Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

R. Lloyd Carroll.


Efficient use of petroleum, coal and natural gas resources requires the use of novel materials and developing technologies. Aerogel-supported nanoparticles are materials with great potential in development of new technologies in energy generation, fuel processing, and by-product remediation. Aerogels represent one of the highest surface area materials known, providing an excellent support for catalytic reactions, including those important in the reformation of petroleum resources. The properties and capabilities of these materials may be modified by tuning the porosity, controlling the size and nature of nanoparticles on the support, and varying the reaction conditions. Our focus in this work is the development of oxygen carriers (aerogel with metal nanoparticles) for application in a Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) system, a process by which the energy is generated from fuel oxidation where the fuel and oxidant are not in direct contact. The structure and composition of the produced materials in our lab was characterized by X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Election Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, BET, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Thermogravimetric Analysis was then employed to optimize the reaction conditions and determine which materials presented the greatest potential for CLC.