Unit Processes Lab


Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering 601 West Main Street, Room 403
Box 843028
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3028
Phone: (804) 828-7789
Fax: (804) 827-3046
TDD: (800) 828-1120
Email: chemicalengr@vcu.edu

The unit processes lab comprises a unique working microplant designed to produce guaifenisen, a pharmacologically active ingredient used in cough medicines. The lab is a working chemical production facility. The microplant has a jacketed reactor, a crystallizer, a filtration system and vacuum dryers. With the addition of a high-temperature water supply and various support equipment, the microplant is equipped with four different types of heat exchangers, five different kinds of pumps, several sets of control valves, and multiple temperature, pressure and flow sensors. A Delta V computer system is dedicated to the operation and control of the facility. The microplant can be operated as an integrated facility or it can be subdivided into more than 18 different student-operated experiments designed to address a wide variety of chemical engineering science, process and safety fundamentals.