Experimental Equipment

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction Equipment

A supercritical carbon dioxide equipment with a 500 mL extractor that allows for extraction and treatment of small-mid-sized samples. Both batch and continuous type of extraction are possible with a flow rate ranging from 1 to 3 liter per minute. In our laboratory we have conducted experiments for the extraction of essential oils from agricultural products such as orange peels, coconut, and sesame seeds. Furthermore, treatment and extraction from polymers has also been implemented.

Pulsed Electrical Discharge Equipment

Recently, experiments involving discharges have been increasing due to the easiness of the procedure, and large possible outcomes depending on the gas atmosphere employed and treatment time. In our laboratory, instead of working with continuous electrical discharges, we work with pulsed electrical discharges in which the power can be stored and release in a matter of nanosecond thus increasing the immediate power. We use this equipment for a variety of topics such as the synthesis of nanomaterials, treatment of samples, reduction of water-solvent pH, in between others.

Hydrothermal Batch Reactor Equipment

High pressure and temperature conditions can be used in this equipment, depending on the solvent to be used different types of reactors can be selected. Hydrothermal conditions allow for experiments in where either synthesis or degradation of the sample requires high temperatures to increase the solvent’s solubility or to accelerate the degradation process when needed. Experiments have been performed in order to assess the recyclability of different fibers and polymers.

Hydrothermal Autoclave

This kind of equipment is normally used in medical applications to perform sterilization and in the chemical industry to cure coatings and vulcanize rubber, and for hydrothermal synthesis. In our laboratory, we use the research-grade autoclave (inner volume: 500 mL) to perform experiments where conditions near the subcritical point of water is necessary, these experiments involve the synthesis and treatment of catalyst as well as subcritical water treatment of samples.

Analytical Equipment

Gas-Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID)

Gas chromatography is used to separate and detect small molecular weight compounds in the gas phase. The sample is either a gas or a liquid that is vaporized in the injection port, and it is normally used in applications where small, volatile molecules are detected and with non-aqueous solutions. Furthermore, flame-ionization detection is a good general detector for organic compounds in GC that detects the amount of carbon in a sample. FID is a destructive detector, as the entire sample is pyrolyzed, FID is unaffected by noncombustible gases and water.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

In our laboratory we count with this equipment which is a technique in analytical chemistry used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. Analytes such as organic molecules, biomolecules, ions and polymers can be used in this equipment; depending on the sample the necessary column can be purchased. For instance, we count with columns that allows for the analysis of different type of sugars.

Ion Analyzer

In the different topics of research that we conduct at our laboratory, we work with pulsed electrical discharges in which the generation of different ions is expected, in order to asses some of the ones generated and still lingering in the sample we use this equipment which is capable to simultaneously measure either 6 cations or 7 anions quickly and easily in many types of samples.

Thermogravimetry-Differential Thermal Analysis (TG-DTA)

This equipment provides information of the different steps that a sample goes trough when temperature is raised; by deciding on a temperature program (initial temperature, hold time, heating rate, and final temperature) it is possible to see the changes in weight with rising temperature, exothermic and endothermic changes, release of oxygen or other compounds after a certain temperature has been reached. Pans made from different materials such as aluminum, platinum, ceramic can be used depending on the set of the maximum temperature.

Total Organic Carbon (TOC)

This equipment measures the amount of total organic carbon present in a liquid or water sample, it uses a catalytic oxidation combustion technique at high temperature to convert organic carbon into CO2. The generated CO2 is then measured with a non-dispersive infrared sensor. This equipment gives the total carbon concentration consisting in both inorganic and organic carbon.