2007 Progress Report: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)

EPA Grant Number: X832541
Center: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)
Center Director: Earl, David A.
Title: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)
Investigators: Vascott, Terese
Current Investigators: Shelby, James
Institution: Alfred University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2008
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2006 through August 31, 2007
RFA: Targeted Research Center (2006) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Research

Agreement no. X-83254101-0 ($290,800)

CEER’s Science Advisory Committee (SAC) recommended three proposals for funding commencing 10/01/2005 and ending 12/31/2006. The projects are completed, and the final reports have been delivered to the US EPA. Posted reports can be found at: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/outlinks.centers/center/145.

Progress Summary:

Material and Environmental Sustainability in Ceramic Processing, W. Carty, PI.
This project explored employing froth flotation to separate frit from pigment in waste glaze systems. Surface chemistry differences between frit and pigment particles were successfully exploited to identify suitable anionic and cationic collectors and optimal pH conditions to achieve selective flotation. The work was continued with funding from EPA grant no. R-83042001-4, and separation of frit, pigment, and liquid was achieved.

Robust, Spectrally Selective Ceramic Coatings for Recycled Solar Power Tubes, W. Carty and D. Edwards, PIs.
In this project, moderately selective solar absorbing enamel coatings were developed. These coatings were designed for application to failed solar collector tubes used in parabolic trough solar power plants. A successful coating will enable recycling of failed tubes (less waste), reduction of operation and maintenance costs (less down time), and ultimately, lower costs for solar energy production. With additional industrial support, the technology developed in this EPA-supported project was transferred to a small business that applied coatings to 12-ft.-long collector tubes for field-testing in commercial solar energy generation systems.

Recycling of Silicon-wafers Production Wastes to SiAlON Based Ceramics with Improved Mechanical Properties, J. Varner and D. Earl, PIs.
The objective of this project was to recycle semiconductor silicon sludge into SiAlON ceramics via combustion synthesis, and to demonstrate improved fracture toughness from the addition of reinforcing secondary particles such as ZrO2. Outcomes include 1) design, development, and successful testing of a self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) reactor, 2) demonstration of a recycling process for Si-wafer production waste via SHS nitriding combustion, and 3) successful testing of the SHS reactor for nitriding titanium, which demonstrated the potential to develop advanced ceramic materials, such as AlN from aluminum waste.

Agreement no. X-83254101-1 ($1,204,100)

CEER’s Science Advisory Committee (SAC) recommended eight proposals for funding during the project period September 2006 through September 2009.

