(320h) Scaling and Sensitivity Analysis of Simulated Moving Bed Reactors

Samavedham, L. - Presenter, National University of Singapore
Sukumar, B. - Presenter, Carnegie Mellon University
Krantz, W. B. - Presenter, University of Colorado

Adsorptive separation is a core technology in many different areas like pharmaceutical, biotechnology, fine chemistry etc. Simulated Moving Bed Reactors (SMBRs) are believed to be the most viable reactor types for both continuous and complete separation requirements. Various aspects of SMBR design and operation have been considered by many researchers. In this work, we highlight the application of scaling analysis of the SMBR for the purpose of model reduction and to determine the optimal operating conditions. Scaling analysis plays a major role in simplifying the given model and can be used for justifying many different approximations made during model simplification. Specific answers to questions like when to neglect or consider a specific phenomenon can be found out easily. A one dimensional model (considered to efficiently describe the operation of a SMBR) is non-dimensionalized and scaled to be of order one [1]. By scaling the equations, the importance of each phenomenon with respect to the others can be obtained. Model reduction can then be performed without any significant errors. Moreover, conditions for the optimal operation of the SMBR can be derived and implemented. The sensitivity of different parameters like column length, column diameter, switching time, axial dispersion, flow rates etc. has been calculated and will be compared with the results available in the literature [2]. In our approach, the entire model equation is scaled whereas in Kim and Wankat [2], each operating parameter is scaled and the sensitivity is calculated based on the simulation results. We will compare and contrast the insights that can be obtained with the two scaling approaches.


1)Krantz WB. An alternative method for teaching and implementing dimensional analysis. Chemical Engineering Education. 2000, 34(3), 216-221.

2)Kim, J. K. and Wankat, P. C. Scaling and Intensification Procedures for Simulated Moving-Bed Systems. AIChE Journal, 2003, 49(11), 2810-2821.