CASE STUDY

Croda collaborative process development

An innovative and sustainable advanced manufacturing process has enabled British multinational speciality chemicals company Croda to double output of a key personal care product without a building expansion.

Reducing costs, improving profits

Improving quality and safety

  • FASTER
    Cycle time of a typical process was cut from 10 hours in batch to 2 minutes
  • CHEAPER
    Has a 66% smaller footprint
  • GREENER
    Significant savings in utilities and reduced CO2e emissions
  • SAFER
    Improved process safety with significantly lower inventories of hazardous materials in process
NiTech Solutions benefits - 50% Reduction in GHG

Reduction in GHG emission in relation to stream usage

NiTech Solutions benefits - 63% Reduction in energy profile

Reduction in energy profile per metric tonne of product

NiTech Solutions benefits - 40% Reduction in water usage

Reduction in water usage per metric tonne of product

NiTech Solutions benefits - 79% Reduction in electricity usage

Reduction in electricity per metric tonne of product

Process improvements have enhanced safety

Our innovative and breakthrough production unit is now operating successfully at one of Croda’s sites. It has solved space constraints and also doubled production within the existing factory set-up.

NiTech’s COBR has proved to be greener, safer and much more sustainable than the former batch process. Specifically, the technology has:

  • reduced cycle times to just two minutes from 10 hours in a batch reactor;
  • resulted in a 99.5% reduction in working mass of the plant filled with material and a 66% reduction in footprint, avoiding the need to build additional infrastructure;
  • delivered annual savings of 360 tonnes of water and 580 tonnes of steam compared with batch production; and
  • reduced CO2e by 86 tonnes/year, equivalent to charging 9,000 electric cars.

The project’s success has sparked Croda to focus attention on its other batch manufacturing processes and the company has expanded trials in different chemistries.

Continuous technology can significantly reduce the environmental burden of processes over their lifetime by reducing energy requirements, increasing atom efficiency and minimising transportation. The company adds that the smaller footprint and inherently safe design with lower volumes also has a positive impact on its neighbours by lowering the process risk profile.

In addition, from a commercial standpoint, the technology can be operated in small, modular units that can produce market-relevant quantities of product, meaning that capital investment can be phased to match sector growth, with new modules added as and when required.

Furthermore, the implementation of a distributed manufacturing model becomes possible, building small, yet competitive, units in different parts of the world to meet local demand, thus reducing shipping costs and minimising environmental impacts.

OTHER ADVANTAGES

  • The technology can operate in small, modular units, so capital investment can be phased to match market growth.
  • A distributed manufacturing model becomes possible. Small and competitive units can be built in different parts of the world to meet local demand, reducing shipping costs and minimising environmental impacts.
Croda collaborative process with NiTech Solutions

FUTURE

Croda now focusing attention on its other batch manufacturing processes and the company has expanded trials in different chemistries.

Croda collaborative process with NiTech Solutions case study

PARTNERS

Croda collaborative process development with NiTech Solutions case study NiTech Solutions COBR and COBC