459994 Steal This Project: Entrepreneurial-Based Learning By Building Your Own Reactor

Monday, November 14, 2016: 3:34 PM
Continental 2 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Jonathan E. Wenzel, Chemical Engineering, Kettering University, Flint, MI

Quite often in reaction engineering education, students are rigorously trained in applying material and energy balances and reaction kinetics for the purposes of reactor selection, sizing, and operating parameters. In chemical engineering laboratory instruction, students are often given the chance to operate and test various reactors or are given the opportunity to experimentally measure reaction kinetics. However, due to a variety of factors, students are rarely afforded the opportunity to build a chemical reactor, which can be an exercise in creativity and safety. At Kettering University, a Keen partner, the reaction engineering laboratory curriculum was revised to incorporate an entrepreneurial-based learning project where student teams selected a chemical reaction of industrial significance and through a guided process designed and demonstrated the reactor. Keen provided grant funds to develop the curriculum and to procure kits of parts which the students can use to build tubular reactors. By the end of 2016 this project will be offered for four quarters. The purpose of this project is open-ended and an exercise in creativity and safe practices as a reaction engineer.

The student teams for this project are expected to research and identify a chemical reaction of potential commercial relevance they wish to evaluate. Due to safety, time, and cost certain limitations such as operating temperature, flammability, toxicity, and material compatibility were be considered while researching chemical reactions. Once a reaction is identified, the student team will propose it to the professor for a safety review and approval. The team will then design a chemical prototype system to evaluate the chemical reaction for possible production to market. The team will propose the design to the class and the professor for approval. The team will then construct the chemical reactor system and evaluate their chemical reaction. It also is required that the team determines a method to determine conversion of the reactants and quantify the products. The final deliverable for this project is an operating chemical reactor system and a PowerPoint presentation. Stretch goals for this project is the determination of the conversion and rate law.

How the project was implemented in the curriculum, rubrics, sample student work, lessons learned, and student survey data will be presented.


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See more of this Session: Steal This Project!: Case Studies, in-Class Projects, Design Projects
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division