P18486: Biochar Construction Materials Test Rig Improvement


Project Summary Project Information

Biochar is a charcoal used for purposes other than fuel, often as a soil amendment. It is formed through a process called Pyrolysis. Pyrolyisis is the thermochemical decomposition of organic materials at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Biochar is added to improve poor soils or to rebuild soils that have been damaged by improper management. Other applications of biochar include use as a building material, packaging material, carbon sink etc. Researchers are investigating Biochar properties as building materials. Properties that are being investigated include weight, cost, insulation capabilities, filtering, cooling, and humidity control characteristics.

The objective of this project is to continue work on a testing rig that quantifies characteristics of a material such that the stakeholder can obtain data for various biochar composites. The rig must ideally test: insulation, humidity control, cooling properties, emissions absorption, flame resistance, and electromagnetic characteristics. Sufficient data from the test rig may contribute to deciding the ideal material used in construction by related projects.

Project Name
Biochar Test Rig Improvements
Project Number
Project Family
project family (if relevant)
Start Term
Fall 2017
End Term
Spring 2018
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik, echeee@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Kathleen Draper, kdraper2@rochester.rr.com
Sponsor (financial support)
Ithaka Institute

Team Members

From left to right: Abdul, Spencer, Gunjan, Garret, Justin

From left to right: Abdul, Spencer, Gunjan, Garret, Justin

Member Role Contact
AbdulIatif AIhashmi Mechanical Engineer ahb2775@rit.edu
Justin Henney Electrical Engineer jrh7178@rit.edu
Garret Papiernik Mechanical Engineer gxp7496@rit.edu
Gunjan Poudyal Mechanical Engineer gp4045@rit.edu
Spencer Steficek Mechanical Engineer sas6101@rit.edu

Work Breakdown: By Phase


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Gate Reviews

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation (Verification & Validation)

Work Breakdown: By Topic

Use this space to link to live/final documents throughout the project. Your team should customize this as-needed, with input from your guide and customer. The example below will address most of what most teams need to capture.

Project Management Design Tools Design Documentation Implementation Validation Presentation & Dissemination


Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements



Risk Management

Problem Management

Communication & Minutes

Use Cases


Functional Decomposition

Morphological Chart 1

Morphological Chart 2

Pugh Concept Selection


Mechanical Drawings

Electrical Schematics

Software Diagrams

Facility Layout



Test Fixtures


Test Plans

Analysis Results


Test Results

Design Review Documents

Technical Paper


Imagine RIT Exhibit

Project Management

Problem Definition Documents

Systems Level Design Documents

Detailed Design Documents

Build & Test Prep Documents

Subsystem Build & Test Documents

Integrated System Build & Test Documents

Final Documents

Photo Gallery