Pune University BE Petrochemical Plant Design and Process Economics Question Papers

Pune University BE Petrochemical Plant Design and Process

Economics Question Papers

B.E. (Petrochemical) PLANT DESIGN AND PROCESS ECONOMICS (2008 Pattern) (Sem. – II)

Time :3 Hours]                                                                           [Max. Marks :100

Instructions to the candidates:

1)            Answer any 3 questions from each section.

2)            Answers to the two sections should be written in separate books.

3)            Neat diagrams must be drawn wherever necessary.

4)            Pigures to the right indicate full marks.

5)            Use of logarithmic tables, slide rule, Mollier charts, electronic pocket calculator and steam tables is allowed.

6)            Assume suitable data, if necessary.


QI) a) What are the different items that should be considered in making a feasibility survey of a typical Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering project?


b)        What are logical steps in design activities of any process plant? What are important points must be taken into consideration in process developments?             [6]

c)        Discuss the role of Chemical/Petrochemical engineer in process design? [6]


Q2) a) Discuss in brief about the factors to be considered in Plant location and site selection.                                                                                                              [6]

b)        Discuss the anatomy of Chemical/Petrochemical engineering projects? What are the standard references/resources for chemical engineers working in Projects?    [6]

c)         What do you mean by pilot plant? What is importance of pilot plant in process development?                                                                                            [6]


Q3) a) Write a note on HAZOP and HAZEN study to be carried out in any process plant with respect to safety aspects.                                                                                                 [8]

b) Differentiate clearly between PFD, PBD and P&ID regarding their contents. Also write about specific purpose(s) of these diagrams. [8]


Q4) a) What are the key differences between a batch processes and a continuous processes? Which of the processes listed below would you describe as continuous processes, which as batch processes and which as semi-continuous (or semi-batch) processes? Justify your decisions. [8]

i)             Passing wastewater through an activated sludge system.

ii)           Feeding crude oil through a fractional distillation column.

iii)        Preparing a batch of dilute acid by half filling a tank with water and then adding concentrated acid to the tank slowly and continuously, mixing all the time, until the desired acid concentration is reached.

iv)         Feeding ethylene at a pressure of 266 Mpa and a temperature of over 300°C through an 800-meter long reactor to produce polyethylene.

b) What are process utilities? Briefly discuss important utilities required in a typical Petrochemical complex/refinery unit.                                                            [8]

Q5) a) A project has the following activities, activities duration and predecessors.


Activity Duration (Days) Predecessor
A 6
B 10 A
C 12 A
D 9 B,C
E 8 C
F 5 D,E


i)             Draw the PERT chart for this problem and determine the critical path.

ii)           Indicate the critical path on the PERT chart.

b) Discuss the important consideration to be given in design of Plant Layout.



Q6) a) Discuss the drawbacks of Milestone chart, GANT chart and BAR chart.


b)        Most process units require consideration of proper materials of construction. The following table gives a relative cost of metals using carbon steel as a base.     [8]


Relative Cost

Carbon Steel

Base Cost (Lowest)

Low Alloy Steel


Stainless Steel


Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys


Copper and Copper Alloys


Titanium and Titanium based



Nickel and Nickel based Alloys



Why is the selection of the correct material important, and what are some of the constraints one must deal with when making choice. Consider different situations such as for example a crude tower in an oil refinery or a vessel in a vaccine -manufacturing unit.


Q7) Answer Any Three from the following :                                                                [18]

a)        Discuss breakdown of Fixed Capital Investment (FCI) items for a chemical process.

b)       Define the following and give examples of each :

i)             Current assets.

ii)           Current liabilities.

iii)        Fixed assets.

iv)         Intangible assets.

c)        Often it is said, “Depreciation and taxes are irrevocably tied to each other.” Give your comment on this statement.

d)       Discuss the types of cost indices available in the Chemical Engineering literature. Discuss the importance of these cost indices for cost estimation of chemical engineering equipment.

e)        A company is considering the manufacture of ethylene oxide as an intermediate for its polymer division. The process to be used is the direct oxidation of ethylene. The company built a similar unit in 2002 that had a rated capacity of 100,000 tons annually for Rs. 65,000,000. The projected production of the new facility is to be 150,000 tons annually. Estimate the fixed capital investment in 2012 to produce the required ethylene oxide.

