IHS Chemical Week


Book Review: Chemical Process Simplification by Girish Malhotra (Highly Rated)

9:28 AM MDT | May 19, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

Every time a chemical company publishes statistics for how many m.t. of CO2 – or byproduct – it has saved in the past year, it always makes me question why the company hadn’t implemented such measures and saved on the financial and environmental costs years before. Often the limitation is access to capital. But the reasons are multiple and may include a lack of imagination when it comes to problem solving. Girish Malhotra in his new book ‘Chemical Process Simplification; Improving Productivity and Sustainability’ rips into a practical journey of how to innovate across the specialty and fine chemicals sectors. The key lesson is 'keep it simple.' President of consulting firm Epcot International, Malhotra is also an R&D veteran of a string of blue chip chemical companies and he details many of his most successful R&D and process development projects throughout his book.
Malhotra doesn’t rely on the 12 principles of green chemistry – as devised by chemists Paula Anastas and John C. Warner – to tell his story. What he does is provide a ‘sleeves-rolled-up’ version of what implementing green chemistry should actually look like at the chemical company level.
The book is full of good advice and observations from a career spanning decades at a range of companies as well as the Illinois EPA. He explodes more than a few myths along the way.
Malhotra provides his take on the pros and cons of batch and continuous processes, and picks out specific activities in the paint making, pesticides, simplification strategies, solvent selection, scale up and alternative route selection to name but a few.
If you are a chemist or chemical engineer involved in the specialty or fine chemicals sectors and you want to enhance your approach to process development then this is a book for you.

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