Fuel gas network (FGN) synthesis is a systematic method for reducing fresh fuel consumption in a chemical plant. In this work, we address FGN synthesis problems using a block superstructure representation that was originally proposed for process design and intensification. The blocks interact with each other through direct flows that connect a block with its adjacent blocks and through jump flows that connect a block with all nonadjacent blocks. The blocks with external feed streams are viewed as fuel sources and the blocks with product streams are regarded as fuel sinks. An additional layer of blocks are added as pools when there exists intermediate operations among source and sink blocks. These blocks can be arranged in a J
two-dimensional grid with
for problems without pools, or
for problems with pools. J
is determined by the maximum number of pools/sinks. With this representation, we formulate FGN synthesis problem as a mixed-integer nonlinear (MINLP) formulation to optimally design a fuel gas network with minimal total annual cost. We revisit a literature case study on LNG plants to demonstrate the capability of the proposed approach.
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