From batch to continuous processes: a good answer, but what is the question? Part I*
General considerations and the reaction unit perspective
The switch from batch to continuous process is a major topical question in the fine chemical, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. In spite of a genuine interest, as shown by the profusion of recent literature and symposia on the topic, batch remains the widely accepted standard in these industries and the steps taken toward continuous remain somewhat shy. A paradox? Here, we propose a fresh look at the question through the chemist’s eyes but with process engineer glasses. In this first part, general considerations and simple reaction unit operations are investigated. The second part of the article* will propose general considerations on the purification unit operations, less simple reaction unit operations, and the overall process perspective.
*Part II was published in Chemistry Today, vol. 34(5), Sep/Oct 2016, pp. 33-38.
Chemistry Today, vol. 34(4), Jul/Aug 2016, pp. 38-43