Total views : 246

Succession of States Mathematical Algorithm for Incorporation of Unit Operation in iCON® Process Simulator Applied in Natural Gas Purification


  • Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Sri Iskandar, 32610, Perak, Malaysia


Over recent years, incorporation of unit operation in industrial process simulators remains an intriguing area of research. This is especially applicable to natural gas plant aimed for CO2 gas removal in offshore platform that is often accompanied with a number of unit operations, complicated configurations, non-standard operating conditions and high impurities content. In addition, it is highly desirable to link the natural gas purification unit with other pretreatment, dehydration and auxiliary equipments already implemented in the process simulators to constitute the entire process plant. Although research work has arisen in this area, the incorporation is particularly challenging for iCON® process simulator since it does not inherit the intrinsic capability to incorporate standalone models of additional unit operations. Nonetheless, the incorporation is of exceptional importance since the intrinsic physical property and thermodynamic databases of iCON® process simulator can be employed conveniently to determine heating value of the product streams. Therefore, in current research work, a mathematical model has been developed to describe the countercurrent hollow fiber membrane module, which has been integrated as an extension in iCON® through utilization of the export/import functions embedded within the Excel unit operation of the process simulator. Validity of the simulation model has been demonstrated through good accordance with published literature. It is found that by determining the separation mechanism via adaptation of the mathematical model, heating value of the purified product stream can be reflected directly in iCON® to evaluate feasibility of the entire process design in offshore natural gas purification platform.


Heating Value, iCON, Natural Gas, Process Simulation, Succession of States.

Full Text:

 |  (PDF views: 212)


  • Rautenbach R, Knauf R, Struck A, Vier J. Simulation and design of membrane plants with Aspen Plus. Chem Eng Technol. 1996; 19(5):391–7.
  • Chowdhury M, Feng X, Douglas P, Croiset E. A new numerical approach for a detailed multicomponent gas separation membrane model and Aspen Plus simulation. Chem Eng Technol. 2005; 28(7):773–82.
  • Tessendorf S, Gani R, Michelsen ML. Aspects of modeling, design and operation of membrane-based separation processes for gaseous mixtures. Comput Chem Eng. 1996; 20(1):S653–8.
  • Davis RA. Simple gas permeation and pervaporation membrane unit operation models for process simulator. Chem. Eng Technol. 2002; 25:718–22.
  • Hussain A, Hagg MB. A feasibility study of carbon dioxide capture from flue gas by a facilitated transport membrane. J Membr Sci. 2010; 359(1-2):140–8.
  • Peters L, Hussain A, Follmann M, Melin T, Hagg MB. CO2 removal from natural gas by employing amine absorption and membrane technology - A technical and economical analysis. Chem Eng J. 2011; 172(2-3):952–60.
  • Lock SSM, Lau KK, Ahmad F, Shariff AM. Modeling, simulation and economic analysis of CO2 capture from natural gas using cocurrent, countercurrent and radial crossflow hollow fiber membrane. Int J Greenhouse Gas. 2015; 36:114–34.
  • Ahmad MM, Chiew CK, Inayat A, Yusup S. Simulation of integrated pressurized steam gasification of biomass for hydrogen production using iCON. J Appli Sci. 2011; 11(21 ):3593–9.
  • Ahmad F, Lau KK, Shariff AM, Murshid G. Process simulation and optimal design of membrane separation system for CO2 capture from natura gas. Comput Chem Eng. 2012; 36:119–28.
  • Ahmad F, Lau KK, Shariff AM, Yeong YF. Temperature and pressure dependence of membrane permeance and its effect on process economics of hollow fiber gas separation system. J Membr Sci. 2013; 430(1):44–55.
  • Thundyil MJ, Koros WJ. Mathematical modeling of gas separation permeators for radial crossflow, countercurrent and cocurrent hollow fiber membrane modules. J Membr Sci. 1997; 125(2):275–91.
  • Pan CY. Gas separation by high-flux, asymmetric hollow fiber membrane. AICHE J. 1986; 32(12):2020–7.
  • Pan CY, Habgood HW. An analysis of the single-stage gaseous permeation process. Ind Eng Chem Fundamen. 1974; 13(4):323–31.
  • Stern SA, Walawender WP. Analysis of membrane separation parameters. Sep Sci. 1969; 4(2):129–59.
  • Marriot J, Sorensen E. A general approach to modelling membrane modules. Chem Eng Sci. 2003; 58(22):4975–90.
  • Chern RT, Koros MJ, Fedkiw PS. Simulation of hollow-fiber gas separator: The effects of process and design variables. Ind Eng Chem Process Des Dev. 1985; 24(4):1015–22.
  • Soni V, Abildskov J, Jonsson G, Gani R. A general model for membrane-based separation processes. Comput Chem Eng. 2009; 33(3):664–59.
  • Coker DT, Freeman BD, Flemming GK. Modeling multicomponent gas separation using hollow-fiber membrane contactor. AICHE J. 1998; 44(6):1289–302.
  • Noble R, Stern S. Membrane science and technology Series 2: Membrane Separations Technology Principle and Applications Amsterdam: Elsevier Science; 1996.
  • Rautenbach R, Albrecht R. Membrane processes. Chicester: Wiley Sons; 1989. p. 434.
  • Rautenbach R. Process design and optimization. Handbook of Industrial Membrane Technology. New Jersey: M.C. Porter; 1990. p. 349-400.
  • Marriot JI, Sorensen E, Bogle IDL. Detailed mathematical modelling of membrane modules. Comput Aided Chem Eng. 2000; 8:523–8.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.