Question #1d8df

1 Answer
Mar 20, 2017

Only if it is economical, that is, the overall return on the investment and operation exceeds the return available from other processes.


Industry’s definition of “useful” goes far beyond the lab experiments and chemical possibilities. Of course, the reaction has to be possible. Beyond that, it must be controllable on a large scale – thousands of times larger than a lab experiment.

It is usually preferred that the reaction is able to proceed continuously with a high yield instead of as a batch process. It must result in both a high yield and easily-purified final steps. The lifecycle of the capital equipment must be reasonable as well as the operating costs, including power, labor, raw materials, storage and transport. Any particular safety hazards with materials or process will also result in higher costs and lower utility.

All of these must be compared against any other process for producing the same product in order to evaluate the relative “usefulness” as fundamentally defined by profitability.