Cost competitive “soft sensor” for determining product recovery in industrial methanol

Isuru S.B.A. Udugama, Seyed Soheil Mansouri, Jakob Kjøbsted Huusom, Michael A. Taube, Alexander Maidl, Brent Young

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

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The measurement of ratio of product recovery in industrial methanol distillation is of high economic importance and represent a key performance index (KPI) of the distillation unit. In current operations, the product recovery of many industrial distillation units are not actively monitored, instead back calculated from daily production reports. The active monitoring of product recovery can be a costly affair as it requires expensive gas chromatographs and accurate feed mass flow measuring devices to be installed. Historically, this has been one of the key reasons for not actively monitoring product recovery. In this work a novel, simple and economical method based on density and flow rate measurements to calculate the product recovery of industrial methanol distillation columns has been developed. This method has been validated against plant measurements as well as a validated process simulation. Step and disturbance tests carried out suggest the proposed method is able to accurately estimate the product recovery within the plant operational envelope, but lacks the ability to capture the process dynamics during process changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon)
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event2017 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon): 3rd International Multidisciplinary Engineering Research Conference - University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Duration: 29 May 201731 May 2017
Conference number: 3


Conference2017 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon)
LocationUniversity of Moratuwa
Country/TerritorySri Lanka
Internet address


  • Soft sensor
  • High Purity
  • Industrial Distillation


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