What's New in SuperPro Designer v12

  1. General

  2. New Unit Procedures

  3. New Operations

  4. Improvements in Operations

  5. Bug Fixes

  6. New Examples

 

 

a. General

a01.

Designer Database Is No Longer Accessible by the User.

a02.

More Definitions (Over 600) Added to the List of 'Basic Components'.

a03.

Searching Tools Added When Browsing the Pure Component or Stock Mixture Databank.

a04.

Customize a Preferred List ('My List') with Components (or Mixtures) Most Commonly.

a05.

Express the Inability to Have Any Vapor Properties Known for a Component.

a06.

Update Unit Costs of All Resources and Selling Prices of Material Products from One Interface.

a07.

Replace (Swap) a Pure Component for Another Throughout the Process Model.

a08.

Replace (Swap) a Stock Mixture for Another Throughout the Process Model.

a09.

Replace (Swap) one Resource (Heat Transfer Agent, Labor, etc.) for Another Throughout the Process Model.

a10.

A Reaction Enthalpy Calculator Has Been Added.

a11.

Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Flowsheet (Process) Properties.

a12.

Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Labor Properties.

a13.

Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Section Properties.

a14.

Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Operation Properties.

a15.

Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Stream Properties.

a16.

Robustness of Non-Ideal Flash Calculations Improved.

a17.

Two New Examples Have Been Added: CO2/EtOH/H2O Flash & MSG Production.

a18.

Enthalpy Value Calculations Improved.

a19.

Intra-Cellular Water Is Now Automatically Computed.

a20.

Operation's Process Time May or May not be Set on Operations even if Equipment is in Design Mode.

a21.

No Two Ingredients (Components or Mixtures) Are Allowed with Conflicting Names.

a22.

The Normal Boiling Point and the Molecular Weight Are Now Shown on the Process Explorer (Materials Tab).

a23.

The Database to Export Recipe Data to SchedulePro Can Exist as "SchedulePro Recipe DB" or "SchedulePro Recipe DB v1".

a24.

Equipment Assume the Current Value of Material Factor (as Set in the User DB).

a25.

Activity Values Are Now Displayed in Standard Scientific Notation (I.DDDDE-XX).

a26.

The .accdb Format Is Now the Preferred MS-Access Format for All SuperPro's Database Files.

a27.

You Can Share Only Information that You Want with Others by Customizing the Shareable 'User DB' Contents.

a28.

Labor Demand Can Be Requested to Be Per Operating Hour and Per Equipment.

a29.

A New Example Has Been Added in the Bio-Materials Group: Sopholipids.

a30.

View In/Out Stream Amounts Used by Operations on Mass or Volume Basis.

 

a01. Designer Database Is No Longer Accessible by the User.

Starting with this release, the program no longer makes the user choose between the 'Designer' (or 'System') DB and the 'User' DB as source for registering a resource (like Pure Component, Stock Mixture, Heat Transfer Agent, Consumable, etc.). All resources available for the user to engage in his/her process model can now be drawn from one database: The 'SuperPro (User)' database.
Previously, the 'Designer' database was kept as a secure fall back for resource registration and a place where the program was certain to find the definition of some "essential" resources that are needed to minimally allow any simulation to produce results: e.g., definitions for "Water", "Oxygen", "Nitrogen", "Air", "Steam", "Cooling Water", etc. needed to exist. Now, those resources can be found in the 'SuperPro (User)' database and are not allowed to be deleted (but they are allowed to have their properties modified if so desired). The old 'Designer' database was also stocked with few other extra resources that were there always, but could NOT be modified by the user. That was a significant shortcoming when his/her resource definition for such a resource (e.g. "Steam") didn't match (e.g. the supply temperature for their "Steam" was not 152°C but 180°C), then their only course of correction could be applied only AFTER "Steam" was automatically registered in a process model. And this correction had to be done each and every time a new process model was started. Furthermore, some of component properties are changing in time (e.g. prices). In order to accommodate such variations, the user had to deposit a copy of a component in the 'User' database and remember next time to use that record to register in his/her next process model.
This approach was tedious and error-prone. Starting with this release, we give our users the best of both worlds (databases). The 'SuperPro (User)' database starts pre-populated with many entries for resources (we call them "basic resources"), including definitions for the "essential" ones (like "Water" or "Steam"). Users can change their properties if they see so fit and from that time on, SuperPro will auto-register, the modified description of the resource, as set by the user. For example, if you believe that "DIPPR" property-based "Water" component has more appropriate behavior, you can modify the standard "Water" in your 'SuperPro (User)' database to be based on DIPPR. From then on, every new process model file you start, will auto-register a DIPPR-based "Water" component.
Furthermore, you are allowed to delete a resource that you may deem unnecessary (except the 'essential' ones, like "Water", "Oxygen", etc.). For example, we pre-populate the component database with over 1,200 components (we call them "basic" components). If you think that you don't need some, and they are simply "noise" when you are attempting to register a component for a new design case file, then you can go ahead and delete them. The same applies to all other resources (Mixtures, consumables, heat transfer agents, etc.) Of course, we won't let you delete the definitions of "essential" resources like "Steam". We even give you the option to recall all basic resources (at any time).  If you delete them and later regret the decision, you can always bring all the 'basic' resources with a click of a button. For example, if you have deleted the definitions of "Brine" and "Freon" from the databank of heat transfer agents, and later you wish to bring them back, a one-click button will do so for you.

a02. More Definitions (Over 600) Added to the List of 'Basic Components'.

Starting from this release, over 600 new definitions of pure components have been added to the list of available ingredients to directly register when creating a new process model. Most of the new components are inorganic materials engaged in metallurgy.

a03. Searching Tools Added When Browsing the Pure Component or Stock Mixture Databank.

When browsing the list of components (or mixtures) in your databank, sometimes it is hard to find the component you want by just scrolling through the list (there are now over 1200 entries). A new searching tool engine has been added that makes locating the component of your interest very easy. First you select at the bottom of the table, the index by which you wish the entries to be ordered and searched (Name, CompanyID, Formula or CAS Number). Then you type a string that you think matches your desired component's index value and click on "find next' or 'find previous':
 or  
The search engine will automatically move the selection forward (or backward from current selection) to find the next match. Strings can be matched anywhere in the index or from the starting position of the index (depends if the search mode button    is selected or not).



The above screen is from the component database interface; the stock mixture database interface features the same search options.

a04. Customize a Preferred List ('My List') with Components (or Mixtures) Most Commonly Used.

When in need to register a component in a process model, you are asked to select it from the list of ALL components in your component databank. Given that this list is dauntingly long, it may not be easy to locate the one you want. Starting with this release, we allow users to tag some components in the databank as belonging to a special list ('My List'); once you do that, then when registering a new component, simply click on "My List" checkbox, and the list of choices will ONLY show you the components tagged to be in 'My List', making the selection choice a lot easier.


a05. Express the Inability to Have Any Vapor Properties Known for a Component.

