Scale Up in Chemical Engineering

The successful start up and operation of a commercial size unit whose design and operating procedures are in part based upon experimentation and demonstration at a smaller scale of operation.” This whole process is called “scale-up.” (Bentolila, Alshanski, Novoa, & Gilon, 2018). Chemical engineering is all about the conversion of raw products into beneficial ones and this chemical production takes place in two: a chemical reaction followed by purification steps. Typically, a batch or semi-batch configuration is used for chemical production (Bentolila et al., 2018).

In chemical engineering, scale-down and scale-up process are used to optimize production. The scale-down process is involved in the provision of data regarding hydrodynamic and chemical features. This understanding of the data can result in better knowledge about the system.

When a process is fully understood and all its features are recognized, then simulation can be used to convert the scale-up step into the pilot step, especially in chemical factories (Bentolila et al., 2018)The simulation method is time-efficient and allows maintaining control of numerous hydrodynamic parameters that impact the optimization of the process (Basu, Mack, & Vinson, 1999).

Following bench-scale experiments and adjustable calculations, the designed plant can be scaled up into the pilot plant, and hybrid model experimentation can be done. In the end, fine-tuning and designing on a large scale can be done (Bentolila et al., 2018)Hence, when a stand down–stand up strategy is used, identification of crucial elements leads to a more effective simulation and then this simulation can be used in different processes regarding chemical industries (Bentolila et al., 2018).


Basu, P. K., Mack, R. A., & Vinson, J. M. (1999). Consider a new approach to pharmaceutical process development. Chemical engineering progress, 95(8), 82-90.

Bentolila, M., Alshanski, I., Novoa, R., & Gilon, C. (2018). Optimization of Chemical Processes by the Hydrodynamic Simulation Method (HSM). ChemEngineering, 2(2), 21. 

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