2015 Spring ChBE 492 Topics


Topic & Description


Polymer origami with magnetic nanoparticles (Experimental, 1 person)

Each polymer behaves differently upon heating. This is exploited in creating certain designs with polymers in such a way that the polymer self-folds into desired shapes. In this work, magnetic nanoparticles will be accumulated in specific parts of a polymer and bending from these sections with nanoparticles will be induced by applying an external magnetic field. This project will be submitted as a TUBITAK research project in March.



Magnetic drug delivery (Experimental, 1 person)

Magnetic nanoparticle surfaces will be modified to accommodate an anti-cancer drug. The binding of the drug to the nanoparticle and the targeting of the magnetic nanoparticle to a desired area will be explored. In this project, the student will learn to synthesize magnetic nanoparticles with an appropriate coating,  investigate ligand-drug binding and apply an external magnetic field to collect particles in a specific area. This project is a part of a currently funded TUBITAK project.



Assessment of Zeolites as Fragrance Carriers   ( 1 or 2 students – This topic requires experimental work.  Visits to EPS Fragrances Co  in Kemerburgaz will be necessary weekly  or biweekly  )

Basic İnformation: Zeolites are inorganic crystals known as very good adsorbents. Their nanoporous cages   enable them to be used widely  for water purification, gas drying and removal of harmful compounds . They are also used as molecular sieves for separation of mixtures of different compounds.

Zeolites may also serve as fragrance  carriers. This work will investigate properties of natural or synthetic zeolites and influence of these properties on the ability to adsorb several fragrance molecules  as well as their antimicrobial properties. Nanoporous cages of zeolites help to act as  hosts with controlled release of fragrance molecules.



Recycling/recovery of laminated packaging materials ( 1 student)

Laminated packaging materials containing metals/plastics are of serious environmental concern due to their resistance to degradation. The 492  project will involve literature survey  on the damage caused by and  methods of combatting such material. An Experimental part may also be expected. 



Effect of Water Content on the Solubility and Diffusivity of High Pressure Carbon Dioxide in an  Ionic Liquid

(Experimental + Computational, 1 or 2 students)

Ionic liquid-carbon dioxide systems at high pressure serve as alternative solvents for biphasic reactions. In this study, the dissolution of carbon dioxide in the ionic liquid [bmim][BF4] will be investigated using a view cell with temperature and pressure control. [bmim][BF4] is very hygroscopic and the initial water content is an important parameter for the dissolution dynamics of CO2. Using optical analysis and computational fluid dynamics techniques, the changes in the equilibrium liquid mole fractions and diffusivities of carbon dioxide with water content will be determined.



Process Intensification Technologies in the Chemical Industry  (Literature survey, 1 student)

Process intensification involves the combination of multiple operations in a hybrid unit to  reduce plant volume. It covers a wide range of processing techniques and equipment. In this study, novel technologies such as hydrodynamic cavitation, sonochemical and pulsed compression reactors will be examined and their implementation in the chemical industry  will be discussed.


Antibacterial Effects and Complexation of Thiobarbiturates- (1 or 2 students –Experimental work will be performed.  Visits to Chemistry Department of Boğazići University may be necessary 3-4 times within the semester )

Barbituric acid belongs to the family of 2, 4- pyrimidinone derivatives which play an important role in pharmaceutical applications. C-5-substituted and disubstituted barbituric and 2-thiobarbituric acids exhibit a wide spectrum of biological activity and some of them are useful drugs or agrochemicals.

An antibacterial is an agent that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. Cyclodextrins are a group of structurally related natural products and can be used as a carrier molecule to promote the dissolution of compounds in aqueous medium.

In this work, several derivatives of thiobarbituric acids will be synthesized (some work may be done in Boğazići University), and their antibacterial effects will be examined. Moreover their complexation with derivatives of cyclodextrins will be studied.



Organocatalyst effect on the hydroxyamination reaction of 2-oxindoles- ( 1 or 2 students –Experimental work will be performed.)

Oxindole skeleton contains a tetrasubstituted carbon center at its 3-position, which is the core of many biologically active natural products and pharmaceuticals. The reactions of 3-substituted oxindoles with nitrosobenzene are particularly attracting, because they lead to products with different biological activities. Therefore the development of new chiral catalysts for their asymmetric synthesis has high value.

