ParrNotes Newsletter


Welcome to ParrNotes

Vol. 1 No. 1

We are pleased to release the first issue of Parr Instrument Company’s new quarterly newsletter. One of our goals for ParrNotes is to better communicate with our Parr team of dealers and employees, and we hope you find the newsletter informative and helpful.

We appreciate your continued commitment to Parr Instrument Company and our line of reliable products. Please let us know if you have suggestions for topics that you would like to see included in future issues of the newsletter.


Features and Benefits
Service Tips
Controller Section
New Video
Application Awareness
Parr Team Member Focus
Upcoming Events


Features and Benefits

Custom 4554 Fixed Head Floor Stand Reactor with Tilt Feature and Pneumatic Lift Mechanism

Custom 4554 Fixed Head Floor Stand Reactor
Custom 4554 Fixed Head
Floor Stand Reactor

We have recently developed a new stand design for our 2 gallon 4554 Fixed Head Floor Stand Reactor. This new system adds a tilt mechanism to our standard pneumatic lift floor stand in order to create a more ergonomically friendly reactor system. The tilt mechanism could be configured to our 1 gallon, 2.6 gallon, or 5 gallon systems after a proposal request is completed by Parr’s Engineering Department.

Custom band heaters instead of the standard Calrod heater were needed for this vessel to allow the tilt feature to be configured to the system. This system was sold without insulating jackets but custom jackets could be added to the system upon request. This innovative tilt feature allows the user the ability to remove the contents of the vessel quicker than a standard bottom drain valve and makes the reactor readily accessible for cleaning without needing to remove it from the stand.

In order to add this tilt feature to the 1 or 2 gallon 4550 Series Reactor, the stand profile needs to be upgraded to the 4555 Fixed Head Floor Stand Model which uses the 80/20 extruded aluminum framework. This 80/20 framework allows for more flexibility to incorporate the moving features required for this new stand design. Our standard 2.6 gallon and 5 gallon systems already use the 80/20 framework so the tilt feature can be added to this system without changing the stand profile.

We have a proposal drawing for this type of reactor for our 5 gallon non-stirred reactor system, proposal #P13056-02. The non-stirred vessel was proposed as a lower pressure 25 L vessel which was a side project which requested this tilt feature. A stirred 5 gallon system was designed in proposal # P13040-01. These proposals could be used as a starting point for any special requests you might have for a fixed head vessel or reactor that might need the ergonomic tilt feature added to a system you intend to quote.

Please contact us for more information or pricing on this custom feature.

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Service Tips

A simple look into oxygen leaks for the 6400 Automatic Isoperibol Calorimeter

An oxygen leak is often the culprit for a large number of the error messages that occasionally occur with the 6400 Calorimeter. Identifying the source of the leak can seem daunting. With patience, and a little detective work, most leaks can be easily discovered and remedied.

Below is a list of error messages that can be caused by an oxygen leak:

  • A misfire where the cotton thread does not or only partially burns
  • A pre-period timeout
  • A post-period timeout

While all three of the above mentioned errors can have other causes, in our experience, an oxygen leak seems to be the number one cause.

The majority of oxygen leaks will be from the check valve in the bottom of the cylinder, the seal/exhaust piston, or the check valve in the head. The piston is located under the bucket assembly within the vessel release assembly.

There is a simple test that can be performed to determine where the oxygen leak is coming from.

  • Take the exhaust and vent line, run them to a bucket with water. Make sure both lines are submerged and then start a test.
  • During the fill and the pre-period process there should be no oxygen bubbles coming from either of these lines. Please note there maybe a couple bubbles at the start and end of the fill process. There will be a burst of bubbles from the vent line when the Fill portion ends and the Pre-period begins.
  • Other than previously mentioned, if there is any oxygen bubbling from these lines then you have identified the source of your leak.

If the oxygen is coming from the exhaust line there is a leak in the check valve of the cylinder and/or the piston and the necessary O-rings should be changed on these parts.

If the oxygen is coming from the vent line, the leak is coming from the check valve in the head, and the O-ring on the check valve needs to be replaced.

