Pilot-scale Nanoparticle Manufacture

K. Wegner, A. Grohn, S. Multer
ETH Zurich, CH

Keywords: nanoparticles, pilot plant, flame synthesis, scale-up, containment

Summary:

A fully automated pilot plant for nanoparticle manufacture by flame spray pyrolysis is presented that allows continuous production of nanopowders at rates up to 500 g/h. For the example of zirconia the scale-up from the laboratory reactor is investigated with the help of computational modeling and process operation diagrams, relating synthesis parameters with product nanoparticle properties. Based on this, strategies for further scale-up to some kg/h are developed. Contamination-free handling and packaging of the product nanoparticles that are continuously collected with bag-house filters is investigated using a pneumatic conveying system and filling head with a continuous polymer inliner. Release of nanoparticles into the workspace during plant operation is monitored with condensation particle counters at different locations in the pilot plant in order to assure operator safety, develop suitable standard operation procedures and guide equipment design and optimization.