Courses » Optimization in Chemical Engineering

Optimization in Chemical Engineering


The objective of this course is to introduce optimization techniques to engineering students, with an emphasis on problems arising in Chemical Engineering applications. The course includes both linear and nonlinear programming problems.The first portion of the course introduces the basic concepts in optimization and how to obtain a mathematical representation of the optimization problem. The second portion of the course describesdifferent solution techniques that can be used to actually solve such problems. Finally, a set of software tools for solution of optimization problems are also discussed.Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to understand the basic theoretical principles in optimization, formulate the optimization problem, and choose appropriate method/solver for solution of the optimization problem.

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Final Exam (in-person, invigilated, currently conducted in India) is mandatory for Certification and has INR Rs. 1100 as exam fee

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Agriculture Engineering


UG/PG: UG Course



This course may be of general interest to many chemical process industries such as:
(1) Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
(2) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
(3) Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. 

938 students have enrolled already!!


Debasis Sarkar is currently an Associate Professor at Chemical Engineering Department of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. He received his BTech from Calcutta University, Master of Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and PhD from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, all in Chemical Engineering. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Western Ontario, Canada. Prior to joining IIT Kharagpur, he worked with ICES Singapore and HBTI Kanpur. His current research interests are in applications of process systems engineering approaches for crystallization engineering and biosystems engineering. His teaching interests include, among others, optimization techniques, instrumentation and process control, advanced heat transfer.


Week 1  :   Introduction to Optimization
(Statement of optimization problems, Classification of optimization
problems, Examples from engineering applications, Review of
linear algebra) 
Week 2  :   Optimization Problem Formulation
(Models for optimization, Optimization problems in
chemical/biochemical engineering) 
Week 3  : Basic Concepts of Optimization – I
(Continuity of functions, Unimodal and multimodal functions,
Optimality criteria for unconstrained single variable functions) 
Week 4  :   Basic Concepts of Optimization – II
(Optimality criteria for unconstrained multivariable functions,
Equality constrained problems, Lagrange multipliers, Kuhn Tucker
Week 5  :   Unconstrained Single Variable Optimization: Methods and
(Region elimination methods, Methods requiring derivatives:
Newton-Raphson method, Bisection method, Secant method) 
Week 6  :   Unconstrained Multivariable Optimization: Direct Search
(Simplex method, Hooke-Jeeves pattern search method, Powell’s
conjugate direction method) 
Week 7  : Unconstrained Multivariable Optimization: Gradient Based
(Cauchy’s method, Newton’s method, Marquardt method)  
Week 8  :    Introduction to Linear Programming
(Formulation of linear programming models, Graphical solution,
Linear programs in standard form) 
Week 9  :   Linear Programming: The Simplex Method
(Simplex method, Use of artificial variables, Two phase method) 
Week 10  :   Constrained Nonlinear Programming
(Penalty function method, Lagrange multiplier method) 
Week 11  :   Applications of Optimization
(Optimization of various chemical and biochemical processes) 
Week 12  :  Software Tools for Optimization


Optimization of Chemical Processes – T. F. Edgar, D. M.Himmelblau and L. S. Lasdon, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, 2001 , Engineering Optimization: Methods and Applications - A. Ravindran, K. M. Ragsdell, G. V. Reklaitis, 2nd Edition, Wiley India, 2006  ,Engineering Optimization: Theory and Practice - S. S. Rao, 4thEdition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009 
  • The exam is optional for a fee.
  • Date and Time of Exam: October 28, 2018 (Sunday)
  • Time of Exams: Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon session: 2pm to 5pm.
  • Exam for this Course will be available in both morning & afternoon sessions.
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.


  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of  Best 8 out of 12 assignments
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur.It will be e-verifiable at http://nptel.ac.in/noc/