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  • News Index

    3 November 2014

    PSE awards €5000 Model-Based Innovation prizes

    Winning University of Padova paper demonstrates gPROMS advanced capabilities in biomedical applications

    We are pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious PSE Model-Based Innovation (MBI) Prize for 2014.

    PSE, providers of the world-leading gPROMS® process modelling platform, awards an annual €3000 winner's prize and two runners-up prizes of €1000 each for the most innovative use of advanced process modelling techniques in support of published research. The prizes will be awarded at a reception on Wednesday, 19 November at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

    The winners of the main prize are Federico Galvanin, Massimiliano Barolo, Roberto Padrini, Alessandra Casonato and Fabrizio Bezzo of University of Padova, Italy for their paper Model-Based Approach to the Automatic Diagnosis of Von Willebrand Disease, published in AIChE Journal.

    The judges summarised the research presented in the paper as "an excellent piece of research work and publication that demonstrates the key role of advanced process modelling in biomedical applications".

    Runners up were George Dimopoulos, Chariklia Georgopoulou, Iason Stefanatos, Alexandros Zymaris and Nikolaos Kakalis from DNV Research & Innovation, Greece, for their paper A general-purpose process modelling framework for marine energy systems, and Kosan Roh and Jay Lee from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea, for their paper Control Structure Selection for the Elevated-Pressure Air Separation Unit in an IGCC Power Plant: Self-Optimizing Control Structure for Economical Operation.

    The prize is judged by a team of leading academics in the field of process systems engineering, Professors Stratos Pistikopoulos (chair) of Imperial College London and Michael Georgiadis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

    gPROMS is widely used throughout the chemicals, energy, petrochemical, food and pharmaceuticals sectors, including in some 200 academic organisations. Mark Matzopoulos, PSE deputy MD, says "PSE has a strong history of working with academic communities around the world to foster innovation, through our academic programme, the MBI Prize and our Partnerships for Advanced Process Modelling. We congratulate our winners on the quality of their work."

    [Press Release] [PDF]

    14 October 2014

    New model-based technology to improve spray dryer design and operation

    PSE, Procter & Gamble, Novozymes and University of Leeds partner on spray drying

    We are pleased to announce that we are working with Procter & Gamble, Novozymes and the University of Leeds to create tools for scaling up and optimising spray drying process design and operation.

    The collaborative project is funded by the Innovate UK, as part of its High-Value Manufacturing (HVM) strategy. The aim is to develop and adopt a robust model-based design tool for the spray drying process which allows the process engineer to optimally step change the process for different energy and water usage. The innovative approach will enable "right-first-time" energy usage versus too-late or expensive heat recovery approaches, so significantly reducing energy usage and CO2 emissions, without sacrificing product quality.

    Spray dryers are widely used in the food and consumer products sectors for production of powdered foodstuffs such as milk powder. The process is complex and uses large amounts of energy for drying, hence the interest in optimisation. According to the project partners, the industrially-led collaborative project "will develop and commercialise a tool which will enable a step change to UK spray drying manufacturing processes, with a 10% increase in energy efficiency."

    The team will use a novel systems modelling approach to redesign the process for innovative heat management on a single particle scale, which will provide a step change in capability compared with the current "data blind" black-box methodology. This will be done using a compartment modelling approach, with the resulting product implemented within PSE's gSOLIDS solids process modelling and optimisation environment. The approach and outputs of the project will be validated for specific industrial application areas by Procter & Gamble and Novozymes.

    Sean Bermingham, VP of PSE's Life Sciences and consumer products divisions, says "high-fidelity modelling tools allow rapid and effective exploration of the process decision space. We are bringing techniques used effectively elsewhere in industry to make better, faster and safer design and operating decisions to spray drying operations."

    The project fits within Innovate UK's HVM strategy, which specifically aims at "increasing the global competitiveness of UK manufacturing technologies by creating more efficient and effective manufacturing systems".

    [Press Release] [PDF] [About gSOLIDS]

    31 July 2014

    New gCCS system modelling technology used for Shell Peterhead project

    PSE gPROMS-based software enables evaluation of design for flexible operation

    We are pleased to announce that the Shell Peterhead carbon capture and storage (CCS) project will be the first commercial UK user of gCCS® systems modelling environment for whole-chain CCS design and operation.

