Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern Engineering

Seminar Series

The Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department Graduate Student Seminar series is a weekly seminar taking place during the Fall and Winter terms. Each seminar features a different speaker - external, internal and student presenters.

Winter 2017: Seminars will be held from 11:30-12:30 every Thursday in SEB 1200. *Please bring Student Card for attendance*

January 19th: Mingfei Pan (MESc Candidate) & Dibakar Mondal (PhD Candidate)

Mingfei Pan
Topic: The development of a portable oxygen concentrator using pressure swing adsorption technique
Supervised by: Dr. Rohani
Abstract: Abstract: The pressure swing adsorption technology has been widely used in air separation plants as a replacement of the conventional cryogenic distillation method due to its lower capital cost and energy consumption. The lightweight miniature oxygen concentrator as a useful application of pressure swing adsorption technology can produce a continuously enriched oxygen stream as an alternative to the oxygen tanks. The objective of the project is to seek an appropriate adsorbent and modify the pressure swing adsorption cycle for a concentrator prototype.

Dibakar Mondal
Topic: Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Biomaterials for Bone Tissue Engineering
Supervised by: Dr. Rizkalla and Dr. Mequanint
Abstract: Biomaterials designed for bone tissue engineering applications should be conductive and inductive to bone cells while exhibiting suitable porosity and pore sizes to allow cell infiltration, tissue growth and metabolic waste removal. The rate of degradation of these scaffolds must also match the rate of tissue formation so that the newly formed bone can replace the biomaterial eventually. Challenges associated with combining all these properties in a single material system will be discussed in this presentation. Conventional bioactive composite materials consisting of organic and inorganic components may be a solution to combine all these properties into a single material. However, these composites have micro-scale domain sizes leading to distinct phases within these materials. This, in turn, results in non-uniform physical, chemical, mechanical and biological properties at the nano or molecular level making them unsuitable as bone biomaterials. Since bone is a combination of both organic and inorganic components with molecular level interactions between them, a logical strategy in for these applications is to design hybrid biomaterials.

January 26th: Mira Ratkaj (Guest Speaker)

Abstract/Poster
About: Mira Ratkaj founded bloom in order to fulfill her passion for developing the next generation of female leaders. She remembers well graduating from B school in the late 80s with high aspirations to be a trailblazer, but it wasn’t long before she was banging her head on the glass ceiling. There were few coaches or mentors available back then, and she learned the hard way. If she only knew then what she knows now.

February 2nd: Songlin Yang (MESc Candidate) & Devon Barry (MESc Candidate)

Songlin Yang
Topic: Fabricate nanoparticle thin film by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation.
Abstract: A new deposition technique, known as Matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE), which was developed at the Naval Research Laboratories for depositing thin and uniform layers target materials. Matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) is a new deposition technique which is developed from pulsed laser deposition (PLD). MAPLE provides a gentle process for fabricating a uniform film of small or large molecular weight species such as inorganic and polymers, from the condensed phase into the vapor phase. It is possible to fabricate nanoparticle thin film through MAPLE method.
Biography: Songlin has a Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering School of Materials Science and Engineering from Tianjin University. He is now doing his MESC program under Dr. Jin Zhang’s supervision. He is now studying fabricating thin film using Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE) process after joining Dr. Zhang’s group.

Devon Barry
Topic: Pyrolysis of Sewage Sludge as an alternative to Incineration
Abstract: Incineration is a commonly used method to dispose of sewage sludge as it exits a wastewater treatment plant as it kills any pathogens remaining in the sludge and greatly reduces the waste volume. However, incineration often requires use of additional fuels and produces an ash stream that must be disposed of. Pyrolysis, the thermochemical decomposition of organic matter into solid biochar, liquid bio-oil, and gases, has been examined as an economic and environmentally friendly alternative. Pyrolysis runs were conducted on a bench scale mechanically fluidized reactor. It was found that the energy contained on the gas and bio-oil products is sufficient to provide the necessary energy to the process. The char product is found to be suitable as a soil amendment as the heavy metal contained in the sludge are stabilised in the solid matrix.
Biography: I am an MESc student at The Institute for Chemical and Fuel from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) at Western University . I finished my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Western University in 2015. My research focuses on pyrolysis of well-established biochemical waste residues that are refractory to further thermochemical conversion, creating a zero waste solution.

