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Content archived on 2024-05-07

An integrated approach to the design of energy efficient process systems



The objective of this project is to develop an integrated design methodology which can guide the engineers in arriving at energy efficient processes which are simultaneously environmentally benign, either for new or existing plants. The above methodology, being developed at Imperial College, Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute (CPERI), Institute of Chemical Engineering and High Temperature Chemical Processes (ICEHT/FORTH), Abo Akademi University and Technical University of Denmark, will be implemented in a prototype software tool by INTERA and applied to two industrial cases studies formulated by WISAPAK and STATOIL.

Technical Approach

The integrated approach to the design of energy efficient and clean processes involves the following: (i) a framework for process synthesis modelling including site-wide considerations, life-cycle assessment and operational aspects in order to identify new process routes, (ii) a methodology, for solving the resulting mathematical model based on multi-objective optimization and mixed integer programming techniques, (iii) a prototype software tool for the effective implementation of the above modelling framework, the methodology and the established techniques and, (iv) industrial applications, for testing and validating the developed tools, improving current design and operational practice and ensuring technology transfer. In the context of this study, a novel process synthesis model is being developed based on fundamental physico-chemical phenomena which will enable the conceptual identification of novel processing routes and schemes requiring less energy and generating smaller amounts of waste. Imperial College will assess energy requirements and waste generation on a site-wide basis, which will allow comparisons to be performed in a consistent way. Operational aspects, such as sequencing and scheduling, operability and safety, will also be explicitly incorporated in the analysis (Imperial College, Abo Akademi University). The overall process synthesis/design model will be represented as a multi-objective optimization problem, the solution of which will establish trade-offs amongst the design objectives of energy use, process economics and environmental impact. INTERA and ICEHT/FORTH will develop a prototype software tool to support the entire design activity. The methodology and the tool will be applied to two industrial case studies.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The expected outputs are:
- a generic design methodology for modelling energy efficient and environmentally acceptable processes;
- advanced numerical tools for the solution of this type of problem; - a prototype software tool for the implementation of the "Integrated Process Synthesis/Design Methodology" with specific applications to two industrial case studies.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Prince Consort Road
United Kingdom

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Total cost
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Participants (7)