Chemical process technology

If you are looking for a chemical process technology which will save you money and help you use your existing equipment better, you should give VisiMix a try!  The learning curve with VisiMix is much shorter than any other tool you’ve probably used before.

The truth is, it is easy to use as you can measure it, and probably in minutes or hours, rather than days and weeks.  It is also something that someone, even with a very minimal amount of knowledge or an inability to read some of the documentation, can get up to speed with very quickly.

VisiMix is also great for working with engineering students.

Chemical process technology

Students are usually trained in basic CFD and know little or absolutely nothing about steered vessels. VisiMix helps to make it much easier to learn not only from the structures of the types of vessels that you are trying to learn and model but also from the programming side of it.  To be honest, it does not really require any programming, as it is all focused really on the model itself, rather than on signing into the computer or getting all the syntax correct etc.  So, the bottom line is that VisiMix would allow the screening of options to be much faster, meaning that you can go through a whole series of different configurations.  This allows you to focus on the engineering and the design rather than on the programming.

In just a few hours, VisiMix allows you to develop very
quick information such as key variables and their variation, with predicted variation in terms of viscosity.  Two variables you could focus on, are the unit power and the torque. The unit power drives the gearbox and the motor and the torque drives the impeller and the baffles. VisiMix will very quickly show the inflection points where the vessel really no longer is reasonable.

Chemical process technology

Another example is the ability to test power versus vessel size over four data points. VisiMix shows the increasing sensitivity equipment relative to the viscosity.  If you try running that on other simulation software you will encounter time constraints. On VisiMix you can change the physical properties and dimensions and get information that you can catalog in spreadsheets pretty quickly. You can also use the internal cataloging capability within VisiMix. Let’s take a third example of a standard reactor configuration.  In one variation, we’ll change the diameter of the tank and in a second one, we’ll use multiple impellers. The data of the torque and power can stay relatively constant but as soon as you add additional impellers, it becomes unrealistic. Other simulation software can run this as well, but there will be a physical limitation of how many cases can you run with this heavy computational burden. In contrast, VisiMix allows you to do this very quickly in a matter of minutes.

Chemical process technology

Advantages of Finding Quick Solutions with VisiMix

The main advantage of being able to find quick solutions, is that you can explore not only smaller changes, such as, changing impellers, but you can also step back and really rethink the entire process. This capability is something which is more relevant than ever today. This concept is called process intensification and the idea is to basically rethink the process from scratch and understand what it would look like. This new point of view really brings major changes to the process and those changes can be seen through the improved efficiency such as lowering capital, lowering operating expenses, a better product, less waste, improvements in process safety, etc…

Chemical process technologyProcess intensification has huge industrial advantages by trying to maximize the effectiveness of intermolecular events. That means we are trying to maximize the benefit of one molecule reacting and contacting with another one. An important part of this is to give each molecule the same processing experience. So if you think about it, if you have a very large dirt tank reactor, you have a gradient of shear contact between the impeller edge and the wall.

Molecules that are closer to the wall cannot move as quickly and they don’t have as high impact contacts as they would otherwise.  If they are in the shear zone, by reducing those dimensions to something much smaller, you can have more uniformity of contact which is one of the overall goals. By combining and maximizing the interaction of different processes like in reactive distillation, you can have the reaction and the separation actually occurring in one vessel, instead of doing the reaction in one vessel and separation in another.

What are the types of chemical processes?

Any chemical process (isothermal, adiabatic, isochoric, etc.) that takes place in a stirred reactor, for example, single-phase mixing (blending), suspension of solid particles, emulsification, crystallization, chemical reaction, dispersion of gases, among others, can be simulate using VisiMix.
With a minimum of input data, VisiMix ensures reliable simulation of any batch or semi batch chemical process in stirred reactors.

In chemical process technologies, it is common to think about chemicals in order to solve problems. However, what we are talking about is the basic environment we are generating in order to progress with the process. With VisiMix, we are able to evaluate the environment we’re providing to the materials during the process and it is valid even for new technologies and new processes that are very common in the market in the last five years. We are talking specifically about biotechnology and especially fermentation. Fermentation is, of course, a process that takes into consideration the growth of microorganisms, but these growing organisms require a very specific environment that has the capability to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the liquid media to the microorganisms inside the equipment. This is a very typical example of how mixing, which is the basis of the process, can provide a different point of view on how the materials interact with the microorganisms to grow and generate the product that we are looking for. In VisiMix, this is very simple to do because in two or three steps you will be able to observe pure axial flow versus pure radial flow. These two configurations of flow mixing equipment are completely different and create a compromise between the capability to disperse the gas in all the equipment with the actual flow and the capability to break up bubbles of gas into the media, with very small ones diffusing for uptake by the microorganisms. Even if we are talking about chemical process technology, what we’re really talking is about is controlling the environment we are providing to any kind of operation such as biotechnology, formulations for creams, ointments, eye drop treatments, anti-allergy compounds and more. So, even if it is at the beginning coming from the chemical industry, we can spread it at any unit operation and any industry that is dealing with.

VisiMix Video

The Influence of Mixing in the Process
New methodology using VisiMix software for the purpose of checking the influence of mixing in the processes.

VisiMix Demo Operation
Learning how to input data into the VisiMix software and get results the will help us understand the influence of mixing in our processes.

Lab Experiments
Learning how to set up the relevant experiments at the lab scale, to develop the processes from an engineering point of view.