Process Development / Pilot Trials

Pilot Plant Trials

Pope Scientific’s process development and pilot plant trials are used once process feasibility has been established in the laboratory. These pilot trials provide critical information on material handling for scale-up to either equipment quotation or further toll processing/contract distillation services. Several factors are important when considering the pilot plant trials:

  • The equipment transitions from borosilicate glass to 316 stainless steel, providing greatly increased heat transfer to the product. This allows for faster feed rates, and for reduced risk of product degradation.
  • Continuous feed and discharge of material through the use of pumps allows the process conditions to be optimized through mass fraction calculations and analytical data, all accomplished without stopping the distillation.
  • Pope is able to explore the material handling restrictions of the material being tested. Process pumps and instrumentation can be selected and tested for long term continuous operation. The information gathered from the material handling aspect of the pilot plant provides valuable information for either scaled up toll processing/contract distillation or for the quotation of equipment to the customer.
  • Large samples of material are able to be generated in a relatively short period of time.
  • Multi-stage single pass processing of the material is possible.
  • The long term running conditions allow for potential processing issues to reveal themselves to our skilled operators and engineers.

The Pope Scientific pilot processing area is also home to our 6” stainless steel hybrid wiped film distillation unit. This unit is used to both perform pilot processing of materials that require hybrid distillation, but it is also used for the testing of feasibility for these types of feed materials.

The scale-up of a chemical process can be a long and difficult road, but with the help of Pope’s highly skilled operators, chemists, and engineers, we make the process easy and streamlined.