Jessica Racine

About Me: I am a two-time WPI alum (BS ’04, MSci ’14). I currently teach Chemistry and an honors Biotechnology elective at Doherty Memorial High School here in Worcester. I also teach the Year 1 Technical Biotechnology course in the Innovation Pathways Program in the Worcester Public Schools. 

About the Lab: The Timko lab is focused on the environmental and engineering aspects of clean energy technology. Projects in the lab are focused on converting waste streams (food waste, plastics, sewage sludge from wastewater treatment) into viable chemical and/or fuel sources (fertilizers, biofuels, chemicals for use in industry). 

Project: My project is focused on conversion of sewage sludge (SS) to energy sources through a process called auto-thermal hydrothermal liquefaction (AT-HTL). The first portion of my project is involved in varying different parameters in the AT-HTL reaction (carbon:oxygen ratio, temperature, and residence time) to determine which conditions generate the best yield of bio-oil (%wt if feedstock). Once this data is collected, samples will be analyzed by to determine total organic carbon (TOC) and by gas chromatography (GC).  The second portion of my project is concerned with optimizing 

Weekly Updates:

  • Week 1: literature searches, training on the bioreactor and extraction process; begin gathering preliminary data for optimization of bio-oil from sewage sludge
  • Week 2: optimization experiments 
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  • Week 6: