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2011 Chemicals Ltd

Cumene Plant

Cassandra Cheang a1601186, Toby Nihill


a1176476, James Ross-Naylor a1193851,
Roy Ankan a1193425, Scott Wearing-Smith
a1196255, Xie Linglin a1190293
Group 10
10/29/2011
PROJECT SUMMARY

By virtue of predicted rises in the demand for phenol-derived plasticizers, Dr Who Chemicals
Ltd. has requested a feasibility study for commissioning a new industrial grassroots phenol
plant to enter the global market. A preliminary design outlining the technical and economical
aspects of such venture was established to provide the required 100, 000 metric tonne of
cumene per year, for a ten year tenure.

Cumene production is a globally recognized process, where a variety of patented industrial


scale processes have been established. Evaluation of such processes namely; The Q Max
Model, SPA Process, Mobil-Badger Process, Enichem Process, Dow Chemical 3-DDM
Process and the CDTech CDCumene Process. These processes were analysed for defining a
process model.

Assessment of individual processes incorporated with the defined process synthesis enabled
development of the proposed process outlined. The suggested process rationale was inclusive
of a profitable scheme, whereby means of infrastructure, location and costings were in
consideration.

Operations will be located in Thailand, deemed the most appropriate setting for such a set up
where all feed stocks, utilities, equipment, ports and labour are easily accessible. The plant
will be in operation for 330 days of the calendar year to effectively meet product demands.

Sustainable operations of plant life are achievable so that expansion and/or decommissioning
can be accommodated with ease care of simplistic design. Fundamentally the design of the
proposed plant is to run continuously to compete economically with other manufacturers in
the global market.

To facilitate 100,000 metric tons of cumene produced per year, the proposed cumene plant
will require 65940.47 tonnes of benzene and 37524.94 tonnes of propylene per year from feed
stocks to facilitate such criteria. The proposed cumene plant design also produces 1085.04
tonnes of p-diisopropylbenzene and 7828.2 tonnes of fuel gas per year as side products, which
either can be re-used or externalised. Annual utility charges were estimated to total
$4,323,085.57, which covered electricity, steam, cooling water and fuel gas expenses.

Simplicity in the proposed process for producing cumene conserves the quantity of major
equipment requirements as well as the quantity of utility requirements. A shell and tube
reactor in addition to a flash separator and two distillation columns are incorporated within
the plant design to attain the desired product. Pumps, coolers and heat exchanger networks are
also essential components to the design and are integrated accordingly.

Indicative of an initial study, the estimated cost installed up and running was $3.35 million for
the proposed cumene plant, inclusive of a two year construction period. The estimated annual
revenue of the proposed process amounts to $155.8 million with operating costs totalling
$149.6 million per year.
Process alternatives included a differential feed of pure and impure propylene feed. Net
present value (NPV) investigations found the pure propylene feed to be an unfeasible avenue
of operation whereas, the impure propylene feed alternative returned a NPV of $22.5 million.
By means of an impure propylene feed, the hurdle rate requirement of a 9% rate of return
would be exceeded by a 672% rate of return. Together with an exceptional economic return, a
pay-back period for the proposed cumene plant can be expected within approximately 1.57
years.

Thus based on an economical analysis, the ten year tenure for the proposed cumene plant is a
feasible business venture with the initial investment yielding a high return. A high degree of
confidence can be installed in the proposed cumene plant for Dr Who Chemicals Ltd. Whose
clients, investors and shareholders can absorb the same confidence for considerations in the
future.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1
1.1. Literature Survey ......................................................................................................... 1
1.1.1. Existing Process Alternatives ............................................................................... 1
1.2. Chemical and Physical Properties ............................................................................... 3
1.2.1. Benzene ................................................................................................................ 3
1.2.2. Benzene Market Information ............................................................................... 3
1.2.3. Propylene .............................................................................................................. 4
1.2.4. Propylene Market Information ............................................................................. 4
1.2.5. Cumene................................................................................................................. 5
1.2.6. Cumene Market Information ................................................................................ 5
1.2.7. P-Diisopropylbenzene .......................................................................................... 6
1.2.8. p-Diisopropylbenzene Market Information .......................................................... 6
1.2.9. Propane ................................................................................................................. 7
1.2.10. Propane Market Information ............................................................................ 7
1.3. Product Specifications ................................................................................................. 7
2. Design Basis and Assumptions ........................................................................................... 8
2.1. Design Rationale.......................................................................................................... 8
2.1.1. Feed and Product Data ......................................................................................... 9
2.1.2. Operation Time .................................................................................................... 9
2.1.3. Contingency Plan ................................................................................................. 9
2.2. Assumptions .............................................................................................................. 10
2.3. Synthesis Method ...................................................................................................... 10
2.3.1. Douglas Approach .............................................................................................. 10
3. Mass and Energy Balances ............................................................................................... 15
3.1. Estimates .................................................................................................................... 15
3.1.1. Raw Material ...................................................................................................... 15
3.1.2. Energy Requirements ......................................................................................... 15
3.2. Equipment .................................................................................................................. 16
3.2.1. Purpose ............................................................................................................... 16
3.2.1. Specifications ..................................................................................................... 18
3.3. Initial Mass Balance .................................................................................................. 19
3.3.1. Base Case Flow Table Design ............................................................................ 19
3.3.2. Reactor Modelling .............................................................................................. 20

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3.4. Initial Energy Balance ............................................................................................... 21
4. HySYS ® Simulation ........................................................................................................ 22
4.1. Results ....................................................................................................................... 23
4.2. Comparison with Manual Calculations ..................................................................... 27
5. Plant Layout ...................................................................................................................... 28
5.1. Layout ........................................................................................................................ 28
5.2. Location ..................................................................................................................... 29
5.3. Environmental Concerns ........................................................................................... 30
5.4. Safety in the plant ...................................................................................................... 32
6. Economic Appraisal .......................................................................................................... 34
6.1. Capital Costs .............................................................................................................. 34
6.2. Subsidiary Costs ........................................................................................................ 36
6.3. Operating Costs ......................................................................................................... 37
6.4. Annual Income .......................................................................................................... 38
6.5. Investment Analysis .................................................................................................. 39
6.5.1. Impure Propylene Investment Analysis ............................................................. 39
6.5.2. Payback Period and Sensitivity Analysis for impure propylene feed ................ 40
6.5.3. Pure Propylene Investment Analysis .................................................................. 42
6.6. Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 43
7. References ......................................................................................................................... 44
APPENDIX A: Drawings......................................................................................................... 48
I. Block Flow Diagram ..................................................................................................... 48
II. PFD ............................................................................................................................ 49
III. Plant Layout ............................................................................................................... 50
APPENDIX B: Calculations .................................................................................................... 51
I. Manual Mass Calculations ............................................................................................ 51
II. Reaction kinetics........................................................................................................ 55
III. Manual Energy Calculations ..................................................................................... 60
IV. Distillation column .................................................................................................... 74
V. POLYMATH ............................................................................................................. 78
VI. Manual Economic Calculations ................................................................................. 80
APPENDIX C: Meeting Minutes ....................................................................................... 100
APPENDIX D: Attachments .............................................................................................. 130

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Benzene Chemical Properties ...................................................................................... 3


Table 2. Propylene Chemical Properties .................................................................................... 4
Table 3. Cumene Chemical Properties ....................................................................................... 5
Table 4. p-Diisopropylbenzene chemical properties .................................................................. 6
Table 5. Propane Chemical Properties ....................................................................................... 7
Table 6. Feed Data ..................................................................................................................... 9
Table 7. Product Data ................................................................................................................. 9
Table 8. Table of Estimated Profit ........................................................................................... 11
Table 9. Table of energy requirements..................................................................................... 15
Table 10. Process Specifications .............................................................................................. 18
Table 11. Critical Temperatures and pressures of process materials ....................................... 20
Table 12. Compilation of detailed process specifications ........................................................ 21
Table 13. Thailand National Air Quality Standards ................................................................. 30
Table 14. Thailand Emission standards for Industrial Effluent Standards (water) .................. 31
Table 15. Chemical Properties ................................................................................................. 32
Table 16. Safety Considerations of major processes................................................................ 33
Table 17. Summary of available cost estimation methods ....................................................... 34
Table 18. Summary of Equipment Cost ................................................................................... 35
Table 19. Summary of Subsidiary Costs .................................................................................. 36
Table 20. Design and Commissioning Cost ............................................................................. 36
Table 21. Total cost of installing a Cumene plant.................................................................... 37
Table 22. Total Operating Costs .............................................................................................. 37
Table 23. Sale prices of cumene and fuel gas .......................................................................... 38
Table 24. Annual income of products ...................................................................................... 38
Table 25. Rate of Return .......................................................................................................... 40
Table 26. Cash flows ................................................................................................................ 40
Table 27. Sensitivity analysis ................................................................................................... 40
Table 28. Sensitivity demonstration ......................................................................................... 41
Table 29. Price of Pure Propylene ............................................................................................ 42
Table 30. Summary of estimated profit for feed ratio f=2 ....................................................... 58
Table 31. Summary of selectivity, conversion and profit for varying feed ratio ..................... 59
Table 32. Summary of Equipment Cost ................................................................................... 83
Table 33. Subsidiary costs as factors of capital cost ................................................................ 84
Table 34. Cost of material based on Douglas Approach .......................................................... 85
Table 35. Cost of material based on HySYS simulation .......................................................... 85
Table 36. Total cost of feeds .................................................................................................... 85
Table 37. Cost of steam for equipments ................................................................................... 88
Table 38. Cost of electricity for equipments ............................................................................ 88
Table 39. Cost of cooling water for equipments ...................................................................... 89
Table 40. Cost of fuel gas for furnace ...................................................................................... 89
Table 41. Summary of total utility charges .............................................................................. 89

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Table 42. Summary of Sale ...................................................................................................... 90
Table 43. Amount of material produced per year from HySYS simulation ............................ 90
Table 44. Annual Revenue from sale ....................................................................................... 90
Table 45. Parameters used for NPV (impure feed) .................................................................. 92
Table 46. Parameters used for NPV (pure feed) ...................................................................... 92
Table 47. Sensitivity Analysis (Impure Propylene feed) ......................................................... 97
Table 48. Sensitivity Analysis (Pure Propylene feed) ............................................................. 97
Table 49. Summary of Pay-back period ................................................................................... 99

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Input-output structure of the cumene production process ........................................ 11


Figure 2. Input-output structure as displayed on PFD ............................................................. 12
Figure 3. Input-output structure as displayed on PFD, with all utility streams highlighted .... 12
Figure 4. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Material Streams (Impure Propylene feed)
workbook .................................................................................................................................. 23
Figure 5. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Energy Streams and Compositions (impure
Propylene feed) workbook ....................................................................................................... 24
Figure 6. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Material Streams for a pure propylene feed
workbook .................................................................................................................................. 25
Figure 7. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Energy Streams and Compositions for a pure
propylene feed workbook ......................................................................................................... 26
Figure 8. Pictorial view of the Plant Layout ............................................................................ 28
Figure 9. Cash Flow Diagram for Impure Propylene Feed ...................................................... 39
Figure 10. Cash Flow Diagram for Pure Propylene Feed ........................................................ 42
Figure 11. Block Flow Diagram of final design....................................................................... 48
Figure 12. Process Flow Diagram of final design .................................................................... 49
Figure 13. Proposed Layout of Plant ........................................................................................ 50
Figure 14. Graph of Profit against Feed Ratio ......................................................................... 59
Figure 15. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for the Minimum Number of Stages (Distillation
Column 2)................................................................................................................................. 74
Figure 16. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for the Minimum Number of Stages (Distillation
Column 1)................................................................................................................................. 75
Figure 17. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for Minimum Reflux Ratio (Distillation Column 2)..... 76
Figure 18. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for Minimum Reflux Ratio (Distillation Column 1)..... 77
Figure 19. Snapshot of an online inflation calculator .............................................................. 82
Figure 20. Chart for operating hours verses plant capacity...................................................... 86
Figure 21. Cumulative After tax and discounted cash flow (Impure Propylene feed) ............. 93
Figure 22. Cumulative After tax and discounted cash flow (Pure Propylene feed) ................. 94

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ALLOCATION OF WORK

Name Achievements
Toby Nihill Material Summary – Benzene, DIPB
Material Costing – Benzene, DIPB
Equipment Summary – Heater, Reactor
Equipment Costing – Heater, Reactor
Research – Chemicals and Units
Design Rationale
Utility Requirement Research
Utility Requirement Calculations
Referencing
Compilation of Report
Roy Ankan Research
Literature Review
Initial Process Flow Diagram
Equipment Summary – Feed Vessel, Vaporizer
Project Outline/Scope
Alternative 3 Rationale
Alternative 4 Rationale
Economic Analysis
Scott Wearing-Smith Material Balances
Energy Balances
Catalyst Research
Douglas Approach
Equipment Costing – Pump
Economic Analysis
Organisation of Meetings
Cassandra Cheang Research
Initial Material Balances
Material Summary – Propylene
Material Costing – Propylene
Process Flow Diagram
Douglas Approach
Meeting Minutes
Economic Analysis – Labour Cost
Sourcing of Plant Location/Layout
Safety Analysis
Compilation of Report
Xie Linglin Material Summary – Cumene
Material Costing – Cumene
Equipment Analysis – Condenser
Equipment Costing – Condenser, Heat Exchanger
Block Flow Diagrams
Catalyst Costing
Rationale for Use of Fuel Gas
James Ross-Naylor Material and Energy Balances
Reaction Kinetics
Douglas Approach

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HySYS Simulation
Material and Energy Balances/HySYS Simulation Report Write-up
Editing of Report

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1. Introduction

Project Description

Dr Who Chemicals Ltd, have predicted the rise in demand for their phenol based plasticizers.
The increase in demand for phenol requires a new phenol plant as well as a subsidiary cumene
plant, as cumene is the primary reagent for the production of phenol. A technical and
economic analysis, of a cumene plant capable of producing 100,000 metric tons of cumene
per year, is to be performed.

As a secondary objective, an economic analysis for using a 5% propane impurity in the


propylene feed is also required.

Project Objectives

The objective of the project is to analyze the construction of a grass roots cumene plant in the
areas of plant design and plant economics. Detailed objectives are:

 Selection of an appropriate process and its specifics


 Selection of appropriate equipment
 Detailed calculations to define mass and energy balances for the equipment
 Complete economic analysis of the plant
 Conclusion on whether to proceed with the proposed plant design

1.1. Literature Survey

1.1.1. Existing Process Alternatives

Q MAX model

The Q-MAX model is the current industrial model used for the production of cumene. This
model is licensed by Chevron and in fact very little detail is available regarding this model
due to its owners not revealing process specifics. The Q MAX process is characteristic of a
exceptionally high yield of cumene over a regenerative Zeolite catalyst, QZ 2000/QZ2001
(Ceasar, M 1999). The process also produces minimal waste.

The QZ 2000/ QZ 2001 catalyst allows for a good yield and quality of cumene. The catalyst
allows the feed to have a low flow rate of benzene, which allows for low raw material costs.
Furthermore, the regenerative properties of the catalyst reduce operating costs. The catalyst
also allows for more stability for impurities in the feed.

The Q-MAX process is able to yield near 85-95% of cumene with 5-15% yield of DIPB. The
Q-MAX process allows the DIPB to be reacted with recycled benzene for transalkylation to
produce additional cumene (Mahapatra 2010).

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SPA Process

Designed in 1940, the SPA model was developed to produce cumene for high grade aviation
fuel. Today there are over 40 plants licensed worldwide that use this process. The catalyst
used in the SPA model uses a mixture of orthosilicon-phosphate, pyrosiliconphosphate and
polyphosphoric acid supported on kieselguhr (Degnan et all 2001). The feed of benzene and
propylene is in a ratio of 5:4 and the product is constituent of approximately 95 wt% cumene.
In the 1980‟s, Monsanto developed an Aluminum chloride process which could be operated at
a lower benzene to propane ratio. This process allowed the polyalkylated benzenes to the
transalkylated back to cumene (Degnan et al 2001).

Mobil-Badger Process

The Mobil Badger process was first commercialized in 1994 in Texas and is able to produce a
very pure composition of cumene, usually around 99.97 wt%. The high yield is obtained due
to the high monoalkylation selectivity of the MCM-22 catalyst used in the process. The
catalyst minimizes propylene oligomerization while retaining a high activity for benzene
alkylation. The catalyst can last for two to five years which reduces maintenance costs.
Before 2001, the Mobil-Badger process was responsible for producing approximately 50% of
the worldwide cumene capacity. A further three plants utilizing this process were scheduled
for construction by 2001. (Degnan et al 2001).

