The University of Texas Pickle Research Campus located in Austin, Texas is home to a unique experimental facility that is used to improve energy efficiency of fluid mixture separation processes and optimize the capital utilization of existing plants. The semi-works scale equipment is not only unique in size but also in the level of highly accurate instrumentation and process control. This provides the ability to obtain reliable and accurate experimental data that can be scaled-up to commercial processes. The Separations Research Program (SRP) was founded in 1984 by two UT chemical engineering professors, James Fair and Jimmy Humphrey, who had spent most of their careers in industry. In 1999, Emerson Process Management donated a DeltaV process control system to the SRP. Since 1999, Emerson Process Management has worked with the SRP to provide the latest instrumentation and control technology. This site was recently upgraded to latest DeltaV CHARM technology. The site has been operational using CHARMS since July 2010. As part of the project the control renovation provided for additional capacity which is needed as more students utilize the experimental facilities. The video presentation walks through the facility and the upgrade project. The picture below was taken during the ribbon cutting ceremony in 2010.
Sadly, shortly after the ceremony and dedication Dr. James R. Fair passed away. Jim was a superb chemical engineer, teacher and colleague, having had a very successful career at Monsanto before embarking on another one at The University of Texas. He was a leader in separation science and the founder of the Separations Research Program. He earned numerous awards for his contributions including many of the major awards from the AIChE, including the William H. Walker Award (1973), the Chemical Engineering Practice Award (1975), the Founders Award (1976), and the Institute Lecturer Award (1979). Jim was elected to the National Academy of Engineers in 1974. Jim will be greatly missed by his family and countless friends and colleagues. You can read more about Dr. Fair.
At Emerson Exchange Prof Seibert and I gave a presentation on the facility and the upgrade project. A video of this is shown below.
You can also download the presentation from this view.