The task of process design is to lay out the process unit operations in a Block Flow Process Diagram (BFPD), in which the processing unit operations are connected by the continuous process stream flows. A process is the transformation of raw materials, into one or more products of commercial value. The process development aims for the commercial-scale operation of the process, for maximum product sales volume, revenue, and profit. The transformation of the raw materials to products is conducted in a series of steps, usually and desirably continuously, in which specific chemical and physical changes are made to the process material. These individual steps are called unit operations, examples being particle size reduction, mixing, reaction, decantation, distillation, and drying. The transformations all fall under the categories of reaction, separation, and physical conversion. These steps are conducted under known, controlled conditions in process equipment.
The process designer is usually a chemical or biochemical engineer, conversant with industrial chemistry and process equipment, and he is guided by training, experience, and experimental R&D information from the project development program. He must develop a process design that is physically feasible, safe, and can be scaled to and conducted on a commercial scale. His process design must also ultimately be sufficiently profitable to meet the financial criteria of the investors. Skilled process designers minimize the number of unit operations, minimize the number and relative magnitude of recycling streams, simplify designs and exploit the financial economies of larger scale. They adopt moderate process conditions, especially temperature, pressure, and pH. They also seek chemical reactions which are high in product selectivity, conversion, and yield and commission R&D, if feasible, to correct such deficiencies. Good process designs consciously minimize solvent and additive use.
Later in the process design, the designer identifies the specific process equipment which is required for each unit operation and develops the mass and energy balances. This yields the Process Flow Diagram (PFD), which is based on the BFPD above, but contains much more detail. This is the basis for computing process economics.
With over 150 experts worldwide, Lee Enterprises Consulting has experts in many specific clean and renewable areas, including anaerobic digestion, fermentation, biomass, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid-state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag-biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. This is a multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants that is a virtual “one-stop-shop” for any client need and handles projects of all types and sizes.
Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. See a video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.