Integrated Pilot Plant

IPP foto

The Integrated pilot plant demonstrates the operation of a process plant using a water/ethylene glycol mixture as the main medium. 


The IPP consists of three units:

  • Field process

  • Distillation process

  • Utility unit


The IPP combines components of conventional field processes with tanks, heat exchangers, pumps and cooling sections as well as open and closed loop control with a distillation process whose main component is a rectification column with ten bubble cap trays. The utility unit provides the required media as well as cooling and heating power. The three wet cooling towers and the two storage tanks for process water and glycol are installed outdoor. The steam generator, the compressed air supply, the water treatment and the two chemical dosing stations are installed indoor.


IPP parts


Field process

Field process

The field process is a circular process forwarding a water-glycol mixture. In the receiver tank, the water-glycol mixture is heated. It then flows through the first pump station and flow rate section to the intermediate tank. After passing the second pump station and flow rate section, the water-glycol mixture is cooled and fed back to the receiver tank.


  • typical control loops for pressure, flow, level, temperature
  • redundant design of key components
Distillation process

Distillation process

The feed to the distillation process is either from the field process or from the utility unit. The rectification column is the main part of the distillation process. The water-glycol mixture is heated by natural circulation in the external reboiler. Then, the water-glycol mixture is separated into water vapour and liquid glycol in the column.


  • rectification column with 10 bubble cap trays
  • steam heated
  • different inlet heights
  • recuperator
  • bottom product cooler
  • redundant top product coolers
  • return ratio
  • phase separation tank
  • top condenser
  • redundant pump station for bottom and top product
  • vertical shell and tube reboiler
  • online measurement of composition (density measurement)
Utility unit

Utility unit

The utility unit provides all auxiliary media for field process and distillation process, these are compressed air, steam, vacuum and cooling water. The utility unit also supplies process water and ethylene glycol for the initial filling of the field process as well as for the continuous feed to the distillation process in single mode. Further, the utility unit includes the water treatment system for process water, feed water (steam supply) and replacement / purge water for the cooling towers. Finally, the utility unit has the chemical injection system for agents for the field process and the cooling water circuits.


  • steam generator
  • 5-stage water treatment
  • compressed air
  • chemical dosages
  • water and fuel oil tanks
  • wet cooling towers
  • supply with process water and ethylene glycol




Learning objectives

IPP control

The Integrated pilot plant (IPP) is a training unit for the operation of a process plant. The general learning objectives for trainees are:


  • process engineering and chemical engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • instrumentation and process control engineering
  • maintenance and operation procedures

Specific learning objectives


  • reading piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) and locating components in the plant
  • importance of redundancy in plants
  • single, in-series and parallel operation of pumps
  • control loops for temperature, pressure, level and flow rate
  • setting parameters at PID controllers (proportional, integral, derivative)
  • design and operation of a steam-heated distillation process with return ratio
  • plant control and monitoring via a process control system
  • display, acquisition and evaluation of more than 200 variables
  • start-up, operation, shutdown and maintenance of a conventional distillation process and field process





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