AutoLAB II | Chemical Reactors from 250 ml to 50 L
Modular & Ergonomic design
- Modules such as pumping or sampling systems can be added now or in the future
- Tool-less couplings, accessible fittings.
Wide range of standard options to choose from:
- Vacuum and High-pressure systems
- Vessels from 250 ml to 50 L
- Choice of Material of Construction (MOC)
- Liquid, solid and gas feeds
- Sampling systems
- Probes, (pH, RedOx, Conductivity, etc.)
- Cascaded systems
- PAT Integration
Gas, Liquid and Solid feeds are available as standard options across the AutoLAB and Simular range, all fully computer-controlled. Liquid and powder feeds are typically added on a weight basis with an integrated feed balance. High accuracy volumetric syringe pumps are also available. Gas feeds are provided on a feed rate or pressure-control basis.
Advanced controls are available with feedback from sensors to allow for pH, pressure or temperature control.
Sampling can be provided by manual dip tubes, active pumps or with multisampling units such as the ASU
- WinISO software allows the complete control of any and all electronic devices on the system
- Integrated “intelligent” feedback controls
- e.g. automated pH control via dosing pumps
Temperature regulation on jacketed reactors is provided via electrical heaters, circulating fluid, or a combination of both. Fluid Circulators are the most common solution, providing both heating and active cooling from -80 °C to around 250 °C. Electrical heaters provide heating only but extend the range of the system up to 500 °C (with a suitable reactor).
The user interface is identical regardless of the thermal control system used – reducing training requirements. Temperature can be controlled on the basis of a reactor or jacket temperature. More sophisticated temperature controls, such as ramps or differential control (where the jacket is maintained at a fixed offset to the reactor temps – useful for maintaining reflux conditions) are included as standard and allow for precise parameter control.
Advanced thermal controls are included in the Simular Calorimeter system, but again the interface retains it’s the simplicity of use – with just a single setpoint entry for reactor temp required.
The Standard Range
Reactors are available from a standard 250 ml to 20 L, but other sizes can be accommodated on request. Interchange of reactors is widely supported across the vessel range. Self-sealing “Quick-Connects” remove the need to drain oil-jackets and make vessels interchange a quick and clean operation.
Reactors are divided into three basic types:
- Glass with an oil jacket (with or without optional vacuum jacket)
- Metal with an oil jacket
- Metal with an electrical jacket
Standard vessels are rated to 250 °C, and electrical heating allows for operations up to 500 °C. Pressure ratings up to 6 bar (glass) and 100 bar (metal)
The Material Difference
Glass reactors are made from high-quality Borosilicate 3.3 (DIN/ISO 3585) and metal reactors are available in a range of materials including:
- Stainless Steel 316
Pilot Plant Reactors – Custom Reactor Design Up To 50 L
The high-pressure custom reactor design offers:
- Metal alloy reactors with pressure/temperature range to suit many applications including the integration of multiple vessels
- Complete plant solutions to match any process flow sheet, with all the necessary fittings and safety features included
- Custom design to suit standard and novel chemistries
- Explosion-proof (ATEX rated), which allows sensors, stirrers as well as compatible liquid and dosing pump control software to be located in a separate area to suit electrical zoning
- Ease of use for lifting (head or vessel) to suit the application – the possibility of internal cleaning with CIP nozzles, choice of heating/cooling and agitation options are available
The AutoLAB range of jacketed reactors, employ powerful overhead stirrer motors. The standard motor delivers 50-2000 rpm with 20 Ncm of continuous torque.
The standard motor is adequate for vessels up to 3 L involving liquids with low to moderate viscosity and even 10 L with normal (water-like) viscosity liquids. Higher rated motors are available as standard options up to a 700Ncm/540rpm model for extreme applications. The torque sensor is mounted in motorhead and measures directly the changes in viscosity and hence also allows direct calculation of stirring power.
An automatic motor cut out prevents motor burn-out and damage to other equipment. The motor is fitted with a remote sensor for software monitoring of both speed and torque, as well as control of speed.
Couplings are fitted to the lid of the reactor seal on the reactor on the spinning stirrer shaft.
The mechanical coupling seal is fitted on the spinning shaft via PTFE bearings. For higher pressure (or very low vacuum) applications, this can be a source of gas leakage and a magnetic coupling is required. Magnetic coupling divides the stirrer shaft in two with a hard seal in between and the stirring motion is transferred across the seal via spinning magnets.
For Atmospheric Reactors:
- Mechanical Coupling Standard
- Magnetic Coupling Optional
- Range of Torque Options
For High-Pressure Reactors
- Magnetic Coupling as Standard
- Range of Torque Options
- Whether a mechanical or mag-drive coupling has been used, the motor is connected to the system via H.E.L’s tool-less motor coupling. This allows the motor to be swung free of the reactor without the need for tools and allows the lid to be removed, quickly.
Stirrers are available in a range of architectures and materials. Typically PTFE-coated stainless steel is used, but glass and Hastelloy are also available as standard. In terms of shapes, stirrer blades are available as:
- Rushton (“paddlewheel”) angled blades upflow/downflow
- straight blades
- Pitch blade4 – 6 blades
- typically downflow
- Anchorgood for higher viscosity mixing
- Helicoila helical spiral which mixes with a “screw” motion