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Amoco computer simulation in chemical engineering education

Mackenzie, J.G., Earl, W.B., Allen, R.M. and Gilmour, I.A. (2013) Amoco computer simulation in chemical engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 90 (3). pp. 331-345.

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Computer simulation of a chemical plant can provide students with a different learning environment, where they can investigate and understand the plant by changing the values of variables and observing responses. The Amoco Computer Simulation Model is a computer-based simulation of the Amoco Resid Hydrotreater that has been used as the final assignment for the chemical engineering design course taken by third year students at the University of Canterbury. This project allowed students to further develop their problem solving skills, implementing some of the techniques taught earlier in the course. Students investigated the chemical process by gathering data, performing data analysis and validating their results on the pilot plant. A control strategy was developed and tested to simulate the start up of a single reactor, controlling the operating conditions manually to reach steady state, and then ceasing control of the system, noting time elapsed before automatic shut down after 40 hours. Another important aspect of the project was that students worked together in groups of three, which the majority of students enjoyed. A questionnaire administered at the end of the course measured student responses to this learning experience. Tests, before and after using the simulation, assessed the learning outcome, and showed a significant improvement.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education
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