2022 EEE Senior Design Projects

Addressing Inflow and Infiltration in a Separate Sanitary Sewer System

A community located in the eastern part of Central Indiana owns and operates a separate sanitary sewer system that serves multiple communities in the region. The sewer system is comprised mainly of gravity sewer that utilizes lift stations to convey flows to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

The sewers are aging and are experiencing Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) during storm events. As a result of the increased flows, the lift station cannot keep up with the demand and the sewers have begun to back up, causing releases of untreated sewage in the form of a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO). Commonwealth Engineers has asked the team to evaluate alternatives to add capacity to the system.

Carbon Neutral Roadmap

Evonik Corporation Tippecanoe Laboratories is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) for pharmaceutical, intermediates, research, and animal health companies within the Evonik Nutrition & Care Division. Sustainability is a leading business principle for Evonik Nutrition & Care and Tippecanoe Laboratories. Tippecanoe Laboratories has a target of 100 percent reduction of scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions. Scope 1 are direct, or site generated emissions and Scope 2 are emissions from purchased energy. The team will evaluate digital tools for calculating CO2 or CO2 equivalent emissions from waste management activities. They will also evaluate carbon capture technologies and treatment options of the captured carbon.

Fall Creek High Service Pump Station

The Fall Creek High Service Pump Station has been in near-continuous operation since 1914 for the Citizens Energy Group (Citizens). With upgrades in the 1940s & 1950s and routine preventative maintenance, the pump station has continued to serve Central Indiana, specifically the east side of Indianapolis. However, given the age of the assets, increased frequency of necessitated pump repairs, and the difficulty obtaining spare parts, consideration is being given to heavy pump overhaul or replacement. Citizens seeks support evaluating the Fall Creek High Service Pump Station. The team will assess the current pump station and options to upgrade the system.

Food Waste Mapping in West Lafayette

Through the city of West Lafayette Go Greener Commission’s food waste diversion program, food waste is collected from a few key locations in West Lafayette and transported to the wastewater treatment utility and converted into energy via the anaerobic digester. Past collaborations with the Purdue Student Sustainability Council and EEE senior design teams supported the expansion of food waste collection points to include community drop-off locations for West Lafayette residents and Purdue fraternity and sorority houses. As the food waste program continues to increase, the Commission would like to explore additional capture and diversion opportunities at a larger scale.

Food chains such as restaurants, retailers and industries potentially have large food waste streams that can be diverted to the anaerobic digester, saving on tipping fees for businesses and ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the wastewater treatment utility. The objective of this project is to develop a strategy to recruit/receive buy-in from restaurants, retailers and industries to increase the food waste diversion program.

Food Waste Solutions for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

As the largest hunger relief organization in Indiana, Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana (Gleaners) is dedicated to leading the fight against hunger for Hoosiers by distributing as much food as possible while investing in nutritious options to support the overall health and wellbeing of our clients. They are actively salvaging and distributing food products. Reducing landfilled food waste is an opportunity for Gleaners to reduce its overall environmental footprint and become a more sustainable operation. The team will conduct in-depth analysis of food waste solutions. Items to consider should include feasibility, cost, size/scope of the project, energy generated, return on investment, maintenance, public relations, and potential pitfalls.

Implementation of Science-Based Emission Targets in the General Motors Zero Waste Program

At General Motors (GM), our vision is to create a world with zero crashes, zero emission, and zero congestion. Under the “Zero Emissions” pillar, GM established multiple public sustainability goals, targeting a reduction in scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions, with an overarching goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. One of the publicly announced goals is the GM Zero Waste program, which aims to divert greater than 90% of total operational waste from landfills, incinerators, and energy recovery facilities by 2025.

GM’s current Zero Waste program allocates targets and tracks performance strictly on a mass basis. The in-development future state of the program, after completion of the 90% mass-based target, will include life cycle assessment (LCA) technologies that allow for the addition of GHG emission tracking criteria as they relate to the waste handling and disposal. The purpose of this project is to research and review current technologies, methodologies, and assessment criteria to assist with this transition.

Lake Shore Green Infrastructure

The regular flooding of a Lake Shore neighborhood has caused damage to residential properties. Since the neighborhood is in a low-lying area with no stormwater infrastructure, American Structurepoint has been asked to evaluate green infrastructure options that would allow storm water to be infiltrated and/or stored in the area. This area is also along a lake front so aesthetics should be taken into consideration.

The team will complete an initial drainage report to evaluate the existing flooding conditions and determine the total volume of stormwater that needs to be captured in order to mitigate the flooding issues. The students will then propose a design based on the findings from the drainage report. The proposed design should include a layout of the green infrastructure element locations and sizes for each green infrastructure element.

Life Cycle Impacts of Carhartt Apparel

Carhartt’s line of durable workwear apparel products are made globally, and sold primarily in North America. As other companies in the apparel industry, they have environmental challenges due to a complex global supply chain. Carhartt wants to determine the impact of these upstream supply chain practices in creating their some of their products.

