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In This Issue:

This issue will focus on "Continuous Processing."

Welcome to A&SoF. A&SoF is an e-newsletter, managed by BHS, with its sole purpose to enhance the filtration knowledge of the marketplace to solve actual plant problems.   

The focus of this issue is "Continuous Processing."

In a recent article in Chemical & Engineering News, Ann M. Thayer writes that "After a slow start, pharmaceutical and fine chemicals manufacturers are scaling up continuous processes for production."

Following this abstract is further information from the "2014 AIChE Process Development Symposium in Philadelphia, PA" in June which had a full session devoted to continuous processing.

Finally, the BHS presentation "Continuous Pressure and Vacuum Filtration Technologies as Alternatives to Batch Filtration Operations" is summarized. Also discussed is the BHS vacuum belt filter, 6.5 m2, new and in–stock… and ready for immediate delivery.

BHS and A&SoF are growing again! Please look forward to our 1Q 2015 Newsletter for new services and plans for BHS. This will be an important benefit to current and future BHS clients.

I hope that you find A&SoF useful and informative. Your comments, ideas and suggestions for future issues are much appreciated. You can now follow A&SoF on Facebook Facebook; please visit our page and soon on our "blog." If you missed any of the issues, please click on the following link: A&SoF, to view them. We look forward to your continued input and wish all of our readers a good remainder of 2014.

Barry A. Perlmutter - 

Featured Problem Solving Technical Articles

Chemical & Engineering News: "End-To-End Chemistry"

Ann M. Thayer, End-To-End Chemistry, May 26, 2014, Issue - Vol. 92 Issue 21, Chemical & Engineering News

In this article, Ann states that continuous processing offers several advantages over start and-stop batch production. It can provide better control over reaction conditions and productivity. And, equally important to the lab chemist and the plant engineer, continuous methods can often be used to rapidly scale up reactions, including ones that involve hazardous reagents.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Low capital investment
  • Less space required
  • Safer with hazardous reactions
  • Shorter processing times
  • Possible novel chemistries
  • Straightforward scale-up
  • Need for less inventory
  • Potential cost savings
  • Better product quality
  • Improved environmental impact

2014 AIChE Process Development Symposium in Philadelphia, PA.

At this conference, the organizing committee believed that continuous processing is an important area for growth within the processing community. A full session was devoted to this area as described. Many manufacturing processes are initially designed to run in a batch mode, often in laboratory glassware. As they move to commercialization, there are many considerations that are discussed to make the decision to keep them as batch or move to a continuous process. This session will explore some of these concerns and how they impact this decision. Examples of the considerations include: yield improvement, temperature control, co-product/by-product minimization, plant capacity, and equipment economics.

Advantages and Limitations of a Nitration Reaction Performed in Batch versus Continuous Mode (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

Nitration reactions are commonly utilized in the pharmaceutical industry to synthesize aromatic amines. Developing safe, scalable nitrations can be challenging since these reactions are generally highly exothermic and result in the production of energetic, nitro containing compounds. While incorporating a continuous configuration for these reactions may help address some of the safety concerns due to a reduced in-process volume of reactive species and greater heat transfer, batch configurations may also offer significant advantages. This presentation will provide a comparative case study on the advantages and limitations of continuous and batch configurations for the nitration of a pharmaceutically relevant pyrrole. Included will be details of the laboratory scale process development activities and process demonstrations conducted at scales from 500g to 2.5 kg.

A Continuous Diethanolamine Dehydrogenation Fixed Bed Catalyst and Reactor System (The Dow Chemical Company)

Glyphosate is currently the largest volume commodity agricultural chemical. One key reaction step in the cost-efficient route for glyphosate synthesis is the dehydrogenation of diethanolamine (DEA) to form disodiumiminodiacetic acid (DSIDA). Early process technology reportedly utilized a Raney copper catalyst in a slurry reactor. To reduce processing costs, we sought to develop a continuous fixed bed process that would provide long catalyst lifetime, high DEA conversions, and high DSIDA selectivity, eliminating the operational costs associated with catalyst attrition, catalyst recovery, and catalyst recycle using slurry reactor technology, and increasing the operational efficiency relative to slurry-based batch processing. In this summary of our development program, we highlight key findings converting from a batch to a continuous oriented process while reviewing the scale-up methodology.



"Continuous Pressure and Vacuum Filtration Technologies as Alternatives to Batch Filtration Operations."

BHS discussed the Rotary Pressure Filer for continuous pressure filtration as an alternative to batch pressure filtration. This chemical process required constant backpressure during the filtration, cake washing, drying and dry cake discharge operations.

In this second pharmaceutical process, the objective is to replace the current batch centrifuge with a technology that would be suitable for conversion to a continuous process. The initial lab tests suggested a vacuum belt filter would achieve cake quality equal to or better than the current centrifuge with a major reduction in processing time. The decision, after the lab and pilot testing, was to select a vacuum belt filter. Read More and download the full article.

BHS vacuum belt filter, 6.5 m2, new and in–stock… and ready for immediate delivery.

C³ - Customer Contribution Corner
BHS-Filtration Inc. News & Updates:

BHS vacuum belt filter, 6.5 m2, new and in–stock… and ready for immediate delivery.


  • All wetted parts in polypropylene
  • Filtration zones with oscillating feed
  • Cake washing zones
  • Steaming zone
  • Pressing zone
  • Drying zones
  • Completely hooded
  • Liquid ring vacuum pump in stainless steel
  • Filtrate receivers and pumps
  • PLC controls


For Our Existing Clients- Please Remember to Contact BHS for Your On-Site Service

"Lunch & Learn Filtration Seminars"; BHS is organizing technical seminars focusing on the principles of filtration with application specific information. Contact BHS for details and scheduling.