The complexity of technology implementation: flow versus batch processing


Lonza, Visp, CH-3930, Switzerland
Member of Chimica Oggi/Chemistry Today’s Scientific Advisory Board

Batch or semi-batch processing is a rather simple operation for industrial production of fine chemicals and pharmaceutical APIs. It has proven flexible and versatile from lab to commercial scale.  A batch vessel can also accommodate nearly all common unit operations, with the exception of product isolation. Basically every reaction can be performed in a safe manner by a simple principle: Dilution! However, this implies availability of large equipment capacity, utilization of high solvent volumes and costly handling of effluent streams while the throughput and productivity aspects fall short.

In contrast, continuous manufacturing could significantly intensify batch processes thanks to excellent mass and heat transfer performance within the system: Improved process efficiency at reduced foot print, significantly reduced material consumption – Green Chemistry approach – resulting in lower operating expenses. While concentration for organic reactions usually is not a limitation i ...