GENERALIZED MODULAR REPRESENTATION FRAMEWORK FOR THE SYNTHESIS OF EXTRACTIVE SEPARATION SYSTEMS
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2019 Elsevier B.V. In this work, a systematic process synthesis and intensification method is presented for extractive separation based on the Generalized Modular Representation Framework (GMF). GMF employs a mass/heat exchange module-based superstructure representation, incorporating detailed thermodynamic model, to investigate conventional or intensified process options for nonideal azeotropic separation without a pre-postulation of plausible unit/flowsheet configurations. Orthogonal Collocation is also applied to enhance GMF representation to obtain intra-module operation information and module dimensionality estimation while maintaining model size compactness. Thus, entrainer selection, process synthesis, design, and intensification are examined within a single mixed-integer nonlinear optimization (MINLP) problem. A case study on the separation of ethanol-water mixture is presented to highlight the potential of the proposed approach in deriving optimal and verifiable extractive separation systems.