Pilot Plant in Houston, TX is Dedicated to Testing Processes

Pilot Plant FacilityKoch Modular maintains a state-of-the-art pilot plant in Houston, Texas, dedicated to the testing of mass transfer processes including including distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, stripping and reaction chemistry. The pilot plant is extremely flexible and equipment setups are customized for the particular problem at hand.

Our facility has more than 5,000 square feet of floor space and 32 ft of headroom. We have a strong commitment to safety in the workplace and are dedicated to being environmentally conscious. The pilot plant is equipped for both bench and pilot-scale testing. In addition, an in-house analytical department supports the pilot tests. On-site analysis provides customers with on-the-spot feedback and reduces time spent in the pilot plant. Analytical methods include gas chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, spectrophotometry, wet chemistry and Karl Fischer Titration.

One of the essential elements of a good pilot plant trial is flexibility. Separation problems are not always as they seem on the surface, so the ability to modify column internals and/or auxiliary equipment is necessary to quickly arrive at an optimum solution. Our pilot plant staff has the experience and expertise to solve your most difficult mass transfer problems.

How We Do It

Tests are conducted in the smallest columns that will give reliable scale-up data. The advantage of using small columns is that it minimizes the amount of material required. Most tests require only 5 to 50 gallons of material. In addition, small equipment minimizes test time by reaching equilibrium conditions more rapidly.

Extractor ScaleupPilot tests are performed over a range of operating conditions to measure mass transfer efficiency and determine optimum conditions. Additional observations, such as foaming, fouling, thermal degradation and overall operating stability provide important information used in design of commercial production equipment.

Sufficient data for scale-up is routinely generated within one week of testing for each process step. With our many years of experience, Koch Modular has developed proven correlations that provide accurate scale-up from pilot to commercial size.

The final product of the pilot plant test is a report that contains the operating data necessary to allow Koch Modular to design and supply the commercial scale equipment with a Process Performance Guarantee.

Unit Operations

  • Distillation – Wide range of column internals, sizes, operating pressures and associated equipment.
  • Extraction – Liquid-liquid extraction column design including Karr, Scheibel, RDC and more.
  • Strippping – Steam stripper testing for wastewater and process water VOC removal.
  • Reactions – Batch, continuous, reactive distillation and other reaction studies.
  • Misc Applications – Wide variety of applications normally associated with distillation and extraction.

Full Range of Services

  • Equilibrium Studies – More information on our VLE and LLE data development.
  • Capabilities – On-site analysis including GC, HPLC, spectrophotometry, wet chemistry and more.