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(606f) A Modular Approach to Process Integration and Intensification

Tian, Y., Texas A&M University
Pappas, I. S., Texas A&M University
Avraamidou, S., Imperial College London
Pistikopoulos, E. N., Texas A&M Energy Institute, Texas A&M University
To survive the competitive global market concerned with environmental risk and resource shortage, there is a need for the chemical/energy industry to develop innovative and sustainable processes with substantially improved cost performances, increased energy efficiency, and reduced waste generation [1-3]. Process integration and intensification from systems perspective can contribute to this challenge by providing systematic approaches for the design of integrated production systems ranging from individual processes to total sites to enhance resource utilization [4-5], as well as for the discovery of novel intensified designs by synergizing multifunctional phenomena at different time and spatial scales to boost process improvements [3,6-7]. However, key open questions remain for these synthesis approaches on: (i) what are the driving forces to move towards integrated or intensified schemes, (ii) how to systematically derive process solutions which fully exploit integration and intensification opportunities, and (iii) how to explore the combinatorial design space in a computationally efficient way.

In this work, we propose a systematic approach for process synthesis, integration, and intensification based on recent extensions of the Generalized Modular Representation Framework [8-11]. Herein, the chemical processes are represented as aggregated multifunctional mass/heat exchange modules with which intensification possibilities can be discovered without a pre-postulation of equipment or flowsheet configurations. Driving force constraints, derived from total Gibbs free energy change, are employed to characterize mass/heat transfer feasibility by exploiting the general thermodynamic space, and thus result in a more compact modular representation of the chemical systems. Mass and/or heat integration are simultaneously addressed in the superstructure representation of the modular network, without pre-postulation of steam properties as rich/lean streams or hot/cold streams. The resulting synthesis problem is formulated as a mixed integer nonlinear programming optimization problem (MINLP), where both process cost performances and environmental regulations can be accounted for. Three case studies are presented to showcase the proposed approach for process integration and intensification, namely: (i) heat-integration process, (ii) extractive separation process with heat & mass integration, (ii) reactive separation process.


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