Dr. Ramirez's Research Projects
Adsorption-Desorption Load Equalization System to Dampen Fluctuating Organic Vapor Concentrations from Waste Streams
Biofiltration is a promising air pollution control technology for the capture and destruction of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emitted from waste gas streams. Previous studies have found that broad application of biofiltration systems in industry necessitating the use of significant amounts of media with lateral areal footprints.
Removal of Organic Vapors Emitted from Landfill Sites with Biologically Active Covers
Biologically active covers have the potential to significantly reduce emissions of organic compounds including emissions of methane. This study assesses the removal capacity of fugitive emissions of methane and non-methane organic compounds using biocover landfill cells. Biologically active covers developed for testing consist of compost, clay, and wood chips.
Manufacture and Characterization of Mesquite Wood Derived Activated Carbon for Air Quality Control Applications
Activated carbon is used in adsorption processes for the removal of contaminants from waste streams for air and water quality applications. This study focuses on the manufacture and characterization of activated carbon made out of the mesquite wooden chips. They are carbonized in a bench-scale tubular reactor which are then activated by physical and chemical activation method. The resulting wood-derived activated carbon (WDAC) samples are the characterized for their physical and adsorption properties. Physical properties include the N2-BET surface area, pore size distribution, average pore width, total pore volume, % yield and bulk density. Equilibrium adsorption capacities of organic vapors on the WDAC samples are determined using a gravimetric method.
Equilibrium Adsorption and Hysteresis Effect of Water Vapor onto a Series of Activated Carbon Adsorbents: Experiments and Modeling
This work focuses on the assessment of equilibrium adsorption and desorption isotherms of water vapor onto a series of activated carbon samples with varied morphology. The main objective is to determine water vapor adsorption with hysteresis effect using activated carbon at different temperatures. Activated carbon samples are characterized in the form of activated carbon monolith (ACM), activated carbon fiber cloth (ACFC), and granular activated carbon (GAC). Equilibrium adsorption and desorption isotherms are determined with a gravimetric technique using a Symmetric Gravimetric Analyzer (VTI, SGA-100).
Solid Phase Micro Extraction for the Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds
Significant amounts of reactive volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted globally to the environment contributing to air and water pollution and causing human health and welfare concerns. There is an increasing demand for more accurate and fast-response field sampling and measurement of trace volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds with instrumentation that provides definitive and fast identification of anthropogenic VOCs emissions. Solid phase micro extraction (SPME) can be used as an alternative to sampling VOCs present in indoor environments at trace levels. SPME is a solvent-free fast and field compatible technique that uses a small fused silica fiber coated with a polymeric phase. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of relative humidity and reactor temperature on SPME sampling and measurement of hydrophobic substances such as alpha-pinene in various environmental samples.