Student Research Panel III


Join us as we celebrate student research on Monday, March 18th at 10am until noon in T-7.

This event is part of Research Month 2019. Visit our website for a full list of events.

Chair: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Speakers
Shrimp Shells and Waste to Biochar for Applications in Absorption and Cosmetics
Presenter:   Connor MacKinnon (Chemistry); Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Production and Characterization of Seaweed Liquid Smoke
Presenter:   Kevin MacDougall (Chemistry); Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Generating Consistent Functionalization with Inconsistent Biochar
Presenter:   Cameron Forbes (Chemistry); Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Utilization of Locally Abundant Crab Waste
Presenter: Doug Richards (Chemistry); Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Abstracts

Shrimp Shells and Waste to Biochar for Applications in Absorption and Cosmetics
Presenter:    Connor MacKinnon (Chemistry)
Supervisor:  Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

My research in Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie’s research lab consists of working with shrimp shells and waste. This involves the optimization of drying conditions (time & temperature), as well as the conversion of shrimp shells and waste into biochar (in collaboration with Dr. David Irwin using his pyrolysis unit here at CBU) for various applications. This includes converting significant shrimp waste into a viable, usable biochar that can be used in end market products including soap production, odor removal, waste water remediation through adsorption, or cosmetics. The biochar and its bi-products (bio-oil) produced from this locally abundant waste stream will be fully characterized by Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Gas Chromatography (GC), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR). They will also be analyzed for any contaminates (arsenic, lead or copper from the sea or holding tanks.) The conversion of this locally abundant waste stream into a viable resource will not only be beneficial to our local economy, but it also reduces our overall CO2 production by removing these materials from local landfills.

Keywords: Biochar Shrimp Characterization

Production and Characterization of Seaweed Liquid Smoke
Presenter:    Kevin MacDougall (Chemistry)
Supervisor:  Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

My research for Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie has focused on the production and characterization of liquid smoke produced from the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, more commonly known as rockweed. Seaweed that undergoes pyrolysis yields a primary product known as biochar as well as 3 main by-products: gas, bio-oil, and water. The water layer contains volatiles from the seaweed which gives it unique characteristics. The smoky odor of the water layer has created interest in its application as a liquid smoke food additive. With the help of Dr. David Irwin, work has been conducted on the optimization of liquid smoke produced from pyrolysis with regards to energy consumption, yield and purity. The liquid smoke produced for each run has undergone chemical characterization including gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), as well as the determination of water content and pH values. Batch-to-batch variability as well as compositional changes and stability of the liquid smoke were investigated using chemical analysis. Antimicrobial activity of the liquid smoke was also tested. This research could provide a method for turning an unused by-product into a marketable liquid smoke that would be unique in the food additive industry.

Keywords: Seaweed Liquid Smoke

Generating Consistent Functionalization with Inconsistent Biochar
Presenter:    Cameron Forbes (Chemistry)
Supervisor:  Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Biochar is fixed carbon that we produce from waste streams. To offset these waste streams, we hope to increase the range of applications for biochar. One way might be to add other materials to the biochar. Unfortunately, the surface of biochar is typically amorphous (without order). This poses a challenge when attempting to reliably add other compounds to its surface. By oxidizing the biochar, we should be able to generate a more consistent surface. From there, we can consistently bond functional materials to its surface.

Keywords: Organic Chemistry; Biochar; Materials

Utilization of Locally Abundant Crab Waste
Presenter:    Doug Richards (Chemistry)
Supervisor:  Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie

Northsyde Prossing Ltd. harvests and sells over 5 million lbs of Snow Crab (Chionoecetes opilio) annually. Due to the increasing difficulty and cost of shell fish waste management, about 1/3 of this weight is sent to local landfills as waste, where it is left to decompose; this generates large amounts of CO2 emissions. The MacQuarrie Research Group is currently investigating methods to utilize this locally abundant waste stream and convert it into a viable material with a wide variety of environmentally and economically beneficial applications. Optimal drying and pyrolytic conditions for the conversion of crab waste into biochar and bio-oils have been obtained. The products (including biochars and bio-oils) have been fully characterized by Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), B-Emmett-Teller (BET), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Gas Chromatography (GC), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR). The highly basic biochar and bio-oils obtained from this process are currently being investigated for, but not limited to, possible applications in the neutralization of locally abundant acidic mine water run-off and acidic bio-oils.

Keywords: Biochar; Green Chemistry; Organic Chemistry