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Adhesion and Surface Energy Profiles of Large-area Atomic Layers of Two-dimensional MoS2 on Rigid Substrates by Facile Methods

Description: Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) show great potential for the future electronics, optoelectronics and energy applications. But, the studies unveiling their interactions with the host substrates are sparse and limits their practical use for real device applications. We report the facile nano-scratch method to determine the adhesion energy of the wafer scale MoS2 atomic layers attached to the SiO2/Si and sapphire substrates. The practical adhesion energy of monolayer MoS2 on the SiO2/Si substrate is 7.78 J/m2. The practical adhesion energy was found to be an increasing function of the MoS2 thickness. Unlike SiO2/Si substrates, MoS2 films grown on the sapphire possess higher bonding energy, which is attributed to the defect-free growth and less number of grain boundaries, as well as less stress and strain stored at the interface owing to the similarity of Thermal Expansion Coefficient (TEC) between MoS2 films and sapphire substrate. Furthermore, we calculated the surface free energy of 2D MoS2 by the facile contact angle measurements and Neumann model fitting. A surface free energy ~85.3 mJ/m2 in few layers thick MoS2 manifests the hydrophilic nature of 2D MoS2. The high surface energy of MoS2 helps explain the good bonding strength at MoS2/substrate interface. This simple adhesion energy and surface energy measurement methodology could further apply to other TMDs for their widespread use.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Wu, Min

Analysis of Sources Affecting Ambient Particulate Matter in Brownsville, Texas

Description: Texas is the second largest state in U.S.A. based on geographical area, population and the economy. It is home to several large coastal urban areas with major industries and infrastructure supporting the fossil-fuel based energy sector. Most of the major cities on the state have been impacted by significant air pollution events over the past decade. Studies conducted in the southern coastal region of TX have identified long range transport as a major contributor of particulate matter (PM) pollution along with local emissions. Biomass burns, secondary sulfates and diesel emissions sources are comprise as the dominant mass of PM2.5 have been noted to be formed by the long range transport biomass from Central America. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify local as well as regional sources contributing to the PM pollution in the coastal area of Brownsville located along the Gulf of Mexico. Source apportionment techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF) were employed on the air quality monitoring data to identify and quantify local and regional sources affecting this coastal region. As a supplement to the PMF and PCA, conditional probability function (CPF) analysis and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis were employed to characterize the meteorological influences for PM events. PCA identified an optimal solution of 6 sources affecting the coastal area of Brownsville, while PMF resolved 8 sources for the same area. Biomass comingled with sea salt was identified to be the dominant contributor from the PCA analysis with 30.2% of the apportioned PM mass in Brownsville, meanwhile PMF account secondary sulfates I & II with 27.6%. the other common sources identified included, biomass burning, crustal dust, secondary sulfate, oil combustion, mobile sources and miscellaneous traffic sources.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Diaz Poueriet, Pablo

Application of Cyclic Polarization of Aluminum 3003 Used in All-Aluminum Microchannel Heat Exchangers

Description: All-aluminum microchannel heat exchangers are designed to significantly reduce refrigerant charge requirements, weight, reduced brazed joints, and decreased potential for leakage by increasing reliability. Al 3003 alloy is corrosion resistant and can be formed, welded, and brazed but the issue with all-aluminum heat exchangers is localized corrosion (pitting) in corrosive environments. Currently, there is no universally accepted corrosion test that all coil manufacturers use to characterize their products. Electrochemical testing method of cyclic polarization was employed in this investigation and relevant parameters including electrolyte corrosive agent and its concentration, electrolyte pH, and applied potential scan rate was varied to find an optimal set of parameters. Results of cyclic polarization of Al 3003 in electrolytes containing various concentrations of NaCl were compared with those of the tests in Sea Water Acidified Accelerated Test (SWAAT) electrolyte and it is shown the SWAAT electrolyte (4.2% sea salt acidified to pH of 2.9) is by far stronger (in terms of corrosivity) than typical 3.5% NaCl solution used in most corrosion testing. Corrosion rates (g/m2yr) of Al 3003 measured in this investigation were comparable to those provided by ISO 9223 standard corresponding to C1 through CX categories. Duration of cyclic polarization test is much shorter than that of SWAAT and results obtained in this test is more reproducible compared to those of SWAAT. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs show typical pit depths of about 50 μm.
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Barnes, Javier

