中子技術 輪廓法 數值模擬

【深度科普(3/8)】中子散射技術的應用—制造產業

發布時間:2017-03-31

    

    人們日常生活所需的各類產品,小到肥皂、化妝品,大到汽車、飛機等,每天加工處理的材料可達千百萬噸。中子散射實驗每次帶來的關于分子尺度的一點新發現,都極有可能推動工業產品在生產效率、質量和價格等方面產生巨大變革。中子散射技術提供的研究成果,不僅是大部分工業化學產品能夠大規模節能生產所必需的基礎知識,也為例如航空航天業生產精密零件提供了依據,并幫助制藥行業高效安全的處理廢棄物。

    Millions of tons of materials are processed every day across the planet to manufacture a huge range of products that we need in our daily lives, from soaps, cosmetics through to cars and planes. A small amount of improvement in molecular knowledge from neutron scattering experiments can go a long way in improving the efficiency, quality and price of industrial products. The unique information from neutron scattering experiments can not only form the building blocks of energy efficient mass production for key industrial chemicals, but also contribute to confirming the best conditions for making precision components for the aerospace and automotive industries, and help the pharmaceutical industry to deal with chemical waste efficiently and safely.


01
分子改造

Molecular

makeover

 


    歐洲最大的PVC生產商其中之一的工廠每年都會合成超過100,000噸氯甲烷,用于生產日常用品。甲醇和氯化氫在加速催化劑的作用下產生氯甲烷。然而,生產商發現這個過程中產生了副產品,這就導致了能源浪費并且增加了回收甲醇的成本。

    Every year, more than 100,000 tonnes of methyl chloride are synthesized at one of the largest PVC manufacturers in Europe, to make a wide range of everyday materials from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Methyl chloride is made by passing methanol and hydrogen chloride through a catalyst that accelerates the chemical reaction. However, the manufacturer found that a side product is also produced during this process, causing a waste of energy and an increase in the cost of methanol recycle.

 

    格拉斯哥大學和生產商合作,采用中子散射技術對催化劑表面分子間的化學反應進行研究。了解清楚其中的奧秘后,生產商對催化劑表面進行改良,完全消除副產品,避免新建一個廢棄物處理池,大大降低了生產成本。工廠里的兩個氯甲烷反應器多年來一直在使用這種新的催化劑,正是這種分子改造技術促進了生產的節能和環保。

    In a research collaboration between the University of Glasgow and the manufacturer, neutron scattering technique was used to understand what was happening at molecular scale on the surface of the catalyst. With the new insight achieved, the surface of the catalyst was subsequently modified by the manufacture, which almost completely eliminated the unwanted side product and avoided the need to construct a new waste treatment plant. As a result, the production cost was thus significantly reduced. The new catalyst has now been operating continuously on both of the methyl chloride reactors in the factory for several years. It is such molecular makeover technology that promotes energy-saving and environmentally friendly manufacturing.


02
洞悉分子結構賦予行業競爭優勢

Molecular insight gives industry

a competitive edge

 


    林德拉催化劑是商業化生產維他命和其他產品的重要材料之一。此催化劑含有發揮關鍵作用的金屬鈀和金屬鉛:鈀將氫氣分子分解成化工生產所需的氫原子,而鉛則在特定時間點激活催化劑阻止反應的發生。

    The Lindlar catalyst is an important material used in the commercial manufacture of vitamins and a range of other products. It consists of the key metal elements: palladium and lead. The palladium is used to split hydrogen molecules in hydrogen gas into hydrogen atoms that are needed for chemical production, while the lead is used to activate the catalyst at a specific time in order to stop the reaction.


    作為包括林德拉催化劑在內的催化劑生產商之一Evonik化工集團,借助中子散射技術,獲知催化劑表面所發生的化學反應,深入理解林德拉催化劑是如何起作用并且是如此有效的。借助于中子實驗,我們可以深入了解這個行業的主要生產工藝。

    Evonik Industries, one of the catalyst manufacturers, produces many types of catalyst, including Lindlar. They have successfully used neutron scattering techniques, to reveal what exactly happens on the surface of the catalyst during a chemical reaction. Their understanding of the reaction mechanisms as well as the effectiveness of the Lindlar catalyst has been greatly improved. Neutron diffraction experiments can therefore help unlock the many secrets behind major industrial processes.

