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Process Control/ Mass Transfer Lab

St. Benilde Hall #110

Faculty Supervisor:
Dr. Ali Pourhashemi

Lab Description:

Two of the specialized skill sets needed by Chemical Engineers are the ability to work with large scale reactions and to separate mixtures and purify products. This laboratory allows students to gain experience in these areas, as well as in the automatic control of chemical process systems. The lab also contains experiments that illuminate heat transfer and chemical engineering thermodynamics.

A variety of separations equipment is provided for student experiments. A multiple-effect evaporator is used to separate liquids from non-volatile materials– industrial applications include paper chemicals, sugar refining, and concentrating fruit juices. A packed absorption column provides insight into methods of removing contaminants from gas streams and introduces the types of systems that might be used to remove acid gases from power plant emissions. A tray dryer shows how water can be separated from solids and liquids. The largest piece of equipment in the laboratory is the multistage distillation column which is used to separate mixtures of liquids. Distillation is the core processing step in a petroleum refinery.

The laboratory contains continuous stirred reactors, tubular reactors, and catalytic reactors that can be used to study reaction kinetics and scale-up.

Applications of automatic control can be studied using the Process Plant Trainer and Process Module.

Heat transfer experiments include an apparatus for investigating the thermal conductivity of solids and the temperature behavior of a continuously stirred tank with internal coil and external heat exchanger. This laboratory also houses our plate heat exchanger, a type of device commonly used in processing foods and natural gas. An experimental apparatus for measuring the compressibility of gases supports studies in thermodynamics and fluid properties.