ANSYS: The Chemical Simulation Pioneers

Dr. Ajei S. Gopal, President & CEO Alongside the rapidly churning course of the chemical industry, there is a looming urgency that will set off a sea change for the organizations. A dire need for sustainability, green engineering, innovative new materials, plant and product safety, product quality and new process development has created great opportunities for designers and process engineers to help transform the chemical process industry. Under the helmsmanship of Dr. Ajei S. Gopal, ANSYS is blazing a solid trail in this revolution! The newly appointed President and CEO, Dr. Gopal with his relentless focus on innovation and commitment to their customers cannot represent the company’s vision in a better way, which is to grow into one of the world’s leading software providers in the chemical industry.

For more than a decade, high costs of raw materials, overcapacity, and stringent regulatory requirements have been a cause of concern for most chemical processing firms. Although many organizations have responded by developing high-value products, improving efficiency and optimizing processes, improvements and innovation have been made possible through the use of engineering simulation for high-fidelity and detailed understanding of process equipment and unit operations.

"ANSYS simulation solutions for the chemical industry assist companies with significant engineering improvement in efficiency and reliability of the asset and process equipment"

ANSYS’ broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software has been the undisputed winner delivering innovative products to their customers for solving the most complex design challenges. The process engineering simulation software can predict how product designs will behave in real-world environments. Whether developing the ability to understand equipment performance or designing new equipment to optimize the process in the context of the entire plant operation, ANSYS offers integrated engineering design and analysis solutions for process engineers and equipment designers. Firms are able to model and understand mechanical, structural, thermal, fluid dynamic and electromagnetic behavior, as well as multi-physics interactions such as thermal-mechanical, fluid-structural or electro-mechanical. The simulation-driven product and process development environment from ANSYS enables engineers to gain insight with a higher degree of fidelity for designing new products, reducing downtime, troubleshooting, increasing capacity, and improving process efficiency.

The Dynamic Duo

ANSYS simulation solutions for the chemical industry assist companies with significant engineering improvement in efficiency and reliability of the asset and process equipment. The product is designed to reduce the overall costs, conserve energy, minimize environmental impacts, meet higher regulatory standards, and streamline product development and operations through their dynamic duo.

ANSYS’ product portfolio includes tools that can be used alongside experiments, testing and other process simulation channels.

I believe simulation will play a fundamentally important role in this massive transformation, because the only way to decrease your design cycle is by doing simulation early in the design process

The organizations are proffered with detailed, high-fidelity design and analysis of equipment and processes by these tools. A whole range of physics-related experiments—including fluid mechanics or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for petrochemical, and structural design for petrochemical equipment failure analysis are included in the broad capabilities of ANSYS technology support. Through its CFD software tool, Fluent, ANSYS simulates fluid flows in a virtual environment not only for the fluid dynamics of ship hulls, but also for gas turbine engines (including the compressors, combustion chamber, turbines and afterburners); aircraft aerodynamics; pumps, fans, HVAC systems, mixing vessels, and hydro-cyclones.

The second part of the solution portfolio includes engineering simulation for combustion systems. The combustion engineers are provided with all the capabilities they need to increase system performance, and understand pollution management through this solution. Furthermore, engineers can also develop strategies to reduce the overall carbon footprint and control emissions from a wide range of fuel and combustion systems, covering gaseous, solid and liquid fuels from simple to complex reaction mechanisms. Combustion equipment simulation typically includes modeling and assessing fluid flows— which involves reaction, radiation, and thermal phenomena. The simulation of a broad range of particulate concentrations is enabled by ANSYS CFD for combustion systems. Local velocities, particulate concentrations and traces, composition of combustion gases, fuel conversion rates, temperatures, and other critical data is provided by these simulations—which enable combustion engineers to investigate operational issues such as local temperature peaks, combustion efficiency, and mixing problems.

For equipment and reactor design, ANSYS fluid dynamics tools offer solutions that manage mixing, liquid phase reaction, combustion, surface reaction, multispecies flows, heat transfer, particulate and population balance, and other processes.

A Solution for Every Equation

The firm has continually made investments in process enhancement and related features and capabilities for the last two decades. And the result? ANSYS’ portfolio not only has advanced capabilities, but is also supported by an experienced technical staff that understands both chemical and process industry-related issues. According to Dr. T. Ehret Ing, engineer at Bayer AG, the German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical, and life sciences leader, “At Bayer, we are dealing with many different kinds of fluid flows: gases, liquids, highly viscous and non- Newtonian polymers, and multiphase and chemically-reacting flows. Computational fluid dynamics helps greatly in understanding and optimizing all of these states.
Depending on the nature of the task and the media, we decide which product is best suited.” And ANSYS has a whole spectrum of options to choose from.

Enabling Detailed Chemistry

To enhance the potency of their solutions even further, ANSYS acquired Reaction Design, a firm enabling transportation manufacturers and energy companies to rapidly achieve their clean technology goals. The combination of ANSYS’ proven CFD solutions with Reaction Design’s industry-leading chemistry solvers provides the best-in-breed combustion simulation tools.

Understanding and predicting the effects of chemistry in a combustion system is critical to developing competitive products in transportation, energy, and materials processing applications. Relying on experimental testing alone for accurate performance validation is inadequate, given today’s complex designs and shortened design cycles. Reaction Design’s CHEMKIN-CFD module specifically addresses the predicament of predicting the effects of chemistry in a combustion system by working with ANSYS FLUENT software to provide efficient and accurate solution algorithms, assuring robust coupling of the chemistry and the flow.

Effective simulation of the underlying detailed chemistry is critical to advancements in engine and fuel technology. The acquisition of Reaction Design complements ANSYS’ offering for the simulation of internal combustion engines, leading to improved fuel efficiency. According to the firm, companies across industries want to offer products—from airplanes to automobiles to gas turbines—with improved fuel efficiency, and for more than 15 years, Reaction Design has helped companies around the world to better understand chemical processes. Combining its solvers with ANSYS’ solutions gives firms new insights into the combustion processes in their products. This continues ANSYS’ commitment to broadening their portfolio of solutions and wealth of talent and expertise, both organically and through targeted acquisitions.

Simulating with Confidence

Earlier this year, Dr. Gopal promised, “With an accelerating pace of innovation, ANSYS is on an exciting growth trajectory as it executes on its long-term plans.” He further added, “I am committed to building on our standard of excellence and pushing the boundaries of innovation to help customers solve their most complex design challenges.”

Believed to have witnessed a major change in the last four or five years, the simulation software market and its growth reflects in the industry’s slow but steady adoption of cloud-hosted solutions and on-demand sales models. Dr. Gopal expects the market will see “a more dynamic change—perhaps more so than before.” The transformation will likely accelerate “when digital technologies are integrated with the physical products,” he predicts.

IoT, additive manufacturing, and digital twins, to name a few—are part of “the revolution that changes how we design, manufacture, and manage a product through its lifecycle,” points Dr. Gopal. “I believe simulation will play a fundamentally important role in this massive transformation, because the only way to decrease your design cycle is by doing simulation early in the design process.”


Canonsburg, PA

Dr. Ajei S. Gopal, President & CEO

ANSYS brings clarity and insight to customers' most complex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineering simulation