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Integrating Freshmen into Exploring the Multi-Faceted World of Engineering and Sustainability through Biofuels Synthesis from Waste Cooking Oil

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Improving Introductory Experiences in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

25

Page Numbers

24.773.1 - 24.773.25

DOI

10.18260/1-2--20665

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20665

Download Count

163

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Paper Authors

biography

Laura-Ann Shaa Ling Chin Villanova University

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A Malaysian native, Laura-Ann Chin attended the University of Arizona where she completed her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Throughout her undergraduate career, Laura has worked with numerous cutting edge projects including studying endocrine disrupting compounds in wastewater, researching genetic stability of E.Coli in a novel COSBIOS reactor (RWTH, Aachen Germany) and designing an automated zebrafish tracking system using MATLAB (STUBA, Bratislava, Slovakia). Laura performed her graduate studies at Villanova University where she obtained her M.Sc also in Chemical Engineering. Her graduate thesis work involves the characterization & upgrading of biocrude-oil from waste lignocellulosic biomass at Villanova's Chemical Engineering Biomass Conversion & Research Technologies Laboratory under Dr. Justinus Satrio. Currently, Laura is a process engineer for Jacobs Engineering where she is involved in the design of biopharmaceutical facilities.

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Dr. Justinus Satrio's Biography

Dr. Justinus A. Satrio is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Villanova University, Pennsylvania. He earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He also has several years of industrial experience as a chemical processing engineer. Originally from Indonesia, a country blessed with biomass resources, Dr. Satrio’s research passion focuses on developing technologies for utilizing biorenewable materials to produce energy, fuels, and chemicals that decrease society’s dependence on non-renewable resources. His research area specializes on non-catalytic and catalytic thermochemical processes, such as fast pyrolysis and gasification to convert lignocellulosic biomass into chemicals and liquid fuels. Past and present research projects that Dr. Satrio have been involved include biomass pretreatment and characterization, fundamental studies on fast pyrolysis, characterization of fast-pyrolysis products, catalytic upgrading of fast pyrolysis oil to produce hydrogen, conversion of syngas to liquid fuels via Fischer-Tropsch-type synthesis, engineering bio-char for soil quality enhancement, and technoeconomic evaluation on fast pyrolysis and gasification-based biorefineries. From his work, Dr. Satrio has authored over 20 publications. Through Dr. Satrio’s work and research in chemical engineering education, he has made contributions in the development of innovative laboratory experiments and curricular materials related to biorenewables, biofuel synthesis and sustainable engineering.

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Dr. Kenneth A. Kroos

Dr. Kenneth A. Kroos is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University. He has a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo. He taught for five years at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, Tennessee, served as Student Section Advisor and Chair of the Memphis-Mid-south Section of ASME. Dr. Kroos joined Villanova University in 1982, teaching courses thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and several others. He serves as Assistant Department Chair for the Mechanical Engineering Department, has authored more than fifteen publications in the fields of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, engineering education and computer graphics for flow visualization, performed research in computer graphics for the U. S. Army Ballistics Research Lab, and consulted for a number of companies in the Memphis and Philadelphia areas. Dr. Kroos is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He served as Vice President of ASME in 2001 and served a three year term on the Council for Member Affairs. Dr. Kroos is the co-author a new engineering textbook on thermodynamics, titled Thermodynamics for Engineers, published by Cengage Learning. The book becomes available in February 2014.

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biography

Justinus Agus Budi Satrio Villanova University

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Dr. Justinus A. Satrio is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Villanova University, Pennsylvania. He earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He also has several years of industrial experience as a chemical processing engineer. Originally from Indonesia, a country blessed with biomass resources, Dr. Satrio’s research passion focuses on developing technologies for utilizing biorenewable materials to produce energy, fuels, and chemicals that decrease society’s dependence on non-renewable resources. His research area specializes on non-catalytic and catalytic thermochemical processes, such as fast pyrolysis and gasification to convert lignocellulosic biomass into chemicals and liquid fuels. Past and present research projects that Dr. Satrio have been involved include biomass pretreatment and characterization, fundamental studies on fast pyrolysis, characterization of fast-pyrolysis products, catalytic upgrading of fast pyrolysis oil to produce hydrogen, conversion of syngas to liquid fuels via Fischer-Tropsch-type synthesis, engineering bio-char for soil quality enhancement, and technoeconomic evaluation on fast pyrolysis and gasification-based biorefineries. From his work, Dr. Satrio has authored and co-authored over 20 publications. Through Dr. Satrio’s work and research in chemical engineering education, he has made contributions in the development of innovative laboratory experiments and curricular materials related to biorenewables, biofuel synthesis and sustainable engineering.

