07 November 2019

Catalyst screening and catalyst research play an important role in the current landscape of research and development. This will be even more so for future innovations across multiple industries. Renewable energy, waste reduction, more sustainable use of natural resources, development of new composites – these are all examples of themes that are high on the political agenda as well as a hot topic for researchers across the globe. In this post, we highlight how our products can be applied to improve both research processes and outcomes.

Because of the wide variety of research topics and methods, there are obviously many different settings and circumstances in (high-throughput) catalyst research set-ups. But what most catalyst research have in common is the use of heated reactors, ranging from micro-scale to kilogram scale. Subsequently, process pressure may vary from vacuum up to 300 bar. Controlling the pressure in this reactor is of vital importance in catalyst research.

Is the Equilibar ® back pressure regulator suitable for catalyst screening and research processes?

Equilibar back pressure regulators have become the standard in catalytic research. These pressure control valves are able to withstand high temperature, high pressure and two-phase flow while controlling pressure over a Cv range of more than 1:100.000. This capability gives the engineer enormous freedom to run experiments.

Where standard spring-loaded regulators show hysteresis and limit both rangeability and stability in processes or experiments to a small range, Equilibar dome loaded back pressure regulators don’t have these flaws and are thus able to solve such issues. The unique property of being able to control two-phase flow eliminates the need to heat up the valves to avoid condensation. Conventional traditional back pressure regulators fail when moisture enters the instrument, but the Equilibar BPR can handle large amounts of liquid, as demonstrated in this video.

When needed for analytical purposes Equilibar back pressure regulators are available for temperatures up to 700°C.  Depending on the required flow rate, instruments are available from vacuum up to 1380 bar (20.000 PSI).

Even the most aggressive media can be handled by using exotic alloys like Hastelloy, Zirconium, Monel or coatings like Silconert or Tantalum. For low-pressure applications (up to 40 bar) polymeric instruments are available. PTFE, PEEK, PVDF and PVC are standard materials used for the wetted parts of the regulator.

The projected precision of the regulator is 0,2% over the total Cv range. Precision mainly depends on the precision of the pilot controller. Electronic reference pressure control would be the most accurate way to pilot your regulator whereas manual control has the benefit of being easy to operate.