(743f) A Process Operability App for Intensification and Modularization of Energy Systems | AIChE

(743f) A Process Operability App for Intensification and Modularization of Energy Systems


Gazzaneo, V. - Presenter, West Virginia University
Lima, F. V., West Virginia University
Process operability has been employed in the design of emerging technologies such as modular and intensified energy systems [1,2]. In recent advances, competing modular designs were systematically analyzed and ranked, considering operability, intensification and cost aspects [3]. Although the process operability methodology provides insights for anticipating operational challenges, operability approaches are historically tailored for specific systems or applications. The absence of readily available process operability tools hinders the dissemination and comparison of developed algorithms. There is also a gap in process operability literature with respect to tradeoffs between process operation improvements and other conflicting objectives such as cost, sustainability targets, and footprint reduction.

This presentation introduces an open-source Process Operability App recently developed in MATLAB [3]. In this app, previous nonlinear programming-based and multimodel operability algorithmsare generalized in terms of system dimensionality and compatibility with the analyzed process model. A user-friendly interface is developed for easy and fast dissemination of the available approaches. Current algorithms are also further developed in terms of theory for the incorporation of disturbance rejection and flexibility assessment into the app.

Particularly, the expected disturbance set and the regulatory operability index (r-OI) are introduced as extensions to the multimodel operability approach. The r-OI is calculated from a novel perspective comprising the output achievability for every disturbance scenario. A modular steam methane reforming application is considered to address the tradeoff between flexibility and cost. For this application, focus is given to the on-site shale gas utilization and challenges associated with fluctuations in amount and quality of supplied shale gas. As outcome of this work, an efficient operability framework is provided through the Process Operability App for the modular design of flexible and intensified energy systems.


  1. Carrasco, J. C.; Lima, F. V. Bilevel and Parallel Programing-based Operability Approaches for Process Intensification and Modularity. AIChE J. 2018, 64(8):3042-3054.
  2. Gazzaneo, V.; Lima, F. V. Multilayer Operability Framework for Process Design, Intensification, and Modularization of Nonlinear Energy Systems. Eng. Chem. Res. 2019, 58(15):6069–6079.
  3. Gazzaneo, V.; Carrasco, J. C.; Vinson, D. R.; Lima, F. V. Process Operability Algorithms: Past, Present and Future Developments. Eng. Chem. Res. 2020, 59(6):2457-2470.