Category Archives: Undergraduate Research In-Progress

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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Development of Materials for Teaching Sustainability Using Biomass-Derived Resources

Description: Guar and guayule are two crops with potential for large-scale production in the arid Southwest. The target products are natural rubber, resin (for commodity chemicals), and bagasse (for liquid fuels) from guayule, and guar gum (emulsifier), guar meal (animal feed) and bagasse (for liquid fuels) from guar. This project is part of a larger…
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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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Design and Build a Sci-fi Propane Pop Gun for AICHE demos

Description: Design, write an Experimental Safety Plan, build, and operate a device similar to that seen in this video up to the 1:15 time. Completion Objectives: Design a propane pop gun. Prepare the ESP. Build and test the pop gun. Perform with the pop gun at an AICHE outreach event. Faculty Advisor: Rockstraw Required Competencies…
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Recovering Energy and Nutrients from Wastewater Treatment

Description: Two methods of recovering energy from wastewater treatment being explored for the Las Cruces Wastewater Treatment facilities are anaerobic digestion with electricity production and algae growth with hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) to liquid fuels. Both options include ways to recover N and P nutrients in composted biosolids or HTL aqueous phase/char fractions. This project focuses…
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Salt migration rates in adobe brick exposed to boundary conditions of varying moisture and salinity

Description: Student will design an experimental protocol to measure salt mobility under various boundary conditions established at the block interfaces, then apply test methods developed by Mesilla Valley Preservation, Inc. and presented at EarthUSA to quantify the location of salts at various time intervals. Student will have access to some of the most knowledgable adobe…
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Development of an Extruded Product for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Feed

Description: The aquaculture industry has shown a remarkable growth since the 1980s (Sealey et al., 1999). Extrusion is an alternative processing method for obtaining extruded products with high protein content for human or animal consumption, allowing to use industrial by-products and a more stable feed than conventional aquafeed ingredients (Atienzo-Lazos et al., 2011; Delgado et…
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Heterogeneous Catalysts in Hydrotreatment of Algae into liquid fuels

Description: Hydrothermal liquefaction of algae produces an energy-dense (bio)crude that can be catalytically upgraded into liquid transportation fuels. The current project prepares the student gain insight into role of heterogeneous catalysts in a hydrothermal environment through complete background readings from journal articles and textbooks. Completion Objectives: Review background information on hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algal…
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New imaging scintillators for high energy, multi-pulse flash radiography

Description: The Single Crystal Growth Laboratory at LANL has a substantial history of development of new scintillators and development of fabrication technology for different detector geometries and formats. It is in this lab that the student will work in a small team environment to support this project for new imaging scintillators for high energy, multi-pulse…
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