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Welcome to the Northwestern University Chemical Process Design Open Textbook.
This electronic textbook is a student-contributed open-source text covering the materials used in our chemical engineering capstone design courses at Northwestern.

If you have any comments or suggestions on this open textbook, please contact Professor Fengqi You.

Northwestern University Chemical Process Design Open Text Book


Chemical Process Design Theory and Method

Design Basis

  1. Define product and feed (S1)
  2. Preliminary market analysis and plant capacity (G2)
  3. Site condition and design (H)
  4. Block flow diagram (S2)

Process Flow Diagram

  1. Process alternatives and flowsheeting (H)
  2. Reactors (G2)
  3. Separation processes (S2)
  4. Process hydraulics: Hydraulic systems, pressure drop, valves, pumps, and compressors (S1)
  5. Heat transfer equipment: Heat exchangers, boilers, condensers, heaters and coolers
  6. Utility systems
  7. Pressure vessels

Process Economics

  1. Estimation of capital (H)
  2. Estimation of production cost and revenue (S2)
  3. Engineering economic analysis (S1)
  4. Sensitivity analysis and design optimization (G1)

Other Process Design Considerations

  1. Process safety (G1)
  2. Process hazards (G1)
  3. Environmental concerns (G2)
  4. Controls and P&ID

Chemical Process Design Projects


Glycerol to propylene glycol

  • Design 1 (2014)
  • Design 2 (2014)

Succinic acid to 1,4-butanediol

  • Design 1 (2014)
  • Design 2 (2014)

Hydrogen Student Design Contest

  • Drop-in Hydrogen Fueling (2014)

Guide to Use Wiki