Project Description

Project Summary

          The Princeton Aluminum Recycling Initiative consolidates waste aluminum from campus and recycles it in a blast furnace, which runs off of waste vegetable oil from campus kitchens.

We designed our own forced-air furnace, a specialized fuel injector, and a mold for aluminum turbine blades. The design process included CAD renderings of the components as well as theoretical calculations of fuel and air flow.


           After an intense period of welding, machining, and on the spot problem solving, we finished our furnace and prototype fuel injector. Our initial tests revealed several unanticipated problems with our design, such as ash clogging the exposed orifice of the fuel injector. After solving these problems, we were successful in melting several pounds of aluminum during testing. We recorded temperature data and were able to maintain an operating temperature of 1000°C in the furnace.

            The final stage of the project was our partnership with Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering, a student-driven volunteer group at our sister institution in Hanover. One of DHE's projects is to generate sustainable electricity in off-grid areas of rural Rwanda using micro-hydroelectric turbines. We made steel molds for the Pelton wheel buckets they need for their turbines, and then produced aluminum turbine buckets for their project.

Research