UBC Chem-E-Car

Design Build and Compete

To design a car that can only be powered by chemical reactions. The process of creating the car involves building a power system (batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors etc), selecting a stopping mechanism reaction, designing the circuitry, coding microcontrollers and assembling the mechanical components and car body.

 chemecar.md

Project

UBC Chem-E-Car is a design team under the UBC Chemical & Biological Engineering Department that competes in the annual AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) Regional and National Chem-E-Car Competitions. The goal of the competition is to build a shoebox sized car that carries a given load of water within a given amount of distance. Chem-E-Car provides the opportunity for UBC engineering students to learn valuable technical and interpersonal skills.

Project Details

Technology

Mechanical Team

Designs and develops the body and other mechanical components of the car. The car is custom built, made of 3D printed components and various other purchased materials; the car and all its parts must fit inside a 40cm x 30cm x 20cm box and be able to carry an extra load of water ranging from 0-500 mL. The design team must incorporate and organize the reactor, power source, microcontrollers and wiring onto the car, as well as ensure its stability and ability to travel in a straight line.

Lab Team

Designs a chemical-based stopping mechanism for the car. The chemical reaction’s rate of completion is used to stop the car motor. The lab teams must design a precise and accurate reaction, calibration curve and equation that will calculate the concentrations or quantity of reagents that will result in the completion of the reaction at the required time

Power Source Team

Builds an energy source (battery, fuel cell, combustion engine) to power the motor, and hence the propulsion of the car. The energy sources must provide a consistent output of energy and be able to be constructed at the day of the competition. It must also be heavily tested in varying conditions to ensure successful operation for competition day.

Circuitry Team

Codes the car to respond to the stopping mechanism and programmes the motor to run the car. Design the sensor system which is responsible for reacting to the changes in the chemical reaction which would eventually stop the car. The sensitivity and exactness of the sensor system impacts how accurately the calibration curve is applied to stop the car as it covers a specified distance.

Our Future

UBC Chem-E-Car will attend the 2020 Pactific Northwest Regional AlChE Chem-E-Car Competition. We aim to place in the Regional Competition and compete at the National AIChE Chem-E-Car Competition in the fall. The team strives to design innovative timing mechanisms and power sources, and a unique car every year. We hope to continue to do this while teaching others about this technology, and growing as a team.

Sponsorship

Check out our sponsorship page here!

Accomplishments / Awards

  • 2019 AIChE Regionals Poster Presentation (1st Runner-up)
  • 2019 AIChE Chem-E-Car Regionals (1st Runner-up)
  • 2019 AIChE Student Paper Competition (1st Runner-up)
  • 2018 AIChE Nationals Poster Presentation (1st place)
  • 2018 AIChE Chem-E-Car Nationals (25th out of 40 teams)
  • 2018 AIChE Chem-E-Car Regionals (1st place)
  • 2018 AIChE Regionals Poster Presentation (1st place)
  • 2017 World Congress Poster Competition (1st place)
  • 2017 World Congress Competition (7th out of 18 teams)

Team Members

Brandon Chen

Brandon Chen
VP Internal

Crisella Harsono

Crisella Harsono
Junior Lab Sub-Team Member

Jayg Dimayacyac

Jayg Dimayacyac
Advisor

Meghan Cooke

Meghan Cooke
Chem-E-Car Co-Captain

Param Arora

Param Arora
Agrobot Team Lead

Raunak Bhutoria

Raunak Bhutoria
Power Source Sub-Team Member

Shlok Verma

Shlok Verma
VP External

Veronika Zenova

Veronika Zenova
Chem E Car Co-Captain

Wendie Wu

Wendie Wu
Senior Lab Team Member

Zuhayr Kazi

Zuhayr Kazi
Circuitry Sub-Team Member