Process Development

The key objective of the Process Development phase is to identify the ideal conditions for the chemical reaction. It requires understanding the kinetics parameters that govern the process and the physicochemical framework in which the catalyst can operate. Additionally, understanding the economic viability, safety, and environmental suitability remains fundamental before moving to the scale-up phase.

How can processes be optimized?

The basic parameters in which the chemical reaction operates are defined during the process discovery phase. However, during the process development phase, these values are modified to study their impact on the productivity and efficiency of the reactions. Temperature provides kinetic energy to the atoms, favoring the re-arrangement of chemical bonds. On the other hand, specific catalysts can be susceptible at high temperatures (primarily biological), and as a result, they can undergo denaturation processes that render them useless. High pressure displaces the gas-liquid equilibrium towards the liquid phase, increasing the gas solubility and yield.

Stirring is a fundamental parameter required when liquid phases are involved in the reaction. Ensuring homogenous conditions is vital, preventing the formation of high-concentration pockets of reagents or products, which can result in precipitation.