An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design

An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design

1st Edition - March 30, 2015

Write a review

  • Author: Sean Moran
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128003824
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128002421

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (Mobi, EPub, PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design is a guide to process plant design for both students and professional engineers.The book covers plant layout and the use of spreadsheet programmes and key drawings produced by professional engineers as aids to design; subjects which are usually learned on the job rather than in education. You will learn how to produce smarter plant design through the use of computer tools, including Excel and AutoCAD, "What If Analysis", statistical tools, and Visual Basic for more complex problems. The book also includes a wealth of selection tables, covering the key aspects of professional plant design which engineering students and early-career engineers tend to find most challenging.Professor Moran draws on over 20 years' experience in process design to create an essential foundational book ideal for those who are new to process design, compliant with both professional practice and the IChemE degree accreditation guidelines.

Key Features

  • Explains how to deliver a process design that meets both business and safety criteria
  • Covers plant layout and the use of spreadsheet programmes and key drawings as aids to design
  • Includes a comprehensive set of selection tables, covering those aspects of professional plant design which early-career designers find most challenging


Process Engineers and Designers, Students of process engineering, technical chemistry, plant safety

Table of Contents

  • Dedication

    Part 1: Practical Principles
    1. Process Plant Design
    What is engineering?
    What is design?
    Engineering design
    Project life cycle
    Process plant design
    Process plant versus process design
    Academic versus professional practice
    State of the art and best engineering practice
    The use and abuse of computers
    Further reading
    2. Stages of Process Plant Design
    Conceptual design
    “Conceptual design of chemical processes”
    Front end engineering design (FEED)/basic design
    Detailed design
    Site redesign
    Posthandover redesign
    Unstaged design
    Product engineering
    Further reading
    3. Process Plant Design Deliverables
    Design basis and philosophies
    Process flow diagram (PFD)
    Piping and instrumentation diagram
    Functional design specification (FDS)
    Plot plan/general arrangement/layout drawing
    Cost estimate
    Equipment list/schedule
    Safety documentation
    Design calculations
    Isometric piping drawings
    Simulator output
    Further reading
    4. Twenty-First Century Process Plant Design Tools
    Use of computers by chemical engineers
    Implications of modern design tools
    Categories of design
    Further reading
    5. The Future of Process Plant Design
    Process porn
    Will first principles design replace heuristic design in future?
    Will process design become a form of applied mathematics in future?
    Will primary research become the basis of engineering design in future?
    Will “chemical process design” replace process plant design in future?
    Will network analysis form the core of design practice in future?
    Will process simulation replace the design process in future?
    Will process plant design never change?
    Further reading

    Part 2: Professional Practice
    6. System Level Design
    How to put unit operations together
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Implications for cost
    Implications for safety
    Implications for robustness
    Rule of thumb design
    First principles design
    Design by simulation program
    Sources of design data
    Further reading
    7. Professional Design Methodology
    Design methodologies
    The “is” and “ought” of process design
    Right versus wrong design
    Interesting versus boring design
    Continuous versus batch design
    Simple/robust versus complicated/fragile design
    Setting the design envelope
    Implications of new design tools
    Importance of understanding your design
    Manager/engineer tensions in design
    Whole-system design methodology
    Design stages in a nutshell
    Variations on a theme
    Further reading
    8. How to Do a Mass and Energy Balance
    Handling recycles
    How to set it out in Excel
    Using Excel for iterative calculations: “Goal Seek” and “Solver”
    9. How to Do Hydraulic Calculations
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Hydraulic networks
    Pump curves
    Further reading

    Part 3. Low Level Design
    10. How to Design and Select Plant Components and Materials
    What process engineers design
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Materials of construction
    Mechanical equipment
    Electrical and control equipment
    Further reading
    11. How to Design Unit Operations
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Rule of thumb design
    Approaches to design of unit operations
    Sources of design data
    Scale-up and scale-out
    Neglected unit operations: separation processes
    Further reading
    12. How to Cost a Design
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    The basics
    Academic costing practice
    Professional costing practice
    Further reading

    Part 4. High Level Design
    13. How to Design a Process Control System
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Operation and Maintenance manuals
    Specification of operators
    Automatic control
    Standard control and instrumentation strategies
    Further reading
    14. How to Lay Out a Process Plant
    General principles
    Factors affecting layout
    Plant layout and safety
    Plant layout and cost
    Plant layout and aesthetics
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Further reading
    15. How to Make Sure Your Design Is Reasonably Safe and Sustainable
    Why only reasonably?
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Conceptual design stage
    Detailed design stage
    Formal methods: safety
    Formal methods: sustainability
    Specification of equipment with safety implications in mind
    Specification of safety devices
    Types of safety device
    Further reading

    Part 5. Advanced Design
    16. Professional Practice
    General design methodology
    Informal design reviews
    Formal design reviews
    Quality assurance and document control
    Informal data exchange
    Further reading
    17. Beginner’s Errors to Avoid
    Lack of equipment knowledge
    Lack of knowledge of many types of unit operations
    Lack of knowledge of many materials of construction
    Lack of utilities
    Process control
    Further reading
    18. Design Optimization
    Matching design rigor with stage of design
    Indicators of a need to integrate design
    How to integrate design
    When and how not to integrate design
    Where’s the harm? The downside of academic “process integration”
    Further reading
    19. Developing Your Own Design Style
    The art of engineering
    The philosophy of engineering
    The literature of engineering
    The practice of engineering
    Personal Sota
    Further reading

    Appendix 1. Integrated Design Example
    Integrated process control and design example
    Appendix 2. Upset Conditions Table
    Specific Upset Conditions
    Appendix 3. Plant Separation Tables
    Preliminary spacings for tank farm layout
    Preliminary electrical area classification distances
    Size of storage piles
    Appendix 4. Checklists for Engineering Flow Diagrams
    Appendix 5. Teaching Practical Process Plant Design
    Further reading

Product details

  • No. of pages: 390
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2015
  • Published: March 30, 2015
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128003824
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128002421

About the Author

Sean Moran

Sean Moran
Eur Ing Dr Seán Moran CEng is a practising chemical engineer with over thirty years of experience in process design, commissioning, and troubleshooting. He started his career with international process engineering contractors before setting up his own consultancy in 1996, specializing in process and hydraulic design for water, sewage and industrial effluent treatment plants. Sean spent several years in academia, where he held positions including a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professorship, and is a strong advocate for the overhaul of traditional university chemical engineering curricula. He is the author of three textbooks and many articles on process plant design and layout, and has an international portfolio of design and forensic engineering projects.

Affiliations and Expertise

Engineering Consultant, Expertise Limited, Wirksworth, UK

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

Latest reviews

(Total rating for all reviews)

  • TarltonFerrin Mon Jun 01 2020

    Wish I had read sooner!

    This is a great book! Those who are new to designing industrial plants or related fields you could only benefit from reading this book. He covers a lot of ground in a helpful amount of detail - helping show a junior designer or engineer the overall picture and in what areas they are likely to be lacking. I thought the author provided some really good insight on what an Engineer actually is and does - little of which I got in my formal engineering academic programs. As a teacher and one who worked in the industry for many years he also discusses the difference between professional engineering and the pitfalls/limitations of an excessively academic approach to actual engineering projects.

  • JosephKASSA Sun Dec 09 2018

    Very useful and interest.

    Very useful and interest.

  • Ketul S. Thu Jun 07 2018

    Really Comprehensive about basic Chemical and process Engineering design methods

    One of the best books on process and plant design I have come across till date of my professional practice