Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)


Chemical Engineering

Document Type



This work focuses on the development of a methodology for the optimization, control and operability of both existing and new production facilities through an integrated environment of different technologies like process simulation, optimization and control systems. Such an integrated environment not only creates opportunities for op¬erational decision making but also serves as training tool for the novice engineers. It enables them to apply engineering expertise to solve challenges unique to the process industries in a safe and virtual environment and also assist them to get familiarize with the existing control systems and to understand the fundamentals of the plant operation. The model-based methodology proposed in this work, starts with the implementation of first principle models for the process units on consideration. The process model is the core of the methodology. The state of art simulation technologies have been used to model the plant for both steady state and dynamic state conditions. The models are validated against the plant operating data to evaluate the reliability of the models. Then it is followed by rigorously posing a multi-optimization problem. In addition to the basic economic variables such as raw materials and operating costs, the so-called “triple-bottom-line” variables related with sustainable and environmental costs are incorporated into the objective function. The methodologies of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Damage Assessment (EDA) are applied within the optimization problem. Subsequently the controllability of the plant for the optimum state of conditions is evaluated using the dynamic state simulations. Advanced supervisory control strategies like the Model Predictive Control (MPC) are also implemented above the basic regulatory control. Finally, the methodology is extended further to develop training simulator by integrating the simulation case study to the existing Distributed Control System (DCS). To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, an industrial case study of the primary unit of the crude oil refinery and a laboratory scale packed distillation unit is thoroughly investigated. The presented methodology is a promising approach for the operability study and optimization of production facilities and can be extended further for an intelligent and fully-supportable decision making.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Romagnoli , Jose A