Sometimes, for a given component, users may not know (or do not care to find) vapor property correlations that produce reasonable values. Perhaps this component is rarely in vapor phase, or perhaps under their specific modeling conditions the component is not expected to appear in vapor phase. In previous releases of the software, users were forced to provide some values (however unrealistic) sometimes leading to erroneous calculations (and results). Starting with this release, a new option has been added:  "All Vapor Parameters Are Unknown (or Irrelevant)" (see below):


When this option is checked the program will disable the entries for the following (vapor) properties:
- Gaseous Cp (Ideal Gas Cp)
- Heat of Vaporization
- Saturated Vapor Pressure
You do not need to find valid property estimation parameters for such components. HOWEVER, once a component is declared that it has "Unknown/Irrelevant Vapor Parameters", then the program will enforce modeling settings in such ways that this component will never appear in the vapor phase. More specifically, such components will :
a) Set their default (and only allowed) shortcut VLE criterion to be "Liq/Sol Only"
b) Added to the list of components excluded from any rigorous VLE calculations
c) Will not be allowed to be checked as "Emitted" in any emission data tables (for any operation)
e) Will not be allowed to be checked as "Evaporated" from any operations that perform phase change (e.g. evaporation, drying)
f) Will be excluded from any emission reports (incl. the MACT/EPA report)
g) If participating in a reaction, and the enthalpy is provided by the user (or calculated by the reaction enthalpy calculator), its assumed physical state (PS) cannot be vapor.
Of course, if at any point in time later, users decide that they wish to allow this component to appear in the vapor phase in their models, they can always revisit its component properties dialog, uncheck the "All Vapor Parameters Are Unknown (or Irrelevant)" box and provide appropriate values for the estimation of Ideal Gas Cp, Heat of Vaporization and (maybe) Vapor Pressure estimation. Then all of the above restrictions will be lifted. Note that even DIPPR (or PPDS) component can be declared as having "All Vapor Parameters Unknown (or Irrelevant)".
Please note that if you wish to allow a component to be present as gas (at some point during your model process), but you don't have any values for its vapor properties, we have added an interface that can be invoked from the 'T-Dependent Properties tab' (of the component properties dialog) that can help you 'borrow' estimation parameters from other components (perhaps with similar behavior). Check for the green highlighted button above, with the title "Search for a Component with a Similar NBP..."; clicking on this button will bring up this dialog:


From the bottom row, you can select which property you want to copy the estimation parameters, select a component row and then click with "Copy Props & Exit"; upon exit, the program will have copied the estimation parameters for the selected properties from the source component back to your component.

a06. Update Unit Costs of All Resources and Selling Prices of Material Products from One Interface.

When you register a resource (such as a pure component or stock mixture) into your process model, it is defined with properties that are copies of the values as they exist in the database. Since we know that prices are for certain changing in time, a common exercise for SuperPro users is to have to frequently update prices of all materials (or other resources like power, labor etc.) and then re-assess the economic viability of their project. In versions prior to this release, you could accomplish this, but you would have to visit separate dialogs (one for each resource) to accomplish it. For a complex project engaging many types of resources (consumables, components, mixtures, heat transfer agents, etc.) this exercise could take a long time. Staring with this release, you can accomplish all the price/cost updates for all resources from one dialog:


The above dialog comes up when you select Tasks / Update Resource Cost Data... from the main menu of the application. You can include/exclude any resource category or any member of a category. The program will remember your choices, so next time, will update accordingly.

a07. Replace (Swap) a Pure Component for Another Throughout the Process Model.

Sometimes, users may decide to replace the existence of one component (in a recipe) with another: what if I replaced "Sucrose" for "Glucose" for example? To accomplish this prior to this release, you would have to first delete "Glucose" (which will force the deletion of all related data - like, rejection coefficients, etc.); then introduce "Sucrose" and visit all unit procedures/operations where previously "Glucose" appeared and redefine properties. This is clearly a very tedious task. Starting with this release, there's a new way to accomplish this task from one dialog:


The dialog appears when selecting the Tasks / Pure Components / Replace... menu option. The replacement will keep all component-related specs (like flows or mass fractions on input streams, rejection coefficients on filtration operations, etc.) intact.

a08. Replace (Swap) a Stock Mixture for Another Throughout the Process Model.

Sometimes, users may decide to replace the services of one stock mixture (in a recipe) with another: what if I replaced "NaOH (1M)" for "NaOH (2M)" for example? To accomplish this prior to this release, you 'd have to first delete "NaOH (1M)" (which will force the deletion of all related data - like, amounts in input streams, presence on CIP cleaning schemes, etc.); then introduce "NaOH (2M)" and visit all streams and operations where previously "NaOH (1M)" appeared and redefine values. This is clearly a very tedious task. Starting with this release, there's a new way to accomplish this task from one dialog:


The dialog appears when selecting the Tasks / Stock Mixtures / Replace... menu option. The replacement will keep any values for flows or percentage participation in input streams intact.

a09. Replace (Swap) one Resource (Heat Transfer Agent, Labor, etc.) for Another Throughout the Process Model.

The same need of replacing one component (or stock mixture) with another, can appear in replacing some other resource with another. What if I replaced a "Std Power" with a "Solar Power" source for power everywhere. Would the new price make a significant difference in the economic indices of the project? What if I replaced a certain consumable with another? etc. You can now accomplish just that from one single interface:


The dialog appears when selecting the Tasks / Other Resources / Replace Resource... menu option. Some replacements will not be allowed: for example, you can't replace a "heating" heat transfer agent with a "cooling" heat transfer agent.

a10. A Reaction Enthalpy Calculator Has Been Added.

Given that SuperPro Designer's pure component database records include a component's enthalpy of formation, there's now a new tool in SuperPro that can help users estimate the enthalpy of a reaction at a given (reference) temperature:



The figure above shows a typical reaction operation's tab (common to stoichiometric and kinetic chemical reaction or fermentation, as well as to environmental reactions); when you click on the highlighted button, the following "Reaction Enthalpy Calculator" interface appears:



If you click on "OK, Set Values", the program will take the calculated value for the enthalpy of the reaction and copy it back to appropriate field in the previous dialog.

a11. Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Flowsheet (Process) Properties.

We always listen to our users' requests for adding more functionality to SuperPro Designer's COM Engine.
In response, we have added the following new services (at the flowsheet level) as part of Get/SetFlowsheetVarVal():

productionLevel_VID set/get the operation production level at a given year of operation (for cash flow analysis)
currency_VID set/get the currency setting when presenting any cost-related items in this model.
currencyExchRate_VID set/get the exchange rate (with respect to the US$) of the process set currency (above)

 

a12. Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Labor Properties.

A new function has been added to address access to a labor type (Get/SetLaborVarVal()).
For a given labor type, users now can access the following properties:

laborAmt_VID get the total labor demand for the section. The total is in time reference that is specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
secLaborAmtItemized_VID get the total amount of labor as calculated by summing up the demands for each operation included in this section (calculated value); it is in labor hours per time reference specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
secLaborAmtLumpedEst_VID set/get the total amount of labor specified as 'lumped estimate' (in addition of itemized estimate above); it is in labor hours per time reference specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
directUtilFCont_VID set/get the direct time utilization factor (0 -1)
(fraction of time devoted to process continuous activities)
qcSecLaborFactor_VID set/get the quality control labor cost factor for a section (as a percent of total labor)
qcSecFixedCost_VID set/get the fixed cost estimate for a section
qcSecItemizedCost_VID get the (calculated) total labor after umming up the cost from each procedure in a section
materialAmount_VID get the (calculated) material consumption (for a given material) for a procedure or a section; the result can be per batch, per h, per year, per kg MP or per campaign (specified by last argument)

 

a13. Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Section Properties.

When accessing properties of a section (Get/SetSectionVarVal()) the following new additions have been made:

laborAmt_VID get the total labor demand for the section. The total is in time reference that is specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
secLaborAmtItemized_VID get the total amount of labor as calculated by summing up the demands for each operation included in this section (calculated value); it is in labor hours per time reference specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
secLaborAmtLumpedEst_VID set/get the total amount of labor specified as 'lumped estimate' (in addition of itemized estimate above); it is in labor hours per time reference specified in the argument list (per batch, per year or per kg MP)
directUtilFCont_VID set/get the direct time utilization factor (0 -1)
(fraction of time devoted to process continuous activities)
qcSecLaborFactor_VID set/get the quality control labor cost factor for a section (as a percent of total labor)
qcSecFixedCost_VID set/get the fixed cost estimate for a section
qcSecItemizedCost_VID get the (calculated) total labor after umming up the cost from each procedure in a section
materialAmount_VID get the (calculated) material consumption (for a given material) for a procedure or a section; the result can be per batch, per h, per year, per kg MP or per campaign (specified by last argument)

 

a14. Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Operation Properties.

