Analysis of FTIR spectra of carbon materials : subbituminous coal, graphene oxide, graphene nanoplatelets, and carbon nanotubes

Solti, Cassidy
Subbituminous coal is a major factor of Wyoming's economy. However, cleaner sources of energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric energy, are highly competitive towards natural gas, oil—and most importantly—coal. Coal is mostly carbon which begs the question, "What carbon materials can be extracted or produced from coal, both efficiently and economically?" to develop new markets for this resource. Discovering a second major purpose for subbituminous coal, aside from its energy uses, would boost Wyoming's economy. A goal of this research was to establish Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, or FTIR spectra, of known carbon materials to compare to samples of coal following experimental treatment. The known carbon materials that were tested included carbon nanotubes, graphene nanoplatelet aggregates, and graphene oxide. The subbituminous coal FTIR spectra were then analyzed and compared to spectra obtained from the known carbon materials. Throughout this research, the relationship between mass and thickness of the salt plates was also analyzed. Details of the FTIR spectra comparisons, as well as the observed salt plate relationship, will be reported.
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University of Wyoming Libraries