Enichem Process

The Enichem process was introduced in 1995 and used a modified beta catalyst. The process
used a benzene to propylene ratio of 4:1 and produced cumene yields and selectivities greater
than 99%.

Dow chemical 3-DDM process

The DOW 3-DDM process has been reported to have over 90% conversion values for cumene
with DIPB conversions of up to 65%. With reactors temperatures of 150 degree Celsius, the
process operates at lower benzene to propane ratios than the conventional SPA process. The
catalyst used in the Dow process is a dealuminated mordenite catalyst. Typically there are
coking problems with the mordenite catalyst but Dow has been able to solve this problem by
producing a system of mesopores that change the one-dimensional pore system of mordenite.
This is also known as the dealumination process.

CDTech CDCumene process

The CDTech process is characteristic of cumene yields in excess of 99%. With relatively long
catalyst lifetime, the CDTech process is a very cost effective. Furthermore, this process is
similar to the Q-Max and Dow process as the DIPB produced is converted to cumene in a
second transalkylation reactor. Although the exact nature of the catalyst used in this process is
unknown, references have been made to zeolite Y, omega and beta catalysts.

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1.2. Chemical and Physical Properties

1.2.1. Benzene
Table 1. Benzene Chemical Properties

Chemical

Alternative name Benzene, Benzol


Molecular Formula C6H6
Physical state Liquid
Colour Colourless to light yellow.
Odour Aromatic. Gasoline-like, rather pleasant.
(Strong.)
Molecular Weight 78.11 g/mole
Density 1.81 kg/m3, gas
613.9 kg/m3, liquid
Boiling Point 80.1 (176.2°F)
Melting Point 5.5°C (41.9°F)
Flash Point −11 °C, 262 K
Auto-ignition temperature 1040oF (560oC)
Vapour Pressure 10 kPa (@ 20°C)
Vapour Density (air=1) 2.8
Specific gravity (H2O =1) 0.8787 @ 15 C
Water solubility 1.8 g/L (15 °C)
Viscosity 0.652 cP at 20 °C
NFPA

CAS No. 71-43-2


Hazards Refer to MSDS attached to Appendix

1.2.2. Benzene Market Information

Benzene is a chemical compound used in the chemical industry for a wide variety of
commercial applications. Benzenes primary function is for use in the industrial manufacturer
of other chemicals and products. Products such as plastics, resins, lubricants and drugs are
made from benzene as a base reactant. The purchase price of Benzene is relatively cheap
($4.39USD/gal) due to its large volume of production. However, safety measures for reducing
the exposure of Benzene are costly.

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1.2.3. Propylene
Table 2. Propylene Chemical Properties

Chemical

Alternative name Propene, methylethylene


Molecular Formula C3H6
Physical state Gas
Colour Colourless
Odour Odourless
Molecular Weight 42
Density 1.81 kg/m3, gas
613.9 kg/m3, liquid
Boiling Point -53oF (-47oC)
Melting Point -301oF (-185oC)
Flash Point -162oF (-108oC)
Auto-ignition temperature 927oF (497oC)
Vapour Pressure 132.81 psig @ 70oF (21.1oC)
Vapour Density (air=1) 1.5 @ 32oF (0oC)
Specific gravity (H2O =1) 0.581 @ 32oF (0oC)
Water solubility Slight
Viscosity 8.34 µPa·s at 16.7 °C
NFPA

CAS No. 115-07-1


Hazards Refer to MSDS attached to Appendix

1.2.4. Propylene Market Information

Propylene is a major industrial chemical intermediate that serves as an important raw material
for the production of a variety of chemicals and plastic products. There are three grades of
propylene varying in their purity. Its versatility in the industry is due to the combination of
mechanical and chemical properties and thus able to be part of the production of consumer
and industrial products such as electronic and electrical appliances, housewares and toys.
Commercial propylene is used to produce polypropylene, cumene and other chemicals for the
manufacturing of chemicals and plastics (ICIS, 2011). Propylene Market Analysts are
expecting a rise in the demand of propylene due to the recent natural disasters that hit Asia.

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1.2.5. Cumene
Table 3. Cumene Chemical Properties

Chemical

Alternative name isopropylbenzene


Molecular Formula C9H12
Physical state Liquid
Colour Colourless
Odour N/A
Molecular Weight 120.19 g/mol
Density 0.862 g/cm3, liquid
Boiling Point 306 oF (152.39oC)
Melting Point -141oF (-96oC)
Flash Point 111.2oF (44oC)
Auto-ignition temperature 795.2oF (424oC)
Vapour Pressure 8 mm of Hg (@ 20°C)
Vapour Density (air=1) 4.14
Specific gravity (H2O =1) 0.862 @ oF (25oC)
Water solubility Very slightly soluble in cold water
Viscosity 0.777 cP at 21 °C
NFPA

CAS No. 98-82-8


Hazards Refer to MSDS attached to Appendix

1.2.6. Cumene Market Information

Cumene is a manufactured chemical as a result from the reaction between benzene and
propylene. The cumene market is influenced by the automotive and construction markets as
well as phenol plants which use cumene in the production of phenol and acetone. Cumene
price is driven by its feedstock‟s and their availability but currently sells for $66/tonne (USD).
Visually, cumene is a colourless liquid and has a gasoline-like odour. It is stable at room
temperature but must be kept clear of oxidising agents as it is a flammable liquid.

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1.2.7. P-Diisopropylbenzene
Table 4. p-Diisopropylbenzene chemical properties

Chemical

Alternative name p-Diisopropylbenzene, DIPB


Molecular Formula C12H18
Physical state Liquid
Colour Clear, colourless
Odour Aromatic
Molecular Weight 162.27
Density 0.857 g/cm³
Boiling Point 410oF (210oC)
Melting Point 1.4 oF (- 17oC)
Flash Point 168.8oF (76oC)
Auto-ignition temperature 840.2oF (449oC)
Vapour Pressure 52.4 Pa at 25 °C
Vapour Density (air=1) 0.8549 g/cm3 at 25 °C
Specific gravity (H2O =1) 0.85 (23 °C)
Water solubility 72.0 μg/L at 25°C
Viscosity Not available
NFPA Not available
CAS No. 25321-09-9
Hazards Refer to MSDS attached to Appendix

1.2.8. p-Diisopropylbenzene Market Information

Diisopropylbenzene is a chemical by-product formed industrially from benzene processing.


Various forms of diisopropylbenzene are present in reactions which account for 50-70% of
cumene plants. The chemical has limited use in current industrial operations but can be used
in some processes without harm. Distillate fractions containing diisopropylbenzene can be
blended into hydrocarbon fuels to add volume to mixtures without altering the function of the
fuel. 1,3-Diisopropyl- and 1,4-diisopropylbenzene are two common varieties of
diisopropylbenzene available which in the United States and Japan are used for raw materials
in synthetic manufacturing. Unit prices and information for diisopropylbenzene are
unidentifiable currently due to the lack of demand and uses for the by-product.

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1.2.9. Propane
Table 5. Propane Chemical Properties

Chemical

Alternative name Propane


Molecular Formula C3H8
Physical state Normally Gas
Colour Colourless
Odour Odourless
Molecular Weight 44.1 g mol-1
Density 2.0098 kg/m3, gas (0 °C, 1013 mbar)
581.2 kg/m3, liquid at boiling point
Boiling Point -42.1oC
Melting Point -187.7 oC
Flash Point -104oC
Auto-ignition temperature 540oC
Vapour Pressure 8,327 bar @ 20 °C
Vapour Density 1,874 kg/m³ @ 1 bar 15 oC
Water solubility 0.04 g/L (0 °C)
NFPA

CAS No. 74-98-6


Hazards Refer to MSDS attached to Appendix

1.2.10. Propane Market Information

Propane is one of major industrial chemicals. It does an important role in chemical


engineering. The major use of propane is domestic and industrial fuel or motor fuel. The use
of propane is growing rapidly in both industrialized area and non-industrialized area all over
the world. Propane is now used for cooking instead of wood and some other traditional fuel
sources in some places. Propane is also used as fuel gas to heat the furnace in the industry.
The retail cost of propane is growing rapidly as well. It is approximately US$2.8 per gallon
till April 2011.

1.3. Product Specifications

Two specifications currently exist that determines the market and commercial character of
cumene is the ASTM D4077-11 and D7125-11(ASTM International). D7125-11 is produced
via the zeolite catalyst process.

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2. Design Basis and Assumptions

2.1. Design Rationale

A new pilot plant for the production requirements of cumene entails a comprehensive design
critique to establish a justifiable concept. Current operations as well as future operations must
be taken into consideration for expansion and decommissioning.

The concept of the plant designed to accommodate the increase in cumene as a result of an
increase in demand of phenol takes in to consideration the indefinite nature of the scenario.

An already „commercialised‟ alternative for producing cumene is the highly sophisticated Q-


Max method. The Q-Max method is an ideal concept for a plant intending to produce cumene
as a major export and would require a substantial amount of investment. Hence, for the
scenario illustrated a similar yet simpler version of the Q-Max method for the anticipated
production of cumene is ideal.

The advantage of a simpler design in comparison to the Q-Max method gives rise to the
opportunity to expand upon and later refine the process if necessary. If at some point during
the assigned tenure an opportunity to increase production or operations occurred, the
simplicity of design would accommodate an increase easily.

As well as human interaction, the simplicity inherently provides more opportunity to control
the process. Less human interaction lowers safety and hazard risks and in the event of a
disaster, less human interaction will accommodate a safer working environment. Not only
does the simplicity provide savings in capital costs in comparison to the Q-Max model,
savings on labour can be achieved.

The Q-Max model requires more handling of unwanted materials, adding to capital costs.
The concept presented provides a design where less handling and external costs for treatment
are required.

To construct and install the required unit operations for the Q-Max method substantial capital
is required. Together with operating costs, the Q-Max method is relatively costly for a start up
plant to pursue. The provided concept is designed with simplicity so that when the cumene
plant is decommission or reached the end of operations, the equipment and operations can be
used for other processes. The Q-Max method appears too cumene specific, which is why the
concept presented, is the recommended model to follow in operations.

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2.1.1. Feed and Product Data

The tables below are a summary of the chemical purity of the inlet and outlet streams of the
chosen Cumene Process.

Feed Data:
Table 6. Feed Data

Chemical Purity
Benzene 100 %
Propylene 95% Propylene
5% Propane

Product Data:
Table 7. Product Data

Chemical Purity
Cumene 99%

2.1.2. Operation Time

The team has decided to base our production on 330 day/yr. This is to account for plant shut-
down and start-up, and maintenance of the plant.

2.1.3. Contingency Plan

It is important to consider any catastrophe event like the failure of the reactor or distillation
column, heat exchanger or pumps. Backup of a smaller volume of the reactor and distillation
column will be built alongside the main equipments of the plant. This is to account for the
failure of these two main equipments in the production of Cumene. However a smaller
volume will result in a smaller production of Cumene.

There will be an additional pump beside the main pump for every pump considered in the
design. In the event of a failure, the backup pump will instantaneously start running so as to
not cause a stoppage of flow in the production. A generator will be included in the
contingency plan as well in the event of a power outage, so that the plant will be able to
continue running for some time without the mains supply.

If there happens to be an insufficient supply of water for the process, water can be used from
the effluent disposal plant (where plans to treat water before disposing it into natural streams)
water. An alternative to this is to have a water tank within the plant that will only be used
during an emergency shortage or outage of water supply.

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2.2. Assumptions

This section contains the assumptions made for the whole process of the plant design.
Although this is a separate set of assumptions from those used during manual material and
energy balances, these assumptions are also used within calculations.

 Excluding shut-down, start-up and maintenance, the plant will be running for a net
total of 7920 hours per year (330 24-hour days per year).
 Benzene feedstock is supplied with negligible impurities, and stored at a temperature
of 298 Kelvin (25 degrees Celsius) and a pressure of 1 bar.
 Propylene feedstock is supplied with a 5% impurity of propane (by mole), and stored
at a temperature of 298 Kelvin and a pressure of 25 bar. The high pressure is
necessary to maintain liquid phase. The assumption of 5% impurity is to be compared
with a feedstock of negligibly impurities.
 The reactor has a volume of 6.5 cubic metres, a feasible value taken from the example
given by Turton et al. (2009).
 No chemical reactions beyond the two investigated take place within the process. The
effect of further trace reactions was deemed beyond the project scope.
 A cumene product purity of 99% by mole (the minimum design requirement).
 When comparing between using 95% propylene feed and 100% propylene feed, the
changes in equipment sizes and energy duties are insignificant and therefore may be
ignored.

2.3. Synthesis Method

2.3.1. Douglas Approach

The Douglas Approach was conducted with reference to Zhang (2011).

Batch versus Continuous Process

The scale of the process is the production of 100,000 metric tons of cumene per year, which is
far beyond the plausible scope of a batch process, hence it is determined that a continuous
process is ideal. The small number of major feeds (two) and products (three) also favour a
continuous process over batch operation.

The selection of a continuous process implies that the economy of scale is applicable,
simplifying scale-up of the process. A drawback is the lack of flexibility of price.

10
Input-Output Structure

Figure 1. Input-output structure of the cumene production process

Table 8. Table of Estimated Profit

Material In (kg/hr) Out (kg/hr) Estimated Estimated


Value Profit
(US$/ton) (US$/hr)
Benzene 8226.561 - 1308 –10760.34
Propylene 5436.333 - 1543-1632 –8630.18
p-DIPB - 49.096454 Price 0.00
Unavailable
Fuel Gas - 987.43003 604-605 +596.90
Cumene - 12626.263 1499-1521 +19065.66
TOTAL +272.04

Simple material balances are conducted to determine key stream flow rates of the preliminary
PFD. Estimated values for the cost of each material are taken from ICIS 2011, Chemical Price
Reports. It is determined that the overall profit based on input-output structure is positive, and
hence the process is feasible.

11
Figure 2. Input-output structure as displayed on PFD

Figure 3. Input-output structure as displayed on PFD, with all utility streams highlighted

Input-Output Key Issues

It is assumed that benzene is purified prior to entering the process and contains negligible
contaminants. Propylene has an inherent impurity of 5mol% propane and the effect of using
purer feed is investigated over the course of the report. The further purification of streams
prior to entering the process is deemed unnecessary.

12
It is decided to recycle unreacted benzene so as to obtain a higher concentration of benzene in
the reaction mixture, favouring the production of cumene. The possibility of using gas recycle
to recover unreacted propylene is investigated but dismissed for two major reasons:

 That propylene is a reactant in the formation of unwanted p-DIPB, and the higher
proportion of propylene in the reaction mixture would hence lead to a lower selectivity
of the production of cumene over p-DIPB; and
 That the gas recycled would lead to a higher proportion of inert propane in the
reaction mixture, decreasing the rate of production of cumene.

The only by-product created by reaction in this process is p-DIPB, and this reaction is not
reversible. Hence there is no possible advantage in recycling this by-product.

The only structural change ultimately made to the initial PFD was to combine all inlet feed
and recycle streams before the usage of heat exchange with the reactor effluent. This saves the
cost of an additional heat exchanger since two potential streams are combined into one.

Recycle Structure

As stated above, a single recycle stream is determined to be necessary, that being a stream
containing unreacted benzene, separated from products cumene and p-DIPB using distillation.
As benzene is consumed in reaction to form the desired product, the system will come to
equilibrium and no purge is necessary.

Literature studies yield the result that the reaction of propylene and benzene to form cumene
in practice gives high conversion values, and hence multiple reactor systems are largely
unnecessary and will only increase costs. Similarly, as the conversion is already high, no
measures need to be taken to shift the equilibrium. A gas compressor also is not required as
the pressures involved in the system can easily be achieved by pumps, so there is no
requirement for the additional expense.

It is proposed that a shell and tube reactor is best suited to the reaction, with a heated jacket
containing a heat carrier in order to maintain the inlet and outlet temperatures. Benzene is
preferred as an excess reactant over propylene, since the latter also reacts to form undesired p-
DIPB. This is achieved by the recycling of unreacted post-reactor benzene.

At this point of time, a full economic analysis has not been done for the reactor as energy
balances and equipment sizing research are both incomplete. It is assumed that the reactor
costs will contribute to the capital costs of the plant due to manufacturing and catalyst pricing,
as well as contributing to the ongoing utilities costs. As the reactor is an irreplaceable part of
the process, costs involved is deemed unavoidable should the proposed design go ahead.

13
Separation System

The reactor effluent is a vapour that is then cooled such that the components benzene, cumene
and p-DIPB are condensed to liquid form. A gas separator completely removes the unreacted
propylene and propane as fuel gas. Distillation columns are then used to separate the benzene
from the product mixture, and then the desired cumene from the undesired p-DIPB. The
benzene is recycled to the reactor feed, while cumene and p-DIPB are withdrawn as products.

