Croda and NiTech in Surfactants Project
Major speciality chemical manufacturer Croda Europe has signed a two-year deal with UK technology group NiTech Solutions to develop a novel method for the continuous production of a range of surfactants.
The agreement includes the design and build of a modular unit based on NiTech’s patented continuous oscillating baffle reactor technology. The project is worth more than £1 million and also includes the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation and the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing.
The collaboration will establish the technical and commercial viability of the NiTech process in Croda’s surfactant applications.
NiTech’s chairman, Paul Hodges, commented: “Companies around the world are grappling with increased competitive pressure in their core markets. This project will demonstrate how a major producer like Croda can dramatically reduce its operating and capital costs, whilst maintaining product quality.”
Continuous processes are usually well suited to integrate with equivalent existing batch manufacturing to provide increased capacity. NiTech said their compact design will often enable this to be achieved without the need for additional supporting infrastructure and extended footprint.