Bioinspired and biocompatible coatings of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) and layer double hydroxide composites for corrosion resistance

Description: Hierarchical arrangement of biological composites such as nacre and bone containing high filler (ceramic) content results in high strength and toughness of the natural material. In this study we mimic the design of layered bone microstructure and fabricate an optimal multifunctional bio-nanocomposite having strength, toughness and corrosion resistance. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), a biodegradable polymer was used as a substrate material with the reinforcement of LDH (Layered double hydroxide) as a nanofiller in different concentrations to achieve enhancement in mechanical properties as well as processing related thermostability. Corrosion resistance was increased by mimicking a layered structured which incorporated a tortuous diffusion path.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Rizvi, Syed Hussain

Biomass-Derived Activated Carbon through Self-Activation Process

Description: Self-activation is a process that takes advantage of the gases emitted from the pyrolysis process of biomass to activate the converted carbon. The pyrolytic gases from the biomass contain CO2 and H2O, which can be used as activating agents. As two common methods, both of physical activation using CO2 and chemical activation using ZnCl2 introduce additional gas (CO2) or chemical (ZnCl2), in which the CO2 emission from the activation process or the zinc compound removal by acid from the follow-up process will cause environmental concerns. In comparison with these conventional activation processes, the self-activation process could avoid the cost of activating agents and is more environmentally friendly, since the exhaust gases (CO and H2) can be used as fuel or feedstock for the further synthesis in methanol production. In this research, many types of biomass were successfully converted into activated carbon through the self-activation process. An activation model was developed to describe the changes of specific surface area and pore volume during the activation. The relationships between the activating temperature, dwelling time, yield, specific surface area, and specific pore volume were detailed investigated. The highest specific surface area and pore volume of the biomass-derived activated carbon through the self-activation process were up to 2738 m2 g-1 and 2.209 cm3 g-1, respectively. Moreover, the applications of the activated carbons from the self-activation process have been studied, including lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing, water cleaning, oil absorption, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Xia, Changlei

Characterization of Viscoelastic Properties of a Material Used for an Additive Manufacturing Method

Description: Recent development of additive manufacturing technologies has led to lack of information on the base materials being used. A need arises to know the mechanical behaviors of these base materials so that it can be linked with macroscopic mechanical behaviors of 3D network structures manufactured from the 3D printer. The main objectives of my research are to characterize properties of a material for an additive manufacturing method (commonly referred to as 3D printing). Also, to model viscoelastic properties of Procast material that is obtained from 3D printer. For this purpose, a 3D CAD model is made using ProE and 3D printed using Projet HD3500. Series of uniaxial tensile tests, creep tests, and dynamic mechanical analysis are carried out to obtained viscoelastic behavior of Procast. Test data is fitted using various linear and nonlinear viscoelastic models. Validation of model is also carried out using tensile test data and frequency sweep data. Various other mechanical characterization have also been carried out in order to find density, melting temperature, glass transition temperature, and strain rate dependent elastic modulus of Procast material. It can be concluded that melting temperature of Procast material is around 337°C, the elastic modulus is around 0.7-0.8 GPa, and yield stress is around 16-19 MPa.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Iqbal, Shaheer

Conceptual Framework for the Development of an Air Quality Monitoring Station in Denton, Texas

