Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Adam Smith

Relational Format



The production of styrene from ethylbenzene in Unit 500 is designed to start up in 2024 and operate for 12 years after startup. The engineering team was tasked with designing the process, creating an economic model, and optimizing the net present value (NPV). The process was simulated in AVEVA PRO/II Simulation for the design process and to estimate the size of equipment. Parametric and topological optimization was performed subsequently on the unit operations in the process. The NPV was improved by $423M from a base case of -$919M to an optimized case of -$496M. The project is recommended to continue in terms of further optimization to make the project more financially attractive. However, a risk assessment and market analysis on the purchase of styrene is suggested before making a final decision. This optimization is detailed in part 1. A fluidized bed reactor was then simulated in PRO/II and optimized based on selectivity of the desired product, styrene. The fluidized bed optimization is discussed and compared to the adiabatic packed bed reactors that were originally designed to be used in the process. The fluidized bed reactor is detailed in part 2.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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