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Computational fluid dynamic modeling of fluidized-bed polymerization reactors

Description: Polyethylene is one of the most widely used plastics, and over 60 million tons are produced worldwide every year. Polyethylene is obtained by the catalytic polymerization of ethylene in gas and liquid phase reactors. The gas phase processes are more advantageous, and use fluidized-bed reactors for production of polyethylene. Since they operate so close to the melting point of the polymer, agglomeration is an operational concern in all slurry and gas polymerization processes. Electrostatics and hot spot formation are the main factors that contribute to agglomeration in gas-phase processes. Electrostatic charges in gas phase polymerization fluidized bed reactors are known to influence the bed hydrodynamics, particle elutriation, bubble size, bubble shape etc. Accumulation of electrostatic charges in the fluidized-bed can lead to operational issues. In this work a first-principles electrostatic model is developed and coupled with a multi-fluid computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model to understand the effect of electrostatics on the dynamics of a fluidized-bed. The multi-fluid CFD model for gas-particle flow is based on the kinetic theory of granular flows closures. The electrostatic model is developed based on a fixed, size-dependent charge for each type of particle (catalyst, polymer, polymer fines) phase. The combined CFD model is first verified using simple test cases, validated with experiments and applied to a pilot-scale polymerization fluidized-bed reactor. The CFD model reproduced qualitative trends in particle segregation and entrainment due to electrostatic charges observed in experiments. For the scale up of fluidized bed reactor, filtered models are developed and implemented on pilot scale reactor.
Date: November 2, 2012
Creator: Rokkam, Ram
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Imaging gene expression in real-time using aptamers

Description: Signal transduction pathways are usually activated by external stimuli and are transient. The downstream changes such as transcription of the activated genes are also transient. Real-time detection of promoter activity is useful for understanding changes in gene expression, especially during cell differentiation and in development. A simple and reliable method for viewing gene expression in real time is not yet available. Reporter proteins such as fluorescent proteins and luciferase allow for non-invasive detection of the products of gene expression in living cells. However, current reporter systems do not provide for real-time imaging of promoter activity in living cells. This is because of the long time period after transcription required for fluorescent protein synthesis and maturation. We have developed an RNA reporter system for imaging in real-time to detect changes in promoter activity as they occur. The RNA reporter uses strings of RNA aptamers that constitute IMAGEtags (Intracellular MultiAptamer GEnetic tags), which can be expressed from a promoter of choice. The tobramycin, neomycin and PDC RNA aptamers have been utilized for this system and expressed in yeast from the GAL1 promoter. The IMAGEtag RNA kinetics were quantified by RT-qPCR. In yeast precultured in raffinose containing media the GAL1 promoter responded faster than in yeast precultured in glucose containing media. IMAGEtag RNA has relatively short half-life (5.5 min) in yeast. For imaging, the yeast cells are incubated with their ligands that are labeled with fluorescent dyes. To increase signal to noise, ligands have been separately conjugated with the FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) pairs, Cy3 and Cy5. With these constructs, the transcribed aptamers can be imaged after activation of the promoter by galactose. FRET was confirmed with three different approaches, which were sensitized emission, acceptor photobleaching and donor lifetime by FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy). Real-time transcription was measured by FLIM-FRET, which ...
Date: November 2, 2012
Creator: Shin, Il Chung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Single crystal Processing and magnetic properties of gadolinium nickel

Description: GdNi is a rare earth intermetallic material that exhibits very interesting magnetic properties. Spontaneous magnetostriction occurs in GdNi at T{sub C}, on the order of 8000ppm strain along the c-axis and only until very recently the mechanism causing this giant magnetostriction was not understood. In order to learn more about the electronic and magnetic structure of GdNi, single crystals are required for anisotropic magnetic property measurements. Single crystal processing is quite challenging for GdNi though since the rare-earth transition-metal composition yields a very reactive intermetallic compound. Many crystal growth methods are pursued in this study including crucible free methods, precipitation growths, and specially developed Bridgman crucibles. A plasma-sprayed Gd{sub 2}O{sub 3} W-backed Bridgman crucible was found to be the best means of GdNi single crystal processing. With a source of high-quality single crystals, many magnetization measurements were collected to reveal the magnetic structure of GdNi. Heat capacity and the magnetocaloric effect are also measured on a single crystal sample. The result is a thorough report on high quality single crystal processing and the magnetic properties of GdNi.
Date: November 2, 2012
Creator: Shreve, Andrew John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

United abominations: Density functional studies of heavy metal chemistry

Description: Carbonyl and nitrile addition to uranyl (UO{sup 2}{sup 2+}) are studied. The competition between nitrile and water ligands in the formation of uranyl complexes is investigated. The possibility of hypercoordinated uranyl with acetone ligands is examined. Uranyl is studied with diactone alcohol ligands as a means to explain the apparent hypercoordinated uranyl. A discussion of the formation of mesityl oxide ligands is also included. A joint theory/experimental study of reactions of zwitterionic boratoiridium(I) complexes with oxazoline-based scorpionate ligands is reported. A computational study was done of the catalytic hydroamination/cyclization of aminoalkenes with zirconium-based catalysts. Techniques are surveyed for programming for graphical processing units (GPUs) using Fortran.
Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: Schoendorff, George
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department