To develop an industrially useful and accepted procedure for the design and operation of energy efficient batch processes.
Work in this programme is carried out along four lines : process synthesis, process modelling, process control and evaluation of process models with case studies.
In the part on batch process synthesis, four groups (UCP, UMIST, SPEC and AEA Technology) examine the synthesis of multi- product and multi-purpose processes. Multi-product plants are those in which more than one batch of product is to be produced using several production stages which may have more than one piece of equipment operating in parallel. Multi-purpose plants are those in which processes are conducted in equipment as and when equipment becomes available through the completion of earlier batches without a common pattern for the movement of material. The synthesis procedure developed provided information on process structure, batch scheduling and process heat integration, opportunities for both new and existing plants.
Bath process models were developed by Uni LIEGE. A flexible model were developed with sub-models for unit operations such as : reactors, batch distillation columns, heat exchangers, evaporators, crystallizers. The simulation software was linked via a database by UPC to the synthesis software.
Three laboratories worked on batch process control (UMIST, Uni LIEGE and UCD). With the help of a standard problem, control procedures were developed. Design procedures were also developed for the use of a single utility heat transfer system to span the full temperature range required across a batch process (UCD).
A number of case studies were undertaken (LM, Uni LIEGE, UPC, UCD, SPEC). These were be selected from the food and drink industry and the chemical industry. They were used to validate the batch process synthesis concepts and to evaluate simulation models.
The industrial case studies have shown that, according to the type of plant (multipurpose or multiproduct) and the type of intermediate heat storage (liquid or solid), energy savings of 10-20 % can be achieved.
In an extension, overall energy efficiency will be linked to efficient waste minimization.
One aspect is to develop codes to model the dynamics of mechanical vapour recompression equipment to batch process plants.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
WA16 0PL Knutsford
OX11 0RA Didcot,harwell,chilton