IP2 Sol-nanigans Current Projects
Solugen’s R&D Engineering team prototypes process technologies to evaluate design operability and generate samples for our prospective target chemistries. In the pilot plant, we deploy the Enzymology and Metal R&D teams’ fundamental catalyst understanding in our reactor units to evaluate the technical feasibility of new chemical platforms and generate samples. The department started out from a mostly empty warehouse and a decommissioned PVC enzyme reactor formerly run by our company’s founders. The pilot plant has evolved through many experiments, successful and unsuccessful pilot campaigns, different design modifications, and minor expansions for additional pilot modules.
All-in-all, the R&D engineers assist with bringing new process technologies from ideation, through the lab and piloting, to large-scale commercial deployments.
In August, the Pilot Plant team targeted maximizing process unit uptime and availability. Our team has grown in the past 2 months. Consequently, operations and R&D work has been very lively lately. Our pilot enzyme and metal catalyst reactors are focused on generating sample materials to support the Business Development and Applications teams. We are focused on our metal catalyst technology to trial new material and validate chemistries viable for commercial production. Despite the department’s eccentricities, ongoing research and qualification of design robustness provides Solugen with confidence in approaching operations for the incoming new, larger plant. The accumulation of operational and technical understanding developed by the R&D engineers is being translated to control narratives and operating procedures for Solugen’s 5kta commercial plant.
The pilot plant will continue to be utilized as a training tool and sampling platform for experimental chemistries that are under consideration for Solugen’s commercial 5kta plant production for the short term, however, resources will be diverted to support 5kta plant operations. The pilot plant will enter a ramp down to parallel 5kta plant start-up, with all Pilot Plant team members joining the Operations team to support plant commissioning, startups, and ramp-up. Ultimately, we will hand off the plant operations and continue supporting the development of future chemical process technologies.