Chemical Process Scale-Up
Process Development and Scale-Up, Pilot Plants, and Demonstration Plants
MATRIC’s world-class process development facilities include versatile pilot plants for technology demonstration, scale-up, market development, product production, and specialized unit operation testing.
Highly experienced engineers and operating staff work with clients to understand their objectives, which are used to size, design, build, and operate a pilot plant with appropriate levels of automation and control.
MATRIC’s staff is experienced in all aspects of process technology piloting, such as initial design, environmental permitting, operations and hazardous waste disposal, which allows us to commission pilot plants for customers in less time, while assuring process safety.
MATRIC has a long and proud history of handling a wide variety of hazardous and reactive chemicals without incident. Safety is a top priority. Our pilot plants are designed and operated to meet all environmental requirements and safety standards.
Technology development expertise helps us prioritize and promptly resolve critical commercialization issues for processes or products, such as market acceptance or technology uncertainty.
Conducting pilot scale demonstrations can provide a high degree of confidence in the ultimate performance of newly developed processes, and greatly reduces the technical and commercial risk of proceeding to full commercial scale. Pilot plants reduce the risk associated with construction of large process plants in three ways:
- They are substantially less expensive to build than full-scale plants. The business does not put as much capital at risk on a project that may be inefficient or unfeasible. Further, design changes can be made more cheaply at the pilot scale and kinks in the process can be worked out before the large plant is constructed.
- They provide valuable data for design of the full-scale plant. Scientific data about reactions, material properties, corrosiveness, for instance, may be available, but it is difficult to predict the behavior of a process of any complexity. Designers use data from the pilot plant to refine their design of the production scale facility.
- They provide ongoing support in order to test ideas for new products, new feedstocks, or different operating conditions. Alternatively, they may be operated as production facilities, augmenting production from the main plant.
One of the essential elements of a good pilot plant trial is flexibility. The ability to modify column internals and/or auxiliary equipment is often necessary to quickly arrive at an optimum solution. MATRIC’s engineers have the experience and expertise to solve the most difficult production problems. Experienced operators will perform tests over a range of “real world” operating conditions to ensure that the unit is operating as expected, while optimizing the process.
MATRIC’s service offerings are unique in that they encompass the breadth of commercialization including laboratory research and development, world-class technology assessment, pilot plant design, operation and analysis, process design, safety assessments, preliminary and full-scale engineering design and cost estimation, materials procurement and construction management. Combining these activities seamlessly into one continuous process reduces costs, eliminates “transfer of knowledge” errors and accelerates project completion.
Pilot plant is a relative term in that plants are typically smaller than production scale plants, but are built in a range of sizes from laboratory scale using generic lab equipment to those constructed of fabricated metal on dedicated concrete slabs that may cost millions of dollars.