Category Archives: Undergraduate Research In-Progress

Characterization and Pelletization of Humulus lupulus neomexicanus Hops

Description: New Mexico’s hop industry is small (8 farms, 20 acres in 2019) but growing to provide local and specialty hops to New Mexico’s craft brewers. One specific opportunity in New Mexico is the production of Humulus lupulus neomexicanus hops, a subspecies of hops native to the region possessing unique essential oil and bitter acid…
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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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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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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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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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