Process design

Introduction to process engineering

In addition to route selection and GMP, there are a range of additional factors that should be taken into consideration when designing and developing safe and scalable synthetic routes. Optimisation of yields, stoichiometry, reaction volumes, downstream processing, plant cycle times and energy consumption are all important considerations within process chemistry and manufacturing, and should be combined with additional green chemistry considerations such as atom economy, catalytic processes, less hazardous reagents and renewable organics.  To scale-up reactions requires a team of people with a range of different skills, in particular in the fields of:

  • Process chemistry;
  • Process engineering;
  • Safety, Health & Environment;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Physical organic chemistry;
  • Analytical chemistry;
  • Crystal science and formulation.[1]

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this module you should:

  • Understand why a small scale process cannot typically be scaled up directly;
  • Be aware of the problems that can occur during the scale up of a catalytic reaction.
  1. J. Blacker and M. T. Williams, Pharmaceutical Process Development : Current Chemical and Engineering Challenges, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 2011.