July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The Introduction to Chemical Engineering course at the University of Kansas has traditionally been taught as a 2-credit hour, 1-semester course in the fall of the freshman year. In 2019, the course was redesigned to span both the fall and spring semesters and incorporate a hands-on laboratory experience each semester. The lab was structured to accommodate enrollments of up to 144 students, with each student attending four two-hour laboratory sessions during each semester. This paper is focused on the laboratory component of the fall semester course.
The primary goal of the fall semester laboratory was to expose students to chemical engineering concepts while providing opportunities to see a chemical engineering processes from feedstock selection to products utilization. The focus of the laboratory was the production of biodiesel from vegetable oil with each laboratory period highlighting a different aspect of the process involved. The four laboratory sessions covered concepts including batch reaction, separation of products, purification of biodiesel using an ion exchange mechanism, and glycerin purification using distillation with emphasis on methanol recycling. Aspen modelling of the distillation process, and fuel property testing along with product utilization in a diesel generator was demonstrated. The students were able to see the integration of each experiment with respect to the overall engineering process and complete mass balances on individual processes and the complete process over the course of the semester. Additionally, fundamental chemical engineering topics including transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and reaction engineering were introduced when appropriate during experiments. Finally, for each laboratory session, the students saw a demonstration of larger-scale equipment for each process unit being studied.
Retention analysis of first-year students to the university and the major along with evaluations from the students in the sophomore year will be presented.
Stagg-Williams, S. M., & McVey, M., & Yancey, A. D., & Anand, A., & Lee, A. A. (2021, July), Integrating a Laboratory into a First-semester Introduction to Chemical Engineering Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37354
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