Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.88, No.2A, 121-134, 2010
Optimization of crude distillation system using aspen plus: Effect of binary feed selection on grass-root design
With an objective to supplement guidelines available as general rules of thumb for the grass-root design of crude distillation unit (CDU) using binary crude mixtures, this work presents the optimization of crude distillation unit using commercial Aspen Plus software. The crude distillation unit constituted a pre-flash tower (PF), an atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) and a vacuum distillation unit (VDU). Optimization model constituted a rigorous simulation model supplemented with suitable objective functions with and without product flow rate constraints. Three different feed stocks namely Bombay crude, Araby crude and Nigeria crude were considered in this work along with various binary combinations of these crudes. The objective function considered was profit function (subjected to maximization) for cases without product flow rate constraints and raw-materials and energy cost (subjected to minimization) for cases with product flow rate constraints. Parametric study pertaining to feed selection and composition has been conducted in this work to further benefit refinery planning and scheduling. Simulation study inferred that the product flow rate constraints sensitively affect atmospheric distillation column diameter and crude feed flow rate calculations. Based on all simulation studies, a generalized inference confirms that it is difficult to judge upon the quality of the solutions obtained as far as their global optimality is concerned. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Institution of Chemical Engineers. All rights reserved.