Testing using small quantities of feed material to provide “proof of concept” information.
Testing using larger quantities of feed material to generate the engineering data required for scale-up and industrial design.
Industrial-scale implementation of the technology.
Ongoing on-site troubleshooting, assessment, and training provided as required.
Amalgamated Research LLC specializes in creating and managing innovative technologies, all the way from laboratory-scale testing to full-scale industrial implementation. Working in partnership with customers to develop new technology solutions typically involves a four-stage process:
- Laboratory-scale testing, using small quantities of feed material to provide “proof of concept” information
- Pilot-scale testing, using larger quantities of feed material to generate the engineering data required for scale-up and industrial design
- Industrial-scale implementation of the technology
- Ongoing Technical Support such as on-site troubleshooting, assessment, and training provided as required
Many customers working with ARi to develop an innovative process or technology choose to carry out additional testing at an intermediate scale (known as “demonstration-scale”), before moving to full-scale industrial implementation. This step is usually carried out to manage risk, develop confidence in the technology at a larger scale and to demonstrate its successful operation to investors or project financiers.
Laboratory-scale testing is usually carried out to provide “proof of concept” information about a new process or technology. This work is often carried out in laboratory glassware, using at most a few hundred milliliters of feed material.
For example, the development of a new chromatographic separation technology often starts with laboratory-scale testing of various ion exchange resins or adsorbents using batch chromatography. This is known as “pulse testing”.
Pulse tests are used to determine whether the desired separation can be achieved, to evaluate the suitability of simulated moving bed chromatography for carrying out the separation on an industrial scale and to identify the most promising adsorbent media for further testing. If the pulse tests show that the desired separation can be achieved by simulated moving bed chromatography, then the work may progress to pilot-scale.
ARi has a very well-equipped analytical department that supports its research and development activities and also provides analytical support to existing customers. Comprehensive analytical capabilities, instruments and equipment are available, allowing ARi to work with a wide range of process industries and products and also to carry out new analytical method development where necessary to support research and development objectives. Laboratory-scale testing is also used to determine thermodynamic and kinetic data for early-stage modeling of the chromatographic process. These simulations can provide guidance for subsequent pilot testing and insight concerning separation economics.
Pilot-scale testing is carried out to demonstrate an innovative process or technology on a relatively small scale and at relatively low cost, to generate the engineering data required to scale the technology up to larger sizes. This work is carried out in the ARi pilot facility or at a customer’s facility, using hundreds of liters of feed material. It also allows customers to view the technology in operation and can generate samples of product material for downstream process development and testing.
ARi has a number of highly automated pilot plants that can be rapidly assembled into various process configurations. Unit operations available include batch chromatography, simulated moving bed chromatography, ion exchange, adsorption, membrane filtration, evaporation, crystallization, etc., allowing an extensive overall process to be simulated. In-house control and automation expertise allows flexible and sophisticated control algorithms to be implemented and high-quality data to be obtained.
Pilot testing evaluates the efficiency of a desired separation using continuous 24-hour operation and allows for material balances of the process to be generated, along with other engineering and scale-up data critical for financial evaluation of the technology. If pilot tests are successful, then the work may progress to demonstration-scale or industrial-scale implementation.
The use of ARi fractal distribution technology during pilot testing allows for simple scale-up from pilot equipment measuring a few inches in diameter to industrial systems measuring more than 20 feet in diameter, without any risk of reduced performance.
ARi provides customers with a full spectrum of technology research and development capabilities, including the supply of demonstration-scale or full-scale industrial installations. This is carried out through equipment fabrication within the company’s own facilities in Twin Falls, Idaho, or in partnership with an engineering licensee (ESCON GmbH).
ESCON’s core portfolio includes engineering services (such as mass and energy balances, basic or detailed engineering, procurement, project supervision, training and financing), ion exchange, chromatography, evaporation and condensation systems. Depending on the customer’s needs, either partial engineering packages or full turnkey solutions can be provided. In addition to equipment supply, detailed operation and maintenance manuals are also provided.
ARi has supplied technology to a wide range of industries across the globe, including systems processing up to 750 tons per day of feed material.
Apart from the supply of industrial equipment, ARi can continue to partner with customers throughout the life cycle of the technology. This may include commissioning, training, and ongoing technical support.
ARi continues its involvement with its customers beyond the research and development process. Ongoing support can be provided as required, and may include:
- On-site technical support for troubleshooting and optimization
- Continuous performance assessment and evaluation
- Comprehensive on-site technical audits
- Training on site, or at the ARi facility in Twin Falls, Idaho