Ant colony framework is illustrated by considering dynamic optimization of six important bench marking examples. This new computational tool is simple to implement and can tackle problems with state as well as terminal constraints in a straightforward fashion. It requires fewer grid points to reach the global optimum at relatively very low computational effort. The examples with varying degree of complexities, analyzed here, illustrate its potential for solving a large class of process optimization problems in chemical engineering. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.