In developing industrial chemical processes, the first steps involve characterizing the chemical reactions and ways to increase their yield and efficiency. The scale-up phase is critical and complex, moving from benchtop, small-scale to full-scale industrial production. This phase is essential for validating the feasibility and economic viability of the chemical process in real-world manufacturing conditions. It involves a series of steps to successfully replicate the observations in the laboratory to a complete industrial plant scale. Although complex, scale-up ensures that innovation in catalysis and hydrogenation can be effectively applied in real-world manufacturing settings, meeting both technical and economic viability criteria.

What challenges need addressing during scale-up?

The scale-up phase involves several technical challenges that need overcoming to deliver an efficient industrial-scale process. This includes optimizing reaction conditions for larger volumes, including temperature, agitation, concentration of reactants, and dosing regimen. The final goal is to ensure consistent product quality and address potential safety concerns that might have been overlooked in the first phases of development. It is critical to overcome these issues to understand the process deeply, including reaction kinetics and thermodynamics, which may vary significantly when moving from benchtop to large scale.