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This book represents the culmination of many years of teaching experience in the design program at West Virginia University. Although this program has evolved over more than thirty years and is still evolving, it is fair to say that the current program has gelled over the last ten years through the concerted effort of the authors to integrate design throughout the undergraduate curriculum in chemical engineering. We view design as the focal point of chemical engineering practice. Far more than the development of a set of specifications for a new chemical plant, design is that creative activity through which engineers continuously improve the operation of facilities to create products that enhance the quality of life. Whether developing the grass roots plant, proposing and guiding process modifications, or troubleshooting and implementing operational strategies for existing equipment, engineering design requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and intellectual skills to be able to analyze the big picture and the minute details and, most importantly, to know when to concentrate on each.
Our vehicle for helping students develop and hone their design skills is process design rather than plant design, covering synthesis of the entire chemical process through topics relating to the preliminary sizing of equipment, flowsheet optimization, economic evaluation of projects, and the operation of chemical processes. The purpose of this text is to assist chemical engineering students in making the transition from solving well-posed problems in a specific subject to integrating all the knowledge that they have gained in their undergraduate education and applying it to solving open-ended process problems. Many of the “nuts and bolts” issues regarding plant design (for example, what schedule pipe to use for a given stream or what corrosion allowance to use for a vessel in a certain service) are not covered. Although such issues are clearly important to the practicing engineer, several excellent handbooks and textbooks are available to address such problems, and these are cited in the text where they apply.
As a result of our integrated approach to design, we have divided this book into six sections. Section 0, the first chapter in the book, covers the principal diagrams used by chemical engineers. In particular, details of the most important diagram for the analysis of chemical processes are given, namely the Process Flow Diagram (PFD). Section 1 covers the engineering economic aspects of a process, including the material needed for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE or EIT) exam required as the first step toward professional registration.
Section 2 looks at the common features of all processes and explains how and why we choose the operating conditions in a process. This section also includes some guidelines for preliminary process design.
Section 3 focuses on the performance of existing processes and equipment. This material is substantially different from that found in most textbooks. We consider equipment that is already built and operating and show how to analyze, evaluate, and modify the performance of the system, including process troubleshooting to determine the cause of a process upset.
Section 4 looks at the synthesis of a chemical process. The minimum information required to simulate a process is covered as are the basics of using a process simulator. This section also covers process optimization and heat integration techniques.
Section 5 addresses the role of the professional engineer in society. Separate chapters on ethics and professionalism; health, safety, and the environment; and oral and written communication cover topics crucial to an engineer's success but sometimes overlooked in design courses. An entire chapter is devoted to addressing some of the common mistakes that students make in written reports.
Finally, three appendices are included. Appendix A gives a series of cost charts for equipment. This cost information is also included in the CAPCOST© program for evaluating fixed capital investment introduced in Chapter 2. Appendix B gives the preliminary design information for four chemical processes: dimethyl ether, acrylic acid, acetone, and heptenes production. This information is used in many of the end- of-chapter problems in the book. These processes can also be used as the starting point for more detailed analyses, for example, optimization studies. Appendix C gives six case study problems suitable for individual or group design projects. For a one-term design course, we recommend including the following core:
Section 2 (Chapters 6-9)
Section 5 (Chapters 20-23)
For programs in which engineering economics is not a prerequisite to the design course, Chapters 2 through 5 should also be included. If students have previously covered engineering economics, Chapter 19 (Optimization) could be substituted. For the second term of a two-term sequence, we recommend Chapters 10 through 14 (and Chapter 19 if not included in the first design course) plus design projects. If time permits, we strongly recommend Chapter 15 (Regulating Process Conditions) and Chapter 16 (Process Troubleshooting), as these tend to solidify as well as to extend the concepts of Chapters 10 through 14. Section 3 (Chapters 10-16) addresses the analysis of existing processes and mirrors the type of work that an entry-level process engineer will encounter in the first few years of employment at a chemical process facility.
The chapters, however, can be covered in many different sequences, depending on the background of the students entering the design course. At West Virginia University, for example, we cover Chapters 1, 10-16, 2-5, 19, 21, and 20 (in that order) because the students have covered the material of Chapters 6-9, 17, 18, much of 19, 22, and 23 in prerequisite courses. The second semester is devoted almost entirely to a large-group design project. In addition, during the two-semester sequence, we give our students a sequence of individual design projects. Some examples of these projects are given in Appendix C. Additional projects are available from the authors. Projects C.1, C.3, and C.5 cover the analysis of existing processes and should not be assigned without some coverage of Section 3. The other projects (C.2, C.4, and C.6) are open-ended design projects for new processes. These can be given as individual or small-group projects (3-4 students).
We have found that the most effective way both to enhance and to examine student progress is through oral presentations in addition to the submission of written reports. During these oral presentations, individual students or a student group defend their results to a faculty panel.
As design is at its essence a creative, dynamic, challenging, and iterative activity, we welcome feedback on and encourage experimentation with this design textbook. We hope that students and faculty will find the excitement in teaching and learning engineering design that has sustained us over the years.
Finally, we would like to thank those people who have been instrumental to the successful completion of this book. First, thanks are given to all the undergraduate chemical engineering students at West Virginia University over the years, particularly during the period 1987-1997. Their feedback and criticism have been a constant source of ideas and stimulation. Second, we would like to thank those people who have read, criticized, and used parts of this text in the course of its preparation. In particular, we would like to recognize Dr. Mark Stadtherr of the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Susan Montgomery of the University of Michigan for their helpful criticism and support. Finally, on a personal note we (RT, RCB, and WBW) would like to thank our long suffering wives (Becky, Judy, and Patricia) for their continued support, love, and patience throughout this prolonged endeavor.
An integrative approach to continuous improvement in chemical engineering.
Process design skills are the focal point of sound chemical engineering. In this second edition of Analysis, Synthesis, and Design of Chemical Processes, the authors present design as a creative process that integrates the big picture and the small details-and relies on knowing which to stress, and why. These techniques are applied to every aspect of the discipline, from the conceptual design of a plant to improving an existing process, and more.
Analysis, Synthesis, and Design of Chemical Processes moves chemical engineering students beyond neatly delineated classroom exercises and into the world of solving the open-ended process problems they will see in practice. The authors accomplish this by emphasizing design synthesis of the entire process—from equipment sizing to optimization, from finances to operation. Coverage includes:
Analysis, Synthesis, and Design of Chemical Processes represents over 30 years of chemical engineering teaching at West Virginia University. Included are suggested curricula for both single-semester and year-long design courses, case studies and design projects with practical applications, and appendices with current equipment cost data and preliminary design information for four chemical processes.About the CD-ROM
The CD-ROM contains a heavily revised version of CAPCOST, now in the form of a spreadsheet template, which is used for evaluating fixed capital investments and full process economics. The HENSAD application allows the user to construct temperature interval, cascade, and temperature-enthalpy diagrams; estimate the optimal approach temperature; and design heat exchanger networks. Also included are a virtual plant tour of a simple chemical process and additional student design projects.
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