Manufacturing butanol, ethanol, and acetone through grain fermentation has been attracting increasing research interest. In the production of these chemicals from fermentation, the cost of product recovery constitutes the major portion of the total production cost. Developing cost-effective flowsheets for the downstream processing is, therefore, crucial to enhancing the economic viability of this manufacturing method. The present work is concerned with the synthesis of such a process that minimizes the cost of the downstream processing. At the outset, a wide variety of processing equipment and unit operations, i.e., operating units, is selected for possible inclusion in the process. Subsequently, the exactly defined superstructure with minimal complexity, termed maximal structure, is constructed from these operating units with the rigorous and highly efficient graph-theoretic method for process synthesis based on process graphs (P-graphs). Finally, the optimal and near-optimal flowsheets in terms of cost are identified.
Abstract. Process network synthesis (PNS) has enormous practical impact; however, its mixed integer programming (MIP) model is tedious to solve because it usually involves a large number of binary variables. The 'present work elucidates the recently proposed accelerated branc:h-andbound algorithm that exploits the unique feature of the MIP model of PNS. Implementation of the algorithm is based on the so-called decision-mapping that consistently organizes the system of complex decisions. The accelerated branch-and-bound algorithm ofPNS reduces both the number and size of the partial problems. The efficacy of the algorithm is demonstrated with a realistic example.
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