CI Precision microbalances – the equipment of choice for university research departments

The Chemical Process Intensification group in the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology carries out research into integrated reactor concepts from process modelling through to demonstration of proof of concept. The group uses state-of-the-art reactor modelling and advanced experimental techniques to develop novel technologies for multi-functional intensified reactors with the aim to promote sustainable, highly efficient, and inherently safe chemical processes.

Project Requirements

As a department that conducts many experiments on gas/solids reactions and solid sorption systems, they required a solution that could be easily integrated into their existing processes and perform reliably and accurately even at elevated pressures and temperatures.

The CI Precision Solution

The majority of the group’s research involved gas/solids reaction kinetics at temperatures up to 1200°C, multi-cycles stability tests and sorption kinetics. Since accurate measurements of reaction kinetics and sorption kinetics are critical to reactor design, it was essential that the department used equipment that they could rely on to operate well in these extreme conditions.

The department used up to 100mg of samples in different particle sizes to assess the presence of internal mass transfer limitations. The lower particle size used so far had been in the order of 40 microns with the larger particle sizes in the order of 0.5-1cm. The experiment duration largely depended on the test, which could take from 20-50 hours for stability tests. Cyclic stability tests, on the other hand, could be performed up to 200-300 cycles of 30 minutes each. A typical experimental campaign would take about one week.

The department was already using a CI Precision microbalance and after experiencing excellent results over 4-5 years with continuous use in their gas/solids reactions and solid sorption systems, they decided to purchase a second microbalance to integrate with their new experiment system.

Unlike other suppliers of microbalances, CI Precision provides the components in kit form, which is especially useful in research applications where the microbalance needs to be built into bespoke apparatus. It is this very feature that has allowed researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology to build two TGA systems to their exact specifications and obtain reliable and accurate readings even at elevated operating conditions.

"The stability is very high compared with the other balances we have. The precision is also very high, and most importantly very good reproducibility of the results. The cost to replace an old balance was also very affordable."

“We are very happy with the support from CI. They have helped us when having some issues with the balance. They also helped a lot while we were designing the high pressure system.”

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