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Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design

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Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design


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  • This textbook covers modern techniques and approaches to chemical process design, emphasizing the use of systematic representations, mathematical optimization models, and computer-based solution techniques. Pg.___
  • Part I of the book discusses the selection of flowsheets, and outlines methods for performing linear material balances, and preliminary sizing and costing for economic evaluation. The preliminary design and scheduling of batch processes is also covered. Pg.___
  • Part II of the book deals with process modeling and discusses tearing and numerical equation solving algorithms, as well as the application of nonlinear programming techniques to process flowsheets. Pg.___
  • Part III of the book discusses the use of graphical representations and insights for synthesizing reaction, separation and energy subsystems. They synthesis of complex separation systems is also discussed. Pg.
  • Part IV of the book deals with the application of mixed-integer programming techniques for the automatic synthesis of process systems, simultaneous optimization of flowsheets, and modeling of process operations, including flexibility and scheduling. Pg.___
  • A Solutions Manual is available (ISBN:0-13-272337-9)


  • Copyright 1997
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 700
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-492422-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-492422-9


The scientific approach to process design.

Over the last 20 years, fundamental design concepts and advanced computer modeling have revolutionized process design for chemical engineering. Team work and creative problem solving are still the building blocks of successful design, but new design concepts and novel mathematical programming models based on computer-based tools have taken out much of the guesswork. This book presents the new revolutionary knowledge, taking a systematic approach to design at all levels.

A Solutions Manual is available; ISBN: 0-13-272337-9.

Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design is a textbook for undergraduate and graduate design courses. The book presents a step-by-step approach for learning the techniques for synthesizing and analyzing process flowsheets. The major items involved in the design process are mirrored in the book's main sections:

  • Strategies for preliminary process analysis and evaluation
  • Advanced analysis using rigorous models
  • Basic concepts in process synthesis
  • Optimization models for process synthesis and design
  • Appendices for reference and review.

Developed and refined in several courses at Carnegie Mellon, preliminary versions of the book have also been tested in Argentina, Brazil, England, Korea, Norway, and Slovenia. Exercises at the end of each chapter make it suitable for teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses, or for the working professional who wants to keep up with current methods.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction to Process Design.


 2. Overview of Flowsheet Synthesis.
 3. Mass and Energy Balances.
 4. Equipment Sizing and Costing.
 5. Economic Evaluation.
 6. Design and Scheduling of Batch Processes.


 7. Unit Equation Models.
 8. General Concepts of Simulation for Process Design.
 9. Process Flowsheet Optimization.


10. Heat and Power Integration.
11. Ideal Distillation Systems.
12. Heat Integrated Distillation Processes.
13. Geometric Techniques for the Synthesis of Reactor Networks.
14. Separating Azeotropic Mixtures.


15. Basic Concepts for Algorithmic Methods.
16. Synthesis of Heat Exchanger Networks.
17. Synthesis of Distillation Sequences.
18. Simultaneous Optimization and Heat Integration.
19. Optimization Techniques for Reactor Network Synthesis.
20. Structural Optimization of Process Flowsheets.
21. Process Flexibility.
22. Optimal Design and Scheduling for Multiproduct Batch Plants.
Appendix A.: Summary of Optimization Theory and Methods.
Appendix B.: Smooth Approximations for max { 0, f(x)}.
Appendix C.: Computer Tools for Preliminary Process Design.
Author Index.
Subject Index.



Process design is one of the more exciting activities that a chemical engineer can perform. It involves creative problem solving and teamwork in which basic knowledge in chemical engineering and economics are applied, commonly through the use of computer-based tools, to devise new process systems or modifications to existing plants. The teaching of process design, however, continues to present a major challenge in academia. There are several reasons for this. Faculty who are not actively engaged in doing research in process systems engineering are generally uncomfortable teaching a design course, unless they have had some industrial experience. Another complicating factor is that process design is still perceived among many academics as a subject that is too practical in nature with little fundamental content. Also, there are relatively few textbooks on process design, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Finally, teaching design is difficult because problems tend to be open-ended, with incomplete information, and requiring decision making.

