Training Course Agendas

All of our training courses are provided at no charge.

These course agendas are a representation of the course material presented for the specific classes. All material is subject to change depending on the specific needs of the clients at each course. Please contact Bryan Research & Engineering for additional information on any training session.

BRE 111: Refining

Introduction to Refining and Process Simulation


Formerly named Level 1 Foundations: Refinery Focus, this course introduces the basics of process modeling and optimization with ProMax® by using exercises focused on units found in a refinery, such as a naphtha splitter, a naphtha hydrotreater, an amine system, and a sulfur recovery unit. Each process is discussed with an emphasis on simulation techniques, rules-of-thumb, and product requirements.

In addition to process descriptions, the basics of process simulation are discussed, along with the capabilities and features of ProMax. Many techniques and methods used in developing simulation models for plants and facilities will be covered. The course is designed to demonstrate the extent and breadth of benefits ProMax can provide for refining facilities, and application of process simulation using ProMax through hands-on implementation.

Attendees will learn:

  • Basics of process simulation methods
  • Capabilities and features of ProMax simulation software
  • Plant modeling techniques and methods
  • Common process design and operational practices


  • None


  • Instructor-led demonstrations
  • Hands-on simulation
  • Question-Answer
  • Open floor discussion


Installation of ProMax

The first step in all courses is to verify that ProMax is properly installed on each attendee’s computer.

Introduction to Process Simulation using ProMax

The first several exercises are designed with a focus on creating a project, and finding general information from the created project. The related exercises are summarized below.

  • Exercise 1: Naphtha Splitter – This exercise is designed to give hands-on experience with ProMax’s interface. Special emphasis is given to drawing and modifying blocks, drawing streams, and project specifications. Blocks covered in this exercise include: heat exchangers, pumps, separators, and distillation columns. Analyses covered include: fuel properties analysis (including finding octane numbers, flash point, etc.), vapor pressure analysis (including finding the RVP and TVP of a liquid stream), and distillation curve analysis.
  • Exercise 2: Naphtha Hydrotreater – This exercise involves modeling a naphtha hydrotreater using the Oil Speciation block and an AutoKinetic Reactor. The exercise file is pre-configured so that attendees can explore some of the advanced refinery features without having to perform the complete setup.
  • Exercise 3: Multiple Flowsheets – Attendees will learn to use the two-step process of exporting and appending a project works within ProMax. Attendees will also learn the process for creating new flowsheets and managing multiple flowsheets. The resulting file is discussed to show how environments, flowsheets, calculators, and other properties are maintained in the file.
  • Exercise 4: Simple MDEA Sweetening Unit – Attendees will model an amine sweetening unit. Newly covered are the saturator and make-up/blow-down blocks. Topics covered include modeling a column with attached condenser/reboiler, ionic information of a stream, lean/rich approach in the contactor, and the lean/rich loading of amine streams.
  • Exercise 5: Pipeline – Attendees will model a simple pipeline network to gain experience with the pipeline tools in ProMax.
  • Exercise 6: Sour Water Stripper – A short discussion on the sour water stripping unit is followed by an exercise modelling a sour water stripper with pumparound. This exercises gives attendees the chance to practice using electrolytic environments and creating column specifications.
  • Exercise 7: Sulfur Recovery Unit – This exercise is presented to give experience with creating a process using reactor blocks and Gibbs Minimization reactions with ProMax. It also helps demonstrate the constraints that ProMax will generate automatically based on the Gibbs Set selected in each process block. Reactor-specific information is discussed, including the Bypass Fraction. Block plots and analyses are shown.
  • Exercise 8: Import/Export from Excel – ProMax allows for very simple OLE-embedding of Excel spreadsheets into a project. Advantages of embedded spreadsheets are mentioned, followed by an exercise using the import/export function in ProMax and calculations in Excel with ProMax values.
Introduction to Process Optimization using ProMax

The next group of exercises focuses on optimizing an existing project in several ways using some of the tools available with ProMax.

  • Exercise 9: Scenario Tool with Crude Tower– This exercise is used to provide a simple example of how to use the Scenario Tool with ProMax. This exercise is worked together with the attendees to show how to connect Excel with the desired project. The process tree diagram in ProMax is discussed in more detail than previously, as it is used quite often in subsequent exercises.
  • Exercise 10: Scenario Tool with Amine Absorber – This exercise continues from the previous exercise and provides an opportunity to create a more complicated scenario.
  • Exercise 11: Simple Specifiers – Several examples of Specifier use are given as separate parts to this exercise. The first is worked together as a group to demonstrate how to define one process specification from one or more other process variables. Additional Specifiers are worked by the attendees in the class to show both simple and slightly more difficult uses of the functionality.
  • Exercise 12: Simple Solvers – Using a few separate examples, the iterative method of solving indirectly for a desired outcome is shown using the Simple Solver in ProMax. The interaction between Simple Solvers and process recycles is discussed, along with the priorities each are assigned.
  • Exercise 13: User Value Sets – This exercise is designed to demonstrate some of the flexibility ProMax offers the user. There are many variables that ProMax does not calculate, but can be created by defining a personal variable, or a User Value, within a User Value Set. Specific examples include creating and using an ambient temperature throughout the project, summing a total pump HP requirement for a unit, and simple cost estimation.
  • Exercise 14: Incinerator – This exercise demonstrates the incineration of a tail gas from a sulfur recovery unit. The exercise demonstrates additional applications for specifiers and solvers as well as demonstrating an incinerator reactor block.
  • Exercise 15: Separator Sizing – The sizing of a separator is shown for a 3-phase horizontal bucket and weir separator. A discussion of the Help topic and its guidance is given, and if enough interest is shown by the attendees, the exercise may be worked during the course.
  • Exercise 16: Depressurization – This exercise offers a simple demonstration of PSV sizing within ProMax. The Depressurization Tool calculates mass flow rates and required orifice sizes for vessel depressurizing relief valves. The Relief Valve Sizing analysis, which can be utilized within any ProMax stream, is also demonstrated.
  • Exercise 17: Heat Exchanger Rating – The rating of an air cooler and a shell & tube exchanger is demonstrated, with discussion of the Help topic and the guidance it can provide. If time permits, and interest in shown by the attendees, one or both ratings may be performed together. Generation of specification sheets and importing and exporting of exchanger rating files are also part of the exercise.
  • Additional Exercises – Several additional exercises are available for attendees to work through if time permits, covering a wide range of topics. If no exercises cover a topic of interest, attendees may look through the ProMax Help and ProMax Example files or work on their own projects. The instructors are always available to answer any questions that may arise.
Notes About the Agenda:

Our agenda is provided to give the approximate material to be covered in the course, in the approximate order it will be covered. All courses we provide will be tailored to the needs of the host company providing the training accommodations, as well as the needs of the course attendees. Some courses may cover additional topics, while some may cover less than indicated in the agenda.

Some courses may be shortened to one or two days when represented by a three-day agenda. These courses will typically cover both process simulation and process optimization topics, but will exclude several exercises. Please contact our training team here: Contact Training, or through the consulting engineer for your region, for specific information for any course.