Teaching Semiphysical Modeling to Chemical Engineering Students Using a Brine-Water Mixing Tank Experiment

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The Chemical Engineering program at Arizona State offers an integrated series of core courses that teach students how conservation and accounting principles can be applied to describe engineering phenomena across disciplines. A brine-water mixing tank experiment was introduced in the third course in the series (ECE 394C: Understanding Engineering Systems Via Conservation) as a capstone modeling project for the recitation portion of the course. The experiment provides students with »hands-on» experience on a real-life system incorporating process, electrical, and mechanical components, as well as real-time data acquisition and control. A major feature of the brine-water tank project is that students apply a comprehensive system identification procedure relying on semiphysical (a.k.a. »grey box») models to complement their understanding of first-principles modeling. This paper describes the brine-water tank experiment, presents the formulation of the semiphysical parameter estimation problem, and describes the comprehensive procedure that students undertake to go from process data to validated plant models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1572
Number of pages6
JournalIFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline)
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Event13th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, SYSID 2003 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Aug 27 2003Aug 29 2003


  • semiphysical modeling
  • system identification education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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