Description: Denton, Texas consistently reaches ozone nonattainment levels. This has led to a large focus of air pollution monitoring efforts in the region, with long-range transport being explored as a key contributor. For this study, the University of North Texas Discovery Park campus was chosen as a prospective location for an extensive air quality monitoring station. Sixteen years of ozone and meteorological data for five state-run monitoring sites within a 25 mile radius, including the nearest Denton Airport site, was gathered from TCEQ online database for the month of April for the years 2000 to 2015. The data was analyzed to show a historical, regional perspective of ozone near the proposed site. The maximum ozone concentration measured at the Denton Airport location over the 16 year period was measured at 96 ppb in 2001. Experimental ozone and meteorological measurements were collected at the Discovery Park location from March 26 to April 3 and April 8 to April, 2016 and compared to the Denton Airport monitoring site. A time lag in ozone trends and an increase in peak ozone concentrations at the proposed location were observed at the proposed site in comparison to the Denton Airport site. Historical and experimental meteorological data agreed in indicating that southern winds that rarely exceed 20 miles per hour are the predominant wind pattern. Back trajectories, wind roses, pollution roses, and bivariate plots created for peak ozone days during experimental periods support long range transport as a considerable cause of high ozone levels in Denton. Furthermore, a study of the precursor characteristics at the Denton Airport site indicated the site was being affected by a local source of nitrogen dioxide that was not affecting the proposed location. The differences in the Denton Airport site and the proposed site indicate that further monitoring at Discovery Park would ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Boling, Robyn

Cyclic Polarization of AA 3102 in Corrosive Electrolytes Containing Sodium Chloride and Ammonium Sulfate

Description: Corrosion of all aluminum microchannel heat exchangers present a challenge in automotive and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries. Reproducibility of Salt Water Acetic Acid Test (SWAAT) has been questioned and a need to new corrosion tests with better reproducibility has risen. Cyclic polarization, that is an electrochemical test, was explored for its suitability for the assessment of AA 3102 tube material that is currently a popular aluminum alloy used in manufacturing of heat exchanger. Corrosive electrolytes containing 3.5 % sodium chloride with 0.5 % ammonium sulfate (high chloride) or 0.5 % sodium chloride with 3.5 % ammonium sulfate (high sulfate) at their pH or acidic (pH=4) were used to measure corrosion potential (Ecorr), protection potential (Epp), pitting potential (Epit), Tafel constants (βa and βc), corrosion rate (mpy). Corrosive electrolyte used in SWAAT test (4.2% Sea Salt at pH 2.9) was also used to compare corrosion resistance of AA 3102 in SWAAT electrolyte compared to the other electrolytes used in this research. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe and document sample surface corrosion damage after each electrochemical test on all samples. Results of the cyclic polarization tests indicated that SWAAT electrolytes was the most aggressive electrolyte resulting in highest corrosion rates compared to all other electrolytes used in this investigation. SEM results indicated AA 3102 alloy exhibited higher pitting tendency in electrolytes with high sodium chloride whereas high sulfate electrolytes cause appearance of uniform corrosion surface damage on this alloy. Both high sulfate and SWAAT electrolytes showed intergranular corrosion but high chloride electrolyte showed severe pitting of AA 3102. Mohammad Navid Dorreyatim- Cyclic Polarization of AA 3102 in Corrosive Electrolytes Containing Sodium Chloride and Ammonium Sulfate. Master of Science (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), December 2016, 98 pp., references, 31 titles.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Dorreyatim, Mohammad

Deleterious Synergistic Effects of Concurrent Magnetic Field and Superparamagnetic (Fe3O4) Nanoparticle Exposures on CHO-K1 Cell Line

