Process Retrofit

As defined in [1], process retrofitting is the redesign ofa chemical process to find new configuration and operating parameters that will adapt the plant to changing conditions to maintain its optimal performance. Retrofitting is an optimization of real plant that includes not only operating variables but also structural characteristics related to the process topology. It is also similar to the design of new plants

Managing CO2 Emissions in the Chemical Industry. Edited by Leimkühler © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim ISBN: 978-3-527-32659-4

since it includes both a systematic procedure to develop process alternatives and a procedure to select the optimal configuration. The main objects of process retrofits are to increase the production capacity, to efficiently process the raw materials, to reduce environmental impact, to increase the safety of the process, and to reduce operating costs.

In recent decades different methodologies have been proposed in order to determine the retrofit potential of a chemical process with respect to improvements in cost-efficiency. Some methodologies using heuristic rules for the generation ofthe new design alternatives have been proposed [2] . Other methodologies based on mathematical concepts and optimization methods, such as mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) have also been proposed by [3] and [4]. Methodologies based on the resynthesis of the entire process by incorporating operating units with enhanced performance attributes have been proposed [5] . Moreover, Lange [6] has proposed a methodology that directly relates the process design alternatives to improvements in the sustainability of the processes, and claims that the optimal solution is a trade- off between the different performance criteria, and therefore, the improvement of sustainability in a process is a balancing of the three areas that most influence it, such as, the environmental, the society and the economical aspects of the process.

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