Our societal needs for greener, economically viable products and processes have grown given the adverse environmental impact and unsustainable development caused by human activities, including chemical releases, exposure, and impacts. To make chemical processes safer and more sustainable, a novel sustainability-oriented control strategy is developed in this work. This strategy enables the incorporation of online sustainability assessment and process control with sustainability constraints into chemical process operations. Specifically, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s GREENSCOPE (Gauging Reaction Effectiveness for the ENvironmental Sustainability of Chemistries with a multi-Objective Process Evaluator) tool is used for sustainability assessment and environmental release minimization of chemical processes. The multivariable GREENSCOPE indicators in real time can be represented using a novel visualization method with dynamic radar plots. The analysis of the process dynamic behavior in terms of sustainability performance provides means of defining sustainability constraints for the control strategy to improve process sustainability aspects with lower scores. For the control task, Biologically Inspired Optimal Control Strategy (BIO-CS) is implemented with sustainability constraints so that the control actions can be calculated considering the sustainability performance. This work leads to a significant step forward towards augmenting the capability of process control to meet future demands on multiple control objectives (e.g., economic, environmental, and safety related). The effectiveness of the proposed framework is illustrated via two case studies associated with a fermentation system. The results show that the proposed control strategy can effectively drive the system to the desired setpoints while meeting a preset sustainability constraint and improving the transient sustainability performance by up to 16.86% in terms of selected GREENSCOPE indicators.
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