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Process Simulation Cup 2018

Good News! Your hard work during the engineering degree and months of process simulation training that goes beyond your regular curriculum have finally paid off. After a rigorous interview process and number of tests, you’ve been offered a work opportunity at the world’s first bacteria-based PDO production facility.

The production site which you work at is made of four process units:

  • Fermentation where E.Coli bacteria converts glucose from cane juice into PDO
  • Filtration where biomass cell debris and proteins are removed
  • Ion Exchanger where salts and rests of proteins are removed
  • Distillation where PDO is purified

During your induction week at the company, your Operation Manager gave you an overview of the bacteria-based PDO production costs. To fulfill your professional obligations, it is important for you to understand the complexity of the day-to-day business.

Variable costs fall under the following categories:

  • Utility consumption such as electricity steam and cooling water.
  • Effluent treatment costs, mainly wastewater treatment.
  • Raw material costs, which are the costs for the feed (cane juice as substrate and the initial reactor charge) and the other chemicals (acetic acid, ammonia, caustic soda, sulfuric acid).

Today is your first real day at work. You managed to figure out the coffee situation and met your colleagues. Unexpectedly, the management team called an emergency meeting. The operation site manager reported a change in the fermenter output caused by an unanticipated bacteria behavior. As a result, the company profit turned negative.

Knowing that you worked with real-world process simulation cases during your time in higher education, your manager asked you to help the team and share your expertise. Below you will find some valuable information to help you navigate through the challenge.

Detailed documentation of PSC2018 challenge:



Download PSC2018 poster here:


PSC2018 Timeline


26 February 2018: Launch of PSC2018 at the Symposium Teaching Process Simulation in Berlin


31 January 2019: Submission closing day for PSC2018.


15 February 2019: Award Ceremony of PSC2018 at the Symposium Teaching Process Simulation in Berlin