Process Simplification through Process Integration

Process Simplification through Process Integration

Author: Elmar Zimmermann

Recently, process intensification has gained a lot of attention in the chemical process industry because of the impact on efficiency and sustainability. A particularly useful approach to process intensification during the conceptual design and process development phases is process simplification. The objective of process simplification is to create process flow sheets with the least or a reduced number of processing steps and units. Process simplification can indirectly lead to reduced capital investments and enhanced process intensification.

Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Texas A&M University, USA, José María Ponce-Ortega, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico, and Muralikrishnan Gopalakrishnan, Houston, USA, developed a systematic method to address the problem process simplification. A shortcut graphical approach was proposed to identify initial solutions. Then, the problem was formulated as an optimization problem to identify cost-effective flow sheets with the least number of processing units. The proposed methodology allowed the identification of a set of alternative solutions from which the designer can choose.

Image: © Wiley-VCH

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