February 9th: Roopa Devasya (PhD Candidate)

Roopa Devasya
Topic: Phycoremediation of Road Salt Run-Off with marine microalgae -Nannochloropsis
Abstract: Phycoremediation is an environmental friendly method which involves the application of beneficial microalgae to treat wastewater containing pollutants for a diverse range of conditions. Several industrial processes generate hyper saline waste water which is a significant challenge for conventional wastewater treatment and the disposal of saline waters also has a significant negative impact on the environment. Road salt run-off is one such saline waste-water stream not currently treated and one that contributes significant to negatively impacting receiving bodies of water. In the present study, phycoremediation using the halophilic marine microalgae Nannochloropsis gaditana was applied to investigate the removal of nutrients from road salt run-off. Biomasses of these algae have high lipid content and are considered suitable feed stock for the biofuel production. Nannochloropsis microalgae were able to assimilate >95 % of the nitrates within 8 days of cultivation in the culture media with salt concentrations ranging from 2.6 to 4.4% under autotrophic cultivation. Biomass yield of 1.1 g/L of culture obtained with the maximum lipid of 22% (g/g) biomass. Fatty acid composition analysis of the obtained lipid indicated C16 and C18 as the major components further confirmed the suitability of biomass generated can be used for biofuel feed-stock. This study established that the use of road salt run off containing nitrate and phosphate nutrients will support the growth marine micro algae for remediation of waste water system that are the concern at winter prevalent regions.

February 16th: Denghuang Zhan (MESc Candidate) & Muhammad Owais Bhatti (MESc Candidate)

Denghuang Zhan
Topic: Nanostructured bioluminescent biosensor for detecting glucose by FRET/BRET
Abstract: The E.coli galactose/glucose-binding protein (GBP) binds galactose and glucose in a highly specific manner. The ligand induces a hinge motion in GBP and the resultant protein conformational change constitutes the basis of the sensing system. The glucose biosensor is designed by the GBP and other enzyme Rluc, together with quantum dots.
Biography: I graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China with a bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. I am currently doing master’s research in Dr. Jin Zhang’s lab with developing nanostructured biosensor for glucose detection.

Muhammad Owais Bhatti
Topic: Analysis of Agglomerates Motion Through a Fluidized Bed and Factors Affecting it.
Abstract: Canada has the largest bitumen reserves in the world which are extracted from oil sands. Fluid CokersTM are utilized in oil refineries to crack the bitumen to produce feedstock for petroleum products. Agglomerates formation in Fluid CokersTM cause operating problems such as stripper shed fouling. Better understanding of how agglomerates move through a fluidized bed can lead to improved design of Fluid CokerTM by minimizing the risk of agglomerates reaching regions where they cause problems. This research is aimed to study the motion of agglomerates and analyse the impact of important factors that may affect it.
Biography: Mr. Bhatti completed his undergrad degree at the University of Karachi in 2010 and worked as a process engineer in an oil and gas engineering consultancy company until before immigrating to Canada in 2015. His previous experience in oil and gas sparked his interest in the oil sands in Canada which led him to become a part of the team of researchers at ICFAR.

February 23rd: Jing Wan (MESc Candidate)

Jing Wan
Topic: Application of Coagulation-Flocculation Process as the Pretreatment for Oil Sands Process-Affected Water (OSPW)
Abstract: Oil Sands Process-Affected Water (OSPW) is generated from oil sands operation processes and temporarily stored in tailings ponds due to the “zero discharge policy”. Its environmental impacts on ecological system and wildlife have become a major concern in oil sands development. The process water must be treated for either reuse or safe discharge in the future. Coagulation-flocculation as a conventional physico-chemical treatment process was investigated to remove suspended solids and organic carbons from OSPW. Aluminum sulfate (alum) and Opuntia ficus-indica were studied as chemical and natural coagulants in bench-scale experiments using jar-test apparatus. Statistical experimental design and response surface methodology (RSM) have been applied to optimize removal of turbidity and dissolved organic carbon from OSPW.
Biography: Jing Wan got her Bachelor’s degree at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai and is currently enrolled as a MESC student under supervision of Dr. Mita Ray and Dr. Charles Xu.

