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Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Links/Abstracts

Zoom links will be active from 9:15 AM - 11:15 AM the day of the expo.

Analysis of Moisture Meter

John David Kubiszyn, Kayla Strong, Alex Wise
Zoom link:
Project link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1h1oomjl9n08fr5/Folgers_ExpoPoster.pdf?dl=0

Folgers Coffee is one the largest coffee distributors in the world, and the process in which their coffee beans are handled directly translates into the consistent quality of their product. In order assure consistency in the production process, incoming green coffee beans need to be pre-treated to control moisture levels. Folgers had a proactive in-line moisture reading system – the TRIME-GW moisture probe from MESA Systems – that had been non-operational for much of the last decade. The overall goal of this project was to implement a moisture probe that will be able to provide consistent, precise, and instantaneous moisture readings for green coffee. This was accomplished through the analysis of the old TRIME-GW probe, research into new options, and procurement of a replacement probe. Out of the four moisture meters researched as viable replacement probes, the newer model of the TRIME-GW from MESA Systems was determined to be the best fit for the Folgers process.
Sponsor: Folgers Coffee
Mentors: Jeffery Fontenot (Lead Process Engineer, Folgers), John Kussmann (MESA Systems), Sherry Mendoza (Senior Process Engineering Manager, Folgers), Ernesto Pichardo (BS 2006 Tulane, Gentilly Plant Engineer, Folgers), Ben Wambheim (BS 2014 Tulane, Lead Process Engineer, Folgers)

Battery Material Optimization and Production

Alex Beraud, Dominic Casalnuovo, Kobi Jones, Stephanie Smith
Zoom link:
Project link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w3c5n15e8jkikvk/Advano_ExpoPoster.pdf?dl=0

Students from Tulane University partnered with Advano, a New Orleans based startup company. Advano focuses on developing and producing cost effective anode material for lithium-ion batteries. During their partnership, the students worked with Advano engineers to optimize the production of material used in their final product. To accomplish this task, a new high-performance separator was tested and compared the particles produced to a standard separator. The students also qualified material from a coating process to determine if the additional process would be beneficial to Advano’s production of high-performance materials.
Sponsor: Advano
Mentors: Mason Babin (Associate Engineer, Advano), Gregory Marus (Operations Manager, Advano)

Distillation Revisions for New Ethylene Targets

Cole Grieshop, Ninghao Li, Alex Simon, Alexis Wang
Zoom link:
Project link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rwcxqt87yb5ztsc/Shell%20Final%20Poster%20-%202.pdf?dl=0

The Shell plant located in Norco has a large distillation column that is used to separate ethylene product from other compounds (primarily ethane). The company is considering two potential alterations to this column. Project Gator involves producing a purer ethylene product than the ethylene that is currently being produced. Project Hurricane involves increasing the amount of ethylene the column purifies in a set unit of time. Both of these potential scenarios were modeled in the simulation software Aspen PLUS with the goal of figuring out which, if either, would be the most economically advantageous solution for Shell. After both models were complete, a safety and commercial analysis were done on the projects. Discounted cash flow models were generated and revealed that project Hurricane is the best solution for Shell. The increase in ethylene production could be used to increase their profits substantially since the only new equipment Shell would have to purchase to accommodate the increased production is a new reboiler.
Sponsor: Shell Norco
Mentor: Michael Casciato (Staff Engineer, Shell Norco)

Scrubber Liquid Reduction on Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit

Haroon Alli, Clayton Chamness, Dyllan Muller
Zoom link:
Project link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/h1yv1y7k841vkho/Worley_ExpoPoster.pdf?dl=0

Our team was tasked by Worley with addressing high scrubbing duty of main gas compressor (MGC) suction and TEG cyclone scrubbers, causing liquid carryover to the main gas compressors themselves onboard a floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO). To remedy this issue, an absorber was introduced into the Aspen HYSYS model of the FPSO between the second scrubber in the train and the TEG (triethylene glycol) cyclone scrubber, such that First Oil ds LCV, a liquid hydrocarbon stream, was the liquid feed and MGC 2nd Disch, the natural gas process stream exiting MGC 2nd Scrubber, was the gas feed. This absorber reduced the liquid scrubbing duty of the MGC suction and TEG cyclone scrubbers by a combined 1,500 barrels/day, eliminating liquid overflow into the main gas compressors themselves.
Sponsor: Worley
Mentors: Jac Dudenhefer, PE (BS 1974 Tulane, Worley), Libby Nelson, PE (BS 2014 Tulane, Worley)

Upstream Integration of Sugarcane Processing Aide: Tackling Microbial Degradation in the Mill Yard

Patrick Kimes, Dominique Moore, Matthew Testore
Zoom link:
Project link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7k9m50bay0zj9ae/USDA_ExpoPoster.pdf?dl=0

Microbial sucrose degradation, beginning as soon as the sugarcane is cut and harvested, has become a topic of major concern in recent years due to the dramatic increase of mechanical harvesting of sugarcane. The goal of this project is to test the effectiveness of a sugarcane billet treatment process by treating the sugarcane billets as soon as they arrive to the mill. This project also investigates the efficacy of sodium permanganate to decrease microbial degradation in billeted sugarcane as compared to bleach or no treatment. Sodium permanganate was found to be the most effective processing aide for billet treatment, performing better than bleach at preventing sucrose loss. An industrial process for applying the treatment was outlined and a preliminary economic analysis was performed. The estimated annual revenue increase of the average mill was found to be roughly $1.95 million. Expanded to the entire Louisiana sugar industry, this early treatment system could increase the annual revenue of the industry by a net of 1.64% or $44.4 million.
Sponsor: United States Department of Agriculture
Mentors: Dr. Stephanie Boone (USDA), Charles Clayton (BS 2018 Tulane, USDA),
Dr. Isabel Lima (USDA)