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Brazilian students win UniSim challenge

June 23, 2015
University of Sao Paulo project shows how to remove toxic compounds from contaminated water
Two Brazilian chemical engineering students who used simulation software to show how pollutants can be removed from contaminated water have been named the winners of Honeywell Process Solution's (HPS) annual UniSim Design Challenge. The students were recognized during the company's annual customer symposium for the Americas held this week in San Antonio, Texas.

Mariana Kaori Kobayashi Cunha from the University of Sao Paolo Polytechnic School and Herbert Senzano Lopes from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte designed a solution to treat water used in oil and gas exploration and production for different reuses, including human consumption. The pair worked on the project with Professor Galo Carrillo Le Roux of the University of Sao Paolo Polytechnic School.

Brazilian chemical engineering students Mariana Kaori Kobayashi Cunha (left) and Herbert Senzano Lopes (right) were congratulated by Andy D'Amelio, Americas sales leader for Honeywell Process Solutions.

"Environmental preservation and regulatory compliance are very important to our customers, and this year's winning project shows how UniSim technology can help solve serious problems for the process automation industry," said Ali Raza, vice president of the Advanced Solutions business for HPS. "Creating cleaner, more sustainable exploration and production processes, while maintaining high performance levels and low energy consumption, is essential to the future of this industry."

Kobayashi and Lopes presented the winning entry this week during the Honeywell Users Group (HUG) Americas Symposium, the company's largest gathering of customers in the process manufacturing industries. Lopes was also named the winner of the 2014 UniSim Design Challenge for his project on pipeline flare gas being reused to generate electricity.

With UniSim Design R430, Kobayashi, Lopes and Le Roux determined how to treat water contaminated with toxic compounds—such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX)—through a clean process using oxygen in the air and energy generated by production processes. Using a supercritical water reactor (SCWR), the toxic compounds were converted to make the water safe again for humans and the environment.

The UniSim Design Challenge allows engineering students to propose solutions to real-world problems facing process manufacturers with Honeywell's UniSim Design Suite software, which is used to design and model processes in production facilities around the world.

"In Brazil, we have a growing number of onshore and offshore petroleum exploration fields that produce many barrels of contaminated water each day. That was the driving force behind this project," Kobayashi said. "Using the UniSim Design software, we were able to effectively solve one of the largest environmental issues in the upstream sector."

UniSim Design Suite provides an interactive process model that allows engineers to create steady-state and dynamic models and is used extensively for plant design, performance monitoring, troubleshooting, operational improvement, business planning and asset management around the world. UniSim Design models may be leveraged into advanced training and optimization solutions provided by the UniSim Operations, UniSim Optimization and UniSim Competency suite.

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