Joseph Biernacki

Joseph Biernacki
Tennessee Technological University | TTU · Department of Chemical Engineering

About

114
Publications
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Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Additively manufactured cement-based structures for infrastructure applications suffer from in-construction shape deformations, which are a strong function of process conditions and the rheology of the printing material (cement paste, mortar, or concrete). Thus, characterization of the shape of such manufactured objects is critical to establish and...
Article
This work explores the use of hydrogel-forming polymers as printing aids for cement-based pastes. The principal results suggest an inverse relationship between gel and paste rheology and printability. The preferred gel is mechanically stiff, while the preferred printing paste is malleable and retains shape. The results, which include printability i...
Article
A novel microsphere micro-reactor approach was used to capture the real-time dynamics of fast pyrolysis of single biomass microspheres using fast flame ionization detection at a data capture rate of 10,000 Hz. Time-domain pyrolysis data was transformed temperature-domain using a model-based approach. The apparent kinetics of pyrolysis were systemat...
Article
Biomass fast pyrolysis is emerging as a front-running approach for the generation of renewable chemical and fuel resources. The pyrolysis temperature, solid and gas phase residence times, and biomass particle size and type have a substantial impact on char, oil and gas yields. A laboratory-scale fast pyrolysis technique was demonstrated using manuf...
Article
A method for manufacturing biomass microspheres is introduced. Biomass microspheres between 100 and 400 µm in diameter were produced from crystalline cellulose, switchgrass, and tall fescue using spray drying. The biomass microspheres were characterized using X-ray computed tomography (XCT), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and real-time optical...
Article
Molecular-scale modeling was used to estimate the diffusion coefficient for CO2 in crystalline and amorphous cellulose. Using the molecular mechanics force field, PCFF, molecular dynamics simulations were performed on CO2-cellulose systems at temperatures between 300 and 800 K using an NPT ensemble. The mean-square displacement for CO2 molecules at...
Article
Kinetic models for pyrolysis of switchgrass and tall fescue were obtained using thermogravimetric analysis and a newly proposed parameter-extraction methodology. The optimization strategy demonstrates the use of the Akaike Information Criterion for the statistical identification of the number of distinct processes and a robust global search method....
Article
Lignocellulosic biomass is a chemically and morphologically heterogeneous material. This heterogeneity is in part responsible for the vast number of thermal decomposition products seen in pyrolysis events. While modeling of biomass pyrolysis has been a subject of much research in past years at length-scales ranging from macro to molecular, the majo...
Article
Full-text available
Most concrete produced includes chemical admixtures such as air entrainers, set modifiers, water reducers, etc., many of which include organic molecules. Hydroxycarboxylic acids, in particular, retard portland cement hydration. The interaction of such acids with hydrating cement phases is a complex, multi-parameter problem. To elucidate the interac...
Article
Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) has been used for decades to study the thermal decomposition of cellulose. Unfortunately, reported kinetic parameters extracted from TGA-based datasets for cellulose pyrolysis vary greatly; activation energies between 166 and 250 kJ/mol have been reported. In addition to heat and mass transfer limitations and sour...
Article
This study summarizes molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experiments using four ester-based cement shrinkage reducing agents in pure water and simulated cement pore solution. The esters were found to completely dissociate in the alkaline pore solution to form acid and alcohol analogue compounds. The alcohol analogues were further found to be e...
Article
Full-text available
Since its widespread use in concrete began over 100 years ago, the chemical composition and physical properties of portland cement have changed only incrementally in response to various and competing pressures of constructability and cost. Instead, the construction demands have been met largely through the development and introduction of chemical a...
Article
Full-text available
Decades of classical research on pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass has not yet produced a generalized formalism for design and prediction of reactor performance. Plagued by the limitations of experimental techniques such as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and extremely fast heating rates and low residence times to achieve high conversion to use...
Poster
Full-text available
This study summarizes ongoing simulations and experiments using three SRa compounds: butyl glycolate, 2-(2-butyoxyethoxy) ethyl acetate, and hexylene glycol and four analog compounds (alkaline environment decomposition products) – glycolic acid, acetic acid, butanol and 2-(2 butoxyethoxy) ethanol (2-2BEethanol). Molecular dynamics simulations have...
