required. This dissertation demonstrates a novel complex utilizing earth-abundant Ni in combination with glycine as an efficient catalyst with a modest overpotential of 0.475 ± 0.005 V for a current density of 1 mA/cm<super>2</super> at pH 11. The production of molecular oxygen at a high potential was verified by measurement of the change in oxygen concentration, yielding a Faradaic efficiency of 60 ± 5%. …

Contributors
Wang, Dong, Allen, James P, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2014

Post-combustion carbon capture is a viable option for reducing CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, and one potentially promising technology for this route is adsorption using chemically and physically based sorbents. A number of exceptional CO2 sorbents materials have been prepared including metal organic frameworks, zeolites, and carbon based materials. One particular group of capable materials are amine based solid sorbents that has shown to possess high adsorption capacities and favorable adsorption kinetics. A key variable in the synthesis of an amine based sorbent is the support which acts as the platform for the amine modification. Aerogels, due to their high porosities …

Contributors
Linneen, Nick, Lin, Jerry, Pfeffer, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2014

Pervaporation is a membrane separation technology that has had industrial application and which is the subject of ongoing research. Two major factors are important in judging the quality of a membrane: selectivity and permeation flux. Although many types of materials can be used for the separation layer, zeolites will be the material considered in this thesis. A simple mathematical model has been developed to demonstrate the inter-relationships between relative permeation flux, reduced selectivity, and the relative resistance to mass transfer of the support to the zeolite layer. The model was applied to several membranes from our laboratory and to two …

Contributors
Mann, Stewart Conrad, Lin, Jerry, Lind, Mary Laura, et al.
Created Date
2014

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 …

Contributors
Zou, Jin, Dai, Lenore L, Chattopadhyay, Aditi, et al.
Created Date
2014

Control engineering offers a systematic and efficient approach to optimizing the effectiveness of individually tailored treatment and prevention policies, also known as adaptive or ``just-in-time'' behavioral interventions. These types of interventions represent promising strategies for addressing many significant public health concerns. This dissertation explores the development of decision algorithms for adaptive sequential behavioral interventions using dynamical systems modeling, control engineering principles and formal optimization methods. A novel gestational weight gain (GWG) intervention involving multiple intervention components and featuring a pre-defined, clinically relevant set of sequence rules serves as an excellent example of a sequential behavioral intervention; it is examined in …

Contributors
Dong, Yuwen, Rivera, Daniel E, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia leading to cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as emotional and behavioral disorders. It is the 6th leading cause of death in United States, and the only one among top 10 death causes that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. An estimated 5.4 million Americans live with AD, and this number is expected to triple by year 2050 as the baby boomers age. The cost of care for AD in the US is about $200 billion each year. Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of an effective treatment or …

Contributors
Tian, Huilai, Sierks, Michael R, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

With the aid of metabolic pathways engineering, microbes are finding increased use as biocatalysts to convert renewable biomass resources into fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other valuable compounds. These alternative, bio-based production routes offer distinct advantages over traditional synthesis methods, including lower energy requirements, rendering them as more "green" and "eco-friendly". <italic>Escherichia coli</italic> has recently been engineered to produce the aromatic chemicals (S)-styrene oxide and phenol directly from renewable glucose. Several factors, however, limit the viability of this approach, including low titers caused by product inhibition and/or low metabolic flux through the engineered pathways. This thesis focuses on addressing these concerns …

Contributors
Vasudevan, Anirudh, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2014

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 …

Contributors
Yu, Jiuhao, Mu, Bin, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2014

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for producing nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is studied and a case-study has been conducted on comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the application of these nano-TiO2 particles in the sunscreen lotion as a UV-blocker with the conventional organic chemical sunscreen lotion using GaBi software. Nano-TiO2 particles were identified in the sunscreen lotion using Transmission Electron Microscope suggesting the use of these particles in …

Contributors
Thakur, Ankita, Dooley, Kevin, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

Membrane-based gas separation is promising for efficient propylene/propane (C3H6/C3H8) separation with low energy consumption and minimum environment impact. Two microporous inorganic membrane candidates, MFI-type zeolite membrane and carbon molecular sieve membrane (CMS) have demonstrated excellent thermal and chemical stability. Application of these membranes into C3H6/C3H8 separation has not been well investigated. This dissertation presents fundamental studies on membrane synthesis, characterization and C3H6/C3H8 separation properties of MFI zeolite membrane and CMS membrane. MFI zeolite membranes were synthesized on &#945;-alumina supports by secondary growth method. Novel positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) techniques were used to non-destructively characterize the pore structure of these membranes. …

Contributors
Ma, Xiaoli, Lin, Jerry, Alford, Terry, et al.
Created Date
2015

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is understood about the characteristics of that variability and how it influences pathway assessment decision-making. This research included the first-ever collection of a long-term high-frequency indoor air data set at a house with VI impacts overlying a dilute chlorinated solvent groundwater plume. It also included periodic synoptic snapshots of groundwater and soil gas data and high-frequency monitoring of building conditions and environmental factors. Indoor air trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations varied over three orders-of-magnitude …

Contributors
Holton, Chase Weston, Johnson, Paul C, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2015

