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Optimizing control of simulated moving bed chromatographic units


M. Morari

Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatography has become a widely used technology in the areas of pharmaceutical and fine chemicals in which complex separation tasks are faced on a daily basis. Nevertheless, operation of SMB units at their optimal operating conditions is still an open issue due to absence of proper control schemes. We have developed a control scheme that integrates on-line optimization and control of SMB units. A significant feature of the developed SMB control concept is that it requires only the overall average packing characteristic of the SMB unit and the knowledge of the linear adsorption isotherm regardless of the type of isotherm characterizing the mixture to be separated. Therefore it removes the necessity of detailed characterization of the columns and the separation system under consideration. We will discuss the control scheme and the first experimental results.


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