March 2nd: Yili Cheng (MESc Candidate) & Douglas Cuthbertson (MESc Candidate)

Yili Cheng
Topic: Sol-gel derived silica-titania coating on titanium
Abstract: Sol-gel derived silica-titania coating on titanium for dental implant was formed in this program. Porous surface was achieved by using spacing-occupying material to increase the bioactivity of the coating. Pretreatments of titanium substrates such as thermal oxidation and plasma oxidation were accomplished before coating. Different sol formulations and different parameters of the sol-gel spin coating produrce were also disscussed in this program.
Biography: Yili studied at Sichuan University in China from 2011-2015 in Biomaterials Engineering. She started her MESc degree at Western University in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Zhu.

Douglas Cuthbertson
Topic: Biochar Production for Composite Materials
Abstract: Current pyrolysis processes are used for the thermal decomposition of biomass into liquid bio-oil, solid biochar, and non-condensable gases, at temperatures typically in the range of 400-700 °C in the presence of little or no oxygen. The biochar is a highly porous carbonaceous residue, capable of showing a variety of surface functionalities, which can be used to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Typically, fast pyrolysis processes have been studied with the aim of producing bio-oil, while biochar has been seen as a by-product and used in low value applications such as soil amendment. Recently however, biochar has been investigated for its potential value as a filler in composite materials.
The Mechanically Fluidized Reactor (MFR), was developed in order to produce and separate large quantities of high quality bio-oil and biochar from a range of biomass. The MFR technology does not require a sand bed for fluidization, and thus produces an undiluted solid biochar residue, which is essential to investigate its full potential. A condensation train is also in place to collect dry light bio-oil, and an aqueous condensate.
Biochar was investigated initially using Miscanthus as a feedstock, and produced using a small scale mechanically mixed reactor. The biochar was incorporated into different composite materials at the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC) at the University of Guelph. The ideal characteristics and optimum biochar production conditions were identified; such that large quantities could be consistently produced using the large MFR for industrial application

March 9th: Sreejon Das (MESc Candidate)

Sreejon Das
Topic: Optimization of solvent regeneration parameters in model naphthenic acids treatment followed by solvent recycling and recovery of adsorbate
Abstract: Methanol has been selected in batch tests involving desorption of model naphthenic acids (2-naphthoic acid and diphenylacetic acid) from spent carbon. Aqueous NaOH was used as a desorbing agent which plays an important role on regeneration efficiency. All of the experiments are accomplished in room temperature. The effect of solvent volume, solvent pH, shaking speed and desorption time on spent carbon regeneration were evaluated where regeneration parameters have been optimized. Solvent type, solvent volume and solvent pH were the most important factors in model naphthenic acids desorption. Moreover, the recovery of adsorption capacity by solvent extraction operated cyclically using a sequence of model naphthenic acids adsorption, desorption in optimum conditions. A modest combination of methanol and desorbing agent restored almost 87% of the carbon capacity for 2-naphthoic acid after 1st regeneration, and the capacity essentially leveled off after 5th regeneration at a value of about 73% of the capacity of fresh carbon. Methanol performs effectively and offers convenient solvent recovery. Maximum 92% solvent and 84% adsorbates have been recovered after desorption. Thus, solvent recycling and recovered adsorbates added values in terms of commercialization.

