Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

W. Scott Wayne.


Pitches have been important to mankind for hundreds of years. One of the most important pitches used in industry today is binder pitch. Binder pitch is used to make anodes for the aluminum industry. The supply of high quality binder pitch has been steadily decreasing. A process has been developed to produce binder pitch from coal at West Virginia University, but this pitch in this process requires refining.;The focus of this thesis was to design, and construct a bench top wiped film evaporator system to refine that pitch. From the data collected in this thesis, the process was scaled up to a pilot plant sized wiped film evaporator. The research focused on two operating parameters, flow rate into the wiped film evaporator, and the speed of the wiper blades in the wiped film evaporator.;The data indicated that the system was more sensitive to the speed of the wiper blades than the flow rate of material. The best results were obtained with a maximum wiper speed and a minimum flow rate. The operating parameters defined in the bench top system, when applied to the pilot scale unit, resulted in insufficient production to meet contractual obligations. As a direct result of this research, the refining of the pitch was contracted out to Koppers.