Heat Exchanger Network

Heat exchange is used on several occasions within the system:

 HE-100: Used to pre-heat the feed prior to furnace heating, while cooling the reactor
effluent stream. In this manner maintenance and utility costs are saved compared to
the usage of separate heat exchangers with cooling water/steam.
 CW-100: Used for further cooling of the post-reactor stream.
 CW-101: Used for further cooling of the post-reactor stream. This is a redundant
operation and is removed from our final PFD.
 HE-101: Used to pre-heat the feed to the benzene distillation column using the heated
p-DIPB product stream as a heat carrier.
 CW-102: Condenser for the benzene column tops stream.
 HE-102: Reboiler for the benzene column bottoms stream.
 CW-103: Condenser for the cumene column tops stream.
 HE-103: Reboiler for the cumene column bottoms stream.

14
3. Mass and Energy Balances

3.1. Estimates

3.1.1. Raw Material

The raw materials needed for the Production of Cumene are Benzene and Propylene.

3.1.2. Energy Requirements


Table 9. Table of energy requirements

Process Unit Operation Duties in kJ/hr


P-100 8.04E+04
C-100 1.64E+06
R-100 1.08E+07
HE-100 2.53E+07
F-100 5.77E+06
CW-100 5.35E+06
CW-101 1.71E+07
HE-102 1.89E+07
CW-102 4.00E+06
HE-103 4.00E+06

15
3.2. Equipment

3.2.1. Purpose

Feed Vessel

The feed to the vaporizer in the process is an immiscible liquid-liquid system of benzene and
propylene. Therefore an agitated vessel is required to create this mixture of the feed reactants.
Agitation of the liquid feed is required as it is key to the coalescence of the reactants. The feed
vessel will consist of an impeller capable of mixing the liquids to the required state
whereupon; it is pumped to the vaporizer. In conjunction with the feed vessel is a reflux
stream, which is designed for the case of an emergency when the feed to the reactor must be
stopped. The agitator in the vessel is made from stainless steel and the vessel can be made
from stainless steel or carbon steel.

Vaporizer

The purpose of the vaporizer or boiler is to heat the now mixed reactants to the required
temperature for the reaction. Typically the liquid is heated in the furnace by a fuel. It is
essential that the design is optimized for the vaporizer to be as close to the reactor as possible,
or the utilization of jacketed piping to ensure that no energy is lost in the transfer of reactants.
Furthermore the vaporizer is jacketed to ensure that no energy is lost. A vaporizer is usually
constructed from carbon steel, stainless steel and nickel alloy.

Heater

Prior to any reaction occurring, to optimise exothermic reactions the addition of heat will
favour the forward reaction and produce more products. Hence, a fired heater unit will deliver
the process fluid containing raw materials to the reactor at a pre-determined temperature for
subsequent processing. Adding heat to the process fluid increases contact between reactants in
the reaction vessel and produces more cumene at a faster rate. Typical materials for designing
the heater will have heat-resisting insulation inside the vessel and the vessel structure will be
made from heat-resisting alloy and steel.

Reactor

The production outlined involves a chemical process where raw materials react to form
product Cumene. An industrial sized chemical transformation requires the reaction to take
place in a vessel to facilitate and optimise contact between raw materials to generate the
desired Cumene specifications. The reactor size and type is dictated by the mode of operation,
geometric configuration and the contacting patterns involved.

Reactors are designed based on system requirements and to parameters which best suit
process operations. For the production of Cumene, a shell and tube reactor will operate
accordingly such that tubes inside the reactor packed with catalyst pellets promote contact of
the reaction fluid passing through available void space.

16
Tubes within the reactor are long and wind back and forth to maximise time inside the
reactor. Hence increasing contact between reactants and catalysts maximises the extent of
achievable conversion. Reaction mixtures often have inherent corrosive properties and
therefore require a type of stainless steel alloy or an alloy liner for protection. To control
reactor conditions, the vessel is fitted with a controlled cooling jacket attached to the exterior
of the reaction vessel.

Cooler

Subsequent processing of the shell and tube reactor product is required due to the nature of
cumene production. The removal of unwanted propane and propylene from the process fluid
is achieved via a separator, which requires the process fluid to be cooled before separation to
a desired temperature. This enables desired products to be separated from undesired products
easily.

Aluminum is a typical material for a cooler because of its affordability as well as having a
high thermal conductivity, which helps keep the cooled stream at low temperatures and not
gain heat.

Distillation Column

Distillation is a separation process widely used in the chemical industry (Doherty, M.F. and
Knapp, J.P. 2004). Distillation columns are vertical, cylindrical vessels that contain trays or
packing to provide maximum contact for rising vapour and descending liquid (Fair, J.R.2001).
The difference between a separator and a distillation column is that no separating agent is
needed. Depending on the type of process (scale and flexibility), the column can be run as a
batch or continuous process.

The principle of distillation column is based on the components different vapour pressure and
boiling points where at different temperatures yields different compositions. Distillation trays
are place to enhance the mass transfer, to facilitate the condensation of heavier and
evaporation of lighter components in a counter-current cascade. This facilitates in achieving
desired degree of separation. All separation process requires energy in the form of heat or
work. Typical distillation systems have a reboiler at the bottom where the temperature is the
highest.

There are different kinds of distillation trays and packing. Bubble cap trays, sieve trays,
moving valve trays, fixed valve trays are some of the common trays to name. It is important
to choose wisely on the type of trays as they differ in their capacity, efficiency, entrainment,
pressure drop, cost, and maintenance and corrosion factor. The same concept applies for
choosing a suitable packing if the system is not using trays to separate the mixture.

The disadvantages of using distillation columns are risk of thermal degradation and it requires
a high-energy demand (Stichlmair, J. 2010).

17
3.2.1. Specifications

The table below summarises the process specifications for the main streams. These streams can be seen in the PFD attached in Appendix A.
These values were calculated and placed into the table from the Manual Mass balances.
Table 10. Process Specifications

Stream Column1 Fresh Benzene Feed Mixed Benzene Feed Propylene Feed Mixed Feed Vaporiser Outlet Heater Outlet Compressor Outlet
Line No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Temperature (C) 25.0 64.2 25.0 55.8 273.0 357.0 380.0
Pressure (bar) 1 25 25 25 25 25 50
Vapour Fraction
Mass Flow Rate(kg.hr^-1) 8226.710297 27391.84083 4737.549421 32129.39025 32129.39025 32129.39025 32129.39025
Component Flow Benzene 105.3167204 343.5647804 0 343.5647804 343.5647804 343.5647804 343.5647804
Rate (kmol.hr^-1) Propylene 0 0 106.6971368 106.6971368 106.6971368 106.6971368 106.6971368
Propane 0 0 5.615638778 5.615638778 5.615638778 5.615638778 5.615638778
Cumene 0 4.614386484 0 4.614386484 4.614386484 4.614386484 4.614386484
DIPB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 105.3167204 348.1791669 112.3127756 460.4919425 460.4919425 460.4919425 460.4919425

Reactor Outlet Vaporiser Effluent Separator Inlet Fuel Gas Ben Column Feed Benzene Recycle Ben Column Bottoms Cumene Product DIPB Product
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
380.0 162.8 80.0 80.0 80.0 80.5 153.0 152.9 209.4
50 25 25 1 1 1 1 1 1

32129.28493 32129.28493 32129.28493 288.4855 31840.79943 19165.13053 12675.6689 12626.26263 49.40627527


238.24806 238.24806 238.24806 0 238.24806 238.24806 0 0 0
0.970943945 0.970943945 0.970943945 0.97094394 0 0 0 0 0
5.615638778 5.615638778 5.615638778 5.61563878 0 0 0 0 0
109.5216344 109.5216344 109.5216344 0 109.5216344 4.614386484 104.907248 104.907248 0
0.409472438 0.409472438 0.409472438 0 0.409472438 0 0.409472438 0.10501226 0.304460177
354.7657496 354.7657496 354.7657496 6.58658272 348.1791669 242.8624465 105.3167204 105.0122602 0.304460177

18
3.3. Initial Mass Balance

In addition to the assumptions outlined in section 2.2, the following assumptions were made
only for the purpose of specifying the problem for manual calculations, and were not
maintained during the computational simulation. All were made based on the calculations and
final flow table obtained by Turton et al. (2009)

 A reaction pre-heater (HE-100) efficiency of 67% relative to the desired reaction


temperature;
 A benzene to propylene feed ratio of 2:1 to the reactor;
 A cumene to DIPB reaction selectivity of 31:1;
 A reaction conversion of propylene of 99% by mole;
 A molar composition of 98.1% benzene, 1.9% cumene for the benzene recycle stream;
and
 Total recovery of benzene and cumene from their associated distillation columns.

It was also assumed that the benzene distillation column (T-100) and cumene distillation
column (T-101) operated at external reflux ratios of 3 and 2 respectively, ratios that are
deemed acceptable through calculations using the McCabe-Thiele method (Appendix B,
section IV). This was maintained during computational simulation for the purpose of
specifying the columns.

Finally, it was assumed for the purposes of manual calculation that the ideal gas law applied
in all situations, that mixing is ideal, and the vapour-liquid equilibria and heat losses may both
be neglected. This was done for ease of calculation, particularly as chemical data at non-ideal
states could not be obtained through known literature sources.

3.3.1. Base Case Flow Table Design

Initial manual calculations did not use tearing or partitioning algorithms, due to the fact that
calculations were commenced before such methods were taught in Simulation and Concept
Design lectures. Instead, calculations were carried out using those by Turton et al. as a model,
in order to determine flow rates and compositions of all key streams for the specified outlet
cumene flow rate of 100,000 tons per year. This was retained as the “base case” scenario and
the input and output flow rates were used in the Douglas approach to determine the
profitability of the process. As the process was deemed profitable, the project was allowed to
proceed to reactor modelling.

19
3.3.2. Reactor Modelling

A system of differential equations was derived relating the flow rate of each individual
reaction component to the mass of catalyst within the reactor, with the reactor temperature
and pressure as variables. Polymath software was used to model the system at specified
temperature, pressure and initial conditions (flow rates into the reactor). The catalyst mass
could be determined as a function of the reactor volume and bulk density (both known) and
was found to be 5200 kilograms.

Investigation of the effect of temperature and pressure on the extent of reaction yielded that
high temperature and pressure was required to achieve acceptable production of cumene.
Conditions of 653 Kelvin (380 degrees Celsius) and 50 bar were chosen so as to maintain the
reaction mixture as supercritical fluid (disregarding trace amounts of DIPB). Critical
pressures and temperatures from Yaws (1999) are listed in Table 12.
Table 11. Critical Temperatures and pressures of process materials

Material Critical Temperature Critical Pressure


Benzene 562.16K 48.98 bar
Propylene 364.76K 46.13 bar
Propane 369.82K 42.49 bar
Cumene 631.15K 32.09 bar

Running the software at the determined conditions yielded flow rates at the “final” catalyst
mass of 5200 kilograms that were representative of the reactor outlet flow rates. From the
inlet and outlet flow rates new values for the cumene-DIPB selectivity and propylene
conversion were calculated. Wegstein‟s method of iteration was then used to find convergent
values for the selectivity and conversion and hence the associated flow rates. These new
values resulted in an input-output profit that was recorded. This iterative procedure was
carried out several times at varying benzene-propylene feed ratios, in order to determine the
feed ratio at which input-output profit was maximised. The flow rates at this condition were
fixed in the final flow table for the purpose of manual calculations.

During the process of calculation it was determined that the reaction selectivity of cumene to
DIPB was so high that the product purity had to be increased to prevent backflow along the
DIPB product stream. The product purity chosen was 99.9%.

20
3.4. Initial Energy Balance

Finally, individual energy balances were conducted throughout the system in order to
determine all undefined temperatures and the duties of all pumps, heat exchangers and other
equipment. It should be noted that the stated assumptions of recycle composition and total
recovery were used to determine condenser and reboiler duties as opposed to the use of
vapour-liquid equilibria to determine accurate compositions and flow rates, which would have
been extremely impractical due to the high purities involved.

Upon the completion of energy balances, all relevant information was compiled in the form of
a flow table showing the temperature, pressure, vapour fraction, enthalpy, mass flow rate and
component and total molar flow rates of each stream. These are displayed in Table 12.
Table 12. Compilation of detailed process specifications

Stream Fresh Benzene Mixed Benzene Propylene Mixed Vaporiser Heater Compressor Reactor Vaporiser Separator Fuel Gas Ben Column Benzene Ben Column
Feed Feed Feed Feed Outlet Outlet Outlet Outlet Effluent Inlet Feed Recycle Bottoms
Line No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Temperature/C 25 64 25 56 273 357 380 380 163 80 80 80 81 153
Pressure/bar 1 25 25 25 25 25 50 50 25 25 1 1 1 1
Vapour Fraction 0 0 0 0 0.989979 1 1 0.998846 0.018566 0.018566 1 0.008017 0 0
Stream Enthalpy/kW 0 562.1805908 6.144017 568.3246 7607.723 9210.055 9665.88145 9481.323 2441.925 955.1994 33.93333 921.266038 539.8337 872.616553
Mass Flow Rate/kg.hr^-1 8226.710297 27391.84083 4737.549 32129.39 32129.39 32129.39 32129.3902 32129.28 32129.28 32129.28 288.4855 31840.7994 19165.13 12675.6689
Component Flow Benzene 105.3167204 343.5647804 0 343.5648 343.5648 343.5648 343.56478 238.2481 238.2481 238.2481 0 238.24806 238.2481 0
Rate/kmol.hr^-1 Propylene 0 0 106.6971 106.6971 106.6971 106.6971 106.697137 0.970944 0.970944 0.970944 0.970944 0 0 0
Propane 0 0 5.615639 5.615639 5.615639 5.615639 5.61563878 5.615639 5.615639 5.615639 5.615639 0 0 0
Cumene 0 4.614386484 0 4.614386 4.614386 4.614386 4.61438648 109.5216 109.5216 109.5216 0 109.521634 4.614386 104.907248
DIPB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.409472 0.409472 0.409472 0 0.40947244 0 0.40947244
Total 105.3167204 348.1791669 112.3128 460.4919 460.4919 460.4919 460.491942 354.7657 354.7657 354.7657 6.586583 348.179167 242.8624 105.31672

For detailed calculations refer to Appendix B: Sections I-III.

21
4. HySYS ® Simulation

Simulation was carried out using Aspen HySYS. A tearing algorithm was used for the
benzene recycle stream, and convergence was obtained with only very slight differences in
the temperature and composition of the column distillate and the benzene mixed with the
fresh feed. The simulation was successful, giving a cumene product flow rate only slightly
below the required production. An adjustor was used to set the fresh benzene inlet to a value
such that the cumene outlet was sufficient.

It should be noted that all pumps and valves that did not affect the process conditions for
normal running of the process were neglected for simulation purposes. It should also be noted
that the benzene feed mixing vessel was replaced by a mixer, and the pre-reaction furnace was
replaced by a heat exchanger. These changes were made for ease of simulation only, and not
as a result of changes to the process. Other changes that were made due to process changes
are outlined in the next section.

22
4.1. Results

Figure 4. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Material Streams (Impure Propylene feed) workbook

23
Figure 5. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Energy Streams and Compositions (impure Propylene feed) workbook

24
Figure 6. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Material Streams for a pure propylene feed workbook

25
Figure 7. Print screen of HySYS, inclusive of Energy Streams and Compositions for a pure propylene feed workbook

26
4.2. Comparison with Manual Calculations

A major problem encountered during simulation pertained to the gas separator employed after
reaction and prior to distillation in order to remove propylene and propane as fuel gas. It was
found that the separator obtained insufficient separation of benzene from the desired fuel gas
components; regardless of operating temperature and pressure, some propylene and propane
(the latter undesirable as an inert) would remain within the system and enter the distillation
tower, while some benzene would exit as fuel gas. After expert advice from Dr. Hu Zhang
(September 26th 2011), it was determined that the gas separator should be replaced by a flash
drum, operating at a significantly higher temperature. This had the following implications:

 The cooling water prior to the flash drum, CW-100, was removed entirely.
Additionally, the required load on HE-100 was significantly reduced, which resulted
in an increased load on F-100 in order to reach the required reaction temperature.
 The bottoms outlet of the flash drum was at too high a temperature for distillation to
be effective; hence a new cooling water, CW-100, was added in prior to the column to
reduce the feed to fully liquid at 80 degrees Celsius.

Additionally, it was found after simulation that the purity of the benzene recycle was
significantly lower than the assumed value (79.0% c.f. 98.1%) and hence the total amount of
cumene in the reactor feed was higher at the expense of benzene. The extents of reaction were
similar within the reactor, although the conversion of propylene was better than the value
manually calculated, resulting in a lower outlet flow of propylene. The selectivity obtained
was acceptable for a product purity of 99%, although the simulation results indicated that a
very small amount of cumene was present in the DIPB product stream (0.23% impurity).