March 16th: Afsana Sara Kabir (MESc Candidate) & Junwoo Kim (PhD Candidate)

Afsana Sara Kabir
Topic: Modified lignins as biobased antioxidants for polyolefins
Abstract: Recently, the usage of lignin as a substitute for hindered phenol-based antioxidants for polymers has attracted substantial attention from scientific community due to its environmentally friendly and sustainable nature and the naturally occurring hindered phenolic structure. Most of the researches in the past focused on utilizing lignin extracted in lab, which is not commercially promising. In this study, two types of commercially available lignin: kraft lignin (a waste product from the pulp and paper industry) and hydrolysis lignin (a by-product from the pre-treatment processes in cellulosic ethanol plants) were utilized as an antioxidant for polyolefins (i.e., polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)). In addition, the kraft lignin and hydrolysis lignin were modified by a proprietary depolymerisation process to increase the antioxidant activity of the lignin. The original lignin and the modified lignin was compounded with PE or PP using a twin-screw extruder. The results suggested that the modification process decreased the molecular weight of the original lignin and increased the aromatic hydroxyl content in the lignin, thus improving the antioxidant activity.

Junwoo Kim
Topic: Development of microalgal bioassay based on the community level physiological profiling (CLPP)
Abstract: Microalgal bioassay was developed based on community level physiological profiling (CLPP) to assess the effect of environmental stressors such as micropollutants. ECO Biolog plates were used to determine the changes in substrate utilization patterns caused by external disturbances such as the presence of antibiotics (a mixture of streptomycin sulfate and penicillin GT sodium), hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (CTAC), a micropollutant, and their combination. The performance of the bioassay was assessed using artificially defined communities made up of five freshwater algae strains (Chlorella vulgaris, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Desmodesmus subspicatus, Selenastrum capricornutum, and Scenedesmus obliquus) at five different compositions with varying ratios of the test algae. Differences in the response as indicated by substrate utilization patterns to induced stressor by five defined microalgal communities were quantified using principal component analysis (PCA). The changes in substrate utilization patterns are probably due to the changes in metabolic potentials of the individual strains. The effects were more pronounced for the treatments than that obtained by varying the initial composition of the defined algal communities. The effects of the external factors were found to be consistent in the highest cell density of 300,000 cells per well to the lowest of 25 cells per well.
Biography: Bachelor and Masters of Science at McGill University

March 23rd: Chris Smart (Guest Speaker)

Guest Speaker
Topic: The Deep Geological Repository for Low Level and Intermediate Nuclear Waste: a somewhat independent overview

Abstract: Conventional nuclear fission power generation and plant decommissioning produce a legacy of waste materials ranging from low level (possibly) contaminated, through intermediate (definitely contaminated) to waste fuel and transuranic species. Disposal of a complex of radioactive materials presents significant technical challenges that have been traditionally addressed using “sequestration” whereby the waste material is placed in isolated vaults that are projected to retain the waste for a protracted period until it becomes less harmful. Selecting suitable sites has proven challenging. Pilot projects have not been particularly successful. Public opposition to the prospect of nuclear waste sequestration greatly complicates the process of site selection, and can significantly influence outcomes.

In Ontario, a long history of development and operation of nuclear power plants has created and will create a large mass of waste material that are currently stored on site in the open or in warehouses. Initially, burial in the Canadian Shield was proposed, but ultimately rejected. A proposal for a repository at the Bruce Nuclear Site is currently under review by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Some geological and technical background on the proposed DGR will be provided, along with a consideration of the Assessment process and the arguments for and against the proposal. While the proposal has very strong technical credentials, there remain significant unknowns and uncertainties. However, social/political issues present the greatest challenge faced in carrying the DGR proposal forward. The adversarial approach to resolving environmental issues generally results in intense polarisation of opinions and arguments leaving little room for defining appropriate middle ground.

Biography: Chris Smart has been working on environmental processes, monitoring and management for over forty years. His work ranges from technical development and deployment of sensors, mapping technologies, visualisation and policy development. This work has focused on ground and surface water in carbonate aquifers and glaciers in Canada and around the world. He has worked on NSERC research and strategic projects, with local, regional and national government agencies, with NGOs and private industry. In addition to work on the DGR, he spent two years working on the Walkerton tragedy and is currently involved in climate change impacts on mining, an audit of provincial surface water monitoring and groundwater planning in Ontario.

