The system requested was a late addition to the client’s main, larger project that was already in progress; consequently, the design and manufacture of this system followed an aggressive schedule. A stick-built approach was not preferred, as it would result in the delay of the main project by 6 to 8 months due to the lengthy air permit receipt process. As a result, the Koch Modular suggested a modularized approach to allow fabrication to begin prior to permit receipt and foundation completion.
The client had concerns due to never having worked with a module company that performs the process engineering as well as the production design and engineering. One of their main concerns was that the modular system would not have sufficient space for operability and maintainability, including the access to process equipment. Furthermore, they were concerned that interior cross bracing on each individual module would interfere with access and movement within the complete structure, and requested that all access and egress be available between all modules at all floor levels. They also requested that the ground floor be concrete and free of any steel supports, i.e. appear as though it was stick built.
The system was optimized to the product of interest at greater than 99.5 wt% purity. It also recovers the solvent used from a recycle column at greater than 85 wt% purity. The process consists of an exothermic reaction taking place in a pumped reactor loop, followed by various purification steps for the recoveries of purified chlorinated hydrocarbon product and unreacted solvent.
The modular system provided by Koch Modular was ultimately based on a collaborative optimization with the client and it provided a purified product while addressing all of the client’s initial concerns.
Spatial concerns were resolved with careful design that minimized cross bracing on interior module faces and maximized space for access to process equipment, piping, and instruments. Additionally, two means of egress for each module and walkways between modules were provided. The aggressive project schedule was maintained, and the system was delivered well in advance of the completion of the main facility, achieving some savings over stick-built construction.
The system installation was successful and it has been running ever since with no reported issues.