Comparison of Batch versus Continuous Process in Pharmaceutical Industry Based on Safety Consideration
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As opposed to the petro-chemical and bulk chemical industry, where continuous processes are widely applied, the pharmaceutical industry still primarily relies on traditional batch process due to the complexity of product, multi-step operation and low-volume production. Considering these conditions, the versatile batch process is more appropriate. Nowadays, driven by the contradiction between increasing demand for drugs and inefficient batch production mode, there is a trend in pharmaceutical industry, that is the transformation from traditional batch process to novel continuous process. Related projects and research that is aimed at analyzing this transition are conducted in worldwide, and the scale of these studies ranges from lab-scale reactions to overall arrangement of the factories. Although continuous pharmaceutical process is thriving, the safety issue in this field is not promoted at the same time. Since the continuous pharmaceutical process is a novel technology, little information can be provided to evaluate its safety level. Moreover, process conditions are usually intensified for continuous process comparing to batch process. It also may bring potential risks and make continuous manufacturing inappropriate for some of pharmaceutical productions. This research provides a comprehensive comparison for batch versus continuous pharmaceutical process by application of Dow’s Fire and Explosion Index. In addition to this conventional safety evaluation, influences from production efficiency and specialties in pharmaceutical production are integrated into the comparison. Production of 2-methyl benzimidazole and peracetic acid via batch and continuous processes are conducted in this research. In these integrative and systematic studies, F&EI values for both cases are higher for continuous processes than batch processes, hence the higher safety level of the continuous process is demonstrated. The ways in which process conditions, production efficiency, and other requirements influence safety level for different production modes are illustrated.
Chen, Shiqi (2017). Comparison of Batch versus Continuous Process in Pharmaceutical Industry Based on Safety Consideration. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from