Chemical producers are constantly searching for innovations that will provide a competitive advantage, reduce costs, improve product quality and increase yields. In addition to the various types of Continuous Reactor technology already available, alternative processes are of great interest. Among these alternatives is HiGee technology.
HiGee is already in use in the United States and China, but it is not currently available in Europe. Equipment is not yet available, there are no commercial suppliers, and there are potential IP issues. In addition, the performance parameters for the technology are still unknown, and benchmarks versus conventional and other equipment are as yet unavailable.
In HiGee, the gravitational field enhances shear flow at the interface L/G or L/L. The method improves micro-mixing controlled processes compared to the stirred tank, and improves mass transfer limited processes compared to columns. It is especially beneficial for viscous streams. This means that HiGee can significantly increase product yield and product quality. Less degradation, fewer side-products and improved properties have been observed. This leads to lower operational expenses and lower capital expenditure, because smaller equipment is required. HiGee can also have cost and safety advantages and reduce the processes' environmental footprint. Chemical companies are eager to see if HiGee can be a viable alternative to mixer-reactors, contactors or distillation equipment for their processing needs.
HiGee equipment is classified based on configuration and functionality:
Upon the industry's request to bring HiGee to Europe, TNO has begun building our know-how and testing facilities for HiGee technology. Equipment suppliers and chemical companies interested in joining the discussion about HiGee development are encouraged to get in touch with TNO.