Description: While many investigations have been performed to establish a better understanding of the effects that magnetic fields and nanoparticles have on cells, the fundamental mechanisms behind the interactions are still yet unknown, and investigations on concurrent exposure are quite limited in scope. This study was therefore established to investigate the biological impact of concurrent exposure to magnetic nanoparticles and extremely-low frequency magnetic fields using an in-vitro CHO-K1 cell line model, in an easily reproducible manner to establish grounds for further in-depth mechanistic, proteomic, and genomic studies. Cells were cultured and exposed to 10nm Fe3O4 nanoparticles, and DC or low frequency (0Hz, 50Hz, and 100Hz) 2.0mT magnetic fields produced by a Helmholtz coil pair. The cells were then observed under confocal fluorescence microscopy, and subject to MTT biological assay to determine the synergistic effects of these concurrent exposures. No effects were observed on cell morphology or microtubule network; however, cell viability was observed to decrease more drastically under the combined effects of magnetic field and nanoparticle exposures, as compared to independent exposures alone. It was concluded that no significant difference was observed between the types of magnetic fields, and their effects on the nanoparticle exposed cells, but quite clearly there are deleterious synergistic effects of these concurrent magnetic field and nanoparticle exposure conditions.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Coker, Zachary

Dissimilar Friction Stir Welding Between Magnesium and Aluminum Alloys

Description: Joining two dissimilar metals, specifically Mg and Al alloys, using conventional welding techniques is extraordinarily challenging. Even when these alloys are able to be joined, the weld is littered with defects such as cracks, cavities, and wormholes. The focus of this project was to use friction stir welding to create a defect-free joint between Al 2139 and Mg WE43. The stir tool used in this project, made of H13 tool steel, is of fixed design. The design included an 11 mm scrolled and concave shoulder in addition to a 6 mm length pin comprised of two tapering, threaded re-entrant flutes that promoted and amplified material flow. Upon completion of this project an improved experimental setup process was created as well as successful welds between the two alloys. These successful joints, albeit containing defects, lead to the conclusion that the tool used in project was ill fit to join the Al and Mg alloy plates. This was primarily due to its conical shaped pin instead of the more traditional cylindrical shaped pins. As a result of this aggressive pin design, there was a lack of heat generation towards the bottom of the pin even at higher (800-1000 rpm) rotation speeds. This lack of heat generation prohibited the material from reaching plastic deformation thus preventing the needed material flow to form the defect free joint.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Reese, Gregory A

Dissimilar Joining of Al (AA2139) – Mg (WE43) Alloys Using Friction Stir Welding

Description: This research demonstrates the use of friction stir welding (FSW) to join dissimilar (Al-Mg) metal alloys. The main challenges in joining different, dissimilar metal alloys is the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in the stir zone affecting mechanical properties of joint significantly. In this present study, FSW joining process is used to join aluminum alloy AA2139 and magnesium alloy WE43. The 9.5 mm thick plates of AA2139 and WE43 were friction stir butt welded. Different processing parameters were used to optimize processing parameters. Also, various weldings showed a crack at interface due to formation of IMCs caused by liquation during FSW. A good strength sound weld was obtained using processing parameter of 1200 rev/min rotational speed; 76.2 mm/min traverse speed; 1.5 degree tilt and 0.13 mm offsets towards aluminum. The crack faded away as the tool was offset towards advancing side aluminum. Mostly, the research was focused on developing high strength joint through microstructural control to reduce IMCs thickness in Al-Mg dissimilar weld joint with optimized processing parameter and appropriate tool offset.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Poudel, Amir

Effect of Dispersed Particles and Branching on the Performance of a Medium Temperature Thermal Energy Storage System

