Industrial Process Scale-up: A Practical Innovation Guide from Idea to Commercial Implementation.
By Jan Harmsen. Elsevier Inc., 225 Wyman St., Waltham, MA 02144. Web: elsevier.com. 2013. 112 pages. $64.95.
Reviewed by Jim Gregory, Senior Process Engineer, Fluor, Greenville, S.C.
Jan Harmsen has written a good book on process scaleup. The book guides the project engineer on how to approach and execute the scaleup opportunity. The emphasis is not on helping the process engineer who wants to, for example, calculate the optimum demonstration plant size for a particular application, and because of that, does not contain a great deal of engineering formulas.
The book begins with the definition of terms and process industry characteristics. Chapters on ideation and research, development stage, demonstration stage, and commercial startup provide the reader with a broad view of the subject. The final chapters include numerous case studies that make the reader wish that more experts would take opportunities like this to share their knowledge.
At just over 100 pages, the book does not try to be a detailed treatment of the subject. Its brevity helps to make the book accessible to both people new to the topic and experienced engineers who want a refresher or a new perspective. The book would also be useful to managers who need to understand all the issues around scaleup for planning purposes.
One benefit that I got from this book is a greater appreciation of how important detailed consideration of materials of construction is for the mitigation of business risk. Since small, local differences in pH, dissolved oxygen, chloride concentration and others can have a significant impact on corrosion, materials used at small scale may not always be appropriate at larger scales. If an engineer does not size a pump correctly, then the plant may have to run at reduced speed until the problem can be fixed. But if unexpected corrosion takes place, the corrosion could ruin a piece of equipment that shuts the plant down for months.
The book is marred slightly by some sentence repetition and occasional questionable grammar, but anyone interested in the subject would benefit from reading this book. Thanks should go to Harmsen for sharing the benefit of his experience.
Editor’s note: If you are interested in reviewing a book for Chemical Engineering, contact senior editor Scott Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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