Scale-up of reactions from lab scale to a commercial pilot scale is a highly demanding process that requires experience and a versatile range of laboratory components. Setting up the ideal pilot plant is never simple, and while the costs are significantly lower than they could be with mistakes made in a commercial plant, it is still desirable to elude them. The purpose of the pilot plant is the first important consideration as this will dictate work up, processing and purification parameters that may have to be GLP or ISO 9001 certified. A pilot plant may be required to prove a process or study the process prior to scale-up to a commercial plant, or to produce small-scale samples for product/market testing, or possibly as a manufacturing unit to yield specialty chemicals to serve smaller markets (e.g., surfactants).
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