Poster
Full-text available
This study summarizes ongoing simulations and experiments using three SRa compounds: butyl glycolate, 2-(2-butyoxyethoxy) ethyl acetate, and hexylene glycol and four analog compounds (alkaline environment decomposition products) – glycolic acid, acetic acid, butanol and 2-(2 butoxyethoxy) ethanol (2-2BEethanol). Molecular dynamics simulations have...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass pyrolysis is being developed to convert biomass into renewable energy to reduce fossil fuel dependency, yet little sociological research has been conducted on knowledge and attitudes toward the technology in rural southern communities. Our study involved participatory collaboration with conservationists, farmers and stakeholders in the Tenn...
Article
A computationally efficient strategy for modeling tricalcium silicate hydration based on through-solution-phase kinetics is demonstrated. This study extends a recently introduced advanced continuum-based single particle model by including rigorous multi-ionic transport, nonlinear reversible reaction kinetics and portlandite precipitation. Model par...
Article
An advanced continuum-based multi-physical single particle model was recently introduce for the hydration of tricalcium silicate (C3S). In this model, the dissolution and the precipitation events are modeled as two different yet simultaneous chemical reactions. Product precipitation involves a nucleation and growth mechanism wherein nucleation is a...
Article
Thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to renewable fuels and chemicals occurs through high temperature decomposition of the main structural components in plants, including cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose and hemicellulose comprise mostly carbohydrates. In this study, two disaccharides, maltose and cellobiose, are used...
Conference Paper
Concrete is a material that forms the literal foundation of our modern society. Concrete is no longer simply cement, water and aggregates, but rather, it also typically contains a complex array of chemical admixtures that modify its many properties to produce a cost effective, durable, formable and mechanically sound material. Water-reducing admixt...
Conference Paper
Cementitious materials are among the broad categories that make up the ceramic industry. Portland cement concrete is the literal foundation of our modern society used in the construction of most buildings, foundations, bridge decks, and pavements. However, the desired performance of those structures is not always attained. In order to control and a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tricalcium silicate is the most abundant constituent of ordinary protland cement and its hydration is largely responsible for early strength development in concrete. Modern concrete contains not only cement but frequently also includes a variety of organic compounds that are used to modify one of any number of fluid or hardened properties. One clas...
Conference Paper
In the construction industry, the ease with which cement-based systems (concrete) are mixed, placed and consolidated in forms is essential. This is normally referred to as workability, a property that is considered to improve the ease of placement and finishing of cement-based systems. A simple industry standard flow (slump) test has often been an...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the recognition of the irreversible damage done to the environment through man-made materials, scientists have attempted to transform synthetic procedures into environmentally favorable procedures. Since fossil fuels are used for electrical energy in the USA, the amount of electricity required to complete an experiment has become an environm...
Article
Biomass pyrolysis offers an opportunity to produce liquid transportation fuels and platform chemicals that may be effective in replacing the current petroleum feedstock. Before whole biomass can be converted to end-use products, many pre-processing steps are required, such as drying, grinding, and extracting. Thus, milling effects on particle size,...
Article
In this study, the use of computer-aided molecular design (CAMD) is validated as a tool for enabling the discovery of new shrinkage-reducing compounds for possible use in portland cement composites and is framed as one of many multiscale modeling tools in a broad hierarchy of possibilities. Twelve additives were tested for their ability to inhibit...
Conference Paper
A ceramic has traditionally been defined as an inorganic, nonmetallic solid that is prepared from powdered materials, is fabricated into products through the application of heat, and displays such characteristic properties as hardness, strength, low electrical conductivity, and brittleness.[*] Cementitious materials are among the broad categories t...
Conference Paper
Government mandates and initiatives have prompted growth in all areas of the renewable energy sector in hopes of attaining national energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Of the various renewable energy resources, biomass-based energy is still the only meaningful route for producing liquid fuels, still in high-demand fo...
Conference Paper
The Hi-PeLETM Learning and Thinking System is very efficient to develop the new (STEM) professional as outlined in the National Academic of Engineering 2020 Model. The platform incorporates numerous well established (pedagogically) methodologies including team-based learning, collaborative approaches and critical thinking, all strategically located...
Article
The aqueous dissolution rate is a key indicator of a portland cement's reactivity, and is relevant in predicting the progress of reactions and property development in cementitious materials. Though a valuable material property, the dissolution rates of the individual cement phases and their mixtures have been seldom determined. This work for the ve...
