The Mini AutoClave (MAC) for quick scan purposes is a setup for medium throughput vapour-liquid-equilibrium (VLE) equipment where six experiments can be performed simultaneously.
An advantage is the relatively small volume of solvent needed to run a proper test. All six reactors can run independently of each other and can be started and stopped at any time.
A typical measurement takes about 24 to 48 hours. The test set-up is divided into two temperature sections.
Three reactors are heated to 40°C by a water bath and three reactors are connected to an oil bath and can be heated to any temperature between ambient and 120°C and these three reactors run at the same temperature. Vaporliquid equilibrium measurements are performed in 0.1 litre reactors equipped with a magnetic stirrer and a pressure gauge. Typically, 0.05 litre of solvent is used.
The solvent in the reactor can be heated up and equilibria can be determined at a constant temperature of the solvent. From these data so-called pressure-loading (P-α) curves can be constructed. The pressure (P) is obtained as a function of the loading (α). The loading is expressed in mol CO2/mol solvent. For the glass reactors, measurements have an upper limit of about 7 bars.
For safety reasons, a high pressure limit of about 5 bar was chosen. This implies that the P-α curves, measured at the MAC set-up, range from about 2 to 5000 mbar.
A variety of analytical equipment is available to determine gas and liquid composition. Modelling tools are available to perform simulations of the underlying separation principles (thermodynamics, kinetics). Software tools are available to perform process design and development (flow sheeting and scale-up) as well as to perform technical and economic evaluations
The facility is successfully used for business to business projects and other research programmes such as greenhouse applications, production of gases, materials testing.