Project Synopsis

Provide a chemical engineering process technical and economic alternatives evaluation for the encapsulation of a range of chemical compound particles.

Project Summary


The client, a specialty chemical producer, had developed new compounds that needed to be encapsulated by a time-release coating.  The bench-scale work was performed in a batch fluidized coater.  While the batch fluidized coating approach met the technical specifications, the manufacturing cost at full scale using this technology was too high to meet economic requirements.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted to identify alternative approaches to help the client achieve both the technical and economic goals required to move the encapsulated flavor compound into full-scale production.  PROCESS‘ tasks included:

  • Evaluating the existing batch fluidized coating process and equipment.
  • Compiling information from technical literature, patents, and vendors to determine all available technologies that could be used for this encapsulation.  These technologies included a wide range of commercially available physical and chemical processes.
  • Selecting the best technologies for further investigation based on technical capability and estimated equipment costs.
  • Identifying vendors with testing facilities and production equipment best suited to the project requirements.
  • Obtaining equipment costing information for full-scale production.
  • Performing an economic analysis on potential technologies to determine if an approach can achieve the desired price target.
  • Documenting the results of the search (including preferred operating conditions for each technology) to retain the information for future coating projects.

The formulation required the coating of a wide range of specialty chemical core particle sizes, and the coating could be dissolved in flammable organic solvents (ethanol).  These requirements significantly constrained the available approaches.  Based on an exhaustive search, it was determined that no clear alternative was available that would significantly improve on the existing fluidization process for their existing formulation.  With the results of this study, the client is considering reformulation or discontinuation of the new product.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Chemical Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Evaluating specialized process equipment

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