Process Simulation
Process simulation is used from the "macro" to "micro" level in the process industries, not just the obvious simulation of process unit operations, (e.g. pumps, heat exchangers, vessels...). Following is a brief description of the use of process simulators in the process industries.

Planning and Scheduling
Planning and Scheduling is an extention of the use of traditional process simulators. The scope of the simulation can range from only the interactions of all the process units across a single complex upto simulating the interaction between multiple chemical complexes often across countries and continents. Commodity traders could even simulate chemical complexes operated by competing companies in order to predict supply and demand fluctuations.
Process Simulators
The simulation of process unit operations. The developed models can range in scope from a single item of process equipment to a whole process unit.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Due to the computational demands the process model is normally limited to an individual item of process equipment. Because the equipment is modelled using heat and material balance for clusters of particles the model is able to predict the performance of the actual unit much more accuratly than the generalised equations developed from experimental study, which may not be applicable.
Catalyst Simulation
A new field of study and like planning and scheduling, on the edge of what is understood as traditional process simulation. Catalysts have a major effect on process design. Identifying a catalyst that is specific to a certain reaction and produces a high product yield can reduce the product separation and recyle requirements for a process design.

Catalyst simulators are used to identify the optimal catalyst without having to resort to physical testing, which often requires extreme process conditions.

Last modified 28 Oct 09