Description: The main objective of my thesis is to develop a numerical model for small-scale thermal energy storage system and to see the effect of dispersing nano-particles and using fractal-like branching heat exchanger in phase change material for our proposed thermal energy storage system. The associated research problems investigated for phase change material (PCM) are the low thermal conductivity and low rate of heat transfer from heat transfer fluid to PCM in thermal energy storage system. In this study an intensive study is carried out to find the best material for thermal storage and later on as a high conductive nano-particle graphite is used to enhance the effective thermal conductivity of the mixed materials. As a thermal storage material molten solar Salt (60% NaNO3+40%KNO3) has been selected, after that detailed numerical modeling of the proposed design has been done using MATLAB algorithm and following the fixed grid enthalpy method. The model is based on the numerical computation of 1-D finite difference method using explicit scheme. The second part of the study is based on enhancing the heat transfer performance by introducing the concept of fractal network or branching heat exchanger. Results from the numerical computation have been utilized for the comparison between a conventional heating system (with a simple single tube as a heat exchanger) and a passive PCM thermal energy storage system with branching heat exchanger using NTU-effectiveness method and charging time calculation. The comparison results show a significant amount improvement using branching network and mixing nano-particle in terms of heat transfer (13.5% increase in effectiveness of branching level-02 heat exchangers from the conventional one ), thermal conductivity (increased 73.6% with 20% graphite nano-particle mix with solid PCM), charging time (57% decrease of charging time for the effect of both the dispersion of Graphite nano-particle and branching heat exchange) and ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hasib, A. M. M. Golam

Electrodepostion of Iron Oxide on Steel Fiber for Improved Pullout Strength in Concrete

Description: Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) is nowadays extensively used in civil engineering throughout the world due to the composites of FRC can improve the toughness, flexural strength, tensile strength, and impact strength as well as the failure mode of the concrete. It is an easy crazed material compared to others materials in civil engineering. Concrete, like glass, is brittle, and hence has a low tensile strength and shear capacity. At present, there are different materials that have been employed to reinforce concrete. In our experiment, nanostructures iron oxide was prepared by electrodepostion in an electrolyte containing 0.2 mol/L sodium acetate (CH3COONa), 0.01 mol/L sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) and 0.01 mol/L ammonium ferrous sulfate (NH4)2Fe(SO4)2.6H2O under magnetic stirring. The resulted showed that pristine Fe2O3 particles, Fe2O3 nanorods and nanosheets were synthesized under current intensity of 1, 3, 5 mA, respectively. And the pull-out tests were performed by Autograph AGS-X Series. It is discovering that the load force potential of nanostructure fibers is almost 2 times as strong as the control sample.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Liu, Chuangwei

Electromagnetic Shielding Properties of Iron Oxide Impregnated Kenaf Bast Fiberboard

Description: The electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of kenaf bast fiber based composites with different iron oxide impregnation levels was investigated. The kenaf fibers were retted to remove the lignin and extractives from the pores in fibers, and then magnetized. Using the unsaturated polyester and the magnetized fibers, kenaf fiber based composites were manufactured by compression molding process. The transmission energies of the composites were characterized when the composite samples were exposed under the irradiation of electromagnetic (EM) wave with a changing frequency from 9 GHz to 11 GHz. Using the scanning electron microscope (SEM), the iron oxide nanoparticles were observed on the surfaces and inside the micropore structures of single fibers. The SEM images revealed that the composite’s EM shielding effectiveness was increased due to the adhesion of the iron oxide crystals to the kenaf fiber surfaces. As the Fe content increased from 0% to 6.8%, 15.9% and 18.0%, the total surface free energy of kenaf fibers with magnetizing treat increased from 44.77 mJ/m2 to 46.07 mJ/m2, 48.78 mJ/m2 and 53.02 mJ/m2, respectively, while the modulus of elasticity (MOE) reduced from 2,875 MPa to 2,729 MPa, 2,487 MPa and 2,007 MPa, respectively. Meanwhile, the shielding effectiveness was increased from 30-50% to 60-70%, 65-75% and 70-80%, respectively.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ding, Zhiguang

Energy Usage While Maintaining Thermal Comfort : A Case Study of a UNT Dormitory

Description: Campus dormitories for the University of North Texas house over 5500 students per year; each one of them requires certain comfortable living conditions while they live there. There is an inherit amount of money required in order to achieve minimal comfort levels; the cost is mostly natural gas for water and room heating and electricity for cooling, lighting and peripherals. The US Department of Energy has developed several programs to aid in performing energy simulations to help those interested design more cost effective building designs. Energy-10 is such a program that allows users to conduct whole house evaluations by reviewing and altering a few parameters such as building materials, solar heating, energy efficient windows etc. The idea of this project was to recreate a campus dormitory and try to emulate existent energy consumption then try to find ways of lowering that usage while maintaining a high level of personal comfort.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Gambrell, Dusten

