Semester

Summer

Date of Graduation

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Type

PhD

College

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Department

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Cerasela Zoica Dinu

Committee Co-Chair

Charter Stinespring

Committee Member

Nagasree Garapati

Committee Member

Xueyan Song

Committee Member

Yuxin Liu

Abstract

My PhD work aimed at using Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for mitigating the environmental issues and energy crisis associated with anthropogenic activities. Specifically, we developed robust platforms and/ or systems using MOF as “scaffolds” to allow for model pollutant detection and CO2 sequestration and benign transformation respectively.

First, I detailed how photocatalytic properties of 2,5-furandicarbocylic acid (FDCA) in its alone and its MOF- integrated form (MIL-160) were used for the first time for the reduction of Ag+ at room conditions. Such photocatalytic activities could then be used in user-designed hybrids (i.e., Ag/MIL-160) to form sensorial platforms for prevalent phenol (p-NP) contaminant detection. This new detection method is envisioned to allow effective control and regulation of p-NP, all under low-cost and environmentally friendly conditions.

Next, I studied how a green strategy based on carbonic anhydrase (CA) could be used for CO2 transformation. Specifically, we demonstrated the feasibility of MOFs for CAs’ immobilization on both hydrophilic-MIL-160 and hydrophobic-ZIF-8 frameworks, and enzyme functionality was dependent on the support’s characteristics, with MIL-160 revealing promising advantages for CA enhanced activity and stability. Further, we extended such analysis to possible industrial implementation of the CA-MOF approach; briefly, by developing a membrane system, we showed the feasibility of a CA-MOF based novel membrane for CO2 adsorption with possible implementation in enzyme-based green technologies to mitigate global warming.

The development and integration of MOFs for energy or environmental sustainability is meritorious and transformative and allows for creating new pathways for industrial extensions and integration of laboratories demonstration.

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