Athens, OH 1 December 2019 –
For my senior year, I am participating in the WERC Environmental Design Contest. The contest tasks students with finding unique solutions to real-world environmental problems that industry faces. This year, the chemical engineering department has two teams of students working on different tasks. My team’s task is to reduce the fluoride concentration in a calcium-rich mine water stream.
So far, the team has done in-depth research on the different technologies used to remove fluoride from water, identified an out-of-the-box technique that is cheap and effective, and conducted some tests.
It was difficult to decide on how to accomplish this task. There are many research papers other there, but none of them quite fit the conditions we need to run our unit at. Once we all agreed on the best technique, we had to obtain the materials and choose how we wanted to run our tests.
Currently, we are doing tests on pH, temperature, and time. Even though we have an advisor guiding us through the process, us students ultimately get to decide on all of the parameters (as long as they still meet the guidelines set by the WERC commission).
It is a difficult process, but we are making progress. Last year, the team that Ohio University sent won (shown below), so we have a lot to live up to!