Standard Article

Pilot Plants

  1. Francis X. McConville

Published Online: 17 JUN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471238961.1609121516011212.a01.pub2

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology

How to Cite

McConville, F. X. 2005. Pilot Plants. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. .

Author Information

  1. FXM Engineering & Design

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 JUN 2005


Pilot plant is a generic term indicating various types of specialized equipment and systems designed to support or conduct process research on a scale larger than laboratory glassware. This article describes some of the principal characteristics of pilot plants and issues surrounding their design and operation, including experimental program planning. An overview of process scale-up is presented along with a discussion of pilot plant start-up and the difficulty of ensuring safety in the often atypical equipment and operations encountered in pilot plants. Other subjects include pilot plant design and construction, estimated costs, and space and control requirements.


  • pilot plant;
  • scale-up;
  • start-up;
  • process development