The furnace duty and all distillation condenser and reboiler duties showed significant errors,
being significantly greater than the manually calculated values. The increased furnace duty
was expected as rationalised due to the increased temperature difference required, while the
errors in condenser and reboiler duties are likely a result of the inaccuracy in the assumptions
used in manual calculations, particularly the change in recycle composition. All other duties
were within 50% of their manually calculated values, showing errors that could be
rationalised by inaccurate assumptions of ideal gas behaviour, total pump efficiency,
isothermal reactor flow and so on made within manual calculations.

27
5. Plant Layout

5.1. Layout

It is important for a chemical plant to be laid out to give the most economical flow of
materials and personnel around the site.

Figure 8 is a small diagram of the plant to be build. As seen from the figure,

 Processes that are dangerous to an extent are located at a safe distance away from
administrative areas/buildings
 Consideration was given for future expansion of the site
 Ancillary buildings and services are present on site
 Main processing units are present on site as well

The pilot plant does not require such a complicated and big area of land. Hence there is no
need for a separate plot of land for the processes to be situated at. The flare is located near the
furnace so that unwanted gaseous waste can be burnt off quicker whenever needed. An area
for fire fighting equipment is found in the layout. This is to allow field men to use them in the
event of a small fire or when there's a need to attempt to control a fire while waiting for the
firemen to arrive.

Figure 8. Pictorial view of the Plant Layout

28
5.2. Location

Thailand

Thailand is a suitable location to set up our plant because of Australia and Thailand's free
trade agreement (Austrade 2011). Since the implementation in 2005, the reduction of the high
tax tariff has not only improved the bilateral relationship but also increase the range of
exported goods, trades, services and investment.

The chemical industry in Thailand has been developing at a higher rate as compared to other
industries. It also plays an important supporting role to many other industries(Thailand
Chemical 2009). Many of the chemical industries in Thailand are based on producing paint,
fertiliser, soap and chlorine. Despite that, there is still a sizable petrochemical industry present
of which most of the produce are exported(International Council of Chemical Associations
2011).

Another reason why Thailand was chosen is because of the cost of setting up a plant and the
water and electricity tariffs for a medium to large sized industry. The strong Australian dollar
today also helps when the plant is located in Thailand where the average exchange rate is
approximately, USD$1 = 0.033 Baht (October 2011).

Thailand has a tropical climate of 19-38oC average. The weather is generally hot and humid.
There will be no major problems to deal with the weathering of materials due to snow, strong
winds and floods(Tourism Authority of Thailand 2011). The plant will be located in Southern
Thailand, Hat Jai, where the weather conditions are more defined - wet and dry season. The
exact location will be in Mueang Songkhla district where it is near the Gulf of Thailand.

There is also a large number of expatriates living and working in Thailand. So there will be
not much of a problem for the Australians working in the company to move to Thailand to
oversee the cumene production.

It might seem illogical to have the production abroad, since the potential market will since be
in Australia. However, in the long run, production will be more cost effective and the Thai
employees are able to work longer hours for a much lesser salary as compared to Australia.

29
5.3. Environmental Concerns

Environmental hazards or pollution is the release of chemical waste that causes detrimental
effects. Vigilance is required in both the design and operation of process plant to ensure
that legal standards are met and that no harm is done to the environment. Considerations
must be given to:

(1) All emissions to land, air, water.


(2) Waste management.
(3) Smells.
(4) Noise.
(5) The visual impact.
(6) Any other nuisances.
(7) The environmental friendliness of the products.

Benzene, Cumene and Propylene when evaporated into the atmosphere will react with air and
break down eventually. However, when it evaporates and attaches to rain/and fall back into
earth via rain, will seep through soil and pass through as underground water. If there is an
incomplete combustion of propylene (fuel gas), carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide will be
emitted to the atmosphere, contributing to the problems we face like greenhouse effect and
acid rain. This can also prevent oxygen from binding together with our haemoglobin and
cause asphyxiation.

Benzene, Cumene and Propylene are partially soluble in water and so, it is important not for it
to seep into our water system. Because of its solubility, there is a need to test the water that
will be releasing to sea or drainage systems.

All these problems can be reduced if we do our part as workers of the chemical plant to prevent
the chemicals mentioned above from entering our ecosystem. Various chemical tests on our
effluent water and air can be done to ensure that it is of safe permissible limits. The safe
permissible limits of Thailand can be found in Tables 13 and 14.

Noise can cause a serious nuisance in the neighbourhood of a process plant. Noisy
equipment should, as far as practicable, be sited well away from the site boundary. Earth
banks and screens of trees can be used to reduce the noise level perceived outside the site.

Table 13. Thailand National Air Quality Standards

Ambient Air Standards


Pollutants Average Standard
Carbon Monoxide (CO) 1 hr Not exceed 30 ppm (34.2 mg/m3)
8 hr Not exceed 9 ppm (10.26 mg/m3)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) 1 hr Not exceed 0.17ppm (0.32 mg/m3)
1 year Not exceed 0.03ppm (0.057 mg/m3)
Ozone (O3) 1 hr Not exceed 0.10ppm (0.2 mg/m3)
8 hr Not exceed 0.07 ppm (0.14mg/m3)
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 1 year Not exceed 0.04ppm (0.10mg/m3)
24 hour Not exceed 0.12ppm (0.30 mg/m3)
1 hour Not exceed 0.3 ppm (780 um/m3)
Lead (Pb) 1 month Not exceed 1.5 ug/m3
TSP 24 hr Not exceed 0.33 mg/m3
(Particulate matter < 100um) 1 year Not exceed 0.10 mg/m3

30
Table 14. Thailand Emission standards for Industrial Effluent Standards (water)

Industrial Emission Standard


Parameters Standard Values Method of Examination
pH value 5.5-9.0 pH Meter
Total Dissolved  Not more than 3,000 mg/l depending on Dry Evaporation 103-
Solids (TDS) receiving water but not exceeding 105oC, 1 hour
5,000mg/l
 Not more than 5,000mg/l exceed TDS of
receiving water having salinity of more than
2,000 mg/l or TDS of sea if discharge to sea
Suspended Solids Not more than 5,000 depending on receiving Glass Fiber Filter Disc
(SS) water, but not exceeding 150 mg/l
Temperature Not more than 40oC Thermometer during the
sampling
Color and Odour Not objectionable Not specified
Sulphide as H2S Not more than 1.0mg/l Titrate
Cyanide as HCN Not more than 0.2 mg/l Distillation and Pyridine
Barbituric Acid Method
Fat, Oil and Grease Not more than 5.0mg/l depending on receiving Solvent extraction by
(FOG) water if not, not exceeding 15.0mg/l weight
Formaldehyde Not more than 1.0 mg/l Spectrophotometry
Phenols Not more than 1.0 mg/l
Free Chlorine Not more than 1.0mg/l
Pesticides Not detectable
Biochemical Oxygen Note more than 20 mg/l depending on receiving
Demand (BOD) water if not, not exceeding 60mg/l
Total kjedahl Not more than 100mg/l depending on receiving
Nitrogen (TKN) water if not, not exceeding 200mg/l
Chemical Oxygen Not more than 120mg/l depending on receiving
Demand (COD) water if not, not exceeding 400 mg/l
Zinc (Zn) Not more than 5.0 mg/l
Chromium Not more than 0.25 mg/l
(Hexavalent)
Chromium Not more than 0.75 mg/l
(Trivalent)
Copper (Cu) Not more than 2.0 mg/l
Cadmium (Cd) Not more than 0.03 mg/l
Barium (Ba) Not more than 1.0 mg/l
Lead (Pb) Not more than 0.2 mg/l
Nickel (Ni) Not more than 1.0 mg/l
Manganese (Mn) Not more than 5.0 mg/l
Arsenic (As) Not more than 0.25 mg/l
Selenium (Se) Not more than 0.02 mg/l
Mercury (Hg) Not more than 0.005 mg/l

These tabulated information were obtained from the Pollution Control Department website
(Pollution Control Department 2004).

31
5.4. Safety in the plant

General safety protocol will be practise in the plant. Anyone working in the plant is required
to wear proper PPE. To prevent respiratory effects on field men's health, air masks and gloves
should be worn when handling any chemicals. It is important to do any laboratory work with
the chemicals under an exhaust. Field men have to be brief on where are the fire emergency
routes, fire fighting equipments, meeting points in the event of a fire and the general
information of the plant.

Benzene, Cumene and Propylene are all flammable substances that when placed near open
sparks are heated above their flash points, will auto ignite and burst into flames. This may
result in explosion as well. Table 15 summarises the important chemical properties needed
throughout the production (Various MSDS-see attachment).
Table 15. Chemical Properties

Benzene Cumene Propylene


Auto Ignition 497.78oC 424oC 927oC
Temperature
Flash Point -11.1oC 36oC -162oC
Flammable Limits Lower:1.2% Lower: 0.9% Lower: 2.0%
Upper: 7.8% Upper: 6.5% Upper: 11.1%

The plant equipments also have relevant safety considerations. Various control valves are
assumed to be installed to the general equipments to control the temperature, level, pressure
and purity of products from a Digital Control Station.

A fire deluge system and water tank will be placed in the plant to fight any small potential
fires that may occur. They are presented in Table 16.

32
Table 16. Safety Considerations of major processes

Equipment Safety Considerations


Heat Exchanger/Furnace  Install low level and high level alarms to signal if there is any
extreme temperature conditions
 No overheating of equipment, so as to prevent any fires from
breaking out
 Install a temperature gauge for troubleshooting
 As the equipment is hot, extreme caution should be taken when
working close to the equipments and, or monitor the temperatures of
liquids flowing in and out of equipment
 Insulated material can be placed around the equipment to prevent
any accidental burns
 Water sprinklers and, or water hose should be used to cool down the
equipment if there is a need to
Shell and Tube Reactor  Ensure that the catalyst and reactor are running fine
 Install various measurement gauges/devices for troubleshooting
 Pressure entering the reactor should be kept at working range. Any
pressure higher or lower may cause the reactor to fail
Distillation Column  Install low level and high level alarms to signal if there are any
extreme temperature, pressure and level conditions
 Install various manual measuring gauges/devices in the column for
troubleshooting
 Water sprinklers and, or water hose should be used to cool down the
column if there is a need to
 Important for BLEVE of the column to not occur
 Various climbing safety equipments for field men to use when
checking the column (top)
Compressor  Install temperature and pressure gauges for troubleshooting
 Ensure that the settings of the compressor installed can
accommodate the pressure settings of the system
 Careful when near the equipment as the electrical lines and motor is
running. It can be hot enough to cause injury
Reboiler  Install temperature and pressure gauges for troubleshooting
 Install high and low temperature alarms to signal if the system
reaches minimum or maximum temperatures. Helps to prevents
periodic stoppages in production
 Water sprinklers and, or water hose should be used to cool down the
equipment if there is a need to
Condenser  Install temperature and pressure gauges for troubleshooting
 Install high and low temperature alarms to signal if the system
reaches minimum or maximum temperatures. Helps to prevents
periodic stoppages in production
Pipelines  Install various manual measuring gauges/devices along the pipelines
for troubleshooting
 Alarms will be installed for control valves to signal if there is a
problem with the opening and closing of valves
 Check valves should be place strategically along the pipelines to
one-way flow so as to prevent contamination
 Pressure relief valves will be installed to relief pressure if the
pipelines are high in pressure

33
6. Economic Appraisal

6.1. Capital Costs

A study estimate was undertaken to obtain the costs from the preliminary plant design as
developed on HySYS. The estimation also takes into account subsidiary costs, such as yard
improvements, buildings, instrumentation and contingences. The probable error associated
with this estimation may lie anywhere between ± 20% - ± 30%. It is recommended that the
client undertakes definitive and detailed costs estimates before the project is sanctioned. This
will further improve the estimate accuracy to within ± 2% - ± 5% of the actual capital cost.

Table 17 summarizes the probable accuracies against the available cost estimation methods.
Table 17. Summary of available cost estimation methods

Recommended Probable range of Cost to undertake study


Nomenclature Accuracy as % of Project
Expenditure
Study Estimate ± 20% - ± 30%. 0.1 to 0.2%
Preliminary Estimate ± 10% - ± 25%. 0.4 to 0.8%
Definitive Estimate ± 5% - ± 15%. 1 to 3%
Detailed Estimate ± 2% - ± 5%. 5 to 10%

The fixed capital cost is estimated to obtain an approximate price for total cumene plant
installed, up and running. The cost for the equipment was obtained from an online cost
estimator based on Peters, Timmerhaus and West 2003. The parameters used for the cost
estimator are described in Appendix B: Section VI. The costs were adjusted for inflation by
using CPI data available from the US government, which is also available in Appendix B:
Section VI. The equipment costs are presented in Table 18.

34
Table 18. Summary of Equipment Cost

Name Number Size Reference Year Reference Cost (USD) Current Costs (USD) Installation cost included (USD)

Gas compressor C-100 539.100 KW 2003 395714 481411 625834.3


Cooler CW-100 60.32 m^2 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Furnace F-100 1614.25 KW 2003 42469 51666 67165.8
Heat exchanger HE-100 1614.25 KW 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Heat exchanger HE-101 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Pump P-100 33.65 m^3/h 2003 12230 14879 18598.75
Pump P-101 9.277 m^3/h 2003 8819 9962 12452.5
Pump P-102 42.75 m^3/h 2003 14036 17076 21345
Pump P-103 62.86 m^3/h 2003 16230 19745 24681.25
Pump P-105 17.12 m^3/h 2003 2317 2819 3523.75
Pump P-107 0.2467m^/h 2003 2317 2819 3523.75
Reactor R-100 6.5 m^3 2003 33301 44153 70644.8
Flash Seperator S-100 2690.83 KW 2003 193978 235987 377579.2
Distillation Tower T-100 1.5 m 2003 60849 74027 118443.2
Distillation Tower T-101 1.5 m 2003 60849 74027 118443.2
Valve V-1 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-2 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-3 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-4 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-5 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-6 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-7 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-8 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-9 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-10 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-11 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-12 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-13 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-14 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-15 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Sum 1077891 1520515 35
6.2. Subsidiary Costs

The subsidiary costs such as instrumentation, land, buildings and contingencies were obtained
as factors of the total equipment cost. These factors were obtained from (Peters and
Timmerhaus 1991). These costs take into account:

 Control
 Piping
 Electrical Installation
 Buildings
 Yard Improvement
 Land
 Construction
 Contractors cost
 Contingency
 Startup expense

Table 19 summarized the subsidiary costs.


Table 19. Summary of Subsidiary Costs

Factor of Cost
Type
Equipment cost (USD/year)
Control 0.06 91230.9
Piping 0.13 197667
Eletrical Installation 0.03 45615.45
Buildings 0.45 684231.8
Yard Improvements 0.08 121641.2
Land 0.04 60820.6

The design and commissioning costs summarized in Table 20 are obtained as a factor of the
total capital cost which is the sum of equipment costs and costs described in Table 19. The
design and commissioning cost is shown as the start-up cost.
Table 20. Design and Commissioning Cost

Factor of total Cost


Type
capital cost (USD/year)
Construction Expense 0.01 272172.2
Contractors fee 0.02 58661.47
Contingency 0.08 239338.8
Start-up expense 0.08 122563.2

36
The total cost for the cumene plant installed, up and running is shown in Table 21.
Table 21. Total cost of installing a Cumene plant

Type Cost (USD/year)


Equipment Cost 1520515

Subsidiary Costs 1893943


Total once off capital
3353637
expenditure

6.3. Operating Costs

The operating costs or the manufacturing costs are the costs incurred for daily operations;
generally the costs are sub divided into fixed costs and variable costs. However for the scope
of this study, we have assumed that the product output is constant, thus, eliminating the
variable costs. The operating costs for the plant are summarized in the table below. The
maintenance costs were determined as a fraction, 2 %, of the total capital expenditure. The
utilities costs are explained in detail in Appendix B: Section VI.
Table 22. Total Operating Costs

Value
Operating Costs
(USD/year)
Benzene 85661532
Propylene 59570834.4
Employee Costs 52440
Maintenance 67072.73873
Utilities 4323058.57
Total 149674937.7

37
6.4. Annual Income

The cumene plant has two sources of income; the cumene, the major product and the fuel gas.
The sale prices of cumene and fuel gas was estimated to be competitive with the market
prices; as a result, the sale prices as obtained from Reed Business Information Ltd (2011) are
shown in Table 23.
Table 23. Sale prices of cumene and fuel gas

Product Price USD


Fuel Gas 604.5
Cumene 1510

The annual income based on the product outputs obtained from HySYS were then determined
to be as shown in Table 24.
Table 24. Annual income of products

Product Annual income USD


Cumene 151044696
Fuel Gas 4732120.8
Total 155776816.8

38
6.5. Investment Analysis

An NPV analysis was undertaken to determine the economic feasibility of the proposed plant
for the 95% propylene/5% propane and pure propylene feed cases. NPV and sensitivity
analysis tables for both cases are presented in Appendix B: Section VI.

