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ChE 4W04: Capstone Design - Entrepreneurial Engineering Stream

We are proud to present the innovative final year capstone projects from our chemical engineering students. The following videos demonstrate these projects, which represent the culmination of a year’s work and a chance to demonstrate both theoretical and applied skills.

About the Entrepreneurial Stream

The Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University has developed a new branch for the final-year capstone project structure that is focused on industry-student collaborations to solve or investigate a problem posed by potential industrial partners. The over-arching goal of this Capstone design in which teams participate in a self-directed industry-driven projects, which we are calling the entrepreneurial engineering, is to provide students opportunities to solve real-world problems while simultaneously providing value to the companies willing to support them.

Capstone Design Projects of 2020-2021

Team Members: Angela Battista, Lauren Weir, Jacqueline Powichrowski, Natalie Ifraimov
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Latulippe and Dr. Ghosh
Project Description: Currently batch processing is being used for monoclonal antibody production, however continuous processing has shown to be more favorable. Sartorius, as a biopharmaceutical supplier, is leading efforts to improve their process platform by introducing continuous processes and developing methods for model scaleup. Continuous processing has the ability to increase productivity and lower overall production costs, as unit operations can be parallelized in continuous mode and enable faster and greater output of continuous batches per year. With these advantages in mind, a continuous simulation model, including a bioreactor and multi-column-chromatography, has been created in Aspen ChromatographyTM to support model-based approaches for continuous production of monoclonal antibodies. The simulation will be used to generate the required process specifications to achieve the desired scale up parameters. Project is supported by Sartorius.
Team Members: Sebastian Simic, Lindsay Kuyltjes, Bryan Mitchell, Jordan Sullivan, Graham Van Every
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jake Nease
Project Description: The Goal of this project is to develop a complete Hydrogen fueled production, separation, and electricity generation process that makes use of existing natural gas infrastructure in Canada. Project is supported by Jenny Chen and Sebastien Lee from Emerson. 
Team Members: Ana Arežina, Kristen Abels, Patrick Hehl, Maddison Kargus, Cassandra Stothers
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Li Xi
Project Description: Oil contamination of water is, unfortunately, a common occurrence with industrial process streams, storm drainage, and even environmental oil spills. These scenarios pose a risk to the global ecosystem, and consequently, to human health. While commercially viable separation products exist, they still face numerous challenges including required separation time, poor separation efficiency, elevated operating costs, and poor treatment of emulsions. This represents an opportunity for technological improvement that our capstone project aims to address through the use of superwetting materials. The objective of our capstone project is to build off results reported in literature to design a guar gum hydrogel-coated woven fabric filter for oil-water separation and evaluate its potential to achieve industrial scale, commercial viability. Project is supported by Oligomaster. 
Team Members: Kugenthini Tharmakulasekaram, Husain Tapia, Ibrahim Awan, Aayush Pokhrel, Daniel Pourkhatai
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jake Nease
Project Description: Redesigning and optimizing an existing copper removal process from pickling liquor (HCl) at ArcelorMittal Dofasco to better meet customer throughput and quality key performance indicators (KPIs). Modifications included process and piping rerouting based on lab data and theoretical sizing calculations. Project is supported by ArcelorMittal Dofasco. 
Team Members: Marina Manoraj, Chloe Dawson, Mariam Sidawi, Jillian Ma, Shane Park
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mhaskar
Project Description: This project involved transforming an Emerson Copeland scroll compressor to an expander of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) for the recovery of low-grade waste heat. Low global warming potential (GWP) working fluids for the reversed compressor were explored along with varying fluid properties and system parameters to optimize the system. This project tested how other energy-efficient solutions can be used in various applications while addressing the need for energy production from sustainable sources. To assess the viability of the design and the overall system, the efficiency, cost, operability, and safety, were evaluated and an environmental analysis was performed. Project is supported by Emerson. 
Team Members: Zaid Alnasseri, Beatrice Benigno, Yang Chen, Selena Fahim, Eric Pioli
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shelir Ebrahimi
Project Description: Ecolene is a carbon-neutral bio-methanol utilizing biomass, water, and surplus energy in which Next Methanol Incorporated has been licensed to develop a process for, as a means to generate renewable energy and reduce fossil fuel emissions. Next Methanol Inc. is in the process of developing a pilot plant and the objective of this Capstone project is to conduct a feasibility study including technical, economical, and environmental assessments for the Ecolene plant. Project is supported by Next Methanol Inc. 
Team Members: Aemon Shariq, Phoebe Barrion, Kenna Chai, Andrew Vleming, Christine Huh
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shelir Ebrahimi
Project Description: Steel production currently accounts for approximately 8% of total global carbon dioxide emissions. One method to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is by integrating green hydrogen technologies in the ironmaking process. The most promising technology to do this is the H2-DRI route. For our project, an H-DRI plant was simulated and assessed for carbon emission reductions and long-term feasibility. Project is supported by Hatch. 
Team Members: Kevin Da, Lukas Lenarczyk, Han Lin, Alexander Sotra
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jake Nease
Project Description: Tasked by Zeton Inc. to design heating configurations for the regeneration of packed-bed adsorbent columns. This was done by producing transient temperature distribution profiles and justified by validated simulation results. The analysis is conducted on various column sizes, along with economic analyses for each heating configuration. A set of recommendations is presented to Zeton Inc. for each column size. Project is supported by Zeton. 
Team Members: Joseph Pavkovic, Shrujal Patel, John Liakakos, Michel Syriani
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shelir Ebrahimi
Project Description: Within the residential and light commercial industries, heating and cooling accounts for about 20% of global electricity used in buildings. HVAC systems can be made more efficient with heat pumps – by extracting heat from the air and transferring that heat either inside or outside the home depending on the season or transferring the heat to water. Heat pumps have been successfully implemented in countries reliant on coal or fossil fuels to reduce climate impacts. Canada’s fluctuating range of annual temperatures is a challenge for heat pumps to operate consistently year-round, with temperatures in Toronto ranging from -18 to 30˚C. This is an applied engineering design project to address accessible and clean energy by transforming traditional technology in modern applications. The Project Team will spend part of the term in the research phase (comprehensive understanding of heat pump processes), and the remainder in the development and design phase (draw upon technical skills to design a heat pump to utilize waste heat). New designs are to maintain high efficiency ratings as per Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). Project is supported by Emerson. 

