Archived: Secrets of Batch Process Scale-Up

Ensuring Effective Translation of Laboratory Processes to Pilot Plant Scale

Date: 26 April - 28 April 2017

Location: San Diego, USA

Tutors: Francis X. McConville

Operating a commercially viable chemical process requires a good chemical synthesis to start with, but is also subject to the interplay of a myriad of important physical phenomena – heat transfer, mass transfer, fluid flow, etc. which are traditionally the realm of the chemical engineer. An understanding of these scale-up phenomena is crucial for the laboratory development of processes that will scale successfully.

This course presents an overview of these issues and examines their impact on process operation in the pilot plant and beyond, including scale-up considerations for route selection, raw material charging, reaction steps, workup, crystallization, product isolation, drying, etc. Common bench techniques for each of these steps are contrasted to the safety and operability criteria for successful pilot plant operation. Numerous examples and case histories are presented, along with tips and techniques for operators and experimenters. Heavy emphasis is placed on process safety.

An underlying goal of the course is improving communication and mutual understanding between development team members of different backgrounds; thus, the course is appropriate for synthetic chemists, process development chemists and process engineers with limited pilot plant experience who wish to learn more about the potential pitfalls of scale-up in process development. The course complements the more chemistry-focused Scientific Update course “Chemical Development and Scale-Up in the Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries”.

Download Brochure

Course Outline

Process Design for Scale-Up
Process development strategies
Importance of engineering in PDsScale-Up – An Overview
Role of the Pilot Plant
Overview of scale-up issues
Technology transfer issues

Batch Reactors

Typical plant operations and equipment
Characteristics of batch operations

Raw Materials

Raw material and route selection
Large-scale charging methods and issues

Temperature Control

Large scale temperature control
Heat transfer in batch reactors
Controlling exothermic reactions

Following Reaction Progress

Reaction endpoint determination
Sampling methods / issues
On-line analytical techniques
Agitation and Mixing
Large scale mixing equipment
Mixing limited reaction
Mixing scale-up / scale-downQuench & Work-Up
Liquid-liquid extractions
Phase continuity issues and emulsions

Distillation & Stripping
Differential distillation
Azeotropes and solvent exchange

Crystallization and Precipitation
Basic principles / yield estimation
Controlling supersaturation
Scale-up issues

Product Isolation and Drying
Large-scale solid-liquid separations
Filtration and drying equipment
Filtration and drying modelling

Process Hazards and Safety Assessment
ommon hazards in large-scale processing
Process hazard assessments and evaluations

Benefits of attending

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  • Assess process safety and scaleability
  • Identify process operations that may be problematic on scale-up
  • Design processes that will minimize or avoid scale-up issues
  • Select operating methods and equipment for effective scale-up
  • Calculate heat removal rates and safe rates of addition of reagents
  • Determine mixing requirements for scale-up
  • Design crystallizations which can be successfully operated at scale
  • Predict the filterability of solid products upon scale-up
  • Minimize the effects of scale-up on yield, selectivity and product purity


Who should attend

This course has been designed for:

  • Synthetic chemists
  • Process development chemists
  • Process engineers
in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries with limited pilot plant experience, who wish to learn more about the potential pitfalls of process scale-up and ways to avoid them.

What's Included

The course fee includes:

  • comprehensive course manual
  • coffee/tea refreshments breaks throughout each day
  • buffet lunch each day
  • course dinner on the first evening
  • course certificate
  • a copy of the Pilot Plant Real Book authored by Mr Fran McConville


Kinestral Technologies

The depth & breadth of industrial process knowledge that the instructor has is great. I found the course to be very useful, given the fact that our company is moving to production in the near future.


The technical concepts were well illustrated with real-world examples. The course was scheduled well with appropriate breaks. The exercises were challenging & added to the retention of the concepts. Participation was encouraged & added to the experience.