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Green Processing and Synthesis

Editor-in-Chief: Hessel, Volker

Editorial Board: Akay, Galip / Arends, Isabel W.C.E. / Cann, Michael C. / Cheng, Yi / Cravotto, Giancarlo / Gruber-Wölfler, Heidrun / Kralisch, Dana / D. P. Nigam, Krishna / Saha, Basudeb / Serra, Christophe A. / Zhang, Wei

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Volume 1, Issue 4

Issues

Window of opportunity – potential of increase in profitability using modular compact plants and micro-reactor based flow processing

Iris Vural Gürsel
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Micro Flow Chemistry & Process Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Volker Hessel
  • Corresponding author
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Micro Flow Chemistry & Process Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Qi Wang
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Micro Flow Chemistry & Process Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Timothy Noël
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Micro Flow Chemistry & Process Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jürgen Lang
  • Evonik Industries AG, Innovation Management – Verfahrenstechnik & Engineering, Rodenbacher Chaussee 4, 63457 Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-08-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gps-2012-0046

Abstract

Recently, much focus has been given to a new type of chemical production plant, with the aim of a much faster time-to-market (“50% idea”) and better cash-flow revenue. The main enabling technology is to have the plants pre-manufactured and assembled by a modular construction and to use innovative, smart-scale processing and apparatus technology, in order to achieve a compact overall plant footprint. Focal points in such technology are on the one hand, flow processing, with micro process technology as a cutting-edge cornerstone, and on the other hand, the container framework. Yet, other process-intensified technologies are suitable as well such as milli-flow or upgraded batch technologies. Finally, process robustness and short-time applicability make the decision. In this paper, for the first time, a CAPEX and OPEX analysis of the new plant technology is done, at the example of the Evotrainer production platform. This platform is pre-manufactured in serial and provides all the utilities needed around the reactor and e.g., separator to be tailored and inserted. The unit-operational modularization, with respective definition of interfaces, was developed further to a so-called functional modularization, where different cabinets with pre-defined functions and equipment are proposed. Three virtual microreactor applications were used and stand as model-based scenarios for market applications in bulk chemistry, fine chemistry and pharmacy. It is shown, in many facets, that the Evotrainer infrastructure based plants indeed have a faster payback and higher earnings as compared to conventional technology, particularly when serving high-priced markets such as pharmaceutical applications. Further, the combination with novel chemical routes or novel processing (Novel Process Windows) is advantageous. Micro process technology is one of the key enablers and was taken here, since the dataset of such technology was readily available to the authors due to past research efforts and there is some general belief in the combination to the so-called “Future Factories”. Yet, it stands also for any other process intensification technology which can achieve the same performance level and which is able to satisfy the needs of a producing industry.

Keywords: micro process technology; modular plants; net present value

References

About the article

Iris Vural Gürsel

Irıs Vural Gursel was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She received her BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University in Istanbul. In 2008, she received her MSc in Engineering and Technology Management from Bogazici University while working as Process Engineer at Technical Services and R&D Department at Tupras, Turkish Petroleum RefineriesCooperation for 3 years.She is currently working on her PhD at Eindhoven University of Technology on the subject of Process-Design Intensification within Novel Process Windows in the group of Prof. Dr. Volker Hessel.

Volker Hessel

Professor Dr. Volker Hessel, born 1964, studied chemistry at Mainz University and obtained his PhD in the field of organic chemistry 1993. In 1994 Professor Dr. Hessel started his professional career at the InstitutfürMikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (IMM). In 1999 he was appointed Head of the Microreaction Technology Department and in 2007 he was appointed as Director R&D at IMM. In 2005 he followed a part-time appointment as professor for the chair of “Micro Process Engineering” at Eindhoven University of Technology, TU/e. 2009 Volker Hessel was appointed as honorary professor at the Technical Chemistry Department at Technical University of Darmstadt. In 2011, he was appointed as full professor for the chair of “Micro Flow Chemistry and Process Technology” at the Eindhoven University of Technology, TU/e. Professor Dr. Hessel is author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications (with about 30 extended reviews), 18 book chapters, and 5 books. His current research covers the development of harsh chemistries (high-p, high-T, solvent-less) and the full process design and cost/LCA evaluation of smart-scaled flow processes, often with use of microreactors. He received the AIChE award “Excellence in Process Development Research” in 2007. He received the ERC Advanced Grant for his research topic“Novel Process Windows” to build a group at TU/e in 2010. He is Editor-in-Chief of Green Processing and Synthesis.

Qi Wang

Dr. Qi Wang studied Chemical Engineering at Hebei University of Technology (China) during 1999-2003 and received her M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the same University in 2006. She then received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University (China) in 2010. She then got appointment from Eindhoven University of Technology in 2010 to do her postdoctoral research with Prof. Volker Hessel in Chemical Engineering. Her research interests is plasma chemistry and holistic approach development for micro flow process design.

Timothy Noël

Timothy Noël, born 1982 in Aalst (Belgium), received in 2004 his MSc degree (Industrial Chemical Engineering) from the KaHo Sint-Lieven in Ghent. He then moved to Ghent University to obtain a PhD at the Laboratory for Organic and Bioorganic Synthesis under the supervision of Professor Johan Van der Eycken (2005–2009). The title of his PhD manuscript is “Synthesis and application of chiral dienes and chiral imidates for asymmetric transition metal catalysis”. Next, he moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Stephen L. Buchwald. At MIT, he worked on the development of new continuous-flow methods for cross-coupling chemistry at the MIT-Novartis Center for Continuous Manufacturing. In 2011, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the research group of Professor Volker Hessel at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research interest are flow chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis and organic synthesis.

He received in 2011 the Incentive Award for Young Researchers from the Comité de Gestion du Bulletin des SociétésChimiquesBelges.

Jürgen Lang

Dr. Jürgen Lang is Senior Scientist in the Innovation Management of the Process & Engineering department (TE). After education in computer technology at Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm and studies in high and highest frequency technology at KIT – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Dr. Lang earned his doctorate in Plasma – Catalytic Effects in Ammonia Synthesis from KIT-Institute of Physical Electronics. After interdisciplinary scientific work from 1987 till 2000 at Fraunhofer Institut for System Technology and Innovation Research (FhG-ISI), he joined 2000 the New Process Department of former Degussa-Hüls. 2010 he switched to the Innovation Management of the TE department


Corresponding author: Volker Hessel, Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Micro Flow Chemistry & Process Technology, Den Dolech 2, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands


Received: 2012-06-21

Accepted: 2012-07-04

Published Online: 2012-08-25

Published in Print: 2012-08-01


Citation Information: Green Processing and Synthesis, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 315–336, ISSN (Online) 2191-9550, ISSN (Print) 2191-9542, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gps-2012-0046.

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