(7ir) Process Systems Engineering for Transforming Industrial Flares into a Source of Energy By Managing Uncertain Abnormal Situation

Kazi, M. K., Qatar University
Meet the Faculty Candidate Poster Session

Computing & Systems Technology

Process Systems Engineering for Transforming Industrial Flares into a Source of Energy by Managing Uncertain Abnormal Situations

Monzure-Khoda Kazi

Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Qatar University, P.O. Box-2713, Qatar

Email: kazi0001@qu.edu.qa

Advancement in technology always influences the world energy market by making excess to the valuable untapped resources. Profound research on potential unexploited/waste energy can lead the world to a new direction of energy sources; shale gas production is a very recent example of modern technological advancement and cutting-edge research efforts. Flaring is a very wasteful practice and a significant source of GHG emissions from oil, gas and petrochemical plants. The World Bank recently has identified flare gas as a key untapped resource to meet the world’s increasing demand of fossil fuel energy while reducing harmful emissions and has announced an ambitious goal of ‘Zero routine gas flaring by 2030’[1-3]. Therefore, further investigation on flare recovery and mitigation techniques/tools has become eminent and can open the doors of huge opportunity to turn the unproductive non-renewable flare streams into valuable commodity [4].

This recovered flare gas can be an excellent source of heat or power generation using energy alternative tools. This approaches will be viable economically if an eco-industrial park is developed to exchange by-products and wastes. The resources and wastes of multiple plants may be integrated in different ways. It is also possible to use common utility and treatment systems. This park can provide clear economic and other advantages over the current stand-alone processing model [5, 6]. However, the application of industrial ecology at factory level is absent from the literature.

Companies are now motivated to invest highly on reducing gas flaring and industrial complexes to optimize the utilization of this valuable resource and reduce its environmental impact. It is now clear that flare management has good financial and environmental benefits. But, it is still quite challenging to fit the flare recovery technologies with the proven process design of the plants. The main challenge is the lack of coordination among the industrial producers, the commercial vendors and the process designers. There are hardly any guidelines, framework or software which can handle the variable nature of industrial problems and specifications. It is understandable that no two industries are alike; so flare gas recovery systems should be tailored for individual applications both for large and small scale. Predefined size of the alternatives cannot assure optimal performance of the integrated process, which does not reflect the proper economic/environmental benefit or trade-offs. Moreover, in most cases the uncertain nature of the flaring events is compensated by overdesign of the equipment or by inefficient utilization of the energy stream.

Preliminary findings in flare recovering and utilization during abnormal situations from my previous works/publications have been proven promising in terms of important economic, environmental and energy conservation benefits obtained [7, 8]. It indicates that substantial fractions of the available flare streams generated during abnormal industrial situations can be used for heat and power generation through flare management tools.

Furthermore, industrial ecology is a young but growing multidisciplinary field of research which combines aspects of engineering, economics, sociology, toxicology and the natural sciences. Industrial ecology is concerned with the shifting of industrial process from linear (open loop) systems, in which resource and capital investments move through the system to become waste, to a closed loop system where wastes can become inputs for new processes. Existing industrial complexes can also evolve towards symbioses when corporations are motivated by waste reduction and environmental policy. The creation of an EIP entails technical and economic challenges that are best addressed through a process integration framework. Ultimately, it will help the decision makers to compare different available commercial and evolving products from different companies and choose their best fitted solution depending on which the corresponding users can make their critical decisions.

Figure 1. Concept of Agro-Industrial Eco Park combining with industrial flare utilization technologies (i.e., COGEN, TMD, water & heat recovery from flue gas and seawater greenhouse)

Research Goal

To develop application-oriented theory, computational tools, algorithms, and optimization methods for complex and multi-scale systems

Research Interests:

Modeling and optimization of complex systems

  • Multi-scale systems engineering for energy and environment
  • Nonlinear, nonconvex and stochastic optimization
  • Sustainable process design through integration and intensification
  • Grey-box and black-box systems

I am interested in developing application-oriented theory, computational tools, algorithms, and optimization methods for complex and multi-scale systems. My research background of process integration, process control and specially process optimization assist me for developing new concepts and tools to systematically enhance and reconcile various process objectives, such as cost effectiveness, yield enhancement, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention. I am working last few years to develop such methodical sustainable approaches for multi-scale systems engineering starting from small scale production (producing valuable pharmaceutical drags using liquid chromatography) to large scale facility (managing industrial flares during abnormal situations). I am interested to solve complex systems which are difficult to optimize due to their complexity, uncertainty, and the inability to generate accurate data using physical and/or computational experiments in reasonable time. I would also like to face the challenges from process uncertainty and from the black box systems which need to be resolved for accurate model prediction, control and optimization.


