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‘Cycle to cycle’ optimizing control of simulated moving beds: Generalized Langmuir isotherm


C. Grossmann, M. Amanullah, M. Morari, M. Mazzotti, M. Morbidelli

International Conference on Fundamentals of Adsorption, (FOA 9). Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy. Poster.

Simulated moving bed (SMB) is a cost-efficient separation technique that offers high productivity and low solvent consumption. SMB has gained importance in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry to perform complex separation tasks. However, an open and challenging problem is the optimal, robust operation of the SMB process. We have developed a control scheme that integrates the optimization and control of the SMB unit. A significant feature of the controller is that only minimal information of the system has to be provided, i.e. the linear adsorption behavior of the mixture to be separated and the average void fraction of the columns. Therefore a full characterization of the adsorption behavior of the mixture and the columns is no longer required. The measurements, optimization and control actions are performed once every cycle, i.e. on a ‘cycle to cycle’ basis. This approach provides the flexibility to apply the controller to a wide range of separation tasks, regardless of the type of isotherm or the operation mode of the SMB unit (Varicol or standard SMB). This work presents simulation results of the ‘cycle to cycle’ control scheme applied to the separation of binary mixtures characterized by generalized Langmuir isotherms. The results are presented in the frame of the triangle theory that has been recently extended to encompass these types of isotherms . It is shown how the controller fulfills the product and process specifications while operating the SMB unit optimally, regardless of the uncertainties in the parameters of the system or the disturbances.


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M. Morari

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