The current emphasis on sustainable production has prompted chemical plants to minimize raw material and energy usage without compromising on economics. While computer tools are available to assistin sustainability assessment, their applications are constrained to a specific domain of the design synthesis problem. This paper outlines a design synthesis strategy that integrates two computer methodologies – ENVOPExpert and SustainPro – for simultaneous generation, analysis, evaluation, and optimization of sustainable process alternatives. ENVOPExpert diagnoses waste sources, identifies alternatives, and high-lights trade-offs between environmental and economic objectives. This is complemented by SustainPro which evaluates the alternatives and screens them in-depth through indicators for profit and energy, water, and raw material usage. This results in accurate identification of the root causes, comprehensive generation of design alternatives, and effective reduction of the optimization search space. The frame-work is illustrated using anacetone process and a methanol and dimethyl ether production case study.
- Heuristic analysis
- Sustainability metrics
- Indicator analysis
- Sustainable development
- Energy and water minimization