Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

“The material covered in LSSU's engineering program provided me a solid foundation for graduate studies. The systematic approach and communication skills needed to tackle engineering projects were taught and then practiced over and over again. In particular I appreciate the many hours spent by the faculty to develop oral presentation skills in each student. As a graduate student now, these skills have proven to be highly beneficial and, to my surprise, obviously not taught to the same extent at many other universities.”

Mark Reese, Mechanical Engineering 2005
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
School of Ocean & Earth Science and Technology
Graduate Student, University of Hawaii at Manoa

School of Engineering & Technology

Senior Projects 2011-2012

Meet this year's project teams:

Automation and Integration logo
Team AI

Automation and Integration
Robotics systems integration for LSSU Robotics

Concept Hydraulic logo
Team CH

Concept Hydraulic
Design and prototype forklift hose reel for Superior Fabrication

International Solar Innovations logo
Team ISI

International Solar Innovations
Concentrated photovoltaic system for 3M.

Off-Road Innovations Limited logo
Team OIL

Off-Road Innovations Limited
Mini-Baja for Laker Racing

Riverside Design and Planning logo
Team RDP

Riverside Design and Planning
3D Scan modeling and simulation for EOS

2012 Senior Project Presentation Brochure - PDF

Alternative Management of Anaerobic Landfill Bioreactors for Improved Energy Potential

Josh Kuzimski

Converting municipal solid waste to usable energy is an emergent and growing method for modern waste management. Through microbial facilitation of methanogenesis, methane gas can be extracted from landfill bioreactors to yield a significant amount of usable energy. The hypothesis was that a sufficient addition of sodium acetate to a controlled bioreactor environment would promote larger growth of methanogenic microbes and subsequently promote a greater amount of methane relative to a control (Madigan et al, 2003). In order to simulate an anaerobic bioreactor environment, the method for the study took place in modular sections to cover the design, construction and operation of laboratory scale bioreactors. Upon completion of bioreactor engineering, the biological and chemical components were scrutinized to match ideal conditions of a landfill. Methanosarcina was the chosen genus of the methanogen family to seed the bioreactors, and a total elemental analysis of the waste source was analyzed to approximate methane yield. Over 557 hours, each bioreactor produced approximately 1.3 liters of biogas with less than 1% containing methane. Given analysis through gas chromatography, the bioreactors may have had stunted methane production do to presence of argon gas in the headspace and/or low C/N ratio of the waste. The presence of argon should have been replaced with nitrogen, and the waste source should have contained more carbon per nitrogen. The generation-3 design of constructed bioreactors was successful in containing all gasses, liquids, and solids internally, however did not produce enough methane biogas to accept or reject the hypothesis.

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