Please join the Department of Chemical Engineering for a seminar by Carnegie Mellon University's Professor L. T. Biegler about advanced nonlinear programming strategies for process intensification, including how powerful, large-scale nonlinear optimization strategies lead to the systematic synthesis of processes that integrate a variety of reaction and separation steps.
Process intensification (PI) is a branch of process synthesis that encompasses and affects a number of process technologies. Research in PI has recently gained considerable attention due to challenges related to energy and the environment, alongside risks in capital investment decisions. These challenges necessitate the development of optimization-based computational tools for process synthesis and design, which enable the integration of multiple phenomena, especially for reaction and separation.
This seminar describes how powerful, large-scale nonlinear optimization strategies lead to the systematic synthesis of processes that integrate a variety of reaction and separation steps. These rely on the development of integrated nonlinear system models that incorporate complementarity constraints to treat non-smooth modelling features within a continuous optimization framework. Examples include complex phase equilibrium, discrete certain decisions and embedded optimization problems, all of which lead to non-differentiable models. Facilitating the solutions of these optimization models are fast algorithms that exploit structure and frameworks for advanced modelling and development of solution strategies.
In particular, Professor Biegler will discuss a number of integrated separation studies for membrane, distillation and chromatographic systems that demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches. Moreover, he will discuss the development of a comprehensive optimization framework that is applied to a gas-to-liquids process based on Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis. He will propose a reactive distillation model with embedded FT and the water gas shift reactions. The mass, equilibrium, heat and summation (MESH) model, which is extended by considering bypass streams for non-reactive trays, is used to integrate column structure blocks. The formulation incorporates disappearing VLE phases and optimal tray counts, feed points and product draws. Modelled in Pyomo and solved with IPOPT and a multi-start approach, the synthesized process contains many of the features that characterize optimum reactive distillation columns, including feed and product tray locations and operating conditions. These optimized design features lead to significant increases in overall profit when compared with the base reactive flash (slurry phase reactor) coupled with distillation. The results show that FT-RD has a potential edge over current industrial processes.
Lorenz T. (Larry) Biegler is the Covestro University Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests lie in computer-aided process engineering (CAPE) and include flowsheet optimization, optimization of systems of differential and algebraic equations, reactor network synthesis, nonlinear process control and real-time optimization. Contributions in these areas include analysis and development of nonlinear programming algorithms, optimization software design and application to real-world chemical processes and energy systems.
He is an author on over 450 archival publications and 2 textbooks, has edited 11 technical books and has given hundreds of invited presentations at national and international conferences. His awards include the Lewis Award, Walker Award and Computers in Chemical Engineering Award, given by AIChE; the Lectureship Award, Curtis McGraw Research Award and CACHE Computing Award, given by ASEE; the INFORMS Computing Prize; and an honorary doctorate in engineering sciences from the Technical University of Berlin. He is a Fellow of AIChE and SIAM, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
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