  • Emissions Reduction of Commercial Glassmaking Using Selective Batching
    Investigator: W. Carty
    Project Objective: Investigate the fining behavior of selectively-batched glasses in order to develop preparation conditions, coupled primarily to granule size, that tailor bubble size in the glass melt to reduce fining time. The subsequent reduction in fuel consumption will reduce NOx emissions, and decreased use of salt cake will lower SOx emissions.
    Current Status: started September 2006, expected to be completed by May 2008.
  • Magnesium Rich Coatings for Corrosion Control of Reactive Metal Alloys
    Investigator: R. DeRosa
    Project Objective: Test Mg-rich coating systems as possible replacements for chromate coatings used for corrosion control of reactive metal alloys. The hypothesis is that Mg particles embedded in an inorganic matrix coating will sacrificially corrode and provide extended corrosion protection to the underlying metal.
    Current Status: started January 2007, expected to be completed by September 2008.
  • Recovery and Purification of Hydrogen from Mixed Gas Streams
    Investigator: J. Shelby
    Project Objective: Demonstrate that very high purity hydrogen can be efficiently recovered from mixtures with methane and other gases by absorption into hollow glass microspheres (HGMS) held in a diffusion tube, and that this gas can be released from the HGMS on demand. Parameters for efficient separation, quality of the gas produced, and stability of the HGMS will be determined.
    Current Status: started September 2006, expected to be completed by August 2008.
  • The Use of Fly Ash in the Production of SiAlON Based Structural Ceramics
    Investigator: J. Varner
    Project Objective: Recycle fly ash from power plants for use in the synthesis of SiAlON powder by carbothermal reduction and nitridation. The goal is to prepare low-cost SiAlON powder from high carbon content fly ash, thereby reducing waste going to landfill sites.
    Current Status: started May 2007, expected to be completed by December 2008.
  • Nanoscale Layered Photocatalysts
    Investigators: S. Misture, D. Edwards
    Project Objective: A photocatalyst captures sunlight to create, in the solid, an electron-hole pair. Any liquid or gas in contact with the solid photocatalyst can then use that electron in a chemical reaction, and therefore the catalyst promotes the reaction. In the case of hydrogen production from water, the photocatalyst would ideally be activated by visible light. All current photocatalysts are active in the ultraviolet light range, not the visible light range, thus use only about 4% of sunlight instead of the ~40% that is in the form of visible light. The goal of the current work is to stretch and compress chemical bonds in layered ceramics in an attempt to eject the electrons with visible light in order to promote the reaction of water to yield hydrogen and oxygen. Of course, burning the hydrogen results in water only as exhaust, and is therefore an environmentally-friendly energy source.
    Current Status: started September 2007, expected to be completed by February 2009.
  • Novel Glass-Ceramic Gas Separation Membranes
    Investigator: S. Misture
    Project Objective: Demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing gas separation membranes using a well-established and low-cost glass-ceramic process. The process will yield highly-dispersed Ni metal particles supported by the oxide glass-ceramic which may also have applications for catalysis and looping combustion oxygen sources.
    Current Status: project will commence January 2008.
  • Microarray for Contaminated Water Analysis
    Investigators: J. Cardinale, R. DeRosa
    Project Objective: Increase the amount of antibody attached to a glass substrate through use of a pretreatment (stabilization) of antibody prior to attachment to derivitized glass surfaces, or by inclusion of a stabilizing agent during arraying to reduce or eliminate antibody denaturation. The goal is to produce a miniaturized, reusable ELISA to detect multiple biological contaminates without producing large quantities of solid waste. [This study was a continuation of earlier work funded by EPA grant no. R-83042001.]
    Current Status: project completed August 2007.
  • Tunneled Titanate Photocatalysts for Environmental Remediation and Hydrogen Generation
    Investigators: D. Edwards, S. Misture
    Project Objective: Determine the relationships between composition, structure, and photocatalytic properties of tunneled titanate materials, and identify factors that influence photocatalytic activity by preparing and examining different tunneled materials with systematic variations in chemistry and structure. This project is expected to lead to new and improved photocatalysts for applications in environmental remediation and hydrogen generation.
    Current Status: started September 2006, expected to be completed by May 2008.

Carrying out the Mission

CEER has been successful during the past year in carrying out the mission, to “utilize Alfred’s world renowned expertise and facilities in ceramic engineering, materials science/engineering, and related programs to develop materials and processes for environmental sustainability”. The funded research projects reflect the Center’s focus on 1) materials and processes for clean, renewable energy, and 2) improvements in materials efficiency, environmental impact and recycling.

Of the eight projects recommended for funding by CEER’s Science Advisory Committee in September 2006, one was completed in 2007, four will conclude in 2008, and three will finish by the end of the project period in 2009. Facilities, equipment, and supplies are available for the projects, with few difficulties in obtaining, calibrating, and maintaining them. Laboratory issues are monitored by regular audits/surveillances conducted by CEER’s Quality Assurance Manager, and any non-conformance is promptly remedied. Availability of graduate students for M.S. thesis work on CEER projects has been an issue, contributing to delay in startup of three projects and temporary interruptions (1 semester) in two. This issue has been resolved; of the seven current projects, six are in progress, one will commence Spring Semester 2008, and all will be completed before the end of the project period (09/30/2009).

In addition to the publication of M. S. theses, outcomes of CEER projects have included journal articles, presentations at professional meetings, and patents.

Key Personnel

  • List of key contacts at Alfred University

Name

Function

Email

Telephone

Terese Vascott

Center Director

vascott@alfred.edu

607-871-2983

Alastair Cormack

Dean, School of Engineering

cormack@alfred.edu

607-871-2980

Garth Gregor

Director, Office of Sponsored Research

gregorg@alfred.edu

607-871-2128

Ken Lotter

Quality Assurance Manager

lotterk@verizon.net

 

Tammara Raub

Controller/AU Business Office

 

607-871-2128

  • Project Principal Investigators

William Carty

carty@alfred.edu

Jean Cardinale

cardinale@alfred.edu

Rebecca DeRosa

derosa@alfred.edu

Doreen Edwards

dedwards@alfred.edu

Scott Misture

misture@alfred.edu

James Shelby

shelbyje@alfred.edu

James Varner

varnerjr@alfred.edu

Expenditures

[as of 12/31/07]

Project Title

Investigator(s)

% Work Completed

% Funds Expended

Material and environmental sustainability in ceramic processing.

