Local Control Unit (Plant A)
This module is used as an introduction to Process Control. Using water as its process medium, this plant is designed to give students a basic introduction to level control, flow control, temperature control, controller modes, heat exchangers, safety devices, and process instrumentation. This process is measured using a series of electronic controllers and smart transmitters all within a closed looped environment.
Extraction Unit (Plant B)
This module is used to illustrate the liquid-liquid extraction process. Using water as the continuous phase and a diluted solution of acetic acid in mineral oil as the dispersed phase, the student will be taught the basics of extraction and the differing aspects of controlling a column extractor. Flow ratios of two feeds will be studied and how changing this ratio affects the process; in addition, Wonderware software controllers are used to control the process variables within the plant, allowing the student to interact with each other using a control room environment.
Reaction Unit (Plant C)
This module is based upon an article by Joshua Dranoff et al. in I&EC Research. This plant involves using a fixed bed-bed reactor that contains a strong acid ion exchange resin to convert sucrose to glucose and fructose. The process is pumped through a series of equipment whereby deionization will take place. A differential pressure cell will be used to measure the pressure drop across the catalyst bed and the feed and product streams will be analyzed for sucrose using a polarimeter. The student will perform a variety of kinetic experiments such as varying the feed flow rates and reaction temperatures as well as extracting and analyzing process data.
Water Treatment (Plant D)
This module is used to introduce the student to the principles of evaporation, ion exchange, and operation of DCS. This plant serves a dual purpose: It functions as a water purification process for demonstrating ion exchange and evaporation and it provides a source of deionized water for use in the extraction unit (Plant B). This process requires some coordination between different groups of students thereby enhancing communication as well as analytical skills. Several process measurements can be conducted from using this unit, including pH, conductivity, and totally dissolved solids.
Distillation Unit (Plant E)
Distillation is a process used extensively in the chemical and petrochemical industries to separate liquid mixtures into their various components. This module uses a packed distillation column under vacuum to separate an antifreeze-water mixture. The student will operate a reboiler and column designed and stamped according to ASME Section VIII; hence, this unit is fully instrumented to gain an understanding of distillation principles and to aid in its stable operation. In addition, the student will learn the basic principles of distillation, normal operation of a distillation system including start-up and shutdown procedures, and the adverse effects on distillation control due to upsets such as loss of reflux, changes to feed rate, loss of vacuum, changes to base temperature, etc. The operating conditions and expected separation performance are based on computer simulations by Testengeer, Inc.
Waste Water Unit (Plant F)
This module will be used to teach environmental principles of pH control by mixing a dilute acid with a dilute base. The student will learn the basics of pH control and some of the problems associated with pH control through several experiments: flow change of acid, controlling at different pH settings, upsets in feed concentrations, and mixing times for the static mixer versus the recycle pump. Primary controls for this system consist of feed flow, feed temperature, base temperature, reflux flow, and system pressure.