Identifier

etd-05312011-135439

Degree

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Department

Chemical Engineering

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Metallic fuels are of interest as additives in bio-fuel combustion because of their high heating values, and this thesis deals with the experimental investigation of boron nanoparticles and their effect on ethanol combustion. Two grades of boron nanoparticles were commercially purchased and modified to obtain different physical characteristics, by ball milling and sintering. Also, a mixture of rare-earth oxide (CeO2, La2O3, and Gd2O3) nanoparticles was synthesized and added to the boron nanoparticles in varying amounts to form composite mixtures. The effects of rare-earth oxides on boron combustion were investigated using these composites. Particle characterizations were carried out by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, porosimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. Nanoparticles were characterized by crystallinity, primary particle size, agglomerate size, and the elemental (zero valent) boron content, both pre- and post-combustion. Exhaust gas chromatographic analysis and temperature measurements in the post-flame region of the combustion unit were carried out in order to determine the particles’ effects on combustion. Commercial boron nanoparticles of different grades differ in agglomerate size, but the primary nanoparticle sizes are similar, ~70 nm. The agglomerate size can be modified by ball milling, while the primary nanoparticle size can be increased by high-temperature calcination. The combustion data suggest that the addition of boron nanoparticles to an ethanol fuel increases both the overall temperature of the system and the production of CO2, and adding rare-earth oxides to boron nanoparticles can also enhance these measures of performance. The data also suggest that as the boron primary particle size and agglomeration decrease, boron nanoparticles have a greater positive impact on ethanol combustion.

Date

2011

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dooley, Kerry

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