Introduction to Chemical Processes and Process Diagrams


In this chapter, we will introduce some of the basics in the design aspect of chemical and biological engineering. We will focus on basic engineering and general engineering economics. This chapter also introduces the components and characteristics of 4 key process diagrams.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

Define the components of a design basis memorandum

Apply basic measures of economic merit to perform initial estimates of project economic feasibility

Recognize the 4 key types of flow sheets

Create input-output diagrams

Construct block flow diagrams (BFDs) for chemical processes

Define common unit operations and use these when constructing process flow sheets

Recognize the need to apply basic material balances

Build process flow diagrams (PFDs)

Understand piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)


As you’re going through this chapter, here are some important terms for you to take note of:

  • basic engineering
  • basic design package
  • design basis memorandum (DBM)
  • inside battery limit
  • outside battery limit
  • gross economic potential (GEP)
  • net economic potential (NEP)
  • capital costs (CC)
  • return of investments (ROI)
  • input-output diagram
  • block flow diagram (BFD)
  • process flow diagram (PFD)
  • piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID)
  • unit operation
  • mixer
  • splitter
  • separator
  • reactor
  • capillary connection
  • pneumatic connection
  • electrical connection


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Foundations of Chemical and Biological Engineering I Copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Verrett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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