Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.92, No.11, 2052-2070, 2014
Systematic retrofit design with Response Surface Method and process integration techniques: A case study for the retrofit of a hydrocarbon fractionation plant
This paper demonstrates the Retrofit Design Approach (RDA) and Response Surface Methodology (RSM) for the retrofit of industrial plants in which assessment of design options for improving existing processes in a site-wide and integrated manner is not straightforward, due to complex design interactions in the process. The design methodology applied in this study is based on the systematic use of a process simulator which is used to identify promising variables through sensitivity analysis. Hence, the most important factors are determined and a reduced model is constructed based on RSM. An optimization framework is then built using the reduced model based on key selected variables, which is optimized to find optimal conditions and performance of the process. This design methodology provides strategic guidelines for determining the most cost-effective design options. The retrofit of a hydrocarbon fractionation plant is presented as an industrial case study. This includes a large number of design options with different process configurations and operating conditions due to the interconnection of distillation columns in sequence and the integrated heat recovery within the plant. The case study results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed approach which is able to effectively deal with a large retrofit problems. This is possible with the aid of process simulation and RSM producing a reduced model which requires considerably less computational effort to solve. (C) 2014 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.