Comments on conceptual engineering – Introduction

by Heikki Hassi & Panu Tikka

Since the beginning in 1983, key service offerings of SciTech-Service Oy Ltd have covered the range from scientific research and development to plant engineering, focusing on biomass-based technologies and processes. In other words, our aim is to bridge the gap between R&D and industrial process technology – two fields, which are mastered by quite different organizations, working practices and staff curriculums. This work we call conceptualization, or conceptual engineering, and the deliverable is a process concept (a report).

In view of valorization of ideas and research work, this is the first step forward; in view of process technology and plant design, such gathering and translating of scientific and theoretical knowledge into a realizable concept is a key prerequisite for using it for industrial purposes.

In a series of 4 comment papers on this topic, we will present several view points and examples of conceptual engineering, to illustrate its power – or necessity – when turning hypothetical ideas into industrial processes, plants and products:

Part 1. Conceptual Engineering in biomass-based industries

Part 2. An example of conceptualization: Concept study of a sulphur free pulping process

Part 3. Conceptual engineering, Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and risk management

Part 4. Conceptual engineering takes concerted involvement of researchers and industrial engineers