Process engineering versus product engineering - A case study on volatile organic compounds removal


Three solutions for removing the dangerous volatile organic compound (VOC) xylene from an industrial coating process are presented and compared. Two of them are based on classical process engineering principles, i.e., development of separation-cleaning methods such as incineration and adsorption. The last approach is somewhat different and is based on the so-called product engineering concept, i.e., in this case, a change of the formulation so that xylene is entirely eliminated from the process. It is shown that both the process and the product engineering approaches yield viable solutions to the problem-need specified in the beginning of the project, but producing a novel formulation (chemical product design) represents a method that results to a completely xylene-free process which is environmentally and economically more interesting than those generated via the more traditional process engineering approaches.






Coutinho, JAP; Vilela, T; Pereira, P; Pessoa, P; Santos, MMM; Kontogeorgis, GM

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