  • Control and Optimization of Continuous Chromatographic Separation Process (NTU, Singapore)
  • Large-Scale Chromatography with green Solvents: Fundamentals and Novel-processes (GSK-Singapore Partnership project with NTU by Economic Development Board (EDB))
  • An Integrated Approach to the Simultaneous Design and Operation of Industrial Facilities for Abnormal Situation Management via industrial flare management (National Priority Research Project in Qatar | Advisory board: Qatar Chemical Company Ltd (Q-Chem) )
  • A Life-Cycle Integrated Approach to the Incorporation of Safety in the Design, Operation, and Optimization of Industrial Supply Chains in Qatar (Preparing final report)


Process Control | Process Optimization | Process Integration | Process Design | Process Intensification | Process Modeling & Simulation | Process Safety | Ad hoc Reporting


  1. PhD degree in chemical engineering
  2. 9 years of R&D experience focusing on: green technologies for pharmaceutical separation, GHG reduction strategies/tools, wastewater treatment facility, water networking, combined heat-power technologies, thermal membrane distillation
  3. Possesses experience of developing modeling and simulation using deterministic and stochastic models; the developed models were based on the combination of finite volume and genetic algorithm
  4. Expert in different optimization techniques, algorithm and software
  5. Expert on different numerical methods and control theory
  6. Developed several codes for optimizing control and for the solving of real life optimization problem based on MATLAB, C and LINGO. I am also expert in writing codes on FORTRAN and different problem solving tools/software.
  7. ‘Hands-on’ experience with different chromatography technologies: LC-UV/Vis spectroscopy, GC-MS, SFC
  8. Experience of conducting experimental study for chiral drug separation using in-house developed novel separation technique
  9. Experience of characterization using advanced analytical techniques
  10. Developed several codes using C and MQL programming combining with Monte Carlo simulation results

Teaching Interests:

I am comfortable teaching the Chemical Engineering core courses offered within the department at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Based on my academic, PhD work and research background, I would be well suited to teach fundamental course such as:

  • Process Control
  • Process Design
  • Process Modeling and Simulation
  • Process Integration
  • Engineering Economics
  • Chemical Thermodynamics
  • Numerical Methods
  • Separation Technology
  • Process Intensification

I appreciate the need for faculty flexibility and embrace the opportunity to cover a broad spectrum of courses. I look forward to incorporating fundamental engineering concepts with cutting-edge technologies. I can also teach different programing language and software such as: MATLAB, FORTRAN, C, LINGO, GAMS, LabVIEW, Aspen HYSYS, ASPEN Plus Dynamics, ANSYS, Thermolib, Simulink, ProMAX, Auto CAD, Latex, Origin, EndNote, XLSim – Excel base risk solver etc.; which will provide the students with working experience and applications on computer-aided modelling, simulation and optimization of chemical engineering systems.


Total Peer Reviewed Publication: 10; Peer Reviewed Journal articles: 10 published (4 first- and 6 co-authored) and 2 (first-authored) in review; Conference Presentations: 14; Poster Presentations: 8


  1. “Addressing Design Challenges for Effective Implementation of Flare Recovery Systems”, Source: QNRF – National Priority Research Program, Budget: US$ 599,422, PI: Assoc. Prof. Mohammad Aman Ullah, 2017-2020 (*I assisted to write this proposal as this was the continuation of my current postdoctoral works)
  2. “Optimization of a single column continuous chromatographic separation process for the separation of optical isomers”, Source: 13th cycle of the QNRF’s undergraduate research experience program (UREP), Budget: US$ 58,850, Lead PI: Assoc. Prof. Mohammad Aman Ullah, 2013 (*I helped to write this proposal as this was the continuation of my PhD thesis works)


Reviewer of Journals: Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering

Senior Member: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

Member: The Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (Qatar Chapter), Chemical Engineering Alumni Association in BUET, NTU Alumni Club

Volunteer: Summer Youth Olympics, Singapore (2010)

Organizing Committee member: 5th Pacific Basin conference on Adsorption Science and Technology, Singapore (2009)


1. The World Bank Feature Story. Gas Utilization in Kuwait Reaps Economic and Environmental Benefits. 2014; Available from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/08/25/gas-utilization-in-kuwait-reaps-economic-and-environmental-benefits.

2. The World Bank Press Release. Initiative to Reduce Global Gas Flaring. 2014; Available from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/09/22/initiative-to-reduce-global-gas-flaring.

3. The World Bank Press Release. Bid to End Routine Gas Flaring Gets Huge Boost at COP21. 2015; Available from: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/12/07/bid-to-end-routine-gas-flaring-gets-huge-boost-at-cop21.

4. Fleisch, T.H. Associated Gas Monetization via miniGTL : Conversion of Flared Gas into Liquid Fuels and Chemicals, Report III. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. Available from: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/23609 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

5. El-Halwagi, M.M., Process integration. Vol. 7. 2006: Academic Press.

6. El-Halwagi, M.M., Sustainable design through process integration: fundamentals and applications to industrial pollution prevention, resource conservation, and profitability enhancement. 2012: Elsevier.

7. Kazi, M.-K., et al., Integration of Energy and Wastewater Treatment Alternatives with Process Facilities To Manage Industrial Flares during Normal and Abnormal Operations: Multiobjective Extendible Optimization Framework. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2016.

8. Kazi, M.-K., et al., Multi-objective optimization methodology to size cogeneration systems for managing flares from uncertain sources during abnormal process operations. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2015. 76(0): p. 76-86.