February 28, 2021, 01:37:45 PM
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Topic: Scale naming conventions  (Read 402 times)

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Offline KarolS

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Scale naming conventions
« on: January 28, 2020, 08:49:45 AM »
my first post so I apologize if it's in the wrong section  :)
I am having difficulty in (Q1) naming synthesis size batches according to scale name conventions  (if there is such a thing) and I'd like to understand (Q2) what scale factor should be good enough to indicate a good chance of scaling to semi-industrial volumes.
By semi-industrial I mean a scale allowing commercial sale of the product but not involving intensive investment in plant building infrastructure. In this particular case I'm talking about the synthesis of nanoparticles coated in an active substance.
In the lab experiments we know that 50 mL reactions, are reproducible and efficient. Also, we don't need to go over such a volume as it gives us plenty of material to run tests, is economically sound and nothing is wasted.

Would you think that scaling of a factor of 100x to a batch of 5L is a good indication that the reaction could be scaled further or if this is not enough, would a constant flow synthesis be ok/better?

Thanks for any opinions on the above  :D

Offline MNIO

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Re: Scale naming conventions
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 12:11:39 AM »
I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm more than a little hesitant to answer professional questions on this board. And this question sounds like you're working for a company and are asking for help producing a product for sale.  The reasons that i'm hesitant are (1) I don't know enough details about your process to do more good than harm, (2) this is something one would normally pay a consultant for.

Let me give you this advice though.  There is an entire science around process scaleup.  It typically involves defining dimensional entities and holding them constant while changing the variables that make up those entities.  That requires a thorough understanding of your process.  All the metrics required to make your product.  Ones you might not even know about yet. 

Your process doesn't appear to be as simple as increasing the size of a tank.  You're growing nanoparticles to a particular size.  You're coating the surface with resin or other active substance.  That makes for complicated professional scale up.  You have infrastructure constraints.  Perhaps raw materials and utilities constraints for all I know.  And I have no idea what the rest of your process looks like or what hazards might exist.

This really isn't something that can or should be attempted to answer here.  You should be searching out a professional chemical engineer with a PhD (this is something we chemical engineers are taught to do in college and use in practice in process and product design) with years of process scaleup on his resume and asking him or her to come to your facility and have a discussion about this project. 

Offline KarolS

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Re: Scale naming conventions
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 05:45:13 AM »
Hi MNIO, thanks for your answer. Indeed I asked the question in part resulting from a startup perspective (we're trying to apply some of our uni research, but we're still at early R&D and there's no facilities yet), but the question was more of an academic nature :)
My main intention was to clarify if there is indeed a set out rule on naming scale/sizes of processes. I completely agree on the difficulties on scaling up, as each process is unique. From my life science experience scaling protein expression is always somehow different for each protein even using the same system (still at the lab). It's fascinating and rewarding at the same time being the most irritating thing in the job :)
The production scale in chemistry/pharma always was an unclear topic for me and I find it hard to get a good source of information. Hence, my question is there a naming convention in use at all?
If you'd have a literature source that could help me that would also be great.

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