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Process Modelling and Optimisation

Process Modelling and Optimisation

Expert services to assist in optimising plant performance

HRL draws on the extensive skills of its personnel supported by state-of-the-art software to model any chemical process in order to understand and develop the process or identify opportunities to optimise the process.

Benefiting from plant optimisation

With growing pressure to limit emissions and to minimise fuel and maintenance costs every plant operator is facing the challenge to maximise plant performance. Optimising plant operation can offer significant benefits, but how do you determine your plant's current level of efficiency? How do you identify options for improving its performance? How do you decide which options are the most cost-effective?

Identifying the most cost-effective options

HRL expert process modelling services can provide you with a 'look inside' your plant while it is operating. 'Looking inside' can help you understand why your plant behaves as it does, and provide data and analysis to help identify options for optimisation. Modelling also allows alternative modification options to be tested, performance improvements to be quantified, and the cost-benefit equation to be determined all before you commit to any modification work within your plant.

Modelling services

HRL offers wide-ranging expertise and experience in applying a range of commercial software modelling packages including:
Fluent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling that provides a full three-dimensional representation of gas, particulate and steam flows. The modelling can be applied to any processes involving fluid flows. Aspen Plus modelling is used to model virtually any chemical process such as drying, combustion, gasification, activated carbon production, pyrolysis and hydrogenation.

Steam Master/Pro modelling provides specialist simulation of the steam cycle, including detailed modelling of turbine stages, feed heating and heat exchanger design. Such modelling is often used in identifying the impact of off-design operation of plant. GT Pro modelling is used to design new gas-turbine-cogeneration or combined-cycle systems and for determining optimum configuration and design. Where an off-the-shelf modelling package is not suitable, hrl: can draw on its extensive expertise to develop a custom model that is specifically tailored to your plant, operations and needs.

Modelling Examples

Specific areas where HRL offers modelling in support of its plant analysis and optimisation services include:

Improving cyclone efficiency, capacity and performance

  • Well-designed cyclone separators can remove significant volumes of particulate material with a minimum loss of pressure. Poorly designed cyclones can limit plant efficiency, capacity and performance. Understanding the many factors that play a part in the efficiency with which cyclones separate material is vital to ensure optimum performance and to maximise plant availability.
  • HRL uses modelling to understand the impact of particulate and gas flow patterns within your cyclone separator, and develops cost-effective strategies to improve the performance of that plant.

Minimising particulate erosion and deposition

The way particulate material moves within plant can cause erosion or lead to a build-up of deposits within that plant increasing maintenance and reducing plant availability. Understanding the fundamental causes of erosion and deposition caused by particulate movement, and developing strategies to optimise such movement, can decrease maintenance and increase plant availability.

HRL performs modelling to understand the impact of particulate movement on your plant, and develops cost-effective strategies to mitigate erosion and deposition to improve plant availability.

Improving precipitator performance

Poor performance by precipitators attached to boilers can restrict boiler operation to less-than-optimal levels in order to ensure that the plant continues to operate within its licence emission levels. A myriad of factors influence precipitator performance. Understanding the factors at play is the first step in developing and implementing strategies to improve precipitator performance and help maximise plant operating capacity. 

HRL offers expert precipitator performance analysis and modelling services to assist your organisation in determining the factors that are limiting current precipitator performance. By understanding the factors behind poor performance, hrl: can help you to identify, quantify and implement cost-effective strategies to improve that performance.

Modelling process systems

Rising fuel costs and growing constraints on carbon emissions present a challenge to plant profitability making plant efficiency an imperative. Challenges to efficiency include ensuring optimum fuel distribution and combustion while minimising emissions and limiting the impact of high ambient temperatures. hrl:has extensive experience in designing new, or modifying existing, plant systems and can model virtually any chemical process system. Modelling allows complete process simulation and multiple designs to be tested quickly and cheaply, so the right solution is installed.

Modelling thermal efficiency

As fuel costs continue to rise and restraints on carbon emissions continue to grow, ensuring thermal efficiency with plant becomes ever more critical. Allowing thermal inefficiency within a furnace or boiler has a real financial cost.

HRL expert thermal efficiency modelling services allow complete process simulation and multiple designs to be tested quickly and economically, to determine optimum operating solutions.

Optimising waste-gas processing systems

Processing waste-gas or off-gas is an important operational aspect of most plant where combustion occurs. Different types of combustion and plant produce different waste gases that need to be processed, and have specific system characteristics that can benefit from optimisation.

Meet the expert


Sam has over 14 years of experience in energy efficiency, fuel switching and the implementation of cost saving options from the findings of energy efficient audits on large industrial plants. Sam has extensive experience in evaluation of upgrading and utilisation options for gas, biomass and other fuels. His experience includes material/fuel characterization, practical research and demonstration, techno-economic assessments, and detailed feasibility studies.

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