Croda collab wins UK, European chemical industry awards

An innovative personal care manufacturing project led by Croda has won two major chemical industry awards.

The UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) gave its Innovation Award to the project, also undertaken by NiTech Solutions, along with CPI and the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, to develop a sustainable continuous process for a key personal care product.

The process has been successfully scaled-up to production scale with Manrochem as principal designer and contractor for this stage of the project.

The award recognises the collaborative efforts to design and build a continuous reactor system utilising novel technology, while also highlighting the sustainability benefits, including the reduction of CO2 emissions and water usage by improving operating efficiency.

Meanwhile, judges at the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) also declared Croda the winner of its 2023 Process Intensification Award for Industrial Innovation.

“The project delivered significant benefits in both processing time, capex and opex, and reduced environmental impacts, fulfilling process intensification principles by being faster, cheaper and better,” the ECFE said.

The technology, which Croda is now running successfully at commercial-scale, has enabled the speciality chemicals company to double capacity without a building expansion and cut cycle times to just two minutes compared with ten hours in a batch reactor.

The process also delivers annual savings of 360 tonnes of water and 580 tonnes of steam, along with reducing COequivalent (CO2e) by 86 tonnes per year, saving energy equivalent to 9,000 electric car charges.

“The success of this project, both technically and economically, is an important milestone in the journey of industrial-scale adoption of NiTech’s continuous processing technology,” said NiTech Solutions chief executive Dr. Will Davies (pictured).

“It demonstrates the power of collaboration between technology provider and end-user, and we are delighted the joint success of our work with Croda has received this recognition,” he added.

The successful outcome of the project has given Croda confidence to continue its focused attention on other batch manufacturing processes and work is underway for different chemistries. 

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