Powered by chemistry

ChemE Car

The ChemE Car placed third in a national competition for vehicles powered solely by chemical reactions.

A group of chemical engineering students took third place in the nation in a competition that required them to design and construct a shoebox-sized car capable of carrying a specified load over a given distance and then stop. Sounds easy, but there’s a twist.

The car — dubbed the ChemE Car — was powered, and braked, purely by chemical reactions.
Powered by a custom-built lead-acid battery, the car’s braking system was controlled by an iodine clock reaction that caused a change in colors. To get the car to stop, varying amounts of sulfuric acid, potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide and sodium thiosulfate were used with a starch solution. Changing the ratio of reactants changes the color of the solution. A fiber-optic photo sensor detects that color change, and trips a relay to cut power to the car’s motor.
This year’s car had to carry 350 milliliters of water a distance of 68 feet. S&T’s entry stopped 5 1/2 inches from the finish line — just behind the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and the University of California-Davis, says team advisor Daniel Forciniti, professor of chemical and biological engineering.
The competition was part of the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, held in Minneapolis in October.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]