03/02/2011 | Author / Editor: Anke Geipel-Kern / Jörg Kempf
How can you accelerate the pace in the Chemical Process Industry (CPI) and reduce time to market? The container concept developed within the framework of the Copiride Project provides some answers.
The contrast could not be more striking. At a time when world-scale plants that resemble the skyline of New York or of Shanghai are under construction at chemical parks in China and the Middle East, European working groups are looking at ways of shrinking chemical production to garage-size format. The question of how European chemical producers (in particularly in Germany) can become faster and more efficient in the face of growing pressure from Asian and Arabian competitors is driving the development of new intelligent production strategies. Which of these new approaches proves to be feasible in practical application remains to be seen.
The Copiride Project team, which got together for its kick-off meeting at the Microsystems Technology Institute in Mainz/Germany in October 2009, could well be in the running. 15 European companies and universities are represented in this highly motivated group of experts who over the next three and a half years intend to develop a new platform for continuous-flow production based on process intensification and micro reactor technology. New process windows which Copiride intends to open up play a major role.
The goal is to make chemical production faster, more sustainable and more resource-efficient. “Specifically, we are looking at development of compact container-size systems,” explained Dr. Jürgen Lang (Process Technology and Engineering), who represents the specialty chemical company of Evonik on the project. “We also want to cut in half the time it takes to get through the development process from the product idea to the final production process.”
The team has already taken a big step. Copiride is working from an existing prototype which Evonik calls the Evotrainer (a neologism from “Evonik” and “trainer”).
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