Chemical Science Program

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  • Article

    Chemical Kinetics of SARA fractions pyrolysis: Resins

    (Elsevier BV, 2023-11) Colleoni, Elia; Guida, Paolo; Samaras, Vasilios G.; Frassoldati, Alessio; Faravelli, Tiziano; Roberts, William L.; Analytical Chemistry Core Lab, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal23955-6900, Saudi Arabia; Chemical Engineering Program; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Mechanical Engineering Program; Clean Combustion Research Center; Chemical Science Program; Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “G. Natta

    This work presents a predictive and generally applicable approach to resin pyrolysis modeling. Resins extracted from heavy fuel oil 380 (HFO) and vacuum residue oil (VRO) were tested for elemental composition, chemical structure, thermal degradation behavior, and distribution of pyrolysis products using different state-of-the-art experimental techniques. The in-house experiments, together with extensive literature research, guided the formulation of five pseudo-components for the definition of a fuel surrogate. The atomic ratios of the surrogate molecules were defined to be able to replicate the elemental composition of all the data with their linear combination. This approach makes the model flexible and readily applicable to any resin sample just by knowing its elemental composition. The kinetics mechanism was developed by coupling each pseudo-component with a decomposition reaction pathway. The choice of the kinetics parameters was driven by the experimental information available. The model presented a satisfactory agreement with experimental data used for the validation. The kinetic model represents a step of a more comprehensive project aimed at reconstructing the chemical kinetics of heavy and residual oils as a combination of their saturate, aromatic, resin, and asphaltene (SARA) fractions.

  • Article

    Catalyst switch strategy enabled a single polymer with five different crystalline phases

    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-11-20) Zhang, Pengfei; Ladelta, Viko; Abou-Hamad, Edy; Müller, Alejandro J.; Hadjichristidis, Nikos; Polymer Synthesis Laboratory, KAUST Catalysis Center, Chemistry Program, Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, 23955, Saudi Arabia; Chemical Science Program; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC); NMR; Imaging and Characterization Core Lab; Department of Polymers and Advanced Materials, Physics, Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 3, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

    Well-defined multicrystalline multiblock polymers are essential model polymers for advancing crystallization physics, phase separation, self-assembly, and improving the mechanical properties of materials. However, due to different chain properties and incompatible synthetic methodologies, multicrystalline multiblock polymers with more than two crystallites are rarely reported. Herein, by combining polyhomologation, ring-opening polymerization, and catalyst switch strategy, we synthesized a pentacrystalline pentablock quintopolymer, polyethylene-b-poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly(L-lactide)-b-polyglycolide (PE-b-PEO-b-PCL-b-PLLA-b-PGA). The fluoroalcohol-assisted catalyst switch enables the successful incorporation of a high melting point polyglycolide block into the complex multiblock structure. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry revealed the existence of five different crystalline phases.

  • Article

    Enhanced CO2 Electroreduction Selectivity toward Ethylene on Pyrazolate-Stabilized Asymmetric Ni–Cu Hybrid Sites

    (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2023-11-22) Huang, Liang; Liu, Ziao; Gao, Ge; Chen, Cailing; Xue, Yanrong; Zhao, Jiwu; Lei, Qiong; Jin, Mengtian; Zhu, Chongqin; Han, Yu; Francisco, Joseph S.; Lu, Xu; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center; Chemical Science Program; Mechanical Engineering Program; Clean Combustion Research Center; KAUST Solar Center (KSC); Department of Earth and Environmental Science and Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States; College of Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Theoretical & Computational Photochemistry of Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100190, China; Electron Microscopy Center, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

    Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) possess well-defined, designable structures, holding great potential in enhancing product selectivity for electrochemical CO2 reduction (CO2R) through active site engineering. Here, we report a novel MOF catalyst featuring pyrazolate-stabilized asymmetric Ni/Cu sites, which not only maintains structural stability under harsh electrochemical conditions but also exhibits extraordinarily high ethylene (C2H4) selectivity during CO2R. At a cathode potential of −1.3 V versus RHE, our MOF catalyst, denoted as Cu1Ni-BDP, manifests a C2H4 Faradaic efficiency (FE) of 52.7% with an overall current density of 0.53 A cm–2 in 1.0 M KOH electrolyte, surpassing that on prevailing Cu-based catalysts. More remarkably, the Cu1Ni-BDP MOF exhibits a stable performance with only 4.5% reduction in C2H4 FE during 25 h of CO2 electrolysis. A suite of characterization tools─such as high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, operando X-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy─and density functional theory calculations collectively reveal that the cubic pyrazolate–metal coordination structure and the asymmetric Ni–Cu sites in the MOF catalyst synergistically facilitate the stable formation of C2H4 from CO2.

