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Hybrid systems – Application to the optimizing control of simulated moving bed chromatographic units


M. Morari

Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 412, 4. Workshop,
Universität Stuttgart,
Modellierung, Simulation und Führung verfahrenstechnischer und biologischer Systeme

Hybrid systems - loosely defined as systems comprised of continuous and discrete/switched components - are prevalent in all domains of engineering. Over the last few years this system class has attracted much attention and various tools have emerged for studying and affecting its behavior. In this presentation I will describe our approach for modeling, analysis and controller synthesis that is built on mixed integer mathematical programming. I will illustrate the merits of the technique on a wide range of examples from the automotive, the electrical power and the biomedical domains. The main part of my talk will focus on an extensive investigation of the optimizing control of simulated moving bed (SMB) chromatographic units. 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, the operation of SMB units at their optimal operating conditions is still an open issue due to absence of proper control schemes that are sufficiently robust for industrial use. We have developed a control scheme based on hybrid system principles 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 experimental results from our pilot plant facility. The work on SMB control was done by Gültekin Erdem with Stefanie Abel and Professors Marco Mazzotti and Massimo Morbidelli.


Type of Publication:

(05)Plenary/Invited/Honorary Lecture

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