A Regenerative Business Model with Flexible, Modular and Scalable Processes in A Post-Covid Era: The Case of The Spinning Mesh Disc Reactor (SMDR)

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Abstract

With stringent environmental regulations and a new drive for sustainable manufacturing, there is an unprecedented opportunity to incorporate novel manufacturing techniques. Recent political and pandemic events have shown the vulnerability to supply chains, highlighting the need for localised manufacturing capabilities to better respond flexibly to national demand. In this paper, we have used the spinning mesh disc reactor (SMDR) as a case study to demonstrate the path forward for manufacturing in the post-Covid world. The SMDR uses centrifugal force to allow the spread of thin film across the spinning disc which has a cloth with immobilised catalyst. The modularity of the design combined with the flexibility to perform a range of chemical reactions in a single equipment is an opportunity towards sustainable manufacturing. A global approach to market research allowed us to identify sectors within the chemical industry interested in novel reactor designs. The drivers for implementing change were identified as low capital cost, flexible operation and consistent product quality. Barriers include cost of change (regulatory and capital costs), limited technical awareness, safety concerns and lack of motivation towards change. Finally, applying the key features of a Sustainable Business Model (SBM) to SMDR, we show the strengths and opportunities for SMDR to align with an SBM allowing for a low-cost, sustainable and regenerative system of chemical manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6944
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021

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