Pilot Plant Equipment 1 Fundamentals for Proper Selection

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Course Overview

Engineers and scientists—who are involved in pilot plant design and construction and the specification of research equipment—will learn the essentials and critically examine options involved in equipment selection and design. The trade-offs between equipment choices and pilot plant layout will be explored. You will gain a comprehensive overview of:

  • The equipment used in pilot plants.
  • The different equipment and design needs.
  • How equipment choices impact pilot plant layout and how layout impacts equipment options.
  • Common instrumentation and its advantages and disadvantages.
  • How to design and select critical pieces of pilot plant equipment.
  • The best options to provide flexibility and reliability in your pilot plant.

Who Should Attend?

This detailed course is designed for engineers, scientists, contractors, supervisors, and operators who specify, design, build, operate, or support equipment for pilot plant and laboratory units. This course focuses on the hardware involved in pilot plants and the issues involved in correctly designing this equipment for use. Also, the course covers the differences between pilot scale equipment and production equipment. Although the course is designed for less experienced design and operating personnel, it is often very useful for more experienced individuals who need to broaden their knowledge base.

Additional Information

Note: Although these courses are independent, stand-alone courses, we recommend that when enrolling for Pilot Plant Equipment 1: Fundamentals for Proper Selection, that you also enroll in Pilot Plant Equipment 2: Safe Installation and Operation. Attend both courses and receive a 10% discount off the enrollment fee of each.

Course Outline

The Basics of Pipe and Tube

  • General piping overview
  • Welded pipe
  • Flanged pipe
  • Specialty couplings
  • Compression fittings
  • Sweat/brazed 

Valve Selection and Operation

  • General valve types
  • Control valves
  • Specialty valves
  • Regulating valves
  • Valve actuators

Seal Types

  • Packing
  • Single mechanical seal
  • Double mechanical seal
  • Seal-less
  • Guidelines for proper seal selection
  • Seal installation tips

Pump Selection and Installation

  • Centrifugal
  • Metering
  • Progressive cavity
  • Tubing
  • Diaphragm
  • Sliding vane
  • Flexible impeller
  • Turbine
  • Guidelines for effective pump installation
  • Pump selection criteria

Pilot Plant Layout

  • General consideration
  • General layouts
  • Restricted area layouts

Reactor Mechanical Design

  • Pressure rating
  • Reactor closures
  • Thermocouple placement

Instrumentation of Special Interest to Research Operations

  • Gas and liquid flow measurement
  • Liquid level measurement
  • Temperature measurement
  • Pressure measurement

Heat Tracing

  • Types of heat tracing
  • General problems
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Guidelines for selection and installation



Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

Richard Palluzi

Richard P. Palluzi, PE, CSP, of Richard P. Palluzi LLC is a consultant to the pilot plant and laboratory research community on safety, design, and research project management. He retired as a Distinguished Engineering Associate after almost 40 years at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, where he was involved in the design, construction, and support of pilot plants and laboratories for ExxonMobil’s research site in Clinton, New Jersey, as well as affiliates worldwide. Rich is the author of two books, and numerous articles and presentations as well as a past chair of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Pilot Plant Committee, ExxonMobil’s Pilot Plant and Laboratory Safety Standards Committee, and ExxonMobil’s Safe Operations Team for their Clinton facility. Rich is on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA-45 Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals and NFPA-55 Industrial and Medical Gasses committees. He has BE and ME degrees in chemical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. 

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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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