478651 Engineered Nanostructured Materials for Efficient Separation and Storage

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Yi Huang, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Postdoctoral Projects:

Georgia Institute of Technology, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, 08/2015 – Now

Advisors: Prof. Krista S. Walton, Prof. David Sholl

(1) Synthesis and Characterization of Water-Stable Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs)

(2) Structural Stability of MOFs in Hot Liquid Water

(3) Multi-component Gas Adsorption on MOF materials.

(4) MOFs for Adsorption-Based Hydrocarbon Separations and High-Performance Oil/Water Separation

University of South Carolina, Chemical Engineering, 04/2013 –04/2015

Advisor: Prof. Miao Yu

(1) Thin, High-Quality Membranes for Separation. Membrane Materials: Zeolites (NaY, SAPO-34/11, AlPOs, and NaA-Polyamide composite) and Graphene Oxide. Relevant applications: H2 Separation, N2/CH4, CO2/CH4, Propane/Propylene Separation, Oil/Water, and Desalination.

(2) Nano-valved Adsorbents prepared by Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD) for Efficient Separation and storage (e.g., CH4 and H2 Storage, Shape & Size Selective Separation of Organic Molecules (e.g., Ethanol/1-Butanol))

(3) Study the Growth Mechanisms of High-Aspect-Ratio Zeolites (e.g., SAPOs and AlPOs)

University of Oklahoma, Chemical Engineering, 08/2011 – 04/2013

Advisor: Prof. Daniel E. Resasco

(1) Study of The Hydrothermal Stability of FAU Zeolite – A Primary Component in FCC Catalysts

(2) Silylated Hydrophobic Zeolites with Enhanced Tolerance to Hot Liquid Water and Improved Thermal Stability under Reaction Conditions in Water/oil Emulsions

PhD Dissertation: “Zeolite Nanocrystals and Hierarchical Porous Structures: Synthesis, Characterization and Formation Mechanism”

Advisors: Prof. Huanting Wang (Monash University, Australia) and Dr. Anita J. Hill (Chief of Process Science and Engineering, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization)

Background and Research Interests:

All across the world, people are facing a wealth of new and challenging problems, particularly the energy and environmental issues. For example, billions of tons of annual CO2 emissions are the direct result of fossil fuel combustion to generate electricity. To minimize the impact of CO2 on the environment, design of high-performance separation materials and technologies for efficient carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is urgent and essential. My research in this area is creating novel nanostructured (membrane) materials with enhanced transport properties by ordering their nano-architectures via different methods and meanwhile exploring their novel and energy-sustainable scale up.

On the other hand, enhanced demand for fuels worldwide not only decreased world oil reserves but also increased climate concerns about the use of fossil-based fuel. To address these energy and environmental problems, efforts have been made towards improved utilization of fossil fuel and development of renewable energy production. With the abundant availability and carbon-neutral nature, biomass is recognized as one of the most promising renewable energy resource. A number of transportation fuels can be produced from biomass, helping to alleviate demand for petroleum products and improve the greenhouse gas emissions profile of the transportation sector. Traditional catalysts suffer from many undesirable properties, such as small accessible pore size, low hydrothermal stability, and less controllable active sites. Among these, low hydrothermal stability at upgrading temperatures greatly hinders conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel. My proposed research will focus on synthesizing a new class of ultra-stable catalysts with tunable nanostructure and functionalities for efficient bio oil upgrading, with special emphasis on study of their hydrothermal stability.

Oil pollution is an another serious global issue because of the large amounts of oily wastewater produced by petrochemical and other industries, as well as by frequent off-shore oil-spill accidents. Therefore, it is in great need to develop effective techniques to treat oil-polluted wastewater at such low oil/grease concentrations in order to satisfy the stringent governmental limitations and preserve the environment. Membrane techniques have been widely employed for water purification and are very effective in separating stabilized oil emulsions-especially for removing oil droplets. However, current membranes suffer from membrane fouling both on surface and in internal structures, which significantly limits their service time and degrades separation performance in practical operations. My proposed research in this field attempts to adopt the concept of biomimetic hierarchical roughness in membrane design for creating superoleophobic membrane surfaces from a vast pool of candidate materials, such as zeolites, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and single-layered graphene oxide. My research also focuses on development of facile, low-cost preparation technique which would open a completely new direction for the membrane society. If the proposed membrane could be successfully fabricated, further investigation on scaling-up will be pursued.

The practice of drug delivery has changed dramatically in the last few decades and even greater changes are anticipated in the near future. It is because controlled delivery systems (CDSs) are one of the promising applications for human healthcare. In pharmaceutical market, the CDS is growing fast with approximate 10% annual increase. However, an important challenge in this area is the efficient delivery of drugs in the body using non-toxic nanocarriers. Most of the existing carrier materials show poor drug loading (usually less than 5 wt% of the transported drug versus the carrier material) and/or rapid release of the proportion of the drug that is simply adsorbed (or anchored) at the external surface of the nanocarrier. Zeolite having a pore size from 0.5 nm to 2 nm and more than 100 different pore structures is a promising candidate. I aim to produce uniform zeolite nanocrystals and nanostructures for the adsorption of drug molecules with sizes below and above 2 nm, respectively. I will employ an experimental approach to fundamentally study the interaction of drug molecules with microporous zeolite matrices, and realize a controllable releasing of drug molecules to target sites.

