Keywords: exergy analysis, flexible design, optimisation, NGLs, natural gas liquids, ethane recovery, turboexpanders, Aspen Plus, MATLAB, exergy destruction, process simulation, multi-feed processes
Minimisation of exergy destruction in an ethane recovery turboexpander process using Aspen Plus process simulator
Energy and exergy analyses as well as optimisation towards minimum exergy destruction are accomplished by integrating Aspen Plus process simulator and the optimisation-related features of MATLAB for a turboexpander plant where the recovery of ethane as a natural-gas-liquid product is achieved. Exergetic performance of an ethane recovery turboexpander process under multi-feed scenario (different feed compositions) is also investigated for the first time in the literature. Although the exergy destruction of the multi-feed process is relatively higher compared with the individual processes designed separately for each feed scenario, considering the overall capital-cost requirement, the feed-flexible process has superiority.