Synthesis of Intensified Processes from a Superstructure of Phenomena Building Blocks
This paper presents a method for phenomena-based process synthesis that automatically generates flowsheet variants by means of superstructure optimization. By composing processes of phenomena instead of predefined unit operations, the creativity during process synthesis is maximized and process intensification principles can be considered even beyond already existing equipment. The optimization-based method generates promising phenomena-based flowsheet variants which can further be interpreted and translated into equipment by using databases or proposing new equipment that implements the phenomena-based design. The applicability of the developed method is demonstrated for the case study of ethanol dehydration. The method automatically generates conventional as well as innovative flowsheet variants, some of which even show an improved performance estimate.