The Hamburg University of Technology provided the leadership for the SolidSim project that has ended on March 31, 2005. The project was funded by the German AIF consortium, started in April 2003 and included partners from 10 German universities as well as some 40 advisory industrial partners. The SolidSim project resulted in the development of a process modeling and simulation tool for complex solids processes. As outcome of the project, unit operation modules which comply with the CAPE-OPEN standard have been developed for various unit operation involving solids, such as sieving, sifting, drying, crystallization, agglomeration, crushing, filtering, or cyclone process steps.

SolidSim further development: support by Industrial Consortium

SolidSim is currently developed as a flowsheeting system for the simulation of complex solids processes. Besides Hamburg University of Technology nine groups from seven German universities are participating in this joint effort. In order to support the further development of SolidSim to a commercial software tool an industrial consortium “IK SolidSim” has now been formed. Founding members include BASF AG, Bayer Technology Services, Dow Deutschland and Outokumpu Technology. IK SolidSim is open for further members.

SolidSim Engineering GmbH was created to further develop and maintain the software tool. SolidSim Engineering was absorbed by Aspen Technology Inc. with the unit operations of SolidSim made available in Aspen Plus.

Benefits achieved

Within the scope of the SolidSim project the CAPE-OPEN standard has been proven to be highly beneficial for fast and efficient software development since it allows the reuse of proven concepts and reduces development effort. At the same time it enables interaction of the simulation environment with standard CO compliant liquid/gas simulators. The benefit is that complex processes involving solids processing steps as parts of larger liquid/gas processes and vice versa can be simulated within one simulation environment and therefore allows for parameter studies and design alternatives for complete processes.

As a further result of the project, a solids extension to the CAPE-OPEN 1.1 standard was developed providing necessary enhancements (e.g. to cover continuous type descriptions of solids properties such as particle size distribution), hopefully a valuable advancement of the CAPE-OPEN standard.