Department of

Chemical Engineering

Designing molecular technology for the 21st century with biology and chemistry

Spring 2010 Seminars

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Nanomaterials for Gas Storage and Separations via a Trapping Mechanism

Angela D. Lueking
Department of Energy & Mineral Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University

Thursday, February 11, 2010
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
102 Chemistry Building

Increased efficiency in the utilization of our energy resources in a carbon-constrained world will require efficient and effective routes for energy conversion, separations, and carbon capture. We are currently exploring novel trapping mechanisms for gas storage and separations, using a collaborative combination of experiment and theory.

The work is inspired by our previous observations of ambient temperature hydrogen evolution from carbon materials, which was accompanied by Raman spectra indicative of the presence of molecular hydrogen, and Raman and TEM images demonstrating sp3-rehybridized crystalline carbon structures.

Together, these observations suggested a unique carbon-hydrogen interaction and likely trapping of molecular hydrogen in a tightly-knit porous structure. We believe the diffusion-limited hydrogen evolution from the material was a result of simultaneous dehydrogenation of the hydrogen donor and carbon restructuring. We continue to explore diffusion-limited H2 from novel carbon materials trapped under extreme conditions.

More broadly, the diffusion-limited evolution of gases represents a paradigm shift from 'traditional' solid state adsorbents with thermodynamic limitations to a possible regime that is limited by chemical kinetics. The idea of hydrogen trapping inspired our current collaborative exploration of a gas trapping mechanism in designer metal-organic frameworks, and gas separations via a gate-opening phenomenon in similar materials. In this talk, I will discuss the original 'inspiration' behind our work in trapping, parallel observations of gas trapping, and then propose a means by which to utilize these phenomenon in gas storage and separations.

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