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Bioreactor Design, Automation, and Optimization - A Multidisciplinary Approach

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33951

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33951

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

biography

Vassilios Tzouanas University of Houston, Downtown

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Vassilios Tzouanas is an Associate Professor and Chairman of the Computer Science and Engineering Technology department at the University of Houston – Downtown, in Houston, Texas. He received all his degrees in chemical engineering and obtained his Ph.D. from Lehigh University. He has worked in the industry for 19 years where he held technical and management positions with major operating companies as well as process control technology development companies. Since 2010, he has been with UHD. Dr. Tzouanas' research interests include process modeling, simulation and design, process control, and renewable energy systems. Dr. Tzouanas is an ABET Program Evaluator (PEV) for Engineering and Engineering Technology programs. He is also member of AIChE and ASEE, and currently serves as ETD Director.

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Lisa Deane Morano University of Houston, Downtown

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Lisa Morano is a Professor of Biology and Microbiology at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). She is also the Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS) at UHD. Her research has focused on the bacteria found inside plants including plant pathogens and non-pathogenic inhabitants called endophytes. Her research has also included multiple USDA-NIFA funded programs that have led to the creation of new curriculum and experiential learning opportunities through the CUAS. She teaches multiple courses in environmental biology and sustainability and she organizes an experiential learning program where students work in teams to build solar-powered technology that addresses a need in urban agriculture.

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Hung Pham

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Anish Khatiwada University of Houston, Downtown

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Anish Khatiwada graduated with Suma Cum Laude honors from the University of Houston - Downtown with a Bachelor’s in science in the year of 2015. Anish majored in Control and Instrumentation Engineering Technology and has a minor in Mathematics. Anish was a member of the Scholars Academy while attending the University of Houston – Downtown. He was recipient of the Red Rose Scholarship. Currently, Anish is a Sr. Software Engineer at Automation Nation, Inc.

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Jonathan Lopez

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Abstract

Bioreactor Design, Automation and Optimization - A Multidisciplinary Approach

Abstract

Students from our engineering technology, biology, and safety management programs developed a bioreactor to produce bioethanol from various organic wastes. Bioethanol can be made from corn, potatoes, rice, beetroot or even grapes but this puts food production in direct competition with fuel production. It is unsustainable to use precious agricultural soil and water for bioethanol when our expanding human population will need more food. By using organic wastes, this project ensures sustainable bioethanol production which can be used for energy generation by blending it with gasoline.

In this paper, the design of the bioreactor, instrumentation and automation mechanisms will be presented. Kinetics studies and the results from the optimization of the reactor operating conditions will be discussed. Since such work also was carried out as part of engineering technology students’ senior capstone project, lessons on project management, budget and schedule development, teamwork, and technical communication will also be presented. Process data was analyzed by biology students to estimate the amount of ethanol produced under various operating scenarios. The contributions of the safety management students will underscore the importance of considering safety as part of the design and operation of a process.

This multi-disciplinary project also emphasizes important aspects of an education that will assist students in the real world. Students must master the language of other disciplines, work together to design and build a system which meets the original goals set by the project. Such projects could be a model for the future, high-impact, cross-disciplinary direction of engineering technology education.

Tzouanas, V., & Morano, L. D., & Pham, H., & Khatiwada, A., & Lopez, J. (2020, June), Bioreactor Design, Automation, and Optimization - A Multidisciplinary Approach Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33951

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