(41b) Achieving Targeted Product Mix Using Optimization Tool for Chemical Plants with Multiple Products

Authors: 
Shuang, B., The Dow Chemical Company
Marshall, K., The Dow Chemical Company
Bury, S. J., Dow Inc.
Mehta, A., The Dow Chemical Company
Many chemical manufacturing plants are designed to produce multiple products which may be differentiated by factors such as chain length or degree of substitution. Market demand will determine the actual production requirement for each product, and may vary widely over the course of a month, year, or longer. Multiple controllable conditions can be used to achieve the desired production mix and suppress unwanted by-products. The sheer number of variables and process constraints make meeting multiple production requirements a challenging task. Combined with market data, near-real time optimization control can maximize the overall profit of the plant. Moreover, coordination with other plants is also very important to meet the strategy of the business. Currently, this multi-dimensional control process highly relies on operators’ experience with forward numerical calculation using tools like Microsoft Excel®. Thus, to find the optimal operation conditions for each plant in real time is inefficient and may not yield the optimal result. The goal of this research work is to develop a backward optimization tool, which uses desired production mix to calculate the corresponding control conditions, to help operators make the decision more efficiently and reliably. This optimization tool will combine existing numerical models and safety constraints. Potentially, this tool can help plant to increase production rate and achieve additional margin.