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A Sophomore's Exposure, Interest, and Aspirations in Research on Current Practices of Volatile Organic Compound Removal

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Graduate Studies Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Aimee Oz Salt Lake Community College

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Aimee Oz is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. Currently she attends Salt Lake Community College and will be transferring to a four-year university for fall 2016. She is reviewing current methods of volatile organic compound removal so that she can one day conduct her own research on air pollution containment. Her academic goal is to earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and conduct VOC research while teaching at the university level.

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Nick M. Safai Salt Lake Community College

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Dr. Nick M. Safai has been an ASEE officer and member for the past 24 years. He is the Division Chair for ASEE-ID. He is the Program Chair for Graduate Studies Division.

He has been the seven-time elected as the Program Chair of the ASEE International Division for approximately the past 18 years. Nick has had a major role in development and expansion of the international division. Under his term as the International Division Program Chair the international division expanded, broadened in topics, and the number of sessions increased from a few technical sessions to over eighteen sessions in the recent years.

Nick has served in the ASEE Graduate Studies division for the past 5 years as Treasurer and Program Chair for the annual conference.

The ASEE International Division by votes, has recognized Nick’s years of service through several awards over the past years. Nick has been the recipient of multiple Service awards (examples: 2010, 2006, 2004, 1996), Global Engineering Educators award (example: 2007, 2005), Best Paper award (examples: 2010, 2005, 2004, 1995) and other awards from the International Division for exceptional contribution to the international division of the American Society for Engineering Education.
Examples of some Awards from other Professional Organizations:
• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Engineering Educator of the Year Award 2004.
• Utah Engineers Council, UEC: Engineering Educator of the Year 2005 award, in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of engineering and for service to society.
• SLC Foundation; Salt lake City, Utah: Teaching Excellence Award 2004.
• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Chapter faculty Advisor recognition award 2002.
• Computational Sciences and Education; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the division achieve its goals1998.
• Engineering Division; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the division achieves its goals 1995.
• Science and Humanities; recognition for outstanding contributions and for exemplary work in helping the fields achieve its May 1994.
• Math & Physical Sciences; appreciation for academic expertise February 1994.

Academics: Nick Safai received his PhD degree in engineering from the Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey in 1979. He also did a one year post-doctoral at Princeton University after receiving his degrees from Princeton University. His areas of interest, research topics, and some of the research studies have been;
• Multi-Phase Flow through Porous Media
• Wave propagation in Filamentary Composite Materials
• Vertical and Horizontal Land Deformation in a De-saturating Porous Medium
• Stress Concentration in Filamentary Composites with Broken Fibers
• Aviation; Developments of New Crashworthiness Evaluation Strategy for Advanced General Aviation
• Pattern Recognition of Biological Photomicrographs Using Coherent Optical Techniques
Nick also received his four masters; in Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Operation Research, and Mechanical Engineering all from Princeton University during the years from 1973 through 1976. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering, with minor in Mathematics from Michigan State. Nick has served and held positions in Administration (Civil, Chemical, Computer Engineering, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Bioengineering, Material Science), and as Faculty in the engineering department for the past twenty seven years.

Industry experience: Consulting; since 1987; Had major or partial role in: I) performing research for industry, DOE and NSF, and II) in several oil industry or government (DOE, DOD, and NSF) proposals.
Performed various consulting tasks from USA for several oil companies (Jawaby Oil Service Co., WAHA Oil and Oasis Co., London, England). The responsibilities included production planning, forecasting and reservoir maintenance. This production planning and forecasting consisted of history matching and prediction based on selected drilling. The reservoir maintenance included: water/gas injection and gas lift for selected wells to optimize reservoir production plateau and prolonging well’s economic life.

Terra Tek, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, 1985-1987; Director of Reservoir Engineering; Responsible of conducting research for reservoir engineering projects, multiphase flow, well testing, in situ stress measurements, SCA, hydraulic fracturing and other assigned research programs. In addition, as a group director have been responsible for all management and administrative duties, budgeting, and marketing of the services, codes and products.

Standard oil Co. (Sohio Petroleum Company), San Francisco, California, 1983-85; Senior Reservoir Engineer; Performed various tasks related to Lisburne reservoir project; reservoir simulation (3 phase flow), budgeting, proposal review and recommendation, fund authorizations (AFE) and supporting documents, computer usage forecasting, equipment purchase/lease justification (PC, IBM-XT, Printer, etc.), selection/justification and award of contract to service companies, lease evaluation, economics, reservoir description and modeling, lift curves, pressure maintenance (gas injection analysis, micellar-flooding, and water-flooding), Special Core Analysis (SCA), PVT correlations, petrophysics and water saturation mapping.

