Materials processing, specifically chemicals processing, can be a long and complicated process. Batch processing has long been the standard methodology in the industry, but advances in technology are bringing questions to light. Is batch processing better than the alternative of continuous processing?
Strengths and Weaknesses of Batch Processing
The vast majority of industrial processes today rely on core tenets laid out during the early 20th century. While many are still effective, many businesses looking to scale up simply can’t afford to wait on one batch to finish to begin the next.
That said, certain materials demand batch processing. Titanium, for example, must have its usable materials extracted before being used in manufacturing. And plenty of other core metals become too volatile when processed to expedite the process.
The Benefits of Continuous Processing
Proponents of continuous processing say its benefits are myriad. In some applications, a continuous flow – that is, one that isn’t interrupted by the completion of separate batches – is certainly more efficient. This type of processing can reduce waste, produce more inventory in less time, and is better adaptable to customer needs.
One area in which continuous processing is really taking off is biomedical. Chromatography, in particular, is now utilizing smaller bioreactors to enable continuous flow. In this way, materials don’t become over-agitated and thus multiple reactors can be utilized at once for single-use technologies.
Plusses and Minuses
It’s doubtful there will ever exist an environment in which both batch and continuous processing won’t simultaneously coexist. Batch processing, of course, expends more energy, costs more money, and takes longer, but it’s often the safest and most manageable way to process otherwise-volatile compounds. Continuous process, though efficient and cost-effective, is far from suitable for a wide variety of chemical and metal compounds.
Do you have questions about whether or not your procedure can accommodate different chemicals? Noah Tech’s experienced scientists can work with you to identify the best-and-highest use of your equipment in conjunction with ultra-pure chemical compounds.
Reach out to our team today to talk specifics on your project or objective. We’re ready to hear from you.