In this project, hydroxyamination reaction of 3-methyl-2-oxindoles with nitrosobenzene will be studied. New chiral catalysts will be synthesized and their effects on the reaction yield and selectivity will be examined. Cinchonidine derivatives and some polymer-supported organocatalysts will be prepared and be characterized by several techniques. Then the hydroxyamination reactions will be performed, and yields will be determined by HPLC technique.



Design and Optimization of Energy Producing Unit

A Chemical Plant uses the electric energy which is generated via steam production. But in some season, because of drop in the demand to the products, they reduce the capacity and hence the electric power consumption drops, the steam and hot water are reduced to the half of the full capacity consumption.

In this work, the enhancement of efficiency in energy production in the plant will be basically studied. Choosing engine type, the material and heat balances will be calculated, and the necessary system for steam and hot water production will be designed in this term project.



Water soluble resins in dye production ( 1 – 2 students )

Dyes are natural and xenobiotic compounds that make the world more beautiful through coloured substances. Synthetic dyes are extensively used in many fields of daily life and in industry.  Synthetic dyes exhibit considerable structural diversity. The chemical classes of dyes employed more frequently on industrial scale are the azo, anthraquinone, sulfur, indigoid, triphenylmethyl (trityl), and phthalocyanine derivatives. Unfortunately, the exact amount of dyes produced in the world is not known  Exact data on the quantity of dyes discharged in the environment are also not available.   Due to large-scale production and extensive application, synthetic dyes can cause considerable environmental pollution and are serious health-risk factors.  Thus water soluble resins become important in order to eliminate environmental risk factors.

İn this work, a detailed literature survey and experiments will be carried out( if required ) to study the solubility  of resins in water.



Polymeric materials: New Si-containing polymeric membrane as a polyelectrolyte for Li-batteries. (Experimental, 1 student)

Polymeric electrolytes could be divided into two large groups: solid polymeric electrolytes and polymeric electrolytes with solvent. To avoid the disadvantages of polymeric electrolytes containing solvent ( instability of phase content, volatility of solvent during storage and during the work  of the battery) researchers  try to synthesize the stable  polymeric  electrolytes  with high electroconductivity in a wide range of temperatures for Li-batteries.

The work is  devoted to synthesis and  characterization of Si-containing polymeric films applied as solid electrolyte of Li batteries.


Lithium -containing Organic Polymeric Electrolytes. (Literature Review)



Computational Screening of Natural Proteins for Morita-Baylis-Hillman Activity (2 students, computational)

Improvement of the synthetic processes of drug molecules using biocatalysts has received an enormous appreciation in the area of pharmaceutical synthesis. [1,2] In this work, the student will take part in a project supported by TUBITAK that aims to develop biocatalysts for the synthesis of bioactive molecules displaying antitumor activity against human cervical cancer cells by computational reengineering of natural proteins.


[1]. C.K. Savile et al. Science 2011, 239, 305-309.

[2]. U.T. Bornscheuer et al. Nature 2012, 485, 184-194.


N.āelebi Ölćüm

Computational Prediction of Potent Catalysts: Conformer Library Generation and Analysis (1 or 2 students, computational)

In relation to enzymes’ multi functional active sites, there is a growing interest in “green” catalysts bearing different functional groups in their structure. This project aims to develop a new computational approach for easy and low cost determination of potential organocatalyst candidates for industrially important target transformations.


N.āelebi Ölćüm

CO2 Capture by Amine-Modified Sorbents (1 student, literature survey)

CO2 is one of the main anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the concentration of which has increased tremendously since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Since the climate change observed on earth was associated with the increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere, reduction of emissions has become indispensable with the increasing environmental concerns. This project aims a detailed literature survey on the technologies developed for the separation of CO2 from the flue gasses, focusing mainly on the adsorption of the gas using solid adsorbents, especially modified carbon structures.


T.Davran Candan


Use of Perovskites in Solar Cells (1 student, literature survey)

Solar cells, which are electrical devices that convert the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, emerge as promising alternative energy production systems for the last years. However, adoption of the photovoltaic technology as an alternative to the conventional methods still requires significant efficiency enhancements. This project aims a detailed literature survey on the use of perovskites- as highly efficient solar absorbers- in the photovoltaic cells.    


