Project Synopsis

Provide a preliminary process design and cost estimate for the installation of new batch reactor systems and related equipment for a U.S. based specialty chemicals facility on their nutraceutical intermediates production line.

Project Summary


The client, a world-wide chemical and materials manufacturing concern, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to assist with developing a conceptual process design (FEL-1) for a capacity expansion project at one of their U.S. specialty chemical manufacturing facilities.  The purpose of this effort was to provide a preliminary process design and cost estimate for the installation of two new batch reactor systems, a Nutsche filter dryer system, a packaging system, and ancillary equipment for their nutraceutical intermediates production line.  This involved technically evaluating different process technologies in order to meet product requirements while also offering a more cost effective system relative to the design currently employed.  The technologies identified and overall design were refined through alternative evaluations and pilot testing.  In addition, assessments as to the impact of the expansion on the site’s available utilities and environmental permitting were completed.

PROCESS acted as the process design lead during the preliminary process design and was contracted to complete the following project tasks:

  • Information review and preliminary process design basis preparation.
  • Evaluations of technically-feasible processing alternatives for areas of the facility that are either not well defined or that may represent opportunities for improved performance and/or reliability, or reductions in costs.
  • Development of a comprehensive, detailed mass and energy balance for the proposed system.
  • Process Flow Diagram (PFD) preparation depicting the primary unit operations and major process and utility streams.
  • Development of an anticipated/estimated emissions summary for the expansion at maximum design (nameplate) operating conditions, including a written commentary on current regulations, existing permit limits, etc. relative to the performance at expanded capacity.  This review included an assessment of the current estimated emissions for the entire plant site, as well as emissions resulting from this project and future major plant expansions.
  • Preliminary Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) development for the new system.
  • Equipment list development detailing process requirements and preliminary specifications and sizing information for all new major process equipment in compliance with cGMP guidelines.
  • Evaluate the expansion’s impact on existing site utilities, including hydraulic modeling of existing and new cooling water supply and return circuits.
  • Generate an initial and conceptual equipment layout sketch of the new system depicting the approximate locations and sizes of, and recommended spaces between the process primary unit operations.
  • Development of a factored capital cost estimate for completing design, procurement, and construction of the facility expansion.
  • Provided a professional evaluation on the potential process risks associated with the design and/or operation of the new system.
  • Development of a detailed process specification for long lead equipment items.

The above project deliverables were supplied to the client on time and under the original proposal cost estimate.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Chemicals Manufacturing
  • Nutraceutical Intermediates Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Process design
  • Environmental emissions estimating

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