Data :

CE Index for 2002 = 388.

CE Index for 2012 = 535

f)         Write a brief note on : “Taxes and Insurance”.


Q8) a) Recently a cast iron leaf pressure filter with 9.29 mP was purchased for clarifying an inorganic liquid stream for Rs. 9,50,000. In a similar application, the company will need a 40.80 mP cast iron leaf pressure filter. The size exponent for this type filter is 0.6. Estimate the purchased price of the 40.80 mP unit.                                                           [10]

b)       Discuss in brief the various components of a balance sheet and profit and loss account statements.                                                                                                           [8]

Q9) a) The following data are available for two distillation columns from a petrochemical plant:


Distillation Column (with Sieve Trays)

Distillation Column (with structured packings)
Installed cost Rs. 25,00,000 Rs. 35,00,000
Salvage value 0 0

Service life

3 ?
Interest rate (i) 12% 12%


If the capitalized cost is same for both the distillation columns, estimate service life for distillation column with structured packings.                                               [8]

b)        Two projects A and B have initial capital investment of Rs. 10,00,000 each the cash-inflows of the two projects are as under :

Cash in



Project A

Project B


Rs. 4,00,000

Rs. 2,50,000


Rs. 5,00,000

Rs. 3,50,000


Rs. 1,00,000

Rs. 2,50,000


Rs. 25,000

Rs. 1,50,000


Rs. 25,000

Rs. 2,00,000


Rs. 20,000

Rs. 1,75,000


Choose one out of the two projects or the basis of pay-back period method of evaluation. Comment on the limitation of pay-back period method?                            [8]


QI 0) a) A reactor having a negligible scrap value is estimated to have a service life of 10 years. The original value of the reactor was Rs. 6,20,000. Determine the depreciation charges for the 7th year using following methods:

i)              Straight line method.

ii)           Double declining balance method.

iii)         Sum of years digit method.

Estimate also the percentage of the investment paid off in the first seven- year service life with these methods.                                                                                            [8]

b)        Write a brief note on “Break Even Analysis”.

c)         Determine break even point (in units and values) for the project having following details :                                                                                                                 [4]

Variable cost = Rs. 50 per unit at 100% capacity.

Fixed Cost = Rs. 150000per year.

Selling Price = Rs. 5 per unit.

QII) An existing plant has been operating in such a way that a large amount of heat is being lost in waste gases. It has been proposed to save money by recovering heat now being lost. Four different heat exchangers have been designed to recover the heat and all prices. Saving has been calculated for each of the design is given in the following table. The plant manager wants at least 16% annual return on initial investment. Which one of the four designs should recommend to the plant manager?                                                                        [16]



Design I

Design II Design IV Design III

Initial Installed cost (Rs)


4,00,000 5,00,000 6,50,000

Operating Cost, (Rs.)


7,500 7,500/- 7,500

Fixed Charges,


10% 10% 10%

% of initial cost per year

Value of heat saved (Rs/Year)


1,40,000 1,60,000 2,00,000




Q12) a) A plant is producing 100 tonnes/year of a product. The overall yield is 70% on mass basis. The raw material costs Rs.100/tonne, and the product sells at Rs.350/tonne. A process modification has been devised that will increase the yield to 75%. The additional investment required is Rs. 40,000. Is the modification worth making if the minimum acceptable rate of return is 20%.                                                                     [T]

b)        If the delivered cost of equipments of solid fluid processing plant is Rs. 5 x 106, estimate the capital cost of the plant using Lang’s factors method.                          [T]

c)         Write a brief note on : “Importance of Process Economics to Chemical/ Petrochemical Engineers”.                                                                                                          [4]

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