FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

In the Overview page, click the button “Add Plant” and you will be taken to an empty flowsheet. Then you can drag and drop any unit operations from blocks on the left of the flowsheet and start building your plant. After dropping the unit operations, start connecting them from top left to right by clicking on the green nodes and dragging the connection to another green node on any unit operation. Streams will be automatically numbered according to when they were placed on the flowsheet. You can also add stream connectors by dragging in a Rotating Equipment block. This is particularly useful if you want to split your PFD across different sheets when exporting to CAD software. Be sure to use both input and output connectors and join them between sheets just like you would join any unit operations.
You can store your models by clicking on SAVE PLANT TO DISK from the Plant View page. This will give you the option of saving the plant itself or any associated modelling result files along with it in a singe .aqm file.
If you want to then delete the Plant from the server this can be done by going to the Edit Plant page. If the file is not locked, then a Delete button will be available. Note, deleting a Plant will also delete all associated results. When you are ready to carry out more scenario modelling, you can UPLOAD PLANT from the overview page and restore your file to keep on designing.
Currently there are over 35 unit operations that are common to water treatment. These include from chemical dosing to conventional settling processes such as clarifiers, filters and also membrane systems, thermal systems with electrolytic systems on the way. Unit Operations are split between single feed, dual feed or countercurrent operations like a cooling tower or heat exchanger, mixers, splitters and rotating equipment such as pumps, blowers, compressors.
On the overview page, on the top left you will find a button ADD SCENARIO. You have the option to add up to five different water qualities for each scenario, which provides flexibility in scenario modelling. There are tooltip suggestions about the importance of each analyte to your modelling, however you can either just add the basic information (Flow, pH, TDS, TSS, Sodium, Bicarbonate, Chloride) or you can complete the feed input with over 50 different analytes including organic data, heavy metals, halides, dissolved gases, pathogens and micropollutants. There is a handy Upload CSV feature that will pre-populate your Feed Input if you have data in a CSV file that is arranged in rows with the first column being the analyte name and second column as the analyte value.
After you have created both your Feed Scenario and Plant, select both such that the Feed Scenario is highlighted and the Plant is highlighted. This should then make the RUN SCENARIO button available to click. After clicking RUN SCENARIO, you will be taken directly to the Result page. You don't have to wait around for the result to finish converging, you can go back to your OVERVIEW and continue working on your project, including making changes to your Plant file. Models will run simultaneously.
You can use mixers to blend ratios of your different feed inputs by connecting the feed stream nodes to the relevant unit operation. Or you can simply connect the Feed stream you want to model, and then after RUNNING the SCENARIO, you can go back and edit the plant and modify the connections any of your feed stream nodes. A typical example is where you might have a feed water specification that includes 10-ile, 90-ile, Typical and Maximum data in a table. By connecting the relevant Feed Stream to your plant, you can create all your boundary condition results from a single Scenario file and if you like, also a single Plant file. When you are finished modelling, you can revert the Plant design to the status from any Result you choose. This is very helpful when you are creating a design basis and looking to export deliverables such as a PFD, M&H Balance, Design Report or if you are ready to go to vendors for quotations on equipment.
Depending on the complexity of the process and the number of recycles, most plants converge within a minute. We have modelled plants that contain over 80 distinct unit operations with 5 competing recycle streams that have taken around 20 minutes to solve. The solver will attempt a number of different techniques with a progressive increase in tolerance, and if a solution is not possible, the user will be notified with an exception message indicating where the problem might be, and how to fix it.
If you are on a Company plan, you can collaborate on all your projects with your colleagues in a number of ways. The Company admin can selectively assign project visibility to any number of your colleagues. You can then share or hide your plants, results, or feed scenarios with other colleagues. There is a convenient Review Request feature when you need input to your Plant design or feedback on your modelling results from any colleague you choose. The reviewer can make timestamped comments within any unit operation on a Result file, or if you allow them to do so, they can directly edit your plant. Any designer will know that there are review comments by the underlined yellow highlighting of the unit operation name.
For each error generated when simulating the plant, there is an exception message about the issue, which can guide you to fix certain parameters in the relevant unit operations. Usually the exception message will indicate the feed stream number for the specific unit operation which has the issue. If you are really stuck, you can always click on the checkbox at the bottom of the Plant or in the Exception message and share this plant or result with AqMB Support. This will give our team visibility to the error file and one of our process support engineers will be assigned to help you get a successful result.
You can either speak with our process support by opening a webchat by clicking on 'Want help? Click to talk to AqMB Support!" at the bottom right or you can go to Contact Support under the Help tab or you can send an email to support@aqmb.net or if your question relates to a particular plant design or modelling result, you can check the box "Shared with AqMB Support" which will generate a support case and one of our process engineers will be assigned to help you.
