Inderscience Publishers

Utility optimisation for distillation columns via simulated annealing

Distillation remains the most widely used separation technique in the petrochemical and chemical process industries for the separation of fluid mixtures. Distillation is an energy-intensive process for which heat pumping may be well-suited. The distillation column problem is a two stream problem (distillate and bottom streams) for which no integration is possible without heat pumping. The only disadvantage of the distillation is its high energy requirement. This study contains the modelling and optimisation of binary and multicomponent distillation column examples related to heat pumping and integration using the simulated annealing method. In simulated annealing, the value of the objective function is analogous to the energy of the system and the aim is to minimise the total cost function where the values of the continuous and discrete variables represent a particular configuration of the system.

Keywords: distillation, heat pumps, minimum hot/cold/electric utility cost, simulated annealing, utility optimisation, fluid separation, distillation column modelling, exergy, heat and power integration, energy economy

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