Category Archives: Undergraduate Research In-Progress

Comparison of Hops and Hemp for Value-Added Agriculture in New Mexico

Description: Hops (Humulus lupulus) and hemp (Cannabis sativa) are both members of the family Cannabaceae, flowering plants often used for their secondary metabolites, especially terpenes. Both have potential to be economically important in New Mexico, in particular the development of new and unique varieties of hops for brewing, and for production of fiber, oils, seed…
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Analysis and Pelletization Methods in Support of New Mexico Hop Growers

Description: New Mexico’s hop industry is only a few years old but is growing to provide local and specialty hops to New Mexico’s craft brewers. To be marketable and to manage their own hop quality, hop growers need to characterize their hops for alpha/beta acid content, essential oil content, and hop storage index (HIS), a…
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Reaction Condition Optimization and Product Characterization for Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae and Food Waste

Description: Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) converts wet biomass at high temperatures and high pressures into a solid char, an oil-phase liquid, an aqueous phase liquid, and non-condensable gases. The different phases provide opportunities for recovery of energy and materials from wastes. In this project, HTL is used to recover energy (in the form of bio-crude oil)…
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Reaction Condition Optimization and Product Characterization for Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae and Food Waste

Description: Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) converts wet biomass at high temperatures and high pressures into a solid char, an oil-phase liquid, an aqueous phase liquid, and non-condensable gases. The different phases provide opportunities for recovery of energy and materials from wastes. In this project, HTL is used to recover energy (in the form of bio-crude oil)…
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Membrane Filtration for the Isolation of Valuable Components from the Aqueous Stream of Steam Exploded Citrus Processing Waste

Description: About 95% of the oranges produced in US are used for processing into juice. Citrus processing waste (CPW) is what remains from the fruit after it has been processed into juice. CPW is made up of the peel, rag, juice sacs and seeds. Approximately 44% of the orange fruit mass wet consists of CPW….
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Predicting Fluid Phase Behavior of the Aerospace Fuel Hydrazine from Molecular Simulations

Description: Hydrazine is a highly reactive liquid base. It is mainly used as a rocket propellant. It is a hypergolic propellant as a single species because it will spontaneously ignite without an additional oxidizer. Other uses for hydrazine include but are not limited to, the production of spandex fibers, agricultural chemicals, nickel-plating, nuclear fuel reprocessing,…
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Electrocatalysts for oxygen evolution reaction and hydrogen evolution reaction

Description: The process of hydrogen fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, metal-air batteries and electrolyzers impose much less treat to the environment, but commercialization of such energy devices is limited because of the pricy noble metal catalysts. The rate-limiting reaction is the oxygen evolution reaction catalyzed by IrO2/RuO2. The catalysts are either unstable or display…
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Water purification by capacitive de-ionization (CDI) method

Description: Materials preparation: synthesis of ultra high surface area activated carbon and metal oxide nanoparticles. Material characterization: X-ray diffraction (XRD), BET surface area, Scanning electron microscope(SEM), Transmission electron microscope(TEM), capacity and stability measurements. CDI cells setup. Ions adsorption measurements: Ca2+, Mg2+, As (3+ and 4+), Cl-, F- . Brackish water purification. Completion Objectives: Materials synthesis:…
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Exploration of particulate and granular mass transport using LAMMPS

Description: The student will be researching the capabilities of modelling granular flow profiles using the Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS). LAMMPS is a Sandia Laboratory-developed molecular modelling program that is able to model solid-state materials, soft matter, and coarse-grained systems. Completion Objectives: By the end of the semester, the student will be able to:…
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Fabrication of Polyethersulfone Membranes

Description: Ultrafiltration membranes are commercially made through non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS). In this method, a polymer solution is cast as a film and immersed in a non-solvent, which results in formation of a porous polymer with nanometer size pores. The obtained porous film can separate solid particles, proteins, and macromolecules from water. Completion Objectives:…
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