ChemE Car looks forward to nationals after placing 3rd at Rocky Mountain Regional Conference

CSU’s ChemE Car team has had a long history of success at CSU, and its most recent design is no exception.

The team consists of 24 students, including 12 active members. Most are chemical and biological engineering students, however, electrical and mechanical engineering students have contributed in the past. They are always looking to diversify their team with members from all engineering disciplines.

Placing third at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference qualifies them to compete at the national competition this fall in Minneapolis, Minn., where they placed ninth last year.

ChemE Car team
ChemE Car team members accepting their third place trophy at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in North Dakota.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to compete and learn from other schools. The competition is always great and we get to see very innovative ideas on display. We are confident in our car and our team’s ability to be ready for the competition,” said ChemE Car president, Zach Schafer.

Annually, teams from colleges all over the country participate in the national competition. Criteria is based on distance driven with a specified water load, and the car must be both powered and stopped by a chemical reaction.

Currently, the team is developing two cars – one for the national competition this fall, and another for the regional competition next spring. One of the cars is powered by a hydrogen field cell and stopped by the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid. The plan for the additional car is to power it with thermoelectric generators and stop it with the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.