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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:New York University
  • Miguel A Modestino
  • (212) 998-2121
Award Date:11/20/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 634,650
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 499,329
  • FY 2020=$499,329
Start Date:04/01/2020
End Date:03/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Understanding Multiscale Mass Transport in Organic Electrosynthesis: Towards a Sustainable Pathway to Nylon Precursors
Federal Award ID Number:1943972
DUNS ID:041968306
Parent DUNS ID:041968306
Program:EchemS-Electrochemical Systems
Program Officer:
  • Carole Read
  • (703) 292-2418

Awardee Location

County:New York
Awardee Cong. District:10

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:New York University
County:New York
Cong. District:10

Abstract at Time of Award

The increased generation capacity of renewable electricity from wind and solar offer new industrial applications with reduced environmental footprints. This CAREER project addresses key issues in the manufacture of common chemical intermediates using electricity rather than thermochemical means. The project will expand fundamental understanding of the multiscale processes in the design and operation of high-performing electrochemical manufacturing processes. To best achieve this goal, the project will focus on the largest organic electrochemical reaction implemented in the chemical industry as a model reaction: the synthesis of adiponitrile (ADN), a precursor to Nylon. By exploring transport and chemical kinetic phenomena at multiple length-scales, this project will identify key factors that limit the performance of electrochemical reactors and derive design rules for optimal operation. The project integrates an educational program with the primary objective of training a future workforce for a sustainable electrochemical industry. This educational program includes K-12 education of students from Hispanic background, integration of electrochemical engineering education in undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering curricula, entrepreneurship training activities, and public engagement activities to promote sustainable chemical processes through the influence of the fashion industry. This CAREER project presents an integrated research and education plan with the overarching goal of understanding multiscale transport and kinetic phenomena in organic electrosynthesis across the relevant reactor regions: the near-electrode region, the bulk liquid electrolyte region and ion conductive membranes. Understanding and controlling the coupled processes that take place at these three regions can result in improvements in conversion, selectivity, and energy conversion efficiency to ultimately enable the industrial large-scale deployment of organic electrosynthetic reactors. To more effectively accomplish the project goals, the electrochemical synthesis of adiponitrile via the electrohydrodimerization of acrylonitrile, will be used as a model reaction. The project is organized in three research thrusts. Thrust 1. Near-electrode processes: The goal of thrust 1 is to elucidate the molecular processes that drive selectivity by studying them with in situ electrochemical spectroscopy techniques and then use this understanding to control selectivity towards desired organic products. Thrust 2. Liquid electrolyte processes: The goal of thrust 2 is to explore the interplay between mass transport and kinetic processes in mesoscale (10's-1000's micrometers) multiphase electrochemical flow reactors and then use the knowledge gained to enhance performance of organic electrosynthesis reactors. Thrust 3. Membrane processes: The goal of thrust 3 is to understand the effects of organic electrolytes on the microstructure, permeability, and conductivity of ion-conducting membranes and to derive design rules for membrane-separated organic electrosynthesis reactors. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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