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Unit Operations Lab

The department’s well-equipped Unit Operations Laboratory includes modules of major process units to support undergraduate instruction in the core areas of thermodynamics, fluids, separation, heat and mass transport, reaction engineering, and process control.

Pilot-Scale Process Equipment

Double-Effect Evaporator

double-effect_evaporator

Two evaporators are connected in series for efficient heat recovery.

Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger with Process Control

shell_and_tube_heat_exchanger

Students perform total reflux distillation of a binary liquid mixture. Data acquisition and process control is conducted via LabVIEW.

Eight-Tray Distillation Column with Control

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

Two evaporators are connected in series for efficient heat recovery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Dual Packed Columns for Stripping Absorption

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

These two columns are connected in series to facilitate sequential stripping and absorption of mixtures.

 

Rotary Vacuum Filtration

rotary_vacuum_filtration

50-gallon reservoir holds slurry, and solids are separated from liquid with rotating filter drum.

                           Tray Drying                                                                                               

tray_drying

Students observe the drying behavior of batch samples. The flowrate and temperature of the inlet air stream can be varied.

Packed Column for Sour-Gas Absorption with Control

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

Students perform gas absorption experiments. Components of a binary gas mixture are separated with a chemical enhanced absorption. Data acquisition and process control is conducted via LabVIEW.

Packed Column for Liquid Extraction                                                                                     

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

The two-meter vertical packed column can be run in counter-current, semi-batch mode with liquid volumes of about 50 liters.

Bench-Scale Process Equipment

Vapor/Compression Cycle Refrigeration

double-effect_evaporator

Students perform experiments to learn how thermodynamic cycles and phase diagrams are utilized in refrigeration and air-conditioning processes.

Pressure Losses in a Flow System                                                                                        

shell_and_tube_heat_exchanger

Students measure pressure drops across pipes of various lengths and diameters, and pipe fittings. Flow measurement devices are utilized. Friction coefficients are determined.                                                                

Fluidized Bed

fluidized bed image

Fluidization phenomenon of alumina and silica particles by air can be studied. This involves both fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Correlations are invoked for the data analysis.                                                                                             

Cooling Tower

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

This experiment exposes students to combined heat and mass transfer. As the incoming air is cooled, heat is transferred from the warm water to the air, and some amount of liquid water is evaporated. Structured or random packing columns can be studied.

 

                                 Pool Boiling                                                           

rotary_vacuum_filtration

Students perform basic pool boiling experiments to study the effects on input heat or chamber gas pressure on the boiling characteristics.                                                                                                                                 

Process Control of Liquid Flow, Level or Temperature

tray_drying

Various control strategies can be employed. Students use PID or advanced control algorithms to control liquid flow or reservoir temperature. Data acquisition and process control is conducted via LabVIEW.

Tank Efflux

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

Students perform gas absorption experiments. Components of a binary gas mixture are separated with a chemical enhanced absorption. Data acquisition and process control is conducted via LabVIEW.

Convective Heat Transfer

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

Students analyze the factors governing heat transfer from various geometries. Air is flowed across heated surfaces: simple flat surface, fins, and an array of columns. Convective heat transfer coefficients are determined.

Analytical Instruments

Haake Rotational Rheometer

double-effect_evaporator

Students perform viscosity measurements of liquids with various types of rheological behavior.

Brookfield Rotational Viscometer

shell_and_tube_heat_exchanger

Students perform viscosity measurements of liquids with various types of rheological behavior.

Colorimeter

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

This instrument has an external probe to measure color changes of a liquid solution. Data acquisition can be conducted using LabVIEW.

 

Burrell Extrusion Rheometer

rotary_vacuum_filtration

Students perform viscosity measurements of viscous liquids that can be extruded.                                                 

Refractometer

tray_drying

Index of refraction can be measured. Used in distillation experiments.                                                                  

pH meter

Dr. Antonella Sciortino

Acidity can be measured. Data acquisition can be conducted using LabVIEW.