Industrial-level chemical manufacturing requires acute attention to detail. Safety considerations for employees and scientists should always be the primary concern when deciding whether and how to scale up production.
Expanding the output of a particular chemical compound is almost never as simple as obtaining a bigger receptacle and larger quantities of substrates; oversight of even the smallest detail can cause serious health hazards to everyone involved.
Safety and Chemicals in the Workplace
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says that over 19,000 respiratory illnesses and over 34,000 skin contact issues result from chemical exposure in the workplace each year. Unfortunately, most of these hazards are preventable, and thousands result from improperly mixed and/or multiplied chemical components.
Scale Up Considerations to Keep in Mind
When scaling up, the primary safety concern should be surrounding heat. In bench or pilot batches, a chemical combination that is only mildly exothermic may produce significantly more heat when combined at industrial levels. It’s critical to run small- and mid-level tests in a functional batch reactor prior to full-scale ramp up. This process ensures the batch reactors cooling systems and vapor exhaust systems are capable of handling the input.
After production has commenced, proper handling of large batches is also important. Proper employee training regarding cool-down times, masks, gloves, and goggles at an industrial level is paramount when considering ramping up. A 3,000-gallon compound may take many hours to become cool enough to handle whereas a small solution might have been malleable in minutes.
It’s also important to consider after-product scale challenges like storage and shipping. Improperly storing large amounts of chemical compounds could cause them to become unstable over time. Chemical suppliers should also take shipping chemicals very seriously; ramping up production capabilities too fast could lead to slackened processing, packaging, and handling that could ultimately harm everyone from the front-end to the postal worker to the end-user.
As with everything in the chemicals sector, safety should always come before output. When choosing a chemical manufacturing company, look for one that operates under strict standards of safety and diligence.
Noah Tech is proud to make safety a number one concern from the factory to the loading bays to the customer. Contact us for information on how our products can help your facility scale-up production.