Scale Up

In another section we discussed process development, where a process was designed with the industrial scale process as the target. In that scenario scale up could be focused on individual components such as agitation in a mixing vessel. In that scenario there is very little risk that the process will not fully work on the industrial scale.

If the industrial process was not considered during process development, as is sometimes the case when a new product is developed and assumed to be producible with existing techniques, scale up of every step and process has to be considered. For example, a separation process that works in a laboratory where rate is not a factor such as filtration, may not be adequate full scale. An entirely different process may need to be developed to accommodate the process at full rate. Many times difficulty is encountered in the transport of fluids, solids, or slurries where the flow characteristics have not been determined. Often engineering data, particularly the mass transport data, is not correctly obtained or not obtained at all. The professional part of professional chemical engineering is knowing when changes can be made with a high degree of confidence, and when testing must be preformed to verify process validity.

If you are considering scale up, consider professional chemical engineering as one of your resources. Although work like is always a shared risk situation, a professional approach is always an economical choice. You are encouraged to contact us to start a dialog.