ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
As technology advances, educational platforms are changing, evolving towards partially or entirely virtual environments. New emerging virtual tools are used to enhance topics discussed in lecture settings. In chemical engineering education, one of the fundamental courses for undergraduate pathways is the unit operations labs; however, physical lab settings have a few drawbacks. Costs required to store and maintain the equipment in the physical labs can add up, and a limited number of students can access the equipment in labs. Thus, virtual lab platforms are viable and economical options for either an alternative or a lab preparation tool. For this study, a fluidized bed virtual lab was implemented with a cohort of students to study the virtual lab effectiveness. The fluidized bed virtual lab is built on the Ergun equation to assist users to successfully correlate the relationships between specific variables, such as particle diameters, to fluidized bed behavior while comparing to experimental data. From that understanding, the user would be able to utilize the experience from the virtual lab to navigate data collection and analysis when in a physical fluidized bed unit operations lab with more confidence and understanding. Therefore, the fluidized bed virtual lab can be incorporated into a course as an additional educational resource.
Chemical and Materials Engineering
David R. Wagner and Fanny Huang. "Virtual Fluidization Labs to Assist Unit Operations Courses" ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings (2021).