Tips & Tools From Our Engineers

Pilot vs. Commercial Plant

August 30, 2017

Author: Adam Whalley

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To the casual observer, pilot and demonstration plants seem to look and behave like large-scale commercial plants. Indeed, both types of plants need to be designed and fabricated in accordance with federal and local codes and standards, both use the same engineering principles, and both...

Challenges in Relief Design for Pilot Plants

July 5, 2017

Author: Michael Trainor

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Relief system design at the pilot scale presents unique challenges that don’t always apply at the commercial scale.

This article will touch on these issues and provide guidance on how to deal with them.

Commercial equipment and most pilot-scale equipment are designed to ASME VIII Div. 1. The equipment will almost always require certified relief valves for overpressure protection. However...

Design Inputs for Pilot Plants: Lab Data and Simulations

March 6, 2017

Author: Paul Martin

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When developing an equipment design project, it is best to start with a fully developed process flow diagram with a complete mass and energy balance evaluated at the desired operating point. Unfortunately, one of the purposes of most pilot-plant projects is to provide that very data for...

The Uniqueness of the Pilot Scale

February 21, 2017

Author: Paul Martin

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I recall a talk given by an invited speaker that I attended during my post-graduate work during a break from slaving away in the lab doing kinetic experiments related to a new commercial hydrogenation catalyst. The speaker boasted about how rich we chemical engineers were with meaningful mathematical models for the processes we worked with: “With computing power becoming...