Process systems modelling and optimisation is at the heart of modern materials and pharmaceutical industries, because high-fidelity mathematical models of physicochemical and microstructural behaviour and evolution are instrumental toward the quantitative evaluation of product quality, technical feasibility and economic viability. Modern, unconventional applications rely on mathematical modelling even more, because R&D but also design projects are routinely constrained by deadline and budget restrictions, thus necessitating combined approaches.
We will present published systems modelling and optimisation case studies in two broad technological domains. The first explores the design and optimisation of furnaces for carbothermic aluminium and perlite production. These concern model-based design of prototypes developed in very close collaboration with industrial partners. The second considers Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (CPM), which is a new production paradigm (based on flow chemistry) with a strong potential to improve quality and suppress fixed and operating costs. Full-scale prototype CPM lines have been constructed, and technoeconomic evaluations are clearly encouraging.
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