Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Brian G Trewyn
This dissertation presents the research on the development of mesoporous silica based nanotechnology for applications in biofuels and plant science.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) have been the subject of great interest in the last two decades due to their unique properties of high surface area, tunable pore size and particle morphology. The robust nature of the silica framework is easily functionalized to make the MSNs a promising option for selective separations. Also, the independent channels that form the pores of MSN have been exploited in the use of particles as platforms for molecular delivery.
Pore size and organic functionality are varied to identify the ideal adsorbent material for free fatty acids (FFAs). The resulting material is able to sequester FFAs with a high degree of selectivity from a simulated solution and microalgal oil. The recyclability and industrial implications are also explored.
A continuation of the previous material, further tuning of MSN pore size was investigated. Particles with a smaller diameter selectively sequester polyunsaturated free fatty acids (PUFAs) over monounsaturated FFAs and saturated FFAs. The experimental results were verified with molecular modeling.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticle materials with a pore diameter of 10 nm (MSN-10) were decorated with small gold nanoparticles. The resulting materials were shown to deliver proteins and DNA into plant cells using the biolistic method.
Justin Scott Valenstein
Valenstein, Justin Scott, "Developing nanotechnology for biofuel and plant science applications" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12493.