The state of dispersion of solid products is an essential
part of product quality. Many widespread applications
call for products with narrow size distribution in the
submicron range. Examples are pharmaceuticals,
agrochemicals, catalysts, pigments, magnetic recording
media, photographic materials, nanoparticles for
cosmetics. Since many of these mature products face
massive competitive pressure which has emerged from US
and East Asia in recent years, there is an urgent need
for a new production technology reducing costs and
improving quality (for example CaC03 for plastic
reinforcement, and other examples, paragraph 8.1). The
development of such a technology is the aim of the
SUbmicron PARticle TEChnology project.
The technology will produce particles in the size range
of 10 to 100 nm by precipitation from solution. In order
to ease the solid liquid separation from the mother
liquor, these particles will first be agglomerated to
clusters of 10 to 100 mm in size. The agglomeration must
be reversible so as to allow the particles to be
redispersed in the application medium with relative ease.
The process will be operated continuously in order to
separate the different stages in different reactors and
make them easily controlled.
The research methodology of the project combines the
knowledge of crystallisation, colloid science and
hydrodynamic aspects of reactor design. The main results
of the project will be:
new devices specially designed for the individual
processes of nucleation, growth and agglomeration under
optimum hydrodynamic conditions.
new on line characterisation methods to observe and
therefore describe the precipitative particle formation
under industrially relevant conditions leading to a
general methodology for the development and design of
the SUPARTEC technology combining the new apparatus and
new physicochemical knowledge, thus leading to the
desired primary particles, agglomerates and flocculates.
The consortium comprises two chemical companies as
developers, manufacturers and endusers of chemicals, an
SME from mechanical engineering, a research organization
and one university partner.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts