Description: This project sought and successfully answered two big challenges facing the creation of low-energy, cost-effective, zeotropic multi-component distillation processes: first, identification of an efficient search space that includes all the useful distillation configurations and no undesired configurations; second, development of an algorithm to search the space efficiently and generate an array of low-energy options for industrial multi-component mixtures. Such mixtures are found in large-scale chemical and petroleum plants. Commercialization of our results was addressed by building a user interface allowing practical application of our methods for industrial problems by anyone with basic knowledge of distillation for a given problem. We also provided our algorithm to a major U.S. Chemical Company for use by the practitioners. The successful execution of this program has provided methods and algorithms at the disposal of process engineers to readily generate low-energy solutions for a large class of multicomponent distillation problems in a typical chemical and petrochemical plant. In a petrochemical complex, the distillation trains within crude oil processing, hydrotreating units containing alkylation, isomerization, reformer, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and NGL (natural gas liquids) processing units can benefit from our results. Effluents from naphtha crackers and ethane-propane crackers typically contain mixtures of methane, ethylene, ethane, propylene, propane, butane and heavier hydrocarbons. We have shown that our systematic search method with a more complete search space, along with the optimization algorithm, has a potential to yield low-energy distillation configurations for all such applications with energy savings up to 50%.
Date: November 21, 2013
Creator: Agrawal, Rakesh
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
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