    As part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) CCS Commercialisation Competition, Shell and SSE Generation Limited are seeking to develop the world's first full-scale energy project capturing carbon dioxide from a gas-fired power station. CO2 emissions from the Peterhead power plant will be captured and stored in the Goldeneye field.

    gCCS is the world's first process modelling environment for support of design and operating decisions across the full CCS chain, from power generation through CO2 capture, compression and transport to injection. It is specifically designed to allow developers across the chain to address issues of interaction and interoperability between different chain components.

    The gCCS software will be used during the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study phase of the project to provide insight into the transient behaviour of the amine-based capture unit, and its effect on operations when integrated within the full system. In particular it will help to demonstrate the flexibility of the capture process design within the wider CCS chain through simulation of normal and off-design operational scenarios, and thus help reduce technology risks in this first-of-a-kind CCS project.

    Alfredo Ramos, PSE's head of Power & CCS and leader of the development, said "this is precisely the type of large-scale CCS application that gCCS was developed to support. For the first UK commercial use, we are very pleased to see it being used on such an important development."

    gCCS, launched earlier this month, is the commercially-supported product resulting from the £3m Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) funded CCS Systems Modelling Tool-kit project. The project was established to support the future design, operation and roll-out of cost-effective CCS systems in the UK and involved E.ON, EDF, Rolls-Royce, CO2DeepStore, PSE and E4tech.

    gCCS is implemented on PSE's gPROMS advanced process modelling platform, and is already used widely in universities and research consortia around the world.

    [Press Release] [PDF] [More about gCCS]

    9 July 2014

    PSE launches gCCS – world's first full-chain modelling software for CCS

    First UK commercial agreement signed with Peterhead CCS project

    We are pleased to officially launch our gCCS systems modelling environment for whole-chain carbon capture and storage (CCS) applications.

    Speaking at today's annual Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA) reception at the House of Lords, Energy Secretary Ed Davey referred to gCCS saying "This project is a great example of a UK company creating new jobs and seizing opportunities in the emerging and exciting CCS sector. The UK is a CCS world leader and we want to continue building a strong and successful industry which helps us to fight climate change in a cost-effective way."

    gCCS is the world's first modelling software to be specifically designed for full CCS chains ? from power generation through CO2 capture, compression and transport to injection. Implemented in PSE's gPROMS advanced process modelling platform, it uses sophisticated models to predict how the CCS chain's components will interact under different scenarios.

    The first commercial deployment of gCCS in the UK is in the Peterhead CCS Project, where it will be used to investigate the flexibility of the operation of the capture process when integrated within the full system.

    gCCS is the commercially-supported product of a £3m Energy Technologies Institute-funded project established to support the future design, operation and roll-out of cost effective CCS systems in the UK. The project involved E.ON, EDF, Rolls-Royce, CO2DeepStore, PSE and E4tech.

    Andrew Green, ETI's CCS Programme Manager, said "We commissioned the project to improve understanding of the technological and economic potential of CCS by simulating the operation of all aspects of the CCS chain, managing trade-offs and mitigating risks. The results more than met our expectations".

    Dr Robin Irons of E.ON's CCS Innovation Centre, one of the initiators of the project, adds: "We saw an urgent need for tools that enable us to look at the whole CCS system simultaneously, so that we can answer questions and make decisions based on accurate numbers".

    Alfredo Ramos, head of PSE's Power & CCS business, added: "gCCS's ability to address the complex interactions in CCS systems has been consistently proven during its extensive validation and testing by over 20 industrial and research organisations in Europe, US and Korea."

    [Press Release] [PDF] [More about gCCS]

    2 April 2014

    PSE invests in wastewater treatment system optimisation

    Advanced Process Modelling brings major energy savings to urban waste plants

    We are pleased to announce that PSE has acquired a significant equity stake in Swiss university technology spin-out BlueWatt Engineering Sàrl, a company with unique technology for wastewater systems optimisation. The operation will be integrated as PSE’s Wastewater Treatment business unit.