W. Carty

100

100

Recycling of silicon-wafers production wastes to SiAlON based ceramics …

J. Varner
D. Earl

100

100

Robust, spectrally selective ceramic coatings for recycled solar power tubes.

W. Carty
D. Edwards

100

100

Emissions reduction of commercial glassmaking using selective batching.

W. Carty

80

75

Magnesium rich coatings for corrosion control of reactive metal alloys.

R. DeRosa

55

65

Recovery and purification of hydrogen from mixed gas streams.

J. Shelby

55

60

The use of fly ash in the production of SiAlON based structural ceramics.

J. Varner

17

45

Nanoscale layered photocatalysts.

S. Misture
D. Edwards

17

17

Novel glass-ceramic gas separation membranes.

S. Misture

1

1

Microarray for contaminated water analysis.

J. Cardinale
R. DeRosa

100

100

Tunneled titanate photocatalysts for environmental remediation ….

D. Edwards
S. Misture

80

78

Quality Assurance

All Requests for Proposals (RFP) issued from CEER require that research proposals are submitted with a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) which is part of the evaluation/acceptance criteria. CEER’s Quality Assurance Manager reviews/approves the QAPPs prior to the consideration of proposals by CEER’s Science Advisory Committee (SAC). Proposals are not eligible for consideration unless they include a completed and approved QAPP.

Audits/surveillances of project facilities and procedures are conducted at the beginning and end of the research project (and at one year from the start date if the project period is greater than one year) to ensure compliance with the QAPP. The Fall 2007 Audit and Audit Report have been completed.

CEER’s Quality Assurance Manager conducts an annual Quality System Management Review, usually in late summer, to ensure that the Quality System remains effective. The Dean of the School of Engineering, the Center Director, and representatives of the Principal Investigators participate in the meeting.

Future Activities:

Research Projects to be Completed in 2008

Emissions reduction of commercial glassmaking using selective batching,
Investigator: W. Carty.

Magnesium rich coatings for corrosion control of reactive metal alloys,
Investigator: R. DeRosa.

Recovery and purification of hydrogen from mixed gas streams,
Investigator: J. Shelby.

Tunneled titanate photocatalysts for environmental remediation and hydrogen generation,
Investigators: D. Edwards, S. Misture.

Research Projects to be Completed in 2009

The use of fly ash in the production of SiAlON based structural ceramics,
Investigator: J. Varner.

Nanoscale layered photocatalysts, Investigators: S. Misture, D. Edwards.

Novel glass-ceramic gas separation membranes, Investigator: S. Misture.


Journal Articles: 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 10 publications 2 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article DeRosa RL, Cardinale JA, Cooper A. Functionalized glass substrate for microarray analysis. Thin Solid Films 2007;515(7-8):4024-4031. X832541C001 (Final)
R830420 (Final)
R830420C004 (Final)
  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
    Exit
  • Journal Article DeRosa R, Gaustad G, Telfeyan E, Mayes JS. Microscopical evaluation of recycled glass-reinforced polymer matrix composites. Microscopy and Analysis 2004;18(5):9-11. X832541 (2007)
    X832541 (Final)
    R828737C008 (Final)
    R830420 (Final)
  • Abstract: Microscopy and Analysis
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    environmental research, energy research, US EPA NCER, environmental sustainability, ceramic engineering, materials science, ceramic materials for environmental applications, Alfred University,

    Relevant Websites:

    http://ceer.alfred.edu Exit
    https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/outlinks.centers/center/145

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • Final Report
  • Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    X832541C001 Microarray System for Contaminated Water Analysis
    X832541C003 The Fining Behavior of Selectively Batched Commercial Glasses
    X832541C004 The Use of Fly Ash in the Production of SiAlON based Structural Ceramics
    X832541C005 Separation and Purification of Hydrogen From Mixed Gas Streams Using Hollow Glass Microspheres
    X832541C006 Magnesium Rich Coatings for Corrosion Control of Reactive Metal Alloys
    X832541C008 Tunneled Titanate Photocatalysts for Environmental Remediation and Hydrogen Generation
    X832541C009 Material and Environmental Sustainability in Ceramic Processing
    X832541C010 Robust, Spectrally Selective Ceramic Coatings for Recycled Solar Power Tubes
    X832541C011 Recycling of Silicon-Wafers Production Wastes to SiAlON Based Ceramics with Improved Mechanical Properties
    X832541C012 Emissions Reduction of Commercial Glassmaking Using Selective Batching