The Modernization of Chemical Plants


We all are aware of the industrial revolution. Our research was to learn that Sulfuric Acid was one of the first chemicals to be produced in large quantities through an industrial process.

By the 19th century, there was an impressive expansion in this field, especially in the US and Germany. Artificial agricultural products, as well as dyes manufacturing, represented most of the chemical market in the early decades of the 19th. Companies like BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst saw their start in this century. With a demand in plant construction and plant development there was a need for equipment providers. In approximately 1871 that De Dietrich’s factory in Zinswiller, France became specialized in the manufacture of iron enameled equipment to be used for the chemical industry, dye works,laboratories and pharmacies.

In the late 1800’s in the United States the chemical industry grew,Mr. Herbert Henry Dow was a pioneer in electrochemistry, which included the development of a more affordable method to extract bromine from brines, and also made a big investment in the manufacturing of chlorine.

In 20th century, companies opted to consolidate into large conglomerates to help diversify their portfolios, they also continued to invest in new technology and after some time period a new breed of engineering services grew and those Engineers who had worked for larger companies would venture off and start their own consulting firms, bringing with them part of the knowledge from their earlier career experiences. Engineering consulting and services became an good option for large chemical companies. New process of technologies would be developed outside of these large conglomerates, creating a win-win situation.

While the owners of chemical plants would focus their workforce on the production and manufacturing of chemicals, a smaller team within the company would work with other engineering firms to create more efficient processes, create new technologies, and expand plants with help of these outside firms and In mid 20th century, the chemical industry faced new challenges of improving the safety of production facilities and including explosions, Preventing serious industrial accidents, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals. These demands for higher safety and lower environmental impact are still going on today.

The three main benefits of modernizing plants include:

– improving safety on old processes while increasing useful plant life

– increasing throughput and efficiency (reducing energy consumption)

– retro-fitting existing facilities for new processes (change in feedstock composition).

Modernizing procedures is an easy way to increase safety with low cost, not just in chemical plants, but also in other aspects of chemical processing, By identifying bottlenecks that are impeding an efficiency of our plants, replacing outdated instrumentation with state of art technology and making small improvements to major pieces of equipment, we can not only improve the safety of plant, but also see a significant increase in throughput.

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