The team will assess and quantify the life-cycle impacts of a variety of Carhartt apparel products, with particular focus on the upstream supply chain practices in raw material procurement through product assembly. Various trade-off analyses will be performed to understand the impact of new material types, different transportation methods, and various finishing methodologies. The audience for these assessments will be internal Carhartt development teams. The results will be used internally to drive sustainable design thinking in the product development process from a multi-faceted sustainability perspective.

Product Carbon Footprinting-Scope 3 Category 1 Assessment

Whirlpool Corporation is committed to being the best kitchen and laundry company, in constant pursuit of improving life at home. This vision requires us to think of our house and home not just in terms of the four walls around us and the communities in which we live, but of the planet that sustains us. Our products’ largest impact in terms of energy and water arises downstream in the use phase, consequently driving the largest climate impact for the company within Scope 3. We continue to progress towards our SBTi approved target of 20% reduction in emissions resulting from the use of our products (Scope 3, Category 11) by 2030, compared to 2016 levels.

Additionally, as we strive to further understand our climate impacts and potential risks, we have to quantify and analyze other categories of Scope 3 emissions. The team will utilize emissions screening results and accumulate relevant external research and assumptions in order to perform calculations and integrate results at a global scale.

Purdue University CSO Elimination Strategy Development

Purdue University’s 2020 Physical Facilities Sustainability Master Plan goal W-2 is to develop a strategy to eliminate the combined sewer overflow (CSO) on campus. A priority water pollution concern, the remaining campus CSO connections can spill untreated wastewater into the Wabash River during a heavy storm event. A group of campus entities and consultant groups, including the University’s Campus Planning, Architecture and Sustainability Group (CPAS), have been actively working on projects removing the connections and developing the elimination strategy, with several completed and ongoing studies providing findings on the status of existing campus sewer and stormwater systems.

To aid in development of the CSO elimination strategy, CPAS is requesting the team provide deliverables that will frame the issue, create guiding analytics, and develop tools for accurate and transparent reporting. The deliverables should include, but not be limited to, a campus CSO system map (preferably within GIS) and a report evaluating areas of the CSO system with the highest need of elimination.

Renewable Energy Study at Heidelberg Materials, Logansport, IN

Heidelberg Materials has committed to reducing CO2 emissions globally by almost half of 1990 levels to reach 400 kgCO2/tonne cement, the lowest in the cement industry. These aggressive CO2 reduction targets will need to include reduction of Scope 1 (primary processing), 2 (electricity) and 3 (transportation and distribution) emissions. In addition, they have also committed to reduce CO2 emissions from electrical power consumption by at least 65% by 2030 compared to 2016 levels.

The team will create an in-depth analysis of all potential considerations surrounding an investment in renewable energy. Items to consider should include, but not be limited to, general feasibility, cost, size/scope of the project, CO2 reduction potential, energy generated, return on investment, maintenance, public relations, and physical footprint of the site.

Toxicity Credit Framework

Heritage Environmental Services (HES) is a privately-held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis with more than 1,400 employees across North America. We provide a full suite of tailored solutions – from emergency response, waste disposal, and sustainability services to onsite support and technical solutions – to thousands of customers in hundreds of industries. For over 50 years, Heritage has prioritized the safety of our employees while pursuing our purpose of protecting human health and the environment.

While the current sustainability landscape focuses on carbon reduction and carbon credits, the waste industry does not receive proper recognition for diverting wastes from the environment and disposing of wastes in a manner conducive to the environment and the public. In addition, customers have asked about their impact on the environment and how HES is reducing their overall impact by disposing their wastes. HES would like to explore what a “toxicity credit” would look like to recognize the reduction in environmental harm when customers work with HES to dispose of their wastes in a safe and compliant manner. The team will develop a quantitative determination of the value of toxicity reduction within the waste elimination system.

Urban Stormwater Reduction Services

The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) is a 501c3 nonprofit agency. WREC leads community efforts to develop long range plans to improve the riverfront, the river corridor, and water quality; and engages the community in the implementation of these improvements. WREC's mission is to enhance the quality of life in the Wabash River Corridor by creating sustainable opportunities to improve health, recreation, education, economic development, and environmental management.

The process of developing infrastructure for outdoor recreation starts with land acquisition. WREC has been purchasing riverfront property for the past decade. One of these pieces of land has been managed the past two years to remove invasive plants and improve the forest ecosystem. We are approaching the point of building infrastructure and opening it to the public for hiking. The infrastructure needs include a parking lot, trails on flat surfaces, trails on slopes, small bridges to span creeks and washes, and potentially an overlook structure on the savanna. The team will design ADA compliant infrastructure for this property considering sustainability and land stewardship.

White River North Expansion

Citizens Energy Group (Citizens) is a utility company serving the residents of Indianapolis and surrounding counties. Citizens supplies water, wastewater, natural gas, chilled water, and steam to more than 850,000 people.

The White River North Water Treatment Plant (WRNWTP) is the third largest treatment plant in the Citizens Water System, which consistently provides up to 15 percent of the water demand in the metropolitan area. The plant and associated services area are located in Carmel, Indiana. Growing demand necessitates expansion of the White River North Water Treatment Plant (WRN WTP) from 34 million gallons per day (MGD) to 49 MGD. Citizens seeks support expanding certain unit processes in the WRN WTP to meet the treatment objective of 49 MGD.
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