Methodology of Process Improvement

A systematic approach is necessary if an old process is to be changed to reduce its high costs, such as the costs of wastewater treatment, exhaust gas handling and solid waste disposal. This will be explained using Table 13.1.

T3.2 Production Integrated Water Management in the Chemical Industry Table 1B.1 Different points which must be considered when a new process is to be developed.

Point

Consideration

New biotechnological process?

1.1 Catalyzed by an immobilized enzyme?

1.2 Converted by suspended or immobilized microorganisms?

New chemical process?

2.1 New method of synthesis Different raw materials

Different catalyst with reduced amount of by-products Different reaction conditions (T, p, pH) Other solvent (organics instead of water)

2.2 New methods of product recovery

• Precipitation, filtration

• Distillation, condensation

• Concentration, spray drying

• Ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis

2.3 Recycling of solvent (water, organics) after removal of impurities Recycling of concentrates with remaining product, primary materials, and catalysts

2.4 Recovery of a by-product to use as a starting material in a further process

Recovery of an auxiliary for reuse

For a high wastewater flow rate and a high COD concentration, an estimation of the treatment costs lets us know whether it is better to treat it in an end-of-pipe plant or in a decentralized effluent treatment system.

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