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EMAN 402 Process Optimisation

Paper Description

This course focuses on the practical application of energy management in an industrial context. It specifically deals with how to find the optimum balance between energy efficiency, capital costs and other operations issues. It begins with a review of thermodynamics followed by topics in pinch analysis, compressors, turbines, steam and water, optimisation methods, and combustion heat exchange. It then finishes with a number of case studies in power generation and processing technology.

This course is regarded as both difficult and rewarding. There is some advanced mathematics required but the challenge centers on learning how to apply all of the different concepts to real world situations. The lecturer in the paper is a consultant, currently practicing in the field, rather than an academic staff member.

The course consists of 13 two hour lectures, and tutorials as needed.

There is no text book for this paper.


Final exam 60%, Assignments 40%.

Important information about assessment for EMAN402

Course Coordinator

Dr Eric Scharpf

Lecture Topics

Review of heat and mass balances, entropy/availability, and equilibrium
T vs H plots for heat exchange
Compression/expression systems and equipment
Properties and use of water in energy related process applications
Optimisation mathematics
Combustion and flue gas heat exchange

Linhoff-March Pinch Analysis

Interpreting piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)

Combined cycle power generation case study

H2 production with steam methane reforming case study

Separations and other process optimisation opportunity case studies

Textbook: Text books are not required for this paper. However, students are expected to read an array of technical articles distributed throughout the term and also consult various sources on their own initiative to supplement the lecture material and to support their work in solving the homework problems.

After completing this paper students will be able to:

  •  Understand and apply the basic aspects of equipment design, heat transfer and thermodynamics to evaluate the cost and performance of heaters, boilers, compressors expanders and power generation systems
  • Understand and apply basic aspects of capital and operating-cost analysis, utilisation, efficiency, usability and risk to evaluate optimal energy-management solutions for various industry scenarios
  • Understand the properties of water in various applications, such as cooling towers, process condensate, hot water and steam systems to evaluate and improve the performance and operation of the corresponding industrial systems
  • Understand and apply heat-integration optimisation methods to improve complex industrial operations, such as thermally based power generation, steam methane reforming and separation systems
  • Be able to identify a wide range of industrial energy-management opportunities separate from the traditional academic context and develop workable improvement options to reduce overall costs or improve overall benefits


Formal University Information

The following information is from the University’s corporate web site.