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ChE381 & 382: Process Evaluation and Chemical Systems Design I & II

Articles on Estimating Capital Costs

Capital costs quickly calculated:  estimating capital costs early can prevent unnecessary expenditures on dead-end projects
Author(s): Gael D. Ulrich and Palligarnai T. Vasudevan.
Source: Chemical Engineering. 116.4 (Apr. 2009): p46.
 
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Short-cut piping costs: this method saves precious time in preparing estimates for pre-design and other approximated analyses. Gael D. Ulrich and Palligarnai T. Vasudevan. Chemical Engineering. 113.3 (Mar. 2006) p44.
 
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Chemical Engineering:  Journal includes monthly feature: Economic Indicators. Includes Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index (CEPCI), Current Business Indicators, Chemical Process Industry Output Index, and (through 2011) the Marshall & Swift Equipment Cost Index.  Buyer's Guide published annually.

More Cost Estimating Resources

Rules of Thumb for Chemical Engineers,  by Steven Hall,  Elsevier, 2012   (online via Knovel)

Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook, 8th ed., 2008
See Chapter 9 on cost analysis.
Latest edition is on Reserve for this course:  TP151 .P45 2008

Article on Estimating Operating Costs

How to estimate operating costs: for assessing the attractiveness of a proposed new or retrofit project, the capital cost estimate is just the first element in the picture. The profitability of the proposal hinges on the operating costs it will incur. William M. Vatavuk. Chemical Engineering, v.112, no..7 (July 2005) p33.  (Word Count: 3771).

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Cost of Utilities

Useful article from Chemical Engineering:

How to estimate utility costs: utility estimates are often complicated because they depend on both inflation and energy costs. This simplified approach offers a two-factor utility-cost equation and the relevant coefficients for a number of utilities. Gael D. Ulrich and Palligarnai T. Vasudevan. Chemical Engineering. 113.4 (Apr. 2006) p66.

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Sources for Utility Costs:

Much of the information below comes from the U.S. Energy Information Agency

Waste Treatment Costs

e-BookEssentials of Water Systems Design in the Oil, Gas, and Chemical Processing Industries, Springer, 2013.

 

Useful article from Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) on methods and costs of treating waste water and gas:

Predesign for Pollution Prevention and Control, by Gael Ulrich and Palligarnai Vasudevan, CEP, June 2007, p. 53-69.

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Carol Salomon for a copy of the article.

Advice from Prof. William Wilcox, Clarkson University:

  • Waste gas: Take a credit for a combustible (fuel) waste gas that is at a concentration above the upper flammability limit as the cost of an equivalent amount of natural gas based on its lower heating value (LHV).  (Tabulations of data.)   The same can be done if the combustible components are present below the lower flammability limit, but sufficient oxygen is present for catalytic combustion to recover the LHV.  HYSYS gives the LHV for a stream under the Properties tab.  If the gas is below the lower flammability limit and consists of components that can be burned to CO2 and H2O, assume that these components are eliminated in a flame at a cost of $0.005/kg.  Any products not permitted to be exhausted (such as SO2 in many places) must be removed before the gas is released.  Charge $0.20 per kg of materials that must be removed.  Assume these are 2001 prices; update the burning cost using the price of natural gas and the waste treatment cost by the price of electricity.
  • Waste water:  Charge $0.25 per kg of components that must be removed before discharge of the water.  This cost is for 2001, so update using the cost of electricity.

See also:

Industrial Waste Treatment Handbook, 2nd ed., Woodward & Curran, Inc., (Elsevier, 2006).  Online via Knovel.

Handbook of industrial and hazardous wastes treatment, L.K. Wang, C. Yapijakis, et al., eds., (Marcel Dekker, 2004)
Cooper Library Main Collection: TD897.5 .H35 2004.  Copy also in Reference.

Wages and Benefits

Wages and benefits

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Main Site; Statistics download (“Chemical equipment operators and tenders” are category 51-9011 in these Excel tables, which give hourly and annual wages, and do not include Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, i.e. fringe benefits)
  • ENR: Magazine, formerly Engineering News-Record:
  • Oil & Gas Journal:  Available online at NYU's Bobst Library.
  • Salary.com Click on Benefits to see total pay package.  Data probably from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (see above).

Acknowledgements

With thanks to Librarian Jill Powell at Cornell University's Engineering Library, and to Professor William Wilcox of Clarkson University, for permission to adapt and re-use information from their Chemical Engineering Design research guides.

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