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Test system for catalysts

In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance which increases the speed of a chemical reaction without the substance itself being used in the reaction. It does this by reducing the activation energy. By doing this, catalysts change the kinetics of chemical reactions without changing their thermodynamic properties. They speed up the forward and reverse reaction at the same rate so that the equilibrium of a reaction is not affected in any way.

The chemistry department at a German university designed a system for testing catalysts for chemical substance conversions. 
The design of this test system is shown in the system drawing below:

Using flow meters, pressure controllers and pumps

EL-FLOW Mass Flow Controllers (MFCs) are used to mix a variety of gases (NH3, H2, CO2, N2, Ar, CO, etc.). In this system, they are fed into a reactor along with toluene, methanol and water. In that reactor, an EL-PRESS pressure controller (EPC) is then used to bring the catalyst to a constant pressure while the reactor is still being heated.

What is special about this application is that three mini CORI-FLOW Coriolis mass flow meters (LFMs) which control three (WADOSE) HPLC pumps are used for dosing and mixing the liquids. The mass flow meters with pumps and the gas flow controllers are controlled by means of a fieldbus (FLOW-BUS).

The three mini CORI-FLOW devices are designed for a flow rate of 20 g/h and the setting ratio of the pump control system is 1:50 so that the smallest value that can be controlled is 0.4 g/h. The pumps are mounted on the side and controlled by means of the RS232 of the Coriolis liquid flow meters (see middle right picture).

The Coriolis liquid flow meters are mounted on the top of the system (see bottom right picture). The thermal gas flow controllers are mounted on the side and are controlled via FLOW-BUS, similar to the Coriolis devices (see the photo below).

EL-FLOW thermal gas flow controllers

Contact us!

Bronkhorst has many years of experience with using mass flow meters and controllers in test systems. Call us – we will be happy to advise you!

Test system for catalysts
Whole system


Coriolis Mass Flow Meters for low flow rates
3 Coriolis Mass Flow Meters for low flow rates

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