The power to be certain
  • News Index

    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]

    News Index

    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]