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Chemical Engineering Design Projects

Modification of Semi-Batch CSTR to Catalytically Convert Processed Biomass to Biofuels

Team Members: Ahmed Barasheed, Johnny Chang, Shane Fisher and Amanda McKnight

Faculty Advisor: Dequan Xiao, Ph.D.

Goal: To develop a chemical process that can be utilized to evaluate the kinetics and thermodynamics of the catalytic conversion of an invasive biomass, phragmite, to biofuel. Different catalysts will be employed to evaluate their efficiencies in a modified semi-batch continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and the effects of temperature and pressure on the thermodynamics and kinetics will be investigated. Optimal methods for extracting the biofuel product will be determined.

Modification of Semi-Batch CSTR to Catalytically Convert Processed Biomass to Biofuels

 

Fermentater Oxygen Transfer Rate Characterization

Team Members: Andre DeCarmine, Oscar Zabala, Salem Alkhaldi, Khalid Alkhaldi

Faculty Advisor: Jinsong Yu, Ph.D.

Industry Advisor: Dr. Ma Sha, Director of Technical Applications

Industry Partner: Eppendorf

Goal: To determine the effects of the design of an impeller on the overall oxygen transfer rate (OTR). Alternative designs to the standard Rushton impeller that is almost uniformly used in the bioengineering industry for several decades will be considered. A pilot-scale fermentation setup will be employed to evaluate the effects of impeller type on the OTR. Sulfite oxidation will be employed to monitor the oxygen concentration in the stirred tank.

Fermentater Oxygen Transfer Rate Characterization

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Extracting Water from Natural Gas Power Plant Waste Streams

Team Members: Arielle Telesmanic, Noof Aldossary, Adam Salafia, and Jason Goncalo

Faculty Advisor: Amanda Simson, Ph.D.

Goal: To develop a process that can extract water from the flue gas waste streams emitted from gas-fired power plants in Middle Eastern countries and use it as sustainable source of water. An absorption column packed with silica materials will be employed to remove the hydrocarbons from the flue gas stream, producing a stream of clean, moisturized nitrogen gas. Condensers then will be employed to collect the water which will be processed to ensure acceptable quality and sanitation. The new process will help to ease the water shortage in Middle Eastern countries.

 Extracting Water from Natural Gas Power Plant Waste Streams

 

Tatiana Dominguez, Stephanie McClory, Danielle Williams, and Colin WeberProcess for Methanation of CO2

Team Members: Tatiana Dominguez, Stephanie McClory, Danielle Williams, and Colin Weber

Faculty Advisor: Amanda Simson, Ph.D.

Goal: To investigate the conversion of carbon dioxide to methane through methanation: CO2 + 4H2 → CH4 + 2H2O so as to minimize the emission of CO2 by power plants. The process will include swing reactors and be scaled to be applicable to the treatment needs of smokestacks in power plants. Part of the H2 needed for the process will be obtained in-situ through the electrolysis (powered by a photovoltaic cell system) of the byproduct water. New catalysts with better methanation performances will be developed and evaluated as well.

 Process for Methanation of CO2