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Facilities & Laboratories

Process Development Laboratory-East (PDL-E)

The PDL-E is a high-bay facility that includes seven walk-in hoods with utilities and gas lines for many types of small-scale, chemical, physical, or catalyst process systems. Workbench islands can easily be set up to accommodate activities within the hoods. There is floor space for pilot plant systems and 480 volt electrical supply, a large supply of compressed air and steam capabilities for large systems. In the past, there have been pilot plants in PDL-E for biomass processing, supercritical fluid processing and fluidized-bed and high-pressure, high-temperature chemical processing systems. Biomass processing methods for extraction or hydrolysis have been developed in this laboratory and then scaled up for engineering assessment.

A laboratory area is available for bench-top studies or analytical work with its own ventilation hood, glassware, chemicals and sinks. There is a separate shop area with power tools and supplies for assembling experimental projects in the building.

Inside the building, there are chillers for process water, balances, gas chromatographs, hot-oil baths, controllers for pressure and temperature equipment, data-loggers, power supplies and common laboratory supplies. Outside, on the surrounding lay-down area, there are four 20-ft cargo containers for supplies and three 10-ft3 modules with different tanks and exchangers that can be modified for different pilot plant systems. Various stainless steel tanks that range in size from 20 gal to 400 gal are also located in the lay-down area.

Also on the lay-down pad are skid-mounted units, such as the acid-recovery system that can distill acids at a rate of 150 lb/hr. Another skid-mounted unit is for using supercritical CO2 for cleaning and extraction. A mobile process engineering unit has two 2-in. by 6-ft. tall tubular reactors, each about 4 L in volume. There are also electrical heating and tube-in-tube heat recovery system systems and feed and product tanks.

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