Mechanical Engineering Technology
Biofiltration in an Energy Efficient, Residential, HVAC System
"Commercial and residential buildings represent 40% of the United States’ total energy consumption. Often in an effort to improve these buildings’ energy efficiency, they become more tightly sealed, thus reducing natural ventilation and infiltration of outside air. One consequence of this sealing is a degradation of indoor air quality, often linked to decreased productivity and increased sickness, costing the United States 125 billion dollars annually. Traditionally, mechanical ventilation has been used to dilute indoor air contaminants under these circumstances. However, this process is energy intensive, as a controlled amount of outside air must be brought to the building’s desired temperature.
The Biowall proposes a solution to this problem by naturally filtering indoor air, improving its quality and decreasing energy consumption. Previously designed Biowall systems at Purdue have shown a 25% and 50% reduction in ventilation energy consumption when compared to leading energy efficient and traditional strategies, respectively. With funding from the EPA through its P3 (People, Prosperity and Planet) grant program, the Biowall will be optimized to maximize energy savings then commercialized for installation in energy efficient residences."
"Perhaps not unlike other undergraduates in mechanical engineering, I made the mistake of going in to the discipline because I was “good at math and science” and I wanted to keep my options open. However, I quickly learned the traditional mechanical engineering jobs (design and manufacturing valves, gears, machines, etc.) did not interest me; I could not see their broader impacts. It was not until the summer after my sophomore year I realized my interest in thermodynamics and pursued this interest by conducting energy audits for the Iowa DNR as a Pollution Prevention Intern. This is where I found my passion, using my analytical mindset to help the environment and further society. I decided to further my education in the field by coming to Purdue, joining the ESE program to better understand global problems, working part-time at Purdue Facilities to apply my current skillset and developing technological solutions through my research."
AWARDS:P3 Award Recipient Phase I
2nd Place Poster, Ecological Sciences and Engineering Annual Symposium
INVOLVEMENT IN STUDENT ORG/OUTREACH ACTIVITIES:ESE Symposium Logistics Manager
ASHRAE Student Chapter Treasurer
Purdue Energy Forum Member