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Karl Schnelle, Jr.

Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Emeritus

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Focus

  • Destruction of Illicit Drugs Seized by Law Enforcement Agencies. Illicit drug seizures have skyrocketed in the U.S. over the last two decades and continue to climb. The disposal of these contraband substances has become a serious problem for law enforcement agencies. In 2003, 1,224,213 kg. of marijuana and 115,725 kg. of cocaine were reported to have been seized by the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency Federal-wide Drug Seizure System. These drugs are held for evidence in court cases and then must be destroyed. Model procedures and practices for the destruction of large quantities of seized, illicit drugs must be identified and benchmarked. One of the most common methods of destruction is in a municipal refuse incinerator. Although security is high during the operation of the incinerator, the burn then proceeds in the manner through which refuse is normally handled, except no refuse is mixed with the drug. To date no one has investigated the extent to which the drugs are destroyed by incineration in a municipal incinerator or during other methods of combustion or destruction. This research will provide guidance on the best way to destroy the illicit drugs.

  • Optimization of the Automatic Control System for the Reduction of Sulfur Oxide and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions in a Coal Fired Boiler. Control technology options are being examined which could meet the stringent new SO and NOx emission standards effectively and at moderate cost for stoker fired boilers used primarily by commercial institutions and small industries. The major objective of this research is to demonstrate that optimization of the automatic control system can result in reduced emissions as well as control technologies. Lumped parameter process models that predict air pollutant emissions from the Vanderbilt stoker-fired boiler system were estimated from pulse testing data. These models were then used to develop a strategy for automatic control of criteria pollutants from stoker-fired boilers. The initial goal of the control strategy was to limit NOx emissions. The method was tested successfully resulting in reduced NOx emissions. Further extension of this work will include optimization of the automatic control network to limit NO x , CO, and SO x

Selected Publications:

Schnelle, K., A. Launghphairojana, K. Debelak, "Emission Reduction of NOx, and CO by Optimization of the Automatic Control System", Presented at the Combined Power Plant Air Pollution Control MEGA Symposium, Washington D. C., September 13, 2004, Schnelle, Jr. K. B. and C. A. Brown, A Handbook for Air Pollution Control Technology, CRC Press LLC, 386 pp., 2002

Schnelle, Jr., K. B., &ldquot;Atmospheric Diffusion Modeling,” Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, Vo1. 2, 192-212, Academic Press, Inc., 1987. Revised and published Vol. 2, 1992, 273-296. Revised and published Vol. 1 2000, 679-705.

Schnelle, Jr., K. B., "Atmospheric Diffusion Modeling", Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology 1, Academic Press, Inc., 1987. Revised and published volume 2 (1992): 273-296; to be revised and published volume 2 (2000): 25-30.

Schnelle, Jr., K .B., and P. Dey, Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling for Compliance, McGraw Hill, Inc. 525 pages, 1999.

Schnelle, Jr., K. B., and B. B. Crocker, "Air Pollution Control for Stationary Sources," Encyclopedia of Environmental Analysis and Remediation, edited by R.A. Meyers, New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1998. 60 pages.