Challenge of the PSC2016

The Pressurized Water Process is used to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from bio gas in order to upgrade it to natural gas quality. No chemicals (!) besides water are required for this gas treatment processes. 

Our solution has an exergetic efficiency of 50%. However, there are still many degrees of freedom left!

chemcad free download

PSC2016's goal is to optimize the exergetic efficiency of a given Pressurized Water Process. Find the entire process and a more detailed description of the challenge in our task description below!

If you don't have the access to CHEMCAD, download if for free HERE


Download the summary of the task here:

Download Summary


Download additional information here:

Download Additional Info


Download the CHEMCAD flowsheet here:

Download Flowsheet


Download free CHEMCAD


Stay up to date with the Blog to get the latest information on the Cup!

How the CHEMCAD Job interacts with MS-Excel

The CHEMCAD Job is set up in a way that the decision variables can be controlled via the Data Map “Design". To open the Data Maps in the MS-Excel file in CHEMCAD, go to the menu Tools -> Excel Data Map -> Edit Data Map. Select “Open” for access to the design parameters. Change the values in column D. To run the simulation, go back to CHEMCAD and klick the “Run All” button.

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The parameters that you enter in the web interface will be processed in the same way. Thus, be careful not to change the original simulation file, as you might get different results which cannot be reproduced by Chemstations.

Make a copy of the original simulation file to play around with and to get a better feeling of the process behavior. In your copy, deactivate the Data Map function for editing the parameter directly in CHEMCAD via menu Tools -> Excel Data Map -> Execution Rules.

To determine the winner of the Process Simulation Cup, the parameters you specify are run on a Chemstations server and in our original simulation file. The parameter set which leads to the highest exergetic efficiency wins.

Register as Participant

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Submit your Design Variables

Important Dates

26 February 2016: Launch of the PSC2016 at the Symposium Teaching Process Simulation in Berlin

1st day of each month, 00:00:01 (UTC/GMT+1): Announcing a Monthly Winner of the previous month.

3 February 2017, 23:59:59 (UTC/GMT+1): Submission closing day for PSC2016.

3 March 2017: Launch of the PSC2017 at the Symposium Teaching Process Simulation in Berlin with Award Ceremony of PSC2016

Rules of the Process Simulation Cup

All competitions have rules, here are ours:

  1. All contestants must use the CHEMCAD Suite software to optimize their process.
  2. If your university/ college does not have CHEMCAD Suite, Chemstations sponsors an Academic Program offering this software free of charge. Request a trial license here.
  3. The competition is open to students only. Full and part-time students qualify for the 'Student Ranking'. All other participants qualify for the 'Practitioner Ranking'. Employees of Chemstations and their families are excluded from the competition. High school students are admitted upon request.
  4. Submitted design variables must be submitted via the Process Simulation Cup website and include full name of contestant and of their organisation (university/ college).
  5. To determine the winner of the Process Simulation Cup, the parameters you submit are run on a Chemstations server and in our original simulation file. The parameter set which leads to the highest exergetic efficiency wins.
  6. If more than one contestant submits parameters which lead to the highest exergetic efficiency, the earliest submission is the sole winner. The winner may notify us via email. if he/ she has worked on a team with another contestant who has submitted the same result. In this case each team member will get a personal certificate but only one prize will be awarded.
  7. Chemstations reserves the right to declare the contest void if the submitted parameters do not fulfill eligibility requirements.
  8. All entries will become the property of Chemstations.
  9. All winners will be announced on the Process Simulation Cup website, including the university/ college. Chemstations reserves the right to publish or distribute the winning parameters and photos of the winners, the runner-up and their supervising or advising faculty member through any electronic and physical form.
  10. The winner must present their work at the Award Ceremony in Berlin in English. Non-attendance implies renunciation of the prize.
  11. If a team submits a winning entry, no more than two of the winning team’s members will attend the Award Ceremony in Berlin.
  12. If required, the student(s) and their supervising or advising faculty member are responsible for their own visa arrangements, but the cost of the visa(s) will be reimbursed by Chemstations.
  13. There will be no financial or monetary rewards of any kind.
  14. For situations not covered herein, Chemstations will rule, considering as top priority, equal opportunity of winning for all participants. All decisions of Chemstations are final. By participating in the competition, contestants accept and will be bound by these competition rules.
  15. This competition is void where prohibited by law.


As often as you like. All your submissions will be recorded in the highscore table. Maybe not as an overall highscore...

No. Participation is individual. You may work together on the optimization task and each team member can submit your (the same) result under his name. In case you win, each team member will get a personal certificate.

We will limit this rule to a maximum team size of 2. Drop us a note if you really need an exception from this rule.

Should more than one person qualify for a prize, we will conduct a very, very challenging interview with all persons in parallel to find out if you really came up with identical results independently.

We want to minimise abuse. We will manually check for authentic human beings.

No. Chemstations support is available for our customers only. And it would be unfair to give hints to participants of the contest.

Use Tutorials and Videos on Chemstations website to learn how to use CHEMCAD.

Use Tutorials and Videos on Chemstations website to learn how to use CHEMCAD.

Yes, of course! Play with it, enhance it, drive it to the limits. But bear in mind that you may only submit the design variables we ask for, not your modified job.

No. We feel it is fair to students to limit the contest this way. But we will publish your solution in the high score table "out of competition" - so please register!

Yes. Request a free CHEMCAD trial for your University and we will contact you with the details.

The problem has several local optima. Revealing the design variables gives very valuable information to participants about other participants' solutions. For the time being, we are not disclosing the design variables of each participant.

The Organisation name must be unique to be able to count participants. Therefore, we manually review the data you enter upon registration and correct it. After our correction, it can not be changed any more.

The PSC2016 has ended!

PSC2016 was the second edition of the Process Simulation Cup.

It has ended on 3 February 2017. The high score table is still available here.

The third edition of the Process Simulation Cup has started. Have a look at PSC2017!