A Object-Oriented Implementation of a Chemical Waste Consolidation Expert System
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1. Background and Rationale
2. Interface Design
3. System Design
4. Evaluation and Results
5. Future Work
Bibliography and References
Appendix A. Example Drum Report
Appendix B. Chemical Compatibility Testing Data
The Physical and Environmental Sciences Department of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was in need of a software package to automate several tasks specific to its operations. The waste consolidation system was designed to assist with the consolidation of multiple waste streams into the minimum amount of bulk containers or the method that reduced handling costs. Currently, the chemical inventory consists of over 600 chemicals, and each carries its own individual problems of disposal and remediation. This system advises on the compatibility of the combinations, makes recommendations and provides chemical and thermodynamic information about the initial and final mixtures. It helps to track and reduce the costs of laboratory operations and fairly apportion the actual costs among the various programs. To insure the software’s acceptance and utilization, the consolidation module is stand-alone and operates on a Windows-based system. As a rules-based, data-driven program, the software performs as a type of “expert system” and effectively achieves these goals.
For several months, I focused on writing an expert system to permit wholesale chemical waste consolidation and predict some of the critical physical data about the resulting mixture - such as whether it will become endothermic, exothermic, generate excessive vapor, or perhaps even boil or ignite. Enabling a technician to more accurately predict the outcome of waste consolidation when combining chemical waste in bulk containers, it will save Texas A&M-Corpus Christi up to $10,000 per year by avoiding extra packing, transport and disposal costs of multiple intermediate transport containers.