Dec 122011
 December 12, 2011  Posted by at 5:00 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , ,  Comments Off on Another Study of Light Path Geometry
Dec 092011
 December 9, 2011  Posted by at 5:06 pm Chemical Engineering, Education, Projects, Publications, Research Tagged with: , , , , , ,  Comments Off on My Undergraduate Honors Thesis

So, I submitted and defended my undergraduate honors thesis a week ago and it passed with flying colors.  The database of undergraduate honors theses can be found here.  In light of that great news, here is the abstract and links to the document and the presentation I used during my oral defense.

Design of a Packed Distillation Column for a Unit Operations Laboratory

The design for a new packed distillation column for consideration as a new experiment for the University Of Florida Department Of Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Laboratory was created to demonstrate the separation of water and isopropanol (i-Pr) and to evaluate a parallel applied multi-correlation approach to creating a high accuracy process model based on correlations with known margins of error.  The final design produced features a core distillation unit, capable of batch, semi-batch, and continuous operation, and a surrounding recycle and waste management system, which is not covered in this paper.  The nominal core system configuration was continuous operation with 20 mol% i-Pr, 10 mol% i-Pr, and 60 mol% i-Pr compositions and 10.4 USGPH, 6.6 USGPH, and 3.9 USGPH flow rates for the feed, bottoms, and distillate material streams, respectively.  This configuration had a 6.65 inch tall HTU, requires 3.42 NTU, and a minimum required height of 1.89 ft.  The final column design used a 6 ft high packing of ¼ in. Raschig Rings and had a 23.1% nominal “average tray efficiency,” which was an expectedly low value due to the presence of an azeotrope at 67 mol% i-Pr.

My Undergraduate Honors Thesis (PDF)

My Undergraduate Honors Thesis Presentation (PPT)

Dec 092011
 December 9, 2011  Posted by at 12:01 am Chemistry, Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  Comments Off on Study of Light Paths in a Fluorescent Medium

This time I used a bottle of tonic water with my 405nm laser.  The quinine in the tonic water is fluorescent and glows with a bright blue color under UV light.  It also clearly displays where the light path is.


Dec 082011
 December 8, 2011  Posted by at 3:53 pm Chemical Engineering, Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Fluid Dynamics in a Rocks Glass

So I was intrigued by how clearly I could see thermal counter diffusion gradients in my whiskey, and I took a bunch of pictures of it.  The shape of my rocks glass did a great job diffracting the light from my computer monitor, which incidentally emphasized the density and refractive index differences at the surfaces of the protruding fingers of cold water.

Dec 082011
 December 8, 2011  Posted by at 2:40 pm Photos, Random Musings Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Strawberry Caramel… Or Brittle

Step 1: Add a bunch of extra sugar to some cut up strawberries.  Then add water in slight excess of that which would be required to form a saturated sugar water solution at the refrigerator’s temperature.  This keeps the strawberry slices from fully dehydrating and saturates them with the syrup the strawberry enzymes make by the time the syrup is collected. (Collect underpants)

Step 2: Wait a while. (???)

Step 3: Collect the strawberry syrup and enjoy the sweetened strawberries. (Profit!)

Step 4: Boil the strawberry syrup with a very small amount of added butter or oil until you end up with a caramel.  Don’t over do it unless you want to make a brittle instead.

Step 5: Pour out the hot caramel and wait for it to cool down to cut it up into small pieces.

Step 6: Get frustrated when you realize you forgot to lay out confectioners sugar on the cookie sheet before pouring a hot and sticky substance on it.

Step 7: Break up the cooled mass into bite size pieces.


Dec 072011
 December 7, 2011  Posted by at 8:00 pm Uncategorized Comments Off on Testing Out Some Backend Stuff

Let’s see, hopefully this will show up in the future posts widget before its publishing time.  To test the LaTeX plugin, I’ll throw a couple equations on here below:

\displaystyle f{\left ({x}\right)}=\sum_{i=0}^{n}\frac{1}{x_{i}}