The Importance of Glass Lined Reactors in the Chemical Process Industries

The Importance of Glass Lined Reactors in the Chemical Process Industries

the importance of glass lined reactors in the chemical process industries
If you’re in the pharmaceutical industry, you know how critical it is to have the right equipment to carry out chemical processes. One such piece of equipment that is a must-have in the pharma industry is Glass Lined Reactors (GLRs). These reactors are known for their outstanding corrosion resistance and easy maintenance, making them perfect for critical chemical processes.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of glass-lined reactors in the pharmaceutical industry, highlighting their key advantages and suitable applications.
Advantages of Glass-Lined Equipment Glass Lined Reactors (GLRs) are designed to endure even the harshest chemical environments. Let’s delve deeper into the advantages of GLRs.
Corrosion and abrasion resistance: With its glass lining acting as a protective barrier, GLRs offer unparalleled corrosion and abrasion resistance, making them a cost-effective solution with a longer lifespan. For instance, a pharmaceutical company using GLRs in a highly acidic environment can benefit from the corrosion resistance of the glass lining.
Chemical resistance: GLRs are resistant to a wide range of chemicals, making them ideal for use in industries requiring corrosive material handling. This feature is essential in the pharmaceutical industry, where safe and effective handling of chemicals is crucial.
Thermal shock resistance: GLRs are highly resistant to thermal shock due to the thermal expansion properties of the glass lining. This feature makes them a perfect choice for processes that require rapid heating or cooling, such as sterilization.
High-temperature resistance: GLRs can withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for use in processes that require high-temperature heating or cooling. This feature is particularly useful in the chemical industry.
Long service life: With proper care and maintenance, GLRs have a long service life, making them a cost-effective solution for many industries. Regular cleaning and inspections can extend their lifespan even further.
Suitable Applications of GLRs
GLRs are suitable for a wide range of applications in the pharmaceutical industry. One of the primary applications is for carrying out critical chemical processes where corrosion resistance and chemical inertness are crucial. GLRs are particularly useful for processes involving strong acids like Nitric, Sulphuric, Hydrochloric, or Phosphoric acids, as they are highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion, even in aggressive chemical environments.
However, GLRs are unsuitable for alkaline operations because borosilicate commonly used in Glass quickly reacts with high pH solutions and degrades. Alkalis are more corrosive than acids, especially at elevated temperatures. This may cause cracks in the Glass, which is undesired. However, GLRs are more sustainable to a pH of 8.5, i.e., until you use weak bases.
Stainless Steel Reactors, on the other hand, possess a better heat transfer effect because of enhanced thermal conductivity. However, GLRs have restricted operation at high pressures.

Characteristics of GLRs

GLRs come in various colours, with each colour having its unique characteristics. Here is a breakdown of the characteristics of each colour:

Blue – Higher thermal conductivity, a wide range of pH acceptance.

Light Blue – Highly resistant to alkalis, easy for visual observation.

Green – Suitable to operate under high temperatures up to 300ºC.

White – Easy visual observations in colourful chemical reactions like phytochemicals.

Final Thoughts
In conclusion, GLRs are:
  • An essential piece of equipment in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Providing unparalleled corrosion resistance.
  • Chemical inertness.
  • Ease of maintenance.
If you’re in the pharmaceutical industry and looking for a reliable and cost-effective solution for critical chemical processes, consider investing in GLRs.