Last week, I attended the VisiMix International Conference in Boston, MA. Held at the Colonnade Hotel, the conference focused on the influence of mixing unit operations in your process and featured presentations by well-respected leaders in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries on topics including:
- Process Development and Optimization
- Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and Quality by Design (QbD)
- Process Scale-Up
- Process Safety
VisiMix conference attendees included process research and development chemists, pilot plant engineers and managers, and chemical engineers.
On Thursday, July 14, I had the opportunity to give one of the conference presentations – Avoid Batch Failures via Scale Down Simulation of Exothermic Reactions in the Lab. If you were not able to attend the conference or missed the presentation, you can view the online version here.
My presentation discussed major challenges faced by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries including globalization, environmental and safety regulations, shortening product life cycle and increased time pressure for commercial releases.
Breakthroughs in process operations and modeling are necessary to achieve energy and material efficiency gains supporting shorter development and scale-up times and improving the environmental, safety and economical profile of chemical processes. Those breakthroughs are made possible in part to the use of process analytical technologies and reactor systems optimally designed for real time in situ process monitoring and accurate control of processes, both at the lab and plant scale.
For more than twenty years, the RC1 reaction calorimeter has been the golden standard for process safety studies at lab scale. During the last two years, METTLER TOLEDO enhanced the RC1 with the latest real time calorimetry technology and software innovations, and mixing guidelines, providing an easy to use reactor platform to perform process safety and scale-up studies in an efficient and rapid way.
Via the implementation of RTCal™, heat profiles of exothermic events are measured accurately in real-time without the need for further calibrations or data manipulations. As a result, the RC1 reactor can be operated as a plant reactor, allowing for real life simulation of dosing times at plant scale and prediction of the thermal behavior and the quality and yield of the process in the plant vessel. The mixing guidelines provide a wealth of information on how to operate the lab reactor to simulate plant mixing, including mixing videos of different scenarios and the most import mixing parameters. In addition, the new software module – iC Safety™ – automatically calculates all related process safety values such as adiabatic temperature rise, MTSR , etc. needed for the thermal hazard assessment of the process.
These breakthrough innovations are designed to safely develop a chemical synthesis route in less time and ensure a robust and economic process that can be efficiently and safely scaled to manufacturing.This paper will present case studies exploring the use of RTCal™ and the mixing guidelines to simulate a plant reactor’s heat removal and mixing performance and will demonstrate the one click thermal hazard assessment of some industry examples via the iC Safety™ module.