Bellingham, WA, United States
Bellingham, WA, United States

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Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.90K | Year: 2012

The use of Biodiesel in the U.S. is presently hampered by a lack of suitable feedstocks that do not compete with the food industry. The original biodiesel feedstock was food grade soybean oil, and became a significant problem: 1) politically, because of the impact on food pricing and 2) economically, because of pricing volatility due to world production and consumption fluctuations. This driving force motivated the biodiesel industry to shift to alternative feedstocks. Many of these alternatives have a problem of high Free Fatty Acid (FFA) which is typically corrected by an esterification reaction with methanol to convert the FFA to Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME biodiesel) and water byproduct, using a liquid strong mineral acid as the catalyst. But unfortunately, both the acid and the water must be removed prior the transesterification of the triglyceride. The acid neutralization creates a solid which has to be removed in subsequent processing. The vaporization / distillation to remove the methanol water and dehydrate the methanol requires significant additional heat (and cost). Eagle Engineering and Testing Services is proposing to develop a solid catalytic membrane reactor to eliminate the acid neutralization requirement and the methanol vaporization / distillation steps before proceeding to the transesterification step. This will be accomplished by using a commercial solid Fatty Acid esterification catalyst coupled with a water selective membrane being developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). This novel membrane has unique properties (high water selectivity, high flux, and modest cost) that make it a superior choice to presently available membranes. Its this membrane that finally makes it possible the use of a membrane reactor for methanol esterification reactions. Once this technique is perfected and commercialized, it can significantly streamline the biodiesel process for high FFA feedstocks. It will be possible to build retrofits for previously virgin soybean oil plants which should make then profitable as compared to the liquid acid esterification technology. In addition to improving the economics, this technology will reduce the solids waste and its disposal. It should reduce the transesterification problems associated with water induced soap formation, and the subsequent need for extensive water washing. By reducing the washing load, the impact on the waste treatment plant that handles the wash will also be reduced. An additional advantage is the small size of this solid catalyst membrane reactor, when compared to the traditional liquid acid process. This will allow retrofits without increasing the processing facility significantly. In addition to commercial scale plant retrofits and new plant construction, this technology helps make small scale batch biodiesel processing of high FFA practical because of the significant simplification of the esterification. This type of processor is expected to fit into farming or coop type operations where the participants supply and/or buy feedstocks and make biodiesel for their own use. A rural farm based fuel supply network has significant advantages with respect to reducing fuel transportation and related costs.

Desai H.,Eagle Engineering | Cunagin W.,Atkins | Cunagin K.,Pavement Analytics LLC | Hoyt D.,Pavement Analytics LLC | And 2 more authors.
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2014

Seasonal adjustment factors arc used by state highway agencies to convert short-term traffic counts into estimates of annual average daily traffic (AADT). These factors arc typically calculated from continuous traffic counter data. The protocol for the process is described in FHWA's Traffic Monitoring Guide. This protocol specifies that temporary counts collected during a year should be adjusted by seasonal factors computed from continuous data collected during the same calendar year. The authors had suggested that, if the prior year seasonal factors could be used, AADT estimates would be available soon after temporary counts were collected. This study investigated whether the seasonal factors from sequential years could be applied without loss of statistical accuracy. No significant loss of accuracy was found in estimating AADT when prior-year seasonal adjustment factors were applied to current-year short-term counts of traffic volume. Likewise, no significant loss of accuracy was found when vehicle miles of travel were computed by using prior-year seasonal adjustment factors.

Peng D.,Monash University | Jones R.,Monash University | Constable T.,Eagle Engineering
Engineering Failure Analysis | Year: 2013

Railway rollingstock is subjected to an arduous regime of load and vibration. This implies a likelihood of encountering fatigue cracking within rollingstock structures and components at some stage in the asset life cycle. Whilst there is an abundance of tools aimed at preventing the occurrence of fatigue cracking at the design stage-typically adopting the so called 'safe life' design philosophy-tools to assess the growth and tolerance of cracks once initiated are less routinely applied in the rail industry than in other industries such as aerospace and power generation. Fatigue life prediction of rollingstock components is exceptionally difficult and computationally intensive as calculations need to be made at each stage of the life of a component/structure. This is done to compute the stress intensity factors for each crack configuration so as to calculate the amount of crack growth, update the crack geometry, and then re-compute the stress intensity factors for this new geometry. To meet this challenge, this paper will discuss the issues associated with fatigue crack growth within rollingstock and provide an overview of the tools available to assess the defect tolerance of rollingstock structures and manage the key considerations to safely ensure the integrity of assets, whilst maintaining asset availability/productivity. This study consists of the following areas of analysis. In the first stage, a 3D finite element model to evaluate the stress of rollingstock structure (with no cracking) is performed. The second stage of the (sequential) analysis is carried out for stress intensity factor of cracks in the rollingstock under service condition by using a semi-analytical solution technique that involves the use of an analytical solution combined with a numerical algorithm to assess fracture strength. In the third stage, the Hartman-Schijve approach is used to modelling crack growth. As the crack is not modelled explicitly a coarser mesh can be used thereby improving analysis time. This method is ideal for use on fatigue life prediction of rollingstock structures. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Tokunaga Y.,Eagle Engineering | Uemura N.,Eagle Industry Co. | Yamamoto Y.,Kyushu University
Toraibarojisuto/Journal of Japanese Society of Tribologists | Year: 2013

One of the most important but complicated issues for mechanical seals is how to realize two contradictory functions: the sealing and the lubricating performance between the seal surfaces. Various studies have been carried out to solve the problem. However, few fundamental solutions have been presented so far. In our previous report, the surface structure for achieving the low-friction and low-leakage mechanical seals was proposed. In this report, the fundamental characteristics of sealing and lubricating function for the surface structures that we proposed in previous report were investigated by numerical calculations. Jakobsson-Floberg's boundary condition was applied in order to consider the mass conservation at the cavitation boundary. Moreover, the effect of cavitation pressure on the sealing and lubricating performance were also investigated. The results indicated that the surface structure could simplify and clarify the surface design procedure for mechanical seals, and could predict and control the leakage rate and the film thickness based on hydrodynamic lubrication theory.

