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Pilot Plant Applications

Separation Systems

What are you trying to separate? Solids, liquid-liquid, solid-liquid, gases – depending on the phases and materials involved, EPIC will help you select the best separation technology for your pilot plant.

The major types of separation technologies that are used in pilot plants are listed below, such as a distillation pilot plant or absorption systems. If you don’t see the specific technology you are interested in, please contact EPIC to discuss your specific system. We work with a variety of technologies and industries, and will help you evaluate both the commercial and technical viability of your separation plant project.

Contact an engineer today or call 314-714-1580 to discuss your custom pilot or demonstration plant today.

Distillation Pilot Plant Design

demonstration plant design and fabrication plant separationOur scale-up experts integrate many types of distillation systems into our demonstration and pilot plants. Taking advantage of differences in boiling points and other chemical properties of solutions, distillation applications are a common and efficient way to separate two substances.

From small columns as a part of the overall system to complete distillation pilot plants, EPIC will scale and integrate a solution that meets your budget and process goals. We work with a variety of distillation technologies, including:

Types of Distillation:

  • Azeotropic distillation
  • Batch distillation
  • Extractive distillation
  • Flash distillation
  • Fractional distillation
  • Reactive distillation
  • Solvent Recovery
  • Simple distillation
  • Steady-state (continuous) distillation
  • Steam distillation
  • Vacuum distillation

Contact EPIC today 314-714-1580 to start discussing your application.

Solvent Recovery

Solvent recovery systems have low life-cycle costs and provide long term value. Solvent recovery can be incorporated in a pilot plant in a variety of ways from absorption columns to liquid-liquid extraction. Single purpose or multi-purpose processes can be integrated as either batch or continuous systems. EPIC’s expertise in commercial production systems means your solution will meet all industry regulations, including DQ, IQ, OQ, PQ, GMP and FDA requirements. Solvent recovery unit operations that we work with include:

  • Absorption systems
  • Crystallization
  • Distillation
  • Film evaporation
  • Liquid-liquid extraction
  • Membrane separation


Whether reclaiming your resources or removing process stream impurities our proven absorption systems with maximize your separation. Using gas purification, liquid purification, or sublimation, our absorption solutions exceed your process goals within your budget. Start by discussing your process streams and desired operating parameters with an experienced scale-up engineer: 314-714-1580


Remove VOC’s, process sensitive compounds, or avoid cryogenic contaminant removal with an expert stripping system.  Our proven steam stripping systems are designed with optimal operating conditions and can reduce foaming while helping you meet regulations. Ideal for separating insoluble contaminants, petrochemicals, organic compounds or removing VOC’s from air or gas streams, steam stripping systems can easily be incorporated into your pilot or demonstration module.

Precipitation & Crystallization

Low energy consumption and high yield, purification and crystallization are highly successful separation techniques that you can incorporate into your pilot plant. Fluid dynamics and process modeling are especially important for these systems; impurities and crystal shape are critical for crystallization and spatial distribution of particles for precipitation. Process modeling results in optimal design of your crystallization or precipitation application and your demonstration model as a whole. The following technologies can be incorporated:

  • Crystallization
  • Recrystallization
  • Precipitation
  • Fractional freezing
  • Zone melting

Mechanical separation

Mechanical separation can be achieved in a variety of ways from centrifuges to membranes or filtration. Easier to implement than other separation technologies, mechanical separation can be easily incorporated into your process flow. Call EPIC today to discuss your specific process needs and begin designing your custom modular process system.

To get pricing information or discuss your project with an EPIC engineering specialist, please call 314-714-1580 or fill out the contact form below.

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Examples of Plant Separation Systems by EPIC:

distillation pilot plantSteam Stripping Separation System Proves Bio-Based Enzyme Viability

Akermin, Inc. needed to demonstrate the viability of a new bio-enzyme in the separation of CO2 from flue gas. The two-step absorption and steam stripping process uses a solvent to absorb the CO2 in one column and strip it out in the second column. The system successfully achieved sustained stripping of over 90% of the CO2 from the flue stream, and was recently expanded to test further systems.

Key Features:  Packed columns, absorption column, steam stripping column

separation plantEthanol Purification Distillation Pilot Plant

An ethanol extraction system separates 91% ethanol from water, using a solvent. A ternary ethanol mixture is fed into the system and is heated as it falls. Water and ethanol rise to the top of the column and leave as distillate. The remaining ternary solution falls to the bottom of the column and is circulated through a heat-exchanger loop. Fresh solvent is pre-heated before entering the column and reject solvent is cooled before heading to a holding tank.

Key Features: Ternary solvent extraction, ethanol separation process, vacuum distillation


“We were impressed with the professionalism and dedication of EPIC Systems’ entire organization, from the shop floor to their management team. Throughout the entire project, their team communicated with clarity and transparency. 

This was especially important to us as this distillation system was a first-of-its-kind for Akermin. Project scope changes were handled quickly and equitably.  I would return to EPIC for future projects and I recommend their project management expertise to other organizations requiring a turnkey contractor for design, fabrication, and commissioning.”

– Bob Martinelli, Director of Engineering Operations | Akermin, Inc. 

Custom Separation Plant Design

The starting place for every project is a discussion about our fit your technical and commercial goals. Contact an Engineer 314-714-1580 to start this discussion. If we both decide to move forward, your plant separation project will progress through our turnkey design/build process which includes:

  • EPIC’s Front-End Engineering
  • Demonstration plant design
  • Process controls engineering
  • Modular fabrication and testing
  • System installation
  • Start-up and commissioning

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EPIC Pilot Plants
4134 Meramec Bottom Rd
St. Louis, MO 63129, US