Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Jonathan Whitlow

Second Advisor

James Brenner

Third Advisor

Aldo Fabregas

Fourth Advisor

Manolis Tomadakis


This research serves to compare the use of the capital cost estimation software, Aspen Capital Cost Estimator (ACCE), with other capital cost estimating methods specifically the module costing technique outlined by Richard Turton et al. and also a factorial costing technique outlined by Gavin Towler and Ray Sinnott. This study will compare popular process equipment found in the chemical process industries. The relationship between the capacities of the equipment, as it relates to the cost as well as operational pressures and materials of construction (MOC), will also be obtained and compared. The results of this study may be used by professionals in their decision of which method of capital cost estimation they may want to employ. The results and comparison varied a great deal based on the equipment being costed, but for most of the equipment tested, the costs went up in a linear fashion. For all of the methods studied, when the cost of the installed equipment is plotted versus the capacity on a log-log scale a linear relationship is achieved. The slopes of these lines (or capacity exponents) are presented in the work showing how the economy of scale varies for the different cases studied. In general slopes of less than unity are obtained with consistently different slope values for the three methods. The ACCE usually had the lowest cost of the three methods. Another thing to note is that the factorial method had the least equipment data available, while ACCE was the most diverse.