An Integrated Methodology for Design of Tailor-Made Blended Products

Publication: ResearchConference abstract for conference – Annual report year: 2012

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An important issue for the production of many chemical-based products is related to the future supply of the essential raw materials. Currently, many of these products are derived from fossil fuel based raw materials and from a sustainability point of view, other renewable alternatives need to be considered. In order to achieve this, new products need to be developed by blending the conventional materials with other chemicals that can be produced from renewable resources, such as bio-based chemicals. Blending could offer several advantages, such as, reducing the amount of fossil fuel consumption, decreasing the pollution level and increasing the product safety. In addition, potentially the product attributes also can be improved by blending. However, the product performance may decline when other chemicals are added. In order to maintain/improve the blended product performance, it is necessary to identify the best product blend with the most appropriate chemicals. Therefore, an integrated methodology to design mixture/blend products is developed, which is able to find the most suitable chemicals for blending, and produce blended products that satisfy specific product needs. The methodology has three stages: 1) product design, 2) process identification, and 3) experimental verification. At the first stage, a computer-aided methodology is implemented to quickly identify and evaluate the most promising blend candidates. Subsequently, the ability to produce the chemicals used as the components in the mixtures is analyzed. Finally, experimental work (or detailed model-based verification) is conducted to validate the selected blend candidates.
In this paper, the product design issues are highlighted considering only chemicals from known bio-based sources. The product design stage has four tasks. First, the design problem is defined where the product needs are identified, translated into target properties and given target values. Secondly, target property models are retrieved from a property model library developed specifically for this methodology. Thirdly, a mixture/blend design algorithm is applied to obtain the mixtures/blends that match the set of constraints (design targets). This algorithm employs a decomposition based solution strategy to solve the mixture/blend problem. The result is a set of blends that match the constraints, the compositions, values of the target properties and information about their miscibility. Finally, the mixture target property values are verified either with experimental data (if available) or by means of rigorous models for the properties and mixtures that require it. The application of this systematic methodology is highlighted through case studies related to the design of blended gasoline, lubricants and refrigerants, where the objective is to identify blended products that satisfy all the product attributes with at least similar or better performance compared to conventional products.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages1
StatePublished

Conference

Conference22nd European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period17/06/1222/06/12

Keywords

  • Chemicals based products, Chemical blends, product design, Computer-aided approach
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