A versatile differential calorimetry system for evaluation of phase transition and fluid-solid interfacial thermodynamics in nano-structured solids, surfactants, and polymers

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Research Tools and Instruments - Category 1 (<$150,000)
  • Year: 2012/13
  • Total Funding: $147,876
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Project Summary

A high precision and flow through differential scanning calorimeter is requested in this proposal. This instrument will probe the heats associated with phase transition of materials and with the interaction of gas phase species on solid surfaces over a wide pressure and temperature range under controlled atmosphere. The core users of this instrument come from eight different research groups in four different departments (Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Dentistry, and Civil Engineering) from two universities (University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario). The diverse research disciplines to be supported by the instrument include: heterogeneous catalysis for fuel and chemical production, nano-material design for environmental remediation, novel materials for environmental chemistry and for health science, new structural materials for high pressure application, combustion chemistry, and biopolymer. The instrument provides the much needed precision for evaluating the adsorption of trace impurities, phase transition of minor species present within a larger sample, phase transition induced by high pressures, and desorption under sub-ambient pressures. Conventional calorimeter does not have the required precision for performing the quantitative analyses and therefore is not suitable for rigorous examinations of these research topics. The applicants are well aware of the current limitation and have decided to request this instrument that enables measurements from automated samplings to highly customize studies with complex sequential treatments performed on the materials. Finally, the instrument will also be used as a class project in the graduate advance reaction engineering and catalysis class to demonstrate the thermodynamics behavior at fluid-solid interfaces.