“使用新的分析手段(指中子散射技術—譯者注)是我們深入了解控制催化劑性能關鍵參數的極為重要的一步。這將有助于我們從客戶利益的角度出發,進一步優化我們的工業催化劑產品。”

—— Konrad M?bus博士,Evonik化工集團


"Applying new analytical methods is one key step to understanding the critical parameters that control the performance of a catalyst. This will help us to improve further our industrial catalysts for the benefit of our customers."

—— Dr. Konrad M?bus, Evonik Industries


03
航空部件的應力釋放

Stress relief for

aircraft parts

 


    深入理解飛機零部件加工制造后的應力分布信息,對航空工業有重大參考意義。

    Understanding stress distributions in aircraft parts after manufacturing is particularly important for the aircraft industry.

 

    中子散射技術可用于應力分布云圖的測量,以此評估不同制造和加工制造工藝的有效性。中子散射技術以其無損、深度測量的獨特優勢被航空公司所青睞。飛機制造商空客公司已使用中子散射技術多年,主要用于研究鋁合金焊接接頭的結構完整性,分析并評估它們是否適用于未來的飛行器。工程師們可以根據研究成果調整相關生產工藝,以較低的成本制造出更輕、更安全的飛機零件。

    Neutron scattering can be used to map internal stresses giving information about the effectiveness of different manufacturing and processing techniques. The technique is well-suited for these studies as it is non-destructive and can look deep inside components. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has used neutron scattering for many years to research the integrity of welds in aluminium alloys, and to assess their suitability for future aircraft. This enables engineers to adjust the manufacturing process and make lighter and safer aircraft parts at a lower cost.


“對于無論是現有的還是新型的材料制造、加工工藝與技術的研發來說,中子散射殘余應力測量技術都具有不可估量的寶貴價值。”

—— Richard Burguete,空客公司實驗力學專家


"Residual stress measurements using neutron scattering are invaluable for researching and developing existing and novel material manufacturing and processing techniques."

—— Richard Burguete, experimental mechanics specialist, Airbus


04
制藥行業化學廢棄物的處理

Tackling chemical waste

in the pharmaceutical industry

 


    制藥行業中化學廢棄物的處理成本很高,藥物成分主要是從某些有機溶劑中提取的。然而有機溶劑的易揮發和易燃性又牽引出安全生產問題。藥物成分必須不殘留任何微量溶劑,才能確保藥物安全。

    The treatment of chemical waste is an expensive problem for the pharmaceutical industry. The vast majority of the processes for making pharmaceutical ingredients are carried out in some form of organic solvent. Hence the high volatility and flammability of the organic solvent makes process safety an issue. Pharmaceutical ingredients also have to be free from all traces of residual solvent to ensure their safe usage.

 

    所幸研究人員通過中子散射技術研發了新手段,使得化學物更容易處理,同時減少廢棄物的產生。離子液體是穩定性極高、非易燃的溶劑,因而它不會散發任何危險、易揮發的有機成份,也不會殘留在成品中。在此基礎之上,英國貝爾法斯特女王大學的Chris Hardacre教授利用離子液體發明的新的藥物提取方法。中子散射數據在獲取液體分子結構,以及獲得正確配方過程中發揮著重大作用。未來,離子液體有可能為制藥行業帶來翻天覆地的改變。

    Researchers have used neutron scattering technique to develop a new approach that can be used to treat the chemicals more easily and meanwhile to reduce waste. Ionic liquids are highly stable, non-flammable solvents that do not emit dangerous volatile organic components, and do not leave any residuals in the final product either. Professor Chris Hardacre at Queen’s University Belfast developed a new technique using ionic liquids for pharmaceutical applications. Neutron scattering data was essential in obtaining the molecular structure of the liquid and to develop the correct pharmaceutical recipes. In the future, ionic liquids could potentially revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry.

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