Category Archives: Undergraduate Research In-Progress

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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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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Experimental Demonstration of the Viability of Flow Boiling in a Variable Gravity Environment

Description: Many space-/air-craft electronics require cooling and flow boiling is considered by the scientific community as a potential option for this application. However, the viability of flow boiling in variable gravity environments is not well established. In this project, undergraduate students will build a flow boiling loop and launch it in a variable gravity rocket….
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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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Optimizing Pecan Shell Activated Carbons for NDMA Adsorption

Description: Groundwater at the NASA White Sands Test Facility is contaminated with low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) from past rocket fuel tests. The current treatment method is UV-photolysis, however, promising early results indicate that treatment with activated carbons may be more cost-effective. The purpose of this project with to test the limits of pecan shell…
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Synthesis of MOFs by High-throughput De Novo Approach

Description: Recently, new classes of molecularly designed crystalline porous solids have been emerged as potential materials for gas separation and storage purposes. These solid sorbents include metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with subclass of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), and covalent organic frameworks (COFs). MOFs are generally synthesized by de novo approach in which a transition metal salt…
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Ordered Electronic Phase on Capacitor Plates for Electromagnetic Shielding and Inductance Applications

Description: My experiments revealed a new type of ordered electronic phase in charged parallel capacitor plates. These experiments showed a strong attractive force between the capacitor plates similar to but much stronger than the Casimir force. This new electronic phase exhibits very high inductance and low electrical resistance which potentially makes it well-suited for shielding…
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Photocatalyst for Hydrogen Production and Water Purification

Description: This work features the application of solar energy in the water purification process. Work with a Ph. D student on novel photocatalyst (oxide, sulfide, composites) to study the photocatalytic removal of arsenic and organic pollutants for the water purification process utilizing solar energy and as well as hydrogen production from water splitting. Staffing Details:…
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