Optimization in Chemical Engineering

By Prof. Debasis Sarkar   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 609
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 (MATLAB Optimization Toolbox and MS Excel Solver) 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.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Agriculture Engineering, Instrumentation Engineering, Working Professionals
PREREQUISITES         : Basic Engineering Mathematics and Calculus
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : 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
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computational Chemical Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

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Course layout

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
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 conditions) 
Week 5 : Unconstrained Single Variable Optimization: Methods and Applications (Region elimination methods, Methods
requiring derivatives: Newton-Raphson method, Bisection method, Secant method) 
Week 6  :   Unconstrained Multivariable Optimization: Direct Search Methods (Simplex method, Hooke-Jeeves pattern search
  method, Powell’s conjugate direction method) 
Week 7  :   Unconstrained Multivariable Optimization: Gradient Based Methods (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) (MATLAB)
Week 12  :  Software Tools for Optimization (MS Excel Solver)

Thanks to the support from MathWorks, enrolled students have access to MATLAB for the duration of the course.

Books and references

1. Optimization of Chemical Processes – T. F. Edgar, D. M.Himmelblau and L. S. Lasdon, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, 2001 ,
2. Engineering Optimization: Methods and Applications - A. Ravindran, K. M. Ragsdell, G. V. Reklaitis, 2nd Edition, Wiley India, 2006  ,
3. Engineering Optimization: Theory and Practice - S. S. Rao, 4thEdition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009 
4. MATLAB Documentation (https://www.mathworks.com)

Instructor bio

Prof. Debasis Sarkar

IIT Kharagpur
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. 

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
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. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

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 nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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