For several operation types, new set of VIDs have been added to facilitate accessing of their properties (Get/SetOperVarVal())
More specifically in this release we have added the following new VIDs:

Any Reaction Operation

reactionEnthalpy_VID

set/get the enthalpy (heat) of a reaction in a reaction type operation (e.g. stoichiometric reaction, or kinetic fermentation, etc.)
  reactionEnthalpyRefComp_VID reaction enthalpy must specified per unit mass (or mole) of a reaction participant; this sets/gets that reference component used when the set enthalpy applies
  reactionEnthalpyRefTemp_VID the assumed reference temperature that the reaction enthalpy applies
  reactionEnthalpyRefPSForComp_VID set/get the assumed physical state (PS) of a component in order for the set reaction enthalpy to apply
Custom Mixing & Pull-in Operation outCompMolFrac_VID set/get the mole fraction of a preferred component after the custom mixing (or after the pull-in operation).
Pull-in Operation

massRatio_VID

set/get the mass ratio advanced specification in a pull-in operation
  volRatio_VID set/get the volume ratio advanced specification in a pull-in operation
Fed-Batch Fermentation bConsiderFedBatchSupply_VID enables the option to consider fed-batch line into a fermentation operation
  fedBatchSpecType_VID set/get the fed-batch specification option: it can be one of three values:
- Amount & Reaction Time,
- Flow Rate & Reaction Time or
- Amount & Flow Rate
  fedStream_VID set/get the stream (by name) to be used for fed batch inlet
(user must make sure that the stream, exits and it's appropriate to be used, i.e. it is not used by other operations).
  bUseAvailOnStream_VID sets the amount to be taken from the stream (however much is there)
  mass_VID sets the amount of fed batch requirement (as mass, in kg)
  volume_VID sets the amount of fed batch requirement (as volume, in m3)
  massFlow_VID set/get the flow rate (mass) of the fed batch line
  volFlow_VID set/get the flow rate (vol) of the fed batch line
  keyReactantComp_VID set/get the specific component whose concentration is targeted to achieve certain level (set below)
  keyReactantCompConc_VID set/get the concentration of the key reactant component (it will determine the amount of material to be fed into the operation).
CIP Operation wasteTreatCost_VID set/get the waste treatment cost ($/kg) for the waste generated by a CIP step (if not connected to a receiving unit).
Flash Evaporation designCompVapFrac_VID set/get the required evaporation fraction of a key component (also specified on this call)
  vaporizationFraction_VID set/get the feed evaporation fraction achieved by the flash operation
  exitTemperature_VID set/get the exit temperature; if called, sets the thermal mode to 'Isothermal'.
  adiabaticSpec_VID sets the thermal operating mode to 'Adiabatic'
  operPress_VID set/get the operating pressure (key variable) for this operation
     
     


a15. Several Additions to the COM Engine Functionality: Stream Properties.

When accessing properties of a section (Get/SetStreamVarVal()) the following new additions have been made:

discretePurchasePrice_VID set/get the purchase price for a discrete entity
discreteSellingPrice_VID set/get the selling price for a discrete entity

 

a16. Robustness of Non-Ideal Flash Calculations Improved.

When solving to find out the vapor-liquid equilibrium (VLE) state of components using non-ideal VLE models (e.g. EOS, gamma-phi), instead of taking the zero composition as initial condition (or all vapor, or all liquid) which often could lead to no solution, the solver now executes the (easier) ideal solution flash, and uses that solution as initial conditions. This was found to improve robustness (and overall speed) in solving the more complex non-ideal case. Also for cases where the traditional approach to solving the flash equations fails to converge, users can resort to alternative approaches that (depending on the specifics of a given case) may yield a solution.

a17. New Examples Have Been Added: CO2/EtOH/H2O Flash & MSG Production.

A new example has been added in the "Misc" folder that presents a sensitivity analysis of a flash output in a CO2 / Ethanol / Water mixture modelled with a non-ideal (Peng-Robinson) equation of state. Several charts are generated showing the concentration of CO2 in the liquid output at various flash conditions. A good example to study for the use of COM library in performing sensitivity analysis on a base case design.

Also, another example added under the "Food Processing", that demonstrates Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

a18. Enthalpy Value Calculations Improved.

Typically enthalpy value contributions for each component in a mixture (stream) are computed as an enthalpy difference between the current state of the component (T, P and physical state) and a global enthalpy reference state (H-Tref, H-Pref, H-PSref) - typically 0°C, 1 bar and 'Liquid/Solid'. Using such a global set of Physical State forces enthalpy trajectories that go through infeasible states of components, where heat capacity correlations produce highly doubtful values. Of course, in cases where a component does not change phases, any such error introduced cancels out being present on both enthalpy terms. However, in cases where the enthalpy differences are calculated between two states of a stream involving one or more components in different states (one as liquid the other as vapor), significant errors can enter the results (due to non-perfect Cp correlations and non-perfect heat of vaporization estimations). Starting with this release, each component uses as its reference state 'vapor' or 'liquid/solid' smartly: the phase that is determined by the normal boiling point criterion at the H-Tref and H-Pref. So, for H2, "vapor" is used (H2 is vapor at 0°C and 1 bar) whereas for H2O, "liquid/solid" is used (water is "liquid/solid" at 0°C and 1 bar). This assumption, along with the adoption of using as transition point from "Liquid/Solid" to "Vapor" (or vice versa) always the NBP of that substance (where the heat of vaporization is best known) reduces significantly errors in enthalpy calculations (and thus energy balances and temperature or load calculations.

a19. Intra-Cellular Water Percentage (when a Reaction Product)  Is Now Automatically Computed.

When a fermentation reaction produces the designated "Main Biomass" component (and "Water"), if the "Main Biomass" component has been assigned a given intra-cellular amount of water, the program now automatically turns a portion of the available water as "intra-cellular" to satisfy the intra-cellular biomass specification. If not enough water is available in the product stream (or equipment contents after fermentation operation), a warning is generated.

a20. Operation's Process Time May or May not be Set on Operations even if Equipment is in Design Mode.

In releases up to now, in operations where throughput is an operating parameter (e.g. "Pumping", or "Pasteurization"), the program would require the user to provide a process time (always) when the equipment was in design mode. The principle behind it was that unless the user provides a duration, the program would be unable to provide a demand for throughput (by dividing the total amount per batch that needs to be processed divided by process time) and size the equipment. We have now opened up the option whereby the user can instead specify an operating throughput (per unit); this assumption automatically assumes a single unit and of course, can only be valid if the value is below the MAX available throughput (for that type of equipment); or, in some equipment whose sizing variable is not throughput directly but a throughput-derivable value (e.g. Power in pumps), the specification of throughput would map to a value of power (per unit) and this will only be feasible if that value is below the max available. If that is the case, then, the program will calculate a single unit and will calculate the time from the set throughput and the available amount for processing per batch. As an example, you can view the interface for air filtration (see below):

a21. No Two Ingredients (Components or Mixtures) Are Allowed with Conflicting Names.

When registering a resource into a process file that depends on another (e.g. a CIP template that depends on the definition of some components and/mixtures, or a Mixture that depends on the definition of all its ingredients), the program would offer to automatically register all the pre-requisite resources. Unfortunately, in some cases, some components or mixtures registered (implicitly) this way, would create subtle conflicts with existing (already registered) components or mixtures and went unnoticed. A process model cannot have two components or a component and a mixture with formal names, local names or company IDs matching (in any way) with each other. If previous cases of such conflicts are found, they are fixed by creating unique names (quietly) and the name change is reported when a past file is opened and up-converted to this version number.

a22. The Normal Boiling Point and the Molecular Weight Are Now Shown on the Process Explorer (Materials Tab).

