Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Bioreactor Design, Automation and Optimization - A Multidisciplinary Approach
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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