The ChemE Car team at the University of Virginia is a student-led organization devoted towards the design and construction of a shoebox-sized car powered entirely by a chemical reaction. ChemE Car teams from universities across the region meet to compete at the annual American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Regional Conference in the Spring. Top performing cars are then given the opportunity to compete at the AIChE National Conference in the following Fall.
Take a look at our 2015 Poster here: ChemE Car Poster 2015
Advisor: Gary Koenig
President: Kayla Matis
Vice President: Suzy Johnson
Treasurer: Carly Markbreiter
Safety Officer: Raleigh Heap
Description of Car: Hydrogen peroxide, catalyzed by manganese oxide, decomposes to oxygen and water in a stainless steel cylindrical tank. The resulting oxygen gas is fed through a pressure regulator to limit the driving pressure. A pressure relief valve is set at 10% above the maximum expected operating pressure. The oxygen gas flows through high-pressure tubing into a pneumatic motor, which drives a gearing system that turns the rear axle of the car
Description: Eight zinc carbon battery cells serve as the power source. Each cell is assembled in a petri dish with layers of carbon fiber (current collector), electrolyte paste, cloth membrane, and a zinc plate. The stopping mechanism is a calibrated iodine clock reaction with an arduino microcontroller that cuts the circuit connecting the batteries to the motor.