(422b) Can This Process Be Saved? A Search for Understanding Using the Bourne Protocol and Advanced Process Development Tools

Authors: 
Teich, C., The Dow Chemical Company
Sarafinas, A., The Dow Chemical Company
Morton, P., The Dow Chemical Company


An interplant process transfer offered an excellent opportunity to effect a change that promised a significant reduction in the cycle time of a specialty solid product. The new reactor delivered the necessary residence time for the chemistry and bulk mixing, but neglected other controlling effects. The end result was a smaller-sized product that impacted not only this product, but also the operations of other processes across the entire plant. The Plant operating staff had devised a fix, but its associated cost penalty was unsustainable for the long-term.

While initial discussion with the Plant centered on ?fixing? the process' downstream train, the focus moved quickly to the reactor and consideration of the most economical design for the specialty product. Based on the protocol Bourne presented in ?Mixing and the Selectivity of Chemical Reactions? (Org. Proc. Res. Dev., 2003, 7 (4), pp 471?508), we ran a series of experiments in the METTLER TOLEDO RC1e? reaction calorimeter equipped with a METTLER TOLEDO FBRM® in-situ particle characterization system. Results of those experiments, combined with solid-liquid equilibrium data modeled using an OLI electrolyte simulation, led to an understanding of why the new reactor made small particles, how the Plant ?fix? mediated the problem, and finally, to identification of an optimal reactor design and operation conditions that would produce low-cost, right-sized, product.