about me



simulation type dynamic simulation based on a continuous model
domain Process technology
target group operator training
duration training on demand
model de Niet (1988)
publisher University of Twente
year 1988
platform Macintosh
design system/ engine MacThesis
my connection task analysis, educational design, software engineering, evaluation


In the eastern part of the Netherlands, there is a layer of rock-salt at great depth underneath the soil which is exploited for commercial purposes. Two pipes are used to get the salt out of the soil. With one pipe water is pumped into the layer of rock-salt, thereby dissolving the salt. The solution of the salt in the water is called brine. The brine comes up to the surface through the other pipe. At the surface salt is gathered by reducing the brine by means of an evaporation process. However, the brine contains a number of contaminations which are removed before the start of the evaporation process.

The process in which the contaminations are removed from the brine is called the brine purification process. De Niet developed a dynamic mathematical model of the brine purification process as part of his research. The prototype BRINE PURIFICATION is an educational application, based on his model.

The brine purification process is a relatively slow developing process. Usually it takes several hours before the consequences of an intervention in the installation can be observed (e.g. changing the flow of one of the components introduced in the process). For this reason it is hard to get a clear idea of the reactions of the process in on-the-job-training, because meanwhile the team of operators making the intervention may be replaced by another team. Furthermore other disturbances may have occurred, causing the operators to make new interventions. For this reason it is hard to study the influence of an intervention independently.

The educational simulation, which proceeds with a speed of approximately 1000 times real time, enables the operators to get a quick, direct response to their actions. Furthermore, disturbing factors can be studied independently. For this reason operators may get a better understanding of the processes in the brine purification installation when they are able to experiment with the educational simulation program.

BRINE PURIFICATION a dynamic simulation for operator training