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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Undergraduate Research

Check out our past undergraduate researcher and their work!

A Comparative Analysis of Natural Tropical Biomass Wastes as Feedstock for Value-Added Biochar

Nicholas Gutierrez
Advisor: Bin Gao


This study was developed after preliminary library research was performed focusing on natural tropical feedstock. In countries such as the Philippines, there is an abundance of farmland which is utilized for crop growth both to sustain the population and to sell to neighboring countries to benefit the economy (XIE, 2008). Yearlong tropical climates enable farmers to grow agriculture with minimal breaks, thus leading towards a surplus of crops collected. A variety of tropical agriculture is grown for an extended period of time in tropical climates such as bananas, coconuts, sugarcane, guava, bamboo, pineapple, and many other farm raised foods (Joreleu, 1971). Only a certain percentage of the acquired crops are consumed or used by consumers. Many parts of the plant such as peels, cores, shells, etc… are not used (Idaikkadar, 1979). Therefore, this category of feedstock was identified to have great potential for renewable energy. It was determined that the numerous amounts of available natural tropical feedstock would be perfect biomass for biochar transformation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the specific properties that make biochar effective and determine the performance of typical tropical feedstock derived biochar to be good absorbent technologies.

Identifying causal relationships for land cover changes in Ghana using satellite remote sensing

Sirapoom Peanusaha
2nd Place, K.K. Barnes Student Paper Award Competition

This research aims to provide an effective land use planning framework to land managers in Ghana using satellite remote sensing and GIS-based analysis tools to meliorate land use planning in Ghana. Newly developed methodology was used in this study in four districts in Ghana to test its applicability and its potential to provide precursor of land cover change insight. According to the results of this study, land cover patterns have a significant impact on the comprehensive indicator.

Single-Use and Reusable Plastic Materials and Containers: A Survey of Agricultural Students’ Usage and Sentiments

Alex DiCairano
3rd Place, K.K. Barnes Student Paper Award Competition

This research focused on understanding student sentiment, usage, behavior, and familiarity at the University of Florida with single-use and reusable plastic containers after recent changes in local ordinances and policies. Most preferences towards reusable containers were revealed to be based on environmental concerns rather than socio-economic factors. Decreasing pollution and waste, environment protection, and wildlife protection were cited as the top three reasons for using reusable containers and materials.