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Iterative Real-Time Optimization Scheme for Optimal Operation of Chemical Processes under Uncertainty: Proof of Concept in a Miniplant

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journal contribution
posted on 05.06.2018, 00:00 by Reinaldo Hernandez, Jens Dreimann, Andreas Vorholt, Arno Behr, Sebastian Engell
Real-time optimization (RTO) has gained growing attention during the past few years as a useful approach to boost process performance while safety and environmental constraints are satisfied. Despite the increasing acceptance of RTO in traditional industries such as petrochemical and refineries, its application to novel chemical processes remains limited. This can be partially explained by the fact that only inaccurate models are available and the performance of the traditional RTO scheme suffers in the presence of plant-model mismatch. During the past few years, the so-called modifier-adaptation schemes for real-time optimization have been gaining popularity as an efficient tool to handle plant-model mismatch. So far, there are only few published works regarding experimental implementations. In this contribution, a reliable RTO scheme that is able to deal with model uncertainty and measurement noise is applied to a novel transition metal complex catalyzed process that is performed in a continuously operated miniplant. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme is able to drive the process to an improved operation despite significant plant-model mismatch demonstrating the applicability of the method to real processes.