Process intensification involves the development of equipment and production methods for more efficient conversion. This may mean redesigning equipment, or the integration of two or more steps to achieve higher efficiency.
Integration and automation of batch process steps is one of the areas of research at the department. Examples include studies on the integration of separation steps in pharmaceutical production, and integrated hydrolysis and fermentation in the production of biofuels and chemicals. The time required to isolate and purify a protein, from the time it is expressed in a bioreactor until its final form in a pharmaceutical, can be significantly reduced. Studies are also being carried out on the integration of reaction and separation in the chemical modification of pharmaceuticals.