Virtual plant environments and simulations have been in use in the chemical industry for some time as training tools or to model the performance of materials, processes, and other aspects of chemical production. In recent years, some academics and industry organizations have opined that gamified simulations may enable chemical companies to reduce training costs and increase the safety of their facilities.
While products like Serious Games LLC’s PlantSimulator have their place in industry, there are a number of other video games that chemical engineers can play to relax and have fun after hours.
Powder & Bulk Solids created this list to showcase some video games that chemical engineers and others working in chemical manufacturing operations will love, whether you’re looking to brush up your skills or have a chemicals-themed adventure.
Researchers at the University of Texas – Dallas developed a Minecraft mod, Polycraft World, to simulate features of petrochemical refining and production of polymers, plastics, and specialty items. Players can learn and try 2,000 different production methods to make over 100 polymers. To create a jetpack, for example, players must convert crude oil using distillation, chemical synthesis, and manufacturing processes. The team behind the project describes the mod as a “comprehensive world” that that provides real education on materials science.
Chemical Spillage Simulation
See the variety of tactics and equipment used to combat and contain chemical hazards in Chemical Spillage Simulation. Playing as a member of a special chemical disaster prevention unit, the game allows you to take control of a Robot Analysis Unit, a chemical prevention mobile unit, and a special chemical analysis vehicle to respond to spills and hazards at chemical facilities.
Chemical Business Simulator
Designed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s College of Engineering, the Chemical Business Simulator is a suite of chemical business simulation games that were created to enhance the institution’s chemical engineering curriculum. The games allows players to learn about the interplay between chemical engineering approaches and business management concepts.
The Chemist, released in 2017, allows you to step into the role of a black market chemist like Walter White in Breaking Bad. During the game, players mix raw materials to manufacture a number of formulations – from benign products like insecticides to unconventional creations like hallucinogenic drugs.
In this 2011 release, players work a reactor engineer for SpaceChem, a chemical company that synthesizes chemicals for space colonies. Large chemical plants are constructed to produce a variety of products, but players must adapt plant designs to meet production quotas and counter on-going threats to production. The game includes more than 50 puzzles and 20 achievements to unlock.
A sandbox environment enables players to simulate chemical reactions at any scale between more than 200 molecules. Users can also take part in over 50 structured quests. A recent update added Lewis structure fields for more than 150 molecules in the game and enhanced its crystal structure displayer.
Even chemical distribution has its own video game! In Factory Runner, players take charge of business that sells chemical products and manage its functions and economics. During the game, users transport chemicals, customize the layout of the facility and add furniture, and manage vehicle fleets. Players can win by becoming the area’s top distributor of chemical and safety equipment.
As chemical companies continue to develop virtual plants and simulations to improve their workers’ skills and the operations of their facilities, it is likely that additional chemical industry-themed consumer video games will be released.
Engineers working in the chemical industry should check out these titles to broaden their professional knowledge in a fun way.
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