UROP Title: CharWorks-Process Modeling for Continuous Carbonization of Biomass Residues in Low-Resource Settings
Term UROP is offered: Spring 2021
Compensation: Paid ($13.50/hr) or credit (Note: MIT undergraduate students who received their ELO guarantee in Fall 2020 or IAP 2021 are not eligible for financial compensation Spring 2021)
Supervisor/Contact: Dan Sweeney
Cities in low-income countries consume thousands of tons per day of forest-derived charcoal for household and commercial cooking, contributing to deforestation, regional air pollution, and global climate change. Organic waste from cities and farms accumulates in massive quantities, becomes a nuisance, and is often landfilled or openly burned. These under-utilized waste streams can be used to manufacture char, a valuable raw material that can be used to make organic fertilizers and a substitute for wood charcoal (charcoal briquettes), however efficient and safe conversion technology at scale is not accessible.
This is a great opportunity to apply your engineering skills to an impactful project!
Students working on this UROP project will perform process and economic modeling to assess the mass and energy balances, and cost-effectiveness of such a process. Applicants should have familiarity with mathematical (e.g. MATLAB, Python) and chemical process modeling software (e.g. ASPEN).
This is a paid UROP opportunity at $13.50/hour with an expectation that the student will spend between 80-140 hours on the project over the course of the semester.