EPC Technology stands for unique solutions for unique requirements.

We EPC technology engineers are familiar with the properties of the substances handled and the corresponding design of the plants. Our current product portfolio has grown during our many years of experience. A project progresses by us understanding and identifying ourselves with our partners tasks.

Our service specializes in customized engineering: We work out individual solutions for individual requirements based on the process concept. This is because the designs of special chemicals plants differ greatly on account of the diversity of the particular products they produce.

We distinguish between:

  • Monoproduct plants and multiproduct plants
  • Single and multi-stage syntheses
  • Equipment for a specific product and applications with changing products
  • Production capacities of a few 100 kg/a (for fine chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients) and capacities running up to several 10,000 t/a (for special basic constituents).
  • Parameters ranging normally from -100 °C to +600 °C, and from 1 bar(g) to +250 bar(g)
  • The use of materials ranging from stainless steel to glass, and from steel/enamel to Hastelloy.

We are able to draw on our very extensive and specific experience gained from implementing projects for the widest variety of product groups:

  • Cleanser constituents, such as tensides (alkyl ether sulphate), builders (polycarboxylate), foaming agents (coconut betaine)
  • Fragrances (monocyclic monoterpenes, anisaldehyde, hydroxycitronellal, dimethylheptenol)
  • Monomers for special polymers (such as norbornene for cycloolefinic copolymers, hydroxybenzoic acid for liquid-crystal polymers, and bisphenol TMC for polycarbonates)
  • Polymer modification (thermoplastic melamine resin), characterized by reactive extrusion from the resin solution
  • Chain initiators (azo compounds)
  • Components for manufacturing liquid crystals (for example phenyldioxane) or organic light-emitting diodes (for example benzidine), characterized by multistage synthesis control with distillative ultra-fine purification
  • Components for replication (imaging, titanylphthalocyanine)
  • Synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (cytostatics, steroid hormones, antiepileptics, analgesics, antidotes and protective group chemicals)
  • Functionalized hydrocarbons (dimethyl ether formed by the dehydration of methanol)
  • Synthetic rubber (SBR, mercaptobenzothiazol – a vulcanization accelerator ), characterized by a variable modular plant structure
  • Phthalate-free plasticizer (dioctyl terephthalate – an all-purpose plasticizer)
  • Polyacrylate adhesive compounds (acrylic acid/acrylic-acid ester)
  • Pharmaceutical excipients (sodium stearyl fumarate – a mould-release agent, polyacrylate – a thixotropic liquid separating agent)
  • Synthesis of active biological ingredients (glyphosphate herbicide, selenomethionine fodder additive, chlorocholine chloride phytohormones)
  • Fertilizer modification (nitrification inhibitors, soil conditioners)
  • Electrode pastes for lithium ion batteries, printing ink pigments,characterized by the finest dispersion of the active constituents
  • Solar grade silicon based on monosilane (disproportionation of trichlorosilane and fluidized-bed conversion of silicon tetrachloride),characterized by multistage rectifications at temperatures down to -100 °C (monosilane)
  • Recycling coolants (catalytic hydrodechlorination)
  • Modification of waxes (montan waxes, special high melting point waxes, dispersions)
  • Catalytic lignite cracking (recovery of pyrolytic coke, olefins, benzene-toluene-xylenes), IBI research project,characterized by the disproportionation of lignite to form the target product groups

EPC Exclusives Engineering

  • Multistage rectifications with diverse cycles (for example rectification and purification columns for producing ultrapure monosilane)
  • Recalculation of columns for use with other substance systems (alcohols, tensides, etc.) 
    Hydraulics in interconnected networks for central supply systems (cold water, etc.)

