Project Synopsis

Provide on-site process engineering support to help identify and implement a variety of process improvements at a batch specialty chemical plant.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, a batch specialty organic chemical manufacturer, to provide process engineering support at one of their production facilities in the Eastern U.S.  Support included several site initiatives to save money and improve product quality.  As a part of this project, the following tasks were accomplished, much of the work requiring PROCESS’ engineer to be on-site:

  • Conducted plant trials of a process modification that would allow recycling of catalyst that otherwise becomes part of a waste stream.  A secondary investigation of the catalyst recycle concept was conducted by working with the plant’s chemist to conduct lab-scale experiments to verify the results in a controlled environment.
  • Used commercial process simulation tools and conducted in-process sampling to determine ways to increase the purity of a byproduct recovered from the production process.  The byproduct’s purity was increased into the desired range, which will allow the company to use it internally at another site at higher production rates.
  • Examined the results of previous plant trials and performed additional lab-scale experiments to determine the best way to increase the amount of product recovered during crystallization and centrifuging without causing problems with product quality or waste generation.  The revised technique has been used in the plant, and preliminary results indicate that the recommended changes will result in an additional $200,000/year worth of additional product with no negative effects on product quality.
  • Used process simulation software to model the site’s solvent recovery system in order to optimize operating parameters and reduce the rate of waste stream generation.
  • Conducted in-process sampling and worked with the plant chemist to reduce the volume of a waste stream.  It was found that improved processing techniques and modified equipment items would reduce the waste stream mass by up to 50%, while generating another material that could be sold for fuel value.

PROCESS supplied the client with various reports of findings which were utilized by the client’s organization for operations planning.  In addition, on-site engineering support was given to help resolve issues arising on a daily basis.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Chemical Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Engineering staff augmentation
  • On-site process optimizaiton and improvement

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