Optimization of Polysaccharide Formulations for Single-Serve Coffee Capsules
In response to growing concerns about the need to reduce single use plastics, this project, conducted in collaboration with DuPont, aimed to develop a biodegradable polymer appropriate for the production of single-serve coffee capsules. The formulation partially consists of a 100% renewable additive called Nuvolve, developed by DuPont. Formulations of Nuvolve and other biodegradable polymers were synthesized and mechanically tested to be optimized for use in coffee capsules. Ultimately, this project provides a more environmentally friendly alternative so manufacturers can produce biodegradable single-serve coffee capsules.
Team members: Saleha Habib, Xinyi Yang, Priya Vaidya and Hala Al Jamal
Development of a Model for Estimation of Fouling in Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers
Shell and tube condensers are a common feature of many chemical processes, including distillation, reactor effluent separation, and steam cycle power generation. The use of cooling water in condensers makes fouling an important concern in the long-term operation of these processes. This project used numerical methods to model shell and tube heat exchangers for the design of a soft sensor. This model can be used by process engineers for performance monitoring when scheduling required cleaning time and estimating future run length.
Team members: Reid Perna, Stein Sothiratnam, Kari Guentner, Meguel Yousif, Justin Wong
Design of an Industrial Scale Aquaponics System
Many industrial scale aquaponics systems currently used in Ontario were designed to operate in a warmer climate and so do not operate economically due to climate differences. The aim of this project is to design an industrial scale aquaponics system for the Southern Ontario climate by looking at profitable options suited to the local market and land/water/heating/resource requirements. Our design will be evaluating the economics of operating an industrial scale aquaponics system at various operating conditions and showing which options are most profitable.
Team members: Adam Szczecina, Vikram Girn and Karan Jain
Seat-O-Matic Arm Assisting System (GENE 404)
This project aims to help promote GM’s vision of creating a future where autonomous vehicles are more inclusive and accessible. Studies have shown that seniors are prone to injury while entering/existing the vehicle, with more than 40 thousand injuries occurring annually in the US alone. Therefore, the team decided to address the challenges seniors face while entering/exiting the vehicles. Seat-O-Matic aims to design an arm assisting system that can provide senior users with the support needed to enter and exist the vehicle safely.
Team members: Sutej Shingare, Sohaib Yassin, Joonha Kim, Talha Ashfaq and Mostafa Eltantawy
Carbon Capture with Liquid Metal and Cerium
The goal of this project is to design a safe and affordable carbon-capture process to reduce overall industrial carbon emissions. This conceptual plant will use a cerium-based catalyst in liquid metal solution to convert CO2 into solid carbonaceous material using electrolysis at an industrial scale. This technology aims to provide organizations with an environmentally sustainable option to reduce their carbon dioxide output, and subsequently lower the fiscal impact from the rising carbon tax and provide potential growth to the carbon-capture industry.
Team members: Aidan Chow, Alvin Li, Jeremy Kim, Abraham Muktadir
Design of a THC Measurement Device
Due to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, a countermeasure device needs to be designed and implemented as soon as possible to prevent people from getting high at the workplace or when they are driving a car. This project aimed to design a portable, accurate and affordable device that can detect and/or measure the THC concentration in bodily fluids such as saliva, urine and blood.
Team members: Anqi Zou, Zuyi Koh, Laura Amador and Tabish Shaikh
Modelling and Optimization of Chemical Looping Combustion
Fuel combustion for power generation and in industry is a leading contributor to climate change. Carbon capture can mitigate this impact, but current technologies can be energy-intensive and uneconomical. Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is an emerging technology that provides inherent carbon capture without negatively impacting process efficiency. CLC has been demonstrated on a pilot scale, but it has not been commercialized. This project aimed to optimize the design of a commercial-scale CLC unit using the pyomo optimization toolbox in Python.
Team members: Nicholas Bartsch, Jake McGrory, Bradley Ciarniello, Jennifer Elliott
Microplastics Removal from Laundry Wastewater | Hydromo
Microplastics are small plastic fragments less than 5 mm in length and can have both physical and chemical impacts to the aquatic organisms that consume them. Due to the production and use of synthetic textiles, an estimated 190,000 tonnes of microplastic fibres enter the marine environment every year. A large portion of these microplastics come from household laundry machines during wash cycles. This project aimed to design a separation device that removed microplastics from laundry water as it leaves the washing machine.
Team members: Rena Chen, Spencer Lester and Ke Yin (Kelly) Huang
Polyvair: Use of Nuvolve in Commercial Footwear Applications
Increased public awareness of the need for environmental sustainability has driven a need to incorporate more eco-friendly materials in the fashion industry. Nuvolve is a plant-based, biodegradable material developed by Dupont. The main goal of this project is to develop a product formulation for commercial polyurethane shoe soles using this material. In order to be competitive in the commercial market, the physical properties (e.g. strength, durability, flexibility etc.) of this shoe sole must also be comparable with existing products.