When viewing the Materials tab of the Process Explorer, the program displays the list of all registered pure components and stock mixtures. Two new columns have been added to display the normal boiling point and the molecular weight of each pure component (see below):

a23. The Database to Export Recipe Data to SchedulePro Can Exist as "SchedulePro Recipe DB" or "SchedulePro Recipe DB v1" under the ODBC Registry.

Starting with this release SuperPro Designer will seek the presence of SchedulePro's Recipe database under either the name "SchedulePro Recipe DB v1" (old name) or "SchedulePro Recipe DB" (newer name).

a24. Equipment Assume the Current Value of Material Factor (as Set in the User DB).

When a new unit procedure is created, a new equipment is also created to host the procedure. The equipment is assumed to have a default material of construction, with an associate value of material factor. The material factor is a number that is applied to purchase cost estimates from the built-in cost model to reflect better match to current values. Users can modify current values of material factors (for each equipment type) as well as add more. When a new equipment is first created a material name is assumed (usually "SS-316"), and up until this release, a default material factor was assigned (typically 1.0). Starting with this release, the material factor for the assumed material is looked up in the user's db instead of assuming a default value.

a25. Activity Values Are Now Displayed in Standard Scientific Notation (I.DDDDE-XX).

When a user has selected a designated component ("Activity Component") on the Component Registration Dialog, and an "Activity Basis" value, SuperPro Designer will display for all streams their activity value (strength). Since activity values can take a wide range of values, the standard scientific notation is more suitable for displaying such values and starting with this release, that is how it is shown on stream dialogs (see below):

a26. The .accdb Format Is Now the Preferred MS-Access Format for All SuperPro's Database Files.

MS-Access has adopted a new format for keeping the data in its files : ".accdb". The old format (".mdb") has been deemed as less secured and abandoned. As a consequence, all of SuperPro Designer's database files (for the 'System DB', "User DB", "Process DB") are now delivered in the new format. Note that the ODBC entries created by SuperPro Designer's installation will STILL support the old (".mdb") format in order to continue supporting past user's databases.

a27. You Can Share Only Information that You Want with Others by Customizing the Shareable 'User DB' Contents.

SuperPro users were always able to share information records kept in their own 'User DB' with others in their organization in multiple ways:
a) They could simply make their 'User DB' file available on a network drive, and direct other users to simply point to that location for their 'User DB' (from their own copy of SuperPro Designer), or
b) Offer a copy of their 'User DB' file, and the recipient could use either the entire file or import from it the data definitions (for Heat Transfer Agents, Components, Mixtures, etc.) that they wished to import in their own 'User DB' (using the Databanks / Import Data into the Active SuperPro (User) DB option from the main menu).
However, in both cases (a & b) above, it was required that the ENTIRE contents of the 'User DB' be available for sharing with another user. If you only wanted to share parts of you data alone (e.g. just the Heat Transfer Agent definitions, or just the CIP Template definitions) but not the rest that was not possible. Starting with this release, you can deposit in an originally provided empty User DB file ('PDUser.Empty.v12.accdb') continue supporting past user's databases. This can be done using the (new) option: Databanks / Export Data into Another SuperPro (User) DB option from the main menu:


For example, in the settings above, it was decided to share ONLY the components and stock mixtures currently included in 'My List' and all the CIP Template and Heat Transfer Agent definitions. Click on "Export" and then you can deliver the newly created DB file ('PDUser.Empty.v12_Exp.accdb') to your colleague and share just the data that you wanted and no more.

a28. Labor Demand Can Be Requested to Be Per Operating Hour and Per Equipment.

In all previous releases, when users provide a labor demand for an operation it was always interpreted as labor hours per operating hour, and regardless of how many equipment where engaged in parallel. Therefore, if sizing determined that, say 5, chromatography columns were needed to be engaged and operate simultaneously (in parallel) to carry out that chromatography step, the amount of labor did not change. Starting with this release, we provided a setting for your model that it turned on, all labor specifications will scale with the number of equipment.

This option is available under the documents context menu (right-click menu) and after selecting the Cost Options...  entry:

a29. A New Example Has Been Added in the Group of Bio-Materials: Sophorolipids.

This example analyzes a sophorolipid production process. Sophorolipids are glycolipids with surface-active properties. They can be produced via fermentation by non-pathogenic yeast species. After the fermentation the sophorolipids phase is recovered and purified. The functionality of sophorolipids makes them suitable ingredient for several applications in agriculture, food, biomedicine, homecare and cosmetics industries.

a30. View In/Out Stream Amounts Used by Operations on Mass or Volume Basis.

When SHIFT+Clicking on a stream connected to an input port of a procedure, SuperPro showed the operation(s) using this stream and how much material is being used by each operation (if more then one are using that stream) - see below -


The amount utilized by each operation was reported on a mass basis (in mass units as chosen on that stream's i/o dialog).

The same information is also presented if a user SHIFT+Clicks on an output stream.

Starting with this release, if the user holds the CTRL key down when SHIFT+Clicking on a stream then the amount information is in volume (and the volume units chosen on the stream's i/o dialog) instead of mass.


 

b. New Unit Procedures

b01. A New Unit Procedure Has Been Added to Simulate Moving Bed (SMB) Chromatography.

An SMB Chromatography (Short-Cut) Procedure can be created by selecting the following menu option:
Unit Procedures > Chromatography/Adsorption > SMB Chromatography (Short-Cut).


This unit procedure can be used to simulate the continuous separation of mixtures based on simulated moving bed technology that uses a single adsorbent bed separated into several sections (typically 8-12) by internal distributors. For the separation of carbohydrates (sugar molecules), each section has a bed height of 50 to 100 cm. The difficulty of separation determines the number of sections and, hence, the total bed height. For instance, the separation of the fructose/dextrose solution typically requires a 10 bed system and a specific solutes loading rate in the order of 1.4 kg/m3-min.


The simulation model of the host equipment (Single-Column SMB) focuses on determining the size of the entire column (i.e., column height and diameter) and the number of units (columns). Additional design parameters such as the bed height and number of sections (beds) are not considered (for simplicity).

b02. A New Unit Procedure Has Been Added to Simulate Harvesting of Metals from Metal Oxide Solutions (Electrowinning).

An Electrowinning procedure has been added under:
Unit Procedures > Continuous Reactions > Stoichiometric > in a Electrowinning Cell


This unit procedure can be used to simulate an electrowinning operation. Electrowinning, also known as electrolysis, is a typical operation of hydrometallurgical engineering that is used to reduce (win) a metal ion (from the solution of the ore that contains the metal) onto a cathode at the expense of externally-provided electric current. The reduction of an electroactive species onto the cathode is accompanied by the oxidation of another or more species at the anode. The Electrowinning operation is performed in equipment called electrolytic cells. A new operation (Electrowinning) and a new equipment resource type (Electrowinning Cell) has been created to support the above procedure.


A new equipment resource type named Electrowinning Cell has been added to host an Electrowinning procedure. The Electrowinning Cell equipment resource is supposed to represent an electrolytic cell used to perform an electrowinning operation. An electrolytic cell is a tank in which cathodes and anodes are typically arranged in alternating order. It is part of an electrolytic unit that has three main components: an electrolytic cell, a pump and a rectifier that supplies the electric current. The pump and rectifier are not included in this equipment resource.

 

c. New Unit Operations

c01. A New Unit Operation Has Been Added to Simulate Moving Bed (SMB) Chromatography.

