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level of effort for mass balance?



I have been asked by person in the environmental agency here to provide
estimates about what level of effort is needed to do a mass balance for a
company.  They are considering making a mass balance analysis a requirement
for a particular environ regulation.

Obviously this depends on the number of processes being considered.  I have
not done process mass balances for several years, not being an engineer, and
would appreciate any insights.  Here are my basic estimates for a "typical"
production process.  I am making these pretty generous.  Also I am assuming
there is some data around already.

Preparation of process flow diagram:  3 hours

Collection of input-output data for each step:  1 hour per step in the
process

If we estimate that a process has about 5 major steps, this would be 5 hours

Preparation of the mass balance for key factors:  2 hours

So roughly I would estimate for a "generic" company, that it would take an
engineer about a day to prepare a mass balance for one production process.
Another day to summarize results from all the processes, and maybe another
day to work out the bugs.

I realize this is grossly simplified and the world is much more complex.  If
any of you hotshot engineers can comment on these estimates I will be
grateful, and also I think the regulators will be interested to know your
ideas too since mass balance for processes is pretty basic for most P2
analyses.

and Happy New Year to all!

Burt Hamner
Univ de Pacifico


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