The horizontal desalination units belonging to the humidification-dehumidification family purify water using air as a carrier gas. The temperature required for separation can vary from ambient to 99 °C so waste heat, fuel combustion, or solar collectors can drive the process. A unit in which air flows horizontally affords several advantages over similar vertical “Dewvaporation” towers (as an example), including ease of construction and potentially increased efficiency. The objective was to build and test horizontal units and identify areas of potential efficiency improvements. The desalination units consisted of: 1.) A series of aligned, corrugated, polypropylene sheets covered on the outside …

Contributors
Jackson, Skyler Sloan, Beckman, James R, Krause, Stephen J, et al.
Created Date
2015

Polymer-gold composite particles are of tremendous research interests. Contributed by their unique structures, these particles demonstrate superior properties for optical, catalytic and electrical applications. Moreover, the incorporation of “smart” polymers into polymer-gold composite particles enables the composite particles synergistically respond to environment-stimuli like temperature, pH and light with promising applications in multiple areas. A novel Pickering emulsion polymerization route is found for synthesis of core-shell structured polymer-gold composite particles. It is found that the surface coverage of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) on a polystyrene core is influenced by gold nanoparticle concentration and hydrophobicity. More importantly, the absorption wavelength of polystyrene-gold composite …

Contributors
Zhang, Mingmeng, Dai, Lenore L, Phelan, Patrick E, et al.
Created Date
2015

Detection of molecular interactions is critical for understanding many biological processes, for detecting disease biomarkers, and for screening drug candidates. Fluorescence-based approach can be problematic, especially when applied to the detection of small molecules. Various label-free techniques, such as surface plasmon resonance technique are sensitive to mass, making it extremely challenging to detect small molecules. In this thesis, novel detection methods for molecular interactions are described. First, a simple detection paradigm based on reflectance interferometry is developed. This method is simple, low cost and can be easily applied for protein array detection. Second, a label-free charge sensitive optical detection (CSOD) …

Contributors
Guan, Yan, Tao, Nongjian, LaBaer, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2015

Environmentally responsive hydrogels are one interesting class of soft materials. Due to their remarkable responsiveness to stimuli such as temperature, pH, or light, they have attracted widespread attention in many fields. However, certain functionality of these materials alone is often limited in comparison to other materials such as silicon; thus, there is a need to integrate soft and hard materials for the advancement of environmental-ly responsive materials. Conventional hydrogels lack good mechanical properties and have inherently slow response time, important characteristics which must be improved before the hydrogels can be integrated with silicon. In the present dissertation work, both these …

Contributors
Chatterjee, Prithwish, Dai, Lenore L., Jiang, Hanqing, et al.
Created Date
2015

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 …

Contributors
Chen, Haobo, Dai, Lenore L, Dai, Lenore L, et al.
Created Date
2015

In the United States, 95% of the industrially produced hydrogen is from natural gas reforming. Membrane-based techniques offer great potential for energy efficient hydrogen separations. Pd77Ag23 is the bench-mark metallic membrane material for hydrogen separation at high temperatures. However, the high cost of palladium limits widespread application. Amorphous metals with lower cost elements are one alternative to replace palladium-based membranes. The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the potential of binary and ternary amorphous metallic membranes for hydrogen separation. First, as a benchmark, the influence of surface state of Pd77Ag23 crystalline metallic membranes on the hydrogen permeability was …

Contributors
LAI, TIANMIAO, Lind, Mary Laura, Lin, Jerry, et al.
Created Date
2015

ABSTRACT Large-pore metal-organic framework (MOF) membranes offer potential in a number of gas and liquid separations due to their wide and selective adsorption capacities. A key characteristic of a number of MOF and zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) membranes is their highly selective adsorption capacities for CO2. These membranes offer very tangible potential to separate CO2 in a wide array of industrially relevant separation processes, such as the separation from CO2 in flue gas emissions, as well as the sweetening of methane. By virtue of this, the purpose of this dissertation is to synthesize and characterize two linear large-pore MOF membranes, …

Contributors
Kasik, Alexandra Marie, Lin, Jerry, Tasooji, Amaneh, et al.
Created Date
2015

A low temperature amorphous oxide thin film transistor (TFT) and amorphous silicon PIN diode backplane technology for large area flexible digital x-ray detectors has been developed to create 7.9-in. diagonal backplanes. The critical steps in the evolution of the backplane process include the qualification and optimization of the low temperature (200 °C) metal oxide TFT and a-Si PIN photodiode process, the stability of the devices under forward and reverse bias stress, the transfer of the process to flexible plastic substrates, and the fabrication and assembly of the flexible detectors. Mixed oxide semiconductor TFTs on flexible plastic substrates suffer from performance …

Contributors
Marrs, Michael A, Raupp, Gregory B, Allee, David R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular approach focused on decoupling biomass synthesis from the production of the phenylalanine in a genetically modified strain of E. coli BW25113 was explored with the use of synthetic trans-encoded small RNA (sRNA) to achieve greater efficiency. The naturally occurring sRNA MicC was used as a scaffold, and combined on a plasmid with a promoter for anhydrous tetracycline (aTc) and a T1/TE terminator. The coding sequence corresponding to the target binding …

Contributors
Herschel, Daniel Jordan, Nielsen, David R, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2016