The SMB Chromatography (Short-Cut) operation can be used to simulate the continuous separation of mixtures based on simulated moving bed technology that uses a single adsorbent bed separated into several sections (typically 8-12) by internal distributors. For the separation of carbohydrates (sugar molecules), each section has a bed height of 50 to 100 cm. The difficulty of separation determines the number of sections and, hence, the total bed height. For instance, the separation of the fructose/dextrose solution typically requires a 10 bed system and a specific solutes loading rate in the order of 1.4 kg/m3-min.


The main objective of this operation is to calculate the flow and composition of the product and by-product streams, and also, if the equipment is in Design Mode, the size of the entire column (i.e., column height and diameter) and the number of units (columns). Additional design parameters such as the bed height and number of sections (beds) are not considered (for simplicity).

c02. A New Unit Operation Has Been Added to Simulate Electrowinning Stoichiometric Reaction.

A new has been added to model electrowinning. Electrowinning, also known as electrolysis, is a typical operation of hydrometallurgical engineering that is used to reduce (win) a metal ion (from the solution of the ore that contains the metal) onto a cathode at the expense of externally-provided electric current. The reduction of an electroactive species onto the cathode is accompanied by the oxidation of another or more species at the anode. The Electrowinning operation is performed in equipment called electrolytic cells.


The main objective of this operation is to calculate the flow and composition of the product and by-product streams, and also, if the equipment is in Design Mode, the size of the entire column (i.e., column height and diameter) and the number of units (columns). Additional design parameters such as the bed height and number of sections (beds) are not considered (for simplicity).

 

 

d. Improvements in Operations

d01.

2-Way Component Splitting Operation Balances Enthalpies between Inputs and Outputs.

d02.

2-Way Component Splitting Operation Allows for Ambient Heat Loss (or Gain).

d03.

Leaching Operation Uses Only Non-Gaseous Volumetric Flow for Size Calculations.

d04.

Emission Error Messages Improved.

d05.

Gasification Model Improved.

d06.

You Can Now Set the Emission % of a Vapor Component to 100%.

d07.

Batch Extraction, Mixer-Settler Extraction, Centrifugal Extraction and Decanting Have Now Similarly Streamlined Interfaces.

d08.

Custom-Mixing and Pull-in Have Another Specification Target: Final Mole %.

d09.

N-Way (3-Way, 4-Way, etc.) Component Splitting Is No Longer without Heating/Cooling Load Charge.

d10.

The Min Working-to-Vessel Volume Ratio Has Been Removed from Operations Deemed Unnecessary.

d11.

Power Dissipation to Heat Added in Several Operations.

d12.

Rigorous Batch Vaporization Allows for Its Settings to Scale Up/Down with the Process.

d13.

Homogenization Operation now Allows for Thermal Mode Options.

d14.

Component Properties Table Contents Improved.

d15.

Batch Extraction Operation Now Verifies the Presence of Solvent (s).

d16.

The VVM Aeration Spec in Fed Batch Reactions/Fermentations Uses the Average Reaction Volume (Before & After) Fed-Batch Addition as Reference.

 

 

d01. 2-Way Component Splitting Operation Balances Enthalpies between Inputs and Outputs.

Typically a 2-way component splitter is utilized to represent some sort physical operation that SPD doesn't have an adequate model. When splitting a stream into two and specifying the individual component composition of each outlet, previous versions of SuperPro did not balance the enthalpies. Starting with this release they do. Users can specify if the operation is supposed to be isothermal (all outputs come out at a given temperature), or at the temperature of the inlet stream, or they can provide specific temperatures for each outlet stream. Then, the program will report the load (heating or cooling) that is needed to balance out the enthalpies between the input and the output streams.

d02. 2-Way Component Splitting Operation Allows for Ambient Heat Loss (or Gain).

Besides balancing out the enthalpies (see previous enhancement), this release allows for ambient interaction with the temperatures calculated of the output and/or the required load. This feature was first included in the N-way component splitting operation in a previous release. It is now part of the 2-way splitting as well.

d03. Leaching Operation Uses Only Non-Gaseous Volumetric Flow for Size Calculations.

Besides balancing out the enthalpies (see previous enhancement), this release allows for ambient interaction with the temperatures calculated of the output and/or the required load. This feature was first included in the N-way component splitting operation in a previous release. It is now part of the 2-way splitting as well.

d04. Emission Error Messages Improved.

Sometimes the emission calculations may fail to produce meaningful results. The root of the issue may be in any one of different areas:
Inappropriate VLE properties (at least for the range of temperature and pressure applied)
Poor initial conditions
Poor operating conditions (esp. when a condenser is active)
No available head space
No components set to be emitted are present

...

We've tried to improve the feedback from such failed calculations so that the user can take a more appropriate corrective action.

d05. Gasification Model Improved.

The model simulating "gasification" has been redesigned to simplify the user-specifications: the "Carbon Conversion %" is no longer a calculated variable - the user must now set it at all times. This was necessary to improve the accuracy of the calculation of the rest of produced variables (CO, CO2, CH4 and H2 composition of product gas). The M&E balances have been significantly improved as is robustness. A "thermal mode" option has been added to allow for isothermal as well as adiabatic gasification conditions.

d06. You Can Now Set the Emission % of a Vapor Component to 100%.

When a component is not 100% in the liquid phase (within a vessel), and SuperPro's emission calculation engine takes over, if the user has chosen to set an emission percentage for such a component, SuperPro used to complain because the emission engine such components (with a set emission percentages) are left aside the VLE calculation. The vapor composition is calculated and an amount of emissions is set so that the remaining vapors satisfy the pressure criterion (atmospheric pressure if open vent, or the vent setting if closed vent). However, when these vapors are placed back in the equipment contents, if the components left aside had ANY leftover gaseous amount, it will be added and therefore the ACTUAL pressure will be higher than what it was supposed to be. Of course, if the user set that emission percentage to be 100%, no such problem would appear. Starting with this release, the program will NOT complain if for such components the emission percentage is set to 100%.

d07. Batch Extraction, Mixer-Settler Extraction, Centrifugal Extraction and Decanting Have Now Similarly Streamlined Interfaces.

These four models are trying to capture the same core unit operation : liquid-liquid extraction; yet, their interfaces where quite dissimilar before. Starting with this release we've made an effort to unify their interfaces (and user-specifications).

d08. Custom-Mixing and Pull-in Have Another Specification Target: Final Mole %.

Up till now, you could setup a custom mixing operation whereby the add-in stream was adjusted to achieve a user-set, mass-fraction for a selected component. A new option now has been added so that users can set the mole fraction of a component at the exiting stream (instead of mass fraction). The same option has been added to the Pull-in operation.

d09. The Min Working-to-Vessel Volume Ratio Has Been Removed from Operations Deemed Unnecessary.

The min working-to-vessel volume has been removed from the following equipment types:
PFR, Raceway Pond, Aeration Basin, PF Aeration Basin, Anoxic Reactor, Anaerobic Digester, Wet Air Oxidizer, Decanter, Silo, Solids Bin, Solids Drum, Solids Tote, Sphere Dryer, Cone Screw Dryer, Double Cone Dryer, Granulator, Hopper, Tumble Mixer, Discrete Bin, Discrete Drum, Discrete Tote, Freeze-Thaw Module and Discrete Freeze-Thaw Module.
It has also been removed from many operations:
All continuous stoichiometric reactions and fermentations operations, all solids storage operations, cone screw drying, granulation, tumble mixing, hopping, all continuous storage operations, transfer in/out operations for solids, pull-in (or out) operations for solids and discrete entities, tablet coating.

d10. All Environmental Operations Now Support the Services of Vacuum Pumps (if Necessary).

