Environmental impact considerations in the optimal design and scheduling of batch processes
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A systematic methodology for incorporating ecological considerations in the optimal design and scheduling of batch/semi-continuous processes is presented in this paper. The methodology embeds principles from Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) within a general multi-objective formulation for the design of multipurpose batch plants, with process economics and environmental impact as distinct design objectives. An expanded boundary is defined around the process of interest, for the consistent evaluation of environmental impact, which is quantified by a set of metrics (for air, water pollution, global warming etc.). Examples from the dairy industry are presented to demonstrate the potential of the methodology to assist in arriving at environmentally friendly and economically favourable batch designs and schedules. Issues regarding the use of alternative cleaning and legislation policies on batch operation and design are also discussed. 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.