Microproducts Breakthrough Institute

Oregon City, Oregon, United States

Microproducts Breakthrough Institute

Oregon City, Oregon, United States
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News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

RICHLAND, Wash. - Getting more production output from a chemical operation or performing the same process more efficiently in a much smaller footprint could save U.S. manufacturers billions of dollars and create new jobs. It's known as process intensification and two Northwest institutions are part of the team that's been tapped to make it happen. The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon State University are part of the newest institute under the Manufacturing USA Initiative. DOE recently announced that the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will lead the institute, named Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment. The RAPID institute will focus on finding breakthrough technologies to improve efficiency and productivity in industries manufacturing products such as oil and gas, pulp and paper, and chemicals. These improved technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion annually in process costs. PNNL and OSU will co-lead the Module and Component Manufacturing Focus Area for the institute, leveraging years of collective experience in process intensification technology development. This collaboration includes the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute in Corvallis, Ore., which has been active since 2003 in the commercialization of microchannel-based technologies for process intensification. "The goal is to advance lower-cost process intensification equipment in partnerships with chemical equipment suppliers who are involved with RAPID," said Ward TeGrotenhuis, senior research engineer at PNNL and RAPID focus area co-leader. The PNNL/OSU team will redesign and ready a wide variety of devices for commercial production. The technologies could come from any of the 75 companies, 34 academic intuitions, seven national laboratories and other organizations from across the country that make up the RAPID Manufacturing Institute. PNNL also leads the Northwest Regional Manufacturing Center -- a related effort focused on smart manufacturing. OSU is also part of the Northwest team for that Institute as well. The RAPID institute leverages up to $70 million in federal funding from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy over five years, subject to appropriations, combined with more than $70 million in private cost-share commitments from the Institute partners. Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Kim K.-J.,Oregon State University | Kim K.-J.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Oleksak R.P.,Oregon State University | Oleksak R.P.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | And 15 more authors.
Crystal Growth and Design | Year: 2014

Hot-injection techniques are currently the state-of-the-art method for the synthesis of high-quality colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) but have typically been limited to small batch reactors. The nature of this method leads to local fluctuations in temperature and concentration where inhomogeneity due to mixing makes precise control of reaction conditions very challenging at a large scale. Therefore, development of methods to produce high-quality colloidal NCs with high-throughput is necessary for many technological applications. Herein, we report a high-quality and high-throughput NC synthesis method via a continuous microwave-assisted flow reactor where separation of nucleation and growth is demonstrated. A significant issue of microwave heating in a single-phase continuous flow microwave reactor is the deposition of in situ generated NCs on the inner wall of the reactor in the microwave zone. This deposited material leads to significantly enhanced microwave absorption and rapid heating and can result in sparking in the reactor. A gas-liquid segmented flow is used to avoid this problem and also results in improved residence time distributions. The use of this system allows for finely tuned parameters to achieve a high level of control over the reaction by separating the nucleation and growth stages. (Figure Presented). © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Kim K.-J.,Oregon State University | Kim K.-J.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Li Y.J.,Oregon State University | Li Y.J.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | And 6 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2013

The reaction conditions for the synthesis of Cu-BTC (BTC = benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid) were elucidated using a continuous-flow microreactor-assisted solvothermal system to achieve crystal size and phase control. A high-rate synthesis of Cu-BTC metal-organic frameworks with a BET surface area of more than 1600 m2 g-1 (Langmuir surface area of more than 2000 m2 g-1) and with a 97% production yield could be achieved with a total reaction time of 5 minutes. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ramprasad S.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Ramprasad S.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Su Y.-W.,Oregon State University | Su Y.-W.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | And 6 more authors.
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells | Year: 2012

Cadmium sulfide (CdS) thin films are commonly used as buffer layers in thin film solar cells and can be produced by a number of solution and vacuum methods. We report the continuous solution deposition of CdS on fluorine-doped tin oxide coated glass substrates using Microreactor-Assisted Solution Deposition (MASD™). A flow system consisting of a microscale T-mixer and a novel adjustable residence time microchannel heat exchanger has been utilized in this study. The CdS thin film synthesis involves a multistage mechanism in which an undesirable homogeneous reaction competes with the desired heterogeneous reaction. A microchannel heat exchanger with an adjustable residence time unit has been developed to optimize the reaction residence time and favor heterogeneous growth. Optimization of CdS reaction solution residence time facilitates improved control of CdS synthesis by minimizing the homogeneous reaction and subsequently improving key parameters for process scale-up such as yield and selectivity. The present study indicates that a residence time range of 1320 s at a solution temperature of 90 °C and deposition time of 3 min yields ∼40 nm thick CdS film. The CdS films were characterized by UVvis spectroscopy, SEMEDS, TEM, and X-ray diffraction. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Su Y.-W.,Oregon State University | Su Y.-W.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Ramprasad S.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Ramprasad S.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | And 10 more authors.
Thin Solid Films | Year: 2013