6.5.1. Impure Propylene Investment Analysis

A discount rate of 9%, which was also the hurdle rate, was used to discount the future cash
flows. The NPV analysis showed that a profit of $22.5 million was made for the 10 years of
plant operation. The rate of return was determined to be 672%, which was well above the
required hurdle rate of 9%. Figure 9 shows the cumulative cash flows and the discounted
cumulative cash flows.

50
Millions

y = 4E+06x - 7E+06
40

30
Dollar value

20 Cumulative cash flow


Cumulative discounted cash flow
y = -109002x2 + 4E+06x - 6E+06
10

0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

-10
Year

Figure 9. Cash Flow Diagram for Impure Propylene Feed

39
The rate of return based on the net profit and initial investment has been summarized in Table
25.
Table 25. Rate of Return

Investment Value
3353637
Capital Cost
22547886
Net Profits
672%
Rate of return

6.5.2. Payback Period and Sensitivity Analysis for impure propylene feed

Payback time is a useful analysis for judging projects with short life times. It determined the
time required after the start of the project to pay off the initial capital expenditure. The
payback periods are shown in Table 26.
Table 26. Cash flows

Payback method Period

Cumulative cash flow 1.57


method
Discounted cash flow 1.75
method

The sensitivity analysis was performed to demonstrate the dependence of the NPV on the cash
flows into and out of the process. The analysis indicated that the operation‟s NPV is most
dependent on the revenue; and least dependent on the employee costs. The sensitivity analysis
has been summarized in Table 27. Details calculations are shown in Appendix B: Section VI.
Table 27. Sensitivity analysis

Cash flow Sensitivity Value Percentage of NPV


Feeds 675980346 -2997.98
Employee Costs 244080.6428 -1.0825
Maintenance 310992.5829 -1.37925
Utilities 20121565.88 -89.2393
Revenue 725059221.5 3215.642
Capital 15549629.14 -68.9627
Total 100

To demonstrate the influence of a change in the revenue on the NPV; and the change of the
employee costs on the NPV, the revenue and employee cash flows were increased by 20 %.

40
For a change of 20% of the revenue, the NPV increased to $149 million. For a 20% increase
in the employee costs the NPV decreased to $ 39.55 million. A change of 276% was observed
for a 20% increase in the revenue where as a 0.1% decrease was observed for a 20% increase
in the employee costs. This demonstrates the influence of a high and low sensitive cash flow.
Table 28 summarizes the change in NPV.
Table 28. Sensitivity demonstration

Cash flow Change Initial NPV Final NPV Percentage


change
Revenue 20% $39.59 million $149 million 276%
Employee 20% $39.59 million $39.55 million 0.1%
costs

41
6.5.3. Pure Propylene Investment Analysis

The possibility of using pure propylene in the feed was also considered. The economic
feasibility of this proposal was investigated by a NPV analysis. A comparison was then made
to the impure propylene feed alternative. The price of pure propylene is summarized in Table
29.
Table 29. Price of Pure Propylene

Component Price (USD/tonne)


Propylene 1650

The NPV analysis returned a value of -$5690738, as seen in Figure 10. This took into the
assumptions that the change in the duties was negligible; thus implying that only the cost of
the propylene and revenue from the fuel gas were the parameters which showed significant
change.

0
Millions

0 5 10 15
-1

-2

-3
Dollar value

-4
Cumulative cash flow
-5
Cumulative discounted cash flow
-6

-7

-8

-9
Year

Figure 10. Cash Flow Diagram for Pure Propylene Feed

A sensitivity analysis showed that the feeds and the revenue had the largest impact on the
NPV. This was expected as the price of the propylene and the revenue from the fuel gas was
changed significantly.

Since the NPV was negative, this is not a feasible alternative since there are no returns on the
initial investment.

42
6.6. Conclusion

The economic analysis was comprised of two sections; the cost estimation and the investment
analysis. Based on a study estimate, on the alternative with the impure propylene feed, that
returns an accuracy of ± 20% - ± 30%, we found that the initial capital cost for the plant to be
installed up and running was approximately $ 3.34 million. The operating cost per annum was
determined to be $ 149.6 million and annual revenue of $ 155.8 million.

A discount rate of 9% returned an NPV of $ 22.5 million, which gave a rate of return of 672
% on the project. This rate is well above the required hurdle rate of 9%. A sensitivity analysis
indicated that project is most sensitive to the revenue, 3215.64%; and least sensitive to the
employee costs, -1.08%. The payback time for the project was determined to be 1.57 years,
according to the cumulative cash flow method.

A NPV analysis on the alternative with the pure propylene feed indicated that the NPV was -
$5.6 million. This suggested that this was not a feasible option. Furthermore, the sensitivity
analysis indicated that the NPV depended most on the feeds and the revenue cash flows.

Based on the economic analysis performed, the proposed cumene process with the impure
propylene feed is a feasible business venture with the initial investment yielding a return of
approximately $22.5 million.

43
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<http://www.hamadaboiler.com/taiwan/savingcalculation.html>.

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ASTM International 2011, ASTM D7125 – 11 Standard Specification for Cumene


(Isopropylbenzene), viewed 17 October 2011, < http://www.astm.org/Standards/D7125.htm> .

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<http://www.austrade.gov.au/Thailand-profile/default.aspx>.

Ceasar, M 1999, The Production of Cumene using Zeolite Catalyst, SRI Consulting,
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<http://www.mhhe.com/engcs/chemical/peters/data/ce.html>.

Degnan, TF, Smith, CM, Venkat, CR 2001, „Alkylation of aromatics with ethylene and
propylene: recent developments in commercial processes‟, Applied Catalysis, vol. 221,
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Doherty, M.F. and Knapp, J.P.2004. Distillation, Azeotropic, and Extractive. Kirk-Othmer
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Engineers Guide: Cumene production flow sheet and Process description 2011, Cumene
production flow sheet and Process description. Viewed 31 July 2011,
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15 August 2011

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Manufacture Process, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Griesbaum, K., Behr, A., Biedenkapp, D., Voges, H.-W., Garbe, D., Paetz, C., Collin, G.,
Mayer, D. and Höke, H. 2000. Hydrocarbons. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial
Chemistry

Hwang, S. Y. and Chen, S. S. 2010. Cumene. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical


Technology, pp. 1–10.

44
International Council of Chemical Associations 2011, Thailand, viewed 10 October 2011,
<http://www.icca-chem.org/Home/About-us/Members-of-the-ICCA/?country=th>.

Luyben, WL 2009, „Design and Control of the Cumene Process‟, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., vol
.49, pp. 719-734, (American Chemical Society)

Mahapatra, N 2010, Design and Simulation of Cumene plant using ASPEN plus, National
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Metropolitan Waterworks Authority(MWA) of Thailand 2007, Tap Water, viewed 10 October


2011, < http://english.mwa.co.th/water_e.html>.

Perego C, Ingallina P 2002, „Recent advances in the industrial alkylation of aromatics: new
catalysts and new processes‟, Catalysis Today, vol. 73, pp.3-22, viewed 27 July 2011,
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2011, <http://www.pcd.go.th/info_serv/en_reg_std_airsnd03.html>.

Reed Business Information Ltd. (2011). Benzene. Viewed 25 August 2011.


<http://www.icis.com/v2/chemicals/9075157/benzene.html>.

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2011.<http://www.icis.com/v2/chemicals/9075197/cumene.html>.

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<http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/>.

45
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46
APPENDIX A: Drawings

I. Block Flow Diagram

Figure 11. Block Flow Diagram of final design

48
II. PFD

Figure 12. Process Flow Diagram of final design

49
III. Plant Layout

Figure 13. Proposed Layout of Plant

50
APPENDIX B: Calculations

I. Manual Mass Calculations

Assumptions

(1) Cumene product purity is 99 mol%

(2) Total recovery of cumene from cumene column (assumed reasonable for purpose of
manual calculations)

(3) Cumene to DIPB selectivity is 31:1 (optimised during calculations)

(4) Conversion of propylene is 99% (optimised during calculations)

(5) Propylene feed has 5 mol% propane impurity, entering process at 298K, 25 bar (to be
investigated in comparison to pure propylene feed)

(6) Propane is inert throughout the process, undergoing no chemical reaction

(7) Benzene to propylene feed ratio to reactor is 2:1 (optimised during calculations)

(8) Total recovery of benzene from benzene column (assumed reasonable for purpose of
manual calculations)

(9) Fresh benzene feed has negligible impurities, entering process at 298K, 1 bar

(10) Benzene recycle is 98.1 mol% benzene, 1.9 mol% cumene (assumed reasonable for
purpose of manual calculations)

(11) Reactor volume is 6.5m3

(12) Reaction pre-heater HE-100 heats line 5 with an efficiency of 67% relative to the desired
reaction temperature

(13) Benzene distillation column T-100 has external reflux ratio of 3 (flow through condenser
to distillate).

(14) Cumene distillation column T-101 has external reflux ratio of 2 (flow through condenser
to distillate).

It is also assumed, for simplicity of all calculations, that:

 The ideal gas equation of state applies to the process fluid throughout the system.
 All mixing of fluids is ideal and vapour-liquid equilibria may be neglected.
 Heat losses associated through piping and process units may be neglected.

51
Base case material balances

Basis: cumene production rate of 100,000 ton/yr

Net operation time 330 days/yr

Hence total cumene product (by mass)

= 100,000 ton/yr x 1000 kg/ton x 1yr/330days x 1day/24hr = 12626.26 kg/hr

From (1), cumene product 99 mol% cumene, 1 mol% DIPB

Hence average molecular mass of cumene product

= 0.99 x 120.194 kg/kmol + 0.01 x 162.275 kg/kmol = 120.6148 kg/kmol

Hence total cumene product (by mole)

= 12626.26 kg/hr x 1kmol/120.6148kg = 104.6825 kmol/hr

Cumene in cumene product: 0.99 x 104.6825 = 103.6357 kmol/hr

DIPB in cumene product: 104.6825 – 103.6357 = 1.046825 kmol/hr

From (2), all cumene produced in reaction recovered in cumene product

Hence cumene produced in reaction = 103.6357 kmol/hr

From (3), DIPB produced in reaction = 103.6357/31 = 3.343087 kmol/hr

Propylene balance

Stoichiometric amount of propylene required for reaction: 1 mole per mole cumene, 2 moles
per mole DIPB

Hence propylene consumed in reaction = cumene produced + 2 x DIPB produced

= 103.6357 + 2 x 3.343087 = 110.3219 kmol/hr

52
From (4), propylene in feed = 110.3219/0.99 = 111.4362 kmol/hr

Hence unreacted propylene in effluent and fuel gas

= 111.4362 – 110.3219 = 1.114362 kmol/hr

From (5), propylene feed 95 mol% propylene, 5 mol% propane

Hence total propylene feed = 111.4362/0.95 = 117.3013 kmol/hr

Propane balance

Propane in propylene feed = 117.3013 – 111.4362 = 5.865065 kmol/hr

From (6), propane is retained throughout the process, exiting within fuel gas stream

Benzene balance

Stoichiometric amount of benzene required for reaction: 1 mole per mole cumene, 1 mole per
mole DIPB

Hence benzene consumed in reaction = cumene produced + DIPB produced

= 103.6357 + 3.343087 = 106.9788 kmol/hr

From (7), benzene in mixed reactor feed = 2 x propylene in feed

= 2 x 111.4362 = 222.8725 kmol/hr

Hence unreacted benzene in effluent and benzene column feed

= 222.8725 – 106.9788 = 115.8937 kmol/hr

From (8), all unreacted benzene recovered in benzene recycle

Hence benzene in benzene recycle = 115.8937 kmol/hr

Hence benzene in fresh benzene feed = 222.8725 – 115.8937 = 106.9788 kmol/hr

From (9), total fresh benzene feed = 106.9788 kmol/hr

53
Cumene balance

From (10), total benzene recycle = 115.8937/0.981 = 118.1383 kmol/hr

Hence cumene in recycle and feed = 118.1383 – 115.8937 = 2.244628 kmol/hr

Hence cumene in effluent and benzene column feed

= cumene in feed + cumene produced in reaction

= 2.244628 + 103.6357 = 105.8803 kmol/hr

DIPB balance

From (10), no DIPB present in recycle stream

Hence DIPB in effluent, benzene column feed and bottoms

= DIPB produced in reaction = 3.343087 kmol/hr

Hence DIPB product = DIPB in cumene column feed – DIPB in cumene product

= 3.343087 – 1.046825 = 2.296262 kmol/hr

Undetermined total molar flow rates are determined by adding together flow rates of all
present components in each stream.

Undetermined mass flow rates are determined by multiplying the component molar flow rates
in each stream by the molecular masses of each component and adding together.

54
II. Reaction kinetics

There are two chemical reactions taking place:

1:

propylene (pe) + benzene (b)  cumene (c)

2:

propylene (pe) + cumene (c)  DIPB (d)

Neither of these reactions involves propane (pa), which is assumed inert (6).

Both reactions are first-order in each reactant, with given rate constants:

(Note: rj in moles per gram catalyst second, kj in litres squared per mole gram catalyst second,
ci in moles per litre, R in kilocalories per mole Kelvin, T in Kelvin.)

Since benzene takes part in the first reaction with a stoichiometric number of –1 and does not
take part in the second, the following equation is obtained connecting the flow rate of benzene
with the mass of catalyst:

(Note: Fi in moles per second, W in grams.)

55
The molar concentration of a component is equal to the molar flow rate of the component
divided by the volumetric flow rate of the stream. The volumetric flow rate in turn is equal to
the molar specific volume of the reaction mixture multiplied by the total flow rate of the
stream. Hence the previous equation can be expressed as:

(Note: F in litres per second, v in litres per mole.)

Similar equations can be derived for the other four components:

Where:

(Note: P in bars, R in litres bars per mole Kelvin here and henceforth)

56
This is a differential system where the derivatives of all component flow rates with respect to
catalyst mass are known in terms of the component flow rates and the reactor temperature and
pressure.

The system was modelled using a Polymath file. Code used may be found in Section V. The
flow rates at the initial condition (W = 0) were initially assumed equal to the base case flow
rates into the reactor as determined in the material balances. The conditions were assumed to
be 653K and 50 bar; this was validated later. The final condition was at the total mass of
catalyst in the reactor, which is proportional to the volume of the catalyst. From (11):

Thus, using the Polymath file, the final flow rates were evaluated and the selectivity and
conversion calculated as per the example shown below at the assumed feed ratio of 2:1:

Cumene to DIPB selectivity

= (final flow rate of cumene – initial flow rate of cumene) / final flow rate of DIPB

= (30.99081 – 0.623508)/0.221878

= 136.8646

Conversion of propylene

= (1 – final flow rate of propylene / initial flow rate of propylene) * 100%

= (1 – 0.143447/30.95451) * 100%

= 99.5366%

Note that the extremely high value for cumene to DIPB selectivity results in a benzene
column bottoms of more than 99% purity cumene, implying a negative (i.e. backflow) value
for the DIPB product stream. For this purpose, here and henceforth wherever required, the
cumene product purity was altered to 99.9 mol%.

57
The new values were applied in order to calculate a new set of initial flow rates and the
process was iterated using Wergstein‟s method of convergence, in which the selectivity S
used for the next iteration is defined as:

Snext = (Scalculated – mS*Sinitial)/(1 – mS)

Where the secant mS is given by:

mS = (Scalculated,current – Scalculated,previous)/(Sinitial,current – Sinitial,previous)

And similar for conversion X.

Values were obtained by iteration using an Excel spreadsheet, and applied in order to create a
flow table with accurate flow rates for all key streams. Input and output flow rates were used
to assess the profitability of the proposed values, as shown in Table 30. Note that other factors
affected by flow rates and process conditions such as equipment costing are excluded.
Table 30. Summary of estimated profit for feed ratio f=2

Material In (kg/hr) Out (kg/hr) Estimated Value (US$/ton) Estimated Profit (US$/hr)
Benzene 8254.631 - 1308 -10,797.06
Propylene 4743.508 - 1543-1632 -7,530.32
p-DIPB - 107.40727 Not Available +0.00
Fuel Gas - 264.36176 604-605 +159.81
Cumene - 12626.263 1499-1521 +19,065.66
TOTAL +898.09

Similar calculations were conducted multiple times in order to test the dependence of profit
on reactor temperature and feed ratio. It was found analytically that regardless of pressure or
feed ratio, any temperature below approximately 623K gave an unacceptably low conversion
of propylene to valuable products. For instance, at 473K and 20 bar the conversion was
virtually zero on the first iteration, while at 573K and 40 bar the corresponding conversion
was approximately 25%. Hence it was decided that reactor conditions of 653K and 50 bar
were optimal in order to achieve a sufficient conversion for the process to be profitable.