All environmental operations (WM Aerobic Bio-Oxidation, WM Stoich Aerobic Bio-Oxidation, PF Stoich Aerobic Bio-Oxidation, Aerobic Bio-Oxidation and Trickling Filtration) now support the engagement of vacuum pumps when necessary to maintain vacuum (for emissions). Vacuum pumps were introduced first in v11 (as an 'essential' aux equipment type) and were engaged (when needed) to maintain vacuum in most operations that perform emission calculations or venting.

d11. Power Dissipation to Heat Added in Several Operations.

Pumping, compression and gas transport (by centrifugal fan) can result in significant heat added to the main process stream by virtue of heat dissipation due to the (large) amount of power that is input to the system. This could cause a significant temperature increase on the process stream being handled, and it can now be accounted for.

d12. Rigorous Batch Vaporization Allows for Its Settings to Scale Up/Down with the Process.

The Rigorous Batch Vaporization operation allows the setting "Liquid Volume" to be scaleable when a scale up/down factor is applied to the entire process.

d13. Homogenization Operation now Allows for Thermal Mode Options.

The Homogenization operation now allows the user to specify how to perform the energy balances:
- Isothermally
- Adiabatically
- Under a constant (fixed) heating or cooling load.

d14. Component Properties Table Contents Improved.

Selection View / Component Properties Table... is supposed to show a table that has as many rows as the components registered in the process and show in columns a user-selected set of property values (e.g. Molecular Weight, Normal Boiling Point, Liq/Sol Heat Capacity, etc.). If a component property depends on temperature, then its value at a user-selectable temperature is shown. If the component property is meaningless at the chosen temperature (e.g. Liq/Sol Heat Capacity of N2 at 25°C), starting with this release a "-" will be shown. Also, since some components can be declared with "Unknown/Irrelevant Vapor Properties", no values are shown for Heat of Vaporization, Ideal Gas Cp and Vapor Pressure for such components.

d15. Batch Extraction Operation Now Verifies the Presence of Solvent(s).

Previous releases didn't check to make sure the solvent(s) involved in a batch extraction operation were present. Starting with this release, the model will complain if a solvent required is not present in the mix.

d16. The VVM Aeration Spec in Fed Batch Reactions/Fermentations Uses the Average Reaction Volume (Before & After) Fed-Batch Addition as Reference.

In previous releases, when a fed-batch specification was requested and the amount of added air was asked to be calculated from a VVM (volume-per-volume-rate) spec, the amount of air was calculated using as reference the volume of the initial amount (before reaction/fermentation started). Since the amount at the end (after the fed-batch material is added) can be significantly more, it now utilizes the average volume before and after the fed-batch addition as a reference to better estimate the air demand.

 

e. Bug Fixes

e01.

N-Way Component Splitting Operation Did Not Calculate Load Correctly.

e02.

Continuous Reaction Operations with Emissions: Mass Balance Inaccuracy & Emission Line Temperature (at Times) Were Incorrect.

e03.

Replacing a Fermentation Operation with a Perfusion Fermentation Operation Failed to Carry Over Specifications.

e04.

Perfusion Rate Was Incorrectly Setting the Perfusion Amount after Scaling Up/Down the Process by a Factor.

e05.

Procedure Activity Grid Included the Default Input (and Default Output) Stream Twice.

e06.

Equipment Occupancy Data Chart Would Display Incorrect Legend.

e07.

A Newly Introduced Mixture Failed to Appear as an Option in the Composition Editing tab of a Stock Mixture.

e08.

When Depositing a CIP Template (or Any Ingredient-Dependent Resource) Sometimes the Dependent Resources Failed to Auto-Deposit.

e09.

When Replacing a Fanning Procedure with a Compressing Procedure a Crash May Occur.

e10.

Decanter Cost Estimates Were off.

e11.

Annual Cost of Consumables Was (At Times) Miscalculated.

e12.

Generic Wash Did Not Properly Calculate Its Outputs (in Some Cases).

e13.

Generic Wash Did Not Properly Calculate the Amount of Wash Needed when Wash Flow Was Set.

e14.

Sharing/Un-sharing of Equipment between Procedures with Different i/o Configurations Led to a Crash.

 

 

e01. N-Way Component Splitting Operation Did Not Calculate Load Correctly.

Besides balancing out the enthalpies (see previous enhancement), this release allows for ambient interaction with the temperatures calculated of the output and/or the required load. This feature was first included in the N-way component splitting operation in a previous release. It is now part of the 2-way splitting as well.

e02. Continuous Reaction Operations with Emissions: Mass Balance Inaccuracy & Emission Line Temperature (at Times) Were Incorrect.

When venting gases from a continuous reaction operation and the user chose to set the emission (venting) percentage of several components, the program would show the amounts (as requested by the user) on the emission line, but didn't remove them from the bottoms (liquid/solid) output stream. This has now been fixed. Also, the temperature shown on the vent line, didn't match the temperature of the reaction. This also has been fixed.

e03. Replacing a Fermentation Operation with a Perfusion Fermentation Operation Failed to Carry Over Specifications.

When choosing to replace a fermentation operation with a perfusion operation (or vice versa) some settings related with the perfusion settings (or a possible fed-batch specification) were not correctly set. This has now been fixed.

e04. Perfusion Rate Was Incorrectly Setting the Perfusion Amount after Scaling Up/Down the Process by a Factor.

When scaling up a process containing a perfusion fermentation, the perfusion rate was scaled as well. However, if after the scaling up, it turned out that multiple fermentors were needed (in design mode), the perfusion amount would increase once more. This has now been fixed.

e05. Procedure Activity Grid Included the Default Input (and Default Output) Stream Twice.

When showing the activity grid for a procedure where the default initialization mechanism is active, the default stream carrying material into the procedure would appear as active in the first line ("After Auto-Init") but also as part of the first operation in the procedure queue (by mistake). The same mistake also appeared at the end of the procedure where the default output stream would appear twice. This has now been fixed.

e06. Equipment Occupancy Data Chart Would Display Incorrect Legend.

When showing the equipment occupancy data chart, the legend is supposed to explain each bar displayed (Occupancy time, idle time, etc.). Due to a glitch, the bars colors were incorrectly labelled.

e07. A Newly Introduced Mixture Failed to Appear as an Option in the Composition Editing tab of a Stock Mixture.

Besides balancing out the enthalpies (see previous enhancement), this release allows for ambient interaction with the temperatures calculated of the output and/or the required load. This feature was first included in the N-way component splitting operation in a previous release. It is now part of the 2-way splitting as well.

e08. When Depositing a CIP Template (or Any Ingredient-Dependent Resource) Sometimes the Dependent Resources Failed to Auto-Deposit.

When depositing a resource in the 'SupePro (User)' database with a definition that includes other resource definitions (e.g. components or mixtures), before the resource definition is deposited, the prerequisite resources must also be deposited as well. Otherwise, they cannot be used again from another process model. Sometimes, SuperPro failed to auto-deposit such resources. This has now been fixed.

e09. When Replacing a Fanning Procedure with a Compressing Procedure a Crash May Occur.

Taking advantage of the ability to exchange (swap) one unit procedure for another in the same family, users could replace an existing 'Fanning' procedure with a 'Compressing' procedure. Unfortunately, due to a glitch, a crash could occur when this specific substitution was carried out. This has now been fixed.

e10. Decanter Cost Estimates Were off.

Due to a programming glitch, the estimated cost for decanters was significantly off. The built-in cost model has now been fixed to provide reasonable estimates.

e11. Annual Cost of Consumables Was (At Times) Miscalculated.

Due to a programming glitch, the estimated annual cost of consumables, the annual operating hours for the equipment involved were miscalculated (when the flowsheet was operating in continuous mode), and when the consumable cost was set on a per-equipment-hour basis, the annual consumable cost was overestimated. This has now been fixed.

e12. Generic Wash Did Not Properly Calculate Its Outputs (in Some Cases).

