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Cycle to cycle optimizing control of simulated moving bed and varicol processes


C. Grossmann

International Symposium on Preparative and Industrial Chromatography and Allied Techniques (SPICA), Innsbruck, Austria

Optimal and robust SMB or Varicol operation is a challenge and currently these processes are operated sub-optimally. Lately, SMB and Varicol process control problem is receiving a lot of attention to utilize the full economic potential of these processes with only basic system information. Recently, our group has experimentally validated an on-line optimization based SMB control scheme for the separation of nucleosides, a system with linear isotherm. This was based on continuous online monitoring and frequent controlling (64 times in a cycle), of the SMB unit. However, accurate online monitoring of the SMB unit is a key challenge for the efficient implementation of any control scheme especially for chiral systems. A more pragmatic approach would be to develop a control scheme that makes use of existing and accurate monitoring scheme currently used in the industry such as HPLC analysis over every cycle ('cycle to cycle'). However, this imposes additional loads on the controller since it gets less frequent information, i.e. once in a cycle, from the plant to take necessary control actions. This work presents results of a 'cycle to cycle' control scheme applied to the separation of a binary mixture of nucleosides and confirms its effectiveness experimentally. The performance of the 'cycle to cycle' control scheme is also demonstrated by several simulations of SMB and Varicol processes under nonlinear chromatographic conditions. The results illustrate that the 'cycle to cycle' controller is able to meet the products' purity specifications and operate the process optimally with minimal information regardless of the disturbances that might take place during the operation.


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M. Morari

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