Specialist company believes the lack of focus on filtration is leading to inefficiencies in industrial process development.
A lack of technological innovation and the overlooking of filtration’s importance within process development is creating the right conditions for inefficiency, according to BPE.
The UK company involved in chemical and biochemical engineering design has published a new whitepaper looking into the subject. It argues that two key factors have come together to create a formula for inefficiency within manufacturing that uses filtration within its processes.
Author Noel Quigley, who was recently announced as BPE’s new managing director, says that addressing both elements could see huge benefits for manufacturers, including increased efficiency and process robustness.
BPE says that filtration is largely overlooked during the development of new processes, particularly in scale-up projects, and can become a major obstacle in scaling up new processes from the lab to commercial plant.
Noel says: “Across all industrial sectors, there is a requirement for some form of solid-liquid separation. Regardless of scale or whether the solids are a valuable product or an unwanted waste stream, precision separation of the solid and liquid streams is usually a critical step in the process. It is therefore curious that during development of new processes, this step is largely overlooked.”
The second factor that BPE’s whitepaper identifies is a lack of technology development to transcend sector and scale boundaries. Noel explains: “Development of filtration technology has also typically been driven by vendors responding to specific market opportunities. This results in technology that tends to be limited by scale, industry sector or process duty, with little/no research into application outside of these constraints.
“Consequently, the scale-up of filtration processes is typically limited to catalogue engineering reusing the same technology already prevalent within the sector, often creating bottlenecks and inefficiencies that could be removed through the application of better technology.”
The whitepaper, entitled ‘Filtration – The Forgotten Process’ goes on to explore the challenges involved in pushing filtration to the next level, including flow prediction calculations and getting the right pressure and resistance for the batch size.
It also looks into continuous filtration, which provides a smaller footprint, lower costs and greater opportunities for process control as manufacturers scale up.
BPE is making the whitepaper available to anyone for free as part of its mission to share best practice with the industry. It is available on the BPE website.