Title

Application of Automated Systems to Improve Data Quality of Long Durations Biomass-to-Fuel Reactions

Presenter Information

Robert Block

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry-Premedicine

Research Advisor

Gerald, Rex
Woelk, Klaus

Advisor's Department

Chemistry

Abstract

The microcontroller-based pH auto-sampling apparatus is designed to improve the data quality of long term biomass to fuel reactions by using small sample sizes and operating autonomously. The apparatus is designed specifically to monitor the conversion of glucose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural. This reaction takes up to twelve hours and requires constant monitoring. If the pH falls outside an acceptable range, the intended reaction will be disrupted, giving a low yield. Reaction conditions prevent in situ pH measurements. Conventional pH measurement techniques require samples to be measured outside the reaction chamber. These samples represent non-negligible portions of the reaction mass. In the apparatus, a microcontroller reads a pH sensor that requires very little solution, allowing many pH readings to be taken without significantly affecting the amount of solution available for other types of analysis. The microcontroller operates autonomously, but alerts the operator if the reaction leaves acceptable bounds and action is required.

Biography

Robert Block is a freshman studying chemistry with a premedical emphasis. He has been working with Dr. Woelk's and Dr. Gerald's research group for a year and a half. During that time, he has worked with biofuels, solar cells, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Robert often designs systems for use with research projects and helps instruct researchers on the proper use and care for nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2014, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 16th, 1:00 PM Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

Application of Automated Systems to Improve Data Quality of Long Durations Biomass-to-Fuel Reactions

Upper Atrium/Hall

The microcontroller-based pH auto-sampling apparatus is designed to improve the data quality of long term biomass to fuel reactions by using small sample sizes and operating autonomously. The apparatus is designed specifically to monitor the conversion of glucose to 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural. This reaction takes up to twelve hours and requires constant monitoring. If the pH falls outside an acceptable range, the intended reaction will be disrupted, giving a low yield. Reaction conditions prevent in situ pH measurements. Conventional pH measurement techniques require samples to be measured outside the reaction chamber. These samples represent non-negligible portions of the reaction mass. In the apparatus, a microcontroller reads a pH sensor that requires very little solution, allowing many pH readings to be taken without significantly affecting the amount of solution available for other types of analysis. The microcontroller operates autonomously, but alerts the operator if the reaction leaves acceptable bounds and action is required.