Fortunately, process design, and more generally, process systems engineering, has undergone a dramatic change over the last 20 years. During this period many new fundamental and significant advances have taken place. The more or less ad hoc analysis of flowsheets has been replaced by systematic numerical solution techniques that are now widely implemented in computer modeling systems and simulation packages for both preliminary and detailed design. The largely arbitrary selection of parameters in process flowsheets has been replaced by the use of modern optimization strategies. The intuitive development of structures of process flowsheets has been largely replaced by systematic synthesis methods, both in the form of conceptual insights and in the form of advanced discrete optimization techniques. It is from the perspective of the above advances in process design that this textbook has been written: to teach modern and systematic approaches to design. The emphasis is on the application of strategies for preliminary design, on the systematic development of representations for process synthesis, and on the development of mathematical models for simulation and optimization for their use in computer-based solution techniques. The main aim in learning these techniques is to be able to synthesize and design process flowsheets, understanding the decisions involved in the reaction, separation, and heat integration subsystems, as well as their interactions and economic implications. The applications deal mostly with large- scale continuous processes, although some introduction to multiproduct batch processes is given. Also, while economics is used as the main measure for evaluation, a brief exposure to operability and discussion on multiple criteria (safety, environmental impact) is covered.

The book consists of 22 chapters, organized into four major parts: I: Preliminary Analysis and Evaluation of Processes, II: Analysis with Rigorous Process Models, III: Basic Concepts in Process Synthesis, IV: Optimization Approaches to Process Synthesis and Design. An introductory chapter is also presented to give a broader view of process design. The textbook is aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate students in chemical engineering. At the undergraduate level it is intended to be a textbook for the senior design course. Chapters 1 to 11 (except 9) could be typically covered in such a course. Chapters 9 and 15 to 17 of Part IV can be used as part of an undergraduate optimization course. At the graduate level, Chapters 9 to 22 and Appendix A can be used as a basis for an advanced process systems engineering course. Chapters 10 to 22 (Parts III and IV) are aimed specifically at a graduate course in process synthesis. Each chapter contains a set of exercises and references to representative publications. Design practitioners who wish to learn about modern design techniques should find this book useful as a reference text.

It is important to note that this book is not meant to be a research monograph. All the material presented here has been developed and taught extensively in courses at Carnegie Mellon University. For instance, a portion of Part I was first developed by Art Westerberg in 1978, and has gradually evolved since then into lecture notes that are currently used in the Senior Undergraduate Design course. Part II was developed first in the early 1980s for a graduate course taught by Art Westerberg on Advanced Process Engineering. Its current form reflects the lecture notes used by Larry Biegler for an advanced undergraduate/graduate level course on computational design methods. Part III corresponds to lecture notes used by Art Westerberg in a current graduate course on Process Systems Engineering. A portion of Part IV was first developed by Ignacio Grossmann in a course on Special Topics on Advanced Process Engineering course in 1985. In its present form it is being used in the graduate course on Process Systems Engineering. Also note that all the chapters include exercises. Some of these require the use of spreadsheets and modeling systems for optimization (see Appendix A).

The authors would like to acknowledge the many individuals that made this book possible. We express our gratitude to Professor John Anderson for having encouraged us to undertake the task of writing this textbook. Larry Biegler is grateful to the Department of Chemical Engineering for releasing him of teaching duties for one semester to write this book. Ignacio Grossmann is grateful to the School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University and to the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial College for having provided time and financial support for his sabbatical leaves in 1986P1987, and 1993P1994, respectively, in which most of the chapters on Part IV were written. Art Westerberg is grateful to the University of Edinburgh for the time and support he received to prepare portions of this book. The three authors are indebted to the following individuals who have provided us extensive feedback on the book: Dr. Alberto Bandoni, Dr. Mark Daichendt, Professor Truls Gundersen, Dr. Zdravko Kravanja, Dr. Antonis Kokossis, Dr. Guillermo Rotstein, and Professor Ross Swaney. We are also grateful to all our current graduate students at Carnegie Mellon who helped us in the proofreading of the manuscript. Finally, we are most grateful to Dolores Dlugokecki and Laura Shaheen for their help and patience in typing and correcting many of the versions of our manuscript.

Lorenz T. Biegler Ignacio E. Grossmann Arthur W. Westerberg Department of Chemical Engineering Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA


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