Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Batch control makes chemical reactions easier to manage

14.04.2004


Two Dutch researchers have developed a method for managing so-called batch productions. During a batch production, substances react in a reactor vessel according to a certain recipe to produce an end product. After the reaction the reactor is emptied and a new reaction with the same recipe is started.



Chemist Eric van Sprang and chemical engineer Henk-Jan Ramaker have developed a control method that also takes the relationship between various process parameters into account. The current methods of process control monitor all of the parameters during the reaction, such as pressure and temperature, separately. As a result of this the control process costs a lot of time and not all of the process disruptions are clearly visible.

Batch control is important for safety, the environment and product quality. The quality of the product made in a batch process depends on the various parameters involved in the chemical reaction. However, these parameters are never the same for all batches.


The researchers made a model to predict how large the variations can be without endangering the quality of the product. They first of all collected the process parameters from more than thirty batches and then described the process variation with the help of a model. Finally, they used this model to make two control cards that an operator can use to control the process. If the process parameters of the reaction remain within the control limits, the process is proceeding as intended. If that is not the case, there is a process disruption.

Traditionally factories control a chemical process by monitoring several parameters such as pressure and temperature. These are measured by sensors in the reactor. The outcome of each separate measurement is noted on a so-called univariate control chart. Therefore several charts are needed to monitor several variables and this means that the relationships between different parameters are ignored. For example, if the pressure in the reactor vessel increases, the temperature often rises as well. However, if this relationship no longer holds due to a process disruption, univariate control charts might not detect this.

However, the new method from Sprang and Ramaker takes the relationships between process parameters into account. With this method the process operator in the control room only needs to monitor two control cards. The early and reliable detection of process disruptions leads to indirect cost savings on the process. Therefore it is essential to choose as good a model as possible in combination with the correct statistics.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Sonja Jacobs | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/nwop_5xkj4c_eng

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht To proliferate or not to proliferate
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Discovery of a Primordial Metabolism in Microbes
21.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

To proliferate or not to proliferate

21.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Magnetic micro-boats

21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Motorless pumps and self-regulating valves made from ultrathin film

21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>