Several members at RAPID’s Technology Speed Dating event made numerous connections and business matches last month. In all, 27 members disseminated information on their process intensification (PI) technologies—from nascent concepts and technologies to more mature ones with possibilities for additional applications — all of which encompassed RAPID’s key focus areas. Additionally, members discussed objectives they were hoping to accomplish in terms of resources and/or scaleup of pilot facilities.

“We not only wanted to engage members but also provide them with a forum to exchange information about projects they were working on and forge viable partnerships that would help move those projects along. In that regard, I think we succeeded quite well,” stated Tom Walsh, RAPID’s interim CEO.

“I probably talked to six people during the session and had substantial conversations with Rapid members Praxair and Michigan Tech,” noted Levi Thompson of the University of Michigan. While talks are still underway, the latter will be contributing techno-economic and life cycle analyses to a pending project.

Jeff Johnson, VP of Business Development at Easy Energy Systems, added, “During the event, we were exposed to several new technology developments that either can be applied to current module developments (we are already doing) or can be developed as completely new modules to give our customers more options and potentially reduce capital costs or produce different products at the same time.”

Johnson also noted that the screening work RAPID does on projects helps Easy Energy feel more confident. “We can put effort into these module developments with less risk that they are “pie in the sky” and more likely to be viable process intensification improvements in technology. We also want to stay at the forefront of PI technologies involved in processing wastes to fuels or energy to bring more value to our customers than just supplying a process module with old technology.”

Larry Slovin of B&P Littleford, who met with at least 15 RAPID member organizations echoed similar sentiments. "As a new member of RAPID, I was impressed with the enthusiasm and opportunities for technical development within the membership. Since my return, our technical people have begun dialogues to discuss potential projects as well as conducting feasibility trials in our lab," he said.

This was RAPID’s first signature event with more in the planning stages for AIChE’s Annual Meeting scheduled for October 28-November 2nd in Pittsburgh.