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Flexibility and variety thanks to a PTFE lining: Berghof highpreactor high pressure reactors

Berghof highpreactor

Dr. Kerstin Dreblow, Berghof Products + Instruments GmbH, Eningen, Germany

With over 25 years’ experience in the construction of pressure vessels behind it, Berghof is offering an innovative device concept for many types of applications in research and development laboratories. Chemical reactions, which take place under temperature and pressure requirements ranging up to 260°C/200bars, are the applications for which Berghof highpreactor are designed. A unique feature is the thick PTFE lining on all the parts which come into contact with liquid media; these are either made entirely from PTFE or they are coated with a fluoropolymer.

Corrosion protection included

Berghof reactors are characterized by a PTFE lining, which is several millimeters thick, and protects the stainless steel reactor efficiently even against such corrosive media as acids and alkali. Thanks to the excellent resistance of PTFE to almost all chemicals, there is no need for expensive special alloys, such as Hastelloy.

A catalyzer which is used for syntheses is one factor which determines the structure and characteristics of target products. Ions eluted from the stainless steel reactor wall may inadvertently function as a catalyzer and have a significant impact on the quality and characteristics of the product. The risk of possible cross-contaminations is easier to control with PTFE liners.

However metallic catalyzers often adhere to steel reactors and are difficult to remove. In the following experiments it remains unclear whether the effects observed are really caused by the change of catalyzer, contamination effects or catalyst poisoning. This problem is elegantly evaded by reserving a PTFE liner for each type of catalyzer.

Application diversity

Berghof reactors can be used for all purposes; all of the parts that come into contact with the reaction medium are protected against chemical attack by means of fluoropolymers. All of the components can be removed and remounted easily for cleaning purposes. The lining is hermetically sealed and hence it differs significantly from the PTFE liners, which are placed open into the reactor. The maximum operating pressure of the reactors is 200 bars and the maximum temperature for continuous operation is 230°C. For a short time (i.e. max. 60 min) it can even be heated up to 260° C.

With conventional PTFE parts these high operating temperatures cause “warping”. Berghof PTFE components have no preferred direction because, thanks to the isostatic compression-molding method developed by Berghof.

A hydraulic medium acts evenly and simultaneously from all directions in space on the PTFE and compresses it homogeneously; the result is a material with extremely low porosity, an improved surface structure and maximum tensile and compressive strength.

Berghof provides customer-specific, configured solutions which – thanks to the use of PTFE – ensure that work can be carried out safely even under corrosive conditions.

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