(421g) Systematic Process Design and Innovation Using Building Blocks
To this end, building block-based process synthesis [3-6] offers significant advantages over classic superstructure-based process synthesis, as it relies on fundamental phenomena and tasks that constitute most chemical processes. In this work, first we will describe how a single block-based representation of these phenomena and tasks in a two-dimensional grid can be formulated, modeled using an MINLP and applied to solve wide ranges of process synthesis, integration and intensification problems. We will also discuss how this new representation can be used to generate novel process configurations without postulating the unit operations a priori. Each block in the grid can be assigned with a reaction operation and separation operations are represented via two neighboring blocks separated by a separation boundary. When linear split models are translated into block-variable (e.g. composition) dependent non-linear split models, rigorous separation models (e.g. tray-by-tray models) can be formulated within the same functional form. This enables systematic identification of the synergy between different operations (e.g. reaction and separation). We will demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach via several problems and show that systematic process innovation and novel process discovery can be made possible via utilization of the building block-based superstructure.
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