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Kenneth A. Kroos Villanova University

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Abstract

Integrating Freshmen into Exploring the Multi-faceted World of Engineering and Sustainability through Biofuels Synthesis from Waste Cooking OilWell-designed first year experience courses are mainstays in the curriculum for freshman engineering students, as well as for freshmen in other fields.Solid first year courses are building blocks in helping a freshman navigate through and discover a new major. It is imperative for a freshman to beexposed to different engineering disciplines to experience first-hand the expectations and variations among them.University XXX’s College of Engineering has strategized this teaching opportunity through a series of freshman mini projects designed to introducedifferent engineering majors. These mini projects are integrated into a year long mandatory freshman engineering course. In the first semester, thisfreshman engineering course begins with a seven-week core lesson plan incorporating engineering fundamentals alongside dynamic hands-on groupmicro-projects that bring classroom lessons to life. Following the core lesson plan, students are presented with the opportunity to select two of sixinterdisciplinary, 7-week hands-on mini projects. These mini projects which span the second half of the first semester and the first half of the secondsemester have been designed to expose students to a minimum of two different engineering disciplines. The mini projects offered include: AcousticTechnologies for Predicting Structural Failure, Biofuels Process and Sustainability, Electric Car Design, Robotics and MATLAB Programing, TheLoad/Deflection Character of a SMARTBEAM, and Adsorption-Drinking Water Treatment Process. By mid second semester, students select theirpreferred engineering discipline and spend the remaining seven-weeks in the chosen disciplinary field.This paper focuses on the Biofuels Process and Sustainability mini project, which started in the Fall 2011 semester. This project was developed with theidea of exposing these young engineers to the latest advancements and technological developments in our society. In response to the need fordecreased dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources, the concept of bioeconomy is introduced and emphasized. Throughbioeconomy, vital sources of carbon and energy are obtained from biorenewable materials such as biomass. The need to embrace this transformationfrom non-renewables to an era of bioeconomy should be more important than ever if a significant change is to happen. Through this Biofuels Processand Sustainability mini project, freshmen are exposed to two fundamentals evolving around bioeconomy: the production process of liquidtransportation fuels from biorenewables and the sustainability issues surrounding biofuel production and utilization. Specifically, the goals of this mini-project are to challenge freshmen to utilize basic engineering and chemistry principles in synthesizing and characterizing biodiesel made from arenewable resource such as waste cooking oil, to interpret and analyze experimental data in scaling up to a biodiesel processing facility and finally toassess the overall sustainability of the biodiesel production process.For the first portion of the seven-week mini project, the course is presented as a combination of lectures and in-class group exercises on various aspectsof biofuel production and sustainability. Following the lecture series, freshmen experience hands-on laboratory experiments on biodiesel synthesis andcharacterization, analysis of energy usage and heat transfer of the synthesis process, and the synthesis of soap from glycerin by-product. Through thetransesterification of waste cooking oil (WCO), biodiesel is synthesized while producing a by-product of glycerin. Post experiments, students arechallenged to prepare two formal laboratory reports focusing on the chemistry and mass balance aspects of biofuels synthesis and the other on theenergy and heat transfer aspects of the biofuels synthesis. The report preparation involves technical literature background research, data collection andspreadsheet use for data and numerical analysis. In addition to the chemistry and heat transfer aspects of biodiesel production, the element ofentrepreneurship is also incorporated in the soap production via glycerol by-product. Students are also exposed to the scale-up process of biodieselproduction in a commercial facility.Overall, the freshman mini projects come together to better prepare young engineering students to have an appreciation for engineering design anddevelopment in the world around us. This course not only introduces the fundamentals of basic engineering principles, but proactively engages studentsto perform these design experiments and challenges these young minds to come up with a conclusion of their own. Through this multi-disciplinarycourse, these mini projects will certainly provide a platform for a successful undergraduate engineering career.

Chin, L. S. L., & Satrio, J. A. B., & Kroos, K. A. (2014, June), Integrating Freshmen into Exploring the Multi-Faceted World of Engineering and Sustainability through Biofuels Synthesis from Waste Cooking Oil Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20665

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