Texas Tech Pilot Plant
At Morrow Energy, we firmly believe in investing in our industry by investing in future engineers.
When we found that the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University (TTU) had no pilot plant to practice hands on and that the university was already seeking for a solution to the problem, we decided to partner with them by donating one.
"One of the things we've always suffered from is that our students don't really get to see process equipment, so they don't really even know what things look like. In the classroom, we represent these things with boxes,” said Mark Vaughn director of undergraduate studies and a professor of chemical engineering.
The result was that we donated a 1.2 million dollar plant to TTU. Our Texas based project manager, Paul Rogers, had a clear concept for this project. He stated that the plant was intentionally designed to give students the widest possible exposure to different types of equipment that they may experience in the field. Therefore, the pilot plant was not designed simplistically. It is not only capable of producing dry gas but also able to refine impurities. The plant consists of two different kinds of distillation columns, one trayed and one packed. The double T piping design is made to challenge students' abilities to measure fluid flow and friction. The students are also able to experiment with different settings and pumps to experience the difficulties they may face while working on site.
The university is planning to use the pilot plant in lessons and tests to increase the capabilities of their students. With a hands-on experience, this drastically gives the engineering students of TTU a tremendous advantage over their contemporaries upon graduation.
Since completion of the Pilot Plant, TTU has now become one of the few universities in the country that has the facilities to provide training in a real-world setting for students.
In a press release, Sindee Simon, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Horn Professor and Whitacre Department thanked Morrow for their donation.
The university's vice president of research, Joseph A. Heppert, also expressed his gratitude and explained the benefits the project will provide to aspiring engineers.