Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol.49, No.1, 70-73, 2010
Process intensification in the petrochemicals industry: Drivers and hurdles for commercial implementation
The process intensification technologies. reactive distillation, dividing wall column distillation (DWC) and reverse flow reactors (RFR) have been implemented at commercial scale in the petrochemical industry each more than 100 times. These technologies have been analysed with four drivers for innovation in the chemical process industry: feedstock cost reduction, capital expenditure reduction, energy reduction and safety risk reduction and with four hurdles for innovation: risk of failure by combining novel aspects, scale-up knowledge uncertainty, equipment unreliability and higher Safety, Health, Environmental risks compared to conventional technologies. The analysis shows that reactive distillation, DWC and RFR all have significant capital cost reduction over conventional technologies and the first two also have energy reductions, while all hurdles for innovation are low. The preliminary conclusion is that process intensification technologies will probably be rapidly implemented in commercial scale operation when at least one of the mentioned drivers is existent and when all mentioned hurdles are low. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Process intensification;Industry;Innovation;Implementation;Success factors;Scale-up;Reactive distillation;Dividing wall column;Reverse flow reactors