Due to a programming glitch, when the generic wash was asked to affect the contents of a vessel (either through a loss percentage or a carry-out percentage) the amounts of material showing on the output (wash out) stream were incorrectly calculated. This has now been fixed.

e13. Generic Wash Did Not Properly Calculate the Amount of Wash Needed when Wash Flow Was Set.

Due to a programming glitch, when the generic wash was asked to calculate the amount of wash required based on a user-set wash rate, the amount (demand) was not properly back-propagated onto the wash inlet streams. This has now been fixed.

e14. Sharing/Un-sharing of Equipment between Procedures with Different i/o Configurations Led to a Crash.

Due to a programming glitch, when users attempted to share (or un-share) equipment between two unit procedures that had different i/o configurations (e.g. one was a 11x9 while the other was 14x11) would lead to a crash (eventually). First some stream wouldn't show as connected and then when attempting to move the procedure or change any of the contained operations' data the program would crash. This has now been fixed.

 

 

f. New Examples

f01.

Metallurgy Group: Battery Cathode Material.

f02.

Metallurgy Group: Battery Recycling.

f03.

Metallurgy Group: Cu-Ni Matte Leaching.

f04.

Metallurgy Group: Lithium Extraction.

f05.

Metallurgy Group: Rare Earth Elements.

f06.

Metallurgy Group: Zircon Processing.

f07.

Bio-Materials Group: Sophorolipids.

f08.

Bio-Materials Group: Rhamnolipids.

f09.

Bio-Materials Group: Yeast Extract.

f10.

Food Processing Group: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

 

 

f01. Metallurgy Group: Battery Cathode Material.

Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIBs) are high-capacity accumulators that find wide application in portable electronics and electric vehicles. The cathode of LiBs is made of a lithium transition metal oxide layered on aluminum foil whereas the anode consists of porous carbon graphite layered on copper. During charge, lithium ions flow from the cathode to the anode through an electrolyte. During discharge, lithium ions flow back to the cathode,thereby ensuring power generation.
The key component in LiBs is the cathode material, which accounts for around 30% of the total battery weight. Early LiBs were based on pure lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) cathodes. Due to the low specific power and lifespan and to the high cost of Co, LiCoO2 was later replaced by pure lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4). Exhibiting higher power and safety but less capacity and lifespan than LiCoO2, LiMn2O4 has been gradually replaced by multi-metal oxides. The newest commercialized technology in battery cathode materials is based on a mixture of lithium cobalt-manganese-nickel oxide, namely NMC. In this material, a proper modulation of the Ni:Mn:Co ratio provides the LiBs with a desirable balance of power, energy, capacity and lifespan. Early NMC materials utilized NMC with Ni:Mn:Co ratio of 1:1:1. The current tendency is to decrease the cobalt and manganese content at the advantage of nickel.

In 2015, the total amount of battery cathode material placed in the market was 140,000 metric tons (MT). This amount has been increasing constantly over the last years and is expected to increase up to 10 times following the switch to electric mobility. Electric vehicles will represent 20% of the total automotive market by 2030 and the majority by 2035. Therefore, the production of LiBs, today around 750,000 MT/year, is expected to increase to up to 4,000,000 MT/year by 2025, corresponding to about 1,200,000 MT/year of cathode material.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Battery Cathode Material' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f02. Metallurgy Group: Battery Recycling.

This example analyzes the recycling of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) for portable electronics through a mixed physico-hydrometallurgical process. The physical pretreatment section frees the electrode powder and separates the other valuable components through thermal and mechanical operations. In the hydrometallurgical line, all valuable metals contained in the electrode powder are brought in solution through a leaching procedure. Following leaching, the metal-rich solution undergoes purification by precipitation and solvent extraction. The precipitation removes Fe, Al, and Cu. The solvent extraction separates Mn first, using bis(2-ethylhexhyl phosphate (D2EHPA), and Co later, using bis(2,4,4-trimethylpentyl) phosphinic acid (CYANEX 272). Mn, Co and Li are recovered from their aqueous solutions by crystallization; Mn and Co are crystallized as sulfates, while Li is crystallized as carbonate. Ni is recovered by precipitation as carbonate. The process runs in a mixed continuous-batch mode. The physical operations and the crystallization units run in continuous mode whereas the chemical operations (leaching, precipitation, solvent extraction) run in batch mode.

The plant processes around 11,000-12,000 MT/year of Li-ion batteries, corresponding to 4,266 kg of battery material per batch. This example includes two SuperPro Designer files (Cases A and B). In Case B, two reaction steps have access to extra equipment operating in staggered mode in order to reduce the overall process cycle time and increase the throughput of the plant. Detailed information on the subject will be provided later in this document .

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Battery Recycling' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files.You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f03. Metallurgy Group: Cu-Ni Matte Leaching.

The Cu-Ni matte leaching example analyzes a hydrometallurgical process for the extraction and separation of nickel from copper minerals present in Cu-Ni matte. The whole process treats 31,680 MT of matte per year in continuous mode. After feed preparation, the Cu-Ni matte undergoes pressure leaching at 170°C. Through acidic oxidation and metathesis, leaching produces a stream containing nickel and minor impurities as well as a solid residue rich in reduced copper minerals. Nickel is recovered as NiCO3 upon crystallization and precipitation of the co-crystallized iron impurities. The process also results in the removal of the arsenic impurities as crystalline scorodite. The main chemicals utilized in the process include H2SO4 for pressure leaching and Na2CO3 for neutralization-precipitation. The main product is NiCO3, which is sold for $4.24/kg (11% moisture). The leaching residue containing copper minerals is concentrated by flotation and constitutes another important revenue of the process, with a selling price of $1.88/kg (16% moisture).

The Cu-Ni matte leaching process exhibits a potential gross margin of 7.5% and a return on investment of 15%. The cost analysis suggests that this process would generate total revenues of $82 million per year, resulting in a payback time of about 6 years. Clearly, the economic evaluation results strongly depend on the assumed prices of raw materials and products .

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Cu-Ni Matte Leaching' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f04. Metallurgy Group: Lithium Extraction.

This example analyzes metallurgical production of battery grade Li2CO3 from spodumene ore, the most common raw material in lithium manufacturing. It was assumed that spodumene ore contains 80% spodumene in the presence of quartz, silica and biotite impurities. This ore, which is initially present as a refractory ?-Spodumene, is first converted into Spodumene by decrepitation at a temperature above 1070 °C. The decrepitated material is then reacted with sulfuric acid at 250 °C in a sulfation-roasting operation that convert spodumene, alumina, and the solid biotite mixture to their respective sulfates. The sulfate mixture is dissolved in water and neutralized with Ca(OH)2 to precipitate gypsum and silica while concentrating the main elements in solution. The liquid stream which is rich in Li2SO4 undergoes a double purification by neutralization-precipitation at pH 6 and pH 10 to remove iron, aluminum and magnesium as hydroxides. Lithium carbonate is recovered from this purified solution upon carbonation with Na2CO3 and evaporation-crystallization. The evaporation-crystallization step removes 40% of the water prior to cooling down to 35 °C to induce the crystallization of Li2CO3. The obtained Li2CO3 crystals constitute the main revenue of the process upon separation and drying.

The capital investment for such a facility is around $70 million. The annual operating cost is around $72 million and the annual revenues around $95 million. This results in a return on investment in the order of 33% and a payback time of about 3 years.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the Lithium Extraction' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f05. Metallurgy Group: Rare Earth Elements.

