IbD project was launched with a Kick Off session celebrated in October at IRIS facilities

European process industries have a clear and urgent interest in improved resource efficiency due to the high dependence in their production on energy, utilities and raw materials. Over the course of the next 3 years, a new Innovation Project, IbD (Intensified-by-Design) will work to bring about a step change contribution to the very important field of process intensification. In very simple terms Process Intensification is the ability to produce more with less, thanks to new solutions based on high end technologies that result in more compact equipment, as well as faster, more efficient industrial processes that are better for the environment. However, despite the impacts for cost competitiveness, energy savings, CO2 emissions reduction, process safety and reliability, the industrial implementation of process intensification is complicated and particularly in processes involving solids, whereby practical challenges in relation to blockages and fouling among others need to be overcome. In response to this need IbD Project will develop a holistic software platform that will provide engineers with the knowledge, methodology and tools for the design of Process Intensification devices and processes based on a revolutionary ‘intensified-by-design approach’.

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The IbD Project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020’s SPIRE programme and involves 22 Universities, Institutes, large process industries (Almirall, Sanofi, etc.) and small and medium sized enterprises from Spain and 7 other European countries. The project was launched with a Kick Off meeting celebrated at IRIS facilities, in Barcelona. A two days session where the partners discussed the starting point and the first work packages and where the Council of Castelledefels celebrated an official reception with the Mayor to welcome all the project partners.

The world’s first holistic devices-and-processes design platform for the Process Intensification

The IbD approach is a pioneering concept underpinned by an understanding that process intensification can be planned and executed. Through IbD intensified processes can be designed via tools that provide understanding of the product, the unit process, and the whole downstream process, the environmental, energy, waste reduction and economic impacts along with a knowledge of the risks involved in the intensification of the process and how best to mitigate those risks.

The IbD Platform, which will be deployed via supercomputing cloud to enable high processing power and speeds, will output a data set that comprises the intensified reactor design and the upstream/downstream intensified unit operations and their solids handling capability, as well as cleaning methods,etc. -ready to be built or assembled-, an optimised whole process design and the expected economic and environmental quantitative impacts. Five PI industry case studies will be implemented in mining, ceramics, pharmaceuticals and chemical processes in order to validate the tools and approach, as well as to in their own right scale up PI modules and their control and fouling remediation strategies towards industrialised intensified processes.