T.Davran Candan

Preparation and Characterization of Poly propylene fumarate (PPF) Cross-linked with Phosphonic Acid Based Monomers  (Experimental, 2 students)

Novel poly propylene fumarate (PPF) based  polymers will be prepared for use in bone tissue engineering applications. The experimental study will involve the synthesis and characterization of  poly propylene fumarate (PPF) cross-linked with two types of phosphonic acid based monomers.  PPF polymer will first be synthesized via polycondensation reaction of propylene glycol and fumaric acid. The synthesized PPF polymer will then be cured with  two different types of phosphonic acid based monomers at changing contents via applying a high temperature cure cycle (at 90-100oC) using benzoyl peroxide as the initiator. The PPF polymers cured with the different comonomers at different contents will be analyzed for their compressive properties via Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA). The equlibrium water content values will be determined and surface contact angle measurements with water will also be performed to characterize the hydrophilicity of the  prepared PPF polymers with different compositions. These  properties will be analyzed with respect to the changing composition of the PPF polymers.

In the second part of the study, the cure of the synthesized  PPF polymer with the phosphonic acid based monomers will be carried out at 37oC (at the body temperature ,as the PPF polymers are intended to be used as a cement for bone tissue engineering appplication) in the presence of benzoyl peroxide as the radical initiator and N,N Dimethyl toluidine as the catalyst. The cure conditions will be optimized by varying the initiator and catalyst concentrations. The cured samples will be anlayzed for cross-link density through the determination of the undissolved content of the samples in water. DSC analysis will  also be performed to see if additional post-cure is necessary for the complete cure of the samples.


E. Can


Emulsion Copolymerization of Methacrylic Acid with Butyl Acrylate  (Experimental, 1 student)

In this experimental study, the emulsion copolymerization of methyacrylic acid (MAA) with butyl acrylate (BA)  will be carried out in the presence of a water soluble initiator and a surfactant. BA will be added to the MAA emulsion either at the beginining of reaction  or step-wise at various time intervals. Analysis of the size and size distribution of the resulting copolymer particles will be carried out via Dynamic light scattering (DLS) method, the copolymer compositions will be determined via Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR) and molecular weights will be analyzed by Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC).


Pitting Corrosion of Aluminum and its Alloys in Aqueous Environment (1 student):

Corrosion is a result of metals’ tendency to go back to their natural state as they are present in nature. Its impact on economy is huge. In US, it is estimated to be $ 300 billion a year. Various types of corrosion occur in the chemical industry commonly, causing process equipment failures, unplanned shutdowns and off-grade products. Corrosion involves electrochemical reactions (that is, reactions in which electrons are produced or consumed) as well as mass transfer of reactants/products to/from the reaction sites.

The student will need to learn about different types of corrosion, thermodynamics and kinetics of corrosion as well as passivity. S/he will conduct a literature survey on pitting corrosion of aluminum and its alloys in aqueous environment. S/he will also conduct laboratory experiments for electrochemical corrosion testing.


L. Organ

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion of Aluminum Alloys (1 student):

Corrosion is a result of metals’ tendency to go back to their natural state as they are present in nature. Its impact on economy is huge. In US, it is estimated to be $ 300 billion a year. Various types of corrosion occur in the chemical industry commonly, causing process equipment failures, unplanned shutdowns and off-grade products. Corrosion involves electrochemical reactions (that is, reactions in which electrons are produced or consumed) as well as mass transfer of reactants/products to/from the reaction sites.

Engineering alloys are frequently in contact with environments containing various bacteria. Depending on the alloy, the environment and the bacterial species present, the net result can be an increase in the rate of corrosion, a change in the type of corrosion, no effect at all or, even, the inhibition of corrosion. It is known that many bacteria form extracellular polymeric substances on metal surfaces, which protect their community from external effects. Such biofilms can, for instance, affect the mass transfer to or from the surface and, hence, can interfere with the corrosion. Some bacteria can produce certain acids as a result of their metabolism, which can facilitate the corrosion of the alloy. The student will need to learn about different types of corrosion, thermodynamics and kinetics of corrosion as well as passivity. S/he will conduct a literature survey on the microbiologically influenced corrosion of aluminum alloys as a result of presence of microorganisms.


L. Organ