Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

529-0459-00L  Case Studies in Process Design

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersK. Hungerbühler, E. Capón García
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractThe learning objective is to design, simulate and optimise a real (bio-)chemical process from a process systems perspective. Specifically, a commercial process simulation software will be used for the process simulation and optimisation. Students have to integrate knowledge and develop engineering thinking and skills acquired in the other courses of the curriculum.
ObjectiveSimulate and optimise a chemical production process using a commercial process simulation software.
ContentThe learning objectives (LO) of this course are:

LO 1: Create a model describing the production process
- Students will apply a commercial process simulator systematically for process creation and analysis.
- Students will create a simulation flowsheet for steady-state simulation
- Students will discriminate the models for the different process units.
- Students will evaluate the sequencing in which process units associated with recycle loops are solved to obtain converged material and energy balances.

LO 2: Evaluate the performance of the production process
- Students will analyse and understand the degrees of freedom in modelling process units and flowsheets.
- Students will understand the role of process simulators in process creation.
- Students will make design specifications and follow the iterations implemented to satisfy them.
- Students will judge the role of process simulators in equipment sizing and costing and profitability analysis.
- Students will assess the economic performance of the process, including investment and operation costs.
- Students will assess the environmental impact of the production process.

LO 3: Optimise the design and operating conditions of the production process
- Students will solve sensitivity analyses and optimisations are conducted considering technical and economic criteria.
- Students will generate process integration alternatives to improve the initial production process.
- Students will optimise the production process considering economic and environmental criteria.
Prerequisites / NoticeBefore the case study week, students do exercises in the course of Process Simulation and Flowsheeting in order to get familiar with Aspen Plus simulation software (compulsory). They also receive guidelines for environmental impact assessment and skills on oral presentations.

The problem statement and detailed instructions are provided at the beginning of the case study week.

During the case study week:
- Students work in teams of 3-5 people.
- Students have to pose and solve the different questions presented in the problem statement.
- Students have to coordinate the activities, the preparation of the written report and the oral presentation.
- Students will be assessed in specific questions they may find along the case study development.
- An industry expert, namely a chemical engineer from ETHZ, exchanges with the groups.

One week after the case study week, the groups deliver the written report.

One week later, the students receive the comments on the work done, and implement required corrections.

All the groups prepare a single presentation comparing the results and showing their achievements.

Finally, the students visit the real industrial process at the site. They also present their work to the industrial experts on the day of the industry visit.