(383c) Systematic Framework for Design and Adaption of “Fast, Flexible, Continuous Modular Plants” | AIChE

(383c) Systematic Framework for Design and Adaption of “Fast, Flexible, Continuous Modular Plants”


Gernaey, K. V. - Presenter, Technical University of Denmark
Gani, R. - Presenter, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Woodley, J. M. - Presenter, Technical University of Denmark

In order to be efficient, the future chemical, biochemical and pharmaceutical industries need to be operated based on fast and flexible continuous modular production systems. However, the design of a new continuous modular plant is still a challenging task because of the different levels of complexity that are involved in the design process of such a novel plant. In order to minimize the process development time, costs and resources, a generic continuous modular plant should be capable of being adapted for operation with a series of related substrates and products. Therefore, systematic methods and tools are needed through which an existing plant can be adapted for different substrates in the most efficient way. In the work reported here, a systematic framework and a generic ?Substrates Adoption Methodology? have been developed through which a fast and flexible continuous modular plant can be designed and adapted for a series of similar substrates. In addition to the overall goal to achieve a shorter time-to-market, the aims are to reduce the cost of product and process development in terms of resources and time, to increase the throughput of potential products and to improve process robustness and maintain product quality. The plant adaption is based on commonality ? meaning that one plant can be adapted for chemical transformation of at least 80% of available similar substrates. The developed methodology identifies the necessary changes in the existing plant in order to adapt it for a given substrate. The changes can be related to process operational conditions (e.g. operating temperature, flow rates etc.) as well as in the physical arrangement (configuration) of the process equipment. The supporting tools for the substrates adoption methodology have been developed as well. They are: (1) a knowledge base consisting of the properties of substances (reactants, products, reagents, solvents, and catalysts), reaction characteristics and characteristics of unit operations; and (2) a model library consisting of the thermodynamic models and process operational models. The knowledge base is used to provide the necessary data for substrates adoption while the model library is used to generate the missing/additional data needed for substrates adoption (thermodynamic models are used for the generation of missing or dependent properties and process operational models are employed to provide process understanding). The objective of this presentation is two-fold: first to highlight the systematic framework, the ?Substrates Adoption Methodology? and supporting tools (knowledge base and model library), and second to demonstrate applications of the developed framework and substrates adoption methodology through a pharmaceutical manufacturing case study involving a nitro reduction.