Lesson 1, Topic 3
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Conceptual Design

Abdulaziz July 7, 2020
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Conceptual design another name for detailed process synthesis. It consists of the
following general steps (Douglas, 1988).

  • Selection of processing mode: Batch vs. Continuous
  • Determine the input‐output structure of the process
  • Determine the recycle structure of the process
  • Design of the separation system
  • Design of heat‐exchange network (process energy recovery)

Conceptual Design uses guidelines and heuristics to create a general and
potentially untested design.

  • General guidelines (short‐cut calculation methods) based on practical
    experience and/or simulation studies.
  • Heuristics also known as “Rules of Thumb”. They exist for :
    • Physical properties
    • Reactions operations
    • Separation operations
    • Different equipment: pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, etc
    • Different unit operations: vessels, towers (distillation, adsorption, etc)
    • Utilities
  • etc…