Environmental Engineering Case Study

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Career Episode 1 CE 1: “Investigation of hydrothermal and alkaline pre-treatment impact on feedstock for biogas production and design of suitable reactor mills.” CE 1.1 Introduction I carried out this elaborate research, briefed in the form of a career episode in this document, during the course of my master’s program in Environmental Engineering. I undertook this work at the School of Engineering, Griffith University, Australia. Professor Bofu Yu, Head of Department of Environmental Engineering at Griffith University was heading this project. I performed work under close supervision of Dr. Prasad Kaparaju, faculty member at the mentioned department. This project was also a mandatory requirement for fulfilment of the degree. The duration…show more content…
I carefully chose the ratio of solid substrate to water that I added. Next, I performed alkaline pre-treatment of bagasse and trash carefully choosing the chemical for it in terms of possible production of side products that could be inhibitory for the desired process later. I achieved a grip on that area involved in reaction by consulting senior engineer at the department working on biofuels and reading literature on the internet. I took care of reaction conditions and material used for reactors as I had gained knowledge of materials during the courses studied during environmental engineering program. I carried out multiple cycles for each treatment and also followed the treatments in replicates of three as i had learnt in standard procedures and statistical importance of doing…show more content…
I integrated that in the procedure to work on toxicity study later on if desired. I recorded gas readings on a regular basis daily. It was important because I wanted to find out if there was any time however short for which production trend fluctuated. After a period of approximately two months I closed the reactors as the biogas production achieved a plateau and no more organic mass was there to be converted to gas. I calculated cumulative biogas values for each reactor for each feedstock and calculated mean values; I knew it was important that single replicate total should be close to other replicates of a particular feedstock. Understanding of this and several other technical details helped me interpret and handle my results well. I determined methane content by using a gas chromatograph with equipped flame-ionization detector (FID) and helium as carrier

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