Article
The development of new admixtures for concrete is normally an experimental endeavor in that the molecular scaffolds of existing admixtures are modified and tested. This approach is time consuming, incremental and typically expensive. Alternatively, a computer-aided molecular design (CAMD) approach is proposed that uses the Signature molecular descr...
Article
Full-text available
Hydration of portland cement is the cornerstone of the process responsible for microstructure development in concrete and ultimately controls the kinetics of all materials properties that make concrete such a useful product for society (properties such as setting, strength, permeability, and durability). A comprehensive understanding of, and model...
Article
Samples of a typical Class-F fly ash were sintered in various oxygen partial pressure atmospheres including argon, 21% O2 in argon, air and 50% O2 in argon. A three-mechanism sintering model was proposed along with physiochemical kinetic transformations that cause the mechanism of sintering to naturally change as time and temperature progress. When...
Conference Paper
Biofuels are still the only source of short-term renewable liquid fuels. For this reason, advancements in biomass conversion technologies continue to be of utmost priority. In addition to providing renewable fuels and chemical feedstock, developments in the biofuels industry will aid in the mitigation of global climate change and may provide opport...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding the dissolution of metakaolin is of great importance and represents a first step toward developing efficient geopolymeric cements. Dissolution of metakaolin in alkaline solution was investigated using quantum mechanical semiempirical methods. Calculations were performed using the AM1 (Austin model 1), PM3 (Parametric method 3) and PM6...
Article
Microstructural characteristics of hydrated triclinic tricalcium silicate [C3S(t)], monoclinic tricalcium silicate (alite), and type I portland cement at ages between time zero and 28 days were observed using electron microscopy. Image analysis was used to follow the development of calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) and calcium silicate hydrate at micro-...
Article
The heavy metals leaching potential of lime fly ash cements was evaluated for one low loss on ignition (LLOI) and one high loss on ignition ash (HLOI). Three different test methods were used: (1) a standard shaken (stirred) extraction test, (2) a modified shaken extraction test, and (3) a modified EP-TOX test. Testing was conducted on the as-receiv...
Article
Recent efforts to model tricalcium silicate based cements assume a two-step hydration mechanism where, in the first step, the empty space between cement particles rapidly fills with a low density calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) and in the second step, the thus formed C-S-H densifies slowly. This gives rise to models that nicely mimic the shape of...
Article
Our ability to predict hydration behavior is becoming increasingly relevant to the concrete community as modelers begin to link material performance to the dynamics of material properties and chemistry. At early ages, the properties of concrete are changing rapidly due to chemical transformations that affect mechanical, thermal and transport respon...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to model and simulate the highly complex cementhydration process over the past 40 years are reviewed, covering different modeling approaches such as single particle models, mathematical nucleation and growth models, and vector and lattice-based approaches to simulating microstructuredevelopment. Particular attention is given to promising de...
Article
The performance of portland cement concrete relies upon a series of complex events that begin with raw minerals and end many years after the concrete is placed. Between these points, the life of this dynamic material is dominated by chemical reactions called hydration. While much is known about hydration, unfortunately, there is no unifying theory...
Conference Paper
Disposal of fly ash in landfills in large amounts results in sacrificing precious land space and potentially endangering neighboring communities and water resources. Productive utilization of fly ash is one approach to reduce the impact of this disposal problem. A major use for fly ash is in portland cement-based materials such as concrete. Unfortu...
Article
The hydration behavior of portland cement phases continues to be debated with new insights fueling the controversy. What causes the induction period? What initiates acceleration? What causes the onset and rapid decrease in reaction rate post peak? Does diffusion play a role and what causes low, but sustained reaction rates for long periods of time?...
Article
Autogenous shrinkage development was studied as a function of time for cement paste and concrete hydrating under sealed conditions at room temperature. Effects of water-cementitious material ratio (w/cm) (0.35, 0.40, and 0.45), ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) content as a percentage of total cementitious material (0, 30, and 50%) by ma...
Article
Autogenous shrinkage development was studied as a function of time for cement paste and concrete hydrating under sealed conditions at room temperature. Effects of water-cementitious material ratio (w/cm,) (0.35, 0.40, and 0.45), ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) content as a percentage of total cementitious material (0, 30, and 50%) by m...
