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Automatic Control of Simulated Moving Beds


G. Erdem, S. Abel, M. Morari, M. Mazzotti, M. Morbidelli, J.H. Lee

Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 405-421

In recent years Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) technology has become more and more attractive for complex separation tasks and posed itself as the leading chromatographic separation technique in the fields of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and biotechnology. Extensive usage of SMB technology has created a need for robust automatic control techniques to exploit its full economical potential. Automatic control of SMB units is a challenging task not only because of its non-steady-state, nonlinear, mixed discrete and continuous nature but also due to long delays in exhibiting the effect of disturbances. This work proposes a new optimization based control strategy, where a linearized time varying reduced-order model, which accounts for the periodic nature of the SMB process, is used for on-line optimization and control. Four internal flow rates, which can be adjusted via external flow rates, are used as the manipulated variables. On-line concentration measurements at the product outlets together with a periodic Kalman filter are used to reduce the effect of model errors. Optimal input adjustments, which allow for the achievement of process specifications and optimal performance, are calculated based on the predicted evolution of the plant. The realization and the mplementation of the concept on a virtual eight column SMB unit is given and the capability of the controller to run the SMB plant at its economical optimum regardless of possible disturbances and model uncertainties is assessed.


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M. Morari

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@Article { ErdEtal:2004:IFA_396,
    author={G. Erdem and S. Abel and M. Morari and M. Mazzotti and M. Morbidelli and J.H. Lee},
    title={{Automatic Control of Simulated Moving Beds}},
    journal={Industrial \& Engineering Chemistry Research},
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