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P. Balasubramanian
Department of Chemical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS


Plant site location and utilities
Reactor synthesis
Separator and recycle structure synthesis
Heat integration




At the end of this lecture, students must be
able to know
 the

synthesis of process flowsheet for a chemical
process plant from heuristics



CONTENT       Introduction Types of process flowsheet Process flowsheet synthesis Mass balances with recycle and its solution Conclusion References 7/6/15 4 .

INTRODUCTION   The flowsheet is a key document in process design The process flowsheet shows  arrangement of the equipment selected to carry out the process  stream connections  stream flow-rates and compositions. and  operating conditions.  The flowsheet is a diagrammatic model of the process 7/6/15 5 .

the flowsheet forms a basis for comparison of operating performance with design 7/6/15 6 .INTRODUCTION     The flow-sheet will be used by the specialist design groups as the basis for their designs This will include piping. instrumentation. equipment design and plant layout It will also be used by operating personnel for the preparation of operating manuals and operator training During plant start-up and subsequent operation.

INTRODUCTION     The flowsheet is drawn up from material balances made over the complete process and each individual unit Energy balances are also made to determine the energy flows and the service requirements Manual flow-sheeting calculations can be tedious and time consuming when the process is large or complex Computer-aided flow-sheeting programs are being increasingly used to facilitate this stage of process design 7/6/15 7 .

accurate and complete 7/6/15 8 .INTRODUCTION  Representation:  The process flowsheet is the definitive document on the chemical process  The presentation in the process flowsheet must be clear. comprehensive.

TYPES OF FLOWSHEET    Block diagrams Process flow diagrams Piping and Instrumentation diagrams 7/6/15 9 .

BLOCK DIAGRAMS     It is the simplest form of presentation Each block can represent a single piece of equipment or a complete stage in the process Only a limited use as engineering documents The blocks can be of any shape  use a mixture of squares and circles. drawn with a template feed process product Fig.1 Block diagram for a chemical plant. 7/6/15 10 .

Fig. 2. 7/6/15 11 .Process Flow diagram.

6. Fourth ed.Fig.. Chemical Engineering Design 7/6/15 12 . 3 Flow sheet-polymer production Source: Coulson & Richardson’s CHEMICAL ENGINEERING Vol.

Chemical Engineering 13 7/6/15 Design . Vol. 6..Fig. 4 Flow sheet-simplified nitric acid process Source: Coulson & Richardson’s CHEMICAL ENGINEERING . Fourth ed.

Fourth ed. Vol. 5 A typical Flow sheet Source: Coulson & Richardson’s CHEMICAL ENGINEERING . 6.Fig.. Chemical 14 7/6/15 .

COMPUTER AIDED FLOWSHEETING  Full simulation programs. which require powerful computing facilities  capable of carrying out rigorous simultaneous mass and energy balances. and preliminary equipment design: producing accurate and detailed flow-sheets  Simple material balance programs requiring only a relatively small core size 7/6/15 15 .

Commercial packages for process flowsheet simulation. acronym type source ASPEN Steady state Aspen Tech DESIGN II Steady state WinSim HYSYS Steady state dynamic Hyprotech PRO II Steady state SimSci-Esscor DYNSIM dynamic CHEMCAD Steady state Aspen DPS 7/6/15 Chemstations 16 .SIMULATION PACKAGES Table 1.

PROCESS SIMULATION AND PROCESS SYNTHESIS   The design of chemical process involves synthesis and analysis Process synthesis is the overall development of a process flowsheet by combining individual steps(equipment and operating conditions) into an optimal arrangement. 7/6/15 17 .

typically by a process simulator The flowsheet is synthesized with the use of a process synthesis model and simulation tool 7/6/15 18 .PROCESS SIMULATION AND PROCESS SYNTHESIS   Process analysis breaks down the flowsheet to evaluate the performance of each individual element as well as how the overall process would perform.

6 The onion model of process design. 25-29 reacto r Separation and recycle Heat exchange network utilities Fig. OCTOBER 2005. 7/6/15 19 .PROCESS SYNTHESIS MODEL SOURCE: CEP MAGAZINE.

7/6/15 20 . 7 Process synthesis.Example 2 Fig.

21 7/6/15 .Fig. 8 Reactor separator recycle system.

HIERARCHICAL APPROACH TO PROCESS DESIGN     Batch vs continuous Input-output structure of the flowsheet Recycle structure of the flowsheet General structure of the separation system  Vapor recovery system  Liquid recovery system  Heat exchanger network 7/6/15 22 .

