Control structure selection for energy integrated distillation column

J.E. Hansen, Sten Bay Jørgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


This paper treats a case study on control structure selection for an almost binary distillation column. The column is energy integrated with a heat pump in order to transfer heat from the condenser to the reboiler. This integrated plant configuration renders the possible control structures somewhat different from what is usual for binary distillation columns. Further the heat pump enables disturbances to propagate faster through the system. The plant has six possible actuators of which three must be used to stabilize the system. Hereby three actuators are left for product purity control. An MILP screening method based on a linear state space model is used to determine economically optimal sets of controlled and manipulated variables. The generated sets of inputs and outputs are analysed with frequency dependent relative gain array (RGA), relative disturbance gain (RDG) and condition number (CN) to determine the best structure in terms disturbance rejection and setpoint tracking. The pairing and controller design are implemented and evaluated through nonlinear simulation. The suggested control structure is also qualitatively compared to a control structure applied experimentally. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Process Control
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)185-195
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998
EventInternationalConference on Control - University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 19965 Sep 1996


ConferenceInternationalConference on Control
LocationUniversity of Exeter
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • distillation
  • control structure selection
  • mixed integer linear programming (MILP)

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