Energy, Vol.31, No.4, 516-527, 2006
Simulation, optimization and control of a thermal cracking furnace
The ethylene production process is one of the most important aspect of a petrochemical plant and the cracking furnace is the heart of the process. Since, ethylene is one of the raw materials in the chemical industry and the market situation of not only the feed and the product, but also the utility is rapidly changing, the optimal operation and control of the plant is important. A mathematical model, which describes the static and dynamic operations of a pilot plant furnace, was developed. The static simulation was used to predict the steady-state profiles of temperature, pressure and products yield. The dynamic simulation of the process was used to predict the transient behavior of thermal cracking reactor. Using a dynamic programming technique, an optimal temperature profile was developed along the reactor. Performances of temperature control loop were tested for different controller parameters and disturbances. The results of the simulation were tested experimentally in a computer control pilot plant. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.