Faculty Advisor

Clark, William M.


The goals of this project were to design an apparatus for testing biodiesel, to assess the viability of using that apparatus to teach students in a laboratory environment, and to determine if the apparatus duplicates the teaching potential of the existing WPI heat exchanger experiment. The team achieved these goals by developing a biodiesel compatible combustion system that includes a plate heat exchanger, and experimentally validated that the system shows a difference between the heat duty of diesel and biodiesel comparable to the fuels’ actual energy content. The team identified the dependence of the heat exchanger’s heat duty and found that the overall heat transfer coefficient increased with increasing cooling water flow rates.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2014


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering