The objective of this third year was to collect data from a pilot plant for control testing. A team of 4 visiting researchers joined the existing particle research group in Queensland (Jim Litster, Ian Cameron, Fu Yang Wang, David Page, Rachel Smith) for an experimental campaign: Jonathan Poon and Rohit Ramachandran, both PhD students at Imperial College London, supervised by Charles Immanuel; Thomas Glaser a diplomarbeit student from Stuttgart who stayed in Frank Doyle's group in Santa Barbara for a year; and Constantijn Sanders a post doc in the Doyle group. Thomas recently graduated and Jonathan is writing up his PhD thesis.
The team had 2 objectives while in Queensland:
1. Operate the continuous drum granulator to improve the continuous plant model
2. Study the chosen formulation in a batch granulator to extract rate constants and improve process understanding for the purpose of improved modeling. After the experimental phase, the Imperial team returned to London to further analyze the experimental batch results and to improve the 3 dimensional process model (papers 2 and 4 in section 8: Publications Resulting from Support) in collaboration with Frantisek Stepanek. the UCSB team returned to Santa Barbara to analyze the continuous data and experiment with several model predictive control algorithms. The team reunited in november in Salt Lake city at the Annual AIChE meeting to present 2 papers and discuss overall progress.
The pilot plant is now ready to be used and fully controlled by MATLAB: it is a good test bed for controllers. However Jim Litster moved to Purdue this year, and the future of the pilot plant is unclear. Frank Doyle and Constantijn Sanders started experimental work in collaboration with Hong Sing Tan (Newcastle) and Paul Mort (Cincinnati) both of Procter & Gamble. The aim for this collaboration is to demonstrate an MPC setup on an industrial process.
This report is divided in three sections:
1. Batch granulation experiments and modeling
2. Continuous granulation experiments and modeling
3. Continuous granulation control