Upon stepping into MUDD, day one, I must admit I was pretty nervous. While I had worked in the same Earth and Environmental Engineering lab last semester, it was quite a change in setting… I had a different personal investigator (PI), project assignments, and of course, new colleagues. So now, you might be wondering, what am I doing? I, along with the group of other interns, are working on distinct projects in the Earth and Environmental Engineering lab.
These projects pose solutions to reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This summer’s projects are looking specifically at mineral carbonation, since it is the most efficient method when storing and not leaking carbon. It allows one to use natural processes to chemically bond carbon dioxide with other minerals to create solid, sequestering the gas within the pore spaces. These projects include: performing two-step dissolutions and carbonations of MgCO3, testing MgCO3 strength as an additive in material fillers, analyzing efficient methods to store CO2 in shale rocks, dissolving magnesium into solution phases, in addition to mini analyses of pore size distribution, pore volume, and surface area of samples on the BET and XRD for other group members. Another exciting experiment consisted of using concentrated NITRIC ACID!!
The experiment consisted of measuring 1L of nitric acid and 100 g of serpentine. The focus was on digesting the serpentine in the acid for 48 hours, attempting to break it down for further pore analysis. In conclusion, the more time I spend in MUDD 390, the more I realize my true passion is chemical engineering…but that is not completely it. My desire comprises of also transmit this information to empower women to be part of the changing world where the female population can work in this field. After all, women in the engineering fields should not only be 18%, but 100%!