Project Synopsis

Provide subcontracted process design and engineering support for a specialty chemicals plant expansion project during the detail design phase.

Project Summary


The client, a detail engineering firm, was contracted by the ultimate client, a batch specialty chemical manufacturing company, to engineer and construct an expansion of a batch/continuous chemical production process that produces an intermediate specialty organic chemical compound.  The operating client desired to increase the production capacity by 67% and had previously contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to execute a complete process design for the expansion.  PROCESS was contracted to provide process design and engineering support to the detail design work to facilitate construction and successful start up of the expansion.  Project tasks included:

  • Revision and updating of the existing computer process simulation, mass and energy balance, and  process flow diagrams (PFDs)
  • Suggestions for the maintenance and updates to P&IDs
  • Development of detailed equipment specifications
  • Generation of instrument data sheets
  • Final process design and specification of facility pumps based on piping layout drawings
  • Sizing and design of process relief valves
  • Preparation of equipment bid packages
  • Unit operation redesign as appropriate per operating client design basis changes
  • Process off-gas system computer hydraulic simulation and design modifications as required

The first task was necessary to account for process modifications made by the operating client after completion of work done by PROCESS during the process design phase of the project.  Working with the operating client, the simulation was updated and a new mass and energy balance generated.  The development of detailed equipment specifications was performed based on the new mass and energy balance, previously developed specifications, and interaction with both the engineering client and the operating client.  Working with both clients, modifications were made to key unit operations within the simulation in order to optimize performance and ensure environmental compliance.  Potential bidders were then approached with these specifications in order to obtain competitive bids.  Instrument data sheets for new control valves, regulators, and solenoid valves were populated with process data and provided to the client to allow detailed sizing and development of bid packages.  Hydraulic checks were performed for new facility pumps based on updated mass and energy balance, piping layout drawings provided by the client, and, in some cases, field verification of proposed layouts.  All new process relief valves and conservation vents initially sized and designed during the process design were updated and revised as necessary via the new mass and energy balance, the calculations done for existing relief valves, and field verification.  A simulation was developed incorporating proposed piping changes with venting requirements of installed and proposed relief devices.  During the project, the engineering client was advised of modifications and necessary changes to P&IDs to reflect actual design.  These suggestions were based on detailed study of the P&IDs throughout the project and in some cases, field verification.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Chemicals Manufacturing
  • Detail Engineering Firms

Utilized Skills

  • Process simulation
  • Detail engineering phase process support
  • Development of equipment specifications
  • Process equipment bid package preparation
  • Pressure relief valve (PRV) or pressure safety valve (PSV) sizing

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