Joseph J. Biernacki

Tennessee Tech University

Field trips

This summer (2014) our research group organized three field trips: (1) Wampler Sausage, Pyrolysis Plant in Lenoir City, TN; (2) Center Hill Dam and Reservoir; and (3) StonePeak Ceramics.

Wampler Sausage, Pyrolysis Plant – Wampler Sausage has recently invested in the technology to make it’s food processing plant energy independent.  In addition to a solar array, they have also installed a unique biomass pyrolysis facility where they convert switch grass into hydrogen from which they generate electricity.  Our student team made a trip this they plant on July 23, 2014.

Center Hill DAm and Reservoir – Center Hill Dam is located in middle Tennessee near Smithville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam in 1948.  The main purpose of the dam is the generation of electricity and to provide flood control.  The dam is 72m high and is constructed of concrete and earthen materials. The reservoir (Center Hill Lake) covers an area of approximately 73.2 km2 and has storage capacity of 940,000,000 m3 of water.  The dam contains three hydropower units with a combined capacity of 135,000 kilowatts which is sufficient to supply the needs of an average city of 125,000 people.  The trip was arranged on July 30, 2014 and our student team showed their cycling skill completing the 23 miles trip in a leisurely three hours.

StonePeak Ceramics – StonePeak Ceramics is located in Crossville, TN, about 30 miles east of Cookeville, TN and the Tennessee Tech University (TTU) campus.  StonePeak operates a number of large-scale mills and spray dryers, both unit operations that our research group has interest in.  We a trip to StonePeak on July 18, 2014 to see the entire operation where they convert raw clay into final ceramic tiles ready for shipment.


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