Research & Development

Commercial Success from Laboratory Testing

The Philip J. Stewart Technology Center is one of Veolia’s many research facilities around the world. Located in the suburbs of Chicago in the United States, it is a state-of-the-art research and development facility that is dedicated to providing industry leading support for Veolia’s HPD® Evaporation and Crystallization technologies.

This 50,000 ft²/4,645 m² complex is home to the industry’s widest array of testing equipment that directly contributes to:

  • Testing support each unique project and customer requirements
  • Project development for FEED or phased engineering contracts for large, complex installations
  • Validation of process to provide the confidence that the commercial installation will perform as designed
  • Development of proprietary, first-of-a-kind process designs
  • Process guarantees

In-House Capabilities Include:

Analytical Testing

The range of in-house analytical capabilities is critical to understanding the project chemistry and its impact on the subsequent process design. Analysis of customer samples is generally the basis which supports all other phases of evaluation.

The following array of analytical tests are routinely performed:

  • Atomic absorption
  • Gas chromatography
  • Rheometry
  • Inductive coupled plasma
  • Total organic carbon
  • Crystal size distribution
  • Polarized light microscopy
  • Wet chemistry / gravimetric procedures

Bench-scale Testing

Veolia's bench-scale testing provides excellent characterization of specific chemical behavior

Veolia's bench-scale testing provides excellent characterization of specific chemical behavior

An in-depth understanding of each customer’s chemistry is critical to ensure that each unique system will perform as designed. Veolia's bench-scale testing capabilities provides excellent characterization of specific chemical behavior and often reveals the necessary information required to transition directly to a commercial design. 

Characteristics determined during bench-scale testing are:

  • Condensate quality
  • Boiling Point Rise (BPR)
  • Foaming or fouling tendencies
  • Crystal size and habit data
  • Crystal purity versus mother liquor contaminant concentration
  • Characteristics of crystal impurities
  • Vapor/liquid equilibrium data
  • Physical properties (specific gravity, viscosity, specific heat)
  • Solubility and phase diagrams
  • Crystal habit modification
  • Crystallization kinetics

Mini-Works

HPD® Mini-Works Forced Circulation Crystallizer

HPD® Mini-Works Forced Circulation Crystallizer

Veolia maintains a wide range of smaller-scale equipment called "Mini-Works" that effectively predicts fouling potential, investigates heat transfer performance, and measures fluid dynamics. 

Testing at this scale is particularly useful for greenfield projects where there is a limited amount of samples available for pilot-scale evaluation or when shipping limitations are a concern.

Pilot-scale Testing

Pilot-scale HPD® Growth crystallizer

Pilot-scale HPD® Growth crystallizer

Design Validation with Confidence

Extensive pilot testing capabilities provide a "proving ground" for each specific system design during project development. Veolia's facilities contain a wide array of large-scale evaporators and crystallizers that are used to test and validate process solutions designed for commercial stage production.

The pilot test setup can utilize ancillary equipment found in a full system to essentially replicate a commercial installation and provides thorough identification of potential upstream and downstream issues. 

This unique capability is also an excellent tool for determining possible performance enhancements and evaluation of cost-effective approaches to the process.

Specific objectives for pilot-scale tests may include:

  • Obtaining heat transfer data to ensure optimum design
  • Determination of the expected fouling rate during commercial operation
  • Producing sufficient amounts of commercially pure product for distribution to potential end customers for determination of its market value
  • Establish the amount of purge required to achieve the desired purity
  • Verify the viscosity of solutions at various concentrations versus temperature
  • Determining the impact of wash water quantity on crystal purity
  • Verify product control stability