You can export the flowsheet, generate a mass & heat balance, chemical consumption tables, process design & modelling reports, operating costs, vendor rfq's, capital costs, electrical load schedules, equipment lists. There is no vendor lock-in - these documents can be exported either as a .dxf, .xls, .doc, .emf or .pdf depending on the type of deliverable.
AqMB Designer is a process design and virtual marketplace application for water treatment. You will be able to effectively design a water treatment plant, run all your boundary condition scenarios, generate vendor rfqs and obtain pricing and equipment datasheets, produce a PFD that can be either exported to CAD software, produce a Mass & Heat balance in Excel, produce a process design report in Word, generate a lifecycle evaluation, electrical load schedule, equipment lists and other documentation relevant to process design. The software will size each unit operation or you can choose to specify the dimensioning data. Every modelling result will provide unit operation sizing data, stream properties, stream concentrations, mass flows, precipitated solids, information about scaling and corrosion and saturation indices. The software predicts solubility in each stream by using a sophisticated speciation engine that has been calibrated and validated for process conditions, also considering the impact of dissolved gases on redox and equilibrium relationships between inorganic species. It will highlight where you might have a process design issue or when you have exceeded a parameter threshold.
You can always try using the Blackbox unit operation which should allow you to simulate any operation that you specify. The blackbox assumes a single feed separation process with a treated and a waste stream whereby you can define the percent split for water recovery and/or TDS, TSS, TOC, or for any individual ion. You can also simulate evaporation by specifying a percentage greater than zero for the water losses variable.
We have a checkbox on the Plant Edit page called 'Enable SuperUser Settings'. This will open up a number of fields for each unit operation that will allow you to override the model equations. Be careful with this feature as the software will not notify you that you are overriding the relationships. If you want to use the SuperUser feature, you should probably make notes in your Plant file on which variables you have set override values for.
Any plant that you have access to can be DUPLICATED from the Plant View page. Be sure to change the name of the duplicated Plant, the date the new plant was configured, which project it is assigned to and any description details. All configured model data and the flowsheet will be duplicated exactly but the Plant version number will revert to 1. You will then be able to find this plant when you filter by project and start using it to create new results.
Every time you save the Plant, the plant version number will increment by 1. Similarly for the Feed Scenario. If you create a Result with the plant, the Result version number will be the Plant version.Scenario version, eg 3.12 for a Plant Version 3, Scenario Version 12. If you want to revert the Plant to a previous design, you can do so by viewing the preferred Result and clicking on COPY PFD. This will duplicate the Plant design exactly as it was for the chosen Result. It will place this Plant in the same project and maintain the version number of the Plant as it was when the Result was created. This is very helpful when you want to go back to a particular Result to form a design basis and export the PFD to CAD software or use this Plant design as the baseline for the project to transition bi-directionally between PFD -> P&ID -> General Arrangement, enabling BIM from the PFD and transfer of process design sizing details through to CAD software.
AqMB software is completely browser based, meaning you do not have to download any applications or be tied to a windows desktop. You can use Designer or SupplierLink anywhere you have an internet connection preferrably through Chrome, Internet Explorer 9+ or Firefox browsers. If you have an issue with one type of browser, please let us know at support@aqmb.net and try logging in through another browser. It works much the same way your LinkedIn account or bank account does for that matter. Your login credentials are yours personally, setup a strong password and you must not share your login credentials with anyone.
The only times a stable internet connection is required is when your browser requires communication with the server. This is generally when you are submitting data either by saving a plant or scenario, or requesting data from the server. In many cases, it is possible to open a new flowsheet page then create a plant in your browser without being online. I have built or configured plants while flying across continents and saved these plants once a wifi connection was available simply by not closing my browser. Similarly, once you have kicked off a model run, you do not need to be connected as the calculations are done on the server side. Your results will be available once your connection is restored.

Technical Papers

Process design of a treatment system to reduce conductivity and ammoniacal nitrogen content of landfill leachate

Machlan Scott, Graeme J. Millar, Ali Altaee Journal of Water Process Engineering 31 (2019)

Process simulation of ion exchange desalination treatment of coal seam gas associated water

Madeleine Wicks, Graeme J. Millar, Ali Altaee Journal of Water Process Engineering 27 (2019) 89-98

Process evaluation of treatment options for high alkalinity coal seam gas associated water

Rowan Vedelago, Graeme J. Millar, Journal of Water Process Engineering 23 (2018) 195-206

Alternative neutralisation materials for acid mine drainage treatment

Gurkiran Kaur, Sara J. Couperthwaite, Bradley W. Hatton-Jones, Graeme J. Millar, Journal of Water Process Engineering 22 (2018) 46-58

Concept Design of Dairy Wastewater using AqMB Designer

May Chen (GHD), Chris Hertle (GHD), OzWater (2017), Poster Presentation 49-316