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Elsevier Science
Chemical Engineering Design: Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design / Edition 2

Chemical Engineering Design: Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design / Edition 2

by Gavin Towler, R K Sinnott


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Chemical Engineering Design: Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design / Edition 2

Chemical Engineering Design, Second Edition, deals with the application of chemical engineering principles to the design of chemical processes and equipment. Revised throughout, this edition has been specifically developed for the U.S. market.

It provides the latest US codes and standards, including API, ASME and ISA design codes and ANSI standards. It contains new discussions of conceptual plant design, flowsheet development, and revamp design; extended coverage of capital cost estimation, process costing, and economics; and new chapters on equipment selection, reactor design, and solids handling processes.

A rigorous pedagogy assists learning, with detailed worked examples, end of chapter exercises, plus supporting data, and Excel spreadsheet calculations, plus over 150 Patent References for downloading from the companion website. Extensive instructor resources, including 1170 lecture slides and a fully worked solutions manual are available to adopting instructors.

This text is designed for chemical and biochemical engineering students (senior undergraduate year, plus appropriate for capstone design courses where taken, plus graduates) and lecturers/tutors, and professionals in industry (chemical process, biochemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical sectors).

New to this edition:

  • Revised organization into Part I: Process Design, and Part II: Plant Design. The broad themes of Part I are flowsheet development, economic analysis, safety and environmental impact and optimization. Part II contains chapters on equipment design and selection that can be used as supplements to a lecture course or as essential references for students or practicing engineers working on design projects.
  • New discussion of conceptual plant design, flowsheet development and revamp design
  • Significantly increased coverage of capital cost estimation, process costing and economics
  • New chapters on equipment selection, reactor design and solids handling processes
  • New sections on fermentation, adsorption, membrane separations, ion exchange and chromatography
  • Increased coverage of batch processing, food, pharmaceutical and biological processes
  • All equipment chapters in Part II revised and updated with current information
  • Updated throughout for latest US codes and standards, including API, ASME and ISA design codes and ANSI standards
  • Additional worked examples and homework problems
  • The most complete and up to date coverage of equipment selection
  • 108 realistic commercial design projects from diverse industries
  • A rigorous pedagogy assists learning, with detailed worked examples, end of chapter exercises, plus supporting data and Excel spreadsheet calculations plus over 150 Patent References, for downloading from the companion website
  • Extensive instructor resources: 1170 lecture slides plus fully worked solutions manual available to adopting instructors

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780080966595
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Publication date: 01/27/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 1320
Sales rank: 712,206
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Gavin Towler is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of UOP LLC, a Honeywell company. UOP is a leading supplier of catalysts, process technology, proprietary equipment and services to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. In this capacity he is responsible for delivering process, catalyst and equipment innovations for UOP’s four businesses.

Gavin has 20 years of broad experience of process and product design and has 65 US patents. He is co-author of “Chemical Engineering Design”, a textbook on process design, and is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, where he teaches the senior design classes.

Gavin has a B.A. and M.Eng. in chemical engineering from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers, and is a Fellow of the AIChE.

Ray Sinnott's varied career, mainly in design and development, began with several major companies including Dupont and John Brown. The main areas covered within these appointments were: Gas Production and Distribution, Nuclear Energy, Elastomers and Textile fibres.

After his career in industry he joined the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Wales Swansea in 1970, specialising in teaching process and plant design, and other engineering practice subjects.

The first edition of Chemical Engineering Design (Coulson and Richardson’s Vol 6) was published in 1983. Subsequent editions have been published at approximately 5 year intervals.

Ray Sinnott retired from full time teaching in 1995 but has maintained close contact with the engineering profession.

Read an Excerpt

Chemical Engineering Design

Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design
By Gavin Towler Ray Sinnott


Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-08-096660-1

Chapter One

Introduction to Design


• How design projects are carried out and documented in industry, including the formats used for design reports

• Why engineers in industry use codes and standards in design

• Why it is necessary to build margins into a design

• Methods used by product design engineers to translate customer needs into product specifications


This chapter is an introduction to the nature and methodology of the design process, and its application to the design of chemical products and manufacturing processes.


This section is a general discussion of the design process. The subject of this book is chemical engineering design, but the methodology described in this section applies equally to other branches of engineering.

Chemical engineering has consistently been one of the highest paid engineering professions. There is a demand for chemical engineers in many sectors of industry, including the traditional process industries: chemicals, polymers, fuels, foods, pharmaceuticals, and paper, as well as other sectors such as electronic materials and devices, consumer products, mining and metals extraction, biomedical implants, and power generation.

