Process Design for Chemical Engineer

Most operating company's engineering project is to build a new plant or to revamp an existing
plant to increase production or to improve operation. Process design is the from end work of this
kind project, and it is process engineer's responsibility.
Process design in an engineering project is usually involving feasibility study, front-end
engineering, and detailed engineering design. uring feasibility study, also called phase !
design work, process design work is to select the best process scheme among several choices.
uring front-end engineering design "#$$%, also called phase & design work, process design
work is to develop process flow diagrams "P#%, material balance, material selection "or
metallurgy% diagram, e'uipment data sheets, and preliminary line si(es of the selected process
scheme. uring detailed engineering design, also called phase ) design work, process design
work is to develop piping and instrument diagrams or drawings "P*l%, hydraulic study "confirm
line si(e%, finali(e e'uipment data sheets, provide instrument data sheets, pressure relief valve
study and data sheets, line list, ha(ardous analysis, review vendor bid package, check vendor
drawings, check piping isometric drawings, writing operation manual, and miscellaneous
process studies. +hese are the main tasks for a process engineer in an engineering project.
epending on company or project, some task, may shift between phases.
-ther works "Phases% in an engineering project are, construction "phase .%, commissioning
"phase /%, operation and maintenance "phase 0%. +hese works will all carry out at plant site.
Most times, phase ! to . works are given to an engineering company to carry out. +he works
usually involve process engineers, vessel engineers, rotating e'uipment engineers, heat
exchanger engineers, fire heater engineers, instrument engineers, piping engineers, civil
engineers, cost engineers, project engineers, and schedule engineers. epend on the project
and available personnel, sometimes a process engineer may have to handle some other
discipline's duty.
Phase 1 and 0 works are usua!2y the responsibility of the owner, the operating company. 3ut
most times, engineering company's personnel, such as process and instrument engineers, will
also be asked to participate the commissioning work "plant startup%.
+his chapter provides an overview of the process design work. +he rest chapters of this book
will provide more information of the fre'uently used e'uipment4instrument in the process design
work, such as pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, vessels, control valves, and pressure
relief devices, or the task, such as line si(ing.
Main Process Design Tasks
Feasibility study
Main purpose of feasibility study is to check all the major process schemes, and to select one
which is best for the project. 5sually the criteria to considered are,
• cost - installation "or capital% cost and operation 6-1!,
• operation consideration - such as easy to operate, less maintenance,
• environmental consideration - such as less waste, less emission,
• others - such as preference. Most times, cost is the most important consideration.
Front-end engineering design (FEED)
7fter selecting a process scheme, the next step is to do a front-end engineering design "#$$%
to find out more details of this selected design. 7t this stage, process flow diagrams "P#%,
material balance, e'uipment data sheets, and preliminary line si(es will be developed. +he cost
of the project within &89 will be estimated.
Process flow diagrams (PFD)
Process flow diagrams "P#% are drawings, which show how to process the raw material to
products. -n the drawings, it shows all the e'uipment, major process lines, stream number, all
the control loops, and normal operating conditions "temperature and pressure%. !t shows how
the raw material will be processed from one e'uipment to another, and at what conditions.
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