LAYER 1: REACTOR  Synthesis of a new process flowsheet should start at the heart of the chemical process. PFR) and what are its operating conditions(isothermal. adiabatic. vacuum and so on)?  How should the product conversion and yield be determined?  Is a catalyst needed in the reactor system modeling? 7/6/15 23 . constant outlet temperature. That is the reactor system Raw materials  What reactor Valuable products is the right reactor model(CSTR.


Products and any by-products formed in the reactor
needed to be separated from unconverted reactant
for further purification, while the unconverted raw
material is recycled back to the reactor
Separation system:
 vapor

separation system, and
 liquid separation system




Flash column is used for phase separation:
 for

example, mixture of liquid and vapor is separated
into the phases

Vapor separation system:
 condensers,

flash tanks, absorbers, adsorbers, and gas
separation membranes

These unit operations are normally used to purify a
vapor recycle stream before it re-enters the process
A purge stream is always used to avoid undesired
contaminant build-up




Liquid separation systems include
 Distillation

(including extractive distillation)
 Solvent extraction
 Stripping
 Filtration (including membrane separation)
 Centrifugation and so on



LAYER 2 Vapor separation system feed Reactor system purge flash Liquid separation system products byproducts Fig. liquid and flash separations 7/6/15 27 . 9 The overall separation scheme consists of vapor.

7/6/15 28 .RECYCLE SYSTEM: TEAR STREAM CONCEPT Tear recycle stream R1 R2 Recycle stream A B C D E F Unit operation in simulator Fig. 10 The tear stream concept is used in recycle simulation.

compare the flowrate of stream R2 with the initial value for R1 7/6/15 29 . the recycle stream after unit F is considered as two separate tear streams R1 and R2 Step 1: Perform the simulation for the units A and B Step 2: Assume initial value for R1 and perform the simulation of unit C Step 3: Perform the simulation for the units D. 16.TEAR RECYCLE STREAM       Use the concept of a tear stream in modeling of a recycle loop In Fig. E and F Step 4: After unit F converges.

7/6/15 30 . the initial guess for R1 must be revised and perform the simulation(without connecting the recycle stream to unit C) until the convergence is achieved. it is likely that the simulation model has converged.TEAR RECYCLE STREAM   Step 5: If the values of R1 and R2 agree to within a specified tolerance. The calculated value of R2 is used in place of R1 in unit C and the simulation is rerun Step 6: if tear streams R1 and R2 do not agree to within the specified tolerance.

LAYER 3: HEAT EXCHANGER NETWORK    The process heating and cooling loads are determined after the process structure within the two inner layers of the onion model has been finalized Design and model the heat exchanger network Use the tool of process integration  Utility targeting  Network design  After a preliminary network has been synthesized. the process flowsheet will undergo a complete resimulation for the verification of energy balances 7/6/15 31 .

LAYER 4: UTILITIES   The selection of hot and cold utilities is another well established application of process integration Options to be explored for the placement of the heat pump and heat engine 7/6/15 32 .

EXAMPLE 1    The hydrodealkylation (HDA) process converts toluene to benzene in the presence of a large excess of hydrogen Main reaction: dealkylation of toluene to benzene and methane C6H5-CH3+H2C6H6+CH4 Secondary reaction: formation of naphthalene as by-product 2C6H6 C12H10 + H2 7/6/15 33 .

typically 5:1 molar ratio. because at higher value the selectivity drops rapidly 7/6/15 34 . takes place in an adiabatic Plug Flow Reactor at pressures of 25 to 35 bars and temperatures between 620 and 720oC Large excess of hydrogen. prevents the formation of coke The reaction conversion is typically 60-80%.EXAMPLE 1    The reaction. globally exothermic.

EXAMPLE 1       Input/Output streams Input streams: Toluene of 100% purity and Hydrogen with 5% CH4 At steady state. Mass input = Mass output Output streams: Benzene product. lights gases from the stabilization column. and heavies from the distillation column A gaseous purge stream (methane is entered as impurity with the hydrogen feed 7/6/15 35 . That is. material balance must be consistent.

7/6/15 36 .EXAMPLE 1 Purge (to remove methane from hydrogen) Benzene Hydrogen Toluene Reaction Lights Separation Heavies Fig.11Input-output streams for HDA process.

EXAMPLE 1        Reactor analysis: The stoichiometric approach is simple but sufficient for material balance purposes This modeling approach needs to know. kinetic modeling is important in operation level or plant wide control 7/6/15 37 . (i) the conversion of the main reaction and (ii) selectivity of the secondary reaction Kinetic model must be considered when accurate kinetic data is available for either CSTR or PFR Industrial reactors are much more complex as the ideal models Therefore. kinetic models are not important in steady state flowsheeting at least in the early stages of process design Furthermore.

