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The significance of pinch technology
In the history of the technology of an engineering discipline, it is not very often that something new emerges that can have a profound and wide-ranging impact on that discipline. The design methodology based upon "pinch technology" possesses just that potential for the chemical engineering discipline.
While the concept of "pinch points" in heat transfer operations is not a new concept, the use of pinch technology as the basis for a broader process design methodology is relatively new. However, it has reached a level of maturity and sophistication at which it cannot be regarded as just an isolated tool for saving energy. It has been used by the chemical engineering profession for a long enough time and in a sufficiently wide variety of applications to know, without doubt, that: * It is capable of generating remarkably large savings in both energy and capital costs. * It is effective for both new designs and retrofits. * It is broadly applicable to all types of processes, even those with relatively low energy costs. It has been used successfully in the chemical, petroleum, pulp and paper, rubber and food industries. * It nearly always generates significant savings, even for existing plants that are "mature," and for which the "process experts" are convinced of the impossibility of significant improvement. * It works in less time, i.e., it takes less time to generate a superior design by this methodology than to generate an inferior design by traditional …