Title: Ultimate Targets for Chemical Process Design
Advisor: Michael Doherty
An important part of chemical process design is conducting a techno-economic analysis to determine if a chemistry can be carried out on a large scale effectively and economically. Completing these evaluations using traditional methods involves developing a conceptual design for a chemical process, which can be both time consuming and expensive. In this work we present methods for rapid process design which allow one to quickly determine the profitability of a potential chemical venture using only the kinetics of the chemistry of interest.
The methods presented here involve obtaining ultimate targets on reaction selectivity and minimum work requirements for a proposed process, as these two quantities significantly impact the viability of a process from both a technology and economic standpoint. By combining these targets on selectivity and work with an economic evaluation, we can conduct a screening level techno-economic analysis that will help engineers and business leaders quickly make decisions about potential chemical ventures. This dissertation develops the necessary theory, methodology, and computational tools. The methods presented are demonstrated on a number of meaningful examples.