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Process Development

Starting with the initial Process Design Phase, Microinnova Engineering prepares this solid basis and provides the essential framework for any further action. Afterwards following up with a feasibility study and a complete process optimization, we are able to provide our customers with insights about benefits of a possible technology change, paving the way to continuous manufacturing of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.


   “First steps in the right direction.” 


Process Development Steps


1. Process Design Phase

The process design phase is the first step towards a continuous, intensified production plant. It starts with collecting the available chemistry and processing knowledge, batch or continuous. A standardized critical parameter approach helps to identify parameters of the process, which are expected to be highly sensitive to the process outcome. First, principal tests to prove or disprove the basic conclusions are executed in the lab as well as key properties of the process media including intermediates for equipment selection are identified.

The stages of the process entangled with these critical parameters, need higher intensification. Based on that approach, a first process-specific equipment selection can be done and a process flow diagram can be provided. This work also allows a first estimation of the plant price at this stage.

Risk evaluation in the next step is the basis for further work in the feasibility phase. A list of the highest risks, regarding conclusions, form the critical parameter analysis. Assumptions for equipment selection and deductions for the continuous process are collected.

Based on that list a set of tests is worked out to clear all the potential risks. These tests are the content of the feasibility phase. The feasibility tests are discussed with the customer to ensure all necessary, practical data for making decisions after the feasibility is generated.

As an outcome of this phase we get a clear vision on how the final, continuous flow process will look like and what effort and maybe risks it will take to get there.


2. Chemical and Technical Feasibility Phase

This phase proves the feasibility of the suggested continuous flow process.

The content of work might range from simple equipment tests for challenging tasks, over determination of specific parameter influences for single processing steps, up to a complete lab-scale setup to prove expected results. A full lab-scale setup will most likely be important for reactions which are not understood completely, whereas it might not be advisable for easy, straight-forward reactions, or if the necessary equipment is not available for lab-scale.

Additionally, tests regarding corrosion, fouling or similar topics can be within the scope of this phase if a high risk for one of the aforementioned has been identified.


3. Optimization and Pilot Phase

Any verified continuous process still needs to be optimized depending on the inherent characteristics. During the optimization on scalable equipment we will determine the appropriate process windows and will deliver a robust continuous process. This optimization might be done in larger lab-scale up to pilot scale, depending on the final production scale.

Due to the early cooperation of chemists and chemical engineers a better part of the development can be carried out on laboratory scale. Thereby, experiments on larger scale will be reduced to a minimum and our approach is leading to quicker and more cost-efficient process development.


4. Competences

Finding the appropriate technology for each unique process challenge is one of our core competences. Our Engineering and Process Development departments, in a combined effort, provide high-end solutions to our customers. Even if we have plenty of technologies available in our labs, we still increase our competences and adapt our equipment depending on market requests with each upcoming year.


Driving processes to the limits is our bread and butter, with typical characteristics such as:
  • High exothermicity
  • High reaction temperatures (up to 400 °C)
  • High viscosity (up to 100.000 cp)
  • Cryogenic processes
  • High corrosivity (conc. HCl at high temp.; oleum at high temp.; conc. HF)
  • Highly reactive and/or toxic gaseous reagents (Cl2, propylenoxide, H2, CO,…)
  • Self-igniting reagents (in contact with O2)
  • Solid handling (as starting materials or during the reaction)

Whereupon it does not matter if chemical and non-chemical processes are:
  • Liquid-liquid
  • Liquid-solid
  • Liquid-gas (solid)
  • Gas-catalytic


Microinnova Engineering GmbH
Europapark 1
8412 Allerheiligen bei Wildon - AUSTRIA

T +43 3182 626 26-0

M office@microinnova.com