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December 16, 2009

gPROMS to include SAFT advanced thermodynamics

Gerald Ondrey

Process Systems Enterprise (PSE; London, U.K.; www.psenterprise.com) has announced an exclusive agreement with Imperial College London (ICL; www3.imperial.ac.uk) to provide the SAFT-VR advanced thermodynamic technology within its world-leading gPROMS advanced process modeling software.

The Statistical Associating Fluid Theory (SAFT) approach uses physically realistic models of molecules and their interactions to accurately predict many different thermodynamic properties of pure components and mixtures over a wide range of operating conditions.
 
The SAFT-VR technology was developed by Imperial College London’s Molecular Systems Engineering group, partly funded by a £3.6m EPSRC grant for the development of robust and reliable thermodynamic modeling tools for industry.
 
Its key advantage, says George Jackson, professor of chemical physics, is the ability to predict very accurately the behavior of complex strongly associating systems such as azeotropic refrigerant mixtures, aqueous solutions of non-ionic surfactants and strong electrolyte solutions, as well as high molecular weight components such as polymer-gas systems. These systems are often poorly characterized by conventional techniques.
 
gPROMS is used by large process industry companies in the oil & gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, power generation, clean energy, food & beverage, pharmaceutical and other process sectors to accelerate innovation, manage technology risk and optimise process design and operation through the application of high-accuracy mathematical models.
 
PSE will release a package of SAFT-based technologies as a new product, gSAFT. Further Imperial College SAFT developments will be delivered to market within the gSAFT framework as they arise.
 
PSE managing director Costas Pantelides says “The coupling of SAFT with gPROMS’s advanced optimization technology opens up new possibilities for process design, allowing both molecular-level and process design decisions to be taken into account to ensure that the resulting design is optimal.” An example is recent work on solvent-based carbon capture processes, where the optimal molecular structure for the solvent and process design parameters and operating conditions were determined simultaneously.
 
Prof. Pantelides adds, “We are committed to delivering the best of new technology emerging from university research to process engineers throughout industry and academia within the gPROMS framework”.
 

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