Course syllabus


KBT156 KBT156 Preliminary plant design lp1 HT20 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (CE)
in cooperation with the division of Energy Technology (ET) at the department of Space, Earth and Environment.

(Course memo in pdf format: PPD_memo_2021.pdf)

Contact details

Gunnar Eriksson (CE) 772 5704
Derek Creaser (CE) 772 3023
Simon Harvey (ET) 772 8531 
Guest lecturers
Mats Lindgren IPS
Sven Andersson Babcock & Wilcox Völund
Exercise supervisors
Rojin Feizie Ilmasani (CE) 772 2939
Christian Langner (ET) 772 5255
Tharun Roshan Kumar (ET) 772 6684


Course purpose

The aim of the course is to introduce a systems approach in design of a chemical process plant.

While in the general courses in chemical engineering each operation is studied separately, in this course the process and the plant is at the center. The main part of this course involves a project where the design of a chemical plant with all its components is performed, using modern computational tools. The systems approach is emphasized and aspects of operation, control, safety, environment, sustainability, optimization and economy are included.

The lectures in this course treat topics that form the basis for a commercial plant design project. The emphasis is on a preliminary design and cost estimation of a process plant.


The course is aimed at chemical engineering students at the M.Sc. level and good knowledge in the fields of reaction engineering, separation processes and energy analysis is assumed. During the project work process integration methods and tools will be used, and course participants are expected to have basic knowledge in this field.




Course literature

Towler, G, Sinnott R: ”Chemical Enginee­ring Design”, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann 2013. Can be purchased at Cremona.

There will also be extra material handed out at the lectures.

Course design

The course will be given as lectures and a project assignment, performed in small groups. The lectures will partly support the project work, but also give a wider view on topics that has to be considered in plant design. The project assignment will be given as a more general task, but each group will also get a group assignment, to be presented at the concluding seminar.


Lecture planning can be found in PPD_memo_2021.pdf and on the page Lecture schedule with links.

Project and exercises

The main part of the exercises is dedicated to the project assignment. The exercises are mainly located in computer labs, to give the opportunity to go through the different items in the assignment under supervision (there are in total 20 scheduled, mostly 4 hour exercises). The project starts with an overall planning to set up the flowchart for the process, followed by general material and heat balance calculations. Then the process equipment, including reactor and separation units, will be designed, with more thorough analysis in the case of some separation equipment, the reactor and heat exchangers. The energy and utility systems will also be analyzed, and finally the operational and investment costs will be calculated.

The presentation of the assignment will be both as a written report, and orally at a seminar. At the seminar each group will present a group assignment, treating some aspect of the process more deeply.

Project planning can be found in PPD_memo_2021.pdf and on the page Project exercise schedule with links.


Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:


  • apply a systems approach to chemical engineering processes
  • use computer tools to optimize the process
  • decide the best process alternative from an economical, environmental and sustainable point of view

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan


Examination form

A written examination will be given after the lecture series, Oct 28. There will be 30 p, mostly as descriptive questions, but also some calculation problems. The only allowed aids will be an optional calculator with emptied memory, data tables and dictionaries (printed, not copied). Please contact the examiner beforehand if you are unsure if your aid is allowed or not.

As the project assignment constitutes a large part of the course, there will be a grading of this, depending on the work put into it. A grading will be done based on both the oral presentation and the written report, with a maximum of 30 p in total (divided into 7 p for the oral and 23 p for the written presentation). In order to be able to take the report fully into consideration in the grading, the report, including a written presentation of the group assignment, has to be handed in before Oct 29 17:00. Failure to meet this deadline may give grounds for lower points for the report.

The final grading of the course is based on both the written examination grading and the project grading, based on a straight average of the points.

Course summary:

Date Details Due