AIChE Journal Highlight: Rethinking Chemical Reactor Design | AIChE

Notice: AIChE Customer Service telephone lines have been temporarily impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias. Most calls will reach a representative, however, if you have an issue please email customerservice@aiche.org and we will respond as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You are here

AIChE Journal Highlight: Rethinking Chemical Reactor Design

April
2018

Chemical reactors have traditionally been designed to take advantage of economies of scale, which dictates that material costs typically decrease on a per-volume basis as the reactor is scaled up. In the April AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Manufactured Chemistry: Rethinking Unit Operation Design in the Age of Additive Manufacturing,” Addison Stark of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) challenges this “bigger is always better” mantra.

 

There is mounting evidence that at extremely large scales, costs begin to increase on a per-volume basis. For example, says Stark, a large chemical plant may require more skilled laborers than the region can supply, or more raw materials (such as steel) than can be readily dispatched, which increase capital costs. Historical data for the installed cost of a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant are plotted in Figure 1. At large scales (>10,000 bpd, circled), the realized final plant cost is greater than that predicted by scaling alone.

Would you like to access the complete CEP Article?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.