Selecting Process-Intensified Equipment | AIChE

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Selecting Process-Intensified Equipment

March
2020

Use this approach to evaluate PI options and compare technologies.

Process intensification (PI) relies on four guiding principles — maximize the effectiveness of intermolecular and intramolecular events, give each molecule the same processing experience, optimize driving forces and resistances at every scale and maximize the specific surface areas to which those forces and resistances apply, and maximize the synergistic effects of partial processes (see the preceding article by Stankiewicz, pp. 23–28). These principles allow intensified technologies to be classified according to their domain (spatial, thermodynamic, functional, temporal) and their scale of application (micro, meso, macro), and can be used to identify process bottlenecks. Likewise, the domains of process intensification allow structured screening and generation of suitable PI solutions.

This article presents a method for evaluating potential PI options and comparing technologies. This method uses the characteristic scales (time, space) for a process technology to determine process performance and benchmark the associated equipment. An example of the method’s application demonstrates how it can be used to select the best available PI technologies at an early stage of the process design workflow.

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