Enhanced Coarse-Graining for Multiscale Modeling of Elastomers

Description: One of the major goal of the researchers is to reduce energy loss including nanoscale to the structural level. For instance, around 65% of fuel energy is lost during the propulsion of the automobiles, where 11% of the loss happens at tires due to rolling friction. Out of that tire loss, 90 to 95% loss happens due to hysteresis of tire materials. This dissertation focuses on multiscale modeling techniques in order to facilitate the discovery new rubber materials. Enhanced coarse-grained models of elastomers (thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer and natural rubber) are constructed from full-atomic models with reasonable repeat units/beads associated with pressure-correction for non-bonded interactions of the beads using inverse Boltzmann method (IBM). Equivalent continuum modeling is performed with volumetric/isochoric loading to predict macroscopic mechanical properties using molecular mechanics (MM) and molecular dynamics (MD). Glass-transition and rate-dependent mechanical properties along with hysteresis loss under uniaxial deformation is predicted with varying composition of the material. A statistical non-Gaussian treatment of a rubber chain is performed and linked with molecular dynamics in order predict hyperelastic material constants without fitting with any experimental data.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Uddin, Md Salah

Estimation of Air Emissions During Production Phase from Active Oil and Gas Wells in the Barnett Shale Basin: 2010-2013

Description: The Barnett shale basin, the largest onshore gas field in the state of Texas, mainly produces natural gas. The basin’s oil and gas productions have dramatically increased over the past two decades with the enhancement via shale fracturing (fracking) technology. However, recent studies suggest that air emissions from shale fracking have significantly contributed to the growing air pollution problem in North Texas. In this study, air emissions from the Barnett shale basin during the production phase of the oil and gas activities (once the product is collected from the wells) are quantified. Oil and gas production data were acquired from the Texas Railroad Commission for the baseline years of 2010 through 2013. Methodology from prior studies on shale basins approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was employed in this study and the emission inventories from the production phase sources were quantified. Accordingly, the counties with the most gas operations in the basin, Tarrant, Johnson, Denton and Wise, were found to be the highest emitters of air pollutants. Tarrant County was responsible for the highest emitted NOx (42,566 tons) and CO (17,698 tons) in the basin, while Montague County released the maximum VOC emissions (87,601 tons) during the study period. Amongst the concerned emitted pollutants, VOC was the largest emitted pollutant during the study period (417,804 tons), followed by NOx (126,691 tons) and CO (47,884 tons). Significant Sources of air emissions include: storage tanks, wellhead compressor engines, and pneumatic devices. Storage tanks and pneumatic devices contributed to about 62% and 28% of the total VOC emissions, respectively. Whereas, wellhead compressor engines are primarily responsible for about 97% of the total NOx emissions. Finally, in Tarrant, Wise and Denton counties, the emissions increased during the study period due to increase in the oil and gas production, while Johnson County’s emission ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dohde, Farhan A.

Estimation of Aircraft Emissions for the Corpus Christi International Airport, Corpus Christi, Texas

Description: Commercial aviation is a vital part of the United States economy. It generates over $1 trillion annually, which is more than 5% of the U.S. GDP, and produces approximately 10 million jobs. Every year there is an increase in commercial air traffic. This is attributed to expanding trade between states and other countries, which requires larger amounts of cargo aircraft in operation, and also catering to the growing number of middle and upper class passengers who travel for business and pleasure purposes. A rise in commercial aviation leads to the use of more aviation fuel on a monthly and annual basis. This in turn leads to escalated levels of combustion by-products from jet and turbofan engines into the atmosphere. The negative effects of these by-products range from producing poor air quality and consequent health hazards to contributing to global warming. This study is aimed at assessing the impacts of aircraft emissions on the local air quality in Corpus Christi using the Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System. Flight data for the study was obtained from the Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Analyses of the emissions were compared on monthly, annual, engine type and airline provider bases. Climatic, economic and anthropogenic factors were identified in the analyses.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Thomas, Gregson Johann