March 30th: Dr. Bhavik R. Bakshi (12:30-1:30pm in SEB 1200)

Biography: Bhavik R. Bakshi is the Richard M. Morrow Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Professor of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India. His research is motivated by the need for an engineering that not only enhances human well-being and is societally acceptable, but also respects ecological limits and prevents unintended harm. To meet this challenge, his work is developing systematic and scientifically rigorous methods for understanding the interaction between technology and the environment and for developing products and processes that contribute to sustainable development. This includes methods for analyzing the life cycle of existing and emerging technologies, and for synthesizing synergistic networks of technological and ecological systems. His research integrates across disciplines such as ecosystem ecology, environmental economics, energy policy, applied statistics, and process systems engineering. His contributions across these disciplines include over 150 articles, over 120 invited talks, user-friendly software for life cycle assessment, editorial board memberships of several multidisciplinary journals, and short courses taught at institutions in countries such as the US, Canada, China and India. His work has been recognized through awards from the U.S. National Science Foundation (CAREER award), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Research Excellence in Sustainable Engineering), and several journals and conferences. Prof. Bakshi received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Bombay, MS in Chemical Engineering Practice and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with a minor in Technology and Environmental Policy through courses and research conducted at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


Abstract: Innovation and Sustainability by Seeking Synergies with Nature
Sustainability of all human activities requires goods and services from nature. However, most disciplines, including engineering, have ignored or greatly undervalued the critical role of nature. This disconnect between human activities and ecosystems is the root cause behind degradation and depletion of ecosystem goods such as water and fertile soil, and services such as climate regulation and pollination, resulting in the unsustainability of many human activities. For engineering to contribute to sustainable development, its paradigm needs to shift from taking nature for granted to learning from and respecting nature. This talk will describe efforts toward such a paradigm shift by developing a sustainable engineering that explicitly includes ecosystems in its decision boundary and develops synergistic networks of technological and ecological systems at multiple scales. Application of this techno-ecological synergy framework to the design of manufacturing processes, agricultural landscapes and buildings demonstrates the potential of such thinking to develop innovative solutions that can be economically and environmentally superior to solutions from conventional techno-centric methods. Technical, policy and societal opportunities and obstacles for the success of this paradigm shift will also be discussed.
Website: http://pse.osu.edu

April 6th: Mark Bracken (Guest Speaker)

Mark Bracken
Topic:Current Mega Trends and their Business Impacts

Abstract: There are a number of megatrends that are occurring simultaneously in the economy right now. These are driven by technology, demographics, global warming and the ongoing urbanization around the globe. We will explore what the megatrends are, and how a water infrastructure company thinks about these trends, and prepares for the inevitable changes to the economy.

Biography: Since starting Echologics, Marc has led the company in taking new technologies to the market, overseeing the Research and Development that has advanced signal processing, sensor and hardware design of leak detection systems. Of particular focus, has been the development of a new acoustical correlation technology for leak detection in large diameter trunk mains, and advancement of a new pipe wall thickness assessment technology. Marc has presented numerous technical papers on leak detection and water pipe condition assessment.
Marc received Bachelor and Master Degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and has over 18 years of experience in acoustical and vibration engineering.

Mohammad Tauhidul Islam Bhuiyan (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: October 4, 2016
Supervised by: Dr. Jesse Zhu and Dr. Hui Zhang
Title: A sustainable energy-efficient powder coating technology
Abstract: The major sustainability issues in the coating industry, especially in automotive and industrial coatings - how powder coating technology is the smart alternative to replace the harmful liquid paints, what major issues are challenging the vast implementation of powder coatings and low-energy curing process - will be discussed in this presentation. A noble energy-efficient powder coating technology we recently developed will be introduced which shows the promise of improved shelf-life of powders and low-cost, low-carbon footprint, zero-VOC coating operations with 50% curing energy savings, and two times faster throughput while meeting the automotive coating quality standards.


Hanna Qin (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: October 11, 2016
Title: Synthesis of VO2 composite and its applications
Abstract: Progress in the development of energy-efficient coatings on glass has led to study of thermochromic smart windows especially for the fabrication of VO2 materials with a good performance on optical switching. Here, we demonstrate a simple one-step hydrothermal method and a conventional sol-gel method as a substitute for organic solvents to synthesize VO2 with various nano structure and enable to tune the phase transition temperature low to 45oC and high to 100oC. Some parameters, such as reaction temperature, reaction time, doping concentration were briefly discussed.


