Tag Archives: Process Safety

Chemical Process Development Symposium at Novartis

Cambridge, Massachusetts is a unique place due to having one of the largest (per capita) and most impressive populations of scientists and engineers in the world.  Because of this, Cambridge is recognized as a global hub for biotechnology.  This makes the Boston area an attractive venue to organize a chemical process development gathering. Continue reading

Chilworth’s Safe Scale-up of Chemical Processes

safe-scale-up-chemical-processes-webinar

Safe Scale-up of Chemical Processes

On July 1, Dr. Stephen Rowe of Chilworth Technology will present Safe Scale-up of Chemical Processes: Holistic Strategies Supported by Modern Tools.

This online process safety seminar will focus on the overall safety strategy and outlines:

2 Ways To Screen Chemicals for Reactivity Hazards

This guest post is written by Dr. Sanjeev Saraf, Senior Associate in Exponent’s Engineering Management Consulting practice. Dr. Saraf’s primary focus is on evaluating processes/products for increased safety, reliability, and economic feasibility. You can read more from the author on his process safety and risk management blog.

The reactivity hazard of a substance is normally assessed by performing thermal analysis. A small amount of the sample is heated over a range of temperature (usually within 30°C – 400°C), and temperature, pressure, and time data are recorded. This information is then used for alarm settings, relief  sizing, and process modeling. Continue reading

How Process Optimization Cut High Chemical Production Costs

Due to the interest on the recent post on how a major dye and chemical company improved process safety and shortened downtime through process modification, this post will discuss how a major specialty chemicals manufacturer used process optimization to:

  • Cut solvent consumption by 50%
  • Decrease production costs by 10%
  • Reduce batch time from 10 hours to 4 hours

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How Hexion Specialty Chemicals Reduced R&D Expenses

The Challenge: Reaction Calorimetry Under Difficult Conditions
“Unfortunately, our highly exotherm reactions are not always easy to handle”, says Günter Reinsch, head of process optimization and safety at Hexion™ Specialty Chemicals. Continue reading

How Process Modification Improves Safety and Shortens Downtime

The Challenge
A running production from a major dye and chemical company proved to be problematic. Solvent losses during work-up resulted not only in increased costs, but also presented an environmental concern. Continue reading

The Three Little Chemists: A Story About Tr-Tj

Three Little Pigs Tr Tj StoryFor years, we have been discussing the value of the Tr-Tj expression (Tr = reaction temperature, Tj = heating/cooling jacket temperature). The ease of use and the valuable insight gained into chemistry from the Tr-Tj expression has already been leveraged by chemists around the world. Since I feel that there are more chemists out there who would benefit from the use of Tr-Tj on a regular basis, I thought I would tell a story to illustrate the value of the Tr-Tj expression. Continue reading

How To Overcome Process Scale-Up Challenges Using Process Analytical Technology (PAT)

Process Analytical Technology for Scale-up

Process Analytical Technology

During Part I of his two part The Role of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) in Green Chemistry and Green Engineering online seminar series, Dominique Hebrault discussed scale-up challenges faced today by chemists and engineers.  Too often, offline sampling methods – mostly chromatographic methods such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or Gas Chromatography (GC) – are used to monitor processes which fail to resolve common issues like reaction monitoring, poor mass balance, delayed initiation/reaction stalled, and loss of yield/by-products.  From a reaction engineering standpoint, obtaining heat mass balance information and preliminary kinetic data can be difficult using traditional offline methods during process scale-up.  Forming the final solid can be challenging using traditional offline methods, including filtration/drying a bottleneck, excessive washing, polymorph inconsistency, and batch to batch variability can be difficult.
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Why is Kinetic Data Valuable?

Arguably, kinetics is one of the least popular subjects in academic or industrial research.  During her recent webinar – Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis: A Powerful Methodology for Streamlining the Study of Complex Organic Reactions, Donna Blackmond reiterated why having kinetic data can be valuable:
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Chemical & Engineering News: Highlighting Recent Letters Discussing Chemical Process Safety

A few months ago, I came across two letters in Chemical & Engineering News that I would like to bring to your attention. Both letters relate to ensuring the safety of chemical processes.

The first, from Tom Vickery and colleagues at Merck, made the point that a recently published procedure (for preparation of 2-bromo-3-methylbutenal) presents a safety issue with dramatic consequences for scale-up:

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