>Katie Kirkpatrick

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So far Katie Kirkpatrick has created 85 blog entries.

MATRIC MATTERS: Process Troubleshooting

A chemical manufacturing facility encountered a problem with unexpected impurities in the product causing it to fail specifications. A MATRIC team was assembled to investigate the problem. Operating records were inspected, process streams were collected for analysis, and analytical methods were developed to help understand the problem. When the likely cause of the problem was [...]

How outsourcing R&D can help businesses be successful

In a competitive business environment, innovation and technology development are key factors of a business’s long-term survival and growth. In the chemical industry, companies strive to stay ahead of the competition by offering innovative products, distinct services, superior quality or competitive pricing. Regardless of which strategy a business adopts, technology development must drive the company’s [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Oxidation Process Assessment

A customer operating a liquid-phase oxidation asked MATRIC for an assessment of the safety and performance of their process. MATRIC visited the production facility, reviewed the operating procedures, and discussed the chemistry with the customer’s team. MATRIC then provided recommendations on how to avoid operating in the flammable range and suggested improvements that could improve [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Solid-Liquid Separations and Solids Characterization

A product obtained by crystallization had troublesome solid transport characteristics. The customer asked MATRIC for assistance in improving the operability of the process. MATRIC investigated the solid-liquid separation process and recommended the preferred approach, as well as an additional solids processing step. Finally, MATRIC recommended the most suitable solids transport technique. -- For additional information, [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Technology Assessment and Review

Technology Assessment A technology organization had developed an innovative process for conversion of biomass to gasoline, and a potential investor wanted an independent assessment of the technology before making an investment decision. A MATRIC team spent nearly three days with the team developing the process, including an inspection of their pilot plant operation and results. [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Safety Consulting

Numerous projects have been carried out for various customers to evaluate specific hazards and provide recommendations on safe operations. The subjects include:     evaluating the flammability limits and autoignition temperatures of mixtures of hydrocarbons and oxygen assessment of electrostatic hazards in handling flammable materials safe operating procedures for handling acetylene dealing with ignition hazards [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Algal Oil Esters

Working together, MATRIC and a customer’s technical team developed technology for processing algal oil to yield desired ester products. After demonstration in the laboratory, a continuous pilot plant was designed and constructed. With a budget of approximately $1M, this pilot plant included eight major capital items and 26 instruments, and it was completed under budget [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Acrolein Distillation

A customer needed to determine the feasibility of recovering acrolein from an aqueous product stream. MATRIC investigated the separation at the lab scale in a distillation column constructed of 1-inch Oldershaw sections, equipped for continuous feeds, including inhibitors. The required column design and operating conditions were determined, and the data were used to refine an [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Acrylic Acid Melt Crystallization

A customer wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of melt crystallization for the purification of acrylic acid prepared by an alternative process scheme. This commercially practiced technique involves a carefully controlled partial crystallization of a falling film which selectively crystallizes product and rejects impurities into the liquid residue. MATRIC designed an experimental plan to enable determination [...]

MATRIC MATTERS: Olefin Oligomerization

A customer had sponsored initial studies at a university to explore the possibility of olefin oligomerization or polymerization to prepare a range of potentially useful products. When the need for larger quantities of materials arose, MATRIC was identified as an organization that could help scale up the technology. Working closely with the customer, MATRIC was [...]