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April 27, 1999 - VOL. 26, NO. 14
Rick Cherwitz and Stefanie Sanford, Office of Graduate Studies
Editor's note: Arete is an ancient Greek word for virtue, describing the quest for individual excellence. In this regular feature of On Campus, the University salutes its graduate students--whose considerable contributions to the academy and larger community are truly virtuous.
Name: Julian Chen
Hometown: Pampa, Texas
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor: Dr. Philip Schmidt
In his research at Pickle Research Campus, Julian Chen works with microwave recovery of volatile organic compounds by the regeneration of adsorbents.
Essentially, he takes common solvent-based by-products of some industrial processes and captures them for recovery and later use. Some of the industrial processes of interest involve the printing presses of newspapers and magazines, as well as the production of exhausts from wallpaper manufacturers.
EPA requirements are becoming more and more strict. Soon, companies will not be able to dispose of any of these solvents in the environment. Instead, they will have to either not produce them, or collect them without polluting the environment.
Recovery provides an investment to help offset the costs necessary in collecting pollutants. Chen's co-researcher is studying exactly where in industry this system can be best used.
Chen's latest development is the instrumentation for a field demonstration unit using this technology. The instrumentation involves getting the required process parameters so that the efficiencies of the system can be evaluated with respect to power consumption, amount of solvent recovered and the necessary cooperative system conditions.
Furthermore, he is working on a program that provides the entire process control of the system -- gathering data and actively tuning the system to provide the optimal conditions.
The program is written in National Instruments' LabVIEW package.
NOTE: Nominations (including self-nominations) for ARETE should be sent to Stefanie.Sanford@bus.utexas.edu (232-1613).
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