Saturday, February 28, 2009

Farm Trip

Today we went down to the farm and begun our planning for the following semester.  We discussed dividing into different groups and making our work a little more applicable.  The hope is to start getting two groups to come each week- each starting one batch and washing the second.  We have more than enough oil to last us a few months- let's see how quickly we can convert it...

Also- we hope to divide each section into one person's work.  Trying to improve the entire process is more than a little overwhelming, but if we could make each part one person's expertise, we could make this into something special.

We discussed the feasibility of the anaerobic digestion, as well.  We will soon attempt to find someone to do PR because I would like to spend more time working on the project rather than wasting it on "getting the word out."  If anyone wants research, we can pretty easily get more money and I already have a project for you.

It's great to see so much potential for progress.  The bureaucratic work is coming to a close for the semester- let's see how far we can go when it's done...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meeting Notes

Thanks to all who showed up to the meeting this week!  We plan to meet from now on every Wednesday during free hour in the Student Orgs Space.  A point by point summary of what occurred is below.

-We are running low on methanol.  We need to get a bunch more and contact Matt regarding how to move it.  We are considering not purchasing it through the school to save time (and possibly money).
-We need to buy a resin column to remove the water from the biodiesel.  The recent extreme changes in temperature have broken several pipes.
-We are planning a continuous reactor so we need to figure out a set of calculations for that.
-I will be meeting with individuals to see how we can best run the club to further their individual goals.

That's about it.  If you have any questions, please contact me.  I have created a google group to store shared data on the subject.  I hope you are all doing well!  Best of luck in your classes!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meeting Wednesday

We will be meeting this Wednesday during free hour to discuss the coming semester and what is happening with the biodiesel club.   A partial list of the issues include: other sources of oils, the next trips out, figuring out how to economically test for ASTM standards, various methods of production and kinetics laboratories.  I hope to see you all there!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Anaerobic Digestion and No Catalyst Biodiesel

MTV has let our anaerobic digestion project has gotten through the next level of screening- so we may get another $1000 for the manure to methanol project. (However, apparently that conversion is rather difficult, so we will see how that progresses.)
For the biodiesel, however, it seems that Dr. Arnold is looking into using pressure and temperature as catalysts. We would do the experiment at the same time as Ryan's lewis acid research, allowing us to find the kinetics of the reaction.
We hope to meet soon- I will give more information about that when I have it. I look forward to seeing everyone!