(185q) Computer-Aided Tools for Process and Product Design

Kumar Tula, A., Auburn University
Eden, M. R., Auburn University
Gani, R., Technical University of Denmark
Computer-aided methods and tools for current and future product–process design and development need to manage problems requiring efficient handling of models, data, and knowledge from different sources and at different times and size scales. In this work, the development and features of such tools are presented for both process and product design.

ProCAPD is new product design simulator based on systematic model-based framework for product design and evaluation [1]. ProCAPD is the one and only software that like the well-known process simulators offer options for chemical product evaluation (simulation of their performance). However, unlike the process simulators, also provide options for chemical product synthesis, design and analysis. It also allows access to vast amounts of data that could be useful for chemical substitution. ProCAPD offers the following options:

Database with search engine (chemicals, solvents, active ingredients, aroma, color-agents, etc.), Product evaluation (estimation of a wide range of properties used to evaluate product performance), Single species product design (database search, generate-test approach, mathematical programming), Multi-species product design templates (blends, formulated liquid products, formulated emulsions), Modelling tool-box and New product template design.

ProCAFD is a computer aided tool [2,3] capable of enumerating the entire feasible search space for processing routes, analyzing and determining the most sustainable process. On the highest level of the tool, it has 6 different component structures, which are connected to the main user interface, which interact to provide sufficient information to solve the process synthesis-design problem. They are: 1) Database library for storing, retrieval and addition of information; 2) Flowsheet property model library, which estimates the properties of the entire flowsheet that can be used to benchmark the alternatives; 3) Methods library to solve sub-problems or to generate data required to solve the synthesis problem; 4) Tools library, which has wrapper classes for integrating different in-house tools, which are used to generate results at various levels of the problem solution; 5) Simulation tools library that facilitates the wrapper classes required to interact with simulation packages like Aspen Plus, ProII etc. 6) Graph interface to interact with user.

The frameworks requires integration of different tools, methods, models and database libraries to solve the process-product design problems. The computer aided tools are completely built in visual C# environment, using the concepts of object oriented programming. The tools are developed, keeping in mind the present and future integration needs to further expand the capabilities of the tool.


[1] S. Kalakul, M.R. Eden, R. Gani, 2017, The Chemical Product Simulator – ProCAPD, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 40, 979-984.

[2] A.K. Tula, M.R. Eden, R. Gani, 2015, Process synthesis, design and analysis using a process-group contribution method. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 81, 245-259.

[3] A.K. Tula, J. Bottlaender, M.R. Eden, R. Gani, 2017, A computer-aided software-tool for sustainable process synthesis-intensification, Computers and Chemical Engineering, 105, 74-95.