    BlueWatt specialises in energy optimisation using high-fidelity predictive models of biological wastewater treatment plants built on PSE’s gPROMS® advanced process modelling platform. Using BlueWatt technology it is possible to identify up to 40% savings on energy costs for treatment plants, as well as to significantly improve design and operation – for example, by minimising consumption of chemicals and power and reducing environmental impact while improving water quality. The technology also allows benchmarking of process performance and provides an effective and efficient troubleshooting tool for treatment plant operators.

    Mark Matzopoulos, PSE’s Marketing Director, said “We identified wastewater treatment as an area where there are still many opportunities for optimisation. By combining BlueWatt’s expertise with our advanced process modelling framework, we can radically change the way treatment plants are designed and operated.”

    The BlueWatt technology was originally developed at Ècole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Prof. François Maréchal, who directed the research at EPFL’s Industrial Energy Systems Laboratory, said “Wastewater treatment accounts for 15-20% of the urban energy usage; it is therefore a key untapped area for energy savings. We are pleased to see our research in this important area being commercialised in a way that it will make a real impact on society”. An academic partnership agreement between PSE and EPFL will ensure continuing research and development in this field.

    Leandro Salgueiro, head of the new business unit and a founder of BlueWatt, says “We are very pleased to be commercialising our technology via one of the world’s leading process modelling technology and service suppliers.”

    Matzopoulos says, “One of PSE’s aims is to transform practice in every sector that we enter, often by working with leading universities and research organisations to bring important new technology to industry. We believe that with this development we bring unique technology and novel approaches to wastewater treatment.”

    [Press Release] [PDF] [More about Wastewater Treatment]

    2 April 2014

    PSE previews gCCS whole-chain CCS system modelling tool-kit

    New enabling technology to accelerate commercialisation and manage technology risk

    At the Advanced Process Modelling Forum in London today PSE provided a preview of the company’s forthcoming gCCS systems modelling environment for whole-chain carbon capture and storage (CCS) applications.

    gCCS is intended to address many of the significant challenges to commercialisation arising from the fact that the design and operation of CCS systems needs to take into account the multiple interactions across the whole capture-transmission-storage chain, for multiple sources and multiple sinks. The complexity is compounded by the fact that different organisations are involved at each stage of the chain. Ultimately a single end-to-end modelling environment is required to support key business and technology decisions.

    Alfredo Ramos, head of PSE’s Power & CCS business and leader of the development, said “Design and operating decisions at the power plant can have a significant effect on storage providers at the other end of the chain, and vice versa. This raises many complex questions which gCCS can help to answer. We believe that we bring unique enabling technology to the sector.”

    The modelling environment includes comprehensive process models for conventional generation (pulverised coal and combined cycle gas turbine), new generation (gasification and oxyfuel), solvent-based carbon capture, compression, transmission and injection.  During the current test phase it has been successfully applied to whole-chain (generation-to-injection) analysis using high-fidelity dynamic models, as well as full start-up and shut-down amine-based capture plants.

    gCCS is the commercially-supported product arising from the Energy Technologies Institute commissioned and funded CCS Systems Modelling Tool-kit project, which is aimed at delivering a robust, fully integrated tool-kit that can be used by CCS stakeholders across the whole CCS chain. The £3m ETI project was undertaken in collaboration with E.ON, EDF, Rolls-Royce, CO2DeepStore, PSE and E4tech.

    The tool-kit and resulting gCCS product are implemented in PSE’s gPROMS advanced process modelling platform. The tool-kit is undergoing evaluation and testing with key CCS stakeholders, with the gCCS product scheduled for release in summer 2014.

    [Press Release] [PDF] [More about CCS systems modelling]

    25 March 2014

    Systems-based Pharmaceutics Alliance formed

    Process Systems Enterprise Ltd, Pfizer, Inc., and another major pharmaceutical company have formed the Systems-based Pharmaceutics Alliance.

    The SbP Alliance aims to develop a single model-based framework for drug substance manufacturing, drug product manufacturing, oral absorption and pharmacokinetics.

