On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have two classes back to back in Packard 101 (the large lecture hall in the engineering building). I have ChE 31 from 9:20-10:35, and then, I have Psych 101 from 10:45-12:00. Because I stay in the same room for both classes, I get the opportunity to talk to my ChE professor, Professor Gilchrist. I either ask him about questions I have from the lecture or we talk about other things that are based off of the lecture.
Today in class, we were talking about adsorption. As an example, Professor Gilchrist knew that I was an EMT here at Lehigh University and decided to ask me what hospitals use to remove alcohol and ingested other poisons from patients. I knew he was talking about activated charcoal because it has a high degree of microporosity – meaning that it has pores with diameters less than 2 nm. Activated charcoal is great for adsorption because its pores increase the surface area available for adsorption. Activated charcoal adsorbs to chemicals, making them less toxic by decreasing the chemicals absorption in the body by up to 60%.
Professor Gilchrist always uses relatable topics to help our understanding of the material we are learning. And he also likes to tell funny stories that in some weird way relate to Chemical Engineering.