Evaluation of the Influence of Non-Conventional Sources of Emissions on Ambient Air Pollutant Concentrations in North Texas

Description: Emissions of air pollutants from non-conventional sources have been on the rise in the North Texas area over the past decade. These include primary pollutants such as volatile organic compound (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which also act as precursors in the formation of ozone. Most of these have been attributed to a significant increase in oil and gas production activities since 2000 within the Barnett Shale region adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex region. In this study, air quality concentrations measured at the Denton Airport and Dallas Hinton monitoring sites operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were evaluated. VOC concentration data from canister-based sampling along with continuous measurement of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5), and meteorological conditions at these two sites spanning from 2000 through 2014 were employed in this study. The Dallas site is located within the urban core of one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, while the Denton site is an exurban site with rural characteristics to it. The Denton Airport site was influenced by natural gas pads surrounding it while there are very few natural gas production facilities within close proximity to the Dallas Hinton site. As of 2013, there were 1362 gas pads within a 10 mile radius to the Denton Airport site but there were only 2 within a 10 mile radius to Dallas Hinton site. The Dallas site displayed higher concentrations of NOx and much lower concentrations of VOC than the Denton site. Extremely high levels of VOC measured at the Denton site corresponded with the increase in oil and gas production activities in close proximity to the monitoring site. Ethane and propane are two major contributors to the measured VOC concentration, suggesting the influence of fugitive emissions of natural gas. ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Lim, Guo Quan

Experimental Study on Fluidization of Biomass, Inert Particles, and Biomass/Sand Mixtures

Description: Fluidization of biomass particles is an important process in the gasification, pyrolysis and combustion in order to extract energy from biomass. Studies on the fluidization of biomass particles (corn cob and walnut shell), inert particles (sand, glass bead, and alumina), which are added to facilitate fluidization of biomass, and biomass/sand mixture were performed. Experiments were carried out in a 14.5 cm internal diameter cold flow fluidization bed to determine minimum fluidization velocities with air as fluidizing medium. On the of basis of experimental data from both present work and those found in the literature, new correlations were developed to predict minimum fluidization velocity for inert particles as well as biomass particles. It was found that the proposed correlations satisfactorily predict minimum fluidization velocities and was in well agreement with experimental data. Furthermore, effect of weight percentage of biomass in the biomass/sand mixtures was studied. The weight fraction of biomass particles in the mixture was chosen in the range of 0 ~ 100 wt. %. The results show that minimum fluidization velocity of the mixtures increases with an increase in biomass content. Using the present experimental data, a new correlation was developed in terms of mass ratio for predicting values of minimum fluidization velocity of these mixtures. However, the validity of the proposed correlation should be further studied by conducting more experiments using the biomass/sand mixtures of different particle size, shape, and density.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Paudel, Basu

Feasibility of a New Technique to Determine Dynamic Tensile Behavior of Brittle Materials

Description: Dynamic tensile characterization of geo-materials is critical to the modeling and design of protective structures that are often made of concrete. One of the most commonly used techniques currently associated with this type of testing is performed with a Kolsky bar and is known as the spall technique. The validity of the data from the spall technique is highly debated because the necessary boundary conditions for the experiment are not satisfied. By using a technique called pulse shaping, a new “controlled” spall technique was developed to satisfy all boundary conditions so that the analyzed data may be useful in modeling and design. The results from this project were promising and show the potential to revolutionize the way Kolsky bar testing is performed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Dean, Andrew W