Team members: April Du, Sharon Colby and Alfonso Izquierdo
Pepsi Quaker Greywater Re-Use System
The Pepsi Quaker site in Peterborough, Ontario, is looking to reduce their water consumption by re-using greywater for non-product contact. In response, we designed a system that includes a water storage tank, process piping, associated valves, fittings and controls, and centrifugal pumps to transport the exit water from a set of vacuum pumps to the cooling water return line for recycle. This initiative aims to eliminate the 5 million gallons of fresh water currently used annually and sent to drain by the vacuum pumps.
Team members: Kayli Dale, Isabel Trupp, Allison Larocque and Jacqueline Hutchings
Reduction of Carbon Emissions in Integrated Steel Plants
Increasing carbon taxes and looming environmental constraints drive the need to implement effective technologies that can be used in integrated steel plants. Our constraints are to quickly and safely reduce carbon emissions by at least 50%, while maintaining product quality. Our project focuses on this need and involves the modelling of a feasible carbon capture technology. The technical application will be demonstrated using an Aspen simulation to generate a feasibility analysis.
Team members: Naomi, Jared, Louis, Abby
Process Scale-Up For Converting Silk Cocoon Waste to Silk Fibroin
The silk industry generates a significant amount of waste in the form of silk cocoon shells, which are unprocessed. These cocoons contain fibroin, a valuable protein that can be retrieved and has potential applications as a biomaterial. The objective of this project was to design a commercial-scale manufacturing plant to produce silk fibroin from silk cocoon waste. The design includes equipment sizing, material selection, and process control mechanisms. The economic feasibility and environmental impact of the process were assessed.
Team members: Karyn Sun, Scott Gillan and Shirley Chan
From Simulation of Microalgal Growth in Photobioreactors to Considerations for Downstream Processing and Transesterification to Biodiesel
The production of biodiesel from microalgae is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fuel but is economically inviable under current technological conditions. The objective of our project is to develop a photobioreactor using computational modelling that improves upon the current industrial standards of growing microalgae for biodiesel production. After microalgae has been grown in the photobioreactor it requires further downstream processing to be converted into a consumable fuel; said processes will also be investigated via computational modelling to design an efficient overall system.
Team members: Zhendong (Jayden) Li, Jim Xiang, Sam Ly and Kyle Wong
Comparison of Alternative Water Treatment Programs in Oil Sands Cooling Tower Operation
At the site of interest, a major Canadian oil sands producer, conventional chemical treatment is being used to prevent scale buildup and corrosion in the cooling tower water system. The conventional method requires costly chemical dosing, and leads to a great volume of water sent to blowdown as waste. This project seeks to determine the feasibility of using a novel pretreatment method that has been proven to prevent scaling and corrosion, while nearly eliminating both chemical dosing requirements and blowdown.
Team members: Jared Cheverie, Natasha Ramon, Jami Vanderlinden and Leann Young
Dealcoholization of Wine
The goal of the project is to design a process for making dealcoholized wine while maintaining the flavour profile and taste of the alcoholic version of wine. It is also important that the wine is low in sugar content to serve as a healthier option.
Team members: Samridhi Sharma and Uredo Ocheje
Naphtha Recovery from Sour Water Tailings in Albertan Oil Sands
In the Albertan oil industry, wastewater is chemically treated and sent to engineered pits called tailings ponds. These pits contain dozens of square kilometers of toxic chemicals where ecosystems cannot be sustained. One of these toxic chemicals is oil which is emulsified in the wastewater. Our project aims to recover oil from wastewater before it goes to tailings ponds. By designing a profitable wastewater treatment strategy involving oil recovery and reduced environmental impact, petrochemical companies will be incentivized to implement our process.
Team members: Brydon McMillen, Steve Tran, Ali Toorani, Alfred Joshua Acquino
Electro-Chemical Coagulation of Wastewater
The goal of this project is to investigate electrocoagulation as an improved alternative to chemical coagulation for wastewater treatment. This will be accomplished by modelling and simulating an electrocoagulation system and associated operating conditions for treating wastewater samples from Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company. The model data can be then be compared to experimental findings to evaluate to accuracy of the simulation. The outcomes of this model will help evaluate the economic costs of replacing existing systems and safety precautions that must be considered.