Teaching Interests: I am very comfortable in teaching core Chemical Engineering courses, such as Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Transport Phenomena, Reaction Engineering, and Mass Transfer. My teaching interests are also expanded many specialized Chemical Engineering courses, such as Phase Equilibrium and Stage-based Separations, Surfaces and Adsorption, Adsorption and Nanomaterials Characterization, and Process Simulation. I also plan to develop courses in the areas of solid & polymer surface chemistry, hierarchical porous materials design, and membrane separation technologies.

Selected Publications:

[1] K.H. Chu, Y. Huang, M. Yu, N. Her, J. Flora, C.M. Park, S. Kim, J. Cho, Evaluation of Humic Acid and Tannic Acid Fouling in Graphene Oxide-coated Ultrafiltration Membranes. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 8, 22270–22279 (2016).

[2] Y. Huang, L. Wang, Z.N. Song, S.G. Li, M. Yu, Growth of High-Quality, Thickness-Reduced Zeolite Membranes towards N2/CH4 Separation Using High-Aspect-Ratio Seeds. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 127, 10993–10997 (2015). Featured as Back Cover Article.

[3] J.J. Song, Y. Huang, S.W. Nam, M. Yu, J. Heo, N. Her, J.R.V. Flora, Y. Yoon, Ultrathin Graphene Oxide Membranes for the Removal of Humic Acid. Separation and Purification Technology, 144, 162–167 (2015).

[4] Y. Huang, H. Li, L. Wang, Y.L. Qiao, C.B. Tang, C. Jung, Y.M. Yoon, S.G. Li, M. Yu, Ultrafiltration Membranes with Structure-Optimized Graphene Oxide Coatings for Anti-Fouling Oil/Water Separation. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 2, 1400443–1400450 (2015). Highlighted by the Journal as Top 1 (2014~2015) and Top 4 (2016) Most-Read Full Research Papers.

[5] Z.N. Song, Y. Huang, W.W. Xu, L. Wang, Y. Bao, S.G. Li, M. Yu, Continuously Adjustable, Molecular-Sieving “Gate” on 5A Zeolite for Distinguishing Small Organic Molecules by Size. Scientific Reports, 5, Article number: 13981 (2015).

[6] Z.N. Song, Y. Huang, W.W. Xu, M. Yu, Composite 5A Zeolite with Ultrathin Porous TiO2 Coating for Selective Gas Adsorption. Chemical Communications, 51, 373–375 (2014).

[7] H. Li, Y. Huang, Y.T. Mao, W.W. Xu, H. Ploehn, M. Yu, Tuning Underwater Oleophobicity of Graphene Oxide Coatings via UV Irradiation. Chemical Communications, 50, 9849–9851 (2014)

[8] H. Li, Z.N. Song, X.J. Zhang, Y. Huang, S.G. Li, Y.T. Mao, H.J. Ploehn, Y. Bao, M. Yu, Ultrathin, Molecular-Sieving Graphene Oxide Membranes for Selective Hydrogen Separation. Science, 342, 95–98 (2013).

[9] P.A. Zapata, Y. Huang, M.A. Gonzalez-Borja, D.E. Resasco, Sylilated Hydrophobic Zeolites with Enhanced Tolerance to Hot Liquid Water. Journal of Catalysis, 308, 82–97 (2013). Invited Paper for the 50th Anniversary Special Issue

[10] Y. Huang, J.F. Yao, X.Y. Zhang, C.H. (Charlie) Kong, H.Y. Chen, D. X. Liu, M. Tsapatsis, M.R. Hill, A.J. Hill, H.T. Wang, Role of Ethanol in Sodalite Crystallization in an Ethanol-Na2O-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O System. CrystEngComm, 13, 4714–4722 (2011).

[11] Y. Huang, D.H. Dong, J.F. Yao, L. He, J. Ho, C.H. Kong, A. J. Hill, H.T. Wang, In Situ Crystallization of Macroporous Monoliths with Hollow NaP Zeolite Structure. Chemistry of Materials, 22, 5271–5278 (2010).

[12] Y. Huang, K. Wang, D.H. Dong, D. Li, M.R. Hill, A.J. Hill, H.T. Wang, Synthesis of Hierarchical Porous Zeolite NaY Particles with Controllable Particle Sizes. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 127, 167–175 (2010).

[13] J.F. Yao, Y. Huang, H.T. Wang, Controlling Zeolite Structures and Morphologies Using Polymer Networks (Review paper). Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20, 9827–9831 (2010).

[14] Y. Huang, J. Ho, Z. Wang, P. Nakashima, A.J. Hill, H.T. Wang, Mesoporous Carbon Confined Conversion of Silica Nanoparticles into Zeolite Nanocrystals. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 117, 490–496 (2009)

[15] D.H. Dong, Y. Huang, X.Y. Zhang, L. He, C.Z. Li, H.T. Wang, Shape Forming of Ceramics with Controllable Microstructure by Drying-Free Colloidal Casting. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 19, 7070–7074 (2009).

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