A Systematic Computer-Aided Framework for Integrated Design and Control of Chemical Processes

Seyed Soheil Mansouri, Mauricio Sales-Cruz, Jakob Kjøbsted Huusom, John Woodley, Rafiqul Gani

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Chemical processes are conventionally designed through a sequential approach. In this sequential approach, first, a steady-state process design is obtained and then, control structure synthesis that, in most of the cases, is based on heuristics is performed. Therefore, process design and process control and operation considerations have been studied independently. Furthermore, this sequential approach does not adequately answer this question, “How process design decisions influence process control and operation?”. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to consider process controllability and operability issues together with process design tasks (Seferlis and Georgiadis, 2004). In this way, it can be assured that design decisions give the optimum operational and economic performance. Operability issues are addressed to ensure a stable and reliable process design at pre-defined operational conditions whereas controllability is considered to maintain desired operating points of the process at any kind of imposed disturbance under normal operating conditions.
In this work, a systematic hierarchical computer-aided framework for integrated process design and control of chemical processes including process intensification is proposed. Note however, because of integration of functions/operations into one system the controllability region of intensified equipment may become smaller (Nikačević et al., 2012). The methodology developed in this work, employs a decomposition-based approach so that the complexity of the problem is reduced into a set of sub-problems that are solved sequentially. The production of methy-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE) is used to demonstrate the application of the framework. First, optimal design-control solution is presented for MTBE production via a reactor-separator-recycle (RSR) system. Next, it will be shown that the RSR system can be replaced by an intensified unit operation, a reactive distillation column (RDC) which optimal design-control solution is also presented.
The operation and control of the RSR and RDC at the optimal designs is compared with other candidate designs compared through open-loop and closed-loop analysis. By application of this methodology it is shown that the optimal design obtained from this methodology, it is not only the best from an economic steady-state design point of view, but also from control and operation point view. It is verified that the optimal design options for RSR and RDC are less sensitive to the disturbances in the feed at the optimal design.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event10th European Congress of Chemical Engineering - Nice, France
Duration: 27 Sept 20151 Oct 2015
Conference number: 10


Conference10th European Congress of Chemical Engineering
Internet address


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