Cost analysis of a commercial manufacturing process of a fine chemical using micro process engineering

U. Krtschil, V. Hessel, D. Kralisch, G. Kreisel, M. Kuepper, R. Schenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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In the last years micro process engineering has developed rapidly and commercial interest has increased. While process intensification was demonstrated, the question remains whether this novel technology can lead to economic profits. In this context, a cost analysis is performed here for an economic fine chemical process of the customized chemical producer Azurchem GmbH, i.e. the formation of the 4-cyanophenylboronic acid, using the benefits of micro process technology supplied by IMM GmbH. This process is representative for several other fine and specialty chemical manufacturing processes proprietary to the Azurchem Gmbh. This is the first time that a cost analysis is made accessible in open literature for a commercial chemical product made by micro process engineering, i.e. for a real-case scenario with validated database, i.e. real yields, micro-chemical plant, chemical and operator costs. The conclusions from this particular case are extended to more general statements on the micro processing of the whole class of high-value fine chemicals. This is achieved via some potential case scenarios of conceivable improvements by means of capacity or selectivity increases and a comparison with a traditional manufacturing method based on batch processing. In this way, some fundamental issues on the suitability of this novel technology are revealed, i.e. how process intensification translates into business drivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-617
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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