ST. LOUIS, MO – EPIC Systems, Inc. installed a new set of two phase batch and distillation process pilot plants for Argo Genesis at the beginning of May. Argo Genesis is an agribusiness company that provides environmentally friendly products for the crop industry. This project is for a new formulation that replaces an asphalt additive with a bio-base polymer, a technology developed by Iowa State University and licensed by Argo Genesis. EPIC was approached to help Argo Genesis move from lab scale process and develop it into two full scale pilot plants.
As a high-profile research and development company in the agricultural field, Argo needed a long-term solution for testing client technologies. While the bio-based polymer is the current use for the system, Argo plans to use the pilot modules for multiple applications in the future.
“It gives Argo the opportunity to have on-site biopolymer pilot plants with a multipurpose process, allowing them to test their client’s processes and prove viability at a demonstration plant scale,” said Matt Benz, Senior Process Project Manager at EPIC Systems.
With the current formulation, the pilot plants will run solvents through the reaction-distillation process for 32 working hours to reach the desired formula. The hazardous properties of the solvents involved required special processing equipment selected by EPIC to allow the process to run outdoors.
“Taking the lab equipment style results and finding equipment to scale up this process was a major challenge. We worked heavily with Argo to create the PFD and work our way up from there,” Benz explained.
The two phase batch-reaction-to-distillation process was delivered on May 1st and is currently undergoing on-site testing.
ABOUT EPIC SYSTEMS: EPIC Systems, Inc. is a complete design, build and integration company that provides modular process system fabrication. Founded in 1995, EPIC Systems, Inc. is located in St. Louis, MO USA, with experience in multi-disciplined engineering and fabrication. For more information on about EPIC’s pilot plant capabilities, contact an engineer today.
ABOUT ARGO GENESIS: Argo Genesis Chemical, LLC (AGC) is a privately owned sister company of Seneca Petroleum Company, Inc., of Crestwood, Illinois. AGC’s focus is on the commercialization of bio-advantaged polymer innovations, and is the exclusive licensee of a number of bio-based thermoplastic elastomer technologies developed by Drs. Cochran and Williams at Iowa State University.
Contact: Michael Riehn