Performed reservoir description and modeling, material balance analysis. Recovery factors for the reservoir. Administrative; coordination and organization of 2 and 6 week workplans, 1982 and 1983 annual specific objectives, monthly reports, recommendation of courses and training program for the group.
Chevron Oil Company, 1979- 1983;
Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. (COPI), San Francisco, California 1981-1983. Project Leader/Reservoir Engineer, Conducted reservoir and some production engineering work using the in-house multiphase model/simulators. Evaluation/development, budgeting and planning for international fields; Rio Zulia field – Columbia, Pennington Field – Offshore Nigeria, Valenginan, Grauliegend and Rothliegend Reservoir – Netherlands. Also represented COPI as appropriate when necessary.

Chevron Geo-Sciences Company, Houston, TX, 1979-1980 Reservoir Engineer Applications, Performed reservoir simulation studies, history matching and performance forecasting, water-flooding for additional recovery (Rangeley Field – Colorado, Windalia Field – Australia), steam-flooding performances (Kern River, Bakersfield, California), gas blowdown and injection (Eugene Island Offshore Louisiana) on domestic and foreign fields where Chevron had an interest, using Chevron’s CRS3D, SIS and Steam Tube simulator programs.

Chevron Oil Field Research Co. (COFRC), La Habra 1978-1979, California. Research Engineer, Worked with Three-Phase, Three-Dimensional Black Oil Reservoir Simulator, Steam Injection Simulator, Pipeflow #2. Also performed history matching and 20-year production forecast including gas lift and desalination plants for Hanifa Reservoir, Abu Hadriya Field (ARAMCO).

Aimee Oz.

Aimee is finishing an engineering associate degree at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and will begin working on a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Utah in the fall of 2016. Currently she is interning for the American Chemical Society’s nanotech group at SLCC. They are working on building an ultramicroelectrode using silver nanowires. In addition to this she is participating in a community college aerospace scholars program conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and she is the treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers at SLCC. She is a chemistry and mathematics tutor for SLCC’s Learning Center.

Aimee is very interested and anxious for research and experience to help guide her broad engineering interests. Ultimately she wants to earn a doctorate degree in chemical engineering and work for NASA. To Aimee, space exploration is the nexus of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. It signifies hope, adventure, and possibility. At heart, she wants to reduce the negative environmental impact from industrial facilities and help develop, improve, and implement new technology for this planet (and perhaps beyond).

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Brandon Lewis Walker

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Christopher F. Thompson Salt Lake Community College Orcid 16x16

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'A Sophomore's Research and Current Practices of VOC Removal for a Student Poster-Paper Presentation'

I would like to present student-poster work at the ASEE 2016 Annual Conference. As a student in my sophomore year studying chemical engineering I have been exposed to and encouraged to read and explore current engineering topics. As a result, I aspire to do graduate research and subsequently pursue a graduate degree. At heart, I want to save the environment and at the graduate level I will have the opportunity to work with other engineers to help develop improved technologies to significantly reduce the negative environmental impact from industrial facilities.

After looking into current experiments and models that have been developed to reduce the volume of pernicious airborne pollutants, specifically volatile organic compounds (VOCs), I’ve begun researching what methods are currently in place as far as controlling VOC emissions, if they have been determined effective, and where can they be improved. Traditional VOC retrieval procedures are expensive and dependent on several variables, such as temperature, gas flow rate and pollutant concentration. Recently there has been new work done in a published article, “Physical absorption of volatile organic compounds by spraying emulsion in a spray tower: Experiments and modelling,” that examines the effectiveness of using a water/silicone oil emulsion to capture VOCs in spray towers.

In this experiment aqueous toluene was used as the pollutant and converted to a gas inside the spray tower. Silicone oil and tap water were used in the emulsion. The experiments were performed between 1 and 1.5 bars. Thermocouples measured the temperature ranging from 5 to 60 degrees centigrade. The efficiency of the experimental models used are dependent on temperature and molar gas flow rate. The absorption method was used to determine solubility and was calculated by the concentration of pollutant in the gas and the liquid phase. The absorption of pollutant is inversely proportional to gas flow rate. The information gathered supported the models, however, at times there were high errors, as much as 20%.

The system is efficient for the first two and a half hours with a controlled gas flow rate of 100 m3/h. The emulsion spray may be more cost effective, energy efficient, and overall, more effective at capturing the VOCs that are emitted if the gas flow rate can be controlled.

Oz, A., & Safai, N. M., & Walker, B. L., & Thompson, C. F. (2016, June), A Sophomore's Exposure, Interest, and Aspirations in Research on Current Practices of Volatile Organic Compound Removal Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26443

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