Ecology -- A Wetlands Problem

Collection and analysis of rate data 
Ecological engineering concepts


49 minutes ± 21 minutes


Fogler: Chapter 7


The student, as an employee of a company trying to meet environmental regulatory agency standards, must sample concentration data for a toxic material found in a wetlands channel between a chemical plant upstream and a protected waterway to analyze the rate of decay of the toxic material. 



The wetlands are modeled as a PFR.  The student must first develop the necessary reactor design equation for a PFR, then start collecting data.  This concentration data (which includes experimental error) is then analyzed in various ways (polynomial fit of the data followed by differentiation of the resulting equation, difference equations, etc.) to determine the rate law, as well as the rate constants and reaction order.  Students must determine which points are to be excluded from the analysis (if any) and which points may be resampled:  The student then analyzes this information and submits a memo with the requested parameters: 


This information is reviewed by the boss, who evaluates the parameter values and makes recommendations.

Grade Base

Based on correct determination of rate law parameters.


This game is useful in exposing the student to experimental error and the dangers of using curve-fitting tools without discretion.  It also exposes the student to “real world” applications of reaction kinetics. 


(Run from DVD) (Install to PCInstructions for installing and using the ICGs are available.

Return to Chapter Seven