The Rare Earth Processing example analyzes a physico-hydrometallurgical process for the obtainment of rare earth elements from rare earth ore containing 4% REO as LREEs. The process is based on mineral processing and hydrometallurgical operations. The mineral processing features comminution, magnetic separation, and flotation to recover marketable fractions (magnetite, Fe-Nb concentrate, monazite concentrate) and generate a bastnaesite-parisite concentrate to be treated hydrometallurgically. Hydrometallurgical operations determine the extraction, separation and recovery of cerium, lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium oxides from the concentrate by means of sulfatation-roasting, leaching, precipitation, solvent extraction and precipitation-calcination.

The whole process treats 396,00 MT of raw ore per year in continuous mode to generate 74,686 MT/year of Fe3O4, 122,000 MT/year of a Fe-Nb concentrate (1% Nb, >80% Fe), 15,400 MT/year of a 33% monazite concentrate, 17,186 MT/year of a 25% CaF2 concentrate, 9,900 Mt/year of CeO2, 4,910 MT/year of La2O3, and 4,356 MT/year of a mixture NdO3-Pr6O11.

Under the assumption of an ore basket price accounting 25% of the actual price, the process exhibits a potential gross margin of 3.32% and a return on investment of 15%. The cost analysis suggests that this process would generate total revenues for about $524 million per year, resulting in a payback time slightly higher than 6 years. Clearly, the economic evaluation results strongly depend on the assumed prices of raw materials and products.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Rear Earth Elements' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files.You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f06. Metallurgy Group: Zircon Processing.

The model of this example analyzes a metallurgical process to produce ZrO2 from zircon sand ore. Other co-products generated in the process include a mixture of UO2 and ZrO2, a Hf-rich raffinate solution, and SiO2. The main raw material is a crude zircon sand ore containing 68.6% of ZrSiO4 and minor amounts of UO2 and HfO2. This ore is processed first in a mineral processing circuit for the removal of light clay minerals (10% of the weight ore), thus increasing the zircon concentration up to 80% on a dry-solid basis. The enriched material is then fused with NaOH and leached in hot water first and H2SO4 later to extract all zirconium, hafnium, and uranium. Then, iron and aluminum are removed from the leach solution by precipitation, prior to a solvent extraction circuit for the separation of zirconium, uranium, and hafnium. This solvent extraction is conducted in a cross-current flow, using TOA to extract uranium and zirconium while leaving hafnium in the raffinate. ZrO2 and UO2 are then recovered from their respective solutions by precipitation (and calcination in the case of zirconium) whereas the raffinate solution rich in hafnium represents a revenue stream as it is. The process also generates SiO2 from the Fe-Al precipitation sludge.

The process runs in continuous mode, enabling the treatment of 41,976 MT of ore per year to produce 18,454 MT/year of ZrO2. The main chemicals utilized in the process include H2SO4 for leaching and stripping and NaOH and NH4OH for neutralization-precipitation.

The economic evaluation highlights process revenues for about $158M/year in the face of $52M capital investments. This results in a return on investment in the order of 25% and a payback time of 4 years. Clearly, the economic evaluation results strongly depend on the assumed prices to raw materials and products, whose consistency must be thoroughly verified.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Zircon Processing' folder of the 'Metallurgy' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Metallurgy' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Metallurgy'.

f07. Bio-Materials Group: Sophorolipids.

This example analyzes a sophorolipid production process. Sophorolipids are glycolipids with surface-active properties. They can be produced via fermentation by non-pathogenic yeast species. In fermentation media that consist of lipids or fatty acid molecules, among other nutrients, the microorganisms cannot have access to the water insoluble oil phase and cannot utilize the hydrophobic carbon source. For this reason, the microorganisms, which exist in the aqueous phase, produce glycolipids in order to emulsify and be able to utilize the hydrophobic carbon source.

Our objective of this example is to present a simple sophorolipid production model in SuperPro Designer that is easy to understand and follow. As indicated in the preceding analysis, a plant with a capacity of around 15,800 metric tons of sophorolipids per year requires a total CAPEX of around $91 million and annual operating expenditures (including depreciation) of around $58 million. The predominant cost is the cost of raw materials, followed by the facility-dependent costs. The payback time of this investment was estimated to be about 6.4years.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Sophorolipis' folder of the 'Bio-Materials' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Bio-Materials' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Bio-Materials'.

f08. Bio-Materials Group: Rhamnolipids.

This example analyzes a rhamnolipids production process. Rhamnolipids like sophorolipids, the other biosurfactant production example of SuperPro Designer, are glycolipids with surface-active properties. Both substances can be produced via fermentation of yeast species and bacteria, and as such they are called biosurfactants. The fermentation media consist of lipids or fatty acid molecules, among other nutrients. The microorganisms, which are grown in the aqueous phase cannot have access to the water insoluble oil phase and cannot utilize the hydrophobic carbon source. A widely accepted speculation is that microorganisms produce glycolipids in order to emulsify and be able to utilize the hydrophobic carbon source.

The global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the public’s preference for biodegradable chemicals produced from renewable sources favours the use of biosurfactants rather than the traditional synthetic surfactants. This market trend is expected to continue in the coming years, allowing for growth opportunities in the global production of rhamnolipids and biosurfactants in general, even if their production cost is currently considerably higher than the synthetic alternatives. The global biosurfactants market was slightly larger than $1.5 billion in 2018. Figure 1a shows the market share and growth forecast of different biosurfactants. Rhamnolipids accounted for around 20-30% of the market size. Europe and North America were the largest markets. Figure 1b shows the breakdown of the North America biosurfactants market by industry. The largest consumer was the household detergent market, followed by personal care. Similar trends are evident in the global market with food and oil industry having slightly larger percentage of the total market. The global market of biosurfactants is expected to grow to more than $2.4 billion by 2025.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Rhamnolipids' folder of the 'Bio-Materials' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Bio-Materials' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Bio-Materials'.

f09. Bio-Materials Group: Yeast Extract.

This example analyzes a yeast extract production process. Yeasts, as intact cells, are the most important and most frequently used microorganisms in the food industry (e.g. in bread-making). Yeast extract is also one of the most frequently used substrates in the fermentation industry, but also an ingredient in the food industry. Yeast cells consists of a number of macromolecules, mainly proteins but also nucleic acids, DNA, RNA and complex carbohydrates. Each macromolecule offers a functionality to the cell. Yeast extract consists of cell contents of yeast without the cell walls.

As demonstrated by the model, a yeast extract producing plant with capacity of about 7300 ton of yeast extract per year requires a total CAPEX of around $55 million and annual operating expenditures (including depreciation) of around $44.2 million. The predominant cost is the cost of the 95.5% glucose syrup raw material, followed by the cost of depreciation for a new facility. This clearly indicates that depreciated facilities have a considerably lower production costs. The payback time of this investment was estimated to be about 9.3 years.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'Yeast Extract' folder of the 'Bio-Materials' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Bio-Materials' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Bio-Materials'.

f10. Food Processing Group: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, which was first prepared in 1908 by a Japanese biochemist (Kikunae Ikeda) from an edible seaweed. Glutamic acid is naturally found in many food items such as tomato, cheese and meat and gives these foods a savory flavor known as umami. Monosodium glutamate is used as a flavor enhancing ingredient in many Japanese and Chinese foods and forms a basis of a roughly $7.2 billion Industry (2020).

As demonstrated by the model, a plant with capacity of around 48,900 metric tons of monosodium glutamate per year requires a total CAPEX of around $76 million and annual operating expenditures (including depreciation) of around $65.4 million. The predominant cost is the cost of raw materials, especially the glucose syrup, followed by the facility-dependent costs. The payback time for such as investment was estimated to be around 6 years.

The example model and relevant extensive documentation can be found in the 'MSG' folder of the 'Bio-Materials' group under the 'Example' collection of files. You can fast-open the relevant file (or any of the other files in the 'Food Processing' group) by searching the Process Library with the keyword 'Example Group::Food Processing'.