The reason that companies in such a diverse range of industries value chemical engineers so highly is the following:

Starting from a vaguely defined problem statement such as a customer need or a set of experimental results, chemical engineers can develop an understanding of the important underlying physical science relevant to the problem and use this understanding to create a plan of action and set of detailed specifications, which, if implemented, will lead to a predicted financial outcome.

The creation of plans and specifications and the prediction of the financial outcome if the plans were implemented is the activity of chemical engineering design.

Design is a creative activity, and as such can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying activities undertaken by an engineer. The design does not exist at the start of the project. The designer begins with a specific objective or customer need in mind, and by developing and evaluating possible designs, arrives at the best way of achieving that objective; be it a better chair, a new bridge, or for the chemical engineer, a new chemical product or production process.

When considering possible ways of achieving the objective the designer will be constrained by many factors, which will narrow down the number of possible designs. There will rarely be just one possible solution to the problem, just one design. Several alternative ways of meeting the objective will normally be possible, even several best designs, depending on the nature of the constraints.

These constraints on the possible solutions to a problem in design arise in many ways. Some constraints will be fixed and invariable, such as those that arise from physical laws, government regulations, and engineering standards. Others will be less rigid, and can be relaxed by the designer as part of the general strategy for seeking the best design. The constraints that are outside the designer's influence can be termed the external constraints. These set the outer boundary of possible designs, as shown in Figure 1.1. Within this boundary there will be a number of plausible designs bounded by the other constraints, the internal constraints, over which the designer has some control; such as choice of process, choice of process conditions, materials, and equipment.

Economic considerations are obviously a major constraint on any engineering design: plants must make a profit. Process costing and economics are discussed in Chapters 7, 8, and 9.

Time will also be a constraint. The time available for completion of a design will usually limit the number of alternative designs that can be considered.

The stages in the development of a design, from the initial identification of the objective to the final design, are shown diagrammatically in Figure 1.2. Each stage is discussed in the following sections.

Figure 1.2 shows design as an iterative procedure. As the design develops, the designer will become aware of more possibilities and more constraints, and will be constantly seeking new data and evaluating possible design solutions.

1.2.1 The Design Objective (The Need)

All design starts with a perceived need. In the design of a chemical product or process, the need is the public need for the product, creating a commercial opportunity, as foreseen by the sales and marketing organization. Within this overall objective the designer will recognize sub-objectives, the requirements of the various units that make up the overall process.

Before starting work, the designer should obtain as complete, and as unambiguous, a statement of the requirements as possible. If the requirement (need) arises from outside the design group, from a customer or from another department, then the designer will have to elucidate the real requirements through discussion. It is important to distinguish between the needs that are "must haves" and those that are "should haves". The "should haves" are those parts of the initial specification that may be thought desirable, but that can be relaxed if necessary as the design develops. For example, a particular product specification may be considered desirable by the sales department, but may be difficult and costly to obtain, and some relaxation of the specification may be possible, producing a saleable but cheaper product. Whenever possible, the designer should always question the design requirements (the project and equipment specifications) and keep them under review as the design progresses. It is important for the design engineer to work closely with the sales or marketing department or with the customer directly, to have as clear as possible an understanding of the customer's needs.

When writing specifications for others, such as for the mechanical design or purchase of a piece of equipment, the design engineer should be aware of the restrictions (constraints) that are being placed on other designers. A well-thought-out, comprehensive specification of the requirements for a piece of equipment defines the external constraints within which the other designers must work.

1.2.2 Setting the Design Basis

The most important step in starting a process design is translating the customer need into a design basis. The design basis is a more precise statement of the problem that is to be solved. It will normally include the production rate and purity specifications of the main product, together with information on constraints that will influence the design such as:

1. The system of units to be used.

2. The national, local, or company design codes that must be followed.

3. Details of raw materials that are available.

4. Information on potential sites where the plant might be located, including climate data, seismic conditions, and infrastructure availability. Site design is discussed in detail in Chapter 11.

5. Information on the conditions, availability, and price of utility services such as fuel gas, steam, cooling water, process air, process water, and electricity that will be needed to run the process.

The design basis must be clearly defined before design can begin. If the design is carried out for a client, then the design basis should be reviewed with the client at the start of the project. Most companies use standard forms or questionnaires to capture design basis information. An example template is given in Appendix G and can be downloaded in MS Excel format from the online material at

1.2.3 Generation of Possible Design Concepts The creative part of the design process is the generation of possible solutions to the problem for analysis, evaluation, and selection. In this activity most designers largely rely on previous experience, their own and that of others. It is doubtful if any design is entirely novel. The antecedence of most designs can usually be easily traced. The first motor cars were clearly horse-drawn carriages without the horse; and the development of the design of the modern car can be traced step by step from these early prototypes. In the chemical industry, modern distillation processes have developed from the ancient stills used for rectification of spirits; and the packed columns used for gas absorption have developed from primitive, brushwood-packed towers. So, it is not often that a process designer is faced with the task of producing a design for a completely novel process or piece of equipment.

