Optimal Synthesis of Complex Distillation Columns Using Rigorous Models

Ignacio Grossmann, Carnegie Mellon University
Pio Aguirre, Instituto de Desarrollo y Diseño
Mariana Barttfeld, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract or Description

The synthesis of complex distillation columns has remained a major challenge since the pioneering work by Sargent and Gaminibanadara that was reported in 1976. In this paper we first provide a review of recent work for the optimal design of distillation of individual columns using tray-by-tray models. We examine the impact of different representations and models, NLP, MINLP and GDP, as well as the importance of appropriate initialization schemes. We next provide a review of the synthesis of complex column configurations for zeotropic mixtures and discuss different superstructure representations as well as decomposition schemes for tackling these problems. Finally, we briefly discuss extensions for handling azeotropic mixtures, reactive distillation columns and integration in process flowsheets. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate that effective computational strategies are emerging that are based on disjunctive programming models that are coupled with thermodynamic initialization models and integrated through hierarchical decomposition techniques.