Mira Ratkaj (External Speaker)

Presenting on: October 18, 2016
Title: Why managing your Personal Brand is essential for your Career
Abstract and Biography


Kyriakos Manoli (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: October 25, 2016
Title: Acid activation of ferrate(VI) for oxidation of organic compounds in aqueous solution.
Abstract: Iron in an oxidation state of +6, known as ferrate(VI) (Fe(VI), FeVIO4 2- ), is receiving great attention as a multi-purpose green chemical with numerous applications in different research areas such as green organic synthesis, super-iron batteries and wastewater treatment. There is an increasing interest related to the application of Fe(VI) to water and wastewater treatment, because of its unique oxidation, disinfection, and coagulation properties, with a single dose and mixing unit process.
Biography: I obtained a five-year diploma in chemical engineering (equivalent to MEng based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). I was also awarded two minor degrees in the specialization areas of Energy and Environment. This is the last year of my PhD, under the supervision of Dr. Ajay Ray and Dr. George Nakhla. My research is related to the oxidation of organic pollutants by ferrate(VI).


Mengyue Gong (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: November 1, 2016
Title: Investigation of simultaneous lutein and lipid extraction from wet microalgae using Nile Red as solvatochromic dye.
Abstract: Lutein is a valuable xanthophyll that promotes eye health. Microalgae have been proposed as an alternative lutein source due to their remarkable productivity, reliability and capital conservation. The extraction efficiency and the expensive drying process of wet algae represent the major challenges for the utilization of microalgae biomass as a feedstock for lipids, proteins, and carotenoids. A wet extraction method was developed using microalga Chlorella vulgaris.
Biography: Mengyue Gong is a Ph.D. candidate at Western University. She graduated from Changzhou University with bachelors' degree in 2013. Currently, she is working on her degree in Biochemical Engineering on lutein production from microalgae.


Yi-Kai Su (Post Doc)

Presenting on: November 8, 2016
Title: Using yeast sporulation/mating and evolutionary engineering to create mutants for improved ethanol production in corn stover hydrolysate.
Abstract: Spathaspora passalidarum NN245, a native-xylose-fermenting yeast, isolated in 2006 shows interesting physiology comparing to other native xylose-fermenting yeast in our previous studies. In this study, we employed cell recycling, batch adaptation, cell mating and high throughput screening to select adapted Spathaspora passalidarum strains with improved fermentative ability.
Biography: 2006-2008 MS, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2008-2009 Research Assistant, USDA Forest Product Laboratory, 2009-2014 PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Biological Systems Engineering, 2014-2015 Biotech Startup, Xylome Corporation, 2015- now Postdoc Fellow, University of Western Ontario. A yeast microbiologist and physiologist standing between biochemistry and process engineering.


Tianyiru Chen (M.E.Sc Candidate)

Presenting on: November 15, 2016
Title: Formation Potential of Disinfection By-products after UV/Chlorination of Algal Matters
Abstract: Algal organic matters (AOM) are cellular materials releasing from algae species which can serve as precursors to form disinfection by-products (DBPs) after chlorination. AOM can be removed during drinking water treatment by coagulation. In this study, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and UV254 absorbance were used to assess the time-dependent release of algal matters for four algal species during coagulation using alum. A GC-ECD was employed to analyze the formation of DBPs at different background water qualities. Uniform formation condition (UFC) was used to determine the DBP formation potential. DBP formation increased with increasing settling time.
Biography: EAST CHINA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (ECUST), SHANGHAI: Bachelor of Chemical Engineering § Chemical Engineering Department, WESTERN UNIVERSITY, LONDON, ON: Master of Engineering Science Program § Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department. I am now mainly working on purifying drinking water. The significant treatments are filtration, coagulation, UV light treatment and by-products determination. The goal of this project is to find optimal dose of UV light, and in the meantime minimize the by-products formation.


