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DESIGN AND PROTOTYPE OF A SUSTAINABLE EGG-WASHER
Current egg washers on the market are unsuitable for small-scale farms. On one hand, large industrial washers far exceed their acceptable costs and operational needs. They are hardly environmentally sound, requiring excessive quantities of water, energy, and harmful sanitizers to clean. Likewise, small machines, like the popular immersion washer, submerge the egg which can enable harmful contaminants to leach through the eggshell. The objective of this project is to design and construct an affordable, sustainable egg washer for small-scale farms.
This project is part of the senior design course for Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. Anticipated results will be a working prototype chosen from multiple designs. We will include test results supporting our selection. We will characterize the stresses exerted on the egg and provide details on the percentage of contaminants removed, and the combination of water volume, material abrasiveness, and biodegradable detergent that are necessary to clean. The broad impact of this research will be the reduction of toxic chemicals, water, and energy utilized in egg cleaning in agricultural settings. We will explore low-energy methods of performing tasks typically powered with electric or combustion motors and how the design could accommodate various energy sources depending on user preference. As a result of our research, we hope to provide a safe, effective, environmentally-friendly alternative for the small farmer.