Skip to the content

Kansas State University

 

 

facebook

Join us on facebook

 

Check out K-State on YouTube

 

News Services
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-2535
media@k-state.edu
Information provided by K-State News Services may be reproduced without permission. The marks and names of Kansas State University are protected trademarks and may not be used in any commercial or private endeavor without the approval of the university.
  1. K-State Home >
  2. Media Relations >
  3. April news releases

Source: Megan Young, meyoung@k-state.edu
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
Note to editor: K-State ChemE-Car team member Ben Clubine is a 2006 graduate of Iola High School.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

K-STATE CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN TEAM QUALIFIES FOR NATIONAL COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- A chemical engineering design team from Kansas State University has advanced to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' National ChemE-Car Competition by earning several honors at a recent regional competition.

The K-State ChemE-Car Team and their car, the Kansas State Beaver, earned first place in performance at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Mid-America Regional ChemE-Car Competition, April 3-5, at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

A second K-State entry, the Kansas State Chameleon, received second place in the presentation competition and earned a Process of Safety Award.

The team's faculty adviser is Walter Walawender, professor of chemical engineering.

For the ChemE-Car competition, student teams build a small car powered by a chemical reaction that can be stopped by limiting the reaction or by a separate stopping reaction. At competitions, teams are given distances the cars must travel and a weight to be added to the cars. The teams must calibrate the amount of chemical needed to get the car to travel the specified distance.

At the Mid-America Regional, the cars had to go 65 feet. The Kansas State Beaver came within three-and-one-half feet of that distance, which earned the team first place in accuracy.

"The Kansas State Beaver is classified as a pressure car," said Megan Young, senior in chemical engineering, Cummings, and co-captain of the K-State ChemE-Car Team. "A reaction of sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid are mixed to produce about 70 pounds per square inch of carbon dioxide that is used to extend a piston connected to a pulley system that turns the car's front wheels."

The Kansas State Chameleon is a battery car and a reaction of vanadium sulfate in different oxidation states is used to power the car, Young said. "A secondary reaction similar to a glow stick is used to stop the car, which works by using a sensor to trigger the circuit board to shut off power to the motor at a certain light intensity," she said.

The National ChemE-Car Competition will be at the national conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Nov. 18-13, in Nashville, Tenn.

Along with Young, members of the K-State ChemE-Car Team, all chemical engineering majors, include:

Mark McClure, junior, Assaria; Jordon Groskurth, junior, Derby, and team co-captain; Ben Clubine, junior, Manhattan; Katerina Voigt, junior, McPherson; Andrew Doll, junior, Norwich; and Neal Walters, junior, Overland Park.