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Process Control & Automation of Drying, Gasification, and Heat Recovery Systems that turn "Poop" into Energy


Term:

Spring

Department:

EC: Edgerton Center

Faculty Supervisor:

Libby Hsu

Faculty email:

slhsu@mit.edu

Apply by:

2/20/20

Contact:

Julianna Rodriguez julesrod@mit.edu, Islam Genina genina@mit.edu

Project Description

Sanitation in many developing countries is limited. Sewage and fecal sludge are rarely treated before discharge into the environment. We are making a community scale portable machine to dry, gasify (burn), and recover energy from fecal sludge to be deployed in India at the neighborhood level, with a focus on crowded urban cities. Serving 50,000 people per unit per day. The goal of this UROP project is to control & automate the currently existing systems to arrive at a turnkey solution. The final product is a machine that safely treats poop with a click of a button. Automation examples include; automating the feeding of pellets into the gasifier and controlling the input air in correlation gasification rate, automating the dryer in correlation with the moisture content, ensuring a good balance between heat exchanger fluid flow and air flow rates, controlling operating parameters using PID, such as: airflow, temperature, motor speed among others. Most of the parameters are inferred from previous system modeling and design considerations.

Pre-requisites

Applicants should be interested in solutions for the ‘bottom billion’ and be passionate about applying technology and business to meet those needs. A background in electronics / EE / control & automation is required. • A Tech savvy who likes creating automated systems, from planning & coding to assembly & testing • Expert at working with electronics like Arduino/microcontrollers & sensors • Using PID to control actuators based on sensor inputs is highly recommended • Basic machine design and fabrication is recommended The nature of the work is multi-disciplinary, so someone who is willing to learn on the spot in fields they might not have experience in is absolutely necessary! The student will be expected to work along a team of researchers and industry advisors.