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Research Papers

Chemical Methods for the Separation of Copper Oxide Nanoparticles From Colloidal Suspension in Dodecane

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammed H. Sheikh

Aerospace Engineering and
Mechanics Department,
The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0280
e-mail: msheikh@crimson.ua.edu

Muhammad A. R. Sharif

Mem. ASME
Aerospace Engineering and
Mechanics Department,
The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0280
e-mail: msharif@eng.ua.edu

Paul A. Rupar

Chemistry Department,
The University of Alabama,
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0336
e-mail: parupar@bama.ua.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 25, 2014; final manuscript received August 11, 2014; published online September 4, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Debjyoti Banerjee.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 5(2), 021007 (Sep 04, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1037; doi: 10.1115/1.4028284 History: Received April 25, 2014; Revised August 11, 2014

Several chemical methods for the separation of nanoparticles from a colloidal mixture in a phase change material (PCM) have been developed and systematically investigated. The phase changing property of the colloidal mixture is used in energy storage applications and the mixture is labeled as the nanostructure enhanced phase change materials (NEPCM). The objective is to investigate viable methods for the separation and reclamation of the nanoparticles from the NEPCM before its disposal after its useful life. The goal is to find, design, test, and evaluate separation methods which are simple, safe, effective, and economical. The specific NEPCM considered in this study is a colloidal mixture of dodecane (C12H26) and CuO nanoparticles of 1–5% mass fraction and 5–15 nm size distribution. The nanoparticles are coated with a surfactant to maintain colloidal stability. Various methods for separating the nanoparticles from the NEPCM are explored. The identified methods are: (i) chemical destabilization of nanoparticle surfactants to facilitate gravitational precipitation, (ii) silica column chromatography, and (iii) adsorption on silica particle surface. These different methods have been pursued, tested, and analyzed; and the results are presented in this article. These methods are found to be highly efficient, simple, safe, and economical.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic diagram of a nanoparticle with long ligands coated on its surface serving as the stabilizing cushion layer and (b) ligands on particle surface to provide a physical barrier (cushion) which prevents particle contact and subsequent agglomeration

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Fig. 3

(a) Nanoparticle ligands destabilization using saturated KOH solution and (b) schematic of the chemical reaction between oleate and KOH

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Chemical destabilization of the nanoparticle ligands: UV-Vis spectrums of the NEPCM before processing, pure baseline dodecane, and the processed sample (clear liquid collected after processing)

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Fig. 5

Silica column chromatography setup

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Fig. 6

Silica column chromatography: UV-Vis spectrums of the NEPCM before processing, pure baseline dodecane, and the processed sample (clear liquid collected after processing)

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Fig. 12

(a) Mixing of dirt soil in 5 ml of 1 wt.% NEPCM, (b) adsorption of the nanoparticles on the dirt particle surfaces after 6 days, and (c) adsorption of the nanoparticles on the dirt particle surfaces after 10 days

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Fig. 13

Adsorption on dirt soil particle surfaces: UV-Vis spectrums of the NEPCM before processing, pure baseline dodecane, and the processed sample (clear liquid collected after processing)

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Fig. 10

TEM images of the silica grains (image scales are shown at the lower right corner of each figure); (a) pure silica grains, (b) magnified view of the pure silica grain surface, and (c) and (d) silica grain surface showing adsorbed nanoparticles at a magnification of 35,000 and 140,000, respectively

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Adsorption on silica particle surfaces; (a) precipitation of the silica particles with adsorbed nanoparticles after mixing the silica particles in the NEPCM and (b) filtering out the clear liquid after nanoparticles are adsorbed

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Fig. 8

Adsorption on silica particle surfaces; mass of silica required for different nanoparticle concentration (wt.%) in the NEPCM

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Fig. 9

Adsorption on silica particle surfaces: UV-Vis spectrums of the NEPCM before processing, pure baseline dodecane, and the processed sample (clear liquid collected after processing)

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