Enhanced Scalability of Chemical Processes through Narrow-Gap Architectures
Project Award Date: 0000-00-00
For the past century, chemical production facilities have been built by the same construction methods with only incremental improvements through the decades. Processing is largely linear with sequential vessels connected by pipes. This project challenges this approach to construction of chemical processes on the basis that there are better methodologies and approaches available.
The proposed narrow-gap module approach is a massively parallel and modular approach to chemical process construction. Unit operations are designed in architectures comprised of plates and gaskets fastened face-to-face. Processing is achieved by narrow-gap architecture scaled up through the use of banks of modules. Use of these modules has the potential to greatly improve cost and production efficiency of chemical processing facilities.
This team will demonstrate the concept of narrow-gap modules, identify areas for needed technology advancement, and set in motion a program that could permanently advance the chemical industry. The goals of this program are (1) to construct a working module demonstrating the concept and illustrating the narrow-gap approach as superior to traditional process architecture, and (2) to evaluate and develop processes unique to the architecture, such as porous-media-based plug flow reactors, membrane integration, and fluid flow networking.
The narrow-gap module architecture can be applied to the modularization of entire chemical process plants as well as the modularization of portions of large and complex facilities. This module will be demonstrated using the water-gas shift reaction.
Primary Sponsor(s): NSF