Archives for the ‘Monroe’ Category

Problems with Recordings

By • Aug 25th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

To create my experiment I first recorded my grandmother, a native Thai speaker, pronouncing different Thai minimal pairs. With each word I cut the recording to get the phonemes I was using in my experiment. For example, I cut the recording of the word ‘baa khlang’, meaning ‘insane’, to isolate the initial /b/ phoneme. I then redid this […]

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Adding to my Experiment

By • Aug 20th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

As I put the final touches on my experiment I began to worry people may struggle to adjust to the structure of the experiment.  I worried that automatically playing recordings of the minimal pairs may catch participants off guard, and make them want to rehear the recordings. Initially I thought about allowing participants to replay the recordings. This would ensure confidence in […]

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Update 7: The Importance of a Clean GC Needle

By • Jul 29th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

This week, I began by repeating the photochem experiment from late last week. I did this in order to gather more data points on turnover numbers since they were relatively inconsistent last week. However, these experiments varied catalyst concentrations by very small amounts. Therefore, I also began a new photochem experiment with the same catalyst, […]

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Update 6: pH Problems and a New Project

By • Jul 29th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

Last week, I ran into problems when using my third catalyst and chromophore combination. Over the weekend I learned that the chromophore I was using works best at pH = 7. The solution of sacrificial electron donor that I use is pH = 7, but I have been diluting it with deionized water. The pH […]

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Update 5: Putting the Error in Trial and Error

By • Jul 23rd, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

Last week I performed concentration studies with a sacrificial electron donor (SEC) in hopes of establishing a photocatalytic system that produces hydrogen gas. Unfortunately, these experiments were unsuccessful and produced no hydrogen. This may be a result of incompatibility between the catalyst and chromophore used and the sacrificial donor. Luckily, there are many other catalyst/chromophore combinations available to experiment […]

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MFC Update #4, Harvesting & Biofilms!

By • Jul 15th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

As I discussed in my last update, getting the algae to latch onto my electrode has been a big hurdle. Luckily, instead of 3d printing a filter apparatus, I was able to get a good amount of algae onto the carbon cloth simply through thinning the culture. This freed up space in the dense culture […]

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Update 4: The Dark Side of Photochemistry

By • Jun 26th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

This week I continued my photochemistry experiments from last week, but this time I used different materials for the sacrificial donor. Right now, I am experimenting with varying concentrations of a substance found in natural waters. Unfortunately, gas chromatography analysis showed little to no hydrogen production. Why is this the case? Natural water samples have been […]

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Update 3: Fun with Photochem!

By • Jun 24th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

As I wrote about in an earlier post, the focus of my summer research is to determine a natural source of hydrated electrons that will generate hydrogen in a photocatalytic system. Thus, I will be performing many photochemistry experiments. This week I started to learn this procedure and ran a couple of experiments with materials […]

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MFC Second Update

By • Jun 23rd, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

In this update I would like to go more in depth about my fuel cell’s design. Basically it is two box chambers, anode and cathode, separated by a proton exchange membrane. This membrane promotes different ion concentrations on either side of the membrane which allows the fuel cell to produce electricity. The two boxes will be stacked, […]

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Update 1: The Murky Waters of Hydrogen Evolution

By • Jun 19th, 2019 • Category: Honors Thesis, Monroe, Research

During the first week of my research, I spent much of my time reviewing existing literature on artificial photosynthesis. This method of harnessing solar energy was inspired by the photochemical cells in plants. Photocatalytic cells include an electrocatalyst, a chromophore, and a sacrificial source of electrons that use visible light (sunlight) to split water into […]

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