Article
The introduction of true interdisciplinary content into the engineering curriculum has been among the most debated and difficult to implement requirements of the current ABET accreditation criteria. While most programs use soft activities such as role playing scenarios in capstone courses and similar interdisciplinary simulations, it is possible to...
Conference Paper
While the reactions involved in plant biomass are somewhat understood, there are still unknowns, particularly regarding the details of the kinetic pathways. Furthermore, there are a wide range of biomass feedstocks presently being considered for which there is no kinetic information available. This work compares the pyrolysis of one legume (alfalfa...
Conference Paper
Research experiences for teachers are one way to interject engineering content into existing science and mathematics programs across the K-12 curriculum. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is one initiative that offers funding to organize and implement interactions between university faculty and K-1...
Article
A simple multiscale model was developed and used to predict gas diffusivities through expanded polystyrene foam at near standard temperature and pressure conditions. The technique involves measuring gas diffusivities at various length scales then combining them using an electrical analogy for parallel resistances to construct an effective property....
Article
Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and evolved gas mass spectroscopy were used to study the kinetics of carbon oxidation from a Class-F fly ash. A multi-process ignition loss schema is presented wherein carbon combustion is modeled as a series or discrete independent reactions. These processes were studied at temperatures up to 1000°C (1832°F), for...
Article
The mechanisms that control cement hydration, improves its life-cycle performance and reduce this material's impact on the environment, are discussed. C3S is the component that is largely responsible for the majority of calcium silicate hydrate that forms upon hydration, so it often is used as a model for experimental and computational research. Sh...
Technical Report
Early-age cracking is a challenge for the concrete industry. Materials selection, environmental conditions, and field practices all have considerable influence on the propensity for early-age cracking to occur. This document focuses on thermal- and moisture-related deformations; both are materials-related and contribute to early-age cracking. The d...
Article
Multi-scale phase-resolved computational modeling approaches are far in advance of supporting experimental methodologies for predicting the mechanical response of cement-based materials. Recently, however, a variety of techniques including low-energy x-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction and photostimulated luminescence spectroscopy (PLS) have bee...
Conference Paper
A simple multiscale model was developed and used to predict gas diffusivities through expanded polystyrene foam at near standard temperature and pressure (STP) conditions. The technique involves measuring gas diffusivities at various length scales then combining them using an electrical analogy for parallel resistances to construct an effective pro...
Conference Paper
Fast pyrolysis of polymers, biomass and other substances is of great interest in various applications. For example, in the lost foam casting process, kinetic information about expandable polystyrene (EPS) decomposition in extremely high heating rate conditions is essential for process development. In this study, a simple laboratory scale fast pyrol...
Article
The use of X-ray diffraction to directly measure in- place mechanically induced strains in portland cement has recently been demonstrated These experiments, however, used relatively low energy X-rays, so strain determinations were limited to near-surface effects, for example, -100 microns (-0.004 in.). Because neutrons are heavy particles, they off...
Article
The characteristics of thermal decomposition of expandable polystyrene (EPS) were studied in various gaseous environments, both oxidizing and non-oxidizing, over a narrow range of heating rates between 5 and 25K/min using non-isothermal thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The modified Coats–Redfern technique, a model-independent isoconversional metho...
Article
Fast pyrolysis of polymers, biomass and other substances is of great interest in various applications. For example, in the lost foam casting process, kinetic information about expandable polystyrene (EPS) decomposition under extremely high-heating rate conditions is essential for further process development. A simple laboratory-scale fast pyrolysis...
Conference Paper
Concrete is the world's most ubiquitous construction material with roughly one ton being placed each year for every individual on the planet. Despite this widespread use, and concrete's many virtues including relatively low initial cost, field formability, architectural appeal, and nearly universal availability, concrete's poor durability, high ene...
Conference Paper
For the past seven year, a team of faculty from Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) have been offering a course called Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS). Having grown out of the integrated circuit (IC) revolution, MEMS fabrication shares similar elements with IC device pr...
Conference Paper
Learning to design experiments cannot easily be achieved in one or two terms, rather, becoming an experimentalist takes time and practice for most students. The faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) have developed an integrated lab-lecture curriculum that introduces lab in the sophomore year,...