Experienced engineers usually prefer the tried and tested methods, rather than possibly more exciting but untried novel designs. The work that is required to develop new processes, and the cost, are usually underestimated. Commercialization of new technology is difficult and expensive and few companies are willing to make multimillion dollar investments in technology that is not well proven (a phenomenon known in industry as "me third" syndrome). Progress is made more surely in small steps; however, when innovation is wanted, previous experience, through prejudice, can inhibit the generation and acceptance of new ideas (known as "not invented here" syndrome).

The amount of work, and the way it is tackled, will depend on the degree of novelty in a design project. Development of new processes inevitably requires much more interaction with researchers and collection of data from laboratories and pilot plants.

Chemical engineering projects can be divided into three types, depending on the novelty involved:

1. Modifications, and additions, to existing plant; usually carried out by the plant design group. Projects of this type represent about half of all the design activity in industry.

2. New production capacity to meet growing sales demand, and the sale of established processes by contractors. Repetition of existing designs, with only minor design changes, including designs of vendor's or competitor's processes carried out to understand whether they have a compellingly better cost of production. Projects of this type account for about 45% of industrial design activity.

3. New processes, developed from laboratory research, through pilot plant, to a commercial process. Even here, most of the unit operations and process equipment will use established designs. This type of project accounts for less than 5% of design activity in industry.

The majority of process designs are based on designs that previously existed. The design engineer very rarely sits down with a blank sheet of paper to create a new design from scratch, an activity sometimes referred to as "process synthesis." Even in industries such as pharmaceuticals, where research and new product development are critically important, the types of process used are often based on previous designs for similar products, so as to make use of well-understood equipment and smooth the process of obtaining regulatory approval for the new plant.

The first step in devising a new process design will be to sketch out a rough block diagram showing the main stages in the process and to list the primary function (objective) and the major constraints for each stage. Experience should then indicate what types of unit operations and equipment should be considered. The steps involved in determining the sequence of unit operations that constitutes a process flowsheet are described in Chapter 2.

The generation of ideas for possible solutions to a design problem cannot be separated from the selection stage of the design process; some ideas will be rejected as impractical as soon as they are conceived.


Excerpted from Chemical Engineering Design by Gavin Towler Ray Sinnott Copyright © 2013 by Elsevier Ltd. . Excerpted by permission of Butterworth-Heinemann. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Part I: Process Design 1 Introduction to Design 2 Process Flowsheet Development 3 Utilities and Energy Efficient Design 4 Process Simulation 5 Instrumentation and Process Control 6 Materials of Construction 7 Capital Cost Estimating 8 Estimating Revenues and Production Costs 9 Economic Evaluation of Projects 10 Safety and Loss Prevention 11 General Site Considerations 12 Optimization in Design

Part II: Plant Design 13 Equipment Selection, Specification and Design 14 Design of Pressure Vessels 15 Design of Reactors and Mixers 16 Separation of Fluids 17 Separation Columns (Distillation, Absorption and Extraction) 18 Specification and Design of Solids-Handling Equipment 19 Heat Transfer Equipment 20 Transport and Storage of Fluids

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Chemical Engineering Design: Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
This is a very informative, exhaustive, and modern chemical engineering design textbook. It covers all essential aspects of chemical design for plants and processes, including, as the subtitle suggests, principles, practices and the economics of such design. It is intended for an advanced undergraduate course, or even for an introductory graduate course in chemical engineering or related fields. The chapters include: “Process Flowsheet Development,” “Instrumentation and Process Control,” “Capital Cost Estimating,” “General Site Considerations,” “Design of Pressure Vessels,” “Separation of Fluids,” “Transport and Storage of Fluids,” and many others. Chapters generally build upon the preceding material, but there are a few that can be skipped if they don’t directly align with the course material. The writing is very detailed, with many worked-out examples, tables, graphs and references. Each chapter ends with a set of problems. The problems vary in difficulty, but are generally well suited as a way for testing the understanding of the material in any given chapter. The book also includes 108 realistic design projects from several industries. The book can also be used as a reference for practicing engineers or designers. It is one of the more impressive technical textbooks that I’ve come across.