Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

First Advisor

Yinlun Huang


The electroplating industry has faced tremendous challenges in maintaining its economic competitiveness as well as improving its environmental performance in the global economy. In electroplating systems, waste generation from manufacturing lines has been always a serious concern, as waste emitted in different forms contains various hazardous and toxic chemicals. It is recognized that much of the generated waste is avoidable, and reduction of such avoidable waste could significantly reduce the consumption of chemicals, energy, and water. Proactive source reduction can improve not only environmental quality, but also economic performance. This type of source reduction, which could be called Proactive Pollution Prevention, can be achieved through applying advanced sustainability-bearing process systems engineering techniques, i.e., the fundamental system modeling and simulation techniques.

In this thesis, the process models developed for electroplating systems are reviewed and selectively adopted. These models are embedded in a computer aided simulation tool, which is MATLAB based platform. The tool has been used to conduct comprehensive simulation of electroplating systems. It can characterize the dynamic operations of cleaning and rinsing operations, where chemicals, energy and water are consumed. This software tool helps users to analyze the process under given conditions and predict the consumption of chemicals in cleaning tanks, and rinse water consumption in rinsing tanks. The simulation facilitates identification of superior operating conditions in the electroplating systems, and it provides comparison between conventional and suggested operational strategies. This model-based simulation methodology as well as the tool should be valuable for the electroplating industry to improve their system’s sustainability performance.