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Clarice Nelson Masters Thesis

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COCOON: CO2 & COVID OBSERVATION & NAVIGATION INNOVATIONS FOR GUIDANCE OUT OF THE CLIMATE AND COVID-19 CRISES

thesis
posted on 2022-10-13, 21:43 authored by Clarice E NelsonClarice E Nelson

In this work, two overarching global crises are addressed with an engineering lens; the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Regarding the latter, an investigation is completed into the fluxes of CO2 in the wake of a simple wind farm for identification of potentially beneficial siting of Direct Capture of CO2. In this analysis, large-eddy simulations are used to quantify scalar entrainment in the turbines’ wake for several empirical CO2 profiles. In instances with positive or a combination of CO2 gradients, it was found that the concentration of CO2 increased in wake through downward mixing and entrainment. In a negative CO2 gradient, the opposite was found, with the wind turbine mixing away the increased surface
concentration and entraining down lower concentration air from above. These findings were used to make recommendations on scenarios in which wind turbines were beneficial to Direct Capture plants.
In addition, as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an innovative new technology was designed and constructed; a prototype photoacoustic spectrometer for the rapid detection of viruses. With the vision to become a viral "breathalyzer", the primary stage of development involved the creation of a prototype for proof-of-concept of viral detection using PAS. An extensive literature review was completed to determine optimal
design, with several distinct innovations integrated with the end-product in mind; such as a pure silicon resonator cell and a light-emitting diode source for low-cost, portable detection.
This was estimated to be of sufficient quality to detect single virions, as found through Finite Element Analysis.
Additionally, the validation of a proposed improvement on the medical mask, named Hy-Cu, is shown. Through various tests, Hy-Cu was found to have greater breathability than KN95 or surgical masks, as well as comparable efficiency in filtration of viral droplets.
Additionally, the novel inclusion of a diamond-like carbon-coated copper mesh layer resulted in viral inactivation of 99% after a period of 2 hours, allowing Hy-Cu to be safely reused without risk of transmission.

 

Funding

N00014-21-1-2624

History

Degree Type

  • Master of Science

Department

  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Luciano Castillo

Additional Committee Member 2

Jun Chen

Additional Committee Member 3

Maria Mirian Velay Lizancos