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Thin Film Processing
Improving performance and safety of thin-film evaporators, enhancing figuration and controls that will boost effectiveness.

Thin Film

Thin Film

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Improving performance and safety of thin-film evaporators configuration and control enhancements boost effectiveness.

Chemical Processing, February 1996 - Rocky C. Costello, P.E.


Many Resource Conservation and recovery Act (RCRA) treatment, storage and disposal facilities use thin-film evaporators and fractional-distillation systems to separate reusable solvents from contaminants.  However, the performance and/or safety of these evaporator systems can be compromised by inadequate temperature control, excessive vacuum, and the drawback of air into flammable-solvent vapors when the vacuum source is turned off.  This article offers advice on avoiding these three common evaporator system problems.


Optimizing temperature control

Inadequate temperature control during the processing of heat-sensitive, reactive or polymeric type materials can result in excessive downtime.  The possibility of polymerization increases when these materials are continually exposed to elevated temperatures. If polymerization occurs, the evaporator can clog with polymer and, in some cases, the rotor can be frozen in place by the polymerized material.  Although solvent can be used to dissolve the polymer if a suitable solvent can be found, severe clogging can require removal of the rotor and hydroblasting of both rotor and barrel to remove the polymer.


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