APPLICATION OF GREEN TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING: SUPERCRITICAL FLUID CARBON DIOXIDE EXTRACTION
1 Delaware State University (UNITED STATES)
2 Applied Separations (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The green revolution is currently sweeping the nation; however, it has not taken hold in the coastal state of Delaware and in many East Coast states. Delaware consists of three counties: New Castle in the north; Kent in the middle; Sussex in the south. Chemical companies – namely DuPont Chemical Company – dominate in New Castle County. Agriculture and poultry farms are major industries in Kent and Sussex counties. The greening of Delaware is not occurring.
Most undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Delaware State University were raised on farms in Kent and Sussex counties and therefore major in agriculture. While an agriculture sustainability course is taught in the college, the reality is that the next generation of farmers will not practice sustainable farming techniques in Delaware. In addition, chemistry students graduate and often work for the DuPont Company. For these reasons, I would like to incorporate a green technology into the learning process at DSU.
Currently, four DSU professors teach and do research using lipid analysis to ascertain the nutritional and health status of oysters, blue crab, wild fish, farmed fish, plants and seeds. Delaware Bay sediments are also studied since they may contain a high level of contaminants, which in turn affect aquatic life. While the professors write grants, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as technicians and postdoctoral associates, carry out the research activities. All teachers/researchers currently have their students use environmentally toxic solvents such as chloroform, methanol, methylene chloride and hexane in order to extract nonpolar lipids from plant and animal tissue. Students use techniques, such as the Bligh and Dyer (1959) and the Folch (1957) methods, which have been part of the lipid lexicon for over 40 years, and many researchers in universities still use them.
In order to effectively educate and train agriculture, food science and the more environmentally-conscious natural resources (fisheries/aquatic sciences/aquaculture) students, I will use the Spe-ed Supercritical Fluid Extractor (SFE) in our teaching laboratory. I will train students how to use supercritical fluid technology - an environmentally benign technology - to extract lipids from fish, plant tissue, soil, and sediments. Students will perform further analyses of the lipids for fatty acids and for potential environmental contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, Dioxin and DDT using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or flame ionization detector. Consumption advisories exist for many popular recreationally caught fish, such as striped bass, bluefish and the Delaware State fish, the weakfish, due to these contaminants.
The purpose of using Spe-ed SFE in teaching is therefore three-fold:
1. To train students about the existence and use of environmentally benign technologies such as supercritical fluid technology
2. To teach students how to utilize such technologies in their research
3. To educate students about the quality of their food, which is impacted by farming, boating and urbanization.
Keywords: Supercritical fluid extractor, carbon dioxide, lipids.