Team members: Jonathan Hoytema, Andrew Ohi, Kevin Suppiah and Ahmed Amin
Sequestering CO2 Through Production of Biodiesel Feedstock
Industrial cement plants release large amounts of CO2 as a flue gas which pollutes the atmosphere. The goal of this project is to reduce these emissions by sequestering the CO2 released to grow algae that can be further processed to create a feedstock for biodiesel production. Process equipment is sized and models from SuperPro Designer and Aspen Plus are examined to determine the feasibility of the design.
Team members: Scott Earle, Tamara Bugarski, Jason Giannis and Connor Lachance
Design and Simulation of a Paste Thickener Unit
In mining processes, antiquated thickener unit designs are used due to the high cost of newer technologies. The objective of this project was to accurately model sedimentation and aggregation of mine tailings using computational fluid dynamics software. This sedimentation model was then scaled up to accurately model a paste thickener unit. A novel geometric design was developed to minimize cost while maintaining underflow properties required of backfill paste.
Team members: Ryan Smilovici, Daniel Tuana and Dilip Rathinakumar
NOVOCATUS: Dealcoholization of Wine
NOVOCATUS is a separation and aroma-recovery system that connects to a winemaker’s pre-existing process. The system consists of a spinning cone distillation column which separates the wine components into 3 phases: Ethanol, Volatile aromas, and the remaining product. The 3 phases will be recombined to produce a product with the winemaker’s desired concentrations of alcohol and aromas to produce a refined dealcoholized product.
Team members: Ola Elkhatib, Shirien Nouri, Aminatou Bah, and Julia Cicuttin
Polyurethane Waste Diversion
This project aims to determine a method to divert polyurethane waste created during the production of instrument panel skins from incineration, in collaboration with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Company. Through experimental trials, polyurethane waste properties will be compared to various materials, including the virgin resin as well as other consumer products, to determine feasible diversion pathways for the waste. A waste treatment process will then be developed, which will reduce the environmental impact generated from the treatment of this waste, and provide economic benefits to Toyota.
Team members: Rutuja Desai, Megan Town, Ami Patel and Danielle Ong
re-PET: Recycling PET Carpet Trimmings from the Automotive Industry
Collaborating with Hematite Manufacturing Company, this project aimed to improve the viscosity of PET trimmings from the automotive industry, and meet requirements on rheological properties so that the processed material cold be used as the feed to the production line in order to reduce the waste in terms of economic and environmental aspects. Experimental trials were conducted for different types of additives. Ultimately, the type and ratio of additives that achieved the closest result to the goal were provided as a recommendation.
Team members: Jingjing Liu, Fan Yang, Qianci Fu and Huiquan Sun
Cannabis Odour Control
With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, cannabis growing facilities across the country have been emitting a strong odour to surrounding communities. After analysis of various facility-scale odour control technologies, the three most effective methods were selected for further detailed design and analysis: activated carbon filtration, biofiltration and wet scrubbers. A design was then created for each odour control technology to be applied to an industrial growing facility.
Team members: Ryan Scherbey, Dan Blazevic, Hillary Lui.
Refrigeration Food Storage System for Nunavut Community
70% of homes in Nunavut, Canada are considered food insecure, meaning that they do not have access to sufficient and nutritious food. In response to the current food crisis in Northern Canada, this project aims to mitigate food insecurity and negative environmental impact by finding a means to preserve food for longer periods of time. We have designed a refrigeration system to improve Nunavut community food storage conditions with the intent of reducing the frequency of expensive food supply shipments and making healthy food available to Northern Canadians.
Team members: Jing Sy, Juan (Christine) Tao, Khristen Lowe and Alyson Skidmore
Simulations and Feasibility Studies for Boiler Feedwater Management
Working alongside INEOS Styrolution to re-manage valuable boiler feedwater, our project aimed to re-direct high volumes of high-temperature, amine-contaminated boiler feedwater from the cooling tower basin (an expensive outlet not designed for this purpose) to TransAlta, an offsite boiler company. TransAlta's specifications for the condensate are not being met, so our group investigated three strategies for either cooling the condensate or removing the amines. These strategies were designed and costed to determine the most economical, reliable, and easy to control method.
Team members: Nicolas Stalteri, Tiffany Chang, Nicholas Filipović, Franklin Price and Mercede Hazell
Protein and Lactose Separation and Recovery from Acid Whey
Greater attention is being paid to the environmental impact of processes. As an example, acid whey, a waste stream generated during the production of the Greek yogurt, contains valuable components, protein and lactose that could be used for food applications. The objective of this
project is to design a membrane separation process for the recovery of protein and lactose from acid whey. It is hoped that the proposed process will generate valuable protein and lactose products while minimizing the environmental impact of acid whey.
Team members: Aa Zeng, Zixin Zhang, Xiaoyu Du, Wendi Zhou