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Integrated Multiscale Process Units with Locally Structured Elements

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Paradigm shift for chemical process engineering

The chemical industries in Europe have to date made use of new equipment and methodologies typically designed for laboratory use by adapting operating conditions to compensate for equipment limitations. EU-funded researchers developed a new approach representing a dramatic paradigm shift by integrating innovative process equipment and components to enable achievement of the most desirable operating conditions for a given physicochemical product.

Industrial Technologies

Researchers supported by EU funding of the ‘Integrated multiscale process units with locally structured elements’ (Impulse) project developed a novel approach for chemical process engineering known as structured multiscale design. The methodology enables targeted, cost-effective and efficient integration of high-performance, small-scale equipment into large scale production systems (hence multiscale) for enhanced whole-process performance, supply chain sustainability and competitiveness of EU chemical industries. The Impulse approach was implemented in nine specific case studies and resulted in five industrial demonstration units in the pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals and consumer goods sectors. In addition, several industrial partners tested Impulse training material and the consortium produced complementary material for academic use. The Impulse investigators created the Impulse user group, the Impulse equipment database, a dedicated website and the Impulse 'Big Book' summarising the tools and methodologies needed to support multiscale process design for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Taken together, the Impulse project leaders positioned the outcomes for immediate implementation by experienced chemical process technologists and engineers. The project outcomes represent an important breakthrough in chemical process engineering. Their widespread implementation has the potential to produce significant economic and performance benefits within a variety of chemical industries, leading to enhanced competitiveness of the European chemicals sector.

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