The standard configuration of an organic synthesis module for special chemistry, fine chemistry and pharmaceutical substance chemistry can be described in simplified form as follows: 

  • Feeder system for solvents (central or decentralized preparation, buffer container, avoidance of incompatible media) 
  • Dosing system for reaction partners (portioning or continuous feeding) 
  • Agitated, temperature-controlled reactor with distillation system (jacket/half-coil pipes, additional internal and external heat transfer surfaces, central media supply or assigned heating/cooling units, cool/cold/cryogenic) 
  • Vacuum condensation system (dry-running vacuum pumps, liquid-ring pumps; condensers cool/cold/cryogenic) 
  • Co-reactor for phase separations 
  • Separation and drying of solids (either separate process stages or a filter-dryer combination) 

In the case of multi-purpose plants, either reference syntheses and their minimum requirements are defined, or the limit values for using the plant are derived from the configuration.

Examples taken from requirement specifications: 

  • The plant is designed for largely automated operation. This means that the technical field conditions have been implemented for complete recipe control. The subsystems are operated and monitored by a central process control system. The elements relevant to GMP are qualified. 
  • Only some individual phases (such as dosing) run automatically. Batch logs are generated from the registered process variables and events that document the batch production. 

Examples taken from requirement specifications: 

The plant uses hazardous substances subject to the Hazardous Substances Order, which have the following properties: extremely flammable, highly flammable, very toxic, toxic, harmful, irritant, corrosive, sensitising, an occupational exposure limit value. Notices are available that describe the CMR properties of the substances used: EU category 2 or 3 (GHS category 1B or 2). A hazardous explosive atmosphere can develop in the plant area as per (TRBS (German Technical Rules for Operational Safety) 2152 Part 1. Liquids subject to the German Water Ecology Act are used in the plant (plant for producing, treating and using substances). 

EPC Exclusives Process Technology

The following are integrated in the planning of pharmaceutical projects to comply with Food and Drug Administration and GMP requirements:

  • Implementation of user requirements
  • Risk assessment by means of an FMEA
  • Qualification plans with acceptance criteria
  • Qualification logs in the form of check point lists
  • Qualification reports with assessment
  • Change control management
  • High pressure polymerization to produce polyethylene waxes
  • High pressure polymerization to produce polyethylene vinyl acetate copolymers
  • Polymerization in an agitator vessel to produce norbornene ethylene copolymers
  • Synthesis in an agitator vessel to produce formaldehyde reducing agents
  • Synthesis in an agitator vessel to produce bleach activators
  • Synthesis in an agitator vessel to produce trimethylolpropane
  • Continuous gas/liquid reaction to produce hexamethylenetetramine
  • Rotary, thin-film evaporator and spray tower to produce granulated paraformaldehyde
  • Catalytic gas phase reaction to produce dimethyl ether
  • Continuous gas/liquid reaction to produce dimethyl formamide
  • Synthesis in an agitator vessel to produce glycidyl ether
  • Synthesis in an agitator vessel to produce epoxy resin

High pressures and temperatures are also used to control reactions effectively in the field of special chemistry

(Hydration reactor for synthesizing hexenol at 100 bar(g) in a salt bath reactor at +400 °C)

On the other hand, diverse reactions are controlled in a low temperature range

(Highly reactive substances, selective isomerisation, etc.)

  • Alcohols, alcohol mixtures (e.g. methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol, isobutylol)
  • Aromatics, phenols (e.g. benzene, ethyl benzene, cumene, phenol, xylenes)
  • Amines, amides (e.g. dimethylamine, trimethylamine, monomethylamine, formamide, methyl formamide, dimethyl formamide)
  • Monomers for polymer production (e.g. norbornene, dicyclopentadiene)
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g. dichloromethane)
  • Ketones (e.g. cyclohexanone)
  • Carboxylic acid derivates (e.g. fatty acid methyl esters, fatty alcohols)
  • Extractive distillation (e.g. butene-butadiene separation)
  • Dehydration of products
  • Separation of solvents from substances with relatively high boiling points (e.g. epoxy resin)
  • Thermally gentle rectificative processes
  • Reactive distillation (chlorosilanes)