Project Synopsis

Prepare a scale-up process design package (lab to pilot-scale) for the production of a specialty activated carbon for an ion battery manufacturer.

Project Summary


The client, a manufacturer of aqueous hybrid ion batteries, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to prepare a front-end engineering design package to scale up an activated carbon manufacturing process from the lab scale to the pilot plant level.

Specific tasks for this project included:

  • Generation of a design basis that included the desired production range, operating schedule, space constraints, and scalability of the pilot plant process.
  • Preparation of a heat and material balance (H&MB) for the system using PROCESS’ licensed commercial simulation software.  Unit operations included raw material feed systems, a jacketed reactor and associated heating and cooling loops, drying system, NOx scrubber, and wastewater collection system.
  • Technical and economic alternatives evaluation to determine the best process for drying the activated carbon product.  A dual stage drying operation was selected that included a vertical batch centrifuge (with automatic discharge) and a vacuum tumble dryer.
  • Preparation of process flow diagrams (PFDs) using the heat and material balance data.  Since this was a semi-batch operation, PFDs were prepared to define both batch operating conditions and maximum (design) transfer rate conditions.
  • Preparation of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) for the pilot plant.  A total of four P&IDs were developed for this project.  These P&IDS included all major equipment items, process and utility streams, and primary instruments and controls.  A detailed Process Description was generated to explain the process flow through the equipment.  A Process Control Description was also prepared to describe the functionality of all the process controls.
  • Preparation of equipment, valve, and instrument lists for the pilot plant.  Data sheets were generated for all major pieces of equipment.  Vendor quotations were also obtained such that budget pricing could be generated for this equipment.
  • A detailed cycle time analysis was performed to establish how many full production cycles could be completed per shift.  The heat and material balance information was used in this analysis to optimize the various steps within the production cycle.

Industry Type

  • Battery Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Front-end engineering design (FEED)
  • Lab process scale up design

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