"1st Prize 3000 euro
2nd Prize 2000 euro
3rd Prize 1000 euro"

Huntsman Design Contest


The jury has selected the best technical solutions to present their design at ECCE9 -ECAB2 where the winners will be chosen. The selected presenters will receive free entry to the conference. The
best technical solution is considered to have the optimal mix of
operating cost, capital investment and risk.

The selected presenters for the Huntsman Design Contest are:

Team 1: Lars Schut & Max Haker from the University of Twente
Team 2: Tim Seifert & Christian Dowidat from TU Dortmund University
Team 3: Bart Zijlstra & Vignesh Thiruvengadam from Eindhoven University of Technology
Team 4: Ferdinand Leeger & Dannie van Osch from Eindhoven University of Technology
Team 5: Riezga Andika & Yus Donald Chaniaga from Yeungnam University of South Korea

Members of the jury:

  • Prof. dr. ir. Henk van den Berg (Chairman, independent expert) – Universiteit Twente
  • MEng. Arend Jan Zeeuw ( Project manager) - Huntsman
  • MSc. Doug Stewart (Technology manager) - Huntsman
  • Dr. Tony Kiss (Independent expert) – Akzo Nobel


The contest was open to all graduate students in teams of two students. The main report does not exceed 12 pages in length and has to cover the following topics:

  1. Executive Summary (Short, non-technical summary)
  2. Introduction (Technical summary)
  3. PFD, Process description, Mass Balance
  4. Operating Cost analysis
  5. Materials Compatibility Statement
  6. Preliminary Equipment Sizings
  7. Conclusion (why this is the best option)

In addition to the 12 page main report an additional appendix can include further supporting documents such as calculations and references.


You are working as part of the engineering team in the conceptual phase of a major investment. A recent sustainability study has identified the Aniline separation step to be very energy intensive.

The Technology manager has given you the action to investigate one option to reduce energy consumption in this area of the plant. He would like you to make use of modern separation techniques to make a step change in energy consumption of at least 50%.

The Project manager is risk-averse and has emphasized that the technology must be well proven. He has also stipulated that the investment cost of the new technology must not exceed that of the existing technology.

It is your challenge to design a work up using 50% of the current energy consumption (conventional distillation) while maintaining the same investment cost. You must also demonstrate that the technology is proven at this scale and chemically compatible.


You are required to separate a 3 component system. The product is Aniline with a specification of < 5ppm nitrobenzene and < 0.1ppm tar.

The feed conditions are ...

Pressure: Ambient
Temperature: 90degC
Flow: 40,000 kg/h
Aniline: 99.6 wt%
Nitrobenzene: 1000 ppm
Tar*: 3000 ppm

*Tar can be modelled as P-aminodiphenylamine
- Tars are incinerated offsite and cannot be concentrated up to more than 10wt%.



You currently have 2 grades of steam available to you in the project. The value is the same for both consumption and production of steam. It is not currently envisaged to have any other steam grades available.

  • HP Steam: 20 barg @ 20 euro/t
  • LP Steam: 2.5 barg @ 15 euro/t


The cost of electricity is 0.1 euro / kWh


The above utilities are currently known to be available in the project. If you require something else then include it making a reasonable estimate of the cost.

Points of Interest

  • One design is allowed per entry but no limit to the number of entries.
  • This is a challenge in conceptual thinking and requires only enough work to prove that the concept works.
  • Detailed design will be carried out at a later stage so shortcut sizing methods are acceptable for the preliminary sizing.
  • The jury will consist of the technology manager, project manager and 2 independent experts.