Types of Process flow diagram

Process flow diagrams are extremely useful to understand any chemical manufacturing process. There are total 3 types of process flow diagram in chemical engineering and in this tutorial, we are going to learn these types with examples.

Types of Process flow diagram

What is a process flow diagram?

Process flow diagram are the diagram that will help us understand the chemical process with the help of diagrams. These diagrams are the fundamentals diagrams which will provide you the overall details of the process in any chemical industry.

Types of process flow diagram?

To understand the process in chemical industry or any other industry, there are different types of process flow diagram.  Each type of process flow diagram provides specific details of the plant. The types of process flow diagram are described below.

1. Block Flow Diagram (BFD)

The Block Flow Diagram is the simplest form of Flow Diagram which provides an overall view of a process.  Block flow diagram usually resembles an general material flow composed of rectangle boxes that includes the major equipments of the process of the process industry. This type of diagram includes the chemical process flow along with equipment to provide overview of the chemical plant and process.

Example of block flow diagram

The below diagram is an example of a block flow diagram. As you can see the whole manufacturing process is described as a block diagram. The process flow is described in block flow diagram consisting chemical process equipment in rectangular and square and process flow is described as arrow. In block diagram. Block diagram does not includes pipes, valve, interlock etc, only the flow of process through equipments are described.

block flow diagram, chemical tweak
Image source – https://processdesign.mccormick.northwestern.edu/index.php/Block_Flow_Diagram

2. Process Flow Diagram (PFD)

The Process Flow Diagram goes a little deep than the Block Flow Diagram in that it provides more detail about major equipment, sub systems and process flow path.  The Process flow diagram may or may not includes the process parameters like pressure and temperature information as well as main parameters of chemical plant and process.

Now let us understand process flow diagram with example. You can see the below figure of process flow diagram. Process flow diagram resemble the chemical process through symbols and process in details compare to block flow diagram.Process flow diagram contain specific diagram of the equipment contain information in deep.

Process flow diagrams Examples

3. Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID)

Piping and instrumentation diagram is also known as process and instrumentation diagram. This P&ID diagram is the detailed process flow diagram that includes more details about the process industry like pipes diameter including pipes types and identifications, valve types, control valve and interlocks and all the pipes flow i.e. vents, drain line special fittings tapping and sampling lines etc.

Example of P&ID diagram – Process and instrumentation diagram

What are the Types of flow diagrams in chemical engineering

There are 3 types of process flowcharts such as Block Flow Diagram (BFD), Process Flow Diagram (PFD) and Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID)

What are manufacturing process flow diagrams

Process flow diagrams provide you an overview of the manufacturing process which includes equipment and process flow.

Wrapping Up

Hope this article on Types of Process flow diagram will help you to have a general idea on what is process flow diagram and types of process flow diagram along with diagrams. Keep in touch with Chemical tweak for more such chemical engineering topic. In upcoming chemical tweak post, we will explore more such chemical engineering concepts in deep. If you have any suggestion then feel free to use comment section. Your comment will be appreciated.

Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

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