A comprehensive sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of a milk drying process

A. Ferrari, S. Gutiérrez, G. Sin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A simple steady state model of a milk drying process was built to help process understanding. It involves a spray chamber and also internal/external fluid beds. The model was subjected to a statistical analysis for quality assurance using sensitivity analysis (SA) of inputs/parameters, identifiability analysis (IA) of parameters, and uncertainty analysis (UA) to estimate confidence intervals on parameters and in model predictions. A local method was used for SA, IA was based in the delta mean square and collinearity index calculation, and Maximum Likelihood Estimation was used as the main UA technique. SA results provide evidence towards over-parameterization in the model, and the chamber inlet dry bulb air temperature was the variable (input) with the highest sensitivity. IA results indicated that at most 4 parameters are identifiable: two from spray chamber and one from each fluid bed dryer. Moreover, the confidence intervals obtained for identifiable parameters were reasonable, although two parameters were found significantly correlated. The obtained confidence intervals for model predictions reflect a low uncertainty for the outputs. The rigorously analyzed model is expected to contribute to model-based decision making for process operation and optimization
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 25th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering
EditorsKrist V. Gernaey, Jakob K. Huusom, Rafiqul Gani
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event25th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering : 12th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 31 May 20154 Jun 2015


Conference25th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering
Internet address
SeriesComputer Aided Chemical Engineering


  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Identifiability analysis
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Milk drying process

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