February 21, 2013
Mr. Todd Thompson
The Impact of Thermal and Chemical Aging on Three-Way Catalys, Pd/Al2O3
Abstract: As new fuel alternatives are developed to power vehicles their side effects must also be explored. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is growing as a fuel source, therefore, it is crucial to test the catalyst in these vehicles to evaluate how effectively harmful exhaust gasses are converted to less harmful products. This research is critical because reduction of harmful gasses helps prevent global warming, ozone layer depletion, and acid rain. The research explained here determines if high temperatures (thermal aging) or engine oil additives and fuel contaminants (chemical aging) decrease the efficiency of these catalysts. Nitrogen physisorption, carbon monoxide chemisorption, high angular annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM), solid state 31P NMR, and temperature programmed reduction with hydrogen are used to evaluate the effects of aging, ultimately determining that chemical aging impacts the performance of the catalyst much more significantly than thermal aging.
Ms. Nicole Sciandra
Breath Analysis for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer
Abstract: Cancer accounts for approximately 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year with 28 percent of the deaths being attributed to lung cancer. Current efforts have focused on developing non-invasive and less expensive methods for early diagnosis of lung cancer. A recent article by Hakim et al. reviewed over a hundred publications and presented a comprehensive examination of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) collected from different body fluids. Research by Rudnicka et al. has focused on the characterization and quantification of VOCs in breath samples to serve as potential biomarkers of lung cancer. These researchers utilized solid phase micro extraction and gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry for the analysis of breath samples from two groups, 30 healthy volunteers and 23 cancer patients. Fifty five VOCs were identified and used as variables in chemometric analysis. Through step-wise discriminant functional analysis, five of the VOCs (styrene, carbon disulfide, ethylbenzene and 2-propenal, and propane) were able to be used to differentiate between the two groups. This method shows promise, but will need further improvement to be suitable for the early detection of lung cancer. A detailed discussion of this research topic will be presented.