MINLP optimization of a heterogeneous azeotropic distillation process: Separation of ethanol and water with cyclohexane as an entrainer

Meik B. Franke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Heterogeneous distillation processes are widely used in industry for the separation of azeotropic and close-boiling mixtures. This paper addresses the optimization of a heterogeneous distillation process for the separation of an azeotropic ethanol/water mixture using cyclohexane as an entrainer. Starting from a given process superstructure a MINLP problem is set up to consider continuous as well as discrete decision variables such as the feed locations and the number of stages of the distillation columns. A modified Generalized Benders Decomposition algorithm to account for non-convexities of the model equations solves the MINLP problem. The algorithm can be attached via Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to any commercial process simulator with NLP and VBA capabilities. Various optimization runs show that the algorithm is easily applicable and returns solutions independent of the initial values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-221
Number of pages18
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethanol-water separation
  • Generalized Benders Decomposition
  • Heterogeneous azeotropic distillation
  • Hybrid process
  • MINLP
  • Optimization

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