Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)


Chemical Engineering

Document Type



Bio-fuels such as ethanol are good candidates to replace fossil fuels, which are being depleted, and whose combustion is associated with net production of greenhouse gases and other environmental issues. However, bio-fuels have low energy densities and can be subject to incomplete combustion. Boron is a promising additive for bio-fuels in combustion applications. It can increase their overall heat release and reduce ignition temperature, because boron itself is among the highest energy density materials. In this study, different B/rare earth oxide and B/Fe composite nanoparticles were produced by simple mechanical milling. Also, a new low temperature milling method was developed to produce these nanoparticles. Three different wet chemical syntheses were also used to produce composite B/Fe particles with a boron core. In all cases the goal is to keep more of the boron as elemental (zero valent) prior to combustion. Thermo-gravimetric analysis, inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, porosimetry and small angle X-ray scattering were performed to examime the composite nanoparticles, determining their elemental (zero valent) boron contents, boron/metal ratios, crystalline structures, surface areas and particle sizes, respectively.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Kerry M. Dooley