(462c) Simulation Based Approach to Optimal Design of Dividing Wall Column Using Random Search Method | AIChE

(462c) Simulation Based Approach to Optimal Design of Dividing Wall Column Using Random Search Method


Ge, X. - Presenter, Tianjin University
Yuan, X., Tianjin University

based approach to optimal Design of dividing wall column using random search method


X. L. Ge,  X.
G. Yuan
(Corresponding author: yuanxg@tju.edu.cn)

State Key Laboratory of Chemical
Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China





Optimal design of dividing wall column
(DWC) involves multivariable optimization, which includes both continuous and
discrete variables. And these variables interact with each other and need to be
optimized simultaneously. Because of the more freedoms in terms of the numbers
of stages as well as decision parameters of DWC comparing to conventional
simple columns, the optimization problem turns out to be in large scale and combinatorial,
and can be expressed as a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem. However,
the cost estimation and the material and energy balances of DWC are complex,
and as a result, the objective function and constraints of the optimization
problem are difficult to be formulated explicitly and directly as functions of
the mixed variables. Thus, the optimal design of DWC is usually based on the
detailed analysis, rather than a systematic approach.

In this work, a systematic optimization method
was developed for optimal design of DWCs. The proposed method is based on the
combination of a radial basis function neural network (RBF-NN) and genetic
algorithms (GAs). The RBF-NN was built (trained) by a series of rigorous
simulations of DWC for different sets of stage numbers with available tool
provided in commercial software, ASPEN PLUS for example. In each of the
simulations, the utility cost of the DWC for a specific set of stage numbers was
optimized by adjusting the split ratios of respectively the liquid and vapor
side draw streams from the main column to the overhead and the bottom of the
prefractionator. Then, a GA was applied to optimize the stage numbers of the
DWC with an objective (cost) function evaluated with the results obtained by
the RBF-NN. The proposed method was validated with optimal design of DWCs for IDEAL,
and EPB systems respectively. The results were shown encouraging
compared with those found in the literature. As a random search based approach,
the proposed method showed its strength in finding the optimal solution by just
evaluating small portion of the possible combinations of the stage numbers, and
thus can be known as a promising method for optimal design of DWC.


Distillation, Dividing wall column, optimal
design, simulation, random search



This paper has an Extended Abstract file available; you must purchase the conference proceedings to access it.


Do you already own this?



AIChE Members $150.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $225.00