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At the heart of scale-up in chemical process development is the fundamental understanding of the mixing process. Influencing mixing efficiency are the physical properties of the material being mixed, the design of the stirrer and the reactor, the mixing regime, and the position of the feed tube and the operating conditions. Chemical reactions in a stirred tank reactor may include reagents with more than one phase and/or state (liquid, gaseous or solid). These reactions require intensive interfacial contacting to facilitate optimal mass transfer. Improper or poor mixing may result in a low reaction rate, low yield, poor selectivity or increased concentration of impurities which increase the costs of manufacturing significantly.
The heat dissipation in a stirred tank reactor is vital for the scale-up and safe operation of a chemical process. Batch and semi-batch reactors are still the most frequently applied type of reactors in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Variations of heat transfer may impact the scaling of a chemical process, design of the plant vessel, cooling system and potential safety considerations.