  • Article

    Controlling Surface and Crystalline Lamellar Morphologies of Nascent Poly(ethylene-alt-CO) Under Different Polymerization and Thermal Conditions

    (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2023-11-23) Raman, Sumesh Kureppadathu; Zhao, Jiayi; Puthiyaveettil, Mrudul T.; Zhou, Fuhai; Romano, Dario; Rastogi, Sanjay; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Chemical Science Program

    Through the tailoring of the polymerization conditions, using palladium(II)-based metal catalysts coordinated by 1,3-bis(diphenylphosphino)propane, it is feasible to synthesize highly crystalline nascent poly(ethylene-alt-CO) directly into its α and β crystal polymorphs. Crystallization during polymerization in the α or the β polymorph and the resultant surface morphology of the nascent poly(ethylene-alt-CO) are found to be strongly dependent on the polymerization conditions. While at the low polymerization temperature, the α-phase is preferred, at the high polymerization temperature predominantly crystals having the β-phase are obtained. The surface and crystalline morphology of the nascent polyketone is studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Electron diffraction studies, on different nascent polyketone samples, confirmed the formation of single crystals during polymerization at varying polymerization conditions. The growth of single crystals, during polymerization, is suggestive of the direct attachment of the growing chains on the formed nucleus at a high supercooling. The nascent single crystals, having perfectly alternating poly(ethylene-alt-CO) molecular structures, are found to aggregate in different morphologies that are induced by the polymerization conditions. Solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and FTIR studies confirm that the thermal stability of the synthesized poly(ethylene-alt-CO) is dependent on the crystalline phase obtained during polymerization; the crystals formed in the high entropy β-phase are found to be thermally more stable than those in the α-phase. The thermal stability of the melt crystallized samples, obtained after melting and recrystallization of the nascent crystals, is also found to be dependent on the origin of the crystal polymorph.

  • Article

    Universal F4-modified Strategy on Metal Organic Framework to Chemical Stabilize Pvdf-Hfp as Quasi-Solid-State Electrolyte

    (Wiley, 2023-11-20) Huang, Wenhuan; Wang, Shun; Zhang, Xingxing; Kang, Yifan; Zhang, Huabin; Deng, Nan; Liang, Yan; Pang, Huan; Chemistry Program Physical Science and Engineering Division King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Thuwal 23955–6900 Saudi Arabia; Chemical Science Program; KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC); Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Key Laboratory of Chemical Additives for China National Light Industry College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Shaanxi University of Science and Technology Xi'an 710021 P. R. China; Instrumental Analysis Center Xi'an Jiaotong University Xi'an Shaanxi 710049 P.R. China; School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Institute for Innovative Materials and Energy Yangzhou University Yangzhou 225002 P. R. China

    Solid-state electrolytes (SSEs) based on metal organic framework (MOF) and polymer mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have shown great promotions in both lithium-ion conduction and interfacial resistance in lithium metal batteries (LMBs). However, the unwanted structural evolution and the and the obscure electrochemical reaction mechanism among two phases limit their further optimization and commercial application. Herein, fluorine-modified zirconium MOF with diverse F-quantities is synthesized, denoted as Zr-BDC-Fx (x = 0, 2, 4), to assemble high performance quais-solid-state electrolytes (QSSEs) with PVDF-HFP. The chemical complexation of F-sites in Zr-BDC-F4 stabilized PVDF-HFP chains in β-phase and disordered oscillation with enhanced charge transfer and Li transmit property. Besides, the porous confinement and electronegativity of F-groups enhanced the capture and dissociation of TFSI- anions and the homogeneous deposition of LiF solid electrolyte interphase (SEI), promoting the high-efficient transport of Li+ ions and inhibiting the growth of Li dendrites. The superb specific capacities in high-loaded Li.