A deep understanding of the underlying science
We start by putting together multi-disciplinary teams of experimental scientists, computational modellers, process chemists, and process and design engineers. By conducting experiments and using the resultant data to build detailed computer models, our teams study the chemical reactions making up these production processes in as much detail as possible. Because, to design a process that is technologically and economically efficient, we first need to understand it.
Where possible, we conduct experiments at small scales in the laboratory, allowing them to be performed quickly and inexpensively. Our expertise in designing suitable equipment and experimental programmes at small scales has been honed over many decades of successful development and commercialisation of process technology. These small-scale experiments ensure that properties which are independent of scale, such as reaction kinetics and thermodynamics, are well understood, but additional experiments and modelling are required to understand aspects such as hydrodynamics and mixing that are not always independent of scale.
We combine the information derived from all these experiments into a chemical process flowsheet. From this we can determine chemical and energy inputs, safety hazards and flowthrough of waste streams so sustainability considerations can be included in the process design. As well as having teams to conduct the underlying experimental and design work in our laboratories, we also have a facility to create integrated mini plants to test the design, with these mini plants able to replicate all the steps in the process. This pilot plant data allows us to assist our customers in scaling up and optimising their processes, saving them time and money.