Seven Reasons to Pilot a Chemical Process | AIChE

Seven Reasons to Pilot a Chemical Process


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety

Presentation Date

April 20, 2021


20 minutes

Skill Level




Pilot plants are expensive to build and operate. Many companies are finding themselves without the facilities or expertise to build a full pilot plant that can be scaled to a commercial venture. The good news is that the need to build these pilot plants is not as critical as it once was. However, despite our industry’s ability to model and simulate practically every aspect of our chemical processes, there is still often a need to build a pilot unit.

Pilot units are built to de-risk a commercial venture. They can be thought of as insurance policies to identify and fix issues before they crop-up at a more expensive scale. Occasionally, these pilot units are built concurrently with the commercial unit to speed the time to market while also providing a troubleshooting tool to minimize any downside risk.

When contemplating whether to go with a pilot plant, it is important to delineate exactly why a pilot plant should be built. Fortunately, we are well past the days when they are built because ‘we have always done it that way’. But it is still an invaluable exercise to describe exactly when and why to pilot a process and define the ultimate measure of success.

This talk covers seven reasons to build a pilot plant for an emerging process and includes examples of each of these situations to consolidate the thought processes around this critical step during process commercialization.


Once the content has been viewed and you have attested to it, you will be able to download and print a certificate for PDH credits. If you have already viewed this content, please click here to login.




Do you already own this?



AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Pro Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
AIChE Explorer Members $29.00
Non-Members $29.00