By Nimra Dar • Schulich Leader at University of Saskatchewan
Summer 2017 is soon coming to a wrap. It was great spending time with family and friends back in Edmonton. I was kept quite busy taking four summer classes, ranging from economics to biomedical sciences. When I wasn’t busy with family and friends, I was polishing up my kickboxing skills and learning how to belly dance. I came across a club that focuses on improving public speaking skills known as Toastmasters International. I met a great group of individuals there and learned a lot about public speaking overall.
Rewinding to my last summer, I wanted to elaborate on the research opportunity I held in the University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. As a volunteer assistant my project was focused on the fluidization of binary mixtures involving biomass particles. Fluidized beds are important to industrial process as they provide several advantages such as low pressure drops, uniform temperature distribution and a high rate of heat and mass transfer. Focusing on a variety of different material, we worked with identifying properties of different fluidized beds. Many of the tasks included of observing the bed’s pressure drops, apparent density and bed height. I helped create a variety of different fluidized beds consisting of materials such as glass particles, wood pieces, sand and other biomass material. These beds varied in biomass concentration in which we observed a difference in properties. When pressurized air was applied, bubbles were observed to form through the fluidized bed. We calculated bubble velocity, frequency and size through slow-motioned recordings. The use of biomass material was to replicate compact organic matter produced from industrial waste that can be used for power generation, commercial and residential heating. These parameters were taken into consideration to understand the influence on the hydrodynamic behavior. Overall, the research revolved on creating an efficient alternative for energy use through fluidization beds.
As the new semester approaches, I am excited to see what this year has to offer. I will be looking to participate in an internship for around 8 to 16 months. I will be kept quite busy as I’ll be taking on executive roles in the petroleum and chemical engineering student society. Being a schulich captain I look forward to engaging and leading the schulich squad at the university this year.