Overcoming Operational Challenges During Process Development at Intermediate Scale

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While proof of concept for new chemical processes are commonly performed through batch-based reactors at lab scale, frequently economic analysis identifies that continuous processes should be a route for commercialization of the technology. Therefore, there is commonly a need to demonstrate new technologies at small/intermediate scale prior to full scale or even pilot plant scale. Developing and designing a fully integrated process including feed systems, reactors and purification steps, is very challenging at intermediate scale due to lack of knowledge about the technology and availability of equipment at this scale. In this presentation, a number of challenges, such as handling of solids, at intermediate scale are highlighted. Also, creative strategies that have been developed successfully in the “Kingston Process Development Group” in DuPont Canada to tackle these challenges are described.