Novel Uses of Mass Transfer Equipment in Various Industries
Mass transfer technology plays a significant role in various industries including food manufacturing and packaging, chemicals, water treatment, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and many others. Moreover, growing R&D and novel developments in this technology are giving rise to advanced mass transfer devices which are improving the efficiency of mass transfer processes.
Mass transfer technology is one of the vital techniques used in various processes in industries. It is used in numerous sectors including food manufacturing and packaging, chemicals, water treatment, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and many other industries for different types of physical separations of materials or ingredients from liquids or solids for obtaining valuable products, or for filtering out undesirable food or non-food elements.
Role of Mass Transfer Equipment in Chemical Industries:
The products used in mass transfer procedures have been advanced and developed for processes involved chemical and petrochemical productions. Mass transfer equipment play a major role in offering significant solutions for all mass transfer troubles involved in processes like crystallization, absorption, distillation, evaporation, and liquid-liquid extraction. Moreover, the concept of mass transfer has a vital application in sustaining high standards of purity and quality of chemicals. Mass Transfer operations like Liquid–liquid extraction, structured packing, and product purification are conducted vastly in chemical factories.
On the other hand, they are also used in mechanical separations in controlling transport machines, in which separations are based on differences in macroscopic shapes, sizes, and densities of solid particles or components.
Role of Mass Transfer Equipment in Food Packaging:
The packaging of foods is one of the vital factors when it comes to wrap and preserve food items. Packages are designed to cater the distinct needs of each and every food product. Many factors play a part in the design of food packaging materials. Since years, plastics have been used in the packing of numerous food items. They are used as an alternative option to traditional materials like glass, paper, and metal containers. Plastic materials used in food industries have also seen vital developments since the last few years.
The incessant rise in usage of plastic as a food packaging material is because of the attractive properties of plastics like easy production, low cost, low weight, flexibility in sizes and shapes, and an extensive range of mechanical properties. However, plastic materials do allow mass transfer of low molecular weight because of their peculiar morphology. Elements like water vapor, permanent gases, components of food aroma, odors, plastic residues, and additives get exchanged within the environment, package or food item. Such exchange procedures are usually called migration, permeation, and sorption. Hence, many researches have been carried out to understand and characterize the effect that mass transport has on food quality. There are numerous applications in the arena of food packaging that utilize mass transfer techniques. Permeation, absorption, and diffusion are typical mass transfer techniques widely used in food packaging systems.
Role of Mass Transfer Equipment in Water treatment:
Gas-liquid mass transfer in wastewater treatment procedures has obtained significant consideration, since the last few years, from both the industry and academia. Without a doubt, developments in modelling gas-liquid mass transfer can offer various advantages pertaining to acid-base equilibria, reaction rates, plant energy spending, and emissions of greenhouse gas.
Gas–liquid mass transfer administers the phenomena of stripping and dissolution of the species consumed or produced at the time of biological and/or chemical reactions involved in wastewater treatment procedures.
Novel Developments in the Mass Transfer Equipment Industry:
Years ago, at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Spring 2010 meeting, a novel viewpoint to the design of the downcomer part of distillation column trays, that offers a uniform fluid flow pattern, was introduced for improving mass transfer efficiency. The Downcomer Distributor was invented through a joint research program among AMT International Inc. (Plano, Tex) and Petronas (Malaysia), with an aim to eradicate deviations from an ideal fluid-flow pattern that arise on typical distillation trays, which results from reprocessing of fluid on the tray and also due to the presence of stagnant areas of liquid. Such developments are boosting the growth of the mass transfer equipment sector.
Many startups and businesses that are developing novel, pioneering green projects usually undergo several challenges while upgrading their pre-existing highly technical processes. Sulzer, a Swiss industrial engineering and manufacturing firm focused on a developing, designing, and producing mass transfer equipment, is deep-rooted in the bio-based and renewable industrial sector. The company has been vigorously involved in a horde of initiatives for green and circular-economy all over the world. Moreover, after getting hold of of GTC Technology US, LLC., a technology firm delivering solutions for exclusive processes and systems for the manufacturing of aromatics and other petrochemicals, Sulzer has managed to upgrade and expand its product line with a number of pioneering technologies for the petrochemical and refining industries that can support refineries to increase their offering. Such novel competencies will offer enhanced-performance and trustworthy solutions for refinery and downstream operations.
COVID-19 Impact and the Future of the Mass Transfer Equipment Industry
The rise of COVID-19 disaster has shattered the functioning of various industries. The demand and supply chain of the mass transfer equipment production companies have been severely affected during the pandemic. However, after the pandemic settles and resolves, the normal functioning of all sectors is sure to resume with more focus on recuperating the incurred losses during the crisis period.
As per a report by Research Dive, the global mass transfer equipment market is estimated to witness augmented development by growing at a CAGR of 7.6% in the coming years. In a nutshell, huge investments in research and development, ground-breaking engineering solutions, and vital services are paving way for advancements in the mass transfer equipment technology.
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