(197d) A Design and Computation Software for Separating Multicomponent Mixtures
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 3:17pm to 3:52pm
We propose a short-cut method by combining Underwoodâs method for estimating vapor flows in pinched columns with mass balance equations to estimate the flows and vapor duties in a distillation configuration. This method reduces the computation load drastically while maintaining a good approximation compared to the rigorous calculations. For a feed mixture of n components, the separation task can be achieved in n-1 columns, referred to as basic configuration, or in less/greater than n-1 columns, referred to as non-basic configurations. The short-cut method gives us the ability to search within the basic and non-basic search space for an optimal configuration that has minimum vapor duty, exergy loss, and/or capital and operating cost. Therefore, a systematic tool that suggests attractive configurations based on recent advances in distillation technology would have a large impact on energy, environment and economic aspects of the U.S. manufacturing sector.
In this work, we are proposing a design and computation software for identifying the attractive basic configurations that can be used by both industrial practitioners and academic peers. The underlying problem is formulated as non-linear programing (NLP) and mixed-integer non-linear programing (MINLP). Our state-of-the-art software solves the underlying problem to global optima using GAMS/BARON, and displays the attractive configurations that address the userâs needs in a friendly user interface. The visual output of the software not only helps in absorbing the results, it allows the practicing engineers to explore various operable and dividing-wall column analogs. The software is based on our recent advances in developing efficient algorithms for identifying implementable energy-efficient low-cost multicomponent distillation trains.