Stanislav Ivanov (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: November 22, 2016
Title: On application of industrial data in process modelling
Abstract: Industrial process control has been broadly upgraded over last decades. It has turned digital with all the sensors connected into a sole database. This allows for continuous monitoring of the system and non-stop gathering of process history. With hundreds of sensors serving a single unit and sending readings a number times per second, this fact made large arrays of data for researchers and engineers to analyze and benefit from. However, the task is not trivial as appears. This data is full of noise, uncertainties, sensor failure, cold and hot start ups and shut downs, etc. All of the data cannot be fully used in analysis or model evaluation. In my work the approach to use industrial data was proposed and tested with first principle model of ammonia converter. Ammonia synthesis is a continuous large scale process. As with majority of industrial units, most of the time on line operation is in (pseudo) steady state, i.e. control and performance parameters are time-independent. But considering long time run, these process parameters do not remain constant the entire time. Usually, the unit changes its steady states through operation. Quite often, transition from one steady state to another is controlled by process operators. When needed, they change one or more process control parameters thus affecting the performance. For example, this might be necessary when feed stock is changed in terms of quality or rate, some auxiliary equipment experienced failure and immediate reaction is needed, etc. The list of reasons is limitless due to different complexity of processes.
Biography: 2006 - 2010 BSc in Chemical Engineering, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia; 2010 - 2012 MESc in Chemical Engineering (Petroleum Engineering), Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia


Tariq Abou Jarbou (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: November 29, 2016
Title: Study of the dynamics of ferrous iron biooxidation by Leptospirillum ferriphilum in a trickling bed bioreactor used for energy storage.
Abstract: The BioGenerator is a recently invented technology for the biological conversion of hydrogen to electricity. Its main application is expected to be for the re-electrification of hydrogen in hydrogen-based energy storage systems. The hydrogen-based energy storage is intended mostly for the smoothing and management of the highly-variable renewable (wind and solar) power generation. Therefore, the BioGenerator operation will be of highly dynamic nature. The heart of the BioGenerator is a bioreactor for ferrous iron oxidation. This work reports the results of the dynamic study of ferrous iron oxidation by Leptospirillum ferriphilum in a trickling bed bioreactor. The ferrous iron feed was interrupted for different time periods, mimicking the bioreactor operation under typical energy storage conditions. It was shown that when the feed interruption was below 16 hours, no decrease in the microbial ferrous iron oxidation was detected. A slight decrease (by 5%) was observed only when the feed interruption was longer than16 hours.
Biography: MESc Chemical and Biochemical engineering candidate. Bachelor Degree from King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Md Zakir Hossain (Ph.D. Candidate)

Presenting on: December 6, 2016
Title: Complete hydrothermal decarboxylation of oleic acid into fuel range hydrocarbons using subcritical water.
Abstract: Removal of oxygen from free fatty acids remains a great challenge to produce fuel like hydrocarbons. Hydrothermal decarboxylation is one of the renewable pathways to produce biofuels. Oxygen from free fatty acid model compounds such as oleic acid, is completely removed for the first time in this study using decarboxylation and decarbonylation reaction pathways. One-pot (300 ml) catalytic hydrothermal process without adding high pressure hydrogen or hydrogen donor solvent is adopted for green diesel production. Temperature, water to oleic acid ratio, catalyst, total feed to catalyst ratio and residence time were key factors for removing oxygen from oleic acid. The complete removal of carboxylic group was achieved at 400°C with water to oleic acid ratio 4:1(v/v) and 2 hrs residence time. The reactions were carried out at sub-critical/near supercritical water conditions at 350-400oC with autogenous pressures (2000-3000 psi) in presence of catalyst. FTIR and 13C NMR results confirmed the complete removal of oxygen in the liquid product. GC-FID and GC-TCD were also used to analyze the liquid and gas samples, respectively. Activated carbon was used as catalyst and found as a promising and inexpensive catalyst for decarboxylating saturated fatty acids. It showed high selectivity to heptadecane based on GC-FID results. GC-TCD results showed that decarboxylation and decarbonylation of oleic acid were occurred whereas decarboxylation is the dominating chemical reaction. The liquid product density and high heating value obtained are in the range of commercial diesel, kerosene and jet fuels.
Biography: BSc in Chemical Engineering & Polymer Science from Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh; MESc in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Western University, Canada