Obviously, maintaining ongoing high quality of the products depends principally on proficiency, experience and skills of all corporate employees acting as a single team. But it is also important to have an advanced instrumentation pool. Combining these assets today, the company is capable of holding leading catalyst market positions.
The developed catalysts are expected to meet certain criteria that we study using later techniques. This article details the approach applied by the Company research professionals for testing mechanical strength of our products.
The mechanical strength of industrial catalysts and adsorbents is of paramount importance for their complete production cycle from manufacturing and packaging to loading and operation in the reactors.
Two main mechanical characteristics are measured to determine the mechanical strength according to the type of application of catalysts and adsorbents: the crush resistance is crucial for fixed-bed catalysts, while attrition resistance is an essential feature for a fluidized bed, and both criteria are essential for a moving bed.
The mechanical strength of the catalyst grains is normally closely monitored, as it has a significant impact on its performance. Inadequate strength results in increased damage and loss of the catalyst dramatically reducing the service life which is expected to be from one to several years for multiple commercial processes, such as alkane dehydrogenation.
JSC SKTB Katalizator has been successfully employing the technique for catalyst crushing strength testing by МP-9С tester, as well as in-house attrition test techniques based on rotation of pellets in centrifugal mill with rotating or stationary drum and in a ball mill.
Whereas above methods proved to be good, the development and subsequent international certification of leading-edge high-performance catalysts have to comply with good international practice.
In 2018-2019, analytical equipment fleet of JSC SKTB Katalizatorwas enlarged with three latest-generation instruments (Vinci Technologies, France) designed for mechanical testing of molded and extruded catalysts and carriers in accordance with international standards.
The equipment consists of an accurate force sensor controlling an automated press controlled via a stepping motor. The tester is provided with sets of Hammer-Anvil to determine compliance with the required international standard for testing the mechanical characteristics of samples.
In compliance with ASTM D4179 method the single catalyst pellet crushing strength is determined. ASTM D6175 method is applied for extrudates radial crushing strength. Bulk crushing strength of bed of grains is to be tested by ASTM D7084 method and SMS-1471 (SHELL method).
During testing, the following parameters are measured: catalyst sample diameter (nominal & crushing diameter), the crushing strength, crushing slope. The obtained results are visualized and graphically exported (strength as function of the diameter), and comprehensive analytical report is provided for a group of granules.
Purchasing a new generation Versatile Attrition Tester (VAT) allows the R&D department of JSC SKTB Katalizator to test catalyst and carriers with size 1.6 - 19 mm. The tester can be used to perform tests according to ASTM 4058 standard when a sample of granular catalyst rotates in a drum at a certain speed, and also according to SPENCE standard when the sample rotates in cylindrical metal tubes.
The fines produced by attrition during the process are recovered by sieving. The initial sample, residue and "fines" are all weighed and this allows for the determination of the attrition.
Determining the attrition of powdered and microspherical catalysts in fluidized beds, including a microspherical fluidized bed dehydrogenation catalyst, complies to ASTM D-5757 standard and is carried out by the company's specialists at fluidized bed attrition tester.
The instrumentation pool of SKTB allows for a full range of testing mechanical characteristics of molded, extruded, microspherical and powdered catalysts and carriers in full compliance with international standards. Still, we do not rest on our oars. We are constantly striving to develop, expand and improve our competence to ensure quality compliance of our products with stringent requirements of the customer.