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Chemical & Biomedical Engineering - 2020 Senior Design Abstracts

  • 101: Insight Neural Monitoring
  • 102: Gut Check Research Device
  • 103: Right-Step Orthotic Brace System
  • 104: Design, Construction and Operation of a Chem-E-Car

104: Design, Construction and Operation of a Chem-E-Car
Design, Construction and Operation of a Chem-E-Car

Today, mankind faces one of its greatest challenges and threats to the environment: global warming. It is widely accepted that global warming is largely brought on by CO2 emissions stemming from the overreliance on combustion processes based on the use of fossil fuels for transportation and power generation. 

To help address this issue, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) introduced in 1999 the annual Chem-E-Car Competition® among undergraduate chemical engineering students around the world with sustainability in mind. Students are to design and construct propulsion and stopping mechanisms that use chemical reactions other than combustion and which are integrated into a functional car able to travel a specified distance carrying a specified weight. Competitors only get to know the distance and weight on the day of the competition. This year the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering team, after experimenting with an aluminum-air battery and a hydrogen fuel cell decided to propel the car using a hydrogen fuel cell, while the stop mechanism centered on the classic “Iodine/Vitamin C Clock” reaction. 

Our goal was to produce enough power for a minimum duration of two minutes that would enable the car to reach 15-30 meters target distance carrying loads of up to 500 ml water. Aluminum air batteries differing in area, aluminum grade and carbon adhesive type were built and tested in hybrid configurations of series and parallel and yielded high voltages but low and unacceptable currents. The hydrogen for the fuel cell was produced by reacting a hydrochloric acid solution with solid zinc and passed through water to hydrate it and remove any HCL vapors before reaching the fuel cell. The fuel cell gave acceptable voltages and currents and was chosen as the start mechanism. The material of construction of the units in the system considered durability and safety concerns relating to corrosive, exothermicity of the reaction, and potential pressure build up and leakage of hydrogen. 

For the stopping mechanism, we implemented a vitamin C clock reaction. The chemicals used were vitamin C, water, hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide and starch. The reaction initially results in the consumption of the vitamin C. After the vitamin C is consumed, the reaction starts to consume the starch and the solution turns from a clear color to a dark purple/black color. The color change was registered by a photoelectric sensor which stopped the supply of power to the motor. The start, stop and integration steps in our Chem-E Car design and construction yielded environmentally friendly disposable waste products and no carbon emission into the atmosphere.

Team (L to R):
Front row: Shayla Rhodes, Michael Spruiell, Annie Scutte, Bryana Beckford, Suraj Budhrani | Back row: Devin Bautista-Leaf, Sean Mamedov Nanya Morris-EL, Joshua Nguyen, Kaylin Weiler, Edward Hughes & Shawn Butcher
Advisor(s):
Yaw D. Yeboah, Sc.D. & Egwu E. Kalu, Ph.D.
Sponsor:
FAMU-FSU Engineering
Team 101: Insight Neural Monitoring
Insight Neural Monitoring

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects one out of every 2,000 of the general population in Western Europe and North America.There are two types of narcolepsy: with and without cataplexy. 

The National Sleep Foundation describes cataplexy as a sudden and uncontrollable muscle weakness or paralysis that comes on during the day and may be followed by a period of sleep. 

There is currently no cure for narcolepsy, so treatment options are focused on managing symptoms. The most common treatment option is drug therapy. However, studies show that many patients with neurological disorders use adjunct treatments to help manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. 

The Insight’s goal is to provide patients with an adjunct treatment to reduce the stresses of narcolepsy by improving their lifestyle. This will be accomplished with an EEG headpiece prescribed to patients to wear throughout the day. The neural-monitoring headpiece will record events of EDS and cataplexy throughout the patient’s day, which allows them to recognize triggers that may have influenced an event.

Team (L to R):
Kayla Cusick, Taylor Ariko, Jacqueline Lopez & Mitchell Moody
Advisor(s):
Stephen Arce, Ph.D. & Christina Holmes, Ph.D.
Sponsor:
FAMU-FSU Engineering
Gut Check Research Device
Gut Check Research Device

The microbiome is composed of bacterial populations developed within the first 2.5 years of life and has been shown to assist in metabolism and immune system health. When an imbalance called dysbiosis develops in the microbiome, symptoms such as inflammation, recurrent infections and increased susceptibility to enteric pathogens can occur. 

Dysbiosis is linked to a large range of diseases from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cancer. 

Despite the prevalence of various disease states, the understanding of the relationship between microbial health and dysbiosis still requires further research. This project focuses on the development of a dynamic pH-responsive capsule that limits dissolution in the mouth and upper stomach and dissolves in the duodenum in order to support microbiome research.

Team (L to R):
Richard Navarro, Maria Touza, Jacob Spana & Patrick Goodmon
Advisor(s):
Stephen Arce, Ph.D. & Christina Holmes, Ph.D.
Sponsor:
FAMU-FSU Engineering
CBE Team 103: Right-Step Orthotic Brace System
Right-Step Orthotic Brace System

Cleft foot is a rare congenital disorder in which the central rays of the foot are partially or completely missing, leaving a cleft in the center of the foot. This leads to difficulty when walking as patients’ feet fatigue. This typically causes pain at the first and fifth metatarsal heads. 

We sought to create an insole design that incorporated the relief of an orthotic with an additional component to reduce the overall weight carried by the foot during gait. 

The proposed design, named the Right-Step Orthotic Brace System, is an innovative combination of a patellar tendon-bearing orthosis attached to a molded plantar support insole. The primary function of the brace system is to relieve peak pressures in the midfoot and forefoot by transferring applied forces from the foot to the patellar tendon. Relieving the peak pressures in the foot will increase the overall functionality for activities of daily life.

Team (L to R):
Abigail DeNoyer, Jacob De Armas & Jason Benn
Advisor(s):
Stephen Arce, Ph.D. & Christina Holmes, Ph.D.
Sponsor:
FAMU-FSU Engineering