The experimental research activities of SPT are located in the new (2008) Meander laboratory and in the High Pressure Lab. The high quality of the available, often dedicated, research equipment is realized by our excellent team of technicians.
The new Meander lab is suited for most research activities on biomass conversion, product upgrading and CO2 capture studies and offers space for small- to medium size pilot plants (up to 3´1.5´2 m). It is equipped with regular- and ‘walk-in’ fume cabinets’, an analysis lab (with e.g. GPC, GC/MS, Elemental Analysis etc.) and in combination with the mechanical workshop next-door, it is possible to go quite quickly from idea to result.
Examples of some (more permanent) research facilities in the Meander include:
- quartz micro-capillaries for screening experiments on hydrothermal treatment of bio-oil and supercritical gasification of solids and dissolved compounds
- gas absorption equipment for (e.g.) CO2 absorption studies
- low pressure fixed bed reactor for catalytic gas conversion (cat screening)
- bio-oil gasification setup for syngas, H2 and SNG production
Naturally, a significant fraction of the research set-ups will change over time as new research challenges often require other, dedicated, research equipment.
The High Pressure Lab, officially opened on May 10th 1965, is already for more than 40 years a unique research-facility in the Netherlands (equipped with e.g. a high-pressure hydrogen network operating at 600 bar). The laboratory has eight concrete high pressure boxes, allowing for process research under extreme conditions, and also a few larger research halls for larger, lower pressure pilot plants.
In the High Pressure Lab the experiments at higher pressure and larger pilot plants of SPT are located. Some examples:
- a 1 kg/h fast pyrolysis pilot plant for converting biomass into bio-oil
- bio-oil upgrading facilities (hydrothermal treatment, hydrogenation)
- high pressure gasification of bio-oil
- cyclic oxidation/reduction of iron oxide for hydrogen production from bio-oil
- A multitude of autoclaves available for incidental- and screening experiments
- A continuous pilot plant for supercritical gasification of aqueous feedstocks