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Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Abstracts

CBE will have four groups, as follows:

Determining an Economically Viable Alternative to the Current Water Treatment Program

Vanessa Dike, John Hubble, Ian Wall, and Jingzhi Yang

Entergy’s Waterford 3 nuclear power plant found 17 leaks in the containment building during its last shutdown. All 17 leaks resulted from failures in the piping of the component cooling water system. The component cooling water system is a 100,000-gallon system that removes heat from the water running through the reactor system, which ensures all equipment is running at optimal temperatures. Entergy had other third-party consultants looking into the causes of the leaks, which resulted in stress corrosion cracking being a potential cause. The purpose of this project was to identify alternatives to Entergy’s current water chemistry treatment program in the component cooling system. The alternative recommendation should be a chemistry treatment program that improves protection against stress corrosion cracking, while also not raising costs for Entergy.

Decolorization Using Sugarcane Bagasse Biochar

Trevor Cary, Zachary Chulik, Anjana Ganapathy, Taylor Silvey

This report is meant to record and discuss the research that took place in the fall of 2022 between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Tulane University. Through the time researching, one main question was kept in mind: How effective is activated carbon made from bagasse, a sugarcane processing byproduct, at decolorizing the liquor during the purification step in sugar production? And how does commercialized activated carbon compare when taking economics into effect? Using the physically activated bagasse biochar on the pilot plant gave great results by taking out about 41.1% of the colored particles. This was great data however, the commercial activated carbon used (RFM) took out about ten times more color. By just looking into economics, the created biochar sample is much cheaper to produce than buying commercial products. However, when looking into the decolorizing ability, the commercial RFM is still the best choice. Adding in one more factor, environmental effects, changed this decision once again. A company trying to use sustainable products would be enticed to use this product. Testing more samples would be the best way of making this a viable option, since raising the decolorizing abilities even slightly would help in the use of this abundant resource.

A Cryogenic Purification Process for a Desorbed Captured Carbon Dioxide Stream

Matthew Geis, Andrew Kese, Arul Walther, Katherine Higgins

CarbonCapture is an environmental engineering company that uses direct air capture (DAC) technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere to mitigate the effects of climate change. CarbonCapture creates deeply modular, plug-and-play DAC units that use a variety of sorbents to create a system that can be scaled to best suit client needs and adapt with novel research in the field. The stream off the DAC system is carbon rich but requires further purification before it can be sold or sequestered. The Practice School group developed a cryogenic separations process modeled in Aspen Plus. Cryogenic separation was chosen because it is reliable in industry and capable of handling the amounts of gas processed.

Surfactant Effects On Cement Set Times

Pierce Doubleday, Andrew Gontko, Jack Theil, Payton Winke

The objective of this research was to evaluate the behavior of various cement slurries with and without contamination from surfactant B553. Industry knowledge dictates that surfactant contamination is expected to result in retardation of cement set time, but results indicated that set time acceleration occurred at low temperatures in B553 contaminated Class H cement slurries. Precautionary actions have been implemented to safeguard companies from potential adverse outcomes during field operations. Further testing is underway to elucidate the specific circumstances that lead to set time acceleration.