Tokunaga Y.,Eagle Engineering | Sugimura J.,Kyushu University | Yamamoto Y.,Kyushu University
Toraibarojisuto/Journal of Japanese Society of Tribologists | Year: 2015

A series of experiments were carried out to verify the sealing and lubricating performance of the surface structure for mechanical seals with the functions of the low-friction, the low-leakage, and also the pumping effect. The thrust bearing structures were formed in the higher pressure side as a lubricating mechanism, and the reversed thrust bearing structures were formed in the lower pressure side as a sealing mechanism in the mechanical seals' surfaces. The fluid film thickness and the friction coefficient were measured and compared with the numerical calculation results of our previous report. Cavitation regions formed in the sliding surface were observed with the direct observation system of mechanical seals. Furthermore, the magnitude of the cavitation pressure was also discussed. The experimental results indicated that the theoretical results discussed in our previous report were proved to be valid. Thus we conclude that the novel sealing and lubricating mechanisms for mechanical seals with the functions of the low-friction, the low-leakage and the pumping effect can be technically feasible.

Tokunaga Y.,Eagle Engineering | Inoue H.,Eagle Engineering | Hiromatsu J.,Eagle Engineering | Iguchi T.,Eagle Engineering | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Fluid Machinery and Systems | Year: 2016

Floating ring seals offer an opportunity to reduce leakage flows significantly in rotating machinery. Accordingly, they have been applied successfully to rotating machinery within the last several decades. For rocket turbopump applications, fundamental behavior and design philosophy have been revealed. However, further work is needed to explore the rotordynamic characteristics associated with rotor vibrations. In this study, rotordynamic forces for floating ring seals under rotor's whirling motions are calculated to elucidate rotordynamic characteristics. Comparisons between numerical simulation results and experiments demonstrated in our previous report are carried out. The three-dimensional Reynolds equation is solved by the finite-difference method to calculate hydrodynamic pressure distributions and the leakage flow rate. The entrance loss at the upstream inlet of the seal ring is calculated to estimate the Lomakin effect. The friction force at the secondary seal surface is also considered. Numerical simulation results showed that the rotordynamic forces of this type of floating ring seal are determined mainly by the friction force at the secondary seal surface. The seal ring is positioned almost concentrically relative to the rotor by the Lomakin effect. Numerical simulations agree quite well with the experimental results. © 2016, Turbomachinery Society of Japan. All rights reserved.

Meroney R.N.,Eagle Engineering
Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics | Year: 2012

Numerical calculations were performed to reproduce the transport and dispersion of the instantaneous release of finite volumes of dense gases over homogeneous flat, sloped, and complex terrain surfaces for calm and windy situations. The 1981 Porton Trial Test 8 field study of the release of 40m 3 of a Freon-air mixture was used as a validation case to evaluate the behavior of volume integrated, cross-section integrated , depth integrated and full 3-d CFD models. In addition wind-tunnel measurements by Meroney & Lohmeyer (1983, 1984) about an instantaneous cloud of dense gas released in a wind were reproduced by similar calculations. All results were inter-compared, and time-dependent cloud dimensions, arrival times, and concentrations were considered. Very similar behavior was found for all models which tend to validate all methods as useful predictors. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Meroney R.N.,Eagle Engineering
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2012

Numerical calculations are performed to reproduce the transport and dispersion of the continuous release of dense gases over flat homogeneous surfaces with and without the mitigating influence of a downwind water curtain. Frequently such plumes are released as a result of a chemical manufacturing, storage or gas transportation accident resulting in a ground-level hazard due to gas flammability or toxicity. A field situation in which cold carbon dioxide was released upwind of water curtains (Moodie et al., 1981) was simulated using the open-source software FDS (Fire Dynamic Simulator) a full 3-d CFD model. Only water-spray enhancement of dispersion was considered; hence, no chemical removal or reactions were present or simulated. Wind-tunnel measurements for a 1:28.9 scale replication of the Moodie experiments are also compared with the 3-d CFD results. Concentration distributions, percent dilution and forced diffusion parameters were compared in scatter diagrams. Concentration field contours with and without active spray curtains are also presented. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Meroney R.N.,Eagle Engineering
Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics | Year: 2011

A series of unsteady atria fire calculations are performed using a finite-volume CFD program on two and three dimensional generic buildings immersed in simulated atmospheric boundary layers. The model results reveal that external winds can modify the infiltration and exfiltration of air through external doors and windows, distort thermal and smoke columns rising above test fires in the atria, cause the plumes to impact directly against atria walls, and modify the resultant filling of elevated atria spaces. In some cases aggressive fire "whirls" form, which can enhance fire strength, enclosure mixing, and exposure. Results are compared qualitatively with similar physical model experiments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Eagle Engineering and The Society Of Japanese Aerospace Companies | Date: 2010-10-22

A seal part having a base material, a porous coating layer formed by flame spraying a hard material on a seal surface of the base material, and a lubricating film containing one or more types of materials selected from silver, gold, and tin and a gold-cobalt alloy on the porous coating layer. The seal part of the present invention has superior durability and sealability and further a long life and high reliability even when used in a high temperature (for example 400 C. or more, in particular 400 to 600 C.) and high pressure (for example 2 MPa or more) environment.

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