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A Process Trouble Shooting Problem

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.30.1 - 1.30.5



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Paper Authors

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Joseph A. Shaeiwitz

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Ph.D., Richard H. Turpin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3213

A Process Trouble-Shooting Problem

Joseph A. Shaeiwitz, Richard Turton West Virginia University

Process trouble-shooting problems are another vehicle, complementary to design problems, to provide students with experience in solving open-ended problems. Since most graduates initial employment in the chemical industry involves existing plants, trouble-shooting problems also provide a valuable learning experience for students.

Problem Statement

The problem in question is based on the flowsheet for cumene production from benzene and propylene shown in Figure 1. The raw materials are assumed to be pure benzene and an inexpensive cut of propylene containing 5 WtO/O propane impurity. The reactions are as follows:

In the assignment, students are given the following information:

Lately, Unit 200 has not been operating within standard conditions. We have recently switched suppliers of propylene; however, our contract guarantees that the new propylene feed contain less than 5 wt% propane.

Upon examining present operating conditions, we have made the following observations:

1. Production of cumene has dropped by about 6%, but flows of benzene (Stream I) andpropylene (Stream 2) have remained the same. Pressure in the storage tanks (not shown on flowshee~ has not changed appreciably when measured at the same ambient temperature.

2. The amount offuel gas being produced has increased signl>cantly and is estimated to be 65% greater than before. Additionally, it has been observed that the pressure control valve on the fuel gas line {Stream 9) leadingfiom V-201 is now fully open, while previously it was controlling the flow.

{hx~~ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘..+,RYR’:

Shaeiwitz, J. A., & Turpin, P. R. H. (1996, June), A Process Trouble Shooting Problem Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6248

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