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Publication Title | Process Intensification – Chemical Sector Focus

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DRAFT – PRE-DECISIONAL – DRAFT

1 Process Intensification – Chemical Sector Focus

2 Technology Assessment

3 Contents

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Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 1

Technology Assessment and Potential ................................................................................................................. 5

2.1 Chemical Industry Focus................................................................................................................................... 5

2.2 PI Technologies for the Chemical Industry ............................................................................................... 7

2.3 PI Technologies for Energy Consuming Chemicals ................................................................................ 8

2.4 PI Technologies for Biorefining....................................................................................................................12

2.5 PI Technologies for Separations .................................................................................................................. 15

Program Considerations to Support R&D..........................................................................................................17 Risk, Uncertainty, and Other Considerations ...................................................................................................19 More information & references on Case Studies ............................................................................................20

1. Introduction

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17 Process Intensification (PI) targets dramatic improvements in manufacturing and processing by

18 rethinking existing operation schemes into ones that are both more precise and efficient than

19 existing operations. PI frequently involves combining separate unit operations such as reaction and

20 separation into a single piece of equipment resulting in a more efficient, cleaner, and economical

21 manufacturing process. At the molecular level, PI technologies significantly enhance mixing, which

22 improves mass and heat transfer, reaction kinetics, yields, and specificity. These improvements

23 translate into reductions in equipment numbers, facility footprint, and process complexity, and,

24 thereby, minimize cost and risk in chemical manufacturing facilities.

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26 At the core of PI is the optimization of process performance by focusing on molecular level kinetics,

27 thermodynamics, and heat and mass transfer. Gerven and Stankiewicz (2009) provide four guiding

28 principles for PI1:

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Maximize effectiveness of intramolecular and intermolecular events (example: dynamically changing conditions to attain kinetic regimes with higher conversion and selectivity) Provide all molecules the same process experience (example: plug flow reactor with uniform, gradient-less heating)

Optimize driving forces at all scales and maximize the specific surface areas to which they apply (example: increase transfer surface area through microchannel designs)

Maximize synergistic effects from partial processes (example: affecting reaction equilibrium by removing products where and when they are formed)

1 Van Gerven, Tom, and Andrzej Stankiewicz. "Structure, energy, synergy, time -- The fundamentals of process intensification." Industrial & engineering chemistry research 48, no. 5 (2009): 2465-2474.

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