Scale Up Methodology

The scale up methodology is very significant for chemical engineers. An important aspect that is of interest to chemical engineers is the implementation of industrial processes whereby chemical conversion of materials happens together with the transmission of mass, heat, and momentum. It’s important to note, that these processes rely on the scale methodology for their optimal functioning. In other words, the processes respond differently when in a small-scale environment (laboratory) and when in a large-scale environment (production).

Overview of the Scale up Methodology

Usually, a chemical product is not manufactured on a large-scale without going through the laboratory process. Fundamentally, both the raw materials and the end product have to go through laboratory testing. It’s only after being tested in a lab that a large manufacturing process can ensue. VisiMix’s goal is to develop a method that is based on calculated parameters that will run properly in the first trial just as in the lab or in the initial experiment. We’ll do that through an evaluation of the process using the same conditions which we had in the production phase. In most cases, if we can control the main parameters or factors which have changed then we’ll have the optimal solution.

Main Scale Up  Methodology Factors

Heat Transfer

In regards to heat transfer, the surface to volume ratio of laboratory flasks is relatively high. This isn’t the case in larger reactors where heat transfer surface area/volume diminishes greatly. Also, it’s pivotal to highlight that heating and cooling has to be achieved through the use of a heat transfer medium that is propelled by a jacket or a heating coil.

Operating Volume

The maximum mixing levels of most reactors range from around 10-20% of their full capacity.

Reaction Control

During the scale up process, it’s possible to regulate the reaction rate by adding a limiting reagent. Additionally, in regards to reaction control, it’s imperative to take note that there are factors which can have a great impact on the nature of a product. The factors include: bulk density, compressibility, particle size distribution, and flow capacity. It’s very important to test them beforehand because you can’t charge a large reactor in the same scope as it is in the lab.

Reactor Access

Removing or adding any compound during the reaction process is not an easy thing because the reactors are closed.

Benefits of the VisiMix simulator

The VisiMix technology simulation tool allows chemical engineers the opportunity to simplify their work during the different stages of development.  Through the tool, chemical engineers are able to figure out the connection between hydrodynamics and process requirements. Just as importantly, the tool enables the mixing to be aligned well with the process requirements. This goes a long way to address the issues of time consumption and costly trial and error processes.

Usually process development in the chemical industry (pharmaceutical, API, food, fine chemicals and biotechnology, among others) is performed in small glass reactors. These conditions are not in line with real world conditions and that is why we need good data to scale up, which is obtained from the combination of the experimental data with the computation facilities.

Our company makes it possible for users to find alternative ways of improving the process or addressing the problem. Through the company’s products, it’s possible for an engineer to comprehend the scale up process better; from the lab to production stages. Therefore, making adjustments and improvements to an industrial process is viable. The experience of over 200 companies that use our user friendly software can prove the reliable and accurate results which replace pilot experiments and accelerated Time-to-Market process.

What is a Pitched paddle?

A common Pitch-paddle impeller, also called a Pitch-blade turbine, (PBT)  has 4-6 blades, a Pitch angle of 45 degrees. However, pitch angles of 30 and 60 degrees are also used. This is a type of basic conventional mixing impeller blade, which is suitable for the reaction process of mixture, dispersion, solid-liquid, suspension, heat transfer and mass transfer in low-viscosity fluid.


 Is hydrofoil equipment good for the crystallization process?

Different manufacturers supply a wide variety of hydrofoil impellers under different names.  A common feature of these impellers is the application of bended or profiled radial blades, usually with the width and pitch angle decreasing along the radius. With a low shear design, the hydrofoil gives the mix motion while using the least amount of energy possible.

Because hydrofoil is a low shear impeller, when used for crystallization, the crystals are damaged less.

Is it possible to mix with equipment without an impeller?

 Yes, it is possible by using Tanks and Columns with Bubble   Mixing.

The gas is fed through the sparger and the when the bubbles rise through the liquid column, it causes the mixing.   

Bubble columns are widely used in chemical, biochemical and petrochemical industries as well as in metallurgy and food production.

Advantages of bubble columns are compactness, good heat and mass transfer and the absence of moving parts that makes its maintenance simpler. They are often used in processes with highly corrosive media where corrosion of the impeller and shaft is a problem.

VisiMix Video

The Influence of Mixing in the Process
New methodology using VisiMix software for the purpose of checking the influence of mixing in the processes.

VisiMix Demo Operation
Learning how to input data into the VisiMix software and get results the will help us understand the influence of mixing in our processes.

Lab Experiments
Learning how to set up the relevant experiments at the lab scale, to develop the processes from an engineering point of view.