Neste Engineering Solutions, Finland

NAPCON ProsDS is a dynamic chemical engineering flowsheet simulator and design system. It is used to simulate chemical processes and their automation focusing on the processes of the hydrocarbon industry. Among others, the software is used to simulate NEXBTL processes. (NEXBTL is a technology for producing renewable fuels proprietary to the Neste Corporation.)

NAPCON ProsDS is mostly used in training simulator systems and games. It acts as the "engine" that runs process and automation models. The software is also used in chemical engineering studies that benefit from dynamic simulation such as safety valve design. NAPCON ProsDS comes equipped with a graphical user interface for building the models, running simulation etc.

The training simulator systems are often large covering, for example, a chemical plant unit or a production line. It is possible to distribute models across machines also for dividing the calculation load of simulation.

Process Models

Process models reflect the properties of the chemical units such as reactors and distillation columns. The models are based on material and energy balances for all units involved where chemical components and phases are modelled according to the available physical and chemical property data.

model of a binary
distillation column with reflux
Above: model of a binary distillation column with reflux.

Automation Models

Automation models contain the controllers and logic needed when simulating chemical processes.

PID control loop with
Above: PID control loop with feedback.


First release of the software was done in 1987. Back then it was developed using a Symbolics machine. For many years now, the Windows version of LispWorks has been in use. Also, the 64-bit version of the LispWorks IDE is currently in use.


The software is in active use especially in the training simulators provided by NAPCON. For the time being, NAPCON ProsDS is not available as a standalone product; it is delivered as a software component in training simulators.


In NAPCON, there's a team of developers focusing on NAPCON ProsDS development. New major releases are typically done once a year. In the meantime, patches are released updating the software.


Development with Common Lisp is great. It's so much fun, once you get the hang of it. Prototyping is nice and the built-in tools of LispWorks provide ample opportunity to access the objects at hand, including the graphical user interface objects.

The fact that LispWorks is multi-platform can come in handy.

Support from LispWorks has been fast and proficient. Also, the manuals are good.

The web does not contain as much helpful information as it does concerning other programming languages. But, there are resources.

Using Common Lisp is somewhat uncommon. This can be a good or a bad thing.

Common Lisp is a powerful language and using it requires certain knowledge. In experienced hands, one can be very productive with it.

Links and general

NAPCON software solutions are developed by the Finnish solution provider, Neste Engineering Solutions, which is an experienced pioneer in engineering and technologies for a variety of heavy industries.

Copyright © 2020 by Neste Engineering Solutions Oy

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