Drawing on the Past to Innovate Towards a Sustainable Future
Drake’s historic Titusville well produced 20 barrels a day in 1859. Innovation along the entire supply chain grew over time to enable the offshore wells that today produce up to 250,000 barrels per day, and refineries that convert more than 1 million barrels per day. Certainly, the scale of today would have seemed impossible to those working in Titusville in 1859. Technology development played a significant role in this 10,000X increase in scale, as larger equipment became standard rather than first of its kind, process optimization, operational procedures, and supply chain development continued to drive down the cost of production, and operational experience informed process design methods that enabled further technology innovation.
These process design methods provide a template that can be adapted to the design of industrial biotechnology processes. Industrial biotechnology has been practiced for decades, if not centuries, and in more recent times has been implemented as an approach to reduce reliance on petroleum derived fuel and chemical products. While the challenges associated with industrial biotechnology may be different than those of conventional hydrocarbon processing, the same process design methods can be adapted in areas such as:
• Kinetic modeling of the biological system
• Reactor selection and design
• Cell and metabolite recovery
This presentation will present examples of these design challenges, and the hydrocarbon process design methods that can be adapted to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the drive towards a sustainable future.