At these conditions the reactor feed ratio of benzene to propylene was varied to determine the
optimal feed ratio at which maximum profit could be obtained. Results are summarized in
Table 31. Profit was graphed against feed ratio (Figure 14), and a 4th order polynomial model
was fitted to data in order to determine the point at which maximum profit was obtained. The
optimum feed ratio was found by this method to be 3.22:1, which yielded a profit of
US$958.65 per hour, with a conversion of 99.09% and selectivity of 256.201.

58
Table 31. Summary of selectivity, conversion and profit for varying feed ratio

Feed ratio Selectivity Conversion Profit (US$/hr)


2:1 136.7938 99.6348% +898.09
2.5:1 186.9013 99.5063% +941.57
3:1 235.3175 99.2461% +957.21
3.5:1 282.4759 98.8522% +956.63
4:1 328.7076 98.3133% +943.70

Profit versus feed ratio


970
960 y = -5.1667x4 + 72.327x3 - 403.09x2 + 1036.2x - 57.88
R² = 1
950
Profit (US$/hr)

940
930
920
910
900
890
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5
Reactor feed ratio (mol benzene/mol propylene)

Figure 14. Graph of Profit against Feed Ratio

Hence, in summary of changes made to the initial assumptions:

 (1) is altered such that the cumene product purity is 99.9 mol%.
 (3) is altered such that the cumene to DIPB selectivity is 256.201:1
 (4) is altered such that the conversion of propylene is 99.09%; and
 (7) is altered such that the benzene to propylene feed ratio is 3.22:1

59
III. Manual Energy Calculations

Bubble point calculations

Lines 13, 14, 15 and 16 are leaving their columns at their respective bubble point
temperatures. Lines 13, 14 and 15 are each comprised of two components, arbitrarily defined
as A and B, and in each of these cases the component partial pressures Pi are defined using
Raoult‟s law:

Adding equations for A and B gives:

As the mixture at the bubble point is entirely liquid (with theoretical trace amounts of vapour
in equilibrium), the mole fractions xA and xB are equal to the actual mole fractions of the
stream. Expressing in terms of molar flow rates (which are known):

Rearranging and equating to zero:

For each line Excel Solver is used to find the line temperature required to set f(T) to zero,
using 298K as an initial value. Final values for the temperature are:

Line 13: T = 353.5K

Line 14: T = 426.0K

Line 15: T = 425.9K

Line 16 is comprised entirely of DIPB, hence the temperature is simply the boiling point of
DIPB at 1 bar:

Line 16: T = 482.4K

Since lines 13 through 16 are all entirely in the liquid phase and at 1 bar, the following
theoretical path is drawn in order to determine the molar enthalpies of each component
relative to the liquid phase at 298K and 1 bar:

60
(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T, 1 bar)

Hence the molar enthalpies are given by:

(Note that in the spreadsheet only components present in the stream are considered; all other
enthalpies are put equal to zero.)

The total enthalpy of the stream is then given by

Evaluating for each line:

Line 13: ΔH = 539.8337kW

Line 14: ΔH = 872.6166kW

Line 15: ΔH = 868.34kW

Line 16: ΔH = 5.351431kW

P-100 energy balance

An energy balance around P-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpy of line 1 is zero (as it is completely liquid at 298K and 1 bar)
and the enthalpy of line 13 is known (already calculated).

Assuming that line 2 is entirely in the liquid phase, a requirement for the pump to operate, the
following theoretical path is drawn:

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T2, 1 bar) → (liquid, T2, P2)

Hence ΔH2 is evaluated as a function of temperature.

61
The pump duty is given by (continuing with the assumption of entirely liquid phase and
hence approximately constant density, and neglecting head losses and changes in height):

Where the density of the mixture may be estimated as a mass-weighted average of the
individual densities of the two components:

Hence is evaluated as a function of temperature.

Excel Solver is used to find the temperature required to set f(T2) to zero, using 298K as an
initial value. Convergence is achieved and the following values are obtained:

Line 2: T = 337.2K; ΔH = 562.1806kW

P-100: = 22.34691kW = 8.04*104 kJ/hr

(Note: The temperature is below the boiling points of benzene and cumene at 25 bar,
satisfying the requirement of liquid phase.)

62
V-100 energy balance

An energy balance around V-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpy of line 2 is known (already calculated).

As line 3 is completely liquid and at 298K, the following theoretical path is drawn:

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, 298K, P3)

Evaluating:

Line 3: ΔH = 0.172769kW

Assuming that line 4 is entirely in the liquid phase, the following theoretical path is drawn:

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T4, 1 bar) → (liquid, T4, P4)

Hence ΔH4 is evaluated as a function of temperature.

Excel Solver is used to find the temperature required to set f(T4) to zero, using 298K as an
initial value. Convergence is achieved and the following values are obtained:

Line 4: T = 328.8K; ΔH = 568.3246kW

(Note: The temperature is below the boiling points of all components at 25 bar, satisfying the
assumption of liquid phase.)

63
C-100 energy balance

It is assumed that T6 is above the boiling points of all components at 25 bar, and hence all
components are in the vapour phase at the compressor inlet, a requirement for the gas
compressor to operate.

An energy balance around C-100 gives:

The enthalpies of lines 6 and 7 are both evaluated by drawing theoretical paths:

Line 6:

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T6, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T6, P6)

Line 7:

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T7, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T7, P7)

Hence ΔH6 is evaluated as a function of temperature, while since T7 is known, ΔH7 is


calculated directly:

Line 7: ΔH = 9665.881kW

The duty of the gas compressor is given by:

Under the assumption of ideal gas behaviour, the difference between specific heats is equal to
R, and hence:

Hence:

64
Where the specific heat may be estimated as a mole-weighted average of the individual mean
specific heats of the components:

The component mean specific heats are in turn given by:

Hence is evaluated as a function of temperature.

Excel Solver is used to find the temperature required to set f(T6) to zero, using 613.8K as an
initial value (just above the boiling point of cumene at 25 bar). Convergence is achieved and
the following values are obtained:

Line 6: T = 630.0K; ΔH = 9210.055kW

C-100: = 455.8262kW = 1.64*106 kJ/hr

(Note: The temperature is above the boiling points of all components at 25 bar, satisfying the
requirement of vapour phase.)

65
R-100 energy balance

An energy balance around R-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpy of line 7 is known (already calculated).

The heat of reaction ΔHR is given by:

The extent of reaction 1 is equal to the amount of benzene consumed in the reactor (as
benzene is inert in reaction 2), i.e.

The extent of reaction 2 ξ2 is equal to the amount of DIPB produced in the reactor (as DIPB is
inert in reaction 1), i.e.

And the extent of reaction j is given by:

As all components bar DIPB are all above their critical temperatures and hence in the vapour
phase, ΔĤf for these components is simply the enthalpy of formation of vapour at the reactor
temperature 653K. However, DIPB is below its critical temperature and above its critical
pressure, and hence is in the liquid phase. As enthalpy of formation data for liquid DIPB is
unavailable, the enthalpy of formation at 653K is achieved by drawing a theoretical path:

(0) →formation (vapour, 653K, P*) → (liquid, 653K, P*) → (liquid, 653K, P8)

Evaluating:

ΔHR = –2820.77kW

As stated, benzene, propylene, propane and cumene are all in the vapour phase, while DIPB is
in the liquid phase. Separate theoretical paths are drawn for each case:

66
Benzene, Propylene, Propane and Cumene

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T8, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T8, P8)

DIPB

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T8, 1 bar) → (liquid, T8, P8)

Evaluating:

Line 8: ΔH = 9481.323kW

R-100: Qc = 3005.324kW = 1.08*107 kJ/hr

67
HE-100 energy balance

An energy balance around HE-100 gives:

Hence:

In this equation, the enthalpies of lines 4 and 8 are known (already calculated).

From (12):

Evaluating:

Line 5: T = 546.0K

This is above the boiling points of benzene, propylene and propane at 25 bar but below that
for cumene. Hence the former are in the vapour phase while the latter is in the liquid phase.
Separate theoretical paths are drawn for each case:

Benzene, Propylene and Propane

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T5, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T5, P5)

Cumene

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T5, 1 bar) → (liquid, T5, P5)

Evaluating:

Line 5: ΔH = 7607.723kW

HE-100: Qh = 7039.398kW = 2.53*107 kJ/hr

68
It is assumed that line 9 is at a temperature above the boiling points of propylene and propane
at 25 bar but below those for benzene and cumene. Hence the former are in the vapour phase
while the latter are in the liquid phase. DIPB is below its critical temperature and above its
critical pressure, and hence is also in the liquid phase. Separate theoretical paths are drawn for
each case.

Benzene, Cumene and DIPB

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T9, 1 bar) → (liquid, T9, P9)

Propylene and Propane

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T9, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T9, P9)

Hence ΔH9 is evaluated as a function of temperature.

Excel Solver is used to find the temperature required to set f(T9) to zero, using 342K (just
above the boiling point temperature of propane) as an initial value. Convergence is achieved
and the following values are obtained:

Line 9: T = 435.8K; ΔH = 2441.925kW

(Note: The temperature satisfies the stated assumptions with respect to the boiling/critical
point temperatures of each component.)

F-100 energy balance

An energy balance around F-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpies of lines 5 and 6 are known (already calculated), and so Qh may
be evaluated directly:

F-100: Qh = 1602.332kW = 5.77*106 kJ/hr

69
CW-100 energy balance

An energy balance around CW-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpy of line 9 is known (already calculated).

In order for effective phase separation to occur in S-100, the temperature should be above the
boiling points of propylene and propane at 25 bar. In order to fulfil this requirement, a
temperature of 353K is chosen. At this point, propylene and propane are in the vapour phase
while other components are in the liquid phase. Separate theoretical paths are drawn for each
case.

Benzene, Cumene and DIPB

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T10, 1 bar) → (liquid, T10, P10)

Propylene and Propane

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T10, 1 bar) →
(vapour, T10, P10)

Evaluating:

Line 10: ΔH = 955.1994kW

CW-100: Qc = 1486.726kW = 5.35*106 kJ/hr

70
S-100 energy balance

An energy balance around S-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpy of line 10 is known (already calculated). z is the fraction of
benzene in the liquid phase in line 12 (see later calculations).

Given the assumption of ideal gas behaviour, there is no change to the temperature of the
exiting fuel gas or the molar enthalpies of propylene and propane. Hence:

Line 11: T = 353.0K, ΔH = 33.93333kW

It is assumed that line 12 is at the boiling point of benzene at 1 bar, i.e.:

Line 12: T = 353.0K

At this point, cumene and DIPB are both entirely in the liquid phase whilst benzene is
partially in the vapour phase and partially in the liquid phase. Separate theoretical paths are
drawn for each case.

Benzene

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T12, 1 bar) →partial (vapour, T12, 1 bar)

Cumene and DIPB

(liquid, 298K, 1 bar) → (liquid, T12, 1 bar)

Hence ΔH12 is evaluated as a function of z.

Excel Solver is used to find the temperature required to set f(z) to zero, using z = 0 (fully
liquid) as an initial value. Convergence is achieved and the following values are obtained:

Line 12: z = 0.011716, ΔH = 921.266kW

(Note: Since 0 < z < 1, the assumption of the system temperature is satisfied given vapour-
liquid equilibria are neglected.)

71
T-100 energy balance

An energy balance around T-100 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpies of lines 12, 13 and 14 are known (already calculated). Qc is the
duty of condenser CW-101 and Qh is the duty of reboiler HE-102.

Using (13):

Hence:

Line 13 is comprised of benzene and cumene. The following theoretical path is drawn in order
to determine the molar enthalpies of vaporisation of each component:

(liquid, T13, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T13, 1 bar)

Hence the molar enthalpies of vaporisation are given by:

Evaluating:

CW-101: Qc = 4737.501kW = 1.71*107 kJ/hr

HE-102: Qh = 5228.685kW = 1.88*107 kJ/hr

72
T-101 energy balance

An energy balance around T-101 gives:

In this equation, the enthalpies of lines 14, 15 and 16 are known (already calculated). Qc is the
duty of condenser CW-102 and Qh is the duty of reboiler HE-103.

Using (14):

Hence:

Line 15 is comprised of cumene and DIPB. The following theoretical path is drawn in order
to determine the molar enthalpies of vaporisation of each component:

(liquid, T15, 1 bar) → (liquid, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, Tb, 1 bar) → (vapour, T15, 1 bar)

Hence the molar enthalpies of vaporisation are given by:

Evaluating:

CW-102: Qc = 1110.005kW = 4.00*106 kJ/hr

HE-103: Qh = 1111.08kW = 4.00*106 kJ/hr

73
IV. Distillation column

Figure 15. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for the Minimum Number of Stages (Distillation Column 2)

74
Figure 16. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for the Minimum Number of Stages (Distillation Column 1)

75
Figure 17. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for Minimum Reflux Ratio (Distillation Column 2)

76
Figure 18. Mc-Cabe Thiele Diagram for Minimum Reflux Ratio (Distillation Column 1)

77
V. POLYMATH
# Differential equations

d(Fb)/d(W)=(-k1*Fpe*Fb)/((v^2)*((Fb+Fpe+Fpa+Fc+Fd)^2)) #
Change in benzene flow rate with respect to catalyst mass

d(Fpe)/d(W)=((-k1*Fpe*Fb)-(k2*Fpe*Fc))/((v^2)*((Fb+Fpe+Fpa+Fc+Fd)^2)) #
Change in propylene flow rate with respect to catalyst mass

d(Fpa)/d(W)=0 #
Change in propane flow rate with respect to catalyst mass

d(Fc)/d(W)=((k1*Fpe*Fb)-(k2*Fpe*Fc))/((v^2)*((Fb+Fpe+Fpa+Fc+Fd)^2)) #
Change in cumene flow rate with respect to catalyst mass

d(Fd)/d(W)=(k2*Fpe*Fc)/((v^2)*((Fb+Fpe+Fpa+Fc+Fd)^2)) #
Change in DIPB flow rate with respect to catalyst mass

# Constants and auxiliary equations

R=0.001986 # Universal gas cosntant (kcal/mol.K)

T=653 # Temperature (K)

R1=0.08314 # Universal gas cosntant (L.bar/mol.K)

P=50 # Pressure (bar)

k1=3.5E+04*exp(-24.90/(R*T)) # Rate constant of reaction 1 (L^2/mol.g


cat.s)

k2=2.9E+06*exp(-35.80/(R*T)) # Rate constant of reaction 2 (L^2/mol.g


cat.s)

v = (R1*T)/P # Specific volume (L/mol)

78
# Initial conditions

W(0)=0 # Catalyst mass = 0

Fb(0)=95.43466 # Benzene flow rate (mol/s)

Fc(0)=1.281774 # Cumene flow rate (mol/s)

Fd(0)=0 # DIPB flow rate = 0

Fpa(0)=1.5599 # Propane flow rate (mol/s)

Fpe(0)=29.63809 # Propylene flow rate (mol/s)

# Final catalyst mass (g)

W(f)=5.2E+06

79
VI. Manual Economic Calculations

Sample Calculations

a. Fixed capital cost


b. Use control as subsidiary cost example
c. Operating costs
d. Revenue
e. NPV Analysis (break it down column by column)
f. Sensitivity analysis, chuck some formulas in there
g. Pay-back period, use the equations to solve

a. Fixed capital cost

The fixed capital cost is the cost of the cumene plant installed, up and running. The equipment
cost was determined from an online chemical plant equipment cost estimator, based on
Timmerhaus and West (2003).

The estimator required specific information on the equipment for the costing. The equipment
information that was required by the cost estimator is summarized below. The pumps not used
in HySYS were assumed to be at 1bar.

