PSE Process development services

Innovating, creating competitive advantage and generating IP

PSE works closely with operating companies and process licensors to accelerate development of new processes or enhance the performance of existing ones.

We help companies to create and secure competitive advantage by applying advanced process modelling approaches to facilitate decision making at all stages of development, based on accurate quantification of the options.


Our approach helps customers to:

  • accelerate innovation by examining the design space and rapidly screening alternatives
  • manage the associated technology risk by accurately quantifying the effect of design decisions and data uncertainty
  • verify and validate designs in realistic, high-fidelity simulated operating conditions
  • generate and capture intellectual property (IP) to support claims of competitive advantage.

How does it work?

Our approach to process development follows the model-based engineering cycle.

detailed, first-principles model of the process is constructed in a number of stages. Where appropriate, the model is validated against experimental, pilot or operating data – to accurately quantify empirical parameters such as reaction kinetic constants.

The validated model is used in conjunction with rigorous mathematical optimization techniques to achieve design objectives directly – while taking into account design and operating constraints – without the need for trial-and-error iteration.

For example, a detailed model of a reactor can be used to rank catalyst alternatives, in support of scale-up, to support detailed mechanical design, to design optimal operating policy, to design and test control schemes, and so on.

Note that modelling is not a substitute for experimentation or pilot or demo testing. It is typically used in conjunction with these activities, and can speed them up and significantly enhance their effectiveness.

Typical project workflow

A typical project workflow is as follows:

  • Following signature of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), PSE Consultants work with your process development experts to understand the process and the development challenges and objectives, and identify data requirements.
  • Following receipt of data, PSE will create a detailed, first-principles model of the process using existing library models where available, or creating custom models if necessary.
  • Models will be validated against data where appropriate to determine empirical parameters as accurately as necessary. Typically this involves analysing risk by looking at parameter uncertainty, and advising on any further experimentation requirements.
  • Once a validated model is available, we will execute various scenarios to analyse the effect of key design parameters on key performance indicators (KPIs), or provide the model to your personnel to execute this analysis.
  • At an appropriate point we will perform, or advise on, rigorous optimization: varying multiple decision variables simultaneously in order to maximize a key objective such as annualised process profit.

Typical project time is 3 to 6 months, depending on availability of data.

More Information
We could define the operating procedures (especially start-up) of the new plant configuration before the equipment was installed

The Model-based Engineering cycle – find out more