7/6/15 38 . 12 Reactor-separator-recycle structure of HDA process.EXAMPLE 1  Reactor-separator-recycle system: Fig.

EXAMPLE 1       The Flash unit used for the separation of gas and liquid phases from a mixture. The simulation of the liquid separation system is more complicated. Use black-box model for the liquid separation system 7/6/15 39 . A vapour/liquid equilibrium model can simulate this operation To simulate the purge we place the unit Split modeled by Stream Splitter The gas is recycled via a compressor Comp simulated by a Compressor unit.

EXAMPLE 1  Separation system: The simulation of the train of distillation columns Fig. and Dist: distillation column 7/6/15 40 . Stab: stabilizer. 13 Liquid separation section of the HDA process.

EXAMPLE 1     Control of flowsheet specifications: The molar ratio hydrogen/toluene at the reactor inlet should be kept strictly at 5:1 Manipulated variable: The split-ratio of the purge Simulates the steady state behavior of a SISO (single input single output) feedback controller 7/6/15 41 .

EXAMPLE 1 Fig. 14 Flowsheet controller in the HDA process. 7/6/15 42 .

EXAMPLE 1 FEHE: feed effluent heat exchanger Fig. 15 UOP HDA process for benzene production Source: Alexandre C. 2003. Elsevier. Integrated design and simulation of chemical processes. Dimian. 7/6/15 43 .

specifications for the production of n-octane. 2.EXAMPLE 2: PRODUCTION OF NOCTANE  The onion model synthesis and simulation technique will be used to develop a process flowsheet for n-octane (C8H18) production from ethylene(C2H4) and i-butane(C4H10).1 Ethylene C2H4 20 T = 30oC P = 20 psia n-Butane C4H10 0.5 i-Butane C4H10 10 7/6/15 44 . The component flowrates (some impurities) and stream specifications for the fresh feed are givenTable Table 2. Feed component Flow rate (kg-mol/h) specification Nitrogen N2 0.

Q2: Synthesize a process flowsheet for n-octane production process. 7/6/15 45 .EXAMPLE 2: PRODUCTION OF N-OCTANE   Q1: Draw the input-output streams for n-octane production process.

ANSWER FOR Q1 purge Nitrogen Ethylene n-Butane i-Butane n-octane Reaction Separation Fig. 7/6/15 46 . 16: Input-output streams for n-octane production process.

EXAMPLE 2   Flowsheet development: Layer 1: Reactor  Ethylene and i-butane react isothermally in a stoichiometric isothermal reactor at 93 oC to produce noctane.  The reaction is 2C2 H 4  C4 H10  C8 H18 7/6/15 47 .  The key limiting component is ethylene  Overall conversion is 98%  The pressure drop across the reactor is specified at 5 psi.

i-butane and other impurities) are flashed to the top product stream together with a small portion of n-octane.EXAMPLE 2  Layer 2: Separation and recycle  Flash column is added to the reactor effluent to separate unconverted raw materials from the desired product  A pressure drop of 2 psi is introduced. while remaining n-octane leaves at the bottom 7/6/15 48 . while the operating temperature is maintained the same as that of the reactor  The more volatile compounds (ethylene.

EXAMPLE 2  An additional separation unit is needed to recover the noctane from the top stream  Distillation is then added to the flash column’s top product to recover n-octane 10 theoretical trays. operating pressure 15 psia  Bottom product: n-octane  Top products: volatile components  7/6/15 49 .

reheated and sent back to the reactor Layers 3 and 4: the design of heat exchanger network and utility system will be handled simultaneously. 7/6/15 50 .EXAMPLE 2    The unconverted raw material leaving at the top of the distillation column is recycled back to the reactor A purge stream is added before the stream is recompressed.

17 Preliminary flowsheet for the production of n-octane after completion of onion model layers 1 and 2. Source: CEP magazine. October 2005. page 28.EXAMPLE 2 Fig. 7/6/15 51 .

52 7/6/15 . 18 The complete flowsheet with a heat-integrated distillation column Source: CEP magazine.EXAMPLE 2 Fig. October 2005. page 28.

mass input = mass output  Mass balances for three simple units  Mixer  Separator  Reactor 7/6/15 53 .MASS BALANCES WITH RECYCLE STREAMS  Law of conservation of mass  Mass neither be created nor destroyed although it is transformed from one form to another form  That is.

sfi is the split fraction: The fraction of component i going to the overhead stream 54 .MASS BALANCES WITH RECYCLE STREAMS  ni2 Mixer(MIXR) ni1  Separator(SEPR) niout  niout MIXR nstrm n j 1 j i ni3 ni2 niin ni2  niin sf i separator ni1 7/6/15 ni1  niin 1  sf i  Where.

