Intensified continuous processes are a key innovation of the last decade for the production of high quality, high value and customer specific products at competitive prices in a sustainable fashion. To realize the potential of this technology, key steps must be made towards long-term stable, tightly controlled and fully automated production.
The CONSENS project
The goal of the CONSENS project is to advance the continuous production of high-value products meeting high quality demands in flexible intensified continuous plants by introducing novel online sensing equipment and closed-loop control of the key product parameters. CONSENS will focus on flexible continuous plants but the results will be transferable also to large-scale continuous processes.
The research and development is driven by industrial case studies from three different important areas of chemical production: complex organic synthesis, speciality polymers, and formulation of complex liquids. Innovative PAT technology will be developed for online concentration measurements (mid-resolution process NMR), for the online non invasive measurement of rheological properties of complex fluids, and for continuous measurements of fouling in tubular reactors. New model-based adaptive control schemes based on innovative PAT technology will be developed. The project results will be validated in industrial pilot plants for all three types of processes, including validation in production containers that have been developed in the F3 Factory project. Further, methods for sensor failure monitoring, control performance monitoring and engineering support for PAT-based solutions will be developed.
The exploitation of the new technologies will be facilitated by a tool for technology evaluation and economic impact assessment. A Cross-sectorial Advisory Board supports the transfer of PAT technologies and adaptive control to neighbouring sectors of the European processing industry.