Tuesday, November 28, 2017
While putting together my rough draft I have also been setting up the 30 sample cups for the next step in my experiment. The sample cups currently sit with 20 grams of sediment and .5 a gram of their respective plastic submerged in enough DI water to allow for the sediment and plastic to mix. I have also begun familiarizing myself with the funnel process which puzzles me. I will ask Jasmine because she has completed this step in her experiment to explain to me how it works and how to properly perform the task. I look forward to understanding this step because after working on it for a couple hours, I felt the results from practicing were full of systematic errors.
Yesterday I started my research preparation, I am looking at having a total of 30 sample cups with sets of 5 cups containing the same plastics to collect data that will yield an average. Although this process took several hours I wanted to make sure I was properly filling each specimen cup with the appropriate amount of sediment(20g) and of the appropriate plastic(.500g). Next week I will submerge the sample mixtures in DI water and begin the filtration process. The filtration step is not very clear so it will take practice in order for me to understand how it works.
This week in the lab was cut short due to a model united nations meeting held at the state capitol which I was required to be a part of. I looked forward to beginning the process outlined by the protocol Jasmine gave me, but it looks like that will have to wait until I come back next week. I am sure some of the protocol ingredients required will already be prepared from jasmine's research. After reading through the protocol several times and having a better understanding about the project I feel prepared to begin my research. I still have questions about certain procedures in the protocol but those will be answered when I get to that part of my research.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Plastic number 1 grinding is quite the slow endeavor and time consuming compared to all other plastics I have ground so far. This week is full of grinding that plastic with the goal of having enough by the end of this week to move into the research phase. I was told this week by Matt I will be recreating Jasmine's research and I am welcome to watch as they perform a task Friday to allow for me to better understand what I will be doing for my research project. I am excited to get more information as to what I will be doing and understanding the importance of this research. This next week may be slow as I familiarize myself with the protocol and understanding the purpose of each step of the protocol.
I was able to get into the lab early this week after a class got cancelled, effectively using this time I set up the plastic I will be grinding later this week and have noticed if I use the vice to compress the plastic together at certain points it makes the plastic more rigid and less likely to flex under the stress of the reciprocating saw. I have yet to work on a different container so how I will compress that container to give to same effect will be a bridge I need to cross after grinding this container as much as I can. I believe this is the last plastic type I need to grind before I move into my research phase, Matt will be informing me of my project in better detail next week as we approach the final weeks of plastic grinding. I am looking forward to beginning the next chapter of this semester and getting to put some data together.
This week has been quite slow. Grinding has resumed but plastic number 1 is scarce or I am not looking in the right places. I have begun grinding the bottle of glue I was given by Amber and have realized the plastic is quite thin and either heats to a melting point rather easily or shakes too much due to the reciprocating motion of the power tool. I am looking into a solution to keep the container from flexing with the motion of the reciprocating saw. I currently have a couple plastic containers of the appropriate plastic type which will allow for me to continue grinding as I search for a better source. I might need to adjust the speed of the saw to a slower rate to allow for the heat build up to be less or else I will be melting the plastic and altering the size of the ground samples. I am under the impression that due to the rate of the reciprocating saw it may take quite some time to attain the proper sample we require to conduct our research.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
My grinding of plastics has ground to a stop. Another group of students also need to grind plastics for their projects so as we share the equipment we are on standby until they have completed their part. This allows for us to minimize the risk of cross contamination between plastics. Allowing for proper cleaning between each plastic type and for each person to get time to grind for their project. Once they have completed grinding their PVC I will resume grinding my plastic type 5 and collect that sample. Predicted date for my grinding to resume is somewhere in the next week or so, I will begin grinding plastic number 5 and then take a look at our collection of samples to determine what we need or if I may proceed with my research. The sample size collected of plastic type 5 was roughly 56 grams. I am currently looking into a reliable source of plastic type number 1.