MASS BALANCES WITH RECYCLE STREAMS  Reactor(REAC) niin Reactor niout  Stoichiometry  aA  bB  cC  dD moles of B also N moles of A react. then (b/a)N react and form (c/a)N moles of C and (d/a)N moles of D Limiting reactant here is A and conversion of A is x  7/6/15 55 .

MASS BALANCES WITH RECYCLE STREAMS  The equation for each of the components is n out A n out B out C n n out D  n n x in A in A b in  n  nA x a c in in  nC  n A x a d in in  nD  n A x a in B 7/6/15 56 .

19 Ammonia process with a recycle. 7/6/15 separator 5 98 %NH3 0. The reactor is limited by equilibrium and 25 percent conversion per pass in the reactor.5 %H2 57 .EXAMPLE 3: PROCESS FLOWSHEET SIMULATION USING SIMPLE MASS BALANCES  The process takes hydrogen and nitrogen (in a 3:1 ratio) to make ammonia. Use stoichiometric feed and determine the molar flow rate of components in each stream using Excel 6 1 3 N 2  H 2  NH 3 2 2 1 N2 = 100 H2 = 300 Mixer 2 reactor 4 3 Stoichiometry Fig.5 %N2 0.

EXAMPLE 3: SOLUTION 7/6/15 58 .

05 at 589 K.EXAMPLE 4  Flowsheet simulation using chemical reaction equilibrium  The equilibrium conversion in the ammonia synthesis reactor is given by 1 3 N 2  H 2  NH 3 2 2 Kp  p NH 3 12 N2 p p 32 H2  y NH 3 y1N 22 y H3 22  Recalculate 1 P the molar flow rate of components in each stream using tear stream concept. P = 220 atm 7/6/15 59 .  Data Kp = 0.

EXAMPLE 4: SOLUTION 7/6/15 60 .

051. and carbon dioxide 0.32  Flow rates of nitrogen. and 1 mol/time  Because of carbon dioxide. hydrogen and carbon dioxide into the process are 100. hydrogen 70. we add a purge stream as 1 % of the recycle stream.EXAMPLE 5  Flowsheet simulation in a reactor-separator-recycle system including phase equilibrium  Process ammonia synthesis  Ammonia is condensed  Conversion per pass in the reactor is 25 %  Phase separation  K values: nitrogen 4. 300. 7/6/15 61 . ammonia 0.8.

zi is the mole fraction of the species i into the flash Ki is the K value for the species i (vapor pressure/total pressure)  is the fraction of feed that goes out as vapor xi is the mole fraction of species i in the liquid phase yi is the mole fraction of species i in the vapor phase  V1 is the vapor flow rate L is the liquid flow rate F is the feed flow rate Draw the simplified flowsheet for ammonia synthesis and perform mass balances with vaporliquid equilibria 7/6/15 62 .  xi  1.EXAMPLE 5  Separator model: Rachford-Rice equation  K i  1 zi  i 1 1   K i  1 n xi  0 zi 1   K i  1 yi  K i xi niv  Vy i  Fyi niL  Lxi  F 1    xi n z i 1  i n n i 1 i 1  1.  yi Where.

EXAMPLE 5: SOLUTION 8 1 feed mixer 2 out of mixer reactor separator 4 out of reactor 6 Flash separator 7 purge 5 product 3 reacting Fig. 20 Ammonia process with vapor-liquid equilibria and a purge stream. 7/6/15 63 .

EXAMPLE 5: SOLUTION constraints 7/6/15 64 .

the general concepts for the flowsheet synthesis are elaborately presented. 7/6/15 65 . The steady state simulation of process flowsheet is presented with illustrative examples.CONCLUSION    In this lecture. Illustrative examples are provided for the process flowsheet synthesis.

M. 25-29. L. 1991. Eng. Biegler. Selvan. T. Bruce A. McGuire.REFERENCES       Alexandre C. Westerberg. Max S. fourth edition. Peters. Dimian. Integrated Design and Simulation of Chemical Processes. Chemical Process: Design and Integration. Finlayson. Chem. D. Elsevier. 2006. Z. Prentice Hall. Prog. 7/6/15 66 . Grossmann. October 2005. McGraw Hill. 1997. Systematic Methods of Chemical Process Design. 2003. Introduction to Chemical Engineering Computing. Smith. 2005. Wiley. R. A. Manan. Integrate Process Simulation and Process Synthesis. Plant design and economics for Chemical Engineers. W. M. I. L. E. Wiley. A. Klaus D. Chwan Yee Foo. Timmerhaus.