Course Title: Process Plant Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Process Plant Design

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr. Raj Parthasarathy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252941

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 07.02.02

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is expected that you will have a good understanding and broad knowledge in core chemical engineering courses such as mass and energy balances, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, and reaction engineering.

Course Description

This course focuses on the engineering aspects involved in the development or modification of commercial process plants. It involves the application of principles learnt in other chemical engineering courses like mass and heat transfer, reaction engineering and fluid mechanics to select and size suitable equipment for a given process. The course develops the practical skills required to carry out the design project in the final year of the Chemical Engineering program. The activities in this course involve creative problem-solving, team work and effective communication.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Successful learning in this course will rely on the good understanding and application of core chemical engineering principles to the design of processes and plant equipment. The course will develop skills
• in analysing alternative processes for manufacturing a product and selecting the most suitable one on the basis of technical, economic, social and environmental considerations
• in the detailed design of heat exchangers, distillation and absorption columns
• in the selection of various minor process equipment
• in the design of plant layout and engineering flow diagrams

After successful completion of this course, you should be able to
• analyse, synthesise and design processes for manufacturing products commercially
• apply techniques and knowledge acquired in other areas such as thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, instrumentation and control to design heat exchangers, plate and packed columns, and engineering flow diagrams
• recognise the limitations of available design data and methods
• recognise the need for practical rules of thumb (heuristics) to evaluate and select process equipment including fluid and solid handling equipment, storage vessels, and reactors
• use commercial flowsheeting software to simulate processes and design process equipment
• recognise economic, construction, safety, operability and other constraints on design
• work effectively in teams, communicate effectively both orally and in writing, and learn independently

Overview of Learning Activities

The course delivery, where possible, will involve case studies, lectures, interactive tutorials, directed reading, group seminars and projects, laboratory experiments, online materials, journal references, industry visits, guest lectures by industry visitors and specialists, and audio-visual material presentation. Various course delivery modes and assessment techniques will help you to adapt to various learning and testing situations.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources for this course include prescribed text books and course notes. In addition, a number of additional text books, journal articles and online materials could be referred for the course topics. The details of prescribed text books and other references will be made available in Part B of the course guide and in RMIT University Distributed Learning System (DLS).

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course will include assignments, group projects and seminars, and final examination. Assignments and examination will be used to test your ability to come up with innovative and optimum solutions to open-ended problems that are commonplace in process plant design. Group seminars and projects will be used to test your ability in locating information sources, analysing them and presenting them effectively.