Optimal grade transition and selection of closed-loop controllers in a gas-phase olefin polymerization fluidized bed reactor
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To satisfy the diverse product quality specifications required by the broad range of polyolefin applications, polymerization plants are forced to operate under frequent grade transition policies. Commonly, the optimal solution to this problem is based on the minimization of a suitable objective function defined in terms of the changeover time, product quality specifications, process safety constraints and the amount of off-spec polymer, using dynamic optimization methods. However, considering the great impact that a given control structure configuration can have on the process operability and product quality optimization, the time optimal grade transition problem needs to be solved in parallel with the optimal selection of the closed-loop control pairings between the controlled and manipulated variables. In the present study, a mixed integer dynamic optimization approach is applied to a catalytic gas-phase ethylene-1-butene copolymerization fluidized bed reactor (FBR) to calculate both the "best" closed-loop control configuration and the time optimal grade transition policies. The gPROMS/gOPT computational tools for modelling and dynamic optimization, and the GAMS/CPLEX MILP solver are employed for the solution of the combined optimization problem. Simulation results are presented showing the significant quality and economic benefits that can be achieved through the application of the proposed integrated approach to the optimal grade transition problem for a gas-phase polyolefin FBR. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
author list (cited authors)
Chatzidoukas, C., Perkins, J. D., Pistikopoulos, E. N., & Kiparissides, C.