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Monitoring of a heterogeneous reaction by acoustic emission

Nordon, A. and Waddell, R. and Bellamy, L.J. and Gachagan, A. and Littlejohn, D. and Hayward, G. (2005) Monitoring of a heterogeneous reaction by acoustic emission. Analyst, 129 (5). pp. 463-467. ISSN 0003-2654

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Abstract

The feasibility of monitoring the reaction of itaconic acid and 1-butanol by non-invasive acoustic emission measurements has been assessed. A piezoelectric transducer with a resonant mode at 90 kHz was attached to the external wall of a 1 L jacketed glass reactor. Acoustic emission from the oil jacket, stirrer and toluene was insignificant in comparison to that produced by the itaconic acid particles, which was transmitted through the glass walls and heating oil to the transducer. The transducer responded to acoustic emission from itaconic acid up to 300 kHz, with the region around 90 kHz having the highest sensitivity. The effect of particle concentration and size on the acoustic emission generated has also been investigated, with higher concentrations and larger particles giving the greater signals. The detection limit for itaconic acid particles was 14 g dm−3 of toluene. The effect of 1-butanol concentration and temperature on the progression of reactions was monitored using acoustic emission. It was possible to detect differences in the rate and extent of the reaction under different conditions, and also to identify when a combination of the concentration and/or size of itaconic acid particles had reached a steady state. However, it was not possible to differentiate between changes in particle size and concentration using the resonant transducer.