Continuous microreactor-assisted solution deposition is demonstrated for the deposition of CdS thin films on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) coated glass. The continuous flow system consists of a microscale T-junction micromixer with the co-axial water circulation heat exchanger to control the reacting chemical flux and optimize the heterogeneous surface reaction. Dense, high quality nanocrystallite CdS thin films were deposited at an average rate of 25.2 nm/min, which is significantly higher than the reported growth rate from typical batch chemical bath deposition process. Focused-ion-beam was used for transmission electron microscopy specimen preparation to characterize the interfacial microstructure of CdS and FTO layers. The band gap was determined at 2.44 eV by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy. X-ray photon spectroscopy shows the binding energies of Cd 3d3/2, Cd 3d5/2, S 2P3/2 and S 2P1/2 at 411.7 eV, 404.8 eV, 162.1 eV and 163.4 eV, respectively. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Zhu Y.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Jones S.B.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Biddy M.J.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Dagle R.A.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

This study compared biomass gasification based syngas-to-distillate (S2D) systems using techno-economic analysis (TEA). Three cases, state of technology (SOT), goal, and conventional, were compared in terms of performance and cost. The SOT case represented the best available experimental results for a process starting with syngas using a single-step dual-catalyst reactor for distillate generation. The conventional case mirrored a conventional two-step S2D process consisting of separate syngas-to-methanol and methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) processes. The goal case assumed the same performance as the conventional, but with a single-step S2D technology. TEA results revealed that the SOT was more expensive than the conventional and goal cases. The SOT case suffers from low one-pass yield and high selectivity to light hydrocarbons, both of which drive up production cost. Sensitivity analysis indicated that light hydrocarbon yield and single pass conversion efficiency were the key factors driving the high cost for the SOT case. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ramprasad S.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Ramsing P.E.,WaferTech | Miller R.T.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Rundel J.T.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

Transition of batchwise nanoparticle production routes to large-scale manufacturing processes is vital for commercialization of such materials. This paper reports the comparison studies from batch and continuous mode for the synthesis of copper nanoparticles by the polyol method. The copper nanoparticles synthesized in continuous mode utilizing a novel microchannel mixer were found to be comparable to the nanoparticles developed in batch mode. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and Selected Area Electron Diffraction (SAED) techniques were used for characterization of the copper nanoparticles produced. © 2011 IEEE.

Song D.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Song B.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Hu H.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Du X.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Zhou F.,CAS Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2015

Superhydrophobic patterns were fabricated on hydrophilic surfaces by selective painting. The impinging process of water droplets on these hybrid surfaces was investigated. The droplet can be split by impinging on the hydrophilic surface with a single stripe at a high velocity. The time to split the droplet is independent of the impact velocity and it is smaller than the contact time of a droplet impinging on the fully superhydrophobic surface. The volume ratios of the split mini-droplets could be precisely controlled by adjusting the landing position of the original droplet. The droplet could be split uniformly into more mini-marbles by increasing the stripe numbers. © 2015 the Owner Societies.

Han S.-Y.,Oregon State University | Han S.-Y.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Han S.-Y.,CSD Nano | Pan C.,Oregon State University | And 7 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2015

A simple, low-cost and lowerature curable silica-based antireflective coating (ARC) deposited by a solution-based process has been investigated for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells for the first time. Thin-layer nanostructured ARCs featuring 20-30 nm SiO2 NPs were fabricated from a simple, low-cost chemical solution. The silica-based nanostructured ARCs were deposited on a glass substrate and on CIGS solar cells. The nanostructured ARCs on glass could increase the transmittance by 3.9%. The nanostructured ARCs could reduce the reflectance of CIGS solar cells by 4.96%. The nanostructured ARCs on CIGS solar cells resulted in an enhancement of solar energy conversion efficiency from 16.0% to 17.2%. These enhancements confirm the utility of these simple nanostructured ARCs as a cost-effective solution for photon management in thin film CIGS solar cells. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.

Song D.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Song B.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Hu H.,Northwestern Polytechnical University | Du X.,Microproducts Breakthrough Institute | Ma Z.,Northwestern Polytechnical University
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2015

Wetting states of droplets on partially micro-grooved surfaces were investigated. Grooves were fabricated using soft lithography and the width of the grooves was smaller than the droplet diameter. On the partially micro-grooved surfaces, the apparent contact angle parallel to the grooves is larger than the one on the smooth surface, while the microstructures have little effect on the contact angle perpendicular to the grooves. Increasing the fraction of the grooved area and the surface energy of the surface will result in a more anisotropic droplet. When a droplet impinged upon these partially grooved surfaces, the spreading process was similar to that on a smooth surface. However, the recoiling process was found to be quite anisotropic. The grooves enhanced the recoiling velocity in the direction parallel to the grooves while hindering the recoiling process in the perpendicular direction. The recoiling process will become more anisotropic by increasing the fraction of the grooved area. The effect of the grooves on both the contact angle and the impinging process is independent of the groove width scale and is only dependent on the fraction of the grooved area in the Cassie state. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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