Equipment cost basis

Gas Compressor

Carbon steel, Duty

Cooler 100

Area – 60.32 m^2

Pressure – 100 kPa

Furnace

Duty – 1328.33 KW

Pressure – 2500 kPa

HEX-100

Duty – 1614.25 KW

Pressure – 100 KPa

HEX-101

Duty – 1614.25 KW

Pressure – 100 KPa

80
Pump 100

Volumetric flow rate – 33.65 m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Pump 101

Volumetric flow rate – 9.277 m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Pump 102

Volumetric flow rate – 42.75m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Pump 103

Volumetric flow rate – 62.86m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Pump 105

Volumetric flow rate – 17.12m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Pump 107

Volumetric flow rate – 0.2467m3

∆P – 1 KPa

Reactor R-100

Volume – 6.5 m3

∆P – 5000 KPa

Flash Separator –S-100

Duty – 2690.83 KW

Distillation column T-100

Diameter – 1.5m

Number of Stages – 10

81
Distillation column T-101

Diameter – 1.5m

Number of Stages – 10

Valve V1-12

Diameter - 0.05m

Price Index

The online estimator was based on cost data relevant to 2003. These pries had to be adjusted
for inflation. The US Inflation calculator was used to obtain the prices relevant to 2011.
Figure 19 below demonstrates the user interface for the inflation calculator (US Inflation
Calculator 2009).

Figure 19. Snapshot of an online inflation calculator

The reference year of the equipment was entered in the (if in) tab, the current year was
entered in the (then in) tab, and the price of the equipment was entered in the ($) tab. The
current price and the rate of inflation were then returned as seen in the figure above. Table 32
summarizes the equipment cost.

82
Table 32. Summary of Equipment Cost

Name Number Size Reference Year Reference Cost (USD) Current Costs (USD) Installation cost included (USD)

Gas compressor C-100 539.100 KW 2003 395714 481411 625834.3


Cooler CW-100 60.32 m^2 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Furnace F-100 1614.25 KW 2003 42469 51666 67165.8
Heat exchanger HE-100 1614.25 KW 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Heat exchanger HE-101 2003 8183 9955 12941.5
Pump P-100 33.65 m^3/h 2003 12230 14879 18598.75
Pump P-101 9.277 m^3/h 2003 8819 9962 12452.5
Pump P-102 42.75 m^3/h 2003 14036 17076 21345
Pump P-103 62.86 m^3/h 2003 16230 19745 24681.25
Pump P-105 17.12 m^3/h 2003 2317 2819 3523.75
Pump P-107 0.2467m^/h 2003 2317 2819 3523.75
Reactor R-100 6.5 m^3 2003 33301 44153 70644.8
Flash Seperator S-100 2690.83 KW 2003 193978 235987 377579.2
Distillation Tower T-100 1.5 m 2003 60849 74027 118443.2
Distillation Tower T-101 1.5 m 2003 60849 74027 118443.2
Valve V-1 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-2 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-3 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-4 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-5 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-6 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-7 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-8 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-9 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-10 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-11 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-12 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-13 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-14 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Valve V-15 0.05 m 2003 1066 1297 1297
Sum 1077891 1520515

83
Subsidiary Costs

Subsidiary costs are costs that relate to construction costs other than the equipment purchase
and installation cost. These costs included:

1. Control
2. Piping
3. Electrical installation
4. Buildings
5. Yard Improvements
6. Land
7. Constructors expenses
8. Contractors Fee
9. Contingency
10. Start-up expense

The subsidiary costs were obtained as a factor of the equipment costs. The costs from
numbers 7-10, were a factor of the total capital cost; that is, the sum of the equipment cost and
costs from numbers 1-6. The cost factors have been summarized in Table 33.
Table 33. Subsidiary costs as factors of capital cost

Control 90881.46 0.06


Piping 196909.8 0.13
Eletrical Installation 45440.73 0.03
Buildings 681611 0.45
Yard Improvements 121175.3 0.08
Land 60587.64 0.04
Construction Expense 271129.7 0.01 total capital
cost
Contractors fee 58436.78 0.02 total capital
cost
Contingency 238422.1 0.08 total capital
cost
Startup expense 122093.8 0.08 total capital
cost
Total once off Capital Investment inclusive of 3340792
construction

Sample Calculation

Control cost =0.06 x Equipment purchase cost

Control cost = 0.06 * 1514691

Control cost = $ 90811.46

84
b. Operating Costs

Operating costs are the costs incurred in day to day operation. Also known as the
manufacturing costs, these include:

1. Material costs
2. Employee costs
3. Maintenance
4. Utilities

c. Material costs

The feeds used for this process are Benzene and Propylene. Based on the Douglas approach,
the cost per ton of the materials is summarized in Table 34.
Table 34. Cost of material based on Douglas Approach

Material Cost $/ton


Benzene 1308
Propylene 1587.5

The process simulation constructed in HySYS returned the amount of feeds required to
produce 100000 tonnes of cumene per annum, as seen in Table 35.
Table 35. Cost of material based on HySYS simulation

Material Tonnes/year
Benzene 65490.47
Propylene 37524.94

The total cost for the feeds could then be obtained, as shown in Table 36.
Table 36. Total cost of feeds

Material $/year
Benzene 85661532
Propylene 59570834

Sample calculation

Annual price of Benzene =

Annual price of Benzene =

Annual price of Benzene = $ 85661532

85
d. Employee costs

Labours costs are the costs incurred for staff hired to run and maintain the operation. The
costs estimation was performed according to the skilled employment demand and supply in
Thailand.

Operating Labour

The number of operating labour hours can be seen in Figure 20, which was obtained from
Timmerhaus (1991). The operating hours is presented as a function of plant capacity, where
the capacity for the cumene process is 303.03 tonnes/day. B is used as the operating
condition.

Figure 20. Chart for operating hours verses plant capacity

The operating labour from the plot above is approximately, 61 employee-


hours/(day)(processing step). There are 5 main processes (mixing, heat transfer, compressor,
reaction, and separation/distillation) in the plant. Hence the operating labour =
(61*5*330)=100,650 employees-hours/year.

However due to new technology such as computerized control systems, the labour
requirements for a fluid processing plant would be 1/3 to 2 employee-hours per ton. It was
assumed that the process controller earns the same as an engineer in Thailand.

With control systems, = 33,550 employees-hours/year

86
From world salaries.org (2008), the average salary of an engineer is B32,655 for a 30 day 24
hr plant operation, approximately B45.33/hr. The operating labour per year will be equivalent
to:

33,550 employees-hours/year * B45.33/hr = B1.52X106/operating year

Direct supervisory and clerical labour

Average about 15% of operating labour,

= 0.15 * B1.52X106

=B2.28 X105/operating year

Total

= B1.52X106+ B2.28 X105

=B1.75X106/operating year

=USD52440

*These salaries exclude sending Australians as supervisory roles, engineers and operators.

e. Maintenance Costs

The maintenance cost was obtained as a factor of the equipment cost. This factor was 0.02.
Thus maintenance cost = 0.02 x 3340791.56 = $ 66815.83

f. Utilities

The utilities used in the cumene process are steam, electricity, cooling water and fuel gas. The
quantity required was obtained from the HySYS simulation, and the costs obtained from
(2006). Tables 37-41 summarize the utility costs.

87
Table 37. Cost of steam for equipments

STEAM
m.p.s.
Component Duty (kJ/h) Flowrate (kg/h) Flowrate (tonne/h) Flowrate (tonne/yr) baht (p.a.) USD (p.a.)
Reboiler_100 3.800E+07 13629.412 13.629 107944.943 38644289.563 $ 1,275,261.56

h.p.s.
Component Duty (kJ/h) Flowrate (kg/h) Flowrate (tonne/h) Flowrate (tonne/yr) baht (p.a.) USD (p.a.)
Reboiler_101 1.192E+07 4243.388 4.243 33607.635 12031533.216 $ 397,040.60

TOTAL $ 1,672,302.15
Table 38. Cost of electricity for equipments

ELECTRICITY
Component Duty (kJ/h) Duty (kW) Power (kW-h p.a.) baht (p.a.) USD (p.a)
Pump_100 1.161E+05 32.250 255420.000 762939.540 $ 25,177.00
Comp_100 1.937E+06 538.056 4261400.000 12728801.800 $ 420,050.46
TOTAL $ 445,227.46

88
Table 39. Cost of cooling water for equipments

COOLING WATER
Component Duty (kJ/h) Flowrate (tonne/h) Flowrate (tonne/yr) baht (p.a.) USD (p.a.)
Cond_100 3.800E+07 38.109 301826.241 4771872.875 $ 157,471.80
Cond_101 1.195E+07 11.984 94916.410 1500628.444 $ 49,520.74
Cool_Jacket 1.127E+07 11.302 89515.309 1415237.034 $ 46,702.82
$ 253,695.37

Component Flowrate (kg/h) Flowrate (tonne/h) Flowrate (tonne/yr) baht (p.a.) USD (p.a.)
CW_100 71410 71.410 565567.200 8941617.432 $ 295,073.38

TOTAL $ 548,768.74

Table 40. Cost of fuel gas for furnace

FUEL GAS
Component Duty (kJ/h) Flowrate (tonne/h) Flowrate (tonne/yr) USD (p.a.)
Furnace_100 1.604E+07 0.346 2740.756 $ 1,656,787.21

Table 41. Summary of total utility charges

TOTAL UTILITY CHARGES (p.a.)


Steam (m.p.) $ 1,672,302.15
Electricity $ 445,227.46
Cooling Water $ 548,768.74
Fuel Gas $ 1,656,787.21
TOTAL $ 4,323,085.57

89
g. Revenue

The revenue is the annual income from the sale of cumene and fuel gas. The determined sale
prices are competitive with the market prices for cumene and fuel gas.

Table 42 summarizes the sale price for cumene and the fuel gas.
Table 42. Summary of Sale

Material Cost(USD)/tonne
Cumene 1510
Fuel Gas 604.5

The amount of cumene and fuel gas produced annually was obtained from the HySYS
simulations, and is presented in Table 43.
Table 43. Amount of material produced per year from HySYS simulation

Material Tonne/year
Cumene 100029.6
Fuel Gas 7828.2

The annual revenue from the cumene and fuel gas could then be determined, as shown Table
44.
Table 44. Annual Revenue from sale

Material Revenue
(USD/year)
Cumene 151044696
Fuel Gas 4732120.8
Total 155776817

Sample Calculation

Annual revenue from cumene =

Annual revenue from cumene = 1510 x 100029.6

Annual revenue from cumene = $ 151044696

90
h. NPV Analysis

A NPV analysis was performed to determine the financial feasibility of the cumene plant. The
analysis returns the sum of the cash flows for the period of operation, discounted to present
values. The discount rate for the project was selected to be 9%, equivalent to the hurdle rate.
For the project to be considered economically feasible, a return of greater than 9% is required.

Tables 45 and 46 demonstrate the parameters used for the NPV analysis. Each of the
parameters will be explained further.

91
Table 45. Parameters used for NPV (impure feed)

Year Capital Investment Depreciation rate Depreciation WDV Cash In Cash out Operating Costs Taxable Cash Flow Tax Payable After Tax Cash Flow
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 3353636.94 0 0 0 0 3353636.94 0 0 0 -3353636.94
2 0.2 668158.312 2672633.248 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 5433720.779 1901802.273 4200076.819
3 0.32 1069053.299 1603579.949 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 5032825.792 1761489.027 4340390.064
4 0.192 641431.9795 962147.9693 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 5460447.112 1911156.489 4190722.602
5 0.1152 384859.1877 577288.7816 155776816.8 149674937.7 149678577.7 5713379.904 1999682.966 4102196.125
6 0.1152 384859.1877 192429.5939 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 5717019.904 2000956.966 4100922.125
7 0.0576 192429.5939 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 5909449.497 2068307.324 4033571.767
8 0 0.00 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 6101879.091 2135657.682 3966221.409
9 0 0.00 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149678577.7 6098239.091 2134383.682 3967495.409
10 0 0.00 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 6101879.091 2135657.682 3966221.409
11 0 0.00 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 6101879.091 2135657.682 3966221.409
12 0 0.00 0 155776816.8 149674937.7 149674937.7 6101879.091 2135657.682 3966221.409

Table 46. Parameters used for NPV (pure feed)

Year Capital Investment Depreciation rate Depreciation WDV Cash In Cash out Operating Costs Taxable Cash Flow Tax Payable After Tax Cash Flow
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 3353636.94 0 0 0 0 3353636.94 0 0 0 -3353636.94
2 0.2 668158.312 2672633.248 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -1521995.065 -532698.2727 -321138.4801
3 0.32 1069053.299 1603579.949 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -1922890.052 -673011.5182 -180825.2346
4 0.192 641431.9795 962147.9693 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -1495268.732 -523344.0563 -330492.6964
5 0.1152 384859.1877 577288.7816 151166450.6 152020287.3 152023927.3 -1242335.94 -434817.5792 -419019.1736
6 0.1152 384859.1877 192429.5939 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -1238695.94 -433543.5792 -420293.1736
7 0.0576 192429.5939 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -1046266.347 -366193.2213 -487643.5314
8 0 0.00 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -853836.7527 -298842.8635 -554993.8893
9 0 0.00 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152023927.3 -857476.7527 -300116.8635 -553719.8893
10 0 0.00 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -853836.7527 -298842.8635 -554993.8893
11 0 0.00 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -853836.7527 -298842.8635 -554993.8893
12 0 0.00 0 151166450.6 152020287.3 152020287.3 -853836.7527 -298842.8635 -554993.8893

92
Figure 21 demonstrates the cumulative after tax and discounted cash flows over the duration of the plant life (impure propylene).

300
Millions

y = 2E+07x - 3E+07
250

200
Dollar value

150
Cumulative cash flow

100 Cumulative discounted cash flow

y = -595093x2 + 2E+07x - 2E+07


50

0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

-50
Year

Figure 21. Cumulative After tax and discounted cash flow (Impure Propylene feed)

93
Figure 22 demonstrates the cumulative after tax and discounted cash flows over the duration of the plant life (pure propylene feed).

0
Millions

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

-1

-2

-3
Dollar value

-4
Cumulative cash flow

-5 Cumulative discounted cash flow

-6

-7

-8

-9
Year

Figure 22. Cumulative After tax and discounted cash flow (Pure Propylene feed)

94
NPV table calculations

To demonstrate the calculations performed in the NPV table, year 2 is chosen as the basis for
the calculations.

The project outline states that the plant requires two years for construction and start up; thus
implying that the equipment starts to depreciate from year 2. Using the MACRS model for
depreciation, the equipment falls under the 6 year depreciating value category. The
depreciation for the first year (year 2), of plant operation is, 0.2. The initial capital cost was $
335363.94. The depreciation then is,

The written down value, WDV, after the fiscal period, is Capital – Depreciation,

The cash in is the annual revenue made from the sale of cumene and fuel gas. The sale prices
for the products are summarized in Table 45. The annual income is $ 155776817.

The cash out for the cumene plant are the operating costs. These costs are summarized in table
Table 46. The annual cash out flow is $149674938. The annual cash flow for years, 5 and 9 is
$149678578. This is due to the fact that, during these years the catalyst is regenerated in the
reactor. The operating costs in these years therefore, take into account the cost for buying
fresh catalyst; where the cost of the catalyst is $ 3640. It is important to note that the cash out
for year 1, is the capital expenditure. During this fiscal period, the cash out flow is not eligible
for tax redemption.

The taxable cash flow is defined as Cash in – Depreciation – Operating Costs; the taxable
cash flow for the second year is:

5433721

The tax rate is 35%, the tax payable can then be defined as Tax rate x Taxable cash flow;

1901802

The after tax cash in can then be determined as, After tax cash in = Cash in – Tax payable;

95
4200076.82

The discount rate was selected to be 9%, equivalent to the hurdle rate. The discount factors
were obtained from discount rate tables. The discount factor for the second year was 0.84168.
The cash flow could then be brought to present value terms as PV of cash flow = Cash flow in
year x discount factor:

3535120.657

Similar calculations were then performed for the remainder of the years, and the cumulative
discounted cash flows returned the project NPV at the end of the 12th year. The NPV was $
22536473.52

The rate of return could then be calculated as

96
i. Sensitivity Analysis

A sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the influence of the various cash flows on
the NPV. The sensitivity analysis was performed for both alternatives; the impure propylene
feed and the pure propylene feed. The cash flows taken into consideration were; Feeds,
Employee costs, Maintenance costs, Utilities, Revenue and Capital Cost. The annuity factor,
7.16073, was determined was determined form tables published by McCarthy 2011. Tables 47
and 48 summarized the results from the sensitivity analysis of the impure and pure propylene
feeds respectively.
Table 47. Sensitivity Analysis (Impure Propylene feed)

Sensitivity Values Percentage of


summary data NPV

Feeds 675980346 -2999.49


Employee Costs 244080.6428 -1.08305
Maintenance 312188.352 -1.38526
Utilities 20121565.88 -89.2844
Revenue 725059221.5 3217.27
Capital 15609417.6 -69.2629
Total 100

Table 48. Sensitivity Analysis (Pure Propylene feed)

Sensitivity Values Percentage of NPV


summary
data

Feeds 686896715.9 12070.30506


Employee 244080.6428 4.289040478
Costs
Maintenance 312188.352 5.48584461
Utilities 20121565.88 353.5807246
Revenue 703600389.4 -12363.82581
Capital 15609417.6 274.2922305
Total 100

97
Sample Calculation

In order to demonstrate the calculations performed for the sensitivity analysis, sample
calculations have been performed for the Feeds cash flow.

