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A hybrid knowledge-based system as a process control "tool" for improved energy efficiency in alumina calcining furnaces

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A personal computer (PC)-based hybrid expert system, as an on line decision aid tool for process control in alumina calcining furnaces, has been developed and implemented in this project. This will lead to significant improvements in the efficiency of this energy intensive process and cost savings for the industry. The calcination of aluminium hydroxide Al(OH)3 is an energy intensive thermal operation, which has been the focus of industrial research. The objective of this project was to improve the energy efficiency of alumina flash calciners by developing and implementing a hybrid, knowledge-based SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system as an on line decision aid tool. This system primarily provides recommendations as to the control actions that the process operator should implement. This enables the existing process control system to be used to react better towards dynamic changes in the internal, as well as external, operating parameters in the alumina calcination process.

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