Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Examination of Immobilized TiO2 Nanoparticle Photocatalytic Treatment of Propylene Glycol with Concentrated Solar Energy Public Deposited

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  • Airports are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to perform deicing of aircraft pavement during icy conditions. Until recently, there were no discharge controls in place and deicing fluid contaminated nearby water bodies from storm water runoff. EPA regulations now require airports to collect the deicing fluid and meet discharge requirements for chemical oxygen demand. Airports that are not able to discharge their own deicing fluid pay local wastewater treatment plants to treat the waste, which typically contains 30 percent by volume propylene glycol. The Focal Technologies Ray™ aims to meet these treatment requirements on-site using concentrated solar activated nanotechnology. The Ray™ consists of an 8-ft diameter lens that concentrates UV from solar energy into a 7-gallon reactor connected to a flow control system simulating a Continuously Stirred-Tank Reactor. The reactor is equipped to contain immobilized TiO2 nanoparticle laced mesh that produces reactive oxygen species when exposed to UV radiation. Reactive oxygen species generation was investigated with or without TiO2 catalyst mesh and concentrated UV from a lab-scale Edmund Optics Fresnel lens. The addition of TiO2 mesh increased reactive oxygen species generation by a factor of 1.5 with control UV exposure and by a factor of 1.7 with concentrated UV exposure. Concentrated UV from the Fresnel lens with TiO2 mesh increased reactive oxygen species generation by a factor of 1.4 when compared to control UV exposure with TiO2 mesh. Treatment of propylene glycol was investigated in both lab-scale batch testing and field-scale CSTR testing by utilizing concentrated solar, TiO2 mesh and hydrogen peroxide. Optimal propylene glycol removal rates were observed during one-time pass field tests conducted at a flow rate of 1 GPM. One-time pass experiments utilizing concentrated solar and 5 g/L TiO2 mesh achieved an average propylene glycol removal of 21 ± 9%. One-time pass experiments utilizing concentrated solar, 5 g/L TiO2 mesh, and 10 g/L H2O2 achieved an average propylene glycol removal of 33 ± 1%. Concentrated solar experiments without TiO2 mesh or H2O2 achieved an average propylene glycol removal of 4 ± 3%, concluding that both TiO2 catalyst and hydrogen peroxide were necessary for effective removal of propylene glycol. Although significant transformation of propylene glycol was observed, minimal TOC removal occurred. An unidentified compound was detected at a peak time of approximately 18 minutes using a Shimadzu gas chromatograph with a FID detector at a column temperature of 100ºC. Peak areas were only observed in effluent samples, proposing this to be the main byproduct of propylene glycol transformation through this process.
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  • 2018-06-22 to 2020-07-23



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