About IBSS

SEED Fellows Project Summaries 2012

Frank L.S. Armstead III

Frank L.S. Armstead III

Mr. Frank L.S. Armstead III is investigating biomass gasification and tar analysis from southern pine feedstock. He is investigating the effect of gasification parameters on syngas composition and tar production using southern pine as a feedstock. Using a bench-scale fluidized bed gasifier, he is examining the effects of gasification parameters such as equivalence ratio (0.20, 0.25 and 0.30) and temperature (700, 750 and 800oC) on syngas composition. Frank is learning gas and tar analysis techniques with state-of-the-art instruments.

Frank is senior in Chemical Engineering from Tuskegee University. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity. Frank is working under the direction of Dr. Sushil Adhikari, Assistant Professor of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University.

Liana D. Wuchte

Liana D. Wuchte

Ms. Liana D. Wuchte is studying supercritical phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and analysis. Fisher-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) represents a key enabling technology option in the IBSS program for the conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and chemicals. Liana is conducting experimental trials of supercritical FTS to identify improvements in catalyst formulations.

Liana is a senior in Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. She is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Liana is a varsity softball player for Auburn University and a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society. She is working under the direction of Dr. Christopher Roberts, Uthlaut Professor and Dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University.

 
Jacob N. Wadkins

Jacob N. Wadkins

Mr. Jacob N. Wadkins is studying flowability of wood grinds. It is generally suspected that presence of bark (or fiber from bark) has a great influence on the ability of wood grinds to flow out of storage containers. Process optimization in biorefineries requires information on the flow rate of feedstocks out of storage and holding containers. The goal of Jacob’s project is to quantify the influence of bark content, moisture content, and particle size on the flow (flow index, cohesion, wall friction coefficient) and physical (bulk density, particle density, particle size etc.) of wood grinds.

Jacob is a senior in Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. He is pursuing a minor in Business Administration. Jacob is a member of Alpha Epsilon, the honorary for biological and agricultural engineering students. He is working under the direction of Dr. Oladiran Fasina, Professor of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University.

William Ralph Chaplow III

William Ralph Chaplow III

Mr. William Ralph Chaplow III is using biomass fractionation as a pretreatment method for biofuel production. He is exploring the relationship of biomass chemical composition to biofuels yields and properties. William is using fractionation to pretreat biomass with different chemical composition. The pretreated biomass is being chemically analyzed for its lignin and carbohydrate contents and then processed to produce biofuels.

William is a junior in Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and a recipient of the Founders, Maxwell E. Jones, and Fred A. Kummer Endowed Scholarships at Auburn University. William is working under the direction of Dr. Maobing Tu, Assistant Professor of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University.

 
Kelvin Howard Smith

Kelvin Howard Smith

Mr. Kelvin Howard Smith is investigating rapid characterization of biomass feedstocks. He is analyzing the wood chemistry of 14 families of loblolly pine from industry collaborators. His analysis is based on using near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy to characterize the wood biomass for lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and extractives percent. Kelvin’s long-term goal is to develop a cost-effective rapid assessment procedure for screening the conversion potential of biomass samples.

Kelvin is a sophomore in Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. He is also a student in the Auburn University Honors College. Kelvin is a member of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) and the American Chemical Society. He was awarded an Auburn University Presidential Scholarship. He is working under the direction of Dr. Brian Via, Assistant Professor of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University.

 
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