March 9, 2010
Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore
Supposing one is given some water and asked to heat it, but without using any fire or electricity. What would one do?
Engineering students at the Coimbatore campus, N. Vijayalakshmi, Harihara Subramaniam and M. Suhanya, made the seemingly impossible, possible. Not only did they heat the water, they also raised it to a height of 1.5 meters, as they were asked to do, and all without using any fire or electricity.
How did they do it?
“The students used their creative skills and fabricated a set-up,” explained Dr. Sriram, Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences. “An exothermic reaction was used to heat the water, wherein heat was generated when certain substances were brought into contact with each other.”
This was no small achievement. The students heated 4 liters of water, raising its temperature from room to 80 degree Celsius. All without using any fire or electricity.
In addition, the students used a weighted piston arrangement to raise the water to a height of 2 meters. Would this be useful for anything?
“The application was projected for use in petroleum refineries where the prevalence of highly inflammable materials excludes the possibility of direct fire or electrical means, due to their associated high safety risks,” explained Dr. Sriram.
“Under such conditions the use of the innovative contraption created by our students holds the potential to provide a safe means of achieving heat transfer,” he added.
These second year students at Amrita’s Coimbatore campus are studying for their B.Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering. “Second year students are not fully exposed to the core chemical engineering concepts, and therefore the initiative, creativity and determination shown by them is especially noteworthy,” proudly noted their teacher, Dr. Sriram.
The students’ innovation recently won them the 3rd prize in the event “DELTA T” conducted as part of the technical festival “Pragyan” at NIT Trichy. We congratulate them on this achievement.