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Chemical Process Design

Chemical Process Design

Chemical process design is an essential process in chemical industry, which requires the selection of a series of processing steps and their integration to form a complete manufacturing system. Once a structure for the process has been established, then a mathematical model of the process can be developed and the process simulated.

As with any engineering design problem, seeking the best solution at the least cost is our goal. The process of design has the following goals: i) find solutions at low cost; ii) produce a financial estimate; iii) understand the risk that the process poses to society and the environment; iv) produce the documentation required to build the process.

The Steps of Chemical Process Design

Process design, which covers the steps from the initial selection of the process to be used, through to the issuing of the process flow sheets and includes the selection, specification, and chemical engineering design of equipment.

The design processFig. 1 The design process

To put it simply, chemical process design is commonly broken down into the following stages: i) need definition, ii) process synthesis, iii) process design, iv) process analysis.

  • Need definition

Before starting work, the designer should obtain as complete, and as unambiguous, a statement of the needs as possible. All design starts with a perceived need. In the design of a chemical 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 subobjectives, the requirements of the various units that make up the overall process.

  • Process synthesis

In this stage, multiple solutions are generated and discarded as quickly as possible to produce a small number of favorable solutions that are taken to more detail.

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.

  • Process design

Once the designer has identified one or two most favored solutions that meet the customer objective, then the process of design selection can begin. The primary criterion for design selection is usually economic performance, although factors such as safety and environmental impact may also play a strong role.

When all the candidate designs have been optimized, the best design can be selected. Very often, the design engineer will find that several designs have very close economic performance, in which case the safest design or that which has the best commercial track record will be chosen.

  • Process analysis

In this stage optimization of the conditions or equipment will be performed. When the details of the design have been finalized, the equipment can be purchased and the plant can be built.

What we offer

With in-depth study in chemical products and chemical technology, Alfa Chemistry is particularly confident that we can provide the following chemical process design services:

  • Tower design
  • Tower design of ethylene plant
  • Tower design of fertilizer industry
  • Tower design of bisphenol A
  • Tower design of polycarbonate
  • Distillation system design
  • Distillation system of dimethyl carbonate reaction
  • Distillation system of alcohol products
  • Distillation system of glycol
  • Distillation system of styrene
  • Separation system design
  • Separation system of aniline
  • Separation system of ketone & ethyl ketone
  • Separation system of phenol & acetone
  • Separation system of advanced fatty acid
  • Separation system of ethylene oxide & propylene oxide
  • Separation system of nitrobenzene & nitrochlorobenzene
  • Refining system design
  • Refining system of food grade CO2
  • Refinery refining of naphtha (C5, C6)
  • Refining system of Isopropylamine

  • Desulfurization system design
  • Desulfurization system of MTBE
  • Desulfurization system of boiler plant smoke dust
  • Desulfurization system of steel-making plant smoke dust

  • Others
  • Purification system of NOX gas
  • Waste recycling of coal to ethylene glycol project

Alfa Chemistry can provide you with the most professional chemical process design. Please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. David Mody, David S. Strong. An Overview of Chemical Process Design Engineering.
  2. GAVIN TOWLER, RAY SINNOTT. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN Principles, Practice and Economics of Plant and Process Design.
Industrial Engineering