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Photo of a metal distallation column

The Properties, Reactions, and Separations Facility provides outstanding access to expertise in thermodynamics and phase equilibria, catalysis, kinetics, distillation, and reactive distillation.

The facility capabilities include catalyst characterization, kinetics and phase equilibra. The facility features two distillation columns that can be configured in a 10-m bay, a 70L glass reactor for prep of pilot scale reactions, and a 4" wiped film still. The facility has excellent in-house analytical facilities and access to centralized equipment including NMR, IR, and GC-MS.

The facility staff has extensive experience with reactive distillation. Reactive distillation is ideal for reactions that are difficult to drive to completion without separation of one of the products. Such reactions are called 'equilibrium limited'.

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Research News

Screenshot from the app
We have developed an app to remove the detailed counting of fringes to determine pathlength in quantitative IR.
Papers Acceptance
Bill Killian
Bill Killian was recognized by with a 2nd-place award for the poster Leveraging Spectroscopy and Wertheim’s Theory for Modeling of Phase Equilibria.
Poster presented at the 2020 Dow-MSU Professional Development Day, June 24, 2020. This demonstrates how we are using spectroscopy to determine the fraction of hydroxyls free and for butanol the model shows that most hydrogen bonds species are linear.
diagram of fuel evaporation model
Presented at the American Chemical Society Spring 2020 Virtual Meeting. Association is the dominate phenomena creating nonidealities for evaporation of ethanol in liquid fuels. In this work, we explore why experiments show a maximum in the heat of vaporization just before the ethanol is completely evaporated.
This work demonstrates the first successful correlation of the entire hydroxyl band of alcohols in hydrocarbon solutions. We use quantum calculations to inspire the empirical function used for the correlation. The correlation can represent concentrations up to approximately 30 mol% and any temperature. We are using the method for improved interpretation of spectroscopy for engineering modeling.
Papers Acceptance