Development of a new chemical plant or process from concept evaluation to profitable reality is often an enormously complex problem. Generally, a plant-design project moves to completion through a series of stages which may include inception, preliminary evaluation of economics and market, data development for a final design, final economic evaluation, detailed engineering design, procurement, erection, startup, and pro- duction. The general term plant design includes all of the engineering aspects involved in the development of either a new, modified, or expanded industrial plant. In this context, individuals involved in such work will be making economic evaluations of new processes, designing individual pieces of equipment for the proposed new ventures, or developing a plant layout for coordination of the overall operation. Because of the many design duties encountered, the engineer involved is many times referred to as a design engineer. If the latter specializes in the economic aspects of the design, the individual may be referred to as a cost engineer.
On the other hand, if he or she emphasizes the actual design of the equipment and facilities necessary for carrying out the process, the individual may be referred to as a process design engineer. The material presented in this book is intended to aid the latter in developing rapid chemical designs without becoming unduly involved in the often complicated theoretical underpinnings of these useful notes, charts, tables, and equations.