    It will seek to establish best practices in the application of model-based techniques which will be incorporated in validated commercial quality computer software for the solution of industrially important problems.

    To more rapidly meet the Alliance's objectives, we are further exploring opportunities to partner with additional, interested companies.

    23 March 2014

    PSE moves to new London HQ

    New office doubles size of London operation

    We are pleased to announce that PSE has moved to new London headquarters.

    The new offices are located in the same building in Hammersmith, west London, but are twice the size of the previous premises, reflecting PSE's continuing expansion as well the success of our international intern programme. Most important for us, the new office allows us to be reunited with our software development team in the same space.

    Our new address is:
         5th Floor East
         26-28 Hammersmith Grove
         London W6 7HA.

    The telephone number and all other contact details remain the same.

    We look forward to welcoming all our customers and associates to our new premises.

    20 March 2014

    PSE releases major update of gCRYSTAL process modelling software

    Full polymorph handling brings a step change to crystallization process design

    We are pleased to announce the release of gCRYSTAL 4.0, which brings full polymorph handling and significant enhancements to model validation, among other new developments.

    With its ability to rigorously predict particle size distributions, gCRYSTAL provides an integrated, easy-to-use, drag & drop graphical environment for R&D personnel, process engineers and scientists engaged in characterisation, design, scale-up and operation of crystallization processes.

    A major addition in gCRYSTAL 4.0 is support for multiple crystal phases. This allows accurate modelling of crystallization and transformation of compounds exhibiting polymorphism, providing the ability to maximise yield with respect to the desired polymorph. In addition, the new version contains significantly enhanced parameter estimation and optimisation workflows; the ability to estimate scale-independent kinetic parameters simultaneously using experiments from different scales; various enhancements to kinetic models; new models, including a seed pot model that allows seeding at any (including multiple) points in time; and improved access to model help documentation.

    gCRYSTAL 4.0 builds on gCRYSTAL’s powerful existing capabilities for batch, semi-batch and continuous crystallization process design and operational analysis, which include capabilities for estimating growth and other kinetic parameters from experimental data; multizonal modelling – utilising links with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software – for reliable scale-up; and industry-leading optimisation facilities.

    The software has been developed in conjunction with several leading companies from industries where crystallization processes – including precipitation – play an integral part, such as pharmaceuticals, fine and bulk chemicals, agrochemicals, food processing, consumer goods and minerals and mining.

    Dr Sean Bermingham, VP of PSE’s Life Sciences, Consumer Products and Specialty Chemicals businesses, says “The inclusion of full polymorph handling in gCRYSTAL 4.0 brings a significant enhancement to the toolset available to engineers and scientists designing and operating crystallization processes. In addition, the significant improvements in usability of the parameter estimation capabilities streamline the all-important step of validating kinetic models with experimental data in order to provide accurate predictive models that can be used with confidence in scale-up and other critical design activities.”

    [Press Release] [PDF] [More about gCRYSTAL]

    24 February 2014

    PSE mentioned in UK minister's Peterhead CCS announcement

    "High-tech software for modelling and optimising CCS"

    PSE was today mentioned by the UK Minister of Energy, Edward Davey, as an example of "innovative UK based companies creating thousands of jobs with a world-wide market worth £100bn by 2050" in carbon capture & storage (CCS). The context was the minister's announcement in his blog of today's signing of a multi-million pound contract with Shell to develop their CCS project at Peterhead gas power station – the first project of its kind anywhere in the world.

    He said that "Process Systems Enterprise, originally a spin-out from Imperial College … has developed high tech software for modelling and optimising CCS, from single capture plants to entire CCS chains and networks". The reference is to PSE's unique gCCS whole-chain CCS system modelling product, which is currently in the final stages of industrial pre-release testing.

    Mr Davey said that the UK is now leading Europe with two commercial scale CCS projects in development, which are part of the Government's Top 40 Infrastructure projects. Taken together, these CCS projects could provide over 2000 jobs during construction, reduce the UK's carbon emissions by around 3 million tonnes a year, and provide clean electricity for over 1 million homes.

    [Edward Davey's blog] [PSE CCS pages]