Transitioning from Batch to Continuous Processes | AIChE

Transitioning from Batch to Continuous Processes

  • Wednesday, June 7 - EDT

    Hyatt Regency Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Session Chairs:

    • Tom Enright, Xerox Research Centre of Canada

    Session Description:

    The benefits of continuous versus batch chemical processes are well established - including higher product throughput and yield, lower space requirements and capital investment, faster product changeover, more consistent quality, and the ability to safely run reactions at more extreme conditions. However, companies are often hesitant to invest in continuous processes due to historical experience, proficiency with batch processes, and general risk aversion. This session will focus on the practical aspects of process intensification as it relates to the development of continuous processes to both replace and integrate along-side standard batch processes. This will include case study examples that describe a variety of unit operations, common challenges and pitfalls, economic aspects, and rules of thumb that have been learned in the field.



    10:45am Improving Process Operations with Continuous Pressure and Vacuum Filtration Technologies

    Barry Perlmutter, BHS-Sonthofen


    Batch-to-Continuous Processing: Risk Aversion and Value Analysis

    David Lawton, Xerox Research Centre of Canada

    11:45am Transforming the Standard for Dissolved Solid Purification: Ion Exchange, Now a Steady-State Process

    Long Sang, Renix, Inc.


    Improving Process Operations with Continuous Pressure and Vacuum Filtration Technologies

    Barry A. PerlmutterBHS-Sonthofen Inc.

    14300 South Lakes Drive

    Charlotte, North Carolina 28273-6794

    Telephone:  704.845.1190; Fax: 704.845.1902



    This presentation discusses lab testing, pilot testing and scale-up for converting chemical processes to continuous filtration technologies from batch filtration operations.  Three case histories are presented illustrating the benefits of continuous pressure or vacuum filtration, cake washing and drying. 

    In the first continuous process a liquefied gas slurry is used to produce a specialty chemical.  In the second pharmaceutical process, the objective is to replace the current batch centrifuge with a technology that would be suitable for conversion to a continuous process.  In third application, for a biochemical process, continuous vacuum filtration replaces batch candle filters.

    The presentation includes technology descriptions, process testing and installation details.  The overall scheme can be used by process engineers to develop optimum continuous pressure or vacuum filtration solutions for high-solids slurry applications.

    Batch-to-Continuous Processing: Risk Aversion and Value Analysis

    David LawtonXerox Research Centre of Canada

    Continuous processing is known to hold many potential advantages over batch processing - from a clean-sheet design perspective - but what happens when a batch process is already established in production? There are two key aspects to evaluating continuous process implementation into existing production schemes – risk aversion and value analysis. The first deals with the dreaded ‘unknown’ – the very practical “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality that can exist from the production floor all the way up to the executive leadership. The second deals with assigning a dollar value to not just the productivity benefits of continuous processing but also the less-tangible benefits of quality and new operating latitude that is not possible in batch processing. Ultimately, this talk aims to provide a high-level framework for process engineers to construct value propositions for continuous process implementation as well as to provide new optimization criterion for process development.

    Transforming the Standard for Dissolved Solid Purification: Ion Exchange, Now a Steady-State Process

    Christine Haas and Long Sang*, Renix, Inc.

    Ion exchange (IX) is a liquid purification process that has been in use industrially for nearly 100 years to capture dissolved solids; hundreds of applications exist in water treatment, chemical processing, and food & beverage production segments among others.   While innovations in IX resins have been on-going, innovations in the IX process have been limited; and although automation has been introduced, the core operation of IX systems continues to rely on batch-style loading and regeneration of resins.   The development of a new steady-state uninterrupted ion exchange process offers all the well-established benefits of a transition from batch to continuous processing – as well as specific technical and cost advantages in the purification realm.   Hear about these benefits and the challenges of bringing such an innovative process change into a long-established operation and understand how steady state processing also expands the range of IX applications.