This site is made by a group of Drexel University students learning about solid-liquid extractions. As a group, we had to choose what solid-liquid extraction we wanted to research. Although most solid-liquid extractions require equipment that cost over a hundred dollars, we are going to simulate the process with the extraction of coffee from coffee beans.
The solid-liquid extraction we chose was extracting lycopene from tomatoes. Lycopene is a pigment that gives red fruits and vegetables its color, excluding strawberries and cherries. It has many health benefits, such as heart-strengthening, reducing the risk of some types of cancer, and it serves as an antioxidant. However, the amount of lycopene in fresh red fruits and vegetables is very little. For example, a small tomato only contains 1 to 8 mg of lycopene. Therefore, a substantial amount of tomatoes will need to be gathered to extract a sufficient amount of lycopene.
In the week 1 post, there is a diagram illustrating how the extraction process of obtaining lycopene from tomatoes will be. Again, the process will be simulated with the extraction of coffee from coffee beans. The coffee beans will act as tomatoes, the extraction tank will act as a coffee grinder, the liquor extract will act as the coffee beans, etc. Each week after Week 2, we will test out different experiments to determine the operating parameters of our industrial process design.
As we progress with this project, we hope to learn how chemical engineers apply to the real world, how they think, work, and learn, and how engineers design manufacturing processes.