Feasibility Study of Consolidation by Direct Compaction and Friction Stir Processing of Commercially Pure Titanium Powder

Description: Commercially pure titanium can take up to six months to successfully manufacture a six-inch in diameter ingot in which can be shipped to be melted and shaped into other useful components. The applications to the corrosion-resistant, light weight, strong metal are endless, yet so is the manufacturing processing time. At a cost of around $80 per pound of certain grades of titanium powder, the everyday consumer cannot afford to use titanium in the many ways it is beneficial simply because the number of processing steps it takes to manufacture consumes too much time, energy, and labor. In this research, the steps it takes from the raw powder form to the final part are proposed to be reduced from 4-8 steps to only 2 steps utilizing a new technology that may even improve upon the titanium properties at the same time as it is reducing the number of steps of manufacture. The two-step procedure involves selecting a cylindrical or rectangular die and punch to compress a small amount of commercially pure titanium to a strong-enough compact for transportation to the friction stir welder to be consolidated. Friction stir welding invented in 1991 in the United Kingdom uses a tool, similar to a drill bit, to approach a sample and gradually plunge into the material at a certain rotation rate of between 100 to 2,100 RPM. In the second step, the friction stir welder is used to process the titanium powder held in a tight holder to consolidate into a harder titanium form. The resulting samples are cut to expose the cross section and then grinded, polished, and cleaned to be observed and tested using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and a Vickers microhardness tester. The results were that the thicker the sample, the harder the resulting consolidated sample ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Nichols, Leannah Marie

Field Validation of Zero Energy Lab Water-to-Water Ground Coupled Heat Pump Model

Description: Heat pumps are a vital part of each building for their role in keeping the space conditioned for the occupant. This study focuses on developing a model for the ground-source heat pump at the Zero Energy lab at the University of North Texas, and finding the minimum data required for generating the model. The literature includes many models with different approaches to determine the performance of the heat pump. Each method has its pros and cons. In this research the equation-fit method was used to generate a model based on the data collected from the field. Two experiments were conducted for the cooling mode: the first one at the beginning of the season and the second one at the peak of the season to cover all the operation conditions. The same procedure was followed for the heating mode. The models generated based on the collected data were validated against the experiment data. The error of the models was within ±10%. The study showed that the error could be reduced by 20% to 42% when using the field data to generate the model instead of the manufacturer’s catalog data. Also it was found that the minimum period to generate the cooling mode model was two days and two hours from each experiment, while for the heating mode it was four days and two hours from each experiment.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Abdulameer, Saif

High-Density Polyethylene/Peanut Shell Biocomposites

Description: A recent trend in the development of renewable and biodegradable materials has led to the development of composites from renewal sources such as natural fibers. This agricultural activity generates a large amount of waste in the form of peanut shells. The motivation for this research is based on the utilization of peanut shells as a viable source for the manufacture of biocomposites. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic largely used in the industry due to its durability, high strength to density ratio, and thermal stability. This research focuses in the mechanical and thermal properties of HDPE/peanut shell composites of different qualities and compositions. The samples obtained were subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical tensile strength tests. TO prepare the samples for analysis, the peanut shells were separated into different mesh sizes and then mixed with HDPE at different concentrations. The results showed that samples with fiber size number 10 exhibited superior strength modulus of 1.65 GPa versus results for HDPE alone at 1.32 GPa. The analysis from the previous experiments helped to determine that the fiber size number 10 at 5%wt. ratio in HDPE provides the most optimal mechanical and thermal results. From tensile tests the highest modulus of elasticity of 1.33 GPa was achieved from the samples of peanut shells size number 10 in HDPE at 20%wt. ratio, while the results for HDPE alone were only of 0.8 GPa. The results proved the hypothesis that the addition of peanut shells to HDPE enhances both the thermal and mechanical properties of the composite.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Londoño Ceballos, Mauricio