Author Archives: CA

Reverse Acting Grate

We’ve had a lot of setbacks in the Spring and Summer in regards to the experimental work on the reverse acting grate. The plan is to create a more stable base and to keep things at a minimum. Ezra and Sayed moved the reverse acting grate back to 509 because the foyer in room 511A was too narrow to get a good video recording of the experimental work. Plus many of the students would walk through while we were recording.


Once the wheels were removed we wanted to keep the reverse acting grate in the proper angle where the grates were 13 degrees from the traveling bed and 26 degrees to the horizontal.  Today Joshua and I lifted up the reverse acting grate and placed a jack underneath temporarily. The jack was adjusted until we got it at 26 degrees using the level app on my phone.


We took an L bracket, sawed it in half  to create the legs that would support the reverse acting grate at it’s proper angle. Once the legs were attached, we removed the jack and everything looked stable. We will attach supports on the side to compensate for the reverse acting grate’s narrow width soon. Our plan is to finish the reverse acting grate before the end of the month to start doing serious experimental work.





First Day of Matching Fair at John Jay College Was a Success!

June 18-19 2015

Yesterday at John Jay College was the first day of interviews for students that were accepted into the City University of New York (CUNY) Service Corps program for the 2015-2016 school year. The Service Corps allows students to work on projects that encourage civic, economic, and environmental stability in New York City. The program allows the student to get paid, obtain real world experience, and  earn college credit while making a difference in their community. Many employers and schools were present at the event to interview students including our group at Energy and Environmental Simulation Laboratory (EESL) at  New York City College of Technology (City Tech).  At EESL, we are looking to work with students who are interesting in improving upon the city’s green infrastructure.

EESL members including Dr. Masato Nakamura, Ye Htet Lynn, and myself were present Thursday to conduct interviews with about 40-50 students in one day. It was a long day, but a productive experience getting to know all the candidates who were interested in working with us. Each student we interviewed had their own individual strengths and skill sets that would contribute to our group immensely. Unfortunately we can only select a handful of people to work with us this coming fall. Regardless there is not a doubt in our minds that every student we met today will have a bright future after college.

Today was definitely a success as far as the demand from students wanting to be involved in our research group at a city-wide level.  Everything from our custom business cards and  our new lab coats with the embroidered EESL logo expressed the legitimacy of what we are doing.  EESL is slowly gaining positive momentum; initially we started as just two Associate students working with Dr. Nakamura in research work that no one else had any interest in. Now we have come to a point in time where we have to turn down people who are interested in joining our group. It’s amazing to see the amount of change that can happen within a year.



A small part of the reverse acting grate broke off. We need to attach it again. Also, the arm which pushes the grates may need to be shortened again.



Charles and I continue the experimentation with 60 cm of MSW on Friday. We were not able to finish because there was a class next door taking a final.


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While Tiffany, Lynne, and Luca are in Florida for the competition where they are racing their tricyle they made at the Mechatronics lab, We are mapping the trajectory of the Large and Medium sized particle tracers in 20 cm and 40 cm of MSW.  Above were the results of the mapping of the Large and Medium particles. The mapping of the smaller particle tracers were done previously.

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Wednesday and Thursday this week  was the poster presentations for the Research, Emerginging, and Honors scholars as well as LSAMP award winners in the basement and first floor of NAMM. Seven students from EESL were there to present.

NAWTEC Conference

Last week, Professor, Ye Lynn and myself went to Tampa Florida for the NAWTEC conference hosted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). We watched many presentations and viewed many of the vendor booths at the conference.

Lynn and I watched Professor present for the first time. His presentation was titled, “Semi-Fluidized Combustion System for Municipal Solid Waste.” Professor focused on explaining the mixing phenomena and size segregation of MSW, explaining his design of a new combustion chamber as well as the discussion of grate system development. Professor also included Lynn’s Solidworks animation of the reverse acting grate as well as Tiffany’s video of the reverse acting grate in action. He also including the video introducing the new reverse acting grate which was shown in previous posts on here.

We also got to see Professor Nakamura’s mentors present as well: Nickolas Themelis from Columbia and Marco Castaldi from City College. Professor Themelis presented on modern problems facing Waste Management. He stated that the two main problems were public acceptance and affordable capital cost. It was noted that most developed countries are generally opposed to waste management and approximately 0.2-0.4% GDP is spent on MSW management.

Professor Castaldi was part of a panel discussion regarding the future of Integrated Industrial Parks as part of a Circular Economy.  He emphasized the importance of researching past case studies recorded in university publications as well as asking input from current college students regardless of their familiarity in the matter.



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Although we spent a majority of the past year and some change on the construction of the three combustion chamber bed models, the more important aspect of the research is the empirical data we obtain from the apparatus. Although it can be perceived as boring, tedious and cumbersome, this is the main purpose of EESL.

Above are representations of the movement of the small spherical tracer when 20 cm of MSW and 40 cm of MSW are applied to the reverse acting grate bed. It was cumbersome to observe as the bed is not merely a 2D representation; the small tracer has many problems including having its view obstructed by larger pieces of garbage as well as being stuck inside the many coffee cups that are inside the combustion chamber bed.

The information was provided by Tiffany’s recording of the movement of the small, medium, and large spherical tracers. For this particular chart, I only focused on the small particle. Each number represents the location of the small spherical particle tracer after one reciprocation of the reverse acting grate. Each time the reciprocating grates returned to the “zero” position, it would set off a counter at the bottom of the reverse acting grate bed to indicate how many times it moved.

This information will at a future date be processed using MatLAB to create a probability equation to map out the mean movement of MSW particles as well as creating a corresponding 2D and 3D animated graph.