Three-Phase Slurry Reactors
Professor Ahmadi is collaborating with scientists at the Department of Energy in developing a model for a three-phase slurry reactor for synthetic liquid fuel production from coal. The advanced computational capability for predicting the transport and processing of three-phase (liquid - gas - solid) slurry reactors would be helpful in design optimization of the synthetic liquid fuel production. The computational model uses the Eulerian-Lagrangian approach for analyzing the three-phase flows.
The primary goal of Professor Ahmadi’s project is to provide a fundamental understanding of the multiphase flow conditions during hydrate dissociation in consolidated and unconsolidated sediments. He and his research group developed semi-analytical and computational models that can be used as tools for natural gas production from a hydrate and the related drilling safety issues. These include predicting the rate of natural gas pressure buildup during drilling in a hydrate reservoir, the nature of gas and water flows in the reservoir after hydrate dissociation, and the potential for sea floor instability. Availability of such an understanding, detailed experimental data and a computational tool are crucial to the future development of technology for economical and safe natural gas production from hydrates in the 21st Century.
Professor Ahmadi and Professor Ferro, in collaboration with their colleagues at Syracuse University, are studying indoor air pollution for an EPA funded project. Particular attention is being given to particle resuspension due to human activities indoors. Computer simulations and experimental techniques are being used in these studies. Research results show that small particles could get resuspended from flooring due to human activities, and the pollutant concentration near people is normally higher than what is measured at some distances. Thus, personal exposure could increase accordingly.
Professor Ahmadi and his students, along with Dr. Fan of Xerox, are studying electrohydrodynamic flows in corotrons in electrophotographic machines (printers and copiers). They developed a computational model for analyzing electrohydrodynamic flows during corona discharge. They are in the process of extending their computational model to include transport and deposition of charged toner particles in the presence of a strong electric field. They showed that electrohydrodynamics could strongly affect the transport and deposition of small particles in corona devices. In addition, Professor Ahmadi is collaborating with Dr. Sadasivan of Kodak on a project about the aerodynamic focusing of nanoparticle beams.
Smart Colloids and More
Professor Sergiy Minko, the Egon Matijevic' Chaired Professor of Chemistry, is an expert in colloid and polymer science and has done extensive work involving "Smart Responsive Functional Materials Based on Self Assembly in Polymer and Colloidal Systems." His CAMP-related research interests include smart/responsive polymer materials, colloids, and textiles, nanostructured thin polymer films, nanotemplates and nanomembranes, formation of nanowires and nanoparticles, adhesion, wetting, adsorption phenomena , single molecule devices, and combinatorial methods in material science.
Research in Professor Devon Shipp's laboratories centers on novel polymerization techniques and new polymer materials, in particular nanocomposites and biodegradable polymer networks. Over the past year a number of new developments have taken place in these areas.
The synthesis of polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites, where the polymers have well-defined molecular weights and molecular weight distributions has been achieved using three variations of living radical polymerization, viz. atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), nitroxide-mediated polymerization (NMP) and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization (see a review by Professor Shipp in J. Macromol. Sci. Part C: Polym. Revs. 2005, 45, 171-194). Nanocomposites containing homo- and block co-polymers of styrene, n-butyl acrylate (BA), methyl methacrylate (MMA) and vinyl acetate (VA) have been produced using montmorillonite as the layered silicate material (Chem. Mater. 2003, 15, 2693-2695; Polymer 2004, 45, 4473-4481; J. Polym. Sci. Part A: Polym. Chem. 2004, 42, 916-924; Polymer, 2005, 46, 8573-8581).Other projects in Professor Shipp's laboratory that utilize the group's expertise in polymer synthesis include: (a) the production of polymer modified TiO 2 particles for potential use in photovoltaic cells, (b) the synthesis and study of biodegradable polymer network structures, (c) the development of methods to make highly uniform and surface-functionalized polymer spheres for use as templates for semi-conductor nanoparticle deposition, and (d) the synthesis of well-defined and functional poly(vinyl acetate) and poly(vinyl alcohol), and block copolymers thereof.
Professor S.V. Babu’s research group is continuing its fundamental investigations of various aspects of chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) of metal and dielectric films. The recent emphasis has been on novel reactive and non-reactive abrasives, on elucidating the role played by the amine and carboxyl groups of various complexing agents (with Professor Matijevic') as well as on identifying the relationship between dissolution rates and pattern dishing and erosion, especially at low down forces. Some of these results are being extended to electrochemical mechanical planarization (ECMP), in collaboration with Professor Roy. The results have been published in several papers that are listed at http://www.clarkson.edu/camp/cmp.html.