SYNTHESIS OF PROCESSES AND PROCESS SUBSYSTEMS FOR ENTIRE LIFETIMEAndreja Nemet
, 2015, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Economically viable process designs should be, in addition to other criteria, profitable over their entire process lifetimes not only at the present time. An improved process design can be achieved by establishing an appropriate trade-off between product income, raw material, operating costs, and investment. The full lifetime of the processes and future prices have to be considered rather than optimising them on a yearly basis using current prices. Single-period optimisation and synthesis models for processes reflects current prices only. The prices can fluctuate rather quickly and the optimal solution may be very different from one year to the another. Therefore, the traditional superstructural synthesis approach applying a mixed-integer nonlinear programming model was upgraded: i) over time, by considering an entire lifetime, which can be described by a multi-period model and ii) the whole field of variation regarding uncertain future prices. A stochastic approach considering the statistical distribution of price projections over an entire lifetime was used on different case studies instead of the traditional deterministic approach accounting for nominal future price projection. The objective was the maximisation of the expected net present value of a process or the expected incremental net present value of different process subsystem.
The heat exchanger network has been one of the subsystem, which can significantly contribute to operating costs due to savings of external utility consumption. For this subsystem a deterministic and stochastic multi-period mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) synthesis models have been developed in order to account for future price projections. Considering higher energy prices gives rise to larger initial investments compared to solutions obtained with current prices. However, due to the uncertainties of utility prices' forecasts, retrofitting using an extension of HEN during future years of the lifespan might be a better strategy. The objective is to identify a design that is the most suitable for effective future extensions and preferably with the lowest sensitivity to energy price fluctuations, as there can be various designs featuring similar initial investment. The results supports that it is economically beneficial to consider future utility prices as the incremental investment is not only paid-off but additional savings are achieved.
Process-to-process Heat Integration can also significantly affect the trade-off between investment and operating cost. The aim of Total Site (TS) HEN synthesis was to develop a model synthesis for the TS that, besides many other important features, would also consider future utility prices. Two strategies for TS synthesis have been developed: i) sequential, when HI is performed within a process during the first step and then after a process-to-process HI has been performed, and ii) simultaneous, where the HI is performed within and between processes simultaneously. The second strategy can reveal additional opportunities for heat recovery that might not be identified when applying the first strategy. Comparison of the results obtained at consideration of current utility prices and forecasted utility prices indicates that is worth to account for future utility prices.
The separation processes also consume a significant amount of energy. The synthesis of a distillation column sequence integrated within its heat exchanger network was used as a case study for the separation of a multi-component stream into pure component products by considering future utility prices. This analysis has been performed in order to evaluate the magnitude of the influence of forecasted utility prices. It can be concluded that forecasted utility prices can be beneficial, however, the technical limits of the systems should be carefully observed.
The price fluctuation can also be observed for other prices not only utility prices, e.g. raw material cost, product price, etc
Keywords: future prices, forecasted prices, stochastic optimisation, mathematical programming, Heat Exchanger Network, Total Site, distillation column sequence, methanol production
Published: 04.05.2015; Views: 871; Downloads: 80
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