The sensitivity value is given by,

145232366

675980346

The sensitivity value could then be shown as a percentage of the NPV. This value shows the
dependence of the NPV on the Feeds cash flow.

-2999.495 %

Similar calculations were performed for the remaining cash flows.

98
j. Pay-back period

The pay-back period analysis returns the time period required for the project to return the
initial capital amount. This is a very useful tool to determine the financial status of a short
term project. A short pay-back period implies a project with strong finances. The cash flow
plot (Figure 21), was used to determine the pay-back period. The equations associated for the
plot were solved for y =0, or the dollar value = 0; using the goal seek function on excel.

The equations for the trends were.

These equations were entered in excel with a reference cell set for, y. Then using the goal
seeks function, y was set for 0, and a value for x, the pay-back period was returned.

Table 49 summarizes the pay-back periods.


Table 49. Summary of Pay-back period

Method Pay-back period (years)


Cumulative cash flow 1.57
Discounted cumulative
1.75
ash flow

99
APPENDIX C: Meeting Minutes

First Meeting – 25 July 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Everyone in the group


Type of meeting Discussion
Facilitator Dr Hu Zhang
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Xie Ling Lin
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Ling lin, Roy and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Direction of Project. The project is based around the production of cumene and we as a team
are required to come up with a process design for a cumene production plant.

Conclusion 1:
In order to start the planning of the plant, the team has to read up on the cumene production
process to get a clearer understanding of what we have to do. Work delegations will not be
settled on the first meeting. There will be a possibility of splitting up the job to make this
design process more efficient.

Discussion 2:
Rough idea of how the process flow diagram of the plant will turn out to be

Conclusion 2:
Although we have a rough idea of how and what should be included in the diagram of our
plant, more research is needed to substantiate our diagram.

Discussion 3:
The next meeting time and place

Discussion 3:
Scott has volunteered to be the one planning for meetings. The next meeting is plan for
Thursday, 28 July 2011 after Simulation and design tutorial class in one of the cat suites
available.
Second meeting – 28 July 2011, Thursday

Minutes
100
Meeting called by Scott
Type of meeting Discussion and planning
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Toby
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Ling lin, Roy and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
What can we take out from our findings and research papers?

Conclusion 1:
The group to read up and write out information if possible.

101
Third Meeting – 1 August 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Everyone


Type of meeting Discussion and planning
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Ling lin and Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
PFD

Conclusion 1:
There are some possible changes in the first draft of PFD that we have come up together as a
group.
However, to get started with the whole project on the whole apart from literature review,
we‟ll use the current PFD at hand as a basis for mass and energy balance.

102
Fourth Meeting – 4 August 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Discussion and planning
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Toby
Attendees James, Scott, Toby and Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Review of literature review

Conclusion 1:
Pretty good write up, however there is a need to read through it thoroughly and to do the
necessary editing or additional information and references.

Discussion 2:
Draw up timeline of Project

Conclusion 2:
Cassandra and Roy will be doing the timeline of the project. The timeline is important as the
group can use it as a rough gauge to how much we have progress. In addition, there is a need
for the group to set a weekly goal to achieve for the project/report.

Discussion 3:
Checking of overall material balance done by Cassandra.

Conclusion 3:
James will be checking through Cassandra‟s work and type it out using the computer. The
group is to check once James has notify that he has complete and submit into our group‟s
online drop box.

Discussion 4:
Assumptions for mass balance

103
Conclusion 4:
The group has come up with the necessary assumptions needed for our cumene production
plant. Assumptions are attached to the word document for mass balance that James will be
doing. Some examples of our assumptions are:
 Propylene feed is 95% pure
 Benzene is about 99.9% purity out of tower stream after separation
 By using the primary and side reactions, the molar feed ratio of Benzene to propylene
is 2:1
 Bottom product of cumene separation column, DIPB is 100mol%

Discussion 5:
Things to research on and think about for the coming week.

Conclusion 5:
1. Research on how to incorporate catalyst into our mass balance calculations for
cumene production
2. Find out the equipment prices for our cumene production plant
3. Find more science papers/engineering papers to back our writings and calculations
(References)s

104
Fifth Meeting – 9 August 2011, Monday.

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Discussion and planning
Facilitator -
Note taker Toby
Time Keeper Scott Wearing-Smith
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy, Linglin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:

Reaction kinetics of zeolite cataylst

Conclusion 1:

No plausible kinetics for the zeolite catalyst to be used could be found, if no kinetics can be
found by the end of this week (week 3), the given catalytic kinetics in the project brief will
need to be used. Assuming the difference in product purity is negligible and the given
kinetics will be somewhat identical to that of the zeolite catalyst.

Discussion 2:

Time line

Conclusion 2:

To be prepared for the week 6 progress review, the following goals have been set by the end
of each week.
Week 3 – reaction kinetics determined.
Week 4 – Energy balances.
Week 5 – Economics and presentation preparation.

Discussion 3:

105
Toby to consult with Ms. Kay Leverett (Librarian) about Zeolite catalyst kinetics.

Conclusion 3:

Tuesday 9/8 – Ms. Leverett instructed to use on-line resources such as: Kirk-Othmer and
Ullman‟s encyclopedia.

106
Sixth Meeting – 11 August 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott and Toby


Type of meeting Discussion, calculations and planning
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Xie Ling Lin
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Delegation of jobs

Conclusion 1:
The discussions written below elaborates the delegations of jobs for the project.

Discussion 2:
Energy Balances

Conclusion 2:
The group will be moving on in energy balances after some breakthrough during today‟s
project meeting. James and Scott will be the primary group members doing the energy balance
for the project. Ling Lin and Cassandra will help out to their best abilities wherever necessary.

Discussion 3:
PFD

Conclusion 3:
Cassandra will be drawing out the final PFD with Microsoft Visio. Ling Lin and scott will be
the ones checking for any mistakes

Discussion 4:
Written portion of the report

107
Conclusion 4:
Cassandra and Toby will be the main people writing the written part of the report. Ling Lin
and Roy will help out wherever necessary.

Discussion 5:
Economic appraisal

Conclusion 5:
Economic appraisal to be done by Roy when most of the manual calculations, literature
review and HySYS simulation has been completed.

Discussion 6:
HySYS simulation

Conclusion 6:
To be done as a group in the computer suite.

Discussion 7:
Next meeting and what has to be done

Conclusion 7:
James will be coming in the morning on 12 August to continue with the energy balance. The
rest of the group will be coming in the afternoon to meet up and see what have we done.

108
Seventh Meeting – 18 August 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Check up on progress
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Roy, Toby, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Kinetics calculation

Conclusion 1:
James and Scott have completed the kinetics calculation of the catalyst. Next step is to
continue on the energy balance

Discussion 2:
Citing of references

Conclusion 2:
None to be from Wikipedia.

Discussion 3:
Agenda for following week meeting

Conclusion 3:
To start on the economics part of the project, energy balances and refining of report. In
addition, plans should be made about what we are going to present in week 6 for the meeting
with Dr. Hu Zhang

109
Eight Meeting – 22 August 2011

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Project discussion
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Toby
Attendees James, Scott, Roy,Toby, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Discussion 1:
Discussion about PFD alternatives

Conclusion 1
- 4 alternatives for the process were selected. The alternatives were changes to the feed
tank and input stream to feed tank, changes to pre heater for the furnace, addition of a
transalkyl reactor
- Objectives for week 6 meeting.
- Assigning tasks (Objectives for this week)
 Thursday ( whole group working on pricing)
 Summarize the choices for the PFD choice – Roy/Scott
 Develop alternative BFD – Linglin
 Develop alternative PFD – Cassandra
 Summarize the reasons for our choice of PFD/properties of DIPB – Toby

110
Ninth Meeting – 25 August 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Economic Data
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Toby
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Allocation of economic data jobs

Conclusion 1:
Scott: Pumps, Reactor
Ling Lin: Heat Exchanger and furnace
Toby: Condenser, Separator
Cassandra: Tank, Distillation Column

Discussion 2:
Collation of literature, economic data and other written work

Conclusion 2:
Cassandra will be doing the collation of work for Monday‟s meeting the 29th of August

Discussion 3:
PFD

Conclusion 3:
For alternative 2, the transalkylation feed stream from the bottom stream of distillation
column 2. Top product is cumene.
For alternative 4, the propylene stream from feed pump goes through CW-100 into feed
vessel.

Discussion 4:

111
Next meeting agenda

Conclusion 4:
Get everything ready for review with Dr. Hu Zhang

112
Tenth Meeting – 29 August 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Douglas Approach
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Douglas Approach

Conclusion 1:
Cassandra is to write up the Douglas Approach. James will be editing it.

113
Eleventh Meeting – 1 September 2011, Thursday

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Pre-meeting before interview with Dr. Hu
Zhang
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Discussion 1:
Tank - Propylene at atmosphereic at tank in feed tank.

Discussion 2:
Separator – pressure? Vapour or liquid?

Pressure is effectively 1 bar

Higher temperature in tow 2, pre heater before it.

Discussion 3:
DIPB stream – think about what to do with it?

Discussion 4:
Environmental costs/drawbacks verses adding another reactor

Discussion 5:
Think about temperature and pressures of equipment

114
Twelfth Meeting – 5 September 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Review of interview
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy, Xie Ling Lin and
Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
What to present for our presentation

Conclusion 1:
 Summary of what we have done so far as a group
 Improve our BFD
 Need to understand our process well
 Be clear of the chemical properties i.e. know the different pressures for the different
unit operations

Discussion 2:
Energy balance, kinetics

Conclusion 2:
 Find basic duties of Heat Exchanger
 Basic prices
 Operating pressures and temperatures of reactor

Discussion 3:
Presentation Slides

Conclusion 3:
Whilst James and Scott continue with the mathematical part of the project, the rest of the
design group will work together for the preparation of the presentation

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Thirteenth Meeting – 8 September 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Presentation preparation
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees James, Scott, Toby, Roy and Cassandra

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Next Friday's group presentation

Conclusion 1:
Roy will be putting up basics slides on Sunday and the group will have delegated slides to
present for Friday's presentation

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Fourteenth Meeting – 12 September 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Presentation preparation and Reactor Size
Facilitator -
Note taker Toby
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy and LingLin

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Reactor size should not be 25m3, rather 6.5m3

Conclusion 1:
Scott will re-calculate and liaise with James as the alterations with pressures etc. Of the final
PFD with the amended reactor size.

Discussion 2:
Presentation roles need to be assigned

Conclusion 2:
As not all members were present, Roy would alter the PowerPoint. Toby created a Time line
for the presentation and the next scheduled meeting on Thursday (15/9) all group members
would decide on each responsibility.

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Fifteenth Meeting – 15 September 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Presentation preparation
Facilitator -
Note taker Toby
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, James and
LingLin

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Format of PowerPoint presentation.

Conclusion 1:
Presentation will run in order of tasks completed.

Discussion 2:
Each group member was assigned a topic for the presentation.

Conclusion 2:
Roy – Intro, Lit Review
LingLin – BFD
Scott – Douglas Approach
Cassandra – PFD
James – Calculations
Toby – Economics

Next meeting is Friday (16/9) morning @ 9am to revise presentation.

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Sixteenth Meeting – 16 September 2011, Friday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Presentation preparation
Facilitator -
Note taker Toby
Time Keeper Scott
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, James and
LingLin

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Finalising PowerPoint presentation

Conclusion 1:
Ready to present

Discussion 2:
Next weeks duties.

Conclusion 2:
Scott and James – HySYS and Energy balances
Roy, Cass and LingLin – Start economic analysis
Toby – Reference List

Next meeting Monday (26/9) @ 9am N218

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Seventeenth Meeting – 26th October 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Meet up to check up on status of project
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra and James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Energy Balance

Conclusion 1:
James and Scott to continue working on energy balances. Once done, mvoe on to work on
HySYS as a group.

Discussion 2:
PFD

Conclusion 2:
There might be some amendments that have to be made to the PFD. Cassandra will
understand the process and change where ever necessary. These changes will be discussed
between James, Scott and Cassandra.

Discussion 3:
Economic Appraisal

Conclusion 3:
The economic appraisal cannot be started as there is not enough information for some of the
calculations.

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Eighteenth Meeting – 4th October 2011, Tuesday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting eet up to check up on status of project
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, Ling lin and
James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
PFD

Conclusion 1:
Changes were made to the PFD after all the energy balances and HySYS simulation was
completed. Cassandra made the necessary changes. James oversaw the changes made

Discussion 2:
Economic Appraisal

Conclusion 2:
Roy can start on the economic appraisal by doing all the necessary calculations needed for
the write up. Toby, Ling lin and Cassandra will assist Roy in this task.

Discussion 3:
Plant Location and Layout

Conclusion 3:
Cassandra will research and write out the sections for plant location and layout with
reasonable explanations to choice.

Discussion 4:
Fuel Gas

Conclusion 4:

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Ling Lin and Cass will research on how to utilise the fuel gas.

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Nineteenth Meeting – 10th October 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Meet up to check up on status of project
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, Ling lin and
James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Steam and Utility Cost

Conclusion 1:
Toby and James will research on the steam and utility cost for the economic analysis
calculations

Discussion 2:
Fuel Gas

Conclusion 2:
The group has decided to utilise the fuel gas that is separated from the main mixture of feed.
The fuel gas consists of propane and propylene which can effectively heat up some processes
of the plant. However, there is still a need to purchase fuel gas for the initial start up and
running of plant. There is insufficient amount of fuel gas to burn to the temperature of some
processes.

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Twentieth Meeting – 13th October 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Meet up to check up on status of project
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, Ling lin and
James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Cost of Catalyst

Conclusion 1:
Linglin will search for a catalyst price.

Discussion 2:
Operating Labour

Conclusion 2:
Cassandra will calculate the cost of operating labour

Discussion 3:
Report table of contents

Conclusion 3:
Toby will type out the table of contents and the necessary headings for the design report

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21st Meeting – 17 October 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Collation of Report and Economic Appraisal
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra and James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Compilation of individual written parts

Conclusion 1:
Toby and Cassandra – go through the table of contents, compare what is written in the project
design description and marking scheme assessment
Toby – Type out table of contents and put it in dropbox
Cassandra – Make a separate folder of folders. These folders will be named according to the
main sections of the group‟s design report

Discussion 2:
Economic Sensitivity, Immunity Factor

Conclusion 2:
Roy to continue working on the Economic Appraisal. To update Scott of the sensitivity and
immunity factor issue on Thursday, 20th October 2011

Discussion 3:
Catalyst Cost

Conclusion 3:
Linglin has found a sample catalyst cost but in powder form. The group has discussed and
concluded that a sample catalyst cost in pellet form will be more accurate. This is because
pellets can be regenerated easier. There are also many disadvantages in “using” powder form
as a gauge for the pricing. There is risk of the powder contaminating the upstream after the
reactor and this will in turn contaminate the whole process. The group has agreed to use the
cost of catalyst in powder form if there is no way to obtain the cost of catalyst in pellet form.

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Discussion 4:
Design Report draft

Conclusion 4:
Design Report draft #1 should be done by Thursday meeting on the 20th of October for round
one of editing.

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22nd Meeting – 20 October 2011, Thursday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Collation of Report and Economic Appraisal
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra and James

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Material and Energy Balance write up

Conclusion 1:
James to finish the write ups for the report by the weekend.

Discussion 2:
Economic Appraisal and sample calculations

Conclusion 2:
Roy will finish the write up and sample calculations by the weekend.

Discussion 3:
Complilation of Report

Conclusion 3:
Cassandra and Toby will continue to compile and format the report.

Discussion 4:
Fuel Gas write up

Conclusion 4:

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Linglin will write a small section on the usage of fuel gas

Discussion 5:
Next meeting on Monday, everything should be compiled for the group to go through once
together and to edit if necessary

Conclusion 5:
Meeting will be 10am, Innova.

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23rd Meeting – 24 October 2011, Monday

Minutes

Meeting called by Scott


Type of meeting Collation of Report
Facilitator -
Note taker Cassandra Cheang
Time Keeper Cassandra Cheang
Attendees Scott, Toby, Roy, Cassandra, James and Ling
lin

Agenda topics

Discussion 1:
Formatting

Conclusion 1:
Cassandra will do the formatting

Discussion 2:
Proof-reading

Conclusion 2:
Scott and Roy will be proof reading the report

Discussion 3:
Project Summary

Conclusion 3:
Toby will write up the project summary

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APPENDIX D: Attachments

 Major design report soft copy.


 HySYS simulation file.
 MSDS files.

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