Supercritical CO2 Process Automation

There are many definitions of the term “automation”. Automation is a discipline, a function, a set of technologies … They are all correct definitions, but which always explain too much or too little.

Start from here. The term automation was born to identify everything that is necessary to make a machine (or process) work automatically, that is, without human intervention.

Industrial automation, in particular, uses mechanical, electronic and computer technologies for the control of industrial production processes, governing flows of energy, materials and information.

A simple “automatic control” can control a pressure, a temperature or a flow rate.

Automation controls the operation of the machine throughout the process.

Advanced sensor monitoring for CO2 pump flow, extractors pressure and temperature, separator pressure and temperature charts.

Here are reported the extraction data (first hour only) from the embedded data logger of a triple 350 liters extraction system, during a real extraction. Data logger output is then elaborated by an Excel automated sheet and charts produced. More than 30 sensors are continuously monitoring the process. Traceability of all critical points is therefore guaranteed. All sensors can be calibrated. Sensors accuracy: < 0.5%

This is the CO2 pump flow rate. Pump working at 1500 kg/hr.

This is the 350 liter extractor pressure. Target pressure: 280 bar. System takes only 12 minutes to go to the set point.

This is the 120 liter separator pressure. Target pressure: 60 bar. Stable to 45 bar until extractor reached the set-point.

This is the 120 liter separator temperature. Target temperature: 50° C. System was warmed up before starting the process.

This is the 350 liter sub-cooler temperature. Target temperature: 0° C. Controlling CO2 pump suction temperature is essential to guarantee a stable extraction process, avoid cavitation, excellent control of the flow rate during 24/7 operation.