73500 - Design of Process Equipment M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to the basic design of equipment in the process industries. Knowledge will be provided on the definition of the basis of design, of fluidodynamic constraints and on approaches for the design of heat exchangers, reboilers, vaporizers and columns, A general introduction to basic design activities will also be provided.

Course contents

Skills required to access the course and to attend it with success:

The course addresses engineering design in the field of chemical engineering. Thus fundamental knowledge of mass and heat balances, thermodynamic equilibria of multi-phase and multi-component systems, transport phenomena, and fluid dynamics are required. Knoweldge of unit operations and principles of unit operation desing (in particular of absorption and distillation), is also required.

Classes will be given in Italian. Thus an excellent knowldege of Italian language is required to attend the course.

Course contents:

1) Introduction to basic design. Conceptual and basic design. Plant sections: storages, process sections, utilities. Design documentation. Approach to basic design of process equipment.

2) Design constraints. Process variables and use of degrees of freedom in process and equipment design. External and internal constraints.

3) Heat exchangers. Main categories of heat transfer equipment. Design standards. Basic design of liquid/liquid and gas/gas heat exchangers: shell and tube exchangers and plate exchangers.

4) Condensers, reboilers, vaporizers and evaporators. Main categories of equipment for vapor condensation and vapor generation in process plants. Basic design of condensers of pure vapors, of vapor mixtures and of vapor mixtures in the presence of uncondensables. Condensers-undercoolers. Basic design of evaporators, vaporizers, reboilers.

5) Gas/liquid mass transfer equipment. Main categories of equipment for gas/liquid mass transfer. Plate columns: design details, fluidodynamics, plate efficiency. Packed columns: type of packing and packing characteristics, fluidodynamic regimes, pressure drops. Comparison of plate and packed columns performance.

6) Equipment for absorption and stripping. Main categories of equipment and selection criteria. Design of plate columns for absorption or stripping. Design of packed columns for absorption and stripping.

7) Equipment for distillation. Flash. Differential distillation. Continuos distillation. Design of binary distillation columns.


R.H. Perry, D.W. Green: "Perry'S Chemical Engineer' Handobook", Mc Gaw-Hill

D. Kern: "Process heat transfer", Mc Graw - Hill

R.E. Treybal: "Mass transfer operations", Mc Graw - Hill

J.M. Coulson, J.F. Richardson: "Chemical Engineering", Pergamon Press (vols. 1, 2 and 6)

Assessment methods

The exam is divided in a written test and an oral examination. Written test will consist in the design of a process equipment among those presented during the course. Written test is passed when a grade higher than 16/30 is awarded.

Positive grades in written exams are awarded to students showing knowledge of design procedures, selecting correctly fluid properities and carrying out correctly the calculations.

In the oral exam design procedures and their theoretical basis will be discussed.

The exam is set to evaluate the students' knowledge-level, application abilities, and technical communication skills.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of their ideas.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to know the key concepts of the subject, to demonstrate some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language.

A failing grade will be awarded if the student has not completed the case-studies proposed during the lessons, shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Office hours

See the website of Valerio Cozzani

See the website of Alessandro Tugnoli