Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Adam Smith

Second Advisor

David Carroll

Third Advisor

Joanna Harrelson

Relational Format



A step wise optimization of Unit 500 was completed. Unit 500 is a planned ethylbenzene to styrene production plant that has a annual production goal of 100,000 metric tons of styrene. The cost of styrene on the market is $1,598. The base case of Unit 500 produced styrene at a cost of $2,650. Optimization was completed with an emphasis on parametric changes though material of construction and heat integration were also considered. The optimized Unit 500 design reduced the cost of styrene production to $2,035 per metric ton. While this represents a significant improvement on the base case cost, it is not competitive with the market cost of styrene. At this stage, purchase of styrene at the market rate is preferable from a financial standpoint. However, risk analysis is required to better understand the implications of market purchase. Additionally, further optimizations should be pursued on Unit 500 while alternatives to the process currently described in Unit 500 for the production of styrene.

Creative Commons License

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



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