Laboratory scale tests are typically carried out using a maximum of 2 litre test columns and ancillary equipment designed in house by Separation Techniques, and will have the aim of obtaining data pertaining to process scale plant. This information will form the basis of the operation of the main plant, including that necessary for optimum washing cycles, loading volumes, flow rates and correct backwashing and resin regeneration procedures. Regeneration procedures may be modified from those normally suggested by resin manufacturers in view of the process being considered, and to achieve the highest commercially viable operational efficiency.
Information required for correct commissioning and performance test runs
Data and information, partially forming the basis for the instruction manual for the operation of the plant
The dynamic capacity of the resin, and possibilities of optimising the dynamic capacity under a given set of conditions, such as pH, flow rate, temperature and regeneration
Pilot scale test-work is a crucial aspect of a process development and is carried out at the client's site on equipment designed and supplied by SepTech including resins sourced and supplied by SepTech with processing material supplied by the client. It allows for observation of a plant running at conditions very similar to those of full-scale operation. The efficiency of loading and regeneration procedures, under conditions obtained from laboratory trials, can be confirmed and modified if required. Extended tests can be performed to confirm the loading and regeneration parameters obtained from laboratory trials to achieve optimum operation of the plant. Pressure-drop changes and viscosity effects can be monitored, which are not normally observed in laboratory-scale units due to size constraints and the low resin volumes used. The effects of any suspended solids within the process feed can be measured, and the requirements for pre-filtration equipment or backwashing facilities can be confirmed. Service requirements for the plant can be determined, and data necessary for operating procedures for the main plant can be collected. On completion of pilot trials process guarantees on the main plant are given.
Process plant modifications/ specifications
Results obtained at both laboratory scale and pilot scale operations will form the basis of the main plant – whether they are modifications to an existing system or a new build system. Separation Techniques have over thirty years of practical experience in designing commercially-operating ion-exchange, chromatographic and catalytic resin systems of up to 7 metres in diameter. As a bare minimum for the successful and guaranteed operation of the systems, SepTech would design and supply the SepTech's unique distributor systems, resins, P&ID and column hydraulics including process technology.