Real-time particle size control of crystallization processes
The production of salt and other crystalline substances happens via crystallization processes whereby the thermodynamic equilibrium of solubility in saturated salt liquor is disturbed leading to production of particles. There are basically two types, cooling crystallization and evaporation crystallization. In both cases the crystal growth requires crystallization seeds. Dissolved substances eventually precipitate off the liquor as solid crystals with a high degree of purity.
Through meaningful control of process parameters like pressure, temperature or residence times, specific crystal sizes can be produced which define the product’s properties. Salts like fertilizer or road salt need to have good ballistic properties and are therefore produced as narrowly distributed grains of up to 5 mm with small particles, responsible for dust occurrence, avoided on principle. Other applications like industrial chemicals or active pharmaceutical ingredients with the focus on reactivity and bioavailability often require fine crystals that offer a large surface area.
Crystallization processes, where sample extraction and sample dilution would change the particle size, ultrasonic extinction with OPUS can prove its worth. Particle size measurement in mother liquor under process conditions offers observation and control of the crystallization process in real time.
Grain size distribution of salts during crystallisation process
- Control and regulation of crystallization process until ideal grain size has been achieved
- Recognition and specific influence of crystallization phases (e.g. detection of seeding point)
- Production of crystal sizes specifically for different salt applications
- Prevention of fine crystals and undesirable dust formation
- Acoustic measuring method for opaque or highly concentrated media
- In-situ analysis of particle size distribution and crystal concentration in undiluted original state
- Repeatable and high resolution measurement using freely selected measurement parameters
- High analysis frequency with up to 1,000 analyses/day without interruption over several months, no cleaning or maintenance necessary
- Simple installation by flanging into process pipe or reactor
- High durability and wear resistance even under extreme process conditions, e.g. high temperature and pressure, chemically aggressive media or abrasive solids
- Low-maintenance and user-friendly
- Direct integration into process control systems
- High resolution real-time control of dynamic crystallization processes
- Monitoring of real in situ grain size distribution without sampling
- Product quality optimization through process control
- Better understanding of process
- Increasing process efficiency by precise control of crystallization dynamic
- Control of precipitated product yield through simultaneous determination of solids