Grant: $440,751 - National Science Foundation - Aug. 26, 2009
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Award Description: This proposal is for the acquisition of state-of-the-art thermal analysis and calorimetry instrumentation, namely a thermobalance and a heat flow calorimeter. The thermobalance is combined with evolved gas analysis (EGA) by coupled mass and Fourier transform infrared spectrometers (TG-MS-FTIR). This instrument is designed for the characterization of materials dynamics during heating in a controlled atmosphere. The heat flow calorimeter of the Calvet type is for the quantitative measurement of heats of gas-solid and liquid-solid adsorption. The calorimeter system includes a gas volumetric dosing unit, and reaction cells for static, flow, and high pressure conditions. The overall goal is the application of thermal analysis and calorimetry to a sequence of complex scientific problems in the area of conversion of biomass into fuels. The research will start with the characterization of the biomass feedstock and the thermal analysis of the pyrolysis of biomass into pyrolysis (or bio-) oil. The complexity of the material and its decomposition reactions require the thermogravimetric apparatus to be combined with two different methods for gas phase analysis (MS and IR). Another approach is the hydrolysis of polysaccharides with solid acid catalysts. The catalytic conversion of the obtained mixture from the pyrolysis (or hydrolysis) will require the development of new catalysts with very well tuned acid-base properties. Measurement of the heats of adsorption of reactant molecules, and of the adsorption kinetics, will help identify suitable catalyst materials and will provide important thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for modeling the target reaction. The applicants will also assess the hydrophilicity (or hydrophobicity) of the catalyst materials, which is important when working in a single, or multiple liquid phases (as is likely in the conversion of polar to non-polar compounds). A novel contribution to the catalysis field will be to map the adsorption isotherm and the differential heats of small molecules into high pressure ranges that are actually relevant for the catalytic process.
Project Description: See Award Desciption
Jobs Summary: No jobs created at this time (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Aug. 26, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.