Recent Publications

More Publications

. Polystyrene nanoparticles as a flotation collector: A molecular dynamics study. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2019.

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. Metal Hexaboride Work Functions: Surface Configurations and the Electrical Double Layer from First-Principles. Advanced Electronic Materials, 2019.

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. Polystyrene nanoparticles as a flotation collector: A molecular dynamics study. Journal of Molecular Liquids, 2019.

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. Phase Stability Analysis of Ternary Alkaline-Earth Hexaborides: Insights from DFT Calculations. ACS Applied Electronic Materials, 2019.

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. Esterification Kinetics of Phosphotungstic Acid Loaded KIT-5 Catalyzed Biodiesel Production. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2018.

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. Nanodomains and local structure in ternaryalkaline-earth hexaborides. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 2018.

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. Surface termination analysis of stoichiometric metal hexaborides: Insights from first-principles and XPS measurements. In Acta Materialia, 2018.

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. Effect of Current on Diffusivity in Metal Hexaborides: A Spark Plasma Sintering Study. In ACS applied materials & interfaces, 2017.

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. Phase Stability of Mixed-Cation Alkaline-Earth Hexaborides. In Crystal Growth & Design, 2017.

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. Ab Initio and Molecular Dynamics-Based Pair Potentials for Lanthanum Hexaboride. In The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2015.

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Recent Talks

More Talks

AIChE West/South Central Regional Chairs/Heads Conference
Fri, Jun 14, 2019
Ethics in Research: Basic Principles for Practicing Science & Engineering
Sun, Aug 19, 2018
Perspectives on Undergraduate Education: Open Forum
Mon, May 21, 2018
Modeling and Characterization of Metal Hexaboride Materials
Tue, Oct 3, 2017
Ethics in Research Workshop for Young Scientists
Sun, Aug 13, 2017

Recent Posts

Faculty Academic Leadership Program completion by Prof. Vasquez


Thesis defense by Alex Buettner


Dissertation defense by Kevin M. Schmidt


Chemical & Materials Engineering Department’s Rubicon Cluster Basic Usage Guide


Intel True Scale Fabric Configuration/Install on Rubicon Rocks 6.2



Metal Hexaborides

The goal of this collaborative project is to establish a comprehensive research and education program between University of California San Diego and the University of Nevada, Reno, exploring the physical and chemical mechanisms controlling the storage and separation of gases in hexaboride (i.e., MB 6 ) materials, with the aim of extending the basic and practical knowledge of the synthesis as well as the chemical behavior (i.e., bonding states, electronic and defect structure, phase stability, and diffusion behavior) of these types of materials.

Reverse Micellar Systems Modeling

We use molecular dynamics (MD) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements to analyze the size of reverse micellar structures in the AOT-water-isooctane system at different water-to-surfactant ratios at ambient temperature and pressure. We find good qualitative agreement for the size and morphology behavior of the reverse micelle structures between molecular dynamics calculations and DLS measurements. The combination of MD with DLS allows a better interpretation of the experimental results, in particular for conditions where the structures are non-spherical, commonly observed at lower water-to-surfactant ratios.

Life Cycle Analysis of Geothermal Energy

The main goal of the project is to support the state of Nevada efforts in exploration and utilization of geothermal energy resources by closing the loop on the life cycle analysis of these activities. The main objectives of this project are: (a) Design and develop static and dynamic Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) scenarios and methods for sustainable development of geothermal energy extraction and exploration projects in Northern Nevada and (b) Evaluate and demonstrate the LCA framework with case studies of interest for the region, and possibly extend these to other renewable energy related activities in the region.

Thermal Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Thermochemical conversion can alter lignocellulosic biomass to fuel, chemicals and renewable power. However, pyrolysis and gasification of raw biomass feedstock have technical barriers that must be eliminated before successful commercialization. Feedstock handling is complex due to the varying natures of commercial timber, agricultural residues (rice hulls, corn stover, wheat chaff), and energy crops (switch grass), among others. Two distinct thermal pretreatment technologies are investigated in this project: wet torrefaction and dry torrefaction.

Sludge to Power

In this project, at the University of Nevada-Reno, we have come up with an alternative wastewater processing system named Sludge to Power (S2P) that produces electricity onsite from dried wastewater biosolids, while eliminating a waste stream of millions of tons per year per plant. The EPA estimate that 60,000 dry metric tons of sludge are produced annually in Nevada alone, which could turn this into 11 megawatts of power.

Molecular Thermodynamics of Complex Systems

We use molecular thermodynamics approaches to characterize basic thermodynamic behavior of complex systems and substrates such as biomass and foods. For example, using molecular thermodynamics we study equilibrium moisture content in this type of substrates.


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