Chemical Process Development Laboratory (CPDL)
The CPDL contains high-pressure chemical reactor systems for use in tests at larger scale than CEL. A 1-liter stirred batch reactor is operable at up to 450°C and 6000 psig. The reactor has a gas sampling system for product removal during high-temperature and high-pressure operations. A 2-gallon stirred batch reactor is restricted to less severe conditions and is typically used in lower temperature hydrolysis reactions. A continuous-flow reactor stand can be used with either a stirred tank reactor (CSTR) or a tubular reactor, each with 1-liter internal volume. The CSTR is equipped with a spinning catalyst basket (150 milliliter) of the Carberry design. The tubular reactor is typically used with a fixed bed of catalyst. Each of the reactors is heated with an individual electrical resistance heater and can operate at up to 450°C. Either unit can be fed by a reciprocating plunger pump, operable at up to 5000 psig. The products from the reactors pass through a cooler and gas liquid separator before the gas product is analyzed in an on-line gas chromatograph.
The CPDL also contains a bench-scale stirred ball mill, Union Process - Attritor, for preparing biomass slurries with sufficiently small particle size for feeding in the reciprocating pump.