A techno-economic model developed at the early stage of a project is an invaluable means of ensuring that the project is well focussed and ultimately economically viable. The techno-economic model can be a first pass, high-level review of the project's economics and feasibility, or can include a more detailed OPEX/CAPEX evaluation, pre-selection of process units, and critical evaluation of the technical risks associated with the project. The benefits include:
KPM is well known for its work with computational thermodynamics for research and development, using FACT-SAGE software and databases. Computational thermodynamics is used to help guide the experimental design, support trouble-shooting, and minimize the required number of experiments, reducing project costs and minimizing lead times.Initial thermodynamic modeling includes producing custom plots for clients to enhance their understanding of their processes and the initial stages of experimental work. A model can then be developed to understand the reaction kinetics associated with the processes of the project.
Determining the heat and mass balances of a process is crucial to understanding metallurgical processes and developing effective flow sheets. METSIM and Excel spreadsheets are used to develop the balanced equation flow sheets of complex chemical processes involved in projects. METSIM software includes thermodynamic databases that are integrated to model both chemical and metallurgical processes, or may use external data (from FACT-SAGE or others).
KPM can integrate logistic modeling into process modeling to optimize the final capital and operating expenses of a project. Logistic modelling allows to identify the flow-sheet and plant lay-out weakness and to define opportunities for productivity improvements. It is a powerful tool which repeatedly demonstrated the power of the analytical process of logistic modelling. Interestingly, plant operators often underestimate the power of logistic modeling and feel that they know better how to optimize their operation. Logistic modelling is however unrivaled when comes for determination of optimal operating sequence, calculation of optimal required capacity, sizing of equipment, and identification of opportunities for productivity improvement. The model will determine where to invest time and effort, and how to minimize capital expenses in order to reach productivity improvement goals.
Finite element modeling (FEM) is generally used to determine the impact of design parameters on physical properties of a system. For example, FEM can determine temperature gradients, heat transfer and heat loss, it can simulate strain in components, as well as electric and magnetic fields. Gas, liquid, and solid flow can be accurately simulated. Finite element modeling (FEM) is generally used to explain plant observations and resolve operational issues, to answer specific questions related to a new design, or to confirm the impact of a proposed equipment design modification.