The design stage

The routes and conditions used in the chemicals industry will always be chosen to maximize economic efficiency.

The choice of synthetic route or processes to be undertaken will also consider safety and environmental issues.

When designing the practical route required to produce a marketable product, there are several key considerations.

  • availability and cost of feedstocks
  • sustainability of feedstocks
  • size of yield
  • energy requirements
  • formation of side products that can be recycled, used in the process or sold to increase profit

Environmental considerations

Processes in the chemical industry need to consider the environmental impact of the reactions they are undertaking. Chemical companies must seek to minimise waste by recycling where possible while avoiding either using or producing toxic chemicals.

While waste is often unavoidable, producing waste that can decompose or biodegrade naturally is preferable.