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Virtual Fluidization Labs to Assist Unit Operations Courses

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Experiential Learning in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors

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David R. Wagner San Jose State University Orcid 16x16

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Fanny Huang

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As technology advances, educational platforms are changing and evolving towards partially and/or virtual environments as tools to enhance topics discussed in lecture settings. In chemical engineering education, one of the key courses for undergraduate pathways is experiencing a session in unit operations labs, however, there are a few drawbacks in physical lab settings. For instance, the cost required to store and maintain the equipment in the physical labs can be costly, as well as, the logistics of class sessions need to be made accordingly. Thus, virtual labs and platforms can be a pathway to go down to enhance and possibly some of the issues. To enhance hands-on experience in physical unit operations labs, the objective is to develop a virtual platform to provide educational resources for students by building a virtual classroom. The focus would be to build a virtual lab simulation that students and users can interact with, which can be used as an additional resource for students and instructors. For example, a fluidized bed simulation can be made and incorporated into a module in the course and used for preparation of a fluidized bed experiment, which is the main objective. The fluidized bed virtual lab is built around the fundamental theories of fluidization to assist users to successfully correlate the relationships between certain variables, such as particle diameters, pressure drops, and porosity of the particles. From that understanding, the user would be able to utilize the experience from the virtual lab to navigate data collection and analysis when in a physical fluidized bed unit operations lab with more confidence and understanding.

Wagner, D. R., & Huang, F. (2021, July), Virtual Fluidization Labs to Assist Unit Operations Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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