Feasibility studies, design & lab test and scale-up
Every chemical synthesis, e.g. extraction processes, also raises the question of how to separate the desired valuable components from the starting materials, by-products and solvents. Very often evaporation or distillation is the method of choice here. In order to assess whether and in what quality mixtures of substances can be separated from each other by distillation, it is useful to research, extrapolate or determine the vapour pressures of the components and the thermodynamics of the mixture before starting an experiment. Afterwards it can generally be estimated which evaporation process can best be used at which pressure for the desired separation.
Then laboratory tests provide initial results on the separation performance and the associated parameters such as pressure and temperature. Furthermore, initial information on the behaviour of the substance mixture in the evaporator can already be obtained, which cannot be determined on the basis of thermodynamic data alone, for example foaming, fouling on the evaporator surfaces, odour, precipitation or an increase in viscosity during evaporation.
Once the basic feasibility has been established, a scale-up is required to carry out the engineering for the production plant. Here it is important to convert the process parameters determined in the laboratory to a larger scale and, in addition to working pressures and temperatures, to obtain the influence of the throughput on the selectivity or product quality, as well as the reliable determination of the energy balance for the entire process. In addition, larger product samples can also be produced within the scope of such pilot tests.
COROSYS offers the possibility to accompany customers from the beginning. In addition to an extensive substance database, it is possible to determine thermodynamic substance data such as vapour pressures and mixing behaviour. For this purpose, equilibrium apparatuses are available, on which corresponding data can be determined even with small quantities, if they are not known in literature or can be reasonably extrapolated. This data can now be used in various commercial programs as well as dedicated semi-empirical design programs for the simulation of evaporation or rectification of multi-component systems.
In the next step COROSYS offers a range of laboratory equipment for experiments. The range of available plants extends from falling film to thin film evaporators, also in combination with vacuum rectification columns, as well as short path evaporators for evaporation at lowest possible pressures and temperatures. We are also happy to carry out these tests together with our customers on site, so that they can, for example, also run the associated qualified analysis in their own laboratory.
As an engineering-oriented company, we attach great importance to a careful scale-up. For this purpose, we configure appropriate, often multi-stage pilot plants based on laboratory tests, consisting of the above-mentioned apparatus types, which, in contrast to laboratory plants, are mainly made of stainless steel. These allow optimal simulation of the customer’s process and determination of all relevant process parameters, which then form the basis for the subsequent production plant. Most of our technicians and engineers have many years of experience in their respective fields and from the successful design of hundreds of industrial production plants. COROSYS continuously develops your plants and separation processes for the benefit of our customers.
We are looking forward to hearing from you. To characterize your separation task, please use the attached evaporator form or contact our experts directly.