The 3rd area but the least common area for an oxygen leak is from the O-ring sealing the head assembly, part number 1444DDJB. When oxygen leaks occur this is usually the 1st O-ring changed by customers but rarely solves the issue. Check for water in the air can and around the bucket stirrer as this leak will typically cause water to be pushed out of the small hole at the top of the bucket assembly behind the stirrer shaft.

If you like to learn more about oxygen leaks for the 6400 Calorimeter or any Parr Instrument Company Calorimeter please contact us.

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Controller Section

An inside tip to improve temperature control

There is a little known feature in the Delta meter of the Parr 4848 Reactor Controller and Parr 4838 Temperature Controller that allows superior temperature control across a wide range of temperatures. Using the Delta meter’s auto-tuning function you can do a blank run and tune the controller at your operating temperature. During the auto-tune process, the Delta meter will set its PID parameters to give the best control that it can at the auto-tuned temperature. This is a powerful feature and has yielded good results in the field.

However, the auto-tune is done at a single temperature and so it gives the best results right at the auto-tuned temperature. For applications where the temperature varies, this is only a partial solution.

The Delta controller is designed to store up to four separate sets of PID values. For applications with multiple important temperature set points (such as a ramp and soak with multiple soak temperatures), an auto-tune should be conducted at each of the important temperatures. After this, the Delta controller can be set such that it will select the best PID values relative to the current temperature.

The method to do this is detailed in the latest version of the operating instructions:

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New Video

We are pleased to announce the release of our new Parr 6400 Calorimeter Installation Video!

Parr 6400 Calorimeter Installation Video
Parr 6400 Calorimeter
Installation Video

This six minute instruction video is a visual supplement to aid in the installation of this popular Parr Calorimeter. The video is found on

The video will also be referenced on the Packing Lists for any future orders for Parr 6400 Automatic Isoperibol Calorimeters.

We hope the video will be a useful tool for our mutual customers.

Please subscribe to our YouTube page to stay current with Parr Instrument Company videos.

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Application Awareness

Continuous Flow System for Hydrogenation of Glycerol

Custom 4584 High Pressure High Temperature Floor Stand Stirred Reactor System
Custom 4584 High Pressure High Temperature
Floor Stand Stirred Reactor System

It’s well known that Parr’s Tubular Reactors are used for continuous flow systems. But did you know that our Stirred Reactors can also be used in a continuous flow mode? We recently modified our 4584 High Pressure High Temperature Floor Stand Stirred Reactor into a continuous flow system for hydrogenation of glycerol.

This modified system consists of:

  • 1.5 gallon stirred reactor rated for 3000 psi @ 500 °C
  • Glycerol feed system with 1 liter feed tank
  • Digital scale and HPLC pump
  • Gas feed system with mass flow controller and back pressure regulator
  • Product recovery system with two recovery welded jacketed cylinders

The reactor is heated with a ceramic heater and each product recovery vessel is cooled separately with a circulator. The user is able to control three temperatures, speed, system pressure, gas feed and liquid feed using Parr’s 4871B Process Controller.

Please contact us if you would like more information on this custom system and reference order number 914652.

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Parr Team Member Focus

Joe Lambert, Ph.D., Senior Product Manager for Reactors and Pressure Vessels Product Lines

Joe Lambert
Joe Lambert, Ph.D.,
Senior Product Manager

Joe is a Pennsylvania native and received his B.S. and Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering. He has been working with catalysis and reactor design for over 30 years. Joe has contributed to the field with numerous publications, presentations, and patents involving reactor technology.

Joe has been part of the Parr team for 20 years. Most recently, he helped develop our Tubular Reactor product line and is the expert for all of our continuous flow systems. His extensive knowledge and experience makes him a valuable resource for any of our specialty and custom systems.

Some of Joe’s favorite aspects of his job are interacting with people from all over the world, having visited over 20 countries, and feeling like he has a new job every two weeks. When asked about dealing with our customers, Joe’s response was, “It is wonderful to know that when I pick up the phone, it’s likely that the person on the other end of the line is going to be someone that is a lot smarter than I am.”

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Upcoming Events

247th ACS National Meeting & Exposition
March 16-20, 2014
Dallas, Texas

April 1-4, 2014
Munich, Germany

Parr Dealer Sales Training Conference
May 14-16
Bad Soden, Germany

View our complete trade show schedule.

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