Capstone Design Projects of 2019-2020

Team Members: Conor Marshall, Daniel Khokhlov, Folarin Ologunagba, Ahmed Elmoursi, Ali Mahmoud
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Thomas Adams 
Project Description: The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) thermal power plant in Atikokan is investigating newtechnologies that will promote a clean energy future in Ontario. The Atikokan facility looks to upgrade its facility to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, following suit with the rest of OPG’s facilities and all of Ontario. This project involves the selection and evaluation of three distinct but related process technologiescapturing biogenic CO2 from the Atikokan stack gases, producing hydrogen with renewable electricity and finally combining these outputs into renewable methanol.The team’s responsibilities are to examine the feasibility of such upgrades from process, economic, environmental, and safety standpoints.   
Team Members: Raisa Hoq, Ezra Widajat, Adam Opolski, Moira Song, Ace Maizer
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jake Nease 
Project Description: Due to their significant CO2 reduction capabilities, HATCH has identified end-of-pipe technologies as a potential solution to mitigating CO2 emissions within steel processes. This project is to investigate the implementation of end-of-pipe separation and utilization technologies, ultimately designing and modelling the process with the selected technologies. The objective is to mitigate plant-gate CO2 emissions within the steelmaking industry by effectively capturing and utilizing CO2 to generate further value-added products. 

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Team Members: Lisa Tran, Evan Krushelnycky, Ryan Seto, Jonathan Tong 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Li Xi 
Project Description: Roofs are an important component in protecting the structural integrity of a building. There are a variety of roofing materials currently available on the market. research is being conducted on roofing materials and compositions to minimize the severity of hail damage in areas with high frequencies of hailstorms. Many parts of North America are regularly affected by hailstorms and hail-resistant roofing has significant market demand, especially in areas regarded as “Hail Alley” in Alberta, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The main goal of this project is to develop a production plan focusing on the manufacturing scale up of the exiting patented formulation for a client at McMaster University.  

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Team Members: Evan Ubene, Alexander Mckay, Erik Frechette, Tracy Savery, Kyle Heyblom 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Thomas Adams 
Project Description: The client of this project is a lubricants refinery company located in ON which is one of the largest refineries of its kind in Canada and the largest White Oil producer in the world. The main products that are produced at this plant include lubricant base oils ranging from specialty food grade White Oils to high viscosity index Group 3+ base oils. Sulphur dioxide is a contaminant that the Company is responsible for monitoring. The main goal of this project is to develop a real-time system that uses an atmospheric air dispersion model to calculate POI (point of impingement) concentrations caused by plant emission sources as they occur.  

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Video Presentation

Team Members: Melissa Cusack Striepe, Matt Csordas, Christina Hassey, Natasha Reis-Murray, Noelle Wilton 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. David Latullipe 
Project Description: The manufacturing of pharmaceutical products is subject to stringent regulatory constraints. For this reason, process steps such as filtration are introduced to remove contaminants and ultimately ensure product quality. However, upstream process fluctuations may compromise filter integrity, which results in costly investigations and potential loss of product. This project focuses on addressing such challenges at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility through evaluating the existing product transfer line and designing an improved system. This redesign will focus on introducing improved process control, new instrumentation, and alternative modes of operation. 

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Team Members: Janine HidalgoHenry Zihan ZhouArujala ThavendrarasaNelson MokRatul Matin 
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shelir Ebrahimi 
Project Description: Emerson currently offers an alternative solution for the disposal of food waste. Grind2Energy is a system that takes food waste as an input and produces slurry as an output to be stored in a tank on-site. Once the storage tank reaches a critical-level, Emerson is notified to transport the slurry to a local anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, where the slurry is converted into different products. Currently, Emerson’s involvement is linear and stops with the AD facility. The goal of this project, which is proposed by Emerson Canada, is to develop a feasible closed-loop system that creates value from the food waste produced by McMaster University and converting it into resources that will be useful to the institution.  

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Events

MacEng Capstone Expo 2021

MacEng Capstone Expo 2021

There is no cost to attend the event, but registration is required to access the platform. Registration will remain open throughout the event and the platform will be accessible for browsing until May 8, 2021.

Virtual Capstone Showcase Day 2020

Virtual Capstone Showcase Day 2020

We know how hard our students have been working on their capstone projects all semester. While the in-person Capstone Showcase event is cancelled, we want showcase their amazing work to their classmates, faculty, family and friends who support them.