Conference Paper
Diffusion coefficients forexpanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and polystyrene film are vital information tomany industries worldwide. The method used to obtain the data in this study wasa transmission flow method. The diffusion data obtained during this study wereon the same order of magnitude as previous researchers, and was ratherconsistent. The diff...
Conference Paper
The Tennessee Tech university spring 2008 MEMS senior/graduate design course challenge is to design MEMS sensors that attack the broad problem of minimization, detection, collection, and recycling of trash and hazardous waste materials found in Tennessee and elsewhere. The student design team solution to this year's environmental challenge will be...
Article
Recent and earlier models of electrical field flow fractionation (ELFFF) have assumed that the electric field within the fluid domain is governed by Laplace's equation. This assumption results in a linear potential and a spatially constant field across the channel and is generally true for very dilute systems and relatively high effective potential...
Article
John C. McGee, a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, made significant contributions in introducing chemical engineering education in the Tennessee Technological University in Tennessee, US. He worked jointly with another academic professional from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the university, to introduce chemical engineering cur...
Article
The sinterability of a class F fly ash was investigated as a function of processing conditions including sintering temperature (1050–1200°C) and sintering time (0–90min). Density, shrinkage, splitting tensile strength, water absorption and residual loss on ignition (RLOI) were evaluated as measures of sintering efficiency. Scanning electron microsc...
Chapter
The methodology used to scale-up a process for making continuous α-silicon carbide (α-SiC) fiber from laboratory-bench-scale to demonstration-scale pilot capacity is presented. Scale-up of ceramic material processes is typically complex due to the nature of the process environment, material and machine interactions. In the case of ceramic fiber pro...
Article
Kraft pulp fiber reinforced cement-based materials are being increasingly used where performance after exposure to environmental conditions must be ensured. However, significant losses in mechanical performance due to wet/dry cycling have been observed in these composites, when portland cement is the only cementitious material used in the matrix. I...
Article
A review of the literature was conducted in search of an appropriate kinetic model applicable to the polystyrene foam decomposition phenomena encountered in the lost foam casting process. A brief review of the models describing the physical process of foam degradation is also presented. During this investigation, various kinetic models describing p...
Article
In electrical field flow fractionation (EFFF or ElFFF), an electric potential is applied across a narrow gap filled with a weak electrolyte fluid. Charge buildup at the two poles (electrodes) and the formation of an electric double layer shields the channel, making the effective field in the bulk fluid very weak. Recent computational research sugge...
Article
The microstructural and chemical mechanisms responsible for pulp fiber–cement composite degradation during wet/dry cycling are being investigated through environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and mechanical testing. Based on these results, a three-part progressive degradation mechanism for cast-in-...
Article
X-ray diffraction methods developed for the determination of residual stress states in crystalline materials have been applied to study residual strains and strains because of mechanical loading of ordinary portland cement paste. Synchrotron X-rays were used to make in situ measurements of interplanar spacings in the calcium hydroxide (CH) phase of...
Conference Paper
Electric field flow fractionation is a technique in which an electric field is applied perpendicular to the direction of the flow of fluid. This technique was first introduced in 1972. However, not much progress was made due to an inherent problem associated with polarization near the electrodes. Polarization induces a double layer which causes mos...
Article
X-ray diffraction methods developed for the determination of residual stress states in crystalline materials have been applied to study residual strains and strains because of mechanical loading of ordinary portland cement paste. Synchrotron X-rays were used to make in situ measurements of interplanar spacings in the calcium hydroxide (CH) phase of...
Article
The need for infrastructure is fundamental, uniting all of mankind with the common goal to provide shelter, water resources and transportation systems. Natural resources, environmental conditions and socioeconomics, however, create a disparity in the ability to provide adequate, sustainable and affordable infrastructure for the worlds populations....
Article
Resistivity maps for Si wafers processed using BN solid sources and hydrogen injection were compared to convective flow patterns predicted computationally. The convective flow patterns were found to mirror the resistivity maps, with low velocity flow domains being associated with high resistivity regions on the wafer and high velocity flow with low...
Article
A Class F fly ash has been analyzed using synchrotron x-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine the composition, phase distribution, particle size, and particle morphology. XRD showed the existence of mullite, quartz, Fe2O 3 (hematite or maghemite), and CaSO4 (anhydrite), with the...
Article
Several activities introduced by the