Factors affecting broadband acoustic emission measurements of a hetrogeneous reaction

Nordon, A. and Carella, Y. and Gachagan, A. and Littlejohn, D. and Hayward, G. (2006) Factors affecting broadband acoustic emission measurements of a hetrogeneous reaction. Analyst, 131 (2). pp. 323-330. ISSN 0003-2654

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Abstract

Broadband acoustic emission signals were obtained by attaching a piezoelectric transducer, sensitive up to 750 kHz, to the external wall of a 1 L jacketed glass reactor. Measurements were acquired of itaconic acid particles mixing in toluene; the total area of the acoustic emission signal from 55-500 kHz increased when the particle concentration, particle size or stir rate were increased. Signals at frequencies above 200 kHz were less sensitive to changes in particle size than those at lower frequencies. From calculation of the area of the signal in the range 55-200 kHz as a percentage of the signal area over the range 55-500 kHz, for mixtures of different size ranges of itaconic acid, it was possible to obtain an estimate of the mean particle size of a mixture. The heterogeneous esterification reaction of itaconic acid and 1-butanol was monitored non-invasively. A decrease in the overall acoustic signal area between 60 and 500 kHz was observed as the reaction progressed. Particle size and concentration information were contained in the amplitude of the acoustic emission signal, while the emission frequency yielded information on changes in the mean particle size.