Kottaimuthu Lakshaya

Pre-camp (25 May, Monday)

What sounds interesting about this project?

Playing with chemicals and testing their fractions sounds interesting. The part whereby heat is required to find out certain information seems interesting as we can achieve different results because of the heat for this project. Even though the project looks complicated and tiring, i am sure i can learn important information through a fun and interesting way.

What do you think you can learn from this project?

I will be able to learn the different types of formulas used for this project. I am sure these information would be useful for me in the future. Learning these formulas would also help me understand the topic further which enables me to use the correct formula to find out about a certain information. I would also learn about all the various type of terms used when doing these project.

Any immediate questions regarding the project?

I do not have any immediate questions at the current moment but i am sure i will have questions soon when i understand the project further.

First Day (26 May, Tuesday)

What did you do today?

Briefly describe your day’s activities

We first went through the function of the Model Refinery Distillation Column and its components. We collected samples and recorded the temperature and pressure. We then analysed our samples using CG.

What did you learn today?
- Discuss any learning points from today’s activities

We learned about that a Model Refinery Distillation Column is a set-up used to separate chemicals based on their boiling points. We learned that total reflux is the process of boiling a liquid so that a a vapour is liquified and returned to the stock. Partial reflux is the process of boiling a liquid but only having some vapour liquefy and return to the stock.  We also learnt about what are the functions of the components in the Refinery Distillation Column. Reboiler is a piece of equipment for supplying additional heat especially to the lower part of a fractionating column. Manometer is an instrument for measuring the pressure acting on a column of fluid, consisting of a U-shaped tube of liquid in which a difference in the pressures acting in the two arms of the tube causes the liquid to reach different heights in the two arms. Condenser is a device or unit used to condense a substance from its gaseous to its liquid state, typically by cooling it. 

How do you feel about today’s activities?
- Describe how the project has affected your understanding of the discipline and how it may be applied elsewhere
- Share your insights for the day

Before I started off, I had no idea what this project is about. However, now i can understand the objective clearly and find out more about this project. Overall, I learned a lot of information through a fun and exciting way.


Second Day (27 May, Wednesday)

What did you do today?
- Briefly describe your day’s activities

We revisited the terms and formulas used in finding a certain information. We did a presentation based on our research and findings. We also took pictures with our student advisors, our professor, Dr Suraj Vasudeva, and our teacher, Mr Shawn Kwek. 

What did you learn today?
- Discuss any learning points from today’s activities

We learned about what exactly is mol and how to calculate it. Mol is the SI unit of amount of substance. We calculate a Mol by dividing the mass over molecular weight which is 18g. Total reflux is more efficient in separating the substance in a mixed solution when compared to 3:1 or 5:1 partial reflux.

How do you feel about today’s activities?
- Describe how the project has affected your understanding of the discipline and how it may be applied elsewhere
- Share your insights for the day

I feel that I understood more about distillation. It can be applied if I learn chemical engineering in the future. I find it really complicated and tough but it is worth the time and I also get a sense of accomplishment when I fully understand how a certain thing work. I can now understand how this system works and how we calculate Mol.

What new questions do you have regarding the discipline?

How can we be more accurate when collecting data?


Third Day (28 May, Thursday)
Project Sharing Sessions
- Note down at least three key learning points

I learnt that we would always face problem during the project and we have to find the solution to it. I also learnt that we may be last at first but we can be first at last. I learnt that teamwork is really needed to complete a task in the limited time.

How do you feel about the SST-NTU Flagship programme?
- Describe how the programme has affected your understanding of the discipline on a larger scale
- Share your insights for the programme in general

During this project sharing session, I was able to look at what various groups were doing and how we can learn from each other’s mistakes. We also had a fun time understanding the concept that each group brought about. I really hope there is more of this program as it is really helpful with a very fun approach.


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