Briar Chemicals provides a confidential custom manufacturing service to the crop protection, fine and speciality chemicals sectors. An established culture of Continuous Improvement underpins all that we do.
Whilst we are not a research company, we do add value to our customers’ businesses through innovation in process optimisation. We cannot name our customers, or the products that we make for them, however below we seek to demonstrate our successful approach to new product introductions.
A new 3 stage synthesis was introduced to the plant within 18 months of receipt of enquiry. The customer supplied a basic technology package under confidentiality.
The project required the handling of two new hazardous raw materials – specialised, cost effective facilities were successfully installed (using in-house design) for ammonia and sulphur dioxide.
Although the process was successfully scaled up and implemented there were some challenges to address:
- Lower than expected yields – competing side reactions.
- Quality – whilst most impurities could be successfully removed from the product during the isolation procedures, one impurity was consistently found in the isolated product at levels approaching and sometimes beyond the specification limit.
- A liquid-liquid phase separation step proved problematic – long settling times and poor separation interface.
One step of the process was quickly identified as being the main low yielding stage and became the focus of attention. Process changes were then identified with the following benefits:
- 25% yield improvement
- Process impurity reduced by > 50%
- Further reductions were realised as the process became established
- Phase separation step improved
- Settling times reduced by 70% and very clean phase interfaces achieved
- Repeat business secured
All Briar processes are subject to Continuous Improvement, with primary focus on yields, cycle times and waste minimisation.
Above all, we do what we say we will do.