Crystallization and Solids Processing

Solids processing is a technology that heavily relies on empiricism and thus requires laboratory and pilot plant research, development, and demonstration. MATRIC offers a full range of laboratory services for solids processing, including various types of crystallization, solid/liquid separation such as centrifugation and filtration, and vacuum and convection drying. Services include the capability for conducting laboratory and/or pilot scale precipitation, crystallization, and product recovery studies suitable for scale-up to commercial operation.

MATRIC provides custom services to meet a client’s specific needs, including the ability to synthesize and produce reaction products in lieu of the client supplying representative material. With this range of capability, MATRIC can undertake projects that begin with the reaction steps and proceed through crystallization and on to downstream processing operations.

We can operate on a scale that provides product samples of sufficient size to facilitate product testing and evaluation. These services have been of high value to clients developing new products and processes.

crystals

Services

MATRIC provides custom services to meet the client’s specific needs. Services include the capability for conducting laboratory and/or pilot scale precipitation, crystallization, and product recovery studies suitable for scale-up to commercial operation. We can also carry out process simulation studies to model a potential process scheme.

MATRIC has synthesis and reaction capability to produce reaction product in lieu of the client supplying representative material.

We can operate on a scale that provides product samples of sufficient size to facilitate product testing and evaluation.

MATRIC can undertake projects potentially involving crystallization that begin with the reaction steps and proceed through crystallization and on to downstream processing operations. This capability has been of high value to clients developing new products and processes.

MATRIC can develop a detailed investigation of factors affecting particle size, habit and quality.

cryst-equip

Equipment

MATRIC has a wide variety of specialized equipment suitable for developing solids processing systems.

  • Standard crystallizers: Jacketed glass crystallizers suitable for cooling or evaporative crystallization ranging from 0.5 to 50 liters volume.
  • Falling film crystallizers: A variety of glass falling film crystallizers ranging from one-two inch diameter are available for specialized studies.
  • Solid/liquid separation equipment: Walton pressure filter, top and bottom vacuum test leafs, gyrotesters, laboratory perforate basket and disc centrifuge, 14 inch basket, variable speed centrifugal filter, and 10 inch constant speed peeler centrifuge.
  • Dryers: Atmospheric and vacuum tray dryers and an ABBE roto-cone vacuum dryer.
  • Other supporting equipment: Jenike and Peschl shear testers, Sartorious moisture analyzer, National microscope with MOTIC imaging software, sonic screens.

Experience

MATRIC is pleased to have highly experienced scientists and engineers with an extensive record of success in solids processing activities. Some of our staff members include:

Dr. Charles Moyers has more than 40 years of experience in separations and solids processing technology. He led the solids processing technology group in Union Carbide for 20 years, supporting the needs of all of the businesses in the corporation. He has taught AIChE courses in Crystallization Operations for 20 years and Principles of Drying for 15 years. He is the author of numerous patents and publications, including sections on Melt Crystallization and Solids Drying in the 7th edition of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook.

James Withrow has a long record of achievement in the solids processing area. For more than thirty years he supported Union Carbide’s Engineering and R&D functions by providing design, testing and consulting services in the area of Solid Processing Technology, specializing in solid-liquid separation and solid-handling systems. He served as supervisor of the Solid Processing Technology Laboratories to provide testing services to the corporation in all areas of solid processing, including handling, drying, crystallization and solid-liquid separation. He developed design criteria and provided plant support in the solid processing areas. He performed and supervised performance of laboratory and/or pilot-scale tests to obtain scaleup data to size filters and centrifuges for production facilities.

Brooke Albin has been a key contributor in a number of recent projects involving crystallization and solids processing. She has been involved in laboratory-scale crystallization studies for isolation and purification of bio-derived products, as well as pilot-scale operations. She has experience with a variety of techniques for solid-liquid separation and drying. She has also developed process technology and process engineering packages for commercial-scale operations based on crystallization and solids processing.

Recent Projects

Recent activities in our laboratories cover a broad range of studies. Some highlights are listed here.

  • Developed technology to purify a bio-derived product by crystallization. Scaled up the process to produce hundreds of pounds of pure crystalline product per month. Patent applications have been filed on this technology.
  • Demonstrated batch, semi-batch, and continuous crystallization processes for this product. Investigated a range of drying technologies to identify the most efficient, effective, and scalable process.
  • Evaluated melt crystallization as an alternative technology for this product.
  • Successfully demonstrated a unique isomerization/crystallization process for another bio-derived product.
  • Studied effluent from a biodigester and evaluated a number of approaches to separating the components of this stream.
  • Tested a number of approaches for solid-liquid separation of mixtures obtained in processes being developed in a biorefinery process. Identified and demonstrated technology that permits more economical scale-up of the process.
  • Improved a process involving solid precipitation to enhance development of particle size and improve separations.
  • Evaluated the effects of various treatments on wet solids flow and shear properties.
  • Developed ternary phase diagrams for unique three-component systems.
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