Project Synopsis

Prepare preliminary process design information and a cost estimate for a new commercial-scale unit to produce a medical grade sodium bicarbonate product based on client developed laboratory test data.

Project Summary


The client currently produces food-grade sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) from a plant it operates in the the U.S.  The client was interested in producing a new grade of sodium bicarbonate that could be used in medical applications.  Based on laboratory testing, the client has developed a new production process that appears capable of increasing the purity of their current product to the point of being acceptable for medical applications.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was tasked with developing the information needed (FEL-1.5 preliminary process design) to generate an equipment cost estimate so that they could determine a project cost and return on investment (ROI).

Specific tasks for this project included:

  • Preparation of a Preliminary Process Simulation / Heat and Material Balance, which involved the use of CHEMCAD to simulate the new process.
  • Preparation of a Preliminary Process Flow Diagram (PFD), which utilized the client’s PFD as a starting point to generate a new PFD based on the CHEMCAD results.
  • Preparation of a Preliminary Equipment List and Major Equipment Sizing Information (crystallizers, etc.), with the process duties from CHEMCAD as well as some of the client’s existing equipment information being used to determine various equipment parameters (motor sizes, physical dimensions, etc.) for the new process.  Several resources, including vendor quotes and equipment sizing and costing information available from Aspen Icarus, were utilized in this project task.
  • Preparation of Preliminary Equipment Cost Estimate, with the equipment cost information being used to develop an estimate of the total installed process cost.

In the execution of these tasks, PROCESS made extensive use of the process simulation software CHEMCAD, as well as PROCESS' in-depth knowledge of chemical systems and equipment used for chemicals production.

Industry Type

  • Medical Grade Chemicals Production

Utilized Skills

  • Scale-up process design

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