Undergraduate Research Projects

BUET Chemical Engineering Department is conducting several exciting undergraduate thesis projects. Here are a few of the undergraduate thesis projects featured by Md. Mahfuzur Rahman and Quazi Mahzabin Rahman, final year (Level-4, Term-2) students of the department.

Modeling of Textile Waste Water Treatment Plants of Bangladesh

Students: Quazi Mahzabin Rahman, Shibley Saha

Supervisor: Asst. Prof. Dr. M.A.A. Shoukat Choudhury

Modern plants are equipped with automation instruments and technologies to a large extent. However, Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) sections of the plants are neglected because they usually do not produce the desired revenues and rather require a significant sum of money to operate the ETPs. ETPs are important from the environmental aspects. In order to understand the mechanism of ETP operation, modeling of ETP is important. In Bangladesh, almost no modeling work has been performed on waste water treatment plant. The objective of the current study is to initiate the modeling work and understand the operation alternatives or flexibilities of ETPs of textile industries in Bangladesh. Textile wastewater treatment technologies include physical, chemical and biological treatments to achieve removal of color and reduction of total dissolved solids (TDS), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). In this modeling, programming of different ETP sections is written using theoretical concepts of mass transfer, reaction kinetics and biomass growth kinetics using the software MATLAB. Then these section modules are combined so that inputs are drawn sequentially and outputs are exhibited in tabular form. Output will show the requirements of different chemical dosing, oxygen supply, substrate and nutrition concentrations for desired effluent water characteristics. Raw data of existing plants are used as influent characteristics and the model outputs are then compared to the corresponding plant output. Though existing technology has been modeled, modeling can be done for membrane bioreactor and other modern textile waste water technologies using similar approach.  The comparison of different processes based on their requirements and cost can be compared using modeling and simulation study. As the textile sector in Bangladesh has been slowly responding to the requirements of building and operating effluent treatment plants, this work and its further expansions may be expected to facilitate the ETP establishment in Bangladesh.

Improved Thermal Efficient Stoves

Students: Sujala Tajneen Sultana, Fatema Parves

Supervisor: Asst. Prof. Md. Mominur Rahman

In Bangladesh, biomass energy: fuel wood, agro-residue and animal dung is used for cooking and heating purposes. Use of traditional stoves consumes more fuel wood. Due to poor combustion of biomass fuels these rudimentary stoves emit Green House gas and other harmful particles in the atmosphere. In an attempt to achieve clean combustion with improved thermal efficiency and no adverse impact on the global environment, research work is carried out for the development of household cooking stoves. An improved multiple pot cooking stove based on scientific concepts is designed. The stove is constructed with locally available materials – fire brick, clay along with sawdust used for insulation. The combustion chamber is designed considering locally available fuels like rice husk to achieve 40% thermal efficiency and a fuel consumption rate of 0.22kg/min. The combustion chamber and heat flow path are designed to optimize the heat transfer. This is conducted by disturbing the boundary layer of the hot flue gas using baffles and by maximizing the surface area of the pot that is exposed to the gas. The stove utilizes the heat, generated by burning rice husk, from the deflected flames and heated air inside it, which travels to the subsequent openings with the help of in-built baffles located below each opening before the hot air exits out of the chimney. Chimney increases draft and draws out smoke through flame. Tests would be conducted further to evaluate the thermal performance and economy of the stove and would be compared with traditional stoves. More precisely, the research is intended taking into account women, people from disadvantaged groups and financially weak background; hence emphasis is given on factors including sustainability, performances and solving remaining problems.

Successful Consumption of Chlorine Gas, a major by-product of Chloro-Alkali Industry

Students: Sabina Islam, Md. Mahfuzur Rahman

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. A.K.M.A. Quader

The amount of production of soda ash, caustic soda and chlorine is close to that of sulfuric acid, the most produced chemical. The applications are so vast and diverse that hardly a consumer product does not depend at some stage of its manufacture on chlorine and alkalies.  Chlorine is a major byproduct of chloro-alkali plant. As chlorine is poisonous it cannot be emitted to environment. Thus the thesis work is aimed to consume this chlorine gas. The best way to consume the chlorine gas is to produce chlorine based products. Ferric chloride (FeCl3) is one of the major chlorine based products. It is vastly used as hydrophilic agent and coagulating agent in water treatment plant. The main objective of the thesis is to develop a way to produce FeCl3. FeCl3 can be synthesized directly from the reaction of solid iron and chlorine gas at about 350° C in laboratory scale. Experiments are conducted to develop a process for large scale production by setting up a tubular reactor in a furnace. Solid scrap iron and chlorine gas are reacted together in the reactor. The temperature in the furnace is maintained at around 350° C in order to reach the reaction condition. Finally, the produced FeCl3 will be compared to the market FeCl3.

Identification of Optimum Reusable Condition of Edible Oil and Health Effects

Students: Md. Maqsudur Rahman Choudhury, Abid Hossain Tanzil

Supervisor: Asst. Prof. Md. Mominur Rahman

Edible oil is a common household ingredient frequently used in frying. Deep frying has become a very ubiquitous and versatile process in cooking various delicious dishes every single day around the world. In Bangladesh, the trend of deep frying is slightly different than any other country as the rules and regulations regarding food quality are rather shallow. Frying with edible oil such as soya bean, canola or sunflower is satisfactory if the oil is not used over and over again. The objectives of this thesis work are to approximate the period for which the oil can be reused and the derogatory effects it contains if used repeatedly. There are some properties that characterize whether the oil is edible or not. These cha-racterizing properties include free fatty acid content (FFA), iodine value (IV), per-oxide value (PV). By measuring FFA, IV etc, using standard methods, and comparing the values with the ideal values, optimum number of reusing the oil can be determined. Issues regarding health and future aspects of this research will also be studied under this research work.


To cite this article, please use following information:

(use the given format or any standard citation format)

Rahman, M.M. and Rahman, Q.M., Undergraduate Research Projects, ChE Thoughts 1 (1), 22-24, 2010.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.