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Evonik has a synthesis reaction to create siloxane-based foam for sale that they run in their Hopewell plant. They would like to utilize a bench scale reactor system for experimentation on the process. The problem is that the foam created on the lab scale does not show the same properties as the foam created on the plant scale and to run experiments accurately they would have to use the plant reactor, wasting both reactor time and plant resources. Evonik wanted the Senior Design team to find a way of recreating the conditions of the plant reactor on the lab scale so that experiments could be run in a way that eliminates waste and gives accurate data.
The final direction of the project was to provide a 1 Liter jacketed glass reactor and an outline for a recirculation bath that would mimic the heating profile of the plant reactor as closely as possible, as well as a way to provide a comparable agitation profile to the plant scale. To facilitate the agitation profile, an equation was found to relate the size and speed of both the lab and plant impellers. In addition, a quantitative method of measuring “good” and “bad” quality of the product was discovered in UV-Vis Spectroscopy, which allows Evonik to instantly test the liquid product without having to “foam up” the product and test qualitatively.
Siloxane, Heating profile, Agitation, Scale-Down
Chemical Engineering | Engineering
Dr. Frank Gupton
Dr. Ben Ward
VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters
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